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Nature, too,1 has taught us the art of forming nurseries; when from the roots of many of the trees we see shooting up a dense forest of suckers, an offspring that is destined to be killed by the mother that has borne them. For by the shade of the tree these suckers are indiscriminately stifled, as we often see the case in the laurel, the pomegranate, the plane, the cherry, and the plum. There are some few trees, the elm and the palm for instance, in which the branches spare the suckers; however, they never make their appearance in any of the trees except those in which the roots, from their fondness for the sun and rain, keep close, as they range, to the surface of the ground. It is usual not to place all these suckers at once in the ground upon the spot which they are finally to occupy, but first to entrust them to the nursery, and to allow them to grow in seed-plots, after which they are finally transplanted. This transplanting softens down, in a most remarkable manner, those trees even which grow wild; whether it is that trees, like men, are naturally fond of novelty and change of scene, or that, on leaving the spots of their original growth, or to which they have been transplanted, they lay aside their bad qualities and become tame, like the wild animals, the moment they are separated from the parent stock.

1 This passage is borrowed almost verbatim from Virgil, Georgics ii. 50, et seq.

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