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(London Time's Telescope, for October 1821.)
When is the aspect which Nature wears
The loveliest and dearest? Say, is it in Spring?
When the foliage is leafy on every side,
And tempts us at noon in the green-wood to bide,
Lovely is Nature in seasons like these;
But lovelier when Autumn's tints are spread
When the bright sun sheds a watery beam
CTOBER is generally accounted the finest and most settled month in the year. The mornings and evenings are cool, but possess a delightful freshness, while the middle of the day is pleasantly warm and open. October also frequently partakes of the characof its precursor. A morning's walk' at this season is replete with gratifica
tion to the admirer of Nature's beauties. What a magnificent phenomenon is every day exhibited in the rising of the Sun! yet how common is the observation, that indolence and the love of sleep prevent a great part of mankind from contemplating this beauteous wonder of the creation!
But see the flushed horizon flames intense
O'er Heaven's pure arch. At once the clouds assume
And speak their sovereign's state. He comes, behold!
The King of Glory! Round his head divine,
Where'er his universal eye surveys,
Her ample bosom, earth, air, sea, and sky,
In one bright robe, with heavenly tinctures gay.
ATHENEUM VOL. 10.
It is a remarkable ciremstance, that
Of the brightness and beauty of Summer and Spring
many birds which seek their food by By this friendly wall. To its covert they cling,
day, and repose during the night, in the season of their progress from region to re
And eagerly smile in each sunbeam's glow :
gion, disregard this habit of repose, and And the loud whistling breeze sweeps over the lawn,
travel on during the night that such
is the fact is certain by the a
The fruit or seed of the ash tree, called keys, will be found worthy the attention of those who are fond of the curiosities of Nature. The pod of the
Their beauteous blossoms, so fair and forlorn,
Seem to shrink from the wind which ruffles them so.
And wave your blossoms in Summer's breeze.
It is this which gives Autumn its magic charm
And we feel that, when Nature's first bloom is o'er,
The autumnal blasts, which whirl while we listen,
The wan, sear leaf, like a floating toy;
On the grass at morn; and the sunshine coy,
fruit is in shape lik a birds' tongue, Every grace that enchanted the eye before;
Rural scenery is now much enlivened by the variety of colours, some lively and beautiful, which are assumed, towards the end of the month, by the fading leaves of trees and shrubs. These appearances are very striking even in our own fine forests, but cannot be compared with the magnificent scenes presented to the eye of the enraptured traveller in the primeval woods which shade the equinoctial regions of Africa and America.
In dappled livery Nature now is clad,
The groves lose their leafy honours; but before they are entirely tarnished, an adventitious beauty, arising from that gradual decay which loosens the withering leaf, gilds the autumnal landscape with a temporary splendour, superior to the verdure of spring or the luxuriance of summer.
Give birth to sensations superior to joy.
The starling (sturnus vulgaris) sings. Stares are most social birds, and are rarely seen alone; even when in small parties they are continually calling for companions with a fine clear note that may be heard at a great distance: they delight in the bright autumnal mornings to sit basking and pruning themselves in the sun on some high tree, chattering in concert in a low song-like note. Whence the prodigious flights come from that appear in the fenny districts in winter, it is not easy to conjecture, unless they migrate to England from other countries. In these progresses they probably travel alone, or journey with our only migrating corvus, the Royston crow, as they associate but little with other birds than rooks and daws. There is something singularly curious and mysterious in the conduct of these birds, previously to the nightly retirement to their reedy roost; the variety and intricacy of their evolutions in the air, and the precision with which each performs his part of the figure, are more like parade movements, than the promiscuous flight
of birds as the breeding season advances, these vast flights break into little parties, and finally subdivide into pairs. Travellers acquaint us that starlings abound in Persia, and in the regions of Caucacus; we see a few pairs about a church, a ruin of some antient fabric, and here and there about the rocks on the sea-shore, but the vast body of them probably leave the kingdom. This faculty, by which they and our migratorial tribes direct their flight from regions the most remote to some destined land, with other habits equally extraordinary, we suppose must still be called instinct;' under which word we include some of the strongest and most important actions of animal life, and cover our entire ignor
To the CURLEW.
Soothed by the murmurs of the sea-beat shore,
The bleak lone sea-beach, or the rocky dale,
In limpid clearness, or when tempests blow;
The hedges are ornamented with the wreaths and festoons of the scarlet berries of the black briony; and
now and then, that last pale promise of the waning year,' the wild rose, meets the eye.
As wandering, I found, on my ruinous walk,
One rose of the wilderness left on its stalk,
Like a brotherless hermit, the last of its race,
All wild in the silence of nature it drew
From each wandering sunbeam a lonely embrace;
For the nightweed and thorn overshadowed the place
Sweet bud of the wilderness! emblem of all
That survives in this desolate heart!
The fabric of bliss to its centre may fall,
But patience shall never depart;
Though the wilds of enchantment, all vernal and bright,
In the days of delusion my fancy combin'd
With the vanishing phantoms of love and delight,
And leave but a desart behind.
*Large flights of red-wings and field-fares arrive in England about the end of October, or beginning of November, and they generally give notice of their progress by the repeated calls or signals of the leading birds to prevent the wandering of the flights: the clamour of the whole is not heard at once, but now and then a shrill call or distant notice to their followers; these pipings, in a calm and mild evening, add greatly to the solemnity and interest of the hour.
The principal harvest of apples is about the beginning of this month. Apples are sometimes very much spotted, and in this we have a strong example of the unceasing tendency of nature to produce; and perhaps no animal or vegetable substance exists, but what becomes at some period a soil fitted for her operations; the hoof of a horse (furnishing lycopendon equinum, or the rind of an apple, are equally appropriated for her performances; not a general and promiscuous vegetation, but possessing individual and characteristic distinction. These apple-spots appear to be an œcidum, and we may, at times, find this plant fully matured, the central part occupied with fine powdery capsules bursting through their epidermis, which hangs in fragments round the margin The acidium evidently derives nutriment from the apple, as round the verge of the spot the skin becomes wrinkled, occasioned probably by that part of the fruit being drawn away for the supply of the plant on the surface. Fungi in general (at least such as become attached to matter not having vegetable life), particularly the species of sphæria, trichia, and peziza, appear as one of the general agents of nature to effect decomposition previously to reorganization as we almost universally find them on animal or vegetable substances, in a certain state of or approximation to decay. Whether putrescence of sap, generation of or ligneous acid, or whatever may be the primal cause, is yet mysterious, but the dissolution rapidly proceeds when they appear; at one time, by the penetration of their radicles; at others, by modes we cannot detect, but which seem to loosen the fibrous adherence, or muscle of the substance, destroying all cohesion of the parts: the effectual manner in which these apparently fee ble agents accomplish their destination is perfectly wonderful! What can look more harmless that the fine cotton of byssus septica, or some species of mucor? what more beautiful than stemonitis nuda, or auricularia cærulea? yet what rapid destruction ensues from their agency!
and thousands more unknown
October is the great month for brewing beer, whence the name applied to very strong beer of Old October.' In New-England, North-America, the same name is applied to cider, which is principally made this month.
The vintage or harvest of grapes, almost as important to foreigners as the corn harvest is to us, takes place in October, and the vineyards of France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, &c. &c. now resound with the cheerful songs of the peasantry, at the concluclusion of their labours. In many parts of France, particularly in Champagne, the men and women, each with a basket on their arm, assemble at the foot of the hill; there stopping they arrange themselves in a circle. The chief of this band tunes up a joyous song, whose burthen is chorused: then they ascend, and, dispersed in the vineyard, they work without interrupting their tasks, while new couplets often resound from some of the vinedressers, sometimes intermixed with a sudden jest at a traveller. In the evening, their supper scarcely over, their joy recommences; they dance in a circle, and sing some of those songs of free gaiety, which the moment excuses, known by the name of vineyard songs.' The gaiety becomes general; masters, guests, friends, servants, all dance together; and in this manner a day of labour terminates, which one might mistake for a day of diversion.
The festival of the vine-dressers,' celebrated once in five years, is thus described as it took place at Vevay, in Swisserland, on the 24th and 25th of August 1819. The concourse of spectators was extraordinary. It consisted of a kind of scenic representation, analogous to the occupation of those who offered it; a motley mixture of Bible personages, with the deities of antient mythology. Noah, for instance, was associated with Bacchus, and each had his squad of attendant Bacchantes: Ceres and Pallas also found their places, and figured in cars worthy of such
goddesses, amidst a joyous crowd of vine-dressers crowned with festoons of vine-leaves and bunches of grapes, in the characters of dancing satyrs and exhilarated fauns. The dresses were rich, diversified, picturesque, and characteristic; the various actions were executed with gaiety and grace, at least, equal to their precision; and those who were not too well read in the classics might easily fancy themselves transported a couple of thousand of years backwards into the days of antiquity, when the deities really did appear on Mount Olympus, and when the shepherds of Arcadia were really those charming and simple and joyous swains, of whom we read so much, but know, alas! so little.
On the 7th of October, 1644 the Gallies in France visited, &c. &c. Among the benefits derived from the French Revolution may be named the abolition of the cruel punishment of the gallies and of the infliction of torture; although we find that breaking alive on the wheel has again been revived in Holland! Evelyn's description of his visit to the gallies on the above day will serve to show our readers what a dreadful slavery this punishment was, more than a century and a half since; it is also a true picture of the state of the gallies to the period of their abolition, about the year 1790. "We went to visite the gallys, being about 25; the Captaine of the Gally Royal gave us most courteous entertainement in his cabine, the slaves in the interim playing both loud and soft musiq very rarely. Then he shew'd us how he commanded their motions with a nod and his whistle, making them row out. The spectacle was to me new and strange, to see so many hundreds of miserably naked persons, having their heads shaven close and having onely high red bonnets, a payre of course canvas drawers, their whole backs and leggs naked, doubly chayn'd about their middle and leggs, in couples, and made fast to their seates, and all commanded in a trise by an imperious and cruell seaman. One Turke he much favor'd who waited on him in his cabin but with no other dress than the rest, and a chayne lock'd about his
legg but not coupied. This gally was richly carv'd and gilded, and most of the rest were very beautifull. After bestowing something on the slaves, the captain sent a band of them to give us musiq at dinner were we lodged. I was amaz'd to contemplate how these miserable catyfs lie in their gally crowded together, yet there was hardly one but had some occupation by which, as leisure and calmes permitted, they gat some little monye, insomuch as some of them have, after many yeares of cruel servitude, been able to purchase their liberty. Their rising forward and falling back at their oare is a miserable spectacle, and the noyse of their chaines with the roaring of the beaten waters has something of strange and fearful to one unaccustom'd to it. They are rul'd and chastiz'd by strokes on their backs and soles of theire feete on the least disorder and without the least humanity; yet are they chereful and full of knavery."
Sir Thomas Browne died, October 19th 1682.-Author of Vulgar Errors,' Religio Medici,' 'Urn-Burial,' &c. The works of Browne are a never-failing treasury; to which the divine may resort for passages of fervent piety, the philosopher for deep inquiry into nature, and the poet flights of sublimity and grandeur. Browne's first work was his Religio Medici,' a work written in the full vigour of his faculties, when his fancy was at the highest, which, rendered still more eccentric by his original way of thinking, imbrowned by learning, and deepened by enthusiasm, communicated to every subject which it touched upon, all the attractions of paradoxical subtlety, and fantastic and often highly impressive sublimity. From this work we select the following beautiful passage on 'Sleep:'
We term sleep a death, and yet it is waking that kills us and destroys those spirits that are the house of life. "Tis, indeed, a part of life that best expresseth death, for every man truly lives so long as he acts his nature, or some way makes good the faculties of himself: Themistocles, therefore, that slew his soldier in his sleep, was a merciful executioner; tis a kind of punishment the mildness of no laws hath