Page:Letters of Life.djvu/327

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315
LAPSE OF YEARS.

with his pursuits—became a tireless walker, a fearless climber, a searcher in caverns for sea-weed, and a rather expert swimmer; occupying intervals with needle-work, of which I brought great store for stormy days. It seems difficult to realize that this secluded retreat, approached by almost precipitous roads, should now exhibit a spacious edifice, with bathing-houses, bowling-alleys, carriages in waiting, and a range of barns and stables, where erst our single animal was not very largely accommodated or thoroughly groomed. Methinks I see his exulting step, as he was led to his daily sea-bath, his great delight, arching his noble neck above the crested wave, and striking out boldly as if to sweep across the Sound. Now, the Sachem's Head House, with its three long piazzas, and colonnades of white pillars reaching to the roof, from whence floats a brilliant flag, is a striking object to the passing voyager. Its numerous dormitories, spacious apartment for music, dining-room capable of accommodating hundreds, parterres of flowers, graperies, and pleasure-boats, offer attractions to thronging guests. I frequently make a brief stay there, and admire its improvements, yet find ancient cherished memories more vivid than surrounding pageantry.

Not long after removing to our present abode I was earnestly invited to attend an annual exhibition of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, and went to South Hadley, Mass., taking with me my little daughter of