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of the 21st; and Georgium Sidus will also be in conjunction at 15 m. after 1 in the afternoon of the 22d.
As the stars frequently shine with a peculiar lustre in the frosty nights of this month, we shall conclude its Occurrences with the following lines by a wellknown poet:
To the STARS.
Have ye no music as ye roll along?
Your heavenly song ?
Was it a fiction of the olden time?
That strain sublime?
The joyful anthem which ye sang of yore;
Let man adore.
The Naturalist's Diary
For JANUARY 1829.
I can see
Winter is not without many majestic tokens of a present and presiding Deity. David was so struck by the awful glories of winter, as to call in 'hail, snow, vapour, and stormy wind,' to unite with his own harp, and all the harmonies of nature, in praising Jehovah. And there are contrasts and combinations during this season of the year, which, if duly observed, could not fail to raise the mind to that Power which rules the circle of the
year. Under his high direction how the aspect of the heavens fluctuates in winter! Atone time, the whole sky is one dull and dense sheet of murky vapour, which the sun itself can hardly penetrate, even at noon-day: at another time, the firmament is one vast transparency, glittering with stars. Now the snow-flakes fall as silently as the dew of the morning; and anon, the hail rushes, like arrows on the wings of the wind. In the evening, the hoar frost collects insensibly; and at midnight, the crisped snow drifts like a sandy whirlwind of the desert.
Notwithstanding this dreary picture, the Naturalist will not want subjects for examination. The Entomologist, in particular, will be amply repaid, in this and the succeeding month, by a walk through the fields and woods; and although they may be covered with the fleecy mantle of winter, the industrious collector will find objects of sufficient interest to reward his assiduity. The best companion in his walks will
be.Samouelle's Introduction to the Knowledge of British Insects.'
Many of the feathered tribe have sought a warmer and more genial clime; yet sufficient remain to enliven the chill scene of a winter's day. The throstle is seen under sunny hedges and southern walls in pursuit of snails, which he destroys in abundance, particularly in hard winters : he delights also in chrysalids and worms. Other birds now quit their retreats in search of food. The nuthatch is heard, and larks congregate and fly to the warm stubble for shelter.
There are still some lingering signs of vegetation to be seen; some annuals coming into flower, and some change to be observed in a few culinary plants, as the savoy and the leek. Now, however, almost every thing is at a stand, till the first or second week of February gives relief, when the gooseberry bush and the elder will afford signs of the sap's motion. In the absence of garden flowers, however, the golden saxifrage and the stone-crop afford their little aid to give life and beauty to the wintry scene. Ivy now casts its leaves.
The hedge-sparrow, the thrush, and the wren, now begin to sing; the blackbird whistles, and linnets congregate. Pullets begin to lay; young lambs are dropped now. The house-sparrow chirps, and the bat is seen.
The helleborus niger, or Christmas rose, shows its pretty flowers at this season. Towards the close of the month, in very favourable seasons, the snow-drop blooms, and the flowers of the rosemary begin to open.
German method of making Flowers grow in Winter.-They saw off such a branch of any tree as will answer their purpose, and then lay it for an hour or two in a running stream, if they can find one: the object of this is to get the ice from the bark, and soften the buds. It is afterwards carried into one of their warm rooms, and fixed upright in a wooden box or tub containing water. Fresh burnt lime is then added to the water, and allowed to remain in it about twelve hours, when it is removed, and fresh water added, with which a small quantity of vitriol is mixed, to prevent its putrifying. In the course of some hours the blossoms begin to make their appearance, and afterwards the leaves. If more lime be added, the process is quickened; while, if it be not used at all, the process is retarded, and the leaves appear before the blossoms.
The fruits still in season, which are the same also for two months more, are almonds, apples, chesnuts, walnuts, and pears. The Chaumontelle, says Mr. Brookshaw, in his elegant work the 'Horticultural Repository,' is one of our winter table pears; it is quite soft and buttery, and will keep in perfection till January; after that time the flesh becomes rather bitter, and is not quite so pleasant to eat. But these pears, in England, do not come to perfection every year; as in some seasons they will prove quite strong, and totally unfit for eating. -A small quantity of the Chaumontelle pear is occasionally imported from Guernsey; these, from the superiority of the climate, are much finer than those - grown in England. This pear was, indeed, as its name imports, originally a native of France, and naturally requires a more southern and congenial climate than England to bring it to perfection. The Chaumontelle, in its native country, is not so long as ours, but broad and flat at the bottom, and small at the top; their colour also is generally a green mixed with brown, when they grow against a wall. This pear is more likely to come to perfection if grown in this way; but you cannot always depend upon a good crop even then.
In 1827, a generally mild autumn was succeeded by an equally mild and unconfirmed winter. Several of our early song birds, as the thrush, the hedge
sparrow, and common wren, were frequently heard before the first of January, 1828. Before this day, too, natural primroses appeared in Covent Garden Market. The new year was ushered in by wet, yet warm weather; the wind generally from S.š.w., and occasionally veering to the W. and N.W., at which times the clouds cleared off, and slight frosts followed. Snow fell on the 5th ; on the 11th a heavy fall, with an east wind; also on the 16th, but which did not lie.-In our last year's Diary for January, the greater part of which was contributed by our friend w. HowItt, are some very picturesque delineations in prose, worth turning to; particularly descriptions of a Great Storm, the British Fire-Side, and a Continued Frost.
In continuation of the series of remarks on Winter in the Northern Countries of Europe, to be found in our previous volumes, we add the following description of
SOCIAL MEETINGS IN NORWAY. These commence generally about four o'clock, and are carried on, without intermission, till after midnight. Every one brings his pipe: without this he would be miserable, and not even the punch could make him feel comfortable. The room is presently filled with a smoke so dense that it is difficult to distinguish persons. Most of the company during this time are deeply engaged, each with his pipe in his mouth, at their favourite game of whist; while the remainder pace the room with slow and measured steps. Now the first toast is announced by the master of the house, which is Gammel Norge, Old Nor
The effect produced is electrical; the whole party instantaneously rise, the capacious glasses are filled to the brim; every one then touches with his own the top of each in the room, which is called klinking, and is similar to our old-fashioned custom of hob.nobbing; and the contents are drunk off, and