Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Flowers and Flower-Gardens - With an Appendix of Practical Instructions and Useful Information - Respecting the Anglo-Indian Flower-Garden
Author: Richardson, David Lester, 1801-1865
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Flowers and Flower-Gardens - With an Appendix of Practical Instructions and Useful Information - Respecting the Anglo-Indian Flower-Garden" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



from images provided by the Million Book Project.



FLOWERS AND FLOWER-GARDENS.

BY

DAVID LESTER RICHARDSON,

PRINCIPAL OF THE HINDU METROPOLITAN COLLEGE, AND AUTHOR OF "LITERARY
LEAVES," "LITERARY RECREATIONS," &C.

WITH AN APPENDIX OF

PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS AND USEFUL INFORMATION RESPECTING THE
ANGLO-INDIAN FLOWER-GARDEN.



CALCUTTA:



MDCCCLV.



PREFACE.


    In every work regard the writer's end,
    Since none can compass more than they intend.

_Pope_.



This volume is far indeed from being a scientific treatise _On Flowers
and Flower-Gardens_:--it is mere gossip in print upon a pleasant
subject. But I hope it will not be altogether useless. If I succeed in
my object I shall consider that I have gossipped to some purpose. On
several points--such as that of the mythology and language of flowers--I
have said a good deal more than I should have done had I been writing
for a different community. I beg the London critics to bear this in
mind. I wished to make the subject as attractive as possible to some
classes of people here who might not have been disposed to pay any
attention to it whatever if I had not studied their amusement as much as
their instruction. I have tried to sweeten the edge of the cup.

I did not at first intend the book to exceed fifty pages: but I was
almost insensibly carried on further and further from the proposed limit
by the attractive nature of the materials that pressed upon my notice.
As by far the largest portion, of it has been written hurriedly, amidst
other avocations, and bit by bit; just as the Press demanded an
additional supply of "_copy_," I have but too much reason to apprehend
that it will seem to many of my readers, fragmentary and ill-connected.
Then again, in a city like Calcutta, it is not easy to prepare any thing
satisfactorily that demands much literary or scientific research. There
are very many volumes in all the London Catalogues, but not immediately
obtainable in Calcutta, that I should have been most eager to refer to
for interesting and valuable information, if they had been at hand. The
mere titles of these books have often tantalized me with visions of
riches beyond my reach. I might indeed have sent for some of these from
England, but I had announced this volume, and commenced the printing of
it, before it occurred to me that it would be advisable to extend the
matter beyond the limits I had originally contemplated. I must now send
it forth, "with all its imperfections on its head;" but not without the
hope that in spite of these, it will be found calculated to increase the
taste amongst my brother exiles here for flowers and flower-gardens, and
lead many of my Native friends--(particularly those who have been
educated at the Government Colleges,--who have imbibed some English
thoughts and feelings--and who are so fortunate as to be in possession
of landed property)--to improve their parterres,--and set an example to
their poorer countrymen of that neatness and care and cleanliness and
order which may make even the peasant's cottage and the smallest plot of
ground assume an aspect of comfort, and afford a favorable indication of
the character of the possessor.

D.L.R.

_Calcutta, September 21st_ 1855.



ERRATA.


A friend tells me that the allusion to the Acanthus on the first page of
this book is obscurely expressed, that it was not the _root_ but the
_leaves_ of the plant that suggested the idea of the Corinthian capital.
The root of the Acanthus produced the leaves which overhanging the sides
of the basket struck the fancy of the Architect. This was, indeed, what
I _meant_ to say, and though I have not very lucidly expressed myself, I
still think that some readers might have understood me rightly even
without the aid of this explanation, which, however, it is as well for
me to give, as I wish to be intelligible to _all_. A writer should
endeavor to make it impossible for any one to misapprehend his meaning,
though there are some writers of high name both in England and America
who seem to delight in puzzling their readers.

At the bottom of page 200, allusion is made to the dotted lines at some
of the open turns in the engraved labyrinth. By some accident or mistake
the dots have been omitted, but any one can understand where the stop
hedges which the dotted lines indicated might be placed so as to give
the wanderer in the maze, additional trouble to find his way out of it.



[Illustration of a garden.]



ON FLOWERS AND FLOWER-GARDENS,



    For lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the
    flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is
    come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

_The Song of Solomon_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    These are thy glorious works, Parent of good!
    Almighty, Thine this universal frame,
    Thus wondrous fair; Thyself how wondrous then!

_Milton_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Soft roll your incense, herbs and fruits and flowers,
    In mingled clouds to HIM whose sun exalts
    Whose breath perfumes you, and whose pencil paints.

_Thomson_.

A taste for floriculture is spreading amongst Anglo-Indians. It is a
good sign. It would be gratifying to learn that the same refining taste
had reached the Natives also--even the lower classes of them. It is a
cheap enjoyment. A mere palm of ground may be glorified by a few radiant
blossoms. A single clay jar of the rudest form may be so enriched and
beautified with leaves and blossoms as to fascinate the eye of taste. An
old basket, with a broken tile at the top of it, and the root of the
acanthus within, produced an effect which seemed to Calimachus, the
architect, "the work of the Graces." It suggested the idea of the
capital of the Corinthian column, the most elegant architectural
ornament that Art has yet conceived.

Flowers are the poor man's luxury; a refinement for the uneducated. It
has been prettily said that the melody of birds is the poor man's music,
and that flowers are the poor man's poetry. They are "a discipline of
humanity," and may sometimes ameliorate even a coarse and vulgar nature,
just as the cherub faces of innocent and happy children are sometimes
found to soften and purify the corrupted heart. It would be a delightful
thing to see the swarthy cottagers of India throwing a cheerful grace on
their humble sheds and small plots of ground with those natural
embellishments which no productions of human skill can rival.

The peasant who is fond of flowers--if he begin with but a dozen little
pots of geraniums and double daisies upon his window sills, or with a
honeysuckle over his humble porch--gradually acquires a habit, not only
of decorating the outside of his dwelling and of cultivating with care
his small plot of ground, but of setting his house in order within, and
making every thing around him agreeable to the eye. A love of
cleanliness and neatness and simple ornament is a moral feeling. The
country laborer, or the industrious mechanic, who has a little garden to
be proud of, the work of his own hand, becomes attached to his place of
residence, and is perhaps not only a better subject on that account, but
a better neighbour--a better man. A taste for flowers is, at all events,
infinitely preferable to a taste for the excitements of the pot-house or
the tavern or the turf or the gaming table, or even the festal board,
especially for people of feeble health--and above all, for the poor--who
should endeavor to satisfy themselves with inexpensive pleasures.[001]

In all countries, civilized or savage, and on all occasions, whether of
grief or rejoicing, a natural fondness for flowers has been exhibited,
with more or less tenderness or enthusiasm. They beautify religious
rites. They are national emblems: they find a place in the blazonry of
heraldic devices. They are the gifts and the language of friendship and
of love.

Flowers gleam in original hues from graceful vases in almost every
domicile where Taste presides; and the hand of "nice Art" charms us with
"counterfeit presentments" of their forms and colors, not only on the
living canvas, but even on our domestic China-ware, and our mahogany
furniture, and our wall-papers and hangings and carpets, and on our
richest apparel for holiday occasions and our simplest garments for
daily wear. Even human Beauty, the Queen of all loveliness on earth,
engages Flora as her handmaid at the toilet, in spite of the dictum of
the poet of 'The Seasons,' that "Beauty when unadorned is adorned the
most."

Flowers are hung in graceful festoons both in churches and in ball-rooms.
They decorate the altar, the bride-bed, the cradle, and the bier.
They grace festivals, and triumphs, and processions; and cast a glory on
gala days; and are amongst the last sad honors we pay to the objects of
our love.

I remember the death of a sweet little English girl of but a year old,
over whom, in her small coffin, a young and lovely mother sprinkled the
freshest and fairest flowers. The task seemed to soften--perhaps to
sweeten--her maternal grief. I shall never forget the sight. The
bright-hued blossoms seemed to make her oblivious for a moment of the
darkness and corruption to which she was so soon to consign her priceless
treasure. The child's sweet face, even in death, reminded me that the
flowers of the field and garden, however lovely, are all outshone by
human beauty. What floral glory of the wild-wood, or what queen of the
parterre, in all the pride of bloom, laughing in the sun-light or
dancing in the breeze, hath a charm that could vie for a single moment
with the soft and holy lustre of that motionless and faded human lily? I
never more deeply felt the force of Milton's noble phrase "_the human
face divine_" than when gazing on that sleeping child. The fixed placid
smile, the smoothly closed eye with its transparent lid, the air of
profound tranquillity, the simple purity (elevated into an aspect of
bright intelligence, as if the little cherub already experienced the
beatitude of another and a better world,) were perfectly angelic--and
mocked all attempt at description. "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven!"

O flower of an earthly spring! destined to blossom in the eternal
summer of another and more genial region! Loveliest of lovely
children--loveliest to the last! More beautiful in death than aught
still living! Thou seemest now to all who miss and mourn thee but a sweet
name--a fair vision--a precious memory;--but in reality thou art a more
truly living thing than thou wert before or than aught thou hast left
behind. Thou hast come early into a rich inheritance. Thou hast now a
substantial existence, a genuine glory, an everlasting possession, beyond
the sky. Thou hast exchanged the frail flowers that decked thy bier for
amaranthine hues and fragrance, and the brief and uncertain delights of
mortal being for the eternal and perfect felicity of angels!

I never behold elsewhere any of the specimens of the several varieties
of flowers which the afflicted parent consigned to the hallowed little
coffin without recalling to memory the sainted child taking her last
rest on earth. The mother was a woman of taste and sensibility, of high
mind and gentle heart, with the liveliest sense of the loveliness of all
lovely things; and it is hardly necessary to remind the reader how much
refinement such as hers may sometimes alleviate the severity of sorrow.

Byron tells us that the stars are

      A beauty and a mystery, and create
      In us such love and reverence from afar
  That fortune, fame, power, life, have named themselves _a star_.

But might we not with equal justice say that every thing excellent and
beautiful and precious has named itself _a flower_?

If stars teach as well as shine--so do flowers. In "still small accents"
they charm "the nice and delicate ear of thought" and sweetly whisper
that "the hand that made them is divine."

The stars are the poetry of heaven--the clouds are the poetry of the
middle sky--the flowers are the poetry of the earth. The last is the
loveliest to the eye and the nearest to the heart. It is incomparably
the sweetest external poetry that Nature provides for man. Its
attractions are the most popular; its language is the most intelligible.
It is of all others the best adapted to every variety and degree of
mind. It is the most endearing, the most familiar, the most homefelt,
and congenial. The stars are for the meditation of poets and
philosophers; but flowers are not exclusively for the gifted or the
scientific; they are the property of all. They address themselves to our
common nature. They are equally the delight of the innocent little
prattler and the thoughtful sage. Even the rude unlettered rustic
betrays some feeling for the beautiful in the presence of the lovely
little community of the field and garden. He has no sympathy for the
stars: they are too mystical and remote. But the flowers as they blush
and smile beneath his eye may stir the often deeply hidden lovingness
and gentleness of his nature. They have a social and domestic aspect to
which no one with a human heart can be quite indifferent. Few can doat
upon the distant flowers of the sky as many of us doat upon the flowers
at our feet. The stars are wholly independent of man: not so the sweet
children of Flora. We tend upon and cherish them with a parental pride.
They seem especially meant for man and man for them. They often need his
kindest nursing. We place them with guardian hand in the brightest light
and the most wholesome air. We quench with liquid life their sun-raised
thirst, or shelter them from the wintry blast, or prepare and enrich
their nutritious beds. As they pine or prosper they agitate us with
tender anxieties, or thrill us with exultation and delight. In the
little plot of ground that fronts an English cottage the flowers are
like members of the household. They are of the same family. They are
almost as lovely as the children that play with them--though their happy
human associates may be amongst

    The sweetest things that ever grew
    Beside a human door.

The Greeks called flowers the _Festival of the eye_: and so they are:
but they are something else, and something better.

    A flower is not a flower alone,
    A thousand sanctities invest it.

Flowers not only touch the heart; they also elevate the soul. They bind
us not entirely to earth; though they make earth delightful. They
attract our thoughts downward to the richly embroidered ground only to
raise them up again to heaven. If the stars are the scriptures of the
sky, the flowers are the scriptures of the earth. If the stars are a
more glorious revelation of the Creator's majesty and might, the flowers
are at least as sweet a revelation of his gentler attributes. It has
been observed that

    An undevout astronomer is mad.

The same thing may be said of an irreverent floriculturist, and with
equal truth--perhaps indeed with greater. For the astronomer, in some
cases, may be hard and cold, from indulging in habits of thought too
exclusively mathematical. But the true lover of flowers has always
something gentle and genial in his nature. He never looks upon his
floral-family without a sweetened smile upon his face and a softened
feeling in his heart; unless his temperament be strangely changed and
his mind disordered. The poets, who, speaking generally, are
constitutionally religious, are always delighted readers of the
flower-illumined pages of the book of nature. One of these disciples of
Flora earnestly exclaims:

    Were I, O God, in churchless lands remaining
    Far from all voice of teachers and divines,
    My soul would find in flowers of thy ordaining
        Priests, sermons, shrines

The popular little preachers of the field and garden, with their lovely
faces, and angelic language--sending the while such ambrosial incense up
to heaven--insinuate the sweetest truths into the human heart. They lead
us to the delightful conclusion that beauty is in the list of
the _utilities_--that the Divine Artist himself is _a lover of
loveliness_--that he has communicated a taste for it to his creatures
and most lavishly provided for its gratification.

          Not a flower
    But shows some touch, in freckle, streak or stain,
    Of His unrivalled pencil. He inspires
    Their balmy odours, and imparts then hues,
    And bathes their eyes with nectar, and includes
    In grains as countless as the sea side sands
    The forms with which he sprinkles all the earth.

_Cowper_.

In the eye of Utilitarianism the flowers are but idle shows. God might
indeed have made this world as plain as a Quaker's garment, without
retrenching one actual necessary of physical existence; but He has
chosen otherwise; and no earthly potentate was ever so richly clad as
his mother earth. "Behold the lilies of the field, they spin not,
neither do they toil, yet Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like
one of these!" We are thus instructed that man was not meant to live by
bread alone, and that the gratification of a sense of beauty is equally
innocent and natural and refining. The rose is permitted to spread its
sweet leaves to the air and dedicate its beauty to the sun, in a way
that is quite perplexing to bigots and stoics and political economists.
Yet God has made nothing in vain! The Great Artist of the Universe must
have scattered his living hues and his forms of grace over the surface
of the earth for some especial and worthy purpose. When Voltaire was
congratulated on the rapid growth of his plants, he observed that "_they
had nothing else to do_." Oh, yes--they had something else to do,--they
had to adorn the earth, and to charm the human eye, and through the eye
to soften and cheer the heart and elevate the soul!

I have often wished that Lecturers on Botany, instead of confining their
instructions to the mere physiology, or anatomy, or classification or
nomenclature of their favorite science, would go more into the poetry
of it, and teach young people to appreciate the moral influences of the
floral tribes--to draw honey for the human heart from the sweet breasts
of flowers--to sip from their radiant chalices a delicious medicine for
the soul.

Flowers are frequently hallowed by associations far sweeter than their
sweetest perfume. "I am no botanist:" says Southey in a letter to Walter
Savage Landor, "but like you, my earliest and best recollections are
connected with flowers, and they always carry me back to other days.
Perhaps this is because they are the only things which affect our senses
precisely as they did in our childhood. The sweetness of the violet is
always the same; and when you rifle a rose and drink, as it were, its
fragrance, the refreshment is the same to the old man as to the boy.
Sounds recal the past in the same manner, but they do not bring with
them individual scenes like the cowslip field, or the corner of the
garden to which we have transplanted field-flowers."

George Wither has well said in commendation of his Muse:

    Her divine skill taught me this;
    That from every thing I saw
    I could some instruction draw,
    And raise pleasure to the height
    By the meanest object's sight,
    By the murmur of a spring
    _Or the least bough's rustelling;
    By a daisy whose leaves spread
    Shut, when Titan goes to bed;
    Or a shady bush or tree_,
    She could more infuse in me
    Than all Nature's beauties can
    In some other wiser man.

We must not interpret the epithet _wiser_ too literally. Perhaps the
poet speaks ironically, or means by some other _wiser man_, one allied
in character and temperament to a modern utilitarian Philosopher.
Wordsworth seems to have had the lines of George Wither in his mind when
he said

    Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
    Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
    To me the meanest flower that blows can give
    Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

Thomas Campbell, with a poet's natural gallantry, has exclaimed,

    Without the smile from partial Beauty won,
    Oh! what were man?--a world without a sun!

Let a similar compliment be presented to the "painted populace that
dwell in fields and lead ambrosial lives." What a desert were this scene
without its flowers--it would be like the sky of night without its
stars! "The disenchanted earth" would "lose her lustre." Stars of the
day! Beautifiers of the world! Ministrants of delight! Inspirers of
kindly emotions and the holiest meditations! Sweet teachers of the
serenest wisdom! So beautiful and bright, and graceful, and fragrant--it
is no marvel that ye are equally the favorites of the rich and the poor,
of the young and the old, of the playful and the pensive!

Our country, though originally but sparingly endowed with the living
jewelry of nature, is now rich in the choicest flowers of all other
countries.

          Foreigners of many lands,
    They form one social shade, as if convened
    By magic summons of the Orphean lyre.

_Cowper_.

These little "foreigners of many lands" have been so skilfully
acclimatized and multiplied and rendered common, that for a few
shillings an English peasant may have a parterre more magnificent than
any ever gazed upon by the Median Queen in the hanging gardens of
Babylon. There is no reason, indeed, to suppose that even the first
parents of mankind looked on finer flowers in Paradise itself than are
to be found in the cottage gardens that are so thickly distributed over
the hills and plains and vallies of our native land.

    The red rose, is the red rose still, and from the lily's cup
    An odor fragrant as at first, like frankincense goes up.

_Mary Howitt_.

Our neat little gardens and white cottages give to dear old England that
lovely and cheerful aspect, which is so striking and attractive to her
foreign visitors. These beautiful signs of a happy political security
and individual independence and domestic peace and a love of order and a
homely refinement, are scattered all over the land, from sea to sea.
When Miss Sedgwick, the American authoress, visited England, nothing so
much surprised and delighted her as the gay flower-filled gardens of our
cottagers. Many other travellers, from almost all parts of the world,
have experienced and expressed the same sensations on visiting our
shores, and it would be easy to compile a voluminous collection of their
published tributes of admiration. To a foreign visitor the whole country
seems a garden--in the words of Shakespeare--"a _sea-walled garden_."

In the year 1843, on a temporary return to England after a long Indian
exile, I travelled by railway for the first time in my life. As I glided
on, as smoothly as in a sledge, over the level iron road, with such
magical rapidity--from the pretty and cheerful town of Southampton to
the greatest city of the civilized world--every thing was new to me, and
I gave way to child-like wonder and child-like exultation.[002] What a
quick succession of lovely landscapes greeted the eye on either side?
What a garden-like air of universal cultivation! What beautiful smooth
slopes! What green, quiet meadows! What rich round trees, brooding over
their silent shadows! What exquisite dark nooks and romantic lanes! What
an aspect of unpretending happiness in the clean cottages, with their
little trim gardens! What tranquil grandeur and rural luxury in the
noble mansions and glorious parks of the British aristocracy! How the
love of nature thrilled my heart with a gentle and delicious agitation,
and how proud I felt of my dear native land! It is, indeed, a fine thing
to be an Englishman. Whether at home or abroad, he is made conscious of
the claims of his country to respect and admiration. As I fed my eyes on
the loveliness of Nature, or turned to the miracles of Art and Science
on every hand, I had always in my mind a secret reference to the effect
which a visit to England must produce upon an intelligent and observant
foreigner.

    Heavens! what a goodly prospect spreads around
    Of hills and dales and woods and lawns and spires,
    And glittering towns and gilded streams, 'till all
    The stretching landscape into smoke decays!
    Happy Brittannia! where the Queen of Arts,
    Inspiring vigor, Liberty, abroad
    Walks unconfined, even to thy farthest cots,
    And scatters plenty with unsparing hand.

_Thomson_.

And here let me put in a word in favor of the much-abused English
climate. I cannot echo the unpatriotic discontent of Byron when he
speaks of

                    The cold and cloudy clime
    Where he was born, but where he would not die.

Rather let me say with the author of "_The Seasons_," in his address to
England.

    Rich is thy soil and merciful thy clime.

King Charles the Second when he heard some foreigners condemning our
climate and exulting in their own, observed that in his opinion that was
the best climate in which a man could be out in the open air with
pleasure, or at least without trouble and inconvenience, the most days
of the year and the most hours of the day; and this he held was the case
with the climate of England more than that of any other country in
Europe. To say nothing of the lovely and noble specimens of human nature
to which it seems so congenial, I may safely assert that it is
peculiarly favorable, with, rare exceptions, to the sweet children of
Flora. There is no country in the world in which there are at this day
such innumerable tribes of flowers. There are in England two thousand
varieties of the rose alone, and I venture to express a doubt whether
the richest gardens of Persia or Cashmere could produce finer specimens
of that universal favorite than are to be found in some of the small but
highly cultivated enclosures of respectable English rustics.

The actual beauty of some of the commonest flowers in our gardens can be
in no degree exaggerated--even in the daydreams of the most inspired
poet. And when the author of Lalla Rookh talks so musically and
pleasantly of the fragrant bowers of Amberabad, the country of Delight,
a Province in Jinnistan or Fairy Land, he is only thinking of the
shrubberies and flower-beds at Sloperton Cottage, and the green hills
and vales of Wiltshire.

Sir William Temple observes that "besides the temper of our climate
there are two things particular to us, that contribute much to the
beauty and elegance of our gardens--which are, _the gravel of our walks
and the fineness and almost perpetual greenness of our turf_."

"The face of England is so beautiful," says Horace Walpole, "that I do
not believe that Tempe or Arcadia was half so rural; for both lying in
hot climates must have wanted _the moss of our gardens_." Meyer, a
German, a scientific practical gardener, who was also a writer on
gardening, and had studied his art in the Royal Gardens at Paris, and
afterwards visited England, was a great admirer of English Gardens, but
despaired of introducing our style of gardening into Germany, _chiefly
on account of its inferior turf for lawns_. "Lawns and gravel walks,"
says a writer in the _Quarterly Review_, "are the pride of English
Gardens," "The smoothness and verdure of our lawns," continues the same
writer, "is the first thing in our gardens that catches the eye of a
foreigner; the next is the fineness and firmness of our gravel walks."
Mr. Charles Mackintosh makes the same observation. "In no other country
in the world," he says, "do such things exist." Mrs. Stowe, whose _Uncle
Tom_ has done such service to the cause of liberty in America, on her
visit to England seems to have been quite as much enchanted with our
scenery, as was her countrywoman, Miss Sedgwick. I am pleased to find
Mrs. Stowe recognize the superiority of English landscape-gardening and
of our English verdure. She speaks of, "the princely art of
landscape-gardening, for which England is so famous," and of "_vistas of
verdure and wide sweeps of grass, short, thick, and vividly green_ as the
velvet moss sometimes seen growing on rocks in new England." "Grass," she
observes, "is an art and a science in England--it is an institution. The
pains that are taken in sowing, tending, cutting, clipping, rolling and
otherwise nursing and coaxing it, being seconded by the often-falling
tears of the climate, produce results which must be seen to be
appreciated." This is literally true: any sight more inexpressibly
exquisite than that of an English lawn in fine order is what I am quite
unable to conceive.[003]

I recollect that in one of my visits to England, (in 1827) I attempted
to describe the scenery of India to William Hazlitt--not the living son
but the dead father. Would that he were still in the land of the living
by the side of his friend Leigh Hunt, who has been pensioned by the
Government for his support of that cause for which they were both so
bitterly persecuted by the ruling powers in days gone by. I flattered
myself into the belief that Hazlitt was interested in some of my
descriptions of Oriental scenes. What moved him most was an account of
the dry, dusty, burning, grassless plains of Bundelcund in the hot
season. I told him how once while gasping for breath in a hot verandah
and leaning over the rails I looked down upon the sun-baked ground.

    "A change came o'er the spirit of my dream."

I suddenly beheld with all the distinctness of reality the rich, cool,
green, unrivalled meads of England. But the vision soon melted away, and
I was again in exile. I wept like a child. It was like a beautiful
mirage of the desert, or one of those waking dreams of home which have
sometimes driven the long-voyaging seaman to distraction and urged him
by an irresistible impulse to plunge headlong into the ocean.

When I had once more crossed the wide Atlantic--and (not by the
necromancy of imagination but by a longer and more tedious transit)
found myself in an English meadow,--I exclaimed with the poet,

                                Thou art free
    My country! and 'tis joy enough and pride
    For one hour's perfect bliss, _to tread the grass
    Of England once again_.

I felt my childhood for a time renewed, and was by no means disposed to
second the assertion that

    "Nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower."

I have never beheld any thing more lovely than scenery
characteristically English; and Goldsmith, who was something of a
traveller, and had gazed on several beautiful countries, was justified
in speaking with such affectionate admiration of our still more
beautiful England,

    Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride.

It is impossible to put into any form of words the faintest
representation of that delightful summer feeling which, is excited in
fine weather by the sight of the mossy turf of our country. It is sweet
indeed to go,

    Musing through the _lawny_ vale:

alluded to by Warton, or over Milton's "level downs," or to climb up
Thomson's

                            Stupendous rocks
    That from the sun-redoubling valley lift
    Cool to the middle air their _lawny_ tops.

It gives the Anglo-Indian Exile the heart-ache to think of these
ramblings over English scenes.

ENGLAND.

    Bengala's plains are richly green,
    Her azure skies of dazzling sheen,
    Her rivers vast, her forests grand.
    Her bowers brilliant,--but the land,
    Though dear to countless eyes it be,
    And fair to mine, hath not for me
    The charm ineffable of _home_;
    For still I yearn to see the foam
    Of wild waves on thy pebbled shore,
    Dear Albion! to ascend once more
     Thy snow-white cliffs; to hear again
    The murmur of thy circling main--
    To stroll down each romantic dale
    Beloved in boyhood--to inhale
    Fresh life on green and breezy hills--
    To trace the coy retreating rills--
    To see the clouds at summer-tide
    Dappling all the landscape wide--
    To mark the varying gloom and glow
    As the seasons come and go--
    Again the green meads to behold
    Thick strewn with silvery gems and gold,
    Where kine, bright-spotted, large, and sleek,
    Browse silently, with aspect meek,
    Or motionless, in shallow stream
    Stand mirror'd, till their twin shapes seem,
    Feet linked to feet, forbid to sever,
    By some strange magic fixed for ever.

    And oh! once more I fain would see
    (Here never seen) a poor man _free_,[004]
    And valuing more an humble name,
    But stainless, than a guilty fame,
    How sacred is the simplest cot,
    Where Freedom dwells!--where she is not
    How mean the palace! Where's the spot
    She loveth more than thy small isle,
    Queen of the sea? Where hath her smile
    So stirred man's inmost nature? Where
    Are courage firm, and virtue fair,
    And manly pride, so often found
    As in rude huts on English ground,
    Where e'en the serf who slaves for hire
    May kindle with a freeman's fire?

    How proud a sight to English eyes
    Are England's village families!
    The patriarch, with his silver hair,
    The matron grave, the maiden fair.
    The rose-cheeked boy, the sturdy lad,
    On Sabbath day all neatly clad:--
    Methinks I see them wend their way
    On some refulgent morn of May,
    By hedgerows trim, of fragrance rare,
    Towards the hallowed House of Prayer!

    I can love _all_ lovely lands,
    But England _most_; for she commands.
    As if she bore a parent's part,
    The dearest movements of my heart;
    And here I may not breathe her name.
    Without a thrill through all my frame.

    Never shall this heart be cold
    To thee, my country! till the mould
    (Or _thine_ or _this_) be o'er it spread.
    And form its dark and silent bed.
    I never think of bliss below
    But thy sweet hills their green heads show,
    Of love and beauty never dream.
    But English faces round me gleam!

D.L.R.

I have often observed that children never wear a more charming aspect
than when playing in fields and gardens. In another volume I have
recorded some of my impressions respecting the prominent interest
excited by these little flowers of humanity in an English landscape.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE RETURN TO ENGLAND.

When I re-visited my dear native country, after an absence of many weary
years, and a long dull voyage, my heart was filled with unutterable
delight and admiration. The land seemed a perfect paradise. It was in
the spring of the year. The blue vault of heaven--the clear
atmosphere--the balmy vernal breeze--the quiet and picturesque cattle,
browsing on luxuriant verdure, or standing knee deep in a crystal
lake--the hills sprinkled with snow-white sheep and sometimes partially
shadowed by a wandering cloud--the meadows glowing with golden butter-cups
and be-dropped with daisies--the trim hedges of crisp and sparkling
holly--the sound of near but unseen rivulets, and the songs of
foliage-hidden birds--the white cottages almost buried amidst trees, like
happy human nests--the ivy-covered church, with its old grey spire
"pointing up to heaven," and its gilded vane gleaming in the light--the
sturdy peasants with their instruments of healthy toil--the white-capped
matrons bleaching their newly-washed garments in the sun, and throwing
them like snow-patches on green slopes, or glossy garden shrubs--the
sun-browned village girls, resting idly on their round elbows at small
open casements, their faces in sweet keeping with the trellised
flowers:--all formed a combination of enchantments that would mock the
happiest imitative efforts of human art. But though the bare enumeration
of the details of this English picture, will, perhaps, awaken many dear
recollections in the reader's mind, I have omitted by far the most
interesting feature of the whole scene--_the rosy children, loitering
about the cottage gates, or tumbling gaily on the warm grass_.[005][006]

Two scraps of verse of a similar tendency shall follow this prose
description:--

AN ENGLISH LANDSCAPE.

    I stood, upon an English hill,
    And saw the far meandering rill,
    A vein of liquid silver, run
    Sparkling in the summer sun;
    While adown that green hill's side,
    And along the valley wide,
    Sheep, like small clouds touched with light,
    Or like little breakers bright,
    Sprinkled o'er a smiling sea,
    Seemed to float at liberty.

    Scattered all around were seen,
    White cots on the meadows green.
    Open to the sky and breeze,
    Or peeping through the sheltering trees,
    On a light gate, loosely hung,
    Laughing children gaily swung;
    Oft their glad shouts, shrill and clear,
    Came upon the startled ear.
    Blended with the tremulous bleat,
    Of truant lambs, or voices sweet,
    Of birds, that take us by surprise,
    And mock the quickly-searching eyes.

    Nearer sat a fair-haired boy,
    Whistling with a thoughtless joy;
    A shepherd's crook was in his hand,
    Emblem of a mild command;
    And upon his rounded cheek
    Were hues that ripened apples streak.
    Disease, nor pain, nor sorrowing,
    Touched that small Arcadian king;
    His sinless subjects wandered free--
    Confusion without anarchy.
    Happier he upon his throne.
    The breezy hill--though all alone--
    Than the grandest monarchs proud
    Who mistrust the kneeling crowd.

    On a gently rising ground,
    The lovely valley's farthest bound,
    Bordered by an ancient wood,
    The cots in thicker clusters stood;
    And a church, uprose between,
    Hallowing the peaceful scene.
    Distance o'er its old walls threw
    A soft and dim cerulean hue,
    While the sun-lit gilded spire
    Gleamed as with celestial fire!

    I have crossed the ocean wave,
    Haply for a foreign grave;
    Haply never more to look
    On a British hill or brook;
    Haply never more to hear
    Sounds unto my childhood dear;
    Yet if sometimes on my soul
    Bitter thoughts beyond controul
    Throw a shade more dark than night,
    Soon upon the mental sight
    Flashes forth a pleasant ray
    Brighter, holier than the day;
    And unto that happy mood
    All seems beautiful and good.

D.L.R.

LINES TO A LADY,

WHO PRESENTED THE AUTHOR WITH SOME ENGLISH FRUITS AND FLOWERS.

    Green herbs and gushing springs in some hot waste
    Though, grateful to the traveller's sight and taste,
    Seem far less sweet and fair than fruits and flowers
    That breathe, in foreign lands, of English bowers.

    Thy gracious gift, dear lady, well recalls
    Sweet scenes of home,--the white cot's trellised walls--
    The trim red garden path--the rustic seat--
    The jasmine-covered arbour, fit retreat
    For hearts that love repose. Each spot displays
    Some long-remembered charm. In sweet amaze
    I feel as one who from a weary dream
    Of exile wakes, and sees the morning beam
    Illume the glorious clouds of every hue
    That float o'er scenes his happy childhood knew.

    How small a spark may kindle fancy's flame
    And light up all the past! The very same
    Glad sounds and sights that charmed my heart of old
    Arrest me now--I hear them and behold.

    Ah! yonder is the happy circle seated
    Within, the favorite bower! I am greeted
    With joyous shouts; my rosy boys have heard
    A father's voice--their little hearts are stirred
    With eager hope of some new toy or treat
    And on they rush, with never-resting feet!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Gone is the sweet illusion--like a scene
    Formed by the western vapors, when between
    The dusky earth, and day's departing light
    The curtain falls of India's sudden night.

D.L.R.

The verdant carpet embroidered with little stars of gold and silver--the
short-grown, smooth, and close-woven, but most delicate and elastic
fresh sward--so soothing to the dazzled eye, so welcome to the wearied
limbs--so suggestive of innocent and happy thoughts,--so refreshing to
the freed visitor, long pent up in the smoky city--is surely no where to
be seen in such exquisite perfection as on the broad meadows and
softly-swelling hills of England. And perhaps in no country in the world
could _pic-nic_ holiday-makers or playful children with more perfect
security of life and health stroll about or rest upon Earth's richly
enamelled floor from sunrise to sunset on a summer's day. No Englishman
would dare to stretch himself at full length and address himself to sleep
upon an Oriental meadow unless he were perfectly indifferent to life
itself and could see nothing terrible in the hostility of the deadliest
reptiles. When wading through the long grass and thick jungles of Bengal,
he is made to acknowledge the full force of the true and beautiful
expression--"_In the midst of life we are in death_." The British Indian
exile on his return home is delighted with the "sweet security" of his
native fields. He may then feel with Wordsworth how

    Dear is the forest frowning o'er his head.
    And dear _the velvet greensward_ to his tread.

Or he may exclaim in the words of poor Keats--now slumbering under a
foreign turf--

    Happy is England! I could be content
    To see no other verdure than her own.

It is a pleasing proof of the fine moral influence of natural scenery
that the most ceremonious strangers can hardly be long seated together
in the open air on the "velvet greensward" without casting off for a
while the cold formalities of artificial life, and becoming as frank and
social as ingenuous school-boys. Nature breathes peace and geniality
into almost every human heart.

"John Thelwall," says Coleridge, "had something very good about him. We
were sitting in a beautiful recess in the Quantocks when I said to him
'Citizen John, this is a fine place to talk treason in!' 'Nay, Citizen
Samuel,' replied he, 'it is rather a place to make us forget that there
is any necessity for treason!'"

Leigh Hunt, who always looks on nature with the eye of a true painter
and the imagination of a true poet, has represented with delightful
force and vividness some of those accidents of light and shade that
diversify an English meadow.

RAIN AND SUNSHINE IN MAY.

"Can any thing be more lovely, than the meadows between the rains of
May, when the sun smites them on the sudden like a painter, and they
laugh up at him, as if he had lighted a loving cheek!

I speak of a season when the returning threats of cold and the resisting
warmth of summer time, make robust mirth in the air; when the winds
imitate on a sudden the vehemence of winter; and silver-white clouds are
abrupt in their coming down and shadows on the grass chase one another,
panting, over the fields, like a pursuit of spirits. With undulating
necks they pant forward, like hounds or the leopard.

See! the cloud is after the light, gliding over the country like the
shadow of a god; and now the meadows are lit up here and there with
sunshine, as if the soul of Titian were standing in heaven, and playing
his fancies on them. Green are the trees in shadow; but the trees in the
sun how twenty-fold green _they_ are--rich and variegated with gold!"

One of the many exquisite out-of-doors enjoyments for the observers of
nature, is the sight of an English harvest. How cheering it is to behold
the sickles flashing in the sun, as the reapers with well sinewed arm,
and with a sweeping movement, mow down the close-arrayed ranks of the
harvest field! What are "the rapture of the strife" and all the "pomp,
pride and circumstance of glorious war," that bring death to some and
agony and grief to others, compared with the green and golden trophies
of the honest Husbandman whose bloodless blade makes no wife a widow, no
child an orphan,--whose office is not to spread horror and desolation
through shrieking cities, but to multiply and distribute the riches of
nature over a smiling land.

But let us quit the open fields for a time, and turn again to the
flowery retreats of

    Retired Leisure
    That in trim gardens takes his pleasure.

In all ages, in all countries, in all creeds, a garden is represented as
the scene not only of earthly but of celestial enjoyment. The ancients
had their Elysian Fields and the garden of the Hesperides, the Christian
has his Garden of Eden, the Mahommedan his Paradise of groves and
flowers and crystal fountains and black eyed Houries.

"God Almighty," says Lord Bacon, "first planted a garden; and indeed it
is the purest of all pleasures: it is the greatest refreshment to the
spirits of man." Bacon, though a utilitarian philosopher, was such a
lover of flowers that he was never satisfied unless he saw them in
almost every room of his house, and when he came to discourse of them in
his Essays, his thoughts involuntarily moved harmonious numbers. How
naturally the following prose sentence in Bacon's Essay on Gardens
almost resolves itself into verse.

"For the heath which was the first part of our plot, I wish it to be
framed as much as may be to a natural wildness. Trees I would have none
in it, but some thickets made only of sweet briar and honeysuckle, and
some wild vine amongst; and the ground set with violets, strawberries
and primroses; for these are sweet, and prosper in the shade."

    "For the heath which was the third part of our plot--
      I wish it to be framed
    As much as may be to a natural wildness.
    Trees I'd have none in't, but some thickets made
    Only of sweet-briar and honey-suckle,
    And some wild vine amongst; and the ground set
    With violets, strawberries, and primroses;
    For these are sweet and prosper in the shade."

It has been observed that the love of gardens is the only passion which
increases with age. It is generally the most indulged in the two
extremes of life. In middle age men are often too much involved in the
affairs of the busy world fully to appreciate the tranquil pleasures in
the gift of Flora. Flowers are the toys of the young and a source of the
sweetest and serenest enjoyments for the old. But there is no season of
life for which they are unfitted and of which they cannot increase the
charm.

"Give me," says the poet Rogers, "a garden well kept, however small, two
or three spreading trees and a mind at ease, and I defy the world." The
poet adds that he would not have his garden, too much extended. He seems
to think it possible to have too much of a good thing. "Three acres of
flowers and a regiment of gardeners," he says, "bring no more pleasure
than a sufficiency." "A hundred thousand roses," he adds, "which we look
at _en masse_, do not identify themselves in the same manner as even a
very small border; and hence, if the cottager's mind is properly
attuned, the little cottage-garden may give him more real delight than
belongs to the owner of a thousand acres." In a smaller garden "we
become acquainted, as it were," says the same poet, "and even form
friendships with, individual flowers." It is delightful to observe how
nature thus adjusts the inequalities of fortune and puts the poor man,
in point of innocent happiness, on a level with the rich. The man of the
most moderate means may cultivate many elegant tastes, and may have
flowers in his little garden that the greatest sovereign in the world
might enthusiastically admire. Flowers are never vulgar. A rose from a
peasant's patch of ground is as fresh and elegant and fragrant as if it
had been nurtured in a Royal parterre, and it would not be out of place
in the richest porcelain vase of the most aristocratical drawing-room in
Europe. The poor man's flower is a present for a princess, and of all
gifts it is the one least liable to be rejected even by the haughty. It
might he worn on the fair brow or bosom of Queen Victoria with a nobler
grace than the costliest or most elaborate production of the goldsmith
or the milliner.

The majority of mankind, in the most active spheres of life, have
moments in which they sigh for rural retirement, and seldom dream of
such a retreat without making a garden the leading charm of it. Sir
Henry Wotton says that Lord Bacon's garden was one of the best that he
had seen either at home or abroad. Evelyn, the author of "Sylva, or a
Discourse of Forest Trees," dwells with fond admiration, and a pleasing
egotism, on the charms of his own beautiful and highly cultivated estate
at Wooton in the county of Surrey. He tells us that the house is large
and ancient and is "sweetly environed with delicious streams and
venerable woods." "I will say nothing," he continues, "of the air,
because the pre-eminence is universally given to Surrey, the soil being
dry and sandy; but I should speak much of the gardens, fountains and
groves that adorn it, were they not generally known to be amongst the
most natural, and (till this later and universal luxury of the whole
nation, since abounding in such expenses) the most magnificent that
England afforded, and which indeed gave one of the first examples to
that elegancy, since so much in vogue and followed, for the managing of
their waters and other elegancies of that nature." Before he came into
the possession of his paternal estate he resided at _Say's Court_, near
Deptford, an estate which he possessed by purchase, and where he had a
superb holly hedge four hundred feet long, nine feet high and five feet
broad. Of this hedge, he was particularly proud, and he exultantly asks,
"Is there under heaven a more glorious and refreshing object of the
kind?" When the Czar of Muscovy visited England in 1698 to instruct
himself in the art of ship-building, he had the use of Evelyn's house
and garden, at _Say's Court_, and while there did so much damage to the
latter that the owner loudly and bitterly complained. At last the
Government gave Evelyn £150 as an indemnification. Czar Peter's favorite
amusement was to ride in a wheel barrow through what its owner had once
called the "impregnable hedge of holly." Evelyn was passionately fond of
gardening. "The life and felicity of an excellent gardener," he
observes, "is preferable to all other diversions." His faith in the art
of Landscape-gardening was unwavering. It could _remove mountains_. Here
is an extract from his Diary.

    "Gave his brother some directions about his garden" (at Wooton
    Surrey), "which, he was desirous to put into some form, for
    which he was to remove a mountain overgrown with large trees and
    thickets and a moat within ten yards of the house."

No sooner said than done. His brother dug down the mountain and
"flinging it into a rapid stream (which carried away the sand) filled up
the moat and levelled that noble area where now the garden and fountain
is."

Though Evelyn dearly loved a garden, his chief delight was not in
flowers but in forest trees, and he was more anxious to improve the
growth of plants indigenous to the soil than to introduce exotics.[007]

Sir William Temple was so attached to his garden, that he left
directions in his will that his heart should be buried there. It was
enclosed in a silver box and placed under a sun-dial.

Dr. Thomson Reid, the eminent Scottish metaphysician, used to be found
working in his garden in his eighty-seventh year.

The name of Chatham is in the long list of eminent men who have enjoyed
a garden. We are told that "he loved the country: took peculiar pleasure
in gardening; and had an extremely happy taste in laying out grounds."
What a delightful thing it must have been for that great statesman, thus
to relieve his mind from the weight of public care in the midst of quiet
bowers planted and trained by his own hand!

Burton, in his _Anatomy of Melancholy_, notices the attractions of a
garden as amongst the finest remedies for depression of the mind. I must
give the following extracts from his quaint but interesting pages.

    "To see the pleasant fields, the crystal fountains,
    And take the gentle air amongst the mountains.

"To walk amongst orchards, gardens, bowers, mounts, and arbours,
artificial wildernesses, green thickets, arches, groves, lawns,
rivulets, fountains, and such like pleasant places, (like that
Antiochian Daphne,) brooks, pools, fishponds, between wood and water, in
a fair meadow, by a river side, _ubi variae avium cantationes, florum
colores, pratorum frutices_, &c. to disport in some pleasant plain, or
park, run up a steep hill sometimes, or sit in a shady seat, must needs
be a delectable recreation. _Hortus principis et domus ad delectationem
facta, cum sylvâ, monte et piscinâ, vulgò la montagna_: the prince's
garden at Ferrara, Schottus highly magnifies, with the groves,
mountains, ponds, for a delectable prospect; he was much affected with
it; a Persian paradise, or pleasant park, could not be more delectable
in his sight. St. Bernard, in the description of his monastery, is
almost ravished with the pleasures of it. "A sick man (saith he) sits
upon a green bank, and when the dog-star parcheth the plains, and dries
up rivers, he lies in a shady bower," _Fronde sub arborea ferventia
temperat astra_, "and feeds his eyes with variety of objects, herbs,
trees, to comfort his misery; he receives many delightsome smells, and
fills his ears with that sweet and various harmony of birds; _good God_,
(saith he), _what a company of pleasures hast thou made for man!_"

       *       *       *       *       *

"The country hath his recreations, the city his several gymnics and
exercises, May games, feasts, wakes, and merry meetings to solace
themselves; the very being in the country; that life itself is a
sufficient recreation to some men, to enjoy such pleasures, as those old
patriarchs did. Dioclesian, the emperor, was so much affected with it,
that he gave over his sceptre, and turned gardener. Constantine wrote
twenty books of husbandry. Lysander, when ambassadors came to see him,
bragged of nothing more than of his orchard, _hi sunt ordines mei_. What
shall I say of Cincinnatus, Cato, Tully, and many such? how they have
been pleased with it, to prune, plant, inoculate and graft, to show so
many several kinds of pears, apples, plums, peaches, &c."

The Romans of all ranks made use of flowers as ornaments and emblems,
but they were not generally so fond of directing or assisting the
gardener, or taking the spade or hoe into their own hands, as are the
British peasantry, gentry and nobility of the present day. They were not
amateur Florists. They prized highly their fruit trees and pastures and
cool grottoes and umbrageous groves; but they expended comparatively
little time, skill or taste upon the flower-garden. Even their love of
nature, though thoroughly genuine as far as it went, did not imply that
minute and exact knowledge of her charms which characterizes some of our
best British poets. They had no Thompson or Cowper. Their country seats
were richer in architectural than floral beauty. Tully's Tuscan Villa,
so fondly and minutely described by the proprietor himself, would appear
to little advantage in the eyes of a true worshipper of Flora, if
compared with Pope's retreat at Twickenham. The ancients had a taste for
the _rural_, not for the _gardenesque_, nor perhaps even for the
_picturesque_. The English have a taste for all three. Hence they have
good landscape-gardeners and first-rate landscape-painters. The old
Romans had neither. But though, some of our Spitalfields weavers have
shown a deeper love, and perhaps even a finer taste, for flowers, than
were exhibited by the citizens of Rome, abundant evidence is furnished
to us by the poets in all ages and in all countries that nature, in some
form or another has ever charmed the eye and the heart of man. The
following version of a famous passage in Virgil, especially the lines in
Italics, may give the English reader some idea of a Roman's dream of

RURAL HAPPINESS.

    Ah! happy Swains! if they their bliss but knew,
    Whom, far from boisterous war, Earth's bosom true
    With easy food supplies. If they behold
    No lofty dome its gorgeous gates unfold
    And pour at morn from all its chambers wide
    Of flattering visitants the mighty tide;
    Nor gaze on beauteous columns richly wrought,
    Or tissued robes, or busts from Corinth brought;
    Nor their white wool with Tyrian poison soil,
    Nor taint with Cassia's bark their native oil;
    _Yet peace is theirs; a life true bliss that yields;
    And various wealth; leisure mid ample fields,
    Grottoes, and living lakes, and vallies green,
    And lowing herds; and 'neath a sylvan screen,
    Delicious slumbers. There the lawn and cave
    With beasts of chase abound._ The young ne'er crave
    A prouder lot; their patient toil is cheered;
    Their Gods are worshipped and their sires revered;
    And there when Justice passed from earth away
    She left the latest traces of her sway.

D.L.R.

Lord Bacon was perhaps the first Englishman who endeavored to reform the
old system of English gardening, and to show that it was contrary to
good taste and an insult to nature. "As for making knots or figures," he
says, "with divers colored earths, that may lie under the windows of the
house on that side on which the garden stands, they be but toys: you may
see as good sights many times in tarts." Bacon here alludes, I suppose,
to the old Dutch fashion of dividing flowerbeds into many compartments,
and instead of filling them with flowers, covering one with red brick
dust, another with charcoal, a third with yellow sand, a fourth with
chalk, a fifth with broken China, and others with green glass, or with
spars and ores. But Milton, in his exquisite description of the garden
of Eden, does not allude to the same absurd fashion when he speaks of
"curious knots,"

                              Which not nice art,
    In beds and _curious knots_, but nature boon
    Poured forth profuse on hill and dale and plain.

By these _curious knots_ the poet seems to allude, not to figures of
"divers colored earth," but to the artificial and complicated
arrangements and divisions of flowers and flower-beds.

Though Bacon went not quite so freely to nature as our latest
landscape-gardeners have done, he made the _first step_ in the right
direction and deserves therefore the compliment which Mason has paid him
in his poem of _The English Garden_.

                              On thy realm
    Philosophy his sovereign lustre spread;
    Yet did he deign to light with casual glance
    The wilds of Taste, Yes, sagest Verulam,
    'Twas thine to banish from the royal groves
    Each childish vanity of crisped knot[008]

    And sculptured foliage; to the lawn restore
    Its ample space, and bid it feast the sight
    With verdure pure, unbroken, unabridged;
    For verdure soothes the eye, as roseate sweets
    The smell, or music's melting strains the ear.

Yes--"_verdure soothes the eye_:"--and the mind too. Bacon himself
observes, that "nothing is more pleasant to the eye than green grass
kept finely shorn." Mason slightly qualifies his commendation of "the
sage" by admitting that he had not quite completed his emancipation from
the bad taste of his day.

                Witness his high arched hedge
    In pillored state by carpentry upborn,
    With colored mirrors decked and prisoned birds.
    But, when our step has paced the proud parterre,
    And reached the heath, then Nature glads our eye
    Sporting in all her lovely carelessness,
    There smiles in varied tufts the velvet rose,
    There flaunts the gadding woodbine, swells the ground
    In gentle hillocks, and around its sides
    Through blossomed shades the secret pathway steals.

_The English Garden_.

In one of the notes to _The English Garden_ it is stated that "Bacon was
the prophet, Milton the herald of modern Gardening; and Addison, Pope,
and Kent the champions of true taste." Kent was by profession both a
Painter and a Landscape-Gardener. Addison who had a pretty little
retreat at Bilton, near Rugby, evinces in most of his occasional
allusions to gardens a correct judgment. He complains that even in _his_
time our British gardeners, instead of humouring nature, loved to
deviate from it as much as possible. The system of verdant sculpture had
not gone out of fashion. Our trees still rose in cones, globes, and
pyramids. The work of the scissors was on every plant and bush. It was
Pope, however, who did most to bring the topiary style into contempt and
to encourage a more natural taste, by his humorous paper in the
_Guardian_ and his poetical Epistle to the Earl of Burlington. Gray, the
poet, observes in one of his letters, that "our skill in gardening, or
rather laying out grounds, is the only taste we can call our own; the
only proof of original talent in matters of pleasure. This is no small
honor to us;" he continues, "since neither France nor Italy, has ever
had the least notion of it." "Whatever may have been reported, whether
truly or falsely" (says a contributor to _The World_) "of the Chinese
gardens, it is certain that we are the first of the Europeans who have
founded this taste; and we have been so fortunate in the genius of those
who have had the direction of some of the finest spots of ground, that
we may now boast a success equal to that profusion of expense which has
been destined to promote the rapid progress of this happy enthusiasm.
Our gardens are already the astonishment of foreigners, and, in
proportion as they accustom themselves to consider and understand them
will become their admiration." The periodical from which this is taken
was published exactly a century ago, and the writer's prophecy has been
long verified. Foreigners send to us for gardeners to help them to lay
out their grounds in the English fashion. And we are told by the writer
of an interesting article on gardens, in the _Quarterly Review_, that
"the lawns at Paris, to say nothing of Naples, are regularly irrigated
to keep up even the semblance of English verdure; and at the gardens of
Versailles, and Caserta, near Naples, the walks have been supplied from
the Kensington gravel-pits." "It is not probably known," adds the same
writer, "that among our exportations every year is a large quantity of
evergreens for the markets of France and Germany, and that there are
some nurserymen almost wholly engaged in this branch of trade."

Pomfret, a poet of small powers, if a poet at all, has yet contrived to
produce a popular composition in verse--_The Choice_--because he has
touched with great good fortune on some of the sweetest domestic hopes
and enjoyments of his countrymen.

    If Heaven the grateful liberty would give
    That I might choose my method how to live;
    And all those hours propitious Fate should lend
    In blissful ease and satisfaction spend;
    Near some fair town I'd have a private seat
    Built uniform; not little; nor too great:
    Better if on a rising ground it stood,
    On this side fields, on that a neighbouring wood.

_The Choice_.

Pomfret perhaps illustrates the general taste when he places his garden
"_near some fair town_." Our present laureate, though a truly inspired
poet, and a genuine lover of Nature even in her remotest retreats, has
the garden of his preference, "_not quite beyond the busy world_."

    Not wholly in the busy world, nor quite
    Beyond it, blooms the garden that I love,
    News from the humming city comes to it
    In sound of funeral or of marriage bells;
    And sitting muffled in dark leaves you hear
    The windy clanging of the minster clock;
    Although between it and the garden lies
    A league of grass.

Even "sounds inharmonious in themselves and harsh" are often pleasing
when mellowed by the space of air through which they pass.

    'Tis distance lends enchantment to the _sound_.

Shelley, in one of his sweetest poems, speaking of a scene in the
neighbourhood of Naples, beautifully says:--

    Like many a voice of one delight,
    The winds, the birds, the ocean floods,
    _The city's voice itself is soft_, like solitude's.

No doubt the feeling that we are _near_ the crowd but not _in_ it, may
deepen the sense of our own happy rural seclusion and doubly endear that
pensive leisure in which we can "think down hours to moments," and in

    This our life, exempt from public haunt,
    Find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
    Sermons in stones, and good in every thing.

_Shakespeare_.

Besides, to speak truly, few men, however studious or philosophical,
desire a total isolation from the world. It is pleasant to be able to
take a sort of side glance at humanity, even when we are most in love
with nature, and to feel that we can join our fellow creatures again
when the social feeling returns upon us. Man was not made to live alone.
Cowper, though he clearly loved retirement and a garden, did not desire
to have the pleasure entirely to himself. "Grant me," he says, "a friend
in my retreat."

    To whom to whisper solitude is sweet.

Cowper lived and died a bachelor. In the case of a married man and a
father, garden delights are doubled by the presence of the family and
friends, if wife and children happen to be what they should be, and the
friends are genuine and genial.

All true poets delight in gardens. The truest that ever lived spent his
latter days at New Place in Stratford-upon-Avon. He had a spacious and
beautiful garden. Charles Knight tells us that "the Avon washed its
banks; and within its enclosures it had its sunny terraces and green
lawns, its pleached alleys and honeysuckle bowers," In this garden
Shakespeare planted with his own hands his celebrated Mulberry tree. It
was a noble specimen of the black Mulberry introduced into England in
1548[009]. In 1605, James I. issued a Royal edict recommending the
cultivation of silkworms and offering packets of mulberry seeds to those
amongst his subjects who were willing to sow them. Shakespeare's tree
was planted in 1609. Mr. Loudon, observes that the black Mulberry has
been known from the earliest records of antiquity and that it is twice
mentioned in the Bible: namely, in the second Book of Samuel and in the
Psalms. When New Place was in the possession of Sir Hough Clopton, who
was proud of its interesting association with the history of our great
poet, not only were Garrick and Macklin most hospitably entertained
under the Mulberry tree, but all strangers on a proper application were
admitted to a sight of it. But when Sir Hough Clopton was succeeded by
the Reverend Francis Gastrell, that gentleman, to save himself the
trouble of showing the tree to visitors, had "the gothic barbarity" to
cut down and root up that interesting--indeed _sacred_ memorial--of the
Pride of the British Isles. The people of Stratford were so enraged at
this sacrilege that they broke Mr. Gastrell's windows. That prosaic
personage at last found the place too hot for him, and took his
departure from a town whose inhabitants "doated on his very absence;"
but before he went he completed the fall sum of his sins against good
taste and good feeling by pulling to the ground the house in which
Shakespeare had lived and died. This was done, it is said, out of sheer
spite to the towns-people, with some of whom Mr. Gastrell had had a
dispute about the rate at which the house was taxed. His change of
residence was no great relief to him, for the whole British public felt
sorely aggrieved, and wherever he went he was peppered with all sorts of
squibs and satires. He "slid into verse," and "hitched in a rhyme."

    Sacred to ridicule his whole life long,
    And the sad burden of a merry song.

Thomas Sharp, a watchmaker, got possession of the fragments of
Shakespeare's Mulberry tree, and worked them into all sorts of elegant
ornaments and toys, and disposed of them at great prices. The
corporation of Stratford presented Garrick with the freedom of the town
in a box made of the wood of this famous tree, and the compliment seems
to have suggested to him his public festival or pageant in honor of the
poet. This Jubilee, which was got up with great zeal, and at great
expense and trouble, was attended by vast throngs of the admirers of
Shakespeare from all parts of the kingdom. It was repeated on the stage
and became so popular as a theatrical exhibition that it was represented
night after night for more than half a season to crowded audiences.

Upon the subject of gardens, let us hear what has been said by the
self-styled "melancholy Cowley." When in the smoky city pent, amidst the
busy hum of men, he sighed unceasingly for some green retreat. As he paced
the crowded thorough-fares of London, he thought of the velvet turf and
the pure air of the country. His imagination carried him into secluded
groves or to the bank of a murmuring river, or into some trim and quiet
garden. "I never," he says, "had any other desire so strong and so like
to covetousness, as that one which I have had always, that I might be
master at last of a small house and a large garden, with very moderate
conveniences joined to them, and there dedicate the remainder of my life
only to the culture of them and the study of nature," The late Miss
Mitford, whose writings breathe so freshly of the nature that she loved
so dearly, realized for herself a similar desire. It is said that she
had the cottage of a peasant with the garden of a Duchess. Cowley is not
contented with expressing in plain prose his appreciation of garden
enjoyments. He repeatedly alludes to them in verse.

    Thus, thus (and this deserved great Virgil's praise)
    The old Corycian yeoman passed his days;
    Thus his wise life Abdolonymus spent;
    Th' ambassadors, which the great emperor sent
    To offer him a crown, with wonder found
    The reverend gardener, hoeing of his ground;
    Unwillingly and slow and discontent
    From his loved cottage to a throne he went;
    And oft he stopped, on his triumphant way:
    And oft looked back: and oft was heard to say
    Not without sighs, Alas! I there forsake
    A happier kingdom than I go to take.

_Lib. IV. Plantarum_.

Here is a similar allusion by the same poet to the delights which great
men amongst the ancients have taken in a rural retirement.

    Methinks, I see great Dioclesian walk
    In the Salonian garden's noble shade
    Which by his own imperial hands was made,
    I see him smile, methinks, as he does talk
    With the ambassadors, who come in vain
    To entice him to a throne again.

    "If I, my friends," said he, "should to you show
    All the delights which in these gardens grow,
    'Tis likelier much that you should with me stay,
    Than 'tis that you should carry me away:
    And trust me not, my friends, if every day
    I walk not here with more delight,

    Than ever, after the most happy sight
    In triumph to the Capitol I rode,
    To thank the gods, and to be thought myself almost a god,"

_The Garden_.

Cowley does not omit the important moral which a garden furnishes.

    Where does the wisdom and the power divine
    In a more bright and sweet reflection shine?
    Where do we finer strokes and colors see
    Of the Creator's real poetry.
    Than when we with attention look
    Upon the third day's volume of the book?
    If we could open and intend our eye
    _We all, like Moses, might espy,
    E'en in a bush, the radiant Deity_.

In Leigh Hunt's charming book entitled _The Town_, I find the following
notice of the partiality of poets for houses with gardens attached to
them:--

"It is not surprizing that _garden-houses_ as they were called; should
have formerly abounded in Holborn, in Bunhill Row, and other (at that
time) suburban places. We notice the fact, in order to observe _how fond
the poets were of occupying houses of this description. Milton seems to
have made a point of having one_. The only London residence of Chapman
which is known, was in Old Street Road; doubtless at that time a rural
suburb. Beaumont and Fletcher's house, on the Surrey side of the Thames,
(for they lived as well as wrote together,) most probably had a garden;
and Dryden's house in Gerard Street looked into the garden of the
mansion built by the Earls of Leicester. A tree, or even a flower, put
in a window in the streets of a great city, (and the London citizens, to
their credit, are fond of flowers,) affects the eye something in the
same way as the hand-organs, which bring unexpected music to the ear.
They refresh the common-places of life, shed a harmony through the busy
discord, and appeal to those first sources of emotion, which are
associated with the remembrance of all that is young and innocent."

Milton must have been a passionate lover of flowers and flower-gardens
or he could never have exhibited the exquisite taste and genial feeling
which characterize all the floral allusions and descriptions with which
so much of his poetry is embellished. He lived for some time in a house
in Westminster over-looking the Park. The same house was tenanted by
Jeremy Bentham for forty years. It would be difficult to meet with any
two individuals of more opposite temperaments than the author of
_Paradise Lost_ and the Utilitarian Philosopher. There is or was a stone
in the wall at the end of the garden inscribed TO THE PRINCE OF POETS.
Two beautiful cotton trees overarched the inscription, "and to show"
says Hazlitt, (who subsequently lived in the same house himself,) "how
little the refinements of taste or fancy entered Bentham's system, he
proposed at one time to cut down these beautiful trees, to convert the
garden, where he had breathed an air of truth and heaven for near half a
century, into a paltry Chreistomathic School, and to make Milton's house
(the cradle of _Paradise Lost_) a thoroughfare, like a three-stalled
stable, for the idle rabble of Westminster to pass backwards and
forwards to it with their cloven hoofs!"

No poet, ancient or modern, has described a garden on a large scale in
so noble a style as Milton. He has anticipated the finest conceptions of
the latest landscape-gardeners, and infinitely surpassed all the
accounts we have met with of the gardens of the olden time before us.
His Paradise is a

    Spot more delicious than those gardens feigned
    Or of revived Adonis or renowned
    Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son
    Or that, not mystic, where the sapient King
    Held dalliance with his fair Egyptian spouse[010]

The description is too long to quote entire, but I must make room for a
delightful extract. Familiar as it must be to all lovers of poetry, who
will object to read it again and again? Genuine poetry is like a
masterpiece of the painter's art:--we can gaze with admiration for the
hundredth time on a noble picture. The mind and the eye are never
satiated with the truly beautiful. "A thing of beauty is a joy for
ever."

PARADISE.[011]

    So on he fares, and to the border comes
    Of Eden, where delicious Paradise,
    Now nearer, crowns with her enclosure green,
    As with a rural mound, the champaign head
    Of a steep wilderness, whose hairy sides
    With thicket overgrown, grotesque and wild,
    Access denied: and overhead up grew
    Insuperable height of loftiest shade,
    Cedar, and pine, and fir, and branching palm,
    A sylvan scene; and as, the ranks ascend
    Shade above shade, a woody theatre
    Of stateliest view. Yet higher than their tops,
    The verdurous wall of Paradise up-sprung:
    Which to our general sire gave prospect large
    Into his nether empire neighbouring round;
    And higher than that wall a circling row
    Of goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit,
    Blossoms and fruits at once, of golden hue,
    Appear'd, with gay enamell'd colours mix'd;
    On which the sun more glad impress'd his beams,
    Than on fair evening cloud, or humid bow.
    When God hath shower'd the earth; so lovely seem'd
    That landscape: and of pure now purer air
    Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
    Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
    All sadness but despair: now gentle gales,
    Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
    Native perfumes and whisper whence they stole
    Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
    Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
    Mozambic, off at sea north-east winds blow
    Sabean odours from the spicy shore
    Of Araby the Blest; with such delay
    Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league
    Cheer'd with the grateful smell, old Ocean smiles.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Southward through Eden went a river large,
    Nor changed his course, but through the shaggy hill
    Pass'd underneath ingulf'd; for God had thrown
    That mountain as his garden mould, high raised
    Upon the rapid current, which through veins
    Of porous earth with kindly thirst up-drawn,
    Rose a fresh fountain, and with many a rill
    Water'd the garden; thence united fell
    Down the steep glade, and met the nether flood,
    Which from his darksome passage now appears;
    And now, divided into four main streams,
    Runs diverse, wandering many a famous realm
    And country, whereof here needs no account;
    But rather to tell how, if art could tell,
    How from that sapphire fount the crisped brooks,
    Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold,
    With mazy error under pendent shades,
    Ran nectar, visiting each plant, and fed
    Flowers worthy of Paradise, which not nice art
    In beds and curious knots, but nature boon
    Pour'd forth profuse on hill, and dale, and plain,
    Both where the morning sun first warmly smote
    The open field, and where the unpierced shade
    Imbrown'd the noontide bowers; thus was this place
    A happy rural seat of various view;
    Groves whose rich, trees wept odorous gums and balm;
    Others whose fruit, burnish'd with golden rind,
    Hung amiable, Hesperian fables true,
    If true, here only, and of delicious taste:
    Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks
    Grazing the tender herb, were interposed;
    Or palmy hillock, or the flowery lap
    Of some irriguous valley spread her store,
    Flowers of all hue, and without thorn the rose:
    Another side, umbrageous grots and caves
    Of cool recess, o'er which the mantling vine
    Lays forth her purple grape, and gently creeps
    Luxuriant; meanwhile murmuring waters fall
    Down the slope hills, dispersed, or in a lake,
    That to the fringed bank with myrtle crown'd
    Her crystal mirror holds, unite their streams.
    The birds their quire apply; airs, vernal airs,
    Breathing the smell of field and grove attune,
    The trembling leaves, while universal Pan,
    Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
    Led on the eternal Spring.

Pope in his grounds at Twickenham, and Shenstone in his garden farm of
the Leasowes, taught their countrymen to understand how much taste and
refinement of soul may be connected with the laying out of gardens and
the cultivation of flowers. I am sorry to learn that the famous retreats
of these poets are not now what they were. The lovely nest of the little
Nightingale of Twickenham has fallen into vulgar hands. And when Mr.
Loudon visited (in 1831) the once beautiful grounds of Shenstone, he
"found them in a state of indescribable neglect and ruin."

Pope said that of all his works that of which he was proudest was his
garden. It was of but five acres, or perhaps less, but to this he is
said to have given a charming variety. He enumerates amongst the friends
who assisted him in the improvement of his grounds, the gallant Earl of
Peterborough "whose lightnings pierced the Iberian lines."

    Know, all the distant din that world can keep,
    Rolls o'er my grotto, and but soothes my sleep.
    There my retreat the best companions grace
    Chiefs out of war and statesmen out of place.
    There St. John mingles with my friendly bowl
    The feast of reason and the flow of soul;
    And he whose lightnings pierced the Iberian lines
    Now forms my quincunx and now ranks my vines;
    Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain
    Almost as quickly as he conquered Spain.

Frederick Prince of Wales took a lively interest in Pope's tasteful
Tusculanum and made him a present of some urns or vases either for his
"laurel circus or to terminate his points." His famous grotto, which he
is so fond of alluding to, was excavated to avoid an inconvenience. His
property lying on both sides of the public highway, he contrived his
highly ornamented passage under the road to preserve privacy and to
connect the two portions of his estate.

The poet has given us in one of his letters a long and lively
description of his subterranean embellishments. But his verse will live
longer than his prose. He has immortalized this grotto, so radiant with
spars and ores and shells, in the following poetical inscription:--

    Thou, who shalt stop, where Thames' translucent wave
    Shines a broad mirror through the shadowy cave,
    Where lingering drops from mineral roofs distil,
    And pointed crystals break the sparkling rill,
    Unpolished gems no ray on pride bestow,
    And latent metals innocently glow,
    Approach! Great Nature studiously behold,
    And eye the mine without a wish for gold
    Approach--but awful! Lo, the Egerian grot,
    Where, nobly pensive, ST JOHN sat and thought,
    Where British sighs from dying WYNDHAM stole,
    And the bright flame was shot thro' MARCHMONT'S soul;
    Let such, such only, tread this sacred floor
    Who dare to love their country, and be poor.

Horace Walpole, speaking of the poet's garden, tells us that "the
passing through the gloom from the grotto to the opening day, the
retiring and again assembling shades, the dusky groves, the larger lawn,
and the solemnity at the cypresses that led up to his mother's tomb,
were managed with exquisite judgment."

            Cliveden's proud alcove,
    The bower of wanton Shrewsbury and love,

alluded to by Pope in his sketch of the character of Villiers, Duke of
Buckingham, though laid out by Kent, was probably improved by the poet's
suggestions. Walpole seems to think that the beautiful grounds at
Rousham, laid out for General Dormer, were planned on the model of the
garden at Twickenham, at least the opening and retiring "shades of
Venus's Vale." And these grounds at Rousham were pronounced "the most
engaging of all Kent's works." It is said that the design of the garden
at Carlton House, was borrowed from that of Pope.

Wordsworth was correct in his observation that "Landscape gardening is a
liberal art akin to the arts of poetry and painting." Walpole describes
it as "an art that realizes painting and improves nature." "Mahomet," he
adds, "imagined an Elysium, but Kent created many."

Pope's mansion was not a very spacious one, but it was large enough for
a private gentleman of inexpensive habits. After the poet's death it was
purchased by Sir William Stanhope who enlarged both the house and
garden.[012] A bust of Pope, in white marble, has been placed over an
arched way with the following inscription from the pen of Lord Nugent:

    The humble roof, the garden's scanty line,
    Ill suit the genius of the bard divine;
    But fancy now displays a fairer scope
    And Stanhope's plans unfold the soul of Pope.

I have not heard who set up this bust with its impudent inscription. I
hope it was not Stanhope himself. I cannot help thinking that it would
have been a truer compliment to the memory of Pope if the house and
grounds had been kept up exactly as he had left them. Most people, I
suspect, would greatly have preferred the poet's own "unfolding of his
soul" to that "_unfolding_" attempted for him by a Stanhope and
commemorated by a Nugent. Pope exhibited as much taste in laying out his
grounds as in constructing his poems. Sir William, after his attempt to
make the garden more worthy of the original designer, might just as
modestly have undertaken to enlarge and improve the poetry of Pope on
the plea that it did not sufficiently _unfold his soul_. A line of Lord
Nugent's might in that case have been transferred from the marble bust
to the printed volume:

    His fancy now displays a fairer scope.

Or the enlarger and improver might have taken his motto from
Shakespeare:

    To my _unfolding_ lend a gracious ear.

This would have been an appropriate motto for the title-page of "_The
Poems of Pope: enlarged and improved: or The Soul of the Poet
Unfolded_."

But in sober truth, Pope, whether as a gardener or as a poet, required
no enlarger or improver of his works. After Sir William Stanhope had
left Pope's villa it came into the possession of Lord Mendip, who
exhibited a proper respect for the poet's memory; but when in 1807 it
was sold to the Baroness Howe, that lady pulled down the house and built
another. The place subsequently came into the possession of a Mr. Young.
The grounds have now no resemblance to what the taste of Pope had once
made them. Even his mother's monument has been removed! Few things would
have more deeply touched the heart of the poet than the anticipation of
this insult to the memory of so revered a parent. His filial piety was
as remarkable as his poetical genius. No passages in his works do him
more honor both as a man and as a poet than those which are mellowed
into a deeper tenderness of sentiment and a softer and sweeter music by
his domestic affections. There are probably few readers of English
poetry who have not the following lines by heart,

    Me, let the tender office long engage
    To rock the cradle of reposing age;
    With lenient arts extend a mother's breath;
    Make langour smile, and smooth the bed of death;
    Explore the thought, explain the asking eye,
    And keep at least one parent from the sky.

In a letter to Swift (dated March 29, 1731) begun by Lord Bolingbroke
and concluded by Pope, the latter speaks thus touchingly of his dear old
parent:

"My Lord has spoken justly of his lady; why not I of my mother?
Yesterday was her birth-day, now entering on the ninety-first year of
her age; her memory much diminished, but her senses very little hurt,
her sight and hearing good; she sleeps not ill, eats moderately, drinks
water, says her prayers; this is all she does. I have reason to thank
God for continuing so long to me a very good and tender parent, and for
allowing me to exercise for some years those cares which are now as
necessary to her, as hers have been to me."

Pope lost his mother two years, two months, and a few days after the
date of this letter. Three days after her death he entreated Richardson,
the painter, to take a sketch of her face, as she lay in her coffin: and
for this purpose Pope somewhat delayed her interment. "I thank God," he
says, "her death was as easy as her life was innocent; and as it cost
her not a groan, nor even a sigh, there is yet upon her countenance such
an expression of tranquillity, nay almost of pleasure, that it is even
amiable to behold it. It would afford the finest image of a saint
expired, that ever painting drew, and it would be the greatest
obligation which even that obliging art could ever bestow upon a friend
if you would come and sketch it for me." The writer adds, "I shall hope
to see you this evening, as late as you will, or to-morrow morning as
early, _before this winter flower is faded_."

On the small obelisk in the garden, erected by Pope to the memory of his
mother, he placed the following simple and pathetic inscription.

    AH! EDITHA!
    MATRUM OPTIMA!
    MULIERUM AMANTISSIMA!
    VALE!

I wonder that any one could have had the heart to remove or to destroy
so interesting a memorial.

It is said that Pope planted his celebrated weeping willow at Twickenham
with his own hands, and that it was the first of its particular species
introduced into England. Happening to be with Lady Suffolk when she
received a parcel from Spain, he observed that it was bound with green
twigs which looked as if they might vegetate. "Perhaps," said he, "these
may produce something that we have not yet in England." He tried a
cutting, and it succeeded. The tree was removed by some person as
barbarous as the reverend gentleman who cut down Shakespeare's Mulberry
Tree. The Willow was destroyed for the same reason, as the Mulberry
Tree--because the owner was annoyed at persons asking to see it. The
Weeping Willow

    That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream,[013]

has had its interest with people in general much increased by its
association with the history of Napoleon in the Island of St. Helena.
The tree whose boughs seemed to hang so fondly over his remains has now
its scions in all parts of the world. Few travellers visited the tomb
without taking a small cutting of the Napoleon Willow for cultivation in
their own land. Slips of the Willow at Twickenham, like those of the
Willow at St. Helena, have also found their way into many countries. In
1789 the Empress of Russia had some of them planted in her garden at St.
Petersburgh.

Mr. Loudon tells us that there is an old _oak_ in Binfield Wood, Windsor
Forest, which is called _Pope's Oak_, and which bears the inscription
"HERE POPE SANG:"[014] but according to general tradition it was a
_beech_ tree, under which Pope wrote his "Windsor Forest." It is said
that as that tree was decayed, Lady Gower had the inscription alluded to
carved upon another tree near it. Perhaps the substituted tree was an
oak.

I may here mention that in the Vale of Avoca there is a tree celebrated
as that under which Thomas Moore wrote the verses entitled "The meeting
of the Waters."

The allusion to _Pope's Oak_ reminds me that Chaucer is said to have
planted three oak trees in Donnington Park near Newbury. Not one of them
is now, I believe, in existence. There is an oak tree in Windsor Forest
above 1000 years old. In the hollow of this tree twenty people might be
accommodated with standing room. It is called _King's Oak_: it was
William the Conqueror's favorite tree. _Herne's Oak_ in Windsor Park, is
said by some to be still standing, but it is described as a mere
anatomy.

    ----An old oak whose boughs are mossed with age,
    And high top bald with dry antiquity.

_As You Like it_.

"It stretches out its bare and sapless branches," says Mr. Jesse, "like
the skeleton arms of some enormous giant, and is almost fearful in its
decay." _Herne's Oak_, as every one knows, is immortalised by
Shakespeare, who has spread its fame over many lands.

    There is an old tale goes that Herne the hunter,
    Sometime a keeper here in Windsor Forest,
    Doth all the winter time, at still midnight,
    Walk round about an oak, with great ragg'd horns,
    And there he blasts the trees, and takes the cattle;
    And makes milch cows yield blood, and shakes a chain
    In a most hideous and dreadful manner.
    You have heard of such a spirit; and well you know,
    The superstitious, idle-headed eld
    Received, and did deliver to our age,
    This tale of Herne the Hunter for a truth.

_Merry Wives of Windsor_.

"Herne, the hunter" is said to have hung himself upon one of the
branches of this tree, and even,

    ----Yet there want not many that do fear,
    In deep of night to walk by this Herne's Oak.

_Merry Wives of Windsor_.

It was not long ago visited by the King of Prussia to whom Shakespeare
had rendered it an object of great interest.

It is unpleasant to add that there is considerable doubt and dispute as
to its identity. Charles Knight and a Quarterly Reviewer both maintain
that _Herne's Oak_ was cut down with a number of other old trees in
obedience to an order from George the Third when he was not in his right
mind, and that his Majesty deeply regretted the order he had given when
he found that the most interesting tree in his Park had been destroyed.
Mr. Jesse, in his _Gleanings in Natural History_, says that after some
pains to ascertain the truth, he is convinced that this story is not
correct, and that the famous old tree is still standing. He adds that
George the Fourth often alluded to the story and said that though one of
the trees cut down was supposed to have been _Herne's Oak_, it was not
so in reality. George the Third, it is said, once called the attention
of Mr. Ingalt, the manager of Windsor Home Park to a particular tree,
and said "I brought you here to point out this tree to you. I commit it
to your especial charge; and take care that no damage is ever done to
it. I had rather that every tree in the park should be cut down than
that this tree should be hurt. _This is Hernes Oak_."

Sir Philip Sidney's Oak at Penshurst mentioned by Ben Jonson--

    That taller tree, of which the nut was set
    At his great birth, where all the Muses met--

is still in existence. It is thirty feet in circumference. Waller also
alludes to

    Yonder tree which stands the sacred mark
    Of noble Sidney's birth.

Yardley Oak, immortalized by Cowper, is now in a state of decay.

    Time made thee what thou wert--king of the woods!
    And time hath made thee what thou art--a cave
    For owls to roost in.

_Cowper_.

The tree is said to be at least fifteen hundred years old. It cannot
hold its present place much longer; but for many centuries to come it
will

    Live in description and look green in song.

It stands on the grounds of the Marquis of Northampton; and to prevent
people from cutting off and carrying away pieces of it as relics, the
following notice has been painted on a board and nailed to the
tree:--"_Out of respect to the memory of the poet Cowper, the Marquis of
Northampton is particularly desirous of preserving this Oak_."

Lord Byron, in early life, planted an oak in the garden at Newstead and
indulged the fancy, that as that flourished so should he. The oak has
survived the poet, but it will not outlive the memory of its planter or
even the boyish verses which he addressed to it.

Pope observes, that "a tree is a nobler object than a prince in his
coronation robes." Yet probably the poet had never seen any tree larger
than a British oak. What would he have thought of the Baobab tree in
Abyssinia, which measures from 80 to 120 feet in girth, and sometimes
reaches the age of five thousand years. We have no such sylvan patriarch
in Europe. The oldest British tree I have heard of, is a yew tree of
Fortingall in Scotland, of which the age is said to be two thousand five
hundred years. If trees had long memories and could converse with man,
what interesting chapters these survivors of centuries might add to the
history of the world!

Pope was not always happy in his Twickenham Paradise. His rural delights
were interrupted for a time by an unrequited passion for the beautiful
and highly-gifted but eccentric Lady Mary Wortley Montague.

    Ah! friend, 'tis true--this truth you lovers know;
    In vain my structures rise, my gardens grow;
    In vain fair Thames reflects the double scenes
    Of hanging mountains and of sloping greens;
    Joy lives not here, to happier seats it flies,
    And only dwells where Wortley casts her eyes.

    What are the gay parterre, the chequered shade,
    The morning bower, the evening colonnade,
    But soft recesses of uneasy minds,
    To sigh unheard in to the passing winds?

    So the struck deer, in some sequestered part,
    Lies down to die, the arrow at his heart;
    He, stretched unseen, in coverts hid from day,
    Bleeds drop by drop, and pants his life away.

These are exquisite lines, and have given delight to innumerable
readers, but they gave no delight to Lady Mary. In writing to her
sister, the Countess of Mar, then at Paris, she says in allusion to
these "most musical, most melancholy" verses--"_I stifled them here; and
I beg they may die the same death at Paris_." It is not, however, quite
so easy a thing as Lady Mary seemed to think, to "stifle" such poetry as
Pope's.

Pope's notions respecting the laying out of gardens are well expressed
in the following extract from the fourth Epistle of his Moral
Essays.[015] This fourth Epistle was addressed, as most readers will
remember, to the accomplished Lord Burlington, who, as Walpole says,
"had every quality of a genius and an artist, except envy. Though his
own designs were more chaste and classic than Kent's, he entertained him
in his house till his death, and was more studious to extend his
friend's fame than his own."

    Something there is more needful than expense,
    And something previous e'en to taste--'tis sense;
    Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven,
    And though no science fairly worth the seven;
    A light, which in yourself you must perceive;
    Jones and Le Nôtre have it not to give.
    To build, or plant, whatever you intend,
    To rear the column or the arch to bend;
    To swell the terrace, or to sink the grot;
    In all let Nature never be forgot.
    But treat the goddess like a modest fair,
    Nor over dress nor leave her wholly bare;
    Let not each beauty every where be spied,
    Where half the skill is decently to hide.
    He gains all points, who pleasingly confounds,
    Surprizes, varies, and conceals the bounds.
    _Consult the genius of the place in all_;[016]
    That tells the waters or to rise or fall;
    Or helps the ambitious hill the heavens to scale,
    Or scoops in circling theatres the vale;
    Calls in the country, catches opening glades,
    Joins willing woods and varies shades from shades;
    Now breaks, or now directs, th' intending lines;
    Paints as you plant, and, as you work, designs.
    Still follow sense, of every art the soul;
    Parts answering parts shall slide into a whole,
    Spontaneous beauties all around advance,
    Start e'en from difficulty, strike from chance;
    Nature shall join you; time shall make it grow
    A work to wonder at--perhaps a STOWE.[017]
    Without it proud Versailles![018] Thy glory falls;
    And Nero's terraces desert their walls.
    The vast parterres a thousand hands shall make,
    Lo! Cobham comes and floats them with a lake;
    Or cut wide views through mountains to the plain,
    You'll wish your hill or sheltered seat again.

Pope is in most instances singularly happy in his compliments, but the
allusion to STOWE--as "_a work to wonder at_"--has rather an equivocal
appearance, and so also has the mention of Lord Cobham, the proprietor
of the place. In the first draught of the poem, the name of Bridgeman
was inserted where Cobham's now stands, but as Bridgeman mistook the
compliment for a sneer, the poet thought the landscape-gardener had
proved himself undeserving of the intended honor, and presented the
second-hand compliment to the peer. The grounds at Stowe, more praised
by poets than any other private estate in England, extend to 400 acres.
There are many other fine estates in our country of far greater extent,
but of less celebrity. Some of them are much too extensive, perhaps, for
true enjoyment. The Earl of Leicester, when he had completed his seat at
Holkham, observed, that "It was a melancholy thing to stand alone in
one's country. I look round; not a house is to be seen but mine. I am
the Giant of Giant-castle and have ate up all my neighbours." The Earl
must have felt that the political economy of Goldsmith in his _Deserted
Village_ was not wholly the work of imagination.

    Sweet smiling village! Loveliest of the lawn,
    Thy sports are fled and all thy charms withdrawn;
    Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen
    And desolation saddens all the green,--
    _One only master grasps thy whole domain_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Where then, ah! where shall poverty reside,
    To scape the pressure of contiguous pride?

"Hearty, cheerful Mr. Cotton," as Lamb calls him, describes Stowe as a
Paradise.

ON LORD COBHAM'S GARDEN.

    It puzzles much the sage's brains
    Where Eden stood of yore,
    Some place it in Arabia's plains,
    Some say it is no more.

    But Cobham can these tales confute,
    As all the curious know;
    For he hath proved beyond dispute,
    That Paradise is STOWE.

Thomson also calls the place a paradise:

            Ye Powers
    That o'er the garden and the rural seat
    Preside, which shining through the cheerful land
    In countless numbers blest Britannia sees;
    O, lead me to the wide-extended walks,
    _The fair majestic paradise of Stowe!_
    Not Persian Cyrus on Ionia's shore
    E'er saw such sylvan scenes; such various art
    By genius fired, such ardent genius tamed
    By cool judicious art, that in the strife
    All-beauteous Nature fears to be out-done.

The poet somewhat mars the effect of this compliment to the charms of
Stowe, by making it a matter of regret that the owner

            His verdant files
    Of ordered trees should here inglorious range,
    Instead of squadrons flaming o'er the field,
    And long embattled hosts.

This representation of rural pursuits as inglorious, a sentiment so out
of keeping with his subject, is soon after followed rather
inconsistently, by a sort of paraphrase of Virgil's celebrated picture
of rural felicity, and some of Thomson's own thoughts on the advantages
of a retreat from active life.

    Oh, knew he but his happiness, of men
    The happiest he! Who far from public rage
    Deep in the vale, with a choice few retired
    Drinks the pure pleasures of the rural life, &c.

Then again:--

    Let others brave the flood in quest of gain
    And beat for joyless months, the gloomy wave.
    _Let such as deem it glory to destroy,
    Rush into blood, the sack of cities seek;
    Unpierced, exulting in the widow's wail,
    The virgin's shriek and infant's trembling cry._

       *       *       *       *       *

    While he, from all the stormy passions free
    That restless men involve, hears and _but_ hears,
    At distance safe, the human tempest roar,
    Wrapt close in conscious peace. The fall of kings,
    The rage of nations, and the crush of states,
    Move not the man, who from the world escaped,
    In still retreats and flowery solitudes,
    To nature's voice attends, from month to month,
    And day to day, through the revolving year;
    Admiring sees her in her every shape;
    Feels all her sweet emotions at his heart;
    Takes what she liberal gives, nor asks for more.
    He, when young Spring, protudes the bursting gems
    Marks the first bud, and sucks the healthful gale
    Into his freshened soul; her genial hour
    He full enjoys, and not a beauty blows
    And not an opening blossom breathes in vain.

Thomson in his description of Lord Townshend's seat of Rainham--another
English estate once much celebrated and still much admired--exclaims:

    Such are thy beauties, Rainham, such the haunts
    Of angels, in primeval guiltless days
    When man, imparadised, conversed with God.

And Broome after quoting the whole description in his dedication of his
own poems to Lord Townshend, observes, in the old fashioned fulsome
strain, "This, my lord, is but a faint picture of the place of your
retirement which no one ever enjoyed more elegantly."[019] "A faint
picture!" What more would the dedicator have wished Thomson to say?
Broome, if not contented with his patron's seat being described as an
earthly Paradise, must have desired it to be compared with Heaven
itself, and thus have left his Lordship no hope of the enjoyment of a
better place than he already possessed.

Samuel Boyse, who when without a shirt to his back sat up in his bed to
write verses, with his arms through two holes in his blanket, and when
he went into the streets wore paper collars to conceal the sad
deficiency of linen, has a poem of considerable length entitled _The
Triumphs of Nature_. It is wholly devoted to a description of this
magnificent garden,[020] in which, amongst other architectural
ornaments, was a temple dedicated to British worthies, where the busts
of Pope and Congreve held conspicuous places. I may as well give a
specimen of the lines of poor Boyse. Here is his description of that
part of Lord Cobham's grounds in which is erected to the Goddess of
Love, a Temple containing a statue of the Venus de Medicis.

    Next to the fair ascent our steps we traced,
    Where shines afar the bold rotunda placed;
    The artful dome Ionic columns bear
    Light as the fabric swells in ambient air.
    Beneath enshrined the Tuscan Venus stands
    And beauty's queen the beauteous scene commands:
    The fond beholder sees with glad surprize,
    Streams glisten, lawns appear, and forests rise--
    Here through thick shades alternate buildings break,
    There through the borders steals the silver lake,
    A soft variety delights the soul,
    And harmony resulting crowns the whole.

Congreve in his Letter in verse addressed to Lord Cobham asks him to

    Tell how his pleasing Stowe employs his time.

It would seem that the proprietor of Stowe took particular interest in
the disposition of the water on his grounds. Congreve enquires

    Or dost thou give the winds afar to blow
    Each vexing thought, and heart-devouring woe,
    And fix thy mind alone on rural scenes,
    _To turn the level lawns to liquid plains_?
    To raise the creeping rills from humble beds
    And force the latent spring to lift their heads,
    On watery columns, capitals to rear,
    That mix their flowing curls with upper air?

       *       *       *       *       *

    Or slowly walk along the mazy wood
    To meditate on all that's wise and good.

The line:--

    To turn the level lawn to liquid plains--

Will remind the reader of Pope's

    Lo! Cobham comes and floats them with a lake--

And it might be thought that Congreve had taken the hint from the bard
of Twickenham if Congreve's poem had not preceded that of Pope. The one
was published in 1729, the other in 1731.

Cowper is in the list of poets who have alluded to "Cobham's groves" and
Pope's commemoration of them.

    And _Cobham's groves_ and Windsor's green retreats
    When Pope describes them have a thousand sweets.

"Magnificence and splendour," says Mr. Whately, the author of
_Observations on Modern Gardening_, "are the characteristics of Stowe.
It is like one of those places celebrated in antiquity which were
devoted to the purposes of religion, and filled with sacred groves,
hallowed fountains, and temples dedicated to several deities; the resort
of distant nations and the object of veneration to half the heathen
world: the pomp is, at Stowe, blended with beauty; and the place is
equally distinguished by its amenity and grandeur." Horace Walpole
speaks of its "visionary enchantment." "I have been strolling about in
Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, from garden to garden," says Pope in
one of his letters, "but still returning to Lord Cobham's with fresh
satisfaction."[021]

The grounds at Stowe, until the year 1714, were laid out in the old
formal style. Bridgeman then commenced the improvements and Kent
subsequently completed them.

Stowe is now, I believe, in the possession of the Marquis of Chandos,
son of the Duke of Buckingham. It is melancholy to state that the
library, the statues, the furniture, and even some of the timber on the
estate, were sold in 1848 to satisfy the creditors of the Duke.

Pope was never tired of improving his own grounds. "I pity you, Sir,"
said a friend to him, "because you have now completed every thing
belonging to your gardens."[022] "Why," replied Pope, "I really shall be
at a loss for the diversion I used to take in carrying out and finishing
things: I have now nothing left me to do but to add a little ornament or
two along the line of the Thames." I dare say Pope was by no means so
near the end of his improvements as he and his friend imagined. One
little change in a garden is sure to suggest or be followed by another.
Garden-improvements are "never ending, still beginning." The late Dr.
Arnold, the famous schoolmaster, writing to a friend, says--"The garden
is a constant source of amusement to us both (self and wife); there are
always some little alterations to be made, some few spots where an
additional shrub or two would be ornamental, something coming into
blossom; so that I can always delight to go round and see how things are
going on." A garden is indeed a scene of continual change. Nature, even
without the aid of the gardener, has "infinite variety," and supplies "a
perpetual feast of nectared sweets where no crude surfeit reigns."

Spence reports Pope to have said: "I have sometimes had an idea of
planting an old gothic cathedral in trees. Good large poplars, with
their white stems, cleared of boughs to a proper height would serve very
well for the columns, and might form the different aisles or
peristilliums, by their different distances and heights. These would
look very well near, and the dome rising all in a proper tuft in the
middle would look well at a distance." This sort of verdant architecture
would perhaps have a pleasing effect, but it is rather too much in the
artificial style, to be quite consistent with Pope's own idea of
landscape-gardening. And there are other trees that would form a nobler
natural cathedral than the formal poplar. Cowper did not think of the
poplar, when he described a green temple-roof.

    How airy and how light the graceful arch,
    Yet awful as the consecrated roof
    Re-echoing pious anthems.

Almost the only traces of Pope's garden that now remain are the splendid
Spanish chesnut-trees and some elms and cedars planted by the poet
himself. A space once laid out in winding walks and beautiful
shrubberies is now a potatoe field! The present proprietor, Mr. Young,
is a wholesale tea-dealer. Even the bones of the poet, it is said, have
been disturbed. The skull of Pope, according to William Howitt, is now
in the private collection of a phrenologist! The manner in which it was
obtained, he says, is this:--On some occasion of alteration in the
church at Twickenham, or burial of some one in the same spot, the coffin
of Pope was disinterred, and opened to see the state of the remains. By
a bribe of £50 to the Sexton, possession of the skull was obtained for
one night; another skull was then returned instead of the poet's.

It has been stated that the French term _Ferme Ornée_ was first used in
England by Shenstone. It exactly expressed the character of his grounds.
Mr. Repton said that he never strolled over the scenery of the Leasowes
without lamenting the constant disappointment to which Shenstone exposed
himself by a vain attempt to unite the incompatible objects of ornament
and profit. "Thus," continued Mr. Repton, "the poet lived under the
continual mortification of disappointed hope, and with a mind
exquisitely sensible, he felt equally the sneer of the great man at the
magnificence of his attempt and the ridicule of the farmer at the
misapplication of his paternal acres." The "sneer of the great man." is
perhaps an allusion to what Dr. Johnson says of Lord Lyttelton:--that he
"looked with disdain" on "the petty State" of his neighbour. "For a
while," says Dr. Johnson, "the inhabitants of Hagley affected to tell
their acquaintance of the little fellow that was trying to make himself
admired; but when by degrees the Leasowes forced themselves into notice,
they took care to defeat the curiosity which they could not suppress, by
conducting their visitants perversely to inconvenient points of view,
and introducing them at the wrong end of a walk to detect a deception;
injuries of which Shenstone would heavily complain." Mr. Graves, the
zealous friend of Shenstone, indignantly denies that any of the
Lyttelton family had evinced so ungenerous a feeling towards the
proprietor of the Leasowes who though his "empire" was less "spacious
and opulent" had probably a larger share of true taste than even the
proprietor of Hagley, the Lyttelton domain--though Hagley has been much,
and I doubt not, deservedly, admired.[023]

Dr. Johnson states that Shenstone's expenses were beyond his means,--
that he spent his estate in adorning it--that at last the clamours of
creditors "overpowered the lamb's bleat and the linnet's song; and that
his groves were haunted by beings very different from fauns and
fairies." But this is gross exaggeration. Shenstone was occasionally,
indeed, in slight pecuniary difficulties, but he could always have
protected himself from the intrusion of the myrmidons of the law by
raising money on his estate; for it appears that after the payment of
all his debts, he left legacies to his friends and annuities to his
servants.

Johnson himself is the most scornful of the critics upon Shenstone's
rural pursuits. "The pleasure of Shenstone," says the Doctor, "was all
in his eye: he valued what he valued merely for its looks. Nothing
raised his indignation more than to ask if there were any fishes in his
water." Dr. Johnson would have seen no use in the loveliest piece of
running water in the world if it had contained nothing that he could
masticate! Mrs. Piozzi says of him, "The truth is, he hated to hear
about prospects and views, and laying out grounds and taste in
gardening." "That was the best garden," he said, "which produced most
roots and fruits; and that water was most to be prized which contained
most fish." On this principle of the valuelessness of those pleasures
which enter the mind through the eye, Dr. Johnson should have blamed the
lovers of painting for dwelling with such fond admiration on the canvas
of his friend Sir Joshua Reynolds. In point of fact, Dr. Johnson had no
more sympathy with the genius of the painter or the musician than with
that of the Landscape gardener, for he had neither an eye nor an ear for
Art. He wondered how any man could be such a fool as to be moved to
tears by music, and observed, that, "one could not fill one's belly with
hearing soft murmurs or looking at rough cascades." No; the loveliness
of nature does not satisfy the thirst and hunger of the body, but it
_does_ satisfy the thirst and hunger of the soul. No one can find
wheaten bread or wine or venison or beef or plum-pudding or turtle-soup
in mere sounds and sights, however exquisite--neither can any one find
such substantial diet within the boards of a book--no not even on the
pages of Shakespeare, or even those of the Bible itself,--but men can
find in sweet music and lovely scenery and good books something
infinitely more precious than all the wine, venison, beef, or
plum-pudding, or turtle-soup that could be swallowed during a long life by
the most craving and capacious alderman of London! Man is of a dual
nature: he is not all body. He has other and far higher wants and
enjoyments than the purely physical--and these nobler appetites are
gratified by the charms of nature and the creations of inspired genius.

Dr. Johnson's gastronomic allusions to nature recal the old story of a
poet pointing out to a utilitarian friend some white lambs frolicking in
a meadow. "Aye," said, the other, "only think of a quarter of one of
them with asparagus and mint sauce!" The story is by some supposed to
have had a Scottish origin, and a prosaic North Briton is made to say
that the pretty little lambs, sporting amidst the daisies and
buttercups, would "_mak braw pies_."

A profound feeling for the beautiful is generally held to be an
essential quality in the poet. It is a curious fact, however, that there
are some who aspire to the rank of poet, and have their claims allowed,
who yet cannot be said to be poetical in their nature--for how can that
nature be, strictly speaking, _poetical_ which denies the sentiment of
Keats, that

    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever?

Both Scott and Byron very earnestly admired Dr. Johnson's "_London_" and
"_The Vanity of Human Wishes_." Yet the sentiments just quoted from the
author of those productions are far more characteristic of a utilitarian
philosopher than of one who has been endowed by nature with

    The vision and the faculty divine,

and made capable, like some mysterious enchanter, of

    Clothing the palpable and the familiar
    With golden exhalations of the dawn.

Crabbe, also a prime favorite with the authors of the _Lay of the Last
Minstrel_, and _Childe Harold_, is recorded by his biographer--his own
son--to have exhibited "a remarkable indifference to all the proper
objects of taste;" to have had "no real love for painting, or music, or
architecture or for what a painter's eye considers as the beauties of
landscape." "In botany, grasses, the most _useful_ but the least
ornamental, were his favorites." "He never seemed to be captivated with
the mere beauty of natural objects or even to catch any taste for the
arrangement of his specimens. Within, the house was a kind of scientific
confusion; in the garden the usual showy foreigners gave place to the
most scarce flowers, especially to the rarer weeds, of Britain; and were
scattered here and there only for preservation. In fact he neither loved
order for its own sake nor had any very high opinion of that passion in
others."[024] Lord Byron described Crabbe to be

    Though nature's sternest painter, yet _the best_.

What! was he a better painter of nature than Shakespeare? The truth is
that Byron was a wretched critic, though a powerful poet. His praises
and his censures were alike unmeasured.

    His generous ardor no cold medium knew.

He seemed to recognize no great general principles of criticism, but to
found all his judgments on mere prejudice and passion. He thought Cowper
"no poet," pronounced Spenser "a dull fellow," and placed Pope above
Shakespeare. Byron's line on Crabbe is inscribed on the poet's tombstone
at Trowbridge. Perhaps some foreign visitor on reading the inscription
may be surprized at his own ignorance when he learns that it is not the
author of _Macbeth_ and _Othello_ that he is to regard as the best
painter of nature that England has produced, but the author of the
_Parish Register_ and the _Tales of the Hall_. Absurd and indiscriminate
laudations of this kind confound all intellectual distinctions and make
criticism ridiculous. Crabbe is unquestionably a vigorous and truthful
writer, but he is not the _best_ we have, in any sense of the word.

Though Dr. Johnson speaks so contemptuously of Shenstone's rural
pursuits, he could not help acknowledging that when the poet began "to
point his prospects, to diversify his surface, to entangle his walks and
to wind his waters," he did all this with such judgment and fancy as
"made his little domain the envy of the great and the admiration of the
skilful; a place to be visited by travellers, and copied by designers."

Mason, in his _English Garden_, a poem once greatly admired, but now
rarely read, and never perhaps with much delight, does justice to the
taste of the Poet of the Leasowes.

                            Nor, Shenstone, thou
    Shalt pass without thy meed, thou son of peace!
    Who knew'st, perchance, to harmonize thy shades
    Still softer than thy song; yet was that song
    Nor rude nor inharmonious when attuned
    To pastoral plaint, or tale of slighted love.

English pleasure-gardens have been much imitated by the French. Viscomte
Girardin, at his estate of Ermenonville, dedicated an inscription in
amusing French-English to the proprietor of the Leasowes--

    THIS PLAIN STONE
    TO WILLIAM SHENSTONE;
    IN HIS WRITINGS HE DISPLAYED
    A MIND NATURAL;
    AT LEASOWES HE LAID
    ARCADIAN GREENS RURAL.

The Viscomte, though his English composition was so quaint and
imperfect, was an elegant writer in his own language, and showed great
taste and skill in laying out his grounds. He had visited England, and
carefully studied our modern style of gardening. He had personally
consulted Shenstone, Mason, Whateley and other English authors on
subjects of rural taste. He published an eloquent description of his own
estate. His famous friend Rousseau wrote the preface to it. The book was
translated into English. Rousseau spent his last days at Ermenonville
and was buried there in what is called _The Isle of Poplars_. The garden
is now in a neglected state, but the tomb of Rousseau remains uninjured,
and is frequently visited by the admirers of his genius.

"Dr. Warton," says Bowles, "mentions Milton and Pope as the poets to
whom English Landscape is indebted, but _he forgot poor Shenstone_." A
later writer, however, whose sympathy for genius communicates such a
charm to all his anecdotes and comments in illustration of the literary
character, has devoted a chapter of his _Curiosities of Literature_ to a
notice of the rural tastes of the proprietor of the Leasowes. I must
give a brief extract from it.

"When we consider that Shenstone, in developing his fine pastoral ideas
in the Leasowes, educated the nation into that taste for
landscape-gardening, which has become the model of all Europe, this itself
constitutes a claim on the gratitude of posterity. Thus the private
pleasures of a man of genius may become at length those of a whole
people. The creator of this new taste appears to have received far less
notice than he merited. The name of Shenstone does not appear in the
Essay on Gardening, by Lord Orford; even the supercilious Gray only
bestowed a ludicrous image on these pastoral scenes, which, however, his
friend Mason has celebrated; and the genius of Johnson, incapacitated by
nature to touch on objects of rural fancy, after describing some of the
offices of the landscape designer, adds, that 'he will not inquire
whether they demand any great powers of mind.' Johnson, however, conveys
to us his own feelings, when he immediately expresses them under the
character of 'a sullen and surly speculator.' The anxious life of
Shenstone would indeed have been remunerated, could he have read the
enchanting eulogium of Whateley on the Leasowes; which, said he, 'is a
perfect picture of his mind--simple, elegant and amiable; and will
always suggest a doubt whether the spot inspired his verse, or whether
in the scenes which he formed, he only realised the pastoral images
which abound in his songs.' Yes! Shenstone had been delighted could he
have heard that Montesquieu, on his return home, adorned his 'Chateau
Gothique, mais orné de bois charmans, don't j'ai pris l'idée en
Angleterre;' and Shenstone, even with his modest and timid nature, had
been proud to have witnessed a noble foreigner, amidst memorials
dedicated to Theocritus and Virgil, to Thomson and Gesner, raising in
his grounds an inscription, in bad English, but in pure taste, to
Shenstone himself; for having displayed in his writings 'a mind
natural,' and in his Leasowes 'laid Arcadian greens rural;' and recently
Pindemonte has traced the taste of English gardening to Shenstone. A man
of genius sometimes receives from foreigners, who are placed out of the
prejudices of his compatriots, the tribute of posterity!"

"The Leasowes," says William Howitt, "now belongs to the Atwood family;
and a Miss Atwood resides there occasionally. But the whole place bears
the impress of desertion and neglect. The house has a dull look; the
same heavy spirit broods over the lawns and glades: And it is only when
you survey it from a distance, as when approaching Hales-Owen from
Hagley, that the whole presents an aspect of unusual beauty."

Shenstone was at least as proud of his estate of the Leasowes as was
Pope of his Twickenham Villa--perhaps more so. By mere men of the world,
this pride in a garden may be regarded as a weakness, but if it be a
weakness it is at least an innocent and inoffensive one, and it has been
associated with the noblest intellectual endowments. Pitt and Fox and
Burke and Warren Hastings were not weak men, and yet were they all
extremely proud of their gardens. Every one, indeed, who takes an active
interest in the culture and embellishment of his garden, finds his pride
in it and his love for it increase daily. He is delighted to see it
flourish and improve beneath his care. Even the humble mechanic, in his
fondness for a garden, often indicates a feeling for the beautiful, and
a genial nature. If a rich man were openly to boast of his plate or his
equipages, or a literary man of his essays or his sonnets, as lovers of
flowers boast of their geraniums or dahlias or rhododendrons, they would
disgust the most indulgent hearer. But no one is shocked at the
exultation of a gardener, amateur or professional, when in the fulness
of his heart he descants upon the unrivalled beauty of his favorite
flowers:

    'Plants of his hand, and children of his care.'

"I have made myself two gardens," says Petrarch, "and I do not imagine
that they are to be equalled in all the world. I should feel myself
inclined to be angry with fortune if there were any so beautiful out of
Italy." "I wish," says poor Kirke White writing to a friend, "I wish you
to have a taste of these (rural) pleasures with me, and if ever I should
live to be blessed with a quiet parsonage, and _another great object of
my ambition--a garden_, I have no doubt but we shall be for some short
intervals at least two quite contented bodies." The poet Young, in the
latter part of his life, after years of vain hopes and worldly
struggles, gave himself up almost entirely to the sweet seclusion of a
garden; and that peace and repose which cannot be found in courts and
political cabinets, he found at last

                            In sunny garden bowers
    Where vernal winds each tree's low tones awaken,
    And buds and bells with changes mark the hours.

He discovered that it was more profitable to solicit nature than to
flatter the great.

                    For Nature never did betray
    The heart that loved her.

People of a poetical temperament--all true lovers of nature--can afford,
far better than more essentially worldly beings, to exclaim with
Thomson.

    I care not Fortune what you me deny,
    You cannot bar me of free Nature's grace,
    You cannot shut the windows of the sky
    Through which Aurora shows her brightening face:
    You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
    The woods and lawns and living streams at eve:
    Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
    And I their toys to the _great children_ leave:--
    Of fancy, reason, virtue, nought can me bereave.

The pride in a garden laid out under one's own directions and partly
cultivated by one's own hand has been alluded to as in some degree
unworthy of the dignity of manhood, not only by mere men of the world,
or silly coxcombs, but by people who should have known better. Even Sir
William Temple, though so enthusiastic about his fruit-trees, tells us
that he will not enter upon any account of _flowers_, having only
pleased himself with seeing or smelling them, and not troubled himself
with the care of them, which he observes "_is more the ladies part than
the men's_." Sir William makes some amends for this almost contemptuous
allusion to flowers in particular by his ardent appreciation of the use
of gardens and gardening in general. He thus speaks of their attractions
and advantages: "The sweetness of the air, the pleasantness of the
smell, the verdure of plants, the cleanness and lightness of food, the
exercise of working or walking, but above all, the exemption from cares
and solicitude, seem equally to favor and improve both contemplation and
health, the enjoyment of sense and imagination, and thereby the quiet
and ease of the body and mind." Again: "As gardening has been the
inclination of kings and the choice of philosophers, so it has been the
common favorite of public and private men, a pleasure of the greatest
and the care of the meanest; and indeed _an employment and a possession
for which no man is too high or too low_." This is just and liberal;
though I can hardly help still feeling a little sore at Sir William's
having implied in the passage previously quoted, that the care of
flowers is but a feminine occupation. As an elegant amusement, it is
surely equally well fitted for all lovers of the beautiful, without
reference to their sex.

It is not women and children only who delight in flower-gardens. Lord
Bacon and William Pitt and the Earl of Chatham and Fox and Burke and
Warren Hastings--all lovers of flowers--were assuredly not men of
frivolous minds or of feminine habits. They were always eager to exhibit
to visitors the beauty of their parterres. In his declining years the
stately John Kemble left the stage for his garden. That sturdy English
yeoman, William Cobbett, was almost as proud of his beds of flowers as
of the pages of his _Political Register_. He thus speaks of gardening:

"Gardening is a source of much greater profit than is generally
imagined; but, merely as an amusement or recreation it is a thing of
very great value. It is not only compatible with but favorable to the
study of any art or science; it is conducive to health by means of the
irresistible temptation which it offers to early rising; to the stirring
abroad upon one's legs, for a man may really ride till he cannot walk,
sit till he cannot stand, and lie abed till he cannot get up. It tends
to turn the minds of youth from amusements and attachments of a
frivolous and vicious nature, it is a taste which is indulged at home;
it tends to make home pleasant, and to endear to us the spot on which it
is our lot to live,--and as to the _expenses_ attending it, what are all
these expenses compared with those of the short, the unsatisfactory, the
injurious enjoyment of the card-table, and the rest of those amusements
which are sought from the town." _Cobbett's English Gardener_.

"Other fine arts," observes Lord Kames, "may be perverted to excite
irregular and even vicious emotions: but gardening, which inspires the
purest and most refined pleasures, cannot fail to promote every good
affection. The gaiety and harmony of mind it produceth, inclining the
spectator to communicate his satisfaction to others, and to make them
happy as he is himself, tend naturally to establish in him a habit of
humanity and benevolence."

Every thoughtful mind knows how much the face of nature has to do with
human happiness. In the open air and in the midst of summer-flowers, we
often feel the truth of the observation that "a fair day is a kind of
sensual pleasure, and of all others the most innocent." But it is also
something more, and better. It kindles a spiritual delight. At such a
time and in such a scene every observer capable of a religious emotion
is ready to exclaim--

    Oh! there is joy and happiness in every thing I see,
    Which bids my soul rise up and bless the God that blesses me

_Anon._

The amiable and pious Doctor Carey of Serampore, in whose grounds sprang
up that dear little English daisy so beautifully addressed by his
poetical proxy, James Montgomery of Sheffield, in the stanzas
commencing:--

    Thrice welcome, little English flower!
    My mother country's white and red--

was so much attached to his Indian garden, that it was always in his
heart in the intervals of more important cares. It is said that he
remembered it even upon his death-bed, and that it was amongst his last
injunctions to his friends that they should see to its being kept up
with care. He was particularly anxious that the hedges or railings
should always be in such good order as to protect his favorite shrubs
and flowers from the intrusion of Bengalee cattle.

A garden is a more interesting possession than a gallery of pictures or
a cabinet of curiosities. Its glories are never stationary or stale. It
has infinite variety. It is not the same to-day as it was yesterday. It
is always changing the character of its charms and always increasing
them in number. It delights all the senses. Its pleasures are not of an
unsocial character; for every visitor, high or low, learned or
illiterate, may be fascinated with the fragrance and beauty of a garden.
But shells and minerals and other curiosities are for the man of science
and the connoisseur. And a single inspection of them is generally
sufficient: they never change their aspect. The Picture-Gallery may
charm an instructed eye but the multitude have little relish for human
Art, because they rarely understand it:--while the skill of the Great
Limner of Nature is visible in every flower of the garden even to the
humblest swain.

It is pleasant to read how the wits and beauties of the time of Queen
Anne used to meet together in delightful garden-retreats, 'like the
companies in Boccaccio's Decameron or in one of Watteau's pictures.'
Ritchings Lodge, for instance, the seat of Lord Bathurst, was visited by
most of the celebrities of England, and frequently exhibited bright
groups of the polite and accomplished of both sexes; of men
distinguished for their heroism or their genius, and of women eminent
for their easy and elegant conversation, or for gaiety and grace of
manner, or perfect loveliness of face and form--all in harmonious union
with the charms of nature. The gardens at Ritchings were enriched with
Inscriptions from the pens of Congreve and Pope and Gay and Addison and
Prior. When the estate passed into the possession of the Earl of
Hertford, his literary lady devoted it to the Muses. "She invited every
summer," says Dr. Johnson, "some poet into the country to hear her
verses and assist her studies." Thomson, who praises her so lavishly in
his "Spring," offended her ladyship by allowing her too clearly to
perceive that he was resolved not to place himself in the dilemma of
which Pope speaks so feelingly with reference to other poetasters.

    Seized and tied down to judge, how wretched I,
    Who can't be silent, and who will not lie.
    I sit with sad civility, I read
    With honest anguish and an aching head.

But though "the bard more fat than bard beseems" was restive under her
ladyship's "poetical operations," and too plainly exhibited a desire to
escape the infliction, preferring the Earl's claret to the lady's
rhymes, she should have been a little more generously forgiving towards
one who had already made her immortal. It is stated, that she never
repeated her invitation to the Poet of the Seasons, who though so
impatient of the sound of her tongue when it "rolled" her own
"raptures," seems to have been charmed with her _at a distance_--while
meditating upon her excellencies in the seclusion of his own study. The
compliment to the Countess is rather awkwardly wedged in between
descriptions of "gentle Spring" with her "shadowing roses" and "surly
Winter" with his "ruffian blasts." It should have commenced the poem.

    O Hertford, fitted or to shine in courts
    With unaffected grace, or walk the plain,
    With innocence and meditation joined
    In soft assemblage, listen to my song,
    Which thy own season paints; when nature all
    Is blooming and benevolent like thee.

Thomson had no objection to strike off a brief compliment in verse, but
he was too indolent to keep up _in propriâ personâ_ an incessant fire of
compliments, like the _bon bons_ at a Carnival. It was easier to write
her praises than listen to her verses. Shenstone seems to have been more
pliable. He was personally obsequious, lent her recitations an attentive
ear, and was ever ready with the expected commendation. It is not likely
that her ladyship found much, difficulty in collecting around her a
crowd of critics more docile than Thomson and quite as complaisant as
Shenstone. Let but a _Countess_

            Once own the happy lines,
    How the wit brightens, how the style refines!

Though Thomson's first want on his arrival in London from the North was
a pair of shoes, and he lived for a time in great indigence, he was
comfortable enough at last. Lord Lyttleton introduced him to the Prince
of Wales (who professed himself the patron of literature) and when his
Highness questioned him about the state of his affairs, Thomson assured
him that they "were in a more poetical posture than formerly." The
prince bestowed upon the poet a pension of a hundred pounds a year, and
when his friend Lord Lyttleton was in power his Lordship obtained for
him the office of Surveyor General of the Leeward Islands. He sent a
deputy there who was more trustworthy than Thomas Moore's at Bermuda.
Thomson's deputy after deducting his own salary remitted his principal
three hundred pounds per annum, so that the bard 'more fat than bard
beseems' was not in a condition to grow thinner, and could afford to
make his cottage a Castle of Indolence. Leigh Hunt has versified an
anecdote illustrative of Thomson's luxurious idleness. He who could
describe "_Indolence_" so well, and so often appeared in the part
himself,

            Slippered, and with hands,
    Each in a waistcoat pocket, (so that all
    Might yet repose that could) was seen one morn
    Eating a wondering peach from off the tree.

A little summer-house at Richmond which Thomson made his study is still
preserved, and even some articles of furniture, just as he left
them.[025] Over the entrance is erected a tablet on which is the
following inscription:

    HERE
    THOMSON SANG
    THE SEASONS
    AND THEIR CHANGE.

Thomson was buried in Richmond Church. Collins's lines to his memory,
beginning

    In yonder grave a Druid lies,

are familiar to all readers of English poetry.

Richmond Hill has always been the delight not of poets only but of
painters. Sir Joshua Reynolds built a house there, and one of the only
three landscapes which seem to have survived him, is a view from the
window of his drawing-room. Gainsborough was also a resident in
Richmond. Richmond gardens laid out or rather altered by Brown, are now
united with those of Kew.

Savage resided for some time at Richmond. It was the favorite haunt of
Collins, one of the most poetical of poets, who, as Dr. Johnson says,
"delighted to rove through the meanders of enchantment, to gaze on the
magnificence of golden palaces, to repose by the waterfalls of Elysian
gardens." Wordsworth composed a poem upon the Thames near Richmond in
remembrance of Collins. Here is a stanza of it.

    Glide gently, thus for ever glide,
    O Thames, that other bards may see
    As lovely visions by thy side
    As now fair river! come to me;
    O glide, fair stream for ever so,
    Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
    Till all our minds for ever flow
    As thy deep waters now are flowing.

Thomson's description of the scenery of Richmond Hill perhaps hardly
does it justice, but the lines are too interesting to be omitted.

            Say, shall we wind
    Along the streams? or walk the smiling mead?
    Or court the forest-glades? or wander wild
    Among the waving harvests? or ascend,
    While radiant Summer opens all its pride,
    Thy hill, delightful Shene[026]? Here let us sweep
    The boundless landscape now the raptur'd eye,
    Exulting swift, to huge Augusta send,
    Now to the sister hills[027] that skirt her plain,
    To lofty Harrow now, and now to where
    Majestic Windsor lifts his princely brow
    In lovely contrast to this glorious view
    Calmly magnificent, then will we turn
    To where the silver Thames first rural grows
    There let the feasted eye unwearied stray,
    Luxurious, there, rove through the pendent woods
    That nodding hang o'er Harrington's retreat,
    And stooping thence to Ham's embowering walks,
    Beneath whose shades, in spotless peace retir'd,
    With her the pleasing partner of his heart,
    The worthy Queensbury yet laments his Gay,
    And polish'd Cornbury woos the willing Muse
    Slow let us trace the matchless vale of Thames
    Fair winding up to where the Muses haunt
    In Twit nam's bowers, and for their Pope implore
    The healing god[028], to loyal Hampton's pile,
    To Clermont's terrass'd height, and Esher's groves;
    Where in the sweetest solitude, embrac'd
    By the soft windings of the silent Mole,
    From courts and senates Pelham finds repose
    Enchanting vale! beyond whate'er the Muse
    Has of Achaia or Hesperia sung!
    O vale of bliss! O softly swelling hills!
    On which the _Power of Cultivation_ lies,
    And joys to see the wonders of his toil.

The Revd. Thomas Maurice wrote a poem entitled _Richmond Hill_, but it
contains nothing deserving of quotation after the above passage from
Thomson. In the _English Bards and Scotch Reviewers_ the labors of
Maurice are compared to those of Sisyphus

    So up thy hill, ambrosial Richmond, heaves
    Dull Maurice, all his granite weight of leaves.

Towards the latter part of the last century the Empress of Russia
(Catherine the Second) expressed in a French letter to Voltaire her
admiration of the style of English Gardening.[029] "I love to
distraction," she writes, "the present English taste in gardening. Their
curved lines, their gentle slopes, their pieces of water in the shape of
lakes, their picturesque little islands. I have a great contempt for
straight lines and parallel walks. I hate those fountains which torture
water into forms unknown to nature. I have banished all the statues to
the vestibules and to the galleries. In a word English taste
predominates in my _plantomanie_."[030]

I omitted when alluding to those Englishmen in past times who
anticipated the taste of the present day in respect to laying out
grounds, to mention the ever respected name of John Evelyn, and as all
other writers before me, I believe, who have treated upon gardening,
have been guilty of the same oversight, I eagerly make his memory some
slight amends by quoting the following passage from one of his letters
to his friend Sir Thomas Browne.

"I might likewise hope to refine upon some particulars, especially
concerning the ornaments of gardens, which I shall endeavor so to handle
as that they may become useful and practicable, as well as magnificent,
and that persons of all conditions and faculties, which delight in
gardens, may therein encounter something for their owne advantage. The
modell, which I perceive you have seene, will aboundantly testifie my
abhorrency of those painted and formal projections of our cockney
gardens and plotts, which appeare like gardens of past-board and
marchpane, and smell more of paynt then of flowers and verdure; our
drift is a noble, princely, and universal Elysium, capable of all the
amoenities that can naturally be introduced into gardens of pleasure,
and such as may stand in competition with all the august designes and
stories of this nature, either of antient or moderne tymes; yet so as to
become useful and significant to the least pretences and faculties. We
will endeavour to shew how the air and genious of gardens operat upon
humane spirits towards virtue and sanctitie: I mean in a remote,
preparatory and instrumentall working. How caves, grotts, mounts, and
irregular ornaments of gardens do contribute to contemplative and
philosophicall enthusiasme; how _elysium, antrum, nemus, paradysus,
hortus, lucus_, &c., signifie all of them _rem sacram it divinam_; for
these expedients do influence the soule and spirits of men, and prepare
them for converse with good angells; besides which, they contribute to
the lesse abstracted pleasures, phylosophy naturall; and longevitie: and
I would have not onely the elogies and effigie of the antient and famous
garden heroes, but a society of the _paradisi cultores_ persons of
antient simplicity, Paradisean and Hortulan saints, to be a society of
learned and ingenuous men, such as Dr. Browne, by whome we might hope to
redeeme the tyme that has bin lost, in pursuing _Vulgar Errours_, and
still propagating them, as so many bold men do yet presume to do."

The English style of landscape-gardening being founded on natural
principles must be recognized by true taste in all countries. Even in
Rome, when art was most allowed to predominate over nature, there were
occasional instances of that correct feeling for rural beauty which the
English during the last century and a half have exhibited more
conspicuously than other nations. Atticus preferred Tully's villa at
Arpinum to all his other villas; because at Arpinum, Nature predominated
over art. Our Kents and Browns[031] never expressed a greater contempt,
than was expressed by Atticus, for all formal and artificial decorations
of natural scenery.

The spot where Cicero's villa stood, was, in the time of Middleton,
possessed by a convent of monks and was called the Villa of St. Dominic.
It was built, observes Mr. Dunlop, in the year 1030, from the fragments
of the Arpine Villa!

    Art, glory, Freedom, fail--but Nature still is fair.

"Nothing," says Mr. Kelsall, "can be imagined finer than the surrounding
landscape. The deep azure of the sky, unvaried by a single cloud--Sora
on a rock at the foot of the precipitous Appennines--both banks of the
Garigliano covered with vineyards--the _fragor aquarum_, alluded to by
Atticus in his work _De Legibus_--the coolness, the rapidity and
ultramarine hue of the Fibrenus--the noise of its cataracts--the rich
turquoise color of the Liris--the minor Appennines round Arpino, crowned
with umbrageous oaks to the very summits--present scenery hardly
elsewhere to be equalled, certainly not to be surpassed, even in Italy."

This description of an Italian landscape can hardly fail to charm the
imagination of the coldest reader; but after all, I cannot help
confessing to so inveterate a partiality for dear old England as to be
delighted with the compliment which Gray, the poet, pays to English
scenery when he prefers it to the scenery of Italy. "Mr. Walpole,"
writes the poet from Italy, "says, our _memory_ sees more than our eyes
in this country. This is extremely true, since for _realities_ WINDSOR
or RICHMOND HILL is infinitely preferable to ALBANO or FRESCATI."

Sir Walter Scott, with all his patriotic love for his own romantic land,
could not withhold his tribute to the loveliness of Richmond Hill,--its
"_unrivalled landscape_" its "_sea of verdure_."

    "They" (The Duke of Argyle and Jeanie Deans) "paused for a
    moment on the brow of a hill, to gaze on the unrivalled
    landscape it presented. A huge sea of verdure, with crossing and
    intersecting promontories of massive and tufted groves was
    tenanted by numberless flocks and herds which seemed to wander
    unrestrained and unbounded through the rich pastures. The
    Thames, here turreted with villas, and there garlanded with
    forests, moved on slowly and placidly, like the mighty monarch
    of the scene, to whom all its other beauties were but
    accessaries, and bore on its bosom an hundred barks and skiffs
    whose white sails and gaily fluttering pennons gave life to the
    whole." _The Heart of Mid-Lothian_.

It must of course be admitted that there are grander, more sublime, more
varied and extensive prospects in other countries, but it would be
difficult to persuade me that the richness of English verdure could be
surpassed or even equalled, or that any part of the world can exhibit
landscapes more truly _lovely_ and _loveable_, than those of England, or
more calculated to leave a deep and enduring impression upon the heart.
Mr. Kelsall speaks of an Italian sky "_uncovered by a single cloud_,"
but every painter and poet knows how much variety and beauty of effect
are bestowed upon hill and plain and grove and river by passing clouds;
and even our over-hanging vapours remind us of the veil upon the cheek
of beauty; and ever as the sun uplifts the darkness the glory of the
landscape seems renewed and freshened. It would cheer the saddest heart
and send the blood dancing through the veins, to behold after a dull
misty dawn, the sun break out over Richmond Hill, and with one broad
light make the whole landscape smile; but I have been still more
interested in the prospect when on a cloudy day the whole "sea of
verdure" has been swayed to and fro into fresher life by the fitful
breeze, while the lights and shadows amidst the foliage and on the lawns
have been almost momentarily varied by the varying sky. These changes
fascinate the eye, keep the soul awake, and save the scenery from the
comparatively monotonous character of landscapes in less varying climes.
And for my own part, I cordially echo the sentiment of Wordsworth, who
when conversing with Mrs. Hemans about the scenery of the Lakes in the
North of England, observed: "I would not give up the mists that
_spiritualize_ our mountains for all the blue skies of Italy."

Though Mrs. Stowe, the American authoress already quoted as one of the
admirers of England, duly appreciates the natural grandeur of her own
land, she was struck with admiration and delight at the aspect of our
English landscapes. Our trees, she observes, "are of an order of
nobility and they wear their crowns right kingly." "Leaving out of
account," she adds, "our _mammoth arboria_, the English Parks have trees
as fine and effective as ours, and when I say their trees are of an
order of nobility, I mean that they (the English) pay a reverence to
them such as their magnificence deserves."

Walter Savage Landor, one of the most accomplished and most highly
endowed both by nature and by fortune of our living men of letters, has
done, or rather has tried to do, almost as much for his country in the
way of enriching its collection of noble trees as Evelyn himself. He
laid out £70,000 on the improvement of an estate in Monmouthshire, where
he planted and fenced half a million of trees, and had a million more
ready to plant, when the conduct of some of his tenants, who spitefully
uprooted them and destroyed the whole plantation, so disgusted him with
the place, that he razed to the ground the house which had cost him
£8,000, and left the country. He then purchased a beautiful estate in
Italy, which is still in possession of his family. He himself has long
since returned to his native land. Landor loves Italy, but he loves
England better. In one of his _Imaginary Conversations_ he tells an
Italian nobleman:

"The English are more zealous of introducing new fruits, shrubs and
plants, than other nations; you Italians are less so than any civilized
one. Better fruit is eaten in Scotland than in the most fertile and
cultivated parts of your peninsula. _As for flowers, there is a greater
variety in the worst of our fields than in the best of your gardens._ As
for shrubs, I have rarely seen a lilac, a laburnum, a mezereon, in any
of them, and yet they flourish before almost every cottage in our
poorest villages."

"We wonder in England, when we hear it related by travellers, that
peaches in Italy are left under the trees for swine; but, when we
ourselves come into the country, our wonder is rather that the swine do
not leave them for animals less nice."

Landor acknowledges that he has eaten better pears and cherries in Italy
than in England, but that all the other kinds of fruitage in Italy
appeared to him unfit for dessert.

The most celebrated of the private estates of the present day in England
is Chatsworth, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. The mansion, called
the Palace of the Peak, is considered one of the most splendid
residences in the land. The grounds are truly beautiful and most
carefully attended to. The elaborate waterworks are perhaps not in the
severest taste. Some of them are but costly puerilities. There is a
water-work in the form of a tree that sends a shower from every branch
on the unwary visitor, and there are snakes that spit forth jets upon
him as he retires. This is silly trifling: but ill adapted to interest
those who have passed their teens; and not at all an agreeable sort of
hospitality in a climate like that of England. It is in the style of the
water-works at Versailles, where wooden soldiers shoot from their
muskets vollies of water at the spectators.[032]

It was an old English custom on certain occasions to sprinkle water over
the company at a grand entertainment. Bacon, in his Essay on Masques,
seems to object to getting drenched, when he observes that "some sweet
odours suddenly coming forth, _without any drops falling_, are in such
a company as there is steam and heat, things of great pleasure and
refreshment." It was a custom also of the ancient Greeks and Romans to
sprinkle their guests with fragrant waters. The Gascons had once the
same taste: "At times," says Montaigne, "from the bottom of the stage,
they caused sweet-scented waters to spout upwards and dart their thread
to such a prodigious height, as to sprinkle and perfume the vast
multitudes of spectators." The Native gentry of India always slightly
sprinkle their visitors with rose-water. It is flung from a small silver
utensil tapering off into a sort of upright spout with a pierced top in
the fashion of that part of a watering pot which English gardeners call
the _rose_.

The finest of the water-works at Chatsworth is one called the _Emperor
Fountain_ which throws up a jet 267 feet high. This height exceeds that
of any fountain in Europe. There is a vast Conservatory on the estate,
built of glass by Sir Joseph Paxton, who designed and constructed the
Crystal Palace. His experience in the building of conservatories no
doubt suggested to him the idea of the splendid glass edifice in Hyde
Park. The conservatory at Chatsworth required 70,000 square feet of
glass. Four miles of iron tubing are used in heating the building. There
is a broad carriage way running right through the centre of the
conservatory.[033] This conservatory is peculiarly rich in exotic plants
of all kinds, collected at an enormous cost. This most princely estate,
contrasted with the little cottages and cottage-gardens in the
neighbourhood, suggested to Wordsworth the following sonnet.

CHATSWORTH.

    Chatsworth! thy stately mansion, and the pride
    Of thy domain, strange contrast do present
    To house and home in many a craggy tent
    Of the wild Peak, where new born waters glide
    Through fields whose thrifty occupants abide
    As in a dear and chosen banishment
    With every semblance of entire content;
    So kind is simple Nature, fairly tried!
    Yet he whose heart in childhood gave his troth
    To pastoral dales, then set with modest farms,
    May learn, if judgment strengthen with his growth,
    That not for Fancy only, pomp hath charms;
    And, strenuous to protect from lawless harms
    The extremes of favored life, may honour both.

The two noblest of modern public gardens in England are those at
Kensington and Kew. Kensington Gardens were begun by King William the
III, but were originally only twenty-six acres in extent. Queen Anne
added thirty acres more. The grounds were laid out by the well-known
garden-designers, London and Wise.[034] Queen Caroline, who formed the
Serpentine River by connecting several detached pieces of water into
one, and set the example of a picturesque deviation from the straight
line,[035] added from Hyde Park no less than three hundred acres which
were laid out by Bridgeman. This was a great boon to the Londoners.
Horace Walpole says that Queen Caroline at first proposed to shut up St.
James's Park and convert it into a private garden for herself, but when
she asked Sir Robert Walpole what it would cost, he answered--"Only
three Crowns." This changed her intentions.

The reader of Pope will remember an allusion to the famous Ring in Hyde
Park. The fair Belinda was sometimes attended there by her guardian
Sylphs:

    The light militia of the lower sky.

They guarded her from 'the white-gloved beaux,'

    These though unseen are ever on the wing,
    Hang o'er the box, _and hover o'er the Ring_.

It was here that the gallantries of the "Merry Monarch" were but too
often exhibited to his people. "After dinner," says the right garrulous
Pepys in his journal, "to Hyde Parke; at the Parke was the King, and in
another Coach, Lady Castlemaine, they greeting one another at every
turn."

The Gardens at Kew "Imperial Kew," as Darwin styles it, are the richest
in the world. They consist of one hundred and seventy acres. They were
once private gardens, and were long in the possession of Royalty, until
the accession of Queen Victoria, who opened the gardens to the public
and placed them under the control of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's
Woods and Forests, "with a view of rendering them available to the
general good."

            She hath left you all her walks,
    Her private arbors and new planted orchards
    On this side Tiber. She hath left them you
    And to your heirs for ever; common pleasures
    To walk abroad and recreate yourselves.

They contain a large Palm-house built in 1848.[036] The extent of glass
for covering the building is said to be 360,000 square feet. My
Mahomedan readers in Hindostan, (I hope they will be numerous,) will
perhaps be pleased to hear that there is an ornamental mosque in these
gardens. On each of the doors of this mosque is an Arabic inscription in
golden characters, taken from the Koran. The Arabic has been thus
translated:--

    LET THERE BE NO FORCE IN RELIGION.
    THERE IS NO OTHER GOD EXCEPT THE DEITY.
    MAKE NOT ANY LIKENESS UNTO GOD.

The first sentence of the translation is rather ambiguously worded. The
sentiment has even an impious air: an apparent meaning very different
from that which was intended. Of course the original text _means_,
though the English translator has not expressed that meaning--"Let there
be no force _used_ in religion."

When William Cobbett was a boy of eleven years of age he worked in the
garden of the Bishop of Winchester at Farnham. Having heard much of Kew
gardens he resolved to change his locality and his master. He started
off for Kew, a distance of about thirty miles, with only thirteen pence
in his pocket. The head gardener at Kew at once engaged his services. A
few days after, George the Fourth, then Prince of Wales, saw the boy
sweeping the lawns, and laughed heartily at his blue smock frock and
long red knotted garters. But the poor gardener's boy became a public
writer, whose productions were not exactly calculated to excite the
merriment of princes.

Most poets have a painter's eye for the disposition of forms and
colours. Kent's practice as a painter no doubt helped to make him what
he was as a landscape-gardener. When an architect was consulted about
laying out the grounds at Blenheim he replied, "you must send for a
landscape-painter:" he might have added--"_or a poet_."

Our late Laureate, William Wordsworth, exhibited great taste in his
small garden at Rydal Mount. He said of himself--very truly though not
very modestly perhaps,--but modesty was never Wordsworth's
weakness--that nature seemed to have fitted him for three callings--that
of the poet, the critic on works of art, and the landscape-gardener.
The poet's nest--(Mrs. Hemans calls it 'a lovely cottage-like
building'[037])--is almost hidden in a rich profusion of roses and ivy
and jessamine and virginia-creeper. Wordsworth, though he passionately
admired the shapes and hues of flowers, knew nothing of their fragrance.
In this respect knowledge at one entrance was quite shut out. He had
possessed at no time of his life the sense of smell. To make up for this
deficiency, he is said (by De Quincey) to have had "a peculiar depth of
organic sensibility of form and color."

Mr. Justice Coleridge tells us that Wordsworth dealt with
shrubs, flower-beds and lawns with the readiness of a practised
landscape-gardener, and that it was curious to observe how he had imparted
a portion of his taste to his servant, James Dixon. In fact, honest James
regarded himself as a sort of Arbiter Elegantiarum. The master and his
servant often discussed together a question of taste. Wordsworth
communicated to Mr. Justice Coleridge how "he and James" were once "in a
puzzle" about certain discolored spots upon the lawn. "Cover them with
soap-lees," said the master. "That will make the green there darker than
the rest," said the gardener. "Then we must cover the whole." "That will
not do," objects the gardener, "with reference to the little lawn to
which you pass from this." "Cover that," said the poet. "You will then,"
replied the gardener, "have an unpleasant contrast with the foliage
surrounding it."

Pope too had communicated to his gardener at Twickenham something of his
own taste. The man, long after his master's death, in reference to the
training of the branches of plants, used to talk of their being made to
hang "_something poetical_".

It would have grieved Shakespeare and Pope and Shenstone had they
anticipated the neglect or destruction of their beloved retreats.
Wordsworth said, "I often ask myself what will become of Rydal Mount
after our day. Will the old walls and steps remain in front of the house
and about the grounds, or will they be swept away with all the beautiful
mosses and ferns and wild geraniums and other flowers which their rude
construction suffered and encouraged to grow among them. This little
wild flower, _Poor Robin_, is here constantly courting my attention and
exciting what may be called a domestic interest in the varying aspect of
its stalks and leaves and flowers." I hope no Englishman meditating to
reside on the grounds now sacred to the memory of a national poet will
ever forget these words of the poet or treat his cottage and garden at
Rydal Mount as some of Pope's countrymen have treated the house and
grounds at Twickenham.[038] It would be sad indeed to hear, after this,
that any one had refused to spare the _Poor Robins_ and _wild geraniums_
of Rydal Mount. Miss Jewsbury has a poem descriptive of "the Poet's
Home." I must give the first stanza:--

WORDSWORTH'S COTTAGE.

    Low and white, yet scarcely seen
    Are its walls of mantling green;
    Not a window lets in light
    But through flowers clustering bright,
    Not a glance may wander there
    But it falls on something fair;
    Garden choice and fairy mound
    Only that no elves are found;
    Winding walk and sheltered nook
    For student grave and graver book,
    Or a bird-like bower perchance
    Fit for maiden and romance.

Another lady-poet has poured forth in verse her admiration of

THE RESIDENCE OF WORDSWORTH.

    Not for the glory on their heads
      Those stately hill-tops wear,
    Although the summer sunset sheds
      Its constant crimson there:
    Not for the gleaming lights that break
    The purple of the twilight lake,
      Half dusky and half fair,
    Does that sweet valley seem to be
    A sacred place on earth to me.

    The influence of a moral spell
      Is found around the scene,
    Giving new shadows to the dell,
      New verdure to the green.
    With every mountain-top is wrought
    The presence of associate thought,
      A music that has been;
    Calling that loveliness to life,
    With which the inward world is rife.

    His home--our English poet's home--
      Amid these hills is made;
    Here, with the morning, hath he come,
      There, with the night delayed.
    On all things is his memory cast,
    For every place wherein he past,
      Is with his mind arrayed,
    That, wandering in a summer hour,
    Asked wisdom of the leaf and flower.

L.E.L.

The cottage and garden of the poet are not only picturesque and
delightful in themselves, but from their position in the midst of some
of the finest scenery of England. One of the writers in the book
entitled '_The Land we Live in_' observes that the bard of the mountains
and the lakes could not have found a more fitting habitation had the
whole land been before him, where to choose his place of rest. "Snugly
sheltered by the mountains, embowered among trees, and having in itself
prospects of surpassing beauty, it also lies in the midst of the very
noblest objects in the district, and in one of the happiest social
positions. The grounds are delightful in every respect; but one
view--that from the terrace of moss-like grass--is, to our thinking, the
most exquisitely graceful in all this land of beauty. It embraces the
whole valley of Windermere, with hills on either side softened into
perfect loveliness."

Eustace, the Italian tourist, seems inclined to deprive the English of
the honor of being the first cultivators of the natural style in
gardening, and thinks that it was borrowed not from Milton but from
Tasso. I suppose that most genuine poets, in all ages and in all
countries, when they give full play to the imagination, have glimpses of
the truly natural in the arts. The reader will probably be glad to renew
his acquaintance with Tasso's description of the garden of Armida. I
shall give the good old version of Edward Fairfax from the edition of
1687. Fairfax was a true poet and wrote musically at a time when
sweetness of versification was not so much aimed at as in a later day.
Waller confessed that he owed the smoothness of his verse to the example
of Fairfax, who, as Warton observes, "well vowelled his lines."

THE GARDEN OF ARMIDA.

    When they had passed all those troubled ways,
    The Garden sweet spread forth her green to shew;
    The moving crystal from the fountains plays;
    Fair trees, high plants, strange herbs and flowerets new,
    Sunshiny hills, vales hid from Phoebus' rays,
    Groves, arbours, mossie caves at once they view,
      And that which beauty most, most wonder brought,
      No where appear'd the Art which all this wrought.

    So with the rude the polished mingled was,
    That natural seem'd all and every part,
    Nature would craft in counterfeiting pass,
    And imitate her imitator Art:
    Mild was the air, the skies were clear as glass,
    The trees no whirlwind felt, nor tempest's smart,
      But ere the fruit drop off, the blossom comes,
      This springs, that falls, that ripeneth and this blooms.

    The leaves upon the self-same bough did hide,
    Beside the young, the old and ripened fig,
    Here fruit was green, there ripe with vermeil side;
    The apples new and old grew on one twig,
    The fruitful vine her arms spread high and wide,
    That bended underneath their clusters big;
      The grapes were tender here, hard, young and sour,
      There purple ripe, and nectar sweet forth pour.

    The joyous birds, hid under green-wood shade,
    Sung merry notes on every branch and bow,
    The wind that in the leaves and waters plaid
    With murmer sweet, now sung and whistled now;
    Ceaséd the birds, the wind loud answer made:
    And while they sung, it rumbled soft and low;
      Thus were it hap or cunning, chance or art,
      The wind in this strange musick bore his part.

    With party-coloured plumes and purple bill,
    A wondrous bird among the rest there flew,
    That in plain speech sung love-lays loud and shrill,
    Her leden was like humane language true;
    So much she talkt, and with such wit and skill,
    That strange it seeméd how much good she knew;
      Her feathered fellows all stood hush to hear,
      Dumb was the wind, the waters silent were.

    The gently budding rose (quoth she) behold,
    That first scant peeping forth with virgin beams,
    Half ope, half shut, her beauties doth upfold
    In their dear leaves, and less seen, fairer seems,
    And after spreads them forth more broad and bold,
    Then languisheth and dies in last extreams,
      Nor seems the same, that deckéd bed and bower
      Of many a lady late, and paramour.

    So, in the passing of a day, doth pass
    The bud and blossom of the life of man,
    Nor ere doth flourish more, but like the grass
    Cut down, becometh wither'd, pale and wan:
    O gather then the rose while time thou hast,
    Short is the day, done when it scant began;
      Gather the rose of love, while yet thou may'st
      Loving be lov'd; embracing, be embrac'd.

    He ceas'd, and as approving all he spoke,
    The quire of birds their heav'nly tunes renew,
    The turtles sigh'd, and sighs with kisses broke,
    The fowls to shades unseen, by pairs withdrew;
    It seem'd the laurel chaste, and stubborn oak,
    And all the gentle trees on earth that grew,
      It seem'd the land, the sea, and heav'n above,
      All breath'd out fancy sweet, and sigh'd out love.

_Godfrey of Bulloigne_

I must place near the garden of Armida, Ariosto's garden of Alcina.
"Ariosto," says Leigh Hunt, "cared for none of the pleasures of the
great, except building, and was content in Cowley's fashion, with "a
small house in a large garden." He loved gardening better than he
understood it, was always shifting his plants, and destroying the seeds,
out of impatience to see them germinate. He was rejoicing once on the
coming up of some "capers" which he had been visiting every day, to see
how they got on, when it turned out that his capers were elder trees!"

THE GARDEN OF ALCINA.

    'A more delightful place, wherever hurled,
      Through the whole air, Rogero had not found;
    And had he ranged the universal world,
      Would not have seen a lovelier in his round,
    Than that, where, wheeling wide, the courser furled
      His spreading wings, and lighted on the ground
    Mid cultivated plain, delicious hill,
      Moist meadow, shady bank, and crystal rill;

    'Small thickets, with the scented laurel gay,
      Cedar, and orange, full of fruit and flower,
    Myrtle and palm, with interwoven spray,
      Pleached in mixed modes, all lovely, form a bower;
    And, breaking with their shade the scorching ray,
      Make a cool shelter from the noon-tide hour.
    And nightingales among those branches wing
      Their flight, and safely amorous descants sing.

    'Amid red roses and white lilies _there_,
      Which the soft breezes freshen as they fly,
    Secure the cony haunts, and timid hare,
      And stag, with branching forehead broad and high.
    These, fearless of the hunter's dart or snare,
      Feed at their ease, or ruminating lie;
    While, swarming in those wilds, from tuft or steep,
      Dun deer or nimble goat disporting leap.'

_Rose's Orlando Furioso_.

Spenser's description of the garden of Adonis is too long to give
entire, but I shall quote a few stanzas. The old story on which Spenser
founds his description is told with many variations of circumstance and
meaning; but we need not quit the pages of the Faerie Queene to lose
ourselves amidst obscure mythologies. We have too much of these indeed
even in Spenser's own version of the fable.

THE GARDEN OF ADONIS.

      Great enimy to it, and all the rest
      That in the Gardin of Adonis springs,
      Is wicked Time; who with his scythe addrest
      Does mow the flowring herbes and goodly things,
      And all their glory to the ground downe flings,
      Where they do wither and are fowly mard
      He flyes about, and with his flaggy wings
      Beates downe both leaves and buds without regard,
    Ne ever pitty may relent his malice hard.

       *       *       *       *       *

      But were it not that Time their troubler is,
      All that in this delightful gardin growes
      Should happy bee, and have immortall blis:
      For here all plenty and all pleasure flowes;
      And sweete Love gentle fitts emongst them throwes,
      Without fell rancor or fond gealosy.
      Franckly each paramour his leman knowes,
      Each bird his mate; ne any does envy
    Their goodly meriment and gay felicity.

      There is continual spring, and harvest there
      Continuall, both meeting at one tyme:
      For both the boughes doe laughing blossoms beare.
      And with fresh colours decke the wanton pryme,
      And eke attonce the heavy trees they clyme,
      Which seeme to labour under their fruites lode:
      The whiles the ioyous birdes make their pastyme
      Emongst the shady leaves, their sweet abode,
    And their trew loves without suspition tell abrode.

      Right in the middest of that Paradise
      There stood a stately mount, on whose round top
      A gloomy grove of mirtle trees did rise,
      Whose shady boughes sharp steele did never lop,
      Nor wicked beastes their tender buds did crop,
      But like a girlond compasséd the hight,
      And from their fruitfull sydes sweet gum did drop,
      That all the ground, with pretious deaw bedight,
    Threw forth most dainty odours and most sweet delight.

      And in the thickest covert of that shade
      There was a pleasaunt arber, not by art
      But of the trees owne inclination made,
      Which knitting their rancke braunches part to part,
      With wanton yvie-twine entrayld athwart,
      And eglantine and caprifole emong,
      Fashioned above within their inmost part,
      That neither Phoebus beams could through them throng,
    Nor Aeolus sharp blast could worke them any wrong.

      And all about grew every sort of flowre,
      To which sad lovers were transformde of yore,
      Fresh Hyacinthus, Phoebus paramoure
      And dearest love;
      Foolish Narcisse, that likes the watry shore;
      Sad Amaranthus, made a flowre but late,
      Sad Amaranthus, in whose purple gore
      Me seemes I see Amintas wretched fate,
    To whom sweet poet's verse hath given endlesse date.

_Fairie Queene, Book III. Canto VI_.

I must here give a few stanzas from Spenser's description of the _Bower
of Bliss_

    In which whatever in this worldly state
    Is sweet and pleasing unto living sense,
    Or that may dayntiest fantasy aggrate
    Was pouréd forth with pleantiful dispence.

The English poet in his Fairie Queene has borrowed a great deal from
Tasso and Ariosto, but generally speaking, his borrowings, like those of
most true poets, are improvements upon the original.

THE BOWER OF BLISS.

      There the most daintie paradise on ground
      Itself doth offer to his sober eye,
      In which all pleasures plenteously abownd,
      And none does others happinesse envye;
      The painted flowres; the trees upshooting hye;
      The dales for shade; the hilles for breathing-space;
      The trembling groves; the christall running by;
      And that which all faire workes doth most aggrace,
    The art, which all that wrought, appearéd in no place.

      One would have thought, (so cunningly the rude[039]
      And scornéd partes were mingled with the fine,)
      That Nature had for wantonesse ensude
      Art, and that Art at Nature did repine;
      So striving each th' other to undermine,
      Each did the others worke more beautify;
      So diff'ring both in willes agreed in fine;
      So all agreed, through sweete diversity,
    This Gardin to adorn with all variety.

      And in the midst of all a fountaine stood,
      Of richest substance that on earth might bee,
      So pure and shiny that the silver flood
      Through every channel running one might see;
      Most goodly it with curious ymageree
      Was over-wrought, and shapes of naked boyes,
      Of which some seemed with lively iollitee
      To fly about, playing their wanton toyes,
    Whylest others did themselves embay in liquid ioyes.

       *       *       *       *       *

      Eftsoones they heard a most melodious sound,
      Of all that mote delight a daintie eare,
      Such as attonce might not on living ground,
      Save in this paradise, be heard elsewhere:
      Right hard it was for wight which did it heare,
      To read what manner musicke that mote bee;
      For all that pleasing is to living eare
      Was there consorted in one harmonee;
    Birdes, voices, instruments, windes, waters all agree:

      The ioyous birdes, shrouded in chearefull shade,
      Their notes unto the voice attempred sweet;
      Th' angelicall soft trembling voyces made
      To th' instruments divine respondence meet;
      The silver-sounding instruments did meet
      With the base murmure of the waters fall;
      The waters fall with difference discreet,
      Now soft, now loud, unto the wind did call;
    The gentle warbling wind low answeréd to all.

_The Faerie Queene, Book II. Canto XII._

Every school-boy has heard of the gardens of the Hesperides. The story
is told in many different ways. According to some accounts, the
Hesperides, the daughters of Hesperus, were appointed to keep charge of
the tree of golden apples which Jupiter presented to Juno on their
wedding day. A hundred-headed dragon that never slept, (the offspring of
Typhon,) couched at the foot of the tree. It was one of the twelve
labors of Hercules to obtain possession of some of these apples. He slew
the dragon and gathered three golden apples. The gardens, according to
some authorities, were situated near Mount Atlas.

Shakespeare seems to have taken _Hesperides_ to be the name of the
garden instead of that of its fair keepers. Even the learned Milton in
his _Paradise Regained_, (Book II) talks of _the ladies of the
Hesperides_, and appears to make the word Hesperides synonymous with
"Hesperian gardens." Bishop Newton, in a foot-note to the passage in
"Paradise Regained," asks, "What are the Hesperides famous for, but the
gardens and orchards which _they had_ bearing golden fruit in the
western Isles of Africa." Perhaps after all there may be some good
authority in favor of extending the names of the nymphs to the garden
itself. Malone, while condemning Shakespeare's use of the words as
inaccurate, acknowledges that other poets have used it in the same way,
and quotes as an instance, the following lines from Robert Greene:--

    Shew thee the tree, leaved with refined gold,
    Whereon the fearful dragon held his seat,
    That watched _the garden_ called the _Hesperides_.

_Robert Greene_.

    For valour is not love a Hercules,
    Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?

_Love's Labour Lost_.

    Before thee stands this fair Hesperides,
    With golden fruit, but dangerous to be touched
    For death-like dragons here affright thee hard.

_Pericles, Prince of Tyre_.

Milton, after the fourth line of his Comus, had originally inserted, in
his manuscript draft of the poem, the following description of the
garden of the Hesperides.

THE GARDEN OF THE HESPERIDES

    Amid the Hesperian gardens, on whose banks
    Bedewed with nectar and celestial songs
    Eternal roses grow, and hyacinth,
    And fruits of golden rind, on whose fair tree
    The scaly harnessed dragon ever keeps
    His uninchanted eye, around the verge
    And sacred limits of this blissful Isle
    The jealous ocean that old river winds
    His far extended aims, till with steep fall
    Half his waste flood the wide Atlantic fills;
    And half the slow unfathomed Stygian pool
    But soft, I was not sent to court your wonder
    With distant worlds and strange removéd climes
    Yet thence I come and oft from thence behold
    The smoke and stir of this dim narrow spot

Milton subsequently drew his pen through these lines, for what reason is
not known. Bishop Newton observes, that this passage, saved from
intended destruction, may serve as a specimen of the truth of the
observation that

    Poets lose half the praise they should have got
    Could it be known what they discreetly blot.

_Waller_.

As I have quoted in an earlier page some unfavorable allusions to
Homer's description of a Grecian garden, it will be but fair to follow
up Milton's picture of Paradise, and Tasso's garden of Armida, and
Ariosto's Garden of Alcina, and Spenser's Garden of Adonis and his Bower
of Bliss, with Homer's description of the Garden of Alcinous. Minerva
tells Ulysses that the Royal mansion to which the garden of Alcinous is
attached is of such conspicuous grandeur and so generally known, that
any child might lead him to it;

            For Phoeacia's sons
    Possess not houses equalling in aught
    The mansion of Alcinous, the king.

I shall give Cowper's version, because it may be less familiar to the
reader than Pope's, which is in every one's hand.

THE GARDEN OF ALCINOUS

    Without the court, and to the gates adjoined
    A spacious garden lay, fenced all around,
    Secure, four acres measuring complete,
    There grew luxuriant many a lofty tree,
    Pomgranate, pear, the apple blushing bright,
    The honeyed fig, and unctuous olive smooth.
    Those fruits, nor winter's cold nor summer's heat
    Fear ever, fail not, wither not, but hang
    Perennial, while unceasing zephyr breathes
    Gently on all, enlarging these, and those
    Maturing genial; in an endless course.
    Pears after pears to full dimensions swell,
    Figs follow figs, grapes clustering grow again
    Where clusters grew, and (every apple stripped)
    The boughs soon tempt the gatherer as before.
    There too, well rooted, and of fruit profuse,
    His vineyard grows; part, wide extended, basks
    In the sun's beams; the arid level glows;
    In part they gather, and in part they tread
    The wine-press, while, before the eye, the grapes
    Here put their blossoms forth, there gather fast
    Their blackness. On the garden's verge extreme
    Flowers of all hues[040] smile all the year, arranged
    With neatest art judicious, and amid
    The lovely scene two fountains welling forth,
    One visits, into every part diffused,
    The garden-ground, the other soft beneath
    The threshold steals into the palace court
    Whence every citizen his vase supplies.

_Homer's Odyssey, Book VII_.

The mode of watering the garden-ground, and the use made of the water by
the public--

    Whence every citizen his vase supplies--

can hardly fail to remind Indian and Anglo-Indian readers of a Hindu
gentleman's garden in Bengal.

Pope first published in the _Guardian_ his own version of the account of
the garden of Alcinous and subsequently gave it a place in his entire
translation of Homer. In introducing the readers of the _Guardian_ to
the garden of Alcinous he observes that "the two most celebrated wits of
the world have each left us a particular picture of a garden; wherein
those great masters, being wholly unconfined and pointing at pleasure,
may be thought to have given a full idea of what seemed most excellent
in that way. These (one may observe) consist entirely of the useful part
of horticulture, fruit trees, herbs, waters, &c. The pieces I am
speaking of are Virgil's account of the garden of the old Corycian, and
Homer's of that of Alcinous. The first of these is already known to the
English reader, by the excellent versions of Mr. Dryden and Mr.
Addison."

I do not think our present landscape-gardeners, or parterre-gardeners or
even our fruit or kitchen-gardeners can be much enchanted with Virgil's
ideal of a garden, but here it is, as "done into English," by John
Dryden, who describes the Roman Poet as "a profound naturalist," and "_a
curious Florist_."

THE GARDEN OF THE OLD CORYCIAN.

    I chanc'd an old Corycian swain to know,
    Lord of few acres, and those barren too,
    Unfit for sheep or vines, and more unfit to sow:
    Yet, lab'ring well his little spot of ground,
    Some scatt'ring pot-herbs here and there he found,
    Which, cultivated with his daily care
    And bruis'd with vervain, were his frugal fare.
    With wholesome poppy-flow'rs, to mend his homely board:
    For, late returning home, he supp'd at ease,
    And wisely deem'd the wealth of monarchs less:
    The little of his own, because his own, did please.
    To quit his care, he gather'd, first of all,
    In spring the roses, apples in the fall:
    And, when cold winter split the rocks in twain,
    And ice the running rivers did restrain,
    He stripp'd the bear's foot of its leafy growth,
    And, calling western winds, accus'd the spring of sloth
    He therefore first among the swains was found
    To reap the product of his labour'd ground,
    And squeeze the combs with golden liquor crown'd
    His limes were first in flow'rs, his lofty pines,
    With friendly shade, secur'd his tender vines.
    For ev'ry bloom his trees in spring afford,
    An autumn apple was by tale restor'd
    He knew to rank his elms in even rows,
    For fruit the grafted pear tree to dispose,
    And tame to plums the sourness of the sloes
    With spreading planes he made a cool retreat,
    To shade good fellows from the summer's heat

_Virgil's Georgics, Book IV_.

An excellent Scottish poet--Allan Ramsay--a true and unaffected
describer of rural life and scenery--seems to have had as great a
dislike to topiary gardens, and quite as earnest a love of nature, as
any of the best Italian poets. The author of the "Gentle Shepherd" tells
us in the following lines what sort of garden most pleased his fancy.

ALLAN RAMSAY'S GARDEN.

    I love the garden wild and wide,
    Where oaks have plum-trees by their side,
    Where woodbines and the twisting vine
    Clip round the pear tree and the pine
    Where mixed jonquils and gowans grow
    And roses midst rank clover grow
    Upon a bank of a clear strand,
    In wrimplings made by Nature's hand
    Though docks and brambles here and there
    May sometimes cheat the gardener's care,
    _Yet this to me is Paradise_,
    _Compared with prim cut plots and nice_,
    _Where Nature has to Act resigned,_
    _Till all looks mean, stiff and confined_.

I cannot say that I should wish to see forest trees and docks and
brambles in garden borders. Honest Allan here runs a little into the
extreme, as men are apt enough to do, when they try to get as far as
possible from the side advocated by an opposite party.

I shall now exhibit two paintings of bowers. I begin with one from
Spenser.

A BOWER

      And over him Art stryving to compayre
      With Nature did an arber greene dispied[041]
      Framéd of wanton yvie, flouring, fayre,
      Through which the fragrant eglantine did spred
      His prickling armes, entrayld with roses red,
      Which daintie odours round about them threw
      And all within with flowers was garnishéd
      That, when myld Zephyrus emongst them blew,
    Did breathe out bounteous smels, and painted colors shew

      And fast beside these trickled softly downe
      A gentle streame, whose murmuring wave did play
      Emongst the pumy stones, and made a sowne,
      To lull him soft asleepe that by it lay
      The wearie traveiler wandring that way,
      Therein did often quench his thirsty head
      And then by it his wearie limbes display,
      (Whiles creeping slomber made him to forget
    His former payne,) and wypt away his toilsom sweat.

      And on the other syde a pleasaunt grove
      Was shott up high, full of the stately tree
      That dedicated is t'Olympick Iove,
      And to his son Alcides,[042] whenas hee
      In Nemus gaynéd goodly victoree
      Theirin the merry birds of every sorte
      Chaunted alowd their cheerful harmonee,
      And made emongst themselves a sweete consórt
    That quickned the dull spright with musicall comfórt.

_Fairie Queene, Book 2 Cant. 5 Stanzas 29, 30 and 31._

Here is a sweet picture of a "shady lodge" from the hand of Milton.

EVE'S NUPTIAL BOWER.

    Thus talking, hand in hand alone they pass'd
    On to their blissful bower. It was a place
    Chosen by the sov'reign Planter, when he framed
    All things to man's delightful use, 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, under foot the violet,
    Crocus, and hyacinth, with rich inlay
    Broider'd the ground, more colour'd than with stone
    Of costliest emblem other creature here,
    Beast, bird, insect, or worm, durst enter none,
    Such was their awe of man. In shadier bower
    More sacred and sequester'd, though but feign'd,
    Pan or Sylvanus never slept, nor nymph
    Nor Faunus haunted. Here, in close recess,
    With flowers, garlands, and sweet smelling herbs,
    Espoused Eve deck'd first her nuptial bed,
    And heavenly quires the hymenean sung

I have already quoted from Leigh Hunt's "Stories from the Italian poets"
an amusing anecdote illustrative of Ariosto's ignorance of botany. But
even in these days when all sorts of sciences are forced upon all sorts
of students, we often meet with persons of considerable sagacity and
much information of a different kind who are marvellously ignorant of
the vegetable world.

In the just published Memoirs of the late James Montgomery, of
Sheffield, it is recorded that the poet and his brother Robert, a
tradesman at Woolwich, (not Robert Montgomery, the author of 'Satan,'
&c.) were one day walking together, when the trader seeing a field of
flax in full flower, asked the poet what sort of corn it was. "Such corn
as your shirt is made of," was the reply. "But Robert," observes a
writer in the _Athenaeum_, "need not be ashamed of his simplicity.
Rousseau, naturalist as he was, could hardly tell one berry from
another, and three of our greatest wits disputing in the field whether
the crop growing there was rye, barley, or oats, were set right by a
clown, who truly pronounced it wheat."

Men of genius who have concentrated all their powers on some one
favorite profession or pursuit are often thus triumphed over by the
vulgar, whose eyes are more observant of the familiar objects and
details of daily life and of the scenes around them. Wordsworth and
Coleridge, on one occasion, after a long drive, and in the absence of a
groom, endeavored to relieve the tired horse of its harness. After
torturing the poor animal's neck and endangering its eyes by their
clumsy and vain attempts to slip off the collar, they at last gave up
the matter in despair. They felt convinced that the horse's head must
have swollen since the collar was put on. At last a servant-girl beheld
their perplexity. "La, masters," she exclaimed, "you dont set about it
the right way." She then seized hold of the collar, turned it broad end
up, and slipped it off in a second. The mystery that had puzzled two of
the finest intellects of their time was a very simple matter indeed to a
country wench who had perhaps never heard that England possessed a
Shakespeare.

James Montgomery was a great lover of flowers, and few of our English
poets have written about the family of Flora, the sweet wife of Zephyr,
in a more genial spirit. He used to regret that the old Floral games and
processions on May-day and other holidays had gone out of fashion.
Southey tells us that in George the First's reign a grand Florist's
Feast was held at Bethnall Green, and that a carnation named after his
Majesty was _King of the Year_. The Stewards were dressed with laurel
leaves and flowers. They carried gilded staves. Ninety cultivators
followed in procession to the sound of music, each bearing his own
flowers before him. All elegant customs of this nature have fallen into
desuetude in England, though many of them are still kept up in other
parts of Europe.

Chaucer who dearly loved all images associated with the open air and the
dewy fields and bright mornings and radiant flowers makes the gentle
Emily,

            That fairer was to seene
    Than is the lily upon his stalkie greene,

rise early and do honor to the birth of May-day. All things now seem to
breathe of hope and joy.

            Though long hath been
    The trance of Nature on the naked bier
    Where ruthless Winter mocked her slumbers drear
    And rent with icy hand her robes of green,
    That trance is brightly broken! Glossy trees,
    Resplendent meads and variegated flowers
    Flash in the sun and flutter in the breeze
    And now with dreaming eye the poet sees
    Fair shapes of pleasure haunt romantic bowers,
    And laughing streamlets chase the flying hours.

D.L.R.

The great describer of our Lost Paradise did not disdain to sing a

SONG ON MAY-MORNING.

    Now the bright Morning star, Day's harbinger,
    Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
    The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
    The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose
        Hail bounteous-May, that dost inspire
        Mirth and youth and warm desire;
        Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
        Hill and dale do boast thy blessing.
    Thus we salute thee with our early song,
    And welcome thee and wish thee long.

Nor did the Poet of the World, William Shakespeare, hesitate to

    Do observance to a morn of May.

He makes one of his characters (in _King Henry VIII_.) complain that it
is as impossible to keep certain persons quiet on an ordinary day, as it
is to make them sleep on May-day--once the time of universal merriment--
when every one was wont "_to put himself into triumph_."

            'Tis as much impossible,
    Unless we sweep 'em from the doors with cannons
    To scatter 'em, _as 'tis to make 'em sleep
    On May-day Morning_.

Spenser duly celebrates, in his "Shepheard's Calender,"

    Thilke mery moneth of May
    When love-lads masken in fresh aray,

when "all is yclad with pleasaunce, the ground with grasse, the woods
with greene leaves, and the bushes with bloosming buds."

    Sicker[043] this morowe, no longer agoe,
    I saw a shole of shepeardes outgoe
    With singing and shouting and iolly chere:
    Before them yode[044] a lustre tabrere,[045]
    That to the many a hornepype playd
    Whereto they dauncen eche one with his mayd.
    To see those folks make such iovysaunce,
    Made my heart after the pype to daunce.
    Tho[046] to the greene wood they speeden hem all
    To fetchen home May with their musicall;
    And home they bringen in a royall throne
    Crowned as king; and his queene attone[047]
    Was LADY FLORA.

_Spenser_.

This is the season when the birds seem almost intoxicated with delight
at the departure of the dismal and cold and cloudy days of winter and
the return of the warm sun. The music of these little May musicians
seems as fresh as the fragrance of the flowers. The Skylark is the
prince of British Singing-birds--the leader of their cheerful band.

LINES TO A SKYLARK.

    Wanderer through the wilds of air!
    Freely as an angel fair
    Thou dost leave the solid earth,
    Man is bound to from his birth
    Scarce a cubit from the grass
    Springs the foot of lightest lass--
    _Thou_ upon a cloud can'st leap,
    And o'er broadest rivers sweep,
    Climb up heaven's steepest height,
    Fluttering, twinkling, in the light,
    Soaring, singing, till, sweet bird,
    Thou art neither seen nor heard,
    Lost in azure fields afar
    Like a distance hidden star,
    That alone for angels bright
    Breathes its music, sheds its light

    Warbler of the morning's mirth!
    When the gray mists rise from earth,
    And the round dews on each spray
    Glitter in the golden ray,
    And thy wild notes, sweet though high,
    Fill the wide cerulean, sky,
    Is there human heart or brain
    Can resist thy merry strain?

    But not always soaring high,
    Making man up turn his eye
    Just to learn what shape of love,
    Raineth music from above,--
    All the sunny cloudlets fair
    Floating on the azure air,
    All the glories of the sky
    Thou leavest unreluctantly,
    Silently with happy breast
    To drop into thy lowly nest.

    Though the frame of man must be
    Bound to earth, the soul is free,
    But that freedom oft doth bring
    Discontent and sorrowing.
    Oh! that from each waking vision,
    Gorgeous vista, gleam Elysian,
    From ambition's dizzy height,
    And from hope's illusive light,
    Man, like thee, glad lark, could brook
    Upon a low green spot to look,
    And with home affections blest
    Sink into as calm a nest!         D.L.R.

I brought from England to India two English skylarks. I thought they
would help to remind me of English meadows and keep alive many agreeable
home-associations. In crossing the desert they were carefully lashed on
the top of one of the vans, and in spite of the dreadful jolting and the
heat of the sun they sang the whole way until night-fall. It was
pleasant to hear English larks from rich clover fields singing so
joyously in the sandy waste. In crossing some fields between Cairo and
the Pyramids I was surprized and delighted with the songs of Egyptian
skylarks. Their notes were much the same as those of the English lark.
The lark of Bengal is about the size of a sparrow and has a poor weak
note. At this moment a lark from Caubul (larger than an English lark) is
doing his best to cheer me with his music. This noble bird, though so
far from his native fields, and shut up in his narrow prison, pours
forth his rapturous melody in an almost unbroken stream from dawn to
sunset. He allows no change of season to abate his minstrelsy, to any
observable degree, and seems equally happy and musical all the year
round. I have had him nearly two years, and though of course he must
moult his feathers yearly, I have not observed the change of plumage,
nor have I noticed that he has sung less at one period of the year than
another. One of my two English larks was stolen the very day I landed in
India, and the other soon died. The loss of an English lark is not to be
replaced in Calcutta, though almost every week, canaries, linnets,
gold-finches and bull-finches are sold at public auctions here.

But I must return to my main subject.--The ancients used to keep the
great Feast of the goddess Flora on the 28th of April. It lasted till
the 3rd of May. The Floral Games of antiquity were unhappily debased by
indecent exhibitions; but they were not entirely devoid of better
characteristics.[048] Ovid describing the goddess Flora says that "while
she was speaking she breathed forth vernal roses from her mouth." The
same poet has represented her in her garden with the Florae gathering
flowers and the Graces making garlands of them. The British borrowed the
idea of this festival from the Romans. Some of our Kings and Queens used
'_to go a Maying_,' and to have feasts of wine and venison in the open
meadows or under the good green-wood. Prior says:

      Let one great day
    To celebrate sports and floral play
    Be set aside.

But few people, in England, in these times, distinguish May-day from the
initial day of any other month of the twelve. I am old enough to
remember _Jack-in-the-Green_. Nor have I forgotten the cheerful
clatter--the brush-and-shovel music--of our little British
negroes--"innocent blacknesses," as Lamb calls them--the
chimney-sweepers,--a class now almost _swept away_ themselves by
_machinery_. One May-morning in the streets of London these
tinsel-decorated merry-makers with their sooty cheeks and black lips
lined with red, and staring eyes whose white seemed whiter still by
contrast with the darkness of their cases, and their ivory teeth kept
sound and brilliant with the professional powder, besieged George Selwyn
and his arm-in-arm companion, Lord Pembroke, for May-day boxes. Selwyn
making them a low bow, said, very solemnly "I have often heard of _the
sovereignty of the people_, and I suppose you are some of the young
princes in court mourning."

My Native readers in Bengal can form no conception of the delight with
which the British people at home still hail the spring of the year, or
the deep interest which they take in all "the Seasons and their change";
though they have dropped some of the oldest and most romantic of the
ceremonies once connected with them. If there were an annual fall of the
leaf in the groves of India, instead of an eternal summer, the natives
would discover how much the charms of the vegetable world are enhanced
by these vicissitudes, and how even winter itself can be made
delightful. My brother exiles will remember as long as life is in them,
how exquisite, in dear old England, is the enjoyment of a brisk morning
walk in the clear frosty air, and how cheering and cosy is the social
evening fire! Though a cold day in Calcutta is not exactly like a cold
day in London, it sometimes revives the remembrance of it. An Indian
winter, if winter it may be called, is indeed far less agreeable than a
winter in England, but it is not wholly without its pleasures. It is, at
all events, a grateful change--a welcome relief and refreshment after a
sultry summer or a _muggy_ rainy season.

An Englishman, however, must always prefer the keener but more wholesome
frigidity of his own clime. There, the external gloom and bleakness of a
severe winter day enhance our in-door comforts, and we do not miss sunny
skies when greeted with sunny looks. If we then see no blooming flowers,
we see blooming faces. But as we have few domestic enjoyments in this
country--no social snugness,--no sweet seclusion--and as our houses are
as open as bird-cages,--and as we almost live in public and in the open
air--we have little comfort when compelled, with an enfeebled frame and
a morbidly sensitive cuticle, to remain at home on what an Anglo-Indian
Invalid calls a cold day, with an easterly wind whistling through every
room.[049] In our dear native country each season has its peculiar moral
or physical attractions. It is not easy to say which is the most
agreeable--its summer or its winter. Perhaps I must decide in favor of
the first. The memory of many a smiling summer day still flashes upon my
soul. If the whole of human life were like a fine English day in June,
we should cease to wish for "another and a better world." It is often
from dawn to sunset one revel of delight. How pleasantly, from the first
break of day, have I lain wide awake and traced the approach of the
breakfast hour by the increasing notes of birds and the advancing
sun-light on my curtains! A summer feeling, at such a time, would make my
heart dance within me, as I thought of the long, cheerful day to be
enjoyed, and planned some rural walk, or rustic entertainment. The ills
that flesh is heir to, if they occurred for a moment, appeared like idle
visions. They were inconceivable as real things. As I heard the lark
singing in "a glorious privacy of light," and saw the boughs of the
green and gold laburnum waving at my window, and had my fancy filled
with images of natural beauty, I felt a glow of fresh life in my veins,
and my soul was inebriated with joy. It is difficult, amidst such
exhilarating influences, to entertain those melancholy ideas which
sometimes crowd upon, us, and appear so natural, at a less happy hour.
Even actual misfortune comes in a questionable shape, when our physical
constitution is in perfect health, and the flowers are in full bloom,
and the skies are blue, and the streams are glittering in the sun. So
powerfully does the light of external nature sometimes act upon the
moral system, that a sweet sensation steals gradually over the heart,
even when we think we have reason to be sorrowful, and while we almost
accuse ourselves of a want of feeling. The fretful hypochondriac would
do well to bear this fact in mind, and not take it for granted that all
are cold and selfish who fail to sympathize with his fantastic cares. He
should remember that men are sometimes so buoyed up by the sense of
corporeal power, and a communion with nature in her cheerful moods, that
things connected with their own personal interests, and which at other
times might irritate and wound their feelings, pass by them like the
idle wind which they regard not. He himself must have had his intervals
of comparative happiness, in which the causes of his present grief would
have appeared trivial and absurd. He should not, then, expect persons
whose blood is warm in their veins, and whose eyes are open to the
blessed sun in heaven, to think more of the apparent causes of his
sorrow than he would himself, were his mind and body in a healthful
state.

With what a light heart and eager appetite did I enter the little
breakfast parlour of which the glass-doors opened upon a bright green
lawn, variegated with small beds of flowers! The table was spread with
dewy and delicious fruits from our own garden, and gathered by fair and
friendly hands. Beautiful and luscious as were these garden dainties,
they were of small account in comparison with the fresh cheeks and
cherry lips that so frankly accepted the wonted early greeting. Alas!
how that circle of early friends is now divided, and what a change has
since come over the spirit of our dreams! Yet still I cherish boyish
feelings, and the past is sometimes present. As I give an imaginary kiss
to an "old familiar face," and catch myself almost unconsciously, yet
literally, returning imaginary smiles, my heart is as fresh and fervid
as of yore.

A lapse of fifteen years, and a distance of fifteen thousand miles, and
the glare of a tropical sky and the presence of foreign faces, need not
make an Indian Exile quite forgetful of home-delights. Parted friends
may still share the light of love as severed clouds are equally kindled
by the same sun. No number of miles or days can change or separate
faithful spirits or annihilate early associations. That strange
magician, Fancy, who supplies so many corporeal deficiencies and
overcomes so many physical obstructions, and mocks at space and time,
enables us to pass in the twinkling of an eye over the dreary waste of
waters that separates the exile from the scenes and companions of his
youth. He treads again his native shore. He sits by the hospitable
hearth and listens to the ringing laugh of children. He exchanges
cordial greetings with the "old familiar faces." There is a resurrection
of the dead, and a return of vanished years. He abandons himself to the
sweet illusion, and again

    Lives over each scene, and is what he beholds.

I must not be too egotistically garrulous in print, or I would now
attempt to describe the various ways in which I have spent a summer's
day in England. I would dilate upon my noon-day loiterings amidst wild
ruins, and thick forests, and on the shaded banks of rivers--the pic-nic
parties--the gipsy prophecies--the twilight homeward walk--the social
tea-drinking, and, the last scene of all, the "rosy dreams and slumbers
light," induced by wholesome exercise and placid thoughts.[050] But
perhaps these few simple allusions are sufficient to awaken a train of
kindred associations in the reader's mind, and he will thank me for
those words and images that are like the keys of memory, and "open all
her cells with easy force."

If a summer's day be thus rife with pleasure, scarcely less so is a day
in winter, though with some little drawbacks, that give, by contrast, a
zest to its enjoyments. It is difficult to leave the warm morning bed
and brave the external air. The fireless grate and frosted windows may
well make the stoutest shudder. But when we have once screwed our
courage to the sticking place, and with a single jerk of the clothes,
and a brisk jump from the bed, have commenced the operations of the
toilet, the battle is nearly over. The teeth chatter for a while, and
the limbs shiver, and we do not feel particularly comfortable while
breaking the ice in our jugs, and performing our cold ablutions amidst
the sharp, glass-like fragments, and wiping our faces with a frozen
towel. But these petty evils are quickly vanquished, and as we rush out
of the house, and tread briskly and firmly on the hard ringing earth,
and breathe our visible breath in the clear air, our strength and
self-importance miraculously increase, and the whole frame begins to glow.
The warmth and vigour thus acquired are inexpressibly delightful. As we
re-enter the house, we are proud of our intrepidity and vigour, and pity
the effeminacy of our less enterprising friends, who, though huddled
together round the fire, like flies upon a sunny wall, still complain of
cold, and instead of the bloom of health and animation, exhibit pale and
pinched and discolored features, and hands cold, rigid, and of a deadly
hue. Those who rise with spirit on a winter morning, and stir and thrill
themselves with early exercise, are indifferent to the cold for the rest
of the day, and feel a confidence in their corporeal energies, and a
lightness of heart that are experienced at no other season.

But even the timid and luxurious are not without their pleasures. As the
shades of evening draw in, the parlour twilight--the closed
curtains--and the cheerful fire--make home a little paradise to all.

    Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
    Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
    And while the bubbling and loud hissing urn
    Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
    That cheer but not inebriate wait on each,
    So let us welcome peaceful evening in

_Cowper_.

The warm and cold seasons of India have no charms like those of England,
but yet people who are guiltless of what Milton so finely calls "a
sullenness against nature," and who are willing, in a spirit of true
philosophy and piety, to extract good from every thing, may save
themselves from wretchedness even in this land of exile. While I am
writing this paragraph, a bird in my room, (not the Caubul songster that
I have already alluded to, but a fine little English linnet,) who is as
much a foreigner here as I am, is pouring out his soul in a flood of
song. His notes ring with joy. He pines not for his native meadows--he
cares not for his wiry bars--he envies not the little denizens of air
that sometimes flutter past my window, nor imagines, for a moment, that
they come to mock him with their freedom. He is contented with his
present enjoyments, because they are utterly undisturbed by idle
comparisons with those experienced in the past or anticipated in the
future. He has no thankless repinings and no vain desires. Is intellect
or reason then so fatal, though sublime a gift that we cannot possess it
without the poisonous alloy of care? Must grief and ingratitude
inevitably find entrance into the heart, in proportion to the loftiness
and number of our mental endowments? Are we to seek for happiness in
ignorance? To these questions the reply is obvious. Every good quality
may be abused, and the greatest, most; and he who perversely employs his
powers of thought and imagination to a wrong purpose deserves the misery
that he gains. Were we honestly to deduct from the ills of life all
those of our own creation, how trifling, in the majority of cases, the
amount that would remain! We seem to invite and encourage sorrow, while
happiness is, as it were, forced upon us against our will. It is
wonderful how some men pertinaciously cling to care, and argue
themselves into a dissatisfaction with their lot. Thus it is really a
matter of little moment whether fortune smile or frown, for it is in
vain to look for superior felicity amongst those who have more
"appliances and means to boot," than their fellow-men. Wealth, rank, and
reputation, do not secure their possessors from the misery of
discontent.

As happiness then depends upon the right direction and employment of our
faculties, and not on worldly goods or mere localities, our countrymen
might be cheerful enough, even in this foreign land, if they would only
accustom themselves to a proper train of thinking, and be ready on every
occasion to look on the brighter side of all things.[051] In reverting
to home-scenes we should regard them for their intrinsic charms, and not
turn them into a source of disquiet by mournfully comparing them with
those around us. India, let Englishmen murmur as they will, has some
attractions, enjoyments and advantages. No Englishman is here in danger
of dying of starvation as some of our poets have done in the
inhospitable streets of London. The comparatively princely and generous
style in which we live in this country, the frank and familiar tone of
our little society, and the general mildness of the climate, (excepting
a few months of a too sultry summer) can hardly be denied by the most
determined malcontent. The weather is indeed too often a great deal
warmer than we like it; but if "the excessive heat" did not form a
convenient subject for complaint and conversation, it is perhaps
doubtful if it would so often be thought of or alluded to. But admit the
objection. What climate is without its peculiar evils? In the cold
season a walk in India either in the morning or the evening is often
extremely pleasant in pleasant company, and I am glad to see many
sensible people paying the climate the compliment of treating it like
that of England. It is now fashionable to use our limbs in the ordinary
way, and the "Garden of Eden"[052] has become a favorite promenade,
particularly on the evenings when a band from the Fort fills the air
with a cheerful harmony and throws a fresher life upon the scene. It is
not to be denied that besides the mere exercise, pedestrians at home
have great advantages over those who are too indolent or aristocratic to
leave their equipages, because they can cut across green and quiet
fields, enter rural by-ways, and enjoy a thousand little patches of
lovely scenery that are secrets to the high-road traveller. But still
the Calcutta pedestrian has also his gratifications. He can enjoy no
exclusive prospects, but he beholds upon an Indian river a forest of
British masts--the noble shipping of the Queen of the Sea--and has a
fine panoramic view of this City of Palaces erected by his countrymen on
a foreign shore;--and if he is fond of children, he must be delighted
with the numberless pretty and happy little faces--the fair forms of
Saxon men and women in miniature--that crowd about him on the green
sward;--he must be charmed with their innocent prattle, their quick and
graceful movements, and their winning ways, that awaken a tone of tender
sentiment in his heart, and rekindle many sweet associations.

SONNETS,

WRITTEN IN EXILE.

                        I.

    Man's heart may change, but Nature's glory never;--
    And while the soul's internal cell is bright,
    The cloudless eye lets in the bloom and light
    Of earth and heaven to charm and cheer us ever.
    Though youth hath vanished, like a winding river
    Lost in the shadowy woods; and the dear sight
    Of native hill and nest-like cottage white,
    'Mid breeze-stirred boughs whose crisp leaves gleam and quiver,
    And murmur sea-like sounds, perchance no more
    My homeward step shall hasten cheerily;
    Yet still I feel as I have felt of yore,
    And love this radiant world. Yon clear blue sky--
    These gorgeous groves--this flower-enamelled floor--
    Have deep enchantments for my heart and eye.

                        II.

    Man's heart may change, but Nature's glory never,
    Though to the sullen gaze of grief the sight
    Of sun illumined skies may _seem_ less bright,
    Or gathering clouds less grand, yet she, as ever,
    Is lovely or majestic. Though fate sever
    The long linked bands of love, and all delight
    Be lost, as in a sudden starless night,
    The radiance may return, if He, the giver
    Of peace on earth, vouchsafe the storm to still
    This breast once shaken with the strife of care
    Is touched with silent joy. The cot--the hill,
    Beyond the broad blue wave--and faces fair,
    Are pictured in my dreams, yet scenes that fill
    My waking eye can save me from despair.

                        III.

    Man's heart may change, but Nature's glory never,--
    Strange features throng around me, and the shore
    Is not my own dear land. Yet why deplore
    This change of doom? All mortal ties must sever.
    The pang is past,--and now with blest endeavour
    I check the ready tear, the rising sigh
    The common earth is here--the common sky--
    The common FATHER. And how high soever
    O'er other tribes proud England's hosts may seem,
    God's children, fair or sable, equal find
    A FATHER'S love. Then learn, O man, to deem
    All difference idle save of heart or mind
    Thy duty, love--each cause of strife, a dream--
    Thy home, the world--thy family, mankind.

D.L.R.

For the sake of my home readers I must now say a word or two on the
effect produced upon the mind of a stranger on his approach to Calcutta
from the Sandheads.

As we run up the Bay of Bengal and approach the dangerous Sandheads, the
beautiful deep blue of the ocean suddenly disappears. It turns into a
pale green. The sea, even in calm weather, rolls over soundings in long
swells. The hue of the water is varied by different depths, and in
passing over the edge of soundings, it is curious to observe how
distinctly the form of the sands may be traced by the different shades
of green in the water above and beyond them. In the lower part of the
bay, the crisp foam of the dark sea at night is instinct with phosphoric
lustre. The ship seems to make her way through galaxies of little ocean
stars. We lose sight of this poetical phenomenon as we approach the
mouth of the Hooghly. But the passengers, towards the termination of
their voyage, become less observant of the changeful aspect of the sea.
Though amused occasionally by flights of sea-gulls, immense shoals of
porpoises, apparently tumbling or rolling head over tail against the
wind, and the small sprat-like fishes that sometimes play and glitter on
the surface, the stranger grows impatient to catch a glimpse of an
Indian jungle; and even the swampy tiger-haunted Saugor Island is
greeted with that degree of interest which novelty usually inspires.

At first the land is but little above the level of the water. It rises
gradually as we pass up further from the sea. As we come still nearer to
Calcutta, the soil on shore seems to improve in richness and the trees
to increase in size. The little clusters of nest-like villages snugly
sheltered in foliage--the groups of dark figures in white garments--the
cattle wandering over the open plain--the emerald-colored fields of
rice--the rich groves of mangoe trees--the vast and magnificent banyans,
with straight roots dropping from their highest branches, (hundreds of
these branch-dropped roots being fixed into the earth and forming "a
pillared shade"),--the tall, slim palms of different characters and with
crowns of different forms, feathery or fan-like,--the many-stemmed and
long, sharp-leaved bamboos, whose thin pliant branches swing gracefully
under the weight of the lightest bird,--the beautifully rounded and
bright green peepuls, with their burnished leaves glittering in the
sunshine, and trembling at the zephyr's softest touch with a pleasant
rustling sound, suggestive of images of coolness and repose,--form a
striking and singularly interesting scene (or rather succession of
scenes) after the monotony of a long voyage during which nothing has
been visible but sea and sky.

But it is not until he arrives at a bend of the river called _Garden
Reach_, where the City of Palaces first opens on the view, that the
stranger has a full sense of the value of our possessions in the East.
The princely mansions on our right;--(residences of English gentry),
with their rich gardens and smooth slopes verdant to the water's
edge,--the large and rich Botanic Garden and the Gothic edifice of Bishop's
College on our left--and in front, as we advance a little further, the
countless masts of vessels of all sizes and characters, and from almost
every clime,--Fort William, with its grassy ramparts and white
barracks,--the Government House, a magnificent edifice in spite of many
imperfections,--the substantial looking Town Hall--the Supreme Court
House--the broad and ever verdant plain (or _madaun_) in front--and the
noble lines of buildings along the Esplanade and Chowringhee Road,--the
new Cathedral almost at the extremity of the plain, and half-hidden
amidst the trees,--the suburban groves and buildings of Kidderpore
beyond, their outlines softened by the haze of distance, like scenes
contemplated through colored glass--the high-sterned budgerows and small
trim bauleahs along the edge of the river,--the neatly-painted
palanquins and other vehicles of all sorts and sizes,--the variously-hued
and variously-clad people of all conditions; the fair European, the
black and nearly naked Cooly, the clean-robed and lighter-skinned native
Baboo, the Oriental nobleman with his jewelled turban and kincob vest,
and costly necklace and twisted cummerbund, on a horse fantastically
caparisoned, and followed in barbaric state by a train of attendants
with long, golden-handled punkahs, peacock feather chowries, and golden
chattahs and silver sticks,--present altogether a scene that is
calculated to at once delight and bewilder the traveller, to whom all
the strange objects before him have something of the enchantment and
confusion of an Arabian Night's dream. When he recovers from his
surprise, the first emotion in the breast of an Englishman is a feeling
of national pride. He exults in the recognition of so many glorious
indications of the power of a small and remote nation that has founded a
splendid empire in so strange and vast a land.

When the first impression begins to fade, and he takes a closer view of
the great metropolis of India--and observes what miserable straw huts
are intermingled with magnificent palaces--how much Oriental filth and
squalor and idleness and superstition and poverty and ignorance are
associated with savage splendour, and are brought into immediate and
most incongruous contact with Saxon energy and enterprize and taste and
skill and love of order, and the amazing intelligence of the West in
this nineteenth century--and when familiarity breeds something like
contempt for many things that originally excited a vague and pleasing
wonder--the English traveller in the East is apt to dwell too
exclusively on the worst side of the picture, and to become insensible
to the real interest, and blind to the actual beauty of much of the
scene around him. Extravagant astonishment and admiration, under the
influence of novelty, a strong re-action, and a subsequent feeling of
unreasonable disappointment, seem, in some degree, natural to all men;
but in no other part of the world, and under no other circumstances, is
this peculiarity of our condition more conspicuously displayed than in
the case of Englishmen in India. John Bull, who is always a grumbler
even on his own shores, is sure to become a still more inveterate
grumbler in other countries, and perhaps the climate of Bengal,
producing lassitude and low spirits, and a yearning for their native
land, of which they are so justly proud, contribute to make our
countrymen in the East even more than usually unsusceptible of
pleasurable emotions until at last they turn away in positive disgust
from the scenes and objects which remind them that they are in a state
of exile.

"There is nothing," says Hamlet, "either good or bad, but thinking makes
it so." At every change of the mind's colored optics the scene before it
changes also. I have sometimes contemplated the vast metropolis of
England--or rather _of the world_--multitudinous and mighty LONDON--with
the pride and hope and exultation, not of a patriot only, but of a
cosmopolite--a man. Its grand national structures that seem built for
eternity--its noble institutions, charitable, and learned, and
scientific, and artistical--the genius and science and bravery and moral
excellence within its countless walls--have overwhelmed me with a sense
of its glory and majesty and power. But in a less admiring mood, I have
quite reversed the picture. Perhaps the following sonnet may seem to
indicate that the writer while composing it, must have worn his colored
spectacles.

LONDON, IN THE MORNING.

    The morning wakes, and through the misty air
    In sickly radiance struggles--like the dream
    Of sorrow-shrouded hope. O'er Thames' dull stream,
    Whose sluggish waves a wealthy burden bear
    From every port and clime, the pallid glare
    Of early sun-light spreads. The long streets seem
    Unpeopled still, but soon each path shall teem
    With hurried feet, and visages of care.
    And eager throngs shall meet where dusky marts
    Resound like ocean-caverns, with the din
    Of toil and strife and agony and sin.
    Trade's busy Babel! Ah! how many hearts
    By lust of gold to thy dim temples brought
    In happier hours have scorned the prize they sought?

D.L.R.

I now give a pair of sonnets upon the City of Palaces as viewed through
somewhat clearer glasses.

VIEW OF CALCUTTA.

    Here Passion's restless eye and spirit rude
    May greet no kindred images of power
    To fear or wonder ministrant. No tower,
    Time-struck and tenantless, here seems to brood,
    In the dread majesty of solitude,
    O'er human pride departed--no rocks lower
    O'er ravenous billows--no vast hollow wood
    Rings with the lion's thunder--no dark bower
    The crouching tiger haunts--no gloomy cave
    Glitters with savage eyes! But all the scene
    Is calm and cheerful. At the mild command
    Of Britain's sons, the skilful and the brave,
    Fair palace-structures decorate the land,
    And proud ships float on Hooghly's breast serene!

D.L.R.

SONNET, ON RETURNING TO CALCUTTA AFTER A VOYAGE TO THE STRAITS OF
MALACCA.

    Umbrageous woods, green dells, and mountains high,
    And bright cascades, and wide cerulean seas,
    Slumbering, or snow-wreathed by the freshening breeze,
    And isles like motionless clouds upon the sky
    In silent summer noons, late charmed mine eye,
    Until my soul was stirred like wind-touched trees,
    And passionate love and speechless ecstasies
    Up-raised the thoughts in spiritual depths that lie.
    Fair scenes, ye haunt me still! Yet I behold
    This sultry city on the level shore
    Not all unmoved; for here our fathers bold
    Won proud historic names in days of yore,
    And here are generous hearts that ne'er grow cold,
    And many a friendly hand and open door.

D.L.R.

There are several extremely elegant customs connected with some of the
Indian Festivals, at which flowers are used in great profusion. The
surface of the "sacred river" is often thickly strewn with them. In Mrs.
Carshore's pleasing volume of _Songs of the East_[053] there is a long
poem (too long to quote entire) in which the _Beara Festival_ is
described. I must give the introductory passage.

"THE BEARA FESTIVAL.

    "Upon the Ganges' overflowing banks,
    Where palm trees lined the shore in graceful ranks,
    I stood one night amidst a merry throng
    Of British youths and maidens, to behold
    A witching Indian scene of light and song,
    Crowds of veiled native loveliness untold,
    Each streaming path poured duskily along.
    The air was filled with the sweet breath of flowers,
    And music that awoke the silent hours,
    It was the BEARA FESTIVAL and feast
    When proud and lowly, loftiest and least,
    Matron and Moslem maiden pay their vows,
    With impetratory and votive gift,
    And to the Moslem Jonas bent their brows.
    _Each brought her floating lamp of flowers_, and swift
    A thousand lights along the current drift,
    Till the vast bosom of the swollen stream,
    Glittering and gliding onward like a dream,
    Seems a wide mirror of the starry sphere
    Or more as if the stars had dropt from air,
    And in an earthly heaven were shining here,
    And far above were, but reflected there
    Still group on group, advancing to the brink,
    As group on group retired link by link;
    For one pale lamp that floated out of view
    Five brighter ones they quickly placed anew;
    At length the slackening multitudes grew less,
    And the lamps floated scattered and apart.
    As stars grow few when morning's footsteps press
    When a slight girl, shy as the timid halt,
    Not far from where we stood, her offering brought.
    Singing a low sweet strain, with lips untaught.
    Her song proclaimed, that 'twas not many hours
    Since she had left her childhood's innocent home;
    And now with Beara lamp, and wreathed flowers,
    To propitiate heaven, for wedded bliss had come"

To these lines Mrs. Carshore (who has been in this country, I believe,
from her birth, and who ought to know something of Indian customs)
appends the following notes.

"_It was the Beara festival_." Much has been said about the Beara or
floating lamp, but I have never yet seen a correct description. Moore
mentions that Lalla Rookh saw a solitary Hindoo girl bring her lamp to
the river. D.L.R. says the same, whereas the Beara festival is a Moslem
feast that takes place once a year in the monsoons, when thousands of
females offer their vows to the patron of rivers.

"_Moslem Jonas_" Khauj Khoddir is the Jonas of the Mussulman; he, like
the prophet of Nineveh, was for three days inside a fish, and for that
reason is called the patron of rivers."

I suppose Mrs. Carshore alludes, in the first of these notes, to the
following passage in the prose part of Lalla Rookh:--

"As they passed along a sequestered river after sunset, they saw a young
Hindoo girl upon the bank whose employment seemed to them so strange
that they stopped their palanquins to observe her. She had lighted a
small lamp, filled with oil of cocoa, and placing it in an earthern
dish, adorned with a wreath of flowers, had committed it with a
trembling hand to the stream: and was now anxiously watching its
progress down the current, heedless of the gay cavalcade which had drawn
up beside her. Lalla Rookh was all curiosity;--when one of her
attendants, who had lived upon the banks of the Ganges, (where this
ceremony is so frequent that often, in the dusk of evening, the river is
seen glittering all over with lights, like the Oton-Jala or Sea of
Stars,) informed the Princess that it was the usual way, in which the
friends of those who had gone on dangerous voyages offered up vows for
their safe return. If the lamp sunk immediately, the omen was
disastrous; but if it went shining down the stream, and continued to
burn till entirely out of sight, the return of the beloved object was
considered as certain.

Lalla Rookh, as they moved on, more than once looked back, to observe
how the young Hindoo's lamp proceeded: and while she saw with pleasure
that it was unextinguished, she could not help fearing that all the hopes
of this life were no better than that feeble light upon the river."

Moore prepared himself for the writing of Lalla Rookh by "long and
laborious reading." He himself narrates that Sir James Mackintosh was
asked by Colonel Wilks, the Historian of British India, whether it was
true that the poet had never been in the East. Sir James replied,
"_Never_." "Well, that shows me," said Colonel Wilks, "that reading over
D'Herbelot is as good as riding on the back of a camel." Sir John
Malcolm, Sir William Ouseley and other high authorities have testified
to the accuracy of Moore's descriptions of Eastern scenes and customs.

The following lines were composed on the banks of the Hooghly at
Cossipore, (many long years ago) just after beholding the river one
evening almost covered with floating lamps.[054]

A HINDU FESTIVAL.

    Seated on a bank of green,
    Gazing on an Indian scene,
    I have dreams the mind to cheer,
    And a feast for eye and ear.
    At my feet a river flows,
    And its broad face richly glows
    With the glory of the sun,
    Whose proud race is nearly run

    Ne'er before did sea or stream
    Kindle thus beneath his beam,
    Ne'er did miser's eye behold
    Such a glittering mass of gold
    'Gainst the gorgeous radiance float
    Darkly, many a sloop and boat,
    While in each the figures seem
    Like the shadows of a dream
    Swiftly, passively, they glide
    As sliders on a frozen tide.

    Sinks the sun--the sudden night
    Falls, yet still the scene is bright
    Now the fire-fly's living spark
    Glances through the foliage dark,
    And along the dusky stream
    Myriad lamps with ruddy gleam
    On the small waves float and quiver,
    As if upon the favored river,
    And to mark the sacred hour,
    Stars had fallen in a shower.

    For many a mile is either shore
    Illumined with a countless store
    Of lustres ranged in glittering rows,
    Each a golden column throws
    To light the dim depths of the tide,
    And the moon in all her pride
    Though beauteously her regions glow,
    Views a scene as fair below

D.L.R.

Mrs. Carshore alludes, I suppose to the above lines, or the following
sonnet, or both perhaps, when she speaks of my erroneous Orientalism--

SCENE ON THE GANGES.

    The shades of evening veil the lofty spires
    Of proud Benares' fanes! A thickening haze
    Hangs o'er the stream. The weary boatmen raise
    Along the dusky shore their crimson fires
    That tinge the circling groups. Now hope inspires
    Yon Hindu maid, whose heart true passion sways,
    To launch on Gungas flood the glimmering rays
    Of Love's frail lamp,--but, lo the light expires!
    Alas! what sudden sorrow fills her breast!
    No charm of life remains. Her tears deplore
    A lover lost and never, never more
    Shall hope's sweet vision yield her spirit rest!
    The cold wave quenched the flame--an omen dread
    That telleth of the faithless--_or the dead_!

D.L.R.

Horace Hayman Wilson, a high authority on all Oriental customs, clearly
alludes in the following lines to the launching of floating lamps by
_Hindu_ females.

    Grave in the tide the Brahmin stands,
    And folds his cord or twists his hands,
    And tells his beads, and all unheard
    Mutters a solemn mystic word
    With reverence the Sudra dips,
    And fervently the current sips,
    That to his humbler hope conveys
    A future life of happier days.
    But chief do India's simple daughters
    Assemble in these hallowed waters,
    With vase of classic model laden
    Like Grecian girl or Tuscan maiden,
    Collecting thus their urns to fill
    From gushing fount or trickling rill,
    And still with pious fervour they
    To Gunga veneration pay
    And with pretenceless rite prefer,
    The wishes of their hearts to her
    The maid or matron, as she throws
    _Champae_ or lotus, _Bel_ or rose,
    Or sends the quivering light afloat
    In shallow cup or paper boat,
    Prays for a parent's peace and wealth
    Prays for a child's success and health,
    For a fond husband breathes a prayer,
    For progeny their loves to share,
    For what of good on earth is given
    To lowly life, or hoped in heaven,

H.H.W.

On seeing Miss Carshore's criticism I referred the subject to an
intelligent Hindu friend from whom I received the following answer:--

    My dear Sir,

    The _Beara_, strictly speaking, is a Mahomedan festival. Some of
    the lower orders of the Hindus of the NW Provinces, who have
    borrowed many of their customs from the Mahomedans, celebrate
    the _Beara_. But it is not observed by the Hindus of Bengal, who
    have a festival of their own, similar to the _Beara_. It takes
    place on the evening of the _Saraswati Poojah_, when a small
    piece of the bark of the Plantain Tree is fitted out with all
    the necessary accompaniments of a boat, and is launched in a
    private tank with a lamp. The custom is confined to the women
    who follow it in their own house or in the same neighbourhood.
    It is called the _Sooa Dooa Breta_.

    Yours truly,

       *       *       *       *       *

Mrs. Carshore it would seem is partly right and partly wrong. She is
right in calling the _Beara_ a _Moslem_ Festival. It is so; but we have
the testimony of Horace Hayman Wilson to the fact that _Hindu maids and
matrons also launch their lamps upon the river_. My Hindu friend
acknowledges that his countrymen in the North West Provinces have
borrowed many of their customs from the Mahomedans, and though he is not
aware of it, it may yet be the case, that some of the Hindus of
_Bengal_, as elsewhere, have done the same, and that they set lamps
afloat upon the stream to discover by their continued burning or sudden
extinction the fate of some absent friend or lover. I find very few
Natives who are able to give me any exact and positive information
concerning their own national customs. In their explanations of such
matters they differ in the most extraordinary manner amongst themselves.
Two most respectable and intelligent Native gentlemen who were proposing
to lay out their grounds under my directions, told me that I must
not cut down a single cocoa-nut tree, as it would be dreadful
sacrilege--equal to cutting the throats of seven brahmins! Another equally
respectable and intelligent Native friend, when I mentioned the fact,
threw himself back in his chair to give vent to a hearty laugh. When he
had recovered himself a little from this risible convulsion he observed
that his father and his grandfather had cut down cocoa-nut trees in
considerable numbers without the slightest remorse or fear. And yet
again, I afterwards heard that one of the richest Hindu families in
Calcutta, rather than suffer so sacred an object to be injured, piously
submit to a very serious inconvenience occasioned by a cocoa-nut tree
standing in the centre of the carriage road that leads to the portico of
their large town palace. I am told that there are other sacred trees
which must not be removed by the hands of Hindus of inferior caste,
though in this case there is a way of getting over the difficulty, for
it is allowable or even meritorious to make presents of these trees to
Brahmins, who cut them down for their own fire-wood. But the cocoa-nut
tree is said to be too sacred even for the axe of a Brahmin.

I have been running away again from my subject;--I was discoursing upon
May-day in England. The season there is still a lovely and a merry one,
though the most picturesque and romantic of its ancient observances, now
live but in the memory of the "oldest inhabitants," or on the page of
history.[055]

    See where, amidst the sun and showers,
    The Lady of the vernal hours,
    Sweet May, comes forth again with all her flowers.

_Barry Cornwall_.

The _May-pole_ on these days is rarely seen to rise up in English towns
with its proper floral decorations[056]. In remote rural districts a
solitary May-pole is still, however, occasionally discovered. "A
May-pole," says Washington Irving, "gave a glow to my feelings and spread
a charm over the country for the rest of the day: and as I traversed a
part of the fair plains of Cheshire, and the beautiful borders of Wales
and looked from among swelling hills down a long green valley, through
which the Deva wound its wizard stream, my imagination turned all into a
perfect Arcadia. One can readily imagine what a gay scene old London
must have been when the doors were decked with hawthorn; and Robin Hood,
Friar Tuck, Maid Marian, Morris dancers, and all the other fantastic
dancers and revellers were performing their antics about the May-pole in
every part of the city. I value every custom which tends to infuse
poetical feeling into the common people, and to sweeten and soften the
rudeness of rustic manners without destroying their simplicity."

Another American writer--a poet--has expressed his due appreciation of
the pleasures of the season. He thus addresses the merrie month of
MAY.[057]

MAY.

    Would that thou couldst laugh for aye,
    Merry, ever merry May!
    Made of sun gleams, shade and showers
    Bursting buds, and breathing flowers,
    Dripping locked, and rosy vested,
    Violet slippered, rainbow crested;
    Girdled with the eglantine,
    Festooned with the dewy vine
    Merry, ever Merry May,
    Would that thou could laugh for aye!

_W.D. Gallagher._

I must give a dainty bit of description from the poet of the poets--our
own romantic Spenser.

      Then comes fair May, the fayrest mayde on ground,
      Decked with all dainties of the season's pryde,
      And throwing flowres out of her lap around.
      Upon two brethren's shoulders she did ride,
      The twins of Leda, which, on eyther side,
      Supported her like to their Sovereign queene
      Lord! how all creatures laught when her they spide,
      And leapt and danced as they had ravisht beene!
    And Cupid's self about her fluttred all in greene.

Here are a few lines from Herrick.

    Fled are the frosts, and now the fields appeare
    Re-clothed in freshe and verdant diaper;
    Thawed are the snowes, and now the lusty spring
    Gives to each mead a neat enameling,
    The palmes[058] put forth their gemmes, and every tree
    Now swaggers in her leavy gallantry.

The Queen of May--Lady Flora--was the British representative of the
Heathen Goddess Flora. May still returns and ever will return at her
proper season, with all her bright leaves and fragrant blossoms, but men
cease to make the same use of them as of yore. England is waxing
utilitarian and prosaic.

The poets, let others neglect her as they will, must ever do fitting
observance, in songs as lovely and fresh as the flowers of the hawthorn,

    To the lady of the vernal hours.

Poor Keats, who was passionately fond of flowers, and everything
beautiful or romantic or picturesque, complains, with a true poet's
earnestness, that in _his_ day in England there were

    No crowds of nymphs, soft-voiced and young and gay
    In woven baskets, bringing ears of corn,
    Roses and pinks and violets, to adorn
    The shrine of Flora in her early May.

The Floral Games--_Jeux Floraux_--of Toulouse--first celebrated at the
commencement of the fourteenth century, are still kept up annually with
great pomp and spirit. Clemence Isaure, a French lady, bequeathed to the
Academy of Toulouse a large sum of money for the annual celebration of
these games. A sort of College Council is formed, which not only confers
degrees on those poets who do most honor to the Goddess Flora, but
sometimes grants them more substantial favors. In 1324 the poets were
encouraged to compete for a golden violet and a silver eglantine and
pansy. A century later the prizes offered were an amaranthus of gold of
the value of 400 livres, for the best ode, a violet of silver, valued at
250 livres, for an essay in prose, a silver pansy, worth 200 livres, for
an eclogue, elegy or idyl, and a silver lily of the value of sixty
livres, for the best sonnet or hymn in honor of the Virgin Mary,--for
religion is mixed up with merriment, and heathen with Christian rites.
He who gained a prize three times was honored with the title of Doctor
_en gaye science_, the name given to the poetry of the Provençal
troubadours. A mass, a sermon, and alms-giving, commence the ceremonies.
The French poet, Ronsard who had gained a prize in the floral games, so
delighted Mary Queen of Scots with his verses on the Rose that she
presented him with a silver rose worth £500, with this inscription--"_A
Ronsard, l'Apollon de la source des Muses_."

At Ghent floral festivals are held twice a year when amateur and
professional florists assemble together and contribute each his share of
flowers to the grand general exhibition which is under the direct
patronage of the public authorities. Honorary medals are awarded to the
possessors of the finest flowers.

The chief floral festival of the Chinese is on their new year's day,
when their rivers are covered with boats laden with flowers, and gay
flags streaming from every mast. Their homes and temples are richly hung
with festoons of flowers. Boughs of the peach and plum trees in blossom,
enkíanthus quinque-flòra, camelias, cockscombs, magnolias, jonquils are
then exposed for sale in all the streets of Canton. Even the Chinese
ladies, who are visible at no other season, are seen on this occasion in
flower-boats on the river or in the public gardens on the shore.

The Italians, it is said, still have artificers called _Festaroli_,
whose business it is to prepare festoons and garlands. The ancient
Romans were very tasteful in their nosegays and chaplets. Pliny tells us
that the Sicyonians were especially celebrated for the graceful art
exhibited in the arrangement of the varied colors of their garlands, and
he gives us the story of Glycera who, to please her lover Pausias, the
painter of Sicyon, used to send him the most exquisite chaplets of her
own braiding, which he regularly copied on his canvas. He became very
eminent as a flower-painter. The last work of his pencil, and his
master-piece, was a picture of his mistress in the act of arranging a
chaplet. The picture was called the _Garland Twiner_. It is related that
Antony for some time mistrusting Cleopatra made her taste in the first
instance every thing presented to him at her banquets. One day "the
Serpent of old Nile" after dipping her own coronet of flowers into her
goblet drank up the wine and then directed him to follow her example. He
was off his guard. He dipped his chaplet in his cup. The leaves had been
touched with poison. He was just raising the cup to his lips when she
seized his arm, and said "Cease your jealous doubts, for know, that if
I had desired your death or wished to live without you, I could easily
have destroyed you." The Queen then ordered a prisoner to be brought
into their presence, who being made to drink from the cup, instantly
expired.[059]

Some of the nosegays made up by "flower-girls" in London and its
neighbourhood are sold at such extravagant prices that none but the very
wealthy are in the habit of purchasing them, though sometimes a poor
lover is tempted to present his mistress on a ball-night with a bouquet
that he can purchase only at the cost of a good many more leaves of
bread or substantial meals than he can well spare. He has to make every
day a banian-day for perhaps half a month that his mistress may wear a
nosegay for a few hours. However, a lover is often like a cameleon and
can almost live on air--_for a time_--"promise-crammed." 'You cannot
feed capons so.'

At Covent Garden Market, (in London) and the first-rate Flower-shops, a
single wreath or nosegay is often made up for the head or hand at a
price that would support a poor labourer and his family for a month. The
colors of the wreaths are artfully arranged, so as to suit different
complexions, and so also as to exhibit the most rare and costly flowers
to the greatest possible advantage.

All true poets

            --The sages
    Who have left streaks of light athwart their pages--

have contemplated flowers--with a passionate love, an ardent admiration;
none more so than the sweet-souled Shakespeare. They are regarded by the
imaginative as the fairies of the vegetable world--the physical
personifications of etherial beauty. In _The Winter's Tale_ our great
dramatic bard has some delightful floral allusions that cannot be too
often quoted.

            Here's flowers for you,
    Hot lavender, mint, savory, majoram,
    The marigold, that goes to bed with the sun,
    And with him rises weeping these are flowers
    Of middle summer, and I think they are given
    To men of middle age.

       *       *       *       *       *

            O, Proserpina,
    For the flowers now that, frighted, thou lett'st fall
    From Dis's waggon! Daffodils,
    That come before the swallow dares, and take
    The winds of March with beauty, violets dim,
    But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes,
    Or Cytherea's breath, pale primroses,
    That die unmarried ere they can behold
    Great Phoebus in his strength,--a malady
    Most incident to maids, bold oxlips and
    The crown imperial, lilies of all kinds,
    The flower de luce being one

Shakespeare here, as elsewhere, speaks of "_pale_ primroses." The poets
almost always allude to the primrose as a _pale_ and interesting
invalid. Milton tells us of

    The yellow cowslip and the _pale_ primrose[060]

The poet in the manuscript of his _Lycidas_ had at first made the
primrose "_die unwedded_," which was a pretty close copy of Shakespeare.
Milton afterwards struck out the word "_unwedded_," and substituted the
word "_forsaken_." The reason why the primrose was said to "die
unmarried," is, according to Warton, because it grows in the shade
uncherished or unseen by the sun, who was supposed to be in love with
certain sorts of flowers. Ben Jonson, however, describes the primrose as
_a wedded lady_--"the Spring's own _Spouse_"--though she is certainly
more commonly regarded as the daughter of Spring not the wife. J
Fletcher gives her the true parentage:--

    Primrose, first born child of Ver

There are some kinds of primroses, that are not _pale_. There is a
species in Scotland, which is of a deep purple. And even in England (in
some of the northern counties) there is a primrose, the bird's-eye
primrose, (Primula farinosa,) of which the blossom is lilac colored and
the leaves musk-scented.

In Sweden they call the Primrose _The key of May_.

The primrose is always a great favorite with imaginative and sensitive
observers, but there are too many people who look upon the beautiful
with a utilitarian eye, or like Wordsworth's Peter Bell regard it with
perfect indifference.

    A primrose by the river's brim
    A yellow primrose was to him.
    And it was nothing more.

I have already given one anecdote of a utilitarian; but I may as well
give two more anecdotes of a similar character. Mrs. Wordsworth was in a
grove, listening to the cooing of the stock-doves, and associating their
music with the remembrance of her husband's verses to a stock-dove, when
a farmer's wife passing by exclaimed, "Oh, I do like stock-doves!" The
woman won the heart of the poet's wife at once; but she did not long
retain it. "Some people," continued the speaker, "like 'em in a pie; for
my part I think there's nothing like 'em stewed in inions." This was a
rustic utilitarian. Here is an instance of a very different sort of
utilitarianism--the utilitarianism of men who lead a gay town life. Sir
W.H. listened, patiently for some time to a poetical-minded friend who
was rapturously expatiating upon the delicious perfume of a bed of
violets; "Oh yes," said Sir W. at last, "its all very well, but for my
part I very much prefer the smell of a flambeau at the theatre." But
intellects far more capacious than that of Sir W.H. have exhibited the
same indifference to the beautiful in nature. Locke and Jeremy Bentham
and even Sir Isaac Newton despised all poetry. And yet God never meant
man to be insensible to the beautiful or the poetical. "Poetry, like
truth," says Ebenezer Elliot, "is a common flower: God has sown it over
the earth, like the daisies sprinkled with tears or glowing in the sun,
even as he places the crocus and the March frosts together and
beautifully mingles life and death." If the finer and more spiritual
faculties of men were as well cultivated or exercised as are their
colder and coarser faculties there would be fewer utilitarians. But the
highest part of our nature is too much neglected in all our systems of
education. Of the beauty and fragrance of flowers all earthly creatures
except man are apparently meant to be unconscious. The cattle tread down
or masticate the fairest flowers without a single "compunctious visiting
of nature." This excites no surprize. It is no more than natural. But it
is truly painful and humiliating to see any human being as insensible as
the beasts of the field to that poetry of the world which God seems to
have addressed exclusively to the heart and soul of man.

In South Wales the custom of strewing all kinds of flowers over the
graves of departed friends, is preserved to the present day.
Shakespeare, it appears, knew something of the customs of that part of
his native country and puts the following _flowery_ speech into the
mouth of the young Prince, Arviragus, who was educated there.

                With fairest flowers,
    While summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele,
    I'll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
    The flower that's like thy face, pale Primrose, nor
    The azured Harebell, like thy veins; no, nor
    The leaf of Eglantine; whom not to slander,
    Out-sweetened not thy breath.

_Cymbeline_.

Here are two more flower-passages from Shakespeare.

    Here's a few flowers; but about midnight more;
    The herbs that have on them cold dew o' the night
    Are strewings fitt'st for graves.--Upon their faces:--
    You were as flowers; now withered; even so
    These herblets shall, which we upon you strow.

_Cymbeline_.

    Sweets to the sweet. Farewell!
    I hoped thou shoulds't have been my Hamlet's wife;
    I thought thy bride-bed to have decked, sweet maid,
    And not t' have strewed thy grave.

_Hamlet_.

Flowers are peculiarly suitable ornaments for the grave, for as Evelyn
truly says, "they are just emblems of the life of man, which has been
compared in Holy Scripture to those fading creatures, whose roots being
buried in dishonor rise again in glory."[061]

This thought is natural and just. It is indeed a most impressive sight,
a most instructive pleasure, to behold some "bright consummate flower"
rise up like a radiant exhalation or a beautiful vision--like good from
evil--with such stainless purity and such dainty loveliness, from the
hot-bed of corruption.

Milton turns his acquaintance with flowers to divine account in his
Lycidas.

                          Return; Sicilian Muse,
    And call the vales, and bid them hither cast
    Their bells and flowerets of a thousand hues.
    Ye vallies low, where the mild whispers use
    Of shades and wanton winds, and gushing brooks,
    On whose fresh lap the swart-star sparely looks;
    Throw hither all your quaint enamelled eyes,
    That on the green turf suck the honied showers.
    And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.
    Bring the rathe primrose that forsaken dies.
    The tufted crow-toe, and pale jessamine,
    The white pink, and the pansy freaked with jet,
    The glowing violet,
    The musk-rose and the well-attired woodbine,
    With cowslips wan that hang the pensive head,[062]
    And every flower that sad embroidery wears;
    Bid Amaranthus all his beauty shed,
    And daffodillies fill their cups with tears,
    To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies,
    For, so to interpose a little ease,
    Let our frail thoughts dally with faint surmise

Here is a nosegay of spring-flowers from the hand of Thomson:--

    Fair handed Spring unbosoms every grace,
    Throws out the snow drop and the crocus first,
    the daisy, primrose, violet darkly blue,
    And polyanthus of unnumbered dyes,
    The yellow wall flower, stained with iron brown,
    And lavish stock that scents the garden round,
    From the soft wing of vernal breezes shed,
    Anemonies, auriculas, enriched
    With shining meal o'er all their velvet leaves
    And full ranunculus of glowing red
    Then comes the tulip race, where Beauty plays
    Her idle freaks from family diffused
    To family, as flies the father dust,
    The varied colors run, and while they break
    On the charmed eye, the exulting Florist marks
    With secret pride, the wonders of his hand
    Nor gradual bloom is wanting, from the bird,
    First born of spring, to Summer's musky tribes
    Nor hyacinth, of purest virgin white,
    Low bent, and, blushing inward, nor jonquils,
    Of potent fragrance, nor Narcissus fair,
    As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still,
    Nor broad carnations, nor gay spotted pinks;
    Nor, showered from every bush, the damask rose.
    Infinite varieties, delicacies, smells,
    With hues on hues expression cannot paint,
    The breath of Nature and her endless bloom.

Here are two bouquets of flowers from the garden of Cowper

                            Laburnum, rich
    In streaming gold, syringa, ivory pure,
    The scentless and the scented rose, this red,
    And of an humbler growth, the other[063] tall,
    And throwing up into the darkest gloom
    Of neighboring cypress, or more sable yew,
    Her silver globes, light as the foamy surf
    That the wind severs from the broken wave,
    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,
    Copious of flowers the woodbine, pale and wan,
    But well compensating her sickly looks
    With never cloying odours, early and late,
    Hypericum all bloom, so thick a swarm
    Of flowers, like flies clothing her slender rods,
    That scarce a loaf appears, mezereon too,
    Though leafless, well attired, and thick beset
    With blushing wreaths, investing every spray,
    Althaea with the purple eye, the broom
    Yellow and bright, as bullion unalloy'd,
    Her blossoms, and luxuriant above all
    The jasmine, throwing wide her elegant sweets,
    The deep dark green of whose unvarnish'd leaf
    Makes more conspicuous, and illumines more,
    The bright profusion of her scatter'd stars

       *       *       *       *       *

    Th' amomum there[064] with intermingling flowers
    And cherries hangs her twigs. Geranium boasts
    Her crimson honors, and the spangled beau
    Ficoides, glitters bright the winter long
    All plants, of every leaf, that can endure
    The winter's frown, if screened from his shrewd bite,
    Live their and prosper. Those Ausonia claims,
    Levantine regions those, the Azores send
    Their jessamine, her jessamine remote
    Caffraia, foreigners from many lands,
    They form one social shade as if convened
    By magic summons of the Orphean lyre

Here is a bunch of flowers laid before the public eye by Mr. Proctor--

                        There the rose unveils
    Her breast of beauty, and each delicate bud
    O' the season comes in turn to bloom and perish,
    But first of all the violet, with an eye
    Blue as the midnight heavens, the frail snowdrop,
    Born of the breath of winter, and on his brow
    Fixed like a full and solitary star
    The languid hyacinth, and wild primrose
    And daisy trodden down like modesty
    The fox glove, in whose drooping bells the bee
    Makes her sweet music, the Narcissus (named
    From him who died for love) the tangled woodbine,
    Lilacs, and flowering vines, and scented thorns,
    And some from whom the voluptuous winds of June
    Catch their perfumings

_Barry Cornwall_

I take a second supply of flowers from the same hand

                                Here, this rose
    (This one half blown) shall be my Maia's portion,
    For that like it her blush is beautiful
    And this deep violet, almost as blue
    As Pallas' eye, or thine, Lycemnia,
    I'll give to thee for like thyself it wears
    Its sweetness, never obtruding. For this lily
    Where can it hang but it Cyane's breast?
    And yet twill wither on so white a bed,
    If flowers have sense of envy.--It shall be
    Amongst thy raven tresses, Cytheris,
    Like one star on the bosom of the night
    The cowslip and the yellow primrose,--they
    Are gone, my sad Leontia, to their graves,
    And April hath wept o'er them, and the voice
    Of March hath sung, even before their deaths
    The dirge of those young children of the year
    But here is hearts ease for your woes. And now,
    The honey suckle flower I give to thee,
    And love it for my sake, my own Cyane
    It hangs upon the stem it loves, as thou
    Hast clung to me, through every joy and sorrow,
    It flourishes with its guardian growth, as thou dost,
    And if the woodman's axe should droop the tree,
    The woodbine too must perish.

_Barry Cornwall_

Let me add to the above heap of floral beauty a basket of flowers from
Leigh Hunt.

    Then the flowers on all their beds--
    How the sparklers glance their heads,
    Daisies with their pinky lashes
    And the marigolds broad flashes,
    Hyacinth with sapphire bell
    Curling backward, and the swell
    Of the rose, full lipped and warm,
    Bound about whose riper form
    Her slender virgin train are seen
    In their close fit caps of green,
    Lilacs then, and daffodillies,
    And the nice leaved lesser lilies
    Shading, like detected light,
    Their little green-tipt lamps of white;
    Blissful poppy, odorous pea,
    With its wing up lightsomely;
    Balsam with his shaft of amber,
    Mignionette for lady's chamber,
    And genteel geranium,
    With a leaf for all that come;
    And the tulip tricked out finest,
    And the pink of smell divinest;
    And as proud as all of them
    Bound in one, the garden's gem
    Hearts-ease, like a gallant bold
    In his cloth of purple and gold.

Lady Mary Wortley Montague, who introduced inoculation into England--a
practically useful boon to us,--had also the honor to be amongst the
first to bring from the East to the West an elegant amusement--the
Language of Flowers.[065]

    Then he took up his garland, and did show
    What every flower, as country people hold,
    Did signify; and how all, ordered thus,
    Expressed his grief: and, to my thoughts, did read
    The prettiest lecture of his country art
    That could be wished.

_Beaumont's and Fletcher's "Philaster."_

       *       *       *       *       *

    There from richer banks
    Culling out flowers, which in a learned order
    Do become characters, whence they disclose
    Their mutual meanings, garlands then and nosegays
    Being framed into epistles.

_Cartwright's "Love's Covenant."_

       *       *       *       *       *

    An exquisite invention this,
    Worthy of Love's most honied kiss,
    This art of writing _billet-doux_
    In buds and odours and bright hues,
    In saying all one feels and thinks
    In clever daffodils and pinks,
    Uttering (as well as silence may,)
    The sweetest words the sweetest way.

_Leigh Hunt_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Yet, no--not words, for they
    But half can tell love's feeling;
    Sweet flowers alone can say
    What passion fears revealing.[066]
    A once bright rose's withered leaf--
    A towering lily broken--
    Oh, these may paint a grief
    No words could e'er have spoken.

_Moore_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    By all those token flowers that tell
    What words can ne'er express so well.

_Byron_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A mystic language, perfect in each part.
    Made up of bright hued thoughts and perfumed speeches.

_Adams_.

If we are to believe Shakespeare it is not human beings only who use a
floral language:--

    Fairies use flowers for their charactery.

Sir Walter Scott tells us that:--

    The myrtle bough bids lovers live--

A sprig of hawthorn has the same meaning as a sprig of myrtle: it gives
hope to the lover--the sweet heliotrope tells the depth of his
passion,--if he would charge his mistress with levity he presents the
larkspur,--and a leaf of nettle speaks her cruelty. Poor Ophelia (in
_Hamlet_) gives rosemary for remembrance, and pansies (_pensees_) for
thoughts. The laurel indicates victory in war or success with the Muses,

    "The meed of mighty conquerors and poets sage."

The ivy wreathes the brows of criticism. The fresh vine-leaf cools the
hot forehead of the bacchanal. Bergamot and jessamine imply the
fragrance of friendship.

The Olive is the emblem of peace--the Laurel, of glory--the Rue, of
grace or purification (Ophelia's _Herb of Grace O'Sundays_)--the
Primrose, of the spring of human life--the Bud of the White Rose, of
Girl-hood,--the full blossom of the Red Rose, of consummate beauty--the
Daisy, of innocence,--the Butter-cup, of gold--the Houstania, of
content--the Heliotrope, of devotion in love--the Cross of Jerusalem, of
devotion in religion--the Forget-me-not, of fidelity--the Myrrh, of
gladness--the Yew, of sorrow--the Michaelmas Daisy, of cheerfulness in
age--the Chinese Chrysanthemum, of cheerfulness in adversity--the Yellow
Carnation, of disdain--the Sweet Violet, of modesty--the white
Chrysanthemum, of truth--the Sweet Sultan, of felicity--the Sensitive
Plant, of maiden shyness--the Yellow Day Lily, of coquetry--the
Snapdragon, of presumption--the Broom, of humility--the Amaryllis, of
pride--the Grass, of submission--the Fuschia, of taste--the Verbena, of
sensibility--the Nasturtium, of splendour--the Heath, of solitude--the
Blue Periwinkle, of early friendship--the Honey-suckle, of the bond of
love--the Trumpet Flower, of fame--the Amaranth, of immortality--the
Adonis, of sorrowful remembrance,--and the Poppy, of oblivion.

The Witch-hazel indicates a spell,--the Cape Jasmine says _I'm too
happy_--the Laurestine, _I die if I am neglected_--the American Cowslip,
_You are a divinity_--the Volkamenica Japonica, _May you be happy_--the
Rose-colored Chrysanthemum, _I love_,--and the Venus' Car, _Fly with
me_.

For the following illustrations of the language of flowers I am indebted
to a useful and well conducted little periodical published in London and
entitled the _Family Friend_;--the work is a great favorite with the
fair sex.

"Of the floral grammar, the first rule to be observed is, that the
pronoun _I_ or _me_ is expressed by inclining the symbol flower to the
_left_, and the pronoun _thou_ or _thee_ by inclining it to the _right_.
When, however, it is not a real flower offered, but a representation
upon paper, these positions must be reversed, so that the symbol leans
to the heart of the person whom it is to signify.

The second rule is, that the opposite of a particular sentiment
expressed by a flower presented upright is denoted when the symbol is
reversed; thus a rose-bud sent upright, with its thorns and leaves,
means, "_I fear, but I hope_." If the bud is returned upside down, it
means, "_You must neither hope nor fear_." Should the thorns, however,
be stripped off, the signification is, "_There is everything to hope_;"
but if stript of its leaves, "_There is everything to fear_." By this it
will be seen that the expression of almost all flowers may be varied by
a change in their positions, or an alteration of their state or
condition. For example, the marigold flower placed in the hand signifies
"_trouble of spirits_;" on the heart, "_trouble or love_;" on the bosom,
"_weariness_." The pansy held upright denotes "_heart's ease_;"
reversed, it speaks the contrary. When presented upright, it says,
"_Think of me_;" and when pendent, "_Forget me_." So, too, the
amaryllis, which is the emblem of pride, may be made to express, "_My
pride is humbled_," or, "_Your pride is checked_," by holding it
downwards, and to the right or left, as the sense requires. Then, again,
the wallflower, which is the emblem of fidelity in misfortune, if
presented with the stalk upward, would intimate that the person to whom
it was turned was unfaithful in the time of trouble.

The third rule has relation to the manner in which certain words may be
represented; as, for instance, the articles, by tendrils with single,
double, and treble branches, as under--

[Illustration of _The_, _An_ & _A_.]

The numbers are represented by leaflets running from one to eleven, as
thus--

[Illustration of '1', '2', '3', '4', '5', & '6'.]

From eleven to twenty, berries are added to the ten leaves thus--

[Illustration of '12' & '15'.]

From twenty to one hundred, compound leaves are added to the other ten
for the decimals, and berries stand for the odd numbers so--

[Illustration of '20', '34' & '56'.]

A hundred is represented by ten tens; and this may be increased by a
third leaflet and a branch of berries up to 999.

[Illustration of '100'.]

A thousand may be symbolized by a frond of fern, having ten or more
leaves, and to this a common leaflet may be added to increase the number
of thousands. In this way any given number may be represented in
foliage, such as the date of a year in which a birthday, or other event,
occurs, to which it is desirable to make allusion, in an emblematic
wreath or floral picture. Thus, if I presented my love with a mute yet
eloquent expression of good wishes on her eighteenth birthday, I should
probably do it in this wise:--Within an evergreen wreath (_lasting as my
affection_), consisting of ten leaflets and eight berries (_the age of
the beloved_), I would place a red rose bud (_pure and lovely_), or a
white lily (_pure and modest_), its spotless petals half concealing a
ripe strawberry (_perfect excellence_); and to this I might add a
blossom of the rose-scented geranium (_expressive of my preference_), a
peach blossom to say "_I am your captive_" fern for sincerity, and
perhaps bachelor's buttons for _hope in love_"--_Family Friend_.

There are many anecdotes and legends and classical fables to illustrate
the history of shrubs and flowers, and as they add something to the
peculiar interest with which we regard individual plants, they ought not
to be quite passed over by the writers upon Floriculture.

THE FLOS ADONIS.

The Flos Adonis, a blood-red flower of the Anemone tribe, is one of the
many plants which, according to ancient story sprang from the tears of
Venus and the blood of her coy favorite.

    Rose cheeked Adonis hied him to the chase
    Hunting he loved, but love he laughed to scorn

_Shakespeare_.

Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, the mother of Love, the Queen of Laughter,
the Mistress of the Graces and the Pleasures, could make no impression
on the heart of the beautiful son of Myrrha, (who was changed into a
myrrh tree,) though the passion-stricken charmer looked and spake with
the lip and eye of the fairest of the immortals. Shakespeare, in his
poem of _Venus and Adonis_, has done justice to her burning eloquence,
and the lustre of her unequalled loveliness. She had most earnestly, and
with all a true lover's care entreated Adonis to avoid the dangers of
the chase, but he slighted all her warnings just as he had slighted her
affections. He was killed by a wild boar. Shakespeare makes Venus thus
lament over the beautiful dead body as it lay on the blood-stained
grass.

    Alas, poor world, what treasure hast thou lost!
    What face remains alive that's worth the viewing?
    Whose tongue is music now? What can'st thou boast
    Of things long since, or any thing ensuing?
    The flowers are sweet, their colors fresh and trim,
    But true sweet beauty lived and died with him.

In her ecstacy of grief she prophecies that henceforth all sorts of
sorrows shall be attendants upon love,--and alas! she was too correct an
oracle.

    The course of true love never does run smooth.

Here is Shakespeare's version of the metamorphosis of Adonis into a
flower.

    By this the boy that by her side lay killed
    Was melted into vapour from her sight,
    And in his blood that on the ground lay spilled,
    A purple flower sprang up, checquered with white,
    Resembling well his pale cheeks, and the blood
    Which in round drops upon their whiteness stood.

    She bows her head, the new sprung flower to smell,
    Comparing it to her Adonis' breath,
    And says, within her bosom it shall dwell
    Since he himself is reft from her by death;
    She crops the stalk, and in the branch appears
    Green dropping sap which she compares to tears.

The reader may like to contrast this account of the change from human
into floral beauty with the version of the same story in Ovid as
translated by Eusden.

    Then on the blood sweet nectar she bestows,
    The scented blood in little bubbles rose;
    Little as rainy drops, which fluttering fly,
    Borne by the winds, along a lowering sky,
    Short time ensued, till where the blood was shed,
    A flower began to rear its purple head

    Such, as on Punic apples is revealed
    Or in the filmy rind but half concealed,
    Still here the fate of lonely forms we see,
    _So sudden fades the sweet Anemone_.
    The feeble stems to stormy blasts a prey
    Their sickly beauties droop, and pine away
    The winds forbid the flowers to flourish long
    Which owe to winds their names in Grecian song.

The concluding couplet alludes to the Grecian name of the flower
([Greek: anemos], _anemos_, the wind.)

It is said of the Anemone that it never opens its lips until Zephyr
kisses them. Sir William Jones alludes to its short-lived beauty.

    Youth, like a thin anemone, displays
    His silken leaf, and in a morn decays.

Horace Smith speaks of

    The coy anemone that ne'er discloses
    Her lips until they're blown on by the wind

Plants open out their leaves to breathe the air just as eagerly as they
throw down their roots to suck up the moisture of the earth. Dr. Linley,
indeed says, "they feed more by their leaves than their roots." I lately
met with a curious illustration of the fact that plants draw a larger
proportion of their nourishment from light and air than is commonly
supposed. I had a beautiful convolvulus growing upon a trellis work in
an upper verandah with a south-western aspect. The root of the plant was
in pots. The convolvulus growing too luxuriantly and encroaching too
much upon the space devoted to a creeper of another kind, I separated
its upper branches from the root and left them to die. The leaves began
to fade the second day and most of them were quite dead the third or
fourth day, but two or three of the smallest retained a sickly life for
some days more. The buds or rather chalices outlived the leaves. The
chalices continued to expand every morning, for--I am afraid to say how
long a time--it might seem perfectly incredible. The convolvulus is a
plant of a rather delicate character and I was perfectly astonished at
its tenacity of life in this case. I should mention that this happened
in the rainy season and that the upper part of the creeper was partially
protected from the sun.

The Anemone seems to have been a great favorite with Mrs. Hemans. She
thus addresses it.

    Flower! The laurel still may shed
    Brightness round the victor's head,
    And the rose in beauty's hair
    Still its festal glory wear;
    And the willow-leaves droop o'er
    Brows which love sustains no more
    But by living rays refined,
    Thou the trembler of the wind,
    Thou, the spiritual flower
    Sentient of each breeze and shower,[067]
    Thou, rejoicing in the skies
    And transpierced with all their dyes;
    Breathing-vase with light o'erflowing,
    Gem-like to thy centre flowing,
    Thou the Poet's type shall be
    Flower of soul, Anemone!

The common anemone was known to the ancients but the finest kind was
introduced into France from the East Indies, by Monsieur Bachelier, an
eminent Florist. He seems to have been a person of a truly selfish
disposition, for he refused to share the possession of his floral
treasure with any of his countrymen. For ten years the new anemone from
the East was to be seen no where in Europe but in Monsieur Bachelier's
parterre. At last a counsellor of the French Parliament disgusted with
the florist's selfishness, artfully contrived when visiting the garden
to drop his robe upon the flower in such a manner as to sweep off some
of the seeds. The servant, who was in his master's secret, caught up the
robe and carried it away. The trick succeeded; and the counsellor shared
the spoils with all his friends through whose agency the plant was
multiplied in all parts of Europe.

THE OLIVE.

The OLIVE is generally regarded as an emblem of peace, and should have
none but pleasant associations connected with it, but Ovid alludes to a
wild species of this tree into which a rude and licentious fellow was
converted as a punishment for "banishing the fair," with indecent words
and gestures. The poet tells us of a secluded grotto surrounded by
trembling reeds once frequented by the wood-nymphs of the sylvan race:--

    Till Appulus with a dishonest air
    And gross behaviour, banished thence the fair.
    The bold buffoon, whene'er they tread the green,
    Their motion mimics, but with jest obscene;
    Loose language oft he utters; but ere long
    A bark in filmy net-work binds his tongue;
    Thus changed, a base wild olive he remains;
    The shrub the coarseness of the clown retains.

_Garth's Ovid_.

The mural of this is excellent. The sentiment reminds me of the Earl of
Roscommon's well-known couplet in his _Essay on Translated Verse_, a
poem now rarely read.

    Immodest words admit of no defense,[068]
    For want of decency is want of sense,

THE HYACINTH.

The HYACINTH has always been a great favorite with the poets, ancient
and modern. Homer mentions the Hyacinth as forming a portion of the
materials of the couch of Jove and Juno.

    Thick new-born Violets a soft carpet spread,
    And clustering Lotos swelled the rising bed,
    And sudden _Hyacinths_[069] the turf bestrow,
    And flaming Crocus made the mountains glow

_Iliad, Book 14_

Milton gives a similar couch to Adam and Eve.

                Flowers were the couch
    Pansies, and Violets, and Asphodel
    And _Hyacinth_, earth's freshest, softest lap

With the exception of the lotus (so common in Hindustan,) all these
flowers, thus celebrated by the greatest of Grecian poets, and
represented as fit luxuries for the gods, are at the command of the
poorest peasant in England. The common Hyacinth is known to the
unlearned as the Harebell, so called from the bell shape of its flowers
and from its growing so abundantly in thickets frequented by hares.
Shakespeare, as we have seen, calls it the _Blue_-bell.

The curling flowers of the Hyacinth, have suggested to our poets the
idea of clusters of curling tresses of hair.

    His fair large front and eye sublime declared
    Absolute rule, and hyacinthine locks
    Round from his parted forelock manly hung,
    Clustering

_Milton_

    The youths whose locks divinely spreading
    Like vernal hyacinths in sullen hue

_Collins_

Sir William Jones describes--

    The fragrant hyacinths of Azza's hair,
    That wanton with the laughing summer air.

A similar allusion may also be found in prose.

"It was the exquisitely fair queen Helen, whose jacinth[070] hair,
curled by nature, intercurled by art, like a brook through golden sands,
had a rope of fair pearl, which, now hidden by the hair, did, as it were
play at fast and loose each with the other, mutually giving and
receiving richness."--_Sir Philip Sidney_

"The ringlets so elegantly disposed round the fair countenances of these
fair Chiotes [071] are such as Milton describes by 'hyacinthine locks'
crisped and curled like the blossoms of that flower"

_Dallaway_

The old fable about Hyacinthus is soon told. Apollo loved the youth and
not only instructed him in literature and the arts, but shared in his
pastimes. The divine teacher was one day playing with his pupil at
quoits. Some say that Zephyr (Ovid says it was Boreas) jealous of the
god's influence over young Hyacinthus, wafted the ponderous iron ring
from its right course and caused it to pitch upon the poor boy's head.
He fell to the ground a bleeding corpse. Apollo bade the scarlet
hyacinth spring from the blood and impressed upon its leaves the words
_Ai Ai_, (_alas! alas!_) the Greek funeral lamentation. Milton alludes
to the flower in _Lycidas_,

    Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe.

Drummond had before spoken of

            That sweet flower that bears
    In sanguine spots the tenor of our woes

Hurdis speaks of:

    The melancholy Hyacinth, that weeps
    All night, and never lifts an eye all day.

Ovid, after giving the old fable of Hyacinthus, tells us that "the time
shall come when a most valiant hero shall add his name to this flower."
"He alludes," says Mr. Riley, "to Ajax, from whose blood when he slew
himself, a similar flower[072] was said to have arisen with the letters
_Ai Ai_ on its leaves, expressive either of grief or denoting the first
two letters of his name [Greek: Aias]."

    As poets feigned from Ajax's streaming blood
    Arose, with grief inscribed, a mournful flower.

_Young_.

Keats has the following allusion to the old story of Hyacinthus,

    Or they might watch the quoit-pitchers, intent
    On either side; pitying the sad death
    Of Hyacinthus, when the cruel breath
    Of Zephyr slew him,--Zephyr penitent,
    Who now, ere Phoebus mounts the firmament
    Fondles the flower amid the sobbing rain.

_Endymion_.

Our English Hyacinth, it is said, is not entitled to its legendary
honors. The words _Non Scriptus_ were applied to this plant by
Dodonaeus, because it had not the _Ai Ai_ upon its petals. Professor
Martyn says that the flower called _Lilium Martagon_ or the _Scarlet
Turk's Cap_ is the plant alluded to by the ancients.

Alphonse Karr, the eloquent French writer, whose "_Tour Round my
Garden_" I recommend to the perusal of all who can sympathize with
reflections and emotions suggested by natural objects, has the following
interesting anecdote illustrative of the force of a floral
association:--

"I had in a solitary corner of my garden _three hyacinths_ which my
father had planted and which death did not allow him to see bloom. Every
year the period of their flowering was for me a solemnity, a funeral and
religious festival, it was a melancholy remembrance which revived and
reblossomed every year and exhaled certain thoughts with its perfume.
The roots are dead now and nothing lives of this dear association but in
my own heart. But what a dear yet sad privilege man possesses above all
created beings, while thus enabled by memory and thought to follow those
whom he loved to the tomb and there shut up the living with the dead.
What a melancholy privilege, and yet is there one amongst us who would
lose it? Who is he who would willingly forget all"

Wordsworth, suddenly stopping before a little bunch of harebells, which
along with some parsley fern, grew out of a wall, he exclaimed, 'How
perfectly beautiful that is!

    Would that the little flowers that grow could live
    Conscious of half the pleasure that they give

The Hyacinth has been cultivated with great care and success in Holland,
where from two to three hundred pounds have been given for a single
bulb. A florist at Haarlem enumerates 800 kinds of double-flowered
Hyacinths, besides about 400 varieties of the single kind. It is said
that there are altogether upwards of 2000 varieties of the Hyacinth.

The English are particularly fond of the Hyacinth. It is a domestic
flower--a sort of parlour pet. When in "close city pent" they transfer
the bulbs to glass vases (Hyacinth glasses) filled with water, and place
them in their windows in the winter.

An annual solemnity, called Hyacinthia, was held in Laconia in honor of
Hyacinthus and Apollo. It lasted three days. So eagerly was this
festival honored, that the soldiers of Laconia even when they had taken
the field against an enemy would return home to celebrate it.

THE NARCISSUS

    Foolish Narcisse, that likes the watery shore

_Spenser_

With respect to the NARCISSUS, whose name in the floral vocabulary is
the synonyme of _egotism_, there is a story that must be familiar enough
to most of my readers. Narcissus was a beautiful youth. Teresias, the
Soothsayer, foretold that he should enjoy felicity until he beheld his
own face but that the first sight of that would be fatal to him. Every
kind of mirror was kept carefully out of his way. Echo was enamoured of
him, but he slighted her love, and she pined and withered away until she
had nothing left her but her voice, and even that could only repeat the
last syllables of other people's sentences. He at last saw his own image
reflected in a fountain, and taking it for that of another, he fell
passionately in love with it. He attempted to embrace it. On seeing the
fruitlessness of all his efforts, he killed himself in despair. When the
nymphs raised a funeral pile to burn his body, they found nothing but a
flower. That flower (into which he had been changed) still bears his
name.

Here is a little passage about the fable, from the _Two Noble Kinsmen_
of Beaumont and Fletcher.

    _Emilia_--This garden hath a world of pleasure in it,
              What flower is this?

   _Servant_--'Tis called Narcissus, Madam.

       _Em._--That was a fair boy certain, but a fool
              To love himself, were there not maids,
              Or are they all hard hearted?

       _Ser_--That could not be to one so fair.

Ben Jonson touches the true moral of the fable very forcibly.

            'Tis now the known disease
    That beauty hath, to hear too deep a sense
    Of her own self conceived excellence
    Oh! had'st thou known the worth of Heaven's rich gift,
    Thou would'st have turned it to a truer use,
    And not (with starved and covetous ignorance)
    Pined in continual eyeing that bright gem
    The glance whereof to others had been more
    Than to thy famished mind the wide world's store.

Gay's version of the fable is as follows:

    Here young Narcissus o'er the fountain stood
    And viewed his image in the crystal flood
    The crystal flood reflects his lovely charms
    And the pleased image strives to meet his arms.
    No nymph his inexperienced breast subdued,
    Echo in vain the flying boy pursued
    Himself alone, the foolish youth admires
    And with fond look the smiling shade desires,
    O'er the smooth lake with fruitless tears he grieves,
    His spreading fingers shoot in verdant leaves,
    Through his pale veins green sap now gently flows,
    And in a short lived flower his beauty glows

Addison has given a full translation of the story of Narcissus from
Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book the third.

The common daffodil of our English fields is of the genus Narcissus.
"Pray," said some one to Pope, "what is this _Asphodel_ of Homer?" "Why,
I believe," said Pope "if one was to say the truth, 'twas nothing else
but that poor yellow flower that grows about our orchards, and, if so,
the verse might be thus translated in English

    --The stern Achilles
    Stalked through a mead of daffodillies"

THE LAUREL

Daphne was a beautiful nymph beloved by that very amorous gentleman,
Apollo. The love was not reciprocal. She endeavored to escape his
godship's importunities by flight. Apollo overtook her. She at that
instant solicited aid from heaven, and was at once turned into a laurel.
Apollo gathered a wreath from the tree and placing it on his own
immortal brows, decreed that from that hour the laurel should be sacred
to his divinity.

THE SUN-FLOWER

    Who can unpitying see the flowery race
    Shed by the morn then newflushed bloom resign,
    Before the parching beam? So fade the fair,
    When fever revels in their azure veins
    But one, _the lofty follower of the sun_,
    Sad when he sits shuts up her yellow leaves,
    Drooping all night, and when he warm return,
    Points her enamoured bosom to his ray

_Thomson_.

THE SUN-FLOWER (_Helianthus_) was once the fair nymph Clytia.
Broken-hearted at the falsehood of her lover, Apollo, (who has so many
similar sins to answer for) she pined away and died. When it was too late
Apollo's heart relented, and in honor of true affection he changed poor
Clytia into a _Sun-flower_.[073] It is sometimes called _Tourne-sol_--a
word that signifies turning to the sun. Thomas Moore helps to keep the
old story in remembrance by the concluding couplet of one of his
sweetest ballads.

    Oh! the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
    But as truly loves on to its close
    As the sun flower turns on her god when he sets
    The same look that she turned when he rose

But Moore has here poetized a vulgar error. Most plants naturally turn
towards the light, but the sun-flower (in spite of its name) is perhaps
less apt to turn itself towards Apollo than the majority of other
flowers for it has a stiff stem and a number of heavy heads. At all
events it does not change its attitude in the course of the day. The
flower-disk that faces the morning sun has it back to it in the evening.

Gerard calls the sun-flower "The Flower of the Sun or the Marigold of
Peru". Speaking of it in the year 1596 he tells us that he had some in
his own garden in Holborn that had grown to the height of fourteen feet.

THE WALL-FLOWER

    The weed is green, when grey the wall,
    And blossoms rise where turrets fall

Herrick gives us a pretty version of the story of the WALL-FLOWER,
(_cheiranthus cheiri_)("the yellow wall-flower stained with iron brown")

    Why this flower is now called so
    List sweet maids and you shall know
    Understand this firstling was
    Once a brisk and bonny lass
    Kept as close as Danae was
    Who a sprightly springal loved,
    And to have it fully proved,
    Up she got upon a wall
    Tempting down to slide withal,
    But the silken twist untied,
    So she fell, and bruised and died
    Love in pity of the deed
    And her loving, luckless speed,
    Turned her to the plant we call
    Now, 'The Flower of the Wall'

The wall-flower is the emblem of fidelity in misfortune, because it
attaches itself to fallen towers and gives a grace to ruin. David Moir
(the Delta of _Blackwood's Magazine_) has a poem on this flower. I must
give one stanza of it.

    In the season of the tulip cup
    When blossoms clothe the trees,
    How sweet to throw the lattice up
    And scent thee on the breeze;
    The butterfly is then abroad,
    The bee is on the wing,
    And on the hawthorn by the road
    The linnets sit and sing.

Lord Bacon observes that wall-flowers are very delightful when set under
the parlour window or a lower chamber window. They are delightful, I
think, any where.

THE JESSAMINE.

    The Jessamine, with which the Queen of flowers,
    To charm her god[074] adorns his favorite bowers,
    Which brides, by the plain hand of neatness dressed--
    Unenvied rivals!--wear upon their breast;
    Sweet as the incense of the morn, and chaste
    As the pure zone which circles Dian's waist.

_Churchill._

The elegant and fragrant JESSAMINE, or Jasmine, (_Jasmimum Officinale_)
with its "bright profusion of scattered stars," is said to have passed
from East to West. It was originally a native of Hindustan, but it is
now to be found in every clime, and is a favorite in all. There are
many varieties of it in Europe. In Italy it is woven into bridal wreaths
and is used on all festive occasions. There is a proverbial saying
there, that she who is worthy of being decorated with jessamine is rich
enough for any husband. Its first introduction into that sunny land is
thus told. A certain Duke of Tuscany, the first possessor of a plant of
this tribe, wished to preserve it as an unique, and forbade his gardener
to give away a single sprig of it. But the gardener was a more faithful
lover than servant and was more willing to please a young mistress than
an old master. He presented the young girl with a branch of jessamine on
her birth-day. She planted it in the ground; it took root, and grew and
blossomed. She multiplied the plant by cuttings, and by the sale of
these realized a little fortune, which her lover received as her
marriage dowry.

In England the bride wears a coronet of intermingled orange blossom and
jessamine. Orange flowers indicate chastity, and the jessamine, elegance
and grace.

THE ROSE.

    For here the rose expands
    Her paradise of leaves.

_Southey._

The ROSE, (_Rosa_) the Queen of Flowers, was given by Cupid to
Harpocrates, the God of Silence, as a bribe, to prevent him from
betraying the amours of Venus. A rose suspended from the ceiling
intimates that all is strictly confidential that passes under it. Hence
the phrase--_under the Rose_[075].

The rose was raised by Flora from the remains of a favorite nymph. Venus
and the Graces assisted in the transformation of the nymph into a
flower. Bacchus supplied streams of nectar to its root, and Vertumnus
showered his choicest perfumes on its head.

The loves of the Nightingale and the Rose have been celebrated by the
Muses of many lands. An Eastern poet says "You may place a hundred
handfuls of fragrant herbs and flowers before the Nightingale; yet he
wishes not, in his constant heart, for more than the sweet breath of his
beloved Rose."

The Turks say that the rose owes its origin to a drop of perspiration
that fell from the person of their prophet Mahommed.

The classical legend runs that the rose was at first of a pure white,
but a rose-thorn piercing the foot of Venus when she was hastening to
protect Adonis from the rage of Mars, her blood dyed the flower. Spenser
alludes to this legend:

    White as the native rose, before the change
    Which Venus' blood did on her leaves impress.

_Spenser_.

Milton says that in Paradise were,

    Flowers of all hue, and _without thorns the rose_.

According to Zoroaster there was no thorn on the rose until Ahriman (the
Evil One) entered the world.

Here is Dr. Hooker's account of the origin of the red rose.

    To sinless Eve's admiring sight
    The rose expanded snowy white,
    When in the ecstacy of bliss
    She gave the modest flower a kiss,
    And instantaneous, lo! it drew
    From her red lip its blushing hue;
    While from her breath it sweetness found,
    And spread new fragrance all around.

This reminds me of a passage in Mrs. Barrett Browning's _Drama of Exile_
in which she makes Eve say--

                --For was I not
    At that last sunset seen in Paradise,
    When all the westering clouds flashed out in throngs
    Of sudden angel-faces, face by face,
    All hushed and solemn, as a thought of God
    Held them suspended,--was I not, that hour
    The lady of the world, princess of life,
    Mistress of feast and favour? _Could I touch
    A Rose with my white hand, but it became
    Redder at once?_

Another poet. (Mr. C. Cooke) tells us that a species of red rose with
all her blushing honors full upon her, taking pity on a very pale
maiden, changed complexions with the invalid and became herself as white
as snow.

Byron expressed a wish that all woman-kind had but one _rosy_ mouth,
that he might kiss all woman-kind at once. This, as some one has rightly
observed, is better than Caligula's wish that all mankind had but one
head that he might cut it off at a single blow.

Leigh Hunt has a pleasant line about the rose:

    And what a red mouth hath the rose, the woman of the flowers!

In the Malay language the same word signifies _flowers_ and _women_.

Human beauty and the rose are ever suggesting images of each other to
the imagination of the poets. Shakespeare has a beautiful description of
the two little princes sleeping together in the Tower of London.

    Their lips were four red roses on a stalk
    That in their summer beauty kissed each other.

William Browne (our Devonshire Pastoral Poet) has a _rosy_ description
of a kiss:--

                To her Amyntas
    Came and saluted; never man before
    More blest, nor like this kiss hath been another
    But when two dangling cherries kist each other;
    Nor ever beauties, like, met at such closes,
    But in the kisses of two damask roses.

Here is something in the same spirit from Crashaw.

                            So have I seen
    Two silken sister-flowers consult and lay
    Their bashful cheeks together; newly they
    Peeped from their buds, showed like the garden's eyes
    Scarce waked, like was the crimson of their joys,
    Like were the tears they wept, so like that one
    Seemed but the other's kind reflection.

Loudon says that there is a rose called the _York and Lancaster_ which
when, it comes true has one half of the flower red and the other half
white. It was named in commemoration of the two houses at the marriage
of Henry VII. of Lancaster with Elizabeth of York.

Anacreon devotes one of his longest and best odes to the laudation of
the Rose. Such innumerable translations have been made of it that it is
now too well known for quotation in this place. Thomas Moore in his
version of the ode gives in a foot-note the following translation of a
fragment of the Lesbian poetess.

    If Jove would give the leafy bowers
    A queen for all their world of flowers
    The Rose would be the choice of Jove,
    And blush the queen of every grove
    Sweetest child of weeping morning,
    Gem the vest of earth adorning,
    Eye of gardens, light of lawns,
    Nursling of soft summer dawns
    June's own earliest sigh it breathes,
    Beauty's brow with lustre wreathes,
    And to young Zephyr's warm caresses
    Spreads abroad its verdant tresses,
    Till blushing with the wanton's play
    Its cheeks wear e'en a redder ray.

From the idea of excellence attached to this Queen of Flowers arose, as
Thomas Moore observes, the pretty proverbial expression used by
Aristophanes--_you have spoken roses_, a phrase adds the English poet,
somewhat similar to the _dire des fleurettes_ of the French.

The Festival of the Rose is still kept up in many villages of France and
Switzerland. On a certain day of every year the young unmarried women
assemble and undergo a solemn trial before competent judges, the most
virtuous and industrious girl obtains a crown of roses. In the valley of
Engandine, in Switzerland, a man accused of a crime but proved to be not
guilty, is publicly presented by a young maiden with a white rose called
the Rose of Innocence.

Of the truly elegant Moss Rose I need say nothing myself; it has been so
amply honored by far happier pens than mine. Here is a very ingenious
and graceful story of its origin. The lines are from the German.

THE MOSS ROSE

    The Angel of the Flowers one day,
    Beneath a rose tree sleeping lay,
    The spirit to whom charge is given
    To bathe young buds in dews of heaven,
    Awaking from his light repose
    The Angel whispered to the Rose
    "O fondest object of my care
    Still fairest found where all is fair,
    For the sweet shade thou givest to me
    Ask what thou wilt 'tis granted thee"
    "Then" said the Rose, "with deepened glow
    On me another grace bestow."
    The spirit paused in silent thought
    What grace was there the flower had not?
    'Twas but a moment--o'er the rose
    A veil of moss the Angel throws,
    And robed in Nature's simple weed,
    Could there a flower that rose exceed?

Madame de Genlis tells us that during her first visit to England she saw
a moss-rose for the first time in her life, and that when she took it
back to Paris it gave great delight to her fellow-citizens, who said it
was the first that had ever been seen in that city. Madame de Latour
says that Madame de Genlis was mistaken, for the moss-rose came
originally from Provence and had been known to the French for ages.

The French are said to have cultivated the Rose with extraordinary care
and success. It was the favorite flower of the Empress Josephine, who
caused her own name to be traced in the parterres at Malmaison with a
plantation of the rarest roses. In the royal rosary at Versailles there
are standards eighteen feet high grafted with twenty different varieties
of the rose.

With the Romans it was no metaphor but an allusion to a literal fact
when they talked of sleeping upon beds of roses. Cicero in his third
oration against Verres, when charging the proconsul with luxurious
habits, stated that he had made the tour of Sicily seated upon roses.
And Seneca says, of course jestingly, that a Sybarite of the name of
Smyrndiride was unable to sleep if one of the rose-petals on his bed
happened to be curled! At a feast which Cleopatra gave to Marc Antony
the floor of the hall was covered with fresh roses to the depth of
eighteen inches. At a fête given by Nero at Baiae the sum of four
millions of sesterces or about 20,000_l_. was incurred for roses. The
Natives of India are fond of the rose, and are lavish in their
expenditure at great festivals, but I suppose that no millionaire
amongst them ever spent such an amount of money as this upon flowers
alone.[076]

I shall close the poetical quotations on the Rose with one of
Shakespeare's sonnets.

    O how much more doth beauty beauteous seem,
    By that sweet ornament which truth doth give.
    The rose looks fair, but fairer we it deem
    For that sweet odour which doth in it live.
    The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
    As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
    Hang on such thorns, and play as wantonly,
    When summer's breath their masked buds discloses;
    But for their virtue only is their show,
    They live unwoo'd and unrespected fade;
    Die to themselves. Sweet Roses do not so;
    Of then sweet deaths are sweetest odours made:
    And so of you, beauteous and lovely youth,
    When that shall fade, my verse distils your truth.

There are many hundred acres of rose trees at Ghazeepore which are
cultivated for distillation, and making "attar." There are large fields
of roses in England also, for the manufacture of rose-water.

There is a story about the origin of attar of Roses. The Princess
Nourmahal caused a large tank, on which she used to be rowed about with
the great Mogul, to be filled with rose-water. The heat of the sun
separating the water from the essential oil of the rose, the latter was
observed to be floating on the surface. The discovery was immediately
turned to good account. At Ghazeepoor, the _essence_, _atta_ or _uttar_
or _otto_, or whatever it should be called, is obtained with great
simplicity and ease. After the rose water is prepared it is put into
large open vessels which are left out at night. Early in the morning the
oil that floats upon the surface is skimmed off, or sucked up with fine
dry cotton wool, put into bottles, and carefully sealed. Bishop Heber
says that to produce one rupee's weight of atta 200,000 well grown roses
are required, and that a rupee's weight sells from 80 to 100 rupees. The
atta sold in Calcutta is commonly adulterated with the oil of sandal
wood.

LINNAEA BOREALIS

The LINNAEA BOREALIS, or two horned Linnaea, though a simple Lapland
flower, is interesting to all botanists from its association with the
name of the Swedish Sage. It has pretty little bells and is very
fragrant. It is a wild, unobtrusive plant and is very averse to the
trim lawn and the gay flower-border. This little woodland beauty pines
away under too much notice. She prefers neglect, and would rather waste
her sweetness on the desert air, than be introduced into the fashionable
lists of Florist's flowers. She shrinks from exposure to the sun. A
gentleman after walking with Linnaeus on the shores of the lake near
Charlottendal on a lovely evening, writes thus "I gathered a small
flower and asked if it was the _Linnaea borealis_. 'Nay,' said the
philosopher, 'she lives not here, but in the middle of our largest
woods. She clings with her little arms to the moss, and seems to resist
very gently if you force her from it. She has a complexion like a
milkmaid, and ah! she is very, very sweet and agreeable!"

THE FORGET-ME-NOT

The dear little FORGET-ME-NOT, (_myosotis palustris_)[077] with its eye
of blue, is said to have derived its touching appellation from a
sentimental German story. Two lovers were walking on the bank of a rapid
stream. The lady beheld the flower growing on a little island, and
expressed a passionate desire to possess it. He gallantly plunged into
the stream and obtained the flower, but exhausted by the force of the
tide, he had only sufficient strength left as he neared the shore to
fling the flower at the fair one's feet, and exclaim "_Forget-me-not!_"
(_Vergiss-mein-nicht_.) He was then carried away by the stream, out of
her sight for ever.

THE PERIWINKLE.

The PERIWINKLE (_vinca_ or _pervinca_) has had its due share of poetical
distinction. In France the common people call it the Witch's violet. It
seems to have suggested to Wordsworth an idea of the consciousness of
flowers.

    Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower,
    The Periwinkle trailed its wreaths,
    _And 'tis my faith that every flower
    Enjoys the air it breathes._

Mr. J.L. Merritt, has some complimentary lines on this flower.

    The Periwinkle with its fan-like leaves
    All nicely levelled, is a lovely flower
    Whose dark wreath, myrtle like, young Flora weaves;
                 There's none more rare
    Nor aught more meet to deck a fairy's bower
                 Or grace her hair.

The little blue Periwinkle is rendered especially interesting to the
admirers of the genius of Rousseau by an anecdote that records his
emotion on meeting it in one of his botanical excursions. He had seen it
thirty years before in company with Madame de Warens. On meeting its
sweet face again, after so long and eventful an interim, he fell upon
his knees, crying out--_Ah! voila de la pervanche!_ "It struck him,"
says Hazlitt, "as the same little identical flower that he remembered so
well; and thirty years of sorrow and bitter regret were effaced from his
memory."

The Periwinkle was once supposed to be a cure for many diseases. Lord
Bacon says that in his time people afflicted with cramp wore bands of
green periwinkle tied about their limbs. It had also its supposed moral
influences. According to Culpepper the leaves of the flower if eaten by
man and wife together would revive between them a lost affection.

THE BASIL.

    Sweet marjoram, with her like, _sweet basil_, rare for smell.

_Drayton._

The BASIL is a plant rendered poetical by the genius which has handled
it. Boccaccio and Keats have made the name of the _sweet basil_ sound
pleasantly in the ears of many people who know nothing of botany. A
species of this plant (known in Europe under the botanical name of
_Ocymum villosum_, and in India as the _Toolsee_) is held sacred by the
Hindus. Toolsee was a disciple of Vishnu. Desiring to be his wife she
excited the jealousy of Lukshmee by whom she was transformed into the
herb named after her.[078]

THE TULIP.

    Tulips, like the ruddy evening streaked.

_Southey_.

The TULIP (_tulipa_) is the glory of the garden, as far as color without
fragrance can confer such distinction. Some suppose it to be 'The Lily
of the Field' alluded to in the Sermon on the Mount. It grows wild in
Syria.

The name of the tulip is said to be of Turkish origin. It was called
Tulipa from its resemblance to the tulipan or turban.

    What crouds the rich Divan to-day
    With turbaned heads, of every hue
    Bowing before that veiled and awful face
    Like Tulip-beds of different shapes and dyes,
    Bending beneath the invisible west wind's sighs?

_Moore_.

The reader has probably heard of the Tulipomania once carried to so
great an excess in Holland.

    With all his phlegm, it broke a Dutchman's heart,
    At a vast price, with one loved root to part.

_Crabbe_.

About the middle of the 17th century the city of Haarlem realized in
three years ten millions sterling by the sale of tulips. A single tulip
(the _Semper Augustus_) was sold for one thousand pounds. Twelve acres
of land were given for a single root and engagements to the amount of
£5,000 were made for a first-class tulip when the mania was at its
height. A gentleman, who possessed a tulip of great value, hearing that
some one was in possession of a second root of the same kind, eagerly
secured it at a most extravagant price. The moment he got possession of
it, he crushed it under his foot. "Now," he exclaimed, "my tulip is
unique!"

A Dutch Merchant gave a sailor a herring for his breakfast. Jack seeing
on the Merchant's counter what he supposed to be a heap of onions, took
up a handful of them and ate them with his fish. The supposed onions
were tulip bulbs of such value that they would have paid the cost of a
thousand Royal feasts.[079]

The tulip mania never leached so extravagant a height in England as in
Holland, but our country did not quite escape the contagion, and even so
late as the year 1836 at the sale of Mr. Clarke's tulips at Croydon,
seventy two pounds were given for a single bulb of the _Fanny Kemble_;
and a Florist in Chelsea in the same year, priced a bulb in his
catalogue at 200 guineas.

The Tulip is not endeared to us by many poetical associations. We have
read, however, one pretty and romantic tale about it. A poor old woman
who lived amongst the wild hills of Dartmoor, in Devonshire, possessed a
beautiful bed of Tulips, the pride of her small garden. One fine
moonlight night her attention was arrested by the sweet music which
seemed to issue from a thousand Liliputian choristers. She found that
the sounds proceeded from her many colored bells of Tulips. After
watching the flowers intently she perceived that they were not swayed to
and fro by the wind, but by innumerable little beings that were climbing
on the stems and leaves. They were pixies. Each held in its arms an
elfin baby tinier than itself. She saw the babies laid in the bells of
the plant, which were thus used as cradles, and the music was formed of
many lullabies. When the babies were asleep the pixies or fairies left
them, and gamboled on the neighbouring sward on which the old lady
discovered the day after, several new green rings,--a certain evidence
that her fancy had not deceived her! At earliest dawn the fairies had
returned to the tulips and taken away their little ones. The good old
woman never permitted her tulip bed to be disturbed. She regarded it as
holy ground. But when she died, some Utilitarian gardener turned it into
a parsley bed! The parsley never flourished. The ground was now cursed.
In gratitude to the memory of the benevolent dame who had watched and
protected the floral nursery, every month, on the night before the full
moon, the fairies scattered flowers on her grave, and raised a sweet
musical dirge--heard only by poetic ears--or by maids and children who

    Hold each strange tale devoutly true.

For as the poet says:

    What though no credit doubting wits may give,
    The fair and innocent shall still believe.

Men of genius are often as trustful as maids and children. Collins,
himself a lover of the wonderful, thus speaks of Tasso:--

    Prevailing poet! whose undoubting mind
    Believed the magic wonders that he sung.

All nature indeed is full of mystery to the imaginative.

    And visions as poetic eyes avow
    Hang on each leaf and cling to every bough.

The Hindoos believe that the Peepul tree of which the foliage trembles
like that of the aspen, has a spirit in every leaf.

"Did you ever see a fairy's funeral, Madam?" said Blake, the artist.
"Never Sir." "_I_ have," continued that eccentric genius, "One night I
was walking alone in my garden. There was great stillness amongst the
branches and flowers and more than common sweetness in the air. I heard
a low and pleasant sound, and knew not whence it came: at last I
perceived _the broad leaf of a flower move_, and underneath I saw a
procession of creatures the size and color of green and gray
grasshoppers, _bearing a body laid out on a rose leaf_, which they
buried with song, and then disappeared."

THE PINK.

The PINK (_dianthus_) is a very elegant flower. I have but a short story
about it. The young Duke of Burgundy, grandson of Louis the Fifteenth,
was brought up in the midst of flatterers as fulsome as those rebuked by
Canute. The youthful prince was fond of cultivating pinks, and one of
his courtiers, by substituting a floral changeling, persuaded him that
one of those pinks planted by the royal hand had sprung up into bloom in
a single night! One night, being unable to sleep, he wished to rise, but
was told that it was midnight; he replied "_Well then, I desire it to be
morning_."

The pink is one of the commonest of the flowers in English gardens. It
is a great favorite all over Europe. The botanists have enumerated about
400 varieties of it.

THE PANSY OR HEARTS-EASE.

The PANSY (_víola trîcolor_) commonly called _Hearts-ease_, or
_Love-in-idleness_, or _Herb-Trinity_ (_Flos Trinitarium_), or
_Three-faces-under-a-hood_, or _Kit-run-about_, is one of the richest
and loveliest of flowers.

The late Mrs. Siddons, the great actress, was so fond of this flower
that she thought she could never have enough of it. Besides round beds
of it she used it as an edging to all the flower borders in her garden.
She liked to plant a favorite flower in large masses of beauty. But such
beauty must soon fatigue the eye with its sameness. A round bed of one
sort of flowers only is like a nosegay composed of one sort of flowers
or of flowers of the same hue. She was also particularly fond of
evergreens because they gave her garden a pleasant aspect even in the
winter.

"Do you hear him?"--(John Bunyan makes the guide enquire of Christiana
while a shepherd boy is singing beside his sheep)--"I will dare to say
this boy leads a merrier life, and wears more of the herb called
_hearts-ease_ in his bosom, than he that is clothed in silk and purple."

Shakespeare has connected this flower with a compliment to the maiden
Queen of England.

    That very time I saw (but thou couldst not)
    Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
    Cupid all armed, a certain aim he took
    At a fair Vestal, throned by the west;
    And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow
    As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts.
    But I might see young Cupid's fiery shaft
    Quenched in the chaste beams of the watery moon--
    And the imperial votaress passed on
    In maiden meditation fancy free,
    Yet marked I where the bolt of Cupid fell.
    It fell upon _a little western flowers,
    Before milk white, now purple with love's wound--
    And maidens call it_ LOVE IN IDLENESS
    Fetch me that flower, the herb I showed thee once,
    The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid,
    Will make or man or woman madly dote
    Upon the next live creature that it sees.
    Fetch me this herb and be thou here again,
    Ere the leviathan can swim a league.

_Midsummer Night's Dream._

The hearts-ease has been cultivated with great care and success by some
of the most zealous flower-fanciers amongst our countrymen in India. But
it is a delicate plant in this clime, and requires most assiduous
attention, and a close study of its habits. It always withers here under
ordinary hands.

THE MIGNONETTE.

The MIGNONETTE, (_reseda odorato_,) the Frenchman's _little darling_,
was not introduced into England until the middle of the 17th century.
The Mignonette or Sweet Reseda was once supposed capable of assuaging
pain, and of ridding men of many of the ills that flesh is heir to. It
was applied with an incantation. This flower has found a place in the
armorial bearings of an illustrious family of Saxony. I must tell the
story: The Count of Walsthim loved the fair and sprightly Amelia de
Nordbourg. She was a spoilt child and a coquette. She had an humble
companion whose christian name was Charlotte. One evening at a party,
all the ladies were called upon to choose a flower each, and the
gentlemen were to make verses on the selections. Amelia fixed upon the
flaunting rose, Charlotte the modest mignonette. In the course of the
evening Amelia coquetted so desperately with a dashing Colonel that the
Count could not suppress his vexation. On this he wrote a verse for the
Rose:

    Elle ne vit qu'un jour, et ne plait qu'un moment.
    (She lives but for a day and pleases but for a moment)

He then presented the following line on the Mignonette to the gentle
Charlotte:

    "Ses qualities surpassent ses charmes."

The Count transferred his affections to Charlotte, and when he married
her, added a branch of the Sweet Reseda to the ancient arms of his
family, with the motto of

    Your qualities surpass your charms.

VERVAIN.

            The vervain--
    That hind'reth witches of their will.

_Drayton_

VERVAIN (_verbena_) was called by the Greeks _the sacred herb_. It was
used to brush their altars. It was supposed to keep off evil spirits. It
was also used in the religious ceremonies of the Druids and is still
held sacred by the Persian Magi. The latter lay branches of it on the
altar of the sun.

The ancients had their _Verbenalia_ when the temples were strewed with
vervain, and no incantation or lustration was deemed perfect without the
aid of this plant. It was supposed to cure the bite of a serpent or a
mad dog.

THE DAISY.

The DAISY or day's eye (_bellis perennis_) has been the darling of the
British poets from Chaucer to Shelley. It is not, however, the darling
of poets only, but of princes and peasants. And it is not man's favorite
only, but, as Wordsworth says, Nature's favorite also. Yet it is "the
simplest flower that blows." Its seed is broadcast on the land. It is
the most familiar of flowers. It sprinkles every field and lane in the
country with its little mimic stars. Wordsworth pays it a beautiful
compliment in saying that

    Oft alone in nooks remote
    _We meet it like a pleasant thought
    When such is wanted._

But though this poet dearly loved the daisy, in some moods of mind he
seems to have loved the little celandine (common pilewort) even better.
He has addressed two poems to this humble little flower. One begins with
the following stanza.

    Pansies, Lilies, Kingcups, Daisies,
    Let them live upon their praises;
    Long as there's a sun that sets
    Primroses will have their glory;
    Long as there are Violets,
    They will have a place in story:
    There's a flower that shall be mine,
    'Tis the little Celandine.

No flower is too lowly for the affections of Wordsworth. Hazlitt says,
"the daisy looks up to Wordsworth with sparkling eye as an old
acquaintance; a withered thorn is weighed down with a heap of
recollections; and even the lichens on the rocks have a life and being
in his thoughts."

The Lesser Celandine, is an inodorous plant, but as Wordsworth possessed
not the sense of smell, to him a deficiency of fragrance in a flower
formed no objection to it. Miss Martineau alludes to a newspaper report
that on one occasion the poet suddenly found himself capable of enjoying
the fragrance of a flower, and gave way to an emotion of tumultuous
rapture. But I have seen this contradicted. Miss Martineau herself has
generally no sense of smell, but we have her own testimony to the fact
that a brief enjoyment of the faculty once actually occurred to her. In
her case there was a simultaneous awakening of two dormant
faculties--the sense of smell and the sense of taste. Once and once only,
she enjoyed the scent of a bottle of Eau de Cologne and the taste of meat.
The two senses died away again almost in their birth.

Shelley calls Daisies "those pearled Arcturi of the earth"--"the
constellated flower that never sets."

The Father of English poets does high honor to this star of the meadow
in the "Prologue to the Legend of Goode Women."

He tells us that in the merry month of May he was wont to quit even his
beloved books to look upon the fresh morning daisy.

    Of all the floures in the mede
    Then love I most these floures white and red,
    Such that men callen Daisies in our town,
    To them I have so great affectión.
    As I sayd erst, when comen is the Maie,
    That in my bedde there dawneth me no daie
    That I nam up and walking in the mede
    To see this floure agenst the Sunne sprede,
    When it up riseth early by the morrow
    That blisfull sight softeneth all my sorrow.

_Chaucer_.

The poet then goes on with his hearty laudation of this lilliputian
luminary of the fields, and hesitates not to describe it as "of all
floures the floure." The famous Scottish Peasant loved it just as truly,
and did it equal honor. Who that has once read, can ever forget his
harmonious and pathetic address to a mountain daisy on turning it up
with the plough? I must give the poem a place here, though it must be
familiar to every reader. But we can read it again and again, just as we
can look day after day with undiminished interest upon the flower that
it commemorates.

Mrs. Stowe (the American writer) observes that "the daisy with its wide
plaited ruff and yellow centre is not our (that is, an American's)
flower. The English flower is the

    Wee, modest, crimson tippéd flower

which Burns celebrated. It is what we (in America) raise in green-houses
and call the Mountain Daisy. Its effect, growing profusely about fields
and grass-plats, is very beautiful."

TO A MOUNTAIN DAISY.

ON TURNING ONE DOWN WITH THE PLOUGH IN APRIL, 1786

    Wee, modest, crimson tippéd flow'r,
    Thou's met me in an evil hour,
    For I maun[080] crush amang the stoure[081]
            Thy slender stem,
    To spare thee now is past my pow'r,
            Thou bonnie gem.

    Alas! its no thy neobor sweet,
    The bonnie lark, companion meet,
    Bending thee 'mang the dewy weet[082]
            Wi' speckled breast,
    When upward springing, blythe, to greet
            The purpling east

    Cauld blew the bitter biting north
    Upon thy early, humble, birth,
    Yet cheerfully thou glinted[083] forth
            Amid the storm,
    Scarce reared above the patient earth
            Thy tender form

    The flaunting flowers our gardens yield,
    High sheltering woods and wa's[084] maun shield,
    But thou beneath the random bield[085]
            O' clod or stane,
    Adorns the histie[086] stibble field[087]
            Unseen, alane.

    There, in thy scanty mantle clad,
    Thy snawye bosom sun ward spread,
    Thou lifts thy unassuming head
            In humble guise,
    But now the share up tears thy bed,
            And low thou lies!

    Such is the fate of artless Maid,
    Sweet flow'ret of the rural shade!
    By love's simplicity betrayed,
            And guileless trust,
    Till she, like thee, all soiled is laid
            Low i' the dust.

    Such is the fate of simple Bard,
    On Life's rough ocean luckless starred!
    Unskilful he to note the card
            Of prudent lore,
    Till billows rage, and gales blow hard
            And whelm him o'er!

    Such fate to suffering worth is given
    Who long with wants and woes has striven
    By human pride or cunning driven
            To misery's brink,
    Till wrenched of every stay but Heaven,
            He, ruined, sink!

    Ev'n thou who mourn'st the Daisy's fate,
    That fate is thine--no distant date;
    Stern Ruin's plough-share drives elate,
            Full on thy bloom;
    Till crushed beneath the furrow's weight
            Shall be thy doom.

_Burns._

The following verses though they make no pretension to the strength and
pathos of the poem by the great Scottish Peasant, have a grace and
simplicity of their own, for which they have long been deservedly
popular.

A FIELD FLOWER.

ON FINDING ONE IN FULL BLOOM, ON CHRISTMAS DAY, 1803.

    There is a flower, a little flower,
    With silver crest and golden eye,
    That welcomes every changing hour,
    And weathers every sky.

    The prouder beauties of the field
    In gay but quick succession shine,
    Race after race their honours yield,
    They flourish and decline.

    But this small flower, to Nature dear,
    While moons and stars their courses run,
    Wreathes the whole circle of the year,
    Companion of the sun.

    It smiles upon the lap of May,
    To sultry August spreads its charms,
    Lights pale October on his way,
    And twines December's arms.

    The purple heath and golden broom,
    On moory mountains catch the gale,
    O'er lawns the lily sheds perfume,
    The violet in the vale.

    But this bold floweret climbs the hill,
    Hides in the forest, haunts the glen,
    Plays on the margin of the rill,
    Peeps round the fox's den.

    Within the garden's cultured round
    It shares the sweet carnation's bed;
    And blooms on consecrated ground
    In honour of the dead.

    The lambkin crops its crimson gem,
    The wild-bee murmurs on its breast,
    The blue-fly bends its pensile stem,
    Light o'er the sky-lark's nest.

    'Tis FLORA'S page,--in every place,
    In every season fresh and fair;
    It opens with perennial grace.
    And blossoms everywhere.

    On waste and woodland, rock and plain,
    Its humble buds unheeded rise;
    The rose has but a summer-reign;
    The DAISY never dies.

_James Montgomery_.

Montgomery has another very pleasing poetical address to the daisy. The
poem was suggested by the first plant of the kind which had appeared in
India. The flower sprang up unexpectedly out of some English earth, sent
with other seeds in it, to this country. The amiable Dr. Carey of
Serampore was the lucky recipient of the living treasure, and the poem
is supposed to be addressed by him to the dear little flower of his
home, thus born under a foreign sky. Dr. Carey was a great lover of
flowers, and it was one of his last directions on his death-bed, as I
have already said, that his garden should be always protected from the
intrusion of Goths and Vandals in the form of Bengallee goats and cows.
I must give one stanza of Montgomery's second poetical tribute to the
small flower with "the silver crest and golden eye."

    Thrice-welcome, little English flower!
    To this resplendent hemisphere
    Where Flora's giant offsprings tower
    In gorgeous liveries all the year;
    Thou, only thou, art little here
    Like worth unfriended and unknown,
    Yet to my British heart more dear
    Than all the torrid zone.

It is difficult to exaggerate the feeling with which an exile welcomes a
home-flower. A year or two ago Dr. Ward informed the Royal Institution
of London, that a single primrose had been taken to Australia in a
glass-case and that when it arrived there in full bloom, the sensation
it excited was so great that even those who were in the hot pursuit of
gold, paused in their eager career to gaze for a moment upon the flower
of their native fields, and such immense crowds at last pressed around
it that it actually became necessary to protect it by a guard.

My last poetical tribute to the Daisy shall be three stanzas from
Wordsworth, from two different addresses to the same flower.

    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!

       *       *       *       *       *

    If stately passions in me burn,
    And one chance look to Thee should turn,
    I drink out of an humbler 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.

It is peculiarly interesting to observe how the profoundest depths of
thought and feeling are sometimes stirred in the heart of genius by the
smallest of the works of Nature. Even more ordinarily gifted men are
similarly affected to the utmost extent of their intellect and
sensibility. We grow tired of the works of man. In the realms of art we
ever crave something unseen before. We demand new fashions, and when the
old are once laid aside, we wonder that they should ever have excited
even a moment's admiration. But Nature, though she is always the same,
never satiates us. The simple little Daisy which Burns has so sweetly
commemorated is the same flower that was "of all flowres the flowre," in
the estimation of the Patriarch of English poets, and which so delighted
Wordsworth in his childhood, in his middle life, and in his old age. He
gazed on it, at intervals, with unchanging affection for upwards of
fourscore years.

The Daisy--the miniature sun with its tiny rays--is especially the
favorite of our earliest years. In our remembrances of the happy meadows
in which we played in childhood, the daisy's silver lustre is ever
connected with the deeper radiance of its gay companion, the butter-cup,
which when held against the dimple on the cheek or chin of beauty turns
it into a little golden dell. The thoughtful and sensitive frequenter of
rural scenes discovers beauty every where; though it is not always the
sort of beauty that would satisfy the taste of men who recognize no
gaiety or loveliness beyond the walls of cities. To the poet's eye even
the freckles on a milk-maid's brow are not without a grace, associated
as they are with health, and the open sunshine.

Chaucer tells us that the French call the Daisy _La belle Marguerite_.
There is a little anecdote connected with the appellation. Marguerite of
Scotland, the Queen of Louis the Eleventh, presented Marguerite Clotilde
de Surville, a poetess, with a bouquet of daisies, with this
inscription; "Marguerite d'Ecosse à Marguerite (_the pearl_) d'Helicon."

The country maidens in England practise a kind of sortilége with this
flower. They pluck off leaf by leaf, saying alternately "_He loves me_"
and "_He loves me not_." The omen or oracle is decided by the fall of
either sentence on the last leaf.

It is extremely difficult to rear the daisy in India. It is accustomed
to all weathers in England, but the long continued sultriness of this
clime makes it as delicate as a languid English lady in a tropical
exile, and however carefully and skilfully nursed, it generally pines
for its native air and dies.[088]

THE PRICKLY GORSE.

    --Yon swelling downs where the sweet air stirs
    The harebells, and where prickly furze
    Buds lavish gold.

_Keat's Endymion_.

    Fair maidens, I'll sing you a song,
    I'll tell of the bonny wild flower,
    Whose blossoms so yellow, and branches so long,
    O'er moor and o'er rough rocky mountains are flung
    Far away from trim garden and bower

_L.A. Tuamley_.

The PRICKLY GORSE or Goss or Furze, (_ulex_)[089] I cannot omit to
notice, because it was the plant which of all others most struck
Dillenius when he first trod on English ground. He threw himself on his
knees and thanked Heaven that he had lived to see the golden undulation
of acres of wind-waved gorse. Linnaeus lamented that he could scarcely
keep it alive in Sweden even in a greenhouse.

I have the most delightful associations connected with this plant, and
never think of it without a summer feeling and a crowd of delightful
images and remembrances of rural quietude and blue skies and balmy
breezes. Cowper hardly does it justice:

    The common, over-grown with fern, and rough
    With prickly gorse, that shapeless and deformed
    And dangerous to the touch, has yet its bloom
    And decks itself with ornaments of gold,
    Yields no unpleasing ramble.

The plant is indeed irregularly shaped, but it is not _deformed_, and if
it is dangerous to the touch, so also is the rose, unless it be of that
species which Milton places in Paradise--"_and without thorns the
rose_."

Hurdis is more complimentary and more just to the richest ornament of
the swelling hill and the level moor.

    And what more noble than the vernal furze
    With golden caskets hung?

I have seen whole _cotees_ or _coteaux_ (sides of hills) in the sweet
little island of Jersey thickly mantled with the golden radiance of this
beautiful wildflower. The whole Vallée des Vaux (_the valley of
vallies_) is sometimes alive with its lustre.

VALLEE DES VAUX.

AIR--THE MEETING OF THE WATERS.

    If I dream of the past, at fair Fancy's command,
    Up-floats from the blue sea thy small sunny land!
    O'er thy green hills, sweet Jersey, the fresh breezes blow,
    And silent and warm is the Vallée des Vaux!

    There alone have I loitered 'mid blossoms of gold,
    And forgot that the great world was crowded and cold,
    Nor believed that a land of enchantment could show
    A vale more divine than the Vallée des Vaux.

    A few scattered cots, like white clouds in the sky,
    Or like still sails at sea when the light breezes die,
    And a mill with its wheel in the brook's silver glow,
    Form thy beautiful hamlet, sweet Vallée des Vaux!

    As the brook prattled by like an infant at play,
    And each wave as it passed stole a moment away,
    I thought how serenely a long life would flow,
    By the sweet little brook in the Vallée des Vaux.

D.L.R.

Jersey is not the only one of the Channel Islands that is enriched with
"blossoms of gold." In the sister island of Guernsey the prickly gorse
is much used for hedges, and Sir George Head remarks that the premises
of a Guernsey farmer are thus as impregnably fortified and secured as if
his grounds were surrounded by a stone wall. In the Isle of Man the
furze grows so high that it is sometimes more like a fir tree than the
ordinary plant.

There is an old proverb:--"When gorse is out of blossom, kissing is out
of fashion"--that is _never_. The gorse blooms all the year.

FERN.

    I'll seek the shaggy fern-clad hill
    And watch, 'mid murmurs muttering stern,
    The seed departing from the fern
    Ere wakeful demons can convey
    The wonder-working charm away.

_Leyden_.

"The green and graceful Fern" (_filices_) with its exquisite tracery
must not be overlooked. It recalls many noble home-scenes to British
eyes. Pliny says that "of ferns there are two kinds, and they bear
neither flowers nor seed." And this erroneous notion of the fern bearing
no seed was common amongst the English even so late as the time of
Addison who ridicules "a Doctor that had arrived at the knowledge of the
green and red dragon, _and had discovered the female fern-seed_." The
seed is very minute and might easily escape a careless eye. In the
present day every one knows that the seed of the fern lies on the under
side of the leaves, and a single leaf will often bear some millions of
seeds. Even those amongst the vulgar who believed the plant bore seed,
had an idea that the seeds were visible only at certain mysterious
seasons and to favored individuals who by carrying a quantity of it on
their person, were able, like those who wore the helmet of Pluto or the
ring of Gyges, to walk unseen amidst a crowd. The seed was supposed to
be best seen at a certain hour of the night on which St. John the
Baptist was born.

    We have the receipt of fern-seed; we walk invisible,

_Shakespeare's Henry IV. Part I_.

In Beaumont's and Fletcher's _Fair Maid of the Inn_, is the following
allusion to the fern.

                --Had you Gyges' ring,
    _Or the herb that gives invisibility_.

Ben Jonson makes a similar allusion to it:

                        I had
    No medicine, sir, to go invisible,
    _No fern-seed in my pocket_.

Pope puts a branch of spleen-wort, a species of fern, (_Asplenium
trichomanes_) into the hand of a gnome as a protection from evil
influences in the Cave of Spleen.

    Safe passed the gnome through this fantastic band
    A branch of healing spleen-wort in his hand.

The fern forms a splendid ornament for shadowy nooks and grottoes, or
fragments of ruins, or heaps of stones, or the odd corners of a large
garden or pleasure-ground.

I have had many delightful associations with this plant both at home and
abroad. When I visited the beautiful Island of Penang, Sir William
Norris, then the Recorder of the Island, and who was a most
indefatigable collector of ferns, obligingly presented me with a
specimen of every variety that he had discovered in the hills and
vallies of that small paradise; and I suppose that in no part of the
world could a finer collection of specimens of the fern be made for a
botanist's _herbarium_. Fern leaves will look almost as well ten years
after they are gathered as on the day on which they are transferred from
the dewy hillside to the dry pages of a book.

Jersey and Penang are the two loveliest islands on a small scale that I
have yet seen: the latter is the most romantic of the two and has nobler
trees and a richer soil and a brighter sky--but they are both charming
retreats for the lovers of peace and nature. As I have devoted some
verses to Jersey I must have some also on

THE ISLAND OF PENANG.

                    I.

    I stand upon the mountain's brow--
    I drink the cool fresh, mountain breeze--
    I see thy little town below,[090]
    Thy villas, hedge-rows, fields and trees,
    And hail thee with exultant glow,
    GEM OF THE ORIENTAL SEAS!

                    II.

    A cloud had settled on my heart--
    My frame had borne perpetual pain--
    I yearned and panted to depart
    From dread Bengala's sultry plain--
    Fate smiled,--Disease withholds his dart--
    I breathe the breath of life again!

                    III.

    With lightened heart, elastic tread,
    Almost with youth's rekindled flame,
    I roam where loveliest scenes outspread
    Raise thoughts and visions none could name,
    Save those on whom the Muses shed
    A spell, a dower of deathless fame.

                    IV.

    I _feel_, but oh! could ne'er _pourtray_,
    Sweet Isle! thy charms of land and wave,
    The bowers that own no winter day,
    The brooks where timid wild birds lave,
    The forest hills where insects gay[091]
    Mimic the music of the brave!

                    V.

    I see from this proud airy height
    A lovely Lilliput below!
    Ships, roads, groves, gardens, mansions white,
    And trees in trimly ordered row,[092]
    Present almost a toy like sight,
    A miniature scene, a fairy show!

                    VI.

    But lo! beyond the ocean stream,
    That like a sheet of silver lies,
    As glorious as a poet's dream
    The grand Malayan mountains rise,
    And while their sides in sunlight beam
    Their dim heads mingle with the skies.

                    VI.

    Men laugh at bards who live _in clouds_--
    The clouds _beneath_ me gather now,
    Or gliding slow in solemn crowds,
    Or singly, touched with sunny glow,
    Like mystic shapes in snowy shrouds,
    Or lucid veils on Beauty's brow.

                    VIII.

    While all around the wandering eye
    Beholds enchantments rich and rare,
    Of wood, and water, earth, and sky
    A panoramic vision fair,
    The dyal breathes his liquid sigh,
    And magic floats upon the air!

                    IX.

    Oh! lovely and romantic Isle!
    How cold the heart thou couldst not please!
    Thy very dwellings seem to smile
    Like quiet nests mid summer trees!
    I leave thy shores--but weep the while--
    GEM OF THE ORIENTAL SEAS!

D.L.R.

HENNA.

The henna or al hinna (_Lawsonia inermis_) is found in great abundance
in Egypt, India, Persia and Arabia. In Bengal it goes by the name of
_Mindee_. It is much used here for garden hedges. Hindu females rub it
on the palms of their hands, the tips of their fingers and the soles of
their feet to give them a red dye. The same red dye has been observed
upon the nails of Egyptian mummies. In Egypt sprigs of henna are hawked
about the streets for sale with the cry of "_O, odours of Paradise; O,
flowers of the henna!_" Thomas Moore alludes to one of the uses of the
henna:--

    Thus some bring leaves of henna to imbue
    The fingers' ends of a bright roseate hue,
    So bright, that in the mirror's depth they seem
    Like tips of coral branches in the stream.

MOSS.

MOSSES (_musci_) are sometimes confounded with Lichens. True mosses are
green, and lichens are gray. All the mosses are of exquisitely delicate
structure. They are found in every part of the world where the
atmosphere is moist. They have a wonderful tenacity of life and can
often be restored to their original freshness after they have been dried
for years. It was the sight of a small moss in the interior of Africa
that suggested to Mungo Park such consolatory reflections as saved him
from despair. He had been stripped of all he had by banditti.

"In this forlorn and almost helpless condition," he says, "when the
robbers had left me, I sat for some time looking around me with
amazement and terror. Whichever way I turned, nothing appeared but
danger and difficulty. I found myself in the midst of a vast wilderness,
in the depth of the rainy season--naked and alone,--surrounded by
savages. I was five hundred miles from any European settlement. All
these circumstances crowded at once upon my recollection; and I confess
that my spirits began to fail me. I considered my fate as certain, and
that I had no alternative, but to lie down and perish. The influence of
religion, however aided and supported me. I reflected that no human
prudence or foresight could possibly have averted my present sufferings.
I was indeed a stranger in a strange land, yet I was still under the eye
of that Providence who has condescended to call himself the stranger's
friend. At this moment, painful as my reflections were, the
extraordinary beauty of a small Moss irresistibly caught my eye; and
though the whole plant was not larger than the top of one of my fingers,
I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves,
and fruit, without admiration. Can that Being (thought I) who planted,
watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a
thing which appears of so small importance, look with unconcern upon the
situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image? Surely
not.--Reflections like these would not allow me to despair. I started
up; and disregarding both, hunger and fatigue, traveled forward, assured
that relief was at hand; and I was not disappointed."

VICTORIA REGIA.

On this Queen of Aquatic Plants the language of admiration has been
exhausted. It was discovered in the first year of the present century by
the botanist Haenke who was sent by the Spanish Government to
investigate the vegetable productions of Peru. When in a canoe on the
Rio Mamore, one of the great tributaries of the river Amazon, he came
suddenly upon the noblest and largest flower that he had ever seen. He
fell on his knees in a transport of admiration. It was the plant now
known as the Victoria Regia, or American Water-lily.

It was not till February 1849, that Dr. Hugh Rodie and Mr. Lachie of
Demerara forwarded seeds of the plant to Sir W.T. Hooker in vials of
pure water. They were sown in earth, in pots immersed in water, and
enclosed in a glass case. They vegetated rapidly. The plants first came
to perfection at Chatsworth the seat of the Duke of Devonshire,[093] and
subsequently at the Royal gardens at Kew.

Early in November of the same year, (1849,) the leaves of the plant at
Chatsworth were 4 feet 8 inches in diameter. A child weighing forty two
pounds was placed upon one of the leaves which bore the weight well. The
largest leaf of the plant by the middle of the next month was five feet
in diameter with a turned up edge of from two to four inches. It then
bore up a person of 11 stone weight. The flat leaf of the Victoria Regia
as it floats on the surface of the water, resembles in point of form the
brass high edged platter in which Hindus eat their rice.

The flowers in the middle of May 1850 measured one foot one inch in
diameter. The rapidity of the growth of this plant is one of its most
remarkable characteristics, its leaves often expanding eight inches in
diameter daily, and Mr. John Fisk Allen, who has published in America an
admirably illustrated work upon the subject, tells us that instances
under his own observation have occurred of the leaves increasing at the
rate of half an inch hourly.

Not only is there an extraordinary variety in the colours of the several
specimens of this flower, but a singularly rapid succession of changes
of hue in the same individual flower as it progresses from bud to
blossom.

This vegetable wonder was introduced into North America in 1851. It
grows to a larger size there than in England. Some of the leaves of the
plant cultivated in North America measure seventy-two inches in
diameter.

This plant has been proved to be perennial. It grows best in from 4 to 6
feet of water. Each plant generally sends but four or five leaves to the
surface.

In addition to the other attractions of this noble Water Lily, is the
exquisite character of its perfume, which strongly resembles that of a
fresh pineapple just cut open.

The Victoria Regia in the Calcutta Botanic Garden has from some cause or
other not flourished so well as it was expected to do. The largest leaf
is not more than four feet and three quarters in diameter. But there can
be little doubt that when the habits of the plant are better understood
it will be brought to great perfection in this country. I strongly
recommend my native friends to decorate their tanks with this the most
glorious of aquatic plants.

THE FLY-ORCHIS--THE BEE-ORCHIS.

Of these strange freaks of nature many strange stories are told. I
cannot repeat them all. I shall content myself with quoting the
following passage from D'Israeli's _Curiosities of Literature_:--

"There is preserved in the British Museum, a black stone, on which
nature has sketched a resemblance of the portrait of Chaucer. Stones of
this kind, possessing a sufficient degree of resemblance, are rare; but
art appears not to have been used. Even in plants, we find this sort of
resemblance. There is a species of the orchis found in the mountainous
parts of Lincolnshire, Kent, &c. Nature has formed a bee, apparently
feeding on the breast of the flower, with so much exactness, that it is
impossible at a very small distance to distinguish the imposition. Hence
the plant derives its name, and is called, the _Bee-flower_. Langhorne
elegantly notices its appearance.

    See on that floweret's velvet breast,
      How close the busy vagrant lies?
    His thin-wrought plume, his downy breast,
      Th' ambrosial gold that swells his thighs.
    Perhaps his fragrant load may bind
      His limbs;--we'll set the captive free--
    I sought the living bee to find,
      And found the picture of a bee,'

The late Mr. James of Exeter wrote to me on this subject: 'This orchis
is common near our sea-coasts; but instead of being exactly like a BEE,
_it is not like it at all_. It has a general resemblance to a _fly_, and
by the help of imagination, may be supposed to be a fly pitched upon the
flower. The mandrake very frequently has a forked root, which may be
fancied to resemble thighs and legs. I have seen it helped out with
nails on the toes.'

An ingenious botanist, a stranger to me, after reading this article, was
so kind as to send me specimens of the _fly_ orchis, _ophrys muscifera_,
and of the _bee_ orchis, _ophrys apifera_. Their resemblance to these
insects when in full flower is the most perfect conceivable; they are
distinct plants. The poetical eye of Langhorne was equally correct and
fanciful; and that too of Jackson, who differed so positively. Many
controversies have been carried on, from a want of a little more
knowledge; like that of the BEE _orchis_ and the FLY _orchis_; both
parties prove to be right."[094]

THE FUCHSIA.

The Fuchsia is decidedly the most _graceful_ flower in the world. It
unfortunately wants fragrance or it would be the _beau ideal_ of a
favorite of Flora. There is a story about its first introduction into
England which is worth reprinting here:

'Old Mr. Lee, a nurseryman and gardener, near London, well known fifty
or sixty years ago, was one day showing his variegated treasures to a
friend, who suddenly turned to him, and declared, 'Well, you have not in
your collection a prettier flower than I saw this morning at
Wapping!'--'No! and pray what was this phoenix like?' 'Why, the plant
was elegant, and the flowers hung in rows like tassels from the pendant
branches; their colour the richest crimson; in the centre a fold of deep
purple,' and so forth. Particular directions being demanded and given,
Mr. Lee posted off to Wapping, where he at once perceived that the plant
was new in this part of the world. He saw and admired. Entering the
house, he said, 'My good woman, that is a nice plant. I should like to
buy it.'--'I could not sell it for any money, for it was brought me from
the West Indies by my husband, who has now left again, and I must keep
it for his sake.'--'But I must have it!'--'No sir!'--'Here,' emptying
his pockets; 'here are gold, silver, copper.' (His stock was something
more than eight guineas.)--'Well a-day! but this is a power of money,
sure and sure.'--''Tis yours, and the plant is mine; and, my good dame,
you shall have one of the first young ones I rear, to keep for your
husband's sake,'--'Alack, alack!'--'You shall.' A coach was called, in
which was safely deposited our florist and his seemingly dear purchase.
His first work was to pull off and utterly destroy every vestige of
blossom and bud. The plant was divided into cuttings, which were forced
in bark beds and hotbeds; were redivided and subdivided. Every effort
was used to multiply it. By the commencement of the next flowering
season, Mr. Lee was the delighted possessor of 300 Fuchsia plants, all
giving promise of blossom. The two which opened first were removed into
his show-house. A lady came:--'Why, Mr. Lee, my dear Mr. Lee, where did
you get this charming flower?'--'Hem! 'tis a new thing, my lady; pretty,
is it not?'--'Pretty! 'tis lovely. Its price?'--'A guinea: thank your
ladyship;' and one of the plants stood proudly in her ladyship's
boudoir. 'My dear Charlotte, where did you get?' &c.--'Oh! 'tis a new
thing; I saw it at old Lee's; pretty, is it not?'--'Pretty! 'tis
beautiful! Its price!'--'A guinea; there was another left.' The
visitor's horses smoked off to the suburb; a third flowering plant stood
on the spot whence the first had been taken. The second guinea was paid,
and the second chosen Fuchsia adorned the drawing-room of her second
ladyship The scene was repeated, as new-comers saw and were attracted by
the beauty of the plant. New chariots flew to the gates of old Lee's
nursery-ground. Two Fuchsias, young, graceful and bursting into healthy
flower, were constantly seen on the same spot in his repository. He
neglected not to gladden the faithful sailor's wife by the promised
gift; but, ere the flower season closed, 300 golden guineas clinked in
his purse, the produce of the single shrub of the widow of Wapping; the
reward of the taste, decision, skill, and perseverance of old Mr. Lee.'

Whether this story about the fuchsia, be only partly fact and partly
fiction I shall not pretend to determine; but the best authorities
acknowledge that Mr. Lee, one of the founders of the Hammersmith
Nursery, was the first to make the plant generally known in England and
that he for some time got a guinea for each of the cuttings. The fuchsia
is a native of Mexico and Chili. I believe that most of the plants of
this genus introduced into India have flourished for a brief period and
then sickened and died.

The poets of England have not yet sung the Fuschia's praise. Here are
three stanzas written for a gentleman who had been presented, by the
lady of his love with a superb plant of this kind.

A FUCHSIA.

                            I.

A deed of grace--a graceful gift--and graceful too the giver!
Like ear-rings on thine own fair head, these long buds hang and quiver:
Each tremulous taper branch is thrilled--flutter the wing-like leaves--
For thus to part from thee, sweet maid, the floral spirit grieves!

                            II.

Rude gods in brass or gold enchant an untaught devotee--
Fair marble shapes, rich paintings old, are Art's idolatry;
But nought e'er charmed a human breast like this small tremulous flower,
Minute and delicate work divine of world-creative power!

                            III.

This flower's the Queen of all earth's flowers, and loveliest things appear
Linked by some secret sympathy, in this mysterious sphere;
The giver and the gift seem one, and thou thyself art nigh
When this glory of the garden greets thy lover's raptured eye.

D.L.R.

"Do you know the proper name of this flower?" writes Jeremy Bentham to a
lady-friend, "and the signification of its name? Fuchsia from Fuchs, a
German botanist."

ROSEMARY.

    There's rosemary--that's for remembrance:
    Pray you, love, remember.

_Hamlet_

    There's rosemarie; the Arabians Justifie
    (Physitions of exceeding perfect skill)
    It comforteth the brain and memory.

_Chester_.

Bacon speaks of heaths of ROSEMARY (_Rosmarinus_[095]) that "will smell
a great way in the sea; perhaps twenty miles." This reminds us of
Milton's Paradise.

                            So lovely seemed
    That landscape, and of pure, now purer air,
    Meets his approach, and to the heart inspires
    Vernal delight and joy, able to drive
    All sadness but despair. Now gentle gales
    Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
    Native perfumes, and whisper whence they stole
    Those balmy spoils. As when to them who sail
    Beyond the Cape of Hope, and now are past
    Mozambic, off at sea north east winds blow
    Sabean odours from the spicy shore
    Of Araby the blest, with such delay
    Well pleased they slack their course, and many a league
    Cheered with the grateful smell, old Ocean smiles.

Rosemary used to be carried at funerals, and worn as wedding favors.

    _Lewis_    Pray take a piece of Rosemary
    _Miramont_ I'll wear it,
    But for the lady's sake, and none of your's!

_Beaumont and Fletcher's "Elder Brother."_

Rosemary, says Malone, being supposed to strengthen the memory, was the
emblem of fidelity in lovers. So in _A Handfull of Pleasant Delites,
containing Sundrie New Sonets, 16mo_. 1854:

    Rosemary is for remembrance
    Between us daie and night,
    Wishing that I might alwaies have
    You present in my sight.

The poem in which these lines are found, is entitled, '_A Nosegay
alwaies sweet for Lovers to send for Tokens of Love_.'

Roger Hochet in his sermon entitled _A Marriage Present_ (1607) thus
speaks of the Rosemary;--"It overtoppeth all the flowers in the garden,
boasting man's rule. It helpeth the brain, strengtheneth the memorie,
and is very medicinable for the head. Another propertie of the rosemary
is, it affects the heart. Let this rosemarinus, this flower of men,
ensigne of your wisdom, love, and loyaltie, be carried not only in your
hands, but in your hearts and heads."

"Hungary water" is made up chiefly from the oil distilled from this
shrub.

       *       *       *       *       *

I should talk on a little longer about other shrubs, herbs, and flowers,
(particularly of flowers) such as the "pink-eyed Pimpernel" (the poor
man's weather glass) and the fragrant Violet, ('the modest grace of the
vernal year,') the scarlet crested Geranium with its crimpled leaves,
and the yellow and purple Amaranth, powdered with gold,

                A flower which once
    In Paradise, fast by the tree of life
    Began to bloom,

and the crisp and well-varnished Holly with "its rutilant berries," and
the white Lily, (the vestal Lady of the Vale,--"the flower of virgin
light") and the luscious Honeysuckle, and the chaste Snowdrop,

            Venturous harbinger of spring
    And pensive monitor of fleeting years,

and the sweet Heliotrope and the gay and elegant Nasturtium, and a great
many other "bonnie gems" upon the breast of our dear mother earth,--but
this gossipping book has already extended to so unconscionable a size
that I must quicken my progress towards a conclusion[096].

I am indebted to the kindness of Babu Kasiprasad Ghosh, the first Hindu
gentlemen who ever published a volume of poems in the English
language[097] for the following interesting list of Indian flowers used
in Hindu ceremonies. Many copies of the poems of Kasiprasad Ghosh, were
sent to the English public critics, several of whom spoke of the
author's talents with commendation. The late Miss Emma Roberts wrote a
brief biography of him for one of the London annuals, so that there must
be many of my readers at home who will not on this occasion hear of his
name for the first time.

A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF INDIAN FLOWERS, COMMONLY USED IN HINDU
CEREMONIES.[098]

A'KUNDA (_Calotropis Gigantea_).--A pretty purple coloured, and slightly
scented flower, having a sweet and agreeable smell. It is called _Arca_
in Sanscrit, and has two varieties, both of which are held to be sacred
to Shiva. It forms one of the five darts with which the Indian God of
Love is supposed to pierce the hearts of young mortals.[099] Sir William
Jones refers to it in his Hymn to Kama Deva. It possesses medicinal
properties.[100]

A'PARA'JITA (_Clitoria ternatea_).--A conically shaped flower, the upper
part of which is tinged with blue and the lower part is white. Some are
wholly white. It is held to be sacred to Durgá.

ASOCA. (_Jonesia Asoca_).--A small yellow flower, which blooms in large
clusters in the month of April and gives a most beautiful appearance to
the tree. It is eaten by young females as a medicine. It smells like the
Saffron.

A'TASHI.--A small yellowish or brown coloured flower without any smell.
It is supposed to be sacred to Shiva, and is very often alluded to by
the Indian poets. It resembles the flower of the flax or Linum
usitatissimum.[101]

BAKA.--A kidney shaped flower, having several varieties, all of which
are held to be sacred to Vishnu, and are in consequence used in his
worship. It is supposed to possess medicinal virtues and is used by the
native doctors.

BAKU'LA (_Mimusops Etengi_).--A very small, yellowish, and fragrant
flower. It is used in making garlands and other female ornaments.
Krishna is said to have fascinated the milkmaids of Brindabun by playing
on his celebrated flute under a _Baku'la_ tree on the banks of the
Jumna, which is, therefore, invariably alluded to in all the Sanscrit
and vernacular poems relating to his amours with those young women.

BA'KASHA (_Justicia Adhatoda_).--A white flower, having a slight smell.
It is used in certain native medicines.

BELA (_Jasminum Zambac_).--A fragrant small white flower, in common use
among native females, who make garlands of it to wear in their braids of
hair. A kind of _uttar_ is extracted from this flower, which is much
esteemed by natives. It is supposed to form one of the darts of Kama
Deva or the God of Love. European Botanists seem to have confounded this
flower with the Monika, which they also call the Jasminum Zambac.

BHU'MI CHAMPAKA.--An oblong variegated flower, which shoots out from the
ground at the approach of spring. It has a slight smell, and is
considered to possess medicinal properties. The great peculiarity of
this flower is that it blooms when there is not apparently the slightest
trace of the existence of the shrub above ground. When the flower dies
away, the leaves make their appearance.

CHAMPA' (_Michelia Champaka_).--A tulip shaped yellow flower possessing
a very strong smell.[102] It forms one of the darts of Kama Deva, the
Indian Cupid. It is particularly sacred to Krishna.

CHUNDRA MALLIKA' (_Chrysanthemum Indiana_).--A pretty round yellow
flower which blooms in winter. The plant is used in making hedges in
gardens and presents a beautiful appearance in the cold weather when the
blossoms appear.

DHASTU'RA (_Datura Fastuosa_).--A large tulip shaped white flower,
sacred to Mahadeva, the third Godhead of the Hindu Trinity. The seeds of
this flower have narcotic properties.[103]

DRONA.--A white flower with a very slight smell.

DOPATI (_Impatiens Balsamina_).--A small flower having a slight smell.
There are several varieties of this flower. Some are red and some white,
while others are both white and red.

GA'NDA' (_Tagetes erecta_).--A handsome yellow flower, which sometimes
grows very large. It is commonly used in making garlands, with which the
natives decorate their idols, and the Europeans in India their churches
and gates on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

GANDHA RA'J (_Gardenia Florida_).--A strongly scented white flower,
which blooms at night.

GOLANCHA (_Menispermum Glabrum_).--A white flower. The plant is already
well known to Europeans as a febrifuge.

JAVA' (_Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis_).--A large blood coloured flower held to
be especially sacred to Kali. There are two species of it, viz. the
ordinary Javá commonly seen in our gardens and parterres, and the
_Pancha Mukhi_, which, as its name imports, has five compartments and is
the largest of the two.[104]

JAYANTI (_Aeschynomene Sesban_).--A small yellowish flower, held to be
sacred to Shiva.

JHA'NTI.--A small white flower possessing medicinal properties. The
leaves of the plants are used in curing certain ulcers.

JA'NTI (_Jasminum Grandiflorum_).--Also a small white flower having a
sweet smell. The _uttar_ called _Chumeli_ is extracted from it.

JUYIN (_Jasminum Auriculatum_).--The Indian Jasmine. It is a very small
white flower remarkable for its sweetness. It is also used in making a
species of _uttar_ which is highly prized by the natives, as also in
forming a great variety of imitation female ornaments.

KADAMBA (_Nauclea Cadamba_).--A ball shaped yellow flower held to be
particularly sacred to Krishna, many of whose gambols with the milkmaids
of Brindabun are said to have been performed under the Kadamba tree,
which is in consequence very frequently alluded to in the vernacular
poems relating to his loves with those celebrated beauties.

KINSUKA (_Butea Frondosa_).--A handsome but scentless white flower.

KANAKA CHAMPA (_Pterospermum Acerifolium_).--A yellowish flower which
hangs down in form of a tassel. It has a strong smell, which is
perceived at a great distance when it is on the tree, but the moment it
is plucked off, it begins to lose its fragrance.

KANCHANA (_Bauhinia Variegata_).--There are several varieties of this
flower. Some are white, some are purple, while others are red. It gives
a handsome appearance to the tree when the latter is in full blossom.

KUNDA (_Jasminum pulescens_).--A very pretty white flower. Indian poets
frequently compare a set of handsome teeth, to this flower. It is held
to be especially sacred to Vishnu.

KARABIRA (_Nerium Odosum_).--There are two species of this flower, viz.
the white and red, both of which are sacred to Shiva.

KAMINI (_Murraya Exotica_).--A pretty small white flower having a strong
smell. It blooms at night and is very delicate to the touch. The
_kamini_ tree is frequently used as a garden hedge.

KRISHNA CHURA (_Poinciana Pulcherrima_).--A pretty small flower, which,
as its name imports resembles the head ornament of Krishna. When the
Krishna Chura tree is in full blossom, it has a very handsome
appearance.

KRISHNA KELI (_Mirabilis Jalapa_.)[105]--A small tulip shaped yellow
flower. The bulb of the plant has medicinal properties and is used by
the natives as a poultice.

KUMADA (_Nymphaea Esculenta_)--A white flower, resembling the lotus, but
blooming at night, whence the Indian poets suppose that it is in love
with Chandra or the Moon, as the lotus is imagined by them to be in love
with the Sun.

LAVANGA LATA' (_Limonia Scandens_.)--A very small red flower growing
upon a creeper, which has been celebrated by Jaya Deva in his famous
work called the _Gita Govinda_. This creeper is used in native gardens
for bowers.

MALLIKA' (_Jasminum Zambac_.)--A white flower resembling the _Bela_. It
has a very sweet smell and is used by native females to make ornaments.
It is frequently alluded to by Indian poets.

MUCHAKUNDA (_Pterospermum Suberifolia_).--A strongly scented flower,
which grows in clusters and is of a brown colour.

MA'LATI (_Echites Caryophyllata_.)--The flower of a creeper which is
commonly used in native gardens. It has a slight smell and is of a white
colour.

MA'DHAVI (_Gaertnera Racemosa_.)--The flower of another creeper which is
also to be seen in native gardens. It is likewise of a white colour.

NA'GESWARA (_Mesua Ferrua_.)--A white flower with yellow filaments,
which are said to possess medicinal properties and are used by the
native physicians. It has a very sweet smell and is supposed by Indian
poets to form one of the darts of Kama Deva. See Sir William Jones's
Hymn to that deity.

PADMA (_Nelumbium Speciosum_.)--The Indian lotus, which is held to be
sacred to Vishnu, Brama, Mahadava, Durga, Lakshami and Saraswati as well
as all the higher orders of Indian deities. It is a very elegant flower
and is highly esteemed by the natives, in consequence of which the
Indian poets frequently allude to it in their writings.

PA'RIJATA (_Buchanania Latifolia_.)--A handsome white flower, with a
slight smell. In native poetry, it furnishes a simile for pretty eyes,
and is held to be sacred to Vishnu.

PAREGATA (_Erythrina Fulgens_.)--A flower which is supposed to bloom in
the garden of Indra in heaven, and forms the subject of an interesting
episode in the _Puranas_, in which the two wives of Krisna, (Rukmini and
Satyabhama) are said to have quarrelled for the exclusive possession of
this flower, which their husband had stolen from the celestial garden
referred to. It is supposed to be identical with the flower of the
_Palta madar_.

RAJANI GANDHA (_Polianthus Tuberosa_.)--A white tulip-shaped flower
which blooms at night, from which circumstance it is called "the Rajani
Gandha, (or night-fragrance giver)." It is the Indian tuberose.

RANGANA.--A small and very pretty red flower which is used by native
females in ornamenting their betels.

SEONTI. _Rosa Glandulefera_. A white flower resembling the rose in size
and appearance. It has a sweet smell.

SEPHA'LIKA (_Nyctanthes Arbor-tristis_.)--A very pretty and delicate
flower which blooms at night, and drops down shortly after. It has a
sweet smell and is held to be sacred to Shiva. The juice of the leaves
of the Sephalika tree are used in curing both remittant and intermittent
fevers.

SURYJA MUKHI (_Helianthus Annuus_).--A large and very handsome yellow
flower, which is said to turn itself to the Sun, as he goes from East to
West, whence it has derived its name.

SURYJA MANI (_Hibiscus Phoeniceus_).--A small red flower.

GOLAKA CHAMPA.--A large beautiful white tulip-shaped flower having a
sweet smell. It is externally white but internally orange-colored.

TAGUR (_Tabernoemontana Coronaria_).--A white flower having a slight
smell.

TARU LATA.--A beautiful creeper with small red flowers. It is used in
native gardens for making hedges.

K.G.

       *       *       *       *       *

Pliny in his Natural History alludes to the marks of time exhibited in
the regular opening and closing of flowers. Linnaeus enumerates
forty-six flowers that might be used for the construction of a floral
time-piece. This great Swedish botanist invented a Floral horologe, "whose
wheels were the sun and earth and whose index-figures were flowers."
Perhaps his invention, however, was not wholly original. Andrew Marvell
in his "_Thoughts in a Garden_" mentions a sort of floral dial:--

    How well the skilful gardener drew
    Of flowers and herbs this dial new!
    Where, from above, the milder sun
    Does through a fragrant zodiac run:
    And, as it works, th'industrious bee
    Computes its time as well as we:
    How could such sweet and wholesome hours
    Be reckoned, but with herbs and flowers?

_Marvell_[106]

Milton's notation of time--"_at shut of evening flowers_," has a
beautiful simplicity, and though Shakespeare does not seem to have
marked his time on a floral clock, yet, like all true poets, he has made
very free use of other appearances of nature to indicate the
commencement and the close of day.

    The sun no sooner shall the mountains touch--
    Than we will ship him hence.

_Hamlet_.

    Fare thee well at once!
    The glow-worm shows the matin to be near
    And gins to pale his uneffectual fire.

_Hamlet_.

    But look! The morn, in russet mantle clad,
    Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastern hill:--
    Break we our watch up.

_Hamlet_.

        _Light thickens_, and the crow
    Makes wing to the rooky wood.

_Macbeth_.

Such picturesque notations of time as these, are in the works of
Shakespeare, as thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks in
Valombrosa. In one of his Sonnets he thus counts the years of human life
by the succession of the seasons.

    To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
    For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
    Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
    Have from the forests shook three summers' pride;
    Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
    In process of the seasons have I seen;
    Three April's perfumes in three hot Junes burned
    Since first I saw you fresh which yet are green.

Grainger, a prosaic verse-writer who once commenced a paragraph of a
poem with "Now, Muse, let's sing of rats!" called upon the slave drivers
in the West Indies to time their imposition of cruel tasks by the
opening and closing of flowers.

    Till morning dawn and Lucifer withdraw
    His beamy chariot, let not the loud bell
    Call forth thy negroes from their rushy couch:
    And ere the sun with mid-day fervor glow,
    When every broom-bush opes her yellow flower,
    Let thy black laborers from their toil desist:
    Nor till the broom her every petal lock,
    Let the loud bell recal them to the hoe,
    But when the jalap her bright tint displays,
    When the solanum fills her cup with dew,
    And crickets, snakes and lizards gin their coil,
    Let them find shelter in their cane-thatched huts.

_Sugar Cane_.[107]

I shall here give (_from Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Gardening_) the form
of a flower dial. It may be interesting to many of my readers:--

    '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 day.[108]

_Mr. Hemans_.

A FLOWER DIAL.

TIME OF OPENING.
                            [109] h. m.
YELLOW GOAT'S BEARD          T.P.  3  5
LATE FLOWERING DANDELION  Leon.S.  4  0
BRISTLY HELMINTHIA           H.B.  4  5
ALPINE BORKHAUSIA            B.A.  4  5
WILD SUCCORY                 C.I.  4  5
NAKED STALKED POPPY          P.N.  5  0
COPPER COLOURED DAY LILY     H.F.  5  0
SMOOTH SOW THISTLE           S.L.  5  0
ALPINE AGATHYRSUS           Ag.A.  5  0
SMALL BIND WEED            Con.A.  5  6
COMMON NIPPLE WORT           L.C.  5  6
COMMON DANDELION             L.T.  5  6
SPORTED ACHYROPHORUS         A.M.  6  7
WHITE WATER LILY             N.A.  7  0
GARDEN LETTUCE             Lec.S.  7  0
AFRICAN MARIGOLD             T.E.  7  0
COMMON PIMPERNEL             A.A.  7  8
MOUSE-EAR HAWKWEED           H.P.  8  0
PROLIFEROUS PINK             D.P.  8  0
FIELD MARIGOLD             Cal.A.  9  0
PURPLE SANDWORT              A.P.  9 10
SMALL PURSLANE               P.O.  9 10
CREEPING MALLOW              M.C.  9 10
CHICKWEED                    S.M.  9 10

TIME OF CLOSING.
                                  h. m.
HELMINTHIA ECHIOIDES         B.H. 12  0
AGATHYRSUS ALPINUS           A.B. 12  0
BORKHAUSIA ALPINA            A.B. 12  0
LEONTODON SEROTINUS          L.D. 12  0
MALVA CAROLINIANA            C.M. 12  1
DAINTHUS PROLIFER            P.P.  1  0
HIERACIUM PILOSELLA          M.H.  0  2
ANAGALLIS ARVENSIS           S.P.  2  3
ARENARIA PURPUREA            P.S.  2  4
CALENDULA ARVENSIS           F.M.  3  0
TACETES ERECTA               A.M.  3  3
CONVOLVULUS ARVENSIS         S.B.  4  0
ACHYROPHORUS MACULATUS       S.A.  4  5
NYMPHAEA ALBA              W.W.B.  5  0
PAPAVER NUDICAULE            N.P.  7  0
HEMEROCALLIS FULVA         C.D.L.  7  0
CICHORIUM INTYBUS            W.S.  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 LAEVIS               S.T. 11 10
PORTULACA OLERACEA           S.P. 11 12

Of course it will be necessary to adjust the _Horologium Florae_ (or
Flower clock) to the nature of the climate. Flowers expand at a later
hour in a cold climate than in a warm one. "A flower," says Loudon,
"that opens at six o'clock in the morning at Senegal, will not open in
France or England till eight or nine, nor in Sweden till ten. A flower
that opens at ten o'clock at Senegal will not open in France or England
till noon or later, and in Sweden it will not open at all. And a flower
that does not open till noon or later at Senegal will not open at all in
France or England. This seems as if heat or its absence were also (as
well as light) an agent in the opening and shutting of flowers; though
the opening of such as blow only in the night cannot be attributed to
either light or heat."

The seasons may be marked in a similar manner by their floral
representatives. Mary Howitt quotes as a motto to her poem on _Holy
Flowers_ the following example of religious devotion timed by flowers:--

"Mindful of the pious festivals which our church prescribes," (says a
Franciscan Friar) "I have sought to make these charming objects of
floral nature, the _time-pieces of my religious calendar_, and the
mementos of the hastening period of my mortality. Thus I can light the
taper to our Virgin Mother on the blowing of the white snow-drop which
opens its floweret at the time of Candlemas; the lady's smock and the
daffodil, remind me of the Annunciation; the blue harebell, of the
Festival of St George; the ranunculus, of the Invention of the Cross;
the scarlet lychnis, of St. John the Baptist's day; the white lily, of
the Visitation of our Lady, and the Virgin's bower, of her Assumption;
and Michaelmas, Martinmas, Holyrood, and Christmas, have all their
appropriate monitors. I learn the time of day from the shutting of the
blossoms of the Star of Jerusalem and the Dandelion, and the hour of the
night by the stars."

Some flowers afford a certain means of determining the state of the
atmosphere. If I understand Mr. Tyas rightly he attributes the following
remarks to Hartley Coleridge.--

"Many species of flowers are admirable barometers. Most of the
bulbous-rooted flowers contract, or close their petals entirely on the
approach of rain. The African marigold indicates rain, if the corolla is
closed after seven or eight in the morning. The common bind-weed closes
its flowers on the approach of rain; but the anagallis arvensis, or scarlet
pimpernel, is the most sure in its indications as the petals constantly
close on the least humidity of the atmosphere. Barley is also singularly
affected by the moisture or dryness of the air. The awns are furnished
with stiff points, all turning towards one end, which extend 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 be actually seen to travel forwards. The capsules
of the geranium 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."

The famous German writer, Jean Paul Richter, describes what he calls _a
Human Clock_.

A HUMAN CLOCK.

"I believe" says Richter "the flower clock of Linnaeus, in Upsal
(_Horologium Florae_) whose wheels are the sun and earth, and whose
index-figures are flowers, of which one always awakens and opens later
than another, was what secretly suggested my conception of the human
clock.

I formerly occupied two chambers in Scheeraw, in the middle of the
market place: from the front room I overlooked the whole market-place
and the royal buildings and from the back one, the botanical garden.
Whoever now dwells in these two rooms possesses an excellent harmony,
arranged to his hand, between the flower clock in the garden and the
human clock in the marketplace. At three o'clock in the morning, the
yellow meadow goats-beard opens; and brides awake, and the stable-boy
begins to rattle and feed the horses beneath the lodger. At four o'clock
the little hawk weed awakes, choristers going to the Cathedral who are
clocks with chimes, and the bakers. At five, kitchen maids, dairy maids,
and butter-cups awake. At six, the sow-thistle and cooks. At seven
o'clock many of the Ladies' maids are awake in the Palace, the Chicory
in my botanical garden, and some tradesmen. At eight o'clock all the
colleges awake and the little mouse-ear. At nine o'clock, the female
nobility already begin to stir; the marigold, and even many young
ladies, who have come from the country on a visit, begin to look out of
their windows. Between ten and eleven o'clock the Court Ladies and the
whole staff of Lords of the Bed-chamber, the green colewort and the
Alpine dandelion, and the reader of the Princess rouse themselves out of
their morning sleep; and the whole Palace, considering that the morning
sun gleams so brightly to-day from the lofty sky through the coloured
silk curtains, curtails a little of its slumber.

At twelve o'clock, the Prince: at one, his wife and the carnation have
their eyes open in their flower vase. What awakes late in the afternoon
at four o'clock is only the red-hawkweed, and the night watchman as
cuckoo-clock, and these two only tell the time as evening-clocks and
moon-clocks.

From the eyes of the unfortunate man, who like the jalap plant
(Mirabilia jalapa), first opens them at five o'clock, we will turn our
own in pity aside. It is a rich man who only exchanges the fever fancies
of being pinched with hot pincers for waking pains.

I could never know when it was two o'clock, because at that time,
together with a thousand other stout gentlemen and the yellow mouse-ear,
I always fell asleep; but at three o'clock in the afternoon, and at
three in the morning, I awoke as regularly as though I was a repeater.
Thus we mortals may be a flower-clock for higher beings, when our
flower-leaves close upon our last bed; or sand clocks, when the sand of
our life is so run down that it is renewed in the other world; or
picture-clocks because, when our death-bell here below strikes and
rings, our image steps forth, from its case into the next world.

On each event of the kind, when seventy years of human life have passed
away, they may perhaps say, what! another hour already gone! how the
time flies!"--_From Balfour's Phyto-Theology_.

Some of the natives of India who possess extensive estates might think
it worth their while to plant a LABYRINTH for the amusement of their
friends. I therefore give a plan of one from London's _Arboretum et
Fruticetum Britannicum_. It would not be advisable to occupy much of a
limited estate in a toy of this nature; but where the ground required
for it can be easily spared or would otherwise be wasted, there could be
no objection to adding this sort of amusement to the very many others
that may be included in a pleasure ground. The plan here given,
resembles the labyrinth at Hampton Court. The hedges should be a little
above a man's height and the paths should be just wide enough for two
persons abreast. The ground should be kept scrupulously clean and well
rolled and the hedges well trimmed, or in this country the labyrinth
would soon be damp and unwholesome, especially in the rains. To prevent
its affording a place of refuge and concealment for snakes and other
reptiles, the gardener should cut off all young shoots and leaves within
half a foot of the ground. The centre building should be a tasteful
summer-house, in which people might read or smoke or take refreshments.
To make the labyrinth still more intricate Mr. Loudon suggests that
stop-hedges might be introduced across the path, at different places, as
indicated in the figure by dotted lines.[110]

[Illustration of A GARDEN LABYRINTH with a scale in feet.]

Of strictly Oriental trees and shrubs and flowers, perhaps the majority
of Anglo Indians think with much less enthusiasm than of the common
weeds of England. The remembrance of the simplest wild flower of their
native fields will make them look with perfect indifference on the
decorations of an Indian Garden. This is in no degree surprizing. Yet
nature is lovely in all lands.

Indian scenery has not been so much the subject of description in either
prose or verse as it deserves, but some two or three of our Anglo-Indian
authors have touched upon it. Here is a pleasant and truthful passage
from an article entitled "_A Morning Walk in India_," written by the
late Mr. Lawson, the Missionary, a truly good and a highly gifted man:--

"The rounded clumps that afford the deepest shade, are formed by the
mangoe, the banian, and the cotton trees. At the verge of this deep-green
forest are to be seen the long and slender hosts of the betle and
cocoanut trees; and the grey bark of their trunks, as they catch the
light of the morning, is in clear relief from the richness of the
back-ground. These as they wave their feathery tops, add much to the
picturesque interest of the straw-built hovels beneath them, which are
variegated with every tinge to be found amongst the browns and yellows,
according to the respective periods of their construction. Some of them
are enveloped in blue smoke, which oozes through every interstice of the
thatch, and spreads itself, like a cloud hovering over these frail
habitations, or moves slowly along, like a strata of vapour not far from
the ground, as though too heavy to ascend, and loses itself in the thin
air, so inspiring to all who have courage to leave their beds and enjoy
it. The champa tree forms a beautiful object in this jungle. It may be
recognized immediately from the surrounding scenery. It has always been
a favourite with me. I suppose most persons, at times, have been
unaccountably attracted by an object comparatively trifling in itself.
There are also particular seasons, when the mind is susceptible of
peculiar impressions, and the moments of happy, careless youth, rush
upon the imagination with a thousand tender feelings. There are few that
do not recollect with what pleasure they have grasped a bunch of wild
flowers, when, in the days of their childhood, the languor of a
lingering fever has prevented them for some weary months from enjoying
that chief of all the pleasures of a robust English boy, a ramble
through the fields, where every tree, and bush, and hillock, and
blossom, are endeared to him, because, next to a mother's caresses, they
were the first things in the world upon which he opened his eyes, and,
doubtless, the first which gave him those indescribable feelings of
fairy pleasure, which even in his dreams were excited; while the
coloured clouds of heaven, the golden sunshine of a landscape, the fresh
nosegay of dog-roses and early daisies, and the sounds of busy
whispering trees and tinkling brooks presented to the sleeping child all
the pure pleasure of his waking moments. And who is there here that does
not sometimes recal some of those feelings which were his solace perhaps
thirty years ago? Should I be wrong, were I to say that even, at his
desk, amid all the excitements and anxieties of commercial pursuits, the
weary Calcutta merchant has been lulled into a sort of pensive
reminiscence of the past, and, with his pen placed between his lips and
his fevered forehead leaning upon his hand, has felt his heart bound at
some vivid picture rising upon his imagination. The forms of a fond
mother, and an almost angel-looking sister, have been so strongly
conjured up with the scenes of his boyish days, that the pen has been
unceremoniously dashed to the ground, and 'I will go home' was the sigh
that heaved from a bosom full of kindness and English feeling; while, as
the dream vanished, plain truth told its tale, and the man of commerce
is still to be seen at his desk, pale, and getting into years and
perhaps less desirous than ever of winding up his concern. No wonder!
because the dearest ties of his heart have been broken, and those who
were the charm of home have gone down to the cold grave, the home of
all. Why then should he revisit his native place? What is the cottage of
his birth to him? What charms has the village now for the gentleman just
arrived from India? Every well remembered object of nature, seen after a
lapse of twenty years, would only serve to renew a host of buried,
painful feelings. Every visit to the house of a surviving neighbour
would but bring to mind some melancholy incident; for into what house
could he enter, to idle away an hour, without seeing some wreck of his
own family, such as a venerable clock, once so loved for the painted
moon that waxed and waned to the astonishment of the gazer, or some
favorite ancient chair, edged so nobly with rows of brass nails,

    --but perforated sore, and dull'd in holes
    By worms voracious, eating through and through.

These are little things, but they are objects which will live in his
memory to the latest day of his life, and with which are associated in
his mind the dearest feelings and thoughts of his happiest hours."

Here is an attempt at a description in verse of some of the most common

TREES AND FLOWERS OF BENGAL

    This land is not my father land,
    And yet I love it--for the hand
    Of God hath left its mark sublime
    On nature's face in every clime--

    Though from home and friends we part,
    Nature and the human heart
    Still may soothe the wanderer's care--
    And his God is every where

    Beneath BENGALA'S azure skies,
    No vallies sink, no green hills rise,
    Like those the vast sea billows make--
    The land is level as a lake[111]
    But, oh, what giants of the wood
    Wave their wide arms, or calmly brood
    Each o'er his own deep rounded shade
    When noon's fierce sun the breeze hath laid,
    And all is still. On every plain
    How green the sward, or rich the grain!
    In jungle wild and garden trim,
    And open lawn and covert dim,
    What glorious shrubs and flowerets gay,
    Bright buds, and lordly beasts of prey!
    How prodigally Gunga pours
    Her wealth of waves through verdant shores
    O'er which the sacred peepul bends,
    And oft its skeleton lines extends
    Of twisted root, well laved and bare,
    Half in water, half in air!

    Fair scenes! where breeze and sun diffuse
    The sweetest odours, fairest hues--
    Where brightest the bright day god shows,
    And where his gentle sister throws
    Her softest spell on silent plain,
    And stirless wood, and slumbering main--
    Where the lucid starry sky
    Opens most to mortal eye
    The wide and mystic dome serene
    Meant for visitants unseen,
    A dream like temple, air built hall,
    Where spirits pure hold festival!

    Fair scenes! whence envious Art might steal
    More charms than fancy's realms reveal--
    Where the tall palm to the sky
    Lifts its wreath triumphantly--
    And the bambu's tapering bough
    Loves its flexile arch to throw--
    Where sleeps the favored lotus white,
    On the still lake's bosom bright--
    Where the champac's[112] blossoms shine,
    Offerings meet for Brahma's shrine,
    While the fragrance floateth wide
    O'er velvet lawn and glassy tide--
    Where the mangoe tope bestows
    Night at noon day--cool repose,
    Neath burning heavens--a hush profound
    Breathing o'er the shaded ground--
    Where the medicinal neem,
    Of palest foliage, softest gleam,
    And the small leafed tamarind
    Tremble at each whispering wind--
    And the long plumed cocoas stand
    Like the princes of the land,
    Near the betel's pillar slim,
    With capital richly wrought and trim--
    And the neglected wild sonail
    Drops her yellow ringlets pale--
    And light airs summer odours throw
    From the bala's breast of snow--
    Where the Briarean banyan shades
    The crowded ghat, while Indian maids,
    Untouched by noon tide's scorching rays,
    Lave the sleek limb, or fill the vase
    With liquid life, or on the head
    Replace it, and with graceful tread
    And form erect, and movement slow,
    Back to their simple dwellings go--
    [Walls of earth, that stoutly stand,
    Neatly smoothed with wetted hand--
    Straw roofs, yellow once and gay,
    Turned by time and tempest gray--]
    Where the merry minahs crowd
    Unbrageous haunts, and chirrup loud--
    And shrilly talk the parrots green
    'Midst the thick leaves dimly seen--
    And through the quivering foliage play,
    Light as buds, the squirrels gay,
    Quickly as the noontide beams
    Dance upon the rippled streams--
    Where the pariah[113] howls with fear,
    If the white man passeth near--
    Where the beast that mocks our race
    With taper finger, solemn face,
    In the cool shade sits at ease
    Calm and grave as Socrates--
    Where the sluggish buffaloe
    Wallows in mud--and huge and slow,
    Like massive cloud of sombre van,
    Moves the land leviathan--[114]
    Where beneath the jungle's screen
    Close enwoven, lurks unseen
    The couchant tiger--and the snake
    His sly and sinuous way doth make
    Through the rich mead's grassy net,
    Like a miniature rivulet--
    Where small white cattle, scattered wide,
    Browse, from dawn to even tide--
    Where the river watered soil
    Scarce demands the ryot's toil--
    And the rice field's emerald light
    Out vies Italian meadows bright,--
    Where leaves of every shape and dye,
    And blossoms varied as the sky,
    The fancy kindle,--fingers fair
    That never closed on aught but air--
    Hearts, that never heaved a sigh--
    Wings, that never learned to fly--
    Cups, that ne'er went table round--
    Bells, that never rang with sound--
    Golden crowns, of little worth--
    Silver stars, that strew the earth--
    Filagree fine and curious braid,
    Breathed, not labored, grown, not made--
    Tresses like the beams of morn
    Without a thought of triumph worn--
    Tongues that prate not--many an eye
    Untaught midst hidden things to pry--
    Brazen trumpets, long and bright,
    That never summoned to the fight--
    Shafts, that never pierced a side--
    And plumes that never waved with pride;--
    Scarcely Art a shape may know
    But Nature here that shape can show.

    Through this soft air, o'er this warm sod,
    Stern deadly Winter never trod;
    The woods their pride for centuries wear,
    And not a living branch is bare;
    Each field for ever boasts its bowers,
    And every season brings its flowers.

D.L.R.

We all "uphold Adam's profession": we are all gardeners, either
practically or theoretically. The love of trees and flowers, and shrubs
and the green sward, with a summer sky above them, is an almost
universal sentiment. It may be smothered for a time by some one or other
of the innumerable chances and occupations of busy life; but a painting
in oils by Claude or Gainsborough, or a picture in words by Spenser or
Shakespeare that shall for ever

    Live in description and look green in song,

or the sight of a few flowers on a window-sill in the city, can fill the
eye with tears of tenderness, or make the secret passion for nature
burst out again in sudden gusts of tumultuous pleasure and lighten up
the soul with images of rural beauty. There are few, indeed, who, when
they have the good fortune to escape on a summer holiday from the
crowded and smoky city and find themselves in the heart of a delicious
garden, have not a secret consciousness within them that the scene
affords them a glimpse of a true paradise below. Rich foliage and gay
flowers and rural quiet and seclusion and a smiling sun are ever
associated with ideas of earthly felicity.

    And oh, if there be an Elysium on earth,
            It is this, it is this!

The princely merchant and the petty trader, the soldier and the sailor,
the politician and the lawyer, the artist and the artisan, when they
pause for a moment in the midst of their career, and dream of the
happiness of some future day, almost invariably fix their imaginary
palace or cottage of delight in a garden, amidst embowering trees and
fragrant flowers. This disposition, even in the busiest men, to indulge
occasionally in fond anticipations of rural bliss--

    In visions so profuse of pleasantness--

shows that God meant us to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of his works.
The taste for a garden is the one common feeling that unites us all.

    One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

There is this much of poetical sensibility--of a sense of natural
beauty--at the core of almost every human heart. The monarch shares it
with the peasant, and Nature takes care that as the thirst for her
society is the universal passion, the power of gratifying it shall be
more or less within the reach of all.[115]

Our present Chief Justice, Sir Lawrence Peel, who has set so excellent
an example to his countrymen here in respect to Horticultural pursuits
and the tasteful embellishment of what we call our "_compounds_" and
who, like Sir William Jones and Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd, sees no reason
why Themis should be hostile to the Muses, has obliged me with the
following stanzas on the moral or rather religious influence of a
garden. They form a highly appropriate and acceptable contribution to
this volume.

I HEARD THY VOICE IN THE GARDEN.

    That voice yet speaketh, heed it well--
    But not in tones of wrath it chideth,
    The moss rose, and the lily smell
    Of God--in them his voice abideth.

    There is a blessing on the spot
    The poor man decks--the sun delighteth
    To smile upon each homely plot,
    And why? The voice of God inviteth.

    God knows that he is worshipped there,
    The chaliced cowslip's graceful bending
    Is mute devotion, and the air
    Is sweet with incense of her lending.

    The primrose, aye the children's pet,
    Pale bride, yet proud of its uprooting,
    The crocus, snowdrop, violet
    And sweet-briar with its soft leaves shooting.

    There nestles each--a Preacher each--
    (Oh heart of man! be slow to harden)
    Each cottage flower in sooth doth teach
    God walketh with us in the garden.

I am surprized that in this city (of Calcutta) where so many kinds of
experiments in education have been proposed, the directors of public
instruction have never thought of attaching tasteful Gardens to the
Government Colleges--especially where Botany is in the regular course of
Collegiate studies. The Company's Botanic Garden being on the other side
of the river and at an inconvenient distance from the city cannot be
much resorted to by any one whose time is precious. An attempt was made
not long ago to have the Garden of the Horticultural Society (now
forming part of the Company's Botanic Garden) on this side of the river,
but the public subscriptions that were called for to meet the necessary
expenses were so inadequate to the purpose that the money realized was
returned to the subscribers, and the idea relinquished, to the great
regret of many of the inhabitants of Calcutta who would have been
delighted to possess such a place of recreation and instruction within a
few minutes' drive.

Hindu students, unlike English boys in general, remind us of Beattie's
Minstrel:--

    The exploit of strength, dexterity and speed
    To him nor vanity, nor joy could bring.

A sort of Garden Academy, therefore, full of pleasant shades, would be
peculiarly suited to the tastes and habits of our Indian Collegians.
They are not fond of cricket or leap-frog. They would rejoice to devote
a leisure hour to pensive letterings in a pleasure-garden, and on an
occasional holiday would gladly pursue even their severest studies, book
in hand, amidst verdant bowers. A stranger from Europe beholding them,
in their half-Grecian garments, thus wandering amidst the trees, would
be reminded of the disciples of Plato.

"It is not easy," observes Lord Kames, "to suppress a degree of
enthusiasm, when we reflect on the advantages of gardening with respect
to virtuous education. In the beginning of life the deepest impressions
are made; and it is a sad truth, that the young student, familiarized to
the dirtiness and disorder of many colleges pent within narrow bounds in
populous cities, is rendered in a measure insensible to the elegant
beauties of art and nature. It seems to me far from an exaggeration,
that good professors are not more essential to a college, than a
spacious garden, sweetly ornamented, but without any thing glaring or
fantastic, is upon the whole to inspire our youth with a taste no less
for simplicity than for elegance. In this respect the University of
Oxford may justly be deemed a model."

It may be expected that I should offer a few hints on the laying out of
gardens. Much has been said (by writers on ornamental and landscape
gardening) on _art_ and _nature_, and almost always has it been implied
that these must necessarily be in direct opposition. I am far from being
of this opinion. If art and nature be not in some points of view almost
identical, they are at least very good friends, or may easily be made
so. They are not necessarily hostile. They admit of the most harmonious
combinations. In no place are such combinations more easy or more proper
than in a garden. Walter Scott very truly calls a garden the child of
Art. But is it not also the child of Nature?--of Nature and Art
together? To attempt to exclude art--or even, the appearance of
art--from a small garden enclosure, is idle and absurd. He who objects to
all art in the arrangement of a flower-bed, ought, if consistent with
himself, to turn away with an expression of disgust from a well arranged
nosegay in a rich porcelain vase. But who would not loathe or laugh at
such manifest affectation or such thoroughly bad taste? As there is a
time for every thing, so also is there a place for every thing. No man
of true judgment would desire to trace the hand of human art on the form
of nature in remote and gigantic forests, and amidst vast mountains, as
irregular as the billows of a troubled sea. In such scenery there is a
sublime grace in wildness,--_there_ "the very weeds are beautiful." But
what true judgment would be enchanted with weeds and wildness in the
small parterre. As Pope rightly says, we must

    Consult the genius of the place in all.

It is pleasant to enter a rural lane overgrown with field-flowers, or to
behold an extensive common irregularly decorated with prickly gorse or
fern and thistle, but surely no man of taste would admire nature in this
wild and dishevelled state in a little suburban garden. Symmetry,
elegance and beauty, (--no _sublimity_ or _grandeur_--) trimness,
snugness, privacy, cleanliness, comfort, and convenience--the results of
a happy conjunction of art and nature--are all that we can aim at within
a limited extent of ground. In a small parterre we either trace with
pleasure the marks of the gardener's attention or are disgusted with his
negligence. In a mere patch of earth around a domestic dwelling nature
ought not to be left entirely to herself.

What is agreeable in one sphere of life is offensive in another. A dirty
smock frock and a soiled face in a ploughman's child who has been
swinging on rustic gates a long summer morning or rolling down the
slopes of hills, or grubbing in the soil of his small garden, may remind
us, not unpleasantly, of one of Gainsborough's pictures; but we look for
a different sort of nature on the canvas of Sir Joshua Reynolds or Sir
Thomas Lawrence, or in the brilliant drawing-rooms of the nobility; and
yet an Earl's child looks and moves at least as _naturally_ as a
peasant's.

There is nature every where--in the palace as well as in the hut, in the
cultivated garden as well as in the wild wood. Civilized life is, after
all, as natural as savage life. All our faculties are natural, and
civilized man cultivates his mental powers and studies the arts of life
by as true an instinct as that which leads the savage to make the most
of his mud hut, and to improve himself or his child as a hunter, a
fisherman, or a warrior. The mind of man is the noblest work of its
Maker (--in this world--) and the movements of man's mind may be quite
as natural, and quite as poetical too, as the life that rises from the
ground. It is as natural for the mind, as it is for a tree or flower to
advance towards perfection. Nature suggests art, and art again imitates
and approximates to nature, and this principle of action and reaction
brings man by degrees towards that point of comparative excellence for
which God seems to have intended him. The mind of a Milton or a
Shakespeare is surely not in a more unnatural condition than that of an
ignorant rustic. We ought not then to decry refinement nor deem all
connection of art with nature an offensive incongruity. A noble mansion
in a spacious and well kept park is an object which even an observer who
has no share himself in the property may look upon with pleasure. It
makes him proud of his race.[116] We cannot witness so harmonious a
conjunction of art and nature without feeling that man is something
better than a mere beast of the field or forest. We see him turn both
art and nature to his service, and we cannot contemplate the lordly
dwelling and the richly decorated land around it--and the neatness and
security and order of the whole scene--without associating them with the
high accomplishments and refined tastes that in all probability
distinguish the proprietor and his family. It is a strange mistake to
suppose that nothing is natural beyond savage ignorance--that all
refinement is unnatural--that there is only one sort of simplicity. For
the mind elevated by civilization is in a more natural state than a mind
that has scarcely passed the boundary of brutal instinct, and the
simplicity of a savage's hut, does not prevent there being a nobler
simplicity in a Grecian temple.

Kent[117] the famous landscape gardener, tells us that _nature_ _abhors
a straight line_. And so she does--in some cases--but not in all. A ray
of light is a straight line, and so also is a Grecian nose, and so also
is the stem of the betel-nut tree. It must, indeed, be admitted that he
who should now lay out a large park or pleasure-ground on strictly
geometrical principles or in the old topiary style would exhibit a
deplorable want of taste and judgment. But the provinces of the
landscape gardener and the parterre gardener are perfectly distinct. The
landscape gardener demands a wide canvas. All his operations are on a
large scale. In a small garden we have chiefly to aim at the
_gardenesque_ and in an extensive park at the _picturesque_. Even in the
latter case, however, though

    'Tis Nature still, 'tis nature methodized:

Or in other words:

    Nature to advantage dressed.

for even in the largest parks or pleasure-grounds, an observer of true
taste is offended by an air of negligence or the absence of all traces
of human art or care. Such places ought to indicate the presence of
civilized life and security and order. We are not pleased to see weeds
and jungle--or litter of any sort--even dry leaves--upon the princely
domain, which should look like a portion of nature set apart or devoted
to the especial care and enjoyment of the owner and his friends:--a
strictly private property. The grass carpet should be trimly shorn and
well swept. The trees should be tastefully separated from each other at
irregular but judicious distances. They should have fine round heads of
foliage, clean stems, and no weeds or underwood below, nor a single dead
branch above. When we visit the finest estates of the nobility and
gentry in England it is impossible not to perceive in every case a
marked distinction between the wild nature of a wood and the civilized
nature of a park. In the latter you cannot overlook the fact that every
thing injurious to the health and growth and beauty of each individual
tree has been studiously removed, while on the other hand, light, air,
space, all things in fact that, if sentient, the tree could itself be
supposed to desire, are most liberally supplied. There is as great a
difference between the general aspect of the trees in a nobleman's
pleasure ground and those in a jungle, as between the rustics of a
village and the well bred gentry of a great city. Park trees have
generally a fine air of aristocracy about them.

A Gainsborough or a Morland would seek his subjects in remote villages
and a Watteau or a Stothard in the well kept pleasure ground. The ruder
nature of woods and villages, of sturdy ploughmen and the healthy though
soiled and ragged children in rural neighbourhoods, affords a by no
means unpleasing contrast and introduction to the trim trees and
smoothly undulating lawns, and curved walks, and gay parterres, and fine
ladies and well dressed and graceful children on some old ancestral
estate. We look for rusticity in the village, and for elegance in the
park. The sleek and noble air of patrician trees, standing proudly on
the rich velvet sward, the order and grace and beauty of all that meets
the eye, lead us, as I have said already, to form a high opinion of the
owner. In this we may of course be sometimes disappointed; but a man's
character is generally to be traced in almost every object around him
over which he has the power of a proprietor, and in few things are a
man's taste and habits more distinctly marked than in his park and
garden. If we find the owner of a neatly kept garden and an elegant
mansion slovenly, rude and vulgar in appearance and manners, we
inevitably experience that shock of surprize which is excited by every
thing that is incongruous or out of keeping. On the other hand if the
garden be neglected and overgrown with weeds, or if every thing in its
arrangement indicate a want of taste, and a disregard of neatness and
order, we feel no astonishment whatever in discovering that the
proprietor is as negligent of his mind and person as of his shrubberies
and his lawns.

A civilized country ought not to look like a savage one. We need not
have wild nature in front of our neatly finished porticos. Nothing can
be more strictly artificial than all architecture. It would be absurd to
erect an elegantly finished residence in the heart of a jungle. There
should be an harmonious gradation from the house to the grounds, and
true taste ought not to object to terraces of elegant design and
graceful urns and fine statues in the immediate neighbourhood of a noble
dwelling.

Undoubtedly as a general rule, the undulating curve in garden scenery is
preferable to straight lines or abrupt turns or sharp angles, but if
there should happen to be only a few yards between the outer gateway and
the house, could anything be more fantastical or preposterous than an
attempt to give the ground between them a serpentine irregularity? Even
in the most spacious grounds the walks should not seem too studiously
winding, as if the short turns were meant for no other purpose than to
perplex or delay the walker.[118] They should have a natural sweep, and
seem to meander rather in accordance with the nature of the ground and
the points to which they lead than in obedience to some idle sport of
fancy. They should not remind us of Gray's description of the divisions
of an old mansion:

    Long passages that lead to nothing.

Foot-paths in small gardens need not be broader than will allow two
persons to walk abreast with ease. A spacious garden may have walks of
greater breadth. A path for one person only is inconvenient and has a
mean look.

I have made most of the foregoing observations in something of a spirit
of opposition to those Landscape gardeners who I think once carried a
true principle to an absurd excess. I dislike, as much as any one can,
the old topiary style of our remote ancestors, but the talk about free
nature degenerated at last into downright cant, and sheer extravagance;
the reformers were for bringing weeds and jungle right under our parlour
windows, and applied to an acre of ground those rules of Landscape
gardening which required a whole county for their proper
exemplification. It is true that Milton's Paradise had "no nice art" in
it, but then it was not a little suburban pleasure ground but a world.
When Milton alluded to private gardens, he spoke of their trimness.

                            Retired Leisure
    That in _trim_ gardens takes his pleasure.

The larger an estate the less necessary is it to make it merely neat,
and symmetrical, especially in those parts of the ground that are
distant from the house; but near the architecture some degree of finish
and precision is always necessary, or at least advisable, to prevent the
too sudden contrast between the straight lines and artificial
construction of the dwelling and the flowing curves and wild but
beautiful irregularities of nature unmoulded by art. A garden adjacent
to the house should give the owner a sense of _home_. He should not feel
himself abroad at his own door. If it were only for the sake of variety
there should be some distinction between the private garden and the open
field. If the garden gradually blends itself with a spacious park or
chase, the more the ground recedes from the house the more it may
legitimately assume the aspect of a natural landscape. It will then be
necessary to appeal to the eye of a landscape gardener or a painter or a
poet before the owner, if ignorant of the principles of fine art,
attempt the completion of the general design.

I should like to see my Native friends who have extensive grounds, vary
the shape of their tanks, but if they dislike a more natural form of
water, irregular or winding, and are determined to have them with four
sharp corners, let them at all events avoid the evil of several small
tanks in the same "compound." A large tank is more likely to have good
water and to retain it through the whole summer season than a smaller
one and is more easily kept clean and grassy to the water's edge. I do
not say that it would be proper to have a piece of winding water in a
small compound--that indeed would be impracticable. But even an oval or
round tank would be better than a square one.[119]

If the Native gentry could obtain the aid of tasteful gardeners, I would
recommend that the level land should be varied with an occasional
artificial elevation, nicely sloped or graduated; but Native _malees_
would be sure to aim rather at the production of abrupt round knobs
resembling warts or excrescences than easy and natural undulations of
the surface.

With respect to lawns, the late Mr. Speede recommended the use of the
_doob_ grass, but it is so extremely difficult to keep it clear of any
intermixture of the _ooloo_ grass, which, when it intrudes upon the
_doob_ gives the lawn a patchwork and shabby look, that it is better to
use the _ooloo_ grass only, for it is far more manageable; and if kept
well rolled and closely shorn it has a very neat, and indeed, beautiful
appearance. The lawns in the compound of the Government House in
Calcutta are formed of _ooloo_ glass only, but as they have been very
carefully attended to they have really a most brilliant and agreeable
aspect. In fact, their beautiful bright green, in the hottest summer,
attracts even the notice and admiration of the stranger fresh from
England. The _ooloo_ grass, however, on close inspection is found to be
extremely coarse, nor has even the finest _doob_ the close texture and
velvet softness of the grass of English lawns.

Flower beds should be well rounded. They should never have long narrow
necks or sharp angles in which no plant can have room to grow freely.
Nor should they be divided into compartments, too minute or numerous,
for so arranged they must always look petty and toy-like. A lawn should
be as open and spacious as the ground will fairly admit without too
greatly limiting the space for flowers. Nor should there be an
unnecessary multiplicity of walks. We should aim at a certain breadth of
style. Flower beds may be here and there distributed over the lawn, but
care should be taken that it be not too much broken up by them. A few
trees may be introduced upon the lawn, but they must not be placed so
close together as to prevent the growth of the grass by obstructing
either light or air. No large trees should be allowed to smother up the
house, particularly on the southern and western sides, for besides
impeding the circulation through the rooms of the most wholesome winds
of this country, they would attract mosquitoes, and give an air of
gloominess to the whole place.

Natives are too fond of over-crowding their gardens with trees and
shrubs and flowers of all sorts, with no regard to individual or general
effects, with no eye to arrangement of size, form or color; and in this
hot and moist climate the consequent exclusion of free air and the
necessary degree of light has a most injurious influence not only upon
the health of the resident but upon vegetation itself. Neither the
finest blossoms nor the finest fruits can be expected from an
overstocked garden. The native malee generally plants his fruit trees so
close together that they impede each other's growth and strength. Every
Englishman when he enters a native's garden feels how much he could
improve its productiveness and beauty by a free use of the hatchet. Too
many trees and too much embellishment of a small garden make it look
still smaller, and even on a large piece of ground they produce confused
and disagreeable effects and indicate an absence of all true judgment.
This practice of over-filling a garden is an instance of bad taste,
analogous to that which is so conspicuously characteristic of our own
countrymen in India with respect to their apartments, which look more
like an upholsterer's show-rooms or splendid ornament-shops than
drawing-rooms or parlours. There is scarcely space enough to turn in
them without fracturing some frail and costly bauble. Where a garden is
over-planted the whole place is darkened, the ground is green and slimy,
the grass thin, sickly and straggling, and the trees and shrubs
deficient in freshness and vigor.

Not only should the native gentry avoid having their flower-borders too
thickly filled,--they should take care also that they are not too broad.
We ought not to be obliged to leave the regular path and go across the
soft earth of the bed to obtain a sight of a particular shrub or flower.
Close and entangled foliage keeps the ground too damp, obstructs
wholesome air, and harbours snakes and a great variety of other noxious
reptiles. Similar objections suggest the propriety of having no shrubs
or flowers or even a grass-plot immediately under the windows and about
the doors of the house. A well exposed gravel or brick walk should be
laid down on all sides of the house, as a necessary safeguard against
both moisture and vermin.

I have spoken already of the unrivalled beauty of English gravel. It
cannot be too much admired. _Kunkur_[120] looks extremely smart for a
few weeks while it preserves its solidity and freshness, but it is
rapidly ground into powder under carriage wheels or blackened by
occasional rain and the permanent moisture of low grounds when only
partially exposed to the sun and air. Why should not an opulent Rajah or
Nawaub send for a cargo of beautiful red gravel from the gravel pits at
Kensington? Any English House of Agency here would obtain it for him. It
would be cheap in the end, for it lasts at least five times as long as
the kunkur, and if of a proper depth admits of repeated turnings with
the spade, looking on every turn almost as fresh as the day on which it
was first laid down.

Instead of brick-bat edgings, the wealthy Oriental nobleman might trim
all his flower-borders with the green box-plant of England, which would
flourish I suppose in this climate or in any other. Cobbett in his
_English Gardener_ speaks with so much enthusiasm and so much to the
purpose on the subject of box as an edging, that I must here repeat his
eulogium on it.

The box is at once the most efficient of all possible things, and the
prettiest plant that can possibly be conceived; the color of its leaf;
the form of its leaf; its docility as to height, width and shape; the
compactness of its little branches; its great durability as a plant; its
thriving in all sorts of soils and in all sorts of aspects; _its
freshness under the hottest sun_, and its defiance of all shade and
drip: these are the beauties and qualities which, for ages upon ages,
have marked it out as the chosen plant for this very important purpose.

The edging ought to be clipped in the winter or very early in spring on
both sides and at top; a line ought to be used to regulate the movements
of the shears; it ought to be clipped again in the same manner about
midsummer; and if there be _a more neat and beautiful thing than this in
the world, all that I can say is, that I never saw that thing_.

A small green edging for a flower bed can hardly be too _trim_; but
large hedges with tops and sides cut as flat as boards, and trees
fantastically shaped with the shears into an exhibition as full of
incongruities as the wildest dream, have deservedly gone out of fashion
in England. Poets and prose writers have agreed to ridicule all verdant
sculpture on a large scale. Here is a description of the old topiary
gardens.

    These likewise mote be seen on every side
    The shapely box, of all its branching pride
    Ungently shorn, and, with preposterous skill
    To various beasts, and birds of sundry quill
    Transformed, and human shapes of monstrous size.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Also other wonders of the sportive shears
    Fair Nature misadorning; there were found
    Globes, spiral columns, pyramids, and piers
    With spouting urns and budding statues crowned;
    And horizontal dials on the ground
    In living box, by cunning artists traced,
    And galleys trim, or on long voyage bound,
    But by their roots there ever anchored fast.

_G. West_.

The same taste for torturing nature into artificial forms prevailed
amongst the ancients long after architecture and statuary had been
carried to such perfection that the finest British artists of these
times can do nothing but copy and repeat what was accomplished so many
ages ago by the people of another nation. Pliny, in his description of
his Tuscan villa, speaks of some of his trees having been cut into
letters and the forms of animals, and of others placed in such regular
order that they reminded the spectator of files of soldiers.[121] The
Dutch therefore should not bear all the odium of the topiary style of
gardening which they are said to have introduced into England and other
countries of Europe. They were not the first sinners against natural
taste.

The Hindus are very fond of formally cut hedges and trimmed trees. All
sorts of verdant hedges are in some degree objectionable in a hot moist
country, rife with deadly vermin. I would recommend ornamental iron
railings or neatly cut and well painted wooden pales, as more airy,
light, and cheerful, and less favorable to snakes and centipedes.

This is the finest country in the world for making gardens speedily. In
the rainy season vegetation springs up at once, as at the stroke of an
Enchanter's wand. The Landscape gardeners in England used to grieve that
they could hardly expect to live long enough to see the effect of their
designs. Such artists would have less reason, to grieve on that account
in this country. Indeed even in England, the source of uneasiness
alluded to, is now removed. "The deliberation with which trees grow,"
wrote Horace Walpole, in a letter to a friend, "is extremely
inconvenient to my natural impatience. I lament living in so barbarous
an age when we are come to so little perfection in gardening. I am
persuaded that 150 years hence it will be as common to remove oaks 150
years old as it now is to plant tulip roots." The writer was not a bad
prophet. He has not yet been dead much more than half a century and his
expectations are already more than half realized. Shakespeare could not
have anticipated this triumph of art when he made Macbeth ask

    Who can impress the forest? Bid the tree
    Unfix his earth-bound root?

The gardeners have at last discovered that the largest (though not
perhaps the _oldest_) trees can be removed from one place to another
with comparative facility and safety. Sir H. Stewart moved several
hundred lofty trees without the least injury to any of them. And if
broad and lofty trees can be transplanted in England, how much more
easily and securely might such a process be effected in the rainy season
in this country. In half a year a new garden might be made to look like
a garden of half a century. Or an old and ill-arranged plantation might
thus be speedily re-adjusted to the taste of the owner. The main object
is to secure a good ball of earth round the root, and the main
difficulty is to raise the tree and remove it. Many most ingenious
machines for raising a tree from the ground, and trucks for removing it,
have been lately invented by scientific gardeners in England. A
Scotchman, Mr. McGlashen, has been amongst the most successful of late
transplanters. He exhibited one of his machines at Paris to the present
Emperor of the French, and lifted with it a fir tree thirty feet high.
The French ruler lavished the warmest commendations on the ingenious
artist and purchased his apparatus at a large price.[122]

Bengal is enriched with a boundless variety of noble trees admirably
suited to parks and pleasure grounds. These should be scattered about a
spacious compound with a spirited and graceful irregularity, and so
disposed with reference to the dwelling as in some degree to vary the
view of it, and occasionally to conceal it from the visitor driving up
the winding road from the outer gate to the portico. The trees, I must
repeat, should be so divided as to give them a free growth and admit
sufficient light and air beneath them to allow the grass to flourish.
Grassless ground under park trees has a look of barrenness, discomfort
and neglect, and is out of keeping with the general character of the
scene.

The Banyan (_Ficus Indica or Bengaliensis_)--

    The Indian tree, whose branches downward bent,
    Take root again, a boundless canopy--

and the Peepul or Pippul (_Ficus Religiosa_) are amongst the finest
trees in this country--or perhaps in the world--and on a very spacious
pleasure ground or park they would present truly magnificent aspects.
Colonel Sykes alludes to a Banyan at the village of Nikow in Poonah with
68 stems descending from and supporting the branches. This tree is said
to be capable of affording shelter to 20,000 men. It is a tree of this
sort which Milton so well describes.

    The fig tree, not that kind for fruit renowned,
    But such as at this day, to Indians known
    In Malabar or Deccan, spreads her arms
    Branching so broad and long, a pillared shade,
    High over arched, and echoing walks between
    There oft the Indian herdsman, shunning heat,
    Shelters in cool, and tends his pasturing herds
    At loop holes cut through the thickest shade those leaves,
    They gathered, broad as Amazonian taige;
    And with what skill they had together sewed,
    To gird their waste.

Milton is mistaken as to the size of the leaves of this tree, though he
has given its general character with great exactness.[123]

A remarkable banyan or buri tree, near Manjee, twenty miles west of
Patna, is 375 inches in diameter, the circumference of its shadow at
noon measuring 1116 feet. It has sixty stems, or dropped branches that
have taken root. Under this tree once sat a naked fakir who had occupied
that situation for 25 years; but he did not continue there the whole
year, for his vow obliged him to be during the four cold months up to
his neck in the water of the Ganges![124]

It is said that there is a banyan tree near Gombroon on the Persian
gulf, computed to cover nearly 1,700 yards.

The Banyan tree in the Company's Botanic garden, is a fine tree, but it
is of small dimensions compared with those of the trees just
mentioned.[125]

The cocoanut tree has a characteristically Oriental aspect and a natural
grace, but it is not well suited to the ornamental garden or the
princely villa. It is too suggestive of the rudest village scenery, and
perhaps also of utilitarian ideas of mere profit, as every poor man who
has half a dozen cocoanut trees on his ground disposes of the produce in
the bazar.

I would recommend my native friends to confine their clumps of plaintain
trees to the kitchen garden, for though the leaf of the plaintain is a
proud specimen of oriental foliage when it is first opened out to the
sun, it soon gets torn to shreds by the lightest breeze. The tattered
leaves then dry up and the whole of the tree presents the most beggarly
aspect imaginable. The stem is as ragged and untidy as the leaves.

The kitchen garden and the orchard should be in the rear of the house.
The former should not be too visible from the windows and the latter is
on many accounts better at the extremity of the grounds than close to
the house, as we too often find it. A native of high rank should keep as
much out of sight as possible every thing that would remind a visitor
that any portion of the ground was intended rather for pecuniary profit
than the immediate pleasure of the owner. The people of India do not
seem to be sufficiently aware that any sign of parsimony in the
management of a large park or pleasure ground produces in the mind of
the visitor an unfavorable impression of the character of the owner. I
have seen in Calcutta vast mansions of which every little niche and
corner towards the street was let out to very small traders at a few
annas a month. What would the people of England think of an opulent
English Nobleman who should try to squeeze a few pence from the poor by
dividing the street front of his palace into little pigeon-sheds of
petty shops for the retail of petty wares? Oh! Princes of India "reform
this altogether." This sordid saving, this widely published parsimony,
is not only not princely, it is not only not decorous, it is positively
disgusting to every passer-by who himself possesses any right thought or
feeling.

The Natives seem every day more and more inclined to imitate European
fashions, and there are few European fashions, which could be borrowed
by the highest or lowest of the people of this country with a more
humanizing and delightful effect than that attention to the exterior
elegance and neatness of the dwelling-house, and that tasteful garniture
of the contiguous ground, which in England is a taste common to the
prince and the peasant, and which has made that noble country so full of
those beautiful homes which surprize and enchant its foreign visitors.

The climate and soil of this country are peculiarly favorable to the
cultivation of trees and shrubs and flowers; and the garden here is at
no season of the year without its ornaments.

The example of the Horticultural Society of India, and the attractions
of the Company's Botanic Garden ought to have created a more general
taste amongst us for the culture of flowers. Bishop Heber tells us that
the Botanic Garden here reminded hint more of Milton's description of
the Garden of Eden than any other public garden, that he had ever
seen.[126]

There is a Botanic Garden at Serampore. In 1813 it was in charge of Dr.
Roxburgh. Subsequently came the amiable and able Dr. Wallich; then the
venerable Dr. Carey was for a time the Officiating Superintendent. Dr.
Voigt followed and then one of the greatest of our Anglo-Indian
botanists, Dr. Griffiths. After him came Dr. McLelland, who is at this
present time counting the teak trees in the forests of Pegu. He was
succeeded by Dr. Falconer who left this country but a few months ago.
The garden is now in charge of Dr. Thomson who is said to be an
enthusiast in his profession. He explored the region beyond the snowy
range I think with Captain Cunningham, some years ago. With the
exceptions of Voigt and Carey, all who have had charge of the garden at
Serampore have held at the same time the more important appointment of
Superintendent of the Company's Botanic Garden at Garden Beach.

There is a Botanic Garden at Bhagulpore, which owes its origin to Major
Napleton. I have been unable to obtain any information regarding its
present condition. A good Botanic Garden has been already established in
the Punjab, where there is also an Agricultural and Horticultural
Society.

I regret that it should have been deemed necessary to make stupid
pedants of Hindu malees by providing them with a classical nomenclature
for plants. Hindostanee names would have answered the purpose just as
well. The natives make a sad mess of our simplest English names, but
their Greek must be Greek indeed! A _Quarterly Reviewer_ observes that
Miss Mitford has found it difficult to make the maurandias and
alstraemerias and eschxholtzias--the commonest flowers of our modern
garden--look passable even in prose. But what are these, he asks, to the
pollopostemonopetalae and eleutheroromacrostemones of Wachendorf, with
such daily additions as the native name of iztactepotzacuxochitl
icohueyo, or the more classical ponderosity of Erisymum Peroffskyanum.

    --like the verbum Graecum
    Spermagoraiolekitholakanopolides,
    Words that should only be said upon holidays,
    When one has nothing else to do.

If these names are unpronounceable even by Europeans, what would the
poor Hindu malee make of them? The pedantry of some of our scientific
Botanists is something marvellous. One would think that a love of
flowers must produce or imply a taste for simplicity and nature in all
things.[127]

As by way of encouragement to the native gardeners--to enable them to
dispose of the floral produce of their gardens at a fair price--the
Horticultural Society has withdrawn from the public the indulgence of
gratuitous supplies of plants, it would be as well if some men of taste
were to instruct these native nursery-men how to lay out their grounds,
(as their fellow-traders do at home,) with some regard to neatness,
cleanliness and order. These flower-merchants, and even the common
_malees_, should also be instructed, I think, how to make up a decent
bouquet, for if it be possible to render the most elegant things in the
creation offensive to the eye of taste, that object is assuredly very
completely effected by these swarthy artists when they arrange, with
such worse than Dutch precision and formality, the ill-selected,
ill-arranged, and tightly bound treasures of the parterre for the
classical vases of their British masters. I am often vexed to observe the
idleness or apathy which suffers such atrocities as these specimens of
Indian taste to disgrace the drawing-rooms of the City of Palaces. This is
quite inexcusable in a family where there are feminine hands for the
truly graceful and congenial task of selecting and arranging the daily
supply of garden decorations. A young lady--"herself a fairer
flower"--is rarely exhibited to a loving eye in a more delightful point of
view than when her delicate and dainty fingers are so employed.

If a lovely woman arranging the nosegays and flower-vases, in her
parlour, is a sweet living picture, a still sweeter sight does she
present to us when she is in the garden itself. Milton thus represents
the fair mother of the fair in the first garden:--

                    Eve separate he spies.
    Veil'd in a cloud of fragrance, where she stood,
    Half spied, so thick the roses blushing round
    About her glow'd, oft stooping to support
    Each flower of slender stalk, whose head, though gay,
    Carnation, purple, azure, or speck'd with gold,
    Hung drooping unsustain'd; them she upstays
    Gently with myrtle band, mindless the while
    Herself, though fairest unsupported flower,
    From her best prop so far, and storm so nigh.
    Nearer he drew, and many a walk traversed
    Of stateliest covert, cedar, pine, or palm;
    Then voluble and bold, now hid, now seen,
    Among thick woven arborets, and flowers
    Imborder'd on each bank, the hand of Eve[128]

_Paradise Lost. Book IX_.

Chaucer (in "The Knight's Tale,") describes Emily in her garden as
fairer to be seen

    Than is the lily on his stalkie green;

And Dryden, in his modernized version of the old poet, says,

    At every turn she made a little stand,
    And thrust among the thorns her lily hand
    To draw the rose.

Eve's roses were without thorns--

    "And without thorn the rose,"[129]

It is pleasant to see flowers plucked by the fairest fingers for some
elegant or worthy purpose, but it is not pleasant to see them _wasted_.
Some people pluck them wantonly, and then fling them away and litter the
garden walks with them. Some idle coxcombs, vain

    Of the nice conduct of a clouded cane,

amuse themselves with switching off their lovely heads. "That's
villainous, and shows a most pitiful ambition in the fool that uses it."
Lander says

    And 'tis my wish, and over was my way,
    To let all flowers live freely, and so die.

Here is a poetical petitioner against a needless destruction of the
little tenants of the parterre.

    Oh, spare my flower, my gentle flower,
    The slender creature of a day,
    Let it bloom out its little hour,
        And pass away.

    So soon its fleeting charms must lie
    Decayed, unnoticed and o'erthrown,
    Oh, hasten not its destiny,
        Too like thine own.

_Lyte_.

Those who pluck flowers needlessly and thoughtlessly should be told that
other people like to see them flourish, and that it is as well for every
one to bear in mind the beautiful remark of Lord Bacon that "the breath
of flowers is far sweeter in the air than in the hand; for in the air it
comes and goes like the warbling of music."

The British portion of this community allow their exile to be much more
dull and dreary than it need be, by neglecting to cultivate their
gardens, and leaving them entirely to the taste and industry of the
_malee_. I never feel half so much inclined to envy the great men of
this now crowded city the possession of vast but gardenless mansions,
(partly blocked up by those of their neighbours,) as I do to felicitate
the owner of some humbler but more airy and wholesome dwelling in the
suburbs, when the well-sized grounds attached to it have been touched
into beauty by the tasteful hand of a lover of flowers.

But generally speaking my countrymen in most parts of India allow their
grounds to remain in a state which I cannot help characterizing as
disreputable. It is amazing how men or women accustomed to English modes
of life can reconcile themselves to that air of neglect, disorder, and
discomfort which most of their "compounds" here exhibit.

It would afford me peculiar gratification to find this book read with
interest by my Hindu friends, (for whom, chiefly, it has been written,)
and to hear that it has induced some of them to pay more attention to
the ornamental cultivation of their grounds; for it would be difficult
to confer upon them a greater blessing than a taste for the innocent and
elegant pleasures of the FLOWER-GARDEN.



SUPPLEMENT.


SACRED TREES AND SHRUBS OF THE HINDUS.

The following list of the trees and shrubs held sacred by the Hindus is
from the friend who furnished me with the list of Flowers used in Hindu
ceremonies.[130] It was received too late to enable me to include it in
the body of the volume.

AMALAKI (_Phyllanthus emblica_).--A tree held sacred to Shiva. It has no
flowers, and its leaves are in consequence used in worshipping that
deity as well as Durga, Kali, and others. The natives of Bengal do not
look upon it with any degree of religious veneration, but those of the
Upper Provinces annually worship it on the day of the _Shiva Ratri_,
which generally falls in the latter end of February or the beginning of
March, and on which all the public offices are closed.

ASWATH-THA (_Ficus Religiosa_).--It is commonly called by Europeans the
Peepul tree, by which name, it is known to the natives of the Upper
Provinces. The _Bhagavat Gita_ says that Krishna in giving an account of
his power and glory to Arjuna, before the commencement of the celebrated
battle between the _Kauravas_ and _Pándavas_ at _Kurukshetra_,
identified himself with the _Aswath-tha_ whence the natives consider it
to be a sacred tree.[131]

BILWA OR SREEFUL (_Aegle marmelos_).--It is the common wood-apple tree,
which is held sacred to Shiva, and its leaves are used in worshipping
him as well as Durga, Kali, and others. The _Mahabharat_ says that when
Shiva at the request of Krishna and the Pandavas undertook the
protection of their camp at Kurukshetra on the night of the last day of
the battle, between them and the sons of Dhritarashtra, Aswathama, a
friend and follower of the latter, took up a Bilwa tree by its roots and
threw it upon the god, who considering it in the light of an offering
made to him, was so much pleased with Aswathama that he allowed him to
enter the camp, where he killed the five sons of the Pandavas and the
whole of the remnants of their army. Other similar stories are also told
of the Bilwa tree to prove its sacredness, but the one I have given
above, will be sufficient to shew in what estimation it is held by the
Hindus.

BAT (_Ficus indica_).--Is the Indian Banian tree, supposed to be
immortal and coeval with the gods; whence it is venerated as one of
them. It is also supposed to be a male tree, while the Aswath-tha or
Peepul is looked upon as a female, whence the lower orders of the people
plant them side by side and perform the ceremony of matrimony with a
view to connect them as man and wife.[132]

DURVA' (_Panicum dactylon_).--A grass held to be sacred to Vishnu, who
in his seventh _Avatara_ or incarnation, as Rama, the son of Dasaratha,
king of Oude, assumed the colour of the grass, which is used in all
religious ceremonies of the Hindus. It has medicinal properties.

KA'STA' (_Saccharum spontaneum_).--It is a large species of grass. In
those ceremonies which the Hindus perform after the death of a person,
or with a view to propitiate the Manes of their ancestors this grass is
used whenever the Kusa is not to be had. When it is in flower, the
natives look upon the circumstance as indicative of the close of the
rains.

KU'SA (_Poa cynosuroides_).--The grass to which, reference has been made
above. It is used in all ceremonies performed in connection with the
death of a person or having for their object the propitiation of the
Manes of ancestors.

MANSA-SHIJ (_Euphorbia ligularia_).--This plant is supposed by the
natives of Bengal to be sacred to _Mansa_, the goddess of snakes, and is
worshipped by them on certain days of the months of June, July, August,
and September, during which those reptiles lay their eggs and breed
their young. The festival of Arandhana, which is more especially
observed by the lower orders of the people, is in honor of the Goddess
Mansa.[133]

NA'RIKELA (_Coccos nucifera_).--The Cocoanut tree, which is supposed to
possess the attributes of a Brahmin and is therefore held sacred.[134]

NIMBA (_Melia azadirachta_).--A tree from the trunk of which the idol at
Pooree was manufactured, and which is in consequence identified with the
ribs of Vishnu.[135]

TU'LSI (_Ocymum_).--The Indian Basil, of which there are several
species, such as the _Ram Tulsi_ (ocymum gratissimum) the _Babooye
Tulsi_ (ocymum pilosum) the _Krishna Tulsi_ (osymum sanctum) and the
common _Tulsi_ (ocymum villosum) all of which possess medicinal
properties, but the two latter are held to be sacred to Vishnu and used
in his worship. The _Puranas_ say that Krishna assumed the form of
_Saukasura_, and seduced his wife Brinda. When he was discovered he
manifested his extreme regard for her by turning her into the _Tulsi_
and put the leaves upon his head.[136]



APPENDIX.


       *       *       *       *       *

THE FLOWER GARDEN IN INDIA.

The following practical directions and useful information respecting the
Indian Flower-Garden, are extracted from the late Mr. Speede's _New
Indian Gardener_, with the kind permission of the publishers, Messrs.
Thacker Spink and Company of Calcutta.

THE SOIL.

So far as practicable, the soil should be renewed every year, by turning
in vegetable mould, river sand, and well rotted manure to the depth of
about a foot; and every second or third year the perennials should be
taken up, and reduced, when a greater proportion of manure may be added,
or what is yet better, the whole of the old earth removed, and new mould
substituted.

It used to be supposed that the only time for sowing annuals or other
plants, (in Bengal) is the beginning of the cold weather, but although
this is the case with a great number of this class of plants, it is a
popular error to think it applies to all, since there are many that grow
more luxuriantly if sown at other periods. The Pink, for instance, may
be sown at any time, Sweet William thrives best if sown in March or
April, the variegated and light colored Larkspurs should not be put in
until December, the Dahlia germinates most successfully in the rains,
and the beautiful class of Zinnias are never seen to perfection unless
sown in June.

This is the more deserving of attention, as it holds out the prospect of
maintaining our Indian flower gardens, in life and beauty, throughout
the whole year, instead of during the confined period hitherto
attempted.

The several classes of flowering plants are divided into PERENNIAL,
BIENNIAL, and ANNUAL.

PERENNIALS.

The HERON'S BILL, Erodium; the STORK'S BILL, Pelargonium; and the
CRANE'S BILL, Geranium; all popularly known under the common designation
of Geranium, which gives name to the family, are well known, and are
favorite plants, of which but few of the numerous varieties are found
in this country.

Of the first of these there are about five and twenty fixed species,
besides a vast number of varieties; of which there are here found only
the following:--

The _Flesh-colored Heron's bill_, E. incarnatum, is a pretty plant of
about six inches high, flowering in the hot weather, with flesh-colored
blossoms, but apt to become rather straggling.

Of the hundred and ninety species of the second class, independently of
their varieties, there are few indeed that have found their way here,
only thirteen, most of which are but rarely met with.

The _Rose-colored Stork's bill_, P. roseum, is tuberous rooted, and in
April yields pretty pink flowers.

The _Brick-colored Stork's bill_, P. lateritium, affords red flowers in
March and April.

The _Botany Bay Stork's bill_, P. Australe, is rare, but may be made to
give a pretty red flower in March.

The _Common horse-shoe Stork's bill_, P. zonale, is often seen, and
yields its scarlet blossoms freely in April.

The _Scarlet-flowered Stork's bill_, P. inquinans, affords a very fine
flower towards the latter end of the cold weather, and approaching to
the hot; it requires protection from the rains, as it is naturally of a
succulent nature, and will rot at the joints if the roots become at all
sodden: many people lay the pots down on their sides to prevent this,
which is tolerably successful to their preservation.

The _Sweet-Scented Stork's bill_, P. odoratissimum, with pink flowers,
but it does not blossom freely, and the branches are apt to grow long
and straggling.

The _Cut-leaved Stork's bill_, P. incisum, has small flowers, the petals
being long and thin, and the flowers which appear in April are white,
marked with pink.

The _Ivy-leaved Stork's bill_, P. lateripes, has not been known to yield
flowers in this country.

The _Rose-scented Stork's bill_, P. capitatum, the odour of the leaves
is very pleasant, but it is very difficult to force into blossom.

The _Ternate Stork's bill_, P. ternatum, has variegated pink flowers in
April.

The _Oak-leaved Stork's bill_, P. quercifolium, is much esteemed for the
beauty of its leaves, but has not been known to blossom in this climate.

The _Tooth-leaved Stork's bill_, P. denticulatum, is not a free
flowerer, but may with care be made to bloom in April.

The _Lemon, or Citron-scented Stork's bill_, P. gratum, grows freely,
and has a pretty appearance, but does not blossom.

Of the second class of these plants the forty-eight species have only
three representatives.

The _Aconite-leaved Crane's bill_, G. aconiti-folium, is a pretty plant,
but rare, yielding its pale blue flowers with difficulty.

The _Wallich's Crane's bill_ G. Wallichianum, indigenous to Nepal,
having pale pink blossoms and rather pretty foliage, flowering in March
and April; but requiring protection in the succeeding hot weather, and
the beginning of the rains, as it is very susceptible of heat, or excess
of moisture.

_Propagation_--may be effected by seed to multiply, or produce fresh
varieties, but the ordinary mode of increasing the different sorts is by
cuttings, no plant growing more readily by this mode. These should be
taken off at a joint where the wood is ripening, at which point the root
fibres are formed, and put into a pot with a compost of one part garden
mould, one part vegetable mould, and one part sand, and then kept
moderately moist, in the shade, until they have formed strong root
fibres, when they may be planted out. The best method is to plant each
cutting in a separate pot of the smallest size. The germinating of the
seeds will be greatly promoted by sinking the pots three parts of their
depth in a hot bed, keeping them moist and shaded and until they
germinate.

_Soil, &c._ A rich garden mould, composed of light loam, rather sandy
than otherwise, with very rotten dung, is desirable for this shrub.

_Culture_. Most kinds are rapid and luxurious growers, and it is
necessary to pay them constant attention in pruning or nipping the
extremities of the shoots, or they will soon become ill-formed and
straggling. This is particularly requisite during the rains, when heat
and moisture combine to increase their growth to excess; allowing them
to enjoy the full influence of the sun during the whole of the cold
weather, and part of the hot. At the close of the rains, the plants had
better be put out into the open ground, and closely pruned, the shoots
taken off affording an ample supply of cuttings for multiplying the
plants; this putting out will cause them to throw up strong healthy
shoots and rich blossoms; but as the hot weather approaches, or in the
beginning of March, they must be re-placed in moderate sized pots, with
a compost similar to that required for cuttings and placed in the plant
shed, as before described. The earth in the pots should be covered with
pebbles, or pounded brick of moderate size, which prevents the
accumulation of moss or fungi. Geraniums should at no time be over
watered, and must at all seasons be allowed a free ventilation.

There is no doubt that if visitors from this to the Cape, would pay a
little attention to the subject, the varieties might be greatly
increased, and that without much trouble, as many kinds may be produced
freely by seed, if brought to the country fresh, and sown immediately on
arrival; young plants also in well glazed cases would not take up much
space in some of the large vessels coming from thence.

The ANEMONE has numerous varieties, and is, in England, a very favorite
flower, but although A. cernua is a native of Japan, and many varieties
are indigenous to the Cape, it is very rare here.

The _Double anemone_ is the most prized, but there are several _Single_
and _Half double_ kinds which are very handsome. The stem of a good
anemone should be eight or nine inches in height, with a strong upright
stalk. The flower ought not to be less than seven inches in
circumference, the outer row of petals being well rounded, flat, and
expanding at the base, turning up with a full rounded edge, so as to
form a well shaped cup, within which, in the double kinds, should arise
a large group of long small petals reverted from the centre, and
regularly overlapping each other; the colors clear, each shade being
distinct in such as are variegated.

The _Garden, or Star Wind flower_, A. hortensis, _Boostan afrooz_, is
another variety, found in Persia, and brought thence to Upper India, of
a bright scarlet color; a blue variety has also blossomed in Calcutta,
and was exhibited at the Show of February, 1847, by Mrs. Macleod, to
whom Floriculture is indebted for the introduction of many beautiful
exotics heretofore new to India. But it is to be hoped this handsome
species of flowering plants will soon be more extensively found under
cultivation.

_Propagation_. Seed can hardly be expected to succeed in this country,
as even in Europe it fails of germinating; for if not sown immediately
that it is ripe, the length of journey or voyage would inevitably
destroy its power of producing. Offsets of the tubers therefore are the
only means that are left, and these should not be replanted until they
have been a sufficient time out of the ground, say a month or so, to
become hardened, nor should they be put into the earth until they have
dried, or the whole offset will rot by exposure of the newly fractured
side to the moisture of the earth. The tubers should be selected which
are plump and firm, as well as of moderate size, the larger ones being
generally hollow; these may be obtained in good order from Hobart Town.

_Soil, &c._ A strong rich loamy soil is preferable, having a
considerable portion of well rotted cow-dung, with a little leaf mould,
dug to a depth of two feet, and the beds not raised too high, as it is
desirable to preserve moisture in the subsoil; if in pots, this is
effected by keeping a saucer of water under them continually, the pot
must however be deep, or the fibres will have too much wet; an open airy
situation is desirable.

_Culture_. When the plant appears above ground the earth must be pressed
well down around the root, as the crowns and tubers are injured by
exposure to dry weather, and the plants should be sheltered from the
heat of the sun, but not so as to confine the air; they require the
morning and evening sun to shine on them, particularly the former.

The IRIS is a handsome plant, attractive alike from the variety and the
beauty of its blossoms; some of them are also used medicinally. All
varieties produce abundance of seed, in which form the plant might with
great care be introduced into this country.

The _Florence Iris_, I. florentina, _Ueersa_, is a large variety,
growing some two feet in height, the flower being white, and produced in
the hot weather.

The _Persian Iris_ I. persica, _Hoobur_, is esteemed not only for its
handsome blue and purple flowers, but also for its fragrance, blossoming
in the latter part of the cold weather; one variety has blue and yellow
blossoms.

The _Chinese Iris_, I. chinensis, _Soosun peelgoosh_, in a small sized
variety, but has very pretty blue and purple flowers in the beginning of
the hot weather.

_Propagation_. Besides seed, which should be sown in drills, at the
close of the rains, in a sandy soil, it may be produced by offsets.

_Soil, &c._ Almost any kind of soil suits the Iris, but the best flowers
are obtained from a mixture of sandy loam, with leaf mould, the Persian
kind requiring a larger proportion of sand.

_Culture_. Little after culture is required, except keeping the beds
clear from weeds, and occasionally loosening the earth. But the roots
must be taken, up every two, or at most three years, and replanted,
after having been kept to harden for a month or six weeks; the proper
season for doing this being when the leaves decay after blossoming.

The TUBEROSE, Polianthes, is well deserving of culture, but it is not by
any means a rare plant, and like many indigenous odoriferous flowers,
has rather too strong an odour to be borne near at hand, and it is
considered unwholesome in a room.

The _Common Tuberose_, P. tuberosa, _Chubugulshubboo_, being a native of
India thrives in almost any soil, and requires no cultivation: it is
multiplied by dividing the roots. It flowers at all times of the year in
bunches of white flowers with long sepals.

The _Double Tuberose_, P. florepleno, is very rich in appearance, and of
more delicate fragrance, although still too powerful for the room. Crows
are great destroyers of the blossoms, which they appear fond of pecking.
This variety is more rare, and the best specimens have been obtained
from Hobart Town. It is rather more delicate and requires more attention
in culture than the indigenous variety, and should be earthed up, so as
to prevent water lodging around the stem.

The LOBELIA is a brilliant class of flowers which may be greatly
improved by careful cultivation.

The _Splendid Lobelia_, L. splendens, is found in many gardens, and is a
showy scarlet flower, well worthy of culture.

The _Pyramidal Lobelia_, L. pyramidalis, is a native of Nepal, and is a
modest pretty flower, of a purple color.

_Propagation_--is best performed by offsets, suckers, or cuttings, but
seeds produce good strong plants, which may with care, be made to
improve.

_Soil, &c._--A moist, sandy soil is requisite for them, the small
varieties especially delighting in wet ground. Some few of this family
are annuals, and the roots of no varieties should remain more than three
years without renewal, as the blossoms are apt to deteriorate; they all
flower during the rains.

The PITCAIRNIA is a very handsome species, having long narrow leaves,
with, spined edges and throwing up blossoms in upright spines.

The _Long Stamened Pitcairnia_, P. staminea, is a splendid scarlet
flower, lasting long in blossom, which, appears in July or August, and
continues till December.

The _Scarlet Pitcairnia_, P. bromeliaefolia, is also a fine rich scarlet
flower, but blossoming somewhat sooner, and may be made to continue
about a month later.

_Propagation_--is by dividing the roots, or by suckers, which is best
performed at the close of the rains.

_Soil, &c._ A sandy peat is the favorite soil of this plant, which
should be kept very moist.

The DAHLIA, Dahlia; a few years since an attempt was made to rename this
beautiful and extensive family and to call it Georgina, but it failed,
and it is still better known throughout the world by its old name than
the new. It was long supposed that the Dahlia was only found indigenous
in Mexico, but Captain Kirke some few years back brought to the notice
of the Horticultural Society, that it was to be met with in great
abundance in Dheyra Dhoon, producing many varieties both single and
double; and he has from time to time sent down quantities of seed, which
have greatly assisted its increase in all parts of India. It has also
been found in Nagpore.

A good Dahlia is judged of by its form, size, and color. In respect to
the first of these its _form_ should be perfectly round, without any
inequalities of projecting points of the petals, or being notched, or
irregular. These should also be so far revolute that the side view
should exhibit a perfect semicircle in its outline, and the eye or
prolific disc, in the centre should be entirely concealed. There has
been recently introduced into this country a new variety, all the petals
of which are quilled, which has a very handsome appearance.

In _size_ although of small estimation if the other qualities are
defective, it is yet of some consideration, but the larger flowers are
apt to be wanting in that perfect hemispherical form that is so much
admired.

The _color_ is of great importance to the perfection of the flower; of
those that are of one color this should be clear, unbroken, and
distinct; but when mixed hues are sought, each color should be clearly
and distinctly defined without any mingling of shades, or running into
each other. Further, the flowers ought to be erect so as to exhibit the
blossom in the fullest manner to the view. The most usual colors of the
imported double Dahlias, met with in India, are crimson, scarlet,
orange, purple, and white. Amongst those raised from seed from. Dheyra
Dhoon[137] of the double kind, there are of single colors, crimson, deep
crimson approaching to maroon, deep lilac, pale lilac, violet, pink,
light purple, canary color, yellow, red, and white; and of mixed colors,
white and pink, red and yellow, and orange and white: the single ones of
good star shaped flowers and even petals being of crimson, puce, lilac,
pale lilac, white, and orange. Those from Nagpore seed have yielded,
double flowers of deep crimson, lilac, and pale purple, amongst single
colors; lilac and blue, and red and yellow of mixed shades; and single
flowered, crimson, and orange, with mixed colors of lilac and yellow,
and lilac and white.

_Propagation_--is by dividing the roots, by cuttings, by suckers, or by
seed; the latter is generally resorted to, where new varieties are
desired. Mr. George A. Lake, in an article on this subject (_Gardeners'
Magazine_, 1833) says: "I speak advisedly, and from, experience, when I
assert that plants raised from cuttings do not produce equally perfect
flowers, in regard to size, form, and fulness, with those produced by
plants grown from division of tubers;" and he more fully shews in
another part of the same paper, that this appears altogether conformable
to reason, as the cutting must necessarily for a long period want that
store of starch, which is heaped up in the full grown tuber for the
nutriment of the plant. This objection however might be met by not
allowing the cuttings to flower in the season when they are struck.

To those who are curious in the cultivation of this handsome species, it
may be well to know how to secure varieties, especially of mixed colors;
for this purpose it is necessary to cover the blossoms intended for
fecundation with fine gauze tied firmly to the foot stalk, and when it
expands take the pollen from the male flowers with a camel's hair
pencil, and touch with it each floret of the intended bearing flower,
tying the gauze again over it, and keeping it on until the petals are
withered. The operation requires to be performed two or three successive
days, as the florets do not expand together.

_Soil &c._ They thrive best in a rich loam, mixed with sand; but should
not be repeated too often on the same spot, as they exhaust the soil
considerably.

_Culture_. The Dahlia requires an open, airy position unsheltered by
trees or walls, the plants should be put out where they are to blossom,
immediately on the cessation of the rains, at a distance of three feet
apart, either in rows or in clumps, as they make a handsome show in a
mass; and as they grow should be trimmed from the lower shoots, to about
a foot in height, and either tied carefully to a stake, or, what is
better, surrounded by a square or circular trellis, about five feet in
height. As the buds form they should be trimmed off, so as to leave but
one on each stalk, this being the only method by which full, large, and
perfectly shaped blossoms are obtained. Some people take up the tubers
every year in February or March, but this is unnecessary. The plants
blossom in November and December in the greatest perfection, but may
with attention be continued from the beginning of October to the end of
February.

Those plants which are left in the ground during the whole year should
have their roots opened immediately on the close of the rains, the
superabundant or decayed tubers, and all suckers being removed, and
fresh earth filled in. The earth should always be heaped up high around
the stems, and it is a good plan to surround each plant with a small
trench to be filled daily with water so as to keep the stem and leaves
dry.

The PINK, Dianthus, _Kurunful_, is a well known species of great
variety, and acknowledged beauty.

The _Carnation_, D. caryophyilus, _Gul kurunful_, is by this time
naturalized in India, adding both beauty and fragrance to the parterre;
the only variety however that has yet appeared in the country is the
clove, or deep crimson colored: but the success attending the culture of
this beautiful flower is surely an encouragement to the introduction of
other sorts, there being above four hundred kinds, especially as they
may be obtained from seed or pipings sent packed in moss, which will
remain in good condition for two or three months, provided no moisture
beyond what is natural to the moss, have access to them.

The distinguishing marks of a good carnation may be thus described: the
stem should be tall and straight, strong, elastic, and having rather
short foot stalks, the flower should be fully three inches in diameter
with large well formed petals, round and uncut, long and broad, so as to
stand out well, rising about half an inch above the calyx, and then the
outer ones turned off in a horizontal direction, supporting those of the
centre, decreasing gradually in size, the whole forming a near approach
to a hemisphere. It flowers in April and May.

_Propagation_--is performed either by seed, by layers, or by pipings;
the best time for making the two latter is when the plant is in full
blossom, as they then root more strongly. In this operation the lower
leaves should be trimmed off, and an incision made with a sharp knife,
by entering the knife about a quarter of an inch below the joint,
passing it through its centre; it must then be pegged down with a hooked
peg, and covered with about a quarter of an inch of light rich mould; if
kept regularly moist, the layers will root in about a month's time: they
may then be taken off and planted out into pots in a sheltered
situation, neither exposed to excessive rain, nor sun, until they shoot
out freely.

Pipings (or cuttings as they are called in other plants) must be taken
off from a healthy, free growing plant, and should have two complete
joints, being cut off horizontally close under the second one; the
extremities of the leaves must also be shortened, leaving the whole
length of each piping two inches; they should be thrown into a basin of
soft water for a few minutes to plump them, and then planted out in
moist rich mould, not more than an inch being inserted therein, and
slightly watered to settle the earth close around them; after this the
soil should be kept moderately moist, and never exposed to the sun. Seed
is seldom resorted to except to introduce new varieties.

_Soil, &c._--A mixture of old well rotted stable manure, with one-third
the quantity of good fine loamy earth, and a small portion of sand, is
the best soil for carnations.

_Culture_.--The plants should be sheltered from too heavy a fall of
rain, although they require to be kept moderately moist, and desire an
airy situation. When the flower stalks are about six or eight inches in
height, they must be supported by sticks, and, if large full blossoms be
sought for, all the buds, except the leading one, must be removed with a
pair of scissors; the calyx must also be frequently examined, as it is
apt to burst, and if any disposition to this should appear, it will be
well to assist the uniform expansion by cutting the angles with a sharp
penknife. If, despite all precautions the calyx burst and let out the
petals, it should be carefully tied with thread, or a circular piece of
card having a hole in the centre should be drawn over the bud so as to
hold the petals together, and display them to advantage by the contrast
of the white color.

_Insects, &c._--The most destructive are the red, and the large black
ant, which attack, and frequently entirely destroy the roots before you
can be aware of its approach; powdered turmeric should therefore be
constantly kept strewed around this flower.

The _Common Pink_, Dianthus Chinensis, _Kurunful_, and the _Sweet
William_, D: barbatus, are pretty, ornamental plants, and may be
propagated and cultivated in the same way as the carnation, save that
they do not require so much care, or so good a soil, any garden mould
sufficing; they are also more easily produced from seed.

The VIOLET, Viola, _Puroos_, is a class containing many beautiful
flowers, some highly ornamental and others odoriferous.

The _Sweet Violet_, V. odorata, _Bunufsh'eh_, truly the poet's flower.
It is a deserved favorite for its delightful fragrance as well as its
delicate and retiring purple flowers; there is also a white variety, but
it is rare in this country, as is also the double kind. This blossoms in
the latter part of the cold weather.

The _Shrubby Violet_, V. arborescens, or suffruticosa, _Rutunpuroos_,
grows wild in the hills, and is a pretty blue flower, but wants the
fragrance of the foregoing.

The _Dog's Violet_, V. canina, is also indigenous in the hills.

_Propagation_.--All varieties may be propagated by seed, but the most
usual method is by dividing the roots, or taking off the runners.

_Soil, &c._--The natural _habitat_ of the indigenous varieties is the
sides and interstices of the rocks, where leaf mould, and micaceous
sand, has accumulated and moisture been retained, indicating that the
kind of soil favorable to the growth of this interesting little plant is
a rich vegetable mould, with an admixture of sand, somewhat moist, but
having a dry subsoil.

_Culture_.--It would not be safe to trust this plant in the open ground
except during a very short period of the early part of the cold weather,
when the so doing will give it strength to form blossoms. In January,
however, it should be re-potted, filling the pots about half-full of
pebbles or stone-mason's cuttings, over which should be placed good rich
vegetable mould, mixed with a large proportion of sand, covering with a
thin layer of the same material as has been put into the bottom of the
pot; a top dressing of ground bones is said to improve the fineness of
the blossoms. They should not be kept too dry, but at the same time
watered cautiously, as too much of either heat or moisture destroys the
plants.

The _Pansy_ or _Heart's-ease_, V. tricolor, _Kheeroo, kheearee_, derives
its first name from the French _Pensée_. It was known amongst the early
Christians by the name of _Flos Trinitatis_, and worn as a symbol of
their faith. The high estimation which it has of late years attained in
Great Britain as a florist's flower has, in the last two or three years,
extended itself to this country. There are nearly four hundred
varieties, a few of which only have been found here.

_The characters of a fine Heart's-ease_ are, the flower being well
expanded, offering a flat, or if any thing, rather a revolute surface,
and the petals so overlapping each other as to form a circle without any
break in the outline. These should be as nearly as possible of a size,
and the greater length of the two upper ones concealed by the covering
of those at the side in such manner as to preserve the appearance of
just proportion: the bottom petal being broad and two-lobed, and well
expanded, not curving inwards. The eye should be of moderate, or rather
small size, and much additional beauty is afforded, if the pencilling is
so arranged as to give the appearance of a dark angular spot. The colors
must also be clear, bright, and even, not clouded or indistinct.
Undoubtedly the handsomest kinds are those in which the two upper petals
are of deep purple and the triade of a shade less: in all, the flower
stalk should be long and stiff. The plant blossoms in this country in
February and March, although it is elsewhere a summer flower.

_Propagation_.--In England the moat usual methods are dividing the
roots, layers, or cuttings from the stem, and these are certainly the
only sure means of preserving a good variety; but it is almost
impossible in India to preserve the plant through the hot weather, and
therefore it is more generally treated as an annual, and raised every
year from seed, which should be sown at the close of the rains; as
however their growth, in India is as yet little known, most people put
the imported seed into pots as soon as it arrives, lest the climate
should deteriorate its germinating power, as it is well known, that even
in Europe the seed should be sown as soon as possible after ripening. It
will be well also to assist its sprouting with a little bottom heat, by
plunging the pot up to its rim in a hot bed. American seed should be
avoided as the blossoms are little to be depended on, and generally
yield small, ill-formed flowers, clouded and run in color.

_Soil, &c._--This should be moist, and the best compost is formed of
one-sixth of well rotted dung from an old hot bed, and five-sixth of
loam, or one-fourth of leaf mould and the remainder loam, but in either
case well incorporated and exposed for some time previous to use to the
action of the sun and air by frequent turning.

_Culture_.--A shady situation is to be preferred, especially for the
dark varieties which assume a deeper hue if so placed. But it has been
observed by Mackintosh, that "the light varieties bloomed lighter in the
shade, and darker in the sunshine--a very remarkable effect, for which I
cannot account." The plants must at all times be kept moist, never being
allowed to become dry, and should be so placed as to receive only the
morning sun before ten o'clock. Under good management the plants will
extend a foot or more in height, and have a handsome appearance if
trained over a circular trellis of rattan twisted. When they rise too
high, or it is desirable to fill out with side shoots, the tops must be
pinched off, and larger flowers will be obtained if the flower buds are
thinned out where they appear crowded.

These plants look very handsome when grown in large masses of several
varieties, but the seeds of those grown in this manner should not be
made use of, as they are sure to sport; to prevent which it is also
necessary that the plants which it is desired to perpetuate in this
manner should be isolated at a distance from any other kind, and it
would be advisable to cover them with thin gauze to prevent impregnation
from others by means of the bees and other insects. For show flowers the
branches should be kept down, and not suffered to straggle out or
multiply; these will also be improved by pegging the longer branches
down under the soil, and thereby increasing the number of the root
fibres, hence adding to their power of accumulating nourishment, and not
allowing them to expand beyond a limited number of blossoms, and those
retained should be as nearly equal in age as possible.

The HYDRANGEA is a hardy plant requiring a good deal of moisture, being
by nature an inhabitant of the marshes.

The _Changeable Hydrangea_, H. hortensis, is of Chinese origin and a
pretty growing plant that deserves to be a favorite; it blossoms in
bunches of flowers at the extremities of the branches which are
naturally pink, but in old peat earth, or having a mixture of alum, or
iron filings, the color changes to blue. It blooms in March and April.

_Propagation_ may be effected by cuttings, which root freely, or by
layers.

_Soil, &c._--Loam and old leaf mould, or peat with a very small
admixture of sand suits this plant. Their growth is much promoted by
being turned out, for a month or two in the rains, into the open ground,
and then re-potted with new soil, the old being entirely removed from
the roots: and to make it flower well it must not be encumbered with too
many branches.

The HOYA is properly a trailing plant, rooting at the joints, but have
been generally cultivated here as a twiner.

The _Fleshy-leaved Hoya_, H. carnosa, is vulgarly called the wax flower
from its singular star shaped-whitish pink blossoms, with a deep colored
varnished centre, having more the appearance of a wax model than a
production of nature. The flowers appear in globular groups and have a
very handsome appearance from the beginning of April to the close of the
rains.

The _Green flowered Hoya_, H. viridiflora, _Nukchukoree, teel kunga_,
with its green flowers in numerous groups, is also an interesting plant,
it is esteemed also for its medicinal properties.

_Propagation_.--Every morsel of these plants, even a piece of the leaf,
will form roots if put in the ground, cuttings therefore strike very
freely, as do layers, the joints naturally throwing out root-fibres
although not in the earth.

_Soil, &c._--A light loam moderately dry is the best for these plants,
which look well if trained round a circular trellis in the open border.

The STAPELIA is an extensive genus of low succulent plants without
leaves, but yielding singularly handsome star-shaped flowers; they are
of African origin growing in the sandy deserts, but in a natural state
very diminutive being increased to their present condition and numerous
varieties by cultivation, they mostly have an offensive smell whence
some people call them the carrion plant. They deserve more attention
than has hitherto been shown to them in India.

The _Variegated Stapelia_, S. variegata, yields a flower in November,
the thick petals of which are yellowish green with brown irregular
spots, it is the simplest of the family.

The _Revolute-flowered Stapelia_, S. revoluta, has a green blossom very
fully sprinkled with deep purple, it flowers at the close of the rains.

The _Toad Stapelia_, S. bufonia, as its name implies, is marked like the
back of the reptile from whence it has its name; it flowers in December
and January.

The _Hairy Stapelia_, S. hirsuta, is a very handsome variety, being,
like the rest, of green and brown, but the entire flower covered with
fine filaments or hairs of a light purple, at various periods of the
year.

The _Starry Stapelia_, S. stellaris, is perhaps the most beautiful of
the whole, being like the last covered with hairs, but they are of a
bright pinkish blue color; there appears to be no fixed period for
flowering.

The HAIRY CARRULLUMA, C. crinalata, belongs to the same family as the
foregoing species, which it much resembles, except that it blossoms in
good sized globular groups of small star-shaped flowers of green,
studded and streaked with brown.

_Propagation_ is exceedingly easy with each of the last named two
species; as the smallest piece put in any soil that is moist, without
being saturated, will throw out root fibres.

_Soil, &c._--This should consist of one-half sand, one-fourth garden
mould, and one-fourth well rotted stable manure. The pots in which they
are planted should have on the top a layer of pebbles, or broken brick.
All the after culture they require is to keep them within bounds,
removing decayed portions as they appear and avoiding their having too
much moisture.

The perennial border plants, besides those included above, are very
numerous; the directions for cultivation admitting, from their
similarity, of the following general rules:--

_Propagation_.--Although some few will admit of other modes of
multiplication, the most usually successful are by seed, by suckers, or
by offsets, and by division of the root, the last being applicable to
nine-tenths of the hardy herbaceous plants, and performed either by
taking up the whole plant and gently separating it by the hand, or by
opening the ground near the one to be divided, and cutting off a part of
the roots and crown to make new the sections being either at once
planted where they are to stand, or placed for a short period in a
nursery; the best time for this operation is the beginning of the rains.
Offsets or suckers being rapidly produced during the rains, will be best
removed towards their close, at which period, also, seed should be sown
to benefit by the moisture remaining in the soil. The depth at which
seeds are buried in the earth varies with their magnitude, all the pea
or vetch kind will bear being put at a depth of from half an inch to one
inch; but with the smallest seeds it will be sufficient to scatter them,
on the sifted soil, beating them down with, the palm of the hand.

_Culture_.--Transplanting this description of plants will be performed
to best advantage during the rains. The general management is
comprehended in stirring the soil occasionally in the immediate vicinity
of the roots; taking up overgrown plants, reducing and replanting them,
for which the rains is the best time; renewing the soil around the
roots; sticking the weak plants; pruning and trimming others, so as to
remove all weakly or decayed parts.

Once a year, before the rains, the whole border should be dug one or two
spits deep, adding soil from the bottom of a tank or river; and again,
in the cold weather, giving a moderate supply of well rotted stable
manure, and leaf mould in equal portions.

Crossing is considered as yet in its infancy even in England, and has,
except with the Marvel of Peru, hardly even been attempted in this
country. The principles under which this is effected are fully explained
at page 27 of the former part of this work; but it may also be done in
the more woody kinds by grafting one or more of the same genus on the
stock of another, the seed of which would give a new variety.

Saving seed requires great attention in India, as it should be taken
during the hot weather if possible; to effect which the earliest
blossoms must be preserved for this purpose. With some kinds it will be
advisable to assist nature by artificial impregnation with a camel hair
pencil, carefully placing the pollen on the point of the stigma. The
seeds should be carefully dried in some open, airy place, but not
exposed to the sun, care being afterwards taken that they shall be
deposited in a dry place, not close or damp, whence the usual plan of
storing the seeds in bottles is not advisable.

       *       *       *       *       *

BULBS.

Bulbs have not as yet received that degree of attention in this country
(India) that they deserve, and they may be considered to form a separate
class, requiring a mode of culture differing from that of others. Their
slow progress has discouraged many and a supposition that they will only
thrive in the Upper Provinces, has deterred others from attempting to
grow them, an idea which has also been somewhat fostered by the
Horticultural Society, when they received a supply from England, having
sent the larger portion of them to their subscribers in the North West
Provinces.

The NARCISSUS will thrive with care, in all parts of India, and it is a
matter of surprise that it is not more frequently met with. A good
Narcissus should have the six petals well formed, regularly and evenly
disposed, with a cup of good form, the colors distinct and clear, raised
on strong erect stems, and flowering together.

The _Polyanthes Narcissus_, N. tazetta, _Narjus, hur'huft nusreen_, is
of two classes, white and sulphur colored, but these have sported into
almost endless varieties, especially amongst the Dutch, with whom this
and most other bulbs are great favorites. It flowers in February and
March.

The _Poet's Narcissus_, N. poeticus, _Moozhan, zureenkuda_ is the
favorite, alike for its fragrance and its delicate and graceful
appearance, the petals being white and the cup a deep yellow: it flowers
from the beginning of January to the end of March and thrives well. The
first within the recollection of the author, in Bengal, was at Patna,
nearly twelve years since, in possession of a lady there under whose
care it blossomed freely in the shade, in the month of February.

The _Daffodil_, N. pseudo-narcissus, _Khumsee buroonk_, is of pale
yellow, and some of the double varieties are very handsome.

_Propagation_ is by offsets, pulled off after the bulbs are taken out of
the ground, and sufficiently hardened.

_Soil, &c._--The best is a fresh, light loam with some well rotted cow
dung for the root fibres to strike into, and the bottom of the pot to
the height of one-third filled with pebbles or broken brick. They will
not blossom until the fifth year, and to secure strong flowers the bulbs
should only be taken up every third year. An eastern aspect where they
get only the morning sun, is to be preferred. The PANCRATIUM is a
handsome species that thrives well, some varieties being indigenous, and
others fully acclimated, generally flowering about May or June.

The _One-flowered Pancratium_, P. zeylanicum, is rather later than the
rest in flowering and bears a curiously formed white flower.

The _Two-flowered Pancratium_, P. triflorum, _Sada kunool_, was so named
by Roxburg, and gives a white flower in groups of threes, as its name
implies.

The _Oval leaved pancratium_, P. ovatum, although of West Indian origin,
is so thoroughly acclimated as to be quite common in the Indian Garden.

_Propagation_.--The best method is by suckers or offsets which are
thrown out very freely by all the varieties.

_Soil, &c._--Any common garden soil will suit this plant, but they
thrive best with a good admixture of rich vegetable mould.

The HYACINTH, Hyacinthus, is an elegant flower, especially the double
kind. The first bloomed in Calcutta was exhibited at the flower show
some three years since, but proved an imperfect blossom and not clear
colored; a very handsome one, however, was shown by Mrs. Macleod in
February 1847, and was raised from a stock originally obtained at
Simlah. The Dutch florists have nearly two thousand varieties.

The distinguishing marks of a good hyacinth are clear bright colors,
free from clouding or sporting, broad bold petals, full, large and
perfectly doubled, sufficiently revolute to give the whole mass a degree
of convexity: the stem strong and erect and the foot stalks horizontal
at the base, gradually taking an angle upwards as they approach the
crown, so as to place the flowers in a pyramidical form, occupying about
one-half the length of the stem.

The _Amethyst colored Hyacinth_, H. amethystimus, is a fine handsome
flower, varying in shade from pale blue to purple, and having bell
shaped flowers, but the foot stalks are generally not strong and they
are apt to become pendulous.

The _Garden Hyacinth_, H. orientalis, _Sumbul, abrood_, is the handsomer
variety, the flowers being trumpet shaped, very double and of varying
colors--pink, red, blue, white, or yellow, and originally of eastern
growth. It flowers in February and has considerable fragrance.

_Propagation_.--In Europe this is sometimes performed by seed, but as
this requires to be put into the ground as soon as possible after
ripening, and moreover takes a long time to germinate, this method would
hardly answer in this country, which must therefore, at least for the
present, depend upon imported bulbs and offsets.

_Soil, &c._--This, as well as its after culture, is the same as for the
Narcissus. They will not show flowers until the second year, and not in
good bloom before the fifth or sixth of their planting out.

The CROCUS, Crocus lutens, having no native name, has yet, it is
believed, been hardly ever known to flower here, even with the utmost
care. A good crocus has its colors clear, brilliant, and distinctly
marked.

_Propagation_--must be effected, for new varieties, by seeds, but the
species are multiplied by offsets of the bulb.

_Soil, &c._ Any fair garden soil is good for the crocus, but it prefers
that which is somewhat sandy.

_Culture_. The small bulbs should be planted in clumps at the depth of
two inches; the leaves should not be cut off after the plant has done
blossoming, as the nourishment for the future season's flower is
gathered by them.

The IXIA, is originally from the Cape, and belongs to the class of
Iridae: the Ixia Chinensis, more properly Morea Chinensis, is a native
of India and China, and common in most gardens.

_Propagation_--is by offsets.

_Soil, &c._ The best is of peat and sand, it thrives however in good
garden soil, if not too stiff, and requires no particular cultivation.

The LILY, Lilium, _Soosun_, the latter derived from the Hebrew, is a
handsome species that deserves more care than it has yet received in
India, where some of the varieties are indigenous.

The _Japan Lily_, L. japonicum, is a very tall growing plant, reaching
about 5 feet in height with broad handsome flowers of pure white, and a
small streak of blue, in the rains.

The _Daunan Lily_, L. dauricum, _Rufeef, soosun_, gives an erect, light
orange flower in the rains.

The _Canadian lily_, L. Canadense _B'uhmutan_, flowers in the rains in
pairs of drooping reflexed blossoms of a rather darker orange, sometimes
spotted with a deeper shade.

_Propagation_--is effected by offsets, which however will not flower
until the third or fourth year.

_Soil, &c._ This is the same as for the Narcissus, but they do not
require taking up more frequently than once in three years, and that
only for about a month at the close of the rains, the Japan lily will
thrive even under the shade of trees.

The AMARYLLIS is a very handsome flower, which has been found to thrive
well in this country, and has a great variety, all of which possess much
beauty, some kinds are very hardy, and will grow freely in the open
ground.

The _Mexican Lily_, A. regina Mexicanae, is a common hardy variety found
in most gardens, yielding an orange red flower in the months of March
and April, and will thrive even under the shades of trees.

The _Ceylonese Amaryllis_, A: zeylanica, _Suk'h dursun_, gives a pretty
flower about the same period.

The _Jacoboean Lily_, A, formosissima, has a handsome dark red flower of
singular form, having three petals well expanded above, and three others
downwards rolled over the fructile organs on the base, so as to give the
idea of its being the model whence the Bourbon _fleur de lis_ was taken,
the stem is shorter than the two previous kinds, blossoming in April or
May.

The _Noble Amaryllis_, A: insignia, is a tall variety, having pink
flowers in March or April.

The _Broad-leaved Amaryllis_, A: latifolia, is a native of India with
pinkish white flowers about the same period of the year.

The _Belladonna Lily_. A: belladonna is of moderately high stem,
supporting a pink flower of the same singular form as the Jacoboean
lily, in May and June.

_Propagation_--is by offsets of the bulb, which most kinds throw out
very freely, sometimes to the extent of ten, or a dozen in the season.

_Soil, &c._--For the choice kinds is the same as is required for the
narcissus, and water should on no account be given over the leaves or
upper part of the bulb.

The common kinds look well in masses, and a good form of planting them
is in a series of raised circles, so as for the whole to form a round
bed.

The DOG'S TOOTH VIOLET, Erythronium, is a pretty flowering bulb and a
great favorite with florists in Europe.

The _Common Dog's tooth Violet_, E. dens canis, is ordinarily found of
reddish purple, there is also a white variety, but it is rare, neither
of them grow above three or four inches in height, and flower in March
or April.

The _Indian Dog's tooth Violet_, E. indicum, _junglee kanda_, is found
in the hills, and flowers at about the same time, with a pink blossom.

The SUPERB GLORIOSA, Gloriosa superba, _Kareearee, eeskooee langula_, is
a very beautiful species of climbing bulb, a native of this country, and
on that account neglected, although highly esteemed as a stove plant in
England; the leaves bear tendrils at the points, and the flower, which
is pendulous, when first expanded, throws its petals nearly erect of
yellowish green, which gradually changes to yellow at the base and
bright scarlet at the point; the pistil which shoots from the seed
vessel horizontally possesses the singular property of making an entire
circuit between sun-rise and sun-set each day that the flower continues,
which is generally for some time, receiving impregnation from every
author as it visits them in succession. It blooms in the latter part of
the rains.

_Propagation_ is in India sometimes from seed, but in Europe it is
confined to division of the offsets.

_Soil, &c._--Most garden soils will suit this plant, but it affords the
handsomest, and richest colored flowers in fresh loam mixed with peat or
leaf mould, without dung. It should not have too much water when first
commencing its growth, and it requires the support of a trellis over
which it will bear training to a considerable extent, growing to the
height of from five to six feet.

MANY OTHER BULBS, there is no doubt, might be successfully grown in
India where every thing is favorable to their growth, and so much
facility presents itself for procuring them from the Cape of Good Hope;
the natural _habitat_ of so many varieties of the handsomest species,
nearly all of them flowering between the end of the cold weather and the
close of the rains.

Some of these being hardy, thrive in the open ground with but little
care or trouble, others requiring very great attention, protection from
exposure, and shelter from the heat of the sun, and the intensity of its
rays; which should therefore have a particular portion of the plant-shed
assigned to them, such being inhabitants of the green house in colder
climates, and the reason of assigning them such separated part of the
chief house, or what is better perhaps, a small house to themselves, is
that in culture, treatment, and other respects they do not associate
with plants of a different character.

One great obstacle which the more extensive culture of bulbs has had to
contend against, may be found in that impatience that refuses to give
attention to what requires from three to five years to perfect,
generally speaking people in India prefer therefore to cultivate such
plants only as afford an immediate result, especially with relation to
the ornamental classes.

_Propagation_.--The bulb after the formation of the first floral core is
instigated by nature to continue its species, as immediately the flower
fades the portion of bulb that gave it birth dies, for which purpose it
each year forms embryo bulbs on each side of the blossoming one, and
which although continued in the same external coat, are each perfect and
complete plants in themselves, rising from the crown of the root fibres:
in some kinds this is more distinctly exhibited by being as it were,
altogether outside and distinct from, the main, or original bulb. These
being separated for what are called offsets, and should be taken off
only when the parent bulb has been taken up and hardened, or the young
plant will suffer.

Some species of bulbous rooted plants produce seeds, but this method of
reproduction, can seldom be resorted to in this country, and certainly
not to obtain new kinds, as the seeds require to be sown as soon as
ripe.

_Soil, Culture, &c_.--For the delicate and rare bulbs, it is advisable
to have pots purposely made of some fifteen inches in height with a
diameter of about seven or eight inches at the top, tapering down to
five, with a hole at the bottom as in ordinary flower pots, and for this
to stand in, another pot should be made without any hole, of a height of
about four inches, sufficient size to leave the space of about an inch
all round between the outer side of the plant pot and the inner side of
the smaller pot or saucer.

This will allow the plant pot to be filled with crocks, pebbles, or
stone chippings to the height of five inches, or about an inch higher
than the level of the water in the saucer, above which may be placed
eight inches in depth of soil and one inch on the top of that, pebbles
or small broken brick. By this arrangement, the saucer being kept
filled, or partly filled, as the plant may require, with water, the
fibres of the root obtain a sufficiency of moisture for the maintenance
and advancement of the plant without chance of injury to the bulb or
stem, by applying water to the upper earth which is also in this
prevented from becoming too much saturated. Light rich sandy loam, with
a portion of sufficiently decomposed leaf mould, is the best soil for
the early stages of growing bulbs.

So soon as the leaves change color and wither, then all moisture must be
withheld, but as the repose obtained by this means is not sufficient to
secure health to the plant, and ensure its giving strong blossoms,
something more is required to effect this purpose. This being rendered
the more necessary because in those that form offsets by the sides of
the old bulbs, they would otherwise become crowded and degenerate, the
same occurring also with those forming under the old ones, which will
get down so deep that they cease to appear.

The time to take up the bulb is when the flower-stem and leaves have
commenced decay; taking dry weather for the purpose, if the bulbs are
hardy, or if in pots having reduced the moisture as above shown, but it
must be left to individual experience to discover how long the different
varieties should remain out of the ground, some requiring one month's
rest, and others enduring three or four, with advantage; more than that
is likely to be injurious. When out of the ground, during the first part
of the period they are so kept, it should be, say for a fortnight at
least, in any room where no glare exists, with free circulation of air,
after which the off-sets may be removed, and the whole exposed to dry on
a table in the verandah, or any other place that is open to the air, but
protected from the sunshine, which would destroy them.

Little peculiarity of after treatment is requisite, except perhaps that
the bulbs which are to flower in the season should have a rather larger
proportion of leaf mould in the compost, and that if handsome flowers
are required, it will be well to examine the bulb every week at least by
gently taking the mould from around them, and removing all off-sets that
appear on the old bulb. For the securing strength to the plant also, it
will be well to pinch off the flower so soon as it shews symptoms of
decay.

The wire worm is a great enemy to bulbs, and whenever it appears they
should be taken up, cleaned, and re-planted. It is hardly necessary to
say that all other vermin and insects must be watched, and immediately
removed.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE BIENNIAL BORDER PLANTS.

It is only necessary to mention a few of these, as the curious in
floriculture will always make their own selection, the following will
therefore suffice.--

The SPEEDWELL-LEAVED HEDGE HYSSOP, Gratiola veronicifolia, _Bhoomee,
sooél chumnee_, seldom cultivated, though deserving to be so, has a
small blue flower.

The SIMPLE-STALKED LOBELIA, Lobelia simplex, introduced from the Cape,
yields a pretty blue flower.

The EVENING PRIMROSE, Oenothera mutabilis, a pretty white flower that
blossoms in the evening, its petals becoming pink by morning.

The FLAX-LEAVED PIMPERNEL, Anagallis linifolia, a rare plant, giving a
blue flower in the rains; introduced from Portugal.

The BROWALLIA, of two lauds, both pretty and interesting plants;
originally from South America.

The _Spreading Browallia_, B. demissa is the smallest of these, and
blossoms in single flowers of bright blue, at the beginning of the cold
weather.

The _Upright Browallia_, B. alata, gives bloom in groups, of a bright
blue; there is also a white variety, both growing to the height of
nearly two feet.

The SMALL-FLOWERED TURNSOLE, Heliotropium parviflorum, _B'hoo roodee_,
differs from the rest of this family which are mostly perennials; it
yields groups of white flowers, which are fragrant.

The FLAX-LEAVED CANDYTUFT, Iberis linifolia, with its purple blossoms,
is very rare, but it has been sometimes grown with, success.

The STOCK, Mathiola, is a very popular plant, and deserves more
extensive cultivation in this country.

The _Great Sea Stock_, M sinuata, is rare and somewhat difficult to
bring into bloom, it possesses some fragrance and its violet colored
groups of flowers have rather a handsome appearance about May.

The _Ten weeks' Stock_, M annua, is also a pleasing flower about the
same time. In England this is an annual, but here it is not found to
bloom freely until the second year, its color is scarlet, and it has
some fragrance.

The _Purple Gilly flower_, M incana, is a pretty flower of purple color,
and fragrant. There are some varieties of it such as the _Double_,
multiplex, the _Brompton_, coccinea, and the _White_, alba, varying in
color and blossoming in April.

The STARWORT, Aster, is a hardy flowering plant not very attractive,
except as it yields blossoms at all seasons, if the foot stalks are cut
off as soon as the flower has faded, there are very numerous varieties
of this plant which is, in Europe a perennial, but it is preferable to
treat it here as only biennial, otherwise it degenerates.

The _Bushy Starwort_, A dumosus, is a free blossoming plant in the
rains, with white flowers.

The _Silky leaved Starwort_, A. sericeus, is Indigenous in the hills,
putting forth its blue blossoms during the rains.

The _Hairy Starwort_, A pilosus, is of very pale blue, and may, with
care, be made to blossom throughout the year.

The _Chinese Starwort,_ A chinensis, is of dark purple and very prolific
of blossoms at all times.

The BEAUTIFUL JUSTICIA, J speciosa, although, described by Roxburgh as a
perennial, degenerates very much after the second year, it affords
bright carmine colored flowers at the end of the cold weather.

The COMMON MARVEL OF PERU, Mirabilis Jalapa _Gul abas, krushna kelee_,
is vulgarly called the Four o'clock from its blossoms expanding in the
afternoon. There are several varieties distinguished only by difference
of color, lilac, red, yellow, orange, and white, which hybridize
naturally, and may easily be obliged to do so artificially, if any
particular shades are desired.

The HAIRY INDIGO, Indigofera hirsuta, yields an ornamental flower with
abundance of purple blossoms.

The HIBISCUS This class numbers many ornamental plants, the blossoms of
which all maintain the same character of having a darkened spot at the
base of each petal.

The _Althaea frutex_, H syriacus, _Gurhul,_ yields a handsome purple
flower in the latter part of the rains, there are also a white, and a
red variety.

The _Stinging Hibiscus_ H pruriens, has a yellow flower at the same
season.

The _Hemp leaved Hibiscus_, H cannabinus, _Anbaree_, is much the same as
the last.

The _Bladder Ketmia_, H trionum, is a dwarf species, yellow, with a
brown spot at the base of the petal.

The _African Hibiscus_ H africanus, is a very handsome flower growing to
a considerable height, expanding to the diameter of six to seven inches,
of a bright canary color, the dark blown spots at the base of the petals
very distinctly marked, the seeds were considered a great acquisition
when first obtained from Hobarton, but the plant has since been seen in
great perfection growing wild in the _Turaee_ at the foot of the
Darjeeling range of hills, blooming in great perfection at the close of
the rains.

The _Chinese Hibiscus_, H rosa sinensis, _Jooua, jasoon, jupa_,
although, really a perennial flower, is in greatest perfection if kept
as a biennial, it flowers during the greater part of the season a dark
red flower with a darker hued spot, there are also some other varieties
of different colors yellow, scarlet, and purple.

The TREE MALLOW, Lavatera arborea, has of late years been introduced
from Europe, and may now be found in many gardens in India yielding
handsome purple flowers in the latter part of the rains.

But it is unnecessary to continue such a mere catalogue, the character
and general cultivation of which require no distinct rules, but may all
be resolved into one general method, of which the following is a sketch.

_Propagation_--They are all raised from seed, but the finest double
varieties require to be continued by cuttings. The seed should be sown
as soon as it can after opening, but if this occur during the rains, the
beds, or pots, perhaps better, must be sheltered, removing the plants
when they are few inches high to the spot where they are to remain, care
being at the same time taken in removing those that have tap roots, such
as Hollyhock, Lavatera, &c not to injure them, as it will check their
flowering strongly, the best mode is to sow those in pots and transplant
them, with balls of earth entire, into the borders, at the close of the
rains. Cuttings of such as are multiplied by that method, are taken
either from the flower stalks, or root-shoots, early in the rains, and
rooted either in pots, under shelter, or in beds, protected from the
heavy showers.

_Culture_--Cultivation after the plants are put into the borders, is the
same as for perennial plants. But the duration and beauty of the flowers
is greatly improved by cutting off the buds that shew the earliest, so
as to retard the bloom--and for the same reason the footstalk should be
cut off when the flowers fade, for as soon as the plant begins to form
seed, the blossoms deteriorate.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ANNUAL BORDER PLANTS.

These are generally known to every one, and many of them are so common
as hardly to need notice, a few of the most usual are however mentioned,
rather to recal the scattered thoughts of the many, than as a list of
annuals.

The MIGNIONETTE, Resoda odorata, is too great a favorite both on account
of its fragrance and delicate flowers not to be well known, and by
repeated sowings it may be made under care to give flowers throughout
the year but it is advisable to renew the seed occasionally by fresh
importations from Europe, the Cape, or Hobarton.

The PROLIFIC PINK, Dianthus prolifer _Kurumful_, is a pretty variety;
that blossoms freely throughout the year, sowing to keep up succession,
the shades and net work marks on them are much varied, and they make a
very pretty group together.

The LUPINE, Lupinus, is a very handsome class of annuals, many of which
grow well in India, all of them flowering in the cold season.

The _Small blue Lupine_, L. varius, was introduced from the Cape and is
the only one noticed by Roxburgh.

The _Rose, and great blue Lupine_, L. pilosus and hirsutus, are both
good sized handsome flowers.

The _Egyptian, or African Lupins_, L. thermis, _Turmus_, is the only one
named in the native language, and has a white flower.

The _Tree Lupine_, L. arboreus, is a shrubby plant with a profusion of
yellow flowers which has been successfully cultivated from Hobarton
seed.

The CATCHFLY, Silene, the only one known here is the small red, S.
rubella, having a very pretty pink flower appearing in the cold weather.

The LARKSPUR, Delphinum, has not yet received any native name, and
deserves to be much more extensively cultivated, especially the
Neapolitan and variegated sorts. The common purple, D. Bhinensis, being
the one usually met with; it should be sown in succession from September
to December, but the rarer kinds must not be put in sooner than the
middle of November, as these do not blossom well before February, March,
or April.

The SWEET PEA, Lathyrus odoralus, is not usually cultivated with
success, because it has been generally sown too late in the season, to
give a sufficient advance to secure blossoming. The seeds should be put
in about the middle of the rains in pots and afterwards planted out when
these cease, and carefully cultivated to obtain blossoms in February or
March.

The ZINNIA, has only of late years been introduced, but by a mistake it
has generally been sown too late in the year to produce good flowers,
whereas if the seed is put into the ground about June, fine handsome
flowers will be the result, in the cold weather.

The CENTAURY, Centaurea, is a very pretty class of annuals which grows,
and blossoms freely in this country.

The _Woolly Centaury_, C. lanata, is mentioned by Roxburgh as indigenous
to the country, but the flowers are very small, of a purple color,
blossoming in December.

The _Blue bottle_ O. cyanus, _Azeez_, flowers in December and January,
of pink and blue.

The _Sweet Sultan_, C. moschata, _Shah pusund_ is known by its fragrant
and delicate lilac blossoms in January and February.

The BALSAM, Impatiens, _Gulmu'hudee, doopatee_ is not cultivated, or
encouraged as it should be in India, where some of the varieties are
indigenous. A very rich soil should be used.

Dr. R. Wight observes, that Balsams of the colder Hymalayas, like those
of Europe, split from the base, rolling the segment towards the apex,
whilst those of the hotter regions do the reverse.

All annuals require the same, or nearly the same treatment, of which the
following may be considered a fair sketch.

_Propagation_.--These plants are all raised from seed put in the earth
generally on the close of the rains, although some plants, such as
nasturtium, sweet pea, scabious, wall-flower, and stock, are better to
be sown in pots about June or July, and then put out into the border as
soon as the rains cease. The seed must be sown in patches, rings, or
small beds according to taste, the ground being previously stirred, and
made quite fine, the earth sifted over them to a depth proportioned to
the size of the seed, and then gently pressed down, so as closely to
embrace every part of the seed. When the plants are an inch high they
must be thinned out to a distance of two, three, five, seven, or more
inches apart, according to their kind, whether spreading, or upright,
having reference also to their size; the plants thinned out, if
carefully taken up, may generally be transplanted to fill up any parts
of the border where the seed may have failed.

_Culture_. Weeding and occasionally stirring the soil, and sticking such
as require support, is all the cultivation necessary for annuals. If it
be desired to save seed, some of the earliest and most perfect blossoms
should be preserved for this purpose, so as to secure the best possible
seed for the ensuing year, not leaving it to chance to gather seed from
such plants as may remain after the flowers have been taken, as is
generally the case with native gardeners, if left to themselves.

       *       *       *       *       *

FLOWERS THAT GROW UNDER THE SHADE OF TREES.

It is of some value to know what these are, but at the same time it must
be observed that no plant will grow under trees of the fir tribe, and it
would be a great risk to place any under the _Deodar_--with all others
also it must not be expected that any trees having their foliage so low
as to affect the circulation of air under their branches, can do
otherwise than destroy the plants placed beneath them.

Those which may be so planted are;--Wood Anemone.--Common Arum.--Deadly
Nightshade--Indian ditto.--Chinese Clematis--Upright ditto--Woody
Strawberry--Woody Geranium.--Green Hellebore.--Hairy St. John's
Wort.--Dog's Violet.--Imperial Fritillaria--The common Oxalis, and some
other bulbs.--Common Hound's Tongue.--Common Antirrhinum.--Common
Balsam.--To these may be added many of the orchidaceous plants.

       *       *       *       *       *

ROSES.

THE ROSE, ROSA, _Gul_ or _gulab_: as the most universally admired,
stands first amongst shrubs. The London catalogues of this beautiful
plant contain upwards of two thousand names: Mr. Loudon, in his
"_Encyclopaedia of Plants_" enumerates five hundred and twenty-two, of
which he describes three species, viz. Macrophylla, Brunonii, and
Moschata Nepalensis, as natives of Nepal; two, viz. Involucrata, and
Microphylla, as indigenous to India, and Berberifolia, and Moschata
arborea, as of Persian origin, whilst twelve appear to have come from
China. Dr. Roxburgh describes the following eleven species as
inhabitants of these regions:--

Rosa involucrata,
 --  Chinensis,
 --  semperflorens,
 --  recurva,
 --  microphylla,
 --  inermis,
Rosa centiflora,
 --  glandulifera,
 --  pubescens,
 --  diffusa,
 --  triphylla,

most of which, however, he represents to have been of Chinese origin.

The varieties cultivated generally in gardens are, however, all that
will be here described.

These are--

1. The _Madras rose,_ or _Rose Edward_, a variety of R centifolia, _Gul
ssudburul_, is the most common, and has multiplied so fast within a few
years, that no garden is without it, it blossoms all the year round,
producing large bunches of buds at the extremities of its shoots of the
year, but, if handsome, well-shaped flowers are desired, these must be
thinned out on their first appearance, to one or two, or at the most
three on each stalk. It is a pretty flower, but has little fragrance.
This and the other double sorts require a rich loam rather inclining to
clay, and they must be kept moist.[138]

2. The _Bussorah Rose_, R gallica, _Gulsooree_, red, and white, the
latter seldom met with, is one of a species containing an immense number
of varieties. The fragrance of this rose is its greatest recommendation,
for if not kept down, and constantly looked to, it soon gets straggling,
and unsightly, like the preceding species too, the buds issue from the
ends of the branches in great clusters, which must be thinned, if well
formed fragrant blossoms are desired. The same soil is required as for
the preceding, with alternating periods of rest by opening the roots,
and of excitement by stimulating manure.

3. The _Persian rose_, apparently R collina, _Gul eeran_ bears a very
full-petaled blossom, assuming a darker shade as these approach nearer
to the centre, but, it is difficult to obtain a perfect flower, the
calyx being so apt to burst with excess of fulness, that if perfect
flowers are required a thread should be tied gently round the bud, it
has no fragrance. A more sandy soil will suit this kind, with less
moisture.

4. The _Sweet briar_ R rubiginosa, _Gul nusreen usturoon_, grows to a
large size, and blossoms freely in India, but is apt to become
straggling, although, if carefully clipped, it may be raised as a hedge
the same as in England, it is so universally a favorite as to need no
description.

5. The _China blush rose_, R Indica (R Chinensis of Roxburgh), _Kut'h
gulab_, forms a pretty hedge, if carefully clipped, but is chiefly
usefully as a stock for grafting on. It has no odour.

6 The _China ever-blowing rose_, R damascena of Roxburgh, _Adnee gula,
gulsurkh_, bearing handsome dark crimson blossoms during the whole of
the year, it is branching and bushy, but rather delicate, and wants
odour.

 7 The _Moss Rose_, R muscosa, having no native name is found to exist,
but has only been known to have once blossomed in India; good plants may
be obtained from Hobart Town without much trouble.

8 The _Indian dog-rose_, R arvensis, R involucrata of Roxburgh, _Gul bé
furman_, is found to glow wild in some parts of Nepal and Bengal, as
well as in the province of Buhar, flowering in February, the blossoms
large, white, and very fragrant, its cultivation extending is improving
the blossoms, particularly in causing the petals to be multiplied.

9. The _Bramble-flowered rose_ R multiflora, _Gul rana_, naturally a
trailer, may be trained to great advantage, when it will give beautiful
bunches of small many petaled flowers in February and March, of
delightful fragrance.

10. The _Due de Berri rose_, a variety of R damascena, but having the
petals more rounded and more regular, it is a low rather drooping shrub
with delicately small branches.

_Propagation_.--All the species may be multiplied by seed, by layers, by
cuttings, by suckers, or from grafts, almost indiscriminately. Layering
is the easiest, and most certain mode of propagating this most beautiful
shrub.

The roots that branch, out and throw up distinct shoots may be divided,
or cut off from the main root, and even an eye thus taken off may be
made to produce a good plant.

Suckers, when they have pushed through the soil, may be taken up by
digging down, and gently detaching them from the roots.

Grafting or budding is used for the more delicate kinds, especially the
sweet briar, and, by the curious, to produce two or more varieties on
one stem, the best stocks being obtained from the China, or the Dog
Rose.

_Soil &c._--Any good loamy garden soil without much sand, suits the
rose, but to produce it in perfection the ground can hardly be too rich.

_Culture_.--Immediately at the close of the rains, the branches of most
kinds of roses, especially the double ones, should be cut down to not
more than six inches in length, removing at the same time, all old and
decayed wood, as well as all stools that have branched out from the main
one, and which will form new plants; the knife being at the same time
freely exercised in the removal of sickly and crowded fibres from the
roots; these should likewise be laid open, cleaned and pinned, and
allowed to remain exposed until blossom buds begin to appear at the end
of the first shoots; the hole must then be filled with good strong
stable manure, and slightly earthed over. About a month after, a basket
of stable dung, with the litter, should be heaped up round the stems,
and broken brick or turf placed over it to relieve the unsightly
appearance.

While flowering, too, it will be well to water with liquid manure at
least once a week. If it be desired to continue the trees in blossom,
each shoot should be removed as soon as it has ceased flowering. To
secure full large blossoms, all the buds from a shoot should be cut off,
when quite young, except one.

The _Sweet briar rose_ strikes its root low, and prefers shade, the best
soil being a deep rich loam with very little sand, rather strong than
otherwise; it will be well to place a heap of manure round the stem,
above ground, covering over with turf, but it is not requisite to open
the roots, or give them so much manure as for other varieties. The sweet
briar must not be much pruned, overgrowth being checked rather by
pinching the young shoots, or it will not blossom, and it is rather
slower in throwing out shoots than other roses. In this country the best
mode of multiplying this shrub is by grafting on a China rose stock, as
layers do not strike freely, and cuttings cannot be made to root at all.

The _Bramble-flowered rose_ is a climber, and though not needing so
strong a soil as other kinds, requires it to be rich, and frequently
renewed, by taking away the soil from about the roots and supplying its
place with a good compost of loam, leaf mould, and well rotted dung,
pruning the root. The plants require shelter from the cold wind from the
North, or West, this, however, if carefully trained, they will form for
themselves, but until they do so, it is impossible to make them blossom
freely, the higher branches should be allowed to droop, and if growing
luxuriantly, with the shoots not shortened, they will the following
season, produce bunches of flowers at the end of every one, and have a
very beautiful effect, no pruning should be given, except what is just
enough to keep the plants within bounds, as they invariably suffer from
the use of the knife. This rose is easily propagated by cuttings or
layers, both of which root readily.

The _China rose_ thrives almost anywhere, but is best in a soil of loam
and peat, a moderate supply of water being given daily during the hot
weather. They will require frequent thinning out of the branches, and
are propagated by cuttings, which strike freely.[139]

As before mentioned, Rose trees look well in a parterre by themselves,
but a few may be dispersed along the borders of the garden.

_Insects, &c._ The green, and the black plant louse are great enemies to
the rose tree, and, whenever they appear, it is advisable to cut out at
once the shoot attacked, the green caterpillar too, often makes
skeletons of the leaves in a short time, the ladybird, as it is commonly
called, is an useful insect, and worthy of encouragement, as it is a
destroyer of the plant louse.

       *       *       *       *       *

CREEPERS AND CLIMBERS

The CLIMBING, and TWINING SHRUBS offer a numerous family, highly
deserving of cultivation, the following being a few of the most
desirable.

The HONEY-SUCKLE, Caprifolium, having no native name, is too well known,
and too closely connected with the home associations of all to need
particularizing. It is remarkable that they always twine from east to
west, and rather die than submit to a change.

The TRUMPET FLOWER, Bignonia, are an eminently handsome family, chiefly
considered stove plants in Europe, but here growing freely in the open
ground, and flowering in loose spikes.

The MOUNTAIN EBONY, Bauhinia, the distinguishing mark of the class being
its two lobed leaves, most of them are indigenous, and in their native
woods attain an immense size, far beyond what botanists in Europe appear
to give them credit for.

The VIRGIN'S BOWER, Clematis, finds some indigenous representatives in
this country, although unnamed in the native language; the odour however
is rather too powerful, and of some kinds even offensive, except
immediately after a shower of rain. They are all climbers, requiring the
same treatment as the honey suckle.

The PASSION FLOWER, Passiflora, is a very large family of twining
shrubs, many of them really beautiful, and generally of easy
cultivation, this country being of the same temperature with their
indigenous localities.

The RACEMOSE ASPARAGUS, A. racemosus, _Sadabooree, sutmoolee_, is a
native of India, and by nature a trailing plant, but better cultivated
as a climber on a trellis, in which way its delicate setaceous foliage
makes it at all times ornamental, and at the close of the rains it sends
forth abundant bunches of long erect spires of greenish white color, and
of delicious fragrance, shedding perfume all around to a great distance.

       *       *       *       *       *

KALENDAR WORK TO BE PERFORMED.


JANUARY.

Thin out seeding annuals wherever they appear too thick. Water freely,
especially such plants as are in bloom, and keep all clean from weeds.
Cut off the footstalks of flowers, except such as are reserved for seed,
as soon as the petals fade. Collect the seeds of early annuals as they
ripen.


FEBRUARY.

Continue as directed in last month. Prepare stocks for roses to be
grafted on, R. bengalensis, and R. canina are the best. Great care must
be paid to thinning out the buds of roses to insure perfect blossoms, as
well as to rubbing off the succulent upright shoots and suckers that are
apt to spring up at this period. Collect seeds as they ripen, to be
dried, or hardened in the shade.

Collect seeds as they ripen, drying them carefully, for a few days in
the pods, and subsequently when freed from them in the shade, to put
them in the sun being highly injurious. Give a plentiful supply of water
in saucers to Narcissus, or other bulbs when flowering.


MARCH.

Cut down the flower stalks of Narcissus that have ceased flowering, and
lessen the supply of water. Take up the tubers of Dahlias, and dry
gradually in an open place in the shade, but do not remove the offsets
for some days. Pot any of the species of Geranium that have been put out
after the rains, provided they are not in bloom. Give water freely to
the roots of all flowers that are in blossom. Mignionette that is in
blossom should have the seed pods clipped off with a pair of scissors
every day to continue it. Convolvulus in flower should be shaded early
in the morning, or it will quickly fade. The Evening Primrose should be
freely watered to increase the number of blossoms. Look to the
Carnations that are coming into bloom, give support to the flower stem,
cutting off all side shoots and buds, except the one intended to give a
handsome flower.


APRIL.

Careful watering, avoiding any wetting of the leaves is necessary at
this period, and the saucers of all bulbs not yet flowered should be
kept constantly full, to promote blossoming--the saucers should however
be kept clean, and washed out every third day at least. Frequent weeding
must be attended to, with occasional watering all grass plots, or paths.
Wherever any part of the garden becomes empty by the clearing off of
annuals, it should be well dug to a depth of at least eighteen inches,
and after laying exposed in clods for a week or two, manured with tank
or road mud; leaf mould, or other good well rotted manure.


MAY.

This is the time to make layers of Honeysuckle, Bauhinia, and other
climbing and twining shrubs.

Mignionette must be very carefully treated, kept moist, and every
seed-pod clipped off as soon as the flower fades, or it will not be
preserved. Continue to dig, and manure the borders, not leaving the
manure exposed, or it will lose power. Make pipings and layers of
Carnations.


JUNE.

Thin out the multitudinous buds of the Madras rose, also examine the
buds of the Persian rose, to prevent the bursting of the calyx by tying
with thread, or with a piece of parchment, or cardboard as directed for
Carnations.

Watch Carnations to prevent the bursting of the calyx, and to remove
superfluous buds. Re pot Geraniums that are in sheds, or verandahs, so
soon as they have done flowering, also take up, and pot any that may yet
remain in the borders. Prune off also all superfluous, or straggling
branches. Continue digging over and manuring the flowering borders. Sow
Zinnias, also make cuttings of perennials and biennials that are
propagated by that means, and put in seeds of biennials under shelter,
as well as a few of the early annuals, particularly Stock and Sweet-pea.


JULY.

Make cuttings and layers of hardy shrubs, and of the Fragrant Olive; put
in cuttings of the Willow, and some other trees. Plant out Pines, and
Casuarina, Cypress, Large-leaved fig, and the Laurel tribe. Transplant
young shrubs of a hardy nature.

Divide the roots, and plant out suckers, or offsets of perennial border
plants. Make cuttings and sow seeds of biennials, as required; also a
few annuals to be hereafter transplanted. Sow also Geraniums. Continue
making pipings of Carnation, plant out, or transplant hardy perennials
into the borders.


AUGUST.

This may be considered the best time for sowing the seeds of hardy
shrubs. Plant out Aralia, Canella, Magnolia, and other ornamental trees.
Transplant delicate and exotic shrubs. Remove, and plant out suckers,
and layers of hardy shrubs. Prune all shrubs freely.

Divide, and plant out suckers, and offsets of hardy perennials, that
have formed during the rains. Plant out tender perennial plants, in the
borders, also biennials. Prune, and thin out perennial plants in the
borders. Put out in the borders such annuals as were sown in June,
protecting them from the heat of the sun in the afternoon. Sow a few
early annuals. Plant out Dahlia tubers where they are intended to
blossom, keeping them as much as possible in classes of colors. Make
pipings of Carnations.


SEPTEMBER.

Prick out the cuttings of hardy shrubs that have been made before, or
during the rains, in beds for growing. Prune all flowering shrubs,
having due regard to the character of each, as bearing flowers on the
end of the shoots, or from the side exits, give the annual dressing of
manure to the entire shrubbery, with new upper soil.

Remove the top soil from the borders, and renew with addition of a
moderate quantity of manure. Put out Geraniums into the borders, and set
rooted cuttings singly in pots. Plant out biennials in the borders, also
such annuals as have been sown in pots. Re-pot and give fresh earth to
plants in the shed.


OCTOBER.

Open out the roots of a few Bussorah roses for early flowering, pruning
down all the branches to a height of six inches, removing all decayed,
and superannuated wood, dividing the roots, and pruning them freely. The
Madras roses should be treated in the same manner, not all at the same
time, but at intervals of a week between each cutting down, so as to
secure a succession for blossoming. Plant out rooted cuttings in beds,
to increase in size.

Sow annuals freely, and thin out those put in last month, so as to leave
sufficient space for growing, at the same time transplanting the most
healthy to other parts of the border.


NOVEMBER.

Continue opening the roots of Bussorah roses, as well as the Rose
Edward, and Madras roses, for succession to those on which this
operation was performed last month. Prune, and trim the Sweetbriar, and
Many-flowered rose.

_Flower-Garden_--Divide, and plant bulbs of all kinds, both, for border,
and pot flowering. Continue to sow annuals.


DECEMBER

Continue opening the roots, and cutting down the branches of Bussorah,
and other roses for late flowering. Prune, and thin out also the China
and Persian roses, as well as the Many-flowered rose, if not done last
month. Train carefully all climbing and twining shrubs.

Weed beds of annuals, and thin out, where necessary. Sow Nepolitan, and
other fine descriptions of Larkspur, as well as all other annuals for a
late show. Dahlias are now blooming in perfection, and should be closely
watched that every side-bud, or more than one on each stalk may be cut
off close, with a pair of scissors to secure full, distinctly colored,
and handsome flowers.

[For further instructions respecting the culture of flowers in India I
must refer my readers to the late Mr. Speede's works, where they will
find a great deal of useful information not only respecting the
flower-garden, but the kitchen-garden and the orchard.]

       *       *       *       *       *

MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS.

THE TREE-MIGNONETTE.--This plant does not appear to be a distinct
variety, for the common mignonette, properly trained becomes shrubby. It
may be propagated by either seed or cuttings. When it has put forth four
leaves or is about an inch high, take it from the bed and put it by
itself into a moderate sized pot. As it advances in growth, carefully
pick off all the side shoots, leaving the leaf at the base of each shoot
to assist the growth of the plant. When it has reached a foot in height
it will show flower. But every flower must be nipped off carefully.
Support the stem with a stick to make it grow straight. Even when it has
attained its proper height of two feet again cut off the bloom for a few
days.

It is said that Miss Mitford, the admired authoress, was the first to
discover that the common mignonette could be induced to adopt tree-like
habits. The experiment has been tried in India, but it has sometimes
failed from its being made at the wrong season. The seed should be sown
at the end of the rains.

GRAFTING.--Take care to unite exactly the inner bark of the scion with
the inner bark of the stock in order to facilitate the free course of
the sap. Almost any scion will take to almost any sort of tree or plant
provided there be a resemblance in their barks. The Chinese are fond of
making fantastic experiments in grafting and sometimes succeed in the
most heterogeneous combinations, such as grafting flowers upon fruit
trees. Plants growing near each other can sometimes be grafted by the
roots, or on the living root of a tree cut down another tree can be
grafted. The scions are those shoots which united with the stock form
the graft. It is desirable that the sap of the stock should be in brisk
and healthy motion at the time of grafting. The graft should be
surrounded with good stiff clay with a little horse or cow manure in it
and a portion of cut hay. Mix the materials with a little water and then
beat them up with a stick until the compound is quite ductile. When
applied it may be bandaged with a cloth. The best season for grafting in
India is the rains.

MANURE.--Almost any thing that rots quickly is a good manure. It is
possible to manure too highly. A plant sometimes dies from too much
richness of soil as well as from too barren a one.

WATERING.--Keep up a regular moisture, but do not deluge your plants
until the roots rot. Avoid giving very cold water in the heat of the day
or in the sunshine. Even in England some gardeners in a hot summer use
luke-warm water for delicate plants. But do not in your fear of
overwatering only wet the surface. The earth all round and below the
root should be equally moist, and not one part wet and the other dry. If
the plant requires but little water, water it seldom, but let the water
reach all parts of the root equally when you water at all.

GATHERING AND PRESERVING FLOWERS.--Always use the knife, and prefer such
as are coming into flower rather than such as are fully expanded. If
possible gather from crowded plants, or parts of plants, so that every
gathering may operate at the same time as a judicious pruning and
thinning. Flowers may be preserved when gathered, by inserting their
ends in winter, in moist earth, or moss; and may be freshened, when
withered, by sprinkling them with water, and putting them in a close
vessel, as under a bellglass, handglass, flowerpot or in a botanic box;
if this will not do, sprinkle them with warm water heated to 80° or 90°,
and cover them with a glass.--_Loudon's Encyclopaedia of Gardening_.

PIPING---is a mode of propagation by cuttings and is adopted in plants
having joined tubular stems, as the dianthus tribe. When the shoot has
nearly done growing (soon after its blossom has fallen) its extremity is
to be separated at a part of the stem where it is hard and ripe. This is
done by holding the root with one hand and with the other pulling the
top part above the pair of leaves so as to separate it from the root
part of the stem at the socket, formed by the axillae of the leaves,
leaving the stem to remain with a tubular or pipe-looking termination.
The piping is inserted in finely sifted earth to the depth of the first
joint or pipe and its future management regulated on the same general
principles as cuttings.--_From the same_.

BUDDING.--This is performed when the leaves of plants have grown to
their full size and the bud is to be seen at the base of it. The
relative nature of the bud and the stock is the same as in grafting.
Make a slit in the bark of the stock, to reach from half an inch to an
inch and a half down the stock, according to the size of the plant; then
make another short slit across, that you may easily raise the bark from
the wood, then take a very thin slice of the bark from the tree or plant
to be budded, a little below a leaf, and bring the knife out a little
above it, so that you remove the leaf and the bud at its base, with the
little slice you have taken. You will perhaps have removed a small bit
of the wood with the bark, which you must take carefully out with the
sharp point of your knife and your thumb; then tuck the bark and bud
under the bark of the stock which you carefully bind over, letting the
bud come at the part where the slits cross each other. No part of the
stock should be allowed to grow after it is budded, except a little
shoot or so, above the bud, just to draw the sap past the
bud.--_Gleenny's Hand Book of Gardening_.

ON PYRAMIDS OF ROSES.--The standard Roses give a fine effect to a bed of
Roses by being planted in the middle, forming a pyramidal bed, or alone
on grass lawns; but the _ne plus ultra_ of a pyramid of Roses is that
formed of from one, two, or three plants, forming a pyramid by being
trained up three strong stakes, to any length from 10 to 25 feet high
(as may suit situation or taste), placed about two feet apart at the
bottom; three forming an angle on the ground, and meeting close together
at the top; the plant, or plants to be planted inside the stakes. In two
or three years, they will form a pyramid of Roses which baffles all
description. When gardens are small, and the owners are desirous of
having _multum in parvo_, three or four may be planted to form one
pyramid; and this is not the only object of planting more sorts than one
together, but the beauty is also much increased by the mingled hues of
the varieties planted. For instance, plant together a white Boursault, a
purple Noisette, a Stadtholder, Sinensis (fine pink), and a Moschata
scandens and such a variety may be obtained, that twenty pyramids may
have each, three or four kinds, and no two sorts alike on the whole
twenty pyramids. A temple of Roses, planted in the same way, has a
beautiful appearance in a flower garden--that is, eight, ten, or twelve
stout peeled Larch poles, well painted, set in the ground, with a light
iron rafter from each, meeting at the top and forming a dome. An old
cable, or other old rope, twisted round the pillar and iron, gives an
additional beauty to the whole. Then plant against the pillars with two
or three varieties, each of which will soon run up the pillars, and form
a pretty mass of Roses, which amply repays the trouble and expense, by
the elegance it gives to the garden--_Floricultural Cabinet_.

How TO MAKE ROSE WATER, &c--Take an earthen pot or jar well glazed
inside, wide in the month, narrow at the bottom, about 15 inches high,
and place over the mouth a strainer of clean coarse muslin, to contain a
considerable quantity of rose leaves, of some highly fragrant kind.
Cover them with a second strainer of the same material, and close the
mouth of the jar with an iron lid, or tin cover, hermetically sealed. On
this lid place hot embers, either of coal or charcoal, that the heat may
reach the rose-leaves without scorching or burning them.

The aromatic oil will fall drop by drop to the bottom with the water
contained in the petals. When time has been allowed for extracting the
whole, the embers must be removed, and the vase placed in a cool spot.

Rose-water obtained in this mode is not so durable as that obtained in
the regular way by a still but it serves all ordinary purposes. Small
alembics of copper with a glass capital, may be used in three different
ways.

In the first process, the still or alembic must be mounted on a small
brick furnace, and furnished with a worm long enough to pass through a
pan of cold water. The petals of the rose being carefully picked so as
to leave no extraneous parts, should be thrown into the boiler of the
still with a little water.

The great point is to keep up a moderate fire in the furnace, such as
will cause the vapour to rise without imparting a burnt smell to the
rose water.

The operation is ended when the rose water, which falls drop by drop in
the tube, ceases to be fragrant. That which is first condensed has very
little scent, that which is next obtained is the best, and the third and
last portion is generally a little burnt in smell, and bitter in taste.
In a very small still, having no worm, the condensation must be produced
by linen, wetted in cold water, applied round the capital. A third
method consists in plunging the boiler of the still into a larger vessel
of boiling water placed over a fire, when the rose-water never acquires
the burnt flavour to which we have alluded. By another process, the
still is placed in a boiler filled with sand instead of water, and
heated to the necessary temperature.

But this requires alteration, or it is apt to communicate a baked
flavour.

SYRUP OF ROSES--May be obtained from Belgian or monthly roses, picked
over, one by one, and the base of the petal removed. In a China Jar
prepared with a layer of powdered sugar, place a layer of rose-leaves
about half an inch thick; then of sugar, then of leaves, till the vessel
is full.

On the top, place a fresh wooden cover, pressed down with a weight. By
degrees, the rose-leaves produce a highly-coloured, highly-scented
syrup; and the leaves form a colouring-matter for liqueurs.

PASTILLES DU SERAIL.--Sold in France as Turkish, in rosaries and other
ornaments, are made of the petals of the Belgian or Puteem Rose, ground
to powder and formed into a paste by means of liquid gum.

Ivory-black is mixed with the gum to produce a black colour; and
cinnabar or vermilion, to render the paste either brown or red.

It may be modelled by hand or in a mould, and when dried in the sun, or
a moderate oven, attains sufficient hardness to be mounted in gold or
silver.--_Mrs. Gore's Rose Fancier's Manual_.

OF FORMING AND PRESERVING HERBARIUMS.--The most exact descriptions,
accompanied with the most perfect figures, leave still something to be
desired by him who wishes to know completely a natural being. This
nothing can supply but the autopsy or view of the object itself. Hence
the advantage of being able to see plants at pleasure, by forming dried
collections of them, in what are called herbariums.

A good practical botanist, Sir J.E. Smith observes, must be educated
among the wild scenes of nature, while a finished theoretical one
requires the additional assistance of gardens and books, to which must
be superadded the frequent use of a good herbarium. When plants are well
dried, the original forms and positions of even their minutest parts,
though not their colours, may at any time be restored by immersion in
hot water. By this means the productions of the most distant and various
countries, such as no garden could possibly supply, are brought together
at once under our eyes, at any season of the year. If these be assisted
with drawings and descriptions, nothing less than an actual survey of
the whole vegetable world in a state of nature, could excel such a store
of information.

With regard to the mode or state in which plants are preserved,
desiccation, accompanied by pressing, is the most generally used. Some
persons, Sir J.E. Smith observes, recommend the preservation of
specimens in weak spirits of wine, and this mode is by far the most
eligible for such as are very juicy: but it totally destroys their
colours, and often renders their parts less fit for examination than by
the process of drying. It is, besides, incommodious for frequent study,
and a very expensive and bulky way of making an herbarium.

The greater part of plants dry with facility between the leaves of
books, or other paper, the smoother the better. If there be plenty of
paper, they often dry best without shifting; but if the specimens are
crowded, they must be taken out frequently, and the paper dried before
they are replaced. The great point to be attended to is, that the
process should meet with no check. Several vegetables are so tenacious
of their vital principle, that they will grow between papers; the
consequence of which is, a destruction of their proper habit and colors.
It is necessary to destroy the life of such, either by immersion in
boiling water or by the application of a hot iron, such as is used for
linen, after which they are easily dried. The practice of applying such
an iron, as some persons do, with great labor and perseverance, till the
plants are quite dry, and all their parts incorporated into a smooth
flat mass is not approved of. This renders them unfit for subsequent
examination, and destroys their natural habit, the most important thing
to be preserved. Even in spreading plants between papers, we should
refrain from that practice and artificial disposition of their branches,
leaves, and other parts, which takes away from their natural aspect,
except for the purpose of displaying the internal parts of some one or
two of their flowers, for ready observation. The most approved method of
pressing is by a box or frame, with a bottom of cloth or leather, like a
square sieve. In this, coarse sand or small shot may be placed; in any
quantity very little pressing is required in drying specimens; what is
found necessary should be applied equally to every part of the bundle
under the operation.

Hot-pressing, by means of steel net-work heated, and placed in alternate
layers with the papers, in the manner of hot pressing paper, and the
whole covered with the equalizing press, above described, would probably
be an improvement, but we have not heard of its being tried. At all
events, pressing by screw presses, or weighty non-elastic bodies, must
be avoided, as tending to bruise the stalks and other protuberant parts
of plants.

"After all we can do," Sir J.E. Smith observes, "plants dry very
variously. The blue colours of their flowers generally fade, nor are
reds always permanent. Yellows are much more so, but very few white
flowers retain their natural aspect. The snowdrop and parnassia, if well
dried, continue white. Some greens are much more permanent than others;
for there are some natural families whose leaves, as well as flowers,
turn almost black by drying, as melampyrum, bartsia, and their allies,
several willows, and most of the orchideae. The heaths and firs in
general cast off their leaves between papers, which appears to be an
effort of the living principle, for it is prevented by immersion of the
fresh specimen in boiling water."

The specimens being dried, are sometimes kept loose between leaves of
paper; at other times wholly gummed or glued to paper, but most
generally attached by one or more transverse slips of paper, glued on
one end and pinned at the other, so that such specimens can readily be
taken out, examined, and replaced. On account of the aptitude of the
leaves and other parts of dried plants to drop off, many glue them
entirely, and such seems to be the method adopted by Linnaeus, and
recommended by Sir J.E. Smith. "Dried specimens," the professor
observes, "are best preserved by being fastened, with weak carpenter's
glue, to paper, so that they may be turned over without damage. Thick
and heavy stalks require the additional support of a few transverse
strips of paper, to bind them more firmly down. A half sheet, of a
convenient folio size, should be allotted to each species, and all the
species of a genus may be placed in one or more whole sheets or folios.
On the latter outside should be written the name of the genus, while the
name of every species, with its place of growth, time of gathering, the
finder's name, or any other concise piece of information, may be
inscribed on its appropriate paper. This is the plan of the Linnaean
herbarium."--_Loudon_.

THE END.



FOOTNOTES.

[001] Some of the finest _Florists flowers_ have been reared by the
mechanics of Norwich and Manchester and by the Spitalfield's weavers.
The pitmen in the counties of Durham and Northumberland reside in long
rows of small houses, to each of which is attached a little garden,
which they cultivate with such care and success, that they frequently
bear away the prize at Floral Exhibitions.

[002] Of Rail-Road travelling the reality is quite different from the
idea that descriptions of it had left upon my mind. Unpoetical as this
sort of transit may seem to some minds, I confess I find it excite and
satisfy the imagination. The wondrous speed--the quick change of
scene--the perfect comfort--the life-like character of the power in
motion, the invisible, and mysterious, and mighty steam horse, urged,
and guided, and checked by the hand of Science--the cautionary, long,
shrill whistle--the beautiful grey vapor, the breath of the unseen animal,
floating over the fields by which we pass, sometimes hanging stationary
for a moment in the air, and then melting away like a vision--furnish
sufficiently congenial amusement for a period-minded observer.

[003] "That which peculiarly distinguishes the gardens of England," says
Repton, "is the beauty of English verdure: _the grass of the mown lawn_,
uniting with, the grass of the adjoining pastures, and presenting _that
permanent verdure_ which is the natural consequence of our soft and
humid clime, but unknown to the cold region of the North or the parching
temperature of the South. This it is impossible to enjoy in Portugal
where it would be as practicable to cover the general surface with the
snow of Lapland as with the verdure of England." It is much the same in
France. "There is everywhere in France," says Loudon, "a want _of close
green turf_, of ever-green bushes and of good adhesive gravel." Some
French admirers of English gardens do their best to imitate our lawns,
and it is said that they sometimes partially succeed with English grass
seed, rich manure, and constant irrigation. In Bengal there is a very
beautiful species of grass called Doob grass, (_Panicum Dactylon_,) but
it only flourishes on wide and exposed plains with few trees on them,
and on the sides of public roads, Shakespeare makes Falstaff say that
"the camomile the more it is trodden on the faster it grows" and, this
is the case with the Doob grass. The attempt to produce a permanent Doob
grass lawn is quite idle unless the ground is extensive and open, and
much trodden by men or sheep. A friend of mine tells me that he covered
a large lawn of the coarse Ooloo grass (_Saccharum cylindricum_) with
mats, which soon killed it, and on removing the mats, the finest Doob
grass sprang up in its place. But the Ooloo grass soon again over-grew
the Doob.

[004] I allude here chiefly to the ryots of wealthy Zemindars and to
other poor Hindu people in the service of their own countrymen. All the
subjects of the British Crown, even in India, are _politically free_,
but individually the poorer Hindus, (especially those who reside at a
distance from large towns,) are unconscious of their rights, and even
the wealthier classes have rarely indeed that proud and noble feeling of
personal independence which characterizes people of all classes and
conditions in England. The feeling with which even a Hindu of wealth and
rank approaches a man in power is very different indeed from that of the
poorest Englishman under similar circumstances. But national education
will soon communicate to the natives of India a larger measure of true
self-respect. It will not be long, I hope, before the Hindus will
understand our favorite maxim of English law, that "Every man's house is
his castle,"--a maxim so finely amplified by Lord Chatham: "_The poorest
man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It
may be frail--its roof may shake--the wind may blow through it--the
storm may enter--but the king of England cannot enter!--all his force
dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement_."

[005] _Literary Recreations_.

[006] I have in some moods preferred the paintings of our own
Gainsborough even to those of Claude--and for this single reason, that
the former gives a peculiar and more touching interest to his landscapes
by the introduction of sweet groups of children. These lovely little
figures are moreover so thoroughly English, and have such an out-of-doors
air, and seem so much a part of external nature, that an Englishman
who is a lover of rural scenery and a patriot, can hardly fail
to be enchanted with the style of his celebrated countryman.--_Literary
Recreations_.

[007] Had Evelyn only composed the great work of his 'Sylva, or a
Discourse of Forest Trees,' &c. his name would have excited the
gratitude of posterity. The voice of the patriot exults in his
dedication to Charles II, prefixed to one of the later editions:--'I
need not acquaint your Majesty, how many millions of timber-trees,
besides infinite others, have been propagated and planted throughout
your vast dominions, at the instigation and by the sole direction of
this work, because your Majesty has been pleased to own it publicly for
my encouragement.' And surely while Britain retains her awful situation
among the nations of Europe, the 'Sylva' of Evelyn will endure with her
triumphant oaks. It was a retired philosopher who aroused the genius of
the nation, and who casting a prophetic eye towards the age in which we
live, has contributed to secure our sovereignty of the seas. The present
navy of Great Britain has been constructed with the oaks which the
genius of Evelyn planted.--_D'Israeli's Curiosities of Literature_.

[008] _Crisped knots_ are figures curled or twisted, or having waving
lines intersecting each other. They are sometimes planted in box.
Children, even in these days, indulge their fancy in sowing mustard and
cress, &c. in 'curious knots,' or in favorite names and sentences. I
have done it myself, "I know not how oft,"--and alas, how long ago! But
I still remember with what anxiety I watered and watched the ground, and
with what rapture I at last saw the surface gradually rising and
breaking on the light green heads of the delicate little new-born
plants, all exactly in their proper lines or stations, like a
well-drilled Lilliputian battalion.

Shakespeare makes mention of garden _knots_ in his _Richard the Second_,
where he compares an ill governed state to a neglected garden.

    Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
    Keep law, and form, and due proportion,
    Showing, as in a model, our firm estate?
    When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
    Is full of weeds; her finest flowers choked up,
    Her fruit-trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined,
    Her _knots_ disordered, and her wholesome herbs
    Swarming with caterpillars.

There is an allusion to garden _knots_ in _Holinshed's Chronicle_. In
1512 the Earl of Northumberland "had but one gardener who attended
hourly in the garden for setting of erbis and _chipping of knottis_ and
sweeping the said garden clean."

[009] Ovid, in his story of Pyramus and Thisbe, tells us that the black
Mulberry was originally white. The two lovers killed themselves under a
white Mulberry tree and the blood penetrating to the roots of the tree
mixed with the sap and gave its color to the fruit.

[010] _Revived Adonis_,--for, according to tradition he died every year
and revived again. _Alcinous, host of old Laertes' son_,--that is, of
Ulysses, whom he entertained on his return from Troy. _Or that, not
mystic_--not fabulous as the rest, but a real garden which Solomon made
for his wife, the daughter of Pharoah, king of Egypt--WARBURTON

"Divested of harmonious Greek and bewitching poetry," observes Horace
Walpole, "the garden of Alcinous was a small orchard and vineyard with
some beds of herbs and two fountains that watered them, inclosed within
a quickset hedge." Lord Kames, says, still more boldly, that it was
nothing but a kitchen garden. Certainly, gardening amongst the ancient
Greeks, was a very simple business. It is only within the present
century that it has been any where elevated into a fine art.

[011] "We are unwilling to diminish or lose the credit of Paradise, or
only pass it over with [the Hebrew word for] _Eden_, though the Greek be
of a later name. In this excepted, we know not whether the ancient
gardens do equal those of late times, or those at present in Europe. Of
the gardens of Hesperides, we know nothing singular, but some golden
apples. Of Alcinous his garden, we read nothing beyond figs, apples,
olives; if we allow it to be any more than a fiction of Homer, unhappily
placed in Corfu, where the sterility of the soil makes men believe there
was no such thing at all. The gardens of Adonis were so empty that they
afforded proverbial expression, and the principal part thereof was empty
spaces, with herbs and flowers in pots. I think we little understand the
pensile gardens of Semiramis, which made one of the wonders of it
[Babylon], wherein probably the structure exceeded the plants contained
in them. The excellency thereof was probably in the trees, and if the
descension of the roots be equal to the height of trees, it was not
[absurd] of Strebæus to think the pillars were hollow that the roots
might shoot into them."--_Sir Thomas Browne.--Bohn's Edition of Sir
Thomas Browne's Works, vol. 2, page_ 498.

[012] The house and garden before Pope died were large enough for their
owner. He was more than satisfied with them. "As Pope advanced in
years," says Roscoe, "his love of gardening, and his attention to the
various occupations to which it leads, seem to have increased also. This
predilection was not confined to the ornamental part of this delightful
pursuit, in which he has given undoubted proofs of his proficiency, but
extended to the useful as well as the agreeable, as appears from several
passages in his poems; but he has entered more particularly into this
subject in a letter to Swift (March 25, 1736); "I wish you had any
motive to see this kingdom. I could keep you: for I am rich, that is,
have more than I want, I can afford room to yourself and two servants. I
have indeed room enough; nothing but myself at home. The kind and hearty
housewife is dead! The agreeable and instructive neighbour is gone! Yet
my house is enlarged, and the gardens extend and flourish, as knowing
nothing of the guests they have lost. I have more fruit trees and
kitchen garden than you have any thought of; and, I have good melons and
apples of my own growth. I am as much a better gardener, as I am a worse
poet, than when you saw me; but gardening is near akin to philosophy,
for Tully says, _Agricultura proxima sapientiae_. For God's sake, why
should not you, (that are a step higher than a philosopher, a divine,
yet have too much grace and wit than to be a bishop) even give all you
have to the poor of Ireland (for whom you have already done every thing
else,) so quit the place, and live and die with me? And let _tales anima
concordes_ be our motto and our epitaph."

[013] The leaves of the willow, though green above, are hoar below.
Shakespeare's knowledge of the fact is alluded to by Hazlitt as one of
the numberless evidences of the poet's minute observation of external
nature.

[014] See Mr. Loudon's most interesting and valuable work entitled
_Arboretum et Fruticetum Britanicum_.

[015] All the rules of gardening are reducible to three heads: the
contrasts, the management of surprises and the concealment of the
bounds. "Pray, what is it you mean by the contrasts?" "The disposition
of the lights and shades."--"'Tis the colouring then?"--"Just
that."--"Should not variety be one of the rules?"--"Certainly, one of
the chief; but that is included mostly in the contrasts." I have
expressed them all in two verses[140] (after my manner, in very little
compass), which are in imitation of Horace's--_Omne tulit punctum.
Pope.--Spence's Anecdotes_.

[016] In laying out a garden, the chief thing to be considered is the
genius of the place. Thus at Tiskins, for example, Lord Bathurst should
have raised two or three mounts, because his situation is _all_ plain,
and nothing can please without variety. _Pope--Spence's Anecdotes_.

[017] The seat and gardens of the Lord Viscount Cobham, in
Buckinghamshire. Pope concludes the first Epistle of his Moral Essays
with a compliment to the patriotism of this nobleman.

    And you, brave Cobham! to the latest breath
    Shall feel your ruling passion strong in death:
    Such in those moments as in all the past
    "Oh, save my country, Heaven!" shall be your last.

[018] Two hundred acres and two hundred millions of francs were made
over to Le Notre by Louis XIV. to complete these geometrical gardens.
One author tells us that in 1816 the ordinary cost of putting a certain
portion of the waterworks in play was at the rate of 200 £. per hour,
and another still later authority states that when the whole were set in
motion once a year on some Royal fête, the cost of the half hour during
which the main part of the exhibition lasted was not less than 3,000 £.
This is surely a most senseless expenditure. It seems, indeed, almost
incredible. I take the statements from _Loudon's_ excellent
_Encyclopaedia of Gardening_. The name of one of the original reporters
is Neill; the name of the other is not given. The gardens formerly were
and perhaps still are full of the vilest specimens of verdant sculpture
in every variety of form. Lord Kames gives a ludicrous account of the
vomiting stone statues there;--"A lifeless statue of an animal pouring
out water may be endured" he observes, "without much disgust: but here
the lions and wolves are put in violent action; each has seized its
prey, a deer or a lamb, in act to devour; and yet, as by hocus-pocus,
the whole is converted into a different scene: the lion, forgetting his
prey, pours out water plentifully; and the deer, forgetting its danger,
performs the same work: a representation no less absurd than that in the
opera, where Alexander the Great, after mounting the wall of a town
besieged, turns his back to the enemy, and entertains his army with a
song."

[019] Broome though a writer of no great genius (if any), had yet the
honor to be associated with Pope in the translation of the Odyssey. He
translated the 2nd, 6th, 8th, 11th, 16th, 18th, and 23rd books. Henley
(Orator Henley) sneered at Pope, in the following couplet, for receiving
so much assistance:

    Pope came clean off with Homer, but they say,
    Broome went before, and kindly swept the way.

Fenton was another of Pope's auxiliaries. He translated the 1st, 4th,
19th and 20th books (of the Odyssey). Pope himself translated the rest.

[020] Stowe

[021] The late Humphrey Repton, one of the best landscape-gardeners
that England has produced, and who was for many years employed on
alterations and improvements in the house and grounds at Cobham, in
Kent, the seat of the Earl of Darnley, seemed to think that Stowe ought
not to monopolize applause and admiration, "Whether," he said, "we
consider its extent, its magnificence or its comfort, there are few
places that can vie with Cobham." Repton died in 1817, and his patron
and friend the Earl of Darnley put up at Cobham an inscription to his
memory.

The park at Cobham extends over an area of no less than 1,800 acres,
diversified with thick groves and finely scattered single trees and
gentle slopes and broad smooth lawns. Some of the trees are singularly
beautiful and of great age and size. A chestnut tree, named the Four
Sisters, is five and twenty feet in girth. The mansion, of which, the
central part was built by Inigo Jones, is a very noble one. George the
Fourth pronounced the music room the finest room in England. The walls
are of polished white marble with pilasters of sienna marble. The
picture gallery is enriched with valuable specimens of the genius of
Titian and Guido and Salvator Rosa and Sir Joshua Reynolds. There is
another famous estate in Kent, Knole, the seat of

    Dorset, the grace of courts, the Muse's pride.

The Earl of Dorset, though but a poetaster himself, knew how to
appreciate the higher genius of others. He loved to be surrounded by the
finest spirits of his time. There is a pleasant anecdote of the company
at his table agreeing to see which amongst them could produce the best
impromptu. Dryden was appointed arbitrator. Dorset handed a slip of
paper to Dryden, and when all the attempts were collected, Dryden
decided without hesitation that Dorset's was the best. It ran thus: "_I
promise to pay Mr. John Dryden, on demand, the sum of £500. Dorset_."

[022] This is generally put into the mouth of Pope, but if we are to
believe Spence, who is the only authority for the anecdote, it was
addressed to himself.

[023] It has been said that in laying out the grounds at Hagley, Lord
Lyttelton received some valuable hints from the author of _The Seasons_,
who was for some time his Lordship's guest. The poet has commemorated
the beauties of Hagley Park in a description that is familiar to all
lovers of English poetry. I must make room for a few of the concluding
lines.

    Meantime you gain the height, from whose fair brow,
    The bursting prospect spreads immense around:
    And snatched o'er hill, and dale, and wood, and lawn,
    And verdant field, and darkening heath between,
    And villages embosomed soft in trees,
    And spiry towns by surging columns marked,
    Of household smoke, your eye excursive roams;
    Wide stretching from the hall, in whose kind haunt
    The hospitable genius lingers still,
    To where the broken landscape, by degrees,
    Ascending, roughens into rigid hills;
    O'er which the Cambrian mountains, like far clouds,
    That skirt the blue horizon, dusky rise.

It certainly does not look as if there had been any want of kindly
feeling towards Shenstone on the part of Lyttelton when we find the
following inscription in Hagley Park.

      To the memory of
    William Shenstone, Esquire,
      In whose verse
    Were all the natural graces.
      And in whose manners
    Was all the amiable simplicity
      Of pastoral poetry,
    With the sweet tenderness
      Of the elegiac.

There is also at Hagley a complimentary inscription on an urn to
Alexander Pope; and, on an octagonal building called _Thomson's Seat_,
there is an inscription to the author of _The Seasons_. Hagley is kept
up with great care and is still in possession of the descendants of the
founder. But a late visitor (Mr. George Dodd) expresses a doubt whether
the Leasowes, even in its comparative decay, is not a finer bit of
landscape, a more delightful place to lose one-self in, than even its
larger and better preserved neighbour.

[024] Coleridge is reported to have said--"There is in Crabbe an
absolute defect of high imagination; he gives me little pleasure. Yet no
doubt he has much power of a certain kind, and it is good to cultivate,
even at some pains, a catholic taste in literature." Walter Savage
Landor, in his "Imaginary Conversations," makes Porson say--"Crabbe
wrote with a two-penny nail and scratched rough truths and rogues' facts
on mud walls." Horace Smith represents Crabbe, as "Pope in worsted
stockings." That there is merit of some sort or other, and that of no
ordinary kind, in Crabbe's poems, is what no one will deny. They
relieved the languor of the last days of two great men, of very
different characters--Sir Walter Scott and Charles James Fox.

[025] The poet had a cottage and garden in Kew-foot-Lane at or near
Richmond. In the alcove in the garden is a small table made of the wood
of the walnut tree. There is a drawer to the table which in all
probability often received charge of the poet's effusions hot from the
brain. On a brass tablet inserted in the top of the table is this
inscription--"_This table was the property of James Thomson, and always
stood in this seat._"

[026] Shene or Sheen: the old name of Richmond, signifying in Saxon
_shining_ or _splendour_.

[027] Highgate and Hamstead.

[028] In his last sickness

[029] On looking back at page 36 I find that I have said in the foot
note that it is only within _the present century_ that gardening has
been elevated into _a fine art_. I did not mean within the 55 years of
this 19th century, but _within a hundred years_. Even this, however, was
an inadvertency. We may go a little further back. Kent and Pope lived to
see Landscape-Gardening considered a fine art. Before their time there
were many good practical gardeners, but the poetry of the art was not
then much regarded except by a very few individuals of more than
ordinary refinement.

[030] Catherine the Second grossly disgraced herself as a woman--partly
driven into misconduct herself by the behaviour of her husband--but as a
sovereign it cannot be denied that she exhibited a penetrating sagacity
and great munificence; and perhaps the lovers of literature and science
should treat her memory with a little consideration. When Diderot was in
distress and advertized his library for sale, the Empress sent him an
order on a banker at Paris for the amount demanded, namely fifteen
thousand livres, on condition that the library was to be left as a
deposit with the owner, and that he was to accept a gratuity of one
thousand livres annually for taking charge of the books, until the
Empress should require them. This was indeed a delicate and ingenious
kindness. Lord Brougham makes D'Alembert and not Diderot the subject of
this anecdote. It is a mistake. See the Correspondence of Baron de Gumm
and Diderot with the Duke of Saxe-Gotha.

Many of the Russian nobles keep up to this day the taste in gardening
introduced by Catherine the Second, and have still many gardens laid out
in the English style. They have often had in their employ both English
and Scottish gardeners. There is an anecdote of a Scotch gardener in the
Crimea in one of the public journals:--

"Our readers"--says the _Banffshire Journal_--"will recollect that when
the Allies made a brief expedition to Yalto, in the south of the Crimea,
they were somewhat surprised and gratified by the sight of some splendid
gardens around a seat of Prince Woronzow. Little did our countrymen
think that these gardens were the work of a Scotchman, and a Moray loon;
yet such was the case." The history of the personage in question is a
somewhat singular one: "Jamie Sinclair, the garden boy, had a natural
genius, and played the violin. Lady Cumming had this boy educated by the
family tutor, and sent him to London, where he was well known in
1836-7-8, for his skill in drawing and colouring. Mr. Knight, of the
Exotic Nursery, for whom he used to draw orchids and new plants, sent
him to the Crimea, to Prince Woronzow, where he practised for thirteen
years. He had laid out these beautiful gardens which the allies the
other day so much admired; had the care of 10,000 acres of vineyards
belonging to the prince; was well known to the Czar, who often consulted
him about improvements, and gave him a "medal of merit" and a diploma or
passport, by which he was free to pass from one end of the empire to the
other, and also through Austria and Prussia, I have seen these
instruments. He returned to London in 1851, and was just engaged with a
London publisher for a three years' job, when Menschikoff found the
Turks too hot for him last April twelve-month; the Russians then made up
for blows, and Mr. Sinclair was more dangerous for them in London than
Lord Aberdeen. He was the only foreigner who was ever allowed to see all
that was done in and out of Sebastopol, and over all the Crimea. The
Czar, however, took care that Sinclair could not join the allies; but
where he is and what he is about I must not tell, until the war is
over--except that he is not in Russia, and that he will never play first
fiddle again in Morayshire."

[031] Brown succeeded to the popularity of Kent. He was nicknamed,
_Capability Brown_, because when he had to examine grounds previous to
proposed alterations and improvements he talked much of their
_capabilities_. One of the works which are said to do his memory most
honor, is the Park of Nuneham, the seat of Lord Harcourt. The grounds
extend to 1,200 acres. Horace Walpole said that they contained scenes
worthy of the bold pencil of Rubens, and subjects for the tranquil
sunshine of Claude de Lorraine. The following inscription is placed over
the entrance to the gardens.

                Here universal Pan,
    Knit with the Graces and the Hours in dance,
    Leads on the eternal Spring.

It is said that the _gardens_ at Nuneham were laid out by Mason, the
poet.

[032] Mrs. Stowe visited the Jardin Mabille in the Champs Elysées, a
sort of French Vauxhall, where small jets of gas were so arranged as to
imitate "flowers of the softest tints and the most perfect shape."

[033] Napoleon, it is said, once conceived the plan of roofing with
glass the gardens of the Tuileries, so that they might be used as a
winter promenade.

[034] Addison in the 477th number of the _Spectator_ in alluding to
Kensington Gardens, observes; "I think there are as many kinds of
gardening as poetry; our makers of parterres and flower gardens are
epigrammatists and sonnetteers in the art; contrivers of bowers and
grottos, treillages and cascades, are romance writers. Wise and London
are our heroic poets; and if I may single out any passage of their works
to commend I shall take notice of that part in the upper garden at
Kensington, which was at first nothing but a gravel pit. It must have
been a fine genius for gardening that could have thought of forming such
an unsightly hollow unto so beautiful an area and to have hit the eye
with so uncommon and agreeable a scene as that which it is now wrought
into."

[035] Lord Bathurst, says London, informed Daines Barrington, that _he_
(Lord Bathurst) was the first who deviated from the straight line in
sheets of water by following the lines in a valley in widening a brook
at Ryskins, near Colnbrook; and Lord Strafford, thinking that it was
done from poverty or economy asked him to own fairly how little more it
would have cost him to have made it straight. In these days no possessor
of a park or garden has the water on his grounds either straight or
square if he can make it resemble the Thames as described by Wordsworth:

    The river wanders at its own sweet will.

Horace Walpole in his lively and pleasant little work on Modern
Gardening almost anticipates this thought. In commending Kent's style of
landscape-gardening he observes: "_The gentle stream was taught to
serpentize at its pleasure."_

[036] This Palm-house, "the glory of the gardens," occupies an area of
362 ft. in length; the centre is an hundred ft. in width and 66 ft. in
height.

It must charm a Native of the East on a visit to our country, to behold
such carefully cultured specimens, in a great glass-case in England, of
the trees called by Linnaeus "the Princes of the vegetable kingdom," and
which grow so wildly and in such abundance in every corner of Hindustan.
In this conservatory also are the banana and plantain. The people of
England are in these days acquainted, by touch and sight, with almost
all the trees that grow in the several quarters of the world. Our
artists can now take sketches of foreign plants without crossing the
seas. An allusion to the Palm tree recals some criticisms on
Shakespeare's botanical knowledge.

"Look here," says _Rosalind_, "what I found on a palm tree." "A palm
tree in the forest of Arden," remarks Steevens, "is as much out of place
as a lioness in the subsequent scene." Collier tries to get rid of the
difficulty by suggesting that Shakespeare may have written _plane tree_.
"Both the remark and the suggestion," observes Miss Baker, "might have
been spared if those gentlemen had been aware that in the counties
bordering on the Forest of Arden, the name of an exotic tree is
transferred to an indigenous one." The _salix caprea_, or goat-willow,
is popularly known as the "palm" in Northamptonshire, no doubt from
having been used for the decoration of churches on Palm Sunday--its
graceful yellow blossoms, appearing at a time when few other trees have
put forth a leaf, having won for it that distinction. Clare so calls
it:--

    "Ye leaning palms, that seem to look
    Pleased o'er your image in the brook."

That Shakespeare included the willow in his forest scenery is certain,
from another passage in the same play:--

    "West of this place, down in the neighbour bottom.
    The _rank of osiers_ by the murmuring stream,
    Left on your right hand brings you to the place."

The customs and amusements of Northamptonshire, which are frequently
noticed in these volumes, were identical with those of the neighbouring
county of Warwick, and, in like manner illustrate very clearly many
passages in the great dramatist.--_Miss Baker's "Glossary of
Northamptonshire Words." (Quoted by the London Athenaeum_.)

[037] Mrs. Hemans once took up her abode for some weeks with Wordsworth
at Rydal Mount, and was so charmed with the country around, that she was
induced to take a cottage called _Dove's Nest_, which over-looked the
lake of Windermere. But tourists and idlers so haunted her retreat and
so worried her for autographs and Album contributions, that she was
obliged to make her escape. Her little cottage and garden in the village
of Wavertree, near Liverpool, seem to have met the fate which has
befallen so many of the residences of the poets. "Mrs. Hemans's little
flower-garden" (says a late visitor) "was no more--but rank grass and
weeds sprang up luxuriously; many of the windows were broken; the
entrance gate was off its hinges: the vine in front of the house trailed
along the ground, and a board, with '_This house to let_' upon it, was
nailed on the door. I entered the deserted garden and looked into the
little parlour--once so full of taste and elegance; it was gloomy and
cheerless. The paper was spotted with damp, and spiders had built their
webs in the corner. As I mused on the uncertainty of human life, I
exclaimed with the eloquent Burke,--'What shadows we are, and what
shadows we pursue!'"

The beautiful grounds of the late Professor Wilson at Elleray, we are
told by Mr. Howitt in his interesting "_Homes and Haunts of the British
Poets_" have also been sadly changed. "Steam," he says, "as little as
time, has respected the sanctity of the poet's home, but has drawn its
roaring iron steeds opposite to its gate and has menaced to rush through
it and lay waste its charmed solitude. In plain words, I saw the stages
of a projected railway running in an ominous line across the very lawn
and before the windows of Elleray." I believe the whole place has been
purchased by a Railway Company.

[038] In Churton's _Rail Book of England_, published about three years
ago, Pope's Villa is thus noticed--"Not only was this temple of the
Muses--this abode of genius--the resort of the learned and the wittiest
of the land--levelled to the earth, but all that the earth produced to
remind posterity of its illustrious owner, and identify the dead with
the living strains he has bequeathed to us, was plucked up by the roots
and scattered to the wind." On the authority of William Hewitt I have
stated on an earlier page that some splendid Spanish chesnut trees and
some elms and cedars planted by Pope at Twickenham were still in
existence. But Churton is a later authority. Howitt's book was published
in 1847.

[039] _One would have thought &c._ See the garden of Armida, as
described by Tasso, C. xvi. 9, &c.

    "In lieto aspetto il bel giardin s'aperse &c."

Here was all that variety, which constitutes the nature of beauty: hill
and dale, lawns and crystal rivers, &c.

    "And, that which all faire works doth most aggrace,
    "The art, which all that wrought, appearéd in no place."

Which is literally from Tasso, C, xvi 9.

    "E quel, che'l bello, e'l caro accresce à l'opre,
    "L'arte, che tutto fa, nulla si scopre."

The next stanza is likewise translated from Tasso, C. xvi 10. And, if
the reader likes the comparing of the copy with the original, he may see
many other beauties borrowed from the Italian poet. The fountain, and
the two bathing damsels, are taken from Tasso, C. xv, st. 55, &c. which
he calls, _Il fonte del riso_. UPTON.

[040] Cowper was evidently here thinking rather of Milton than of Homer.

    _Flowers of all hue_, and without thorns the rose.

_Paradise Lost_.

Pope translates the passage thus;

    Beds of all various _herbs_, for ever green,
    In beauteous order terminate the scene.

Homer referred to pot-herbs, not to flowers of all hues. Cowper is
generally more faithful than Pope, but he is less so in this instance.
In the above description we have Homer's highest conception of a
princely garden:--in five acres were included an orchard, a vineyard,
and some beds of pot-herbs. Not a single flower is mentioned, by the
original author, though his translator has been pleased to steal some
from the garden of Eden and place them on "the verge extreme" of the
four acres. Homer of course meant to attach to a Royal residence as
Royal a garden; but as Bacon says, "men begin to build stately sooner
than to garden finely, as if gardening were the greater perfection." The
mansion of Alcinous was of brazen walls with golden columns; and the
Greeks and Romans had houses that were models of architecture when their
gardens exhibited no traces whatever of the hand of taste.

[041]
    _And over him, art stryving to compayre
    With nature, did an arber greene dispied_

This whole episode is taken from Tasso, C. 16, where Rinaldo is
described in dalliance with Armida. The bower of bliss is her garden

    "Stimi (si misto il culto e col negletto)
    "Sol naturali e gli ornamenti e i siti,
    "Di natura arte par, che per diletto
    "L'imitatrice sua scherzando imiti."

See also Ovid, _Met_ iii. 157

    "Cujus in extremo est antrum nemorale necessu,
    "Arte laboratum nulla, simulaverat artem
    "Ingenio natura fuo nam pumice vivo,
    "Et lenibus tophis nativum duxerat arcum
    "Fons sonat a dextra, tenui perlucidas unda
    "Margine gramineo patulos incinctus hiatus"

UPTON

If this passage may be compared with Tasso's elegant description of
Armida's garden, Milton's _pleasant grove_ may vie with both.[141] He
is, however, under obligations to the sylvan scene of Spenser before us.
Mr. J.C. Walker, to whom the literature of Ireland and of Italy is highly
indebted, has mentioned to me his surprise that the writers on modern
gardening should have overlooked the beautiful pastoral description in
this and the two following stanzas.[142] It is worthy a place, he adds,
in the Eden of Milton. Spenser, on this occasion, lost sight of the
"trim gardens" of Italy and England, and drew from the treasures of his
own rich imagination. TODD.

    _And fast beside these trickled softly downe.
    A gentle stream, &c._

Compare the following stanza in the continuation of the _Orlando
Innamorato_, by Nilcolo degli Agostinti, Lib. iv, C. 9.

    "Ivi è un mormorio assai soave, e basso,
    Che ogniun che l'ode lo fa addornientare,
    L'acqua, ch'io dissi gia per entro un sasso
    E parea che dicesse nel sonare.
    Vatti riposa, ormai sei stanco, e lasso,
    E gli augeletti, che s'udian cantare,
    Ne la dolce armonia par che ogn'un dica,
    Deh vien, e dormi ne la piaggia, aprica,"

Spenser's obligations to this poem seem to have escaped the notice of
his commentators. J.C. WALKER.

[042] The oak was dedicated to Jupiter, and the poplar to Hercules.

[043] _Sicker_, surely; Chaucer spells it _siker_.

[044] _Yode_, went.

[045] _Tabreret_, a tabourer.

[046] _Tho_, then

[047] _Attone_, at once--with him.

[048] Cato being present on one occasion at the floral games, the people
out of respect to him, forbore to call for the usual exposures; when
informed of this he withdrew, that the spectators might not be deprived
of their usual entertainment.

[049] What is the reason that an easterly wind is every where
unwholesome and disagreeable? I am not sufficiently scientific to answer
this question. Pope takes care to notice the fitness of the easterly
wind for the _Cave of Spleen_.

    No cheerful breeze this sullen region knows,
    The dreaded east is all the wind that blows.

_Rape of the Lock_.

[050] One sweet scene of early pleasures in my native land I have
commemorated in the following sonnet:--

NETLEY ABBEY.

    Romantic ruin! who could gaze on thee
    Untouched by tender thoughts, and glimmering dreams
    Of long-departed years? Lo! nature seems
    Accordant with thy silent majesty!
    The far blue hills--the smooth reposing sea--
    The lonely forest--the meandering streams--
    The farewell summer sun, whose mellowed beams
    Illume thine ivied halls, and tinge each tree,
    Whose green arms round thee cling--the balmy air--
    The stainless vault above, that cloud or storm
    'Tis hard to deem will ever more deform--
    The season's countless graces,--all appear
    To thy calm glory ministrant, and form
    A scene to peace and meditation dear!

D.L.R.

[051] "I was ever more disposed," says Hume, "to see the favourable than
the unfavourable side of things; _a turn of mind which it is more happy
to possess, than to be born to an estate of ten thousand a year_."

[052] So called, because the grounds were laid out in a tasteful style,
under the direction of Lord Auckland's sister, the Honorable Miss Eden.

[053] _Songs of the East by Mrs. W.S. Carshore. D'Rozario & Co,
Calcutta_ 1854.

[054] The lines form a portion of a poem published in _Literary Leaves_
in the year 1840.

[055] Perhaps some formal or fashionable wiseacres may pronounce such
simple ceremonies _vulgar_. And such is the advance of civilization that
even the very chimney-sweepers themselves begin to look upon their old
May-day merry-makings as beneath the dignity of their profession.
"Suppose now" said Mr. Jonas Hanway to a sooty little urchin, "I were to
give you a shilling." "Lord Almighty bless your honor, and thank you."
"And what if I were to give you a fine tie-wig to wear on May-day?" "Ah!
bless your honor, my master wont let me go out on May-day," "Why not?"
"Because, he says, _it's low life_." And yet the merrie makings on
May-day which are now deemed _ungenteel_ by chimney-sweepers were once the
delight of Princes:--

    Forth goth all the court, both most and least,
    To fetch the flowres fresh, and branch and blome,
    And namely hawthorn brought both page and grome,
    And then rejoicing in their great delite
    Eke ech at others threw the flowres bright,
    The primrose, violet, and the gold
    With fresh garlants party blue and white.

_Chaucer_.

[056] The May-pole was usually decorated with the flowers of the
hawthorn, a plant as emblematical of the spring as the holly is of
Christmas. Goldsmith has made its name familiar even to the people of
Bengal, for almost every student in the upper classes of the Government
Colleges has the following couplet by heart.

    The _hawthorn bush_, with seats beneath the shade,
    For talking age and whispering lovers made.

The hawthorn was amongst Burns's floral pets. "I have," says he, "some
favorite flowers in spring, among which are, the mountain daisy, the
harebell, the fox-glove, the wild-briar rose, the budding birch and the
hoary hawthorn, that I view and hang over with particular delight."

L.E.L. speaks of the hawthorn hedge on which "the sweet May has showered
its white luxuriance," and the Rev. George Croly has a patriotic
allusion to this English plant, suggested by a landscape in France.

      'Tis a rich scene, and yet the richest charm
      That e'er clothed earth in beauty, lives not here.
      Winds no green fence around the cultured farm
      _No blossomed hawthorn shields the cottage dear_:
      The land is bright; and yet to thine how drear,
      Unrivalled England! Well the thought may pine
      For those sweet fields where, each a little sphere,
      In shaded, sacred fruitfulness doth shine,
    And the heart higher beats that says; 'This spot is mine.'

[057] On May-day, the Ancient Romans used to go in procession to the
grotto of Egeria.

[058] See what is said of palms in a note on page 81.

[059] Phillips's _Flora Historica_.

[060] The word primrose is supposed to be a compound of _prime_ and
_rose_, and Spenser spells it prime rose

    The pride and prime rose of the rest
    Made by the maker's self to be admired

The Rev. George Croly characterizes Bengal as a mountainous country--

    There's glory on thy _mountains_, proud Bengal--

and Dr. Johnson in his _Journey of a day_, (Rambler No. 65) charms the
traveller in Hindustan with a sight of the primrose and the oak.

"As he passed along, his ears were delighted with the morning song of
the bird of paradise; he was fanned by the last flutters of the sinking
breeze, and sprinkled with dew by groves of spices, he sometimes
contemplated the towering height of the oak, monarch of the hills; and
sometimes caught the gentle fragrance of the primrose, eldest daughter
of the spring."

In some book of travels, I forget which, the writer states, that he had
seen the primrose in Mysore and in the recesses of the Pyrenees. There
is a flower sold by the Bengallee gardeners for the primrose, though it
bears but small resemblance to the English flower of that name. On
turning to Mr. Piddington's Index to the Plants of India I find under
the head of _Primula_--Primula denticula--Stuartii--rotundifolia--with
the names in the Mawar or Nepaulese dialect.

[061] In strewing their graves the Romans affected the rose; the Greeks
amaranthus and myrtle: the funeral pyre consisted of sweet fuel,
cypress, fir, larix, yew, and trees perpetually verdant lay silent
expressions of their surviving hopes. _Sir Thomas Browne_.

[062] The allusion to the cowslip in Shakespeare's description of
Imogene must not be passed over here.--

                            On her left breast
    A mole cinque-spotted, like the crimson drop
    I' the bottom of the cowslip.

[063] The Guelder rose--This elegant plant is a native of Britain, and
when in flower, has at first sight, the appearance of a little maple
tree that has been pelted with snow balls, and we almost fear to see
them melt away in the warm sunshine--_Glenny_.

[064] In a greenhouse

[065] Some flowers have always been made to a certain degree
emblematical of sentiment in England as elsewhere, but it was the Turks
who substituted flowers for words to such an extent as to entitle
themselves to be regarded as the inventors of the floral language.

[066] The floral or vegetable language is not always the language of
love or compliment. It is sometimes severe and scornful. A gentleman
sent a lady a rose as a declaration of his passion and a slip of paper
attached, with the inscription--"If not accepted, I am off to the war."
The lady forwarded in return a mango (man, go!)

[067] No part of the creation supposed to be insentient, exhibits to an
imaginative observer such an aspect of spiritual life and such an
apparent sympathy with other living things as flowers, shrubs and trees.
A tree of the genus Mimosa, according to Niebuhr, bends its branches
downward as if in hospitable salutation when any one approaches near to
it. The Arabs, are on this account so fond of the "courteous tree" that
the injuring or cutting of it down is strictly prohibited.

[068] It has been observed that the defense is supplied in the following
line--_want of sense_--a stupidity that "errs in ignorance and not in
cunning."

[069] There is apparently so much doubt and confusion is to the identity
of the true Hyacinth, and the proper application of its several names
that I shall here give a few extracts from other writers on this
subject.

Some authors suppose the Red Martagon Lily to be the poetical Hyacinth
of the ancients, but this is evidently a mistaken opinion, as the azure
blue color alone would decide and Pliny describes the Hyacinth as having
a sword grass and the smell of the grape flower, which agrees with the
Hyacinth, but not with the Martagon. Again, Homer mentions it with
fragrant flowers of the same season of the Hyacinth. The poets also
notice the hyacinth under different colours, and every body knows that
the hyacinth flowers with sapphire colored purple, crimson, flesh and
white bells, but a blue martagon will be sought for in vain. _Phillips'
Flora Historica_.

A doubt hangs over the poetical history of the modern, as well as of the
ancient flower, owing to the appellation _Harebell_ being,
indiscriminately applied both to _Scilla_ wild Hyacinth, and also to
_Campanula rotundifolia, Blue Bell_. Though the Southern bards have
occasionally misapplied the word _Harebell_ it will facilitate our
understanding which flower is meant if we bear in mind as a general rule
that that name is applied differently in various parts of the island,
thus the Harebell of Scottish writers is the _Campanula_, and the
Bluebell, so celebrated in Scottish song, is the wild Hyacinth or
_Scilla_ while in England the same names are used conversely, the
_Campanula_ being the Bluebell and the wild Hyacinth the Harebell. _Eden
Warwick_.

The Hyacinth of the ancient fabulists appears to have been the
corn-flag, (_Gladiolus communis_ of botanists) but the name was applied
vaguely and had been early applied to the great larkspur (Delphinium
Ajacis) on account of the similar spots on the petals, supposed to
represent the Greek exclamation of grief _Ai Ai_, and to the hyacinth of
modern times.

Our wild hyacinth, which contributes so much to the beauty of our
woodland scenery during the spring, may be regarded as a transition
species between scilla and hyacinthus, the form and drooping habit of
its flower connecting it with the latter, while the six pieces that form
the two outer circles, being separate to the base, give it the technical
character of the former. It is still called _Hyacinthus non-scriptus_--but
as the true hyacinth equally wants the inscription, the name is
singularly inappropriate. The botanical name of the hyacinth is
_Hyacinthus orientalis_ which applies equally to all the varieties of
colour, size and fulness.--_W. Hinks_.

[070] Old Gerard calls it Blew Harebel or English _Jacint_, from the
French _Jacinthe_.

[071] Inhabitants of the Island of Chios

[072] Supposed by some to be Delphinium Ajacis or Larkspur. But no one
can discover any letters on the Larkspur.

[073] Some _savants_ say that it was not the _sunflower_ into which the
lovelorn lass was transformed, but the _Heliotrope_ with its sweet odour
of vanilla. Heliotrope signifies _I turn towards the sun_. It could not
have been the sun flower, according to some authors because that came
from Peru and Peru was not known to Ovid. But it is difficult to settle
this grave question. As all flowers turn towards the sun, we cannot fix
on any one that is particularly entitled to notice on that account.

[074] Zephyrus.

[075] "A remarkably intelligent young botanist of our acquaintance
asserts it as his firm conviction that many a young lady who would
shrink from being kissed under the mistletoe would not have the same
objection to that ceremony if performed _under the rose_."--_Punch_.

[076] Mary Howitt mentions that amongst the private cultivators of roses
in the neighbourhood of London, the well-known publisher Mr. Henry S.
Bohn is particularly distinguished. In his garden at Twickenham one
thousand varieties of the rose are brought to great perfection. He gives
a sort of floral fete to his friends in the height of the rose season.

[077] The learned dry the flower of the Forget me not and flatten it
down in their herbals, and call it, _Myosotis Scorpioides--Scorpion
shaped mouse's ear_! They have been reproached for this by a brother
savant, Charles Nodier, who was not a learned man only but a man of wit
and sense.--_Alphonse Karr_.

[078] The Abbé Molina in his History of Chili mentions a species of
basil which he calls _ocymum salinum_: he says it resembles the common
basil, except that the stalk is round and jointed; and that though it
grows sixty miles from the sea, yet every morning it is covered with
saline globules, which are hard and splendid, appearing at a distance
like dew; and that each plant furnishes about an ounce of fine salt
every day, which the peasants collect and use as common salt, but esteem
it superior in flavour.--_Notes to Darwin's Loves of the Plants_.

[079] The Dutch are a strange people and of the most heterogeneous
composition. They have an odd mixture in their nature of the coldest
utilitarianism and the most extravagant romance. A curious illustration
of this is furnished in their tulipomania, in which there was a struggle
between the love of the substantial and the love of the beautiful. One
of their authors enumerates the following articles as equivalent in
money value to the price of one tulip root--"two lasts of wheat--four
lasts of rye--four fat oxen--eight fat swine--twelve fat sheep--two
hogsheads of wine--four tons of butter--one thousand pounds of cheese--a
complete bed--a suit of clothes--and a silver drinking cup."

[080] _Maun_, must

[081] _Stoure_, dust

[082] _Weet_, wetness, rain

[083] _Glinted_, peeped

[084] _Wa's_, walls.

[085] _Bield_, shelter

[086] _Histie_, dry

[087] _Stibble field_, a field covered with stubble--the stalks of corn
left by the reaper.

[088] _The origin of the Daisy_--When Christ was three years old his
mother wished to twine him a birthday wreath. But as no flower was
growing out of doors on Christmas eve, not in all the promised land, and
as no made up flowers were to be bought, Mary resolved to prepare a
flower herself. To this end she took a piece of bright yellow silk which
had come down to her from David, and ran into the same, thick threads of
white silk, thread by thread, and while thus engaged, she pricked her
finger with the needle, and the pure blood stained some of the threads
with crimson, whereat the little child was much affected. But when the
winter was past and the rains were come and gone, and when spring came
to strew the earth with flowers, and the fig tree began to put forth her
green figs and the vine her buds, and when the voice or the turtle was
heard in the land, then came Christ and took the tender plant with its
single stem and egg shaped leaves and the flower with its golden centre
and rays of white and red, and planted it in the vale of Nazareth. Then,
taking up the cup of gold which had been presented to him by the wise
men of the East, he filled it at a neighbouring fountain, and watered
the flower and breathed upon it. And the plant grew and became the most
perfect of plants, and it flowers in every meadow, when the snow
disappears, and is itself the snow of spring, delighting the young heart
and enticing the old men from the village to the fields. From then until
now this flower has continued to bloom and although it may be plucked a
hundred times, again it blossoms--_Colshorn's Deutsche Mythologie furs
Deutsche Volk_.

[089] The Gorse is a low bush with prickly leaves growing like a
juniper. The contrast of its very brilliant yellow pea shaped blossoms
with the dark green of its leaves is very beautiful. It grows in hedges
and on commons and is thought rather a plebeian affair. I think it would
make quite an addition to our garden shrubbery. Possibly it might make
as much sensation with us (Americans) as our mullein does in foreign
green-houses,--_Mrs. Stowe_.

[090] George Town.

[091] The hill trumpeter.

[092] Nutmeg and Clove plantations.

[093] Leigh Hunt, in the dedication of his _Stories in Verse_ to the
Duke of Devonshire speaks of his Grace as "the adorner of the country
with beautiful gardens, and with the far-fetched botany of other
climates; one of whom it may be said without exaggeration and even
without a metaphor, that his footsteps may be traced in flowers."

[094] The following account of a newly discovered flower may be
interesting to my readers. "It is about the size of a walnut, perfectly
white, with fine leaves, resembling very much the wax plant. Upon the
blooming of the flower, in the cup formed by the leaves, is the exact
image of a dove lying on its back with its wings extended. The peak of
the bill and the eyes are plainly to be seen and a small leaf before the
flower arrives at maturity forms the outspread tail. The leaf can be
raised or shut down with the finger without breaking or apparently
injuring it until the flower reaches its bloom, when it drops,"--_Panama
Star_.

[095] Signifying the _dew of the sea_. The rosemary grows best near the
sea-shore, and when the wind is off the land it delights the
home-returning voyager with its familiar fragrance.

[096] Perhaps it is not known to _all_ my readers that some flowers not
only brighten the earth by day with their lovely faces, but emit light
at dusk. In a note to Darwin's _Loves of the Plants_ it is stated that
the daughter of Linnaeus first observed the Nasturtium to throw out
flashes of light in the morning before sunrise, and also during the
evening twilight, but not after total darkness came on. The philosophers
considered these flashes to be electric. Mr. Haggren, Professor of
Natural History, perceived one evening a faint flash of light repeatedly
darted from a marigold. The flash was afterwards often seen by him on
the same flower two or three times, in quick succession, but more
commonly at intervals of some minutes. The light has been observed also
on the orange, the lily, the monks hood, the yellow goats beard and the
sun flower. This effect has sometimes been so striking that the flowers
have looked as if they were illuminated for a holiday.

Lady Blessington has a fanciful allusion to this flower light. "Some
flowers," she says, "absorb the rays of the sun so strongly that in the
evening they yield slight phosphoric flashes, may we not compare the
minds of poets to those flowers which imbibing light emit it again in a
different form and aspect?"

[097] The Shan and other Poems

[098] My Hindu friend is not answerable for the following notes.

[099]
    And infants winged, who mirthful throw
    Shafts rose-tipped from nectareous bow.

Kam Déva, the Cupid of the Hindu Mythology, is thus represented. His bow
is of the sugar cane, his string is formed of wild bees, and his arrows
are tipped with the rose.--_Tales of the Forest_.

[100] In 1811 this plant was subjected to a regular set of experiments
by Dr. G. Playfair, who, with many of his brethren, bears ample
testimony of its efficacy in leprosy, lues, tenia, herpes, dropsy,
rheumatism, hectic and intermittent fever. The powdered bark is given in
doses of 5-6 grains twice a day.--_Dr. Voight's Hortus Suburbanus
Calcuttensis_.

[101] It is perhaps of the Flax tribe. Mr. Piddington gives it the
Sanscrit name of _Atasi_ and the Botanical name _Linum usitatissimum_.

[102] Roxburgh calls it "intensely fragrant."

[103] Sometimes employed by robbers to deprive their victims of the
power of resistance. In a strong dose it is poison.

[104] It is said to be used by the Chinese to blacken their eyebrows and
their shoes.

[105] _Mirábilis jálapa_, or Marvel of Peru, is called by the country
people in England _the four o'clock flower_, from its opening regularly
at that time. There is a species of broom in America which is called the
American clock, because it exhibits its golden flowers every morning at
eleven, is fully open by one and closes again at two.

[106] Marvell died in 1678; Linnaeus died just a hundred years later.

[107] This poem (_The Sugar Cane_) when read in manuscript at Sir Joshua
Reynolds's, had made all the assembled wits burst into a laugh, when
after much blank-verse pomp the poet began a paragraph thus.--

    "Now, Muse, let's sing of rats."

And what increased the ridicule was, that one of the company who slyly
overlooked the reader, perceived that the word had been originally
_mice_ and had been altered to _rats_ as more dignified.--_Boswell's
Life of Johnson_.

[108] Hazlitt has a pleasant essay on a garden _Sun-dial_, from which I
take the following passage:--

_Horas non numero nisi serenas_--is the motto of a sun dial near Venice.
There is a softness and a harmony in the words and in the thought
unparalleled. Of all conceits it is surely the most classical. "I count
only the hours that are serene." What a bland and care-dispelling
feeling! How the shadows seem to fade on the dial plate as the sky
looms, and time presents only a blank unless as its progress is marked
by what is joyous, and all that is not happy sinks into oblivion! What a
fine lesson is conveyed to the mind--to take no note of time but by its
benefits, to watch only for the smiles and neglect the frowns of fate,
to compose our lives of bright and gentle moments, turning always to the
sunny side of things, and letting the rest slip from our imaginations,
unheeded or forgotten! How different from the common art of self
tormenting! For myself, as I rode along the Brenta, while the sun shone
hot upon its sluggish, slimy waves, my sensations were far from
comfortable, but the reading this inscription on the side of a glaring
wall in an instant restored me to myself, and still, whenever I think of
or repeat it, it has the power of wafting me into the region of pure and
blissful abstraction.

[109] These are the initial letters of the Latin names of the plants,
they will be found at length on the lower column.

[110] Hampton Court was laid out by Cardinal Wolsey. The labyrinth, one
of the best which remains in England, occupies only a quarter of an
acre, and contains nearly a mile of winding walks. There is an adjacent
stand, on which the gardener places himself, to extricate the
adventuring stranger by his directions. Switzer condemns this plan for
having only four stops and gives a plan for one with twenty.--_Loudon_.

[111] The lower part of Bengal, not far from Calcutta, is here described

[112] Sir William Jones states that the Brahmins believe that the _blue_
champac flowers only in Paradise, it being yellow every where else.

[113] The wild dog of Bengal

[114] The elephant.

[115] Even Jeremy Bentham, the great Utilitarian Philosopher, who
pronounced the composition and perusal of poetry a mere amusement of no
higher rank than the game of Pushpin, had still something of the common
feeling of the poetry of nature in his soul. He says of himself--"_I was
passionately fond of flowers from my youth, and the passion has never
left me._" In praise of botany he would sometimes observe, "_We cannot
propagate stones_:" meaning that the mineralogist cannot circulate his
treasures without injuring himself, but the botanist can multiply his
specimens at will and add to the pleasures of others without lessening
his own.

[116] A man of a polite imagination is let into a great many pleasures
that the vulgar are not capable of receiving. He can converse with a
picture and find an agreeable companion in a statue. He meets with a
secret refreshment in a description, _and often feels a greater
satisfaction in the prospect of fields and meadows, than another does in
the possession_.--_Spectator_.

[117] Kent died in 1748 in the 64th year of his age. As a painter he had
no great merit, but many men of genius amongst his contemporaries had
the highest opinion of his skill as a Landscape-gardener. He sometimes,
however, carried his love of the purely natural to a fantastic excess,
as when in Kensington-garden he planted dead trees to give an air of
wild truth to the landscape.

    In Esher's peaceful grove,
    Where Kent and nature strove for Pelham's love,

this landscape-gardener is said to have exhibited a very remarkable
degree of taste and judgment. I cannot resist the temptation to quote
here Horace Walpole's eloquent account of Kent: "At that moment appeared
Kent, painter and poet enough to taste the charms of landscape, bold and
opinionative enough to dare and to dictate, and born with a genius to
strike out a great system from the twilight of imperfect essays. He
leaped the fence and saw that all nature was a garden[143]. He felt the
delicious contrast of hill and valley changing imperceptibly into each
other, tasted the beauty of the gentle swell, or concave swoop, and
remarked how loose groves crowned an easy eminence with happy ornament,
and while they called in the distant view between their graceful stems,
removed and extended the perspective by delusive comparison."--_On
Modern Gardening_.

[118] When the rage for a wild irregularity in the laying out of gardens
was carried to its extreme, the garden paths were so ridiculously
tortuous or zig-zag, that, as Brown remarked, a man might put one foot
upon _zig_ and the other upon _zag_.

[119] The natives are much too fond of having tanks within a few feet of
their windows, so that the vapours from the water go directly into the
house. These vapours are often seen hanging or rolling over the surface
of the tank like thick wreaths of smoke.

[120] Broken brick is called _kunkur_, but I believe the real kunkur is
real gravel, and if I am not mistaken a pretty good sort of gravel,
formed of particles of red granite, is obtainable from the Rajmahal
hills.

[121] Pope in his well known paper in the _Guardian_ complains that a
citizen is no sooner proprietor of a couple of yews but he entertains
thoughts of erecting them into giants, like those of Guildhall. "I know
an eminent cook," continues the writer, "who beautified his country seat
with a coronation dinner in greens, where you see the Champion
flourishing on horseback at one end of the table and the Queen in
perpetual youth at the other."

When the desire to subject nature to art had been carried to the
ludicrous extravagances so well satirized by Pope, men rushed into an
opposite extreme. Uvedale Price in his first rage for nature and horror
of art, destroyed a venerable old garden that should have been respected
for its antiquity, if for nothing else. He lived to repent his rashness
and honestly to record that repentance. Coleridge, observed to John
Sterling, that "we have gone too far in destroying the old style of
gardens and parks." "The great thing in landscape gardening" he
continued "is to discover whether the scenery is such that the country
seems to belong to man or man to the country."

[122] In England it costs upon the average about 12 shillings or six
rupees to have a tree of 30 feet high transplanted.

[123] I believe the largest leaf in the world is that of the Fan Palm or
Talipot tree in Ceylon. "The branch of the tree," observes the author of
_Sylvan Sketches_, "is not remarkably large, but it bears a leaf large
enough to cover twenty men. It will fold into a fan and is then no
bigger than a man's arm."

[124] Southey's Common-Place Book.

[125] The height of a full grown banyan may be from sixty to eighty
feet; and many of them, I am fully confident, cover at least two
acres.--_Oriental Field Sports_.

There is a banyan tree about five and twenty miles from Berhampore,
remarkable for the height of the lower branches from the ground. A man
standing up on the houdah of an elephant may pass under it without
touching the foliage.

A tree has been described as growing in China of a size so prodigious
that one branch of it only will so completely cover two hundred sheep
that they cannot be perceived by those who approach the tree, and
another so enormous that eighty persons can scarcely embrace the
trunk.--_Sylvan Sketches_.

[126] This praise is a little extravagant, but the garden is really very
tastefully laid out, and ought to furnish a useful model to such of the
people of this city as have spacious grounds. The area of the garden is
about two hundred and fifty nine acres. This garden was commenced in
1768 by Colonel Kyd. It then passed to the care of Dr. Roxburgh, who
remained in charge of it from 1793 to the date of his death 1813.

[127] Alphonse Karr, bitterly ridicules the Botanical _Savants_ with
their barbarous nomenclature. He speaks of their mesocarps and
quinqueloculars infundibuliform, squammiflora, guttiferas monocotyledous
&c. &c. with supreme disgust. Our English poet, Wordsworth, also used to
complain that some of our familiar English names of flowers, names so
full of delightful associations, were beginning to be exchanged even in
common conversation for the coldest and harshest scientific terms.

[128] _The Hand of Eve_--the handiwork of Eve.

[129] _Without thorn the rose_: Dr. Bentley calls this a puerile fancy.
But it should be remembered, that it was part of the curse denounced
upon the Earth for Adam's transgression, that it should bring forth
thorns and thistles. _Gen._ iii. 18. Hence the general opinion has
prevailed, that there were _no thorns_ before; which is enough to
justify a poet, in saying "_the rose was without thorn_."--NEWTON.

[130] See page 188. My Hindu friend is not responsible for the selection
of the following notes.

[131] Birdlime is prepared from the tenacious milky juice of the Peepul
and the Banyan. The leaves of the Banyan are used by the Bramins to eat
off, for which purpose they are joined together by inkles. Birds are
very fond of the fruit of the Peepul, and often drop the seeds in the
cracks of buildings, where they vegetate, occasioning great damage if
not removed in time.--_Voight_.

[132] The ancient Greeks and Romans also married trees together in a
similar manner.--_R._

[133] The root of this plant, (_Euphorbia ligularia_,) mixed up with
black pepper, is used by the Natives against snake bites.--_Roxburgh_.

[134] Coccos nucifera, the _root_ is sometimes masticated instead of the
Betle-nut. In Brazil, baskets are made of the _small fibres_. The _hard
case of the stem_ is converted into drums, and used in the construction
of huts. The lower part is so hard as to take a beautiful polish, when
it resembles agate. The reticulated substance at base of the leaf is
formed into cradles, and, as some say, into a coarse kind of cloth. The
_unexpanded terminal bud_ is a delicate article of food. The _leaves_
furnish thatch for dwellings, and materials for fences, buckets, and
baskets; they are used for writing on, and make excellent torches;
potash in abundance is yielded by their ashes. The _midrib of the_ leaf
serves for oars. The _juice of the flower and stems_ is replete with
sugar, and is fermented into excellent wine, or distilled into arrack,
or the sugary part is separated as Jagary. The tree is cultivated in
many parts of the Indian islands, for the sake not only of the sap and
_milk_ it yields, but for the _kernel_ of its fruit, used both as food
and for culinary purposes, and as affording a large proportion of _oil_
which is burned in lamps throughout India, and forms also a large
article of export to Europe. The fibrous and uneatable rind of the fruit
is not only used to polish furniture and to scour the floors of rooms,
but is manufactured into a kind of cordage, (_Koir_) which is nearly
equal in strength to hemp, and which Roxburgh designates as the very best
of all materials for cables, on account of its great elasticity and
strength. The sap of this as well as of other palms is found to be the
simplest and easiest remedy that can be employed for removing
constipation in persons of delicate habit, especially European
females.--_Voigt's Suburbanus Calcuttensis_.

[135] The root is bitter, nauseous, and used in North America as
anthelmintic. _A. Richard_.

[136] Of one species of tulsi (_Babooi-tulsi_) the seeds, if steeped in
water, swell into a pleasant jelly, which is used by the Natives in
cases of catarrh, dysentry, chronic diarrhoea &c. and is very nourishing
and demulcent--_Voigt_.

[137] This list is framed from such as were actually grown by the author
between 1837 and the present year, from seed received chiefly through
the kindness of Captain Kirke.

[138] The native market gardens sell Madras roses at the rate of
thirteen young plants for the rupee. Mrs. Gore tells us that in London
the most esteemed kinds of old roses are usually sold by nurserymen at
fifty shillings a hundred the first French and other varieties seldom
exceed half a guinea a piece.

[139] I may add to Mr. Speede's list of Roses the _Banksian Rose_. The
flowers are yellow, in clusters, and scentless. Mrs. Gore says it was
imported into England from the Calcutta Botanical Garden, it is called
_Wong moue heong_. There is another rose also called the _Banksian Rose_
extremely small, very double, white, expanding from March till May,
highly scented with violets. The _Rosa Brownii_ was brought from Nepaul
by Dr. Wallich. A very sweet rose has been brought into Bengal from
England. It is called _Rosa Peeliana_ after the original importer Sir
Lawrence Peel. It is a hybrid. I believe it is a tea scented rose and is
probably a cross between one of that sort and a common China rose, but
this is mere conjecture. The varieties of the tea rose are now
cultivated by Indian malees with great success. They sell at the price
of from eight annas to a rupee each. A variety of the Bengal yellow
rose, is now comparatively common. It fetches from one to three rupees,
each root. It is known to the native gardeners by the English name of
"_Yellow Rose_". Amongst the flowers introduced here since Mr. Speede's
book appeared, is the beautiful blue heliotrope which the natives call
_kala heliotrope_.

[140]
    He gains all points who pleasingly confounds,
    Surprizes, varies, and conceals the bounds.

[141] The following is the passage alluded to by Todd

                               A pleasant grove
    With chant of tuneful birds resounding loud,
    Thither he bent his way, determined there
    To rest at noon, and entered soon the shade,
    High roofed, and walks beneath and alleys brown,
    That opened in the midst a woody scene,
    Nature's own work it seemed (nature taught art)
    And to a superstitious eye the haunt
    Of wood gods and wood nymphs.

_Paradise Regained, Book II_

[142] The following stanzas are almost as direct translations from Tasso
as the two last stanzas in the words of Fairfax on page 111:--

      The whiles some one did chaunt this lovely lay;--
      Ah! see, whoso fayre thing doest faine to see,
      In springing flowre the image of thy day!
      Ah! see the virgin rose, how sweetly shee
      Doth first peepe forth with bashful modesty;
      That fairer seems the less you see her may!
      Lo! see soone after how more bold and free
      Her baréd bosome she doth broad display;
    Lo! see soone after how she fades and falls away!

      So passeth, in the passing of a day,
      Of mortal life, the leaf, the bud, the flowre,
      Ne more doth florish after first decay,
      That erst was sought, to deck both bed and bowre
      Of many a lady and many a paramoure!
      Gather therefore the rose whilest yet is prime
      For soone comes age that will her pride deflowre;
      Gather the rose of love, whilest yet is time
    Whilest loving thou mayst loved be with equal crime[144]

_Fairie Queene, Book II. Canto XII._

[143] I suppose in the remark that Kent leapt the fence, Horace Walpole
alludes to that artist's practice of throwing down walls and other
boundaries and sinking fosses called by the common people _Ha! Ha's!_
to express their astonishment when the edge of the fosse brought them to
an unexpected stop.

Horace Walpole's History of Modern Gardening is now so little read that
authors think they may steal from it with safety. In the _Encyclopaedia
Britannica_ the article on Gardening is taken almost verbatim from it,
with one or two deceptive allusions such as--"_As Mr. Walpole
observes_"--"_Says Mr. Walpole_," &c. but there is nothing to mark where
Walpole's observations and sayings end, and the Encyclopaedia thus gets
the credit of many pages of his eloquence and sagacity. The whole of
Walpole's _History of Modern Gardening_ is given piece-meal as an
original contribution to _Harrrison's Floricultural Cabinet_, each
portion being signed CLERICUS.

[144] Perhaps Robert Herrick had these stanzas in his mind's ear when he
wrote his song of

    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may
    Old time is still a flying;
    And this same flower that smiles to-day
    To-morrow will be dying.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Then be not coy, but use your time;
    And while ye may, so marry:
    For having lost but once your prime
    You may for ever tarry.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Flowers and Flower-Gardens - With an Appendix of Practical Instructions and Useful Information - Respecting the Anglo-Indian Flower-Garden" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home