Gleanings From The Past #19


European Cultivation

To the ancient Persians, Europe is indebted for almost all the fruits she possesses. What more certain proof of civilization and antiquity, than the culture of the products of the earth? Virgil, and other ancient writers, inform us that we are indebted to the expeditions of the Greeks into Persia, Armenia, and Media, for the citron, apricot, and peach-trees. The wars of the Romans in Pontus afforded Lucullus an opportunity of introducing the cherry-tree into Rome from Cerasus. Nor let us moderns be ashamed to acknowledge we have plums from Damascus, pears from Greece, figs from Egypt, and pomegranates from Carthage. The Romans introduced grapes into Gaul. The English had no melons till the time of James I. In the same reign, gooseberries, sallads, and cabbages were brought from Flanders. Sir Walter Raleigh had before introduced potatoes. Asparagus, cauliflowers, artichokes, oranges, and lemons, were never seen in England, as the produce of the soil, till after the time of the Restoration. Of such recent date is a great part of European cultivation.

— Richard Joseph Sulivan, A View of Nature: In Letters to a Traveller Among the Alps, Vol. 4, 1794


Judge (to officer): What is this man charged with?

Pat: Bigotry, yer honor.

Judge: Bigotry? Why, what’s he been doing?

Pat: Married three women, yer honor.

Judge: Three! That’s not bigotry; that’s trigonometry.

Virginia Law Journal, Vol. 16, 1892

Storing Thoughts 

There is another view of reading which thought it is obvious enough, is seldom taken, I imagine, or at least acted upon; and that is, that in the course of our reading we should lay up in our minds a store of goodly thoughts in well-wrought words, which should be a living treasure of knowledge always with us, and from which, at various times, and amidst all the shifting of circumstances, we might be sure of drawing some comfort, guidance, and sympathy.

— Arthur Helps, Friends in Council: A Series of Readings and Discourse Thereon, Vol. 2, 1849

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is

8 thoughts on “Gleanings From The Past #19

  1. Thank you for sharing with us this writing about European Cultivation. I knew in principle about it but not to this degree and aren’t the names of theese countries of origin just poetically beautiful.
    So I say thank you to them and to the explorers who brought us so many delicacies.

    Liked by 2 people

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