The California Birthday Book eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 159 pages of information about The California Birthday Book.

DANA W. BARTLETT,
in The Better City.

OCTOBER 9.

THE WATER OUZEL.

The vertical curves and angles of the most precipitous torrents he traces with the same rigid fidelity, swooping down the inclines of cascades, dropping sheer over dizzy falls amid the spray, and ascending with the same fearlessness and ease, seldom seeking to lessen the steepness of the acclivity by beginning to ascend before reaching the base of the fall.  No matter though it may be several hundred feet in height he holds straight on, as if about to dash headlong into the throng of booming rockets, and darts abruptly up ward, and, after alighting at the top of the precipice to rest a moment, proceeds to feed and sing.

JOHN MUIR,
in The Mountains of California.

OCTOBER 10.

Who can hear the wild song of the ouzel and not feel an answering thrill?  Perched upon a rock in the midst of the rapids, he is the incarnation of all that is untamed, a wild spirit of the mountain stream, as free as a raindrop or a sunbeam.  How solitary he is, a lone little bird, flitting from rock to rock through the desolate gorge, like some spirit in a Stygian world.  Yet he sings continually as he takes his solitary way along the stream, and bursts of melody, so eerie and sylvan as to fire the imagination, come to the ear, sounding above the roar of the torrent.  Like Orpheus, he seeks in the nether world of that wild gorge for his Eurydice, now dashing through the rapids, now peering into some pool, as if to discern her fond image in its depths, and calling ever to lure her thence from that dark retreat up into the world of light and love.

C.H.  KIRKHAM,
in In the Open.

OCTOBER 11.

TO LOS ANGELES.

May this great city of Los Angeles, destined to be a mighty metropolis, flanked by the mountains and the sea, grow in the spirit of charity and toleration between man and man, and in the fear and love of God.  May our city ever remain a fair virgin, sought for by the valiant sons from all lands, adorned with the wealth of the golden orange and caressed by the clinging vine.

(Fiach Fionn) LAURENCE BRANNICK.

OCTOBER 12.

Like most of the early cities of the coast, Los Angeles owes its origin to the proselyting enthusiasm of the Spanish priesthood.  The Mission of San Gabriel had been in existence ten years, and it had gathered several thousand Indians under its guardianship when it was proposed to establish a pueblo in that vicinity in order that a temporal development might proceed together with the spiritual.  Had there been no mission at San Gabriel to hold the savages in check by the force of a religious awe, and to lead them to industrial pursuits, there probably would have been no founding of a city on the lands above the Los Angeles river—­at least not until some date half a century later.

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The California Birthday Book from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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