The hogs have been turned for some weeks into the high-wood, & hanger, where they have availed themselves much of the large crop of beech-mast. The hogs find, no doubt, many trufles in the high-wood, where they are said to abound. Last week Wolmer-pond was sewed, & fished after an interval of almost 20 years. And yet there was no quantity of fish; for the carps did not amount to one hundred; nor was there any young stock: tench there were none; many young perch; a few large, lank pikes; & a few large eels. It is said that the pond is to lie a-sew all next summer. The pond being an area of more than 60 acres, was several days in running dry. If this pond continues dry next spring, more Roman coins may be found, in windy weather, on the surface of the sand. Many hundreds were found when it last lay dry, about the year 1741.
The planet Venus, which became an evening star in June, but was not visible ’til lately, now makes a resplendent appearance. On Selborne down are many oblong tumuli, some what resembling graves but larger, supposed by the country people to be the earth of saw-pits. But as they mostly lie one way from S.E. to N.W. & are many of them very near to each other, it is most probably that they were occasioned by some purpose of a different kind. My bro. Tho. ordered two to be dug across; one of which produced nothing extra-ordinary; while in the other was found a blackish substance: but how, & in what quantity it lay, & whether it consisted of ashes & cinders, or of humus animalis, we had no opportunity to examine from the precipitancy of the labourer, who filled up the trench he had opened without giving proper notice of the occurence.
The country-people, who are abroad in winter-mornings long before sun-rise, talk of much hard frost in some spots, & none in others. The reason of these partial frosts is obvious: for there are, at such times, partial fogs about: where the fog obtains little or no frost appears; but where the air is clear there it freezes hard. So the frost takes place either on the hill or in dale, where every the air happens to be clearest, & freest from vapour. Hyrn, cornu vel angulus: whence our Faringdon Hyrn, or hern as we pronounce it, is the corner-field of our parish. Heane, Humilis: hence perhaps our honey-lane. Our Gally-hill, is perhaps gallows hill from Galga, crux. Does not domesday book among other privileges, say that Priors & c. were allowed Furcas, gallows? By, habitation: from whence ye adjective Byn, as Binsted, &c. Deortun, saltus: hence no doubt our Dorton, a wild, bushy common just below the village: Deerton, a place where deer are kept. Eowod, Ovile: hence perhaps our field called the Ewel? Ymbhanger the winding hanger: we have places so named. Rode, crux: hence our Rode-green near the Priory, where probably a cross was erected. Fyrd, a ford; also a camp: hence probably our high common-field to the N.W. is called the fordown. Ether, sepes: the top border that binds down our hedges & keeps them together is called by our hedgers ether to this day: the wickering the top along they call ethering. Gouleins (Gothic) salutatio: hence perhaps our word Golly, a sort of jolly kind of oath, or asservation much in use among our carters, & lowest people. Eorthwicga, blatta terrana: hence our absurd word, not peculiar to this district: earwig.
The storm on thursday night tore all the remaining flowers to pieces. *With us the country people call coppices, or brush-wood, ris, or rice: now hris in Saxon signifies frondes, & is no doubt whence our provincial term originates. Hraed hriz is frondes celeres: hence probably Red Rice, the name of a hunting-seat standing in the midst of a coppice at Andover.
Sr Simeon Stuart begins to pick his hops. Wasps have begun on the grapes. Seventeen wasps nests destroyed. Peaches are gathered every day, being injured by the wasps: they are not full ripe. *Twaite, in Saxon is ground cleared from wood, & plowed; Woddan is not a way, but the verb to go: wud is wood in Saxon.