Some old trees.—number I
The full title of this paper should be ‘Old and Historic Trees in and about Boston
,’ for some of the trees mentioned are simply old, and have no connection with history properly speaking; that is, they are not connected with events of importance in the nation's annals.
There are a number of trees now standing which date back as far as the Revolution, a time which is rich in ‘local color.’
The Washington elm is the first of these to occur to the mind.
Of the trees simply ancient, the Waverley oaks
and the Hemlock wood of the Arnold Arboretum
are prominent examples.
Around these trees there is an atmosphere which fires the imagination.
We long for the genius and the pen of a John Muir
to penetrate the mystery and interpret the charm which surrounds these patriarchs.
The emotion they awake is akin to awe, and is like that which inspired the writers of some of the grandest psalms, the psalms of nature.
It stirs the reverent side of our being, while the feeling with which we view a tree like the Washington
elm, in addition to our respect for its age, is that of pride and patriotism.
When we think of the events which have happened since the time of the early settlers, when this tree was young, or in its prime,—their struggles with nature and the Indians, sometimes with each other, the events which led to the Revolution, the birth of the constitution, the rise of the anti-slavery movement, and the final triumph of its advocates, the progress of science, the inventions which contribute so much to our happiness, the birth of