How To Cook Husbands (Chapter 4, page 1 of 5)

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Chapter 4

I have been wandering about to-day in an apparently aimless fashion, but in reality "musing upon many things." Our horror of shiftlessness, and our realization of the responsibilities of life, and of the important work Providence has kept saving up for us, or perhaps "growing up" for us, like Dick Swiviller's future mate, is expressed in the fact that if we take an hour's leisure, anywhere betwixt sunrise and sunset, we feel under bonds to explain the matter not only to our own souls, but also to those other souls who live adjacent, and take an everlasting interest in ours.

Consequently, I told myself this day that I was not well--that I had been overdoing, and that I had best "go easy for a spell." After which concession to my interior governor, I proceeded to apologize to my neighbors; to call my dogs--not to apologize to them, but to solicit their company--and then to hie me away to the lake, remembering to walk feebly as long as I was in sight.

I didn't go down to the beach, but plunged into the cool, comforting heart of a ravine; fathomed its depths, with a feeling of delightful seclusion, and came out on the thither side, to find myself in the glowing October woods.

Ill? I never felt better in my life! Good, rich streams of blood coursed through my veins, and painted a warm tint in my cheeks. At that moment I hope I looked a trifle like Nature, who was in the height of her being; in a sort of tropical luxuriance, like a beautiful woman at the very summit of maturity and perfection.

I put out my hands toward a clump of sumach--I was not cold, but its brilliant warmth lured me as does a glowing fire. It permeated my very being, and set my soul a-throbbing.

There had been rain, and then warmth, and October had caught all the prismatic colors of the drops of water, and was giving them forth with Southern prodigality. The birds bent over the swaying daisies, and sang soft love-notes into their great, dark eyes, while I looked on in an ecstasy of wonder and delight--the gold of the daisies, the gold of the sunlight, and the glow in my heart, seeming in a way all one--part and parcel of the munificence and cheering love of the Father. It is a glorious world, and it is glorious to live therein. The very air about me--the air I was breathing in, seemed to palpitate color and brilliant beauty.

I talked to Duke about it, and he looked around him with a certain air of admiration depicted on his noble, fond old face. Fanchon was frivolous, as usual, and wanted to be running giddily about, hunting rabbits and the like; but I made her sit beside me, for it seemed a desecration every time the October silence of those woods was broken by aught save the dropping of a ripened nut, or the whirr of a homing bird.

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