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MSS.4.666

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Farnsworth, N.H.

August 7. 1907.

Dear Miss Whitney:-

Mrs. Fay is writing of our safe arrival and the way; I will acquaint you with a circumstance since our arrival that I am sure will interest you.

"When all the shawes were sheen"-so Miss Guiney wrote, and we did not know just what it meant, only a vague idea was ours that it refound to a situation resembling a stay at Shelburne. Now I know not only the truth of that assumption, but something more detailed! Last evening I took up and opened

by chance John Burroughs' "Birds and Poets." To my surprise came this new and vivid reminder of recent pleasures - the quotation that leads the opening chapter:

"In summer, when the shawes be shene,

And leaves be large and long,

It is full merry in fair forest

To hear the fowles' song.

The wood-wele sang, and wolde not cease,

Sitting upon the spray;

So loud, it wakened Robin Hood

In the greenwood where he lay."

Alas, that my lack of range in English literature does not admit of my locating this citation from an Early poet, but I doubt not that Miss Scudder can help you out there! True to my philologic instinct, I turned to a dictionary full

Enough to back up Mrs. Converses' most audacious ventures in a game of letters!), and found shaw (or shawe) to be a copse or thicket and shene to be our old German friend schön, with a connotation of bright, glistening, &c So our souls may be satisfied with the knowledge that the reference is to a period on the confines of July and August, doubtless in a season when frequent showers have washed shene the leaves of every copse along a beautiful valley, where thrushes sing "while you wait"-in short such days and scenes as we left behind two days ago, to come over to this still fair, yet much less fair, portion of the mountains.

Today we are celebrating Mrs. Lincolns 92nd birthday. and to her gratification we are a nearly completely united family, for while Mrs. Fay & I dropped down at noon from the North, Margaret and Harold, to the surprise of all appeared at tea-time from the opposite quarter. The "heroine of the day" is in excellent health, and the wish expressed by others for "many happy returns" did not seem out of keeping with the count of her years.

Please give my cordial greetings to Mrs. & Miss Converse and believe me

Yours very sincerely

Charles E. Fay.

Letter from Charles E. Fay, Tamworth, New Hampshire, to Anne Whitney, 1907 August 7

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