This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
It is well known that the examination of flowers, and vegetables of every description, by the microscope, opens a new and interesting field of wonders to the inquiring naturalist. Sir John Hill has given the following curious account of what appeared on his examining a carnation: "The principal flower in an elegant bouquet was a carnation; the fragrance of this led me to enjoy it frequently and near. The sense of smelling was not the only one affected on these occasions; while that was satiated with the powerful sweet, the ear was constantly assailed by an extremely soft, but agreeable murmuring sound. It was easy to know that some animal within the covert must be the musician, and that the little noise must come from some little creature suited to produce it. I instantly distended the lower part of the flower, and placing it in a full light, could discover troops of little insects frisking, with wild jollity, among the narrow pedestals that supported its leaves, and the little threads that occupied its center.
What a fragrant world for-their habitation What a perfect security from all annoyance, in the dusky husk that surrounded the scene of action! Adapting a microscope to take in, at one view, the whole base of the flower, I gave myself an opportunity of contemplating what they were about, and this for many days together, without giving them the least disturbance. Thus I could discover their economy, their passions and their enjoyments. The microscope, on this occasion, had given what nature seemed to have denied to the objects of contemplation. The base of the flower extended itself under its influence to a vast plane; the slender stems of its leaves became trunks of so many stately cedars; the threads in the middle seemed columns of massy structures, supporting at the top their several ornaments; and the narrow spaces between were enlarged in walks, parterres and terraces. On the polished bottom of these, brighter than Parian marble, walked in pairs, alone, or in large companies, the winged inhabitants: these, from little dusky flies, for such only the naked eye would have shown them, were raised to glorious, glittering animals, stained with living purple, and with a glossy gold, that would make all the labors of the loom contemptible in the comparison.
I could, at leisure, as they walked together, admire their elegant limbs, their velvet shoulders, and their silken wings - their backs vying with the empyrean in its blue; and their eyes, each formed of a thousand others, out-glittering the little plains on a brilliant; above description, and too great almost for admiration."