That particles become divided into less portions than is shewn in these examples is evident from the daily observation of the sense of smell. The violet fills even a royal apartment with its sweet odor, which is thus readily perceived, but which absolutely eludes every other mode of observation. How inconceivably small must be the particles of all odors! And yet how obviously material they are.
Tracts on homœopathy
By William Sharp
How delicious was the smell of the land, with a poignant touch given to it by the peat-smoke that had begun to rise from some of the fishermen's cottages; and with odors of moor and bracken and bog-myrtle blending with the keen breath of the seaweed. The air, too, was light and cool and exhilarating.
Wives in exile: a comedy in romance
By William Sharp
Lowering skies, with the floating odour of coming rain, already dulled the hill-land. A raven, flying athwart Iolair, looked larger than its wont. Its occasional croak fell heavily as though from ledge to ledge of weighty air. The wood-doves which flew back toward the forest winged their way at a lower level than usual, the clamour of their pinions beating the atmosphere as with oars: on the moorland the lapwings rose and fell incessantly with wailing cries.
The writings of "Fiona Macleod" [pseud.], Volume 1
By Fiona Macleod, William Sharp
It was an hour before midnight when Oona awoke. So often had she slept in the woods, through the hot summer nights, that there was nothing strange or terrifying in the blackness of darkness about her. She could smell the pungent odour of the bracken, and, somewhere near, wild mint. The keen fragrance of the pines and firs everywhere prevailed.
Ah, she was in the forest: how warm and sweet it was! Where was Nial? Scarce more than this drifted through her mind; then the heaviness of sleep came upon her again.
He has, to a phenomenal degree, the delicate flair which detects the remotest perfume amid a confusion of fragrances; he knows how to isolate it, how to detach it, how to delight us with it—and then, when we are just upon the verge of deeper enjoyment, he proves that the scent is not so exquisite in itself after all, but owes much to the blending of the exhalations of neighbouring flowers and blossoms and herbs. While we are still wavering between conviction and disenchantment, he explains that it has this peculiarity or that because of the soil whence it derives its nurture, a thin rocky earth or loam of the valley. Then, finally, lest we should turn aside disappointedly, he tells us something about it which we had but half noticed, praises fragrance and bloom again, and with a charming smile gives us the flower to take with us, perchance to press and put away, like sweet-lavender or wild-thyme, a hostage against oblivion of a certain hour, a certain moment of fresh experience.
Selected writings, Volume 2
By William Sharp
Then I went down the Spanish Stairs, and hesitated awhile whether to drive to the Janiculum or to the Villa Borghese. I did neither, but, after having seated myself in my little open vettura, and given myself keen pleasure by simply loading the front seat with winter roses and camellias and long sprays of yellow wattle from the Riviera, drove out to the Ponte Molle, across the Tiber (which gleamed like a long broad ribbon of shot silk, mostly silver gray), and then back and round by what was Antemnae in the old Etrurian days. There are few flowers anywhere in that part of Rome, even in April, and yet the air was full of exquisite fragrances. I am, as you know, very sensitive to odors, the subtle half hidden scents of shadow-loving plants, the delicate thrills of perfume from wild growing things, and perhaps above all to the intoxicating breath of the earth when the sun steeps it in hot light, that strange smell as of the living body of the world. Just before entering the Porto di San Popolo a whim took me to drive up the gloomy Via dell' Mura. I wish I had not gone. It was desolate, and dark and chill. I don't know what could have made me so depressed. Don't laugh at me when I tell you that the stupid tears at last came to my eyes. How I dislike camellias — melancholy deathly flowers! Besides, they have neither fragrance nor pleasant associations; they always seem to me as if they had been made, and had not grown as other flowers grow. Before we drove in at the Porta S. Pancrazio I threw them all away — everything *
except the sweet smelling wattle-sprays.
A fellow and his wife
By Blanche Willis Howard, William Sharp
For all its harshness there are few sounds of the summer-dusk so welcome. It speaks of heat: of long shadow-weaving afternoons: of labour ceased, of love begun, of dreams within dreams. The very memory of it fills the mind as with silent garths of hay, with pastures ruddy with sorrel, lit by the last flusht glow or by the yellow gold of the moon, paling as it rises. The white moth is out; the dew is on the grass, the orchis, the ghostly clover; the flittermouse is here, is yonder, is here again; a late mallard flies like a whirring bolt overhead, or a homing cushat cleaves the airwaves as with rapid oars. As a phantom, a white owl drifts past and greys into the dusk, like flying foam into gathering mist. In the dew-moist air an innumerable rumour becomes a monotone: the breath of life, suppressed, husht, or palpitant. A wilderness of wild-roses has been crushed, and their fragrance diffused among the dove-grey and harebell blue and pansy-purple veils of twilight: or is it a wilderness of honeysuckle; or of meadowsweet; or of the dew-wet hay; or lime-blossom and brier, galingale and the tufted reed and the multitude of the fern? It is fragrance, ineffable, indescribable: odour born under the pale fire of the moon, under the lance-thrusting whiteness of the Evening Star.
The silence of amor [and] Where the forest murmurs
By William Sharp