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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1859, by
HENRY WARD BEECHER,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States, for the Southern District of
GEO, RUSSELL & Co..
W. H. Tixson,
SOMERVILLE & BROTHER,
No one of our readers will be half so curious to know
what this book contains as the author himself. For it is
more than twelve years since these pieces were begun, and it is more than ten years since we have looked at them. The publishers have taken the trouble to dig them out from what we supposed to be their lasting burial-place, in the columns of the Western Farmer and Gardener, and they have gone through the press without our own revision.
It is now twenty years since we settled at Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana, a place then of four, and now of twentyfive thousand inhabitants. At that time, and for years afterward, there was not, within our knowledge, any other than political newspapers in the State—no educational journals, no agricultural or family papers. The Indiana Journal at length proposed to introduce an agricultural department, the matter of which should every month be printed, in magazine form, under the title, Indiana Farmer and Gardener, which was afterward changed to the more comprehensive title, Western Farmer and Gardener.
It may be of some service to the young, as showing how valuable the fragments of time may become, if mention is made of the way in which we became prepared to edit this journal.
The continued taxation of daily preaching, extending through months, and once through eighteen consecutive months, without the exception of a single day, began to wear upon the nerves, and made it necessary for us to seek some relaxation. Accordingly we used, after each weeknight's preaching, to drive the sermon out of our heads by some alterative reading.
In the State Library were Loudon's works--his encyclopedias of Horticulture, of Agriculture, and of Architecture. We fell upon them, and, for years, almost monopolized them.
In our little one-story cottage, after the day's work was done, we pored over these monuments of an almost incredible industry, and read, we suppose, not only every line, but much of it, many times over ; until, at length, we had a topographical knowledge of many of the fine English estates
- quite as intimate, we dare say, as was possessed by many of their truant owners. There was something exceedingly pleasant, and is yet, in the studying over mere catalogues of flowers, trees, fruits, etc.
A seedsman's list, a nurseryman's catalogue, are more fascinating to us than any story. In this way, through several years, we gradually accumulated materials and became familiar with facts and principles, vhich paved the way for our editorial labors. Lindley's Horticulture and Gray's Structural Botany came in as constant companions. And when, at length, through a friend's liberality, we be