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102                           A  FEW  MEMORIES
particularly fond of, and he explained how it was painted for him, as he had first seen the master, descending a dark staircase in his own house, the light of a candle, which he held high, shedding a golden glow over his silvery head, leaving the rest of the figure in shadow. However infested with care or work a day might be, a visit from him was sure to beautify it. I once mentioned to him that his poem, " The Hanging of the Crane," was a great favorite of mine. " I am so glad you like it," he said, simply; "few seem to know or care for it, and it is a particular pet with me." The poet was very fond of a good comic story, and had many amusing ones of his own experience. He was particularly delighted at the ingenuity of an enterprising vendor of patent medicine, who, vaunting the " marvellous effects " of his drug, no doubt in the hope of inspiring the poet, invited him to write a verse for the label, promising him a percentage on each bottle, and a free use of the medicine for himself and family. Persons of genius have often to pay dearly for their prominence. On one of his birthdays he was astonished at seeing a wagon containing a piano drive up to his house, followed by a strange young lady in a carriage. The latter informed the housekeeper that