The seaweed family, the castaways of every storm, are not only of use as manure, but they enter largely into the economy of human life. Before chemistry had discovered an economic method of making soda from salt, the burning of sea-wrack for kelp was a source of considerable wealth to the inhabitants of the north of Scotland. Carrageen Moss (Chondrus crispus) is gathered in large quantities, and bleached, either for use in the sick-room, or to be boiled as food for cattle. Dulse, or, as the Irish call it, dillesk (Rhodymenia palmata), is eaten in many parts of Ireland and Scot land, and its purple ribbons are hawked about the streets. The laver is a preparation of the common Porphyra, and is sold in Ireland under the name of slowcaun; but its taste and appearance is so peculiar as to be an object of disgust to many, though considered a great delicacy by others. The green laver ( Ulva latissima) is not considered equal to the purple variety.

We find, too, along the sea-shore, as in our hedgerows, many an inmate of our gardens and well-known vegetable. The Lilyworts furnish us the oldest and most delicate of our culinary vegetables, Asparagus officinalis, which grows plentifully in several places near the sea. The isle of Portland, and Kynance Cove, near the Lizard in Cornwall, are noted localities. This vegetable was known to the Romans, and is mentioned by Pliny. Another variety of lilywort is sold at Bath, under the name of Prussian asparagus. This plant (Ornithogalum pyrenaicum) grows plentifully in the neighbourhood of the city of Aquae Solis, but it is doubtful if it is indigenous. The same doubt hangs over Spinach (Spinaeia oleracea), though it has been cultivated for more than three hundred years in this country. I found a variety growing wild on an island which is called Spinach Island, between the Cove of Stradbally and Dungarvan. Celery (Apium grave-olens) is a universally recognized native of our salt marshes, where its strong smell, stringy fibres, and suspicious reputation scarcely leads the observer to suspect the white and delicate table vegetable so familiar to us. The Sea-Kale (Crambe maritima), the white flowers of which have so strong a smell of honey, grows wild among the sand and shingle of our coasts. This vegetable was known to the Romans, and was by them salted down for long voyages. The Wild Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) grows near the sea-side, but the Wild Turnip (Brassica campestris) is found inland. The Sea-Beet (Beta maritima) is the parent of more than one variety of garden beet and of mangold wurtzel. Its leaves are often eaten as spinach. Along our hedgerows we find the Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa), and the Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) is found indigenous on light sandy soils. There are many plants which in their wild state furnish vegetables. The tops of Nettles are frequently used in spring-time in the country. In many parts of Lancashire they are sold for making nettle beer and for mixing with porridge.

In Ireland they are frequently used as greens, and so is the Pushoch dwee, as the Sinapis arvensis (Common Charlock) is called in Munster. The charlock is allied to the family of Mustard Plants {S. nigra and S. alba), the seeds of which when crushed yield the well-known condiment. Another British plant is the Horse Radish {Cochlearia armoracid), which, though acrid, is not poisonous; the roots of Aconitum napellus have, however, been fatally mistaken for it. The "Water-cress {Nasturtium officinale) is also a native of Britain; but whether we can claim the Parsley as indigenous is open to discussion, though every boy knows that it grows wild in many parts of this old realm of ours.

We yet find in some remote country districts the relics of a bygone economy in the use of many plants for food or medicine. Boys yet hunt for the delicious Pig Nut (Bunium flexuosum), the luxury of Caliban. Diet drinks are made of the " sunflower of spring," as Ebenezer Elliot calls the well-known Dandelion (Taraxacum dens leonis), the early leaves of which, slightly blanched, are a not-to-be-despised addition to the early spring salad, neither is the Salad Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba), the flavour of which is not unlike cucumber. The tubers of "lords and ladies" of the hedges (Arum masculatum) furnish a preparation similar to arrowroot. The tubers of the Orchis mas-cula and other ophreous orchids furnish a fecula known as salep. The once common Rampion is the root of the Campanula rapunculus. The common Rock Samphire affords one of the best of domestic pickles, and is the subject of a very pretty story told by the late Professor Burnet, of the use even of a smattering of botanical knowledge, if it only extends to the habits of the plants. In November, 1821, a vessel was wrecked near Beachy Head, and the crew washed overboard. Four of the sailors managed to scramble on to some half-sunken rocks, and there await the death with which a rising tide and the raging sea threatened them. Nought could be seen in the darkness of the night. The encroaching waves drew nearer and nearer, until hope was nearly gone, when one of the "despairing creatures, to hold himself more firmly to the rock, grasped a weed, which, even wet as it was, he well knew, as the lightning's sudden flash afforded a momentary glare, was not a fucus, but a root of samphire, a plant which never grows submerged." This was more than "an olive-branch of peace, a mes senger of mercy: they knew that He who alone can calm the raging of the seas, at whose voice alone the winds and the waves are still, had placed His landmark, had planted His standard, there, and by this sign they wore assured that He had said to the wild waste or waters, 'Hither shalt thou come, and no farther!'" This scrap of knowledge gave them comfort to wait until the dawn came, when they were seen from the cliffs and rescued.

The teachings of the wild flowers extend further than this. They carry us into the homes of our an cestors. The homely Rush takes us back to the annual rush-bearings, which are still kept up in the north. The fragrant Mint and Pennyroyal furnished, with rose-leaves, elder-leaves, and even violets, the cosmetics of old English ladies, who turned the flowers of the Coltsfoot and Cowslip into wine, and had great faith in the virtues of Ground Ivy, Camomile, and Wormwood. Agrimony Yarrow, Betony, and Goosegrass yet hold a place in the popular medicines of the poor.