Page images

spent, but they hurried ashore with him, and carried him in their arms to the house, John supporting his feet and Jeremiah holding his head. Friend Hogshart very humanely waived all considerations of discipline, and made no objections to the return of Jeremiah and our hero. They laid the gentleman upon the floor, and began to rub him with flannels, while the farmer unlocked a little cupboard in one corner of the room, and took out a small vial of brandy, a few drops of which, with the aid of a spoon, he succeeded in pouring down the gentleman's throat; after which he began to revive, and as soon as he opened his eyes, Jeremiah fell upon his knees and exclaimed, Merciful heavens!' while John threw himself upon the gentleman's neck and kissed him. It was Mr. Tremlett.

[ocr errors]




'AND this have I often pondered, as I have walked forth alone to commune with the visible works of the Creator, that the gilded butterfly, the radiant glow-worm, born of darkness, even the tiniest insect, the impalpable mote that glitters in the sunbeam, each had its lesson, which might be conned to edification by the thoughtful student of nature.'

WHEREFORE, little fluttering thing,
With the rainbow-tinted wing,
And the right at will to rove
Sunny lawn and shadowy grove,
Hast thou left such sweet demesnes,
For the city's charmless scenes?
Here's no fitting haunt for thee,
Boon companion of the bee!
Born, like her, with flowers to dwell,
In the gay sequestered dell,
And at Nature's board to sip
Nectar from each blossom's lip.

Here, where 'neath man's iron tread
Earth's green beauties all are dead,
Thou wilt find no leafy screen
From the day's meridian sheen;
And at eve no waiting home,
Like the lily's golden dome:
Here, where Hunger's eager pain
Pleads at Plenty's door in vain,
Or, if heard, too often must
Feel the scorn which flings the crust,
Thou, gay rover, scarce shalt find
Chartered feast, or welcome kind :
For if man to man is stern,
How wilt thou his favor earn?

Haste thee, then, where skies are fair,
Fresh as Spring's the Summer air,
Bright, as tears Affection sheds,
Dews that gem the violet beds;
Pure as morn, the perfumed breeze,
Sweet the sylvan melodies,

Soft the glow o'er hill and glade,
Cool their very noon-tide shade,



And where all of earth and air
Freely Nature's banquet share!
Hold thee, now!' the bright-winged
'Cease thy rural rhapsodies, [cries,
Till I briefly tell thee why
Hither I came dancing by.
Glance thou up the vista gay:
Mark'st thou Fashion's proud array?
Tinted silks, like autumn trees,
Waving brightly to the breeze?
Plume and wreath of varied dyes,
Rich as sun-set's glowing skies?
Ru by, pearl, and emerald green,
Basking in the diamond's sheen?
These are but my liveried pride,
Tints and tinsel magnified;
And where gaud and gloss abound,
May not Nature's belle be found?"

[blocks in formation]


'THERE are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

WHEN the soul of man, relieved from the last trace of materiality, as that term is understood on this nether side of Uranus, shall revisit the solar system and the earth perhaps, upon some excursion of pleasure from the realms of upper heaven; and all the latent affinities of nature are exposed, unveiled, before the piercing rays of its glorified existence; I often think it will be a vast satisfaction to know why a tree should live and bourgeon in shady luxuriance under one man's planting, that will die if the hand of another place it in the same ground: why flowers flourish under one woman's care, that fade if another, perchance more beautiful, possess them: why dogs growl upon one man, and instinctively attach themselves to another not more kind toward them; and why, with the same ingredients, one man only out of a whole fishing party can build and season, and successfully concoct, a chowder.

The facts themselves are undeniable. No man of a certain age but has observed the truth; and no philosopher, but has wondered at it. Why is it, humanly speaking, as the Presbyterians say, why is it that the same alternate layers of pork, of haddock, and cod, and sliced potatoes, and the one onion cut into rings, and the same hard biscuit soaked for five minutes in cold water before it takes its place in the pot; with the same black pepper throughout; and salt if you will, when your pork is not salt enough; with the self-same flour and butter, shall refuse their charms under one man's management, that gratify, with a joy and a flavor, and a fragrance untasted and unknown before, the careless and unhesitating distribution of materials that form these successive strata of good things from the hand of one of these favorites of nature? Favorites of Nature! the word is a good word! No member of the family of the Blenkinsops could ever blow out a candle; none but a Creole could ever make a pepper-pot; and the chowder-builder and the poet must alike be born, each to his art unteachable, untaught.'

Dear, dear JIM! - the cove of dark rocks upon that shore in the old Bay State, near which our boat had grated upon the harsh and pebbly sand, is before me at this moment; the hum of cheerful voices thrills upon my ear, and the glow of youth-youth, sparkling youth that borders upon immortality, and is almost as free as it is from ache or care- again warms the old heart that loved thee in its better days, thou Favorite of Nature! I never thought that any idea connected with a pot of chowder; or as thou wert wont to explain the etymology of this uncouth word, a chaudière; styling it the best of those ragoûts à la matelote, which French culinary art has derived from the happy invention of the sailor; I never thought that any recollection of the sort could have been otherwise than gay or joyous; and yet at this moment my hand falters, and the air has not breath enough for me, as I remember how thou wert taken from us in a

moment of such youth; thou, our pride; the beautiful, the gifted, and the brave! GOD bless thee! The universe contains no constellation too bright for thine abode; and when I look up at night to Heaven and love a star, I fancy it to be thine own!

We were all despatched by thee, I remember, on different errands; some to shoot sand-snipe, and others to collect drift-wood for fuel along the shore, or to stroll about and do nothing, if we preferred it, so that we were kept out of the way of interfering with thy functions; equipped as thou wert in a moment in a linen jacket; a napkin round the waist; a face of calm determination; the gazette of the day (called the Columbian Centinel,) curiously folded as thy cook's cap, and resting on thy dark rich locks; the smoke of the lighted fire slowly tracing its way upward by the precipitous rocks as by a chimney, and thyself kneeling beside the chaudière, with fish and implements about thee, and the boatman in attendance at thy side.

Nature turns over to the ordinary journeymen of her busy workshop the countenances of most of the human race. Dough-faces are they for the most part, shaped with a trowel; the point of which, being inserted, cuts to the required length the apérture, which is called, by courtesy, a mouth. But she watches, in her studio, with a jealous care over the features of her favorites, her artists, her poets, the man of taste that is to be, the intuitive being chosen to decorate and to refine society; and her chisel was in her own right hand, and her thoughts were dwelling upon the bow of Cupid unbent and held horizontally, when she marked out the contour of thy mouth, and planted its terminations deeply in the cheek, and saw that her work was beautifully done; and, with a kiss, light as the fall of the damask rose-leaf that she left upon thy lips, awoke thee into life, dear chowder-builder!

I mention this feature of Jim's countenance particularly, because my heart insists upon it; and yet his eyes were singularly fine, and changed like a thought from falcon into dove, as he turned from man to rest them upon woman.

Do the words vibrate deeply on the chords of the heart of any one who hears me, when I repeat from one of the grandest effusions of the human mind, THERE SHE STANDS; LOOK AT HER!' Then I

[ocr errors]

shall be understood when I say, that upon the ocean-shores of Massachusetts, every noble passion of the soul may find a tongue! The illimitable reach of waters; the azure sky that over-canopies it; the waves inviting man to enterprise or to command; the distant sail half-gilded at the approach of sunset, and the unbroken glories of the rising day; and then the long anthem peal that often, when the shores are calm and tranquil, takes possession of the air, and tells of the distant or the approaching storm. The sea-birds come for refuge near us at the sound; the cattle leave the distant pasture, lowing for shelter at the hand of man; and even to himself the joys of home, his own free home, rise with an unwonted delight as the roof of his dwelling then opens to his returning gaze. These are among the objects and the thoughts that feelingly persuade us what we are," or that occupy the soul with cheerful musings, during the cookery of a chaudière.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]




NOTHING can happen in the world, that may not interest the cultivated mind even the fopperies of fashionable life have a true side and an untrue one.



THE world is full of meaning. There is nothing really insignificant in Nature: no blade of grass but points as certainly to the sky, as the highest pine tree.


THE humanity of Nature has not been enough dwelt upon, compared with her grandeur, beauty, grace; elements, indeed, of the first. We look upon Nature according to the mood of our own minds at the moment; but she soon cherishes all that is good in us. If we have the capacity to feel sorrow in her presence, she has power to change the sorrow, through gentle melancholy, into joy. We do well to imitate the miser, and keep a hoard of pure gold, the heart's best affections, to visit sometimes in the depths of the wood.


NATURE is not enough: we need men and cities; we must join, in a certain way, in the throng and tumult; we must retire from solitude: the wave must return with the tide, or it is lost upon the shore.

'KEEP moving,' is the practical secret of greatness. Move not either altogether out of the current, for there is much there to help the way. The man is wrong who has not much sympathy with his times.

[ocr errors]


THE poet will sometimes make an exception for himself, since he deals with man, not men. What has he to do with the world that he has left behind? He can neither understand,' says CowLEY, 'nor speak the language of the place: a naked man may swim in the sea, but it is not the way to catch fish there: they are likelier to devour him than he them, if he bring no nets, and use no deceits.'


THE daily existence of large cities affords an argument for the general better qualities of human nature. There is even very little jostling, and the police is an inadequate force, reaching, perhaps, every five-hundredth man. The rest take care of themselves and of one



THE solitude of crowds is often said to be more solitary than lonely nature. It is not so. There is something companionable in the

« PreviousContinue »