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BREAKWATER-CLIMATE. 19 ing railed in, much resembles them. At its extremity is a small dwelling and light-house,conjoined. It is of the purest white and glistens beaucifully in the clear beams of the setting sun. The view, from this point, of the lively happy village reposing so quietly along the shore, and of the calm blue Bay outspread on either side, is uncommonly pleasing. The termination of an afternoon's ramble generally found me fastened to this attractive spot.
About the climate it may be well to make one or two more observations. In Winter the winds are boisterous. From whatever quarter they blow they have an almost unimpeded sweep across the Island. In Spring aud Sunmer sogs are frequent but not injurious to health. The suddenness with which, however dense, they are burnt up by the morning sun in Summer, is truly astonishing. It is almost a fairy scene. During the most severe and fleecy winters upon the main snow falls but very seldom, and even poor sleighing is a rare phenomenon. Last Winter there was not snow enough on the ground for sleighing until March, and then only for a few days. In mid-winter the Island is mostly encircled with ice. For sonie days all communication with the main is cut off. Last winter the Packets were obliged to lie by for four weeks; the mail-boat however was detained but a week. The climate is favorable to longevity. As an evidence of this it is related that out of six of the Mayhew family, that might be named, not one died onder 84 ; two died
LONGEVITY -- HABITS. at 87, and ene at 90. Of the Coffin family it is al. so matter of history, that the father died at 83, and of his ten children none died under 70, four died above 80, and two at 90.
The Piano did not find its way to the Island until recently. Now you are enlivened by the pleasant tones of several, as you pass up and down the principal street. At any hour of the night the streets are perfectly safe. On Nantucket, a few years since, it was so well known who was on the Island, and such a true, confidential, and delightfully pleasant feeling pervaded the population, that it was an unknown thing to lock or bar one's doors at night. I doubt not the same was true of the Vineyard.
There are no signs of intemperance in Edgartown. None are licenced to sell spirit, and all that is used is bought and sold secretly. Beer, cider, and wine are rarely seen. The inhabitants are remarkable for a generous, upright, peaceable, and religious character. Only three cases of litigation have gone to the Jury in the space of five years. Of course there is little or nothing for lawyers to feed upon. Knitting was a very general occupation some thirty years since. We are informed by Dr. Freeman,* that 15,000 pairs of stockings,—3,000 mittens, and 600 wigs for seamen were knit annually. It is far from being so now. The good old times rise in judgment
*He wrote an interesting narrative of Duke's County in 1807, inserted in the Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Socie, ty, Vol. 3d, 2d Series.
21 against the sad degeneracy of the present, and condemn them. It used to be said that when you reached Cape Poge light (which is near the North extremity of Chappequiddick Island and several miles from the Vineyard) you could hear the knitting needles at Edgartown. It is not so now, and many an ancient and discreet personage is found to lament that the fingers of the fair are bewitched to thruin the keys of that modern notion and arrant time-killer, — the Piano. If they could only talk Latin, how feelingly they would exclaim, O tempora – O mores.
MARTHA's VINEYARD, 18—. The Vineyard is set off into three townships, Chilmark, Tisbury, and Edgartown. Gayhead, which contains the best land on the Island, is comprised within the limits of Chilmark. It is, as I have before observed, in possession of the Indians. Some of it is cultivated by them, but the larger part is used for pasturage. As you ride over its uneven surface, now to the summit of a rugged knoll, now down the precipitous sides of a deep hollow, again along the margin of an extended, irregular pond, it gives an aspect of life to the bald and desolate scenery to catch a view here and there of the herds of
A PATRIARCů. grazing cattle. One half the inhabitants of the Island are dispersed over the townships of Chilmark and Tisbury. Much of these townships is covered with shrub-oak. That portion which is cleared is good for pasturage or tillage. The northern and western parts swell into hills, on whose summits rise granite rocks of peculiar shape and appearance. At a distance it is easy to mistake them for houses and barns. Some are hollowed at the top, and, if in the neigiborhood of houses, are turned to good account by being converted into watering troughs. The goat race, like the Indian, is fast disappearing before the tide of civilization. Among the few that are left, when ihreading my way through the forests of bitte oak towards Gayhead, I sair one whose like I am sure I never shall see again. To describe hiin would be impossible. A patriarch of many generations, with a hair-coat of the glossiest black and purest wliite! The sight of it was enough to keep off the chill of the most searching north-easter. And then what an imposing creature ! As big every whit as a Shetland poney. What noble proportions! What a bold and martial front, with threate ling a'd sturdy turrets above, and a huge sweeping length of matted gray beard below, such as would cheer the heart of the straitest sect' of Jew or Turk! Such a veteran would have been the pride of a menagerie. Alone he would have drawn more visiters than the big ox, or the mock sea-serpent. You could not but pay him reverence. Mammoth as he
A VIEW was, he had grown up from infancy on leaves and twigs and buds.
Onward a few miles — a little more than an hour's ride from Gayl:cad, where you must alight from your chaise and mount your horse - while preparations are making, strike across the fields to the South Coast, overleaping a few walls and fences. It is but lalf a mile, and you will never regret it. You will soon reach the bold head-land. But be cautious that you approach not too ncar. Step lightly, for the smooth grass platform on which you tread is precaricus footing. The bank is worn away many feet underneath and the turf projects far over without support. If it should give way, as it has by the weight of cattle grazing along its edge and by the force of gravity alone, you would be precipitated more than a hundred and thirty feet, with nothing to interrupt your descent until you reached the roaring surf,or struck upon the sea-worn rocks below.At any period of tide a fatal fall. — But take your station a little from the edge, with one hand hold of the rails of a sence, which seems erected here for your especial convenience and security ; then bend over and take a view of the spectacle. The sea it is far, far beneaih you. You are beyond the reach of the wildest, maddest leap of his fury. As it chases upon the rocky shore, its solemn music reaches your ear softened by distance. Now raise your head — look off upon the measureless expanse. Not a liandful of earth till you reach Cuba or the