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The contrast of such beauty and such woe as this, struck Palamon to the heart:
Of Love's use; now soft, now loud
among That all the garden and the wallés
rung Right of their song.
The fayrnesse of a lady that I se
It was in this Garden of the Tower that King James espied Joan Beaufort walking with her two women:
Chaucer's Athenian garden, where the freshness of an English spring belies the far-off name, inspired the creation of another and scarcely less famous garden in literature, hardly a quarter of a century after great Chaucer was buried in the Chapel of St. Benedict in the Abbey. It is the garden of the Tower of London, made famous in The Kingis Quhair, written by King James I. of Scotland when in captivity. When he gazed down into the garden and there saw the beauteous Joan Beaufort, he must have recalled the story of Palamon and Emelie. His poem indeed proves this. But first let us see his garden, his May-time English garden:
Ah, sweet, are ye a worldly créature Or heavenly thing in likeness of natúre. Or are ye god Cupide's own princess And comen are to loose me out of
band? Or are ye very Nature, the goddess That have depainted with your beav
enly hand This garden full of flowers as they
Now was there made, fast by the Tow
er's wall, A garden fair, and in the corners set An arbor green, with wandés long and
small Railéd about; and so with treés set Was all the place, and hawthorn hedges
knet That life was none walking there
forby, That might within scarce any wight
This golden-haired maiden, decked (says the poet) with pearls and rubies, emeralds and sapphires, crowned with “a chaplet fresh of hue," and nower o' broom, showed “her fair fresh face, as white as any snow," as she walked under "the sweet green boughs," and won the heart of a captive King.
These English gardens of the fourteenth century were part of the poetry of a romantic age, when the damoiselles and damoiseaux of each little feudal Court wandered from Bower to Garden-close (thick set with hedges and roses, planned with walks and arbors) in that atmosphere of chivalry which did so much to soften the harshness and violence of medieval life. Garden culture was not the least part of the culture of the age. The Romans had brought their gardens, with so many other things and institutions that in changing forms have survived, to Britain, and it is pleasing enough to look back on the lost springs of half a thousand years ago, and on the lost gardens of their kings and queens. Each of us can cry. with Charles d'Orleans. "Jeunesse sur moi a puissance," when the spring time stirs our garden
So thick the boughés met the leaves
green, Beshaded all the alleys that were there; And midst of every arbor might be
seen The sharpé, greené, sweetë, juniper, Growing so fair, with branches here
and there; That, as it seemed to a life without, The boughés spread the arbor all
And on the smallé greené twistis sat The little sweeté nightingale, and sang So loud and clear the hymnés consecrat
as it stirred those gardens.
A touch that gives a sense of size to if we think truly and strongly enough, the garden. Then instantly follows a answer poor François Villon; we can dialogue, between the gardeners that call up once again the gardens and gives us a clear peep into Elizabethan those that walked therein, and so an- gardening methods while we hear the swer the plaintive cry:
moral of the life of unwise Richard :Dictes moy où, n'en quel pays,
Gardener. Go, bind thou up yon Est Flora, la belle Rommaine?
dangling apricocks, Which like unruly children, make their
sire She is here, and with her are all her
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal company. Shakespeare knew this well enough, Give some supportance to the bending
weight: and we must wander, with easy scorn
twigs. of speeding centuries, from the gardens
Go thou, and like an executioner, of Chaucer and the King to his gar- Cut off the heads of too-fast growing dens, so sweet and full of spiritual sprays, help. They are his own gardens, not That look too lofty in our Common
wealth: the brilliant gardens of earth and
All must be even in our government. earthly love that the exquisite art of
You thus employ'd I will go root away Pierre de Ronsard pictures in a thou
The noisome weeds, that without profit sand forms, that are sad with the sad
suck ness that haunted Ronsard and his
The soil's fertility from wholesome school, the thought that love and flowers. beauty do not abide:
First Servant. Why should we, in
the compass of a pale, Et bref, Rose, tu es belle sur toute
Keep law, and form, and due proporchose
Showing, as in a model, our firm estate, and yet the Rose and the Gardens of
When our sea-walled garden, the whole Bourgueil must pass utterly away. It land, was not so with Sbakespeare; he knew, Is full of weeds; her fairest flowers at least as well as Keats, that
Her fruit trees all unpruned, her A thing of beauty is a joy for ever;
hedges ruin'd, Its loveliness increases.
Her knots disordered, and her whole
some herbs The garden to Shakespeare is utilita
Swarming with caterpillars rian in the most spiritual of senses; it is a symbol of spiritual growth. To Gardener,
0, what pity is it, see this we have but to turn to the
That he hath not so trimmed and wonderful Garden Scene in King Rich
dressed his land,
As we this garden! We at time of year ard II. (Act III., Scene IV.). The
Do wound the bark, the skin of our Queen and her two ladies are in the
fruit-trees, garden seeking “to drive away the
Eest, being over-proud with sap and heavy thought of care"; but all sport
blood, fails them and suddenly the Queen With too much riches it confound itcries:
Had he done so to great and growing But stay, here come the gardeners:
men, Let's step into the shadow of these They might have lived to bear, and he trees.
Their fruits of duty. All superfluous the woods: “On a brick wall have I boughs
climbed into this garden, to see if I We lop away, that bearing boughs may
can eat grass, or pick a sallet another live:
while which is not amiss to cool a Had he done so, himself had borne the
man's stomach this hot weather." crown, Which waste of idle hours hath quite
We see Iden walking in his garden:thrown down.
Lord, who would live turmoiled in the The Queen can bear no
Court, breaks in on this doctrine of the gar
And may enjoy such quiet walks as
these? den. When she has gone the gardener
This small inheritance, my father left ends with a touch that is immortal:
Contenteth me and worth a monarchy. Here did she shed a tear; here in this I seek not to wax great by other's wanplace,
ing; I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of
Or gather wealth, I care not with what grace:
envy. Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall
Sufficeth that I have, maintains my be seen
state, In the remembrance of a weeping
And sends the poor well pleased from queen.
my gate. Could not a treatise be written on
It is a pleasing picture and is clearly Shakespeare's garden-herbs and flow
drawn from Nature, and we may fill it ers? Ophelia, the Rose of May, knew
with fruits and flowers and herbs and all about them, and of the Rue knew
more utilitarian produce from other most:
passages in the plays. If we look beThere's Rosemary, that's for remem
yond the garden and beyond the woods brance; pray, Love, remember: and we may see the village with there is Pansies, that's for thoughts.
The white sheet bleaching on the • There's Fennel for you, and
hedge; Columbines:—There's Rue for you; and here's some for me: we may call it and the fieldsHerb of Grace o' Sundays:-You may wear your Rue with a difference
Rich leas There's a Daisy :-I would give you
Of wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, some Violets, but they withered all
and pease, when my father died.
and hedges filled with blackberries or Well might Gertrude strew her grave dewberries, and in the autumn watch with flowers,
the farm men
There's Rosemary and Rue.
Sow the headland with wheat! with
From so sad a scene let us turn for a space to the utilitarian garden of Elizabethan times, not procured, we may believe, from Holland. It was as plentifully supplied as ours, saving, of course, the potato, even then on its way thither from even more romantic climes. Alexander Iden's Garden in Kent, where Jack Cade laid down his valorous life, was a walled garden in
In the kitchen garden we shall find "onions" and "turnips.” Who does not remember the wench who "married in an afternoon as she went to the gar. den for parsley to stuff a rabbit"? In the same garden were "good worts, good cabbage," and there, too, men used to "sow lettuce, set hyssop, and weed up thyme." There, too, they could gather a “bunch of rad::h,” even of applejohns"; and the strawberry, the forked radish; and here hung "peas plum, the cherry; and the fig that Conand beans as dank ... as a dog." stance speaks of. There, too, was the We fear that Rhubarb was used arbor where Sir John Falstaff would chiefly as a “purgative drug," but it fain have eaten a pippin of his own was an age for drugs and the labors of grafting with a dish of caraways. The the herbalist.
walled orchard was full enough of "Hot lavender, mints, savory, ma- fruits to delight the heart of childjoram," and sorrel we must add to the hood and satisfies the desires of our other herbs we have already smelt. first parents. And through the lovely Shakespeare draws lessons from the orchard we wander into that blessed kitchen garden as well as from the set flower garden of Bohemia which parterre. And the moral is put, with Shakespeare found on English soil and the ironic touch of which he was mas- set in summer's ripest hour:ter, in the mouth of Iago: "Our bod
The fairest flowers of the season ies are gardens; to the which our wills
Are our carnations and streaked gillyare gardeners; so that if we will plant flowers, nettles, or sow lettuce; set hyssop and Which some call Nature's bastards. weed up thyme; supply it with one gen
Perdita and Polyxenes-not lago der of herbs, or distract it with many;
gives us the final garden parable: either to have it sterile with idleness, or manured with industry; why the Perdita,
I have heard it said power and corrigible authority of this There is an art which in their piedness lies in our wills." What a model of shares will-power was Iago and what a moral
With great creating Nature. ist! We may doubt if any of Shakes- Polyrenes.
Say there be; peare's moralists has a finer lesson to
Yet Nature is made better by no mean, teach than Iago with his garden moral.
But Nature makes that mean: so over
that art It is pleasing to turn from the utili
Which you say adds to Nature, is an tarian garden (where, doubtless, the
art gooseberry of which Sir John Falstaff
That Nature makes. You see, sweet speaks grew) to the walled orchard
maid, we marry where the Prince and Claudio walked, A gentle scion to the wildest stock, “in a thick-pleached alley." There And make conceive a bark of baser were fruit trees in abundance, all well
kind pruned. There grew the medlar tree,
By bud of nobler race; this is an art
Which does mend Nature-change it there hung the poperin pear Mercutio
rather; but knew of. It was Capulet's garden, an
The art itself is Nature. English garden, after all, whose
So it is. Orchard walls are high and hard to climb.
It is wonderful this turning of gar
den thoughts to the profoundest philThere Peas-blossom, Cobweb, Moth,
osophy. It is good to tarry in this and Mustard-seed fed Bottom
garden. Passage on passage fill it With apricocks, and dewberries, with successive perfumes of Spring and With purple grapes, green figs, and Summer and Autumn. Shakespeare's mulberries.
gardens are one more revelation of his at Titania's gentle wish. There grew universal interest in the inter-relation the codling that was to become an ap- of man and Nature and their joint ple, and there were gathered “the dish place in the serene scheme of things. The Contemporary Review.
J. E. G. de J.
THE RACE TO THE SOUTH POLE.
LETTER FROM DR. NANSEN.
Dr. Fridtjof Nansen writes from Lysaker, under date April 20, as follows:
I understand that Captain Amundsen has been blamed in the English Press for not having announced at an earlier date his intention of going to the South Pole before starting on his long North Polar expedition; the opinion being, as far as I can gather, that his plan ought to have been discussed beforehand; indeed, it seems that some people are even inclined to regard his action as unfair. I cannot but think that such views are due to some misconstruction of Amundsen's real motives, and as he is prevented by absence from defending himself, I hope you will permit me to give a statement of the facts in your columns. First, however, I wish to say that I have had much to do with Amundsen, and on all occasions, whatever the circumstances might be, he always acted as a man, and my firm conviction is that an unfair act of any kind would be entirely alien to his nature.
His decision to go to the Antarctic came as a surprise to us all, and I well understand that it might give rise to misconception to people who do not know him. In a letter sent from Madeira, and dated "The Fram, August 22, 1910," he explained his new plan to me. He says:
proved by the refusal of the Storting [i.e. the Norwegian Parliament] of my application for an additional grant of 25,000 kroner (£1,380).
To give up my undertaking never entered into my head. The question then arose how to raise the necessary funds. Unless something very much out of the common were accomplished, it was not to be thought of. Something that could rouse the interest of the great public was absolutely necessary. Only one problem is left within the Polar regions, the solution of which might excite general interest, and that is to reach the South Pole. If able to achieve this I felt sure that the funds for the North Polar expedition planned by me would be secured.
It is hard to confess, but the fact is that ever since September, 1909, it has been my intention to take part in the solution of this problem. I have many a time been on the point of telling you everything, but I always shrank from it, fearing that you might induce me to alter my plan. I have often wished that Scott had known of my decision, so that it might not appear as if I wished to steal my way down yonder without his knowledge, in order to get the start of him; but I have not ven. tured to risk to make it public in any form, fearing that I might then be prevented. I will, however, do all I can to meet him in the South Polar regions and tell him my plan.
It was thus as far back as September last year that this resolution was taken, and I think I may say that we are well equipped. But at the same time I must tell you that if I had succeeded in obtaining the funds still necessary for my North Polar expedition—about 150,000 kroner (£8,250)-I would gladly have given up this additional trip; but the raising of this sum was quite out of the question.
From Madeira we shape our course towards the south. .. I cannot decide where we shall go ashore, but it is my intention not to land near the
It is not with a light heart I send you these lines, but there is no alternative, and I may therefore as well go straight to the point. When the news of Cook's and later on of Peary's journeys to the North Pole arrived last autumn, I understood at once that this spelt ruin to my undertaking [i.e., the North Polar expedition). I concluded that, after this, I could no more expect to receive the economical support I still needed. That I was right in this was