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which latter places it abounds on the margins of shady swamps, where the soil is cool and fertile. In such spots it often reaches forty feet in height, and twelve or fifteen inches in diameter.

Although the growth of the Holly is slow, yet it is always beautiful; and we regret that the American sort, which may be easily brought into cultivation, is so very rarely seen in our gardens or grounds. The seeds are easily procured; and if scalded and sowed in autumn, immediately after being gathered, they vegetate freely. For hedges the Holly is altogether unrivalled; and it was also one of the favourite plants for verdant sculpture, in the ancient style of gardening. Evelyn, in the edition of his Sylva, published in London in 1664, thus bursts out in eloquent praise of it: "Above all natural greens which enrich our home-born store, there is none certainly to be compared to the Holly; insomuch that I have often wondered at our curiosity after foreign plants and expensive difficulties, to the neglect of the culture of this vulgar but incomparable tree,-whether we will propagate it for use and defence, or for sight and ornament. Is there under heaven a more glorious and refreshing object of the kind, than an impregnable hedge of one hundred and sixty-five feet in length, seven high, and five in diameter, which I can show in my poor gardens, at any time of the year, glittering with its armed aud varnished leaves? The taller standards, at orderly distances, blushing with their natural coral. It mocks the rudest assaults of the weather, beasts, or hedge-breaker :

'Et illum nemo impune lacessit.''

THE YEW TREE. Taxus.

Nat. Ord. Taxaceæ.

Lin. Syst. Monacia, Monadelphia.

The European Yew is a slow-growing, evergreen tree, which often when full grown, measures forty feet in height, and a third more in the diameter of its branches. The foliage is flat, linear, and is placed in two rows, like that of the Hemlock tree, though much darker in colour. The flowers are brown or greenish, and inconspicuous, but they are succeeded by beautiful scarlet berries, about half or three-fourths of an inch in diameter, which are open at the end, where a small nut or seed is deposited. These berries have an exquisitely delicate, waxen appearance, and contribute highly to the beauty of the tree.

The growth of this tree, even in its native soil, is by no means rapid. In twenty years, says Loudon, it will attain the height of fifteen or eighteen feet, and it will continue growing for one hundred years; after which it becomes comparatively stationary, but will live many centuries.

When young, the Yew is rather compact and bushy in its form; but as it grows old, the foliage spreads out in fine horizontal masses, the outline of the tree is irregularly varied, and the whole ultimately becomes highly venerable and picturesque. When standing alone, it generally shoots out into branches at some three or four feet above the surface of the ground, and is ramified into a great number of close branches.

In England, it has been customary, since the earliest settlement of that island by the Britons, to plant the Yew in churchyards; and it is therefore as decidedly consecrated to this purpose there, as the Cypress is in the south of Europe.

For the decoration of places of burial it is well adapted, from the deep and perpetual verdure of its foliage, which, conjointly with its great longevity, may be considered as em

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blematical of immortality. The custom still exists, in a few places in Ireland and Wales, of carrying twigs of this and other evergreen trees in funerals, and throwing them into the grave, with the corpse.*

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There is a mournful yet sweet and pensive pleasure, in thus adorning these last places of repose with such beautiful, unfading memorials of grief. They rob the graveyard or cemetery of its horrors, and by their perpetual garlands of * Encyclopædia of Plants, 849.

verdure and freshness, inevitably lead the mind from the ideas of death which an ordinary barren churchyard alone inspires, to reflections of a purer and loftier cast; the immortality which awaits the soul when disenthralled of clay. Among the old English poets, we find much of these feelings in favour of decorating the precincts of the grave, and surrounding them with what may be called the poetry of grief. Herrick, one of the sweetest of the number, in some lines addressed to the Cypress and Yew, says:

"Bothe of ye have

Relation to the grave;

And where

The funeral trump sounds, you are there.

I shall be made

Ere longe a fleeting shade;

Pray come,

And do some honour to my tomb."

Some of the old Yews in the churchyards and gardens of England have attained a wonderful period of longevity. Gilpin mentions one in the churchyard of Tisbury in Dorsetshire, now standing and in fine foliage, though the trunk is quite hollow, which measures thirty-seven feet in circumference, and the limbs are proportionately large. The tree is entered by a rustic gate; and seventeen persons lately breakfasted in its interior. It is said to have been planted many generations ago by the Arundel family. The famous Yew at Arkenwyke House, which Henry VIII. made his place of meeting with Anna Boleyn when she was there, is supposed to be upwards of a thousand years old; it is fortynine feet high, twenty-seven in circumference, and the branches extend over an area of two hundred and seven feet. There are besides these, a great number of other celebrated

Yews in England, of immense size and age, which are preserved with the greatest care and veneration.

It is a common saying of the inhabitants of the New Forest in England, says Gilpin, that "a post of Yew will outlast a post of iron." The wood is extremely durable, and being hard and very fine-grained, as well as beautifully variegated with reddish or orange veins, it is much prized for inlaying, veneering, and other similar purposes, by the cabinet-makers abroad. Tables made of it are said to be more beautiful than those of mahogany; and the wood of the root to vie in beauty with that of the Citron.

It is also remarkably elastic, and is therefore much valued for bows. In ancient times, when bows and arrows were the chief weapons of destruction in war, the bows made of the Yew tree were valued by the ancient Britons above all others. According to the Arboretum Brittanicum, in Switzerland, where this tree was scarce, it was formerly forbidden, under heavy penalties, to cut down the Yew for any other purpose than to make bows of the wood. The Swiss mountaineers call it "William's tree," in memory of William Tell.

The Yew, like the Holly, makes an excellent evergreen hedge-close, dark green, and beautiful when clad in the rich scarlet berries. We desire, however, rather to see this tree naturalized in our gardens and lawns as an evergreen tree of the first class, than in any other form. Judging from specimens which we have growing in our own grounds, we should consider it quite hardy any where south of the 41° of latitude. And although it is somewhat slow in its growth, yet, like many other evergreens, it is as beautiful when a small bush, or a thrifty young tree, as it is venerable and picturesque, when ages, or even centuries have witnessed its never fading verdure. It appears to grow most vigor

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