A Discussion

During the winter of 1849-50, while ascending the old Bear Valley trail from Ridley’s ferry, on the Merced river, my attention was attracted to the stupendous rocky peaks of the Sierra Nevadas. In the distance an immense cliff loomed, apparently to the summit of the mountains. Although familiar with nature in her wildest moods, I looked upon this awe-inspiring column with wonder and admiration. While vainly endeavoring to realize its…

Worship of Trees and Springs

Mr. J. M. Barrie is a true interpreter of the youthful mind when he says, in the “Little Minister,” “Children like to peer into wells to see what the world is like at the other side.” Grown-up people are also alive to the mystery of a spring. “Look into its depth,” observes Mr. E. H. Barker in his “Wayfaring in France,” “until the eye, getting reconciled to the darkness, catches…

Turning Sunways

Nowadays people put Murray or Black, or some similar volume, into their portmanteau, and set off by rail on what they call a pilgrimage. In this case the term is a synonym for sight-seeing, usually accomplished under fairly comfortable conditions. In ancient times pilgrimages were, as a rule, serious matters with a serious aim. Shakespeare says, in “Two Gentlemen of Verona”:– “A true devoted pilgrim is not weary To measure…

Spring at Monzie

In all ages much attention has been given to the weather, with special reference to its bearings on human well-being. As Mr. R. Inwards truly observes, in his “Weather-lore,” “From the earliest times hunters, shepherds, sailors, and tillers of the earth have from sheer necessity been led to study the teachings of the winds, the waves, the clouds, and a hundred other objects from which the signs of coming changes…

Belief in Water

“One of the great charms of Highland landscape is the gleam of still water that so often gives the element of repose in a scene of broken cliff and tumbled crag, of noisy cascade and driving cloud. No casual tourist can fail to notice what a wonderful variety of lakes he meets with in the course of any traverse he may take across the country. Among the higher mountains there…

Springs from Graves

Some people apply to different doctors in succession, in the hope that new professional advice may bring the coveted boon of health. For the same reason visits were paid to different consecrated wells. On the principle that “far fowls have fair feathers,” a more or less remote spring was resorted to, in the hope that distance might lend special enchantment to its water. Certain springs had the reputation of healing…

Her Wells at Edinburgh

In any notice of early saints Ronan must not be forgotten, especially when we remember that perhaps no spring, thanks to Sir Walter Scott, is so familiar to the general reader as St. Ronan’s Well. It has been commonly identified with the mineral well at Innerleithen, in Peeblesshire for long held in much favour in cases of eye and skin complaints, and also for the cure of dyspepsia. The spring…

Stone Circles

In glancing at the superstitions connected with Scottish lochs and springs, we are called upon to scan a chapter of our social history not yet closed. A somewhat scanty amount of information is available to explain the origin and growth of such superstitions, but enough can be had to connect them with archaic nature-worship. In the dark dawn of our annals much confusion existed among our ancestors concerning the outer…

A SPRING RAMBLE

AT six o’clock, Miss Larkin summoned the Maynards to supper. Delight, of course, accompanied them, and being in hospitable mood, Miss Larkin bade the younger Maynards invite Dorothy and Flip. So it was a real Jinks Club feast, and a gay time they had. Substitutes had been put in their places at the trees, so they had no need to hurry. “Have you heard about the contest, Mops?” said King,…

DELIGHTFUL ANTICIPATIONS

“IT just seems to me,” said Marjorie, at breakfast one morning, “that I _must_ go out and dig.” “Dig for what?” asked King; “buried treasure?” “No, not dig for anything, except just to dig. It’s so springish outdoors, and so—well, such diggy weather.” “Oh! You mean to plant things,” said King. “Well, let’s all make gardens. It’s Saturday, and we can dig ’em this morning, and plant ’em this afternoon,…