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[53]

It is one of the wonders of party infatuation, that the two States which if they have not gained most, have certainly most to gain from the ‘American system,’ should have always been, and should still be its most rooted opponents. But man the partisan, like man the sectarian, is, always was, and will ever be, a poor creature.

The way to thrive in New Hampshire was to work very hard, keep the store-bill small, stick to the farm, and be no man's security. Of these four things, Horace's father did only one—he worked hard. He was good workman, methodical, skillful, and persevering. But he speculated in lumber, and lost money by it. He was “bound,” as they say in the country, for another man, and had to pay the money which that other man failed to pay. He had a free and generous nature, lived well, treated the men whom he employed liberally, and in various ways swelled his account with the storekeeper.

Those, too, were the jolly, bad days, when everybody drank strong drinks, and no one supposed that the affairs of life could possibly be transacted without its agency, any more than a machine could go without the lubricating oil. A field could not be “logged,” hay could not be got in, a harvest could not be gathered, unless the jug of liquor stood by the spring, and unless the spring was visited many times in the day by all hands. No visitor could be sent unmoistened away. No holiday could be celebrated without drinking-booths. At weddings, at christenings, at funerals, rum seemed to be the inducement that brought, and the tie that bound, the company together. It was rum that cemented friendship, and rum that clinched bargains; rum that kept out the cold of winter, and rum that moderated the summer's heat. Men drank it, women drank it, children drank it. There were families in which the first duty of every morning was to serve around to all its members, even to the youngest child, a certain portion of alcoholic liquor. Rum had to be bought with money, and money was hard to get in New Hampshire. Zaccheus Greeley was not the man to stint his workmen. At his house and on his farm the jug was never empty. In his cellar the cider never, was dry. And so, by losses which he could not help, by practices which had not yet been discovered to be unnecessary, his affairs became disordered, and he began to descend the easy steep that leads to the abyss of bankruptcy. He

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