Genre Nature. Page - 1
is "Britannia's Pastorals."
[4:1] Perhaps the most noteworthy plant omitted is Tobacco--Shakespeare must have been well acquainted with it, not only as every one in his day knew of it, but as a friend and companion of Ben Jonson, he must often have been in the company of smokers. Ben Jonson has frequent allusions to it, and almost all the sixteenth-century writers have something to say about it; but Shakespeare never names the herb, or alludes to it in any way whatever.
[4:2] It seems probable that the Lily of the Valley was not recognized as a British plant in Shakespeare's time, and was very little grown even in gardens. Turner says, "Ephemer[=u] is called in duch meyblumle, in french Muguet. It groweth plentuously in Germany, but not in England that ever I coulde see, savinge in my Lordes gardine at Syon. The Poticaries in Germany do name it Lilium C[=o]vallium, it may be called in englishe May Lilies."--Names of Herbes, 1548. Coghan in 1596 says much the same: "I say nothing of them
never troubles the poultry of the farms nearest her den. She will forage for miles in every direction; will harass the chickens of distant farms till scarcely a handful remains of those that wander into the woods, or sleep in the open yards; yet she will pass by and through nearer farms without turning aside to hunt, except for mice and frogs; and, even when hungry, will note a flock of chickens within sight of her den, and leave them undisturbed. She seems to know perfectly that a few missing chickens will lead to a search; that boys' eyes will speedily find her den, and boys' hands dig eagerly for a litter of young foxes.
Last summer I found a den, beautifully hidden, within a few hundred yards of an old farmhouse. The farmer assured me he had never missed a chicken; he had no idea that there was a fox within miles of his large flock. Three miles away was another farmer who frequently sat up nights, and set his boys to watching afternoons, to shoot a fox that, early and late, had taken nearly thirty
tack-yard, behind the lengthy range of stables, two men were thatching. One lay sprawling on the crest of the rick, the other stood perched on a ladder at a lower level.
The latter, small, old, with shrewd nut-brown countenance, was Tammas Thornton,, who had served the Moores of Kenmuir for more than half a century. The other, on top of the stack, wrapped apparently in gloomy meditation, was Sam'l Todd. A solid Dales-- man, he, with huge hands and hairy arms; about his face an uncomely aureole of stiff, red hair; and on his features, deep-seated, an expression of resolute melancholy.
"Ay, the Gray Dogs, bless 'em!" the old man was saying. "Yo' canna beat 'em not nohow. Known 'em ony time this sixty year, I have, and niver knew a bad un yet. Not as I say, mind ye, as any on 'em cooms up to Rex son o' Rally. Ah, he was a one, was Rex! We's never won Cup since his day."
"Nor niver shall agin, yo' may depend," said the other gloomily.
Tammas clucked irritably.
"G'long, Sam'! Tod
ture excited more than half my admiration, and all my love.
Walpurgis on the ceiling, gray coming on in the embers, symptoms of death in the candle, a blotch of tallow on the Shakespeare, and the coat not half done. It must have been about then, I think, that the thin-edged sweetness of the Singing Mouse's voice pierced keenly through the air. I was right glad when the little creature came and sat on my knee, and in its affectionate way began to nibble at my finger-tips. It sat erect, its thin paws waving with a tiny, measured swing, and in its mystic voice, so infinitely small, so sweet and yet so majestically strong, began a song which no pen can transcribe. Knowing that the awakening must come, but unwilling to lose a moment of the dream, I, who with one finger could have crushed the little thing, sat prizing it more and more, as more and more its voice swept, and swelled, and rang; rang, till the fire burst high in noble pyramids of flame; rang, till the candle flashed in a thousand crystals; swell
hould so much like to put Chirp into Dicky's cage."
"I have been thinking of the very same thing," said Charles. "Let us run and ask mamma if we may do it."
Away they ran and asked.
"Why," said their mamma, "it certainly will have rather a strange appearance. The two birds do not seem suitable companions. It is an odd fancy, children; but you may do it if you like."
No sooner said than done. Off ran Fanny and Charles--took the little Foundling out of his old lantern--opened the door of Dicky's cage--and at once put him in, and fastened the door. In a moment, Dicky flew up to his top perch, and stood looking down very earnestly; and the little Foundling, though he could stump about on his lame toes, never moved, but sat looking up at Sir Dicky. The nestling looked like a poor little ragged lame beggar-boy whom a sprightly gentleman in a bright yellow coat had been so compassionate as to take into his house.
Presently the Foundling went to the seed-box, a
; and the boat's going to start inside of an hour, and we're going to start with her!"
Sure enough, when at last the heavy boom of the Yucatan's warning whistle caused the window glass along the main street to tremble, a little party once more wended its way down the sidewalk toward the wharf. Uncle Dick led the way, earnestly talking with three very grave and anxious mothers. Behind him, perfectly happy, and shouting excitedly to one another, came Rob, Jesse, and John. Each carried a rifle in its case, and each looked excitedly now and then at the wagon which was carrying their bundles of luggage to the wharf.
"All aboard!" called the mate at the head of the gang-plank, laying hold of the side lines and waiting to pull it in. Again came the heavy whistle of the ocean steamer. The little group now broke apart; and in a moment the boys, somewhat sobered now, were waving their farewells to the mothers, who stood, anxious and tearful, on the dock.
"Cast off, there!" came the hoarse
know, I know! That will do-o-o, that will do-o-o!" cooed theWood-Pigeon obstinately in her soft, foolish little voice, withoutpaying the least attention to Mother Magpie's directions.
"We all know that--anything more?" chirped the chorus of birds, tryingto conceal how anxious they were to know what came next, for the nestswere only half finished.
But Mother Magpie was thoroughly disgusted, and refused to go on withthe lesson which had been so rudely interrupted by her pupils.
"You are all so wise, friends," she said, "that surely you do not needany help from me. You say you know all about it,--then go on and finishyour nests by yourselves. Much luck may you have!" And away she flew toher own cosy nest in the elm tree, where she was soon fast asleep,forgetting all about the matter.
But oh! What a pickle the other birds were in! The lesson was but halffinished, and most of them had not the slightest idea what to do next.That is why to this day many of the birds have never learned to buil
ine finally recovered, but he was shockingly disfigured for life. He afterwards told how he came upon the tracks of Broadus, and on reaching the spot where Broadus had received his death wound, he was suddenly attacked by a huge she-bear that was followed by two small cubs. The bear had evidently been severely wounded by Broadus and was in a terrible rage. She seized Jabine before he could turn to flee, and falling with her whole weight upon his body and chest, began biting his face. He soon lost consciousness from the pressure upon his chest, and remembered no more.
The poor fellow became a misanthrope, owing to his terrible disfigurement, and was finally found drowned in the river near Coloma.
In 1850 a number of miners were camped upon the spot where the little town of Todd's Valley now stands. Among them were three brothers named Gaylord, who had just arrived from Illinois. These young men used to help out the proceeds of their claim by an occasional hunt, taking their venison down to the ri
ave spoilt his physiognomy for life; and, depend upon it, as long as life lasts, he will neither forget nor forgive that. I shall also come in for a share of his spite, and it behoves both of us to beware of him."
"But what can he do to us?"
"Caballero, that question shows you have not been very long in this country, and are yet ignorant of its customs. In Mexico we have some callings not congenial to your people. Know that stilettoes can here be purchased cheaply, with the arms of assassins to use them. Do you understand me?"
"I do. But how do you counsel me to act?"
"As I intend acting myself--take departure from Chihuahua this very day. Our roads are the same as far as Albuquerque, where you will be out of reach of this little danger. I am returning thither from the city of Mexico, where I've had business with the Government. I have an escort; and if you choose to avail yourself of it you'll be welcome to its protection."
"Colonel Miranda, again I know not how to thank yo
he Choice ofParis and The Apples of the Hesperides.]
The tree is mentioned in at least three places in the Old Testament,and its fruit in two or three more. Solomon sings, "As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons."And again, "Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples." Thenoblest part of man's noblest feature is named from this fruit, "theapple of the eye."
The apple-tree is also mentioned by Homer and Herodotus. Ulysses sawin the glorious garden of Alcinous "pears and pomegranates andapple-trees bearing beautiful fruit." And according to Homer, appleswere among the fruits which Tantalus could not pluck, the wind everblowing their boughs away from him. Theophrastus knew and describedthe apple-tree as a botanist.
According to the prose Edda, [Footnote: The stories of the earlyScandinavians.] "Iduna keeps in a box the apples which the gods,when they feel old age approaching, have only to taste of to becomeyoung again. It is in this manner that the