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the mood of mind in which, if you were seated alone, and the cat
licking its kitten on the rug before you, you would watch the
operation so intently that puss’s neglect of one ear would put you
seriously out of temper?”

“A terribly lazy mood, I should say.”
“On the contrary, a tiresomely active one. It is mine, at present;
and, therefore, continue minutely. I perceive that people in these
regions acquire over people in towns the value that the spider in a
dungeon does over a spider in a cottage, to their various
occupants; and yet the deepened attraction is not entirely owing to
the situation of the looker-on. They do live more in earnest, more
in themselves, and less in surface change, and frivolous external
things. I could fancy a love for life here almost possible; and I was
a fixed unbeliever in any love of a year’s standing. One state
resembles setting a hungry man down to a single dish, on which
he may concentrate his entire appetite and do it justice; the other,
introducing him to a table laid out by French cooks: he can
perhaps extract as much enjoyment from the whole, but each part
is a mere atom in his regard and remembrance.”

“Oh! here we are the same as anywhere else, when you get to
know us,” observed Mrs. Dean, somewhat puzzled at my speech.

“Excuse me,” I responded; “you, my good friend, are a striking
evidence against that assertion. Excepting a few provincialisms of
slight consequence, you have no marks of the manners which I am
habituated to consider as peculiar to your class. I am sure you
have thought a great deal more than the generality of servants
think. You have been compelled to cultivate your reflective
faculties for want of occasions for frittering your life away in silly

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