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oaks-form noble canopies, with their fresh-looking leaves; and the clusters of them in Richmond Park, overlooking the cold-water esta
blishment, are the most delightful things imaginable on a warm summer's day, and cheering is it to see that walking evergreen, the
conservator of the park, Mr. Jesse, the naturalist, to whom nature is ever familiar, and to whom we are indebted, in a great degree, for much of our park enjoyments; it is delightful to see him “ holding sweet converse with the birds and flowers,” as he is wont, while the bee sweeps across the heather with his gravest tone, and the gnats
“ Their murmuring small trumpets sounden wide;' while here and there the little musician in the grass touches forth his tricksey note.
“The Poetry of Earth is never dead-
That is the grasshopper's.” It is a delightful thing to walk into the park on a fine, clear, bright summer's morning, turning eastward by the keeper's house, “ quiet and alone," over the pretty upland leading to Sheen. There the sun may be seen slowly rising, bathed in the most gorgeous hues of crimson, purple, and gold. The dews feel the coming radiance, and absolutely ascend, by anticipation; at length, there is one streaming pencil of golden light, which glitters and breaks as if it were the momentary lightning of a cloud; the dewdrops at your feet are rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and opals, for an instant, and then all is gone.
If the horizon be perfectly clear, this “blink” of the rising sun (and poor old Peter Parley has observed it, although he can never see the setting sun from his own house, owing to the clusters of the trees beside his drawing-room windows) has a very curious effect. It comes momentarily, and when it is gone, all seems darker than before. But the darkness is of as brief a duration as the light, and the rising grounds are soon brought out with a power of chiar' oscuro -a grouping of light and shade that never can be observed when the sun is at any height, as the shadow is from eminence to eminence, filling all the hollows.
The rising of the sun at sea is equally beautiful, and those who have not beheld the sun's rising from a mountain top, knows not how fair the scene is. Early though it be, there is a sentinel upon the Downs—a shrill whistle comes clear and sharp upon the morning breeze, which makes all the echoes of the west answer. Be not alarmed—there is no danger. No Pope or Cardinal, no Guy Faux or Cuffy. It is the note of the plover. Take up your position on some headland crag, such as abound between the rivers Deben and Ald on our eastern coast, when, from about the height of five or six hundred feet, you can look down upon the chequered beauty of the land, and the glory of the sea—when the morning fog is found white and fleecy in the valleys along the courses of the streams, and the more elevated trees, castles, and churches, show like islands floating on the watery waste, when the uplands are clear and well-defined, and the beam gilds yet higher the red way, and the streak upon the sea is that soft purple which is really no colour and every colour at the same time. Then mounts the sun, and by the time that half of his disc is above the horizon, the sea is peculiarly fine, and it is better if the view be down an estuary. In the distant offing is one level sheet more brilliant than burnished gold, on which the boats, with their dark, big, sails, as they return from the deep-sea fishing, project their streaking shadow for miles, though each seems but a speck. The lands on
the opposite sides of the estuary pay their morning salutations in
into a deep blue, as, from the small angle at which the rays fall, they are all reflected forward; and the very same cause that makes the water so brilliant before you, gives it that deep tint in your rear.
Presently, as the light gets abroad, the trees and buildings in lateral positions come out with a line of golden light on the eastern sides, while to the west every pane of the windows beams and blazes like a beacon fire. The fogs, too, melt away, except a few trailing fleeces over the streams and lakes, that lie sheltered beneath steep or wooded . banks; and they soon fade from those also, and the mingled fields, and woods, and streams, are all arrayed in green and gold. The cottage smoke begins to twine upward in thin, blue volumes—the sheep are unfolded—the cattle sent to their pastures, and the day begins as naturally as Mr. Mitford would wish it to begin. Lose not, then, my young friends, the rising of the sun, when you can get a view of this sublime spectacle; and note, as Peter Parley has done, a few of the “odd particulars.” Note down-note down-screw into the brain-wedge into the intellect-stamp into the memory- the sights and sounds of nature, the beautiful, the touching, the glorious ; entwine all with your holiest feelings, and look upwards “heavenwards," “ Godwards," in all.
There are many things in the vegetable world to be marked and
noted in the month of July. The roses and lilies, French marygolds, the great scarlet bean, columbines, and a host of others are in flower; while abroad, in the hedgerows and meadows, the bramble, button-wood, climbers, and broom, are in blossom. Pimpernel, cockle, and furmatory are now to be found in the corn fields, the harebell on waste or roadsides, the foxglove and the luxuriant hop is flowering. The fruits also begin to abound. The strawberries are in their greatest quantity and perfection, and gooseberries and raspberries have a world of juice for us. Currants-oh! how Peter Parley likes currants! A handsome bunch of them, red or white, looks like pearls or rubies, and an imitation of it would make a most graceful earring, worthy the sweetest of the Crabbes.
Now is the weather for bathing, and I would advise my young friends to take advantage of it; but, at the same time, to take care how they go in, and also to take care to come out again. In my “Book of Sports” they will find good advice concerning this subject. As to the girls, they ought to have baths, or bathing places, as well as the boys. There is, perhaps, no one thing that so equally contributes to the three graces—health, beauty, and good temperas bathing; to health, in putting the body into its best state; to beauty, in clearing and tinting the skin; and to good temper, in rescuing the spirits from the irritable tyranny of the nerves, which nothing else allays in so quick and entire a manner.