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The Dumpy Books for Children; No. 7. A Flower Book   By:

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A FLOWER BOOK

EDEN COYBEE & NELLIE BENSON

London: GRANT RICHARDS, 9 Henrietta Street, W.C.

The Dumpy Books for Children

No. 7. A FLOWER BOOK

THE DUMPY BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.

Cloth, Royal 32mo, 1/6 each.

1. THE FLAMP, THE AMELIORATOR, AND THE SCHOOLBOY'S APPRENTICE. By E. V. LUCAS. ( Seventh Thousand. )

2. MRS. TURNER'S CAUTIONARY STORIES. ( Fifth Thousand. )

3. THE BAD FAMILY. By MRS. FENWICK. ( Third Thousand. )

4. THE STORY OF LITTLE BLACK SAMBO. Illustrated in Colours by HELEN BANNERMAN. ( Twenty seventh Thousand. )

5. THE BOUNTIFUL LADY. By THOMAS COBB. ( Fourth Thousand. )

6. A CAT BOOK. Portraits by H. OFFICER SMITH. Characteristics by E. V. LUCAS. ( Eighth Thousand. )

7. A FLOWER BOOK. Illustrated in Colours by NELLIE BENSON. Story by EDEN COYBEE.

A Flower Book

THE STORY BY

EDEN COYBEE

THE PICTURES BY

NELLIE BENSON

LONDON: GRANT RICHARDS 1901

London

Engraved & Printed

at the

Racquet Court Press

by

Edmund Evans

In the history of men's love for God or for God's creatures there comes one hour of divine uplifting when a symbol must stand for the unspoken word.

That symbol is ever a flower.

There is a path of flowers through all science .

In order that each flower of my little story book should not masquerade in vain meaningless garments or sing to empty words, I have sought the help of many wiser than I in this knowledge born of sympathy with nature. So this little book is not entirely a fairy tale.

To those who would follow me along the same by ways, I wish to say that I owe a great deal to the Reverend Hilderic Friend for his ever delightful look on "Flowers and Flower Lore."

E. C.

[Illustration: CHRISTMAS ROSE]

A FLOWER BOOK.

When the snow lies thick on the ground and all the streams that babble in summer lie still in their houses of ice, you think, I daresay, that the flowers are asleep, and that nothing can wake them before the spring?

But I know of a wood where the little elves and sprites and the delicate fairies dance in a ring in the moonlight, and I will tell you of what happens there at twelve o'clock on the first night of every year.

The clock in the cathedral tower booms out twelve solemn strokes, and all the church bells peal a welcome to the New Year. That is the signal for the fairies to come down on a moonbeam with their white dresses shining and their long yellow hair streaming.

[Illustration: IVY]

[Illustration: WINTER JASMINE]

Most beautiful of them all is Rusialka, the queen of fairies and elves. She wears a necklet of dewdrops, and dew drops sparkle in her dress and in her hair. She glides softly over the snow, and all the fairies follow her to a great elder bush that grows in the middle of the little wood. She knocks once and calls:

"Lady Elder! are you within?"

And the tree shoots out its green buds and the tender leaves unfold themselves.

Then again the fairy Rusialka knocks and calls:

"Lady Elder! Lady Elder! are you within?"

And the sweet white blossoms open overhead, and a gentle rain of flowers falls upon the fairies.

For the third time Rusialka calls:

"Lady Elder! Lady Elder! Lady Elder! are you within?"

And then the tree opens slowly, and the Lady Elder appears. She is very old, for she is the Mother of all the fairies and elves.

[Illustration: MICHAELMAS DAISY]

[Illustration: SNOWDROP]

"What is it you want of me, my children?" she asks, in a voice like a silver bell.

And all the fairies curtsey very long and low, and they answer her:

"The New Year is come, Lady Elder; and we want you to grant us leave to wake the little flowers that sleep under the snow!"

"The World is yet cold for the flowers, my children," answers the Lady Elder... Continue reading book >>




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