Then, like Hamlet the Dane, we take no pleasure in the life that weighs so wearily upon us, and deem "this goodly frame, the earth, a sterile promonotory; this most excellent canopy, the air, this brave, overhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, a foul and pestilent congregation of vapors." So it was with me, in the heavy time that followed my return to Paris.
I led the way, and descended under the rim. It was up and down over rough shale, and up steps of broken rocks, and down little cliffs. We crossed the ridge twice, many times having to lend a hand to each other. At length I reached a point where I could see the stags lying down. The place was an open spot on a rocky promonotory with a fringe of low spruces.
The elegant residences of the owners were romantically situated on some half-isolated promonotory around which the stream sweeps, embowered with maples and begirt with willows at its base; or nestled away in some nook, moss-lined and hemlock-shaded, which marks where some spring brook bubbles down its brief career to the larger stream; or in some plateau upon the other side, backed by a scraggly old orchard, and hidden among great groves of rock-maples which the careful husbandman spared a hundred years ago for a "sugar-bush," little dreaming that the nabobs of the rushing streams would build homesteads beneath their shade.