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CHAP. 62.—WORK TO BE DONE IN THE COUNTRY IN EACH MONTH RESPECTIVELY.

And now, in order to complete what we may call in some measure an abridgment of the operations of agriculture, it is as well to add that it will be a good plan at the same period to manure the roots of trees, and to mould up the vines—a single hand being sufficient for one jugerum. Where, too, the nature of the locality will allow it, the vines, and the trees upon which they are trained, should be lopped, and the soil turned up with the mattock for seed plots; trenches, too, should be opened out, and the water drained from off the fields, and the presses1 should be well washed and put away. Never put eggs beneath the hen between the calends of November2 and the winter solstice:3 during all the summer and up to the calends of November, you may put thirteen under the hen; but the number must be smaller in winter, not less than nine, however. Democritus is of opinion, that the winter will turn out of the same character4 as the weather on the day of the winter solstice and the three succeeding days; the same too with the summer and the weather at the summer solstice. About the winter solstice, for about twice seven days mostly, while the halcyon5 is sitting, the winds are lulled, and the weather serene;6 but in this case, as in all others, the influence of the stars must only be judged of by the result, and we must not expect the changes of the weather, as if out upon their recognizances,7 to make their appearance exactly on certain predetermined days.

1 For the grape and the olive.

2 First of November.

3 In the more northern climates this is never done till the spring.

4 This is merely imaginary.

5 Or king-fisher. It was a general belief that this bird incubated on the surface of the ocean.

6 Hence the expression, "Halcyon days."

7 Vadimonia.

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