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Milton, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
and arms of silver, the belly of brass, the legs of iron, and feet of clay,—the dream of Nebuchadnezzar. On the other were depicted the wonders of the Apocalyptic vision,—the beasts, the dragons, the scarlet woman seen by the seer of Patmos, Oriental types, figures, and mystic symbols, translated into staring Yankee realities, and exhibited like the beasts of a travelling menagerie. One horrible image, with its hideous heads and scaly caudal extremity, reminded me of the tremendous line of Milton, who, in speaking of the same evil dragon, describes him as ‘Swindging the scaly horrors of his folded tail.’ To an imaginative mind the scene was full of novel interest. The white circle of tents; the dim wood arches; the upturned, earnest faces; the loud voices of the speakers, burdened with the awful symbolic language of the Bible; the smoke from the fires, rising like incense,—carried me back to those days of primitive worship which tradition faintly whispers of, when on hill-to
Fort Hill (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
whole year—that transient but delightful interval between the storms of the wild equinox, with all their wet, and the dark, short, dismal days which precede the rigor of winter—is now with us. The sun rises through a soft and hazy atmosphere; the light mist-clouds melt gradually away before him; and his noontide light rests warm and clear on still woods, tranquil waters, and grasses green with the late autumnal rains. The rough-wooded slopes of Dracut, overlooking the falls of the river; Fort Hill, across the Concord, where the red man made his last stand, and where may still be seen the trench which he dug around his rude fortress; the beautiful woodlands on the Lowell and Tewksbury shores of the Concord; the cemetery; the Patucket Falls,—all within the reach of a moderate walk, —offer at this season their latest and loveliest attractions. One fine morning, not long ago, I strolled down the Merrimac, on the Tewksbury shore. I know of no walk in the vicinity of Lowell so inviti
Canaan, N. H. (New Hampshire, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
y generations, I have still strong suspicions that somewhat of the old Norman blood, something of the grim Berserker spirit, has been bequeathed to me. How else can I account for the intense childish eagerness with which I listened to the stories of old campaigners who sometimes fought their battles over again in my hearing? Why did I, in my young fancy, go up with Jonathan, the son of Saul, to smite the garrisoned Philistines of Michmash, or with the fierce son of Nun against the cities of Canaan? Why was Mr. Greatheart, in Pilgrim's Progress, my favorite character? What gave such fascination to the narrative of the grand Homeric encounter between Christian and Apollyon in the valley? Why did I follow Ossian over Morven's battle-fields, exulting in the vulture-screams of the blind scald over his fallen enemies? Still later, why did the newspapers furnish me with subjects for hero-worship in the half-demented Sir Gregor McGregor, and Ypsilanti at the head of his knavish Greeks?
Poland (Poland) (search for this): chapter 3
g the crafty thrift of Bryce Snailsfoot with the stern religious heroism of Cameron; the blue-eyed, fairhaired German from the towered hills which overlook the Rhine,—slow, heavy, and unpromising in his exterior, yet of the same mould and mettle of the men who rallied for fatherland at the Tyrtean call of Korner and beat back the chivalry of France from the banks of the Katzback,—the countrymen of Richter, and Goethe, and our own Follen. Here, too, are pedlers from Hamburg, and Bavaria, and Poland, with their sharp Jewish faces, and black, keen eyes. At this moment, beneath my window are two sturdy, sunbrowned Swiss maidens grinding music for a livelihood, rehearsing in a strange Yankee land the simple songs of their old mountain home, reminding me, by their foreign garb and language, of Lauterbrunnen's peasant girl. Poor wanderers! I cannot say that I love their music; but now, as the notes die away, and, to use the words of Dr. Holmes, silence comes like a poultice to heal th
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (search for this): chapter 3
rare days of Queen Elizabeth's Christian buccaneers. During the last quarter of a century, a colored woman in one of the villages on the southern border of New Hampshire has been consulted by hundreds of anxious inquirers into the future. Long experience in her profession has given her something of that ready estimate of character, that quick and keen appreciation of the capacity, habits, and wishes of her visitors, which so remarkably distinguished the late famous Madame Le Normand, of Paris; and if that old squalid sorceress, in her cramped Parisian attic, redolent of garlic and bestrewn with the greasy implements of sorry housewifery, was, as has been affirmed, consulted by such personages as the fair Josephine Beauharnois, and the man of destiny, Napoleon himself, is it strange that the desire to lift the veil of the great mystery before us should overcome in some degree our peculiar and most republican prejudice against color, and reconcile us to the disagreeable necessity o
Lowell (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
city of a day The writer, when residing in Lowell, in 1844 contributed this and the companion pieces to The Stranger in Lowell. this, then, is Lowell,—a city springing up, like the enchanted pable-land of promise? Many of the streets of Lowell present a lively and neat aspect, and are adorand repose. There is one beautiful grove in Lowell,—that on Chapel Hill,—where a cluster of fine ose motto is ever Onward. The population of Lowell is constituted mainly of New Englanders; but te first time the Rapids of the Merrimac, above Lowell. Passing up the street by the Hospital, a l Who can paint like Nature ? First day in Lowell. To a population like that of Lowell, the w half an hour. In this way the working-day in Lowell is eked out to an average throughout the year me of the most pleasant hours I have passed in Lowell. The manner in which the Offering has been y shore. I know of no walk in the vicinity of Lowell so inviting as that along the margin of the ri[1 more...
Mexico (Mexico) (search for this): chapter 3
t his death-hour desired to be brought into the open air, that the last glance of his failing eye might drink in the glory of the sunset heavens, and the light of his great intellect and that of Nature go out together. For surely never did the Mexican idolater mark with deeper emotion the God of his worship, for the last time veiling his awful countenance, than did I, untainted by superstition, yet full of perfect love for the works of Infinite Wisdom, watch over the departure of the most glo men have been out the whole afternoon of this beautiful day, under God's holy sunshine, as busily at work as Satan Himself could wish in learning how to butcher their fellow-creatures and acquire the true scientific method of impaling a forlorn Mexican on a bayonet, or of sinking a leaden missile in the brain of some unfortunate Briton, urged within its range by the double incentive of sixpence per day in his pocket and the cat-o-nine-tails on his back! Without intending any disparagement o
Bradyville (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 3
er-side, and he did not come back. And another year passed, and then the old sailors and fishermen shook their heads solemnly, and said that the Lively Turtle was a lost ship, and would never come back to port. And poor Anna had her bombazine gown dyed black, and her straw bonnet trimmed in mourning ribbons, and thenceforth she was known only as the Widow Matson. And how was it all this time with David himself? Now you must know that the Mohammedan people of Algiers and Tripoli, and Mogadore and Sallee, on the Barbary coast, had been for a long time in the habit of fitting out galleys and armed boats to seize upon the merchant vessels of Christian nations, and make slaves of their crews and passengers, just as men calling themselves Christians in America were sending vessels to Africa to catch black slaves for their plantations. The Lively Turtle fell into the hands of one of these sea-robbers, and the crew were taken to Algiers, and sold in the market place as slaves, poor Da
Hungary (Hungary) (search for this): chapter 3
it might be with others, he never forgot the man or the woman in the pauper. There was nothing like condescension or consciousness in his charitable ministrations; for he was one of the few men I have ever known in whom the milk of human kindness was never soured by contempt for humanity in whatever form it presented itself. Thus it was that his faithful performance of the duties of his profession, however repulsive and disagreeable, had the effect of Murillo's picture of St. Elizabeth of Hungary binding up the ulcered limbs of the beggars. The moral beauty transcended the loathsomeness of physical eviland deformity. Our nearest route home lay across the pastures and over Blueberry Hill, just at the foot of which we encountered Elder Staples and Skipper Evans, who had been driving their cows to pasture, and were now leisurely strolling back to the village. We toiled together up the hill in the hot sunshine, and, just on its eastern declivity, were glad to find a white-oak tree
West Indies (search for this): chapter 3
edge and crowbar, unwonted echoes in a solitude which had heretofore only answered to the woodman's axe or the scream of the wild fowl. The snows of December put an end to their labors; but the yawning excavation still remains, a silent but somewhat expressive commentary upon the age of progress. Still later, in one of our Atlantic cities, an attempt was made, partially at least, successful, to form a company for the purpose of digging for money in one of the desolate sand-keys of the West Indies. It appears that some mesmerized subject, in the course of one of those somnambulic voyages of discovery in which the traveller, like Satan in chaos,— O'er bog, o'er steep, through straight, rough, dense, or rare, With head, hands, wings, or feet, pursues his way, And swims, or sinks, or wades, or creeps, or flies,— while peering curiously into the earth's mysteries, chanced to have his eyes gladdened by the sight of a huge chest packed with Spanish coins, the spoil, doubtless, of s
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