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by the storms and rain; and rosa semper florens, in all its summer beauty. Even that very delicate plant, so particularly obnoxious to frost, the potatoe (springing from the remnants of the summer crop) retains its verdure. The forest trees are become deciduous by the common provisions and ordinations of nature, rather than from the cold of the season: some creatures have not yet retired to their rest, as is customary upon the approach of winter. The naked race of slugs (limar agrestis and l. flavus), on account of their viscous covering, are less obnoxious to cold, and are yet crawling about in numbers, or merely sheltered for the day behind some decayed vegetation. The earth-worm, which commonly retites beyond the penetration of the frost, is yet feeding near the surface, without any symptom of torpidity. But the snails, particularly helix pomatid and helix aspersa, being very sensible of cold (particularly the first species), had retired early, having discharged a slimy matter, which soon indurates to a horny hardness, and closes up the mouth of the shell: having no perspirable pores to admit the air, they endure our winters uninjured, behind the shelter of some stump or stone, where they adhere to each other in large bodies. During the whole of these seasons, though the rain poured down almost nightly and daily, yet, at intervals, a most lovely day appeared, in all its exhilarating splendour, the thermometer ranging from 620 to 70°: and all nature presented so cheering an aspect, that we forgot, for a time, the proverbial fickleness of our climate.
The same ingenious correspondent, in a letter of last April (1822), says, 'Our greenhouse plants that were left in the borders have in great measure withstood, uninjured, the whole of our winter and spring months; and large succulent geraniums, in situations by no means remarkably favourable, have retained their foliage, and are now putting out their summer shoots with a vigour equal to those in the shelter of our greenhouse. Perhaps so mild a winter, and which this last circumstance particularly indicates, has not occurred for a great length of time. The year 1761 is mentioned, by old Peter Collinson, as being remarkably temperate: be says, “the autumnal flowers were not gone before spring began in December with aconites, snowdrops, polyanthuses, &c. and continued without any alloy of intervening sharp frosts all January, except two or three nights and mornings: a more delightful season could not be enjoyed in southern latitudes. In January and February my garden was covered with flowers.”
The evergreen trees with their beautiful cones, such as firs and pines, are now particularly observed and valued. The oak, the beech, and the hornbeam, in part, retain their leaves, and the ash its keys. The common holly (ilex aquifolium), with its scarlet berries, is now conspicuous, as is the pyracanthus with its bunches or wreaths of fiery berries on its dark green thorny sprays; and those dwarfs of the vegetable creation, mosses, and the liverwort (lichen), now, as in the preceding month, attract our notice, and will amply repay the trouble of examination.
The close of this month, and with it the close of the year, will ever afford subjects for serious, and, let us hope, for pleasing reflection. The contemplative man will naturally look around him, and view the surface of the earth so much changed in its aspect, and invested with a sickly and a deathlike character; - but in vain will be seek to discover into what secret recesses are retired those pleasing, and variegated, and multiplied forms, with which were so lately associated our hopes of plenty, our sensations of beauty and beneficence. Amidst all this change of form, this annual passing away, are there no traces of permanency to be found? Is there nothing (observes Mr. Gillespie) that meets our eye, or chal
lenges our reflection, of which it may be predicated that it remains unchanged in the midst of renewal and decay, that it is uninfluenced by season, that it is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever? Yes; those very laws by which the ever-recurring change is regulated are themselves UNALTERABLE. What occurs at this season, in the kingdoms of animated nature, has occurred of old, and will assuredly still continue to occur;-and whilst individuals are continually perishing, the immortality of the race is perpetually maintained. The seeds of many plants, and the eggs of many insects, are now buried in the earth; but, the season of concealment over, and the influence of light and of heat again fully established, and we shall behold (only without surprise, because experience has made it familiar to us) the animal and vegetable kingdoms repeopled; the shell which incrusted and preserved the suspended energies of life, shall burst; and from the grave of the year shall assuredly reascend every tribe, and species, and variety of animation!
The SEASONS; a Hymn.
By Richard Ryan.
Shed her rich blessings o'er the earth,
Sprung Beauty forth, and Love and"'Mirth.
Her genial heats diffused around,
Was by her band with verdure crowned.
To quit the rich and smiling plain;
AUTUMN began her glorious reign.
And clouds, which rolled athwart the sky,
When Winter came, the gorgeous sun
Turned pale, and seemed to wait his doom; And all that late so radiant shone,
Now sunk in Winter's joyless tomb. Thus blooming is life's early spring,
For Nature on each path hath shed Her smiles, and Pleasure seeks to fling
Her garlands round each youthful head. My Spring has Aed, and Summer now
Rich o'er my youthful cheeks doth breathe ; And soon, to deck this gladsome brow,
Autumn her holiest sweets will wreathe. Yet, ere dim Winter's gloomy birth,
Or age destroys this cheek of bloom, Oh, I may press my mother earth,
And quit this vain world for the tomb. Then let me, LORD, at whose comma
Summer, and Spring, and Winter roll, Praise, while I've life, th’ Almighty hand
That spans the world from pole to pole. At morning's light, LORD of all space,
I'll praise thee, and at close of ev'n; Then lend me, LORD, some ray of grace,
To light my trembling steps to Heav'n.
Advent Sunday, 322
ing, scarce in 1821, 203–in 1822,
Birds eggs, variety of, 149
of prey, their rapacity, 154
Blights, cause of, xviii
Blood, shower of, xliji
Bloomfield, Rob. 145, note
Botany, remarks on, 194
British Insects, see Insects
Brown, Dr. Thomas, 321
Bug, common, xxxiv-how to de-
Burgess, Anne, 220
Burney, Rear-Admiral, 319
Butterfly, mazarine blue, xliv-
peacock, xliii-purple emperor,
Byron, Lord, 13
Calvary described, 120
Cancer described, 327
January 1823, 17; February, Ixv
Cathedrals, lines on, 260
tion and use of some of the most Childhood, sonnet to, 340
indispensable, 46, 78, 97, 146,170 Christmas Day, 337-reflections on
tations, 23, 78, 194, 195, 197, lines on, in the time of King
Eve, ceremonies on, at
Clarke, Dr. É, D. 57
Coccus mali, xxxviii
Cochineal insect, xxxvii
Cock-roach, black, xxxi
Coleman's jubilee, 284