LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 269
" I dare say you did n't."
" You would not take it so coolly, if you were housekeeper."
" My dear cousin, you may as well understand, once for all, that we masters are divided into two classes, oppressors and oppressed. We who are good-natured and hate severity make up our minds to a good deal of inconvenience. If we will keep a shambling, loose, untaught set in the community, for our convenience, why, we must take the consequence. Some rare cases I have seen, of persons, who, by a peculiar tact, can produce order and system without severity ; but I 'm not one of them, — and so I made up my mind, long ago, to let things go just as they do. I will not have the poor devils thrashed and cut to pieces, and they know it, — and, of course, they know the staff is in their own hands."
" But to have no time, no place, no order, — all going on in this shiftless way! "
" My dear Vermont, you natives up by the North Pole set an extravagant value on time ! What on earth is the use of time to a fellow who has twice as much of it as he knows what to do with ? As to order and system, where there is nothing to be done but to lounge on the sofa and read, an hour sooner or later in breakfast or dinner is n't of much account. Now, there 's Dinah gets you a capital dinner, — soup, ragout, roast fowl, dessert, ice-creams, and all, — and she creates it all out of chaos and old night down there, in that kitchen. I think it really sublime, the way she manages. But, Heaven bless us ! if we are to go down there, and view all the smoking and squatting about, and hurryscurryation of the preparatory process, we should never eat more ! My good cousin, absolve yourself from that! It's more than a Catholic penance, and does no more good. You '11 only lose your own temper, and utterly confound Dinah. Let her go her own way."
" But, Augustine, you don't know how I found things."
" Don't I ? Don't I know that the rolling-pin is under