Bart Ridgeley eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 287 pages of information about Bart Ridgeley.

Oh, sublime faith!  Oh, sublime folly!  What strides he is constantly taking to the ridiculous, and not always from the sublime!  How strong! how weak!  How wise! how foolish!  Consistent only in folly, and steady in the purpose of being foolish.  How beautiful, and how ugly!  What a lovable, detestable, desirable, proud, wilful, arrogant, supercilious, laughing, passionate, tender, cruel, loving, hating, good sort of a good-for-nothing he is!  He believes everything—­he believes nothing; and, like Mary’s Son, questions and mocks the doctors to their beards in the very temple.  Patience! he must have his time, and room to grow in, develop, and shape out.  Let him have coral for his teeth, and climbing, and running, and jumping for his muscle.  No man may love him, and no woman but his mother, and she is to be tried to the extent of endurance.  Wait for him; he will, with or without your help, turn out good or bad, and in either event people will say:  “I always told you so,” “I always knew it was in him”; and cite a score of unhappened things in proof of their sagacity.

Barton was one of these; neither better nor worse, full of possibilities and capabilities, impulsive, rash, and unreasoning.  He has just made a resolve, and will act upon it; proud and sensitive to a degree, he had heard a word of fault once at the store, which another word would have explained.  He would not say it, and went.  It was discovered that the fault was not his, in time for him to remain; but he left without that word.  He is willing to take his chances, and must speak and act for himself.

He sealed and directed his letter, walked about with the plaintive airs of old melodies running and running through his head, and sang snatches and verses of sad old ballads, going over and over with some touching line, or complaining strain, till he was saturated with its tender melancholy, and so he came back to ordinary life.

CHAPTER III.

Newbury.

Newbury was one of the twenty-odd townships, five miles square, that then made up the county of Geauga, and a part of the Western Reserve, the Yankee-doodledom of Ohio, settled exclusively by emigrants from New England.  It was so much of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, etc., translated into the broader and freer West.  It has been said that the Yankee, like a certain vegetable, heads best when transplanted.  It was the old thing over, under new and trying circumstances.  The same old ideas and notions, habits of thought and life; poor, economical and thrifty folk, with the same reverence for religion and law, love of education, and restless desire for improvement, and to better the present condition.  In the West the Yankee developed his best qualities in the second generation.  He became a little straighter and less angular, and wider between the eyes.  In the first generation he lived out his life scarcely refracted by the new

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Bart Ridgeley from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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