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LESSON V.-OUR COMMON FRUITS.
1. Amyg'dalus inca'na, Woolly almond, xi. 1, r., 2 f., M.-A., Caucasus. 2. Amyg'dalus commu'nis, Sweet almond, xi, 1, r., 15 f., M.-A., Barbary. 3. Pru'nus cer'asus, Com mon cherry, xi. 1, w., 20 f., A.-My., England. 5. Pru'nus Armeni'aca, Common apricot, xi. 1, w., 15 f.; F.-M., Levant. 6. Crataegus nigra, Black hawthorn, xi. 5, w., 20 f., A.-My., Hungary. 7. Crato'gus puncta'ta, Common thorn-tree, xi, 5, w., 15 f., My., N. Am. 8. Crato'gus pyrifo'lia, Pearl-leafed thorn, xi. 3, w., 15 f., Jn., N. Ám. 9. Čydo'via vulga'ris, Common quince, xi. 5, w., 12 f., y.-Jn., Austria.
1. All the most important fruits of the temperate regions of the world, such as the strawberry, raspberry, blackberry', and the apple, pear, quince, cherry, plum, apricot, peach, nectarine, and almond', have been classed by botanists in the rose family'; for all of them, in their natural or wild state, have similar characteristics by which they may be distinguished. They are not only exogenous', have covered seeds', and are polypetalous', but their leaves are arranged in alternate order around the stem, and never opposite'; their flowers are showy', have five petals', and are inserted on the calyx'. By these, and a few other more minute characteristics, these numerous plants are arranged in one large family.
2. Of the well-known apple, the most popular of all fruits, no description need be given; but it is well to remember, as an evidence of what cultivation has done, that its many hundred kinds are believed to be mere varieties of one original species, known as the common crab-apple. The apple was known to the ancient Greeks; the Romans had twenty
two varieties of it; and poets, in all ages, have sung its praises.
The fragrant stores, the wide projected heaps
Thomson. 3. The pear is a fruit-tree next in popularity and value to the apple, and its wood is almost as hard as box, for which it is even substituted by engravers. Its blossom, of which we give a drawing, exhibits the general character of the blossoms of all the rose family.
"The juicy pear
A various sweetness swells the gentle race,
By Nature's all-refining hand prepared,
4. The quince, plum, and apricot we must pass cursorily by, merely remarking of the apricot that it is a fruit intermediate in character be
tween the plum and the peach. The peach and nectarine were considered by the Greeks as merely different varieties of the almond-tree, and as having sprung from it by cultivation. The fruit of the peach has a downy covering, while that of the nectarine is smooth, and both have been known to grow on the same tree, and even on the same branch. The leaves and blossoms of these trees can scarcely be distinguished apart. The blossoms of all of them appear early in spring, before the leaves; and hence those of the almond especially, which are noted for their profusion and beauty, have been made the emblem of hope—so early do they hold out the promise of abundance. Thus Moore says:
6. The hope, in dreams of a happier hour,
That alights on misery's brow',
That blooms on a leafless bough!" 5. Nor is the emblem without its peculiar appropriateness ; for so far back as we can trace the history of this tree, its early and fragrant blossoms, appearing before the leaves, were regarded as the promise of a fruitful season. Virgil gave expression to the popular belief in the following lines :
“ Mark well the flowering almond in the wood';
But, if a wood of leaves o'er hade the tree',
For empty straw and chaff shall be thy store." 6. The following tribute from an English poet to the ai mond blossom is beautiful and appropriate:
Blossom of the almond trees,
Almond bloom', we greet thee well! -EDWIN ARNOLD. 8. The mountain ash, a small but beautiful and popular tree, also belonging to the pear and apple family, and found wild in mountain woods in our Northern and Middle States, is often cultivated for its ornamental clusters of scarlet berries.
The mountain ash,
Are brighten'd round her!-WORDSWORTH. 9. But while the Rose family comprehends all the most important of the fruits of the temperate regions, and is distinguished above all others for its floral charms, its medicinal properties are quite noted also. Thus the well-known Prussic acid, which, although a powerful poison, is also the basis of laurel water, exists in abundance in the leaves and kernels of the plums, cherries, and almonds; and many of the plants of this family yield a gum which is nearly allied to gum Arabic.
I GEL'-ID, cold; very cold.
14 HIND, the servant or domestic of a hus
bandman or farmer ; & rustic. 15 TÄRN, a mountain lake.
s bandman morfarmasti ke rusti
LES. VI.-CAMĒLLIA, MALLOW, AND CITRON FAMILIES.
[EXOGENOUS or DICOTYLEDONOUS; Angiosperms; Polypetalous.]
1. Camellia japon'ica, Japan rose, xv. 12 (a tree in Japan), w. and or., My.-Jl., Japan. 2. Gossyp'ium herba' ceum, Common cotton, xv. 12, y., 4 f., Jl., E. Indies. 3. Gossyp'ium Barbaden'se, Barbadoes cotton, xv. 12, y., 5.f., S., W. Indies. 4. Althe'a ro'sea, Common hollyhock, xv. 12, r. and w., 8 f., Jl.-S., China. 5. Mal' va moscha'ta, Musk-mallow, xv. 12, pk., 2 f., Jl.-Au., Britain. 6. Hibiscus milita'ris, Louisiana hibiscus, xv. 12, pu., 3 f., Au.-S., Louisiana. 7. Citrus vulga'ris, Seville orange, xii. 1, w., 15 f., My.-Jl., W. Asia. 8. Citrus limo'num, Lemon, xii. 1, w., 15 f., My.-J., W. Asia. 9. Citrus limet'ta, Lime, xii. 1, w., 8 f., My.-J., W. Asia.
1. The large, beautiful, and rose-shaped flower called Ja ponica, the loblolly bay of Southern swamps, and the tea-plant of China belong to the Camēllia family.
“ The chaste camellia's pure and spotless bloom,
That boasts no fragrance, and conceals no thorn," was brought from Japan about the year 1739, and is justly esteemed one of the choicest ornaments of the green-house.
A great many varieties, ranging from the purest white through delicate blush, and striped, to deep red, have been produced by cultivation. The white camellia is often addressed by the poets, as in the following sonnet, as an emblem of perfected loveliness.
Say), what impels me, pure and spotless flower',
To view thee with a secret sympathy'?
That, as tnou bioom'st within thy humble bower,
Some angel-form of truth and purity,
Yes, lovely flower', 'tis not thy virgin glow,
Thy pētals whiter than descending snow, Nor all the charms thy velvet folds display',* 'Tis the soft image of some beaming mind,
By grace adorn'd, by elegance refined,
That o'er my heart thus holds its silent sway.-W. ROSCOE. 3. The famous tea-plant of China, a drawing of a stalk of wbich is here given, of about one quarter the natural size, is
regarded by many botanists as merely a species of the camēllia, which it much resembles in the form of its leaves and blossoms. Some dried leaves of tea were first brought to Europe in the seventeenth century by a Russian nobleman; and now, out of China, the annual consumption of this one plant, as a beverage, is estimated at a hundred millions of pounds.
Ā. For this amount the Chinese people receive nearly thirty millions of dollars; and yet it is believed that they themselves consume twenty times more than the entire amount exported from
their country! The different kinds and Green Tea (Thea viridis). quality of tea depend chiefly upon the time of plucking the leaves, the mode in which they are prepared for use, and the soil on which they grow, rather than upon any specific differences in the plants themselves.
5. In China and Japan tea is sold in shops and at the street corners, and borne about in kettles by itinerant merchants, who sell small cups—without sugar or milk, as it is universally taken in the East—at a trifling price. A tea-drinking in a rich man's house is, however, a very ceremonious affair. No tea-pots are used, but a portion of leaves is put into each cup, and boiling water poured on them. It would be highly indecorous to spill a drop out of the cups during the bowings which precede the drinking; and to prevent this they are but half-filled. The guests drink at many sips, and it is a point of politeness for all to empty their cups exactly at the same time, that they may put them down at once.
* The downward inflection is appropriate here, because it is, really, the conclusion of the sentiment, the remaining three lines being merely a repetition of the sentiment previously expressed. If we had given only the last six lines, beginning with "Lovely flower'," the rising inflection would have been required at "display."