Treasures of Aromatic Literature-Scent of Orange Blossoms by Various

Treasures of Aromatic Literature-Scent of Orange Blossoms by Various

About a week after, a tiny box came among Mr. Middlcton's packages from the village. He smiled to himself and took it up stairs with his letters. An hour afterward, when the sun was setting, he came down stairs and looked about for Meg; she was sitting on a low stool, with some coarse sewing in her lap, by a window opening toward the west; her beautiful h,rir was alive with the light which flooded it from the dying sun, and she made a picturesque if not a pretty picture, as he stood and looked at her. Sho had not heard hi? step, and started as he came forward and laid something in her lap.
"I have brbught you an odor from the South," he said; "tell me now what you think of orange blossoms." She opened the little paper box, and the wonderful scent, heavy with sweetness, rose up and filled her with a sense of delight. All the faint, delicate suspicions of fragrance which were all that the few wild flowers she had ever gathered could tell her of that supreme dower of flowers' odor, seemed cold and poor and empty compared with the intoxicating delight which emanated from these thick creamy petals.
"Did you get them for me?" she said, flushed with pleasure, her reserve swept away.
"Yes, I wrote for them; it was only confiscating the product of a certain greenhouse I knew of, and I wanted you to smell them once."
"Thank you, you are very kind;" and then she put them up to her face again and drank in long draughts of their sweetness.
"They will retain their odor a long while," he said; "I have had them sent in a letter from the South, and the flower and letter too were full of fragrance for weeks after."
How the Ship Came in by Rupert Graham

Many good reasons justify the belief that the orange is the tree of which the Bride sings in the Canticles, though the apricot has its advocates. Apples in so hot a climate are very poor, and no child of the East would sit down for shelter under the small leaves of the appletree, or say when thirsty, "Comfort me with apples" (Song of Sol. ii. 3, 5). We thus find Bible comments in the world-renowned Jaffa oranges. These are "the apples of gold in pictures of silver," or filigree work (Proverbs xxv. 11). They have a rich golden colour, and are often encircled by the blossoms, whose hue exactly resembles the molten silver used in the East. The orange-tree is one of the most pleasing objects in the East; it is an evergreen, and reaches a great age; its thick leathery leaves protect the husbandman from the arrows of Apollo; its blossoms are a thing of beauty; its fruitfulness is amazing, even in mid-winter, as it bears at the same time leaves, blossoms, and fruit in every stage of growth; and its fragrance is grateful, reviving, and far-spreading—it is a natural scent-bottle. Orange-juice is considered sovereign against fever, and every traveller knows that he can find nothing more likely to quench his thirst; and the snow-white blossoms are symbols of purity. Add all these qualities, and you will understand why the orange is so highly honoured in the Bible, why a garden or grove is part of the Eastern image of bliss, and why we wear orangeblossoms at a wedding as a symbol of all the blessings we wish the wedded pair. This custom has travelled from the East, the cradle of our race.
Travel-pictures from Palestine
By James Wells

SOUTHERN Spain—and a short, sleepless night full of the drifting scent of orange-blossoms; moonlight slanting in a white bar through the open window; footsteps coming and going ceaselessly in the street outside; voices, laughter; then, later, silence creeping in like a deep, slow tide, and suddenly a man's voice, singing:
Por una mirada tuya
Lo que diera no sé yo;
Por un beso, la existencia,
Por tu amor, salvación.
The words float through the window with the moonlight and the scent of orange-blossoms, fading gently away as the late passer goes farther on.
Folk songs from the Spanish
By Mrs. Helen Manchester Gates Granville-Baker

The travellers descended among olives woods, and soon after were directed by some peasants at work, into a road that leads from Aquila to the town of Celano, one of the very few roads which intrudes among the wild mountains, that on every fide sequester the lake. As they approached the low grounds, the scent of orange blossoms breathed upon the morning air, and the spicy myrtle sent forth all its fragrance from among the cliffs, which it thickly tufted. Bowers of lemon and orange spread along the valley; and among the cabins of the peasants, who cultivated them, Vivaldi hoped to obtain repose and refreshment for Ellena.
The Italian, or The confessional of the Black Penitents: A romance
By Ann Ward Radcliffe

A little way below the orange hedge at the end of the field, he paused before the dead branch of a tree in his way. His head was throbbing now, and the strange numbness had changed to a sharp pain. Unconsciously he put his hand to his head, and when he carried it away, it was wet. The throbbing in his head grew louder till it was like the roar of an oncoming earthquake. A mist floated before his eyes, and he fell face downward across the dead branch before him. Clutching it eagerly with both hands, he lay still. To his disordered brain, he was a child again in the church at San Juan; and the piece of dead wood in his hands was the standard of the processional cross. Madre de Dios! How loud was the noise of the earthquake now, and how terrible the pain in his head! A piece of falling masonry must have struck him—he could not remember. Feebly he lifted his head; and to him the glint of the white moon on the polished leaves of the orange trees was the light of candles burning on the high altar in the sanctuary.
"Padre—Padre Vicente," whispered Miguel brokenly.
But there was no answer. Then the terrible roar of the earthquake grew louder, and the lights on the altar went out.
When Miguel next opened his eyes, he found himself in bed in a cool, whitewashed room. Long bars of yellow sunlight lay across the floor, and through the open windows drifted the heavily sweet odor of orange blossoms. With the fragrance of the flowers came the sleepy twitter of linnets. It was the hour of sunset.
Miguel stirred faintly, and someone moved in the room. Something cool was laid across his forehead; and a voice whispered: "Sleep— go back to sleep." His eyes closed; and soon the scent of orange flowers and the twitter of linnets mingled in his dreams.
The King's Highway: a romance of the Franciscan order in Alta California
By Madeline Deaderick Willard

But when the sun begins to sink the book must be shut, for then the aesthetic sense claims a monopoly of the attention. The snow of a sudden assumes a delicate rosy tint, like the Swiss Alpglflhen, while the lower mountain chain on the opposite side, behind which the sun is slowly disappearing, looks like a fantastic coal-black silhouette contrasting vividly with the green sunset sky. For a quarter of an hour this scene may be enjoyed, when all at once the rosy blush on the Sierras disappears, leaving the snow more deadly pale than it had seemed before. The snow-fields of the Sierra are not measured by miles, as those of Alaska, and there are many black patches between them. But these very patches have a poetic suggestiveness, for from them came the snow-water which feeds the Alhambra gardens and groves, and enables the Granadans to drink in a snow-breeze perfumed with the fragrance of orange-blossoms. Surely, among all of Ovid's metamorphoses, there is none so strange and charming as this transformation of Sierra snows into fragrant, snowy orange-blossoms on a hill which but for the snow-water would be a barren rock, and was so before the Moors converted it into a paradise. During the week that I remained at Granada, I never once missed this sunset view, the perennial attractiveness of which was attested by the fact that even the guardian of the tower and his wife used to bring up chairs and guests to this tower-terrace, and sit admiring it. Surely no king ever had such a reoeption-room as these keepers of the Torre de la Vela!
Spain and Morocco: Studies in local color
By Henry Theophilus Finck

AND now it is spring once again: a glorious May-day with the sky of an intense blue, and every invisible atom in the translucent air quivering in the heat of the noon-day sun. All around the country-side the harvesting of orange-blossom has begun, and the whole atmosphere is filled with such fragrance that the workers who carry the great baskets filled to the brim with ambrosial petals feel the intoxicating perfume rising to their heads like wine.
Nicolette: a tale of old Provence
By Emmuska Orczy Orczy (Baroness)

She sent him a little box of orange blossoms. "I came home yesterday, "he told her, "to find my room full of a strange, delicious odor. At first I did not see the little box in the litter of papers on my table and I wondered to myself 'Have I been thinking so much about Verissima and the South that I can smell the orange blossoms here?' and then I found the box, and when I opened it I could almost hear you singing 'Kennst du das Land wo die Citronen blumen?' Oh, Verissima, it is very hard— here it is winter and snow and loneliness, and there it is warmth and orange blossoms and love and you. It seems to me that June will never come."
Veronica
By Martha Waddill Austin

The Moor and pomegranate ingredient has to be thought of; it is one that concerns us not in Italy; And the intensely religious ambient, the sombre monk, the reckless cigarette-girl, the dare-devil bull-fighter, the artistic passion of Velasquez and Murillo, the literary savour of the Novelas Ejemplares, the smell of orange-blossom, the bouquet of ancient Amontillado, the glamour of a starry night and a serenade beneath a balcony, the cries of water-carriers and gipsies; these and a thousand other signs and tokens go to the compounding of that incomparable whole—Sevilla.

If you look down from the Giralda, you will see flying buttresses and many other towers, the orange courtyard, the winding river, the white houses with their flat tops and terraces and balconies, and the awnings across the streets. You will smell the blossom in those voluptuous orange groves of Las Delicias beside the river.
Along Spain's river of romance, the Guadalquivir: the lure of the real Spain ...
By Ernest Slater