Observe Orion's career--that is, a little of it: (1) He has belonged to as many as five different religious denominations; last March he withdrew from the deaconship in a Congregational Church and the Superintendency of its Sunday School, in a speech in which he said that for many months (it runs in my mind that he said 13 years,) he had been a confirmed infidel, and so felt it to be his duty to retire from the flock.
2. After being a republican for years, he wanted me to buy him a democratic newspaper. A few days before the Presidential election, he came out in a speech and publicly went over to the democrats; he prudently "hedged" by voting for 6 state republicans, also.
The new convert was made one of the secretaries of the democratic meeting, and placed in the list of speakers. He wrote me jubilantly of what a ten-strike he was going to make with that speech. All right--but think of his innocent and pathetic candor in writing me something like this, a week later:
"I was more diffident than I had expected to be, and this was increased by the silence with which I was received when I came forward; so I seemed unable to get the fire into my speech which I had calculated upon, and presently they began to get up and go out; and in a few minutes they all rose up and went away."
How could a man uncover such a sore as that and show it to another? Not a word of complaint, you see--only a patient, sad surprise.
3. His next project was to write a burlesque upon Paradise Lost.
4. Then, learning that the Times was paying Harte $100 a column for stories, he concluded to write some for the same price. I read his first one and persuaded him not to write any more.
5. Then he read proof on the N. Y. Eve. Post at $10 a week and meekly observed that the foreman swore at him and ordered him around "like a steamboat mate."