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Now in orchards gaily sporting,
Always happy, always gay! In solitude, the goldfinch delights to view its image in a mirror; fancying, probably, that it sees another of its own species: and this attachment to society seeins to equal the cravings of nature; for it is often observed to pick up the hemp-seed, grain by grain, and advance to eat it at the mirror, imagining, no doubt, that it is thus feeding in company. If a young goldfinch be educated under a canary-bird, a woodlark, or any other singing bird, it will readily catch their song. Mr. Albin mentions a lady who had a goldfinch which was even able to speak several words with great distinctness. Towards winter these birds usually assemble in flocks. They feed on various kinds of seeds, but are more partial to those of the thistle than any others. They sometimes have been known to attain a great age. Willaghby speaks of one that was twenty-three years old ; and Albin says, that they not unfrequently arrive at the age of twenty years,
The mountain ash, or rowan tree, now displays its bunches of red berries amid its elegant and light foliage, rivalling the flaming honours of the pyracanthus at a later period. The jessamine shows its pretty little flowers, and diffuses its fragrant scent.
The geranium tribe add to the beauty of the garden, and many pretty species also decorate our sunny
banks; the malvaceous order, and the spurges, bearing the seed always elevated on the flower, are seen in great variety. The Genista or broom flowers in this month; and the common flax, with its pretty pale blue flowers. The sun-flower adds its stately beauties to the garden.
Is turned with looks of light and love,
Whene'er the sun is bright above.
Her fond idolatry is fled;
The loving eye is cold and dead.
False flatterer of the prosperous hour?
And thou art faithless as the flower!
The sweet scabious is in flower, and the common blue passion-flower, which flowers from June to October, may, in the general dearth of flowers, be introduced to our notice in August
... Insects now abound, and afford a never-failing source of amusement and instruction to the inquiring entomologist. In this month, the Papilio Io, Argus, and Phlæas attract our attention,
The harvest-bug Acarus ricinus), in this and the following month, proves a very troublesome and disagreeable insect, particularly in some of the southern counties of England. The best cure for the bite is spirit of hartshorn. Flies now abound, and torment both men and animals with their perpetual buzzing. Wasps also become very troublesome.--See T.T. for 1822, p. 240, and our last volume, p. 211.
The WASP, or VANITY's Ruin.
Such was his silly pride,
And his hat cocked on one side.
One morning he rose betimes from his bed,
And called the drone to bring
And his sword with pointed sting.
And none shall dare dispute
Or claim to the ripest fruit.
I'll soon despatch bis life,
And drink his wine with his wife,
Of insects mean and vile?
I scornful on them smile.
My contempt are quite beneath; 'Tis very hard that I'm condemned
The self-same air to breathe.
I most indignant frown:
The world is all my own.
I'll brandish it over all-
The reptiles, great and small.
A diamond tomb shall rise ;
And never more dry their eyes.
As dew-drops from the sky,
My modest elegy:
That ever waved a wing:
In nature's fairest spring.
And great and grand of birth ;
We could not write his wortb.'
Just here, in wo's vast pomp, Wasp threw
His regal wing aside,
Whims and Oddities for the Young.
Among the fish taken in this month is the Dace.
The Swedish Plum and the Melon attract our notice among the fruits of August.
The Swedish Plum constitutes an entirely new variety in this country: Mr. Wilmot, of Isleworth, has reared it from a cutting which he received from Sweden, and is the only person in possession of this delightful fruit. From a change of climate, and from the high state of cultivation of fruit trees in England, there is little doubt that the Swedish Plum will be greatly improved. The flesh is rather firm, extremely pleasant to eat, and of an exceedingly good flavour: it is, apparently, a very free bearer, and ripens about the middle of August.
The Melon. The Polignac Melon is one of the best melons we have for richness of flavour: the Black Rock is generally considered the first; but if the Polignac were more known, there is little doubt that it would find as many admirers as the Black Rock. There was a specimen in the garden of his late Royal Highness the Duke of York, at Oatlands; the Duchess being very partial to melons, this garden was remarkable for its great collection of the very best
fruit of this kind. Nearly the whole of the inside of the Polignac Melon is eatable, being more free from the seedy part than any other melons. It seldom weighs more than three or four pounds.
The melon was first introduced into Europe from Persia, and appears to have been cultivated in England before the year 1570. Gerarde, who wrote about twenty years afterwards, says, that he saw at the Queen's house, at St. James's, very many green melons with a red flesh, ripe through the diligent and curious nourishing of them by a skilful gentleman, the keeper of the said house, called Master Fowle; and in other places, near unto the right þonourable the Lord of Sussex house, of Bermondsey, by London, where, from year to year, there was very great plenty, especially if the weather was any thing temperate.'
About the year 1629, melons were not only delicate, but rare, and were found chiefly at the tables of the rich and the nobility: many were then brought from France, and being carefully and skially propagated, were afterwards produced in greater abundance.
Many varieties of the melon are cultivated in this country, especially by those who attend the markets, chiefly on account of their size ; thus by endeavouring to augment their bulk, the fruit is rendered of no value. We shall briefly enumerate the varieties most deserving of care, excluding the common melons as being unworthy of the trouble and expense of cultivation. The Cantateupe, the most celebrated melon in every part of Europe, is so called from a place about fourteen miles from Rome, where the Pope has a country seat, in which place this fruit has been long cultivated; it was brought thither from that part of Armenia bordering on Persia, where the fruit is so plentiful, that a horse-load is sold for a French crown. The flesh of this melon, when in perfection, is delicious, and may be taken with safety by the most delicate stomachs. The outer coat is very rough, and full of knobs or protuberances, like warts; it is of a middling size, rather round than long, and the flesh is, for the most part, of an orange colour. The Dutch are so fond of this fruit, as to cultivate few other sorts, and name it The Cantaleupe oply, without the addition of melon, which they give to all the other varieties.
They who are desirous of early melons, may cultivate the Romana, which, when the fruit is well conditioned, the plants in perfect health, and the season dry, is a very excellent melon. The Black Galloway, brought from Portugal many years since by Lord Galloway, and now scarcely to be met with, comes to perfection sooner than any other variety, and when suffered to ripen naturally, is by 'no means a bad fruit.
Two uncommon varieties of the melon, lately introduced into this country, deserve notice-the Salonica and the Valentia. The Salonica Melon is nearly of a spherical shape, and without