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gravelled path to the door. Stop with me at the gate, and I will make them grow again, those goodly, smooth-barked cherry trees, in each high corner, guardians of the entrance. Often have the flat-heads of the gate-posts served as a platform to the branches, when they were looking black and heavy, as if a swarm of bees had lighted on them. These sentinel trees belonged to a range that stretched around both sides of the house, and their life was a part of mine. I counted time by their blossoming, and setting to fruit, and reddening, till the boughs were all stripped, and then I dated by the changes on the pear-tree. That patriarch harvest-pear tree! How has irreverence become the sin of a generation that could lay bare its aged roots! Here — no, there, it must have stood. Come under its broad shadow, and look up, as I used of a summer night, through its high branches, and see if you can tell which are stars and which are pears. What an influence that old tree exerted over us, even in our slumbers; for while the fruit lasted, who should be earliest under the tree, was the strife. Many a morning have my foot-prints been the first on the wet grass, that I might triumph over an apron full. Puritan fathers must have hung a spell upon its boughs, for now it is cut down, we sleep later. But the pears, the pears! and the grand shaking time! How they rolled down the slope of the yard, and over the fence into the road, and how we childishly gloried in the many great basketsfull! There was something of sublimity in such abundance, and of a fruit, too, that wanted nothing but juice and flavor !
Here was another veteran, the old plum-tree, in the low notch of which I used to sit, and call it my throne. Their stands, not to be mistaken, lopped and shorn as it is, the venerable apple-tree that bore the swing. What merry groups bas that good-natured old tree thrown its shadow over, as if it loved romping and frolic! Time was when we held a circus there. Archie turning somersets, and Mink, the black cat, performing great jumpiug feats, while Ponto astonished a crowd of juveniles by more than canine sagacity. Up and down we swung, under a shower of apple blossoms sometimes taking a rough rub on the cheek from the bark of the sturdy old trunk. How we laughed, when the apples came down on our heads! Dearer yet was the still time, when I could sit there alone, and, gently swayed by the wind, as it were, give myself up to the enchantment of a story book. That was to be lapped in Elysium.'
Here stood the summer house, covered with a mysterious vine, that year after year baffled my penetration, setting thick with clusters that never came to fruit. That and the Magnumbonum tree, (that would drop all its great plums, touched by decay, after I had watched them swelling and swelling, and just putting on the purple,) I never could be friends with. Perhaps they were teaching me my first lessons of mortality, and the blasting of human hopes. They awed me beyond sociability.
But there, in that row of ragged gooseberry-bushes, is something with which the hens and I were familiar to gossiping, suffering ourselves to be scratched twice for every berry. It is strange that it should outlive so many worthier things, and be so green and thrifty yet. It shows where the garden fence ran. A gate opened here, and another there, and then the paths from each met, and joined company
forward. The space between was a semi-circular flower-bed, the pride of the garden, bordered with the bright little strawberry rose, and filled with choice bulbs. An immense peony sat in the centre, to preside. Each side of the long walk was set with flowers and shrubs, carefully mated, aptly reminding us of that great original garden lesson, 'not good to be alone.'
I am dizzy with a rainbow in my head, when I recall all those flowers, as distinct and as dear to me then, as the friends I have found since. Here were the strawberry-beds. What a broken fence shuts off the road! Every picket was in its place once, and a hedge of currant bushes kept side by side with it for its whole length. I used to go and pick currants from the outside, to try to make them taste as they did to the little pilferers going home from school. But come out from the garden, for it sickens me to see nothing left of all but these old tufts of fleur-de-luce, and yellow lilies. Stop, let me gather one.
Let us keep away from those ploughing people. We are safe here. All this was a mowing lot. Here we had our winter sliding course, and here our freaks, when the new boy sent Irish Thomas complaining to the mistress.' Here was the debatable ground, where we transacted all the wilder doings that might not be brought nearer the house, the scene of all the assault-and-battery cases that came up for trial in the maternal court. Here the boys wrestled out their quarrels, and from here the girls always came back sullen. It seemed as if we shut the great gate on subordination and good order every time we went into the mowing lot, probably because we were usually forbidden to go there, and laid aside the character of good children with the first step.
That new brick house, so sweet with its white pillars, stands on the very spot where our barn did. But come away; time would fail me to tell of our gambols there. Shall I take you into the house? Not through the wood-house, by the back door, though the tall white rosebushes, trained up to upper windows, make that entrance inviting enough. Not by the side toward the garden, through the glass door, into the little breakfast-room, though the offsets of smooth turf, and the lilacs that grew in the shade, made this pleasant enough. You must go quite around the house, and enter by one of the street doors. If you were totally familiar, you might go in at the south side, as I did, through the piazza. I would show you beside the door, the rosebush that bore both red and white flowers, which was always associated with thoughts of that parent of whom I recollected nothing so distinctly as the process of this grafting.
You might throw your bonnet and books upon the ball table, though the moment mother saw them, you would be called to put them in their places. How much a New England mother, and an orderly bringing up, are worth, let those who have looked about on womankind, in some sections of our country, tell. But you ought to go in at the company door, up the gravel walk, stopping to gather lilacs, or snow-balls, seringa, and roses by the way, and lingering long enough on the door steps to breathe in the fragrance of the boneysuckle that wound its way nearly across the whole front, and looked in at every window.
But ah! it is of no use, if I could do it. They do not live here
now. It is a scattered family, and I brought you on a vain errand. But before we go away, look on the fair prospect, for no stranger ever turned away without admiration. Here, separated from us by a little winding river, and a valley of green fields and trees, though ranges of white houses have crept up almost to the spot where we are standing, and have taken away this rural appearance I speak of, is a fair city, with spires and masts, and a state-house dome. The setting sun is flashed back from innumerablc roofs and windows, and the.vanes on those white steeples fairly burn. If
you could have seen it, from those upper windows, when the red bars of light first fell through the closed shutters on our white walls, and we looked out in the fresh morning on all that was hidden and revealed! A beavy mist would often fill the valley, and spread out before us like a lake, and then islets with trees would peep out, and one prominent object of the city after another, till from hill to hill all stood out in the glad yellow light, and a burst of song and sound ruse simultaneously from the trees and the chicken-yards.
That glittering city was the world to me, once. I remember well the first time I was trusted to go there alone. I had a written permission to leave school at half-past four, and I look care that every body should know the great occasion. It was to buy for our nurse and myself each a gay new fan. And I put on airs upon the strength of something so important, and started, not in glee, for it was too weighty an expedition, but with high hopes, and firm resolve. The half mile of road looked dusty and immeasurably long, but I went forward, planning the device and colors of my purchase, and arranging what I must say, to ask for it. Alas! I had not gone half the distance, when I discovered that my magical little silver piece was lost, and I had to return home when it was too late to go back. Then the mortification of having no fan to exhibit to the expectant crowd at school! The elation and self-confident energy, the perplexity and final despair, which made up the history of that errand, were to be acted over in many of my later attempts. But we have made these men stare long enough. Come away!
THE OAK'S PROGRESS.
Tuou wast a bauble once; a cup and ball,
CAMPBELL, AUTHOR OF PLEASURES OF HOPE,' ETC.
Fallen as he is, this king of birds still seems
There's such a charm in natural strength and power,
He - reckless who was victor, and above
Than yonder gallant slip, with all her sails
The earthquake's self
Strange is the imagination's dread delight
And yet Numidia's landscape has its spots
'Let me confess to God, and save my shilling.'-OLD ANECDOTE.
CONFEssion, like physic, mid mortal extremes,
In the hands of a skilsul concoctor,
Though not quite so good for the doctor.
Hence some spiritual quacks, in attending their sick,
On the virtues insist of confessions ;
Their sole lenitive pills are professions.
An ounce-vial full ample perhaps is;
At the bottom the seeds of relapses.