xt7tb27ppk48 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7tb27ppk48/data/mets.xml Allen, James Lane, 1849-1925. 1892  books b92-121-28575454 English Harper, : New York : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Social life and customs. Blue-grass region of Kentucky  : and other Kentucky articles / by James Lane Allen. text Blue-grass region of Kentucky  : and other Kentucky articles / by James Lane Allen. 1892 2002 true xt7tb27ppk48 section xt7tb27ppk48 



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      NEW YORK
       M DCCC XCII


Copyright. 1892, by HARPER  BROTHERS.

            All rights resied.



  THE articles herein reprinted from HARPER'S and The
Century magazines represent work done at intervals dur-
ing the period that the author was writing the tales al-
ready published under the title of Flute and Violin.
  It was his plan that with each descriptive article should
go a short story dealing with the same subject, and this
plan was in part wrought out. Thus, with the article en-
titled " Uncle Tom at Home " goes the tale entitled " Two
Gentlemen of Kentucky;" and with the article entitled
"A Home of the Silent Brotherhood" goes the tale en-
titled " The White Cowl." In the same way, there were
to be short stories severally dealing with the other subjects
embraced in this volume. But having in part wrought out
this plan, the author has let it rest-not finally, perhaps,
but because in the mean time he has found himself en-
gaged with other themes.

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   ...  .


VOL. 24. NO. aS. JULY.



THE BLUE-GRASS REGION . . . . . . . .     I

UNCLE TOM AT HOME . . . . . . . . . 45


KENTUCKY FAIRS . .  . . .  . .  . . .  . 127





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Old Stone Homestead .Frontispiere
Blue-grass           ..                              5
Sheep in Woodland Pasture  ..
Negro Cabins          ..15
Cattle in a Blue-grass Pasture .21
Hemp Field           ..25
Tobacco Patch         ..29
Harrodsburg Pike   ..33
A Spring-house         ..41
The Mammy             ..59
The Cook                                                   65
Chasing the Rabbit  ..77
The Preacher                                    8
Wet Goods for Sale-Bowling Green       9.
Concluding a Bargain                 .       .93
Court-house Square, Lexington, Kentucky . .97
The "Tickler"          ..                 .01
The Quack -doctor  .105
Auctioning a Jack                                         log
Lords of the Soil  1..13
Swapping Horses    ..117



Gentlemen of Leisure
Corn - husking
Militia Muster .   .    .   .
Products of the Soil
Cattle at Lexington Fair
Harness Horses.
The Modern Tourney
The Judge's Stand-The Finish
A Dinner-party .
The Race-course-The Finish
Office of the Father Prior
Within the Gates
A Fortnightly Shave         .    .
The Garden
Old Ferry at Point Burnside .
"Damn me if them ain't the damnedest
Moonrise on Cumberland Ridge
Cumberland Falls
Native Types
Interior of a Mountaineer's Home.
Mountain Courtship.
A Family Burying-ground    .
A Mountaineer Dame
Old Corn-mill at Pineville  .


               .' 135

              .'. 187
          .  233
beans I ever seen !" 237
          .  239
              .  243
          .  247
          .  259

Map Showing Mountain Passes of the Cumberland
Cumberland Gap
Ford on the Cumberland .
Kentucky River from High Bridge .

. 277
. 281
. 297




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         ,NE might well name it Saxon grass, so
           much is it at home in Saxon England,
           so like the loveliest landscapes of green
           Saxon England has it made other land-
scapes on which dwell a kindred race in America,
and so akin is it to the type of nature that is
peculiarly Saxon: being a hardy, kindly, beautiful,
nourishing stock; loving rich lands and apt to find
out where they lie; uprooting inferior aborigines,
but stoutly defending its new domain against all
invaders; paying taxes well, with profits to boot;
thriving best in temperate latitudes and checkered
sunshine; benevolent to flocks and herds; and ally-
ing itself closely to the history of any people whose
content lies in simple plenty and habitual peace-
the perfect squire-and-yeoman type of grasses.
  In the earliest spring nothing is sooner afield to
contest possession of the land than the blue-grass.
Its little green spear-points are the first to pierce
the soft rich earth, and array themselves in countless
companies over the rolling landscapes, while its roots
reach out in every direction for securer foothold.
So early does this take place, that a late hoar-frost



will now and then mow all these bristling spear-
points down. Sometimes a slow-falling sleet vill
incase each emerald blade in glittering silver; but
the sun by-and-by melts the silver, leaving the blade
unhurt. Or a light snow-fall will cover tufts of it
over, making pavilions and colonnades with white
roofs resting on green pillars. The roofs vanish
anon, and the columns go on silently rising. But
usually the final rigors of the season prove harmless
to the blue-grass. One sees it most beautiful in the
spring, just before the seed stalks have shot upward
from the flowing tufts, and while the thin, smooth,
polished blades, having risen to their greatest height,
are beginning to bend, or break and fall over on
themselves and their nether fellows from sheer lux-
uriance. The least observant eye is now constrained
to note that blue-grass is the characteristic element
of the Kentucky turf-the first element of beauty
in the Kentucky landscape. Over the stretches of
woodland pasture, over the meadows and the lawns,
by the edges of turnpike and lane. in the fence cor-
ners-wherever its seed has been allowed to flourish
-it spreads a verdure so soft in fold and fine in text-
ure, so entrancing by its freshness and fertility, that
it looks like a deep-lying, thick-matted emerald moss.
One thinks of it, not as some heavy, velvet-like car-
pet spread over the earth, but as some light, seam-
less veil that has fallen delicately around it, and that
might be blown away by a passing breeze.




I, Vr\

N t

0  \Ii

  After this you
will not see the
blue-grass so beau-
tiful. The seed ripens in June.
Already the slender seed stalks
have sprung up above the uni-
form green level, bearing Onl
their summits the fuzzy, plu-
my, purplish seed-vessels; and
save the soft, feathery undu-       BLUE-GRASS.
rations of these as the wind
sweeps over them, the beauty of the blue-grass is
gone. Moreover, certain robust and persistent weeds

- w


i       I



and grasses have been growving apace, roughening
and diversifying the sward, so that the vista is less
charming. During July and August the blue-grass
lies comparatively inactive, resting from fructifica-
tion, and missing, as well, frequent showers to tem-
per the sunshine. In seasons of severe drought it
even dies quite away, leaving the surface of the
earth as bare and brown as a winter landscape or
arid plain. Where it has been closely grazed, one
may, in walking over it, stir such a dust as one
would raise on a highway; and the upturned, half-
exposed rootlets seem entirely dead. But the mod-
erated heats and the gentle rains that usually come
with the passing of summer bring on a second vig-
orous growth, and in the course of several weeks
the landscape is covered with a verdure rivalling
the luxuriance of spring.
  There is something incongruous in this marvellous
autumnal rejuvenescence of the blue-grass. All nat-
ure appears content and resting. The grapes on the
sunward slopes have received their final coloring of
purple and gold; the heavy mast is beginning to
drop in the forest, followed by the silent lapse of
russet and crimson leaves; the knee-deep aftermath
has paled its green in the waiting autumn fields;
the plump children are stretching out their nut-
stained hands towards the first happy fire-glow on
chill, dark evenings; and the cricket has left the
sere, dead garden for a winter home at the hearth.




Then, lo! as if by some freakish return of the spring
to the edge of winter the pastures are suddenly as
fresh and green as those of May. The effect on
one who has the true landscape passion is trans-
porting and bewildering. Such contrasts of color
it is given one to study nowhere but in blue-grass
lands. It is as if the seasons were met to do some
great piece of brocading. One sees a new meaning
in Poe's melancholy thought -the leaves of the
many-colored grass.
  All winter the blue-grass continues green-it is
always green, of course, never blue-and it even
grows a little, except when the ground is frozen.
Thus, year after year, drawing needful nourishment
from the constantly disintegrating limestone below,
flourishes here as nowhere else in the world this
wonderful grass.
  Even while shivering in the bleak winds of March,
the young lambs frolicked away from the distent
teats of the ewes, with growing relish for its hardy
succulence, and by-and-by they were taken into mar-
ket the sooner and the fatter for its developing qual-
ities. During the long summer, foaming pails of
milk and bowls of golden butter have testified to the
Kentucky housewife with what delight the cows
have ruminated on the stores gathered each plentiful
day. The Kentucky farmer knows that the distant
metropolitan beef-eater will in time have good rea-
son to thank it for yonder winding herd of sleek




young steers that are softly brushing their rounded
sides with their long, white, silky tails, while they
plunge their puffing noses into its depths and tear
away huge mouthfuls of its inexhaustible richness.
Thorough-bred sire and dam and foal in paddocks
or deeper pastures have drawn from it form and
quality and organization: hardness and solidity of
bone, strength of tendon, firmness and elasticity of
muscle, power of nerve, and capacity of lung. Even
the Falstaff porkers, their eyes gleaming with glut-
tonous enjoyment, have looked to it for the shaping
of their posthumous hams and the padding of their
long backbones in depths of snowy lard. In winter
mules and sheep and horses paw away the snow to
get at the green shoots that lie covered over be-
neath the full, rank growth of autumn, or they find
it attractive provender in their ricks. For all that
live upon it, it is perennial and abundant, beautiful
and beneficent-the first great natural factor in the
prosperity of the Kentucky people. What wonder
if the Kentuckian, like the Greek of old, should wish
to have even his paradise well set in grass; or that,
with a knowing .humor, he should smile at David for
saying, " He maketh his grass to grow upon the
mountains," inasmuch as the only grass worth speak-
ing of grows on his beloved plain!







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  BUT if grass is the first element in the lovely Ken-
tucky landscape, as it must be in every other one, by
no means should it be thought sole or chief. In
Dante, as Ruskin points out, whenever the country
is to be beautiful, we come into open air and open
meadows.   Homer places the sirens in a meadow
when they are to sing. Over the blue-grass, there-
fore, one walks into the open air and open meadows
of the blue-grass land.
  This has long had reputation for being one of the
very beautiful spots of the earth, and it is worth
while to consider those elements of natural scenery
wherein the beauty consists.
  One might say, first, that the landscape possesses
what is so very rare even in beautiful landscapes--
the quality of gracefulness. Nowhere does one en-
counter vertical lines or violent slopes; nor are there
perfectly level stretches like those that make the
green fields monotonous in the Dutch lowlands.
The dark, finely sifted soil lies deep over the lime-
stone hills, filling out their chasms to evenness, and
rounding their jagged or precipitous edges, very
much as a heavy snow at night will leave the morn-
ing landscape with mitigated ruggedness and softer




curves. The long, slow action of water has further
moulded everything into symmetry, so that the low
ancient hills descend to the valleys in exquisite folds
and uninterrupted slopes. The whole great plain
undulates away league after league towards the dis-
tant horizon in an endless succession of gentle con-
vex surfaces-like the easy swing of the sea-pre-
senting a panorama of subdued swells and retiring
surges. Everything in the blue-grass country is
billowy and afloat. The spirit of nature is inter-
mediate between violent energy and complete re-
pose; and the effect of this mild activity is kept
from monotony by the accidental perspective of
position, creating variety of details.
  One traces this quality of gracefulness in the
labyrinthine courses of the restful streams, in the
disposition of forest masses, in the free, unstudied
succession of meadow, field, and lawn. Surely it is
just this order of low hill scenery, just these buoyant
undulations, that should be covered with the blue-
grass. Had Hawthorne ever looked on this land-
scape when most beautiful, he could never have said
of England that " no other country will ever have
this charm of lovely verdure."
  Characteristically beautiful spots on the blue-grass
landscape are the woodland pastures. A Kentucky
wheat field, a Kentucky meadow, a Kentucky lawn,
is but a field, a meadow, a lawn, found elsewhere;
but a Kentucky sylvan slope has a loveliness unique

1 2



and local.  Rightly do poets make pre-eminently
beautiful countries abound in trees. John Burroughs,
writing with enthusiasm of English woods, has said
that "in midsummer the hair of our trees seems to
stand on end; the woods have a frightened look, or
as if they were just recovering from a debauch." This
is not true of the Kentucky woods, unless it be in
some season of protracted drought. The foliage of
the Kentucky trees is not thin nor dishevelled, the
leaves crowd thick to the very ends of the boughs,
and spread themselves full to the sky, making, where
they are close together, under-spaces of green gloom
scarcely shot through by sunbeams. Indeed, one
often finds here the perfection of tree forms. I
mean that rare development which brings the ex-
tremities of the boughs to the very limit of the curve
that nature intends the tree to define as the peculiar
shape of its species. Any but the most favorable
conditions leave the outline jagged, faulty, and un-
true. Here and there over the blue-grass landscape
one's eye rests on a cone-shaped, or dome-shaped, or
inverted pear- shaped, or fan-shaped tree. Nor are
fulness of leafage and perfection of form alone to be
noted; pendency of boughs is another distinguishing
feature. One who loves and closely studies trees
will note here the comparative absence of woody
stiffness. It is expected that the willow and the elm
should droop their branches. Here the same char-
acteristic strikes you in the wild cherry, the maple,




and the sycamore-even in great walnuts and ashes
and oaks; and I have occasionally discovered ex-
ceeding grace of form in hackberries (which usually
look paralytic and as if waiting to hobble away on
crutches), in locusts, and in the harsh hickories-
loved by Thoreau.
  But to return to the woodland pastures. They are
the last vestiges of that unbroken 'primeval forest
which, together with cane-brakes and pea-vines, cov-
ered the face of the country when it was first beheld
by the pioneers. No blue - grass then. In these
woods the timber has been so cut out that the re-
maining trees often stand clearly revealed in their
entire form, their far-reaching boughs perhaps not
even touching those of their nearest neighbor, or
interlacing them with ineffectual fondness. There
is something pathetic in the sight, and in the thought
of those innumerable stricken ones that in years
agone were dismembered for cord-wood and kitchen
stoves and the vast fireplaces of old - time negro
cabins. In the well kept blue-grass pasture under-
growth and weeds are annually cut down, so that the
massive trunks are revealed from a distance; the
better because the branches seldom are lower than
from ten to twenty feet above the earth. Thus in its
daily course the sun strikes every point beneath the
broad branches, and nourishes the blue-grass up to
the very roots. All savagery, all wildness, is taken
out of these pastures; they are full of tenderness and






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repose-of the utmost delicacy and elegance. Over
the graceful earth spreads the flowing green grass,
uniform and universal. Above this stand the full,
swelling trunks - warm browns and pale grays
often lichen-flecked or moss-enamelled. Over these
expand the vast domes and canopies of leafage. And
falling down upon these comes the placid sunshine
through a sky of cerulean blueness, and past the
snowy zones of gleaming cloud. The very individ-
uality of the tree comes out as it never can in denser
places. Always tl-e most truly human object in still,
voiceless nature, it here throws out its arms to you
with imploring tenderness, with what Wordsworth
called " the soft eye-music of slow-waving boughs."
One cannot travel far in the blue - grass country
without coming upon one of these woodland strips.
  Of the artistic service rendered the landscape of
this region by other elements of scenery-atmos-
phere and cloud and sky-much might, but little
will, be said. The atmosphere is sometimes crys-
talline, sometimes full of that intense repose of daz-
zling light which one, without ever having seen
them, knows to be on canvases of Turner. Then,
again, it is amber-hued, or tinged with soft blue,
graduated to purple shadows on the horizon. Dur-
ing the greater part of the year the cloud-sky is one
of strongly outlined forms; the great white cumuli
drift over, with every majesty of design and grace
of grouping; but there come, in milder seasons,

1 7



many days when one may see three cloud belts in
the heavens at the same time, the lowest far, far
away, and the highest brushing softly, as it were,
past the very dome of the inviolable blue. You
turn your eye downward to see the light wandering
wistfully among the low distant hills, and the sweet
tremulous shadows crossing the meadows with timid
cadences. It is a beautiful country; the Kentucky
skies are not the cold, hard, brilliant, hideous things
that so many writers on nature style American skies
(usually meaning New England skies), as contrasted
with skies European. They are at times ineffably
warm in tone and tender in hue, giving aerial dis-
tances magical and fathomless above, and throwing
down upon the varied soft harmonious greens of the
landscape below, upon its rich browns and weath-
ered grays and whole scheme of terrene colors, a
flood of radiance as bountiful and transfiguring as it
is chastened and benign.
  But why make a description of the blue-grass
region of Kentucky What one sees may be only
what one feels -only intricate affinities between
nature and self that were developed long ago, and
have become too deep to be viewed as relations or
illusions. What two human beings find the same
things in the face of a third, or in nature's De-
scriptions of scenery are notoriously disappointing
to those whose taste in landscape is different, or who
have little or no sentiment for pure landscape beauty.




So one coming hither might be sorely disappointed.
No mountains; no strips of distant blue gleaming
water nor lawny cascades; no grandeur; no majesty;
no wild picturesqueness. The chords of landscape
harmony are very simple; nothing but softness and
amenity, grace and repose, delicacy and elegance.
One might fail at seasons to find even these. This
is a beautiful country, but not always; there come
days when the climate shows as ugly a temper as
possible. Not a little of the finest timber has been
lost by storms. The sky is for days one great blank.
et of grewsome gray. In winter you laugh with
chattering teeth at those who call this "the South,"
the thermometer perhaps registering from twelve to
fifteen degrees below zero. In summer the name is
but a half-truth. Only by visiting this region during
some lovely season, or by dwelling here from year to
year, and seeing it in all the humors of storm and
sunshine, can one love it.


  BUT the ideal landscape of daily life must not be
merely beautiful: it should be useful. With what
may not the fertility of this region be compared
With the valleys of the Schuylkill, the Shenandoah,
and the Genesee; with the richest lands of Lom-




bardy and Belgium; with the most fertile districts of
England. The evidences of this fertility are every-
where. Nature, even in those places where she has
been forced for nearly a hundred years to bear much
at the hands of a not always judicious agriculture,
unceasingly struggles to cover herself with bushes
of all sorts and nameless annual weeds and grasses.
Even the blue-grass contends in vain for complete
possession of its freehold. One is forced to note,
even though without sentiment, the rich pageant of
transitory wild bloom that wi/l force a passage for
itself over the landscape: firmaments of golden dan-
delions in the lawns; vast beds of violets, gray and
blue, in dim glades; patches of flaunting. sunflowers
along the road-sides; purple thistles; and, of deeper
purple still and far denser growth, beautiful iron-
weed in the woods; with many clumps of alder
bloom, and fast-extending patches of perennial black-
berry, and groups of delicate May-apples, and whole
fields of dog-fennel and golden-rod. And why men-
tion indomitable dock and gigantic poke, burrs and
plenteous nightshade, and mullein and plantain, with
dusty gray-green ragweed and thrifty fox-tail -an
innumerable company.
  Maize, pumpkins, and beans grow together in a
field-a triple crop. Nature perfects them all, yet
must do more. Scarce have the ploughs left the
furrows before there springs up a varied wild growth,
and a fourth crop, morning-glories, festoon the tall






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tassels of the Indian corn ere the knife can be laid
against the stalk. Harvest fields usually have their
stubble well hidden by a rich, deep aftermath. Gar-
den patches, for all that hoe and rake can do, com-
monly look at last like spots given over to weeds
and grasses. Sidewalks quickly lose their borders.
Pavements would soon disappear from sight; the
winding of a distant stream through the fields can
be readily followed by the line of vegetation that
rushes there to fight for life, from the minutest creep-
ing vines to forest trees. Every neglected fence
corner becomes an area for a fresh colony. Leave
one of these sweet, humanized woodland pastures
alone for a short period of years, it runs wild with a
dense young natural forest; vines shoot up to the
tops of the tallest trees, and then tumble over in
green sprays on the heads of others.
  A kind, true, patient, self-helpful soil if ever there
was one! Some of these lands after being culti-
vated, not always scientifically, but always without
artificial fertilizers, for more than three-quarters of
a century, are now, if properly treated, equal in pro-
ductiveness to the best farming lands of England.
The farmer from one of these old fields will take two
different crops in a season. He gets two cuttings
of clover from a meadow, and has rich grazing left.
A few counties have at a time produced three-fourths
of the entire hemp product of the United States.
The State itself has at different times stood first in




wheat and hemp and Indian corn and wool and to-
bacco and flax, although half its territory is covered
with virgin forests. When lands under improper
treatment have become impoverished, their produc-
tiveness has been restored, not by artificial fertil-
izers, but by simple rotation of crops, with nature's
help. The soil rests on decomposable limestone,
which annually gives up to it in solution all the
essential mineral plant food that judicious agricult-
ure needs.
   Soil and air and climate-the entire aggregate of
influences happily co - operative-make the finest
grazing. The Kentucky horse has carried the repu-
tation of the country into regions where even the
people could never have made it known. Your ex-
pert in the breeding of thoroughbreds will tell you
that the muscular fibre of the blue-grass animal is to
that of the Pennsylvania-bred horses as silk to cot-
ton, and the texture of his bone, compared with the
latter's, as ivory beside pumice-stone. If taken to
the Eastern States, in twelve generations he is no
longer the same breed of horse. His blood fertilizes
American stock the continent over. Jersey cattle
brought here increase in size. Sires come to Ken-
tucky to make themselves and their offspring fa-
  The people themselves are a fecund race. Out of
this State have gone more to enrich the citzenship
of the nation than all the other States together have




been able to send into it. So at least your loyal-
hearted Kentuckian looks at the rather delicate sub-
ject of inter-State migration. By actual measure-
ment the Kentucky volunteers during the Civil War
were found to surpass all others (except Tennessee-
ans) in height and weight, whether coming from the
United States or various countries of Europe. But
for the great-beaded Scandinavians, they would have
been first, also, in circumference around the fore-
head and occiput. Still, Kentucky has little or no
  One element that should be conspicuous in fertile
countries does not strike the observer here-much
beautiful water; no other State has a frontage of
navigable rivers equal to that of Kentucky. But
there are few limpid, lovely, smaller streams. Won-
derful springs there are, and vast stores of water in
the cavernous earth below; but the landscape lacks



the charm of this element-clear, rushing, musical,
abundant.  The watercourses, ever winding and
graceful, are apt to be either swollen and turbid or
insignificant; of late years the beds seem less full
also-a change consequent, perhaps, upon the denu-
dation of forest lands. In a dry season the historic
Elkhorn seems little more than a ganglion of pre-
carious pools.


  THE best artists who have painted cultivated
ground have always been very careful to limit the
area of the crops.  Undoubtedly the substitution
of a more scientific agriculture for the loose and
easy ways of primitive husbandry has changed the
key-note of rural existence from a tender Virgilian
sentiment to a coarser strain, and as life becomes
more unsophisticated it grows less picturesque.
When the work of the old-time reaper is done by a
fat man with a flaming face, sitting on a cast -iron
machine, and smoking a cob pipe, the artist will leave
the fields. Figures have a terrible power to destroy
sentiment in pure landscape; so have houses. When
one leaves nature, pure and simple, in the blue-grass
country, he must accordingly pick his way circum-
spectly or go amiss in his search for the beautiful.
If his taste lead him to desire in landscapes the




finest evidences of human labor, the high artificial
finish of a minutely careful civilization, he will here
find great disappointment. On the other hand, if
he delight in those exquisite rural spots of the Old
World with picturesque bits of homestead architect-
ure and the perfection of horticultural and unobtru-
sive botanical details, he will be no less aggrieved.
What he sees here is neither the most scientific
farming, simply economic and utilitarian-raw and
rude-nor that cultivated desire for the elements in
nature to be so moulded by the hand of man that
they will fuse harmoniously and inextricably with
his habitations and his work.
  The whole face of the country is taken up by a
succession of farms. Each of these, except the very
small ones, presents to the eye the variation of
meadow, field, and woodland pasture, together with
the homestead and the surrounding grounds of or-
chard, garden, and lawn. The entire landscape is
thus caught in a vast net-work of fences. The Ken-
tuckian retains his English ancestors' love of enclos-
ures; but the uncertain tenure of estates beyond a
single generation does not encourage him to make
them the most durable. One does, indeed, notice
here and there throughout the country stone-walls
of blue limestone, that give an aspect of substantial
repose and comfortable firmness to the scenery. But
the farmer dreads their costliness, even though his
own hill-sides furnish him an abundant quarry. He




knows that unless the foundations are laid like those
of a house, the thawing earth will unsettle them, that
water, freezing as it trickles through the crevices,
will force the stones out of their places, and that
breaches will be made in them by boys on a hunt
whenever and wherever it shall be necessary to get
at a lurking or sorely pressed hare. It is ludicrously
true that the most terrible destroyer of stone-walls
in this country is the small boy hunting a hare, with
an appetite for game that knows no geological im-
pediment. Therefore one hears of fewer limestone
fences of late years, some being torn down and su-
perseded by plank fences or post-and-rail fences, or
by the newer barbed-wire fence-an economic device
that will probably become as popular in regions
where stone and timber were never to be had as in
others, like this, where timber has been ignorantly,
wantonly sacrificed. It is a pleasure to know that
one of the most expensive, and certainly the most
hideous, fences ever in vogue here is falling into
disuse. I mean the worm-fence-called worm be-
cause it wriggled over the landscape like a long
brown caterpillar, the stakes being the bristles along
its back, and because it now and then ate up a noble
walnut-tree close by, or a kingly oak, or frightened,
trembling ash-a worm that decided the destiny of
forests. A pleasure it is, too, to come occasionally
upon an Osage orange hedge-row, which is a green
eternal fence. But you will not find many of these.




It is generally too much to ask of an American, even
though he be a Kentuckian, to wait for a hedge to
grow and make him a fence. When he takes a
notion to have a fence, he wants it put up before
Saturday night.
  If the Ken