One day at the beginning of July, I came home from mowing about noon, or a little later, to fetch some cider for all of us, and to eat a morsel of bacon. We were drenched with rain almost every day; but the mowing must be done somehow; and we must trust to God for the haymaking.
There they form a camp of huts or wigwams under a "head man," and surround their charges with strong fierce dogs, whose business it is to protect them, not only from thieves, but also from the wolves which were then common on the Apennines where, indeed, bears also were to be met. There was no want of occupation in the country in the time of haymaking, of the vintage, or of olive-picking.
It was the school- master, who was coming slowly down the hill, supporting himself on a staff, for his hip troubled him. His intelligent eyes looked calm. He paused to rest, and nodded to her: "Not come yet?" "No; I expect them every moment." "Fine weather for haymaking, to-day." "But warm for old folks to be walking." The school-master looked at her, smiling,
I foresee that they will come over, haymaking and hopping, and will recognize their beautiful vagabonds at a glance. I wish Reverdy Johnson would dine in private and hold his tongue. He overdoes the thing.
The man does not mean it so brutally as it appears to outsiders. This semi-wife-beating is only too prevalent. Does the incessant labour undergone by an agricultural woman result in ill effects to her physical frame? The day-work in the fields, the haymaking, and such labour as is paid for by the day and not by the piece, cannot do any injury, for it is light, and the hours are short.
Her mistress may snap occasionally, her master may grumble, and the dairymaid may snarl; but there are no slaps on the ear, no kicks, no going to bed supperless. In summer she goes out in the afternoon haymaking as an extra hand, but only works a few hours, and it is really only a relaxation.
That fellow owes every thing to me. I introduced him to the duke of , and he got on by that interest; but, I say, what do you think of the Halifax girls? nice! a'n't they?" I expressed my admiration of them. "Ay, ay, they'll do, won't they? we'll have some fine fun give the girls a party at George's Island haymaking green gowns ha, ha, ha. I say, your captain shall give us a party at Turtle Cove.
Sylvia was dismayed when she was bidden to this wedding feast, and Philip had to use all his authority, though tenderly, to make her consent to go at all. She had been to merry country parties like the Corneys', and to bright haymaking romps in the open air; but never to a set stately party at a friend's house.
They were themselves all landowners, or sons of landowners. Had wages been given, two francs for the day would have been considered high pay, and the food would have been very rough. No turkeys would have had their throats cut; no coffee and rum would have been served round. In short, this haymaking day was treated as an annual festival.
Yet she liked him, she had always liked him since, as a little girl, she had been taken by her stepsisters to a haymaking party at Sales Hall.