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Chapter II.: THE GENTLEMAN AT HOME. - Harriet Martineau, Illustrations of Political Economy, vol. 8 
Illustrations of Political Economy (3rd ed) in 9 vols. (London: Charles Fox, 1834). Vol. 8.
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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 bad 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 to his own majestic descent to the breakfast-room, where the silver coffee-pot was steaming fragrantly, and the windows were carefully opened or scrupulously 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 She conservatory, her splendid 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 inexpressible meanness in Temple's aggravating, by complaints of his own share, the suffering which he had himself brought upon her. Temple seemed always to think himself a great man, however; 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 ins 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 his hearing.
“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 insinuated into the gentleman's mind, and that the shortness of the wax candles, and the deficiency of light in the hall at night, might possibly escape observation.
“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 presently no longer heard—not that Marius had done any thing to silence them. He knew that the blowers were not thinking of either him or his master; but merely passing to their place of rendezvous, calling all frolickers together by the way.
“Temple, you find you can live without your squirrels, I hope,” said the tender father. “Now, no crying! I will not have you cry.”
“Bring me your papa's cup, my dear,” interposed 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, Temmy told the happy news that stawberries 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.
Before a more promising subject was started, the door opened, and Dr. Sneyd appeared. Mr. Temple hastened to rise, put away, with a prodigious crackling and shuffling, 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 suppose 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.
“I came to ask,” said the doctor, “how many of your 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 once”
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 misfortune”
Mr. Temple took snuff, and asked no questions at present.
“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. Your 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 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 presence.
“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 eyes 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 hand.
“Excuse me, my dear sir. You do not know the boy.”
“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 baste in his life, sir,” protested Mr. Temple. “You do not know the lad, sir, believe me.”
“I do not: and I am sorry to hear such an 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 gentleman'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 property. There is no occasion, I trust, for you and me to refer this matter to a magistrate: but, till compelled to do so, 1 have a full right to strike off chains wherever I meet with them.”
“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 an offence could have made me do any thing which might appear harsh. If he runs away again, I assure you I shall be compelled to employ the restraint in question: I give you warning that I must. So, if you should meet him, thus restrained, you 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 imagine you must have adopted Arthur's notion about warming it.”
“Not Mr. Sneyd's. O, no; it was Mrs. Temple's idea.”
“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 vegetables and fruit that are ready for gathering; and I am going to carry my mother some flowers today.”
“I was about to ask when you will dine with us,” said Dr. Sneyd. “I think it had better he when some of the good things you speak of are ready; for we have few luxuries to offer you. But When will you come?”
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. Temple would answer for herself and her son.
Dr. Sneyd was not aware of this new occupation of Mr. Temple's. He was particularly glad 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, returning from bowing out Dr. Sneyd with much civility. “What accident happened last night, pray?”
On being told of the upsetting of the waggon, he was not the less angry for his internal consciousness that he caused himself to be treated like a child, by being unable to bear cross accidents. 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 possible, 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.
“Aside the devil turned for envy,” says Milton. 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 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. enormous 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 object of ridicule to these daughters of the forest, and so insignificant in respect of all the qualifications which they valued, that none of his personal 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, irritated 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 of corn, and exhibiting their stores of salt beef. He pronounced the whole vulgar,—so excessively vulgar,—that he could not endure that a son of Dr. Sneyds should be assisting in the fête. The axe and mattock sounded in a very annoying way: the buzz of voices and of laughter were highly discreditable to the order of the place; and the work was so rough that, in all probability, he should be obliged to witness some wounds or bruises if he did not get away. So he hastened to conceal his envy from himself, and to express his contempt as plainly as possible.
He raised himself in his stirrups, and called out his men by name. They came forth unwillingly, having but just arrived to join the frolic, and suspecting that their capricious master meant to send them home again. A glance of mutual condolence between two of them was observed by Mr. Temple, and did no good to their cause. They were ordered to return instantly to their work in the park-field, and to appear no more near the Creek this day.
“We will do some of their work in the park-field to-morrow, Mr. Temple,” said Arthur, “if you will let us have the benefit of their labour now.”
Under a sense of infinite obligation, Mr. Temple explained that he permitted none but his own people,—no vagabond woodsmen,—no workmen who came hither because they were driven out of the civilized world,—to touch his land. And, after the losses of the preceding evening, he could not think of giving his men a holiday,— losses of which Arthur had not even had the grace to apprize him. Arthur was surprized. He could not have supposed that such a piece of news could have been long in travelling through the village of Briery Creek, considering that Temple's man had been one of the waggoners, Temple's son a witness of the whole, and the entire population of the place on the spot before the adventure was finished. Why was it more Arthur's duty than any one's else to carry him the disagreeable news?
“Your not having done it, Mr. Sneyd, is of a piece with your conduct about the cattle-marks, sir,—of a piece with the whole of your conduct since you entered upon your speculations in my neighbourhood. My men shall know the story of the cattle-marks, sir, and then we shall see which of them will stir a finger to help you with your bridge.”
“What about the cattle-marks?” asked Arthur, with a perplexed look. “If you told me, I am afraid I have forgotten.”
“You could have given me the earliest intelligence, I fancy, sir. If I mistake not, you haw entered, at the land-office, your design of marking your sheep and pigs with three slanting slits in the right ear.”
This was true.
“And your determination was not made known,—it was not, in fact, taken,—till the fifteenth of last month.”
“I dare say nat. I planned it just before my second visit to the land-office, which was about the middle of last month.”
“Very well, sir; the fifteenth was your day. Now, I have evidence to prove that on the thirteenth I informed my son, who, I understand, informed Dr. Sneyd, that it was my intention to mark my cattle with three slanting slits in the right ear.”
“Well! what then?”
“Why, just that circumstances have so fallen out as to defeat your design, sir, which I will not stop to characterize. I have a connexion with the land-office, sir, which you were perhaps not aware of; and my sheep and pigs will run no risk of being confounded with yours. It is very well to ask—‘What then?’ I should like to know whether my sheep and pigs do not far out-number yours: and how was any one to distinguish the one from the other, straying in the woods and prairies, if all were marked with three slanting slits in the right ear?”
Arthur would not stoop to reply to the insinuations of his brother-in-law. He did, for a moment, condescend to lose his temper, and would probably have frightened the intruder off the ground by an exhibition of passion, if the Brawnees and their father, and a few others who had nothing to hope or fear from Temple, had not relieved him by a timely burst of laughter. Dods dared not laugh, for he was brickmaker to Temple; and much building remained to be done about the lodge. Others, among whom the gentleman's money was distributed in profusion, appeared not to observe what was going on. Arthur only observed, before recommencing his labours,—
“I am surprised to hear all this, Mr. Temple. I thought your cattle had been much too proud to stray about the woods like the beasts of poor, common settlers like us. I am sure when I grow rich enough to have stables, and styes, and pens, such as you can command, my horses will never be beard tinkling their bells in the forest in the evening, and nobody will run over a pig of mine in the prairie.”
“And yet you can spare time to build bridges, Mr. Sneyd; and you can contribute materials for a market-house and a cheese dairy. It is not to every body that you complain of poverty.”
“To no one do I complain of poverty. I am not poor. Nobody present is poor. There was but one short period when any of us could be justly called so; and that was when each of us had barely enough to supply his own actual wants.”
“That did not last long,” said Dods. “In a young settlement like ours, two years ago, every act of labour tells. Ah! there goes my gentle. man! I thought so. He never stays to be reminded what a barbarous place he has got into.”
“Whatever brought him here,” observed Brawn, “is more than any of us can tell. I have seen new settlers enough in my day, my life having lain among new clearings. Many a rough farmer, many a pale mechanic, have I seen; the one looking gloomily into the waste before him, and the other sinking under the toil that was too new to him. And many a trader has passed through with his stores, and many a speculator come to gamble in laud, and go away again. But a beau like this, with a power of money to spend, without caring to earn any, is a thing I have beard tell of far to the east, but never thought to see. It makes one waken one's ears to hear what travellers tell of the reason.”
Arthur could have told the reason, as his neighbours knew; and it was probably the hope that he might forget his discretion that made the gossips of Briery Creek betake themselves to conjectures in his hearing as often as he was believed to have received provocation from Temple. He was never known, however, to deny or confirm anything that was said. It was pretty well understood that Temple had come here because he had made his former place of residence too hot to hold him; but whether he had libelled or slain anybody, made himself odious as an informer, enriched himself by unfair means, or been unfortunate in a duel, it still remained for some accidental revelation to make known.
“How is it, Dods, that you think every act of labour tells in a young settlement?” asked Arthur, on resuming work after a large destruction of roast pig. “I have always understood that labour is worth more the more it is divided; and nowhere is there less division of labour than in a young settlement.”
“Very true. I hold that we are both right, because we are speaking of different states of affairs. Before people have enough of anything to change away, and while each man works for himself, each touch of his finger, if one may say so, supplies some want of his own. No need, in such days, to trouble your head about whether your work will sell! You want a thing; you make it, and use it; and thereby feel how much your work is worth. But the case is different when you have more of a thing than you want, and would fain change it away. You cannot change it away unless others have also some more than they want to use themselves. Then they begin to club their labour together, and divide the work among them, and try by what means they can get the most done; by such division of labour they do get the most done, but it does not follow that the workmen flourish accordingly, as they do when each works for himself:”
“Because it becomes more difficult to calculate how much of each sort of production will be wanted. The matter becomes perplexed by the wishes of so many being concerned. If we could understand those wishes, the more we can get produced, the better it would be for everybody.”
“I have tried both the periods we speak of,” said Dods. “Brickmaking was a fine business indeed in the part of England where I lived when trade was brisk, and manufacturers building country-houses, and speculators running up rows of cottages for weavers. But a sudden change knocked me up when I least expected it. I went on one summer making bricks as before;—for what should I know of the changes that were taking place on the other side of the world, and that spread through our manufacturers, and weavers, and builders, till they reached me? The first I knew of it was, my not selling a brick for the whole season, and seeing house after house deserted, till it was plain that my unbaked bricks must melt in the winter rains, and those in the kilns crumble in the storms, before my labour would be wanted again in that line. As for my little capital, it melted and crumbled away with the bricks it was locked up in. Here mine was, for a long while, the only brick house. I made not a brick too much; so that there was no waste.”
“And the same may be said of the work you do for Mr. Temple. There may be an exact calculation how many bricks are wanted, so that you can proportion your supply exactly to the demand.”
“And use the advantage of division of labour too, sir. No fear of a glut coming unawares, when I have the whole of our little range under my own eye. One of my boys may dig the clay, and another harrow the bricks to the kiln, and the eldest tend the fires, while I am moulding, and no fear of our all being thrown out at once by an unexpected glut; and the more disastrously, perhaps, for our having turned our mutual help to the best account.”
“I rather think your labour is stimulated rather than relaxed by the high wages you get here, Mr. Dods.”
“Why, yes. That seems the natural effect of high wages, whatever people may say of the desperate hard work of such poor creatures as the Glasgow weavers, or the Manchester spinners. I say, look to the Irish, who have very poor wages. Do they work hard? I say, look to the labourers in India. They have miserable wages. Do they work hard? The difference between these and the Lancashire spinners seems to me to be, that in India and Ireland, some sort of subsistence,—rice and potatoes, poor enough, —is to be bad for little labour, and little more can be gained by greater labour; while the Lancashire poor can only get a bare subsistence by excessive labour, and therefore they labour excessively. Put a poor diet of rice within reach of the Lancashire spinner, with the knowledge that he can get nothing better, and he will do as little work as will procure him a bare subsistence of rice. But try all three with high wages, in circumstances where they may add one comfort after another to their store, and you will see whether they will relax in their toils till they have got all that labour can obtain.”
“I say, look to the reason of the case, and it will tell the same story as the facts. If a man is lazy, and loves idleness more than the good things which industry will bring, there is an end of the matter, as far as he is concerned. He is an exception to common rules. But, as tong as there is no end to the comforts and luxuries which most men prefer to idleness, there will be no end of exertion to obtain them. I believe You and your sons work harder than you did two years ago, though you have ten times as many comforts about you.”
“And my wife, too, I assure you. At first, we used to sit down tired before the end of the day, and if we had bread enough for supper, and blankets to spread on the floor of our log-house, were apt to think we could do no more that day. But when we had wherewith to get salt beef, we thought we could work a little harder for something pleasanter to drink with it than the brackish water which was used by us all at first, for want of a sweeter draught. In like manner, when we once had a brick cottage, there was no end of our toil to get things to put rote it;—first, bedsteads, and seats, and a table; and then crockery, and hardware, and matting for the floors; and now my wife has set her mind upon carpets, and a looking-glass for her customers to fancy her handiwork by. She says ladies always admire her gowns and bonnets most when they see them on themselves. It was but this morning that my wife vowed that a handsome looking-glass was a necessary of life to her. We should all have laughed enough at the idea of such a speech two years ago.”
“And with the wish, your wife brings the power to obtain these comforts.”
“The wish would be worth little without the power; which makes it a merciful arrangement that the wish only grows with the power. If my wife had longed for a looking-glass before she was able to set about earning one with her mantua-making and milliner's work, she would have been suffering under a useless trouble. No: it is a good thing that while people are solitary, producing only for themselves, there is no demand for other people's goods—”
“I should say ‘desire.’ There is no demand till the power and the will are joined. If your wife had pined for a mirror two years ago, there would have been no demand for it on her part. To-morrow, if she offers a travelling trader a smart assortment of caps—or, what is the same thing, if she sells her caps to the women of Briery Creek, and gives the trader the money for his mirror,—she makes a real and effective demand. It seems to me a blessed arrangement, too, that there ts always somewhat wherewith to supply this demand, and exactly enough to supply it.”
“Ay, sir; if we were but sharp-sighted enough to take care that the quality was as exactly fitted to human wishes as the quantity. Since we none of us produce more than we want, just for the pleasure of toiling. it is as plain as possible that every man's surplus constitutes a demand. Well! every man's surplus is also his neighbour's supply. The instrument of demand that every man brings is also his instrument of supply; so that, in point of quantity, there is always a precise provision made for human wants.”
“Yes: and if mistakes are made as to the kinds of articles that are wished for, there is always the consolation that such mistakes will correct one another, as long as there can never be too much of everything. If what we have just said be true. there being too much of one thing proves that there must be too little of another; and the production of the one will be slackened, and that of the other quickened, till they are made equal. If your wife makes up more caps by half than are wanted, caps will be ruinously cheap, The Brawnees will give much less maple sugar for their caps—”
The Brawnees never wore caps, Arthur was reminded.
“But they will, in time, take my word for it, if they remain among us. Wed! your wife will refuse to sell her caps at so great a loss. She will lay them by till the present generation of caps is worn out, and go and tap the maple trees for herself, rather than pay others dearly for it. In this case, the glut is of caps; and the deficiency is of maple sugar.”
“My wife's gains must depend on her own judgment in adapting her millinery to the wants of her customers. If she makes half as many caps again as are needed, she deserves to lose, and to have to go out sugar-making for herself.”
“Yes: calculation may avail in a small society like this. In a larger and more complicated society, the most that prudence can do is to watch the changes of wants and wishes, as shown by variations of price. This would avail for all practical purposes, if wants and wishes were left to themselves. They are so at Briery Creek, and therefore every trader at Briery Creek has fair play. But it is not so where bounties, and prohibitions, and unequal taxation are made to interfere among buyers and sellers: where such disturbing influences exist, the trader has not fair play; and it would be a miracle indeed if he could adapt his supply to the demand,—or, in other words, be satisfied in his own demand. What is moving in the wood there, Duds? What takes all our people away from their work when it is so nearly finished?”
“It must be some rare sight,” observed Dods. “Every one, look ye, man, woman, and child, skipping over the new bridge while half of it is prettily gravelled, and the other half still hare and slippery. See how they scramble over the heap of gravel left in the middle! I suppose I must follow where they lead, and bring you the news, sir.” Before Dods had time to complete his first passage over the new bridge, the news told itself. A. company of soldiers, on their way to occupy a military post near, emerged from the green depths of the forest, and appeared to be making straight for the ford, without looking to the right hand or to the left. Their pleasure was instantly visible when, their attention being attracted by a shout from the throng of settlers, they perceived a substantial bridge, finished except the gravelling, overhanging the stream through which they had expected to he compelled to wade. They received with hearty good-will their commander's directions to pay toll of their labour for their passage. Never was a public work finished in a more joyous style. The heap of gravel was levelled in a trice; and, by particular desire, a substantial handrail was fixed for the benefit of careless children, or of any whose nerves might be affected by the sight of the restless waters below. Temple was riding along a ridge whence he could look down, and hoped to observe how much the work was retarded by his labourers being withdrawn. When he saw that no help of his was wanted,— that the erection was now complete, the refuse logs being piled up out of the way, the boughs carried off for fuel, the tools collected, and preparations made for the crowning repast,—he put spurs to his horse, and cast hard words at his groom for allowing him to forget that he was likely to be late home to dinner.
Arthur, meantime, was engaged with the commander, who explained that his men and he would be glad of the advantage of attending divine service on the Sunday, if there was any place within reach of their post where they might do so. The only place of worship at present in Briery Creek was Dr. Sneyd's house, where be bad conducted service since his arrival, for the benefit of all who wished to attend. The commander was very anxious to be permitted, with his company, to join tile assemblage; Arthur had no doubt of his father's willingness. The question was, where they should assemble, Dr. Sneyd's house not being large enough for so many. One proposed the verge of the forest; but Dr. Sneyd was not, at his age made to abide; changes of weather like the hardy settlers about him. Arthur's barn was too far off for the convenience of all parties. Nobody was disposed to ask from Mr. Temple any favour which, being graciously granted for one Sunday, might be withdrawn before the next. Could the market-house be made fit for the purpose? It was a rude building, without seats, and occupied with traffic till the Saturday evening; but the neighbours,—promised to vacate in time to have it cleared,—prepared with log seats, and some sort of pulpit,—and made a temple meet for the worship of the heart.
Dr. Sneyd's afternoon walk brought him to the spot in time to promise to do his part. His blessing was ready for the work newly completed, and for the parting; cup with which the men of peace dismissed the men of war, in a spirit of mutual good-will.