Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/372

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Saxon’s sword and shield laid beside him in the earth; so, possibly, these prehistoric men may have wished that the stone idols which, when living, they adored—the lares and penates of their time—should be laid beside them in their tombs.

But, in pursuing the train of thought suggested by our author, we had wellnigh forgotten his book, and we have only space to congratulate all those who are interested in these researches—and they are now many—on the ample and valuable additions which he has made to this new and most interesting chapter in the history of our race.—Nature.

 

CULTIVATING WILD-FLOWERS.
By Prof. SAMUEL LOCKWOOD.

BUT few are aware of the many American wild-flowers which merit and would repay cultivation. The showy scarlet sage (Salvia coccinea) is a common sea-coast weed in some of the extreme Southern States. In the North it has deservedly become a favorite; and culture has placed it within the reach of every one, even the poorest. The brilliant, deep-red cardinal-flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is highly esteemed abroad as a garden-plant; and yet, to dwellers in our cities, this plant is almost unknown, although it is one of our common wild-flowers, lavishing its bewitching beauty in numberless places, both North and South. Nor is the above word a mere figure of speech. An English scientific gardener lately visited Long Branch. He took a ride among the surroundings of that watering-place. When between Eatontown and Red Bank, he suddenly requested the driver to stop, at the same time uttering an exclamation which caused Jehu to doubt the gentleman's soundness of mind. The carriage was stopped, and away went the well-dressed Englishman over the field-fence, as lithe and agile as a youth. He actually plunged into the half-swampy ground, and made, as nearly as possible, a straight line toward a scarlet speck in the vernal distance. No high-mettled bull in a Spanish arena ever went more intently at the little red banner of the picador than went our friend John B., Esq., through that wet New Jersey meadow for that scarlet flower, which drew him like a fascination. It was a pitiable plight that he presented on his return to the carriage, exultant with his prize. To the astonished driver he offered these apologetic words: "This is the splendid Lobelia cardinalis, which I have cultivated with so much care at home, and, behold! here it grows wild!" To which Jehu, whose astonishment had now become modified by a shade of contempt, returned an ingenious equivocation: "That is worth a gentleman spoiling his clothes for!"