" How many squirrels have you killed, uncle ?
I do not think you can have killed any at all;
we saw so many as we came up here ! Some
were running along your snake fence, uncle ;
and grandpapa says they were not of the same
kind as those that run up the trees. But we saw
a great many run up the trees, too. I dare say,
half a dozen or a dozen. How many have you
killed, uncle ? '*
" Forty-one. The children there will tell you
all about it."
" Forty-one ! And how many did David kill ?
And your whole party, uncle ?"
THE PHILOSOPHER AT HOME. 17
Arthur gave the boy a gentle push towards
the sacks of dead squirrels, and Temmy, having
no notion why or how he had been troublesome,
amused himself with pitying the slaughtered ani-
mals, and stroking his cheeks with the brushes of
more than a hundred of them. He might have
gone on to the whole number bagged, — two hun-
dred and ninetv-three, — if his attention had not
been called oft' by the sudden silence which pre-
ceded a speech from uncle Arthur.
" Neighbours," said Arthur, " I take the
blame of this mischance upon myself. I will not
say that some of you might not have reminded
me to bridge the Creek, before I spent my time
and money on luxuries that we could have waited
for a while longer ; but the chief carelessness
was mine, I freely own. It seems a strange time
to choose for asking a favour of vou "
He was interrupted by many a protestation
that his neighbours were ready to help to bridge
the Creek ; that it was the interest of all that
the work should be done, and not a favour to
himself alone. He went on : —
" I was going to say that when it happens to
you, as now to me, that you wish to exchange
the corn that you grow for something that our
prairies do not produce, you will feel the want of
such a bridge as much as I do now ; though I hope
through a less disagreeable experience. In self-
defence, I must tell you, however, how little able
I have been till lately to provide any but the
barest necessaries for myself and my men. This
will show you that I cannot now pay you for the
work you propose to do." c 3
IS THE PHILOSOPHER AT HOME.
He was interrupted by assurances that nobody
wanted to be paid ; that they would have a bridg-
ing frolic, as they had before had a raising frolic
to build the surgeon's tavern, and a rolling frolic
to clear Brawn's patch of ground, and as they
meant to have a reaping frolic when the corn
should be ripe. It should be a pic-nic. Nobody
supposed that Arthur had yet meat, bread, and
whisky to spare.
" I own that I have not," said he. " You
know that when I began to till my ground, I had
no more capital than was barely sufficient to
fence and break up my fields, and feed me and
my two labourers while my first crop was grow-
ing. Just before it ripened, I had nothing left ;
but what I had spent was well spent. It proved a
productive consumption indeed; for my harvest
brought back all I had spent, with increase. This
increase was not idly consumed by me. I began
to pay attention to my cattle, improved my farm
buildings, set up a kiln, and employed a labourer
in making bricks. The fruits of my harvest were
thus all consumed ; but they were again restored
with increase. Then I thought I might begin to
indulge myself with the enjoyment for which I
had toiled so long and so hard. I did not labour
merely to have so much corn in my barns, but to
enjoy the corn, and whatever else it would bring
me, — as we all do, — producing, distributing, and
exchanging, that we may afterwards enjoy."
" Not quite all, Mr. Arthur," said Johnson,
the lawyer. »« There is your brother-in-law, Mr.
Temple, who seems disposed to enjoy everything,
without so much as soiling his fingers with gather-
THE PHILOSOPHER AT HOME. 19
ing a peach. And there is a certain friend of ours,
settled farther east, who toils like a horse, and
lives like a beggar, that he may hoard a roomful
" Temple produces by means of the hoarded
industry of his fathers, — by means of his capi-
tal," replied Arthur. " And the miser you speak
of enjoys his dollars, I suppose, or he would
change them away for something else. Well,
friends, there is little temptation for us to hoard
up our wealth. We have corn instead of dollars,
and corn will not keep like dollars."
" Why should it ?" asked Dods the brickmaker.
" Who would take the trouble to raise more corn
than he wants to eat, if he did not hope to ex-
change it for something desirable ?*'
" Very true. Then comes the question, what
a man shall choose in exchange. 1 began pretty
well. I laid out some of my surplus in providing
for a still greater next year ; which, in my cir-
cumstances, was my first duty. Then I began
to look to the end for which I was working ; and
I reached forward to it a little too soon. I should
have roasted my corn ears and drank milk a
little longer, and expended my surplus on a
bridge, before I thought of wheaten flour and tea
" Three months hence," said somebody, " you
will be no worse off (except for the corn ears
and milk you must consume instead of flour and
tea) than if you had had your wish. Your flour
and tea would have been clean gone by that
time, without any return."
l * You grant that I must go without the plea-
20 THE PHILOSOPHER AT HOME.
sure," said Arthur, smiling, " Never mind that.
But you will not persuade me that it is not a clear
loss to have flour spoiled, and sugar and salt
melted together in the creek ; unless, indeed, they
go to fatten the fish in the holes. Besides, there
is the mortification of feeling that your toil in
making this bridge might have been paid with
that which is lost in the purchase of luxuries
which none will enjoy."
Being vehemently exhorted to let this consider-
ation give him no concern, he concluded,
" I will take your advice, thank you. I will
not trouble myself or you more about this loss ;
and I enlarge upon it now only because it
may be useful to us as a lesson how to use the
fruits of our labour. I have been one of the fore-
most to laugh at our neighbours in the next set-
tlement for having, — not their useful frolics, like
ours of to-morrow, — but their shooting-matches
and games in the wood, when the water was so
bad that it was a grievance to have to drink it.
I was as ready as any one to see that the labour
spent on these pastimes could not be properly
afforded, if there were really no hands to spare to
dig wells. And now, instead of asking them when
they mean to have their welling frolic, our wisest
way will be to get our bridge up before there is
time for our neighbours to make a laughing-stock
of us. When that is done, I shall be far from
satisfied. 1 shall still feel that it is owing to me
that my father goes without his coffee, while he
is watching through the night when we common
men are asleep.
'* That is as much Temple's concern as the
THE PHILOSOPHER AT HOME. 2 L
young man's," observed the neighbours one to
another. M Freely as he flings his monev about,
one would think Temple might see that the doctor
was at least as well supplied with luxuries as
himself." " Why the young man should be left
to toil and make capital so painfully and slowly,
when Temple squanders so much, is a mystery to
every body." " A quarter of what Temple has
spent in making and unmaking his garden would
have enabled Arthur Sneyd's new field to produce
double, or have improved his team ; and Temple
himself would have been all the better for the
interest it would have yielded, instead of his
monev bringing no return. But Temple is not
the man to lend a helping hand to a young
farmer, — be he his brother-in-law or a mere
Such were the remarks which Arthur was not
supposed to hear, and to which he did not there-
fore consider himself called upon to reply.
Seeing his father and mother in eager consulta-
tion with the still dripping Isaac, he speedily
completed the arrangements for the next day's
meeting, toils, and pleasures, and joined the
group. Isaac had but just recolleeted that in
his pocket he brought a packet of letters and
several newspapers, which had found their way,
in some circuitous manner, to the store where he
had been trafficking. The whole were deplorably
soaked with mud. It seemed doubtful whether a
line of the writing could ever be made out. But
Mrs. Snevd's cleverness had been proved equal
to emergencies nearly as great as this. She had
22 THE PHILOSOPHER AT HOME.
once got rid of the stains of a stand full of ink
which had been overset on a parchment which
bore a ten-guinea stamp. She had recovered the
whole to perfect smoothness, and fitness to be
written upon. Many a time had she contrived
to restore the writing which had been discharged
from her father's manuscript chemical lectures,
when spillings from his experiments had occurred
scarcely half an hour before the lecture-room
began to fill. No wonder her husband was now
willing to confide in her skill — no wonder he
was anxious to see Temmy home as speedily as
possible, that he might watch the processes of
dipping and drying and unfolding, on which
depended almost the dearest of his enjoyments, — -
intercourse with faithful friends far away.
THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME.
Master Temple Temple was up early, and
watching the weather, the next morning, with far
more eagerness than his father would have
approved, unless some of his own gentlemanlike
pleasures had been in question. If Mr. Temple
had known that his son and heir cared for the
convenience of his industrious uncle Arthur, and
of a parcel of labourers, the boy would hardly
have escaped a long lecture on the depravity of
his tastes, and the vulgarity of his sympathies.
But Mr. Temple knew nothing that passed prior
THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME. 23
to his own majestic descent to the breakfast-room,
where the silver coffee-pot was steaming fragrantly,
and the windows were carefully opened or scru-
pulously shut, so as to temper the visitations of
the outward air, while his lady sat awaiting his
mood, and trembling lest he should find nothing
that he could eat among the variety of forms of
diet into which the few elements at the command
of her cook had been combined. Mrs. Temple
had never been very happy while within reach of
markets and shops ; but she was now often tempted
to believe that almost all her troubles would be at
an end if she had but the means of indulging
her husband's fastidious appetite. It was a real
misery to be for ever inventing, and for ever in
vain, new cookeries of Indian corn, beef, lean
pork, geese and turkeys, honey and milk.
Beyond these materials, she had nothing to
depend upon but chance arrivals of flour, pickles,
and groceries ; and awfully passed the day when
there was any disappointment at breakfast. She
would willingly have surrendered her conser-
vatory, hersplendid ornaments, the pictures, plate,
and even the library of her house, and the many
thousand acres belonging to it, to give to her
husband such an unscrupulous appetite as
Arthur's, or such a cheerful temper as Dr. Sneyd's.
It was hard that her husband's ill-humour about
his privations should fall upon her ; for she was
not the one who did the deed, whatever it might
be, which drove the gentleman from English
society. The sacrifice was quite as great to her
as it could possibly be to him ; and there was
24 THE GENTLEMAN AT MC.ME.
inexpressible meanness in Temple's aggravating;
by complaints of bis own share, the suffering
which he had himself brought upon her. Temple
seemed always to think himself a great man, how-
ever ; and always greatest when causing the
utmost sensation in those about him.
This morning, he stalked into the breakfast
room in remarkable state. He looked almost as
tall as his wife when about to speak to her, and
was as valiant in his threats against the people
who disturbed him by passing before his window,
as his son in planning his next encounter with
Brawn's great turkey.
" Come away from the window, this moment,
Temple. I desire you will never stand there
when the people are flocking past in this manner.
Nothing gratifies them more. They blow those
infernal horns for no other purpose than to draw
our attention. Ring the bell, Temple."
When Marius appeared, in answer to the bell,
he was ordered to pull down that blind ; and if
the people did not go away directly, to bid them
begone, and blow their horns somewhere out of
" They will be gone soon enough, sir. It is a
busy day with them. They are making a frolic
to bridge the Creek, because of what happened — ''
A terrified glance of Mrs. Temple's stopped
the man in his reference to what had taken place
the evening before. It was hoped that the stock
of coffee might be husbanded till more could
arrive, that the idea of chocolate might be insi-
nuated into the gentleman's mind, and that the
THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME. 25
shortness of the wax candles, and the deficiency
of light in the hail at night, might possibly escape
"The bridge over the Creek being much
wanted by every body, sir/' continued Marius,
" every body is joining the frolic to work at it ;
that is, if "
" Not I, nor any of my people. Let me hear
no more about it, if you please. I have given
no orders to have a bridge built."
Marius withdrew. The cow-horns were pre-
sently no longer heard — not that Marius had
done any tiling to silence them. He knew that
the blowers were not thinking of either him or his
master; but merely passing to th<ir place of ren-
dezvous, calling all frolickers together by the way.
"Temple, you find you can live without your
squirrels, I hope," said the tender father. li Now,
no crying! I will not have you cry.''
" Bring me your papa's cup, my dear," inter-
posed his mother ; " and persuade him to try
these early strawberries. The gardener surprised
us this morning with a little plate of strawberries.
Tell your papa about the strawberries in the
orchard, my dear."
In the intervals of sobs, and with streaming
eyes, Tern my told the happv news that strawber-
ries had spread under all the trees in the orchard,
and were so full of blossom, that the gardener
thought the orchard would soon look like a field
of white clover.
" Wild strawberries, I suppose. Tasteless
trash !" was the remark upon this intelligence.
26 THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME.
' Before a more promising subject was started,
the door opened, and Dr. Sneyd appeared. Mr.
Temple hastened to rise, put away, with a pro-
digious crackling and shuttling, the papers he
held, quickened Temmy's motions in setting a
chair, and pressed coffee and strawberries on " the
old gentleman," as he was wont to call Dr. Sneyd.
It was impossible that there could be much
sympathy between two men so unlike ; but it
singularly happened that Dr. Sneyd had a
slighter knowledge than any body in the village
of the peculiarities of his son-in-law. He was
amused at some of his foibles, vexed at others,
and he sighed, at times, when he saw changes of
looks and temper creeping over his daughter,
and thought what she might have been with a
more suitable companion ; but Temple stood in
so much awe of the philosopher as to appear a
somewhat different person before him and in any
other presence. Temmy now knew that he was
safe from misfortune for half an hour; and being
unwilling that grandpapa should see traces of
tears, he slipped behind the window blind, to
make his observations on the troop which was
gathering in the distance on the way to the creek.
He stood murmuring to himself, — " There goes
Big Brawn and the Brawnees ! I never saw any
women like those Brawnees. I think they could
pull up a tall tree by the roots, if they tried.
I wonder when they will give me some more
honey to taste. "There goes Dods ! He must
be tired before the frolic begins ; for he has been
making bricks ever since it was light. I sup-
THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME. 27
pose he is afraid papa will be angry if he does
not make bricks as fast as he can. Papa was so
angry with the rain for spoiling his bricks
before ! There goes David " And so on,
through the entire population, out of the bounds
of Temple Lodge.
11 I came to ask," said the doctor, "how many
of vour men you can spare to this frolic to-day.
Arthur will be glad of all the assistance that can
be had, that the work may be done completely at
The reply was, that Arthur seemed an enter-
prising young man.
"He is : just made for his lot. But I ought
not to call this Arthur's enterprise altogether.
The Creek is no more his than it is yours or mine.
The erection is for the common good, as the
disaster last night" — (a glance from Mrs. Temple
to her husband's face, and a peep from Temmy,
from behind the blind) — " was, in fact, a common
Mr. Temple took snuff, and asked no questions
" I have been telling my wife," observed the
doctor, "that I am prodigiously tempted to try
the strength of my arm myself, to-day."
"I hope not, my dear sir. Vour years
The advancement of science, you know Just
imagine its being told in Paris, among your
friends of the Institute, that you had been helping
to build a bridge ! Temple, ring the bell."
Marius was desired to send Ephraim to receive
2S THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME.
his master's commands. In a few minutes, the
door slowly opened, a strange metallic sound was
heard, and a little negro boy, stunted in form
and mean in countenance, stood bowing in the
" Ephraim, go into the park field, and tell
Martin to send as many labourers as he can
spare to help to bridge the creek. And as you
come back "
During this time, Dr. Sneyd had turned on his
chair to observe the boy. He now rose rapidly,
and went to convince himself that his eves did
not deceive him. It was really true that the
right ankle and left wrist of the little lad were
connected by a light fetter.
" Who has the key of this chain?" asked Dr.
Sneyd of his daughter, who, blushing scarlet,
looked towards her husband.
" Give it me," said the doctor, holding out his
" Excuse me, my dear sir. You do not know
" Very true : but that does not alter the case.
The key, if you please."
After a moment's hesitation, it was produced
from the waistcoat pocket. Dr. Sneyd set the
boy free, bade him make haste to do his master's
bidding, and quietly doubling the chain, laid it
down on a distant table.
" He never made haste in his life, sir," pro-
tested Mr. Temple. " You do not know the lad,
sir, believe me."
" I do not : and I am sorry to hear such an
THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME. 29
account of him. This is a place where no one
can be allowed to loiter and be idle."
Ephraim showed that he could make haste;
for he lost no time in getting out of the room,
when he had received his final orders. At the
moment, and for a few moments more, Dr. Sneyd
was relating to his daughter the contents of the
letters received from England the night before.
Mr. Temple meanwhile was stirring the fire,
flourishing his handkerchief, and summoning
courage to be angry with Dr. Sneyd.
»* Do you know, sir," said he, at length, " that
boy is my servant ( Let me tell you, that for
one gentleman to interfere with another gentle-
man's servants is "
Dr. Sneyd was listening so calmly, with his
hands resting on the head of his cane, that
Temple's words, somehow or other, failed him.
" Such interference is is This boy, sir,
is my servant."
" Your servant, but not your slave. Do you
know, Temple, it is I who might call you to
account, rather than you me. As one of the
same race with this boy, I have a right to call you
to account for making property of that which is
no propertv. There is no occasion, 1 trust, for
you and me to refer this matter to a magistrate :
but, till compelled to do so, i have a full right to
strike oil" chains wherever I meet with them."
11 You may meet with them in the woods, or as
far over the prairie as you are likely to walk, my
dear sir, for this lad is' a notorious runaway : he
has escaped three times. Nothing short of such
30 THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME.
an offence could have made me do any tiling
which might appear harsh. If he runs away
again, I assure you I shall be compelled to em-
ploy the restraint in question : I give you warn in o-
that I must. So, if you should meet him, thus
restrained, vou know "
" O, yes ; I shall know what to do. I shall
take off the chain that he may hie the faster.
I see your conservatory is in great beauty. I ima-
gine you must have adopted Arthur's notion
about warming it."
" Not Mr. Sneyd's. O, no ; it was Mrs. Tem-
" Not originally ; it was Arthur who advised
me," declared Mrs. Temple. '* I hope you will
soon have some of the benefit of his devices
about the kitchen-garden, father. The gardener
has orders to send you some of the first vegeta-
bles and fruit that are ready for gathering : and
1 am going to carry my mother some flowers to-
" I was about to ask when you will dine with
us," said Dr. Sneyd. " I think it had better be
when some of the good things you speak of are
ready ; for we have few luxuries to offer you. But
when will you come 1 '
Mr. Temple was sorry that his time was now
so occupied with business, — his affairs at the
land-office, in addition to all his own concerns, — -
that he could form no engagements. Mrs. Tern-
pie would answer for herself and her son.
Dr. Sneyd was not aware of this new occupa-
tion of Mr. Temple's. He was particularly glad
THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME. 31
to hear of it, and told it to his wife as a piece of
very good news, as soon as he got home. They
both hoped that their daughter would be all the
happier for her husband having something to do
and to think about, beyond his own affairs.
" What is all this ?" cried Mr. Temple, return-
ing from bowing out Dr. Sneyd with much civi-
lity. " "What accident happened last night,
On being told of the upsetting of the waggon,
he was not the less angry for his internal con-
sciousness that he caused himself to be treated
like a child, by being unable to bear cross acci-
dents. His horse was ordered instantly- his
morning gown exchanged for his pretty riding
equipments, and his wife and son left to gaze
from one window and another to learn, if possi-
ble, what was to happen next, and to reason with
one another about their lesser troubles, after the
manner of tender mothers and confiding children.
Temmy saw very clearly that it could do no good
to cry whenever squirrels were mentioned, and
that it must be much pleasanter to papa to see
his boy smile, and to hear him answer cheerfully,
than The child's memory could supply the
contrast. This same papa was all the time in
great trouble without reasoning. He pursued
his way to the Creek as if he had been in mortal
terror of the groom who followed at his heels.
a Aside the devil turned for envy-," says Mil-
ton. Such a pang has since been the lot of
many a splenetic descendant of the arch-fiend, on
witnessing happiness that he not only could not
32 THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME.
share, but could not sympathize in. Such a pang
exasperated Mr. Temple on casting his first
glance over the scene of the frolic. He despised
every body there, from Arthur, now brandishing
his rule, now lending a hand to place a heavy
beam, to the youngest of Dods's children, who
thought she was helping by sticking corn-cobs
into the crevices of the logs. He despised Brawn,
the woodsman, with his round shoulders, enor-
mous bush of hair, and hands that looked as if
they could lift up a house, He despised the
daughters, Black Brawnee and Brown Brawnee,
as they were called. He was never very easy
when he fell in with these girls in the depths of
the forest, tapping their row of maple trees, and
kneeling at the troughs beneath ; or on the
flowery prairie, lining the wild bees to their
haunt in the hollow tree. He felt himself an ob-
ject of ridicule to these daughters of the forest,
and so insignificant in respect of all the qualifi-
cations which they valued, that none of his per-
sonal accomplishments gave him any comfortable
feeling of confidence in their presence; and the
merriment with which they now pursued as sport
a toil which would have been death to him, irri-
tated him to a degree which they were amused
to witness. He despised the whole apparatus of
festivity : the pig roasting in the shade, and the
bustle of the women preparing the various messes