One calm summer's evening, as he climbed a com-
manding ridge, and looked out upon the remote ‘venerable mountains’ and the nearer ample plains, and caught a glimpse in the distance of the Ohio
, which bounded the land of his affections with majestic grandeur, his heart exulted in the region he had discovered.
‘All things were still.’1
Not a breeze so much as shook a leaf.
He kindled a fire near a fountain of sweet water, and feasted on the loin of a buck.
He was no more alone than a bee among flowers, but communed familiarly with the whole universe of life.
Nature was his intimate, and as the roving woodsman leaned confidingly on her bosom, she responded to his intelligence.
For him the rocks and the fountains, the leaf and the blade of grass had life; the cooling air laden with the wild perfume, came to him as a friend; the dewy morning wrapped him in its embrace; the trees stood up gloriously round about him as so many myriads of companions.
All forms wore the character of desire or peril.
But how could he be afraid?
Triumphing over danger, he knew no fear.
The perpetual howling of the wolves by night round his cottage or his bivouac in the brake, was his diversion;2
and by day he had joy in surveying the various species of animals that surrounded him. He loved the solitude better than the towered city or the hum of business.3