Walter Harland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about Walter Harland.
the form which I have often heard styled a hawk-bill; and, altogether, there was a sort of dry, hard look about the man which rendered his personal appearance repulsive and disagreeable.  His constant care and anxiety was to get the largest possible amount of labor out of those in his employ; consequently, he was always in a hurry himself, and striving to hurry every one else.  His farm-laborers used to say that he kept his eyes in such unceasing motion, to see that every thing went right on all sides, that a restless, roving expression of the eyes had become natural to him.  Though living only a few miles distant, neither my mother nor myself knew any thing of the character of this man; and when he came to engage me to do “chores and light work” as he termed it, we gladly accepted his offer, as my mother had the idea that residing for a time upon a farm (if not overworked) would have a beneficial effect upon my health and constitution.  Many wondered when it became known that I had gone to live with Farmer Judson; but each one kept their thoughts to themselves.  When I took my place at the Farmer’s I soon found that, if my work was light, there was likely to be plenty of it.  I did not complain of this, for I expected to work; but what made my position almost unbearable was the constant habit of fault-finding in which my employer indulged.  He was dreaded and feared by all under his roof.  He was constantly on the watch for waste and expenditure within-doors, and without there could never be enough done to satisfy him; do your best, and he always thought you should have done more.  As I have before said, I was very fond of books, and I had counted upon having my evenings at my own disposal that I might still do something in the way of self improvement; but I soon learned that books were quite out of the question in my new home.  There was either corn to shell or errands to perform; in short, there was something to keep me busy till nearly bed-time every night.  I used sometimes to think the farmer used to study up something to keep me busy on purpose to keep me from study.  I believe my greatest fault in his eyes was my love of books.  He was entirely without education himself, which, (in a great measure) accounted for his narrow and sordid mind; he looked upon any time devoted to books or mental culture as a dead loss.

“What’s the use of botherin’ over books,” he would often say; and would often add in a boasting manner, “I don’t know a from b, and if I do say it myself, where will you find a man who has got along better in the world than I have done.”  If getting along well with the world consists only in hoarding up dollars and cents till every feeling of tenderness and benevolence toward the rest of mankind becomes benumbed and deadened, then truly Mr. Judson had got along remarkably well.  His door was but a sorry place to ask charity, as every one could testify who ever tried the experiment.  It was reported

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Walter Harland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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