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into the fields to gather stones for the road, by which she accumulates heaps for the inspection of the mineralogist. Mankind and the elements are, indeed, constantly at work for him. When laid upon the road, they are more amply spread out to his view, and the carriage passing over breaks and exhibits the interiors. Every fresh ploughing turns up fresh treasures, every frost crumbles the adhering dirt, and every shower helps to wash them clean before him; the torrent rolls them from the banks into the brook, the drought lays them bare, and the sun, in his daily course, from various points, shines upon the crystals and discovers them in sparkling beauty. The digging of a well, and the opening of a gravel pit, a chalk pit, or a stone quarry, are all interesting events to a mineralogist.-See Outlines of Geology and Mineralogy, prefixed to T.T. for 1818.
In our last year's Diary for March (p. 73), we gave a poetical picture of the farm-yard in this month, together with some observations on the wonderful instinct of the hen in constructing her nest and rearing her young'; in unison with this subject, is Bloomfield's description of the gander :
He comes, the pest and terror of the yard,
* To p. 74, line 13, of our last volume, add the following:•Not exactly so, for she will sit to hatch ducks' eggs for four weeks, and turkeys' egys for the same time. Some hens, also, when disappointed of hatching one set of eggs, from their being addled, will sit upon a second set if they can get at them.
For, lo! of old, he boasts an honoured wound;
Using the darts of spleen to serve himself! In this month the farmer dresses and rolls his meadows; spreads ant-hills; plants quicksets, osiers, &c.; sows flax seed, artificial grasses, beans and peas, broom and whin seeds, and grass seeds among wheat. About the 23d, he ploughs for and Sows oats, and hemp and flax. A dry season is very important to the farmer, that he may get the seed early into the ground.
Your barly land labor with plough and plogh-share,
Eate good meates and cleanse thee,
Let bloud, if neede orge thee.
His antlers hrave now prest to wracke,
To mourn the horror of his lacke.
DECRIPTION OF FRUIT TREES.
(Continued from p. 64.] FIG TREE (Ficus carica).—This tree seldom exceeds eight feet in height. The trunk is about the size of a human arm. The branches are smooth, with oblong white dots. There are many different sorts of this fruit tree: the principal are worthy of notice. The largest is the brown or chestnut coloured Ischia fig : this sort is purple within. It very often bursts open when ripe, and has a sweet and highly-flavoured pulp. When planted against hot walls, it will ripen two plentiful crops of fruit every year.—The black Genoa fig has a skin of a very dark purple colour, and is covered with a purple farina like that observed upon some sorts of plums. This farina, if suffered to touch the lips, produces a very unpleasant stinging kind of sensation. The inside of the fruit is of a bright red colour, and the flesh is very highly flavoured. The large white Genoa fig. This is a globular-formed fruit, with a thin yellowish coloured skin, and is red within when fully ripe. It is a good sort, but the trees are generally unproductive.—The Maltese fig is of a pale brown colour, both outside and in, and is very sweet and well flavoured. If it were permitted to hang upon the trees till shrivelled by the sun, it would become a fine sweetmeat. There are two kinds of Naples figs, the flesh of both of which is well flavoured. The yellow Ischia fig is a large fruit of a pyramidal form. The skin is yellow when ripe, and the flesh purple and well flavoured, but the trees do not produce much fruit in our climate, though the branches grow very luxuriantly. The Madonna, which is also called the Brunswick and Hanover fig, is a long pyramidal larger sized fruit. The skin is brown, and the flesh of a lighter colour, but the flavour not excellent. The common blue or purple fig is a very productive sort, and ripens its fruit in August. The fig tree has the same name, with little variation, in all the languages of Europe. The first that were introduced into England are still remaining in the garden of Lambeth Palace. They are of the white Marseilles kind, and bear delicious fruit. They cover a surface of forty feet in breadth. Tradition says they were planted by Cardinal Pole; and the account is very probable; for it is generally allowed that fig trees were brought into England in the reign of Henry the Eighth, and it seems likely that the cardinal, who had long resided in Italy, should delight in cultivating those fruits to which he had been there accustomed. The Indian fig tree, or, as the English generally term it, the Banyan tree, is a remarkable species
of the same genus as the European fig tree. The Portuguese call it the rooting tree, because, by letting a kind of gummy string fall from its branches, they take root and gradually enclose a vast circuit. This of course forms a delightful alcove or bower, in the midst of which stands the main trúnk; and hence old Gerarde, gardener to Lord Burleigh, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, appropriately called it the arched Indian fig tree. To this Milton alludes in the following beautiful description :
Branching so broad and long, that in the ground
At leafy loop-holes cut through thickest shade. The wood of the common fig tree being porous and spongy, is of little use; but that of the Egyptian or Pharaoh's fig tree was used, on account of its extreme durability, for the coffins in which the mummies were interred. The stem of this sort is often fifty feet thick in its native country. The fruit is good even in this country, where it is called the mulberry fig, and the tree has obtained the name of the sycamore. The sorts first de scribed will ripen their fruits on standards when in a warm situation, but the other kinds require to be placed against sunny walls, or their fruit will not ripen. They will produce most fruit upon a strong loamy soil, rather than on dry ground. The cultivation of the fig in the islands of the Grecian Archipelago is so very curious, that it would not be right to pass it by unnoticed. The wild tree bears three different kinds of fruit: the first are called Sornites, the second Cratirites, and the third Orni. The first appear in August; they contain little worms, hatched from eggs deposited by flies. In October and November these little worms become flies. These flies pierce the second sort of figs, which continue till the month of May following, and furnish a lodgement for the second class of flies. In May the third sort of figs appears, and when they are grown to a certain size, and begin to open at the eye, they are pierced by the flies which have been produced in the second sort of figs. As soon as the worms bred in the third sort are transformed into flies, which happens in the month of May or July, the Grecian peasants gather them, and bring them into contact with the garden fig trees. The success of this tedious operation all depends upon this circumstance, and hence they inspect both their wild and their garden fig trees every morning, to examine the eye of the fig, by which they judge when the flies are about to issue from the wild figs, and when they may be applied so as to pierce the garden figs. The insects are then deposited on such trees as are fit to receive them, and enter the fruit at the eye, where they lay their eggs; the worms produced by which cause the garden figs to attain their proper size and maturity. The consequence of all this trouble is, that garden fig trees, which would scarcely yield twenty-five pounds of ripe figs, are brought to produce more than ten times that quantity. This process is called Caprification. As to the manner in which the puncture of the flies contributes to enlarge and mature the fruit; it may possibly be by lacerating the vessels and extravasating the nutritious juice when they deposit their eggs : with the egg they may also introduce some liquor, which gently ferments with the juice of the fig, and thereby softens its pulp. Even the Provence and Paris figs ripen much