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was in the same State of which New York was the emporium, whose myriad spires pierced the heavens.
I have been thus particular, because in no other way can you get a correct idea of the daily life one is compelled to lead who would penetrate these wilds. It is nonsense to talk of dignity, and the impropriety of a man's carrying a rifle and fishing-tackle, and spending his time in shooting deer and catching trout. Such folly is becoming to him only, who sits on the piazza of a hotel at Saratoga Springs, at the of twelve dollars a week for his health. I love nature and all things as God has made them. I love the freedom of the wilderness and the absence of conventional forms there. I love the long stretch through the forest on foot, and the thrilling, glorious prospect from some hoary mountain top. I love it, and I know it is better for me than the thronged city, aye, better for soul and body both. How is it that even good men have come to think so little of nature, as if to love her and seek her haunts and companionship were a waste of time? I have been astonished at the remarks sometimes made to me on my long jaunts in the woods, as if it were almost wicked to cast off the
gravity of society, and wander like a child amid the beauty which God has spread out with such a lavish hand over the earth. Why, I should as soon think of feeling reproved for gazing on the midnight heavens, gorgeous with stars, and fearful with its mysterious floating worlds. I believe that every man degenerates without frequent commụnion with nature. It is one of the open books of God, and more replete with instructions than anything ever penned by man. A single tree standing alone, and waving all day long its green crown in the summer wind, is to me fuller of meaning and instruction than the crowded mart or gorgeously built town.
LONG LAKE COLONY-A LOON-FORKED LAKE,
FORKED LAKE, August.
TAKING Mitchell along with me, we embarked on Monday in his birch bark canoe for Forked and Raquette Lakes. Paddling leisurely up Long Lake, I was struck with the desolate appearance of the settlement. Scarcely an improvement has been made since I was last here, while some clearings are left to go back to their original wildness. Disappointed purchasers, lured in by extravagant statements, have given up in despondency and left—the best people are all going away, and in a short time there will be nobody left but hunters. This wilderness will be encroached upon in time, though it will require years to give us so crowded a population as to force settlements into this desolate interior of the State.