Flowers (Language Of). The first rule to be observed in our floral grammar is, that the pronoun I or me is expressed by inclining the symbol flower to the left, and the pronoun thou and thee by inclining it to the right. When, however, it is not a real flower offered, but a representation upon paper, these positions must be reversed, so that the symbol leans to the heart of the person whom it is to signify.
The second rule is, that the opposite of a particular sentiment expressed by a flower presented upright is denoted when the symbol is reversed; thus a rose-bud sent upright, with its thorns and leaves, means, " I fear, but I hope." If the bud is returned upside down, it means, " You must neither hope nor fear." Should the thorns, however, be stripped off, the signification is, " There is everything to hope;" but if stripped of its leaves, " There is everything to fear." By this it will be seen that the expression of almost all flowers may be varied by a change in their positions, or an alteration of their state or condition. For example, the marigold flower placed in the hand signifies " trouble of spirits ;" on the heart, "trouble or love;" on the bosom, " weariness." The pansy held upright denotes " heart's-case ;" reversed, it speaks the contrary. "When presented upright, it says, " Think of me ;" and when pendent, " Forget me." So, too, the amaryllis, which is the emblem of pride, may be made to express, "My pride is humbled," or, " Your pride is checked," by holding it downwards, and to the right or left, as the sense requires. Then, again, the wallflower, which is the emblem of fidelity in misfortune, if presented with the stalk upward would intimate that the person to whom it was turned was unfaithful in the time of trouble.
The third rule has relation to the manner in which certain words may be represented; as, for instance, the articles, by tendrils with single, double, and treble branches, as under -
The numbers are represented by leaflets running from one to eleven, as thus -
From eleven to twenty, berries are added to the ten leaves thus -
From twenty to one hundred, compound leaves are added to the other ten for the decimals, and berries stand for the odd numbers, so -
A hundred is represented by ten tens; and this may be increased by a third leaflet and a branch of berries up to 999.
A thousand may be symbolized by a frond of fern, having ten or more leaves, and to this a common leaflet may be added to increase the number of thousands. In this way any given number may be represented in foliage, such as the date of a year in which a birth-day, or other event, occurs to which it is desirable to make allusion, in an emblematic wreath or floral picture. Thus, if I presented my love with a mute yet eloquent expression of good wishes on her eighteenth birthday, I should probably do it in this wise : - Within an evergreen wreath (lasting as my affection), consisting of ten leaflets and eightberries (the age of the beloved one), I would place a red rose-bud (pure and lovely), or a white lily (pure and modest), its spotless petals half concealing a ripe strawberry (perfect excellence); and to this I might add a blossom of the rose-scented geranium (expressive of my preference), a peach blossom to say " I am your captive," fern for sincerity, and perhaps bachelor's buttons for hope in love.
This is, however, as far as we need carry the example. Our readers will at once understand our application of the principles laid down as a basis for this delightful language of flowers, in which all the days of the week are symbolized as follows: Monday by a leaf of the lotus or water-lily, nymphcea, half represented light, half dark. Selected because the eastern nations consider the lotus as " The emblem and cradle of creative night."
Tuesday has a leaf, half of which is light, to signify the heavens; and the other half blue or sea-green, meaning the waters, in reference to the second day's work of creation.
Wednesday. The emblematical leaf for this day is divided into three colours; light for the heavens, blue for the waters, and green for the earth.
Thursday has ft green lotus leaf, on which is placed a flower, figurative of the great luminary created on the fourth day.
Friday has a leaf on which an insect is feeding - "Let the earth bring forth the living creatures."
Sunday. Simply an olive leaf, sacred to peace or rest.
The floral emblems of the month are thus given by Phillips : January is represented by a robin, encircled in a garland of sweet-scented tussilago (tussilago fragrans); since the one cheers our dwellings at this season by its chirrup, whilst the other regales the early month by its fragrance.
February has a wreath of snowdrops (galanthus nivalis) surrounding a pair of goldfinches; that being the month in which those flowers appear, and on which, also, the birds begin to couple.
"That blooms on the leafless bough." April. For this month we have a linnet on his nest in the midst of a bush of " The vernal furze with golden baskets hung." May. A nest of young birds clamorous for food, in a hawthorn bush in full flower, represents this month.
November has a garland of flowing ivy, with turnips and carrots in the centre ; and for