A Quarter of an Hour





When Lord Nelson was leaving London, on his last,
but glorious, expedition against the enemy, a quantity of cabin furniture

was ordered to be sent on board his ship. He had a farewell dinner party at

his house; and the upholsterer having waited upon his lordship, with an

account of the completion of the goods, was brought into the dining-room,

in a corner of which his lordship spoke with him. The upholsterer stated to

his employer, that everything was finished, and packed, and would go in the

wagon, from a certain inn, at _six o'clock_. "And you go to the inn, Mr.

A., and see them off?" "I shall, my lord; I shall be there _punctually at

six_." "_A quarter before six_, Mr. A.," returned Lord Nelson, "be there _a

quarter before six_. To that _quarter of an hour_ I owe everything in

life."





Mr. Scott, of Exeter, travelled on business till about eighty years of age.

He was one of the most celebrated characters in the kingdom for

punctuality, and by his methodical conduct, joined to uniform diligence, he

gradually amassed a fortune. For a long series of years, the proprietor of

every inn he frequented in Devon and Cornwall knew the day, and the very

hour, he would arrive. A short time before he died, a gentleman on a

journey in Cornwall stopped at a small inn at Port Isaac to dine. The

waiter presented him with a bill of fare, which he did not approve of; but

observing a fine duck roasting, "I'll have that," said the traveller. "You

cannot, sir," said the landlord; "it is for Mr. Scott of Exeter." "I know

Mr. Scott very well," rejoined the gentlemen; "he is not in your house."

"True, sir," said the landlord, "but _six months ago, when he was here

last, he ordered a duck to be ready for him this day, precisely at two

o'clock;_" and, to the astonishment of the traveller, he saw the old

gentleman, on his Rosinante, jogging into the inn-yard about five minutes

before the appointed time.





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