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THE FARMER AT HOME. The new towns, or suburbs which spring up every year in the neighbourhood of London, are all built upon much the same plan. Whole streets of houses present exact duplicates of each other, even to the number of steps up to the front door and the position of the scraper. In the country, where a new farmhouse is erected about once in twenty years, the styles of architecture are as varied and as irregular as in town they are prim... more...

CHAPTER I. SIR BEVIS. One morning as little "Sir" Bevis [such was his pet name] was digging in the farmhouse garden, he saw a daisy, and throwing aside his spade, he sat down on the grass to pick the flower to pieces. He pulled the pink-tipped petals off one by one, and as they dropped they were lost. Next he gathered a bright dandelion, and squeezed the white juice from the hollow stem, which drying presently, left his fingers stained with... more...

THE PAGEANT OF SUMMER I Green rushes, long and thick, standing up above the edge of the ditch, told the hour of the year as distinctly as the shadow on the dial the hour of the day. Green and thick and sappy to the touch, they felt like summer, soft and elastic, as if full of life, mere rushes though they were. On the fingers they left a green scent; rushes have a separate scent of green, so, too, have ferns, very different to that of grass or... more...

INTRODUCTION This book consists of three unpublished essays and of fifteen reprinted from Longman's Magazine, Fraser's Magazine, the New Quarterly, Knowledge, Chambers's Magazine, the Graphic, and the Standard, where they have probably been little noticed since the time of their appearance. Several more volumes of this size might have been made by collecting all the articles which were not reprinted in Jefferies' lifetime, or in 'Field and... more...

CHAPTER I THE FIRST GUN They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too. But there he stood, and mounted... more...


OKEBOURNE CHACE.   FELLING TREES. The great house at Okebourne Chace stands in the midst of the park, and from the southern windows no dwellings are visible. Near at hand the trees appear isolated, but further away insensibly gather together, and above them rises the distant Down crowned with four tumuli. Among several private paths which traverse the park there is one that, passing through a belt of ash wood, enters the meadows.... more...

I. Green rushes, long and thick, standing up above the edge of the ditch, told the hour of the year as distinctly as the shadow on the dial the hour of the day.  Green and thick and sappy to the touch, they felt like summer, soft and elastic, as if full of life, mere rushes though they were.  On the fingers they left a green scent; rushes have a separate scent of green, so, too, have ferns, very different from that of grass or... more...

NATURE NEAR LONDON WOODLANDS The tiny white petals of the barren strawberry open under the April sunshine which, as yet unchecked by crowded foliage above, can reach the moist banks under the trees. It is then that the first stroll of the year should be taken in Claygate Lane. The slender runners of the strawberries trail over the mounds among the moss, some of the flowers but just above the black and brown leaves of last year which fill the... more...

CHAPTER IX THE FINE LADY FARMER. COUNTRY GIRLS A pair of well-matched bays in silver-plated harness, and driven by a coachman in livery, turn an easy curve round a corner of the narrow country road, forcing you to step on the sward by the crimson-leaved bramble bushes, and sprinkling the dust over the previously glossy surface of the newly fallen horse chestnuts. Two ladies, elegantly dressed, lounge in the carriage with that graceful... more...

HOURS OF SPRING. It is sweet on awaking in the early morn to listen to the small bird singing on the tree. No sound of voice or flute is like to the bird's song; there is something in it distinct and separate from all other notes. The throat of woman gives forth a more perfect music, and the organ is the glory of man's soul. The bird upon the tree utters the meaning of the wind—a voice of the grass and wild flower, words of the green leaf;... more...