Sivut kuvina

attributes which would now-a-days suit the god of banquets. These plants have been employed for nobler purposes; but, in the age of gastronomy, it will not do to insist too strongly on what was done in the heroic ages.


And welcome art thou, melancholy time,

That now surround'st my dwelling-with the sound Of winds that rush in darkness-the sublime Roar of drear woods.

W. HowITT.

No mark of vegetable life is seen,

No bird to bird repeats his tuneful call, Save the dark leaves of sume rude evergreen, Save the lone redbreast on the moss-grown wall.


A wreath for merry Christmas quickly twine,
A wreath for the bright red sparkling wine;

Though roses are dead,

And their bloom is fled,
Yet for Christmas a bonnie, bonnie wreath we'll twine.
Away to the wood where the bright holly grows,
And its red berries blush amid winter snows:
Away to the ruin where the green ivy clings,
And around the dark fane its verdure flings;

Hey for the ivy and holly so bright,
They are the garlands for Christmas night!



WINTER comes on. The trees, after being stripped of their fruit, have now lost their leaves. The sun, as he recedes from us, throws dun or melancholy tints over the foliage. The poplar is covered with a pale gold colour, while the acacia rolls up its light folioles, which the sun's rays will no more expand: the birch droops its long hair, already deprived of ornaments; and the fir, which is destined to retain its green pyramid, waves it proudly in the air. The oak stands immoveable: he defies the utmost efforts of the wind, which cannot strip his stately head of its honours: and it is only to Spring that the monarch of the woods will yield his leaves reddened by Winter.

All these trees might be supposed to be moved by different passions: one bows profoundly, as if to pay homage to its neighbour, whom the tempest cannot bend; another seems to be striving to embrace its companion, the supporter of its weakness, and, while their branches are commingled, a third dashes about in every direction, as if it were surrounded by enemies. Respect, friendship, hate, anger, seem to be alternately communicated by one to another. Thus shaken by all the winds, and as if agitated by all the passions, they utter long moans, resembling the confused murmurs of an alarmed people. There is no predominant voice: they are low, deep, monotonous sounds, which throw the mind into a vague reverie. Showers of dead leaves frequently fall upon the ground, deprived of its verdure, and cover the earth with a moving garment. The eye cannot help watching how the winds pursue, scatter, whirl, and drive hither and thither, these sad remains of a spring that will never return.

A L O E.


The Aloe is attached to the soil by very feeble roots; it delights to grow in the wilderness; its taste is extremely bitter. Thus grief detaches us from the earth, separates us from the world, and fills our hearts with bitterness. These plants live almost entirely on air, and assume singular and grotesque shapes. Le Vaillant found several species in great pro. fusion in the deserts of the Namaquas, in South Africa. Some had leaves six feet long; they are thick and armed with long spines: from the centre of these leaves shoots up a slender stem, as tall as a tree, and covered with flowers. Others are marbled, and look like snakes creeping upon the ground. Brydone saw the ancient city of Syracuse overgrown with large Aloes in blossom; their elegant stems gave to the promontory on which it stands the appearance of an enchanted wood. These magnificent and

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