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It is a common saying with us that Truth conceals herself in the bottom of a well, and that she always mingles some bitterness with her blessings: and we have given for her emblem a useless plant that, like her, delights in shade and is always green. The bittersweet Nightshade is, I believe, the only plant in this country that loses and re-produces its leaves twice a year.
UNION, Whole Straw. Page 177. USELESSNESS, Meadow-Sweet. This plant is considered as an emblem of uselessness, because doctors have not discovered any medicinal virtues in it, and animals refuse to eat it. UTILITY, Grass. Grasses are the most common, but perhaps the most useful, family of the vegetable kingdom.
WAR, Achillea millefolia. This plant heals all wounds made with iron. It is said to have been used by the hero whose name it bears to heal the wounds of Telephus. WARMTH OF FEELING, Peppermint. Minthes was surprised by Proserpine in the company
of her gloomy spouse. The enraged goddess changed her rival into a plant, which seems to comprehend in its double flavour the coldness of fear and the warmth of love. This plant we cultivate by the name of Peppermint, to which we are indebted for the cordial water and lozenges named after it. WEAKNESS, Musk plant. This plant has so mild and delicate a scent, that it is agreeable even to persons who have a particular dislike to musk.
WISDOM, White Mulberry-tree. The ancients
called the White Mulberry the wisest of trees, because it is very late before it unfolds its leaves, in which respect it is the reverse of the almond-tree. A spray of the almond-tree tied up with one of the mulberry intimates that wisdom ought to temper activity.
YOU ARE COLD, Hortensia. The Hortensia is a plant of recent introduction into our European gardens. Though its clusters of flowers are alternately tipped with white, red, and purple; though its general figure is showy, and it looks well in a room; still the eye soon tires
of its cold beauty: it is the image of a coquet, who, destitute of the qualities of the mind and heart, strives to please solely by the arts of dress.
YOU ARE MY DIVINITY, American Cowslip. The
elegant and single stalk of this plant rises from the centre of a tuft of broad leaves that lie flat on the ground. In April, it is crowned with twelve pretty pink flowers reversed. Linneus has given to it the name of Dodecatheon, which signifies twelve divinities. It is, perhaps, rather a pompous name for so modest a flower; but on that point botanists, and especially lovers, are not very parti
YOU ARE PERFECT, Pineapple. The Pineapple, surrounded with its handsome leaves, and surmounted by a crown, which is employed for its propagation, has the appearance of being sculptured in pale gold. It is so beautiful that it seems to be made only to delight the eye; so delicious, that it combines the varied flavours of all our best fruits; and so fragrant, that it would deserve to be cultivated solely for the sake of its perfume.
YOU ARE RADIANT WITH CHARMS, Ranunculus. Early in spring, the dazzling Ranunculus adorns our gardens with its brilliant flowers, glowing with a thousand colours, resplendent with a thousand charms. Scarcely any plant rewards the cultivator with such a striking diversity of tints, or affords so rich a view. YOUR CHARMS ARE ENGRAVEN ON MY HEART, Spindle-tree. This shrub is thus named, because its wood is used for making spindles. Crayons also are prepared from it. It is in request with sculptors and turners. If its wood is valuable to artists, the shrub which furnishes it ought to be esteemed by the farmer: the hedges formed with it appear in autumn loaded with red berries that produce a very pretty effect. YOUR LOOKS FREEZE ME, Ice plant. The leaves of this singular plant are covered with transparent vesicles full of water. When the plant is in the shade, it looks as if covered with dew; when in the sunshine, it seems to be powdered with frozen crystals, that give it a brilliant appearance, and hence it derives its
YOUR PRESENCE REVIVES ME, Rosemary. Hungary water is made with Rosemary: it refreshes the spirits and dispels dizziness and fainting.
YOUR QUALITIES SURPASS YOUR CHARMS, Mignonette. Page 150.
YOUTH, White Lilac. From the purity of colour and the short duration of its beautiful clusters of blossom, White Lilac is the emblem of youth, of that fleeting and inestimable blessing, which all the treasures of the world cannot redeem.