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FLOWERS IN HISTORY
In all ages and among all nations there has always been an especial reverence paid to flowers, and many legends and superstitions have attached themselve; to different members of the floral kingdom. In tracing the pages of history, also, one frequently finds flowers associated with important events. It is scarcely necessary to begin this sketch as far back as the garden of Eden, yet some old commentators start their floral records even at that happy era. St. Ambrose and St. Basil, for example, both state that the roses in Eden grew without thorns, and Milton says there bloomed in Paradise,
“Flowers of all hue, andwithout thorn the Rose.” Sir John Mandeville derives earthly roses from a later epoch. He tells of a virgin martyr, burned at the stake in Bethlehem. From the unkindled brands there grew white roses, while from the extinguished fire-brands there sprung red ones. The Mussulman has quite another story for the beginning of roses. He says that when Mahomet made his journey to heaven, the drops of perspiration which fell to earth from his forehead became white roses, but the perspiration of the animal he rode gave rise to yellow roses. The Mandeville story is the prettier one.
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