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forced with crosse-windes to shift my sailes, and catch at side-windes, yet skilfully to steere, and keepe on my course, by the Cape of Good Hope, till I arrive at the haven of eternall happinesse ? — (Warwick's Spare Minutes.) • The phalæna russula and the saffron butterfly (papilio hyale) appear in this month.
Stoats and weasels are now very active in the poultry yards. Sometimes they are useful auxiliaries in destroying rats; but unfortunately they frequently attack the poultry. The weasel is much smaller than the stout, and may be known by a distinct black spot on each side of the mouth. The colour of both is a light brown, but, in severe winters, the stoat is often found nearly white.
The destruction of the partridge, which forms so great a delicacy at our table, commences with this month. Of the attachment of this bird to its young we have before spoken (T.T. 1814, p. 245); we have now to record a pleasing instance of affection in an attempt to protect its eggs, which occurred in June 1822, at Pilton Court Farm, near Gloucester. The labourers, in replacing a quantity of hay that bad, through some carelessness, fallen from a waggon on which it had been put for the purpose of removal, discovered a fine hen partridge sitting on thirteen eggs. It is remarkable that the scythe and rake bad each passed over her in regular process but a short time previously, but neither were sufficient to terrify her from the discharge of her parental duty; and even when the heavy fall of hay encompassed her in apparent ruin, she evidently had not made the least effort to escape the threatening danger, but rather appeared willing to sacrifice her life in the preservation of her nest.
The autumnal equinox happens on the 22d of September, and, at this time, the days and nights are equal all over the earth. About this period, heavy storms of wind and rain are experienced, as well as at the vernal equinox.
To the WINDS.
By Bernard Barton.
That ye were deified:
Unearthly thoughts supplied.
Like mountains in your wrath;
Yawn like Death's op'ning path!
To wreathe her dark locks there,
And stir her silken hair.
Ye come ! -We know not whence!
Though audible to sense.
The Moon,--her wax and wane;
But You his search disdain.
Like spirits in a dream;
Who leave no path untrod;
The common house-flies (notwithstanding the Michaelmas notice to quit, given in T. T. for 1821, p. 243) are numerous and troublesome, from their want of activity, as the weather decreases in warmth. A fly very much resembling this (stomoxys calcitrans) is also very troublesome to animals, both quadrupedal and bipedal.
The woolly excrescences now found on the dogrose (rosa canina), sometimes called spongia rose, bedegua, or bedeguar, are formed by a small fly (cynips rose), which, piercing the tender bud with its sting, sheds a drop of liquid, together with its eggs.
Herrings (clupea) pay their annual visit to England in this month, and afford a rich harvest to the inhabitants of its eastern and western coasts. A few herrings are caught during the summer months in some parts of the Bristol Channel; and they are supposed, by the fishermen, to remain there the whole year: they are of very superior flavour to those usually caught in the autumn.-For an anecdote of his present Majesty, as connected with the herring, see our last tome, pp. 254, 255, note,
Abundance of ripe fruit now tempts the willing palate; but we should be careful to abstain from such as is immature or decaying, for both these are of dangerous use. The summer of 1822 has been particularly favourable to the ripening of all kinds of wall fruit: the fig and the grape, likewise, have arrived at a perfection in the open air, this season, but rarely witnessed in England; and many a 'goodly cluster' of the latter has been proudly exhibited by the horticulturist: there has, indeed, been such an abundance of the grape, that this elegant ornament of the dessert will, probably, grace most of our tables during the English Carnival, from Christmas to Twelfth-day. But, if we regard size and flavour in this grateful fruit, we must look to more southern countries. They who have visited France (to say
capital) et pound, er selling cau, or the ppeara
nothing of Italy, Spain, and the Levant), will scarcely forget the exquisite taste and splendid appearance of the Chasselas de Fontainebleau, or the Muscats of Avignon; the former selling at Paris, in 1822, for fivepence a pound, and the latter (400 miles from the capital) at three haļfpence a hatfull. The common grapes, such as men, women, and children, usually eat in France, and such as are not to be procured in Angleterre, were sold for four sous the pound in this year.
In the course of this month, walnuts are added to our social pleasures; for what is more interesting than the after-dinner Wine and Walnuts!' of a small, well-selected, friendly ‘English party ? —Will our readers hear some anecdotes of our favourite fruit? We think the ladies, who amuse themselves so prettily in preparing them whole for mastication, will not object. This excellent fruit, then, as we are told, originated in the sunny vales of Persia Nuts were strewed antiently in all the avenues leading to the nuptial apartment; and the ceremony of strewing the nuts, nuces spargere, was the conclusion of the wedding-day. Nuts are very useful under different points of view; the threefold advantage which they possess, of giving light, warmth, and food, has been combined by Ovid in the following distich:
Nux vigilat, recreat, nutrit, prelo, igne, manuque ;
Pressa, perusta, crepans, luce, calore, cibo. This poet, in his poem entitled Nux, has also taken notice of the various insults which the walnut-tree receives at the hands of travellers on the highway; and Boileau says, Ep. vi, speaking of the river "Seine :'
Tous ses bords sont couverts de saules non plantés,
Et de noyers souvent du passant insultés. ? And here our readers, or rather the readers of that well-conducted miscellany 'the Literary Gazette,' will, doubtless, be reminded of some most ingenious papers under this title: we trust that, when the series is completed, they will be published in a separate form. To such as have not seen them, we can only say, Lege, et Perlege!
A bas-relief, on the south-west side of the cathedral of Amiens, representing two figures, who seem busy about the contents of a sack or bag full of what may be taken for walnuts, attaches itself to the following anecdote, but appears of a date anterior to the sixteenth century.—This town was taken by surprise, when Ferdinand Tellès besieged it in 1597, owing to the stratagem of a few Spanish soldiers, who, disguised in a plain country-dress, drove, early in the morning, a cart loaded with sacks full of walnuts. - The gates were unsuspiciously opened by the sentinels; two or three of the bags bursting, as if accidentally, the ground was strewed with the fruit. The guards fell to directly, picking and scrambling, whilst a body of troops, who were in ambush under the ramparts, rushed by impetuously, overcame the sentinels, and made themselves masters of the town. Henry IV, however, soon retook it from the Spaniards.
Having finished our wine and walnuts,' let us take a ramble by the sea-side, a pleasant thing in the month of September; but let us not forget that
on the shell-strewn borders of the ever-rolling ocean,' as well as in the daisied meadow-we may equally discover evidences of a Deity, and objects of wonder and delight.
Of submarine plants, our coasts (particularly the western) furnish a great variety, many of which are very beautiful, and are particularly remarkable for the firmness of their texture, and the brilliancy of their colouring. One of the most remarkable is the bloody sea dock, which, when in a state of perfection, is of a rich blood colour; from which "circumstance it probably derived its name. This plant is so very thin, and so strongly adhesive, that, if laid on paper, the sheet may be folded in almost any form, without occasioning either wrinkle or separation. The colour will retain its brilliancy for many years, and, when it has somewhat faded, it becomes variegated with red and yellow, bearing some re