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Fisherman's Luck Henry van Dyke

Lovers and Landscape

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"Sir," said that gently piercing critic, "that picture is equally unsatisfactory to the artist, to the moralist, and to the voluptuary."

Nevertheless, having made a clean breast of my misgivings and reservations on the subject of lovers and landscape, I will now confess that the whole of my doubts do not weigh much against my unreasoned faith in romantic love. At heart I am no infidel, but a most obstinate believer and devotee. My seasons of skepticism are transient. They are connected with a torpid liver and aggravated by confinement to a sedentary life and enforced abstinence from angling. Out-of-doors, I return to a saner and happier frame of mind.

As my wheel rolls along the Riverside Drive in the golden glow of the sunset, I rejoice that the episode of Charles Henry and Matilda Jane has not been omitted from the view. This vast and populous city, with all its passing show of life, would be little better than a waste, howling wilderness if we could not catch a glimpse, now and then, of young people falling in love in the good old-fashioned way. Even on a trout-stream, I have seen nothing prettier than the sight upon which I once came suddenly as I was fishing down the Neversink.

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A boy was kneeling beside the brook, and a girl was giving him a drink of water out of her rosy hands. They stared with wonder and compassion at the wet and solitary angler, wading down the stream, as if he were some kind of a mild lunatic. But as I glanced discreetly at their small tableau, I was not unconscious of the new joy that came into the landscape with the presence of

"A lover and his lass."

I knew how sweet the water tasted from that kind of a cup. I also have lived in Arcadia, and have not forgotten the way back.

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Fisherman's Luck
Henry van Dyke

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