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rogs, which had windows fronting to each avenue, and ports to sally out upon all occasions of prey or defence.
2. In this mansion he had for some time dwelt in peace and plenty, without danger to his person by swallows from above, or to his palace by brooms from below, when it was the pleasure of fortune to conduct thither a wandering bee, to whose curiosity a broken pane in the glass had discovered itself; and in he went, where, expatiating a while, he at last happened to alight upon one of the outward walls of the spider's citadel, which, yielding to the unequal weight, sank down to the very foundation. Thrice he endeavored to force his passage, and thrice the centre shook. The spider within, feeling the terrible convulsion, supposed at first101 that nature was approaching to her final dissolution. However, he at length valiantly resolved to issue41 forth and meet his fate.
3. Meanwhile, the bee had acquitted himself of his toils, and, posted securely at some distance, was employed in oleansing his wings and disengaging them from the ragged remnants of the cobweb. By this time the spider was adventured out, when, beholding the chasm,97 the ruins, and dilapidations of his fortress, he was very near at his wits'141 end. He stormed and swore like a madman, and swelled till he was ready to burst.101 At length, casting his eye upon the bee, and wisely gathering causes from events (for they knew33 each other by sight),1"5 " A plague upon you," said he, "for a giddy puppy! Is it you, with a vengeance,32 that have made this litter here? Could you not look before you? Do you think I have nothing else to do but to mend and repair after you?"
4. "Good words, friend," said the bee (having now pruned himself, and being disposed to be droll). "I '11 give you my hand and word to come near your kennel30 no more; I was never in such a confounded pickle since I was born."—"Sirrah,"" replied the spider, "if it were not for breaking an old custom in our family, never to stir abroad against an enemy, I should come and teach you better manners." — "I pray have patience,"91 said the bee, "or you '11 spend your substance; and, for aught I see, you may stand in need of it all toward" the repair of your house." — 'Rogue, rogue!" replied the spider, "yet methinks you should have more respect to a person whom all the world allows to be so much your better."
5. "By my troth," said the bee, "the comparison will amount to a very good jest; and you will do me the favor to let me know the reasons that all the world is pleased to use in so hopeful a dispute." At this the spider, having swelled himself iuto tie size and posture40 of a disputant, began his argument in th.i true spirit of controversy, with resolution to be heartily scurrilous" and angry; to urge on his own reasons without the least regard to the answers or objections of his opposite f and fully predetermined in his mind against all conviction.
6. "Not to disparage myself," said he, "by the comparison with such a rascal, what art thou but a vagabond," without house or home, without stock or inheritance? born to no possession of your own but a pair of wings and a drone-pipe. Your livelihood is a universal plunder upon nature. A freebooter over fields and gardens; for the sake of stealing, you will rob a nettle as easily as a violet." Whereas, I am a domestic animal, furnished with a native stock" within myself. This large castle (to show my improvements in the mathematics)1' is all built with my own hands,'00 and the materials extracted altogether out of my own person."
7. "I am glad," answered the bee, "to hear you grant at least that I am come honestly by my wings and my voice; for then, it seems, I am obliged to Heaven alone for my flights and my music; and Providence would never have bestowed on me two such gifts, without designing them for the noblest ends. I visit, indeed, all the flowers and blossoms of the field and garden; but whatever I collect thence enriches myself, without the least injury to their beauty, their smell, or their taste. Now, for you and your skill in architecture1' and other mathematics, I have little to say. In that building of yours there might, for aught I know, have been labor and method enough; but, by woful97 experience for us b5th, it is too plain the materials are naught; and I hope you will henceforth take warning, and consider duration40 and matter, as well as method and art.
8. "You boast, indeed, of being obliged93 to no other creature, but of drawing28 and spinning out all from yourself; that is to say, if we may judge of the liquor in the vessel30 by what issues out, you possess a good plentiful store of dirt and poison38 in your breast; and, though I would by no means lessen or dispar'age your genuine stock of either, yet I doubt you are somewhat obliged, for an increase of both, to a little foreign50 assistance. Your inheVent portion of dirt does not fail of acquisitions, by sweepings exhaled54 from below; and one insect furnishes you with a share of poison to destroy another. So that, in short, the question comes all to this: whether103 is the nobler being of the two, that which, by a lazy contemplation of four inches round, by an overweening pride, feeding and engendering99 on itself turns all into venom, producing nothing at all but flybane and a cobweb; or that which, by a universal range, with long search,
.much study, true judgment, and distinction of things, brings home honey and wax" Swift
rXXIX. — CLIMAIE OF THE CATSKILL" MOUNTAINS.
1. I Shall never forget29 my first view of these mountains." Tt was in the course of a voyage up the Hudson," in the good old times, before steamboats and railroads had driven all poetry and romance83 out of travel.30 Such an excursion in those days was equal to a voyage to Europe at present, and cost almost as much; but we enjoyed the river then. My whole voyage up the Hudson was full of wonder and romance. I was a lively boy, somewhat imaginative, of easy faith, and prone to relish everything which partook of the marvellous. Among the passengers on board of the sloop was a veteran Indian97 trader, on his way to the lakes to traffic with the natives. He had discovered my propensity, and amused himself throughout the voyage by telling me Indian legends and grotesque6' stories about every noted place on the river.
2. The Catskill" Mountains, especially, called forth a host of fanciful traditions. We were all day tiding1' along in sight of them, so that he had full time to weave his whimsical6 narratives. In these mountains, he told me, according to Indian belief, was kept the great treasury of storm and sunshine for the region of the Hudson. An old squaw28 spirit had charge of it, who dwelt on the highest peak of the mountain. Here she kept Day and Night shut up in her wigwam, letting out only one of them at a time. She made new moons every month, and hung them up in the sky, cutting up the old ones for stars. The great Manitou," or master spirit, employed her to manufacture clouds: sometimes she wove them out of cobwebs, gossamers, and morning dew,33 and sent them off, flake after flake, to float in the air and give light summer showers; — sometimes she would brew up black thunder-storms, and send down drenching rains, to swell the streams, and sweep everything away.
3. He had many stories, also, about mis'chievous spirits, yrho infested the mountains in the shape of animals, and played all kinds of pranks upon Indian hunters, decoying them into quagmires and morass' es, or to the brinks of torrents31 and precipices. All these were doled out to me as I lay on the deck, throughout a long summer's day, gazing upon these mountains, the everchanging shapes and hues of which appeared to realize the magical influences in question. . Sometimes they seemed to approach; at others, to recede. During the heat of the day they almost melted into a sultry haze. As the day declined they deepened in tone; their summits were brightened by the last rays of the sun, and, later in the evening, their whole outline was printed in 112
deep purple against an amber sky. As I beheld them thus shifting continually before my eye, and listened to the marvellous legends of the trader, a host of fanciful notions was conjured into my brain, which have haunted it ever since.
4. As to the Indian superstitions concerning the treasury of storms and sunshine, and the cloud-weaving spirits, they may have been suggested by tho atmospherical" phenomena" of these mountains, the clouds which gather round their summits, and the thousand aerial effects which indicate the changes of weather over a great extent of country. They are epit'omes of our variable climate, and are stamped with all its vicissitudes.40 And here let me say a word in favor of those vicissitudes, which are too often made the subject of exclusive repining. If they annoy us occasionally by changes from hot to cold, from wet to dry, they give us one of the most beautiful climates in the world.
5. They give us the brilliant sunshine of the south of Europe, with the fresh verdure of the north. They float our summer sky with clouds of gorgeous tints or fleecy whiteness, and send down cooling showers to refresh the panting earth and keep it green. Our seasons are all poetical; the phenomena of our heavens are full of sublimity and beauty. Winter with us has none of its proverbial gloom. It may have its howling winds, and chilling frosts, and whirling snow-storms; but it has also its long intervals of cloudless sunshine, when the snow-clad earth gives redoubled brightness to the day; when, at night, the stars beam with intensest lustre, or the moon floods the whole landscape with her most limpid radiance.
6. And then the joyous outbreak of our Spring, bursting at once into leaf and blossom, redundant90 with vegetation, and vociferous with life! And the splendors of our Summer; its morning voluptuousness and evening- glory; its airy palaces of sun-gilt clouds piled up in a deep azure sky; and its gusts of tempest of almost tropical grandeur, when the forked lightning and the bellowing thunder volley34 from the battlements of heaven and shake the sultry atmosphere!" And the sublime melancholy of our Autumn, magnificent in its decay, withering down the pomp and pride of a woodland country, yet reflecting back from its yellow forests the golden serenity of the sky! Surely we may say that, in our climate, "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth forth his handiwork: day unto day uttereth speech; and night unto night showeth knowl edge." Irving.
XL. — SELECT PASSAGES IN VEE8E.
I. — Happiness. — Keble.
There are166 in this rude stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
Of the everlasting chime;
2. — Friennship.— Wordsworth.
Small service is true service while it lasts,
The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
3. — Comfort In Antorsity. — Southey
Methinks, if ye would know
How visitations of calamity
Affect the pious soul, 't is shown you there!
Look yonder at that cloud, which, through the sky.
Sailing alone, doth cross in her career
The rolling moon ! —I watched it as it came,
And deemed the deep opaque" would blot her beams
But, melting like a wreath of snow, it hangs
In folds of wavy silver round, and clothes
The orb with richer beauties than her own;
Then, passing, leaves her in her light serene!
4. — Futurity.40 — Dryden.
Too curious man, why dost thou seek to know
5. — Shortsightenness Of Man. — Trench.
A dew-drop, falling on the ocean-wave,