Old Fashioned Flowers: And Other Out-of-door Studies

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Dodd, Mead, 1905 - Flowers - 105 pages
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Page 9 - THAT is why I love above all the simplest, the commonest, the oldest and the most antiquated ; those which have a long human past behind them, a large array of kind and consoling actions ; those which have lived with us for hundreds of years and which form part of ourselves, since they reflect something of their grace and their joy of life in the soul of our ancestors.
Page 97 - The lover of flowers has a garden in the suburbs, where he spends all his time from sunrise till sunset. You see him standing there, and would think he had taken root in the midst of his tulips before his " Solitaire " : he opens his eyes wide, rubs his hands, stoops down and looks closer at it; it never before seemed to him so handsome; he is in an ecstasy of joy, and leaves it to go to the
Page 98 - ... but God and nature are not in his thoughts, for they do not go beyond the bulb of his tulip, which he would not sell for a thousand crowns, though he will give it to you for nothing when tulips are no longer in fashion and carnations are all the rage. This rational being, who has a soul and professes some religion, comes home tired and half starved, but very pleased with his day's work: he has seen some tulips.
Page 34 - Versailles, could have shown us only what is shown to-day by the poorest village. Alone, the Violet, the Garden Daisy, the Lily of the Valley, the Marigold, the Poppy, a few Crocuses, a few Irises, a few Colchicums, the Foxglove, the Valerian, the Larkspur, the Cornflower, the Clove, the Forget-me-not, the Gilly-flower, the Mallow, the Rose, still almost a Sweetbriar, and the great silver Lily...
Page 3 - THIS morning, when I went to look at my flowers, surrounded by their white fence, which protects them against the good cattle grazing in the field beyond, I saw again in my mind all that blossoms in the woods, the fields, the gardens, the orangeries, and the greenhouses, and I thought of all that we owe to the world of marvels which the bees visit. Can we conceive what humanity would be if it did not know the flowers ? If these did not exist, if they had all been hidden from our gaze, as are probably...
Page 35 - Lily, the spontaneous finery of our woods and of our snowfrightened, wind-frightened fields: these alone smiled upon our forefathers, who, for that matter, were unaware of their poverty. Man had not yet learnt to look around him, to enjoy the life of nature. Then came the Renascence, the great voyages, the discovery and invasion of the sunlight. All the flowers of the world, the successful efforts, the deep, inmost beauties, the joyful thoughts and wishes of the planet rose up to us, borne on a shaft...
Page 18 - Camomile, like a nosegay of snow, beside her unwearying brothers, the Garden Chrysanthemums, whom we must not confuse with the Japanese Chrysanthemums of autumn. The Annual Helianthus, or Sunflower, towers like a priest raising the monstrance over the lesser folk in prayer and strives to resemble the luminary which he adores. The Poppy exerts himself to fill with light his cup torn by the morning wind. The rough Larkspur, in his peasant's blouse, who thinks himself more beautiful than the sky, looks...
Page 90 - ... villages; compare with them these enormous masses and fleeces of snow, these disks and globes of red copper, these spheres, of old silver, these trophies of alabaster and amethyst, this delirious prodigy of petals which seems to be trying to exhaust to its last riddle the world of autumnal shapes and shades which the winter entrusts to the bosom of the sleeping woods; let the unwonted and unexpected varieties pass before your eyes; admire and appraise them. Here, for instance, is the marvellous...
Page 102 - There is nothing that is puerile in nature ; and he who becomes impassioned of a flower, a blade of grass, a butterfly's wing, a nest, a shell, wraps his passion around a small thing that always contains a great truth. To succeed in modifying the appearance of a flower is insignificant in itself, if you will; but reflect upon it for however short a while, and it becomes gigantic.
Page 32 - Ageratum, or Coelestinum, now so plentiful and so popular, is not two centuries old. The Helichrysum, or Everlasting, is even younger. The Zinnia is exactly a centenarian. The Spanish Bean, a native of South America, and the Sweet Pea, an immigrant from Sicily, number a little over two hundred years. The Anthemis, whom we find in the least-known villages, has been cultivated only since 1699. The charming blue Lobelia of our borders came to us from the Cape of Good Hope at the time of the French Revolution....

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