"Mr. Ellacombe brings to his task an enthusiastic love of horticulture, wedded to no inconsiderable practical and theoretical knowledge of it; a mind cultivated by considerable acquaintance with the Greek and Latin classics, and trained for this special subject by a course of extensive reading among the contemporaries of his author: and a capacity for patient and unwearied research, which he has shown by the stores of learning he has drawn from a class of books rarely dipped into by the student--Saxon and Early English herbals and books of leechcraft; the result is a work which is entitled from its worth to a place in every Shakesperian library."--Spectator.
is "Britannia's Pastorals."
[4:1] Perhaps the most noteworthy plant omitted is Tobacco--Shakespeare must have been well acquainted with it, not only as every one in his day knew of it, but as a friend and companion of Ben Jonson, he must often have been in the company of smokers. Ben Jonson has frequent allusions to it, and almost all the sixteenth-century writers have something to say about it; but Shakespeare never names the herb, or alludes to it in any way whatever.
[4:2] It seems probable that the Lily of the Valley was not recognized as a British plant in Shakespeare's time, and was very little grown even in gardens. Turner says, "Ephemer[=u] is called in duch meyblumle, in french Muguet. It groweth plentuously in Germany, but not in England that ever I coulde see, savinge in my Lordes gardine at Syon. The Poticaries in Germany do name it Lilium C[=o]vallium, it may be called in englishe May Lilies."--Names of Herbes, 1548. Coghan in 1596 says much the same: "I say nothing of them