Sivut kuvina

it is sometimes called Four-o'clock Flower, But, when the weather is moderately cool and the sun obscured, these shy blossoms remain open the whole day.

Phillips remarks that, however timid these flowers may appear in the presence of the god of day, they stand the blaze of the strongest artificial light as cheerfully as other belles who delight to shine at the same hour with this emblem of timidity.

We cannot resist the temptation of quoting here an exquisite little poem by Mrs. Hemans,

Night-scented Flowers,” which originally appeared in the Forget Me Not.


“Call back your odours, lonely flowers,

From the night-wiud call them back;
And fold your leaves till the laughing hours

Come forth in the sunbeam's track,

“ The lark lies couched in her grassy nest,

And the honey-bee is gone;
And all bright things are away to rest-

Why watch ye here alone?"
“ Nay, let our shadowy beauty bloom,

When the stars give quiet light;
And let us offer our faiut perfume

On the silent shrine of night.

“Call it not wasted the scent we lend

To the breeze when no step is nigh: Oh! thus for ever the earth should send

Her grateful breath on high! “And love us as emblems, night's dewy flowers,

Of hopes unto sorrows given, That spring through the gloom of the darkest hours,

Looking alone to heaven.”



The ancients believed that the Oak, coeval with the earth, afforded food and shelter to the first of men. In the remotest antiquity, it was the symbol of majesty and strength, and, as such, sacred to Jupiter, whom it sheltered at his birth, on Mount Lyceus in Arcadia.

Among the Greeks, the Oak performed an important part in their religious ceremonies. The Oaks in the grove of Dodona in Epirus, near the magnificent temple of Jupiter, gave forth the oracles which were there promulgated by the priestesses. On the banks of the Achelous grew those Oaks whose acorns were the first food of inortals. The Dodonean Jupiter, the Fates, and Hecate, were crowned with Oakwreaths; and the heroes who sailed in the Argo chose for the mast of that vessel an Oak from the sacred grove of Dodona, which continued to counsel the adventurers by oracular intimations. As the Oak was an object of such reverence, it is no wonder that the gods, who were entertained by Philemon, (see the Linden Tree) conceived that they could not confer on him a more suitable recompense than to transform him into an Oak-tree, that was to overshadow the temple of Jupiter, into which his hut was changed. Hence this tree became the emblem of hospitality.

Among the Romans, various kinds of crowns were given as rewards of military achievements. The most honourable of these, a wreath of green Oak, called the civic crown, was allotted to him who had saved the life of a Roman citizen in battle. It was also decreed to Cicero for detecting Catiline's conspiracy. Scipio Africanus refused the civic crown for saving the life of his father at the battle of Trebia, on the ground that the act carried with it its own reward. The possessor of such a crown had a right to wear it constantly: when he entered an assembly, all present, senators themselves not excepted, were obliged to rise; and he was exempt from every kind of civil burdens and imposts.

Divine honours were paid to the Oak by the


naval power

ancient Germans and Celts, who worshipped under its form their god Teut. Their priests, the Druids, offered sacrifices beneath it; their victims were crowned with Oak-leaves, and it was requisite that the piles of wood on which they were burned should be lighted with brands of Oak.

By modern Britain the Oak, as furnishing the material of which our fleets are constructed, has justly been adopted as the emblem of her

that power of which the first of our living poets proudly says:

Britannia needs no bulwarks,

No towers along the steep;
Her march is on the mountain wave,

Her home is on the deep. Though our dusky forests are no longer the haunts of Hamadryads and fairies, still the aspect of a majestic Oak excites admiration and awe. When, in youthful vigour, it rears its proud head and spreads its immense arms, it looks like a protector, like a king. Shattered by the thunderbolt, stripped of its foliage, and motionless, it resembles an old man who has lived past his time, and who takes no interest

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