Classics - Idle, listless and unimproving. "Then we went to sleep, and, after having lain an hour or so on one side, someone would cry鈥?Spoon!' the order to turn to the other, which was often a disagreeable one if a spike of tree root or such substance stuck up beneath ribs. Reclining thus like a parcel of spoons, our feet to the fire, we have found the hair of our heads often frozen to the place where we lay. For several days together did we lie in these wild places. In Dow's great swamp, one of the most dismal places in the wilderness, did five Irishmen, two Englishmen, two Americans, one Frenchman, and one Scotchman, hold their merry Christmas in 1826, or rather forgot to hold it at all." "It has," replied the Chief. "The whole Carman grant, from the Rideau to the Chaudiere, comprising about one thousand acres, was sold to Hugh Fraser a few years ago for ten pounds. Later a man named Burroughs bought two hundred acres which he tried to sell to me for sufficient to pay his passage to England, in order to secure a legacy which had been left him. I would not have accepted it as a gift at that time, for it was all marsh land. He succeeded in getting Nicholas Sparks to take it for 锟?5, and I indorsed his notes for the amount. Not long since Sparks sold eighty acres of it to Colonel By for several thousand pounds sterling. The Colonel drained it, divided it into town lots, and is now asking a fabulous price for it.* 鈥淎llons d?ner,鈥?said he. I came up to town, as I said before, purporting to live a jolly life upon 锟?0 per annum. I remained seven years in the General Post Office, and when I left it my income was 锟?40. During the whole of this time I was hopelessly in debt. There were two intervals, amounting together to nearly two years, in which I lived with my mother, and therefore lived in comfort 鈥?but even then I was overwhelmed with debt. She paid much for me 鈥?paid all that I asked her to pay, and all that she could find out that I owed. But who in such a condition ever tells all and makes a clean breast of it? The debts, of course, were not large, but I cannot think now how I could have lived, and sometimes have enjoyed life, with such a burden of duns as I endured. Sheriff鈥檚 officers with uncanny documents, of which I never understood anything, were common attendants on me. And yet I do not remember that I was ever locked up, though I think I was twice a prisoner. In such emergencies some one paid for me. And now, looking back at it, I have to ask myself whether my youth was very wicked. I did no good in it; but was there fair ground for expecting good from me? When I reached London no mode of life was prepared for me 鈥?no advice even given to me. I went into lodgings, and then had to dispose of my time. I belonged to no club, and knew very few friends who would receive me into their houses. In such a condition of life a young man should no doubt go home after his work, and spend the long hours of the evening in reading good books and drinking tea. A lad brought up by strict parents, and without having had even a view of gayer things, might perhaps do so. I had passed all my life at public schools, where I had seen gay things, but had never enjoyed them. Towards the good books and tea no training had been given me. There was no house in which I could habitually see a lady鈥檚 face and hear a lady鈥檚 voice. No allurement to decent respectability came in my way. It seems to me that in such circumstances the temptations of loose life will almost certainly prevail with a young man. Of course if the mind be strong enough, and the general stuff knitted together of sufficiently stern material, the temptations will not prevail. But such minds and such material are, I think, uncommon. The temptation at any rate prevailed with me. 狠狠做五月深爱婷婷 But nobody then thought I was right to go. To become clerk to an Irish surveyor, in Connaught, with a salary of 锟?00 a year, at twenty-six years of age! I did not think it right even myself 鈥?except that anything was right which would take me away from the General Post Office and from London. I was dubious, but Eric鈥檚 absolute confidence was winning me over. 鈥淚 should probably cut weightfirst to make it easier on my legs.鈥?