Herbert Wells' story "The Strange Orchid" begins:
"Buying an orchid always involves a certain amount of risk. You have a shriveled brown root in front of you - for everything else rely on your own judgment, or on the seller, or on luck, as you like. Maybe it's a doomed or dead plant, maybe it's a solid purchase worth spending money on, or maybe-as has happened more than once-something unseen will slowly unfold before your gaze, day by day: a new richness of shape, a special curve of petals, a finer coloration, an unusual mimicry. Pride, beauty, and income will blossom together on a delicate green stem, and who knows, perhaps even glory. For a new wonder of nature requires a new name, and is it not natural to christen the flower with the name of the one who discovered it? "Jonesmithia!" Well, there are worse names.
Maybe the hopes of such a discovery made Winter Wetherburn a regular at flower sales-hope, and probably also the fact that he had no other interest in life. He was a timid, lonely, rather worthless man, with enough money to get by, and a lack of the spiritual energy that would have led him to seek more definite pursuits. He might as well have been collecting stamps or coins, translating Horace, binding books, or discovering new species of diatomea (diatomea is a siliceous algae). But it so happened that he began to grow orchids, and all his ambitious thoughts turned out to be concentrated on a little garden greenhouse."
The author of this story's assertion about the worthlessness of his hero (as a collector of exotic flowers, first of all) and on his absence in life of any other interesting activities seemed to me awfully unfair and too presumptuous.
Then let us also classify the poet, writer, thinker and philosopher Goethe, with the lighter hand of Herbert Wells, as a worthless person "with a lack of spiritual energy. And he, by the way, was also a serious naturalist, published a number of works on comparative morphology of plants and animals, on physics (optics and acoustics), mineralogy, geology and meteorology.
And Goethe is known as a great lover of violets. According to legend, his every move was marked by violets. He did not leave home without pouring seeds of violets in his coat pocket. He walked and sowed them on the paths. In the suburbs of Weimar, where he lived, paths of violets became carpets of flowers. German gardeners bred several new varieties of violets, naming them after characters of famous works of the writer: the black variety was named "Dr. Faustus", bright red - "Mephistopheles", soft blue - "Margarita".
Strongly loved and praised violets A. Blok. Ivan Turgenev loved to present his friends with violets, and was very grateful when they did the same to him.
It is also known that Ivan Turgenev's favourite flower was the daffodil, proof of which we find in an album he left after his death in which he used to write down, as a joke, everything he liked best. He made such notes more than once, and in one of them from 1867, when asked, "Which of the flowers does he like best?"
"When you are in Spasskoye, -I. Turgenev wrote in 1882 to his friends Polonsky in French Bougival, knowing that he was very ill, -would you worship my house, my garden, my young oak, my homeland, which I shall probably never see? And asked to send a "lilac flower. Polonsky fulfilled this request.
Flowers occupy a special place in the work of poets and writers around the world since ancient times. Flowers have inspired artists, poets, architects, composers to create great works.
It is known that lilacs inspired Tchaikovsky to create a rare in beauty ballet-tale "Sleeping Beauty". The beautiful "Waltz of the Flowers" from Tchaikovsky's ballet "The Nutcracker" and V. Andreev's "Orchid Waltz" became popular. Many contemporary composers also refer to flowers in their work.
Often a flower can tell a person more than an eloquent message: to express both respect and love. In Austria, an opera house was built in 1973. For its first performance, the company chose Sergei Prokofiev's opera War and Peace. The hall was full. And only one chair in the front row was unoccupied: on it lay... a white rose. An unknown admirer of Prokofiev's music, who had not had time to fly to the performance, telegraphed an unusual request from America: to put a rose in his place as a sign of respect for the great composer...
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In the worship of flowers, other famous writers are not behind. One of them, a little forgotten nowadays, is V. Kataev. How not to recall his childishly naive fairy tale "Flower-Semitsvetik"?
In the fairy tale by S. Marshak's "Twelve Months" the wicked stepmother sent her stepdaughter in the midst of bitter January frosts to a dense forest for spring flowers. The girl happened to run into the brothers of the months by the forest fire, one of whom was the good-natured Mart. He gave the orphan girl his favorite flowers - snowdrops.
Who does not remember the Russian folk tale "The Scarlet Flower", told in his childhood by the key woman Pelageya Sergei Aksakov, and recorded by him in 1885? How many magical minutes were lived with this tale by each of us. In worrying about the honest, kind and true to his word daughter junior, and condemnation of the greedy and self-serving daughters of older, kind, but such a short-sighted merchant.
In conclusion, here's a small excerpt from a fairy tale by A. de Saint-Exupery "The Little Prince":
"On the Little Prince's planet simple, modest flowers always grew - they had few petals, they occupied little space and did not bother anybody. They would open in the grass in the morning and fade in the evening. But this one sprouted once from a seed that had come from some unknown place, and the Little Prince could not take his eyes off the tiny sprout, unlike all the other sprouts and boughs. What if it was some new variety of baobab? But the bush quickly stopped stretching upward, and a bud appeared on it. The little prince had never before seen such huge buds and had a hunch that he was going to see a miracle. And the unknown guest, still hidden within the walls of her green room, was getting ready, all dressed up. She carefully picked up the colors. She dressed herself leisurely, trying on petals one by one. She didn't want to appear disheveled, like a poppy. She wanted to show herself in all the glory of her beauty. Yes, she was a terrible coquette! Mysterious preparations lasted day after day.
And finally, one morning, just as the sun was rising, the petals opened. And the beauty, who had worked so hard to prepare for this moment, said, yawning: - Oh, I'm hardly awake... Please excuse me... I'm still quite disheveled...
The little prince could not contain his delight: - How beautiful you are!
- Yes, really? -was the quiet reply. - And notice that I was born with the sun.
The little prince, of course, guessed that the amazing guest did not suffer from an excess of modesty, but she was so beautiful that it took your breath away!
And she soon noticed: -It seems time for breakfast. Would you be so kind as to take care of me...
The little prince was very embarrassed, found a watering can and watered the flower with spring water. Soon it turned out that the beauty was proud and resentful, and the Little Prince was completely exhausted with her. She had four thorns, and one day she said to him: - Let the tigers come, I am not afraid of their claws!
- There are no tigers on my planet, - objected the Little Prince. - And then, tigers do not eat grass.
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- I am not a grass, - said offensively flower.
- Excuse me ...
- No, I'm not afraid of tigers, but I'm terribly afraid of drafts. Don't you have a screen?
"A plant, but afraid of drafts... very strange..." thought the Little Prince. - What a difficult character this flower has."
- When evening comes, cover me with a hood. It's too cold here. A very uncomfortable planet. Where I come from...
She didn't finish. After all, she was brought here when she was just a seed. She could know nothing of the other worlds. It is foolish to lie when you are so easily incriminated! Belle was embarrassed, then coughed once or twice to make the Little Prince feel how guilty he was before her. - Where is the screen door? -
She coughed harder: let his conscience torment him after all!
Although the Little Prince loved the beautiful flower and was happy to serve him, his soul soon became full of doubt. He took empty words to heart and began to feel very unhappy.
I listened to her in vain," he once told me trustingly. - You should never listen to what flowers say. You just have to look at them and breathe their fragrance. My flower has showered my whole planet with fragrance, and I didn't know how to enjoy it. These talks about claws and tigers... They should have touched me, but I got angry...
And he confessed: "I didn't understand anything then! I should have judged not by words, but by deeds. She gave me her fragrance, lit up my life. I should not have run away. Behind these pathetic stratagems and tricks I should have guessed tenderness. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young, I did not yet know how to love."
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