'Ah!' he said, 'we farmers ought not to have much time for reading; yet somehow one can't help it' "
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
A visit to an old bachelor
"When he and I went in, we found that dinner was nearly ready in the kitchen - for so I suppose the room ought to be called, as there were oak dressers and cupboards all round, all over by the side of the fireplace, and only a small Turkey carpet in the middle of the flag-floor. The room might have been easily made into a handsome dark oak dining-parlour by removing the oven and a few other appurtenances of a kitchen, which were evidently never used, the real cooking-place being at some distance. The room in which we were expected to sit was a stiffly furnished, ugly apartment; but that in which we did sit was what Mr. Holbrook called the counting-house, when he paid his labourers their weekly wages at a great desk near the door. The rest of the pretty sitting room - looking into the orchard, and all covered over with dancing tree-shadows - was filled with books. They lay on the ground, they covered the walls, they strewed the table. He was evidently half-ashamed and half-proud of his extravagance in this respect. They were of all kinds - poetry and weird tales prevailing. He evidently chose his books in accordance with his own tastes, not because such and such were classical or established favourites.