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through infusion sweete or thine owne spirit
I follow here the footing of thy feete, That with thy meaning so I may the rather meete.
DARTON AND CLARK, HOLBORN HILL.
TO THE READER.
Gentle Reader:-The Athenian bride pluck
ed with her own hands the violets, or roses, or
what other flowers were to form her weddinggarland : so did the Roman maiden, gathering from holy ground the vervain for her bridal crown : and their bridegrooms, too, crowned both their own heads and the doors of the new homes into which they received their brides, with like chaplets of flowers. The Church, ever wont to see in such innocent and beautiful customs the first dawnings which preceded the rising of her own brighter light, gladly preserved this rite too, only taking the crowns into her own holy hands that she might herself place them, truly consecrated, on the heads of her newly married children. Perhaps the custom, long continued in the Latin church, still lingers in the vallies of Switzerland : at least, it is yet retained by the Greek church, whose minister still puts the crown-of myrtle or of olive on the head of the bride and bridegroom with the solemnest form of benediction, adding, as he joins their hands, The Lord your God crown you with glory and honour. And if, with a wisely austere simplicity, our own Church has not given us this form in her ritual, not the less has she striven in that holy service to imbue our hearts with the spirit of it: therefore it seemed to me not unfitting that when the bridal train was going forth from my house, and I would accompany it with some memorial token of love lasting, and ever to