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The Rocket (eruca sativa) is used in salad in Italy, though its smell is disagreeable, like rancid bacon ; and in Holland the yellow stone-crop is eaten with lettuce.
The garden CRESS was thought by the ancients to make those who ate it strong and brave; wherefore it was much used by gladiators.
The MUSTARD, which is the companion of the cress in salad, is the sinapis alba; the berb that produces the flour of mustard is the sinapis nigra, whose present name is derived from the French word moutarde, and that is a corruption from a motto. Pbilip II., Duke of Burgundy (who acquired the surname of le Hardi, or the Bold, at the battle of Poictiers, when he was but sixteen), granted armorial bearings (or an augmentation) to the city of Dijon, the capital of his duchy, and added, as a motto, the old French words, “ Moult me tarde;" “ It seems long to me;" or, “I long much;" signifying his regret at his absence from Dijon while he was Regent of France, during the insanity of Charles VI., his Dephew. The mustard (or sinapis) of Dijon and its environs being in much repute, the dealers in that article stamped the motto of their city on the pots in which it was sold. In time the middle word me, either for brevity, or originally, perhaps, by accident, was omitted, and the inscription ran, "moult tarde;" then the words joined together were used to express the name of the article, as moutarde ; and hence the English mustard. Philip returned to his beloved Dijon to rest. On his death, 1404, he was buried there, in the Chartreuse which he had founded.
The death of the Emperor Claudius was occasioned by a strongly poisoned ragout of MUSHROOMS, served to him by his wife, Agrippina. The mushrooms used for this wicked purpose were of the species agaricus cæsareus, or imperial mushroom. Nero, in his exaltation at succeeding to the Roman empire, by the destruction of Claudius, called these mushrooms “the ragout of the gods,” in allusion to the absurd fiction of the deceased emperor being elevated to the rank of a divinity by his apotheosis.
Mushrooms bear a conspicuous part in mediæval mythology, from their connexion with the fairies, these most beautiful of all the creations of the poetic fancy, that have faded away before the “ march of intellect," like the
morning stars paling and disappearing before the sun. The large flat mushrooms served them for tables in their merry feasts, and the smaller and rounder for stools; and in the circles that marked where they had danced their graceful rounds, the fairy-ring mushroom (agaricus oreades, or pratensis) sprang up. The sudden growth of this fungus in such regular circles seemed unaccountable to our ancestors, save by the agency of supernatural beings.
The ancient TRUFFLE was the wild red truffle of Italy ; but the Romans also got the white truffle, called the Lybian, from Africa. Pliny believed truffles to be a mere excrescence of the earth, and related an anecdote of a Carthaginian governor who found a coin in the centre of one; but, doubtless, the fungus grew over the coin, and thus enclosed it. In Athens (after the people had become corrupted by luxury) the freedom of citizens was given to the children of one Cherips, because their father had invented a new ragout of truffles. As these fungi never appeared over ground, it would not be possible to discover them but for their strong odour, which is particularly powerful just before thunder, when the air is filled with moisture, from which circumstance the country people, in some places, call them “thunder-roots."
The garden ANGELICA was formerly blanched and eaten as celery, raw or stewed, but is now solely appropriated to the candy of the confectioner. Its name is derived from the many excellent qualities with which its thick brown root (white within) and its seeds, succeeding the pale purple umbels, were supposed to be endowed, as antidotes to poison, pestilence, ague, pleurisy, and a long list of et cetera, now we believe obsolete. It is, how. ever, still highly esteemed in Norway, where bread is sometimes made from the powder of its dried roots. In Lapland, the poets crown themselves with garlands of its leaves and flowers, and fancy they receive inspiration from its odour.
Having now exhausted our reminis. censes regarding the larger and more important vegetables which furnish, in themselves, good and pleasant food for man, we will pass on to the lesser herbs, that are only used as seasonings and accompaniments to his repasts.
PARSLEY, in the minds of tho ancient
Greeks, was associated with a tragical mourners; and at first, none but milievent. When the army of Adrastus, tary men were admitted to contend at king of Argos, was proceeding to be them, because the institution originated siege Thebes, one day, when passing with soldiers : hence parsley was rethrough Nemea,* the troops suffered garded as funereal, and strewed on much from thirst, the springs baving graves. The saying, “ He has need been dried up by the heat of the wea- of parsley," signified a person at the ther. They met with a nurse carrying point of death; and a present of parsArchemorus (also called Opheltes), the ley implied a wish for the death of the infant son of Lycurgus, the king of the person to whom it was given. Parsley country, and begged her to show them being accounted sacred, was given by where they could find water. She the Corinthians, as the crown of the readily consented, and laying down victor in the Isthmian games; the the child upon the grass, that she prize was originally a garland of pine might walk the faster, she brought branches, and after some time it was them to the fountain of Langia ; and restored, replacing the parsley crown, while they were drinking from it, she which, in the Isthmian games, was of related to the leader her own melan the herb withered, but in the Nemean, choly story. She was the celebrated fresh and green. Hypsipyle, daughter of Thoas, king Plutarch relates, that Timoleon, at of Lemnos, and had saved her father's the head of the Corinthian troops, aslife when the Lemnian women, bycending a hill, from the top of which cominon consent, murdered all the men the enemy's camp could be discovered, in the island, during one night, from met some mules laden with parsley, jealousy of their preference of the which the soldiers took as a sinister female slaves. Ilypsipyle, pretend omen, because the herb was funereal. ing she had slain Thoas (whom she But Timoleon, in order to restore their sent privately to Chios), was chosen spirits, told them that it was, on the queen of Lemnos. But the truth contrary, a favourable angury, probeing discovered after some time, phetic of triumph, as the crowns of the Lemnian women drove her into the victors in the Isthmian games exile. Being taken by pirates in her were of parsley. He then took some wanderings, she was sold to Lycur of the herb and crowned himself with gus, and from a queen fell to the it; and all his soldiers cheerfully folstation of a slave—a sad but not un lowed his example. common reverse in those fierce and It is said that parsley, rubbed upon turbulent ages. After receiving the a glass goblet, will break it; we own thanks and the commiseration of the we have never made the experiment. Argives, Ilypsipyle returned for her Parsley is a native of Sardinia, and young charge, and to her horror found came to us about 1548. In Sardinia, him expiring from the bite of a ser- grows a plant of the ranunculus species, pent that had coiled itself round him. there called wild parsley, which, when The Argives slew the reptile; and in eaten, causes that involuntary conyul. memory of the ill-fated young prince, sive grin, termed the sardonic laugh, instituted the Nemean funereal games, from the Sardinian berb. to be observed every third year. The On account of the united military victor received a crown of parsley, that and funereal recollections associated herb being fabled to have sprung from with the parsley, we shall accompany the bluod of Archemorus. The judges it with an appropriate translation from of the games were attired in black as the Greek Anthology
ON AN EAGLE STANDING ON THE TOMB OF A YOUNG WARRIOR,
FROM THE GREEK OF ANTIPATER.
* In the Peloponnesus,
esteemed by the Romans, that it was used to crown the victors in the arena ; and was eaten by the Athletæ, in the belief that it increased their strength. According to Elian, the serpent cleanses the films off' his eyes by eating wild fennel. Culpepper tells us that fennel is boiled with fish “ to consume the phlegmatic humour which fish most plentifully afford;" he also commends it as tending to improve the pallidness of the face after illness.
MARJORUM was the subject of mythological transformation. Amaracus, a page of Cynarus, King of Cyprus, was so afflicted at having accidentally broken a vase which he was entrusted, and thus spilling a very precious ointment which it contained, that he died of grief, and the pitying gods changed him into the fragrant marjorum. This herb was used by the Greeks in ointment applied to the hair and eyebrows. Hymen was represented as crowned with marjorum ; we will add a small leaf to his garland
Sage was anciently considered so rich in medicinal qualities that there was a Latin adage, “Why does any man die in whose garden sage grows?” (Cur moriatur homo cui salvia crescit in horto?) Among its other virtues it was supposed to strengthen the memory, and to quicken and invigorate the senses. Its Latin name, salvia, is derived from salvus, i. e., in good health. Our English name comes from the French, sauge. The leaves of sage were used in divination by leaves, called by the Greeks, botanomancy. The inquirer wrote the letters of the alphabet contained in his name, and in the question he would ask, upon the leaves which be exposed to the wind; and all that remained after the rest had been blown away, were taken up and joined together, and whatever sense could be collected from them was believed to be the answer to the inquiry.
THYME was amongst the Greeks the emblem of activity (because it grows on the tops of steeps, as though it had climbed thither), and they applied it in ointments to the knee and the neck, to invigorate those parts. Its Latin name, thymus, is derived from the nearly similar Greek word, signifying courage, strength. The woody and fragrant sprigs of the herb were burned in the temples as incense. In a Greek epigram of Dioscorides, he calls it “ the Muses' pungent thyme.” Partridges, storks, and wood-pigeous eat it to heal any wounds they may happen to receive: and the tortoise is said to make use of it as a preservative from the bite of the serpent. With bees the tiny purple blossoms are especial favourites. The honey of Mount Hybla is said to have owed its high reputation to the wild thyme growing there in abundance.
Mint was said by mythologists to be the metamorphosed form of a beautiful nymph-Mintha, the daughter of Cocythus, changed into this aromatic herb by Proserpine, who was jealous of the admiration with which Pluto beheld her. Ovid alludes to the fable in the eleventh book of his Metamorphoses
* An tibi quondam
The graceful feathery FENNEL, which an old superstition in Ireland considers an herb of such unlucky omen that it ought never to be planted in a garden, was, on the contrary, so much
M. E. M.
Through life enduring ever :
It rusts or cankers never.
Touch, soft as downy feather,
It binds two hearts together.
Oh! happy they, to whom one joy,
Together felt, is double;
Grief shar'd seems lessen'd trouble. In vain the angry north-wind blows
O'er close-twin'd mountain heather ; So storms of care uprvot not those
Who bide them well together.
Aye blest are they who, hand in hand,
Through youth, through age,are moving Still onward to that better land
Where all are lov'd and loving. Then let the grave its portal ope,
They've borne life's varied weather And cheerfully, in faith and hope,
Lie down to rest together.
Of CAPERS we can only remember that Zeno, the stoic philosoper, commonly swore by the caper shrub. The English substitute for capers, are the berries of the nasturtium, or great Indian cress. Elizabeth Christina, daughter of Linnæus, first noticed the
sparks of electric light which the nasturtium flower occasionally emits, and which are only visible in the evening. The nasturtium has of late obtained the name of tropæolum, or trophy flower, from the Latin tropaum, a trophy, because its helmet-shaped flowers, with their bright yellow and divided petals, marked with crimson patches, suggest the idea of golden helmets, pierced and stained with blood.
Borage, with its pretty blue round flowers, comes from Aleppo ; it was unknown to the ancients. In the middle ages, it was believed to be a cordial, excellent to drive away melan. choly, whether eaten in salad, or put into wine (the latter most probably). Its supposed exhilirating qualities were celebrated in a Latin adage:
Gaudia semper ago." Thus Englished :
Bring always courage." But gaudia means joy rather than courage. The Latin name, borago, is a corruption of cor-ago, “I bring heart.” It is still occasionally put into a tankard with cider, or wine and water, to make the beverage called • Cool-cup;" for, as the herb contains a good deal of pitre, it bas cooling properties ; but its joy - producing powers seem to have long since for saken it.
In old times, before horticulture was scientifically practised, and when gardens were chiefly confined to the possession of the better classes and the religious orders, men were glad to find in the woods and fields wild herbs to vary and flavour their repasts. The mealy-leaved goose-foots (chenopodium) were boiled as spinage, par ticularly those rustically called s fat hen," and “Good King Henry." The latter is said by the French, to be named after Henry IV., who paid some attention to botanic gardens; and by the English it is claimed for Henry VI., who was fond of a rural life, and better fitted for it than for royalty.
ChickWEED (alsine media) is quite as good as spinage. Young shoots of hop, boiled, serve as a substitute (rather a poor one) for asparagus; as also the roots of rampion bell-flower, and those of Solomon's seal (so called
from some fancied marks on the root, like the engraving on a seal), are still used in Turkey occasionally as asparagus. The young leaves of the wild white campion, or bladder behen, when boiled, have some flavour of peas, and furnished food for the starving peasants of Minorca, when the locusts destroyed all their harvest in 1685. The roots of the water betony (scrophularia aquatica) gave food to the famished French Protestant garrison of Rochelle, when so vigorously besieged by Cardinal Richelieu, 1629. The heads of large thistles, and the unexpanded buds of the sun-flower have been cooked as artichokes. The earthnuts, or pig-nuts (called in Ireland, fairies' potatoes), when roasted, are little inferior to chestnuts. The very charlock and nettles provide the peasants with a dish of greens in times of dearth.
Then the hedges gave aromatic and pungent herbs for seasoning: the PEPPERWORT and SAUCE-ALONE, or Jack-by-the-hedge(erysimum alliaria), eaten with salt fish; and the HEDGE Mustard and TREACLE MUSTARD. The LAMB's LETTUCE (valerianella olitoria), with its tiny lilac flowers (called by the French, salade de chamine, monk's salad), was termed by our ancestors, white pot-herb. The ARUM, that adorns the wood, with its long purple finger (thence familiarly called ladies' fingers), affords from its dried roots a flour often used as sago, and to make bread in times of scarcity, though its bright orange berries are a strong poison.
When we take up a botanical work and see what vast numbers of herbs and roots have been created for the service of man; all that daily supply his meals with not only wholesome, but even dainty fare; all that, though less pleasant to the taste, help him to food in a day of need ; all that possess medicinal virtues to heal and alleviate his maladies; and all that supply his flocks and herds with nourishment, shall we not, indeed, acknowledge that when “the earth brought forth grass, and the herb yielding seed after its kind, God saw it, and it was good ?" Shall we not be ready to join in the canticle, “Oh! all ye green things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord ; praise Him and magnify Him for ever!"
M. E. M.
A HUNTER IN THE PRAIRIES."
Who, that has tried, would compare the feeble luxury of timid indolence to the wild delight of the true sportsman, as his strong frame battles with the fierce elements, endures toil, and braves danger in the consciousness of iron vi. gour, and with the ardour of the suc. cessful chase? How gladly does even the gloved and booted elegant, after dissolving at the opera, doing duty at ball and dinner, and getting - used up" at everything throughout the season, seek the more rugged life of the moors, and recruit his exhausted frame and languid energies upon the mountain heath! Of a truth, man must earn not only his bread, but his pleasures-his capacity for enjoyment _" in the sweat of his brow."
But yield ye, ye recreant shooters of partridge and of grouse; enlarge your notions of sport and danger; we offer you a new field of excitement a new remedy for ennui and indiges tion. Allow us to introduce to you a gentleman, who, like yourselves, has frequented the fashionable salons of the gay world; who has been reared in luxury, and has cultivated the re, finements of art, but who will tell you of more daring feats, and of nobler game than is to be found in our too civilised islands. So! the introduction is made, and, we doubt not, you and Mr. Palliser will get on agreeably together. It will be refreshing to hear of any spot of the globe that has not yet been be-travelled, be-shot, and bebooked. Better again, to find a gentleman who did not go forth, pencil and paper in hand, to write a journal, and, of malice prepense, to indite a book; that is, to dilute a few facts with a vast amount of after-thought and imagina. tive comment; or swell out a trifle into a soufflée of three volumes. Our hun. ter is exactly the reverse. He went to shoot, and accordingly he shot. He went to see new and odd things and people, and he saw them. He now shortly tells, with simplicity, what he bas himself done and seen, and has
thus unconsciously written a pleasant book.
Happily, he is no professor of writing. He narrates with an absence of art that has a graphic reality, the great charm of all travels. We feel that what we read is true, and this air of truth, so far from tending to matter-offact dryness, makes interesting much that might not be so, if we suspected it to be apocryphal. It is particularly essential, too, where there is so much that is novel. Since G. Cumming's wholesale battues, we have had no story of adventurous sporting of this kind. Probably, many may have performed similar feats, but what use has it been to us, who sit at home at ease, if either they did not commit their tale to writing, or if Mr. Murray did not transfer it to the all-diffusing type? We have, doubt. less, had plenty of passages of the Rocky Mountains, but none of these, that we are aware of, have yet touched on this northern region; or, if they have, it is but as a passage to a further goal, not as their final object.
After the ordinary tour in the States, which is dismissed in a few pages, but with some graphic touches, Mr. Palliser hunts in the Arkansas and the Illinois, and then ascends from St. Louis, at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi, about two thousand miles along the Missouri, to the Yellowstone river, where is laid the scene of his best adventures. The dates and times of his movements are not given with the precision they should have been, and it is exceedingly difficult to make out any. thing like a regular account of his erratic movements. It would seem as though in the savage life which he had to lead, hours, days, and dates were wholly lost, and were only now and then recorded when occasionally he emerged into some outskirt of civilisation. However, it is plain that he crossed over early in 1847, that his story covers a space of about two and a-half years, of which about half was devoted to the pursuits of the chase.
By John Palliser ;
• "Solitary Rambles and Adventures of a Hunter in the Prairies." with Illastrations. Small 8vo. London: John Murray. 1853.
VOL. XLII.-NO. CCXLVII.