An Encyclopaedia of Gardening  Book I, p. 707 (1824)

Propagating Pears
John Claudius Loudon

4439. From seed. This mode is adopted either for the purpose of obtaining new varieties, or for producing pear-stocks. In the former case, the same principles of selection or crossing are to be followed which we have stated in treating of raising seedling apple-trees, between which and the pear-tree, the chief difference is, that the latter requires a longer period, nearly double, to come into bearing, and that the proportion of good sorts to bad, so originated, is but very small. Professor Van Mons, proprietor of the Pépinière de la Fidelété, at Brussels, has upwards of 800 approved sorts of new pears, raised from seed by himself and M. Duquesne, of Mons, in the course of fifteen or sixteen years, and selected from, probably, 8000 new seedling fruits. Van Mons observed to Neill, that "he seldom failed in procuring valuable apples from the seed; for those which were not adapted to the garden as dessert fruit, were probably suited for the orchard, and fit for baking or cider-making. With pears the case was different, many proving so bad as to be unfit for any purpose." (Horticul. Tour, &c. 309.) Whenever a seedling indicates, by the blunt shape, thickness, and woolliness of its leaves, or by the softness of its bark and fulness of its buds, the promise of future good qualities, as a fruit-bearing tree, Van Mons takes a graft from it, and places it on a well established stock: the value of its fruit is thus much sooner ascertained (Horticul. Tour, &c 310.) At Brussels, seedlings yield fruit in four or five years, in Britain seldom before seven or ten years have elapsed. The fruit of the first year of bearing is always inferior to that of the second and third years. If a pear or an apple possess a white and heavy pulp, with juice of rather pungent acidity, it may be expected in the second, third, and subsequent years, greatly to improve in size and flavor. New varieties of pears, and indeed, of all fruits, are more likely to be obtained from the seeds of new than of old sorts. (Horticul. Tour, &c. 308, 309.)

Neill: Journal of a Horticultural Tour (1823)