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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 481 pages of information about The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter.

CHAPTER I.

Which treats of things not particularly interesting, and might have been omitted without prejudice to this history.

Cape cod, you must know, gentle reader, is my bleak native home, and the birth-place of all the most celebrated critics.  The latter fact is not generally known, and for the reason that the gentry composing that fraternity acknowledge her only with an excess of reluctance.  Her poets and historians never mention her in their famous works; her blushing maidens never sing to her, and her novelists lay the scenes of their romances in other lands.  One solitary poet was caught and punished for singing a song to her sands; but of her codfish no historian has written, though divers malicious writers have declared them the medium upon which one of our aristocracies is founded.  But I love her none the less for this.

It was a charming evening in early June.  I am not disposed to state the year, since it is come fashionable to count only days.  With my head supported in my left hand, and my elbow resting on my knee, I sat down upon the beach to listen to the music of the tide.  Curious thoughts crowded upon my mind, and my fancy soared away into another world.  The sea was bright, the breeze came soft and balmy over the land, and whispered and laughed.  My bosom heaved with melting emotions; and had I been skilled in the art of love, the mood I was in qualified me for making it.  The sun in the west was sinking slowly, the horizon was hung with a rich canopy of crimson clouds, and misty shadows played over the broad sea-plain, to the east.  Then the arcades overhead filled with curtains of amber and gold; and the sight moved me to meditation.  My soul seemed drinking in the beauties nature was strewing at the feet of her humblest, and, perhaps, most unthankful creatures.  Then the scene began to change; and such was its gently-stealing pace that I became moved by emotions my tongue had no power to describe.  The more I thought the more I wondered.  And I sat wondering until Dame Night drew her dusky curtains, and the balconies of heaven filled with fleecy clouds, and ten thousand stars, like liquid pearls, began to pour their soft light over the land and sea.  Then the “milky way” came out, as if to take the moon’s watch, and danced along the serene sky, like a coquette in her gayest attire.

How I longed for a blushing maiden to tune her harp, or chant her song, just then!  Though I am the son of a fisherman, I confess I thought I heard one tripping lightly behind me, her face all warm with smiles.  It was but a fancy, and I sighed while asking myself what had induced it.  Not a brook murmured; no willows distilled their night dews; birds did not make the air melodious with their songs; and there were no magnolia trees to shake from their locks

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