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some cases Veins are simple; in others they divide into two or more; their position with respect to the horizon, and the rocks in which they occur, is very irregular; the Direction and Dip are estimated the same manner as in the Strata. When parallel to the Strata, as sometimes happens for a considerable extent, it is difficult to discover their real character ; but in some part or other of their course, they will invariably be found to become oblique, so as to touch more than one Stratum of a series, or to intersect it at a considerable angle, or to send branch-like Veins through it, (a a, Fig. 5.)

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DESCRIPTION OF BRITISH TREES.

No. II.
We may distinguish the Beech Tree by the silky thin-
ness of the leaf, the regularity of the strong veins, and
the fringe of soft hairs surrounding it. It is in the Class
Dodecandria Trigynia of Withering—the Monæcia Po-
lyandria of Linnæus. The blossom is a ball of male and
female flowers separately, but on the same plant: the
seed a prickly husk, containing nuts. The Beech is a
large and beautiful tree, affording a pleasant shade, but
injurious to the vegetation beneath it. We do not con-
sider the timber so good as some others—but it is still
very useful; and the records of antiquity have made
much mention of its services. Cæsar has asserted that
the Beech did not grow in Britain when he conquered it

- but the truth of this is doubted, the tree being now
abundant.
« The Beech serves for various uses of the housewife.

“ Hence, in the world's best years, the humble shed
Was happily and fully furnished:
Beech made their chests, their beds, and the join'd-stools :

Beech made the board, the platters, and the buwls.
“With it the turner makes dishes, trays, rims for buckets, trenchers,
dresser boards, and other utensils. The upholsterer uses it for sellies,
chairs, bed-steads, &c. It makes shovels and spade-graffs for the
husbandman, and is useful to the bellows-maker. 'Floats for fishers'

so

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nets instead of corks, are made of its bark. It is good for fuel, billet, bavin, and coals, though one of the least lasting, and its very shavings are good for fining of wine. P. Crescentius writes, that the ashes of Beech, with proper mixture, are excellent to make glass with. Of old they made their Vasa Vindemiatoria and Corbes Messoriæ, as we our pots for strawberries, with the rind of this tree; nay, and vessels to preserve wine in; and that curiously wrought cup, which the shepherd, in the Bucolicks, wagers withal, was engraven by Alcimedon upon the Beech. And an happy age it seems :

“ No wars did men molest,

When only beechen bowls were in request.” “Of the thin lamina, or scale of this wood, as our cutlers call it, are made scabbards for swords, and band-boxes, super-induced with thin leather or paper; boxes for writings, hat-cases, and formerly book-covers. I wonder we cannot split it ourselves, but send it into other countries for such trifles. In the cavities of these trees bees much delight to hive themselves.

Ricciolus much commends it for oars; and some say that the vast
Argo was built of the Fagus, a good part of it at least, as we learn
out of Apollonius.”—Evelyn.
The Fagus, by Claudian, is mentioned with the Alder:

“So he that to export o'er sea his wares
A vessel builds, and to expose prepares
His life to storms, first Beech and Alder cuts,

And measuring them, to various uses puts.” Evelyn charges this wood with being liable to the worm, and adds,

“I wish the use of it were by a law, prohibited all joiners, cabinetmakers, and such as furnish tables, chairs, bedsteads, coffers, &c.”

But while we thus condemn the timber, we must not omit to praise the mast-the nut was sometimes called Buck-mast-which fatten our swine and deer, and hath, in some families, even supported men with bread. Chios endured a memorable siege by the benefit of this mast. And in some parts of France, they now grind the buck in mills; it affords a sweet oil, which the poor people eat most willingly. But there is yet another benefit which this tree present us; its very leaves, which make a natural and most agreeable canopy all the summer, being gathered about the fall, and somewhat before they are much frost-bitten, afford the best and easiest mattresses in the world to lay under our quilts instead of straw; because, besides their tenderness and loose lying together, they continue sweet for seven or eight years, before which time straw becomes musty and hard : they are thus used by divers persons of quality in Dauphiny and Switzerland; I have sometimes lain on them to my great refreshment; so as, of this tree it may properly be said,

The wood's a house, the leaves a bed.—JUVENAL. “ The leaves chewed, are wholesome for the gums and teeth; and the

very buds as they are in winter hardened and dried upon the twigs, make good tooth-pickers. Th

kernels of the mast are greedily devoured by squirrels, mice, and above all, by dormice,

who, barbouring in the hollow trees, grow so fat, that in some countries abroad, they take infinite numbers of them; I suppose to eat: and what relief they give to thrushes, blackbirds, fieldfares, and other birds, every body knows.”—EVELYN.

So it was in Evelyn's days_but we believe the wood he despises is more valued now, than either the nuts, or the dormice they have fattened.

“ Pliny relates that beechen vessels were employed in religious ceremonies; but in general they were considered as the furniture of the meanest people :

Terra rubens crater, pocula fagus erant. 4. The ancient shepherds frequently carved their love verses on the green bark of this tree, which was no bad substitute for the Egyptian Papyrus. They also wrote upon the bark of the living tree--a custom that seems to have derived its origin from the simplicity of nature, and consequently must have been common to all nations.”HUNTER.

This tree is propagated by sowing the mast or nut. In Berkshire the beech-woods are extensive.

“ The best trees are sold to coachmakers, wheelwrights, and farmers, at seven-pence per foot; the others are generally cut up into billets and faggots for the bakers in the country; and great quantities are sent down to London for the bakers there, as well as for packing in the holds of ships. The woodman marks the billets according to their size, with one, two, or three notches, which are considered as so many farthings worth when the billets are sold; and by this means he is able to ascertain not only the value of the wood cut up,

but

pays his workmen accordingly, at the rate of sixpence for every 255 notches, which is called a load. Those who take care of their woodlands, permit their labourers, during the winter months, to take up the old roots from which no shoot is rising, on condition that the workmen plant new sets, in a proper manner: by this judicious practice a constant succession is kept up."-HUNTER.

SERIES OF FAMILIAR CONVERSATIONS

ON THE ANIMAL KINGDOM,

CONVERSATION II.
CLASS-Zoophytes. ORDER-Polypi, (continued.)

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ACALEPHÆ. ANNA. The last time Papa, and Henry, and I walked herę, Mama, we had a very interesting con

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