Thursday, September 16, 2021

More about Maynard's School System

On September 30, at 7:00 p.m., the Maynard Public Library will present a Zoomed talk titled: “Maynard’s Schools Through the Centuries.” This is the eighth in a monthly series of history lectures produced by the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee as part of Maynard’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of its creation. Register at https://www.maynardpubliclibrary.org/may150. The October talk will be “The Maynard Family.” A new history book “MAYNARD MASSACHUSETTS: A Brief History”, is for sale for $21.99 at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, WED-SAT, 12-5. 

Last week’s column about school buildings down the centuries had little to say about the people in those schools. As resources, the Maynard Public Library has copies of the town’s annual reports back to 1871, each with a subsection on the school system. Also useful, the Maynard Historical Society has a sizeable collection of the high school yearbooks, all of which have been scanned and can be read in their entirety on-line.

At the time of the incorporation of Maynard in 1871, town population 1800, the new town was served by ten teachers working in four small school buildings. Salaries were in the range of $9-15/week. The high school was a two-room wooden building on Nason Street, now site of the library. High school enrollment was 35 students.

Twenty-one years later. the high school graduating class of 1892 chose orange and black as the school colors. (The Town of Maynard decided on official town colors of blue and white in 1917. Who knew?)  Mr. E. Elmer Galger, principal and acting superintendent, was paid a salary of $1,061. At that time, state law required that a child shall go to school twenty weeks in each year until 14 years old (changed to 16 years old in 1913). Not until 1898 did state law prohibit children under 14 year of age doing factory work. Farm work had no age limit. Few students completed 12 years of schooling. Often, their parents encouraged them to leave school and get a job in order to supplement the family income. Circa 1910-20, the graduating class numbered in the teens.

Graduating class of 1917, Maynard High School, 
Maynard, MA (courtesy historical society)
The 1918-19 school year saw schools suspended for five weeks as part of the national effort to contain the influenza pandemic. In Maynard, deaths attributed to influenza/pneumonia amounted to a bit under one percent of the population. Nationwide, deaths were estimated at 0.6 to 0.8 percent of the population of 105 million.   

School annual reports provide information on peaks and valleys in school enrollment, and also on the quality of education. There had been a huge spike in births 1900-1920, reflecting a tripling in the town’s population after the American Woolen Company bought and expanded the woolen mill, and also built and rented houses in the “Presidential District.” There was a peak in school enrollment 1923-30, reaching 1,750 students. This was less than might have been expected considering births, but childhood mortality was high, and as noted, many students left school at the earliest possible age. Births were low 1930-45, not a surprise given the Great Depression and World War II. Enrollment had dropped to under 1,000 around 1943-47. Post-war, new housing on the north side of town in combination with the “Baby Boom” reaching a peak 1960-75, led to school enrollment cresting at 2,100 around 1968-75. Once the “Boom” children were past school years, enrollment dropped to around 1250 for 1986-93, and then recovered to the mid-teens, where it remains.

The 1909 annual report mentioned that among 14 neighboring towns, Maynard had by far the lowest school budget at $22,000. Come 1937, the budget was $98,000, and of a state survey of 83 towns, Maynard was 73rd in expenditure per student. Year after year after year, the school superintendents’ annual reports mentioned that Maynard lost teachers to other towns that paid more   

Alumni Field became the school's sports site long before the high school moved to the south side of town. In 1928, while Maynard High School was still at the Summer Street location, the town transferred the land that had been the Town Poor Farm meadow to the school department. The football team started using the new playing field for the 1928 season. Within a handful of years Alumni Field gained a cinder track around the playing field, bleachers, a field house and tennis courts.

Click on photos to enlarge
Until the mid-1960s, elementary and middle schools had morning and afternoon sessions, with children going home for lunch. Presumably their mother or another adult family member would be home days. Not until 1971 did schools start providing lunch. Also, until mid-1960s, high school hours were 8-1, with no afternoon session. Driver education started in 1949. Special Education, per new state law, started in 1955, with students initially being bused to Concord. WAVM went on the air in 1973, at 60 hours of radio broadcasting per week, with 75 licensed student broadcasters.   

Massachusetts voters endorsed the tax-increase-limiting Proposition 2-1/2 in 1980. A large impact to school operations was foreseen. In Maynard, this, in combination with a fast-declining enrollment, led to a massive disruption. In 1981, 51 positions eliminated (25 professionals and 26 non-teaching positions). Teacher:student ratios were increased. Coolidge School closed after 75 years of service.

AND THERE IS SO MUCH MORE INFORMATION, which may have to wait for a third article, after the September 30 talk.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Maynard's Schools Through the Centuries

A chair from the "Brick
School", in the Maynard
Historical Society collection. 
Surprisingly, the two oldest school buildings – predating the creation of Maynard – are still with us. In the spelling of the era, the goals were to "teach children to rede and wright and cast accounts". Sudbury appears to have voted in 1779 to build a one-room schoolhouse for the northwest district, in 1871 moving that building farther north to what is now the intersection of Routes 27 and 117, where it served as Maynard’s “Turnpike School” until 1881. No longer a school, moved again in 1884 to corner of Concord and Acton streets – a distance of one mile – where it abides as a private home. On the Stow side of the Assabet River, District No. 5 had a school constructed in 1766: the “Brick School.” This was on Summer Street, hence became a Maynard school in 1871. It was closed the following year. It remains in place as part of the home at 101 Summer Street. Two other schools also pre-dated Maynard. One two-room building at the site of present-day Town Hall served until the town decided to replace it with its first multi-room brick school at the same site. The other, the first school on Nason Street, was lower grades, then first high school, then lower grades again.

At the time of the incorporation of Maynard in 1871, the new town was served by ten teachers working in four small school buildings. Salaries were in the range of $9-15/week. The high school was a two-room wooden building on Nason Street. Enrollment was 35 students. Six years later the high school classes relocated to a new two-room school on Acton Street, across from the east end of Main Street, leaving the Nason building to revert to elementary school.

Nason Street School (1892-2016)
The year 1892 saw a consolidation of Main, Nason, Acton and Sudbury schools into a two-story, twelve-room, wooden building at the Nason Street site, on the same stone foundation that is now the first floor of the Maynard Public Library. For a time, this was Maynard’s only school building, serving all grades.

The mill went bankrupt in 1898, then purchased and reopened in 1899 by the American Woolen Company. Expansion added the very large Building No. 5 on the south side of the millpond in 1902. The workforce grew, as did the town’s population: from 3,142 in 1900 to 6,390 in 1910. The population explosion of school-age children, especially in the Presidential Village housing development of 1901-03, led to the construction of new, brick-constructed schools at the Main Street site (1903) and on Bancroft Street (1906). The first was renamed Woodrow Wilson School in 1932. The second had a second floor of four more classrooms added in 1910 and was renamed Calvin Coolidge School in 1932.        

Remains of the Nason Street School fire
September 20, 1916, a nighttime fire brought an end to the Nason Street School. This was attributed to arson, as there had been a less damaging fire at the school just a week earlier. All that was left standing were the two brick chimneys. For a disaster, the timing was good. Three years earlier the town had voted to build a new high school, the site later chosen on Summer Street. The two-story brick building – currently the east wing of ArtSpace, was built at a cost of $61,500 and occupied October 2, 1916. This was the high school through 1964. A new, brick, elementary school was constructed at Nason Street, atop the foundation of the fire site. It opened fall of 1918, named Roosevelt School 1919. It served as a school through 1988, stood empty almost 20 years, resurrected as the Maynard Public Library, July 2006.

Meanwhile, back on Summer Street, the Town of Maynard, in its wisdom, decide to redirect a stream that flowed next to the high school into an underground storm sewer and build a junior high school, auditorium and gymnasium atop it (probably contributes to why ArtSpace is flood prone). The junior high opened January 1926, named Emerson Junior High School in 1932. After the high school moved to its new south-side campus in 1964, half the building became Fowler Elementary School and the whole complex became known as Emerson-Fowler School. In time, the junior high school took over the entire building as Fowler Middle School, remaining as such until the end of 2000.

Coolidge School originally built as one story
Back on Main Street, Wilson School was closed in 1942 because the school population had decreased dramatically, reopened in 1948 when the post-war baby boom started to arrive, and then was destroyed when a pre-dawn fire on December 17, 1952 left only the scorched brick exterior standing. This left Coolidge and Roosevelt as elementary schools.

The next phase for the Maynard school system was to create three schools adjacent to each other, on the south side of Route 117, each to have adequate parking and adjacent fields for physical education classes. Green Meadow School was first. Land was taken from Crowe Park. The school opened for the 1956-57 school year. Coolidge was kept on until 1981. A major addition to Green Meadow was approved in 1986, completed for the beginning of the 1988-89 year, which led to the closing of Roosevelt in 1988. “Maynard High School” was completed in 1964 at a cost of $1,700,000. Fowler Middle School (leave the old building, keep the name) opened in 2000. And then, in 2013, the fifth Maynard High School was replaced by the sixth Maynard High School, at a cost of $42,500,000. Note that over the years, two schools were completely destroyed by fire (Nason 1916, Wilson 1952) and three were significantly damaged (Nason 1879, Emerson-Fowler 1978, Maynard High School 1992).

Separate from the public school system: Mrs. Smith's School for Girls (1848-1857) was run by Mrs. Susan Smith at the Levi Smith place on Great Road. In 1965, Saint Bridget’s Parish opened Saint Bridget’s Parochial School in a brick building on Percival Street, on a filled-in section of the mill pond. The school was staffed by Sisters of Notre Dame, who had a modest convent near-by. The building is now home to The Imago School, a private school offering a Christian faith-based education for grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.


 

Yes, correct spelling "current"

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

You've Been Wet Before (Maynard MA: Rain 2021)

Growing up in New Jersey suburbia, with three boys separated by a total of five years, plus a younger sister, we boys often got a command from our mother: “Go outside and play.” If we answered back with “But it’s raining,” The rejoinder was “You’ve been wet before.”

Which was true. We lived in a town that would in time become a bedroom suburb of 30,000, but at that time was a hamlet of maybe 5,000 containing abandoned farms gone to woodland, crisscrossed by old stone walls, dotted by depressions that had been root cellars, and wetted by creeks, springs and ephemeral (‘vernal’) ponds. Of course we got wet. How else could you catch frogs? We also got scratched by branches, fell out of trees, and suffered poison ivy mightily. There were broken limbs. There were stitches.  

Even constrained to the yard (“Don’t go anywhere, dinner soon.”) we still managed to get adventurously hurt, for there was stilt walking, unicycle riding, a tightrope wire set (low) between two trees, etc. Hatchet throwing, knife throwing and ninja stars were hard on trees, but luckily, we managed to avoid bloody messes. Mostly. My index finger fingerprint has a line through the center, dating back some 50-ish years. Trying to wiggle a knife out of a tree truck, it would have been wise to realize that the blade was sharp on both sides, all the way to the hilt.   

Debris jammed at bridges forced the flood waters 
over the banks, to gather more debris, to jam at
the next bridge. (Waverly, TN 2021)
As for when wet gets to be a problem, the recent disaster in Waverly, Tennessee points to the present and future problems of climate change. The math is simple: warmer air can hold more water – about seven percent for every one degree Celsius (1.8 Fahrenheit). More water vapor in the atmosphere means more moisture available to fall as rain, which leads to higher rainfall rates from severe storms. And to be precise as to what happened to Waverly, the town itself got only about two inches of rain, but the hill country to the east got as much as 17 inches in 24 hours, with a goodly part of that falling at a rate of more than 3 inches per hour, for hours. People in Waverly reported gong from seeing creek water in their yards to standing on top of their kitchen counters, water up to their waist, hoping the house stayed on its foundation. Many did not. Buildings, trailer homes and vehicles were pushed into streams where they became impromptu dams, causing the water to rise faster and spread wider.

Rain at that furious rate can happen two ways. One is a cold front displacing a warm air mass, creating a line of thunderstorms moving fast, typically without serious flooding. A second is hot and humid air rising until it reaches colder air tens of thousands of feet higher, where it condenses to rain and falls. If these cumulonimbus clouds happen to be completely stationary rather than lumbering across the countryside, all the rain falls in one place.

August 1955: Hurricane Diane. View of the Assabet River 
from the Main Street bridge, flooding into the mill buildings
(Courtesy Maynard Historical Society)
By the way, the Massachusetts record is 18.15 inches in 24 hours in Westfield, August 18-19, 1955. That was the remnants of warm, wet Hurricane Diane slow-walking across New England, resulting in a peak water level for the Assabet River that has not been surpassed in 65 years.

 According to a recent article in the New York Times, a thirty-year change in weather patterns across the United States is portrayed by a simple map: drier in the west, wetter in the east. Population growth in the west may be curtailed by lack of available water, while in the east, flood plain maps are dangerously outdated. Maynard’s flood history is severe flooding in 1927 (hurricane), 1936 (spring thaw plus rain), 1938 (hurricane) and 1955 (hurricane). More recent floods (1968, 1979, 1987 and 2010) were not as severe, primarily because federally funded flood control dams on the Assabet River and its tributaries provide several billions of gallons of holdback capacity to blunt peak high water. The greatest risk for surprise flooding in Maynard is not so much just the water volume as what can happen if downed trees in the river (of which there are several) are dislodged and end up jammed behind a bridge. This is exactly what cause the overflow and severe damage to the Waltham Street bridge in 1927. Older lifelong residents of Maynard can remember watching to see if the 1955 flood would take out any bridges.

At 10.07 inches for July, this was the second-wettest July for Boston; and the wettest for Worcester, at 13.85 inches of rain. August was abnormally rainy, and September started with 4.0 inches for Maynard from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. This could be a record year for precipitation.

What’s the difference between raining and pouring? When it’s raining, your hair gets wet. When’s pouring your underwear gets wet.    

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Thoreau Walked Thru (what later became Maynard)

On August 26, at 7:00 p.m., the Maynard Public Library will present a Zoomed talk titled: “Thoreau Walked Thru.” Register at https://www.maynardpubliclibrary.org/may150. This is the seventh in a monthly series of history lectures produced by the Sesquicentennial Steering Committee as part of Maynard’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of its creation on April 19, 1871. The September talk will be “Schools Through the Centuries.” A new history book “MAYNARD MASSACHUSETTS: A Brief History”, is for sale for $21.99 at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street, WED-SAT, 12-5.  

This stamp, issued May 23, 2017, commemorated
the 200th year anniversary of HDT's birth. The
oil painting used as its model a photograph of
Thoreau taken when he was 39 years old.
He died five years later (May 6, 1862)
Henry David Thoreau's writings contain mention of this area in 1851, documented in publication of the journals after his death as an entry "A Walk to Boon's Pond in Stow."

It begins "Sept. 4. 8 A. M.  A clear and pleasant day after the rain. Start for Boon's Pond in Stow with C." By "C" he meant William Ellery Channing, who had been a classmate at Harvard, a neighbor in Concord, and the author of the first biography of Thoreau, published in 1873. From mentions of landmarks along the way it is possible to recreate a map of their path. The round-trip distance was a tad over 20 miles, some of it on roads or along the railroad, some through farmers' fields and woods.

Outward bound, Thoreau notes that odors from the gunpowder mills made them cough. Their walk continued westward on what is now Route 62. They skirted the paper mill (now site of 7-11/Dunkin), but did not cross the river on the newish (1840) bridge, nor walk down Main Street. Instead, they turned south onto what is now Route 27, then west on Old Marlboro Road, then into what is now the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge.

Click to enlarge. Boon was
killed in 1676 during Metacom's 
War (King Philip's War)
Boon's Pond, their goal, was a much smaller body of water back then, described by Thoreau as shallow and muddy looking. The pond was the namesake of Matthew Boon, who had started a farmstead in 1660. The pond drained via a short creek to the Assabet River. Some time after 1850, Amory Maynard had bought land and water rights around Boon's Pond, then built an earthen dam to raise the water level. His goal was to have additional water reserved to release to the Assabet, so as to keep his mill in operation during summer months. Decades later the wool mill converted to steam power, so less water was needed. The water level no longer dropped every summer. Campsites, rented cabins, second homes, clubhouses and resorts proliferated on the now stable shoreline of the renamed Lake Boon, popular because it could be reached by train from Boston.

On the way back, Thoreau and Channing walked along the railroad tracks, beside the Assabet River. Construction of this railroad spur off the Boston to Fitchburg line had begun in 1849, and by 1850 extended through Stow to Hudson. Thoreau complained in his journal that there was no good place to bathe for three miles because Knight’s new dam (the Ben Smith dam, constructed 1846-47) had raised and stilled the river. His description “The fluviatile trees standing dead for fish hawk perches and the water stagnant for weeds to grow in.”

They crossed what is now the White Pond Road bridge, climbed Summer Hill, then headed east on Summer Street to Concord Street, and so homeward. At the time of their visit the gunpowder, paper and wool mills of Assabet Village were the business center of a population of about 800 people, citizens of Stow or Sudbury depending on which side of the river they lived.

A typical day in the life of Henry David Thoreau might mean work in the morning, either the family’s pencil manufacturing business or later as a surveyor-for-hire, followed by an afternoon of walking and an evening of writing in his journal. In his own words: “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely free from all worldly engagements.” He became alarmed if he found that he had gotten a mile of so in the woods, but his mind was still filled with thoughts of his obligations in the village.

“Walking” was the title of one of his essays. His first public reading was at the Concord Lyceum on April 23, 1851. Between 1851 and 1860 Thoreau read from the piece a total of ten times, more than any other of his lectures. “Walking” was published in the June 1862 issue of the Atlantic Monthly, shortly after his death from tuberculosis at age 44. The essay’s length is slightly more than 12,000 words. Various internet sources have the complete essay available on line – some with researchers’ annotations. He was aware, however, that his Massachusetts terrain was not true wildness, but rather a post-colonial return of once-farmed land to meadow, woodlot and forest. Civilization had led to local extinction of bears, mountain lions, wolves, deer, turkeys and beaver, so the largest wild animal Thoreau might sight would be a fox.

One dozen Thoreau pencils, with the original
paper wrapping, in the collection of the 
New England Historical Society
Wait, wait…pencils??? Charles Dunbar, brother-in-law to Henry’s father, John Thoreau, was in the pencil-making business from 1823 onward. Natural deposits of graphite, then called ‘plumbago,’ were mined. If very pure, the graphite was cut into rods, encased in wood (two pieces, glued together), to make a pencil. If not of highest quality, the graphite was ground fine, then mixed with a binding agent such as hard wax, encased in wood, to make a not-very-satisfactory pencil. The Thoreau ‘factory’ was in a shed behind the house.

After finishing his education at Harvard (in part paid for by pencils) Henry took it upon himself to make a better pencil. He either learned about a European process or developed it independently, to mix clay with the graphite, resulting in pencils of varying hardness depending on the ratio of clay to graphite. Henry also invented a means to collect only thoroughly ground graphite. A wooden tower was erected over the grinding apparatus, and a fan was directed to gently blow from the bottom upward. A collecting shelf was at the top. Only the smallest particles accrued on the shelf, the larger falling back to the grinder to be further milled. 

Thoreau pencils came be known at the best-made pencils in America. The high-quality plumbago was also used in electrotyping (an electroplating process). With a different ambition. Thoreau could have expanded the factory, hired more people, and become very wealthy. Instead, the business was kept modest – enough to provide the Thoreau family with a middle-class lifestyle – thus allowing for Henry to hie off to Walden Pond for two years, and in general, to use his afternoons for wandering and his evenings for writing.

At auction in 2018, an authenticated Thoreau pencil sold for more than $1,400.          

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Thoreau: Bibliography and Quotations on Walking

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Thoreau's journal for 1851. His walk thru what became Maynard is the entry for September 4th. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/59031/59031-h/59031-h.htm 

Carl Bode (ed.), Collected Poems of Henry Thoreau - enlarged edition  John Hopkins University Press, (2010), ISBN 978-0801895708.

Thoreau himself was ambivalent about the work of poetry:

My Life Has Been the Poem (1841)

My life has been the poem I would have writ/But I could not both live and utter it. 

Don Marquis (1878-1937) expressed the same conflict in a shorter timeframe:

I never think at all when I write. Nobody can do two things at the same time and do them both well. 

Images of his land surveys (in the collection of the Concord Library) #107a is the Concord River, but it described the Sudbury River as the upstream part of the Concord River, and the Assabet as the North River.  http://www.concordlibrary.org/scollect/Thoreau_surveys/Thoreau_surveys.htm 

http://mainewoodsforever.org/itinerariestrail-map/ Describes three visits to Maine.

https://archive.vcu.edu/english/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/thoreau/youngfriend.html

Henry Thoreau as Remembered by a Young Friend               Edward Emerson, (1917)

Edward was a son of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who had been a mentor to Thoreau. This collection of notes and observations >10,000 words. 

QUOTATIONS

FROM JOURNAL ENTRY, SEPT 3, 1851: 

"As for walking, the inhabitants of large English towns are confined almost exclusively to their parks and to the highways. The few footpaths in their vicinities 'are gradually vanishing,' says Wilkinson, 'under the encroachments of the proprietors.' He proposes that the people’s right to them be asserted and defended and that they be kept in a passable state at the public expense. 'This,' says he, 'would be easily done by means of asphalt laid upon a good foundation'!!! So much for walking, and the prospects of walking, in the neighborhood of English large towns.

"Think of a man—he may be a genius of some kind—being confined to a highway and a park for his world to range in! I should die from mere nervousness at the thought of such confinement. I should hesitate before I were born, if those terms could be made known to me beforehand. Fenced in forever by those green barriers of fields, where gentlemen are seated! Can they be said to be inhabitants of this globe? Will they be content to inhabit heaven thus partially?"

FROM WALKING (1862):

“The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild; and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the world.”

“It is true, we are but faint-hearted crusaders, even the walkers, now-a-days, who undertake no persevering, never-ending enterprises. Our expeditions are but tours and come round again at evening to the old hearth side from which we set out. Half the walk is but retracing our steps. We should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return; prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only, as relics to our desolate kingdoms. If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again; if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man; then you are ready for a walk.”

“I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least — and it is commonly more than that — sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields absolutely free from all worldly engagements… When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shop-keepers stay in their shops not only all the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them — as if the legs were made to sit upon, and not to stand or walk upon — I think that they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago.”

“But the walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours — as the swinging of dumb-bells or chairs; but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day. If you would get exercise go in search of the springs of life. Think of a man’s swinging dumb-bells for his health, when those springs are bubbling up in far off pastures unsought by him.”

“I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations, and my obligations to society. But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head, and I am not where my body is; I am out of my senses. In my walks I would fain return to my senses. What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?”

“SAUNTERING, which word is beautifully derived ‘from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going a la Sainte Terre,’ to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, ‘There goes a Sainte-Terrer,’ a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander.”

“At present, in this vicinity, the best part of the land is not private property; the landscape is not owned, and the walker enjoys comparative freedom. But possibly the day will come when it will be partitioned off into so-called pleasure-grounds, in which a few will take a narrow and exclusive pleasure only, — when fences shall be multiplied, and man-traps and other engines invented to confine men to the public road, and walking over the surface of God’s earth shall be construed to mean trespassing on some gentleman’s grounds. To enjoy a thing exclusively is commonly to exclude yourself from the true enjoyment of it. Let us improve our opportunities, then, before the evil days come.”

“I was walking in a meadow, the source of a small brook, when the sun at last, just before setting, after a cold, gray day, reached a clear stratum in the horizon, and the softest, brightest morning sunlight fell on the dry grass and on the stems of the trees in the opposite horizon and on the leaves of the shrub oaks on the hillside, while our shadows stretched long over the meadow east-ward, as if we were the only motes in its beams. It was such a light as we could not have imagined a moment before, and the air also was so warm and serene that nothing was wanting to make a paradise of that meadow.”

“My vicinity affords many good walks; and though for so many years I have walked almost every day, and sometimes for several days together, I have not yet exhausted them. An absolutely new prospect is a great happiness, and I can still get this any afternoon.”