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"I get mad at myself sometimes," by. He looked in my eyes, his own he broke forth after a silence. "I get mad at the other boys; I try to be a better boy than I can be!"
speaking more than his words, and said, "Now, some Saturday, or some Sunday, one of those days, I'll come and I'll bring my dog."
Of course he never came, but early in our walk, before he had been asked to visit me, he had speculated on the delightful chances that were ours of meeting again in the park; and my walks there are still brightened by a faint hope that our dream may come true. Viola Roseboro'.
Do you see? He got mad at himself because he got mad at the other boys; and here he was already smarting and bracing himself anew under that defeat which, in the long, losing, strengthening battle "to be good," is the honest heart's so frequent fate. The gallant, rare little nature!
Well, we came to the parting of the ways and shook hands and said good
HISTORIC AMERICAN TOWNS.
disturbed by the sound of hammer and saw, trains or factories.
MERICA has no finished towns." So wrote De Tocqueville. Evidently he did not know Castine Surely this is a finished town. After or he would have made it an exception. passing through so many stirring scenes Castine was finished long ago. It is in years long past, it has reached an a reminiscence. It is a cloister of the honored old age. It is a town with a romantic past. There is, it is true, history, a relic of two centuries, and an increasing number of summer dwell- the admiration of those who in summer ings spread at intervals toward the months love to dwell amid its quiet promontory of Dice's Head. But charms. To give a description of such these are not Castine. Little of the a spot is like making a pencil sketch of very modern is found in the sleepy a grand old painting and leaving unvillage, with its old substantial homes, touched its wealth of shade and mellow the well kept monuments of other days. There is no movement in the community; quiet reigns supreme, un
Many are familiar with the fame of "Old Town" and its groups of Indians
sitting over their baskets of sweetgrass. But perhaps not every one knows that these people are the degenerate descendants of the powerful Tarrantine Indians who inhabited Castine long before any Europeans came to these shores. This was the tribe the French met when, in 1550, seventy years before the days of Plymouth Rock, a trading post was erected in the immediate vicinity. The Frenchmen found them peaceful neighbors and at length, in 1613, a permanent settlement was attempted in the name of the king of France. The attempt failed and no colony was established until 1635, when the peninsula was named Pentagoet, the entrance to the river."
The forts erected at the time are still to be seen, and from excavations numerous relics have come to light. An odd reminder of the Catholic Propaganda is a sheet of copper bearing in Latin the following inscription"1648, June 8. I, friar Leo of Paris, Capuchin missionary, laid this foundation in honor of our Lady of Holy Hope." The plate was probably placed in a chapel built over the gateway of Fort Pentagoet. Some unappreciative discoverer nailed it as a common protection to the bow of his boat. It is now in possession of a Castine family.
After this first settlement followed a long period of uninteresting peace. Its monotony was broken once by the arrival of a Flemish corsair, which captured the stronghold after a hot struggle and sailed away with much plunder. Then came Jean Vincent, Baron de St. Castin—a lordly wanderer from the shores of France, his visage scarred by "passion, sin, and war, scion of the noblesse ancienne, fierce and undaunted, swift, wild, and restless as the wind. Before his personality all others fade into insignificance. Read Longfellow's "Baron de St. Castin, or Whittier's "Mogg Megone," and you will learn to appreciate the man. The Indians made him a sachem, and the old chief, Madockawando, gave
him his daughter in marriage. Born on the border of the Pyrenees, a master of the military arts, a colonel in the bodyguard of the king, of fascinating address, a master of the graces and a man of some learning, he commanded esteem alike in the camps of war, the tents of savages, and the halls of princes. He was wild, they say, and unprincipled; so were the Norse heroes, and the same honor we give them is due to the old Baron Castin.
Take a drive through the town and you will find in the remains of rifle-pits, forts, and batteries, daily reminders of the Revolutionary period. Among these Fort George is preeminent as having been the scene of active service in both wars with Great Britain. It is now the grand amusement park for summer visitors, with baseball, golf, and tennis grounds, and gala throngs gather there of an afternoon watching or engaging in these games.
An authentic ghost story is connected with the old fort. When the British evacuated Castine a little drummerboy was left imprisoned in the dungeon, forgotten in the hurry of embarkation. Years after, on a certain fifteenth of April, his skeleton was found leaning over his dust-covered drum. Now they say that on the fifteenth of each April, ghostly drumbeats issue from the dungeon as if to call back the thoughtless soldiers.
In an old house opposite the Common may be seen a rude picture, scratched there by a British officer, of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes underneath and the words "Yankee Doodle upset." The importance with which the townspeople point out this small bit of vandalism is as entertaining as it is proper. In several of the larger houses are shown rude penknife carvings of naval engagements and various other glorifications of England's flag of 1814. The year 1796 marked the time when, by an act of the general court of Massachusetts, the Pentagoet Peninsula was incorporated under the name of Castine, and this year the
finished old town celebrated its centennial.
It is difficult to imagine the waters of Castine's harbor, now so quiet, astir, as once they were, with merchantmen, and to connect the plain, easy-going inhabitants with a once busy commerce. But in the early part of this century the town was a large shipbuilding center and from the now weatherbeaten wharves sailed many a fleet in the East and West Indies trade. Numerous mills, tanneries, brickyards, and several manufactories were located here. A tranquil slumberousness has now come over the old port and the busy day of prosperity seems to have closed upon Castine forever.
The picturesqueness of the place is difficult to exaggerate. Situated at the mouth of Maine's noblest river, the Penobscot, it presents a panorama of scenic beauty rarely equaled. Its harbor, the second deepest on the New England coast, is protected by numerous islands, which lend a wonderful loveliness to the prospect. The harmony of form and color, the blending of land, sea, and sky, all tend to give it a marvelous charm. A tourist can
not catch its real beauty in passing glimpses. He must live here for three months, familiarizing himself with all its changes. He must look upon land and water in shadow and in sunlight; he must see them veiled in the mist through which the hilly islands rise like phantoms; he must be at hand when from black clouds the thunder booms down the hills, and the lightning cuts through with its two-edged sword. Above all he must earn a personal friendship with the brooding stillness that so often lies over the bay. Then, in a canoe at evening when the mirrorlike water weirdly reflects the crags and trees, paddling swiftly among the beautiful islands, or up the narrow Bagaduce river in the light of a low moon, he must be a hopeless alien to poetic emotions who is not carried beyond self into a fairy-world of delight.
On a return from such an experience the sights and sounds nearer the town are not without their own poetry, though of a less mystic sort. Dozens of steam and sailing yachts lie anchored on either side, from not a few of which the songs of different colleges may
echo over the water; for Castine is a hospitable harbor and beloved of all yachtsmen. There can be There can be no rest from the cares of this workaday world more refreshing than a few weeks' cruise among the islands of the Maine coast, and especially among those about Castine. It must have thrilled the old French voyagers of three hundred years ago to reach such a spot-more thickly wooded and wild then, and with the thin smoke of the Tarrantine wigwams the only sign of human life.
The village itself is not less picturesque than its surroundings. It nestles close to the shore, hidden almost entirely by trees, with only here and there a spire and roof peering out. That poetess had felt the curious fascination of the place, who wrote
"And yet there's not on earth, I ween,
DICE'S HEAD, WINONA CLIFF.
To go along the village road the short distance from Castine to Dice's Head, whose graceful green slope is covered with artistically constructed modern houses and all their bright and fashionable life, is like passing from Sleepy Hollow to Vanity Fair. A step beyond the cottages there is again another change. The sea opens before us, plunging under the caves and over the rocks of the shore. We are many feet above it, however, because the OldMaid-of-the-Mist allows little familiarity and wants for herself the caresses of the sea. From a sailboat at favorable times one may descry her half veiled in a mist of breaking waves, but she is far oftener well hid in the common mass of granite rock.
The shore to the west of Winona Cliff becomes less rugged and stretches down to the sea in a long rocky beach. The west shore is especially interesting because of Trask's Rock, an enormous
bowlder standing in marked prominence above its smaller companions. Like so many objects in Castine, this rock also has its history. In 1779 an American fleet, attacking the town, then occupied by the British, effected a landing on the west shore, and all the while a young fifer named Trask, concealed behind this rock, cheered his comrades up the steep with the shrill music of his fife. This attack, if successful, would have been heralded as one of the most daring feats of the war.
There are in the town a few objects of special interest because honored by references to them in Longfellow's poems. An ancient ropewalk and a fine mahogany staircase are among the number. An old fisherman owns the poet's boat. A house where Longfellow stayed is now remodeled into a summer cottage.
Castine, like many remote New England villages, has a
THE GENIUS OF SIDNEY LANIER.
divided social structure, an upper and a lower stratum. The one remembers when Castine was an aristocratic place and when great men and beautiful women paid homage to its excellences; and some of this element are worthy representatives of such past renown. But the so-called lower stratum-the adventurous fishermen are even more interesting. No Iceland fisher of Loti's conception ever braved more terrible seas than have these picturesque characters, whose racy sayings are an open mine of entertainment. During the
summer months they work at odd jobs in a leisurely way that is little short of amusing, always glad to spin a yarn. But let one read Noah Brooks's "Tales of the Maine Coast" and he will know these men in their more heroic aspects, with all their faults and excellences.
Who comes to Castine once comes again and again. Anyone who has an eye for scenery, or who loves an honored past, or who seeks tranquillity and rest, can hardly choose better than to pass his summer months in this finished town with a history. Lewis Ladd Brastow.
THE GENIUS OF SIDNEY LANIER.
THINK the wise agree that a wri
ter is valuable only as he enters sweetly and permanently into one's life to develop heart and thought. And this I claim for the genius of Sidney Lanier.
I know a busy, scholarly woman who says that he has been more valuable and helpful to her than any other American writer. She has a selfbalanced, incisive, critical mind, nurtured from the highest sources of reading and thought. Homer, Eschylus, Shakespeare, Dante, Goethe, Shelley,
Keats, the best fiction, the acknowledged philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Comte, Rosmini, have been carefully and intelligently read and reread by her.
"Tell me," I said to her, "in what way has it repaid you to study the works of Sidney Lanier?"
In his poetry, and in his Science of English Verse," replied my enthusiast, "Lanier has announced freedom for art, freedom for the poet in his art, freedom from the cut-and-dried rules such as we learned in old rhetorics at