Catholic CornucopiadCheney

To The Reader

The Catholic Language of Flowers

Dear Reader,—

We present you our little Book, and with it a bouquet of our flowers, to speak their own preface. When Ophelia distributed her flowers to the personages around her, with peculiar aptness she gave to each an emblem of himself. There was Rosemary, remembrance; and there were Pansies, thought, for her brother; and Fennel and Columbine for the king. Thus, in our bouquet, we place in the centre, the frail and lowly Convolvulus; for frail and lowly as it is, though it scarce raises its head above the soil, the Convolvulus is delicately responsive to the influence of the high sun; and ever turning its fragile flower to the blue sky above, takes itself the same hue.

And this is our little Book :—an humble attempt to turn things lowly to the bright heaven, and to tinge them with its colour.

And round the Convolvulus, we have grouped a number of little flowers, Violets and wild flowers, flowers of little worth or beauty, flowers that hang their heads and hide themselves under friendly leaves; and these are ourselves, the unpractised, unskilful authors. And Convolvulus, Violets, small wild flowers, and all, we enclose in a large shelter of vine-leaves, for vine-leaves are for benevolence; and the vine-leaves are for you, O gentle reader.