Vassar College Digital Library
Tue, 11/15/2022 - 19:12
Edited Text
Jan. 1 Mild, easy tempered day, overcast with smooth clouds with gleams of sunshine now and then. Mercury down to 25 this morning. Storm approaching from the west. Roads dry. No ice on river, thin ice on ponds. Write a sketch called "A Life of Fear"
2. Rain this A.M. from South, warm as April; rain pretty heavy. --What is my opinion about this religious business? Well, it is that religion is a sentiment like poetry or art, that it is not an universal gift, that truly religious natures are as rare as poetic or artistic natures, that there is a gleam or touch of it in most persons, but that it is fully developed in but few, that it belongs to women more than to men, though the finest specimens of it are men as in every other field, that the great mass of the well-behaved church going people are not deeply or truly religious, that it is mainly a matter pf prudence and trhift with them; they join the church as they would take out an insurance policy on their lives or property; they want to be on the safe side, they want to escape hell; fear and not love impels them.
that in the great army of clergymen there is only here and there a deeply religious nature. I think Abbott is such. Mulford was such, Father Taylor was such, Elias Hicks, John Knox, and scores of others one could name. In this town I do not know one truly religious nature, tho' there may be several. In my native town I knew none, unless it be old Elder Hewett. Father had a truly religious streak in him, amid much that was harsh and crude. But he was an emotional nature and childlike in many ways. Of our old neighbors, Jerry B. was a church member, and fairly correct in his life, but not religious. His five or six brothers were ditto. Uriah Bartram made no profession of religion, nor Dave Dart, nor Ben Scudder, nor File Corbin, nor Hen Shout, nor Alex Silliman, nor John Gould, not Eph Hinkley, nor scores of other successful farmers. The Powells were church members but very worldly minded and hoggish. Grand father Kelly was religious (and boyish) of his children Unlcle Martin was silent upon these things, also Uncle Edmund (now 90) Uncle Zeke, Unlce Charles, Uncle Tom, I think, was a church member, but very reticent.
Plenty of pious people everywhere but [crossed out: where] few are those who are sponateously religious, or religious 7 days in the week, religious without thought of reward or punishment hereafter. As the great mass is unpoetical, so the great mass is irreligious. In Jesus, the religion of the Jewish race culminated. The impression which he made upon those who came in contact with him is like the impression of no other man in history. It was a personal impression, and not an intellectual. Hence the myths and legends that grew up about his person, and that are still believed.
True religion and undefiled is just as rare as true poetry. As the poet hungers for the beautiful, so the religious nature hungers for the poet hungers for the divine -- after that which Jesus exemplified more fully than any other man, the humanization of the eternal power of the universe, or the fatherhood and brotherhood of God. What does the religious sentiment prove? It proves only itself. It certainly does not prove Heaven or Hell or a personal God, any more than the poetic gift proves the reality of the Muses, or the personality of poesy.
3d Heavy rain yesterday; ground full of water once more. All the drains running copiously. Mercury up to 55 yesterday. Cooler to-day and partly overcast. Robins this morning and last Thursday, Dec 31st. Not even a white wash of snow yet. Yet this A.M. the white backed cars go by, long train of them striped with snow.
4. A white wash of snow this morning.
5th Clear, still day, mercury 20 this morning. Van laying wall. At night northern lights -- a luminous bank in the N. like a phosphorescent cloud. Little boat still running
6 Winter is upon us this morning. A seamless cloud over the sky at day light, at 8 1/2 fine sifting of snow from the N, and now at 10 A.M. a regular driving snow storm is upon us. Apparently a fully fledged winter storm.
7 Bright mild winter day with 5 or 6 inches of snow on the ground from yesterdays storm. Fairly good sleighing.
10 A real pinch of winter, mercury this morning down to 5 or 6, river nearly covered with smooth ice now at 10 A.M. stationary --My moral nature is not fruitful as was that of Emerson and Carlyle, if I may compare myself with these illustrious men. It is not the source of my ideas as was theirs. The source of my ideas is rather my rational and intellectual nature, or my emotional nature. I have few reflections to offer upon life, or man or society. I would make a poor preacher. I am interested in things, in laws, in growths, in nature, more than I am in man. The platitudes of the moralist and the preacher are tools I never can get the hang of. -- May Cline says I have a standard but not principles. She says it is my ideality and naturalness that has led me into free paths rather than any evil train. she says I am lazy and lack self-esteem. She says that when I do think well of myself then I am conceited. She says I have natural or instinctive justice, but not as much intellectual justice as I should have. Justice, she says is the mother of principles. My reverence and ideality, she says, would give me a standard, but not principles. -- "Self got, see?" I [crossed out: d] said I had no will. She says I have; she sees it in my Roman nose. She says it is a gift to be wonderfully generous and yet to be intensely hurt. She says I am mouldable and very progressive, and certain in some things but that I am stick like a snail to its shell to Emerson and Carlyle and the rest. She says I would not know what to do without them -- in the moral sense. I must put away standards for true principles. Carlyle she says was more of a lion than Emerson. She fears E. was stiffened to a type. He had the N. England sternness and type from which he could hardly depart. She is a penetrating girl.
13. Thaw set in yesterday. Rained all night and slow rain to-day and much fog. No ice in front of me on the river, but ice still fast above.
14 Warm, rainy, foggy. Mercury 50. Snow all off; in P.M. I walk
around beloved vineyard, the ground running with water everywhere.
15 As i sit here in my study at 10 A.M. it is strangely still; not a sound. I look out and behold a white world and the thick meteors of the falling snow, without noise or wind or bluster it comes down, it is a down pour of snow from the North.
Snow till 1 P.M. nealy a foot
Cardinal Manning died yesterday -- a good man and worthy od rememberance. His last conscious hours of life were spent in imploring God to have mercy upon him. He was firmly posessed with the Christian idea that he was about to to go from a place where God was not, to a place where God is and abides, and that there was great danger that his God would be displeased with him and would punish him! How curious, how curious! Poor man. Why could he not have died in peace. The fault was not his, but that of the horrible old harlot, the Catholic Church.
Clear and cold, down to 10 degrees this morning, good sleighing. --How much force I waste whenever I write upon literary subjects. I have to undergo a sort of apprenticeship to every subject I write upon -- do a great deal of futile and preparatory work write and destroy, write and destroy, leave behind to morrow what I do to-day. It is like opening a quarry, oh, the rubbish that has to be removed, and then often to find there is nothing but rubbish there.

Down to 5 degrees below this morning. The trees loaded with the most delicate frost foliage, which now at 10

A.M. the breeze is bringing down.
Goethe said to Eckermann, "The observation of Nature requires a certain purity of mind, which can not be disturbed or pre-occupied by anything."
30. Since my last entry the winter has behaved very well. One or two cold waves that sent the mercury down to near zero. One day it was [crossed out: a] 40 or 45 in the afternoon and only 5 above zero in the morning. Ice on the river from 7 to 9 inches. Sleighing nearly gone; wagons preferred. Have been writing on Whitman every day and doing fairly well. I hear he is slowing failing.
31st Sunday, Mild with streaks of sunshine. Julian and I go to black creek to skate. Walk to Black Pond and find the skating poor, and the creek open; but in the woods on either side the skating was fairly good. The high water of two weeks ago had flooded al lthe low woods and ice had formed. It was a novel sensation to skate through the woods, darting amid the trees. We came down all the way from Black Pond to the Shatega Bridge. Then walked down to a lower level and finally reached Sutcliff's pond, where we put on our skates again. Got a flying squirrel, of old Travis whom we found setting his dead falls near the Creek; and brought him home. A beautiful creature.
Fine spectacle in the western sky to-night -- Venus coquetting with Jupiter with the new moon hanging beneath them -- the moon like some great round pod just bursting and letting a rim of light escape. --In my writing-- other than my out door natural history papers -- I find if I do not look out I am talking in the air. How much I see in my essays that are merely shots fired in the air. One must feel the resistance of something more real and tangible -- not aim to round his periods, but to pierce the subject, and draw blood.
Feb. 4 Weather continues mild; but little snow. Heard a song sparrow this morning rehearsing his notes sotto voce; the buds of his song beginning to swell as it were, some of them farily opening A brief warble from a purple
finch also.
Feb. 6. Clear and cold -- down to 4 above this morning. My health good these days and life quite enjoyable. --Many European critics still put Poe at the head of our poets. It is interesting to note that Emerson does not make one extract from Poe in his interesting to note that Emerson does not make one extract from Poe in his Parnassus.
Poe considered as a master of the art of poetry, no doubt stands first, but what else has he to offer? Nothing as I see. My soul would die of inanition fed soley upon his poetry. He is a master manipulator, but in no sense a creator.
12. Snowed all day yesterday from the N. about 6 or 7 inches. A mild gentle storm. Yesterday morning on my way to the P.O. discovreed small brown worms, from 1/2 to 1 inch long on
the snow here and there; very sluggish, mercury about freezing. Found them along the road and everywhere near trees; none in vineyard or currant patch, or in open fields free from trees. Hence they did not snow down, but where did they come from and what brought them out? Night before was several degrees below freezing, and had been for many days. After 4 o'clock a few remained on the snow, and then went down into the snow. I dug out one this morning about 4 inches under snow. Sent some to Washington for identification. --Worms turn out to be the half grown larvae of a species of noctuid moth related to the army worm. Mr Riley says there is no record of their appearing on snow before.
18 Weather clear and cold; Winter has got a pretty firm hold at last, mercury hovering near zero for three mornings now. Ice harvesters having a good time.
The winter so far has been a windless winter, no blow of any sort to amount to anything, quite remarkable in this respect. I never remember so little wind. To-day one could carry a lighted candle anywhere. Yesterday the same.

Yesterday Julian and I went over to black cree for a skate, the trip a failure. I got in twice, only one foot and leg; built a big fire and dried myself. To-day a fine skate on the river, on the new ice of the ponds.

A couple of inches of snow last night. A few worms on the snow again this morning. --It is said that Spurgeon once remarked in [crossed out: the] his pulpit that "the recent facts of modern science are only worthy of contempt; they are utterly beneath argument." Yet S. was in many ways a great man -- certainly a great preacher and a power for good in his land. A man of narow and darkened mind, of bigotry unfathomable, yet [crossed out: the] our moral and emotional nature [crossed out: of man] is such that a man of his stamp can sway it and fashion it, and make us have nobler and better lives. In intellect he was a child; he had no more conception of

the true order of the universe than has a Hottentot, or than the fathers of the Church had, still in the vast region of the undemonstrable, of the emotional and subjective, he was a mighty force. Christianity or any religion, does not demand reason of you or science or light, but belief, enthusiasm, veneration, love. Its hold is the will, and not the intellect. I heard Spurgeon preach in London in 1871. A coarse homely man, but racy, full of surprises, sincere, with the magnetism of the born orator. Not one word of what he said remains with me. --Howells says, very cleverly, that the "New England woman is not gifted intellectually, but she has a conscience like the side of a house."
23. Clear, warm, spring-like; bees out of the hive, a good sap day. Snow nearly gone. Walk up to the corner in the P.M; roads very muddy, rail road dry.
29. Snow all gone; a cloudy quiet day; roads getting dry; freezing hard nights.
March 1st The March lion upon us, a roaring, howling snow storm from the north about 4 inches of snow this morning and still snowing at this hour, 9 A.M.
2 The worst storm of the season indeed the only real bad storm so far; snow about 1 foot with strong wind -- snow heaped up in places like the benefits of protection.
ground bare in other places. Still snowing this morning by spurts. Storm center seems to have got stuck down on or off the coast.
6. Rather a cold wintry week just past. Mercury down to 10 one morning. This morning little warm. Very bright and clear and spring like. In afternoon I walk up the R.R. to a point 1/2 mile beyond Esopus; track dry and walking good; roads very bad. Song sparrows rehearsing their songs in the bushes.
7 Clear and still. as I go to the P.O. see crows going northward high up against the blue dome. Their plumage glances in he bright sun. Not a breath of wind. Very charming. Mercury at 22 at sunrise.
10 Laughter of robins this morning. Call of blue-bird, sparrow songs, etc. Blue-birds and robins first observed 3 days ago. Snow about half gone, getting warmer to-day with signs of southern storm. Poor sleep lately. Have probably been working too steadily on my Whitman essays. Results not very satisfactory.
Much more appetite for literary work this winter than for several winters past. Attribute it to almost total abstinence in sexual indulgence.
14 March keeps cold and hard. Mercury down to 12 degrees this morning Birds begin to tune up, but spring does not seem to be very near.
Bright with cold, biting north wind. Mercury 12 degrees in the morning. Walk up to the auction of poor old Lundy in P.M; roads dry from the cold and wind of past few days. Pathetic to see the sale of a farmers poor old truck -- Lundy dead and hardly cold in his grave and here are his things all brought out to the inspection of the public and sold for a song. I would have bid on his old boots but they were not offered. His father died only a year or two ago, aged nearly or quite 90.

Go to P. walk over on the ice. Joel and I dine to-gether. Wanted to get away from myself so I go to P. for a change. Clear and sharp.

Still cold, down to 15. Mercury has not been above 30, for many days. North and N.E. winds. A great mountain of cold dry air on this continent, its apex far west, near Winnipeg; very unusual, pressure over 31 inches.

Began snowing last night at 9, 8 or 9 inches this morning and still snowing, cold, but not much wind.

22 Continues clear, cold, sharp, ground covered with snow, mercury down to 8 yesterday morning -- down to 10 this morning. Up to 30 degrees in middle of day. Overcast in afternoon.
23. Light snow last night slow rain this morning.
--In General Grant there seems to have been two distinct men -- a very great man -- a hero, covered over or wrapped about by a common ordinary man. During his life before the war, this ordinary man seems to have always been on top. The strain of the war brought up to the surface the hero, the great man and for the most part kept him there. During his presidency the vulgar commonplace man shows himself frequently -- the hero subsides again, sinks back out of sight. Strange that he should have wanted A.T. Stewart to be his Secretary of Treasury! It was the ordinary man too that came in collision with Sumner, tho S. was not a hero. Afterward when he again became merely a citizen, the ordinary worldy man ruled. He ran after wealthy men, seems to have had a great itching to be one of them etc. But as the last crisis of his life came on the hero again emerged. It is a great man that wrote those Memoirs, one of the greatest, the cheap worldly man and politician does not show himself here, nor ever again. Grant died a hero.
25 A big [crossed out: w]rent in the river's coat of ice this morning -- hope it will not get patched up this year. From the ice house to the Elbow all intact yet, but from here up
to Esopus island, it is broken up. Yesterday the first real spring day. To-day promises to be clear and still warmer. Yesterday P.M. while walking up the R.R. heard a little piping from up a deep glen in the woods, where the ground was nearly all covered with snow. --P.M. Mercury 52 degrees in the shade, genial warmth at last. Sky and clouds look like summer. I stand or sit in the sunshine and ask nothing better. Snow only in the streaks along fences and in the hollows here and there. Ice going through the Elbow.
27. Start for Roxbury this morning. At Kingston, get N.Y. paper and see that Walt is dead. Postpone my trip. Spend the day with Henry Abbey, very pleasantly, and return home at night.
28 Take early train for N.Y. Spend the day there looking after my articles proofs etc. Pass the night with Ingersoll.
Reach Camden at 4 P.M. Black crepe on Walts door bell, shutters closed. I find Bucke, and Harned and Traubel there. Look upon Walts face long and long. Can not be satisfied. It is not Walt. A beautiful serene old man, but not Walt. After a while I have to accept it as him, his "excrementitious body" as he called it. Pass the night with Traubel.

The days all the while mild

and beautiful. This is Walts funeral day and it very lovely. In the morning I write letter to the N.Y. Post in answer to their atrocious review of my poets. (By Higginson) At 11 go down to the house and find the crowd filing in and out of the house. Conway is there, and Kennedy and many others. May Cline came about 1 P.M. tall, thin and homely. at 1 1/2 Conway and I, and others go out for some oysters. As we eat our stews before the counter, the oyster man shows us Walts book with his autograph in it, presented to him by W. At the Cemetery all went well, very beautiful; a great crowd The scene very impressive; the great tent, perfumed with flowers. Everything goes on in decency and in order. Ingersoll speaks an eloquent and impressive oration. Shall always love him for it. Some passages in it will last. as he was speaking I heard a blue-bird warble over the ten most joyously. The tomb is very grand and will endure as long as time. At night 12 of us go to Phila. and have a dinner, and much talk.
31. Warry and I and Horace go out to W's tomb. Very glad to be there again with the crowd gone. An overcast chilly day. At noon am taken with one of my head aches, a bad night.
April 1st Start for N.Y. at 8 1/2. Get proof from Forum and N.A. Review; lunch with Gilder at Players Club. Meet Woodbury, the poet; have a 2 hours talk with him and rub Whitman into him with a vengeance. But I am sure he is already lost; nothing in him but "art" and "art" and "art." But I dose him heavily. Pass the night again with Ingersoll.
2 Lunch with the Gilders and come home at night. No good sleep for nearly a week.
3 My 55th birthday; very warm, 82 degrees in shade; remarkable, work all day on proof etc. A strange excitement upon me, my heart seems running away. No sleep last night. Yet I am well, and mind more active than it has been for years. How the birds sing and call, and the swamps are vocal with the little frogs.
4 Still hot and partly overcast. Go to P. in afternoon.
5. Still more than summer heat. Burn brush and gaze and gaze out upon the beautiful spring-touched world. 6 Hot as ever till noon, when winds freshen from the N. and air a little cooler and clearer.
Burn brush most of the day. The hottest spell I ever saw in this latitude so early in April. This warm wave may usually be expected about the 25th tho' in '87 it came about the 9th or 10th
Again, dear Master, I have [crossed out: las] bitten into this great apple of an earth with my plow and find it as sweet and appetizing as ever; the same old delicious smell, the same old fresh look; yet the new furrow [crossed out: shows the same] is more eloquent and pathetic to me than ever before. Again the swelling buds, and the sprouting grass; again the robin-racket in the twilight, again the long drawn tr-r-r-r-r-r-r of the toad in the gloaming; again the tender ditty of the sparrow, again the water fowl streaming northward, again the "fields all busy with labor", but thou, thou, in thy tomb!
8. The perfection of April Days -- clear, soft, warm, wooing. The miracle of spring once more. As I sit here in the summer house at 9 1/2 I hear the hawks scream, the sparrows trill, the high hole calls distant cackling of of hens, hum of bees, with blue-birds, robins, blackbirds, phoebe-birds -- all within ear shot. A soft film of vapor rests upon the glassy river. The world is so sweet, so benignant these days, yet my thoughts are away in that Camden Cemetery where the great one lies. --Just read Conways touching tribute to the memory of W. in "Open Court." The remark of Emerson which he quotes "Americans abroad may now come home; unto us a man has been born," brought tears to my eyes.
W.W. is the Christ of the modern world; he alone redeems it; justified it; shows it divine; floods and saturates it with human-divine love.
15. Went home last Sunday morning, the 10th. Snow squalls Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday all day; ground white. No sap. Stay to Curtis's till Tuesday P.M. when I go over to Edens, all well there. Back to C's on Wednesday, Thursday overcast. Wednesday P.M. fair, and sap runs a little. Come back home on Thursday. The old home seemed more like home to me than it had for years. Curtis and his family seem to be doing all they can.
16 Weather keeps cold and dry. No drop of rain or snow this month, or since the 21st of March. Partly overcast with signs in the clouds of a cold wave.
17 Clear this morning. Froze quite hard last night. All the old bird voices of April this morning the long repeated call of the highhole the most noticeable.
I am fairly well these days, but sad, sad. Walt constantly in my mind. I think I see very plainly how Jesus came to be deified -- his followers loved him; love transfors everything; triumphs over everything. I must still continue my writing about him till I have fully expresesd myself.
19 Weather keeps cold and remarkably dry; ploughed fields are dusty. Frost at night, wind froze fast in the north.
Met Myron Benton yesterday in P. and brought him home with me. He is off again this morning, not as much talk or satisfaction with him as usual; much oppressed by the Forum withdrawing my article on W.W. -- all becaue the N.A. Review, has one by me on same subject; but from different point of view.
On Sunday the 17th took my first walk to the woods; arbutus coming out slowly. Dicentra and bloodroot in bloom; woods are fine. At the station saw one of the neighbor girls with a rosette of arbutus on her breast.
Her face was flushed, her eyes shone and she looked very happy. She was waiting for the train to go to H. to be married. Poor girl, I fear a bitter fate is in store for her; her lover is too fond of drink.
20 Froze again last night; the day bright and lovely, but dry and cool and hard.
21. Slow rain to-day from S.E. the first April rain, the first rain for 5 or 6 weeks; much needed. What a feeling or privacy it gives one after so many weeks of roofless days, a feeling of being shut in and drawing near to my books and thoughts! --Hamlin Garland told me that when he first read "Leaves of Grass" it seemed as if something vast, strange, formless, electric had passed by him, and had stirred him as he had never been stirred before.
24 Bright lovely day. Drive to Sherwoods in P.M. a glorious view from his rocky hill.
To-day is buried in distant Chicago a man I loved. J. C. Burroughs, son of my fathers Uncle Curtis. He was one of the few men I have known of whom I felt, "he has walked with Christ" -- so simple, sincere, gentle, charitable and brotherly. A man of great activity and endurance, tall, thin, homely. His life was one of toil -- wasted his best strength on the old Chicago University as its president -- latterly was school superintendent.
Visited me in the year of the triple eights. A man whom all persons liked or loved. I can just remember his visiting our house when I was a small boy probably in '47 or 8. I remember his overalls and his putting them off and laying them on the outside cellar door. I had hoped to see him again -- but now not in this life.
25 Cold and clear. Froze last night, chilly all day.
26 Still clear, dry, hard; not a cloud; frost again last night. Oh the emerald patches of rye, how the eye singles them out in the brown landscape and lingers upon them.
--There is not hate and bitterness towards Whitman like that of many of our minor poets. They fly at him like a whippet dog at a mastiff. The same set, if they happen to be story writers, like the Cransfordville poet, also snap and snarl at the heels of Tolstoi, one of the most heroic and powerful characters of history. How I ache to lift them with my boot!
29 -- Overcast, threatening rain, but now, P.M. the signs are failing and fading. Some of the maples just ready to shake out their tassels. Over the river I see teams plowing -- a long, narrow, parallelogram of vivid green bending over the rolling ground slowly growing narrower hour by hour,[crossed out: and in a broad setting] surrounded by a broad expanse of brown
earth, growing darker and darker as the newly turned turf is [crossed out: neared] reached.
Cherry trees putting out a blossom timidly here and there.
My old friend, the brown thrasher strikes up to-day.
May 1 Warmer, overcast, with sprinkles of rain in P.M. Dr. Bucke came this morning. Very glad to see him, he reminds me strongly of Walt -- large, gray, long beard and walks with a cane. We have a day full of talk and communion. How true it is that you must love a man ere to you he will seem worthy of your love. I did not used to like Dr. B. but since the death of W. my heart has softened towards him and I begin to feel a strong attachment towards him. I see more and more in him to love and admire. A little iclined to run off with a single idea and make too much of it; His idea now is that there is such a thing as Cosmic Consciousness, that it is a new sense or power developing in the race, and that Walt had it in a preeminent degree. Paul had it, as had Buddha and Mahommet, etc. I fear he will ride the idea too hard. In P.M. we drive to the woods and get arbutus.
2. Dr. B. leaves me this morning. Warm and spring like at last. Light rain in P.M. and at night.
4 Lovely thunder shower last night really wet down to the roots of things, first considerable rain for many many weeks. To day one of those pushing days -- some new force behind everything; every bud, every spear of grass pushing [crossed out: it] them out. Hot and sultry in P.M, cooler at night. Currants and cherry trees in bloom.
7. Cool and bright. Cool wave, near a frost, but not quite
10 Lovely May days. Apple trees just bursting into bloom. White-crowned sparrows more plentiful than I ever saw them, in full song past three days about my house. They come down when I feed the chickens and doves and pick up finer particles of the cracked corn. The most
tender and plaintive of all sparrow songs. The song of memory, of the days that are no more. Still writing upon Walt.
14 Cool, cloudy weather past few days. The great artist is fast sketching the different forest trees with light yellow greems. Again the week of bloom is upon us. Again I walk in blossoming orchards, sad and delighted to the point of pain. some maples nearly in full leaf. -- Am reading "The New Spirit" by Havelock Ellis, a suggestive book, yet lacking in something, perhaps in coordination and singleness of purpose. A book of Arnolds on kindred subjects [crossed out: ???] has the force of science, say on Celtic literature, or translating Homer or on the academy, yet it is totally unlike science, except in the power to convince. Mr. Ellis'es book does not convince in this way. The ideal is stronger than the real and personal in him. -- How ones own family, the visible part of it so to speak, dates back to and includes his grandfather. His great-grand father is very shadowy and unreal. But grandfather him we knew, we sat on his knees, and he brought us candies in his pocket. But each generation the peg is moved along one notch and one grandfather drops out.
To my boy the [crossed out: tree] stream of life seems to start with my father, to me with grandfther. To my boys boy it will start with me; father will drop out, or fade into the vague and shadowy past; his boy will date from my boy, and I will drop out. So it goes. -- So much of our literature is not written by any body in particular, but by the general intelligence of the times. Most of our poetry is the product of the general culture and poetic sensibilities no matter who writes it, it is all the same.
18 The perfection of May days, bloom and perfume steep the senses. Again is the nymph, shadow
born. I see her cool inviting cirlce beneath the trees.
19 A day of heavy cloud, peculiar, such a sense of mass and spread, the clouds with those long strong clearly-defined keel-shaped bottoms one occasionally sees [crossed out: sometimes] : sometimes the effect was like that of a vast groined or slightly arched ceiling. Seldom have I seen such weight, solidity and power in clouds. I have observed that it never rains out of such clouds as long as this appearance continues; they must be smoothed down and melted or softened before it rains.
20 A splendid rain last night Over an inch of water, very
seasonable. Heavy clouds to-day and cool.
21. Rain again all night and at it this morning, slow and deliberate, a cold May rain, over 1/2 inch last night. Rain continued all day at times heavy. To night the ground is sodden and full, and running over.
27 Plenty of rain -- too much. Very little warmth yet. Just saw a robin make an angry dash at a cuckoo; another robin joined in the hue and cry against it; very significant; it means that the cuckoo does in some way "monkey" around the robins nest.
[crossed out: 30] Go to Tarrytown to-day to Mr Thayers, who entertains the authors Club of N.Y. A warm overcast day. Met Stedman, Mabis, De Kay and others. I like Stedman every time I see him, a small man but large hearted and generous Singular how unused his brow looks -- not a wrinkle in it. Not a great person, but lovable and valuable.
31 To N.Y. on my way to Phila to the Whitman birthday dinner, but am much indisposed and reluctantly turn back home. N.Y. never looked more hateful to me. Day hot, and the hard roar and harder iron and granite such a contrast to the soft, lush, tender May.
June 1 Summer heat at last. 87 degrees in shade to-day. How things grow! Grape arms just at the tender breakable age. 2d Hot, near 90 degrees. Dash of rain in P.M. 3d Cooler. An oriole this morning with a call like this: "boys, boys, come here, boys!" Of course the words are not
there, only the accent or inflection. One season an oriole called, "Set out your grapes" "Set out your grapes."
June 6. Start for Rangley to-day. Reach Northampton at 5 P.M. pass the night and part of next day with Miss Peck. Early in morning we have a walk in Paradise -- Mr Cable, Dr Seymour, Miss Peck, Miss Jordan and I.
Join Julian at Hartford, where we pass 3 hours. Hot, hot. Reach Boston at 9 P.M. Mr. Kennedy takes us home to Belmont.

Pass the day in Boston. Julian climbs Bunker Hill monument. At night take steamer for Portland.

In P. this morning. Take 8 1/2 train for Rangley: day of light rain. Pass the afternoon at Phillips and wander about Sand River. At 6 1/2 take train for Rangley, which we reach at 8 1/2 P.M. Mr. Dickson and Rodman meet us

10, 11, 12, 13 at "Maneskookuk" with the Dicksons. Very beautiful and very warm.
14 Go in to Kennebago. A tramp of seven miles through the spruce woods over a rude rough road. Kennebago very beautiful: we take lots of trout and I take my first 4 pounder. Pass the night there. See a deer in the morning.
15 Cool and lovely. In P.M. tramp back to Rangley, well satisfied. Kennabago tastes good in our mouths. We must see its lovely waters again.
Stay at the Dicksons till 19th when we start for home, which we reach at 6 1/2 P.M. June 21st The country very fresh and green. No drought yet.
July 1 Plenty of rain so far, a heavy shower Monday the 27. Shipped currants June 28th
3d Heavy rain to-day from S.W. Came near being the one drop too much. Looks as if we were in for another season like that of '89. The more it rains the dirtier the sky looks.
4. A marked change in weather. Cool, bright and windy from N.W. Looks like fine weather once more. 6 Weather remarkably cool and fair 9 Lovely, bright; cool summer weather till last night, when more rain came. Showers again to-day, but not heavy. 10 Sunday. Pretty hot, and bright. 11 Hot, still day, 84 degrees. 12 Still bright and hot.
13. Still very warm, with showers at night.
14 Warm and moist.
Now at 7 P.M great masses of cumulus clouds in the east all turned to gold by the sinking sun. The glow falls upon me here in my summer house like a huge lamp. Indicates a change in weather. Cooler I hope and less rain. A little grape rot here and there since Monday. Raspberries at their height. 360 cups to-day.
16 Start for Roxbury to-day; a cool bright day; reach home at 6 P.M. Miss Taylor with us. Fine shower last night.
23. A cool, delightful week at the old place. Excellent hay weather. Curtis and his boys gathering in the hay rapidly. Looks more like home here than for many years before, or since Eden left. Getting hot again; fine shower last night, with much thunder.
25. Very hot yesterday and last night. Showers again early this morning and still slowly raining at 9 A.M. I do little these days but shoot wood-chucks with a Marland rifle, and pick a few raspberries.
Aug 1st Great heat the past week with frequent moring and evening showers extraordinary heat all over the country. 7 Cooler, the past week with more showers -- rain every other day. Julian and I go to Homers the 2d and stay all night.
H. very feeble. Go to Eden's the 3d and take a few fine
trout. 6th Miss T. goes home to-day -- a sensible, clear-souled, intelligent woman. Curtis and I go over to Eden's to-day -- take more trout, and back over the mountains on Sunday the 7th. 8 Clear and fresh to-day -- the perfection of summer weather. Expect to start for home this P.M.