« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The Rocket (eruca sativa) is used morning stars paling and disappearing in salad in Italy, though its smell is before the sun. The large flat mushdisagreeable, like rancid bacon ; and rooms served them for tables in their in Holland the yellow stone-crop is merry feasts, and the smaller and eaten with lettuce.
rounder for stools; and in the circles The garden CRESS was thought by that marked where they had danced the ancients to make those who ate it their graceful rounds, the fairy-ring strong and brave; wherefore it was mushroom (agaricus oreades, much used by gladiators.
pratensis) sprang up.
The sudden The MUSTARD, which is the com- growth of this fungus in such regular panion of the cress in salad, is the circles seemed unaccountable to our sinapis alba ; the berb that produces ancestors, save by the agency of
superthe flour of mustard is the sinapis
natural beings. nigra, whose present name is derived The ancient TRUFFLE was the wild from the French word moutarde, and red truffle of Italy; but the Romans that is a corruption from a motto. also got the white truffle, called the Philip II., Duke of Burgundy (who Lybian, from Africa. Pliny believed acquired the surname of le Hardi, or truffles to be a mere excrescence of the Bold, at the battle of Poictiers, the earth, and related an anecdote of a when he was but sixteen), granted ar- Carthaginian governor who found a morial bearings (or an augmentation) coin in the centre of one; but, doubtto the city of Dijon, the capital of his less, the fungus grew over the coin, duchy, and added, as a motto, the old and thus enclosed it. In Athens French words, “ Moult me tarde;" “ It (after the people had become corrupted seems long to me;" or, “I long much;” by luxury) the freedom of citizens was signifying his regret at his absence from given to the children of one Cherips, Dijon while he was Regent of France, because their father had invented a during the insanity of Charles VI., his new ragout of truffles. As these nephew. The mustard (or sinapis) of fungi never appeared over ground, it Dijon and its environs being in much would not be possible to discover them repute, the dealers in that article but for their strong odour, which is stamped the motto of their city on the particularly powerful just before thunpots in which it was sold. In time the der, when the air is filled with moisture, middle word me, either for brevity, or from which circumstance the country originally, perhaps, by accident, was people, in some places, call them omitted, and the inscription ran, * thunder-roots." “moult tarde ;" then the words joined The garden ANGELICA was formerly together were used to express the name blanched and eaten as celery, raw or of the article, as moutarde ; and hence stewed, but is now solely appropriated the English mustard. Philip returned to the candy of the confectioner. Its to his beloved Dijon to rest. On his name is derived from the many exceldeath, 1404, he was buried there, in lent qualities with which its thick the Chartreuse which he had founded. brown root (white within) and its seeds,
The death of the Emperor Claudius succeeding the pale purple umbels, was occasioned by a strongly poisoned were supposed to be endowed, as antiragout of MUSHROOMS, served to him dotes to poison, pestilence, ague, by his wife, Agrippina. The mush- pleurisy, and a long list of et cetera, rooms used for this wicked purpose now we believe obsolete. It is, how. were of the species agaricus cæsareus, ever, still highly esteemed in Norway, or imperial mushroom. Nero, in his where bread is sometimes made from exultation at succeeding to the Roman the powder of its dried roots. In Lapempire, by the destruction of Claudius, land, the poets crown themselves with called these mushrooms “the ragout garlands of its leaves and flowers, and of the gods,” in allusion to the absurd fancy they receive inspiration from its fiction of the deceased emperor being odour. elevated to the rank of a divinity by Having now exhausted our reminis. his apotheosis.
censes regarding the larger and more Mushrooms bear a conspicuous part important vegetables which furnish, in in mediæval mythology, from their themselves, good and pleasant food for connexion with the fairies, these most man, we will pass on to the lesser beautiful of all the creations of the herbs, that are only used as seasonings poetic fancy, that have faded away be- and accompaniments to his repasts. fore the “ march of intellect," like the 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. Hypsipyle, pretend omen, because the herb was funereal. ing she had slain Tboas (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, Hypsipyle 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 convulmemory of the ill-fated young prince, sive grin, termed the sardonic laugh, instituted the Nemean funereal games, from the Sardinian herb. 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 blood of Archemorus. The judges it with an appropriate translation from of the games were attired in black as the Greek AnthologyON AN EAGLE STANDING ON THE TOMB OF A YOUNG WARRIOR.
FROM THE GREEK OY ANTIPATER.
In the Peloponnesus.
M. E. M,
Sage was anciently considered so esteemed by the Romans, that it was rich in medicinal qualities that there used to crown the victors in the arena ; was a Latin adage, “Why does any and was eaten by the Athletæ, in the man die in whose garden sage grows?" belief that it increased their strength. (Cur moriatur homo cui salvia crescit in According to Elian, the serpent horto ?) Among its other virtues it cleanses the films off his eyes by eating was supposed to strengthen the me- wild fennel. Culpepper tells us that mory, and to quicken and invigorate fennel is boiled with fish “ to consume the senses. Its Latin name, salvia, the phlegmatic humour which fish most is derived from salvus, i. e., in good plentifully afford;" he also commends health. Our English name comes from it as tending to improve the pallidness the French, sauge. The leaves of sage of the face after illness. were used in divination by leaves, MARJORUM was the subject of mycalled by the Greeks, botanomancy. thological transformation. Amaracus, The inquirer wrote the letters of the a page of Cynarus, King of Cyprus, alphabet contained in his name, and was so afflicted at having accidentally in the question he would ask, upon the broken a vase which he was leaves which be exposed to the wind; trusted, and thus spilling a very preand all that remained after the rest had cious ointment which it contained, that been blown away, were taken up and he died of grief, and the pitying gods joined together, and whatever sense changed him into the fragrant marjocould be collected from them was be
This herb was used by the lieved to be the answer to the inquiry. Greeks in ointment applied to the hair
Thyme was amongst the Greeks the and eyebrows. Hymen was repreemblem of activity (because it grows sented as crowned with marjorum ; we on the tops of steeps, as though it had will add a small leaf to his garlandclimbed 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, 0, wedded love's a blessed thing! strength. The woody and fragrant Through life enduring ever : sprigs of the herb were burned in the Pure gold, like its own hallow'd ring, temples as incense. In a Greek epi. It rusts or cankers never. gram of Dioscorides, he calls it “ the The gold at times may dim—one light Muses' pungent thyme." Partridges, Touch, soft as downy feather, storks, and wood-pigeous eat it to heal
Restores its sheen; and smooth and bright
It binds two hearts together. any wounds they may happen to receive : and the tortoise is said to make use of
Oh! happy they, to whom one joy, it as a preservative from the bite of the With bees the tiny purple
Together felt, is double ; serpent.
And, when the ills of life annoy, blossoms are especial favourites. The
Grief shar'd seems lessen'd trouble. honey of Mount Hybla is said to have
In vain the angry north-wind blows owed its high reputation to the wild O'er close-twin'd mountain heather ; thyme growing there in abundance. So storms of care uproot not those Mint was said by mythologists to be
Who bide them well together. the metamorphosed form of a beautifal nymph-Mintha, the daughter of
Aye blest are they who, hand in hand, Cocythus, changed into this aromatic
Through youth, through age,are moving herb by Proserpine, who was jealous
Still onward to that better land of the admiration with which Pluto
Where all are lov'd and loving.
Then let the grave its portal ope, beheld her. Ovid alludes to the fable
They've borne life's varied weather in the eleventh book of his Metamor
And cheerfully, in faith and hope, phoses
Lie down to rest together. * An tibi quondam Fæmineos artus in olentes vertere menthas
Of CAPERS we can only remember Persephone licuit."
that Zeno, the stoic philosoper, comThe graceful feathery FENNEL, which monly swore by the caper shrub. The an old superstition in Ireland con- English substitute for capers, are the siders an herb of such unlucky omen berries of the nasturtium, or great that it ought never to be planted in a Indian cress. Elizabeth Christina, garden, was, on the contrary, so much daughter of Linnæus, first noticed the
sparks of electric light which the nas- from some fancied marks on the root, turtium flower occasionally emits, and like the engraving on a seal), are still which are only visible in the evening. used in Turkey occasionally as asparaThe nasturtium has of late obtained gus. The young leaves of the wild the name of tropæolum, or trophy flower, white campion, or bladder behen, when from the Latin tropaum, a trophy, be- boiled, have some flavour of peas, and cause its helmet-shaped flowers, with furnished food for the starving peatheir bright yellow and divided petals, sants of Minorca, when the locusts marked with crimson patches, suggest destroyed all their harvest in 1685. the idea of golden helmets, pierced and The roots of the water betony (scrostained with blood.
phularia aquatica) gave food to the Borage, with its pretty blue round famished French Protestant garrison flowers, comes from Aleppo ; it was of Rochelle, when so vigorously beunknown to the ancients. In the mid- sieged by Cardinal Richelieu, 1629. dle ages, it was believed to be a cor- The heads of large thistles, and the dial, excellent to drive away melan- unexpanded buds of the sun-flower have choly, whether eaten in salad, or put been cooked as artichokes. The earth. into wine (the latter most probably). nuts, or pig-nuts (called in Ireland, Its supposed exhilirating qualities were fairies' potatoes), when roasted, are celebrated in a Latin adage :
little inferior to chestnuts. The very " Ego, borago,
charlock and nettles provide the peaGaudia semper ago."
sants with a dish of greens in times of Thus Englished :
dearth. " I, borage,
Then the hedges gave aromatic and Bring always courage.'
pungent herbs for seasoning: the But gaudia means joy rather than PEPPERWORT and SAUCE-ALONE, or courage.
The Latin name, borago, Jack-by-the-hedge (erysimum alliaria), is a corruption of cor-ago, “I bring eaten with salt fish; and the HEDGE heart.” It is still occasionally put into Mustard and TREACLE MUSTARD. The a tankard with cider, or wine and LAMB'S LETTUCE (valerianella olitoria), water, to make the beverage called with its tiny lilac flowers (called by “ Cool-cup;" for, as the herb contains the French, salade de chamine, monk's a good deal of nitre, it bas cooling salad), was termed by our ancestors, properties ; but its joy - producing white pot-herb. The Arum, that powers seem to have long since for. adorns the wood, with its long purple saken it.
finger (thence familiarly called ladies' In old times, before horticulture was fingers), affords from its dried roots scientifically practised, and when gar- a flour often used as sago, and to make dens were chiefly confined to the pos- bread in times of scarcity, though its session of the better classes and the bright orange berries are a strong religious orders, men were glad to find poison. in the woods and fields wild herbs to When we take up a botanical work vary and flavour their repasts. The and see what vast numbers of herbs mealy-leaved goose-foots (chenopo- and roots have been created for the dium) were boiled as spinage, par- service of man; all that daily supply ticularly those rustically called “fat his meals with not only wholesome, hen," and “Good King Henry.” but even dainty fare; all that, though The latter is said by the French, to less pleasant to the taste, help him to be named after Henry IV., who paid food in a day of need ; all that possess some attention to botanic gardens; medicinal virtues to heal and alleviate and by the English it is claimed for his maladies; and all that supply his Henry VI., who was fond of a rural flocks and herds with nourishment, life, and better fitted for it than for shall we not, indeed, acknowledge that royalty.
when “ the earth brought forth grass, CHICKWEED (alsine media) is quite and the herb yielding seed after its as good as spinage. Young shoots of kind, God saw it, and it was good ?" hop, boiled, serve as a substitute Shall we not be ready to join in the (rather a poor one) for asparagus; as canticle, “Oh! all ye green things also the roots of rampion bell-flower, upon the earth, bless ye the Lord ; and those of Solomon's seal (so called praise Him and magnify Him for ever!"
M. E. M.
A HUNTER IN THE PRAIRIES.
W#o, that has tried, would compare
thus unconsciously written a pleasant the feeble luxury of timid indolence to book. the wild delight of the true sportsman, Happily, he is no professor of writas his strong frame battles with the ing. He narrates with an absence of fierce elements, endures toil, and braves art that has a graphic reality, the great danger in the consciousness of iron vi- charm of all travels. We feel that gour, and with the ardour of the suc- what we read is true, and this air of cessful chase? How gladly does even truth, so far from tending to matter-ofthe gloved and booted elegant, after fact dryness, makes interesting much dissolving at the opera, doing duty at that might not be so, if we suspected ball and dinner, and getting “ used- it to be apocryphal. It is particularly up” at everything throughout the essential, too, where there is so much season, seek the more rugged life of that is novel. Since G. Cumming's the moors, and recruit his exhausted wholesale battues, we have had no story frame and languid energies upon the of adventurous sporting of this kind. mountain heath! Of a truth, man Probably, many may have performed must earn not only his bread, but his similar feats, but what use has it been to pleasures-his capacity for enjoyment us, who sit at home at ease, if either they -"in the sweat of his brow.”
did not commit their tale to writing, or But yield ye, ye recreant shooters if Mr. Murray did not transfer it to the of partridge and of grouse; enlarge all-diffusing type? We have, doubt. your notions of sport and danger; we less, had plenty of passages of the offer you a new field of excitement- Rocky Mountains, but none of these, a new remedy for ennui and indiges that we are aware of, have yet touched tion. Allow us to introduce to you a on this northern region; or, if they gentleman, who, like yourselves, has have, it is but as a passage to a further frequented the fashionable salons of goal, not as their final object. the gay world; who has been reared After the ordinary tour in the States, in luxury, and has cultivated the re- which is dismissed in a few pages, but finements of art, but who will tell you with some graphic touches, Mr. Palliof more daring feats, and of nobler ser hunts in the Arkansas and the Illigame tban is to be found in our too nois, and then ascends from St. Louis, civilised islands. So! the introduc- at the junction of the Ohio and Missistion is made, and, we doubt not, you sippi, about two thousand miles along and Mr. Palliser will get on agreeably the Missouri, to the Yellowstone river, together. It will be refreshing to hear where is laid the scene of his best adof any spot of the globe that has not ventures. The dates and times of his yet been be-travelled, be-shot, and be- movements are not given with the prebooked. Better again, to find a gen. cision they should have been, and it is tleman who did not go forth, pencil
and exceedingly difficult to make out anypaper in hand, to write a journal, and, thing like a regular account of his of malice prepense, to indite a book; erratic movements. It would seem as that is, to dilute a few facts with a vast though in the savage life which he had amount of after-thought and imagina- to lead, hours, days, and dates were tive comment; or swell out a trifle into wholly lost, and were only now and a soufflée of three volumes. Our hun. then recorded when occasionally be ter is exactly the reverse. He went emerged into some outskirt of civilisto shoot, and accordingly he shot. He ation. However, it is plain that he went to see new and odd things and crossed over early in 1847, that his people, and he saw them. He now story covers a space of about two and shortly tells, with simplicity, what a-half years, of which about half was he has himself done and seen, and has devoted to the pursuits of the chase.
"Solitary Rambles and Adventures of a Hunter in the Prairies." By John Palliser ; with Illastrations. Small 8vo. London: John Murray. 1853.
VOL. XLII.--N0. CCXLVII.