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[235] my window there is a pool, two rods square, that is haunted all winter by children,--clearing away the snow of many a storm, if need be, and mining downward till they strike the ice. I look this morning from the window, arid the pond is bare. In a moment I happen to look again, and it is covered with a swarm of boys; a great migrating flock has settled upon it, as if swooping down from parts unknown to scream and sport themselves here. The air is full of their voices; they have all tugged on their skates instantaneously, as it were by magic. Now they are in a confused cluster, now they sweep round and round in a circle, now it is broken into fragments and as quickly formed again; games are improvised and abandoned; there seems to be no plan or leader, but all do as they please, and yet somehow act in concert, and all chatter all the time. Now they have alighted, every one, upon the bank of snow that edges the pond, each scraping a little hollow in which to perch. Now every perch is vacant again, for they are all in motion; each moment increases the jangle of shrill voices,--since a boy's outdoor whisper to his nearest crony is as if

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