flowers and their pedigrees

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: II. THE ROMANCE OF A WAYSIDE WEED. You will not find many pleasanter or breezier walks in England than this open stretch of Claverton Down : certainly you will find very few with more varied interest of every conceivable sort for every cultivated mind. The air is fresh and laden from the brine of the Atlantic and the Gulf Stream ; the clear wind is blowing straight from seaward, not keen and dry from the Eastern plains, but soft and pure from a thousand leagues of uninterrupted ocean ; and the view over the broken dale of Avon, where it cuts its way in a veritable gorge through the high barrier of the Bath oolite, stretches for miles over one of the loveliest and greenest valleys in all our lovely green England. More than that—the whole history of Britain is visibly unfolded before my very eyes. That bald roundish hill to the right, with its smooth summit artificially levelled, and its sides planed down into a long glacis, is Little Solisbury; and Little Solisbury, as its name clearly shows, is the very oldest Bath of all. For it isthe bury or hill-fort of Solis, the ancient fortified town of the Keltic and Euskarian natives ; and when, long ages afterwards, the Romans planted their station in the valley below, they naturally called the hot springs Fig. 13.—Hairy Wood-spurge (Euphorbia pilosa). which they found there by the name of Aquae Solis ; and equally naturally misinterpreted the second word (really a native term, Sulis) as the genitive of Sol, and accordingly dedicated their great temple on the spotto Apollo. Those straight white lines and green- grown ridges on the flanks of Banagh Down and the eastern heights are the vestiges of the old Roman causeways—the Fosse and its branches—now totally disused or else degraded into modern cai t-roads ; and the Institution Bu...
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