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DESCRIPTION OF BRITISH TREES.
THE Elm, like most other trees, does not bear the flower and leaf together, therefore we have drawn it in seed. It will be observed that in our specimen the leaf is long and pointed-in many it is not much longer than it is broad; but still pointed and much-notched : this is but a variety of the same species. The flower of the Elm is a small tuft of greenish, yellow flowers, without blossom, coming out on the side of the stems before, the leaf; of the Class. Pentandria Digynia: the bark-iso cracked and wrinkled : the leaves are not alike on both sides of the stem, at the base, and they are much, notched and veined.
« Columella, in his twelfth chapter de Arboribus, informs us that Elms were principally employed in making living props to vines; and that vineyards formed upon this extensive plan, were named Arbusta, the vines themselves being called Arbustivæ Vites, to distinguish them from others raised in more confined situations. Since the introduction of silk-worms into Italy, the Mulberry-trees in many places are pollarded for the double purpose of supporting vines, and supplying leaves for feeding the worms. Once in two years the Elms were carefully pruned, to prevent their leaves from overshadowing the grapes; and this operation was deemed of great importance. Virgil
, in his description of the implements of husbandry; recommends the buris or plough-tail to be made of an Elm bent in the woods-from this is probably taken the hint of forming kneetimber by bending down young Oaks, while growing. Among the ancients, it was customary: to plant about their tombs such trees as. bore no seeds, particularly the Élm :"
Jove's silyan daughters bade their Elms bestow
A barren shade, and in his honour grow. VIRGIL. “The Elm is certainly a native of this country—there can be no stronger proof of it, than that there are near forty places in this kingdom which have their names from it, most of which are mentioned in Domesday-book."-Hunter.
“Of the trees which grow in our woods, there is none which does better suffer the transplantation than the Elm; for you may remove a tree of twenty years' growth with undoubted success: it is an experiment I have made in a tree almost as big as my waist ; but then you must totally disbranch him, leaving as much earth as you can, and refresh him with abundance of water.”—EVELYN.
“ It seems to have been thought an excellence amongst the Roman husbandmen to be able to transplant large trees. Virgil represents the old Corycian as possessed of that knowledge in a high degree.”
HUNTER. “Elm is a timber of most singular use, especially where it may lie continually dry or wet, in extremes; therefore proper for water-works, mills, pumps, pales, and ship planks beneath the water-line; and some that have been found buried in bogs, have turned like the most polished and hardest ebony, only discerned by the grains : also for wheelwrights, &c. Rails and gates made of Elm, thin sawed, are not so apt to rive as Oak; the knotty for naves; the straight and smooth for axle-trees; and the very roots for curiously dappled works; it has no superior for chopping blocks, blocks for the hat-maker, trunks and boxes to be covered with leather, coffins, dressers, and shovel-board tables of great length, and has a lustrous colour if rightly seasoned ; also for the carver, by reason of the tenour of the grain, and toughness, which fits it for all those curious works of fruitages, foliage, shields, statues, and most of the ornaments appertaining to the orders of architecture, and for not being much subject to warping: finally, which I must not omit, the use of the very leaves of this tree, especially the female, is not to be despised; for being suffered to dry in the sun upon the branches, and the spray stripped off about the decrease in August, they will prove a great relief to cattle, in winter and scorching summers, when hay and fodder are dear; they will eat them before oats, and thrive exceedingly well with them.”—EVELYN.
“The Roman husbandmen fed their cattle with the leaves of trees, but the preference was given to those of the Elm. The English husbandman, who lives in the neighbourhood of extensive woods, would do well to attend to this branch of rural economy. When hay is dear, dried leaves of all kinds are highly valuable. Columella considers twenty pecks of dried leaves as equal to thirty pounds of hay."-HUNTER
It may be doubted whether modern horses are quite of the same opinion as those of ancient Rome we believe the leaves of trees are now made but little use of: with respect to “the wonderful cures performed by the liquor of this tree,” we are too incredulous to repeat them. On account of their growing high, and unless cut, not spreading wide, Elms are prefered for planting in many situations, where more spreading branches would injure the corn or herbage beneath them.
To the Editor of the Assistant of Education. MADAM,
I sometimes fears, in this abstruse day, when the deeper sciences are dipt into by every one, whether so close, an attention to minutiæ will not rather cast into shade that interesting elegance of mind, which ne sults from the cultivation of the pleasures of imaginar tion, and I have wished, especially in my own family, : to guard against the possibility of such an evil. For this purpose I have been drawing the attention of my young ones to poetry, and in order to give them some distinct ideas on the subject, and at the same time to cultivate and improve their taste, I have encouraged them to write a few Essays on Poetry in general, beginning with its origin, nature, and design, then proceeding to its progress, and the examination of its several kinds; inducing them at the same time to bring forward examples from our best poets. These little productions. I have carefully preserved, which, together with my own ads ditions, may not perhaps be uninteresting or useless to some of your young readers, &c. &c.
ESSAY ON POETRY. In all ages and in all nations a taste for Poetry has universally prevailed. It has varied, indeed, in elegance and refinement, according to the different degrees of civilization in mankind. Yet the love of it has ever remained the same.
In order to understand Poetry clearly in all its branches, it may be useful to consider its origin, nature, and design. If the actual origin of Poetry be enquired after, it must be considered as a gift of nature and not as the production of art; not peculiar to any particular age or people, but common both to the savage and civilized parts of mankind. Poetry must be attributed wholly to the more violent affections of the heart, expressing themselves with a fire and animation very different from the unimpassioned tone of common language; for when the imagination is exalted, and the passions fired by some great or unusual event, the mind labours to express the greatness of its conceptions, overflows the boundaries of ordinary speech, and rushes on in the lofty and swelling strain of Poetry; in striving to convey its ideas to another, it magnifies the subject, pours forth comparisons, and expresses itself in a manner unusually splendid, agreeable, and harmonious.
The earliest records of savage nations were composed in verse: dance and song were their chief amusements -with these they would celebrate their exploits, and the praises of their gods: the illiterate savages, warlike, impetuous, and without refinement, sang the victories of their heroes in wild and fiery measure, and while the maddening strains still sounded in their ears, their chiefs seized the golden opportunity, and led them forth to battle. Thus it was, in ancient times, that the poet and the orator had an equal share with the general or the magistrate in the balance of the state; by their eloquence they were capable of diverting the tide of public feeling into whatever channel they thought proper, and were not unfrequently the means of saving or of ruining a whole nation.
The effect of poetry was greatly heightened by its union with music : every bard
his own verses, and the better to adapt these to the music, they were formed into harmonious periods; hence arose what is now called versification; or the art of forming poetry into regular and musical sentences.
Poetry may be considered as having two principal objects in view, utility and pleasure. Utility its ultimate end, and pleasure the means by which that end is accomplished. Poetry, like Philosophy, is designed to