« السابقةمتابعة »
depressions on its surface; its colour approaches that of gold; its pulp is of a pure white, of the consistence of that of the Water Melon, and very saccharine. The fruit should remain on the plant till it be completely matured; for it improves in flavour and sweetness till it becomes soft and ready to decay.
The Valentia Melon is produced plentifully in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. It is remarkable for the property of keeping for many weeks, insomuch that it has been sometimes imported into London from Spain. In this country it is raised in the manner of other melons. The fruit gathered when nearly ripe, and suspended in a dry airy room, will keep till January or February; hence it is often called the Winter Melon. It is oval-shaped and somewhat pointed at the ends; the skin thin, and of a dark green colour; the pulp whitish, firm, saccharine, and juicy: though the flavour is not rich, it is pleasant to tbe taste.
The importance of preserving the leaves of the melon during its growth and cultivation, cannot be too often insisted on, as many gardeners are very apt to think that, in thinning out the leaves, they are rendering the fruit an essential service by admitting sun and air to it, while they are probably inflicting a positive injury. The success of the fruit depends very much on the plant possessing a luxuriant and healthy foliage, having the upper surfaces regularly presented to the light, and remaining as much as possible undisturbed in that position. Pegs are therefore to be freely employed, not only with the view of retaining the shoots in their place, but of keeping the leaves steady and upright; and when water is necessary, it is to be introduced without touching the leaves. Melons are also frequently much injured by being planted too near cucumbers and gourds.
There are three principal varieties of the WATER Melon: 1, with firm flesh ; 2, with reddish flesh; 3, with wbitish flesh, The first is particularly distinguished in the south of France by the name of pasteque, and is eaten only with fricassees, or baked with sweet wine, like Burgundy pears. The two latter are the true Water Melons, so much esteemed in all hot countries for their pleasant, cool, refreshing flesh, which is always of a deep colour, and so succulent that it melts in the mouth; the central pulp is so fluid, that, like the milk of the cocoa-nut, it may be sucked or poured out through a hole in the rind, and affords an agreeable beverage. It is a native of the East Indies, CochinChiva, and China, and is found in Brazil. On account of its excellent qualities, it is much cultivated in all the warmer countries of the four quarters of the globe ; and is said to serve the Egyptians for meat, drink, and physic, as long as it continues in season, which is from the beginning of May to the end of July, or the beginning of August.--Brookshaw's Horticultural Repository.
Those interesting insects the lady-bird and the glow-worm are seen in profusion in this month.
Oh! gaze on yon Glow-worm--though pale be its light,
New Monthly Magazine. Much amusement may be derived, in this month, from searching for insects among the weeds thrown up in clearing ponds. Among these will be found the larvæ of the Phryganea, or caddis-fly. (See T.T, for 1824, p. 234.)
The solitary bee and the white moth are observed in this month: the Ptinus pectinicornis also makes its appearance, the larvæ of which are very destructive to wooden furniture, boring holes in tables, chairs, bed-posts, &c. The vapourer-moth (Bombyx antiqua) may be found in this month.
Notes for August 1828, from the · Magazine of Natural History.'-Many of what are called the solstitial wreath of the goddess of flowers' are still in beauty; to which there are added dahhias, hollyhocks, convolvuli, and all the new splendid varieties of Enothera, Nicotiana, &c., in the gardens. In the fields, and on wastes, foxgloves, toadflax, chiccory, &c., are the most striking flowers. Our song-birds are almost all silent. The black-cap has not been heard during the tast week. A song-thrush, and now and then a sky-lark, may occasionally be heard; but the general barmony of the woods is over. Swifts appear to be directing their flight to the south-westward, the wet season urging their departure. Insects do not appear to be so plentiful as they are in dry summers; the common lady-bird (Coccinella 7-punctata Lin.) is
even ráre about London this year, but the C. 2-punctatæ are numerous; neither are aphides so prevalent as they sometimes are. The weather, for the last two months, has only been a continuation of that which preceded. Unfortunately for the country, but few places have escaped heavy and unseasonable rains; causing floods, and much damage to the crops.
During the great heats of this and the preceding month, how often may we be tempted to exclaim with Navagero,
Gentle airs, that on light wing
WIFFEN. If prevented by the excessive glow of burning heat from reposing on the green velvet of Nature's carpet, we may throw our listless length upon the luxurious cane sofa, and listen to the soft but melancholy murmurs of the harp of Æolus.---This harp is a long box or case of light wood, with harp or violin strings ex. tended on its face. These are generally tuned in perfect unison with each other, or to the same pitch, as it is expressed; but when the harp is suspended among trees, or in any situation where the fluctuating breeze may reach it, each string, according to the manner in which it receives the blast, sounds either entire or breaks into some simple divisions. The result of this is the production of the most pleasing combination and succession of sounds that fancy has ever listened to or perhaps conceived. After a pause, this fairy harp is often heard beginning with a low and solemn note, like the bass of distant music in the sky: the sound then swells as if approaching, and other tones break forth, mingling with the first and with each other. In the combined and varying strain sometimes one sweet note predominates and some
times another, as if single musicians alternately led the band; and the concert often seems to approach and again to recede, until with the unequal breeze it dies away, and all is again at rest. It is no wonder that 'the ancients, who understood not the nature of air, nor, consequently, even of simple sound, should have deemed the music of the Æolian harp supernatural; and in their warm and chaste imaginations should have supposed that it was the strain of invisible beings from above, descended in the stillness of evening or night, to commune with men in the heavenly language of soul, intelligible to both. But even now that we understand it well, there are few persons so insensible to what is delicate and beautiful in nature as to listen to this wild music without emotion; while to the informed ear it is additionally delightful, from the fine illustration which it affords of those simple laws of sound which human ingenuity, at last, has traced.- Arnott's Elemenis of Physics.
That breathes its sighing music through the wood,
Sports with the dancing leaves, and crisps the flood,
And I would sport with many a bloom and bud,
Happiest the farthest from the neighbourhood,
Then would I waft me to the cowslip's bell;
Unto the lily, vestal of the dell,
Or be, beside some mossy forest-well, Companion to the wood-anemoné! August and September constitute the English villeggiatura, and most persons who possess a sufficient portion of the 'glittering ore,' the passe-par-tout of this chequered scene, --seek health and pleasure in exploring the beauties of our picturesque and fertile country.
A Summer Tour.-If we were called upon to propose any summer's journey for a young English traveller (and it is a call often made with reference to continental tours), we might reasonably suggest the coasts of Great Britain, as affording every kind of various interest which can by possibility be desired. Such a scheme would include the ports and vast commercial establishments of Liverpool, Bristol, Greenock, Leith, Newcastle, and Hull; the great naval stations of Plymouth, Portsmouth, Chatham, and Milford; the magnificent estuaries of the Clyde and Forth, and of the Bristol Channel, not surpassed by any in Europe; the wild and romantic coasts of the Hebrides and Western Highlands ; the bold shore of North Wales; the Menai, Conway, and Sunderland bridges; the gigantic works of the Caledonian Canal and Plymouth Breakwater; and numerous other objects, which it is beyond our purpose and power to enumerate. It cannot be surely too much to advise, that Englishmen, who have only slightly and partially seen these things, should subtract something from the length or frequency of their continental journeys, and give the time so gained to a survey of their own country's wonders of nature and art.
To the agriculturist, and to the lover of rural scenery, England offers much that is remarkable. The rich alluvial plains of continents may throw out a more profuse exuberance and succession of crops; but we doubt whether agriculture, as an art, has anywhere (except in Flanders and Tuscany alone) reached the same perfection as in the less fertile soils of the Lothians, Northumberland, and Norfolk. Still more peculiar is the rural scenery of England, in the various and beautiful landscape it affords-in the undulating surface the greenness of the inclosures--the bamlets and country churches—and the farm-houses and cottages dispersed over the face of the country, instead of being congregated into villages, as in France and Italy. We might select Devonsbire, Somersetshire, Herefordshire, and others of the midland counties, as pre-eminent in this character of beauty, which, however, is too familiar to our daily observation to make it needful to expatiate upon it.
Nor will our limits allow us to dwell upon that bolder form of natural scenery which we possess in the Highlands of Scotland, in Wales, Cumberland, and Derbyshire, and which entitles us to speak of this island as rich in landscape of the higher class. In the scale of objects, it is true that no comparison can exist between the mountain
scenery of Britain, and that of many parts of the continent of Europe. But it must be remembered, that magnitude is not essential to beauty, and that even sublimity is not always to be measured by yards and feet. A mountain may be loftier, or a lake longer and wider, without any gain to that picturesque effect which mainly depends on form, combination, and colouring. Still we do not mean to claim, in these points, any sort of equality with the Alps, Apennines, or Pyrenees; or