O'er many a frozen, many a fiery Alp;and one may sup full of horrors on the exceedingly cold collation provided for the next world by the Norse Edda. But, after all, there are but few such terrific periods in our Massachusetts winters, and the appointed exit from their frigidity is usually through a snow-storm. After a day of this severe sunshine there comes commonly a darker day of cloud, still hard and forbidding, though milder in promise, with a sky of lead, deepening near the horizon into darker films of iron. Then, while all the nerves of the universe seem rigid and tense, the first reluctant flake steals slowly down, like a tear. In a few hours the whole atmosphere begins to relax once more, and in our astonishing climate very possibly the snow changes to rain in twenty-four hours, and a thaw sets in. It is not strange, therefore, that snow, which to Southern races is typical of cold and terror, brings associations of warmth and shelter to the children of the North. Snow, indeed, actually nourishes animal life. It holds in its bosom numerous animalcules: you may have a glass of water, perfectly free from infusoria, which yet, after your dissolving in it a handful of snow, will show itself full of microscopic creatures, shrimp-like and swift; and the famous red snow of the Arctic regions is only an exhibition of the same property. It has sometimes been fancied that persons buried under the snow have received sustenance
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