This little soliloquy perhaps wearies you; it is ended. Let us sail for an hour or so on the silver wave; my new pleasure-boat is rocking here beneath in the shadow of the oak. She is built for speed. See how gracefully she falls and rises, like a variegated leaf upon the waves—how the slender prow curves upward—how the gaily-colored sides are mirrored in the limpid surface of the joyous stream! Come, let us step into the little craft, and unfurl the snowy sail.... How provoking! I have left my boat key at the hall; another day we will sail. Let us stroll back to the good old house again.
Are not my fields pleasant to behold? They are bringing in my wheat, which stretches, you perceive, throughout the low-grounds there, in neatly arranged shocks. My crops this year are excellent—my servants enjoy this season, and its occupations. They will soon sing their echoing “harvest home”—and over them at their joyous labor will shine the “harvest-moon,” lighting up field and forest, hill and dale—the whole “broad domain and the hall.” The affection of my servants is grateful to me. Here comes Cato, with his team of patient oxen, and there goes Caesar, leading my favorite racehorse down to water. Cato, Caesar, and I, respectively salute each other in the kindest way. I think they are attached to me. Faithful fellows! I shall never part with them. I think I will give this coat to Caesar; but, looking again, I perceive that his own is better. Besides, I must not be extravagant. The little money I make is required by another, and it would not be generous to buy a new coat for myself. This one which I wear will do well enough, will it not? I ask you with some diffidence, for ’tis sadly out at elbows, and the idea has occurred to me that the coolness and neglect of certain visitors to the hall, has been caused by my coat being shabby. Even Annie——, but I’ll not speak of that this morning. ’Twas the hasty word which we all utter at times—’tis forgotten. Still, I think, I will give you the incident some day, when we ramble, as now, in the fields.
From the fields we approach the honest old mansion, across the emerald-carpeted lawn. The birds are singing, around the sleepy-looking gables, and the toothless old hound comes wagging his tail, in sign of welcome.
’Tis plain that Milo has an honest heart. I think he’s smiling.