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summer, for grafting. The almond is pruned the same as the peach, to which family it belongs.

The apple thrives best in the higher districts, where the aspect is southern. It attains perfection in any of the good loamy soils; and, if well irrigated in summer, the fruit, which ripens from December to April, is large in size, and rich in flavour. That pest, the American, or cotton blight, is as destructive to the apple in Australia, as in Britain. To eradicate it, the settlers pare off the infected places, and well scrub the parts with black oil mixed with a small quantity of sulphur.

The apricot, a native of China, and several parts of Europe, attains great perfection in Australia. It thrives best on a rich loam, 2 or 3 feet deep, on a dry bottom. It should be planted immediately after the fall of the leaf, which is generally about the end of May. The fruit ripens from November to February, according to situation.

The cherry succeeds best in a deep brown loam, in a situation sheltered from hot winds.

The cucumber is generally obtained from seed, and attains great perfection.

CHAPTER IX.

Mirage-Effect of the climate-Advice on the preser

vation of health.

That curious optical illusion, the mirage, may be occasionally witnessed on the plains of Australia. I first beheld this singular phenomeron one hot summer's morning : the sun was shining, the wind hushed, and the sky cloudless, when the plain I was journeying over appeared suddenly transformed into lakes of glistening silver.

I rubbed

my gazed again and again; stamped the ground, and peered at the sky, in order to be convinced that I was indeed on terra firma, so beautiful,

dazzled eyes,

so strange, and so fairy-like, was the prospect. The idea of a mirage did not immediately cross my mind, as I had neither read nor heard that the phenomenon had been witnessed in the Australian colonies. Travellers in the East have recorded that mirages in those parts have all the appearance of water ; those I witnessed in the Australian colonies had a somewhat different aspect; for though they reflected images as distinctly as water, they looked so hard and metallic, that no one would take them for that element. I could learn nothing satisfactory from the colonists as to when or under what circumstances these illusions take place. I myself have seen them only when the weather was hot and calm; they are probably induced by the mass of atmosphere on the plains remaining at rest, while the stratum in contact with the soil becomes heated by caloric disengaged from the parched earth. I remember, on one occasion, a breeze sprang up, when the silvery scene presented a series of undulations, and then suddenly vanished.

The effects of the climate of the Australian provinces on the health of civilized man, and more especially on that of British emigrants and their progeny, is a subject on which we have no well-founded data, but many conflicting statements. We must not depend on the returns of births, diseases, and deaths to elucidate the question, as they are too limited and inaccurate; neither can we rely on the published laudatory testimonies of the interested established colonist, nor fully credit the groundless aspersions of the unfortunate emigrant, who, disappointed and dispirited, returns to his native land only to condemn Australia, and all and every one connected with it. These considerations induced me, when in Melbourne, to procure the opinions of the medical faculty, without leading them to suppose that such opinions would be published. As a patient, I consulted five gentlemen of high standing and extensive practice in the colony, and afterwards received advice from several of the lesser stars. The following is a general statement of their opinions :

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