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Devil. St. Dunstan.
A SPEECH BY ST. DUNSTAN.
—— Snap, thus, I have him by the nose!
St. Bernardin of Sienna, A. D. 1444. St. Ethelbert, King of the East Angles, A. D. 793. St. Yvo, Bp. of Chartres,
A. D. 1115.
ON BEING CONFINED TO SCHOOL ONE
Lucretius on Spring and the Season*, translated by Good.
* Hone, on Ancient Myttcries.
But for me no songster sings,
In the "Perennial Calendar," Dr. Forster with great taste introduces a beautiful series of quotations adapted to the season from different poets:—
Then Heat succeeds, the parched Etesian breeze,
Milton makes the most heavenly clime to consist of an eternal spring:
The birds that quire apply j airs, vernal airs.
From Atherttones Last Days of Herculaneum.
Soft tints of sweet May morn, when day's bright god
From Spring, by Kleht.
Who thus, O tulip! thy gay-painted breast
To my charmed senses gives its cooling smell.
In lowly beds the purple violets bloom,
And liberal shower around their rich perfume.
See, how the peacock stalks yon beds beside,
Where rayed in sparkling dust and velvet pride.
Like brilliant stars, arranged in splendid row,
The proud auriculas their lustre show:
The jealous bird now shows his swelling breast,
His many-coloured neck, and lofty crest j
Then all at once his dazzling tail displays,
On whose broad circle thousand rainbows blaze.
The wanton butterflies, with fickle wing,
Flutter round every flower that decks the spring;
Then on their painted pinions eager haste,
The luscious cherry's blood to taste.
Prognoitiei of Weather and Horologe of Flora.
FOR SPRING AND SUMMER.
From the "Perennial Calendar."
Chickweed.-»-When the flower expands boldly and fully, no rain will happen for four hours or upwards: if it continues in that open state, no rain will disturb the summer's day: when it half conceals its miniature flower, the day is generally showery; but if it entirely shuts up, or veils the white flower with its green mantle, let the traveller put on his great coat, and the ploughman, with his beasts of drought, expect rest from their labour,
Siberian sowthistle.—If the flowers of this plant keep open all night, rain will certainly fall the next day.
Trefoil.—The different species of trefoil always contract their leaves at the approach of a storm: hence these plants have been termed the husbandman's barometer.
African marygold.—If this plant opens not i ts flowers in the morning about seven o'clock, you may be sure it will rain that day, unless it thunders.
The convolvulus also, and the pimpernel anagalis arvensit, fold up their leaves on the approach of rain: the last in particular is termed the poor man's weather-glass.
White thorns and dog-rose bushes.— Wet summers are generally attended with an uncommon quantity of seed on these shrubs; whence their unusual fruitfulness is a sign of a severe winter.
Besides the above, there are several plants, especially those with compound yellow flowers, which nod, and during the whole day turn their flowers towards the sun: viz. to the east in the morning, to the south at noon, and to the west towards evening; this is very observable in the sowthistle tonchus arvensit: and it is a welUknown fact, that a great part pf the plants in a serene sky expand their flowers, and as it were with cheerful looks behold the light of the sun; but before rain they shut them up, as the tulip.
The flowers of the alpine whitlow grass drqba alpina, the bastard feverfew pqrthenium, and the wintergreen trientalis, hang down in the night as if the plants were asleep, lest rain or the moist air should injure the fertilising dust.
One speeies of woodsorrel shuts up or doubles its leaves before storms and tempests, but in a serene sky expands or
unfolds them, so that the husbandman can pretty clearly foretell tempests from it. It is also well known that the mountain ebony bauhinla, sensitive plants, and cassia, observe the same rule.
Besides affording prognostics, many plants also fold themselves up at particular hours, with such regularity, as to have acquired particular names from this property. The following are among the more remarkable plants of this description :—
Goatsbeard. — The flowers of both species of tragopogon open in the morning at the approach of the sun, and without regard to the state of the weather •regularly shut about noon. Hence it is generally known in the country by the name of go to bed at noon.
The princesses' leaf, or four o'clock flower, in the Malay Islands, is an elegant shrub so called by the natives, because their ladies are fond of the grateful odour ■of its white leaves. It takes its generic name from its quality of opening its flowers at four in the evening, and not closing them in the morning till the same hour returns, when they again expand in the evening at the same hour. Many people transplant them from the woods into their gardens, and use them as a dial or a clock, especially in cloudy weather.
The evening primrose is well known ■from its remarkable properties of regularly shutting with a loud popping noise, about sunset in the evening, and opening at sunrise in the morning. After six o'clock, these flowers regularly report the approach of night.
The tamarind tree parkinsonia, the nipplewort lapsana communis, the water lily nymphaea, the marygolds calendulae, the bastard sensitive plant aeschynomene, and several others of the diadelphia class, in serene weather, expand their leaves in the daytime, and contract them during the night. According to some botanists, the tamarind-tree enfolds within its leaves the flowers or fruit every night, in order to guard them from cold or rain.
The flower of the garden 'lettuce, which is in a vertical plane, opens at seven o'clock, and shuts at ten.
A species of serpentine aloe, without prickles,- whose large and beautiful flowers exhale a strong odour of the vanilla during the time of its expansion, which is very short, is cultivated in the imperial garden at Paris. It does not blow till towards the month of July, and about five o'clock in the evening, at which time it gradually opens its petals, expands them, droops, ana dies. By ten o'clock the same night, it is totally T^ithered, to the great astonishment of the spectators, who flock in crowds to see it
The cerea, a native of Jamaica and Vera Cruz, expands an exquisitely beautiful coral flower, and emits a highly fragrant odour, for a few hours in the night, and then closes to open no more. The flower is nearly a foot in diameter; the inside of the calyx, of a splendid yellow; and the numerous petals are of a pure white. It begins to open about seven or eight o'clock in the evening, and closes before sunrise in the morning.
The flower of the dandelion possesses very peculiar means of sheltering itself from the heat of the sun, as it closes entirely whenever the heat becomes excessive. It has been observed to open, in summer, at half an hour after five in the morning, and to collect its petals towards the centre about nine o'clock.
Linnaeus has enumerated forty-six flowers, which possess this kind of sensibility t he divides them into three classes.—1. Meteoric flowers, which less accurately observe the hour of folding, but are expanded sooner or later according to the cloudiness, moisture, or pressure of the atmosphere. 2. Tropical Flowers, that open in the morning and close before evening every day, but the hour of their expanding becomes earlier or later as the length of the day increases or decreases. 3. Equinoctial Flowers, which open at a certain and exact hour of the day, and for the most part close at another determinate hour.
On Flora't Horologe, by Charlotte Smith. In every copse and sheltered dell, Unveiled to the observant eye, Are faithful monitors, who tell
How pass the hours and seasons by.
The green-robed children of the Spring
Mingle with leaves Time's feathered wing,
Mark where transparent waters glide.
There, cradled on the dimpling tide,
But conscious of the earliest beam,
She rises from her humid nest, And sees reflected in the stream
The virgin whiteness of her breast.
Till the bright Daystar to the west
Then, folded in her modest vest,
See Hieracium's various tribe,
Of plumy seed and radiate flowers,
The course of Time their blooms describe,
Broad o'er its imbricated cup
The Goatsbeard spreads its golden rays, But shuts its cautious petals up,
Retreating from the noontide blaze.
Pale as a pensive cloistered nun,
When o'er the mountain peers the Sun,
Among the loose and arid sands
Tlie humble Arenaria creeps; Slowly the Purple Star expands,
But soon within its calyx sleeps.
And those small bells so lightly rayed
With young Aurora's rosy hue, Are to the noontide Sun displayed.
But shut their plaits against the dew.
On upland slopes the shepherds mark
Cichorium to the towering Lark
And thou, "Wee crimson tipped flower," J
Thy bosom, at the closing hour,
When nightdrops bathe the turfy ground.
Unlike Silene, who declines
But when the evening crescent shines.
Thus in each flower and simple bell,
That in our path betrodden lie, Are sweet remembrancers who tell
How fast their winged moments fly.
Dr. Forster remarks that towards the close of this month, the cat's ear hypochteris radicata is in flower every where; its first appearance is about the 18th day. This plant, as well as the rough dandelion, continues to flower till after Midsummer. The lilac, the barberry tree, the maple, and other trees and shrubs, are also in flower. The meadow grasses are full grown and flowering. The flowers of the garden rose, in early and warm years, begin to open.
On a Young Rosebud in May, from the
A Rose, that bloomed the roadside by,-
She saw the blooming flow'r.
The child exclaimed, " My hands shall dare,
Thee, Rose, from off thy stem to tear:"
The Rose replied, " If I have need,
My thorns shall make thy fingers bleed—*
. Thy rash design give o'er."
My little Rose, my Rosebud dear f
My Rose that blooms the roadside near >
Regardless of its thorny spray,
To quell the urchin's pow'r.
From Dr. Aikin's "Natural History of the Year," the ensuing passages regarding the season will be found agreeable and useful, i
On hedge-banks the wild germander of a fine azure blue is conspicuous, and the whole surface of meadows is often covered by the yellow crowfoot. These flowers, also called buttercups, are erroneously supposed to communicate to the butter at this season its rich yellow tinge, as the cows will not touch it on account of its acrid biting quality; this is strikingly visible in pastures, where, though all the grass is cropped to the very roots, the numerous tufts of this weed spring up, flower, and shed their seeds in perfect security, and the most absolute freedom from molestation by the cattle; they are indeed cut down and made into hay together with the rest of the rubbish that usually occupies a large proportion of every meadow; and in this state are . eaten by cattle, partly because they are • incapable of separating them, and partly because, by dying, their acrimony is considerably subdued; but there can be no doubt of their place being much better supplied by any sort of real grass. In the present age of agricultural improvement the subject of grass lands among others has been a good deal attended to, but much yet remains to be done, and the tracts of the ingenious Stillingfleet, and of Mr. Curtis, on this important division of rural economy, are well deserving the notice of every liberal farmer. The excellence of a meadow consists in its producing as much herbage as pos
sible, and that this herbage should be agreeable and nutritious to the animals which are fed with its crop. Every plant of crowfoot therefore ought, if practicable, to be extirpated, for, so far from being grateful and nourishing to any kind of cattle, it is notorious, that in its fresh state nothing will touch it. The same may be said of the hemlock, hex, and other umbelliferous plants which are common in most fields, and which have entirely overrun others; for these when fresh are not only noxious to the animals that are fed upon hay, but from their rank and straggling manner of growth occupy a very large proportion of the ground. Many other plants that are commonly found in meadows may upon the same principles be objected to; and though the present generation of farmers has done much, yet still more remains for their successors to perform.
The gardens now yield an agreeable though immature product in the young gooseberries and currants, which are highly acceptable to our tables, now almost exhausted of their store of pre* served fruits.
Early in the month the latest species of the summer birds of passage arrive, generally in the following order: fernowl or goat-sucker, fly-catcher, and sedgebird.
This is also the principal time in which birds hatch and rear their young. The assiduity and patience of the female during the task of sitting is admirable, as well as the conjugal affection of the male, who sings to his mate, and often supplies her place; and nothing can exceed the parental tenderness of both when the young are brought to light.
Several species of insects are this month added to those which have already been enumerated; the chief of which are the great white cabbage butterfly, capilio brassicx; the may-chaffer, the favourite food of the fern-owl; the horse-fly, or forest-fly, so great a plague to horses and cattle; and several kinds of moths and butterflies.
Towards the end of May the bee-hives send forth their earlier swarms. These colonies consist of the young progeny, and some old ones, now grown too numerous to remain in their present habitation, and sufficiently strong and vigorous to provide for themselves. One queen bee is necessary to form each colony; and wherever she flies they follow, Na»