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The judge frowned severely upon her. "Ha! magic and poison! thou art open to the severest penalties of the Church upon more than one count."
"So be it," responded the girl. "I can hut die, and life is misery."
Her frame shook and she burst into tears. There was no pity in the hard faces of these hard men, at the helpless grief of the lone girl.
They only communed with each other as to the best means of securing the wealth of the Count to the Church. The death of Agatha would leave the estate to other heirs, and only a moiety would find its way into its coffers, in the shape of pay for masses for the soul of the dead, while it might easily be secured by the instrumentality of the wife.
Agatha lifted her head. "Give me the emerald, which was the gift of my mother, give me life and freedom, and all that was Count Julian's is yours."
The judges talked with trembling eagerness; this was beyond their expectations; they presented a paper, which she signed in silence.
"Daughter," said the judge, "we accept thy conditions, at the same time we agree to do that which thou hast forgotten to ask—we will say masses daily for the soul of the deceased."
Agatha cared not whether this was spoken in the candour of Christian love, or the severity of sarcasm. She only saw that she would be free—that she should learn the fate of Guido—should breathe the air of heaven once more, and go and come in the blessed sunshine unhindered, save by her lover. The prediction was verified—she was now free to live —to bless—to comfort Guido—to tell him all, and tell him she forgave the terrible picture, which she felt he only could produce.
Grasping the proffered emerald, and casting her mantilla over her head, she hurried from the prison. She went from place to place—she sought the studio of Guido. Alas! it well-nigh
broke her heart to see the disorder that now marked this spot, once the embodiment of taste. A blossom, the last she had given Guido at the grate of the convent, lay in a fold of paper beside a picture by Raphael, which Agatha remembered he regarded with religious veneration. The palette and brushes lay upon the floor as if they had fallen unconsciously from the hands of the artist. A piece of faded ribbon, once hers, was tied into the palette. There was a lute broken, and an alabaster vase, shattered by the candle which had exhausted itself within. With trembling hands she raised the cover from the picture upon the easel. There, there poor Guido had atoned even with his life's blood for the revengeful act of the one he had conveyed to her oratory.
Agatha beheld a portrait of herself, softened to angelic sweetness, the eyes fixed upon her lover, both sublimated, etherialized, and floating upward into an atmosphere of purity, while beneath and around were hideous and distorted shapes, faintly gleaming through the black and gloomy masses of the foreground. The tears fell fast from beneath her lids as she gazed, as she murmured, " Poor, poor, Guido!"
A heavy sigh, which was rather a groan, caused her to turn, and Guido stood before her; but so wan, so changed, he seemed but the shadow of the once beautiful and impassioned youth. To throw herself into his arms, to tell in hurried accents that she was free to poverty, to love, to Guido, was the first impulse of the devoted girl.
Our story is done—for whenever did a lover, however wasted and despairing, fail to revive under the breathings of love and hope? Guido called the picture, which he had found means to convey to her oratory, believing her to be base and sordid, "The Lover's Revenge;" and ho designed to multiply copies of it, till she and the Count would be covered with ridicule throughout Rome. But the single copy sufficed.
THE LOVE THAT LASTS.
BY THE REV. GEORGE B. CHEEVER, D.D.
Tis not a flowor of instant growth,
That lay within the hearts of both,
As daisy-buds among the grass
Nor maids nor boys that laughing pass
Till, on some genial morn in May,
Disclosing beauties to the day
So soft, so sweet, so mild, so holy,
So unpretending, meek, and lowly,
So Love doth spring, so Love doth grow,
If it be such as never dies— The bud just opens here below,
The flower blooms in paradise.
THE FLORAL CALENDAR.
BY PBOFESSOB JAMES BHOAD3.
(THE OBCHIs-LIKE BUTTEBWOBT.)
Botanical Characteristics of the genua:— Class, Dianbria; order, Monoqynia. Calyx 2lipped, upper lip S-cleft, lower, 2-cUft; corol. 1pelalled inferior, ringent, spurred at the bate; throat contracted; stamens and style short; stigma 1-lipped, covering the anther; capsule 1-celled, many-seeded, receptacle of the seed central.
The Pinguiculas or Butterworts, are a tribe of very interesting little plants. They are very easy of cultivation, but some of them, from their beauty and liveliness, would be well worth all the trouble they might give even were they less so. Few of them are, however,
moss and lumps of peat are the chief ingredients of which the soil should be composed when they are cultivated in pots. If not grown in the Wardian case, but in the open room, they require copious and frequent supplies of water; if there is always some kept in the saucer in which the pot stands, so much the better. We have several species natives of North America, but they are much less ornamental than many of the exotic kinds. The Orchis-like species, an individual of which is represented in figure 1, is a native of the highlands of Mexico, and is, in this latitude, a half-hardy plant. The foliage, from its singularity of shape and arrangement, is almost as interesting as the flower. From the ground springs a truncated cone of small scale-like leaves lying one over another, like the scales of the strobiles of a Pine tree, but of a green colour and delicate texture. From the summit of this cone proceeds a tuft of large, glabrous, spatulate leaves, of entirely different appearance from the under ones, and spreading entirely over and beyond them.
Florists are often heard to speak of beautiful flowers as being hybrids. Thus, they call one class of roses the " Hybrid Perpetual," and the Blush-flowered Corn-flag is said to be a hybrid between the Gladiolus cardinalis and the G. blandus. A few remarks respecting the meaning of the term, and the method of hybridizing, may not be unacceptable to the readers of the Calendar, as at this season of the year they need little particular information about the treatment of their window plants, exoept to keep them as cool as possible without freezing them, and gradually, as cold weather approaches, to diminish the quantity of water supplied to them.
If we refer to a common dictionary for the meaning of hybrid, we will find it to be " mongrel; of different species," a definition which itself needs to be defined before it conveys the proper idea. Any new variety of plant, produced by the joint action of the fructifying organs of different plants of distinct varieties, is called a hybrid between those varieties. The process of mixing different kinds of plants by I hybridization is to me a very interesting one. It is entirely another thing from inoculation or grafting. These do not produce new kinds; they merely enable us to place upon a vigorous stock of inferior properties, a parasite of an approved variety of the same natural genus. The scion being protected and favoured, acquires, after a time, sufficient energy to usurp and apply to its own use the food which the roots and stem of the original stock convey to it. The natures, however, of both stock and shoot remain unchanged, each, if new plants be propagated from them, will produce after its own kind. Very different is the result of hybridization. Something new, and in many particulars unlike both, is always produced, and often something much more beautiful or more valuable than either. So varied and extensive have been the benefits resulting from this process, that many florists are almost ready to believe that no variation or improvement can be effected by other means. It has, for instance, been from time immemorial the generally received opinion that double flowers have been produced from single ones, by continued cultivation, and stimulation in rich, generous soils, something after the manner noticed in the Calendar for November, of the single wild rose becoming the parent of double garden roses. Some late writers deny that this is the case with any plants, and assert that single flowers cannot, by any system of cultivation, be made to produce double ones. They assert that stamens never change into petals; that the wild rose may be cultivated from generation to generation in the best soil and with the utmost care, and will still have but five petals, unless hybridization has taken place spontaneously or artificially. Without entering into an argument upon the subject, I may remark, that hardly two individual roses, of even the same variety, can be found, which have the same number of petals; and that this continual variation can hardly be attributed to a perpetual mixture of kinds. Any one, too, who will take the trouble carefully to dissect a common double garden rose, will find what seems to me undeniable evidence that stamens do change to petals; for he will sec them in every degree of change,—some with their filaments merely a little flattened, others with the whole filament and part of the anther changed into petal-like texture, and others which can only be distinguished from the outer petals by having a small portion of the anther unchanged, and adhering to one edge. It will, however, be admitted on all sides, that hybridization is much more prolific of new varieties than any other of the artifices of florists, and that, "however beautiful plants naturally are, there is no denying that they are doubly so when they come from the hands of the skilful hybridizer."
Some of the younger and more inexperienced of my readers may desire, that before I proceed to describe the process of producing hybrids, I should explain several of the botanical terms I necessarily use. All must have noticed within the coloured part of a flower, one or more long slender organs, generally attached to the base or receptacle of the different parts of the flower. These are the organs of fructification,—the stamens, and pistils. The latter spring from the centre, and the former are arranged around them. Vast numbers of plants have but one pistil, but a very large majority have five or more stamens. The lower part of the pistil is called the germ, and becomes, when fructification is achieved, the seed-vessel. The top of the pistil is the stigma, the surface of which shortly after the opening of the flower, becomes moist or viscous, so that the pollen, when it falls upon it, may adhere until it has effected its purpose of fertilizing the germ through the pores of the stigma and style; the latter term being applied to the part which connects the stigma and germ. The stamen consists of but two parts,—the anther or little sack at the top, and the filament or threadlike stalk which supports it and elevates it above the pistil. Within each anther is a quantity of fine dust, which is called pollen. This is the fructifying principle. About the same time that the stigma becomes moist, the anthers burst and cast their pollen upon it. If the anthers were removed before the pollen impregnated the pistil, the plant would be barren and produce no seed. It is upon a knowledge of this fact, that the hybridizer proceeds. He manages to have two plants, of different varieties, sometimes of different species, but always agreeing in certain natural characteristics, to bloom simultaneously. From the one which ho designs to produce seed he cuts out the stamens, as soon as the flower opens; on the other, he permits them to remain. As soon as the pistil of the one deprived of its stamens assumes the moistness, to which I before alluded, which it does in a few days after the expansion of the flower, he causes the pollen from the stamens of the other plant to fall upon it. This he does either by bringing the two flowers in contact, or by means of a fine camel's-hair pencil. The seed thus obtained when sown will produce a new variety, differing from both parents, and denominated in florist's language a hybrid between the two. It is requisite for the success of this artificial impregnation that the stamens to be removed, be cut away immediately upon the opening of the flower, and early in the morning, when the pollen is more moist and less readily scattered than at other times;—for, it is a well-ascertained fact, that an exceedingly small particle of the pollen from the anthers produced on any individual, will fertilize the