Adventures in Contentment by Ray Stannard Baker

By Ray Stannard Baker

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A spot of marsh grass and blue flags occupies nearly half an acre of good land and I have been planning ever since I bought the place to open a drain from its lower edge to the creek, supplementing it in the field above, if necessary, with submerged tiling. I surveyed it carefully several weeks ago and drew plans and contours of the work as though it were an inter-oceanic canal. I find it a real delight to work out in the earth itself the details of the drawing. This morning, after hastening with the chores, I took my bag and my spade on my shoulder and set off (in rubber boots) for the ditch.

All scenes, all men, the very 32 DAVID GRAYSON ADVENTURES IN CONTENTMENT turn of a head, the exact sound of a voice, the taste of food, the feel of the world—all the emotions of his life must he have had there before him as he wrote, his great mind playing upon them, reconstructing, re-creating and putting them down hot upon his pages. There is nothing strange about great men; they are like us, only deeper, higher, broader: they think as we do, but with more intensity: they suffer as we do, more keenly: they love as we do, more tenderly.

He is rich. Horace especially loved to talk about him. Give Horace half a chance, whether the subject be pigs or churches, and he will break in somewhere with the remark: “As I was saying to Mr. Starkweather—” or, “Mr. Starkweather says to me—” How we love to shine by reflected glory! Even Harriet has not gone unscathed; she, too, has been affected by the bacillus of admiration. ” Much other information concerning the Starkweather household, culinary and otherwise, is current among our hills. We know accurately the number of Mr.

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