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Impregnated with quick fermenting salts,
And potent to resist the freezing blast.

For ere the beech and elm have cast their leaf
Deciduous, and when now November dark
Checks vegetation in the torpid plant
Exposed to his cold breath, the task begins.
Warily therefore, and with prudent heed

He seeks a favour'd spot, that where he builds
The agglomerated pile, his frame may front
The sun's meridian disk, and at the back
Enjoy close shelter, wall, or reeds, or hedge
Impervious to the wind. First he bids spread 475
Dry fern or litter'd hay, that may

The ascending damps; then leisurely impose
And lightly, shaking it with agile hand
From the full fork, the saturated straw.
What longest binds the closest, forms secure

The shapely side, that as it rises takes
By just degrees an overhanging breadth,
Sheltering the base with its projected eaves.
The uplifted frame compact at every joint,
And overlaid with clear translucent glass,

485 He settles next upon the sloping mount, Whose sharp declivity shoots off secure From the dash'd pane the deluge as it falls : He shuts it close, and the first labour ends. Thrice must the voluble and restless earth

490 Spin round upon her axle, ere the warmth Slow gathering in the midst, through the square mass Diffused, attain the surface. When behold ! A pestilent and most corrosive steam, Like a gross fog Bæotian, rising fast,


And fast condensed upon the dewy sash,
Asks egress; which obtained, the overcharged
And drench'd conservatory breathes abroad
In volumes wheeling slow, the vapour dank,
And purified, rejoices to have lost

Its foul inhabitant. But to assuage
The impatient fervour which it first conceives
Within its reeking bosom, threatening death
To his young hopes, requires discreet delay,
Experience, slow preceptress, teaching oft

505 The way to glory by miscarriage foul 19, Must prompt him, and admonish how to catch The auspicious moment, when the temper'd heat Friendly to vital motion, may

afford Soft fermentation, and invite the seed. The seed selected wisely, plump and smooth And glossy, he commits to pots of size Diminutive, well fill'd with well-prepared And fruitful soil, that has been treasured long, And drunk no moisture from the dripping clouds. 515 These on the warm and genial earth that hides The smoking manure and o'erspreads it all, He places lightly, and as time subdues The rage of fermentation, plunges deep In the soft medium, till they stand immersed. 520 Then rise the tender germs upstarting quick



Let us know
Our indiscretion sometimes serves us well
When our deep plots do fail.

Hamlet, v. 2.
Into the right we err, and must confess
To oversights we often owe success.

Dispensary, canto iv.




And spreading wide their spongey lobes, at first
Pale, wan, and livid, but assuming soon,
If fann'd by balmy and nutritious air
Strain'd through the friendly mats, a vivid green.
Two leaves produced, two rough indented leaves,
Cautious he pinches from the second stalk
A pimple, that portends a future sprout,
And interdicts its growth. Thence straight succeed
The branches, sturdy to his utmost wish,
Prolific all, and harbingers of more.
The crowded roots demand enlargement now
And transplantation in an ampler space.
Indulged in what they wish, they soon supply
Large foliage, overshadowing golden flowers,
Blown on the summit of the apparent fruit.
These have their sexes; and when summer shines
The bee transports the fertilizing meal
From flower to flower, and even the breathing air
Wafts the rich prize to its appointed use.

Not so when winter scowls: assistant art
Then acts in nature's office, brings to pass
The glad espousals and insures the crop.

Grudge not, ye rich, (since luxury must have His dainties, and the world's more numerous half 545 Lives by contriving delicates for you,) Grudge not the cost. Ye little know the cares, The vigilance, the labour, and the skill That day and night are exercised, and hang Upon the ticklish balance of suspense, That ye may garnish your profuse regales With summer fruits brought forth by wintry suns. Ten thousand dangers lie in wait to thwart

550 560

The process. Heat and cold, and wind and steam, Moisture and drought, mice, worms, and swarming flies Minute as dust and numberless, oft work

Dire disappointment that admits no cure,
And which no care can obviate. It were long,
Too long to tell the expedients and the shifts
Which he that fights a season so severe
Devises, while he guards his tender trust,
And oft, at last, in vain. The learn'd and wise
Sarcastic would exclaim, and judge the song
Cold as its theme, and like its theme, the fruit
Of too much labour, worthless when produced. 565

Who loves a garden, loves a green-house too.
Unconscious of a less propitious clime
There blooms exotic beauty, warm and snug,
While the winds whistle and the snows descend.
The spiry myrtle with unwithering leaf

Shines there and flourishes. The golden boast
Of Portugal and western India there,
The ruddier orange and the paler lime,
Peep through their polish'd foliage at the storm,
And seem to smile at what they need not fear.
The amomum there with intermingling flowers
And cherries hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts
Her crimson honours, and the spangled beau
Ficoides, glitters bright the winter long.
All plants of every leaf 20 that can endure

580 The winter's frown, if screen'd from his shrewd bite, Live there and prosper.

Those Ausonia claims, Levantine regions these ; the Azores send

575 585

20 Flowers of all hue. Par. Lost, iv. 256

Their jessamine, her jessamine remote
Caffraria ; foreigners from many lands
They form one social shade, as if convened
By magic summons of the Orphean lyre.
Yet just arrangement, rarely brought to pass
But by a master's hand, disposing well
diversities of leaf and flower,

Must lend its aid to illustrate all their charms,
And dress the regular yet various scene.
Plant behind plant aspiring, in the van
The dwarfish, in the rear retired, but still
Sublime above the rest, the statelier stand. 595
So once were ranged the sons of ancient Rome,
A noble show! while Roscius trod the stage ;
And so, while Garrick as renown'd as he,
The sons of Albion,-fearing each to lose
Some note of Nature's music from his lips,

600 And covetous of Shakespeare's 21 beauty seen In every flash of his far-beaming eye. Nor taste alone and well-contrived display Suffice to give the marshal'd ranks the grace Of their complete effect. Much yet remains

605 Unsung, and many cares are yet behind And more laborious ; cares on which depends Their vigour, injured soon, not soon restored. The soil must be renew'd, which often wash'd Loses its treasure of salubrious salts,

610 And disappoints the roots; the slender roots Close interwoven where they meet the vase 21 While friends beheld thee give with eye, voice, mien, More than theatric force to Shakespeare's scene.

Wordsworth, On Sir G. Beaumont.

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