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hausted atmosphere, of which those who slept on the bedsteads felt the effect more sensibly than those who lay on the floor, had no small agency in producing this. depression of spirits, so unusual with me.
Be this as it may, my troubles, when the children were to be washed and dressed, became real and tangi. ble enough; for, however philosophical grown people may sometimes be under disagreeables consequent upon a change of habits, children are very epicures, and will put up with nothing that is unpleasant to them, without at least making a noise, which I do detest and dread; though I know mothers ought to “get used to such things.” I have heard that cels get accustomed to being skinned, but I doubt the fact.
That morning was the first and the last time I ever attempted to carry through the ordinary nursery routine, in a log-hut, without a servant, and with a skillet for a wash-basin.
The little things did get dressed after a while, how. ever, and were safely escorted down the stick-ladder, and it was really a pleasure to see them careering round the house, rioting in their freedom, and to hear now and then a merry laugh, awakening the echoes. Children are the true bijouterie of the woods and wilds. How weary would my last three years have been, with. out the cares and troubles they have brought me !
Our breakfast, of undistinguishable green tea, milk. rising bread, and salt ham, did not consume much time, and most fortunately we here found milk for the chil. dren, who of course made out sumptuously. It was the first time since we left Detroit, that we had been able to procure more than a small allowance for the tea.
My first care was to inquire where I might be able to procure a domestic, for I saw plainly I must not ex. pect any aid from Miss Irene or her younger sister, who were just such “captive-princess" looking damsels as Miss Martineau mentions having seen at a country inn somewhere on her tour.
“Well, I don't know," said Mrs. Ketchum in reply to my questions ; “there was a young lady here yes. terday that was saying she did n't know but she'd live out a spell till she'd bought her a new dress.”
“Oh! but I wish to get a girl who will remain with me; I should not like to change often.”
Mrs. Ketchum smiled rather scornfully at this, and said there were not many girls about here that cared to live out long at a time.
My spirits fell at this view of the matter. Some of my dear theorizing friends in the civilized world had dissuaded me most earnestly from bringing a maid with me.
“ She would always be discontented and anxious to return; and you'll find plenty of good farmer's daugh. ters ready to live with you for the sake of earning a little money."
Good souls ! how little did they know of Michigan ! I have since that day seen the interior of many a wretched dwelling, with almost literally nothing in it but a bed, a chest, and a table; children ragged to the last degree, and potatoes the only fare ; but never yet saw I one where the daughter was willing to own her. self obliged to live out at service. She would " hire out" long enough to buy some article of dress perhaps, or “ because our folks have been sick, and want a little
the doctor," or for some such special reabut never as a regular calling, or with an acknowledgment of inferior station.
This state of things appalled me at first; but I have learned a better philosophy since. I find no difficulty now in getting such aid as I require, and but little in retaining it as long as I wish, though there is always a desire of making an occasional display of independ
Since living with one for wages is considered by common consent a favour, I take it as a favour ; and, this point once conceded, all goes well. Perhaps I have been peculiarly fortunate ; but certainly with one or two exceptions, I have little or nothing to complain of on this essential point of domestic comfort.
To be sure, I had one damsel who crammed herself almost to suffocation with sweatmeats and other things which she esteemed very nice; and ate up her own pies and cake, to the exclusion of those for whom they were intended ; who would put her head in at a door, with—"Miss Clavers, did you holler? I thought I heered a yell."
And another who was highly offended, because room was not made for her at table with guests from the city, and that her company was not requested for tea-visits. And this latter high-born damsel sent in from the kitchen a circumstantial account in writing, of the instances wherein she considered herself aggrieved ; well written it was too, and expressed with much naïveté, and abundant respect. I answered it in the way which “turneth away wrath.” Yet it was not long before this fiery spirit was aroused again, and I was forced to part with my country belle. But these instances are not
very tremendous even to the city habits I brought with me; and I cannot say I regret having been obliged to relinquish what was, after all, rather a silly sort of pride. But bless me! how I get before my story! I viewed the matter very differently when I was at Ketchum's. My philosophy was of slow growth.
On reflection, it was thought best not to add another sleeper to the loft, and I concluded to wait on myself and the children while we remained at Ketchum's, which we hoped would be but for a day or two. I can only say, I contrived to simplify the matter very much, when I had no one to depend on but myself. The children had dirty faces, and aprons which would have effected their total exclusion from genteel society more than half the time ; and I was happy to encourage the closest intimacy between them and the calves and chickens, in order to gain some peace within doors. Mrs. Ketchum certainly had her own troubles during our sojourn under her leaky roof; for the two races commingled not without loud and long effervescence, threatening at times nothing short of a Kilkenny cat battle, ending in mutual extermination.
My office, on these occasions, was an humble imita. tion of the plan of the celestials in ancient times; to snatch away
the combatant in whom I was most inte. rested, and then to secrete him for a while, using as a desert island one of the beds in the loft, where the unfortunate had to dree a weary penance, and generally came down quite tame.
The ripeness or unripeness of the occasion must ever be well weighed; and generally, it is good to commit the beginnings of all great actions to Argus with his hundred eyes, and the ends to Briareus with his hundred hands.-BACON.
Trust not yourself; but your defects to know
THE log-house, which was to be our temporary home, was tenanted at this time; and we were obliged to wait while the incumbent could build a framed one; the materials for which had been growing in the woods not long before ; I was told it would take but a short time, as it was already framed.
What was my surprise, on walking that way to ascertain the progress of things, to find the materials still scattered on the ground, and the place quite solitary.
“ Did not Mr. Ketchum say Green's house was framed ?” said I to the dame du palais, on my return; “ the timbers are all lying on the ground, and nobody at work."
“ Why, la ! so they be all framed, and Green's gone to for the sash. They'll be ready to raise to. morrow.”
It took me some time to understand that framing was nothing more than cutting the tenons and mortices