It is more agreeable walking this cloudy day, with a few harmless sun-showers, than it would be in a glaring sunny day. It is pleasant to behold so much of the landscape in the shadow of the clouds, especially to look off from the top of Conantum, under shady walnut boughs, to larger shade in valleys,—all Nine-Acre Corner in the cool shade of a cloud. Roses are in their prime now, growing amid huckleberry bushes, ferns, and sweet-ferns, especially about some dry pond-hole; some paler some more red. Methinks they must have bloomed in vain while only wild men roamed, yet now they only adorn these cows’ pastures.
How well-behaved the cows! When they approach me reclining in the shade, from curiosity, or to receive a whisp of grass, or to share the shade, or to lick the dog held up, like a calf,—though just now they ran at him to toss him,—they do not obtrude. Their company is acceptable, for they can endure the longest pause; they have not got to be entertained. They occupy the most eligible lots in the town. I love to see some pure white about them; they suggest the more neatness.
Borrowed Brigham the wheelwright’s boat at the Corner bridge. He was quite ready to lend it, and took pains to shave down the handle of a paddle for me, conversing the while on the subject of spiritual knocking, which he had asked if I had looked into,—which made him the slower. An obliging man, who understands that I am abroad viewing the works of Nature and not loafing, though he makes the pursuit a semi-religious one, as are all more serious ones to most men. All that is not sporting in the field, as hunting and fishing, is of a religious or else love-cracked character. Another hard-featured but talkative character at the bridge inquired, as I was unlocking the boat, if I knew anything that was good for the rheumatism; but I answered that I had heard of so many and had so little faith in any that I had forgotten them all.