This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
De Quincey, in the new edition of the Confessions of an English Opium Eater, has described the advent of Indian summer, in the following passage, more beautifully than any master of the English language:-
" It was a day belonging to a brief and pathetic season of farewell summer resurrection, which, under one name or other, is known almost everywhere. It is that last brief resurrection of summer in its most brilliant memorials - a resurrection that has no root in the past, nor steady hold upon the future, like the lambent and fitful, gleams from an expiring lamp, mimioking what is called the ' lightning before death' in sick patients, when close upon their end. There is a feeling of the conflict that has been going on between the lingering powers of summer and the strengthening powers of winter, not unlike that which moves by antagonist forces in some deadly inflammation, hurrying forwards, through fierce struggles, into the final repose of mortification. For a time, the equilibrium has been maintained between the hostile forces; but at last, the antagonism is-overthrown; the victory is accomplished for the powers that fight on the side of death. Simultaneously with the conflict, the pain of conflict has departed; and thenceforward, the gentle process of collapsing life, no longer fretted by counter-movements, slips away with holy peace into the noiseless deeps of the Infinite. So sweet, so ghostly, in its soft, golden smiles, silent as a dream, and quiet as the dying trance of a saint, faded through all its transient stages this departing day".