Sir Herbert Maxwell
Release Date: 01 October 2007
Format: Paperback / softback
Memories of the Months - Forth series - 1907 - PREFACE - IT is with unaffecbed diffidence that I offer a fourth series of these Memories. One is justly suspicious of a writer who describes himself as yielding to the solicitation of friends in publishing a book but it is the plain truth that I should not have trespassed again on the indulgence of my readers, but for the frequency of the inquiry, When are we to have some more Memories 1 More serious is the ground for distrust of an amateur who trenches, however tentatively, on the domain of exact science. There is an ominous passage in one of Cardinal Newmans letters to Wetherell No single writer, be he who he may, could possibly write on Scripture, history, and physical science with more than a shallow versatility. I can but plead that I have not written the following pages with the reckless audacity of a sciolist. Finding my chief delight in the open field, the woodland, and the riverside, I fell into the habit of acquiring from the surest authority explanation of the nature of beasts and birds, fishes and insects, trees and herbs, which came under my random observation and whereas xnanuscript is a cumbrous and tedious source of reference, these notes originally began to find their way into print solely for my own convenience. a They have received kindly recognition far beyond their own merits or the writers expectation, and have brought him into correspondence with many persons in near and distant parts of the earth. Some have taken the kindly pains to lay finger on blunders, and here is an opportunity for correcting such as come to mind. 1st Series, p. 20.-The iris of the scaup is not white but yellow. I wrote from distant memory ofthe only one I ever cared to shoot. 1st Series, p. 79.-Canon Ellacornbe tells me that he believes it was Dillenius, not Linnaeus, who was so profoundly affected by the prospect of English gorse in bloom, but he cannot remember his authority. 2nd Series, p. 165.-The holly is described as direcious, i. e. bearing flowers of different sexes on separate trees. This is not correct. Bentham, cur Hooker, says, Flowers white in dense clusters in the axils of the leaves, often unisexual. The truth appears to be that the perfect flowers are five-cleft and hermaphrodite but many flowers, often all those on one tree, are four-cleft and develop only male organs. This accounts for the impossibility of distinguishing among young hollies those which will bear berries and which will not, for the plants do not flower till they are several years old. To the list of rabbit-proof plants at the end of the 2nd Series should be added several species of privet, monbretia, funkia, and the wood forget-me-not Myosotis sylvatica, with the usual caveat that nearly everything requires protection when first planted where rabbits are numerous. Where they are in excess, hardly anything is safe. Acknowleclglnent was accidentally omitted from the 3rd Series of authorship of the photographs, five of which were taken by Earl Percy, M. P., ancl the sixth by Sir Hugh Shaw Stewart. Of those in the present volume, the picture of Alnwiek Castle in winter is by Mr. Robson of Alnwick, and that of the 3Iajor Oak, Sherwood Forest, by Mr. H. Sentor, Stair Arms, Dalkeith the rest are inexpert snaps of rrly own. The papers nuillbered xsi. ancl xli. originally appesrecl in Ulccc7cwoocls Jfagcczi. r t., to the proprietor of whichvenerable periodical 1ny thanks are due for permission to reprint thern. HERBERT 3IAS WELI. C O N T E N T S JAIlUXRT I. THE BE-4iTY OF -IST K 11. VILD C EESk . 111. VOODCOCIiS . I-. 1 AST ASD IKESEST FOItJIS OF LII IS . -. TIIk TEEJIIsOLOC Y OF SCIESCI. ...
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