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harvest from storms, and to avert tempests.
The large double Peony is a foreign contribution to our gardens; but England boasts one native species (Paeonia Coralina) which grows on the Steep Holmes, a small island, or rather rock, at the mouth of the Severn. The flower is single, and the leaves, unlike those of their foreign kindred, are smooth.
By the side of the Peony as a wind-flower, we lay a simple allegory.
THE WIND-DRIVEN LEAF.
M. E. M.
"Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro?" Job. xiii., 25.
And wilt thou break a leaf
That's driven by the wind?---Nay let the pleading voice of grief An ear of pity find.
'Tis not the Oak, whose haughty head Unbending braves the tempest dread, 'Tis not a Tower that standing fast For ages mocks the threat'ning blast, "Tis but a Leaf, poor fragile thing, So shrunken, pale, and withering.
Alas! 'gainst aught so humble
In dust its form so slight.
Break not, O Wind, the Leaf!
No prideful place was mine, Ne'er in the wreath of Victor Chief Was it my fate to twine: Nor in the Poet's crown of fame, Nor in the garland, Beauty's claim, Nor was I brought at Pleasure's call, To decorate a festal hall.
Upon a lonely tree,
Amid a wild to be,
For well I lov'd the fresh free air,
But me, ill-fated Leaf !—
A blight came o'er my prime; I faded in my Autumn brief, I fell ere Winter time. And the wild wind, by night and day, Hath made me now its sport and prey, Now whirls me upward to the sky, Now down mid rugged stones to lie;
Sweeps me o'er heath and barren earth
Be tamed to meekness?
Against my weakness ?-
Thou who alike the Leaf and Wind hast made,
Speak, "Peace, be still!"-thy word will be obey'd.
Thou wilt not break the Leaf
That's driven by the Wind; No, no! the pleading voice of grief In thee shall pity find. Look on me! and the tyrant blast Will sink in zephyr's breath at last. So let it waft me softly, slowly, To spot of rest, remote and lowly; Some silent and sequester'd nook Where in Heaven's eye alone can look. There, shelter'd from the storm and rain,
Unmark'd, unknown, let me remain, And half forgetful of Life's troubled day,
Yield me in peace to Nature's sure decay.
Huc, in the course of his travels in Asia, met with a venerated tree, called "The Tree of the thousand images,;" of such an extraordinary nature that we would not venture to give the description in any words but his own :
"We had heard of this tree too often during our journey not to feel somewhat eager to visit it. At the foot of the mountain on which the Lama-serey† stands, and not far from the principal Buddhist Temple, is a great square enclosure, formed by brick walls. Upon entering this we were able to examine at leisure the marvellous tree, some of the branches of which had already manifested themselves above the wall. were first directed with earnest curiosity to
The residence of the Grand Lama; the head of the religion of Thibet.
the leaves, and we were filled with an absolute consternation of astonishinent at find ing, that in point of fact, there were upon each of the leaves well-formed Thibetian characters, all of a green colour, some darker, some lighter than the leaf itself. Our first impression was a suspicion of fraud on the part of the Lamas; but after a minute exanrination of every detail, we could not discover the least deception. The characters all appeared to us portions of the leaf itself, equally with its veins and nerves; the position was not the same in all; in one leaf they would be at the top of the leaf; in another, in the middle; in a third, at the base, or at the side; the younger leaves represented the characters only in a partial state of formation. The bark of the tree and its branches, which resemble that of the plane tree, are also covered with these charac ters. When you remove a piece of old bark, the young bark under it exhibits the indistinct outlines of characters in a germinating state; and what is very singular, these new characters are not unfrequently different from those which they replace. We examined every thing with the closest attention, in order to detect some trace of trickery, but we could discern nothing of the sort. More profound intellects than ours may, perhaps, be able to supply a satisfactory explanation of the mysteries of this singular tree; but as to us, we altogether give it up."
The ENCHANTER'S NIGHTSHADE, (Circea Lutetiann), notwithstanding its pretty pink and white flowers, is an herb of the gloomy superstitions. Growing luxuriantly in churchyards, among bones and broken coffins, it was believed to be a necromantic plant, and was used by witches in their incantations to raise the dead. Its scientific name is derived from the classic enchantress Circe: the little hooks on the herb, that cling to the passers-by, as though to draw them towards it, were, by a stretch of fancy, supposed to symbolize the arts of Circe, by which she drew persons into her snares.
For this melancholy plant of night and the grave, we must find a befitting
TO A FRIEND.
Translated from the Spanish of Zorrilla.
Ove sublime cantor,
Hear me, O Bard of song divine!
If I must yield to fortune's frown, If grave unhonour'd must be mine, There with my grief to lay me down,
tive Irish, it was venerated as holy, and called in the vernacular, AthairLusa, the "father of herbs," or the "herb father." Its sanctity was conceived from the circumstance, that its anthers when perfect form the figure of a St. Andrew's cross. But this figure is often wanting early in spring, when some of the filaments are imperfect, being but half their proper length, and blunted. On account of its floral cross, this plant was revered as an especial charm against fairies and witches, whose spells it destroyed, and against evil spirits whom it banished.
The Brahmins venerate a grass named the DOOBGRASS, as a symbol of divinity, not subject to age or death, and they call it "the armour of India," "preserver of regions," "destroyer of enemies," "gem that gives increase to the field." It is thought to be identical with the Creeping dog's tooth grass (Cynodon Dactylon) found in Cornwall.
Then the Virgin Mary has quite a floral wardrobe, for instance
LADY'S MANTLE (Alchemilla vulga ris,) a celebrated rural cosmetic, a decoction of its leaves being a wondrous clearer of the complexion. Its flowers are greenish yellow, or rather yellowish green; and its circular, broad leaf is scallopped and plaited in regular folds, like a mantle.
LADY'S SMOCK (Cardamine pratensis,) that lovely little pale lilac flower that, in genial seasons, blows about the time of the Annunciation. It is often called by the less quaint appellation of cuckoo flower.
The early Christians, attracted to some certain plants and flowers, either from their good properties, from some peculiarity in form or in beauty, or from their flourishing at some particular seasons, looked upon them with reverence, and dedicated them to various saints. Among the principal were those consecrated to the Virgin Mary, to whom, in fact, belongs quite an Herbarium. White flowers especially were allotted to her as symbols of innocence; such as the magnificent white lily, so pure and so majestic; the modest lily of the valley, half hidden beneath its green hood; the snow-drop, so delicate that it looks fair even amid the trying whiteness of the snow itself; the white daffodil, the white rose, the white hyacinth, the white clematis, designated as the Virgin's Bower, &c. Then we find many others dedicated to "Our Lady." (It may be observed that wherever a plant has the prefix
Lady," our, is to be understood before it.) There is (our) LADY'S TRACES, (neottia spiralis,) a corruption of our Lady's tresses, a pretty little orchislike flower, of a greenish white, and a fragrant scent; its protuberant germs growing one above another in regular de Notre Dame.
LADY'S SLIPPER (Cypripedium,) having its four purplish petals in the form of a cross, and the yellow nectary in the centre shaped like a shoe. The French call it Soulier de Notre Dame, and Sabot de notre Dame. The Italians and Germans also dedicate it to the foot of the Virgin. The Botanical name devotes it, less worthily, to the foot of *Venus (Cypris.)
LADY'S GLOVE is an old name for the tall, showey Fox Glove (Digitalis purpurea.)
LADY'S SEAL is the common briony (Tamus Communis,) sometimes called wild vine, the creeper that adorns the hedges in autumn with its festoons of yellow leaves and bright red berries that succeed to its green flowers. The young shoots are sometimes boiled as asparagas. The French call it Sceau
* Most of the plants and flowers which the heathens consecrated to Venus, were afterwards dedicated to the Virgin by a pious scruple of the early herbalists.
LADY'S CUSHION is that pretty pink Thrift (Statice Armeria,) and its plump, elastic mass of close grass-like foliage that we find so flourishing by the sea-side, and call sea-pinks. Its sirname "Thrift" is derived from its thriving in all situations, inland and maritime, urban and rural.
Then there is LADY'S BED-STRAW (Galéum verum,) with its thick tufts of tiny yellow flowers, smelling like honey. There is a variety, identical in all respects, save having pure white flowers, and a less powerful
We must not forget the HOLY GRASS (Hierochloe Borealis), which in some parts of Prussia is especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and strewn before the church doors at her festivals.
And the MARY-GOLD (Calendula) was so called from a tradition that was a favourite flower of the Virgin's, and worn by her in her bosom.
Among the plants and flowers dedicated to saints, there is our own beautiful little SAXIFRAGE, that grows so freely on our Irish mountains (Saxifraga umbrosa). The Sister Isle has tried to steal it from us, and has called it LONDON PRIDE, and Queen Anne's Needle-work," and more appropriately, None-so-pretty; but we claim it as ST. PATRICK S CABBAGE. And somewhat cabbagelike is its tuft of close-lying, broad jagged leaves, from which springs its spike of tiny pink and white flowers, so minutely dotted with red and yellow.
The ROSE-BAY WILLOW HERB(Epi lobium angustifolium), called by the French Laurier de St. Antoine, is dedicated to *St. Anthony, the founder of Monachism, on account of its red colour, in allusion to that red disease, the Erysipelas, which raged in France in the eleventh century like a plague, and no remedy found for it till, says tradition, some making intercession through St. Anthony, were healed: thence the malady was called "St. Anthony's Fire." Of St. Anthony it
is related, that, beholding in a vision all the snares and temptations of the world, he felt desponding for the fate of mankind, and exclaimed, “Who then shall escape, O Lord?" and a voice answered-" The humble !" Being asked by a philosopher who came to confer with him, how he could exist in the wilderness to which he had retired, without books? he replied-" My book is God and Nature."
The LESSER CELANDINE (Ranunculus Ficaria), because its bright yellow starry flower blossoms about St. Perpetua's day (March 7), is dedicated to that saint, who, a young wife and mother, was thrown to the beasts in the Amphitheatre for her confession of Christianity, and thus martyred at the age of twenty-two, during the persecution of Severus,
CYCLAMEN opening its purple flowers about February 7. St, Romoald's day is dedicated to that saint, whose story is somewhat romantic. He was of the noble family of the Onesti at Ravenna; and was brought by his father to witness a duel between him and a relative with whom he was at enmity on account of some property. The kinsman was killed, and Romoald was so shocked that he fled from the world, became a monk, and converted his father. He founded the celebrated Monastery of Camaldoli, thirty miles from Florence, in 1009.
The pretty BLUE BELL, with its helmet-shaped blossoms, is dedicated to the Patron of England, the martial St. George. The white variety is called by the French "the Nun of the Fields." La Religieuse des Champs.
The white WINTER CRESS, welcome because it appears so early, when there are so few blossoms, is dedicated to St. Barbara, who suffered martyrdom at Heliopolis, in Egypt, in the time of Galerius, A.D., 306. Her day is in December, in which month the flower blows.
The HOLLYHOCK (Althæa) is a corruption of Holy Oak, reverenced be
*Born in Egypt about 251, A.D., and being early devout, and afraid of the world's snares, he fled to the desert, where he sustained many preternatural temptations, which have been subjects of painting. At Phaium, about 305, he founded the first monastery.
+ St. George was born in Cappadocia, of noble and Christian parents. He obtained a high rank in the army under Diocletian, but resigned when that Emperor persecuted the Christians. He was tortured and beheaded in 303,
cause brought from the Holy Land by the Crusaders.
Many other venerated flowers there are, dedicated to saints, as among the daffodils, Narcissus, Veronicas, &c., &c., but we have mentioned them in former floral papers.
We must not, however, forget the PASSION FLOWER (Passiflora) which was viewed with much reverence by the Portuguese when discovered in Brazil in 1699. They fancied they saw in it a representation of our Lord's crucifixion, and changed its original name, Murucia, to Passion Flower. As every one may not discern the emblems as easily as the Portuguese discoverers, it may be as well to remark, that the leaf represents the spear; the tendrils the cords for binding; the ten petals, the ten Apostles, two being absent, Peter having deserted his master, and Judas having hanged himself; the pillar, or style in the centre, is the cross, the smaller styles, nails; the stamens, hammers; the inner circle round the pillar, the crown of thorns; the outer radiate circle, a glory; the blue colour represents heaven, the white, purity.
The Passiflora Elata has drops like blood on the central pillar, or cross.
As a leave-taking of these religious flowers, we shall conclude our paper with a devotional poem.
HISTORY, in its highest and most appropriate sense, is one of those refined and subtle essences which are only attained after an elaborate process of biographical exhaustion and mental analysis. The official correspondence of public men, long secreted in the archives of their families, serves at this date to form the raw material of political memoirs: and the works, again, thus formed by a collation of letters illustrative of the policy of successive governments form the raw material of future history. This
THE PRAYER OF THE poor,
Translated from the French of Lamartine, (O toi dont l'oreille s'incline
Au nid du pauvre passereau, &c.)
Thou who dost gracious ear incline E'en to the humble sparrow's nest, E'en to the flowers and grass that pine For water on the mountain's breast.
Thou thou dost pity them in heaven,
Thy power did into being bring Abounding Wealth, Want thin and nude,
That from their intercourse might spring
Charity, Justice, Gratitude.
Do thou our benefactors keep
MEMOIRS-GEORGE III. AND THE REGENCY.*
They for whose weal to thee we sue, Are from our hearts for ever hid; Because their left hand never knew The good their right in secret did.
M. E. M.
species of literature, therefore, if it possess a temporary value liable to be destroyed at any time by the industry of a laborious historian, can boast at least of a constructive character. No just criticism, indeed, can depreciate the ultimate importance of such works as those which form the object of the present review, any more than it can succeed in underrating their present interest. Historical memoirs have gained a new impulse during the last twenty years, and have largely illustrated within that period the an
Memoirs of the Court and Cabinets of George the Third, from original family documents. By the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, K.G. 4 vols. 1853-55. Hurst and Blackett. London.
Memoirs of the Regency, &c. By the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, 2 vols. 1856, Hurst and Blackett. London.