Imágenes de páginas



equally with my neighbor. The other puU power actually into the hands of tjiose who are worthy to wield it; demands reverence for those who are entitled to its tribute.

This is a broad but not a fanciful generalization. It merely says that, while men are alike men, and not mere puppets or slaves, some men are better fitted to stand at the helm of affairs, in village or nation, than are others. Why should they not then stand there on the basis of their own merits? Yet social authority belongs to none as an independent possession. It is a delegated, representative trust, formally or informally; the concentrating into certain hands of influence which belongs fractionally to many. They may not alienate that right. They must use it. It is theirs indefeasibly. But their selected agents of its combination and distribution should be the comparative few, whom an adequate discipline and culture have ordained to the leadership of their fellows. Thus balanced, society might hope for stability and repose.

I have already disclaimed any special reference to the misbestowment, in this quarter or thai, of civil or political trusts. Yet it would be a mere affectation to ignore this illustration, among others, of our theme. If it thrusts itself upon our notice, because these official misplacements are Bo common, this proves a prior, deeper disturbance in our civilization. I am endeavoring to trace that malformation beneath us, of which this particular fact is but an outcrop. The ledges of rock which cap our mountains tell us the strata of the surrounding country. Observe these elementary facts—the individual influence of the membeis of a community will centre in certain points. Everybody does not, and cannotj equally give direction to social sentiment and custom. Yet this direction exists only by the general sanction. That is the creature of this, though in turn the creature may become the master of its creator. Take the characteristic aspects of American society; etudy them closely: then ask why they happen to be thus moulded. Self-reliant as we are, we too follow leaders, in this affair and that, of fashion, taste, opinion, habit; and the sum total of these following* gives us that very singular, not to say unprecedented, compound which constitutes our Rationality. But who appoints us our leaders in matters small and large I Are they not of our own selection, whether the question be the shape of a coat, or the furnishing and expenditure of a "Fifth Avenue" palace I We pride ourselves on obeying no legislators save of our own choosing. Then

must we accept the result as virtually of our own manufacture. If we are vitiated, led off into general folly, into absurd and ruinous courses, by unworthy guides, we must blame ourselves, for we wear no yoke save that which we fasten upon our own neck. We each have the prerogative of saying what we will copy, what we will uphold, and what we will not. And it sensible people would but use their sense and assert its individual authority in giving form to society and outgrowth to life, many a nuisance would be dismounted which now rides dominantly over our understandings and comfort, many a good idea would have an opportunity to come forth from its obscurity to receive the honors of a public benefactor. We will look a little more minutely into the details of this matter as transpiring under the eye of even not very attentive observers.

[TO be oosn>tniD.J


FACTS AND FANCIES FOR AN EV£NINli IN JUNK. "La Rosa e una liclla cosa."—Taboo.


Tub rose excels in loveliness all the gorgeous sisterhood of "blossoms beautiful," and is most appropriately styled "La Heine des Fieurs." The iris dazzles the beholder by its brilliant lints; the violet, from its humble bed, exhales delicious perfume; and the lily charms us by the pearly whiteness of its fairy-woven corol: but the rose, in its resplendent beauty, seems to be invested with the varied, the united excellences of them all.

Nothing can surpass in loveliness the coloring of the Rose; varying in the different species,

•• Like the changeful hue on maiden's cheek,"

| from pearly dazzling whiteness through every shade and tint of red, into the deep and glowing crimson blush.

No wonder Horace cries—beholding it—

"qui color est punicete, fiore prior rota? I"

In form, its stem, and leaves, and petals are as delicate and graceful as the "curved line of Beauty ;" aad its perfume is like the "ambrosial dew" with which the gods regaled themselves at famed Olympus. <*

Dull indeed would be our garden-walks bereft of roses: cheerless and desolate our dwelling

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][graphic]


did not roses bloom around them, reviving the spirit by their grateful odor, and gladdening the sight by their unobtrusive loveliness.

Bat, aside from its rare and passing beauty, the rose presents itself to us associated with every thing pure and lovely in existence. It is the emblem of blooming youth and innocence; end all that there is of fair, or chaste, or exocllent, or sweet on earth, is likened to the rose.

This floweV^s wedded to immortal verse; it is embalmed in the poetry of every nation that has lived; it is, indeed, in itself a page of living poetry, spoken by the angels.

Open the works of the descriptive poets anywhere, and we shall quickly find some sweet allusion to the rose. Anacreon is most eloquent in its praise. He styles it the "breath of the gods;" the "enchantment of mortals;" and the "ornament of the Graces."

"How sweet," he says, "it is to him who plucks it to cherish in his bosom, who lightly raises to his lip this flower of Love—what can be without the rose I"

The ensuing lines of this old Greek minstrel, happily translated by Moore, are as beautiful as any thing in all antiquity:

"Rose I thou art the sweetest flower
That ever drank the amber shower.
Rose! thoa art the fondest child
Of dimpled Spring, the wood-nymph wild!
Resplendent Rose I the flower of flowers,
Whose breath perfumes Olympus' bowers,
Whose virgin blush of chastened dye
So much enchants our mental eye;
Olt has the poet's magic tongue

.The Rose's fair luxuriance sung," &c.

The elegant and refined Sappho, in one of her charming odes, thus glowingly addresses "the dew-bespangled rose:"

"Sweetest child of dewy morning 1
Gem I the breast of earth adorning;
Eye of flowerets, glow of lawns;
Bud of beauty, nursed by dawns."

[ocr errors]

any thing agreeable was spoken ; the Greeks, the usual reply was, " Rhoda M' Eiajskas:"' "You speak to me roses;" and the French have adopted this mode of expression in their "dire les fleurettes.'' •

The petals of the rose were used by the Greeks in embalming their dead, and were also strewn over the graves of those that were buried in the earth. The Albanians of modern Greeee still observe this custom.

Because of its superior beauty, the rose was dedicated to the Cytherean Venus. It is said to

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

In "Bonny Doon" Burns tells a tale more sadly true, more truly sad than that:

"Wi' lightsome heart I pu'd a rose
Fu7 sweet upon its thorny tree;
But my fause Jover stole my rose,
And, ah I he left the thorn wi' me."

It was taught by the "bon vivanta" among the Latins that roses were an antidote to excess in feasting, and hence Horace exclaims, in one of his odes,

"Neu desint epulis rosar."
("Let not the rose be wanting at the feast.")

The Roman city, Paatum, has ever been greatly celebrated for the splendor of its roses, which bloomed in the months of May and September. Virgil speaks, in his "Georgics," of the

"biferique rosaria Pmsu."

(" The rosebuds of the double-bearing Prestum.")

Its splendid mansions are now in ruins, but tie rose still blooms there, fresh and free as in the days of Maro.

The rose, as it is generally supposed, was introduced into Italy from Persia, where it still appears in its greatest perfection, and is almost worshipped by the poetic inhabitants of that voluptuous country. The rose tree of Cashmere attains the height of thirty feet; and oriental travellers are enthusiastic in speaking of the brilliancy of its blossoms.

Moore gives us a glowing description, in Lalla Rookh, of the "Feast of Roses" held at this place during the time these flowers are in bloom. He represents it as a scene of the most luxuriant splendor and gayety, in which all the "beauty" of the kingdom is assembled to gather roses, sing, and dance, and love.

The nightingale, so common in that delightful clime, is thought to prefer the rose to every other flower; and Jarni, a Persian poet, says:. "Youmay place a hundred handfule of fragrant herbs.

[blocks in formation]

and flowers before the nighting»le, yet he wishes not i n his constant heart for more than the sweet wreath of his own beloved rose."

Moore has most sweetly alluded to these two delightful "playthings of the muse" in that most musical song,

"There's a bower of roses by Bendemeer's stream,
And the nightingale sings round it all the day long;
In the time of my childhood, 'twas like a sweet dream
To sit in the roses and hear the bird's song."

Almost infinite are the allusions of the English, French, and Italian poets, in their illustrations of the fair, the fleeting, and the beautiful, to the rose.

Burns, in a rapturous description of his "bonnie lassie, says:

"Her lipe are roses wet wi' dew j"

and in another song, which Scott calls " beautifully sweet," he cries:

"Oh that my luve were yon red rose
That blooms abune the castle wa';
And I my8el' a drop o' dew
Into her bonnie breast to fa' 1"

Browne, describing his mistress in grief, says, in a splendid comparison:

"A stream of tears upon her fair cheek flows
As morning-dews upon the dnmask-rose," etc.

Shakspeare, in Richard III., after the murder of the two infant princes in the Tower, by Sir John Tyrrel, says:

"Their lips were four red roses on a stalk,

Which in their summer beauty kissed each other."

Woman's heart, one poet says, is like the fair and opening rose that

"Blushes to the morning sun;" and warm and passionate love a

"Red, red rose, without the thorn."

The Hon. R. H. Wilde, in a charming little effusion, which first appeared in Greek, makes the rose the emblem of human life.

"My life is like the summer rose

That opens to the morning sky;
And ere the shades of evening close,

Is scattered on the ground to die:
Yet on that rose's humble bed
The softest dews of night are shed.
As if she wept such waste to see—
But none shall drop a tear for me," etc.

Blooming beauty, not irradiated by sense or .wit, has been compared by a certain facetious lady-poet to a "lapful of clustering roses without stems."

The Italians have ever been excessively devoted to the cultivation of the rose; and some of our finest varieties, as the Double Levantine and the like, have been imported from that lovely clime.

Tasso often speaks of the "rose impearled in morning dew;" and he somewhere says that "all Italy is now what Palatum was, a bed of vinee and roses."

The rose is a term of endearment among this fanciful people; and many of their prettiest names are derived from it, as "Rosa," "Rose," "Rosette," a little Rose; "Rosabella," a fair Rose: "Rosina," "Roaalin," "Roseana," etc.: "Rhode," meaning Roses, is from the Greek.

The rural custom of crowning young beauty with chaplets and garlands of roses, at fetes and festivals, is of very ancient origin, and is sanctioned by the authority of Solomon, who, if we may credit the Apocrypha, said to his people, on a glad occasion,

"Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before Ihey are withered.—Wo. ii. 8.

The rose is now used with us on all occasions, whether gladsome or gay, or sober or sad. It is twined around the glossy ringlets of the blooming bride at the marriage festival; it decorates the lofty mansion and the lowly cottage; it is strown around the silent dwelling of the dead.

Gentle reader I as you behold the roses of June blushing around you, and cherish in your soul the sweet memories and associations which they bring, lift up your heart in grateful adoration to that glorious God who spreads with liberal hand this beauty at your feet, and who in love also presents to you the "Rose Of Sharon" for a decoration, whose resplendence and whose glory fadeth never I

The Simple Look To Cdrist.—"Why," asks the illustrious Vinet, "cannot we accustom your eyes andourown to that simple looking towards Jesus which has been the strength and unction of believers in all sgesi Why cannot we imprint on your souls and on our own the salutary impression, that all the trials, perplexities, and difficulties of the Christian life vanish away in this blessed unity of the Christian look I"

Franklin says, "A poor man must work to find meat for his stomach; a rich one, to find stomach for his meat"

« AnteriorContinuar »