Hamlet Act Iv Scene 5

Cultivation.--Rosemary is easily propagated by means of cuttings, root

division and layers in early spring, but is most frequently multiplied

by seed. It does best in rather poor, light soil, especially if limy.

The seed is either sown in drills 18 to 24 inches apart or in checks 2

feet asunder each way, half a dozen seeds being dropped in each "hill."

Sometimes the seedbed method is employed, the seed being sown either

under glass or in the open ground and the seedlings transplanted.

Cultivation consists in keeping the soil loose and open and free from

weeds. No special directions are necessary as to curing. In frostless

sections, and even where protected by buildings, fences, etc., in

moderate climates, the plants will continue to thrive for years.

Uses.--The tender leaves and stems and the flowers are used for

flavoring stews, fish and meat sauces, but are not widely popular in

America. Our foreign-born population, however, uses it somewhat. In

France large quantities, both cultivated and wild, are used for

distilling the oil of rosemary, a colorless or yellowish liquid

suggesting camphor, but even more pleasant. This oil is extensively used

in perfuming soaps, but more especially in the manufacture of eau de

cologne, Hungary water and other perfumes.


(Ruta graveolens, Linn.), a hardy perennial herb of roundish,

bushy habit, native of southern Europe. It is a member of the same

botanical family as the orange, Rutaceae. In olden times it was highly

reputed for seasoning and for medicine among the Greeks and the Romans.

In Pliny's time it was considered to be effectual for 84 maladies!

Today it "hangs only by its eyelids" to our pharmacopoeia. Apicus

notes it among the condiments in the third century, and Magnus eleven

centuries later praises it among the garden esculents. At present it is

little used for seasoning, even by the Italians and the Germans, and

almost not at all by English and American cooks. Probably because of its

acridity and its ability to blister the skin when much handled, rue has

been chosen by poets to express disdain. Shakespeare speaks of it as the

"sour herb of grace," and Theudobach says:

"When a rose is too haughty for heaven's dew

She becometh a spider's gray lair;

And a bosom, that never devotion knew

Or affection divine, shall be filled with rue