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both sides. The sweet viburnum is found from Canada, to the mountains of Carolina and Georgia.
“ There is a softness and richness about the flowers and foliage of the sweet viburnum, which distinguish it above all others of the same genus,
“ It is hardly less beautiful in fruit, from the profusion of the rich blue berries hanging down among the curled leaves, which are beginning to assume the beautiful hues of autumn.
A tree of this kind makes a fine appearance at the angle of a walk, or in the corner of a garden, as its delicacy invites a near approach and rewards examination. With this delicacy of appearance, it is a hardy plant, and may, sometimes, be seen on a bleak hillside, where it has encountered the northwest, stormy winds, for score of years.'
pp. 364 - 366.
Mr. Emerson's observations upon the barberry make one behold its familiar form with new eyes.
regret that it is too long for insertion, especially as we heartily concur in the author's opinion, that the natural hedge of barberry, sweetbriar, wild-rose, and privet, entwined with the smilax and wild woodbine, which border many of the winding roads in Brookline, Roxbury, and Dorchester, are much more picturesque and appropriate to the scenery than the formal puddingstone wall. Those solid, heavy boundaries look like
fortification, and remind one of the times when our forefathers, from behind those convenient chance breastworks, picked off the crestfallen British, as they passed along the roads on their retreat from Lexington. We have little faith in phrenology, but we believe stoutly in a certain incorporeal assortment and distribution of faculties, which give to one class of men the sense of the beautiful, as it exists in the poet's imagination, and to another the love of order, which delights. in even lines, and neatness of arrangement. Of course, the former are in the minority, especially as all those who look with admiration on nothing obtained without labor or money are evidently on the other side, since all things even, square, and formal are made so by care and pains. Even the firs, whose branches primly arrange themselves at right angles with the trunk, and form a regular cone, never care to keep themselves equidistant or in a row. It is impossible for individuals with a natural and fundamental difference in taste to understand each other; all the eloquence that was ever penned or uttered would not enable one to see
objects through the mental medium of the other. Nil disputandum. There are some persons who have no eye for color ; not that they are deprived of visual organs, any more than all people who have no ear for music are deaf. But the perception of mere hue is somehow defective, so that they can never by any manner of tuition be made to distinguish by daylight, any better than their fellow-mortals by lamp-light, blue from green, pink from buff, scarlet from crimson, or orange from yellow ; and thus the glorious splendor of the autumn forest is to them no more than a blurred mass of daub, like the colors on a painter's palette. If we presume to pity one of these sand-blind individuals, we may find that our compassion is misplaced, since he has the eye of a painter for outline ; he calls upon us to admire with him the fine horizon formed by the edge of the wood in relief against the sky, the monotonous line of the broad-crowned trees broken and relieved by the “ spicy” cedars and tall spiry-tipped pines ; or he will point out to you a magnificent group of rocks on the sea-shore, and the sweep of the beach, with its waving line of surf, and you never think to ask him to settle the mooted question, whether the ocean is blue or sea-green.
There are people, a large class, who are devoid of taste for the beautiful in nature, yet have finely constituted minds, rich with poetical sensibility. Their gaze is turned upon the world within, their own hearts, and through them those of other people ; to them the proper study of mankind is inan; their sympathy is with human, not inanimate nature. To them a barberry-bush is simply the thorny guardian of an edible fruit, and they would allow it to grow by the roadsides that poor women and children might get a little money by gathering its fruit. Lovel's elm is to them simply fuel, and they coolly calculate how many cords of wood it would furnish to delight the eyes of poor men in a hard winter, blazing hearth, with a semicircle of happy faces reflecting its light, being their idea of the picturesque and poetical. They would echo the exclamation of the homesick cockney : “ Talk to me of living in the country, and seeing the cows come home at night! I had rather live in the city, and see the men go home to their dinner.”
Revenons à nos moutons ; it is full time to return to our author, and to hazard a few words upon the scientific merits of his interesting volume. With due deference to the learn
ed in these matters, who are sometimes hard to please, and do not hold lay judgments in much regard, we venture to consider Mr. Emerson's book as a most successful attempt at presenting real scientific knowledge in a popular form. The book was written, as our author tells us,
6c for the common, unlearned citizens, who live on farms, in the country,
happy people, " and have few books, and little leisure” for counting stamens and pistils, or learning a precise and crabbed terminology. It is accordingly adapted to the end proposed, not only by avoiding technical language, when from the nature of the case that is practicable, but still more by the popular form in which the whole is cast. This has been done, too, without any sacrifice of rigid accuracy, and the simplicity is not attained by the omission of matters which are really essential, although perchance somewhat recondite. But the unpractised eye is skilfully directed to the points upon which the botanist chiefly relies, and which a little attention and training render perfectly obvious and familiar ; so that the farmer who uses Mr. Emerson's book soon becomes a botanist without knowing it, - a much better one, probably, than his accomplished daughter at the boarding-school, who has learned all the andrias and gynias by heart, though perchance she may know less of the structure, and properties, and uses of the plants themselves, than the cows which her sisters are milking at home. The simple arrangement adopt. ed in this book is one which, it would seem, any person of common intelligence may comprehend and apply to use, and we were very much pleased with it on that account. On closer view, it proves to be essentially the classification introduced by De Candolle, and very generally adopted by the botanists of the present day. It is, in fact, the natural system in undress, more winning, we confess, in this unpretending garb, than when arrayed in the full paraphernalia which the botanist deems not only dignified and becoming, but essential, though it cover many a native charm from all but adept eyes. Even our author, perhaps, employs more technical language than is absolutely needful, particularly as he gives no glossary; and although we meet with few terms which are not contained in Mr. Worcester's truly Universal Dictionary of the English Language, yet we still fancy, somewhat arrogantly it may be, that we could pare away about one quarter of them without serious detriment. But critics'
books may safely be ranked in the same genus with those imaginary entities, bachelors' wives and old-maids' children, which are proverbially too perfect for this every-day world. Meanwhile, we cheerfully and fully subscribe to our author's remark, that, when any organ or modification of form has no English name, it must
either be called by the proper technical term, “or described by a tedious circumlocution, repeated as often as the thing is spoken of, and after all scarcely more intelligible even to the unlearned reader than the scientific word, which expresses precisely the thing meant, and nothing else.”
Although this volume is not addressed to men of science, but is conscientiously adapted to popular use, yet it is, in fact, filled with original observations, and contains numerous particulars respecting trees now for the first time recorded. The descriptions are not copied from Michaux and Loudon, with some changes in the language to save inverted commas and small remnants of conscience, as is the case with some books we could speak of, but are drawn fresh and direct from nature. This gives them all an independent, original value, even when they pertain to the most familiar objects.
no one with powers like our author, at least can carefully study the commonest tree or shrub without bringing to light many interesting points which have escaped all previous notice, - points which may not be needful for the identification of the species, indeed, but which come to have a direct bearing upon important generalizations and the various new questions which modern science is continually asking. On the other hand, he who conveys to his own pages the statements of others stereotypes their errors, and, at best, misleads by the semblance, without the reality, of independent concurring testimony. Mr. Emerson's faithful and thorough observations upon
rees and shrubs through all stages and seasons, and under various aspects, recorded in original descriptions, render this work a real contribution to science, and as such it is regarded and highly esteemed. It brings to a worthy conclusion that series of official Reports on the Geology and Natural History of Massachusetts, which, as judiciously planned as they have been ably executed, have done our Commonwealth so much credit. At a trifling cost,
At a trifling cost, - small indeed as compared with similar undertakings in neighbouring States,
For no person
- in a narrow compass, and in an unambitious form, our citizens have presented to them a large amount of important information, — the well-digested results of prolonged investigation, - presented, too, in a shape and manner equally satisfactory to the learned and to the unlearned. For while there is scarcely a page that does not bear more or less directly upon the practical pursuits of the farmer, the miner, the fisherman, and the artisan of whatever kind, and which is not made reasonably intelligible to those whose interests they are especially designed to subserve, it is gratifying also to know that most of these volumes are appealed to as authority by distinguished savans, both at home and abroad, and are ranked as important contributions to natural science.*
Art. VII. — Evangeline, a Tale of Acadie. By HENRY
WADSWORTH Longfellow. Boston : W. D. Ticknor & Co.
1947. 16mo. pp. 163.
The early history of the American colonies is crowded with startling adventures. The work of redeeming a savage country from the forest and the wild beast was but a part of the task the settlers had to perform. In North America, the most violently opposing elements were in conflict for a long series of years. The two nations, whom a succession of desperate wars and an impious tradition had brought to believe themselves each other's natural enemies, here met and drenched the virgin soil of America with blood. Not merely political hostility, but, more rancorous still, religious hatred,
* We are not surprised to learn that one of the most important volumes of the series, perhaps we may say the most directly important in a practical point of view, one which is eagerly sought after and most highly prized by foreign naturalists, has long been out of print. We refer to Dr. Harris's Report on the Insects of Massachusetts Injurious to Vegetation ; and we do so for the purpose of expressing the hope, that the legislature, at its approaching session, will authorize the publication of a new edition, - to comprise not only the results of the accomplished American entomologist's further experience, but also figures of the insects themselves, from his own skilful pencil. Figures of this kind are necessary for the ready identification of the insects in their various stages, and may be secured at a very moderate expense, although somewhat beyond the reach of individual enterprise.