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Thou should'st be wreathed in coronal immortal;
Specimens of Polish Poets. From the garden to the field it is but a step; and here we may see clover in blossom, and regale our olfactory senses with its delightful fragrance. The sweet-scented vernal grass, which is the cause of the very delightful scent of hay, flowers also in this month, and diffuses its fragrance through the country. About the beginning of June, the pimpernel, thyme, the bitter-sweet nightshade, white bryony, and the dog-rose, have their flowers full blown. The poppy is now in flower.
The opium of commerce is prepared from the Papaver somniferum, or white poppy, so named from the whiteness of its seeds. Opium is merely the milky juice of the plant inspissated, and blackened by drying. It is obtained by making incisions in the capsules every evening, and in the morning the sap, which has distilled from the wound, and become thickened, is scraped off, and being afterwards worked by the hand in the sunshine, is formed into cakes of about four pounds weight each. The quantity of this drug used for medical and other purposes is immense. Six hundred thousand pounds are said to be annually exported from the Ganges alone. - Whatever be the mysterious link connecting mind to matter, we are certain that during this mortal coil the former is influenced by the condition of the latter, especially of that part which seems to be the soul's peculiar habitation, the nervous systein. A human being may linger under disease of the lungs or other viscera, and be worn to the last thread of debility and emaciation, and still, the brain remaining sound, the intellectual faculties may continue in as full force as at any former period of life. Let the brain, however, he diseased, and then, whatever be the state of the other organs, the mental fabric ge. nerally falls into disorder or ruin. Those substances called narcotics act with peculiar influence on the mind, through the medium of the nerves, and, of these narcotics, opium is one of the most powerful. I pretend not to explain how it acts; the gratuitous assumption of spirits, nervous oscillations, and all that tissue of conjectural doctrine wbich once formed the pride and boast of physiology, having, though late, sunk at last into deserved neglect. That opium, however, exerts a powerful influence on the mind as well as body, is obvious to almost every one's experience. It allays pain, and lightens
sorrow; diffuses a pleasing languor over the frame, and gives unusual serenity to the mind, dispelling from it every apprehension of sublunary evil, and steeping it in scenes of elysium. It is, indeed, an agent which can, for a period at least,
Raze out the written troubles of the brain ;
Which weighs upon the heart. But this is only for a time; and the charm being dissolved, the soul awakes from its trance only to experience aggravated woe, in those at least (and even in Britain the number is not small), who have fallen into the babitual use of this drug. If there be on earth a misery that approaches, wbat we might be allowed to conceive, as among the worst sufferings of a future place of punishment, it is the state of an opium-eater, after the action of his dose has subsided. Unhappy and trembling, his head confused, and his stomach sick, remorse at his heart, but his resolution too feeble to attempt a reformation; feeling as an outcast from every thing that is good or great, he returns despairing to a repetition of his dose, and every repetition adds confirmation to the evil habit. His constitution becomes exbausted in a few years; he grows prematurely old, and dies of palsy, dropsy, or some disease as fatal; be dies, having, by his own weakness and imprudence, lived a life of wretchedness in this world, and looking forward, at his exit, to the darkest scenes of misery in the next. How often does man turn the greatest blessings into the greatest curse!— Drummond's First Steps to Botany, Second Edition, p. 300.
The foxglove, which produces a beautiful flower, blossoms in this month as well as in the next.
One of the most interesting insects in June, is, in its perfect state, the angler's may-fly. The insects known by the name of ephemera, and which live only for a few hours, or at most for a day or two, have hitherto been supposed to be destitute of all the parts of the digestive canal. This supposition has lately been proved to be wholly without foundation. It has also been found, that, during their brief existence, their skin is twice entirely changed. There are also the golden-green beetle; various kinds of flies; the cuckoo-spit insect, and the stag-beetle. The several species of the gadfly make their appearance in June. The larvæ of the dragon-fly, after a two years' submersion in stagnant water, ascend the stalks of plants, and burst their shells. An account of some rare insects appearing in this month is given in our last volume, p. 223.
The numerous species of Aphides are now found on many plants, bearing an appropriate name from each. Those which infest the rose-tree and bean are possibly most under observation. One is green, and scarcely distinguished from the colour of the young leaves; the other is black. In the months of June, July, and August, the entomologist will find full employment. --See Samouelle's Introduction to British Entomology.
Insects, indeed, abound in this and the two following months, and offer a most pleasing study to the lover of Nature's minutest works; their endless variety, their brilliant colours, the singularity of their forms, and the admirable contrivance with which the individual of each family has been adapted to the mode of life provided for it, call forth our boundless admiration of the skill and power of the great CREATOR.
Then insect legions, pranked with gaudiest hues,
Bees, ever industrious, now wing their way from flower to flower, in search of the raw material, of which to concoct their precious manufacture of honey. · Some singular superstitions respecting the bee, exist in different countries of Europe, particularly in France. In the environs of Bonneval, Department of Eure-et-Loir, persons who have bees are very particular, when there is a death in the family, to go immediately to each hive to announce the mournful event that has taken place, and to tie a piece of black cloth to it. If this custom be neglected, they hold it as certain that all the bees will soon die; hence, the custom is strictly observed. Many people pretend that the omission of this form has uniformly caused the loss of their bees; and it is still not uncommon to meet with many sensible persons who are of the same opinion. In Britany, if there are any bees in the house where a wedding is celebrated, they always dress their hives in red, which is done by putting a bit of scarlet cloth on each of them, the Bretons supposing that the bees will leave their bives, if they do not participate in the joy that animates their masters.
Bees in EGYPT.-As Upper Egypt only retains its verdure for five months, and the flowers and harvests are earlier there, the inhabitants of the Lower country profit by these precious moments. They collect the bees of different villages in large boats. Each proprietor trusts to them his hives, which have a particular mark. When the boats are laden, the men who have the management of them gradually ascend the river, stopping at every place where they find flowers and verdure. The bees, at the break of day, quit their cells by thousands, and go in quest of the treasures which compose their nectar. They go and come several times Jaden with booty. In the evening, they return to their habitations, without ever mistaking their dwelling. After travelling three months in this manner on the Nile, the bees, having culled the perfumes of the orange-flowers of the Saïd, the roses of the Faioum, the jessamines of Arabia, and a variety of other flowers, are brought back to the places they had been carried from, where they now find new riches to partake of. This industry procures the Egyptians delicious honey, and bees'-wax in abundance. ---For an account of bees in Mexico, see our last volume, p. 163.
Marigolds and peonies and roses, including the quelder-rose, with its balls of dazzling whiteness, now display their beauties. The Star of Bethlehem shines in all its splendour, and pinks and sweet-william add their pretty colours: the panicled lychnidea and red valerian ornament our gardens at this period, the de
licate lilac of the one forming a pleasing contrast with the rich crimson of the other. The blossoms of the sweet-brier are now open; the white lily, and the flower-de-luce, or iris, with its splendid floscules and curiously-formed pistils, shine in the garden. The forget-me-not also flowers in June, and throughout the summer.
Then, musing in the woodland nook,
'Mindful of the pious festivals which our church prescribes, I have sought to make these charming objects of floral nature, the timepieces of my religious calendar, and the mementos of the hastening period of iny mortality. Thus I can light the ta per to our Virgin Mother on the blowing of the white snow-drop, which opens its floweret at the time of Candlemas; the lady's smock and the daffodil remind me of the Annunciation ; the blue harebell, of the festival of St. George; the ranunculus, of the Invention of the Cross; the scarlet lychnis, of St. John the Baptist's Day; the white lily, of the Visitation of our Lady; and the virgin's bower, of her Assumption ; and Michaelmas, Mar. tinmas, Holy-rood, and Christmas, have all their appropriate monitors. I learn the time of day from the shutting of the blossoms of the star of Jerusalem and the dandelion, and the hour of the night by the stars.'-A FRANCISCAN.