Page:Letters of Life.djvu/309

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
297
LAPSE OF YEARS.

pated, sprang from the ozier willow which had been planted on the outer edge of the embankment, that the interlacing of its fibrous roots might aid in communicating permanence. From this, a multitude of exquisite articles for use and adornment came forth as if by magic, revealing both the ingenuity and the Midas-touch that he possessed, and employing throngs of laborers. For the households of all thus under his care, comprising thousands of different ages, from infancy to decrepitude, he testified an interest, wishing to elevate them mentally, providing a large hall where they might have lectures and music, sustaining mission schools, and devising future plans for a more extensive and thorough education.

Yet, amid the magnitude of his pursuits and responsibilities, the honors from foreign climes, and gifts of crowned heads that were showered upon him, the most minute promptings of friendship were never disregarded. Beautiful books and pictures he sent me from abroad; the malachites and porphyries of Russia, and an inlaid writing-desk of the costly buhl-work of Vienna. It would be almost impossible to record the various forms in which his benevolent regard for me was indicated. Yet I would not willingly forget one of them.

Knowing my fondness for flowers, twelve pots of the richest ones would be sent me in winter from his green-house, filling my windows with fragrance, and