صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

As flowers now decay, and the bees cannot procure any farther support, this is the season for taking the honey. To obtain this precious article, the industrious collectors are destroyed with the fumes of burning brimstone. Various methods have been proposed to save the lives of the bees; but they are found so materially to reduce the profits of the owners, that it will be long before they are generally adopted'.

ELEGY to the BEE.

Sweet Labourer! 'midst the Summer's golden hour,
Full oft I trace thy little busy flight;

With pleasure see thee perch from flow'r to flow'r,
On violets, woodbines, roses, lilies, light!

Yet what to thee is Summer's golden smile?
And what to thee the flow'r-enamelled plain?

Will gratitude reward thy daily toil?

No, no, thou workest for reward in vain!

Not long the hive of treasure will be thine,
Rapacity will force thy little door;
Those treasures with thy life must thou resign,
A breathless victim on the fragrant store!


The taking of wild-fowl commences, by Act of Parliament, on the 1st of October, and the decoybusiness is at the greatest height about the end of the month. Great numbers of wild ducks and other waterfowl are annually caught in the extensive marsh lands of Lincolnshire in this way.-See T. T. for 1814, p. 275.

The weather in October is peculiarly favourable to

[ocr errors]

Its beauties charm the gods above;
Its fragrance is the breath of love;
Its foliage wantons in the air
Luxuriant, like the flowing hair:

It shines in blooming splendour gay,
While zephyrs on its bosom play.


See, however, Mr. Huish's description of his newly-invented hive, by which he is enabled to deprive the bees of their honey without losing a single bee.-Treatise on Bees, p. 98, et seq.

the sports of the field; and hunting is now at its height, as little damage is committed on the farmer's grounds after the gathering of the harvest.

See! from the brake the whirring pheasant springs,
And mounts exulting on triumphant wings;
Short is his joy; he feels the fiery wound,
Flutters in blood, and, panting, beats the ground.
Ah! what avails his glossy, varying dyes;
His purple crest, his scarlet-circled eyes!
The vivid green his shining plumes infold,

His painted wings and breast that flames with gold!


The principal harvest of apples is about the beginning of this month; and the counties of Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Somersetshire, and Devonshire, are busily employed in the making of cider and perry. Herefordshire is particularly famous as a cider country. The apple and pear trees, which form the orchards of Herefordshire, are composed of a variety of the pyrus malus, or crab; and the pyrus communis, or common wild pear. The native wild crab is subject to considerable diversity in the appearance of its leaves, and in the colour, shape, and flavour of its fruit: by selecting and cultivating the best of these, all our valuable varieties have been produced. Several of these artificial varieties have been brought from Normandy, and other parts of the continent.


In the management of the fruit, and subsequent manufacture of cider, considerable variations occur, according as the makers are more or less skilful. dependently of the qualities of the apple, the superior flavour and richness of the liquor greatly depend on the judicious nature of the operations. The juice of the pulp alone is inadequate to make a good and generous cider; the qualities of the kernel are wanting to add flavour, and those of the rind to give colour ; and hence it is necessary that the juices of both these should be perfectly expressed. The apples should also be properly separated when gathered.

Pressed from th' exub'rant orchard's fruitful bound,
Pomona pours a sparkling tide, that vies
With the rich juices of the purple vine;
Lo! russet Labour's busy train, both old
And young, shake numerous down the mellow fruit,
Streaked with a cheek as ruddy as their own.

Ciders manufactured from good fruit will retain a considerable proportion of their sweetness at the end of three or four years; but it is then gradually dissipated. The best time for bottling cider is, when it is from eighteen months to two years old; or, more properly, when it has acquired its highest brightness and flavour in the cask. When bottled in this state, it may be kept to almost any age, if the bottle be perfectly air-tight. The best time for bottling is in cool weather, as it is then less likely again to ferment. In making cider for the common drink of the farmhouse, the flavour is but little attended to, the great object being to obtain a large quantity at a small ex


The manufacture of the delicious perry differs little from that of cider; and it is made in great quantities in all the cider countries. The squash pear, so called from the tenderness of its pulp, has probably furnished England with more Champaigne than was ever imported into it. Cider, perry, and very excellent gooseberry wine, resemble somewhat in flavour the sparkling beverage of our continental neighbours'. Though the luscious grape' be denied to our variable climate, yet, besides the apple and the pear,


Some ciders have by art or age unlearned
Their genuine relish, and of sundry vines
Assumed the flavour: one sort counterfeits
The Spanish product; this to Gauls has seemed
The sparkling nectar of Champaigne ; with that
A German oft' has swilled his throat, and sworn,
Deluded, that imperial Rhine bestowed
The gen'rous rummer; whilst the owner, pleased,
Laughs inly at his guests thus entertained
With foreign vintage from his cider cask.


[ocr errors]

On our account has GOD,

Indulgent to all moons, some succulent plant
Allotted, that
poor helpless man might slake
His present thirst, and matter find for toil.
Now will the corinths, now the rasps, supply
Delicious draughts: the quinces now, or plums
Or cherries, or the fair Thisbeian fruit,

Are pressed to wines: the Britons squeeze the works
Of sed❜lous bees, and, mixing odorous herbs,
Prepare balsamic cups, to wheezing lungs
Medicinal and short-breathed antient sires.
But if thou'rt indefatigably bent

To toil, and omnifarious drinks wouldst brew,
Besides the Orchat ev'ry hedge and bush
Affords assistance; ev'n afflictive birch,
Cursed by unlettered idle youth, distils
A limpid current from her wounded bark
Profuse of nursing sap. When solar beams
Parch thirsty human veins, the damasked meads,
Unforced, display ten thousand painted flow'rs
Useful in potables. Thy little sons

Permit to range the pastures; gladly they
Will mow the cowslip posies faintly sweet,
From whence thou artificial wines shalt drain
Of icy taste, that in mid fervours best
Slake craving thirst, and mitigate the day.


The principal markets for the fruit liquors of Herefordshire and Worcestershire, are London and Bristol, from which ports great quantities are sent to the East and West Indies, and to other foreign markets, in bottles. The principal part of the liquors is brought immediately from the press by the country dealers who live within the district, and, in general, prefer to have it in that state, that the fermentation and subsequent management may take place under their own inspection. The price of the common cider is generally fixed by a meeting of the dealers at Hereford Fair, on the 20th of October annually, and, on the average of years, varies from 11. 58. to 21. 2s. per hogshead. The stire cider is seldom sold from the press; the dealers either buy the fruit, or the growers work their own liquor: its

value, even at the press, is from 51. to 151. per


Stirom, firmest fruit,

Embottled long as Priameian Troy

Withstood the Greeks, endures ere justly mild:
Softened by age, it youthful vigour gains.
Fallacious drink! Ye honest men! beware,
Nor trust its smoothness; the third circling glass
Suffices virtue.


The annual produce of the fruit greatly varies; in a plentiful year it is almost beyond conception, as the trees are then loaded even to excess, and frequently break under the weight of the apples : at these times, indeed, the branches are generally obliged to be supported on props, or forked poles. This kind of excessive fruitage, however, seldom occurs more than once in four years; and at this time, twenty hogsheads of cider have been made from the produce of a single acre of orchard ground .

[ocr errors]

October is also the great month for brewing beer,whence the name applied to very strong beer, of OLD OCTOBer.

Laughing ale brewed in planetary hour,

When March weighed night and day in equal scale:
Or in October tunned, and mellow grown

With seven revolving suns, the racy juice,

Strong with delicious flavour, strikes the sense.

In this month is the great potato harvest, a root introduced into this country in the time of Queen Elizabeth, and for many years known only as a luxury at the tables of the rich; but now grown in vast quantities as the food of both man and beast: and the most generally favourite aliment, perhaps, next to wheat. Such is the fluctuation of price in an article,

See further in the Beauties of England and Wales,' vol. vi, p. 410-425; Marshall's Rural Economy of Gloucestershire, vol. ii; and Philips's admirable Poem of ' Čider.

« السابقةمتابعة »