By Ray Stannard Baker
This e-book is a facsimile reprint and will include imperfections resembling marks, notations, marginalia and fallacious pages.
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Charles Baxter says that on these occasions he is asking his gardener the names of the vegetables. However that may be, he has seemed to our community the very incarnation of contentment and prosperity—his position the acme of desirability. What was my astonishment, then, the other morning to see John Starkweather coming down the pasture lane through my farm. I knew him afar off, though I had never met him. May I express the inexpressible when I say he had a rich look; he walked rich, there was richness in the conﬁdent crook of his elbow, and in the positive twitch of the stick he carried: a man accustomed to having doors opened before he knocked.
So we are judged without knowledge. I had a sudden impulse to demolish him (if I could) with the nearest sarcasms I could lay hand to. He was so sure of himself! ” He smiled, but with a sort of sincerity. ” I laughed outright: the humour of it struck me as delicious. Here I had been, ever since I ﬁrst heard of John Starkweather, rather gloating over him as a poor suffering millionnaire (of course millionnaires are unhappy), and there he sat, ruddy of face and hearty of body, pitying me for a poor unfortunate farmer back here in the country!
No one of the senses is more often allied with robustity of physical health. A man who smells acutely may be set down as enjoying that which is normal, plain, wholesome. He does not require seasoning: the ordinary earth is good enough for him. He is likely to be sane—which means sound, healthy—in his outlook upon life. Of all hours of the day there is none like the early morning for downright good odours—the morning before eating. Fresh from sleep and unclogged with food a man’s senses cut like knives.
Adventures in Contentment by Ray Stannard Baker