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Lexington. Bostonian spring being more than usually embittered 1
against mankind this year, we left our quarters in town very early,
and went to pass the month of May in the pretty and historic
village of Lexington. It lies ten or twelve miles inland; it is not
only a little beyond the worst of the east wind, but is just a
little too far from Boston to be strictly suburban in aspect; and
thanks chiefly to an absence of water-power (a clear brown brook,
that you may anywhere jump across, idles through the pastures
unmolested by a mill-wheel), Lexington has not yet been overtaken
by the unpicturesque prosperity which has befallen so many New
England villages. It has no manufactures of any sort, neither shoes
nor cotton, nor boxes, nor barrels, nor watches, nor furniture; it
is still a farming-town, such as you find in the Mas- sachussetts
or New Hampshire hills, and is not yet a market- gardening town
like those which lie nearer the city. The ancestral meadows are
still mown by the great-great-grandchildren of those who cleared
them of the primeval forest, and who, having begun to build into
fences and bury in the earth the granite boulders plentifully
bestrewing its surface, invented rather than discovered their
reluctant fertility. In many parts of New England the Western jokes
about sharpening the sheep's noses for their greater convenience in
getting at the herbage between the rocks, and about firing the
seed-corn into the ground with a shot-gun, do not seem so
grotesquely imaginative. More than once at nightfall, as I drove
along country roads, the flocks and herds, lying under the orchard
trees, have turned on nearer inspection to companies of boulders;
in the'hill towns I have seen stone walls six feet wide, titanic
barriers thrown up in the farmer's despair of otherwis...
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||246 x 189 x 15mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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