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and announced to his family, that the
Leaders were all up in London, and that
the housekeeper said they were coming
home to-morrow night.


No people in the world take such
intellectual pleasure in trees as the people of the
British islands. The squirearchy and
aristocracy, in their beautiful country homes,
find almost as much enjoyment in their
ancestral oaks and over-arching avenues of
elm, lime, beech, and chestnut, as they do
in their picture galleries and libraries. The
overthrow by storm, or natural decay, of an
ancient and picturesque tree, in a shady
corner of their domain, afflicts them sorely.
None but the veriest scapegrace and spend-
thrift will sell his ornamental timber without
a pang and a struggle. Englishmen
who are proprietors of no paternal acres,
and who pass their long and useful lives
in striving to amass fortunes, perhaps to
build up a county family, have in the
intervals when even the busiest men must
unbend, delightful visions of a coming time,
when, in the evening of their days, they too
may sit under the shadow of their own
vines or fig-trees, "with none to make them
afraid." Descending yet another step in
the social ladder, the clerk, the shopkeeper,
the mechanic, escaping from the over-populous
city where their daily lives are spent,
rush to the green fields and the shady
trees, with keen appetites for the beauties
and pleasures of the country. The French
have a great love of flowers, but not that
passionate admiration for trees which is
a part of our British idiosyncrasy. The
Americans have not yet arrived at that
point in social history, when antiquity,
whether it be in the shape of a tree or
an edifice, claims respect or admiration.
They have, moreover, found the soil of
their fertile continent too greatly encumbered
with trees that are neither useful
nor ornamental, to be justified in allowing
forests to occupy the space that is
better devoted to farms and corn-fields.
The tastes and habits of the people do not
lead, and are not likely to lead, to the
growth and establishment of great rural and
aristocratic families among them, and such
luxury as wealth commands finds among
the Americans its field of display in the
city rather than in the country. A
distinguished American, on a visit to London,
was taken by an English friend to dine at
the Star and Garter, at Richmond, and
was, as a matter of course, desired to regale
his eyes with the beautiful natural panorama
that is visible from the Terrace. The
Englishman, accustomed to admire the
sylvan loveliness and umbrageous verdure
of the view, with the clear Thames flowing
through the landscape like a thread of gold
over a tissue of green velvet, expected that
the American, as a man of taste, would
sympathise in his feelings. "Yes," said
the American, " it is 'handsome' enough,
but it seems to me that it sadly wants

The English were always lovers of trees.
Without going back to the time of the
Druids to prove the fact, or to the entries
in Doomsday Book to corroborate it, but
coming down to the later days of Chaucer,
Spenser, and our ballad literature, we find
such frequent and joyous allusions to the
"merry green wood," as to make it
evident that a life in the forest glades was
one which had peculiar charms in the
imagination of the people. The opening
stanza of the old ballad of Robin Hood and
Guy of Gisborne,

   When shawes are sheen and straddes full faire,
       And leaves both large and long,
  'Tis merry walking in faire forest,
       To hear the sweet birds' song,

expresses the popular sympathy with the
sights and sounds of nature, which is one
of the healthiest components of our English

The long and sanguinary civil wars of the
Red and White Roses, that ruined so many
of the foremost English nobles, and put
new men in their places, who did not value
the ancestral trees, except for what they
would fetch as timber; the dispossession of
the monks from their cosey monasteries
by Henry the Eighth; and the series of
commotions, wars, and revolutions that
began under Charles the First, and only
ended with the flight of James the Second,
produced disastrous effects, not only upon
the ornamental trees that are the delight
of the landed aristocracy, but upon the
woodland districts and forests of England.
On the restoration of Charles the Second,
when men's minds had somewhat calmed
down, after the long perturbations of civil
strife, and they had leisure to bestow their
attention upon the minor matters that had
been neglected when the state itself was in
danger, it became a common subject of
complaint that the five previous generations had
been prodigal and wasteful in the matter of
trees, and that while war and cupidity had