Nor is it a slight thing for a boy to see
a great natural object which he has been learning about in his school books; nor is it an uninfluential circumstance for him to live where he can see it frequently.
It was a superb country for a boy to grow up in, whether his tendencies were industrial, or sportive, or artistic, or poetical.
There was rough work enough to do on the land.
were abundant in the lakes and streams.
Game abounded in the woods.
Wild grapes and wild honey were to be had for the search after them.
Much of the surrounding scenery is sublime, and what is not sublime is beautiful.
Moreover, Lake Champlain
is a stage on the route of northern and southern travel, and living upon its shores brought the boy nearer to that world in which he was destined to move, and which he had to know before he could work in it to advantage.
, Horace passed the next five years of his life.
He was now rather tall for his age; his mind was far in advance of it. Many of the opinions for which he has since done battle, were distinctly formed during that important period of his life to which the present chapter is devoted.
, Mr. Greeley
, as they say in the country, “took jobs;” and the jobs which he took were of various kinds.
He would contract to get in a harvest, to prepare the ground for a new one, to “tend” a saw-mill; but his principal employment was clearing up land; that is, piling up and burning the trees after they had been felled.
After a time he kept sheep and cattle.
In most of his undertakings he prospered.
By incessant labor and by reducing his expenditures to the lowest possible point, he saved money, slowly but continuously.
In whatever he engaged, whether it was haying, harvesting, sawing, or land-clearing, he was assisted by all his family.
There was little work to do at home, and after breakfast, the house was left to take care of itself, and away went the family, father, mother, boys, girls, and oxen, to work together.
Clearing land offers an excellent field for family labor, as it affords work adapted to all degrees of strength.
The father chopped the larger logs, and directed the labor of all the company.
Horace drove the oxen, and drove them none too well, say the neighbors, and was gradually supplanted in the office of driver by his younger brother.
Both the boys could chop the smaller trope.
Their mother and sisters