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When these pine forests have attained to this growth,
“ Nothing can exceed the majesty of the scene—the 'religious horror of the woods,' celebrated by the Latin poets, is here felt in a supreme degree; these lofty slender trunks spring upwards straight and proportioned as the thousand columns of a gothic cathedral, supporting in the air a roof of gloomy verdure, the wind which bends their tops spreads throughout a deep voice of mystery, and a balsamic odour of incense is diffused from these lofty branches clothed with eternal green.”
Various sorts of plants thrive under the pine, though to several the deposition formed by its decayed leaves is destructive : the holly, the broom, the little white oxalis, the delicate fumaria, fumaria claviculata, flourish admirably.
“ The pine extends its hospitality to a whole population of charming plants; the soil is adorned with verdant hollies, broom waving its gol. den plumes, mountain ash with delicate foliage, ferns covering the earth with their large green beautiful leaves, (which ferns, if burnt, make excellent potash,) and ivy, so darkly and brightly green.”
These plants flourish“ But those tribes of lichens and parasitical plants which infest the forests of deciduous trees here find no shelter-the dry bark of the pine affords no harbour for them, and, except when surrounded by the clinging ivy, raises its clean brown column unobstructed to the heavens. Il ne demande pas tous ses sues à la terre."
He asks not of earth her more generous juices: the soil in which he rejoices is a dry light sand, where his roots can spread without difficulty-sandstone rocks are as much to his taste as Dúnes; in either he thrives and flourishes, drinking in the air through his innumerable pipes of leaves—his leaves affording, indeed, his chief means of nourishment, for stripped of them he invariably perishes.
There does seem to be good husbandry in thus converting the impalpable air into fuel, shelter and commodities of great value to man. When the turpentine is to be collected, which is first done when the trees reach twenty-five years, the business is proceeded in with much care and method. A selection is first made of all the ill-grown unpromising trees; these are treated so severely, that they perish under the operation, but the rest are managed with more care, and the business so conducted that neither their growth nor health appears to be in the least impaired.
The first class of trees, or those destined to perish, have long incisions made on all their four sides by the axe of the “resinier,"
who continues to deepen and widen his trenches, till the tree perishes—they will endure under this treatment seven or eight years.
The more promising plants, even when they have attained their twenty-five years, are not touched till they attain to such a size that the arms of the woodman cannot meet round them. When the forest has received its last clearing, the trees remain about two hundred to the Hectare, and standing seven or eight yards distant from each other.
“ The first year an incision is cut, about fifteen or eighteen inches in length : this incision is made carefully and by degrees in the course of the first summer,-in time it is carried to the summit of the tree, the incision is hollowed out to about the depth of a crown piece: when the first incision is completed, another is made on the opposite side; but on trees that are to be preserved, never on the four sides.”
The turpentine flows into this channel immediately, in different degrees of abundance: a tree standing alone will yield from thirty to forty pounds of turpentine ; but in the forest they will not yield more than eight or ten.
The yield of the first year is not collected, it is suffered to flow into a hole scooped at the bottom of the tree, where it forms a sort of cup for the reception of the future produce. A Hectare of pines produces from twenty-five to sixty francs net to the proprietor, (that is, from £1. to £2. 8s. sterling,) according to the age of the plants. A pretty considerable profit from what was once an unprofitable, and worse than unprofitable, desert. The Resinier forms with the shepherd and the fisherman, the characteristic population of the Landes.—He lives in the depths of his dark pine woods, in a small cottage festooned with vines, a few yards of open ground surround him, converted by his industry into a fruitful garden ; sometimes he has a field and a cow, and then he wants for nothing; his tools are few and simple, a small axe and a light ladder. The turpentine collected is divided with the proprietor.
A company established in the neighbourhood of Teste carry on the business of converting the raw material into the substance demanded by commerce. Turpentine is, however, properly a simple substance, and may be used as it comes from the tree; combined in various manners, it produces a variety of useful matters.
The soft turpentine,“ resine molle," is the turpentine as it comes from the tree mixed with various other substances—the Barras is the turpentine collected in the incision: this is the best, and is exported in great quantities.
Vol. III. No. 11.--New Series.
The “ resine molle," purified by various processes, gives common turpentine, Venice turpentine, oil of turpentine, the residue of which is common resin : such are the parts of this branch of human industry.
The infinite teeming earth seems, even now, but to be beginning to open her riches; man is yet only guessing at the powers of the mighty mother-only gathering the first scanty fruits of the wealth lying hidden in her bosom, as the reward of science, exertion, enlightened benevolence, and peace.
“M. Cousin to the Students of the Sorbonne. “If in this assembly any young man may be found who has raised himself by degrees above his fellow-students, having no resource but his own labour and ability, no support but his own conscience, no fortune but the trophies he may this day obtain, let that young man not lose courage—the road of life lies before him, covered it is true with obstacles-his course obstructed by ten thousand rivals—but let him take courage and persevere. I promise him success, but on this condition alone-that with generous ardour he shall persist in the habits of exertion which we are here to-day to honour and reward. Impress this truth upon your minds-Man is the master of his own destiny. It is the fiat of eternal justice, that an honest and determined will shall attain its object—that a weak and feeble determination shall be smitten with the curse of disappointment. The everlasting harmony between merit and its rewards is the foundation of human society. This law, in the worst of times, has never been altogether destroyed; its progress is the standard of moral advancement—its triumph is the hononr of the age in which we live; and we ought to be grateful to divine Providence for this his sublime law, which, to borrow the words of the ancients, binding, by chains of brass, suffering to what is evil- blessings to what is good-disorder and despair to passion and vice and the peace which passeth show to virtue-bestows success on labour-and empire on activity and courage directed to a just and noble aim.”
Art. IX.-A PRESENT FROM GERMANY; OR, THE CHRISTMAS-TREE. Translated from the German by EMILY PERRY. London: Charles Fox.
This is a welcome addition to our youthful store of Christmas amusement; and these elegant little translations will be gratefully acknowledged by many a little lover of Fairy lore. They are rather a miscellaneous collection of allegories and fairy tales, with one or two papers on natural history interspersed. We cannot quite make out to our satisfaction the story of “ Victorine," as in the commencement her transformation is represented as the work of a veritable fairy, and at the end it appears as if she had only been dreaming a very profitable dream. The concluding story is a genuine fairy tale, leaving all probability far behind. We are tempted to extract the following communication between “ Day and Night,” which strikes us as very graceful.
“ The birds were warbling sweetly in the hedges, the reaper with his sickle was joyfully returning home, innumerable swarms of insects hovered around the flowers, and the industrious bees, laden with honey, hastened to their cells, mindful of the command, · Work while it is yet day.'
“ Then Day proudly and haughtily addressed quiet and dusky Night.
"• Poor sister, how I pity you! What have you to compare with my ardent sun, my blue heaven, with its fleecy white clouds, and my active, restless life ? You have indeed reason to be quiet and humble, and to glide away when I approach, for I awaken to a new existence what you have killed, and rouse those whom you have sent to sleep. Man may well say, that "the night is no man's friend,” for beneath your shade the visible world grows spectre-like. Alas! how many dread your approach! The sick, whose pain and suffering you increase —the careworn, whose anguish you strengthen,—become cheerful and courageous when I appear in my rosy light, encircled with joyous being.'
“My brother,' said quiet modest Night, “I ask not your compassion. We are both the servants of God. I refresh and strengthen what your breath has exhausted and parched. He who touches the edge of my garment forgets your illusions, and the burden of his daily toil; gently he reclines his head upon my bosom, and, like a mother, I fold my wings around him. Are his eyes red with weeping? I fan him with the breath of another world, and send my children, the Dreams, fo call up before him the loved and lost, and again he feels himself rich and happy. You speak of your sun, you poor brother! Millions of suns come forth at my bidding, and glitter like stars in my boundless firmament, and your limited blue heaven is the seat of eternal worlds. Do I desire your active, restless life? Oh, no! quietly, gently, but never wearied, I create and maintain the kingdom of life, ever leading it towards perfection.'
“ The fiery boy, Day, was prepared with many other arguments, but his powerful sister threw her veil over him, and, speechless and impotent, he sank upon her bosom. She covered him lightly with her mantle, and then ascended, as queen, her throne of twinkling stars, and the angels of heaven came and obeyed her commands."