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none at all.
Human flower-shrubs, if of chips are strewn about, and on rethey will grow old on earth, should, moving them we find the yellow stalks beside their lovely blossoms, bear some of grass sprouting underneath. Nature kind of fruit that will satisfy earthly does her best to beautify this disarray. appetites; else men will not be sat. The grass springs up most industriousisfied that the moss should gather on ly, especially in sheltered and sunny them.
angles of the buildings, or round the Winter and Spring are now struggling door-steps, a locality which seems for the mastery in my study; and I yield particularly favorable to its growth; for somewhat to each, and wholly to nei- it is already high enough to bend over ther. The window is open, and there and wave in the wind. I was suris a fire in the stove. The day when prised to observe that some weeds (esthe window is first thrown open should pecially a plant that stains the fingers be an epoch in the year ; but I have with its yellow juice) had lived, and forgotten to record it. Seventy or retained their freshness and sap as pereighty springs have visited this old fectly as in summer, through all the house ; and sixty of them found old frosts and snows of last winter. I saw Dr. Ripley here, — not always old, it them, the last green thing, in the auis true, but gradually getting wrinkles tumn; and here they are again, the first and gray hairs, and looking more and in the spring. more the picture of winter. But he was no flower-shrub, but one of those fruit- Thursday, April 27.- I took a walk trees or timber - trees that acquire a into the fields, and round our opposite grace with their old age. Last Spring hill, yesterday noon, but made no very found this house solitary for the first remarkable observation. The frogs time since it was built ; and now again have begun their concerts, though not she peeps into our open windows and as yet with a full choir. I found no finds new faces here...
violets nor anemones, nor anything in It is remarkable how much unclean- the likeness of a flower, though I looked ness winter brings with it, or leaves carefully along the shelter of the stone behind it. .... The yard, garden, and walls, and in all spots apparently proavenue, which should be my depart. pitious. I ascended the hill, and had ment, require a great amount of labor. a wide prospect of a swollen river, exThe avenue is strewed with withered tending around me in a semicircle of leaves,
the whole crop, apparently, three or four miles, and rendering the
some of which are now view much finer than in summer, had raked into heaps; and we intend to there only been foliage. It seemed make a bonfire of them. .... There like the formation of a new world ;
for are quantities of decayed branches, islands were everywhere emerging, and which one tempest after another has capes extending forth into the Aood; fung down, black and rotten. In the and these tracts, which were thus won garden are the old cabbages which we from the watery empire, were among did not think worth gathering last au- the greenest in the landscape. The tumn, and the dry bean-vines, and the moment the deluge leaves them, Nawithered stalks of the asparagus-bed; ture asserts them to be her property, in short, all the wrecks of the departed by covering them with verdure ; or year, - its mouldering relics, its dry perhaps the grass had been growing bones. It is a pity that the world can- under the water. On the hill-top where not be made over anew every spring. I stood, the grass had scarcely begun to Then, in the yard, there are the piles sprout; and I observed that even those of firewood, which I ought to have places which looked greenest in the sawed and thrown into the shed long distance were but scantily grass-covsince, but which will cumber the earth, ered when I actually reached them. It I fear, till June, at least. Quantities was hope that painted them so bright. .
of last year,
Last evening we saw a bright light came a frost, which has done great damon the river, betokening that a boat's age to my garden. The beans have party were engaged in spearing fish. suffered very much, although, luckily, It looked like a descended star, - like not more than half that I planted have red Mars, – and, as the water was per- come up. The squashes, both summer fectly smooth, its gleam was reflect- and winter, appear to be almost killed. ed downward into the depths. It is a As to the other vegetables, there is litvery picturesque sight. In the deep tle mischief done, - the potatoes not quiet of the night I suddenly heard the being yet above ground, except two light and lively note of a bird from a or three ; and the peas and corn are of neighboring tree, -a real song, such a hardier nature. It is sad that Nature as those which greet the purple dawn, will so sport with us poor mortals, inor mingle with the yellow sunshine. viting us with sunny smiles to confide What could the little bird mean by in her; and then, when we are entirely pouring it forth at midnight? Prob- in her power, striking us to the heart. ably the note gushed out from the midst Our summer commences at the latter of a dream, in which he fancied him- end of June, and terminates somewhere self in Paradise with his mate; and, about the first of August. There are suddenly awaking, he found he was certainly not more than six weeks of on a cold, leafless bough, with a New the whole year when a frost may be England mist penetrating through his deemed anything remarkable. feathers. That was a sad exchange of imagination for reality; but if he Friday, June 23. --Summer has come found his mate beside him, all was at last, — the longest days, with blazwell.
ing sunshine, and fervid heat. YesThis is another misty morning, un- terday glowed like molten brass. Last genial in aspect, but kinder than it night was the most uncomfortably and looks ; for it paints the hills and val- unsleepably sultry that we have exleys with a richer brush than the sun- perienced since our residence in Conshine could. There is more verdure cord; and to-day it scorches again. I now than when I looked out of the have a sort of enjoyment in these seven window an hour ago. The willow-tree times heated furnaces of midsummer, opposite my study-window is ready to even though they make me droop like put forth its leaves. There are some a thirsty plant. The sunshine can objections to willows. It is not a dry scarcely be too burning for my taste ; and cleanly tree ; it impresses me with but I am no enemy to summer-showers. an association of sliminess; and no Could I only have the freedom to be trees, I think, are perfectly satisfactory, perfectly idle now, no duty to fulfil, which have not a firm and hard texture no mental or physical labor to perof trunk and branches. But the willow form, -I should be as happy as is almost the earliest to put forth its squash, and much in the same mode ; leaves, and the last to scatter them on but the necessity of keeping my brain the ground; and during the whole win- at work eats into my comfort, as the ter its yellow twigs give it a sunny as- squash-bugs do into the heart of the pect, which is not without a cheering vines. I keep myself uneasy and proinfluence in a proper point of view. duce little, and almost nothing that is Our old house would lose much were worth producing this willow to be cut down, with its The garden looks well now: the pogolden crown over the roof in winter, tatoes flourish ; the early corn waves and its heap of summer verdure. The in the wind; the squashes, both for present Mr. Ripley planted it, fifty summer and winter use, are more foryears ago, or thereabouts.
ward, I suspect, than those of any of
my neighbors. I am forced, however, Friday, June 2. — Last night there to carry on a continual warfare with the
squash-bugs, who, were I to let them of the procession of the wild-flowers, alone for a day, would perhaps quite as minute, at least, as of the kitchen destroy the prospects of the whole sum- vegetables and pot-herbs. Above all,
It is impossible not to feel angry the noting of the appearance of the with these unconscionable insects, who first roses should not be omitted ; nor scruple not to do such excessive mis- of the Arethusa, one of the delicatchief to me, with only the profit of a est, gracefullest, and in every manner meal or two to themselves. For their sweetest of the whole race of flowers. own sakes they ought at least to wait For a fortnight past I have found it in till the squashes are better grown. Why the swampy meadows, growing up to is it, I wonder, that Nature has provid- its chin in heaps of wet moss. Its hue ed such a host of enemies for every is a delicate pink, of various depths of useful esculent, while the weeds are shade, and somewhat in the form of suffered to grow unmolested, and are a Grecian helmet. To describe it is a provided with such tenacity of life, and feat beyond my power. Also the visit such methods of propagation, that the of two friends, who may fitly enough gardener must maintain a continual be mentioned among flowers, ought to struggle or they will hopelessly over- have been described. Mrs. F. Swhelm him? What hidden virtue is and Miss A. S- Also I have negthere in these things, that it is granted lected to mention the birth of a little them to sow themselves with the wind, white dove. and to grapple the earth with this immit- I never observed, until the present igable stubbornness, and to flourish in season, how long and late the twilight spite of obstacles, and never to suffer lingers in these longest days. The blight beneath any sun or shade, but orange hue of the western horizon realways to mock their enemies with the mains till ten o'clock, at least, and how same wicked luxuriance? It is truly a much later I am unable to say.
The mystery, and also a symbol. There is night before last, I could distinguish a sort of sacredness about them. Per letters by this lingering gleam between haps, if we could penetrate Nature's nine and ten o'clock. The dawn, I secrets, we should find that what we
suppose, shows itself as early as two call weeds are more essential to the o'clock, so that the absolute dominion well-being of the world than the most of night has dwindled to almost nothprecious fruit or grain. This may be ing. There seems to be also a didoubted, however, for there is an un- minished necessity, or, at all events, mistakable analogy between these wick- a much less possibility, of sleep than at ed weeds and the bad habits and sinful other periods of the year. I get scarcely propensities which have overrun the any sound repose just now. It is summoral world; and we may as well imag- mer, and not winter, that steals away ine that there is good in one as in the mortal life. Well, we get the value of other.
what is taken from us. Our peas are in such forwardness that I should not wonder if we had Saturday, July 1. We had our first some of them on the table within a
dish of green peas (a very small one) week. The beans have come up ill, yesterday. Every day for the last week and I planted a fresh supply only the has been tremendously hot; and our day before yesterday. We have water- garden flourishes like Eden itself, only melons in good advancement, and musk- Adam could hardly have been doomed melons also within three or four days. to contend with such a ferocious banI set out some tomatoes last night, ditti of weeds. also some capers.
It is my purpose to plant some more corn at the end of Sunday, Jilly 9. — I know not what the month, or sooner. There ought to to say, and yet cannot be satisfied be a record of the flower-garden, and without marking with a word or two
this anniversary. ..... But life now weather has since been as moist as the swells and heaves beneath me like a thirstiest soul could desire. brim-full ocean; and the endeavor to comprise any portion of it in words is Wednesday, September 13. - There like trying to dip up the ocean in a was a frost the night before last, acgoblet..... God bless and keep us! cording to George Prescott; but no for there is something more awful in effects of it were visible in our garden. happiness than in sorrow, — the latter Last night, however, there was another, being earthly and finite, the former which has nipped the leaves of the composed of the substance and texture winter-squashes and cucumbers, but of eternity, so that spirits still embodied seems to have done no other damage. may well tremble at it.
This is a beautiful morning, and prom
ises to be one of those heavenly days July 18. — This morning I gathered that render autumn, after all, the most our first summer-squashes. We should delightful season of the year. We have had them some days earlier, but mean to make a voyage on the river for the loss of two of the vines, either this afternoon. by a disease of the roots or by those infernal bugs. We have had turnips Sunday, September 23. - I have gathand carrots several times. Currants ered the two last of our summer-squashare now ripe, and we are in the full es to-day. They have lasted ever since enjoyment of cherries, which turn out the 18th of July, and have numbered much more delectable than I antici- fifty-eight edible ones, of excellent qualpated. George Hillard and Mrs. Hil- ity. Last Wednesday, I think, I har
I lard paid us a visit on Saturday last. vested our winter squashes, sixty-three On Monday afternoon he left us, and in number, and mostly of fine size. Our Mrs. Hillard still remains here.
last series of green corn, planted about
the ist of July, was good for eating two Friday, July 28. — We had green or three days ago. We still have beans; corn for dinner yesterday, and shall and our tomatoes, though backward, have some more to-day, not quite full supply us with a dish every day or two. grown, but sufficiently so to be palat. My potato-crop promises well ; and, on able. There has been no rain, except the whole, my first independent experione moderate shower, for many weeks ; ment of agriculture is quite a successand the earth appears to be wasting ful one. away in a slow fever. This weather, I This is a glorious day, - bright, very think, affects the spirits very unfavor warm, yet with an unspeakable gentleably. There is an irksomeness, a rest- ness both in its warmth and brightlessness, a pervading dissatisfaction, On such days it is impossible together with an absolute incapacity to not to love Nature, for she evidently bend the mind to any serious effort. loves us. At other seasons she does With me, as regards literary produc- not give me this impression, or only tion, the summer has been unprofit- at very rare intervals; but in these hapable ; and I only hope that my forces py, autumnal days, when she has perare recruiting themselves for the au- fected the harvests, and accomplished tumn and winter. For the future, I every necessary thing that she had to shall endeavor to be so diligent nine do, she overflows with a blessed supermonths of the year that I may allow fuity of love. It is good to be alive myself a full and free vacation of the
Thank God for breath, — yes, other three.
for mere breath! when it is made up
of such a heavenly breeze as this. It Monday, July 31. — We had our comes to the cheek with a real kiss; first cucumber yesterday. There were it would linger fondly around us, if it symptoms of rain on Saturday, and the might; but, since it must be gone, it
caresses us with its whole kindly heart, without design; and yet there was perand passes onward, to caress likewise fect harmony among them, and a softthe next thing that it meets. There is ness and a delicacy made up of a thoua pervading blessing diffused over all sand different brightnesses. There is the world. I look out of the window not, I think, so much contrast among and think, “O perfect day! O beauti- these colors as might at first appear. ful world ! O good God !” And such The more you consider them, the more a day is the promise of a blissful eter- they seem to have one element among nity. Our Creator would never have them all, which is the reason that the made such weather, and given us the most brilliant display of them soothes deep heart to enjoy it, above and be the observer, instead of exciting him. yond all thought, if He had not meant And I know not whether it be more a us to be immortal. It opens the gates moral effect or a physical one, operatof heaven, and gives us glimpses faring merely on the eye; but it is a pen. inward.
sive gayety, which causes a sigh often, Bless me! this fight has carried me and never a smile. We never fancy, a great way; so now let me come back for instance, that these gayly-clad trees to our old abbey. Our orchard is fast might be changed into young damsels ripening; and the apples and great in holiday attire, and betake themselves thumping pears strew the grass in such to dancing on the plain. If they were abundance that it becomes almost a to undergo such a transformation, they trouble — though a pleasant one — - to would surely arrange themselves in gather them. This happy breeze, too, funeral procession, and go sadly along, shakes them down, as if it flung fruit with their purple and scarlet and goldto us out of the sky; and often, when en garments trailing over the withthe air is perfectly still, I hear the ering grass. When the sunshine falls quiet fall of a great apple. Well, we upon them, they seem to smile ; but it are rich in blessings, though poor in is as if they were heart-broken. But it money.....
is in vain for me to attempt to describe
these autumnal brilliancies, or to conFriday, October 6. — Yesterday after- vey the impression which they make noon I took a solitary walk to Wal- on me. I have tried a thousand times, den Pond. It was a cool, windy day, and always without the slightest selfwith heavy clouds rolling and tumbling satisfaction. Fortunately there is no about the sky, but still a prevalence need of such a record, for Nature of genial autumn sunshine. The fields renews the picture year after year; and are still green, and the great masses even when we shall have passed away of the woods have not yet assumed from the world, we can spiritually cretheir many-colored garments; but here ate these scenes, so that we may disand there are solitary oaks of deep, sub- pense with all efforts to put them into stantial red, or maples of a more bril- words. liant hue, or chestnuts either yellow or Walden Pond was clear and beautiof a tenderer green than in summer. ful as usual. It tempted me to bathe ; Some trees seem to return to their hue and, though the water was thrillingly of May or early June before they put cold, it was like the thrill of a happy on the brighter autumnal tints. In death. Never was there such transsome places, along the borders of low parent water as this. I threw sticks and moist land, a whole range of trees
into it, and saw them float suspended were clothed in the perfect gorgeous
on an almost invisible medium. It ness of autumn, of all shades of bril- seemed as if the pure air were beneath liant color, looking like the palette on
them, as well as above. It is fit for which Nature was arranging the tints baptisms ; but one would not wish it wherewith to paint a picture. These
to be polluted by having sins washed hues appeared to be thrown together into it. None but angels should bathe