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them expend whole sentences of sentimentality upon the hard-heartedness that could take the life of so innocent a creature, who very coolly wrung the necks of chickens every night for their breakfast, and devoured with great gusto the shoulder of a lamb for dinner. They slay without remorse the most harmless, trusting creatures that haunt their meadows, or sport upon their lawns and take food from their hands, and yet are shocked at the idea of killing a deer or shooting a wild pigeon. They kill God's creatures, not from necessity, but to gratify their palates and minister to their luxurious tastes. But if any one supposes we shot this noble doe for sport, he must have a very vague idea of the toils we had endured that day, or of our keen appetites. A man of great sentimentality might eat boiled eggs and toast with his coffee for breakfast, rather than sanction the death of an animal by partaking of flesh. I say he might do it, though I have never seen an instance of such great self-denial; but I doubt whether, if he were a day's journey from a human habitation, hungry and tired, with the prospect of nothing but a piece of salt pork, toasted on the end of a stick for supper and breakfast, he would hesitate to eat a venison steak.
But I like to have forgot—the pork, too, was the flesh of an animal, and it would be difficult to convince a hog that he had not as good a right to life as a deer. At all events, we enjoyed the venison, though perhaps the sentimentalist might say we were punished in the end, for it made us all outrageously sick. We either cooked it too soon, (for in twenty minutes from the time the deer fell, a part of her was roasting ;) or we ate it too rare, (for we were too hungry to wait till it was perfectly done ;) or we ate too much, (for we were hungry as famished wolves ;) or probably did all three things together, which quite upset me.
But after the things (i. e., the chips) were cleared away, I stretched myself on the ground under a tree whose dark trunk shone in the light of the cheerful fire, and began to muse on the day that had past. How is it that a scene of quiet beauty makes so much deeper an impression than a startling one ? The glorious sunset I had witnessed on that sweet lakethe curving and forest-mantled shores—the green islands—the mellow mountains, all combined to make a scene of surpassing loveliness: and now as I lay and watched the stars coming out one after another, and twinkling down on me through the tree-tops, all that
beauty came back on me with strange power. The gloomy gorge and savage precipice, or the sudden storm, seem to excite the surface only of one's feelings, while the sweet vale, with its cottages and herds and evening bells, blends itself in with our very thoughts and emotions, forming a part of our after existence. Such a scene sinks away into the heart like a gentle rain into the earth, while a rougher, nay, sublimer one, comes and goes like a sudden shower. I do not know how it is that the gentler influence should be the deeper and more lasting, but so it is. The still small voice of nature is more impressive than her loudest thunder. Of all, the scenery in the Alps, and there is no grander on the earth, nothing is so plainly daguerreotyped on my heart as two or three lovely valleys I saw. Those heaven-piercing summits, and precipices of ice, and terrific gorges, and fearful passes, are like grand but indistinct visions on my memory, while those vales, with their carpets of greensward, and murmuring rivulets, and perfect repose, have become a part of my life. In moments of high excitement or turbulent grief they rise before me with their gentle aspect and quiet beauty, hushing
POWER OF QUIET SCENERY.
the storm into repose, and subduing the spirit like a
But Mitchell has arisen from his couch of leaves, where he has been reclining silent and thoughtful as his race, and is looking up to the sky and out upon the lake, and I know something is afoot.
FLOATING DEER-A NIGHT EXCURSICY-MORNING IN THE
FORKED LAKE, Aug.
As I stated in my last, Mitchell looked up to the sky, and out upon the lake a moment, and then, in that quiet way so characteristic of his race, said, “If you want to go after a deer it is time we started.” It took but five minutes to load my rifle, put on my overcoat, and announce myself ready. Lifting our bark canoe softly from the rocks, we launched it on the still water, and stepping carefully in, pushed off. Previously, however, Mitchell requested me to try one of my matches, to see if the damp had affected them.
You know that deer-floating amid backwoodsmen is very different from deer-stalking in Scotland. In