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The Foot-path Way   By: (1843-1912)

Book cover

First Page:

[Transcriber's Note: Author's irregular hyphenation has been kept.]

[Illustration: Front cover]

[Illustration: Author]

Books by Mr. Torrey.

BIRDS IN THE BUSH. 16mo, $1.25.

A RAMBLER'S LEASE. 16mo, $1.25.

HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN & CO. BOSTON AND NEW YORK.

[Illustration: Title page]

THE FOOT PATH WAY

BY

BRADFORD TORREY

Jog on, jog on, the foot path way, And merrily hent the stile a: A merry heart goes all the day, Your sad tires in a mile a.

THE WINTER'S TALE

BOSTON AND NEW YORK HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND COMPANY The Riverside Press, Cambridge 1893

Copyright, 1892, BY BRADFORD TORREY.

All rights reserved.

SECOND EDITION.

The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.A. Electrotyped and Printed by H. O. Houghton & Co.

CONTENTS. PAGE

JUNE IN FRANCONIA. 1

DECEMBER OUT OF DOORS. 36

DYER'S HOLLOW. 67

FIVE DAYS ON MOUNT MANSFIELD. 90

A WIDOW AND TWINS. 111

THE MALE RUBY THROAT. 135

ROBIN ROOSTS. 153

THE PASSING OF THE BIRDS. 176

A GREAT BLUE HERON. 197

FLOWERS AND FOLKS. 205

IN PRAISE OF THE WEYMOUTH PINE. 232

THE FOOT PATH WAY.

JUNE IN FRANCONIA.

"Herbs, fruits, and flowers, Walks, and the melody of birds." MILTON.

There were six of us, and we had the entire hotel, I may almost say the entire valley, to ourselves. If the verdict of the villagers could have been taken, we should, perhaps, have been voted a queer set, familiar as dwellers in Franconia are with the sight of idle tourists,

"Rapid and gay, as if the earth were air, And they were butterflies to wheel about Long as the summer lasted."

We were neither "rapid" nor "gay," and it was still only the first week of June; if we were summer boarders, therefore, we must be of some unusual early blooming variety.

First came a lady, in excellent repute among the savants of Europe and America as an entomologist, but better known to the general public as a writer of stories. With her, as companion and assistant, was a doctor of laws, who is also a newspaper proprietor, a voluminous author, an art connoisseur, and many things beside. They had turned their backs thus unseasonably upon the metropolis, and in this pleasant out of the way corner were devoting themselves to one absorbing pursuit, the pursuit of moths. On their daily drives, two or three insect nets dangled conspicuously from the carriage, the footman, thrifty soul, was never backward to take a hand, and evening after evening the hotel piazza was illuminated till midnight with lamps and lanterns, while these enthusiasts waved the same white nets about, gathering in geometries, noctuids, sphinges, and Heaven knows what else, all of them to perish painlessly in numerous "cyanide bottles," which bestrewed the piazza by night, and (happy thought!) the closed piano by day. In this noble occupation I sometimes played at helping; but with only meagre success, my most brilliant catch being nothing more important than a "beautiful Io." The kind hearted lepidopterist lingered with gracious emphasis upon the adjective, and assured me that the specimen would be all the more valuable because of a finger mark which my awkwardness had left upon one of its wings. So to the credit of human nature be it spoken so does amiability sometimes get the better of the feminine scientific spirit. To the credit of human nature, I say; for, though her practice of the romancer's art may doubtless have given to this good lady some peculiar flexibility of mind, some special, individual facility in subordinating a lower truth to a higher, it surely may be affirmed, also, of humanity in general, that few things become it better than its inconsistencies.

Of the four remaining members of the company, two were botanists, and two for the time ornithologists... Continue reading book >>




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