« 上一页继续 »
The motto chosen for the title page of this little volume, will best explain the nature and plan of it, and therefore the readers are spared the infliction of a long elucidatory preface, which it is quite likely that they would not take the trouble to read. Apologies for putting forth a work on a similar subject to so many beautiful volumes as have, during the last few years, issued from the press, the Editor does not conceive to be necessary, because he feels assured that the taste for flowers, and for the poetical associations connected therewith, widely as it has been extended and diffused among all classes, by these various publications, is still a growing and increasing one, and that there is yet room for many more works, both original and collected, upon this most imaginative and delightful of all subjects. Some of the volumes already published, indeed, the major part of them, are much too expensive to be purchased by other than the higher ranks of
society, and the Editor, in availing himself of the present mode-at once cheap and elegant-of giving his collection of floral gems to the public, does so with peculiar satisfaction, because he hopes and believes that it will become, to a certain extent, a "people's book;" and tend, in a measure, to elevate and refine, while it entertains and delights, the minds of some whose lot is cast amid toils, and cares, and heavy duties; some of the labouring population, whose improvement, both moral and physical, he so ardently desires. He sees not why the humble parlour, and the cottage hearth, should not have its "Book of Flowers," as well as the boudoir and the drawing room; nor why the toiling mechanic, and industrious artisan, should be debarred from perusing what our sweetest and greatest poets have written, and sung, and said, of nature's most beautiful productions,-productions, moreover, which are common to all; and which are the more enjoyed, and the better appreciated, as proofs of Divine Power and manifestations of Divine Goodness, the more the mind becomes cultivated and the imagination refined :
"For not alone to please the sense of smell,
Or charm the sight, are flowers to mankind given;
A thousand sanctities do them invest,
And bright associations hallow them!
Which to the cultivated intellect
May give delight, and all the heart improve."
The Editor has chosen out the quotations which enrich this volume from a vast accumulation of floral poetry, the transcription of which has pleasantly employed his leisure time for many years past; the work was, and is, to him truly," a labour of love;" and he trusts that any errors of taste and judgment, which a learned and critical reader may detect in the selection now given to the public, and the observations with which they are connected, will be pardoned for the sake of the enthusiastic devotion which has prompted him to give so much attention to the subject. Many poems, which he would fain have included, want of space has obliged him to omit, and the several chapters are much less comprehensive than he could have wished, but he consoles himself with the hope of meeting his readers again, and yet again, and having much pleasant gossip with them upon Flowers and other kindred subjects. For his own "idle rhymes," of which he has, perhaps, in the following pages given more than a sufficiency, he can only offer this excuse, -the temptation to perpetrate them was in many cases too strong to be resisted, and so, he wrote because he was "i' the vein." All rhymesters are egotists, and he is free to confess that this is one of the sins that does most easily and irresistibly "beset " him.
In conclusion, the Editor commends his volume to the public, and suggests to those who would purchase