Fragrance in Travel Literature-Wanderings by southern waters, eastern Aquitaine, by Edward Harrison Barker

Wanderings by southern waters, eastern
Aquitaine, by Edward Harrison Barker


As I went on I soon found that the stony wastes had their flowers too.
It would seem as if Nature had wished to console the desert by giving
to it her loveliest and most enticing blossoms. I came upon colonies
of the poet's narcissus, breathing over the rocks so sweet a fragrance
that it was as if a miracle had been wrought to draw it out of the
earth. I walked knee-deep through blooming asphodels, beautiful and
strange, but only noticed here by the wild bee. I gathered sprays of
the graceful alpine-tea, densely crowded with delicate white bloom,
and marvelled at the wanton splendour of the iris colouring the gray
and yellow stones with its gorgeous blue.

After wandering and loitering by rivers too well fed by the mountains
to dry completely up like the perfidious little Alzou, I have returned
to Roc-Amadour, my headquarters, the summer being far advanced. The
wallflowers no longer deck the old towers and gateways with their
yellow bloom, and scent the morning and evening air with their
fragrance; the countless flags upon the rocky shelves no longer flaunt
their splendid blue and purple, tempting the flower-gatherer to risk a
broken neck; the poet's narcissus and the tall asphodel alike are
gone; so are all the flowers of spring. The wild vine that clambers
over the blackthorn, the maple and the hazel, all down the valley
towards the Dordogne, shows here and there a crimson leaf; and the
little path is fringed with high marjoram, whose blossoms revel amidst
the hot stones, and seem to drink the wine of their life from the
fiery sunbeams. Upon the burning banks of broken rock--gray wastes
sprinkled with small spurges and tufts of the fragrant southernwood,
now opening its mean little flowers--multitudes of flying grasshoppers
flutter, most of them with scarlet wings, and one marvels how they can
keep themselves from being baked quite dry where every stone is hot.
The lizards, which spend most of their time in the grasshoppers'
company, appear equally capable of resisting fire. In the bed of the
Alzou a species of brassica has had time since the last flood to grow
up from the seed, and to spread its dark verdure in broad patches over
the dry sand and pebbles. The ravens are gone--to Auvergne, so it is
said, because they do not like hot weather. The hawks are less
difficult to please on the score of climate; they remain here all the
year round, piercing the air with their melancholy cries.

A little below the summit of the cliff, from the large cavern which
has been fashioned to represent the Holy Sepulchre, there issues a
brilliant light, together with the sound of many voices singing the
'Tantum ergo.' A faint odour of incense wanders here and there among
the shrubs, and mingles with the fragrance of flowers upon the
terraces. Presently the clergy and the pilgrims come forth, and,
forming a long procession, descend the Way of the Cross; and as the
burning tapers that they carry shine and flash amongst the foliage,
these words, familiar to every pilgrim to Roc-Amadour, sung by
hundreds of voices, may be heard afar off in the dark desolate gorge:
'Reine puissante, Mère d'Amour,
Sois-nous compatissante,
O Vierge d'Amadour!'

As I write, other impressions come to mind of this ancient town on the
edge of the great plain of Languedoc. A little garden in the outskirts
became familiar to me by daily use, and I see it still with its almond
and pear trees, its trellised vines, the blue stars of its borage, and
the pure whiteness of its lilies. A bird seizes a noisy cicada from a
sunny leaf, and as it flies away the captive draws out one long scream
of despair. Then comes the golden evening, and its light stays long
upon the trailing vines, while the great lilies gleam whiter and their
breath floods the air with unearthly fragrance. A murmur from across
the plain is growing louder and louder as the trees lose their edges
in the dusk, for those noisy revellers of the midsummer night, the
jocund frogs, have roused themselves, and they welcome the darkness
with no less joy than the swallows some hours later will greet the
breaking dawn.


The figure of the old man bending upon his stick glides away by the
dark willow-fringe of the Tarn, and I am standing alone in the solemn
splendour of the luminous dusk--the clear-obscure of the quickly
passing twilight, beside the bearded corn, whose gold is blended with
the faint rosiness that spreads through the air of the valley, and
lets free the fragrance of those flowers which keep all their
sweetness for the evening. There is still a gleam of the lost sun upon
the priory walls, and over the dark rocks and wooded hollows floats a
purple haze. The dusk gathers apace, and the poplars that rise far
above the willows along the river, their outlines shaded away into the
black forest behind them, stand motionless like phantom trees, for not
a leaf stirs; but the corn seems to grow more luminous, as if it had
drunk something of the fire as well as the colour of the sun, while
the horns of the sinking moon gleam silver-bright just over the
topmost trees, painted in sepia upon a cobalt sky.

At a village called Moulin, lying in a rich and beautiful valley, I
met the Sorgues, one of the larger tributaries of the Tarn, and for
the rest of my journey I had the companionship of a charming stream.
Evening came on, and the fiery blue above me grew soft and rosy. Rosy,
too, were the cornfields, where bands of men and women, fifteen or
twenty together, were reaping gaily, for the heat of the day was gone,
the freshness of the twilight had come, and the fragrance of the
valley was loosened. I had left the last group of reapers behind, and
the silence of the dusk was broken only by the tree crickets and the
rapids of the little river, when a woman passed me on the road and
murmured '_Adicias!_' (God be with you!). '_Adicias!_ I replied, and
then I was again alone. Presently there was a jangling of bells
behind, and I was soon overtaken by three horses and a crowded
_diligence_. The sound of the bells grew fainter and fainter, and once
more I was alone with the summer night. The stars began to shine, and
the river was lost in the mystery of shadow, save where a sunken rock
made the water gleam white, and broke the peace with a cry of trouble.

At a village called Moulin, lying in a rich and beautiful valley, I
met the Sorgues, one of the larger tributaries of the Tarn, and for
the rest of my journey I had the companionship of a charming stream.
Evening came on, and the fiery blue above me grew soft and rosy. Rosy,
too, were the cornfields, where bands of men and women, fifteen or
twenty together, were reaping gaily, for the heat of the day was gone,
the freshness of the twilight had come, and the fragrance of the
valley was loosened. I had left the last group of reapers behind, and
the silence of the dusk was broken only by the tree crickets and the
rapids of the little river, when a woman passed me on the road and
murmured '_Adicias!_' (God be with you!). '_Adicias!_ I replied, and
then I was again alone. Presently there was a jangling of bells
behind, and I was soon overtaken by three horses and a crowded
_diligence_. The sound of the bells grew fainter and fainter, and once
more I was alone with the summer night. The stars began to shine, and
the river was lost in the mystery of shadow, save where a sunken rock
made the water gleam white, and broke the peace with a cry of trouble.

I was at Sainte-Enimie before sunset, and there I found the air laden
with the scent of lavender. True, all the hills round about were
covered with a blue-gray mantle; but I had never known the plant when
undisturbed give out such an aroma before. Looking down from the
little bridge to the waterside, my wonder ceased. There in a line,
with wood-fires blazing under them, were several stills, and behind
these, upon the bank, were heaps of lavender stalks and flowers such
as I had never seen even in imagination. There were enough to fill
several bullock-waggons. The fragrance in the air, however, did not
come so much from these mounds as from the distilled essence. It was
evident that Sainte-Enimie had a considerable trade in lavender-water.

Having passed the ruins of the monastery, whose high loopholed walls
and strong tower showed that it had once been a fortress as well as a
religious house, I was soon rising far above the valley of the Tarn.
The winding road led me up the flanks of stony hills, terraced
everywhere for almond-trees; but after two or three hours of ascent
the almonds dwindled away, and the country became an absolute desert
of brashy hills, showing little asperity of outline, but mournful and
solemn by their wastefulness and abandonment to a degree that makes
the traveller ask himself if he is really in Europe, or has been
transported by magic to the most arid steppes of Asia. But there is a
plant that thrives in this desert, that loves it so much as to give to
it a tinge of dusty blue as far as the eye can reach on every side.
Needless to say that this is the lavender. It was in all its flowering
beauty as I crossed the treeless waste, and it gave to the breath of
the desert what seemed to be the mystical fragrance of peace.

On the stony slope above the orchard, the stock of an old and leafless
vine, showing here and there over the purple flush of flowering
marjoram and the more scattered gold of St. John's-wort, told the
story of the perished vineyard. For centuries a rich wine had flowed
from these slopes, but at length the phylloxera spread over them like
flame, and now where the vine is dead the wild-flower blooms. A little
higher a fringe of broom, the blossom gone, the pods blackening and
shooting their seeds in the sun, marked the line of the virgin
wilderness. Then came tall heather and bracken, dwarf oak and
chestnut, box and juniper, all luxuriating about the blocks of
mica-schist, a rock that holds water and is therefore conducive to a
varied and splendid vegetation, wherever a soil can rest upon it.
Towards the summit the trees and shrubs dwindled away, and then came
the dry thyme-covered turf scenting the air. The tall thyme, the
garden species in the North, had already flowered, but the common wild
thyme of England, the _serpolet_ of the French, was beginning to
spread its purple over the stony ground. A great wooden cross stood
upon the ridge, and hard by, buffeted by the wintry winds and blazed
upon by the summer sun, was the ancient priory of Nôtre Dame de
l'Oder.

In this low valley all corn except
maize had been gathered in, and Nature was resting, after her labour,
with the smile of maternity on her face. Nevertheless, this stillness
of the summer's fulfilment, this pause in the energy of production, is
saddening to the wayfarer, to whom the vernal splendour of the year
and the time of blossoming seem like the gifts of yesterday. The
serenity of the burnished plains now prompts him upward, where he
hopes to overtake the tarrying spring upon the cool and grassy
mountains. Although the mountains towards which I was now bearing were
the melancholy and arid Cevennes, I wished the distance less that lay
between me and their barren flanks, where the breeze would be scented
with the bloom of lavender. There were flowers along the wayside here,
but they were the same that I had been seeing for many a league, and
they reminded me too forcibly of the rapid flight of the summer days
by their haste--their unnecessary haste, as I thought--in passing from
the flower to the seed.

Having taken an hour's rest and a light meal in the village, I
commenced the ascent towards the 'Devil's City.' A mule-path wound up
the steep side of the gorge, which had been partly reclaimed from the
desert by means of terraces where many almond-trees flourished, safe
from the north wind. Very scanty, however, was the vegetation that
grew upon this dry stony soil, burning in summer, and washed in winter
of its organic matter by the mountain rains. Tall woody spurges two
feet high or more, with tufts of dusty green leaves, managed to draw,
however, abundant moisture from the waste, as the milk that gushed
from the smallest wound attested. An everlasting pea, with very large
flowers of a deep rose-colour, also loved this arid steep. I was
wondering why I found no lavender, when I saw a gray-blue tuft above
me, and welcomed it like an old friend. The air was soon scented with
the plant, and for five days I was in the land of lavender. On nearing
the buttresses of the plateau the ground was less steep, and here I
came to pines, junipers, oaks, and the bird-cherry prunus. But the
tree which I was most pleased to find was a plum, with ripe fruit
about the size of a small greengage, but of a beautiful pale
rose-colour.


As I left Entraygues the bells in the church-tower were ringing--not
the monotonous ding-dong with which French people generally have had
to content themselves since the Revolutionists turned the old
bell-metal into sous, but a blithe and joyous peal of high silvery
tones that seemed to belong to the blue air, and to be the voices of
the little spirits that flutter about the morning's rosy veil. My
design was to reach the abbey of Conques before evening, but instead
of going directly towards it over the hills, I preferred to keep as
long as possible in the valley of the Lot, which is here of such
witching loveliness. As there was a road on the river-bank for many
miles, I could follow this fancy, and yet feel the comfort of walking
on good ground. Although the season was getting late, I found the
valley below Entraygues very rich in flowers. Agrimony, mint, and
marjoram, with a tall inula, and the pretty, sweet-scented white
melilot, were in great abundance along the bank. Upon the rocks, which
now bordered the road, were the deep red blossoms of the orpine sedum,
and a small crimson-flowered stock with very hoary stem. A tall
handsome plant about three feet high, with large white flowers, drew
me down a bank to where it was growing near the water. I found that it
was a very luxuriant specimen of the thorn-apple (_datura_). While I
was admiring its poisonous beauty a woman stopped on the road just
above me, and, after contemplating me in silent curiosity for a few
minutes, said to me first in _patois_ and then in French (when I
replied to her in this language):
'It is a wicked plant, that! The beasts will not touch it, so you had
better leave it alone.'

The morning air was fresh, and the fronds of the bracken were wet with
dew, when I left Marsal, and took my course along the margin of the
river through meadows that dwindled away into woodlands, where the
rocky sides of the gorge rose abruptly from the stream. Haymakers were
abroad, and I heard the sound of their scythes cutting through the
heavy swathes with all their flowers; but the sunshine had not yet
flashed down into the deep valley, and the grasshoppers were waiting
to hail it from their watch-towers in the green herbage and on the
purple heather. As the breeze stirred the leaves of the wood, it
brought with it the perfume of hidden honeysuckle. Golden oriels were
busy in the tops of the wild cherry trees, feeding upon the ripe
fruit, and calling out their French name, _loriot_; and when they flew
across the river, a gleam of brilliant yellow moved swiftly over the
rippled surface. For an hour or so I remained in the shade of trees,
and then the sandy path met a road where the gorge widened and
cultivation returned. Here I left the stream for awhile.

For awhile I walked on the lush grass by the brimming river, where in
the little creeks and bays the water-ranunculus floated its small
white flowers that were to continue the race. Then I left the water
and the green ribbon that followed its margin, and, taking a
sheep-track, rose upon the arid steeps, where the thinly-scattered
aromatic southern-wood was putting forth its dusty leaves. The bare
rocks, yellow, white, and gray, towered above me; they were beneath
me; they faced me across the valley; wherever I looked they were
shutting me off from the outer world. No nightingales were singing
here, but I heard the melancholy scream of the hawk and the harsh
croak of the raven. And yet, when I looked down into the bottom of
this steep desert of stones, what soft and vernal beauty was there!
Over the grass of living green was spread the gold of cowslips, just
as if that strip of meadow, with its gently-gliding river, had been
lifted out of an English dale and dropped into the midst of the
sternest scenery of Southern France.


I found that the chief occupation of the people in this house was that
of making Roquefort cheeses; indeed, it was impossible not to guess
what was going on from the all-pervading odour. And yet: I was still
many miles from Roquefort! However, I knew all about this matter
before. I was not twenty miles from Albi when I found that Roquefort
cheese-making was a local industry. In fact, this is the case over a
very wide region. The cheeses, having been made, are sent to Roquefort
to ripen in the cellars, which have been excavated in the rock, and
also to acquire the necessary reputation. While my lunch was being
prepared I looked into the dairy, which was very clean and creditable.
On the ground were large tubs of milk, and on tables were spread many
earthenware moulds pierced with little holes and containing the
pressed curds.


The bright line in the west moved very slowly upwards, and the rain
continued to fall, although less drenchingly than before. The setting
sun strove with the cloud-rack and coloured the veil of vapour that
its rays could not pierce. The nightingales and thrushes in the
shrubs, and the finches amidst the later blossoms of the may, took
heart again, and the song rose from so many throats near and far that
the whole valley of the Dordogne was filled with warbling. As the
birds grew drowsy the frogs came out to spend a happy night on the
margins of the pools and the brooks, until their joyful screaming and
croaking was a universal chorus. I was by the side of the broad river
that flowed calmly through the fairest meadows. The face of the
stream, the pools in the road, the grass and the leaves, were
brightened with the orange glow of a veiled light as of some sacred
fire shining in the dusk through clouds of incense. It grew warmer and
warmer until it purpled and died away in grayness and mournful shadow.
The beauty of nature at such moments, when the colours brighten and
fade like the powers of the mind as the human day is closing, takes a
solemnity that is unearthly, and it is good to be alone with the
mystery.

The sound of solemn music draws me into a church. A requiem Mass is
being chanted. In the middle of the nave, nearer the main door than
the altar, is a deal coffin with gable-shaped lid, barely covered by a
pall. A choir-boy comes out of the sacristy, carrying a pan of live
embers, which he places at the head of the coffin. Then he sprinkles
incense upon the fire, and immediately the smoke rises like a
snow-white cloud towards the vaulting; but, meeting the sunbeams on
its way, it moves up their sloping golden path, and seems to pass
through the clerestory window into the boundless blue.

Fragrance In Religious Traditions-

Fragrance in Travel Literature-Foot-prints of Travel, by Maturin M. Ballou

Foot-prints of Travel, by Maturin M. Ballou


On approaching the Hawaiian group from the north, the first land which is sighted is the island of Oahu, and soon after we pass along the windward shores of Maui and Molokai, doubling the lofty promontory of Diamond Head, which rears its precipitous front seven hundred feet above[Pg 14] the sea. We arrive at the dawn of day, while the rising sun beautifies the mountain tops, the green slopes, the gulches, and fern-clad hills, which here and there sparkle with silvery streamlets. The gentle morning breeze blowing off the land brings us the dewy fragrance of the flowers, which has been distilled from a wilderness of tropical bloom during the night. The land forms a shelter for our vessel, and we glide noiselessly over a perfectly calm sea. As we draw nearer to the shore, sugar plantations, cocoanut groves, and verdant pastures come clearly into view. Here and there the shore is dotted with the low, primitive dwellings of the natives, and occasionally we see picturesque, vine-clad cottages of American or European residents. Approaching still nearer to the city of Honolulu, it seems to be half-buried in a cloud of luxuriant foliage, while a broad and beautiful valley stretches away from the town far back among the lofty hills.

It will be observed that the women ride man-fashion here,—that is, astride of their horses,—and there is a good reason for this. Even European and American ladies who become residents also adopt this mode of riding, because side-saddles are not considered to be safe on the steep mountain roads. If one rides in any direction here, mountains must be crossed. The native women deck themselves in an extraordinary manner with flowers on all gala occasions, while the men wear wreaths of the same about their straw hats, often adding braids of laurel leaves across the shoulders and chest. The white blossoms of the jasmine, fragrant as tuberoses, which they much resemble, are generally employed for this decorative purpose. As a people the Hawaiians are very courteous and respectful,[Pg 18] rarely failing to greet all passing strangers with a softly articulated "alo-ha," which signifies "my love to you."

There is no winter or autumn here, no sere and yellow leaf period, but seemingly a perpetual spring, with a temperature almost unvarying; new leaves always swelling[Pg 40] from the bud, flowers always in bloom, the sun rising and setting within five minutes of six o'clock during the entire year. Singapore enjoys a soft breeze most of the day from across the Bay of Bengal, laden with fragrant sweetness from the spice-fields of Ceylon.

A two days' sail through waters which seem at night like a sea of phosphorescence, every ripple producing flashes of light, will take us to the island of Penang, the most northerly port of the Straits. It resembles Singapore in its people, vegetation, and climate, enjoying one long, unvarying summer. While the birds and butterflies are in perfect harmony with the loveliness of nature, while the flowers are glorious in beauty and in fragrance, man alone seems out of place in this region.

It will be remembered that to this island England banished Arabi Pacha after the sanguinary battlefield of Tel-el-Keber. It is one of the most interesting spots in the East, having been in its prime centuries before the birth of Christ. It was perhaps the Ophir of the Hebrews,[Pg 46] and it still abounds in precious stones and mineral wealth. Here we observe the native women strangely decked with cheap jewelry thrust through the tops and lobes of their ears, in their lips and nostrils, while about their necks hang ornaments consisting of bright sea-shells, mingled with sharks' teeth. If we go into the jungle, we find plenty of ebony, satin-wood, bamboo, fragrant balsam, and india-rubber trees; we see the shady pools covered with the lotus of fable and poetry, resembling huge pond-lilies; we behold brilliant flowers growing in tall trees, and others, very sweet and lowly, blooming beneath our feet. Vivid colors flash before our eyes, caused by the blue, yellow, and scarlet plumage of the feathered tribe. Parrots and paroquets are seen in hundreds. Storks, ibises, and herons fly lazily over the lagoons, and the gorgeous peacock is seen in his wild condition.

Tasmania is largely occupied for sheep-runs and wool-raising. The eastern side of the island is studded with lovely homesteads carefully fenced, the grounds about the residences being covered with fruit trees and flower plats. There does not appear to be any waste land, all is carefully improved in the peopled districts. The roads are often lined with thrifty hedges, symmetrically trimmed, frequently consisting of the brilliant, constant flowering, fragrant yellow gorse, and sometimes of the stocky species of scarlet geranium. This sort is not fragrant but becomes very thick by being cut partly down annually, until it makes an almost impenetrable hedge. Prosperity and good taste are everywhere noticeable, amid a succession of landscapes like those of the populous New England States.

The last part of this brief journey, that from Oxford to Ohinemutu, takes us through one of the grandest forests[Pg 99] in all New Zealand, extending eighteen or twenty miles, with scarcely a human habitation or sign of life, save the cabin where we change horses, and the occasional flutter of a bird. In this forest, mingled with tall columnar trees of various species, are seen frequent examples of the fern-tree thirty feet in height, and of surpassing beauty, spreading out their plumed summits like Egyptian palms, while the stems have the graceful inclination of the cocoanut-tree. The picturesque effect of the birches is remarkable, flanked by the massive outlines and drooping tassels of the rimu. For miles of the way on either side of the narrow road the forest is impenetrable even to the eye, save for the shortest distances, presenting a tangled mass of foliage, vines, and branches such as can be matched only by the virgin forests of Brazil, or the dangerous jungles of India. Ground ferns are observed in infinite variety, sometimes of a silvery texture, sometimes of orange-yellow, but oftenest of the various shades of green. Here, too, we make acquaintance with the sweet-scented manuaka, the fragrant veronica, and the glossy-leaved karaka; this last is the pride of the Maoris.

A journey of nine hundred miles, still over these broad plains of India, will bring us to the city of Agra, which, like Delhi, stands not on the Ganges, but on its great tributary, the Jumna. It is an important city, containing over forty thousand inhabitants. To all who visit this place the first object of interest will be the Taj (pronounced Tahj) Mahal, or tomb of the wife of the Emperor Shah-Jehan. It is the most interesting edifice in India and one of the most beautiful in the world. A tomb in this country means a magnificent structure of marble, with domes and minarets, the walls inlaid with precious stones, and the whole surrounded by gardens, fountains, and artificial lakes, covering from ten to twenty acres. Cheap as labor is in India, the Taj must have cost some fifteen millions of dollars, and was seventeen years in building. The Mogul Emperor resolved to erect the most superb monument ever reared to commemorate a woman's name, and he succeeded, for herein Mohammedan architecture reached its height. The mausoleum is situated in a spacious garden, the equal of which can hardly be found elsewhere, beautiful to the eye and delightful to the senses, with fragrant flowers, exotic and indigenous. This grand structure, with the ripeness of centuries upon it, is no ruin; all is fragrant and fresh as at the hour when it was completed. It is of white marble, three hundred feet in height, the principal dome being eighty feet high, and of such exquisite form and harmony is the whole that it seems almost to float in the air.

Arrived at the famous Rock, we are at once impressed upon landing with its military importance. Every other person one meets is in uniform, and cannon are as plenty as at Woolwich or West Point. The Signal Station is fifteen hundred feet in height. The zigzag path leading to the summit is lined with wild-flowers, though we come[Pg 140] now and again upon embrasures, whence protrude grim-muzzled guns. Further up we stoop to gather some daphnes and disclose a battery screened by fragrant and blooming flowers. From the top the view is magnificent; the white wings of commerce which sprinkle the sea look like sea-gulls, and steamships are only discernible by the long line of smoke trailing behind them. Far below us, on the Spanish side, lies the town, a thick mass of yellow, white, and brown houses; and nestling in the bay is the shipping, looking like toy-boats. The mountain ranges of Ceuta and Andalusia, on opposite continents, mingle with soft, over-shadowing clouds, while over our heads is a glorious dome of turquoise blue, such as no temple raised by the hand of man can imitate.

Granada is situated about seventy miles north of Malaga, where set the sun of Moorish glory, but where still exists that embodiment of romance, the Alhambra. This palace-fortress is the one attraction of the district. It is difficult to realize that the Moors possessed such architectural skill, and that they produced such splendid palaces centuries ago. It is also quite as remarkable that Time, the great destroyer, should have spared for our admiration such minute, lace-like carvings, and such brilliant mosaics. The marvel of the architecture is its perfect harmony; there[Pg 147] are no jarring elements in this superb structure, no false notes in the grand anthem which it articulates. In visiting the Alhambra one must be assisted by both history and the imagination; he must know something of the people who built and beautified it; he must be able to summon back the brave warriors and beautiful ladies from the dim past to people again these glorious halls. He must call to life the orange, the myrtle, and the myriads of fragrant flowers that bloomed of old in these now silent marble courts. As we pass from one section to another, from hall to hall, chamber to chamber, lingering with busy thoughts amid the faded glory, the very atmosphere teems with historical reminiscences of that most romantic period, the mediæval days, when the Moors held regal court in Andalusia. A lurking sympathy steals over us for that exiled people who could create and give life to such a terrestrial paradise.

The gayly dressed flower-girls, with dainty little baskets rich in color and captivating in fragrance, press button-hole bouquets on the pedestrians, while men perambulate the streets with cakes and candies displayed in open wooden boxes hung about their necks. In short, Sunday is made a holiday, when grandees and beggars come forth like marching regiments into the Puerto del Sol. The Prado and public gardens are crowded with gayly dressed people, children, and nurses, the costumes of the latter being of the most theatrical character. No one who can walk stays within doors on Sunday at Madrid.

The distance from Bordeaux to Paris is about four hundred miles. The route passes all the way through a charming and highly cultivated country. The well-prepared fields are green with varied crops, showing a high state of cultivation. Flocks of sheep, tended by shepherdesses with tall Norman caps of white linen and picturesque bright colored dresses, enliven the landscape. These industrious women are seen knitting as they watch their charge. Others are driving oxen while men hold the plow. Gangs of men and women together in long rows are preparing the ground for the seed, and all seem cheerful and happy. The small railroad stations recall those of India between Tuticorin and Madras, where the surroundings are beautified by fragrant flower-gardens, their bland, odorous breath acting like a charm upon the senses amid the noise and bustle of arrival and departure. Now and again as we progress the pointed architecture of some picturesque château presents itself among the clustering trees, with its bright verdant lawn and neat outlying buildings, and so we speed swiftly on until by and by we glide into the large station at Paris.


The flower market of this large capital is ever [Pg 167]suggestive and interesting. The women, of all ages, who bring these floral gems to the city, exhibit a taste in their arrangement which would be of value to a professional artist. One may detect a living poem in each little department. The principal square devoted to this purpose is situated just over the Pont Neuf and borders the Seine. The market is changed so as to be held for two days of each week under the shadow of the Madeleine, in the Place de la Madeleine, the noblest of modern Christian temples in its chaste architecture. As we come down from the Rue Scribe, in the early part of the day, we see vehicles, with liveried attendants, pause while the fair occupants purchase a cluster of favorite flowers; dainty beauties on foot come hither to go away laden with fragrant gems, while well-dressed men deck their buttonholes with a bit of color and fragrance combined. Here is a white-frocked butcher selecting a full-blown pot of pansies, and here a sad-faced woman, in widow's weeds, takes away a wreath of immortelles—to-night it will deck a tomb in the cemetery of Père la Chaise. This giddy and nervous fellow, who is full of smiles, takes away a wedding wreath—price is no object to him. Yonder is a pale-faced shop-girl—what sunny yet half-sad features she has! She must perhaps forego her dinner in order to possess that pot of mignonette, but she trips lightly away with it in a happy mood.

Monte Carlo, the headquarters of the gambling fraternity, lies within a mile of the palace on the shore line. The beautiful spot where the "Casino" (gambling saloon) is situated is one of the most picturesque which can be conceived of, overlooking from a considerable height the Mediterranean Sea. To the extraordinary beauties accorded by nature man has added his best efforts, lavishing money to produce unequalled attractions. There is here an elegant hotel, brilliant café, attractive saloons, delightful[Pg 177] gardens, floral bowers, shooting-galleries, in short, nearly every possible device to fascinate and occupy the visitor. The roads over which we drive in this vicinity are full of interest, besides the delightful views which greet us on every hand. Wayside shrines to the Virgin are seen at every cross-road, and upon every hillside we meet scores of priests; the little church-bells are ringing incessantly; the roads are thronged with beggars; the beautiful-faced but ragged children attract us by their bright eyes and dark complexions, just touched with a soft rose-tint. We are surprised at the multiplicity of donkeys, their bodies hidden by big loads of merchandise; we observe with interest those handsome milk-white oxen, with wide-spreading horns; we inhale the fragrance of the orange groves, and remember that we are in Italy.

The common people of Florence seem actuated by a universal spirit of industry; and as to beggars, we see none upon its streets—a fact worthy of note in Italy. The women fruit-dealers on the corners of the streets are busy with their needles, while awaiting customers; the flower-girls are equally industrious, sitting beside their fragrant wares; the girl who opens the gate for us and guides us to the tombs of Mrs. Browning and Theodore Parker, in the city burial grounds, knits steadily as she walks. The public park is called the Cascine, and lies along the banks of the Arno; in some respects it is more attractive than most of such resorts in Europe, being finely wooded, and consequently presenting shady drives, and quiet rural retreats for pedestrians. It is the favorite resort of all classes who have leisure in the after part of the day, and is enlivened three or four times each week by the presence of a military band, which discourses the choicest music to ears ever ready for this sort of entertainment: no people are more fond of music than the Italians.

The flowers of the torrid and temperate zones, as a rule, close their eyes like human beings, and sleep a third or half of the twenty-four hours, but in Arctic regions, life to those lovely children of Nature is one long sunny period, and sleep comes only with death and decay. It will also be observed that the flowers assume more vivid colors and emit more fragrance during their brief lives than they do in the south. The long, delightful period of twilight during the summer season is seen here in perfection, full of roseate loveliness. There is no dew to be encountered or avoided, no dampness; all is crystal clearness.

The short-lived summer perhaps makes flowers all the more carefully tended. In the rudest domestic quarters a few pet plants are seen whose arrangement and nurture show womanly care. Every window in the humble dwellings has its living screen of drooping, many-colored fuchsias, geraniums, forget-me-nots, and monthly roses. The ivy is especially prized here, and is picturesquely trained to hang about the window-frames. The fragrant sweet-pea, with its snow-white and peach-blossom hues, is often mingled prettily with the dark green of the ivy, the climbing propensities of each making them fitting mates. Surely there must be an innate sense of refinement among the people of these frost-imbued regions, whatever their seeming, when they are actuated by such delicate tastes.

San Salvador is sighted on our starboard bow (right-hand side), the spot where Columbus first landed in the New World. It will be found laid down on most English maps as Cat Island, and is now the home of two or three thousand colored people, the descendants of imported Africans. The island is nearly as large as New Providence. It is said that the oranges grown here are the sweetest and best that are known. The voyager in these latitudes is constantly saluted by gentle breezes full of tropical fragrance, intensified in[Pg 339] effect by the distant view of cocoanut, palmetto, and banana trees, clothing the islands in a mantle of green, down to the very water's edge. As we glide along, gazing shoreward, now and again little groups of swallows seem to be flitting a few feet above the waves, then suddenly disappearing beneath the water. These are flying-fish enjoying an air-bath, either in frolic or in fear; pursued possibly by some dreaded enemy in the sea, which they are trying to escape.

The winding channel which leads from the sea to the harbor passes through low hills and broad meadows covered with rank verdure, cocoanut groves, and fishing hamlets. Thrifty palms and intensely green bananas line the way, with here and there upon the pleasant banks a charming country-house in the midst of a garden fragrant with flowers. So close is the shore all the while that one seems to be navigating upon the land, gliding among trees[Pg 342] and over greensward rather than upon blue water. Steaming slowly up the Santiago River, we presently pass a sharp angle of the hills, leading into a broad sheltered bay, upon whose banks stands the rambling old city of Santiago de Cuba, built on a hillside like Tangier, in Africa, and it is almost as Oriental as the capital of Morocco. The first and most conspicuous objects to meet the eye are the twin towers of the ancient cathedral, which have withstood so many earthquakes.

The delightful climate is exemplified by the abundance and variety of fruits and flowers. Let us visit a private garden in the environs of the city. Here the mango with its peach-like foliage is found, bending to the ground with the weight of its ripening fruit; the alligator-pear is wonderfully beautiful in its blossom, suggesting in form and[Pg 345] color the passion-flower; the soft, delicate foliage of the tamarind is like our sensitive plant; the banana-trees are in full bearing, the deep green fruit (it is ripened and turns yellow off the tree), being in clusters of nearly a hundred, tipped at the same time by a single, pendent, glutinous bud nearly as large as a pineapple. Here we see also the star-apple-tree, remarkable for its uniform and graceful shape, full of green fruit, with here and there a ripening specimen. The zapota, in its rusty coat, hangs in tempting abundance. From low, broad-spreading trees hangs the grape fruit, as large as a baby's head and yellow as gold; while the orange and lemon trees, bearing blossoms, and green and ripening fruit all together, serve to charm the eye and to fill the garden with rich fragrance.

The flowers were strongly individualized. The frangipanni, tall, and almost leafless, with thick, flesh-like shoots, and decked with a small, white blossom, was fragrant and abundant. Here, also, was the wild passion-flower, in which the Spaniards thought they beheld the emblem of our Saviour's passion. The golden-hued peta was found beside the myriad-flowering oleander and the night-blooming cereus, while the luxuriant undergrowth was braided with the cactus and the aloe. They were also delighted by tropical fruits in confusing variety, of which they knew not even the names.

This was four hundred years ago, and to-day the same flowers and the same luscious fruits grow upon the soil in similar abundance. Nature in this land of endless summer puts forth strange eagerness, ever running to fruits, flowers, and fragrance, as if they were outlets for her exuberant fancy.

It seems unreasonable that, when the generous, fruitful soil of Cuba is capable of producing two or three crops of vegetation annually, the agricultural interests of the island should be so poorly developed. Thousands of acres of virgin soil have never been broken. Cuba is capable of supporting a population of almost any density; certainly[Pg 359] five or six millions of people might find goodly homes here, and yet the largest estimate of the present number of inhabitants gives only a million and a half. When we tread the fertile soil and behold the clustering fruits in such abundance,—the citron, the star-apple, the perfumed pineapple, the luscious banana, and others,—not forgetting the various noble woods which caused Columbus to exclaim with pleasure, we are forcibly struck with the thought of how much nature, and how little man, has done for this "Eden of the Gulf." We long to see it peopled by those who can appreciate the gifts of Providence,—men willing to do their part in grateful recognition of the possibilities so liberally bestowed by Heaven.

There is here a fine specimen of the Australian musk-tree, which attains a height of nearly twenty feet, and exhales from leaf and bark a peculiar sweet odor, though not at all like what its name indicates. Here we see also the she-oak-tree, which is said to emit a curious wailing sound during the quietest state of the atmosphere, when there is not a breath of wind to move the branches or the leaves. This tree is found growing near the sea in Australia, and is said to have borrowed the murmur of the conch-shell. It has proved to be the inspiring theme of many a local poet. The flowers in this garden are as attractive as the trees; fuchsias, roses, and camellias are in great perfection and variety, flanked by a species of double pansies and a whole army of brilliant tulips. Flowers bloom in every month of the year in this region, out of doors, and are rarely troubled by the frost.

While we are approaching Cairo, and are yet two or three leagues away, the dim outlines of the everlasting pyramids are seen through the shimmering haze, softly outlined against the evening sky. It is impossible not to recall the words of the Humpback, in the Thousand and One Nights, as we see the pyramids and glistening minarets of the Oriental city coming into view; "He who hath not seen Cairo hath not seen the world; its soil is golden; its Nile is a wonder; its women are like the black-eyed virgins of Paradise; its houses are palaces; and its air is soft,—its odor surpassing that of aloes-wood and cheering the heart,—and how can Cairo be otherwise, when it is the Mother of the world?"

The bazaars present a novel aspect. Here an old bearded Turk offers for sale odors, curious pastes and essences, with kohl for shading about the eyes, and henna dye for the fingers. Another has various ornaments of sandal wood, delicately wrought fans, and other trifles. His next-door neighbor, whose quarters are only a degree more dingy, offers pipes, curiously made, with carved amber mouthpieces, and others with long, flexible, silken tubes. Turbaned crowds stroll leisurely about. Now a strong and wiry Bedouin passes, leading his horse and taking count of everything with his sharp, black eyes, and now a Nile boatman. Yonder is an Abyssinian slave, and beyond is an Egyptian trader, with here and there a Greek or a Maltese. Amid it all one feels curious as to where Aladdin's uncle may be just now, with his new lamps to exchange for old ones. We will ascend the loftiest point of this Arabian city to obtain a more comprehensive view.

here is an abundance of iron and copper from the Urals, dried fish in tall piles from the Caspian, tea from China, cotton from India, silk and rugs from Persia, heavy furs and sables from Siberia, wool in the raw state from Cashmere, together with the varied products of the trans-Caucasian provinces, even including droves of wild horses. Fancy goods are here displayed from England as well as from Paris and Vienna, toys from Nuremberg, ornaments of jade and lapis-lazuli from Kashgar, precious stones from Ceylon, and gems from pearl-producing Penang. Variety, indeed! Then what a conglomerate of odors permeates everything,—boiled cabbage, coffee, tea, and tanned leather,—dominated by the all-pervading musk; but all this is quite in consonance with the queer surroundings which meet the eye, where everything presents itself through an Oriental haze.

Hong Kong is an island nearly forty miles in circumference, consisting of a cluster of hills rising almost to the dignity of mountains. The gray granite of which the island is mostly composed, furnishes an excellent material for building purposes, and is largely employed for that object, affording a good opportunity for architectural display. A trip of a hundred miles up the Pearl River takes us to Canton, strangest of strange cities. It has a population of a million and a half, and yet there is not a street of over ten feet in width within the walls, horses and wheeled vehicles being unknown. The city extends a[Pg 35] distance of five miles along the river, and a hundred thousand people live in boats. At the corners of the streets, niches in the walls of the houses contain idols, before which incense is constantly burning day and night.

The areca-palm, known as the Penang-tree, is the source of the betel-nut, which is chewed by the natives as a stimulant; and as it abounds on the island, it has given it the name it bears. The town covers about a square mile, through which runs one broad, main street, intersected by lesser thoroughfares at right angles. A drive about the place gives us an idea that it is a thrifty town, but not[Pg 42] nearly so populous as Singapore. It is also observable that the Chinese element predominates here. The main street is lined by shops kept by them. The front of the dwellings being open, gives the passer-by a full view of all that may be going on inside the household. Shrines are nearly always seen in some nook or corner, before which incense is burning, this shrine-room evidently being also the sleeping, eating, and living room.

As we view the scene, Military Mass begins. The congregation is very small, consisting almost exclusively of women, who seem to do penance for both sexes in Cuba. The military band, which leads the column of infantry, marches, playing an operatic air, while turning one side for the soldiery to pass on towards the altar. The time-keeping steps of the men upon the marble floor mingle with drum, fife, and organ. Over all, one catches now and then the subdued voice of the priest, reciting his prescribed part at the altar, where he kneels and reads alternately. The boys in white gowns busily swing incense vessels; the tall, flaring candles cast long shadows athwart the high altar; the files of soldiers kneel and rise at the tap of the drum; seen through an atmosphere clouded by the fumes of burning incense, all this combines to make up a picture which is sure to forcibly impress itself upon the memory.

Fragrance in Literature-The Wild Huntress, by Mayne Reid

The Wild Huntress, by Mayne Reid

Fancy, then, a fine morning in May—a sunshine that turns all it touches into gold—an atmosphere laden with the perfume of wild-flowers—the hum of honey-seeking bees—the song of birds commingling in sweetest melody—and you have the mise en scène of a squatter’s cabin on the banks of the Obion, half an hour after the rising of the sun. Can such a picture be called commonplace? Rather say it is enchanting.

Glance into the forest-glade! It is an opening in the woods—a clearing, not made by the labour of human hands, but a work of Nature herself: a spot of earth where the great timber grows not, but in its place shrubs and tender grass, plants and perfumed flowers.

And yet this beauty appears under a russet garb. There is no evidence of excessive toilet-care. The brush and comb have been but sparingly used; and neither perfume nor pomatum has been employed to heighten the shine of those luxuriant locks. There is sun-tan on the face, that, perhaps with the aid of soap, might be taken off; but it is permitted to remain. The teeth, too, might be made whiter with a dentifrice and brush; but in all likelihood the nearest approach to their having ever been cleansed has been while chewing a piece of tough deer-meat. Nevertheless, without any artificial aids, the young man’s beauty proclaims itself in every feature—the more so, perhaps that, in gazing upon his face, you are impressed with the idea that there is an “outcome” in it.

On emerging from the shadow of the tall trees into the open glade effulgent with flowers, his gaiety seems to have reached its climax: it breaks forth in song; and for some minutes the forest re-echoes the well-known lay of “Woodman spare that tree.” Whence this joyous humour? Why are those eyes sparkling with a scarce concealed triumph? Is there a sweetheart expected? Is the glade to the scene of a love-interview—that glade perfumed and flowery, as if designed for such a purpose? The conjecture is reasonable: the young hunter has the air of one who keeps an assignation—one, too, who dreams not of disappointment. Near the edge of the glade, on the side opposite to that by which the hunter has come in, is a fallen tree. Its branches and bark have long since disappeared, and the trunk is bleached to a brilliant white. In the phraseology of the backwoods, it is no longer a tree, but a “log.” Towards this the hunter advances. On arriving at the log he seats himself upon it, in the attitude of one who does not anticipate being for long alone.

Behold the dark sumac in crimson arrayed,
Whose veins with the deadliest poison are rife!
And, side by her side, on the edge of the glade,
The sassafras laurel, restorer of life!
Behold the tall maples turned red in their hue,
And the muscadine vine, with its clusters of blue;
And the lotus, whose leaves have scarce time to unfold,
Ere they drop, to discover its berries of gold;
And the bay-tree, perfumed, never changing its sheen,
And for ever enrobed in its mantle of green!

In infamy now the bold slanderer slumbers,
Who falsely declared ’twas a land without song!
Had he listened, as I, to those musical numbers
That liven its woods through the summer-day long—
Had he slept in the shade of its blossoming trees,
Or inhaled their sweet balm ever loading the breeze,
He would scarcely have ventured on statement so wrong—
“Her plants without perfume, her birds without song.”
Ah! closet-philosopher, sure, in that hour,
You had never beheld the magnolia’s flower?

Slowly and reluctantly, I turned back from the stream, and once more entered amid the wreck of the hurricane. Along the sunny path, the flowers appeared to sparkle with a fresher brilliancy—imbuing the air with sweet odours, wafted from many a perfumed chalice. The birds sang with clearer melody; and the hum of the honey-bee rang through the glades more harmoniously than ever. The “coo-coo-oo” of the doves blending with the love-call of the squirrel, betokened that both were inspired by the tenderest of passions.

And this was the grand beauty upon which the young backwoodsman had so enthusiastically descanted. Often had he described it to my incredulous ear. I had attributed his praises to the partiality of a lover’s eye—having not the slightest suspicion that their object was possessed of such merits. No more should I question the justice of his admiration, nor wonder at its warmth. The rude hyperbole that had occasionally escaped him, when speaking of the “girl”—as he called her—no longer appeared extravagant. In truth, the charms of this magnificent maiden were worthy of metaphoric phrase. Perhaps, had I seen her first—before looking upon Lilian—that is, had I not seen Lilian at all—my own heart might have yielded to this half-Indian damsel? Not so now. The gaudy tulip may attract the eye, but the incense of the perfumed violet is sweeter to the soul. Even had both been presented together, I could not have hesitated in my choice. All the same should I have chosen the gold and the rose; and my heart’s preference was now fixed, fondly and for ever.


We were just entering the glade, as he finished speaking—an opening in the woods of limited extent. The contrast between it and the dark forest-path we had traversed was striking—as the change itself was pleasant. It was like emerging suddenly from darkness into daylight: for the full moon, now soaring high above the spray of the forest, filled the glade with the ample effulgence of her light. The dew-besprinkled flowers were sparkling like gems; and, even though it was night, their exquisite aroma had reached us afar off in the forest. There was not a breath of air stirring; and the unruffled leaves presented the sheen of shining metal. Under the clear moonlight, I could distinguish the varied hues of the frondage—that of the red maple from the scarlet sumacs and sassafras laurels; and these again, from the dark-green of the Carolina bay-trees, and the silvery foliage of the Magnolia glauca.

It was, moreover, the hour of most interest in the daily routine of a travelling-train: when forms cluster around the bivouac fire, and bright faces shine cheerfully in the blaze; when the song succeeds the supper, the tale is told, and the merry laugh rings on the air; when the pipe sends up its aromatic wreaths of blue curling smoke; and sturdy limbs, already rested from the toils of the day, feel an impulse to spring upward on the “light fantastic toe.” On that eve, such an impulse had inspired the limbs of the Mormon emigrants. Scarcely had the débris of the supper been removed, ere a space was cleared midway between the blazing fires; music swelled upon the air—the sounds of fiddle, horn, and clarionet—and half a score of couples, setting themselves en quadrille, commence treading time to the tune. Sufficiently bizarre was the exhibition—a dance of the true “broad-horn” breed; but we had no thought of criticising an entertainment so opportune to our purpose. The swelling sound of the instruments drowning low conversation—the confusion of many voices—the attraction of the saltatory performance—were all circumstances that had suddenly and unexpectedly arisen in our favour. My companion and I had no longer a fear that our movements would be noted. Indeed, only those who might be in the waggons, and looking through the draw-string aperture in the rear of the tilts, would be likely to see us at all. But most of these apertures were closed, some with curtains of common canvas—others with an old counterpane, a blanket, or such rag as was fitted for the service.

Fragrance in Travel Literature-Italy, the Magic Land, by Lilian Whiting

Italy, the Magic Land, by Lilian Whiting


The Via delle Quattro Fontane, on which the Palazzo Barberini stands,
might well be known as the street of the wonderful vista. One strolls
down it to the Via Sistina and to Piazza Trinita de' Monti at the head
of the Spanish steps (the Scala di Spagna), pausing for the loveliness
of the view. Across the city rises the opposite height of Monte Mario,
and to the left the Janiculum, now crowned with the magnificent
equestrian statue of Garibaldi, which is in evidence from almost every
part of Rome. As far as the eye can see the Campagna stretches away,
infinite as the sea--a very Campagna Mystica. The luminous air, the
faint, misty blue of the distance, the deep purple shadows on the hills,
make up a landscape of color. At the foot of the Spanish steps the
flower venders spread out their wares,--great bunches of the
flame-colored roses peculiar to Italy, the fragrant white hyacinths,
golden jonquils, baskets of violets, and masses of lilies of the valley.

There rise before one those
mornings, all gold and azure, of loitering over the stone parapet on
Monte Pincio, gazing down on the city in her most alluring mood. The
new bridge that is to connect the Pincio with the Villa Borghese is a
picturesque feature in its unfinished state; but the vision traverses
the deep ravine and revels in the scene of the Borghese grounds carpeted
with flowers. Its picturesque slopes under the great trees, with a view
of Michael Angelo's dome in the near distance, are the resort of morning
strollers, who find that lovely picture of Charles Walter Stetson's--a
stretch of landscape under the ilex trees, the scarlet gowns of the
divinity students giving vivid accents of color here and there--fairly
reproduced in nature before their vision. One should never be in haste
as the bewildering beauty of the Roman spring weaves its emerald
fantasies on grass and trees, and touches into magical bloom the scarlet
poppies that flame over all the meadows, and caress roses and hyacinths
and lilies of the valley into delicate bloom and floating fragrance
until the Eternal City is no more Rome, but Arcady, instead--one should
never be in haste to toss his penny into the _Fontane de Trevi_. Yet in
another way it may work for him an immediate spell that defies all other
necromancy. Judiciously thrown in, on the very eve of departure, it is
the conjurer that insures his return; but at any time prior to this it
may even weave the irresistible enchantment that falls upon him and may
prevent his leaving at all.

No one really knows Rome until he has watched the transcendent
loveliness of spring investing every nook and corner of the Eternal
City. The picturesque Spanish steps are a very garden of fragrance, the
lower steps of the terraced flight being taken possession of by the
flower venders who display their wares,--masses of white lilac,
flame-colored roses, rose and purple hyacinths and baskets of violets
and carnations. Did all this fragrance and beauty send up its incense to
Keats as he lay in the house adjoining, with the musical plash of
Bernini's fountain under his window? It is pleasant to know that by the
appreciation of American and English authors, the movement effectively
directed by Robert Underwood Johnson, this house consecrated to a poet's
memory has been purchased to be a permanent memorial to Keats and to
Shelley. A library of their works will be arranged in it; and portraits,
busts, and all mementos that can be collected of these poets will render
this memorial one of the beautiful features of Rome.

Encircled by the old Aurelian wall and near the great pyramid that marks
the tomb of Caius Cestius, who died 12 B.C., lies the Protestant
cemetery of Rome, full of bloom and fragrance and beauty, under the
dark, solemn cypress trees that stand like ever-watchful sentinels. When
Keats was buried here (in 1820), Shelley wrote of "the romantic and
lovely cemetery ... under the pyramid of Caius Cestius, and the mossy
walls and towers now mouldering and desolate which formed the circuit of
ancient Rome. The cemetery is an open space among the ruins, covered
even in winter with violets and daisies. It might make one in love with
death," he added, "to think of being buried in so sweet a place.

The roses of Capri would form a chapter alone. What walks there are
where the air is all fragrance of acacia and rose and orange blossoms!
Cascades of roses in riotous luxuriance festoon the old gray stone
walls; the pale pink of the early dawn or of a shell by the seashore,
the amber of the Banskeia rose, the great golden masses of the Marechal
Niel, their faint yellow gleaming against the deep green leaves of
myrtle and frond. The intense glowing scarlet of the gladiolus flames
from rocks and roadside, and rosemary and the purple stars of hyacinths
garland the ways, until one feels like journeying only in his singing
robes. The deep, solemn green of stone pines forms canopies under the
sapphire skies, and through their trunks one gazes on the sapphire sea.
Is Capri the isle of Epipsychidion?

"Is there now any one that knows
What a world of mystery lies deep down in the heart of a rose?"


Sorrento, with its memories and associations of Tasso, seems a place in
which one cares only to sit on the balcony of the hotel overhanging the
sea and watch the magic spectacle of a panorama unrivalled in all the
beauty of the world. Flowers grow in riotous profusion; the fairy sail
of a flitting boat is caught in the deepening dusk; the dark outline of
Vesuvius is seen against the horizon; and orange orchards gleam against
gray walls. Here Tasso was born, in 1544, fit haunt for a poet, with
tangles of gay blossoms and the aerial line of mountain peaks. A low
parapet borders the precipice, and over it one leans in the air heavy
with perfume of locust blossoms. Has the lovely town anything beside
sunsets and stars and poets' dreams? Who could ask for more?

History is in the air, and you feel that the very
daisies you crush underfoot, the very copses from which you pluck a
scented spray, have their delicate rustic ancestries, dating back to
Attila, who is said once to have brought his destructive presence where
now such sweet solemnity of desertion and quietude unmolestedly rules."

In
all the world there is no such example of encrusted architecture as that
revealed in St. Mark's. It is a gleaming mass of gold, opal, ruby, and
pearl; with alabaster pillars carved in designs of palm and pomegranate
and lily; with legions of sculptured angels looking down; with altars of
gold ablaze with scarlet flowers and snowy lilies, while clouds of
mystic incense fill the air. One most impressive place is the
baptistery, where is the tomb of St. Mark and also that of the Doge
Andrea Dandolo, who died at the age of forty-six, having been chosen
Doge ten years before. His tomb is under a window in the baptistery, and
the design is that of his statue in bronze, lying on a couch, while two
angels at the head and the feet hold back the curtains.

Fragrance in Literature-Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens



Some medical beast had revived Tar-water in those days as a fine medicine, and Mrs. Joe always kept a supply of it in the cupboard; having a belief in its virtues correspondent to its nastiness. At the best of times, so much of this elixir was administered to me as a choice restorative, that I was conscious of going about, smelling like a new fence. On this particular evening the urgency of my case demanded a pint of this mixture, which was poured down my throat, for my greater comfort, while Mrs. Joe held my head under her arm, as a boot would be held in a bootjack. Joe got off with half a pint; but was made to swallow that (much to his disturbance, as he sat slowly munching and meditating before the fire), "because he had had a turn." Judging from myself, I should say he certainly had a turn afterwards, if he had had none before.

The stranger did not recognize me, but I recognized him as the gentleman I had met on the stairs, on the occasion of my second visit to Miss Havisham. I had known him the moment I saw him looking over the settle, and now that I stood confronting him with his hand upon my shoulder, I checked off again in detail his large head, his dark complexion, his deep-set eyes, his bushy black eyebrows, his large watch-chain, his strong black dots of beard and whisker, and even the smell of scented soap on his great hand.

Biddy, having rubbed the leaf to pieces between her hands,—and the smell of a black-currant bush has ever since recalled to me that evening in the little garden by the side of the lane,—said, "Have you never considered that he may be proud?"

What a doleful night! How anxious, how dismal, how long! There was an inhospitable smell in the room, of cold soot and hot dust; and, as I looked up into the corners of the tester over my head, I thought what a number of blue-bottle flies from the butchers', and earwigs from the market, and grubs from the country, must be holding on up there, lying by for next summer. This led me to speculate whether any of them ever tumbled down, and then I fancied that I felt light falls on my face,—a disagreeable turn of thought, suggesting other and more objectionable approaches up my back. When I had lain awake a little while, those extraordinary voices with which silence teems began to make themselves audible. The closet whispered, the fireplace sighed, the little washing-stand ticked, and one guitar-string played occasionally in the chest of drawers. At about the same time, the eyes on the wall acquired a new expression, and in every one of those staring rounds I saw written, DON'T GO HOME.

At first, as I lay quiet on the sofa, I found it painfully difficult, I might say impossible, to get rid of the impression of the glare of the flames, their hurry and noise, and the fierce burning smell. If I dozed for a minute, I was awakened by Miss Havisham's cries, and by her running at me with all that height of fire above her head. This pain of the mind was much harder to strive against than any bodily pain I suffered; and Herbert, seeing that, did his utmost to hold my attention engaged.

It was another half-hour before I drew near to the kiln. The lime was burning with a sluggish stifling smell, but the fires were made up and left, and no workmen were visible. Hard by was a small stone-quarry. It lay directly in my way, and had been worked that day, as I saw by the tools and barrows that were lying about.

It fell out as Wemmick had told me it would, that I had an early opportunity of comparing my guardian's establishment with that of his cashier and clerk. My guardian was in his room, washing his hands with his scented soap, when I went into the office from Walworth; and he called me to him, and gave me the invitation for myself and friends which Wemmick had prepared me to receive. "No ceremony," he stipulated, "and no dinner dress, and say to-morrow." I asked him where we should come to (for I had no idea where he lived), and I believe it was in his general objection to make anything like an admission, that he replied, "Come here, and I'll take you home with me." I embrace this opportunity of remarking that he washed his clients off, as if he were a surgeon or a dentist. He had a closet in his room, fitted up for the purpose, which smelt of the scented soap like a perfumer's shop. It had an unusually large jack-towel on a roller inside the door, and he would wash his hands, and wipe them and dry them all over this towel, whenever he came in from a police court or dismissed a client from his room. When I and my friends repaired to him at six o'clock next day, he seemed to have been engaged on a case of a darker complexion than usual, for we found him with his head butted into this closet, not only washing his hands, but laving his face and gargling his throat. And even when he had done all that, and had gone all round the jack-towel, he took out his penknife and scraped the case out of his nails before he put his coat on.

We dined on these occasions in the kitchen, and adjourned, for the nuts and oranges and apples to the parlor; which was a change very like Joe's change from his working-clothes to his Sunday dress. My sister was uncommonly lively on the present occasion, and indeed was generally more gracious in the society of Mrs. Hubble than in other company. I remember Mrs. Hubble as a little curly sharp-edged person in sky-blue, who held a conventionally juvenile position, because she had married Mr. Hubble,—I don't know at what remote period,—when she was much younger than he. I remember Mr Hubble as a tough, high-shouldered, stooping old man, of a sawdusty fragrance, with his legs extraordinarily wide apart: so that in my short days I always saw some miles of open country between them when I met him coming up the lane.

Eight o'clock had struck before I got into the air, that was scented, not disagreeably, by the chips and shavings of the long-shore boat-builders, and mast, oar, and block makers. All that water-side region of the upper and lower Pool below Bridge was unknown ground to me; and when I struck down by the river, I found that the spot I wanted was not where I had supposed it to be, and was anything but easy to find. It was called Mill Pond Bank, Chinks's Basin; and I had no other guide to Chinks's Basin than the Old Green Copper Rope-walk.

And Joe got in beside me, and we drove away together into the country, where the rich summer growth was already on the trees and on the grass, and sweet summer scents filled all the air. The day happened to be Sunday, and when I looked on the loveliness around me, and thought how it had grown and changed, and how the little wild-flowers had been forming, and the voices of the birds had been strengthening, by day and by night, under the sun and under the stars, while poor I lay burning and tossing on my bed, the mere remembrance of having burned and tossed there came like a check upon my peace. But when I heard the Sunday bells, and looked around a little more upon the outspread beauty, I felt that I was not nearly thankful enough,—that I was too weak yet to be even that,—and I laid my head on Joe's shoulder, as I had laid it long ago when he had taken me to the Fair or where not, and it was too much for my young senses.

Stories of the Foot-hills, by Margaret Collier Graham

Stories of the Foot-hills, by Margaret Collier Graham

There was another long silence. The noonday air seemed to pulsate, as if
the mountain were sleeping in the sun and breathing regularly. The
weeds, which the weight of the sled had crushed, gave out a fragrance of
honey and tar. A pair of humming-birds darted into the stillness in a
little tempest of shrill-voiced contention, and the mule, aroused from
dejected abstraction by the intruders, shook his tassel-like tail and
yawned humanly.

Sterling lifted his hat with a winsome smile that seemed to illuminate
the twilight of poor Melissa's wilted sunbonnet, and the three men
started up the canon, the bay that they pushed aside on the path sending
back a sweet, spicy fragrance.

The sun rose higher, and the warm dullness of a California summer day
settled down upon the little mountain ranch. Heat seemed to rise in
shimmering waves from the yellow barley stubble. The orange-trees cast
dense shadows with no coolness in them, and along the edge of the
orchard the broad leaves of the squash-vines hung in limp dejection upon
their stalks. The heated air was full of pungent odors: tar and honey
and spice from the sage and eucalyptus, with now and then a warmer puff
of some new wild fragrance from far up the mountain-side.

The sun rose hot and pitiless, and the dust and stones of the road grew
more and more scorching to her feet. The leaves of the wild gourd, lying
in great star-shaped patches on the ground, drooped on their stems, and
the spikes of dusty white sage by the road hung limp at the ends, and
filled the air with their wilted fragrance. The sea-breeze did not come
up, and in its stead gusts of hot wind from the north swept through the
valley as if from the door of a furnace. People talked of it afterward
as "the hot spell of 18--," but in Melissa's calendar it was "the day I
walked to Loss Anjelus,"--a day so fraught with hopes and fears, so full
of dim uncertainties and dread and longing, that the heat seemed only a
part of the generally abnormal conditions in which she found herself.

The afternoon was steeped in the warm fragrance of a California spring.
Every crease and wrinkle in the velvet of the encircling hills was
reflected in the blue stillness of the laguna. Patches of poppies blazed
like bonfires on the mesa, and higher up the faint smoke of the
blossoming buckthorn tangled its drifts in the chaparral. Bees droned in
the wild buckwheat, and powdered themselves with the yellow of the
mustard, and now and then the clear, staccato voice of the meadow-lark
broke into the drowsy quiet--a swift little dagger of sound.


The Southern winter blossomed royally. Bees held high carnival in the
nodding spikes of the white sage, and now and then a breath of perfume
from the orange groves in the valley came up to mingle with the wild
mountain odors. Brice worked every moment with feverish earnestness, and
the pile of gnarled roots on the clearing grew steadily larger. With all
her loveliness, Nature failed to woo him. What was the exquisite languor
of those days to him but so many hours of patient waiting? The dull eyes
saw nothing of the lavish beauty around him then, looking through it all
with restless yearning to where an emigrant train, with its dust and
dirt and noisome breath, crawled over miles of alkali, or hung from
dizzy heights.


The sea-breeze had died away, and the wind was blowing in cooler gusts
from the mountain; breezes laden with the aromatic sweetness of the
bay-tree and the heavy scent of the shade-loving bracken wandered from
far up the canon into the cabin and out again, only to find themselves
profaned and sordid with the smell of frying bacon.


A fog had drifted in during the night, and was still tangled in the tops
of the sycamores. The soft, humid air was sweet with the earthy scents
of the canon, and the curled fallen leaves of the live oaks along the
flume path were golden-brown with moisture. Beads of mist fringed the
silken fluffs of the clematis, dripping with gentle, rhythmical
insistence from the trees overhead.


Sterling had idled along, crossing and recrossing the restless stream
that appeared to be hurrying away from the quiet of the mountains. He
was really not a very enthusiastic hunter, as the Chinaman had
discovered. He liked the faint, sickening odor of the brakes and the
honey-like scent of the wild immortelles that came in little warm gusts
from the cliffs above far better than the smell of powder. He stopped
where the men had been at work the day before, and looked about with
that impartial criticism that always seems easier when nothing is being
done.

The man turned and took off the brake, and the mules, without further
signal, resumed their journey. Boulders began to thicken by the
roadside. The sun went down, and the air grew heavy with the soft,
resinous mountain odors. Some one stepped from the shadow of a scraggy
buckthorn in front of the team.

Some years afterwards, when Mr. Frederick Sterling's girth and dignity
had noticeably increased, he saw among his wife's ornaments a gaudy
trinket that brought a curious twinge of half-forgotten pain into his
consciousness. He was not able to understand, nor is it likely that he
will ever know, how it came there, or why there came over him at sight
of it a memory of sycamores and running water, and the smell of sage and
blooming buckthorn and chaparral.


The song of the hay-balers and the whir of the threshing-machine had
died out of the valley, and the raisin-making had come on. The trays
were spread in the vineyards, and the warm white air was filled with the
fruity smell of the grapes, browning and sweetening beneath the October
sun.

Fragrance in Literature-The Price of the Prairie, by Margaret Hill McCarter,

The Price of the Prairie, by Margaret Hill
McCarter,


On the evening after the storm there was no loitering on the prairie.
While we knew there was no danger, a half-dozen boys brought the cows
home long before the daylight failed. At sunset I went down to
"Rockport," intending to whistle to Marjie. How many a summer evening
together here we had watched the sunset on the prairie! To-night, for no
reason that I could give, I parted the bushes and climbed down to the
ledge below, intending in a moment to come up again. I paused to listen
to the lowing of some cows down the river. All the sweet sounds and
odors of evening were in the air, and the rain-washed woodland of the
Neosho Valley was in its richest green.

For us that season all the world was gay and all the skies were
opal-hued, and we almost forgot sometimes that there could be sorrow and
darkness and danger. Most of all we forgot about an alien down in the
Hermit's Cave, "a good Indian" turned bad in one brief hour. Dear are
the memories of that springtide. Many a glorious April have I seen in
this land of sunshine, but none has ever seemed quite like that one to
me. Nor waving yellow wheat, nor purple alfalfa bloom, nor ramparts of
dark green corn on well-tilled land can hold for me one-half the beauty
of the windswept springtime prairie. No sweet odor of new-ploughed
ground can rival the fragrance of the wild grasses in their waving seas
of verdure.


For once the ponies seemed willing to stand quiet, and Marjie and I
looked long at the magnificent stretch of sky and earth. There were a
few white clouds overhead, deepening to a dull gray in the southwest.
All the sunny land was swathed in the midsummer yellow green, darkening
in verdure along the river and creeks, and in the deepest draws. Even as
we rested there the clouds rolled over the horizon's edge, piling higher
and higher, till they hid the afternoon sun, and the world was cool and
gray. Then down the land sped a summer shower; and the sweet damp odor
of its refreshing the south wind bore to us, who saw it all. Sheet
after sheet of glittering raindrops, wind-driven, swept across the
prairie, and the cool green and the silvery mist made a scene a master
could joy to copy.


I looked about once more and then we went outside and stood on the
broad, flat step. The late afternoon was dreamily still here, and the
odor of some flowers, faint and woodsy, came from the thicket beside the
doorway.

While I rested he prepared our supper. Disappointment in love does not
always show itself in the appetite, and I was as hungry as a coyote. All
day new sights and experiences had been crowding in upon me. The
exhilaration of the wild Plains was beginning to pulse in my veins. I
had come into a strange, untried world. The past, with its broken ties
and its pain and loss, must be only a memory that at my leisure I might
call back; but here was a different life, under new skies, with new
people. The sunset lights, the gray evening shadows, and the dip and
swell of the purple distances brought their heartache; but now I was
hungry, and Morton was making johnny cakes and frying bacon; wild plums
were simmering on the fire, and coffee was filling the room with the
rarest of all good odors vouchsafed to mortal sense.

All Kansas was in its Maytime glory. From the freshly ploughed earth
came up that sweet wholesome odor that like the scent of new-mown hay
carries its own traditions of other days to each of us. The young
orchards--there were not many orchards in Kansas then--were all a blur
of pink on the hill slopes. A thousand different blossoms gemmed the
prairies, making a perfect kaleidoscope of brilliant hues, that blended
with the shifting shades of green. Along the waterways the cottonwood's
silvery branches, tipped with tender young leaves fluttering in the soft
wind, stood up proudly above the scrubby bronze and purple growths
hardly yet in bud and leaf. From every gentle swell the landscape swept
away to the vanishing line of distances in billowy seas of green and
gold, while far overhead arched the deep-blue skies of May. Fleecy
clouds, white and soft as foam, drifted about in the limitless fields of
ether. The glory of the new year, the fresh sweet air, the spirit of
budding life, set the pulses a-tingle with the very joy of being. Like a
dream of Paradise lay the Neosho Valley in its wooded beauty, with field
and farm, the meadow, and the open unending prairie rolling away from
it, wave on wave, in the Maytime grace and grandeur. Through this valley
the river itself wound in and out, glistening like molten silver in the
open spaces, and gliding still and shadowy by overhanging cliff and
wooded covert.

"Is that the lilac that is so fragrant?" I caught a faint perfume in the
air.
"Yes," sadly, "what there is of it." And then she laughed a little.
"That miserable O'mie came up here the day after we went to Red Range
and persuaded mother to cut it all down except one straight stick of a
bush. He told her it was dying, and that it needed pruning, and I don't
know what. And you know mother. I was over at the Anderson's, and when I
came home the whole clump was gone. I dreamed the other night that
somebody was hiding in there. It was all dead in the middle. Do you
remember when we played hide-and-seek in there?"
"I never forget anything you do, Marjie," I answered; "but I'm glad the
bushes are thinned out."
She broke off some plumes of the perfumy blossoms.
"Take those to Aunt Candace. Tell her I sent them. Don't let her think
you stole them," she was herself now, and her fear was gone.

Sweeter to me than the salt sea spray, the fragrance of summer rains;
Nearer my heart than the mighty hills are the wind-swept Kansas plains.
Dearer the sight of a shy wild rose by the road-side's dusty way,
Than all the splendor of poppy-fields ablaze in the sun of May.
Gay as the bold poinsettia is, and the burden of pepper trees,
The sunflower, tawny and gold and brown, is richer to me than these;
And rising ever above the song of the hoarse, insistent sea,
The voice of the prairie calling, calling me.

--ESTHER M. CLARKE.


In the long summer days the cows ranged wider to the west, and we
wandered farther in our evening jaunts and lingered later in the
fragrant draws where the sweet grasses were starred with many brilliant
blossoms. That is how we happened to be away out on the northwest
prairie that evening when Jean Pahusca found us, the evening when O'mie
read my secret in my tell-tale face. Even to-day a storm cloud in the
northwest with the sunset flaming against its jagged edges recalls that
scene. The cattle had all been headed homeward, and we were racing our
ponies down the long slope to the south. On the right the draw, watched
over by the big cottonwood, breaks through the height and finds its way
to the Neosho. The watershed between the river and Fingal's Creek is
here only a high swell, and straight toward the west it is level as a
floor.

Tell Mapleson and Lettie had been with Marjie and me for a time, but at
last Tell had led Lettie far away. When we reached the draw beyond the
big cottonwood where Jean Pahusca threw us into such disorder on that
August evening the year before, we found a rank profusion of spring
blossoms. Leading our ponies by the bridle rein we lingered long in the
fragrant draw, gathering flowers and playing like two children among
them. At length Marjie sat down on the sloping ground and deftly wove
into a wreath the little pink blooms of some frail wild flower.

Vashti, by Augusta J. Evans Wilson

Vashti, by Augusta J. Evans Wilson

The dining-room was large and airy, with lofty wide windows, and neatly papered walls, where in numerous old-fashioned and quaintly carved frames hung the ancestral portraits of the family. Although one window was open, and the mild 14 air laden with the perfumed breath of spring, a bright wood fire flashed on the hearth, near which Miss Jane sat in her large, cushioned rocking-chair, resting her swollen slippered feet on a velvet stool, while her silver-mounted crutches leaned against the arm of her chair. An ugly and very diminutive brown terrier snarled and frisked on the rug, tormenting a staid and aged black cat, who occasionally arched her back and showed her teeth; and Dr. Grey stood leaning over his sister’s chair, smoothing the soft grizzled locks that clustered under the rich lace border of her cap. He was talking of other days,—those of his boyhood, when, kneeling by that hearth, she had pasted his kites, found strings for his tops, made bags for his marbles, or bound up his bleeding hands, bruised in boyish sports; and, while he read from the fresher page of his memory the blessed juvenile annals long since effaced from hers, a happy smile lighted her withered face, and she put up one thin hand to pat the brown and bearded cheek which nearly touched her head. To the pretty young thing who had paused on the threshold, watching what passed, it seemed a peaceful picture, cosy and complete, needing no adjuncts, defying intruders; but Miss Jane caught a glimpse of the shrinking figure, and beckoned her to the fire-place.

Around the tall figure shining folds of silver poplin hung heavy and statuesque, and over the shoulders a blue crape shawl was held by a beautiful blue-veined hand, where a sapphire asp kept guard; while a cluster of double violets fastened behind one shell-like ear breathed their perfume among glossy bands of gray hair.

Bending her regal head, she inhaled the mingled perfumes, worthy of Sicilian or Cyprian meadows; and, while her slight fingers toyed with the fragile petals, a proud smile lent its sad light to the chill face, and she said aloud, as if striving to comfort herself,—

“‘Not the ineffable stars that interlace
The azure canopy of Zeus himself
Have surer sweetness than my hyacinths
When they grow blue, in gazing on blue heaven,
Than the white lilies of my rivers, when
In leafy spring Selene’s silver horn
Spills paleness, peace, and fragrance.’”

“Yes; I shall not deny that I yield to no one in appreciation of lovely faces; but, if I am aware that, like some rich crimson June rose whose calyx cradles a worm, the heart beneath the perfect form is gnawed by some evil tendency, or shelters vindictive passion and sinful impulses, I should certainly not select it in making up the precious bouquet that is to shed perfume and beauty in my home, and call my thoughts from the din and strife of the outer world to holiness and peace.”

The scarlet spray of pelargonium had withered from the heat of her head, where it had rested all the evening, and the large creamy Grand Duke jasmine fastened at her throat by a sprig of coral, was drooping and fading, but still exhaled its strong delicious perfume.

On the floor lay a dainty handkerchief, and stooping to pick it up, he inhaled the delicate, tenacious perfume of tube-rose, which, blended with orange-flowers, he had frequently discovered when standing near her.

The sun flashed up from his ocean bed, and, as the first beams fell on the woman’s hair, Dr. Grey softly passed his broad white hand over its perfumed masses, redolent of orange flowers.

Turning the bouquet around in order to examine and admire each flower, Mrs. Gerome toyed with the velvet bells, and said, sorrowfully,—
“Their delicious perfume always reminds me of my beautiful home near Funchal, where heliotrope and geraniums grew so tall that they looked in at my window, and hedges of fuchsias bordered my garden walks. Never have I seen elsewhere such profusion and perfection of flowers.”
“When were you in Madeira?”
“Two years ago. The villa I occupied was situated on the side of a mountain, whose base was covered with vineyards; and from a grove of lemon and oleanders that stood in front of the house I could see the surging Atlantic at my feet, and the crest of the mountain clothed with chestnuts, high above and behind me. In one corner of my vineyard stood a solitary palm, which tradition asserted was planted when Zarco discovered the island; and the groves of orange, citron, and pomegranate trees were always peopled with humming-birds, and flocks of green canaries. There, surrounded by grand and picturesque scenery of which I never wearied, I resolved to live and die; but Elsie’s desire to return to America, which held the ashes of her husband and child, overruled my inclination and the dictates of judgment, and reluctantly I left my mountain Eden and came here. Now, when I smell violets and heliotrope, regret mingles with their aroma; and, after all, the sacrifice was in vain, and Elsie would have slept as calmly there, under palm and chestnut, as yonder, where the deodar-shadows fall.”

When Dr. Grey had partially crossed the lawn, he glanced towards the marble temple that gleamed against the dark background of deodars, and saw a woman sitting on the steps of the tomb. Softly he approached and entered the mausoleum by an arch on the opposite side, but, notwithstanding his cautious tread, he startled a white pigeon that had perched on the altar, where fresh violets, heliotrope, and snowy sprigs of nutmeg-geranium were leaning over the scalloped edge of the Venetian glasses, and distilling perfume in their delicate chalices.

“Ah, he has escaped! Well, perhaps it is better so, and there will be no blood shed. Let him go back to Edith,—‘golden-haired Edith Dexter,’—and live out the remnant of his days. He came hoping to find me dead, but I am not as accommodating now as formerly. Where are those violets? Tell Elsie to bring the jars in, where I can smell them.”
He took a bunch of the fragrant flowers from his coat pocket, and put them in her hand, for during her illness she 281 was never satisfied unless there was a bouquet near her; and now, having feebly smelled them, her eyes closed.

For some time Dr. Grey walked up and down the long room, glancing now and then at his patient, and when he saw that the tears had ceased, he brought from a basket in the hall an exquisitely beautiful and fragrant bouquet of the flowers which he knew she loved best,—heliotrope, violets, tube-rose, and Grand-Duke jessamine, fringed daintily with spicy geranium leaves, and scarlet fuchsias.

He leaned towards her, watching eagerly for some symptom of interest in the face before him, and bent his head until he inhaled the fragrance of the violets which clustered on one side of the coil of hair.

The faint yet almost mesmeric fragrance of orange flowers and violets floated in the folds of her garments, and seemed lurking in the waves of gray hair that glistened in the bright steady glow of the red grate; and moved by one of those unaccountable impulses that sometimes decide a man’s destiny, Dr. Grey took the exquisitely beautiful hand from the book and enclosed it in both of his.

Through the windows stole the breath of Salome’s violets, and the sweet, spicy odor of the Belgian honeysuckle that she had planted and twined around the mossy columns that supported the gallery; and with a sigh he closed his eyes, shut out the anatomy of flesh, and began the dissection of emotions.

An anxious look clouded for an instant Dr. Grey’s countenance, but undaunted hope sang on of the hours of hallowed communion that the future held, while in her invalid condition he assumed the care and guardianship of his beloved; and, turning into the lawn, he eagerly searched the winding walks for some trace of her, some flutter of her garments, some faint, subtle odor of orange-flowers or tube-roses.