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Plums are very extensively cultivated, and it more frequently happens that fine varieties spring up from the kernels or seed of good plums, than from those of other fruit. Several years ago, the plum trees were very materially injured by the multiplied larvæ of insects, which caused a great number of black, knotty warts to form on the limbs, and soon spread all over the tree. All the morello cherries and plum trees were destroyed by the ravages of this insect. A check is now given to the evil by cutting out this black wart as soon as it appears, so that we might reasonably hope for a remuneration for our trouble and expense, as plums are generally good bearers, if the same insect which punctures the nectarine, apricot and cherry could be destroyed. We had at one time under our care several orchards of the rarest and finest fruit, all in full bearing; yet out of fifteen hundred apricot, nectarine, plum, cherry, and apple trees, there was not one bushel of fruit, for three successive years, that was perfectly free from worms. Amongst the number were four hundred nectarines, and four hundred plum trees; not one plum or nectarine from all these trees remained on the tree tiil ripe--every one had a worni in it !
Our inarkets would be barren of fruit if it were not for the new orchards that are continually springing up, for it is a fact, well known, that a young tree is not so apt to be stung as an old one. This arises from the few insects that have found their way to the new orchards. As they fly from tree to tree, they soon begin their operations, and then all our care and labour are lost.
These insects have held dominion over our fruit trees for centuries, and, for any thing that we can see to the contrary, they are likely to continue their power over them so long as we choose to plant trees. They have increased in frightful numbers, and yet the greatest ignorance and indifference prevail respecting their ravages. Every man owning a fruit tree saw that the fruit drop.pcd from the tree before it was ripe--he saw that apples, quinces, and cherries were knotty, filled with worms, and unfit either to be eaten or preserved --he saw that it was hopeless to get a single nectarine from a tree of great promise, unless it were protected by gauze nets, and yet he never troubled himself, much as he loved fruit, to enquire into the cause of the evil.
We have detected four varicties of the curculio--one of these deposits its egg in the pod of the pea, which egg becomes a fly during the month of March--sooner or later according to circumstances. The second variety feeds upon the leaves of the grape vine, but this insect only appears at intervals. The third curculio, like the second, does not make its appearance
every year; but instead of the leaf it eats the bud of the grape vine before it shoots out into leaf. A very little vigilance will soon exterminate these three species; but it is the fourth variety that requires all our attention, for it is this destructive little insect--not quite so large as a common house fly-that destroys all our fruit.
This formidable enemy is of a greyish black colour, and, unlike the other three, has a long proboscis which originates immediately from the neck. The pincers, or mouth, are at the extremity of the proboscis, and it is at this extremity, likewise, that the feelers take their rise. These feelers can be elevated or depressed at pleasure ; and when the insect is at rest they lie curled up with the proboscis, which is bent under the throat, resting on the body. It feeds after the manner of butterflies, drawing the juices of the fruit through the tubes. It begins its ravages in May, as soon as the fruit is formed, and continues to deposit its eggs so long as the fruit remains on the tree. This it does year after year, increasing in numbers as we increase the number of fruit trees; and we can easily understand why whole orchards of fruit are destroyed when we are told that there are three generations of these curculios in one summer !
What, therefore, is to be done ? every experiment has been resorted to, every remedy applied; but no impression is made, either to prevent the increase of the insect, or to save the fruit from being stung by it. It is very mortifying to be thus baffled by an insect that is neither poisonous nor difficult of approach. We are persuaded that a remedy must exist somewhere, and we should hope that time would discover it, if those who are most interested would exert themselves.
We have thrown our views of this matter into this form with the hope that our readers, who are of a different class from those who confine their thoughts to the common books of gardening, may be fully impressed with the importance of the subject.
Not one of the modes hitherto recommended has been found serviceable. In orchards of twelve or fifteen years' growth, hogs might be turned in to eat up all the fruit that falls, and thus destroy many of the curculios, but this could only be beneficial in case of there being no other orchard within a mile or two. It is a fact which cannot be too often repeated, that these insects can fly from tree to tree, and they travel from spot to spot till at length they destroy all the fruit. This is one reason why a stone pavement is of no service for more than a year or two; the curculio flies to these trees from neighbouring orchards. Besides, an orchardist who has three or four thou
sand trees to guard, would find it impossible to pave around them all.
Offensive odours or fumigations do not annoy these destructive insects. The fumes of tobacco, sulphur, resin, and other pungent gums and herbs, make no impression on them, neither are they moved by saline or sulphurous waterings or washings. We do not however despair, and we now make an earnest appeal to all lovers of the art of horticulture to make strong efforts to devise a remedy for the evil.
We call it an evil! we might say calamity, for it is extending itself even to the north, where hitherto it seldom made its appearance. Fruit is no longer a luxury; it is a necessary of life. Thousands of persons labouring under fever and debility are almost wholly sustained by it, and the poor have a right to enjoy it, for it is cultivated with very little expense. Our
pride, our tastes, and our health, require that we should exterminate these destructive insects.
We here close our remarks, the result of long experience and close observation, hoping that vigorous efforts will be made to destroy the curculio. The horticultural societies of Philadelphia and Boston have offered a premium of two thousand dollars to the one who shall devise a simple, easy, and cheap remedy. This offer is of several years' standing, but no one has yet made an attempt to claim it.
We hope, also, that what we have said of the work of M. De la Quintinye will induce the public to call for it. This author is a man of taste and science, possessing liberal sentiments, with shrewdness and good sound sense. Above all, he is honest and scrupulously exact. He is the father of modern horticulture; without vanity or prejudice; and cares no more for the moon's influence upon vegetation than we are inclined to do ourselves.
ART. VI.-Alnwick Castle, with other Poems. 1 vol. pp. 98.
New York : 1836.
In a former number of this Review the opinion was expressed that the multifarious and bustling concerns of the American nation have, for a long time past, conspired to create an impulse which is prevalent throughout the bounds of the republic, and can hardly be said to have any direct or congenial alliance with works of the imagination. This impulse is fiery, prospective, and practical ; it is connected with the enterprises of working-day spirits, and the forecast which belongs to a plodding, active life.' That it has benefits immediate, and rewards ultimate, cannot be denied; and it is better, perhaps—may we not say that it is best without a peradventure—that such an impulse should exist, than that the people of our Union should be guided by day-dreamers, and turn from their numberless architectural erections of warehouses, tenements, towns, and cities, which spring up as it were like the gourd of Jonah, in a night, garnishing the banks of rivers, or the inland borders of western seas—to castles in the air-the Titanian piles of some visionary brain. The useful, now-a-days, must be preferred before the ornamental : the mere embellishment of life must be a secondary matter in a young republic, scarcely as yet released from its swaddling clothesrestless and revelling in the halcyon newness of its youth.
When, therefore, a departure is made from the ordinary course of men, in our country, it certainly argues a strong as well as an adventurous intellect in him who leaves, even for a little season, the beaten thoroughfares where persons jostle each other in the pursuit of gold-essaying to disport himself in the fairy gardens of imagination, and to create around him, in delicious abstraction, "his own green world of thought.” stamps the man who succeeds in this career, with the character of one equal to either fortune, good or bad. We have always repudiated the notion that high mental capacities and fine attainments can disqualify any man for the most momentous and trying duties of life; and we verily believe that the scholar, who studies mankind in his closet—who reads the present in the past—to whom the records of dead empires are merely the pregnant commentaries upon the passages of today's experience--can apply lesson after lesson, that he has conned in theory by himself, with practical effect, in his intercourse with men. We believe it impossible that such a man can dissociate himself from the world, or play the anchorite, “among his
See American Quarterly Review, March, 1836.
fellows but not of them,” as many are apt to contend he can. He is prepared always to make deep impressions; history, teaching by example, has fortified him with a self-adequacy for portentous emergencies, whether they are of a private or widely social character. He benefits others by his counsel; and remembering the models of goodness or evil which tradition, or the page of the annalist, may have furnished him, he applies them to his own case, or to the circumstances of communities or masses of men, with unerring advantage. A mind thus strengthened in itself, can allow relaxation to its energies, and be led into airy and delectable creations, not only without injury, but with positive benefit. Grace is added to grace in its expressions, whether poetic, or in prose; thought provokes thought; and Fancy stands ready to obey the calls of the master as the handmaid of Truth.
That the interests of literature and commerce are not more directly identical, is owing to the false and fully refuted notion that the latter pursuit is at variance with every thing dignified and useful itself. We speak now of the estimation in which it is held by the multitudes who swarm about the crowded wharves, or through the bale-obstructed streets of the Atlantic cities, and extend themselves along the iron and watery avenues of trade, from New York to the Kalamazoo, and from Philadelphia to the boundless contiguity of western shades. To the ears of such as these, the hiss of a locomotive is sweeter music than the happiest stanza that ever melted like the honey of Hybla from the divine pen of the poet, or the most eloquent sentences from the inspired lips of the ambitious statesman, or
oily man of God.” With them, taste is an arbitrary affair ; the expression of an opinion on a subject allied to letters, is not a matter of much moment; the occasions in which it is required occur in frequently; and they discharge their verdict, hit or miss—unmindful of consequences, because they know that at the worst no harm is done. The latitude accorded to taste is the hobby-horse on which they ride, and which carries them triumphantly through every peril. If they shoot wide of the mark in a literary decision in company, there are no bones broken ; and thus many a valuable author, a delicate-minded architect of pure and lofty verse, is dismissed with faint praise, or shop-keeping dogmatism, who deserves the honours of his contemporaries, and the thanks of the world. A state of things is thus superinduced by the ease with which a mere opinion, whether just or not, can be made to tell among a social assembly, or a community, that is decidedly inimical to the interests of poetry, and the march of inspiration. A failure in verse, with judges like these, has no special discredit about it; and many a writer, therefore, who should be proud of his tuneful abilities,