« ПретходнаНастави »
testing, that if he had birth and fortune to entitle him to match into such a family as our's, she knew no man she would sooner fix upon. I could not but smile to hear her talk in this lofty strain : but I was never much displeased with those harmless delusions that tend to make us more happy.
A proof that even the humblest fortune
may grant happiness, which depends not on circumstance, but constitution.
THE place of our retreat was in
a little neighbourhood, consisting of farmers, who tilled their own grourds, and were equal ftrangers to opulence and poverty. As they had alınoft alf the conveniencies of life within themselves, they seldom visited towns or cities in search of superfluity. Remote from the polite, they still retained the primæval simplicity of manners; and frugal by habit, they scarce knew that temperance was a virtue. They wrought with chearfulness on days of labour ; but observed festivals as intervals of idleness and pleasure. They kept up the Christmas carol, fent true-love-knots an Valentine morning, eat pancakes on Shrove-tide, shewed their wit on the first
of April, and religioully cracked nuts on Michaelmas eve. Being apprized of our approach, the whole neighbourhood came out to meet their minister, dressed in their fine cloaths, and preceded by a pipe and tabor: A feast also was provided for our reception, at which we sate chearfully down and what the conversation wanted in wit, was made up in laughter.
Our little habitation was situated at the foot of a Noping hill, sheltered with a beautiful underwood behind, and a prat. ling river before; on one fide a meadow, on the other a green. My farm confifted of about twenty acres of excellent land, having given an hundred pound for my predecessor's good-will. Nothing could exceed the neatness of my little enclofures: the elms and hedge-rows appearing with inexpressible beauty. My house consisted of but one story, and was covered with thatch, which gave it an air of great (nugness; the walls on the inside were nicely, white-walhed, and my daughters
undertook to adorn them with pictures of their own designing. Though the same room served us for parlour and kitchen, that only made it the warmer. Besides, as it was kept with the utmost neatness, the dishes, plates, and coppers, being well scoured, and all disposed in bright rows on the shelves, the eye was agreeably relieved, and did not want richer furniture. There were three other apartments, one for my wife and me, another for our two daughters, within our own, and the third, with two beds, for the rest of the children.
The little republic to which I gave laws, was regulated in the following manner: by sun-rise we all assembled in our common apartment; the fire being previously kindled by the servant. After we had faluted each other with proper ceremony, for I always thought fit to keep up some mechanical forms of good breeding, without which freedom ever destroys friendship, we all bent in gratitude to that Being who gave us another day