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The Flowers Personified

Section 5

II. Where we show that the language of flowers may cause a man to lose the tip of his nose.

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          “The flower-language had nearly caused the death of your father and your mother. You see to what the study of the languages may lead us. You see, too, how it was that your father bore all his life the mark of a frostbitten nose. And yet this did not prevent us from being happy, or from having a son.”

          Jacobus the son threw himself, weeping, into his mother’s arms.

          “And now, as I have shown you that I know more than she does,” said the good dame, with a threatening look at the Pansy, “let me get my broom, that I may drive this poor wretch out of doors.”

          But the Pansy did not await the old woman’s return. She had already departed in consternation, at having learned that her origin was merely the Panosée.

          Instead of representing the most exalted of human faculties, the poor flower was but the symbol of a vain and worthless beauty. It was enough to make one even less refined than the Pansy, disgusted with the world.

          Jacobus had an attack of jaundice in consequence of the hoax which had thus been put upon him. He is yet in pursuit of that brilliant idea which is to make him cabinet-minister, or first valet de chamber to the king. France, which has so long been expecting an epic poem, must still rest satisfied with the Henriade.

          The reader will find in the course of this work, the elements of that flower-language which is spoken at the present day by men of fancy, like Jacobus.