by George MacDonald
I took a walk on Spaulding's Farm the other afternoon. I saw the
setting sun lighting up the opposite side of a stately pine wood.
Its golden rays straggled into the aisles of the wood as into some
noble hall. I was impressed as if some ancient and altogether
admirable and shining family had settled there in that part of the
land called Concord, unknown to me,--to whom the sun was servant,--
who had not gone into society in the village,--who had not been
called on. I saw their park, their pleasure-ground, beyond through
the wood, in Spaulding's cranberry-meadow. The pines furnished them
with gables as they grew. Their house was not obvious to vision;
their trees grew through it. I do not know whether I heard the sounds
of a suppressed hilarity or not. They seemed to recline on the
sunbeams. They have sons and daughters. They are quite well. The
farmer's cart-path, which leads directly through their hall, does not
in the least put them out,--as the muddy bottom of a pool is sometimes
seen through the reflected skies. They never heard of Spaulding,
and do not know that he is their neighbor,--notwithstanding I heard
him whistle as he drove his team through the house. Nothing can equal
the serenity of their lives. Their coat of arms is simply a lichen.
I saw it painted on the pines and oaks. Their attics were in the tops
of the trees. They are of no politics. There was no noise of labor.
I did not perceive that they were weaving or spinning. Yet I did