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.
Since writing the foregoing, the sad intelligence of the untimely death of Mr. Downing, has reached us. To that portion of the public with whom he communed with his pen, or who enjoyed his personal intercourse, his loss is irreparable. Polished in his manners; highly cultivated in his profession; gentle in his disposition; kind in his intercourse; of exceeding ability and great resource as an editor and an author, his death has left a void not easily nor readily supplied.
For many years Mr. Downing has exerted a leading and commanding influence in fash ioning the public taste to the rural embellishment of our country, in the construction of buildings, gardens, lawns, and pleasare grounds. With many he was a standard authority,'and it is certain that to his fine taste and discrimination we are greatly indebted for much of the improvement which has been so extensively and rapidly made in our country residences and grounds. As a Pomologist he was sound and practical, and a leading spirit in the progress we have accomplished in that interesting department of cultivation. In the very outset of his career - a young man - with so wide a harvest of reputation, use* fulness, and enjoyment, before him, it is sad to reflect that he is so suddenly cut off, and his agreeable intercourse, and valuable teachings, are lost to us forever!
"The glories of our birth and state Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate; Death lays his icy hands on Kings; Sceptre and crown Must tumble down, And in the dust be equal made With the poor crooked scythe and spade." With Mr. Downing my personal intercourse had not been frequent, but always plea sant. I have partaken of the hospitalities of his late delightful, but now desolate home, on the banks of the Hudson, made classic by his own graceful pen, where his intelligent and charming conversation, and the gentle attentions of one now in the fresh agony of widowhood, will live among my happiest recollections.
Nor does the public press throughout the country, fail to give utterance to the sorrow which Mr. Downing's death has created. His loss is lamented as that of a public benefactor - one who labored for the good of his fellow men. His works will live long after him, and " - time, the beaniifler of the dead," will cherish his remembrance in the images of taste and loveliness which he has planned and executed in many a spot that knew only barrenness, till his ingenuity and discrimi-tion had adorned them with the most graceful associations of rural life.
Honor - gratitude, to his memory! and although at the hazard of violating the proprieties of the occasion, by obtruding my own private griefs upon your pages, I cannot but lament, that in being forever cut off from my accustomed intercourse with one whom I held so worthy,
"I feel like one
Who treads alone Some banquet hall deserted; Whose lights are fled, Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!"