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others, the Lord Verulam hath taken notice. And they surely speak probably who make it an arboreous excresof experiment, as will appear on reading the following very interesting passage, from the work of my old friend and fellow-citizen, Professor Lindley :-The seed of the miseltoe will germinate in any direction, either upwards, downwards, or laterally. The first movement made by this plant consists in an extension of its cauliculus, which derives its support from the cotyledons, and which terminates, at the radicular end, in a small green tubercle of a paler colour than the radicle itself. When the seed is fixed upon a branch by its natural glue, this incipient movement is effected at right angles with the branch; the young shoot is then curved backwards, and the radicular extremity descends to the surface of the branch, to wbich it adheres by expanding into a kind of disk. From this expansion the roots are emitted, and penetrate the interior of the branch whereon the seed of the miseltoe is fixed; its stem takes the direction above mentioned with reference to the centre of the branch on which it is fixed, and not with reference to the earth; so that with regard to the latter, it is sometimes ascending, sometimes descending, sometimes horizontal. The same phenomena occur if the germination takes place upon dead wood or inorganic substances: a number of seeds were glued to the surface of a cannon ball; all the radicles were directed towards the centre of the ball. Hence it is obvious that the tendency of the miseltoe is not towards the surface of its nutrition, but it obeys the attraction of the body upon which it grows. The miseltoe, which does not grow on the earth, obeys the attraction of any other body; while those plants which naturally grow in the earth obey no other attraction than that of the earth. Parasitical fungi, those which constitute mouldiness ; aquatics, which originate on stones, all grow perpendicular to the body that produces them, and will therefore be placed in all kinds of positions with respect to the earth.”

On the probable effect produced on the seeds by their passing through the stomachs of birds, Mr. Jesse has some observations in the second series of his Gleanings, p. 133. He had seen the young miseltoe cracking the bark of the hawthorn and sprouting out on the under side of the branch : as Sir Thomas observes. He asserts the miseltoe to abound in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire, where the miselthrush also abounds : while in Wiltshire and Devonshire both are less common. Various attempts,” he adds, “have been made by persons, with whom I am acquainted, to propagate the miseltoe, by depositing the seed between the forks of trees, and by inserting it in the bark, but the attempt has hitherto failed, as far as I can speak from my own observation. The seeds also of the ivy seldom grow, though planted with the greatest care, even under walls; yet if dropped by birds either upon or even in the crevices of walls, they will grow spontaneously and thrive luxuriantly. It is this circumstance which has led a friend of mine to suppose, and with some reason, that the seeds of the miseltoe and ivy must undergo some process, favourable to their germination, in passing through the stomach of birds.”


cence, or rather super-plant, bred of a viscous and superfluous sap, which the tree itself cannot assimilate ; and therefore sprouteth not forth in boughs and surcles of the same shape, and similary unto the tree that beareth it, but in a different form, and secondary unto its specifical intention, wherein once failing, another form succeedeth, and in the first place that of miseltoe, in plants and trees disposed to its production. And therefore also, wherever it groweth, it is of constant shape, and maintains a regular figure; like other supercrescences, and such as living upon the stock of others are termed parasitical plants, as polypody, moss, the smaller capillaries, and many more. So that several regions produce several miseltoes : India one, America another, according to the law and rule of their degenerations.

Now what begot this conceit, might be the enlargement of some part of truth contained in its story. For certain it is, that some birds do feed upon the berries of this vegetable, and we meet in Aristotle with one kind of thrush called the miselthrush,* or feeder upon miseltoe. But that which hath most promoted it is a received proverb, turdus sibi malum cacat, appliable unto such men as are authors of their own misfortune. For according unto ancient tradition and Pliny's relation, the bird, not able to digest the fruit whereon she

εξοβόρος. an arboreous excrescence.] Arboreous excrescences of the oake are soe many as may raise the greatest wonder. Besides the gall, which is his proper fruite, hee shootes out oakerns, i. e. ut nunc vocamus (acornes) and oakes apples, and polypodye, and moss ; five several sorts of excrescences. - Wr.

Is it not a greater wonder that the dean should have mistaken the gall for the fruit of the oak, and called the acorn an excrescence ?

feeder upon miseltoe.] Sir James Smith points out the distinctness of the miseltoe of the ancients, from ours, in the following passage :Loranthus europæus seems to be the original, or most common miseltoe, €ços, of the Greeks, which grows usually on some kind of fir-tree. But our viscum album is likewise found in Greece, though rarely, growing on the oak; and this has been preferred from the most remote antiquity. Hence, when the superstitions of the east travelled westward, our Druids adopted a notion of the miseltoe of the oak being more holy or efficacious, in conjurations or medicine, than what any other tree afforded, the loranthus, or ordinary miseltoe, not being known here. This superstition actually remains, and a plant of viscum gathered from an oak is preferred by those who rely on virtues which, perhaps, never existed in any miseltoe whatever.”

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feedeth, from her inconverted muting ariseth this plant, of the berries whereof bird-lime is made, wherewith she is after entangled. But although proverbs be popular principles, yet is not all true that is proverbial; and in many thereof, there being one thing delivered and another intended, though the verbal expression be false, the proverb is true enough in the verity of its intention.

As for the magical virtues in this plant, and conceived efficacy unto veneficial intentions, it seemeth a pagan relick, derived from the ancient Druids, the great admirers of the oak, especially the miseltoe that grew thereon ; which, according unto the particular of Pliny, they gathered with great solemnity. For after sacrifice, the priest, in a white garment, ascended the tree, cut down the miseltoe with a golden hook, and received it in a white coat; the virtue whereof was to resist all poisons, and make fruitful any that used it. Virtues not expected from classical practice; and did they fully answer their promise which are so commended, in epileptical intentions, we would abate these qualities. Country practice hath added another, to provoke the after-birth, and in that case the decoction is given unto cows.

That the berries are poison, as some conceive, we are so far from averring, that we have safely given them inwardly, and can confirm the experiment of Brassavolus, that they have some purgative quality.

4. The rose of Jericho, that flourishes every year just about Christmas-eve, is famous in Christian reports; which, notwithstanding, we have some reason to doubt, and are plainly informed by Bellonius, it is but a monastical imposture, as he hath delivered, in his observations concerning

the plants in Jericho. That which promoted the conceit, or perhaps begot its continuance, was a propriety in this plant; for, though it be dry, yet will it, upon imbibition of moisture, dilate its leaves and explicate its flowers contracted and

3 imbibition of moisture.] From this that is sayd touching imbibition of moysture, puts me in remembrance of a dry withy stake : which being robd of the barke a foote aboue ground, stood dead three years. In the third yeare, being come to rottenes, and the wood growing spungie, suckt up the moysture from the earthe, reviving the barke above, and then the tree, which grew greene againe with a large head, bigger then the plant to which itt was set. Soe there was a perfect greene withy, and yet noe roote, nor string of a roote, in the earthe below. -Wr.

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seemingly dried up. And this is to be effected not only in

the plant yet growing, but in some manner also in that which *is brought exsuccous and dry unto us. Which quality being observed, the subtilty of contrivers did commonly play this show upon the eve of our Saviour's nativity; when by drying the plant again, it closed the next day, and so presented a double mystery, referring unto the opening and closing of the womb of Mary.4

There wanted not a specious confirmation from a text in Ecclesiasticus, quasi palma exaltata sum in Cades, et quasi plantatio rose in Jericho : “I was exalted like a palm-tree in Engaddi, and as a rose in Jericho.” The sound whereof, in common ears, begat an extraordinary opinion of the rose of that denomination. But herein there seemeth a inistake: for, by the rose in the text, is implied the true and proper rose, as first the Greek, and ours accordingly, rendereth it. But that which passeth under this name, and by us is commonly called the rose of Jericho, is properly no rose, but a small thorny shrub or kind of heath, bearing little white flowers, far differing from the rose ; whereof Bellonius, a very inquisitive herbalist, could not find any in his travels through Jericho. A plant so unlike a rose, it hath been mistaken by some good simplist for amomum; which truly understood, is so unlike a rose that, as Dioscorides delivers, the flowers thereof are like the white violet, and its leaves resemble briony.

Suitable unto this relation almost in all points is that of the thorn at Glastonbury," and perhaps the daughter thereof;

* referring unto, dec.] Note this gross imposture.- Wr. 5 thorn at Glastonbury.]. A variety of the cratægus oxyacanthæ, whose usual period of flowering is May, whence its common name, Mayblossom. “Gilpin mentions that 'one of its progeny, which grew in the gardens at Bulstrode, had its flower-buds perfectly formed so early as the 21st December. In the arboretum at the royal gardens, Kew, a similar thorn flowers at the same season. The belief, that certain trees put forth their

flowers on Christmas-day, was not confined to the Glastonbury thorn. In the new forest at Cadenham, near Lyndhurst, an oak used to bud about that period.; but the people, for two centuries, believed that it never budded all the year, except on Old Christmasday. The superstition was destroyed by careful investigation; and the circumstance is thus recorded in the Salisbury newspaper of January 10th, 1786 :— In consequence of a report that has prevailed in this county for upwards of two centuries, and which, by many, has been considered as a matter of faith, that the oak at Cadenham, in the new


herein our endeavours as yet have not attained satisfaction, and cannot therefore enlarge. Thus much in general we may observe, that strange effects are naturally taken for miracles by weaker heads, and artificially improved to that apprehension by wiser. Certainly many precocious trees, and such as spring in the winter, may be found in most parts of Europe, and divers also in England.* For most trees do


* Such a thorn there is in Parham-park, in Suffolk, and elsewhere.


forest, shoots forth leaves on every Old Christmas-day, and that no leaf is ever to be seen on it either before or after that day, during the winter, a lady, who is now on a visit in this city, and who is attentively curious in every thing relative to art or nature, made a journey to Cadenham, on Monday the 3rd instant, purposely to enquire on the spot, about the production of this famous tree. On her arrival near it, the usual guide was ready to attend her; but on his being desired to climb the oak, and to search whether there were any leaves then on it, he said it would be to no purpose ; but that if she would come on the Wednesday following, (Christmas-day,) she might certainly see thousands. However, he was prevailed upon to ascend, and on the first branch which he gathered appeared several fair new leaves, fresh sprouted from the buds, and nearly an inch and a half in length. It may be imagined that the guide was more amazed at this premature production than the lady, for, so strong was his belief in the truth of the whole tradition, that he would have pledged his life that not a leaf was to have been discovered on any part of the tree before the usual hour.'

The preceding passage affords a good contrast to the following note, by Dean Wren, on the “Glastonbury thorn."

"-And the oake in the new forest. King James could not bee induced to beleeve the rò ôti of this, till Bishop Andrewes, in whose diocese the tree grew, caused one of his own chaplaines, a man of known integritye, to give a true information of itt, which he did : for upon the eve of the nativitye, he gathered about a [100] slips, with the - leaves newly opened, which he stuck in claye in the bottom of long white boxes, and soe sent them post to the courte, where they deservedly raised not only admiration, but stopt the mouth of infidelitye and contradiction for ever. Of this I was both an eye-witness, and did distribute many of them to the great persons of bothe sexes in court and others, ecclesiastical persons. But in these last troublesome times, a divelish fellow (of Herostratus humour) having hewen itt round at the roote, made his last stroke on his own legg, whereof he died, together with the old wondrous tree : which now sprowtes up againe, and may renew his oakye age againe, yf some such envious chance doe not hinder or prevent itt: from which the example of the former villane may perchance deterr the attempte. This I thought to testifie to all future times, and therefore subscribe with the same hand through which those little oakye slips past.” Ita testor Chr. Wren, Dno Lanc

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