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.
He was born, and lived, and died, upon the Hudson River. His life was devoted to the improvement of the national taste in rural art, an office for which his genius, and the natural beauty amidst which he lived, had fully endowed him. His success was as great as his genius, and for the death of few public men was public grief ever more sincere.
When these grounds were proposed, he was at once called to design them, but, before they were completed, he perished in the wreck of the steamer Henry Clay.
His mind was singularly just, penetrating, and original; his manners were calm, reserved, and courteous. His personal memory belongs to the friends who loved him, his fame to the country which honored and laments him.
Upon the reverse: -
"The taste of one individual, as well as that of a nation, will be in direct proportion to the profound sensibility with which he perceives the beautiful in natural scenery".
"Open wide, therefore, the doors of your libraries and picture-galleries, all ye true Republicans! Build halls where knowledge shall be freely diffused among men, and not shut up within the narrow walls of narrower institutions. Plant spacious parks in your cities, and unloose their gates as wide as the gates of morning, to the whole people." - Downing'* Rural Essays.
"Weep no more, For Lycldas your sorrow is not dead, Sunk though he be beneath the watery floor, So sinks the day-star in the ocean bed. And yet, anon, repairs his drooping head, And tricks his beams, and with new spangled ore Flames in the forehead of the morning sky; So Lycidas sunk low, but mounted high Through the dear might of Him that walked the waves".
I wake, I rise, "I climb the hill; from end to end Of all the landscape underneath,
I find no place that does not breathe
Some gracious memory of my friend".
"'Us held that sorrow makes us wise;
Yet how much wisdom sleeps with thee, Which not alone had guided me, But served the seasons that may rise?"
"And doubtless unto thee is given A life that bears immortal fruit In such great offices as suit The full-grown energies of Heaven".
" And love will last as pure and whole As when he loved me here in time, And, at the spiritual prime, Rewaken with the dawning soul".
For ourselves, we never liked Washington as the locale for the erection of this monument. Some spot on the Hudson River, where he labored, lived, and died, would better have comported with his own wishes and the public expectation; but it has been otherwise decided by the able committee, and we acquiesce, thankful that, unlike many good intentions, it has not utterly failed at last.
We add, with regret, that a late hasty inspection of the grounds of the Smithsonian Institute, where the monument now stands, exhibited them in a neglected state, to the shame of the Government as well as of the Regents.
"Alas! poor Yorick!" - could not have been reiterated oftener, and with more varied accents, by wayfarers, in passing his grave, than we hear the notes of admiration uttered daily during the flowering season of the Magnolias. " How beautiful! how charming 1 what can those be? "are the varied exclamations of the travelling portions of the community.
In our next article, we shall treat on the modes of propagating and engrafting the acuminata.