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Bel Bree lived in New Hampshire; fifteen miles from a railway; in the curious region where the old times and the new touch each other and mix up; where the women use towels, and table-cloths, and bed-spreads, of their mothers' own hand-weaving, and hem their new ones with sewing-machines brought by travelling agents to their doors; where the men mow and rake their fields with modern inventions, but only get their newspapers once a week; where the "help" are neighbors' girls, who wear overskirts and high hats, and sit at the table with the family; where there are rag carpets and "painted chamber-sets;" where they feed calves and young turkeys, and string apples to dry in the summer, and make wonderful patchwork quilts, and wax flowers, and worsted work, perhaps, in the long winters; where they go to church and to sewing societies from miles about, over tremendous hills and pitches, with happy-go-lucky wagons and harnesses that never come to grief; where they have few schools and intermitted teaching, yet turn out, somehow, young men who work their way into professions, and girls who take the world by instinct, and understand a great deal perfectly well that is beyond their practical reach; where the old Puritan stiffness keeps them straight, but gets leavened in some marvelous way with the broader and more generous thought of the time, and wears a geniality that it is half unconscious of; the region where, if you are lucky enough to get into it to know it, you find yourself, as Miss Euphrasia said, encouraged and put in heart again about the world.