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many a sweet siesta during the hot months, is taking its own rest undisturbed in its box, under a shed at some distance from the house. But we shall soon build, and then these little inconveniences will be obviated. Besides, are there not sofas of turf? I find them a more than tolerable substitute when they do not smell of rheumatism.

"In one respect I find myself disappointed. The wheat lands which I bought at a large additional cost, in consideration of their being broken up and planted, wear, at present, an appearance very little promising as to the approaching harvest. Wide strips of unbroken soil intervene between the scattered lines of the plough; and if any seed was sown on these, the solid sward has sent The broad field that I survey up no return. just now from the window bears at least as much resemblance to a great green gridiron as the Escurial does to a stone one. But it is something to feel one's self a proprietor of the soil, and I anticipate much pleasure in sending my own wheat to the mill, be it little or much. I think, however, I can now

perceive why my friend Mr. Doolittle complimented me so highly on the extent of my agricultural knowledge, and declared his sentiments on the subject of farming to agree precisely with my own.

"My letter is already femininely long, yet I must give you an instance of rustic simplicity which occurred this morning, — a verification, indeed, of your repeated prediction. A stout youth, of some twenty years or so, applied for work, stating that he had 'heern tell how the squire wanted a hand.' I was glad to obtain an addition to our effective force, and the bargain was nearly concluded, when our swain broke in with, 'I say, uncle, does your hands eat with you?' Conceive of the question if you can, and you will readily imagine the answer; but you can never paint to yourself the air with which this untamed son of the forest turned on his heel, saying, with the utmost coolness,

"If I a'n't good enough to eat with ye, I a'n't good enough to work for ye, that's all!'

"Think of such companionship for Florella, who, though a democrat in principle on all important points, is, in personal habits, quite as fastidious as one could wish. To me these things would be matters of indifference, especially where the contact was only for a limited period. Mere accidents in social condition are nothing in themselves, and I have too high an idea of the dignity of labour to despise the practical agriculturist, though I may not relish his manners. But with ladies the case is different, and I shall never attempt to conform, in this particular, to the customs of the country. When John and Sophy get their log house finished, they will relieve us from the disagreeable necessity of 'boarding hands.'

"Do not fear such unreasonably long letters in future. I expect to be much occupied with building and other improvements, and shall hardly have time to weary you with my favourite topics.

"Ever yours,

“T. SIBTHORPE.”

VOL. II.

I

LETTER III.

Mrs. Sibthorpe to Mrs. Williamson.

66

My dearest Catherine

Why have I not written you a dozen letters before this time? I can give you no decent or rational apology. Perhaps, because I have had too much leisure-perhaps too many things to say. Something of this sort it certainly must be, for I have none of the ordinary excuses to offer for neglect of my dear correspondent. Think anything but that I love you less. This is the very place in which to cherish loving memories. But as to writing, this wild seclusion has so many charms for me, this delicious summer weather so many seductions, that my days glide away imperceptibly, leaving scarcely a trace in any thing accomplished during their flight. I rise in the morning determined upon the most strenuous industry. My broken credit with half a dozen correspondents, whom I have treated as ill as yourself, is to be entirely redeemed before dinner. For this

purpose, I place my desk before a window that opens towards the west, and which is consequently shaded during all the earlier part of the day. Here do I seat myself with the resolute air of one who is not to be tempted from duty. Nothing before me but huge trees, between whose ancient mossy trunks no ray of any but soft green light can reach the moist sward below. The only sound is that of the sighing wind that scarcely stirs the heavy verdure, yet makes its presence known by a ceaseless moan, resembling almost precisely the soft rush of summer waves upon a pebbly beach: magic music anywhere, and fraught with dreams; but particularly so where we feel, as it were, alone in the august presence of Nature, with nothing to limit the flights of fancy, and with an unbounded leisure which seems to promise time for everything. Pen in hand, eyes unconsciously exploring the mysterious arcades of the forest, behold your friend, her heart full of affection, and her head of pleasant musings, still hesitating for materials for an epistle, which were never to seek

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