Letters From An American Farmer By Hector St. John De Crevecoeur

 -  When I contemplate my wife, by my
fire-side, while she either spins, knits, darns, or suckles our
child, I - Page 9
Letters From An American Farmer By Hector St. John De Crevecoeur - Page 9 of 291 - First - Home

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"When I Contemplate My Wife, By My Fire-Side, While She Either Spins, Knits, Darns, Or Suckles Our Child, I

Cannot describe the various emotions of love, of gratitude, or conscious pride which thrill in my heart, and often overflow

In voluntary tears ..." He is like that old classmate's of Fitzgerald's, buried deep "in one of the most out-of-the-way villages in all England," for if he goes abroad, "it is always involuntary. I never return home without feeling some pleasant emotion, which I often suppress as useless and foolish." He has his reveries; but they are pure and generous; their subject is the future of his children. In midwinter, instead of trapping and "murthering" the quail, "often in the angles of the fences where the motion of the wind prevents the snow from settling, I carry them both chaff and grain: the one to feed them, the other to prevent their tender feet from freezing fast to the earth as I have frequently observed them to do." His love of birds is marked: this in those provinces of which a German traveller wrote: "In the thrush kind America is poor; there is only the red-breasted robin. ... There are no sparrows. Very few birds nest in the woods; a solemn stillness prevails through them, interrupted only by the screaming of the crows." It is good, after such a passage as this has been quoted, to set down what Crevecoeur says of the bird kingdom. "In the spring," he writes, "I generally rise from bed about that indistinct interval which, properly speaking, is neither night nor day:" for then it is that he enjoys "the universal vocal choir." He continues - more and more lyrically:

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