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started and it was now 4 o'clock. Alas! he must return! With as good a grace as one might imagine in an escaped convict returning to his cell to regain some valued token, he departed and shortly returned hot and panting. Meanwhile the brief limbs of Micrus enjoyed a grateful rest. The package was regained and the berries were not destined to become our “infelix victus.” Upward again and another rest; again, and we stand upon the highest ridge at half-past four o'clock.
Glorious is the view from the summit of any mountain, but that from the Kearsarge is of surpassing loveliness. Though by no means as high as the lowest of its northern cousins, the White Hills, the prospect far exceeds in point of beauty that seen from the most frequented of these peaks. It most resembles that from Mansfield in Vermont, though its peak is far more isolated. It is not my intention here to describe the picture minutely. Each one must see it for himself. It includes the White and Franconia ranges in the north, and reaches to Wachuset and Monadnock towards the south. Agamenticus in Maine looms in the eastern horizon, and far to the west lie Mansfield, Camel's Hump, and others of the Green Mountain range. The charm of water scenery is not wanting—that which the tourist so much misses in the White Mountain views. To the east lies Winnepesaukee, gemmed with its myriad islets, pouring forth its crystal waters by the river of the same name, into the Merrimac. Due west Sunapee Lake shines like a mirror in the landscape, reflecting the form of neighboring heights. Neat white villages are scattered on every side.
Having surveyed the landscape with delighted eyes, hungry enough from our long fasting and exertion, we ate our supper, and then spent a few moments in sketching the outlines of the most remarkable peaks. The contour of Lafayette as seen from the south is quite peculiar. It rises with a heavy swell from the Franconia notch, and then the peak springs suddenly in a regular cone thousands of feet higher, while the eastern line is continued by other mountains towards the White Mountain range. Seen from the northeast this peak has the form of a hay-stack. So greatly
does the profile of a mountain differ, according to the standpoint of the spectator.
Then came the sunset hour. Rose-tinted clouds clustered about with a smiling good night for the father of day.
Slowly he descended towards the summit of the western hills. Now the lowest edge of the shining disc rests on Ascutney. For a moment he peers over the ridge to take a farewell look, and see that the lazy shadows are keeping pace, and is gone. How still the air! No sound save the strange note of the whip-poor-will, as cutting the air in sudden swoop he makes havoc in some swarm of insects. Does that weird p-r-r-p, so suddenly uttered, as he shoots up again after his impetuous headlong descent, express his joy at his success? Many of these were taking their evening prey at the lofty attitude.
It now behooved us to prepare for the night. We made a shelter of hemlock boughs laid upon a simple pent-house frame of notched poles, and rolling ourselves in our blankets, lay down beneath it. The day had been an excessively hot one, so the night air even on the mountain-top was not very cold, although we drew our covering closer towards morning. The novelty of our position long kept sleep from our eyes. Through the chinks of our fragrant roofing the stars were peeping, and winking to us. Are they versed in college trickery?-the mischievous clique of blinkers! At length we slept. Awaking at midnight, we found that the waning moon had risen and was shining upon us. The silence was death-like. We ran up to the highest ridge, some rods above us, and looked down into the gloomy ravines and gulfs. Here the bare rocks reflected the deadly pallor of the moon; there were the dark fearful abysses that the rays did not yet reach. The night scene upon the mountain is awful.
"Creation sleeps. 'Tis as the gen’ral pulse
An awful pause! prophetic of her end.” Deeply moved, almost terrified, at the scene, we returned and sought our blankets. Our next nap was sound until our waking about half an hour before sunrise. We left our unaccustomed bed, and saw the whole incoming of the day. The earliest rays of the advancing sun tinged the summit of the distant Mt. Washington.
“Night's candles are burnt out, the jocund day
Stands tip-toe on the misty mountain-tops." We see Night gather her dusky robes and flee to the west, and day rules again. Ours was no common fortune to enjoy such perfect sunset and sunrise scenes. Either was doubly worth all our pains in making the excursion.
At eight o'clock we bethought ourselves of home. The limbs of Micrus groaned at the long walk before them and fain would have borne him to the cars, but his pride overcame all scruples and it was determined to attempt to walk back to Concord. To carry out this schenie we must descend on the side opposite to that by which we came up. Of the downward path we knew nothingthere was none to be seen. Below us was a forest ravine. The belt of wood seemed to extend about a half mile and then the land was cleared. This seemed the easiest way, and Typhlus suggested it. It was agreed upon. We noted the position of the sun and the direction of the clearing, and it was well we did so. Passing down the rocks we reached the edge of the forest.
One that has never experienced a mountain jungle has no idea of its difficulty. There is a tangled underbrush, so rank that one can see but a few rods ahead. Across your path at all angles, lie the corpses of the fallen patriarchs of the forest, fallen years ago, and now bleached and decaying. Here indeed is death in the midst of life. From the mouldy stumps of the dead hemlocks, ivies and corrals are springing green. From the fallen trees, hard, sharp stumps of branches broken off long since, threaten at every stumble to impale the luckless wanderer. It is, in short, the most uncompromising, ill-natured thicket that one can imagine. Into such a labyrinth we plunged. On we stumbled, straggled, struggled, resting every twenty rods or stopping to collect the pieces of Typhlus' eyeglasses, which he had broken on the summit, but by much troublesome care managed to keep upon his nose, when he was not picking up the pieces. Finally he lost them forever in a brook in the depth of the jungles. But there is no great loss where there is not some small gain. Though deprived of clear vision, he was no longer troubled with the spiteful lenses.
By the direction of the sun we steered our way. It seemed endless. Micrus was in despair. Typhlus, the advocate of the plan of descent, thought mountain distances deceptive, felt somewhat tired, but would not confess it. After an hour and a half in this woful maze, we saw the clearing a few rods ahead, and broke from the woods with a glad shout. Though we would not have been persuaded to retrace our steps, now the experience was past, we would not have parted with it for much. Hence our path was comparatively easy. Continuing down the ravine we struck the regular path and soon were on the level earth again. We were so wearied by our fatiguing through the forest and the descent of the mountain that we gave up our walk to Concord, yet plodded on for twelve miles to the nearest station, where we arrived at six in the evening. A few hours later we were dreaming again the scenes of our journey.
C. E. F.
I sang a song o' yesterday,
(Which sadly I deplore)
For heart and pen waged merry war
Or sang to Elinore.
But Cupid came before
The second line was hardly o'er,
I wrote to Elinore.
I'll carol never more
The name, alas, the wrapping bore
R. B. M., 'o2.
That was a fierce little battle between the wind and rain yesterday. For several hours,-for a week, in fact, were the truth known, preparation for this contest had been going on. The wind, more impetuous than its opponent, had been blustering around and telling us all about it, while the rain sat, scowling down from the clouds above the horizon. But when at length the rain did descend to fight it out, with the enemy already on the field, the scene was worth the seeing. Rain and wind flew in every direction, covering the earth till one could scarcely make one's way through them. The wind with a fierce battle-wail would push its foe back, while the rain, less noisy but more spiteful, sent its darts through the wind in a way that told. And the outcome of it all? That was the strange part. They both were so completely vanquished that not a vestige of either was left on the earth.
E. H. S., 'o2.