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a smell like honey. Besides the pair of scales at the top of the fruit-stalk close to the calyx, there is a single scale at its base, on the outer side. Withering.
'Mid scatter'd foliage pale and sere,
Thy kindly floweret cheers the gloom ;
The tribute of its golden bloom.
Beneath November's clouded sky,
In chill December's stormy hours,
Flower of the dark and wintry day!
Emblem of friendship! thee I hail!
And brightest when their hues grow pale. ,
V. Leaves heart-shaped. Suckers creeping. Floral-leaves
above the middle of the fruit-stalk. Leaf-stalks nearly smooth. Fruit-stalké channelled on the
upper side, above the floral-leaves. Flowers both with
and without petals, all producing perfect seed. (Later flowers without petals.) Blossom rich purple, smelling very sweet. It is liable to a change in the colour of the blossom, from blue purple to red purple, flesh colour, and even white.-Withering.
LORD BACON'S COMMENDATION OF THE VIOLET.
It would be an act of injustice to this sweet and simple flower, to withhold the eulogium Lord Bacon has passed on its fragrance, in his delightful chapter on gardens. “And because the breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air, where it comes and goes like the warbling of music, than in the hand, therefore nothing is more fit for that delight, than to know what be the flowers that do best perfume the air. Roses, damask and red, are flowers tenacious of their smells, so that you may walk by a whole row of them and find nothing of their sweetness; yea, though it be in a morning dew. Bays likewise yield no smell as they grow, rosemary little, nor sweet marjoram. That which above all others yields the smell in the air is the violet, especially the white double violet, which comes twice a year, about the middle of April and about Bartholomew-tide.”
LAMENT FOR THE VIOLET.
The spring is come, the Violet's gone,
[Note.] This little poem is given as Lord Byron's, merely on the authority of a newspaper. Its quiet and simple graces are, it is true, far removed from the strength and sublimity of the finest productions of that noble bard; and the feelings it breathes are as far distant from the gloom and impurity which unhappily darken and defile so many of his writings. Perhaps the violet could scarcely be deemed an appropriate flower to decorate a harp such as his, so highly toned, and struck by such a master-hand; but he might at least have been content with the laurel, the rose, and the myrtle, and not have wreathed with these the hemlock and the deadly nightshade.
THE GOLDEN VIOLET OF TOULOUSE.
The ancient bards of the south, the troubadours of Provence, have consecrated the violet to the service of the Muses, by selecting it as a model for the golden prize, to be bestowed on their most successful poet. It is recorded that, in the year 1323, seven of the inhabitants of Toulouse, men of rank and wealth, and of literary taste, assembled in a garden in that city, and, assuming the title of La gaie Société des sept Troubadours de Toulouse, drew up a circular letter, addressed to all the poets of Languedoc, inviting them to come to Toulouse on the 1st of May following, to recite their verses in the presence of La gaie Société, and promising a golden violet to him who should compose the best poem. The letter itself was in Provençal rhyme. The assembly met on the day appointed, and such was the foundation of an institution, which, in later times, became known under the name of the Academy of Floral Games.
The society, thus simply formed, soon grew into greater importance; and other flowers were added to the violet, and given as prizes for various kinds of composition: as the ode, the idyl, the sonnet, the oration. At the end
of the thirteenth, or beginning of the fourteenth century, the prizes were rendered still more valuable by the bequest of Clemence Isaure, a lady of Toulouse, of whom little more is known, than that, by her will, she appropriated a certain portion of her property to defray the expense of three flowers for the academy every year, each to be worth at least fifteen pistoles. These flowers were to be of silver gilt, a cubit in height, and fixed on a pedestal of the same metal, with the arms of the city engraved on it.
Of the festival and all its ceremonies, as observed in the middle of the eighteenth century, we cannot better convey an idea to our youthful readers, than by relating the following adventure of Marmontel.
This writer was himself one of those flowers of genius which are sometimes seen springing up in the bosom of obscurity. Born in a remote village in the south of France, the child of poor but virtuous parents, Marmontel had many difficulties to contend with in the pursuit of his studies. The most valuable part of his education was obtained at a college of Jesuits, where he met with such kindness and encouragement from one of the teachers, a certain father Mollasse, as made a lasting impression on his heart.