November 14. 1816
My Dear Trevelyan,
I returned here nearly five months ago, after a very short tour on the Continent, for I was absent from London, only a little more than six weeks four of which I spent at Paris I had frequent opportunities of seeing the Botanical Garden there, & was very much pleased with it
They The plants are distributed according to the method of Jussieu <2>, which is much the best for such an establishment They are exceedingly neat, & free from weeds, & most of them growing finely the houses are tolerably good I saw a fine Banana Tree in flower & fruit Josephines ci-devant <3> garden at Malmaison, is one of the prettiest spots I ever saw On the 25th of May I had the pleasure of taking a walk over the Field of Battle at Waterloo Although 11 months after the Battle, it was still highly interesting <4> I even saw blood on the wall, where a cannon ball had killed seven men The deserted garden at Hougomont was flourishing in all the verdure of Spring In the forest of Soignies, I saw Phyteuma spicatum, not a native of England, growing plentifully. It is very like our English Phyteuma orbiculare, only taller & handsomer with a longer spike of flowers The blossom is dark blue, but I found a white variety also In the same place I saw a little of Convallaria multiflora which is sometimes met with in England Carex pallescens (which also grows at Castleford) & Rhamnus Frangula grew in the same spot This was not more than three miles from Brussels Nearer Brussels I met with Ornithogalum umbellatum, & a species of Cyathea which I could not determine, tho it was common in the Hedges I could not decide whether Cynoglossum omphalodes which I met with in the grounds of the Prince of Orange at Laeken, was wild there or not The voyage on the Canal from Ghent to Ostend was quite delightful Menyanthes nymphζoides <5> abounded on the surface of the water, but was not in blossom yet Nymphζa alba was in flower, & looked beautiful Coming home I saw several rare plants in England viz Salvia pratensis by the roadside near Rochester
Carex pendula Five miles from Canterbury [towards] Ramsgate, plentiful the rest I have forgotten but I recollect an umbelliferous plant was plentiful by the roadside, I think it was Apium graveolens The Roadsides in France are bordered with Apple Trees, which were all in blossom, & had a very pleasing effect In Josephines garden at Malmaison I saw Salvia pratensis very abundant on the lawns, where it must be a great weed, tho a very pretty one With it grew Veronica Teucrium of Linnζus (not British) &
Salvia Saxifraga granulata in plenty In the Bois de Boulogne near Paris, which must have been an excellent field for botanizing, till the Allies cut it down) <6> I saw the same Saxifraga granulata and Convallaria Polygonatum, a rarer species (at least in England) than the multiflora In the same place grew the pretty Pulmonaria officinalis in flower, and Ajuga pyramidalis of the Paris botanists, which I conceive to be Ajuga alpina of Eng. Botany. Euphorbia Cyparissias is extremely abundant by roadsides & in woods near Paris (I have lately found it at Scarthingwell, ten miles from this place ) Potentilla verna, a pretty little early flower, was also plentiful in similar situations & Eryngium campestre, which was not in flower, & might easily have been overlooked for a Thistle Sambucus Ebulus is frequent by the roadsides on the Continent I also saw many other plants, which were not sufficiently advanced to be made out One of these was I think, Astragalus glycyphyllos Of Cryptogamic vegetables I saw but few, Polypodium calcareum (I believe) grew on the edge of a fountain at St Cloud, & I saw Encalypta vulgaris & Bryum cuspidatum in good fruit
W. H. F. Talbot
Pray keep some specimens of the Fossil Bark you mentioned some time ago, for a fair mineralogical friend of mine, who is dying to have some The Botanic Garden at Brussels was not very good & in great disorder Answer this soon, for I have much to tell, & I hope, much to hear I am not going to Oxford, but to Trinity Coll. Cambridge
I am all anxiety to see the eclipse of the Sun next Tuesday, tell me in your next if you saw it at Oxford
W. C. Trevelyan Esqr
1. Castleford, Yorkshire, 10 mi SE of Leeds, where WHFT went to school from 1815-1816.
6. No opening bracket.