What’s the matter

About three o’clock in the afternoon an oddly assorted couple walked through the main street in the manufacturing town of Crampton. One was a man of herculean proportions, fully seven and a half feet high, but with a good-natured face that relieved the fears which he might otherwise have inspired. The other was a boy of fifteen, tall and slender, with a dark complexion and bright eyes. He found some…

A FALSE PROPHET

Each age has its illusions–illusions which succeeding ages with a recovered sense of sanity are often apt to record as the most incomprehensible of crazes. ‘That poor will-o’-the-wisp mistaken for a shining light! Oh, purblind race of miserable men!’ is the quick, contemptuous comment of a later, clearer-sighted generation. But one may question if such comment be always just. May not the narrow vision, too unseeing to be deceived, betoken…

MOSES MENDELSSOHN

When the prophet of the Hebrews, some six-and-twenty hundred years ago, thundered forth his stirring ‘Go through! go through the gates! prepare a way, lift up a standard for the people!’ it may, without irreverence, be doubted if he foresaw how literally his charge would be fulfilled by one of his own race in the seventeenth century of the Christian era. The story of how it was done may perhaps…

HEINRICH HEINE: A PLEA

In the far-off days, when religion was not a habit, but an emotion, there lived a little-known poet who solved the pathetic puzzle of how to sing the Lord’s song in a strange land. Minor poets of the period in plenty had essayed a like task, leaving a literature the very headings of which are strange to uninstructed ears. ‘_Piyutim_,’ ‘_Selichoth_’: what meaning do these words convey to most of…

Big Trees of California or Sequoia Gigantea

In speaking of the discovery of the “_Big Trees_” of Calavaras, Mr. Hutchings, in his “Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity,” says that: “In the spring of 1852 Mr. A. T. Doud, a hunter, was employed by the Union Water Company of Murphy’s camp, Calavaras county, to supply the workmen with fresh meat from the large quantity of game running wild on the upper portion of their works. Having wounded a…

A False Alarm

During the winter of 1852-3, Jesse Starkey and Mr. Johnson, comrades of the Mariposa battalion and expert hunters, were engaged in supplying miners along the Mariposa Creek with venison and bear meat. They were encamped on the head waters of the Chow-chilla and fearing no danger, slept soundly in their encampment. They had met Indians from time to time, who seemed friendly enough, and even the few escaped Yosemites who…

The Flora of the Region of the Yosemite

A mountain storm raged with such violence as to stampede the mules of the pack-train while the escort were encamped on the South Fork. The mules were not overtaken until they reached the foot-hills of the Fresno. In the meantime, while impatiently awaiting their return, our rations gave out. In order to somewhat appease our hunger, Dr. Black distributed his hospital stores among us. There were some canned fruits and…

Fortunes of War

While Captain Boling was engaged in capturing the Indians we had “treed” on the north side of the valley, scouting parties were sent out by Lieut. Chandler. They spread over the valley, and search was made in every locality that was accessible. Discovering fresh signs on a trail I had unsuccessfully followed on my first visit, I pursued the traces up to a short distance below Mirror Lake. Being alone…

A Line of Battle

Major Savage now advised a vigorous campaign against the Chow-chillas. The stampeding of our captives was one of the incentives for this movement; or at least, it was for this reason that Captain Boling and his company most zealously advocated prompt action. The commissioners approved of the plan, and decided that as the meddlesome interference of these Indians prevented other bands from coming in, it was necessary, if a peace…

Sweat

My devout astonishment at the supreme grandeur of the scenery by which I was surrounded, continued to engross my mind. The warmth of the fires and preparations for supper, however, awakened in me other sensations, which rapidly dissipated my excitement. As we rode up, Major Savage remarked to Capt. Boling, “We had better move on up, and hunt out the “Grizzlies” before we go into camp for the night. We…