John Greenleaf Whittier
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The advent of wandering beggars, or "old stragglers," as we were wont to call them, was an event of no ordinary interest in the generally monotonous quietude of our farm-life. Many of them were well known; they had their periodical revolutions and transits; we would calculate them like eclipses or new moons. Some were sturdy knaves, fat and saucy; and, whenever they ascertained that the "men folks" were absent, would order provisions and cider like men who expected to pay for them, seating themselves at the hearth or table with the air of Falstaff.