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plant is a most beautiful production, and there are few of the rich colours of autumn that surpass the fiery hues with which the foliage of the bramble is occasionally dashed. It is a moot point whether the white or blush-coloured blossoms are the most numerous; the authors of "Rubi Germanica" say white prevails, and I think them correct; but Smith* says, "Flowers erect, handsome, of a delicate pink, rarely, if ever, white." The prevailing hue is doubtless dependent on soil and climate, but in the same hedge, and on the same plant, nay, on the same stem, pink, blush, and white flowers may be seen side by side, and the white must be awarded the palm for highest beauty. As poetical references for this subject are not plentiful as blackberries, I must take refuge in a lyrical scrap from Hone's Table Book,† which I note down because written in the scene of my own boyish acquaintance with blackberries.



"The maiden's blush

Sweet blackberry blossom, thou
Wearest, in prickly leaves that rove
O'er friend-like turning bough.


Thine attributes, thou givest
Likeness of virtue shielded safe

From foes with whom thou livest.

* "English Flora." Ed. 1824, vol. ii., p. 400.
+ No. xxxii., p. 270.

What is mankind,

But like thy wandering?-Time
Leads mortals through the maze of life,
And thousands hopeful climb.

A sudden blast

Then what of hope remains?
Beauty full soon by sickness falls,
And pleasures die in pains.

But fruit succeeds

Thou ripenest by the sky;

May human hearts bear fruits of peace
Before in earth they lie."

August 19, 1827.

Well, with childhood's rosy memories, with antique legends and histories, ranging from that earliest age when men fed upon the simplest productions of the ground, when

"Content with food which Nature freely bred,

On wildings and on strawberries they fed;
Cornels and bramble-berries gave the rest,

And falling acorns furnished out a feast,"*

down to Rosalind and the Children in the Wood, together with no end of uses in medicine and the arts, and that grandest of all uses, the making of conserves, preserves, tarts, pies, and puddings, and mingled with damsons, the richest syrup in the catalogue of modern confectionary, we say again,-Heaven bless the brambles, and all cheer to the Land of Blackberries!

From the silent wood, by a road to the left, we passed into a picturesque region of farm-houses and ancient

*Dryden's "Virgil."

homesteads; down a steep hill which gave us another view of the splendid country we had crossed before, and "up hill and down dale," about three miles, brought us back to the Goffe's Oak again. Tea,-Oh, how delicious! Arranged botanical specimens, and "between whiles," peeped in at the basketful of jet blackberries, and thought of pie crust, sable jam, scalding syrup, and the children in the wood.

Six days pass, and each seems more beautiful than its predecessor, till warned of anxieties and cares, and knowing that commercial interests permit us not without stint to pluck Blackberries for ourselves, we take train, and are once more in a region not of Blackberries, but black bricks, and cold stones, and colder hearts, amid—

"The weariness, the fever, and the fret,

Here, where men sit and hear each other groan,

Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last grey hairs,

Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
Where but to think is to be full of sorrow

And leaden-eyed despairs;

Where beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes,
Or new Love pine at them beyond to morrow."

There's the bell for dinner. Avaunt! I smell the Blackberries-the atmosphere is changed to nectar, and the sunshine stained with sanguine streaks, as I toss a libation of the ruby juice to heaven, and shout, "The Land of Blackberries for ever!"



"From harmony, from heavenly harmory,

This universal frame began:

From harmony to harmony

Through all the compass of the notes it ran,
The diapason closing full in man."


PHILOSOPHERS tell us that light, heat, and sound, are but the various effects of an agitated or vibrating medium. That a certain number of one kind of vibrations in a given time produce some definite ray of colour; while a definite number of some other kind originate a peculiar sound. Sounds thus produced by vibrating currents of air may be either noises or musical tones; the distinction being dependent entirely on the nature and number of the vibrations. A mere noise is produced by vibrations which have no mathematical proportion one to the other musical tones result from vibrations which bear mathematical analysis; each separate tone having its specific number of vibrations, and bearing musical and numerical relation to all other musical tones. Inasmuch as red, blue, or yellow light are the productions of waves in the thin ether, so are all sounds, whether of the dear human voice or the dread "rattling thunder"


but effects referable to ripplings or waving of the air. So far, sound is but a simple result of natural causes- -a plain prose fact. But as the grey and brown tints of the earth are lifted out of the region of prose into that of poetry by the gay hues of flowers, so is human speech, and all other sounds, lifted out of the dead level of mere utility into a region of life by a poetry which asserts itself in song. God has so willed it that while the world brings forth bread for the body, it shall bring forth beauty for the soul. We prize the corn because it nourisheth; we love the fresh green of the waving wheat because it is a thing of beauty. Words are instruments of power, and among the highest in the list of mere utilities; but when the jangle of commerce ceases, and the tender utterance of sympathy begins, how poor the words of the mind, how rich the music of the heart! Nature ever climbs up towards the spiritual; she never ceases with use, she must have beauty; and so she gives man a capacity for the appreciation of harmonious vibrations; and speech dies out-as if in shame at its own weakness-where the expression of the soul begins. Simple in its source-simple in its history, is this fact; yet how deep it lies in the unity of this circle of the affections-how closely bound up with the hopes and joys of living men-how suggestive of spiritual life and high aspiration-how strong a link in the chain of our destinies. The most ethereal and at the same time the most vague musical expressions, stand as high above verse, as verse-the connecting link between conversation and melody-does above mere prosy talking. We remember the air of an old song long after we have for

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