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Nature and Human Nature   By: (1796-1865)

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NATURE AND HUMAN NATURE by Thomas Chandler Haliburton

1855

Hominem, pagina nostra sapit. MART Eye nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies, And catch the manners living as they rise. POPE

CONTENTS

I. A SURPRISE

II. CLIPPERS AND STEAMERS

III. A WOMAN'S HEART

IV. A CRITTER WITH A THOUSAND VIRTUES AND BUT ONE VICE

V. A NEW WAY TO LEARN GAELIC

VI. THE WOUNDS OF THE HEART

VII. FIDDLING AND DANCING, AND SERVING THE DEVIL

VIII. STITCHING A BUTTON HOLE

IX. THE PLURAL OF MOOSE

X. A DAY ON THE LAKE. PART I

XI. A DAY ON THE LAKE. PART II

XII. THE BETROTHAL

XIII. A FOGGY NIGHT

XIV. FEMALE COLLEGES

XV. GIPSEYING

XVI. THE WORLD BEFORE THE FLOOD

XVII. LOST AT SEA

XVIII. HOLDING UP THE MIRROR

XIX. THE BUNDLE OF STICKS

XX. TOWN AND COUNTRY

XXI. THE HONEYMOON

XXII. A DISH OF CLAMS

XXIII. THE DEVIL'S HOLE; OR, FISH AND FLESH

XXIV. THE CUCUMBER LAKE

XXV. THE RECALL

CHAPTER I. A SURPRISE.

Thinks I to myself, as I overheard a person inquire of the servant at the door, in an unmistakeable voice and tone, "Is the Squire to hum?" that can be no one else than my old friend Sam Slick the Clockmaker. But it could admit of no doubt when he proceeded, "If he is, tell him I am here."

"Who shall I say, Sir?"

The stranger paused a moment, and then said, "It's such an everlastin' long name, I don't think you can carry it all to wunst, and I don't want it broke in two. Tell him it's a gentleman that calculates to hold a protracted meeten here to night. Come, don't stand starin' there on the track, you might get run over. Don't you hear the engine coming? Shunt off now."

"Ah, my old friend," said I, advancing, and shaking him by the hand, "how are you?"

"As hearty as a buck," he replied, "though I can't jist jump quite so high now."

"I knew you," I said, "the moment I heard your voice, and if I had not recognised that, I should have known your talk."

"That's because I am a Yankee, Sir," he said, "no two of us look alike, or talk alike; but being free and enlightened citizens, we jist talk as we please."

"Ah, my good friend, you always please when you talk, and that is more than can be said of most men."

"And so will you," he replied, "if you use soft sawder that way. Oh, dear me! it seems but the other day that you laughed so at my theory of soft sawder and human natur', don't it? They were pleasant days, warn't they? I often think of them, and think of them with pleasure too. As I was passing Halifax harbour, on my way hum in the 'Black Hawk,' the wind fortunately came ahead, and thinks I to myself, I will put in there, and pull foot1 for Windsor and see the Squire, give him my Journal, and spend an hour or two with him once more. So here I am, at least what is left of me, and dreadful glad I am to see you too; but as it is about your dinner hour I will go and titivate up a bit, and then we will have a dish of chat for desert, and cigars, to remind us of by gones, as we stroll through your shady walks here."

1 The Americans are not entitled to the credit or ridicule, whichever people may be disposed to bestow upon them, for the extraordinary phrases with which their conversation is occasionally embellished. Some of them have good classical authority. That of "pull foot" may be traced to Euripides, [Greek text].

My old friend had worn well; he was still a wiry athletic man, and his step as elastic and springy as ever... Continue reading book >>




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