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for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: we
pursued our journey; my wife observing as he went, that she liked
him extremely, and protesting, that if he had birth and fortune to
entitle him to match into such a family as ours, 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. CHAPTER IV. A
PROOF THAT EVEN THE HUMBLEST FORTUNE MAY GRANT HAPPINESS, WHICH
DEPENDS, NOT ON CIRCUMSTANCES, BUT CONSTITUTION. The place of our
retreat was in a little neighbourhood, consisting of farmers, who
tilled their own grounds, and were equal strangers to opulence and
poverty. As they had almost all the convniencies of life within
themselves, they seldom visited towns or cities, in search of
superfluities. Remote from the polite, they still retained the
primeval simplicity of manners; and, frugal by habit, they scarcely
knew that temperance was a virtue. They wrought with cheerfulness
on days of labour j but observed festivals as intervals of idleness
and pleasure. They kept up the Christmas carol, sent true love
knots on Valentine morning, eat pancakes on Shrovetide, shewed
their wit on the first of April, and religiously cracked nuts on
Michaelmas eve. Being apprized of our approach, the whole
neighbourhood came out to meet their minister, dressed in their
finest clothes, and preceded by a pipe and tabor. A feast also was
provided for our reception, at which we sat cheerfully down; and
what the conversation wanted in wit, was made up in laughter. Our
little habitation was situated at the foot of a sloping hill,
sheltered with a beautiful underwood behind, and a prattling river
before; on one side a meadow, on the other a green. My farm
consisted of about twenty acres of excellen...
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