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upon the center table, or in the hair of those whose quick discernment and refined taste should lead them to perceive the great inferiority of these artificial toys to the delicate beauty and welcome fragrance of a Rose just from its parent plant.
Very much additional matter could be inserted respecting the early history of the Rose, and its connection with ancient superstitions. Sufficient, however, has been given to show the esteem in which the Rose was held by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
THE KOSE IN THE MIDDLE AGES.
In Great Britain, according to Loudon, earliest notices of the Rose occurs in Chaucer, who wrote early in the 13th century; and in the beginning of the 15th century, there is evidence of the Rose having been cultivated for commercial purposes, and of the water distilled from it being used to give a flavor to a variety of dishes, and to wash the hands at meals—a custom still preserved in some of the colleges, and also in many of the public halls within the city of London."
In 1402, Sir William Clopton granted to Thomas Smyth a piece of ground called Dokmedwe, in Haustede, for the annual payment of a rose to Sir William and his heirs, in lieu of all services. The demand for roses formerly was so great, that bushels of them were frequently paid by vassals to their lords, both in England and France. The single rose, paid as an acknowledgment, was the diminutive representation of a bushel of roses—as a single peppercorn, which is still a reserved rent, represents a pound of peppercorns — a payment originally of some worth, but descending by degrees to a mere formality. Among the new-year gifts presented to Queen Mary in 1556, was a bottle of rose-water; and in 1570 we find, among the items in the account of a dinner of Lord Leicester, when he was Chancellor of the University of Oxford, three ounces of rose-water. In an account of a grant of a great part of Ely House, Holborne, by the Bishop of Ely, to Christopher Hatton, for twenty-one years, the tenant covenants to pay, on midsummer-day, a red rose for the gate-house and garden, and for the ground (fourteen acres) ten loads of hay and £10 per annum; the Bishop reserving to himself and successors free access through the gate-bouse, for walking in the gardens and gathering twenty bushels of roses yearly. In 1597, we find Gerard speaking of the Damask rose of Damascus and the Cinnamon rose as common in English gardens. Hakluyt says that the rose of Damascus was brought to England by De Linaker, physician to Henry IX.; and his successor, Sir Richard Weston, who wrote in 1645, says, "We have red roses from France." In the reign of James I.,the keeper of the robes and jewels at Whitehall, among a variety of other offices, had separate salaries allowed him, "for fire to air the hot-houses, 40s. by the year;" and, "for digging and setting of roses, in the spring gardens, 40s. by the year."
It would seem, by these incidents, that previous to the seventeenth century, roses were far from being abundant, and indeed were so rare, that a bottle of distilled water was a fit present for Royalty, and a few roses an amply sufficient rent for house and land.
In the times of chivalry, the Rose was often an emblem that knights were fond of placing in their helmet or shield, implying that sweetness should always be the companion of courage, and that beauty was the only prize worthy of valor. It was not, however, always taken for such emblems, nor did it always bring to mind pleasant and agreeable images, but was often the signal for bloodshed in. a desolating civil war which raged in England for more than thirty years.
The rival factions of the White and the Red Rose arose in 1452, during the reign of Henry VI., between the houses of Lancaster and of York. The Duke of York, a descendant of Edward III., claimed that his house possessed a nearer title to the crown than the reigning branch. He adopted a white rose on his shield, for his device, and the reigning monarch, Henry VI., of the house of Lancaster, carried the red rose. After several furious civil wars, after having flooded the whole kingdom with blood, and after the tragical death of three kings, Henry VII, of the house of Lancaster, re-united, in 1486, the two families by marrying Elizabeth, the heiress of the house of York,
The adoption of the red rose, by the house of Lancaster, was at a period far prior to these civil wars. About 1277, the Count of Egmont, son of the King of England, and who had taken the title of Count of Champagne, was sent by the King of France to Provence, with some troops, to avenge the murder of William Pentecote, mayor of the city, who had been killed in an insurrection.
When this prince returned into England, after executing his orders, he took for his device the red rose, that Thibaut, Count of Brie and of Champagne, had brought from Syria, on his return from the crusade some years before.—That Count of Egmont was the head of the house of Lancaster, who preserved the red rose on their arms, while the house of York, on the other hand, adopted the white rose as their device.
An anecdote is told of the Prince of Bearne, afterwards Henry IV. of France, who was not 15 years of age when Charles IX. came to Nerae, in 1566, to visit the court of Navarre.
The fifteen days that he spent there were marked by sports and fetes, of which the young Henry was already the chief ornament. Charles IX. loved to practice archery; in providing for him that amusement, they thought that none of his courtiers, not even the Duke of Guise, who excelled at this sport, would venture to prove himself more adroit than the monarch. The young Henry, however, advanced, and at the first shot, carried off the orange, which served for a mark. According to the rules of the sport, he wished, as victor, to shoot first in the next trial; the King opposed it, and repulsed him with warmth; Henry stepped back a little, drew his bow, and directed the arrow against the breast of his adversary; the monarch quickly took shelter behind the largest of his courtiers, and requested them to take away "that dangerous little cousin." Peace being made, the same sport was continued on the following day; Charles found an excuse for not coming. This time the Duke of Guise carried away the orange, which he split in two, and no other could be found for a mark.
The young prince perceived a Rose in the bosom of a young girl among the spectators, and seizing it, quickly placed it on the mark. The Duke shot first, and missed; Henry succeeding him, placed his arrow in the middle of the flower, and returned it to the pretty villager with the victorious arrow which had pierced it.
At Salency, a village of France, the Rose is the reward of excellent traits of character; they attribute the origin of the fete of La Rosiere, in that country, to Medard, bishop of Noyou, who lived at the end of the fifteenth, and beginning of the sixteenth century, during the reign of Clovis. That bishop, who was also Lord of Salency, had established a fund, giving a sum of twenty-five livres (five dollars), and a crown or hat of roses, to the young girl on Ms estate who enjoyed the greatest reputation for amiability and excellence of character. Tradition states that the prelate himself gave this desired prize to one of his sisters, whom the public voice had named to be Rosiere. Before the revolution of 1789, there could be seen, beneath the altar of the chapel of St. Medard, at Salency, a tablet, where that bishop was represented in pontifical dress, and placing a crown of roses on the head of his sister, who was on her knees, with her hair dressed.
The bishop had set aside, on a part of his domain, since called the "Manor of the Rose," an annual rent of twenty-five livres, at that time a considerable sum, for paying all the expenses of this ceremony. It is stated that Louis XIII., being at the chateau of Yarennes, near Salency, about the time of this ceremony, was deirous of adding to its eclat by his personal presence; but finding himself indisposed, he sent to La Rosiere, by a marquis of rank and first captain of his guards, a ring and his blue ribbon. "Go," said he to the marquis, "and present this riband to her who shall be crowned. It has been long the prize of honor; it shall now become the reward of virtue." Since that time La Rosiere has received a ring, and she and her companions have worn the blue ribbon.
The Lord of Salency at one time enjoyed the right of choosing La Rosiere from three of the village girls, who were presented by the inhabitants. But in 1773 a new lord, who purchased the estate of Salency, wished to take away the right enjoyed by the inhabitants, of naming and presenting to him the three candidates for the Rose. He assumed the nomination of La Rosiere, without any assembling, election, or presentation, and suppressed entirely the pomp and ceremonies which until that time had always been observed. On the complaint of the inhabitants of Salency, the Court of Chancery at once set aside the pretensions of their lord; but he, not wishing to yield them, instituted a civil process before the Parliament of