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LXXXI. AN OLD-FASHIONED SNOW-STORM.
1. It was one of those wide-sweeping, careering storms that may not much affect the city, but which strongly impress the country imagination with a sense of the personal qualities of the weather-power, persistency, fierceness and roaring exultation. Out-doors was terrible to those who looked out of windows, and heard the raging wind, and saw the commotion in all the high tree-tops and the writhing of the low evergreens, and could not summon resolution to go forth and breast and conquer the bluster. The sky was dark with snow, which was not permitted to fall peacefully, like a blessed mantle, as it sometimes does, but was blown and rent and tossed like the split canvas of a ship in a gale.
2. The world was taken possession of by the demons of the air, who had their will of it. There is a sort of fascination in such a scene equal to that of a tempest at sea, and without its attendant and haunting sense of peril; there is no fear that the house will founder or dash against your neighbor's cottage, which is dimly seen anchored across the field; at every thundering onset there is no fear that the cook's galley will upset, or the screw break loose and smash through the side, and we are not in momentary expectation of the tinkling of the little. bell to "stop her."
3. The snow rises in drifting waves and the naked trees bend like strained masts, but so long as the window-blinds remain fast and the chimney-tops do not go, we preserve an equal mind. Nothing more serious can happen than the failure of the butcher's and the grocer's carts, unless, indeed, the little news-carrier should fail to board us with the world's daily bulletin, or our next-door neighbor should be deterred from coming to sit by the blazing, excited fire, and interchange the trifling, harmless gossip of the day. The feeling of seclusion. on such a day is sweet, but the true friend who does brave the storm and come is welcomed with a sort of enthusiasm that his arrival in pleasant weather would never excite.
4. On such a day I recall the great snow-storms on the
northern New England hills, which lasted for a week with no cessation, with no sunrise or sunset and no observation at noon, and the sky all the while dark with the driving snow, and the whole world full of the noise of the rioting Boreal forces, until the roads were obliterated, the fences covered, and the snow was piled solidly above the first-story windows of the farmhouse on one side, and drifted before the front door so high that egress could only be had by tunneling the bank.
5. After such a battle and siege, when the wind fell and the sun struggled out again, the pallid world lay subdued and tranquil, and the scattered dwellings were not unlike wrecks stranded by the tempest and half buried in sand. But when the blue sky again bent over all, when the wide expanse of snow sparkled like diamond-fields and the chimney signal-smokes could be seen, how beautiful was the picture! Then began the stir abroad, and the efforts to open up communication through roads or fields or wherever paths could be broken, and the ways to the meeting-house first of all.
6. Then from every house and hamlet the men turned out with shovels, with the patient, lumbering oxen yoked to the sleds, to break the roads, driving into the deepest drifts, shoveling and shouting as if the severe labor were a holiday frolic, the courage and the hilarity rising with the difficulties encountered; and relief parties, meeting at length in the midst of the wide white desolation, hailed each other as chance explorers in a new land and made the whole country-side ring with the noise of their congratulations.
7. There was as much excitement and healthy stirring of the blood in it as in the Fourth of July, and perhaps as much patriotism. The boy saw it in dumb show from the distant low farm-house window and wished he were a man. At night there were great stories of achievement told by the cavernous fireplace; great latitude was permitted in the estimation of the size of particular drifts, but never any agreement was reached as to the "depth on a level." I have observed since that people are quite as apt to agree upon the marvelous and the exceptional as upon simple facts. C. D. WARNER.
THROUGH night to light. And though to mortal eyes
Good cheer, good cheer! The gloom of midnight flies,
Through storm to calm. And though his thunder-car
Tells that a blessed healing hour is nigh.
Through frost to spring. And though the biting blast
Good cheer, good cheer! When winter's wrath is past,
Through strife to peace. And though, with bristling front,
Through cross to crown.
And though thy spirit's life
Soon ends the bitter strife,
Through death to life. And through this vale of tears,
FROM THE GERMAN OF ROSEGARTEN.
SELECT ETYMOLOGIES.-Apt: L. apt'us, fit, meet; h., ad-apt, etc. . . Battle: fr. the L. bat'uo, I strike or beat; h., a-bate, com-bat, de-bate, rebate, etc.... Boreal: L. Bo're-as, the north wind. Butcher: F. boucher (boo-shā); fr. bouc, a buck-goat; h., orig., a slaughterer of buckgoats. Eurus: L. the east wind. . . Frolic: Ger. froh, gay, lich (leek), like. . . . Giant: L. gi'gas, gigan'tis. . . . Grocer: formerly written grosser; orig., one who sells by the gross-i. e., deals by wholesale; fr. the F. gros, large. . Hilarity: L. hilăr'itas; fr. hil'aris, cheerful; h., ex-hilarate. . . . Scene: L. sce'na, the stage, a theatrical scene; h., scenic. Space: L. spat'ium; h., ex-patiate. Summon: L. summon'eo, I remind privily; fr. sum =. sub, under, and mon'eo, mon'itum, to put in mind; h., ad-monish, monition, monitor, monument, pre-monition, summons.
LXXXII. HENRY HUDSON.
1. ONE of the boldest and most successful of early navigators was the celebrated Henry Hudson, discoverer of that vast inland sea now known by the name of Hudson's Bay. In a small vessel, and with a crew of only ten men and a boy, he first distinguished himself, in 1607, in an attempt to reach China by the Arctic seas to the north of Europe. He succeeded in reaching a very high latitude, within nine degrees of the pole, where the impassable barrier presented by vast plains of ice checked his further progress and obliged him to return home by Spitzbergen. This failure to discover a northeast passage did not deter Hudson from renewing the attempt. The keenest interest was felt on this subject by the maritime nations of Europe, among whom it then formed a favorite topic of debate.
2. The next year, accordingly, Hudson again set sail, hoping to solve this exciting problem. Keeping more to the eastward than on his former voyage, he at last reached Nova Zembla, where the solid ice again arrested his progress and convinced him that a north-eastern passage did not exist. The correctness of this judgment has been established by the more accurate knowledge of this dreary domain which we now posTo remove all doubts, however, in 1609 he made a final but still unsuccessful search for a north-east passage. Baffled by the increasing ice, as on his former voyages, he happily re
solved to pursue his explorations in another quarter, and crossed the Atlantic to America, where, with most insignificant means, his skill and daring were destined to achieve the greatest results.
3. He sailed along the coast of North America, and at length was rewarded for his toils by the discovery of the bay on which New York stands and of the magnificent river which, as he was the first to explore it, has since borne his name—the Hudson. How striking the change which has taken place since Hudson's ship passed Sandy Hook and anchored in what is now the lower bay of New York! Manhattan Island, then probably uninhabited, is now the site of the second commercial metropolis of the world, with more than half a million of inhabitants, while the stream itself swarms with shipping from every quarter of the globe. The boldest fancy could hardly have dreamed of such a transformation.
4. Happy, indeed, would it have been for Hudson if he could have closed his career on the banks of the river whose beauty he was the first to witness and describe, and thus have escaped the sorrowful and mysterious catastrophe which awaited him next year. He soon after returned to England and obtained the command of a vessel of fifty-five tons' burden, manned by twenty-three men and victualed for six months. In this humble craft he set sail on what proved to be his last voyage. After touching at the Orkney Islands he steered his course to Iceland, where he witnessed one of nature's grandest spectacles-Mount Hecla in the blaze of a violent eruption, surrounded by perpetual snows. The crew landed, and having killed a number of wild fowl, cooked them in one of the hot springs of this remarkable island.
5. Again weighing anchor, Hudson passed the south of Greenland till he reached the strait which now bears his name. Here, in addition to the ordinary difficulties and dangers of navigation among the ice, he had to struggle against a mutiny among a complaining crew, but, in spite of all, this intrepid explorer boldly pushed on till his vessel plowed the waters of that great inland sea now known as Hudson's Bay. He did