Alonzo Fitz and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 114 pages of information about Alonzo Fitz and Other Stories.
thing you know you get struck by lightning.  These are great disappointments; but they can’t be helped.  The lightning there is peculiar; it is so convincing, that when it strikes a thing it doesn’t leave enough of that thing behind for you to tell whether—­Well, you’d think it was something valuable, and a Congressman had been there.  And the thunder.  When the thunder begins to merely tune up and scrape and saw, and key up the instruments for the performance, strangers say, “Why, what awful thunder you have here!” But when the baton is raised and the real concert begins, you’ll find that stranger down in the cellar with his head in the ash-barrel.  Now as to the size of the weather in New England lengthways, I mean.  It is utterly disproportioned to the size of that little country.  Half the time, when it is packed as full as it can stick, you will see that New England weather sticking out beyond the edges and projecting around hundreds and hundreds of miles over the neighboring states.  She can’t hold a tenth part of her weather.  You can see cracks all about where she has strained herself trying to do it.  I could speak volumes about the inhuman perversity of the New England weather, but I will give but a single specimen.  I like to hear rain on a tin roof.  So I covered part of my roof with tin, with an eye to that luxury.  Well, sir, do you think it ever rains on that tin?  No, sir; skips it every time.  Mind, in this speech I have been trying merely to do honor to the New England weather—­no language could do it justice.  But, after all, there is at least one or two things about that weather (or, if you please, effects produced, by it) which we residents would not like to part with.  If we hadn’t our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries—­the ice-storm:  when a leafless tree is clothed with ice from the bottom to the top—­ice that is as bright and clear as crystal; when every bough and twig is strung with ice-beads, frozen dewdrops, and the whole tree sparkles cold and white, like the Shah of Persia’s diamond plume.  Then the wind waves the branches and the sun comes out and turns all those myriads of beads and drops to prisms that glow and burn and flash with all manner of colored fires, which change and change again with inconceivable rapidity from blue to red, from red to green, and green to gold—­the tree becomes a spraying fountain, a very explosion of dazzling jewels; and it stands there the acme, the climax, the supremest possibility in art or nature, of bewildering, intoxicating, intolerable magnificence.  One cannot make the words too strong.


—­[Being part of a chapter which was crowded out of “A Tramp Abroad.”—­ M.T.]

There was as Englishman in our compartment, and he complimented me on —­on what?  But you would never guess.  He complimented me on my English.  He said Americans in general did not speak the English language as correctly as I did.  I said I was obliged to him for his compliment, since I knew he meant it for one, but that I was not fairly entitled to it, for I did not speak English at all—­I only spoke American.

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Alonzo Fitz and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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