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[2132]

The Highlands.

Seeking thus, at once, expansion and rest in new employments, Margaret determined, in the autumn of 1844, to accept a liberal offer of Messrs. Greeley and McElrath, to become a constant contributor to the New York Tribune. But before entering upon her new duties, she found relaxation, for a few weeks, amid the grand scenery of the Hudson. In October, she writes from Fishkill Landing:—
Can I find words to tell you how I enjoy being here, encircled by the majestic beauty of these mountains I felt regret, indeed, in bidding farewell to Boston, so many marks of affection were shown me at the last, and so many friendships, true if imperfect, were left behind. But now I am glad to feel enfranchized in the society of Nature. I have a wellordered, quiet house to dwell in, with nobody's humors to consult but my own. From my windows I see over the tops of variegated trees the river, with its purple heights beyond, and a few moments walk brings me to the lovely shore, where sails are gliding continually by, and the huge steamers sweep past with echoing tread, and a train of waves, whose rush relieves the monotone of the ripples. In the country behind us are mountainpaths, and lonely glens, with gurgling streams, and many-voiced water-falls. And over all are spread the gorgeous hues of autumn.

And again:—

‘From the brain of the purple mountain’ flows forth cheer to my somewhat weary mind. I feel refreshed amid these bolder shapes of nature. Mere gentle and winning landscapes are not enough. How I wish my birth had been cast among the sources of the streams, where the voice of hidden torrents is

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