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[59] gathered together the light wood into heaps. And when the great logs had to be rolled upon one another, there was scope for the combined skill and strength of the whole party. Many happy and merry days the family spent together in this employment. The mother's spirit never flagged. Her voice rose in song and laughter from the tangled brush-wood in which she was often buried; and no word, discordant or unkind, was ever known to break the perfect harmony, to interrupt the perfect good humor that prevailed in the family. At night, they went home to the most primitive of suppers, and partook of it in the picturesque and labor-saving style in which the dinner before alluded to was consumed. The neighbors still point out a tract of fifty acres which was cleared in this sportive and Swiss-Family-Robinson-like manner. They show the spring on the side of the road where the family used to stop and drink on their way; and they show a hemlock-tree, growing from the rocks above the spring, which used to furnish the brooms, nightly renewed, which swept the little house in which the little family lived. To complete the picture, imagine them all clad in the same material, the coarsest kind of linen or linsey-woolsey, home-spun, dyed with butternut bark, and the different garments made in the roughest and simplest manner by the mother.

More than three garments at the same time, Horace seldom wore in the summer, and these were—a straw hat, generally in a state of dilapidation, a tow-shirt, never buttoned, a pair of trousers made of the family material, and having the peculiarity of being very short in both legs, but shorter in one than the other. In the winter he added a pair of shoes and a jacket. During the five years of his life at Westhaven, probably his clothes did not cost three dollars a year; and, I believe, that during the whole period of his childhood, up to the time when he came of age, not fifty dollars in all were expended upon his dress. He never manifested, on any occasion, in any company, nor at any part of his early life, the slightest interest in his attire, nor the least care for its effect upon others. That amiable trait in human nature which inclines us to decoration, which make us desirous to present an agreeable figure to others, and to abhor peculiarity in our appearance, is a trait which Horace never gave the smallest evidence of possessing.

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Westhaven (Illinois, United States) (1)

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