« 前へ次へ »
obscured by clouds. The daisy offers a ready example of this phenomenon. We often see it in winter, or at least in very cold weather, expanding its snow-white rays, as if regardless of the season : yet it is very sensible to impressions from dew and rain. It regularly shuts after sun-set, to expand again, however, with the morning light, as is beautifully expressed by Leyden.
Oft have I watched thy closing buds at eve,
Seen them unclasp their folded leaves again. Should the weather become moist or rainy, the time is anticipated,
When evening brings the merry folding hours,
And sun-eyed daisies close their winking flowers. And then we may examine a whole field, and not find a daisy open; unless those, indeed, whose flowering being nearly over, have, in consequence, lost their sensibility.
Flowers are very attractive by the exquisiteness of their odours. The violet first emerges from the lap of winter, and breatbes her sweetness to the rough March winds. This little flower has in all ages been a favourite, and, in every country where it grows, is recognised as the emblem of modesty and innocence. Shakspeare speaks of
- Violets dim,
Or Cytherea's breath. And, indeed, scarcely a poet can be named who has not sweetly sung of
The violet blue that on the moss bank grows. As the season advances, and the full power of vegetation awakes into action, every mead, thicket, lane, and hedge-row, gives out its perfumes, and is garnished with blossoms. But it is in tropical countries that the animating fragrance of flowers is most exquisite. There, in the cool of the morning, or when the day declines, and the evening dews have begun to fall, the whole atmosphere is filled with balmy odours. The fragrance of the starry gardenia, or wild Cape jessamine, when in full blow, may be perceived, in the evening, at the distance of several miles. The scent of the swamp maynolia, or beaver tree, of North America, is also, when in flower, perceived at a great distance. Kalm says the whole air is filled with it, and that 'it is beyond description agreeable to travel in the woods about that time, especially towards night.'— First Steps to Botany, p. 176, Second Edition,
Flowers and Fruits of Spring in Madeira. The author of Rambles in Madeira and Portugal in 1826,' gives us the following account of Spring in the former country :- April 3. We have lately had some days of violent rain; and the weather has not as yet settled into that genial warmth and sunshine, which, at Madeira,commonly makes a fine day a matter of course. Our garden, however, is always beautiful; and at this season, every morning reveals to me some fair shrub or flower, which I had never known before, (or, if at all, only as the denizen of an English conservatory or hot-house) putting forth its leaves or its blossoms to the sun. The Judas trees, with their swarm of pink, butterfly blossoms, are particularly conspicuous. The Selandria (grandi-flora) too is beginning to develope its large white bells, but they are neither in shape nor hue so elegant as those of the Datura; this last I am glad to see has not yet exhausted her stores. Some of the passion-flowers at present in bloom are very exquisite ; especially one of the scarlet kind-the flowers of which, wreathed in the dark hair of a young Madeirense, forms one of the most effective coronals I have seen.
*You are not, however, sensible here of that change, either in the air or in the face of things, which makes spring so delightsul in England,
When April starts, and wakes around
Scatters his freshest, tenderest green. “There is hardly any sense of this delightful vicissitude at Madeira: the year is one summer, with comparatively little alteration either of temperature or hue; and I have not as yet made up my mind which system of seasons I should prefer. We have had a profusion of flowers all the winter; indeed, the tribe of roses has never been in such full and general glow as soon after we arrived in January: the trees then,
too, were laden with guavas, and oranges, and custard-apples, which now only gire, in their flower, the promise of another crop next autumn. There are still bapanas, however, which, I believe, last all the year; and oranges we get from the north : as for the others, their loss to me is more than compensated by the quantity of wild strawberries which they are now beginning to bring down by baskets full from the mountains, and which form a delicious addition to the breakfast table.
Some improvement, nevertheless, in the face of the country, the spring works even here. The vines are now beginning to push their leaves, and the cornfields to look green; which gives to the lower slopes of the mountains an aspect of verdure, which, at other times, perhaps, they too much betray the want of. There is little or no change observable in the woods and hedges : few or none of the indigenous trees and bushes are deciduous. Of exotics, the chestnut is the only one seen in considerable quantities, and the plantations of this tree are very partial.
I do not know that the native Flora has much improved since we came: the little peasant girls have for some time ceased their morning tribute of violets from the bills.
The Night-BLOWING Cereus.
Like Maia's son he stood,
In MAY 1828. 1.-SAINT PHILIP AND SAINT JAMES THE LESS.
The first of these martyrs was stoned to death; and the second, having been thrown from a high place, was killed by a fuller's staff.
1.-MAY-DAY. : This is the chimney-sweepers' carnival. I have a kindly yearning (says Elia) towards these dim specks -poor blots-innocent blacknesses. I reverence these young Africans of our own growth; these almost clergy imps, who sport their cloth without assumption; and from their little pulpits (the tops of chimnies), in the nipping air of a December morning, preach a lesson of patience to mankind.—Reader, if thou meetest one of these small gentry in thy early rambles, it is good to give him a penny: it is better to give him twopence. If it be starving weather, and, to the proper troubles of his hard occupation, a pair of kibed heels (no unusual accompaniment) be superadded, the demand on thy humanity will surely rise to a tester. For the last twenty years, or more,we record it to the honour of Montgomery, the poet, and some worthy coadjutors—it has been the custom to give the climbing-boys of Sheffield an annual dinner on the 1st of May. From twenty-four to twenty-six attend, and their appearance and behaviour do credit to their masters. From Mr. Montgomery's ChimneySweeper's Friend, a series of representations calcu
lated to assist the immediate relief of the sufferers,
(By James Montgomery.]
The gay, the selfish, and the proud;
Is mock'ry with the thoughtless crowd.
Of burning infamy bis art;
And feel the iron at her heart.
Stript, wounded, left by thieves half dead;
At rich man's gates imploring bread.
Limbs moulded in a kindred form,
Endear me to my brother-worm.
A naked, helpless, weeping child;
On such hath ev'ry mother smiled,
Down in that cold, oblivious gloom,
Crowd, without fellowship, the tomb.
He shall stand up before the throne,
And good and evil only known.
Am I less fall’n from God and truth?
And leprosy consume bis youth?