Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

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LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY            133
every individual. Some wore them tipped rakishly to one side, — these were your men of humor, jolly, free-and-easy dogs; some had them jammed independently down over their noses, — these were your hard characters, thorough men, who, when they wore their hats, wanted to wear them, and to wear them just as they had a mind to; there were those who had them set far over back, — wide-awake men, who wanted a clear prospect; while careless men, who did not know, or care, how their hats sat, had them shaking about in all directions. The various hats, in fact, were quite a Shakespearean study.
Divers negroes, in very free-and-easy pantaloons, and with no redundancy in the shirt line, were scuttling about, hither and thither, without bringing to pass any very par­ticular results, except expressing a generic willingness to turn over everything in creation generally for the benefit of Mas'r and his guests. Add to this picture a jolly, crackling, rollicking fire, going rejoicingly up a great wide chimney, — the outer door and every window being set wide open, and the calico window-curtain flop­ping and snapping in a good stiff breeze of damp, raw air, — and you have an idea of the jollities of a Kentucky tavern.
Your Kentuckian of the present day is a good illustra­tion of the doctrine of transmitted instincts and peculiari­ties. His fathers were mighty hunters, — men who lived in the woods, and slept under the free, open heavens, with the stars to hold their candles ; and their descendant to this day always acts as if the house were his camp, — wears his hat at all hours, tumbles himself about, and puts his heels on the tops of chairs or mantel-pieces, just as his father rolled on the greensward, and put his upon trees and logs, — keeps all the windows and doors open, winter and summer, that he may get air enough for his great lungs, — calls everybody " stranger," with nonchalant bon­homie, and is altogether the frankest, easiest, most jovial creature living.