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time when the plant has arrived at
maturity.

It has been sung of the sweet lavender

                                   I love thy flower
       Of meek and modest hue,
     Which meets the morn and evening hour,
     The storm, the sunshine, and the shower,
       And changeth not its hue.

The leaves and flowers of lavender contain
a large amount of volatile essence: the
quality for which the plant is mainly sought.
Botanically, the lavender belongs to the
same tribe as rosemary, sage, basil, and
marjoram, in respect to the shape of the blossoms
and the stem; but commercially it has a
history and position of its own. Lavender
is cultivatednot for the weather-beaten
flower-girl, who offers two bunches for a
penny in our streetsbut chiefly for the
distiller and the chemist. The oil of spike, used
for mixing with colours for painting, and also
in varnish-making, is obtained from the species
called French lavender. The well-known
lavender-water is not simply the distilled
essence; it is an alcoholic solution of the oil
of lavender, to which other scents are
frequently added. How a pennyworth of dried
lavender leaves will diffuse a pleasant odour
throughout a drawer of wholesome clean
linen, let the tasteful housewife of many an
industrious artisan declare.

Liquorice is another of the plants which
these herb-gardens produce. Glycyrhiza
glabra is the very hard name which botanists
have given to this simple plant; but botanists
are fond of hard names. The common
liquorice root, from which the well-known
black extract is obtained, grows chiefly in the
south of Europe, from the Crimea in the east
to Portugal in the west. One hundred pounds
of the dried root yield about thirty pounds
of the black extract;—the Spanish liquorice of
the shops. When the extract has been
obtained, it is poured into rolls six or eight
inches in length, which are bound with bay-
leaves to prevent them from adhering
together. The crude juice contains many
extraneous substances, which are removed in
the production of refined liquorice, a softer
substance, prepared in more slender
cylindrical form. The liquorice of the English
herb-gardens, however, is the stick-liquorice
of our acquaintance. It is grown in many
parts of England where a rich black mould
is to be met with; but it requires very careful
cultivation. Near Pontefract it is cultivated
chiefly for the preparation of a fine
kind of liquorice called Pontefract or
Pomfret cakes. Mitcham liquorice is tilled
for the sake of the long slender roots, which,
at a proper age and in a proper state, find
their way to the wholesale druggists and to
Covent Garden Market, and thence to the
sick chamber, where a tickling cough has to
be combated.

Peppermint is another member of the
interesting Mitcham family. Of the dozen
or more species of mint known in England,
peppermint is second only to the culinary
mint or spearmint in value. It has a
penetrating smell and a pungent taste; and its
pretty little purple flowers deck the garden
in August and September. The herb is
sold to the druggists, and is by them
distilled to obtain oil of peppermint. This oil,
used alone, is a valuable aid to the physician;
and, when re-distilled with pure alcohol, it
produces spirit of peppermint. When the herb
itself is distilled in a simpler way, it yields
peppermint-water.

The herb-shops and druggists' shops
contain numerous plants and extracts from
plants, which the every-day world knows
nothing about elsewhere. Such substances
as horehound, coltsfoot, angelica, and many
others, do not seem to be generally
recognised as plants at allthey are sweetstuff.
Mitcham could, however, tell us a little about
such substances. Horehound, for instance,
which Gerarde tells us, "bringeth forth
very many stalks, four-square, a cubit high,
covered over with a thin whitish downiness,"
is cultivated for the sake of the extract
thence obtained, which is made up into
lozenges and cakes and other forms.

One word about the marketable features of
these Mitcham herb-gardens. Some of the
gardens contain those herbs and familiar
plants which have their chief market at
Covent Garden, and thence find their way
to the dominions of the cook, whether
Good, Plain, or Experienced French; while
others are filled chiefly with such herbs
as require distillation before being brought to
use. These latter are sold for the most part
to the wholesale druggists in the city, who
sell them in turn to the rectifiers and
pharmaceutical chemists and others.

MARY.

OUR child is dead. Death wore no dreadful form
     Nor stole a feature from that gentle face.
As if to shield her from the beating storm,
     He led her footsteps to a sheltered place.
And even when to chain her here we sought,
     And whilst we gazed, she passed beyond our reach.
And all the vision faded, like a thought
     Too vague and beautiful to grasp and clothe in speech.

At dawn, the angels entered where she lay,
     And as the daylight fades from mortal eye,
Leaving no track, the soul was borne away:
     The curtain stirred not when it passed by.
It left her form, a child of the cold grave,
     A bark no longer needed by that mind
Which missioned angels wafted o'er the wave,
     Whilst, on the lonely beach, we wept and stayed
         behind.

I shall not go with flowers blue and white,
     To strew her grave; but when the prophet trees
Extend their shadowy wands, foretelling Night,
     In fields I wander with the wandering breeze,

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