The place became full of a watchful intentness now for when other things sank brooding to sleep the heath appeared slowly to awake and listen. Every night its Titanic form seemed to await something but it had waited thus, unmoved, during so many centuries, through the crises of so many things, that it could only be imagined to await one last crisisaathe final overthrow.
It was that period in the vernal quarter when we may suppose the Dryads to be waking for the season. The vegetable world begins to move and swell and the saps to rise, till in the completest silence of lone gardens and trackless plantations, where everything seems helpless and still after the bond and slavery of frost, there are bustlings, strainings, united thrusts, and pulls-all-together, in comparison with which the powerful tugs of cranes and pulleys in a noisy city are but pigmy efforts.
To dwellers in a wood almost every species of tree has its voice as well as its feature. At the passing of the breeze the fir-trees sob and moan no less distinctly than they rock the holly whistles as it battles with itself the ash hisses amid its quiverings the beech rustles while its flat boughs rise and fall.
The instinctive act of humankind was to stand and listen, and learn how the trees on the right and the trees on the left wailed or chaunted to each other in the regular antiphonies of a cathedral choir how hedges and other shapes to leeward then caught the note, lowering it to the tenderest sob and how the hurrying gust then plunged into the south, to be heard no more.
And in being forced to class herself among the fortunate she did not cease to wonder at the persistence of the unforeseen, when the one to whom such unbroken tranquility had been accorded in the adult stage was she whose youth had seemed to teach that happiness was but the occasional episode in a general drama of pain.
A well proportioned mind is one which shows no particular bias one of which we may safely say that it will never cause its owner to be confined as a madman, tortured as a heretic, or crucified as a blasphemer. Also, on the other hand, that it will never cause him to be applauded as a prophet, revered as a priest, or exalted as a king. Its usual blessings are happiness and mediocrity.