There are many cases, in which two pure species can be united with unusual facility, and produce numerous hybrid-offspring, yet these hybrids are remarkably sterile.
The fertility, both of first crosses and of hybrids, is more easily affected by unfavourable conditions, than is the fertility of pure species.
There are certain hybrids which instead of having, as is usual, an intermediate character between their two parents, always closely resemble one of them; and such hybrids, though externally so like one of their pure parent-species, are with rare exceptions extremely sterile.
"Do you see," said the Elves, "through this simple flower will we keep the child pure and stainless amid the sin and sorrow around her.
The loving Elves brought her sweet dreams by night, and happy thoughts by day, and as she grew in childlike beauty, pure and patient amid poverty and sorrow, the sinful were rebuked, sorrowing hearts grew light, and the weak and selfish forgot their idle fears, when they saw her trustingly live on with none to aid or comfort her.
The many-colored shadows of the fairest flowers played on the pure white walls, and fountains sparkled in the sunlight, making music as the cool waves rose and fell, while to and fro, with waving wings and joyous voices, went the smiling Elves, bearing fruit and honey, or fragrant garlands for each other's hair.
"These are the spirits of the flowers, and this the Fairy Home where those whose hearts were pure and loving on the earth come to bloom in fadeless beauty here, when their earthly life is past.
I can only ask of you the power to be as pure and gentle as yourselves, as tender and loving to the weak and sorrowing, as untiring in kindly deeds to all.
Nothing so fair, so pure
, and at the same time so large, as a lake, perchance, lies on the surface of the earth.