Sidor som bilder

the windows and sides of the house, and the thunder pealing harmlessly without; you laugh at the elements which you had feared, and feel as if you

had baffled an enemy whose ravings now were impotent and foolish. The rudest room is then pleasant, and the hardest bed soft as down. A delightful calm succeeds the turbulence of feeling, and you are at peace with all the world.

I will not weary you with an account of my next niorning's ride, nor of the thorough drenching I received.

Arriving at a clearing, I had hardly swallowed some dinner before I donned my India-rubber leggings and plunged into a splendid stream near by, after trout. The very first cast I made, I took one, and kept taking them, till, at the end of two hours, I had fifty fine fellows. The best one of all, however, I lost. I had approached with great caution a noble pool, made by a rapid current that shot along a ledge of rocks, then spread out into an open basin. Seating myself carefully on a narrow shelf, I threw my fly, and moving it slowly in an oblique direction across the stream, soon saw a great fellow rise to the surface In a twinkling, he was hooked ; but just at that

[blocks in formation]

moment I heard a tremendous splashing in the water above me, accompanied by something halfway between a grunt and a groan. I was startled, and turning my eyes in the direction of the tumult, saw my companion floundering in the water. With a short crooked pole, he had been endeavoring to mount a smooth, slippery rock and cast his cord-line into a hole where it looked as if trout might lurk. Just as he was fetching back his rod with a tremendous swing, his foot slipped and over he rolled into the swift current, making the splashing that had startled me so. His hat was off and his long hair streamed over his face, as now up and now down he struggled to steady his uncertain footing. At length, he brought up against a rock, and “thunder and lightning,” were the first words that escaped his lips, as he looked around to determine his whereabouts. He was a capital subject for a picture, as he thus stood, bareheaded, hanging on the rock, and muttering to himself. Between the fright and the laugh, I lost my trout, but I have made my mark on him and will have him yet

[blocks in formation]

THERE is not a wilder region in our country than the northern parts of Warren and Hamilton Counties. An almost unbroken wilderness stretches away from the Adirondack Mountains, from a hundred to a hundred and fifty miles across. Imagine such a wilderness in the heart of New York State, in which you may wander month after month without stumbling on a clearing. There are places in it never yet trod by the foot of a white man. It is not merely an uncultivated country, but a succession of ragged mountains, darkened with pine and hemlock—ploughed up with ravines and rendered barren by rocks and swamps. An over-wrought brain has driven me into these solitudes for rest and quiet-my only companions being

[blocks in formation]

my rifle and fis.. g rod. We talk in New York of going into the “ country.” But let Saratoga be exchanged for " ‘Long Lake," Nahant for “ Indian Lake," and New Rochelle for the gloomy shore of Jesup's River, and our fashionables would get an entirely different idea of the “country." True, it is lonely at first-after being accustomed to the din and struggle of Broadway and Wall street to sit as I now do, with a wide forest, climbing the steep mountains, to bound my vision, and the little clearing around me black with stumps, coming up even to the door of the log house. All day long, and not the sound of a single wheel, but in the place of it the cawing of crows, the scream of the woodpecker, and the roar of a torrent dashing over the rocks in the sullen forest below. The very stumps have a forlorn look, and it seems a complete waste of time and music for the birds to sing, having no one to listen to them. It must be they do it to hear the echo of their own voices, which these wild woods send back with incredible distinctness and sweetness. But if one is not entirely spoiled, he soon attunes himself to the harmony of nature, and a new life is born within him. To most of us, life has—as the Germans would say, an "Einseitigkeit,” (a onesidedness). The “Fielseitgkeit,” (the many-sidedness) few experience. Ah, it is this “ Einseitigkeit,” that renders all reform so difficult; and bigotry and prejudice so irresistible. Men must experience the

Fielseitgkeit,” to know it, but circumstances chain them to the "one-sided” view, and so we go stumbling on in the old paths, or like an old mill horse round and round in the same circle, stereotyping anew the groans and complaints of our fathers. Here a man will toil for forty years and die poor, while in the city a successful speculation often ensures a life of idleness and luxury. Industry then is not always the sure road to wealth.

But I will not weary you with an essay on social life, I will only say that it is a poor argument which meets our complaints, from the pulpit and press, viz., “ After all, happiness is about equally divided.” This maxim is believed, because it is the converse of a true proposition, which is, “one man is about as miserable as another." That is, the laws of Nature and Heaven are such that he who accumulates to live a life of idleness is made as miserable as the man he impoverishes in order to do it. Thus, it is true, that happiness is pretty equally divided, because the misery the present

« FöregåendeFortsätt »