Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Oldport Days Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Oldport In Winter

Page 2 of 8

Table Of Contents: Oldport Days

Previous Page

Next Page

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

There is a sense of winter quiet that makes a stranger soon feel at home in Oldport, while the prospective stir of next summer precludes all feeling of stagnation. Commonly, in quiet places, one suffers from the knowledge that everybody would prefer to be unquiet; but nobody has any such longing here. Doubtless there are aged persons who deplore the good old times when the Oldport mail-bags were larger than those arriving at New York. But if it were so now, what memories would there be to talk about? If you wish for"Syrian peace, immortal leisure,"--a place where no grown person ever walks rapidly along the street, and where few care enough for rain to open an umbrella or walk faster,--come here.

My abode is on a broad, sunny street, with a few great elms overhead, and with large old houses and grass-banks opposite. There is so little snow that the outlook in the depth of winter is often merely that of a paler and leafless summer, and a soft, springlike sky almost always spreads above. Past the window streams an endless sunny panorama (for the house fronts the chief thoroughfare between country and town),--relics of summer equipages in faded grandeur; great, fragrant hay-carts; vast moving mounds of golden straw; loads of crimson onions; heaps of pale green cabbages; piles of gray tree-prunings, looking as if the patrician trees were sending their superfluous wealth of branches to enrich the impoverished orchards of the Poor Farm; wagons of sea-weed just from the beach, with bright, moist hues, and dripping with sea-water and sea-memories, each weed an argosy, bearing its own wild histories. At this season, the very houses move, and roll slowly by, looking round for more lucrative quarters next season. Never have I seen real estate made so transportable as in Oldport. The purchaser, after finishing and furnishing to his fancy, puts his name on the door, and on the fence a large white placard inscribed "For sale". Then his household arrangements are complete, and he can sit down to enjoy himself.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

By a side-glance from our window, one may look down an ancient street, which in some early epoch of the world's freshness received the name of Spring Street. A certain lively lady, addicted to daring Scriptural interpretations, thinks that there is some mistake in the current versions of Genesis, and that it was Spring Street which was created in the beginning, and the heavens and earth at some subsequent period. There are houses in Spring Street, and there is a confectioner's shop; but it is not often that a sound comes across its rugged pavements, save perchance (in summer) the drone of an ancient hand-organ, such as might have been devised by Adam to console his Eve when Paradise was lost. Yet of late the desecrating hammer and the ear-piercing saw have entered that haunt of ancient peace. May it be long ere any such invasion reaches those strange little wharves in the lower town, full of small, black, gambrel-roofed houses, with projecting eaves that might almost serve for piazzas. It is possible for an unpainted wooden building to assume, in this climate, a more time-worn aspect than that of any stone; and on these wharves everything is so old, and yet so stunted, you might fancy that the houses had been sent down there to play during their childhood, and that nobody had ever remembered to fetch them back.

Page 2 of 8 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Oldport Days
Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004