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than those which are planted in the mould. I need however say no more upon this point, as these various applications must be sufficiently obvious to every one.
But I must here caution the poor against indulging a taste for what are called fancy flowers,-things which this year are rewarded with gold medals, and the next are thrown upon the dunghill. Believing that all human pursuits ought to be estimated in exact proportion as they tend to promote the glory of God, or the good of man, let us for a moment compare the empty chase after fancy flowers with the legitimate pursuits of horticulture and floriculture. So far from the love of God, and the good of his fellow creatures, being the end and aim of the fancy florist, he values everything in proportion as it is removed from Nature, and unattainable by the rest of mankind. 66 A long time must elapse ere the world can hope to see a perfect Pansy"!!! says one of these fancy writers. How the world is to benefit by this Phoenix when it does arrive he will of course inform us in his next publication.* Let me entreat the poor to remember that their single talent should be well employed; † let them learn to estimate things according to their true value, and devote their time and attention to the legitimate pursuits of horticulture and floriculture. It would appear that innumerable plants have been created with latent powers of usefulness for the purpose of exercising the mind, and rewarding the indus
* That I have not expressed myself too strongly upon this point any one may convince himself, by consulting the history of Tulipomania. "His virtues walked their narrow round,
Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure th' eternal Master found
The single talent well employed."-Johnson.
try of man, who, by acting in conformity with the laws of Nature, is enabled to produce the most beneficial results. Thus, if increased succulence be the point aimed at, the plants must be the more abundantly supplied with water; if increase of flavour, then less water but a larger proportion of sun and light, which latter are to be withheld if the natural flavour of the plant be too strong. Who could have imagined from the appearance of the wild carrot or parsnip, the crab, the celery, or the endive, that all these would form such important additions to our tables. There is, in fact, scarcely a vegetable or fruit that owes not a portion of its excellence to horticultural exertions, directed by Science; and there cannot be a doubt that many now-neglected weeds will hereafter become valuable subjects for the horticulturist. And so, with respect to floriculture, that man would be fastidious indeed who would not appreciate and enjoy the increased beauty and fragrance of a double Rose or fine Stock. I have said quite enough as to the physical results of these pursuits, and will endeavour to point out the probable moral effects. The highest and best feelings of our nature are excited by the contemplation of the works of God. The Divine Word has commanded us to "consider the lilies of the field, how they grow," and the reason assigned is "if God so clothe the grass of the field which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, how much more shall he clothe you, oh! ye of little faith." There is possibly no study which leads the mind of the pursuer more directly to " the Author and Giver of all good things," and fills the heart of man with joy and thankfulness, than the study of that branch of Natural History which comprehends the vegetable kingdom. "The infinite variety of forms of the different
species, the nice adaptations of these to their several functions, the beauty and elegance of a large number, the singularity of others, but above all their pre-eminent utility to mankind in every state and stage of life, render them objects of the deepest interest both to rich and poor, high and low, wise and unlearned; so that arguments in proof of the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, drawn from the vegetable kingdom, are likely to meet with more attention, to be more generally comprehended, to make a deeper and more lasting impression upon the mind, to direct the heart more fervently and devotedly to the Maker and Giver of these interesting beings, than those which are drawn from more abstruse sources, though really more elevated and sublime."* I cannot enforce what I have said better than by giving a passage from the life of a celebrated traveller. "Whichever way I turned nothing appeared but danger and difficulty. I saw myself in the midst of a vast wilderness, in the depth of the rainy season, naked and alone, surrounded by savage animals, and men still more savage. I was five hundred miles from the nearest European settlement. All these circumstances crowded at once upon my recollection, and I confess that my spirits began to fail me. I considered my fate as certain, and that I had no alternative but to lie down and perish. The influence of religion, however, aided and supported me. I reflected that no human prudence or foresight could possibly have averted my present sufferings. I was indeed a stranger in a strange land, yet I was still under the protecting eye of that Providence who has condescended to call himself the stranger's friend. At this moment, painful as my reflec
tions were, the extraordinary beauty of a small moss in fructification irresistibly caught my eye. I mention this to show from what trifling circumstances the mind will sometimes derive consolation; for though the whole plant was no larger than the top of one my fingers, I could not contemplate the delicate conformation of its roots, leaves and capsules, without admiration. Can that Being (thought I) who planted, watered, and brought to perfection, in this obscure part of the world, a thing which appears of small importance, look with unconcern upon the situation and sufferings of creatures formed after his own image?-surely not! Reflections like these would not allow me to despair. I started up, and disregarding both hunger and fatigue, travelled forwards, assured that relief was at hand, and I was not disappointed." — Park's Travels in Africa.
* "The moss which engaged Mungo Park's attention so much in the desert is the Fissidens bryoides, as I have ascertained by means of original specimens given to me by his brother-in-law, Mr. Dickson.”—Sir W. J. Hooker.