Immediately after the judges had awarded the premiums, the vicar of the parish delivered an excellent oration, in which he most eloquently dwelt upon the sublimity and harmony of nature; and of the love for, and cultivation of flowers, in particular. He pleasantly dilated on the subject in the ornate language he was so perfect a master of. If the writer's feelings were any criterion to judge others by, we, all of us, must have felt persuaded we were the happiest people in the universe. But while this was going on, the smell of roast beef and other savory odors, admonished us that something good for the inner man, and boy, was getting ready for us below; and to which, soon after, ample justice was done. How superlatively happy seemed all who sat down to that feast, and then amicably discussed the merits of the exhibition, until half past two o'clock, when the price of admission was lowered from two shillings to one. Then the commotion grew greater in the showroom over our heads, where all the festive villagers seemed with one accord desirous to gather.

Presently it was announced that " with the receipts at the door, and from funds on hand, the successful exhibitors would then be paid; and if any had not obtained a premium, their entrance fees would be returned, with a sufficient gratuity to defray expenses, so that no one should sustain any pecuniary loss thereby." This was a sensible proviso, and an excellent rule in those days. As was his accustomed way upon similar occasions, the generous Mr. Fullblossom cheerfully disbursed his prize money among those more in need of it than he was. The honor, and of which no man felt prouder, was sufficient compensation for him.

But, as the best of friends have to part, six o'clock brought about the separation, with the closing of the show. To retrace the twelve miles homewards in the night, proved more of a task than did the morning's journey. I for one, was glad to reach the end, and get from under the strap fastened to each basket handle, which began to gall my shoulders.

While penning this, I am wondering if there are any young boys now, who would willingly carry carefully and safely such a load twenty-four miles over a somewhat hilly country? Although times have greatly changed since then, I nevertheless hope there are lots of them still. But, possibly, the description of this pleasant and interesting event which took place long ago, may have kindled a desire in the bosom of some good soul to know how to grow such elegant flowers, so long lost sight of; and so, for his especial pleasure, I will here begin.

It appears that Primula auricula, under the odd name of Bear's Ears or Mountain Primrose, was under cultivation in England by that ancient and good gardener, the quaintly-spoken and ingenious Gerarde, in 1597. Presuming a fair stock of choice varieties are on hand to commence with, and new sorts from seed are desired, which are generally very interesting to the raiser, it will be necessary to fecundate the stigmas with pollen from some other distinct variety, and isolate them. Quite comely, if not really handsome kinds, will be found among the seedlings. At any rate, pretty novelties may be looked for. The usual practice, with old and successful cultivators, was, to sow the seed early in spring, in shallow pans, placed on a moderately warm hotbed; and as soon as the tiny seedlings appeared, a little air, sufficient to prevent them from damping off, was admitted. When large enough to prick out into small single pots - or a number of them in pans - they were, after potting a few days, put where they could get a little more air, until finally they were inured to a free circulation.

N. B. - These chary little beauties seem to have a natural dislike to the scorching rays of the summer's sun. And were they possessed with the power of locomotion, they would voluntarily creep under the clustering leaves of some friendly bending bough for protection and shade.

Were I to write out a list of the many obnoxious nostrums, which contained a little of everything nasty, which if possible, were more abominable than entered the witches' caldron in Macbeth, some old growers recommended as proper ingredients to grow them in, the intelligent reader would smile at the credulity of the old fogies. Now, be it known among men, that Mr. Fullblossom was a famous man among flower pots in his day, and the compost he used - and which I have helped him prepare for Auriculas - was thus composed: Say, to one bushel of mellow hazel loam, well-pulverized, and one of good friable peat, to which add half a bushel of decayed leaf mould made from oak or beech leaves; and the same quantity of well-decomposed horse or cow dung, the latter kind preferred, and of not less than two years old; and with two quarts of freshly slacked lime, and half a bushel of river sand, well worked up together several times, for a month or two before using, was the kind of stuff they flourished in. Well-drained clean pots, 5 or 6 inches wide at the top, and 7 inches deep, were the sizes generally used for flowering plants. To repot them biennially, about the first week in August was considered the proper time, when the main root and longest fibers, should they require it, were shortened.

As they seem to have an inherent tendency to suffer from decaying roots, they must be occasionally turned out of the pots, and with a sharp knife cut away every particle of diseased roots or fibers, and thoroughly cauterize, or dry up with quick-lime the amputated parts, before replacing in clean pots and fresh soil again.

About the middle of February, it was customary to remove a little of the surface soil, and top-dress them with a portion of sheep droppings or old rotten cow dung, in which a little soot and sand was mixed. Not only does this treatment encourage growth in the old plants, but induces at the same time offsets to sprout, which are when rooted, to be carefully detached, potted and grown for future blooming plants. And when all danger from cold and frosty weather is past, they may be removed from the coolest and most shady part of the greenhouse after flowering, to some sheltered and shady place out of doors. A bed of coal ashes, over which a hot-bed frame standing upon four bricks, one at each corner, so as to admit abundance of fresh air at all times, will make a good worm-proof floor to set the pots upon. During heavy and continuous rain, they must be thoroughly sheltered under the sashes, which should be kept in readiness to place over them - tilted at the back, so that fresh air with all possible freedom would circulate among them.

A shady situation under a north wall, and not under the dripping boughs of trees, which would rot their crowns, must be had for them; or some other contrivance made, where the direct rays of the hot sun can be obscured and the rain kept off.

By following these simple instructions, with proper attention to watering, and keeping free from weeds and decaying leaves, the cultivator's heart will be made glad with the prospective beauty which awaits him, in the blooming springtime coming.

As the Primula Auricula is a native of the mountainous parts of Europe, it is not considered a tender plant, though a somewhat peculiar one to grow; yet, is by no means difficult to manage, when the method is properly understood.

In concluding the wandering recollections of my youthful days, I much regret my inability to more plainly describe the few simple facts I have indifferently drawn from an imperfect memory; and with a brief account of the two boys, and a man, I previously introduced to the reader - will sum up the narrative. One of them fills a stranger's grave, where " the palm tree waves, and the bul-bul sings," in the spicy groves of Ceylon. The other I singularly met with years after, collecting plants for a London nursery firm, on Melville Island, in far off Australia; from whence he subsequently returned to England. In an evil hour, he exchanged his peaceful pruning hook for a cavalry sword, which he bravely bore in "The Charge of the Light Brigade," where he fell "in the field of his fame fresh and gory," one of the "Noble Six Hundred".

The kind-hearted, complaisant, dear old Felix Fullblossom, whose bespectacled, good-natured face, methinks I see again, calmly slumbers in the little churchyard of Wragby, England; while I, who am spared to pen these lines, remain the last one left. Mount Holly N. J., Nov. 7, 1887.