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in this journal, and otherwise suffer our way, to visit Mr.
a yeoman, of Time to loiter onward at his own pleas- whose homely and self-acquired wisdom ure, till the dinner-hour. In pleasant Mr. Emerson has a very high opinion. days, the chief event of the afternoon, We found him walking in his fields, a and the happiest one of the day, is our short and stalwart and sturdy personwalk. . So comes the night; and age of middle age, with a face of I look back upon a day spent in what shrewd and kind expression, and manthe world would call idleness, and forners of natural courtesy. He had a which I myself can suggest no more very free flow of talk, and not much appropriate epithet, but which, never- diffidence about his own opinions ; for, theless, I cannot feel to have been with a little induction from Mr. Emerspent amiss. True, it might be a sin son, he began to discourse about the and shame, in such a world as ours, to state of the nation, agriculture, and spend a lifetime in this manner; but business in general, uttering thoughts for a few summer weeks it is good to that had come to him at the plough, live as if this world were heaven and which had a sort of flavor of the And so it is, and so it shall be, al- fresh earth about them. I was not imthough, in a little while, a flitting pressed with any remarkable originality shadow of earthly care and toil 'will in his views; but they were sensible mingle itself with our realities. and characteristic, and had grown in
the soil where we found them; .. Monday, August 15th. — George Hil- and he is certainly a man of intellectual lard and his wife arrived from Boston and moral substance, a sturdy fact, a in the dusk of Saturday evening, to reality, something to be felt and touched, spend Sunday with us. It was a pleas- whose ideas seem to be dug out of his ant sensation, when the coach rumbled mind as he digs potatoes, beets, carrots, up our avenue, and wheeled round at and turnips out of the ground. the door; for I felt that I was regarded After leaving Mr. -, we proceeded as a man with a household,
through wood paths to Walden Pond, having a tangible existence and locality picking blackberries of enormous size in the world, — when friends came to along the way. The pond itself was avail themselves of our hospitality. It beautiful and refreshing to my soul, was a sort of acknowledgment and re- after such long and exclusive familiarception of us into the corps of married ity with our tawny and sluggish river. people, - a sanction by no means es- It lies embosomed among wooded sential to our peace and well-being, hills, - it is not very extensive, but but yet agreeable enough to receive. large enough for waves to dance upon So we welcomed them cordially at the its surface, and to look like a piece of door, and ushered them into our par- blue firmament, earth-encircled. The lor, and soon into the supper-room. shore has a narrow, pebbly strand, .... The night Aitted over us all, which it was worth a day's journey to and passed away, and up rose a gray look at, for the sake of the contrast beand sullen morning, . . . and we had tween it and the weedy, oozy margin a splendid breakfast of flapjacks, or of the river. Farther within its depths, slapjacks, and whortleberries, which I you perceive a bottom of pure white gathered on a neighboring hill, and sand, sparkling through the transparperch, bream, and pout, which I hooked ent water, which, methought, was the out of the river the evening before. very purest liquid in the world. After About nine o'clock, Hillard and I set Mr. Emerson left us, Hillard and I out for a walk to Walden Pond, calling bathed in the pond, and it does really by the way at Mr. Emerson's, to ob- seem as if my spirit, as well as corpotain his guidance or directions, and he real person, were refreshed by that accompanied us in his own illustrious bath. A good deal of mud and river person. We turned aside a little from slime had accumulated on my soul ;
but these bright waters washed it all moil, to think how miserably it affected away.
me for the moment; but I had better We returned home in due season for learn patience betimes, for there are dinner. ... To my misfortune, how- many such bushy tracts in this vicinity, ever, a box of Mediterranean wine on the margins of meadows, and my proved to have undergone the acetous walks will often lead me into them. fermentation ; so that the splendor of Escaping from the bushes, I soon came the festival suffered some diminution.
to an open space among the woods, Nevertheless, we ate our dinner with
a very lovely spot, with the tall old a good appetite, and afterwards went trees standing around as quietly as if universally to take our several siestas. no one had intruded there throughout Meantime there came a shower, which the whole summer. A company of so besprinkled the grass and shrubbery crows were holding their Sabbath on as to make it rather wet for our after- their summits. Apparently they felt tea ramble. The chief result of the themselves injured or insulted by my walk was the bringing home of an im- presence; for, with one consent, they mense burden of the trailing clematis- began to Caw! caw! caw! and, launchvine, now just in blossom, and with ing themselves sullenly on the air, took which all our flower-stands and vases flight to some securer solitude. Mine, are this morning decorated. On our probably, was the first human shape return we found Mr. and Mrs. S—, that they had seen all day long, and E. H-, who shortly took their least, if they had been stationary in that leave, and we sat up late, telling ghost- spot; but perhaps they had winged stories. This morning, at seven, our their way over miles and miles of counfriends left us. We were both pleased try, had breakfasted on the summit with the visit, and so I think were our of Greylock, and dined at the base of guests.
Wachusett, and were merely come to
sup and sleep among the quiet woods Monday, August 22d. - I took a walk of Concord. But it was my impression through the woods yesterday afternoon, at the time, that they had sat still and to Mr. Emerson's, with a book which silent on the tops of the trees all through Margaret Fuller had left, after a call on the Sabbath day, and I felt like one Saturday eve. I missed the nearest who should unawares disturb an assemway, and wandered into a very secluded bly of worshippers. A crow, however, portion of the forest ; for forest it might has no real pretensions to religion, in justly be called, so dense and sombre spite of his gravity of mien and black was the shade of oaks and pines. Once attire. Crows are certainly thieves, I wandered into a tract so overgrown and probably infidels. Nevertheless, with bushes and underbrush that I their voices yesterday were in admiracould scarcely force a passage through. ble accordance with the influences of Nothing is more annoying than a walk the quiet, sunny, warm, yet autumnal of this kind, where one is tormented by afternoon. They were so far above my an innumerable host of petty impedi- head that their loud clamor added to ments. It incenses and depresses me the quiet of the scene, instead of disat the same time. Always when I turbing it. There was no other sound, flounder into the midst of bushes, which except the song of the cricket, which cross and intertwine themselves about is but an audible stillness; for, though my legs, and brush my face, and seize it be very loud and heard afar, yet the hold of my clothes, with their multi- mind does not take note of it as a tudinous grip, - always, in such a dif- sound, so entirely does it mingle and ficulty, I feel as if it were almost as lose its individuality among the other well to lie down and die in rage and characteristics of coming autumn. Alas despair as to go one step farther. It for the summer! The grass is still is laughable, after I have got out of the verdant on the hills and in the valleys;
the foliage of the trees is as dense as Then we talked about autumn, and ever, and as green; the flowers are about the pleasures of being lost in the abundant along the margin of the river, woods, and about the crows, whose and in the hedge-rows, and deep among voices Margaret had heard; and about the woods; the days, too, are as fervid the experiences of early childhood, as they were a month ago; and yet whose influence remains upon the charin every breath of wind and in every acter after the recollection of them has beam of sunshine there is an autumnal passed away; and about the sight of influence. I know not how to describe mountains from a distance, and the it. Methinks there is a sort of cool- view from their summits; and about ness amid all the heat, and a mildness other matters of high and low philosin the brightest of the sunshine. A ophy. In the midst of our talk, we breeze cannot stir, without thrilling me heard footsteps above us, on the high with the breath of autumn, and I be- bank; and while the person was still hold its pensive glory in the far, golden hidden among the trees, he called to gleams among the long shadows of the Margaret, of whom he had gotten a trees. The flowers, even the brightest glimpse. Then he emerged from the of them, — the golden-rod and the gor- green shade, and, behold! it was Mr. geous cardinals,
the most glorious Emerson. He appeared to have had a flowers of the year, — have this gentle pleasant time ; for he said that there sadness amid their pomp. Pensive au- were Muses in the woods to-day, and tumn is expressed in the glow of every whispers to be heard in the breezes. one of them. I have felt this influence It being now nearly six o'clock, we earlier in some years than in others. separated, — Margaret and Mr. EmerSometimes autumn may be perceived son towards his home, and I towards even in the early days of July. There mine. is no other feeling like that caused by Last evening there was the most this faint, doubtful, yet real perception, beautiful moonlight that ever hallowed or rather prophecy, of the year's decay, this earthly world; and when I went to so deliciously sweet and sad at the bathe in the river, which was as calm same time.
as death, it seemed like plunging down After leaving the book at Mr. Emer- into the sky. But I had rather be on son's I returned through the woods, earth than even in the seventh heaven, and, entering Sleepy Hollow, I per- just now. ceived a lady reclining near the path which bends along its verge. It was Wednesday, August 24th.— I left home Margaret herself. She had been there at five o'clock this morning to catch the whole afternoon, meditating or some fish for breakfast. I shook our reading; for she had a book in her summer apple-tree, and ate the golden hand, with some strange title, which I apple which fell from it. Methinks did not understand, and have forgotten. these early apples, which come as a She said that nobody had broken her golden promise before the treasures of solitude, and was just giving utterance autumnal fruit, are almost more delito a theory that no inhabitant of Con- cious than anything that comes aftercord ever visited Sleepy Hollow, when wards. We have but one such tree in we saw a group of people entering the our orchard; but it supplies us with sacred precincts. Most of them fol- a daily abundance, and probably will lowed a path which led them away from do so for at least a week to come. us; but an old man passed near us, Meantime other trees begin to cast and smiled to see Margaret reclining their ripening windfalls upon the grass ; on the ground, and me sitting by her and when I taste them, and perceive side. He made some remark about the their mellowed favor and blackening beauty of the afternoon, and withdrew seeds, I feel somewhat overwhelmed himself into the shadow of the wood. with the impending bounties of Provi
dence. I suppose Adam, in Paradise, over the elder-bushes that dip into the did not like to see his fruits decaying water, it seems as if we could catch nothon the ground, after he had watched ing but frogs and mud-turtles, or reptiles them through the sunny days of the akin to them. And even when a fish world's first summer. However, in- of reputable aspect is drawn out, one sects, at the worst, will hold a festival feels a shyness about touching him. As upon them, so that they will not be to our river, its character was admirably thrown away, in the great scheme of expressed last night by some one who Nature. Moreover, I have one advan- said “it was too lazy to keep itself tage over the primeval Adam, inasmuch clean." I might write pages and pages, as there is a chance of disposing of my and only obscure the impression which superfluous fruits among people who this brief sentence conveys. Nevertheinhabit no Paradise of their own. less, we made bold to eat some of my
Passing a little way down along the fish for breakfast, and found them very river-side, I threw in my line, and soon savory; and the rest shall meet with drew out one of the smallest possible due entertainment at dinner, together of fishes. It seemed to be a pretty with some shell-beans, green corn, and good morning for the angler,
cucumbers from our garden; so this tumnal coolness in the air, a clear sky, day's food comes directly and entirely but with a fog across the lowlands and from beneficent Nature, without the inon the surface of the river, which a tervention of any third person between gentle breeze sometimes condensed in
her and us. to wreaths. At first I could barely discern the opposite shore of the river; Saturday, August 27th. — A peachbut, as the sun arose, the vapors grad- tree, which grows beside our house ually dispersed, till only a warm, smoky and brushes against the window, is so tint was left along the water's surface. burdened with fruit that I have had to The farm-houses across the river made prop it up. I never saw more splendid their appearance out of the dusky cloud; peaches in appearance, - great, round, the voices of boys were heard, shout- crimson-cheeked beauties, clustering ing to the cattle as they drove them all over the tree. A pear-tree, likewise, to the pastures; a man whetted his is maturing a generous burden of small, scythe, and set to work in a neighbor- sweet fruit, which will require to be ing meadow. Meantime, I continued eaten at about the same time as the to stand on the oozy margin of the peaches. There is something pleasantstream, beguiling the little fish; and ly annoying in this superfluous abunthough the scaly inhabitants of our dance; it is like standing under a tree river partake somewhat of the charac- of ripe apples, and giving it a shake, ter of their native element, and are but with the intention of bringing down a sluggish biters, still I contrived to pull single one, when, behold, a dozen come out not far from two dozen. They were thumping about our ears. But the idea all bream, a broad, flat, almost circular of the infinite generosity and exhaustfish, shaped a good deal like a floun- less bounty of our Mother Nature is der, but swimming on their edges, in- well worth attaining; and I never had stead of on their sides. As far as mere it so vividly as now, when I find myself, pleasure is concerned, it is hardly worth with the few mouths which I am to while to fish in our river, it is so much feed, the sole inheritor of the old clergylike angling in a mud-puddle; and one а
man's wealth of fruits. His children, does not attach the idea of freshness his friends in the village, and the cleriand purity to the fishes, as we do to cal guests who came to preach in his those which inhabit swift, transparent pulpit, were all wont to eat and be filled streams, or haunt the shores of the from these trees. Now, all these heargreat briny deep. Standing on the ty old people have passed away, and in weedy margin, and throwing the line their stead is a solitary pair, whose apVOL. XVIII. NO. 106.
petites are more than satisfied with the Sunday, August 28th. - Still anothwindfalls which the trees throw down at er rainy day, — the heaviest rain, I betheir feet. Howbeit, we shall have now lieve, that has fallen since we came to and then a guest to keep our peaches Concord (not two months ago). There and pears from decaying.
never was a more sombre aspect of all G— B-, my old fellow-laborer external nature. I gaze from the open at the community at Brook Farm, called window of my study, somewhat disconon me last evening, and dined here to- solately, and observe the great willowday. He has been cultivating vegeta- tree which shades the house, and which bles at Plymouth this summer, and has caught and retained a whole cataract selling them in the market. What a of rain among its leaves and boughs; singular mode of life for a man of edu- and all the fruit-trees, too, are dripping cation and refinement, — to spend his continually, even in the brief intervals days in hard and earnest bodily toil
, when the clouds give us a respite. If and then to convey the products of his shaken to bring down the fruit, they will labor, in a wheelbarrow, to the public discharge a shower upon the head of market, and there retail them out, him who stands beneath. The rain is peck of peas or beans, a bunch of tur- warm, coming from some southern renips, a squash, a dozen ears of green gion; but the willow attests that it is an corn! Few men, without some autumnal spell of weather, by scattering centricity of character, would have the down no infrequent multitude of yellow moral strength to do this; and it is leaves, which rest upon the sloping very striking to find such strength com- roof of the house, and strew the gravelbined with the utmost gentleness, and path and the grass. The other trees an uncommon regularity of nature. Oc- do not yet shed their leaves, though casionally he returns for a day or two to in some of them a lighter tint of verresume his place among scholars and dure, tending towards yellow, is peridle people, as, for instance, the pres- ceptible. All day long we hear the waent week, when he has thrown aside ter drip, drip, dripping, splash, splash, his spade and hoe to attend the Com- splashing, from the eaves, and babbling mencement at Cambridge. He is a and foaming into the tubs which have rare man,
a perfect original, yet with- been set out to receive it. The old out any one salient point; a character unpainted shingles and boards of the to be felt and understood, but almost mansion and out-houses are black with impossible to describe : for, should you the moisture which they have imbibed. seize upon any characteristic, it would Looking at the river, we perceive that inevitably be altered and distorted in its usually smooth and mirrored surface the process of writing it down.
is blurred by the infinity of rain-drops ; Our few remaining days of summer the whole landscape - grass, trees, and have been latterly grievously darkened houses — has a completely water-soaked with clouds. To-day there has been an aspect, as if the earth were wet through. hour or two of hot sunshine; but the sun The wooded hill, about a mile distant, rose amid cloud and mist, and before he whither we went to gather whortlebercould dry up the moisture of last night's ries, has a mist upon its summit, as if shower upon the trees and grass, the
the demon of the rain were enthroned clouds have gathered between him and there ; and if we look to the sky, it us again. This afternoon the thunder seems as if all the water that had been rumbles in the distance, and I believe poured down upon us were as nothing a few drops of rain have fallen; but the to what is to come. Once in a while, weight of the shower has burst else- indeed, there is a gleam of sky along the where, leaving us nothing but its sullen horizon, or a half-cheerful, half-sullen gloom. There is a muggy warmth in the lighting up of the atmosphere; the rainatmosphere, which takes all the spring drops cease to patter down, except and vivacity out of the mind and body. when the trees shake off a gentle show