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.
Dear Atticus - And yon are too contented in a home where beauty and taste are so perfected as to leave little room for devising and improving? I do not wonder; for are we not all happiest when intellect and heart are taxed to their utmost in inventing, and the physical system correspondingly so in executing darling plans and theories? "We were not made to wander on the wing." Tis in creating that we live most intensely. That were a sordid soul - a dull, phlegmatic creature, devoid the actuatings of genius and talent - who could rest quietly in his perfected home, and bask in the sunshine of its beauty - revel sensually in the adornments clustered about him. He would be a voluptuous animal, despite his prating of art and taste.
Your state, sir, is a dangerous, a critical one. Your disease has more fearful tendencies, I fear, than you realize. Look well to yourself before it advances beyond your control I have had great faith in Mr. Barry's judgment: but the best of people err sometimes. As you value your well-being, I pray you do not hug to yourself the vain thought that the "summum bonum of happiness and contentment you have reached!" Lay not the flattering sweet unction to your soul I That was a syren song that breathed through the editorial quill just then; heed it not! or it will lull you into a dangerous slumber, from which you will awaken to an incurable sense of unrest and discontent My womanly nature is stirred for you; I tremble lest you may yield to delusive charms, and I long to snatch you from ruin's brink.
Your confessions and your aspirations after knowledge to show you your true state has interested me, though I know you not from any other Greek. But I claim you as a brother. With such a mind and its capacities for conceiving and constructing - for weaving bright dreams into brighter realities - you will not be satisfied even when all within your reach seems attained. You must still be creating new fancies, and laboring to endow with form those imaginings. You can never become a quiet, contented clod.
Like a good friend, I do as I would be done by, and bring you proposals of relief, First, pray, sir, allow me to be a little egotistical, and tell you somewhat of myself.
Most of my life was spent in a great city, amid its high walls, its crowded streets, and ceaseless din; but I was ever longing to be away, where sight and thought could be free - to enjoy those beauties which methought I loved with a stronger passion than the hum-drum common-place people about me. I did not get the better of my romantic dreams even when married and settled down, for I took care to get a husband that loved what I loved, and not one whose whole soul was in his money drawer and ledgers, and who would by his lack of sympathy smother up my ittle bit of fancy. And so the first lispings of our little ones were of things we had taught them love. We gave them all the lessons on nature we could; and when the reality was not at land, made use of those next best things, descriptions and picturings of her works. And so at hree years old they knew more of nature than many who live all their lives amid her haunts. )ur sweet morning naps about four o'clock were disturbed by one or two cherubs climbing up ,nd nestling beside us with - "Now, papa, mamma, talk 'bout our farm;" or, "talk poetry".
* Our readers will remember an article, published in the December number, from friend "ATTICUS," who consid.
In the course of time our farm was no idle figment of the brain, but a living, broad reality. And such a farm! - just what a poetical, romantic woman might crave. It was as the red man eft it, in all its pristine beauty. "What happiness to possess those broad acres unmarred by the lands of verdant, uncultivated rusticity, with their obsolete notions! What pleasure to appor-ion and adorn it to our own minds! We erected a settler's cottage away back from the road, ,nd left a choice spot for our future home. Three years have rapidly flown in this delectable mployment Orchards and gardens and nurseries and fields have stretched themselves out as by zagie, say those who have not been witness to the sinewy strength and the sweating brow that Save overcome difficulties and produced results; and one who possessed a little corner of omance in her composition, which attracted me instinctively, likens it to the wonders of Alad-in's lamp. Dear Aladdin, your lamp must have burned slowly if it revealed not things with greater celerity than do we with axes and bush-scythes and plows and spades.
But could you at of the delicious Apples and Pears (thanks to the dwarfing system) and Plums and Cherries nd Grapes and berries already here produced in the excellence of their most approved varieties, you would deem it something more than a dream. During this time we have been so intensely iccupied in bringing about necessary improvements, that we have neither time nor means to levote to beauty. We live on hope - hope. At even we sit by the home fire, and talk of what re may sometime have and enjoy, as we picture our future home. We rest in sleep, and dream we are enjoying these comforts in full fruition; we rise in the morning, and the early dawn eveals a humble home, with stumps and rail fences all around. Then we go to work with fresh igor - another home in our eye encouraging us onward. Just such things as you talk about ossessing, we plan - and enjoy, day after day, in anticipation. But we don't waste time in idle reaming, - oh, no; we work away, early and late - "still pursuing, still achieving:" and we ave "learned to labor and to wait"
Some people might think there were inconveniences, discomforts, and trials, attending this life -such as living in a settler's home with not very exteusive accommodations, and the brusque ppearance of the grounds immediately surrounding - the very part that comes oftenest in con-act with the visual organs of we whose sphere of duty doesn't eompass many acres. Time does ot permit us to arrange this spot, which we only look at as a temporary locality; for the sternly seful and actually necessary are all the time pressing - pressing. They who would think thus light fraternize with that sordid class with whom I have proven you, sir, could never affiliate. for here, hope, imagination, anticipation, and invention, with execution, may be brought into ctive exercise. And are they not among our highest attributes - productive of some of our urest pleasures ?