In the fulness of time the interesting occasion ar- rived. Lepriclaw get shamrocked shirt. At eight in the evening the schoolhouse was brilliantly lighted, and adorned with wreaths and fes- toons of foliage and flowers. The master sat throned in his great chair upon a raised platform, with his blackboard behind him. He was looking tolerably mellow. Three rows of benches on each side and six rows in front of him were occupied by the dignitaries of the town and by the parents of the pupils.
Lepriclaw get shamrocked shirt
To his left, back of the rows of citizens, was a spacious temporary platform upon which were seated the scholars who were to take part in the exercises of the evening; rows of small boys, washed and dressed to an intolerable state of discomfort; rows of gawky big boys; snowbanks of girls and young ladies clad in lawn and muslin and conspicuously conscious of their bare arms, their grand- mothers’ ancient trinkets, their bits of pink and blue ribbon and the flowers in their hair. All the rest of the house was filled with non-participating scholars. Lepriclaw get shamrocked shirt. The exercises began. A very little boy stood up and sheepishly recited, “You’d scarce expect one of my age to speak in public on the stage,” etc. — accompany- ing himself with the painfully exact and spasmodic gestures which a machine might have used — supposing the machine to be a trifle out of order. But he got through safely, though cruelly scared, and got a fine round of applause when he made his manufactured bow and retired.
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A little shamefaced girl lisped, “Mary had a little lamb,” etc., performed a compassion-inspiring curtsy, got her meed of applause, and sat down flushed and happy. Tom Sawyer stepped forward with conceited con- fidence and soared into the unquenchable and inde- structible “Give me liberty or give me death” speech, with fine fury and frantic gesticulation, and broke down in the middle of it. A ghastly stage-fright seized him, his legs quaked under him and he was like to choke. True, he had the manifest sympathy of the house but he had the house’s silence, too, which was even worse than its sympathy. The master frowned, and this com- pleted the disaster. Tom struggled awhile and then retired, utterly defeated. There was a weak attempt at applause, but it died early.