Wednesday, October 13, 2010


A Disinterested Spirit

William Cowper, letter to Joseph Hill (November 11, 1782):
You may not perhaps live to see your trees attain to the dignity of timber—I nevertheless approve of your planting, and the disinterested spirit that prompts you to it. Few people plant when they are young; a thousand other less profitable amusements divert their attention; and most people when the date of youth is once expired, think it too late to begin. I can tell you however for your comfort and encouragement that when a grove, which Major Cowper had planted, was of 18 years' growth, it was no small ornament to his grounds, and afforded as complete a shade as could be desired. Were I as old as your Mother, in whose longaevity I rejoice and the more because I consider it as in some sort a pledge and assurance of yours, & should come to the possession of land worth planting I would begin tomorrow, and even without previously insisting upon a bond from Providence that I should live 5 years longer.
Grant Wood, Tree Planting Group

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