Изображения страниц

Bern, and was often spoken of by travellers, as the ample means of instruction to the inhabitants of all most offensive feature of the town. The system was classes. The Institution of M. de Fellenberg* is perfectly inefficient; the labour was imposed by way situated only a few miles from the city. of punishment, but it is described as having been

• See Saturday Magazine, Vol. V., p. 234. "idleness scarcely disguised." The criminals themselves were hardened by habitual exposure in so degrading a situation, and their amendment became THE INDIAN RUBBER TREE, (Usquakuill.) consequently hopeless; while the mockery of a

II. punishment to which they were subjected, carried

In a former volumet we gave an account of the with it nothing to deter others from evil-doing.

The inhabitants of Bern profess the Reformed Indian Rubber Tree, from Woodville's Medical faith, and are about fourteen thousand in number. Botany. The following additional particulars, given Like their brethren of the canton in general, they by a Spanish writer on India, in the latter part of the

sixteenth century, are curious. From this account are a good-humoured, civil people, though not always

we learn, that the ancient Indian kings in South comely to the eye. The peasantry still retain the homely fashion of bidding guten morgen (good morn

America had their fools and jesters, as well as the ing) to the passing stranger, touching their hats with kings and nobles of Europe, and also that Indian a natural courteousness wholly devoid of servility of the Atlantic, in making waterproof cloaks.

rubber was applied, centuries ago, on the other side The dragon-fly caps and sulphur hats of the Bernese of the Atlantic, in making waterproof cloaks. females are as well known to us by prints, as the

“ There is a tree which they (the Indians) call Us: sweeping roofs, and“ all the delightful sun-repelling the hot country. It is not a very high tree, the leaves

quahuitl; it is held in great estimation, and grows in projections and picturesque redundancies" of the

are broad, and of an ashy colour. Bernese cottages. The straw-hat, more especially,

“This tree yields a white milky substance, thick and belongs to the peasantry, and is gradually superseded mentioned, which is described as a very odd-looking these wounds the liquor drops. The natives collect on approaching the capital, by the other head-dress gummy, and in great abundance. To obtain it they

wound the tree with an axe, or a cutlass, and from black skull-cap, standing stifly off the face, like the

it in round vessels of different sizes, called in their fly.caps of our great grandmothers, or rather like the two wings of a butterfly.

language Xicalli, but by us Calabashes. In these We thought at first (says Simond) that they were made they allow it to settle in round balls, of the size most of wire, but found the materials were black horse-hair, convenient for the purposes to which they are about a perfect coat of mail in millinery, passing from one gene

to apply them. When quite set, they boil them in ration to another, never the worse for wear; the hair under water, in which state the gum is called Ulli. it descends in two enormous tresses, from the back of the “ The Indians who have not got Calabashes, smear head down to the heels.

their bodies over with it, for nature is never without The peculiar costume of the lower class of females a resource; and when it becomes dry they remove may be seen fully displayed in the market, which, the whole incrustation, which comes off in the form * though rather monotonous in its air, from the same- of a very smooth membrane, its thickness depending

ness of the dress, and dull from the prevalence of upon the will of the party collecting. They thien black colours, still presents an original scene. The make it into balls, and boil them as before. women are described by the authoress of Slight Anciently they used to play with these balls, Reminiscences, &c., as “ amazingly rugged and striking them against the ground, and making them sinewy,” even the youngest of them; the old ones rise to a great height. But in the game of the Pelota are perfect in their way,

it was not struck against the ground, but canght upon Their black caps, with deep flapping veil-like borders, the hip, or the shoulder. gray hair hanging down the back in two long tresses, firm “ From the Ulli an oil is extracted, of great value i step, bronzed complexions, and the bold and scrutinizing in various applications. It was formerly much used

expression of their time-touched features, recall to mind the charmed women of Walter Scott. They are the by the natives, nor have they forgotten its properties Ulla Troils, Magdalen Græmes, and Elspeths of his rich

now: for it is soft and lubricous, and of especial imagination, embodied in all their brawny awfulness. effect in removing any tightness of the chest. The

The costly finery which is exposed for sale in this oil is extracted from the Ulli by heat; it starts but market is remarkable, when it is considered that the in a manner to create admiration, leaving me nought purchasers are principally country girls; it exhibits to compare it unto. a fancy display of beads, foils, and silver filagree.

“The oil is drunk mixed with cocoa, and, indeed, it Many of the inhabitants are afflicted with those softens any other medicine, however hard its quality. peculiar excrescences from the throat, which are

It is also found of great service in stoppiog hæmor. known by the appellation of goitres.

rhages, for which it is taken internally. They live in a delightful country, (says a writer before

The coagulated Ulli is so strong in itself, that a quoted,) and in an open and elevat situation, not jammed breast-plate made of it no arrow will pass; for being of in between mountains, but breathing freely, with a bright a nature leathery and membranous, it ejects the point.

sky, and a fine soil, and a rapid river, and abundant means “ The kings and the nobles were accustomed anci-21 of comfortable existence, and yet a striking proportion ently to make shoes of the Ulli, and to order their fools

of the children look like mandarins, with bald eyes and and jesters, the hump-backed and the dwarfs of the distended bodies, and many with the boneless-looking faces palace, to be shod therewith, in order to make them of the cretin, even when they are not of that awful race of the mental pariahs. If they have not already, one may sport; for the wearers could not step without falling, safely affirm that they will be favoured in time, as their wbich, with their awkward actions, gave rise to much

parents probably have been before them; luckily they do jesting and merriment. sci not appear to consider this enormity as a grievance, but, “Our people (the Spaniards) used it in waxing their '90 like the monster-headed members of the court of Comus, cloaks, which were made of coarse canvass, so as to Boast themselves more comely than before.

make them resist water; and, in truth, it is of great Bern is the birth-place of the celebrated Albert effect in resisting water, but not so the sun, for the • Haller. Its Academy was converted into an Univer- rays thereof melt it.” 3. sity in the year 1834, and with the other establish.

[TORQUEDAMA. Monarquia Indiana, Madrid, 1723.] 2:1 ments for education which it possesses, it affords

+ Vol. I, p. 47. • Vol. IX., p. 185.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

fire ;

lis to ajastirinci, THE SPANISH ARMADA.

THE POPULAR SUPERSTITIONS, LEGENDS, ATTEND all ye who list to hear our noble England's praise, AND FICTIONS, OF THE MIDDLE AGES. I tell of the thrice-famous deeds she wrought in ancient days, When that great fleet invincible against her bore in vain A WORK of great utility might be compiled upon the origin of popular The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts of Spain. fictions, and the transformation of similar tales from age to age, and It was about the lovely close of a warm Summer day,

from country to country. The Mythology of one period would thea There came a gallant merchant-ship full sail to Plymouth Bay; appear to pass into the romance of the next century, and that into Her erew hath seen Castille's black fleet, beyond Aurigny's isle,

the nursery-tale of subsequent ages.-Sir WALTER SCOTT. At earliest twilight, on the waves lie heaving many a mile ; At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial grace;

I. 9 And the tall Pinta, till the noon, had held her close in chase. 1. Porthwith a guard at every gun was placed along the wall;

ON THE ANCIENT INHABITANTS OF EUROPE, AND THEIR The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgcumbe's lofty hall; SUBSEQUENT DIVISION, &c.-NORTHERN MYTHOLOGY Many a light fishing-bark put out to pry along the coast ;

TRACED TO THE EASTERN INVADERS.THE SOURCE AND And with loose rcin and bloody spur rode inland many a post.

STREAM OF MODERN SUPERSTITIONS, FABLES, ETC. * With his white hair unbonneted the stout old sheriff comes;

Behind him march the halberdiers, before him sound the drums; The different characters that mark the civilized
His yeomen, round the market-cross, make clear an ample space,
For there behoves him to set up the standard of her Grace.

nations of the globe, may be ascribed to the use, and And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance the bells,

abuse, of reason; which so variously shapes, and so 9. As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon swells. artificially composes, the manners and opinions of an Look how the lion of the sea lifts up his ancient crown,

European or a Chinese. But the operation of instinct and underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies down. So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that famed Picard field, much easier to ascertain the appetites of a quadruped,

is more sure and simple than that of reason: it is Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Cæsar's eagle shield: 29 So glared he when at Agincourt in wrath he turned to bay, than the speculations of a philosopher; and the

And crushed and torn beneath his claws the princely hunters lay. savage tribes of mankind, as they approach nearer to Ho! strike the flag-staff deep, sir knight: ho! scatter flowers, the condition of aniinals, preserve a stronger resem

fair maids : "Ho! gunners fire a loud salute: ho! gallants, draw your blades :

blance to themselves and to each other. The uniform I Thou sun, shine on her joyously-ye breezes waft her wide; stability of their manners, is the natural consequence Our glorious SEMPER EADEM -the banner of our pride.

of the imperfection of their faculties. Reduced to a The freshening breeze of eve unfurled that banner's massy similar situation, their wants, their desires, their en

fold, 9 The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty scroll of gold; joyments, still continue the same: and the influence j. Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the purple sea, - of food or climate, which, in a more improved state 1. Such night in England ne'er bad been, nor e'er again shall be. of society, is suspended, or subdued, by so many

From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to Milford Bay, moral causes, most powerfully contributes to form,
That time of slumber was as bright and busy as the day;
For swift to east and swift to west the warning radiance spread;

and to maintain, the national character of barbarians. High on St. Michael's Mount it shone--it shone on Beachy Head. The Scythians and Tartars were a warlike people, Far on the deep the Spaniard saw, along each southern shire, renowned for their invincible courage and rapid conCape beyond cape, in endless range, those twinkling points of quests; and their arms have spread terror and devasThe fisher left his skiff to rock on Tamar's glittering waves,

tation over the most fertile and warlike countries of The rugged miners poured to war from Mendip's sunless caves. Europe. The tribes of Scythia, distinguished by the 1. O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks, the fiery herald modern appellation of hordes, assumed the form of a

flew; He roused the shepherds of Stonehenge, the rangers of Beaulieu.

numerous and increasing family, which, in the course Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out from Bristol of successive generations, has been propagated from town,

the same original stock. The meanest and most * And ere the day three hundred horse had met on Clifton down; ignorant of the Tartars preserve with conscious pride The sentinel on Whitehall Gate looked forth into the night,

the inestimable treasure of their genealogy ; and, And sa w o'erhanging Richmond Hill the streak of blood-red light.

Then bugle's note and cannon's roar the death-like silence broke, whatever distinctions of rank may have been intro*. And with one start, and with one cry, the royal city woke. duced by the unequal distribution of pastoral wealth, 59At once on all her stately gates arose the answering fires; they mutually respect themselves and each other, as

At once the wild alarum clashed from all her reeling spires;
From all the batteries of the Tower pealed loud the voice of fear;

the descendants of the first founder of the tribe. <3 And all the thousand masts of Thanies sent back a louder cheer:

The constant operation of various and permanent 97 And from the farthest wards was heard the rush of hurrying feet, causes contributed to unite the vagrant hordes into 3. And the broad streams of flags and pikos dashed down each roar- national communities, under the command of a supreme ing street:

head. The most successful of the Tartar princes And broader still became the blaze, and louder still the din, As fast from every village round the horse came spurring in:

assumed the military command, to which he was en. And eastward straight, from wild Blackheath, the warlike orrand titled by the superiority either of merit or of power. went,

He was raised to the throne by the acclamation of And roused in many an ancient hall the gallant 'squires of Kent. Southward from Surrey's pleasant hills flew those bright couriers his equals; and the title of Khan expresses, in the

language of the north of Asia, the full extent of the High on bloak Hampstead's swarthy moor they started for the regal dignity. The right of hereditary succession north;

was long confined to the blood of the founder of the And on, and on, without a pause, untired they bounded still, All night from tower to tower they sprang-they sprang from hill

monarchy; and at this moment all the Khans, who to hill,

reign from Crimea to the wall of China, are the 2. Till tho proud Peak unfurled the flag o'er Darwin's rocky dales- lineal descendants of Zingis. But, as it is the indis. 3. Tal like volcanoes Hared to heaven the stormy hills of Wales

pensable duty of a Tartar sovereign to lead his war. Till twelve fair counties saw the blaze on Malvern's lonely heightTúl streamed in crimson on the wind the Wrekin's crest of light

like subjects to the field, the claims of an infant are Till broad and fierce the star came forth on Ely's stately fane, often disregarded; and some royal kinsman, distinfi *And tower and hamlet rose in arms o'er all the boundless plain; guished by his age and valour, is intrusted with the Till Belvoir's lordly terraces the sign to Lincoln sent,

sword and sceptre of his predecessor, And Lincoln sped the message on o'er the wide vale of Trent;

The rudiments of a feudal government may be Till Skiddaw saw the fire that burned on Gaunt's embattled pile, And the red glare on Skiddaw roused the burghers of Carlisle.

discovered in the constitution of the Scythian or 18*17?

MACAULAY. Tartar nations; but the perpetual conflict of those

hostile nations has sometimes terminated in the estaJe Providence has thought fit to write in cyphers, shall he

blishment of a powerful and despotic empire. The be blamed who endeavours to give a key to its works, because some men cannot distinguish one stroke from

victor, enriched by the tribute, and fortified by the another in the cypher!-STILLINGFLERT

arms, of dependent kings, has spread his conquests

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



over Europe or Asia: the successful shepherds of the of Sunda and Carpentaria, all evince their connexion North have submitted to the confinement of arts, of with that great southern continent, and, however laws, and of cities; and the introduction of luxury, distant, the grand discriminating features are uniafter destroying the freedom of the people, has un- versally kept up amid the pathless regions of conti. dermined the foundation of the throne.

nental India. On these islands of perpetual storm, It was the sudden irruption of Odin and his war- we recognise the features of the solitary Kam. like Scythians from the Asiatic continent, that over- tschatkan, and the shivering Samoied. The boundless whelmed, and finally expelled, the Celtic tribes who ocean of colonization embraces continents with their had inhabited the greater part of Europe from the contiguous islands in its course, and it flows with a earliest ages. Flying from their Gothic invaders, never-ending perpetuity of motion. they took possession of the western shores of Britain The islands of Great Britain lying in an immediate and of Gaul five hundred years before Christ, ac- vicinity of the western continent, it is natural to cording to the chronology of Julius Cæsar, in his suppose that their original colonies were drawn from Commentaries. But the people here mentioned by the neighbouring shores of Belgium and of Gaul, Cæsar were not the aboriginal inhabitants of Britain, then inhabited by numberless tribes of Celts and but the Cimbrii, a second race from the same source Gauls, who (all) spoke a language similar in its as the Celtæ, who had settled here five hundred years import, though, like all other dialects, varying in its anterior to the era assigned by the Romans for its idiom and orthographical construction. The best colonization.

writers of that period agree with regard to the That the Celts were the prior inhabitants of Europe similarity of their manners, customs, &c., which admits not of a doubt; the remains of their language continued with little variation through the immense may be traced in every country; and the Cumraig of lapse of nearly one thousand years. Even their South, and Gaelic of North, Britain, plainly evince pristine language has remained almust pure and untheir origin.

altered to these times, in various parts of the kingdom, That there existed a race of people in these islands From the manners and customs of these people, before the arrival of the Cimbric tribes, is manifest, their mythology, superstitious rites, and exploits, from the venerable relics of their language, arts, and originated nearly the whole of those strange romances arms, to be found on every hand.

generally called “popular fictions.” The particular These inhabitants (says a celebrated Cumraig writer) histories of these romances, and their effects, will be possessed the whole of South Britain, long before the traced in the succeeding papers of this series. Although Cumraig, or Welsh, came into this country and expelled this species of what may be called the literature of them. As the greater part of the Cumraig names are

the vulgar, is now rapidly becoming extinct, much purely Celtic or Gaelic, they must have been imposed in

curious and interesting matter, and many satisfacages vastly prior to the arrival of the Cimbrii in Britain.

The interior parts of Britain (says Cæsar) are inhabited tory explanations, calculated to disabuse weak minds, by those whom tradition assigns as the original possessors

which may still retain early impressions of superstiof it; the inaritime parts by those who passed over from tion and error, will be developed in the inquiry, Belgium, in order to invade it; almost all of whom, on the ceasing of hostilities, took upon them the names of the provinces from whence they sprang, and remained there. How admirably are dogs adapted to their respectivo

Tacitus, in his brief but concise account, gives spheres ! The Greenland dog to wastes of untrodden further stability to this assertion. “ All circum

snow; the shepherd to mountain pastures; the cur, the

mastiff, and the bull-dog, as guardians of their master's stances considered, (says he,) it appears probable, that

property; hunting dogs of various descriptions to clear the the Gauls were the original inhabitants of Britain."

country from wild and predatory animals; blood-bounds to Venerable Bede, one of the most respectable of our find out the haunts of robbers, or to recover stolen goods; ancient chroniclers, asserts, that~

the St. Bernard variety for the saving of human life. These islands were first inhabited only by Britons, from If the species were suddenly annihilated, how could whence the name of Britain, who crossing over from

their services be supplied ? how could the shivering natives Armorica (Armoricanus tractus,) to Britain, as is reported. of frost-bound regions pass over their wastes of snow? took possession of the southern parts, and reigned over the thousands who now rest securely on their beds, must rise. kingdom. By Armorica is meant that part of Gaul which and watch in darkness and in storms; many a lost traveller lies directly opposite to Britain, on the other side of the would perish; and innumerable evils, which are checked by channel. Cæsar, in a different account of the Celtic or

these faithful warders, would require continual vigilance to Gallic warfare, informs us, that even in his time, Diviaticus, circumvent, or courage to ward off.-Domesticated Animals. leader of the Gauls, bore sway over these islands called Britain.

That which I have found the best recreation both to my Pliny also mentions a people opposite to Britain mind and body, whensoever either of them stands in called the Britanni, from whom the first people of need of it, is music, which exercises at once both my body

and soul; especially when I play myself; for then, meBritain seem to have originated.

thinks, the same motion that my hand makes upon the The present generation (says an able historian) is fully instrument, the instrument makes upon my heart. It calls satisfied with the simple and rational opinion, that the

in my spirits, composes my thoughts, delights my ear, islands of Great Britain and Ireland were gradually recreates my mind, and so not only fits me for after busipeopled from the adjacent continent of Gaul. From the ness, but fills my heart, at the present, with pure and extremities of Kent to the promontories of Caithness, and useful thoughts; so that when the music sounds the Ulster, the memory of a Celtic origin is distinctly pre-sweetliest in my ears, truth commonly flows the clearest served, in the perpetual resemblance of language, religion, into my mind. And hence it is that I find my soul is and manners.

become more harmonious, by being accustomed so much to It is a point universally established, that islands harmony, and so averse to all manners of discord, that the have been settled from their contiguous continents. I least jarring sounds, either in notes or words, seem very In those islands scattered over the surface of that

harsh and unpleasant to me.-Bishop BEVERIDGE. immense world of waters, the Pacific Ocean, the inhabitants have ever been found to possess a simi

Sweet were the sauce would please each kind of taste,

The life, likewise, were pure that never swerved ; larity of form and features, as well as of manners,

For spiteful tongues, in cankered stomachs placed, language, rites, and ceremonies, to the parent hordes Deem worst of things which best, percase, deserved. from whence they sprang. Those innumerable But what of that? This medicine may suffice, islands which are found lying to the east of the Gulfs To scorn the rest, and seek to please the wise.



and covered internally by a solid web; but divided No animals fall more universally under observation vertically, it will be seen to be formed of more than than the Spiders ; we see them everywhere, fabri- thirty alternate layers of earth and web, emboxed in cating their snares, or lying in wait for their prey; in each other like a set of weights for small scales. our houses, in the fields, on the trees, shrubs, flowers, These layers all terminate in the hinge, and the door grass, and in the earth: and if we watch their pro- will shut of itself. The advantage of this to the ceedings, we may sometimes see them, without the Spider is evident, for whether she darts out upon her aid of wings, ascend into the air, where, carried by prey, or retreats from an enemy, she is not delayed their web, as by an air-balloon, they can elevate by having to shut the door. The principal instruthemselves to a great height. The webs they spin ments by which she performs her various operations, and weave are also equally dispersed; they often fill are her mandibles and her spinners ; but as no one the air, so as to be troublesome to us, and cover the has ever seen her at work upon her habitation, it canearth. M. Mendo Trigozo relates, that at Lisbon, on not be known exactly how these organs, and probably the 6th of November, 1811, the Tagus was covered, her anterior legs, are employed in her building. for more than half an hour, by these webs, and that The insects that frequent the waters require predainnumerable Spiders accompanied them which swam cious animals to keep them within due limits, as well on the surface of the water. I have given an account as those that inhabit the earth; and the Water-Spider of the instruments by which they weave them; and is one of the most remarkable upon whom that shall now say a few words upon those by which their office is devolved by her Creator. To do this her Creator has enabled them to produce the material of instinct instructs her to fabricate a kind of diving-bell which they are formed.

in the bosom of that element. She usually selects At the extremity of the abdomen, in a roundish still water for this purpose. Her house is an oval depressed space, are four or six jointed, teat-like cocoon, filled with air, and lined with silk, from organs. The exterior pair is the longest, consisting which threads issue in every direction, and are fastof three joints ; but these have no orifices for the ened to the surrounding plants; in this cocoon, transmission of threads : the other four consist cach which is open below, she watches for her prey, and of two joints, with innumerable little orifices, in some even appears to pass the Winter, when she closes the species amounting to a thousand, from which the opening. It is most commonly entirely under water, web issues at will, or they are bristled with minute but its inhabitant has filled it with air for her respinnerets, each furnishing a thread. These teats spiration, which enables her to live in it.

She conare connected with internal reservoirs, which yield veys the air to it in the following manner:-She the fluid matter forming the thread, or w... These usually swims upon her back, when her abdomen is reservoirs, in some species, consist of four, and in enveloped in a bubble of air, and appears like a globe others, of sir vessels folded several times, and com- of quicksilver ; with this she enters her cocoon,

and municating with other vessels, in which the material displacing an equal mass of water, again ascends for that forms their web is first elaborated.

a second lading, till she has sufficiently filled her The threads, after they issue from these organs, are house with it, so as to expel all the water. The united, or kept separate, according to the wills or males construct similar habitations. How these wants of the animal; and it is stated, that from them little animals can envelop their abdomen with an certain Spiders can spin three kinds of silk. Their air-bubble, and retain it till they enter their cells, is ordinary thread is so fine, that it would require still one of nature's mysteries that have not been twenty-four united to equal the thickness of that of explained. We cannot help, however, admiring and the silk-worm.

These threads, fine as they are, will adoring the wisdom, power, and goodness, manifested bear, without breaking, a weight sextuple that of the in this singular provision, enabling an animal that Spider that spins them. They employ their web, breathes the atmospheric air, to fill her house with it generally, for three different purposes; in the con- under the water ; and which has instructed her in a struction of their snares, of their own habitations, secret art, by which she can clothe part of her body and of a cocoon to contain their eggs.

with air, as with a garment, which she can put off Some species of Spiders are gifted with a parti- when it answers her purpose. This is a kind of cular talent for building : they hollow out dens, bore attraction and repulsion that mocks all our inquiries. galleries, elevate vaults, build subterraneous bridges,

[Abridged from Kirby's Bridgewater Treatise.] and construct also entrances to their habitations, and adapt doors to them, which want nothing but bolts,

NOTES ON FOREST TREES, No. VI. for, without any exaggeration, they work upon a hinge, and are fitted to a frame. The interior of their

THE LARCH, (Pinus larir.) habitations is no less remarkable for the extreme The Larch seems to form a kind of connecting link neatness which reigns there; whatever be the humi- between the evergreen trees and those in which the dity of the soil in which they are constructed, water leaves are deciduous, resembling the former in general never penetrates them; the walls are nicely covered appearance, in the form of its leaves, and its resinwith a tapestry of silk, having usually the lustre of ous productions, and the latter from losing its foliage satin, and almost always of a dazzling whiteness. in the Autumn, and renewing it in the following

These habitations are found in an argillaceous kind Spring. There are three principal species of this of red earth, in which the Spiders bore tubes about tree,--the White, the Red, and the Black; the first, three inches in depth, and ten lines in width. The our common Larch, a native of Europe and Northern walls of these tubes are covered first with a kind of Asia, and the two last of North America. The stem coarse mortar, and then with a coat of finer, which is of the Larch is extremely beautiful in form, gradually as smooth and regular as if a trowel had been passed tapering from the base to the summit; the colour of over it; but before the adroit workwoman lays this, the leaves is of a much brighter green, and more she covers the coarser work with a web, on which she pleasing to the eye, than that of the evergreen firs. glues ber silken tapestry. The door that closes her in almost all cases the Larch-forests, in a state of apartment is still more remarkable in its structure. nature, are found nearly unmixed with trees of any From its outward appearance, we should think that other species ; this arises from its quick growth, it was formed of a mass of earth coarsely worked, which so far exceeds that of other forest-timber, as


to cause it to over-top its neighbours so rapidly as to Raphael's pictures are painted on boards of Larch. deprive them of air and light, and in this manner The chief reason that Larch is less employed than it check their growth. This happens in the Summer-deserves to be, is the difficulty w th which it is season, when all plants require their influence; on worked, owing to its clammy and tough nature. the other hand, losing its leaves in the Autumn, it is The advantages that would accrue from the extenunable to shield them in the Winter from the cold sive cultivation of this tree in the British Isles are, winds of the season, so that it cannot, like the Scotch that it will grow in soils and situations where hardly Fir, become a protecting nurse to a youug plantation. any other tree can thrive. “It grows on almost any

soil, if not absolutely arid, or absolutely a swamp, where other trees will grow, and where they will not."

The resin which the Larch yields, in common with all the Pine tribe, is known in commerce as Venice turpentine; to obtain this, the tree is bored on the south side, about three or four feet from the ground, twice in the year, namely, in May and September; a kind of spout, or gutter, is placed in the hole, and the sap received in a vessel placed below; as soon as it ceases to flow, the holes are plugged up. A good tree will yield from seven to eight pounds of resin a year, for forty or fifty years in succession. A kind of manna is also collected from its leaves in the Spring, called Briançon manna.

A curious anecdote is told of the introduction of this tree into Scotland. The plants arrived at Dunkeld, the seat of the Duke of Athol, to whom they had been presented, along with orange-trees and other Italian exotics, and they were all placed in the hot-house together; the temperature of the place, of course, speedily killed the Larches, and their remains were thrown on the dung-heap; here, their roots being covered by the refuse of the garden, some slight remains of life remaining still in them, they began to vegetate, and being in a more genial atmosphere, the branches shot forth their buds, and, by degrees, the plants became vigorous. Since then,

large tracts of land have been planted in Scotland 1930s

with this tree, and it has been much used in shipbuilding The first British ship of war built with this wood was a frigate, in 1819-20; it was laid down at Woolwich, and the timber was supplied by

the extensive plantations of the Duke of Athol. THE LARCII,

The general height of a well-grown Larch is from The timber of the Larch is extremely tough and 90 to 100 feet, although mention is made of speci- . durable, and so elastic in its nature, as to bend have exceeded 120 feet. Its mode of propagation in

mens produced on the ridges of the Alps, which before the most violent gale, and again assume its upright form as soon as the wind has passed. A violent by means of seed, like the rest of the Pine tribe.

Selasa storm which occurred in Scotland, in 1803, literally

FOTO 09 do sada 2 sonina ploughed avenues in forests of half-grown Pines,

a 1997 se o sem while a few Larches that were mixed with them were

obeto ed hos voca not injured. 1990 metaal toisten

e sold out by One property possessed by the wood of the Larch,

0030 T 3 renders it, in a certain manner, superior to that of

aadi ra boot dia any other timber; this consists in its timber being

dwa zelgenot equally good throughout its thickness, possessing no

hods sap-wood. In this it is superior even to the oak,

alna) which, when timber of the best quality, heart of oak, is required, suffers a loss of at least one-third of its

03 25 substance by the removal of the sap-wood. Every branch also of the Larch is equal in quality to the main stem itself. I

Pit mo From its durable nature, the timber of this tree is of great use for many purposes; the picturesque cottages of the Swiss peasantry are formed of its wood, and are remarkable for their durability, and it resists the alternate action of wet and dry weather better than any other. In England, our hop-poles, which are formed of ash and elm, seldom last more than three or four years, but the vine-props of France,

LEAVES, BLOSSOM, AND SEED-POD OF THE LARCH. formed of Larch, are of so durable a nature, that the proprietors of the vineyards declare, their fathers

LONDON are unable to state when they were first placed in the


PRICE SIXPENCE, AND was much used by the older painters, many of Sold by all Booksellers and Newavenders in the Kingdom.

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »