Robert ROXBURGH Robert Anderson ROXBURGH M. H. ROXBURGH Helen ANDERSON treeI94.gif

Cecilia Anderson ROXBURGH

26th Oct 1865 -

Life History

26th Oct 1865

Born

Other facts

 

Died

Y

I am not at all convinced that the picture above is of Cecilia. However, it seems nothing like R.A. Roxburgh's wife and he was very close to his sister, Celie. “To the dear sister whose life was so long integrated with his own in mutual love and service, and to the beloved daughters...” etc see church obituary notice for R.A.Roxburgh.) They seem rather alike to me in features and there is also a resemblance with her nieces, especially Evelyn.

I know next to nothing about ‘Celie’ other than that her nieces were evidently very close to her. See in particular a letter to her from Naena.

I have not found much relating directly to Cecilia apart from ‘The History of a Tree’, written when Cecilia was aged 12½ and awarded &lsquoPrize Essay 1st Division.’ It reads as follows.


The History of a Tree

Some people think it very strange that a tree should have a history as well as people, so to amuse you a little I will relate mine. When I was young I had a great many neighbours. We were planted on a pretty bank, and the sun shone on us brightly. Often, young peoiple used to come andgather wild-flowers, ferns, and pretty moss that grew round us. I have seen people stand below me, and have happy words, and others angry words. They little knew that I understood everything they said.

Children have come into the green fields beside us, with their nurses, and had a nice romp. I have watched threir merry gamesand loved to hear their happy voices. I have also heard people admire me for my tallness, and my beauty. Birds love me too, as I allow them to build their nests among my branches. I have seen their young ones peep over the top of their nests, and loved to hear them chirping so happily. Often, wild boys have climbed up my branches, and taken the pretty eggs. I sometimes wished I had it in my power to stop them in their wickedness. It seemed so cruel to take the eggs from the poor birds. They looked so sorrowful when they found their nests empty.

It has often happened that when a boy has been climbing a tree to rob a nest, that the branch broke, and he fell to the ground. Frequently they are severely hurt. I have noticed this, and no doubt thought it a better lesson than I could give.
The wood-cutter comes into the plantation, and cuts down some of my neighbours, where we had been too thickly planted. At times, when he comes near me, I think it is my turn next; but I am still here.

There are some very discontented trees, who think that ladies and gentlemen should go and admire them; but I am quite contented with my life, as it is very pleasant.

Trees are valuable for their wood. There are different kinds of wood. Many useful articles are made out of trees such as chairs, tables, and  other things. Some are made into ships, and see a great deal of the world; but I would not like to be made into a ship. The stories I have heard have prejudiced me greatly against them.

Some trees are loved by children too, such as cherry trees, apple trees, pear trees, plumb trees and indeed all kinds of fruit trees.

We trees bear a great deal of hardship by lightning, or by the wind when it is a great storm. Ladies often come and sit below me, and study, or read an interesting novel. Artists take advantage of my wide branches, when they are sketching a landscape before me. Once, two girls were standing talking below me. One of them was leaving her home for a boarding school, which was a long way distant. They had been very intimate friends, and this was their first parting. I heard them say they would write eachother often. The one, who was to stay at home, broke a piece off one of branches and gave it to her companion, saying: “Keep this as a remembrance of your home and of me.” Some years afterwards the same girls met below me to have a talk. I instantly recognized them, though they were changed both in manner and appearance. The one, who had been away, took the piece of branch out of her pocket, and said: “See, I have not forgotten you and my home.” Other instances like this one have happened at my side; but this is the principle one.

In the autumn, my leaves begin to fall, and in winter I look very bleak and lonely, being destitute of all my leaves. When spring appears my leaves begin to bud, and in summer they assume a very gay appearance, of which I am very proud. Were you to stand at a distance and look at a great many of us together, you would be surprised to see the number of different shades of green amongst us, and the different leaves we wear. Of course, we are not all the same kind of tree.

I have done my best in giving you a short story of my history.

Every tree is known by its fruit.

So you should know this tree by its fruit here is the inscription inside the front cover attesting the age of the authoress and the first page of her manuscript.

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