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of youth, beauty, and innocence; and then what an intense, ineffable lustre invests her all around, and every where. The impurities, the blemishes, and the deformities of the earth, are all hidden under the snowy veil; the roughness becomes smooth and glassy; the stagnant pools, exhaling in summer disease and death, are robbed of their poisons; the bogs all invisible, and the very swamps salubrious. All is clear, pure, unsullied, and still; the pale image ot innocent beauty clothed for a while in the trappings of the tomb. All is soothing, but nothing lively: all grave and solemn, yet nothing melancholy. But the night is, if possible, still more holy and beautiful, when the brightness of the moon-beams sporting on the glittering surface of the snow, creates a sort of female day, softer, and more soothing, yet almost equally bright. Not an insect chirps or buzzes in the ear; there is nothing of life stirring in nature's veins; her pulses are still. A thousand glittering stars, invisible at other times, come forth, as if to view the scene stretched out below them, or watch with sparkling eyes, the course of their bright queen, athwart the heavens.
Then come the lengthening days, which at first steal on imperceptibly, with steps noiseless and slow, silently unlocking the chains of winter, and setting nature free so easily, that we do not hear the turning of the key. At first the trickling of the waters from the roof, and the falling of the icicles, apprize us of the advance of the sun, to resume his glowing sceptre. Anon the little sunny southern exposures begin to spot the vast white winding sheet with brown; and here and there, though very rarely, along the margin of some living spring, the tender grass begins to peep forth. Every day the empire of the sun extends by slow degrees. The brooks begin again to murmur and glisten, marking their courses by the increased verdure of the grass, and willows, on their margins; and by imperceptible degrees, the few brown leaves that clung all winter to the sapless branches, are pushed from their hold by the swelling buds, and fall whispering to the earth, to mingle with her crumbling atoms. It is thus, with all the works of nature and with man. The young buds push off the old dry leaves; the very rocks are mutable; all feel the universal law of change, and man the most of all.
I did not spend my winter idly, but went out every day to see my wood-cutters. In order to give some interest to my walks, I purchased a gun, procured a brace of fox hounds, and in time became a mighty hunter, before the Lord. No man of sentiment has ever heard the "deep-mouthed hound," as the poet, with singular felicity calls him, saluting the clear frosty morning, with sonorous and far sounding challenges, without feeling its inspiration, in the silence of the mountains. I found their society, and that of my gun, delightful, though truth obliges me to confess, that I seldom got any thing but exercise and a keen appetite in my sporting rambles. Almost the first extensive excursion I made, being intent on following the hounds, I unluckily fell through the ice into a small pond, which the melting of the first snows had formed into a little valley. I got completely wet from head to foot: and I was some miles from home. The whole way, I suffered the horrible anticipation of diseases without number; rheumatism, consumption, catarrh, sore throat, inflammation of the chest, and a hundred others. In short, I gave myself up for gone; and was in such a hurry to get home and settle my affairs, that I arrived there in a perfect glow. I lost no time in changing my dress, and it being now evening, went directly to bed, expecting next morning to find myself as stiff as a poker. At first, 1 fell into a profuse perspiration, and then into a sound sleep, which lasted till morning. I can hardly believe it myself, at this moment; I awoke as well as ever I was in my life, and never felt any ill effects from my accident. After this, I defied the whole college of physicians, nay, all the colleges put together. I considered myself another Achilles, invulnerable even at the heel, and now cared no more for the weather than a grizzly bear, or a seeker of the north-west passage.
Thus passed my first winter. In the spring I paid my debt to Hardup with the product of my wood. In the summer he came to see me. "I would not come before, for fear you would think it was to dun you," said he. He has repeated his visit every summer, for the last seven years, and assures me every time, that were he not Hardup, he would be Ambler. It would be tedious, neither is it necessary to the moral of my story, to detail the progress I made, and the wonders achieved by Ahasuerus, from the period in which I first took possession of my estate, to that in which I am now writing. Great as they were, they bear no comparison with those I have undergone. My farm is now a little Eden,among the high hills, whose rugged aspects only add richness and beauty to the cultivated fields. I have saved enough to add two wings to my old house, and to put it in good repair, besides building a barn and other out-houses. Every year I execute some little improvements, just to keep up the excitement of novelty, and prevent me from thinking too much of myself. Every fair day in spring, summer, and autumn, it is my custom to climb a part of the mountain, which overlooks my little domain, and affords a full view of its green or golden enclosures.
It lies at the head of a long narrow vale, skirted on either side, by rough, rocky, steep mountains, clothed with vast forests of everv f
growth. My house is on a little round knoll, just on the edge of the meadow I spoke of at my first arrival here, and which now has not a single stone above its surface. The clear spring brook which meanders through it, and is full of trout, forms the head of a little river, which gathering, as it proceeds onward, the tribute of the hills, waxes larger as it goes, and appears, at different points far down the valley, coursing its bright way to the Hudson. On either side of the valley, among rocks and woods, is sometimes seen a cultivated field or two, with a house, and a few cattle; but, with this exception, there is a perfect and beautiful contrast between the bosom and the sides of the valley. The former is all softness, verdure, and fertility, the latter is stately forests, or naked sublimity. In a clear day, and a north-west wind, I can see the junction of the little stream, of which, as being the proprietor of its parent spring, I consider myself the father, with the majestic Hudson. I wish the reader, that is, if he is a clever man, or what is still better, a clever and pretty lady, would come and see my farm next summer.
I have paid but one visit to the city, and that was to my old friend Hardup, who is become very fond of me ever since he conferred a benefit. While I was one day strolling along the Battery, X ext :ianged one of those glances, which bespeak a doubtful recognition, with a portly, rosy-cheeked man, I am sure 1 had seen before. On these occasions, I generally make the first advances. "I think I have seen you before, sir," said I, "but really I can't tell you exactly where." "I am in the same predicament," replied he, smiling; your face is familiar, though I can't recall your name." "My name is Ambler." "Good heavens! is it possible," and though glad to see me, he seemed quite astonished; "my name is Abstract!" I almost fell backwards over one of the benches; it was my friend, the man of nerves, as hale and hearty, as if he never had any nerves in his life. "I'll not believe it," said I, "why what has happened to you?" "O I'm married,'' he replied, "and have enough to do besides attending to my nerves; but you—you are metamorphosed too; what has come over you? are you too, married?" "NO; I'm a bachelor still," said I, "so you see there are two opposite ways, to the same thing."
Having exchanged our addresses, we parted the best of friends in the world. "You had better get a wife," cried he. "I mean," I replied, "as soon as I can afford the revenues of a city, to keep her in pin-money.'' "Pooh I if you can't keep her in pin-money, you can keep her in order," answered he of the nerves, and strutted away, with the air of a man who was either master at home, or so dexterously led captive, as not to suspect it.
I begin to grow weary of talking about myself; and as I have observed that listeners and readers, generally get tired before speakers and authors, will here conclude my story. Its moral is completed, and I hope cannot be mistaken. I committed to paper the result of my experience, not for the purpose of ridiculing the infirmities of my fellow creatures, or laughing at the miseries of human life. I wished, if possible, to persuade them that a large portion of the cares of this world, from which we are so anxious to escape, are nothing more than blessings in disguise, and thus to diminish that inordinate love of riches, which is founded on the silly presumption that they are the sources of all happiness. It is under the dominion of this mistaken idea, that money becomes indeed the root of all evil, by being sought with an insatiable appetite, that swallows up all our feelings of brotherhood, and causes men to prey upon each other like the wild beasts of the forest; nay, more—for even their instinct teaches them to spare their own species. Were mankind aware of the total inability of wealth to confer content, or to make ease and leisure delightful, they would perchance seek it with less avidity, and fewer sacrifices of that integrity, which is a far more essential ingredient in human happiness, than the gold for which it is so often sacrificed. My history may also afford a useful example to those whose situations entail on them the necessity of labour and economy, by teaching them the impossibility of reconciling a life of luxury and ease, with the enjoyment of jocund spirits, lusty health, and rational happiness.
"But what has become of your DYSPEPSY all this time?" the reader will ask.
Faith, I had forgot that entirely!
Oh! I am sick of laughing day,
And the summer's murmuring shades
How my own youth fades Time, whom revellers chide for flying,
Mocks me with his tardy flight,
All the long night
If I sleep, around my bed
Many a well-known form appears, Whispering low of pleasures tied, Pointing to the darkness spread
Over my young years! On my wakeful pillow lying,
Still the mourners haunt my sight, While I wear the hours in sighing
All the long night.
Withered are the fancied bowers
Where my joys, like blossomB, hung,
I have lost—so young!
Scenes that still my thought invite,
All the long night
Not a voice, with friendly tone,
Speaks to cheer my spirit's gloom.
To an early tomb!
All the long night
L0ve—a phantom clasped in vain,
A flower leaf on a troubled stream—
To recall its transient light,
All the long night
Yet, at times, will Fancy weave
That they all are gone!
All the long night.
J. K. Choalkv.