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with his gun and his dogs. He is now in the stubble-field by the turnpike road; I can see him between the ash tree and the holly bush. That famous liver-spotted dog of his has just pointed. Whir-r! There go a covey of partridges;
what a noise they make with their wings! Bang! A brace of the poor birds are falling; while the chestnut nag of the strange gentleman passing by, scared at the sounds made by the birds and the gun, has started off at full gallop, leaving behind him the fallen hat of his rider.'
"I hope the gentleman will not get thrown.
No wonder that his horse should be frightened, if he is not used to such noises."
A young man from London, dressed in a worked satin waistcoat, has just entered the barn, where William Howel and Henry Taylor are threshing. He has taken up a flail to try his hand, for the work looks so easy. Ha ha! he has given himself a tolerably sharp rap on the head, and has flung down the flail; while Henry and William are indulging in a roar of laughter. Well, there are no bones broken; and the man, after all, is blessed with good temper enough to join in the laugh. That rap on the head may do him good, and teach him not to undervalue the skill of a countryman."
"He cuts almost as bad a figure, rubbing his head, as the stranger did who was tossed into the hop-crib."
"We all require reproof of some kind or other, and well it is when we turn it to good account. The Holy Scriptures say truly, that a reproof entereth more into a wise man, than a hundred stripes into a fool,' Prov. xvii. 10. While I have my shears in my hand, I will just clip the hedge a little on the other side; so we must come to an end, for the present, of our country conversation."
"Now, Michael," said Maurice, as he joined the old gardener, carrying a besom on his shoulder, "I can help you famously, for I have brought a besom with me from the tool-house, and you shall see how well I can sweep a gravel walk. How the leaves are scattered on the ground!"
"Ay, but there will be many more by and by, I fancy. There is a lesson to be learned from the
faded leaves as well as from other things. Holy Scripture says, 'We all do fade as a leaf,' Isa. lxiv. 6; and we should not see a withered leaf without being reminded of our latter end. These scattered leaves were green enough, at one time, and they are dry enough now. You are young, but I am getting in years, and these dry leaves speak plainly to me of my latter end. Age and youth, however, have both reason to say, 'Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity,' Psa. xxxix. 4, 5. As I know that you want to hear more about the country I may as well begin at once."
"Yes, do, Michael; the sooner you begin the better."
"If the farmer has not got in his field-beans and his peas, he must look sharp after them. There is a little black insect, called the collier, that often plays sad work with the beans. generally begins with the top buds, and then, neither the stalks, the leaves, nor the pods, are Farmer Browning used to have, at times, some famous crops of peas and beans. When the harvest is all safe in, the farmer has to attend
thoroughly to his stock, and to feed cattle for the butcher: this part of a farmer's business, if well managed, is often very profitable."
"I never thought that farmers had half so much to do as I find they have."
"The profits of a well-conducted dairy too are good; it is quite a sight to look into the cheese room. The poultry yard is constantly requiring attention. Many a fat stubble goose is sent to market in October, and the turkeys will be wanted for Christmas."
"There are not many flowers, I suppose, to be seen in the fields?"
No, neither the field flowers nor insects are so plentiful as they were. The hedges still have the common feverfew, honey-suckle, mallow, and others; and rock hounds-tongue, wallrue, yarrow, and shepherd's purse, may be seen, with here and there, a few flowers of bugloss, hawkweed, and pansy. The hedges, however, are very beautiful, adorned as they are with hips and haws, sloes and blackberries, to say nothing of the berries of the briory, honeysuckle, elder, and holly."
"There is always something in the country to look at; if one thing goes, another comes to supply its place."
"One of the most striking things in the country in October is the forest trees, with their different