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BELFAST MONTHLY MAGAZINE
JANUARY 31, 1811.
COMMUNICATIONS ORIGINAL AND SELECTED.
For the Belfast Monthly Magazine. torily, that Ireland is capable of In the producing large timber. year 1793, there was cut down on the estate of Wm. Hoey, esq. at Dunganstown, three chesnuts, one of which measured 16 feet 6 inches, another 15 feet, and a third -14 feet 3 inches in girt; the length of one was 24 feet, and the other 36. At Portmore Park, on the shore of Lough Neagh, in the county of Antrim, there was an oak growing within the memory of some persons yet alive, that may stand in comparison with the before-mentioned celebrated trees of England. The trunk of this tree was 42 feet girt, and 25 feet long to the first branch, one of the branches made into ant Axletree for a bleach-nrill, soid at
ON IRISH TIMBERJ
THE HE traveller who has had an opportunity of viewing the productions of nature in various regions, must be struck with the contrast between the wonderful luxuriance of Tropical vegetation, and that which takes place after passing the boundaries of the temperate zones. Adamn son found on the banks of the Senegal, several trees from 65 to 78 feet in circumference, and braving the tremendous convulsions of a thousand years; the great chesnut of Mount Etna, whose trunk of 204 feet in circumference, and ample shade, seems placed on the confines of ice and flame, in order to exhibit the various powers of nature. To these we may oppose the dwarf willow, with a stem of only two or three inches the only woody species of plant hitherto discovered in the inhospitable regions of Spitzbergen.
In England a sweet chesnut has grown in Hertfordshire, to 42 feet in circumference, and another at Trotworth, in Glocestershire to 44 feet 4 inches. The Cowthrope oak, near Wetherby, Yorkshire, to 48 feet; Boddington oak, in the vale of Glocester, to 42 feet, and another at Broomfield Park, in the year 1764, measured 68 feet in girt.
And notwithstanding the many arguments which have been advanc. ed to the contrary, the following instances seem to prove satisfac
BELFAST MAG. NO. XXX.
9. the remainder of the tops tearly built a lighter, called the Royal Oak, which carried 40 tons; this was sold for £30. oak timber at that time sold for 1s. 6d. per foot. Our correspondent informs us the timber brought £97. but the bark being sold with other bark of the park, what it brought is not exactly Were more instances neknown. cessary to prove that the climate of Ireland seems peculiarly favourable to the growth of large timber, it would be easy to produce them. for the solidity and strength of its Our country has been long famous
oak; we need not therefore travel abroad for this useful tree, our own woods produce in the greatest abundance the best kind of seed; but
few people are aware that there are three kinds of oak, indigenous to the soil, and that the fame of Irish oak timber depends altogether on that of the best quality being the most common, the first and best, Quercus Robur, Mart Flo. Rust. t. 10. is characterized by the acorns, sitting on long stalks, and the leaves close to the branches; this is well known in the British dock-yards, and bears the highest price. The second, Quer cus sessiliflora Mart. Flo. Rust. t. 11. is the quickest growing tree, has coarse grained timber of little value, and is characterized by the acorns sitting close to the branches, and large leaves or stalks. The third Durmast Oak, Mart. Flo. Rustica t. 12. is a small crooked growing tree, a variety of the last; and reckoned on account of its small size and crooked timber of little value.
that it is only encumbring that ground on which a thriving progeny might arise. It has been determined that great trees grow more timber in a year than small ones; for if a coat of or one sixth of an inch is laid on all round, then the timber added to the body every year is its length multiplied by the thickness of the coat, and by the girth, and therefore the thicker the tree is, the more timber is added." " If profit be considered, a tree ought to be cut down and sold, when the annual increase in value by its growth, is less than the annual interest of the money it would sell for. This being admitted we have only to inquire into the annual increase in the value."
Let any one look at plantations made some years, and wherever the trees have met a soil suitable to their foors, he will find they bave exceed ed the expectations of the planter, and promise to give a good profit for the land and expenses; indeed it appears that the most powerful cause gajust the growth of large timber, is the desire for converting every tree into money, and if gentlemen would forego the present advantage, and not be so often persuaded to cut trees before they had attained their full size, a succeedng generation might have the pleasure of seeing our country adorned with as large trees as most others, Before a tree is doomed to fall, the owner should calculate whether it is improving, has attained its highest perfection, or is going to decay. The first is as plainly shown by abundance of large leaves, as good health by a vigorous pulse in the human subject, while small leaves with rotting extremities to the branches, as clearly indicate its decline, and
"Before I quit this subject, I must beg leave to take notice of another great evil which is of so much consequence to the public, as to deserve their utmost attention; which is that of cutting down the oaks in the spring of the year, at the time when the sap is flowing. This is done for the sake of the bark, which will then pecl easily off, and for the sake of this, I think there is a law, whereby people are obliged to cut down their timber at this season. But by so doing, the timber is not half so durable as that which is felled in the winter, so that those ships, which have been built of this spring cu timber, have decayed more in seven or eight years, than others which were built with timber cut in winter, have done in twenty or thirty. And this our neighbours the French have experienced, and therefore have wisely ordered that the bark should be taken off the trees standing, at the proper time, but the trees are left to the next, and sometimes until the second winter before they are cut down; and the timber of these are found to be more durable and better for use, than that
of any trees which have not been peeled."
The Count de Buffon has deter-. mined by a series of experiments conducted with the greatest accuracy, that barking of trees standing, is attended with the most beneficial effects in augmenting the strength of timber.
A piece of a tree which had been barked standing, 14 feet 6 inches square, weighing 242lb. broke under 794016. A piece from similar tree, but unbarked, and of the same dimensions, weighing 234lb. broke under 7320lb.
158 ... 109 108 104
By extending the application of this principle, we have a precept, which we may profitably employ in the brief form of its symbol, Apply every thing to its proper But, though this precept may have been conceived to originate in 60. observations made within the limited sphere of a household, its application needs not to be limited there
For the Belfast Monthly Magazine.
Επι χοινίκι μη καθιζε. Sit not upon a Bushel. TS symbol, though rather more THIS retired than its predecessor, yet promises no great difficulty in the investigation. In order to attain to this moral x, y-this thing yet unknown-let us proceed to consider that which is known. A bushel, then, is a vessel appointed for the mea surement of certain goods, a purpose, from which in the establishment of the just economist it will not be diverted. In fact, the leading principle of a well regulated household is, that every thing be applied to its appropriate use, and to none other; where this useful principle is violated, we may naturally expect to find poverty the reigning
to: it might be applied to the great family of a kingdom, and, if enforced, might, nay, must, be found profitable. To pursue this very interesting, this solemnly important part of the subject, might lead to the displeasure of those, who would certainly be offended, and as certainly not mended: let us therefore confine our attention to the probable and possible, and endeavour to produce some beneficial effects on the minds of those, whom we can influence, through the mean of common sense.
Within the circle of our own little world, we may see many gross violations of this precept. What can be more glaring, more productive of ridicule, than a case, which any one may imagine for himself, and which will not seem beyond probability;—that of a man, who, having become almost an amphibious animal by long service at sea, at length forsakes that service, and, having secured reputation for riding the waves, would fain extend it, and grasps at the fame of a rider of horses. Under this generous im pulse, he mounts, and most courageously surveys the roads. Emboldened by success, he trots, and aiming still higher,- he will be a soldier," a soldier on horseback, though not able to see beyond his horse's ears-a light horseman, though rather too fat to be a running foot man!!
A character, like this, presented with all its absurdities collected into one view, may seem beyond reality: but the accurate observer of mankind will allow it to be pobabie, a faithful sketch of what may be; and, if such characters are not more frequently noticed, the cause is, that the ridiculous is in general softened by a mixture of some valuable qualifications.
Of such a character, whether the
misapplication of talent has arisen from bad advice of others, or ignorance in himself, it may be fairly said, "The bushel has been sat upon. Such a misapplication however leads but to absurdity and consequently exposes a man merely to ridicule.
More serious consequences must result, when this misapplication of talent, and misdirection of the mind takes place in the important pursuits in life. The process is obvious, and unhappily, of too frequent occurrence. A child exhibits some marks of sprightliness and docility: it is extolled by its parents and friends and is marked out for the lawn-sleeves, or the wool pack. When sent to school, he shows somequickness and application. This, to experienced persons, a slender ground, strengthens expectation. By this time he has become possess ed of a high opinion of his own qualifications: and can he entertain any doubt of them, when he has been so often informed of them by those most consummate judges, his aunts, perhaps, or his grand-mama?
In his course through the university, circumstances may place a moderate degree of fame within his reach, and contribute to build him up in the opinion of his own excellencies. One thing only is wanting to rivet the delusion for life, his commencing his career in the world among persons, whose studies have
not lain in the same course with
his, and whose judgments he conse
It is not meant here, that quickness and application are not promising symp toms in a boy but that the degree of them which gives such hopes to fond parents and partial friends, and is so common among bays, does not warrant the very extravagant hopes it excites.
quently contemns. Obtaining here a temporary popularity, he becomes blown up with vanity. The partiality, natural to parents and friends, had secured to him constant forbearance in his boyish days: but these causes now no longer exist; he has pushed forward to secure admirers, in the world; a degree of talent, that adorned by modesty would have commanded respect, obtains him respect for a while; but the gloss of novelty wears away; his applauders gradually lessen, and he wears away into insignificance. The evil how. ever is done, the deep impression of his importance is not to be erased from his own mind, and the loss of popularity, which should be considered by him as a proof of error or deficiency in himself, is ascribed to want of discernment, or to envy in others.
cach for ourselves, strive to apply. the vessel to its proper use; and parents should be led by a sense of duty, as well as the interest of the child to keep in view this precept in its training and destination.
From similar causes, many, who might have been useful in various departments of life, have been sent adrift on the world as starved poetasters, or hireling pamphleteers, exposed to the inevitable alternative of struggling on in; penury, or of rubbing off all moral principle in the struggle. How justly worthy of pity we may conceive some of these victims to parental partiality to have been!! Had they been taught to appreciate their capacity justly, or had they been left to time and exertion to find their proper place in the scale of merit, they might have attained to respectability, or at least have escaped disappointment and contempt.
The consideration of—
Quid ferre recusent, Quid valeant humeri
This explanation of the Symbol appears to me obvious and natural : That it may not seem so to others. the various tastes of our readers may have some chance of being suited, the following opinions of different expositors are laid before them.Lilius Gyraldus assumes the word Choenix, or bushel, to signify the quantity necessary for the consumption of one day, and infers the instruction of the precept to be, that a man is not to rest contented with having acquired what is needful for the present, but to extend his view to the future also. This he conceives to be well expressed in the figurative precept, which forbids sitting on the measure, as though it were to be applied no more to its proper use. Picus of Mirandula expounds it thus, that, measuring all things by our reason, we should order all our actions by rule and measure. In this he evidently supposes the measuring vessel to be an emblem of the reasoning part in man, and the perversion of it to improper uses will then aptly signify the abuse of the understanding.
a precept of nearly similar import with that contained in the Symbol, should be ever present to our minds, if we would avoid just ridicule and disgraceful miscarriage; we should
Ομωροφιες χελιδῶνας μη έχει
Keep not Swallows under thy Roof.
The coincidence of this precept with the popular superstition concerning swallows, would seem to warrant the idea, that the vulgar notion is but a misunderstood acceptance of the Pythagorean Symbol. The existence of the superstition at so great a distance of time from the delivery of the precept supposed to be its basis, will appear but a slight objection to those, whe