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Quaker Friends on Appledore 1872

Appledore_House_in_1903

Appledore House view in 1903 brochure


FRIEND’S REVIEW
Philadelphia, Sixth Month, 28, 1873
NOTES FROM APPLEDORE (continued from previus page)

In the ocean are all sorts of sea things, and as good fish as ever were caught. The other morning we were amused by the spouting and gambols of some huge fish two miles distant, their black bulks shining in the sun. To see what it is like, I went fishing one day, and my line had the good fortune to catch the first, fish taken by the party, a silvery haddock; also the largest, a beautifully speckled cod; and lastly, a "rock-cod," the very dandy of the ocean, dressed in rich bronze and gold.. A holothure floated up to our feet with the tide on Cedar island. C would have thought it beautiful, and so it was—almost—in spite of its soft translucency. It was ten inches long, and one and a half in diameter of a delicate rose color, shading into amber.

This morning we all started off for the. Greek Cross, with tin cup and bucket to catch and carry curiosities. Some of our friends were already there; and the sea views and numberless aquaria among the rocks made it one of the most enlivening and pleasant excursions we have had. The little pools left by the receding tide are perfect beauties; the rocks that enclose them are richly colored with salt water algae, and are studded all over with mussels, winkles, anemones, star-fish and sea urchins, while exquisite sea mosses float in the clear liquid. All these in the bright sunshine sparkle and glisten in alt the hues of the rainbow.

I must tell you of a stroll that we took last evening. Our young boatman, Vladimir is a Norwegian. His father, skipper and fisherman by turns, lives in "a cottage by the sea," which, although an appendage to the hotel, is out of sight and over the cliffs to the south. We had seen two of his little brothers and bought some of the pretty bouquets that they bring for sale, and felt inclined to know their mother and encourage her to have her children taught to read English. A. breezy walk soon brought us to the "tiptop," where we see the Atlantic lying all round, with its shores and islands. A few minutes more and we were at the humble home. The mother was at the rear of her house, and advancing cautiously for fear of intruding, we asked it the flowers sold by her boys came from there, and whether we might, have some. She smiled, and in very broken English directed us to the garden, stepped into her kitchen for a pair of scissors, and returned followed by a troop of boys and girls. The little garden was neatly fenced,, and although so tiny, held us all and a multitude of lovely sweet peas, nasturtiums,, candy-tuft, larkspurs and coreopsis, and I know not what besides:—a little blaze and blush of beauty and fragrance;—every blossom as rich and perfect as if it had had all the fairies to water and tend it alone. We gave her the money we would pay for them, to show her how many to cut; but the good mother wanted us to enjoy them, and the little ones set to helping her, and we soon had an elegant profusion in our hands. We talked to the children to persuade them to learn to read the little books that we gave them, and one boy looked as if he would, if he had to set about it by himself. We then tried to cheer the mother in her bumble and laborious sphere, and when, in the simplest words I could use, I told her I hoped she taught her little flock to love God, to love Jesus, her sunburnt face looked sweetly grave, and she replied, "That's the best learning." She showed us her favorite passages in their well worn Norwegian Bible, and pointed upwards to the blue sky as to her real home. They miss the old church and the familiar tongue of their native land, and in speaking of it, Vladimir added, "Cioristiania is the beautiest place in the world."

***

This is a lovely, bright, mild, autumn morning. The spirit of the day of rest seems to brood over land and sea, as upon either hand I look from our pleasant windows on the gently heaving ocean and the neighboring coasts of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine partially veiled in azure. So far from becoming weary of Appledore, its scenery and incidents grew more interesting. But our friends are gradually leaving, and our sojourn here seems highly typical of human life. We arrive strangers, and in the midst of numerous guests and the novel scenes ground us at first fed some confusion and indistinctness; hut by degrees knowledge increases, we become familiar with the various localities, aud learn how to avail ourselves of their advantages. Some of the persons surrounding us attract us, love spring up between us, we recognize the congeniality, and are mutually helpful and pleasing. Then comes the time for them to leave, or our own period of sojourn is over. Those who are about to depart bid adieu, walk down the narrow slip and enter the life-boat that carries them away to the steamer, anchored in deeper water; farewells are waved, they are borne away to the mainland, and those who watched them from the shore turn back with regretful loneliness to their temporary home and occupations.

But how I wish you could have seen the ocean in its majesty, as was our happy lot in the last week. Two storms at sea, the first of which just touched us, left their effects for us to witness. The first terminated in a heavy thunder shower in the evening. About 10 o'clock I found G. had gone down, and throwing on my waterproof, I followed. The large rain drops were still pattering on the plank walk, and the sea was rolling in wildly; loud voices were heard on the wind, and I feared some one bad been washed off from the rocks -But when we stood close to the verge of safety we discerned in the dim moonlight that it was only the boatmen securing the vessels which were in danger of being driven from their anchorage. It was a weird, solemn scene, full of fascination in its lonely desolateness. One star twinkled on the horizon, and slowly the clouds lifted, and all beyond them was serene as ever. We watched them till they rolled up to the zenith, and the moon shone with living silver on the troubled waters.

The next morning was gloriously bright and cool. We went over to the eastern side of the island and found the breakers rolling in and dashing on the rocks in awful majesty. There was no leaving such a scene hastily, and we staid till dinner time, enchained, enchanted. Miles of coast were feathered with spray rising far above the cliffs. Mingo island was buried in light, a dome of pearls, where it had been, rising and falling in the dazzling sunshine. A yacht passed us at a little distance with some acquaintance on board, but we thought nothing could equal the appearance of those green billows as we saw them from our craggy nook, curling and falling in emeralds and pearls. An invitation for a sail after dinner, however, was too much of a temptation, and nine or ten of us went out in the "Lone Star," and turned southward, passing between White and Star Islands. White Island lies a little to the westward, and is crowned with a light-house and the neat stone dwelling of its keeper,— the most abrupt and picturesque of any of the islands, as viewed from the water. I hope never to forget the more than earthly beauty of the entire scene as we sailed slowly along: the splendor of the sky, the vastness of the glittering ocean, the fountains and spires of immaculate whiteness rising from hidden rocks and reefs for leagues around us, in contrast with the deep, deep blue. Great waves mounting in successive hills of transparent greenness, with dark, shadowy hollows between, madly leaped up the projecting cliffs, and dashing clouds of spray over the topmost crags, fell back in a thousand cataracts of beauty. Broad mantles of pure satiny foam waved over the calmer waters where our yacht bore us safely on—safely, although my heart beat faster with a feeling of awe akin to fear. Rounding Star Island we passed on to the open sea, new scenes of similar magnificence ever before us. Just as we turned a point on Haley Island, an immense wave rose and slowly followed us, looking terrible in its grandeur, then curved at a high crest and threw an avalanche on the deep with thundering crash.

And now autumnal winds sound the notes for our departure, but long will Appledore live in our memories, together with gratitude to Him who has permitted us to share in its peaceful seclusion, its health giving breezes and its maritime loveliness.

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