Resting in knowledge “limpid as pure air”…

“Has that no Colony name, yet?”

“In that particular, they’ve got the advantage of us. Having one end, and that the biggest [viz., the Chesapeake Bay], in their own keeping, they’ve given it a name, which has found its way up to its source; names nat’rally working up stream. No doubt, Deerslayer, you’ve seen the Susquehannah, down in the Delaware country?”

“That have I, and hunted along its banks a hundred times.”

“That and this are the same in fact, and I suppose the same in sound. I am glad they’ve been compelled to keep the red men’s name, for it would be too hard to rob them of both land and names!”


Kingfisher Tower, on Otsego Lake, at the head of the Susquehannah, presents something like the image that struck our hero in the story. Otsego Lake, also known as Glimmerglass, is also home to a park and a museum of that name, and a “Fenimore House Museum”. It stands just north of Cooperstown, NY.

Deerslayer made no answer, but he stood leaning on his rifle, gazing at the view which so much delighted him. The reader is not to suppose, however, that it was the picturesque alone, which so strongly attracted his attention. The spot was very lovely, of a truth, and it was then seen in one of its most favorable moments, the surface of the lake being as smooth as glass, and limpid as pure air, throwing back the mountains, clothed in dark pines, along the whole of its eastern boundary, the points thrusting forward their trees even to nearly horizontal lines, while the bays were seen glittering through an occasional arch beneath, left by a fvault fretted with branches and leaves. It was the air of deep repose, the solitudes that spoke of scenes and forests untouched by the hands of man, the reign of nature, in a word, that gave so much pure delight to one of his habits and turn of mind. Still, he felt, though it was unconsciously, like a poet also. He found a pelasure in studying this large, and, to him, unusual opening into the mysteries and forms of the woods, as one is gratified in getting broader views of any subject that has long occupied his thoughts.

James Fenimore Cooper, Deerslayer (end of) Chapter 2.


Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.


About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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