WHAT a beautiful picture!" says one; "It fairly makes my month water!" cries out another; "Do look at the tree bending beneath its load of oranges!" chimes in a third. But let us restrain our admiration of the picture, and look a little farther.

The scene suggested by the engraving is one which but few of the readers are privileged to behold. The costume of the man suggests some oriental country. Perhaps it is the Holy Land, or some Asiatic country, as Persia or Arabia. May be the young lady is a traveler, from England or America. Be this as it may, the scene is truly interesting, and as we cannot at this time, like the gardener in the picture, go into the orangery and pick the fruit, we may, at least, talk about oranges. And first, Where do oranges come from? Oranges are now largely grown in most of the countries of the Mediterranean, especially in Italy and Portugal, in the Azores, the West Indies, and in some of the Southern States of America. Indeed, they are raised in nearly all the warm countries on the globe, but in no country are there to be found better oranges than in our own State of Florida. This delightful fruit comes from a fine evergreen tree, beautiful for its verdure and fragrance. It was originally brought from Asia, probably from Northern India, the native country of the lemon, lime, and citron.

The common sweet orange is found upon the hillsides in the forests of the Himalayas, and in China. This species is largely cultivated for its delicious fruit, and for the purposes of commerce.

In the south of Italy, about Sorrento, whole forests of orange trees exist, the fruit of which is carefully harvested. The French poet, Lamartine, sang, "On the sonorous shore, where the sea of Sorrento At the foot of the orange unrolls its blue wave.

"The orange tree sometimes attains great age and dimensions. In the orangery of Versailles is a magnificent bitter orange, familiarly called "the Great Constable," which is known to be four hundred and fifty years old. Its trunk is thirty inches in circumference. It is growing with its roots in a large box. This tree was planted by the gardener of the queen of Navarre. 

In 1780 there was at Nice a tree, which usually bore upwards of five thousand oranges. It was more than fifty feet high, and was so large that it took two men to grasp around its trunk.

The orange tree at St. Sabina, at Rome, dates from the year 1200 A. D.; it is about thirty-three feet in height.

Although oranges are so plenty in some of our Southern States, they are not "native trees," but have sprung from seed brought there by the Spaniards, three hundred years ago.

The fruit of the wild orange is not much sought after in our country, except in some cases to make a beverage called orange wine. 

Indeed, the great bulk of the wild fruit perishes by natural decay. 

In some places a thousand bushels of such fruit may be seen at one view lying upon the ground. So says Solon Robinson, the distinguished writer on horticulture.

There are with oranges, as with apples and peaches, very many varieties. 

The principal of these are, the China orange, a round, smooth fruit, with golden rind; the orange of Nice, large and of a dark yellow color, and one of the finest in all respects; the St. Michael's orange, from one of the Azore Islands, small, seedless, and extremely sweet; the sweet-skinned orange of Paris shops, called "forbidden fruit," a sub-acid pulp, with soft, fleshy rind; the blood, or Maltese orange, a reddish-yellow fruit, with crimson pulp; the mandarin orange, a species so highly esteemed in China as to be employed for presents to officers of state, whence its name', the ribbed orange, of little Value; the pear-shaped orange, a rare variety; the fingered orange, with an occasional lobe or horn of monstrous growth; and the egg orange of Malta.

The Seville orange, or bitter fruit, is the species from which the highly valued orange water of the perfumer is obtained; from its flowers is extracted the oil of Neroli, the most important ingredient in cologne; and the crushed pulp, mixed with sugar, makes the delicious orange marmalade. There are numerous varieties of the bitter orange, some of which are cultivated in Southern Europe chiefly for their flowers, which are large, showy, and fragrant.

The bergamot orange yields a very fragrant fruit, and from this and the flowers is procured the oil of bergamot. The rind of the fruit retains its perfume a long time after it has been dried. It is often pressed into molds, to form little boxes for sweetmeats and lozenges. It receives its name from Bergamo, where it is largely cultivated. There are several other varieties.

The orange tree is remarkably prolific; a single plant will often produce as many as twenty thousand oranges, and sometimes more than twice that number.

The orange does not seem to have been known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, but was probably brought to Europe by the Moors. It was introduced into Italy about the fourteenth century.

The orange crop begins to arrive early in November, and the steamers and cars continue to bring them until spring, and later. In England alone, about one million bushels of oranges are consumed annually.

G. W. A.