In walking about the garden and grounds of this delightful residence, we are continually finding some new point from which the view appears to be more beautiful than before. Turning to the other side, behind the hill which shuts out the sea, the landscape is of the richest description roads winding through thick plantations, houses peeping from embowering trees, and an umbrageous forest beyond.
In the neighbourhood of the Five Towns no road is more august, more correct, more detached, more umbrageous, than the Hawkins. M.P.'s live there. It is the link between the aristocratic and antique aloofness of Oldcastle and the solid commercial prosperity of the Five Towns. Ellis adorned the portico.
In warm climates the vegetation consists chiefly of trees and tall vines, forming together an umbrageous canopy overhead, with but a scanty undergrowth. In temperate latitudes the shrubbery predominates, especially in the most northerly parts. Moreover, the grasses that furnish by their seeds a great proportion of the food of the smaller birds are almost entirely wanting in the torrid zone.
The mammee is a curious fruit growing on lofty, umbrageous trees, appearing as musk-melons would look if seen hanging in elm-trees. Large and high-flavored, the fruit is solid in texture like the American quince. The flavor of the mammee resembles our peach, though not quite so delicate. Its color when ripe is a light yellow.
The umbrageous and evergreen foliage of the tops, the upright, creamy white stems of these elegant gum-trees, contrasted remarkably and agreeably with the dull and sombre hues of the treeless hills that formed the background, and the enamelled and emerald earth that formed the groundwork of the scene.
"Minna," said Seraphita, returning to the young girl, "the eagle swoops where the carrion lies, but the dove seeks the mountain spring beneath the peaceful greenery of the glades. The eagle soars to heaven, the dove descends from it. Cease to venture into regions where thou canst find no spring of waters, no umbrageous shade.
And indeed, when we are told that the trees rise generally to the height of from eighty to a hundred feet, straight as a mast and without a branch, and are then crowned with tops of such umbrageous foliage that the rays of the sun, in endeavouring to pierce through them, can hardly make more than a dim twilight in the lonely recesses below, so that herbage cannot grow there, and the rank soil produces nothing but a thick spread of climbing and intertwisted underwood, we may conceive how imposing must be the gloomy grandeur of these gigantic and impenetrable groves.
Similarly do plants and animals vary in form: from the straight pines and palms to the spreading, umbrageous oaks and laurels; from upstanding lilies to parasitical orchids; from monstrous spiky beetles to symmetrical dragon-flies; from ungainly rhinoceros to graceful antelope; from short, sturdy Bhutias to tall, slim Hindustanis.
"But I know about the flowers on the short road, and they are the ones I want." We drove down the lane to the highway, and soon struck into the short road leading past the mineral spring. Our route lay partly through a swamp, and on each side the dark, umbrageous foliage, unbroken by any clearing, lent to the road solemnity, and to the air a refreshing coolness.
Boon companions were with him, numbers of them, one of them a French knight named Sir Walter Tyrrell, the king's favorite. Here the days were spent in the delights of the chase, the nights in feasting and carousing, and all went merrily. Around them spread far and wide the umbrageous lanes and alleys of the New Forest, trees of every variety, oaks in greatest number, crowding the soil.