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be, if they could endure no conversation that was not first-rate?

The exertions of provincial artists would be paralyzed, and the advantages of their annual exhibition annihilated, if their fellow citizens should ever give in to the pretension of not liking any thing but what is called first-rate.

And how much innocent enjoyment would be lost to parents and their children also, if, when the former are wishing and intending to exhibit their performances in art, the persons addressed should observe with a supercilious expression of countenance, “For my part, I never look at any paintings, or drawings, but what are first-rate."

But is this fastidiousness a proof of the superior refinement of taste to which it seems to lay claim? I think not.

Who could believe those persons to be real admirers of the simple melody of the woods, that should declare their contempt of all singing, but that of the nightingale? 'The lover of the sweet song of birds loves it in all its varieties, and thinks it beautiful in all.

And who could give those critics credit for a real love of painting, who should declare that they could look at no portraits at the exhibition but those of the president and the academicians, because they could not endure any pictures, but what they had reason to conclude were first-rates? since those who have a true feeling of art, and possess a discriminating eye, can find beauties even amongst works loss distinguished exhibitors.

And do they really love poetry who can only read what they consider as first-rate? No, the true lover of it can delight'occasionally in a simple ballad, as much as a fine epic, and can enjoy every gradation of verse between those two extremes.

An aptitude to be pleased is one of the sweetest sources of sublunary, enjoyment; and parents and preceptors would do wisely, I think, to cultivate in their children and pupils indulgent rather than fastidious views not only of men but of things, if it were merely as a means of increasing their pleasurable feelings, and consequently their happiness.

I beg leave to conclude these observations with the following anecdote on the subject of first-rates. “I have quite an aversion," said a gentleman one day to a friend of mine, “to every thing not first-rate, especially in poetry, and never read any thing that has not a well known name attached to it." 66 I am sorry to hear it,” replied my friend, taking a manuscript out of her pocket; as I have some verses here by an anonymous author, which appear to me to have great merit, perhaps you will oblige me by casting your eye over them.'

He complied, but soon returned them saying, “ Excuse me! there is not merit here sufficient to induce me to break through my rule. There is nothing first-rate here."

“Well," replied the other, “I can only say, that I found these lines in an obscure magazine, and nameless, I maintain, that the best poets of the day might be glad to own them!" and the critic and the eulogist parted with, no doubt, a decreased respect for each other's taste and critical acumen.

The verses in question, were those anonymous lines on Sir John Moore's funeral, which Lord Byron was not sorry to have considered to be his; written, as has since been proved, by Charles Wolfe, an Irish clergyman; lines which forced their way out of obscurity into fame by their own power and beauty; and which, now that they have received the meed of universal praise, are no doubt read by the critic above-mentioned, and admitted to be first-rate.

Alas! that a wreath of laurel so bright and beautiful never bloomed around the brows of him who earned it, and can only ornament his tomb.

But the consciousness of his pious worth, is a far more precious memorial of him to his surviving friends; and as his character as a christian gives them assurance of his being removed into a state of enduring felicity, they may find a sweet consolation in twining the palm with his laurels, and rejoice that he is where, instead of the fleeting voice of earthly fame, he is hearing and joining in the choral hymns of the redeemed and the blest.

When I had written thus far concerning first-rates, I walked out; but as my mind was full of my subject, I continued to muse on it, till I reached the place of destination, a neighbouring nursery ground.

After choosing some plants, I asked


nursery-man if he could procure for me some roots of the “ Forget me not.” He said he did not know of such a flower. " It is but a field flower," I replied; describing it and its beauties with great minuteness.

While I stood awaiting an answer, and the person addressed was rubbing his forehead, and trying to recollect the flower, I worked myself up into the expectation of hearing him answer, i Excuse me, madam, I can not assist you. This is only a field flower, you say, and I deal in nothing but first-rates, such as the Camellia Japonica, and Daphne Odora;” but my unpretending companion simply replied, “ I am sorry to say, that as I do not know the plant I can not procure it.”

Now to apply this trifling anecdote to my purpose: by being wholly devoted to the care of first-rate plants, my nursery-man was ignorant even of the existence of one of the most beautiful little flowers in the creation; and I doubt not but, on the same principle, professed critics may, if they choose to acquaint themselves with first-rates only, remain ignorant of many works both in painting and poetry, and other branches of art, which are capable of affording them no inconsiderable delight. There are field flowers on the Parnassian Mount, as well as those of a more lofty description; and the real lovers of the simple beauties of nature will stoop to admire and gather them, even in the presence of prouder productions of the soil.

Often have I gathered and demanded admi

ration for the “Forget me not,” from those who were admiring the flowers of the garden; and I feel inclined to make a similar appeal to the fastidious and high-minded, who profess to disdain every thing not first-rate, in behalf of those humbler works, in all branches of the arts which may be called their field flowers: The blue stars of the scorpion grass are as finely formed as the large compact flower of the Camellia Japonica-yet, to be consistent, the lover of first-rates only should turn away from the simple “ Forget me not,” and only desire to gaze on the cultivated rose of Japan. Circumstances, interesting to myself alone, have made this little flower particularly dear to me; I have therefore chosen it to illustrate the foregoing position.

But it has for me a charm, independent of its blue and starry beauty. “ Forget me not,” the name it bears in Germany, makes it a fit flower to deck a burial ground, and I intend that it shall bloom on the grave of the being whom I loved best, and I am desirous that it should also bloom upon my grave beside him.*

The Botanical name of this oft mistaken flower, the real “Forget me not,” is twofold. The large sort is the Myosotis Palustur; the larger is Myorotis Arvensis, or mouse-eared Scorpion Grass; the one grows in marshes, the other in fields. It has five bright sky blue petals, with a bright yellow middle; some of the buds are of a pink hue. The larger sort of this plant, flowers and grows in such great abundance on the banks of the Wye and the Thames, that it forms masses of blue; and were it capable of growing in the soil of a garden, it would be o its most beautiful ornaments.

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