October’s panorama is again with us. Beautiful October! The most gorgeous month of the twelve. Does it appear strange that “all seasons have their own?” When the time arrives the leaves of the trees will change their green, be there frost or no frost; and does it appear strange to us that they are all of different hues? Like produces like.
We do not get the crimson from the oak, nor the golden from the dogwood. We do not expect the orange from the pine nor the yellow from the cedar. They are all now panoplied in what we expected to see them. The wood is changing its mantel of green, and each kind is donning its own peculiar robe. While the conifers retain their perennial dress, the dogwood is clothed in crimson and carmines, the hickory has its goldens, the oak its saffron, and each of the various flora its own peculiar garb; all beautiful in their interesting variegations. The trees are pretty. From spring’s incipient bud through all their various stages of transformation and change they delight the eye, but when they are adorned for their demise they are more beautiful in their dying robes than in any one stage of their brief existence. The leaves are now going and will soon be gone. And those of the town that have charmed the ye, and furnished shade for the body, are now dying and are of no more use. They are falling from the trees. They have become the anathemas of the housewife as she sweep0s them from the sidewalk, or takes them around to the pig sty, as their last resting place, or burns them. Such is life! Reader do you ever think it is over?
In view of the above we have taken the liberty to change our base, and open up our supplies for a few days, from another standpoint.
Leaving Milton on Tuesday the 13th, we arrived in Frederica on the same morning. On this morning there appeared the first frost we had seen the present autumn. We, with others, have had our fears that the timber supply of the country, and particularly, of the two lower counties of Delaware would soon be gone, and not enough left for home use; but the growing forests between Milton and Ellendale are coming on apace, and between Harrington and Felton there appears to be plenty of young timber, which presumably will never be large, but will be enough to supply the wants of the counties.
This is delicious weather. The air is balmy, the atmosphere pleasant, and circumstances combine to make one enjoy life in reality rather than in romance. And we are doing it. We need no cicerone in these parts to teach us the way, and we traverse along the by-ways, the streams, and the woodlands, the locations of many a heartache and wounds of mental and moral worth. These wounds have, long since, healed, by the cicatrices remain, possibly, as reminders to beware, lest the same conditions prevail again.
We meet the old Frederica friends of long ago; and friends yet, if we may judge from the greetings we receive from them; if they are not they are masquerading under the guise of friendship. WE cannot believe this. Tis true the writer never possessed any particular qualities to endear him to the hearts of any. In early life a wild rollicking fellow: “a stranger to God, and an alien to the Commonwealth of Israel,” but let us hope the good deeds of a later life may, in part, atone for the misdeeds of a former one. Some of our old friends are on the “downgrade,” and notably so. Many of them are confined to their houses by infirmities or disease. There are others sitting around the corners in a listless manner; their work in life, apparently done at least, it would seem so. Still there are others, equally as aged, possessed with all the virility of life, carrying everything before them, like a whirlwind, deeply impressing upon the writer’s mind, the logical truth of that incontrovertible law “the Survival of the Fittest.”
On the first night of our visit we were awakened about mid eight by some sonorous sound of the steamer Frederica’s whistle and the hurrying and scurrying of the people along the main street of the town, heading to the dock. This noise was kept up for an indefinite period, or until the passengers were all landed, and left town for their homes.
It would be altogether out of order, and almost an unpardonable sin, for us to close this paper without a deserving complimentary notice to the fair sex of this beautiful little town. When we were young it was proverbial that the ladies and misses of Frederica were the fairest and the prettiest, as a whole, of any on the peninsula. And we joined in this unanimous opinion. Since we have become older we have had no reason to change our preconceived idea; and this is said with our eyes on Milton, and the many dears we have there. Perhaps we may better explain our position by quoting of the stanzas by the author of “Pat Malloy”. As said stanza will not bear transposition to suit our liking we will quote it verbatim and the readers can draw their own conclusions as to the gist of the meaning.
“The English girls are beautiful, then have we don’t decline;
Their eating and their drinking too is beautiful and fine.
But in a corner of my heart that nobody can see,
Two eyes of Irish blue are mine and looking all on me.”[i]
Now I hear someone say D. A. C. is a fool to write such trash as this. Well, we accept your animadversion with the oft repeated aphorism.
It takes all kinds to make a world,” the fool concluded.
[i] Quotation from the Irish song Pat Malloy, the lyrics of which can be found in the Irish Song Book No. 2, published by Wehman Brothers, New York, in 1899