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Browsing named entities in a specific section of Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Irene E. Jerome., In a fair country. Search the whole document.

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Thomas Browne (search for this): chapter 1
lower, and homoeopathic Pulsatilla;—rue-leaved anemones I found also, rising taller and straighter and firmer in stem, with the whorl of leaves a little higher up on the stalk than one fancies it ought to be, as if there were a supposed danger that the flowers would lose their balance, and as if the leaves must be all ready to catch them. These I found, but the special wonder was not there for me. Then I wrote to him that he must evidently come himself and search; or that, perhaps, as Sir Thomas Browne avers that smoke doth follow the fairest, so his little treasures had followed him towards New York. Judge of my surprise, when, on opening his next letter, out dropped, from those folds of metropolitan paper, a veritable double anemone. He had just been out to Hoboken, or some such place, to spend an afternoon, and, of course, his pets were there to meet him; and from that day to this I have never heard of such an event as happening to any one else. May-Day is never allowed to pa
T. W. Harris (search for this): chapter 1
while others still more shy, as the Linnaea, the yellow Cypripedium, the early pink Azalea, and the delicate white Corydalis or Dutchman's breeches, are being chased into the very recesses of the Green and White Mountains. The relics of the Indian tribes are supported by the Legislature at Martha's Vineyard, while these precursors of the Indian are dying unfriended away. And with these receding plants go also the special insects which haunt them. Who that knew the pure enthusiast, Dr. T. W. Harris, but remembers the accustomed lamentations of the entomologist over the departure of these winged companions of his lifetime? In a letter which I happened to receive from him a short time previous to his death he thus renewed the lament: I mourn for the loss of many of the beautiful plants and insects that were once found in this vicinity. Clethra, Rhodora, Sanguinaria, Viola debilis, Viola acuta, Dracaena borealis, Rhexia, Cypripedium, Corallorhiza verna, Orchis spectabilis, with oth
ldren instinctively recognize this, and are apt to omit them when gathering the more delicate native blossoms of the woods. There is something touching in the gradual retirement before civilization of these fragile aborigines. They do not wait for the actual brute contact of red bricks and curbstones, but they feel the danger miles away. The Indians called the low plantain the white man's footstep; and these shy creatures gradually disappear the moment the red man gets beyond hearing. Bigelow's delightful book Florula Bostoniensis is becoming a series of epitaphs. Too well we know it,—those of us who in happy Cambridge childhood often gathered, almost within a stone's-throw of Professor Agassiz's new museum, the arethusa and the gentian, the cardinal-flower and the gaudy rhexia,—we who remember the last secret hiding-place of the rhodora in West Cambridge, of the yellow violet and the Viola debilis in Watertown, of the Convallaria trifolia near Fresh Pond, of the Hottonia beyon
cesses bring only terror, which is very slowly outgrown. Humboldt has best exhibited the scantiness of finer natural perceptions in Greek and Roman literature, in spite of the grand oceanic rhythm of Homer, and the delicate water-coloring of the Greek Anthology and of Horace. The Oriental and the Norse sacred books are full of fresh and beautiful allusions; but the Greek saw in Nature only a framework for Art, and the Roman only a camping-ground for men. Even Virgil describes the grotto of Aeneas merely as a black grove with horrid shade,—Horrenti atrum nemus imminet umbra. Wordsworth points out, that, even in English literature, the Windsor Forest of Anne, Countess of Winchelsea, was the first poem which represented Nature as a thing to be consciously enjoyed; and as she was almost the first English poetess, we might be tempted to think that we owe this appreciation, like some other good things, to the participation of woman in literature. But, on the other hand, it must be rememb
he proper weather for sugaring, namely, cold nights and warm days. Our saccharine associations, however, remain so obstinately tropical, that it seems almost impossible for the imagination to locate sugar in New-England trees; though it is known that not the maple only, but the birch and the walnut even, afford it in appreciable quantities. Along our maritime rivers the people associate April, not with sugaring, but with shadding. The pretty Amelanchier Canadensis of Gray—the Aronia of Whittier's song—is called Shad-bush, or Shad-blow, in Essex County, from its connection with this season; and there is a bird known as the Shad-spirit, which I take to be identical with the flicker or golden-winged woodpecker, whose note is still held to indicate the first day when the fish ascend the river. Upon such slender wings flits our New-England romance! In April the creative process described by Thales is repeated, and the world is renewed by water. The submerged creatures first feel t
the parlor had been saying that somebody else was an idiot. Don't you know? quoth Ben, in his sweet voice: an idiot is a person who doesn't know an arbor-vitae from a pine,—he doesn't know anything. When Ben grows up to maturity, bearing such terrible definitions in his unshrinking hands, which of us will be safe? The softer aspects of Nature, especially, require time and culture before man can enjoy them. To rude races her processes bring only terror, which is very slowly outgrown. Humboldt has best exhibited the scantiness of finer natural perceptions in Greek and Roman literature, in spite of the grand oceanic rhythm of Homer, and the delicate water-coloring of the Greek Anthology and of Horace. The Oriental and the Norse sacred books are full of fresh and beautiful allusions; but the Greek saw in Nature only a framework for Art, and the Roman only a camping-ground for men. Even Virgil describes the grotto of Aeneas merely as a black grove with horrid shade,—Horrenti atrum
f these fragile aborigines. They do not wait for the actual brute contact of red bricks and curbstones, but they feel the danger miles away. The Indians called the low plantain the white man's footstep; and these shy creatures gradually disappear the moment the red man gets beyond hearing. Bigelow's delightful book Florula Bostoniensis is becoming a series of epitaphs. Too well we know it,—those of us who in happy Cambridge childhood often gathered, almost within a stone's-throw of Professor Agassiz's new museum, the arethusa and the gentian, the cardinal-flower and the gaudy rhexia,—we who remember the last secret hiding-place of the rhodora in West Cambridge, of the yellow violet and the Viola debilis in Watertown, of the Convallaria trifolia near Fresh Pond, of the Hottonia beyond Wellington's Hill, of the Cornus florida in West Roxbury, of the Clintonia and the dwarf ginseng in Brookline,—we who have found in its one chosen nook the sacred Andromeda polifolia of Linnaeus. Now<
Andromeda (search for this): chapter 1
thin a stone's-throw of Professor Agassiz's new museum, the arethusa and the gentian, the cardinal-flower and the gaudy rhexia,—we who remember the last secret hiding-place of the rhodora in West Cambridge, of the yellow violet and the Viola debilis in Watertown, of the Convallaria trifolia near Fresh Pond, of the Hottonia beyond Wellington's Hill, of the Cornus florida in West Roxbury, of the Clintonia and the dwarf ginseng in Brookline,—we who have found in its one chosen nook the sacred Andromeda polifolia of Linnaeus. Now vanished almost or wholly from city suburbs, these fragile creatures still linger in more rural parts of Massachusetts; but they are doomed everywhere, unconsciously, yet irresistibly; while others still more shy, as the Linnaea, the yellow Cypripedium, the early pink Azalea, and the delicate white Corydalis or Dutchman's breeches, are being chased into the very recesses of the Green and White Mountains. The relics of the Indian tribes are supported by the Legi
,—Azalea, Diervilla, Lonicera, Aquilegia,—just as every bird which sings loud in deep woods is popularly denominated a thrush. The really rustic names of both plants and animals are very few with us,—the different species are many; and as we come to know them better and love them more, we absolutely require some way to distinguish them from their half-sisters and second-cousins. It is hopeless to try to create new popular epithets, or even to revive those which are thoroughly obsolete. Miss Cooper may strive in vain, with benevolent intent, to christen her favorite spring blossoms May-Wings and Gay-Wings, and Fringe-Cup and Squirrel-Cup, and Cool-Wort and Bead-Ruby; there is no conceivable reason why these should not be the familiar appellations, except the irresistible fact that they are not. It is impossible to create a popular name: one might as well attempt to invent a legend or compose a ballad. Nascitur, non fit. As the spring comes on, and the changing outlines of the e<
ehold and monkish names adhere, they are sufficient for popular and poetic purposes, and the familiar use of scientific names seems an affectation. But here, where many native flowers have no popular names at all, and others are called confessedly by wrong ones,—where it really costs less trouble to use Latin names than English,—the affectation seems the other way. Think of the long list of wild-flowers where the Latin name is spontaneously used by all who speak of the flower: as, Arethusa, Aster, Cistus (after the fall of the cistus-flower), Clematis, Clethra, Geranium, Iris, Lobelia, Rhodora, Spiraea, Tiarella, Trientalis, and so on. Even those formed from proper names—the worst possible system of nomenclature—become tolerable at last, and we forget the godfather in the more attractive namesake. When the person concerned happens to be a botanist, there is a peculiar fitness in the association; the Linnaea, at least, would not smell so sweet by any other name. In other cases th
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