ON these first cold days, when the falling snow covers grass and trees, and the dark clouds seem to threaten a long storm, it is quite amusing to notice the different remarks with which men greet this earnest of winter. Some say, "A little more of this will give us very fair sleighing;" others, "How pretty it makes the Yard look!" but most declare with a sigh, "Now for wet feet and cold rooms and frozen ears." When we think of the number of this last class, it really seems worth while to consider whether winter could not be made a little more genial to us, and if something may not be made out of the old fellow after all.
One of the most disagreeable things we must look forward to is a cold room; but we should not have nearly so much to complain of on this score if we would only throw up our windows now and then, and not try to raise the temperature of an atmosphere of carbonic-acid gas and tobacco-smoke. If we observe this simple rule, and are not very unfortunate in our choice of a room, we cannot deny that there is hardly any time so good for studying as a bright winter morning, or any time so good for reading as the "tumultuous privacy" of an evening snow-storm.
But pleasant as it may be in the house, out of doors is the place to learn to enjoy winter. It may require a little patience at first to go out into the stinging air or whirling drift, but it will not be long before we shall feel that exhilaration which is one of the blessings of our northern climate. And how many beautiful sights winter has for us if we will only look! The very drift of the snow, covering every stiff and uncomely object with flowing lines of beauty; or its tints at sunset, blue in the hollows and rose-colored on the hills; and even the smoke from the chimneys as it curls up so blue against the blue sky, - all these sights, and many more in infinite variety, are to be seen in a single walk up Brattle Street or over to Corey's Hill. I do not think we get half the pleasure we might, because we do not think of looking for beauty in these well-known scenes, although Mr. James R. Lowell says, "I have seen within a mile of home effects of color as lovely as any irridescence of the Silberdown after sundown."
But to get the true spirit of winter one ought to skate, I think, and that not in a rink, but on a lake or river, where one can look off to the hills and woods and feel the keen air. Now that club skates, star and acme skates, have come into fashion, we need not pinch our feet with the barbarous straps or numb our fingers in making our preparations to get on the ice. One difficulty in skating there certainly is in Cambridge: the only available lake is Fresh Pond, and it is almost impossible to make sure of there being smooth ice, but might not this trouble be removed by the energetic C. T. C. by means of a wire run up to a convenient station near the Pond from which information might be sent by some competent person? and did we all know how near good skating is to be found I think more of us would improve the opportunity; for what is much pleasanter, after all, than skating (not alone) by moonlight when the stars are reflected in the ice at our feet and the distant house-lights suggest warm fires and a good supper?