Page:Letters of Life.djvu/326

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by right of discovery, when there was but a single farm-house where boarders were received, and only one chamber capable of accommodating them. Mr. Sigourney used to write, and engage this apartment in advance; and at early autumn, when the completed elections at the bank of which he was president gave him release, drove thither his own faithful horse, to enjoy a quiet vacation unimpeded by the restraints of fashionable society. Here, in long rambles, sometimes with his hammer to examine minerals, collecting crystals, and endless varieties of felspar, in the favorite luxury of sea-bathing, or the perusal of books which we carried with us, he tasted a happiness known only by those who, amid the cares and conflicts of business, preserve unalloyed the love of nature and the pleasures of intellect. Mental progress he was conspicuous for keeping in view; and after surpassing the age of fifty, having received into his house a young native of Samos, who was desirous of obtaining a collegiate education in this country, he decided to commence with him the study of modern Greek, often rising earlier in the morning to obtain more uninterrupted leisure.

To witness his satisfaction at this occasional recess from employment, and free intercourse with the bounding billows, was a privilege; and I have never received so much physical benefit from the presence of the great, solemn sea, as when we were its guests in this rude, solitary spot. I identified myself as far as possible