Tales and Sketches

Tales and Sketches

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Excerpt: ...in their own home, and returning, once for all, their numerous visits. Taking leave of our hospitable cousins in old Lee with about as much solemnity as we may suppose Major Laing parted with his friends when he set out in search of desert-girdled Timbuctoo, we drove several miles over a rough road, passed the Devil's Den unmolested, crossed a fretful little streamlet noisily working its way into a valley, where it turned a lonely, half- ruinous mill, and climbing a steep hill beyond, saw before us a wide sandy level, skirted on the west and north by low, scraggy hills, and dotted here and there with dwarf pitch-pines. In the centre of this desolate region were some twenty or thirty small dwellings, grouped together as irregularly as a Hottentot kraal. Unfenced, unguarded, open to all comers and goers, stood that city of the beggars, -no wall or paling between the ragged cabins to remind one of the jealous distinctions of property. The great idea of its founders seemed visible in its unappropriated freedom. Was not the whole round world their own? and should they haggle about boundaries and title-deeds? For them, on distant plains, ripened golden harvests; for them, in far-off workshops, busy hands were toiling; for them, if they had but the grace to note it, the broad earth put on her garniture of beauty, and over them hung the silent mystery of heaven and its stars. That comfortable philosophy which modern transcendentalism has but dimly shadowed forth-that poetic agrarianism, which gives all to each and each to all-is the real life of this city of unwork. To each of its dingy dwellers might be not unaptly applied the language of one who, I trust, will pardon me for quoting her beautiful poem in this connection: - "Other hands may grasp the field or forest, Proud proprietors in pomp may shine; Thou art wealthier, -all the world is thine." But look! the clouds are breaking. "Fair...
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Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 3mm | 104g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236702042
  • 9781236702043