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.
The favorite sitting-rooms of many families in Paris and Berlin, as the evening hour comes on, are the balconies and terraces near the roofs of the houses, under the shade of trellises covered with flowers and foliage. They are often five or six feet wide, and are often furnished and decked out with great taste, even to the gilding of the railing, and the hanging of fancy curtains. For, let it not be supposed that those who live at the top of a house having such a terrace, are merely poor needle-women, or obscure artists. By no means; they are, more probably, people who can afford to have their chairs and sofas covered with velvet, and lounge away their evenings in looking down from their giddy height on the equipages and promeneurs that crowd the Boulevards and streets of these magnificent capitals.
Some hare young trees of lime, maple, and elm, six or seven feet high, with wide-spreading branches over head, which afford as much shade as is wanted; and there is, besides, what is called a Berceau, at one end of the balcony,' neatly trellised over, and covered with vines, and in which there is a divan, or one or two seats. This is a perfect screen when the sitter is in the open air, but as private as within doors; sometimes a window is left, and a curtain, to drop as required, is left among the branches; an elegant aviary at one end, in which a dozen happy birds, of various colors, keep up a continual concert, are often an accompaniment, or a large cage, with a richly plumed parrot, may be seen in the centre, with the lady and children intent upon their books or needles. Many a charming Havana is consumed here after dinner, in the warm evenings, and many a litre of ruby wine.
In order to prevent anything like litter in the interior of the house, from frequent carrying out and in of plants, requiring fresh soil, or other attentions, a quantity of soil, with pots, and sticks, and trowels, and scissors, are kept in a cupboard-like box, under a seat. Such is one mode by which the European cheats time of its ennui, and lives in a civilizing atmosphere.
Home, and home Education, is the title of an Address at the opening of the schoolhouse at Evergreen Hamlet, near Pittsburg, by William N. Shinn, May, 1856. It consists of a vast deal of common sense, aided by good feelings, and, if we had more space at our command, we should be glad to insert one-half of it; as it is, the following passage possesses so much merit, that we copy it alone: -
"There should subsist between the teacher and the learners a sort of community of pur-pose*»-a mutuality of object, as though all were learners in different stages of progress; and the respect felt for the master, as the head of the school, should be that kind which naturally follows an exhibition of superior wisdom, and not such only as may be exacted by the fear of punishment. The pupils should be co-workers with their tutor, and not merely passengers, having nothing to do but show their tickets at meal time, and answer "yes" when questioned about the payment of the "fare." Ten wrong answers, in aiming to give the reason of a fact, are of more utility, in education, than twenty correct reasons committed to memory and repeated verbatim; for, every answer implies an exercise of intelligence which adds strength, and, should success crown the last effort, there is a permanent lodgment made in the understanding; whereas, in the other case, it may only be in the memory, and may or may not remain there as a permanent investment in the stock of knowledge. We say, tritely, that 'knowledge is power!' and bo it is, just as powder and ball are destruction. But it is true of the one as of the other, that without appropriate application no sequence follows.
Without a cultivated intellect to guide knowledge to its end, it is not a whit less inert than the cannon ball when no impetus is given to it".
The pamphlet has a good picture of a very neat and substantial schoolhouse, such as we should be glad to see more of in our land.