vil; horses stamp and splash through the ford, carts bump along the road, whips crack, wooden shoes go pitter-patter; the butcher swings his chopper, the cobbler sings as he hammers in his nails,—and above is the blue spring sky, the white clouds flying before the light fresh breeze, and the genial sun warming everything. My youth revives, coming from far on swift wings to build her swallow's nest in my old heart once more, where she is more than ever welcome after her long absence, dearer even than in those first sweet days.
Just at this moment I hear the harsh grind of the weather-cock on the roof, or is it my old woman screaming something or other at me? I turn a deaf ear, but deuce take the sound, it has scared away my lovely youth. … She—I mean my wife—comes down in a rage as usual.
"What in the world are you doing there with your arms folded, gazing into the clouds, with your big mouth open as if you expected larks to drop into it? while here am I working for you like a packhorse,—you think that's what women are made for, but the good Lord never meant Adam to stand with his hands in his pockets while his wife slaved about the house. I say he ought to take his share of all that is going, good and bad alike; there must be that much justice in Heaven or I will know the rea-