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[THE BOTANIC GARDEN. PART II. THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.]

THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.

CANTO I.

1 DESCEND, ye hovering Sylphs! aerial Quires,
2 And sweep with little hands your silver lyres;
3 With fairy footsteps print your grassy rings,
4 Ye Gnomes! accordant to the tinkling strings;
5 While in soft notes I tune to oaten reed
6 Gay hopes, and amorous sorrows of the mead.
7 From giant Oaks, that wave their branches dark,
8 To the dwarf Moss, that clings upon their bark,
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9 What Beaux and Beauties crowd the gaudy groves,
10 And woo and win their vegetable Loves.
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Vegetable Loves. l. 10. Linneus, the celebrated Swedish naturalist, has demonstrated, that all flowers contain families of males or females, or both; and on their marriages has constructed his invaluable system of Botany.

11 How Snowdrops cold, and blue-eyed Harebels blend
12 Their tender tears, as o'er the stream they bend;
13 The lovesick Violet, and the Primrose pale
14 Bow their sweet heads, and whisper to the gale;
15 With secret sighs the Virgin Lily droops,
16 And jealous Cowslips hang their tawny cups.
17 How the young Rose in beauty's damask pride
18 Drinks the warm blushes of his bashful bride;
19 With honey'd lips enamour'd Woodbines meet,
20 Clasp with fond arms, and mix their kisses sweet.
21 Stay thy soft-murmuring waters, gentle Rill;
22 Hush, whispering Winds, ye rustling Leaves, be still;
23 Rest, silver Butterflies, your quivering wings;
24 Alight, ye Beetles, from your airy rings;
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25 Ye painted Moths, your gold-eyed plumage furl,
26 Bow your wide horns, your spiral trunks uncurl;
27 Glitter, ye Glow-worms, on your mossy beds;
28 Descend, ye Spiders, on your lengthen'd threads;
29 Slide here, ye horned Snails, with varnish'd shells;
30 Ye Bee-nymphs, listen in your waxen cells!
31 BOTANIC MUSE! who in this latter age
32 Led by your airy hand the Swedish sage,
33 Bad his keen eye your secret haunts explore
34 On dewy dell, high wood, and winding shore;
35 Say on each leaf how tiny Graces dwell;
36 How laugh the Pleasures in a blossom's bell;
37 How insect Loves arise on cobweb wings,
38 Aim their light shafts, and point their little stings.
39 "First the tall CANNA lifts his curled brow
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Canna. l. 39. Cane, or Indian Reed. One male and one female inhabit each flower. It is brought from between the tropics to our hot-houses, and bears a beautiful crimson flower; the seeds are used as shot by the Indians, and are strung for prayer-beads in some catholic countries.

40 Erect to heaven, and plights his nuptial vow;
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41 The virtuous pair, in milder regions born,
42 Dread the rude blast of Autumn's icy morn;
43 Round the chill fair he folds his crimson vest,
44 And clasps the timorous beauty to his breast.
45 Thy love, CALLITRICHE, two Virgins share,
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Callitriche. l. 45. Fine-Hair, Stargrass. One male and two females inhabit each flower The upper leaves grow in form of a star, whence it is called Stellaria Aquatica by Ray and others; its stems and leaves flot far on the water, and are often so matted together, as to bear a person walking on them. The male sometimes lives in a separate flower.

46 Smit with thy starry eye and radiant hair;
47 On the green margin sits the youth, and laves
48 His floating train of tresses in the waves;
49 Sees his fair features paint the streams that pass,
50 And bends for ever o'er the watery glass.
51 Two brother swains, of COLLIN'S gentle name,
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Collinsonia. l. 51. Two males one female. I have lately observed a very singular cir cumstance in this flower; the two males stand widely diverging from each other, and the female bends herself into contact first with one of them, and after some time leaves this, and applies herself to the other. It is probable one of the anthers may be mature before the other? See note on Gloriosa, and Genista. The females in Nigella, devil in the bush, are very tall compared to the males; and bending over in a circle to them, give the flower some resemblance to a regal crown. The female of the epilobium angustifolium, rose bay willow herb, bends down amongst the males for several days, and becomes up right again when impregnated.

52 The same their features, and their forms the same,
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53 With rival love for fair COLLINIA sigh,
54 Knit the dark brow, and roll the unsteady eye.
55 With sweet concern the pitying beauty mourns,
56 And sooths with smiles the jealous pair by turns.
57 Sweet blooms GENISTA in the myrtle shade,
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Genista. l. 57. Dyer's broom. Ten males and one female inhabit this flower. The males are generally united at the bottom in two sets, whence Linneus has named the class "two brotherhoods." In the Genista, however, they are united in but one set. The flowers of this class are called papilionaccous, from their resemblance to a butterfly, as the pea-blossom. In the Spartium Scoparium, or common broom, I have lately observed a curious circumstance, the males or stamens are in two sets, one set rising a quarter of an inch above the other; the upper set does not arrive at their maturity so soon as the lower, and the stigma, or head of the female, is produced amongst the upper or immature set; but as soon as the pistil grows tall enough to burst open the keel-leaf, or hood of the flower, it bends itself round in an instant, like a French horn, and inserts its head, or stigma, amongst the lower or mature set of males. The pistil, or female, continues to grow in length; and in a few days the stigma arrives again amongst the upper set, by the time they become mature. This wonderful contrivance is readily seen by opening the keel-leaf of the flowers of broom before they burst spontaneously. See note on Collinsonia, Gloriosa, Draba.

58 And ten fond brothers woo the haughty maid.
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59 Two knights before thy fragrant altar bend,
60 Adored MELISSA! and two squires attend.
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Melissa l. 60. Balm. In each flower there are four males and one female; two of the males stand higher than the other two; whence the name of the class "two powers." I have observed in the Ballota, and others of this class, that the two lower stamens, or makes become mature before the two higher. After they have shed their dust, they turn themselves away outwards; and the pistil, or female, continuing to grow a little taller, is applied to the upper stamens. See Glorista, and Genista.

All the plants of this class, which have naked seeds, are aromatic. The Marum, and Nepeta are particularly delightful to cats; no other brute animals seem pleased with any odours but those of their food or prey.

61 MEADIA's soft chains five suppliant beaux confess,
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Meadia. l. 61. Dodecatheon, American Cowslip. Five males and one female. The males, or anthers, touch each other. The uncommon beauty of this flower occasioned Linneus to give it a name signifying the twelve heathen gods; and Dr. Mead to affix his own name to it. The pistil is much longer than the stamens, hence the flower-stalks have their elegant bend, that the stigma may hang downwards to receive the fecundating dust of the anthers. And the petals are so beautifully turned back to prevent the rain or dew drops from sliding down and washing off this dust prematurely; and at the same time exposing it to the light and air. As soon as the seeds are sormed, it erects all the flower - stalks to prevent them from salling out; and thus loses the beauty of its figure. Is this a mechanical effect, or does it indicate a vegetable storgé to preserve its offspring? See note on Ilex, and Gloriosa.

In the Meadia, the Borago, Cyclamen, Solanum, and many others, the filaments are very short compared with the style. Hence it became necessary, 1st, to furnish the stamens with long anthers. 2d. I'o lengthen and bend the peduncle or flower-stalk, that the flower might hang downwards. 3d. To reflect the petals. 4th. To erect these pe duncles when the germ was fecundated. We may reason upon this by observing, that all this apparatus might have been spared, if the filaments alone had grown longer; and that thence in these flowers that the filaments are the most unchangeable parts; and that thence their comparative length, in respect to the style, would afford a most permanent mark of their generic character.

62 And hand in hand the laughing belle address;
63 Alike to all, she bows with wanton air,
64 Rolls her dark eye, and waves her golden hair.
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65 Woo'd with long care, CURCUMA cold and shy
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Curcuma. l. 65. Turmeric. One male and one female inhabit this flower; but there are besides four imperfect males, or filaments without anthers upon them, called by Lin neus eunuchs. The flax of our country has ten filaments, and but five of them are ter minated with anthers; the Portugal flax has ten perfect males, or females; the Verbena of our country has four males; that of Sweden has but two; the genus Albuca, the Bignonia Catalpa, Gratiola, and hemlock-leaved Geranium have only half their filaments crowned with anthers. In like manner the florets, which form the rays of the flowers of the order frustraneous polygamy of the class syngenesia, or confederate males, as the sun flower, are furnished with a style only, and no stigma: and are thence barren. There is also a style without a stigma in the whole order dioecia gynandria; the male flowers of which are thence barren. The Opulus is another plant, which contains some unpro lific flowers. In like manner some tribes of insects have males, females, and neuters among them: as bees, wasps, ants.

There is a curious circumstance belonging to the class of insects which have two wings, or diptera, analogous to the rudiments of stamens above described; viz. two little knobs are found placed each on a stalk or peduncle, generally under a little arched scale; which appear to be rudiments of hinder wings; and are called by Linneus, halteres, or poisers, a term of his introduction. A. T. Bladh. Amaen. Acad. V. 7. Other animals have marks of having in a long process of time undergone changes in some parts of their bodies, which may have been effected to accommodate them to new ways of procuring their food. The existence of teats on the breasts of male animals, and which are gene rally rep'ete with a thin kind of milk at their nativity, is a wonderful instance of this kind. Perhaps all the productions of nature are in their progress to greater perfection? an idea countenanced by the modern discoveries and deductions concerning the progres sive formation of the solid parts of the terraqueous globe, and consonant to the dignity of the Creator of all things.

66 Meets her fond husband with averted eye:
67 Four beardless youths the obdurate beauty move
68 With soft attentions of Platonic love.
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69 With vain desires the pensive ALCEA burns,
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Alcea. l. 69. Flore pleno. Double hollyhock. The double flowers, so much ad mired by the florists, are termed by the botanist vegetable monsters; in some of these the petals are multiplied three or four times, but without excluding the stamens, hence they produce some seeds, as Campanula and Stramoneum; but in others the petals become so numerous as totally to exclude the stamens, or males; as Caltha, Peonia, and Alcea; these produce no seeds, and are termed eunuchs. Philos. Botan. No. 150.

These vegetable monsters are formed in many ways. 1st. By the multiplication of the petals and the exclusion of the nectaries, as in larkspur. 2d. By the multiplication of the nectaries and exclusion of the petals; as in columbine. 3d. In some flowers grow ing in cymes, the wheel-shape flowers in the margin are multiplied to the exclusion of the bell-shape flowers in the centre; as in gelder-rose. 4th. By the elongation of the florets in the centre. Instances of both these are found in daily feverfew; for other kinds of vegetable monsters, see Plantago.

The peranth is not changed in double flowers, hence the genus or family may be often disovered by the calyx, as in Hepatica, Ranunculus, Alcea. In those flowers, which have many petals, the lowest series of the petals remains unchanged in respect to num ber; hence the natural number of the petals is easily discovered. As in poppies, roses, and Nigella, or devil in a bush. Phil. Bot. p. 128.

70 And, like sad ELOISA, loves and mourns.
71 The freckled IRIS owns a fiercer flame,
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Iris. 1. 71. Flower de Luce. Three males, one female. Some of the species have a beautifully freckled flower; the large stigma or head of the female covers the three males, counterfeiting a petal with its divisions.

72 And three unjealous husbands wed the dame.
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73 CUPRESSUS dark disdains his dusky bride,
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Cupressus. l. 73. Cypress. One Hosse. The males live in separate flowers, but on the same plant. The males of some of these plants, which are in separate flowers from the females, have an elastic membrane; which disperses their dust to a considerable dis tance, when the anthers burst open. This dust, on a fine day, may often be seen like a cloud hanging round the common nettle. The males and females of all the cone bearing plants are in separate flowers, either on the same or on different plants; they produce resins, and many of them are supposed to supply the most durable timber: what is called Venice-turpentine is obtained from the larch by wounding the bark about two feet from the ground, and catching it as it exsudes; Sandaach is procured from com mon juniper; and lncense from a juniper with yellow fruit. The unperishable chests, which contain the Egyptian mummies, were of Cypress; and the Cedar, with which black lead pencils are covered, is not liable to be eaten by worms. See Miln's Bot. Dict. art. coniferae. The gates of St. Peter's church at Rome, which had lasted from the time of Constantine to that of Pope Eugene the fourth, that is to say eleven hun dred years, were of Cypress, and had in that time suffered no decay. According to Thucydides, the Athenians buried the bodies of their heroes in coffins of Cypress, as being not subject to decay. A similar durability has also been ascribed to Cedar. Thus Horace,

speramus carmina fingi
Posse linenda cedro, & laevi servanda cupresso.
74 One dome contains them, but two beds divide.
75 The proud OSYRIS flies his angry fair,
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Osyris. l. 75. Two houses. The males and females are on different plants. There are many instances on record, where female plants have been impregnated at very great distance from their male; the dust discharged from the anthers is very light, small, and copious, so that it may spread very wide in the atmosphere, and be carried to the distant pistils, without the supposition of any particular attraction; these plants resemble some insects, as the ants, and cochineal insect, of which the males have wings, but not the female.

76 Two houses hold the fashionable pair.
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77 With strange deformity PLANTAGO treads,
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Plantago. l. 77. Rosea. Rose-Plantain. In this vegetable monster the bractes, or di visions of the spike, become wonderfully enlarged; and are converted into leaves. The chassy scales of the calyx in Xeranthemum, and in a species of Dianthus, and the glume in some alpine grasses, and the scales of the ament in the salix rosea willow, grow into leaves; and produce other kinds of monsters. The double flowers become monsters by the multiplication of their petals or nectaries. See note on Alcea.

78 A Monster-birth! and lifts his hundred heads;
79 Yet with soft love a gentle belle he charms,
80 And clasps the beauty in his hundred arms.
81 So hapless DESDEMONA, fair and young,
82 Won by OTHELLO'S captivating tongue,
83 Sigh'd o'er each strange and piteous tale, distress'd,
84 And sunk enamour'd on his sooty breast.
85 Two gentle shepherds and their sister-wives
86 With thee, ANTHOXA! lead ambrosial lives;
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Anthoxanthum. l. 83. Vernal grass. Two males, two females. The other grasses have three males and two females. The flowers of this grass give the fragrant scent to hay. I am informed it is frequently viviparous, that is, that it bears sometimes roots or bulbs inst ad of seeds, which after a time drop off and strike root into the ground. This circumstance is said to obtain in many of the alpine grasses, whose seeds are perpetually devoured by small birds. The Festuca Dumetorum, sescue grass of the bushes, produces bulbs from the sheaths of its straw. The Allium Magicum, or magical onion, produces onions on its head, instead of seeds. The Polygonum Viviparum, viviparous bistort, rises about a foot high, with a beautiful spike of flowers, which are succeeded by buds or bulbs, which fall off and take root. There is a bush frequently seen on birch-trees, like a bird's nest, which seems to be a similar attempt of nature, to produce another tree; which falling off might take root in spongy ground.

There is an instance of this double mode of production in the animal kingdom, which is equally extraordinary: the same species of Aphis is viviparous in summer, and ovi parous in autumn. A. T. Bladh. Amoen. Acad. V. 7.

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87 Where the wide heath in purple pride extends,
88 And scatter'd furze its golden lustre blends,
89 Closed in a green recess, unenvy'd lot!
90 The blue smoak rises from their turf-built cot;
91 Bosom'd in fragrance blush their infant train,
92 Eye the warm sun, or drink the silver rain.
93 The fair OSMUNDA seeks the silent dell,
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Osmunda. l. 93. This plant grows on moist rocks; the parts of its flower or its seeds are scarce discernible; whence Linneus has given the name of clandestine marriage to this class. The younger plants are of a beautiful vivid green.

94 The ivy canopy, and dripping cell;
95 There hid in shades clandestine rites approves,
96 Till the green progeny betrays her loves.
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97 With charms despotic fair CHONDRILLA reigns
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Chondrilla. l. 97. Of the class Confederate Males. The numerous florets, which constitue the disk of the flowers in this class, contain in each five males surrounding one female, which are connected at top, whence the name of the class. An Italian writer, in a discourse on the irritability of flowers, asserts, that if the top the floret be touched, all the filaments which support the cylindrical anther will contract themselves, and that by thus raising or depressing the anther the whole of the prolific dust is collected on the stigma. He adds, that if one filament be touched after it is separated from the floret, that it will contract like the muscular fibres of animal bodies, his experiments were tried on the Centauréa Calcitiapoides, and on artichokes, and globe-thistles. Dis course on irritability of plants. Dodsley.

98 O'er the soft hearts of five fraternal swains;
99 If sighs the changeful nymph, alike they mourn;
100 And, if she smiles, with rival raptures burn.
101 So, tun'd in unison, Eolian Lyre!
102 Sounds in sweet symphony thy kindred wire;
103 Now, gently swept by Zephyr's vernal wings,
104 Sink in soft cadence the love-sick strings;
105 And now with mingling chords, and voices higher,
106 Peal the full anthems of the aerial choir.
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107 Five sister-nymphs to join Diana's train
108 With thee, fair LYCHNIS! vow, but vow in vain;
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Lychnis. l. 108. Ten males and five females. The flowers which contain the five females, and those which contain the ten males, are found on different plants; and often at a great distance from each other. Five of the ten males arrive at their maturity some days before the other five, as may be seen by opening the corol before it naturally expands itself. When the females arrive at their maturity, they rise above the petals, as if looking abroad for their distant husbands; the scarlet ones contribute much to the beauty of our meadows in May and June.

109 Beneath one roof resides the virgin band,
110 Flies the fond swain, and scorns his offer'd hand;
111 But when soft hours on breezy pinions move,
112 And smiling May attunes her lute to love,
113 Each wanton beauty, trick'd in all her grace,
114 Shakes the bright dew-drops from her blushing face;
115 In gay undress displays her rival charms,
116 And calls her wondering lovers to her arms.
117 When the young Hours amid her tangled hair
118 Wove the fresh rose-bud, and the lily fair,
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119 Proud GLORIOSA led three chosen swains,
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Gloriosa. l. 119. Superba. Six males, one female. The petals of this beautiful flower with three of the stamens, which are first mature, stand up in apparent disorder; and the pistil bends at nearly a right angle to insert its stigma amongst them. In a few days, as these decline, the other three stamens bend over, and approach the pistil. In the Fritillaria Persica, the six stamens are of equal lengths, and the anthers lie at a distance from the pistil, and three alternate ones approach first; and, when these decline, the other three approach; in the Lithrum Salicaria, (which has twelve males and one female) a beautiful red flower, which grows on the banks of rivers, six of the males arrive at ma turity, and surround the female some time before the other six; when these decline, the other six rise up, and supply their places. Several other flowers have in similar manner two sets of stamens of different ages, as Adoxa, Lychnis, Saxifraga. See Genista. Per haps a difference in the time of their maturity obtains in all these flowers, which have numerous stamens. In the Kalmia the ten stamens lie round the pistil like the radii of a wheel; and each anther is concealed in a nich of the corol to protect it from cold and moisture; these anthers rise separately from their niches, and approach the pistil for a time, and then recede to their former situations.

120 The blushing captives of her virgin chains.
121 When Time's rude hand a bark of wrinkles spread
122 Round her weak limbs, and silver'd o'er her head,
123 Three other youths her riper years engage,
124 The flatter'd victims of her wily age.
125 So, in her wane of beauty, NINON WON
126 With fatal smiles her gay unconscious son.
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127 Clasp'd in his arms she own'd a mother's name,
128 "Desist, rash youth! restrain your impious flame,
129 "First on that bed your infant-form was press'd,
130 "Born by my throes, and nurtured at my breast. "
131 Back as from death he sprung, with wild amaze
132 Fierce on the fair he fix'd his ardent gaze;
133 Dropp'd on one knee, his frantic arms outspread,
134 And stole a guilty glance toward the bed;
135 Then breath'd from quivering lips a whisper'd vow,
136 And bent on heaven his pale repentant brow;
137 "Thus, thus!" he cried, and plung'd the furious dart,
138 And life and love gush'd mingled from his heart.
139 The fell SILENE and her sisters fair,
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Silene. l. 139. Catchfly. Three females and ten males inhabit each flower; the viscous material, which surrounds the stalks under the flowers of this plant, and of the Cucubulus Otites, is a curious contrivance to prevent various insects from plundering the honey, or devouring the seed. In the Dionaea Muscipula there is a still more won derful contrivance to prevent the depredations of insects: The leaves are armed with long teeth, like the antennae of insects, and lie spread upon the ground round the stem; and are so irritable, that when an insect creeps upon them, they fold up, and crush or pierce it to death. The last professor Linneus, in his Supplementum Plantarum, gives the fol lowing account of the Arum Muscivorum. The flower has the smell of carrion; by which the flies are invited to lay their eggs in the chamber of the flower, but in vain en deavour to escape, being prevented by the hairs pointing inwards; and thus perish in the flower, whence its name of fly-eater. P. 411. in the Dypsacus is another contrivance for this purpose, a bason of water is placed round each joint of the stem. In the Drosera is another kind of fly-trap. See Dypsacus and Drosera; the flowers of Siléne and Cucú balus are closed all day, but are open and give an agreeable odour in the night. See Cerea. See additional notes at the end of the poem.

140 Skill'd in destruction, spread the viscous snare.
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141 The harlot-band ten lofty bravoes screen,
142 And frowning guard the magic nets unseen.
143 Haste, glittering nations, tenants of the air,
144 Oh, steer from hence your viewless course afar!
145 If with soft words, sweet blushes, nods, and smiles,
146 The three dread Syrens lure you to their toils,
147 Limed by their art in vain you point your stings,
148 In vain the efforts of your whirring wings!
149 Go, seek your gilded mates and infant hives,
150 Nor taste the honey purchas'd with your lives!
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151 When heaven's high vault condensing clouds deform,
152 Fair AMARYLLIS flies the incumbent storm,
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Amaryllis. l. 152. Formosissima. Most beautiful Amaryllis. Six males, one female. Some of the bell-flowers close their apertures at night, or in rainy or cold weather, as the convolvulus, and thus protect their included stamens and pistils. Other bell-flowers hang their apertures downwards, as many of the lilies; in those the pistil, when at maturity, is longer than the stamens; and by this pendant attitude of the bell, when the anthers burst, their dust falls on the stigma; and these are at the same time sheltered as with an umbrella from rain and dews. But, as a free exposure to the air is necessary for their fecundation, the style and filaments in many of these flowers continue to grow longer after the bell is open, and hang down below its rim. In others, as in the mar tagon, the bell is deeply divided, and the divisions are reflected upwards, that they may not prevent the access of air, and at the same time afford some shelter from perpendicular rain or dew. Other bell-flowers, as the hemerocallis and amaryllis, have their bells nodding only, as it were, or hanging obliquely toward the horizon; which, as their stems are slender, turn like a weathercock from the wind; and thus very effectually preserve their inclosed stamens and anthers from the rain and cold. Many of these flowers, both before and after their season of fecundation, erect their heads perpen dicular to the horizon, like the Meadia, which cannot be explained from meer mechanism.

The Amaryllis formosissima is a flower of the last mentioned kind, and affords an agreeable example of art in the vegetable economy. 1. The pistil is of great length compared with the stamens; and this I suppose to have been the most unchangeable part of the flower, as in Meadia, which see. 2. To counteract this circumstance, the pistil and stamens are made to decline downwards, that the prolific dust might fall from the anthers on the stigma. 3. To produce this effect, and to secure it when produced, the corol is lacerated, contrary to what occurs in other flowers of this genus, and the lowest division with the two next lowest ones are wrapped closely over the style and filaments, binding them forceibly down lower toward the horizon than the usual inclination of the bell in this genus, and thus constitutes a most elegant flower. There is another con trivance for this purpose in the Hemerocalis flava; the long pistil often is bent some what like the capital letter N, with design to shorten it, and thus to bring the stigma amongst the anthers.

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153 Seeks with unsteady step the shelter'd vale,
154 And turns her blushing beauties from the gale.
155 Six rival youths, with soft concern impress'd,
156 Calm all her fears, and charm her cares to rest.
157 So shines at eve the sun-illumin'd fane,
158 Lifts its bright cross, and waves its golden vane;
159 From every breeze the polish'd axle turns,
160 And high in air the dancing meteor burns.
161 Four of the giant brood with ILEX stand,
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Ilex. l. 161. Holly. Four males, four females. Many plants, like many animals, are furnished with arms for their protection; these are either aculei, prickles, as in rose and barberry, which are formed from the outer bark of the plant; or spinae, thorns, as in hawthorn, which are an elongation of the wood, and hence more difficult to be torn off than the former; or stimuli, stings, as in the nettles, which are armed with a venom ous fluid for the annoyance of naked animals. The shrubs and trees, which have prickles or thorns, are grateful food to many animals, as goosberry, and gorse; and would be quickly devoured, if not thus armed; the stings seem a protection against some kinds of insects, as well as the naked mouths of quadrupeds. Many plants lose their thorns by cultivation, as wild animals lose their ferocity; and some of them their horns. A curi ous circumstance attends the large hollies in Needwood-forest, they are armed with thorny leaves about eight feet high, and have smooth leaves above; as if they were con scious that horses and cattle could not reach their upper branches. See note on Meadia, and on Mancinella. The numerous clumps of hollies in Needwood-forest serve as land marks to direct the travellers across it in various directions; and as a shelter to the deer and cattle in winter; and in scarce seasons supply them with much food. For when the upper branches, which are without prickles, are cut down, the deer crop the leaves and peel off the bark. The bird-lime made from the bark of hollies seems to be a very similar material to the elastic gum, or Indian rubber, as it is called. There is a fossile elastic bitumen found at Matlock in Derbyshire, which much resembles these substances in its elasticity and inflammability. The thorns of the mimosa cornigere resemble cow's horns in appearance as well as in use. System of Vegetables, p. 782.

162 Each grasps a thousand arrows in his hand;
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163 A thousand steely points on every scale
164 Form the bright terrors of his bristly male.
165 So arm'd, immortal Moore uncharm'd the spell,
166 And slew the wily dragon of the well.
167 Sudden with rage their injur'd bosoms burn,
168 Retort the insult, or the wound return;
169 Unwrong'd, as gentle as the breeze that sweeps
170 The unbending harvests or undimpled deeps,
171 They guard, the Kings of Needwood's wide domains,
172 Their sister-wives and fair infantine trains;
173 Lead the lone pilgrim through the trackless glade,
174 Or guide in leafy wilds the wand'ring maid.
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175 So WRIGHT'S bold pencil from Vesuvio's hight
176 Hurls his red lavas to the troubled night;
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Hurls his red lavas. l. 176. Alluding to the grand paintings of the eruptions of Vesuvius, and of the destruction of the Spanish vessels before Gibraltar; and to the beautiful landscapes and moonlight scenes, by Mr. Wright of Derby.

177 From Calpè starts the intolerable flash,
178 Skies burst in flames, and blazing oceans dash;
179 Or bids in sweet repose his shades recede,
180 Winds the still vale, and slopes the velvet mead;
181 On the pale stream expiring Zephyrs sink,
182 And Moonlight sleeps upon its hoary brink.
183 Gigantic Nymph! the fair KLEINHOVIA reigns,
[*]

Kleinhovia. l. 183. In this class the males in each flower are supported by the female. The name of the class may be translated "Viragoes," or "Feminine Males."

The largest tree perhaps in the world is of the same natural order as Kleinhovia, it is the Adansonia, or Ethiopian Sour-gourd, or African Calabash tree. Mr. Adanson says the diameter of the trunk frequently exceeds 25 feet, and the horizontal branches are from 45 to 55 feet long, and so large that each branch is equal to the largest trees of Europe. The breadth of the top is from 120 to 150 feet. And one of the roots bared only in part by the washing away of the earth by the river, near which it grew, mea sured 110 feet long; and yet these stupendous trees never exceed 70 feet in height. Voyage to Senegal.

184 The grace and terror of Orixa's plains;
[Page 21]
185 O'er her warm cheek the blush of beauty swims,
186 And nerves Herculean bend her sinewy limbs;
187 With frolic eye she views the affrighted throng,
188 And shakes the meadows, as she towers along,
189 With playful violence displays her charms,
190 And bears her trembling lovers in her arms.
191 So fair THALESTRIS shook her plumy crest,
192 And bound in rigid mail her jutting breast;
193 Poised her long lance amid the walks of war,
194 And Beauty thunder'd from Bellona's car;
195 Greece arm'd in vain, her captive heroes wove
196 The chains of conquest with the wreaths of love.
197 When o'er the cultured lawns and dreary wastes
198 Retiring Autumn flings her howling blasts,
199 Bends in tumultuous waves the struggling woods,
200 And showers their leafy honours on the floods,
201 In withering heaps collects the flowery spoil,
202 And each chill insect sinks beneath the soil;
[Page 22]
203 Quick flies fair TULIPA the loud alarms,
[*]

Tulipa. l. 205. Tulip. What is in common language called a bulbous root, is by Linneus termed the Hybernacle, or Winter-lodge of the young plant. As these bulbs in every respect resemble buds, except in their being produced under ground, and in clude the leaves and flower in miniature, which are to be expanded in the ensuing spring. By cautiously cutting in the early spring through the concentric coats of a tulip-root, longitudinally from the top to the base, and taking them off successively, the whole flower of the next summer's tulip is beautifully seen by the naked eye, with its petals, pistil, and stamens; the flowers exist in other bulbs, in the same manner, as in Hya cinths, but the individual flowers of these being less, they are not so easily dissected, or so conspicuous to the naked eye.

In the seeds of the Nymphaea Nelumto, the leaves of the plant are seen so distinctly, that Mr. Ferber sound out by them to what plant the seeds belonged. Amoen. Acad. V. vi. No. 120. He says that Mariotte first observed the future flower and foliage in the bulb of a Tulip; and adds, that it is pleasant to see in the buds of the Hepatica, and Pedicularis hirsuta, yet lying in the earth; and in the gems of Daphne Mezoreon; and at the base of Osmunda Lunaria, a perfect plant of the future year compleat in all its parts. Ibid.

204 And folds her infant closer in her arms;
205 In some lone cave, secure pavilion, lies,
206 And waits the courtship of serener skies.
207 So, six cold moons, the Dormouse charm'd to rest,
208 Indulgent Sleep! beneath thy eider breast,
209 In fields of Fancy climbs the kernel'd groves,
210 Or shares the golden harvest with his loves.
[Page 23]
211 But bright from earth amid the troubled air
212 Ascends fair COLCHICA with radiant hair,
[*]

Colchicum autumnale. l. 214. Autumnal Meadow-sassion. Six males, three females. The germ is buried within the root, which thus seems to constitute a part of the flower. Families of Plants. p. 242. These singular flowers appear in the autumn without any leaves, whence in some countries they are called Naked Ladies: in the March following the green leaves spring up, and in April the feed-vessel rises from the ground; the seeds ripen in May, contrary to the usual habits of vegetables, which flower in the spring, and ripen their seeds in the autumn. Miller's Dict. The juice of the root of this plant is so acrid as to produce violent effects on the human constitution, which also prevents it from being eaten by subterranean infects, and thus guards the seed-vessel during the winter. The desoliation of deciduous trees is announced by the flowering of the Colchicum; of these the ash is the last that puts forth its leaves, and the first that loses them. Phil. Bot. p. 275.

The Hamamelis, Witch Hazle, is another plant which flowers in autumn; when the leaves fall off, the flowers come out in clusters from the joints of the branches, and in Virginia ripen their seed in the ensuing spring; but in this country their seeds seldom ripen. Lin. Spec. Plant. Miller's Dict.

213 Warms the cold bosom of the hoary year,
214 And lights with Beauty's blaze the dusky sphere.
215 Three blushing Maids the intrepid Nymph attend,
216 And six gay Youths, enamour'd train! defend.
217 So shines with silver guards the Georgian star,
218 And drives on Night's blue arch his glittering car;
219 Hangs o'er the billowy clouds his lucid form,
220 Wades through the mist, and dances in the storm.
[Page 24]
221 GREAT HELIANTHUS guides o'er twilight plains
[*]

Helianthus. l. 223. Sun flower. The numerous florets, which constitute the disk of this flower, contain in each five males surrounding one female, the five stamens have their anthers connected at top, whence the name of the class "confederate male;" see note on Chondrilla. The sun-flower follows the course of the sun by nutation, not by twisting its stem. (Hales veg. stat.) Other plants, when they are confined in a room, turn the shining surface of their leaves, and bend their whole branches to the light. See Mimosa.

222 In gay solemnity his Dervise-trains;
223 Marshall'd in fives each gaudy band proceeds,
224 Each gaudy band a plumed Lady leads;
[*]

A plumed Lady leads. l. 226. The seeds of many plants of this class are furnished with a plume, by which admirable mechanism they are disseminated by the winds far from their parent stem, and look like a shuttlecock, as they fly. Other seeds are disseminated by animals; of these some attach themselves to their hair or feathers by a gluten, as misleto; others by hooks, as cleavers, burdock, hounds-tongue; and others are swallowed whole for the sake of the fruit, and voided uninjured, as the hawthorn, juniper, and some grasses. Other seeds again disperse themselves by means of an elastic seed-vessel, as Oats, Geranium, and Impatiens; and the seeds of aquatic plants, and of those which grow on the banks of rivers, are carried many miles by the currents, into which they fall. See Impatiens. Zostera. Cassia. Carlina.

225 With zealous step he climbs the upland lawn,
226 And bows in homage to the rising dawn;
227 Imbibes with eagle-eye the golden ray,
228 And watches, as it moves, the orb of day.
[Page 25]
229 Queen of the marsh, imperial DROSERA treads
[*]

Drosera. l. 231. Sun-dew. Five males, five females. The leaves of this marsh plant are purple, and have a fringe very unlike other vegetable productions. And, which is curious, at the point of every thread of this erect fringe stands a pellucid drop of mu cilage, resembling a ducal coronet. This mucus is a secretion from certain glands, and like the viscous material round the flower-stalks of Silene (catchfly) prevents small in sects from infesting the leaves. As the ear-wax in animals seems to be in part designed to prevent fleas and other infects from getting into their ears. See Silene. Mr. Wheatly, an eminent surgeon in Cateaton-street, London, observed these leaves to bend upwards, when an insect settled on them, like the leaves of the muscipula veneris, and pointing all their globules of mucus to the centre, that they compleatly intangled and destroyed it. M. Broussonet, in the Mem. de l'Acad. des Sciences for the year 1784. p. 615. after having described the motion of the Dionaea, adds, that a similar appearance has been observed in the leaves of two species of Drosera.

230 Rush-fringed banks, and moss-embroider'd beds;
231 Redundant folds of glossy silk surround
232 Her slender waist, and trail upon the ground;
233 Five sister-nymphs collect with graceful ease,
234 Or spread the floating purple to the breeze;
235 And five fair youths with duteous love comply
236 With each soft mandate of her moving eye.
237 As with sweet grace her snowy neck she bows,
238 A zone of diamonds trembles round her brows;
239 Bright shines the silver halo, as she turns;
240 And, as she steps, the living lustre burns.
[Page 26]
241 Fair LONICERA prints the dewy lawn,
[*]

Lonicera. l. 243. Caprifolium. Honeysuckle. Five males, one female. Nature has in many flowers used a wonderful apparatus to guard the nectary, or honey-gland, from infects. In the honey-suckle the petal terminates in a long tube like a cornucopiae, or horn of plenty; and the honey is produced at the bottom of it. In Aconitum, monks hood, the nectaries stand upright like two horns covered with a hood, which abounds with such acrid matter that no infects penetrate it. In Helleborus, hellebore, the many nectaries are placed in a circle, like little pitchers, and add much to the beauty of the flower. In the Columbine, Aquilegia, the nectary is imagined to be like the neck and body of a bird, and the two petals standing upon each side to represent wings; whence its name of columbine, as if resembling a nest of young pigeons fluttering whilst their parent feeds them. The importance of the nectary in the economy of vegetation is ex plained at large in the note on part the first.

Many infects are provided with a long and pliant proboscis for the purpose of acquiring this grateful food, as a variety of bees, moths, and butterflies: but the Sphinx Con volvuli, or unicorn moth, is furnished with the most remarkable proboscis in this climate. It carries it rolled up in concentric circles under its chin, and occasionally extends it to above three inches in length. This trunk consists of joints and muscles, and seems to have more versatile movements than the trunk of the elephant; and near its termination is split into two capillary tubes. The excellence of this contrivance for robbing the flowers of their honey, keeps this beautiful insect fat and bulky; though it flies only in the evening, when the flowers have closed their petals, and are thence more difficult of access; at the same time the brilliant colours of the moth contribute to its safety, by making it mistaken by the late sleeping birds for the flower it rests on.

Besides these there is a curious contrivance attending the Ophrys, commonly called the Bee-orchis, and the Fly-orchis, with some kinds of the Delphinium, called Bee larkspurs, to preserve their honey; in these the nectary and petals resemble in form and colour the insects, which plunder them: and thus it may be supposed, they often escape these hourly robbers, by having the appearance of being pre-occupied. See note on Rubia, and Conferva polymorpha.

242 And decks with brighter blush the vermil dawn;
243 Winds round the shadowy rocks, and pansied vales,
244 And scents with sweeter breath the summer-gales;
[Page 27]
245 With artless grace and native ease she charms,
246 And bears the Horn of Plenty in her arms.
247 Five rival Swains their tender cares unfold,
248 And watch with eye askance the treasured gold.
249 Where rears huge Tenerif his azure crest,
250 Aspiring DRABA builds her eagle nest;
[*]

Draba. l. 252. Alpina. Alpine Whitlow-grass. One female and six males. Four of these males stand above the other two; whence the name of the class "four powers." I have observed in several plants of this class, that the two lower males arise, in a few days after the opening of the flower, to the same height as the other four, not being mature as soon as the higher ones. See note on Gloriosa. All the plants of this class possess similar virtues; they are termed acrid and anti corbutic in their raw state, as mustard, watercress; when cultivated and boiled, they become a mild wholesome food, as cabbage, turnep.

There was formerly a Volcano on the Peake of Tenerif, which became extinct about the year 1684. Philos. Trans. In many excavations of the mountain, much below the summit, there is now found abundance of ice at all seasons. Tench's Expedition to Botany Bay, p. 12. Are these congelations in consequence of the daily solution of the hoar-frost which is produced on the summit during the night?

251 Her pendant eyry icy caves surround,
252 Where erst Volcanos min'd the rocky ground.
253 Pleased round the Fair four rival Lords ascend
254 The shaggy steeps, two menial youths attend.
255 High in the setting ray the beauty stands,
256 And her tall shadow waves on distant lands.
[Page 28]
257 Stay, bright inhabitant of air, alight,
258 Ambitious VISCA, from thy eagle-flight!
[*]

Viscum. l. 260. Misletoe. Two houses. This plant never grows upon the ground; the foliage is yellow, and the berries milk-white; the berries are so viscous, as to serve for bird-lime; and when they fall, adhere to the branches of the tree, on which the plant grows, and strike root into its bark; or are carried to distant trees by birds. The Til landsia, or wild pine, grows on other trees, like the Misletoe, but takes little or no nourishment from them, having large buckets in its leaves to collect and retain the rain water. See note on Dypsacus. The mosses, which grow on the bark of trees, take much nourishment from them; hence it is observed that trees, which are annually cleared from moss by a brush, grow nearly twice as fast. (Phil. Transact.) In the cyder coun tries the peasants brush their apple-trees annually.

259 Scorning the sordid soil, aloft she springs,
260 Shakes her white plume, and claps her golden wings;
261 High o'er the fields of boundless ether roves,
262 And seeks amid the clouds her soaring loves!
263 Stretch'd on her mossy couch, in trackless deeps,
264 Queen of the coral groves, ZOSTERA sleeps;
[*]

Zostera. l. 266. Grass-wrack. Class, Feminine Males. Order, Many Males. It grows at the bottom of the sea, and rising to the surface, when in flower, covers many leagues; and is driven at length to the shore. During its time of floating on the sea, numberless animals live on the under surface of it, and being specifically lighter than the sea water, or being repelled by it, have legs placed as it were on their backs for the purpose of walking under it. As the Scylloea. See Barbut's Genera Vermium. It seems necessary that the marriages of plants should be celebrated in the open air, either because the powder of the anther, or the mucilage on the stigma, or the reservoir of honey might receive injury from the water. Mr. Needham observed, that in the ripe dust of every flower, examined by the microscope some vesicles are perceived, from which a fluid had escaped; and that those, which st••retain it, explode if they be wetted, like an eolopile suddenly exposed to a strong he••. These observations have been verified by Spallanzani and others. Hence rainy seasons make a scarcity of grain, or hinder its fecundity, by bursting the pollen before it arrives at the moist stigma of the flower. Spallanzani's Dissertations, v. II. p. 321. Thus the flowers of the male Val lisneria are produced under water, and when ripe detach themselves from the plant, and rising to the surface are wafted by the air to the female flowers. See Vallisneria.

[Page 29]
265 The silvery sea-weed matted round her bed,
266 And distant surges murmuring o'er her head.
267 High in the flood her azure dome ascends,
268 The crystal arch on crystal columns bends;
269 Roof'd with translucent shell the turrets blaze,
270 And far in ocean dart their colour'd rays;
271 O'er the white floor successive shadows move,
272 As rise and break the ruffled waves above.
273 Around the nymph her mermaid-trains repair,
274 And weave with orient pearl her radiant hair;
275 With rapid fins she cleaves the watery way,
276 Shoots like a silver meteor up to day;
277 Sounds a loud conch, convokes a scaly band,
278 Her sea-born lovers, and ascends the strand.
[Page 30]
279 E'en round the pole the flames of Love aspire,
280 And icy bosoms feel the secret fire!
281 Cradled in snow and fann'd by arctic air
282 Shines, gentle BAROMETZ! thy golden hair;
[*]

Barometz. l. 284. Polypodium Barometz. Tartarian Lamb. Clandestine Marriage. This species of Fern is a native of China, with a decumbent root, thick, and every where covered with the most soft and dense wool, intensely yellow. Lin. Spec. Plant.

This curious stem is sometimes pushed out of the ground in its horizontal situation by some of the inferior branches of the root, so as to give it some resemblance to a Lamb standing on four legs; and has been said to destroy all other plants in its vicinity. Sir Hans Sloane describes it under the name of Tartarian Lamb, and has given a print of it. Philos. Trans. abridged, v. 11. p. 646. but thinks some art had been used to give it an animal appearance. Dr. Hunter, in his edition of the Terra of Evelyn, has given a more curious print of it, much resembling a sheep. The down is used in India exter nally for stopping hemorrhages, and is called golden moss.

The thick downy clothing of some vegetables seems designed to protect them from the injuries of cold, like the wool of animals. Those bodies, which are bad conductors of electricity, are also bad conductors of heat, as glass, wax, air. Hence either of the two former of these may be melted by the flame of a blow-pipe very near the fingers which hold it without burning them; and the last, by being confined on the surface of animal bodies, in the interstices of their fur or wool, prevents the escape of their natural warmth; to which should be added, that the hairs themselves are imperfect conductors. The fat or oil of whales, and other northern animals, seems designed for the same pur pose of preventing the too sudden escape of the heat of the body in cold climates. Snow protects vegetables which are covered by it from cold, both because it is a bad conductor of heat itself, and contains much air in its pores. If a piece of camphor be immersed in a snow-ball, except one extremity of it, on setting fire to this, as the snow melts, the water becomes absorbed into the surrounding snow by capillary, attraction; on this c count, when living animals are buried in snow, they are not most ned by it; but the cavity enlarges as the snow dissolves, affording them both a dry and warm habitation.

283 Rooted in earth each cloven hoof descends,
284 And round and round her flexile neck she bends;
285 Crops the grey coral moss, and hoary thyme,
286 Or laps with rosy tongue the melting rime;
287 Eyes with mute tenderness her distant dam,
288 Or seems to bleat, a Vegetable Lamb.
[Page 31]
289 So, warm and buoyant in his oily mail,
290 Gambols on seas of ice the unwieldy Whale;
291 Wide-waving fins round floating islands urge
292 His bulk gigantic through the troubled surge;
293 With hideous yawn the flying shoals He seeks,
294 Or clasps with fringe of horn his massy cheeks;
295 Lifts o'er the tossing wave his nostrils bare,
296 And spouts pellucid columns into air;
297 The silvery arches catch the setting beams,
298 And transient rainbows tremble o'er the streams.
[Page 32]
299 Weak with nice sense, the chaste MIMOSA stands,
[*]

Mimosa. l. 321. The sensitive plant. Of the class Polygamy, one house. Naturalists have not explained the immediate cause of the collapsing of the sensitive plant; the leaves meet and close in the night during the sleep of the plant, or when exposed to much cold in the day-time, in the same manner as when they are affected by external violence, fold ing their upper surfaces together, and in part over each other like seales or tiles; so as to expose as little of the upper surface as may be to the air; but do not indeed collapse quite so far, since I have found, when touched in the night during their sleep, they fall still further; especially when touched on the foot-stalks between the stems and the leaflets, which seems to be their most sensitive or irritable part. Now as their situation after being exposed to external violence resembles their sleep, but with a greater degree of col lapse, may it not be owing to a numbness or paralysis consequent to too violent irri tation, like the saintings of animals from pain or fatigue? I kept a sensitive plant in a dark room till some hour after day-break; its leaves and leas-stalks were collapsed as in its most prosound sleep, and on exposing it to the light, above twenty minutes passed before the plant was thoroughly awake and had quite expanded itself. During the night the upper or smoother surfaces of the leaves are appressed together; this would seem to shew that the office of this surface of the leaf was to expose the fluids of the plant to the light as well as to the air. See note on Helianthus. Many flowers close up their petals during the night. See note on vegetable respiration in Part I.

300 From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands;
301 Oft as light clouds o'er-pass the Summer-glade,
302 Alarm'd she trembles at the moving shade;
303 And feels, alive through all her tender form,
304 The whisper'd murmurs of the gathering storm;
305 Shuts her sweet eye-lids to approaching night;
306 And hails with freshen'd charms the rising light.
[Page 33]
307 Veil'd, with gay decency and modest pride,
308 Slow to the mosque she moves, an eastern bride;
309 There her soft vows unceasing love record,
310 Queen of the bright seraglio of her Lord.
311 So sinks or rises with the changeful hour
312 The liquid silver in its glassy tower.
313 So turns the needle to the pole it loves,
314 With fine librations quivering as it moves.
315 All wan and shivering in the leafless glade
316 The sad ANEMONE reclined her head;
[*]

Anemone. l. 318. Many males, many females. Pliny says this flower never opens its petals but when the wind blows; whence its name: it has properly no calix, but two or three sets of petals, three in each set, which are folded over the stamens and pistil in a singular and beautiful manner, and differs also from ranunculus in not having a melli ferous pore on the claw of each petal.

317 Grief on her cheeks had paled the roseate hue,
318 And her sweet eye-lids dropp'd with pearly dew.
319 "See, from bright regions, borne on odorous gales
320 The Swallow, herald of the summer, sails;
[*]

The Swallow. l. 322. There is a wonderful conformity between the vegetation of some plants, and the arrival of certain birds of passage. Linneus observes that the wood anemone blows in Sweden on the arrival of the swallow; and the marsh mary-gold, Caltha, when the cuckoo sings. Near the same coincidence was observed in England by Stillingfleet. The word Coccux in Greek signifies both a young fig and a cuckoo, which is supposed to have arisen from the coincidence of their appearance in Greece. Perhaps a similar coincidence of appearance in some parts of Asia gave occasion to the story of the loves of the rose and nightingale, so much celebrated by the eastern poets. See Dianthus. The times however of the appearance of vegetables in the spring seem occasionally to be influenced by their acquired habits, as well as by their sensibility to heat: for the roots of potatoes, onions, &c. will germinate with much less heat in the spring than in the autumn; as is easily observable where these roots are stored for use; and hence malt is best made in the spring. 2d. The grains and roots brought from more southern latitudes germinate here sooner than those which are brought from more northern ones, owing to their acquired habits. Fordyce on Agriculture. 3d. It was observed by one of the scholars of Linneus, that the apple-trees sent from hence to New England blossomed for a few years too early for that climate, and bore no fruit; but afterwards learnt to accommodate themselves to their new situation. (Kalm's Travels. ) 4th. The parts of animals become more sensible to heat after having been previously exposed to cold, as our hands glow on coming into the house after having held snow in them; this seems to happen to vegetables; for vines in grape-houses, which have been exposed to the winter's cold, will become forwarder and more vigorous than those which have been kept during the winter in the house. (Kenedy on Gardening.) This accounts for the very rapid vegetation in the northern latitudes after the solution of the snows.

The increase of the irritability of plants in respect to heat, after having been previ ously exposed to cold, is further illustrated by an experiment of Dr. Walker's. He cut apertures into a birch-tree at different heights; and on the 26th of March some of these apertures bled, or oozed with the sap-juice, when the thermometer was at 39; which same apertures did not bleed on the 13th of March, when the thermometer was at 44. The reason of this I apprehend was, because on the night of the 25th the thermometer was as low as 34; whereas on the night of the 12th it was at 41; though the ingenious author ascribes it to another cause. Trans. of Royal Soc. of Edinburgh, V. I. P. 19.

[Page 34]
321 "Breathe, gentle AIR! from cherub-lips impart
322 "Thy balmy influence to my anguish'd heart;
323 "Thou, whose soft voice calls forth the tender blooms,
324 "Whose pencil paints them, and whose breath perfumes;
325 "O chase the Fiend of Frost, with leaden mace
326 "Who seals in death-like sleep my hapless race;
327 "Melt his hard heart, release his iron hand,
328 "And give my ivory petals to expand.
329 "So may each bud, that decks the brow of spring,
330 "Shed all its incense on thy wafting wing! "
[Page 35]
331 To her fond prayer propitious Zephyr yields,
332 Sweeps on his sliding shell through azure fields,
333 O'er her fair mansion waves his whispering wand,
334 And gives her ivory petals to expand;
335 Gives with new life her filial train to rise,
336 And hail with kindling smiles the genial skies.
337 So shines the Nymph in beauty's blushing pride,
338 When Zephyr wafts her deep calash aside;
339 Tears with rude kiss her bosom's gauzy veil,
340 And flings the fluttering kerchief to the gale.
341 So bright, the folding canopy undrawn,
342 Glides the gilt Landau o'er the velvet lawn,
[Page 36]
343 Of beaux and belles displays the glittering throng;
344 And soft airs fan them, as they roll along.
345 Where frowning Snowden bends his dizzy brow
346 O'er Conway, listening to the surge below;
347 Retiring LICHEN climbs the topmost stone,
[*]

Lichen. l 349. Calcareum. Liver-wort. Clandestine Marriage. This plant is the first that vegetates on naked rocks, covering them with a kind of tapestry, and draws its nourishment perhaps chiefly from the air; after it perishes, earth enough is left for other mosses to root themselves; and after some ages a soil is produced sufficient for the growth of more succulent and large vegetables. In this manner perhaps the whole earth has been gradually covered with vegetation, after it was raised out of the primeval ocean by subterraneous fires.

348 And 'mid the airy ocean dwells alone.
349 Bright shine the stars unnumber'd o'er her head,
350 And the cold moon-beam gilds her flinty bed;
351 While round the rifted rocks hoarse whirlwinds breathe,
352 And dark with thunder sail the clouds beneath.
353 The steepy path her plighted swain pursues,
354 And tracks her light step o'er th' imprinted dews,
355 Delighted Hymen gives his torch to blaze,
356 Winds round the craggs, and lights the mazy ways;
[Page 37]
357 Sheds o'er their secret vows his influence chaste,
358 And decks with roses the admiring waste.
359 High in the front of heaven when Sirius glares,
360 And o'er Britannia shakes his fiery hairs;
361 When no soft shower descends, no dew distills,
362 Her wave-worn channels dry, and mute her rills;
363 When droops the sickening herb, the blossom fades,
364 And parch'd earth gapes beneath the withering glades.
365 With languid step fair DYPSACA retreats;
[*]

Dypsacus. l. 367. Teasel. One female, and four males. There is a cup around every joint of the stem of this plant, which contains from a spoonful to half a pint of water; and serves both for the nutriment of the plant in dry seasons, and to prevent in sects from creeping up to devour its seed. See Silene. The Tillandsia, or wild pine, of the West Indies has every leaf terminated near the stalk with a hollow bucket, which contains from half a pint to a quart of water. Dampier's Voyage to Campeachy. Dr. Sloane mentions one kind of aloe furnished with leaves, which, like the wild pine and Banana, hold water; and thence afford necessary refreshment to travellers in hot coun tries. Nepenthes had a bucket for the same purpose at the end of every leaf. Burm. Zeyl. 42. 17.

366 "Fall gentle dews!" the fainting nymph repeats;
367 Seeks the low dell, and in the sultry shade
368 Invokes in vain the Naiads to her aid.
[Page 38]
369 Four silvan youths in crystal goblets bear
370 The untasted treasure to the grateful fair;
371 Pleased from their hands with modest grace she sips,
372 And the cool wave reflects her coral lips.
373 With nice selection modest RUBIA blends,
[*]

Rubia. l. 375. Madder. Four males and one female. This plant is cultivated in very large quantities for dying red. If mixed with the food of young pigs or chickens, it colours their bones red. If they are fed alternate fortnights with a mixture of madder, and with their usual food alone, their bones will consist of concentric circles of white and red. Belchier, Phil. Trans. 1736. Animals fed with madder for the purpose of these experiments were found upon dissection to have thinner gall. Comment. de rebus. Lipsiae. This circumstance is worth further attention. The colouring materials of vege tables, like those which serve the purpose of tanning, varnishing, and the various medi cal purposes, do not seem essential to the life of the plant; but seem given it as a defence against the depredations of insects or other animals, to whom these materials are nauseous or deleterious. To insects and many smaller animals their colours contribute to conceal them from the larger ones which prey upon them. Caterpillars which feed on leaves are generally green; and earth-worms the colour of the earth which they inhabit; Butter flies, which frequent flowers, are coloured like them; small birds which frequent hedges have greenish backs like the leaves, and light coloured bellies like the sky, and are hence less visible to the hawk, who passes under them or over them. Those birds which are much amongst flowers, as the gold-finch (Fringilla carduelis), are furnished with vivid colours. The lark, partridge, hare, are the colour of the dry vegetables or earth on which they rest. And frogs vary their colour with the mud of the streams which they frequent; and those which live on trees are green. Fish, which are generally suspended in water, and swallows, which are generally suspended in air, have their backs the co lour of the distant ground, and their bellies of the sky. In the colder climates many of these become white during the existence of the snows. Hence there is apparent design in the colours of animals, whilst those of vegetables seem consequent to the other pro perties of the materials which possess them.

374 Her vermil dyes, and o'er the cauldron bends;
375 Warm 'mid the rising steam the Beauty glows,
376 As blushes in a mist the dewy rose.
[Page 39]
377 With chemic art four favour'd youths aloof
378 Stain the white fleece, or stretch the tinted woof;
379 O'er Age's cheek the warmth of youth diffuse,
380 Or deck the pale-eyed nymph in roseate hues.
381 So when MEDEA to exulting Greece
382 From plunder'd COLCHIS bore the golden fleece;
383 On the loud shore a magic pile she rais'd,
384 The cauldron bubbled, and the faggots blaz'd;
385 Pleased on the boiling wave old AESON swims,
[*]

Pleased on the boiling wave. l. 387. The story of Aeson becoming young, from the medicated bath of Medea, seems to have been intended to teach the efficacy of warm bathing in retarding the progress of old age. The words relaxation and bracing, which are generally thought expressive of the effects of warm and cold bathing, are mechanical terms, properly applied to drums or strings; but are only metaphors when applied to the effects of cold or warm bathing on animal bodies. The immediate cause of old age seems to reside in the inirritability of the finer vessels or parts of our system; hence these cease to act, and collapse or become horny or bony. The warm bath is peculiarly adapted to prevent these circumstances by its increasing our irritability, and by moisten ing and softening the skin, and the extremities of the finer vessels, which terminate in it. To those who are past the meridian of life, and have dry skins, and begin to be emaciated, the warm bath, for half an hour twice a week, I believe to be eminently ferviceable in retarding the advances of age.

386 And feels new vigour stretch his swelling limbs;
[Page 40]
387 Through his thrill'd nerves forgotten ardors dart,
388 And warmer eddies circle round his heart;
389 With softer fires his kindling eye-balls glow,
390 And darker tresses wanton round his brow.
391 As dash the waves on India's breezy strand,
392 Her flush'd cheek press'd upon her lily hand,
393 VALLISNER sits, up-turns her tearful eyes,
[*]

Vallisneria. l. 395. This extraordinary plant is of the class Two Houses. It is found in the East Indies, in Norway, and various parts of Italy. Lin. Spec. Plant. They have their roots at the bottom of the Rhone, the flowers of the female plant float on the sur face of the water, and are furnished with an elastic spiral stalk, which extends or contracts as the water rises and falls; this rise or fall, from the rapid descent of the river, and the mountain torrents which flow into it, often amounts to many feet in a few hours. The flowers of the male plant are produced under water, and as soon as their farina, or dust, is mature; they detach themselves from the plant, and rise to the surface, continue to flourish, and are wafted by the air, or borne by the currents to the female flowers. In this resembling those tribes of insects, where the males at certain seasons acquire wings, but not the females, as ants, Cocchus, Lampyris, Phalaena, Brumata, Lichanella. These male flowers are in such numbers, though very minute, as frequently to cover the surface of the river to considerable extent. See Families of Plants translated from Linnéus, P. 677.

394 Calls her lost lover, and upbraids the skies;
[Page][Page 41]
395 For him she breathes the silent sight, forlorn,
396 Each setting-day; for him each rising morn.
397 "Bright orbs, that light you high etherial plain,
398 "Or bathe your radiant tresses in the main;
399 "Pale moon, that silver'st o'er night's sable brow;
400 "For ye were witness to his parting vow!
401 "Ye shelving rocks, dark waves, and sounding shore,
402 "Ye echoed sweet the tender words he swore!
403 "Can stars or seas the sails of love retain?
404 "O guide my wanderer to my arms again! "
405 Her buoyant skiff intrepid ULVA guides,
[*]

Ulva. l. 407. Clandestine marriage. This kind of sea-weed is buoyed up by bladders of air, which are formed in the duplicatures of its leaves; and forms immense float ing fields of vegetation; the young ones, branching out from the larger ones, and borne on similar little air-vessels. It is also found in the warm baths of Patavia; where the leaves are formed into curious cells or labyrinths for the purpose of floating on the water. See ulva labyrinthi-formis Lin. Spec. Plant. The air contained in these cells was found by Dr. Priestley to be sometimes purer than common air, and sometimes less pure; the air-bladders of fish seem to be similar organs, and serve to render them buoyant in the water. In some of these, as in the Cod and Haddock, a red membrane, consisting of a great number of leaves or duplicatures, is sound within the air-bag, which probably secretes this air from the blood of the animal. (Monro. Physiol. of Fish. p. 28.) To determine whether this air, when first separated from the blood of the animal or plant, be dephlogisticated air, is worthy inquiry. The bladder-sena (Colutea), and bladder-nut (Staphylaea), have their seed-vessels distended with air; the Ketmia has the upper joint of the stem immediately under the receptacle of the flower much distended with air; these seem to be analogous to the air-vessel at the broad end of the egg, and may probably become less pure as the seed ripens: some, which I tried, had the purity of the surround ing atmosphere. The air at the broad end of the egg is probably an organ serving the purpose-of respiration to the young chick, some of whose vessels are spread upon it like a placenta, or permeate it. Many are of opinion that even the placenta of the human setus, and cotyledons of quadropeds, are respiratory organs rather than nutritious ones.

The air in the hollow stems of grasses, and of some umbelliserous plants, bears analogy to the air in the quills, and in some of the bones of birds; supplying the place of the pith, which shrivels up after it has performed its office of protruding the young stem or feather. Some of these cavities of the bones are said to communicate with the lungs in birds. Phil. Trans.

The air-bladders of fish are nicely adapted to their intended purpose; for though they render them buoyant near the surface without the labour of using their fins, yet, when they rest at greater depths, they are no inconvenience, as the increased pressure of the water condenses the air which they contain into less space. Thus, if a cork or bladder of air was immersed a very great depth in the ocean, it would be so much compressed, as to become specially as heavy as the water, and would remain there. It is probable the unfortunate Mr. Day, who was drowned in a diving-ship of his own construction, milcarried from not attending to this circumstance; it is probable the quantity of air he took down with him, if he descended much lower than he expected, was condensed into so small a space as not to render the ship buoyant when he endeavoured to ascend.

406 And seeks her Lord amid the trackless tides;
[Page 42]
407 Her secret vows the Cyprian Queen approves,
408 And hovering halcyons guard her inftant-loves;
409 Each in his floating cradle round they throng,
410 And dimpling Ocean bears the fleet along.
411 Thus o'er the waves, which gently bend and swell,
412 Fair GALATEA steers her silver shell;
[Page 43]
413 Her playful Dolphins stretch the silken rein,
414 Hear her sweet voice, and glide along the main.
415 As round the wild meandering coast she moves
416 By gushing rills, rude cliffs, and nodding groves;
417 Each by her pine the Wood-nymphs wave their locks,
418 And wondering Naiads peep amid the rocks;
419 Pleased trains of Mermaids rise from coral cells,
420 Admiring Tritons found their twisted shells;
421 Charm'd o'er the car pursuing Cupids sweep,
422 Their snow-white pinions twinkling in the deep;
423 And, as the lustre of her eye she turns,
424 Soft sighs the Gale, and amorous Ocean burns.
425 On DOVE'S green brink the fair TREMELLA stood,
[*]

Tremella. l. 427. Clandestine marriage. I have frequently observed fungusses of this Genus on old rails and on the ground to become a transparent jelly, after they had been frozen in autumnal mornings; which is a curious property, and distinguishes them from some other vegetable mucilage; for I have observed that the paste, made by boiling wheat-flour in water, ceases to be adhesive after having been frozen. I suspected that the Tremella Nostoc, or star-jelly, also had been thus produced; but have since been well informed, that the Tremella Nostoc is a mucilage voided by Herons after they have eaten frogs; hence it has the appearance of having been pressed through a hole; and limbs of frogs are said sometimes to be found amongst it; it is always seen upon plains or by the sides of water, places which Herons generally frequent.

Some of the Fungusses are so acrid, that a drop of their juice blisters the tongue; others intoxicate those who eat them. The Ostiacks in Siberia use them for the latter purpose; one Fungus of the species, Agaricus muscarum, eaten raw; or the decoction of three of them, produces intoxication for 12 or 16 hours. History of Russia. V. I. Nichols. 1780. As all acrid plants become less so, if exposed to a boiling heat, it is probable the common mushroom may sometimes disagree from being not sufficiently stewed. The Ostiacks blister their skin by a fungus found on Birch-trees; and use the Agaricus officin. for Soap. ib.

There was a dispute whether the fungusses should be classed in the animal or vegetable department. Their animal taste in cookery, and their animal smell when burnt, toge ther with their tendency to putrefaction, insomuch that the Phallus impudicus has gained the name of stink-horn; and lastly, their growing and continuing healthy without light, as the Licoperdon tuber or truffle, and the fungus vinosus or mucor in dark cellars, and the esculent mushrooms on beds covered thick with straw, would seem to shew that they approach towards the animals, or make a kind of isthmus connecting the two mighty kingdoms of animal and of vegetable nature.

426 And view'd her playful image in the flood;
[Page 44]
427 To each rude rock, lone dell, and echoing grove
428 Sung the sweet sorrows of her secret love.
429 "Oh, stay! return!" along the sounding shore
430 Cry'd the sad Naiads, she return'd no more!
431 Now girt with clouds the sullen Evening frown'd,
432 And withering Eurus swept along the ground;
433 The misty moon withdrew her horned light,
434 And sunk with Hesper in the skirt of night;
[Page 45]
435 No dim electric streams, (the northern dawn,)
436 With meek effulgence quiver'd o'er the lawn;
437 No star benignant shot one transient ray
438 To guide or light the wanderer on her way.
439 Round the dark craggs the murmuring whirlwinds blow,
440 Woods groan above, and waters roar below;
441 As o'er the steeps with pausing foot she moves,
442 The pitying Dryads shriek amid their groves;
443 She flies, she stops, she pants she looks behind,
444 And hears a demon howl in every wind.
445 As the bleak blast unfurls her fluttering vest,
446 Cold beats the snow upon her shuddering breast;
447 Through her numb'd limbs the chill sensations dart,
448 And the keen ice-bolt trembles at her heart;
449 "I sink, I fall! oh, help me, help!" she cries,
450 Her stiffening tongue the unfinish'd sound denies;
451 Tear after tear adown her cheek succeeds,
452 And pearls of ice bestrew the glittering meads;
453 Congealing snows her lingering feet surround,
454 Arrest her flight, and root her to the ground;
[Page 46]
455 With suppliant arms she pours the silent prayer;
456 Her suppliant arms hang crystal in the air;
457 Pellucid films her shivering neck o'erspread,
458 Seal her mute lips, and silver o'er her head,
459 Veil her pale bosom, glaze her lifted hands,
460 And shrined in ice the beauteous statue stands
461 DOVE'S azure nymphs on each revolving year
462 For fair TREMELLA shed the tender tear;
463 With rush-wove crowns in sad procession move,
464 And sound the sorrowing shell to hapless love. "
465 Here paused the MUSE, across the darken'd pole
466 Sail the dim clouds, the echoing thunders roll;
467 The trembling Wood-nymphs, as the tempest lowers,
468 Lead the gay Goddess to their inmost bowers;
469 Hang the mute lyre the laurel shade beneath,
470 And round her temples bind the myrtle wreath.
471 Now the light swallow with her airy brood
472 Skims the green meadow, and the dimpled flood;
[Page 47]
473 Loud shrieks the lone thrush from his leafless thorn,
474 Th' alarmed beetle sounds his bugle horn;
475 Each pendant spider winds with singers sine
476 His ravel'd clue, and climbs along the line;
477 Gay Gnomes in glittering circles stand aloof
478 Beneath a spreading mushroom's fretted roof;
479 Swift bees returning seek their waxen cells,
480 And Sylphs cling quivering in the lily's bells.
481 Through the still air descend the genials showers,
482 And pearly rain-drops deck the laughing flowers.
[Page 48]

INTERLUDE.

Bookseller.

YOUR verses, Mr. Botanist, consist of pure de scription, I hope there is sense in the notes.

Poet.

I am only a flower-painter, or occasionally attempt a land skip; and leave the human figure with the subjects of history to abler artists.

B.

It is well to know what subjects are within the limits of your pencil; many have failed of success from the want of this self knowledge. But pray tell me, what is the essential difference be tween Poetry and Prose? is it solely the melody or measure of the language?

P.

I think not solely; for some prose has its melody, and even measure. And good verses, well spoken in a language unknown to the hearer, are not easily to be distinguished from good prose.

[Page 49]
B.

Is it the sublimity, beauty, or novelty of the sentiments?

P.

Not so; for sublime sentiments are often better expressed in prose. Thus when Warwick in one of the plays of Shakespear, is left wounded on the field after the loss of the battle, and his friend says to him, "Oh, could you but fly!" what can be more sublime than his answer, "Why then, I would not fly." No measure of verse, I imagine, could add dignity to this sentiment. And it would be easy to select examples of the beautiful or new from prose writers, which I suppose no measure of verse could improve.

B.

In what then consists the essential difference between Poetry and Prose?

P.

Next to the measure of the language, the principal distinction appears to me to consist in this: that Poetry admits of but few words expressive of very abstracted ideas, whereas Prose abounds with them. And as our ideas derived from visible objects are more dis tinct than those derived from the objects of our other sense, the words expressive of these ideas belonging to vision make up the principal part of poetic language. That is, the Poet writes princi pally[Page 50] to the eye, the Prose-writer uses more abstracted terms. Mr. Pope has written a bad verse in the Windsor Forest:And Kennet swift for silver Eels renown'd. The word renown'd does not present the idea of a visible object to the mind, and is thence prosaic. But change this line thus,And Kennet swift, where silver Graylings play. and it becomes poetry, because the scenery is then brought before the eye.

B.

This may be done in prose.

P.

And when it is done in a single word, it animates the prose; so it is more agreeable to read in Mr. Gibbon's History,Germany was at this time over-shadowed with extensive forests;than Germany was at this time full of extensive forests. But where this mode of expression occurs too frequently, the prose approaches to poetry: and in graver works, where we expect to be instructed ra ther than amused, it becomes tedious and impertinent. Some parts of Mr. Burke's eloquent orations become intricate and enervated by superfluity of poetic ornament; which quantity of ornament would have been agreeable in a poem, where much ornament is ex pected.

[Page 51]
B.

Is then the office of Poetry only to amuse?

P.

The Muses are young ladies, we expect to see them dressed; though not like some modern beauties with so much gauze and fea ther, that "the Lady herself is the least part of her." There are however didactic pieces of poetry, which are much admired, as the Georgics of Virgil, Mason's English Garden, Hayley's Epistles; nevertheless Science is best delivered in Prose, as its mode of reason ing is from stricter analogies than metaphors or similies.

B.

Do not Personifications and Allegories distinguish poetry?

P.

These are other arts of bringing objects before the eye; or of expressing sentiments in the language of vision; and are indeed better suited to the pen than the pencil.

B.

That is strange, when you have just said they are used to bring their objects before the eye.

P.

In poetry the personification or allegoric figure is generally indistinct, and therefore does not strike us so forcibly as to make us attend to its improbability; but in painting, the figures being all[Page 52] much more distinct, their improbability becomes apparent, and seizes our attention to it. Thus the person of Concealment is very indis tinct, and therefore does not compel us to attend to its improbability, in the following beautiful lines of Shakespear:

She never told her love;
But let Concealment, like a worm i' th' bud,
Feed on her damask cheek.

But in these lines below the person of Reason obtrudes itself into our company, and becomes disagreeable by its distinctness, and cones quent improbability.

To Reason I flew, and intreated her aid,
Who paused on my case, and each circumstance weigh'd;
Then gravely reply'd in return to my prayer,
That Hebe was fairest of all that were fair.
That's a truth, reply'd I, I've no need to be taught,
I came to you, Reason, to find out a fault.
If that's all, says Reason, return as you came,
To find fault with Hebe would forfeit my name.

Allegoric figures are on this account in general less manageable in painting and in statuary than in poetry: and can seldom be intro duced in the two former arts in company with natural figures, as is evident from the ridiculous effect of many of the paintings of Rubens in the Luxemburgh gallery; and for this reason, because their im probability becomes more striking, when there are the figures of real persons by their side to compare them with.

[Page 53]

Mrs. Angelica Kauffman, well apprised of this circumstance, has introduced no mortal figures amongst her Cupids and her Graces. And the great Roubiliac, in his unrivalled monument of Time and Fame struggling for the trophy of General Fleming, has only hung up a medallion of the head of the hero of the piece. There are however some allegoric figures, which we have so often heard described or seen delineated, that we almost forget that they do not exist in common life; and hence view them without astonishment; as the figures of the heathen mythology, of angels, devils, death and time; and almost believe them to be realities, even when they are mixed with representations of the natural forms of man. Whence I con clude, that a certain degree of probability is necessary to prevent us from revolting with distaste from unnatural images; unless we are otherwise so much interested in the contemplation of them as not to perceive their improbability.

B.

Is this reasoning about degrees of probability just? When Sir Joshua Reynolds, who is unequalled both in the theory and practice of his art, and who is a great master of the pen as well as the pencil, has asserted in a discourse delivered to the Royal Academy, December 11, 1786, thatthe higher styles of painting, like the higher kinds of the Drama, do not aim at any thing like deception; or have any expectation, that the spectators should think the events there represented are really passing before them.And he then accuses Mr. Fielding of bad judgment, when he attempts to compliment Mr. Garrick in one of his novels, by introducing an ignorant man, mistaking the representation of a scene in Hamlet for a reality; and[Page 54] thinks, because he was an ignorant man, he was less liable to make such a mistake.

P.

It is a metaphysical question, and requires more attention than Sir Joshua has bestowed upon it. You will allow, that we are per fectly deceived in our dreams; and that even in our waking reveries, we are often so much absorbed in the contemplation of what passes in our imaginations, that for a while we do not attend to the lapse of time or to our own locality; and thus suffer a similar kind of de ception as in our dreams. That is, we believe things present before our eyes, which are not so.

There are two circumstances, which contribute to this compleat deception in our dreams. First, because in sleep the organs of sense are closed or inert, and hence the trains of ideas associated in our imaginations are never interrupted or disserered by the irritations of external objects, and can not therefore be contrasted with our sen sations. On this account, though we are affected with a variety of passions in our dreams, as anger, love, joy; yet we never experience surprize. For surprize is only produced when any external irrita tions suddenly obtrude themselves, and dissever our passing trains of ideas.

Secondly, because in sleep there is a total suspension of our volun tary power, both over the muscles of our bodies, and the ideas of our minds; for we neither walk about, nor reason in compleat sleep. Hence, as the trains of ideas are passing in our imaginations in dreams, we cannot compare them with our previous knowledge of things, as we do in our waking hours; for this is a voluntary exertion; and thus we cannot perceive their incongruity.

[Page 55]

Thus we are deprived in sleep of the only two means by which we can distinguish the trains of ideas passing in our imaginations, from those excited by our sensations; and are led by their vivacity to be lieve them to belong to the latter. For the vivacity of these trains of ideas, passing in the imagination, is greatly increased by the causes above-mentioned; that is, by their not being disturbed or dissevered either by the appulses of external bodies, as in surprize; or by our voluntary exertions in comparing them with our previous knowledge of things, as in reasoning upon them.

B.

Now to apply.

P.

When by the art of the Painter or Poet a train of ideas is sug gested to our imaginations, which interests us so much by the pain or pleasure it affords, that we cease to attend to the irritations of common external objects, and cease also to use any voluntary efforts to compare these interesting trains of ideas with our previous know ledge of things, a compleat reverie is produced: during which time, however short, if it be but for a moment, the objects themselves appear to exist before us. This, I think, has been called by an in genious critic "the ideal presence" of such objects. (Elements of Criticism by Lord Kaimes). And in respect to the compliment in tended by Mr. Fielding to Mr. Garrick, it would seem that an ig norant Rustic at the play of Hamlet, who has some previous belief in the appearance of Ghosts, would sooner be liable to fall into re verie, and continue in it longer, than one who possessed more know ledge[Page 56] of the real nature of things, and had a greater facility of ex ercising his reason.

B.

It must require great art in the Painter or Poet to produce this kind of deception?

P.

The matter must be interesting from its sublimity, beauty, or novelty; this is the scientific part; and the art consists in bringing these distinctly before the eye, so as to produce (as above-mentioned) the ideal presence of the object, in which the great Shakespear par ticularly excells.

B.

Then it is not of any consequence whether the representations correspond with nature?

P.

Not if they so much interest the reader or spectator as to in duce the reverie above described. Nature may be seen in the market place, or at the card-table; but we expect something more than this in the play-house or picture-room. The further the artists recedes from nature, the greater novelty he is likely to produce; if he rises above nature, he produces the sublime; and beauty is probably a selection and new combination of her most agreeable parts. Your self will be sensible of the truth of this doctrine by recollecting over[Page 57] in your mind the works of three of our celebrated artists. Sir Joshua Reynolds has introduced sublimity even into its protraits; we admire the representation of persons, whose reality we should have passed by unnoticed. Mrs. Angelica Kauffman attracts our eyes with beauty, which I suppose no where exists; certainly few Grecian faces are seen in this country. And the daring pencil of Fuseli transports us beyond the boundaries of nature, and ravishes us with the charm of the most interesting novelty. And Shakespear, who excells in all these together, so far captivates the spectator, as to make him un mindful of every kind of violation of Time, Place, or Existence. As at the first appearance of the Ghost of Hamlet,his ear must be dull as the fat weed, which roots itself on Lethe's brink,who can attend to the improbality of the exhibition. So in many scenes of the Tempest we perpetually believe the action passing before our eyes, and relapse with somewhat of distaste into common life at the intervals of the representation.

B.

I suppose a poet of less ability would find such great machi nery difficult and cumbersome to manage?

P.

Just so, we should be shocked at the apparent improbabilities. As in the gardens of a Scicilian nobleman, described in Mr. Brydone's and in Mr. Swinburn's travels, there are said to be fix hundred statues of imaginary monsters, which so disgust the spectators, that the state had once a serious design of destroying them; and yet the very[Page 58] improbable monsters in Ovid's Metamorphoses have entertained the world for many centuries.

B.

The monsters in your Botanic Garden, I hope, are of the latter kind?

P.

The candid reader must determine.

[Page 59]

THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.

CANTO II.

1 AGAIN the Goddess strikes the golden lyre,
2 And tunes to wilder notes the warbling wire;
3 With soft suspended step Attention moves,
4 And Silence hovers o'er the listening groves;
5 Orb within orb the charmed audience throng,
6 And the green vault reverberates the song.
[Page 60]
7 "Breathe soft, ye Gales!" the fair CARLINA cries,
[*]

Carlina. l. 7. Carline Thistle. Of the class Confederate Males. The feeds of this and of many other plants of the same class are furnished with a plume, by which ad mirable mechanism they perform long aërial journeys, crossing lakes and deserts, and are thus disseminated far from the original plant, and have much the appearance of a Shut tlecock as they fly. The wings are of different construction, some being like a diver gent tuft of hairs, others are branched like feathers, some are elevated from the crown of the feed by a slender foot-stalk, which gives them a very elegant appearance, others sit immediately on the crown of the seed.

Nature has many other curious vegetable contrivances for the dispersion of seeds: see note on Helianthus. But perhaps none of them has more the appearance of design than the admirable apparatus of Tillandsia for this purpose. This plant grows on the branches of trees, like the misleto, and never on the ground; the seeds are furnished with many long threads on their crowns; which, as they are driven forwards by the winds, wrap round the arms of trees, and thus hold them last till they vegetate. This is very analogous to the migration of Spiders on the gossamer, who are said to attach themselves to the end of a long thread, and rise thus to the tops of trees or buildings, as the accidental breezes carry them.

8 "Bear on broad wings your Votress to the skies.
9 "How sweetly mutable yon orient hues,
10 "As Morn's fair hand her opening roses strews;
11 "How bright, when Iris blending many a ray
12 "Binds in embroider'd wreath the brow of Day;
13 "Soft, when the pendant Moon with lustres pale
14 "O'er heaven's blue arch unsurls her milky veil;
15 "While from the north long threads of silver light
16 "Dart on swift shuttles o'er the tissued night!
[Page 61]
17 Breathe soft, ye Zephyrs! hear my fervent sighs,
18 "Bear on broad wings your Votress to the skies! "
19 Plume over plume in long divergent lines
20 On whale-bone ribs the fair Mechanic joins;
21 Inlays with eider down the silken strings,
22 And weaves in wide expanse Daedalian wings;
23 Round her bold sons the waving pennons binds,
24 And walks with angel-step upon the winds.
25 So on the shoreless air the intrepid Gaul
26 Launch'd the vast concave of his bouyant ball.
27 Journeying on high, the silken castle glides
28 Bright as a meteor through the azure tides;
29 O'er towns and towers and temples wins its way,
30 Or mounts sublime, and gilds the vault of day.
31 Silent with upturn'd eyes unbreathing crowds
32 Pursue the floating wonder to the clouds;
33 And, flush'd with transport or benumb'd with fear,
34 Watch, as it rises, the diminish'd sphere.
[Page 62]
35 Now less and less! and now a speck is seen!
36 And now the fleeting rack obtrudes between!
37 With bended knees, raised arms, and suppliant brow
38 To every shrine with mingled cries they vow.
39 "Save Him, ye Saints! who o'er the good preside;
40 "Bear Him, ye Winds! ye Stars benignant! guide.
41 The calm Philosopher in ether sails,
42 Views broader stars, and breathes in purer gales;
43 Sees, like a map, in many a waving line
44 Round Earth's blue plains her lucid waters shine;
45 Sees at his feet the forky lightnings glow,
46 And hears innocuous thunders roar below.
47 Rise, great MONGOLFIER! urge thy venturous flight
48 High o'er the Moon's pale ice-reflected light;
49 High o'er the pearly Star, whose beamy horn
50 Hangs in the east, gay harbinger of morn;
51 Leave the red eye of Mars on rapid wing,
52 Jove's silver guards, and Saturn's dusky ring;
53 Leave the fair beams, which, issuing from afar,
54 Play with new lustres round the Georgian star;
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55 Shun with strong oars the Sun's attractive throne,
56 The sparkling zodiack, and the milky zone;
57 Where headlong Comets with increasing force
58 Through other systems bend their blazing course,
59 For thee Cassiope her chair withdraws,
60 For thee the Bear retracts his shaggy paws;
[*]

For thee the Bear. l. 60. Tibi jam brachia contrahit ardens Scorpius. Virg. Georg. l. 1. 34. A new star appeared in Cassiope's chair in 1572. Herschel's Construction of the Heavens. Phil. Trans. V. 75. p. 266.

Linum. l. 67. Flax Five males and five females. It was first found on the banks of the Nile. The Linum Lusitanicum, or portigal flax, has ten males: see the note on Curcuma. Isis was said to invent spinning and weaving: mankind before that time were clothed with the skins of animals. The fable of Arachne was to compliment this new art of spinning and weaving, supposed to surpass in fineness the web of the Spider.

61 High o'er the North thy golden orb shall roll,
62 And blaze eternal round the wondering pole.
63 So Argo, rising from the southern main,
64 Lights with new stars the blue etherial plain;
65 With favoring beams the mariner protects,
66 And the bold course, which first it steer'd, directs.
67 Inventress of the Woof, fair LINA flings
68 The flying shuttle through the dancing strings;
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69 Inlays the broider'd west with flowery dyes,
70 Quick beat the reeds, the pedals fall and rise;
71 Slow from the beam the lengths of warp unwind,
72 And dance and nod the massy weights behind.
73 Taught by her labours, from the fertile soil
74 Immortal ISIS clothed the banks of Nile;
75 And fair ARACHNE with her rival loom
76 Found undeserved a melancholy doom.
77 Five Sister-nymphs with dewy fingers twine
78 The beamy flax, and stretch the fibre-line;
79 Quick eddying threads from rapid spindles reel,
80 Or whirl with beaten foot the dizzy wheel.
81 Charm'd round the busy Fair five shepherds press,
82 Praise the nice texture of their snowy dress,
83 Admire the Artists, and the art approve,
84 And tell with honey'd words the tale of love.
85 So now, where Derwent rolls his dusky floods
86 Through vaulted mountains, and a night of woods,
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87 The Nymph, GOSSYPIA, treads the velvet sod,
[*]

Gossypia. l. 87. Gossypium. The cotton plant. On the river Derwent near Matlock in Derbyshire, Sir RICHARD ARKWRIGHT has erected his curious and magnificent machinery for spinning cotton; which had been in vain attempted by many ingenious artists before him. The cotton-wool is first picked from the pods and seeds by women. It is then crded by cylindrical cards which move against each other, with different ve locities. It is taken from these by an iron-hand or comb, which has a motion similar to that of scratching, and takes the wool off the cards longitudinally in respect to the fibres or staple, producing a continued line loosely cohering, called the Rove or Roving. This Rove, yet very loosely twisted, is then received or drawn into a whirling canister, and is rolled by the centrifugal force in spiral lines within it; being yet too tender for the spindle. It is then passed between two pairs of rollers; the second pair moving faster than the first elongate the thread with greater equality than can be done by the hand; and is then twisted on spoles or bobbins.

The great fertility of the Cotton-plant in these fine flexile threads, whilst these from Flax, Hemp, and Nettles, or from the bark of the Mulberry-tree, require a previous pu trefection of the parenchymatous substance, and much mechanical labour, and afterwards bleaching, renders this plant of great importance to the world. And since Sir Richard Arkwright's ingenious machine has not only greatly abbreviated and simplesied the labour and art of carding and spinning the Cotton-wool, but performs both these cir cumstances better than can be done by hand, it is probable, that the clothing of this snall seed will become the principal clothing of mankind; though animal wool and silk may be preferable in colder climates, as they are more imperfect conductors of heat, and are thence a warmer clothing.

88 And warms with rosy smiles the watery God;
89 His ponderous oars to slender spindles turns,
90 And pours o'er massy wheels his foamy urns;
91 With playful charms her hoary lover wins,
92 And wields his trident, while the Monarch spins.
93 First with nice eye emerging Naiads cull
94 From leathery pods the vegetable wool;
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95 With wiry teeth revolving cards releas
96 The tanged knots, and smooth the ravell'd fleece;
97 Next moves the iron-hand with fingers fine,
98 Combs the wide card, and forms the eternal line;
99 Slow, with soft lips, the whirling Can acquires
100 The tender skeins, and wraps in rising spires;
101 With quicken'd pace successive rollers move,
102 And these retain, and those extend the rove;
103 Then fly the spoles, the rapid axles glow;
104 And slowly circumvolves the labouring wheel below.
105 PAPYRA, throned upon the banks of Nile,
[*]

Cyperus. Papyrus. l. 105. Three males, one female. The leaf of this plant was first used for paper, whence the word paper; and leaf, or folium, for a fold of a book. Af terwards the bark of a species of mulberry was used; whence liber signifies a book, and the bark of a tree. Before the invention of letters mankind may be said to have been perpatually in their infancy, as the arts of one age or country generally died with their inventors. Whence arose the policy, which still continues in Indostan, of obliging the son to practise the profession of his father. After the discovery of letters, the facts of Astronomy and Chemistry became recorded in written language, though the antient hieroglyphic characters for the planets and metals continue in use at this day. The an tiquity of the invention of music, of astronomical observations, and the manufacture of Gold and Iron, are recorded in Scripture.

About twenty letters, ten cyphers, and seven crotches, represent by their numerous combinations all our ideas and sensations! the musical characters are probably arrived at their perfection, unless emphasis, and tone, and swell could be exprssed, as well as note and time. Charles the Twelfth of Sweden had a design to have introduced a numeration by squares