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and why not remember the place? There I passed that era in life when delight is made up of mischief and material fun. There I learned the arts of bad boys; the pulling up of horse-posts at midnight; the ducking of stone-drags in the canal; the plugging of beehives and melons on foreign soil, the dabbling in powder and politics until I got a shot which cured me of both; the smudging of overlong revival meetings; the writing of log-cabin songs — ask H. G.;and from thence I sent my fancy abroad to find some larger field for my aspirations. It is a small village, but Battle-Hill is close by, and good blood was shed there in the time that tried men's souls. It. is a small village, but old - older than many great cities, and its graveyard, the truest sign of its past, lies over many acres.
In memory of the dead, if for none other, I will pause. Beings I have loved, and whose recollection is as lamps of unceasing light in my soul, lie there, under the flower-sprinkled grass. The visible of them is perished, but the invisible, which is the life, still breathes, and moves, and has a being. Sublimations from the outward and the gross; spirits that once invested matter with action. And beauty, that made hearts to throb and eyes to flash, say not in your high homes, the serene heavens, from whence you watch this lower world, that I am unfaithful to your earthly memories. Chide me not, man of the world, who seest graves but seldom, if I weep here a few sincere tears. They may chance to fall like dew upon some drooping flower and revive it above these ashes which are nothing, but for the recollection that they once were dwellings for an immortal tenantry, who are now called to the house of God' eternal in the heavens.' Yes, I will pause and weep! for in the grave by the shore of the resounding sea my own mother sleeps. O! gentle, beautiful and blessed spirit, where art thou? In the heavens ; let me not doubt it. Thou wert translated hence as a star, shining on the forehead of the night, and glowing on the brow of the morning: A star, pure
and radiant as the being of whom thou wast and shall be, to all eternity. A star, hovering its glory on my day thought and in my night dream, filling my soul with faith and love and calmness and joy. In the grave did I say, O! my mother? The grave holds nothing of thee, but the fetter which bound thee to the sorrows and sufferings of earth. That broken, and thou wentest up and out, pervading the beautiful, which thou didst ever worship as thou couldst in the days of thy earthlife. From my soul, which seest thee with unveiled eyes, thou art not parted, but as of old, livest, a beauty and a joy forever. And I weep not for thee, for thou art blessed and happy in the heaven where thou awaitest me, nor would I call thee back to earth to wear again the bonds of affliction. O! that I may pass away as thou didst, like a sunset smile bathing the eastern clouds ; like an odor exhaled in the light; like a harp-strain dying on a heart fainting under the joy of its melody; ay, like the sweet Christian thou wert, crying, "I am blessed; I see the gates of heaven open; I trust in the living God, and the merciful and loving Christ is the rock of my
faith!' In that hour thou taughtest me a lesson, mother, and a hope. Thou taughtest me the infinite source of strength to prevail against the dark valley and
shadow of death.' Thy translation was braver, and O! how nobler than the warrior's, for thou couldst look back upon a life white and blameless as the raiment of God. Thou taughtest me hope, for as thou didst with a pure soul, love the flowers, and the radiances of earth, how exceeding beautiful must be the heaven whose opening caught thee up, leaving no sigh for earth! I will seek the strength, and bind the hope on my heart, and with eyes turned whither thou art
one, thy light shall guide me, under God, in the voyage of life.
We are on board the Champlain steamer, gliding swift toward the 'nativity. How familiar these shores of mountain and plain nod their recollection after an absence of twenty years! Historic rocks, and fragmentary forts, promontories and bays, fit by like the recovered images of a dream; images softened in the lapse of memory, but less golden than of old. There is Ticonderoga, where Allen, breaking drawing-room etiquette, made his day-break call upon the red-coats, bidding them surrender in the name of Jehovah and the Continental Congress. And the surprised red-coats had neither time to shift, nor make shift, for their sentries lay dead in that postern, which still remains, or were petrified into modern mummies. Allen has been called an infidel, but he did not act as one in choosing his authorities for appeal on that eventful day. And Jefferson and Franklin have been called infidels, but to such we owe the freedom of thought and speech, which is our proudest national heritage this day. And here is Burlington, from whence I take stage to Berlin, my nativity.'
Burlington is beautiful; but the reader has seen a beautiful village on some lake or river shore, with rumblings of unborn rail-roads, and all the improvements of the age, making toward it; let him or her measure Burlington thereby, for I cannot pause to say more than that it is the residence of a bishop, a poet, and of the progenitor of all the Howards,' and some of his progeny. But I must let out a yoke, which is a fact. H. G. was here lately, preaching political truths to the Green Mountain boys. Malicious "demmys' did say he preached for hire, that he put money in his purse thereby, but I know that out of his purse came all his experses, and never a cent went therein. This was PAID preaching, worthy the 'primitive' times; and I know more, which is the joke: that a Vermont washerwoman, in extracting - free soil' from a batch of his shirts, substracted two of the shirts; and further this deponent saith not.
On board of the stage ; and away we fly at a revolutionary pace. Vermont roads are roads, over which a man may drive fast, nor break wagon, nor the limbs of his beast. But I smell the spruce from the near mountains. Its odor of beloved grims fills my nostrils. It awakens the oldest of memories ; for childhood, which chewed gum, was sensuous even as it was spiritual. It had a relish of 'sugar
teeth' and a tenacity of palate. Its pulpy 'goombs,' ere the ivory was fairly set, delighted in spruce gum. This was the first quid it remembers to have chewed, and it was a quid of sweet (without the bitter) recollections. Ah, and I see Camel's Rump, the high Olympus' of my dawning vision. It carries a high head even now, but I have seen Snowden, and Jura, and Camel's Rump must knock under a little. 1849.]
Rambledom : in Four Chapters.
And I see familiar waters, even the Onion river, and as if it were
• Fixt fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute,'
• The beautiful is vanished and returns not,' but as thou seest through a vista. Why didst thou not tell me that
• A thing of beauty is a joy forever,' only as thou holdest it from its birth, in thy memory. Thou hast brought me hither with a wicked spell, to disenchant me; to teach me there is nothing at once beautiful and actual ; that the will-o'-thewisps, dancing by the water shore at night, were not genii, but fenfires, exhalations from the loathsome and putrid ; that skies are not near me as of old, holding their tapers to light me kindly on dark
ways, but that they are afar off, with their coldly-shining stars, mocking the instinctive belief of childhood's believing heart. Graves! graves ! you remain, wearing your marbles, thick-planted since I saw you as a child. Why is it that the expanding soul grasps more, and is filled with less beauty as it expands? Is this its doom, to long for more, and drink less forever ? Is the spirit a Tantalus, seeing the fountain in vision, only that it may elude his lips ? Then the race of the soul is a vast, an infinite, and fearful endeavor. Let us think not so. Each
teeti 5 faith mbers er 18 sus'd
day brings its beauty and its joy. The beautiful is enlarged, intensified, and carried forward toward eternity. We are filled with it as we pass, rightfully filled, or the child would never become the man. Remembering all that was beautiful to childhood, would I go back from maturer joy, and be again a child, for its enjoyments ? I would
Then all is right, and as the lamp wanes, let me rest and sleep, and perchance dream of that beauty, surrounding childhood, which with my open eyes I see not.
Fairest of lakes! brightest of waters! well did the red man prove his appreciation of beauty when he called thee HORICON - the Clear Water; for thou art clear and bright as a sanctified spirit; a gem of light set in many glories. Shame on the desecration which despoi'ed thee of that beautiful name; that called thee Lake George ; that made thee the synonyme of a tyrant ! For thou art free; free to ripple and roar and dash thy waves upon rock and isle, when thy playmate Eolus puffeth his cheeks. Divinest of waters! better to have called thee · Saint Sacrament,' even with the blood of violence on thy pebbled and fringy shores. Divinest of beauties ! that claspest in thine embrace the sunshine, the clouds and the mountains, and lavest like a faithful lover the lips of mountain slopes, which both fret and tremble at thy caresses ! I have looked on thee in the sunshine and in the storm, in calm and in tempest, and thy beauty did but shift its form to increase its brightness; and I have looked into thy depths, and seen thy white sands many fathoms down, and felt my brain grow dizzy and my heart faint musing upon the mysteries locked in thy cold bosom ; for thou art piercing cold, not alone when the ice-king hath garmented thee for his bridal, but even in the midsummer, when the sky's burning arrows quiver in every wave ruf. fled from thy fạce by the softest of southern zephyrs ; and I have bathed in thee refreshingly, as in a mountain spring, and cast treacherous lines in thee to pluck forth thy dainty liegemen, clad in their scale-armor ; and I have listened to thy music, low and tender, or loud and boisterous, as of myriad harps and trumpets. And thou art beautiful, greatly beautiful, in thy length and breadth, in thine islands and meadow-shores and mountains, and in the calmness and isolation of thy dwelling. •Fairest of lakes,” I said ; Clarens is not so fair, nor Constance, nor Como, nor Grassmere, nor Lomond. Not so fair in water, in islands, in shores, in skies, nor in mountains. For thee, Horicon, I throw down the gauntlet of defiance !
Horicon is become a haunt of travel. Accessible at its head by rail
, and over a charming plank-road from Saratoga, distant only thirty miles, and at its outlei, from Champlain, via the steamer from Whitehall or St. Johns, landing at Ticonderoga, two miles from the Horicon steamer's landing, it is, in modest speech, the most delightful summer resort for those who love beauty in nature,' or the sports of hunting and fishing, in this or in any country. Thirty miles in length, by from three to five in width, flecked with islands, said to
number three hundred and sixty-five — a number I suspect that belongs rather to Winnipiseogee — surrounded by sloping shores dotted with meadows, grain-fields and cottages, and hemmed in on either side by lofty mountains, whose summits force the sun to a late rising, and cast majestic shadows in the calm waters, Horicon is a picture of extreme quiet or grand beauty, as the gauge of the weather chances to be. In sunshine, when the wind is asleep, it is as gentle as the heart of childhood, and as susceptible of impression, too, from the gauziest cloud or careering swallow. When the sky darkens and the storm is up, it rages like a lion, and roars to the mountains, until their echoes laugh, as when
JURA answers from her misty shroud
Back to the joyous Alps, which call on her aloud ;' and between these extremes come in modulation a thousand varieties of aspect, each beautiful and enchanting. The clearness and cold. ness of its waters are vonderful. It
easy to see the white
and bottom, of a calm day, at thirty or forty feet depth. The coldness arises from the lake's being principally supplied by springs and mountain brooks. Its fishing is the luxury of that art. It abounds in salmon, salmon-trout, lake-trout, bass in variety, pike, pickerel, perch, and many inferior kinds of fish, including rattle-snakes! The game on its shores (this does not include hens, geese and ducks, occasionally shot for mischief, in a tame state,) is equally plenty. Woodcock, snipe, partridge, rabbit, fox, deer and bear, are the easy spoil of the accustomed sportsman. There are 'coon, too, and wild-cats.
Two fine steamers now ply the lake, or will the coming summer; a new one, the 'John Jay,' Captain Larrabee - the ‘old captain'being just finished; making an up and down trip daily, and touching at all the points of interest to the sportsman and artist. Horicon is surrounded too by revolutionary reminiscences, more than any other spot of its size in the country. At the head (a remarkably square one) of the lake are the ruins of Forts George and William Henry, built early in the revolution, and at the outlet is Ticonderoga; a fine ruin, built by the French before the revolution. Not far from the head of the lake, in a gorge of the mountains, are the ruins of • French Mills,' erected during the French and Indian war to facilitate the construction of boats to navigate the lake, which lay on a route connecting Champlain with Albany, better than the Fort Ann and Skeensborough road. Near mid-way of the lake is “Sabbath-day Point,' so named from the British army's halting there over a Sabbath. Speaking of Ticonderoga, the visitor there will observe across the bay formed by the outlet of Horicon into Champlain, the mountain on which Burgoyne planted a battery and captured the fort thereby; a most daring and gallant deed. The Fort Ticonderoga, and all the lands thereabout, belong to Duncan C. Pell, Esq., of New-York, of whom I could narrate some most interesting and creditable facts ; but this is not the time nor place. How many cannon-balls I have unearthed on the Champlain beach, dropped there during the gun. boat and land attack upon the fort, while held by the French! What