Economy, part D

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[14] By surveying, carpentry, and day-labor of various other kinds in the village in the meanwhile, for I have as many trades as fingers, I had earned $13.34. The expense of food for eight months, namely, from July 4th to March 1st, the time when these estimates were made, though I lived there more than two years not counting potatoes, a little green corn, and some peas, which I had raised, nor considering the value of what was on hand at the last date was

All experiments which failed

[15] Yes, I did eat $8.74, all told; but I should not thus unblushingly publish my guilt, if I did not know that most of my readers were equally guilty with myself, and that their deeds would look no better in print. The next year I sometimes caught a mess of fish for my dinner, and once I went so far as to slaughter a woodchuck which ravaged my bean-field effect his transmigration, as a Tartar (16) would say and devour him, partly for experiment's sake; but though it afforded me a momentary enjoyment, notwithstanding a musky flavor, I saw that the longest use would not make that a good practice, however it might seem to have your woodchucks ready dressed by the village butcher.

[16] Clothing and some incidental expenses within the same dates, though little can be inferred from this item, amounted to

So that all the pecuniary outgoes, excepting for washing and mending, which for the most part were done out of the house, and their bills have not yet been received and these are all and more than all the ways by which money necessarily goes out in this part of the world were

I address myself now to those of my readers who hae a living to get. And to meet this I have for farm produce sold

which subtracted from the sum of the outgoes leaves a balance of $25.21 on the one side this being very nearly the means with which I started, and the measure of expenses to be incurred and on the other, beside the leisure and independence and health thus secured, a comfortable house for me as long as I choose to occupy it.

[17] These statistics, however accidental and therefore uninstructive they may appear, as they have a certain completeness, have a certain value also. Nothing was given me of which I have not rendered some account. It appears from the above estimate, that my food alone cost me in money about twenty-seven cents a week. It was, for nearly two years after this, rye and Indian meal without yeast, potatoes, rice, a very little salt pork, molasses, and salt; and my drink, water. It was fit that I should live on rice, mainly, who love so well the philosophy of India. To meet the objections of some inveterate cavillers, I may as well state, that if I dined out occasionally, as I always had done, and I trust shall have opportunities to do again, it was frequently to the detriment of my domestic arrangements. But the dining out, being, as I have stated, a constant element, does not in the least affect a comparative statement like this.

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