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THE pleasurable arts do not advance slowly
and surely, like the humdrum march of the
hour-hand kept in motion by the weights of
an eight-day clock: they do not grow with
the equable, steady, persevering growth of a
rich piece of pasture-land during a chilly
summer; but they jump onwards by fits and
starts. They make a sudden leap from time to
time, and astound you with some unexpected
development; they resemble the banana
which, in a single night, shot a vigorous leaf
through the roof of a greenhouse; or the
flower-stem of the American aloe, which
heats itself by getting up-stairs so fast, and
will even let you see it grow, if you look close
and sharp. I say, the arts which adorn and
sweeten life, jerk their fruits around you
when you least look for them; as the
noli-me-tangere balsam shoots its seeds; as the
squirting cucumber spurts out its whole
contents, liquid and solid, all together; or as that
natural alarumthe Hura crepitans or
Sand-box of Jamaicawhose large circular
seed-vessel splits into a number of pieces, and
scatters its contents with a sound loud enough
to wake a sleeping botanist.

In horticulture, time was when British
orchards boasted a fine collection of crabs,
sloes, hazel-nuts, and nothing else. By-and-by,
a certain Lucullushere's to his memory,
in kirschwasser!—brought cherries from
Armenia, and we received them second-hand,
by which, many a female possessor of a
wheelbarrow and a pair of scales has turned
many an honest, and many a questionable
penny. Then, Queen Elizabeth sent to
Flanders weeklyweather permittingfor
turnips, cabbages, and salad, a shameful
innovation! an unpardonable affront to native
market-gardening talent! but still a grand start ;
because people began to wonder and consider
whether salad, cabbages, and turnips wouldn't
grow in England, although conservative
horticulturists insisted that they neither
could nor should. Mr. John Tradescant
traded with America; and, though it was no
part of his business, he brought home sundry
flowers from Virginia, which he cultivated
in his garden, in Holborn. The pretty border
plants we owe to him, were admired novelties
in his day; and they helped to stir up the
same revolution in the floricultural mind, as
naughty Bess had worked in the case of

Mr. John Evelyn made and marked an
epoch, by his translation of the Compleat
Gardener, by M. de la Quintinye, chief director
of all the gardens of the French King, by
his Acetaria, or Discourse of Sallets, and by
his invention or amplification of that very
curious apartment, a glasshouse for plants!
Then, Captain Cook and Sir Joseph Banks
set up George the Third with a good stock of
geraniums and Botany-bays, as the gardeners
call them; which were the foundation of the
grand collection at Kew, besides giving us
New Zealand spinach, and teaching us to defy
scurvy with soup made of grass and other wild
herbs. Then, Mr. Curtis presented us with
sea-kale; thereby exciting the bitter jealousy
of vigorous forcers of asparagus. Then, Mr.
Myatt had the audacity to present the world
with a physic-plant, by way of a treat. He
sent his two sons to the Borough Market
with five bunches of rhubarb, of which they
could only sell threeand very well off they
might think themselves in getting rid of the
greater half of their strange and outlandish
apothecaries' leaves. But how would you
manage this Spring, epicurean reader, were
au imperial ukase to abolish rhubarb-tart
utterly? Was not rhubarb-tart an immense
stride in advance?

To finish with flowers; have you the least
idea of the exquisite bouquets (hardy, cheap,
and cultivable by all who can scratch a bit of
cottage garden with an edentate rake) with
which we have been pelted and overwhelmed
by such men as Douglas, Lobb, and Fortune,
these last few years? as if we were
prima-donnas, or dancers, who had just finished a
brilliant bravura, or a fascinating fandango.
Why, everybody may have flowers now;
and, in short, flowers are become perfectly
vulgar. Gentility will soon vote it bad taste
to encourage anything in the shape of a
blossom; china-roses will be considered low;
deutzias and dielytras an actual disgrace. A
floral Almacks is virtually founded by the
modern assemblage of aërial orchidaceous
plants. Does not the presence of these
vegetable serene-highnesses constitute a good long
stride into novelty?

In music, we have had equally unlooked-

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