deer and coons, and, it is said, occasionally by taking a sheep or a hog, the loss of which may very reasonably be charged to the wolves. The poor families of the bark cutters often exhibit the very picture of improvidence. There begins to be a fear among the inhabitants that speculators may be tempted to purchase up these waste lands and deprive them of their present “range” and lumber. The speculator must still be a non-resident, and could hardly protect his purchase. The inhabitants have a hard, rough region to deal with and need all of the advantages which their mountain tract can afford.
Mr. CORYELL, from whom we have elsewhere quoted, has given us these facts illustrating the changed condition of this once wilderness.
“In 1871 Congress gave all vacant land in Virginia military district to Ohio, and her legislature at once gave them to the Ohio State University. Her trustees had them hunted up, surveyed and sold out, and they are all
E. G. Squirer and E. H. Davis, Surveyers.
PLAN OF THE SERPENT MOUND.
THE SERPENT MOUND.
Probably the most important earthwork in the West is The Serpent Mound. It is on Brush creek in Franklin township, about six miles north of Peebles, Station on the C. & E. Railroad, twenty-one miles from West Union, the county seat, thirty-one miles from the Ohio at Manchester, and five miles south of Sinking Springs, in Highland County. The engraving annexed is from the work of Squier and Davis on the “Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley,” who thus made this work known to the world by their survey in 1849. Their plan annexed is in general correct, but the oval is drawn too large in proportion to the head; and the edge of the cliff is some distance from the oval. The appendages on each side of the head do not exist. They have been shown by Prof. PUTNAM to be accidentally connected with the serpent. The mound was erected doubtless for worship, and appended to their description of it they make this statement:
“The serpent, separate, or in combination with the circle, egg, or globe, has been a predominant symbol among many primitive nations. It prevailed in Egypt, Greece and Assyria, and entered widely into the superstitions of the Celts, the Hindoos and the Chinese. It even penetrated into America, and was conspicuous in the mythology of the ancient Mexicans, among whom its significance does not seem to have differed materially from that which it possessed in the Old World. The fact that the ancient Celts, and perhaps other nations of the old continent, erected sacred structures in the form of the serpent, is one of high interest. Of this description was the great temple of Abury, in England—in many respects the most imposing ancient monument of the British islands. It is impossible in this connection to trace the analogies which the Ohio structure exhibits to the serpent temples of England, or to point out the extent to which the symbol was applied in American—an investigation fraught with the greatest interest both in respect to the light which it reflects upon the primitive superstitions of remotely-separated people, and especially upon the origin of the American race”
Public attention has recently been attracted to this work through the exertions of Professor F. W. PUTNAM, of the Peabody Museum of Cambridge, Mass., who by the aid of some Boston ladies in the spring of 1887 secured by subscription about $6,000 for its purchase and protection, as it was fast going to destruction. The purchase includes about seventy acres of land with the mound, the title vesting in the museum attached to Harvard University. This he has laid out in a beautiful park to be free to the public, and with the name “The Serpent Mound Park.” It is in a wild and picturesque country and must eventually be a favorite place of public resort. The Professor, who is an accomplished archæologist, regards this as one of the most remarkable structures of its kind in the world. His description of the work is as follows:
pice near the head, and indeed from the whole area, is beautiful and impressive, but not very extensive. To the south, however, peaks may be seen ten or fifteen miles away which overlook the Ohio River and Kentucky hills, while at a slightly less distance to the north, in Pike and Highland counties, are visible several of the highest points in the State. Among these is Fort Hill, eight miles north in Brush creek township on the extreme eastern edge of Highland County. Fort Hill is one of the best preserved and most interesting ancient enclosures in the State. It is estimated that in the limits of Ohio alone are 10,000 ancient mounds and from 1500 to 2000 enclosures. The importance of the study of the subject, the present method of procedure and the general progress are thus dwelt upon in a lecture delivered by Prof. PUTNAM, Oct. 25, 1887, before the Western Reserve Historical Society.
The proper study of history begins with the earliest monuments of man’s occupancy of the earth. From study of ancient implements, burial-places, village sites, roads, enclosures and monuments we are able to get as vivid and correct a conception—all but the names—of pre-historic times as of what is called the historic period.
The study of archaeology is now assuming new importance from the improved methods of procedure. Formerly it was considered sufficient to arrange archæological ornaments and implements according to size and perfection of workmanship and call it a collection. But now extended and minute comparison is the principal thing. Formerly mounds were said to have been explore when trenches were dug through them in two directions and the contents thus encountered, removed and inspected. Now it is considered essential to the exploration of a mound that it be sliced off with the greatest care and every shovelful of earth examined and every section photographed. The skeletons are now also examined with great care, being first gently uncovered and then moistened so as to harden them, when usually the bones can be .moved without fracture. The record of the excavation of the earthworks where implements, ornaments and skeletons are found is more important than the possession of the objects themselves.
Although an immense field still remains to be explored, we have gone far enough to show in a general way, that southern Ohio was the meeting-place of two diverse races of people. Colonel WHITTLESEY’S sagacious generalizations concerning the advance of a more civilized race from the south as far as southern Ohio, and their final expulsion by more warlike tribes from the lake region, are full, confirmed by recent investigations. The Indians of Mexico and South America belong to what is called a “short-headed” race, i.e., the width of their skulls being more than three-fourths of their length, whereas the northern Indians are all “long headed.”
Now out of about 1400 skulls found in the vicinity of Madisonville near Cincinnati, more than 1200 clearly belonged to a short-headed race, thus connecting them with southern tribes. Going further back it seems probable that the southern tribes reached America across the Pacific from southern Asia, while the northern tribes carne via Alaska from northern Asia.
As Adam was the first to lead in the line of humanity, so it seems proper for Adam to lead, at feast alphabetically, in the line o1 Ohio counties; yet it was about the last visited by me on this tour.
A few days before Christmas I was in Kenton. Two or three points on the Ohio were to be visited and then my travels would be over. Would I live to finish? Ah! that was a pressing question. As the end drew near I confess I was a little anxious Some had predicted I would never get through. “Too old.” It is pleasant to be is being petted by the hotel clerk; it is good to see everywhere young life asserting its power, pulling on the heart strings; in its weakness lies its strength. Within it is warm, without, intensely cold; the landscape snow clad. Day is breaking beautifully and the moon and stars in silence look down upon our world in its white shroud. I go out upon the porch and enjoy the calm loveliness of the morning coming on in silence and purity.
All of life does not consist in the getting of money; with my eyes I possess the stars, while the cold, pure air seems as a perfect elixir. Still there must always be some-
OHIO RIVER BEACON
encouraged; a higher pleasure often comes - from opposition; it enhances victory.
Old age! that is a folly. Live young, and you will die young. Learn to laugh Time out of his arithmetic; amuse him with some new game of marbles. Then on some line summer’s day you will be taking a quiet nap, and when you awake maybe find yourself clothed in the pure white garments of eternal youth.
Tuesday Morn, Dec. 21.—It is now six o’clock. Am in the office of the St. Nicholas Hotel at Kenton. A dozen commercial travelers sit around, mutually strangers. They sit sleepy in chairs, having just come off a train: its locomotive hard by is hissing steam in the cold morning air. A hunting dog lies by the stove and the landlord’s five-year-old daughter, wearing a checked apron, thing to mar the acme of enjoyment and this is mine, the wish that cannot be gratified, that I for the time being was transformed into some huge giant, so as to offer a greater lung capacity for the penetration of the exhilarating air and a greater body surface for it to envelop and hold me in its invigorating embrace; a desire also for greater penetration of vision, to take in the stars beyond the stars I see. Thus must it ever be-on, on and on, life beyond life, eternity, God! “Canst thou by searching find out God?” To find him, to learn him fully, requires all knowledge; with all knowledge must come all power. This can never be, so the mystery of the ages must continue the mystery of the eternities; still on, on, stars beyond stars!
home and friends, that as one looks up to the starry dome the soul responds most fully to the sublimity of creation. Then the stars seem as brothers speaking, and say, “We too, O human soul, are filled with the all filling sublimity and the eternal vastness. We each see stars beyond stars; there is no limit. We know not whence we came, but we do know that we are created by the Eternal Incomprehensible Spirit and cast into illimitable space so that each of us rolls on in an appointed orbit. We alike with thee feel HIS presence and worship Him who seems to say, Do your work, shine on, shine on, let your light illumine the hearts of men that they may be lifted in one eternal song of gladness.
It was years ago when, far from home and friends and alone with night and solitude I endeavored in verse to describe the scene around me, and to express the thoughts that filled me with the all pervading sense of the Divine.
ALONE WITH NIGHT AND THE STARS.
An Old Man’s Soliloquy.
Musing under the leaf-clad porch
He sat in the soft evening air.
When zephyrs fragrant fanned his brow,
And tossed the snow locks of his hair.
He thus discoursed unto himself within,
As though spirit and soul were two ;
Of Nature, the great open book ;
Of Mystery, the old and yet ever new.
“Alone with night and the stars !—
Like specters stand trees on the hill,
While insects flash their evening lamps
And piteous cries the whip-poor-will.
“Alone with night and the stars !—
The lake its bosom lays bare
And softly it quivers and heaves
Little stars as if cradled there.
“Ye stars ! Oh beauteous thine eyes !
Ye stud the black dome of night,
Thine eloquence greater than words
The silvery speech of the light.
“Ye smiled o’er the cot of my youth,
My slumbers watched sweetly above ;
And now I am stricken, waxed old,
I am thrilled in the light of they love.
“Old I am, and yet I hope young,
Light and love have followed my days ;
Eternal youth remains to the soul
Responsive to the good always.
“Alone with night and the stars !
It seems as if every hill, every tree
Was thinking, silently thinking,
We are thine, O God, belong to Thee.
“And striking the chords of my soul.
From the farm-house over the lea
I hear them singing, sweetly singling
‘Nearer, my God, nearer to Thee.’ ”
When morn broke over the hills
Celestial where no storm ever mars
The mortal to youth had arisen,
Immortal with God and the stars.
It was years ago when, far from home and friends and alone with night and solitude I endeavored in verse to describe the scene around me, and to express the thoughts that filled me with the all pervading sense of the Divine.
Wednesday Morn, Dec. 22.-Am in the Sheridan Hotel, Ironton, where that long water ribbon called the Ohio finds for the people of the State its southernmost bend, and seems to say “Here shalt thou come and no farther: beyond thy statutes are of no avail.”
Bellefontaine—Ironton is 220 miles from Kenton by my route: I left Kenton after breakfast, stopped two hours at Bellefontaine and one at Columbus. I entered Bellefontaine by the train from the north as I did forty-years ago; but how different my entrance. Then it was late in the fall or early winter; I had sketched the grave of Simon Kenton a few miles north, when night overtook me it became intensely dark, I was on the back of old Pomp, and in some anxiety as I could see nothing except a faint glimmer from the road moistened by the rain; a sense of relief came when the straggling lights of Bellefontaine burst in view. In the morning I awoke to find this place with a beautiful name, little more than a collection of log cabins grouped around the Court House square. I was surprised yesterday to find it such a handsome little city.
Old Soldiers.—There in his office in one of the fine buildings that had supplanted the crude structures of the old time, I called upon a young man of whose history I had heard in my New Haven home; for he was a youth in Yale when Sumter fell. Then he gave his books a toss into a corner and following the flag made a record. He is now the Lieut.-Governor of the State, Robert Kennedy. He is strongly made; a picture of physical health. He is of medium stature, yet every man who from love of country has breasted the bullets of her foes will stand in my eyes half a foot taller than other men. In this tour I have met many such and no matter how humble their position, I feel everywhere like taking them by the hand; for they seem as men glorified. My memory carries me. back to the meeting in my youth with soldiers of the American Revolution, venerable men who had come down from a former generation, and the people everywhere honored them; they too were as men glorified.
Women of the Scioto Valley.—It was near evening when I arrived at Columbus; where I walked the streets for an hour finding them
thronged with people engaged in their Christmas shopping. On resuming my seat in the cars to continue south, I found them filled with women living down the Scioto Valley, some ten, some fifty miles away, returning to their homes with packages of happiness. Two or three of them were blondes, young ladies of tasteful attire and refined beauty. ‘This famed valley is of wonderful fertility, equal in places probably to the delta of the Ganges where a square mile feeds a thousand. Almost armies perished here in this valley by malaria before it was fairly subdued, and could produce such exquisite fancifully attired creatures as these. Their grandmothers were obliged to dress in homespun, dose with quinine, and listen to the nightly howls of wolves around their cabins; but these graceful femininities can pore over Harper’s Bazaar, indulge in ice-cream and go entranced over airs from the operas.
By ten o’clock the Christmas shoppers had been distributed through the valley and I was almost alone when my attention was attracted by a young man near me, of twenty-two, so he told me. He said he had been a farm laborer in Michigan, and was going into Virginia to begin life among strangers; going forth into the world to seek his fortune. He evidently knew nothing of that country and it seemed to me as though he was under some Utopian hallucination. His face was of singular beauty. A tall, conical Canadian black cap set it off to advantage; his complexion was dark, his teeth like pearls, features delicate and eyes radiant. Then his smile was so sweet and his expression so innocent and guileless that he quite won my heart in sympathy for his future. There was some mystery there. I could not reconcile his story of being a farm laborer with such refinement.
Wed. Dec. 22. 5 P. M.—As I sat this morning in a photograph gallery in Ironton, the photographer exclaimed, “Where is the Bostonia—that’s her whistle.” “Where is she bound?” “Down the river.” In a twinkling I decided to go in her and now just at candle light I’m on the Ohio, sixty miles below Ironton. In this sudden decision to leave I fear I greatly disappointed Editor E. S. WILSON of the Register, who, having read my books in boyhood, had greeted my advent with warmth and expected to have a day with me.
The Scotch Irish.—At Ironton I had a brief interview with a patriarch now verging on his 80th year. Mr. John CAMPBELL, long identified with the development of the iron industry of this locality. In my entire tour I had scarcely met with another of such grand patriarchal presence: of great stature and singular benignancy of expression, he made me think of George Washington; this was increased when he told me he was from Virginia. He is from that strong Scotch Irish Presbyterian stock that gave to our country such men as Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, the Alenxanders of Princeton, Felix Houston of Texas, Horace Greeley, the McDowells, etc. Stonewall Jackson was one of them, and his famous brigade was largely composed of Scotch Irish, whose ancestors drifted down from Pennsylvania about 150 years ago and settled in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley about Augusta and Staunton. They were never to any extent, more than they could well help, a slave-holding people; indeed they have been noted for their love of civil and religious liberty. While in the American Revolution the Episcopalians of eastern Virginia largely deserted their homes, as numerous ruins of Episcopal churches there to-day attest, and followed King George, these hard- headed blue Presbyterians, “as one of their own writers called them, from the loins of the old Scotch Covenanters, were a strong reliance of Washington”
On the Ohio.—How Cheap traveling is by river. I go, say too miles by water, and pay $2.00 hey feed me as well as move me; a general custom on the Ohio and Mississippi river boats. This is a large comfortable boat, and I’m given ice-cream for both dinner and supper, and for drink any amount of Ohio river water, now filled with broken ice, a remarkably soft, palatable beverage. Persons inexperienced in traveling on the western rivers often see the expression, “wharf boat” and it puzzles them. Owing to the continual changes in the level of western rivers, in seasons. of extreme flood rising fifty and more feet, permanent wharves for the receipt of freight and passengers are impossible. So flat bottomed scows floored and roofed, called wharf boats are used. The steamboats are moored alongside and the passengers go on the wharf boat on a plank, cross it and then on other planks reach land. The river passes between the steamboat and wharf-boat with frightful velocity. The instance is hardly known of a passenger falling between the two, no matter how good a swimmer he was, escaping- death; he is drawn under the wharf-boat; many have thus been drowned. “At night light is shed over the scene by 4 huge lump of burning coal taken from the furnace and suspended from a wire basket: if this does not give sufficient light a handful of powdered resin is thrown on it.
The scene at a landing on a dark night is picturesque. The passengers crowding ashore, the confusing yells of the porters on the wharf-boats, the hustling to and. fro of the deck hands, while the dancing flames from the burning coal blowing in the wind throws a lurid, changing light over the spot, rendering the enveloping darkness beyond still more awe inspiring. This with the thought that a fall overboard is death makes an unpleasant impression. Hence as it is excessively dark and I cannot see well after night I dread the landing; for a single foot slip may be fatal.
these river towns were greatly prosperous; the river was the continuous subject of conversation. When neighbor met neighbor the question would be “How’s the river?” “Good stage of water, eh?” Even their very slang came from it. In expressing contempt for another they would say, “Oh he’s a nobody-nothing but a little stern wheel affair; don’t draw over six inches.”
The Old Time Traveling upon the great rivers of the West, the Ohio and Mississippi, was unlike anything of our day. All classes were brought in close social contact often for days and sometimes for weeks together, and it was an excellent school in which to observe character. It was as a pilot on the Mississippi that Mark Twain took some early lessons in the gospel of humor which he has since been preaching with such telling effect. And I think the people like it for I have ever observed that when a good text is selected from that gospel, and a good preacher talks from it, saints and sinners arm in arm, alike rush in great waves, till the pews, overflow the aisles, bubble up and foam through the galleries, and none drop asleep no matter how lengthy the discourse. So Love and Humor with their companions, Good Will and Cheerfulness, serene and white robed, take us gently by the hand and lead us over the rough places to the ever smiling valleys and to the eternal fountains.
On the steamboats up the river, on their way to Washington and Congress, went the great political lights of the South and West Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, Tom Benton, Gen. Harrison, Tom Corwin, Yell of Arkansas, Poindexter of Mississippi, and Col. Crockett of Tennessee, the hero of the Alamo, whose great legacy was a single sentence, “Be sure you are right and then go ahead.” Arrived at Wheeling the passengers were packed in stage coaches for a ride of two or three days more on the National road over the mountains packed a dozen inside, eight facing- each other and knees more or less interlocking. At that period the country east was cobwebbed with stage roads. The traveling public, men, women and children, were crammed into stages and sent tentering in all directions up and down the hillsides and through the valleys, the stages stopping every ten miles at wayside taverns to change horses, when the passengers often largely patronized the bar. Now and then an upset from a hilarious driver made a sad business of it. The fares in the northern States were usually six cents, and in the southern States ten cents a mile.
Steamboat Racing.--In that -day on the steamers scenes of dissipation were common. Every boat had its bar, liquors were cheap and gambling was largely carried on, knots, gathering around little tables and money sometimes openly and unblushingly displayed, as I saw when I first knew the river, now nearly half a century ago. Steamboat racing was at one time largely indulged in and strange as it may appear, when a race was closely contested, the passengers would often become so excited as to overcome their beginning timidity and urge the captain to put on more steam; then even the women would sometimes scream and clap their hands as they passed a rival boat. An explosion was a quick elevating process. The racing “brag boat,” “Moselle,” which exploded at Cincinnati, April 26, 1838, hurled over two hundred passengers into eternity. For a few moments the air was filled with human bodies and broken timber to fall in a shower into the river and on the shore near by.
The captain of one of those large passenger boats was a personage of importance, the lord of a traveling domain. His will was law. And when he carried some notable characters such as Henry Clay or Andrew Jackson, his pride in his position one can well imagine. Thorough men of the world, some of them were gentlemen in the best sense whose great ambition was to well serve the floating populations under their care.
Experience of an Old Time River Man—A fine specimen of the old time ricer men is Capt. John P. Devenny whom I met at Steubenville on this tour. He has known the river from early in this century. In conversation he gave me some of his experiences.
He was born in 1810 in Westmoreland Co., Pa., near the mouth of the Youghiogheny, pronounced there by the people for short, “Yough.” In 1815 his father removed with his family to Steubenville which since has been the captain’s residence. Steubenville was the first considerable manufacturing point in south-eastern Ohio, and his father put up there the machinery for a large woolen factory, a paper mill, and a grist mill. In 1829, at the age of 19, Mr. Devenny was an engineer on a river boat; in 1835, commanded a boat which ran from Pittsburg to St. Louis and New Orleans. In the war he was captain of a transport engaged in the Vicksburg campaign.” In the early days of boating, “said he, drinking and gambling were almost universal. I found in my first experiences I was being drawn into the vortex; the fondness for drink and the passion for gaming were getting a hold upon me. I stopped short off and was saved A large part of the young men who went on the river died drunkards. Of those who went with me on the first boat, the ‘Ruhamah,’ I am the sole survivor. On my own boat I never allowed gambling. I have outlived two generations of river men who have perished mainly from intemperance. I ascribe my long life to my refraining from such habits and the longevity of my family.” His father lived to the age of 96, and the captain himself, a large, fine-looking gentleman, seems at seventy-six as one in his prime.
was in command of the “North Carolina” running from Pittsburg to New Orleans. He started out from a port with another boat which had wooden chimneys. She had lost, her chimneys by their striking against some trees, and being in haste had constructed these for temporary use; boxes of plank they were, fastened together. “I laughed at the sight of them,” said Devenny, “when the captain replied I would find it no laughing matter: he should beat me into New Orleans. We moved along in company when after a few hours we discovered his chimneys were on fire. There was great excitement on his boat. He called up his crew and we saw them tumble them overboard. We were greatly amused at the sight, laughing heartily. I thought it was all up with them. But they had an extra set, had them up in a twinkling and got into New Orleans first.
Preventing Explosions.—Captain Devenny has long held the position of government inspector of steamboats. He ascribes explosions as generally if not always occurring from the water getting low in a boiler, and then when fresh water is let in upon the bare metal thus superheated its sudden conversion into steam rends the boiler. This is now guarded against by boring holes in the parts of the boiler that would first become exposed to the heat in case of a diminution of water; which holes are plugged with block tin. At the temperature of 442° the block tin melts the holes open, and the steam escaping gives warning, whereupon the engineer opens the furnace door and the fire goes down. The plugs are externally hollow brass screws, the center tin. They are put in from the inside of the boiler into which the workman crawls for their insertion.
River Beacons—In times there were no beacons or lights on the western rivers.” There were places then on the Mississippi,” said Devenny, “where we had to lie by all night. Sometimes we had to send a skiff across the river to build a bonfire as a guide to the channel. This was constantly changing from year to year.”
In going down the Ohio my attention was arrested by the new feature introduced by the Government, of beacons erected on the banks, which greatly lessens the dangers of navigation. These are petroleum lamp: commonly set upon posts and shaded b small roofs as is shown in the picture. of small steamer, the “Lily,” plies on the Ohio between Cairo and Pittsburg supplies oil pays the keepers, puts up new lights where wanted and changes the old ones, which often required from the changes of the channel.
The lights are placed on the channel side of the river, where the water is deep. Sometimes three or four beacons are put up on single farm. The steamers steer from light to light.
The farmers on the river largely consign the duty of attending to the lights to their wives and daughters who thus earn “pin money,” some few dimes daily for each lamp. And the reflection is certainly interesting that along on these rivers, sweeping the margins of many states in the aggregate, are hundreds of worthy thrifty females daily ascending ladders and attending to the lamps; and among them all I venture to say no five foolish virgins could be found so long as Uncle Sam with smiling visage stands ready with his huge cans to pour out the oil.
The Ascension of Ladders must be classed as among the accomplishments of the softer sex. In Vienna and other continental cities females carry the hod, and with us that high class, the library women, are continually going up ladders while Providence seems to have a watch over the delicate fragile creatures in this peril. Alarmed at the sight of an ascension in the Mercantile Library of Cincinnati for a book she had wanted, a lady in terror tones exclaimed, “Don’t go up there for me, I’m afraid you will fall.” “Humph;” gruffly retorted a voice at her side, that of her other half, “that is what she is put here for, to go up ladders!”
In this connection it is interesting to mention that the statistics of a public library in Manchester, England, showed that the average life of a library book was eighty readings, when the book would be useless from torn and missing leaves and general shackling condition. Where such a book was on a top shelf its procurement and return would require 160 ladder ascensions ere it could be classed as defunct literature.
Thursday Morn, Dec. 23.-Well, here I am safe in Manchester. The boat porter took a lantern and holding me by the hand I got ashore with perfect ease; a flood of light being thrown on the plank. The porter of the McDade Hotel, a colored lad, took me in charge. He also had a lantern and taking my hand we floundered through the mud up the river bank, my rubber sandals getting boot jacked off by the way.
After leaving my “grip” at the hotel which faced the river, the boy taking a lantern went with me to make a call; but the party was not at home. It is bad to get about in many of these places at night. The walks are so ugly with so many sudden “step up’s” and “go downs,” that it is dangerous for a stranger to move about without a lantern or a pilot.
I gave the boy a good sized coin for going with me. He could hardly believe his eyes. “What” said he, “all this?” “Yes.” I then sent him out for cigars. When he returned I asked,” How old are you?” “Nineteen.” “Be a good boy,” I rejoined, “and you will have plenty of friends.” “Yes, I try to be. I don’t drink, nor use a tobacco, nor swear.” Thinks I, “that boy .is almost a saint!”
the room I was in, a small dingy spot. In ancient days of free liquor it had been a barroom, doubtless a loitering place for the scum of the river and village.
I took out my note-book and made some notes while the old clock ticked away faithfully, not skipping a single second. My only companion, indeed the only person I had seen about the premises, the boy, tipped’ his chair against the wall and dropping asleep snored in unison with the clock ticks. Soon my notes were finished. I gave him a gentle touch. and then felt as though I had a saint in black to light me to bed. All of life does not consist in keeping awake. Then how sweet is sleep when without a thought or care of trouble one can sink into oblivion while the grand procession of the stars passes over him.
Blest sleep which beguiles with visions of far isles,
So calm and so peaceful heart can wish for no more.
With cool, leafy shades, and green sunny glades,
And low murmuring waters laving the shore.
Somnus, King of Sleep, “gentlest of the gods, tranquillizer of mind and soother of careworn hearts:” his subjects all welcome him, and nod at his coming.
“We are all nodding, nid nod nodding,
We are all nodding at our house at home.”
Few of them have their pride touched as he passes by, and so get mad and grumble, saying, “He would not speak to me.”
The Best Sleep in History.—As long as the world has stood, Somnus has pursued his vocation with an industry worthy of all praise. But the greatest of his feats, for which we are the most grateful, was in the first exercise of his power. Way back in the ages it was, when he put the first man asleep in a garden and during that sleep a rib was taken from him, and when he awoke there lay by his side amid the fragrance of the flowers a beautiful creature. The doves cooed from among the roses and the fiat went forth that thereafter man should not live alone. Thus was marriage instituted with flowers and love songs, while the bending leaves, its witnesses, whispered of the great event, and moved by the unseen spirits, the zephyrs they danced in joy: it was the original wedding dance, that in Eden: the dance of the leaves.
But ah! there was a sad omission to that union : no preliminary courtship, none of those blissful walks by moonlight in the dreamy poetic hours, to throw a halo of romance over love’s young dream, and which gives to many a joyous couple in their serene old age their most delicious sacred retrospect. Still the moon must later have put in her appearance, smiling and happy as she played bo-peep from behind the soft, fleecy clouds, and blessed them, as she ever does us all.
The Blessing of the Moon—We may all worship and love the moon, so beautiful and so chaste. Silent and solemn are her ministrations. Her soft light drops down from on high reflects from the bosom of many waters, bathes the mountain sides, relieves the gloom of the forest with ribbons of silver, lies over the fields and habitations of man, touches with the tips of her fingers the clustering vines of the trellis, and entering the chamber window spreads her angel light over the pure white couch where youth and innocence are sleeping. And the heart of man wells up in calm seraphic joy. He feels it is the power of God and he says: “Great is the gift of human life that it is made receptive of such hallowed, chaste beauty.” It is the common blessing, alike to the lofty and the lowly-the blessing of the beauty of the moon.
But I return from my allegorical poetical excursion to the McDade, the home of my young friend the black boy, Son of Night. At daylight I was awakened by music. It was a monotone, especially grateful as I was so nicely nestled. The music was the sound of a steady pouring down rain on the roof over me; but far above the first beams of the rising sun were striking upon the rolling mists, lighting them up as an aerial ocean of golden glory: a vast and awful solitude of ethereal beauty. Great is Creation! and the wonder is that it can be, and our lives with so little of real evil.