« PreviousContinue »
POWERSCOURT WATERFALL, COUNTY
ing surface of the moss-clad rocks, and WICKLOW, IRELAND.
partly dashing, in angry mood, against
some projecting cliff, whence being reThe glen of the waterfall is a deep jected, it seems to vanish like the foatmountain recess, environed on every ing mists of morn. In the broken and side, except the entrance, by steep and varied foreground, a sloping bank prolofty hills, adorned with wood and rock trudes, worn by the mountain torrent, and broken ground, and sweeping down which has bared the tenacious roots of from every side with the greatest bold- the great monarch of the wood ; conness and variety. The head of the re- fident in strength, he seems to discess is crossed by a mural precipice of regard the persevering efforts of the denuded rock, down the front of which stream that rolls so rapidly at his feet, the river Glenisloreane falls perpen- to undermine his throne so long endicularly a depth of three hundred feet. joyed : more in the distance still, less A velvet turf is spread over the undu- venerable oaks, candidates for that prelating surface of the bottom of this glen, eminence yielded by the leafy tribe to and majestic oaks of picturesque forms the royal inhabitant of the grove, Aling clothe the mountain sides, and climb the their shady branches over the verdurerocky precipice in front.
clad lawn, and afford cool shelter to the At a distance, the fall is seen partly 66 deer that desire the water brooks."gliding in frothy streams down the slop-Fisher's Views in Ireland.
THE SCOTCH FIR.
universal importance to mankind than (Pinus Sylvestris.)
this, whether we view it with reference to its timber or secretions. Gigantic in size, rapid in growth, noble in aspect, robust in constitution, these trees form a considerable proportion of every wood or plantation in cultivated countries, and of every forest where nature remains in a cultivated state.” They clothe the interminable plains of northern Europe and America, and mantle the craggy heights of the Himalaya and the Andes. But, although this order ranks among its many species, the goodly cedar, the tufted larch, the spiry, spruce fir feathered to the ground, the fanciful arancaria, the silver fir, of graceful symmetry, the gloomy cypress, and the arbor vite ; still our native species is universally allowed to be in
ferior to none of its brethren, either in a, Male catkin. b, Another shedding its pollen useful properties, or picturesque granc, Female catkin. d, Ripe cone. e, Cone expand deur of appearance. ing to discharge its seeds. f, Winged seed.
Cesar has stated in his Commentaries, NATURAL ORDER. Coniferæ, or Pinaceæ. LINNEAN ARRANGEMENT.
that the abies was not found in Britain,
and hence much discussion has arisen, Barren Flowers placed at the end of the branches
and many ingenious arguments brought of the preceding year, and at the base of the forward to explain his meaning, as it young shoots ; in a deciduous catkin of numerous naked spreading stamens, connected by a common
is an indisputable fact, not only that stalk. Calyx none. Filaments two or more, and the Scotch fir is indigenous to our very short, with a scale at their base, Anthers island ; but that at that early period the two on each stamen, erect, wedge-shaped, crowned by a jagged, membranous crest. Fertile Flowers greater part of, at least, our northern on the summit of the shoots of the current year, districts, was completely overrun with generally in clusters of two together. Catkin egg, trackless forests of this tree. shaped, or roundish, afterwards enlarged, conical and pointed, composed of numerous, imbricated, tion admits of a very easy solution, if close, woody scales. Corolla none. swelled at the upper extremity into a sort of pyra
Scales oblong, we consider, that by abies he intended mid truncate at the summit. Style, one to each
the silver fir, a native of the southern germen. Stigma simple. Seeds two within each, parts of Europe, and but recently inrecurved scale, oval, each crowned with a mem- troduced among us.
The mistake evi. branous wing. The apex of the cone opens when the seeds are ripe, and changes in colour from dently arose from the name fir having green to reddish brown. Leaves linear, smooth, been injudiciously applied to our native obtuse, and acuminated, arranged spirally on the branches in pairs within a scale.
A tall, straight species, instead of that of pine, to which tree, with scaly, reddish brown bark. Flowers in botanical
genus it undoubtedly belongs. May and June; but the cone does not attain its
The pinus sylvestris was well full size till the autumn of the following year.
to the ancients, and a native of the -The pine, long-haired, and dark and tall, Alps, and many parts of Gaul ; and In lordly right predominates o'er all.”
Cesar, in the passage alluded to, says The pine of mountain race,
that Britain had all the trees of Gaul, The fir, the Scotch fir, never out of place." excepting the fagus and the abies.
Both the spruce and silver firs are found The Scotch fir, or pine, is the only in many parts of France and Italy,
but species of the natural order, Abietine, are not indigenous in England. The indigenous to this country; an order difference between the two genera of equally distinguished by the remarkable pinus and abies, is very slight, though resemblance which prevails throughout easy to be distinguished; in the former, the numerous and widely diffused fa- the leaves are long and spirally inserted milies of which it is composed, their on the branch, two, three, or five being extreme utility to man, and their pe- grouped within one sheath ; in the latter, culiar adaptation to the situation in they are short, and inserted singly in which they are placed.
whorls round the branch. The habits says Lindley, “can be named of more I and properties of the two genera are
remarkably similar, and they are often | wood, is quite fresh and elastic. Many indiscriminately mentioned by the poets, vestiges yet remain of the vast forests, as applied to the same purpose.
which there is every reason to believe, “ The adventurous for that sails the vast profound of Scotland, though they suffered much,
once extended over the hilly regions
in consequence of the scarcity of Nora “ The pine, with whom men through the ocean
way deals during the last war, being felled,
more than otherwise would have been The firre that oftentimes doth rosin drop.”- the case. Of the principal, yet remain
ing, we shall have occasion to speak Although an undoubted native of hereafter ; but in those districts which Scotland, the Scotch pine is found in are now open, the remains of roots on every part of the north temperate zone, the surface, and extensive peat mosses from grim Kamtschatka’s desert plains, in which scarcely any other timber is to the rocky chain of Caucasus. On found, prove that they formerly exthe Alps, the Apennines, the Tyrol, tended much further. In the neigh. and the Pyrennees, it skirts the region bourhood of Aberdeen, this submerged of eternal snows; and, in connexion timber is so abundant, that it forms with the spruce fir, extends over vast an article of trade, as the vast quantity districts in Lapland, Russia, Germany, of turpentine which it contains renders Norway, Sweden, and Austria. Of the it superior to any other fire wood; and Scandinavian forests, Dr. Clarke thus among the peasants, slips of it are used speaks :—“If the reader cast his eyes as a substitute for candles. upon the map of Sweden, and imagine The pine attains to the greatest perthe Gulf of Bothnia to be surrounded fection in mountainous districts, in situby one continuous, unbroken forest, as ations and soils in which scarcely any ancient as the world, consisting prin other tree will thrive. Its very name cipally of pine trees, with a few min- betokens that it is a native of the moungling birch and juniper trees, he will tain, being derived from the Celtic have a general and tolerably correct word, pen or pin, signifying rock or notion of the real appearance of the mountain, and is retained in the various country: If the sovereigns of Europe languages derived from this as a comwere to be designated, each by some title, mon source. Thus the tree is known characteristic of the nature of their domi- as peinge, in the Erse ; pinna, in nions, we might call the king of Sweden, Welsh ; pymbaum, in German ; piner, Lord of the Woods ; because, in survey- in Anglo Saxon; pin, in French ; and ing his territories, he might travel over a pino, in Italian. Hence also the term Apgreat part of his kingdom, from sunrise pennines (or Alps pennines) mountains to sunset, and find no greater subjects covered with pines, and the Spanish towns than the trees of his forests. The po- Pennafiel and Pennaflor, etc., which are pulation is everywhere small, because amid the mountains ; nor is it unlikely the whole country is covered with wood.” that the Scotch ben is derived from the Such was, no doubt, in former times, same word. The more bleak and exthe condition of a large proportion of our posed the situation, and the more sterile island. The famous levels of Hatfield the soil, the better timber is produced, Chase, when drained in the seventeenth because its growth is slower. A light century, discovered vast multitudes of hazelly loam, or the debris of granite, trees, of various sorts, the roots in their is best adapted to it. On clay or bog natural position, and the trunks lying its growth is stunted, and it soon dies ; beside them; one third, at least, of on a rich soil, it grows rapidly, but the them are pines, and some of these were timber is inferior and perishable, bethirty feet in length. In the extensive ing composed, for the most part, of peat mosses, or bogs, which are found sap wood. in
every part of Scotland, and afford The botanical student is aware that the fuel little inferior to coal, the remains dicotyledous plants of our northern counof pine trees are very abundant, and tries deposit every year a fresh portion principally in the most exposed districts; of wood within the bark, and that the even when the damp and cold have re- circles, which are said to mark the yearly duced the birch to a pulp, and the oak increase of the trunk, are produced by to splinters, the heart of the pine, pre- the check given by the severity of winserved by the resinous properties of the l ter to the flow of the sap. He will also
STATE AND CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE
intendence, by Day, in 1563. They are a sturdy beggar was to be whipped on among the scarcest of the writings of his first conviction, to have his ear our Reformers : a republication of them cropped on the second, and to be exeis very desirable, as they show the real cuted as a felon and an enemy of the opinions of the leaders of the Reforma- commonwealth for the third offence. tion on doctrinal and practical matters. All these laws were enacted prior to Becon was one of Cranmer's chaplains the Reformation, and before the dissoand preachers; the collected edition of lution of the monasteries. his works is dedicated to the prelates of In the first year of Edward vi., the that period.
last severe act was repealed ; still the sturdy beggar was to be forced to work, and branded, and if he repeatedly ran
away, was to be treated as a felon. Harrison, in his description of Eng. Other laws followed in that reign, and land, written in 1586, says, “ As for slaves of Mary, and in the early part of Elizaand bondmen, we have none; naie, such beth ; all directing relief to be given is the privilege of our countrie, by the to the impotent poor, and latterly the especiall grace of God, and bountie of justices had power to assess all the inour princes, that if anie come hither habitants of a place according to "their from other realms, so soone as they set good discretions,” in such sums as the foot on land, they become so free of con- justices should appoint for the maindition as their masters.' This indicates tenance of the poor. In the forty-third an important change in the state of the of Elizabeth, the well known statute lower classes ; it was one of the causes which forms the basis of the later syswhich rendered a public provision for tems was passed, directing a more re, the poor requisite. Other causes, such gular way of parochial assessment, and as the change in value of the precious of maintenance for the impotent poor, metals, the progress of society, and the and destitute children, and for the emdissolution of the monasteries, have been ployment of all able to labour. The already noticed ; but the latter has too plan was well intended, but had some often been considered as the principal, imperfections, and unhappily most of the if not the only cause of the increase of measures devised as improvements durthe poor.
ing the two following centuries, tended The statements of sir Thomas More to impede rather than to promote the and others, before the Reformation, have right working of the humane statute of been already noticed, showing the in- Elizabeth, which hitherto never has been crease of the poor, or rather that they carried into effect, fully in the spirit already claimed more of public notice, designed by its originators. and that so far from the monasteries af- The increase of population was, of fording effectual relief, they tended ra- course, one cause for an increased numther to increase the number of paupers. ber of poor. At the close of the sixThus we find laws for the suppression teenth century, the population of Engof mendicancy, in 1495 and 1504; the land and Wales was estimated at nearly latter restricting the impotent poor five millions, a number far below its to their native places, or last abodes. present inhabitants, but considerably In 1531, a more severe law was passed, more than they had been at the close of subjecting impotent poor to imprison the civil wars of the roses. ment, if they begged out of their dis- The cultivation of the land was not tricts, and able-bodied mendicants were much improved during the sixteenth to be whipped. In 1536, another law, century, either as to the implements of first establishes compulsory relief, which husbandry, or the processes for renderwas to be afforded, both to “poor crea- | ing the land more fertile. But an altertures, and to "sturdy vagabonds” in ation was in progress; the changes which their own districts, to prevent the ne, followed the discovery of America, with cessity for their begging openly; and the consequent reduction in the value of voluntary alms were to be collected for money, the difference in the tenure of the purpose, every preacher and parson property, and the progress of commerce, exhorting and provoking people to be all promoted improvements in agriculliberal, especially at the time of confes- tural affairs, but not without a severe sion, and making of wills. So great struggle. It was difficult for those who had the evil of pauperism become, that witnessed the trials resulting from a state
As the poet says,
of transition, to enter calmly into the , had he lived half a century earlier, would subject, and to bear in mind, that how- have been a mere cottier, one of the halfever desirable any particular state of so- dozen men who tilled the soil. The ciety may appear, it is impossible for a complaint that what “heretofore went nation to continue permanently therein. for twenty or forty pound by year, now
is let for fifty or a hundred," did not “ Change is the diet on which all subsist
show, as he said, that the landlords had Created changeable; and change at last for their possessions “yearly too much;” Destroys them.”
it only proved the change in the nominal Thus Latimer, in one of his sermons value. He at the same time testified that before Edward vi., describes the English while God sent plentifully the fruits of yeoman of the commencement of the the earth, all kinds of victual had become sixteenth century. “My father was a dearer, and even anticipated “we shall yeoman, and had no lands of his own, at length be constrained to pay for a pig only he had a farm of three or four a pound.” pound by year at the uttermost, and Harrison gives a much more favourhereupon he tilled so much as kept balf- able description of the farmer, not very a-dozen men. He had walk for a hun- long afterwards. “ Though foure pounds dred sheep, and my mother milked of the old rent be improved to fortie, thirty kine. He was able, and did find fiftie, or an hundred poundes, yet will the king a harness with himself and his the farmer thinke his gains very small horse, while he came to the place that towards the end of his terme, if he have he should receive the king's wages. I not six or seven years rent lying by him, can remember that I buckled his harness therewith to purchase a new lease ; bewhen he went to Blackheath field. He side a fair garnish of pewter on his cupkept me to school, or else I had not been bord, with so much more in odd vessell able to have preached before his king's going about the house; three or foure majesty now. He married my sisters feather bedds, so many coverlids and with five pounds or twenty nobles apiece; carpets of tapestrye, a silver salt, a bowle so that he brought them up in godliness for wine, if not a whole neast; and a and fear of God. He kept hospitality dozzen of spoons to furnish out the sute.” for his poor neighbours; and some alm's It was true, as Latimer complained, he gave to the poor. And all this he that “all the enhancing and rearing did of the said farm, where he that now goeth to private commodity and wealth.” hath it payes sixteen pound by year or The natural heart of man is prone to more, and is not able to do any thing for covetousness; thus the apostle James his prince, for himself, or for his children, had to complain, and justly, of the rich or to give a cup of drink to the poor.' men of his day, who kept back the wages Not long after the period here mentioned, of the labourer, and it is to be feared there one hundred acres of arable, and as many are many such in our day; but this is a of pasture land in Cambridgeshire, were different question from that under notice. let at ten pounds a year; that is, a shilling The general increase of prices, if it an acre: the rent was to pay the wages does not proceed from famine and scarand expenses of the knight of the shire city, will always be found to regulate for attending parliament.
itself. But whatever may be the price From Latimer's account, we learn that of the produce of the earth, it is painful in half a century the rental of his father's to think that the wages of the labourer farm increased fourfold, evidence both will in general be found barely sufficient. of the depreciation of money, and the The number who cultivate the soil in progress of national wealth.
With any regularly settled country, soon fully respect to the other remarks of good equals the demand for labour. Still the bishop Latimer, without at all disputing state of a free labourer, if industrious that the more simple the state of society, and steady, is vastly superior to that of the greater proportion there will be of a slave, or of the serf or bondman of the real comfort, we may question how far feudal times. Where slavery exists, the his comparison is fair. In all probability master has no inducement from interest, a man, such as he describes his father to to treat his slaves upon different princibe, would in Edward's right have been ples from his cattle, while those who found proportionally advanced in the suffer under a bad master, have no refuge scale of society, while his father's successor, or way of escape ; their children also