In writing of the town the author of Home Sweet Home" says "It is twenty minutes'  walk from the ocean. A beautiful oasis, so surrounded by sands and barrenness that the inhabitants are confined to farms barely sufficient to enable them, with patient industry and rigid economy, to draw thence the means of sustaining their families.  The traditions of the place are few, but mysterious. I first sought them in the town records; but vast, indeed, was my perplexity on only encountering notices of various inexplicable hieroglyphics granted to the Zephaniahs and Ichabods and Jererniahis, through many generations, for the respective 'ear-marks' of each.
Eventually, however, it was relieved. I found out that these mystical "ear-marks" were merely registers of the stamps on the ears of the cattle under which the towns-people entered them for a portion of the pasturage at Montauk, to which each freeholder had a right."
    After breakfast we directed our steps toward the birth-place of Payne a modest unpretending house, nestling under the shadow of the Academy building, where his father, we were told, was once a tutor. How many touching associations crowd upon us as we remember the many weary hearts whose thought and aspiration have found expression through the singer who first saw the light in this out-of-the-way nook, and whose fate it was to die away from home and kindred in a foreign land!
"Hearts there are on the sounding shore
     (something whispers soft to me),
Restless and roaming for evermore,
    Like this weary weed of the sea;
Bear they yet on each beating breast
     The eternal type of the wondrous whole,
Growth unfolding amidst unrest,
     Grace informing with silent souL"
    But I must not loiter, contenting myself with the thought that I have said sufficient to show that there is at least one spot, not far from the metropolis of the New World, that has not felt the improvement of the age, and that it is just the place to dream away leisure hours. We were busy all day sketching the many picturesque objects, and retired to rest delighted with our day in East Hampton.
    Early the next morning we start toward the rising sun, reaching the village of Amagansett about eight o'clock. here we strike Napeague Beach, and halt to sketch a fish-cart and a boat, partly covered by the sand, and a little further on the wreck of the ship Catharine, the surt breaking in bursts of spray, and creaming in and over her barnacled timbers. Eastward
"The sunlight glitters keen and hrlght,
     Where, miles away,
Lies stretching to my dazzled sight
A luminous belt, a misty light,
     And wastes of sandy gray."
    Mile after mile we walked by the sea; the beach was a pure clean sweep, free from seaweed, pebbles, or stones. Tiny sandpipers were running along in front of us, following the curves of time incoming and receding waves. Fragments of wrecks were frequent. Toward noon we stopped to rest, and found some beach plums, which proved to be sweet and palatable.
    After resting a while we continued our way, the walking growing more difficult, as the tide is higher here, and the beach begins to be broken. Stones and shells, seemed to be frequent as we approached nearer the end of the Point. The weather was perfectly delicious,  the sky without a cloud, the sea a soft blue, growing green as it breaks on the shore, fresh and pure from the broad Atlantic. For hours we had been passing over the "dreaded" Napeagne Beach, which we had been told was impasssable.
    Gradually the land began to rise out of the broken, sandy dunes, and to grow into irregular bluffs. Here we began to look out for the first house, and about two o'clock caught sight of it from the bluff, close to the shore, and were soon refreshing ourselves in the comfortable parlor with some home-made blackberry wine, and cool water from the well. We obtained from Mr. Lawrence a sketch of some of the "ear-marks" now in use  in marking cattle.  During the past season fifteen hundred head of these, one hundred horses, and seven hundred sheep had been pastured on the downs east of this house, at a charge per head for common  stock of $2.50, and of $5 for the field or fattening pasture. There are three keepers, living about four miles apart, whose duty it is to shift the cattle from point to point, as the water or pasture may require. They are furnished  with a comfortable house, and as much land as they may require for farming purposes, with the privilege of keeping a certain number of cattle, sheep, etc with every opportunity to raise chickens, geese, ducks. and turkeys.
    Life-saving stations are scattered about four miles apart along the coast, containing boats ready to launch at a moment's notice; but we were told by old wreckers that, owing to their great weight, it is impossible to launch them through the heavy surf, and that practically they are of no use.
     After dinner we continued our walk, following the coast till sundown; then on over the downs, through time deepening twilight into the gloaming, the music of the everlasting and monotonous roar of the sea sounding in our ears, until we reached Mr. Osborne's, near the beach, after dark. Soon we were comfortably seated in his cozy parlor, chatting with time family like old friends. An examination of the "register" revealed a very different record from the books of this kind usually found in hotels. Here we have a description of a successful day's sport - ducks, wild-geese, snipe. On another page regrets it leaving such home-like quarters. 
    Here, again, a series of comic sketches by our friend Dr. C--. Then we have a tale of wreck and disaster: how a ship was driven ashore one wild night, a few years ago; how brave men gathered to the rescue; how the crew, one after another, dropped into the sea, some of them being saved from the jaws of the angry waves; of a mother washed ashore, dead, clasping a babe in her arms; the wild figures of the wreckers on that dark, stormy night of horrors, lit up by a great fire of drift-wood, made up a picture not easily effaced from our minds; the morning dawned at last, but the ship had disappeared--she had been beaten to pieces, and the shore was strewn for miles with broken timbers of the wreck. Another record, in a neat female hand, reads thus, "Good-by, dear old Montauk, till another winter."
    But it is growing late. Our hostess asks if we will sleep on feathers or straw. Sleepy voices echo, "Straw! straw! straw!, Three snowy beds. We drew lots for the choice, and were soon fast asleep.
    Early next morning we visited some lonely graves. One of the sleepers had reached the age of ninety-nine years. The sea,
"It keeps eternal whisperings round desolate graves."
    Close to the house is Fort Pond, well known to sportsmen, wlmo are now beginning to arrive. Ducks are already quite plent. We were shown a beautiful wood - duck that hind been shot the night before. Breakfast over, we push for the water's edge. There are evidences every where of fearful storms,
"Where surge after surge would leap enorm, 
Cliffs of emerald topped with snow, 
That lifted am! lifted, and then let go 
A great white avalanche of thunder,"
tearing and goring gaps and seams into the coast, which is at this spot quite low. Here a sea-wall has been piled up, and the sand gathering about it forms a slight barrier to the encroachments of the ocean. Looking east along the wide beach, what a sight greets our view! Extending full half a mile, the debris of wrecked ships, a chaos of splintered fragments, bleached and broken--a tremendous illustration of what Wait Whitman calls
"The spasm of the sky amid the shatter of the sea."
    Here we stop to sketclm part of a broken mast, then the chaired remains of what seems to have been a schooner. Partially buried, and protruding from the sand like skeleton fingers, were great iron bolts, rusted and bent. After heavy gales it is found that the character of the beach often changes. Wrecks that have long been buried and forgotten are exhumed, and again the fierce winds and heavy seas cover them from sight. Further. on we pass heaps of coal ; parts of the vertebrae of a whale, bleached perfectly white ; a bit of rail, or broken spar and tackle-block--what memories of disappointed hopes, unwritten tragedies, lying here in this graveyard of the sea! Still further on the bluffs begin to rise to a height varying from twenty to fifty feet, in bright sunlight against the dark blue of the sky. Their color is a fresh yellow ochre, broken with gray and purple.
    Toward noon we clambered to the heights through a ravine, and were glad to discover "Stratton's"--the third house--about a mile away, and perhaps half a mile inland on the high ground, looking in the distance like a huge granite boulder, harmonizing and blending with the dun color of the hills. Here we saw large numbers of cattle feeding on the slopes that surround Great Pond; and further east, for the first time, we sighted the light. While dinner was being prepared our pencils were busy, and we enriched our sketch-books with the picturesque barn-yard filled with corn, and the hay and grain stacks, attesting the richness of the lands for agricultural purposes. For dinner we had a pair of black ducks, which, a little later in the season, visit this locality with other game in great numbers.
    Then again we were by the edge of the sea. The shore is here cumbered with large stones and boulders of considerable size.  Looking west were the rolling downs stretching into the purple distance against the evening sky - a picture of profound and solemn beauty never to be forgotten.
We  walked beside the sea,
After a day which perished silently
Of its own glory.
"For though we never spoke
Of the gray water and the shaded rock,
Dark wave and stone, unconsciously, were fused
Into the plaintive speaking that we used
Of absent friendss and memories unforsook;
And, had we seen each other's face, we had
Seen, haply, each was sad."
    We reached Montatik Light, and the end of our seccond day's tramp, a little after dark. Later in the evening we accompanied the keeper (Mr. Ripley) on a tour of inspection. Going through a passage-way we found ourselves in the oil-room, neatly paved with colored tiles, the oil being stored in large tanks on one side of the room. The ascent is by one hundred and thirty-seven steps, winding around the central shaft, and the walls are of enormous thickness; the tower, erected in 1796, was some years since strengthened by building a solid brick lining inside of the original structure. Immediately below the lamp is the keeper's room and the apparatus which keeps the revolving "flash" in operation. here through the long weary watches of the night, one hundred and eighty feet above the sea, exposed to the full force of the wild Atlantic storms, these faithfull sentinels keep vigil. On their fidelity and constant watchfulness depends the safety of the many thousand vessels that annually traverse this highway of the sea.
"Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same
     Year after year, through all the silent night,
Burns on for evermore that quenchless flame,
    Shines on that inextinguishable light
    A few steps higher and w'e are in the lantern, containing a "Fresnel" flash light of the first order, made by Henry Lepante. It is a miracle of ingenuity in the scientific concentration of the lenses. We step inside the lenses as the "flash" slowly revolves, and the next moment are inclosed in light which is visible thirty-six miles seaward, The flash throws a flood of brilliant light around the entire circle, disappearing and re-appearing every two minutes.
    Mr. Ripley explains to us that the lamp has two reservoirs--an upper and a lower; the former being live feet above and directly over the lower one. They are connected by two pipes.  The lower reservoir contains a pump, by which the oil is forced through one of the pipes into the upper reservoir. The feed-pipe connected with the lamp has a chamber which contains a small float, by which the flow of oil is regulated, allowing 120 drops per mninute. The oil that is not consumed passes down into a receiver under the lamp, to which a small tube is attached, conveying it through a wire-cloth strainer into the lower reservoir, to be again pumped up. During the long winter nights the lamp will consume two and one-half gallons of refined lard-oil, and the oil will flow four hours without pumping. The upper reservoir will contain nine gallons. The flash is propelled by clock-work, which, when wound up, will run three hours, The lenses are twelve feet in height and six feet in diameter. The lamp is placed inside of the lenses, having four wicks, the largest being three and a half inches in diameter. During the day the lenses are covered with linen curtains, to prevent the rays of the sun from striking the lamp and unsoldering the brass-work.  The height of the lantern is nine feet, the frame of solid iron.  No wood of any kind is used in the tower.
    Much trouble is experienced in keeping the oil from congealing during the cold winter nights, owing to the want of stoves in the oilroom. Attention to this matter by the Lighthouse Board would add much to the comfort of the keepers and the efficiency of the light.  There is a curious history connected with the  light. It was presented by the French governmeat to the United slates, and lay a long time  in the Custom-house in New York; was then sold to pay the duties, and finally, after much dickering, was purchased back again by "Uncle Sam."
    Stepping out on the balcony that surrounds  the tower, the glorious panorama of the moonlit sea lay all about us, and at that moment two ships were crossing the glinting light of the moon. The raw, chilly night air soon drove us below to the comfortable fireside of thekeeper's family, where we sat listening to stories of storms from the southeast during which the whole weight of the Atlantic is thrown directly upon Montauk head. The light-house is built of granite. and, founded on a rock, stands on the hlutf sixty feet above the beach.  The sea is silently eating its way toward the  tower, and this will soon compel a removal to the higher ground west.
    Early the next morning we were sketching the sunrise, but the fishermen were up before us, trolling for blue-fish. We had arranged to have a team sent to take us off, and by eight o'clock we started homeward, the road leading over and around the knolls, at times following the beaten path, at others over the unbroken sod. To the left we caught a glimpse of the sea and the curved column of smoke on the distant horizon. Then we descended down into a deep dell, by the dry bed of a former pool, now covered with the dead leaves of the pond-lily. Rising again, to the north of us lies Gardiner's Island and the distant Connecticut shore, and still further eastward, in the faint blue distance, Rhode Island, and off due east from the Point, Block Island. The sky and water are an intense bhime, while the sand spits and points on the northerly side look like golden beaches in the morning light. Now and then we pass clumps of scrub-growth clad in russet and gold.
    Our driver pointed out a few scattered houses, forming the village of the once powerful Montauk Indians, who have miow dwindled to about a dozen persons. In 1660 their ancestors conveyed to certain parties of the plantation of East Hampton "all the neck of land called Moutauk, with all and every part and parcel thereof from sea to sea, from the utmost end of the land eastward to the sea-side, unto the other end of the said land westward, adjoining to the bounds of East Hampton with meadow, wood, stone, creeks, ponds, and whatsoever doth or may grow upon or issue from the same, with all time profits and commodities, by sea or land, unto the aforesaid inhabitants of East Hampton, their heirs and assigns, forever.   . . . .And in token thereof have digged up a piece of time saiíl lands, and delivered as our act and deed."
The mark of Wianambone, 
The mark of Sachem Aqua, 
The mark of Zuquabone, 
The mark of Shobanow, 
The mark of Massaquit, 
The mark of Yombo, 
    A further bond, made by Wyandanah and Sassakatako, sachems of Montauket, 1687 with the consent of the Montauket Indians, conveyed to the trustees of the freeholders of ye town of East Hampton "all the tract of laud at Moutauket, from sea to sea." And the trustees, for themselves and the freeholders, engaged that the Indiatis "have leave to plant what corn soever they have occasion for to plant from time to time, where they see cause, themselves and their heirs forever, upon the land as purchased of them by us." The two hundred descendants of the original purchasers are waiting for the time when the tribe will be extinct, and there shall be no lien upon the land, The Indians are said to be idle and worthless, except their king and queen, who are industrious, quiet citizens. The king, David Pharaoh, was that day attending court at Riverhead; therefore we concluded it would not pay to visit them.
    The wood begins to grow more dense on the north side, and we are gradually leaving the glorious downs, dotted here and there with herds and flocks. The air is pure and bracing, the autumn tints of surpassing beauty, and all things conspire to make a perfect day. We give way to the exhilaration we feel, and freely express our delight. Over hill and vale, through lovely copses of piperidge, alder, and oak--flaunting tints of crimson, gold, and purple, with long gray moss pendent from the older trees--we shortly strike the edge of the dreary "Napeague Beach" region. Barberry, stunted cedar and pine, and masses of "deer feed" vary the monotony of this sandy desert rendered uninhabitable during the summer season by the myriads of mosquitoes. Along the north shore there are deep bays, the resort of fishermen. Vast quantities of moss-bunkers are caught and worked into oil. Napeague, from ocean to sound, must remain the waste it is; but  the land east, for about eight miles in length by a width of a mile or more, will, some day not far distant, become a place of summer resort for the dwellers on the main-land. It has an average elevation of fifty feet above the sea. Swept from all points by the breeze from the water, can its equal be found? It had been the fortune of some of our party to visit the coasts of Italy, to wander over the downs on the Isle of Wrght, to ramble on the heathery hills of Scotland, and to visit Newport, Nahmant, Cape Ann, and Long Branch; but the two days'  tramp along the beach, and the ride over the downs of Montauk on that memorable October day, stand in strong relief above all other similar experiences.  We reached home in the evening via the Long Island Railroad, having been absent a little over four days.