This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Who does not like Goldsmith and his writings does not enjoy one of the most genial and pleasant authors of the English language. The series of "English men of letters," small as they are, give to the present generation an opportunity of enjoying the characteristics and peculiarities of the persons who pleased the leisure hours of our grandfathers, while they taught them what literature is. The life of Dr. Johnson, by Leslie Stevens, as already remarked, is one of the most agreeable and informing books in the language ; Goldsmith's life by William Mack, the novelist, fairly comes within the list for high praise. Impecunious, careless, Goldsmith was ; he adds another to those so frail, so seemingly inapt, who are the instruments through which providence works its will upon the world. What a large army they make coming down to our own time. What an anomaly was Poe; his career has now been the topic of many writers who agree as to his ability, but do not save his habits from severe animadversion ; how curious that his first biographer, Griswold, should owe his name being saved from oblivion by this one act of unworthy vituperation. Very few can have perused Goldsmith's life of Beau Nash, but it is worth being overhauled.
He says what was eminently true of the ladies of those days and their want of education : "But were we to give laws to a nursery, we should make them childish laws;" the women of that day were little more than infants in mental acquirements. "Followed your prescription? No," says the Beau, whose intellectual capacity is not magnified. " Egad, if I had, I would have broken my neck, for I flung it out of a two pair of stairs window." The work contains some excellent warnings against the vice of gambling.
The bad practice of pulling flowers by children and even grown people, who ought to know better, continues. Let out a few city youthful tramps into a new park and the chances are that all the butter cups in a given space will be gathered and almost instantly withered, leaving nothing for the next comers, and so with other things. The park planter will tell you that ivies and all running vines are no sooner planted than they are pulled up and carried home. A lady was arrested the other day with her apron la-dened with new ivies, and by good luck only, escaped a week in jail. This tendency to theft can be partially corrected by careful teaching in the public schools. The police of public gardens would be greatly more useful if they were taught the difference between weeds and flowers.
Great attention is now very properly paid to the cultivation of the important cinchona, or quinine bark. New specimens have been introduced into Madras by the government, obtained in South America at a distance of three hundred miles from the coast; the Santa Fe variety yields, by analysis, ten per cent. of pure sulphate of quinine. Jamaica, too, is growing very valuable kinds.
Improvements in agricultural machinery feed a hundred men with greater ease than at one time a man could feed himself alone. - Scientific American.
The enemy of the vine Phylloxara is declared to be mightier than a German army, for the latter, once satisfied, goes home, but the former stays forever. Creatures, unconscious of what they do, terrify whole nations and give the lie to the arrogance of man.