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resolved to recommend it to my own tecture. I take the liberty of suggesting countrymen. On our prairies especially this beautiful example of French ornait would have a charming effect. It is mentation to my countrymen. It is susnot a grove or forest, such as we some- ceptible of many fine modifications, and of times have about our prairie farm-houses, any modifications which may be necessary but a simple inclo designed with the to adapt it to utilitarian conditions. Plantprecision of a fence or wall. A forest is ed with fruit trees, it would supply at once not the place for a house; it is too exclu an orchard and an ornamental boundary. sive and gloomy even on a prairie. Ap However dear other associations of our proaching the French farm-house by the American rural homes may be, recollecgracefully curving alley of trees, you enter tions of their appearance become very at last into this arbored circle or square. tame among the picturesque exteriors of You find it incloses an acre or more, ac European cottages and chateaux. We cording to the size of the estate. Where build the strictest, straightest, most mathethere is a wealthy proprietor with several matical, most ugly, most comfortable farmpeasant families, his own mansion or houses on the earth-with rigorous anchateau occupies the principal site, and gles, parallelogram doors and windows, the thatched chaumières of his laborers and chimneys courageous and defiant in are placed in picturesque groups or lines their grim stiffness. And then our uniamong the trees behind it; while at the versal superabundant white paint-how it further angles or points of the inclosure begrimes our houses and our scenery! are the out-houses, barns, and stables, half In our interiors, to be sure, we have comhid in the foliage. Sometimes the kitchen fort, for we have contrivance, as a people, garden itself is within the inclosure. if we have not taste ; but comfort, in one
The effect of this arrangement is really sense of the term, is not the whole of enbeautiful, and it is also convenient and joyment. On the contrary, as there is comfortable. The trees are so arranged more enjoyment in the sentiments than in as not to interfere with the crops by their the senses, so is there more happiness in shade. They break the fierceness of the the demands of taste than in those of mere winds. They are usually the tallest kind convenience. But the two are compatible, of fruit trees, deprived of their lower and hardly separable. We Americans branches, in order not only to open a
nevertheless contrive, as of set purpose, clearer view to the inclosed buildings, but to separate them. The lowliest houses to give a more upward growth to the re of men, nearly everywhere else, show maining boughs and to enrich the fruit. some regard to the picturesque. Look They are far enough apart to admit what at the Swiss cottages, famous over the ever amount of light or sun may be desir- world for their charming, though someable for either the houses or the gardens. times fantastic irregularity ; the peasant Some of the out-houses are circled about houses of France and Germany, all bearing by secondary inclosures of smaller trees, their peculiar style, expressive and striking which add greatly to the beauty of the in their way, however humble; the cotpicture. Picture I call it, for it really is tages of England, with their thatched such; and I am frank to admit that the roofs, latticed windows, and woodbine and French people excel us as much in their eglantine. Even the wigwam of the good taste for such picturesque effects, as Indian is more picturesque than our we do them in the energy and skill of our whitened, stiff New-England exteriors. agricultural industry. If it is vandalism How would a little more curved work to disregard or destroy the monuments of here, a slight projection there, a rounding taste and art, it is certainly no less a off of this angle or the extension of that barbarism to treat, in like manner, the one, some other form than a rigid parallelomonuments and adornments of nature. gram for the casements, or of a naked I have seen not a few nations in my day, mathematical square for the chimneybut I have seen nowhere more thorough- how would a little more taste and liberality going vandalism of this kind than in the in any of these respects add to the beauty United States. In some of the states, of our country homes ? however, an era of good taste has com “ But it would not be economical." menced; it shows itself especially in the That may be doubted, good sir ; but supimprovement of our villa and cottage archi- | pose it costs a few more dollars, is it only
to inclose ourselves that we build our “gracefulness,” which is an idiosyncracy homes? Is it economical to spend only of the national mind. Personal cleanlion our accommodations ? Are not grati- ness is seen everywhere, even among the fications legitimate demands of our nature lowest classes. Women unable to buy a —and stronger demands even in some bonnet wear the cap; it is often an heredrespects than conveniences ? More useful itary article in the family; its style is too by their elevating influence upon our sometimes grotesquely antique, a part, it better susceptibilities. The purest utili- may be, of the costume of five hundred tarianism of nature is in the beautiful, and years ago. You see it in some places in a certain sense the same can be affirmed mounting above the head in a cambric of art. Nature, that is, in better words, turret at least two feet in height, or flapGod himself, everywhere refutes and defies ping above the ears in fans a foot square ; our rigid and false utilitarianism. He in most cases, however, it now assumes scatters ornament and beauty over all the snug, coquettish modern style, but nevthings; studs the heavens with stars, and er, not even among the huckster women decks the earth with flowers and beautiful of the market or the streets, do you outlines, its internal rocks with gems and see it soiled ; that, to a French woman, precious stones, and even the depth of would be next to a soiled reputation, and its seas with shells as varied and beautiful even worse in some instances, perhaps. as the flowers of the field. Over all the The foreigner is puzzled in Paris to other demonstrations of wisdom and good- know what becomes of the poor-the ness in His works, everywhere the beauti- suburban outcasts which seem inseparable ful shines, and first appeals to the observa- from all other great cities. He sees notion of men. The most obvious lesson body in rags.
The blouse is, to be sure, taught us by His works is to unite the a convenient cover for a multitude of such beautiful with the useful, or rather to crown sins against Parisian good taste; but then all humbler utility with the higher utility the women do not wear the blouse, and of the beautiful—to perfect the provisions the women are everywhere—and nowhere for our necessities by provisions for our in rags. The fact that they are everytastes. Old Plato uttered an admirable where is a good reason, perhaps, why saying when he declared that “Beauty there is so little apparent poverty, or its is the essential splendor of truth.” usual English and American ragamuffin
Of our universal white paint it is neces- uniform. A hundred kinds of business sary, I know, to speak considerately, if not done in other countries by men, whether in respectfully. I must beg pardon of our doors or out of doors, here belong to the good Eastern housewives for impeaching women. They are clerks in the largest so favorite a predilection. No type of it and the pettiest mercantile establishments. can be found in nature, except in the hid- A Parisian merchant's wife is often his den quarries, the wintry snows, a few of chief book-keeper, and knows his affairs the flowers, and the sheep's back. It in- a little better than he does himself. Don't cludes all the elementary rays of the sun- look equivocally at the fact, dear madam, beam, the philosophers tell us; but nature for she is sometimes not only the truest disguises it with other hues, even in light man of the firm, but the accomplished itself. No picture by a great artist ever Parisian lady as well as chief clerk-prepresents a white cottage ; it would be un- siding at her husband's dinner parties, and pardonable, it would confound his ideal ; in her evening saloon, with the grace of it would be looked at askance by a plow- a countess. When we democrats from boy from the whitest of the white cottages America enter the counting-houses, and of New-England, as, some how or other, whisper in the ear of the subordinate but unnatural in a fine landscape. Natural fortunate husband our astonishment at tints are what genius always and in this feminine surveillance, he shrugs his stinctively selects for rural buildings on shoulders with still greater astonishment, canvas. If we will not adopt a better ar- and whispers back that it is the reason chitectural style in our cottage buildings, why there are fewer failures in France let us, at least, choose a better color. than in America ; and that if we were
There is a noticeable love of neatness reasonable enough to adopt it there would among these French people ; it arises, I be fewer not only in America, but in suppose, from its intimate alliance with France also.
The government even employs female I have said that there was little extreme clerks I am told, and I hảve seen women poverty seen here. It exists, doubtless, in Rouen cleaning the streets, and always but it does not show itself as in other
tidy” too, for you must accept the affirm- countries. Among us, especially, it luxation (though I know it is absolutely in- uriates in its rags, and tears, and whining credible, to a New-Yorker at least) that obsequiousness. I have been in France the streets of French cities are cleaner several months, and have not seen three begthan the side-walks of Broadway. I as- gars. Disabled persons—the blind, lame, sure you, good reader, that I have not aged—have a way of getting alms, but it written a more soberly truthful line in this is not by the disgusting obtrusion of their article than that assertion. I mean pre- sufferings and imploring complaints. That cisely what I say. You have at least would hardly suit French taste. They dust, fragments of paper, and other flying amuse you into liberality by some comic remnants on your Broadway side-walks; performance or artifice; or, if too sober but excepting the slightest, most unavoid in their temperament or sorrows for this, able modicum of the first, there is soberly they treat you to sweet or sad music, nothing of the kind here in Paris. The (Parlant pour la Syrie is now the vogue,) streets are nearly white in their bleached and often really good music, on harps, cleanness. Besides the labors of the city flutes, or violins. The omnipresent orstreet-cleaners, the chiffoniers (rag-pick- gan-grinder is here, but the Parisian street ers) seize every fragment of paper, or of musician despises him ; he is an ultramonalmost everything else, as soon as it ap- tanist, an Italian barbarian, and wanders pears. As the paving stones are not peb- about like an outcast spirit, seeking copbles, but square blocks, you can walk upon pers and finding none. He generally them alınost as well as upon the side- vamoses to America—the paradise toward walks ; and owing to their absolute clean- which the eye of all European beggary ness, the people hardly choose between squints hopefully, as it is understood that them, except where there are many car- among our other essential liberties is the riages. I know not the city regulations full liberty to beg. on the subject, nor the mode of street Mendicity is prohibited generally in cleaning here; and the mystery is, that in France, as it should be in all civilized Paris at least I can never, from daylight states, except during periods of general to midnight, catch a glimpse of a street- scarcity or financial disaster. It exascleaner. I leave all these matters to the perates only the evils of the poor. It is inquiries of his honor the mayor of New- the most costly method by which a comYork ; but were I before him “on oath,” munity can relieve its poor. It has no I could deliberately declare that in any curative efficacy, but, like certain drugs, five miles that I have walked in the streets only relieves the sufferings of the moof Paris, there could not be found the ment-debilitating what strength remains, amount of garbage and filth which could be and aggravating the miseries of the future. seen before I left New-York, in hundreds The incessant applications for “cold vicof instances, within twice as many rods. tuals” made at our doors, in American
I have no doubt that this external neat- cities, from daylight to sunset, would drive ness, this very cleanness of the streets, the Parisians “to arms" and a revoluhas as much to do, morally, with the tastes tion,” if it were allowed by their governand habits of the people, as it has physi- ment. You know no such annoyance ologically with their health. It is a great here. A harp played under your window municipal education to cleanliness. A while you are rising, or in the twilight at Frenchman, with his extreme sensitive - evening, is, I assure you, a very agreeable ness to fashion or custom, could not, of substitute for it. A New-York family course, have his house-yard, or court-yard, on arriving here feel emparadised in reor “interior," less neat than the open spect to this one deliverance at least. streets themselves. The result is, that Whatever we may consider exceptionwherever my gaze has penetrated I have able in the social character of France, we seen no garbage : where it goes to and how must accord it one truly gracious and it goes, are questions respecting which I truly great excellence-it provides, better remain in mysterious but “ blissful igno- than any other nation on earth, for the rance."
multiform infirmities and calamities of
humanity. Asylums for the poor, hos- d'armes, in happy oblivion of his duties; pitals for the sick or disabled, retreats for and there moves a soldier of the line, old age, for little children; institutions dreaming, perhaps, of Sebastopol. Look for the insane, for mutes, for the blind, for at that family group, embroidering and the restoration of fallen women, for the reading under the trees; how perfectly instruction of idiots, abound here. The comfortable they seem : and behold that noble buildings devoted to these purposes old couple advancing, feebly, arm-in-arm, alone in Paris, if put side by side, might toward the garden bench; they have been form a city of themselves. To France, married, perhaps, a half century, and yet indeed, we owe most of our scientific how mutually polite they are—familiarity ameliorations of these evils. I stumbled never diminishes respectfulness among by accident, the other day, against an ob- this singular people ; and how beautifully scure tomb in Père-la-Chaise. Its tablet | fresh and amiable old age preserves itwas small, but it needed no monument, self with their happy temperament and unfor the name it recorded is inscribed on der their happy skies! It is a day to be thousands of grateful hearts throughout abroad, and the French know well how the civilized world. It bore the illustri- to improve such days. See how they are ous name of the Abbé Sicard, and the thronging in at the gateways. Let us alphabet of the dumb. It was erected drop, then, the
Let us take a book by his pupils, and in one sentence spoke and descend among them. Let us walk the a whole oration, whose eloquence made shaded alleys with Chateaubriand, talking the tears spring to my eyes :
“ He has of “ Attila” and “René," of the “Marmade us men!”
tyrs " and the “Génie du Christianism." We owe to France, too, the initiation Yonder among the trees is a marble staof the new treatment of the insane. The tue of his " Veleda," and he walked these French were the first to change the pris- aisles himself in many a meditative hour. ons of these sufferers into homes-to disarm madness of more than half its horrors,
[For the National Magazine.] by showing that it is among the most curable of diseases. The facilities they have
THE RAIN. provided for the education of the blind are
The day is cold, and dark, and drear, known to all the world ; and as for their
For the year is on its wane; hospitals for the sick, these, like their And never a sound breaks on my ear medical researches, are divided and sub
Save the patter of the rain
The rain that falls divided into “specialities”—they are the
On castle walls, most extensive and the best endowed in And ruins old and gray; the world; and we may affirm, without a
On meadows fair, word of qualification, that the foremost
And mountains bare,
And valleys green and gay. medical skill on the earth now stands around the sick beds of the poor in the
The clouds around the mountains lower, Parisian hospitals. It owes its supremacy
And, one by one, the leaves
Grow pale and paler at the power to the fact that it is there.
Of the song the north-wind weaves : But these are all very favorable “Im
And still the rain pressions,” certainly ; are there no con
Against the pane trasts? Yes, doubtless ; but we are not
Is pattering all the day :
Sad memories come yet half through the grateful enumeration
Of our lost home, of our favorable ones. We will look at When falls the rain alway. both sides of the subject at another time.
H. L. SPENCER, Meanwhile the warm breezes are stirring the trees of the Luxembourg beneath our
GENTLE WORDS. window—the little Parisian children are gamboling through its green alleys with Use gentle words, for who can tell
The blessings they impart? their blooming bonnes. Yonder comes a
How oft they fall (as manna fell) sister of charity with her hilarious infant
On some nigh fainting heart ! school. What a pity that religion should
In lonely wilds, by light wing'd birds, thus, among these little ones, begrim both
Rare seeds have oft been sown; itself and her womanly beauty by those
And hope has sprung from gentle words black weeds! Yonder strolls a gens Where only griefs had grown.
(For the National Magazine.]
General Vallejo, when endeavoring to porCALIFORNIA.
tray the loveliness of Sonoma valley, de
clare it was the place where our Saviour YALIFORNIA was discovered by Co was born!
Abating all that is necessary for the It was first colonized by the Spaniards in exuberance of lively imaginations, there is 1768. It has been visited by several revo- yet enough left of reality in California to lutions since the extermination of the invest it with the glory of a semi-celestial Spanish power; and for several years pre- land. We, who have been acquainted vious to its occupancy by the United States with its growth from the first, have mostly troops in 1846, the authority of Mexico lost sight of much, just as we fail to be was very loose. It was ceded to this gov- daily impressed with the stupendous gloernment by the treaty of 1848.
ries of the sun, because we see them daily. The nature of the country has been va
We should look at the country as the capriously represented, according to the tastes tain of the Plover is said to have done. and fortunes of describers. The unlucky That exploring ship arrived at San Franhave mostly abused it, while the success cisco in the latter part of 1854 from the ful have limited their praise by no bounds. Polar Sea, where she had been ice-bound No other country was ever talked of in since 1847. greater extravagance. For illustration, I When she left San Francisco, seven will relate a story which I heard concern years previously, it was a mere trading ing the life-giving power of the California station, resorted to by a few vessels in climate. It was of a man who had lived pursuit of hides and tallow, and the village in that country till he reached the great contained only a few houses. The captain age of two hundred and fifty years! Such and crew of the Plover expected to find was the nature of the climate that, even the same San Francisco in 1854 that they at the end of this long period, he was in left in 1847. They sailed into the bay perfect health, and as supple as a boy. without a pilot, and approached the city in But he was tired of life. He wanted to the evening. But there was a strange die, and could not. He had thought of phenomenon for which they could not suicide, but the padres told him that was account—there were hundreds of lights sinful; and as he was nominally a Chris- gleaming about the site of the old mudtian, he concluded to banish it from his town. When, the next morning, they mind. But at last a lay friend (his heir awoke from their dream of seven years, perhaps) advised him to try the effects of they beheld a noble city, swarming with another climate. Accordingly, he went to thousands of human beings. They had China and soon died. But he had pre- known nothing of the Mexican war, the viously bound his heir, under penalty of ession California to the United States, disinheritance, to remove his corpse to his and the many other great events which own country for burial. So he was in- had taken place during the time they had terred in California with due ceremony, the been locked up in the frozen regions of the padres praying for his soul, and supposing north. it was on its way to heaven, while the It was in the early part of May, 1852, heir was happy in the same conclusion. that my eyes first looked on that golden But no sooner was he inclosed in the life- land. When our proud vessel, majestigiving soil of that land, with the youth-cally plowing the waters of the great inspiring California zephyrs blowing over Pacific like a thing of life, brought us his grave, than he actually came to life, and, alongside the shore, we all gazed anxiously being endowed with Herculean strength, and exclaimed, “ This is California.” The burst through the precincts of the tomb, sight was by no means exhilarating. The and made his living appearance to his place was rocky, sterile, depressed into chop-fallen heir! The old man, finding ravines, and sharpened into peaks, which himself unable even to stay dead in Cali- made it seem as the resort of owls, or the fornia, quietly submitted to his fate. solitary residence of some Robinson Cru
Such extravagances, though absurd, soe ; and as the waters solemnly moved have left impressions on hundreds of minds. to and fro, each minute dashing against Indeed, many of them, if not all, have their the shore, they appeared as singing the beginning in something real. I heard | funeral dirge of a dead country, and kiss.