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THE RIDDLE OF LIFE.

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this ceaseless drip, and the freshened look of everything about me in the clearer atmosphere, I should hardly have known there had been a change.

Scarce a half hour had elapsed—yet there the blue sky showed itself again over the mountain where the dark cloud had been the sun came forth in redoubled splendor, and the tumult was over. Now and then a disappointed peal was heard slowly traveling over the sky, as if conscious it came too late to share the conflict; but all else was calm, and tranquil, and beautiful, as nature ever is after a thunder-storm. But while I lay watching that blue arch, against which the tall mountain, now greener than ever, seemed to lean; suddenly a single circular white cloud appeared over the top, and slowly rolled into view, and floated along the radiant west. Bathed in the rich sunset-glittering like a white robe-how beautiful ! how resplendent! A moving glory, it looked as if some angel-hand had just rolled it away from the golden gate of heaven. I watched it till my spirit longed to fly away and sink in its bright foldings. And then I thought were I in the midst of it, it would be found a heavy bank of fogdamp and chill like the morning mist, which obscures the vision and ruffles the spirit, till it prays for one straggling sunbeam to disperse the gloom. But seen at that distance-shone upon by that setting sunhow glorious! And here, methought, I had a solution of my mystery of life. With its agitations and changes—its blasphemies and songs—its revelries and violence—its light and darkness—its ecstasies and agonies—its life and death—so strangely blent—it is a mist, a gloomy fog, that chills and wearies us as we walk in its midst. Dimming our prospect, it shuts out the spiritual world beyond us, till we weep and pray for the rays of heaven to disperse the gloom. But seen' by angels and spiritual beings from afarshone upon by God's perfect government and grand designs of love—it may, and doubtless does, appear as glorious as that evening cloud to me.

The brightness of the throne is cast over us, and its glory changes this turbulent scene into a harmonious part of his vast whole. God's

ways are not as our ways, neither are his thoughts as our thoughts.” Astor in has all passed, and the sun of futurity breaks on the scene, light and gladness will bathe it in undying splendor.

A LESSON FROM NATURE.

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I turned away with that summer cloud fastened in my memory forever, and thankful for the thunderstorm that had taught my heart so sweet a lesson.

Yours truly,

XIII.

A RIDE THROUGH THE FORESTA LEAN DINNER-CHE

NEY'S COUSIN -SWIMMING A LAKE WITH HORSES.

BACKWOODS, August.

DEAR H:

I am off again for the woods—resolved to penetrate to the heart of this wild country, whose scenery cannot be matched this side of the Alps. For fifty miles, we can with care go on horseback, and then we must be our own beasts of burden.

Our company consists of five-a young clergyman, whom I persuaded to try bivouacking in the forest, in. stead of lounging at Saratoga Springs for his health, R—ffe, formerly a merchant in Maiden Lane, but now a thorough back woodsman, cutting down forests and putting up mills, &c., and Doctor T—ll, and young P

It was a bright morning, as, mounted on fresh

LUNCHING WITHOUT FOOD.

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horses, with our rifles on our shoulders, we passed from the more open settlements, which gradually grew thinner and wilder, and entered the unbroken forest. In the trouble we were at to obtain an extra horse, and afterwards a saddle, we forgot to take provisions for the way; so, after traveling for nearly thirty miles, we found ourselves on the banks of the Boreas River, (our old friend, with whom we encamped a week or two since, some thirty miles to the northeast,) weary and hungry, and twelve miles of forest to the nearest clearing. It was now one o'clock, and we had been in the saddle since early in the morning. Our horses needed food and rest, so did we; but the former was easier obtained for our beasts than for us. Taking off their saddles and tying them head and foot to prevent them from straying away, we turned them loose, to browse in the forest. W-d hunted around for berries to allay his hunger, while the doctor smoked his pipe and chewed spruce gum which he peeled from the trees, by way of stomach-stayers. R—ffe and myself thought of trying the trout; but the heavily timbered and tangled banks forbade all access to the stream except by plunging in. Hungrier than I ever remember to have been before, I floundered

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