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to Zoroaster, the stem of this flower was free from thorns until the entrance of Ahrimanus (the Evil one) into the world; the universal spirit of evil, according to their, as well as the Mosaic account, affecting not only man but also the inferior animals, and even the very trees and plants. The same writer states "that every flower is appropriated to a particular angel, and that the hundred-leaved rose (Rosa centifolia) is consecrated to an archangel of the highest order." The oriental writers also represent the nightingale as sighing for the love of the rose. In a curious fragment by the Persian Poet Attar, entitled "Bulbul Nameh," the Book of the Nightingale, all the birds appear before Solomon and charge the nightingale with disturbing their rest, by the broken and plaintive strains which he warbles forth all the night, in a sort of frenzy and intoxication. The nightingale is summoned, questioned, and acquitted by the wise king; because the bird assures him that his vehement love for the rose drives him to distraction, and causes him to break forth into those passionate and touching complaints which are laid to his charge. The same work also mentions that the Persians assert, that "the nightingale, in spring, flutters around the rose-bushes, uttering incessant complaints, till, overpowered by the strong scent, he drops stupified on the ground." The Persian fire-worshippers believe that Abraham was thrown into the fire by Nimrod, when the flame turned into a bed of roses. According to Hindoo mythology, Pagoda Firi, one of the wives of Vishnu, was found in a rose.

The Turks, matter-of-fact as they are, have also seen something marvellous in the beautiful and vivid tints of the rose. But their imagination, less glowing than that of the Greeks, furnished them with an idea more singular than pleasing. They suppose that the rose owed its origin to the perspiration which fell from Mahomet; for which reason they never tread upon a rose-leaf, nor suffer one to lie upon the ground. They also sculpture a rose on the tomb-stone of a female who dies unmarried.

The early Roman Catholics have made the rose the subject of various miraculous events; one of which is attributed to the canonised Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary. Montalembert relates that Elizabeth loved to carry to the



poor not only money, but even food and other things which she had provided for them. She went thus loaded, and on foot, by the steep and hidden paths which led from the château to the cottages in the neighbouring valley. One day, when, accompanied by her favourite maid, she was descending by a rough and scarcely visible path, carrying under her cloak some bread, meat, eggs, and other food for distribution, she was suddenly met by her husband, who was on his return from the chase. Astonished to see her thus bending under the weight of her burden, he said to her, "Let me see what you are carrying." At the same time he threw open the cloak, which she held, with terror to her breast, but found, says the legend, nothing save white and red roses, the most beautiful he had ever seen.

The 66

Biographie Universelle," states that Clemence Isaure, a French lady, who lived in the latter part of the fifteenth century, bequeathed to the Academy of Toulouse a large income, exclusively for the celebration of floral games, and the distribution of five prizes for as many poems. The prizes consisted of an amaranth and rose of gold, and of a violet, marigold, and lily, of silver. The will also required that every three years, on the day of the commencement of the floral games, the members of the Academy should scatter flowers upon her tomb. Ronsard, the French poet, having gained the first prize in the floral games, received, in lieu of the accustomed rose, a silver image of Minerva. Mary, Queen of Scots, was so much delighted with Ronsard's beautiful poetry on the rose, that she sent him a magnificent rose of silver, valued at 5007., with this inscription,-" À Ronsard, l'Appollon de la source des Muses."

The Romans carried the luxurious use of the rose to its height by covering the couches of their guests, and the tables used for banquets with these flowers; while some emperors went so far as to scatter them in the halls of their palaces. They were, at one time, brought from Egypt to Rome, at a season of the year when Italy could not produce them; but afterwards, in order to render these luxuries more easily attainable during the winter, the Roman gardeners found means of producing, in greenhouses warmed by pipes filled with hot water, an artificial temperature which kept roses and lilies constantly in bloom.

Seneca declaimed against these improvements; but without being discouraged by the philosopher, the Romans carried their green-houses to such perfection, that in the reign of Domitian, when the Egyptians thought to pay him a splendid compliment by sending him, in honour of his birth-day, roses at mid-winter, their present excited ridicule, so abundant had winter roses then become.

The gallants of Rome were in the habit of presenting their favourite damsels with the first roses that appeared in spring; and "Mea rosa" was an affectionate expression they often used to their betrothed. We frequently find in old Latin authors an entire abandonment to pleasure and excessive luxury described by such expressions as, living in roses, sleeping on roses, &c. (vivere in rosâ, dormire in rosa).

Seneca speaks of Smyndiride, the most wealthy and voluptuous of the Sybarites, who could not sleep if one of the rose-petals, with which his bed was spread, happened to be curled.

Cicero, in his celebrated speech against Verres, reproached him not only with the outrages, robberies, and cruelties which he had committed whilst he was governor of Sicily, but with his effeminacy and licentiousness. "When spring commenced," said the Roman orator, "that season was not announced to him by the return of Zephyr, nor by the appearance of any heavenly sign; it was not till he had seen the roses blown, that spring was visible to his voluptuous eye.' In the voyages which he made across the province, he was accustomed, after the example of the kings of Bithynia, to be carried in a litter, borne by eight men, in which he reposed on soft cushions filled with roses of Malta, having in his hand a net of fine linen, full of these flowers, whose fragrance he inhaled.


When Cleopatra went into Cilicia to meet Marc Antony, she gave him a succession of festivals, in which she displayed a truly royal magnificence. On the fourth day, the queen carried her sumptuousness so far as to pay a talent for a quantity of roses, with which she caused the floor of the hall to be covered to the depth of eighteen inches. But the greatest profusion of roses mentioned in

* Cicero against Verres, Bohn's Edit.


ancient history, and which seems scarcely credible, is that which Suetonius attributes to Nero. The author says, that at a fête which the emperor gave at Baiæ, the expense incurred for roses alone was more than four millions of sesterces-about 20,0001.


Among the ancients, the rose was conspicuous in all sacred ceremonies, and in public and private fêtes. The Greeks and the Romans surrounded the statues of Venus, of Hebe, and of Flora, with garlands of roses. At Baiæ, when fêtes were given upon the water, the whole surface of the lake of Lucina appeared covered with roses.

The custom of encircling the head, of surrounding the neck, and also the breast, with crowns and garlands of roses, on different occasions, and particularly during the last days of a gay festival, when, after the solid dishes, they passed to the dessert and the rare wines, is recorded by many of the ancient poets. And it is well authenticated that, among medical men of antiquity, endeavours were made to determine what kinds of flowers were suitable to place in crowns without detriment to health; and according to their report the parsley, the ivy, the myrtle, and the rose, possessed peculiar virtues for dissipating the fumes of wine.

In the times of chivalry, the rose was a frequent emblem on the helmets or shields of knights, implying that sweetness should always be the companion of courage, and that beauty was the only prize worthy of valour. It was not, however, always taken for such emblems, but was once the signal for bloodshed in a desolating civil war, which raged in England, for more than thirty years, under the banners of the "white or red rose," the respective insignia of the Houses of York and Lancaster.

There exists a beautiful custom in the valley of Engadine, in Switzerland. If a man, accused of a crime, is able to justify himself, the day on which he is liberated from prison a young and beautiful girl presents him with a white rose, called the Rose of Innocence.

The rose however has also, strange to say, been used as a sign of disgrace and dishonour. A synod, held at Nismes, about 1284, ordered the Jews to wear on their breast a rose, to distinguish them from Christians, in order that they might not receive the same attentions; and, at one time, in

certain German provinces, a crown of red roses was the punishment of immorality.

About the year 1631 a very curious book on the rose was published by a German, named Rosenberg. About two hundred and fifty octavo pages are devoted entirely to the praise of its curative properties, in almost every known disease, making, in fact, the flower an universal panacea. The author also claims for it supernatural qualities, particularly in driving away evil spirits. The work closes by asserting, as a positive fact, supported by several authorities, the regeneration or resurrection of the rose. He gives also the process of the reproduction, which, like the story of the Phoenix, is a fable, engendered by ignorance. It is somewhat surprising that this fable should have been gravely reproduced in a French work on the rose, published in 1800. The author states that, "notwithstanding the many marvellous things which we already know respecting the improving, forcing, changing, and multiplying of roses, we have yet to describe the most surprising of all, that of its regeneration; or, in other words, the manner of reproducing that flower from its own ashes. This is called the imperial secret, because the Emperor Ferdinand III. purchased it of a foreign chemist, at a very high price."

The rose is not only the most beautiful and the most fragrant of flowers, but is also one of the most universal; it is found in almost every part of the globe, as if God, who is so affluent in blessing, had scattered it broad-cast over the earth for universal delight. "It is found in North America," says Mrs. Gore, "where, in the glaciers of the most northerly provinces, the Rosa blanda unfolds its bright pink corolla, always solitary on the stem, immediately on the melting of the snow. Within the Polar circle, on the shores of the Hudson, is found the Rosa rapa, covered during spring with pale double flowers. Newfoundland and Labrador possess their two species of rose, each of which bears deep red flowers. The Esquimaux decorate their hair and the reindeer and seal-skins in which they are clothed, with these beautiful blossoms. Bright clusters of the Rosa lucida rise above the reeds and rushes which spring on the marshes of Carolina: the Rosa Woodsii grows on the banks of the Missouri, and in the adjoining marshes

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