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there were papas and mammas, uncles, aunts, and elder sis. ters. When all were come we shut out the cold; the great fire burned clearly; the tea and coffee were as hot as possible, and the cheeks of the little ones grew rosier and their eyes brighter every moment. It had been settled that, in order to cover our designs, I was to resume my vocation of teaching Christmas games after tea, while Charley's mother and her maids went to light up the front room. So all found seats, many of the children on the floor, for Old Coach. It was difficult to divide even an American stagecoach into parts enough for every member of such a party to represent one; but we managed it without allowing any of the elderly folks to sit out. The grand fun of all was to make the clergyman and an aunt or two get up and spin round. When they were fairly practised in the game, I turned over my story to a neighbour, and got away to help to light up the tree.

It really looked beautiful; the room se med in a blaze, and the ornaments were so well hung on that no accident happened, except that one doll's petticoat caught fire. There was a sponge

tied to the end of a stick to put out any supernumerary blaze, and no harm ensued. I mounted the steps behind the tree to see the effect of opening the doors. It was delightful. The children poured in, but in a moment every voice was hushed. Their faces were upturned to the blaze, all eyes wide open, all lips parted, all steps arrested. Nobody spoke, only Charley leaped for joy. The first symptom of recovery was the children's wandering round the tree. At last a quick pair of eyes discovered that it bore something eatable, and from that moment the babble began again. They were told that they might get what they could without burning themselves; and we tall people kept watch, and helped them with good things from the higher branches. When all had had enough, we returned to the larger room, and finished the evening with dancing. By ten o'clock all were well warmed for the ride home with steaming mulled wine, and the prosperous evening closed with shouts of mirth. By a little after eleven Charley's father and mother and I were left by ourselves to sit in the Newyear. I have little doubt the Christmas-tree will become one of the most flourishing exotics of New England.

The skysights of the colder regions of the United States are resplendent in winter. I saw more the aurora borealis, more falling stars and other meteors during my stay in New-England than in the whole course of my life before. Every one knows that splendid and mysterious exhibitions have taken place in all the Novembers of the last four years, furnishing interest and business to the astronomical world. The most remarkable exhibitions were in the Novembers of 1833 and 1835, the last of which I saw.

The persons who saw the falling stars of the 14th of November, 1833, were few; but the sight was described to me by more than one. It was seen chiefly by masters of steamboats, watchmen, and sick nurses. The little children of a friend of mine, who happened to sleep with their heads near a window, surprised their father in the morning with the question what all those sparks were that had been flying about in the night. Several country people, on their way to early market, saw the last of the shower. It is said that some left their carts and kneeled in the road, thinking that the end of the world was come; a very natural persuasion, for the spectacle must have been much like the heavens falling to pieces. About nine o'clock in the evening several persons observed that there was an unusual number of falling stars, and went home thinking no more about it. Others were surprised at the increase by eleven, but went to rest notwithstanding. Those who were up at four saw the grandest sight. There were then three kinds of lights in the heaven besides the usual array of stars. There were shooting points of light, all directed from one centre to the circuit of the horizon, much resembling a thick shower of luminous snow. There were luminous bodies which hung dimly in the air ; and there were falling fireballs, some of which burst, while others went out of sight. These were the meteors which were taken by the ignorant for the real stars falling from the sky. One was seen apparently larger than the full moon, and they shed so bright a light that the smallest objects became distinctly visible. One luminous body was like a serpent coiling itself up; another “like a square table;" anOther like a pruning-hook. Those which burst left trains of light behind them, some tinged with the prismatic colours. The preceding day had been uncommonly warm for the season; but, before morning, the frost was of an intensity very rare for the month of November. The temperature of the whole season was unusual. Throughout November and December it was so warm about the northern lakes that

the Indians were making maple sugar at Mackinaw, while the orange-trees were cut off by the frost in Louisiana. A tremendous succession of gales at the same time set in along the eastern coast. Those may explain these mysteries who


It is exceedingly easy to laugh at men who, created to look before and after, walking erect, with form “express and admirable" under the broad canopy of heaven, yet contrive to miss the sights which are hung out in the sky; but which of us does not deserve to be thus laughed at ? How many nights in the year do we look up into the heavens ? How many individuals of a civilized country see the stars on any one night of the year? Some of my friends and I had a lesson on this during the last April I spent in America. I was staying at a house in the upper part of New-York. My host and hostess had three guests at dinner that daythree persons sufficiently remarkable for knowing how to use their eyes—Miss Sedgwick, Mr. Bryant, and the author of the Palmyra Letters. During dinner we amused ourselves with pitying some persons who had actually walked abroad on the night of the last 17th of November without seeing the display. Our three friends walked homeward together, two miles down Broadway, and did exactly the same thing ; failed to look up while an aurora borealis, worthy of No. vember, was illuminating the heavens. We at home failed to look out, and missed it too. The next time we all met we agreed to laugh at ourselves before we bestowed any more of our pity upon others.

On the 17th of November in question, that of 1835, I was. staying in the house of one of the professors of Harvard University at Cambridge. The professor and his son John came in from a lecture at nine o'clock, and told us that it was nearly as light as day, though there was no moon.

The sky presented as yet no remarkable appearance, but the fact set us telling stories of skysights. A venerable professor told us of a blood-red heaven which shone down on a night of the year 1789, when an old lady interpreted the whole French revolution from what she saw. None of us had any call to prophesying this night. John looked out from time to time while we were about the piano, but our singing had come to a conclusion before he brought us news of a very strange sky. It was now near eleven. We put cloaks and shawls over our heads, and hurried into the gar

den. It was a mild night, and about as light as with half a moon. There was a beautiful rose-coloured flush across the entire heaven, from southeast to northwest. This was every moment brightening, contracting in length, and dilating in breadth. My host ran off without his hat to call the Natural Philosophy professor. On the way he passed a gentleman who was irudging along, pondering the ground. "A remarkable night, sir," cried my host. “Sir! how, sir ?"


“ replied the pedestrian. Why, look above your head !" The startled walker ran back to the house he had left to make everybody gaze. There was some debate about ringing the college-bell, but it was agreed that it would cause too much alarm.

The Natural Philosophy professor came forth in curious trim, and his household and ours joined in the road. One lady was in her nightcap; another with a handkerchief tied over her head, while we were cowled in cloaks.

The sky was now resplendent. It was like a blood-red dome, a good deal pointed. Streams of a greenish white light radiated from the centre in all directions. The colours were so deep, especially the red, as to give an opaque appearance to the canopy; and as Orion and the Pleiades, and many more stars could be distinctly seen, the whole looked like a vast dome inlaid with constellations. These skysights make one shiver, so new are they, so splendid, so mysterious. We saw the heavens grow pale, and before midnight believed that the mighty show was over ; but we had the mortification of hearing afterward, that at one o'clock it was brighter than ever, and as light as day.

Such are some of the wintry characteristics of NewEngland.

If I lived in Massachusetts, my residence during the hot months should be beside one of its ponds. These ponds are a peculiarity in New England scenery very striking to the traveller. Geologists tell of the time when the valleys were chains of lakes ; and in many parts the eye of the observer would detect this without the aid of science. There are many fields and clusters of fields of remarkable fertility, lying in basins, the sides of which have much the appearance of the greener and smoother of the dikes of Holland. These suggest the idea of their having been ponds at the first glance. Many remain filled with clear water, the prettiest meres in the world. A cottage on Jamaica Pond, for instance, within an easy ride of Boston, is a luxurious summer abode. I know of one unequalled in its attractions, with its flower-garden, its lawn, with banks shelving down to the mere ; banks dark with rustling pines, from under whose shade the bright track of the moon may be seen, lying cool on the rippling waters. A boat is moored in the cove at hand. The cottage itself is built for coolness, and its broad piazza is draperied with vines, which keep out the sun from the shaded parlours.

The way to make the most of a summer's day in a place like this is to rise at four, mount your horse, and ride through the lanes for two hours, finding breakfast ready on your return. If you do not ride, you slip down to the bathinghouse on the creek; and, once having closed the door, have the shallow water completely to yourself, carefully avoiding going beyond the deep water-mark, where no one knows how deep the mere may be. After breakfast you should dress your flowers, before those you gather have quite lost the morning dew. The business of the day, be it what it may, housekeeping, study, teaching, authorship, or charity, will occupy you till dinner at two. You have your dessert carried into the piazza, where, catching glimpses of the mere through the wood on the banks, your watermelon tastes cooler than within, and you have a better chance of a visit from a pair of humming-birds. You retire to your room, all shaded with green blinds, lie down with a book in your hand, and sleep soundly for two hours at least. When you wake and look out, the shadows are lengthening on the lawn, and the hot haze has melted away. You hear a carriage behind the fence, and conclude that friends from the city are coming to spend the evening with you. They sit within till after tea, telling you that you are living in the sweetest place in the world. When the sun sets you all walk out, dispersing in the shrubbery or on the banks. When the moon shows herself above the opposite woods, the merry voices of the young people are heard from the cove, where the boys are getting out the boat. You stand, with a companion or two, under the pines, watching the progress of the skiff, and the receding splash of the oars. If you have any one, as I had, to sing German popular songs to you, the enchantment is all the greater. You are capriciously lighted home by fireflies, and there is your table covered with fruit and iced lemonade. When your friends have left you you would

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