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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/585

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567
THE GOOSE QUESTION.

pear to any one to be fabulous, we might adduce the testimony not only of the whole people who dwell on the coasts of England, Ireland, and Scotland, but also that of the illustrious historiographer Gyraldus, who has written so eloquently of the history of Ireland, that the barnacles are produced in no other way. But since it is not very safe to trust to popular reports, and as I was, considering the singularity of

Fig. 2.
PSM V04 D585 The goose tree.jpg
The Goose-Tree.

"They spawne, as it were, in March and Aprill; the Geese are found in Maie and June, and come to fulnesse of feathers in the moneth after. And thus having, through God's assistance, discoursed somewhat at large of Grasses, Herbes, Shrubs, Trees, Mosses, and certaine excrescences of the earth, with other things moe incident to the Historie thereof, we conclude and ende our present volume, with this woonder of England. For which God's name be ever honoured and praised."—(Gerarde, "Herball," 1633.)

the thing, rather skeptical even with respect to the testimony of Gyraldus—while I was thinking over the subject—I consulted Octavian, an Irish clergyman, whose strict integrity gave me the utmost confidence in him, as to whether he considered Gyraldus worthy to be trusted in what he had written. This clergyman then professed himself ready to take his oath upon the Gospels, that what Gyraldus had