pinch of feathers and beak, disputative, pugnacious, and fearfully aggressive, the English
sparrow, before whom all self-respecting birds have fled.
On the easterly side of Prospect Street, before coming to the Cambridge
line, was a pine grove, and on the westerly side, too, extending, if I remember rightly, nearly to Cambridge Street, and in Revolutionary days this grove extended, I think, nearly, if not quite, down to East Cambridge.
The lands around Union Square, adjacent and outlying, were little mines of prosperity to their owners half a century ago, and could one of our opulent chevaliers of finance and finesse of the present day have appeared and promoted the great sand and clay deposits of this vicinity under some such alluring and persuasive name as the ‘Consolidated Aluminum and Silica Trust’ —which certainly sounds better than Brick Company—who knows but that millions might have been wrung from tile venture.
It seems to be a curious fact that wherever clay is found here, sand is found near it; on the northerly side of Miller's River
were sand hills or lands in profusion, while on the southerly side were largely fields of clay, which were early in the last century the sites of brick yards, and so continued, I think, until after the Civil War
. Here, as in other parts of the town, the clay lands were burrowed with pits, having narrow dykes between them, which until excavated to required depth were kept pumped out, but then abandoned and allowed to become stagnant ponds, of varying depths, along the borders of which were luxuriant growths of cat-o-nine-tails, and in whose waters flourished myriads of hornpout, which is the catfish or sucker of the South and West.
How cane these hornpouts and almost no other fish in these pits, in all of them?
This is a question that has puzzled me for half a century—it is an enigma, which I doubt if the sphinx even could solve.
Before shifting this landscape scene, I must say a word about Prospect Hill
Before the war it was an eminence very steep towards Union Square, and some twenty or more feet higher than at present.
Its steep southerly side was covered with barberry bushes, with scattering pear and other trees, and had grassgrown