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And there have been days together--and many a weary week—

When both of us were cross and spunky, and both too proud to speak;

And I have been thinkin' and thinkin', the whole of the summer and fall,

If I can't live kind with a woman, why, then I won't at all.

And so I've talked with Betsy, and Betsy has talked with me;

And we have agreed together that we can never

agree;

And what is hers shall be hers, and what is mine shall be mine;

And I'll put it in the agreement and take it to her to

.ign.

Write on the paper, lawyer-the very first para

graph

Of all the farm an 2 stock, she shall have her

half;

For she has helped to earn it through many a weary

day,

And it's nothin' more than justice that Betsy has

her pay.

Give her the house and homestead; a man can thrive and roarn,

But women are wretched critters, unless they have a home.

And I have always determined, and never failed to

say,

That Betsy never should want a home, if I was taken

away.

There's a little hard money besides, that's drawin' tol'rable pay,

A couple of hundred dollars laid by for a rainy

day,

Safe in the hands of good men, and easy to get at; Put in another clause there, and give her all of that.

I see that you are smiling, sir, at my givin' her so much;

Yes, divorce is cheap, sir, but I take no stock in such;

True and fair I married her, when she was blythe and young,

And Betsy was always good to me exceptin' with her tongue.

When I was young as you, sir, and not so smart, perhaps,

For me she mittened a lawyer, and several other

chaps;

And all of 'em was flustered, and fairly taken down, And for a time I was counted the luckiest man in

town.

Once when I had a fever-I won't forget it soon-
I was hot as a basted turkey and crazy as a loon-
Never an hour went by me when she was out of
sight;

She nursed me true and tender, and stuck to me day and night.

And if ever a house was tidy, and ever a kitchen clean,

Her house and kitchen was tidy as any I ever seen, And I don't complain of Betsy or any of her acts, Exceptin' when we've quarreled, and told each other facts.

So draw up the paper, lawyer; and I'll go home tonight,

And read the agreement to her, and see if it's all

right;

And then in the morning I'll sell to a tradin' man I know

And kiss the child that was left to us, and out in the world I'll go.

And one thing put in the paper, that first to me didn't occur:

That when I am dead at last she will bring me back to her,

And lay me under the maple we planted years ago, When she and I was happy, before we quarreled so.

And when she dies, I wish that she would be laid

by me;

And lyin' together in silence, perhaps we'll then agree;

And if ever we meet in heaven, I wouldn't think it

queer

If we loved each other the better because we've quarreled here.

THOMAS CARLYLE

THOMAS CARLYLE, Scotch historian and essayist, born at Ecclefechan, in 1795; died in London in 1881. At the age of fourteen he had acquired a good knowledge of mathematics and the classics. He graduated from the University of Edinburgh and taught for four years. The love of literary work was strong within him and in 1818 he gave up teaching for the pen. Later he moved to Chelsea, now part of London, and there spent his remaining days. He was a prolific writer of books, besides publishing many noteworthy articles in British magazines. Among his greatest works are "Sartor Resartus," "The French Revolution," "Frederick II," and Heroes, and Hero Worship."

66

HERE

WORK

even

is a perennial nobleness, and Tsacredness, in Work. Were he never so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works; in idleness alone is there perpetual despair. Work, never so Mammonish, mean, is in communication with Nature; the real desire to get Work done will itself lead one more and more to truth, to Nature's appointments and regulations which are truth.

66

The latest Gospel in this world is, know thy work and do it. 'Know thyself;" long enough has that poor "self" of thine tormented thee; thou wilt never get to "know" it, I believe! Think it not thy business, this of knowing thyself; thou art an unknowable individual: know what thou canst work at

and work at it like a Hercules! That will be thy better plan.

It has been written "an endless significance lies in work!" as man perfects himself by writing. Foul jungles are cleared away, fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and withal the man himself first ceases to be a jungle and foul unwholesome desert thereby. Consider how, even in the meanest sorts of Labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony, the instant he sets himself to work! Doubt, Desire, Sorrow, Remorse, Indignation, Despair itself, all these like hell-dogs lie beleaguring the soul of the poor dayworker, as of every man; but as he bends himself with free valor against his task, all these are stilled, all these shrink murmuring far off into their caves. The man is now a man. The blessed glow of Labor in him, is it not a purifying fire, wherein all poison is burnt up, and of sour smoke itself there is made bright blessed flame.

Destiny, on the whole, has no other way of cultivating us. A formless Chaos, once set it revolving, grows round and ever rounder; ranges itself, by mere force of gravity, into strata, spherical courses; is no longer a Chaos, but a round compacted World. What would become of the Earth, did she cease to revolve? In the poor old Earth, so long as she revolves, all inequalities, irregularities, disperse themselves; all irregularities are incessantly becoming regular. Hast thou looked on the Potter's wheel, one of the venerablest objects; old as the Prophet Ezekiel, and far older? Rude lumps of clay; how they spin themselves up, by mere quick whirling, into beautiful circular dishes. And fancy the most assiduous Potter, but without his wheel, reduced to make dishes, or rather amorphous botches, by mere kneading and baking! Even such a Potter were Destiny, with a human soul that

VOL 17

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