CHAP. 1. (1.)—THE NATURE OF FLOWERS AND GARLANDS.
Cato has recommended that flowers for making chaplets
should also be cultivated in the garden; varieties remarkable
for a delicacy which it is quite impossible to express, inas-
much as no individual can find such facilities for describing
them as Nature does for bestowing on them their numerous tints
—Nature, who here in especial shows herself in a sportive
mood, and takes a delight in the prolific display of her varied
productions. The other1
plants she has produced for our use
and our nutriment, and to them accordingly she has granted
years and even ages of duration: but as for the flowers and
their perfumes, she has given them birth for but a day—a
mighty lesson to man, we see, to teach him that that which in
its career is the most beauteous and the most attractive to the
eye, is the very first to fade and die.
Even the limner's art itself possesses no resources for reproducing the colours of the flowers in all their varied tints
and combinations, whether we view them in groups alternately blending their hues, or whether arranged in festoons, each
itself, now assuming a circular form, now running
obliquely, and now disposed in a spiral pattern: or whether,
as we see sometimes, one wreath is interwoven within another.