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"Dreaming, John, as usual? I never saw such a boy. You are always in extremes; either tiring yourself out, or lying half asleep." "I was not half asleep, mother. I was looking at the lake." "I cannot see much to look at, John. It's just as it has been ever since you were born, or since I was born." "No, I suppose there's no change, mother; but I am never tired of looking at the sun shining on the ripples, and the fishermen's boats, and the birds standing in the shallows or flying off, in a desperate hurry, without any reason that I can make out. Besides, mother, when one is looking at the lake, one is thinking of other things." "And very often thinking of nothing at all, my son." "Perhaps so, mother; but there's plenty to think of, in these times." "Plenty, John; there are baskets and baskets of figs to be stripped from the trees, and hung up to dry for the winter and, next week, we are going to begin the grape harvest. But the figs are the principal matter, at present; and I think that it would be far more useful for you to go and help old Isaac and his son, in getting them in, than in lying there watching the lake." "I suppose it would, mother," the lad said, rising briskly; for his fits of indolence were by no means common and, as a rule, he was ready to assist at any work which might be going on. "I do not wonder at John loving the lake," his mother said to herself, when the lad had hurried away. "It is a fair scene; and it may be, as Simon thinks, that a change may come over it, before long, and that ruin and desolation may fall upon us all."
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