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ain opposite our windows at the Lake House is called French Mountain, from its being the point where the French showed themselves on the bloody 8th of September, 1755, when three battles were fought in the neighbourhood on the same day. It was two years later when the Marquis of Montcalm conducted an army of 10,000 men to invest Fort William Henry. Colonel Monroe, who held it for the British, was obliged, after a gallant defence, to capitulate. He marched out with 3000 men, and many women and chil. dren. The Indians attached to the French army committed outrages which it is thought the marquis might have prevented. But it is probable that, when the guilt of taking savages for allies in offensive warfare is once incurred, any amount of mischief may ensue which no efforts of the commander can control. Every one knows the horrible story of Miss McCrea, the young lady who was on the way to be married to her lover in the British army, and who wus tomahawked and scalped by the Indians in whose charge she was travelling. During the recrimination between the commanders on this occasion, General Burgoyne explained his inability to control the movements of passionate savages; and it must be supposed that Montcalm had no more power over the Indians who plundered and then murdered almost the whole number of the British who evacuated Fort Wil. liam Henry. It was a horrible scene of butchery. We went over the ground, now waste and still, tangled with bushes, and inhabited only by birds and reptiles.
After wandering for some hours on the beach, and breaking our way through the thick groves which skirt it, dwelling upon the exquisite scene of the blue lake, with its tufted islands shut in by mountains, we wished to find some place where we might obtain an equally good distant view, and yet enjoy the delights of the margin of the water. By climbing a fence we got to a green bank, whence we could reach a log in the water; and here we basked, like a party of terrapins, till dinnertime. The foliage of the opposite woods, on French Mountain, seemed to make great progress under the summer warmth of this day; and by the next morning the soft green tinge was perceptible on them, which, after the dry hardness of winter, is almost as beautiful as the full leaf.
After dinner we took a drive along the western bank of the lake. The road wound in and out, up and down on the
mountainous barrier of the waters, for there was no beach or other level. One of the beauties of Lake George is that the mountains slope down to its very margin. Our stout ponies dragged us up the steep ascents, and rattled us down on the other side in charming style ; and we were so enchanted with the succession of views of new promontories and islands, and new aspects of the opposite mountains, that we should have liked to proceed while any light was left, and to have taken our chance for getting back safely. But Mr. R. pointed to the sinking sun, and reminded us that it was Saturday evening. If the people at the inn were Yan. kees, they would make a point of all the work of the establishment ceasing at sunset, according to the Sabbath custoins of New-England ; and we must allow the hostler a quarter of an hour to put up the ponies. So we unwillingly turned, and reached Caldwell just as the shutters of the stores were in course of being put up, and the last raya of the sun were gushing out on either side the mountain in the rear of the village. At the Lake House the painters were putting away their brushes, and the scrubbers emptying their pails; and, by the time twilight drew on, the place was in a state of Sunday quietness. We had descried a church standing under the trees close by, and the girl who waited on us was asked what services there would be the next day. She told us that there was regular service during the summer season when the place was full, but not at present; she added, “We have no regular preacher just now, but we have a man who can make a very smart prayer."
The next day was spent in exploring the eastern side of the lake for some distance on foot, and in sitting on a steep grassy bank under the pines, with our feet overhanging the clear waters glancing in the sun. Here we read and talked for some hours of a delicious summer Sunday. I spent part of the afternoon alone at the fort, amid a scene of the profoundest stillness. I could trace my companions as they wound their way at a great distance along the little white beaches and through the pine groves ; the boat in the cove swayed at the end of its tether when the wind sent a ripple across its bows ; the shadows stole up the mountain sides ; and an aged labourer sauntered along the beach, with his axe on his shoulder, crossed the wooden bridge over a brook which flows into the lake, and disappeared in the pine grove to the left. All else was still as midnight. My companions
did not know where I was, and were not likely to look in the direction where I was sitting ; so, when they came within hail-that is, when from mites they began to look as big as children, sang as loud as possible to catch their attention. I saw them speak to each other, stop, and gaze over the lake. They thought it was the singing of fishermen, and it was rather a disappointment when they found it was only one of ourselves.
On the Monday we saw the lake to the best advantage by going upon it. We took boat directly after breakfast, having a boy to row us ; a stout boy he must be, for he can row twenty-eight miles on the hottest summer's day. The length of the lake is thirty-six miles ; a long pull for a rower ; but accomplished by some who are accustomed to the effort. First we went to Tea Island. I wish it had a better name, for it is a delicious spot, just big enough for a very lazy hermit to live in. There is a teahouse to look out from, and, far better, a few little reposing places on the margin ; recesses of rock and dry roots of trees, made to hide one's self in for thought or dreaming. We dispersed; and one of us might have been seen, by any one who rowed round the island, perched in every nook. The breezy side was cool and musical with the waves. The other side was warın as July, and the waters so still that the cypress twigs we threw in seemed as if they did not mean to float away. Our boatman laid himself down to sleep, as a matter of course, thus bearing testimony to the charms of the island; for he evidently took for granted that we should stay some time. We allowed him a long nap, and then steered our course to Diamond Island. This gay handful of earth is not so beautiful as Tea Island, not being so well tufted with wood; but it is literally carpeted with forget-me-not. You tread upon it as upon clover in a clover-field.
We coasted the eastern shore as we returned, winning our way in the still sunshine under walls of rock overhung by projecting trees, and round promontories, across little bays, peeping into the glades of the shore, where not a dwelling is to be seen, and where the human foot seems never to have trod. What a wealth of beauty is there here for future residents yet unborn! The transparency of the waters of this lake is its great peculiarity. It abounds with fish, especially fine red trout. It is the practice of the fishermen to select the prime fish from a shoal, and they always get the
one they want. I can easily believe this, for I could see all that was going on in the deep water under our keel when we were out of the wind; every ridge of pebbles, every tuft of weed, every whim of each fish's tail, I could mark from
The bottom seemed to be all pebbles where it was not too deep to be clearly seen. In some parts the lake is of unmeasured depth.
It was three o'clock before we returned ; and, as it is not usual for visiters to spend six or seven hours of a morning on the lake, the good people at the Lake House had been for some time assuring one another that we must have been cast away. The kind-hearted landlady herself had twice been out on the top of the house to look abroad for our boat. I hope the other members of my party will be spared to visit this scene often again. I can hardly hope to do so; but they may be sure that I shall be with them in spirit, for the time will never come when my memory will not be occasionally treated with some flitting image of Lake George.
As might have been predicted, one of the first directions in which the Americans have indulged their taste and indicated their refinement is in the preparation and care of their burial-places. This might have been predicted by any one who meditates upon the influences under which the mind of America is growing. The pilgriin origin of the New-England population, whose fathers seemed to think that they lived only in order to die, is in favour of all thoughts connected with death filling a large space in the people's minds. Then, in addition to the moving power of common human affections, the Americans are subject to being more incessantly reminded than others how small a section of the creation is occupied by the living in comparison with that engrossed by the dead. In the busy, crowded empires of the Old World, the invisible are liable to be forgotten in the stirring presence of visible beings, who inhabit every corner, and throng the whole surface on which men walk. In tho New World it is not so. Living men are comparatively scarce, and the general mind dwells more on the past and the future (of both which worlds death is the atmosphere) than on the present. By various influences, death is made to constitute a larger element in their estimate of collective human experience, a more conspicuous object in their contemplation of the plan of Providence, than it is to, perhaps, any other people. As a natural consequence, all arrangements connected with death occupy much of their attention, and engage a large share of popular sentiment.
I have mentioned that family graveyards are conspicuous objects in country abodes in America. In the valley of the Mohawk, on the heights of the Alleghanies, in the centre of the northwestern prairie, wherever there is a solitary dwelling there is a domestic burying-place, generally fenced with neat white palings, and delicately kept, however full the settler's hands may be, and whatever may be the aspect of the abode of the living. The new burial-places which are laid out near the towns may already be known from a distance by the air of finish and taste about their plantations; and I believe it is allowed that Mount Auburn is the
} most beautiful cemetery in the world.
Before visiting Mount Auburn I had seen the Catholic cemetery at New Orleans, and the contrast was remarkable enough. I never saw a city churchyard, however damp and neglected, so dreary as the New Orleans cemetery. It lies in the swamp, glaring with its plastered monuments in the sun, with no shade but from the tombs. Being neces. sarily drained, it is intersected by ditches of weedy stagnant water, alive with frogs, dragon-flies, and moscheto-hawks Irish, French, and Spanish are all crowded together, as if the ground could scarcely be opened fast enough for those whom the fover lays low; an impression confirmed by a glance at the dates. The tombs of the Irish have inscriptions which provoke a kind of smile, which is no pleasure in such a place. Those of nuns bear no inscription but the monastic name-Agathe, Seraphine, Thérèse and the date of death. Wooden crosses, warped in the sun or rotting with the damp, are in some places standing at the heads of graves, in others are leaning or fallen. Glass boxes, con