FLOWERS AND FLOWER GARDENS 1855 DAVID LESTER RICHARDSON PREFACE This volume is far indeed from being a, scientific treatise On Flowers and Flower-Gardens: it is mere gossip in print upon a pleasant subject. But I hope it will not be altogether useless. If I succeed in my object I shall consider that I have gossipped to some purpose. On several points such as that of the mythology and language of flowers I have said a good deal more than I should have done had I been writing for a different community. 1 beg the London critics to bear this in mind. 1 wished to make the subject as attractive as possible to some classes of people here who might not have been disposed to pay any attention to it whatever if I had not studied their amusement as much as their instruction. I have tried to sweeten the edge of the cup. I did not at first intend the book to exceed fifty pages: but I was almost insensibly carried on further and further from the proposed limit by the attractive nature of the materials that pressed upon my notice. As by far the largest portion of it has been written hurriedly, amidst other avocations, and bit by bit just as the Press demanded an additional supply of " copy" I have but too much reason to apprehend that it will seem to many of my readers, fragmentary and ill-connected. Then again, in a city like Calcutta, it is not easy to prepare any thing satisfactorily that demands much literary or scientific research- There are very many volumes in all the London Catalogues, but not immediately obtainable in Calcutta, that I should have been most eager to refer to for interesting and valuable information, if they had been at hand. The mere titles of these books have often tantalized me with visions of riches beyond my reach. I might indeed have sent for some of these from England, but I had announced this volume, and commenced the printing of it, before it occurred to me that it would be advisable to extend the matter beyond the limits I had originally contemplated. I must now send it forth, " with all its imperfections on its head" but not without the hope that in spite of these, it will be found calculated to increase the taste amongst my brother exiles here for flowers and flower-gardens, and lead many of my Native friends (particularly those who have been educated at the Government Colleges, who have imbibed some English thoughts and feelings and who are so fortunate as to be in possession of landed property) to improve their parterres, and set an example to their poorer countrymen of that neatness and^caia-anc cleanliness and order which may make even the pea- sant's cottage and the smallest plot of ground assume an aspect of comfort, and afford a favorable indication of the character of the possessor. D. L. E. Calcutta, September lst 1855.
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