seems ever to have shrunk with an instinctive aversion.
As he lost his interest in party politics, his mind reverted to the soil.
He yearned for the repose and the calm delights of country life.
‘As for me,’ he said, at the conclusion of an address before the Indiana
State Agricultural Society, delivered in October, 1853, ‘as for me, long-tossed on the stormiest waves of doubtful conflict and arduous endeavor, I have begun to feel, since the shades of forty years fell upon me, the weary, tempest-driven voyager's longing for land, the wanderer's yearning for the hamlet where in childhood he nestled by his mother's knee, and was soothed to sleep on her breast.
The sober down-hill of life dispels many illusions, while it developes or strengthens within us the attachment, perhaps long smothered or overlaid, for “that dear hut, our home.”
And so I, in the sober afternoon of life, when its sun, if not high, is still warm, have bought a few acres of land in the broad, still country, and, bearing thither my household treasures, have resolved to steal from the City
's labors and anxieties at least one day in each week, wherein to revive as a farmer the memories of my childhood's humble home.
And already I realize that the experiment cannot cost so much as it is worth.
Already I find in that day's quiet an antidote and a solace for the feverish, festering cares of the weeks which environ it. Already my brook murmurs a soothing even-song to my burning, throbbing brain; and my trees, gently stirred by the fresh breezes, whisper to my spirit something of their own quiet strength and patient trust in God.
And thus do I faintly realize, though but for a brief and flitting day, the serene joy which shall irradiate the Farmer
's vocation, when a fuller and truer Education shall have refined and chastened his animal cravings, and when Science shall have endowed him with her treasures, redeeming Labor from drudgery while quadrupling its efficiency, and crowning with beauty and plenty our bounteous, beneficent Earth.’
The portion of the “broad, still country” alluded to in this eloquent passage, is a farm of fifty acres in Westchester county
, near Newcastle
, close to the Harlem
railroad, thirty-four miles from the city of New York
Thither the tired editor repairs every Saturday morning by an early train, and there he remains directing and assitting