This delicate and cherished favourite of the green-house, and the parterre, belongs to the Pink family, and on account of its rich fragrance, closely resembling that of the clove of commerce, it is called the clove pink. Florists have divided the Carnation into three classes, Flakes, Bizarres, and Piccotees. The first of these has a white ground marked with one colour, which is either purple, scarlet, or rose. The second has a white ground variously marked with two colours, generally purple and pink. The Piccotee has a white or yellow ground, with a shade of red fringing the petals. The flesh-coloured species is perhaps the most lovely, and has been beautifully compared by Byron to the delicate glow upon a sleeping infant's cheek. One species of Carnation has, in the language of flowers, been made the emblem of dignity, another of disdain, and another, more appropriately we think, of woman's love.
This flower seems to have been much esteemed in the olden time. It is mentioned by Chaucer, whose passion for flowers was excessive; and Shakespeare, for whose universal grasp nothing seems to have been too grand, nothing too minute, makes Perdita, in the " Winter's Tale," say,—
"The fairest flowers of the season Are our carnations and streaked gilly flowers."
It is, besides, frequently introduced into the poetry of Elizabeth's reign; so that the favour with which it is regarded at the present day has deservedly been of long duration. It is sad, while regarding this lovely flower, to think that in a few short weeks its beauty will pass away, and its leaves lie withered in the dust. But it is gladsome to reflect that though flowers die they will revive again, and to see in this a type of that glorious resurrection revealed in the word of God. Well, therefore, may the poet sing, and we acquiesce in the burden of his song
** Shall the left abandoned In the dust, When Fate relenting lets the flower revive? Shall nature's voice, to man alone unjust. Bid him though doomed to perish hope to live ? Is it for this fair Virtue oft must Btrive With disappointment, penury, and pain ? Ko; heaven's immmortal spring shall yet arrive, And man's majestic beauty bloom again Bright through the eternal year of love's triumphant reignl"