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same fragrant breath all over the earth, and hence will, almost without exception, produce, on the whole, the same impression on our mind. Far different is it with the more active, and much more varied effusions that rise from rich grainfields; while they fill our eye to satiety with the picture of ample wealth, our lungs breathe the nutritious odor of their exuberant growth. But even smaller distinctions make themselves clearly felt. There is ever a strange and mysterious feeling of heaviness weighing upon our mind in a forest, whether we walk in the dim shade of broadbranched fir-trees with balsamic fragrance, or in the lofty arcades of royal palms. The cause is, in both cases, the same a thousand plant-lungs are breathing heavily under the dense canopy, and the thick vapors, seeking in vain an outlet through the branches and leaves, pass wearily to and fro in the close air. The South and the North afford here, of course, still more attractive and decided distinctions. The noble forms of Grecian pines and laurels, the graceful outlines of the asphodel, crocus, and lilies that grow at their feet, and the sweet fragrance exhaled by all alike, had, no doubt, their profound effect on the bright, beautiful myths of the children of Hellas. In the home of our forefathers, on the contrary, dense oak forests, frowning forever in dark mysterious shade, with countless hosts of poisonous plants hanging in rugged ravines, or bred in damp darkness, and giving out a close, overwhelming smell, lent their coloring in like manner to the sombre and often bloodthirsty worship of the Druids. What true son of the North can ever inhale the fresh odor arising when the wind rustles in the trembling branches of white-robed birches, mixed with the rich aroma of his own beloved fir-trees, without feeling his heart beat high, and his thoughts fly back to the land of his birth?

The sweet fragrance of meadows, on the contrary, rises, unhindered and unmixed, at once into the bright ether, and, aided by the warm rays of the sun, diffuses itself far and near, in unbounded exuberance. Thus, it enters our lungs; and as we breathe freely and fully, our hearts are relieved. and our thoughts rove up to the blue heavens, and far away into the wide, wide world. Most strikingly, however, is this influence felt in the odor which our great Father in

heaven has given to each individual plant. There is not one of them that has not a fragrance distinct and different from all others on earth; but we notice only the most decided, and

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen And waste its sweetness on the desert air." But, unseen and unthanked, trees, shrubs, and herbs, all send their incense of thanks and praise up to Him who made them, and, when the earth had brought them forth at His command, said: It is good! Love itself does not seem to preserve more abundant wealth at the very time that it dispenses it most liberally. Now, it is the beautiful flower that exhales sweet odors, as when the honeysuckle scatters its fragrance far and near, or the snow-white hawthorn perfumes all the land; then, again, the humblest herbage is found the richest in sweet scent, and the lowly ground-ivy, like the much-praised sweet-brier, holds inexhaustible stores in each leaflet. Now and then, even the hidden root is thus endowed; in mandrakes "they give a smell," as Solomon sings, and the spikenard's perfume was so precious that Horace offered Virgil a whole butt of wine for a little box of nard; and the genuine ointment, with which the sister of Lazarus anointed the Saviour, was valued at an enormous sum by Judas, the Betrayer. Nor ought we to forget for a moment, that the odor of plants is the very essence of their individuality. Stems, leaves, and blossoms, all follow great general rules, and present to the eye, after all, but their outward appearance. But their fragrance, the most subtle of all substances in wide nature, arises from the innermost heart of the plants at the time of their fullest vigor, and, therefore, conveys to us, without doubt, the best knowledge we ever can hope to obtain of their inner life. Whatever it distills from the countless and unknown elements which it receives from earth, air, and water-whatever it produces in its secret chambers and there transforms from the first crude form into delicate sap and beautiful crystalsall this it exhales, in the end, through its crown and chaplet, in the form of fragrance. Long ago, quaint old Paracelsus, whose works contain many a truth once laughed at as idle fancy and now acknowledged by the wisest of men, proposed, on this ground, a division of plants according to their peculiar odor.

On the other hand, it must not be overlooked how the very fact that the fragrance of plants is the final result, the concentrated effect of all their functions and changes in life, makes it so vague and indefinable that no language on earth owns words enough to convey to our mind a clear perception of more than a very few odors. The perfume of plants belongs to their innermost life, as the voice of man comes from his heart. Who can describe all the ever-changing tones of the human voice? They are, nevertheless, the surest signs by which we can read the character of their owner. As we distinguish, even in darkness, a stranger by his voice, so we may know every plant, nay, every variety of flowers, by its fragrance.

If we try to bring some order into the thousand odors with which we are more familiar, we find, at once, that they may be divided into two great classes, which have, at first sight, but little in common. Some plants exhale aromas-odors which, by their pleasing impression and healthy effect, immediately increase the activity of all our functions. Others, again, disturb our equanimity and distress our feelings by narcotic, or even more noisome, smells. The impression in both cases is all the stronger, because, in most cases, if not in all, our instinct is warned by the smell to cherish such plants as are beneficial to our health, and to avoid those that are hurtful. All decided and well-known aromas foretell in this delicate manner the hidden healing power that is entrusted to their owners. What a charming list old Shenstone gives of such sweet-smell ing, wholesome herbs, from the lips of her who knew them so well, and

-well of each could speak That in her garden sipp'd the silv'ry dew: The tufted basil, pun-provoking thyme, Fresh balm and marygold of cheerful hue; And euphrasy may not be left unsung, That gives dim eyes to wander leagues around, And marj'ram sweet, in shepherd's posie


and a host of others, from the most brilliant down to humble "rue and dittany." In even more striking manner we see, on the other hand, the foxglove with its purple bells betoken by its peculiar smell its often deadly poison, and

66 -on hills of dust the henbane's faded green

And penciled flower of sickly scent, is seen," like poisonous mushrooms, fairly warn

ing the careless child. But here, also, as among men, prejudices are easily engendered, and many a plant stands "in bad odor," which, in spite of smell and report, is virtuous and pure. The beauty of the white flowers of ramps or wild leeks, which abound in our moist woods and shady meadows, is much dimmed by the strong smell of garlic exhaled by their herbage, and the plants themselves were long looked down upon with dark suspicion. Now, however, their innocence has been completely established with us, whilst, in Spain, as well as in the whole Orient, garlic and onions have been held in high favor, ever since the days when the Israelites in the wilderness sighed for "the leeks, the onions, and the garlic," and the Egyptians made these strange gods, who, as Juvenal says bitterly, grew in their gardens," objects of worship. Inodorous euphorbias, on the other hand, are far from being as harmless.


How much the fragrance, of flowers especially, affects our opinion of plants, may be gathered from the bitter disappointment with which we turn from bright-colored flowers that have no odor. The brighter their hues, the more gorgeous their beauty, the more we feel the absence of higher gifts, and remember, at once, similar feelings which we experience when we discover a beautiful woman to be without the nobler endowments of mind. The form is there in full glory, the eye is pleased and gratified, but what is left for the mind and the heart? Thus, whole acres of land may be seen in Northern Germany thickly planted with gorgeous tulips; the Chinese displays in his garden gigantic peonies and impudent hydrangeas; verbenas, with flagrant colors, stare at you through all four seasons; long braggarts, in the shape of dahlias, rise high above humble violets and fragrant roses, and the wild rabble of asters closes, in autumn, the rear of this army of beggars.

Color and odor combined, on the contrary, give us a feeling of perfection. the characteristic beauties of the vegeWe are fully satisfied where we find both table world in equal proportion, as in the rose and the lily, the hyacinth and the carnation. No nation on earth, from the oldest times down to our day, has, therefore, failed to regard the rose with a feeling akin to veneration. From the

gardens of the Phrygian king, Midas, of which Herodotus speaks, to the farfamed rose-fields of Persia, in the East, and the little flower-pot of the squatter's daughter, in the far West, the rose ever appears as the first among flowers the very queen of the great kingdom of Flora. He, who spreads the earth with fragrant flowers, did not disdain to call Himself the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valley," and all other descriptions fade before the simple words -"the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose." The lily, also, combining the two most precious gifts of a color so fair, that "Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these,” and of a smell most sweet and fragrant, is revered as almost sacred in the Orient. In Solomon's temple "the top of the pillars was lily-work," and the molten sea, also, that held water, had "the brim wrought like the brim of a cup with flowers of lilies." As the West now has the hyacinth and the carnation, so the East can boast alone of the camphor, another flower that pleases alike by beauty and odor. The gentle mixture of white and green in its blossoms, which hang in rich clusters, contrasts with the red hue of the branches, and pleases the sight, whilst the sweet fragrance, which they spread far and near, makes them the favorite bouquet of Eastern women. Hence the prophet's praise" My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphor."

But even humbler plants are often richly endowed with both gifts, as the tiny heath-flower, whose powdery bells, shining in purple bloom, "fling forth from their scented cups a sweet perfume," and still invite the eye by their beauty. Especially in Alpine regions, we find, amid the most rugged scenes, flowers that rejoice the eye by their pure, dazzling colors, and fill the heart with strange but pleasing sensations, as the breeze wafts to us their balsamic fragrance. From the brilliant auricules down to the humble violetscented moss, a surprising variety of aromatic odors greets the wanderer, amid the snow and ice of the Alps.

Where beauty of form is wanting, and yet pleasing odors prevail, there the effect is, perhaps, even greater, because of the painful regret with which we miss the desired perfection of form. Now, it appears to us as if nature had sadly neglected a step-child, as when

the gentle mignonnette exhales sweet, soothing fragrance from humble, unsightly flowers. Then, again, we feel disposed to admire the noble humility with which the night-violet gives out its sweet odor in unceasing abundance, though no eye sees its modest blossom, no man enjoys its dreamy perfume. But the blind minstrel does not appeal to our heart with more touching effect, than the sweet fragrance of such sadcolored flowers. A tear of sympathy hallows our pleasure as we listen to his plaintive song; a dim but grateful sympathy makes us love dearly the fragrant flower that owes all our affection to its delicate odor alone. Nature often seems to play with her children alike in different kingdoms: the hesperis is the most balmy of flowers, the nightingale of Europe the sweetest of warblers. The latter sings, the former smells, but at night, and both are entirely without beauty. What a sweet and moving picture the Bible draws of the coming of spring from such quiet and most humble flowers! "The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines, with the tender grape, give a good smell. Arise, my love-my fair oneand come away!" And high over the tender bud and the hardly-visible blossoms, which yet filled the air with wondrous sweetness, there sang birds, and the voice of the turtle was heard in the land. There is no tumultuous joy here, no gorgeous display, but a sweet, ineffably sweet, sensation, filling the heart, and warming the affections.

Few but dearer to us than all others, are the plants that give out their odor at night only. Their fragrance, it has been well said, is like the deep feelings of a man's heart. Alone and unobserved, the latter pours out its secret emotions to the starry sky or the dark clouds, as those flowers, also, in maidenly shame, seem to wait for the veil of night ere they give way to their feelings, and exhale them in sweet aromas. Not without reason, therefore, was it proposed by that most charming of all naturalists, St. Pierre, to abolish Greek and Arabic names, and to classify the gay children of Flora as gay, serious, and melancholy plants. For it is certain that some plants cheer us, and others sadden us, we know not how; but no one can doubt that our moral affections are strongly influenced by such impressions. Nor was it, surely, without

a special design of the Most High, that all sweet-scented flowers grow at the feet of man, or, at least, within easy reach of his hand. The violet and the rose, the gillyflower and the heliotrope, the lily and lilac are all on a level with him, and even the noble magnolia of our land is rarely beyond his control. Where beautiful flowers grow on lofty trees, as on the royal palin, or our own tulip-tree, they are fair to the eye, but have no fragrance.

The aroma yielded by plants, when crushed, has suggested many touching passages to our poets. Who remembers not, when thus reminded, some beloved one that in health breathed, like the wild-rose, its faint, delicious life, and, as the end drew near, with richer fragrance, sank, like the violet, to the ground, and, dying by a mossy stone, half hidden from the eye, continued to breathe rich odors to all who loved her? Of such violets, Kirk White sang:

"Yet, though thou fade,

From thy dead leaves let fragrance rise,
And teach the maid

That goodness time's rude hand defies-
That virtue lives when beauty dies."

The most touching of all, however, is, probably, Moore's reference to that source from whence alone cometh comfort in sorrow:

"Thou canst heal the broken heart,

Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathe sweetness out of woe."

Many among them, it is true, require neither pain nor violence to give out their odor; they are rather like firm and reserved men, who choose not to

give a reply. except to a clear and positive question. For it is from such plants that we obtain the most decided odors, as they themselves belong, of all others, to the best-formed and most perfect children of Flora. Nor need we, thanks to the "good present times," resort any longer to the sad custom of our fathers, when

"With rose and swete flowres

Was strawed halles and bouris,"

and when meadow-sweet, especially, was highly esteemed for the purpose, because, as a quaint old writer, Gerarde, says, "its leaves and flowres farre excell all other strowing herbes for to decke up houses, to straw in chambers, halles, and banquetinghouses; for the smelle thercof maketh

the heart merrie and delighteth the


Often, it is true, the reply is far from pleasant, especially when, with youthful thoughtlessness, we attack an unknown enemy. We may well be content if, as in the case of a cestrum, we are treated only to a smell of roast pig, or if the odor of rancid fat makes us turn angrily away from a surly roundhead among the cactus. Far worse are other plants-the very clowns of the vegetable world-who reply to our greeting with fœtid odor, or even more noisome stenches; and what makes the impression more painful still is, that they have a perfect right to repel the intruder, and to express their very natural wish not to be pinched and illtreated by unknown persons. The goose-foot repays the aggressor at once with an unmistakable odor of spoiled salt-fish, and thus has become a veritable touch-me-not. But even the instinct of animals is proved not to be infallible by some such plants, as is the case with some stapelias-called carrion flowers, because of their putrid and disagreeable odor-which actually cheat poor flies into the belief that they are putrid animal matter, and induce them, under such false pretenses, to lay their eggs in their flesh-colored blossoms. Whole races of plants, indeed, like the families that bear the name of the great botanist, Raffles, and various orchides, diffuse an odor as bad and disgusting as men who boast of their wickedness,

and, openly professing their creed, infect thus whole classes of society. Now and then, they present even curious analogies, as the orchis, which assumes

the shape of a more familiar than agree

able bug, and, with undesired consistency, resembles it also in odor.

But a world of sweet odors is ever rising around us, whether we walk through the open land of our South, perfumed with the magnolia's rich fragrance, or breathe the sweet air of violet-scented" Athens. Gentler feelings awake in our heart, pleasant memories crowd all the chambers of our mind, and fancy even awakes to indulge in a thousand reveries, when we

think of

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IT happened to me once, to spend part of a New-England winter in a solitary farm-house, in the valley of the Penobscot. Years have not obliterated my recollections of those white and silent reaches of drifted snow, broken only by straggling outposts of the black pine forest which bounded our horizon-the short and lonely days-the long evenings in the farm-kitchen, where a huge wood fire, with plenty of pine-knots, cider, and tobacco, robbed night and winter of their terrors. My host, John Frost, was not a bad specimen of Yankee thrift and intelligence-hard, shrewd, slow of speech, and quick of observation; hist spouse was a bit of a vixen, but notable, and lively withal. They had boys and girls of all ages and sizes-all active. handy, self-reliant imps, and abundantly endowed with the proverbial curiosity of the country, sharpened by the habitual privation to which it was subjected; for a stranger was a "sight" in that region, and little of the world came to their knowledge beyond the border news which occasional visitors brought with them from the lakes, and fastnesses of the forest. These visitors were more welcome to me than any more civilized arrivals could possibly be-now and then we had a kitchenful of red-shirted fellows, ragged and unshorn as imagination could picture. On their way from one lumbering station to another, they were wont to stop at "Frost's" for rest and refreshment, both of which were most hospitably and bountifully accorded them. Among these were not a few whose native wit and force of character furnished me with a new field for thought.

There was one old lumberman in particular, who came to us with a lame knee; he had met with an accident in the woods, and was laid up with us for a week or so, on his way down the river to Bangor. Peter Flint and I became great cronies. He was rough as a pineknot, and keen as his own axe, but what especially took me was, the underlying vein of rude romance which discovered itself in the turn of his thoughts; a quality by no means so rare among this class of men as may be supposed. In fact, I have had my suspicions that the sentiment in which American character is remarked to be so deficient, will be

found to have taken refuge chiefly among the wild and scattered population of our border regions.

Peter was full of anecdote, and ready, upon a hint, to speak; a cold night and a roaring wind seldom fail to bring to my mind the tales and descriptions of forest life wherewith he beguiled the long December evenings. I seem to see him now, with his iron-gray head, lank but sinewy frame, and eyes which continually surprised you, from their contrast with the weather-beaten, deeplydented brow which overhung them-so clear, and soft, and changeful were they.

One night, I remember, our talk turned upon ghosts and apparitions. There were only Peter and myself, besides the family, and the discourse, as such discourse usually does, embraced a variety of illustrative episodes. Mrs. Frost was a disbeliever-more than that, a scoffer at everything connected with the belief; the farmer smoked, and said little, but laconically observed that "there wus a good many things as he didn't purtend to account for-they mout be, and they mout not." The young fry, of course, sat erectus auribus, while I, who lean in temperament, if not in opinion, to the superstitious side of the question, incurred the utmost contempt of my hostess, whose respect for the "larnin” which she was pleased to attribute to me, was not a little diminished by the avowal of my credulity.

"Wal," said Peter Flint, who had not spoken for some time, taking his pipe out of his mouth, and rubbing his leg in the warmth of the huge red blaze which went roaring and crackling up the kitchen chimney, "I've heerd tell of ghosts and sperrits, and them critters, but I never set eyes on nary one on 'em myself. 'Tain't often you meet with a man as kin say he has-most generally it has been through two or three mouths afore it gits to ye. So I can't say but I hain't never felt to larf and carry on agin 'em, as some will, 'cause my experience has been of sich a natur as to certify me that there's more in 'em than folks are willin' to allow, anyhow."

"What's your experience, Peter?" "No great, as I told ye, but it's suthin' of a story, too. I never had no lot nor part in sich a thing but once, and I hope never to, agin; 'twarn't a

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