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and retaining the fine vapor contained in the air. Hence the fact is to be explained why dew was more apparent on the guanized turf than on that not subjected to that process. As we know that, in general, during the long drought, the action of dung-in fact of every manureceases; and as it is light sandy soil which first suffers from drought, it must be evident what valuable manure guano is, not only on pastures, but for winter rye, our chief crop on light land. If an acre of land is dressed with 125 lbs. of guano, an abundant crop of grain and straw will fully repay the expenses incurred. If such a rye-field is laid down in spring with meadow catstail grass (Phleum pratense) and white clover, a heavy grass crop in the autumn would still increase the advantages already mentioned. As rape can by no means be too luxuriant, guano would produce an extraordinary result on it."
If a soil consists only of sand and clay, and be deficient of organic matter, or the decaying remnants of animal or vegetable life, it is sufficient, and chemically correct, to add to it guano, in order to insure a plentiful crop. Guano consists of ammonia in separate combination with uric, phosphoric, oxalic, and carbonic acids, together with a few earthy salts and some impurities. If guano be the fertilizer employed, it is valuable, chiefly from the ammonia it contains; and ammonia is valuable because one of its elements is nitrogen, which is yielded to the plants.
guanized,) although healthy and vigorous, required double the time to arrive at the same state of progress. It deserves to be stated as something remarkable, that on the guanized spot, the dew appeared in the morning much | stronger on the tops of the leaves, than on the part_unguanized. In an experiment made by M. Staudinger on a barren hill, composed of granite or quartz, the guanized spot exhibited a dark bluish green sward, while round about nothing but barrenness was to be seen. If, therefore, a land owner wishes to cover bleak hungry pasture in a short time with nutritious grass for cattle or sheep, the guano certainly is the thing to do it. It would not only produce a plentiful fodder in the autumn, where cattle can be well nourished and prepared for the winter, but such guanized pasture will bring a heavy crop early in the spring. Guano has also been used advantageously on a sour meadow, overgrown with horsetails; and it produced, instead of reeds and bulrushes, a dense turf of sweet grass, and the horsetail almost disappeared. Thus, in the first place, more grass is obtained, which may be put down as double the former crops; and then the grass is very much improved in quality. Of course good drainage must be attended to on each meadow, if the result is expected to be complete. In using guano we must be careful to pulverize it well; because, on account of its tenacity, it will form into lumps. and on places where it lies too thick, it will burn the grass, although subsequently, even on such places a luxuriant herbage will spring up. Experiments with guano on spring crops have been as successful at Flottbeck, with both wheat and rye, as on the above meadow. The wheat manured in the spring with guano is much superior to that manured in the ordinary way, both in grain and straw. The following experiment was tried on a spot of almost blowing sand: On the 18th March, several square rods in the above locality, planted with winter rye, were strewed with guano. The spot thus manured was in a short time not only conspicuons for its dark green color, but the tiller be-as to be accessible to even the humblest came so luxuriant as to cover the whole surface. individual engaged in agricultural studies Notwithstanding a drought of two months, the or operations, we should deem it a duty to guanized crops remained in the same flourishing refer to it at greater length. As it is, we condition; whilst the other rye standing close earnestly recommend it. by had a weak and sickly appearance. Subsequently the former attained the height of five or six feet, with ears five inches long, with strong plump grain; whilst the latter were scarcely half that height in straw, and their ears were barren and empty.' This experiment speaks in favor of guano in preference to other manure in another respect. If a light sandy soil like the above is manured too much with common dung, and if there follows a luxuriant vegetation, with dark green foliage, we may be sure that, if there be subsequently any long drought, or sudden change of temperature from great heat to intense cold, rust will follow as a as the oldest inhabitants can recollect. The science matter of course; whilst, in the above experi- of astrology is held in high repute by the Arracament, notwithstanding a nine-weeks' drought, nese. The astrologers have divided the comets and some intervening nights' frost, the growth into certain orders, each presaging a different caof the guanized rye was uniformly good up to lamity; but the poor fellows are scratching their the ripening of grain-a sufficient proof that the heads to find out to which of the classes this one guano must possess the property of attracting | belongs.—Indian Journal.
Mr. Smith goes on to exhort the farmer to preserve and economize all the substances containing nitrogen, and he tells how to prevent the waste of this important constituent of manures.
These random gleanings will enable the reader to judge of the nature and merits of the work-this true "Farmer's Friend." If the book were not brief, and so low-priced
THE COMET AT BURMAH.-March 15. The comet has caused much sensation here. The Mughs consider it to be the harbinger of Divine vengeance; and they declare that the war with the Burmese, or a rebellion in the country, is soon to happen. This comet, they say, is one which they that of any others which have preceded it, as far never before have seen—the tail being longer than
HABITS AND SUPERSTITIONS OF THE
From the Foreign Quarterly Review.
de France. Paris. 1836.
3. Essai sur les Antiquités du Département du Morbihan. (Essay on the Antiquities of the Department of Morbihan.) Par J. Mahé, Chanoine de la Cathédrale de Vannes, et Membre Correspondant de la Société Académique d'Agriculture, Belles-Lettres, Sciences et Arts de Poitiers. Vannes. 1825.
4. Les Derniers Bretons. (The Last Bretons.) Par Emile Souvestre. 4 tom.
5. Antiquités de la Bretagne. (Antiquities of Brittany.) Par M. le Chevalier de Fremenville, ancien Capitaine des Frégates du Roi, &c. &c., Membre de la Société Royale des Antiquaires de
esses, but now abandoned to the funereal surge of the dismal waters, where, according to the respectable testimony of the fishermen, thousands upon thousands of un1. Essai sur l'Histoire, la Langue et les In- happy ghosts may be heard at midnight stitutions de la Bretagne Armoricaine. shrieking for Christian burial. Let us commence (Essay on the History, Language, and our pilgimage at Institutions of Armorican Brittany.) Par once with this cluster of tumble-down Aurélien de Courson. Nantes. 1841. houses, half stone, half wood and mud, 2. Notes d'un Voyage dans l'Ouest de la jammed up among hillocks of clay, or(A Voyage in the West of chard trees, and the debris of Roman walls A street runs, or France.) Par Prosper Merimée, inspec- and Gothic towers. teur-Général des Monumens Historiques meanders, through the midst; unpaved, irregular and surfy; invaded here and there by a scrap of a courtyard shouldering the causeway; and indented at intervals with clumps of stunted firs, and broken flags, set cornerwise to bind the fluctuating path, through which, in the summer time, tall, melancholy grass mopes upward into the humid air. This is the public way, or high-road; but, with the exception of the narrow strip in the centre, with the sky overhead, it is wholly absorbed by the people on each side. All the houses have workshop sheds or crazy porches projecting far into the street; and here, in the open air, the greater part of the life of the inhabitants is spent. Here the poor beat the corn of their little fields; here they wash, prepare their simple cookery, and spread out their linen to dry. A busy, We take it for granted, O Genial Reader, chattering, squalling place it is. As you that you have basked in the sunshine of pass through you see children seated at the Froissart; that you are familiar with the open thresholds eating black bread, and deeds of such men as De Foix and Du lucky are they, if you can detect a streak Guesclin; and that you could re-word up- of honey on their fingers or lips. In front on occasion many Saintly legends of the of the doors are knots of women spinning, Cross, garnered up reverently in your old and accompanying their monotonous labor reading. We even assume that you have with songs or gossip in high treble voices. a proper respect for the Genii and the The old men are all stretched out at full Fairies, and for all the other articles of length basking in the sun; and, as evening faith out of which the Imagination of the approaches, the workshop benches are world, from time immemorial, has formed given up to the young girls who crowd its own poetical creed. Confiding then in round them in eager, picturesque groups, your lore, but above all in your sympathies, while one of the travelling mendicants, the we invite you to make an excursion with trouveurs of the country, recites a favorite us into a country where this Antique Be- ballad, or trolls out some plaintive airs. lief still colors the practical business of The work of the day is over; the bustle life, moulding, as it did of old, the hearts and mirthful clamor increases; and as the and habits of the people; a country strewn twilight begins to set in, the young people over with monuments of the past, and gather into the Place, and, full of riotous haunted with historical memories and fan- animal spirits, are speedily lost in the tastic traditions to the last stone of its rocky whirls of their mountain ronde: the gayest solitudes. Put on your mountain shoes, and and noisiest of all national dances. The grasp your staff firmly, for we have rugged strange "auld-warld" style of the dresses, hill sides to clamber, and shall leave the car- the dark back-ground of mixed and crumbriage roads far behind us; striking into the ling architecture, and the freedom and siminterior amidst the smoke of the dun chau- plicity by which the whole scene is so mi res, and sweeping round by the seashore strongly marked, might almost tempt the once pressed by the feet of Druid priest-spectator to imagine that he was standing
France. Brest. 1837.
in a city of the middle ages. Nor would religious pomp, he must penetrate disthe speculation be very wide of the reality; tricts remote from the highways, traverse for this is an old Breton town, where the roads impracticable for locomotives, cross habits and manners, costume and pecu- marshes, plains, and mountains, and bury liarities of the middle ages, are to this hour himself in scenes that have not yet been carefully preserved. swept into the circle of Parisian centraliWe have no intention at present of tres-zation. Here, and here only, he will find passing upon the domain of history, or of the traditions of the country still subsistdiscussing any of the moot questions in- ing in the faith and usages of the people. volved in the language or complex antiqui- The first thing that strikes the traveller, ties of the ancient Armorica; but, confin- after his eye has become a little accustoming ourselves strictly to the living charac-ed to the physiognomy of the country, is teristics of the people, we propose to touch the vast number of ruins that are scattered upon some points of greater novelty, and over the surface. There is no part of the of a more popular and interesting nature. world, where, within the same compass, The history of Brittany, and the philologi- such extensive and magnificent reliques of cal researches into her dialects, the battle- Druidism are to be found. The stones of ground of so many Gaelic, Welsh, and Carnac, stretching in eleven parallel lines Irish antiquaries, have already largely oc- for a distance of upwards of seven miles, cupied the attention of the learned; but have long excited the wonder and admiwe are not aware that the in-door life and ration of Europe; and there is not a single superstitions of the Breton peasantry have, as yet, received the consideration they deserve. To these aspects of the subject, not less attractive from their simplicity than their freshness, it is our intention to restrict our observations.
The traveller who keeps to the beaten track, can scarcely hope to learn any thing about Brittany. He must diverge from the main routes, if he would see the people in their primitive and national habits. The high roads are now pretty well macadamized; the principal towns are tolerably well supplied with hotels; the cuisine is certainly not quite equal to Verrey's, but you can dine satisfactorily nevertheless; and you can get newspapers and books, and other agrémens much as you get them elsewhere. The tourist, therefore, may post easily enough from Brest to Rennes, or sail up the Rance from St. Malo to Dinan, and make a detour to Nantes on his way to Paris, traversing no inconsiderable portion of Brittany: but he will not be a whit the wiser concerning the Bretons. The leisurely Englishman who risks the springs of his carriage on any of these lines, dropping at an hotel, looking about him, and then going home again, will have nothing to report about the country beyond that monotonous buckwheat which, even in its most cultivated sections, distinguishes it from all the rest of France. If he would really see the Brittany of a former age in its yet undisturbed integrity, a people sombre and heavy, with boorish manners and antique costumes, steeped in their old superstitions, speaking their old language, and living in the midst of Celtic monuments and the reliques of feudal and
form of Druidical remains, of which there are not innumerable specimens in various states of preservation. Barrows, galgals, tombeaux, and sacrés, to use the French phrases, Dolmens, Menhirs, Roches-auxFées, Cromlechs, Lichavens, appear to have been showered upon the soil with a profusion for which history assigns neither origin nor use. But while the curiosity of the stranger is intent upon the examination of these stupendous and inexplicable structures, he is still more amazed by the discovery that these Celtic temples, or altars, or graves, or whatever else they may have been, are generally either mixed up with fragments of the feudal ages, or close in the neighborhood of early Christian monuments. This strange association throws open a large and perplexing field of inquiry. Christianity seems to have pursued her triumphs, with bold and rapid steps, into the very recesses and last strongholds of that gigantic idolatry which once exercised so marvellous an influence over the human mind; and in some instances to have wrestled with its sorceries on the very spot where they were enacted. Many of the Druidical localities are connected by exulting tradition with the victories of the Cross; and in not a few cases they are blended together and rendered identical. Thus there is an old legend, still repeated and currently received amongst the peasantry, that the stones of Carnac owe their origin to a heathen army which chased St. Cornelius into the valley, because he had renounced paganism; when, being close pressed and surrounded on all sides, he had recourse to prayer, whereupon the whole host were petrified in their lines as
Saint-André to the maire of a village, "in
they stood. And near the city of Lannion, church. In vain they destroyed the edifices
A single instance, recorded by Souves-
The sanguinary agents of the revolution had tough work to do in this sturdy province. The struggle in Brittany between the guillotine and the unlettered faith of the people was long and obstinate. Bretons clung to their religion with unexampled fidelity, until they wearied the guillotine with victims. There was no employment of physical force, no resistance: the population were calm and resolute. Every man's mind was made up to martyrdom, and, with a few insignificant exceptions, the inhabitants of Basse-Bretagne were inaccessible to the terrors or the seductions of power. Throughout the whole of that memorable season of carnage they remained, as one of their graphic historians describes them, on their knees with clasped hands: an attitude which they kept to the end, till the clotted knife fell from the hands of their executioners. The priests and the people were true to each other to the last extremity. In vain the republican committees pronounced the menalty of death against the minister who ould celebrate any of the functions of the
celebrate mass. Assured of having God only
Can any one imagine a more striking spec-
It is a natural sequence that a strong attachment, amounting almost to infatuation, should exist between pastors and their flocks who have suffered so much in common; and this attachment, as might be expected, is not unfrequently heightened into fanaticism on the part of the people. The Breton priests occupy the most conspicuous place in the foreground of the picture. They wield an unlimited ascendency over the confiding and sensitive population. Taken direct from the plough, clothed in the coarsest cassocks, with heavy brogues to
protect his feet, and a stout stick in his hand, the devoted minister traverses the muddy roads and the most difficult mountain paths, at all seasons of the year, with unflagging zeal, to carry the viaticum to the dying, or offer up prayers for the dead. He is followed everywhere with love and awe. His aid is sought at all times of calamity, and his counsel brings strength and comfort. His sermons possess almost divine authority, and exercise a supernatural power upon his audience. The crowd palpitate under his appeals, like the sea under a storm. They cry aloud, weep, shriek, and fling themselves upon the earth, in that delirium of religious enthusiasm which supervenes upon the undue excitement of the passions to the exclusion of the reason. In all states of society, such exhibitions are deplorable; but in the Breton they are at least natural and sincere, and contribute, in the absence of healthier influences, to regulate and control the simple morality of his life. Sometimes they react upon the priest himself, and convert the apostle of the frenzy into its victim. On one occasion a poor zealot, who had probably become insane through the excitement of his arduous ministry, and who used to sleep at the foot of a stone cross by the roadside through summer and winter, informed the assembled crowd that Christ had appeared to him, and asked him for his left hand. "It is yours, Lord," he answered. "I have kept my promise," he cried to the affrighted congregation, raising his left arm over his head-a stump bandaged with bloody linen: then, in a fit of horrible inspiration, he tore the linen from the reeking wound, and, making a semicircle in the air, flung the streaming blood for ten feet round him on the heads of the people.
Notwithstanding such revolting incidents, however, the relations between the pastor and his flock are productive of important advantages in the existing condition of the population. The Breton has few ideas beyond those revealed to him by religion. He is a man living within the echoes of civilization, yet far enough off not to be able to distinguish its voice. Villemarqué tells us that when he was making his collection of ballads, travelling through all parts of the country, visiting the popular festivals, pardons, veillés, fileries, and fairs, and mixing familiarly with the people, he found to his great astonishment, that they were all well acquainted with their national ballads, but that not one of them could read. In this vast want of mental resources, they are thrown upon
their superstitions. Living apart from the rest of the world, and buried in their grim solitudes, they have no reunion except the church. It is their spectacle. The processions and religious ceremonies, the fêtes, and saints' days, and anniversaries, fill up the void of their desires; and to these ends, as the pleasures and graces of their lives, the whole poetical capacity of their nature is directed. Hence, all their customs are tinged, more or less, with religious feeling. Until very recently they had no physicians amongst them; and priests, prayers, and offerings were resorted to in lieu of medicine. At the first indication of disease, at the solemn hour of death, and even long after the grave has received its tenant, the offices of religion are invoked for help and consolation. The dying are soothed with candles and devotions, the dead celebrated in annual fêtes. The morrow of All Saints sees the bereaved family gathered in the common apartment, and, in accordance with a curious and pathetic superstition, they leave some meat upon a table as they retire from the room, under the certain belief that the dead will return to the scene of their household affections to partake of the anniversary repast.
Like all other countries, Brittany has undergone changes, and received the vaccination of knowledge. But there are large districts, upon the confines of which civilization, in our active and accumulated sense of the term, is still arrested by the feudal immobility of the population. These districts are principally comprehended in the departments of Finisterre, Morbihan, and the Côtes-du-Nord; and it is here we must look for these surviving characteristics of the middle ages which confer such peculiar interest upon the people. There are certain minor points of contrast amongst the departments themselves; but in the essential attributes of nationality there is a common agreement. They all have their Druidical remains, and old castles, and traditions connected with them; they all have ballads and balladmongers, lays and superstitions; and wherever you move amongst them, you are sure to fall in with an historical recollection already familiar in some shape to most of the literatures of Europe.
It is in this enchanted ground you hear from the lips of the peasantry a thousand legends about the Round Table; until at last you get so accustomed to the famous names, hitherto revealed to you only in the antiquated diction of the unpronounceable old poetry, that you would not be very much surprised if some of the stalwart