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and taken in wine as a remedy for dysentery: our army in Ireland, he says, were healed by this remedy, when no other would avail. It is strange that a tree which is at once so beautiful and so valuable, both for its fruit and its wood, should not be much more common than it is in England. Evelyn says it is thought useful in corn fields by keeping the grounds warm, and that its roots do not impede the plough. That trees are not so prejudicial to the field in which or around which they grow, as is supposed in England, is proved by the practices of those countries where the people are much better and more economical agriculturists. It appears that in his age maple sugar had been constantly sent for many years from Canada to Rouen to be refined; this must have been before the Dutch from Pernambuco taught the French how to manage the cape in their sugar-islands. The sap of the sycamore makes a wine like the birch, and may also be used in brewing with such advantage that one bushel of malt makes as good ale with sycamore sap, as four bushels with water.
In praising the lime as better than all other trees for the carver's use, he observes that it was used in all the work of our Lysippus, Mr. Gibbons,' and adds having had the honour, for so I account it, to be the first who recommended this great artist to his Majesty, Charles II., I mention it on this occasion, with much satisfaction. His meeting with this admirable artist is thus noticed in the Diary.
This day I first acquainted his Maty with that incomparable young man, Gibbon, whom I had lately met with in an obscure place by meer accident as I was walking neere a poore solitary thatched house, in a field in our parish, nere Says Court. I found him shut in, but looking in at the window I perceiv'd him carving that large cartoon or crucifix of Tintoret, a copy of which I had myselfe brought from Venice, where the original painting remaines. I asked if I might enter; he open'd the door civilly to me, and I saw him about such a work as for ye curiosity of handling, drawing, and studious exactnesse, I never had before seene in all my travells. I questioned him why he worked in such an obscure and lonesome place; he told me it was that he might apply himselfe to his profession without interruption, and wondred not a little how I had found him out. I asked if he was unwilling to be made knowne to some greate man, for that I believed it might turn to his profit; he answer'd he was yet but a beginner, but would not be sorry to sell off that peice; on demanding the price, he said £100. In good earnest the very frame was worth the money, there being nothing in nature so tender and delicate as the flowers and festoons about it, and yet the worke was very strong; in the piece were more than 100 figures of men, &c. I found he was likewise musical, and very civil, sober, and discreete in his discourse. There was onely an old woman in the house. So desiring leave to visite him sometimes I went away.
'Of this young artist, and the manner of finding him out, I acquainted
the King, and begg'd that he would give me leave to bring him and his worke to Whitehall, for that I would adventure my reputation with his Maty that he had never seene any thing approch it, and that he would be exceedingly pleased, and employ him. The King said he would himselfe go see him. This was the first notice he had of Mr. Gibbon.' —vol. i. p. 410.
Gibbons should have made a pulpit for St. Pauls, his genius would then have had full scope for displaying itself, and we should have had something which might have vied with the magnificent works of this kind in the Low Countries. He was a very illiterate man, as appears by one of his notes inserted in these volumes, in the worst possible spelling.
The poplar burns untowardly, and rather moulders away than maintains any solid heat.' Should it not then be preferred for the floors of dwelling houses, so long as we persist in the preposterous custom of constructing houses which may serve for funeral piles? The Lombardy poplar we have heard commended for farm houses, and especially for cheese-rooms, because neither mice nor mites will attack it. The aspin, says Mr. Evelyn, differs from other poplars in this' that he takes it ill to have his head cut off." "Ale brewed with the ripe berries of the mountain ash is praised as an incomparable drink familiar in Wales.' "Of the shortest part of the old wood, found commonly in doating* birches, is made the grounds of our effeminate farined gallants sweet powder; and of the quite consumed and rotten, (such as we find reduced to a kind of reddish earth, in superannuated hollow trees,) is gotten the best mould for the raising of divers seedlings of the rarest plants and flowers.' He recommends a more curious use for the down of the willow, saying, he is of opinion, if it were dried with care that it might be fit for cushions and pillows of chastity, for such of old was the reputation of the shade of those trees.' Their shade was thought so wholesome, that physicians, in his time, prescribed it to feverish persons, permitting the boughs to be placed even about their beds, as a safe and comfortable refrigeration. The ivy, he says, may with small industry be made a beautiful standard,-a beautiful one indeed! Some of the American creepers which have become so, remain erect after the tree which they have clipt and killed has mouldered within their convolutions. Bacon, he thinks, introduced the plane; Archbishop Grindal the tamaric: Evelyn himself obtained seeds of the cedars from Lebanon, and had the honour to be the first who brought the alaternus into use and reputation in this kingdom, for the most beautiful of hedges and verdure in the
*This word, as Evelyn uses it here and in other places, seems to be synonymous with dottard, doddered, decayed, or going to decay. It is still applied to those persons whose intellects fail them in extreme old age.
world, (the swiftness of the growth considered,) and propagated it from Cornwall even to Cumberland.' But he names the yew for hedges, as preferable for beauty and a stiff defence to any other plant; and says, without vanity,' he was the first which brought it into fashion, as well for defence as for a succedaneum to cypress, whether in hedges or pyramids, conic-spires, bowls or what other shapes, adorning the parks or larger avenues with their lofty tops, thirty foot high, and braving all the efforts of the most rigid winter, which cypress cannot weather.
That fashion has passed away. It is to be wished that Evelyn had been equally successful in filling the country with fruit trees, according to his wise and benevolent desire. 'I do only wish,' he says, upon the prospect and meditation of the universal benefit, that every person whatsoever, with ten pounds per annum, within her Majesty's dominions, were by some indispensable statute obliged to plant his hedge-rows with the best and most useful kinds of them.' Old Gerrard had exprest a wish to the same effect before him, and he quotes the old man's honest and not ineloquent exhortation— 'forward in the name of God, graft, set, plant and nourish up trees in every corner of your ground; the labour is small, the cost is nothing, the commodity is great; yourselves shall have plenty, the poor shall have somewhat in time of want to relieve their necessity, and God shall reward your good minds and diligence.' Surely the time will come when the walnut, the pear and the cherry will take place of those trees, which are of less utility and beauty while they stand, and not of greater value when they are cut down. If that spirit of wanton mischief or more malignant havoc be apprehended, which is now but too prevalent among the populace in many parts of England, it should be remembered that this spirit was once as prevalent in France, and that there is now no country in the world where so little of it is displayed. When the sides of the highways were first planted, under Sully's administration, Evelyn tells us, the rude and mischievous peasants did so hack, steal and destroy what they had begun, that they were forced to desist from the thorough prosecution of the design; so as there is nothing more exposed, wild and less pleasant than the common roads of France, for want of shade, and the decent limits which these sweet and divertissant plantations would have afforded.' The peasant is now as sensible of the comfort which these road-side trees afford him by their shade in summer, and the security which they give him when the ground is covered with snow, as the foreigner is of their stateliness and beauty. Evelyn, whose love for trees and groves was only less than that which he felt for his fellow-creatures, more than once expresses his bitter indignation at the havoc made among them, owing to the barbarous manner in which Louis XIV. wasted
the countries in which he made war,-mischiefs, he says, not to be repaired in many ages; the truculent and savage marks (among others) of a most Christian King; nomine, non re! Dira and curses,' he exclaims, 'on those inhuman and ambitious tyrants, who, not contented with their own dominions, invade their peaceful neighbours, and send their legions, without distinction, to destroy and level to the ground such venerable and goodly plantations, and noble avenues, irreparable marks of their barbarity. No man, in modern times, had made war with so barbarous a spirit as Louis XIV.,-till Buonaparte, the perfect Emperor of the British liberales, and the most remorseless and destructive tyrant that ever trampled upon the rights and feelings of humanity.
The greater part of the woods, which were raised in consequence of Evelyn's writings, have been cut down: the oaks have borne the British flag to seas and countries which were undiscovered when they were planted, and generation after generation has been coffined in the elms. The trees of his age, which may yet be standing, are verging fast toward their decay and dissolution: but his name is fresh in the land, and his reputation, like the trees of an Indian Paradise, exists and will continue to exist in full strength and beauty, uninjured by the course of time.
Thrones fall and dynasties are changed:
Beneath their own unwieldy weight;
Survives all meaner things.
No change of fashion, no alteration of taste, no revolutions of science have impaired or can impair his celebrity. Satire, from which nothing is sacred, scarcely attempted to touch him while living; and the acrimony of political and religious hatred, though it spares not even the dead, has never assailed his memory. How then has he attained this enviable inheritance of fame? Not by surpassing genius; not by pre-eminent powers of mind; not by any great action, nor by any splendid accident of fortune, but by his virtue and his wisdom; by the proper use of his talents, and of the means which God had entrusted into his hands; by his principles and his practice. The Abbé Boileau, in that far-fetched strain of flattery for which the French are remarkable, proposed once to the Academy that the word bonheur should be proscribed from all panegyrics upon Louis XIV., parce que son bonheur étoit son propre ouvrage, son application au travail, son génie qui prévoit tout, qui pourvoit à tout, &c.: it was disparaging a prince, he said, whose success was owing to himself, to speak of his good fortune. More truly might this be said of Evelyn. The circumstances in
which he was placed were all fortunate; but how many men in every generation are placed in circumstances equally propitious and with equal talents, who yet for want of the same prudence and the same principles have gone through the world without being either useful to others or happy in themselves, with no other respectability than mere wealth, and talents unemployed or misemployed could command; and sometimes perverting both, so as to be the pests, the fire-brands, and the disgrace of their country! And this has happened even to men who have set out in life with generous feelings and good intentions; for evil principles end in corrupting both, and like diseased and putrid humours carry with them the curse of assimilating to their own nature the subject into which they are introduced.
The youth who looks forward to an inheritance which he is under no temptation to increase, will do well to bear the example of Evelyn in his mind, as containing nothing but what is imitable and nothing but what is good. All persons, indeed, may find in his character something for imitation; but for an English gentleman he is the perfect model. Neither to solicit public offices, nor to shun them, but when they are conferred to execute their duties diligently, conscientiously and fearlessly; to have no amusements but such as being laudable as well as innocent, are healthful alike for the mind and for the body, and in which, while the passing hour is beguiled, a store of delightful recollection is laid up; to be the liberal encourager of literature and the arts; to seek for true and permanent enjoyment by the practice of the household virtues the only course by which it can be found; to enlarge the sphere of existence backward by means of learning through all time, and forward by means of faith through all eternity, behold the fair ideal of human happiness! And this was realized in the life of Evelyn.
ART. II.-Notes on a Journey in America, from the Coast of Virginia to the Territory of Illinois. By Morris Birkbeck, Author of Notes on a Tour in France.' London. 1818.
HIS little volume, printed with an ordinary type on coarse paper, and ushered into the world under the unassuming title of Notes,' is no more to be held as a proof of its author's modesty, than the plain drab coat and broad-brimmed hat, which he once wore, were of his humility—for Mr. Morris Birkbeck was at one time numbered, as we understand, among the people called Quakers.' From his manual, however, it would appear that he is now happily relieved from all manner of 'prejudices' on the score of religion and civil polity, except indeed a vehement one against all religions, and all governments, the one yielding, in his view, no better