"Above all, Mr. Gilbert White is a man of system. Naturalist, physico-theologist. He lives in inches and ounces and hours and degrees. Matter flows in upon him. New information crowds in every day. He examines the forest sand through a microscope--smooth from collision, a yellow color. Watches the weather glass closely. Supine is the man who fails to put out his thermometer.
Weather on March 20, 1780, the day I was first set loose in Selborne? Dark, moist, and mild. Fifty degrees. Southwest wind. Full moon. Crocuses in high bloom. A matter of record.
Mr. Gilbert White chronicles rain and snow and barometric pressure. As if they were baptisms and burials and marriage s in the parish register--the death of Anne Wheeler, age twenty-four, last year, or the union of William Trimming and Elizabeth Bartholomew. The burial, just a few days ago of Mary Burbey, age sixteen, of this parish, "by me, Gil White curate." Sixteen years and gone. A mayfly's life.
The human year 1751, Mr. Gilbert White records, 'was one of the wettest Years in the memory of Man.' He is able to report that the 24th of August, 1764 was 'the fourth most beautiful harvest-day that ever was seen.' Glass very high.
'Those that had the most patience will have by much the best corn,' he declares, like the parson he is.
He identifies four hundred and thirty-nine local plants. Traveler's joy, twayblade, eye-bright cow wheat, go-to-bed-at-noon. Knee-holly, or butcher's broom. Knows the common tongue for plants and the learned one too. Which birds possess a local name--the sit-ye-down. And which don't--Regulus non cristatus. " Verlyn Klinkenborg
A wee explanation: this website was created as a way to amplify the daily surprise of seeing glory in one small life. The notebook entries represented here are all selected from things actually lived and noted on paper in an effort to live the full life British educator Charlotte Mason so ably championed.
Book Of Centuries
Book Of Firsts