He became human in thus rising above the crudenecessities of nature

In the trembling grey of a spring dawn, when the birds werewhispering in mysterious cadence among the trees, have you not felt thatthey were talking to their mates about the flowers? Surely with mankindthe appreciation of flowers must have been coeval with the poetry of love.Where better than in a flower, sweet in its unconsciousness, fragrarbecause of its silence, can we image the unfolding of a virgin soul? Theprimeval man in offering the first garland to his maiden therebytranscended the brute. He became human in thus rising above the crudenecessities of nature. He entered the realm of art when he perceived thesubtle use of the uselessIn joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends. We eat, drink,ing, dance, and flirt with them. We wed and christen with flowers. Wedare not die without them. We have worshipped with the lily, we havemeditated with the lotus, we have charged in battle array with the rose andthe chrysanthemum. We have even attempted to speak in the language offlowers. How could we live without them? It frightens on to conceive ofa world bereft of their presence. What solace do they not bring to thebedside of the sick, what a light of bliss to the darkness of weary spirits?Their serene tendemess restores to us our waning confidence in theuniverse even as the intent gaze of a beautiful child recalls our lost hopes.When we are laid low in the dust it is they who linger in sorrow over ourgravesSad as it is, we cannot conceal the fact that in spite of ourcompanionship with flowers we have not risen very far above the bruteScratch the sheepskin and the wolf within us will soon show his teeth. Ithas been said that a man at ten is an animal, at twenty a lunatic, at thirty afailure, at forty a fraud, and at fifty a criminal. Perhaps he becomes acriminal because he has never ceased to be an animal. Nothing is real tous but hunger, nothing sacred except our own desires. Shrine after shrinehas crumbled before our eyes; but one altar is forever preserved, thatwhereon we burn incense to the supreme idol --ourselves. Our god isgreat, and money is his Prophet! We devastate nature in order to maksacrifice to him. We boast that we have conquered Matter and forgetthat it is matter that has enslaved us. what atrocitieswe notperpetrate in the name of culture and refinement

Tell me, gentle flowers, teardrops of the stars, standing in the garden,nodding your heads to the bees as they sing of the dews and the sunbeamsare you aware of the fearful doom that awaits you? Dream on, sway andfrolic while you may in the gentle breezes of summer. To-morrow aruthless hand will close around your throats. You will be wrenched,tom asunder limb by limb, and bome away fromquiet homesThe wretch, she may be passing fair. She may say how lovely you arewhile her fingers are still moist with your blood. Tell me, will this bekindness? It may be your fate to be imprisoned in the hair of one whomyou know to be heartless or to be thrust into the buttonhole of one whewould not dare to look you in the face were you a man It may even beyour lot to be confined in some narrow vessel with only stagnant water toquench the maddening thirst that warns of ebbing lifeFlowers, if you were in the land of the Mikado, you might some timemeet a dread personage armed with scissors and a tiny saw. He would callhimself a Master of Flowers. He would claim the rights of a doctor andyou would instinctively hate him, for you know a doctor always seeks toprolong the troubles of his victims. He would cut, bend, and twist you intothose impossible positions which he thinks it proper that you shouldssume. He would contort your muscles and dislocate your bones likeany osteopath. He would bum you with red-hot coals to stop your bleedingand thrustnto you to assist your circulation. He would diet youwith salt, vinegar, alum, and sometimes, vitriol. boiling water would bepoured on your feet when you seemed ready to faint. It would be his boastthat he could keep life within you for two or more weeks longer thanwould have been possible without his treatment. Would you not hawpreferred to have been killed at once when you were first capturedWhat were the criou must have committed during your pastcarnation to warrant such punishment in this? The wanton waste offlowers among Westem communities is even more appalling than the waythey are treated by Easten Flower Masters. The number of flowers cutdaily to adorn the ballrooms and banquet tables of Europe and America,to be thrown away on the morrow, must be something enormous; if struntogether they might garland a continent. Beside this utter carelessness oflife, the guilt of the Flower- Master becomes insignificant. He, at leastrespects the economy of nature, selects his victims with careful foresightand after death does honour to their remains. In the West the display offlowers seems to be a part of the pageantry of wealth the fancy of amoment Whither do they all go, these flowers, when the revelry is over?Nothing is more pitiful than to see a faded flower remorselessly flungupon a dung heap


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