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´╗┐Title: Passages from the American Notebooks, Volume 1
Author: Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864
Language: English
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PASSAGES FROM THE AMERICAN NOTE-BOOKS, VOLUME I

By Nathaniel Hawthorne



Salem, June 15, 1835.--A walk down to the Juniper. The shore of the coves
strewn with bunches of sea-weed, driven in by recent winds.  Eel-grass,
rolled and bundled up, and entangled with it,--large marine vegetables,
of an olive-color, with round, slender, snake-like stalks, four or five
feet long, and nearly two feet broad: these are the herbage of the deep
sea.  Shoals of fishes, at a little distance from the shore, discernible
by their fins out of water.  Among the heaps of sea-weed there were
sometimes small pieces of painted wood, bark, and other driftage.  On the
shore, with pebbles of granite, there were round or oval pieces of brick,
which the waves had rolled about till they resembled a natural mineral.
Huge stones tossed about, in every variety of confusion, some shagged all
over with sea-weed, others only partly covered, others bare.  The old
ten-gun battery, at the outer angle of the Juniper, very verdant, and
besprinkled with white-weed, clover, and buttercups.  The juniper-trees
are very aged and decayed and moss-grown.  The grass about the hospital
is rank, being trodden, probably, by nobody but myself.  There is a
representation of a vessel under sail, cut with a penknife, on the corner
of the house.

Returning by the almshouse, I stopped a good while to look at the pigs,--a
great herd,--who seemed to be just finishing their suppers.  They
certainly are types of unmitigated sensuality,--some standing in the
trough, in the midst of their own and others' victuals,--some thrusting
their noses deep into the food,--some rubbing their backs against a
post,--some huddled together between sleeping and waking, breathing
hard,--all wallowing about; a great boar swaggering round, and a big sow
waddling along with her huge paunch.  Notwithstanding the unspeakable
defilement with which these strange sensualists spice all their food, they
seem to have a quick and delicate sense of smell.  What
ridiculous-looking animals!  Swift himself could not have imagined
anything nastier than what they practise by the mere impulse of natural
genius.  Yet the Shakers keep their pigs very clean, and with great
advantage.  The legion of devils in the herd of swine,--what a scene it
must have been!

Sunday evening, going by the jail, the setting sun kindled up the windows
most cheerfully; as if there were a bright, comfortable light within its
darksome stone wall.


June 18th.--A walk in North Salem in the decline of yesterday afternoon,
--beautiful weather, bright, sunny, with a western or northwestern wind
just cool enough, and a slight superfluity of heat.  The verdure, both of
trees and grass, is now in its prime, the leaves elastic, all life.  The
grass-fields are plenteously bestrewn with white-weed, large spaces
looking as white as a sheet of snow, at a distance, yet with an
indescribably warmer tinge than snow,--living white, intermixed with
living green.  The hills and hollows beyond the Cold Spring copiously
shaded, principally with oaks of good growth, and some walnut-trees, with
the rich sun brightening in the midst of the open spaces, and mellowing
and fading into the shade,--and single trees, with their cool spot of
shade, in the waste of sun: quite a picture of beauty, gently
picturesque.  The surface of the land is so varied, with woodland
mingled, that the eye cannot reach far away, except now and then in
vistas perhaps across the river, showing houses, or a church and
surrounding village, in Upper Beverly.  In one of the sunny bits of
pasture, walled irregularly in with oak-shade, I saw a gray mare feeding,
and, as I drew near, a colt sprang up from amid the grass,--a very small
colt.  He looked me in the face, and I tried to startle him, so as to
make him gallop; but he stretched his long legs, one after another,
walked quietly to his mother, and began to suck,--just wetting his lips,
not being very hungry.  Then he rubbed his head, alternately, with each
hind leg.  He was a graceful little beast.

I bathed in the cove, overhung with maples and walnuts, the water cool
and thrilling.  At a distance it sparkled bright and blue in the breeze
and sun.  There were jelly-fish swimming about, and several left to melt
away on the shore.  On the shore, sprouting amongst the sand and gravel,
I found samphire, growing somewhat like asparagus.  It is an excellent
salad at this season, salt, yet with an herb-like vivacity, and very
tender.  I strolled slowly through the pastures, watching my long shadow
making grave, fantastic gestures in the sun.  It is a pretty sight to see
the sunshine brightening the entrance of a road which shortly becomes
deeply overshadowed by trees on both sides.  At the Cold Spring, three
little girls, from six to nine, were seated on the stones in which the
fountain is set, and paddling in the water.  It was a pretty picture, and
would have been prettier, if they had shown bare little legs, instead of
pantalets.  Very large trees overhung them, and the sun was so nearly
gone down that a pleasant gloom made the spot sombre, in contrast with
these light and laughing little figures.  On perceiving me, they rose up,
tittering among themselves.  It seemed that, there was a sort of playful
malice in those who first saw me; for they allowed the other to keep on
paddling, without warning her of my approach.  I passed along, and heard
them come chattering behind.


June 22d.--I rode to Boston in the afternoon with Mr. Proctor.  It was a
coolish day, with clouds and intermitting sunshine, and a pretty fresh
breeze.  We stopped about an hour at the Maverick House, in the sprouting
branch of the city, at East Boston,--a stylish house, with doors painted
in imitation of oak; a large bar; bells ringing; the bar-keeper calls
out, when a bell rings, "Number--"; then a waiter replies, "Number--
answered"; and scampers up stairs.  A ticket is given by the hostler, on
taking the horse and chaise, which is returned to the bar-keeper when the
chaise is wanted.  The landlord was fashionably dressed, with the whitest
of linen, neatly plaited, and as courteous as a Lord Chamberlain.
Visitors from Boston thronging the house,--some, standing at the bar,
watching the process of preparing tumblers of punch,--others sitting at
the windows of different parlors,--some with faces flushed, puffing
cigars.  The bill of fare for the day was stuck up beside the bar.
Opposite this principal hotel there was another, called "The Mechanics,"
which seemed to be equally thronged.  I suspect that the company were
about on a par in each; for at the Maverick House, though well dressed,
they seemed to be merely Sunday gentlemen,--mostly young fellows,--clerks
in dry-goods stores being the aristocracy of them.  One, very fashionable
in appearance, with a handsome cane, happened to stop by me and lift up
his foot, and I noticed that the sole of his boot (which was exquisitely
polished) was all worn out.  I apprehend that some such minor
deficiencies might have been detected in the general showiness of most of
them.  There were girls, too, but not pretty ones, nor, on the whole,
such good imitations of gentility as the young men.  There were as many
people as are usually collected at a muster, or on similar occasions,
lounging about, without any apparent enjoyment; but the observation of
this may serve me to make a sketch of the mode of spending the Sabbath by
the majority of unmarried, young, middling-class people, near a great
town.  Most of the people had smart canes and bosom-pins.

Crossing the ferry into Boston, we went to the City Tavern, where the
bar-room presented a Sabbath scene of repose,--stage-folk lounging in
chairs half asleep, smoking cigars, generally with clean linen and other
niceties of apparel, to mark the day.  The doors and blinds of an oyster
and refreshment shop across the street were closed, but I saw people
enter it.  There were two owls in a back court, visible through a
window of the bar-room,--speckled gray, with dark-blue eyes,--the
queerest-looking birds that exist,--so solemn and wise,--dozing away the
day, much like the rest of the people, only that they looked wiser than
any others.  Their hooked beaks looked like hooked noses.  A dull scene
this.  A stranger, here and there, poring over a newspaper.  Many of the
stage-folk sitting in chairs on the pavement, in front of the door.

We went to the top of the hill which formed part of Gardiner Greene's
estate, and which is now in the process of levelling, and pretty much
taken away, except the highest point, and a narrow path to ascend to it.
It gives an admirable view of the city, being almost as high as the
steeples and the dome of the State House, and overlooking the whole mass
of brick buildings and slated roofs, with glimpses of streets far below.
It was really a pity to take it down.  I noticed the stump of a very
large elm, recently felled.  No house in the city could have reared its
roof so high as the roots of that tree, if indeed the church-spires did
so.

On our drive home we passed through Charlestown.  Stages in abundance
were passing the road, burdened with passengers inside and out; also
chaises and barouches, horsemen and footmen.  We are a community of
Sabbath-breakers.


August 31st.--A drive to Nahant yesterday afternoon.  Stopped at Rice's,
and afterwards walked down to the steamboat wharf to see the passengers
land.  It is strange how few good faces there are in the world,
comparatively to the ugly ones.  Scarcely a single comely one in all this
collection.  Then to the hotel.  Barouches at the doors, and gentlemen
and ladies going to drive, and gentlemen smoking round the piazza.  The
bar-keeper had one of Benton's mint-drops for a bosom-brooch!  It made a
very handsome one.  I crossed the beach for home about sunset.  The tide
was so far down as just to give me a passage on the hard sand, between
the sea and the loose gravel.  The sea was calm and smooth, with only the
surf-waves whitening along the beach.  Several ladies and gentlemen on
horseback were cantering and galloping before and behind me.

A hint of a story,--some incident which should bring on a general war;
and the chief actor in the incident to have something corresponding to
the mischief he had caused.


September 7th--A drive to Ipswich with B------.  At the tavern was an
old, fat, country major, and another old fellow, laughing and playing off
jokes on each other,--one tying a ribbon upon the other's hat.  One had
been a trumpeter to the major's troop.  Walking about town, we knocked,
for a whim, at the door of a dark old house, and inquired if Miss Hannah
Lord lived there.  A woman of about thirty came to the door, with rather
a confused smile, and a disorder about the bosom of her dress, as if she
had been disturbed while nursing her child.  She answered us with great
kindness.

Entering the burial-ground, where some masons were building a tomb, we
found a good many old monuments, and several covered with slabs of red
freestone or slate, and with arms sculptured on the slab, or an inlaid
circle of slate.  On one slate gravestone, of the Rev. Nathl. Rogers,
there was a portrait of that worthy, about a third of the size of life,
carved in relief, with his cloak, band, and wig, in excellent
preservation, all the buttons of his waistcoat being cut with great
minuteness,--the minister's nose being on a level with his cheeks.  It
was an upright gravestone.  Returning home, I held a colloquy with a
young girl about the right road.  She had come out to feed a pig, and was
a little suspicious that we were making fun of her, yet answered us with
a shy laugh and good-nature,--the pig all the time squealing for his
dinner.

Displayed along the walls, and suspended from the pillars of the original
King's Chapel, were coats-of-arms of the king, the successive governors,
and other distinguished men.  In the pulpit there was an hour-glass on a
large and elaborate brass stand.  The organ was surmounted by a gilt
crown in the centre, supported by a gilt mitre on each side.  The
governor's pew had Corinthian pillars, and crimson damask tapestry.  In
1727 it was lined with china, probably tiles.

Saint Augustin, at mass, charged all that were accursed to go out of the
church.  "Then a dead body arose, and went out of the church into the
churchyard, with a white cloth on its head, and stood there till mass was
over.  It was a former lord of the manor, whom a curate had cursed
because he refused to pay his tithes.  A justice also commanded the dead
curate to arise, and gave him a rod; and the dead lord, kneeling,
received penance thereby."  He then ordered the lord to go again to his
grave, which he did, and fell immediately to ashes.  Saint Augustin
offered to pray for the curate, that he might remain on earth to confirm
men in their belief; but the curate refused, because he was in the place
of rest.

A sketch to be given of a modern reformer,--a type of the extreme
doctrines on the subject of slaves, cold water, and other such topics.
He goes about the streets haranguing most eloquently, and is on the point
of making many converts, when his labors are suddenly interrupted by the
appearance of the keeper of a mad-house, whence he has escaped.  Much may
be made of this idea.

A change from a gay young girl to an old woman; the melancholy events,
the effects of which have clustered around her character, and
gradually imbued it with their influence, till she becomes a lover of
sick-chambers, taking pleasure in receiving dying breaths and in laying
out the dead; also having her mind full of funeral reminiscences, and
possessing more acquaintances beneath the burial turf than above it.

A well-concerted train of events to be thrown into confusion by some
misplaced circumstance, unsuspected till the catastrophe, yet exerting
its influence from beginning to end.

On the common, at dusk, after a salute from two field-pieces, the smoke
lay long and heavily on the ground, without much spreading beyond the
original space over which it had gushed from the guns.  It was about the
height of a man.  The evening clear, but with an autumnal chill.

The world is so sad and solemn, that things meant in jest are liable, by
an overpowering influence, to become dreadful earnest,--gayly dressed
fantasies turning to ghostly and black-clad images of themselves.

A story, the hero of which is to be represented as naturally capable of
deep and strong passion, and looking forward to the time when he shall
feel passionate love, which is to be the great event of his existence.
But it so chances that he never falls in love, and although he gives up
the expectation of so doing, and marries calmly, yet it is somewhat
sadly, with sentiments merely of esteem for his bride.  The lady might be
one who had loved him early in life, but whom then, in his expectation of
passionate love, he had scorned.

The scene of a story or sketch to be laid within the light of a
street-lantern; the time, when the lamp is near going out; and the
catastrophe to be simultaneous with the last flickering gleam.

The peculiar weariness and depression of spirits which is felt after a
day wasted in turning over a magazine or other light miscellany,
different from the state of the mind after severe study; because there
has been no excitement, no difficulties to be overcome, but the spirits
have evaporated insensibly.

To represent the process by which sober truth gradually strips off all
the beautiful draperies with which imagination has enveloped a beloved
object, till from an angel she turns out to be a merely ordinary woman.
This to be done without caricature, perhaps with a quiet humor
interfused, but the prevailing impression to be a sad one.  The story
might consist of the various alterations in the feelings of the absent
lover, caused by successive events that display the true character of his
mistress; and the catastrophe should take place at their meeting, when he
finds himself equally disappointed in her person; or the whole spirit of
the thing may here be reproduced.

Last evening, from the opposite shore of the North River, a view of the
town mirrored in the water, which was as smooth as glass, with no
perceptible tide or agitation, except a trifling swell and reflux on the
sand, although the shadow of the moon danced in it.  The picture of the
town perfect in the water,--towers of churches, houses, with here and
there a light gleaming near the shore above, and more faintly glimmering
under water,--all perfect, but somewhat more hazy and indistinct than the
reality.  There were many clouds flitting about the sky; and the picture
of each could be traced in the water,--the ghost of what was itself
unsubstantial.  The rattling of wheels heard long and far through the
town.  Voices of people talking on the other side of the river, the tones
being so distinguishable in all their variations that it seemed as if
what was there said might be understood; but it was not so.

Two persons might be bitter enemies through life, and mutually cause the
ruin of one another, and of all that were dear to them.  Finally, meeting
at the funeral of a grandchild, the offspring of a son and daughter
married without their consent,--and who, as well as the child, had been
the victims of their hatred,--they might discover that the supposed
ground of the quarrel was altogether a mistake, and then be wofully
reconciled.

Two persons, by mutual agreement, to make their wills in each other's
favor, then to wait impatiently for one another's death, and both to be
informed of the desired event at the same time.  Both, in most joyous
sorrow, hasten to be present at the funeral, meet, and find themselves
both hoaxed.

The story of a man, cold and hard-hearted, and acknowledging no
brotherhood with mankind.  At his death they might try to dig him a
grave, but, at a little space beneath the ground, strike upon a rock, as
if the earth refused to receive the unnatural son into her bosom.  Then
they would put him into an old sepulchre, where the coffins and corpses
were all turned to dust, and so he would be alone.  Then the body would
petrify; and he having died in some characteristic act and expression, he
would seem, through endless ages of death, to repel society as in life,
and no one would be buried in that tomb forever.

Cannon transformed to church-bells.

A person, even before middle age, may become musty and faded among the
people with whom he has grown up from childhood; but, by migrating to a
new place, he appears fresh with the effect of youth, which may be
communicated from the impressions of others to his own feelings.

In an old house, a mysterious knocking might be beard on the wall, where
had formerly been a doorway, now bricked up.

It might be stated, as the closing circumstance of a tale, that the body
of one of the characters had been petrified, and still existed in that
state.

A young man to win the love of a girl, without any serious intentions,
and to find that in that love, which might have been the greatest
blessing of his life, he had conjured up a spirit of mischief which
pursued him throughout his whole career,--and this without any revengeful
purposes on the part of the deserted girl.

Two lovers, or other persons, on the most private business, to appoint a
meeting in what they supposed to be a place of the utmost solitude, and
to find it thronged with people.


October 17th.--Some of the oaks are now a deep brown red; others are
changed to a light green, which, at a little distance, especially in the
sunshine, looks like the green of early spring.  In some trees, different
masses of the foliage show each of these hues.  Some of the walnut-trees
have a yet more delicate green.  Others are of a bright sunny yellow.

Mr. ------ was married to Miss ------ last Wednesday.  Yesterday Mr.
Brazer, preaching on the comet, observed that not one, probably, of all
who heard him, would witness its reappearance.  Mrs. ------ shed tears.
Poor soul! she would be contented to dwell in earthly love to all
eternity!

Some treasure or other thing to be buried, and a tree planted directly
over the spot, so as to embrace it with its roots.

A tree, tall and venerable, to be said by tradition to have been the
staff of some famous man, who happened to thrust it into the ground,
where it took root.

A fellow without money, having a hundred and seventy miles to go,
fastened a chain and padlock to his legs, and lay down to sleep in a
field.  He was apprehended, and carried gratis to a jail in the town
whither he desired to go.

An old volume in a large library,--every one to be afraid to unclasp and
open it, because it was said to be a book of magic.

A ghost seen by moonlight; when the moon was out, it would shine and melt
through the airy substance of the ghost, as through a cloud.

Prideaux, Bishop of Worcester, during the sway of the Parliament, was
forced to support himself and his family by selling his household goods.
A friend asked him, "How doth your lordship?"  "Never better in my life,"
said the Bishop, "only I have too great a stomach; for I have eaten that
little plate which the sequestrators left me.  I have eaten a great
library of excellent books.  I have eaten a great deal of linen, much of
my brass, some of my pewter, and now I am come to eat iron; and what will
come next I know not."

A scold and a blockhead,--brimstone and wood,--a good match.

To make one's own reflection in a mirror the subject of a story.

In a dream to wander to some place where may be heard the complaints of
all the miserable on earth.

Some common quality or circumstance that should bring together people the
most unlike in all other respects, and make a brotherhood and sisterhood
of them,--the rich and the proud finding themselves in the same category
with the mean and the despised.

A person to consider himself as the prime mover of certain remarkable
events, but to discover that his actions have not contributed in the
least thereto.  Another person to be the cause, without suspecting it.


October 25th.--A person or family long desires some particular good.  At
last it comes in such profusion as to be the great pest of their lives.

A man, perhaps with a persuasion that he shall make his fortune by some
singular means, and with an eager longing so to do, while digging or
boring for water, to strike upon a salt-spring.

To have one event operate in several places,--as, for example, if a man's
head were to be cut off in one town, men's heads to drop off in several
towns.

Follow out the fantasy of a man taking his life by instalments, instead
of at one payment,--say ten years of life alternately with ten years of
suspended animation.

Sentiments in a foreign language, which merely convey the sentiment
without retaining to the reader any graces of style or harmony of sound,
have somewhat of the charm of thoughts in one's own mind that have not
yet been put into words.  No possible words that we might adapt to them
could realize the unshaped beauty that they appear to possess.  This is
the reason that translations are never satisfactory,--and less so, I
should think, to one who cannot than to one who can pronounce the
language.

A person to be writing a tale, and to find that it shapes itself against
his intentions; that the characters act otherwise than he thought; that
unforeseen events occur; and a catastrophe comes which he strives in vain
to avert.  It might shadow forth his own fate,--he having made himself
one of the personages.

It is a singular thing, that, at the distance, say, of five feet, the
work of the greatest dunce looks just as well as that of the greatest
genius,--that little space being all the distance between genius and
stupidity.

Mrs. Sigourney says, after Coleridge, that "poetry has been its own
exceeding great reward."  For the writing, perhaps; but would it be so
for the reading?

Four precepts: To break off customs; to shake off spirits ill-disposed;
to meditate on youth; to do nothing against one's genius.


Salem, August 31st, 1836.--A walk, yesterday, down to the shore, near the
hospital.  Standing on the old grassy battery, that forms a semicircle,
and looking seaward.  The sun not a great way above the horizon, yet so
far as to give a very golden brightness, when it shone out.  Clouds in
the vicinity of the sun, and nearly all the rest of the sky covered with
clouds in masses, not a gray uniformity of cloud.  A fresh breeze blowing
from land seaward.  If it had been blowing from the sea, it would have
raised it in heavy billows, and caused it to dash high against the rocks.
But now its surface was not at all commoved with billows; there was only
roughness enough to take off the gleam, and give it the aspect of iron
after cooling.  The clouds above added to the black appearance.  A few
sea-birds were flitting over the water, only visible at moments, when
they turned their white bosoms towards me,--as if they were then first
created.  The sunshine had a singular effect.  The clouds would interpose
in such a manner that some objects were shaded from it, while others were
strongly illuminated.  Some of the islands lay in the shade, dark and
gloomy, while others were bright and favored spots.  The white lighthouse
was sometimes very cheerfully marked.  There was a schooner about a mile
from the shore, at anchor, laden apparently with lumber.  The sea all
about her had the black, iron aspect which I have described; but the
vessel herself was alight.  Hull, masts, and spars were all gilded, and
the rigging was made of golden threads.  A small white streak of foam
breaking around the bows, which were towards the wind.  The shadowiness
of the clouds overhead made the effect of the sunlight strange, where it
fell.


September.--The elm-trees have golden branches intermingled with their
green already, and so they had on the first of the month.

To picture the predicament of worldly people, if admitted to paradise.

As the architecture of a country always follows the earliest structures,
American architecture should be a refinement of the log-house.  The
Egyptian is so of the cavern and mound; the Chinese, of the tent; the
Gothic, of overarching trees; the Greek, of a cabin.

"Though we speak nonsense, God will pick out the meaning of it,"--an
extempore prayer by a New England divine.

In old times it must have been much less customary than now to drink pure
water.  Walker emphatically mentions, among the sufferings of a
clergyman's wife and family in the Great Rebellion, that they were forced
to drink water, with crab-apples stamped in it to relish it.

Mr. Kirby, author of a work on the History, Habits, and Instincts of
Animals, questions whether there may not be an abyss of waters within the
globe, communicating with the ocean, and whether the huge animals of the
Saurian tribe--great reptiles, supposed to be exclusively antediluvian,
and now extinct--may not be inhabitants of it.  He quotes a passage from
Revelation, where the creatures under the earth are spoken of as distinct
from those of the sea, and speaks of a Saurian fossil that has been found
deep in the subterranean regions.  He thinks, or suggests, that these may
be the dragons of Scripture.

The elephant is not particularly sagacious in the wild state, but becomes
so when tamed.  The fox directly the contrary, and likewise the wolf.

A modern Jewish adage,--"Let a man clothe himself beneath his ability,
his children according to his ability, and his wife above his ability."

It is said of the eagle, that, in however long a flight, he is never seen
to clap his wings to his sides.  He seems to govern his movements by the
inclination of his wings and tail to the wind, as a ship is propelled by
the action of the wind on her sails.

In old country-houses in England, instead of glass for windows, they used
wicker, or fine strips of oak disposed checkerwise.  Horn was also used.
The windows of princes and great noblemen were of crystal; those of
Studley Castle, Holinshed says, of beryl.  There were seldom chimneys;
and they cooked their meats by a fire made against an iron back in the
great hall.  Houses, often of gentry, were built of a heavy timber frame,
filled up with lath and plaster.  People slept on rough mats or straw
pallets, with a round log for a pillow; seldom better beds than a
mattress, with a sack of chaff for a pillow.


October 25th.--A walk yesterday through Dark Lane, and home through the
village of Danvers.  Landscape now wholly autumnal.  Saw an elderly man
laden with two dry, yellow, rustling bundles of Indian corn-stalks,--a
good personification of Autumn.  Another man hoeing up potatoes.  Rows of
white cabbages lay ripening.  Fields of dry Indian corn.  The grass has
still considerable greenness.  Wild rose-bushes devoid of leaves, with
their deep, bright red seed-vessels.  Meeting-house in Danvers seen at a
distance, with the sun shining through the windows of its belfry.
Barberry-bushes,--the leaves now of a brown red, still juicy and healthy;
very few berries remaining, mostly frost-bitten and wilted.  All among
the yet green grass, dry stalks of weeds.  The down of thistles
occasionally seen flying through the sunny air.

In this dismal chamber FAME was won.  (Salem, Union Street.)

Those who are very difficult in choosing wives seem as if they would take
none of Nature's ready-made works, but want a woman manufactured
particularly to their order.

A council of the passengers in a street: called by somebody to decide
upon some points important to him.

Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important in
some respects, whether he chooses to be so or not.

A Thanksgiving dinner.  All the miserable on earth are to be invited,
--as the drunkard, the bereaved parent, the ruined merchant, the
broken-hearted lover, the poor widow, the old man and woman who have
outlived their generation, the disappointed author, the wounded, sick,
and broken soldier, the diseased person, the infidel, the man with an
evil conscience, little orphan children or children of neglectful
parents, shall be admitted to the table, and many others.  The giver of
the feast goes out to deliver his invitations.  Some of the guests he
meets in the streets, some he knocks for at the doors of their houses.
The description must be rapid.  But who must be the giver of the feast,
and what his claims to preside?  A man who has never found out what he is
fit for, who has unsettled aims or objects in life, and whose mind gnaws
him, making him the sufferer of many kinds of misery.  He should meet
some pious, old, sorrowful person, with more outward calamities than any
other, and invite him, with a reflection that piety would make all that
miserable company truly thankful.

Merry, in "merry England," does not mean mirthful; but is corrupted from
an old Teutonic word signifying famous or renowned.

In an old London newspaper, 1678, there is an advertisement, among other
goods at auction, of a black girl, about fifteen years old, to be sold.

We sometimes congratulate ourselves at the moment of waking from a
troubled dream: it may be so the moment after death.

The race of mankind to be swept away, leaving all their cities and works.
Then another human pair to be placed in the world, with native
intelligence like Adam and Eve, but knowing nothing of their predecessors
or of their own nature and destiny.  They, perhaps, to be described as
working out this knowledge by their sympathy with what they saw, and by
their own feelings.

Memorials of the family of Hawthorne in the church of the village of
Dundry, Somersetshire, England.  The church is ancient and small, and has
a prodigiously high tower of more modern date, being erected in the time
of Edward IV.  It serves as a landmark for an amazing extent of country.

A singular fact, that, when man is a brute, he is the most sensual and
loathsome of all brutes.

A snake, taken into a man's stomach and nourished there from fifteen
years to thirty-five, tormenting him most horribly.  A type of envy or
some other evil passion.

A sketch illustrating the imperfect compensations which time makes for
its devastations on the person,--giving a wreath of laurel while it
causes baldness, honors for infirmities, wealth for a broken
constitution,--and at last, when a man has everything that seems
desirable, death seizes him.  To contrast the man who has thus reached
the summit of ambition with the ambitious youth.

Walking along the track of the railroad, I observed a place where the
workmen had bored a hole through the solid rock, in order to blast it;
but, striking a spring of water beneath the rock, it gushed up through
the hole.  It looked as if the water were contained within the rock.

A Fancy Ball, in which the prominent American writers should appear,
dressed in character.

A lament for life's wasted sunshine.

A new classification of society to be instituted.  Instead of rich and
poor, high and low, they are to be classed,--First, by their sorrows: for
instance, whenever there are any, whether in fair mansion or hovel, who
are mourning the loss of relations and friends, and who wear black,
whether the cloth be coarse or superfine, they are to make one class.
Secondly, all who have the same maladies, whether they lie under damask
canopies or on straw pallets or in the wards of hospitals, they are to
form one class.  Thirdly, all who are guilty of the same sins, whether
the world knows them or not; whether they languish in prison, looking
forward to the gallows, or walk honored among men, they also form a
class.  Then proceed to generalize and classify the whole world together,
as none can claim utter exemption from either sorrow, sin, or disease;
and if they could, yet Death, like a great parent, comes and sweeps them
all through one darksome portal,--all his children.

Fortune to come like a pedler with his goods,--as wreaths of laurel,
diamonds, crowns; selling them, but asking for them the sacrifice of
health, of integrity, perhaps of life in the battle-field, and of the
real pleasures of existence.  Who would buy, if the price were to be paid
down?

The dying exclamation of the Emperor Augustus, "Has it not been well
acted?"  An essay on the misery of being always under a mask.  A veil may
be needful, but never a mask.  Instances of people who wear masks in all
classes of society, and never take them off even in the most familiar
moments, though sometimes they may chance to slip aside.

The various guises under which Ruin makes his approaches to his victims:
to the merchant, in the guise of a merchant offering speculations; to the
young heir, a jolly companion; to the maiden, a sighing, sentimentalist
lover.

What were the contents of the burden of Christian in the Pilgrim's
Progress?  He must have been taken for a pedler travelling with his pack.

To think, as the sun goes down, what events have happened in the course
of the day,--events of ordinary occurrence: as, the clocks have struck,
the dead have been buried.

Curious to imagine what murmurings and discontent would be excited, if
any of the great so-called calamities of human beings were to be
abolished,--as, for instance, death.

Trifles to one are matters of life and death to another.  As, for
instance, a farmer desires a brisk breeze to winnow his grain; and
mariners, to blow them out of the reach of pirates.

A recluse, like myself, or a prisoner, to measure time by the progress of
sunshine through his chamber.

Would it not be wiser for people to rejoice at all that they now sorrow
for, and vice versa?  To put on bridal garments at funerals, and mourning
at weddings?  For their friends to condole with them when they attained
riches and honor, as only so much care added?

If in a village it were a custom to hang a funeral garland or other token
of death on a house where some one had died, and there to let it remain
till a death occurred elsewhere, and then to hang that same garland over
the other house, it would have, methinks, a strong effect.

No fountain so small but that Heaven may be imaged in its bosom.

Fame!  Some very humble persons in a town may be said to possess it,--as,
the penny-post, the town-crier, the constable,--and they are known to
everybody; while many richer, more intellectual, worthier persons are
unknown by the majority of their fellow-citizens.  Something analogous in
the world at large.

The ideas of people in general are not raised higher than the roofs of
the houses.  All their interests extend over the earth's surface in a
layer of that thickness.  The meeting-house steeple reaches out of their
sphere.

Nobody will use other people's experience, nor has any of his own till it
is too late to use it.

Two lovers to plan the building of a pleasure-house on a certain spot of
ground, but various seeming accidents prevent it.  Once they find a
group of miserable children there; once it is the scene where crime is
plotted; at last the dead body of one of the lovers or of a dear friend
is found there; and, instead of a pleasure-house, they build a marble
tomb.  The moral,--that there is no place on earth fit for the site of a
pleasure-house, because there is no spot that may not have been saddened
by human grief, stained by crime, or hallowed by death.  It might be
three friends who plan it, instead of two lovers; and the dearest one
dies.

Comfort for childless people.  A married couple with ten children have
been the means of bringing about ten funerals.

A blind man on a dark night carried a torch, in order that people might
see him, and not run against him, and direct him how to avoid dangers.

To picture a child's (one of four or five years old) reminiscences at
sunset of a long summer's day,--his first awakening, his studies, his
sports, his little fits of passion, perhaps a whipping, etc.

The blind man's walk.

To picture a virtuous family, the different members examples of virtuous
dispositions in their way; then introduce a vicious person, and trace out
the relations that arise between him and them, and the manner in which
all are affected.

A man to flatter himself with the idea that he would not be guilty of
some certain wickedness,---as, for instance, to yield to the personal
temptations of the Devil,--yet to find, ultimately, that he was at that
very time committing that same wickedness.

What would a man do, if he were compelled to live always in the sultry
heat of society, and could never bathe himself in cool solitude?

A girl's lover to be slain and buried in her flower-garden, and the earth
levelled over him.  That particular spot, which she happens to plant with
some peculiar variety of flowers, produces them of admirable splendor,
beauty, and perfume; and she delights, with an indescribable impulse, to
wear them in her bosom, and scent her chamber with them.  Thus the
classic fantasy would be realized, of dead people transformed to flowers.

Objects seen by a magic-lantern reversed.  A street, or other location,
might be presented, where there would be opportunity to bring forward all
objects of worldly interest, and thus much pleasant satire might be the
result.

The Abyssinians, after dressing their hair, sleep with their heads in a
forked stick, in order not to discompose it.

At the battle of Edge Hill, October 23, 1642, Captain John Smith, a
soldier of note, Captain Lieutenant to Lord James Stuart's horse, with
only a groom, attacked a Parliament officer, three cuirassiers, and three
arquebusiers, and rescued the royal standard, which they had taken and
were guarding.  Was this the Virginian Smith?

Stephen Gowans supposed that the bodies of Adam and Eve were clothed in
robes of light, which vanished after their sin.

Lord Chancellor Clare, towards the close of his life, went to a village
church, where he might not be known, to partake of the Sacrament.

A missionary to the heathen in a great city, to describe his labors in
the manner of a foreign mission.

In the tenth century, mechanism of organs so clumsy, that one in
Westminster Abbey, with four hundred pipes, required twenty-six bellows
and seventy stout men.  First organ ever known in Europe received by King
Pepin, from the Emperor Constantine, in 757.  Water boiling was kept in a
reservoir under the pipes; and, the keys being struck, the valves opened,
and steam rushed through with noise.  The secret of working them thus is
now lost.  Then came bellows organs, first used by Louis le Debonnaire.

After the siege of Antwerp, the children played marbles in the streets
with grape and cannon shot.

A shell, in falling, buries itself in the earth, and, when it explodes, a
large pit is made by the earth being blown about in all directions,--
large enough, sometimes, to hold three or four cart-loads of earth.  The
holes are circular.

A French artillery-man being buried in his military cloak on the
ramparts, a shell exploded, and unburied him.

In the Netherlands, to form hedges, young trees are interwoven into a
sort of lattice-work; and, in time, they grow together at the point of
junction, so that the fence is all of one piece.

To show the effect of gratified revenge.  As an instance, merely, suppose
a woman sues her lover for breach of promise, and gets the money by
instalments, through a long series of years.  At last, when the miserable
victim were utterly trodden down, the triumpher would have become a very
devil of evil passions,--they having overgrown his whole nature; so that
a far greater evil would have come upon himself than on his victim.

Anciently, when long-buried bodies were found undecayed in the grave, a
species of sanctity was attributed to them.

Some chimneys of ancient halls used to be swept by having a culverin
fired up them.

At Leith, in 1711, a glass bottle was blown of the capacity of two
English bushels.

The buff and blue of the Union were adopted by Fox and the Whig party in
England.  The Prince of Wales wore them.

In 1621, a Mr. Copinger left a certain charity, an almshouse, of which
four poor persons were to partake, after the death of his eldest son and
his wife.  It was a tenement and yard.  The parson, head-boroughs, and his
five other sons were to appoint the persons.  At the time specified,
however, all but one of his sons were dead; and he was in such poor
circumstances that he obtained the benefit of the charity for himself, as
one of the four.

A town clerk arranges the publishments that are given in, according to
his own judgment.

To make a story from Robert Raikes seeing dirty children at play, in the
streets of London, and inquiring of a woman about them.  She tells him
that on Sundays, when they were not employed, they were a great deal
worse, making the streets like hell; playing at church, etc.  He was
therefore induced to employ women at a shilling to teach them on Sundays,
and thus Sunday schools were established.

To represent the different departments of the United States government by
village functionaries.  The War Department by watchmen, the law by
constables, the merchants by a variety store, etc.

At the accession of Bloody Mary, a man, coming into a house, sounded
three times with his mouth, as with a trumpet, and then made proclamation
to the family.  A bonfire was built, and little children were made to
carry wood to it, that they might remember the circumstance in old age.
Meat and drink were provided at the bonfires.

To describe a boyish combat with snowballs, and the victorious leader to
have a statue of snow erected to him.  A satire on ambition and fame to
be made out of this idea.  It might be a child's story.

Our body to be possessed by two different spirits; so that half of the
visage shall express one mood, and the other half another.

An old English sea-captain desires to have a fast-sailing ship, to keep a
good table, and to sail between the tropics without making land.

A rich man left by will his mansion and estate to a poor couple.  They
remove into it, and find there a darksome servant, whom they are
forbidden by will to turn away.  He becomes a torment to them; and, in
the finale, he turns out to be the former master of the estate.

Two persons to be expecting some occurrence, and watching for the two
principal actors in it, and to find that the occurrence is even then
passing, and that they themselves are the two actors.

There is evil in every human heart, which may remain latent, perhaps,
through the whole of life; but circumstances may rouse it to activity.
To imagine such circumstances.  A woman, tempted to be false to her
husband, apparently through mere whim,--or a young man to feel an
instinctive thirst for blood, and to commit murder.  This appetite may be
traced in the popularity of criminal trials.  The appetite might be
observed first in a child, and then traced upwards, manifesting itself in
crimes suited to every stage of life.

The good deeds in an evil life,--the generous, noble, and excellent
actions done by people habitually wicked,--to ask what is to become of
them.

A satirical article might be made out of the idea of an imaginary museum,
containing such articles as Aaron's rod, the petticoat of General
Harrison, the pistol with which Benton shot Jackson,--and then a diorama,
consisting of political or other scenes, or done in wax-work.  The idea
to be wrought out and extended.  Perhaps it might be the museum of a
deceased old man.

An article might be made respecting various kinds of ruin,--ruin as
regards property,--ruin of health,--ruin of habits, as drunkenness and
all kinds of debauchery,--ruin of character, while prosperous in other
respects,--ruin of the soul.  Ruin, perhaps, might be personified as a
demon, seizing its victims by various holds.

An article on fire, on smoke.  Diseases of the mind and soul,--even more
common than bodily diseases.

Tarleton, of the Revolution, is said to have been one of the two
handsomest men in Europe,--the Prince of Wales, afterwards George IV.,
being the other.  Some authorities, however, have represented him as
ungainly in person and rough in manners.  Tarleton was originally bred to
the law, but quitted law for the army early in life.  He was son to a
mayor of Liverpool, born in 1754, of ancient family.  He wrote his own
memoirs after returning from America.  Afterwards in Parliament.  Never
afterwards distinguished in arms.  Created baronet in 1818, and died
childless in 1833.  Thought he was not sufficiently honored among more
modern heroes.  Lost part of his right hand in battle of Guilford Court
House.  A man of pleasure in England.

It would be a good idea for a painter to paint a picture of a great
actor, representing him in several different characters of one scene,--
Iago and Othello, for instance.


Maine, July 5th, 1837.--Here I am, settled since night before last with
B------, and living very singularly.  He leads a bachelor's life in his
paternal mansion, only a small part of which is occupied by a family who
serve him.  He provides his own breakfast and supper, and occasionally
his dinner; though this is oftener, I believe, taken at the hotel, or an
eating-house, or with some of his relatives.  I am his guest, and my
presence makes no alteration in his way of life.  Our fare, thus far, has
consisted of bread, butter, and cheese, crackers, herrings, boiled eggs,
coffee, milk, and claret wine.  He has another inmate, in the person of a
queer little Frenchman, who has his breakfast, tea, and lodging here, and
finds his dinner elsewhere.  Monsieur S------ does not appear to be more
than twenty-one years old,--a diminutive figure, with eyes askew, and
otherwise of an ungainly physiognomy; he is ill-dressed also, in a coarse
blue coat, thin cotton pantaloons, and unbrushed boots; altogether with
as little of French coxcombry as can well be imagined, though with
something of the monkey aspect inseparable from a little Frenchman.  He
is, nevertheless, an intelligent and well-informed man, apparently of
extensive reading in his own language,--a philosopher, B------ tells me,
and an infidel.  His insignificant personal appearance stands in the way
of his success, and prevents him from receiving the respect which is
really due to his talents and acquirements; wherefore he is bitterly
dissatisfied with the country and its inhabitants, and often expresses
his feelings to B------ (who has gained his confidence to a certain
degree) in very strong terms.

Thus here are three characters, each with something out of the common
way, living together somewhat like monks.  B------, our host, combines
more high and admirable qualities, of that sort which make up a
gentleman, than any other that I have met with.  Polished, yet natural,
frank, open, and straightforward, yet with a delicate feeling for the
sensitiveness of his companions; of excellent temper and warm heart; well
acquainted with the world, with a keen faculty of observation, which he
has had many opportunities of exercising, and never varying from a code
of honor and principle which is really nice and rigid in its way.  There
is a sort of philosophy developing itself in him which will not
impossibly cause him to settle down in this or some other equally
singular course of life.  He seems almost to have made up his mind never
to be married, which I wonder at; for he has strong affections, and is
fond both of women and children.

The little Frenchman impresses me very strongly, too,--so lonely as he is
here, struggling against the world, with bitter feelings in his breast,
and yet talking with the vivacity and gayety of his nation; making this
his home from darkness to daylight, and enjoying here what little
domestic comfort and confidence there is for him; and then going about
all the livelong day, teaching French to blockheads who sneer at him, and
returning at about ten o'clock in the evening (for I was wrong in saying
he supped here,--he eats no supper) to his solitary room and bed.  Before
retiring, he goes to B------'s bedside, and, if he finds him awake,
stands talking French, expressing his dislike of the Americans, "Je hais,
je hais les Yankees!"--thus giving vent to the stifled bitterness of the
whole day.  In the morning I hear him getting up early, at sunrise or
before, humming to himself, scuffling about his chamber with his thick
boots, and at last taking his departure for a solitary ramble till
breakfast.  Then he comes in, cheerful and vivacious enough, eats pretty
heartily, and is off again, singing French chansons as he goes down the
gravel-walk.  The poor fellow has nobody to sympathize with him but
B------, and thus a singular connection is established between two
utterly different characters.

Then here is myself, who am likewise a queer character in my way, and
have come to spend a week or two with my friend of half a lifetime,--the
longest space, probably, that we are ever destined to spend together; for
Fate seems preparing changes for both of us.  My circumstances, at least,
cannot long continue as they are and have been; and B------, too, stands
between high prosperity and utter ruin.

I think I should soon become strongly attached to our way of life, so
independent and untroubled by the forms and restrictions of society.  The
house is very pleasantly situated,--half a mile distant from where the
town begins to be thickly settled, and on a swell of land, with the
road running at a distance of fifty yards, and a grassy tract and a
gravel-walk between.  Beyond the road rolls the Kennebec, here two or
three hundred yards wide.  Putting my head out of the window, I can see
it flowing steadily along straightway between wooded banks; but arriving
nearly opposite the house, there is a large and level sand island in the
middle of the stream; and just below the island the current is further
interrupted by the works of the mill-dam, which is perhaps half finished,
yet still in so rude a state that it looks as much like the ruins of a
dam destroyed by the spring freshets as like the foundations of a dam yet
to be.  Irishmen and Canadians toil at work on it, and the echoes of
their hammering and of the voices come across the river and up to this
window.  Then there is a sound of the wind among the trees round the
house; and, when that is silent, the calm, full, distant voice of the
river becomes audible.  Looking downward thither, I see the rush of the
current, and mark the different eddies, with here and there white specks
or streaks of foam; and often a log comes floating on, glistening in the
sun, as it rolls over among the eddies, having voyaged, for aught I know,
hundreds of miles from the wild upper sources of the river, passing down,
down, between lines of forest, and sometimes a rough clearing, till here
it floats by cultivated banks, and will soon pass by the village.
Sometimes a long raft of boards comes along, requiring the nicest skill
in navigating it through the narrow passage left by the mill-dam.
Chaises and wagons occasionally go over the road, the riders all giving a
passing glance at the dam, or perhaps alighting to examine it more fully,
and at last departing with ominous shakes of the head as to the result of
the enterprise.  My position is so far retired from the river and
mill-dam, that, though the latter is really rather a scene, yet a sort of
quiet seems to be diffused over the whole.  Two or three times a day this
quiet is broken by the sudden thunder from a quarry, where the workmen
are blasting rocks; and a peal of thunder sounds strangely in such a
green, sunny, and quiet landscape, with the blue sky brightening the
river.

I have not seen much of the people.  There have been, however, several
incidents which amused me, though scarcely worth telling.  A passionate
tavern-keeper, quick as a flash of gunpowder, a nervous man, and
showing in his demeanor, it seems, a consciousness of his infirmity of
temper.  I was a witness of a scuffle of his with a drunken guest.  The
tavern-keeper, after they were separated, raved like a madman, and in a
tone of voice having a drolly pathetic or lamentable sound mingled with
its rage, as if he were lifting up his voice to weep.  Then he jumped
into a chaise which was standing by, whipped up the horse, and drove off
rapidly, as if to give his fury vent in that way.

On the morning of the Fourth of July, two printer's apprentice-lads,
nearly grown, dressed in jackets and very tight pantaloons of check,
tight as their skins, so that they looked like harlequins or
circus-clowns, yet appeared to think themselves in perfect propriety,
with a very calm and quiet assurance of the admiration of the town.  A
common fellow, a carpenter, who, on the strength of political
partisanship, asked B------'s assistance in cutting out great letters
from play-bills in order to print "Martin Van Buren Forever" on a flag;
but B------ refused.  B------ seems to be considerably of a favorite with
the lower orders, especially with the Irishmen and French Canadians,--the
latter accosting him in the street, and asking his assistance as an
interpreter in making their bargains for work.

I meant to dine at the hotel with B------ to-day; but having returned to
the house, leaving him to do some business in the village, I found myself
unwilling to move when the dinner-hour approached, and therefore dined
very well on bread, cheese, and eggs.  Nothing of much interest takes
place.  We live very comfortably in our bachelor establishment on a cold
shoulder of mutton, with ham and smoked beef and boiled eggs; and as to
drinkables, we had both claret and brown sherry on the dinner-table
to-day.  Last evening we had along literary and philosophical
conversation with Monsieur S------.  He is rather remarkably
well-informed for a man of his age, and seems to have very just notions
on ethics, etc., though damnably perverted as to religion.  It is strange
to hear philosophy of any sort from such a boyish figure.  "We
philosophers," he is fond of saying, to distinguish himself and his
brethren from the Christians.  One of his oddities is, that, while
steadfastly maintaining an opinion that he is a very small and slow
eater, and that we, in common with other Yankees, eat immensely and fast,
he actually eats both faster and longer than we do, and devours, as
B------avers, more victuals than both of us together.


Saturday, July 8th.--Yesterday afternoon, a stroll with B------ up a
large brook, he fishing for trout, and I looking on.  The brook runs
through a valley, on one side bordered by a high and precipitous bank; on
the other there is an interval, and then the bank rises upward and upward
into a high hill with gorges and ravines separating one summit from
another, and here and there are bare places, where the rain-streams have
washed away the grass.  The brook is bestrewn with stones, some bare,
some partially moss-grown, and sometimes so huge as--once at least--to
occupy almost the whole breadth of the current.  Amongst these the stream
brawls, only that this word does not express its good-natured voice, and
"murmur" is too quiet.  It sings along, sometimes smooth, with the
pebbles visible beneath, sometimes rushing dark and swift, eddying and
whitening past some rock, or underneath the hither or the farther bank;
and at these places B------ cast his line, and sometimes drew out a
trout, small, not more than five or six inches long.  The farther we went
up the brook, the wilder it grew.  The opposite bank was covered with
pines and hemlocks, ascending high upwards, black and solemn.  One knew
that there must be almost a precipice behind, yet we could not see it.
At the foot you could spy, a little way within the darksome shade, the
roots and branches of the trees; but soon all sight was obstructed amidst
the trunks.  On the hither side, at first the bank was bare, then fringed
with alder-bushes, bending and dipping into the stream, which, farther
on, flowed through the midst of a forest of maple, beech, and other
trees, its course growing wilder and wilder as we proceeded.  For a
considerable distance there was a causeway, built long ago of logs, to
drag lumber upon; it was now decayed and rotten, a red decay, sometimes
sunken down in the midst, here and there a knotty trunk stretching
across, apparently sound.  The sun being now low towards the west, a
pleasant gloom and brightness were diffused through the forest, spots of
brightness scattered upon the branches, or thrown down in gold upon the
last year's leaves among the trees.  At last we came to where a dam had
been built across the brook many years ago, and was now gone to ruin, so
as to make the spot look more solitary and wilder than if man had never
left vestiges of his toil there.  It was a framework of logs with a
covering of plank sufficient to obstruct the onward flow of the brook;
but it found its way past the side, and came foaming and struggling along
among scattered rocks.  Above the dam there was a broad and deep pool,
one side of which was bordered by a precipitous wall of rocks, as smooth
as if hewn out and squared, and piled one upon another, above which rose
the forest.  On the other side there was still a gently shelving bank,
and the shore was covered with tall trees, among which I particularly
remarked a stately pine, wholly devoid of bark, rising white in aged and
majestic ruin, thrusting out its barkless arms.  It must have stood there
in death many years, its own ghost.  Above the dam the brook flowed
through the forest, a glistening and babbling water-path, illuminated by
the sun, which sent its rays almost straight along its course.  It was as
lovely and wild and peaceful as it could possibly have been a hundred
years ago; and the traces of labors of men long departed added a deeper
peace to it.  I bathed in the pool, and then pursued my way down beside
the brook, growing dark with a pleasant gloom, as the sun sank and the
water became more shadowy.  B------ says that there was formerly a
tradition that the Indians used to go up this brook, and return, after a
brief absence, with large masses of lead, which they sold at the
trading-stations in Augusta; whence there has always been an idea that
there is a lead-mine hereabouts.  Great toadstools were under the trees,
and some small ones as yellow and almost the size of a half-broiled yolk
of an egg.  Strawberries were scattered along the brookside.

Dined at the hotel or Mansion House to-day.  Men were playing checkers in
the parlor.  The Marshal of Maine, a corpulent, jolly fellow, famed for
humor.  A passenger left by the stage, hiring an express onward.  A
bottle of champagne was quaffed at the bar.


July 9th.--Went with B------ to pay a visit to the shanties of the Irish
and Canadians.  He says that they sell and exchange these small houses
among themselves continually.  They may be built in three or four days,
and are valued at four or five dollars.  When the turf that is piled
against the walls of some of them becomes covered with grass, it makes
quite a picturesque object.  It was almost dusk--just candle-lighting
time--when we visited them.  A young Frenchwoman, with a baby in her
arms, came to the door of one of them, smiling, and looking pretty and
happy.  Her husband, a dark, black-haired, lively little fellow, caressed
the child, laughing and singing to it; and there was a red-bearded
Irishman, who likewise fondled the little brat.  Then we could hear them
within the hut, gabbling merrily, and could see them moving about briskly
in the candlelight, through the window and open door.  An old Irishwoman
sat in the door of another hut, under the influence of an extra dose of
rum,--she being an old lady of somewhat dissipated habits.  She called to
B------, and began to talk to him about her resolution not to give up her
house: for it is his design to get her out of it.  She is a true virago,
and, though somewhat restrained by respect for him, she evinced a sturdy
design to remain here through the winter, or at least for a considerable
time longer.  He persisting, she took her stand in the doorway of the
hut, and stretched out her fist in a very Amazonian attitude.  "Nobody,"
quoth she, "shall drive me out of this house, till my praties are out of
the ground."  Then would she wheedle and laugh and blarney, beginning in
a rage, and ending as if she had been in jest.  Meanwhile her husband
stood by very quiet, occasionally trying to still her; but it is to be
presumed, that, after our departure, they came to blows, it being a
custom with the Irish husbands and wives to settle their disputes with
blows; and it is said the woman often proves the better man.  The
different families also have battles, and occasionally the Irish fight
with the Canadians.  The latter, however, are much the more peaceable,
never quarrelling among themselves, and seldom with their neighbors.
They are frugal, and often go back to Canada with considerable sums of
money.  B------ has gained much influence both with the Irish and the
French,--with the latter, by dint of speaking to them in their own
language.  He is the umpire in their disputes, and their adviser, and
they look up to him as a protector and patron-friend.  I have been struck
to see with what careful integrity and wisdom he manages matters among
them, hitherto having known him only as a free and gay young man.  He
appears perfectly to understand their general character, of which he
gives no very flattering description.  In these huts, less than twenty
feet square, he tells me that upwards of twenty people have sometimes
been lodged.

A description of a young lady who had formerly been insane, and now felt
the approach of a new fit of madness.  She had been out to ride, had
exerted herself much, and had been very vivacious.  On her return, she
sat down in a thoughtful and despondent attitude, looking very sad, but
one of the loveliest objects that ever were seen.  The family spoke to
her, but she made no answer, nor took the least notice; but still sat
like a statue in her chair,--a statue of melancholy and beauty.  At last
they led her away to her chamber.

We went to meeting this forenoon.  I saw nothing remarkable, unless a
little girl in the next pew to us, three or four years old, who fell
asleep, with her bead in the lap of her maid, and looked very pretty: a
picture of sleeping innocence.


July 11th, Tuesday.--A drive with B------ to Hallowell, yesterday, where
we dined, and afterwards to Gardiner.  The most curious object in this
latter place was the elegant new mansion of ------.  It stands on the
site of his former dwelling, which was destroyed by fire.

The new building was estimated to cost about thirty thousand dollars; but
twice as much has already been expended, and a great deal more will be
required to complete it.  It is certainly a splendid structure; the
material, granite from the vicinity.  At the angles it has small,
circular towers; the portal is lofty and imposing.  Relatively to the
general style of domestic architecture in our country, it well deserves
the name of castle or palace.  Its situation, too, is fine, far retired
from the public road, and attainable by a winding carriage-drive;
standing amid fertile fields, and with large trees in the vicinity.
There is also a beautiful view from the mansion, adown the Kennebec.

Beneath some of the large trees we saw the remains of circular seats,
whereupon the family used to sit before the former house was burned down.
There was no one now in the vicinity of the place, save a man and a yoke
of oxen; and what he was about, I did not ascertain.  Mr. ------ at
present resides in a small dwelling, little more than a cottage, beside
the main road, not far from the gateway which gives access to his palace.

At Gardiner, on the wharf, I witnessed the starting of the steamboat New
England for Boston.  There was quite a collection of people, looking on
or taking leave of passengers,--the steam puffing,--stages arriving,
full-freighted with ladies and gentlemen.  A man was one moment too late;
but running along the gunwale of a mud-scow, and jumping into a skiff, he
was put on board by a black fellow.  The dark cabin, wherein, descending
from the sunshiny deck, it was difficult to discern the furniture,
looking-glasses, and mahogany wainscoting.  I met two old college
acquaintances, O------, who was going to Boston, and B------ with whom we
afterwards drank a glass of wine at the hotel.

B------, Mons. S------, and myself continue to live in the same style as
heretofore.  We appear mutually to be very well pleased with each other.
Mons. S------ displays many comical qualities, and manages to insure us
several hearty laughs every morning and evening,--those being the seasons
when we meet.  I am going to take lessons from him in the pronunciation
of French.  Of female society I see nothing.  The only petticoat that
comes within our premises appertains to Nancy, the pretty, dark-eyed
maid-servant of the man who lives in the other part of the house.

On the road from Hallowell to Augusta we saw little booths, in two
places, erected on the roadside, where boys offered beer, apples, etc.,
for sale.  We passed an Irishwoman with a child in her arms, and a heavy
bundle, and afterwards an Irishman with a light bundle, sitting by the
highway.  They were husband and wife; and B------ says that an Irishman
and his wife, on their journeys, do not usually walk side by side, but
that the man gives the woman the heaviest burden to carry, and walks on
lightly ahead!

A thought comes into my mind: Which sort of house excites the most
contemptuous feelings in the beholder,--such a house as Mr.------'s, all
circumstances considered, or the board-built and turf-buttressed hovels
of these wild Irish, scattered about as if they had sprung up like
mushrooms, in the dells and gorges, and along the banks of the river?
Mushrooms, by the way, spring up where the roots of an old tree are
hidden under the ground.


Thursday, July 13th.--Two small Canadian boys came to our house
yesterday, with strawberries to sell.  It sounds strangely to hear
children bargaining in French on the borders of Yankee-land.  Among other
languages spoken hereabouts must be reckoned the wild Irish.  Some of the
laborers on the mill-dam can speak nothing else.  The intermixture of
foreigners sometimes gives rise to quarrels between them and the natives.
As we were going to the village yesterday afternoon, we witnessed the
beginning of a quarrel between a Canadian and a Yankee,--the latter
accusing the former of striking his oxen.  B------ thrust himself between
and parted them; but they afterwards renewed their fray, and the
Canadian, I believe, thrashed the Yankee soundly,--for which he had to
pay twelve dollars.  Yet he was but a little fellow.

Coming to the Mansion House about supper-time, we found somewhat of a
concourse of people, the Governor and Council being in session on the
subject of the disputed territory.  The British have lately imprisoned a
man who was sent to take the census; and the Mainiacs are much excited on
the subject.  They wish the Governor to order out the militia at once,
and take possession of the territory with the strong hand.  There was a
British army-captain at the Mansion House; and an idea was thrown out
that it would be as well to seize upon him as a hostage.  I would, for
the joke's sake, that it had been done.  Personages at the tavern: the
Governor, somewhat stared after as he walked through the bar-room;
Councillors seated about, sitting on benches near the bar, or on the
stoop along the front of the house; the Adjutant-General of the State;
two young Blue-Noses, from Canada or the Provinces; a gentleman "thumbing
his hat" for liquor, or perhaps playing off the trick of the "honest
landlord" on some stranger.  The decanters and wine-bottles on the move,
and the beer and soda founts pouring out continual streams, with a whiz.
Stage-drivers, etc., asked to drink with the aristocracy, and mine host
treating and being treated.  Rubicund faces; breaths odorous of
brandy-and-water.  Occasionally the pop of a champagne cork.

Returned home, and took a lesson in French of Mons. S------.  I like him
very much, and have seldom met with a more honest, simple, and apparently
so well-principled a man; which good qualities I impute to his being, by
the father's side, of German blood.  He looks more like a German--or, as
he says, like a Swiss--than a Frenchman, having very light hair and a
light complexion, and not a French expression.  He is a vivacious little
fellow, and wonderfully excitable to mirth; and it is truly a sight to
see him laugh;--every feature partakes of his movement, and even his
whole body shares in it, as he rises and dances about the room.  He has
great variety of conversation, commensurate with his experiences in life,
and sometimes will talk Spanish, ore rotundo,--sometimes imitate the
Catholic priests, chanting Latin songs for the dead, in deep, gruff,
awful tones, producing really a very strong impression,--then he will
break out into a light, French song, perhaps of love, perhaps of war,
acting it out, as if on the stage of a theatre: all this intermingled
with continual fun, excited by the incidents of the passing moment.  He
has Frenchified all our names, calling B------ Monsieur Du Pont, myself
M. de L'Aubepine, and himself M. le Berger, and all, Knights of the
Round-Table.  And we live in great harmony and brotherhood, as queer a
life as anybody leads, and as queer a set as may be found anywhere.  In
his more serious intervals, he talks philosophy and deism, and preaches
obedience to the law of reason and morality; which law he says (and I
believe him) he has so well observed, that, notwithstanding his residence
in dissolute countries, he has never yet been sinful.  He wishes me,
eight or nine weeks hence, to accompany him on foot to Quebec, and then
to Niagara and New York.  I should like it well, if my circumstances and
other considerations would permit.  What pleases much in Mons. S------ is
the simple and childlike enjoyment he finds in trifles, and the joy with
which he speaks of going back to his own country, away from the dull
Yankees, who here misunderstand and despise him.  Yet I have never heard
him speak harshly of them.  I rather think that B------ and I will be
remembered by him with more pleasure than anybody else in the country;
for we have sympathized with him, and treated him kindly, and like a
gentleman and an equal; and he comes to us at night as to home and
friends.

I went down to the river to-day to see B------ fish for salmon with a
fly,--a hopeless business; for he says that only one instance has been
known in the United States of salmon being taken otherwise than with a
net.  A few chubs were all the fruit of his piscatory efforts.  But while
looking at the rushing and rippling stream, I saw a great fish, some six
feet long and thick in proportion, suddenly emerge at whole length, turn
a somerset, and then vanish again beneath the water.  It was of a
glistening, yellowish brown, with its fins all spread, and looking very
strange and startling, darting out so lifelike from the black water,
throwing itself fully into the bright sunshine, and then lost to sight
and to pursuit.  I saw also a long, flat-bottomed boat go up the river,
with a brisk wind, and against a strong stream.  Its sails were of
curious construction: a long mast, with two sails below, one on each side
of the boat, and a broader one surmounting them.  The sails were colored
brown, and appeared like leather or skins, but were really cloth.  At a
distance, the vessel looked like, or at least I compared it to, a
monstrous water-insect skimming along the river.  If the sails had been
crimson or yellow, the resemblance would have been much closer.  There
was a pretty spacious raised cabin in the after part of the boat.  It
moved along lightly, and disappeared between the woody banks.  These
boats have the two parallel sails attached to the same yard, and some
have two sails, one surmounting the other.  They trade to Waterville and
thereabouts,--names, as "Paul Pry," on their sails.


Saturday, July 15th.--Went with B------ yesterday to visit several Irish
shanties, endeavoring to find out who had stolen some rails of a fence.
At the first door at which we knocked (a shanty with an earthen mound
heaped against the wall, two or three feet thick), the inmates were not
up, though it was past eight o'clock.  At last a middle-aged woman showed
herself, half dressed, and completing her toilet.  Threats were made of
tearing down her house; for she is a lady of very indifferent morals, and
sells rum.  Few of these people are connected with the mill-dam,--or, at
least, many are not so, but have intruded themselves into the vacant huts
which were occupied by the mill-dam people last year.  In two or three
places hereabouts there is quite a village of these dwellings, with a
clay and board chimney, or oftener an old barrel, smoked and charred with
the fire.  Some of their roofs are covered with sods, and appear almost
subterranean.  One of the little hamlets stands on both sides of a deep
dell, wooded and bush-grown, with a vista, as it were, into the heart of
a wood in one direction, and to the broad, sunny river in the other:
there was a little rivulet, crossed by a plank, at the bottom of the
dell.  At two doors we saw very pretty and modest-looking young women,--
one with a child in her arms.  Indeed, they all have innumerable little
children; and they are invariably in good health, though always dirty of
face.  They come to the door while their mothers are talking with the
visitors, standing straight up on their bare legs, with their little
plump bodies protruding, in one hand a small tin saucepan, and in the
other an iron spoon, with unwashed mouths, looking as independent as any
child or grown person in the land.  They stare unabashed, but make no
answer when spoken to.  "I've no call to your fence, Misser B------."  It
seems strange that a man should have the right, unarmed with any legal
instrument, of tearing down the dwelling-houses of a score of families,
and driving the inmates forth without a shelter.  Yet B------ undoubtedly
has this right; and it is not a little striking to see how quietly these
people contemplate the probability of his exercising it,--resolving,
indeed, to burrow in their holes as long as may be, yet caring about as
little for an ejectment as those who could find a tenement anywhere, and
less.  Yet the women, amid all the trials of their situation, appear to
have kept up the distinction between virtue and vice; those who can claim
the former will not associate with the latter.  When the women travel
with young children, they carry the baby slung at their backs, and
sleeping quietly.  The dresses of the new-comers are old-fashioned,
making them look aged before their time.

Monsieur S------ shaving himself yesterday morning.  He was in excellent
spirits, and could not keep his tongue or body still, more than long
enough to make two or three consecutive strokes at his beard.  Then he
would turn, flourishing his razor and grimacing joyously, enacting droll
antics, breaking out into scraps and verses of drinking-songs, "A boire!
a boire!"--then laughing heartily, and crying, "Vive la gaite!" then
resuming his task, looking into the glass with grave face, on which,
however, a grin would soon break out anew, and all his pranks would be
repeated with variations.  He turned this foolery to philosophy, by
observing that mirth contributed to goodness of heart, and to make us
love our fellow-creatures.  Conversing with him in the evening, he
affirmed, with evident belief in the truth of what he said, that he would
have no objection, except that it would be a very foolish thing, to
expose his whole heart, his whole inner man, to the view of the world.
Not that there would not be much evil discovered there; but, as he was
conscious of being in a state of mental and moral improvement, working
out his progress onward, he would not shrink from such a scrutiny.  This
talk was introduced by his mentioning the "Minister's Black Veil," which
he said he had seen translated into French, as an exercise, by a Miss
Appleton of Bangor.

Saw by the river-side, late in the afternoon, one of the above-described
boats going into the stream with the water rippling at the prow, from the
strength of the current and of the boat's motion.  By and by comes down a
raft, perhaps twenty yards long, guided by two men, one at each end,--the
raft itself of boards sawed at Waterville, and laden with square bundles
of shingles and round bundles of clapboards.  "Friend," says one man,
"how is the tide now?"--this being important to the onward progress.
They make fast to a tree, in order to wait for the tide to rise a little
higher.  It would be pleasant enough to float down the Kennebec on one of
these rafts, letting the river conduct you onward at its own pace,
leisurely displaying to you all the wild or ordered beauties along its
banks, and perhaps running you aground in some peculiarly picturesque
spot, for your longer enjoyment of it.  Another object, perhaps, is a
solitary man paddling himself down the river in a small canoe, the light,
lonely touch of his paddle in the water making the silence seem deeper.
Every few minutes a sturgeon leaps forth, sometimes behind you, so that
you merely hear the splash, and, turning hastily around, see nothing but
the disturbed water.  Sometimes he darts straight on end out of a quiet
black spot on which your eyes happen to be fixed, and, when even his tail
is clear of the surface, he falls down on his side and disappears.

On the river-bank, an Irishwoman washing some clothes, surrounded by her
children, whose babbling sounds pleasantly along the edge of the shore;
and she also answers in a sweet, kindly, and cheerful voice, though an
immoral woman, and without the certainty of bread or shelter from day to
day.  An Irishman sitting angling on the brink with an alder pole and a
clothes-line.  At frequent intervals, the scene is suddenly broken by a
loud report like thunder, rolling along the banks, echoing and
reverberating afar.  It is a blast of rocks.  Along the margin, sometimes
sticks of timber made fast, either separately or several together; stones
of some size, varying the pebbles and sand; a clayey spot, where a
shallow brook runs into the river, not with a deep outlet, but finding
its way across the bank in two or three single runlets.  Looking upward
into the deep glen whence it issues, you see its shady current.
Elsewhere, a high acclivity, with the beach between it and the river, the
ridge broken and caved away, so that the earth looks fresh and yellow,
and is penetrated by the nests of birds.  An old, shining tree-trunk,
half in and half out of the water.  An island of gravel, long and narrow,
in the centre of the river.  Chips, blocks of wood, slabs, and other
scraps of lumber, strewed along the beach; logs drifting down.  The high
bank covered with various trees and shrubbery, and, in one place, two or
three Irish shanties.


Thursday, July 20th.--A drive yesterday afternoon to a pond in the
vicinity of Augusta, about nine miles off, to fish for white perch.
Remarkables: the steering of the boat through the crooked, labyrinthine
brook, into the open pond,--the man who acted as pilot,--his talking with
B------ about politics, the bank, the iron money of "a king who came to
reign, in Greece, over a city called Sparta,"--his advice to B------ to
come amongst the laborers on the mill-dam, because it stimulated them "to
see a man grinning amongst them."  The man took hearty tugs at a bottle
of good Scotch whiskey, and became pretty merry.  The fish caught were
the yellow perch, which are not esteemed for eating; the white perch, a
beautiful, silvery, round-backed fish, which bites eagerly, runs about
with the line while being pulled up, makes good sport for the angler, and
an admirable dish; a great chub; and three horned pouts, which swallow
the hook into their lowest entrails.  Several dozen fish were taken in an
hour or two, and then we returned to the shop where we had left our horse
and wagon, the pilot very eccentric behind us.  It was a small, dingy
shop, dimly lighted by a single inch of candle, faintly disclosing
various boxes, barrels standing on end, articles hanging from the
ceiling; the proprietor at the counter, whereon appear gin and brandy,
respectively contained in a tin pint-measure and an earthenware jug, with
two or three tumblers beside them, out of which nearly all the party
drank; some coming up to the counter frankly, others lingering in the
background, waiting to be pressed, two paying for their own liquor and
withdrawing.  B------ treated them twice round.  The pilot, after
drinking his brandy, gave a history of our fishing expedition, and
how many and how large fish we caught.  B------ making acquaintances
and renewing them, and gaining great credit for liberality and
free-heartedness,--two or three boys looking on and listening to the
talk,--the shopkeeper smiling behind his counter, with the tarnished tin
scales beside him,--the inch of candle burning down almost to extinction.
So we got into our wagon, with the fish, and drove to Robinson's tavern,
almost five miles off, where we supped and passed the night.  In the
bar-room was a fat old countryman on a journey, and a quack doctor of the
vicinity, and an Englishman with a peculiar accent.  Seeing B------'s
jointed and brass-mounted fishing-pole, he took it for a theodolite, and
supposed that we had been on a surveying expedition. At supper, which
consisted of bread, butter, cheese, cake, doughnuts, and gooseberry-pie,
we were waited upon by a tall, very tall woman, young and maiden-looking,
yet with a strongly outlined and determined face.  Afterwards we found
her to be the wife of mine host.  She poured out our tea, came in when we
rang the table-bell to refill our cups, and again retired.  While at
supper, the fat old traveller was ushered through the room into a
contiguous bedroom.  My own chamber, apparently the best in the house,
had its walls ornamented with a small, gilt-framed, foot-square
looking-glass, with a hairbrush hanging beneath it; a record of the
deaths of the family written on a black tomb, in an engraving, where a
father, mother, and child were represented in a graveyard, weeping over
said tomb; the mourners dressed in black, country-cut clothes; the
engraving executed in Vermont.  There was also a wood engraving of the
Declaration of Independence, with fac-similes of the autographs; a
portrait of the Empress Josephine, and another of Spring.  In the two
closets of this chamber were mine hostess's cloak, best bonnet, and
go-to-meeting apparel.  There was a good bed, in which I slept tolerably
well, and, rising betimes, ate breakfast, consisting of some of our own
fish, and then started for Augusta.  The fat old traveller had gone off
with the harness of our wagon, which the hostler had put on to his horse
by mistake.  The tavern-keeper gave us his own harness, and started in
pursuit of the old man, who was probably aware of the exchange, and well
satisfied with it.

Our drive to Augusta, six or seven miles, was very pleasant, a heavy rain
having fallen during the night, and laid the oppressive dust of the day
before.  The road lay parallel with the Kennebec, of which we
occasionally had near glimpses.  The country swells back from the river
in hills and ridges, without any interval of level ground; and there were
frequent woods, filling up the valleys or crowning the summits.  The land
is good, the farms look neat, and the houses comfortable.  The latter are
generally but of one story, but with large barns; and it was a good sign,
that, while we saw no houses unfinished nor out of repair, one man at
least had found it expedient to make an addition to his dwelling.  At the
distance of more than two miles, we had a view of white Augusta, with its
steeples, and the State-House, at the farther end of the town.
Observable matters along the road were the stage,--all the dust of
yesterday brushed off, and no new dust contracted,--full of passengers,
inside and out; among them some gentlemanly people and pretty girls, all
looking fresh and unsullied, rosy, cheerful, and curious as to the face
of the country, the faces of passing travellers, and the incidents of
their journey; not yet damped, in the morning sunshine, by long miles of
jolting over rough and hilly roads,--to compare this with their
appearance at midday, and as they drive into Bangor at dusk;--two women
dashing along in a wagon, and with a child, rattling pretty speedily down
hill;--people looking at us from the open doors and windows;--the
children staring from the wayside;--the mowers stopping, for a moment,
the sway of their scythes;--the matron of a family, indistinctly seen at
some distance within the house, her head and shoulders appearing through
the window, drawing her handkerchief over her bosom, which had been
uncovered to give the baby its breakfast,--the said baby, or its
immediate predecessor, sitting at the door, turning round to creep away
on all fours;--a man building a flat-bottomed boat by the roadside: he
talked with B------ about the Boundary question, and swore fervently in
favor of driving the British "into hell's kitchen" by main force.

Colonel B------, the engineer of the mill-dam, is now here, after about a
fortnight's absence.  He is a plain country squire, with a good figure,
but with rather a heavy brow; a rough complexion; a gait stiff, and a
general rigidity of manner, something like that of a schoolmaster.  He
originated in a country town, and is a self-educated man.  As he walked
down the gravel-path to-day, after dinner, he took up a scythe, which one
of the mowers had left on the sward, and began to mow, with quite a
scientific swing.  On the coming of the mower, he laid it down, perhaps a
little ashamed of his amusement.  I was interested in this; to see a man,
after twenty-five years of scientific occupation, thus trying whether his
arms retained their strength and skill for the labors of his youth,--
mindful of the day when he wore striped trousers, and toiled in his
shirt-sleeves,--and now tasting again, for pastime, this drudgery beneath
a fervid sun.  He stood awhile, looking at the workmen, and then went to
oversee the laborers at the mill-dam.


Monday, July, 24th.--I bathed in the river on Thursday evening, and in
the brook at the old dam on Saturday and Sunday,--the former time at
noon.  The aspect of the solitude at noon was peculiarly impressive,
there being a cloudless sunshine, no wind, no rustling of the
forest-leaves, no waving of the boughs, no noise but the brawling and
babbling of the stream, making its way among the stones, and pouring in a
little cataract round one side of the mouldering dam.  Looking up the
brook, there was a long vista,--now ripples, now smooth and glassy
spaces, now large rocks, almost blocking up the channel; while the trees
stood upon either side, mostly straight, but here and there a branch
thrusting itself out irregularly, and one tree, a pine, leaning over,--
not bending,--but leaning at an angle over the brook, rough and ragged;
birches, alders; the tallest of all the trees an old, dead, leafless
pine, rising white and lonely, though closely surrounded by others.
Along the brook, now the grass and herbage extended close to the water;
now a small, sandy beach.  The wall of rock before described, looking as
if it had been hewn, but with irregular strokes of the workman, doing his
job by rough and ponderous strength,--now chancing to hew it away
smoothly and cleanly, now carelessly smiting, and making gaps, or piling
on the slabs of rock, so as to leave vacant spaces.  In the interstices
grow brake and broad-leaved forest-grass.  The trees that spring from the
top of this wall have their roots pressing close to the rock, so that
there is no soil between; they cling powerfully, and grasp the crag
tightly with their knotty fingers.  The trees on both sides are so thick,
that the sight and the thoughts are almost immediately lost among
confused stems, branches, and clustering green leaves,--a narrow strip of
bright blue sky above, the sunshine falling lustrously down, and making
the pathway of the brook luminous below.  Entering among the thickets, I
find the soil strewn with old leaves of preceding seasons, through which
may be seen a black or dark mould; the roots of trees stretch frequently
across the path; often a moss-grown brown log lies athwart, and when you
set your foot down, it sinks into the decaying substance,--into the heart
of oak or pine.  The leafy boughs and twigs of the underbrush enlace
themselves before you, so that you must stoop your head to pass under, or
thrust yourself through amain, while they sweep against your face, and
perhaps knock off your hat.  There are rocks mossy and slippery;
sometimes you stagger, with a great rustling of branches, against a clump
of bushes, and into the midst of it.  From end to end of all this tangled
shade goes a pathway scarcely worn, for the leaves are not trodden
through, yet plain enough to the eye, winding gently to avoid tree-trunks
and rocks and little hillocks.  In the more open ground, the aspect of a
tall, fire-blackened stump, standing alone, high up on a swell of land,
that rises gradually from one side of the brook, like a monument.
Yesterday, I passed a group of children in this solitary valley,--two
boys, I think, and two girls.  One of the little girls seemed to have
suffered some wrong from her companions, for she was weeping and
complaining violently.  Another time, I came suddenly on a small Canadian
boy, who was in a hollow place, among the ruined logs of an old causeway,
picking raspberries,--lonely among bushes and gorges, far up the wild
valley,--and the lonelier seemed the little boy for the bright sunshine,
that showed no one else in a wide space of view except him and me.

Remarkable items: the observation of Mons. S------ when B------ was
saying something against the character of the French people,--"You ought
not to form an unfavorable judgment of a great nation from mean fellows
like me, strolling about in a foreign country."  I thought it very noble
thus to protest against anything discreditable in himself personally
being used against the honor of his country.  He is a very singular
person, with an originality in all his notions;--not that nobody has ever
had such before, but that he has thought them out for himself.  He told
me yesterday that one of his sisters was a waiting-maid in the Rocher de
Cancale.  He is about the sincerest man I ever knew, never pretending to
feelings that are not in him,--never flattering.  His feelings do not
seem to be warm, though they are kindly.  He is so single-minded that he
cannot understand badinage, but takes it all as if meant in earnest,--a
German trait.  He values himself greatly on being a Frenchman, though all
his most valuable qualities come from Germany.  His temperament is cool
and pure, and he is greatly delighted with any attentions from the
ladies.  A short time since, a lady gave him a bouquet of roses and
pinks; he capered and danced and sang, put it in water, and carried it to
his own chamber; but he brought it out for us to see and admire two or
three times a day, bestowing on it all the epithets of admiration in the
French language,--"Superbe! magnifique!"  When some of the flowers began
to fade, he made the rest, with others, into a new nosegay, and consulted
us whether it would be fit to give to another lady.  Contrast this French
foppery with his solemn moods, when we sit in the twilight, or after
B------ is abed, talking of Christianity and Deism, of ways of life, of
marriage, of benevolence,--in short, of all deep matters of this world
and the next.  An evening or two since, he began singing all manner of
English songs,--such as Mrs. Hemans's "Landing of the Pilgrims," "Auld
Lang Syne," and some of Moore's,--the singing pretty fair, but in the
oddest tone and accent.  Occasionally he breaks out with scraps from
French tragedies, which he spouts with corresponding action.  He
generally gets close to me in these displays of musical and histrionic
talent.  Once he offered to magnetize me in the manner of Monsieur
P------.


Wednesday, July 26th.--Dined at Barker's yesterday.  Before dinner, sat
with several other persons in the stoop of the tavern.  There were
B------, J. A. Chandler, Clerk of the Court, a man of middle age or
beyond, two or three stage people, and, near by, a negro, whom they call
"the Doctor," a crafty-looking fellow, one of whose occupations is
nameless.  In presence of this goodly company, a man of a depressed,
neglected air, a soft, simple-looking fellow, with an anxious expression,
in a laborer's dress, approached and inquired for Mr. Barker.  Mine host
being gone to Portland, the stranger was directed to the bar-keeper, who
stood at the door.  The man asked where he should find one Mary Ann
Russell,--a question which excited general and hardly suppressed mirth;
for the said Mary Ann is one of a knot of women who were routed on Sunday
evening by Barker and a constable.  The man was told that the black
fellow would give him all the information he wanted.  The black fellow
asked,--

"Do you want to see her?"

Others of the by-standers or by-sitters put various questions as to the
nature of the man's business with Mary Ann.  One asked,--

"Is she your daughter?"

"Why, a little nearer than that, I calkilate," said the poor devil.

Here the mirth was increased, it being evident that the woman was his
wife.  The man seemed too simple and obtuse to comprehend the ridicule of
his situation, or to be rendered very miserable by it.  Nevertheless, he
made some touching points.

"A man generally places some little dependence on his wife," said he,
"whether she's good or not."  He meant, probably, that he rests some
affection on her.  He told us that she had behaved well, till committed
to jail for striking a child; and I believe he was absent from home at
the time, and had not seen her since. And now he was in search of her,
intending, doubtless, to do his best to get her out of her troubles, and
then to take her back to his home.  Some advised him not to look after
her; others recommended him to pay "the Doctor" aforesaid for guiding him
to her; which finally "the Doctor" did, in consideration of a treat; and
the fellow went off, having heard little but gibes and not one word of
sympathy!  I would like to have witnessed his meeting with his wife.

There was a moral picturesqueness in the contrasts of the scene,--a man
moved as deeply as his nature would admit, in the midst of hardened,
gibing spectators, heartless towards him.  It is worth thinking over and
studying out.  He seemed rather hurt and pricked by the jests thrown at
him, yet bore it patiently, and sometimes almost joined in the laugh,
being of an easy, unenergetic temper.

Hints for characters:--Nancy, a pretty, black-eyed, intelligent
servant-girl, living in Captain H------'s family.  She comes daily to
make the beds in our part of the house, and exchanges a good-morning with
me, in a pleasant voice, and with a glance and smile,--somewhat shy,
because we are not acquainted, yet capable of being made conversable.
She washes once a week, and may be seen standing over her tub, with her
handkerchief somewhat displaced from her white neck, because it is hot.
Often she stands with her bare arms in the water, talking with
Mrs. H------, or looks through the window, perhaps, at B------, or
somebody else crossing the yard,--rather thoughtfully, but soon smiling
or laughing.  Then goeth she for a pail of water.  In the afternoon, very
probably, she dresses herself in silks, looking not only pretty, but
lady-like, and strolls round the house, not unconscious that some
gentleman may be staring at her from behind the green blinds.  After
supper, she walks to the village.  Morning and evening, she goes
a-milking.  And thus passes her life, cheerfully, usefully, virtuously,
with hopes, doubtless, of a husband and children.--Mrs. H------ is a
particularly plump, soft-fleshed, fair-complexioned, comely woman enough,
with rather a simple countenance, not nearly so piquant as Nancy's.  Her
walk has something of the roll or waddle of a fat woman, though it were
too much to call her fat.  She seems to be a sociable body, probably
laughter-loving.  Captain H------ himself has commanded a steamboat, and
has a certain knowledge of life.

Query, in relation to the man's missing wife, how much desire and
resolution of doing her duty by her husband can a wife retain, while
injuring him in what is deemed the most essential point?

Observation.  The effect of morning sunshine on the wet grass, on sloping
and swelling land, between the spectator and the sun at some distance, as
across a lawn.  It diffused a dim brilliancy over the whole surface of
the field.  The mists, slow-rising farther off, part resting on the
earth, the remainder of the column already ascending so high that you
doubt whether to call it a fog or a cloud.


Friday, July 28th.--Saw my classmate and formerly intimate friend,
------, for the first time since we graduated.  He has met with good
success in life, in spite of circumstance, having struggled upward
against bitter opposition, by the force of his own abilities, to be a
member of Congress, after having been for some time the leader of his
party in the State Legislature.  We met like old friends, and conversed
almost as freely as we used to do in college days, twelve years ago and
more.  He is a singular person, shrewd, crafty, insinuating, with
wonderful tact, seizing on each man by his manageable point, and using
him for his own purpose, often without the man's suspecting that he is
made a tool of; and yet, artificial as his character would seem to be,
his conversation, at least to myself, was full of natural feeling, the
expression of which can hardly be mistaken, and his revelations with
regard to himself had really a great deal of frankness.  He spoke of his
ambition, of the obstacles which he had encountered, of the means by
which he had overcome them, imputing great efficacy to his personal
intercourse with people, and his study of their characters; then of his
course as a member of the Legislature and Speaker, and his style of
speaking and its effects; of the dishonorable things which had been
imputed to him, and in what manner he had repelled the charges.  In
short, he would seem to have opened himself very freely as to his public
life.  Then, as to his private affairs, he spoke of his marriage, of his
wife, his children, and told me, with tears in his eyes, of the death of
a dear little girl, and how it affected him, and how impossible it had
been for him to believe that she was really to die.  A man of the most
open nature might well have been more reserved to a friend, after twelve
years' separation, than ------ was to me.  Nevertheless, he is really a
crafty man, concealing, like a murder-secret, anything that it is not
good for him to have known.  He by no means feigns the good-feeling that
he professes, nor is there anything affected in the frankness of his
conversation; and it is this that makes him so very fascinating.  There
is such a quantity of truth and kindliness and warm affections, that a
man's heart opens to him, in spite of himself.  He deceives by truth.
And not only is he crafty, but, when occasion demands, bold and fierce as
a tiger, determined, and even straightforward and undisguised in his
measures,--a daring fellow as well as a sly one.  Yet, notwithstanding
his consummate art, the general estimate of his character seems to be
pretty just.  Hardly anybody, probably, thinks him better than he is, and
many think him worse.  Nevertheless, if no overwhelming discovery of
rascality be made, he will always possess influence; though I should
hardly think that he would take any prominent part in Congress.  As to
any rascality, I rather believe that he has thought out for himself a
much higher system of morality than any natural integrity would have
prompted him to adopt; that he has seen the thorough advantage of
morality and honesty; and the sentiment of these qualities has now got
into his mind and spirit, and pretty well impregnated them.  I believe
him to be about as honest as the great run of the world, with something
even approaching to high-mindedness.  His person in some degree accords
with his character,--thin and with a thin face, sharp features, sallow, a
projecting brow not very high, deep-set eyes, an insinuating smile and
look, when he meets you, and is about to address you.  I should think
that he would do away with this peculiar expression, for it reveals more
of himself than can be detected in any other way, in personal intercourse
with him.  Upon the whole, I have quite a good liking for him, and mean
to go to--to see him.

Observation.  A steam-engine across the river, which almost continually
during the day, and sometimes all night, may be heard puffing and
panting, as if it uttered groans for being compelled to labor in the heat
and sunshine, and when the world is asleep also.


Monday, July 31st.--Nothing remarkable to record.  A child asleep in a
young lady's arms,--a little baby, two or three months old.  Whenever
anything partially disturbed the child, as, for instance, when the young
lady or a bystander patted its cheek or rubbed its chin, the child would
smile; then all its dreams seemed to be of pleasure and happiness.  At
first the smile was so faint, that I doubted whether it were really a
smile or no; but on further efforts, it brightened forth very decidedly.
This, without opening its eyes.--A constable, a homely, good-natured,
business-looking man, with a warrant against an Irishman's wife for
throwing a brickbat at a fellow.  He gave good advice to the Irishman
about the best method of coming easiest through the affair.  Finally
settled,--the justice agreeing to relinquish his fees, on condition that
the Irishman would pay for the mending of his old boots!

I went with Monsieur S------ yesterday to pick raspberries.  He fell
through an old log bridge thrown over a hollow; looking back, only his
head and shoulders appeared through the rotten logs and among the
bushes.--A shower coming on, the rapid running of a little barefooted
boy, coming up unheard, and dashing swiftly past us, and showing the
soles of his naked feet as he ran adown the path, and up the opposite
rise.


Tuesday, August 1st.--There having been a heavy rain yesterday, a nest of
chimney-swallows was washed down the chimney into the fireplace of one of
the front rooms.  My attention was drawn to them by a most obstreperous
twittering; and looking behind the fireboard, there were three young
birds, clinging with their feet against one of the jambs, looking at me,
open-mouthed, and all clamoring together, so as quite to fill the room
with the short, eager, frightened sound.  The old birds, by certain signs
upon the floor of the room, appeared to have fallen victims to the
appetite of the cat.  La belle Nancy provided a basket filled with
cotton-wool, into which the poor little devils were put; and I tried to
feed them with soaked bread, of which, however, they did not eat with
much relish.  Tom, the Irish boy, gave it as his opinion that they were
not old enough to be weaned.  I hung the basket out of the window, in the
sunshine, and upon looking in, an hour or two after, found that two of
the birds had escaped.  The other I tried to feed, and sometimes, when a
morsel of bread was thrust into its open mouth, it would swallow it.  But
it appeared to suffer very much, vociferating loudly when disturbed, and
panting, in a sluggish agony, with eyes closed, or half opened, when let
alone.  It distressed me a good deal; and I felt relieved, though
somewhat shocked, when B------ put an end to its misery by squeezing its
head and throwing it out of the window.  They were of a slate-color, and
might, I suppose, have been able to shift for themselves.--The other day
a little yellow bird flew into one of the empty rooms, of which there are
half a dozen on the lower floor, and could not find his way out again,
flying at the glass of the windows, instead of at the door, thumping his
head against the panes or against the ceiling.  I drove him into the
entry and chased him from end to end, endeavoring to make him fly through
one of the open doors.  He would fly at the circular light over the door,
clinging to the casement, sometimes alighting on one of the two glass
lamps, or on the cords that suspended them, uttering an affrighted and
melancholy cry whenever I came near and flapped my handkerchief, and
appearing quite tired and sinking into despair.  At last he happened to
fly low enough to pass through the door, and immediately vanished into
the gladsome sunshine.--Ludicrous situation of a man, drawing his chaise
down a sloping bank, to wash in the river.  The chaise got the better of
him, and, rushing downward as if it were possessed, compelled him to run
at full speed, and drove him up to his chin into the water.  A singular
instance, that a chaise may run away with a man without a horse!


Saturday, August 12th.--Left Augusta a week ago this morning for ------.
Nothing particular in our drive across the country.  Fellow-passenger a
Boston dry-goods dealer, travelling to collect bills.  At many of the
country shops he would get out, and show his unwelcome visage.  In the
tavern, prints from Scripture, varnished and on rollers,--such as the
Judgment of Christ; also a droll set of colored engravings of the story
of the Prodigal Son, the figures being clad in modern costume,--or, at
least, that of not more than half a century ago.  The father, a grave,
clerical person, with a white wig and black broadcloth suit; the son,
with a cocked hat and laced clothes, drinking wine out of a glass, and
caressing a woman in fashionable dress.  At ------ a nice, comfortable
boarding-house tavern, without a bar or any sort of wines or spirits.  An
old lady from Boston, with her three daughters, one of whom was teaching
music, and the other two schoolmistresses.  A frank, free, mirthful
daughter of the landlady, about twenty-four years old, between whom and
myself there immediately sprang up a flirtation, which made us both feel
rather melancholy when we parted on Tuesday morning.  Music in the
evening, with a song by a rather pretty, fantastic little mischief of a
brunette, about eighteen years old, who has married within a year, and
spent the last summer in a trip to the Springs and elsewhere.  Her manner
of walking is by jerks, with a quiver, as if she were made of calves-feet
jelly.  I talk with everybody: to Mrs. T------ good sense,--to Mary, good
sense, with a mixture of fun,--to Mrs. G------, sentiment, romance, and
nonsense.

Walked with ------ to see General Knox's old mansion,--a large,
rusty-looking edifice of wood, with some grandeur in the architecture,
standing on the banks of the river, close by the site of an old
burial-ground, and near where an ancient fort had been erected for
defence against the French and Indians.  General Knox once owned a square
of thirty miles in this part of the country, and he wished to settle it
with a tenantry, after the fashion of English gentlemen.  He would permit
no edifice to be erected within a certain distance of his mansion.  His
patent covered, of course, the whole present town of Waldoborough and
divers other flourishing commercial and country villages, and would have
been of incalculable value could it have remained unbroken to the present
time.  But the General lived in grand style, and received throngs of
visitors from foreign parts, and was obliged to part with large tracts of
his possessions, till now there is little left but the ruinous mansion
and the ground immediately around it.  His tomb stands near the house,--a
spacious receptacle, an iron door at the end of a turf-covered mound, and
surmounted by an obelisk of marble.  There are inscriptions to the memory
of several of his family; for he had many children, all of whom are now
dead, except one daughter, a widow of fifty, recently married to Hon.
John H------.  There is a stone fence round the monument.  On the outside
of this are the gravestones, and large, flat tombstones of the ancient
burial-ground,--the tombstones being of red freestone, with vacant
spaces, formerly inlaid with slate, on which were the inscriptions, and
perhaps coats-of-arms.  One of these spaces was in the shape of a heart.
The people were very wrathful that the General should have laid out his
grounds over this old burial-place; and he dared never throw down the
gravestones, though his wife, a haughty English lady, often teased him to
do so.  But when the old General was dead, Lady Knox (as they called her)
caused them to be prostrated, as they now lie.  She was a woman of
violent passions, and so proud an aristocrat, that, as long as she lived,
she would never enter any house in the town except her own.  When a
married daughter was ill, she used to go in her carriage to the door, and
send up to inquire how she did.  The General was personally very popular;
but his wife ruled him.  The house and its vicinity, and the whole tract
covered by Knox's patent, may be taken as an illustration of what must be
the result of American schemes of aristocracy.  It is not forty years
since this house was built, and Knox was in his glory; but now the house
is all in decay, while within a stone's-throw of it there is a street of
smart white edifices of one and two stories, occupied chiefly by thriving
mechanics, which has been laid out where Knox meant to have forests and
parks.  On the banks of the river, where he intended to have only one
wharf for his own West Indian vessels and yacht, there are two wharves,
with stores and a lime kiln.  Little appertains to the mansion except the
tomb and the old burial-ground, and the old fort.

The descendants are all poor, and the inheritance was merely sufficient
to make a dissipated and drunken fellow of the only one of the old
General's sons who survived to middle age.  The man's habits were as bad
as possible as long as he had any money; but when quite ruined, he
reformed.  The daughter, the only survivor among Knox's children (herself
childless), is a mild, amiable woman, therein totally differing from her
mother.  Knox, when he first visited his estate, arriving in a vessel,
was waited upon by a deputation of the squatters, who had resolved to
resist him to the death.  He received them with genial courtesy, made
them dine with him aboard the vessel, and sent them back to their
constituents in great love and admiration of him.  He used to have a
vessel running to Philadelphia, I think, and bringing him all sorts of
delicacies.  His way of raising money was to give a mortgage on his
estate of a hundred thousand dollars at a time, and receive that nominal
amount in goods, which he would immediately sell at auction for perhaps
thirty thousand.  He died by a chicken-bone.  Near the house are the
remains of a covered way, by which the French once attempted to gain
admittance into the fort; but the work caved in and buried a good many of
them, and the rest gave up the siege.  There was recently an old
inhabitant living who remembered when the people used to reside in the
fort.

Owl's Head,--a watering-place, terminating a point of land, six or seven
miles from Thomaston.  A long island shuts out the prospect of the sea.
Hither coasters and fishing-smacks run in when a storm is anticipated.
Two fat landlords, both young men, with something of a contrast in their
dispositions; one of them being a brisk, lively, active, jesting, fat
man; the other more heavy and inert, making jests sluggishly, if at all.
Aboard the steamboat, Professor Stuart of Andover, sitting on a sofa in
the saloon, generally in conversation with some person, resolving their
doubts on one point or another, speaking in a very audible voice; and
strangers standing or sitting around to hear him, as if he were an
ancient apostle or philosopher.  He is a bulky man, with a large, massive
face, particularly calm in its expression, and mild enough to be
pleasing.  When not otherwise occupied, he reads, without much notice of
what is going on around him.  He speaks without effort, yet thoughtfully.

We got lost in a fog the morning after leaving Owl's Head.  Fired a brass
cannon, rang bell, blew steam, like a whale snorting.  After one of the
reports of the cannon, we heard a horn blown at no great distance, the
sound coming soon after the report.  Doubtful whether it came from the
shore or a vessel.  Continued our ringing and snorting; and by and by
something was seen to mingle with the fog that obscured everything beyond
fifty yards from us.  At first it seemed only like a denser wreath of
fog; it darkened still more, till it took the aspect of sails; then the
hull of a small schooner came beating down towards us, the wind laying
her over towards us, so that her gunwale was almost in the water, and we
could see the whole of her sloping deck.

"Schooner ahoy!" say we.  "Halloo!  Have you seen Boston Light this
morning?"

"Yes; it bears north-northwest, two miles distant."

"Very much obliged to you," cries our captain.

So the schooner vanishes into the mist behind.  We get up our steam, and
soon enter the harbor, meeting vessels of every rig; and the fog,
clearing away, shows a cloudy sky.  Aboard, an old one-eyed sailor, who
had lost one of his feet, and had walked on the stump from Eastport to
Bangor, thereby making a shocking ulcer.

Penobscot Bay is full of islands, close to which the steamboat is
continually passing.  Some are large, with portions of forest and
portions of cleared land; some are mere rocks, with a little green or
none, and inhabited by sea-birds, which fly and flap about hoarsely.
Their eggs may be gathered by the bushel, and are good to eat.  Other
islands have one house and barn on them, this sole family being lords and
rulers of all the land which the sea girds.  The owner of such an island
must have a peculiar sense of property and lordship; he must feel more
like his own master and his own man than other people can.  Other
islands, perhaps high, precipitous, black bluffs, are crowned with a
white lighthouse, whence, as evening comes on, twinkles a star across the
melancholy deep,--seen by vessels coming on the coast, seen from the
mainland, seen from island to island.  Darkness descending, and, looking
down at the broad wake left by the wheels of the steamboat, we may see
sparkles of sea-fire glittering through the gloom.


Salem, August 22d.--A walk yesterday afternoon down to the Juniper and
Winter Island.  Singular effect of partial sunshine, the sky being
broadly and heavily clouded, and land and sea, in consequence, being
generally overspread with a sombre gloom.  But the sunshine, somehow or
other, found its way between the interstices of the clouds, and
illuminated some of the distant objects very vividly.  The white sails of
a ship caught it, and gleamed brilliant as sunny snow, the hull being
scarcely visible, and the sea around dark; other smaller vessels too, so
that they looked like heavenly-winged things, just alighting on a dismal
world.  Shifting their sails, perhaps, or going on another tack, they
almost disappear at once in the obscure distance.  Islands are seen in
summer sunshine and green glory; their rocks also sunny and their beaches
white; while other islands, for no apparent reason, are in deep shade,
and share the gloom of the rest of the world.  Sometimes part of an
island is illuminated and part dark.  When the sunshine falls on a very
distant island, nearer ones being in shade, it seems greatly to extend
the bounds of visible space, and put the horizon to a farther distance.
The sea roughly rushing against the shore, and dashing against the rocks,
and grating back over the sands.  A boat a little way from the shore,
tossing and swinging at anchor.  Beach birds flitting from place to
place.

The family seat of the Hawthornes is Wigcastle, Wigton, Wiltshire.  The
present head of the family, now residing there, is Hugh Hawthorne.
William Hawthorne, who came over in 1635-36, was a younger brother of the
family.

A young man and girl meet together, each in search of a person to be
known by some particular sign.  They watch and wait a great while for
that person to pass.  At last some casual circumstance discloses that
each is the one that the other is waiting for.  Moral,--that what we need
for our happiness is often close at hand, if we knew but how to seek for
it.

The journal of a human heart for a single day in ordinary circumstances.
The lights and shadows that flit across it; its internal vicissitudes.

Distrust to be thus exemplified:--Various good and desirable things to be
presented to a young man, and offered to his acceptance,--as a friend, a
wife, a fortune; but he to refuse them all, suspecting that it is merely
a delusion.  Yet all to be real, and he to be told so, when too late.

A man tries to be happy in love; he cannot sincerely give his heart, and
the affair seems all a dream.  In domestic life, the same; in politics, a
seeming patriot; but still he is sincere, and all seems like a theatre.

An old man, on a summer day, sits on a hill-top, or on the observatory of
his house, and sees the sun's light pass from one object to another
connected with the events of his past life,--as the school-house, the
place where his wife lived in her maidenhood,--its setting beams falling
on the churchyard.

An idle man's pleasures and occupations and thoughts during a day spent
by the sea-shore: among them, that of sitting on the top of a cliff, and
throwing stones at his own shadow, far below.

A blind man to set forth on a walk through ways unknown to him, and to
trust to the guidance of anybody who will take the trouble; the different
characters who would undertake it: some mischievous, some well-meaning,
but incapable; perhaps one blind man undertakes to lead another.  At
last, possibly, he rejects all guidance, and blunders on by himself.

In the cabinet of the Essex Historical Society, old portraits.--Governor
Leverett; a dark mustachioed face, the figure two-thirds length, clothed
in a sort of frock-coat, buttoned, and a broad sword-belt girded round
the waist, and fastened with a large steel buckle; the hilt of the sword
steel,--altogether very striking.  Sir William Pepperell, in English
regimentals, coat, waistcoat, and breeches, all of red broadcloth, richly
gold-embroidered; he holds a general's truncheon in his right hand, and
extends the left towards the batteries erected against Louisbourg, in the
country near which he is standing.  Endicott, Pyncheon, and others, in
scarlet robes, bands, etc.  Half a dozen or more family portraits of the
Olivers, some in plain dresses brown, crimson, or claret; others with
gorgeous gold-embroidered waistcoats, descending almost to the knees, so
as to form the most conspicuous article of dress.  Ladies, with lace
ruffles, the painting of which, in one of the pictures, cost five
guineas.  Peter Oliver, who was crazy, used to fight with these family
pictures in the old Mansion House; and the face and breast of one lady
bear cuts and stabs inflicted by him.  Miniatures in oil, with the paint
peeling off, of stern, old, yellow faces.  Oliver Cromwell, apparently an
old picture, half length, or one third, in an oval frame, probably
painted for some New England partisan.  Some pictures that had been
partly obliterated by scrubbing with sand.  The dresses, embroidery,
laces of the Oliver family are generally better done than the faces.
Governor Leverett's gloves,--the glove part of coarse leather, but round
the wrist a deep, three or four inch border of spangles and silver
embroidery.  Old drinking-glasses, with tall stalks.  A black glass
bottle, stamped with the name of Philip English, with a broad bottom.
The baby-linen, etc., of Governor Bradford of Plymouth County.  Old
manuscript sermons, some written in short-hand, others in a hand that
seems learnt from print.

Nothing gives a stronger idea of old worm-eaten aristocracy--of a family
being crazy with age, and of its being time that it was extinct--than
these black, dusty, faded, antique-dressed portraits, such as those of
the Oliver family; the identical old white wig of an ancient minister
producing somewhat the impression that his very scalp, or some other
portion of his personal self, would do.

The excruciating agonies which Nature inflicts on men (who break her
laws) to be represented as the work of human tormentors; as the gout, by
screwing the toes.  Thus we might find that worse than the tortures of
the Spanish Inquisition are daily suffered without exciting notice.

Suppose a married couple fondly attached to one another, and to think
that they lived solely for one another; then it to be found out that they
were divorced, or that they might separate if they chose.  What would be
its effect?


Monday, August 27th.--Went to Boston last Wednesday.  Remarkables:--An
author at the American Stationers' Company, slapping his hand on his
manuscript, and crying, "I'm going to publish."--An excursion aboard a
steamboat to Thompson's Island, to visit the Manual Labor School for
boys.  Aboard the steamboat several poets and various other authors; a
Commodore,--Colton, a small, dark brown, sickly man, with a good deal of
roughness in his address; Mr. Waterston, talking poetry and philosophy.
Examination and exhibition of the boys, little tanned agriculturists.
After examination, a stroll round the island, examining the products, as
wheat in sheaves on the stubble-field; oats, somewhat blighted and
spoiled; great pumpkins elsewhere; pastures; mowing ground;--all
cultivated by the boys.  Their residence, a great brick building, painted
green, and standing on the summit of a rising ground, exposed to the
winds of the bay.  Vessels flitting past; great ships, with intricacy of
rigging and various sails; schooners, sloops, with their one or two broad
sheets of canvas: going on different tacks, so that the spectator might
think that there was a different wind for each vessel, or that they
scudded across the sea spontaneously, whither their own wills led them.
The farm boys remain insulated, looking at the passing show, within sight
of the city, yet having nothing to do with it; beholding their
fellow-creatures skimming by them in winged machines, and steamboats
snorting and puffing through the waves.  Methinks an island would be the
most desirable of all landed property, for it seems like a little world
by itself; and the water may answer instead of the atmosphere that
surrounds planets.  The boys swinging, two together, standing up, and
almost causing the ropes and their bodies to stretch out horizontally.
On our departure, they ranged themselves on the rails of the fence, and,
being dressed in blue, looked not unlike a flock of pigeons.

On Friday, a visit to the Navy Yard at Charlestown, in company with the
Naval Officer of Boston, and Cilley.  Dined aboard the revenue-cutter
Hamilton.  A pretty cabin, finished off with bird's-eye maple and
mahogany; two looking-glasses.  Two officers in blue frocks, with a
stripe of lace on each shoulder.  Dinner, chowder, fried fish, corned
beef,--claret, afterwards champagne.  The waiter tells the Captain of the
cutter that Captain Percival (Commander of the Navy Yard) is sitting on
the deck of the anchor boy (which lies inside of the cutter), smoking his
cigar.  The captain sends him a glass of champagne, and inquires of the
waiter what Percival says to it.  "He said, sir, `What does he send me
this damned stuff for?' but drinks, nevertheless."  The Captain
characterizes Percival as the roughest old devil that ever was in his
manners, but a kind, good-hearted man at bottom.  By and by comes in the
steward.  "Captain Percival is coming aboard of you, sir."  "Well, ask
him to walk down into the cabin"; and shortly down comes old Captain
Percival, a white-haired, thin-visaged, weather-worn old gentleman, in a
blue, Quaker-cut coat, with tarnished lace and brass buttons, a pair of
drab pantaloons, and brown waistcoat.  There was an eccentric expression
in his face, which seemed partly wilful, partly natural.  He has not
risen to his present rank in the regular line of the profession; but
entered the navy as a sailing-master, and has all the roughness of that
class of officers.  Nevertheless, he knows how to behave and to talk like
a gentleman.  Sitting down, and taking in hand a glass of champagne, he
began a lecture on economy, and how well it was that Uncle Sam had a
broad back, being compelled to bear so many burdens as were laid on it,--
alluding to the table covered with wine-bottles.  Then he spoke of the
fitting up of the cabin with expensive woods,--of the brooch in Captain
Scott's bosom.  Then he proceeded to discourse of politics, taking the
opposite side to Cilley, and arguing with much pertinacity.  He seems to
have moulded and shaped himself to his own whims, till a sort of rough
affectation has become thoroughly imbued throughout a kindly nature.  He
is full of antique prejudices against the modern fashions of the younger
officers, their mustaches and such fripperies, and prophesies little
better than disgrace in case of another war; owning that the boys would
fight for their country, and die for her, but denying that there are any
officers now like Hull and Stuart, whose exploits, nevertheless, he
greatly depreciated, saying that the Boxer and Enterprise fought the only
equal battle which we won during the war; and that, in that action, an
officer had proposed to haul down the stars and stripes, and a common
sailor threatened to cut him to pieces if he should do so.  He spoke of
Bainbridge as a sot and a poltroon, who wanted to run from the
Macedonian, pretending to take her for a line-of-battle ship; of
Commodore Elliot as a liar; but praised Commodore Downes in the highest
terms.  Percival seems to be the very pattern of old integrity; taking as
much care of Uncle Sam's interests as if all the money expended were to
come out of his own pocket.  This quality was displayed in his resistance
to the demand of a new patent capstan for the revenue-cutter, which,
however, Scott is resolved in such a sailor-like way to get, that he will
probably succeed.  Percival spoke to me of how his business in the yard
absorbed him, especially the fitting of the Columbus seventy-four, of
which ship he discoursed with great enthusiasm.  He seems to have no
ambition beyond his present duties, perhaps never had any; at any rate,
he now passes his life with a sort of gruff contentedness, grumbling and
growling, yet in good humor enough.  He is conscious of his
peculiarities; for when I asked him whether it would be well to make a
naval officer Secretary of the Navy, he said, "God forbid, for that an
old sailor was always full of prejudices and stubborn whim-whams,"
instancing himself; whereto I agreed.  We went round the Navy Yard with
Percival and Commodore Downes, the latter a sailor and a gentleman too,
with rather more of the ocean than the drawing-room about him, but
courteous, frank, and good-natured.  We looked at ropewalks,
rigging-lofts, ships in the stocks; and saw the sailors of the station
laughing and sporting with great mirth and cheerfulness, which the
Commodore said was much increased at sea.  We returned to the wharf at
Boston in the cutter's boat.  Captain Scott, of the cutter, told me a
singular story of what occurred during the action between the
Constitution and Macedonian--he being powder-monkey aboard the former
ship.  A cannon-shot came through the ship's side, and a man's head was
struck off, probably by a splinter, for it was done without bruising the
head or body, as clean as by a razor.  Well, the man was walking pretty
briskly at the time of the accident; and Scott seriously affirmed that
he kept walking onward at the same pace, with two jets of blood gushing
from his headless trunk, till, after going about twenty feet without a
head, he sunk down at once, with his legs under him.

[The corroboration of the truth of this, see Lord Bacon, Century IV. of
his Sylva Sylvarum, or Natural History, in Ten Centuries, paragraph 400.]

On Saturday, I called to see E. H------, having previously appointed a
meeting for the purpose of inquiring about our name.  He is an old
bachelor, and truly forlorn.  The pride of ancestry seems to be his great
hobby.  He had a good many old papers in his desk at the Custom-House,
which he produced and dissertated upon, and afterwards went with me to
his sister's, and showed me an old book, with a record of the children of
the first emigrant (who came over two hundred years ago), in his own
handwriting.  E----'s manners are gentlemanly, and he seems to be very
well informed.  At a little distance, I think, one would take him to be
not much over thirty; but nearer at hand one finds him to look rather
venerable,--perhaps fifty or more.  He is nervous, and his hands shook
while he was looking over the papers, as if he had been startled by my
visit; and when we came to the crossings of streets, he darted across,
cautioning me, as if both were in great danger to be run over.
Nevertheless, being very quick-tempered, he would face the Devil if at
all irritated.  He gave a most forlorn description of his life; how, when
he came to Salem, there was nobody except Mr. ------ whom he cared about
seeing; how his position prevented him from accepting of civilities,
because he had no home where he could return them; in short, he seemed
about as miserable a being as is to be found anywhere,--lonely, and with
sensitiveness to feel his loneliness, and capacities, now withered, to
have enjoyed the sweets of life.  I suppose he is comfortable enough when
busied in his duties at the Custom-House; for when I spoke to him at my
entrance, he was too much absorbed to hear me at first.  As we walked, he
kept telling stories of the family, which seemed to have comprised many
oddities, eccentric men and women, recluses and other kinds,--one of old
Philip English (a Jersey man, the name originally L'Anglais), who had
been persecuted by John Hawthorne, of witch-time memory, and a violent
quarrel ensued.  When Philip lay on his death-bed, he consented to
forgive his persecutor; "But if I get well," said he, "I'll be damned if
I forgive him!"  This Philip left daughters, one of whom married, I
believe, the son of the persecuting John, and thus all the legitimate
blood of English is in our family.  E---- passed from the matters of
birth, pedigree, and ancestral pride to give vent to the most arrant
democracy and locofocoism that I ever happened to hear, saying that
nobody ought to possess wealth longer than his own life, and that then it
should return to the people, etc.  He says S. I------ has a great fund of
traditions about the family, which she learned from her mother or
grandmother (I forget which), one of them being a Hawthorne.  The old
lady was a very proud woman, and, as E---- says, "proud of being proud,"
and so is S. I------.


October 7th.--A walk in Northfields in the afternoon.  Bright sunshine
and autumnal warmth, giving a sensation quite unlike the same degree of
warmth in summer.  Oaks,--some brown, some reddish, some still green;
walnuts, yellow,--fallen leaves and acorns lying beneath; the footsteps
crumple them in walking.  In sunny spots beneath the trees, where green
grass is overstrewn by the dry, fallen foliage, as I passed, I disturbed
multitudes of grasshoppers basking in the warm sunshine; and they began
to hop, hop, hop, pattering on the dry leaves like big and heavy drops of
a thunder-shower.  They were invisible till they hopped.  Boys gathering
walnuts.  Passed an orchard, where two men were gathering the apples.  A
wagon, with barrels, stood among the trees; the men's coats flung on the
fence; the apples lay in heaps, and each of the men was up in a separate
tree.  They conversed together in loud voices, which the air caused to
ring still louder, jeering each other, boasting of their own feats in
shaking down the apples.  One got into the very top of his tree, and gave
a long and mighty shake, and the big apples came down thump, thump,
bushels hitting on the ground at once.  "There! did you ever hear
anything like that?" cried he.  This sunny scene was pretty.  A horse
feeding apart, belonging to the wagon.  The barberry-bushes have some red
fruit on them, but they are frost-bitten.  The rose-bushes have their
scarlet hips.

Distant clumps of trees, now that the variegated foliage adorns them,
have a phantasmagorian, an apparition-like appearance.  They seem to be
of some kindred to the crimson and gold cloud-islands.  It would not be
strange to see phantoms peeping forth from their recesses.  When the sun
was almost below the horizon, his rays, gilding the upper branches of a
yellow walnut-tree, had an airy and beautiful effect,--the gentle
contrast between the tint of the yellow in the shade and its ethereal
gold in the fading sunshine.  The woods that crown distant uplands were
seen to great advantage in these last rays, for the sunshine perfectly
marked out and distinguished every shade of color, varnishing them as it
were; while the country round, both hill and plain, being in gloomy
shadow, the woods looked the brighter for it.

The tide, being high, had flowed almost into the Cold Spring, so its
small current hardly issued forth from the basin.  As I approached, two
little eels, about as long as my finger, and slender in proportion,
wriggled out of the basin.  They had come from the salt water.  An
Indian-corn field, as yet unharvested,--huge, golden pumpkins scattered
among the hills of corn,--a noble-looking fruit.  After the sun was down,
the sky was deeply dyed with a broad sweep of gold, high towards the
zenith; not flaming brightly, but of a somewhat dusky gold.  A piece of
water, extending towards the west, between high banks, caught the
reflection, and appeared like a sheet of brighter and more glistening
gold than the sky which made it bright.

Dandelions and blue flowers are still growing in sunny places.  Saw in a
barn a prodigious treasure of onions in their silvery coats, exhaling a
penetrating perfume.

How exceeding bright looks the sunshine, casually reflected from a
looking-glass into a gloomy region of the chamber, distinctly marking out
the figures and colors of the paper-hangings, which are scarcely seen
elsewhere.  It is like the light of mind thrown on an obscure subject.

Man's finest workmanship, the closer you observe it, the more
imperfections it shows; as in a piece of polished steel a microscope will
discover a rough surface.  Whereas, what may look coarse and rough in
Nature's workmanship will show an infinitely minute perfection, the
closer you look into it.  The reason of the minute superiority of
Nature's work over man's is, that the former works from the innermost
germ, while the latter works merely superficially.

Standing in the cross-road that leads by the Mineral Spring, and looking
towards an opposite shore of the lake, an ascending bank, with a douse
border of trees, green, yellow, red, russet, all bright colors,
brightened by the mild brilliancy of the descending sun; it was strange
to recognize the sober old friends of spring and summer in this new
dress.  By the by, a pretty riddle or fable might be made out of the
changes in apparel of the familiar trees round a house, adapted for
children.  But in the lake, beneath the aforesaid border of trees,--the
water being, not rippled, but its glassy surface somewhat moved and
shaken by the remote agitation of a breeze that was breathing on the
outer lake,--this being in a sort of bay,--in the slightly agitated
mirror, the variegated trees were reflected dreamily and indistinctly; a
broad belt of bright and diversified colors shining in the water beneath.
Sometimes the image of a tree might be almost traced; then nothing but
this sweep of broken rainbow.  It was like the recollection of the real
scene in an observer's mind,--a confused radiance.

A whirlwind, whirling the dried leaves round in a circle, not very
violently.

To well consider the characters of a family of persons in a certain
condition,--in poverty, for instance,--and endeavor to judge how an
altered condition would affect the character of each.

The aromatic odor of peat-smoke in the sunny autumnal air is very
pleasant.


Salem, October 14th.--A walk through Beverly to Browne's Hill, and home
by the iron-factory.  A bright, cool afternoon.  The trees, in a large
part of the space through which I passed, appeared to be in their fullest
glory, bright red, yellow, some of a tender green, appearing at a
distance as if bedecked with new foliage, though this emerald tint was
likewise the effect of frost.  In some places, large tracts of ground
were covered as with a scarlet cloth,--the underbrush being thus colored.
The general character of these autumnal colors is not gaudy, scarcely
gay; there is something too deep and rich in it: it is gorgeous and
magnificent, but with a sobriety diffused.  The pastures at the foot of
Browne's Hill were plentifully covered with barberry-bushes, the leaves
of which were reddish, and they were hung with a prodigious quantity of
berries.  From the summit of the hill, looking down a tract of woodland
at a considerable distance, so that the interstices between the trees
could not be seen, their tops presented an unbroken level, and seemed
somewhat like a richly variegated carpet.  The prospect from the hill is
wide and interesting; but methinks it is pleasanter in the more immediate
vicinity of the hill than miles away.  It is agreeable to look down at
the square patches of cornfield, or of potato-ground, or of cabbages
still green, or of beets looking red,--all a man's farm, in short,--each
portion of which he considers separately so important, while you take in
the whole at a glance.  Then to cast your eye over so many different
establishments at once, and rapidly compare thorn,--here a house of
gentility, with shady old yellow-leaved elms hanging around it; there a
new little white dwelling; there an old farm-house; to see the barns and
sheds and all the out-houses clustered together; to comprehend the
oneness and exclusiveness and what constitutes the peculiarity of each of
so many establishments, and to have in your mind a multitude of them,
each of which is the most important part of the world to those who live
in it,--this really enlarges the mind, and you come down the hill
somewhat wiser than you go up.  Pleasant to look over an orchard far
below, and see the trees, each casting its own shadow; the white spires
of meeting-houses; a sheet of water, partly seen among swelling lands.
This Browne's Hill is a long ridge, lying in the midst of a large, level
plain; it looks at a distance somewhat like a whale, with its head and
tail under water, but its immense back protruding, with steep sides, and
a gradual curve along its length.  When you have climbed it on one side,
and gaze from the summit at the other, you feel as if you had made a
discovery,--the landscape being quite different on the two sides.  The
cellar of the house which formerly crowned the hill, and used to be named
Browne's Folly, still remains, two grass-grown and shallow hollows, on
the highest part of the ridge.  The house consisted of two wings, each
perhaps sixty feet in length, united by a middle part, in which was the
entrance-hall, and which looked lengthwise along the hill.  The
foundation of a spacious porch may be traced on either side of the
central portion; some of the stones still remain; but even where they
are gone, the line of the porch is still traceable by the greener
verdure.  In the cellar, or rather in the two cellars, grow one or two
barberry-bushes, with frost-bitten fruit; there is also yarrow with its
white flower, and yellow dandelions.  The cellars are still deep enough
to shelter a person, all but his head at least, from the wind on the
summit of the hill; but they are all grass-grown.  A line of trees seems
to have been planted along the ridge of the hill.  The edifice must have
made quite a magnificent appearance.

Characteristics during the walk:--Apple-trees with only here and there an
apple on the boughs, among the thinned leaves, the relics of a gathering.
In others you observe a rustling, and see the boughs shaking and hear the
apples thumping down, without seeing the person who does it.  Apples
scattered by the wayside, some with pieces bitten out, others entire,
which you pick up and taste, and find them harsh, crabbed cider-apples,
though they have a pretty, waxen appearance.  In sunny spots of woodland,
boys in search of nuts, looking picturesque among the scarlet and golden
foliage.  There is something in this sunny autumnal atmosphere that gives
a peculiar effect to laughter and joyous voices,--it makes them
infinitely more elastic and gladsome than at other seasons.  Heaps of dry
leaves tossed together by the wind, as if for a couch and lounging-place
for the weary traveller, while the sun is warming it for him.  Golden
pumpkins and squashes, heaped in the angle of a house, till they reach
the lower windows.  Ox-teams, laden with a rustling load of Indian corn,
in the stalk and ear.  When all inlet of the sea runs far up into the
country, you stare to see a large schooner appear amid the rural
landscape; she is unloading a cargo of wood, moist with rain or salt
water that has dashed over it.  Perhaps you hear the sound of an axe in
the woodland; occasionally, the report of a fowling-piece.  The
travellers in the early part of the afternoon look warm and comfortable
as if taking a summer drive; but as eve draws nearer, you meet them well
wrapped in top-coats or cloaks, or rough, great surtouts, and red-nosed
withal, seeming to take no great comfort, but pressing homeward.  The
characteristic conversation among teamsters and country squires, where
the ascent of a hill causes the chaise to go at the same pace as an
ox-team,--perhaps discussing the qualities of a yoke of oxen.  The cold,
blue aspects of sheets of water.  Some of the country shops with the
doors closed; others still open as in summer.  I meet a wood-sawyer, with
his horse and saw on his shoulders, returning from work.  As night draws
on, you begin to see the gleaming of fires on the ceilings in the houses
which you pass.  The comfortless appearance of houses at bleak and bare
spots,--you wonder how there can be any enjoyment in them.  I meet a girl
in a chintz gown, with a small shawl on her shoulders, white stockings,
and summer morocco shoes,--it looks observable.  Turkeys, queer, solemn
objects, in black attire, grazing about, and trying to peck the fallen
apples, which slip away from their bills.


October 16th.--Spent the whole afternoon in a ramble to the sea-shore,
near Phillips's Beach.  A beautiful, warm, sunny afternoon, the very
pleasantest day, probably, that there has been in the whole course of the
year.  People at work, harvesting, without their coats.  Cocks, with
their squad of hens, in the grass-fields, hunting grasshoppers, chasing
them eagerly with outspread wings, appearing to take much interest in the
sport, apart from the profit.  Other hens picking up the ears of Indian
corn.  Grasshoppers, flies, and flying insects of all sorts are more
abundant in these warm autumnal days than I have seen them at any other
time.  Yellow butterflies flutter about in the sunshine, singly, by
pairs, or more, and are wafted on the gentle gales.  The crickets begin
to sing early in the afternoon, and sometimes a locust may be heard.  In
some warm spots, a pleasant buzz of many insects.

Crossed the fields near Brookhouse's villa, and came upon a long beach,--
at least a mile long, I should think,--terminated by craggy rocks at
either end, and backed by a high broken bank, the grassy summit of which,
year by year, is continually breaking away, and precipitated to the
bottom.  At the foot of the bank, in some parts, is a vast number of
pebbles and paving-stones, rolled up thither by the sea long ago.  The
beach is of a brown sand, with hardly any pebbles intermixed upon it.
When the tide is part way down, there is a margin of several yards from
the water's edge, along the whole mile length of the beach, which
glistens like a mirror, and reflects objects, and shines bright in the
sunshine, the sand being wet to that distance from the water.  Above this
margin the sand is not wet, and grows less and less damp the farther
towards the bank you keep.  In some places your footstep is perfectly
implanted, showing the whole shape, and the square toe, and every nail in
the heel of your boot.  Elsewhere, the impression is imperfect, and even
when you stamp, you cannot imprint the whole. As you tread, a dry spot
flashes around your step, and grows moist as you lift your foot again.
Pleasant to pass along this extensive walk, watching the surf-wave;--how
sometimes it seems to make a feint of breaking, but dies away
ineffectually, merely kissing the strand; then, after many such abortive
efforts, it gathers itself, and forms a high wall, and rolls onward,
heightening and heightening without foam at the summit of the green line,
and at last throws itself fiercely on the beach, with a loud roar, the
spray flying above.  As you walk along, you are preceded by a flock of
twenty or thirty beach birds, which are seeking, I suppose, for food on
the margin of the surf, yet seem to be merely sporting, chasing the sea
as it retires, and running up before the impending wave.  Sometimes they
let it bear them off their feet, and float lightly on its breaking
summit; sometimes they flutter and seem to rest on the feathery spray.
They are little birds with gray backs and snow-white breasts; their
images may be seen in the wet sand almost or quite as distinctly as the
reality.  Their legs are long.  As you draw near, they take a flight of a
score of yards or more, and then recommence their dalliance with the
surf-wave.  You may behold their multitudinous little tracks all along
your way.  Before you reach the end of the beach, you become quite
attached to these little sea-birds, and take much interest in their
occupations.  After passing in one direction, it is pleasant then to
retrace your footsteps.  Your tracks being all traceable, you may recall
the whole mood and occupation of your mind during your first passage.
Here you turned somewhat aside to pick up a shell that you saw nearer the
water's edge.  Here you examined a long sea-weed, and trailed its length
after you for a considerable distance.  Here the effect of the wide sea
struck you suddenly.  Here you fronted the ocean, looking at a sail,
distant in the sunny blue.  Here you looked at some plant on the bank.
Here some vagary of mind seems to have bewildered you; for your tracks go
round and round, and interchange each other without visible reason.  Here
you picked up pebbles and skipped them upon the water.  Here you wrote
names and drew faces with a razor sea-shell in the sand.

After leaving the beach, clambered over crags, all shattered and tossed
about everyhow; in some parts curiously worn and hollowed out, almost
into caverns.  The rock, shagged with sea-weed,--in some places, a thick
carpet of sea-weed laid over the pebbles, into which your foot would
sink.  Deep tanks among these rocks, which the sea replenishes at high
tide, and then leaves the bottom all covered with various sorts of
sea-plants, as if it were some sea-monster's private garden.  I saw a
crab in one of them; five-fingers too.  From the edge of the rocks, you
may look off into deep, deep water, even at low tide.  Among the rocks, I
found a great bird, whether a wild-goose, a loon, or an albatross, I
scarcely know.  It was in such a position that I almost fancied it might
be asleep, and therefore drew near softly, lest it should take flight;
but it was dead, and stirred not when I touched it.  Sometimes a dead
fish was cast up.  A ledge of rocks, with a beacon upon it, looking like
a monument erected to those who have perished by shipwreck.  The smoked,
extempore fireplace, where a party cooked their fish.  About midway on
the beach, a fresh-water brooklet flows towards the sea.  Where it leaves
the land, it is quite a rippling little current; but, in flowing across
the sand, it grows shallower and more shallow, and at last is quite lost,
and dies in the effort to carry its little tribute to the main.

An article to be made of telling the stories of the tiles of an
old-fashioned chimney-piece to a child.

A person conscious that he was soon to die, the humor in which he would
pay his last visit to familiar persons and things.

A description of the various classes of hotels and taverns, and the
prominent personages in each.  There should be some story connected with
it,--as of a person commencing with boarding at a great hotel, and
gradually, as his means grew less, descending in life, till he got below
ground into a cellar.

A person to be in the possession of something as perfect as mortal man
has a right to demand; he tries to make it better, and ruins it entirely.

A person to spend all his life and splendid talents in trying to achieve
something naturally impossible,--as to make a conquest over Nature.

Meditations about the main gas-pipe of a great city,--if the supply were
to be stopped, what would happen?  How many different scenes it sheds
light on?  It might be made emblematical of something.


December 6th.--A fairy tale about chasing Echo to her hiding-place.  Echo
is the voice of a reflection in a mirror.

A house to be built over a natural spring of inflammable gas, and to be
constantly illuminated therewith.  What moral could be drawn from this?
It is carburetted hydrogen gas, and is cooled from a soft shale or slate,
which is sometimes bituminous, and contains more or less carbonate of
lime.  It appears in the vicinity of Lockport and Niagara Falls, and
elsewhere in New York.  I believe it indicates coal.  At Fredonia, the
whole village is lighted by it.  Elsewhere, a farm-house was lighted by
it, and no other fuel used in the coldest weather.

Gnomes, or other mischievous little fiends, to be represented as
burrowing in the hollow teeth of some person who has subjected himself to
their power.  It should be a child's story.  This should be one of many
modes of petty torment.  They should be contrasted with beneficent
fairies, who minister to the pleasures of the good.

A man will undergo great toil and hardship for ends that must be many
years distant,--as wealth or fame,--but none for an end that may be close
at hand,--as the joys of heaven.

Insincerity in a man's own heart must make all his enjoyments, all that
concerns him, unreal; so that his whole life must seem like a merely
dramatic representation.  And this would be the case, even though he were
surrounded by true-hearted relatives and friends.

A company of men, none of whom have anything worth hoping for on earth,
yet who do not look forward to anything beyond earth!

Sorrow to be personified, and its effect on a family represented by the
way in which the members of the family regard this dark-clad and
sad-browed inmate.

A story to show how we are all wronged and wrongers, and avenge one
another.

To personify winds of various characters.

A man living a wicked life, in one place, and simultaneously a virtuous
and religious one in another.

An ornament to be worn about the person of a lady,--as a jewelled heart.
After many years, it happens to be broken or unscrewed, and a poisonous
odor comes out.

Lieutenant F. W------ of the navy was an inveterate duellist and an
unerring shot.  He had taken offence at Lieutenant F------, and
endeavored to draw him into a duel, following him to the Mediterranean
for that purpose, and harassing him intolerably.  At last, both parties
being in Massachusetts, F------ determined to fight, and applied to
Lieutenant A------ to be his second.  A------ examined into the merits of
the quarrel, and came to the conclusion that F------ had not given F.
W------ justifiable cause for driving him to a duel, and that he ought
not to be shot.  He instructed F------ in the use of the pistol, and,
before the meeting, warned him, by all means, to get the first fire; for
that, if F. W------ fired first, he, F------, was infallibly a dead man,
as his antagonist could shoot to a hair's-breadth.  The parties met; and
F------, firing immediately on the word's being given, shot F. W------
through the heart.  F. W------, with a most savage expression of
countenance, fired, after the bullet had gone through his heart, and when
the blood had entirely left his face, and shot away one of F------'s
side-locks.  His face probably looked as if he were already in the
infernal regions; but afterwards it assumed an angelic calmness and
repose.

A company of persons to drink a certain medicinal preparation, which
would prove a poison, or the contrary, according to their different
characters.

Many persons, without a consciousness of so doing, to contribute to some
one end; as to a beggar's feast, made up of broken victuals from many
tables; or a patch carpet, woven of shreds from innumerable garments.

Some very famous jewel or other thing, much talked of all over the world.
some person to meet with it, and get possession of it in some unexpected
manner, amid homely circumstances.

To poison a person or a party of persons with the sacramental wine.

A cloud in the shape of an old woman kneeling, with arms extended towards
the moon.

On being transported to strange scenes, we feel as if all were unreal.
This is but the perception of the true unreality of earthly things, made
evident by the want of congruity between ourselves and them.  By and by
we become mutually adapted, and the perception is lost.

An old looking-glass.  Somebody finds out the secret of making all the
images that have been reflected in it pass back again across its surface.

Our Indian races having reared no monuments, like the Greeks, Romans, and
Egyptians, when they have disappeared from the earth their history will
appear a fable, and they misty phantoms.

A woman to sympathize with all emotions, but to have none of her own.

A portrait of a person in New England to be recognized as of the same
person represented by a portrait in Old England.  Having distinguished
himself there, he had suddenly vanished, and had never been heard of till
he was thus discovered to be identical with a distinguished man in New
England.

Men of cold passions have quick eyes.

A virtuous but giddy girl to attempt to play a trick on a man.  He sees
what she is about, and contrives matters so that she throws herself
completely into his power, and is ruined,--all in jest.

A letter, written a century or more ago, but which has never yet been
unsealed.

A partially insane man to believe himself the Provincial Governor or
other great official of Massachusetts.  The scene might be the Province
House.

A dreadful secret to be communicated to several people of various
characters,--grave or gay,--and they all to become insane, according to
their characters, by the influence of the secret.

Stories to be told of a certain person's appearance in public, of his
having been seen in various situations, and of his making visits in
private circles; but finally, on looking for this person, to come upon
his old grave and mossy tombstone.

The influence of a peculiar mind, in close communion with another, to
drive the latter to insanity.

To look at a beautiful girl, and picture all the lovers, in different
situations, whose hearts are centred upon her.


May 11th, 1838.--At Boston last week.  Items:--A young man, with a small
mustache, dyed brown, reddish from its original light color.  He walks
with an affected gait, his arms crooked outwards, treading much on his
toes.  His conversation is about the theatre, where he has a season
ticket,--about an amateur who lately appeared there, and about actresses,
with other theatrical scandal.--In the smoking-room, two checker and
backgammon boards; the landlord a great player, seemingly a stupid man,
but with considerable shrewdness and knowledge of the world.--F------,
the comedian, a stout, heavy-looking Englishman, of grave deportment,
with no signs of wit or humor, yet aiming at both in conversation, in
order to support his character.  Very steady and regular in his life, and
parsimonious in his disposition,--worth $ 50,000, made by his
profession.--A clergyman, elderly, with a white neckcloth, very
unbecoming, an unworldly manner, unacquaintance with the customs of the
house, and learning them in a childlike way.  A ruffle to his shirt,
crimped.--A gentleman, young, handsome, and sea-flushed, belonging to
Oswego, New York, but just arrived in port from the Mediterranean: he
inquires of me about the troubles in Canada, which were first beginning
to make a noise when he left the country,--whether they are all over.  I
tell him all is finished, except the hanging of the prisoners.  Then we
talk over the matter, and I tell him the fates of the principal men,--
some banished to New South Wales, one hanged, others in prison, others,
conspicuous at first, now almost forgotten.--Apartments of private
families in the hotel,--what sort of domesticity there may be in them;
eating in public, with no board of their own.  The gas that lights the
rest of the house lights them also, in the chandelier from the ceiling.--
A shabby-looking man, quiet, with spectacles, at first wearing an old,
coarse brown frock, then appearing in a suit of elderly black, saying
nothing unless spoken to, but talking intelligently when addressed.  He
is an editor, and I suppose printer, of a country paper.  Among the
guests, he holds intercourse with gentlemen of much more respectable
appearance than himself, from the same part of the country.--Bill of
fare; wines printed on the back, but nobody calls for a bottle.  Chairs
turned down for expected guests.  Three-pronged steel forks.  Cold
supper from nine to eleven P. M.  Great, round, mahogany table, in the
sitting-room, covered with papers.  In the morning, before and soon after
breakfast, gentlemen reading the morning papers, while others wait for
their chance, or try to pick out something from the papers of yesterday
or longer ago.  In the forenoon, the Southern papers are brought in, and
thrown damp and folded on the table.  The eagerness with which those who
happen to be in the room start up and make prize of them.  Play-bills,
printed on yellow paper, laid upon the table.  Towards evening comes the
Transcript.


June 15th.--The red light which the sunset at this season diffuse; there
being showery afternoons, but the sun setting bright amid clouds, and
diffusing its radiance over those that are scattered in masses all over
the sky.  It gives a rich tinge to all objects, even to those of sombre
lines, yet without changing the lines.  The complexions of people are
exceedingly enriched by it; they look warm, and kindled with a mild fire.
The whole scenery and personages acquire, methinks, a passionate
character.  A love-scene should be laid on such an evening.  The trees
and the grass have now the brightest possible green, there having been so
many showers alternating with such powerful sunshine.  There are roses
and tulips and honeysuckles, with their sweet perfume; in short, the
splendor of a more gorgeous climate than ours might be brought into the
picture.

The situation of a man in the midst of a crowd, yet as completely in the
power of another, life and all, as if they two were in the deepest
solitude.


Tremont, Boston, June 16th.--Tremendously hot weather to-day.  Went on
board the Cyane to see Bridge, the purser.  Took boat from the end of
Long Wharf; with two boatmen who had just landed a man.  Row round to the
starboard side of the sloop, where we pass up the steps, and are received
by Bridge, who introduces us to one of the lieutenants,--Hazard.  Sailors
and midshipmen scattered about,--the middies having a foul anchor, that
is, an anchor with a cable twisted round it, embroidered on the collars
of their jackets.  The officers generally wear blue jackets with lace on
the shoulders, white pantaloons, and cloth caps.  Introduced into the
cabin,--a handsome room, finished with mahogany, comprehending the width
of the vessel; a sideboard with liquors, and above it a looking-glass;
behind the cabin, an inner room, in which is seated a lady, waiting for
the captain to come on board; on each side of this inner cabin, a large
and convenient state-room with bed,--the doors opening into the cabin.
This cabin is on a level with the quarter-deck, and is covered by the
poop-deck.  Going down below stairs, you come to the ward-room, a pretty
large room, round which are the state-rooms of the lieutenants, the
purser, surgeon, etc.  A stationary table.  The ship's main-mast comes
down through the middle of the room, and Bridge's chair, at dinner, is
planted against it.  Wine and brandy produced; and Bridge calls to the
Doctor to drink with him, who answers affirmatively from his state-room,
and shortly after opens the door and makes his appearance.  Other
officers emerge from the side of the vessel, or disappear into it, in the
same way.  Forward of the ward-room, adjoining it, and on the same level,
is the midshipmen's room, on the larboard side of the vessel, not
partitioned off, so as to be shut up.  On a shelf a few books; one
midshipman politely invites us to walk in; another sits writing.  Going
farther forward, on the same level we come to the crew's department, part
of which is occupied by the cooking-establishment, where all sorts of
cooking is going on for the officers and men.

Through the whole of this space, ward-room and all, there is barely room
to stand upright, without the hat on.  The rules of the quarter-deck
(which extends aft from the main-mast) are, that the midshipmen shall not
presume to walk on the starboard side of it, nor the men to come upon it
at all, unless to speak to an officer.  The poop-deck is still more
sacred,--the lieutenants being confined to the larboard side, and the
captain alone having a right to the starboard.  A marine was pacing the
poop-deck, being the only guard that I saw stationed in the vessel,--the
more stringent regulations being relaxed while she is preparing for sea.
While standing on the quarter-deck, a great piping at the gangway, and
the second cutter comes alongside, bringing the consul and some other
gentleman to visit the vessel.  After a while, we are rowed ashore with
them, in the same boat.  Its crew are new hands, and therefore require
much instruction from the cockswain.  We are seated under an awning.  The
guns of the Cyane are medium thirty-two pounders; some of them have
percussion locks.

At the Tremont, I had Bridge to dine with me: iced champagne, claret
in glass pitchers.  Nothing very remarkable among the guests.  A
wine-merchant, French apparently, though he had arrived the day before
in a bark from Copenhagen: a somewhat corpulent gentleman, without so
good manners as an American would have in the same line of life, but
good-natured, sociable, and civil, complaining of the heat.  He had rings
on his fingers of great weight of metal, and one of them had a seal for
letters; brooches at the bosom, three in a row, up and down; also a gold
watch-guard, with a seal appended.  Talks of the comparative price of
living, of clothes, etc., here and in Europe.  Tells of the prices of
wines by the cask and pipe.  Champagne, he says, is drunk of better
quality here than where it grows.--A vendor of patent medicines, Doctor
Jaques, makes acquaintance with me, and shows me his recommendatory
letters in favor of himself and drugs, signed by a long list of people.
He prefers, he says, booksellers to druggists as his agents, and inquired
of me about them in this town.  He seems to be an honest man enough, with
an intelligent face, and sensible in his talk, but not a gentleman,
wearing a somewhat shabby brown coat and mixed pantaloons, being
ill-shaven, and apparently not well acquainted with the customs of a
fashionable hotel.  A simplicity about him that is likable, though, I
believe, he comes from Philadelphia.--Naval officers, strolling about
town, bargaining for swords and belts, and other military articles; with
the tailor, to have naval buttons put on their shore-going coats, and for
their pantaloons, suited to the climate of the Mediterranean.  It is the
almost invariable habit of officers, when going ashore or staying on
shore, to divest themselves of all military or naval insignia, and appear
as private citizens.  At the Tremont, young gentlemen with long
earlocks,--straw hats, light, or dark-mixed.--The theatre being closed,
the play-bills of many nights ago are posted up against its walls.


July 4th.--A very hot, bright, sunny day; town much thronged; booths on
the Common, selling gingerbread, sugar-plums, and confectionery, spruce
beer, lemonade.  Spirits forbidden, but probably sold stealthily.  On the
top of one of the booths a monkey, with a tail two or three feet long.
He is fastened by a cord, which, getting tangled with the flag over the
booth, he takes hold and tries to free it.  He is the object of much
attention from the crowd, and played with by the boys, who toss up
gingerbread to him, while he nibbles and throws it down again.  He
reciprocates notice, of some kind or other, with all who notice him.
There is a sort of gravity about him.  A boy pulls his long tail, whereat
he gives a slight squeak, and for the future elevates it as much as
possible.  Looking at the same booth by and by, I find that the poor
monkey has been obliged to betake himself to the top of one of the wooden
joists that stick up high above.  There are boys, going about with
molasses candy, almost melted down in the sun.  Shows: A mammoth rat; a
collection of pirates, murderers, and the like, in wax.  Constables in
considerable number, parading about with their staves, sometimes
conversing with each other, producing an effect by their presence,
without having to interfere actively.  One or two old salts, rather the
worse for liquor: in general the people are very temperate.  At evening
the effect of things rather more picturesque; some of the booth-keepers
knocking down the temporary structures, and putting the materials in
wagons to carry away; other booths lighted up, and the lights gleaming
through rents in the sail-cloth tops.  The customers are rather riotous,
calling loudly and whimsically for what they want; a young fellow and a
girl coming arm in arm; two girls approaching the booth, and getting into
conversation with the folks thereabout.  Perchance a knock-down between
two half-sober fellows in the crowd: a knock-down without a heavy blow,
the receiver being scarcely able to keep his footing at any rate.
Shoutings and hallooings, laughter, oaths,--generally a good-natured
tumult; and the constables use no severity, but interfere, if at all, in
a friendly sort of way.  I talk with one about the way in which the day
has passed, and he bears testimony to the orderliness of the crowd, but
suspects one booth of selling liquor, and relates one scuffle.  There is
a talkative and witty seller of gingerbread holding forth to the people
from his cart, making himself quite a noted character by his readiness of
remark and humor, and disposing of all his wares.  Late in the evening,
during the fire-works, people are consulting how they are to get hone,--
many having long miles to walk: a father, with wife and children, saying
it will be twelve o'clock before they reach home, the children being
already tired to death.  The moon beautifully dark-bright, not giving so
white a light as sometimes.  The girls all look beautiful and fairy-like
in it, not exactly distinct, nor yet dim.  The different characters of
female countenances during the day,--mirthful and mischievous, slyly
humorous, stupid, looking genteel generally, but when they speak often
betraying plebeianism by the tones of their voices.  Two girls are very
tired, one a pale, thin, languid-looking creature; the other plump, rosy,
rather overburdened with her own little body.  Gingerbread figures, in
the shape of Jim Crow and other popularities.

In the old burial-ground, Charter Street, a slate gravestone, carved
round the borders, to the memory of "Colonel John Hathorne, Esq.," who
died in 1717.  This was the witch-judge.  The stone is sunk deep into the
earth, and leans forward, and the grass grows very long around it; and,
on account of the moss, it was rather difficult to make out the date.
Other Hathornes lie buried in a range with him on either side.  In a
corner of the burial-ground, close under Dr. P-----'s garden fence, are
the most ancient stones remaining in the graveyard; moss-grown, deeply
sunken.  One to "Dr. John Swinnerton, Physician," in 1688; another to his
wife.  There, too, is the grave of Nathaniel Mather, the younger brother
of Cotton, and mentioned in the Magnalia as a hard student, and of great
promise.  "An aged man at nineteen years," saith the gravestone.  It
affected me deeply, when I had cleared away the grass from the
half-buried stone, and read the name.  An apple-tree or two hang over
these old graves, and throw down the blighted fruit on Nathaniel Mather's
grave,--he blighted too.  It gives strange ideas, to think how convenient
to Dr. P------'s family this burial-ground is,--the monuments standing
almost within arm's reach of the side windows of the parlor,--and there
being a little gate from the back yard through which we step forth upon
those old graves aforesaid.  And the tomb of the P. family is right in
front, and close to the gate.  It is now filled, the last being the
refugee Tory, Colonel P------ and his wife.  M. P------ has trained
flowers over this tomb, on account of her friendly relations with Colonel
P------.

It is not, I think, the most ancient families that have tombs,--their
ancestry for two or three generations having been reposited in the earth
before such a luxury as a tomb was thought of.  Men who founded families,
and grew rich, a century or so ago, were probably the first.

There is a tomb of the Lyndes, with a slab of slate affixed to the brick
masonry on one side, and carved with a coat of arms.


July 10th.--A fishing excursion, last Saturday afternoon, eight or ten
miles out in the harbor.  A fine wind out, which died away towards
evening, and finally became quite calm.  We cooked our fish on a rock
named "Satan," about forty feet long and twenty broad, irregular in its
shape, and of uneven surface, with pools of water here and there, left by
the tide,--dark brown rock, or whitish; there was the excrement of
sea-fowl scattered on it, and a few feathers.  The water was deep around
the rock, and swelling up and downward, waving the sea-weed.  We built
two fires, which, as the dusk deepened, cast a red gleam over the rock
and the waves, and made the sea, on the side away from the sunset, look
dismal; but by and by up came the moon, red as a house afire, and, as it
rose, it grew silvery bright, and threw a line of silver across the calm
sea.  Beneath the moon and the horizon, the commencement of its track of
brightness, there was a cone of blackness, or of very black blue.  It was
after nine before we finished our supper, which we ate by firelight and
moonshine, and then went aboard our decked boat again,--no safe
achievement in our ticklish little dory.  To those remaining in the boat,
we had looked very picturesque around our fires, and on the rock above
them,--our statures being apparently increased to the size of the sons of
Anak.  The tide, now coming up, gradually dashed over the fires we had
left, and so the rock again became a desert.  The wind had now entirely
died away, leaving the sea smooth as glass, except a quiet swell, and we
could only float along, as the tide bore us, almost imperceptibly.  It
was as beautiful a night as ever shone,--calm, warm, bright, the moon
being at full.  On one side of us was Marblehead lighthouse, on the
other, Baker's Island; and both, by the influence of the moonlight, had a
silvery hue, unlike their ruddy beacon tinge in dark nights.  They threw
long reflections across the sea, like the moon.  There we floated slowly
with the tide till about midnight, and then, the tide turning, we
fastened our vessel to a pole, which marked a rock, so as to prevent
being carried back by the reflux.  Some of the passengers turned in
below; some stretched themselves on deck; some walked about, smoking
cigars.  I kept the deck all night.  Once there was a little cat's-paw of
a breeze, whereupon we untied ourselves from the pole; but it almost
immediately died away, and we were compelled to make fast again.  At
about two o'clock, up rose the morning star, a round, red, fiery ball,
very comparable to the moon at its rising, and, getting upward, it shone
marvellously bright, and threw its long reflection into the sea, like the
moon and the two lighthouses.  It was Venus, and the brightest star I
ever beheld; it was in the northeast.  The moon made but a very small
circuit in the sky, though it shone all night.  The aurora borealis shot
upwards to the zenith, and between two and three o'clock the first streak
of dawn appeared, stretching far along the edge of the eastern horizon,--
a faint streak of light; then it gradually broadened and deepened, and
became a rich saffron tint, with violet above, and then an ethereal and
transparent blue.  The saffron became intermixed with splendor, kindling
and kindling, Baker's Island lights being in the centre of the
brightness, so that they were extinguished by it, or at least grew
invisible.  On the other side of the boat, the Marblehead lighthouse
still threw out its silvery gleam, and the moon shone brightly too; and
its light looked very singularly, mingling with the growing daylight.  It
was not like the moonshine, brightening as the evening twilight deepens;
for now it threw its radiance over the landscape, the green and other
tints of which were displayed by the daylight, whereas at-evening all
those tints are obscured.  It looked like a milder sunshine,--a dreamy
sunshine,--the sunshine of a world not quite so real and material as
this.  All night we had heard the Marblehead clocks telling the hour.
Anon, up came the sun, without any bustle, but quietly, his antecedent
splendors having gilded the sea for some time before.  It had been cold
towards morning, but now grew warm, and gradually burning hot in the sun.
A breeze sprang up, but our first use of it was to get aground on Coney
Island about five o'clock, where we lay till nine or thereabout, and then
floated slowly up to the wharf.  The roar of distant surf, the rolling of
porpoises, the passing of shoals of fish, a steamboat smoking along at a
distance, were the scene on my watch.  I fished during the night, and,
feeling something on the line, I drew up with great eagerness and vigor.
It was two of those broad-leaved sea-weeds, with stems like snakes, both
rooted on a stone,--all which came up together.  Often these sea-weeds
root themselves on muscles.  In the morning, our pilot killed a flounder
with the boat-hook, the poor fish thinking himself secure on the bottom.

Ladurlad, in the Curse of Kehama, on visiting a certain celestial region,
the fire in his heart and brain died away for a season, but was rekindled
again on returning to earth.  So may it be with me in my projected three
months' seclusion from old associations.

Punishment of a miser,--to pay the drafts of his heir in his tomb.


July 13th.--A show of wax-figures, consisting almost wholly of murderers
and their victims,--Gibbs and Hansley, the pirates, and the Dutch girl
whom Gibbs murdered.  Gibbs and Hansley were admirably done, as natural
as life; and many people who had known Gibbs would not, according to the
showman, be convinced that this wax-figure was not his skin stuffed.  The
two pirates were represented with halters round their necks, just ready
to be turned off; and the sheriff stood behind them, with his watch,
waiting for the moment.  The clothes, halter, and Gibbs's hair were
authentic.  E. K. Avery and Cornell,--the former a figure in black,
leaning on the back of a chair, in the attitude of a clergyman about to
pray; an ugly devil, said to be a good likeness.  Ellen Jewett and R. P.
Robinson, she dressed richly, in extreme fashion, and very pretty; he
awkward and stiff, it being difficult to stuff a figure to look like a
gentleman.  The showman seemed very proud of Ellen Jewett, and spoke of
her somewhat as if this wax-figure were a real creation.  Strong and Mrs.
Whipple, who together murdered the husband of the latter.  Lastly the
Siamese twins.  The showman is careful to call his exhibition the
"Statuary."  He walks to and fro before the figures, talking of the
history of the persons, the moral lessons to be drawn therefrom, and
especially of the excellence of the wax-work.  He has for sale printed
histories of the personages.  He is a friendly, easy-mannered sort of a
half-genteel character, whose talk has been moulded by the persons who
most frequent such a show; an air of superiority of information, a moral
instructor, with a great deal of real knowledge of the world.  He invites
his departing guests to call again and bring their friends, desiring to
know whether they are pleased; telling that he had a thousand people on
the 4th of July, and that they were all perfectly satisfied.  He talks
with the female visitors, remarking on Ellen Jewett's person and dress to
them, he having "spared no expense in dressing her; and all the ladies
say that a dress never set better, and he thinks he never knew a
handsomer female."  He goes to and fro, snuffing the candles, and now and
then holding one to the face of a favorite figure.  Ever and anon,
hearing steps upon the staircase, he goes to admit a new visitor.  The
visitors,--a half-bumpkin, half country-squire-like man, who has
something of a knowing air, and yet looks and listens with a good deal of
simplicity and faith, smiling between whiles; a mechanic of the town;
several decent-looking girls and women, who eye Ellen herself with more
interest than the other figures,--women having much curiosity about such
ladies; a gentlemanly sort of person, who looks somewhat ashamed of
himself for being there, and glances at me knowingly, as if to intimate
that he was conscious of being out of place; a boy or two, and myself,
who examine wax faces and faces of flesh with equal interest.  A
political or other satire might be made by describing a show of
wax-figures of the prominent public men; and, by the remarks of the
showman and the spectators, their characters and public standing might be
expressed.  And the incident of Judge Tyler as related by E---- might be
introduced.

A series of strange, mysterious, dreadful events to occur, wholly
destructive of a person's happiness.  He to impute them to various
persons and causes, but ultimately finds that he is himself the sole
agent.  Moral, that our welfare depends on ourselves.

The strange incident in the court of Charles IX. of France: he and five
other maskers being attired in coats of linen covered with pitch and
bestuck with flax to represent hairy savages.  They entered the hall
dancing, the five being fastened together, and the king in front.  By
accident the five were set on fire with a torch.  Two were burned to
death on the spot, two afterwards died; one fled to the buttery, and
jumped into a vessel of water.  It might be represented as the fate of a
squad of dissolute men.

A perception, for a moment, of one's eventual and moral self, as if it
were another person,--the observant faculty being separated, and looking
intently at the qualities of the character.  There is a surprise when
this happens,--this getting out of one's self,--and then the observer
sees how queer a fellow he is.


July 27th.--Left home [Salem] on the 23d instant.  To Boston by stage,
and took the afternoon cars for Worcester.  A little boy returning from
the city, several miles, with a basket of empty custard-cups, the
contents of which he had probably sold at the depot.  Stopped at the
Temperance House.  An old gentleman, Mr. Phillips of Boston, got into
conversation with one, and inquired very freely as to my character,
tastes, habits, and circumstances,--a freedom sanctioned by his age, his
kindly and beneficent spirit, and the wisdom of his advice.  It is
strange how little impertinence depends on what is actually said, but
rather on the manner and motives of saying it.  "I want to do you good,"
said he with warmth, after becoming, apparently, moved by my
communications.  "Well, sir," replied I, "I wish you could, for both our
sakes; for I have no doubt it will be a great satisfaction to you."  He
asked the most direct questions of another young man; for instance, "Are
you married?" having before ascertained that point with regard to myself.
He told me by all means to act, in whatever way; observing that he
himself would have no objection to be a servant, if no other mode of
action presented itself.

The landlord of the tavern, a decent, active, grave, attentive personage,
giving me several cards of his house to distribute on my departure.  A
judge, a stout, hearty country squire, looking elderly; a hale and rugged
man, in a black coat, and thin, light pantaloons.

Started for Northampton at half past nine in the morning.  A respectable
sort of man and his son on their way to Niagara,--grocers, I believe, and
calculating how to perform the tour, subtracting as few days as possible
from the shop.  Somewhat inexperienced travellers, and comparing
everything advantageously or otherwise with Boston customs; and
considering themselves a long way from home, while yet short of a hundred
miles from it.  Two ladies, rather good-looking.  I rode outside nearly
all day, and was very sociable with the driver and another outside
passenger.  Towards night, took up an essence-vendor for a short
distance.  He was returning home, after having been out on a tour two or
three weeks; and nearly exhausted his stock.  He was not exclusively an
essence-pedler, having a large tin box, which had been filled with dry
goods, combs, jewelry, etc., now mostly sold out.  His essences were of
anise-seed, cloves, red-cedar, wormwood, together with opodeldoc, and an
oil for the hair.  These matters are concocted at Ashfield, and the
pedlers are sent about with vast quantities.  Cologne-water is among the
essences manufactured, though the bottles have foreign labels on them.
The pedler was good-natured and communicative, and spoke very frankly
about his trade, which he seemed to like better than farming, though his
experience of it is yet brief.  He spoke of the trials of temper to which
pedlers are subjected, but said that it was necessary to be forbearing,
because the same road must be travelled again and again.  The pedlers
find satisfaction for all contumelies in making good bargains out of
their customers.  This man was a pedler in quite a small way, making but
a narrow circuit, and carrying no more than an open basket full of
essences; but some go out with wagon-loads.  He himself contemplated a
trip westward, in which case he would send on quantities of his wares
ahead to different stations.  He seemed to enjoy the intercourse and
seeing of the world.  He pointed out a rough place in the road, where his
stock of essences had formerly been broken by a jolt of the stage.  What
a waste of sweet smells on the desert air!  The essence-labels stated the
efficacy of the stuffs for various complaints of children and grown
people.  The driver was an acquaintance of the pedler, and so gave him
his drive for nothing, though the pedler pretended to wish to force some
silver into his hand; and afterwards he got down to water the horses,
while the driver was busied with other matters.  This driver was a
little, dark ragamuffin, apparently of irascible temper, speaking with
great disapprobation of his way-bill not being timed accurately, but so
as to make it appear as if he were longer upon the road than he was.  As
he spoke, the blood darkened in his cheek, and his eye looked ominous and
angry, as if he were enraged with the person to whom he was speaking; yet
he had not real grit, for he had never said a word of his grievances to
those concerned.  "I mean to tell them of it by and by.  I won't bear it
more than three or four times more," said he.

Left Northampton the next morning, between one and two o'clock.  Three
other passengers, whose faces were not visible for some hours; so we went
on through unknown space, saying nothing, glancing forth sometimes to see
the gleam of the lanterns on wayside objects.

How very desolate looks a forest when seen in this way,--as if, should
you venture one step within its wild, tangled, many-stemmed, and
dark-shadowed verge, you would inevitably be lost forever.  Sometimes we
passed a house, or rumbled through a village, stopping perhaps to arouse
some drowsy postmaster, who appeared at the door in shirt and pantaloons,
yawning, received the mail, returned it again, and was yawning when last
seen.  A few words exchanged among the passengers, as they roused
themselves from their half-slumbers, or dreamy, slumber-like abstraction.
Meantime dawn broke, our faces became partially visible, the morning air
grew colder, and finally cloudy day came on.  We found ourselves driving
through quite a romantic country, with hills or mountains on all sides, a
stream on one side, bordered by a high, precipitous bank, up which would
have grown pines, only that, losing their footholds, many of them had
slipped downward.  The road was not the safest in the world; for often
the carriage approached within two or three feet of a precipice; but the
driver, a merry fellow, lolled on his box, with his feet protruding
horizontally, and rattled on at the rate of ten miles an hour.  Breakfast
between four and five,--newly caught trout, salmon, ham, boiled eggs, and
other niceties,--truly excellent.  A bunch of pickerel, intended for a
tavern-keeper farther on, was carried by the stage-driver.  The drivers
carry a "time-watch" enclosed in a small wooden case, with a lock, so
that it may be known in what time they perform their stages.  They are
allowed so many hours and minutes to do their work, and their desire to
go as fast as possible, combined with that of keeping their horses in
good order, produces about a right medium.

One of the passengers was a young man who had been in Pennsylvania,
keeping a school,--a genteel enough young man, but not a gentleman.  He
took neither supper nor breakfast, excusing himself from one as being
weary with riding all day, and from the other because it was so early.
He attacked me for a subscription for "building up a destitute church,"
of which he had taken an agency, and had collected two or three hundred
dollars, but wanted as many thousands.  Betimes in the morning, on the
descent of a mountain, we arrived at a house where dwelt the married
sister of the young man, whom he was going to visit.

He alighted, saw his trunk taken off, and then, having perceived his
sister at the door, and turning to bid us farewell, there was a broad
smile, even a laugh of pleasure, which did him more credit with me than
anything else; for hitherto there had been a disagreeable scornful twist
upon his face, perhaps, however, merely superficial.  I saw, as the stage
drove off, his comely sister approaching with a lighted-up face to greet
him, and one passenger on the front seat beheld them meet.  "Is it an
affectionate greeting?" inquired I.  "Yes," said he, "I should like to
share it"; whereby I concluded that there was a kiss exchanged.

The highest point of our journey was at Windsor, where we could see
leagues around over the mountain, a terribly bare, bleak spot, fit for
nothing but sheep, and without shelter of woods.  We rattled downward
into a warmer region, beholding as we went the sun shining on portions of
the landscape, miles ahead of us, while we were yet in chillness and
gloom.  It is probable that during a part of the stage the mists around
us looked like sky clouds to those in the lower regions.  Think of
driving a stage-coach through the clouds!  Seasonably in the forenoon we
arrived at Pittsfield.

Pittsfield is a large village, quite shut in by mountain walls, generally
extending like a rampart on all sides of it, but with insulated great
hills rising here and there in the outline.  The area of the town is
level; its houses are handsome, mostly wooden and white; but some are of
brick, painted deep red, the bricks being not of a healthy, natural
color.  There are handsome churches, Gothic and others, and a court-house
and an academy; the court-house having a marble front.  There is a small
wall in the centre of the town, and in the centre of the Mall rises an
elm of the loftiest and straightest stem that ever I beheld, without a
branch or leaf upon it till it has soared seventy or perhaps a hundred
feet into the air.  The top branches unfortunately have been shattered
somehow or other, so that it does not cast a broad shade; probably they
were broken by their own ponderous foliage.  The central square of
Pittsfield presents all the bustle of a thriving village,--the farmers of
the vicinity in light wagons, sulkies, or on horseback; stages at the
door of the Berkshire Hotel, under the stoop of which sit or lounge the
guests, stage-people, and idlers, observing or assisting in the arrivals
and departures.  Huge trunks and bandboxes unladed and laded.  The
courtesy shown to ladies in aiding them to alight, in a shower, under
umbrellas.  The dull looks of passengers, who have driven all night,
scarcely brightened by the excitement of arriving at a new place.  The
stage agent demanding the names of those who are going on,--some to
Lebanon Springs, some to Albany.  The toddy-stick is still busy at these
Berkshire public-houses.  At dinner soup preliminary, in city style.
Guests: the court people; Briggs, member of Congress, attending a trial
here; horse-dealers, country squires, store-keepers in the village, etc.
My room, a narrow crib overlooking a back court-yard, where a young man
and a lad were drawing water for the maid-servants,--their jokes,
especially those of the lad, of whose wit the elder fellow, being a
blockhead himself, was in great admiration, and declared to another that
he knew as much as them both.  Yet he was not very witty.  Once in a
while the maid-servants would come to the door, and hear and respond to
their jokes, with a kind of restraint, yet both permitting and enjoying
them.

After or about sunset there was a heavy shower, the thunder rumbling
round and round the mountain wall, and the clouds stretching from rampart
to rampart.  When it abated, the clouds in all parts of the visible
heavens were tinged with glory from the west; some that hung low being
purple and gold, while the higher ones were gray.  The slender curve of
the new moon was also visible brightening amidst the fading brightness of
the sunny part of the sky.  There are marble-quarries in and near
Pittsfield, which accounts for the fact that there are none but marble
gravestones in the burial-grounds; some of the monuments well carved; but
the marble does not withstand the wear and tear of time and weather so
well as the imported marble, and the sculpture soon loses its sharp
outline.  The door of one tomb, a wooden door, opening in the side of a
green mound, surmounted by a marble obelisk, having been shaken from its
hinges by the late explosion of the powder-house, and incompletely
repaired, I peeped in at the crevices, and saw the coffins.  It was the
tomb of Rev. Thomas Allen, first minister of Pittsfield, deceased in
1810.  It contained three coffins, all with white mould on their tops:
one, a small child's, rested upon another, and the other was on the
opposite side of the tomb, and the lid was considerably displaced; but,
the tomb being dark, I could see neither corpse nor skeleton.

Marble also occurs here in North Adams, and thus some very ordinary
houses have marble doorsteps, and even the stone walls are built of
fragments of marble.

Wednesday, 26th.--Left Pittsfield at about eight o'clock in the
Bennington stage, intending to go to Williamstown.  Inside passengers,--a
new-married couple taking a jaunt.  The lady, with a clear, pale
complexion, and a rather pensive cast of countenance, slender, and with a
genteel figure; the bridegroom, a shopkeeper in New York probably, a
young man with a stout black beard, black eyebrows, which formed one line
across his forehead.  They were very loving; and while the stage stopped,
I watched them, quite entranced in each other, both leaning sideways
against the back of the coach, and perusing their mutual comeliness, and
apparently making complimentary observations upon it to one another.  The
bride appeared the most absorbed and devoted, referring her whole being
to him.  The gentleman seemed in a most paradisiacal mood, smiling
ineffably upon his bride, and, when she spoke, responding to her with a
benign expression of matrimonial sweetness, and, as it were, compassion
for the "weaker vessel," mingled with great love and pleasant humor.  It
was very droll.  The driver peeped into the coach once, and said that he
had his arm round her waist.  He took little freedoms with her, tapping
her with his cane,--love-pats; and she seemed to see nothing amiss.  They
kept eating gingerbread all along the road, and dined heartily
notwithstanding.

Our driver was a slender, lathe-like, round-backed, rough-bearded,
thin-visaged, middle-aged Yankee, who became very communicative during
our drive.  He was not bred a stage-driver, but had undertaken the
business temporarily, as a favor to his brother-in-law.  He was a native
of these Berkshire mountains, but had formerly emigrated to Ohio, and had
returned for a time to try the benefit of her native air on his wife's
declining health,--she having complaints of a consumptive nature.  He
pointed out the house where he was married to her, and told the name of
the country squire who tied the knot.  His wife has little or no chance
of recovery, and he said he would never marry again,--this resolution
being expressed in answer to a remark of mine relative to a second
marriage.  He has no children.  I pointed to a hill at some distance
before us, and asked what it was.  "That, sir," said he, "is a very high
hill.  It is known by the name of Graylock."  He seemed to feel that this
was a more poetical epithet than Saddleback, which is a more usual name
for it.  Graylock, or Saddleback, is quite a respectable mountain; and I
suppose the former name has been given to it because it often has a gray
cloud, or lock of gray mist, upon its head.  It does not ascend into a
peak, but heaves up a round ball, and has supporting ridges on each side.
Its summit is not bare, like that of Mount Washington, but covered with
forests.  The driver said, that several years since the students of
Williams College erected a building for an observatory on the top of the
mountain, and employed him to haul the materials for constructing it; and
he was the only man who had driven an ox-team up Graylock.  It was
necessary to drive the team round and round, in ascending.  President
Griffin rode up on horseback.

Along our road we passed villages, and often factories, the machinery
whirring, and girls looking out of the windows at the stage, with heads
averted from their tasks, but still busy.  These factories have two,
three, or more boarding-houses near them, two stories high, and of double
length,--often with bean-vines running up round the doors, and with
altogether a domestic look.  There are several factories in different
parts of North Adams, along the banks of a stream,--a wild, highland
rivulet, which, however, does vast work of a civilized nature.  It is
strange to see such a rough and untamed stream as it looks to be so
subdued to the purposes of man, and making cottons and woollens, sawing
boards and marbles, and giving employment to so many men and girls.  And
there is a sort of picturesqueness in finding these factories, supremely
artificial establishments, in the midst of such wild scenery.  For now
the stream will be flowing through a rude forest, with the trees erect
and dark, as when the Indians fished there; and it brawls and tumbles and
eddies over its rock-strewn current.  Perhaps there is a precipice,
hundreds of feet high, beside it, down which, by heavy rains or the
melting of snows, great pine-trees have slid or fallen headlong, and lie
at the bottom, or half-way down, while their brethren seem to be gazing
at their fall from the summit, and anticipating a like fate.  And then,
taking a turn in the road, behold these factories and their range of
boarding-houses, with the girls looking out of the windows as aforesaid!
And perhaps the wild scenery is all around the very site of the factory,
and mingles its impression strangely with those opposite ones.  These
observations were made during a walk yesterday.

I bathed in a pool of the stream that was out of sight, and where its
brawling waters were deep enough to cover me, when I lay at length.  A
part of the road along which I walked was on the edge of a precipice,
falling down straight towards the stream; and in one place the passage of
heavy loads had sunk it, so that soon, probably, there will be an
avalanche, perhaps carrying a stage-coach or heavy wagon down into the
bed of the river.

I met occasional wayfarers; once two women in a cart,--decent,
brown-visaged, country matrons,--and then an apparent doctor, of whom
there are seven or thereabouts in North Adams; for though this vicinity
is very healthy, yet the physicians are obliged to ride considerable
distances among the mountain towns, and their practice is very laborious.
A nod is always exchanged between strangers meeting on the road.  This
morning an underwitted old man met me on a walk, and held a pretty long
conversation, insisting upon shaking hands (to which I was averse,
lest his band should not be clean), and insisting on his right to
do so, as being "a friend of mankind."  He was a gray, bald-headed,
wrinkled-visaged figure, decently dressed, with cowhide shoes, a coat on
one arm, and an umbrella on the other, and said that he was going to see
a widow in the neighborhood.  Finding that I was not provided with a
wife, he recommended a certain maiden of forty years, who had three
hundred acres of land.  He spoke of his children, who are proprietors of
a circus establishment, and have taken a granddaughter to bring up in
their way of life; and he gave me a message to tell them in case we
should meet.  While this old man is wandering among the hills, his
children are the gaze of multitudes.  He told me the place where he was
born, directing me to it by pointing to a wreath of mist which lay on the
side of a mountain ridge, which he termed "the smoke yonder."  Speaking
of the widow, he said: "My wife has been dead these seven years, and why
should not I enjoy myself a little?"  His manner was full of quirks and
quips and eccentricities, waving his umbrella and gesticulating
strangely, with a great deal of action.  I suppose, to help his natural
foolishness, he had been drinking.  We parted, he exhorting me not to
forget his message to his sons, and I shouting after him a request to be
remembered to the widow.  Conceive something tragical to be talked about,
and much might be made of this interview in a wild road among the hills,
with Graylock, at a great distance, looking sombre and angry, by reason
of the gray, heavy mist upon his head.

The morning was cloudy, and all the near landscape lay unsunned; but
there was sunshine on distant tracts, in the valleys, and in specks upon
the mountain-tops.  Between the ridges of hills, there are long, wide,
deep valleys, extending for miles and miles, with houses scattered along
them.  A bulky company of mountains, swelling round head over round head,
rises insulated by such broad vales from the surrounding ridges.

I ought to have mentioned that I arrived at North Adams in the forenoon
of the 26th, and, liking the aspect of matters indifferently well,
determined to make my headquarters here for a short time.

On the road to Northampton, we passed a tame crow, which was sitting on
the peak of a barn.  The crow flew down from its perch, and followed us a
great distance, hopping along the road, and flying, with its large,
black, flapping wings, from post to post of the fence, or from tree to
tree.  At last he gave up the pursuit with a croak of disappointment.
The driver said, perhaps correctly, that the crow had scented some salmon
which was in a basket under the seat, and that this was the secret of his
pursuing us.  This would be a terrific incident if it were a dead body
that the crow scented, instead of a basket of salmon.  Suppose, for
instance, in a coach travelling along, that one of the passengers
suddenly should die, and that one of the indications of his death would
be this deportment of the crow.


July 29th.--Remarkable characters:--A disagreeable figure, waning from
middle age, clad in a pair of tow homespun pantaloons, and a very soiled
shirt, barefoot, and with one of his feet maimed by an axe; also an arm
amputated two or three inches below the elbow.  His beard of a week's
growth, grim and grisly, with a general effect of black; altogether a
disgusting object.  Yet he has the signs of having been a handsome man in
his idea, though now such a beastly figure that probably no living thing
but his great dog would touch him without an effort.  Coming to the
stoop, where several persons were sitting, "Good morning, gentlemen,"
said the wretch.  Nobody answered for a time, till at last one said, "I
don't know whom you speak to: not to me, I'm sure" (meaning that he did
not claim to be a gentleman).  "Why, I thought I spoke to you all at
once," replied the figure, laughing.  So he sat himself down on the lower
step of the stoop, and began to talk; and, the conversation being turned
upon his bare feet by one of the company, he related the story of his
losing his toes by the glancing aside of an axe, and with what great
fortitude he bore it.  Then he made a transition to the loss of his arm,
and, setting his teeth and drawing in his breath, said that the pain was
dreadful; but this, too, he seems to have borne like an Indian; and a
person testified to his fortitude by saying that he did not suppose there
was any feeling in him, from observing how he bore it.  The man spoke of
the pain of cutting the muscles, and the particular agony at one moment,
while the bone was being sawed asunder; and there was a strange
expression of remembered anguish, as he shrugged his half-limb, and
described the matter.  Afterwards, in a reply to a question of mine,
whether he still seemed to feel the hand that had been amputated, he
answered that he did always; and, baring the stump, he moved the severed
muscles, saying, "There is the thumb, there the forefinger," and so on.
Then he talked to me about phrenology, of which he seems a firm believer
and skilful practitioner, telling how he had hit upon the true character
of many people.  There was a great deal of sense and acuteness in his
talk, and something of elevation in his expressions,--perhaps a studied
elevation,--and a sort of courtesy in his manner; but his sense had
something out of the way in it; there was something wild and ruined and
desperate in his talk, though I can hardly say what it was.  There was a
trace of the gentleman and man of intellect through his deep degradation;
and a pleasure in intellectual pursuits, and an acuteness and trained
judgment, which bespoke a mind once strong and cultivated.  "My study is
man," said he.  And looking at me, "I do not know your name," he said,
"but there is something of the hawk-eye about you, too."

This man was formerly a lawyer in good practice; but, taking to drinking,
was reduced to the lowest state.  Yet not the lowest; for after the
amputation of his arm, being advised by divers persons to throw himself
upon the public for support, he told them that, even if he should lose
his other arm, he would still be able to support himself and a servant.
Certainly he is a strong-minded and iron-constitutioned man; hut, looking
at the stump of his arm, he said that the pain of the mind was a thousand
times greater than the pain of the body.  "That hand could make the pen
go fast," said he.  Among people in general, he does not seem to have any
greater consideration in his ruin because of his former standing in
society.  He supports himself by making soap; and, on account of the
offals used in that business, there is probably rather an evil odor in
his domicile.  Talking about a dead horse near his house, he said that he
could not bear the scent of it.  "I should not think you could smell
carrion in that house," said a stage agent.  Whereupon the soap-maker
dropped his head, with a little snort, as it were, of wounded feeling;
but immediately said that he took all in good part.  There was an old
squire of the village, a lawyer probably, whose demeanor was different,--
with a distance, yet with a kindliness; for he remembered the times when
they met on equal terms.  "You and I," said the squire, alluding to their
respective troubles and sicknesses, "would have died long ago, if we had
not had the courage to live."  The poor devil kept talking to me long
after everybody else had left the stoop, giving vent to much practical
philosophy, and just observation on the ways of men, mingled with rather
more assumption of literature and cultivation than belonged to the
present condition of his mind.  Meantime his great dog, a cleanly looking
and not ill-bred dog, being the only decent attribute appertaining to his
master,--a well-natured dog, too, and receiving civilly any demonstration
of courtesy from other people, though preserving a certain distance of
deportment,--this great dog grew weary of his master's lengthy talk, and
expressed his impatience to be gone by thrusting himself between his
legs, rolling over on his back, seizing his ragged trousers, or playfully
taking his maimed, bare foot into his mouth,--using, in short, the kindly
and humorous freedom of a friend, with a wretch to whom all are free
enough, but none other kind.  His master rebuked him, but with kindness
too, and not so that the dog felt himself bound to desist, though he
seemed willing to allow his master all the time that could possibly be
spared.  And at last, having said many times that he must go and shave
and dress himself,--and as his beard had been at least a week growing, it
might have seemed almost a week's work to get rid of it,--he rose from
the stoop and went his way,--a forlorn and miserable thing in the light
of the cheerful summer morning.  Yet he seems to keep his spirits up, and
still preserves himself a man among men, asking nothing from them; nor is
it clearly perceptible what right they have to scorn him, though he seems
to acquiesce, in a manner, in their doing so.  And yet he cannot wholly
have lost his self-respect; and doubtless there were persons on the stoop
more grovelling than himself.

Another character:--A blacksmith of fifty or upwards, a corpulent figure,
big in the paunch and enormous in the rear; yet there is such an
appearance of strength and robustness in his frame, that his corpulence
appears very proper and necessary to him.  A pound of flesh could not be
spared from his abundance, any more than from the leanest man; and he
walks about briskly, without any panting or symptom of labor or pain in
his motion.  He has a round, jolly face, always mirthful and humorous and
shrewd, and the air of a man well to do, and well respected, yet not
caring much about the opinions of men, because his independence is
sufficient to itself.  Nobody would take him for other than a man of some
importance in the community, though his summer dress is a tow-cloth pair
of pantaloons, a shirt not of the cleanest, open at the breast, and the
sleeves rolled up at the elbows, and a straw hat.  There is not such a
vast difference between this costume and that of Lawyer H------ above
mentioned, yet never was there a greater diversity of appearance than
between these two men; and a glance at them would be sufficient to mark
the difference.  The blacksmith loves his glass, and comes to the tavern
for it, whenever it seems good to him, not calling for it slyly and
shyly, but marching steadily to the bar, or calling across the room for
it to be prepared.  He speaks with great bitterness against the new
license law, and vows if it be not repealed by fair means it shall be by
violence, and that he will be as ready to cock his rifle for such a cause
as for any other.  On this subject his talk is really fierce; but as to
all other matters he is good-natured and good-hearted, fond of joke, and
shaking his jolly sides with frequent laughter.  His conversation has
much strong, unlettered sense, imbued with humor, as everybody's talk is
in New England.

He takes a queer position sometimes,--queer for his figure particularly,
--straddling across a chair, facing the back, with his arms resting
thereon, and his chin on them, for the benefit of conversing closely with
some one.  When he has spent as much time in the bar-room or under the
stoop as he chooses to spare, he gets up at once, and goes off with a
brisk, vigorous pace.  He owns a mill, and seems to be prosperous in the
world.  I know no man who seems more like a man, more indescribably
human, than this sturdy blacksmith.

There came in the afternoon a respectable man in gray homespun cloth, who
arrived in a wagon, I believe, and began to inquire, after supper, about
a certain new kind of mill machinery.  Being referred to the blacksmith,
who owned one of these mills, the stranger said that he had come from
Vermont to learn about the matter.  "What may I call your name?" said he
to the blacksmith.  "My name is Hodge," replied the latter.  "I believe I
have heard of you," said the stranger.  Then they colloquied at much
length about the various peculiarities and merits of the new invention.
The stranger continued here two or three days, making his researches, and
forming acquaintance with several millwrights and others.  He was a man
evidently of influence in his neighborhood, and the tone of his
conversation was in the style of one accustomed to be heard with
deference, though all in a plain and homely way.  Lawyer H------ took
notice of this manner; for the talk being about the nature of soap, and
the evil odor arising from that process, the stranger joined in.  "There
need not be any disagreeable smell in making soap," said he.  "Now we are
to receive a lesson," said H------, and the remark was particularly
apropos to the large wisdom of the stranger's tone and air.

Then he gave an account of the process in his domestic establishment,
saying that he threw away the whole offals of the hog, as not producing
any soap, and preserved the skins of the intestines for sausages.  He
seemed to be hospitable, inviting those with whom he did business to take
"a mouthful of dinner" with him, and treating them with liquors; for he
was not an utter temperance man, though moderate in his potations.  I
suspect he would turn out a pattern character of the upper class of New
England yeomen, if I had an opportunity of studying him.  Doubtless he
had been selectman, representative, and justice, and had filled all but
weighty offices.  He was highly pleased with the new mill contrivance,
and expressed his opinion that, when his neighbors saw the success of
his, it would be extensively introduced into that vicinity.

Mem.  The hostlers at taverns call the money given them "pergasus,"--
corrupted from "perquisites."  Otherwise "knock-down money."  Remarkable
character:--A travelling surgeon-dentist, who has taken a room in the
North Adams House, and sticks up his advertising bills on the pillars of
the piazza, and all about the town.  He is a tall, slim young man, six
feet two, dressed in a country-made coat of light blue (taken, as he
tells me, in exchange for dental operations), black pantaloons, and
clumsy, cowhide hoots.  Self-conceit is very strongly expressed in his
air; and a doctor once told him that he owed his life to that quality;
for, by keeping himself so stiffly upright, he opens his chest, and
counteracts a consumptive tendency.  He is not only a dentist, which
trade he follows temporarily, but a licensed preacher of the Baptist
persuasion, and is now on his way to the West to seek a place of
settlement in his spiritual vocation.  Whatever education he possesses,
he has acquired by his own exertions since the age of twenty-one,--he
being now twenty-four.  We talk together very freely; and he has given me
an account, among other matters, of all his love-affairs, which are
rather curious, as illustrative of the life of a smart young country
fellow in relation to the gentle sex.  Nothing can exceed the exquisite
self-conceit which characterizes these confidences, and which is
expressed inimitably in his face, his upturned nose, and mouth, so as to
be truly a caricature; and he seems strangely to find as much food for
his passion in having been jilted once or twice as in his conquests.  It
is curious to notice his revengeful feeling against the false ones,--
hidden from himself, however, under the guise of religious interest, and
desire that they may be cured of their follies.

A little boy named Joe, who haunts about the bar-room and the stoop, four
years old, in a thin, short jacket, and full-breeched trousers, and bare
feet.  The men tease him, and put quids of tobacco in his mouth, under
pretence of giving him a fig; and he gets curaged, and utters a peculiar,
sharp, spiteful cry, and strikes at them with a stick, to their great
mirth.  He is always in trouble, yet will not keep away.  They despatch
him with two or three cents to buy candy and nuts and raisins.  They set
him down in a niche of the door, and tell him to remain there a day and a
half: he sits down very demurely, as if he meant to fulfil his penance;
but a moment after, behold! there is little Joe capering across the
street to join two or three boys who are playing in a wagon.  Take this
boy as the germ of a tavern-haunter, a country roue, to spend a wild and
brutal youth, ten years of his prime in the State Prison, and his old age
in the poorhouse.

There are a great many dogs kept in the village, and many of the
travellers also have dogs.  Some are almost always playing about; and if
a cow or a pig be passing, two or three of them scamper forth for an
attack.  Some of the younger sort chase pigeons, wheeling as they wheel.
If a contest arises between two dogs, a number of others come with huge
barking to join the fray, though I believe that they do not really take
any active part in the contest, but swell the uproar by way of
encouraging the combatants.  When a traveller is starting from the door,
his dog often gets in front of the horse, placing his forefeet down,--
looking the horse in the face, and barking loudly, then, as the horse
comes on, running a little farther, and repeating the process; and this
he does in spite of his master's remonstrances, till, the horse being
fairly started, the dog follows on quietly.  One dog, a diminutive little
beast, has been taught to stand on his hind legs, and rub his face with
his paw, which he does with an aspect of much endurance and deprecation.
Another springs at people whom his master points out to him, barking and
pretending to bite.  These tricks make much mirth in the bar-room.  All
dogs, of whatever different sizes and dissimilar varieties, acknowledge
the common bond of species among themselves, and the largest one does not
disdain to suffer his tail to be smelt of, nor to reciprocate that
courtesy to the smallest.  They appear to take much interest in one
another; but there is always a degree of caution between two strange dogs
when they meet.


July 31st.--A visit to what is called "Hudson's Cave," or "Hudson's
Falls," the tradition being that a man by the name of Henry Hudson, many
years ago, chasing a deer, the deer fell over the place, which then first
became known to white men.  It is not properly a cave, but a fissure in a
huge ledge of marble, through which a stream has been for ages forcing
its way, and has left marks of its gradually wearing power on the tall
crags, having made curious hollows from the summit down to the level
which it has reached at the present day.  The depth of the fissure in
some places is at least fifty or sixty feet, perhaps more, and at several
points it nearly closes over, and often the sight of the sky is hidden by
the interposition of masses of the marble crags.  The fissure is very
irregular, so as not to be describable in words, and scarcely to be
painted,--jetting buttresses, moss-grown, impending crags, with tall
trees growing on their verge, nodding over the head of the observer at
the bottom of the chasm, and rooted, as it were, in air.  The part where
the water works its way down is very narrow; but the chasm widens, after
the descent, so as to form a spacious chamber between the crags, open to
the sky, and its floor is strewn with fallen fragments of marble, and
trees that have been precipitated long ago, and are heaped with
drift-wood, left there by the freshets, when the scanty stream becomes
a considerable waterfall.  One crag, with a narrow ridge, which might be
climbed without much difficulty, protrudes from the middle of the rock,
and divides the fall.  The passage through the cave made by the stream is
very crooked, and interrupted, not only by fallen wrecks, but by deep
pools of water, which probably have been forded by few.  As the deepest
pool occurs in the most uneven part of the chasm, where the hollows in
the sides of the crag are deepest, so that each hollow is almost a cave
by itself, I determined to wade through it.  There was an accumulation of
soft stuff on the bottom, so that the water did not look more than
knee-deep; but, finding that my feet sunk in it, I took off my trousers,
and waded through up to my middle.  Thus I reached the most interesting
part of the cave, where the whirlings of the stream had left the marks of
its eddies in the solid marble, all up and down the two sides of the
chasm.  The water is now dammed for the construction of two marble
saw-mills, else it would have been impossible to effect the passage; and
I presume that, for years after the cave was discovered, the waters
roared and tore their way in a torrent through this part of the chasm.
While I was there, I heard voices, and a small stone tumbled down; and
looking up towards the narrow strip of bright light, and the sunny
verdure that peeped over the top,--looking up thither from the deep,
gloomy depth,--I saw two or three men; and, not liking to be to them the
most curious part of the spectacle, I waded back, and put on my clothes.
The marble crags are overspread with a concretion, which makes them look
as gray as granite, except where the continual flow of water keeps them
of a snowy whiteness.  If they were so white all over, it would be a
splendid show.  There is a marble-quarry close in the rear, above the
cave, and in process of time the whole of the crags will be quarried into
tombstones, doorsteps, fronts of edifices, fireplaces, etc.  That will be
a pity.  On such portions of the walls as are within reach, visitors have
sculptured their initials, or names at full length; and the white letters
showing plainly on the gray surface, they have more obvious effect than
such inscriptions generally have.  There was formerly, I believe, a
complete arch of marble, forming a natural bridge over the top of the
cave; but this is no longer so.  At the bottom of the broad chamber of
the cave, standing in its shadow, the effect of the morning sunshine on
the dark or bright foliage of the pines and other trees that cluster on
the summits of the crags was particularly beautiful; and it was strange
how such great trees had rooted themselves in solid marble, for so it
seemed.

After passing through this romantic and most picturesque spot, the stream
goes onward to turn factories.  Here its voice resounds within the hollow
crags; there it goes onward; talking to itself, with babbling din, of its
own wild thoughts and fantasies,--the voice of solitude and the
wilderness,--loud and continual, but which yet does not seem to disturb
the thoughtful wanderer, so that he forgets there is a noise.  It talks
along its storm-strewn path; it talks beneath tall precipices and high
banks,--a voice that has been the same for innumerable ages; and yet, if
you listen, you will perceive a continual change and variety in its
babble, and sometimes it seems to swell louder upon the ear than at
others,--in the same spot, I mean.  By and by man makes a dam for it, and
it pours over it, still making its voice heard, while it labors.  At one
shop for manufacturing the marble, I saw the disk of a sun-dial as large
as the top of a hogshead, intended for Williams College; also a small
obelisk, and numerous gravestones.  The marble is coarse-grained, but of
a very brilliant whiteness.  It is rather a pity that the cave is not
formed of some worthless stone.

In the deep valleys of the neighborhood, where the shadows at sunset are
thrown from mountain to mountain, the clouds have a beautiful effect,
flitting high over them, bright with heavenly gold.  It seems as if the
soul might rise up from the gloom, and alight upon them and soar away.
Walking along one of the valleys the other evening, while a pretty fresh
breeze blew across it, the clouds that were skimming over my head seemed
to conform themselves to the valley's shape.

At a distance, mountain summits look close together, almost as if forming
one mountain, though in reality a village lies in the depths between
them.

A steam-engine in a factory to be supposed to possess a malignant spirit.
It catches one man's arm, and pulls it off; seizes another by the
coat-tails, and almost grapples him bodily; catches a girl by the hair,
and scalps her; and finally draws in a man, and crushes him to death.

The one-armed soap-maker, Lawyer H------, wears an iron hook, which
serves him instead of a hand for the purpose of holding on.  They
nickname him "Black Hawk."

North Adams still.--The village, viewed from the top of a hill to the
westward at sunset, has a peculiarly happy and peaceful look.  It lies on
a level, surrounded by hills, and seems as if it lay in the hollow of a
large hand.  The Union Village may be seen, a manufacturing place,
extending up a gorge of the hills.  It is amusing to see all the
distributed property of the aristocracy and commonalty, the various and
conflicting interests of the town, the loves and hates, compressed into a
space which the eye takes in as completely as the arrangement of a
tea-table.  The rush of the streams comes up the hill somewhat like the
sound of a city.

The hills about the village appear very high and steep sometimes, when
the shadows of the clouds are thrown blackly upon them, while there is
sunshine elsewhere; so that, seen in front, the effect of their gradual
slope is lost.  These hills, surrounding the town on all sides, give it a
snug and insulated air; and, viewed from certain points, it would be
difficult to tell how to get out, without climbing the mountain ridges;
but the roads wind away and accomplish the passage without ascending very
high.  Sometimes the notes of a horn or bugle may be heard sounding afar
among these passes of the mountains, announcing the coming of the
stage-coach from Bennington or Troy or Greenfield or Pittsfield.

There are multitudes of sheep among the hills, and they appear very tame
and gentle; though sometimes, like the wicked, they "flee when no man
pursueth."  But, climbing a rude, rough, rocky, stumpy, ferny height
yesterday, one or two of them stood and stared at me with great
earnestness.  I passed on quietly, but soon heard an immense baa-ing up
the hill, and all the sheep came galloping and scrambling after me,
baa-ing with all their might in innumerable voices, running in a compact
body, expressing the utmost eagerness, as if they sought the greatest
imaginable favor from me; and so they accompanied me down the hillside,--
a most ridiculous cortege.  Doubtless they had taken it into their heads
that I brought them salt.

The aspect of the village is peculiarly beautiful towards sunset, when
there are masses of cloud about the sky,--the remnants of a
thunder-storm.  These clouds throw a shade upon large portions of the
rampart of hills, and the hills towards the west are shaded of course;
the clouds also make the shades deeper in the village, and thus the
sunshine on the houses and trees, and along the street, is a bright, rich
gold.  The green is deeper in consequence of the recent rain.

The doctors walk about the village with their saddle-bags on their arms,
one always with a pipe in his mouth.

A little dog, named Snapper, the same who stands on his hind legs,
appears to be a roguish little dog, and the other day he stole one of the
servant-girl's shoes, and ran into the street with it.  Being pursued, he
would lift the shoe in his mouth (while it almost dragged on the ground),
and run a little way, then lie down with his paws on it, and wait to be
pursued again.


August 11th.--This morning, it being cloudy and boding of rain, the
clouds had settled upon the mountains, both on the summits and ridges,
all round the town, so that there seemed to be no way of gaining access
to the rest of the world, unless by climbing above the clouds.  By and by
they partially dispersed, giving glimpses of the mountain ramparts
through their obscurity, the separate clouds lying heavily upon the
mountain's breast.  In warm mornings, after rain, the mist breaks forth
from the forests on the ascent of the mountains, like smoke,--the smoke
of a volcano; then it soars up, and becomes a cloud in heaven.  But these
clouds to-day were real rain-clouds.  Sometimes, it is said, while
laboring up the mountain-side, they suddenly burst, and pour down their
moisture in a cataract, sweeping all before it.

Every new aspect of the mountains, or view from a different position,
creates a surprise in the mind.

Scenes and characters:--A young country fellow, twenty or thereabouts,
decently dressed, pained with the toothache.  A doctor, passing on
horseback, with his black leather saddle-bags behind him, a thin,
frosty-haired man.  Being asked to operate, he looks at the tooth, lances
the gum, and the fellow being content to be dealt with on the spot, he
seats himself in a chair on the stoop with great heroism.  The doctor
produces a rusty pair of iron forceps; a man holds the patient's head;
the doctor perceives that, it being a difficult tooth to get at, wedged
between the two largest in his jaws, he must pull very hard; and the
instrument is introduced.  A turn of the doctor's hand; the patient
begins to utter a cry, but the tooth comes out first, with four prongs.
The patient gets up, half amazed, pays the doctor ninepence, pockets the
tooth, and the spectators are in glee and admiration.

There was a fat woman, a stage-passenger to-day,--a wonder how she could
possibly get through the door, which seemed not so wide as she.  When she
put her foot on the step, the stage gave a great lurch, she joking all
the while.  A great, coarse, red-faced dame.  Other passengers,--three or
four slender Williamstown students, a young girl, and a man with one
leg and two crutches.

One of the most sensible men in this village is a plain, tall, elderly
person, who is overseeing the mending of a road,--humorous, intelligent,
with much thought about matters and things; and while at work he has a
sort of dignity in handling the hoe or crow-bar, which shows him to be
the chief.  In the evening he sits under the stoop, silent and observant
from under the brim of his hat; but, occasion calling, he holds an
argument about the benefit or otherwise of manufactories or other things.
A simplicity characterizes him more than appertains to most Yankees.

A man in a pea-green frock-coat, with velvet collar.  Another in a
flowered chintz frock-coat.  There is a great diversity of hues in
garments.  A doctor, a stout, tall, round-paunched, red-faced,
brutal-looking old fellow, who gets drunk daily.  He sat down on the step
of our stoop, looking surly, and speaking to nobody; then got up and
walked homeward, with a morose swagger and a slight unevenness of gait,
attended by a fine Newfoundland dog.

A barouche with driver returned from beyond Greenfield or Troy empty, the
passengers being left at the former place.  The driver stops here for the
night, and, while washing, enters into talk with an old man about the
different roads over the mountain.

People washing themselves at a common basin in the bar-room! and using
the common hair-brushes! perhaps with a consciousness of praiseworthy
neatness!

A man with a cradle on his shoulder, having been cradling oats.  I
attended a child's funeral yesterday afternoon.  There was an assemblage
of people in a plain, homely apartment.  Most of the men were dressed in
their ordinary clothes, and one or two were in shirt-sleeves.  The coffin
was placed in the midst of us, covered with a velvet pall.  A bepaid
clergyman prayed (the audience remaining seated, while he stood up at the
head of the coffin), read a passage of Scripture and commented upon it.
While he read and prayed and expounded there was a heavy thunder-storm
rumbling among the surrounding hills, and the lightning flashed fiercely
through the gloomy room; and the preacher alluded to GOD's voice of
thunder.

It is the custom in this part of the country--and perhaps extensively in
the interior of New England--to bury the dead first in a charnel-house,
or common tomb, where they remain till decay has so far progressed as to
secure them from the resurrectionists.  They are then reburied, with
certain ceremonies, in their own peculiar graves.

O. E. S------, a widower of forty or upwards, with a son of twelve and a
pair of infant twins.  He is a sharp, shrewd Yankee, with a Yankee's
license of honesty.  He drinks sometimes more than enough, and is guilty
of peccadilloes with the fair sex; yet speaks most affectionately
of his wife, and is a fond and careful father.  He is a tall, thin,
hard-featured man, with a sly expression of almost hidden grave humor, as
if there were some deviltry pretty constantly in his mind,--which is
probably the case.  His brother tells me that he was driven almost crazy
by the loss of his wife.  It appears to me that men are more affected by
the deaths of their wives than wives by the deaths of their husbands.
Orrin S------ smokes a pipe, as do many of the guests.

A walk this forenoon up the mountain ridge that walls in the town towards
the east.  The road is cut zigzag, the mountain being generally as steep
as the roof of a house; yet the stage to Greenfield passes over this road
two or three times a week.  Graylock rose up behind me, appearing, with
its two summits and a long ridge between, like a huge monster crouching
down slumbering, with its head slightly elevated.  Graylock is properly
the name for the highest elevation.  It appeared to better advantage the
higher the point from which I viewed it.  There were houses scattered
here and there up the mountainside, growing poorer as I ascended; the
last that I passed was a mean log-hut, rough, rude, and dilapidated, with
the smoke issuing from a chimney of small stones, plastered with clay;
around it a garden of beans, with some attempt at flowers, and a green
creeper running over the side of the cottage.  Above this point there
were various excellent views of mountain scenery, far off and near, and
one village lying below in the hollow vale.

Having climbed so far that the road seemed now to go downward, I retraced
my steps.  There was a wagon descending behind me; and as it followed the
zigzag of the road I could hear the voices of the men high over my head,
and sometimes I caught a glimpse of the wagon almost perpendicularly
above me, while I was looking almost perpendicularly down to the log-hut
aforementioned.  Trees were thick on either hand,--oaks, pines, and
others; and marble occasionally peeped up in the road and there was a
lime-kiln by the wayside, ready for burning.

Graylock had a cloud on his head this morning, the base of a heavy white
cloud.  The distribution of the sunshine amid mountain scenery is very
striking; one does not see exactly why one spot should be in deep
obscurity while others are all bright.  The clouds throw their shadows
upon the hillsides as they move slowly along,--a transitory blackness.

I passed a doctor high up the road in a sulky, with his black leather
saddle-bags.

Hudson's Cave is formed by Hudson's Brook.  There is a natural arch of
marble still in one part of it.  The cliffs are partly made verdant with
green moss, chiefly gray with oxidation; on some parts the white of the
marble is seen; in interstices grow brake and other shrubs, so that there
is naked sublimity seen through a good deal of clustering beauty.  Above,
the birch, poplars, and pines grow on the utmost verge of the cliffs,
which jut far over, so that they are suspended in air; and whenever the
sunshine finds its way into the depths of the chasm, the branches wave
across it.  There is a lightness, however, about their foliage, which
greatly relieves what would otherwise be a gloomy scene.  After the
passage of the stream through the cliffs of marble, the cliffs separate
on either side, and leave it to flow onward; intercepting its passage,
however, by fragments of marble, some of them huge ones, which the cliffs
have flung down, thundering into the bed of the stream through numberless
ages.  Doubtless some of these immense fragments had trees growing on
them, which have now mouldered away.  Decaying trunks are heaped in
various parts of the gorge.  The pieces of marble that are washed by the
water are of a snow-white, and partially covered with a bright green
water-moss, making a beautiful contrast.

Among the cliffs, strips of earth-beach extend downward, and trees and
large shrubs root themselves in that earth, thus further contrasting the
nakedness of the stone with their green foliage.  But the immediate part
where the stream forces its winding passage through the rock is stern,
dark, and mysterious.

Along the road, where it runs beneath a steep, there are high ridges,
covered with trees,--the dew of midnight damping the earth, far towards
midnoon.  I observed the shadows of water-insects, as they swam in the
pools of a stream.  Looking down a streamlet, I saw a trunk of a tree,
which has been overthrown by the wind, so as to form a bridge, yet
sticking up all its branches, as if it were unwilling to assist anybody
over.

Green leaves, following the eddies of the rivulet, were now borne deep
under water, and now emerged.  Great uprooted trees, adhering midway down
a precipice of earth, hung with their tops downward.

There is an old man, selling the meats of butternuts under the stoop of
the hotel.  He makes that his station during a part of the season.  He
was dressed in a dark thin coat, ribbed velvet pantaloons, and a sort of
moccasins, or shoes, appended to the legs of woollen stockings.  He had
on a straw hat, and his hair was gray, with a long, thin visage.  His
nuts were contained in a square tin box, having two compartments, one for
the nuts, and another for maple sugar, which he sells in small cakes.  He
had three small tin measures for nuts,--one at one cent, others at two,
four, and six cents; and as fast as they were emptied, he filled them
again, and put them on the top of his box.  He smoked a pipe, and talked
with one man about whether it would be worth while to grow young again,
and the duty of being contented with old age; about predestination and
freewill and other metaphysics.  I asked him what his sales amounted to
in the course of a day.  He said that butternuts did not sell so well as
walnuts, which are not yet in season; that he might to-day have sold
fifty cents' worth of walnuts, never less than a dollar's worth, often
more; and when he went round with a caravan, he had sold fifteen dollars'
worth per day, and once as much as twenty dollars' worth.  This promises
to be an excellent year for walnuts.  Chestnuts have been scarce for two
or three years.  He had one hundred chestnut-trees on his own land, and
last year he offered a man twenty-five cents if he would find him a quart
of good chestnuts on them.  A bushel of walnuts would cost about ten
dollars.  He wears a pair of silver-rimmed spectacles.

A drunken fellow sat down by him, and bought a cent's worth of his
butternuts, and inquired what he would sell out to him for.  The old man
made an estimate, though evidently in jest, and then reckoned his box,
measures, meats, and what little maple sugar he had, at four dollars.  He
had a very quiet manner, and expressed an intention of going to the
Commencement at Williamstown to-morrow.  His name, I believe, is Captain
Gavett.


Wednesday, August 15th.--I went to Commencement at Williams College,--
five miles distant.  At the tavern were students with ribbons, pink or
blue, fluttering from their buttonholes, these being the badges of rival
societies.  There was a considerable gathering of people, chiefly
arriving in wagons or buggies, some in barouches, and very few in
chaises.  The most characteristic part of the scene was where the
pedlers, gingerbread-sellers, etc., were collected, a few hundred yards
from the meeting-house.  There was a pedler there from New York State,
who sold his wares by auction, and I could have stood and listened to him
all day long.  Sometimes he would put up a heterogeny [this is a word
made by Mr. Hawthorne, but one that was needed.--S. H.] of articles in a
lot,--as a paper of pins, a lead-pencil, and a shaving-box,--and knock
them all down, perhaps for ninepence.  Bunches of lead-pencils,
steel-pens, pound-cakes of shaving-soap, gilt finger-rings, bracelets,
clasps, and other jewelry, cards of pearl buttons, or steel ("there is
some steel about them, gentlemen, for my brother stole 'em, and I bore
him out in it"), bundles of wooden combs, boxes of matches, suspenders,
and, in short, everything,--dipping his hand down into his wares with the
promise of a wonderful lot, and producing, perhaps, a bottle of
opodeldoc, and joining it with a lead-pencil,--and when he had sold
several things of the same kind, pretending huge surprise at finding
"just one more," if the lads lingered; saying, "I could not afford to
steal them for the price; for the remorse of conscience would be worth
more,"--all the time keeping an eye upon those who bought, calling for
the pay, making change with silver or bills, and deciding on the goodness
of banks; and saying to the boys who climbed upon his cart, "Fall down,
roll down, tumble down, only get down"; and uttering everything in the
queer, humorous recitative in which he sold his articles.  Sometimes he
would pretend that a person had bid, either by word or wink, and raised a
laugh thus; never losing his self-possession, nor getting out of humor.
When a man asked whether a bill were good: "No! do you suppose I'd give
you good money?"  When he delivered an article, he exclaimed, "You're the
lucky man," setting off his wares with the most extravagant eulogies.
The people bought very freely, and seemed also to enjoy the fun.  One
little boy bought a shaving-box, perhaps meaning to speculate upon it.
This character could not possibly he overdrawn; and he was really
excellent, with his allusions to what was passing, intermingled,
doubtless, with a good deal that was studied.  He was a man between
thirty and forty, with a face expressive of other ability, as well as of
humor.

A good many people were the better or the worse for liquor.  There was
one fellow,--named Randall, I think,--a round-shouldered, bulky, ill-hung
devil, with a pale, sallow skin, black beard, and a sort of grin upon his
face,--a species of laugh, yet not so much mirthful as indicating a
strange mental and moral twist.  He was very riotous in the crowd,
elbowing, thrusting, seizing hold of people; and at last a ring was
formed, and a regular wrestling-match commenced between him and a
farmer-looking man.  Randall brandished his legs about in the most
ridiculous style, but proved himself a good wrestler, and finally threw
his antagonist.  He got up with the same grin upon his features,--not a
grin of simplicity, but intimating knowingness.  When more depth or force
of expression was required, he could put on the most strangely ludicrous
and ugly aspect (suiting his gesture and attitude to it) that can be
imagined.  I should like to see this fellow when he was perfectly sober.

There were a good many blacks among the crowd.  I suppose they used to
emigrate across the border, while New York was a slave State.  There were
enough of them to form a party, though greatly in the minority; and, a
squabble arising, some of the blacks were knocked down, and otherwise
maltreated.  I saw one old negro, a genuine specimen of the slave negro,
without any of the foppery of the race in our part of the State,--an old
fellow, with a bag, I suppose of broken victuals, on his shoulder, and
his pockets stuffed out at his hips with the like provender; full of
grimaces and ridiculous antics, laughing laughably, yet without
affectation; then talking with a strange kind of pathos about the
whippings he used to get while he was a slave;--a singular creature, of
mere feeling, with some glimmering of sense.  Then there was another gray
old negro, but of a different stamp, politic, sage, cautious, yet with
boldness enough, talking about the rights of his race, yet so as not to
provoke his audience; discoursing of the advantage of living under laws,
and the wonders that might ensue, in that very assemblage, if there were
no laws; in the midst of this deep wisdom, turning off the anger of a
half-drunken fellow by a merry retort, a leap in the air, and a negro's
laugh.  I was interested--there being a drunken negro ascending the
meeting-house steps, and near him three or four well-dressed and decent
negro wenches--to see the look of scorn and shame and sorrow and painful
sympathy which one of them assumed at this disgrace of her color.

The people here show out their character much more strongly than they do
with us; there was not the quiet, silent, dull decency of our public
assemblages, but mirth, anger, eccentricity,--all manifesting themselves
freely.  There were many watermelons for sale, and people burying their
muzzles deep in the juicy flesh of them.  There were cider and beer.
Many of the people had their mouths half opened in a grin, which, more
than anything else, I think, indicates a low stage of refinement.  A
low-crowned hat--very low--is common.  They are respectful to gentlemen.

A bat being startled, probably, out of the meeting-house, by the
commotion around, flew blindly about in the sunshine, and alighted on a
man's sleeve.  I looked at him,--a droll, winged, beast-insect, creeping
up the man's arm, not over-clean, and scattering dust on the man's coat
from his vampire wings.  The man stared at him, and let the spectators
stare for a minute, and then shook him gently off; and the poor devil
took a flight across the green to the meeting-house, and then, I believe,
alighted on somebody else.  Probably he was put to death.  Bats are very
numerous in these parts.

There was a drunken man, annoying people with his senseless talk and
impertinences, impelled to perform eccentricities by an evil spirit in
him; and a pale little boy, with a bandaged leg, whom his father brought
out of the tavern and put into a barouche.  Then the boy heedfully placed
shawls and cushions about his leg to support it, his face expressive of
pain and care,--not transitory, but settled pain, of long and forcedly
patient, endurance; and this painful look, perhaps, gave his face more
intelligence than it might otherwise have had, though it was naturally a
sensitive face.  Well-dressed ladies were in the meeting-house in silks
and cambrics,--the sunburnt necks in contiguity with the delicate fabrics
of the dresses showing the yeomen's daughters.

Country graduates,--rough, brown-featured, schoolmaster-looking,
half-bumpkin, half-scholarly figures, in black ill-cut broadcloth,--their
manners quite spoilt by what little of the gentleman there was in them.

The landlord of the tavern keeping his eye on a man whom he suspected of
an intention to bolt.  [A word meaning in Worcester, I find, "to spring
out with speed and suddenness."--S. H.]

The next day after Commencement was bleak and rainy from midnight till
midnight, and a good many guests were added to our table in consequence.
Among them were some of the Williamstown students, gentlemanly young
fellows, with a brotherly feeling for each other, a freedom about money
concerns, a half-boyish, half-manly character; and my heart warmed to
them.  They took their departure--two for South Adams and two across the
Green Mountains--in the midst of the rain.  There was one of the
graduates with his betrothed, and his brother-in-law and wife, who stayed
during the day,--the graduate the very model of a country schoolmaster in
his Sunday clothes, being his Commencement suit of black broadcloth and
pumps.  He is engaged as assistant teacher of the academy at Shelburne
Falls.  There was also the high sheriff of Berkshire, Mr. Twining, with a
bundle of writs under his arm, and some of them peeping out of his
pockets.  Also several Trojan men and women, who had been to
Commencement.  Likewise a young clergyman, graduate of Brown College, and
student of the Divinity School at Cambridge.  He had come across the
Hoosic, or Green Mountains, about eighteen miles, on foot, from
Charlemont, where he is preaching, and had been to Commencement.  Knowing
little of men and matters, and desiring to know more, he was very free in
making acquaintance with people, but could not do it handsomely.  A
singular smile broke out upon his face on slight provocation.  He was
awkward in his manners, yet it was not an ungentlemanly awkwardness,--
intelligent as respects book-learning, but much deficient in worldly
tact.  It was pleasant to observe his consciousness of this deficiency,
and how he strove to remedy it by mixing as much as possible with people,
and sitting almost all day in the bar-room to study character.  Sometimes
he would endeavor to contribute his share to the general amusement,--as
by growling comically, to provoke and mystify a dog; and by some bashful
and half-apropos observations.

In the afternoon there came a fresh bevy of students onward from
Williamstown; but they made only a transient visit, though it was still
raining.  These were a rough-hewn, heavy set of fellows, from the hills
and woods in this neighborhood,--great unpolished bumpkins, who had grown
up farmer-boys, and had little of the literary man, save green spectacles
and black broadcloth (which all of them had not), talking with a broad
accent, and laughing clown-like, while sheepishness overspread all,
together with a vanity at being students.  One of the party was six feet
seven inches high, and all his herculean dimensions were in proportion;
his features, too, were cast in a mould suitable to his stature.  This
giant was not ill-looking, but of a rattier intelligent aspect.  His
motions were devoid of grace, but yet had a rough freedom, appropriate
enough to such a figure.  These fellows stayed awhile, talked uncouthly
about college matters, and started in the great open wagon which had
brought them and their luggage hither.  We had a fire in the bar-room
almost all day,--a great, blazing fire,--and it was pleasant to have this
day of bleak November weather, and cheerful fireside talk, and wet
garments smoking in the fireside heat, still in the summer-time.  Thus
the day wore on with a sort of heavy, lazy pleasantness; and night set
in, still stormy.

In the morning it was cloudy, but did not rain, and I went with the
little clergyman to Hudson's Cave.  The stream which they call the North
Branch, and into which Hudson's Brook empties, was much swollen, and
tumbled and dashed and whitened over the rocks, and formed real cascades
over the dams, and rushed fast along the side of the cliffs, which had
their feet in it.  Its color was deep brown, owing to the washing of the
banks which the rain had poured into it.  Looking back, we could see a
cloud on Graylock; but on other parts of Saddle Mountain there were spots
of sunshine, some of most glorious brightness, contrasting with the
general gloom of the sky, and the deep shadow which lay on the earth.

We looked at the spot where the stream makes its entrance into the marble
cliff, and it was (this morning, at least) the most striking view of the
cave.  The water dashed down in a misty cascade, through what looked like
the portal of some infernal subterranean structure; and far within the
portal we could see the mist and the falling water; and it looked as if,
but for these obstructions of view, we might have had a deeper insight
into a gloomy region.

After our return, the little minister set off for his eighteen miles'
journey across the mountain; and I was occupied the rest of the forenoon
with an affair of stealing--a woman of forty or upwards being accused of
stealing a needle-case and other trifles from a factory-girl at a
boarding-house.  She came here to take passage in a stage; but Putnam, a
justice of the peace, examined her and afterwards ordered her to be
searched by Laura and Eliza, the chambermaid and table-waiter.  Hereupon
was much fun and some sympathy.  They searched, and found nothing that
they sought, though she gave up a pair of pantalets, which she pretended
to have taken by mistake.  Afterwards, she being in the parlor, I went
in; and she immediately began to talk to me, giving me an account of the
affair, speaking with the bitterness of a wronged person, with a
sparkling eye, yet with great fluency and self-possession.  She is a
yellow, thin, and battered old thing, yet rather country-lady-like in
aspect and manners.  I heard Eliza telling another girl about it, under
my window; and she seemed to think that the poor woman's reluctance to be
searched arose from the poorness of her wardrobe and of the contents of
her bandbox.

At parting, Eliza said to the girl, "What do you think I heard somebody
say about you?  That it was enough to make anybody's eyes start square
out of their head to look at such red cheeks as yours."  Whereupon the
girl turned off the compliment with a laugh, and took her leave.

There is an old blind dog, recognizing his friends by the sense of smell.
I observe the eager awkwardness with which he accomplishes the
recognition, his carefulness in descending steps, and generally in his
locomotion.  He evidently has not forgotten that he once had the faculty
of sight; for he turns his eyes with earnestness towards those who
attract his attention, though the orbs are plainly sightless.

Here is an Englishman,--a thorough-going Tory and Monarchist,--upholding
everything English, government, people, habits, education, manufactures,
modes of living, and expressing his dislike of all Americanisms,--and
this in a quiet, calm, reasonable way, as if it were quite proper to live
in a country and draw his subsistence from it, and openly abuse it.  He
imports his clothes from England, and expatiates on the superiority of
English boots, hats, cravats, etc.  He is a man of unmalleable habits,
and wears his dress of the same fashion as that of twenty years ago.


August 18th.--There has come one of the proprietors, or superintendents,
of a caravan of animals,--a large, portly paunched, dark-complexioned,
brandy-burnt, heavy-faced man of about fifty; with a diminutive nose in
proportion to the size of his face,--thick lips; nevertheless he has the
air of a man who has seen much, and derived such experience as was for
his purpose.  Also it is the air of a man not in a subordinate station,
though vulgar and coarse.  He arrived in a wagon, with a span of handsome
gray horses, and ordered dinner.  He had left his caravan at Worcester,
and came from thence and over the mountain hither, to settle
stopping-places for the caravan.  The nearest place to this.  I believe,
was Charlemont; the penultimate at Greenfield.  In stopping at such a
village as this, they do not expect much profit, if any; but would be
content with enough to pay their travelling expenses, while they look to
gather gain at larger places.  In this village, it seems, the selectmen
had resolved not to license any public exhibition of the kind; and it was
interesting to attend to the consultations whether it were feasible to
overcome the objections, and what might be the best means.  Orrin S------
and the chance passers-by took part in the discussion.  The scruple is
that the factory-girls, having ready money by them, spend it for these
nonsenses, quitting their work; whereas, were it a mere farming-town, the
caravan would take little in proportion to their spendings.  The opinion
generally was that the license could not be obtained; and the portly
man's face grew darker and downcast at the prospect; and he took out a
travelling-map, and looked it carefully over, to discover some other
station.  This is something like the planning of the march of an army.
It was finally resolved to enlist the influence of a brother-in-law of
the head selectman, and try to gain his consent.  Whereupon the
caravan-man and the brother-in-law (who, being a tavern-keeper, was to
divide the custom of the caravan people with this house) went to make the
attempt,--the caravan-man stalking along with stiff, awkward bulk and
stature, yet preserving a respectability withal, though with somewhat of
the blackguard.  Before he went, he offered a wager of "a drink of rum to
a thaw of tobacco" that he did not succeed.  When he came back, there was
a flush in his face and a sparkle in his eye that did not look like
failure; but I know not what was the result.  He took a glass of wine
with the brother-in-law,--a grave, thin, frosty-haired, shrewd-looking
yeoman, in his shirt-sleeves,--then ordered his horses, paid his bill,
and drove off, accompanied still by the same yeoman, perhaps to get the
permission of the other two selectmen.  If he does not get a license
here, he will try at Cheshire.

A fellow appears with a pink guard-chain and two breast-pins in his
shirt,--one a masonic one of gold, with compass and square, and the other
of colored glass, set in filigree brass,--and the shirt a soiled one.

A tendency to obesity is more common in this part of the country than I
have noticed it elsewhere.


August 19th.--I drove with Orrin S------ last evening to an old farmer's
house to get some chickens.  Entering the kitchen, I observed a fireplace
with rough stone jambs and back, and a marble hearth, cracked, and
otherwise contrasting a roughness of workmanship with the value of the
material.  There was a clock without a case, the weights being visible,
and the pendulum swinging in air,--and a coffee-mill fixed against the
wall.  A religious newspaper lay on the mantel-piece.  The old farmer was
reluctant to go after the fowls, declaring that it would be impossible to
find them in the dark; but Orrin insisting, he lighted a lamp, and we all
went together, and quickly found them, roosted about the wood-pile;
whereupon Orrin speedily laid hands on five, and wrung their necks in a
twinkling, they fluttering long after they should have been dead.  When
we had taken our departure, Orrin remarked, "How faint-hearted these old
fellows are!" and it was a good observation; for it was the farmer's
timorous age that made him doubt the practicability of catching the
chickens, and it contrasted well with the persevering energy of the
middle-aged Orrin.  But Orrin inquired, somewhat dolefully, whether I
should suppose that he himself bewailed the advances of age.  It is a
grievous point with him.

In the evening there was a strange fellow in the bar-room,--a sort of
mock Methodist,--a cattle-drover, who had stopped here for the night with
two cows and a Durham bull.  All his talk turned upon religion, and he
would ever and anon burst out in some strain of scriptural-styled
eloquence, chanted through his nose, like an exhortation at a
camp-meeting.  A group of Universalists and no-religionists sat around
him, making him their butt, and holding wild argument with him; and he
strangely mingled humor with his enthusiasm, and enthusiasm with his
humor, so that it was almost impossible to tell whether he were in jest
or earnest.  Probably it was neither, but an eccentricity, an almost
monomania, that has grown upon him,--perhaps the result of strong
religious excitement.  And, having been a backslider, he is cursed with a
half-frenzied humor.  In the morning he talked in the same strain at
breakfast, while quaffing fourteen cups of tea,--Eliza, all the while, as
she supplied him, entreating him not to drink any more.  After breakfast
(it being the Sabbath) he drove his two cows and bull past the stoop,
raising his stair, and running after them with strange, uncouth gestures;
and the last word I heard from him was an exhortation: "Gentlemen, now
all of you take your Bibles, and meditate on divine things,"--this being
uttered with raised hands, and a Methodistical tone, intermingled, as was
his expression, with something humorous; so that, to the last, the puzzle
was still kept up, whether he was an enthusiast or a jester.  He wore a
suit of coarse brown cloth, cut in rather a Quaker fashion; and he had a
large nose, and his face expressed enthusiasm and honor,--a sort of smile
and twinkle of the eye, with wildness.  He is excellent at a bargain; and
if, in the midst of his ghostly exhortation, the talk were turned on
cattle, he eagerly seized the topic and expatiated on it.

While this fellow was enumerating the Universalists in neighboring towns
who had turned from their errors on their death-beds, some one exclaimed,
"John Hodges! why, he isn't dead,--he's alive and well."  Whereat there
was a roar of laughter.  While holding an argument at table, I heard him
mutter to himself at something that his adversary said; and though I
could not distinguish what it was, the tone did more to convince me of
some degree of earnestness than aught beside.  This character might be
wrought into a strange portrait of something sad, terrific, and
laughable.

The Sabbath wore away lazily, and therefore wickedly.  The heavy
caravan-man inquired for some book of light reading, and, having obtained
an old volume of a literary paper, betook himself to the seat of his
wagon, to read.  At other times he smoked, and talked sensibly enough
with anybody that offered.  He is a man of sense, though not quick, and
seems to be a fair man.

When he walks, he puts the thumb of each hand into the armhole of his
waistcoat, and moves along stiffly, with a knock-kneed gait.  His talk
was chiefly of hotels, and such matters as a man, always travelling,
without any purpose of observation for mental improvement, would be
interested in.  He spoke of his life as a hard one.

There was a Methodist quarterly meeting here, and a love-feast.

There is a fellow hereabout who refuses to pay six dollars for the coffin
in which his wife was buried.  She died about six months since, and I
believe he is already engaged to another.  He is young and rather comely,
but has not a straightforward look.

One man plods along, looking always on the ground, without ever lifting
his eyes to the mountain scenery, and forest, and clouds, above and
around him.  Another walks the street with a quick, prying eye, and sharp
face,--the most, expressive possible of one on the lookout for gain,--of
the most disagreeable class of Yankees.  There is also a sour-looking,
unwholesome boy, the son of this man, whose voice is querulous and
ill-natured, precisely suited to his aspect.  So is his character.

We have another with Indian blood in him, and the straight, black hair,--
something of the tawny skin and the quick, shining eye of the Indian.  He
seems reserved, but is not ill-natured when spoken to.  There is so much
of the white in him, that he gives the impression of belonging to a
civilized race, which causes the more strange sensation on discovering
that he has a wild lineage.


August 22d.--I walked out into what is called the Notch this forenoon,
between Saddle Mountain and another.  There are good farms in this Notch,
although the ground is considerably elevated,--this morning, indeed,
above the clouds; for I penetrated through one in reaching the higher
region, although I found sunshine there.  Graylock was hidden in clouds,
and the rest of Saddle Mountain had one partially wreathed about it; but
it was withdrawn before long.  It was very beautiful cloud-scenery.  The
clouds lay on the breast of the mountain, dense, white, well-defined, and
some of them were in such close vicinity that it seemed as if I could
infold myself in them; while others, belonging to the same fleet, were
floating through the blue sky above.  I had a view of Williamstown at the
distance of a few miles,--two or three, perhaps,--a white village and
steeple in a gradual hollow, with high mountainous swells heaving
themselves up, like immense, subsiding waves, far and wide around it.  On
these high mountain-waves rested the white summer clouds, or they rested
as still in the air above; and they were formed in such fantastic shapes
that they gave the strongest possible impression of being confounded or
intermixed with the sky.  It was like a day-dream to look at it; and the
students ought to be day-dreamers, all of them,--when cloud-land is one
and the same thing with the substantial earth.  By degrees all these
clouds flitted away, and the sultry summer sun burned on hill and valley.
As I was walking home, an old man came down the mountain-path behind me
in a wagon, and gave me a drive to the village.  Visitors being few in
the Notch, the women and girls looked from the windows after me; the men
nodded and greeted me with a look of curiosity; and two little girls whom
I met, bearing tin pails, whispered one another and smiled.


North Adams, August 23d.--The county commissioners held a court; in the
bar-room yesterday afternoon, for the purpose of letting out the making
of the new road over the mountain.  The commissioners sat together in
attitudes of some dignity, with one leg laid across another; and the
people, to the number of twenty or thirty, sat round about with their
hats on, in their shirt-sleeves, with but little, yet with some
formality.  Several had come from a distance to bid for the job.  They
sat with whips in their hands.  The first bid was three dollars,--then
there was a long silence,--then a bid of two dollars eighty-five cents,
and finally it was knocked down at two eighteen, per rod.  A disposition
to bid was evidenced in one man by his joking on the bid of another.

After supper, as the sun was setting, a man passed by the door with a
hand-organ, connected with which was a row of figures, such as dancers,
pirouetting and turning, a lady playing on a piano, soldiers, a negro
wench dancing, and opening and shutting a huge red mouth,--all these
keeping time to the lively or slow tunes of the organ.  The man had a
pleasant, but sly, dark face; he carried his whole establishment on his
shoulder, it being fastened to a staff which he rested on the ground when
he performed.  A little crowd of people gathered about him on the stoop,
peeping over each other's heads with huge admiration,--fat Otis Hodge,
and the tall stage-driver, and the little boys, all declaring that it was
the masterpiece of sights.  Some few coppers did the man obtain, as well
as much praise.  He had come over the high, solitary mountain, where for
miles there could hardly be a soul to hear his music.

In the evening, a portly old commissioner, a cheerful man enough, was
sitting reading the newspaper in the parlor, holding the candle between
the newspaper and his eyes,--its rays glittering on his silver-bowed
spectacles and silvery hair.  A pensive mood of age had come upon him,
and sometimes he heaved a long sigh, while he turned and re-turned the
paper, and folded it for convenient reading.  By and by a gentleman came
to see him, and he talked with him cheerfully.

The fat old squire, whom I have mentioned more than once, is an odd
figure, with his bluff, red face,--coarsely red,--set in silver hair,--
his clumsy legs, which he moves in a strange straddle, using, I believe,
a broomstick for a staff.  The breadth of back of these fat men is truly
a wonder.

A decent man, at table the other day, took the only remaining potato out
of the dish, on the end of his knife, and offered his friend half of it!

The mountains look much larger and more majestic sometimes than at
others,--partly because the mind may be variously disposed, so as to
comprehend them more or less, and partly that an imperceptible (or almost
so) haze adds a great deal to the effect.  Saddleback often looks a huge,
black mass,--black-green, or black-blue.

The cave makes a fresh impression upon me every time I visit it,--so
deep, so irregular, so gloomy, so stern,--part of its walls the pure
white of the marble,--others covered with a gray decomposition and with
spots of moss, and with brake growing where there is a handful of earth.
I stand and look into its depths at various points, and hear the roar of
the stream re-echoing up.  It is like a heart that has been rent asunder
by a torrent of passion, which has raged and foamed, and left its
ineffaceable traces; though now there is but a little rill of feeling at
the bottom.

In parts, trees have fallen across the fissure,--trees with large trunks.

I bathed in the stream in this old, secluded spot, which I frequent for
that purpose.  To reach it, I cross one branch of the stream on stones,
and then pass to the other side of a little island, overgrown with trees
and underbrush.  Where I bathe, the stream has partially dammed itself up
by sweeping together tree-trunks and slabs and branches, and a thousand
things that have come down its current for years perhaps; so that there
is a deep pool, full of eddies and little whirlpools which would carry me
away, did I not take hold of the stem of a small tree that lies
opportunely transversely across the water.  The bottom is uneven, with
rocks of various size, against which it is difficult to keep from
stumbling, so rapid is the stream.  Sometimes it bears along branches and
strips of bark,--sometimes a green leaf, or perchance a dry one,--
occasionally overwhelmed by the eddies and borne deep under water, then
rushing atop the waves.

The forest, bordering the stream, produces its effect by a complexity of
causes,--the old and stern trees, with stately trunks and dark foliage,--
as the almost black pines,--the young trees, with lightsome green
foliage,--as sapling oaks, maples and poplars,--then the old, decayed
trunks, that are seen lying here and there, all mouldered, so that the
foot would sink into them.  The sunshine, falling capriciously on a
casual branch considerably within the forest verge, while it leaves
nearer trees in shadow, leads the imagination into the depths.  But it
soon becomes bewildered there.  Rocks strewn about, half hidden in the
fallen leaves, must not be overlooked.


August 26th.--A funeral last evening, nearly at sunset,--a coffin of a
boy about ten years old laid on a one-horse wagon among some straw,--two
or three barouches and wagons following.  As the funeral passed through
the village street, a few men formed a short procession in front of the
coffin, among whom were Orrin S----- and I.  The burial-ground (there are
two in the town) is on the sides and summit of a round hill, which is
planted with cypress and other trees, among which the white marble
gravestones show pleasantly.  The grave was dug on the steep slope of a
hill; and the grave-digger was waiting there, and two or three other
shirt-sleeved yeomen, leaning against the trees.

Orrin S------, a wanton and mirth-making middle-aged man, who would not
seem to have much domestic feeling, took a chief part on the occasion,
assisting in taking the coffin from the wagon and in lowering it into the
grave.  There being some superfluous earth at the bottom of the grave,
the coffin was drawn up again after being once buried, and the obstacle
removed with a hoe; then it was lowered again for the last time.  While
this was going on, the father and mother stood weeping at the upper end
of the grave, at the head of the little procession,--the mother sobbing
with stifled violence, and peeping forth to discover why the coffin was
drawn up again.  It being fitted in its place, Orrin S------ strewed some
straw upon it,--this being the custom here, because "the clods on the
coffin-lid have an ugly sound."  Then the Baptist minister, having first
whispered to the father, removed his hat, the spectators all doing the
same, and thanked them "in the name of these mourners, for this last act
of kindness to them."

In all these rites Orrin S------ bore the chief part with real feeling
and sadly decorous demeanor.  After the funeral, I took a walk on the
Williamstown road, towards the west.  There had been a heavy shower in
the afternoon, and clouds were brilliant all over the sky, around
Graylock and everywhere else.  Those over the hills of the west were the
most splendid in purple and gold, and, there being a haze, it added
immensely to their majesty and dusky magnificence.

This morning I walked a little way along the mountain road, and stood
awhile in the shadow of some oak and chestnut trees,--it being a warm,
bright, sunshiny morning.  The shades lay long from trees and other
objects, as at sunset, but how different this cheerful and light radiance
from the mild repose of sunset!  Locusts, crickets, and other insects
were making music.  Cattle were feeding briskly, with morning appetites.
The wakeful voices of children were heard in a neighboring hollow.  The
dew damped the road, and formed many-colored drops in the grass.  In
short, the world was not weary with a long, sultry day, but in a fresh,
recruited state, fit to carry it through such a day.

A rough-looking, sunburnt, soiled-skirted, odd, middle-aged little man
came to the house a day or two ago, seeking work.  He had come from Ohio,
and was returning to his native place, somewhere in New England, stopping
occasionally to earn money to pay his way.  There was something rather
ludicrous in his physiognomy and aspect.  He was very free to talk with
all and sundry.  He made a long eulogy on his dog Tiger, yesterday,
insisting on his good moral character, his not being quarrelsome, his
docility, and all other excellent qualities that a huge, strong, fierce
mastiff could have.  Tiger is the bully of the village, and keeps all the
other dogs in awe.  His aspect is very spirited, trotting massively
along, with his tail elevated and his head likewise.  "When he sees a dog
that's anything near his size, he's apt to growl a little,"--Tiger had
the marks of a battle on him,--"yet he's a good dog."


Friday, August 31st.--A drive on Tuesday to Shelburne Falls, twenty-two
miles or thereabouts distant.  Started at about eight o'clock in a wagon
with Mr. Leach and Mr. Birch.  Our road lay over the Green Mountains, the
long ridge of which was made awful by a dark, heavy, threatening cloud,
apparently rolled and condensed along the whole summit.  As we ascended
the zigzag road, we looked behind, at every opening in the forest, and
beheld a wide landscape of mountain-swells and valleys intermixed, and
old Graylock and the whole of Saddleback.  Over the wide scene there was
a general gloom; but there was a continual vicissitude of bright sunshine
flitting over it, now resting for a brief space on portions of the
heights, now flooding the valleys with green brightness, now making out
distinctly each dwelling, and the hotels, and then two small brick
churches of the distant village, denoting its prosperity, while all
around seemed under adverse fortunes.  But we, who stood so elevated
above mortal things, and saw so wide and far, could see the sunshine of
prosperity departing from one spot and rolling towards another, so that
we could not think it much matter which spot were sunny or gloomy at any
one moment.

The top of this Hoosic Mountain is a long ridge, marked on the county map
as two thousand one hundred and sixty feet above the sea; on this summit
is a valley, not very deep, but one or two miles wide, in which is the
town of L------.  Here there are respectable farmers, though it is a
rough, and must be a bleak place.  The first house, after reaching the
summit, is a small, homely tavern.  We left our horse in the shed, and,
entering the little unpainted bar-room, we heard a voice, in a strange,
outlandish accent, exclaiming "Diorama."  It was an old man, with a full,
gray-bearded countenance, and Mr. Leach exclaimed, "Ah, here's the old
Dutchman again!"  And he answered, "Yes, Captain, here's the old
Dutchman,"--though, by the way, he is a German, and travels the country
with this diorama in a wagon, and had recently been at South Adams, and
was now returning from Saratoga Springs.  We looked through the glass
orifice of his machine, while he exhibited a succession of the very worst
scratches and daubings that can be imagined,--worn out, too, and full of
cracks and wrinkles, dimmed with tobacco-smoke, and every other wise
dilapidated.  There were none in a later fashion than thirty years since,
except some figures that had been cut from tailors' show-bills.  There
were views of cities and edifices in Europe, of Napoleon's battles and
Nelson's sea-fights, in the midst of which would be seen a gigantic,
brown, hairy hand (the Hand of Destiny) pointing at the principal points
of the conflict, while the old Dutchman explained.  He gave a good deal
of dramatic effect to his descriptions, but his accent and intonation
cannot be written.  He seemed to take interest and pride in his
exhibition; yet when the utter and ludicrous miserability thereof made us
laugh, he joined in the joke very readily.  When the last picture had
been shown, he caused a country boor, who stood gaping beside the
machine, to put his head within it, and thrust out his tongue.  The head
becoming gigantic, a singular effect was produced.

The old Dutchman's exhibition being over, a great dog, apparently an
elderly dog, suddenly made himself the object of notice, evidently in
rivalship of the Dutchman.  He had seemed to be a good-natured, quiet
kind of dog, offering his head to be patted by those who were kindly
disposed towards him.  This great, old dog, unexpectedly, and of his own
motion, began to run round after his not very long tail with the utmost
eagerness; and, catching hold of it, he growled furiously at it, and
still continued to circle round, growling and snarling with increasing
rage, as if one half of his body were at deadly enmity with the other.
Faster and faster went he, round and roundabout, growing still fiercer,
till at last he ceased in a state of utter exhaustion; but no sooner had
his exhibition finished than he became the same mild, quiet, sensible old
dog as before; and no one could have suspected him of such nonsense as
getting enraged with his own tail.  He was first taught this trick by
attaching a bell to the end of his tail; but he now commences entirely of
his own accord, and I really believe he feels vain at the attention he
excites.

It was chill and bleak on the mountain-top, and a fire was burning in the
bar-room.  The old Dutchman bestowed on everybody the title of "Captain,"
perhaps because such a title has a great chance of suiting an American.

Leaving the tavern, we drove a mile or two farther to the eastern brow of
the mountain, whence we had a view, over the tops of a multitude of
heights, into the intersecting valleys down which we were to plunge,--and
beyond them the blue and indistinctive scene extended to the east and
north for at least sixty miles.  Beyond the hills it looked almost as if
the blue ocean might be seen.  Monadnock was visible, like a sapphire
cloud against the sky.  Descending, we by and by got a view of the
Deerfield River, which makes a bend in its course from about north and
south to about east and west, coming out from one defile among the
mountains, and flowing through another.  The scenery on the eastern side
of the Green Mountains is incomparably more striking than on the western,
where the long swells and ridges have a flatness of effect; and even
Graylock heaves itself so gradually that it does not much strike the
beholder.  But on the eastern part, peaks one or two thousand feet high
rush up on either bank of the river in ranges, thrusting out their
shoulders side by side.  They are almost precipitous, clothed in woods,
through which the naked rock pushes itself forth to view.  Sometimes the
peak is bald, while the forest wraps the body of the hill, and the
baldness gives it an indescribably stern effect.  Sometimes the precipice
rises with abruptness from the immediate side of the river; sometimes
there is a cultivated valley on either side,--cultivated long, and with
all the smoothness and antique rurality of a farm near cities,--this
gentle picture strongly set off by the wild mountain-frame around it.
Often it would seem a wonder how our road was to continue, the mountains
rose so abruptly on either side, and stood, so direct a wall, across our
onward course; while, looking behind, it would be an equal mystery how we
had gotten thither, through the huge base of the mountain, that seemed to
have reared itself erect after our passage.  But, passing onward, a
narrow defile would give us egress into a scene where new mountains would
still appear to bar us.  Our road was much of it level; but scooped out
among mountains.  The river was a brawling stream, shallow, and roughened
by rocks; now we drove on a plane with it; now there was a sheer descent
down from the roadside upon it, often unguarded by any kind of fence,
except by the trees that contrived to grow on the headlong interval.
Between the mountains there were gorges, that led the imagination away
into new scenes of wildness.  I have never driven through such romantic
scenery, where there was such variety and boldness of mountain shapes as
this; and though it was a broad sunny day, the mountains diversified the
view with sunshine and shadow, and glory and gloom.

In Charlemont (I think), after passing a bridge, we saw a very curious
rock on the shore of the river, about twenty feet from the roadside.
Clambering down the bank, we found it a complete arch, hollowed out of
the solid rock, and as high as the arched entrance of an ancient church,
which it might be taken to be, though considerably dilapidated and
weather-worn.  The water flows through it, though the rock afforded
standing room, beside the pillars.  It was really like the archway of an
enchanted palace, all of which has vanished except the entrance,--now
only into nothingness and empty space.  We climbed to the top of the
arch, in which the traces of water having eddied are very perceptible.
This curiosity occurs in a wild part of the river's course, and in a
solitude of mountains.

Farther down, the river becoming deeper, broader, and more placid, little
boats were seen moored along it, for the convenience of crossing.
Sometimes, too, the well-beaten track of wheels and hoofs passed down to
its verge, then vanished, and appeared on the other side, indicating a
ford.  We saw one house, pretty, small, with green blinds, and much
quietness in its environments, on the other side of the river, with a
flat-bottomed boat for communication.  It was a pleasant idea that the
world was kept off by the river.

Proceeding onward, we reached Shelburne Falls.  Here the river, in the
distance of a few hundred yards, makes a descent of about a hundred and
fifty feet over a prodigious bed of rock.  Formerly it doubtless flowed
unbroken over the rock, merely creating a rapid; and traces of water
having raged over it are visible in portions of the rock that now lie
high and dry.  At present the river roars through a channel which it has
worn in the stone, leaping in two or three distinct falls, and rushing
downward, as from flight to flight of a broken and irregular staircase.
The mist rises from the highest of these cataracts, and forms a pleasant
object in the sunshine.  The best view, I think, is to stand on the verge
of the upper and largest fall, and look down through the whole rapid
descent of the river, as it hurries, foaming, through its rock-worn
path,--the rocks seeming to have been hewn away, as when mortals make a
road.  These falls are the largest in this State, and have a very
peculiar character.  It seems as if water had had more power at some
former period than now, to hew and tear its passage through such an
immense ledge of rock as here withstood it.  In this crag, or parts of
it, now far beyond the reach of the water, it has worn what are called
pot-holes,--being circular hollows in the rock, where for ages stones
have been whirled round and round by the eddies of the water; so that the
interior of the pot is as circular and as smooth as it could have been
made by art.  Often the mouth of the pot is the narrowest part, the inner
space being deeply scooped out.  Water is contained in most of these
pot-holes, sometimes so deep that a man might drown himself therein, and
lie undetected at the bottom.  Some of them are of a convenient size for
cooking, which might be practicable by putting in hot stones.

The tavern at Shelburne Falls was about the worst I ever saw,--there
being hardly anything to eat, at least nothing of the meat kind.  There
was a party of students from the Rensselaer school at Troy, who had spent
the night there, a set of rough urchins from sixteen to twenty years old,
accompanied by the wagon-driver, a short, stubbed little fellow, who
walked about with great independence, thrusting his hands into his
breeches-pockets, beneath his frock.  The queerness was, such a figure
being associated with classic youth.  They were on an excursion which is
yearly made from that school in search of minerals.  They seemed in
rather better moral habits than students used to be, but wild-spirited,
rude, and unpolished, somewhat like German students, which resemblance
one or two of them increased by smoking pipes.  In the morning, my
breakfast being set in a corner of the same room with them, I saw their
breakfast-table, with a huge wash-bowl of milk in the centre, and a basin
and spoon placed for each guest.

In the bar-room of this tavern were posted up written advertisements, the
smoked chimney-piece being thus made to serve for a newspaper: "I have
rye for sale," "I have a fine mare colt," etc.  There was one quaintly
expressed advertisement of a horse that had strayed or been stolen from a
pasture.

The students, from year to year, have been in search of a particular
rock, somewhere on the mountains in the vicinity of Shelburne Falls,
which is supposed to contain some valuable ore; but they cannot find it.
One man in the bar-room observed that it must be enchanted; and spoke of
a tinker, during the Revolutionary War, who met with a somewhat similar
instance.  Roaming along the Hudson River, he came to a precipice which
had some bunches of singular appearance embossed upon it.  He knocked off
one of the hunches, and carrying it home, or to a camp, or wherever he
lived, he put it on the fire, and incited it down into clear lead.  He
sought for the spot again and again, but could never find it.

Mr. Leach's brother is a student at Shelburne Falls.  He is about
thirty-five years old, and married; and at this mature age he is studying
for the ministry, and will not finish his course for two or three years.
He was bred a farmer, but has sold his farm, and invested the money, and
supports himself and wife by dentistry during his studies.  Many of the
academy students are men grown, and some, they say, well towards forty
years old.  Methinks this is characteristic of American life,--these
rough, weather-beaten, hard-handed, farmer-bred students.  In nine cases
out of ten they are incapable of any effectual cultivation; for men of
ripe years, if they have any pith in them, will have long ago got beyond
academy or even college instruction.  I suspect nothing better than a
very wretched smattering is to be obtained in these country academies.

Mr. Jerkins, an instructor at Amherst, speaking of the Western mounds,
expressed an opinion that they were of the same nature and origin as some
small circular hills which are of very frequent occurrence here in North
Adams.  The burial-ground is on one of them, and there is another, on the
summit of which appears a single tombstone, as if there were something
natural in making these hills the repositories of the dead.  A question
of old H------ led to Mr. Jenkins's dissertation on this subject, to the
great contentment of a large circle round the bar-room fireside on the
last rainy day.

A tailor is detected by Mr. Leach, because his coat had not a single
wrinkle in it.  I saw him exhibiting patterns of fashions to Randall, the
village tailor.  Mr. Leach has much tact in finding out the professions
of people.  He found out a blacksmith, because his right hand was much
larger than the other.

A man getting subscriptions for a religious and abolition newspaper in
New York,--somewhat elderly and gray-haired, quick in his movements,
hasty in his walk, with an eager, earnest stare through his spectacles,
hurrying about with a pocket-book of subscriptions in his hand,--seldom
speaking, and then in brief expressions,--sitting down before the stage
comes, to write a list of subscribers obtained to his employers in New
York.  Withal, a city and business air about him, as of one accustomed to
hurry through narrow alleys, and dart across thronged streets, and speak
hastily to one man and another at jostling corners, though now
transacting his affairs in the solitude of mountains.

An old, gray man, seemingly astray and abandoned in this wide world,
sitting in the bar-room, speaking to none, nor addressed by any one.  Not
understanding the meaning of the supper-bell till asked to supper by word
of mouth.  However, he called for a glass of brandy.

A pedler, with girls' silk neckerchiefs,--or gauze,--men's silk
pocket-handkerchiefs, red bandannas, and a variety of horn combs, trying
to trade with the servant-girls of the house.  One of them, Laura,
attempts to exchange a worked vandyke, which she values at two dollars
and a half; Eliza, being reproached by the pedler, "vows that she buys
more of pedlers than any other person in the house."

A drove of pigs passing at dusk.  They appeared not so much disposed to
ramble and go astray from the line of march as in daylight, but kept
together in a pretty compact body.  There was a general grunting, not
violent at all, but low and quiet, as if they were expressing their
sentiments among themselves in a companionable way.  Pigs, on a march, do
not subject themselves to any leader among themselves, but pass on,
higgledy-piggledy, without regard to age or sex.


September 1st.--Last evening, during a walk, Graylock and the whole of
Saddleback were at first imbued with a mild, half-sunshiny tinge, then
grew almost black,--a huge, dark mass lying on the back of the earth and
encumbering it.  Stretching up from behind the black mountain, over a
third or more of the sky, there was a heavy, sombre blue heap or ledge of
clouds, looking almost as solid as rocks.  The volumes of which it was
composed were perceptible, by translucent lines and fissures; but the
mass, as a whole, seemed as solid, bulky, and ponderous in the
cloud-world as the mountain was on earth.  The mountain and cloud
together had an indescribably stern and majestic aspect.  Beneath this
heavy cloud, there was a fleet or flock of light, vapory mists, flitting
in middle air; and these were tinted, from the vanished sun, with the
most gorgeous and living purple that can be conceived,--a fringe upon the
stern blue.  In the opposite quarter of the heavens, a rose-light was
reflected, whence I know not, which colored the clouds around the moon,
then well above the horizon, so that the nearly round and silver moon
appeared strangely among roseate clouds,--sometimes half obscured by
them.

A man with a smart horse, upon which the landlord makes laudatory
remarks.  He replies that he has "a better at home."  Dressed in a brown,
bright-buttoned coat, smartly cut.  He immediately becomes familiar, and
begins to talk of the license law, and other similar topics,--making
himself at home, as one who, being much of his time upon the road, finds
himself at ease at any tavern.  He inquired after a stage agent, named
Brigham, who formerly resided here, but now has gone to the West.  He
himself was probably a horse-jockey.

An old lady, stopping here over the Sabbath, waiting for to-morrow's
stage for Greenfield, having been deceived by the idea that she could
proceed on her journey without delay.  Quiet, making herself comfortable,
taken into the society of the women of the house.


September 3d.--On the slope of Bald Mountain a clearing, set in the frame
of the forest on all sides,--a growth of clover upon it, which, having
been mowed once this year, is now appropriated to pasturage.  Stumps
remaining in the ground; one tall, barkless stem of a tree standing
upright, branchless, and with a shattered summit.  One or two other stems
lying prostrate and partly overgrown with bushes and shrubbery, some of
them bearing a yellow flower,--a color which Autumn loves.  The stumps
and trunks fire-blackened, yet nothing about them that indicates a recent
clearing, but the roughness of an old clearing, that, being removed from
convenient labor, has none of the polish of the homestead.  The field,
with slight undulations, slopes pretty directly down.  Near the lower
verge, a rude sort of barn, or rather haystack roofed over, and with hay
protruding and hanging out.  An ox feeding, and putting up his muzzle to
pull down a mouthful of hay; but seeing me, a stranger, in the upper part
of the field, he remains long gazing, and finally betakes himself to
feeding again.  A solitary butterfly flitting to and fro, blown slightly
on its course by a cool September wind,--the coolness of which begins to
be tempered by a bright, glittering sun.  There is dew on the grass.  In
front, beyond the lower spread of forest, Saddle Mountain rises, and the
valleys and long, swelling hills sweep away.  But the impression of this
clearing is solitude, as of a forgotten land.

It is customary here to toll the bell at the death of a person, at the
hour of his death, whether A. M. or P. M.  Not, however, I suppose, if it
happen in deep night.

"There are three times in a man's life when he is talked about,--when he
is born, when he is married, and when he dies."  "Yes," said Orrin
S------, "and only one of the times has he to pay anything for it out of
his own pocket."  (In reference to a claim by the guests of the bar-room
on the man Amasa Richardson for a treat.)

A wood-chopper, travelling the country in search of jobs at chopping.
His baggage a bundle, a handkerchief, and a pair of coarse boots.  His
implement an axe, most keenly ground and sharpened, which I had noticed
standing in a corner, and thought it would almost serve as a razor.  I
saw another wood-chopper sitting down on the ascent of Bald Mountain,
with his axe on one side and a jug and provisions on the other, on the
way to his day's toil.

The Revolutionary pensioners come out into the sunshine to make oath that
they are still above ground.  One, whom Mr. S------ saluted as "Uncle
John," went into the bar-room, walking pretty stoutly by the aid of a
long, oaken staff,--with an old, creased, broken and ashen bell-crowned
hat on his head, and wearing a brown old-fashioned suit of clothes.
Pretty portly, fleshy in the face, and with somewhat of a paunch,
cheerful, and his senses, bodily and mental, in no very bad order, though
he is now in his ninetieth year.  "An old man's withered and wilted
apple," quoth Uncle John, "keeps a good while."  Mr. S------ says his
grandfather lived to be a hundred, and that his legs became covered with
moss, like the trunk of an old tree.  Uncle John would smile and cackle
at a little jest, and what life there was in him seemed a good-natured
and comfortable one enough.  He can walk two or three miles, he says,
"taking it moderate."  I suppose his state is that of a drowsy man but
partly conscious of life,--walking as through a dim dream, but brighter
at some seasons than at others.  By and by he will fall quite asleep,
without any trouble.  Mr. S------, unbidden, gave him a glass of gin,
which the old man imbibed by the warm fireside, and grew the younger
for it.


September 4th.--This day an exhibition of animals in the vicinity of the
village, under a pavilion of sail-cloth,--the floor being the natural
grass, with here and there a rock partially protruding.  A pleasant, mild
shade; a strip of sunshine or a spot of glimmering brightness in some
parts.  Crowded,--row above row of women, on an amphitheatre of seats, on
one side.  In an inner pavilion an exhibition of anacondas,--four,--which
the showman took, one by one, from a large box, under some blankets, and
hung round his shoulders.  They seemed almost torpid when first taken
out, but gradually began to assume life, to stretch, to contract, twine
and writhe about his neck and person, thrusting out their tongues and
erecting their heads.  Their weight was as much as he could bear, and
they hung down almost to the ground when not contorted,--as big round as
a thigh, almost,--spotted and richly variegated.  Then he put them into
the box again, their heads emerging and writhing forth, which the showman
thrust back again.  He gave a descriptive and historical account of them,
and a fanciful and poetical one also.  A man put his arm and head into
the lion's mouth,--all the spectators looking on so attentively that a
breath could not be heard.  That was impressive,--its effect on a
thousand persons,--more so than the thing itself.

In the evening the caravan people were at the tavern, talking of their
troubles in coming over the mountain,--the overturn of a cage containing
two leopards and a hyena.  They are a rough, ignorant set of men,
apparently incapable of taking any particular enjoyment from the life of
variety and adventure which they lead.  There was the man who put his
head into the lion's mouth, and, I suppose, the man about whom the
anacondas twined, talking about their suppers, and blustering for hot
meat, and calling for something to drink, without anything of the wild
dignity of men familiar with the nobility of nature.

A character of a desperate young man, who employs high courage and strong
faculties in this sort of dangers, and wastes his talents in wild riot,
addressing the audience as a snake-man,--keeping the ring while the
monkey rides the pony,--singing negro and other songs.

The country boors were continually getting within the barriers, and
venturing too near the cages.  The great lion lay with his fore paws
extended, and a calm, majestic, but awful countenance.  He looked on the
people as if he had seen many such concourses.  The hyena was the most
ugly and dangerous looking beast, full of spite, and on ill terms with
all nature, looking a good deal like a hog with the devil in him, the
ridge of hair along his back bristling.  He was in the cage with a
leopard and a panther, and the latter seemed continually on the point of
laying his paw on the hyena, who snarled, and showed his teeth.  It is
strange, though, to see how these wild beasts acknowledge and practise a
degree of mutual forbearance, and of obedience to man, with their wild
nature yet in them.  The great white bear seemed in distress from the
heat, moving his head and body in a peculiar, fantastic way, and eagerly
drinking water when given it.  He was thin and lank.

The caravan men were so sleepy, Orrin S------ says, that he could hardly
wake them in the morning.  They turned over on their faces to show him.

Coming out of the caravansary, there were the mountains, in the quiet
sunset, and many men drunk, swearing, and fighting.  Shanties with liquor
for sale.

The elephant lodged in the barn.


September 5th.--I took a walk of three miles from the village, which
brought me into Vermont.  The line runs athwart a bridge,--a rude bridge,
which crosses a mountain stream.  The stream runs deep at the bottom of a
gorge, plashing downward, with rapids and pools, and bestrewn with large
rocks, deep and shady, not to be reached by the sun except in its
meridian, as well on account of the depth of the gorge as of the arch of
wilderness trees above it.  There was a stumpy clearing beyond the
bridge, where some men were building a house.  I went to them, and
inquired if I were in Massachusetts or Vermont, and asked for some water.
Whereupon they showed great hospitality, and the master-workman went to
the spring, and brought delicious water in a tin basin, and produced
another jug containing "new rum, and very good; and rum does nobody any
harm if they make a good use of it," quoth he.  I invited them to call on
me at the hotel, if they should cone to the village within two or three
days.  Then I took my way back through the forest, for this is a by-road,
and is, much of its course, a sequestrated and wild one, with an unseen
torrent roaring at an unseen depth, along the roadside.

My walk forth had been an almost continued ascent, and, returning, I had
an excellent view of Graylock and the adjacent mountains, at such a
distance that they were all brought into one group, and comprehended at
one view, as belonging to the same company,--all mighty, with a mightier
chief.  As I drew nearer home, they separated, and the unity of effect
was lost.  The more distant then disappeared behind the nearer ones, and
finally Graylock itself was lost behind the hill which immediately shuts
in the village.  There was a warm, autumnal haze, which, I think, seemed
to throw the mountains farther off, and both to enlarge and soften them.

To imagine the gorges and deep hollows in among the group of mountains,--
their huge shoulders and protrusions.

"They were just beginning to pitch over the mountains, as I came along,"
--stage-driver's expression about the caravan.

A fantastic figure of a village coxcomb, striding through the bar-room,
and standing with folded arms to survey the caravan men.  There is much
exaggeration and rattle-brain about this fellow.

A mad girl leaped from the top of a tremendous precipice in Pownall,
hundreds of feet high, if the tale be true, and, being buoyed up by her
clothes, came safely to the bottom.

Inquiries about the coming of the caravan, and whether the elephant had
got to town, and reports that he had.

A smart, plump, crimson-faced gentleman, with a travelling-portmanteau of
peculiar neatness and convenience.  He criticises the road over the
mountain, having come in the Greenfield stage; perhaps an engineer.

Bears still inhabit Saddleback and the neighboring mountains and forests.
Six were taken in Pownall last year, and two hundred foxes.  Sometimes
they appear on the hills, in close proximity to this village.


September 7th.--Mr. Leach and I took a walk by moonlight last evening, on
the road that leads over the mountain.  Remote from houses, far up on the
hillside, we found a lime-kiln, burning near the road; and, approaching
it, a watcher started from the ground, where he had been lying at his
length.  There are several of these lime-kilns in this vicinity.  They
are circular, built with stones, like a round tower, eighteen or twenty
feet high, having a hillock heaped around in a great portion of their
circumference, so that the marble may be brought and thrown in by
cart-loads at the top.  At the bottom there is a doorway, large enough to
admit a man in a stooping posture.  Thus an edifice of great solidity is
constructed, which will endure for centuries, unless needless pains are
taken to tear it down.  There is one on the hillside, close to the
village, wherein weeds grow at the bottom, and grass and shrubs too are
rooted in the interstices of the stones, and its low doorway has a
dungeon-like aspect, and we look down from the top as into a roofless
tower.  It apparently has not been used for many years, and the lime and
weather-stained fragments of marble are scattered about.

But in the one we saw last night a hard-wood fire was burning merrily,
beneath the superincumbent marble,--the kiln being heaped full; and
shortly after we came, the man (a dark, black-bearded figure, in
shirt-sleeves) opened the iron door, through the chinks of which the fire
was gleaming, and thrust in huge logs of wood, and stirred the immense
coals with a long pole, and showed us the glowing limestone,--the lower
layer of it.  The heat of the fire was powerful, at the distance of
several yards from the open door.  He talked very sensibly with us, being
doubtless glad to have two visitors to vary his solitary night-watch; for
it would not do for him to fall asleep, since the fire should be
refreshed as often as every twenty minutes.  We ascended the hillock to
the top of the kiln, and the marble was red-hot, and burning with a
bluish, lambent flame, quivering up, sometimes nearly a yard high, and
resembling the flame of anthracite coal, only, the marble being in large
fragments, the flame was higher.  The kiln was perhaps six or eight feet
across.  Four hundred bushels of marble were then in a state of
combustion.  The expense of converting this quantity into lime is about
fifty dollars, and it sells for twenty-five cents per bushel at the kiln.
We asked the man whether he would run across the top of the intensely
burning kiln, barefooted, for a thousand dollars; and he said he would
for ten.  He told us that the lime had been burning forty-eight hours,
and would be finished in thirty-six more.  He liked the business of
watching it better by night than by day; because the days were often hot,
but such a mild and beautiful night as the last was just right.  Here a
poet might make verses with moonlight in them, and a gleam of fierce
firelight flickering through.  It is a shame to use this brilliant,
white, almost transparent marble in this way.  A man said of it, the
other day, that into some pieces of it, when polished, one could see a
good distance; and he instanced a certain gravestone.

Visited the cave.  A large portion of it, where water trickles and falls,
is perfectly white.  The walls present a specimen of how Nature packs the
stone, crowding huge masses, as it were, into chinks and fissures, and
here we see it in the perpendicular or horizontal layers, as Nature laid
it.


September 9th.--A walk yesterday forenoon through the Notch, formed
between Saddle Mountain and another adjacent one.  This Notch is
otherwise called the Bellowspipe, being a long and narrow valley, with a
steep wall on either side.  The walls are very high, and the fallen
timbers lie strewed adown the precipitous descent.  The valley gradually
descends from the narrowest part of the Notch, and a stream of water
flows through the midst of it, which, farther onward in its course, turns
a mill.  The valley is cultivated, there being two or three farm-houses
towards the northern end, and extensive fields of grass beyond, where
stand the hay-mows of last year, with the hay cut away regularly around
their bases.  All the more distant portion of the valley is lonesome
in the extreme; and on the hither side of the narrowest part the
land is uncultivated, partly overgrown with forest, partly used as
sheep-pastures, for which purpose it is not nearly so barren as
sheep-pastures usually are.  On the right, facing southward, rises
Graylock, all beshagged with forest, and with headlong precipices of rock
appearing among the black pines.  Southward there is a most extensive
view of the valley, in which Saddleback and its companion mountains are
crouched,--wide and far,--a broad, misty valley, fenced in by a mountain
wall, and with villages scattered along it, and miles of forest, which
appear but as patches scattered here and there upon the landscape.  The
descent from the Notch southward is much more abrupt than on the other
side.  A stream flows down through it; and along much of its course it
has washed away all the earth from a ledge of rock, and then formed a
descending pavement, smooth and regular, which the scanty flow of water
scarcely suffices to moisten at this period, though a heavy rain,
probably, would send down a torrent, raging, roaring, and foaming.  I
descended along the course of the stream, and sometimes on the rocky path
of it, and, turning off towards the south village, followed a cattle-path
till I came to a cottage.

A horse was standing saddled near the door, but I did not see the rider.
I knocked, and an elderly woman, of very pleasing and intelligent aspect,
came at the summons, and gave me directions how to get to the south
village through an orchard and "across lots," which would bring me into
the road near the Quaker meeting-house, with gravestones round it.  While
she talked, a young woman came into the pantry from the kitchen, with a
dirty little brat, whose squalls I had heard all along; the reason of his
outcry being that his mother was washing him,--a very unusual process, if
I may judge by his looks.  I asked the old lady for some water, and she
gave me, I think, the most delicious I ever tasted.  These mountaineers
ought certainly to be temperance people; for their mountain springs
supply them with a liquor of which the cities and the low countries can
have no conception.  Pure, fresh, almost sparkling, exhilarating,--such
water as Adam and Eve drank.

I passed the south village on a by-road, without entering it, and was
taken up by the stage from Pittsfield a mile or two this side of it.
Platt, the driver, a friend of mine, talked familiarly about many
matters, intermixing his talk with remarks on his team and addresses to
the beasts composing it, who were three mares, and a horse on the near
wheel,--all bays.  The horse he pronounced "a dreadful nice horse to go;
but if he could shirk off the work upon the others, he would,"--which
unfairness Platt corrected by timely strokes of the whip whenever the
horse's traces were not tightened.  One of the mares wished to go faster,
hearing another horse tramp behind her; "and nothing made her so mad,"
quoth Platt, "as to be held in when she wanted to go."  The near leader
started.  "O the little devil," said he, "how skittish she is!"  Another
stumbled, and Platt bantered her thereupon.  Then he told of foundering
through snow-drifts in winter, and carrying the mail on his back--four
miles from Bennington.  And thus we jogged on, and got to "mine inn" just
as the dinner-bell was ringing.

Pig-drover, with two hundred pigs.  They are much more easily driven on
rainy days than on fair ones.  One of his pigs, a large one, particularly
troublesome as to running off the road towards every object, and leading
the drove.  Thirteen miles about a day's journey, in the course of which
the drover has to travel about thirty.

They have a dog, who runs to and fro indefatigably, barking at those who
straggle on the flanks of the line of march, then scampering to the other
side and barking there, and sometimes having quite an affair of barking
and surly grunting with some refractory pig, who has found something to
munch, and refuses to quit it.  The pigs are fed on corn at their halts.
The drove has some ultimate market, and individuals are peddled out on
the march.  Some die.

Merino sheep (which are much raised in Berkshire) are good for hardly
anything to eat,--a fair-sized quarter dwindling down to almost nothing
in the process of roasting.

The tavern-keeper in Stockbridge, an elderly bachelor,--a dusty,
black-dressed, antiquated figure, with a white neckcloth setting off a
dim, yellow complexion, looking like one of the old wax-figures of
ministers in a corner of the New England Museum.  He did not seem old,
but like a middle-aged man, who had been preserved in some dark and
cobwebby corner for a great while.  He is asthmatic.

In Connecticut, and also sometimes in Berkshire, the villages are
situated on the most elevated ground that can be found, so that they are
visible for miles around.  Litchfield is a remarkable instance, occupying
a high plain, without the least shelter from the winds, and with almost
as wide an expanse of view as from a mountain-top.  The streets are very
wide,--two or three hundred feet, at least,--with wide, green margins,
and sometimes there is a wide green space between two road tracks.
Nothing can be neater than the churches and houses.  The graveyard is on
the slope, and at the foot of a swell, filled with old and new
gravestones, some of red freestone, some of gray granite, most of them of
white marble, and one of cast-iron with an inscription of raised letters.
There was one of the date of about 1776, on which was represented the
third-length, has-relief portrait of a gentleman in a wig and other
costume of that day; and as a framework about this portrait was wreathed
a garland of vine-leaves and heavy clusters of grapes.  The deceased
should have been a jolly bottleman; but the epitaph indicated nothing of
the kind.

In a remote part of the graveyard,--remote from the main body of dead
people,--I noticed a humble, mossy stone, on which I traced out "To the
memory of Julia Africa, servant of Rev." somebody.  There were also the
half-obliterated traces of other graves, without any monuments, in the
vicinity of this one.  Doubtless the slaves here mingled their dark clay
with the earth.

At Litchfield there is a doctor who undertakes to cure deformed people,--
and humpbacked, lame, and otherwise defective folk go there.  Besides
these, there were many ladies and others boarding there, for the benefit
of the air, I suppose.

At Canaan, Connecticut, before the tavern, there is a doorstep, two or
three paces large in each of its dimensions; and on this is inscribed the
date when the builder of the house came to the town,--namely, 1731.  The
house was built in 1751.  Then follows the age and death of the patriarch
(at over ninety) and his wife, and the births of, I think, eleven sons
and daughters.  It would seem as if they were buried underneath; and many
people take that idea.  It is odd to put a family record in a spot where
it is sure to be trampled underfoot.

At Springfield, a blind man, who came in the stage,--elderly,--sitting in
the reading-room, and, as soon as seated, feeling all around him with his
cane, so as to find out his locality, and know where he may spit with
safety!  The cautious and scientific air with which he measures his
distances.  Then he sits still and silent a long while,--then inquires
the hour,--then says, "I should like to go to bed."  Nobody of the house
being near, he receives no answer, and repeats impatiently, "I'll go to
bed."  One would suppose, that, conscious of his dependent condition, he
would have learned a different sort of manner; but probably he has lived
where he could command attention.

Two travellers, eating bread and cheese of their own in the bar-room at
Stockbridge, and drinking water out of a tumbler borrowed from the
landlord.  Eating immensely, and, when satisfied, putting the relics in
their trunk, and rubbing down the table.

Sample ears of various kinds of corn hanging over the looking-glass or in
the bars of taverns.  Four ears on a stalk (good ones) are considered a
heavy harvest.

A withered, yellow, sodden, dead-alive looking woman,--an opium-eater.  A
deaf man, with a great fancy for conversation, so that his interlocutor
is compelled to halloo and bawl over the rumbling of the coach, amid
which he hears best.  The sharp tones of a woman's voice appear to pierce
his dull organs much better than a masculine voice.  The impossibility of
saying anything but commonplace matters to a deaf man, of expressing any
delicacy of thought in a raised tone, of giving utterance to fine
feelings in a bawl.  This man's deafness seemed to have made his mind and
feelings uncommonly coarse; for, after the opium-eater had renewed an old
acquaintance with him, almost the first question he asked, in his raised
voice, was, "Do you eat opium now?"

At Hartford, the keeper of a temperance hotel reading a Hebrew Bible in
the bar by means of a lexicon and an English version.

A negro, respectably dressed, and well-mounted on horseback, travelling
on his own hook, calling for oats, and drinking a glass of
brandy-and-water at the bar, like any other Christian.  A young man from
Wisconsin said, "I wish I had a thousand such fellows in Alabama."  It
made a strange impression on me,--the negro was really so human!--and to
talk of owning a thousand like him!

Left North Adams September 11th.  Reached home September 24th, 1838.


October 24th.--View from a chamber of the Tremont of the brick edifice,
opposite, on the other side of Beacon Street.  At one of the lower
windows, a woman at work; at one above, a lady hemming a ruff or some
such ladylike thing.  She is pretty, young, and married; for a little boy
comes to her knees, and she parts his hair, and caresses him in a
motherly way.  A note on colored paper is brought her; and she reads it,
and puts it in her bosom.  At another window, at some depth within the
apartment, a gentleman in a dressing-gown, reading, and rocking in an
easy-chair, etc., etc., etc.  A rainy day, and people passing with
umbrellas disconsolately between the spectator and these various scenes
of indoor occupation and comfort.  With this sketch might be mingled and
worked up some story that was going on within the chamber where the
spectator was situated.

All the dead that had ever been drowned in a certain lake to arise.

The history of a small lake from the first, till it was drained.

An autumnal feature,--boys had swept together the fallen leaves from the
elms along the street in one huge pile, and had made a hollow,
nest-shaped, in this pile, in which three or four of them lay curled,
like young birds.

A tombstone-maker, whom Miss B----y knew, used to cut cherubs on the top
of the tombstones, and had the art of carving the cherubs' faces in the
likeness of the deceased.

A child of Rev. E. P------ was threatened with total blindness.  A week
after the father had been informed of this, the child died; and, in the
mean while, his feelings had become so much the more interested in the
child, from its threatened blindness, that it was infinitely harder to
give it up.  Had he not been aware of it till after the child's death, it
would probably have been a consolation.

Singular character of a gentleman (H. H------, Esq.) living in retirement
in Boston,--esteemed a man of nicest honor, and his seclusion attributed
to wounded feelings on account of the failure of his firm in business.
Yet it was discovered that this man had been the mover of intrigues by
which men in business had been ruined, and their property absorbed, none
knew how or by whom; love-affairs had been broken off, and much other
mischief done; and for years he was not in the least suspected.  He died
suddenly, soon after suspicion fell upon him.  Probably it was the love
of management, of having an influence on affairs, that produced these
phenomena.

Character of a man who, in himself and his external circumstances, shall
be equally and totally false: his fortune resting on baseless credit,--
his patriotism assumed,--his domestic affections, his honor and honesty,
all a sham.  His own misery in the midst of it,--it making the whole
universe, heaven and earth alike, all unsubstantial mockery to him.

Dr. Johnson's penance in Uttoxeter Market.  A man who does penance in
what might appear to lookers-on the most glorious and triumphal
circumstance of his life.  Each circumstance of the career of an
apparently successful man to be a penance and torture to him on account
of some fundamental error in early life.

A person to catch fire-flies, and try to kindle his household fire with
them.  It would be symbolical of something.

Thanksgiving at the Worcester Lunatic Asylum.  A ball and dance of the
inmates in the evening,--a furious lunatic dancing with the principal's
wife.  Thanksgiving in an almshouse might make a better sketch.

The house on the eastern corner of North and Essex Streets [Salem],
supposed to have been built about 1640, had, say sixty years later, a
brick turret erected, wherein one of the ancestors of the present
occupants used to practise alchemy.  He was the operative of a scientific
person in Boston, the director.  There have been other alchemists of old
in this town,--one who kept his fire burning seven weeks, and then lost
the elixir by letting it go out.

An ancient wineglass (Miss Ingersol's), long-stalked, with a small,
cup-like bowl, round which is wreathed a branch of grape-vine, with a
rich cluster of grapes, and leaves spread out.  There is also some kind
of a bird flying.  The whole is excellently cut or engraved.

In the Duke of Buckingham's comedy "The Chances," Don Frederic says of
Don John (they are two noble Spanish gentlemen), "One bed contains us
ever."

A person, while awake and in the business of life, to think highly of
another, and place perfect confidence in him, but to be troubled with
dreams in which this seeming friend appears to act the part of a most
deadly enemy.  Finally it is discovered that the dream-character is the
true one.  The explanation would be--the soul's instinctive perception.

Pandora's box for a child's story.

Moonlight is sculpture; sunlight is painting.

"A person to look back on a long life ill-spent, and to picture forth a
beautiful life which he would live, if he could be permitted to begin his
life over again.  Finally to discover that he had only been dreaming of
old age,--that he was really young, and could live such a life as he had
pictured."

A newspaper, purporting to be published in a family, and satirizing the
political and general world by advertisements, remarks on domestic
affairs,--advertisement of a lady's lost thimble, etc.

L. H------.  She was unwilling to die, because she had no friends to meet
her in the other world.  Her little son F. being very ill, on his
recovery she confessed a feeling of disappointment, having supposed that
he would have gone before, and welcomed her into heaven!

H. L. C------ heard from a French Canadian a story of a young couple in
Acadie.  On their marriage day, all the men of the Province were summoned
to assemble in the church to hear a proclamation.  When assembled, they
were all seized and shipped off to be distributed through New England,--
among them the new bridegroom.  His bride set off in search of him,--
wandered about New England all her lifetime, and at last, when she was
old, she found her bridegroom on his deathbed.  The shock was so great
that it killed her likewise.


January 4th, 1839.--When scattered clouds are resting on the bosoms of
hills, it seems as if one might climb into the heavenly region, earth
being so intermixed, with sky, and gradually transformed into it.

A stranger, dying, is buried; and after many years two strangers come in
search of his grave, and open it.

The strange sensation of a person who feels himself an object of deep
interest, and close observation, and various construction of all his
actions, by another person.

Letters in the shape of figures of men, etc.  At a distance, the words
composed by the letters are alone distinguishable.  Close at hand, the
figures alone are seen, and not distinguished as letters.  Thus things
may have a positive, a relative, and a composite meaning, according to
the point of view.

"Passing along the street, all muddy with puddles, and suddenly seeing
the sky reflected in these puddles in such a way as quite to conceal the
foulness of the street."

A young man in search of happiness,--to be personified by a figure whom
he expects to meet in a crowd, and is to be recognized by certain signs.
All these signs are given by a figure in various garbs and actions, but
he does not recognize that this is the sought-for person till too late.

If cities were built by the sound of music, then some edifices would
appear to be constructed by grave, solemn tones,--others to have danced
forth to light, fantastic airs.

Familiar spirits, according to Lilly, used to be worn in rings, watches,
sword-hilts.  Thumb-rings were set with jewels of extraordinary size.

A very fanciful person, when dead, to have his burial in a cloud.

"A story there passeth of an Indian king that sent unto Alexander a fair
woman, fed with aconite and other poisons, with this intent
complexionally to destroy him!"--Sir T. Browne.

Dialogues of the unborn, like dialogues of the dead,--or between two
young children.

A mortal symptom for a person being to lose his own aspect and to take
the family lineaments, which were hidden deep in the healthful visage.
Perhaps a seeker might thus recognize the man he had sought, after long
intercourse with him unknowingly.

Some moderns to build a fire on Ararat with the remnants of the ark.

Two little boats of cork, with a magnet in one and steel in the other.

To have ice in one's blood.

To make a story of all strange and impossible things,--as the Salamander,
the Phoenix.

The semblance of a human face to be formed on the side of a mountain, or
in the fracture of a small stone, by a lusus naturae.  The face is an
object of curiosity for years or centuries, and by and by a boy is born,
whose features gradually assume the aspect of that portrait.  At some
critical juncture, the resemblance is found to be perfect.  A prophecy
may be connected.

A person to be the death of his beloved in trying to raise her to more
than mortal perfection; yet this should be a comfort to him for having
aimed so highly and holily.

1840.--A man, unknown, conscious of temptation to secret crimes, puts up
a note in church, desiring the prayers of the congregation for one so
tempted.

Some most secret thing, valued and honored between lovers, to be hung up
in public places, and made the subject of remark by the city,--remarks,
sneers, and laughter.

To make a story out of a scarecrow, giving it odd attributes.  From
different points of view, it should appear to change,--now an old man,
now an old woman,--a gunner, a farmer, or the Old Nick.

A ground-sparrow's nest in the slope of a bank, brought to view by
mowing the grass, but still sheltered and comfortably hidden by a
blackberry-vine trailing over it.  At first, four brown-speckled eggs,--
then two little bare young ones, which, on the slightest noise, lift
their heads, and open wide mouths for food,--immediately dropping their
heads, after a broad gape.  The action looks as if they were making a
most earnest, agonized petition.  In another egg, as in a coffin, I could
discern the quiet, death-like form of the little bird.  The whole thing
had something awful and mysterious in it.

A coroner's inquest on a murdered man,--the gathering of the jury to be
described, and the characters of the members,--some with secret guilt
upon their souls.

To represent a man as spending life and the intensest labor in the
accomplishment of some mechanical trifle,--as in making a miniature coach
to be drawn by fleas, or a dinner-service to be put into a cherry-stone.

A bonfire to be made of the gallows and of all symbols of evil.

The love of posterity is a consequence of the necessity of death.  If a
man were sure of living forever here, he would not care about his
offspring.

The device of a sun-dial for a monument over a grave, with some suitable
motto.

A man with the right perception of things,--a feeling within him of what
is true and what is false.  It might be symbolized by the talisman with
which, in fairy tales, an adventurer was enabled to distinguish
enchantments from realities.

A phantom of the old royal governors, or some such shadowy pageant, on
the night of the evacuation of Boston by the British.

------ taking my likeness, I said that such changes would come over my
face that she would not know me when we met again in heaven.  "See if I
do not!" said she, smiling.  There was the most peculiar and beautiful
humor in the point itself, and in her manner, that can be imagined.

Little F. H------ used to look into E----'s mouth to see where her smiles
came from.

"There is no Measure for Measure to my affections.  If the earth fails
me, I can die, and go to GOD," said ------.

Selfishness is one of the qualities apt to inspire love.  This might be
thought out at great length.


Boston, July 3d, 1839.--I do not mean to imply that I am unhappy or
discontented, for this is not the case.  My life only is a burden in the
same way that it is to every toilsome man; and mine is a healthy
weariness, such as needs only a night's sleep to remove it.  But from
henceforth forever I shall be entitled to call the sons of toil my
brethren, and shall know how to sympathize with them, seeing that I
likewise have risen at the dawn, and borne the fervor of the midday sun,
nor turned my heavy footsteps homeward till eventide.  Years hence,
perhaps, the experience that my heart is acquiring now will flow out in
truth and wisdom.


August 27th.--I have been stationed all day at the end of Long Wharf, and
I rather think that I had the most eligible situation of anybody in
Boston.  I was aware that it must be intensely hot in the midst of the
city; but there was only a short space of uncomfortable heat in my
region, half-way towards the centre of the harbor; and almost all the
time there was a pure and delightful breeze, fluttering and palpitating,
sometimes shyly kissing my brow, then dying away, and then rushing upon
me in livelier sport, so that I was fain to settle my straw hat more
tightly upon my head.  Late in the afternoon, there was a sunny shower,
which came down so like a benediction that it seemed ungrateful to take
shelter in the cabin or to put up an umbrella.  Then there was a rainbow,
or a large segment of one, so exceedingly brilliant and of such long
endurance that I almost fancied it was stained into the sky, and would
continue there permanently.  And there were clouds floating all about,--
great clouds and small, of all glorious and lovely hues (save that
imperial crimson which was revealed to our united gaze),--so glorious
indeed, and so lovely, that I had a fantasy of heaven's being broken into
fleecy fragments and dispersed through space, with its blest inhabitants
dwelling blissfully upon those scattered islands.


February 7th, 1840.--What beautiful weather this is!--beautiful, at
least, so far as sun, sky, and atmosphere are concerned, though a poor,
wingless biped is sometimes constrained to wish that he could raise
himself a little above the earth.  How much mud and mire, how many pools
of unclean water, how many slippery footsteps, and perchance heavy
tumbles, might be avoided, if we could tread but six inches above the
crust of this world.  Physically we cannot do this; our bodies cannot;
but it seems to me that our hearts and minds may keep themselves above
moral mud-puddles and other discomforts of the soul's pathway.


February 11th.--I have been measuring coal all day, on board of a black
little British schooner, in a dismal dock at the north end of the city.
Most of the time I paced the deck to keep myself warm; for the wind
(northeast, I believe) blew up through the dock, as if it had been the
pipe of a pair of bellows.  The vessel lying deep between two wharfs,
there was no more delightful prospect, on the right hand and on the left,
than the posts and timbers, half immersed in the water, and covered with
ice, which the rising and falling of successive tides had left upon them,
so that they looked like immense icicles.  Across the water, however, not
more than half a mile off, appeared the Bunker Hill Monument; and what
interested me considerably more, a church-steeple, with the dial of a
clock upon it, whereby I was enabled to measure the march of the weary
hours.  Sometimes I descended into the dirty little cabin of the
schooner, and warmed myself by a red-hot stove, among biscuit-barrels,
pots and kettles, sea-chests, and innumerable lumber of all sorts,--my
olfactories, meanwhile, being greatly refreshed by the odor of a pipe,
which the captain, or some one of his crew, was smoking.  But at last
came the sunset, with delicate clouds, and a purple light upon the
islands; and I blessed it, because it was the signal of my release.


February 12th.--All day long again have I been engaged in a very black
business,--as black as a coal; and, though my face and hands have
undergone a thorough purification, I feel not altogether fit to hold
communion with doves.  Methinks my profession is somewhat akin to that of
a chimney-sweeper; but the latter has the advantage over me, because,
after climbing up through the darksome flue of the chimney, he emerges
into the midst of the golden air, and sings out his melodies far over the
heads of the whole tribe of weary earth-plodders.  My toil to-day has
been cold and dull enough; nevertheless, I was neither cold nor dull.


March 15th.--I pray that in one year more I may find some way of escaping
from this unblest Custom-House; for it is a very grievous thraldom.  I do
detest all offices,--all, at least, that are held on a political tenure.
And I want nothing to do with politicians.  Their hearts wither away, and
die out of their bodies.  Their consciences are turned to india-rubber,
or to some substance as black as that, and which will stretch as much.
One thing, if no more, I have gained by my custom-house experience,--to
know a politician.  It is a knowledge which no previous thought or power
of sympathy could have taught me, because the animal, or the machine
rather, is not in nature.


March 23d.--I do think that it is the doom laid upon me, of murdering
so many of the brightest hours of the day at the Custom-House, that
makes such havoc with my wits, for here I am again trying to write
worthily, . . . . yet with a sense as if all the noblest part of man had
been left out of my composition, or had decayed out of it since my nature
was given to my own keeping. . . . Never comes any bird of Paradise
into that dismal region.  A salt or even a coal ship is ten million times
preferable; for there the sky is above me, and the fresh breeze around
me, and my thoughts, having hardly anything to do with my occupation, are
as free as air.

Nevertheless, you are not to fancy that the above paragraph gives a
correct idea of my mental and spiritual state. . . . It is only once in
a while that the image and desire of a better and happier life makes me
feel the iron of my chain; for, after all, a human spirit may find no
insufficiency of food fit for it, even in the Custom-House.  And, with
such materials as these, I do think and feel and learn things that are
worth knowing, and which I should not know unless I had learned them
there, so that the present portion of my life shall not be quite left out
of the sum of my real existence. . . . It is good for me, on many
accounts, that my life has had this passage in it.  I know much more than
I did a year ago.  I have a stronger sense of power to act as a man among
men.  I have gained worldly wisdom, and wisdom also that is not
altogether of this world.  And, when I quit this earthly cavern where I
am now buried, nothing will cling to me that ought to be left behind.
Men will not perceive, I trust, by my look, or the tenor of my thoughts
and feelings, that I have been a custom-house officer.


April 7th.--It appears to me to have been the most uncomfortable day that
ever was inflicted on poor mortals. . . . Besides the bleak, unkindly
air, I have been plagued by two sets of coal-shovellers at the same time,
and have been obliged to keep two separate tallies simultaneously.  But I
was conscious that all this was merely a vision and a fantasy, and that,
in reality, I was not half frozen by the bitter blast, nor tormented by
those grimy coal-beavers, but that I was basking quietly in the sunshine
of eternity. . . . Any sort of bodily and earthly torment may serve to
make us sensible that we have a soul that is not within the jurisdiction
of such shadowy demons,--it separates the immortal within us from the
mortal.  But the wind has blown my brains into such confusion that I
cannot philosophize now.


April 19th.--. . . . What a beautiful day was yesterday!  My spirit
rebelled against being confined in my darksome dungeon at the
Custom-House.  It seemed a sin,--a murder of the joyful young day,--a
quenching of the sunshine.  Nevertheless, there I was kept a prisoner
till it was too late to fling myself on a gentle wind, and be blown away
into the country. . . . When I shall be again free, I will enjoy all
things with the fresh simplicity of a child of five years old.  I shall
grow young again, made all over anew.  I will go forth and stand in a
summer shower, and all the worldly dust that has collected on me shall be
washed away at once, and my heart will be like a bank of fresh flowers
for the weary to rest upon. . . .

6 P. M.--I went out to walk about an hour ago, and found it very
pleasant, though there was a somewhat cool wind.  I went round and across
the Common, and stood on the highest point of it, where I could see miles
and miles into the country.  Blessed be God for this green tract, and the
view which it affords, whereby we poor citizens may be put in mind,
sometimes, that all his earth is not composed of blocks of brick houses,
and of stone or wooden pavements.  Blessed be God for the sky too, though
the smoke of the city may somewhat change its aspect,--but still it is
better than if each street were covered over with a roof.  There were a
good many people walking on the mall,--mechanics apparently, and
shopkeepers' clerks, with their wives; and boys were rolling on the
grass, and I would have liked to lie down and roll too.


April 30th.--. . . . I arose this morning feeling more elastic than I
have throughout the winter; for the breathing of the ocean air has
wrought a very beneficial effect. . . . What a beautiful, most
beautiful afternoon this has been!  It was a real happiness to live.
If I had been merely a vegetable,--a hawthorn-bush, for instance,--
I must have been happy in such an air and sunshine; but, having a mind
and a soul, . . . . I enjoyed somewhat more than mere vegetable
happiness. . . . The footsteps of May can be traced upon the islands in
the harbor, and I have been watching the tints of green upon them
gradually deepening, till now they are almost as beautiful as they ever
can be.


May 19th.--. . . . Lights and shadows are continually flitting across my
inward sky, and I know neither whence they come nor whither they go; nor
do I inquire too closely into them.  It is dangerous to look too minutely
into such phenomena.  It is apt to create a substance where at first
there was a mere shadow. . . . If at any time there should seem to be
an expression unintelligible from one soul to another, it is best not to
strive to interpret it in earthly language, but wait for the soul to make
itself understood; and, were we to wait a thousand years, we need deem it
no more time than we can spare. . . . It is not that I have any love of
mystery, but because I abhor it, and because I have often felt that words
may be a thick and darksome veil of mystery between the soul and the
truth which it seeks.  Wretched were we, indeed, if we had no better
means of communicating ourselves, no fairer garb in which to array our
essential being, than these poor rags and tatters of Babel.  Yet words
are not without their use even for purposes of explanation,--but merely
for explaining outward acts and all sorts of external things, leaving the
soul's life and action to explain itself in its own way.

What a misty disquisition I have scribbled! I would not read it over for
sixpence.


May 29th.--Rejoice with me, for I am free from a load of coal which has
been pressing upon my shoulders throughout all the hot weather.  I am
convinced that Christian's burden consisted of coal; and no wonder he
felt so much relieved, when it fell off and rolled into the sepulchre.
His load, however, at the utmost, could not have been more than a few
bushels, whereas mine was exactly one hundred and thirty-five chaldrons
and seven tubs.


May 30th.--. . . . On board my salt-vessels and colliers there are many
things happening, many pictures which, in future years, when I am again
busy at the loom of fiction, I could weave in; but my fancy is rendered
so torpid by my ungenial way of life that I cannot sketch off the scenes
and portraits that interest me, and I am forced to trust them to my
memory, with the hope of recalling them at some more favorable period.
For these three or four days I have been observing a little Mediterranean
boy from Malaga, not more than ten or eleven years old, but who is
already a citizen of the world, and seems to be just as gay and contented
on the deck of a Yankee coal-vessel as he could be while playing beside
his mother's door.  It is really touching to see how free and happy he
is,--how the little fellow takes the whole wide world for his home, and
all mankind for his family.  He talks Spanish,--at least that is his
native tongue; but he is also very intelligible in English, and perhaps
he likewise has smatterings of the speech of other countries, whither the
winds may have wafted this little sea-bird.  He is a Catholic; and
yesterday being Friday he caught some fish and fried them for his dinner
in sweet-oil, and really they looked so delicate that I almost wished he
would invite me to partake.  Every once in a while he undresses himself
and leaps overboard, plunging down beneath the waves as if the sea were
as native to him as the earth.  Then he runs up the rigging of the vessel
as if he meant to fly away through the air.  I must remember this little
boy, and perhaps I may make something more beautiful of him than these
rough and imperfect touches would promise.


June 11th.--. . . . I could wish that the east-wind would blow every day
from ten o'clock till five; for there is great refreshment in it to us
poor mortals that toil beneath the sun.  We must not think too unkindly
even of the east-wind.  It is not, perhaps, a wind to be loved, even in
its benignest moods; but there are seasons when I delight to feel its
breath upon my cheek, though it be never advisable to throw open my bosom
and take it into my heart, as I would its gentle sisters of the south and
west.  To-day, if I had been on the wharves, the slight chill of an
east-wind would have been a blessing, like the chill of death to a
world-weary man.

. . . . But this has been one of the idlest days that I ever spent in
Boston. . . . In the morning, soon after breakfast, I went to the
Athenaeum gallery, and, during the hour or two that I stayed, not a
single visitor came in.  Some people were putting up paintings in one
division of the room; but I had the other all to myself.  There are two
pictures there by our friend Sarah Clarke,--scenes in Kentucky.

From the picture-gallery I went to the reading-rooms of the Athenaeum,
and there read the magazines till nearly twelve; thence to the
Custom-House, and soon afterwards to dinner with Colonel Hall; then back
to the Custom-House, but only for a little while.  There was nothing in
the world to do, and so at two o'clock I cane home and lay down, with the
Faerie Queene in my hand.


August 21st.--Last night I slept like a child of five years old, and had
no dreams at all,--unless just before it was time to rise, and I have
forgotten what those dreams were.  After I was fairly awake this morning,
I felt very bright and airy, and was glad that I had been compelled to
snatch two additional hours of existence from annihilation.  The sun's
disk was but half above the ocean's verge when I ascended the ship's
side.  These early morning hours are very lightsome and quiet.  Almost
the whole day I have been in the shade, reclining on a pile of sails, so
that the life and spirit are not entirely worn out of me. . . . The
wind has been east this afternoon,--perhaps in the forenoon, too,--and I
could not help feeling refreshed, when the gentle chill of its breath
stole over my cheek.  I would fain abominate the east-wind, . . . . but
it persists in doing me kindly offices now and then.  What a perverse
wind it is!  Its refreshment is but another mode of torment.


Salem, Oct. 4th.  Union Street [Family Mansion]--. . . . Here I sit in my
old accustomed chamber, where I used to sit in days gone by. . . . Here
I have written many tales, many that have been burned to ashes, many that
doubtless deserved the same fate.  This claims to be called a haunted
chamber, for thousands upon thousands of visions have appeared to me in
it; and some few of them have become visible to the world.  If ever I
should have a biographer, he ought to make great mention of this chamber
in my memoirs, because so much of my lonely youth was wasted here, and
here my mind and character were formed; and here I have been glad and
hopeful, and here I have been despondent.  And here I sat a long, long
time, waiting patiently for the world to know me, and sometimes wondering
why it did not know me sooner, or whether it would ever know me at all,--
at least, till I were in my grave.  And sometimes it seemed as if I were
already in the grave, with only life enough to be chilled and benumbed.
But oftener I was happy,--at least, as happy as I then knew how to be, or
was aware of the possibility of being.  By and by, the world found me out
in my lonely chamber, and called me forth,--not, indeed, with a loud roar
of acclamation, but rather with a still, small voice,--and forth I went,
but found nothing in the world that I thought preferable to my old
solitude till now. . . . And now I begin to understand why I was
imprisoned so many years in this lonely chamber, and why I could never
break through the viewless bolts and bars; for if I had sooner made my
escape into the world, I should have grown hard and rough, and been
covered with earthly dust, and my heart might have become callous by rude
encounters with the multitude. . . . But living in solitude till the
fulness of time was come, I still kept the dew of my youth and the
freshness of my heart. . . . I used to think I could imagine all
passions, all feelings, and states of the heart and mind; but how little
did I know! . . . . Indeed, we are but shadows; we are not endowed with
real life, and all that seems most real about us is but the thinnest
substance of a dream,--till the heart be touched.  That touch creates
us,--then we begin to be,--thereby we are beings of reality and
inheritors of eternity. . . .

When we shall be endowed with our spiritual bodies, I think that they
will be so constituted that we may send thoughts and feelings any
distance in no time at all, and transfuse them warm and fresh into the
consciousness of those whom we love. . . . But, after all, perhaps it
is not wise to intermix fantastic ideas with the reality of affection.
Let us content ourselves to be earthly creatures, and hold communion of
spirit in such modes as are ordained to us. . . .

I was not at the end of Long Wharf to-day, but in a distant region,--my
authority having been put in requisition to quell a rebellion of the
captain and "gang" of shovellers aboard a coal-vessel.  I would you could
have beheld the awful sternness of my visage and demeanor in the
execution of this momentous duty.  Well,--I have conquered the rebels,
and proclaimed an amnesty; so to-morrow I shall return to that paradise
of measurers, the end of Long Wharf,--not to my former salt-ship, she
being now discharged, but to another, which will probably employ me
well-nigh a fortnight longer. . . . Salt is white and pure,--there is
something holy in salt. . . .

I have observed that butterflies--very broad-winged and magnificent
butterflies--frequently come on board of the salt-ship, where I am at
work.  What have these bright strangers to do on Long Wharf, where there
are no flowers nor any green thing,--nothing but brick storehouses, stone
piers, black ships, and the bustle of toilsome men, who neither look up
to the blue sky, nor take note of these wandering gems of the air?  I
cannot account for them, unless they are the lovely fantasies of the
mind.


November.--. . . . How delightfully long the evenings are now!  I do not
get intolerably tired any longer; and my thoughts sometimes wander back
to literature, and I have momentary impulses to write stories.  But this
will not be at present.  The utmost that I can hope to do will be to
portray some of the characteristics of the life which I am now living,
and of the people with whom I am brought into contact, for future
use. . . . The days are cold now, the air eager and nipping, yet it
suits my health amazingly.  I feel as if I could run a hundred miles
at a stretch, and jump over all the houses that happen to be in my
way. . . .

I have never had the good luck to profit much, or indeed any, by
attending lectures, so that I think the ticket had better be bestowed on
somebody who can listen to Mr. ------ more worthily.  My evenings are
very precious to me, and some of them are unavoidably thrown away in
paying or receiving visits, or in writing letters of business, and
therefore I prize the rest as if the sands of the hour-glass were gold or
diamond dust.

I was invited to dine at Mr. Baucroft's yesterday with Miss Margaret
Fuller; but Providence had given me some business to do, for which I was
very thankful.

Is not this a beautiful morning?  The sun shines into my soul.


April, 1841.--. . . . I have been busy all day, from early breakfast-time
till late in the afternoon; and old Father Time has gone onward somewhat
less heavily than is his wont when I am imprisoned within the walls of
the Custom-House.  It has been a brisk, breezy day, an effervescent
atmosphere, and I have enjoyed it in all its freshness,--breathing air
which had not been breathed in advance by the hundred thousand pairs of
lungs which have common and indivisible property in the atmosphere of
this great city.  My breath had never belonged to anybody but me.  It
came fresh from the wilderness of ocean. . . . It was exhilarating to
see the vessels, how they bounded over the waves, while a sheet of foam
broke out around them.  I found a good deal of enjoyment, too, in the
busy scene around me; for several vessels were disgorging themselves
(what an unseemly figure is this,--"disgorge," quotha, as if the vessels
were sick) on the wharf, and everybody seemed to be working with might
and main.  It pleased me to think that I also had a part to act in the
material and tangible business of this life, and that a portion of all
this industry could not have gone on without my presence.  Nevertheless,
I must not pride myself too much on my activity and utilitarianism.  I
shall, doubtless, soon bewail myself at being compelled to earn my bread
by taking some little share in the toils of mortal men. . . .

Articulate words are a harsh clamor and dissonance.  When man arrives at
his highest perfection, he will again be dumb! for I suppose he was dumb
at the Creation, and must go round an entire circle in order to return to
that blessed state.


END OF VOL. I





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