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• A few days after the preceding con versation had taken place, Clara and her sisters were seated at their drawing in the library; the former had just finished painting a sprig of white hawthorn, or what is usually called May; she was making a collection of drawings of various botanical specimens, and under each of these drawings she intended to place two lines of poetry; the question, just now, was, what lines should be placed under the May, and at length her sister Maria proposed the following: “Between the boughs the silver whitethorn shows Its beauteous blossoms, pure as mountain snows."
“Oh, excellent! excellent!" exclaimed Clara. “Will you lend me your pencil ?-I will write them directly."
The pencil was quickly handed across the table by the obliging Maria ; the lines were neatly written, and the sprig of hawthorn was pronounced quite completed.
“ Now I will look over all my drawings,” continued the former, reaching her port-folio and untying its green strings. “ The set of botanical specimens will soon be quite finished, and then I shall have the pleasure ---the great pleasure-of presenting it to my cousin Fanny ;” and as Clara spoke, she placed the drawings one by one on the table. First came a beautiful rose-bud enveloped in moss, and then a fine honey-suckle azalea with its long, delicate stamina, and then the blushing hibiscus of Louisiana, the modest violet that flourishes only in obscurity, the fragrant lily and the gay oleander, as well as many other rare exotics, all admirably painted by the hand of our ingenious young artist. At length she came to a plant called the bartonia nuda, (copied from one recently imported from North America, which had been sent to her by the curator of the Botanic garden,)
and she began to describe it to her sisters according to the account she had received from the curator. :
" This flower grows upon the banks of the Platte, near the Rocky Mountains, in North America,” said she. “It is a singular plant on many accounts, but particularly for the regular expansion of its large and beautiful flowerstowards the evening." ";
“ You forget that the blossoms of the gum-cistus, as well as those of the passion flower, open every morning,". said Rosina.
“But they last only a day,” said her sister. “Those of my pretty bartonia, on the contrary, open and shut for several successive days. Mr. Shepherd says, that in the morning the long and slender petals, and the petal-like nectaries or honey-cups which compose the flower, are found regularly closed upon each other, forming a cone of about an inch
in length. In this situation they remain, if the weather be clear, until about sunset, when they slowly expand ; but if the 'weather be dark and cloudy, they are awakened from their slumbers at an earlier hour. I really do not know what little verse to put under my pretty bartonia. Cannot you assist mé, Maria --you know you can do any thing you try to do." ;. .!!: me
Maria was laughing at Clara's compliment, as she called it, when their father entered the room.. .
“ You are culling the flowers of poem try as well as those of nature, I see,” said he, as he took up two or three of the neatly-executed cards.
“A metaphor ! a metaphor !" exclaimed the lively Clara. “ The 'flow= ers of poetry is certainly a metaphor ! Maria, are you in a poetical humour today ? If you are, do write a poetical description of metaphor."