« 上一页继续 »
ture, detained the bridegroom from his home several years. On his return, he assumed the garb of an Hindoo mendicant, in order to see, whether his wife had been faithful to him or not, during his absence. Thus disguised, he calls at his house, and being admitted into the garden, beholds his wife lost to every pleasure, but that of weeping over the spikenard, which still flourished under her care.
IVI. If the poets have a natural bias for flowers and plants, the painters derive nearly an equal satisfaction from delineating them on canvas : gardens having been called the picture-gallery of Nature. In this department of art Van Huysen, Marcel of Frankfort, and Maria Sybilla Mariana of Nuremberg, were much celebrated. The fruit-pieces of Cortonese, too, had an exceedingly brilliant effect; both in respect to colouring and relief. And to such excellence did the Greeks arrive, that Philostratus, examining a floral picture, exclaimed, “ I do so much admire the dewiness of those roses, that I could almost say, their very scent was painted.”
The most distinguished painter of flower-pieces, among the Romans, was Pausias ; who became a proficient in his art in a singular manner. He was enamoured of a nosegay girl, named Glycera. This girl had an elegant method of dressing her chaplets. Pausias, to ingratiate himself with the fair chaplet weaver, exercised himself in painting the various chaplets that she made. It was Glycera's caprice, however, to vary her chaplets every
! This section is taken from my Amusements in Retirement, p. 254, 5. .
day, in order to exercise the patience of her lover. It afforded much amusement, says Pliny, to remark the skill of the painter, and the chaplets of Glycera, striving for superiority. At length Pausias became such a proficient in this department of painting, that he composed a picture of his mistress, weaving a chaplet, which was of such excellence, that Lucullus gave Dionysius of Athens two talents for a copy of it. This tale is happily introduced into the Hortorum? of Rapin.
To gardening succeeds the agreeable and patriotic art of planting. Homer describes Laertes amusing his sorrow for the absence of his son, in planting of trees; and Pliny enumerates many similar instances. Horace advises Varus to relieve his anxiety in private, and his solicitude in public, by planting of vines : and Virgil has admirably celebrated this art in his Second Georgic. Scipio planted olive-trees. Plutarch says, that the people of Liternum regarded with superstitious reverence several olives, which that statesman had planted ; and also a myrtle of extraordinary beauty. Hannibal was not insensible to these benefits and pleasures. He employed his
Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxv.c. 10.—xxi. 2.—Two flower-pieces by Van Huysen, in the Houghton Collection, were valued to the Empress of Russia at twelve hundred pounds.
* Sic quondam factus Glyceræ de munere pictor Pausiades, &c. &c. &c.
soldiers in planting olive-trees in Africa; and Probus, following his example, engaged the leisure of his army in planting vineyards in Mysia and Pannonia. It was Probus also, who planted vineyards in Gaul, after they had been entirely rooted out by Domitian, in order that they might not tempt the invasion of barbarians. The name of Probus is unknown in that country, except to the learned ; and yet no one ought to witness the grapes, embellishing the cottages of Burgundy, without blessing his memory.
A curious book might be written on the emigration of plants. That traveller esteemed himself happy, who first carried into Palestine the rose of Jericho from the plains of Arabia ; and many of the Roman nobility were gratified, in a high degree, with having transplanted exotic trees into the woods and orchards of Italy. Pompey introduced the ebony and the balm of Gilead, on the day of his triumph over Mithridates ?. Lucullus transplanted the Pontian cherry; and Vespasian the balm of Syria. Auger de Busbeck brought the lilac from Constantinople; and Castro 2 introduced the orange into Portugal; of which he was more vain than of all his victories. The emperor Bauber planted the first cherry, and the first sugar-cane in Caubul; and Demidofintroduced many exotic fruit-trees into the environs of Moscow.
II. Governor Adrian Vauder Stell * introduced the camphor-tree and many other plants into the neighbourhood of the Cape; and Father Juan de Ugarte introduced almost every description of fruit growing in New Spain, into California": also wheat, maize, melons, and all sorts of esculents. Mons. Martin exerted himself in augmenting the plantations of spices at Cayenne. In the year 1797-8, he planted more than a thousand cloves; fifteen hundred pepper-trees; eighteen hundred cinnamon-trees; and several nutmegs. In the following year he more than doubled these; and began a plantation of vanilla, an odoriferous plant, the fruit of which is used in the composition of chocolate. He also planted a bread-fruit-tree. As instances of the quickness of vegetation in the latitude of that island, it may be noticed, that a durvia grows sometimes sixteen feet, and a caoutchouc twenty feet in one year!
Pliny, Nat. Hist. xii. c. 4. ? Dissert. on Portuguese Asia, p. clxy. • Pallas' Travels in the Southern Provinces of Russia, vol. i. p. 8.
* Paterson's Travels into Africa, 4to. p. 7.
It is probable, that there never was a tree planted, or transplanted by the hand of man, in Britain, till the Romans planted the chestnut. That vineyards formerly existed in this country is evident from many passages in old records; and it is not improbable, that the vine might have been brought from France, previous to the reign of William the Norman. For the Normans called the Isle of Ely, Isle de Vignes; and William of Malmsbury asserts, that in the twelfth century the vale of Gloucester was, in a great measure, covered with vineyards. It has been, however, supposed that those vineyards might have been orchards; and the wine produced from them perry and cider. Yet it seems improbable, that the same term should have been applied to both ; unless a vineyard meant a collection of fruit-trees; as a garden implies a collection of herbs and vegetables.
The greatest planter, ever known in Scotland, was the Miguel Venegas, Natural and Civil History of California, i. 47. Ed. 1758. late James Duff, Earl of Fife. He devoted many of the most valuable hours of a long life to the indulgence of this useful passion; and the result was, that he planted upwards of fourteen thousand acres of land. The Earl of Breadalbane and the Duke of Athol, also, planted each 60,000,000 of trees, Pope's Lord Bathurst, too, indulged the same amusement. He planted a vast number of trees: and though he began at forty, he had the pleasure of riding, walking, and sitting, under the shades, he had himself planted. He lived to the age of ninety-two. The late Lord Gardenstone was, also, a great planter: and many trees of his rearing embellish the village, which he formed at Laurencekirk, in the county of Kincardine. “ I have tried a variety of pleasures, which mankind pursue,” said his lordship; “ but have never relished any of them so much, as the enjoyment arising from the progress of this village.” Pallas 1 records a similar instance in General Beketoff, who formed a village on the Wolga, to which he gave the name of Otrada, or “ Recreation.” Mihr Narsi?, chief vizer to Bahram, a Sassanian monarch, founded four villages : in each of which he made a large garden, all of which he annexed to the firetemples as religious endowments; and planted in them two thousand cypress-trees; a thousand olives; and a thousand palms.