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France, the wood of the service-tree is used by
turners and mathematical-instrument makers,
also for the gauging-sticks of excisemen, and
for other purposes. The black mulberry
came to the south of Europe from Persia; the
white, from Spain and the south of Europe
generally; the paper mulberry, from Japan,
China, and South Carolina. The white
mulberry feeds the silkworms; it is the
black which the old Flemish weavers have
planted so thickly about London. The olive,
also, comes from the south of Europe; and
everyone knows who first planted the vine,
and wherewith the fatal consequences
thereof. Melons are natives of Calmuc
Tartary and Armenia; but the best kinds
came from an insignificant little village near to
Rome. Almonds are East-Indian and Chinese.

The first fig-tree planted in England was
supposed to have been one of the white
Marseilles kind, planted by Cardinal Pole in the
palace garden at Lambeth. It was certainly
brought to England in the time of Henry the
Eighth; and, as Cardinal Pole had been a
great deal abroad, and ecclesiastics are
famous as connoisseurs, it is as likely as not
to be a true tradition. Another very ancient
tree wasand may still bein the garden of
the old Manor House at Mitcham, formerly
the private residence of Archbishop Cranmer;
a third was in the Dean's garden at
Winchester. This was of the red kind, and
was alive in seventeen hundred and fifty-seven,
protected by a rude wooden frame and glass.
On the stone wall to which it was fastened
was this inscription: "In the year sixteen
hundred and twenty-three, King James the
First tasted of the fruit of this tree with
great pleasure." The tree died, for want
of repairs to the frame. Dr. Pococke
planted one in sixteen hundred and forty-
eight, in the garden of the Regius
Professor of Hebrew at Oxford. The learned
doctor brought the slips from the East, and
the planting of them was an event of no
small magnitude. The black fig-tree was
first cultivated, in fifteen hundred and
sixty-two, according to Turner; in fifteen
hundred and ninety-seven, Gérarde says of
it: "The fruit never cometh to a kindly
maturity with us, except the tree be planted
under a hot wall, whereto neither north nor
north-east winds can enter." But, the
country which produced vines in the abundance
in which they once grew here, ought
not to have found much difficulty in growing
figs. We wish there were more south walls
at the present day covered with their
magnificent leaves and luxurious purple fruit!
They came to us from Spain and Ischia, but
their origin is Asian.

Pine-apples, that royal fruit, are from
Africa and the West Indies; oranges and
lemons passed from Asia to southern Europe.
Genoa was long our nursery for lemons; but,
Genoa had gone to Media for her first seeds;
now, we import chiefly from Spain and
Portugal. The shaddock was brought from
Batavia to Japan; and, though a citrus, was
named after Captain Shaddock, its first
importer, from the East.

As to nuts; the walnut is from southern
Europe and America, the hickory from
America, the hazel originally from Avellino,
a town in Naples; hence its name, Corylus
avellina. Filberts came from Pontus; chestnuts
were brought by the Romans from
Sardis in Lydia, to Italy. They are
indigenous also in Asia; notably in China,
Cochin-China, and Japan. Evelyn says, that
the chestnut is a native of Great Britain;
and S. Ducarel quotes an old deed of gift
from Henry the Second to the monks of
Flexly Abbey, by which he grants them a
tithe of his chestnuts in the Forest of Dean.
The Honourable Davies Barrington says, that
it is not a native of Great Britain, and that
it is not found wild, north of the Trent. It
sometimes grows to an enormous size. The
famous Castagno di centi cavalli on Mount
Etna, was reported in seventeen hundred
and seventy to be two hundred and seven
feet in girth; but it was supposed that
this was more than one tree: another,
equally famous, and indubitably single, called
il Castagno del galea, was twenty-six feet in
girth, at the distance of two feet above the
ground; instances of extreme bulk and
longevity might be multiplied if we had time
and space. Our forefathers had but few
nuts, though, compared to our wealth in
that item. They did not import cashew-
nuts, or Brazilian cocoa-nuts, or American
nuts of various names and multitudinous
sizes; but they had beech mast, which they
shared with the forest swine, and they made
the most of the wild hazel. Anyway, we are
better off in our gardens than they were; and
it is not one ot the least of the blessings
referable to steam and commerce, that our
dinners have pleasanter vegetables, and our
desserts richer fruits, than in the days when
Queen Elizabeth ruled, or bluff King Harry
so nobly brought the heads of sweet women
who had lain on his bosom, to the block.

On THURSDAY EVENING, JUNE 17th, at Eight, The
Poor Traveller, Boots at the Holly Tree, and Mrs. Gamp.
Story of Little Dombey.
On THURSDAY EVENING, JUNE 24th, at Eight, The
Christmas Carol.
Each Reading will last Two Hours.
PLACES:—Stalls (numbered and reserved), Five Shillings;
Area and Galleries, Half-a-crown; Unreserved
Seats, One Shilling. Tickets to be had at Messrs. Chapman
and Hall's, Publishers, 193, Piccadilly; and at
St. Martin's Hall, Long Acre.