Scent of Orange Blossom by H. T. Williams

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain.
The Citrus aurantium or Golden-fruited Orange tree, under favorable circumstances, attains a height of 25 to 30 feet, its usual height however being from 15 to 20 feet, and is graceful in all its parts. The trunk is upright, and branches into a regular or symmetrical head. The leaves are moderately large, beautifully shaped, of a fine healthy green, and shining on the upper sides, while the under sides have a slight appearance of down. The flowers occur in little clusters on the sides of the branches are pleasing in their, form, of a delicate white in the sweet Oranges, and in the more acid varieties slightly tinged with pink. In some plants they have a more powerful odor, and are for the moment more rich, but in the Orange grove there is a fragrance in the aroma which never satiates or offends; and as the tree is at one and the same time in all stages of its bearing, in flower, in fruit just set, and in golden fruit inviting the hand to pull and the palate to taste, it is hardly possible to conceive or imagine any thing more delightful. The glorious beauty of such a scene is described by the "Naturalist in Bermuda" with these pleasurable emotions :

"Delicious beyond description is the perfume emitted from the expanded blossoms of these bearing trees, and more particularly of a calm evening, after a copious fall of rain, when the sun is re-appearing in subdued brightness and splendor, gilds each cedar-crowned hill and lowly cot with its falling beams, the powerful scent of the citron tribe mingled with that of the cedar, is exhaled in such copious quantity, as forcibly to impress the imaginative with a realization of those fairy lands of ancient fable, when gorgeous palaces, inhabited by rich and happy princes, were fanned each live-long day by balmy breezes, heavily laden with the odorous incense."

These sentiments are still further echoed by Trumbull, who says:

"Of all the new enjoyments of which the knowledge is acquired by a visit to the inter-tropical regions, those that reach us through a sense, which in the old world is productive of as many painful as pleasurable emotions, are, in my opinion, the most exquisite."

Without leaving Europe, a traveller may learn how delightful it is to take his early walk in an Orange grove, during the season when the trees are in bloom. The gardens of the Tuileries may give him a faint idea of it, just before the ancient denizens of the Orangerie have been despoiled of their crop of blossoms, that the distiller may convert them into' Orange-flower water. But the fragrance of the Tuileries is as inferior to that of the Moorish gardens of the Alcazar at Seville, as these last, with all the care bestowed on them, are excelled by some neglected Orange grove in Cuba or St. Domingo."

Nor is the rich fragrance of the Orange grove to be celebrated in the sentiments of prose writers alone, but is referred toby the Poets. Cowper thus says of

"The golden boast
Of Portugal and Western India, there
The ruddier Orange, and the paler Lime,
Peep through their polished foliage at the storm,
And seem to smile at what they need not fear."

Grainger, a poetic writer of the West Indies, among his numerous references, speaks of the places where

" the Lemon, Orange, and the Lime, Amid their verdant umbrage, countless giow With fragrant fruit of vegetable gold."

And in the many lines which are filled with homely advice to the planter of his native isle, he encourages the cultivation of this fruit in the fol. lowing words:

" With Limes, with Lemons, let thy fences glow,
Grateful to sense, now children of this clime.
And here and there let Oranges erect
.Their shapely beauties, and perfume the sky."

And again, in another part, he repeats the same advice, telling his readers to fence around their tracts:

" with hedges, or of Limes,
Or busy Citrons, or the shapely tree [Orange]
That glows at once with aromatic blooms
And golden fruit mature."

The fragrant blossoms are made the emblem of chastity, from the purity of their white petals. One of the principal beauties of the Orange tribe consists, as above expressed, in its bearing fruit and flowers at the same time, as is beautifully noticed by Pope:

"Here Orange trees with biossoms and pendants shine,
And vernal henors to their autumn join.
Exceed their promise In the ripened store,
Yet in the rising biossoms promise more."

An Orange tree, with fruit and flowers, has been chosen as the emblem to express Generosity, and therefore like that noble feeling, continually tending to the communication of benefits.