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Have A Flower In Your Room
by [?]

A FIRE in winter, a flower in summer! If you can have a fine print or picture all the year round, so much the better; you will thus always have a bit of sunshine in your room, whether the sky be clear or not. But, above all, a flower in summer!

Most people have yet to learn the true enjoyment of life; it is not fine dresses, or large houses, or elegant furniture, or rich wines, or gay parties, that make homes happy. Really, wealth cannot purchase pleasures of the higher sort; these depend not on money, or money’s worth; it is the heart, and taste, and intellect, which determine the happiness of men; which give the seeing eye and the sentient nature, and without which, man is little better than a kind of walking clothes-horse.

A snug and a clean home, no matter how tiny it be, so that it be wholesome; windows, into which the sun can shine cheerily; a few good books (and who need be without a few good books in these days of universal cheapness?)–no duns at the door, and the cupboard well supplied, and with a flower in your room!–and there is none so poor as not to have about him the elements of pleasure.

Hark! there is a child passing our window calling “wallflowers!” We must have a bunch forthwith: it is only a penny! A shower has just fallen, the pearly drops are still hanging upon the petals, and they sparkle in the sun which has again come out in his beauty.

How deliciously the flower smells of country and nature! It is like summer coming into our room to greet us. The wallflowers are from Kent, and only last night were looking up to the stars from their native stems; they are full of buds yet, with their promise of fresh beauty. “Betty! bring a glass of clear water to put these flowers in!” and so we set to, arranging and displaying our pennyworth to the best advantage.

But what do you say to a nosegay of roses? Here you have a specimen of the most beautiful of the smiles of Nature! Who, that looks on one of these bright full-blown beauties, will say that she is sad, or sour, or puritanical! Nature tells us to be happy, to be glad, for she decks herself with roses, and the fields, the skies, the hedgerows, the thickets, the green lanes, the dells, the mountains, the morning and evening sky, are robed in loveliness. The “laughing flowers,” exclaims the poet! but there is more than gayety in the blooming flower, though it takes a wise man to see its full significance–there is the beauty, the love, and the adaptation, of which it is full. Few of us, however, see any more deeply in this respect than did Peter Bell:–

“A primrose by a river’s brim,
A yellow primrose was to him,
And it was nothing more.”

What would we think or say of one who had invented flowers-supposing, that before him, flowers were things unknown; would it not be the paradise of a new delight? should we not hail the inventor as a genius as a god? And yet these lovely offsprings of the earth have been speaking to man from the first dawn of his existence till now, telling him of the goodness and wisdom of the Creating Power, which bade the earth bring forth, not only that which was useful as food, but also flowers, the bright consummate flowers, to clothe it in beauty and joy!

See that graceful fuchsia, its blood-red petals, and calyx of bluish-purple, more exquisite in colour and form than any hand or eyes, no matter how well skilled and trained, can imitate! We can manufacture no colours to equal those of our flowers in their bright brilliancy–such, for instance, as the Scarlet Lychnis, the Browallia, or even the Common Poppy. Then see the exquisite blue of the humble Speedwell, and the dazzling white of the Star of Bethlehem, that shines even in the dark. Bring one of even our common field-flowers into a room, place it on your table or chimney piece, and you seem to have brought a ray of sunshine into the place. There is ever cheerfulness about flowers; what a delight are they to the drooping invalid! the very sight of them is cheering; they are like a sweet draught of fresh bliss, coming as messengers from the country without, and seeming to say:–“Come and see the place where we grow, and let thy heart be glad in our presence.”