a shiftless, melancholy-looking youth, who possibly pines for a wider life; a girl of sixteen, a sour, repellant-looking creature, with as much manners as a pig; and three hard, unchildlike younger children. By the whole family all courtesy and gentleness of act or speech seem regarded as works of the flesh, if not of the devil. They knock over all one's things without apologizing or picking them up, and when I thank them for anything they look grimly amazed. I wish I could show them “a more excellent way.” This hard greed, and the exclusive pursuit of gain, with the indifference to all which does not aid in its acquisition, are eating up family love and life throughout the West. I write this reluctantly, and after a total experience of nearly two years in the United States. Mrs. Chalmers is cleanly in her person and dress, and the food, though poor, is clean. Work, work, work, is their day and their life. They are thoroughly uncongenial. There is a married daughter across the river, just the same hard, loveless, moral, hard-working being as her mother. Each morning, soon after seven, when I have swept the cabin, the family come in for “worship.” Chalmers wails a psalm to the most doleful of dismal tunes; they read a chapter round, and he prays. Sunday was a dreadful day. The family kept the commandment literally, and did no work. Worship was conducted twice, and was rather longer than usual. The man attempted to read a well-worn copy of Boston's Fourfold State, but shortly fell asleep, and they only woke up for their meals. It was an awful day, and seemed as if it would never come to an end. You will now have some idea of my surroundings. It is a moral, hard, unloving, unlovely, unrelieved, unbeautified, grinding life. These people live in a discomfort and lack of ease and refinement which seem only possible to people of British stock.
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