BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley


The Characters of Theophrastus

Theophrastus


Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett


Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross


Florida; its scenery, climate, and history

by Sidney Lanier

Excerpt:

Just before entering the mouth of the river our little gopher-boat scrambled alongside a long raft of pine-logs which had been brought in separate sections down the Ocklawaha and took off the lumbermen, to carry them back for another descent while this raft was being towed by a tug to Jacksonville.

Observe that man who is now stepping from the wet logs to the bow of the Marion—how can he ever cut down a tree? He is a slim native, and there is not bone enough in his whole body to make the left leg of a good English coal-heaver: moreover, he does not seem to have the least idea that a man needs grooming. He is disheveled and wry-trussed to the last degree; his poor weasel jaws nearly touch their inner sides as they suck at the acrid ashes in his dreadful pipe; and there is no single filament of either his hair or his beard that does not look sourly, and

ON THE RIVER-BANK, JUST ABOVE PILATKA.

at wild angles, upon its neighbor filament. His eyes are viscidly unquiet; his nose is merely dreariness come to a point; the corners of his mouth are pendulous with that sort of suffering which does not involve any heroism, such as being out of tobacco, waiting for the corn bread to get cooked, and the like; his But, poor devil! I withdraw all these remarks. He has a right to look disheveled, or any other way he likes. For listen: "Waal, sir," he says, with a dilute smile, as he wearily leans his arm against the low deck where I am sitting, "ef we did'n" have, ther sentermentillest rain right thar last night, I'll be dad-busted!"

He had been in it all night.

Presently we rounded the raft, abandoned the broad and garish highway of the St. Johns, and turned off to the right into the narrow lane of the Ocklawaha, the sweetest water-lane in the world, a lane which runs for more than a hundred and fifty miles of pure delight betwixt hedgerows of oaks and cypresses and palms and bays and magnolias and mosses and manifold vinegrowths, a lane clean to travel along for there is never a speck of dust in it save the blue dust and gold dust which the wind blows out of the flags and lilies, a lane which is as if a typical woods-stroll had taken shape and as if God had turned into water and trees the recollection of some meditative ramble through the lonely seclusions of His own soul.

As we advanced up the stream our wee craft even seemed to emit her steam in more leisurely whiffs, as one puffs one's cigar in a contemplative walk through the forest. Dick, the pole-man—a man of marvelous fine functions when we shall presently come to the short, narrow curves—lay asleep on the guards, in great peril of rolling into the river over the three inches between his length and the edge; the people of the boat moved not, and spoke not; the white crane, the curlew, the limpkin, the heron, the water-turkey, were scarcely disturbed in their quiet avocations as we passed, and quickly succeeded in persuading themselves after each momentary excitement of our gliding by that we were really after all no monster, but only some day-dream of a monster. The stream, which in its broader stretches reflected the sky so perfectly that it seemed a riband of heaven bound in lovely doublings along the breast of the land, now began to narrow: the blue of heaven disappeared, and the green of the overleaning trees assumed its place. The lucent current lost all semblance of water. It was simply a distillation of many-shaded foliages, smoothly sweeping along beneath us. It was green trees, fluent. One felt that a subtle amalgamation and mutual give-and-take had been effected between the natures of water and leaves. A certain sense of pellucidness seemed to breathe coolly out of the woods on either side of us; and the glassy dream of a forest over which we sailed appeared to send up exhalations of balms and odors and stimulant pungencies.


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