and music was in the air, and the bicycle and tricycle stable was well patronized by men and women, and the noon bathing was well attended, it was evident that the life of Cottage City was not in full swing by the middle of July. The morning on which our tourists took the steamer for Wood's Holl the sea lay shimmering in the heat, only stirred a little by the land breeze, and it needed all the invigoration of the short ocean voyage to brace them up for the intolerably hot and dusty ride in the cars through the sandy part of Massachusetts. So long as the train kept by the indented shore the route was fairly picturesque; all along Buzzard Bay and Onset Bay and Monument Beach little cottages, gay with paint and fantastic saw- work explained, in a measure, the design of Providence in permitting this part of the world to be discovered; but the sandy interior had to be reconciled to the deeper divine intention by a trial of patience and the cultivation of the heroic virtues evoked by a struggle for existence, of fitting men and women for a better country. The travelers were confirmed, however, in their theory of the effect of a sandy country upon the human figure. This is not a juicy land, if the expression can be tolerated, any more than the sandy parts of New Jersey, and its unsympathetic dryness is favorable to the production--one can hardly say development of the lean, enduring, flat-chested, and angular style of woman. In order to reach Plymouth a wait of a couple of hours was necessary at one of the sleepy but historic villages. There was here no tavern, no restaurant, and nobody appeared to have any license to sell anything for the refreshment of the travelers. But at some distance from the station, in a two-roomed dwelling-house, a good woman was found who was willing to cook a meal of victuals, as she explained, and a sign on her front door attested, she had a right to do. What was at the bottom of the local prejudice against letting the wayfaring man have anything to eat and drink, the party could not ascertain, but the defiant air of the woman revealed the fact that there was such a prejudice. She was a noble, robust, gigantic specimen of her sex, well formed, strong as an ox, with a resolute jaw, and she talked, through tightly-closed teeth, in an aggressive manner. Dinner was ordered, and the party strolled about the village pending its preparation; but it was not ready when they returned. "I ain't goin' to cook no victuals," the woman explained, not ungraciously, "till I know folks is goin' to eat it." Knowledge of the world had made her justly cautious. She intended to set out a good meal, and she had the true housewife's desire that it should be eaten, that there should be enough of it, and that the guests should like it. When she waited on the table she displayed a pair of arms that would discourage any approach to familiarity, and disincline a timid person to ask twice for pie; but in point of fact, as soon as the party became her bona-fide guests, she was royally hospitable, and only displayed anxiety lest they should not eat enough. "I like folks to be up and down and square," she began saying, as she vigilantly watched the effect of her culinary skill upon the awed little party. "Yes, I've got a regular hotel license; you bet I have. There's been folks lawed in this town for sellin' a meal of victuals and not having one. I ain't goin' to be taken in by anybody. I warn't raised in New Hampshire to be scared by these Massachusetts folks. No, I hain't got a girl now. I had one a spell, but I'd rather do my own work. You never knew what a girl was doin' or would do. After she'd left I found a broken plate tucked into the ash-barrel. Sho! you can't depend on a girl. Yes, I've got a husband. It's easier to manage him. Well, I tell you a husband is better than a girl. When you tell him to do anything, you know it's going to be done. He's always about, never loafin' round; he can take right hold and wash dishes, and fetch water, and anything." King went into the kitchen after dinner and saw this model husband, who had the faculty of making himself generally useful, holding a baby on one arm, and stirring something in a pot on the stove with the other. He looked hot but resigned. There has been so much said about the position of men in Massachusetts that the travelers were glad of this evidence that husbands are beginning to be appreciated. Under proper training they are acknowledged to be "better than girls." It was late afternoon when they reached the quiet haven of Plymouth--a place where it is apparently always afternoon, a place of memory and reminiscences, where the whole effort of the population is to hear and to tell some old thing. As the railway ends there, there is no danger of being carried beyond, and the train slowly ceases motion, and stands still in the midst of a great and welcome silence. Peace fell upon the travelers like a garment, and although they had as much difficulty in landing their baggage as the early Pilgrims had in getting theirs ashore, the circumstance was not able to disquiet them much. It seemed natural that their trunks should go astray on some of the inextricably interlocked and branching railways, and they had no doubt that when they had made the tour of the State they would be discharged, as they finally were, into this cul-de-sac. The Pilgrims have made so much noise in the world, and so powerfully affected the continent, that our tourists were surprised to find they had landed in such a quiet place, and that the spirit they have left behind them is one of such tranquillity. The village has a charm all its own. Many of the houses are old-fashioned and square, some with colonial doors and porches, irregularly aligned on the main street, which is arched by ancient and stately elms. In the spacious door-yards the lindens have had room and time to expand, and in the beds of bloom the flowers, if not the very ones that our grandmothers planted, are the sorts that they loved. Showing that the town has grown in sympathy with human needs and eccentricities, and is not the work of a surveyor, the streets are irregular, forming picturesque angles and open spaces. Nothing could be imagined in greater contrast to a Western town, and a good part of the satisfaction our tourists experienced was in the absence of anything Western or "Queen Anne" in the architecture. In the Pilgrim Hall--a stone structure with an incongruous wooden- pillared front--they came into the very presence of the early worthies, saw their portraits on the walls, sat in their chairs, admired the solidity of their shoes, and imbued themselves with the spirit of the relics of their heroic, uncomfortable lives. In the town there was nothing to disturb the serenity of mind acquired by this communion. The Puritan interdict of unseemly excitement still prevailed, and the streets were silent; the artist, who could compare it with the placidity of Holland towns, declared that he never walked in a village so silent; there was no loud talking; and even the children played without noise, like little Pilgrims. . . God bless such children, and increase their numbers! It might have been the approach of Sunday--if Sunday is still regarded in eastern Massachusetts--that caused this hush, for it was now towards sunset on Saturday, and the inhabitants were washing the fronts of the houses with the hose, showing how cleanliness is next to silence. Possessed with the spirit of peace, our tourists, whose souls had been vexed with the passions of many watering-places, walked down Leyden Street (the first that was laid out), saw the site of the first house, and turned round Carver Street, walking lingeringly, so as not to break the spell, out upon the hill-Cole's Hill--where the dead during the first fearful winter were buried. This has been converted into a beautiful esplanade, grassed and graveled and furnished with seats, and overlooks the old wharves, some coal schooners, and shabby buildings, on one of which is a sign informing the reckless that they can obtain there clam- chowder and ice-cream, and the ugly, heavy granite canopy erected over the "Rock." No reverent person can see this rock for the first time without a thrill of excitement. It has the date of 1620 cut in it, and it is a good deal cracked and patched up, as if it had been much landed on, but there it is, and there it will remain a witness to a great historic event, unless somebody takes a notion to cart it off uptown again. It is said to rest on another rock, of which it formed a part before its unfortunate journey, and that lower rock as everybody knows, rests upon the immutable principle of self-government. The stone lies too far from the water to enable anybody to land on it now, and it is protected from vandalism by an iron grating. The sentiment of the hour was disturbed by the advent of the members of a baseball nine, who wondered why the Pilgrims did not land on the wharf, and, while thrusting their feet through the grating in a commendable desire to touch the sacred rock, expressed a doubt whether the feet of the Pilgrims were small enough to slip through the grating and land on the stone. It seems that there is nothing safe from the irreverence of American youth. Has any other coast town besides Plymouth had the good sense and taste to utilize such an elevation by the water-side as an esplanade? It is a most charming feature of the village, and gives it what we call a foreign air. It was very lovely in the afterglow and at moonrise. Staid citizens with their families occupied the benches, groups were chatting under the spreading linden-tree at the north entrance, and young maidens in white muslin promenaded, looking seaward, as was the wont of Puritan maidens, watching a receding or coming Mayflower. But there was no loud talking, no laughter, no outbursts of merriment from the children, all ready to be transplanted to the Puritan heaven! It was high tide, and all the bay was silvery with a tinge of color from the glowing sky.
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