This is a collection of short essays on the glories of spending free time contemplating nature, or simply being idle. It takes the mind out of doors; and though we should be grateful for good houses, there is, after all, no house like God's out of doors. A river is the most human and companionable of all inanimate things. It has a life, a character, a voice of its own, and is as full of good fellowship as a sugar-maple is of sap. It can talk in various tones, loud or low, and of many subjects, grave and gay.