Thursday, March 6, 2014

Victorian language of flowers - Floriography

"How the universal heart of man blesses flowers! They are wreathed round the cradle, the marriage-altar, and the tomb. The Persian in the far East delights in their perfume, and writes his love in nosegays; while the Indian child of the far West claps his hands with glee as he gathers the abundant blossoms - the illuminated scriptures of the prairies. The Cupid of the ancient Hindoos tipped his arrows with flowers, and orange-flowers are a bridal crown with us, a nation of yesterday. Flowers garlanded the Grecian altar, and hung in votive wreath before the Christian shrine. All these are appropriate uses. Flowers should deck the brow of the youthful bride, for they are in themselves a lovely type of marriage. They should twine round the tomb, for their perpetually renewed beauty is a symbol of the resurrection. They should festoon the altar, for their fragrance and their beauty ascend in perpetual worship before the Most High.

Flowers have a language of their own, and it is this bright particular language that we would teach our readers. How charmingly a young gentleman can speak to a young lady, and with what eloquent silence in this delightful language. How delicately she can respond, the beautiful little flowers telling her tale in perfumed words; what a delicate story the myrtle or the rose tells! How unhappy that which basil, or yellow rose reveals, while ivy is the most faithful of all."

This is actually a "society game" made of flower divination, in which every person in the company chooses five flowers from a vast bouquet with as many different flowers of every color as possible, and the game leader tells him/her what the flowers say about him/her...

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