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They who prefer a plum before it can be said to be quite ripe, that is, when the flesh is firm and crisp, should gather the plum before any yellow tint appears round the stem.
The Blue Gage.--This plum is not, by any means, so well flavoured as the green gage; but it deserves a place in a large garden, as it is useful in giving variety to the dessert on account of its colour: it ripens the same time as the green gage. We have sought in vain for this plum in many of the best gardens, and have found, as usual, many inferior sorts. Brookshaw.
The animals of the chase have now a respite from their foes: the crops on the fields prevent pursuit. On the grassy margins of fields, however, hares are often seen, at dawn or twilight, limping and frisking about with all their characteristic playfulness. the same hours, rabbits issue from their burrows. Foxes, polecats, stoats, and weasels, prowl about during the night; and bats are seen in the evening, wheeling about and seizing their prey, the nocturnal moths,
· Storms of hail and rain, accompanied with thunder and lightning, are not unfrequent in this month. These phenomena are thus poetically described by the Spanish poet Ercilla.
The air grew troubled with portentous sound,
The opening skies, and into earth descend. HAYLEY. A Thunder-storm in America.-Clouds (says M. de Chateaubriand) are beginning to spring up from the porth-western horizon, and slowly rising in the sky. We are making a shelter for ourselves with boughs, in the best manner we can.
The sun becomes over. cast; the first muttering of the thunder is heard; the crocodiles reply to it with a hollow roar, as one thunder-peal answers another. An immense column of clouds extends from north-east to south-east; the rest of the sky is of a dirty copper colour, semitransparent, and tinged with the lightning. The wilderness, illumined by a false day-light, the storm suspended over our heads and ready to burst, present a scene replete with grandeur. The tempest commences. Figure to yourself a deluge of fire, without wind and without water. The smell of salphur fills the atmosphere. Nature is lighted as by the flames of a conflagration. Now the cataracts of the abyss open; the drops of rain are not separate; a sheet of water unites the clouds and the earth.
The Indians say that the noise of thunder is caused by immense birds fighting in the air, and by the efforts of an old man to vomit a viper of fire. In proof of this assertion they show you trees which the lightning has branded with the likeness of a serpent. These storms frequently set fire to the forests; they continue to burn till the conflagration is stopped by the current of some river: these burned forests are converted into lakes and marshes. The curlews, whose voices we hear in the atmosphere amidst the rain and the thunder, announce the conclusion of the storm. The wind rends the clouds, which fly shattered across the heavens; the thunder
The mournful moon ber rainbows hath, and mid the blight of all
Blanchard's Lyric Offerings.
Whate'er of rich Arcadia hath been told,
Hushed is the busy hum of toiling man ;
Whate'er in sound is dear, in sight is fair,
The clouds were beautiful indeed,
When, from his daily duty freed,
Some like familiar forms the themes
All covered with their snow-white spray ;
But only then- unseen by day
So fair, are vapours which the earth
Foul mists, which owe their second birth
Deprives them of their baneful powers,
In gentle dews and cheering showers,
Mr. Hall, in the Arzulet for 1828.
Description of a Dutch Garden near Antwerp.
[From a Cruise; or Three Months on the Continent.] We were now gratified with seeing the garden of a private individual, laid out with all that taşte and fancy could collect, or caprice imagine: there were about six miles of walks through gardens, shrubberies, fields, wilderpesses, and woods; these were variously intersected with ponds (containing a quantity of large roach, tench, and carp) covered with swans and water-fowl, beautified with grottos, ornamental bridges, and boats of the Chinese style of building; besides which there were a number of pagodas and little retreats, where he had placed painted images in different postures. After passing through some fine parterres of flowers, fenced round with box-wood cut into numerous devices, with rows of niches filled with busts, we were led to a hermitage, built of the bark of trees: in the inside was seen, sitting in an arm-chair, a reverend hermit fast asleep, with a bible on his lap; two young mice are venturing abroad, while the cat is on the watch to seize: all so naturally done, that while it at first startles and again engages the attention, through the upper part of the door, which is open, the gardener pulls a bell, and a shower of water pours on the neck and shoulders of the astonished stranger. This seems to be a favourite Dutch joke: happily for us, it was out of order at this moment.
We met with places for children to swing on, fitted with figures of swans and sea-horses; and passing through a field of sheep, so natural that it was difficult to doubt their reality, we arrived at a tomb with the bust of a figure pointing to the inscription, · Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas.' Entering the sepulchral mansion through a subterraneous winding, we came to a figure of Diogenes in the tub: here they again pulled a rope, and Diogenes grips upon you, while the waters pour in from all quarters so as to cut off a retreat. Leaving this, we entered the grand pagoda, one hundred feet in height, with four gilt snakes intertwining from the top, and a pine-apple crown, making the further addition of twenty feet. This must have been raised at an immense expense. In the lower chamber were four niches with heads of mandarins, gilt and carved work of various devices: these opened into two apartments, a pump-room and staircase equally elegant, adorned with Chinese characters, through five different flights, from each of which there are round balconies, and a prospect enlarging in beauty as you ascend, until the view extends about five leagues all round. The town of Antwerp is seen to the greatest advantage; the town of Malines, too. It is a scene that rivetted our attention. The extent, in a clear day, appears a vast garden, a natural one, embellished with fifty different spires and towers; numerous windmills, farm-houses, villages, and towns. The roof inside has a fine painting, representing a group of heads looking down, and is seen with great effect from below. Over this is a reservoir for a hundred tons of water, which is pumped up from beneath, and made to rise from the surrounding woods, jets d'eau, to refresh and heighten the pleasure of the scene.
We now left this elegant and tasteful pavilion, and were conducted over several bridges, passing temples hung with bells and boats, all in the same style. From the highest arch of one we saw various sorts of fish, even to the bottom. After going through a shrubbery, all of which was undermined, we descended into a cave, opening out at the foot of the bridge we bad left. Here one may have a cool and delightful bath in the hottest day. Another field presented itself, in which there was a wolf tearing a cow to pieces, while she is defending herself by the horns. Nor, though several more grottoes crowded on us, did we think there would be an end to this magic treat, before we reached a pile of ruins, making a sort of summer-bouse, with