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The Naturalist's Diary

· For NOVEMBER 1821.
Now the tempest of NOVEMBER blows,
The winter trumpet, till its failing breath
Goes moaning into silence.

B. CORNWALL. NOVEMBER is, usually, a very gloomy month, yet there are intervals of clear and pleasant weather : the mornings are occasionally sharp, but the hoar frost is soon dissipated by the sun, and a fine open day follows. Mists and fogs sometimes continue for three or four days at a time, and contribute to render this month both dismal and disagreeable; yet fogs and mists have their bright sides. Being nothing but vapours, which the cold air will not suffer to evaporate, they must have body enough to present a gorgeous aspect next the sun. To the eye of an eagle, or whatever other eyes there may be to look down upon them, they must appear like masses of cloudy gold. In fact, they are but clouds unrisen. The city of London, in this month, is often literally a city in the clouds. Its inhabitants walk through the same airy heaps, which, at other times, float far over their heads in the sky, or minister with glorious faces to the setting sun.

We do not say, that any one can hold a fire in his hand,'by thinking on a fine snnset; or that sheer imagination of any sort can make it a very agreeable thing to feel as if one's body were wrapped round with cold wet paper; much less to flounder through gutters, or run against posts. But the mind can often help itself with agreeable images against disagreeable ones; or pitch itself round to the best sides and aspects of them. The solid and fiery ball of the sun, stuck, as it were, in the thick foggy atmosphere; the moon just winning her way through

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it, into beams; nay, the very candles and gas-lights in the shop windows of a misty evening,_all have, in our eyes, their agreeable varieties of contrast to the surrounding haze.

The poets have, in numberless passages, done justice to these our melancholy visitors. Examples might be produced from Homer, Virgil, Milton and others; we can only find a place for the following from SPENSER. It is a scene thickly beset with horror. Sir Guyon, in the course of his voyage through the perilous sea, wishes to stop and bear the Syrens; but the Palmer, his companion, dissuades him;

When suddenly a grosse fog over spred
With his dull vapour all that desert has,
And heaven's chearefull face enveloped,

That all things one, and one as nothing was,
And this great universe seemed one confused mass.

Thereat they greatly were dismayd, ne wist
How to direct theyr way in darkness wide;
But feared to wander in that wastefull mist
For tombling into mischiefe unespyde:
Worse is the daunger hidden then descride.
Suddeinly an innumerable flight
Or harmfull fowles about them fluttering cride,

And with theyr wicked wings them oft did smight,
And sore annoyed, groping in that griesly night.

Even all the nation of unfortunate
And fatall birds about them flocked were,
Such as by nature men abhorre and hate ; )
The ill-faced owle, deaths dreadful messengere :
The hoarse night-raven, trump of dolefull drere :
The lether-winged batt, dayes enimy:
The ruefull stritch, still waiting on the bere :

The whistler shrill, that whoso heares doth dy:
The hellish harpies, prophets of sad destiny:

All these, and all that els does horror breed,
About them flew, and fild theyr sayles with fear;
Yet stayd they not, but forward did proceed,
Whiles th' one did row, and th’ other stifly steare',

* See an ingenious Paper on Mists and Fogs' in The Indicator,' No. viii, pp. 58-60.

Whether November be gloomy or fine should be immaterial to the reflecting mind; we must not suffer our happiness to depend on the state of the weather: a much smaller portion of this grand elixir vite is to be attributed to climate than is generally imagined. Under all climates and seasons, man is the cause of his own disappointments and vexations. Not the circumstances that surround him, whether he be placed among the fervent plains of India, the sandy deserts of Arabia, the temperate vales of Europe, or the snow-clad regions of the Poles, are to blame: man is not, therefore, either happy, or unhappy. Whether he enjoy the perpetual spring of Quito, the verdant summer of BRITAIN, the rich autumn of Italy, or the winter the long-long winter of Lapland, and the Arctic circle; they are all equally indifferent to his real happiness". : "The partiality for our native country,' it has been well observed by a lively writer, was certainly given us by nature, to prevent rambling, the effect of an ambitious thirst after knowledge, which we are formed to enjoy. All we get by it is a fruitless desire of mixing the different pleasures and conveniences which are given to the different parts of the world, and cannot meet in any one of them. After having read all that is to be found in the languages I am mistress of, and having decayed my sight by midnight studies, I envy the easy peace of mind of a ruddy milkmaid, who, undisturbed by doubt, hears the sermon with humility every Sunday, not having confounded the sentiments of natural duty in her head by the vain enquiries of the schools, who may be more learned, yet, after all, must remain as ignorant. And, after having seen part of Asia and Africa, and almost made the tour of Europe, I think the HONEST ENG

"See observations on the influence of the weather on the mind, with a poetical illustration, in our last volume, pp. 288-290..

? Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, in her Letters, No. lii.

LISH SQUIRE more happy, who verily believes the Greek wines less delicious than March beer; that the African fruits have not so fine a flavour as golden pippins; that the becafigas of Italy are not so well tasted as a rump of beef, and that, in short, there is no perfect enjoyment of this life, out of OLD ENGLAND.'

Hail, favoured island ! happy region, hail !
Whose temperate skies, mild air, and genial dews,
Enrich the fertile glebe; blessing thy sons
With various products, to the life of man
Indulgent. Thine Pomona's choicest gift,
The tasteful apple, rich with racy juice,
Theme of thy envied song, Silurian bard;
Affording to the swains, in sparkling cups, .
Delicious bey'rage. Thine, on Cantium's hills,
The flow'ry hop, whose tendrils climbing round
The tall aspiring pole, bear their light heads
Aloft, in pendant clusters; which in malt's
Fermenting tuns ipfused, to mellow age
Preserves the potent dranght. Tbine too the plant,
To whose tough stringy stalks thy num'rous fleets
Owe their strong cordage: with her sister stem,
Her fairer sister, whence Minerva's tribe,
T'enfold in softness beauty's lovely limbs,
Present their woven texture : and from whence,
A second birth, grows the papyrean leaf,
A tablet firm, on which the painter bard
Delineates thought, and to the wondering eye
Embodies vocal air, and groups the sound.

Lo! from the depth of many a yawning mine
Thy fossil treasures rise. Tby blazing hearths
From deep sulphureous pits, consumeless stores
Of fuel boast. The oil-imbibing earth,
The fuller's mill assisting, safe defies
All foreign rivals in the clothier's art.
The builder's stone thy numerous quarries hide ;
With lime, its close concomitant. The hills,
The barren hills of Derby's wildest peak,
In lead abound; soft, fusile, malleable;
Whose ample sheets my venērable domes
From rough inclement storms of wind and rain
In safety clothe. Devonia's ancient mines,
Whose treasures tempted first Phænicia's song
To court thy commerce, still exhaustless, yield

The valued ore, from whence, Britannia, thou
Thine honoured námé deriv'st. Nor want'st thou store
Of that all-useful metal, the support
Of ev'ry art mechanic. Hence arise
In Dean's large forest numerous glowing kilns,
The rough rude ore calcining; whence conveyed
To the fierce furnace, its intenšer heat
Melts the hard mass, which flows an iron stream,
On sandy beds below : and stiffening there,
A pondrous lump, but to the hammer tam'd,
Takes from the forge, ip bars, its final form.

But the glad muse, from subterranean caves
Emerging, views with wonder and delight
What numerous products still remain unsung.
With fish abound thy streams, thy sheltering woods
To fowl give friendly covert! and thy plains
The cloven-footed race, in various HERDS,
Range undisturbed. Fair FLORA's sweetest buds
Blow on thy beauteous bosom; and her fruits
Pomona pours in plenty on thy lap.

Thon to the dyer's tinging cauldron giv'st
The yellow-staining weed, luteola ;
The glastam brown, with which thy naked sons
In antient time their hardy limbs distaind;
· Nor the rich rubia does thine hand withhold.

Grateful and salutary spring the plants
Which crown thy numerous gardens, and ifivité
To health and temperance, in the simple meal,
Unstained with murder, undefiled with blood,
Unpoisoned with rich sauces, to provoke
Th’anwilling appetite to gluttony.
For this the bulbous esculents their roots
With sweetness fill; for this, with cooling juice
The green herb spreads its leaves; and opening buds,
And flowers and seeds, with various flavours tempt
Th' ensanguined palate from its savage feast.

DODSLEY. The naturalist, who lately contemplated the trees and shrubs in all their beauty of outline, foliage, blossoms, colours, and lights and shadows, must now contemplate them in their ramifications, sprays, buds, and barks, in which he will still find abundance of beauty and wonder. Thus, we admire the symmetry of form, the sparkling eye, the blooming cheek, and the curling lock, in the human, especially

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