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this is attempted without suffocating, or stupefying,
of those other methods which leave the hive free. This should be done in the middle of a fine day when most of the bees are abroad; and then in those hives where the removal can be made from the top the danger is more imaginative than real. The common barbarous plan is to suffocate the whole stock with sulphur, and then, as dead men tell no tales, and dead bees do not use theirs, it is very easy to cut out the comb at your leisure. But in any case Mr. Cotton's plan is far preferable. Instead of suffocating, he stupefies them. Instead of the brimstone match, he gathers, when half ripe, a fungus (F. pulverulentus) which grows in damp meadows, which countryfolk call “puff-balls,” or “ frog's cheese," or "bunt,” or “puckfist,” dries it till it will hold fire like tinder, and then applies it to the hive in what he calls a “smoker.” The bees being thus rendered quite harmless, any operation of the hive, such as taking the honey, cutting out old comb, removing the queen, or joining stocks, may be most easily performed. The bees may be then handled like a sample of grain. This plan of fumigationwhich he does not profess himself the author of, but to have borrowed from the work of the before-mentioned Mr. Thorley, reprinted in the · Bee-book'
-we consider as the most valuable of the practical part of Mr. Cotton's book,-practical, we mean, to apiarian purposes ; for there is excellent advice leavened up with the bee-matter, which will apply equally to all readers. The rest of his system, with
which we own ourselves to have been a little puzzled, is too near an approximation to Nutt's to require further explanation or trial. We should guess from the present form of his book—which, originally published in the form of two ‘Letters to Cottagers from a Conservative Bee-keeper,' is now sent forth in one of the most elegant volumes that ever graced a library-table--that he is convinced that his plan is not advantageous for the poor; and therefore, though upwards of 24,000 copies of his first- Letters' were sold, he has forborne to press further upon them a doubtful good. This is, however, our own conjecture entirely, from what we know of the failure of his system among our friends, and from what we gather of his own character in the
of his book. In this we think he has acted well and wisely. Delighted as we ourselves have been with many parts, of his volume, we think he has failed in that most difficult of all styles to the scholar—“writing down ” to the poor. In saying this we mean no disparagement to Mr. Cotton, for we are not prepared at this moment with the name of a single highly-educated man who has completely succeeded in this task. Bunyan and Cobbett, the two poor man's authors in very different schools, came from the tinker’s forge and the plough-tail. It is not enough to write plain Saxon and short sentences—though how many professed writers for the unlearned neglect even points like these !--the mode of thinking must run in the same current as that of the people whom wish to instruct and please, so that nothing short of
being one of them, or living constantly among them,
" In joy and in sorrow, through praise and through blame,” being conversant not only with their afflictions and enjoyments, and ordinary life, but even with their whims and crotchets, their follies and crimes, will fit a man to be their book-friend. Where a million can write for the few, there are but few who can write for the million. Witness the unread pamphlets, written and distributed with the kindliest feeling, that crowd the cottager's shelf. We grieve that this a fact, but we are convinced of the truth of it. We grieve deeply, for there are hundreds of scholarly men at this moment writing books, full of the best possible truths for the lower-and indeed for all-classes of this country, and thousands of good men distributing them as fast as they come out, in the fond idea that these books are working a change as extensive as their circulation.* That they are doing good in many quarters we gladly admit, but we will venture to say that there is not one among
thousands published that will hold its rank as a cottage classic fifty years hence; and that not from want of interest in the subjects, but of style and tone to reach the poor man's heart. The mode of thought and expression in some of these well-meaning books is perfectly ludicrous to any one who has personal knowledge of a labourer's habit of mind. However, Mr. Cotton's book, though not quite as successful as we
* The sale of such books is no test of their real popularity, as a hundred are given to, where one is bought by, the poor.
COTTON'S “ BEE-BOOK.”
could wish, is very far indeed from partaking of the worst defects of books of this class. Indeed he has so nearly reached the point at which he has aimed, that we feel continually annoyed that he just falls short of it. We do not think him happy in his jokes, nor at home in his familiarity. From the familiar to the twaddling is but a step, and a very short step too. His Aristotle has taught him the use of proverbs to the vulgar, which he has everywhere taken advantage of, though, with singular infelicity, he has printed them in a character-old English-that not one out of a hundred of the reading poor can understand. He translates a bit of Latin for the benefit of his “Cottager,” but leaves a quotation from Pindar to be Greek to him still ! It is, however, want of clearness and method-great faults certainly in a didactic work—of which we have chiefly to complain in his “Short and Simple Letters;' but, taking the work as it comes to us in its present form, with its exquisite woodcuts, perfection of dress, prelude of mottoes (of which we have not scrupled to avail ourselves), list of beebooks (which, though imperfect, particularly as to foreign works, is the first of the kind)-appendices -reprints - extracts, &c.—we hardly know a book of the kind that has of late pleased us more.
The ingenuity with which every ornament, within and without, introduces either the bee itself, or its workmanship, reflects great credit on the designer, and on the engraver, Mr. J. W. Whimper, to whose labours the author pays a well-earned compliment. Professing no sort of arrangement, it is the perfection of a scrap-book for the gentleman or lady beekeeper.
The great interest, however, in Mr. Cotton's work lies in the conclusion. He is one of that noble crew, mainly drafted from the ranks of aristocratic Eton, that have gone out in the first missionary enterprise that has left the shores of England, worthy of the Church and the country that sent them. The good ship Tomatin sailed from Plymouth for New Zealand on the 26th of December 1841, St. Stephen's day, with a “goodly fellowship” of emigrants, schoolmasters, deacons, and priests, with a Bishop at their head. And we, an Apostolic Church, have been these many years in learning the first lessons of Apostolic discipline and order! wasting the lives and energies of an isolated clergy—a few forlorn hopes sent out without a commander to conquer the strongholds of heathenism. However, it is never too late to do well. The solemn ceremonial of the consecration of five bishops to the colonies, within the walls of Westminster Abbey, which produced an effect on those who witnessed it which will not soon pass away, and the great further increase in the colonial episcopate which has since taken place, show that the Church is not neglectful of her duties, though these, like the Bishop of New Zealand, should have led the van on the foundation of the colonies, instead of following after a lapse of years, when the usurpations of schism and disorder have more than trebled the difficulty of their task. There were among the