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FLOWERS

FLOWERS seem intended

for the solace of ordi

nary humanity: children love them;
quiet, tender, contented ordinary
people love them as they grow;

luxurious and disorderly people rejoice in them gathered. They are the cottager's treasure; and in the crowded town, mark, as with a little broken fragment of rainbow, the windows of the workers in whose heart rests the covenant of peace. Passionate or religious minds contemplate them with fond, feverish intensity; the affection is seen severely calm in the works of many old religious painters, and mixed with more open and true country sentiment in those of our own pre-Raphaelites. To the child and the girl, the peasant and the manufacturing operative, to the grisette and the nun, the lover and the monk, they are precious always. But to the men of supreme power and thoughtfulness, precious only at times; symbolically and pathetically often to the poets, but rarely for their own. sake. They fall forgotten from the great workman's and soldier's hands. Such men will take, in thankfulness, crowns of leaves, or crowns of thorns --not crowns of flowers.

Ruskin.

I

A TOUCH OF CONSCIENCE.

REMEMBER a touch of conscience at school.

My good old aunt, who never parted from me at the end of a holiday without stuffing a sweet-meat, or some nice thing, into my pocket, had dismissed me one evening with a smoking plum-cake, fresh from the oven. In my way to school (it was over London Bridge) a gray-headed old beggar saluted me, (I have no doubt at this time of day that he was a counterfeit.) I had no pence to console him with, and in the vanity of self-denial, and in the very coxcombry of charity, school-boy-like, I made him a present of-the whole cake! I walked on a little, buoyed up, as one is on such occasions, with a sweet soothing of self-satisfaction; but before I had got to the end of the bridge, my better feelings returned, and I burst into tears, thinking how ungrateful I had been to my good aunt, to go and give her good gift away to a stranger, that I had never seen before, and who might be a bad man for aught I knew; and then I thought of the pleasure my aunt would be taking in thinking that I-I myself, and not another-would eat her nice cake-and what should I say to her the next time I saw her-how naughty I was to part with her pretty present-and the odour of that spicy cake came back upon my recollection, and the pleasure and the curiosity I had taken in seeing her make it, and her joy when she sent it to the oven, and how disappointed she would feel that I had never had a bit of it in my mouth at last-and I blamed my impertinent spirit of alms-giving, and outof place hypocrisy of goodness, and above all I wished never to see the face again of that insidious, good-for-nothing, old gray impostor.

Charles Lamb.

A MILK AND WATER EPIGRAM.

"ARE good folk very clean up town?"

Inquired a rustic o'er his porter.
"Clean!" cried a cockney just come down,

"They even wash their milk with water."

'TIS

COUPLETS FROM POPE.

`IS with our judgments as our watches; none
Go just alike, yet each believes his own.

A little learning is a dangerous thing!

Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring.

True wit is nature to advantage dress'd,

What oft was thought, but ne'er so well express'd.

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found.

Envy will merit, as its shade, pursue;

But, like a shadow, prove the substance true.

Good nature and good sense must ever join;
To err is human, to forgive, divine.

Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always to be blest.

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien,
As, to be hated, needs but to be seen.

Honour and state from no condition rise;
Act well your part, there all the honour lies.

"Tis education forms the common mind, And as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.

Good sense, which only is the gift of Heaven,
And, though no science, fairly worth the seven.

THERE

SERMONS IN STONES.

'HERE are no natural objects out of which more can be thus learned than out of stones. They seem to have been created especially to reward a patient observer. Nearly all other objects in nature can be seen, to some extent, without patience, and are pleasant even in being half seen. Trees, clouds, and rivers are enjoyable even by the careless; but the stone under his foot has for carelessness nothing in it but stumbling: no pleasure is languidly to be had out of it, nor food, nor good of any kind; nothing but symbolism of the hard heart and the unfatherly gift. And yet, do but give it some reverence and watchfulness, and there is bread of thought in it, more than in any other lowly feature of all the landscape. For a stone, when it is examined, will be found a mountain in miniature. The fineness of Nature's work is so great, that, into a single block, a foot or two in diameter, she can compress as many changes of form and structure, on a small scale, as she needs for her mountains on a large one; and taking moss for forests, and grains of crystal for crags, the surface of a stone, in by far the plurality of instances, is more interesting than the surface of an ordinary hill; more fantastic in form, and incomparably richer in colour.

Ruskin

LOVE IN MAN AND WOMAN.

IT is an old and received truism-love is an hour with us: it is all night and all day with a woman. Damon has taxes, sermon, parade, tailors' bills, parliamentary duties, and the deuce knows what to think of; Delia has to think about Damon-Damon is the oak, (or the post,) and stands up, and Delia is the ivy or the honeysuckle whose arms twine about him. Is it not so, Delia? Is it not your nature to creep about his feet and kiss them, to twine round his trunk and hang there; and Damon's to stand like a British man with his hands in his breeches pocket, while the pretty fond parasite clings round him?

Thackeray.

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