Welsh, Rhos, Breila. - French, Rose. - German, Rose. - Dutch, Rooze-bloom. - Italian, Rosa. - Spanish, Rosa. - Illyric, Rusa, Ruxica, Ruseja. - Polish, Roza. - Arabic, Werd.
" How much of memory dwells amidst thy bloom Rose! ever wearing beauty for thy dower! The bridal-day - the festival - the tomb - Thou hast thy part in each, thou stateliest flower.
Rose, for the banquet gathered, and the bier, Rose! coloured now by human bliss and pain;
Surely, where death is not - nor pain, nor fear, Yet I may meet thee, joy's own flower, again!" says Mrs. Hemans, alluding to the different uses to which the ancients applied this flower; and yet one more might have been added, for - like the moderns the Greeks and Romans employed it to soothe pain, and alleviate illness. In the days of Anacreon:-
"The rose distilled a healing balm The beating pulse of pain to calm," just as it did when Gerarde enumerated a list of its virtues - a list so long that I should fear to overstep my limits were I to do more than give the general heads of his catalogue, which includes, "strengthen-inge of the hearte, and refreshinge of the spirits;" and he declares that the rose gives sleep to the fevered, allays inflammation, and strengthens the inside, that it forms an ingredient in "alle manner of coun-terpoysons," that, mixed with honey, it heals wounds and staunches bleeding; and, in short, that it is generally "profitable for other griefes," including the ague, and " availing the surgeon greatlie to • carry store thereof;" besides the possibility of perfectly maintaining the health by a morning diet of a salad of rose-leaves. Pliny mentions briar-rose root as a cure for hydrophobia, and affirms that men derived their knowledge of it from a dream of which he tells the story.* The following is the account given of its virtues by the "Stockholm MS.":
* * "Ye rose, yt spryngyth on spray,
Schewyth hys flowris in someres day,
It needeth not hy to discrie [describe],
Eueri man knowith at eye [at sight],
Of his virtues et of his kende,
I schall ye seyn as in bok fynde,
* * * * *
Playster of rose mad well,
All hot leyde to distroith ill dell,
And afterward adrawt [a draught] of good wyn,
Schall clere yi bowalys weel yt fyn,
Also ye bok tellyth i latyn,
Take a greyn of rose fyn,
And wt. a greyn of mustard seed,
Lete sethy et zrynd it wt. awesl fet [a fat weasel],
And yane [then] hangejt in ai tre,
* Plin. "Nat. Hist." viii. 41 -xxv. 2.
In what place so yt it be,
And newr schall ye tre fruyt bere,
Whyl yt con feccyon hangyt yere [there],
Zet tellyth ye bok feryer vs [furtherwise],
Yis confeccyon is more meruylyows,
Lete castyn it in a net in ye se,
Wonder thyng yu schalt se,
Alle ye fyschis, yer abowte,
Schall gadir yedir i arowte [thither in a rout] * * * * *
Wheyer it is soth, or it he is I seye nozt but as ye bok me wys Ye autowurs name yat yis wroth Ye bok wythnes-it ryth noth!"
- a circumstance which may be often remarked in similar categories of supernatural marvels.
It may be mentioned that a conserve of roses still retains its place in our Materia Medica as a calming and soothing medium.
The various emblematic meanings attached to the rose are well known.
The expression "under the rose" is said by some to have originated in the circumstance of our William III. having communicated his scheme for the invasion of England, to the Burgomaster of Amsterdam, beneath a rose made of stucco which, ornamented the ceiling of the pavilion where they held their conference; but it was evidently used long before his time; and neither this nor the golden rose of the popes accounts for its origin, to which a much older date is to be assigned. The rose was with the ancients the emblem of pleasure and enjoyment, and as they adopted it to ornament banquet-ting rooms where friends met in full confidence that their words and actions would not be made public, it naturally became the representative of secrecy; and the story that the god of love made a present of the hitherto unknown rose to Harpocrates, the reputed god of silence, in order to induce him to keep the secrets of his mother, Venus, points to the same idea; though it is not so happy an explanation of the origin of the expression "under the rose".
It is curiously opposed to the Persian saying, "gut sukuft" "the rose (or the flower) has opened," applied to the detection of a secret, or to the occurrence of some novelty; reminding us of the French expression "decouvrir le pot aux roses," signifying, to disclose anything intended to be concealed. The expression in Welsh, illustrative of secrecy, is of another kind, being "dan gel," that is, as a leech - ("he did such and such a thing dan gel;") but the simile is very apposite, as few animals have a more mysteriously noiseless mode of progression than the leech.