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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
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https://archive.org/details/sentimentoffloweOOtyas 




THE 

SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS 

OB 

LANGUAGE OF FLOKA 

BY THE BEY. BOBEBT TYAS 

ATJTHOB OF “THE WILD FLOWEBS OF ENGLAND," ETC. 

In Eastern lands they talk in flowers. 

And they tell in a garland their loves and cares; 

Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers, 

On its leaves a mystic language bears. 

WITH EIGHT COLOURED GROUPS 
Hand-Painted by JAMES ANDREWS, F.R.H.S. 

TENTH THOUSAND 

LONDON 

HOULSTON AND WEIGHT, 

65 , PATEBNOSTEB BOW 
MDCCCLXIX. 



WORKS BY THE REV. R. TYAS. 

Wild Flowers of Fngland Popularly De¬ 
scribed. One handsome Volume, with Twenty- 
four beautifully Coloured Groups, by James 
Andrews, F.R.H.S. Cloth elegant, gilt sides 
and edges, 15s. 

i Choice Garden Flowers. Their Cultivation 
and General Treatment. With Twelve Coloured 
Plates, by Andrews. Extra cloth, gilt edges, 
3s. 6d. 

Flowers from the Holy Land, or the Plants of 
Scripture. Twelve Coloured Plates, by Andrews. 
Cloth, gilt edges, 5s. 

Floivers of Foreign Lands, their History and 
Botany. Tw r elve Coloured Plates, by Andrews. 
Cloth, gilt edges, 6s. 

Flowers and Heraldry, or Floral Emblems 
and Heraldic Figures. Twenty-four Em¬ 
blazoned Plates, by Andrews. Cloth, gilt 
edges, 5s. 

I Sentiment of Flowers, or the Language of 
Flora. Eight Coloured Plates, by Andrews. 
Cloth, gilt edges, 3s. 6d. 

Handbook of the Language of Flowers. With 
Coloured Group, by Andrews. Cloth, gilt edges. 
One Shilling. 

Handbook of the Language of Flowers, 
abridged. A Lilliputian Edition may still be 
had, sdk, gilt edges, price Is. Sewed, Sixpence. 

Beautiful Birdsj their History, Structure, 
Sfc. Thirty-six Coloured Plates, by Andrews. 
Two Vols. Cloth, gilt edges, 10s. 6d.; or Three 
Vols., each separate, 3s. 6d. 

LONDON ; HOULSTON AND WBIGHT, 65, PATEENOSTEH BOW. 













PEEEACE. 


In presenting this edition of the Sentiment 
oe Flowers to the notice of the Public, it 
is only necessary to acknowledge the con¬ 
tinuance of that favour with which the work 
was received on its first appearance, and 
to point out some alterations and additions 
which have been made, with the view of 
rendering it still more worthy of support. 

One peculiarity by which this book is 
especially distinguished from all others 
which profess to treat of the Language of 
Flowers, is the fitness of the poetical illus¬ 
trations which are freely introduced through- 












PREFACE. 


vi 

out. It were easy to collect an abundance 
of poetry relating to the various flowers 
herein described, out of the wide range of 
native poets, but the careful choice of such 
parts only as should still more intimately 
associate the flower with the sentiment of 
which it has been made emblematical, was a 
task of no small labour, requiring much 
time and extensive reading. The execution 
of this part has, however, obtained the 
approval of the literary portion of the public 
press, and no doubt mainly contributed 
to win the favour of those who have read 
the book. In this edition a list is given 
of those poets whose writings have been 
searched for such illustrations. 

By enlarging the size of the page, consi¬ 
derable space has been gained, which is 
occupied with some additional articles ; and 
several others have been increased in length 
by such information as was thought would 
impart greater interest; a series of articles 
on emblematic colours is also appended; and 









PREFACE. 


vii 

the vocabulary of plants and their sentiments 
has been augmented nearly one-half. 

This edition is also rendered more valu¬ 
able and attractive by the introduction of 
eight coloured groups of flowers, by Mr. 
James Andrews, F.R.H.S., which will 
challenge comparison with the choicest 
flower-painting of modern times. 

In this volume there is placed within the 
reach of every admirer of Flora an account 
of about three hundred different flowers 
with their powers in language, illustrated 
by quotations from nearly a hundred poets, 
and in most cases the reason for their being 
made emblematic of a certain sentiment 
is stated. 

To acquire a knowledge of the principles 
on which the floral language is conducted, it 
is recommended that the Introduction be 
first carefully perused, and the ingenious 
will then be enabled to 

Gather a wreath in their garden bowers. 

And tell the wish of their heart in (lowers. 









Vlll 


PREFACE. 


It only remains to be added, that though 
this work is founded on the “ Langage des 
Fleurs ” of a French author, yet it is indebted 
to it for little more than its elements; the 
plan being entirely changed, while an im¬ 
mense amount of new matter has been added, 
together with all the poetical quotations. 

The publishers hope that the superior 
style in which this work is now got up, the 
excellence of its Illustrations, and the very 
moderate price, will render the “ Sentiment 
or Flowers ” still more worthy of the favour 
with which it has been received. 


London, January, 1869. 













LIST OE POETS 

WHOSE WORKS ARE QUOTED FROM. 


Wordsworth 
Barbauld 
Keats 
Melendez 
Jones, Sir W. 
Smith 
Hemans 
Wilson 
Murray 
Coleridge, H. 
*Hagthorpe 
*Langhorne 
Chaucer 
*Percival 
Cowper 
Crabbe 
Cotton 
Milton 
Jenner 
Moore 

Montgomery, 


Catullus 

Clare 

Carrington 

Mason 

Howitt 

Darwin 

Thomson 

Housman 

Prior 

Drayton 

Scott, Sir W. 

Freneuil 

Cowley 

Spenser 

Hawkesworth 

Southey 

Smith, H. 

Cunningham 

Pope 

Hurd 

Shalispere 








X 


LIST OF POETS. 


Leyden 

Gay 

Byron 

Warton 

Elliott 

Cornwall, Barry 
Lucan 
Wiffen 
*Pierpont 
Burns 

Landon, Miss 
Green 
Peacharu 
Barton 

Tighe, Mrs. H. 
Howitt, Mary 
Churchill 


Williams 

Snow 

Gray 

Goldsmith 
Hurdis 
Herrick 
Hunt, Leigh 

* Willis 
Young 
Fairfax 
Waller 
Evans 
Blair 

* Bryant 
Raleigh, Sir W. 
Robinson, Mrs. 

*Sigourney 


* These are American authors. 















EXPLANATION OF THE PLATES, 

DRAWN AND COLOURED BY 

JAMES ANDREWS. 


Plate I. — Frontispiece. 

Hose. — Ivy. — Myrtle. 

Beauty, Friendship, and Love. 

Plate II. — Page 31. 

Broom. — Borage. — Geranium. 

Bluntness of manner often accompanies a character 
worthy of admiration. 

Plate III. — Page 74. 

Tulip .— White Bily. — Fuchsia. 

Purity of taste commands admiration. 

Plate IV. — Page 117. 

Trumpet Floiver. — Forget-me-not. — Bramble. 

When friends separate, they desire mutual remembrance. 

Plate V. — Page 186. 

White Jasmine. — China Bose. — Garden Pink. — PurpleViolet. 

Amiability and modesty secure a lively and enduring 
affection, and constitute a perpetual loveliness. 















xii EXPLANATION OE THE PLATES. 


Plate VI. — Page 208. 

Thrift.—Tog Hose. — Broom. 

True sympathy is a characteristic of the simple-hearted. 

Plate VII. — Page 278. 

Nightshade. — Heath. ■— Bindweed. 

Truth is humble and retiring. 

Plate VIII. — Page 288. 

Mignonette. — Heliotrope.—Clove Pink. 

Your qualities surpass your charms; my affection marks 
the distinction. 








INTRODUCTION. 


Ob 1 Flowers, so much has been said and sung, that 
it would seem almost impossible to write anything 
new. They have been called “ the joy of the shrubs 
which bear them; ”—“ the stars of the earth ; ” and 
the u alphabet of the angels ; ” and, indeed, as says 
Mr. Howitt, “of all the minor creations of God, 
they seem to be most completely the effusions of 
His love of beauty, grace, and joy. Beauty and 
fragrance are poured abroad over the earth in blos¬ 
soms of endless varieties, radiant evidences of the 
boundless benevolence of the Deity. They are made 
so*ely to gladden the heart of man, for a light to his 
eyes, for a living inspiration of grace to his spirit, 
for a perpetual admiration. And accordingly they 
seize on our affections the first moment that we be¬ 
hold them. With what eagerness do very infants 
grasp at flowers. As they become older they would 

live for ever among them. They bound about in 

B 













INTRODUCTION. 


2 


the flowery meadows like young fawns ; they ga¬ 
ther all they come near ; they collect heaps ; they 
sit among them and sort them, and sing over them 
and caress them, till they perish in their grasp. 

This sweet May morning 
The children are pulling 
On every side, 

In a thousand valleys far and wide, 

Fresh flowers. Wordsworth. 

“ We see them coming wearily into the towns and 
villages w'ith their pinafores full, and with posies 
half as large as themselves. We trace them in 
shady lanes, in the grass of far-off fields, by the 
treasures they have gathered and have left behind, 
lured on by others still greater. 

“ As they grow up to maturity, they assume, in 
their eyes, new characters and beauties. Then they 
are strewn around them, the poetry of the earth. 
They become invested, by a multitude of associa¬ 
tions, with innumerable spells of pow T er over the 
human heart; they are to us memorials of the joys, 
sorrows, hopes, and triumphs of our forefathers ; they 
are, to all nations, the emblems of youth in its love¬ 
liness and purity.” 




INTRODUCTION. 


3 


Flowers to the Fair! to you these flowers I bring, 
And strive to greet you with an earlier spring; 
Flowers sweet and gay, and delicate like you, 
Emblems of innocence and beauty too. 

With flowers the Graces hind their yellow hair, 

And flowery wreaths consenting lovers wear. 
Flowers, the sole luxury which Nature knew, 

In Eden’s pure and guiltless garden grew. 

MBS. BARBATJLD. 

Let Fancy lead us, with herfair imaginings, and 
it shall he in pleasant paths, and through flowery 
ways; 

Go, cull the golden fruits of truth ; 

Go, gather fancy’s brilliant flowers ; 

and for a brief space let us wander in an earthly 
Eden. We will rove, hand in hand, with the ever- 
youthful goddess of flowers ; and Zephyrus, her 
beloved, shall waft tributary honours from every 
clime. We will twine fair garlands for many a 
youthful brow; “we will not let a flower of the 
spring escape us;” but “crown ourselves with 
roses ere they be withered.” We may roam with 
Tasso through Syrian lands, u where soft perfumes 
diffuse from every flower ;” or the deserts of Arabia, 
where 

The acacia waves her yellow hair ; 









4 INTRODUCTION. 


or shall we choose the Grecian Isles, and join there 
a bridal train, u where the young maidens are 
crowned with fairest flowers ? And there on every 
side are seen a succession of narcissuses, hyacinths, 
anemones, iris all hues, violets of all sorts, roses of 
every kind, and every odoriferous plant.” These 
the ancient Greeks scattered in the porticoes of 
their temples; with them they adorned their altars, 
and decorated the statues of their gods; they 
strewed them in the victor’s path; and wore wreaths 
of flowers in their holy ceremonies. 

It was the custom there to bring away 

The bride from home at blushing shut of day, 

Veiled in a chariot, heralded along 

By strewn flowers, torches, and a marriage song. 

KEATS. 

And at their banquets and festivals they crowned 
themselves with 

Garlands of every green, and every scent, 

From vales deflowered or forest-trees branch-rent, 

In baskets of bright osiered gold were brought, 

High as the handles heaped, to suit the thought 
Of every guest, that each as he did please 
Might fancy-fit his brows, silk-pillowed at his ease. 

KEATS. 










1 


INTRODUCTION. 5 


If we pass to Italy, we shall find lilies and violets, 
the narcissus, and flowers of the sweet smelling 
anise; with cassia, and other fragrant herbs, the 
soft hyacinth, and the saffron marigold. And in 
Spain we may 

rest awhile in the bower, 

O’er which the white-leaved orange flower 
Breathes its ambrosial sweets. 

MELENDEZ. 

Now let us away to the distant lands of Asia, 
where we shall not find the glorious garden of 
Eden, nor the far-famed gardens of once mighty 
Babylon ; but there w'e may repose on beds of roses 
in Cashmere ; and with the Persian maidens weave 
garlands of the violet, jasmine, or lotus flowers ; we 
may trim the odorous night-blooming nyctanthes, 
with the drooping mimosa, which seems to do us 
homage as we approach it; we may cull the rich 
blossom from the canna, the white arum, the yellow 
zanthium, and the classic hibiscus ; we may rest 
secure under the bata tree, or recline beneath the 
dark and gloomy cypresses. Or seeing, should we 
prefer the plain of various colours, clad with groves 
and gardens, and w r atered by flowing rivulets? It | 
is a place belonging to the abodes of heroes. The j 













6 INTRODUCTION. 


ground is silky in its appearance, and the air is 
scented with musky odours; so that you would be 
led to ask, Is it rose-water which glides between 
the banks P The stalk of the lily bends under the 
weight of the flower; and the whole grove is charmed 
with the fragrance of the rose-bud. The pheasant 
walks gracefully among the flowers ; and the dove 
and the nightingale warble from the branches of the 
cypress. From the present time to the latest age, 
may these banks resemble the bowers of Paradise! * 
In Hindostan, the god of love is known as Cam- 
deo. There we may see the fair young child sur¬ 
rounded by gay laughter-loving nymphs. His 
mother never leaves him—his spouse is Hetty, the 
essence of affection—and his bosom friend is Bes- 
sent, or Spring. The plains of Agra are his fa¬ 
vourite resort. His bow is of sugar-cane, twined 
with flowers; his string is of bees, his five arrows 
are each pointed with an Indian flower. The 
Hindoo nymphs chant the following hymn to the 
Indian Cupid :— 

God of the flowery shafts, and flowery how, 

Delight of all above and all below ! 

* Sir William Jones. 





INTRODUCTION. 7 


Thy loved companion, constant from his birth, 

Is ycleped Bessent, gay spi’ing on earth, 

Weaves thy green robes and flaunting bowers, 

And from thy cloud draws balmy showers, 

He with fresh arrows fills thy quiver, 

(Sweet the gift, and sweet the giver,) 

And bids the many-plumed warbling throng 
Burst the fresh blossoms with their song, 

“He bends the luscious cane, and twists the string 
With bees,—how sweet, but ah! how keen their sting ! 
He with five flowerets tips thy ruthless darts, 

Which through five senses pierce enraptured hearts.” 

Translation by Sin William Jones. 

But we will leave this dangerous land, and wander 
through the ever blooming vales of Japan. Let us 
deck ourselves with her gorgeous lilies,—her Ja- 
ponicas,—her flowers so beautiful that even the fe¬ 
males are named from them. Where’er we roam, we 
shall find that nature strews the earth with flowers. 

We proceed to take a brief survey of the habits of 
flowers. Many varieties open their flowers in the 
morning, and close them in the evening ; yet all do 
not open or close at the same hour. Plants of the 
same species are pretty regular to an hour in equal 
temperatures; hence the daily opening and shut¬ 
ting of the flower has been called Horologium Florae. 




8 INTRODUCTION. 


It has been very truly observed that flowers were 
the first playthings of Linnaeus ; whose motto was, 
Tantus amor florum. 

This devoted lover of flowers carefully noticed the 
sensibility of plants, and composed a horologe of 
flowers. The list is given in his 11 Philosophia Bo- 
tanica,” which, however, is only valuable to us in 
giving the names of plants which open and close at 
stated periods, as the time given is for the meridian 
of Upsal, and we must therefore, in order to form 
one for Britain, make our own observations. For ; 
the use of our friends we have given a list of twenty- 
four (all of which may he easily procured), ex¬ 
tracted from that magnificent and useful work, the 
Encyclopaedia of Gardening, by J. C. Loudon, Esq., 
and by observation of the following plants, also, the 
ingenious reader may be enabled to add to the num- 
ber. Many species of convolvulus and campanula, 
the marvel of Peru, or belle-de-nuit, broom, tulips, 
cress, hibiscus, yellow lily, white water lily, and 
dianthus. 

See hieracium’s various tribe, 

Of plumy seed and radiate flowers, 

The blooms of time their course describe, 

And wake and sleep appointed hours. 









DIAL OF FLOWERS. 

TIME OE OPENING. 


h. 


Yellow Goat’s Beard- 

. . *T.P. 

3 

Late-flowering Dandelion . 

Leon.S. 

4 

Bristly Helminthia . 

. . H.E. 

4 

Alpine Borkhausia 

. B.A. 

4 

Wild Succory . 

. . C.I. 

4 

Naked Stalked Poppy 

. P.N. 

5 

Copper-coloured Day Lily 

. . H.P. 

5 

Smooth Sow Thistle . 

. S.L. 

5 

Alpine Agathyrsus . 

, . . Aga.A. 

5 

Small Bind-weed . 

Con.A. 

5 

Common Nipple Wort . 

. . L.C. 

5 

Common Dandelion 

. L.T. 

5 

Spotted Achyrophorus . 

. . A.M. 

6 

White Water Lily. 

. N.A. 

7 

Garden Lettuce . 

Lac. S. 

7 

African Marigold . 

. T.E. 

7 

Common Pimpernel 

. . A.A. 

7 

Mouse-ear Hawkweed. 

. H.P. 

8 

Proliferous Pink 

. . D.P. 

8 

Field Marigold 

. Cal.A. 

9 

Purple Sandwort 

. . A.P. 

9 

Small Purslane 

. P.O. 

9 

Creeping Mallow 

. . M.C. 

9 

Chiekweed . 

. S.M: 

9 


* These, are the initial letters of the Latin names of 
plants ; they will be found at length on the next page. 

B 5 


m. 

5 

0 

6 

5 

5 

0 

0 

0 

0 

6 

6 

6 

7 

0 

0 

0 

8 

0 

0 

0 

10 

10 

10 

10 

the 









DIAL OF FLOWERS. 

TIME OF CLOSING. 




h.m. 

Helminthia echioides . 

. B.H. 

12 

0 

Agathyrsus alpinus. 

. . A.A. 

12 

0 

Borkhausia alpina 

. A.B. 

12 

0 

Leontodon serotinus 

. . L.D. 

12 

0 

Malva caroliniana 

. C.M. 

12 

1 

Dianthus prolifer 

. . P.P. 

1 

0 

Hieracium pilosella 

. M.H. 

2 

0 

Anagallis arvensis . 

. . S.P. 

2 

3 

Arenaria purpurea 

. P.S. 

2 

Q 

Calendula arvensis . 

. . F.M. 

r 

O 

0 

Tagetes erecta 

. A.M. 

3 

4 

Convolvulus arvensis 

. . S.B. 

4 

5 

Ach.yroph.orus maculatus . 

. S.A. 

4 

5 

Nymphaea alba 

. W.W.L. 

5 

0 

Pap aver nudicaule 

. N.P. 

7 

0 

Hemerocallis fulva . 

. .C.D.L. 

7 

0 

Cichorium intybus 

. W.S. 

8 

9 

Leontodon taraxacum . 

. . C.D. 

8 

9 

Tragopogon pratensis 

•Y.G.B. 

9 

10 

Stellaria media 

. . C. 

9 

10 

Lapsana communis . 

. C.N. 

10 

0 

Lactuca sativa 

. . G.L. 

10 

0 

Sonchus lsevis 

. S.T. 

11 

12 

Portulaca oleracea . 

. . S.P. 

11 

12 


The time here stated is f rom noon to night. 
















INTRODUCTION. 


11 


Broad o’er its imbricated cap, 

The goat’s-beard spreads its golden rays, 

But shuts its cautious petals up, 

Retreating from the noontide blaze. 

Pale as a pensive cloistered nun, 

The Bethlehem star her face unveils, 

When o’er the mountain peers the sun, 

But shades it from the vesper gales. 

Among the loose and arid sands 
The humble arenaria creeps ; 

Slowly the purple star expands, 

But soon within its calyx sleeps. 

And those small bells so lightly rayed 
With young Aurora’s rosy hue, 

Are to the noontide sun displayed, 

But shut their plaits against the dew. 

On upland slopes the shepherds mark 
The hour, when, as the dial true, 

Chiconium to the towering lark 
Lifts her soft eyes serenely blue. 

And thou, “ wee crimson tipped flower,” 
Gatherest thy fringed mantle round 

Thy bosom at the closing hour, 

When night-drops bathe the turfy ground. 

Unlike silene, who declines 
The garish noontide’s blazing light; 

But when the evening crescent shines, 

Gives all her sweetness to the night. 









INTRODUCTION. 


Thus in each flower and simple bell, 

That in our path untrodden lie, 

Are sweet remembrances, which tell 
How fast their winged moments fly. 

SMITH. 

The following beautiful lines are by Mrs. Hemans. 
They celebrate the far-famed dial of flowers con¬ 
structed by Linnams. 

’Twas a lovely thought to mark the hours, 

As they floated in light away, 

By the opening and the folding flowers, 

That laugh to the summer’s day. 

Thus had each moment its own rich hue, 

And its graceful cup and bell, 

In whose coloured vase might sleep the dew. 
Like a pearl in an ocean-shell. 

To such sweet signs might the time have flowed 
In a golden current on, 

Ere from the garden, man’s first abode. 

The glorious guests were gone. 

So might the days have been brightly told — 
Those days of song and dreams,— 

When shepherds gathered their flocks of old, 

Bj» the blue Arcadian streams. 

So in those isles of delight, that rest 
Far off in a breezeless main. 

Which many a bark, with a weary quest, 

Has sought, but still in vain. 





















INTRODUCTION*. 


Yet is not life, in its real flight, 

Marked thus—even thus—on earth, 

i 

By the closing of one hope’s delight, 

And another’s gentle birth ? 

Oh ! let us live, so that flower by flower, 

Shutting in turn, may leave 

A lingerer still for the sun-set hour, 

A charm for the shaded eve. 

And among other poets we often meet with 
allusions to floral dials. 

The dial, hid by weeds and flowers, 
Hath told, by none beheld, the solitary hours. 

WILSON. 

Young Joy ne’er thought of counting hours, 

’Till Care, one summer’s morning, 

Set up, among his smiling flowers, 

A dial by way of warning. 

MURRAY. 

What a wide field for the imagination is displayed 
in the succeeding quotation from Hartley Coleridge. 
We might fancy ourselves luxuriating in a garden 
of roses, where “every flower that blows” would 
add to our felicity; where the most agreeable and 
delightful companions were assembled to pass the 













14 INTRODUCTION. 


hours in heedless pleasure,—where no care,—no sor¬ 
row,—no unpleasant recollections of past disap¬ 
pointments,—of hopes destroyed,—or the overthrow 
of anticipated happiness,—are allowed to interrupt 
our joy, and mar the beauty of the enchanted scene. 
Alas! these are but-day dreams scattered by a 
breath. The rude realities of life—the continual 
frustration of long-cherished designs,—and the con¬ 
stant blighting, if not extinction of our fondest 
i hopes,—all prove how utterly fallacious are the 
projects on which unassisted man attempts to con¬ 
struct a durable felicity. Read it! Does it not 
! carry our fancy to an airy Eden P 

Shall I sing of happy hours 

Numbered by opening and closing flowers ? 

Of smiles, and sighs that give no pain, 

And seem as they were heard in vain— 

Softly heard in leafy bowers, 

Blent with the whispers of the vine, 

The half blush of the eglantine, 

And the pure sweetness of the jessamine; 

What is it those sighs confess ? 

But we are extending this part beyond our limits. 
Flowers afford a certain means of determining the 
state of the atmosphere. u Many species are ad- 











INTRODUCTION. 15 


mirable barometers. Most of the bulbous-rooted 
flowers contract, or clo^e their petals entirely, on 
the approach of rain. The African marigold indi¬ 
cates rain, if the corolla is closed after seven or 
eight in the morning. The common bindweed closes 
its flowers on the approach of rain ; but the ana- 
gallis arvensis, or scarlet pimpernel,” which we 
often call shepherd’s weather-glass, u is the most 
sure in its indications, as the petals constantly 
close on the least humidity of atmosphere. Barley 
is also singularly affected by the moisture or the 
dryness of the air. The awns are furnished with 
stiff points, all turning towards one end ; which ex¬ 
tend when moist, and shorten when dry. The 
points, too, prevent their receding, so that they are 
drawn up or forward ; as moisture is returned, they 
advance, and so on ; indeed, they may actually be 
said to travel forwards. The capsules of the gera¬ 
nium furnish admirable barometers. Fasten the 
beard when fully ripe, upon a stand, and it will 
twist itself, or untwist, according as the air is 
moist or dry. The flowers of the chick-weed, 
convolvulus, and oxalis, or wood sorrel, close their 
petals on the approach of rain.” 



















16 INTRODUCTION. 


Gardens have been the delight of poets in all 
ages. All our poets have sung of flowers. They 
serve all purposes ; and we are reminded of the 
fable of the flowers, where the rose says,— 

What can a poet do without us ? 

u But it is not poets alone who half worship 
flowers. What an enthusiastic devotion is that 
which sends a man from the attractions of home, 
the ties of neighbourhood, the bonds of country, to 
range plains, valleys, hills, and mountains, for a 
new flower. What a spirit must have animated 
Hermann, Hasselquist, Tournefort, Linnaeus, So- 
lander, Sausure, Humboldt, and hundreds of those 
who have sacrificed every personal convenience and 
selfish motive for the sake of illustrating the volume 
of nature, and opening almost a new existence upon 
those whose researches are necessarily limited. But 
the love of flowers is not shared exclusively by the 
poet and the naturalist. Oh! no, the little child 
loves the flower garden, and watches with intense 
interest the early opening buds, such fair types of 
itself. The young, the middle aged, and the hoary 
head, silvered with the snows of three-score years 














INTRODUCTION. 17 


and ten ; all, all bane: with delight over the bloom¬ 
ing parterre. The bud of infancy, the half ex¬ 
panded flower of youth, the perfect blooms of the 
meridian of life, and the drooping leaves of closing 
existence, are here all seen and noted. No wondet 
that man, in the beautiful simplicity of earlier 
times, loved flowers, and hence formed an eloquer! 
language, that spoke to the heart in a ‘ still small 
voice,’ more touching than the tenderest accents. 
No wonder that the most lovely ornament for the 
young virgin was a chaplet of fair flowers; the 
most glorious distinction of the warrior a wreath of 
bays. No wonder that the bier of the early dead 
was strewed with these passing emblems of a 
passing existence.” 

The flowers that we behold each year, 

In checquered meads their heads to rear, 

Now rising from their tomb, 

E’en these do cry, 

That though men die, 

^ New life from death may come. 

UAGTHOKPE. 

May-day •- May-day, that revives such joyful re¬ 
miniscences of our childhood—bringing back to us 











INTRODUCTION. 


18 


the pleasures of “by-past time,” in remembrance 
and reality, May-day must not be forgotton. 

Hail! thou of ever-circling time, 

That gracest still the ceaseless flow! 

Bright blossoms of the seasons prime, 

# Aye hastening on to winter’s snow! 

Hail! thou, the fleet year’s pride and prime ! 

Hail! day, which fame should bid to bloom ! 

Hail! image of primeval time! 

Hail! sample of a world to come ! 

EANGHOKNE. 

“ The flowery month of May,” says Peacham, 
“ must be drawn as a youth, with a sweet and 
amiable countenance, clad in a robe of white and 
green, embroidered with daffodils, hawthorns, and 
blue bottles; upon his head a garland of white, 
damask, and red roses ; in one hand a lute; upon 
the fore-finger of the other a nightingale ; and the 
sign Gemini in the back-ground. 

May-day festivities are now falling rapidly into 
disuse; but in ancient times it was celebrated as 
was fitting by the young. They rose shortly after 
midnight, and went to some neighbouring wood, 




INTRODUCTION. 19 


attended by songs and music, there breaking green 
branches from the trees, and making nosegays, 
wreaths, and crowns of flowers. They returned 
home at the rising of the sun, and made their win¬ 
dows and their doors gay with garlands. In the 
villages they danced during the day round the May- 
pole, which afterwards remained the whole year un¬ 
touched, except by the seasons, a fading emblem, 
and a consecrated offering to the goddess of flowers.” 
Chaucer, in his conclusion of the Court of Love, 
hath described the feast of May. 

Forth goth all the court, both most and least, 

To fetch the floures fresh, and branch and blome.— 
And namely hawthorn brought both page and grome. 
And then rejoysen in their great delite, 

Eke ech at others threw the floures bright, 

The primrose, violete, and the gold, 

With fresh garlants party blue and white. 

The twenty-ninth of May, the anniversary of 
the restoration of King Charles, is celebrated at 
Gainsborough, in Lincolnshire, with much rejoicing 
among the junior members of the community. Ris¬ 
ing early in the morning, they sally forth into the 
neighbouring woods, and break ofF large boughs 
from the oak trees, which they convey into the 








20 INTRODUCTION. 


town, and fix them projecting from the windows. 
To these they suspend garlands of flowers, orna¬ 
mented with birds’ eggs, which are cruelly taken 
from the nests found in the hedges around. Gar¬ 
lands are also suspended over the streets, by cords 
passing from one window to another on the opposite 
side. Boys also deck their hats with a twig of the 
oak tree, the leaves of which they ornament with 
gold leaf. 

To pass, however, more immediately to the con 
tents of this little work, we would observe, that the 
sentimental language of Flora is by no means of 
modem invention. “ The hieroglyphics of the an¬ 
cient Egyptians abound in floral symbols, and from 
hence we may surmise that the Gieeks became ac¬ 
customed to this figurative language. Their poetical 
fables are full of the metamorphoses of their deities 
into plants ; indeed, there was no flower to which 
their imaginations had not affixed some meaning; 
even to this day a young Arcadian is seldom seen 
without his turban full of flowers, presented to him 
by the beauty he admires, by the silent language of 
which his hopes are kept alive; and it forms one of 
the chief amusements of the Greek girls to drop 










INTRODUCTION. 21 


these symbols of their esteem or scorn upon the 
various passengers who pass their latticed windows.” 

In the gardens of the East, Flora receives the 
homage due for her w r id civ-scattered and various 
gifts. Oh ! flowers—flowers—we may well think 
them the “alphabet of the angels.” But how 
coldly do we look on them; how often are we re¬ 
gardless of their charms here; w r hile in other lands 
they almost subserve the use of writing,—expressing 
by a blossom, joy, grief, hope, despair, devotion, 
piety, and almost every sentiment that fills the mind. 

In Eastern lands they talk in flowers, 

And they tell in a garland their loves and cares ; 
Each blossom that blooms in their garden bowers, 
On its leaves a mystic language bears. 

The rose is the sign of joy and love, 

Young blushing love in its earliest dawn ; 

And the mildness that suits the gentle dove, 

From the myrtle’s snowy flower is drawn. 

Innocence dwells in the lily’s bell, 

Pure as a heart in its native heaven ; 

Fame’s bright star and glory’s swell, 

By the glossy leaf of the bay are given. 

The silent, soft, and humble heart 
In the violet’s hidden sweetness breathes ; 










22 INTRODUCTION. 


And the tender soul that cannot part, 

A twine of evergreen fondly wreathes. 

The cypress that darkly shades the grave, 
Is sorrow that mourns its bitter lot ; 

And faith that a thousand ills can brave, 
Speaks in thy blue leaves, Forget-me-not. 


Then gather a -wreath from the garden bowers. 

And tell the wish of thy heart in flowers. 

PERCIVAL. 

Lady M. W. Montagu was one of the first to 
introduce floral language into Europe. When at 
Pera, she sent a Turkish love letter to a friend in 
England, from which we extract the botanical 
emblems. 


CLOVE. 


JONQUIL. 

PEAR. 

A ROSE. 


You are as slender as this clove! 

You are an unblown rose ! 

I have long loved you, and you have not 
known it. 

Have pity on my passion ! 

Give me some hope ! 

May you be pleased, and your sorrows 
mine ! 


A STRAW. 

CINNAMON. 

PEPPER. 


Suffer me to be your slave ! 
But my fortune is yours ! 
Send me an answer! 









INTRODUCTION. 23 


Her ladyship states that there is no flower without 
a verse belonging to it; and that it is possible to 
quarrel, reproach, or send letters of passion, friend¬ 
ship, or civility, or even of news, without ever 
inking the fingers. 

Happy the young and light-hearted maiden who, 
ignorant of the silly pleasures of the world, feels no 
occupation to be more agreeable than the study of 
plants. She seeks in the field her most touching 
ornaments ; each spring brings to her new joys ; and 
every morning a fresh harvest of flowers repays her 
diligent cultivation ; a garden is to her an inex¬ 
haustible source of delight and instruction. By a 
charming art these beautiful productions of nature 
are converted into liquid perfumes, precious essences, 
or valuable conserves. One of the most delightful 
accomplishments that can be chosen for the fair sex 
is that of catching the transient shades of beauty 
which are found upon flowers, and fixing them on 
paper. The able pencil shows to us the queen of 
spring with her spherical form, her delicate colours, 
the beautiful green of her foliage, the thorns which 
protect her, the dew-drops which bathe her, and 
the butterfly which skims lightly over her beautiful 





21 


INTRODUCTION 


form. “The beauty and grace that may be dis¬ 
played in grouping flowers, united with the gaiety 
of their colours, and the harmony of their tints, are 
objects well worthy the attention of those who were 
born to render life delightful,” Nothing is forgotten 
in depicting them ; and when we look upon the 
faithful representative, even in the depths of winter, 
we may fancy that we inhale the perfumes of spring. 
This study, in imparting a taste for all that is 
beautiful in nature, fills the soul with ravishing 
emotions, and opens before us the enchanted ave- 
! nues of a world full of wonders. “ Flowers,” says 
Pliny, “ are the joy of the shrubs which bear them.” 
This eminent observer of nature might also have 
added, “and of those who love them and cultivate 
them.” 

The interpreters of our sweetest sentiments, 
flowers lend their charms even to love—to that pure 
and chaste affection, which, as Plato observes, is 
an inspiration from the gods. The expression of 
this divine passion ought to be divine also, and it 
was to illustrate this that flowers were ingeniously 
made emblematical of our most delicate sentiments; 
they do, in fact, utter in “silent eloquence” a lan- 













INTRODUCTION. 25 


guage better than writing; they are the delicate 
symbols of the illusions of a tender heart and of a 
lively and brilliant imagination. In the glorious 
days of chivalry, the respectful lover oft made use 
of the sweet language of flowers. Gothic books 
are full of emblems composed of flowers; and we 
find, in the romance of Perceforet , that a garland 
of roses is the lover’s treasure. We read also in 
that of Amadis, that Oriana, a prisoner who had 
neither the opportunity of speaking nor writing to 
her lover, apprised him of her misfortune by throw¬ 
ing, from the high tower in which she was con¬ 
fined, a rose bathed in her tears. What a charming 
expression of sorrow and of love! The Chinese 
have an alphabet composed entirely of plants and 
roots; and we may yet read upon the rocks of 
Egypt the ancient conquests over that people, re¬ 
corded by foreign plants. This language is as old 
as the world, but its characters are renewed in each 
succeeding spring. 

Should a beautiful odalisk wish to avenge herself 
on a tyrant who has treated her with cruelty, she 
may, with a single floweret of the lily of the valley, 
thrown as by chance, inform a young icoglan, that 














26 


INTRODUCTION. 


the favourite sultana, weary of her tyrannous lord, 
wishes to inspire a sentiment of lively and pure 
affection. If he should return a rose, it would be 
as though he had said that reason was opposed to 
her projects ; but a tulip, with black heart, and 
flame-coloured petals, would assure her that her 
wishes were understood and partaken of. This is 
an ingenious mode of correspondence, which can 
never betray or divulge a secret. 

This eloquent language gives a charm to the ' 
sweet intercourse of friendship, and to filial and 
maternal love ; it adds to the delight of youthful 
affections, and affords an excellent mode of recog¬ 
nition. The unfortunate may even find a faithful 
messenger in a flower. Roucher, when in solitary 
confinement, consoled himself in studying the 
flowers which his daughter collected for him; and, a 
few days before his death, he sent her two dead 
lilies, to express, at the same time, the purity of 
his soul and the fate which awaited him. 

The poet Saadi, author of “ G-ulistan, or the 
Rose Garden,” engaged to break his chains by 
i presenting a rose to the man who owned him as his 
slave. He said, “ Do good unto thy servant 















INTRODUCTION. 


27 


whilst thou hast it in thy power, for the season of 
power is often as brief as the existence of this 
beautiful flower.” 

The sentiments and emblems found in this volume 
are chiefly derived from the ancients, and especially 
from Eastern nations. In pursuing the research, it 
has been found that time, instead of rendering their 
sentiments less appropriate, has confirmed their > 
fitness, and continually added new charms to the ; 
language. Little study is necessary in the science j 
here taught; nature has been before us. It will ! 
suffice that two or three rules be given, w T hich the 
reader will do well first to learn, and then by refe¬ 
rence to the work, which is systematically arranged 
for the purpose, he will be enabled to converse in 
the language of flowers. By the first rule, a flower 
presented inclining to the right, expresses a thought; ; 
reversed, it is understood to convey the contrary of 

i 

that sentiment. Eor example:—A rose-bud, with j 
its thorns and leaves, is understood to say, “ I fear, 
but I hope.” The same rose-bud reversed, would 
signify that “You must neither fear nor hope.” 
You may convey your sentiments very well by a 
single flower. As the second rule, take the rose- 
















INTRODUCTION 


28 


bud which has already served us for an example, 
and strip it of its thorns, it tells you that “There 
is every thing to hope.” Strip it of its leaves, it 
will express that “ There is everything to fear.” 

The expression of nearly all flowers may he 
varied hy changing their position. Thus, the ma¬ 
rigold, for example ; placed upon the head, it sig¬ 
nifies “ distress of mind;” upon the heart, “the 
pains of love;” upon the breast, “ennui.” It is 
also necessary to know that the pronoun I is under¬ 
stood by inclining the flower to the right, and the 
pronoun thou by inclining it to the left. 

Such are the first principles of this mysterious 
language. Love and friendship ought to join their 
discoveries to render it more perfect ; these senti¬ 
ments, the most delightful in nature, are alone able 
to perfect what they have originated. 





THE 

SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


ABSENCE. 

WORMWOOD—ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM. 

Wormwood is considered the bitterest of plants ; 
it bears flowers of a greenish yellow. Its scientific 
name, Absinthium , is derived from the Greek, and 
signifies—without sweetness. It is, therefore, very 
appropriately made the emblem of absence ; which, 
according to La Fontaine, is the greatest of evils. 
To be separated from those to whom we are de¬ 
votedly attached, is assuredly one of the severest 
trials of life ; and if that separation be involuntary, 
or only in obedience to those who have the guar¬ 
dianship of our early years, the wretchedness of 
absence is enhanced threefold. There is all the 
anxiety for the health and comfort of the absent, 
without any opportunity of offering consolation ; 
for though “the heart alone knows its own bitter¬ 
ness,” we feel that the sympathy of a friend can 
often alleviate the deepest distress. 





30 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


ACCOMMODATING DISPOSITION. 

RED VALERIAN—VALERIANA RUBRA. 

The red flowered valerian has but recently been 
introduced into our gardens from the Alpine rocks, 
where it grows naturally. Its appearance is showy, 
but always disordered. In its cultivated state it 
still has the bearing of a rustic, which imparts 
to it somewhat of the air of a parvenu; notwith¬ 
standing, this wild beauty owes its fortune to its 
merit. Its root is an excellent remedy for those 
diseases which produce weakness ; an infusion of it 
strengthens the sight, reanimates the spirits, and 
drives away melancholy. It continues in flower 
nearly the whole year, and is much improved by 
cultivation, though it never disdains its wild origin, 
but often quits our borders to deck the sides of a 
barren hill, or to climb over old and ruined walls. 
The valerians of our woods and our fields possess 
greater medicinal virtues and as much beauty as 
this emblem of an accommodating disposition ; but 
they are neglected by the florist, because they yield 
not so gracefully to his training hand as that de¬ 
rived from the Alps. It is difficult to say whence 
it derives the name of valerian; Linnaeus supposes 
it to be named after a certain king, Valerius, whilst 
De Theis thinks it altered from the verb valere (to 
heal), on account of its medicinal qualities. 

















ACTIVITY. 


31 


ADMIRATION. 

GERANIUM. 

No flower unites within itself so many qualities 
which render a plant worthy of our care and culture 
as the Geranium. By these it commands universal 
admiration, and has become the favourite parlour 
and window flower ; and deservedly so, for it con- 
j tinues to flower for a longer period, and is less 
affected by change of heat and cold, dryness and 
moisture, during the flowering season, than almost 
any other that has been selected to adorn our 
dwelling rooms. How truly does one of the amiable 
authors of the “Bouquet des Souvenirs’ 7 thus speak 
of the Geranium— 

Geranium! in the cultured round, 

Than thee no flower more prized is found, 

And none doth seem more fair. 

ACTIVITY. 

THYME—THYMUS SERPYLLUM. 

The wild bee ’mid abed of thyme. 

H. COLERIDGE. 

Flies of all shapes, beetles of every colour, with 
the industrious bee and gay butterfly, continually 
surround the flowery tufts of thyme. It may be 
that this lowly plant appears to these light-winged 













32 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


inhabitants of the air, whose ephemeral lives cease 
ere spring closes, as an immense tree covered with 
eternal verdure, and as old as the parth itself, upon 
which these sparkling flowers are fixed, like so 
many splendid vases filled with honey for their use 
and enjoyment alone. 

The ancient Greeks regarded thyme as the sym¬ 
bol of activity* No doubt they had observed that 
its aromatic perfume was very salutary to the 
aged, whose exhausted powers it revives, im¬ 
parting fresh energy and vigour. 

Activity is a warlike virtue, and is invariably’ 
associated w'ith genuine courage. In the days of 
chivalry r , ladies often embroidered on the scarfs of 
their knights, a bee hovering around a sprig of 
thyme. Tt is said, that he who adopted this two¬ 
fold symbol was endowed with the quality of gentle¬ 
ness in all his actions. 


AFTER-THOUGHT. 

MICHAELMAS DAISY—ASTER TRIPOLIUM. 

This plant begins to put forth its flowers when 
others are becoming rare. Its hardy nature renders 
it suitable to any soil or situation ; and its beautiful 
flowers enliven our gardens as the floral season 
closes. It seems to be the after-thought of Flora, 
who smiles on our parterres as she leaves them. 








AGITATION. 33 

— 

AGITATION. 

TREMBLING OR QUAKING GRASS—BRIZA MEDIA. 

MOVING PLANT—HEDYSARUM GYRANS. 

The common quaking grass is very ornamental in 
its appearance, and is frequently gathered and 
placed in vases in drawing rooms, of which its 
elegance renders it a fit occupant. Linnaeus ob¬ 
serves that the moving plant is wonderful on account 
of its voluntary motion, which is not caused by any 
touch, irritation, or movement in the air, as in the 
sensitive plant, <fcc. No sooner have the plants, 
raised from seed, acquired their ternate leaves, 
than they begin to be in motion this way and that. 
This movement never ceases during the whole 
period of their vegetation, nor are they observant of 
any direction, order, or time. One leaf will fre¬ 
quently revolve, while another on the same petiole 
is still; and sometimes a few leaflets only will be 
seen in motion, then nearly all move at once. The 
whole plant is very rarely agitated, and that only 
during its first year. Swartz observes that the 
motion is irregular, and that it sometimes ceases 
entirely; that it is immoveable in a very hot day, 
being agitated only in the evening, and that slowly. 
In our climate, the leaves, in general, only make 
a faint and feeble attempt towards the middle of the 
day in exerting their extraordinary faculty. 











34 SENTIMENT OF FLOWEFvS. 


AMIABILITY. 

JASMINE—JASMINUM OFFICINALE. 

The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets, 

The deep dark green of whose unvarnished leaf 
Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more 
The bright profusion of her scattex-’d stars. 

COW FES. 

There are some persons endowed with a dis¬ 
position so happy, that they seem to be sent into 
the world to be the bonds of society. There is so 
much of grace and ease in their manners, that they 
adapt themselves to every situation, accommodate 
themselves to all tastes, and infuse cheerfulness 
into every company. They flatter none; they 
affect nothing, and never give offence. This 
quality is as much the gift of heaven as the lovely 
countenance which enchants the beholder by its 
beauty. In a word, they please, because nature 
has made them amiable. 

The jasmine seems as though it had been created 
to express the quality of amiability. When first 
introduced into France by some Spanish navigators, 
about 1560, it was greatly admired for the light¬ 
ness of its branches and the delicate lustre of its 
star-like flowers. It was deemed necessary to place 
a plant so elegant and apparently tender in the hot- 
















AMIABILITY. 35 

house. It was then tried in the orangery, where it 
grew marvellously well; and at length it was ex¬ 
posed in the open ground, where it now grows as 
freely as in its native soil, braving the most rigorous 
winters without requiring any care or attention. 

The flexible branches of this odoriferous shrub 
may be trained according to our pleasure. It will 
climb our palisades, and weave itself around our 
trellised arches, and cover the dead wall with an 
evergreen tapestry, and run gaily along our terraces 
and our walks. It is also obedient to the scissors of 
the gardener, who forms it into bushy shrubs or 
grotesque figures ; and, in every form, it lavishes 
upon us an abundant harvest of flowers, which per¬ 
fume, refresh, and purify the air in our groves. 

Then how serene ! when in your favourite room, 

Gales from your jasmines soothe the evening gloom. 

CRABBE. 

These charming flowers offer a rich cup to the 
gay and painted butterfly, which is never seen to 
greater advantage than when it is sipping the per¬ 
fumed honey from the delicate petals of the white 
jasmine. 

This beautiful plant grew in Hampton Court 
garden at the end of the seventeenth century ; but, 
being lost there, was known only in Europe in the 
garden of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, at Pisa. 
From a jealous and selfish anxiety that he should 


















$ 

36 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


j continue to be the sole possessor of a plant so charm¬ 
ing and so rare, he strictly charged his gardener 
not to give a single sprig, or even a flower, to any 
person. The gardener might have been faithful if 
he had not loved ; but, being attached to a fair, 
though portionless damsel, he presented her with a 
bouquet on her birth-day; and, in order to render it 
more acceptable, ornamented it with a sprig of 
jasmine. The young maiden, to preserve the fresh¬ 
ness of this pretty stranger, placed it in the earth, 
where it remained green until the return of spring, 
when it budded forth and was covered with flowers. 
She had profited by her lover’s lessons, and now 
cultivated her highly prized jasmine with care, for 
which she was amply repaid by its rapid growth. 
The poverty of the lovers had been a bar to their 
union ; now, how r ever, by the sale of cuttings from 
the plant which love had given her, she amassed 
a little fortune, which she bestowed, with her hand, 

| upon the gardener of her heart. The young girls of 
Tuscany, in remembrance of this adventure, always 
deck themselves, on their wedding-day, with a 
nosegay of jasmine; and they have a proverb, that 
“ she who is worthy to wear a nosegay of jasmine 
is as good as a fortune to her husband.” 

Ought we not then to cultivate more generally 
what love first scattered abroad ? for Cotton ob¬ 
serves how numerous are the purposes to which it 
may be applied : 
















ARDOUR. 


37 


Here jasmine spreads the silver flower, 

T o deck the wall or weave the bower. 

Carrington, one of nature’s poets, makes it ex¬ 
pressive of sympathy; which is a very prominent 
I quality in amiability : 

The jasmine droops above the honoured dead. 

Churchill makes this plant one of Flora’s fa¬ 
vourites. 

| 

The jessamine, with which the queen of flowers, 

T o charm her god, adorns his favourite bowers ; 

Which brides, by the plain hand of neatness drest, 

Unenvied rival! wear. 

The seed of the jasmine will not ripen in our 
climate, but the plant is increased by layering 
down the branches, which take root in one year; 
they may then be separated from the parent stock, 
and be planted where they are to remain. It may 
also be propagated by cuttings, which ought to be 
planted in the early part of autumn, and the earth 
covered with sand, ashes, or saw-dust, to keep the 
frost from entering the ground. 

ARDOUR. 

CUCKOO pint; or wake ROBIN—ARUM 
MACULATUM. 

The roots of these plants, of which there are j 
more than fifty species, are nearly white. On 











I 38 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


tasting them they seem to be merely mucilaginous 
and tasteless; but they soon affect the tongue as if 
pricked with needles. This disagreeable sensation 
may be alleviated by milk, butter, or oil. The 
plant is very abundant in the isle of Portland, where 
the roots are eaten by the country people. They 
are also macerated, steeped, and dried to a powder, 
which is sent to London, where it is sold under the 
name of Portland sago. The French also obtain a 
powder from them, which is used as a wash for the 
skin, being sold under the title of Cypress powder. 


ARTIFICE. 

CLEMATIS—CLEMATIS FLAMMULA. 

This is a climbing shrub of rapid growth, orna¬ 
mental, and highly fragrant. Its leaves are used 
by mendicants to produce ulcers, in order to excite 
commiseration. This infamous artifice is often the 
cause of real and permanent wounds. 

A beautiful species of this flower has been intro¬ 
duced into this country by Dr. Siebold, which has 
been named the Violet Clematis (Clematis Coerulea). 
Its flowers are of a deep blue or purple colour, of 
great delicacy and transparency. It grows freely 
and blooms profusely, and is considered by florists 
to be a great accession to our hardy climbers. 












ARTS (THE). 39 


ARTS (THE). 

bear’s BREECH—ACANTHUS MOLLIS. 

-the roof 

Of thickest covert was inwoven shade, 

Laurel and myrtle, and what higher grew 
Of firm and fragrant leaf ; on either side 
Acanthus, and each odorous bushy shrub, 

Fenced up the verdant wall; each beauteous flower, 
Iris all hues, roses, and jessamine, 

Rear’d high their flourish’d heads between, and 
wrought 

Mosaic ; underfoot the violet, 

Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay, 

Broider’d the ground, more colour’d than with stone 
Of costliest emblem. 

PARADISE LOST. 

The acanthus is found in hot countries, along the 
shores of great rivers. 

Le Nil du vert Acanthe admire le feuillage. 

It grows freely in our climate; and Pliny assures 
us that it is a garden herb, and is admirably adapted 
for ornament and embellishment. The ancients 
tastefully adorned their furniture, vases, and most 
costly attire, with its elegant leaves. And Virgil 
writes, that the veil of Helen was adorned with 
saffron coloured acanthus. 

Pictum croceo velamen acantho. 

This beautiful model of the arts has become their 














40 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


emblem ; and he will be talented indeed, who shall 
produce anything to excel its richness. If any ob¬ 
stacle resists the growth of the acanthus, it seems 
to struggle to overcome it, and to vegetate with 
renewed vigour. So genius, when acted upon by 
resistance or opposition, redoubles its attempts to 
overthrow every impediment in its path. 

It is said that the architect, Callimach, passing 
near the tomb of a young maiden who had died a 
few days before the time appointed for her nuptials, 
moved by tenderness and pity, approached to scatter 
some flowers on her tomb. Another tribute to her 
memory had preceded his. Her nurse had collected 
the flowers which should have decked her on her 
wedding-day; and putting them, with the marriage 
veil, in a little basket, had placed it near the grave 
upon a plant of acanthus, and then covered it with 
a tile. In the succeeding spring the leaves of the 
acanthus grew round the basket; but, being stayed 
in their growth by the projecting tile, they recoiled 
and surmounted its extremities. Callimach, sur¬ 
prised by this rural decoration, which seemed the 
work of the Graces in tears, conceived the capital 
of the Corinthian column ; a magnificent ornament, 
still used and admired by the whole civilized world. 










ASSIGNATION. 


41 


ASSIGNATION. 

PIMPERNEL—ANAGALLIS ARVENSIS. 

Pliny states that the Greeks and Romans, mix¬ 
ing the juice of this plant with honey, used the 
compound for complaints of the eyes. Ettmuller, 
and others, regarded it as a cure for madness ; and 
Quercetanus, who was noted for his ability to cure 
this disease, administered decoctions of pimpernel 
after antimonial vomits and laxative medicine. In 
malignant fevers, accompanied with low muttering 
delirium, or when the functions of the brain are 
disturbed, it is said to be an efficacious medicine. 
Its medicinal qualities, for various other diseases, 
have been highly extolled by many writers. 

The common pimpernel is a beautiful trailing 
weed, and one of the Florce horologies, opening its 
flowers regularly about eight minutes past seven 
o’clock, and closing them about three minutes past 
two o’clock. It serves, also, as an hydrometer; 
for, if rain fall, or there be much moisture in the 
atmosphere, the flowers either do not open, or close 
up again. It is frequently called the shepherd’s 
w’eather glass. 

Closed is the pink-eyed pimpernel, 

'Twill surely rain, I see, with sorrow, 

Our jaunt must be put off to-morrow. 

Dlt. JENNER. 




42 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


It is the only British scarlet flower besides the 
poppy. 

ASYLUM, PROTECTION. 

JUNIPER—JUNIPERUS COMMUNIS. 

The ancients consecrated this shrub to the Eu- 
menides. The smoke of its green branches was the 
incense which, in preference, they chose to offer to 
the infernal gods ; and burnt its berries on funereal 
occasions, to drive away evil spirits. The simple 
villagers of our own land superstitiously believe that 
the perfume of its berries purifies the air, and pro¬ 
tects them from the malevolence of wicked genii. 

The Chinese delight to decorate their gardens 
with this plant. It groups and combines very well 
with cypresses, American cedars, and various species 
of the pine and fir tribe. It. is commonly found 
growing wild on the outskirts of woods and forests, 
where it often affords a safe retreat to the hunted 
hare, which, in the last extremity, conceals itself 
beneath its protecting branches. It is said that the 
powerful odour emitted by this plant defeats the 
keen scent of the hound. 

Its thick branches, bristling with thorns, are 
covered with thousands of brilliant insects, which 
seem to imagine that this tree is provided as a pro¬ 
tection for their weakness. 














AVERSION. 43 


AUSTERITY. 

THISTLE—CARDUUS NUTANS. 

This prickly, though somewhat graceful weed, 
has given its title to a Scotch order of knighthood, 
it might be said the Scotch order par eminence; as 
it also bears the name of St. Andrew, the patron 
saint of that nation. The collar is of gold, inter¬ 
laced w r ith flowers of the thistle, and bears the 
following motto: “ Nemo me impune lacessit "— 
None shall annoy me with impunity. 

, AVERSION. 

THE CHINA, OR INDIAN PINK—DIANTIIUS 
CHINENSIS. 

This gaily painted fiow r er we have taken from 
the fertile soil of the east to decorate our parterres. 
Its colours are richer than those of the sweet 
william, and it continues in flower for a longer 
period ; but 11 its flowers being placed singly on 
branching stems, like those of the common pink, 
they never present that fine mass of colour which 
the large umbel of the sweet william exhibits, and 
they are entirely deficient of that fragrance for 
w r hich the pink is so much admired.” 










44 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


BASENESS. 

DODDER—CUSCUTA EUROP^A. 

The cuscuta, or dodder, is a genus of para¬ 
sitical plants, fastening itself to, and deriving its 
nourishment from others. The seed does not split 
into lobes, but opens and puts forth a little spiral 
body, which is the embryo. The stalk, which is 
utterly destitute of leaves, twines about some other 
plant, contrary to the sun’s apparent motion; or 
from right to left, sending out from the inner sur¬ 
face a number of little vesicles, which attach them¬ 
selves to the bark of the supporting plant. By 
degrees, the longitudinal vessels of the stalk shoot 
from their extremities, and insinuate themselves so 
intimately, that it is easier to break than to disen¬ 
gage them. Like the vile parasite, it draws all the 
strength from its supporter, until that perishes. 

BEAUTY. 

ROSE—ROSA. 

Rose ! thou art the sweetest flower, 

That ever drank the amber shower; 

Rose ! thou art the fondest child 
Of dimpled spring, the wood nymph wild ! 

MOORE’S ANACREON. 

This beautiful flower, and universal favourite of 












BEAUTY 



nature, has never been described in language ade¬ 
quate to convey an idea of its charms, although 
each poet in turn has made it the theme of song, or 
introduced eulogiums on its beauty to heighten the 
attractions of his poesy. 

Not one of all the train has, however, been able 
to do justice to its merits, though they have deno¬ 
minated it the daughter of heaven, the ornament of 
the earth, and the glory of spring. 

When it opens its delicate buds, the eye surveys 
its harmonious outlines with delight. But how 
shall we describe the delicate tints of its enchanting 
colours, or the sweet perfume which it exhales P 
Behold, in the spring it raises itself softly in the 
midst of its elegant foliage, surrounded by its nu¬ 
merous buds. This, the queen of flowers, and the 
pride of Flora, seems to sport with the air that fans 
her, to deck herself with the dew-drops that impearl 
her, and to smile upon the rays of the sun which 
cause the expansion of her beautiful form. 

Proud be the rose, with rains and dews 
Her headimpearling. 

WORDSWORTH. 


In producing this flower, nature appears to have 
exhausted herself by her prodigality, in attempting 
to produce so fine a specimen of freshness, of beauty 
in form, of exquisite perfume, of brilliancy of 














46 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


colour, and of grace. The rose adorns the whole 
earth, as it is the commonest of flowers. The same 
day that its beauty is perfected it dies; but each 
spring restores it to us with renewed freshness. 
Poets have had fair opportunities for singing its 
praises, yet they have not rendered its eulogy 
common-place, but its name alone redeems their 
names from forgetfulness. Emblem of all ages,— 
interpreter of all our sentiments,—the rose mingles 
in the gaiety of our feasts, in our happiness, and in 
our sorrows. It is also the ornament of beauty, and 
lends its soft carnationhues to the blush of modesty. 
It is given as the prize of virtue ; and is the image 
of youth, of innocence, and of pleasure. Venus is 
said to feel that she has a rival in the rose, as it 
possesses, like her, a grace which is more lovely 
than beauty itself. 

Anacreon, the poet of love, has celebrated the 
rose; and, perhaps, he has sung its praise more 
worthily than any of his successors. Moore has 
thus translated the Ode:—• 

While we invoke the wreathed spring, 

Resplendent rose! to thee we’ll sing ; 

Resplendent rose, the flower of flowers, 

Whose breath perfumes Olympus’ bowers ; 

Whose virgin blush, of chasten’d dye, 

Enchants so much our mortal eye. 

When pleasure’s bloomy season glows, 

The Graces love to twine the rose ; 














BEAUTY. 


The rose is warm Dione’s bliss, 

And flushes like Dione’s kiss. 

Oft has the poet’s magic tongue 
The rose’s fair luxuriance sung ; 

And long the Muses, heavenly maids, 
Have rear’d it in their tuneful shades. 
When, at the early glance of morn, 

It sleeps upon the glittering thorn, 

’Tis sweet to dare the tangled fence, 

T o cull the timid flow’ret thence, 

And wipe with tender hand away 
The tear that on its blushes lay ! 

’Tis sweet to hold the infant stems, 

Yet dropping with Aurora’s gems, 

And fresh inhale the spicy sighs 
That from the weeping buds ai’ise. 
When revel reigns, when mirth is high, 
And Bacchus beams in every eye, 

Our rosy fillets scent exhale, 

And fill with balm the fainting gale ! 

Oh ! there is nought in nature bright, 
Where roses do not shed their light ! 
When morning paints the orient skies, 
Her fingers burn with roseate dyes ; 

The nymphs display the rose’s charms, 
It mantles o’er their graceful arms ; 
Through Cytherea’s form it glows, 

And mingles with the living snows. 

The rose distils a healing balm, 

The beating pulse of pain to calm ; V 
Preserves the cold inurn ed clay, 

And mocks the vestige of decay : 

And when at length, in pale decline, 

Its florid beauties fade and pine, 

Sweet as in youth, its balmy breath 
Diffuses odour e’en in death ! 
















48 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Oh ! whence could such a plant have sprung ? 
Attend—for thus the tale is sung :— 

When, humid, from the silvery stream, 

Effusing beauty’s warmest beam, 

Yenus appear’d in flushing hues, 

Mellow’d by ocean’s briny dews ; 

When, in the starry courts above, 

The pregnant brain of mighty Jove 
Disclos’d the nymph of azure glance, 

The nymph who shakes the martial^lance ! 

Then, then, in strange eventful hour, 

The earth produc’d an infant flower, 

Which sprung, with blushing tinctures drest, 

And wanton’d o’er its parent breast. 

The gods beheld this brilliant birth, 

And hail’d the Rose, the boon of earth ! 

With nectar drops, a ruby tide, 

The sweetly orient buds they dyed, 

And bade them bloom, the flowers divine 
Of him who sheds the teeming vine ; 

And bade them on the spangled thorn 
Expand their bosoms to the morn. 

John Cunningham has associated the Queen of 
Flowers with the Queen of Beauty, in the following 
song, sent with a rose. 


Yes, every flower that blows 
' I pass’d unheeded by, 

Till this enchanting rose 
Had fix’d my wondering eye. 

It scented every breeze 
That wanton’d o’er the stream. 
Or trembled through the trees, 

To meet the morning beam. 















BEAUTY. 


49 


To deck that beauteous maid, 

Its fragrance can’t excel, 

From some celestial shade 
The damask charmer fell; 

And as her balmy sweets 
On Chloe’s breast she pours, 

The Queen of Beauty greets 
The gentle Queen ot Flowers. 

Jami, an eastern poet, says, “ You may place a 
hundred handfuls of fragrant herbs and flowers be¬ 
fore the nightingale: yet he wishes not, in his con¬ 
stant heart, for more than the sweet breath of his 
beloved rose.” 

Oh, sooner shall the rose of May 
Mistake her own sweet nightingale ; 

And to some meaner minstrel’s lay 
Open her bosom’s glowing veil. 

Than love shall ever doubt alone 
A breath of his beloved one. 

T. MOOKE. 

And James Montgomery says, in that sweet col¬ 
lection, the Poet’s Portfolio— 

Where the true love nightingale 
Wooes the rose in every vale. 

The following anecdote is related by Mr. Phillips, 
in his u Sylva Florifera,” of the birth of the rose : 
—“ Flora having found the corpse of a favourite 
nymph, whose beauty of person was only surpassed 
by the purity of her heart and chastity of her mind, 

D 













50 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


resolved to raise a plant from the precious remains of 
this daughter of the Dryads, for which purpose she 
begged the assistance of Venus and the Graces, as 
well as of all the deities that preside over gardens, 
to assist in the transformation of the nymph into a 
flower that was to be by them proclaimed queen of 
all the vegetable beauties. The ceremony was at¬ 
tended by the zephyrs, who cleared the atmosphere, 
in order that Apollo might bless the new-created 
progeny by his beams. Bacchus supplied rivers of 
nectar to nourish it; and Vertumnus poured his 
choicest perfumes over the plant. When the me¬ 
tamorphosis was complete, Pomona strewed her fruit 
over the young branches, which were then crowned 
by Flora with a diadem that had been purposely 
prepared by the celestials to distinguish this queen 
of flowers.” 

Moore, in his Irish Melodies, gives us a poetical 
reason for the beauty and delicious perfume of the 
rose. Others have stated that Love, in a feast of 
Olympus, in the midst of a light and lively dance, 
overthrew, with a stroke of his wing, a cup of 
nectar ; which precious liquor, falling on the rose, 
embalmed it with that delightful fragrance which 
it still retains. 

They tell us that Love in his fairy bower« 

Had two blush roses of birth divine; 

H e sprinkled the one with a rainbow’s shower. 

But bathed the other with mantling wine. 









BEAUTY, 


Soon did the buds, 

That drank of the floods 
Distill’d by the rainbow, decline and fade ; 

While those which the tide 
Of ruby had dyed 

All blush’d into beauty, like thee, sweet maid! 

MOORE. 

The rose is said to have been originally white. 
Catullus has accounted for its change of colour in 
the following beautiful lines :— 

While the enamoured queen of joy 
Flies to protect her lovely boy, 

On whom the jealous war-god rushes ; 

She treads upon a thorn ed rose, 

And while the wound with crimson flows, 

The snowy floweret feels her blood, and blushes! 


BEAUTY EVER NEW. 

CHINA, OR MONTHLY ROSE.—ROSA SEMPER- 
FLORENS. 

The patient beauty of the monthly rose. 

H. COLERIDGE. 

This plant, so frequently seen clustering round 
the cottage porch, as well in the immediate out- 







52 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


skirts of busy, smoky towns, as in the remotest 
vales, was originally brought to England in 1789. 
It was then thought so delicate as to require the 
constant heat of the stove, and small cuttings were 
sold for several guineas each This was soon found 
not to be necessary; and, in a short time, almost 
every country casement was ornamented by this 
Chinese beauty; until our cottagers, wanting means 
to purchase flower pots, planted them in the open 
ground; where, persevering in the habits of a 
warmer climate, they quickly surpassed, in strength 
and beauty, all the inmates of the “ gardens in 
which art supplies the fervour and the force of 
Indian skies.” 

This is the earliest flowering rose; and in mild 
seasons, when planted against a wall, will some¬ 
times flower in the beginning of April; and, being 
protected by glass in autumn, or aided by artificial 
heat, may be continued in bloom till Christmas. 

BELOVED DAUGHTER. 

CINQUEFOIL. —POTENTILLA REPTANS. 

The fivedeaved grass, mantling its golden cup 
Of flowers. 

CLARE. 

In rainy weather the leaves of this plant incline 
themselves over its flowers, forming a kind of ca- 





BIRTH. 53 


nopy or parapluie. It is gratifying to see a tender 
mother watching with anxious care the unfolding 
of a beloved daughter’s mind and character. 


BENEFICENCE. 

POTATO—SOLANUM TUBEROSUM. 

The potato is emphatically the friend of the 
poor. As its fruit cannot well be preserved more 
than one year, it escapes the monopolizing spirit of 
commerce. Humble and unassuming, like true cha¬ 
rity, it hides its treasures, which alike gratify the 
rich and sustain the poor. America has favoured 
us with this valuable root, which has for ever ba¬ 
nished from Europe that most fearful of all scourges 
—famine. 


BIRTH. 

DITTANY OF CRETE.—ORIGANUM DICTAMNUS. 

When Juno presided at the birth of children, 
under the name of Lucina, she wore a wreath of 
dittany. The agreeable fragrance of this shrub, 




54 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


and its medicinal qualities, which rendered it so 
celebrated among the ancients, still procure it much 
esteem. It was originally introduced from Crete 
(Candia) in 1551. 

Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) is a species of this 
plant. It is aromatic, and, if the dried leaves he 
used as tea, it is said to be very grateful. The 
tops are sometimes used by country people to dye 
woollen cloth purple, or linen of a reddish brown 
colour; for this last purpose the linen is well 
soaked in alum and water, and then dried ; it is 
afterwards allowed to remain immersed for two 
days in a decoction of crab-tree bark; when being 
wrung out, it is boiled in a bag of ashes, and 
lastly suffered to boil in a decoction of marjoram. 


BITTERNESS. 

ALOE—ALOE SOCCOTRINA. 

The aloe is said to thrive best in the desert, and 
is only attached to the soil by a very slender fibre. 
Its taste is very sharp and bitter. So sorrow drives 
us away from the world, detaches our hearts from 
the earth, and fills them with bitterness. This 
plant derives its support almost entirely from the 
air, and assumes very singular and fantastic shapes. 




BITTERNESS. 55 


De Vaillant found many species very numerous in 
thedesertsofNamaquoi.se; some of them six feet 
long, which were thick and armed with long spines. 
From the centre of these a light twig shoots forth 
to the height of a tall tree, all garnished with 
flowers. Others exalt themselves like the cactus, 
bristling with thorns. Others, again, are marbled, 
and seem like serpents creeping upon the earth. 
Brydone saw the ancient city of Syracuse entirely 
covered by great aloes in flower; their elegant 
branches giving to the promontory which bounded 
the coast, the appearance of an enchanted forest. 
These plants also prosper well in our gardens. 
The collection in the museum of Paris is said to be 
the most complete in the world. 

These magnificent and monstrous members of the 
vegetable kingdom are also found in barbarous 
Africa. There they grow upon the rocks in arid 
and sandy soil, in the midst of that burning atmo¬ 
sphere in which scarce aught but tigers and lions 
can breathe and live. Let us bless Providence, 
then, for raising in our climate verdant bowers over 
our heads, and for spreading under our feet the soft 
carpet of grass, ornamented with saffron, violets, 
and daisies. 












56 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


BLACKNESS. 

EBONY—DIOSPYRUS EBENTJM. 

Pluto, god of the infernal regions, was seated 
upon a throne of ebony. We say, of one notoriously 
wic ked, u that he has a heart as black as ebony.” 
This proverb originates in the circumstance of the 
aubier of the ebony tree being white, its foliage 
soft and silvery, its flowers beautiful and bril¬ 
liant, while the heart, only, of the tree is really 
hlaek. 

BLUNTNESS. 

BORAGE—BORAGO OFFICINALIS. 

The leaves of this plant are prickly, hairy, and 
rugose; but the whole plant is useful. Its rugged 
appearance, which brings to mind the idea of that 
bluntness which often accompanies charitable bounty, 
is forgotten in the enjoyment of its benefits. 

BOLDNESS. 

LARCH —LARIX. 

The swain, in barren deserts, with surprise, 

Sees larch trees spring, and sudden verdure rise. 

This hardy tree grows rapidly, and thrives better 




BONDS OF LOVE. 


57 


in a poor soil than in rich earth; and is commonly 
found upon the mountain’s side, where it vegetates 
at an immense elevation. 

Within the last thirty years numerous quantities 
of the larch have been planted in every quarter of 
this island ; and the demand for young trees has 
been so extensive, that one nurseryman is said to 
have raised, in 1796, more than five millions. No 
exotic tree has ever been introduced into England 
which has so universally embellished the country, 
and that in so short a time. u Its pale and delicate 
green, so cheerfully enlivening the dark hue of the 
fir and pine, and its elegant spiral shape, con¬ 
trasting with the broad spreading oak, is a no less 
happy contrast: while its stars of fasciculate foliage 
are displayed to additional advantage when neigh¬ 
bouring with the broad-leaved sesculus, the glossy 
holly, the drooping birch, or the tremulous aspen.” 


BONDS OF LOVE. 

HONEYSUCKLE—CAPRIFOLIUM PERICLYMENUM. 

That sweet honeysuckle, which 
Is fair as fragrant. Carrington. 

The woodbine wild, 

That loves to hang, on barren boughs remote, 

Her wreaths of flowery perfume. mason. 

The honeysuckle sometimes amorously attaches 

D 5 











SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


| 

I 

i 


58 


its pliant branches to the knotted trunk of an an¬ 
cient oak, and amid the rugged branches of that 
lordly tree, 

The woodbines mix in amorous play, 

And breathe their fragrant lives away. 

It was said, that this feeble tree, thus shooting 
into the air, would overtop the king of the forest; 
but, as if its efforts were unavailing, it soon re¬ 
coiled, and with graceful negligence adorned its 
friendly supporter with elegant festoons and per¬ 
fumed garlands. 

It is a very pleasing ornament to the humble re¬ 
sidence of the peasant, 

Who rears his cot 

Deep in the rural shade, and wreathes around 
His lattice the rath woodbine! 

CAKRINGTON. 

The same poet again introduces the woodbine in 
describing the fair landscapes of England :— 

Fair is thy level landscape, England, fair 
As ever nature form’d! Away it sweeps, 

A wide, a smiling prospect, gay with flowers, 

And waving grass, and trees of amplest growth, 

And sparkling rills, and rivers winding slow 
Through all the smooth immense. Upon the eye 
Arise the village and the Village spire, 

The clustering hamlet, and the peaceful cot 
Clasp’d by the w r oodbine. 












CALM REPOSE. 


59 


Love sometimes delights to unite a timid maid 
to the haughty and lofty warrior. 

Unfortunate Desdemona ! It was courage and 
strength which inspired thee with admiration ! It 
was the consciousness of thy own weakness which 
attached thy affections to the formidable Othello ! 
But jealousy led him, who should have been thy 
protector, to slay thee. Phillips, speaking of the 
disposition of this plant, says, “ In the wilderness 
walks it should have liberty to climb the trees and 
hang its wreaths from branch to branch; and 
where the ivy gives verdure to the bare trunk, there 
should the woodbine display its blossoms and shed 
its odours.” 


CALM REPOSE. 

BUCKBEAN.—MENYANTHES TRIFOLIATA. 

By that lake whose silvery waters reflect the 
cloudless sky, do you see those clusters of flowers, 
white as the drifted snow ? The under side of those 
beautiful flowers is lightly tinged with a rosy hue ; 
and a tuft of filaments, of great delicacy and of daz¬ 
zling whiteness, springs from each alabaster cup. 
Language will not convey a just idea of the ele¬ 
gance of this aquatic plant; but if once seen waving 
gently over the water’s brink, whose transparency 









60 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


and freshness it seems to increase, it will never he 
forgotten. The flowers of the buckbean never open 
in stormy weather, but bloom only in calm and sun¬ 
shine : and the calm which it enjoys seems to be 
imparted to every object around it. 


CALUMNY. 

MADDER.—RUBIA PEREGRINA. 

A red or scarlet dye is procured from madder, 
and is of very common use amongst dyers. When 
sheep have browsed on this plant, their teeth appear 
stained, as it had been in the blood of some victim. 
The vile calumniator often takes advantage of dubious 
appearances to cast a stigma upon innocence itself. 
It has been observed that the bones of all animals 
feeding upon it, become red, the hardest parts 
changing first, until the whole substance is coloured ; 
and, “ if the plant be alternately given and inter¬ 
mitted, the bones are found to be coloured in con¬ 
centric circles.” The true dyer’s madder (Rubia 
tinctorum) is not cultivated in this country. 

CANDOUR. 

WHITE VIOLET.—VIOLA ODORATA ALBA. 

Candour precedes modesty, of which the blue 










CAPRICIOUS BEAUTY. 


61 


violet is frequently used as the emblem. The white 
violet is the same flower, still clothed in the robes of 
innocence; and it is asserted that the blue violet is 
white until planted in a rich soil, or cultivated, 
when it loses its simplicity, though it becomes more 
fragrant. So when mankind are thrown into close 
contact with the busy world, they lose their sim¬ 
plicity and the candour of their natural character, 
putting on the more pleasing, but less valuable, 
and often insincere, amenities of artificial life. 

Sir Walter Raleigh addressed the white violets as 
follows :— 

Sweet violets, love’s paradise, that spread 

Your gracious odours, which you couched bear 
Within your paly faces, 

Upon the gentle wing of some calm-breathing wind 
That plays amidst the plain ! 


'A/WWW 


CAPRICIOUS BEAUTY. 

MUSK ROSE. — ROSA MOSCHATA. 

And each inconstant breeze that blows 
Steals essence from the musky rose. 

This species of the rose lacks freshness. Tts 
mean flowers would be entirely without effect if they 
did not grow in panicles, containing from twenty to 
one hundred or more. They please by their fine 







62 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


and muslcy odour, exhaled from their white blossoms 
in the autumnal months. It is said to be a native 
of Barhary, and is found wild in the hedges and 
thickets of the kingdom of Tunis. This plant seems 
full of caprice. It languishes suddenly in situations 
which at first appeared to be most favourable to its 
growth,—one year it displays innumerable bouquets, 
and the next it may not flower at all. 

CHASTITY. 

ORANGE FLOWER.—CITRUS AURANTIUM. 

Here orange-trees, with blossoms and pendants shine 
And vernal honours to their autumn join ; 

Exceed their promise in the ripened store, 

Yet in the rising blossom promise more. 

POPE. 

It is a custom in France for the newly married to 
wear a head dress of orange flowers. Formerly a 
dishonoured girl was deprived of this ornament on 
her wedding-day; and this usage still exists in the 
neighbourhood of Paris. 


CHEERFULNESS IN ADVERSITY. 

CHRYSANTHEMUM. 

The lovers of flowers are unanimous in their ad- 





CHEERFULNESS IN ADVERSITY. 63 


miration of these Chinese exotics. Its claims upon 
our regard are such, that none who desire to pro¬ 
long the duration of the floral year to the utmost 
extent, will neglect to cultivate some of its varieties. 

It was originally named Chrysanthemum by the 
Greeks, to whom it would seem the yellow varieties 
were first known, as it is mentioned by Dioscorides 
under its present name %fitrdv§'/xov or gold flower, 
which can only, in strictness, be applied to that 
variety; though all the species are now so denomi¬ 
nated, whatever the colour of the flowers may be. 

When nearly all other plants have ceased to 
bloom, and the autumnal rains and winds scatter 
such flowers as thrive only when the sun warms 
them with its genial heat, this oriental stranger, in its 
endless variety of colours, imparts a cheerfulness to 
the parterre which, fifty years ago, might be sought 
for in vain. In October and the dull and dismal 
month of November, some kinds are in their highest 
perfection, and they have scarcely ceased to enliven 
us in the winter months, ere the Snowdrop (em¬ 
phatically called Perce-neige by the French,) pre¬ 
sents itself as a prophetic messenger of the coming 
spring.* 


* Tyas’s Popular Flowers, first series. 













64 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


COLDNESS. 

TO LIVE WITHOUT LOVE. 

AGNUS CASTUS.—VITEX. 

Dioscorides, Pliny, and Galen, inform us that 
the priestesses of Ceres formed their virginal couch 
of the fragrant branches of the agnus castus, which 
is an autumnal shrub with whorled spikes of blue 
and white flowers, from seven to fifteen inches long. 
This they regarded as the palladium of their chastity. 
In modern times the religious orders of France drink 
a water distilled from its branches, to dispel from 
their minds, when in solitude, all earthly thoughts. 
Many orders of monks habitually wear a knife, 
w r bose haft is made of the w r ood of agnus castus, to 
fortify their hearts against external influence. In 
fine, this pretty shrub has been from time imme¬ 
morial the emblem of coldness. 

CONFIDENCE. 

HEPATICA ; OR NOBLE LIVERWORT.—HEPATICA 

TRILOBA. 

The three lobes of the leaves of this plant have 
been compared to the three lobes of the liver. It 





CONJUGAL LOVE. 65 


is a great favourite of the flower border, both as 
being evergreen in its foliage, and for its abundant 
blossoms and great variety of colours and shades. 
When gardeners see its pretty flowers put forth, 
they say, “ the earth is in love, we may sow with 
confidence . v 

Hepaticas are blooming fair ; 

The hue of constancy they wear ; 

So bright their vestments blue, 

That fancy deems the lovely dye 
Was stolen from the azure sky, 

And painted by the dew. 

Soon as the hope of spring is told 
Their blossoms in his path unfold, 

The glowing sun to woo ; 

And proves the symbol true. 

Their humble confidence is given 
To the first promises of heaven. 

FROM “A WREATH OF FRIENDSHIP.” 


CONJUGAL LOVE. 

LINDEN TREE.—TILIA. 

Above, waves wide the linden tree. 

HOWITT. 

-And the lime at dewy eve 

Diffusing odours. cowper. 

Baucis was a Phrygian woman, into whose house 





66 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Jupiter and Mercury were hospitably received, 
after being repulsed by every other inhabitant of the 
country. The former god made her and Philemon, 
her husband, priests of his temple, and when they 
expressed a wish to die together, he changed each 
of them into a Linden tree, which has ever since 
been the emblem of conjugal love. In glancing 
over the consecrated plants in the mythology of the 
ancients, we cannot fail to admire their fitness to 
represent the various qualities of which they are 
symbolical. 

Beauty—grace—simplicity—an extreme softness 
of manner, and an innocent gaiety, should be, in all 
ages, the properties and accomplishments of a tender 
wife. "We find all these qualities united in the 
Linden tree ; which, in spring is ever covered with 
a soft and delicate verdure, and exhales a very de¬ 
lightful fragrance, while it lavishes the honey of its 
flowers upon the busy bee. 

Who shall attempt to paint the effect of its beau¬ 
tiful foliage, as it waves its branches softly under the 
influence of the breeze ? Its young leaves seem to 
have been cut of softer materials than silk, and are 
far more brilliant. We can scarce cease to gaze 
upon its vast shade; nay, we could wish to be always 
reposing under it,—to listen to the murmurs of its 
branches, and breathe its delicious perfumes. The 
magnificent chestnut, and the slender acacia, have 
each disputed the right of the Linden tree to hold a 




CONJUGAL LOVE. 


67 


place in the public avenues and promenades ; but 
they, and fashion united, have not succeeded in 
banishing it thence. 

On passing through King’s Court, Trinity Col¬ 
lege, Cambridge, the eye rests upon an avenue of 
considerable length and great magnificence, formed 
by lime trees of lofty growth, which, their upper 
branches interlacing each other, represent a fine 
gothic arch. Bryant’s hymn came forcibly upon the 
mind on first looking upon this splendid vista; we 
shall quote portions of it here. 

The groves were God’s first temple. Ere man learn’d 
To hew the shaft, and lay the architrave, 

And spread the roof above them,—ere he framed 

The lofty vault, to gather and roll back 

The sound of anthems,—in the darkling wood. 

Amidst the cool and silence, he knelt down 
And offered to the Mightiest, solemn thanks 
And supplication * * * 

* * * * Let me * * 

Here, * * * * * * 

Offer one hymn—thrice happy, if it find 
Acceptance in His ear. 

Father, thy hand 

Hath reared these venerable columns ; thou 
Didst weave this verdant roof; Thou didst look down 
Upon the naked earth, and, forthwith, rose 
All these fair ranks of trees. They, in Thy sun, 
Budded, and shook their green leaves in Thy breeze, 
And shot towards heaven. * * 

* Now they stand, massy, and tall, and dark, 

Fit shrine for humble worshipper to hold 
Communion with his Maker. * * 




68 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


* * * Be it ours to meditate, 

In. these calm shades, Thy milder majesty, 

And, to the beautiful order of Thy works, 

Learn to conform the order of our lives. 

In the grove at Queen’s College, there is a long 
row of lofty lime trees, which, being deprived of 
their principal branches on the west, have thrown 
all their strength into those on the east side of their 
stems, and these, when clothed with verdure, 
overshadow a broad gravel walk, rendered more 
pleasant and refreshing by a grassy bank sloping 
from its verge to the margin of the silver Cam, 
which here flows smoothly and quietly along. 


CONSOLATION. 

SNOWDROP.—GALANTHUS NIVALIS. 

The north wind whistles, and the hoar frost 
clothes the verdure-despoiled trees; an uniform 
white carpet covers the earth,—the birds withhold 
their tuneful song,—and the sealed waters cease to 
murmur as they roll along: the rays of the sun en¬ 
feebled by the density of our atmosphere, shed a 
gloomy light over our fields ; and the heart of man 
is sad, while all nature reposes in torpid tran¬ 
quillity. 

Thus Madame de la Tour describes the state of 







r 


CONSOLATION, 


69 


nature, when suddenly a delicate flower pierces 
though the veil of snow which had concealed it. It 
has been aptly termed by her countrymen Perce 
neige , from the quality just named; and is with 
equal propriety called snowdrop in England. Words¬ 
worth thus addresses it:— 

Lone flower, hemmed in -with snows, and white as they, 
But hardier far, once more I see thee bend 
Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend, 

Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day, 

Storms, sallying from the mountain tops, waylay 
The rising sun, and on the plains descend ; 

Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend 
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May 
Shall soon behold this border thickly set 
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing 
On the soft west wind and his frolic peers ; 

Nor will I then thy modest grace forget, 

Chaste snowdrop, venturous harbinger of spring, 

And pensive monitor of fleeting years ! 

This herald of spring, said to be despatched by 
Flora to ascertain whether the frost be mitigated, 
and to announce the speedy arrival of her floral 
favours, is also noticed by Mrs. Barbauld :— 

Now the glad earth her frozen zone unbends, 

And o’er her bosom breathe the western winds ; 
Already now the snowdrop dares appear, 

The first pale blossom of th’ unripened year ; 

As Flora’s breath, by some transforming power, 

Had changed an icicle into a flower : 

Its name and hue the scentless plant retains, 

And winter lingers in its icy veins. 











70 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


CONSOLATION OF SLEEP. 

POPPY.—PAPAVER SOMNIFERUM. 

Poppies which bind fast escaping sleep. 

COLUMELLA. 

The poppy yields a narcotic juice in considerable 
quantity, which is frequently administered to pro¬ 
cure sleep and relieve pain ; on this account, it has 
been made the symbol of consolation. The ancients, 
who regarded sleep as the great physician, and the 
great consoler of human nature, crowned the god of 
sleep with a wreath of poppies. In unison with 
this opinion of the ancients, but perhaps uncon¬ 
sciously, one of our modern poets writes ;— 

-Nature’s kind restorer, 

Balmy sleep. 

CONSTANCY. 

BLUE CANTERBURY BELL—CAMPANULA. 

Blue-bell! how gaily art thou drest, 

How sweet and trim art thou, sweet flower ; 

How silky is thy azure vest, 

How fresh to flaunt at morning hour. 

MRS. ROBINSON. 

This beautiful flower, from the richness of its 
colour, has been made the emblem of constancy. 





COQUETRY. 


71 


It is a very ornamental border-flower, and is of 
easy culture. The mode of procuring the plants is 
from seed, which ought to be sown in the spring, 
and when of a proper size, should be transplanted 
into another bed, and in the autumn it may be re¬ 
moved to the spot where it is intended to flower the 
succeeding year. 


COQUETRY. 

YELLOW DAY LILY—HEME ROC ALLIS FLAVA. 

The flowers of this plant speedily fade, seldom 
continuing two days in bloom; for this reason it 
has been assigned as the emblem of coquetry. The 
French call it belle d’un jour. 

Aux feux dont l’air etincelle 
S’ouvre la belle de jour ; 

Zephir la flatte de l'aile : 

La friponne encor appelle 
Les papillons d’alentour. 

Coquettes, c’est votre embleme : 

Le grand jour, le bruit vous plait, 

Briber est votre art supreme ; 

Sans eclat, le plaisir meme 
Devient pour vous sans attrait, 

PH1L1PPON DE LA MADELEINE. 

which we presume thus to translate :— 







72 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


As the radiant light of morning springs, 

La belle de jour unfolds her charms, 

Soft Zephyr fans her with caressing wings; 

Still, with her silly art, around she brings 
Trifilers and butterflies in swarms. 

Coquets, your emblem in this flower see ; 

You fame and gala days delight. 

Your highest aim’s to shine in gaiety ! 

In truth, if pleasure without pomp should be, 

In you no joy would it excite. 

As an equivalent for the transient duration of its 
flowers, it displays its beauty by a continual suc¬ 
cession of blossom, and gives out for some time a 
very agreeable odour; and this the more powerfully 
when planted in shady or moist situations. 


COURAGE. 

BLACK POPLAR—POPULUS NIGRA. 

The' poplar is by great Alcides worn.— Yirgil. 

This tree is consecrated to Hercules, who, ac¬ 
cording to the fable of the ancients, wore a crown 
made of its foliage when he descended into the in- 
fernal regions. This fable accounts for the different 
shades which the leaf has on either side in the fol¬ 
lowing manner. The leaves on the side next the 
head of Hercules preserved their natural colour. 









CRUELTY. 73 


or, some say, received that dim and pallid hue 
from the moisture on his brow ; while the other side 
being exposed to the smoke and vapour of the dis¬ 
mal regions he was visiting, were tinged with a 
darker shade, which they still retain. 


CRUELTY. 

NETTLE—URTICA PILULIFERA. 

The sting of the nettle causes a pain as violent 
as that produced by a burn. On examining the 
plants with a microscope, we observe the u pro¬ 
jecting bristles, or prickles, with which they are 
covered are tubular, and stand on a bag filled with 
a poisonous juice ; they are perforated at the point, 
and when they are gently pressed vertically, the 
pressure at once forces the poison to ascend the tube, 
and enables the point to lodge it in the skin.” Its 
generic name, Urtica, is formed from uro , to burn, 
in allusion to its stinging properties. 

O’er the throng, urtica flings 
Her barbed shafts, and darts her poisoned stings. 

DARWIN. 









74 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


DECLARATION OF LOVE. 

TULIP—JULIPA SYL VESTRIS. 

Then comes the tulip race, where beauty plays 
Her idle freaks ; from family diffused 
To family, as flies the father dust, 

The varied colours run ; and while they break 
On the charmed eye, the exulting florist marks, 

With secret pride, the wonders of his hand. 

THOMSON. 

On the banks of the Bosphorus the tulip is the 
emblem of inconstancy; but it is also the symbol 
of the most violent love. The wild tulip is found 
in the fields of Byzantium, with its crimson petals 
and golden heart. The petals are compared to fire, 
and the yellow heart to brimstone ; and when pre¬ 
sented by an admiring swain to his mistress, it is 
supposed to declare, that such is the effect of the 
fair one’s beauty, that if he sees her only for a 
moment, his face will be as fire, and his heart will 
be reduced to a coal. 

The tulip was called tulipan , or turban , from the 
similarity of its corolla to the superb head-dress of 
the barbarous Turks, who almost worshipped its 
elegant stem, and the beautiful vase-like flower 
which surmounts it. They never ceased to admire 
the gorgeous hues of gold and silver, of purple, 
lilac, and violet, of deep crimson and delicate rose 
colour, with every possible variety of tint, which 
















m M If 


Hi , 









DECLARATION OF LOVE. 


7o 


are harmoniously blended together, and spread over 
the rich petals of this splendid member of the court 
of Flora. The resemblance its shape bears to the 
turban is thus alluded to in Lalla Itookh:— 

What triumph crowds the rich divan to-day. 

With turbaned heads of every hue and race, 

Bowing before that veiled and awful face, 

Like tulip beds, of different shape and dyes, 
Bending beneath the invisible west wind’s sighs ? 

Formerly, a feast of tulips was celebrated in the 
seraglio of the Grand Seignior. Long galleries 
were erected, with raised seats, covered with the 
richest tapestry, presenting the appearance of an 
amphitheatre. On these were placed an almost in¬ 
finite number of crystal vases, filled with the most 
beautiful tulips the world produced. In the even¬ 
ing the scene was splendidly illuminated; the wax 
tapers, as they gave light, emitted the most ex¬ 
quisite odours. To these w r ere added lamps of the 
most brilliant colours, forming on all sides garlands 
of opal, emeralds, sapphires, diamonds, and rubies. 
Innumerable singing birds, in cages of gold, roused 
by the splendour of the scene, mingled their war¬ 
bling notes with the melodious harmony of instru¬ 
ments, whose chords were tuned by invisible musi¬ 
cians, Showers of rose water refreshed the air; 
and suddenly the doors were opened, and a number 
of young odalisks entered to blend the brilliancy of 
their charms and appearance with that of the en¬ 
chanted scene. 




76 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


In the centre of the seraglio a splendid pavilion 
shaded the Grand Seignior, who negligently re¬ 
clined on costly skins ; while the lords of his court, 
habited in their richest attire, were seated at his 
feet to behold the dances of the lovely women of 
the court in all the luxurious display of their light 
and dazzling dresses. These sometimes encircled, 
and at others glided round the vases of tulips, 
whose beauty they sung. It was not seldom that a 
cloud rested on the sultan’s brow ; then he looked 
upon all around with a stern and severe aspect. 
What! could chagrin then enter the soul of that 
all-powerful mortal ? Had he lost one of his pro¬ 
vinces? Did he fear the revolt of his fierce janissa¬ 
ries? Ah no! two poor slaves alone had troubled 
his heart. He had observed, during the gaieties of 
the feast, a young page presenting a tulip to a 
beautiful girl who had captivated him. The sultan 
was ignorant of their secrets, but a vague feeling 
of inquietude took possession of his heart—jealousy 
tormented and beset him. But what is the jealousy 
of a sultan, or what are bolts and bars, against 
love ? A look and a flower are enough for that 
wicked god to change a horrid seraglio into a place 
of delightj and to avenge beauty outraged by 
chains. 

Tulips have had their worshippers in other parts 
of the world besides Turkey. It was from 1644 to 
1647 that the tulipomania exercised its influence in 









DELICACY. 77 


Holland. In those years tulips fetched enormous 
prices and enriched many speculators. The most 
precious kind was that called semper augustus; 
this they valued at 2,000 florins. They pretended 
that it was so rare, that there existed only two 
flowers of that species, one at Haarlem and the 
other at Amsterdam. A connoisseur, to procure 
one root, offered 4,600 florins, with a beautiful 
carriage, horses, and equipments. Another gave 
twelve acres of land for a tulip root. We are also 
told of a person who had a very fine tulip; but 
finding that there was a second root of the same 
nature at Haarlem, he repaired thither, and, having 
purchased it at a most extravagant cost, pounded 
it to pieces with his foot, exclaiming with exulta¬ 
tion, “Now my tulip is unique! ” 


DELICACY. 

BLUE-BOTTLE CENTAURY —CENTAUREA CYANUS. 

The beautiful blue of this flower, which is of 
the colour of an unclouded sky, has made it the 
emblem of a tender and delicate sentiment, nou¬ 
rished by hope. According to ancient fable, this 
plant was called Cyanus, after a youth of that name, 
whose attachment to cornflowers was so strong, 
that he employed his time chiefly in making gar¬ 
lands of them, seldom leaving the fields so long as 




78 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


his favourite flower was to be found, and always 
dressing himself in the fine blue colour of the flower 
he so much admired. Flora was his goddess; and, 
of all her gifts, this was the one he most admired. 
At last the youth was found dead in a corn-field, 
in the midst of a quantity of blue-bottles he had 
gathered. Soon after Flora transformed his body 
into this flow r er, in token of the veneration he had 
for her divinity. 


DECEITFUL CHARMS. 

THORN APPLE—DATURA FASTUOSA. 

Too often inflamed by luxury, an indolent beauty 
languishes all the day, and avoids the cheering 
light of the sun. At night, arrayed in all her 
charms, she exhibits herself to her lovers. The 
glaring and uncertain light of candles, accomplice 
of her artifices, lends her a delusive brilliancy. She 
attracts and enchants by her appearance, but her 
heart is insensible to love. Fly, imprudent youth ; 
fly at the approach of this enchantress! Nature 
teaches us how to love and how to please ; art is 
unnecessary here. Those w T ho employ it are always 
perfidious and dangerous. 

The flowers of the datura, like the nocturnal 
beauties just named, languish beneath their sombre 
and drooping foliage, wdiile the sun shines ; but at 






DELUSIVE HOPE. 


79 


the approach of night they put forth, and are re¬ 
animated. Then they display their charms, and 
unfold those immense bell-shaped petals, which 
nature has formed of ivory and stained with purple, 
and to which she has confided a perfume that 
attracts and invigorates, but is so dangerous, that it 
produces ebriety and hysterics, even in the open air, 
on those who respire it. 


DELUSIVE HOPE. 

FALSE NARCISSUS—PSEUDO-NARCISSUS. 

When early primroses appear, 

And vales are decked with daffodils, 

I hail the new reviving year, 

And soothing hope my bosom fills. 

WILLIAMS. 

The flowers of this plant very often fail. It is a 
native of our meadows, but is cultivated with great 
care in Holland, and returned to us under the name 
of Phoenix, or Soleil d’or. After tending the forced 
plant with much care, we are surprised to find 
that we possess in it nothing better than the false 
narcissus. 

The daffodil being an early flower, it is always 
welcome as one of the cheering ornaments of the 
garden in spring. They soon fade—a circumstance 
on which Herrick has supplied us with a moral: 













80 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


F air daffodils, we weep to see 
You haste away so soone ; 

As yet the early-rising sun 
Has not attain’d his noone : 

Stay,stay, 

Until the hastening day 
Has run 

But to the even-song ; 

And, having pray’d together, we 
Will goe with you along ! 

We have short time to stay, as you ; 

We have as short a spring, 

‘Vs quick a growth to meet decay, 
As you, or any thing : 

We die, 

As your hours doe, and drie 
Away 

Like to the summer’s raine. 
Or as the pearles of morning dew, 
Ne’er to be found again. 


DESIRE. 

JONQUIL—NARCISSUS JONQUILEA. 

Nor gradual bloom is wanting, 

Nor hyacinths of purest virgin white, 

Low bent and blushing inward ; nor jonquils 
Of potent fragrance. Thomson. 

This species of narcissus is distinguished from 
others by its ri sh-like foliage, hence its name, 














DESIRE TO PLEASE. 81 


derived from juncus t rushy. It is more fragrant 
than any other species of the plant, and its perfume 
is frequently found too strong for moderate-sized 
rooms. It flowers well in water, is of great beauty, 
and very popular. 

DESIRE TO PLEASE. 

MEZEREON—DAPHNE MEZEREUM. 

Thou hast thy wish ; all love to see 
Thy simple bloom, mezereon tree ! 

The thrush its sweetest minstrelsy 
Is pouring forth to welcome thee ; 

Thy store of sweets the early bee 
Hath sought with ready industry ; 

And, prizing much thy beauty, we 
Are come to greet thee joyously. 

Long shalt thou hold thy gentle sway ; 

For when thy wreaths must fade away. 

Beneath the summer’s scorching ray. 

Thy stems shall glow in vesture gay 
With scarlet berries, rich array. 

Please, then, fair plant, through many a day, 

Till winter stern thy doom shall say. 

Whose voice the fairest must obey. 

BOUQUET DES SOUVENIRS. 

The stem of this plant is covered with a dry 
bark, which gives it the appearance of dead wood. 
To hide this, nature has surrounded each of its 
branches with a garland of purple flowers, which, 

E 5 





82 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


unrolled in spiral form, and tipped with a small tuft 
of leaves, seems to assume the form of a pine-apple. 

-mezereon, too. 

Though leafless, well attired, and thick beset 
With blushing wreaths, investing every spray. 

COWPER. 

This fragrant and much admired shrubbery plant 
frequently flourishes towards the end of January, 
appearing, as it were, in the breast of snows, re¬ 
clad in its charming attire. It is regarded as the 
emblem of an imprudent and coquettish nymph, 
who, in the midst of winter, arrays herself in the 
robes of spring. 

The mezereon holds its flowers for some time, 
not often fading until the delicate petals of the 
almond have arrived, which also blooms on leafless 
branches. 

u The fruit of the mezereon is a berry of a red 
colour, that is exceedingly ornamental in June and 
July, but whose qualities are of a more deadly 
poison than the arts of the coquette, whose inju¬ 
ries are seldom mortal.” The whole plant is ex¬ 
tremely acrid, especially when fresh; and, if 
retained in the mouth, it excites great heat and in¬ 
flammation. 

DESPAIR. 

CYPRESS AND MARIGOLD. 

Having given an account of the cypress tree 












DIGNITY. 


83 


under Mourning, and of marigold under Inquietude, 
we shall not enter into any description of them 
here. Suffice it, that the two united have been 
made the emblem of despair. 


DIFFICULTY. 


BLACK THORN—PRUNUS SPINOSA. 


This species of the plum tree, from its colour, 
and from the innumerable thorns which it possesses, 
has been made the emblem of difficulty. In France, 
they have a proverb to convey the idea of a difficulty, 
which compares it to a bundle of thorns. 


DIGNITY. 


CliOYE GILLYFLOWER—DIANTHUS 
CARYOPHYLLUS. 

T he aromatic clove came originally from the 
Molucca Islands ; the inhabitants of those islands 
wear its flowers as a mark of distinction. They say 
that a chief has two, three, or four cloves, as we 
say of a distinguished nobleman, that he has many 
titles, or possesses several honours. 

This gillyflower, from the similarity of its fra¬ 
grance to that of the clove of commerce, has been 













84 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


substituted for the flowers of the clove tree as the 
emblem of dignity. An anonymous writer has 
spoken of this flower as thirsting for additional 
honour: 

The gay carnation, dipped in brightest dyes, 

Who still with thirst of praise and glory burns. 


DISCRETION, SECRECY. 

MAIDEN HAIR—-ADIANTIUM. 

Botanists have in vain sought to find out the 
nature of this plant, which seems determined to 
conceal from their learned researches the secret of 
its flowers and its fruit. It confides to zephyr 
alone the invisible germs of its young family. 
The Creator of all things selects the cradle for 
her children ; and it pleases him sometimes to form 
a sombre veil with their waving tresses, which ever 
conceals from vulgar gaze the cave where the 
solitary naiad sleeps, and where she has slept from 
the beginning of ages; at other times they are 
borne on the wings of the wind to the summits of 
lofty towers, or the tottering remnant of an old 
chateau, where they shine like verdant stars ; and 
sometimes, disposed in light festoons, they adorn the 
retired and S'hady spots which shepherds love. Thus 




DISSENTION, RUPTURE. 85 


this wild plant is not to be understood by science, 
but bides its secret origin from our curious inqui¬ 
ries. It is the prettiest of all ferns ; and Pliny 
states that, though you plunge it in water, it will 
still remain dry. 

DISDAIN. 

YELLOW CARNATION—D1ANTHUS CARYO- 
PHYLLIS. 

We hope that disdain is as scarce among our 
countrywomen as the yellow cai'nation is in our 
native land. As disdainful people generally exact 
homage, and possess little amiability, so with this 
plant, it is the least beautiful and fragrant of 
its kind, yet requires continual care and attention. 


DISSENTION, RUPTURE. 

A BROKEN STRAW. 

The custom of breaking a straw, to express 
that treaties are broken, may be traced to the 
first days of monarchy; it may even be said to be 
of royal origin. 

The old chroniclers relate, that in 922, Charles 




86 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


the Simple, seeing himself abandoned by the prin¬ 
cipal lords of his court, had the imprudence to 
convoke an assembly at the Champ-de-Mai, at 
Soissons. He sought his friends there, but found 
only a factious crew, whose audacity was increased 
by his weakness. Some reproached him with indo¬ 
lence, with his prodigalities, and his blind confi¬ 
dence in his minister Haganon ; others were angry 
for the dishonour of his concession to Raoul, chief 
of the Normans. Surrounded by their foul sedi¬ 
tion, he prayed, promised, and thought to escape by 
the display of new weaknesses, but in vain. When 
they saw him without moral courage, their audacity 
had no bounds ; they even declared that he ceased 
to be their king. At these words, which they pro¬ 
nounced with every sign of violence, accompanied 
by menaces, they advanced to the foot of the throne, 
broke some straws which they held in their hands, 
threw them roughly on the ground, and retired, 
after expressing by this action that they broke 
treaty with him. 

This example is the most ancient of its kind 
that we know; hut it proves that for a long time 
this mode of breaking an oath had been in use, since 
the vassals did not think it necessary to add a 
single word of explanation, as they felt sure of being 
understood. 




DOCILITY. 


87 


DISGUISE. 

COMMON STRAMONIUM—DATURA STRA¬ 
MONIUM. 

This plant is of a very dangerous nature, thougli 
it clothes itself with an elegant indented foliage, 
and garnishes its branches with corollas of a grace¬ 
ful and negligent shape, so purely white, that it 
lulls suspicion of its true character to rest. Its 
charms only allure, that its powerful narcotic poison 
may more easily destroy. Several instances of its 
baneful effects upon persons who have endeavoured 
to chew it are on record. Only a few years back, 
a child who had amused herself w r ith this poisonous 
plant, w r as so affected as to be in the greatest danger, 
from which she was rescued only by the prompt 
assistance of a medical practitioner. It is therefore 
necessary to caution children against its malevolent 
nature. 

DOCILITY. 

RUSH—JUNCUS CONGLOMERATUS. 

The custom of strewing floors with rushes is 
a very ancient one in England, and still prevails 
in particular places. At Ambleside, in West- 











88 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


moreland, the ancient ceremony of strewing the 
church floor is still preserved, though we believe 
that there, as in most other churches, the plaited 
mat has superseded the permanent use of strewn 
rushes. This ceremony is called rush-hearing ; and 
the day on which the festival is held is marked as a 
holiday in the rustic calendar. 

Norwich cathedral is still strewed with rushes on 
the mayor’s day ; and this custom is also continued 
at Rochdale, at Wharton, and several other places in 
the kingdom. 

It is a proverbial saying, “ as supple as a rush.” 


DO ME JUSTICE. 

CHESNUT TREE—CASTANEA VESCA. 

Thanks to Benevolus,—he spares me yet 
These chesnuts, ranged in corresponding lines. 

COWFEK. 

Chesnuts are enclosed two, three, or four, in 
one husk or shell, covered with prickles. Those 
who are unacquainted with this beautiful tree, 
neglect its fruit in consequence of its rough ap¬ 
pearance. 









DURABILITY. 


89 


DURABILITY. 

CORNELIAN CHERRY TREE—CORNUS 
SANGUINE A. 

A huntress issuing from the wood, 

Reclining on her cornel spear she stood. 

DRYDEN. 

The cornel tree does not grow higher than 
eighteen or twenty feet. It lives for ages, but 
grows very slowly ; it blooms in the spring, and 
yields its crimson berries in the winter. They are a 
very handsome fruit, and were formerly made into 
tarts and robs de cornis. The Greeks have conse¬ 
crated this tree to Apollo, because it is supposed 
that that god presides over the works of the mind, 
which demand much time and reflection. Charming 
emblem! teaching every one who wishes to culti¬ 
vate letters, eloquence, and poetry, that to merit 
the laurel crown, it is necessary to bear for a 
long time that of patience and meditation. After 
Romulus had drawn the plan of Rome on the land 
which gave him birth, he launched his javelin on 
Mount Palatine ; the shaft of the javelin is said to 
have been of cornel tree ; it took root, grew, and 
became an immense tree; and this prodigy was 
regarded as the happy presage of the strength and 
duration of that extraordinary empire. 





90 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


The wood is very hard, and Evelyn says that, 
when made into wedges, it will last like iron. 


EARLY YOUTH. 

PRIMROSE —PRIMULA VULGARIS. 

No smiling knot 

Of early primroses, upon the warm, 

Luxuriant, southern bank appears, unmarked 
By him. Carrington. 

Amid the sunny luxury of grass 

Are tufts of pale-eyed primroses, entwined 

With many a bright-hued tiower, and shrub that scents 

The all-voluptuous air. Carrington. 

The saffron tufts of the primrose announce the 
return of spring, when we see the snowy mantle 
of retiring w'inter ornamented with embroidery of 
verdure and of flowers. The season of hoar-frost 
has passed, but the bright days of summer have 
not yet arrived. The period is emblematical of a 
lovely girl just passing from childhood to youth. 
The timid Aglae has scarce attained her fifteenth 
year, and would fain join the romping games of her 
younger companions, but is unable to do so. She 
watches them, and her heart burns to follow them. 
But a distaste for innocent joys, wdiich she cannot 




EARLY YOUTH. 


91 


vanquish, disturbs the heart of this young beauty. 
An interesting paleness is spread over her face, her 
heart languishes, and she sighs, scarce knowing 
why. She has been told that, as spring succeeds to 
winter, so the pleasures of love follow those of 
infancy. Poor girl! you will learn that those 
pleasures are mingled with bitterness and tears. 
The arrival of the primrose announces them to thee 
to-day ; but it also tells thee that the happy period 
of infancy can never return, Alas! in a few 
years you will say, when observing the early prim¬ 
rose, the days of love and of youth are fled never 
to return. 

- In dewy glades 

The peering primrose, like sudden gladness, 

Gleams on the soul—yet unregarded fades— 

The joy is ours, but all its own the sadness. 

H. COLERIDGE. 

This plant has been sung by many of our best 
poets, but by none so well as he from whose delight¬ 
ful poems we have already quoted at the commence¬ 
ment of this article. The following lines are 
extracted from a piece addressed to a friend with an 
early primrose :— 

Accept this promise, friend ; it is a pledge 
Of the returning spring. What, though the wind — 
The dread east wind—pass’d o’er the shivering earth, 
And shook from his deep rustling wings the snows, 

And bound the streamlets and the rivers all 





92 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


In crystal fetters! What, though infancy, 

And age, and vigorous manhood, felt the blast 
Before which many a human blossom fell! 

Yet our fine Devon, in a sunny nook, 

Cherish’d this flower ; and when the soft west wind 
Came with its balmy breath and gentle showers. 

With simple grace this first-born of the year 
Waved its pale yellow star ; and lo ! for thee 
I plucked the welcome stranger. 

Sometimes, alas ! we see a lady matured in years, 
whose beauty has been marred by the ravages of 
time, decking herself in the gay habiliments of 
youth ; such an one may be compared to the prim¬ 
rose in autumn, whose untimely presence is reproved 
in the following agreeable sonnet. It is by R. F. 
Housman, and was originally published in the 
Athenaeum *.— 

The solitary primrose hath come back 
To haunt the green nooks of her happy spring. 

Alas ! it is a melancholy thing, 

Thus to return, and vainly strive to track 
The playmates of our youth ! Whither have fled 
The sweet companions of her vernal hours ? 

The bee, the infant leaves, the golden flowers, 

That heard the cuckoo’s music as he sped 

O’er hill and dale,—whither haye they departed ?, 

And the blithe birds—have they, too, passed away ? 
All save the darkling wren, whose plaintive lay 
Just tells, the hermitess is broken-hearted. 

Go, then, pale flower, and hide thy drooping head, 

For all thy spring-time friends are changed, or dead. 




EGOTISM. 


93 


EGOTISM. 

poet’s NARCISSUS—NARCISSUS POETICUS. 

Narcissus fair 

As o’er the fabled fountain hanging still. 

THOMSON. 

The poet’s narcissus exhales a very agreeable 
perfume ; it bears a golden crown in the centre of 
its pure white petals, which expand quite flat, the 
stem-slightly inclining to one side. The cup or 
nectary in the centre, which is very short, is fre¬ 
quently bordered with a bright purple circle, and 
sometimes the nectary is edged with crimson. 

Ovid, in his Metamorphoses, tells us of the fate 
of the lovely and coy Narcissus. A thousand 
nymphs loved the handsome youth, but suffered the 
pangs of unrequited love. Viewing himself in the 
crystal fount he became enamoured of his own 
image. 

Narcissus on the grassy verdure lies ; 

But whilst within the crystal font he tries 
To quench his heat, he feels new heats arise. 

For as his own bright image he surveyed, 

He fell in love with the fantastic shade ; 

And o’er the fair resemblance hung unmoved,' 

Nor knew, fond youth! it was himself he loved. 

OVID. 

In consequence of this error he slighted the love 
of Echo, who witnessed his fruitless vows to 




94 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


the deceitful image. Addison thus translates the 
passage:— 

She saw him in his present misery 

Whom, spite of all her wrongs, she grieved to see ; 

She answered sadly to the lover’s moan, 

Sighed back his sighs, and groaned to every groan ; 

“ Ah, youth! beloved in vain,” Narcissus cries— 

“ Ah, youth ! beloved in vain,” the nymph replies. 

“ Farewell,” says he ; the parting sound scarce fell 
From his faint lips, but she replied, “Farewell.” 

Then on the wholesome earth he gasping lies, 

Till death shuts up those self-admiring eyes. 

To the cold shades his flitting ghost retires, 

And in the Stygian waves itself admires. 

For him the Naiads and Dryads mourn, 

Whom the sad Echo answers in her turn ! 

And now the sister-nymphs prepare his urn ; 

When looking for his corpse, they only found 
A rising stalk with yellow blossoms crowned. 


ELEGANCE. 

ACACIA ROSE—ROBINIA HISPIDA. 

Art has produced nothing that may vie in fresh¬ 
ness and in elegance of appearance with this beau¬ 
tiful flowering shrub; its inclining branches,-—the 
gaiety of its verdure,—its clusters of rose-coloured 
flowers, like bows of ribands, hung on branches 
clothed with hairs of a reddish brown, never fail to 












ELOQUENCE. 95 


excite admiration, and have combined to render it 
a proper emblem of elegance. Its appearance has 
been compared to that of an elegant female in her 
ball dress. 

ELEVATION. 

FIR TREE—PINUS PICEA. 

Towering firs in conic forms arise, 

And with a pointed spear divide the skies. 

PRIOR. 

The fir tree rears its head upon the loftiest 
mountains, and in the coldest regions of the earth, 
without the aid of man. The resinous juices of 
this tree defy the rigorous frost to congeal its sap, 
while its filiform leaves are w r ell adapted to resist 
the impetuous winds, which beat with violence on 
the lofty situations where fir trees are found. 


ELOQUENCE, 

WATER LILY—N YMPHjEA ALBA. 

-calls the lily from her sleep, 

Prolonged beneath the bordering deep. 

WORDSWORTH. 

The Egyptians have consecrated to the sun, the 
god of eloquence, the flower of the Nymphcea 






96 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Lotus. This flower closes at evening, and reclines 
on the bosom of the lake, from the setting of the 
sun, until the rising of that splendid orb on the 
succeeding morn. Flowers of the lotus are in- 
woven in the head-dress of Osiris. The Indian 
gods also are frequently represented on the waters 
as seated on this flower! it is supposed that this 
allegory may be understood as an allusion to the 
fable of the world rising from the midst of the 
waters. 

ENCHANTMENT. 

VERVAIN—VERBENA OFFICINALIS. 

She night-shade strows to work him ill. 

Therewith the vervain and her dill, 

That hindereth witches of their will. 

DKAVTON. 

It were well if botanists would attach a moral 
idea to every plant they describe; we might then 
have an universal dictionary of the Sentiment of 
Flowers—generally understood,—which would be 
handed down from age to age, and might be re¬ 
newed without changing their characters every suc¬ 
ceeding spring. 

The altars of Jupiter are overthrown; those 
ancient forests, that witnessed the mysteries of 
Druidism, exist no longer; and the pyramids of 

_I 




ENCHANTMENT. 


97 


Egypt shall one day disappear, buried, like the 
sphinx, in the sands of the desert; but the lotus 
and the acanthus shall ever flower upon the banks 
of the Nile, the mistletoe will always flourish upon 
the oak, and vervain upon the barren knolls. 

Vervain was used by the ancients for divers kinds 
of divinations : they attributed to it a thousand 
properties; among others, that of reconciling 
enemies ; and when the Roman heralds at arms 
were despatched with a message of peace or war 
to other nations, they wore a wreath of vervain. 
Drayton alludes to this custom: 

A wreath of vervain heralds wear, 

Amongst our garlands named, 

Being sent that dreadful news to bear, 

Offensive war proclaimed. 

Sir Walter Scott puts the following words into 
the mouth of Meg Merrilies, in his romance of 
Guy Mannering:— 

Trefoil, vervain, John’s wort, dill, 

Hinders witches of their will; 

Weelis them, that weel may 
Fast upon St. Andrew’s day. 

Saint Bride and her brat, 

Saint Colme and his'cat, 

Saint Michael and his spear, 

Keep the house frae reif and wear. 

The Druids held this plant in great veneration, 
















i>8 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


and, before gathering it, they made a sacrifice to 
the earth. Probably they used it for food; and 
Dry den thus mentions it:— 

Some scattering pot-herbs here and there he found, 
Which, cultivated with his daily care, 

And bruised with vervain, were his daily fare. 

We are told that the worshippers of the sun, in 
performing their services, held branches of vervain 
in their hands. Venus Victorious wore a crown of 
myrtle interwoven with vervain, and the Germans 
to this day give a hat of vervain to the new married 
bride, as putting her under the protection of that 
goddess. Pliny also tells us that it was made use 
of by the Druids in casting lots, in drawing omens, 
and in other magical arts. 


ENTERTAINMENT, FEASTING. 

PARSLEY—APIUM PETROSELINUM. 

Let parsley spread 
Its living verdure o’er the feast. 

HORACE. 

Parsley was in great reputation among the 
Greeks. In their banquets they crowned their 
brows with its light tendrils, which they thought 








I “ 

ENTERTAINMENT, FEASTING. 99 


created gaiety, and so increased their appetites. It 
is thought this plant came from Sardinia, because 
that province is represented on ancient medals 
under the form of a female, near whom is a vase 
in which is a bouquet of parsley. But this plant 
grows in all the fresh and shady places in Greece, 
and in the southern provinces of France. Guy de 
la Brosse affirms that it grows also near Paris, on 
Mount Valerian; but it is presumable that the 
plant he designates is not the true parsley, since its 
introduction into France is attributed to Rabelais, 
who, according to the learned, brought it from 
Rome with the Roman lettuce ; if this had been the 
case, he would probably have attached his name to 
those modest presents. Rabelais, like queen 
Claude, would then have been celebrated by the 
gourmands of every age. However this may be, 
the beautiful verdure of this plant forms an elegant 
garnishing to our dishes; it is the luxury of the 
soup kettle; it adds to the delight of the most 
splendid dinners. A branch of laurel and a crown 
of parsley are the attributes we admit as belonging 
to the god of banquets. These plants have served 
for nobler uses ; but in the age of gastronomy, it is 
unnecessary to recall what was done in the age of 
heroism. 















100 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


ENYY. 

BRAMBLE—RUB US FRUTICOSUS. 

The bramble is made the emblem of envy, be¬ 
cause it interferes so much with the growth of other 
plants. It produces suckers which spread rapidly, 
ripen, and drop their leaves one year, and resume 
their foliage, produce blossom, flower, and fruit, 
and die the next. Thus also, like envy, it is short¬ 
lived, as the envious are usually disappointed, and 
see the deserving receive their reward. 

The bramble flower is a pleasing object to youth, 
who love to ramble through the fields and think 
how soon those pretty flowers will yield pleasant 
fruit. They are ignorant of the injury which the 
growth of the stems produces to other plants, and 
their pleasure on looking upon it is 'therefore un¬ 
mixed with regret. It is also a cause of agree¬ 
able reflections to the school-boy when grown to 
manhood, for it brings up old associations of de¬ 
lightful strolls in years gone by, and these feelings 
are sometimes embodied in verse, as in the case of 
the Bramble flower, which is thus addressed by 
Elliott:— 

Thy fruit full well the school-boy knows, 

Wild bramble of the brake! 

So, put thou forth thy small white rose ; 

I love it for his sake. 















ENVY. 


101 


Though woodbines flaunt, and roses glow 
O’er all the fragrant bowers ; 

Thou needs’t not be ashamed to show 
Thy satin-threaded flowers; 

For dull the eye, the heart is dull 
That cannot feel how fair, 

Amid all beauty beautiful, 

Thy tender blossoms are! 

How delicate thy gauzy frill, 

How rich thy branchy stem ! 

How soft thy voice, when woods are still, 
And thou sing’st hymns to them ! 

While silent showers are falling slow, 

And ’mid the general hush, 

A sweet air lifts the little bough, 

Lone whispering through the bush. . 

The primrose to the grave is gone ; 

The hawthorn flower is dead ; 

The violet by the moss’d grey stone 
Hath laid her weary head ; 

But thou, wild bramble! back dost bring, 

In all their beauteous power, 

The fresh green days of life’s fair spring, 
And boyhood’s blossomy hour. 

Scorn’d bramble of the brake! once more 
Thou bidds’t me be a hoy, 

To gad with thee the woodlands o’er, 

In freedom and in joy. 


/WWVAA/N 


ERROR. 

BEE OPHRYS—OPHRYS APIFERA. 


This plant is singularly beautiful in its appear- 
















1 ' 

i 102 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


ance, and its flowers so much resemble the bee, 
that it is frequently mistaken for one resting on the 
plant. 

See, Delia, see this image bright, 

Why starts my fair one at the sight ? 

It mounts not on offensive wing, 

Nor threats thy breast with angry sting. 

Admire, as close the insect lies, 

Its thin-wrought plume and honeyed thighs ; 

Whilst on this flow’ret’s velvet breast, 

It seems as though 'twere lull’d to rest, 

Nor might its fairy wings unfold, 

Enchain’d in aromatic gold, 

Think not to set the captive free, 

’Tis but the picture of a bee. 

SNOW. 

This plant commonly grows near woods, and in 
the open meadows. The most successful method 
of cultivation is by choosing a soil and situation as 
natural to them as possible, and by suffering the 
grass to grow around them. 

ESTEEM. 

SAGE—SALVIA OFFICINALIS. 

This plant derives its scientific name from sal- 
vere, to save, from its supposed powers of healing. 
The genus, which is very large, consists of herbs 
whose leaves are generally of a rugose appearance, 
and of a very aromatic smell. In debility of the 









EXCESS IS DANGEROUS. 


103 


stomach it is used as a tonio by the Chinese, who 
consider that it has the effect of strengthening the 
nervous system ; and it is said for these purposes 
they prefer it to their own tea. 

EXCESS IS DANGEROUS. 

SAFFRON—CROCUS SATIVUS. 

A slight infusion of saffron is agreeably stimu¬ 
lating ; but if taken in excess it produces madness 
It is said to have been brought to England in the 
reign of Edward III., and introduced to Walden 
in Essex, from which that town derives its preno¬ 
men. It was cultivated there, and in the counties 
of Cambridge, Suffolk, and Herefordshire, in the 
early part of the seventeenth century. It is now, 
however, cultivated only in Essex. The flowers 
are gathered in September ; the yellow stigmas and 
part of the style taken out, and dried on a kiln be¬ 
tween layers of paper, under the pressure of a thick 
board, to form the mass into cakes. 

FALSEHOOD. 

MANCHINEEL TREE—HIPPOMANE MANCI- 
NELLA. 

The fruit of this tree is of the colour and size 













J04 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


of the golden pippin. Its beautiful appearance 
has tempted many Europeans to eat of it, who 
have lost their lives in consequence. The tree 
grows to the size of an oak, and its wood is consi¬ 
dered very valuable, being capable of a high polish, 
and wearing well. In cutting them down, the 
juice of the bark is generally burnt out before the 
work is begun, as it will raise blisters on the skin, 
and burn holes in linen; and the labourers would 
be in danger of losing their sight, if it were to fly 
into their eyes. Vegetables are said not to grow 
under its shade, nor cattle to eat of its foliage, 
except the goat, which may eat it without sustain¬ 
ing injury. 

FIDELITY IN ADVERSITY. 

WALL-FLOWER—CHEIRANTHUS FRUTICU- 
LOSUS. 

The rude stone fence, with wall-flowers gay, 

To me more pleasure yield 
Than all the pomp imperial domes display. 

SCOTT. 

This favourite flower of the cottage garden 
loves to grow in the crevices of old walls; to 
flourish in those of ruined towers, or ornament the 
mouldering tablet which records the names of those 
now almost forgotten by surviving relatives : 










FIDELITY IN ADVERSITY. 


105 I 


For this obedient zephyrs bear 
Her light seeds round yon turret’s mould, 

And, undispersed by tempest, there 
They rise in vegetable gold. 

I.ANGHORNE. 

Not seldom do we observe a solitary wall-flower 
growing in the falling towers of an ancient castle, 
where it seems to place itself to conceal the 
unheeded injuries which the barbarians of feudal 
ages had recklessly done to the battlemented pile. 
Scott says— 

And well the lonely infant knew 
Recesses where the wall-flower grew. 

And honeysuckle loved to crawl 
Up the low crag and ruined wall. 

I deemed such nooks the sweetest shade 
The sun in all his round surveyed. 

We are told that the minstrels and troubadours 
of former days carried a branch of wall-flower, as 
the emblem of an affection which continues through 
all the vicissitudes of time, and survives every 
misfortune. During the reign of terror in France, 
the violent populace precipitated themselves to¬ 
wards the abbey of St. Denis, to disinter the ashes 
of their kings, and scatter them to the winds. The 
barbarians, after breaking open the sacred tombs, 
were affrighted at the sacrilege, and went and hid 

F 5 













100 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


their spoil in an obscure corner behind the choir of j 
the church, where they were forgotten amid the 
horrors of the revolution. The poet Treneuil, some 
time after, visited the spot, and found the sculptured 
fragments covered with the wall-flower. This 
plant, faithful in misfortune, diffused sweet perfumes j 
in that religious receptacle, which might be likened 
to an offering of incense ascending towards heaven. 1 
This scene produced the following lines from the 
inspired poet’s pen:— 

Mais quelle est cette fleur que son instinct pieux 
Sur l’aile du zephyr amene dans ces lieux ? 

Quoi! tu quittes le temple oh vivent tes racines, 
Sensible giroflee, amante des mines, 

Et ton tribut fidele accompagne nos rois ? 

Ah ! puisque la terreur a courbe sous les lois 
Du lis infortune la tige souveraine, 

Que nos jardins en deuil te choisissent pour reine ; 
Triomphe sans rivale, et que ta sainte fleur 
Croisse pour le tombeau, le trone, et le malheur. 


FALSE RICHES. 

SUNFLOWER—HELIANTHUS MULTIFLORUS. 

Eagle of flowers ! I see thee stand, 

And on the sun’s noon-glory gaze ; 

With eye like his thy lips expand, 

And fringe their disk with golden rays. 

J. MONTGOMERY. 

The helianthus, or sunflower, was originally 


















FALSE RICHES. 107 i 


brought from Peru, where its flowers were used by 
I the ancient Peruvians, worshippers of the god of 
day. The virgins of the sun, who officiated in 
their feasts, wore an imitation of this flower wrought 
in gold; they had also one on their breasts, and 
carried others in their hands. The Spaniards were 
astonished ac this display of gold, but were still 
1 more amazed w r hen they saw the fields, in 
May, covered with these flowers, which were 
so closely imitated by the artificers of the new 
world, that the workmanship seemed more to i 
be admired by these rapacious conquerors than 
the precious metal of which they were 
] formed. 

In the days of his power and splendour, the 
throne of the great Mogul is reported to have been 
surmounted by a golden palm, with diamond fruits, 
and the walls of the saloon, where this monarch 
i received the ambassadors, were covered with an 
enamelled golden vine, w'hose grapes were made of 
amethysts, sapphires, and rubies, to express the 
different degrees of ripeness. Every year the pos¬ 
sessor of these riches was weighed ; the weights 
were little golden fruits, which he threw amongst 
his courtiers after the ceremony. These courtiers, 
who were the greatest lords in India, scrambled for 
their possession. 

So false riches are the only things which surprise 
I and charm the vulgar ; they are equally degrading 













to him who possesses them and to him who desires 
their possession. 

Beautiful gardens of Alcinous ! You contain 
neither palms nor vines, nor harvests of gold and 
diamonds, yet all the treasures of the great Mogul 
would not be able to purchase one of those beautiful 
trees, which the divine Homer has covered with 
eternal flowers and fruits. 

It is related that Pythias, a rich Lydian, pos¬ 
sessing many mines of gold, neglected the culture of 
his land, and employed his numerous slaves only in 
the labours of the mines. His wife, who was full 
of wisdom and goodness, served him a supper, all 
the dishes of which were filled with gold. u I give 
you,” said she, “ the only thing we have in abun¬ 
dance ; you can but reap that which you sow ; see, 
yourself, if gold is so great a blessing.” This 
lesson made a deep impression on the mind of 
Pythias, who then acknowledged that Providence 
had not abandoned true riches to the avarice of 
men; but that, like a tender mother, she had 
reserved to herself the care of distributing them 
every year to her children, as the reward of their 
labours. 















FELICITY. 


109 


FASCINATION. 

ENCHANTER’S NIGHTSHADE—LUTETIANA 
CIRCiEA. 

Thrice round the grave Circaaa prints her tread, 

And cliaunts the numbers which disturb the dead. 

DARWIN. 

As the name of this plant indicates, it is cele- 
i brated in magical incantations. Its flowers are 
j rose-coloured, and veined with purple ; and com¬ 
monly grow in damp and shady places, where shrubs 
fit for the purpose to which this has been applied 
may be supposed to be found. It is named Circtea, 
j after the enchantress Circe. 


FELICITY. 

SWEET SULTAN—CENTAUREA MOSCHATA. 

This sweet-scented species of centaury w r as 
introduced into England in the reign of Charles I. 

It is mentioned by Parkinson, in 1629,—“as a 
kinde of these corne-flow r ers, I must needs adjoyn 
another stranger of much beauty, and hut lately ! 
obtained from Constantinople, where because, as 
it is said, the great Turk, as we call him, saw it | 
abroad, liked it, and wore it himself, all his vassals 
had it in great regard, and it hath been obtained 
from them by some that have sent it into these j 













110 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


parts.” And he adds, u the Turks themselves do 
call it the sultan’s flower, and I have done so like¬ 
wise, that it may he distinguished from all the 
other kindes.” It is also very commonly called 
Blackamoor’s Beauty. We are told that, in the 
east, it is made the emblem of supreme happiness. 


FINESSE. 

SWEET WILLIAM—DIANTHUS BARBATUS. 

Sweet William small lias form and aspect bright, 

Like that sweet flower that yields great Jove delight. 

COWLEY. 

The brilliant colours of the large compact 
umbels of this flower has led Phillips to consider it 
as “ Flora’s colour palette, on which she has 
frolicked, varying her favourite dyes to display all 
her gayest tints of reds and purples, mingled with 
pure white and jetty black, disposed in stars, as 
thickly set, and as bright as the eyes of Argus; so that 
one stem supports a large and brilliant bouquet.” 

u The easy culture of this plant, and its hardy 
nature, have rendered it common to every cottage 
garden, wdthout lessening its charms ; for its varie¬ 
ties are so infinite, that we scarcely ever meet with 
the same in any two gardens; and when large j 













! 

FIRE, 1 1 1 


! clumps of them are in full flower, their gaiety in 
mass is such as not to be eclipsed by the proudest 
plant of the parterre ; whilst their individual beauty 
exhibits such lovely dyes, and finished pencilling, 
as to defy imitation.” From its beauty and 
elegance, it has been made the emblem of finesse. 

FIRE, 

FRAXINELLA—DICTAMNUS FRAXINELLA, 

When the day has been warm, and the air very 
dry, this plant, especially when gently rubbed, 
emits an odour like that of lemon peel, but when 
bruised it has something of a balsamic scent. This 
scent is strongest in the pedicles of the flowers, 
which are covered with glands of a rusty red 
. colour, exuding a viscid juice or resin, which exhales 
I in vapour, and in a dark place may be seen to 
J take fire. 

FIRST EMOTION OF LOVE. 

LILAC—SYRINGA VULGARIS. 

The lilac, various in array, now white, 

Now sanguine, and her beauteous head now set 

With purple spikes pyramidal, as if 

Studious of ornament, yet unresolved 

Which hue she most approved, she chose them all. 

COWI'ER. 

The lilac is consecrated to the first emotion of 













SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


| love, because nothing is more delightful than the 
j sensations it produces on its first appearance on the 
j return of spring. The freshness of its verdure, the 
pliancy of its tender branches, the abundance of its 
! flowers—their beauty, though brief and transient,— 
their delicate and varied colours ;—all their quali¬ 
ties summon up those sweet emotions which enrich 
beauty, and impart to youth a grace divine. Ana¬ 
creon has beautifully expressed this idea in the fol¬ 
lowing lines :— 

Beauty’s rosy ray 
In flying blushes richly play ; 

Blushes of that celestial flame 
Which lights the cheek of virgin shame. 

Albano was unable to blend, upon the palette 
which love had confided to him, colours sufficiently 
soft and delicate to convey the peculiarly beautiful 
tints which adorn the human face in early youth ; 

The velvet down that spreads the cheek : 

Van Spaendock himself laid down his pencil in 
despair before a bunch of lilac. Nature seems to 
have aimed to produce massy bunches of these 
flowers, every part of which should astonish by its 
delicacy and its variety. The gradation of colour, 
from the purple bud to the almost colourless flowers, 
is the least charm of these beautiful groups, around 


















i-- ■ — 

FLAME. 


which the light plays and produces a thousand 
shades, which, all blending together in the same 
tint, forms that matchless harmony which the 
painter despairs to imitate, and the most indifferent 
observer delights to behold. What labour has 
Nature bestowed to create this fragile shrub, which 
seems only given for the gratification of the senses ! 
What an union of perfume, of freshness, of grace, 
and of delicacy ! What variety in detail! What 
beauty as a whole ! 



FLAME. 

YELLOW IRIS—IRIS GERMANICA. 

Amid its waving swords, in flaming gold 
The iris towers. 

c. SMITIl. 

The Iris Germanica are rustic plants, which the 
German peasants love to grow on the tops of their 
cottages. When these beautiful flowers are 
agitated by the breeze, and the sun gilds their 
petals, tinting them with hues of gold, purple, and 
azure, they have the appearance of light and per¬ 
fumed flames, glistening over the rustic dwellings. 
This appearance has gained the flower the name of 
“ Flaming Iris.” 


1 












114 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


FLATTERY. 

VENUS’ LOOKING-GLASS—CAMPANULA 
SPECULUM. 

* 

As soon as the sun sheds its golden light upon 
our corn fields, we see shining in the midst the 
bright purple corollas of the starry flowers of this 
pretty species of campanula, which, from its re¬ 
semblance to a mirror, has been named Venus’ | 
looking-glass. If the sun’s rays he intercepted by 
clouds, these beautiful flowers immediately close, as 
at the approach of night. There is an ancient fable 
which tells us that Venus accidentally let one of her 
mirrors fall on the earth. A shepherd found it, and 
casting his eyes upon the glass, which had the 
power of adorning the object it reflected, he forgot 
his mistress, and had no other wish than to admire 
himself. Love, who feared the consequences of so 
foolish an error, broke the glass, and transformed the 
remains into this pretty plant. 

FOLLY. 

COLUMBINE—AQUILEGIA VULGARIS. 

Bring hither the pincke and purple cullambine. 

SPENSER. 

This is Folly, Childhood’s guide. 

This is Childhood at her side. 

HAWKESWORTH. 

This graceful flower has long been a favourite 













FORESIGHT. 


515 


inhabitant of the rustic flower border, and is com¬ 
monly found in the open places of forests, or exten¬ 
sive woods. Why it has been made the emblem of 
folly it is difficult to say, some affirming that it is 
on account of the shape of its nectary, which turns 
over in a similar manner to the caps of the ancient 
jesters; while others suppose it to be on account of 
the party colours which it generally assumes. 


FORESIGHT. 

HOLLY—ILEX AQUIFOLIUM. 

Some to the holly hedge 
Nestling repair, and to the thicket some ; 

Some to the rude protection of the thorn. 

THOMSON. 

The providence of an all-wise Creator is shown 
in an admirable manner in this beautiful plant. 
The great hollies which grow in the forest of Need- 
wood bear leaves bristling with thorns, to the 
height of eight or ten feet, and above this height 
the leaves cease to be thorny. There the plant has 
no need to arm itself against enemies which cannot 












116 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


reach it. This tree, with its dazzling verdure, is 
the last ornament of our forests, when they are 
despoiled hy the winter’s frosts and chilling blasts ; 
its berries serve as food for the little birds which 
remain wdth us through the inclement season of 
winter ; and it also offers them a comfortable shelter 
amid its foliage. 

In that delightful work, Jesse’s Gleanings in 
Natural History, the eloquent author, speaking of 
the'holly, says ,— u The economy of trees, plants, 
and vegetables, is a cu.lous subject of inquiry, and 
in all of them w r e may trace the hand of a benefi¬ 
cent Creator ; the same care wdiich he has bestowed 
on his creatures is extended to plants ; this is re¬ 
markably the case with respect to hollies ; the 
edges of the leaves are provided with strong, sharp 
spines, as high up as they are within the reach of 
cattle; above that height the leaves are generally 
smooth, the projecting spines being no longer 
necessary.” 

Mr. Southey has noticed this circumstance in the 
following pretty lines:— 

0 reader ! hast thou ever stood to see 
The holly tree ? 

The eye that contemplates it well perceives 
Its glossy leaves ; 

Order’d by an Intelligence so wise 
As might confound an atheist’s sophistries. 






















FORGET-ME-NOT. 


117 i 


Below a circling fence its leaves are seen 
Wrinkled and keen ; 

No grazing cattle through their prickly round 
Can reach to wound ; 

But, as they grow where nothing is to fear, 

Smooth and unarmed the pointless leaves appear. 

^wwwv 

FORGET-ME-NOT. 

MYOSOTIS, OR, MOUSE EAR—MYOSOTIS 
SCORPIOIDES. 

No where are the beautiful flowers of this plant 
found in such great abundance as on the banks of a 
brook near the Luxembourg. The peasants call 
that brook the “ Fairy Bath,” or the “ Cascade of 
the Enchanted Oak these two names are given to 
it on account of the beauty of its source, whence it 
issues murmuring at the foot of a very old oak. The 
waters of the brook at first roll on from cascade to 
cascade, under a long vault of verdure, and after¬ 
ward flow gently through an extensive meadow : 
then they appear to the enchanted eye as a long 
silver thread. The southern bank alone is covered 
with a thick tapestry of mouse ear; its pretty 
flowers sparkle in July, clad in as bright a blue as 
that of the cerulean sky. Then they incline, as if 













118 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


they took delight in admiring themselves in the 
crystal waters, whose purity is unequalled. On this 
spot the young girls frequently assemble to cele¬ 
brate their birthdays, by dancing on the borders of 
the brook. When crowned with these lovely 
flowers, we might suppose them to be nymphs 
celebrating games in honour of the naiad of the 
enchanted oak. 

It is related that a young couple, who were on 
the eve of being united, whilst walking along the 
delightful banks of the Danube, saw one of these 
lovely flowers floating on the waves, which seemed 
ready to carry it away. The affianced bride admired 
the beauty of the flower, and regretted its fatal 
destiny. The lover was induced to precipitate him¬ 
self into the water, where he had no sooner seized 
the flower than he sank into the flood, but making a 
last effort, he threw the flower upon the shore, and 
at the moment of disappeariug for ever, he ex¬ 
claimed, u Virgils mich nicht since which time 
this flower has been made emblematical, and taken 
the name of u Forget-me-not.” 

That name it speaks in accents dear 
Of love, and hope, and joy, and fear ; 

It softly tells an absent friend 
That links of love should never rend; 

Its whispers waft a swelling breeze 
O’er hill and dale, by land and seas, 

Forget-me-not! 










FORGETFULNESS. 


Gem of the ril]! we love to greet 
Thy blossoms smiling at our feet. 

We fancy to thy flow’ret given 
A semblance of the azure heaven ; 

And deem thine eye of gold to be 
The star that gleams so brilliantly. 

BOUQUET DES SOUVENIES. 


FORGETFULNESS. 

MOONWORT—BOTRYCHIUM LUNARIA. 

This is the same species as the Lunaria. It does 
not owe its name to the seed, which might commonly 
he supposed, but to the partition of its large flat 
pods, which are orbicular, like the moon. This 
partition, disengaged from its shells, remains bril¬ 
liant, and has somewhat the resemblance of a 
medal. Rene, Duke of Bar and Loraine, having 
been made prisoner at the battle of Thoulongear, 
painted with his own hand a branch of moon- 
wort, and sent it to his vassals to reproach them 
for their lack of diligence in procuring his deli¬ 
verance. 














120 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 

FORSAKEN. 

GARDEN ANEMONE—ANEMONE CORONARIA. 

The coy anemone, that ne’er uncloses 
Her lips until they’re blown on by the wind. 

H. SMITH. 

Anemone was a nymph beloved by Zephyr. 
Flora, being jealous, banished her from her court, 
and changed her into a flower, which always opens 
at the return of spring. Zephyr has abandoned this 
unfortunate beauty to the rude caresses of Boras, 
who, unable to gain her love, agitates her until 
her blossoms are half open, and then causes 
her immediately to fade. An anemone, with this 
motto, ‘ £ Brevis est usus —“ Her reign is short,” 
admirably expresses the decline of beauty. 


FRIENDSHIP. 

IVY—HEDERA HELIX. 

I love the ivy-mantled tower, 

Rock’d by the storms of thousand years. 

CUNNINGHAM. 

Faithful love secures with a branch of ivy the 
quickly fading roses which adorn the brow. 



















r 


FRIENDSHIP. :21 


Friendship has chosen for its device an ivy which 
clothes a fallen tree, with these words—“ Rien ne 
pent ?n’en detacher In Greece, the altar of 
Hymen w r as surrounded with ivy, a sprig of which 
was presented by the priest to a new-married spouse, 
as the symbol of an indissoluble knot. The 
Bacchantes, old Silenus, and Bacchus himself, were 
crowned with ivy. Ingratitude has sometimes been 
represented by ivy, as when it attaches itself to a 
young tree it confines the stem, and. consequently 
prevents the free circulation of the sap. The author 
of a French work has repelled this calumny. The 
ivy appears to him to be the emblem of eternal 
friendship ; he says, “ Nothing is able to separate 
the ivy from the tree around which it has once 
entwined itself; it clothes the object with its own 
foliage in that inclement season when its black 
boughs are covered with hoar frost; the companion 
of its destinies, it falls when the tree is cut down. 
Death itself does not detach it, but it continues to 
decorate with its constant verdure the dry trunk it 
had chosen as its support.” Clare says— 

The ivy shuns the city wall, 

Where busy, clamorous crowds intrude, 

And climbs the desolated hall 
In silent solitude; 

The time-worn arch, the fallen dome, 

Are roots for its eternal home. 

Carrington makes it the symbol of desolation. 

G 











122 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Alluding to the ruins of Trematon, on the banks of 
Tamar, he sings, 

It is the triumph of resistless time, 

Man and his labours must submit to him ! 

He throws the column from its solid base ! 

He saps e’en now thy withering remains, 

Majestic Trematon ! and till the hour, 

When he, exulting, on the ground shall dash 
Thy walls, now trembling to the western gale, 

He clothes them with his spirit-chilling green, 

His dark and favourite ivy, cheerless plant, 

Sacred to desolation! 

But we love it best as the emblem of friendship. 
We rejoice to see the ivied oak, or 

“ aged elm, in ivy bound 

and we are sure that none will deny its claim to 
this symbol, since it yields shelter to some of our 
smaller birds. Wordsworth shall tell us how they 
harbour ’mid its foliage:— 

From behind the roof 
Rose the slim ash and massy sycamore, 

Blending their diverse foliage with the green 
Of ivy, flourishing and thick, that clasped 
The huge round chimneys, harbour of delight 
For wren and redbreast, where they sit and sing 
Their slender ditties when the trees are bare. 

It is a popular error that the ivy is a parasitical 
plant, deriving its support from the tree which it 









FRIVOLOUS AMUSEMENT. 123 


environs, when in fact it is sustained by its own 
vital powers ; its roots are fixed in the earth, and 
the sap is conveyed into its branches by the same 
laws which regulate the vital functions of other 
members of the vegetable kingdom. 


FRIVOLITY. 

LONDON PRIDE—SAXIFRAGA UMBROSA. 

This pretty and almost universal border plant is 
a species of saxifrage. It has received the name 
also of none-so-pretty ; and, if we view it with 
attention, we shall acknowledge that its prettily- 
spotted petals, which are painted with so much 
delicacy, fully deserve this appellation. Notwith¬ 
standing its beauty, it has been made the emblem 
of a light and frivolous sentiment, for a lover would 
think it an insult to his mistress, to present her with 
a nosegay of its flowers. 


FRIVOLOUS AMUSEMENT. 

BLADDER NUT TREE—STAPHYLEA PINNATA. 

The fruit of the bladder nut tree detonates, when 
pressed between the fingers. Idle people sometimes 
partake with children of the frivolous amusement 
which this effect affords. 










SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


j 124 


FRUITFULNESS. 

HOLLYHOCK—ALTHAEA ROSEA. 

All the world knows this superb plant, which 
is supposed to be a native of China, or rather of 
Syria, whence it is said to have been brought to 
Europe in the time of the crusades. From its ex¬ 
treme fecundity in the production of flowers, it has 
been made the emblem of fruitfulness. The Chinese 
represent nature crowned with its flowers. Pliny 
mentions it as a rose growing on stalks like the 
mallow ; and Miller states that he received seeds 
from Istria, where they were gathered in the fields ; 
these seeds produced only single red flowers, while 
seeds received from Madras yielded plants with 
double flowers of a variety of colours. H. Smith 
tells us, that 

From the nectaries of hollyhocks 
The humble bee e’en till he faints will sip. 

“ There are few flowers that contribute more to 
the embellishment of large gardens than the holly¬ 
hock, although their hardy nature and easy propa¬ 
gation have rendered them so common, that they 
are much less regarded by the generality of florists 
than they deserve.” 









I 

GAME, PLAY. 125 


GALLANTRY. 

NOSEGAY. 

Ariel sought 

The close recesses of the virgin’s thought; 

As on the nosegay in her breast reclined, 

He watched the ideas rising in her mind, 

POPE. 

A well aranged bouquet of flowers is the most 
delicate mode of paying attention to the fair sex 
that we can well imagine. Though the flowers 
themselves will soon fade in the possession of the 
fair being to whom they may be presented, the 
recollection of the tender regard w'ith which 
they were offered will be a source of lasting gratifi¬ 
cation. 


GAME, PLAY. 

HYACINTH—HYACTNTHUS ORIENTALIS. 

The hyacinth, so celebrated in the songs of the 
poets, from the time of Homer to the present day, 
is made emblematical of games, or play, in allusion 
to the fabulous origin of this flower, which, accord¬ 
ing to mythologists, sprung from the blood of 
Hyacinthus, who was killed by a quoit, through 
the agency of Zephyr, who blew it from its course 












126 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


as it passed from the hand of Apollo, and smote 
the unfortunate youth on the head. Hurd mentions 

The melancholy hyacinth that weeps 
All night, and never lifts an eye all day; 

probably in allusion to the melancholy fate of Hya- 
cinthus. 

The following address to the hyacinth is extracted 
from Tait’s Magazine. The lines were sent to the 
editor of that talented periodical as the production 
of a young country girl in the north of Ireland. 
We agree with him in saying (if that statement be 
true), that they are indeed more than wonderful. 
They are introduced here with great propriety, as 
they refer to the fate of Hyacinthus, as detailed in 
the preceding paragraph :— 

Oh! mournful, graceful, sapphire-coloured flower, 

That keeps thine eye for ever fixed on earth ! 

Gentle and sad, a foe thou seem’st to mirth,— 

What secret sorrow makes thee thus to lour ? 

Perhaps ’tis that thy place thou canst not change. 

And thou art pining at thy prison’d lot! 

But oh ! where couldst thou find a sweeter spot, 

Wert thou permitted earth’s wide bounds to range ? 

In pensive grove, meet temple for thy form, 

Where, with her silvery music, doth intrude 
The lucid stream, where nought unkind or rude 
Durst break of harmony the hallowed charm. 









GAME, PLAY. 127 j 


Thy beauties, all unseen by vulgar eyes, 

Sol, in his brightness, still delights to view ; 

He clothes thy petals in his glorious hue, 

To show how much of old he did thee prize. 

And what the sighing zephyr hither brings. 

To wander in these muse-beloved dells— 

It is to linger midst thy drooping hells. 

While vain repentance in thine ear he sings. 

And, sweetest flower, methinks thou hast forgiven 
Him who unconsciously did cause thy death ; 

For, soon as thou liadst yielded up thy breath. 

With grief for thee his frantic soul was riven. 

And thou wert placed where mingle wave and breeze 
Their dreamy music with the vocal choir, 

Whose varied harmonies might seem a lyre, 

Striving with dying notes thy soul to please— 

Where winter ne’er ungraciously presumes 
To touch thee with his sacrilegious hand— 

Where thy meek handmaids are the dews so bland— 
Where Spring around thee spreads her choicest blooms. 

’Tis not revenge, nor pining wretchedness, 

Thy head in pensive attitude that throws— 

’Tis extreme sensibility, that shows 
In gesture, gratitude speech can’t express. 

E’en while I pay this tributary praise, 

Methinks a deeper tinge thy cheek doth flush ; 

What, lovely one, need make thee thus to blush 
And turn away from my enraptured gaze ? 







128 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


No, gentle Hyacinth, thou canst not grieve, 

When things so lovely worship in thy train—• 

The sun, the wind, the wave—Oh ! it were vain 
To sum the homage which thou dost receive. 

The sad and musing poetess you cheer— 

At sight of thee, Mem’ry’s electric wings 
Waft to her soul long, long forgotten things— 

Loved voices hush’d in death she seems to hear. 

ANN. 


GENEROSITY. 

ORANGE TREE—CITRUS. 

This is a very ancient genus, and combines many 
excellencies in its species; it is a handsome ever¬ 
green ; it has most odoriferous flowers, and bril¬ 
liant, fragrant, and delicious fruits. Loudon 
observes that “ it is one of the most striking of 
fruit-bearing trees, and must have attracted the 
notice of aboriginal man long before other fruits of 
less brilliancy, but of more nutriment or flavour. 
The golden apples of the heathens, and forbidden 
fruit of the Jews, are supposed to allude to this 
family, though it is remarkable that we have no 
authentic records of any species of citrus having 
been known ; certainly none were cultivated by the 
Romans.” In the latter part of the seventeenth 
century, it was a very fashionable tree in conser- 








GENIUS. 


129 


vatories, where few exotics of other sorts were 
at that time to be found. Tt has been likened to 
a generous friend, who is ever loading us with 
favours. 


GENIUS. 

PLANE THEE—PLATANUS ORIENTALIS. 

* The plane tree has been appropriated as the 
symbol of genius, because the ancient Athenian 
philosophers generally held their discourses, or 
retired to study under the agreeable shade of its 
wide-spreading branches, for which it was greatly 
esteemed at Athens. Xerxes is said to have been 
so attracted by the charms of a plane tree, that he 
caused his army of 1,700,000 men to halt, while he 
adorned the tree with all his jewels, and with those 
of his concubines, and the principal lords of his 
court, until the branches were loaded with ornaments 
of every kind. He called it his mistress and his 
goddess ; and it was with difficulty that he was 
persuaded to leave the tree of which he had become 
so extraordinarily enamoured. He commanded its 
figure to be struck on a gold medal, which he con¬ 
stantly wore. Herodotus relates, that he raised a 
golden fence around it, and appointed one of his 
guards to protect it. 

G 5 









130 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


GLORY. 

LAUREL—LAURUS NOBTLIS. 

The Greeks and Romans consecrated crowns of 
laurel to glory of every kind. With them they 
adorned the brows of warriors and of poets, of 
orators and philosophers, of the vestal virgin and 
the emperor. 

This beautiful shrub is found in abundance in the 
island of Delphos, where it grows naturally on the 
banks of the river Peneus. There its aromatic and 
evergreen foliage is borne up by its aspiring branches 
to the height of the loftiest trees ; and it is alleged 
that by a secret and peculiar power they avert the 
thunderbolt from the shores they beautify. The 
beautiful Daphne was the daughter of the river Peneus. 
She was beloved by Apollo ; but, preferring virtue to 
the love of the most eloquent of gods, she fled, 
fearing that the eloquence of his speech should lead 
her from the paths of virtue. Apollo pursued her : 
and, as he caught her, the nymph invoked the aid of 
her father, and was changed into the laurel. 

In our free land, where letters are so extensive^ 
cultivated, they w r ho succeed in exciting popular 
favour meet with more remuneration than in 
ancient days ; but how few have been honoured so 
highly as their merits demand, until the last debt 
of nature has been paid, and then the marble bust, 












GOOD EDUCATION. 131 ! 


wreathed with bay, is raised to immortalise his fame, 
when his ears are become deaf to praise. He 
seldom receives his honours due while he enjoys the 
beauties of this terrestrial globe, and Clare has said, 
in his address to a poet,— 

The bard his glory ne’er receives. 

Where summer’s common flowers are seen, 

But winter finds it, when she leaves 
The laurel only green ; 

And Time, from that eternal tree, 

Shall weave a wreath to honour thee. 


GOOD EDUCATION. 

CHERRY TREE—PRUNUS CERASUS. 

It is generally believed that the cherry tree was 
first introduced into Italy, 73 B. C., by Lucullus, 
who obtained it from a town in Pontus, in Asia, 
called Cerasus, from whence it derives its specific 
name. The Romans brought it to England, though 
it is supposed that these have all been lost. There 
is no proof that cherries were in England at the 
period of the Norman conquest, nor for some time 
after; hut Lydgate, who wrote about 1415, or 
before, says that cherries were then exposed for sale 
in the London market, as they are now in the early 
season. It is a very ornamental tree in the shrub- 











132 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


bery and in woods, and is esteemed valuable, as 
encouraging the various species of thrush. 

The wild cherry tree, by careful cultivation, will 
yield agreeable and excellent fruit, in lieu of the 
dry berries which it bears naturally. So the human , 
intellect, if uncultivated, wil. be filled with tares i 
and weeds ; but, if trained with the hand of tender 
solicitude, and just sentiments and opinions sown 
upon the soil, it will bring forth the fruit of upright¬ 
ness and integrity, and obtain for the individual j 
consequent respect and esteem. 


GOODNESS. 

j 

GOOSE FOOT—CHENOPODIUM BONUS 
HENRICUS. 

I 

The French people have given the name of their 
beloved king, Henry IV., to a benificent and useful j 
plant, which grows for the poor, and indeed seems j 
exclusively to belong to them. In France it flou- ; 
rishes without any cultivation, and forms the 
asparagus and spinach of the poor ; in England it 
is known also as wild spinach. The leaves are said 
to be of great service when applied to wounds. 
Happy is that king who deserves a homage so uni¬ 
versal and so simple! 









GRANDEUR. 133 


GRACES. 

HUNDRED-LEAVED ROSE—ROSA CENTIFOLIA. 

This tree bears a very double fine flower, of 
a deep crimson colour ; its perfume, however, is 
weak. 

It is mentioned by Pliny as growing around 
Campania, in Italy, and in the neighbourhood of 
Philippi, in Greece, and its flowers are so double 
that they have a hundred leaves. This rose does 
not, however, grow there naturally, but near to 
Mount Pangaeus, and when transplanted from thence 
to Philippi, they yield finer flowers than on their 
native mountain. It is recorded, that when the 
Graces accompany Venus and her ministering 
Cupids, they are crowned with myrtle; and when 
they follow the Muses they are crowned with 
wreaths of the hundred-leaved rose. 


GRANDEUR. 

ASH—FRAXINUS EXCELSIOR. 

- ash, far stretching his umbrageous arm. 

COWPEll. 

The towering ash is fairest in the woods. 

VIRGIL. 

There is a singular allegory in the Edda, which 





134 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS- 


states that the gods hold their court under the 
shadeof a miraculous ash, whose extensive branches 
shadow the whole surface of the earth ; the top of 
the tree touches the heavens, and its roots descend 
to the regions of Pluto. An eagle constantly re¬ 
poses on the tree, to observe every thing, and a 
squirrel continually ascends and descends to make 
report. Beneath its roots flow two fountains. In 
the one wisdom is concealed, and in the other is 
found the knowledge of things to come. Three 
virgins are entrusted with the charge of this sacred 
tree, who ever remain under its branches to refresh 
the tree with these salutary waters, which, on fall¬ 
ing back on the earth, form a dew that produces 
honey. This effect has been ingeniously compared 
to the results of inventive science. 


GRATITUDE. 

PYRAMIDAL BELL-FLOWER—PYRAMIDALIS 
CAMPANULA. 

This was a very fashionable plant some thirty 
years ago, and is still cultivated. It is used in 
Holland as an ornament to halls and staircases, and 
for placing before fireplaces in the summer. For 
this purpose it is planted in large pots, and is 
trained in such a manner as to cover a large surface, 




HAUGHTINESS, PRIDE. 135 


and continues to flower for two or three months in 
shady places. When in full flower it is a very 
magnificent plant, rising in a pyramidal shape, not 
unlike that of the towering pagoda. It may be 
trained to almost any shape, and we presume that 
on this account it has been made the emblem of 
gratitude. 


HATRED. 

BASIL—OCYMUM BASILICUM. 

Poverty is sometimes represented under the 
figure of an old woman covered with rags, seated 
near a plant of basil. It is commonly said that 
hate has the eyes of a basilisk, because this name 
has been given to a fabulous animal, which is stated 
to produce death by a single glance. Basil, how¬ 
ever, is a name derived from the Greek, which sig¬ 
nifies royal, and indicates the excellence of this 
fragrant plant. 


HAUGHTINESS, PRIDE. 

AMARYLLIS—AMARYLLIS FORMOSISSIMA. 

Gardeners say that the amaryllis, of which 
there are numerous varieties, is a proud plant, be- 











136 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


cause it frequently refuses its flowers to their most 
earnest c-ares. The Guernsey lily is a charming 
flower, and closely resembles the tuberose in appear¬ 
ance and size ; it is of a cherry red colour, and, 
when the sun shines upon it, it seems studded with 
gems of gold. The name of this plant is derived 
from a Greek word, which has been not inappropri¬ 
ately translated, by Monsieur Pirolle, as significant 
of splendour, and, perhaps, w r e have no flowering 
plant more beautifully gay than the amaryllis. 


HEALING. 

BALM OF GILEAD—AMYRIS GILEADENSIS. 

This exquisite balm was justly esteemed by 
the ancients, and seems to have been prepared by 
nature to soften our pains. "We often employ 
the word balm in a moral sense, to express that 
which tempers and soothes our sorrows. Bene¬ 
ficent virtue and tender friendship are true balms 
which heal the wounds of the heart,—wounds 
a thousand times more insupportable than all phy¬ 
sical ills. 

HIDDEN MERIT. 

CORIANDER—CORIANDRUM SATIVUM. 

When fresh gathered, this plant has a powerful 










HOPE. 


137 


and very disagreeable smell. It is extensively 
cultivated in Essex; the seeds, which are slightly 
aromatic, are used to cover the taste of senna, and 
in spices, as curry powder. They are also believed 
to possess considerable medicinal properties of 
great value. 

HOPE. 

HAWTHORN—CRAT.EGUS OXYACANTHA. 

Now hawthorns blossom, now the daisies spring. 

POPE. 

Now all nature is enlivened with hope and with 
joy; the swallow has returned to us once more, and 
the nightingale warbles her enchanting songs in the 
neighbouring thickets, announcing the duration of 
line weather,— 

Around the hawthorn flings its rich perfume! 

Poor vine-dressers ! now be assured the cold frosts 
shall not again destroy the tender vine buds, the 
hope of your long and careful labours. Happy 
labourers ! the rude north wind shall not blight 
your verdant plains ; but the sun shall gild them 
with his genial rays, and ripen the fruit ye 
seek for. 

The hawthorn has been made the emblem of hope, 






138 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


because the young and beautiful Athenian maids 
brought its branches, covered with flowers, to deco¬ 
rate their companions on their nuptial day, whilst 
they bare larger bough? of it to the altar. The 
altar of Hymen was lighted by torches made from 
the wood of this tree; and it also formed the flam¬ 
beaux which illuminated the nuptial chamber. We 
are told that the Troglodytes, in the simplicity of 
their minds, tied hawthorn branches to the dead 
bodies of their parents and friends ; and at the in¬ 
terment of the corpse they strewed its branches 
upon the body, and afterwards covered it with 
stones, laughing through the whole of the ceremony. 
They considered death as the dawning of a life 
which should never cease. 

The hawthorn boughs were used in England as 
one of the principal decorations of the May-pole in 
our ancient village amusements; and this circum¬ 
stance, together with its flow r ering in May, have 
obtained for it more commonly the name of that 
month. What more delights the young and the 
light-hearted than to gather from our hedge-rows a 
branch of this tree filled with its delicate flowers, 
whose petals are not unfrequently tinged with a 
beautiful delicate pink! and, as w r e read in the 
deathless works of Shakspere, 

Gives not the hawthorn-bush a sweeter shade 

To shepherds looking on their silly sheep. 

Than doth a rich embroidered canopy 










HOSPITALITY. 139 


To kings, that fear their subjects’ treachery ? 
0 ! yes, it doth ; a thousand-fold it doth. 


HORROR. 

SERPENTINE CACTUS—CACTUS SERPEN- 
TINUS. 

Every kind of serpent or snake, until naturalists 
discovered that the common English snake is 
innoxious, was believed to be hurtful to man ; and 
it must yet be allowed, that even the latter species 
is viewed by most people with distrust and horror. 
The cactus has been the emblem of the latter senti¬ 
ment, from the similarity of its long, trailing, 
prickly branches, which are thrown in knotted curls 
around the root, to the coils of serpents. 

HOSPITALITY. 

OAK—QUERCUS PEDUNCULATA. 

Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out 
Upon the brook that brawls along this wood. 

SHAKSPERE. 

The ancients believed that the oak, created with 
the earth, offered food and shelter to the first 




140 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


parents of our kind. This tree is said to have 
shaded the cradle of Jupiter, to whom it was con¬ 
secrated, after his birth upon Mount Lycmus, in 
Arcadia. The oaken crown was less esteemed by 
the Greeks than the crown of gold ; but the Romans 
considered it the most desirable of all rewards. In 
order to obtain it, the candidate must be a citizen,— 
he must have killed an enemy,—restored a lost 
victory,—and have saved the life of a Roman. 
Scipio Africanus refused the civic crown, after 
having saved his father’s life at the battle of Trebia ; 
he refused the crown, because the consciousness of 
having discharged a sacred duty appeared to him to 
be a sufficient reward. In Epirus the oaks of 
Dodona gave out oracles ; w r hile the wide-spreading 
foliage of the Gallic oak concealed the mysterious 
sacrifices of the ancient Druids. With the Celts, 
who adored this tree, it was the emblem of hospi¬ 
tality, a quality so highly esteemed by them, that, 
next to th£ir claims to bravery, they considered the 
title of “ friend to the stranger” as the most to be 
desired. 

Hamadryads, faries, and genii, no longer enchant 
our sombre forests ; but the aspect of a majestic 
oak still fills us with admiration, and inspires us 
with respect and awe. When, full of youth and 
strength, it elevates its lofty head, and extends its 
immense branches, assuming the character of a 
protector. Despoiled of its verdure by the power 











HUMILITY. 


141 


of a thunder shock, it resembles an old man, who, 
having outlived his generation, no longer takes an 
interest in the passing events of the world. The 
impetuous winds oft wrestle for the mastery with 

The monarch oak, the sturdy growth 
Of ages ; 

but he yields not to the howling tempest, and is 
Long triumphant o’er decay. 

If this tree had no other claim to be made the 
emblem of hospitality, it surely would merit that 
honour for the service rendered by one of its kind to 
the unfortunate Charles II., when a fugitive in the 
heart of his own kingdom. 


HUMILITY. 

BINDWEED—CONVOLVULUS ARVENSIS. 

The cumbrous bindweed, with its wreaths and hells. 

WORDSWORTH. 

This perennial twiner is a species of convol¬ 
vulus, and is a very troublesome plant iq the corn- 
held, where it is very commonly found. It is a 
simple flower; and, probably, on account of this 
quality it has been made the emblem of humility. 













142 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


I ATTACH MYSELF TO YOU. 

SCARLET IPOMCEA ; OR, INDIAN JASMINE— 
IPOMIEA COCCINEA. 

This beautiful twining plant is a species of bind¬ 
weed, or something analogous ; like the convolvu¬ 
lus, it requires something to support its light 
tendrils ; and, without fatiguing that support, 
wreaths it with verdure and flowers. 


I DIE IF NEGLECTED. 

LAURUSTINUS—VIBURNUM TINUS. 

This is one of the prettiest of evergreen shrubs, 
and is the gift of Spain to our highly-favoured land. 
In winter it is the ornament of our groves, display¬ 
ing its shining leaves and snowy white flowers when 
other trees have ceased to bloom. 

Neither the hot breath of summer nor the cold 
kiss of winter can rob it of its charms ; but to pre¬ 
serve it w& must tend it with assiduous care. The 
symbol of a constant and delicate friendship, it ever 
seeks to please, yet dies if neglected. 








I WILL NOT SURVIVE YOU. 143 


I WILL NOT SURVIVE YOU. 

BLACK MULBERRY TREE—MORUS NIGRA. 

The fruit of the mulberry tree, like that of the 
strawberry and raspberry, is said not to undergo the 
acetous fermentation in the stomach, and therefore 
may be safely eaten. As the tree becomes older, it 
increases in fruitfulness ; and, when fully grown, 
its fruit is much larger and better flavoured than 
that of the young ones. 

From the circumstance of this tree being men¬ 
tioned in the affecting story of Pyramus andThisbe, 
narrated by La Fontaine, and which nearly all the 
world has read, it has been selected by the French 
floral linguist to express the sentiment at the head 
of this article. Pyramus, fearing that his beloved 
Thisbe had been devoured by an enraged lion, 
killed himself in despair. Thisbe, having been 
alarmed, had fled from the appointed place of meet¬ 
ing, and returned only in time to see Pyramus ex¬ 
pire. She would not survive him, but, taking the 
poniard he had so effectually used, she destroyed her 
own existence. Thus in death these two lovers 
were re-united. 




SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


| 

i 144 


I PARTAKE YOUR SENTIMENTS. 

GARDEN DAISY. 

Within the garden’s cultured round. 

It shares the sweet carnation’s bed. 

J. MONTGOMERY. 

The daisy, like many other plants, undergoes a 
considerable change when transplanted from its 
native field to the cultivated parterre. To preserve 
them, however, in their altered state, it seems 
necessary to divide the roots, and transplant them 
every year. They thrive best in a moist, loamy 
soil, without any admixture of manure ; and con¬ 
tinue in flower for a longer period if shaded from 
the heat of the mid-day sun. 

The garden daisy has been adopted to express 
reciprocity of feeling, in reference to an ancient 
custom in the days of chivalry. When the mistress 
of a knight permitted him to engrave this flower on 
his scarf, it was understood as a public avowal that 
she partook of his sentiments. Leyden has favoured 
us with some beautiful lines on the daisy, in which 
he alludes to this custom :—■ 

Star of the mead ! sweet daughter of the day, 

Whose opening flower invites the morning ray, 

From thy moist cheek, and bosom’s chilly fold, 

To kiss the tears of eve, the dew-drops cold! 











I PARTAKE YOUR SENTIMENTS. 145 


Sweet daisy, flower of love ! when birds are paired, 
’Tis sweet to see thee, with thy bosom bared, 

Smiling, in virgin innocence, serene, 

Thy pearly crown above thy vest of green. 

The lark, with sparkling eye, and rustling wing, 
Kejoins his widowed mate in early spring, 

And as she prunes his plumes of russet hue, 

Swears, on thy maiden blossom, to be true. 

Oft have I watched thy closing buds at eve, 

Which for the parting sunbeams seemed to grieve, 

And, when gay morning gilt the dew-bright plain, 

Seen them unclasp their folded leaves again ; 

Nor he who sung—“ the daisy is so sweet”— 

More dearly loved thy pearly form to greet; 

When on his scarf the knight the daisy bound, 

And dames at tourneys shone, with daisies crowned. 
And fays forsook the purer fields above, 

To hail the daisy, flower of faithful love. 

We might almost suppose that Wordsworth had 
been aware of the daisy’s power of language, when 
he introduced it in his description of a deserted 
flower-garden, where it seems to accord in senti¬ 
ment with the various plants that once in beauty 
shone, but now, neglected, droop and hang “ their 
languid heads:” 

Daisy-flowers and thrift 
Had broken their trim lines, and straggled o’er 
The paths they used to deck. 

And did not our countryman, James Montgomery, 
illustrious in the annals of poetry, partake warmly 











146 


SENTIMENT OF FIOWF.RS. 


of the sentiments of the learned Dr. Carey, when he 
c omposed those beautiful lines, entitled “ The Daisy 
in India,” and which we here present to the reader, 
as they must awaken a kindred feeling in every 
heart where sensibility is not entirely extinguished ? 
Dr. Carey had expressed, in a letter to a botanical 
friend in England, the pleasure he felt on observing 
a daisy spring up, unexpectedly, in his garden at 
Serampore, where he was stationed. It had been 
borne over the waters in some English earth, in 
which other seeds were conveyed; and now in 
another clime it opened its u crimson-tipped flower” 
to the warm air of the east; we can conceive the 
welcome surprise with which the little flower was 
greeted ! Aye — 

Thrice welcome, little English flower ! 

Thy mother country’s white and red. 

In rose or lily, till this hour, 

Never to me such beauty spread : 

Transplanted from thine island bed, 

A treasure in a grain of earth, 

Strange as a spirit from the dead, 

Thine embryo sprang to birth. 

Thrice welcome, little English flower ! 

Whose tribes beneath our natal skies 
Shut close their leaves while vapours lour ; 

But when the sun’s gay beams ai'ise, 

With unabash’d but modest eyes 
Follow his motion to the west, 

Nor cease to gaze till daylight dies. 

Then fold themselves to rest. 












I PARTAKE YOUR SENTIMENTS. 


147 


Thrice welcome, little English flower ! 

To this resplendent hemisphere, 

Where Flora’s giant-offspring tower 
In gorgeous liveries all the year : 

Thou, only Thou, art little here, 

Like worth unfriended or unknown, 

Yet to my British heart more dear 
Than all the torrid zone. 

Thrice welcome, little English flower I 
Of early scenes beloved by me, 

While happy in my father’s bower, 

Thou shalt the blithe memorial be ; 

The fairy sports of infancy, 

Youth’s golden age, and manhood’s prime, 
Home, country, kindred, friends,—with thee 
Are mine in this far clime. 

Thrice welcome, little English flower ! 

I’ll rear thee with a trembling hand : 

0 for the April sun and shower, 

The sweet May-dews of that fair land, 
Where daisies, thick as star-light, stand 
In every walk !—that here might shoot 
Thy scions, and thy buds expand, 

A hundred from one root! 

Thrice welcome, little English flower! 

To me the pledge of hope unseen : 

When sorrow would my soul o’erpower 
For joys that were, or might have been. 

I’ll call to mind, how—fresh and green,— 

I saw thee waking from the dust, 

Then turn to heaven with brow serene, 

And place in God my trust. 








148 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


I FEEL YOUR KINDNESS. 

FLAX—LINUM USITATISSIMUM. 

Then on the rock a scanty measure placed 
Of vital flax, and turned the wheel apace, 

And turning, sung. 

dryden’s OVID. 

Truly we ought to be grateful to this useful 
plant! It yields us the linen we wear, the paper we 
write upon, and the lace which adorns our fair 
countrywomen. No where can we cast our eyes hut 
we see evidence of its utility. It has been culti¬ 
vated from time immemorial for the lint and tow 
it affords ; and it was formerly the chief occupation 
of our cottagers’ wives to spin this into yarn and 
linen cloth. It is grown pretty generally in the 
Isle of Axholme, in Lincolnshire. Our Devonian 
bard, Carrington, mentions it in “Dartmoor,” 
where its cultivation has been attempted by Sir 
Thomas Tyrwhitt, and others, with partial 
success:— 

How sweetly blooms 

Upon the slopes the azure-blossom’d flax ! 

How wave the grassy seas of sheltered fields. 
Triumphant o’er the solitudes around, 

Less happy, where the cultivator’s hand, 

Creating, comes not. If to him belongs 
The name of benefactor of mankind, 

“ Who makes two blades of cheerful grass to grow 









I SURMOUNT ALL DIFFICULTIES. 149 


Where but one grew before,” what meed is thine, 
Tyrwhitt, who, for the unprofitable heath. 

The lichen, and the worthless moss, that erst 
Crept o’er the hill, hast round thy highland home 
A belt of generous vei’dure thrown, and bade 
A sweet oasis in the desert rise 
Upon the traveller’s admiring eye ? 


I SURMOUNT ALL DIFFICULTIES. 

MISTLETOE—VISCUM ALBUM. 

All your temples strow 
With laurel green, and sacred mistletoe. 

GAY. 

The mistletoe is a parasitical plant, growing 
chiefly on the summit of fruit trees, though 
the proud oak sometimes becomes its slave and 
yields its own substance to support it. u The 
Druids sent round their attendant youths with 
branches of the mistletoe, to announce the entrance 
of the new year;” and something like this custom 
is said still to be continued in France; and our 
English friends, who maintain the Christmas 
customs and gambols of our ancestors, need not 
that we should remind them of the part it plays in 
those festivities. The Druids had a species of 
adoration for a weakness so superior to strength. 
The tyrant subjugator of the oak appeared to them 







150 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


alike formidable to men and gods ; and they related 
the following story in support of their opinion:— 
u One day, Balder told his mother Friga, that he 
had dreamed he should die. Friga conjured the 
elements—earth, air, fire, and water; metals, 
maladies, animals, and serpents,—that they should 
do no evil to her son ; and her conjurations were so 
powerful, that nought could resist them. Balder, 
therefore, went to the combat of the gods, and 
fought in the midst of showers of arrows without 
fear. Loake, his enemy, wished to know the reason ; 
he took the form of an old woman, and sought out 
Friga. He addressed her thus: ‘In the midst of 
our fight, the arrows and rocks fall on your son 
without hurting him.’ ‘ I believe it,’ replied Friga, 
‘ all those substances are sworn to me; there is 
nothing in nature which can hurt him. I have ob¬ 
tained this favour from everything which has power. 
There is only one little plant that I cared not to 
ask, because it appeared too feeble to injure ; it was 
growing upon the bark of an oak, with scarcely any 
root ; it lives without soil, and is called mistletoe.’ 
So spake Friga. Loake immediately ran and found 
the plant, and entering the assembly of the gods, 
while they were fighting against the invulnerable 
Balder (for their games are combats), he approached 
the blind Heda. 1 Why,’ said he, 1 do you not 
contend with the arrows of Balder ?’ 1 1 am 

blind,’ he answered, ‘ and have no arms.’ Loake 





INFATUATION. I LOVE YOU. 151 


presented to him the mistletoe, and said, ‘Balder is 
before thee.’ The blind Heda discharged the 
arrow, and Balder fell pierced and slain. Thus, 
the invulnerable offspring of a goddess was killed 
by an arrow of mistletoe, shot by a blind man.” 
Such is the origin of the respect borne by the Gauls 
towards this shrub. 


INFATUATION. I LOVE YOU. 

PERUVIAN HELIOTROPE—HELIOTROPIUM PERU- 

VIANUM. 

This evergreen trailer is a native of Peru, and 
bears beautiful lilac-coloured flowers ; and, in the 
greenhouse, continues in bloom nearly the whole of 
the year. 

The Orientals say that the perfumes of the 
heliotrope elevate their souls towards heaven ; it is 
true that they exhilarate us, and produce a degree 
of intoxication. The sensation produced by inhaling 
them may, it is said, be renewed by imagination, 
even though years have passed away after the reality 
was experienced. 

The Countess Eleanora, natural daughter of 
Christian IV., King of Denmark, who became so 
notorious by the misfortunes, crimes, and exile of 

_ 









152 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Count Ulfeld, her husband, offers to us a striking 
proof of the power of perfumes on the memory. 
This princess, at the age of thirteen, had become 
attached to a young man, to whom she was subse¬ 
quently affianced. This yonng man died in the 
castle where they were making preparations for the 
marriage. Eleanora, in despair, wished to take a 
longlast look at the object of her love, and, if alive, 
to bid a last adieu. She was conducted into the 
chamber where he had just expired. The body was 
already placed on a bier, and covered with rosemary. 
The spectacle made such a deep impression upon 
the affianced maiden, that though she afterwards 
exhibited courage equal to her misfortunes, she 
never could breathe the perfume of rosemary with¬ 
out falling into the most frightful convulsions. 

The celebrated Jussieu, while botanizing in the 
Cordilleras, suddenly inhaled the most exquisite 
perfumes. He expected to find some brilliantly- 
coloured flowers, but only perceived some pretty 
clumps of an agreeable green, bearing flowers of a 
pale blue colour. On approaching nearer, he ob¬ 
served that the flowers turned gently towards the 
sun, which they appeared to regard with reverential 
love. Struck with this peculiar disposition, he gave 
the plant the name of heliotrope, which is derived 
from two Greek words, signifying “ sun,” and “ I 
turn.” The learned botanist, delighted with this 
charming acquisition, collected a quantity of the 





INFATUATION. I LOVE YOU. 


153 


seeds, and sent them to the Jardin du Roi, at Paris, 
where it was first cultivated in Europe. The ladies 
collected it with enthusiasm,—placed it in their 
richest vases,—called it the flower of love,—and 
received with indifference every bouquet in which 
their favourite flower was not to be found. 

An anonymous writer has made it emblematical 
of flattery, as it is said that when a cloud obscures 
the sky, it droops its head. We would rather 
suppose that, like the lover, whose heart is sad when 
absent from his mistress, so the heliotrope droops 
because it is deprived of the cheering rays of the sun 
that it seems to adore. 

There is a flower whose modest eye 
Is turned with looks of light and love, 

Who breathes her softest, sweetest sigh, 
Whene’er the sun is bright above. 

Let clouds obscure, or darkness veil, 

Her fond idolatry is fled ; 

Her sighs no more their sweets exhale, 

The loving eye is cold and dead. 

Canst thou not trace a moral here, 

False flatterer of the prosperous hour ? 

Let but an adverse cloud appear, 

And thou art faithless as the flower! 


H 5 








154 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


INTOXICATION. 

VINE—VITUS VINIFERA. 

But oh! let vines luxuriant roll 
Their blushing tendrils round the bowl. 

ANACREON. 

The grateful juice of the vine has been given to 
cheer the heart of man, and though, alas ! it is too 
often used as the excitement to unseemly revelry, 
where men degrade themselves to the condition of 
the brutes, over which they were created lords, we 
confess we like to see 

Depending vines the shelving caverns screen, 

With purple clusters blushing through the green. 

POPE. 


I NEVER IMPORTUNE. 

A ROSE LEAF. 

There was an academy at Amadan, whose 
statutes were couched in these terms ,— u The 
academicians think much, write little, and talk 
less !Dr. Zeb, celebrated all over the east, being 
informed of a vacancy in that academy, hastened 
to obtain it, but unfortunately arrived too late. 











I WILL THINK OF IT. 155 


The academy was in despair; it had just granted 
to power that which belonged to merit alone. The 
president, not knowing how to express a refusal 
■which reflected so much discredit on the assembly, 
commanded a cup to be brought, which he so ex¬ 
actly filled with water, that one drop more would 
have caused it to overflow. The learned candidate 
understood by this emblem that there was no place 
in the academy for him. He was retiring in dis¬ 
appointment, when he perceived a rose leaf at his 
feet. At this sight hope revived; he took the rose 
leaf, and placed it so gently upon the water which 
filled the cup, that not a single drop was lost. At 
this ingenious feat every one clapped their hands, 
and the doctor was received by acclamation among 
the members of the silent academy. 


I WILL THINK OF IT. 

WHITE DAISY. 

In the by-gone days of chivalry, when a lady 
wished to intimate to her lover that she was un¬ 
decided whether she would accept his offer or not, 
she decorated her head with a frontlet of white 
daisies, which was understood to say, u I will 
think of it.” 




156 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


An unknown poet has sung the daisy’s offering 
in verses so agreeable to our ears, that we must e’en 
let our readers share the pleasure. 

Think of the flowers culled for thee, 

In vest of silvery white. 

When other flowers perchance you see. 

Not fairer, hut more bright. 

Sweet roses, and carnations gay. 

Have but a summer’s reign; 

I mingle with the buds of May, 

Join drear December’s train. 

A simple unassuming flower, 

’ Mid showers aud storms I bloom ; 

I’ll decorate thy lady’s bower, 

And blossom on thy tomb. 


IMMOKTALITY. 

AMARANTH—AMARANTHS SANGUINEUS. 

The amaranth is one of the latest gifts of 
autumn, and when dead its flow r ers retain their rich 
scarlet colour. The ancients have associated it 
with supreme honours; choosing it to adorn the 
brows of their gods. Poets have sometimes min¬ 
gled its bright hue with the dark and gloomy 
cypress, wishing to express that their sorrows were 










IMMORTALITY. 


157 


combined with everlasting recollections. Homer 
tells us, that at the funeral of Achilles, the Thessa¬ 
lians presented themselves wearing crowns of 
amaranth. 

Milton, in his gorgeous description of the court 
of heaven, mentions the amaranth as being in- 
woven in tbe diadems of angels— 

With solemn adoration down they cast 
Their crowns, inwove with amaranth and gold ; 
Immortal amaranth, a flower which once 
In Paradise, fast by the tree of life, 

Began to bloom ; but soon for man’s offence 
To heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows, 
And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life, 

And where the river of bliss through midst of heaven 
Rolls o’erElysian flowers her amber stream, 

With those that never fade. 

Pope mentions this flower in his Ode for St. 
Cecilia’s day ; imagining it to be found in celestial 
bowers;— 

By the streams that ever flow. 

By the fragrant winds that blow 
O’er the Elysian flowers ; 

By those happy souls that dwell 
In yellow meads of asphodel, 

Or amaranthine bowers. 

Love and friendship are adorned with amaranth. 
In the garland of Julie, we find the four following 
lines:— 













158 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Je suis la fleur d’amour qu’amarante on appelle, 

Et qui viens de Julie adorer les beaux yeux. 

Roses, retirex-vous : j’al le nom d’immortelle, 

II n’appartient qu’a moi de couronner les dieux. 

Christina, queen of Sweden, who wished to im¬ 
mortalise herself by renouncing the throne to culti¬ 
vate letters and philosophy, instituted the order of 
“ knights of the amaranth . v The decoration of 
that order is a medal of gold, enriched with a 
flower of the amaranth in enamel, with this motto : 
“ Dolce nella memoria.” 

In the floral games at Toulouse, the prize for the 
best lyrical verses is a golden amaranth, 


IMPATIENCE. 

BALSAM—IMPATIENS NOLITANGERE. 

This plant, which is one of the most beautiful 
and delicate of popular annuals, is a native of East 
India, and forms a showy cone of carnation-like 
flowers finely variegated. It possesses the peculiar 
property of retaining, during the hottest months of 
summer, all its freshness and beauty, while many 
other plants are withered before they have flowered. 
It has been named Nolitangere and Impatiens, 
from the curious fact that when the seeds are ripe, 




INCONSTANCY. 159 


they are thrown with considerable force out of the 
capsules on their being slightly touched; on this 
account it has been made the emblem of impatience. 
The Turks use it to represent ardent love. 


IMPORTUNITY. 

BURDOCK—ARCTIUM LAPPA. 

The burdock is an inhabitant of road-sides and 
ditch-banks, and is equally common in Europe and 
Japan. When once it has become transplanted 
into good ground, it is very difficult to be eradi¬ 
cated ; every one knovrs its bristly fruit, which 
attaches itself to our clothes in an importunate 
manner. 


INCONSTANCY. 

EVENING PRIMROSE—OENOTHERA BIENNIS. 

It is uncertain when thi3 beautiful flower was 
first introduced into England, though we know that 
it was brought from Virginia to Padua in the year 
1619. It is a general favourite with our poets, who 
give it a very different character to that we have 
assigned to it in floral language. We presume that 









1G0 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


it has been made the emblem of Inconstancy on 
account of the transient duration of its flowers. 
It opens between six and seven o’clock in the even¬ 
ing. We extract the following lines on this flower 
from Clare’s Rural Muse: — 

When once the sun sinks in the west, 

And dew-drops pearl the Evening’s breast; 
Almost as pale as moon-beams are, 

Or its companionable star, 

The evening primrose opes anew 
Its delicate blossoms to the dew ; 

And, hermit like, shunning the light, 

Wastes its fair bloom upon the Night, 

Who, blindfold to its fond caresses, 

Knows not the beauty he possesses. 

Thus it blooms on while Night is by ; 

When Day looks out with open eye, 

’ Bashed at the gaze it cannot shun, 

It faints, and withers, and is gone. 


INDEPENDENCE. 

WILD PLUM TREE—PRUNUS DOMESTICA. 

The wild plum is the least docile of our indige¬ 
nous trees. It will not bear training, nor can we 
transplant it with success. We therefore engraft 
the domestic plum upon the stock of an apricot tree. 
For these reasons the wild plum has been considered 
the emblem of independence ; and, also, because it 
is said to love lofty situations. 











INDIFFERENCE. 161 


INDIFFERENCE. 

CANDY-TUFT—IBERIS AMARA. 

The iberis continues in blossom nearly the whole 
year, ever presenting to us its bright green foliage, 
and its scentless blossoms white as snow. The first 
specimens of this plant were brought from Candia, 
whence its English name candy.tuft. This plant 
is well adapted to enliven the sombre appearance of 
our evergreen plantations during the winter months, 
if not placed near the Laurustinus, which requires 
no aid of this kind; for that beautiful shrub, like 
the iberis, seems awake while the rest of vegetable 
nature sleeps. 

The warmth of our summers has very little ap¬ 
parent effect upon the candy-tuft; the gardener is 
frequently obliged to tear away the flowery veil 
which persists in concealing its seed. 

it braves all the inclemencies of winter; and if 
we are reminded by its brilliancy of that of other 
flowers, we are less consoled for their absence, than 
led to regret their graces and sweet perfumes. 

It is doubtless by reason of its unvarying appear¬ 
ance that the eastern ladies, who first ascribed the 
power of language to flowers, have made the iberis 
the emblem of indifference. 




162 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


INDISCRETION. 

ALMOND TREE—AMYGDALUS COMMUNIS. 

Like to an almond tree, mounted high 
On top of green Selinis, all alone, 

With blossoms brave bedecked daintily ; 

Whose tender locks do tremble every one, 

At every little breath that under heaven is blown. 

FAEKY QUEENE. 

Emblem of indiscretion, the almond tree is the 
first to answer to the call of spring. Nothing is 
more lovely and fresh in its appearance than this 
beautiful tree, when it appears in the early days of 
March, covered with flowers in the midst of our 
groves, not yet clad in their summer foliage. The 
later frosts not unfrequently destroy the too pre¬ 
cocious germs of its fruits; but it is remarkable 
that the beauty of its flowers, far from being injured 
is increased in brilliancy. An avenue of almond 
trees, all white in the evening, struck with the 
frost in the night, will be of a rose-colour the fol¬ 
lowing morning, and will retain this new attire for 
more than a month, the flowers never falling until 
the tree is covered with verdure. 

The early appearance of the almond tree seems 
formerly to have afforded an omen to the agricul¬ 
turist ; Dryden mentions it as such : 










INDISCRETION. 


1G3 


Mark well tlie flow’ring almonds in the wood : 

If od’rous blooms the bearing branches load, 

The glebe will answer to the sylvan reign ; 

Great heats will follow and large crops of grain. 

Fiction gives us an affecting account of the origin 
of the almond tree; it relates, that Demophoon, 
the son of Theseus and Pheedra, when returning 
from the siege of Troy, was cast by a tempest on 
the coasts of Thrace, where the beautiful Phyllis 
then reigned. The young queen welcomed the 
prince, and becoming enamoured of him, at length 
married him. Demophoon was recalled to Athens 
by the death of his father; but promised to return 
to his beloved Phyllis at the expiration of a month, 
and fixed the day. The tender Phyllis counted 
every minute during his absence, until the longed- 
for period arrived. Phyllis ran to the shore nine 
times; but, having lost all hope, she died of grief ? 
and was changed into an almond tree. Demophoon 
returned three days afterwards in despair; he offered 
a sacrifice on the sea-shore to appease the manes of 
his beloved. She appeared sensible of his repent¬ 
ance and his return, for the almond tree, which 
enclosed her in its bark, blossomed instantaneously ; 
proving by this last effort that death had wrought 
no change in her affections. 




164 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


INFIDELITY. 

YELLOW ROSE—ROSA LUTEA. 

Ludovico Yerthema tells us, that in the year 
1503 he saw great quantities of yellow roses at 
Calicut, whence it is believed that both the single 
and double varieties were brought into Europe by 
the Turks, as Parkinson mentions that it was in¬ 
troduced into England by one Master Nicholas 
Lete, a worthy merchant of London, and a great 
lover of flowers, from Constantinople, which was 
first brought thither from Syria. It perished with 
Lete, but afterwards others were transmitted to 
Master John de Frangueville, also a merchant of 
London, and a great lover of all rare plants, as 
well as flowers, from which sprung the many varie¬ 
ties now flourishing in this kingdom. 

It is well known that yellow is the colour of in¬ 
fidelity. The yellow rose also seems to appertain 
to the unfaithful in love or friendship. Water in¬ 
jures it; the sun scorches it: and this scentless 
flower, which profits neither by attention nor liberty, 
seems only to prosper when under restraint. When 
we wish to see them in their full brilliancy, it is 
necessary to incline the buds towards the earth, 
and keep them in that position by force. 








INGRATITUDE. 


165 


INGRATITUDE. 

BUTTERCUPS—RANUNCULUS ACRIS. 

This plant contains many ■virulent qualities, 
which are said to affect cattle, especially sheep ; and 
particularly the root, which has the property of 
inflaming and blistering the skin. Shakspere men¬ 
tions it as the cuckoo flower in King Lear,— 

Nettles, cuckoo flowers, 

Darnel, and all the wild w'eeds. 

And Clare, the Northamptonshire poet, alludes to 
its ungrateful qualities in some lines on the “ Eter¬ 
nity of Nature;” detailing his morning’s walk, he 
says,— 

I wander out and rhyme ; 

What hour the dewy morning’s infancy 
Hangs on each blade of grass and every tree, 

And sprents the red thighs of the humble bee, 

Who ’gins betimes unwearied minstrelsy; 

Who breakfasts, dines, and most divinely sups 
With every flower save golden buttercups,— 

On whose proud bosoms he will never go, 

But passes by with scarcely “ How do ye do,” 

Since in their show^y, shining, gaudy cells, 

Haply the summer’s honey never dwells. 












166 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


INJUSTICE. 

HOP—HUMULUS LUPULUS. 

This plant will grow only in rich soils. It is 
called lupulus by naturalists; and, according to 
Pliny, was so named because it grew among the 
willows; to them, by twining round and choking 
them up, it proved as destructive as the wolf to 
the flock. 


INNOCENCE. 

DAISY—BELLIS PERENNIS. 

The English name of daisy is derived from a 
Saxon word, meaning day’s eye, in which way Ben 
Jonson writes it; and Chaucer calls it the “ eie of 
the daie.” We presume that it is called day’s eye, 
from the nature of its blossom, which opens at day¬ 
break, and closes at sunset: 

The little daizie, that at evening closes. 

SPENSER. 

The following address to the daisy is from Words¬ 
worth, and we think that it will excite in all minds 
agreeable reminiscences of days of childhood. 




INNOCENCE. 


167 


In youth from rock to rock I went, 
From hill to hill in discontent, 

Of pleasure high and turbulent, 
Most pleased when most uneasy ; 
But now my own delights I make,— 
My thirst at every rill can slake, 
And gladly Nature’s love partake 
Of thee, sweet daisy ! 


When Winter decks his few grey hairs, 
Thee in the scanty wreath he wears : 
Spring parts the clouds with softest airs, 
That she may sun thee ; 

Whole summer fields are thine by right. 
And autumn, melancholy wight! 

Doth in thy crimSon head delight. 

When rains are on thee. 

In shoals and bands, a morrice train, 
Thou greetest the traveller in the lane; 
If welcomed once thou com’st again ; 

Thou art not daunted; 

Nor earest if thou be set at naught; 
And oft alone, in nooks remote 
We meet thee, like a pleasant thought, 
When such are wanted. 

The violets in their secret mews, 

The flowers the wanton zephyrs choose ; 
Proud be the rose, with rains and dews 
Her head impearling ; 

Thou livest with less ambitious name, 
Yet hast not gone without thy fame ; 
Thou art, indeed, by many a claim. 

The poet’s darling. 










1G8 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


If to a rock from rains he fly, 

Or, some bright day of April’s sky, 
Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie 
Near the green holly ; 

And wearily at length should fare ; 

He need hut look about, and there 
Thou art!—a friend at hand, to scare 
His melancholy. 

A hundred times, by rock or bower, 

Ere thus I have lain couch’d an hour, 
Have I derived from thy sweet power 
Some apprehension, 

Some steady love ; some brief delight; 
Some memory that had taken flight; 
Some charm of fancy, wrong or right 5 
Or stray invention. 

If stately passions in me burn, 

And one chance look to thee should turn, 
I drink out of an humble urn 
A lowlier pleasure ; 

The homely sympathy that heeds 
The common life our nature breeds ; 

A wisdom fitted to the needs 
Of hearts at leisure. 

When, smitten by the morning ray, 

I see thee rise, alert and gay, 

Then, cheerful flower! my spirits play 
With kindred gladness ; 

And when, at dusk, by dews opprest, 
Thou sink’st, the image of thy rest 
Hath often eased my pensive breast 
Of careful sadness. 




INNOCENCE. 169 j 


And all day long I number yet, 

All seasons through, another debt, 

Which I, wherever thou art met, 

To thee am owing; 

An instinct call it, a blind sense, 

A happy genial influence, 

Coming, one knows not how, or whence, 

Nor whither going. 

Child of the year! that round dost run 
Thy course, bold lover of the sun, 

And cheerful, when the day’s begun, 

As morning leveret. 

Thy long lost praise thou shalt regain, 

Dear shalt thou be to future men. 

As in old time ;—thou, not in vaiu, 

Art Nature’s favourite. 

In Yorkshire, this plant is called (.log daisy ; and, 
in Scotland, gowan, a name which, in that country, 
is also applied to the dandelion, hawkweed, <fec. 

The opening gowan, wet with dew. 

We find it recorded in Milton’s Comus, that, 

By dimpled brook and fountain brim, 

The wood nymphs, decked with daisies trim, 

Their merry wakes and pastimes keep. 

We cannot reject the following beautiful lines by 
Wordsworth, though we have quoted pretty largely 
from him on the same flower before: 

i 











170 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


With little here to do or see 
Of things that in the great world be, 
Sweet daisy ! oft I talk to thee, 

For thou art worthy, 

Thou unassuming common-place 
Of nature, with that homely face, 

And yet with something of a grace, 

Which love makes for thee ! 

Oft on the dappled turf at ease 
I sit, and play with similies. 

Loose types of things through all degrees, 
Thoughts of thy raising ; 

And many a fond and idle name 
I give to thee, for praise or blame. 

As is the humour of the game. 

While I am gazing. 


A nun demure, of lowly port, 

Or sprightly maiden, of love’s court, 
In thy simplicity the sport 
Of all temptations ; 

A queen in crown of rubies drest; 

A starveling in a scanty vest; 

Are all, as seems to suit thee best, 
Thy appellations. 


A little Cyclops, with one eye, 

Staring to threaten and defy, 

That thought comes next—and instantly 
The freak is over. 

The shape will vanish, and behold 
A silver shield, with boss of gold. 

That spreads itself, some fairy bold, 

In flight to cover ! 










INNOCENCE. 17-1 


I see thee glittering from afar ;— 

And then thou art a pretty star; 

Not quite so fair as many are 
In heaven above thee ! 

Y et like a star, with glittering crest, 

Self-poised in air, thou seem’st to rest;— 

May peace come never to his nest, 

Who shall reprove thee ! 

Sweet flower ! for by that name at last, 

When all my reveries are past, 

I call thee, and to that cleave fast, 

Sweet silent creature! 

That breath’st with me in sun and air, 

Do, then, as thou art wont, repair 
My heart with gladness, and a share 
Of thy meek nature ! 

u Malvina, leaning o’er Fingal’s tomb, mourns 
for the valiant Oscar, and his son who died before 
he had seen the light. 

“ The virgins of Morven, to calm her grief, walk 
often around her, celebrating, by their songs, the 
death of the brave and the new-born. 

“ 4 The hero is fallen,’ say they ; 4 he is fallen ! 
and the sound of his arms echoes over the 
plain; disease, which takes away courage; age, 
which dishonours heroes, can no longer touch him ; 
he is fallen ! and the sound of his arms echoes over 
the plain ! 

444 Received into the heavenly palace inha¬ 
bited by his ancestors, he drinks with them the 










172 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


cup of immortality. Oh! daughter of Oscar, dry 
thy tears of grief; the hero is fallen! he is 
fallen ! and the sound of his arms echoes over the 
plain.’ 

“ Then, in a softer voice, they said again to her, 
c The child who has not seen the light has not known 
the bitterness of life; its young soul, borne on 
glittering wings arrives with the diligent Aurora 
in the palace of day. The souls of children, who 
have, like it, broken the chains of life without 
sorrow, reclining on golden clouds, present them¬ 
selves, and open to it tbe mysterious portals of 
Flora’s cabinet. There this innocent troop, ignorant 
of evil, are for ever occupied in enclosing, in imper¬ 
ceptible seeds, the flowers that blow in each spring ; 
every morn they scatter these seeds upon the earth 
with the tears of Aurora; millions of delicate 
hands enclose the rose in its bud, the grain of wheat 
in its folds, the vast branches of the oak in a single 
acorn, and sometimes an entire forest in an invisible 
seed.’ 

We have seen, oh! Malvina! we have seen 
the infant you regret, reclining on a light mist; it 
approached us, and has shed on our fields a harvest 
of new flowers. Look, oh, Malvina ! among these 
flowers we distinguish one with a golden disk, sur¬ 
rounded by silver leaves ; a sweet tinge of crimson 
adorns its delicate rays; waved by a gentle wind, 
we might call it a little infant playing in a green 












INNOCENCE. 173 


meadow. Dry thy tears, oh, Malvina! the hero 
is dead, covered with his arms; and the flower 
of thy hosom has given a new flower to the hills 
of Croinla.’ 

“ The sweetness of these songs relieved Malvina’s 
grief; she took her golden harp, and repeated the 
hymn of the new-horn. 

“ Since that day, the daughters of Morven 
have consecrated the daisy to infancy; it is, said 
they, the flower of innocence, the flower of the 
new-born.” 

- that old favourite—the daisy—horn 

By millions in the balmy, vernal morn— 

The child’s own flower. 

CAEEINGTON. 

Trampled under foot. 

The daisy lives, and strikes its little root 
Into the lap of time : centuries may come. 

And pass away into the silent tomb, 

And still the child, hid in the womb of time, 

Shall smile and pluck them, when this simple rhyme 
Shall be forgotten, like a church-yard-stone, 

Or lingering, lie unnoticed and alone, 

When eighteen hundred years, our common date, 

Grow many thousands in their marching state, 

Aye, still the child with pleasure in his eye, 

Shall cry—the daisy !—a familiar cry—• 

And run to pluck it, in the self-same state 
As when Time found it in his infant date ; 

And, like a child himself, when all was new, 

Might smile with wonder, and take notice too ; 












174 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Its little golden bosom, frilled with snow, 

Might win e’en Eve to stoop adown, and show 
Her partner, Adam, in the silky grass, 

The little gem, that smiled where pleasure was, 
And loving Eve, from Eden followed ill, 

And bloomed with sorrow, and lives smiling still; 
As once in Eden, under heaven’s breath, 

So new on earth, and on the lap of death, 

It smiles for ever. 

CLARE. 


INQUIETUDE. 

MARIGOLD—CALENDULA OFFICINALIS. 

The marigold, that goes to bed with the sun, 

And with him rises weeping. 

ANON. 

Madame Lerrun, in one of her charming 
pictures, has represented grief as a young man, 
pale and languishing ; his head appears to be bowed 
down by the weight of a garland of marigolds. 
All the world knows this gilded flower, which has 
been made the emblem of distress of mind ; or 
rather, we should say, of that inquietude which is 
caused by uncertainty as to the sentiments of the 
one we love with a peculiar affection. The lover 
longs to know whether there be a reciprocal feeling 
in the heart of his mistress towards himself, or 




INQUIETUDE. 175 


whether he has been buoying himself up with false 
hope. We verily believe that there are few who 
would not prefer to receive the dread intelligence 
that his suit is rejected, than remain in this uncer¬ 
tain state. Anon he speculates on the glance of 
kindness he thought she gave him as she passed, 
for, as Byron says, 

Glances beget ogles, ogles sighs, 

Sighs wishes, wishes words, and words a letter, 
Which fly on wings of light-heeled Mercuries, 

Who do such things, because they know no better. 

And, then, anon he sees her pass without a look,— 
without a glance,—his heart droops, and he is 
almost disposed to yield himself to despair. 

The marigold continues in flower the whole 
of the year, hence its scientific name, calendula. 
Its flowers open at nine o’clock in the morning, and 
close again at three o’clock in the afternoon. Like 
the heliotrope, it always turns towards the sun, fol¬ 
lowing his course from east to west. 

During the months of July and August, the 
marigold emits small luminous sparks during the 
night. This quality it possesses in common with 
the nasturtium and many other flowers of the same 
colour. 

The mournful signification of the marigold can 
he modified in various ways. United with roses, it 
is the emblem of the sweeter pains of love ; alon# 1 




176 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


it expresses inquietude or ennui. "Woven with other 
flowers, it represents the inconstant chain of life, 
ever good and evil interwoven. In the east, a 
bouquet of marigolds and poppies expresses this 
thought, u I will allay your pains.’' It is especi¬ 
ally by these modifications that the Sentiment of 
Flowers renders the interpretation of our thoughts 
understood. 

Margaret of Orleans, maternal ancester of Henry 
IV., had for her device a marigold turning towards 
the sun, with these words, “ Je ne veux suivre que 
lui seul .” That virtuous princess wished to express 
by this device that all her thoughts and all her affec¬ 
tions turned towards heaven, as the marigold does 
to the sun. 


INSPIRATION. 

ANGELICA—ANGELICA SYLVESTRIS. 

This plant is named angelica in allusion to its 
agreeable smell and medicinal qualities. It has 
wdnged leaves, divided into large segments; its 
stalks are hollow and jointed, the flowers grow in an 
umbel upon the tops of the stalks, and consist of 
five leaves, succeeded by tw r o large channelled 
seeds. Archangelica is sometimes cultivated in 
gardens for its leaf-stalks, to be blanched and eaten 







joy. 177 


as celery, or candied with sugar. In Lapland, 
where it is also found, it is used to crown poets, 
who fancy themselves inspired by its agreeable 
odour. 


IRONY. 

SARDONY. 

Sardony has some resemblance to parsley; it 
contains a poison which is said to contract the 
mouth in so peculiar a manner, that the indi¬ 
vidual affected seems to laugh in expiring. This 
horrible laugh has been named Risus Sardo- 
nicus, or Sardonic Laughter. It is that which 
we see playing on the lips of Satire, and on those of 
cold irony. 

WWVAA^/ 

JOY. 

WOOD SORREL—OXALIS ACETOSELLA. 

The wood sorrel, vulgarly called “ cuckoo’s 
bread,” flowers very freely about Easter. This 
pretty little plant shuts its leaves, closes its corollas, 
and the flowers hang pendent and droopiug from the 
stems. They seem to yield themselves to sleep ; 





178 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


but at the first dawn of day we may say that they 
are filled with joy, for they throw back their leaves, 
and expand their flowers : and we doubt not it is on 
this account that peasants have said that they sing 
the praises of their Creator. 


JUSTICE SHALL BE LONE YOU. 

SWEET-SCENTED TTJSSILAGE ; OR, COLTSFOOT— 
TUSSTLAGO FRAGRANS. 

Genius, hid under a modest appearance, strikes 
not the eyes of the vulgar. But if the glance of an 
enlightened judge chances to observe it, its strength 
is immediately revealed, and it receives the admi¬ 
ration of those whose stupid indifference had not ob¬ 
served it. A young Dutch miller, having a taste 
for painting, amused himself, in his leisure hours, by 
representing the landscapes amidst which he lived. 
The mill, the cattle of his master, the beautiful 
verdure, clouds, smoke, light and shade, were all 
portrayed with an exquisite truth. As soon as a 
picture was finished, he took it to a colour dealer, 
who gave him its value in materials to produce 
another. One feast day, the innkeeper of the place, 
wishing to ornament the hall where he received his 
guests, bought two of these pictures. A celebrated 











KEEP YOUR PROMISES. 170 


painter stopped at bis inn, and, admiring the truth 
of the landscapes, offered and gave a hundred 
florins for that which had not cost a crown, and 
promised, at the same time, to take all the artist 
could produce. Thus the reputation of the painter 
was established, and his fortune made. As wise as 
happy, he never forgot his dear mill; we find the 
representation of it in all his pictures, which are so 
many masterpieces. "Who would believe that plants 
have the same fate as men, and that they require a 
patron to appreciate them. 

Coltsfoot, notwithstanding its sweet smell, had 
remained a long time unknown at the foot of Mount 
Pila., where no doubt it would still have bloomed in 
obscurity, if a learned botanist, M. Villau de 
Grenoble, had not appreciated its beneficent quali¬ 
ties. This perfumed plant appears at a season when 
all others have disappeared. As the great artist 
eulogized the poor painter, so did M. Villau the 
humble flower; he gave it a distinguished rank 
in his works : and, since then, the tussilage has 
been cultivated with care, and perfumes our bril¬ 
liant saloons. 


KEEP YOUR PROMISES. 

PLUM TREE. 

Every year the plum tree is covered w r ith an 




180 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


immense quantity of flowers, but unless trained 
and pruned by the hand of an able gardener of all 
its superfluous wood, it will only yield fruit once in 
three years. 


LASTING BEAUTY. 

GILLYFLOWER—MATHIOLA INCANA. 

Fair is the gillyflower of garden sweet. 

GAT. 

The Greets, who cherished flowers, never ac¬ 
quired the art of cultivating and improving them. 
They simply planted them in the fields and received 
as nature yielded them. The Romans, with the 
arts of Greece, also received a taste for flowers ; 
and such was their passion for floral crowns that 
they were obliged to confine their use to a favoured 
few. These masters of the world cultivated nothing 
but violets and roses,—the fields were covered, and 
flowers seemed to be encroaching rapidly on the 
rights of Ceres. 

The Gauls were long ignorant of every delicacy. 
Their warlike hands disdained the handle of the 
plough. With them, the garden, under the charge 
of the mistress of the family, contained only aro¬ 
matic plants, and such as were useful for culinary 




purposes. At length, their manners became soft¬ 
ened, and Charlemagne, who was the terror of the 
world, and the father of his people, delighted in 
flowers, and recommended the culture of lilies, 
roses, and gillyflowers. Foreign flowers were not 
introduced among us until the thirteenth century. 
During the crusades European warriors brought us 
many new species from Egypt and Syria, of which 
the monks, at that time the only able cultivators, 
took charge. They were at first the charm of their 
peaceful retreats ; since then they are scattered over 
every flower bed ; they are become the companions 
of our pleasures, and add to the luxuries of our 
mansions. Still the rose is the queen of our groves, 
and the lily the king of our valleys. The rosebuds 
are transient; and the lily, though it flowers more 
tardily, passes aw r ay almost as rapidly. The gilly¬ 
flower,—less graceful than the rose,—less superb 
than the lily, —has a splendour more durable. Con¬ 
stant in its benefits, it offers to us, all the year, 
its beautiful red and pyramidal flowers, which al¬ 
ways diffuse an agreeable odour. The finest gilly¬ 
flowers are red ; they derive their name from their 
colour, which rivals in brilliancy the far-famed 
purple of Tyre. White, violet, and variegated 
gillyflowers have also their charms; but since 
America, Asia, and Africa, have sent their bril¬ 
liant tributes, we have neglected the beautiful 


daughter 


of our own climate, so dear to our fore- 






182 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


fathers. Towards the setting of the sun a delight¬ 
ful fragrance is exhaled from the 

Lavish stock that scents the garden round. 

THOMSON. 

This beautiful flower may he said to grow in our 
parterres, like a blooming and lovely beauty, who 
scatters health around her; health, that chief of 
blessings, without which there can be neither hap¬ 
piness nor lasting beauty. 


LIFE, 

LUCERN—MEDICAGO SATIVA. 

Lucern occupies the same ground for a long 
period, but w r hen it forsakes it, it is for ever. On 
this account it has been made the emblem of life. 
Nothing is more charming than a held of lucern in 
full flower. It seems spread before our eyes like a 
carpet of green and violet. Cherished by the hus¬ 
bandman, it yields him an abundant crop without 
much care; and, when mowed, it springs up again. 
The cattle rejoice at its appearance; it is a favour¬ 
ite plant with the sheep, and the goat receives it 
as a delicacy; while the horse also eats it with 
avidity. This precious gift is showered upon our 
favoured land direct from heaven. We possess it 










LOVE. 183 


without trouble,—enjoy it without reflection,—and 
without gratitude. We frequently prefer to it a 
flower whose only merit is its transient beauty. 
So do w r e often leave a certain happiness to pursue 
vain pleasures which continually elude our grasp. 


LOYE. 

MYRTLE—MYRTUS COMMUNIS. 

See, rooted in the earth, her kindly bed, 

The unendangered myrtle, decked with flowers, 
Before the threshold stands to welcome us! 

WORDSWORTH. 

The oak has ever been consecrated to Jupiter,— 
the laurel to Apollo,—the olive to Minerva,—and 
the myrtle to Venus. Among the eancients the 
myrtle was a great favourite, for its elegance, and 
its sweet and glossy evergreen foliage. Its per¬ 
fumed and delicate flowmrs seem destined to adorn 
the fair forehead of love, and are said to have been 
made the emblem of love, and dedicated to beauty, 
w'hen Venus first sprang from the sea. We are 
informed by mythological writers that when the fair 
goddess first appeared upon the waves, she was 
preceded by the houris, with a scarf of a thousand 
colours, and a garland of myrtle. 










184 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Wordsworth appropriates myrtle wreaths to 
youthful heads, and conjures them to drop from 
those of declining years : 

Fall, rosy garlands, from my head! 

Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed 

Around a younger brow! 

And Hartley Coleridge, in a paraphrase on 
Horace, thus introduces the myrtle as a fit decora¬ 
tion for the brow of youth: 

Nay, nay, my boy—’tis not for me, 

This studious pomp of eastern luxury ; 

Give me no various garlands,—fine 

With linden twine; 

Nor seek, when latest lingering blows 
The solitary rose. 

Earnest I beg—add not with toilsome pain,— 

One far sought blossom to the myrtle plain, 

For sure, the fragrant myrtle bough 

Looks seemliest on thy brow ; 
Nor me mis-seems, while, underneath the vine, 
Close interweaved, I quaff the rosy wine. 

At Rome, the first temple dedicated to Venus 
was surrounded by groves of myrtle; and after the 
victory that goddess achieved over Pallas and Juno, 
she was crowned with myrtle by Cupids. Surprised 
one day, on going out of a bath, by a troop of 
satyrs, she took refuge behind a myrtle bush; she 





LOVE. 


185 


also avenged herself with myrtle branches on the 
audacious Psyche, who had dared to compare her 
own transitory graces to those of an immortal 
beauty. 

Although triumphs are no longer celebrated in 
the Roman capitol, the Italian ladies have preserved 
a very lively passion for this lovely shrub ; prefer¬ 
ring its odour to that of the most precious essences, 
and throwing into their baths water distilled from 
its leaves, being persuaded that the tree of Venus 
is favourable to beauty. If the ancients had that 
idea,—if the tree so consecrated to Venus were to 
them the tree of love,—it was from the true analogy 
between its power and that of love: for wherever 
the myrtle grows it spreads itself around to the ex¬ 
clusion of all other shrubs. So love, once master 
of a heart, leaves no room for any other sentiment- 
Scott has borne his testimony to the universality 
of love: 

In peace, love tunes the shepherd’s reed; 

In war, he mounts the warrior’s steed ; 

In halls, in gay attire is seen; 

In hamlets, dances on the green ; 

Love rules the court, the camp, the grove, 

And men below, and saints above, 

For love is heaven, and heaven is love; 








186 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


LIVELY AND PURE AFFECTION. 

PINK—DIANTHUS PROLIFER. 

Each pink sends forth its choicest sweet, 

Aurora’s warm embrace to meet. 

MARY ROBINSON. 

The primitive pink is simple red or white, and 
perfumed. We occasionally observe where 

the wild pink crowns the garden wall, 

And with the flowers are intermingled stones 
Sparry and bright, rough scatterings of thehills. 

WORDSWORTH. 

Cultivation has doubled the petals of this favour¬ 
ite flower, and procured for it an infinite variety of 
colouring, so that it is painted with a thousand 
shades, from the delicate rose colour to the perfect 
white; and from a deep red to a brilliant scarlet. 
In some varieties we observe opposite colours placed 
together on the same flower ; the pure white is 
tipped with crimson, and the rose coloured is streak¬ 
ed with lively and brilliant red. We also see these 
beautiful flowers marbled, speckled, and at other 
times bisected in such a manner that the deceived 
eye leads us to imagine that the same cup contains 
a purple flower, and one of palest alabaster. Nearly 
as varied in form as in colour, the pink always 





















LIVELY AND PURE AFFECTION. 187 


preserves its delicious perfumes, and continually 
labours to shed its foreign costume, and renew its 
native attire. For though the hand of the gardener 
can double and triple, and variegate its dress, it 
cannot render its acquired qualities permanent. 
Thus nature has deposited in our hearts the germs 
of the most excellent sentiments. Art and society 
cultivate and develope these, embellishing, en¬ 
feebling, or exalting them. A variety of causes 
uniting are able to render their effects inconstant 
and changeable; but, in spite of the caprices, errors, 
and incomprehensible sports of the human heart, 
nature always brings back affection to its primitive 
simplicity. La Rochefoucauld has said that, “True 
love is like the apparition of spirits; all the world 
speaks of it, but few have seen it.” What does the 
gloomy moralist mean by true love? Would he 
persuade us that it is a chimera ? Ah! no! we 
find 

True love’s the gift which God has given 
To man alone beneath the heaven. 

$ s « * 

It is the secret sympathy 
The silver cord, the silken tie, 

Which heart to heart, and mind to mind, 

In body and in soul can bind. scott. 

There is an anecdote connected with the pink, 
which shows how far the mind may be led away 
and debased by the arts of flatte.^. 










188 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


u The young duke of Burgundy, grandson of 
Louis the Fifteenth, being fond of cultivating these 
flowers, a flatterer persuaded him, by substituting 
other pots of pinks for those which the prince had 
reared, that the pinks which he planted came up 
and flourished in one night. Thus persuaded, the 
youthful prince believed that Nature obeyed his 
will. One night, not being able to sleep, he ex¬ 
pressed a wish to get up, but was told that it was 
then the middle of the night; ‘ Well,’ replied he, ‘ I 
will have it be day.’ ” 


LUXURY. 

HORSE CHESTNUT.—^SCULUS HIPPOCASTANUM. 

This magnificent tree was originally brought 
from India, and has been naturalized in Europe for 
more than two centuries, but yet we do not see it 
raise its gorgeous head among our forest trees. It 
is well suited to be an ornament in parks ; to adorn 
the castles of our nobility; and to shade the re¬ 
sidence of kings ; and when the geometric style of 
architecture was in vogue in this country a good 
deal was planted, as at Bushey Park, Canons, Castle 
Howard, <fec. It luxuriates at the Tuileries, where 
it rises around the great lake in masses of incom¬ 
parable beauty. At the Luxembourg it spreads its 
branches in accordant pomp and splendour: 





MAGNIFICENCE. 189 


There avenues of chestnuts high 
With vaulted roofs conceal the sky. 

In the beginning of spring, one rainy day is suffi¬ 
cient to cause this beautiful tree to cover itself with 
verdure. If it be planted alone, nothing surpasses 
the elegance of its pyramidal form, the beauty of its 
foliage, or the richness of its flowers, which some¬ 
times make it appear as an immense lustre or chan¬ 
delier, all covered with pearls. Fond of ostentation 
and richness, it covers with flowers the grass which 
it o’ershadows, and yields to the idler a most 
delightful shade. To the poor man it is of little 
service, supplying him with nothing more than a 
light and porous timber, and a bitter fruit. Na¬ 
turalists and physicians have attributed to this child 
of Asia, a thousand good qualities which it does not 
possess. 


MAGNIFICENCE. 

NIGHT BLOOMING CEREUS—CEREUS GRANDI- 
FLORUS. 

This plant when it has attained sufficient strength, 
puts forth most magnificent flowers, which are. how¬ 
ever, of short duration. These begin to unfold their 
brilliant crimson petals from seven to eight o’clock in 










190 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


the evening, and are fully expanded by eleven; by 
three or four o’clock on the following morning they 
are faded, closed no more to open, banging down 
quite dead. But during their brief existence, their 
appearance is such that it is in vain to seek for any 
flower that can vie with it in beauty and magnifi¬ 
cence. When fully blow r n the calyx is near a foot 
in diameter; the inside, of brilliant yellow, has the 
appearance of a glowing star; the exterior is dark 
brown; the pure white petals augment its lustre; 
the mass of stamens, slightly bent hack, clustering 
round the style, have a beautiful appearance; and 
the whole effect is improved by the fragrance ex¬ 
haled, which perfumes the air for a considerable 
distance. 

-See the noble Cereus rear, 

Its stately head at midnight drear 1 
Its modest bud makes no display 
Before the glaring eye of day, 

But sober brown conceals the glow 
That lurks within that bell of snow; 

Slowly its paly leaves unfold— 

Then starting, give us to behold 
Its full-blown beauties, dazzling, fair. 

With threads of gold for fingers rare. 

But while with love and awe we raise, 

To the bright flower our raptured gaze, 

The threads of gold elude our eye. 

And all its glories fade and die ; 

The russet coat enshrouds the flower, 

And all is gone ere matin hour. 

ANON. 














MAJESTY. 191 


MAJESTY. 

CROWN IMPERIAL—FRITILLARIA IMPERIALIS. 

Bold oxlip, and 

Tbe crown imperial; lilies of all kinds ; 

The flower de luce being one. 

winter’s tale. 

This noble flower is said to have been introduced 
into England in the time of Shakspere, who has in¬ 
troduced it as above in his Winter’s Tale. 

On this family of plants modern botanists have 
bestowed the name of Fritillaria, of which this, from 
its commanding deportment and brilliant colours, is 
considered the sovereign. 

The lily’s height bespoke command, ] 

A fair imperial flower ; 

She seemed designed for Flora’s hand, 

The sceptre of her power. 

We have therefore elevated this distinguished mem¬ 
ber of Flora’s kingdom to be the emblem of ma¬ 
jesty, and the representative of power in our floral 
sentiments. 


MATERNAL LOVE. 

A TUFT OF MOSS. 

J. J. Rousseau was ardently fond of the study 




192 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


of botany; and of all plants, the family of mosses 
delighted him most. He would often remark that 
they gave an air of youth and freshness to our fields, 
adorning nature when flowers had vanished. The 
stunted stems of dead and leafless trees are oft clad 
with a mossy verdure. Wordsworth reminds us of 
this in some lines entitled u The Thorn 

Not higher than a two year’s child 
It stands erect, this aged thorn. 

No leaves it has, no thorny points, 

It is a mass of knotted joints, 

A wretched thing forlorn. 

It stands erect, and like a stone 
With lichens it is overgrown. 

Like rock or stone, it is o’ergrown 
With lichens to the very top, 

And hung with heavy tutts of moss. 

■fc v 'l 5 'i* 

And, close behin d this aged thorn, 

There is a fresh and lovely sight, 

A beauteous heap, a hill of moss, 

Just half a foot in height. 

All lovely colours there you see, 

All colours that were ever seen ; 

And mossy network too is there, 

As if by hand of lady fair 
The work had woven been ; 

And cups the darlings of the eye 
So deep is their vermilion dye. 






MATERNAL LOVE. 193 


Ah me ! what lovely tints are these. 

Of olive green and scarlet bright. 

In spikes, in branches, and in stars, 

Green, red, and pearly white ! 

Like to those friends whose affection ceases not 
when misfortune assails us, and whose kind services 
even ingratitude cannot repel, the mosses, exiled 
from cultivated fields, advance towards the barren 
and untilled land, which they cover with their own 
substance, and by degrees transform it into a fruit¬ 
ful soil. In winter it is said that they are charged 
with hydrogen and carbon so as to infect the air; 
but in summer, beds of moss are formed in the um¬ 
brageous shades of forests and plantations, where 
the shepherd, the lover, and the poet, are equally 
delighted to repose ; and we may add, with Car¬ 
rington, the traveller, too. 

Here, traveller, rest thee, for the sun is high 
And thou art old and weary. It is sweet 
To find, at noon, a moorland bank like this, 

To press its luxury of moss, and bid 
The hours fleet by on burning wing. Awhile 
Repose thou in the shade, this stunted tree 
Grasp’d by the choking ivy—of his race 
The last, has foliage yet enough to screen 
Thine ardent brow ; and just below, a brook 
Fresh from the ever-living spring, presents 
Its purest crystal to thy lip. 

The little birds use the delicate moss in the for- 

K 


I 















194 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


malion of their nests. Is this instinct ? Yea, truly 
the instinct of maternal care and maternal tender¬ 
ness, implanted by nature in the light-winged in¬ 
habitants of the air. Clare shall tell us of the 
thrush preparing her nest. 

Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush, 

That overhangs a molehill large and round, 

I heard from morn to morn, a merry thrush 
Sing hymns to sunrise, and I drank the sound 
With joy; and, often an intruding guest, 

I watched her secret toils from day to day— 

How true she warped the moss, to form a nest. 

And modelled it within with wood and clay ; 

And by and by, like heath-bells gilt with dew, 
There lay her shining eggs, as bright as flowers, 

Ink spotted over shells of greeny blue ; 

And then I witnessed, in the sunny hours, 

A brood of nature’s minstrels chirp and fly. 

Glad as that sunshine, and the laughing sky. 

The squirrel also uses it in the construction of its 
circular abode. 

The Laplanders, we arc told, protect themselves 
from the rigours of winter by covering their sub¬ 
terraneous dwellings with moss ; their numerous 
herds of rein-deer know no other food; yet they 
yield their owners a delicious milk, a succulent 
ilesh, and warm furs; affording the poor Laplander 
all the benefits we derive from the cow, the horse, 
and the sheep. On the appearance of the aurora 
borealis, which cheers their long nights, the Lap- 








MELANCHOLY. 


195 


landers assemble around poles, and celebrate, to 
the beating of the tambour, the virtues, or warlike 
deeds of their forfathers; whilst their wives are 
seated near them, cherishing, in moss cradles, 
their little infants, enveloped in ermine. 

Beneficent nature, in those dreary climes, sur¬ 
rounds everything with mosses, to preserve her 
children from the biting frosts, and to nourish them 
upon her maternal bosom. 


MELANCHOLY. 

WEEPING WILLOW—SALIX BABYLONICA. 

By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when 
we remembered thee, 0 Sion! As for our harps, we hanged 
them up upon the willows that are therein. 

PSALMS. 

We cannot conceive a more touching appeal to 
human sympathy, than the mournful complaints of 
the daughters of Jerusalem. Their Babylonish 
conquerors having led them away captive, required 
of them “a song, and melody in their heaviness; 
1 Sing us one of the songs of Sion.’ ” But the 
hearts of her children were surcharged with grief, 
and they asked, u How shall we sing the Lord’s 
song in a strange land ?” They were oppressed 
with sorrow,—they were bowed down with affliction, 












196 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


—they i( hanged their harps upon the willows, and 
sat down and wept.” Is not then the weeping 
willow a sacred emblem of melancholy ? 

My gentle harp ! once more I waken 

The sweetness of thy slumbering strain ; 

In tears our last farewell was taken. 

And now in tears we meet again. 

No light of joy hath o’er thee broken, 

But—like those harps, whose heav’nly skill. 

Of slavery, dark as thine, hath spoken— 

Thou hang’st upon the willows still. 

The weeping willow is a native of the east, and 
is greatly admired for its drooping pendulous 
branches, waving over our lakes and streams. 

Thus o’er our streams do eastern willows lean 
In pensive guise ; whose grief—inspiring shade. 

Love has to melancholy sacred made. 

DELILLE. 

It grows wild on the coast of Persia, and is 
common in China. The celebrated specimen in 
Pope’s garden at Twickenham is said to have been 
the first introduced into England; but this we 
believe to he erroneous. The poet chanced to be 
present on the opening of a package which came 
from Spain, and observing that the sticks had some 
vegetation, fancied they might produce something 
which we did not possess in England. "With this 
idea he planted a cutting, from whence sprang the 








MESSAGE. 


197 


parent tree of many of our finest and most admired 
specimens. 

MELANCHOLY SPIRIT. 

SORROWFUL GERANIUM. 

Few know that elegance of soul refined. 

Whose soft sensation feels a quicker joy 
From melancholy’s scenes, than the dull pride 
Of tasteless splendour and magnificence 
Can e’er afford. 

WARTON. 

This charming geranium, like a melancholy spirit, 
shuns the light of day ; but it enchants those who 
cultivate it by the delightful perfumes it exhales. 
Its appearance is sombre, though unaffected ; and, 
altogether, it forms a striking contrast to the 
scarlet geranium, which is the emblem of stupidity. 


MESSAGE. 

IRIS—IRIS VERSICOLOR. 

Every varying hue 

Of every beautiful thing on earth,—the tints 
Of heaven’s own Iris,—all are in the west 
On this delicious eve. 

CARRINCTON. 

This plant is supposed to have been named after 





198 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Juno’s attendant, because its colours are similar to 
those bestowed on the messenger of that goddess, 
by poets and mythological writers. 

The various Iris, Juno sends with haste. 

OVID. 

Iris is usually portrayed as descending from a 
rainbow; and the eye of heaven (Plutarch says that 
is the meaning of the word Iris) is not more varie¬ 
gated than the flower that has been honoured by 
her name. 

Iris, on saffron wings arrayed with dew 
Of various colours, through the sunbeam flew. 

VIRGIL. 

In England there are above fifty species of this 
plant, many having bulbous roots. The beautiful 
Iris has ever been considered to be the bearer of 
agreeable intelligence. 


MILD, OR SWEET DISPOSITION. 

MALLOW—MALVA SYLVESTRIS. 

Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots 
for their meat. job xxx. 4. 

From the above passage we learn that the mallow 





MISANTHROPY. 199 


was used for food by those nomadic tribes who have 
always pitched their tents in the desert in preference 
to dwelling in fixed habitations, where it would 
have been their duty to cultivate the earth in order 
to multipy the benefits of nature. 

This plant was also eaten, boiled, by the Greeks 
and Romans, and in salads, with lettuce and other 
vegetables; it is still used by the Chinese and the 
Egyptians. 

It grows, naturally, by the rivulet’s side; and is 
of easy culture in any common garden soil. Its ap¬ 
pearance is graceful and pleasing; and its rose- 
coloured flowers harmonise with its leaves and 
branches, the whole plant being covered with a 
silver-coloured silky down. It is equally agreeable 
to the sight as to the touch. Its flowers, its stalks, 
its leaves, and its roots, are all useful. We procure 
from them various juices, syrups, pastilles, and 
pastes, alike beneficial to health, and agreeable to 
the palate. The Romans used it on account of its 
medicinal qualities. 

Shards or mallows for the pot, 

That keep the loosened body sound. 

DRYDEtf. 

(VWWWV 

MISANTHROPY. 

TEASEL—DIPSACUS FULLONUM. 

The flowers of the teasel are bristled with long 






200 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


sharp thorns, and the whole plant has an air of 
severity; yet it is useful and beautiful. The 
clothiers use it to raise the nap upon woollen cloths, 
by means of the crooked awns or chaifs upon the 
heads. 


MODESTY. 

BLUE VIOLET—VIOLA ODORATA PURPUREA. 

Violets, whose looks are like the skies. 

BARRY CORNWALL. 

This beautiful flower is known to all who have 
breathed the pure air of British fields. They could 
not pass along our hedgerows in spring without in¬ 
haling its fragrant perfume, though its tiny head is 
so completely hid beneath its humble foliage that it 
seldom meets the eye of the careless passer by. 
Yet, although unheeded, 

Gentle gales, 

Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense 
Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole 
These balmy spoils. 

MILTON. 


Let us entreat our friends who would seek for the 










MODESTY. 


201 


purest and most healthy pleasures, to rise with the 
sun, and accept the invitation of Elliott, to 

Walk where hawthorns hide 
The wonders of the lane ; 

and then—but Howitt, in all his freshness, shall 
tell you what delight you will meet with.—“All 
unexpectedly, in some embowered lane, you are 
arrested by the delicious odour of violets, those 
sweetest of Flora’s children, which have furnished 
so many beautiful allusions to the poet, and which 
are not yet exhausted ! they are like true friends, 
we do not know half their sweetness till they have 
felt the sunshine of our kindness; and, again, they 
are like the pleasures of our childhood, the earliest 
and the most beautiful. In March they are seen in 
all their glory—blue and white—modestly peering 
through their thick clustering leaves.” 

Barry Cornwall places the violet before the rose 
in the following lines. True it is that modesty, of 
which quality it is the universal emblem, is more to 
be desired than beauty, but we must ever acknow¬ 
ledge the rose as the queen of flowers. 

It has a scent as though Love, for its dower, 

Had on it all his odorous arrows tost; 

For though the rose has more perfuming power. 

The violet (haply ’cause ’tis almost lost, 

And taken us so much trouble to discover,) 

Stands first with most, but always with a lover. 

K 5 









202 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


It is interesting to notice how widely the violet 
is distributed over this blooming world. They 
spring at the foot of the Alps, and bloom on the 
very summit of the Alleghanies their sweets are 
borne upon the spicy gales of Araby the blest; and 
they put forth their cerulean flower in the Persian 
gardens of roses. Humboldt gathered them in the 
valleys of the Amazon, and on the sides of the lofty 
Andes. The most lovely flowers are the most 
simple, and plainly the favourites of nature, for they 
are the most widely diffused. 

It was a thought, as delicate as it was beautiful, 
which suggested the modest violet as a poetical 
reward. A golden violet was announced as the 
prize to be decreed to the author of the best poem 
in the Provencal language, in 1324. 

And in that golden vase was set 
The prize—the golden violet. 

THE TROUBADOUR. 

MOURNING. 

CYPRESS—CUPRESSUS SEMPERVIRENS. 

The mournful cypress rises round, 

Tapering from the burial ground, 

LUCAN. 

The cypress is the universal emblem of mourn- 








MOURNING. 203 


ing, and is the funeral tree in the eastern world, 
from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea; it is 
also dedicated to the dead, from Mazanderan to 
Constantinople, as well as to the utmost bounds of 
China’s fruitful shores. 

Ovid gives us a traditionary account of the 
mournful origin of the cypress tree, and we always 
find it devoted to mournful thoughts, or sad so¬ 
lemnities. Cyparissus, son of Telephus of Cea, was 
beloved by Apollo. Having killed the favourite 
stag of his friend, he grieved, pined, and, dying, 
was changed by Apollo into a cypress tree. Cal- 
met describes it to be a tall, straight tree, having 
bitter leaves. The shade and smell w r ere said to 
be dangerous ; hence the Romans looked upon it 
as a fatal tree, and made use of it at funerals. It 
is an evergreen ; the wood is heavy, of rather a 
fragrant smell,—is not liable to be attacked by 
insects, and does not speedily decay. Shakspere 
says that cypress is the emblem of mourning; and 
we are told by Irving that, in Latium, on the de¬ 
cease of any person, a branch of cypress is placed 
before the door. It is strictly the “ sorrowing 
tree,” nor do we ask with Prior, 

Why does the cypress flourish in the shade ? 

For there is scarcely any poet who does not write 
of it in mournful sadness. Spenser records it as 
u the cypress funeral;” and Miss Landon observes, 







204 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


A funeral train 

Will in a cypress grove be found. 

And again, 

The moon is o’er a grove of cypress trees 
Weeping like mourners. 

And Byron asks, 

Ah! why 

With cypress branches hast thou wreathed thy bowers ! 

Mournful as is the wreath, we find it bestowed, a 
sad memorial, by the hand of friendship : 

O’er ruined shrines and silent tombs, 

The weeping cypress spreads its glooms, 

In immorality of woe; 

Whilst other shrubs in gladness blow, 

And fling upon the passing wind 
Their liberal treasures unconfined. 

And well its dark and drooping leaf, 

May image forth the gloom and grief, 

Which, when we parted, gave reply, 

From heaving heart and dewy eye : 

Then, lady, wear this wreath for me, 

Plucked from the faithful cypress tree, 

WIFFEN. 

In Turkey, the custom of planting the cypress 
tree over the tombs of departed friends is still re¬ 
ligiously adhered to ; and in performing this duty 
they are careful to select the upright variety, as 





MY BEST DAYS ARE PAST. 205 


they suppose it to indicate that the soul of their 
friend has ascended to the regions of bliss. 

Peace to the dust that in silence reposes 
Beneath the dark shades of cypress and yew : 

Let spring deck the spot with her earliest roses, 

And heaven wash their leaves with its holiest dew, 

PIERPONT. 


MUSIC. 

REEDS—ARUNDO PHRAGMITES. 

Arcadian pipe, the pastoral reed 
Of Hermes. mieton. 

Pan, being enamoured of the beautiful Syrinx, 
pursued her one day to the borders of the river 
Ladon in Arcadia. The nymph implored the help 
of the river, which received her into its waters, and 
metamorphosed her into reeds. It is recorded that 
Pan cut several of these reeds of different sizes, and 
formed thereof the first shepherd’s pipe. 


MY BEST DAYS ARE PAST. 

MEADOW SAFFRON—COLCHICUM AUTUMNALE. 
When summer is rapidly departing, this flower, 










206 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


which closely resembles the spring saffron, is seen 
in bloom amid the verdure of our meadows. It is 
the autumnal colchicum; and though like the spring 
saffron in appearance, how unlike in its import; the 
former brings us joy and hope, while the latter an¬ 
nounces the speedy termination of the bright and 
lovely days of summer. 

The ancients believed that, coming from the 
fields of Colchis, it owed its birth to some drops of 
the magic liquor Medea is said to have prepared, in 
order to restore the aged iEson to the vigour of 
youth. This fabulous origin led many to suppose, 
for a long period, that the plant was a sure pre¬ 
servative against all manner of diseases. The Swiss 
encircle the necks of their children with this flower, 
and believe that they protect them from every evil. 
The false opinion of the marvellous virtues of this 
plant has misled the wisest men ; and it required 
all the experience of Haller to dissipate the vain 
superstitions of the ignorant. 

The flower has neither leaves nor stalks. A 
long tube, white as ivory, is its only support; the 
flowers die off in October, and leave no external 
appearance of seeds. 11 These lie buried all the 
winter within the bulb; in spring they grow up on 
a fruit stalk, and are ripe about the time of hay- 
harvest.’’ u As this plant blossoms late in the 
year, and probably would not have time to ripen its 
seeds before winter, Providence has so framed its 





MY REGRETS FOLLOW YOU TO THE GRAVE. 207 


structure, that it may be performed at a depth within 
the earth, out of the reach of the usual effects of 
frost; and as seeds buried at such a depth are 
known not to vegetate, a no less admirable pro¬ 
vision is made to raise them above the surface when 
they are perfected, and to sow them at a proper 
season.” It thus mingles its fruits with the flowers 
of spring, and its flowers with the fruits of autumn; 
at all times the lambs shun it, and the young shep¬ 
herdess becomes melancholy at the sight of it; so 
the melancholy-hearted oft weaves a wreath of its 
pale blue flowers, consecrating it to the memory of 
happy days which have fled to return no more. 

MY REGRETS FOLLOW YOU TO THE 
GRAVE. 

ASPHODEL—ASPHODELUS LUTENS. 

The yellow and white species of this elegant 
plant are old inhabitants of our gardens, are of very 
easy culture, and increase rapidly. The latter spe¬ 
cies covers immense tracts of land in Apulia, and 
affords very good nourishment to the sheep. Jt was 
sacred to Proserpine, and anciently used in funeral 
ceremonies ; and it was believed that beyond the 
Acheron, the shades of the departed walked in vast 
meadows of Asphodel, where they drank the waters 
of oblivion. 








208 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


NEATNESS. 

BROOM—SPARTIUM SCOPARIUM. 

’Twas that delightful season, when the broom, 

Full flowered, and visible on every steep, 

Along the copses runs in veins of gold. 

WORDSWORTH. 

We presume that this plant has been made the 
emblem of neatness from the uses to which, in 
Europe, it is constantly applied. In our country 
villages, and throughout the provinces, it is known 
to every thrifty housewife as affording besoms for 
sweeping, whence originated the name of “broom’' 
for those domestic cleansers. 

There are many useful species of it. The 
broom," says Mr. Martyn, “converts the most 
barren spot into an odoriferous garden." Words¬ 
worth notices it in the following natural and beau¬ 
tiful lines:— 

On me such beauty summer pours. 

That I am covered o’er with flowers; 

And when the frost is in the sky, 

My branches are so fresh and gay, 

That you might look at me and say. 

This plant can never die. 

The butterfly, all green and gold, 

To me hath often flown, 

Here in my blossoms to behold 
Wings lovely as his own. 





















NEATNESS.. 209 


Burns introduces the yellow broom in his Cale¬ 
donia. 

Their groves of sweet myrtle let foreign lands reckon, 
Where bright-beaming summers exalt the perfume ; 
Far dearer to me yon lone glen o’green brackan, 

Wi’ the burn stealing under the lang yellow broom. 

It is said that when Linnaeus came to England, 
in 1736, he was so much delighted with the golden 
bloom of the furze, which he saw for the first time 
on the commons near London, that he fell on his 
knees enraptured at the sight. 

The Spanish broom is cultivated with us for the 
beauty and perfume of its flowers. It approaches 
nearer to the size of a tree than a shrub, and con¬ 
tinuing in blossom from July to October, it is a 
great enlivener of our gardens, which, at the latter 
season, are but scantily provided with gay flowers. 

Cowper has, with many other fine plants, also 
noticed the broom. 

Hypericum, all bloom, so thick a swarm 
Of flowers, like flies, clothing her slender rods. 

That scarce a leaf appears ; mezereon, too, 

Though leafless, well-attired, and thick beset 
With blushing wreaths, investing every spray ; 

Althea, with the purple eye ; the broom, 

Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloyed, 

Her blossoms. 

Sweet blooms genista in the myrtle shade. 

DARWIN. 

















210 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


NIGHT. 

NIGHT CONVOLVULUS. 

There are several species of this beautiful plant 
which open only at night. They are chiefly natives 
of hot countries. 


OBSTACLE. 

REST HARROW.—ONONIS SPINOSA. 

This is called ononis , from onos , an ass, because 
asses only feed upon this prickly plant. “ It was 
formerly very troublesome in corn fields, on account 
of its long ligneous roots obstructing the progress of 
the plough, and its thorny branches the harrow ; ,y 
and on this account it has been made the emblem of 
obstacle ; “ but in all properly cultivated lands the 
plant has disappeared .” 

ORNAMENT. 

HORNBEAM.—CARPINUS BETULUS. 

The introduction of so many exotic shrubs and 
trees within the last century has banished some of 
our native plants from the grove, while fashion has 





ORNAMENT. 211 


entirely removed the hornbeam, of which the laby¬ 
rinth, the maze, the alleys, the verdant galleries, 
arcades, porticoes, and arches of our forefathers 
were made. 

The French have made it the emblem of orna¬ 
ment, from the splendid effect produced by its ju¬ 
dicious training in the hands of Le Notre, in the 
gardens of "Versailles. “ These gardens,” says Mr. 
Phillips, “ which cost Louis the Fourteenth between 
eight and nine hundred thousand pounds sterling, 
are well calculated to display courtly pomp, and that 
kind of magnificent revelry which this monarch in¬ 
dulged in. But to us this heavy grandeur appears 
more gloomy than the thickest forest, except when 
the alleys and walks are crowded with company, 
and the water-works are in full action. Then every 
beholder must be struck with the splendour of the 
scene, which the dress of the French ladies is par¬ 
ticularly calculated to improve; for the gaiety of 
their costume relieves the sombre appearance of the 
trained hornbeam and clipped elm. Their light 
gauze, gay ribands, feathers and flowers, substitute 
blossoms ; for, whilst one seems to display a basket 
of roses on her head, others carry nodding thyrsuses 
of lilac, or waving laburnum; and with the mixture 
of poppies, nasturtiums, and sunflowers, with which 
they are bedecked, you forget that the trees are 
without blossom, for here you see the gay rank of 
scarlet soldiers, and there files of green elms ; here 




212 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


wave the winged leaves of the acacia, there bows 
the no less pliable head of the courtier; here dances 
the jet d’eau in air, there drops to the earth the 
well-tauglit curtseying belle; here monsters spout 
out water to cool the air, while flattery as abun¬ 
dantly sends forth her streams to refresh the vain. 
In one spot we see the proud officer flaunting round 
the brazen image of Yenus, whilst the opposite 
angle shows the sentimental dame reclining on the 
pedestal of Mars, or Jupiter. Agricola, a German 
author, says this scene gave him a foretaste of Pa¬ 
radise.” 

ORACLE. 

DANDELION —LEONTODON TARAXACUM. 

LiNN/EUS has given the dandelion a deserved place 
in the horologe of Flora. It is one of the plants that 
may be most certainly depended upon as to the hour 
of opening and closing its flowers. The flower, 
if we well examine it, we shall discover to be fully 
as handsome as the fine garden anemone; and it 
only needs to be as rare, to be prized as much. This 
plant blossoms early in the spring, and continues 
through the summer. 

Thine full many a pleasing bloom 
Of blossoms lost to all perfume; 

Thine the dandelion flowers, 

Gilt with dew like sun with showers, clare. 









ORACLE. 213 


The dandelion flower is used for Love’s oracle. 
If you are separated from the object of your affec¬ 
tion, gently detach one of these transparent spheres, 
—each little feather that composes it is charged 
with a tender thought. Turn toward the spot in¬ 
habited by your beloved : blow softly, and every 
little winged traveller, like a faithful messenger, 
shall bear your secret homage to her feet. If desi¬ 
rous of knowing whether the object so dear thinks 
of you now you are absent, blow again, and if there 
remain one tuft, it is a sign you are not forgotten. 
But the second charm should be done with care; 
blow very gently; for at any age, even at that age 
which is most congenial to love, it is not well for 
our peace that we should too rudely disperse the 
pleasing illusions which embellish life. 

Miss Landon wrote some very beautiful lines on 
seeing an illustration of the garden scene in Goethe’s 
Faust, where Margaret plucks a star-like flower to 
divine the real sentiments of her lover. They are 
called u The Decision of the Flower.” 

And with scarlet poppies around, like a bower, 

The maiden found her mystic flower ; 

“Now, gentle flower, I pray thee tell 
If my lover loves me, and loves me well; 

So may the fall of the morning dew 
Keep the sun from fading thy tender blue. 

Now I number the leaves for my lot— 

He loves not—he loves me-he loves me not— 







214 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


He loves me—yes, thou last leaf, yes— 

I’ll pluck thee not for that last sweet guess ! 
He loves me!” “ Yes,” a dear voice sighed. 
And her lover stands by Margaret’s side. 


PATIENCE. 

redshanks; or PATIENCE dock—POLYGONUM 

BISTORTA. 

This has been made the emblem of patience be¬ 
cause of its name. It is often substituted in Lan¬ 
cashire for greens : and in the north of England, 
where it is known by the name of Easter giant, its 
young shoots were formerly eaten in herb puddings. 


PEACE. 

OLIVE BRANCHES—OLEA EUROPAIA, 

To thee the heavens, in thy nativity, 

Adjudged an olive branch, and laurel crown. 

As likely to be blest in peace and war. 

SHAKSPERE. 

This tree has been celebrated in all ages as the 
bounteous gift of heaven, and as the emblem of 










PERFECT EXCELLENCE 215 


peace and plenty. Peace—wisdom—concord—cle¬ 
mency—joy—and the graces have ever been crowned 
with olive. 

The dove sent out of the ark by Noah to as¬ 
certain if the waters were assuaged, returned 
bearing a branch of olive, as a symbol of that rest 
which heaven was about to restore to the earth. 


PERFECT EXCELLENCE. 

STRAWBERRY—FRAGARIA VESCA. 

An illustrious French writer conceived the design 
of compiling a general history of nature, an imi¬ 
tation of the ancients, and of some moderns. A 
strawberry plant, which chanced to grow by his 
window, dissuaded him from this design. On mi¬ 
nutely observing it, he discovered so much to learn 
and to admire, that he felt convinced that the study 
of a single plant, with its habits, would suffice to 
employ the life of many learned men He therefore 
abandoned his design, and the ambitious title he 
had selected, and gave to his work the simple title, 
11 Studies from Nature.” In this book, which is worthy 
of Pliny or of Plato, we find the best history of the 
strawberry. This humble plant delights to grow in 
our woods, and cover their borders with delicious 
fruit, which are the property of any one who 
chooses to gather them. It is a charming gift that 









216 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


nature has withdrawn from the operation of those 
laws w r hich render property exclusive ; and this she 
is pleased to bestow on all her children. 

The flowers of the strawberry form pretty bou¬ 
quets; but what barbarous hands would wish to 
gather them, and so destroy the promised fruit? 
Let us hear Wordsworth’s plea for the Strawberry 
Blossom. 

That is a work of waste and ruin— 

Do as Charles and I are doing— 

Strawberry blossoms, one and all. 

We must spare them,—here are many— 

Look at it,—the flower is small, 

Small and low, though fair as any ; 

Do not touch it!—summers two 
I am older, Anne, than you. 

Pull the Primrose, sister Anne, 

Pull as many as you can. 

Here are daises, take your fill; 

Pansies and the cuckoo flower : 

Of the lofty daffodil 

Make your bed and make your bower ; 

Fill your lap and fill your bosom; 

Only spare the strawberry blossom ! 

Primroses, the spring may love them,— 

Summer knows but little of them. 

Violets, a barren kind, 

Withered on the ground must lie ; 

Daisies leave no fruit behind, 

When the pretty flowerets die ; 












PERFECT EXCELLENCE. 21 7 


Pluck them, and another year 
As many will be growing here. 

God has given a kindlier power 
To the favoured strawberry flower, 

When the months of spring are fled, 

Hither let us bend our walk; 

Lurking berries, ripe and red, 

Then will hang on every stalk, 

Each within its leafy bower ; 

And for that promise spare the flower. 

It is, however, most delightful to find the fruit of 
the strawberry, at all. seasons of the year, amid 
the glaciers of the lofty Alps. When the sun-burnt 
traveller is oppressed with fatigue upon those rocks, 
which are as old as the world,—in the midst of those 
forests, half destroyed by avalanches, he vainly 
seeks a hut to rest his weary limbs, or a fountain to 
refresh himself. Unexpectedly he sees, emerging 
from the midst of the rocks, troops of young girls, 
who advance towards him with baskets of perfumed 
strawberries ; they appear on all the heights above, 
and in every dell below. It seems as though each 
rock and each tree were kept by one of these 
nymphs, as placed by Tasso at the gate of the en¬ 
chanted gardens of Armida. As seducing, though 
less dangerous, the young Swiss peasants, in offering 
their charming baskets to the traveller, instead of 
retarding his progress, give him strength to pursue 
his journey. The strawberry has the property of 

L 








218 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


not undergoing the acetous fermentation in the 
stomach. The learned Linnseus was cured of fre¬ 
quent attacks of gout by the use of strawberries. 
This fruit, it is said, has often restored to health 
patients given over by every physician. They will 
compose a thousand delicious sherbets, they are the 
delight of our tables, and the luxury of our rural 
feasts. Everywhere these charming berries, which 
dispute in freshness and in perfume the buds of the 
most beautiful flowers, please the sight, the taste, 
and the smell. Yet there are some unfortunate 
enough to hate strawberries, and to swoon at the 
sight of a rose. Ought it to astonish us, since we 
see certain persons grow pale at the relation of a 
good action, as if the inspiration of virtue were a 
reproach to them ? Happily, these sad exceptions 
take nothing from the charm of virtue,—from the 
beauty of the rose,—nor from the perfect excellence 
of the most charming of fruits. 

PERFIDY. 

ALMOND LAUREL —PRUNUS LAURO-CERASUS. 

In the environs of Trebizond, on the borders of 
the Pdack Sea, we find the treacherous laurel 
growing naturally. It conceals under its sweet and 
brilliant verdure the most deadly poison we are ac- 












PERFIDY. 


219 


quainted with. In winter it adorns our groves ; and 
is loaded in the spring with numerous pyramids of 
white flowers, which are succeeded by a black 
fruit, resembling small cherries ; its flowers, fruit, 
and leaves, have the taste and smell of the almond. 
It is related that a tender mother, on the birth-day 
of one of her children, wishing to prepare some¬ 
thing nice for her family, threw some pounds of 
sugar and a handful of almond laurel leaves into a 
cauldron of boiling milk. At the prospect of the 
approaching feast, an innocent joy sparkled in every 
eye. O! surprise ! Scarcely had they tasted the 
fatal dish, when every countenance changed, their 
hair became erect, their breathing quickened, a 
thousand confused noises issued from their chests, 
a horrible fury possessed, agitated, and disordered 
their senses. The desolate mother wished to call 
for succour ; but, seized with the same disease, she 
partook of the insensible delirium, for which she 
could offer no remedy. Calm sleep at length re¬ 
lieved them from this sad inebriation. But what 
were the feelings of the poor mother, when informed, 
on the morrow, that she had given to her children 
a poison like that of the viper. This poison, con¬ 
centrated in the distilled water, or the essential oil 
of the almond laurel, is so violent, that it is suffi¬ 
cient, when it comes in contact with the slightest 
wound, to kill the most robust man. The sale o. 
this deadly poison is strictly forbidden in Italy ; yet, 











220 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


notwithstanding, some greedy distillers have sold it 
under the name of extract of bitter almond. We 
should therefore caution all persons against its use. 
It was formerly much used to give a flavour to 
puddings, custards, &c.; but this practice is much 
less frequent since it has been ascertained to be so 
poisonous in its effects. 


PLEASURE WITHOUT ALLOY. 

MOSS ROSE—ROSA CENTIFOLIA, MUSCOSA. 

The rose that hails the morning, 

Arrayed in all its sweets, 

Its mossy couch adorning, 

The sun enamoured meets. 

The elegant moss rose is commonly supposed to 
be the offspring of the Provence rose, though some 
consider it to belong to the family of hundred-leaved 
roses. It has ever been made the emblem of per¬ 
fected joy; Milton mentions it as u without thorn, 
the rose ; ” and an anonymous writer has sung of 
it in that character. 

Oh! I love the sweet blooming, the pretty moss rose, 
’Tis the type of true pleasure, and perfected joy ; 

Oh ! I envy each insect that dares to repose 
’Midst its leaves, or among its soft beauties to toy. 









PLATONIC LOVE. 221 


I love the sweet lily^ so pure and so pale, 

With a bosom as fair as the new-fallen snows ; 

Her luxuriant odours she spreads through the vale, 

Yet e’en she must yield to my pretty moss rose. 

Oh! I love the gay heartsease, and violet blue, 

The sun-flower and blue-bell,, each floweret that 
blows, 

The fir-tree, the pine-tree, acacia, and yew, 

Yet e’en these must yield to my pretty moss rose. 

Yes, I love my moss rose, for it ne’er had a thorn, 

’Tis the type of life’s pleasures, unmix’d with its 
woes; 

’Tis more gay, and more bright, than the opening 
morn— 

Yes, all things must yield to my pretty moss rose. 


PLATONIC LOVE. 

ACACIa—ROBINIA PSEUD AC ACIA. 

The savages of America have consecrated the 
acacia to the genius of chaste love; their bows are 
made from the incorruptible wood of this tree, their 
arrows are armed with one of its thorns. These 
fierce children of the desert, whom nothing can 
subdue, conceive a sentiment full of delicacy; per¬ 
haps what they are unable to express by words, but 
they understand the sentiment by the expression of 




222 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


a branch of blooming acacia. The young savage, 
like the city coquette, understands this seducing 
language, and receives, blushing, the homage of him 
who has won her heart by respect and by love. 

It is not more than a century since the forests of 
Canada yielded us this beautiful tree. The bo¬ 
tanist Robin, who first brought it us, gave it his 
name. The acacia, when spreading its light shade 
in our groves, with its scented flowers, and sweet 
and fresh verdure, seems to prolong the spring. 
The nightingale loves to confide its nest to this new 
inhabitant of our climate; the lovely bird, assured 
by the long and strong thorns which protect its 
family, sometimes descends upon the lowest branches 
of the tree, to make its ravishing notes the better 
heard. 

The acacia has been made the emblem of domestic 

I 

beauty by an anonymous w'riter, w r ho thus speaks of 
it:—“ Tints of the w r hite, the golden, and the red 
rose are beautifully intermingled with the rich 
blossoms of the acacia. It is found in the most 
retired places, and it blooms the fairest in the close¬ 
ness of its own foliage. It loves the mossy rock 
and the solitary grove, and pines away in the gay 
garden and crowded parterre. Nourmahal sings, 

Our rocks are rough, but smiling there 
The acacia waves her yellow hair, 

Lonely and sweet, nor loved the less 
For flowering in a wilderness— 




PLEASANTRY. 


223 


Then come—thy Arab maid will be 
The loved and lone acacia tree. 

There could be no fitter emblem of a beautiful 
woman flourishing in the retirement of her home, 
secluded from the vanities of ‘ crowded life,’ and 
adorning with her bloom the abode of domestic 
affection.” 


PLEASANTRY. 

BALM GENTLE—MELISSA OFFICINALIS. 

The scientific name of this plant is Melissa, 
which is synonymous with the Greek word for bee, 
being derived from ^sA/, honey, which is sought for 
in these flowers with avidity. “ The recent plant 
has the agreeable odour of lemons.” u It was 
formerly prized as a corroborant in hypochondriacal 
and nervous affections.” It is on account of the 
soothing qualities of the waters distilled from this 
plant that it has been made the emblem of plea¬ 
santry. 








224 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


POETRY. 

EGLANTINE, OR SWEET BRIAR—ROSA RUBIGINOSA- 

O’er-canopied with luscious woodbine, 

With sweet musk roses, and with eglantine, 

SHAKSPERE. 

The eglantine, or wild briar rose, more com¬ 
monly called sweet briar, has ever been considered 
the poet's flower. It is not loved for its fair deli¬ 
cate blossoms only; but its fragrant leaves, which 
perfume the breeze of dewy morn, and the soft breath 
of eve, entitle it to its frequent association with the 
woodbine or honeysuckle. 

Its sides I’ll plant with dew-sweet eglantine, 

And honeysuckles full of clear bee-wine. 

KEATS. 

Yonder is a girl who lingers 
Where wild honeysuckle grows, 

Mingled with the briar rose. 

H. SMITH. 

Burns says, “ I have some favourite flowers in 
spring, among which are the mountain daisy, the 
harebell, the wild briar rose, the budding birch, 
and the hoary hawthorn.” 









PREFERENCE. 225 


We eye the rose upon the briar, 

Unmindful that the storm is near. 

The fragrance exhaled by the sweet briar, espe¬ 
cially after a gentle shower, is so agreeable and 
refreshing, that we do not think it can be too thickly 
planted amidst our plantations and thickets. Dry- 
den, from Chaucer, thus celebrates its delightful 
fragrance : 

A sweeter spot on earth was never found : 

I looked, and looked, and still with new delight; 

Such joy my soul, such pleasures filled my sight; 

And the fresh eglantine exhaled a breath. 

Whose odours were of power to raise from death. 


PREFERENCE. 

APPLE BLOSSOM — PYRES MALUS. 

What virgin’s cheek 
Can match this apple bloom ? 

ELLIOTT. 

What is more enchanting to the lover of nature 
than the apple tree when clad 'with its beautiful 
bloom in the early spring P and the more, that they 
hold forth the promise of an abundance of delicious 
fruit. The apple bloom is indeed a charming flower, 
and by some is preferred before the rose. 

L 5 










226 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


PREFERENCE. 

ROSE-SCENTED GERANIUM—PELARGONIUM 
CAPITATUM. 

Of the geranium there are many species ; some 
drooping, others brilliant, some perfumed, and 
others again inodorous. That which emits a rose¬ 
like odour is distinguished by the softness of its 
leaves, its sweet odour, and the beauty of its purple 
flowers. 


PRESAGE. 

SMALL CAPE MARIGOLD.—CALENDULA 
PLUVIALIS. 

The French have named this flower souci pluvi- 
atile , and in England it is distinguished by the 
name of pluvialis , because of its flowers closing on 
the approach of rain. It constantly opens at seven 
o’clock in the morning, and remains so until four 
p. m., if the weather be dry. If it does not open, 
or if it close before the usual hour, we may he sure 
that there will be rain ere nightfall. 









PRIVATION. 


227 


PRETENSION. 

WILLOW HERB—EPILOBIUM ANGUSTIFOLIUM. 

This beautiful plant, which flourishes by the 
water’s side, seems to take pleasure in admiring 
itself in the crystal stream. For this reason it is 
compared to a vain woman, proud of her own charms. 
Mr. Loudon says that it is a thriving plant, and 
will grow anywhere, under the drip of trees, and in 
smoky cities, parks, <fec., and is very showy when 
in flower. 

PRESUMPTION. 

SNAP-DRAGON—ANTIRRHINUM MAJUS, 

The flowers of the snap-dragon are sometimes 
of so vivid a scarlet colour that we cannot look upon I 
them with a fixed eye. We have introduced them i 
into our gardens on account of their beauty; but j 
frequently, like the presumptuous, it is so importu- , 
nate in spreading itself that we are obliged to banish 
it for ever. 

PRIVATION. 

MYROBALAN—PRUNUS CERASIFERA. 

The myrobalan is a species of plum tree, and 











228 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


produces a fruit which has the appearance of a very 
beautiful cherry. This fruit contains a faint juice, 
so disagreeable, that even the birds refuse to eat 
them. 


PROMPTITUDE. 

TEN-WEEK STOCK—MATHIOLA ANNUA. 

This is a most valuable variety of the stock, for 
no sooner is the seed sown than it germinates, and 
after forty days it is seen loaded with flowers. These 
are very transient in their duration, and if we wish 
to have them throughout the summer season, we 
must sow them at three different periods, at inter¬ 
vals of about a month from each other. Nothing 
has more of freshness or variety than the shades of 
lilac, rose-colour, and white, which are observed on 
these flowers ; they also diffuse a charming odour. 


PROSPERITY. 

BEECH—FAGUS SYLVATICA, 

Black was the forest, thick with beech it stood. 

DKXDEN. 

The beech may perhaps be regarded as the rival 












PROHIBITION. 229 


of the oak, from the beauty of its proportions and 
the utility of its wood; it will grow everywhere, 
though it seems to prefer a chalky soil, and thrives 
so rapidly that it is proverbially said it may be seen 
to prosper. 

PROHIBITION. 

PRIVET—LIGUSTRUM SYLVATICA. 

u This native shrub/’ says Mr. Phillips, “ is 
one of the prettiest ornaments of our hedgerows, 
which it continues to embellish for a longer period 
than most other plants; for, although it is deci¬ 
duous, the leaves seldom fall until thrust off by those 
of the succeeding spring. And its spike-formed 
thyrsi of white monopetalous flowers, which in 
shape resemble those of the lilac in miniature,” 
agreeably perfume the hedges during the months of 
May and June; while its “deep purple shining 
berries garnish the spray of this shrub during the 
whole winter, affording food to the bullfinch and 
thrush, and a 

Fit dwelling for the feathered throng, 

Who pay their quit-rents with a song. 

GREEN. 

u Why,” said a young mother of a family to the 
pastor of the village, “ why did you not plant a 




: 230 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


strong palisade of thorns in the place of this hedge 
of flowering privet which surrounds your garden ? ” 
The pastor replied, u when you prohibit your son from 
joining in dangerous pleasures, the prohibition issues 
from your lips with a tender smile; your look ca¬ 
resses him ; and, if he murmur, your maternal hand 
offers him a toy to console him; so the pastor’s 
hedge ought not to injure, but while it keeps off 
those who would intrude, it should offer flowers 
though it repels them.” 


PRUDENCE. 

SERVICE TREE—PYRUS DOMESTICA. 

October' is drawn in a garment of yellow and carna¬ 
tion ; in his left hand a basket of services, medlars, and 
other fruits that ripen late.— feacham. 

Every tree and every plant has a phsiognomy 
which is proper to itself, and which seems to give 
it a character. The giddy almond tree profusely 
puts forth its flowers in spring, at the risk of having 
no fruit for the autumn, whilst the service tree never 
bears its fruit until it has acquired full strength, and 
then its harvest is certain. For this reason it is made 
the emblem of prudence. This beautiful tree re¬ 
tains its dazzling scarlet fruit throughout the win¬ 
ter ; when we see it shining a brilliant contrast to 











PURITY AND MODESTY. 231 


the white mantle of snow which covers the earth: 
Its harvest can only be gathered in winter, and for 
that season Providence has reserved it for the use 
of the smaller birds. 


PURITY AND MODESTY. 

WHITE LILY—LILIUM CANDIDUM. 

Ye loftier lilies, bathed in morning’s dew 
Of purity and innocence, renew 
Each lovely thought. 

BARTON. 

This delicate and beautiful flower has for cen¬ 
turies received its tribute of admiration from the 
lovers of nature. Who has not felt a glow of de¬ 
light in perusing that gorgeous description of the 
lily which Christ himself gave to his disciples ? 
“ Of all the poetry ever drawn from flowers none 
is so beautiful, none is so sublime, none is so im¬ 
bued with that very spirit in which they were made, 
as that of our Lord. 4 And why take ye thought 
for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how 
they grow ; they toil not, neither do they spin; 
and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all 
his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Where¬ 
fore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which 
to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall 




232 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


he not much more clothe you, 0 ye of little faith !’ 
The sentiment built upon this entire dependence on 
the goodness of the Creator is one of the lights of 
our existence, and could only have been uttered by 
Christ; but we have here also the expression of the 
very spirit of beauty in which flowers were created 
—a spirit so boundless and overflowing that it 
delights to enliven and adorn with these luxu¬ 
riant creatures of sunshine the solitary places of the 
earth ; to scatter them by myriads over the very 
desert ‘ where no man is, on the wilderness where 
there is no man;’ sending rain ‘to satisfy the de¬ 
solate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of 
the tender herb to spring forth. 

Leigh Hunt intimately associates the sentiment 
of purity with lilies. 

We are lilies fair, 

The flower of virgin light; 

Nature held us forth, and said, 

“Lo! my thoughts of white.” 

Ever since then, angels 
Hold us in their hands : 

You may see them where they take 
In pictures their sweet stands. 

Like the garden’s angels 
Also do we seem ; 

And not the less for being crown’d 
With a golden diadem. 













PURITY AND MODESTY. 233 


Could you see around us 
The enamour’d air. 

You would see it pale with bliss 
To hold a thing so fair. 

It is generally admitted that the white lily is a 
native of Palestine. The heathen nations conse¬ 
crated it to Juno, contending by their fable that it 
sprang from the milk of that goddess; as we read 
that Jupiter, being desirous of raising Hercules to 
the rank of a divinity, induced Juno to drink deep 
of a cup of nectar, which threw the queen of the 
gods into a profound sleep. Jupiter placed Her¬ 
cules at her breast, that the divine milk might enter 
his frame, and thus work his immortality. The in¬ 
fant was not able to swallow so rapidly as he drew 
the milk from her celestial breast, some drops of 
which falling on the earth, this flower sprung up 
from it; hence it has been called Juno’s rose. 

In the Hebrew language the name Susannah 
signifies a lily; and all nations agree in considering 
it the symbol of purity and modesty. The follow¬ 
ing beautiful lines, from the pen of Mrs. Henry 
Tighe, admirably illustrate the lily as the emblem 
of purity. 

How withered, perished seems the form 
Of yon obscure unsightly root! 

Yet from the blight of wintry storm 
It hides secure the precious fruit. 





234 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


The careless eye can find no grace, 

No beauty in the scaly folds, 

Nor see within the dark embrace 
What latent loveliness it holds. 

Yet in that bulb, those sapless scales, 

The lily wraps her silver vest, 

Till vernal suns and vernal gales 
Shall kiss once more her fragrant breast. 

Yes, hide beneath the mouldering heap 
The undelighting slighted thing ; 

There in the cold earth, buried deep. 

In silence let it wait the spring. 

Oh ! many a stormy night shall close 
In gloom upon the barren earth, 

While still, in undisturbed repose. 

Uninjured lies the future birth; 

And Ignorance, with sceptic eye, 

Hope’s patient smile shall wondering view ; 

Or mock her fond credulity, 

As her soft tears the spot bedew. 

Sweet smile of hope, delicious tear ! 

The sun, the shower indeed shall come ; 

The promised verdant shoot appear, 

And Nature bid her blossoms bloom. 

And thou, 0 virgin queen of spring ! 

Shalt, from thy dark and lowly bed, 

Bursting the green shade’s silken string, 

Unveil thy charms, and perfume shed ; 




PURITY AND MODESTY. 235 


Unfold thy robes of purest white. 
Unsullied from thy darksome grave. 
And thy soft petals’ silvery light 
In the mild breeze unfettered wave. 


So Faith shall seek the lowly dust 
Where humble Sorrow loves to lie, 

And bid her thus her hopes entrust. 

And watch with patient, cheerful eye ; 

And bear the long, cold, wintry night, 

And bear her own degraded doom. 

And wait till heaven’s reviving light, 

Eternal spring! shall burst the gloom. 

When and by whom this lily was introduced into 
England we cannot ascertain; we have, however, 
reason to believe that it was amongst the earliest 
exotics that graced our gardens, and, perhaps, it 
was brought from the Holy Land by some of the 
Crusaders, as it is noticed by Chaucer in armorial 
bearings. 

Upon his crest he bore a tour, 

And therein stiked a lily flour. 

Also, in the u Siege of Caerlaverock” (1300), we 
find it used as an emblem in describing the arms of 
Henry, Lord Tyas : 







23G SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


35antm ot 3$tnri li ®rois, 

Pus blancljc trc un poll hots 
<© un tfncbron Pcrmctl tn mt. 

“ Henry le Tyes had a banner whiter than a smooth 
lily, with a red chevron in the middle.” 

The star of Bethlehem, than the appearance of 
which nothing is more sweet, more pure, or more 
agreeable, has also been made the emblem of 
purity. In the month of June it puts forth its long 
tuft of star-like flowers, white as the drifted snow. 


RARITY. 

MANDRAKE—MANDRAGORA OFFICINALIS. 

The ancients attributed great virtues to this 
plant; but as they have not left any accurate de¬ 
scription of it, we are ignorant what species they 
gave that name to. Our charletans and mounte¬ 
banks, profiting by the ignorance of the people, fre¬ 
quently made different roots into the form of a little 
man, w r hich they exhibited to the credulous, and 
sought to persuade them that these marvellous roots 
w r ere the true mandrake, which are found only in 
one quarter of China, nearly inaccessible. They 
added, that these mandrakes uttered the most la- 








RARITY. 


237 


mentable cries, closely resembling those of a hu¬ 
man being, when their leaves were plucked after the 
night-dew had descended ; and that whosoever ven¬ 
tured to do it was struck by death. 

The phantom forms—oh ! touch not them 

. That appal the murderer’s sight; 

Lurk in the fleshy mandrake’s stem, 

That shriek when torn at night. 

Old medical impostors have told us that the pro¬ 
per w r ay to take up the roots of this plant is to pass 
a cord cautiously round it, and then attach it to the 
tail of a dog, which then alone bears the judgment 
due to an action so impious. 

We are told by Pliny, that they w'ho took up this 
root were directed by superstition to turn their 
backs to the wind ; and before they began to dig 
they were to make circles round the plant with the 
point of a sword, and then turning to the west, pro¬ 
ceed to take it up. 

Many absurd and superstitious ideas have arisen 
from the supposed virtues of this plant, which pro¬ 
bably never existed. 










| 238 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


RECONCILIATION. 

HAZEL—CORYLUS AVELLANA. 

Why sit we not beneath the graceful shade 

Which hazels, intermixed with elms, have made ? 

DRYDFN. 

There was a time when men were not united by 
any common tie. "When the mother would deprive 
her son of the wild fruit with which he wished to 
appease his hunger, and if misfortune united them 
for a moment, the sudden sight of an oak laden with 
acorns, or a beech covered with beech-mast, ren¬ 
dered them enemies. At that period the earth was 
filled with horror ; there was no law, no religion, 
no language; man was utterly ignorant of his 
nature—his reason slept, and he was often seen 
more cruel than the ferocious beasts whose frightful 
howling he imitated. 

According to ancient mythology the gods had 
pity on the human race. Apollo and Mercury ex¬ 
changed presents, and came down upon the earth. 
The god of harmony received from the son of Mai'a 
a tortoise-shell, of which he had made a lyre, and 
gave in return a branch of hazel, which had the 
power of making virtue beloved, and of re-uniting 
hearts divided by hatred and envy. Thus armed, 











RECONCILIATION. 239 


the two sons of Jupiter presented themselves to 
men. Apollo first sang that eternal wisdom which 
had created the universe ; he told how the elements 
were produced, and how every part of nature was 
united by the sweet bonds of love ; and, finally, he 
taught men that they should appease the anger of 
the gods by adoration and praise. At his voice, 
pale and trembling mothers were seen advancing with 
their little children in their arms ; hunger was sus¬ 
pended, and the thirst for vengeance fled from every 
heart. Then Mercury touched mankind with the 
wand Apollo had given to him. He loosened their 
tongues, and taught them to express their thoughts 
by words ; he afterwards told them that union made 
strength, and that nothing could be derived from 
the earth without mutual labours. Filial piety and 
patriotic love were brought into action, by bis elo¬ 
quence, to unite the human race ; and commerce 
he made the bond of the world. His last thought was 
the most sublime, for it was consecrated to the gods ; 
and he told mankind that they might become equal 
with the gods by deeds of love and beneficence. 

Ornamented with two light wings, and serpents 
entwining themselves around it, the hazel wand, 
presented to the god of eloquence by the god of 
harmony, is still, under the name of Mercury’s 
wand, the symbol of peace, commerce, and recon¬ 
ciliation. 

















SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


240 


RESERVE. 

MAPLE—ACER PSEUDO-PLAT ANUS. 

The maple is made the emblem of reserve because 
its flowers are very slow in opening, and also fall 
with extreme tardiness. Hanbury observes, that 
when the flowers, which are of a fine yellow colour, 
are out in the spring, the tree has great beauty ; 
and in the autumn, the leaves die to a golden yellow 
hue, which produces a good effect when the various 
tints of the fading vegetable world are so univer¬ 
sally displayed. 


RESISTANCE. 

TREMELLA nostoc—tremella albida. 

* 

The tremella is a gelatinous plant, which has 
occupied much of the naturalist’s attention, but as 
yet it has baffled research. It was very celebrated 
among the alchemists of old, who used it in the 
preparation of the philosopher’s stone and universal 
panacea, considering it a fallen star. Other sages 
have fancied it to be the returned food of hawks, 
which had devoured frogs, while others supposed it 
to be an animal. It seems, however, to render re¬ 
search fruitless, by being continually found in va- 









RETURN OF HAPPINESS. 241 


rious analagous forms, which again resume their 
previous appearance. They are generally found in 
the alleys of gardens, and in moist pasture ; and 
sometimes, after a wet and rainy night, the earth in 
the thickets of the Tuileries has been observed to be 
entirely covered. A few hours after sunrise they 
entirely disappear. In short, we know nothing cer¬ 
tain about this singular plant; it is a secret of 
nature which resists our most persevering inquiries. 


RETURN OF HAPPINESS. 

LILY OF THE VALLEY.—CONVALLARIA MAJALIS. 

Sweet flower o’ the valley, wi’ blossoms of snow, 

And green leaves that turn the cauld blast frae their 
stems; 

Bright emblem o’ innocence, thy beauties I lo’e, 

Aboon the king’s coronet circled wi’ gems ! 

There’s no tinsel about thee, to make thee mair bright, 
Sw r eet lily ! thy loveliness a’ is thine ain, 

And thy bonny bells, danglin’ sae pure and sae light, 
Proclaim thee the fairest o’ Flora’s bright train. 

This lowly plant loves the shelter of the hollow 
valleys, the shade of oaks, or the cool banks of 
streams. 


The lily, screened from every ruder gale, 

Courts not the cultured spot where roses spring. 

OGILVIE. 


M 















242 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


In the earliest days of May its snowy flowers 
expand themselves, and scatter their perfume in 
the air. Barton says, 

The lily, whose sweet beauties seem 
As if they must be sought. 

And Thomson gives us a glimpse of a u fair and 
bonnie spot” where fairies might hold their revels. 

Seek the bank where flowering elders crowd, 

Where, scattered wide, the lily of the vale 
Its balmy essence breathes, where cowslips hang 
The dewy head, where purple violets lurk, 

With all the lovely children of the shade. 

Wordsworth, who delights to wander ’mid the 
green and flowery fields, to explore the valley, or 
scale the mountain’s loftiest height, has not forgotten 
this sweet flower: 

That shy plant,—the lily of the vale, 

That loves the ground, and from the sun withholds 

Her pensive beauty, from the breeze her SAveets. 

And at this season the nightingale quits our 
hedges and bushes, and seeks his consort in the 
depths of the forest, where the echo in the solitude 
| answers to his voice. Guided by the perfume of 
the lily of the valley, this charming bird soon 
chooses his retreat. There it celebrates, in its me¬ 
lodious song, the delights of solitude and of lcve; 

| and the flower which every successive year an- 
| flounces to him the return of happiness. 









r 


REVERIE. 243 


The “ Naiad-like lily of the vale, whose tremulous 
bells are seen through their pavilions of tender 
green,” should form a part of every wreath that 
crowns the happy, the innocent, and the gay. 

Keats has assigned a diadem to this lowly plant: 

No flower amid the garden fairer grows 
Than the sweet lily of the lowly vale, 

The queen of flowers. 

But we must not forget that, like a delicate 
maiden, it ever loves retirement: 

In the lone copse or shadowy dale, 

Wild clustered knots of hare-bells blow, 

And droops the lily of the vale. 

SMITH. 


REVERIE. 

FLOWERING FERN—OSMUNDA REGALIS. 

There are great varieties of fern in different 
parts of the world, but they are seldom cultivated 
in gardens. The flowering fern is the finest of all 
our native species. Mathiole attributes to this, 
which grows principally in shady and humid places, 
the virtue of inspiring prophetic dreams. 









244 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


REWARD OF VIRTUE. 

A GARLAND OF ROSES. 

Let us crown ourselves with roses ere they be withered. 

SOLOMON’S SONG. 

At Salency, in France, there is a festival of 
roses, instituted by St. Medard, bishop of Noyon. 
There is an annual assemblage of young people of 
both sexes, who elect for their queen of the day 
that maiden who is most worthy (and her worth 
must consist in the practice of social and domestic 
virtues); then they crown her amidst loud rejoicings, 
and with solemn ceremony. The simple splendour 
of those flowers, which are the crown ot' innocence, 
J s at once its reward, encouragement, and emblem. 
It is a gentle ambition, whose utmost aim is a gar¬ 
land of roses. Chaucer says— 

And Everich had a chapelet on her hed 
Makid of goodly floures white and red. 

Roses seem to have been used in garlands amongst 
the ancient Egyptians; for we read that when 
Ptolemy and Cleopatra entertained Ctesar, and the 
noble Romans wdio attended him, 

With wreathes of nard the guests their temples bind, 

And blooming roses of immortal kind. 

rowe’s LUCAN. 












RICHES. 245 


RICHES. 

CORN—TRITICUM .ESTIVUM. 

We are assured by botanists that corn is nowhere 
found in its primitive state. It seems to have been 
confided by Providence to the care of man, with the 
use of fire, to secure to him the sceptre of the earth. 
With corn and with fire, all other gifts may be dis¬ 
pensed with or acquired. With corn alone we could 
nourish every domestic animal which affords flesh 
for our sustenance, shares our labours, and is in 
various ways serviceable to us. The pig, the hen, 
the duck, the pigeon, the ass, the sheep, the goat, 
the horse, the cow, the cat, and the dog ; each ren¬ 
ders him something in return for his care. We re¬ 
ceive from each, according to nature, either eggs 
or milk, bacon or wool, various meats, or services. 
Corn is the first bond of society, because its culture 
and preparation for our use require great labour 
and reciprocal services. From its inestimable 
value, the ancients called the good Ceres the le- 
gislatrix. 

There are occasions when food is much more 
highly esteemed than the possession of riches. An 
Arab, wandering in the desert, had not tasted food 
for the space of two days, and saw that he had 
reason to apprehend famine. In passing near a 







246 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


well, where the caravans stopped, he perceived a 
little leathern sack on the sand. He took it up, 
saying, “ God be praised, it is, T think, a little 
flour.’' He hastened to open the sack, but at the 
sight of its contents, he cried, “How unfortunate I 
am ! it is only some gold powder !” 

We shall extract from that delightful work, 
Howitt’s “ Book of the Seasons,” a slight sketch 
of the harvest in England. “The harvest is a 
time for universal gladness of the heart. Nature 
has completed her most important operations. She 
has ripened her best fruits, and a thousand hands 
are ready to reap them with joy. It is a gladden¬ 
ing sight to stand upon some eminence, and behold 
the yellow hues of harvest amid the dark relief of 
hedges and trees, to see the shocks standing thickly 
in aland of peace; the partly reaped fields and the 
clear cloudless sky shedding over all its lustre. 
There is a solemn splendour, a mellowness and ma¬ 
turity of beauty thrown over the landscape. The 
wheat-crops shine on the hills and slopes, as 
Wordsworth expresses it, ‘ like golden shields cast 
down from the sun.’ For the lovers of solitary 
rambles, for all who desire to feel the pleasures of a 
thankful heart, and to participate in the happiness 
of the simple and the lowly, now is the time to stroll 
abroad. They will find beauty and enjoyment 
spread abundantly before them. . They will find 
the mowers sweeping down the crops of pale barley, 











RICHES. 247 


every spiked ear of which, so lately looking up 
bravely at the sun, is now bent downward in a 
modest and graceful curve, as if abashed at his 
ardent and incessant gaze. They will find them 
cutting down the rustling oats, each followed by an 
attendant rustic who gathers the swarth into 
sheaves from the tender green of the young clover, 
which, commonly sown with oats to constitute the 
future crop, is now showing itself luxuriantly. But 
it is in the wheat field that all the jollity, and glad¬ 
ness, and picturesqueness of harvest are concen¬ 
trated. Wheat is more particularly the food of 
man. Barley affords him a wholesome but much 
abused potation ; the oat is welcome to the homely 
board of the hardy mountaineers ; but wheat is 
especially and everywhere the ‘ staff of life.’ To 
reap and gather it in, every creature of the hamlet 
is assembled. The farmer is in the field like a rural 
king amid his people ; 

Around him ply the reaper band, 

With lightsome heart and eager hand, 

And mirth and music cheer the toil,— 

While sheaves that stud the russet soil, 

And sickles gleaming in the sun, 

Tell jocund autumn is begun. 

u The labourer, old or young, is there to collect 
what he has sown with toil, and watched in its 
growth with pride; the dame has left her wheel 





248 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


and her shady cottage, and, with sleeve-defended 
arms, scorns to do less than the best of them; the 
blooming damsel is there adding her sunny beauty 
\ to that of universal nature; the boy cuts down the 
stalks which over-top his head; children glean 
amongst the shocks; and even the unwalkable 
infant sits propt with sheaves, and plays with the 
stubble, and 

With all its twined flowers. 

Such groups are often seen in the wheat field as 
deserve the immortality of the pencil. There is 
something too about wheat-harvest which carries 
hack the mind and feasts it with the pleasures of 
antiquity. The sickle is almost the only implement 
which has descended from the olden times in its 
pristine simplicity—to the present hour, neither al¬ 
tering its form, nor becoming obsolete amid all the 
fashions and improvements of the world. It is the 
same now as it was in those scenes of rural beauty 
which the scripture history, without any laboured 
description, often by a single stroke, presents so 
livingly to the imagination, as it was when tender 
thoughts passed 

Through the sad heart of Ruth, when sick for home. 

She stood in tears amid the alien corn ; 

when the minstrel-king wandered through the soli- 










RICHES. 249 


tudes of Paran, or fields reposing at the feet of Car¬ 
mel ; or, 1 as it fell on a day, that the child of the 
good Shunarnite went out to his father to the 
reapers. And he said unto his father, My head, 
my head ! And he said to a lad, Carry him to his 
mother. And when he had taken him and brought 
him to his mother, he sate on her knees till noon, 
and then died,’ 2 Kings, iv. 18—20. Let no one 
say it is not a season of happiness to the toiling 
peasantry; I know that it is. In the days of boy¬ 
hood I have partaken their harvest labours, and 
listene 1 to the overflowings of their hearts as they 
sate amid the sheaves beneath the fine blue sky, or 
among the rich herbage of some green headland 
beneath the shade of a tree, while the cool keg 
plentifully replenished the horn, and sweet after 
exertion were the contents of the harvest-field 
basket. I know that the poor harvesters are 
amongst the most thankful contemplators of the 
bounty of Providence, though so little of it falls to 
their share. To them harvest comes as an annual 
festivity. To their healthful frames, the heat of the 
open fields, which would oppress the languid and 
relaxed, is but an exhilarating glow. The in¬ 
spiration of the clear blue sky above, and of scenes 
of plenty around them ; and the very circumstance 
of their being drawn from their several dwellings at 
this bright season, open their hearts, and give a life 
to their memories; and many an anecdote and his- 

M 5 




250 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


tory from the 1 simple annals of the poor’ are there 
related, which need only to passthrough the mind 
of a Wordsworth or a Crabhe, to become immortal 
in their mirth or woe.” 


SADNESS. 

DEAD LEAVES. 

As winter advances, the trees lose their verdure, 
after being despoiled of their fruits. The “fall of 
the leaf” is a pleasing period to all who love the 
study of nature, and seet to derive profit therefrom. 
James Montgomery has sung the falling leaf, and 
the lines contain sentiments so just that we intro¬ 
duce them here for the delight of our readers. 

Were I a trembling leaf 
On yonder stately tree. 

After a season, gay and brief, 

Condemned to fade and flee! 

I should be loth to fall 
Beside the common way 

Weltering in mire, and spurned by all 
Till trodden down to clay. 

Nor would I choose to die 
All on a bed of grass ; 

Where thousands of my kindred lie 
And idly rot in mass; 






SADNESS. 251 


Nor would I like to spread 
My thin and wither’d face 

In hortus siccus, pale and dead, 

A mummy of my race. 

No! on the wings of air 
Might I be left to fly, 

I know not and I heed not where ; 

A waif of earth and sky! 

Or flung upon the stream, 

Curl’d like a fairy boat; 

As through the changes of a dream, 

To the world’s end to float. 

Who that hath ever been, 

Could bear to be no more ? 

Yet who would tread again the scene 
He trod through life before ? 

On, with intense desire, 

Man’s spirit will move on : 

It seems to die, yet, like Heav’n's fire. 

It is not quenched, but gone. 

The sun now sheds on the foliage a pale yellow- 
hue, and the poplar is tinged with discoloured gold, 
whilst the acacia folds up its bright foliage, which 
the sun’s rays will expand no more. The birch 
tree waves its long branches, already stripped of 
ornament; and the fir, which preserves its green 
pyramids, halances them proudly in the air. The j 
oak is immoveable—it resists the efforts of the 
wind to strip its stately head ; and the king of the 
forest refuses to shed its leaves until the ensuing i 


( 

I 
















252 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


spring. We are told that all these trees are moved 
by different passions : one hows profoundly as if it 
wished to render homage to him whom the tempest 
cannot move; another seems desirous of embracing 
its companion, the support of its weakness; and 
while they mingle their branches together, a third 
seems universally agitated as though it were sur¬ 
rounded by enemies. Often do we see fallen on 
the earth, having already lost their bright green 
verdure, clouds of dead leaves that cover the 
ground with a restless garment. W r e love to con¬ 
template the storm that chases, agitates, disperses, 
and torments these sad remains of a spring which 
can never return. 

SECRET LOVE. 

MOTHERWORT—LEONURUS CARDIACA. 

The clandestina grows at the foot of large trees, 
in moist and umbrageous places. Its pretty purple 
flowers are nearly always hidden under moss or dry 
leaves. 

SEPARATION. 

TRUMPET FLOWER—BIGNONIA RADICANS, 

A very ornamental climber, known in France 










SEPARATION. 


253 


by the name of u Jasmin de Virginie,” and often 
imported into this country as the “ American Jas¬ 
mine.” This species, which is the only one that 
will live in this country in the open air, bears an 
orange-coloured flower in July and August. 

How many ravishing harmonies spring up on 
every side, from the association of plants with the 
anmal creation ! The butterfly embellishes the 
rose ; the nightingale sings in our groves ; and the 
industrious bee enlivens the flower which"yields its ! 
sweet treasures. Throughout nature, the insect 
is associated with the flower; the bird with the 
tree; and the quadruped with plants. Man alone 
is able to enjoy all these things ; and he alone can 
break the chain of concord and of love, by which 
the w T hole universe is bound together. His greedy 
hand bears off an animal from its native clime with¬ 
out thinking of its habits and its wants, and yet 
more unfrequently neglects the plant which is made 
to forget in its new slavery the attractions of its 
own country. Does he import a plant ? He neg¬ 
lects the insect wdiich animates it, the bird which 
adorns it, and the quadruped which is nourished by 
its leaves and reposes under its shade. Behold the 
Virginian jasmine, with its beautiful verdure and 
purple flowers; it always remains astranger amongst 
us. We always prefer our lovely honeysuckle be¬ 
fore it: from the woodbine the bee gathers honey, 
the goat browses its verdure, and its fruit is the 












254 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


food of legions of the feathered tribe. Could we see 
the humming bird of Florida hopping about its 
slender branches (for in the vast forests of the new 
world it prefers its beautiful foliage to that of every 
other shrub), we should doubtless regard with greater 
admiration and pleasure the rich Virginian jasmine. 
The humming bird makes its nest in one of the 
leaves, which it rolls into the shape of a horn ; it 
finds its sustenance in the nectareous vessels of its 
red flowers, which are similar to those of the fox¬ 
glove ; and its little body, when resting on the 
jasmine flower, appears like an emerald set in 
coral. It is sometimes so tame or fearless that it 
may be taken with the hand. This little being is 
the soul and the life of the plant that cherishes it. 
Separated from its aerial guest, this beautiful twining 
plant becomes as a desolate widow who has lost all 
her charms. 


SICKNESS. 

FIELD ANEMONE—ANEMONE NEMOROSA. 

In some countries it is believed that the flower 
of the field anemone possesses qualities so per¬ 
nicious as to infect the air ; and that those w r ho in¬ 
spire its exhalations are subject to the most fright- 




SILENCE. 255 


ful maladies. In olden times the magicians, at¬ 
tributing extraordinary medical properties to this 
plant, ordered every person to gather the first 
anemone he saw in the year, repeating at the time, 
u I gather thee for a remedy against disease.” 
It was then carefully preserved, and if the ga¬ 
therer became indisposed it was tied round his neck 
or arm. 


SILENCE. 

WHITE ROSE—ROSA ALBA. 

The god of silence was represented under the 
form of a young man, with one finger placed on his 
lips, and holding a white rose in the other hand. 
"We are told that Love gave him this rose to secure 
his favour. The ancients sculptured a rose over 
the doors of their festive halls to interdict the 
guests from repeating anything that was spoken. 
Byron has rendered it sacred to the silence of the 
tomb. In the 11 Bride of Abydos,” he says, that 
o’er the tomb of Zuleika, 

A single rose is shedding 
Its lovely lustre, meek and pale : 

It looks as planted by despair— 

So white, so faint, the slightest gale 

Might whirl the leaves on high. 









256 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 

SIMPLICITY. 

WILD, OR DOG ROSE —ROSA CANINA. 

The wild, or common dog rose, has been made 
the emblem of simplicity. It forms one of the prin¬ 
cipal flowers in the rustic’s bouquet. 

The -Raid rose scents the summer air, 

And woodbines weave in bowers, 

To gdad the swain sojourning there, 

And maidens gathering flowers. 

CLARE. 

Clemence Isaure, who instituted the floral 
games, awarded a single rose as the prize for elo¬ 
quence. 

The standards of the houses of York and Lan¬ 
caster were charged with the bearing of the wild 
rose. This flower was also stamped on the current 
coin of those days. 

Thou once was doomed, 

Where civil discord braved the field, 

To grace the banner and the shield. 

FABLE OF THE ROSE. 








skill- 


257 


SINCERITY. 

FERN,* 

“ Fern often affords an agreeable seat to lovers ; 
its ashes are used in the manufacture of glasses for 
the convivial party; and all the world knows that 
love and wine make men sincere.” 


SHARPNESS. 

BARBERRY—BERBERIS VULGARIS. 

The fruit of the barberry is so very acid that 
birds will seldom eat them. The tree is armed 
with thorns, and the flowers are so irritable, that 
at the slightest touch all the stamina close around 
the pistil. Thus this tree bears all the charac¬ 
teristics of persons whose temper is sharp and ir¬ 
ritable. 

SKILL. 

SPIDER OPHRYS—OPHRYS ARANIFERA. 

According to ancient fable Arachne was very 





258 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


skilful in spinning and weaving, and dared to defy 
Minerva in the exercise of those arts. The offended 
goddess changed the imprudent Arachne into a 
spider, which, according to Guillim is free of the 
Weavers’ Company. The spider ophrys closely re¬ 
sembles the insect which, under an hideous form 
still retains its skill and address. 


SLEEP OF THE HEART, 

WHITE POPPY. 

There poppies white, and violets, 

Alcippus on the altar sets 

Of quiet sleep ; and weaves a crown 

To bring the gentle godhead down. 

FRACASTORO. 

An insipid oil is expressed from the grains of 
the white poppy, which calms the senses and pro¬ 
vokes sleep. Would not the unhappy lover, who 
dreads that the object of his love has no reciprocal 
feeling, thus express himself in the words of H. 
Smith ?— 

0 gentle sleep 

Scatter thy drowsiest poppies from above ; 

And in new dreams, not soon to vanish, bless 

My senses. 










SLEEP OF THE HEART. 259 


Yea, gladly would he become insensible to the ago¬ 
nies of unrequited love. 

Leigh Hunt makes poppies sing of their own pe¬ 
culiar quality. 

We are slumberous poppies. 

Lords of Lethe downs, 

Some awake, and some asleep, 

Sleeping in our crowns. 

What perchance our dreams may know. 

Let our serious beauty show. 


Central depth of purple, 

Leaves more bright than rose,— 

Who shall tell what brightest thought 
Out of darkest grows ? 

Who, through what funereal pain, 

SoulsTo love and peace attain ? 

The palace of Somnus, who presided over sleep, 
was represented as a dark cave, into which the 
sun’s rays never penetrated ; at the entrance grew 
poppies and other somniferous herbs; the Dreams 
watched over his couch, attended by Morpheus, his 
prime minister, holding a vase in one hand, and 
grasping poppies in the other. 




260 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


SNARE. 

CATCHFLY—SILENE ANGLICA. 

The cathchflv is a simple emblem of the gross 
snares which vice spreads for unw r ary and imprudent 
youth. Flies attracted hy the evil odour of this 
plant become entangled in its leaves, and are not 
able to disengage themselves. 


SOLITUDE. 

HEATH—CALLUNA VULGARIS. 

The foliage of this plant is ever green, of varied 
and heautful shapes, and on examination is found as 
pleasing as its singular blossom. In our floral 
hieroglyphics it is made emblematical of solitude ; 
and thus, when the rustic lover offers his mistress 
a bouquet of heath and pansies, she understands that 
if his solitude were charmed by her society his 
heart would be at ease. 

Oh ! to lie down in wilds apart, 

Where man is seldom seen or heard, 

In still and ancient forests, where 

Mows not his scythe, ploughs not his share, 

With the shy deer and cooing bird! 












SOLITUDE. 


26 ] 


To go, in dreariness of mood, 

O’er a lone heath, that spreads around 
A solitude like a silent sea, 

Where rises not a hut or tree, 

The wide embracing sky its bound ! 

Oh ! beautiful those wastes of heath, 

Stretching for miles to lure the bee, 

Where the wild bird, on pinion strong, 

Wheels round and pours his piping song, 

And timid creatures wander free. 

MART HOWITT. 

There are now about four hundred different 
species of heath, of such variety of colours and 
forms that no pen can describe them. On some we 
observe little wax-like flowers, and others present 
us with pendent pearls; some are adorned with co¬ 
ralline beads, whilst others seem to resemble the 
golden trumpet, or tempting berries, or porcelain 
of bell or bottle shape. Globes of alabaster hang 
on the slender spray of some, and others, again, 
remind us of Lilliputian trees, bedecked with Turk¬ 
ish turbans in miniature. “ Their colours are not 
less varied than their shape, whilst the foliage is 
equally beautiful in its apparent imitation of all 
the mountainous trees from the Scottish fir to Le¬ 
banon’s boasted cedar.’’ 

A heath’s green wild lay present to his view, 

With shrubs and field-flowers decked, of varied hue. 




262 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


SORROW. 

YEW—TAXUS BACCATA. 

Beneath that yew tree’s shade, 

Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, 

Each in his narrow cell for ever laid, 

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 

GUAY. 

There is in every plant something which either 
attracts or repels us. The yew tree is considered by 
all nations to be the emblem of sorrow. Plants are 
said to die under its shade, and if the weary 
traveller should sleep under its umbrageous branches 
his head becomes affected, and he soon feels vio¬ 
lently ill. It also exhausts the earth which yields 
it nourishment. Our ancestors, guided by a na¬ 
tural sentiment, thought it a fit resident in the 
cemetery, and so destined it to o’ershade the tomb. 
They used its wood for bows, lances, and cross- 
bows ; and the Greeks also employed it for the 
same purposes. For a long time it appeared in our 
gardens, where it was trained in the most fantastic 
forms; but now its culture is entirely abandoned. 
In Switzerland the peasants have a great veneration 
for it; they call it William’s bow,” and its branches 
are preserved from spoliation. In the gardens 
of Holland, which owe every thing to art, it is 
often seen at the four corners of a perfect square. 











SORROWFUL REMEMBRANCES. 263 


The Greeks, who had true conceptions of the 
beautiful in nature, were affected like ourselves 
by the sorrowful aspect of this tree, and imagined 
that the unfortunate Smilax, when rejected by 
young Crocus, was changed into a yew. 

Nature presents us among plants with corals for 
our infancy, crowns for our youth, and valuable 
fruits for every age. Are we melancholy ? The 
murmuring willow affords us sympathy. Do we 
love ? The myrtle offers up its flowers. Are we 
wealthy ? The chestnut yields us its luxuriant and 
pompous shade. And if we are sorrowful the yew 
seems to address us thus: u Fly, sorrow! it can¬ 
kers the heart as I exhaust the earth that affords 
me nourishment. Sorrow is as dangerous to man 
as my shadow is to the traveller!” 


SORROWFUL REMEMBRANCES. 

pheasant’s EYE ; OR FLOS adonis—ADONIS 
AUTUMNALTS. 

Look, in the garden blooms the flos adonis, 

And memory keeps of him who rashly died, 

Thereafter changed by Venus, weeping to this flower. 

ANON. 

Adonis was killed by a boar when hunting. 
Yenus, who had quitted the pleasures of Cythereus 














264 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


for his sake, shed many tears at his melancholy 
fate. The fable tells us they were not lost, hut 
mingling with the blood of Adonis, the earth 
received them, and forthwith sprang up a light 
plant covered with purple flowers. Brilliant and 
transient flowers ; alas ! too faithful emblems of the 
pleasures of life ! you were consecrated by the same 
beauty as the symbol of sorrowful remembrances. 

By this the boy, that by her side lay killed, 

Was melted like a vapour from her sight; 

And in his blood, that on the ground lay spilled, 

A purple flower sprang up, chequered with white 

SHAKSPEEE. 

This plant is very common in our corn fields, 
more particularly in the west of England. 


SPLENDOUR, 

CEREUS—CEREUS SPECIOSISSIMUS. 

This most beautiful plant, though accounted as 
one of the cactaceous family, is distinguished from 
it by its wax-like stems and flowers, whence its 
peculiar name; it bears, perhaps, some of the most 
splendid flowers that ornament our stoves. Poets 
have not neglected to express their admiration of its 











STRENGTH. 


265 


beauty and splendour—thus, Mrs. Sigourney, who 
has been called the “ American Homans,” asks, 

Who hung thy beauty on such rugged stalk, 

Thou beauteous flower ? 

Who pour’d the richest hues. 

In varying radiance, o’er thine ample brow, 

And like a mesh those tissued stamens laid 
Upon thy crimson lip— thou glorious flower ? 

-Lone on thy leafless stem, 

Thou bidd’st the queenly rose with all her buds do 
homage. 


STRENGTH. 

FENNEL—FCENICULUM VULGARE. 

A savoury odour blown, more pleased my sense 
Than smell of sweetest fennel, or the teats 
Of ewe, or goat, dropping with milk at ev’n. 

MILTON. 

The gladiators mingled this plant with their 
food, from a supposition that it tended to increase 
their strength. After the games were over, the 
conqueror was crowned with a wreath of fennel. 
The Romans named the plant anethum. 


N 










266 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


STOICISM. 

BOX—BUXUS SEMPER VIRENS. 

The tree box loves the shade, and will grow 
under the drip of trees. It maintains its verdant 
appearance in winter as well as summer. It re¬ 
quires no care, and endures for centuries. On 
account of its resistance to the changes of the 
seasons, and the power of time, it has been made 
the emblem of stoicism. 


SURPRISE. 

TRUFFLE—TUBER CIBARIUM. 

This singular substance, so celebrated in the 
annals of cookery, has always been an object, of 
surprise to the observer. It has neither branches, 
nor root, nor leaves. It is generated under the 
earth, where it remains during its existence. Pigs 
and dogs are taught to find them; and when 
gathered, they are brought to table either boiled or 
stewed. 

SUSPICION. 

MUSHROOM —AGARICUS CAMPESTRIS. 

Many species of mushroom are known to be 












SWEET REMEMBRANCES. 267 


deadly poison. The Ostiacks, a Siberian tribe, 
make a preparation from the Agaricus muscarius, 
which will kill the most robust man in twelve hours. 
Several mushrooms in our country are almost as 
dangerous; as there is a liquid hid within them of a 
nature so acrid, that a single drop put on the 
tongue will produce a blister. The Russians, during 
their long fasts, live entirely on mushrooms ; and 
are often thrown into violent convulsions in conse¬ 
quence. We regard them as a dainty dish, but we 
ought to use them with great caution. Before 
using them they should be exposed to the heat of 
boiling water ; this will ascertain their quality, as 
if they are not of a good kind their perfume will he 
evaporated. 


SWEET REMEMBRANCES. 

PERIWINKLE—VINCA MINOR. 

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower, 

The periwinkle trailed its wreaths ; 

And ’tis my faith that every flower 
Enjoys the air that breathes. 

WORDSWORTH. 

There is an agreeable softness in the delicate 
blue colour of the periwinkle, and a quietness in 
the general aspect of the flower, that appears to 
harmonize with the retired situations where it loves 





268 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


to grow. It prefers the shady bants of the grove 
rather than to meet the meridian sun in the society 
of the gay plants of the parterre. 

In France the flower has been made emblematical 
of the pleasures of memory, from the circumstance 
of Rousseau’s saying, in one of his works, that as 
he and Madame Warens were proceeding to Char- 
mettes, she was struck by the appearance of some 
blue flowers in the hedge, and exclaimed, “Here 
is the periwinkle still in flower.” He then tells us, 
that thirty years afterwards, being at Gressier, with 
M. Peyron, climbing a hill, he observed some in 
blossom among the bushes, which bore his memory 
back at once to the time when he was walking with 
Madame Warens, and he inadvertently cried, 
“ Ah ! there is the periwinkle.” Rousseau relates 
this anecdote as a proof of the vivid recollection he 
had of every incident which occurred at a particular 
time of his life, and hence this flower is made to 
represent, Les donx Souvenirs 

Oh ! Memory, thou fond deceiver, 

Still importunate and vain, 

To former joys recurring ever, 

And turning all the past to pain. 

Thou, like the world, the opprest oppressing, 

Thy smiles increase the wretch’s woe ; 

And he who wants each other blessing, 

In thee must ever find a foe. 

GOLDSMITH. 










SYMPATHY. 


269 


This plant attaches itself strongly to the earth, 
which it adorns; it encloses itself entirely with its 
flexible branches, which are covered with flowers 
that seem to reflect the colour of the sky. Thus 
our first sentiments are so lively, so pure, so inno¬ 
cent, that they s^em to have a celestial origin ; 
they mark a period of momentary happiness, and 
they ought to be treasured up among our most en¬ 
dearing recollections. 


SYMPATHY. 

THRIFT—ARMERIA VULGARIS. 

The marigold above, to adorn the arched bar ; 

The double daysie thrift, the button batcheler. 

DRATTON. 

The scientific name of this plant, statice , is de¬ 
rived from the Greek word statikos, which expresses 
that which has the power to stop, unite, or retain. 
Next to box it forms the prettiest border plant we 
know. The flowers of the thrift are small, nume¬ 
rous, turning towards the sun, and form pretty 
blue cups. To be seen to advantage, they should 
be viewed through a microscope. The plant is cul¬ 
tivated for its modest beauty, but it grows naturally 
in marshy places, and especially by the sea-shore, 




270 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


where it binds the sands together by its numerous 
roots. This quality is the bond which unites man 
to his fellow man, and, without it, each individual 
would be a distinct species by himself. Dryden 
makes it one of the noblest qualities in human 
nature : 

Kindness by secret sympathy is tied; 

For noble souls in nature are allied. 

Locke observes, u There are such associations made 
in the minds of most men, that to this might be 
attributed most of the sympathies observable in 
them.” 


TASTE. 

FUCHSIA—FUCHSIA COCCINEA. 

To all who possess the slightest pretensions to 
taste, the light and graceful appearance of the 
Fuchsia is an object of the warmest admiration; 
andw T hen ornamented with its pendant flowers of 
richest crimson dye, tinged with purple or pale 
green, sometimes shading into a delicate cream 
colour, with its cluster of golden stamens and pistil, 





TASTE. 271 


it seems to us one of the most elegant and tasteful 
of all the usual inhabitants of the parterre. 

When first the Fuchsia coccinea was imported 
in 1788, it was presented to the Royal Gardens at 
Kew, where for some time it was treated as a stove 
plant; hut being removed to the greenhouse, it bore 
the change well; and at length was transferred to 
the open ground, which it was not only sufficiently 
hardy to bear, but flourished with even greater 
luxuriance than when treated as a house plant. It 
now lives through the winter in gardens where it is 
sheltered by surrounding walls or buildings, and 
every year seems to increase in strength and 
beauty. 

This accommodation to our climate has been 
noticed by an anonymous writer in the following 
lines— 

Thou graceful flower on graceful stem, 

Of Flora’s gifts a favourite gem ! 

From tropic fields thou cam’st to cheer 
The natives of a climate drear, 

And, grateful for our fostering care, 

Hast learnt the wintry blast to hear. 

The Fuchsia has also the merits of easy propa¬ 
gation and free growth.* 1 


* Tyas’s Popular Flowers, first series. 







272 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


THE HEART THAT KNOWS NOT LOVE. 

WHITE ROSE-BUD. 

Untouch’d upon its thorny stem, 

Hangs the pale rose unfolding. 

HURDIS. 

Before tRe breath of love animated the world, 
all the roses were white, and every heart was insen¬ 
sible. Herrick says, that 

As Cupid danced among 
The gods, he down the nectar flung; 

Which on the white rose being shed. 

Made it for ever after red. 

Another poet makes the rose to say, that it bor¬ 
rowed its purple hue and sweet perfume from 
Love: 

’Twas from Love I borrowed too, 

My sweet perfume, my purple hue. 

The white rose-bud may be an appropriate em¬ 
blem of the heart of one too young to love, but it 
is far too delicate for those who are insensible from 
another cause, and of whom it may be said in the 
language of Thomson, 


I 












TIMIDITY. 


273 


E’en Love itself is bitterness of soul, 

A pensive anguish pining at the heai’t; 

Or, sunk to sordid interest, feels no more 
That noble wish, that never cloyed desire, 
Which, selfish joy disdaining, seeks alone 
To bless the dearer object of its flame. 


TIME. 

WHITE POPLAR—POPULUS ALBA. 

The white poplar is one of the most valuable of 
cur indigenous trees, and grows to the height of 
more than ninety feet, towering its superb head 
upon a straight silvered trunk. The ancients con¬ 
secrated it to time, because the leaves are in con¬ 
tinual agitation; and being of a blackish green on 
the upper side, with a thick w'hite cotton on the 
other, they were supposed to indicate the alternation 
of day and night. 


TIMIDITY. 

MARVEL OF PERU—MIRABILIS JALAPA. 

This plant is called mirabilis, and with some 
degree of reason, for it is a most admirable flower ; 

N 5 




274 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


it expands its richly-dyed corollas at night, whence 
it has been named by the French, belle-de-nuit. 

It is universally considered to be the emblem of 
timidity from its shunning the brilliant light of day, 
and only venturing to display its charms in the cool 
of the evening. 

The mimosa, or sensitive plant, has been as¬ 
signed as the symbol of chastity and prudery, but 
we think it may be more properly used as the sign 
of timidity; as it seems to fly from the hand that 
would touch it. At the least approach the leaves 
shrink within themselves. The petiole then droops, 
and if the plant be low, it touches the earth. Even 
a cloud passing between it and the rays of the sun, 
is sufficient to change the situation of its leaves and 
the general aspect of the plant. 

Timidity, of all afraid, 

Her wreath of the mimosa braid. 


THANKFULNESS. 

AGRIMONY—AGRIMONIA EUPATORIA. 

Agrimony is a pretty species of campanula, 
whose flowers, of the most delicate lilac colour, are 
suspended from the plant like little bells. The 
French commonly call it “ Religieuse de Champs,” 




THINK OF ME. 275 


and Madame de Chasteney says, in her Calendar of 
Flora ,— u It is suspected that this has been called 
agrimony from the resemblance of its flowers to 
the hermit’s bell. For my own part, I think that 
gratitude has given it the name of ‘ Religieuse de 
Champs,’ in honour, probably, of some kind, tender, 
and beneficent Sister of Charity.” 

THINK OF ME. 

PANSY, OR HEART’S EASE—VIOLA TRICOLOR. 

-pray you, love, remember, 

There’s pansies—that’s for thoughts. 

6HAKSPEKE. 

The tints of this flower are scarce less varied 
than the names which have been bestowed upon it. 
That of pansy is a corruption of the French name, 
pensee , thought. 

Leigh Hunt introduces the heart’s ease into his 
verses. 

The garden’s gem, 

Heart’s ease, like a gallant bold, 

In his cloth of purple and gold. 

Phillips observes that the most brilliant purples 
of the artist appear dull when compared to that of 









276 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


the pansy; our richest satins and velvets, coarse 
and unsightly by a comparison of texture; and as 
to delicacy of shading, it is scarcely surpassed by 
the bow of Iris itself. 

Pansies are among the flowery gifts of the simple 
shepherds to the metamorphosed nymph Sabrina. 

The shepherds at their festivals 
Carol her good deeds loud in rustic lays, 

And throw sweet garland wreaths into her stream. 
Of pansies, pinks, and gaudy daffodils. 

COMUS. 


TRANQUILLITY. 

ROCK MADWORT—ALYSSUM SAXATILE. 

There is a gentle element, and man 
May breathe it with a calm unruffled soul, 

And drink its living waters, till his heart 
Is pure ; and this is living happiness. 

WILLIS. 

This plant was esteemed by the ancients on 
account of its supposed power to allay anger. The 
species generally are showy plants, and of easy 
culture. The rock madwort is very ornamental 
early in the season. 




TREACHERY. 277 


TRANSIENT HAPPINESS. 

SPIDERWORT—INDESCANTIA VIRGINICA. 

This plant is generally admitted as a border 
flower. The French have called it Ephemerine 
de Virginie, because its flowers fade rapidly; they 
have also made it the emblem of transient happi¬ 
ness. The dead flowers are quickly succeeded by 
others from April to the end of October. 

TREACHERY. 

BILBERRY—VACCINIUM MYRTILLUS. 

This species of whortle-berry is an elegant and 
also a fruit-bearing plant. u The young fresh 
green leaves, and wax-like red flowers appear in 
May, and towards autumn the leaves grow darker 
and firm, and the ripe berries are gathered in the 
north for tarts and in the Highlands they are 
eaten with milk; and also in Derbyshire, where 
they are found in great quantities. 

The bilberry has been made the symbol of trea¬ 
chery from the following fable: CEnomaiis, father 
of the beautiful Hippodamia, had for his charioteer 
the young Myrtilus, son of Mercury. CEnomaiis 




278 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


offered the hand of his daughter to any one who 
should outdo him in a chariot race. Pelops, anxious 
to obtain Hippodamia, bribed Myrtilus to overthrow 
his master’s chariot, and CEnomaiis was killed. In 
dying, he cried for vengeance, when Myrtilus was 
changed into the shrub which has ever since borne 
his name.” 


TRUTH. 

BITTER-SWEET NIGHTSHADE—SOLANUM DULCA¬ 
MARA. 

The ancients thought that truth was the mother 
of the virtues, the daughter of time, and the queen 
of the world. We moderns say that that divinity 
hides herself at the bottom of a well, and that she 
always mingles some bitterness with her sweets; 
and we appoint for her emblem an useless plant 
that loves the shade and is ever clothed in green. 
The bitter-sweet nightshade is, we believe, the 
only plant in our climate that sheds and repro¬ 
duces its foliage twice in one year. Its roots smell 
somewhat like the potato, and being chewed, 
produce a sensation of bitterness on the palate, 
which is succeeded by sweetness. From this 
singular fact it derives its specific name u bitter¬ 
sweet.” 









UNITY. 


279 


UNITY. 

SHAMROCK—TRIFOLIUM REPENS. 

The shamrock, 

The green immortal shamrock ; 

Chosen leaf 
Of hard and chief, 

Old Erin’s native shamrock. 

MOOKE. 

There are different opinions as to which plant 
is intended by the true shamrock, hut the weight of 
authority seems to preponderate in favour of the 
white clover. 

Moore has truly described it as the chosen leaf 
of Ireland, and its popularity is alleged to be 
founded upon an old legend in connection with 
St. Patrick, the patron saint of that fertile, hut 
neglected island. It is said that St. Patrick, 
when he first preached (not, as it is now be¬ 
lieved, as a Romanist missionary, though Romanists 
are glad to claim him as such) to the people of 
that country, perceived that the doctrine of the 
Trinity was not acceptable to them, when casting 
his eyes on the ground, he noticed the shamrock 
growing at his feet, and, plucking it, he exhibited 
the triple leaf as an illustration of the doctrine. 
The simplicity of the illustration had a remarkable 
effect upon his auditors, and on this occasion it is 
asserted that many of the heathens were converted 
to Christianity. 













280 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


Oil shamrock ! pride of Erin, thou dost claim 
Not from her sons alone the rapture warm ; 

Each Christian heart should kindle at the name, 

Fated the stubborn Pagan to disarm. 

Full well he read, that holy man of old, 

A mighty mystery of the humble sod ;— 

With wondering awe they saw the saint unfold 
Thy triple leaf, and teach a triune God. 

Then, unbelief and prejudice took flight, 

With such “ weak things” did God “the wise” confound ; 
And darkness fled before the flood of light, 

And heathen ears received the gospel sound. 

Then shamrock, whilst the poet of thine isle 

Thy praise shall sing, as “ prized of bard and chief,” 

Be ours to greet with gratitude the while 
The holier story of thy simple leaf. 


UTILITY. 

GRASS. 

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb 
for the service of man, that he may bring forth food out 
of the earth. psalm civ. 14. 

It will be admitted that what is the most useful 
is in nature the most common ; and of all vegetable 











USELESSNESS. 281 


productions, what is there more common than grass ? 
It clothes the earth with a verdant carpet, and it 
yields food—nay, it “ grows for the cattle,” in obe¬ 
dience to the Creator’s word. 

Let the earth 

Put forth the verdant grass, herb yielding seed. 

And fruit tree yielding fruit after her kind, 

Whose seed is in herself upon the earth. 

He scarce had said, when the hare earth, till then 
Desert and bare, unsightly, unadorned, 

Brought forth the tender grass, whose verdure clad 
Her universal face with pleasant green ; 

Then herbs of every leaf, that sudden flowered 
Opening their various colours, and made gay 
Her bosom, smelling sweet. 

MILTON. 

Howitt observes—“ when grasses of the larger 
species are collected and disposed tastefully, as I 
have seen them by ladies, in vases, polished horns, 
and over pier-glasses, they retain their freshness 
through the year, and form with their elegantly 
pensile panicles, bearded spikes, and silken plumes, 
exceedingly graceful ornaments.” 

USELESSNESS. 

MEADOW SWEET—SPIR.EA ULMARIA. 

This plant, called by the French ‘‘ Reine de 






282 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


prds,” is deemed an useless herb, because her¬ 
balists have not discovered any medical properties 
in it; and, also, because animals reject it as food. 
It is, however, a highly ornamental flower, and, 
surely, that ought to be accounted something. 


VARIETY. 

CHINA ASTER—ASTER CHINENSIS. 

Europe is indebted to the missionary, Father 
d’Incarville, for this beautiful various-coloured 
flower; he having first sent it to the “Jardin du 
Roi,” at Paris, about 1780. At first it produced 
only simple flowers of one uniform colour; but, by 
cultivation, they became so doubled and quadru¬ 
pled in form, and so varied in colour, that it now 
forms one of the principal ornaments of our par¬ 
terres from July to November. The Chinese, who 
have favoured us with this plant, make admirable 
use of it in decorating their gardens. To prepare 
them, they first raise the plants in pots ; then, se¬ 
parating the colours, they dispose them with such 
infinite art as to produce one splendid and har¬ 
monious whole. This effect is often increased by 
planting them near the side of a lake. 

The China aster is made the emblem of variety; 








WEAKNESS. 283 


and owes its principal charms to a careful culture 
of the skilful gardener, who has surrounded its 
golden disks with every colour of the rainbow. So 
study produces an endless variety in the refinement 
of the human mind. Though majestic and brilliant, 
the China aster is not the imprudent rival of the 
rose, but succeeds it, and consoles us for its 
absence. 


WAR. 

YARROW—ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM. 

The yarrow, wherewithal he stops the wound-made 
gore. 

DRATTON. 

Milfoil, or yarrow, cicatrizes all wounds made 
by iron. It is said that Achilles, whose name it 
bears, used it to cure the wounds of Telephus. 
From this Achilles, who was a disciple of Chiron, 
it has received its scientific name. There is one 
species which is an excellent sudorific and aro¬ 
matic. 

WEAKNESS. 

MOSCHATEL—ADOXA MOSCHATELLINA. 

This plant, commonly called musk-crowfoot, 








284 


SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


emits an odour so light and agreeable, that it 
pleases even those who have a particular dislike to 
musk. It is minute, and by no means beautiful, 
and grows in obscure places. Its generic name is 
adoxa, which is derived from the Greek, and signi¬ 
fies inglorious. 


WISDOM. 

WHITE MULBERRY—MORUS ALBA. 

0 sacred solitude ! divine retreat! 

Choice of the prudent! envy of the great! 

By thy pure stream, or in the waving shade, 

We court fair wisdom, that celestial maid! 

YOUNG. 

The ancients named the white mulberry the tree 
of wisdom, because of its tardiness in putting forth 
its leaves. We say, ‘‘foolish almond, wise mul¬ 
berry, ” because the almond is the first to flower. 
A branch of almond, joined with a branch of white 
mulberry, expresses that wisdom should temper ac¬ 
tivity. 

“ This species of mulberry is commonly cultivated 
in France and other countries for its leaves, to feed 
silk-worms : and in many parts of the continent, 
when the leaves are wanted for the worms, they 








YOUNG GIRL. 


285 


are stript off the young shoots, which are left 
naked on the tree ; in other places the shoots are 
cut off, which is not so injurious to the tree, while 
the points of the shoots as well as the leaves are 
eaten by the worms.” 


YOUNG GIRL. 

ROSE-BUD. 

Who can say whether the white rose, or the red, 
the budding, or the full blown, has been most cele¬ 
brated? Oft, indeed, have all been sung; and the 
rose-bud, from its grace, and gradually maturing 
beauty, has not been inappropriately made emble¬ 
matical of a young girl. 

The gentle budding rose, quoth she, behold, 

That first scant peeping forth when morning beams, 
Half ope, half shut, her beauties doth unfold, 

In its fair leaves, and less seen, fairer seems ; 

And after spreads them forth, more fair and bold. 

FAIRFAX. 

Alas! “all that’s bright must fade!” How 
true a picture of human life, and of the growth and 
decay of human beauty, is exhibited in the follow¬ 
ing lines by Jeremy Taylor.—“ But so I have seen 
a rose newly springing from the clefts of its hood ; 











286 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


and, at first it was fair as the morning, and full 
with the dew of heaven, as a lamb’s fleece; but 
when a rude breath had forced open its modesty, 
and dismantled its youthful retirement, it began to 
put on darkness, and decline to softness, and the 
symptoms of a sickly age came on; it bowed its 
head and broke its stalk ; and at night, having lost 
some of its leaves, and all its beauty, it fell with 
the portion of weeds and outworn faces.” 

Go ! lovely rose ! 

Tell her that wastes her time, and me, 

That now she knows, 

When I resemble her to thee, 

How sweet and fair she seems to be. 

Then die! that she 
The common fate of all things rare 
May read in thee ; 

IIow small a part of time they share 
That are so wondrous sweet and fair. 

WALLER. 

The just opening rose-bud has been a favourite 
theme, and certainly its beauty has no rival. 

A red rose-bud moist with morning dew, 
Breathing delight. 

THOMSON. 

Ah! see the virgin rose, how sweetly she 
Doth first put forth with bashful modesty, 

That fairer seems, the less ye see her may. 

SPENSER. 







YOUR IMAGE IS ENGRAVEN ON MY HEART. 287 


YOUTH. 

WHITE LILAC. 

That lilac’s cleaving cones have burst, 

The milk-white flowers revealing : 

E’en now upon my senses first, 

Methinks their sweets are stealing, 

BLACKWOOD’S MAGAZINE. 

On account of the purity and short duration of 
the delicate flowers of the white lilac, it has been 
made the symbol of youth; of that fleet and en¬ 
chanting period which no wealth can purchase, nor 
power retain or restore. 


YOUR IMAGE TS ENGRAVEN ON MY 

HEART. 

SPINDLE TREE—-ENONYMUS EUROPiEA. 

This shrub bears the name of spindle, because 
that article is most commonly made of its wood ; it 
is also used in the preparation of crayons. The 
sculptor and the turner value it highly. If the wood 
be useful to the arts, the shrub has claims to the 
esteem of the cultivator. The hedges which they 
ornament with rosy fruit have a very pretty effect 
in the autumn. 







288 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


YOUR LOOKS FREEZE ME. 

FICOIDES, OR ICE PLANT—MESEMBRYANTHE- 
MUM CRYSTALLINUM. 

With pellucid studs the ice flower gems 
His rising foliage, and his candied stems. 

DABWIN. 

The leaves of this singular plant are covered 
with transparent vesicles full of water. When in 
the shade it seems to be gemmed with dew-drops; 
but when exposed to the burning sun, it appears 
scattered over with frozen crystals, which reflect 
w r ith great brilliancy the rays of the sun: on this 
account it is commonly called ice plant. 


YOUR QUALITIES SURPASS YOUR 
CHARMS. 

MIGNONETTE—RESEDA ODORATA. 

No gorgeous flowers the meek reseda grace, 

Yet sip with eager trunk yon busy race 
Her simple cup, nor heed the dazzling gem 
That beams in Fritil!aria’s diadem. 

DR. EVANS. 

We have possessed this Egyptian weed, called 
















YOUR QUALITIES SURPASS YOUR CHARMS. 289 


mignonette, or little darling, by the French, for 
nearly one hundred years, and it has so far become 
naturalized in “our climate, that it springs from 
seeds of its own scattering,” and its delightful 
odour has thus been conveyed from the parterre of 
the prince to the humble garden of the cottager. 

“ The odour exhaled by this little flower is 
thought by some to be too powerful for the house; 
but even those persons, we presume, must be de¬ 
lighted with the fragrance which it throws from the 
balconies into the streets of London, giving some¬ 
thing like a breath of garden air to the ‘ close pent 
man,’ whose avocations will not permit a ramble 
beyond the squares of the fashionable part of the 
town.” 

What, are the casements lined with creeping herbs. 

The prouder sashes fronted with a range 

Of orange, myrtle, or the fragrant weed. 

The Frenchman’s darling? 

Linnaeus compares its perfumes to those of am¬ 
brosia : and it is sweeter and more penetrating at 
the rising and setting of the sun than at noon. 

The mignonette has found its way into the armo¬ 
rial bearings of an ancient Saxon family ; and the 
following romantic story is said to have introduced 
this fragrant little flower to the Pursuivant at 
Arms :— 

“ The Count of Walstheim was the favoured as¬ 
pirant for the hand of Amelia de Nordbourg, a 

o 











290 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


young lady possessing all the charms requisite for 
the heroine of a modern novel, excepting that she 
delighted in exciting jealousy in the breast of her 
intended lord. As she was the only child of a 
widowed mother, a female cousin, possessing but 
little personal beauty, and still less fortune, had 
been brought up with her from infancy as a com- i 
panion, and as a stimulus to her education. The 
humble and amiable Charlotte was too insignificant 
to attract much attention in the circles in which her 
gay cousin shone with so much splendour, which 
gave her frequent opportunities of imparting a 
portion of that instruction she had received to the 
more humble class of her own sex. Returning 
from one of these charitable visits, and entering the 
gay saloon of her aunt, where her exit or entrance 
was scarcely noticed, she found the party amusing 
themselves in selecting flowers, whilst the Count 
and the other beaux were to make verses on the 
choice of each of the ladies. Charlotte was re¬ 
quested to make her selection of a flower; the 
sprightly Amelia had taken a rose, others a car¬ 
nation, a lily, or the flowers most likely to call 
forth a compliment; and the delicate idea of Char¬ 
lotte, in selecting the most humble flower, by 
placing a sprig of mignonette in her bosom, would 
probably have passed unnoticed, had not the flir¬ 
tation of her cousin with a dashing colonel, who 
was more celebrated for his conquests in the drawing 









YOUR QUALITIES SURPASS YOUR CHARMS. 291 


room than the battle-field, attracted the notice of 
the Count, so as to make his uneasiness visible, 
which the amiable Charlotte, ever studious of 
Amelia’s real happiness, wished to amuse, and to 
call back the mind of her cousin, demanded the 
verse for the rose. The Count saw this affectionate 
trait in Charlotte’s conduct, took out his pencil, and 
wrote for the rose, 

Elle ne vit qu’un jour, et ne plait qu’un moment, 

which he gave to the gay daughter, at the same 
time presenting the humble cousin with this line on 
the mignonette: 

Ses qualites surpassent ses charmes. 

Amelia’s pride was roused, and she retaliated by 
her attention to the colonel, which she carried so 
far as to throw herself into the power of a profligate, 
who brought her to ruin. The Count transferred his 
affections from beauty to amiability : and rejoicing 
in the exchange, and to commemorate the event 
which had brought about his happiness, and de¬ 
livered him from a coquette, he added a branch of 
the sweet reseda to the ancient arms of his family, 
with the motto, 

Your qualities surpass your charms. 






292 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


YOUR PRESENCE REVIVES ME. 

ROSEMARY — ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS. 

This shrub yields by distillation a light pale 
essential oil of great fragrance, which is imparted 
to rectified spirit. It was formerly recommended 
for strengthening the nervous system, headaches, 
<fcc., as well as to strengthen the memory. Rosemary 
has also been made the emblem of fidelity, and 
used accordingly to be worn at weddings, and, on 
the same principle, at funerals. It is the principal 
ingredient in Hungary water, and is drank at tea 
for headaches, and by nervous persons. 


YOU ARE COLD. 

HORTENSIA—HYDRANGEA HORTENSIS. 

We have possessed this plant only for a short 
time. Although its corymbose flowers be alter¬ 
nately of white, purple, and violet colour, they 
have a brilliant effect in our drawing-rooms; its 
cold and stately beauty quickly fades ;—it is the 
image of a coquette who, without grace and without 
the power which intellect confers, seeks to please 
only by her attention to her toilet. 











YOU ARE RADIANT 'WITH CHARMS. 293 


YOU ARE RADIANT WITH CHARMS. 

ASIATIC RANUNCULUS—RANUNCULUS ASIATICUS. 

From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed, 

Anemones, aui’iculas, enriched 

With shining meal o’er all their velvet leaves ; 

And full ranunculus of glowing red. 

THOMSON. 

The Asiatic ranunculus blooms amid our par¬ 
terres in the earliest days of spring, spreading forth 
its varied lustrous flowers, which, shining with 
innumerable hues, are radiant with attractions. 
No other plant offers so rich a variety of colour to 
amateurs, “ from a black down to white, through 
all the shades of reds, yellows, browns, and indeed, 
excepting blue, every colour may be found in these 
gaily painted flowers.’* 

Though this is one of the most hardy of the 
garden ranunculuses, and makes the most brilliant 
appearance by its vivid scarlet colour, it is almost 
lost in this country, or so little esteemed in com¬ 
parison with the Persian ranunculus, that it is 
seldom cultivated by the Epicurean florist. We 
have sometimes met with this variety in the cottage 
gardens which border the sandy commons of 
Sussex and Surrey, where, meeting with a congenial 
soil, it seems to linger like an expiring flame. 
















294 SENTIMENT OF FLOWERS. 


YOU ARE PERFECT. 

PINE APPLE—BROMELIA ANANAS. 

The fruit of the pine apple, surrounded by its 
beautiful leaves, and surmounted by a crown in 
which the germ of a plant is concealed, seems as 
though it were sculptured in massy gold. It is so 
beautiful that it appears to be made to Iplease the 
eyes ; so delicious that it unites the various flavours 
of our best fruits ; and so odoriferous that we should 
cultivate it if it were only for its perfume. 

YOU ARE WITHOUT PRETENSION. 

PASQTJE FLOWER ANEMONE—ANEMONE PULSA¬ 
TILLA. 

The pasque flower, which bears the Italian name 
of pulsatilla , because its downy seeds are driven 
about by the winds, is covered, during the whole 
summer, with an infinite number of little purple or 
violet-coloured flowers, which closely resemble car¬ 
nations. It loves open places, and is well adapted 
to ornament hilly situations; and requires no at¬ 
tention. There is a variety of this species with 
white petals, and another with double flowers. 









YOU ARE MY DIVINITY. 


296 


YOU ARE MY DIVINITY. 

AMERICAN COWSLIP—DODECATHEON MEADIA. 

Smile like a knot of cowslips on the cliff. 

BLAIR. 

The elegant stem of a single root of this plant 
springs from the centre of a rosette of large leaves 
couched on the earth. In April it is crowned with 
twelve pretty flowers with the cups reversed. 
Linneeus has given it the name of “ Dodecatheon,” 
which signifies “ twelve divinities,” a name perhaps 
somewhat too extravagant for a small plant so 
modest in its appearance. An American writer 
says that, in their indigenous soil, they resemble a 
cluster of bright yellow polyanthuses. “ Our gold 
cowslips,” he adds, “look like a full branch of 
large clustering king-cups; they carelessly raise 
themselves on their firm stalks, their corollas gazing 
upward to the changing spring sky, as they grow 
amidst their pretty leaves of vivid green. They 
adorn almost every meadow', and shed a glow of 
beauty wherever they spring.” 








































EMBLEMATIC COLOURS. 


29 7 


EMBLEMATIC COLOURS. 


There are supposed to be three primitive co¬ 
lours, viz., red, yellow, and blue. White represents 
light ; black the absence of light. Secondary co¬ 
lours are formed by the mixture of two primitive 
or principal colours; these are purple, orange, 
green, violet, ashy grey, brown grey, &c. Green 
is composed of yellow and blue ; violet of red and 
blue, <fec. These colours produce a great number 
of tints or shades ; at least as many as eight hundred 
and nineteen have been estimated. Some of the 
most decided are selected here as emblems. 

WHITE. 

GOOD FAITH | CANDOUR ; PURITY ; INNOCENCE. 

Egyptian, Greek, and Roman priests were 
habited in white. White was also the sign of glad¬ 
ness, and the ancients attired themselves in it at 

o 5 











298 EMBLEMATIC COLOURS. 


their festivals. The Greeks and Romans, who used 
black in mourning, as other nations, wore white on 
such occasions under the emperors. He who as¬ 
pired to the magistracy appeared in a white toga 
(tcga Candida ), whence he was called a candidate. 
White is ever considered the most suitable colour 
for the young of the fair sex. 

RED. 

MODESTY ; LOVE ; VIVACITY. 

The flammenea , or veil, which was w r orn by the 
wife of the Jlamen dialis, the priest of Jupiter, with 
the Romans, a priestess who presided at mar¬ 
riages, was red, which by analogy is the colour of 
modesty. This priestess could not be separated 
from her husband by divorce, and in the event of 
her death, the Jlamen w r as obliged to resign his 
office. From the indissolubility of this union, it was 
deemed a favourable omen for brides on their wed¬ 
ding day to be covered w r ith this veil. 

YELLOW. 

glory (by the ancients); infidelity (by the 
moderns). 

Painters have made yellow', which is the co- 





EMBLEMATIC COLOURS. 


299 


lour of the sun, the emblem of splendour and glory. 
Ceres, the goddess of harvests, was represented 
with yellow drapery. Homer gives a yellow veil to 
Aurora. 


BLUE. 

PURITY OF SENTIMENT ; DIGNITY ; WISDOM ; 

PIETY. 

Blue is the colour of the heavens; Juno, who 
represents the air, was clothed in celestial blue. 
To Minerva, also, the goddess of wisdom, a blue 
mantle has been assigned. 

BLACK. 

SADNESS ; MOURNING ; DEATH. 

Black, which represents darkness, has always 
been taken for the emblem of sorrow and of 
mourning. 


PURPLE. 

SUPREME POWER. 

The mantles of the Roman Emperors were purple. 
Jupiter is represented clothed in a robe of red 
purple, to signify his power. 













EMBLEMATIC COLOURS. 


300 


ROSE COLOUR. 

youth; love; tender affection. 

This colour is the most delicate and the most 
gay; its freshness connects it with Hebe, the god¬ 
dess of youth. 


GREEN. 

HOPE. 

Green has always been considered the emblem 
of hope, apparently because the verdure of the 
fields and the young shoots of the various trees fore¬ 
show the approach of summer, and because they 
preserve fruit. Cerulean, or sea-green, was con¬ 
secrated to Neptune; the Nereides were repre¬ 
sented with robes of this colour, which was also 
that of the bandelets of victims offered to the sea- 
gods. 





LIST OF 

PLANTS, ETC. 301 

LIST OF PLANTS, 

WITH 

THE QUALITY THEY SEVERALLY EXPRESS. 

Acacia. 

.. Platonic love. 

Accacia Rose. 

.. Elegance. 

Aconite; Wolf’s Bane.... 

.. Misanthropy. 

Aconite-leaved Crowfoot; 

or 

Fair Maid of France . 

.. Lustre. 

African Marigold. 

.. Vulgar minds. 

Acanthus. 

. .Arts (the) 

Agnus Castus. 

..Coldness, To live without 
love. 

Agrimony. 

... Thankfulness. 

Allspice (Calycanthus)... 

.. Benevolenee. 

Aloe. 

.. Bitterness. 

Almond Tree. 

.. Indiscretion. 

Almond Laurel. 

..Perfidy. 

Althaea Frutex. 

. Persuasion. 

Amaranth. 

. .Immortality. 

Amaryllis. 

..Haughtiness. Pride. 

Ambrosia. 

.. Love returned. 




















302 


LIST OF PLANTS, WITH 


American Cowslip.You are my divinity. 

Amethyst.Admiration. 

Anemone, Field ..Sickness. 

-, Garden.Forsaken. 

Angelica.Inspiration. 

Apple Blossom.Preference, 

Arbor Vitse.Unchanging Friendship; Old 

Age. 

A Rose Leaf ...I never importune. 

Arum, or Wake Robin.... Ardour. 

Ash.Grandeur. 

Aspen Tree .Lamentation. 

Asphodel...My regrets follow you to the 

grave. 

Auricula.Painting. 

Austrian Rose.Very lovely. 

Azalea.Temperance. 

Bachelor’s Buttons.Hojje in Love. 

Balm.Social intercourse. 

Balm Gentle.Pleasantry. 

Balm of Gilead.Healing. 

Balsam (N'oli-me-tangere).. Impatience. 

Barberry.Sharpness. Sourness. 

Basil.Hatred. 

Beech.Prosperity. 

Bee Ophrys, or Orchis...... Error. 

Belladonna.Imagination. 

Bilberry.Treachery. 

Bindweed.Humility. 

Black Thorn,.Difficulty. 

Bladder-Nut-tree .Frivolous Amusement. 







































THEIR RESPECTIVE SENTIMENTS. 303 

Blue-Bottle Centaury .... 

. Delicacy. 

Bonus Henricus. 

.Goodness. 

Borage. .... 

. Bluntness. 

Box. 

.Stoicism. 

Bramble. 

. Envy. 

Branch of Currants. 

.You Please all. 

- Thorns. 

. Severity. Rigour. 

Broken Straw. 

. Dissension. Rupture. 

Broom . 

. Neatness. 

Buckbean. 

. Calm repose. 

Bugloss. 

. Falsehood. 

Burdock . 

. Importunity. 

Buttercups . 

. Ingratitude. 

Butterfly Orchis. 

. Gaiety. 

Cacalia... 

.Adulation. 

Calla. 

. Magnificent beauty. 

Camellia J aponica. 

. Unpretending excellence. 

Campanula. 

. Gratitude. 

Canary Grass. 

. Perseverance. 

Candy Tuft. 

.Indifference. 

Canterbury Bell, Blue. 

. Constancy. 

Cardinal Flower. 

. Distinction. 

Carnation Yellow. 

Disdain. 

Cashew Nut. 

. Perfume. 

Catchfly. 

. Snare. 

Cedar of Lebanon. 

. Incorruptible. 

Cherry Tree. 

. Good education. 

Chestnut Tree. 

. Do me justice. 

China Aster. 

. Variety. 

China, or Indian Pink.. .. 

. Aversion. 

China, or Monthly Rose .. 

. Beauty ever new. 




































304 


LIST OF PLANTS, WITH 


Chamomile.Energy in adversity. 

Chrysanthemum.Cheerfulness under adversity 

Cinquefoil.Beloved daughter. 

Circsea.Fascination. 

Citron.Beauty with ill humour 

Clematis.Artifice. 

Clove Gillyflower.Dignity. 

Cobaea.,.Gossip. 

Cock’s comb (Crested Ama¬ 
ranth) .Singularity. 

Colt’s-foot.Justice shall be done you. 

Columbine.Folly. 

Coreopsis.Always cheerful. 

Coriander.Hidden merit. 

Corn.Riches. 

Corn Cockle (Rose Campion)Gentility. 

Cornelian Cherry Tree.Durability. 

Coronella.Success crown your wishes. 

Cowslip... Pensiveness. 

Crown Imperial.Majesty. 

Cuckoo Pint.Ardour. 

Cyclamen.Diffidence. 

Cypress. Mourning. 


-and Marigold 

Dahlia. 

Daisy. 

-, Garden. 

-, White. 

Dandelion. 

Darnel, or Ray Grass 
Dead Leaves. 


Despair. 

Instability. 

Innocence. 

I partake your sentiments 
I will think of it. 

Oracle. 

Vice. 

Sadness. 












































THEIR RESPECTIVE SENTIMENTS. 


305 


Dittany of Crete. 

.. Birth. 

-■, White. 

.. Passion. 

Dodder. 

.. Baseness. 

Dog’s Bane (Apocynurn).. 

..Deceit. Falsehood. 

Dragon Plant, Catchfly.. 

.. Snare. 

Ebony. 

.. Blackness. 

Eglantine, or Sweetbriar. 

. .Poetry. 

Elder. 

. Compassion. 

Enchanter’s Night-shade. 

.. Fascination. 

Endive . 

.. Frugality. 

Everlasting Pea. 

.. Lasting Pleasure. 

Fennel. 

.. Strength. 

Fern. 

. .Sincerity. 

-, Flowering... 

.. Reverie. 

Fig!. 

.. Argument. 

—-Marigold. 

.. Idleness. 

Fir Tree. 

.. Elevation. 

Flax. 

.. I feel your kindness. 

Flax-leaved Goldylocks .. 

.. Tardiness. 

Flora’s Bell. 

. You are without pretension 

Flowering Fern. 

.. Reverie. 

Fox Glove. 

.. Insincerity. 

Fraxinella . 

.. Fire. 

French Honeysuckle. 

.. Rustic beauty. 

Fuchsia. 

.. Taste. 

Geranium, Sorrowful .... 

. .Melancholy spirit. 

Gillyflower. 

. Lasting beauty. 

Goose-foot. 

,. Goodness. 

Gorse. 

. Enduring affection. 

Grass. 

. Utility. 

Guelder Rose. 

. Winter of Age. 






































306 


LIST OF PLANTS, WITH 


Harebell.Grief. 

Hawkweed.. Quick Sightedness. 

Hawthorn.Hope. 

Hazel.Reconciliation. 

Heart’s-ease, or Pansy.Think of me. 

Heath.Solitude. 

Helenia.Tears. 

Hemlock .You will cause my death. 

Henbane.Imperfection. 

Hepatica, or Noble Liver¬ 
wort.Confidence. 

Holly.Foresight. 

Hollyhock.Fruitfulness. 

Honesty'(Lunaria).Honesty. 

Honeysuckle.Bonds of love. 

Hop.Injustice. 

Hornbeam.Ornament. 

Horse Chestnut.Luxury. 

Hortensia.You are cold. 

House Leek... Yivacity. 

Houstonia Cerulea.Content. Quiet happiness. 

Hoya.Sculpture. 

Hyacinth.Game. Play. 

Hydrangea (Hortensia).Boaster ; you are cold. 

Ice Plant.Your looks freeze me. 

Indian Jasmine.I attach myself to you. 

-, or China Pink.Aversion. 

-, or Sweet Scabious .. I have lost'all. 

Iris.Message. 

-, Yellow.Flame. 

Ivy...Friendship. 







































THEIR RESPECTIVE SENTIMENTS. 307 

Jasmine, Virginian. 


Jessamine, or Jasmine. 

... Amiability. 

Jonquil. 

..Desire. 

Juniper. 

. .. Asylum. Protection. 

Lady’s Mantle. 

. ..Fashion. 

- Slipper. 

.. .Fickleness. 

Larch. 

.. .Boldness. 

Larkspur. 

... Levity. Lightness. 

Laurel. 

... Glory. 

Laurustinus. 

... I die if neglected 

Lavender . 

... Acknowledgment. 

Lemon. 

... Zest. 

Lettuce... 

. ..Cold-hearted. 

Lilac. 

... First emotion of love. 

-, White. 

... Youth. 

Lily, White. 

... Purity and Modesty. 

-—-of the Valley. 

... Return of happiness. 

Linden Tree .. 


London Pride. 

... Frivolity. 

Lucern . 

.... Life. 

Lupine. 

. .. Dejection. 

Madder. 

... Calumny. 

Maiden Hair. 

...Discretion. Secresy. 

Mallow... 

... Mild or sweet disposition. 

Manchineel Tree. 

... Falsehood. 

Mandrake . 

. ..Rarity. 

Maple . 

... Reserve. 

Marjoram . 

.... Blushes. 

Marvel of Peru .. 

.... Timidity. 

Madwort, Rock. 


Marigold. 

... Inquietude. 








































308 


LIST OF PLANTS, WITH 


Marigold, Small Cape .Presage. 

Meadow Saffron .My best days are past. 

Meadow Sweet .. ..Uselessness. 

Mezereon.Desire to please. 

Michaelmas Daisy.Afterthought. 

Mignonette.Your qualities surpass your 

charms. 


Mimosa.. ..Courtesy. 

Mistletoe.I surmount all difficulties. 

Mock Orange, or Syringa 

(Philadelphus) .Fraternal Love. 

Monk’s Hood.Knight Errantry. 

Monthly or China Rose .... Beauty ever new. 

Moonwort.Forgetfulness. 

Moschatel.Weakness. 

Moss Rose .Pleasure without alloy. 

-, Tuft of .Maternal love. 

Motherwort.Secret love. 

Mountain Laurel.Ambition. 

-Pink.Aspiring. 

Moving Plant.Agitation. 

Mulberry Tree, Black...... I will not survive you. 

-, White.Wisdom. 

Mushroom .Suspicion. 

Musk Crowfoot.Weakness. 

Musk Rose...Capricious beauty. 

Myrobalan .Privation. 

Myrtle.Love. 

Myosotis, or Mouse Ear .... Forget-me-not, 

Narcissus, False .Delusive hope. 

Nasturtium.Patriotism. 






































THEIR RESPECTIVE SENTIMENTS. 


309 


Nettle .-.Cruelty. 

Night Convolvulus .Night. 

Nightshade, Bitter-Sweet .. Truth. 

Nosegay .Gallantry. 

Oak .Hospitality. 

Olive Branches .. Peace. 

Orange Flower.Chastity. 

- Ti'ee.Generosity. 

Orchis ..A Belle. 

Oriental Persicaria.Restoration. 

Osier.Frankness. 

Palm.Victory. 

Pansy, or Heart’s ease .... Think of me. 

Parsley.Entertainment. Feasting. 

Patience Dock ..Patience. 

Pasque Flower.You are without pretension. 

Peach Blossom.I am your captive. 

Periwinkle.Sweet Remembrances. 

Peruvian Heliotrope .I love you. Infatuation. 

Pheasant’s Eye (Adonis) .... Sorrowful Remembrances. 

Phlox.Unanimity. 

Pimpern el .Assignation. 

Pine Apple.You are perfect. 

Pink ..Lively and pure affection. 

Plane Tree.Genius. 

Plum Tree.Keep your promises. 

-, Wild .Independence. 

Poet’s Narcissus .Egotism. 

Polyanthus.Pride of Riches, 

Pomegranate.Foolishness. 

Pompon Rose.Genteel. Pretty. 










































310 LIST OF PLANTS, WITH 


Potato .Beneficence. 

Poplar, Black.Courage. 

-, White.Time. 

Poppy .Consolation of sleep. 

-, White.. Sleep of the heart. 

Prickly Pear .Satire. 

Primrose.Early youth. 

-, Evening.Inconstancy. 

Privet .Prohibition. 

Pyramidal Bell Flower .... Gratitude. 

Quaking Grass.Agitation. 

Queen’s Rocket .She will be fashionable. 

Ranunculus .You are radiant with charms. 

Red Shanks.Patience. 

-Valerian.Accommodating disposition. 

Reeds .Music. 

Rest Harrow.Obstacle. 

Ring Flower .Marriage. 

Rhododendron.Danger. 

Rocket.Rivalry. 

Rock Rose (Cistus) .Popularity. 

Rose.Beauty. 

-, Monthly.Beauty ever new. 

-, Wild .Simplicity. 

-, White.Silence. 

-, Hundred-leaved.Graces. 

Rosebud ...Young girl. 

-, White.The heart that knows not 

love. 

Rosemary .Your presence revives me. 


Rose-scented Geranium_Preference. 














































THEIR RESPECTIVE SENTIMENTS. 


311 


Roses, a Garland of.Reward of virtue. 

Rue .Purification. 

Rush .Docility. 

Saffron (Crocus sativus).. ..Excesses dangerous. 

Sage.Esteem. 

Sardony .Irony. 

Scarlet Ipomaea.I attach'myself to you. 

Sensitive Plant .Timidity. 

Serpentine Cactus.Horror. 

Service Tree .Prudence. 

Shaking Saintfoin.Agitation. 

Snake’s Tongue.Slander. 

Snap Dragon.Presumption. 

Snowdrop.Consolation. 

Spider Ophrys .Skill. 

Spiderwort.Transient happiness. 

Spindle Tree .Your image is engraven on 

my heart. 

Spring Crocus.Youthful gladness. 

St. John’s Wort.Superstition. 

Stinging Nettle.Scandal. 

Stock, Ten-week .Promptitude. 

Stramonium, Common .... Disguise. 

Strawberry.Perfect excellence. 

Sun-flower.False riches. 

Sweetbriar, or Eglantine .. Poetry. 

Sweet-scented Tussilage .. Justice shall be done you. 

Sweet Sultan .Felicity, g 

Sweet William .. Finesse. 

Tamurisk...Crime. 

Teasel.Misanthropy. 










































312 LIST OF 

PLANTS, ETC. 

Thistle. 

.. Austerity. 

Thistledown . 

.. Treacherous insinuator. 

Thrift . 

.. Sympathy. 

Thorn Apple . 

.. Deceitful charms. 

Thyme ... 

.. Activity. 

Tremella Nostoc . 

.. Resistance. 

Trefoil. 

.. Unitv. 

Truffle. 

.. Surprise. 

Trumpet Flower (Bignonia) Separation. 

Tuberose (Polyanthus tube- 

rosa) . 

.. Voluptuousness. 

Tulip. 

.. Declaration of love. 

Venus’ Looking-glass ... 

.. Flattery. 

Verbena ... 

.. Sensibility. 

Vervain . 

.. Enchantment. 

Vine. 

.. Intoxication. 

Violet, Blue. 

.. Modesty. 

-, White. 

.. Candour. 

Wake Robin . 

.. Ardour. 

W all flower. 

..Fidelity in adversity. 

Water Lily . 

..Eloquence. 

Weeping Willow. 

.. Melancholy. 

Wild or Dog Rose. 

.. Simplicity. 

Willow Herb .... . 

.. Pretension. 

Witch Hazel . 

.. Spell-bound. 

Wood Sorrel . 

..Joy. 

Wormwood. 

.. Absence. 

Y arrow. 

.. War. 

Yellow Day Lily . 

. Coquetry. 

-Rose. 

.. Infidelity. 

Yew . 

.. Sorrow. 



































INDEX 


PAGE 

A Belle.309 

Absence an Evil. 29 

Acanthus. 39 

Acacia ltose. 94 

Acacia.221 

Acknowledgment .307 

Admiration.302 

Adulation.303 

A Garland of Roses.244 

Agitation .310 

Agrimony.274 

Agnus Castus . 64 

Ambleside,llushbearing at 87 

Almond Tree.162 

Almond Laurel ..218 

Always Cheerful .304 

Amaranth.156 

Aloe. 54 

Ambition. 308 

American Cowslip.295 

Amaryllis.135 

Amaranth, Knights of....158 

Angelica.176 

Anemone, Garden.120 

Apple Blossom.225 

A Rose Leaf.154 

Argument.305 

Ash .133 

Asphodel.207 

Aspiring.308 

A Tuft of Moss .191 

Avenue, splendid, of Lime 
Trees, Trinity College, 
Cambridge. 68 


page 

Balm, Gentle.223 

Balm of Gilead.136 

Balsam.158 

Barberry.257 

Basil.135 

Beauty with Ill-humour ..304 
Bee Ophrys, or Orchis ....101 

Beech.228 

Benevolence.301 

Bilberry.277 

Bindweed.141 

Black Thorn. 83 

Black Poplar. 72 

Black Mulberry Tree.143 

Bladder-Nut Tree.123 

Blue-Bottle Centaury. 77 

Blue Canterbury Bell. 70 

Blue Violet.200 

Blushes...,.307 

Boaster.306 

Bonus Henricus, or Goose- 

foot .132 

Borage. 56 

Box.266 

Bramble.100 

Broken Straw. 85 

Broom.208 

Buckbean. 59 

Burdock....159 

Burgundy, Duke of.188 

Buttercups.165 

Campanula, or Pyramidal 

Bell Flower.134 

p 





































































314 INDEX. 


PAGE 

Candy Tuft.161 

Canterbury Bell, Blue .... 70 

Carnation, Yellow. 85 

Catehfly.,.260 

Centaury Blue-Bottle. 77 

Cereus .264 

Charles the Simple, Anec¬ 
dote of. 85 

Cherry Tree.181 

Chestnut Tree. 88 

China Aster.282 

China Pink. 43 

China Rose. 51 

Chrysanthemum. 62 

Cinquefoil . 52 

Oircsea, or Enchanter’s 

Nightshade .109 

Clematis. 38 

Clove Gillyflower . 83 

Cold-hearted.307 

Columbine.114 | 

Compassion.305 

Content.306 

Coriander.136 

Corinthian Column, Origin 

of... 40 

Corn.245 

Cornelian Cherry Tree.... 89 

Courtesy.308 

Crime.311 

Crown Imperial.191 

Cuckoo Pint. 37 

Cuscuta. 44 

Cyanus, Fable of. 77 

Cypress.202 

Cypress Powder. 3H 

Cypress and Marigold .... 82 

Daisy, Michaelmas . 32 

Daisy.166 

Dandelion.212 

Danger.310 


PAGE 

Datura . 78 

Day Lily, Yellow. 71 

Dead Leaves .250 

Deceit.305 

Dejection .307 

Dial of Flowers.9,10 

Diffidence.304 

Distinction .303 

Dittany of Crete. 53 

Dodder. 44 

Ebony. 56 

Eglantine, or Sweet Briar.224 

Emblematic Colours .297 

Enchanter’s Nightshade..109 

Enduring Affection.305 

Energy in Adversity.303 

Evening Primrose....,,.... 159 

False Narcissus. 79 

Falsehood..305 

Fashion .307 

Feast of Tulips . 75 

Fennel.265 

Fern. 25 7 

Fickleness.307 

Field Anemone .254 

Fir Tree . 95 

Flax.148 

Flos Adonis.263 

Floral Hydrometer. 41 

-Barometers. 15 

Flower Painting. 23 

Flowers and their Senti¬ 
ments .301 

Flowering Fern.243 

Foolishness.309 

Forget-me-not.117 

-Singular Anec¬ 
dote connected with the 

origin of its name.118 

Frankness .309 





















































































INDEX. 315 


PAGE 

Fraternal Love .308 

Fraxinella.Ill 

Frugality..305 

Fuchsia .270 

Gaiety.303 

Garden Daisy.144 

Genteel.309 

Gentility.,,.304 

German Wedding Wreath 98 

Gillyflower, Clove. 83 

Gillyflower .180 

Gold, its value only re¬ 
lative.108 

Gossip .304 

Grass.280 

Great Mogul, singular Cus¬ 
tom at his Court.107 

Grief..306 

Hare, Refuge for the 

hunted. 42 

Hawthorn.137 

Hazel.238 

Heart’s-ease .275 

Heath.260 

Hepatica, or Noble Liver¬ 
wort. 64 

Herald of Spring. 69 

Hydrometer, Floral. 41 

Holly .115 

Hollyhock..124 

Honesty.307 

Honeysuckle. 57 

Hop .166 

Hope in Love.302 

Horse Chestnut.188 

Hornbeam.210 

Hortensia. 292 

Hundred-leaved Rose.133 

Hyacinth.125 


PAGE 

I am your Captive..309 

Ice Plant.288 

Idleness .305 

I have lost all.306 

Imagination.30-' 

Imperfection.306 

Incorruptible .303 

Indian Pink . 43 

Ingratitude, Emblem of..121 

Insincerity .,305 

Instability.301 

Introduction. 1 

Iris.197 

-Yellow.113 

Ivy. 120 

Jasmine, or Jessamine....134 

-Anecdote of.. 36 

-Wedding Garland 

of . 36 

Jonquil. 80 

Juniper. 42 

Knight Errantry.308 

Lamentation.302 

Language of Flora. 20 

-its Antiquity .. 27 

-Rules for its 

Practice. 27 

Laplanders, singular Cus¬ 
tom of.. 194 

Larch. 56 

Lasting Pleasure.305 

Laurel.130 

Laurustinus .142 

Levity.307 

Lilac. 111 

-White...287 

Lily of the Valley .241 

Linden Tree . 65 

London Pride.123 














































































316 

INDEX. 


PAGE 


PAGE 

Lime Trees in the Grove, 

Myrtle. 


at Queens’ College, Cam- 



bridge. 

. 68 

Narcissus, False . 


Love, to live without. 

. 64 

-Poet’s. 

. 93 

Love returned. 

.301 

Nettle. 


Lucerne. 

.182 

Night-blooming Cereus....l89 

Lustre. 


Nightingale, its affection 



for the Rose. 

. 49 

Madder. 

. 60 

Nightshade, Enchanter’s.109 

Madness, Decoctions for 

. 41 

Night Convolvulus.... 

.210 

Mad wort. 


Nightshade, Bitter sweet..278 

Magnificent Beauty. 


Noble Liverwort, or 

He- 

Maiden-hair. 


patica. 

. 64 

Mallow. 

.198 

Nosegay . 


Manchineel Tree. 

.103 

Nymphsea Lotus. 


Mandrake... 

.236 



Maple.. 


Oak . 


Maiwel of Peru. 


Oak, Cascade of the 

En- 

Marigold. 

.174 

chanted. 


Marigold and Cypress. 

. 82 

Olive Branches . 

.214 

Marriage... 

.310 

Orange Flower. 

. 62 

Moschatel. 


Orange Tree .. 


May Day. 




Meadow Saffron . 

.205 

Painting ... 


- ■ - Sweet,. 

.281 

Parsley. 

. 98 

Mezereon . 


Pasque Flower . 

.294 

Michaelmas Daisy. 


Passion. 


Mignonette. 

.288 

Patriotism. 


Misanthropy . 


Pensiveness. 

.304 

Mistletoe. 

.119 

Perfume. 


Montagu, Lady Mary W. 

. 22 

Periwinkle . 


Monthly Rose. 


Perseverance . 

.303 

Moonwort... 


Persuasion. 


Moss Rose.. 


Peruvian Heliotrope.. 

.151 

Motherwort. 

.252 

Pheasant’s Eye. 


Moving Plant. 

. 33 

Phyllis and Demophoon ..163 

Mulberry, White. 

.284 

Pimpernel. 


-Blank . 

.143 

Pine Apple . 

.. ‘794 

Mushroom. 

.266 

Pink. 


Musk Rose . 

61 

-China. 


Myosotis, or Mouse-ear . 

.117 

Plane Tree . 


Myrobalan. 

.227 

Plum Tree.... 




















































































INDEX. 


317 


PAGE 


Poet’s Narcissus . 93 

Pope’s Willow .196 

Poplar, Black . 72 

-White .273 

j Poppy . 70 

-White.258 

Popularity.310 

Portland Sago. 37 

Potato. 53 

Pride of Riches.309 

Primrose. 90 

Privet .229 

Protection, Emblem of... 42 

Purification .310 

Pyramus and Thisbe .143 

Quick-sightedness .306 

Ranunculus .293 

Red Valerian. 30 

Redshanks, or Patience 

Dock.214 

Reeds .205 

Rest Harrow.210 

Restoration .309 

Reverie .305 

Rivalry .310 

Romulus, presage of his 

greatness . 89 

Rose. 44 

-fabulous account of 

its birth . 49 

-origin of the Red ... 51 

-Monthly. 51 

-Musk . 61 

-Acacia. 94 

Rose-scented Geranium...223 

Rose-bud.285 

-White.272 

Rosemary .292 

Rush. 87 


Rushbearing at Ambleside 88 


PAGE 


Rustic Beauty .305 

Saffron.103 

Sage.102 

Sage, its high estimation 

among the Chinese.103 

St. Andrew, Scottish Or¬ 
der of . 43 

Sardony .177 

Satire .310 

Scandal .311 

Scarlet Ipomtea, or Indian 

Jasmine .142 

Scipio Africanus.140 

Sculpture .306 

Sensibility .312 

Sentiment of Flowers. 28 

Serpentine Cactus .139 

Service Tree .230 

Severity .303 

Shamrock .279 

She will be fashionable ...310 
Shepherd’s Weather-glass 41 

Singularity . 304 

Slander .311 

Small Cape Marigold.226 

Snap Dragon.227 

Snare .305 

Snowdrop . 68 

Social Intercourse .302 

Sorrowful Geranium .197 

Spell-bound. 312 

Spider Ophrys .257 

Spiderwort.277 

Spindle Tree.287 

Strawberry.215 

Stramonium, common ... 87 

Success crown your 

wishes. 304 

Sunflower .106 

Superstition .311 

Sweet Sultan.109 




















































































318 


INDEX. 


PAGE 

Sweet William . 110 

Sweet-scented Tusilage, 
or Coltsfoot .178 

Tardiness .305 

Taste .305 

Teasel.199 

Temperance .302 

Ten-week Stock. 228 

Thistle. 43 

Thorn Apple. 78 

Thrift .:269 

Thyme. 31 

Treacherous Insinuator...312 

Trembling Grass. 83 

Tremella Nostoc .240 

Truffle . 260 

Trumpet Flower .252 

Tulip. 74 

Tulips, Feast of . 75 

Tulipomania. 76 

Unanimity.309 

Unchanging Friendship..302 
Unpretending Excellence.303 

Valerian, Red. 30 

Venus’s Looking-glass.114 

Venus's Rival. 46 

Vervain . 96 

Very lovely.302 

Vice .304 

Victory.309 

Vine .154 

Violet, White. 60 

- Blue.200 


Virginian Jasmine ... 

PAGE 

.253 

Vivacity . 

.806 

Voluptuousness. 


Vulgar Minds . 

.301 

Wake Robin. 

. 37 

Wallflower.. 

.104 

Water Lily. 

. 95 

Weather-glass, the Shep- 

herd’s. 


Weeping Willow. 

.195 

White Daisy . 


White Rose. 


White Violet.. 


White Lily. 

.231 

Wild or Dog Rose ..... 

.2 56 

Wild Plum Tree . 


Willow Herb.. 

.227 

Winter of Age. 


Wood Sorrel . 

.177 

Woodbine. 

. 58 

Wormwood.. 


Xerxes . 


Yarrow... 


Yellow Day Lily. 


Yellow Carnation. 


Yellow Rose . 


Yew. 


Youthful Gladness. 


You please all. 


You will cause my death..306 

Zeb, Doctor. 


Zest . 



Thomas Harrii u, Printer, Silver Street, lalcon Square, London.