ePub 版
[graphic][merged small]

to be overthrown by a vagrant eddy. a softer atmosphere! The nostrils dilate, Ceaselessly, relentlessly works the wind, the eyes dance, ears tingle, rosy cheeks shifting the folds of white.

come; now it is winter, this is its charm. When morning dawns, the clouds break The little paths which wound so invitand the sun struggles forth to look upon ingly from the edge of the meadow to the a new earth. The air is frosty, keen, and wood have all disappeared. So here we fresh. The wind still hurries over the resolve to dispense with crooks, and strike new white surface, altering, smoothing, out in a straight line for the trees. We building banks and filling hollows. In enter the woods; what a transformation! the wide sweep of his arms he gathers The forest has become a jewel-laden femiall the erring snowflakes, and tumbles nine thing! Bough and bole, limb and them hither and thither until he has twig, every line is repeated in white. We them safely in their appointed resting- look from the edge of this forest beautiful place. How they dance in the early light- across the valley, and the distances seem beams, up and down, glitter and spangle, wonderfully clear and distinct. Yon house, and away to yonder drift; one after the those ungarnered shocks, which faded so other—miniature clouds of diamond-dust, indistinctly into the brown earth a few corralled by the indefatigable wind-master. weeks ago, now stand forth in sharp

There is a charm about this snow cover silhouette. It is a glorious privilege, this which cannot be clothed in words. As looking forth over a broad expanse of we step out into its dazzling expanse, our snow, scintillating or fading into grayfeet sink yieldingly, as if we were walking ness, alternately, as clouds hide the sun's on cushions. With each step this seems face. What a burst of brilliance, when an ever new experience. 'Tis fine to but one spot in the center of the field tramp a nice fresh patch of snow. When receives of a sudden the sun's uninterthe layer is deep and feathery, every pull- rupted rays! A gem of dazzling fire set up of the feet results in the scatterment in dull metal is the feeling it conveys. of small snow clumps, which break in a Within the woods all is still, as if the wonderful manner the monotony of the trees were afraid to move-like a fine lady iridescent mass. Among the clumps the fearful of disarranging her ornaments. light seems to linger lovingly, making the Under the trees, around the bushes, and way pregnant with possibilities to the along the fence-rails, are marked many observing eye.

trails: tracks of small paws, of hopping Then there is the novelty of making birds, and sometimes the larger threenew lines, all one's own, in the landscape, hole of the rabbit. Did you ever follow which claims our attention, and wholly them? was it not fascinating? Here in the captivates us for many a day. Those deep woods we who are acquainted may snow-paths, what stories they tell! Did dig down and find that faithful evergreen, we ever dream our wanderings were so the Christmas fern. Perhaps we have not eccentric as the snow-trail tells us! Right noted the absence of color in this great and left, doubling for a view, avoiding panorama of black and white; but at an obstacle, jumping a hollow; we gaze sight of this one note in green, how it all back in surprise at its convolutions—and comes back with a surge-our color-longlaugh.

ing! We find pleasure in the sight of The absence of odor strongly character vivid seed-berries of the bittersweet, penizes the winter months of the year; es- dent still on their long, slender threads pecially those during which snow covers from stalks of green. They and the red the earth. Spring has its incense, sum- berries of the wild rose afford the brightmer its heavy perfumes, autumn glories est colors in winter's domain. in a number of elusive scents, winter has A cloudy gray day is the time to look none. Just a freshness of the air, a clear- up. Then there is no sun to hurt, no ness which brings with every breath tonic glare which blinds the eyes. We may exqualities. The first few dips we take of plore the tree-tops with assurance. Trees its cold purity hurt the summer-balm are trees only in winter. Then they have pampered nostrils. Yet how soon those individuality. Each skeleton body is outinspirations set to rights our befuddled lined against the sky, the limbs sweeping brains, and swell the chest as never did in bold curves, interrupted at times by

subtle angles. The edge of the wood in and deserted, yet withal cunning things. the distance forms a delicate tracery. When last summer we saw the birds disThis is the time of the forest monarchs' appear in these same shrubs, and searched pride; they bow not now to any storm, as diligently for their homes, we found noththey did in summer-time, when hampered ing. Yet here they are with their mask by their feminine leaf consorts. Now of leafage removed, the most conspicuous they are bachelors, all this doughty band, objects in the clump. We resolve to bear and though they sway to the passion of this in mind and search with greater the winter's blast, they yield not one jot in exactness next time. their sturdy masculinity.

Of the birds themselves, only the crows, We notice now, too, the weeds and the sparrows, and those delights, the small bushes with their curious branch- cardinals, remain. Of all the bright ings, their solid phalanxes of black, against summer birds, the cardinal alone stays to the encompassing white. The pepperidge cheer us in those latter days of winter with its irregular growth, and the iron- when the increasing bleakness of the weed furnishing studies in vertical lines, view numbs the hungering eye. make interesting foregrounds which we For, to confess, is not the day when the never saw with seeing eyes before. How snow melts in rushes from the hillside, great is the similitude between a growth and the little brook leaps and tumbles of weeds and the forest; size only differen- the water down over its yet icy bed, a tiates them, otherwise they are the same. wonderful day? The winter has grown Were we giants, the trees would present long, we are half benumbed, a lethargy much the aspect the weeds do now. attacks us, and then comes this day of

In the bushes we note many last year's exultation---the snows are melting: spring birds' nests quite close to earth. Empty is again at hand!




The New French Ambassador The successor of M. Jules Cambon as Ambassador from France at Washington is M. Jean Jules Jusserand, the well-known writer on English society and literature. During recent years M. Jusserand has been Minister to Denmark. The other day at Copenhagen he was approached by Princess Waldemar, daughter of the Duc du Chartres. As the only French woman at the Danish court, she had just received a new book from Paris which was exciting great attention there. The book was none other than a translation of President Roosevelt's “ Strenuous Life," and the Princess asked the Minister if he knew the author. The Minister replied: "No, I do not know him yet, but this very morning I received the announcement of my transfer to Washington, so I hope soon to become acquainted with him." Before going to Copenhagen, M. Jusserand was Consul at London, and was afterwards Counselor of the French Embassy. During his many years in England he improved his opportunities of studying English literature and life; the results of his study may be gathered from the titles of some of his books, “La Vie Nomade et l'Angleterre au Quatorzième Siècle” (crowned by the French Academy), “Les Anglais au Moyen Age,” “ Le Roman Anglais,” “ Le Roman au Temps de Shakespeare," and " Le Théâtre en Angleterre.” Some of these books have been translated into English. M. Jusserand is thus a type of the scholar-statesman, a type to which belong such names as Bancroft, Motley, Lowell, and Andrew White-names which have dignified the annals of American diplomacy.

« 上一頁繼續 »