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.
Friend Attieus-Think you the recital of the hard things of your lot and the much work to be done, will cause me to swerve from the benevolent intentions by my kindly nature prompted Oh, no a western woman is not lightly turned from a difficult path. I can but feel a little astonished at your exceeding slowness in accepting my proposals. I fancied you would seize upon it as the drowning man upon a straw. I rest in quiet confidence, however, of your final decision.
Of the "gout" I must rid you, or you would accomplish little here. Receiving it in this pro tern, way I shouldn't shrink from, and should without doubt soon vanquish it with my hydropathic theories. Perhaps it wouldn't be best for me to take it, since this change being brought about through my instrumentality I should feel great responsibility, and wish to be particularly agile. But there is my husband - I never had the pleasure of nursing him, he is always so provokingly well To afford me this pleasure, and relieve you, he would not object With his fine constitution, correct habits, and my good nursing, he would soon get the better of it The fact of your possessing this ailment is only another proof of the necessity to you of an immediate change. Your life has far too long been one of ease and luxury. Once rid of it; and it will not return to you here.
It is Singord scoordig to the best anthotiese lttes. One catalogue,in which we do not place much confidence, has it"Sigorella".
Mr. Hancerrs note sawsnuic explains the eases of tMsnustake.
Such insinuations about my children! I almost fancy you a cold, selfish, childless bachelor. Instead of being hindrances, they would prove helps and lighteners of my pleasant labors, as well as happy participants in my enjoyments, - and good things shared are the more enjoyed. Yes, mine are such children as you sometimes hear of, but seldom see!
That neighborly neighbor - would I were near to look after him. What a pity you had not received and accepted my proposition prior to this unfortunate affair; then no such denoument could occur. My husband with his noble nature, and I so irresistably fascinating; have power to render harmless every hateful, selfish propensity, in those about us. We could bind even his unkindly nature with this twofold card - our potent'spells - and transform him into a gentlemanly neighbor forthwith. Td risk his concocting any more wicked machinations. Those costs and fees now lining your lawyers' pockets - how they would help along our new home! What does one gain by going to law You attained one little point; but the end of your losses you may not soon see, unless I come quickly to your rescue. The means already expended in prosecuting your suit would have enabled me to supply your ponds by an artesian well (if water thus obtained would suit the fastidious gills of your finny pets), and left enough to stock our conservatory. That attorney, knowing your ability, will not be so unwise as to settle this affair in a long, long time.
Your neighbor doubtless needed the stream which fed your fancy ponds, to supply his water-ram for practical purposes, and deemed it not very selfish to turn the ornamental of his neighbor's enjoyments to the useful of his own account.
Do you think because a Badger that I am a barbarian, and would dry my linen on your choice shrubbery In the wildest days of our settler's life in this primitive forest, a regular Manilla line performed this part of our laundry occupations.
Tour "library" will not know the fate of unappreciation or wasted fragrance, while I will leave quite a tolerable one here for you. But as you are to enjoy two, years of labor, you will need only works on horticulture, floriculture, architecture, eta, with a sprinkling of other literature for recreation.
As to your pets. Afar back in the days of our youthful union, when the locks of my John Anderson were like the raven, flowers and pets, quadruped and biped, were among our delights. One little apartment of our city home was set apart for them. Here we cared for them, grafted our Cacti, budded our Roses, and propagated the usual variety of window plants, These things in our more earnest life are laid aside; not even this little room can we devote to them, or a tithe of that former leisure. But our warm outgushing affections long for the pets we loved, and shall ever hope again to gather about us.
Your favorite horse will be safe. Husband never carries a whip, except for show; love and affection are the cords by which he controls all about him. Should it rain, he would walk rather than his horse should muddy its feet or dampen its glossy coat.
If that coachman wont grease the gears, perchance I can myself; - may be it wont be the first time.
Fear not that gardener or coachman will absent themselves, or neglect their duty. I'll venture they'll serve their new mistress with a cavalier devotion of unflagging industry, and obey her slightest request. . Fear not for my management Your only dire apprehension may be that I shall so perfectly fascinate everv living thing about me that they will follow me en masse to my western home.
Though no Florentine tables or statuary grace our humble home, our children would not well informed and mentally cultivated for that As for books, they have been brought up among them, if with no other refined Suarroandings; and their young minds are imbued with a proper appreciation of the value and treatment of things useful and beautiful My choicest books, articles of bijouterie - the gifts of other days - -engravings, scrap books, collections of herbals and algae, lie within reach of little hands, not sealed books or tabooed articles, but unharmed by any particular marks of spoliation and soilization.
As to the "tiles," we are not civilized enough yet to tell from experience whose are best Mr. John Johnston, of Geneva, N. Y., can perhaps give you more practical information.
You ll have to think again before you find any thing in your perfect home that we can't get along with, rude as you may fancy us in our backwoods retreat From your inuendoea I mistrust you have some little inkling that we should appear exceedingly brusque, staring and distrait among your elegancies. I shall have to solicit that "introduction," to prove to you what elegance and refinement can come out of Wisconsin woods, and how perfectly at ease I can tread your velvet carpets, and recline on your rose-wood and damask.
I laugh in derision at your knowing any practical definition of the word work - and fearing that we shall have more than we can attend to - and you not finding enough to do to keep off the gout Neither the physical exercise, the heart work, or head work can frighten us. Your letter is so suggestive, containing so many luminous points, I can scarce dilate upon them individually; but grouping them generally, fear not to answer affirmatively. Your category of queries already propounded is well nigh sufficient to analyse my capabilities for the station I should by this change occupy I might turn the tables, and ask you whole pages of questions and give you sheets full of hints, but I forbear. I would not wound you by questioning your talents and efficiency.
One word, however, concerning that wild flower garden I so wish to possess. You will help me to this, will you not ? These lovely embellishments adorning our little prairies and extended woods, beautiful in many of their varieties as some costly exotics, are fast receding under the encroachments of civilized bipeds and quadrupeds. What a pleasant task to study the constitution and habits of their manifold specie, and apportion to each that regime which will induce them to multiply and blossom in all their native luxuriance.
I make no special allusions or arrangements for Mrs ATTIOUS. Knowing by world wide report, to say nothing of experimental knowledge, that woman is ever disinterestedly devoted, full of noble abnegation, it would seem a libel to ask if a wife were equal to any degree of self-sacrifice and renunciation, to cure a heart-sick, head-sick, or gout-sick husband.
Sundry undeferrable occupations of my life of actualities have caused this late reply to yours. Elsie, - Woodside, Wauketha, Wisconsin.