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magnificently shown; no labor will better of the friction which I apply. But I detest the thews and sinews of a man. The spair of maintaining my position, the enemy same indescribable joy arises from the having made a lodgment within the citasimultaneous steady movement that pul del. I run as nobody ever ran before, and sates out from the heavy tread of march suddenly turn and flee at a sharp angle to ing men, and the symmetrical involutions my first course, in order that the momenof a hall of dancers. And there is rapid tum of my foes may throw them off my and continual progress. Abundant con track. But they turn as quickly as I, ditions of excitement are in the operations sticking much closer than either a friend of a band of mowers. If strength, action, or a brother would do. I see the brook rhythm, simultaneity, and success, in con before me, I go headforemost, splash! into crete and vivid presentation, will not stir a deep hole, where I stumble, fall, choke, pulses of deep pleasure in a man's soul, he and am picked out by the mowers, who should be kicked out of decent society as are nearly helpless with laughter. I have an undoubted treasoner and incendiary, or swallowed several quarts of warm brooksent to the School for the Training and water, screeched until I cannot whisper, Teaching of Idiots, as a pitiable instance expended more strength and breath than of that anticlimax of mental negation it seems possible that I should ever rewhose two higher degrees are (see Dr. S. cover; have endured and am enduring G. Howe's Reports) simpleton and fool more pain than ten hydrophobiacs; and as a fully undeveloped idiot.
with one eye fast shut and swelled into a Away go the mowers, halfway round hard red lump of agony, and sundry abthe field, and now they stand erect, and normal “organs” extemporizing cranial the ringing reduplicating clash of the whet evidence of a most unsymmetrical characstones comes back upon their steps. But ter, I lie helpless, blind, sopping, and sobI too must perform my office. With ardor bing in a swath of fresh, cool, green grass, I inquire, like the revolutionary orator, until time, salt, and plantain leaves as“Why stand we here idle ?” and with a
suage most of the pain. I know what “peaked stick ” I descend in fury upon the hornets are, at least in their foreign relaslain. The red-top and daisies are tossed tions; but the single item of knowledge is abroad upon the four winds; and with an no equivalent for the difficulties under ennobling consciousness of power, and which it was pursued. What fiends they working out certain dim conceptions of a are! Did the Inquisition ever try horgrand military march, by brandishing my nets on any particularly refractory capstick in unison with the alternation of ad tive? vancing steps, I sweep up and down the Soon comes the dinner time, indicated field in a centrifugacious halo of scattered to the observant farmers, by the proporgramineæ, feeling, as nearly as I can judge, tions of shadow and sunlight, upon the very much like a cyclone.
roof of a certain barn. We made a nest But over what tremendous volcanoes of
in bushes and long grass, within the shathinly covered agonies and horrid throes dow of great trees, and squatted Turk-like of pain are all hollow human exultations around a service of tin crockery, brown enacted! In the midst of my stormful paper and bark, whereon were displayed march, a frightful dart of Eblis, a sharp salt beef, cold boiled potatoes, bread and sudden stroke, precipitated as by diabolical butter, and a specimen of rye gingerpropulsion from some far distant sphere bread, which, for weight and tenacity, of malignant wrath, smites me full upon might be a mass of native copper, from the forehead. A shrieking diphthongal Lake Superior. The food disappears raOU! and a losty entrechat are the invol- pidly, under the direction of jack-knives untary introductories of my debut as Le and one-pronged forks, whittled from danseur malgré lui.” Several millions sticks. The jug clucks and chuckles to of minute yellow devils, with black stripes the affectionate kisses of the thirsty work
voice and hideous hum,” stimulate men, and much refreshed, they take a me into an inconceivably rapid and intri short “nooning” to tell stories, gossip or cato war-dance, accompanied by a solo ob sleep, and go to work again. ligato upon the human voice. I have, in Haymakers cure in the afternoon what short, trodden upon a yellow hornets' nest. they kill in the morning. At two or The Briarean evolutions of my hands three o'clock the mowing ceases, and the knock off
hat. An enterprising raking begins. In this operation, the “bird” forth with ensconces himself among weakest goes first, that the strongest man my locks, and proceeds to harpoon me at may take the heaviest raking; so I am his leisure. I seem to scrub out every ex officio leader. I must fall smartly to, hair, such is the promptitude and velocity to keep ahead, or my rear-rank man will
rake my heels off; and for a while I go bravely on. But the peculiar hold, and sliding manipulation of the rake's-tail” soon tell on my city-bred hands. The insides of my thumbs, and the space between them and my fingers, is first red and then raw; and by the time that the grass lies in winrows, I have done enough. Before sunset the winrows are rolled into cocks, which are shaped conewise, and skilfully shingle-laid for shedding of rain; and with a small load of new hay, hastily pitched upon the cart, for inmediate use, we return home.
Close after sunset is milking; after milking, supper; after supper, prayers; and after prayers, sleep; which, indeed, had made an irruption from its legitimate domain, in the chambers above, and taken me at a disadvantage–when I was "down," on my knees, as in duty bound. The steady unmodulated evenness of my uncle's reading—for the family was Episcopalian—and the full melody of the words, put me quickly asleep; and I reluctantly rise, retire, and undress; reluctantly, because the motion charms away the drowsy god into whose embrace I sank so softly, and leaves me broad awake to lie down in bed. But I soon forget that and every other trouble, and know no more until daybreak.
Haven and New London Railroad Company.
The salt grass is of a bright yellowish green ;-a beautiful hue in healthy vegetation, although elsewhere peculiarly sickly—and the black-grass, as its name imports, of a very dark green. The stretches of meadow are like great patches of particolored velvet, so soft is the tone of color given by the fineness of the grass and the delicacy of its tints. Rocks, and patches of upland called islands by the farmers, stand out here and there. above the level line of the salt land, as distinctly as any sea-island from the wa
and as into the sea, points and promontories of upland project into it.
The salt haying is later than the upland haying, and in sundry details varies from it. The day in the salt meadow was an adventurous expedition to me; for we had to start early and return late, living several miles up the country.
The scene of action, too, was strange and new; open to the sea
one side, swept by the salt breezes, looked in upon by the silent ships that all day long went trooping by, haunted by queer shore-birds and odd reptiles, covered and edged by grotesque plants; a whole new world to an up-country boy. My work was light, for the grass was thin and easy to spread; and I used to spend much of the day in the desultory wanderings that children love. I strolled among the sedge and sought muscles; poked sticks down by the “fiddlers'' holes, and caught the odd occupant by his single claw, as he fled up from the supposed earthquake; chased the said fiddler -a small gray one-clawed crab, who scuttles and dodges about as jerkingly and nimbly as a fiddler's elbow, whence his name-as he ran about the banks; raked out oysters from the river-bed close by, and learned the inhuman art of eating them raw ; investigated the scabby patches of naked mud, which lie here and there among the grass ; rheumy sore-looking places, plantless, crusted over with dry scales, as if a cutaneous disease had destroyed the life of the surface, from an excess, perhaps, of salt, causing humors in the ground, and exanthematous disorders. Or I watched the boatmen, who occasionally “dropped kellick” in the river channel, and plied the oyster-tongs.
These are a ferocious hybrid between an iron-toothed rake and a pair of scissors; having the long handles, cross-head and teeth of the former, and the pivotal interduplication of the latter; so that at fifteen or twenty feet under water, the iron teeth bite between each other, like the fingers
THE SALT MEADOW.
Salt is good. Men like it, and beasts. To cattle, however, near the sea, is often given an allowance of "salt hay," instead of the pure condiment. Salt hay is of two principal sorts, called, where my information was obtained, “salt grass” and " black-grass.” There is also a sedge, which grows along the river-sides and in ditches and marshes; a coarse, swordshaped grass, used for thatching or litter. The salt-grass and black-grass, are fine short grasses, growing upon the level surfaces called “salt meadows." These are alluvial deposits of a strange unctuous marine mud, stretching along the coast in recesses, and up river valleys; a curious half vegetable earth, soft, black, slippery. A twenty-foot pole may be often thrust down into it without finding bottom. Indeed, it sometimes does a very fair business in the quicksand line. Somewhere under the surface of a very smooth-faced salt-meadow, a little east of New Haven, are the duplicate and triplicate of some furlongs of embankment, swallowed down by an unexpected abyss beneath, at the expense and to the chagrin of the New
cock squatting on the poles, of which you carry one end, you are pinned ; and then, of the above mixture, slaps being unavailable. there remains only the anger and the blood; of which you monopolize the former, and the gentleman with the 6 little bill” the latter. There is another ugly insect, rarely seen, at least in Connecticut, except upon the salt meadows. It is an enormous black fly, half as large again as a “ bull bumble-bee,” and a great deal more troublesome. He is a bloody villain, and a truculent. He carries in his snout a machine compounded of a bradawl and a pump, with which he perforates and depletes his victims; and he sings bass. One of these rascals will make a horse or a yoke of oxen nearly crazy. They will bear tolerably well to be all speckled over with mosquitoes or “greenheads,” if they can't get rid of them; but this monster carries too many guns. They cannot stand so deliberate and extensive a stab as his; and unless he is forthwith dispatched or driven off
, they may be expected to execute antics more energetic than useful.
of clasped hands, griping firmly whatever is between them. Or I rambled off to one of the tree-crowned “islands" afore mentioned—I always fancied that they were not standing still
, but slowly gliding along the meadow, wandering off down to the sea—and explored their nooks and cor
The day waned pleasantly, under strange influences. A vague and dreamy feeling of exploratory desire pervaded the atmosphere. The level land, the level sea, the bright horizon afar over the water, the wide and open views, the dancing of the distance in the hot air, the silent motion of the winged ships, the sighing of the steady wind, as if it felt relief at gliding unbroken over the expanse; the notion of vastness and the dim suggestion of the distance, spoke to all the melancholy longings, and questioning, yearning thoughts that sleep in children's minds—but are too often murdered by ungenial training before they wake.
Then there were curious inventions of husbandry. The meadow is often too soft to bear the loaded cart. Sometimes the elastic greasy crust unexpectedly lets through the wheel, or the feet of the cattle.
Then the lofty load careens, and slides off; the oxen kick and plunge while the meadow holds them fast by the heels, or sink to their bellies, and stand still until unyoked, and left to crawl unimpeded out. Sometimes all the chains in the meadow are hitched to the cart-tongue, leading to firm ground; and half-a-dozen teams united drag the distant load ashore. But if the danger of the muddy depths has been wisely foreseen, a meadow sled” carries the burden safely over. This is a stout drag, consisting of two wide runners well framed together, and so made as to fit under the axle-tree without lifting the wheels from the ground. It is chained to its place, like a peddler's bull-dog; and on this additional bearing, the cart goes securely sliding about over smooth grass and slimy mud, almost as easily as over
If even that precaution is judged insufficient, the hay is “poled out." Two stout “hay poles are thrust beneath the heap, and two men, one behind and one before, carrying it, as upon a sedan, to terra firma. This is sometimes a troublesome business. Mosquitoes are terrifically rife in some parts of the salt meadows. They will rise on one's track almost in a solid mass, and pursue with a wolfishly, bloodthirsty pertinacity, which is pretty sure to result in anger, slaps, and blood. This may not be absolutely unendurable, so long as the hands are free to slap; but when you have a heavy hay
Such was a day in the salt meadows. But the pleasantest days of my farming, were days of fishing. The sea is an inexhaustible storehouse of fertilizers to the farmers of the coast. Rockweed, seaweed, mud, shells and whitefish, are carted up the country as far as eight or ten miles, and spread upon the land, or deposited in the barn-yard. Thus the bounty of the sea balances the sterility of the granite formation along the sound.
The whitefish is a herring-like fish, very bony and oily, which comes in the summer in shoals, called by the fishermen “ schools,” from unknown regions toward the ever mysterious East, out of the realms of the sea. They are caught by millions and sold by thousands; and are a st-- smell, I mean, in the nostrils of those who flee by railroad from the stifling city to Sachem's Head, and to the other shoreward haunts of the “upper ten.” But they make corn and potatoes grow nicely: and I found that after working a day or two among their unburied remains, I was not affected either mentally, by the ghastly appearance of the defunct, or physically, by their exhalations.
They come up into harbors and coves to feed, as is supposed—for I don't know that any body has actually seen them at it -and while they are at table, a long seine is dropped round them, and they are en
snared. But all this does not give the slaps did considerable execution among history of my day.
the foe, as they came piping and singing We rise in advance of the regular hours, to the onset, like Milton's devils. Thus for the "fish-house” is five miles away, escorted, in the style of Bon Gaultier's and the day must needs be long. Well Thairshonprovisioned in stomach and basket, we set
“With four and twenty men, out before light, afoot. Our way lies for
And fivo and twenty pipers,” some distance along one side of a river valley, down a crooked straggling country we crossed the marsh to the stygian seemroad, dodging about through patches of ing river, crossed the river in a stygian woods, round hard-headed rocky ledges, seeming skiff, rickety and patched, which and passing here and there a solitary was dislodged from a cunning concealment house yet alone in the perfect stillness of in a sedgy ditch and “sculled” (not an inearly morning. The trampling steps and appropriate motive power for the skiff of rustic voices of our party broke rudely the dead; undoubtedly Charon's method forward into the yet unviolated silence of of propulsion) with one hand by our dexthe night; which seemed to flee along trous chief, and resumed our dreary and wood and field, and always to be couch slippery walk on the other side. Now ing shyly before us, hoping to rest at last the fish-house loomed up on the neighundisturbed. We came to a cross-road, boring beach, looking, on its solitary rocky at which our former path ended; but perch, as large as a farm-house, but shrinkour veteran leader unfalteringly guided ing as we approached, until as we entered us across it, through a barn-yard op it. it became definitely about twelve feet posite, around the cow-shed, down the square, and seven feet "between joints." lane, through a pair of bars under an ap It was fitted up with half a dozen bunks ple-tree ; and we entered upon one of the filled with salt hay for bedding, a table footpaths that mark up all country neigh and chairs rather halt, a fire-place, a closet, borhoods-sneaking about under mys an attic, a kettle, a fryingpan, sundry other terious shades and remote hill sides, or cooking utensils, and an extensive assortedging along by pasture fence and dis ment of antique and grotesque garments. appearing under a log, or tapering off into Hats consisting of a large hole edged with a mouse track; but which lead the initi
a narrow rim, great rusty boots, trowsers ated to many a destination much to be such as if a young tornado had worn and desired for work or for sport. This one torn them, and horrid red shirts, sat, led us under an orchard of apple-trees all stood, lay and hung, on floor, chairs, beddrenched in dew, through a mowing-lot side or rafters, as though a troop of imps or two, over a ridge thinly set with trees, had been rioting up and down in them, and out upon the last swell of the sinking and at the opening of the door by mortal upland, where it sloped away into the men, had instantaneously jumped out and wide open level of the salt meadows, and fled. looked out upon the sea beyond, which The provisions were stored in the closet, gleamed out from under the morning and the members of the “fish-gang” dismists (for by this time the sun looked out guised themselves in piratical outfits from upon the landscape), and came brim the aforesaid ready-made stock, leaving ming up in the fulness of the flood-tide their decent clothes for their return home, to the limit of the low beach, as if medi and becoming, in their wild and ragged tating a good run and roll across the gear, entirely independent of moisture and meadow. Now we could see the river of mud. Next, they hauled up the boat again, all swollen and black with the re -a great clumsy, flat-bottomed, heavygorged salt water, creeping half choked sterned scow, equipped with a capstan forand crookedly about in the meadow, be ward and a platform aft to carry the seine tween two narrow edgings of sedge, as —and having beached her in front of the you may see a burly face within a slender reel, proceeded to unreel and ship the rim of whisker. As we descended upon seine, ready for setting. We boys armed the salt alluvium, the plague of mosqui ourselves with old hoes and tin pots, and toes arose upon us. After every man, as
marched off to dig long clams, with an eye after Fergus MacIvor Vich Ian Vohr, went to a stew at home, and to the inveigling a tail of devoted followers: and like his, of certain blackfish, sea-bass, and other of ours proposed to make a living out of their the Neptunian herds, understood to be leader. Content now dwelt in cowhide lurking and wandering around the rocks boots; much grumbling and some blood in front of the fish-house, at proper times came from those whose ankles were yarn of tide. When the seine was all aboard, defended only; and an irregular fire of the fishermen sat down on the sand and
rocks, and one climbed the signal-pole, to as the black points stick out once more: look out for a “school” of fish.
_“Go it. Come, pull ahead.” And the The fish-house was on a point at the heavy boat sweeps slowly round the fish, western end of a somewhat shallow bay, until the whole seine, eighty rods long, whose shore, a silver-sanded beach, ran just a quarter of a mile, hangs in the sea curving round to the point on the other around them. side. The fish, as before mentioned, al
“Unconscious of their fate, the little victims play," ways come from the eastward ; working up into the shallows, skittering and skim
and the fishermen beach the boat at the ming in sport along the surface, or fleeing
other side of the bay, carry the warp at in haste before the sharks or porpoises or
that end to the further capstan, and preother great fish who follow after them for pare to haul. Now there is need of fi all their meals : and the wide dark ripple of hands and the cook;” for the sooner the the whole shoal, the racing spatter of a warp can be wound in upon the capstans, frightened few, or the bay all dotted with the sooner the net will range up into shalthe quietly emergent little black black low water, where the danger of losing fish fins, or tails flourishing aloft preparatory
under the lead-line will be over. Both to a dive after lunch, are the signs that capstans are manned, and boys and men betray his booty to the fisherman's eye. shove round the bars on the “keen jump," “I see a flag!” sings out an ardent until soon the staff at either end of the youth. Flag is, metaphorically, tail, from net comes riding up the beach. Now its flaunting display by the ambitious comes hard pulling; for the rest of the
The experienced elders don't see net must be drawn in by hand, and it it, probably because the young man saw it holds many fish and much water, besides first; but immediately the great “school" the drag of the corks on the surface and with one consent deploys upon the smooth
of the lead-line on the bottom. Slowly surface of the bay, and ten thousand back and steadily come the two ends of the net, fins and tails dot the quiet water, which
hand over hand, piled up as it comes in ripples and rustles with the glancing mass on the beach.
A fish or two appears, of life within its bosom. Hoes and tin hung by the gills in the meshes. A troop pots are cast aside, as we rush to see the of innocent-looking fellows come darting sport; for the fishermen have sprung for along from the middle of the net, having the boat, in excitement intense, but re just discovered that they are inside of pressed for fear of alarming the timid fish. something. Now the fact becomes uniThey launch their awkward craft, and versally known among the ensnared ; and softly pull away to seaward, amid smoth they dart backward and forward by hunered prophecies of from ten to a hundred dreds and by fifties, seeking escape. There and fifty thousand fish, and under the is none.
They are crowded closer and captaincy of steady old Uncle Jim Lang closer within their narrowing prison-house. don, who stands in the stern-sheets to The water thickens, rustles, boils with direct the rowers and to deliver over the them. And now, a great throbbing slipnet. He guides the boat by ordering the pery mass, they lie squeezed up together oarsmen; not with the salt phrases of in the bag of the net, while two exultant oceanic seamanships, but with the same captors run for baskets. And a boat-hook; words that rule old Buck and Bright, at for Uncle Jim points out a long black his farmstead up by the East Woods. thong like a carter's whip, slung out once "Haw now, Bill, a little; haw I tell
you; or twice above the seething whitefish, there, go 'long.” Now he lifts of the announcing the dreaded sting-ray; and wide net, as the "warp,” left fastened to certain wallops elsewhere advise of the the capstan ashore, under the reel, drags presence of a shark. The baskets come. it silently down into the water, and the Two men take each, dip them full of flaplengthening line of floats, bobs and wavers ping fish, carry them up the beach, and upon the sea. “Haw a little ; haw boat; throw them down to die, between hot sun pull now; pull! Con-found their darned and hotter nd. After twenty minutes picters,” says Uncle Jim, in a sudden re of such work, the dippers dip carefully, vulsion of wrath, for all the fish have lest they get a stroke from the ray, who suddenly sunk, and there is danger that has sunk quietly to the bottom, or a nip they will disgracefully sneak out under from his cousin the "sea-attorney.” Somethe lower edge of the net while it hangs body has hit the "stinger," as they call in deep water, and walk away each with him, and he wallops up to the surface, his tongue in his cheek, leaving the fisher and snaps his long tail about. Suddenly men only “fisherman's luck." “There, a bold young fellow grips the extremity. there they are agʻin,” says the old man, of it, and with both hands holds tight