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along a by-path into the grounds of Giant Despair, from there being no stiles and by-paths in our country? So much of the charm of American pedestrianism lies in the by-paths! For instance, the whole interior of Cape Ann, beyond Gloucester, is a continuous woodland, with granite ledges everywhere cropping out, around which the highroad winds, following the curving and indented line of the sea, and dotted here and there with fishing hamlets. This whole interior is traversed by a network of foot-paths, rarely passable for any wagon, and not always for a horse, but enabling the pedestrian to go from any one of these villages to any other, in a line almost direct, and always under an agreeable shade. By the longest of these hidden ways one may go from Pigeon Cove to Gloucester without seeing a public road. In the little inn of the former village there used to hang an old map of this whole forest region, giving a chart of some of these paths which were said to date back to the first settlement of the country. One of them, for instance, was called ' Old Road from Sandy Bay to Squam Meeting-house through the Woods;' but the road is now scarcely even a bridle-path, and the most faithful worshipper could not seek Squam Meeting-house in the family chaise. Those woods are at last being devastated, but when I first knew that region it was as good as any German forest. Often we stepped almost from the edge of the sea into some gap in the woods; there seemed hardly more than a rabbit-track, but presently we met some wayfarer who had crossed the Cape by it. A piny dell gave some vista of the broad sea we were leaving, and an opening in the woods displayed another blue sea-line before; the encountering breezes interchanged odors of berry-bushes and scent of brine; penetrating farther among oaks and walnuts, we came upon some little cottage, quaint and sheltered as any Spenser drew; it was built on no high-road, and turned its vine-clad gable away from even the foot-path. Then the ground rose and other breezes came; perhaps we climbed trees to look for landmarks, and saw only, still farther in the woods, some great cliff of granite or the derrick of an unseen quarry. Three miles inland, as I remember, we found the hearth-stones of a vanished settlement; then we passed a swamp with cardinal flowers; then a cathedral of noble pines, topped with crows' nests. If we had not gone astray, by this time we presently emerged on Dogtown Common, an elevated table-land overspread with great boulders as with houses, and encircled with a girdle of green woods and an outer girdle of blue sea. I know of nothing like that gray waste of boulders; it is a natural Salisbury Plain, of which icebergs and ocean currents were the Druidic builders; the multitude of couchant monsters give one a sense of suspended life; you feel that they must speak and answer each other in the silent nights; but by day only the wandering sea-birds seek them on their way across the Cape, and the sweet-bay and green fern imbed them in a softer and deeper setting as the years go by. This is the " height of ground" of that wild foot-path; but, as you recede farther from the outer ocean and approach Gloucester, you come upon still wilder ledges, unsafe without a guide; and you find in one place a cluster of deserted houses, too difficult of access to remove even their materials, so that they are left to moulder alone. I used to wander in those woods summer after summer, till I had made my own chart of their devious tracks, and now when I close my eyes in this Oldport mid-summer, the soft Italian air takes on something of a Scandinavian vigor; for the incessant roll of carriages, I hear the tinkle of the quarryman's hammer, and the veery's song, and I long for those perfumed and breezy pastures, and for those promontories of granite where the fresh water is nectar and the salt sea has a regal blue."
Before dropping the subject in hand, a few images in the memory should be presented. Reverting to the walks and rambles of the summers long since departed, royal companions reappear to the vision. One of these was Thomas Starr King. Who of the company that used to ramble with him will ever set foot on our shore, or hear the stir of leaves and the twitter of birds in our woods, without a thought of him? Sometimes the ramblers rested an hour in the shade of the pines where the sleeping sea, whispering as if in dreams, just made itself heard. Then he of youthful but regal presence, and of marvellously musical tongue, read the poetry of Wordsworth or the prose of Ruskin, making more vital and glowing the thoughts of either. Once, after a stroll, and a refreshing bath, the same audience gave ear to the same orator and interpreter, in the amphitheatre-like pit of Chapin's Gully. None of the company so favored then will ever forget the spell of the moments while he recited the stirring, musical lines, then new to all, of Tennyson's " Bugle Song." These woods, rocks and waves, these men with swelling hearts and tearful eyes, will never again see the like of him who is now among the translated.
"Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, 0 Sea!
Oh well for the fisherman's boy,
Oh well for the sailor lad,
And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
And the sound of a voice that is still 1
Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, 0 Sea!
Will never come back to me."
Magician of the sea as well as of the mountains, Starr King found means for enchantment in cliff and ware, in storm and calm. No change of motion or color on the ocean's face escaped his sight. He observed every shape and hue of mist on the headlands, or of cloud in the sky. He marked, too, the characteristics of seafaring men and of old dwellers on the storm-beaten shore. The old English words, not obsolete here, and the unconventional frankness of these children of the Cape, afforded him material for both grave reflection and keen amusement. "When did you come into the cove with these hake?" inquired he of one standing knee-deep in the water, taking these fish from his dory, as the result of his industry through the night. "About dawning," was the ready reply; and a pleasing one to the questioner, though given in the style of pronunciation not authorized by Worcester or Webster. His humor, always sunny, never sombre, always kindly, never unfriendly, quickly caught and had its fun with quaintness. He named one, whom he often met, the " Poet of the Cove;" another, the "Socrates of Cape Ann." The Poet's "Lines to a Blue Jay in the Winter" brought out the inimitable smiie of his face and