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ANDREW JACKSON DOWNING.
the Hudson. Queen Anne, of Denmark, sent him a "magnificent ring,” in acknowledgment for the pleasure she had derived from his works. But ere long a sweeter praise saluted him, though most frequently silent; it was the gradual improvement of the national rural taste, developed through the instrumentality of his writings. To no other man is our country so richly indebted for its achievements of landscape beauty, rural architecture, and ornamental gardening. In 1845, his third work was published—“ The Fruit and Fruit Trees of America." In seven years this book reached its fourteenth edition, though a volume of six hundred pages.
In his own home Downing was much beloved, and his society was courted by the intelligent and refined. He was a true Ameri
Within his house it was easy to understand that the home was so much the subject of his thought. Why did he wish that the landscape should be lovely, and the houses graceful and beautiful, and the fruit fine, and the flowers perfect ? Because these were all dependencies and ornaments of home, and home was the sanctuary of the highest human affection-home was the pivot upon which turned all his theories of rural art. His own home was his finest work; it was materially beautiful, and spiritually bright with the purest lights of affection ; its hospitality was gracious and graceful.
In August, 1846, “The Horticulturist” was commenced by Mr. Luther Tucker, of Albany, and Mr. Downing became its editor, which position he retained with much honor to the time of his death. Mr. Downing visited England and France, besides many portions of our own country. In addition to the works already mentioned, he wrote “The Architecture of Country Houses; including Designs for Cottages, Farm-houses, and Villas.”
The year 1852 opened upon Downing in the garden where he had played and dreamed alone in boyhood; he was just past his thirty-sixth birthday; and now behold that self-same person who, when a boy, returned from the Academy where he had exhibited but few signs of his power; see him in the bloom of manhood, honored at home and abroad, employed by the government of his country to improve and decorate the public grounds at her capital; and one whose services were sought from various parts of the country. From whence sprung all this honor? It had been achieved in that garden which was still his attractive home.
The worth of such men is vastly greater than that of military chieftains, and we would that all might learn to honor those who make our homes delightful and attractive in proportion, as their con
THE OLD SCHOOL-ROOM.
tributions to our comfort and happiness is more desirable than those of military heroes who desolate firesides and fill hearts with sorrow and mourning. Our readers are probably already aware of the sad occurrence which terminated the useful life of Mr. Downing. He took
passage for New York on the 28th day of July, 1852, on board the ill-fated " Henry Clay;" the steamboat was destroyed by fire, and, with a multitude of others, he was lost—to his wife, and loving friends, and to his country.
THE OLD SCHOOL-ROOM.
BY A. E. H.
I LOVE it, I love it, and dark be my doom,
'Neath an humble roof, with my satchel and books,
Whate'er my fate, gay or somber, yet
WHERE WAS HIS HOME?
WHERE WAS HIS HOME? W!
HILE returning from the labors of the day, a few evenings since,
I was attracted by a group of lads gathered upon the walk. On looking for the object of interest that had drawn them together, I found it was a youth, not more than fifteen or sixteen years old, drunk! Ah, how the pitiful spectacle chilled my very blood and sent a shudder through my whole frame! There he stood, crouching in the midst of the crowd, muttering incoherently, or giving vent to a volley of profane vulgarity; his eyes bleared and heavy, his countenance excited and inflamed, his step weak and unsteady, his whole demeanor abject, degrading, and disgusting. I but looked upon him, thus early wrecked upon the sea to which he had consigned himself, and passed on.
I could but think of him, however, and from him my mind wandered to his home. Where was it? Watched there the mother for his coming, waiting to welcome him with motherly tenderness and love? Had he sisters who waited his return to make the circle of home complete? And brothers full of the anticipation of stories and games when he should join their circle? And a father, who hoped in pride to address him—“My son ?" Oh, if these he had, how wearily will wear the hours away before he shall return; and then what a blight upon the love, the hope, the pride that had there concentrated upon that poor, ruined object.
Perhaps, again," he was the only son of his mother, and she a widow,” who had carefully trained him to be her support and comfort in future years; and she may have long known that her labors have been in vain; that idle habits and vicious society have corrupted her son; and now with heavy, aching heart she may be waiting his return, knowing that it will bring only a loathsome object, who will requite her kindness and care with coarseness and ingratitude.
Whatever may be the correctness or incorrectness of my conjectures, I could but feel that somewhere that poor, miserable boy had a home, and to that home he was a curse, a disgrace, a blight, or that home had to him been a curse rather than a blessing.
Who of our readers can fail to draw instruction from this incident? Have you a home ? . Then ever let your conduct be such that whoever may witness it, will not be led to reflect upon the disgrace you bring upon it, but rather let your behavior at all times suggest to the beholder thoughts pure, peaceful, and loving as they connect
E. W. K.
THE MAN WHO DETERMINED TO BE FIRM.
THE MAN WHO DETERMINED TO. BE FIRM.
TELL, this will never do," said Mr. Veerabout to himself, as he
lay in bed one sunshiny morning ; " I've been behaving like a child, and, as was to be expected, I've been treated like a child. There's Smith wheedled me into a speculation that almost ruined me, although I knew all the time that it was impossible for that railroad stock to rise any higher; and it's just yesterday that Jones got me to put my name to a note, payable in three months.
Why, my very wife has me under her thumb, and here am I at this time of day—but I'm determined in future to be firm ;" whereupon Mr. Veerabout sprang into the middle of the floor with most unwonted agility, to the no small consternation of his loving spouse, who could not but conclude that her poor, dear husband was a little wrong in his mind.
Little passed between them while dressing. Indeed, Mr. Veerabout seemed intensely engrossed with his own thoughts, and when Mrs. Veerabout ventured to suggest that the last piece of soap in the house would soon be gone if it were handled so roughly, her well-meant economy and her ill-timed loquaciousness were quelled at once by an angry frown.,
Breakfast-time arrived, and they both sat down together. Mr. Veerabout was the first to break silence. “I must have an egg this morning, Mrs. V.”
“Eh—well, my dear, if you had only said so last night; but there are none in the house, and the nearest market where they are to be had is half a mile off, at least.”
“Do you understand me, Mrs. V.? I must have an egg this morning.”
“Oh, surely, Mr. V., if you wish it, I shall send off Nancy immediately."
Accordingly Nancy was sent; but, like many others of her class, she was rather tardy in her movements ; at least she could scarcely be said to scour the plains with the speed of a Camilla. Time rolled on, and breakfast was fully discussed, but no word of Nancy or the eggs.
“ Mrs. V., have you another servant in the house ?”
No, I wish you to send her after that good-for-nothing tortoise that's
for the eggs.”
THE MAN WHO DETERMINED TO BE FIRM.
“Remember, my dear, she is the only servant in the house, and Nancy must soon
“Mrs. V., do you hear me? I must be obeyed.”
So old Betty was sent in quest of Nancy, in spite of all her remonstrances and representations. But Betty was not so active as she had once been ; nor had she any great liking for such a wildgoose chase, so that Mr. Veerabout's patience and equanimity were sorely tried. However, he had said that he was to have an egg that morning, and an egg accordingly he must have—for he was determined to be firm. But patience has its limits, at least so thought Mr. Veerabout, as he remembered that he had business of the most urgent nature requiring his presence at his office. At length, with a countenance that spoke volumes, and a tone too peremptory to leave room for hesitation, he thundered out—“Mrs. V., put on your bonnet and shawl, and go yourself in search of those lazy servants."
Mrs. Veerabout, trembling from head to foot, was not long in obeying the command, and Mr. Veerabout was left in the house alone. Various and conflicting emotions of wrath, mortification, and self-complacency were passing over his ruffled spirit, when his revery was interrupted by a loud ring at the door-bell. Upon opening it, he received a note requesting him to repair immediately to the house of a gentlemen who had to leave town at eleven o'clock, and wished particularly to see him before that hour. What was he, to do ? He must not for any consideration leave before he had eaten his
egg, and the egg was yet only on the road. Neither could he leave the house without an inmate, even if he were to sacrifice his dearly bought consistency after all. It was really a perplexing case. With the note in one hand, and his watch in the other, he paced up and down the room in a state of frantic desperation, wondering how it happened that he was always so unlucky-cheated when he suffered himself to be led-balked and mortified when he took his own way—but it was always thus with him, and there was no use in his trying to mend.
Reader, you may draw your own moral from this family incident; but at all events remember this, that firmness without judgment is like a quantity of gun-cotton in a frail old fowling-piece, or a locomotive that has run off the rails.—Anonymous.
GOOD-NATURE, like a bee, collects its honey from every herb. Illnature, like a spider, seeks poison from the sweetest flower.