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and bears the name of Aquilegia, of which the English Synonome is Columbine. These respective appellations are regarded to arise from supposed similitudes of parts of the flower to portions of the eagle, and the dove. It is a native of both temperate, and cold climes, being found, according to (8) Linnæus, in England, France, Switzerland, Canada, and Siberia. In his " Systema Naturæ" he gives five species, of which only one is indigenous in this country. It is here met with in woods, and thickets, rarely, but in different varieties of blue, white, and light red. It is found in several counties, as those of York, Norfolk, Cornwall, Worcester, and Somerset, and it is met with in the woods of Clarendon, and of Winterslow, near Salisbury. The easy, and general, acquisition of the columbine does not, from its superior beauty, impede its introduction into the gay parterre of the lady of rank, as well as the garden of the humble cottager; but, although it delights the eye, it does not gratify the smell.

In a state of nature, this elegant flower is ever found single; five petals, and five nectaries in alternate succession surround the receptacle (bearing on it the stamens, and pistils,) of each blossom; but by garden culture no plant is more easily made to produce varieties both of variegated and double flowers. Here nature, disturbed by the interference of man, is caused to sport in pretty monstrosities, producing double flowers, sometimes by the multiplication of petals to the exclusion of nectaries, and at other times by the increase of nectaries placed, as

florists term it, hose in hose, to the diminution of the petals. Its manifold variegations are also pleasing to the eye, and, probably from hence, the gaily dressed Columbine, the partner of Harlequin in the pantomime, took her name.

Poor Ophelia in Hamlet, in her mournful distraction, says to Laertes, "There is fennel for you and columbines." Stevens, one of the many commentators on Shakspeare, seems to make a difficulty in explaining this passage: "I know not" (says he) " of what columbines were supposed to be emblematical. They are again mentioned" (he adds)" in All Fools" (a play)" by Chapman, 1605."

"What's that? a Columbine ?

No! that thankless flower grows not in my garden." He then states, that Gerarde, and other ancient herbalists ascribe few, if any, medicinal virtues to the columbine, and therefore it is thankless, (or useless,) not having answered a good purpose in its creation; but, on referring to old Gerarde, I see, that he recommends it for complaints of the liver and jaundice, &c.; but, I think, that the forsaken Ophelia presented the columbine as the emblem of neglected love, and hence the term thankless in the foregoing quotation. In this explication I am confirmed by the following passage from an old poet :

"The Columbine in tawny taken

Is thus ascribed to such as are forsaken."

W. BROWNE.

It is impossible to say from whence the columbine became emblematical of neglected love. Flowers were, I believe, often selected as

emblems without a cause. Its medicinal inutility is here assigned by Stevens ; but, if a cause must be sought, may we not with equal propriety suppose, that the emblem of unrequited love arises from the failure of careful culture to raise that pleasing odour, which is usually expected from a beautiful flower. The horn-shaped appendages, the nectaries, contain in each recess a honied liquid, eagerly sought by the industrious ant, but which is inaccessible to the proboscis of the bee. The pious mind will here discover a pleasing instance of the care of the Divine Being for the least of his creatures,-he provides equally for the huge elephant, which roams through the wilds of India, and the humble pismire, which crawls on the earth, and enables it to make its banquet free from the interruption of its busy, and buzzing, neighbour.

Who shall say, that these horn-shaped appendages of the columbine were not the prototype of the cornu-copia of the ancients, whatever may be its supposed mythological origin?

Having thus explained the arms of John Halle, I am now led to the discussion of the history of the Staple, and of the Merchant's Mark, with which those arms are impaled.

IV.

Origin, and History, of the Staple.
Merchants' Marks.

Merchant's Mark of John Halle.

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In the elucidation of the history of the Staple, and its laws, of the origin of Merchants' Marks, and of the Merchant's Mark of John Halle, I must recall your attention, gentle reader, to the manuscript notes of Aubrey, the Wiltshire Antiquary, which I cited in my first Essay--in the very opening of this work: "Halle, I doe believe" (says he) was a Merchant of the Staple at Salisbury where he had many Houses: his dwelling house, now a Taverne, 1669, was on the Ditch, where in the glasse-windowes are many Scutchions of his Armes and severall merchant markes yet remaining." He then makes a query: viz. "if there are not also woolsacks in the pannells of glasse?" Again, says Aubrey, "As Greville

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& Wenman bought all the Coteswold, soe did Halle & Webb all the wooll of Salisbury plaines.” On a reference to the plate of the arms of John Halle in illustration of my last Essay, it will be seen, that his arms are impaled, not with those of his wife, but with his Merchant's Mark !

Whether a similar instance can be produced of the union of heraldic honours with the merchant's mark I know not, but, certes, it is very unusual, and liable to heraldic censure as a debasement; but I draw from thence this conclusion, that, at the time of the erection of his interesting halle, he was immersed in the commercial engagements of the world—that his mind was absorbed in the business of life, and -that, by uniting his heraldic honours with his merchant's mark, he wished to show to his co-temporaries, and to posterity, that they held but an equal share in his esteem. Whom John Halle married I have not learned. know, (as will appear hereafter,) that the Christian Name of his wife was Joan, and that she was living in the year 1467. In the second window are the arms of Halle impaling Halle; and, as I find, that his son, William Halle, impaled the arms of Berenger, of the County of Hants, I have thus valid reason to conclude, that John Halle married one of his kindred race, and that thus the arms of Halle impaling Halle pertain to him. He has placed two shields on the transom-stone of the chimneypiece--the one charged with his arms—the other with his merchant's mark. The second

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