10 DECEMBER 1937, Page 17

Wordsworth Memorial Wordsworth's birthplace is for sale and Gilbert White's

Selbome is still under threat from the disciples of speed who are without respect for f` the delicate and gentle art of never getting there." We may hope and, indeed, expect that both places will be saved "in perpetuity," as we fondly say ; and that the Philistines will be conquered. A pilgrimage to the Wordsworth country is always worth while ; but the Poet has not had quite happily designed memorials. The memorial within the church by which he is buried is notorious. It represents a singularly quaint effort to celebrate the naturalist in the poet. He was not, of course, a good naturalist in the technical sense, but he was a better botanist, we may suppose, than the sculptor or his advisers. The plaque is decorated with the flowers, that are held to be Wordsworth's favourites, all.of them common and lovely flowers. He nursed a particular. Pride in his " discovery " of the lesser celandine, which is a ranunculus, a sort of buttercup. The flower that decorates the memorial is the poppy, that is generally known as the

greater celandine. It is probably not a native wild flower at all ; but a garden stray. It is, however, fairly widely spread, though not, I should say, at all typical of the Lakes. Not long since I found the last old herbalist that I know filling a small sack with plants of several sorts ; . but the one he particularly prized was the greater celandine. It was sovereign in his opinion for the curing of warts. The virtue lies in the milky juice that marks many of the poppies.