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patience which conquers all obstacles. My little theatre, however, which was rather disposed in stripes than in steps, delighted all who beheld it; and many were astonished, as well as myself, that nothing of the kind had ever yet been attempted for the decoration of our gardens or to set off our festivities.
This superb child of the East, to which Linneus gave by way of eminence the epithet Polianthes, from two Greek words signifying a town and a flower, because it is generally cultivated and sold in towns, was first brought from Persia to France in 1632. It was then but single, and double flowers were not produced till long afterwards by a skilful florist of Leyden, named Lecour. It has since spread over all the world. In Russia, indeed, it flowers only for sovereigns and the great; but it has become naturalized in Peru, where it grows without culture, and unites with the glowing nasturtium to adorn the bosom of the American beauty.
The flower of the Tuberose, which grows on the top of a very tall, slender stem, is of a white colour, sometimes tinged with a blush of pink. Its perfume is delicious, rich, and powerful. If you would enjoy it without danger, keep at some distance from the plant. To increase ten-fold the pleasure which it affords, come with the object of your affection to inhale its perfume by moonlight, when the nightingale is pouring forth his soul in song:
The Tuberose, with her silvery light,
That in the gardens of Malay
Then, by a secret virtue, these grateful odours will add an inexpressible charm to your enjoyment; but, if regardless of the precepts of moderation, you will approach too near, this divine flower will then be but a dangerous enchantress, which will pour into your bosom a deadly poison. Thus the love which descends from heaven purifies and exalts the delights of a chaste passion ; but that which springs from the earth proves the bane and the destruction of imprudent youth.
This flower has been confounded with the sunflower, though it is of a different genus, and totally unlike the latter. To both has been ascribed the property of turning towards the sun, and following his course round the horizon; a property not confined to these flowers, as there are others that do the same in a greater or less degree.
The blossoms of the Heliotrope form clusters of very small, delicate, fragrant flowers, generally of a faint purple colour, or white, sometimes red, and bluish white. It is, as its name implies, a native of Peru, where it was discovered by the celebrated Jussieu. While botanizing one day in the Cordilleras, he suddenly found himself overpowered by an intoxicating perfume. He looked around, expecting to find some gaudy flower or other from which it proceeded, but could perceive nothing but some handsome
bushes, of a light green, the extremities of whose sprays were tipped with flowers of a faint blue colour. He went up to these bushes, which were about six feet high, and saw that the flowers which they bore were all turned towards the san. Struck with this peculiarity, the learned botanist gave to the plant the name of Heliotrope, and, collecting some of its seeds, he sent them to the royal garden at Paris, where the Heliotrope was first cultivated in 1740. It has since spread to all the countries of Europe, and, though there is nothing striking in its appearance, it has become a general favourite with the fair sex.
An anonymous poet has drawn from this flower a signification, the very reverse of that which we have attached to it:
There is a flower, whose modest eye
Is turned with looks of light and love,
Whene'er the sun is bright above.
Let clouds obscure, or darkness veil,
Her fond idolatry is fled;
The loving eye is cold and dead.