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forthwith ordered them up stairs, wondering in my own mind how I could have thought a log house would afford space for such superfluities.
All this time there was a blazing fire in the chimney to accommodate Mrs. Jennings in her operations, and while the doors and windows were open we were not sensible of much discomfort from it. Supper was prepared and eaten-beds spread on the floor, and the children stowed away.
Mrs. Jennings and our other “ helps” had departed, and I prepared to rest from my unutterable weariness, when I began to be sensible of the suffocating heat of the place. I tried to think it would grow cooler in a little while, but it was absolutely insufferable to the children as well as myself, and I was fain to set both doors open, and in this ex. posed situation passed the first night in my western home, alone with my children and far from any neighbour.
If I could live a century, I think, that night will never fade from my memory.
Excessive fatigue made it impossible to avoid falling asleep, yet the fear of being devoured by wild beasts, or poisoned by rattlesnakes, caused me to start up after every nap with sensations of horror and alarm, which could hardly have been increased by the actual occurrence of all I dreaded. Many wretched hours passed in this manner, At length sleep fairly overcame fear, and we were awaken. ed only by a wild storm of wind and rain which drove in upon us and completely wetted every thing within reach.
A doleful morning was this-no fire on the hearth streams of water on the floor, and three hungry child.
ren to get breakfast for. I tried to kindle a blaze with matches, but alas ! even the straw from the packing-boxes was soaked with the cruel rain; and I was distributing bread to the hungry, hopeless of anything more, when Mr. Jennings made his appearance.
“I was thinking you 'd begin to be sick o' your bargain by this time," said the good man, “and so I thought I'd come and help you a spell. I reckon you'd ha' done better to have waited till the old man
“ What old man ?” asked I, in perfect astonishment.
“Why, your old man to be sure,” said he laughing. I had yet to learn that in Michigan, as soon as a man marries he becomes th' old man,” though he may be yet in his minority. Not long since I gave a young bride the how d' ye do in passing, and the reply was, “ I'm pretty well, but my old man 's sick a-bed."
But to return, Mr. Jennings kindled a fire which I took care should be a very
and I man. aged to make a cup of tea to dip our bread in, and then proceeded to find places for the various articles which strewed the floor. Some auger-holes bored in the logs received large and long pegs, and these served to support boards which were to answer the purpose of shelves. It was soon found that the multiplicity of articles which were to be accommodated on these shelves would fill them a dozen times.
“ Now to my thinkin',” said my good genius, Mr. Jennings, “ that 'ere soup-t'reen, as you call it, and them little ones, and these here great glass-dishes, and all sich, might jist as well go up chamber for all the good they 'll ever do you
This could not be gainsaid; and the good man proceeded to exalt them to another set of extempore shelves in the upper story ; and so many
articles were included in the same category, that I began to congrat. ulate myself on the increase of clear space below, and to fancy we should soon begin to look very comfort. able,
My ideas of comfort were by this time narrowed down to a well-swept room with a bed in one corner, and cooking-apparatus in another—and this in some fourteen days from the city! I can scarcely, myself, credit the reality of the change.
It was not till I had occasion to mount the ladder that I realized that all I had gained on the confusion below was most hopelessly added to the confusion above, and I came down with such a sad and thoughtful brow, that my good aid-de-camp perceived my perplexity.
“ Had n't I better go and try to get one of the neighbour's gals to come and help you for a few days ?” said he.
I was delighted with the offer, and gave him carteblanche as to terms, which I afterwards found was a mistake, for, where sharp bargains are the grand aim of every body, those who express anything like indif. ference on the subject, are set down at once as having more money than they know what to do with; and as this was far from being my case, I found reason to regret having given room for the conclusion.
The damsel made her appearance before great while—a neat looking girl with “scarlet hair and belt to match ; " and she immediately set about " reconcil.
ing” as she called it, with a good degree of energy and ingenuity. I was forced to confess that she knew much better than I how to make a log-house comfortable.
She began by turning out of doors the tall cup-board, which had puzzled me all the morning, observing very justly, “ Where there ain't no room for a thing, why, there ain't;" and this decision cut the Gordian knot of all my plans and failures in the disposal of the ungainly convenience. It did yeo:nan's service long afterwards as a corn.crib.
When the bedsteads were to be put up, the key was among the missing ; and after we had sent far and wide and borrowed a key, or the substitute for one, no screws could be found, and we were reduced to the dire necessity of trying to keep the refractory posts in their places by means of ropes.
Then there were candles, but no candle-sticks. This seemed at first rather in. convenient, but when Mr. Jennings had furnished blocks of wood with auger-holes bored in them for sockets, we could do nothing but praise the ingenuity of the substitute.
My rosy-haired Phillida who rejoiced in the eupho. nius appellation of Angeline, made herself entirely at home, looking into my trunks, &c., and asking the price of various parts of my dress. She wondered why I had not my hair cut off, and said she reckoned I would before long, as it was all the fashion about here.
6 When d' ye expect Him ? ” said the damsel, with an air of sisterly sympathy, and ere I could reply be. comingly, a shout of “tiny joy” told me that Papa had come. I did not cry for sorrow this time.
Dans toutes les professions et dans tous les arts, chacun se fait une mine et un extérieur qu' il met en la place de la chose dont il veut avoir la merite; de sorte que tout le monde n'est composé que de mines ; et c' est inutilement que nous travaillons à y trouver rien de ríel.
We see the reign or tyranny of custom, what it is. The Indians lay themselves quietly upon a stack of wood, and so sacri. fice themselves by fire.
Since custom is the principal magistrate of man's life, let men by all means endeavour to obtain good customs.
DIFFICULTIES began to melt away like frosty rime after this. Some were removed, but to many we be. came habituated in a far shorter time than I could have imagined possible. A carpenter constructed a narrow flight of board.steps which really seemed magnificent after the stick-ladder. The screws came be. fore the bed-steads were quite spoiled, and the arrival of my bureau—the unpacking of the box among whose multifarious contents appeared the coffee-mill, the smoothing-irons, the snuffers, gave more real delight than that of any case of splendid Parisian millinery that ever drew together a bevy of belles at Mrs. show-rooms. I never before knew the value of a port.