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burns freely, from the quantity of turpentine it contains, but it does not give out much heat. Beech is preferred on the continent of Europe, and maple in America ; but Count Rumford says that the greatest mass of radiant heat is produced by the fuel of the lime tree. Generally speaking, close-grained smooth woods make better fuel than those the grain of which is open and rough. Pine cones are admirable for lighting a fire; and you will find the gloomy Scotch pines, which have so annoyed you with their shade, may be useful in this respect, as producing an article of domestic economy.
If any of your chimneys should smoke, the usual remedy is contracting the mouth of the chimney, or raising it higher by the addition of a chimneypot. The last is a most unsightly remedy, and I hope you will not have occasion to try it. Indeed, old houses seldom smoke, unless their chimneys are damp for want of use, or that birds have built in them; though nothing can be more common than to have smoky chimneys in modern houses. One reason, I believe, is, that newly built chimneys very often smoke because they have not been properly cored; that is, the projecting pieces of mortar, &c., which are formed inside the chimney while it is building, have not been removed, and prevent the proper ascent of the smoke. Another common fault in modern
fireplaces is, that they are too shallow to allow sufficient space for the grate ; and, when the grate is set too far forward into the room, it is evident that a very strong draught will be required to draw the smoke up the chimney. Neither of these faults is common in old houses ; in them the chimneys are generally as smooth inside as the walls of the room, and the fireplaces are usually two feet deep, or even more, instead of being only nine inches, as I am told is the case with some modern villas. I say nothing about stoves, as I confess myself prejudiced against them, from the numerous fires they have occasioned; and I think open fireplaces not only safer and more agreeable, but much more conducive to health, as they aid in ventilating the apartments, and without a constant change of air there can be neither health nor happiness.
In speaking of the different kinds of fuel, I forgot to mention peat and charcoal, but you will find these more useful in the kitchen than in the parlour; and coke I would not advise you to employ, on account of its close unpleasant smell.
HALL. MORNING ROOM, BOOK-CASES ; PLANTS IN POTS;
SQUIRRELS ; CANARY BIRDS, PARROTS AND MACAWS; MONKEYS ; GOLD FISH ; AND CUT FLOWERS. — DRAWINGROOM. DINING-ROOM.
I HAVE just received your letter, enclosing a plan of your house and a sketch of its present appearance; and, I confess, it appears to me that you have not complained of its gloominess without having abundant reason for doing so. Pray tell your husband, however, that I fully sympathise with his reluctance to cut down trees that he has been familiar with from his boyhood; and that, so far from liking to see wood felled myself, I feel positive pain when even the large limb of a noble tree falls to the ground. But I think it a weakness to give way too much to this feeling; and, if I had a favourite tree that I was convinced was injurious to the health, or even to the comfort, of human beings, I would instantly have it cut down, in the same manner as I would submit, without hesitation, to the amputation of an arm or a leg, if I had sustained an injury that I was quite sure could not be cured in any other way. You say you felt excessively pained when your husband said, that, though he did not think any circumstances could ever have induced him to order those
trees to be cut down, he was quite delighted to have such an opportunity of pleasing you; and that, when you heard the workmen employed in cutting the trees down the following morning, you felt every blow they struck, and you thought he must hate you for wishing him to make such a sacrifice. These feelings are quite natural; but, in my opinion, the readiness with which your husband complied with your wishes will strengthen the bond of affection between you instead of weakening it, as there cannot possibly be a stronger proof of love than is shown in sacrificing our prejudices in favour of the beloved object; and I am sure, with your grateful and amiable disposition, you will be delighted to prove that you can make sacrifices in your turn, whenever a proper opportunity for doing so may occur.
I am sure the removal of these trees will make the house appear more cheerful; and I can now only recommend you strongly to take care that your rooms are well ventilated, by the windows being always opened in fine weather, whenever the rooms are unoccupied, for, I repeat, though you laughed at my former assertion, that a free circulation of air is essential both to health and happiness. You ask, how is it possible that fresh air can contribute towards happiness ? and I, in return, ask you if you have never felt the influence of a fine clear bracing morning in making you feel gay and happy, quite independently of moral causes.
On such occasions,
“ The bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne,” and we feel equal to any exertion that may be required of us. Look at the contrast between country children, as they run shouting and laughing only from the irrepressible glee of their own hearts, and the children of a close and over-populated town, who creep from school shivering and sad, with countenances as dull as the
appearance of the atmosphere they are compelled to breathe. You enjoy in the country the inestimable advantage of being able to procure as much fresh air as you like, only by opening your windows; but the inhabitants of towns, when they throw open their sashes, often admit air more impure than that already in their rooms.
I will now give you my opinion as to the best method of furnishing your rooms, so as to make them look as cheerful as possible.
I see by the plan (fig. 1.) that you have a goodsized hall, so that you will have room for playing at battledore and shuttlecock after all, and I repeat that it is a game not to be despised, though you do speak so contemptuously of the
“ Transports that shuttlecock yields." I think you do wrong to treat with so much