Page:Pleasant Memories of Pleasant Lands.djvu/354

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RURAL LIFE. 329

vation, while the healthful, happy faces of the laborers presented a cheering picture of industry and content. Connected with the establishment was a large and pro ductive garden, adorned in its more tasteful parts by winding gravel-walks, shrubbery, and rock work, while here and there immense baskets, containing tons of mould, gave nutriment to hyacinths and other fragrant flowers, and nesting birds poured from vine and trellis their descant of love.

It was here that I first fully heard the thrilling, une qualled notes of the nightingale. The youthful mis tress of this abode, with her clustering curls flowing gracefully over her neck, seemed the Lady Bountiful of the village. Ever had she, in her work-basket, some useful garment for the children of those employed on the farm, as well as for those of the neighboring poor, whom she weekly collected around her, for instruc tion in the use of the needle, and other branches of knowledge. She also taught them sacred music, until by the training of her rich voice they became such proficients as to constitute a no despisable choir. They performed every Sunday at the neat chapel which had been erected by her husband, and his brothers, for the benefit of these people. By their liberality, also, the clergyman received his support ; their fortune, thus nobly expended, having been entirely the result of agriculture.

Why is it so generally supposed, in my own coun try, that this honorable profession must exclude the pleasures of taste and intellect, and bind the thoughts

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