Throughout that country, sandy swells or eminences facing the morning sun, were fixed upon as the best sites for this plant, and to this day, south-eastern declivities are preferred to any other aspect. It is worthy of remembrance, perhaps, that the first instructions in the art of pruning the vine, so as to induce it to bear more plentifully, was borrowed from an ass browsing upon it, and for this hint a marble statue was erected in honor of this quadruped in the maritime town of Nauplia. The vine was sacred to Bacchus, and throughout Greece, when the labors of the vintage were concluded, scenes of Bacchic enthusiasm and excess were yearly enjoyed by the youthful rustics engaged in that glorious harvest. The references to the vine in the classics, are endless; and he who has the leisure and inclination to search for them, will not long look in vain. I have seen the vine planted in England near to Elm trees, on which it found a suitable space to spread its branches; and I recollect in the garden of the late Mr. Loudon, at Bayswater, several vines were so planted, which bore remarkably well. It is necessary that the branches of the elm should be thinned sufficiently to admit light and air, otherwise the grapes will not ripen.

In this form it had better be introduced in a collection of sacred and classical plants, choosing the English elm, ( Ulmus campestris,) as its support, as that tree was also known to the Greeks.

The Juniper is twice mentioned in the Holy Scriptures. Commentators are in great doubt and uncertainty regarding the tree to which the inspired writers allude, arising from the somewhat absurd idea of keeping the English juniper continually before their eyes. It would, indeed, be hard to fancy that the prophet Elijah found a refreshing shade under a shrub a few feet in height, without any pretensions whatever to the character of being umbrageous. The difficulty, however, is quite uncalled for; and the fact that our divines are so much divided concerning this tree, proves how necessary it is that those who profess to illustrate the Scriptures, should have an intimate acquaintance with natural history, or at least the aid of those who know something of that subject. In all probability, the juniper of the Bible is the Juniperui drupacea, a native of Mount Casius, in Syria, and identical with those seen by Bellonius on Mount Taurus - trees which reach the height of a cypress, with a broader head, and therefore more likely to be chosen for shade and shelter.

It appears the juniper was resorted to in the days of Job for food; and it is so far corroborative of the supposition hazarded, to know, that at the present day, the inhabitants of the mountains above referred to, eat the fruit of the J. drupacea, which is of the size and shape of an Olive. Be this as it may, there is not the slightest occasion to seek a substitute for the juniper of Holy Writ, in the Genista, or Spanish broom.

The Myrtle has a clearer genealogy, and comes down to us as pure and odoriferous as it grew in the gardens of Cimon, Pericles, and Epicurus. Those were the chief patrons of Flora; they had the myrtle planted in great profusion on mounds, freely exposed to the breeze, so that when the plants were in flower, the winds came laden with an odor rivalling that of the rose. This shrub is Grecian all over; whether we look at its from, the size, shape, and color of its leaf, its exquisite fragrance, or the form, color, and scent of its flowers, the classic stamp is upon it. This favorite denizen of Hellenic lands, was dearly loved by the Greek; in his eye it was instinct with divinity, and wherever he saw it, his fancy represented to him a most beautiful maiden of Attica, fairer than all her countrywomen. The tree was peculiarly sacred to Venus; her temples were invariably skirted with it; and under the favorite name of Myrtilla, she was adorned throughout Greece.

Full of the traditions of his country, and accustomed to hear the Myrtle associated so constantly with such traditions, it is not to be wondered at that this plant was adopted by him as the sine qua nan to temples, gardens, streams, and splashing fountains. In the festival of Europs, at Corinth, a myrtle crown, said to be ten yards in circumference, was borne in procession through the city. The priests of Aphrodite shaded their foreheads with wreaths of myrtle, and the statue of that matchless goddess herself was often crowned with a circlet of the same plant. It was worn by the Athenian magistrates, as well as by all those who had gained bloodless triumphs. It was the reward of victors in the Olympic games; and at Rome the ladies put the leaves into their baths, fancying that this plant of Venus must be favorable to beauty. The general selection of the Myrtle was well made; for it is questionable whether any other would have stood the test of being used in such multifarious ways, and especially as ornaments to the masterpieces both of nature and art. In all classical groups this tree should have a prominent place; and in order to encourage such planters, I may mention that young plants nine inches high stood out in my nursery last winter uninjured.

The cause of its succeeding so indifferently as an open air plant, in Britain, is certainly on account of its being by most nurserymen kept in doors doling cold weather, and treated mm a green-house plant; whereas it is clearly capable of aoeommodating itself to this climate, and growing wherever the Arburtus will thrive. The allusions to this plant in the bible are few. Referring to the effect of the Gospel, or the reign of Christ on the state of the world and the dispositions of mankind, it is said: "Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree".

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, the Hyssop is mentioned. It grows on the mountains around the city of Jerusalem; and as it is plentiful in Calvary, it is probable that it was a handful of this herb that was plucked, imbued with vinegar, and applied to the parched lips of the dying Saviour.

The Box tree is another biblical tree, but the sacred allusions to it are slight. In the Augustan era the Roman villas were profusely adorned with this tree clipped into a variety of figures. In Greece it appears to have been kept rather in the back-ground.

The Pine and Fir are also mentioned in the sacred text, but the references to them are not sufficiently clear to warrant any identification.

I close the biblical list of ligneous plants suited to the climate of Britain with the Ro6e. Great diversity of opinion exists among the learned in relation to the true meaning of the term habetzeleth, in our version of the bible translated Rose. The Seventy interpreters, with Jerome, render it " the flower of the fields." Others think the Asphodel is meant, or some other kindred bulbous-rooted plant, and in support of such supposition, the rendering of the term is so far favorable - habab, he loved; and batzel, a bulb or onion. At any rate, there is not the slightest doubt that the Rose was known and appreciated in biblical times, though there is some ground for supposing that the species of our genus (Rosa) are not referred to in the passages of Scripture.

Sacred And Classical Planting #1

No one can read this delightful essay, and meditate upon it as he reads, without breathing freer and deeper, and rising up a wiser and a better man. Our deepest associations of sublimity, grandeur, and beauty in natural objects, are drawn from the writings of inspired men. The Pentateuch, the Prophecies, the Lamentations, the Psalms, the historic records of the Old Testament, all abound with the grandest, as well as most delightful illustrations of which the mind has ever conceived; while the simple and touching narratives of the New Testament, abounding in similitudes to natural objects, surpass in simplicity, in beauty, and directness, any uninspired book of ancient or modern time. A thousand examples might be quoted in proof; and let him who doubts - if haply, such there be - go search the Sacred volumes, and there ponder and admire.