The river Charles.
To-day we have our first spring walk.
It is a short one, hardly more than down to the river, but it is pleasant to note the deepening green of the grass, and still more pleasant to watch for a moment the gentle river itself, rippling here and there, but seeming unconscious of the broadening bay and the ocean not far distant.
A single white-shirted, bare-armed rower glides past us in his slender boat, while the red-tipped oars drop vivid beads of color into the water.
As we look down from the street above a wave of indignation and shame takes away the momentary delight.
Why has our river been so neglected?
Why is it not to-day what surely it must become in the future, a chief ornament of our city?
To-day it is at its height and the waves glimmer and glance in the afternoon sunlight, as if trying to promise beauty and refreshing to an undeserving city, if only the chance be given.
Nothing is more eternal than a river.
Wildernesses vanish, meadows and fields change their aspect or give way to city walls and brick pavements, but a river flows on, either indifferent to the changes upon its banks or ready to adapt itself to them with lovely hospitality.
Our Cambridge river slipped and curved its way through these marshes in something the same fashion long before its shores knew the sound of the white man's axe, and when its Indian name, Quineboquin, meaning circular or crooked, was in common use among those who