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*** Taxus, the Yew-since the use of bows is laid aside amongst us, the propagation of this tree is quite forborne. But the neglect is to be deplored; seeing that the barrenest grounds, and coldest of our mountains might be profitably replenished with it. I say profitably, for besides the use of the wood for bows, the artists in box, inlayers, and cabinet-makers most gladly employ it; and in Germany they Wainscot their stores with boards of this material, for the cogs of mills, posts to be set in moist grounds, and everlasting axle-trees, there is none to be compared with it. It is likewise used for the bodies of lutes, theorboes, bowls, wheels, and pins for pulleys; yea, for tankards to drink out of.”—EVELYN.

There are many stories of persons poisoned by the fruit, and by drinking out of the wood, recorded in Pliny and elsewhere; but probably it was of some other tree, mistaken for Yew by modern historians ; though some idea of its baneful effects probably gave rise to the ancient practice of wearing garlands of it at funerals.

“The best reason that can be given why the yew was planted in church-yards, is, that branches of it were always carried in procession on Palm sunday, instead of Palms. The following extract from Ouxton's directions for keeping feasts all the year, is decisive as to this custom. In the lecture for Palm Sunday, he says, “wherefore Holy Church this day maketh solemn procession, in mind of the procession that Christ made this day. But for in casen that we have none Olive that beareth green leaf, algate therefore we take Ewe instead of Palm or Olive, and bear about in procession; and so is this day called Palm Sunday." As a confirmation of this fact, the Yewtrees in the church-yards of East Kent, are at this day called Palms." -HUNTER.

“A story is related by Mr. Camden, of a certain priest, that falling in love with a maid who refused his addresses, cut off her head, which being hung upon a Yew tree till it was rotten, the tree was reputed sacred, not only whilst the virgin's head hung on it, but as long as the tree itself lasted ; to which the people went in pilgrimage, plucking and bearing away branches of it, as a holy relique, whilst there remained any of the trunk: persuading themselves, that those small fine reins and filaments, resembling hairs, between the bark and the body of the tree, were the hairs of the virgin: hut. what is yet stranger, the resort to this place, then called Houton, a despicable village, occasioned the building of the now famous town of Halifax, in Yorkshire, which imports Holy Hair. By this, and the like, we may estimate what a world of impostures have, through craft and superstition, gained the repute of holy places, abounding with rich oblations."-EVELYN.

In the days of Archery, so great was the demand for the wood of the Yew-tree, that the merchants were obliged by statute to import four staves of it for every VOL. VII.

Q

ton of goods coming from places where bow-staves had
formerly been brought. In those ancient days the Yew
was always planted in church-yards, where it stood a
substitute for the Invisus Cupressus. It also was placed
near houses, where it might be ready for the sturdy bows
of our warlike ancestors,

who drew,
And almost joined the horns of the tough Yew.

GEOGRAPHICAL READINGS.

No. II.

H

SCOTLAND. The country of which I am about to speak, though less apparently favoured by nature than England, has yet, by her commerce, industry, and manufactures, and her progress in arts and arms, raised herself to nearly a level with her sister country. In so doing, she has had to struggle against great obstacles, owing to the inequality of the soil, which is quite hilly even in the Lowland counties, and in the Northern, presents quite an Alpine appearance. It is about 300 miles long and 150 broad-its coasts are well peopled with the inhabitants of the deep-and its climate, though not so temperate as that of England, permits the inhabitants, by proper culture, to introduce there the produce of warmer countries. In its internal traific, its rivers do not present so many advantages as might be expected, for many of them are mountain rivers, whose violent impetuosity will not permit heavily laden barks to encounter the torrent. There are, however, many fine canals, the noblest of which is the one that connects all the lakes, passing over a stupendous tract of country. Its bays and harbours are very good, and afford excellent harbour. The principal of its rivers, are the Tweed, famous for its fine salmon, and for being the subject of many a poet's song,

the Forth; the Tay, the Dee, the Don, the Clyde, and the Annan. Many too are the beautiful lakes of Scotland Loch Lomond, famous for its depth and length Loch Ness, which never freezes, and many others of less reputation. Where, as I have already said, the face of the couştry is mountainous, it would be impossible to particularize all the most worthy of notice, but Ben Lomond and Bennarty, Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags, rival their Alpine brethren in lofty beauty. From Arthur's Seat a most charming prospect presents itself, and Salisbury Crags are noted for the beautiful crystals picked up amongst them. From the number of hills abounding in Scotland, many fine cascades may be seen; among these the principal are, the Falls of the Clyde for sublimity, and the Falls of Aberfeldie for picturesque 'beauty. Among these moúntainous ranges, metals abound, and a gold mine was discovered in the reign of · Elizabeth, the traces of which are to be seen to this day.

It did not, however, answer the expectations of the proprietors. My readers will probably recollect the Cairn Gorums, so highly valued for seals--these, with the fine Scotch pebbles, so much prized, form a great article of trade, and give great employment to the industrious. Amethysts and garnets of a tolerable size have been sometimes found, and pearls form part of the produce of the rivers; but as these latter productions are seldom found perfect, they are never now employed in the formation of ornaments. The basaltic caverns of Staffa, are, it is presumed, well known to most young people. The marbles of Scotland are particularly beautiful, especially the Glen Tett, the Dumblane, and the Perthshire varieties. A variety has been lately discovered, equalling, it is said, the famed Pentelic marble of antiquity, and is 'successfully employed in even very large groups for monuments. If the vegetable productions of Scotland are less rich or diversified than those of England, still they are better suited to her more wild and romantic scenery, with which the Scotch fir, and indeed all the

pine-tribe, harmonize admirably. Very rare plants have often rewarded the excursions of the botanistio particular the Lady's Slipper, Orchis, one of our most rare and beautiful native plants. The heath, for which Scotland is famed, is particularly useful to the Highlanders, who employ it as fuel, as a covering for the cottages, and even brew a kind of beer from the young sprouts; and its rich bloom forms a luxuriant contrast to the desert wilds on which it is found; thus affording great relief to the eye, tired of gazing on barren rocks. Branberries, northberries, and bilberries grow plentifully on the heaths, and the strawberries are truly delicious, and so plentiful are they in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, that, when they are ripe, most families go in the surrounding country, and give what is called a Strawberry feast; where this charming fruit, cultured in different

ways,

forms the sole refreshment. The manufactures of Scotland are numerous and important. Every species of weaving, hosiery, &c. is carried to a high pitch of perfection, and in Paisley most of the streets are occupied by rows of manufactories. Education, especially amongst the lower classes, is much attended to, and many peasants' sons possess a very good knowledge of Latin, and the more abstract parts of arithmetic, with a degree of keen good sense, and shrewd observation, cloaked under a most rustic appearance, and the most uncouth dialect. The religion which chiefly prevails in Scotland is the Presbyterian, though all others are tolerated. The animal productions of Scotland are more diversified than those of the sister country, owing to the many secluded haunts to which the more timid kinds

may

retreat. A race of wild cattle, formerly very abundant, with manes resembling those of lions, and white as snow, is still to be found on the extensive estates of the duke of Argyle, while deer of different kinds abound in the woods.

Many kinds of birds nearly extinct in England, are still to be found in the Highlands. Grouse, Ptarmigan,

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