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which it grows parsimonious. Men who are isolated from society by distance, feel these wants by an instinct, and are grateful for an opportunity to relieve them. In Meriwether the sentiment goes beyond this. It has, besides, something dialectic in it. His house is open to everybody, as freely almost as an inn. But to see him when he has had the good fortune to pick up an intelligent, educated gentleman, and particularly one who listens well!-a respectable, assentatious stranger!—All the better if he has been in the Legislature, and better still, if in Congress. Such a person caught within the purlieus of Swallow Barn, may set down one week's entertainment as certain-inevitable, and as many more as he likes, the more the merrier. He will know something of the quality of Meriwether's rhetoric before he is gone.

Then again, it is very pleasant to see Frank's kind and considerate bearing towards his servants and dependents. His slaves appreciate this, and hold him in most affectionate reverence, and, therefore, are not only contented, but happy under his dominion.


Whilst Frank Meriwether amuses himself with his quiddities, and floats through life upon the current of his humor, his dame, my excellent cousin Lucretia, takes charge of the household affairs, as one who has a reputation to stake upon her administration. She has made it a perfect science, and great is her fame in the dispensation thereof!

Those who visited Swallow Barn will long remember the morning stir, of which the murmurs arose even unto the chambers, and fell upon the ears of the sleepers; the dryrubbing of floors, and even the waxing of the same until they were like ice ;—and the grinding of coffee-mills ;—and

the gibber of ducks and chickens and turkeys; and all the multitudinous concert of homely sounds. And then, her breakfasts! I do not wish to be counted extravagant, but a small regiment might march in upon her without disappointment, and I would put them for excellence and variety against anything that ever was served upon platter. Moreover, all things go like clock-work. She rises with the lark, and infuses an early vigor into the whole household. And yet, she is a thin woman to look upon, and a feeble; with a sallow complexion, and a pair of animated black eyes which impart a portion of fire to a countenance otherwise demure from the paths worn across it, in the frequent travel of a low-country ague. But, although her life has been somewhat saddened by such visitations, my cousin too spirited a woman to give up to them; for she is therapeutical, and considers herself a full match for any reasonable tertian in the world. Indeed, I have sometimes thought that she took more pride in her leechcraft than becomes a Christian woman; she is even a little vain-glorious. For, to say nothing of her skill in compounding simples, she has occasionally brought down upon her head the sober remonstrances of her husband, by her pertinacious faith in the efficacy of certain spells in cases of intermittent. But there is no reasoning against her experience. She can enumerate the cases"and men may say what they choose about its being contrary to reason, and all that;—it is their way! But seeing is believing-nine scoops of water in the hollow of the hand, from the sycamore spring, for three mornings, before sunrise, and a cup of strong coffee with lemon-juice, will break an ague, try it when you will." In short, as Frank says, "Lucretia will die in that creed."

I am occasionally up early enough to be witness to her morning regimen, which, to my mind, is rather tyrannically

enforced against the youngsters of her numerous family, both white and black. She is in the habit of preparing some death-routing decoction for them, in a small pitcher, and administering it to the whole squadron in succession, who severally swallow the dose with a most ineffectual effort at repudiation, and gallop off, with faces all rue and wormwood.

Everything at Swallow Barn, that falls within the superintendence of my cousin Lucretia is a pattern of industry. In fact, I consider her the very priestess of the American system, for, with her, the protection of manufactures is even more a passion than a principle. Every here and there, over the estate, may be seen, rising in humble guise above the shrubbery, the rude chimney of a log cabin, where all the livelong day, the plaintive moaning of the spinningwheel rises fitfully upon the breeze, like the fancied notes of a hobgoblin, as they are sometimes imitated in the stories with which we frighten children. In these laboratories the negro women are employed in preparing yarn for the loom, from which is produced not only a comfortable supply of winter clothing for the working people, but some excellent carpets for the house.

It is refreshing to behold how affectionately vain our good hostess is of Frank, and what deference she shows to him in all matters, except those that belong to the home department; for there she is confessedly and without appeal, the paramount power. It seems to be a dogma with her, that he is the very "first man in Virginia," an expression which in this region has grown into an emphatic provincialism. Frank, in return, is a devout admirer of her accomplishments, and although he does not pretend to have an ear for music, he is in raptures at her skill on the harpsichord, when she plays at night for the children to dance; and

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