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THE LADIES' GAKLAND.
THE ROSE. ATTAR, OR, OST • "op ROSES.
Of all the flowers which adorn the garden, none perhaps exceed the Rose in beauty of form, delicacy of color, or sweetness of perfume; the different species of this flower are exceedingly numerous, amounting to at least sixty, and the varieties are upwards of a thousand.
The Rose has, in all ages, been a favorite with the poet, and it has also formed a part of the decorations at festivals and religious ceremonies. A French writer characteristically observes, "The most populous nations, the mightiest cities, the richest empires, have disappeared from the surface of the globe ; the most powerful dynasties have been ingulfed in the revolutions and the changes of ages; but a simple flower has survived all these political storms, without suffering a change in its destiny. The homage that was rendered to it three thousand years since, the favor in which it was held, are still the same; no other flower has been so much celebrated for so great a length of time. In almost all languages it is employed as the emblem of beauty, and used to express modesty, iunocence, and grace."
In accordance with these feelings of the ancients, a supernatural origin was attributed to it in their heathen mythology, and it was accordingly said to have sprung from the earth on the spot where the blood of Adonis was shed, after his conflict with the wild boar.
In ancient Rome, during public rejoicings, the streets were strewed with roses; and at Baiffi, when festivals were given on the water, the whole of the neighboring lake appeared covered with this lovely flower. It was the practice also to encompass the head, and even the neck, with garlands, composed almost entirely of roses.
Vox* VI.—No. 1.—July, 1842.
A curious custom existed in France, until ^ # as late as the middle of the seventeenth cen- • tury; the different princes and peers, even those .of the blood royal, were to present roses to the Parliament of Paris, in the months of April, May, and June. The nobleman whose turn it was to perform this ceremony, caused roses and other sweet-scented flowers to be strewed over all the apartments of the parliament house, and presided at a splendid breakfast, at which the president and coun- » sellors, and even the subordinate officers of the court were present. He afterwards went through each chamber, causing a large silver vessel to be carried before him, containing as many nosegays of roses and other flowers, either natural or artificial, as there were guests present. There was an officer attached to the parliament, with the title of Rosier de la Cour, from whom the nosegays which formed these presents were purchased.
This ceremony appears to have been rather an expensive affair, and disputes frequently arose as to its performance, particularly in the case of princes of the blood royal, who, at times, considered they ought, on account of their rank, to have been excused from presiding.
Roses have also been employed at funerals, to cover the coffins of young persons and children, and the friends of the deceased have, at certain times of the year, decorated the tombs of their relatives with garlands of the same flower. At the coronation of the kings of England, a certain number of young ladies precede the procession, scattering flowers as they go. The rose is also employed as a crest, or as a principal bearing in a coat of