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Title: The Botanic Garden. Part II. - Containing the Loves of the Plants. a Poem. - With Philosophical Notes.
Author: Darwin, Erasmus, 1731-1802
Language: English
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[Illustration: FLORA at Play with CUPID.]



THE

BOTANIC GARDEN.

PART II.

CONTAINING

THE LOVES OF THE PLANTS.

A POEM.

WITH

PHILOSOPHICAL NOTES.



VOLUME THE SECOND.

        VIVUNT IN VENEREM FRONDES; NEMUS OMNE PER ALTUM
        FELIX ARBOR AMAT; NUTANT AD MUTUA PALMÆ
        FÆDERA, POPULEO SUSPIRAT POPULUS ICTU,
        ET PLATANI PLATANIS, ALNOQUE ASSIBILAT ALNUS.

                                                     CLAUD. EPITH.


THE SECOND EDITION.


LONDON:

PRINTED BY J. NICHOLS,

FOR J. JOHNSON, ST. PAUL'S CHURCH YARD. M, DCC, XC.


ADVERTISEMENT.

The general design of the following sheets is to inlist Imagination
under the banner of Science, and to lead her votaries from the looser
analogies, which dress out the imagery of poetry, to the stricter ones,
which form the ratiocination of philosophy. While their particular design
is to induce the ingenious to cultivate the knowledge of BOTANY; by
introducing them to the vestibule of that delightful science, and
recommending to their attention the immortal works of the Swedish
Naturalist LINNEUS.

In the first Poem, or Economy of Vegetation, the physiology of Plants
is delivered; and the operation of the Elements, as far as they may be
supposed to affect the growth of Vegetables. But the publication of this
part is deferred to another year, for the purpose of repeating some
experiments on vegetation, mentioned in the notes. In the second poem, or
LOVES OF THE PLANTS, which is here presented to the Reader, the Sexual
System of LINNEUS is explained, with the remarkable properties of many
particular plants.

The author has withheld this work, (excepting a few pages) many years
from the press, according to the rule of Horace, hoping to have rendered
it more worthy the acceptance of the public,--but finds at length, that
he is less able, from disuse, to correct the poetry; and, from want of
leizure, to amplify the annotations.

In this second edition, the plants Amaryllis, Orchis, and Cannabis are
inserted with two additional prints of flowers; some alterations are made
in Gloriosa, and Tulipa; and the description of the Salt-mines in Poland
is removed to the first poem on the Economy of Vegetation.



PREFACE.


Linneus has divided the vegetable world into 24 Classes; these Classes
into about 120 Orders; these Orders contain about 2000 Families, or
Genera; and these Families about 20,000 Species; besides the innumerable
Varieties, which the accidents of climate or cultivation have added to
these Species.

The Classes are distinguished from each other in this ingenious system,
by the number, situation, adhesion, or reciprocal proportion of the males
in each flower. The Orders, in many of these Classes, are distinguished
by the number, or other circumstances of the females. The Families, or
Genera, are characterized by the analogy of all the parts of the flower
or fructification. The Species are distinguished by the foliage of the
plant; and the Varieties by any accidental circumstance of colour, taste,
or odour; the seeds of these do not always produce plants similar to the
parent; as in our numerous fruit-trees and garden flowers; which are
propagated by grafts or layers.

The first eleven Classes include the plants, in whose flowers both the
sexes reside; and in which the Males or Stamens are neither united, nor
unequal in height when at maturity; and are therefore distinguished from
each other simply by the number of males in each flower, as is seen in
the annexed PLATE, copied from the Dictionaire Botanique of M. BULLIARD,
in which the numbers of each division refer to the Botanic Classes.

CLASS I. ONE MALE, _Monandria_; includes the plants which possess but One
Stamen in each flower.

II. TWO MALES, _Diandria_. Two Stamens.

III. THREE MALES, _Triandria_. Three Stamens.

IV. FOUR MALES, _Tetrandria_. Four Stamens.

V. FIVE MALES, _Pentandria_. Five Stamens.

VI. SIX MALES, _Hexandria_. Six Stamens.

VII. SEVEN MALES, _Heptandria_. Seven Stamens.

VIII. EIGHT MALES, _Octandria_. Eight Stamens.

IX. NINE MALES, _Enneandria_. Nine Stamens.

X. TEN MALES, _Decandria_. Ten Stamens.

XI. TWELVE MALES, _Dodecandria_. Twelve Stamens.


The next two Classes are distinguished not only by the number of equal
and disunited males, as in the above eleven Classes, but require an
additional circumstance to be attended to, _viz._ whether the males or
stamens be situated on the calyx, or not.

XII. TWENTY MALES, _Icosandria_. Twenty Stamens inserted on the calyx or
flower-cup; as is well seen in the last Figure of No. xii. in the annexed
Plate.

XIII. MANY MALES, _Polyandria_. From 20 to 100 Stamens, which do not
adhere to the calyx; as is well seen in the first Figure of No. xiii. in
the annexed Plate.


In the next two Classes, not only the number of stamens are to be
observed, but the reciprocal proportions in respect to height.

XIV. TWO POWERS, _Didynamia_. Four Stamens, of which two are lower than
the other two; as is seen in the two first Figures of No. xiv.

XV. FOUR POWERS, _Tetradynamia_. Six Stamens; of which four are taller,
and the two lower ones opposite to each other; as is seen in the third
Figure of the upper row in No. 15.

The five subsequent Classes are distinguished not by the number of the
males, or stamens, but by their union or adhesion, either by their
anthers, or filaments, or to the female or pistil.

XVI. ONE BROTHERHOOD, _Monadelphia_. Many Stamens united by their
filaments into one company; as in the second Figure below of No. xvi.

XVII. TWO BROTHERHOODS, _Diadelphia_. Many Stamens united by their
filaments into two Companies; as in the uppermost Fig. No. xvii.

XVIII. MANY BROTHERHOODS, _Polyadelphia_. Many Stamens united by their
filaments into three or more companies, as in No. xviii.

XIX. CONFEDERATE MALES, _Syngenesia_. Many Stamens united by their
anthers; as in first and second Figures, No. xix.

XX. FEMININE MALES, _Gynandria_. Many Stamens attached to the pistil.


The next three Classes consist of plants, whose flowers contain but one
of the sexes; or if some of them contain both sexes, there are other
flowers accompanying them of but one sex.

XXI. ONE HOUSE, _Monoecia_. Male flowers and female flowers separate, but
on the same plant.

XXII. TWO HOUSES, _Dioecia_. Male flowers and female flowers separate, on
different plants.

XXIII. POLYGAMY, _Polygamia_. Male and female flowers on one or more
plants, which have at the same time flowers of both sexes.


The last Class contains the plants whose flowers are not discernible.

XXIV. CLANDESTINE MARRIAGE, _Cryptogamia_.

The Orders of the first thirteen Classes are founded on the number
of Females, or Pistils, and distinguished by the names, ONE FEMALE,
_Monogynia_. TWO FEMALES, _Digynia_. THREE FEMALES, _Trigynia_, &c. as is
seen in No. i. which represents a plant of one male, one female; and in
the first Figure of No. xi. which represents a flower with twelve males,
and three females; (for, where the pistils have no apparent styles, the
summits, or stigmas, are to be numbered) and in the first Figure of No.
xii. which represents a flower with twenty males and many females; and in
the last Figure of the same No. which has twenty males and one female;
and in No. xiii. which represents a flower with many males and many
females.

The Class of TWO POWERS, is divided into two natural Orders; into such
as have their seeds naked at the bottom of the calyx, or flower cup; and
such as have their seeds covered; as is seen in No. xiv. Fig. 3. and 5.

The Class of FOUR POWERS, is divided also into two Orders; in one of
these the seeds are inclosed in a silicule, as in _Shepherd's purse_.
No. xiv. Fig. 5. In the other they are inclosed in a silique, as in
_Wall-flower_. Fig. 4.

In all the other Classes, excepting the Classes Confederate Males, and
Clandestine Marriage, as the character of each Class is distinguished by
the situations of the males; the character of the Orders is marked by the
numbers of them. In the Class ONE BROTHERHOOD, No. xvi. Fig. 3. the Order
of ten males is represented. And in the Class TWO BROTHERHOODS, No. xvii.
Fig. 2. the Order ten males is represented.

In the Class CONFEDERATE MALES, the Orders are chiefly distinguished by
the fertility or barrenness of the florets of the disk, or ray of the
compound flower.

And in the Class of CLANDESTINE MARRIAGE, the four Orders are termed
FERNS, MOSSES, FLAGS, and FUNGUSSES.

The Orders are again divided into Genera, or Families, which are all
natural associations, and are described from the general resemblances of
the parts of fructification, in respect to their number, form, situation,
and reciprocal proportion. These are the Calyx, or Flower-cup, as seen in
No. iv. Fig. 1. No. x. Fig. 1. and 3. No. xiv. Fig. 1. 2. 3. 4. Second,
the Corol, or Blossom, as seen in No. i. ii. &c. Third, the Males, or
Stamens; as in No. iv. Fig. 1. and No. viii. Fig. 1. Fourth, the Females,
or Pistils; as in No. i. No. xii. Fig. 1. No. xiv. Fig. 3. No. xv. Fig.
3. Fifth, the Pericarp or Fruit-vessel; as No. xv. Fig. 4. 5. No. xvii.
Fig. 2. Sixth, the Seeds.

The illustrious author of the Sexual System of Botany, in his preface to
his account of the Natural Orders, ingeniously imagines, that one
plant of each Natural Order was created in the beginning; and that the
intermarriages of these produced one plant of every Genus, or Family; and
that the intermarriages of these Generic, or Family plants, produced all
the Species: and lastly, that the intermarriages of the individuals of
the Species produced the Varieties.

In the following POEM, the name or number of the Class or Order of each
plant is printed in italics; as "_Two_ brother swains." "_One_ House
contains them." and the word "_secret_" expresses the Class of
Clandestine Marriage.

The Reader, who wishes to become further acquainted with this delightful
field of science, is advised to study the words of the Great Master, and
is apprized that they are exactly and literally translated into English,
by a Society at LICHFIELD, in four Volumes Octavo.

To the SYSTEM OF VEGETABLES is prefixed a copious explanation of all the
Terms used in Botany, translated from a thesis of Dr. ELMSGREEN, with the
plates and references from the Philosophia Botannica of LINNEUS.

To the FAMILIES OF PLANTS is prefixed a Catalogue of the names of plants,
and other Botanic Terms, carefully accented, to shew their proper
pronunciation; a work of great labour, and which was much wanted, not
only by beginners, but by proficients in BOTANY.


       *       *       *       *       *


PROEM.


GENTLE READER!

Lo, here a CAMERA OBSCURA is presented to thy view, in which are lights
and shades dancing on a whited canvas, and magnified into apparent
life!--if thou art perfectly at leasure for such trivial amusement, walk
in, and view the wonders of my INCHANTED GARDEN.

Whereas P. OVIDIUS NASO, a great Necromancer in the famous Court of
AUGUSTUS CAESAR, did by art poetic transmute Men, Women, and even Gods
and Goddesses, into Trees and Flowers; I have undertaken by similar
art to restore some of them to their original animality, after having
remained prisoners so long in their respective vegetable mansions; and
have here exhibited them before thee. Which thou may'st contemplate
as diverse little pictures suspended over the chimney of a Lady's
dressing-room, _connected only by a slight festoon of ribbons_. And
which, though thou may'st not be acquainted with the originals, may amuse
thee by the beauty of their persons, their graceful attitudes, or the
brilliancy of their dress.

FAREWELL.

[Illustration]



        THE

        LOVES

        OF THE

        PLANTS.



        CANTO I.

        Descend, ye hovering Sylphs! aerial Quires,
        And sweep with little hands your silver lyres;
        With fairy footsteps print your grassy rings,
        Ye Gnomes! accordant to the tinkling strings;
5      While in soft notes I tune to oaten reed
        Gay hopes, and amorous sorrows of the mead.--
        From giant Oaks, that wave their branches dark,
        To the dwarf Moss, that clings upon their bark,
        What Beaux and Beauties crowd the gaudy groves,
10    And woo and win their vegetable Loves.
        How Snowdrops cold, and blue-eyed Harebels blend
        Their tender tears, as o'er the stream they bend;
        The lovesick Violet, and the Primrose pale
        Bow their sweet heads, and whisper to the gale;
15    With secret sighs the Virgin Lily droops,
        And jealous Cowslips hang their tawny cups.
        How the young Rose in beauty's damask pride
        Drinks the warm blushes of his bashful bride;
        With honey'd lips enamour'd Woodbines meet,
20    Clasp with fond arms, and mix their kisses sweet.--

        Stay thy soft-murmuring waters, gentle Rill;
        Hush, whispering Winds, ye ruflling Leaves, be still;
        Rest, silver Butterflies, your quivering wings;
        Alight, ye Beetles, from your airy rings;


[_Vegetable Loves_. l. 10. Linneus, the celebrated Swedish naturalist,
has demonstrated, that ail flowers contain families of males or females,
or both; and on their marriages has constructed his invaluable system of
Botany.]


25    Ye painted Moths, your gold-eyed plumage furl,
        Bow your wide horns, your spiral trunks uncurl;
        Glitter, ye Glow-worms, on your mossy beds;
        Descend, ye Spiders, on your lengthen'd threads;
        Slide here, ye horned Snails, with varnish'd shells;
30    Ye Bee-nymphs, listen in your waxen cells!--

        BOTANIC MUSE! who in this latter age
        Led by your airy hand the Swedish sage,
        Bad his keen eye your secret haunts explore
        On dewy dell, high wood, and winding shore;
35    Say on each leaf how tiny Graces dwell;
        How laugh the Pleasures in a blossom's bell;
        How insect Loves arise on cobweb wings,
        Aim their light shafts, and point their little stings.

        First the tall CANNA lifts his curled brow
40    Erect to heaven, and plights his nuptial vow;


[_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.]


        The virtuous pair, in milder regions born,
        Dread the rude blast of Autumn's icy morn;
        Round the chill fair he folds his crimson vest,
        And clasps the timorous beauty to his breast.

45    Thy love, CALLITRICHE, _two_ Virgins share,
        Smit with thy starry eye and radiant hair;--
        On the green margin sits the youth, and laves
        His floating train of tresses in the waves;
        Sees his fair features paint the streams that pass,
50    And bends for ever o'er the watery glass.

        _Two_ brother swains, of COLLIN'S gentle name,
        The same their features, and their forms the same,


[_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
float 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.]

[_Collinsonia_. l. 51. Two males one female. I have lately observed a
very singular circumstance 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 angustisolium,
rose bay willow herb, bends down amongst the males for several days,
and becomes upright again when impregnated.]

[_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
papilionaceous, 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.]


        With rival love for fair COLLINIA sigh,
        Knit the dark brow, and roll the unsteady eye.
55    With sweet concern the pitying beauty mourns,
        And sooths with smiles the jealous pair by turns.

        Sweet blooms GENISTA in the myrtle shade,
        And _ten_ fond brothers woo the haughty maid.
        _Two_ knights before thy fragrant altar bend,
60    Adored MELISSA! and _two_ squires attend.
        MEADIA'S soft chains _five_ suppliant beaux confess,
        And hand in hand the laughing belle address;
        Alike to all, she bows with wanton air,
        Rolls her dark eye, and waves her golden hair.


[_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 males 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 Gloriosa, 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.]

[_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 formed, it erects all the flower-stalks to prevent
them from falling 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 slyle. Hence it became
necessary, 1st. to furnish the stamens with long anthers. 2d. To lengthen
and bend the peduncle or flower-slalk, that the  flower might hang
downwards. 3d. To reflect the petals. 4th. To erect these peduncles 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.]

[Illustration: Meadia]


65    Woo'd with long care, CURCUMA cold and shy
        Meets her fond husband with averted eye:
        _Four_ beardless youths the obdurate beauty move
        With soft attentions of Platonic love.

        With vain desires the pensive ALCEA burns,
70    And, like sad ELOISA, loves and mourns.
        The freckled IRIS owns a fiercer flame,
        And _three_ unjealous husbands wed the dame.
        CUPRESSUS dark disdains his dusky bride,
        _One_ dome contains them, but _two_ beds divide.
75    The proud OSYRIS flies his angry fair,
        _Two_ houses hold the fashionable pair.


[_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 Linneus eunuchs. The flax of our country
has ten filaments, and but five of them are terminated with anthers;
the Portugal flax has ten perfect males, or stamens; 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 unprolific 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 generally replete 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 progressive formation of the solid parts of the
terraqueous globe, and consonant to the dignity of the Creator of all
things.]

[_Alcea_, l. 69. Flore pleno. Double hollyhock. The double flowers,
so much admired 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 growing 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 daisy and feverfew; for other kinds of vegetable monsters, see
Plantago.

The perianth is not changed in double flowers, hence the genus or family
may be often discovered 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 number; hence the natural number of the
petals is easily discovered. As in poppies, roses, and Nigella, or devil
in a bulb. Phil. Bot. p. 128.]

[_Iris_. l. 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.]

[_Cupressus_. l. 73. Cypress. One House. 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 distance, 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; Sandarach is procured from common juniper; and
Incense 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. coniferæ. 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 hundred 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 cedre, & lavi servanda cupresso._

[_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.]


        With strange deformity PLANTAGO treads,
        A Monster-birth! and lifts his hundred heads;
        Yet with soft love a gentle belle he charms,
80    And clasps the beauty in his hundred arms.
        So hapless DESDEMONA, fair and young,
        Won by OTHELLO'S captivating tongue,
        Sigh'd o'er each strange and piteous tale, distress'd,
        And sunk enamour'd on his sooty breast.

85    _Two_ gentle shepherds and their sister-wives
        With thee, ANTHOXA! lead ambrosial lives;


[_Plantago_. l. 77. Rosea. Rose Plantain. In this vegetable monster the
bractes, or divisions of the spike, become wonderfully enlarged; and are
converted into leaves. The chaffy 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, rose 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.

[_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 instead 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 Dometorum, fescue 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 bulb, 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 oviparous in autumn. A. T. Bladh. Amoen. Acad.
V. 7.]


        Where the wide heath in purple pride extends,
        And scatter'd furze its golden lustre blends,
        Closed in a green recess, unenvy'd lot!
90    The blue smoak rises from their turf-built cot;
        Bosom'd in fragrance blush their infant train,
        Eye the warm sun, or drink the silver rain.

        The fair OSMUNDA seeks the silent dell,
        The ivy canopy, and dripping cell;
95    There hid in shades _clandestine_ rites approves,
        Till the green progeny betrays her loves.


[_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.]


        With charms despotic fair CHONDRILLA reigns
        O'er the soft hearts of _five_ fraternal swains;
        If sighs the changeful nymph, alike they mourn;
100  And, if she smiles, with rival raptures burn.
        So, tun'd in unison, Eolian Lyre!
        Sounds in sweet symphony thy kindred wire;
        Now, gently swept by Zephyr's vernal wings,
        Sink in soft cadences the love-sick strings;
105  And now with mingling chords, and voices higher,
        Peal the full anthems of the aerial choir.


[_Chondrilla_. l. 97. Of the class Confederate Males. The numerous
florets, which constitute 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 of the floret be
touched, all the filaments which support the cylindrical anther will
contrast 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 Calcitrapoides, and on artichokes, and
globe-thistles. Discourse on the irratability of plants. Dodsley.]


        _Five_ sister-nymphs to join Diana's train
        With thee, fair LYCHNIS! vow,--but vow in vain;
        Beneath one roof resides the virgin band,
110  Flies the fond swain, and scorns his offer'd hand;
        But when soft hours on breezy pinions move,
        And smiling May attunes her lute to love,
        Each wanton beauty, trick'd in all her grace,
        Shakes the bright dew-drops from her blushing face;
115  In gay undress displays her rival charms,
        And calls her wondering lovers to her arms.

        When the young Hours amid her tangled hair
        Wove the fresh rose-bud, and the lily fair,


[_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.]


        Proud GLORIOSA led _three_ chosen swains,
120  The blushing captives of her virgin chains.--
        --When Time's rude hand a bark of wrinkles spread
        Round her weak limbs, and silver'd o'er her head,
        _Three_ other youths her riper years engage,
        The flatter'd victims of her wily age.

125  So, in her wane of beauty, NINON won
        With fatal smiles her gay unconscious son.--


[_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 maturity, 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. Perhaps a difference
in the time of their maturity obtains in all these flowers, which have
numerous stamens. In the Kahnia 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.]

[Illustration: Gloriosa Superba]


        Clasp'd in his arms she own'd a mother's name,--
        "Desist, rash youth! restrain your impious flame,
        "First on that bed your infant-form was press'd,
130  "Born by my throes, and nurtured at my breast."--
        Back as from death he sprung, with wild amaze
        Fierce on the fair he fix'd his ardent gaze;
        Dropp'd on one knee, his frantic arms outspread,
        And stole a guilty glance toward the bed;
135  Then breath'd from quivering lips a whisper'd vow,
        And bent on heaven his pale repentant brow;
        "Thus, thus!" he cried, and plung'd the furious dart,
        And life and love gush'd mingled from his heart.

        The fell SILENE and her sisters fair,
140  Skill'd in destruction, spread the viscous snare.


[_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
wonderful contrivance to prevent the depredations of insects: The leaves
are armed with long teeth, like the antennæ 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
following 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 endeavour 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 Cucúbalus 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.]

[Illustration: Dionna Muscipula]

[Illustration: Amaryllis formosissima]


        The harlot-band _ten_ lofty bravoes screen,
        And frowning guard the magic nets unseen.--
        Haste, glittering nations, tenants of the air,
        Oh, steer from hence your viewless course afar!
145  If with soft words, sweet blushes, nods, and smiles,
        The _three_ dread Syrens lure you to their toils,
        Limed by their art in vain you point your stings,
        In vain the efforts of your whirring wings!--
        Go, seek your gilded mates and infant hives,
150  Nor taste the honey purchas'd with your lives!

        When heaven's high vault condensing clouds deform,
        Fair AMARYLLIS flies the incumbent storm,


[_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 martagon,
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 perpendicular 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 contrivance for this purpose in the Hemerocallis flava: the long
pistil often is bent somewhat like the capital letter _N_, with design to
shorten it, and thus to bring the stigma amongst the anthers.]


        Seeks with unsteady step the shelter'd vale,
        And turns her blushing beauties from the gale.--
155   _Six_ rival youths, with soft concern impress'd,
        Calm all her fears, and charm her cares to rest.--
        So shines at eve the sun-illumin'd fane,
        Lifts its bright cross, and waves its golden vane;
        From every breeze the polish'd axle turns,
160  And high in air the dancing meteor burns.

        _Four_ of the giant brood with ILEX stand,
        Each grasps a thousand arrows in his hand;


[_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 spinæ, 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
venomous 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 curious 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 conscious 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 landmarks 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.]


        A thousand steely points on every scale
        Form the bright terrors of his bristly male.--
165  So arm'd, immortal Moore uncharm'd the spell,
        And slew the wily dragon of the well.--
        Sudden with rage their _injur'd_ bosoms burn,
        Retort the insult, or the wound return;
        _Unwrong'd_, as gentle as the breeze that sweeps
170  The unbending harvests or undimpled deeps,
        They guard, the Kings of Needwood's wide domains,
        Their sister-wives and fair infantine trains;
        Lead the lone pilgrim through the trackless glade,
        Or guide in leafy wilds the wand'ring maid.

175  So WRIGHT's bold pencil from Vesuvio's hight
        Hurls his red lavas to the troubled night;
        From Calpè starts the intolerable flash,
        Skies burst in flames, and blazing oceans dash;--
        Or bids in sweet repose his shades recede,
180  Winds the still vale, and slopes the velvet mead;
        On the pale stream expiring Zephyrs sink,
        And Moonlight sleeps upon its hoary brink.

        Gigantic Nymph! the fair KLEINHOVIA reigns,
        The grace and terror of Orixa's plains;


[_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.]

[_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 wasting away of the earth by the river, near
which it grew, measured 110 feet long; and yet these stupendous trees
never exceed 70 feet in height. Voyage to Senegal.]


        O'er her warm cheek the blush of beauty swims,
        And nerves Herculean bend her sinewy limbs;
        With frolic eye she views the affrighted throng,
190  And shakes the meadows, as she towers along,
        With playful violence displays her charms,
        And bears her trembling lovers in her arms.
        So fair THALESTRIS shook her plumy crest,
        And bound in rigid mail her jutting breast;
195  Poised her long lance amid the walks of war,
        And Beauty thunder'd from Bellona's car;
        Greece arm'd in vain, her captive heroes wove
        The chains of conquest with the wreaths of love.

        When o'er the cultured lawns and dreary wastes
200  Retiring Autumn flings her howling blasts,
        Bends in tumultuous waves the struggling woods,
        And showers their leafy honours on the floods,
        In withering heaps collects the flowery spoil,
        And each chill insect sinks beneath the soil;
205  Quick flies fair TULIPA the loud alarms,
        And folds her infant closer in her arms;
        In some lone cave, secure pavilion, lies,
        And waits the courtship of serener skies.--
        So, six cold moons, the Dormouse charm'd to rest,
210  Indulgent Sleep! beneath thy eider breast,
        In fields of Fancy climbs the kernel'd groves,
        Or shares the golden harvest with his loves.--


[_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 include 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 Hyacinths, but the
individual flowers of these being less, they are not so easily differed,
or so conspicuous to the naked eye.

In the seeds of the Nymphæa Nelumbo, the leaves of the plant are seen
so distinctly, that Mr. Ferber found 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 Pedicularia
hirsuta, yet lying in the earth; and in the gems of Daphne Mezereon;
and at the base of Osmunda Lunaria, a perfect plant of the future year
compleat in all its parts. Ibid.]


        But bright from earth amid the troubled air
        Ascends fair COLCHICA with radiant hair,
215  Warms the cold bosom of the hoary year,
        And lights with Beauty's blaze the dusky sphere.
        _Three_ blushing Maids the intrepid Nymph attend,
        And _six_ gay Youths, enamour'd train! defend.
        So shines with silver guards the Georgian star,
220  And drives on Night's blue arch his glittering car;
        Hangs o'er the billowy clouds his lucid form,
        Wades through the mist, and dances in the storm.

[_Colchicum autumnale_. I. 214. Autumnal Meadow-saffron. 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 seed-vessel rises from the ground; the
seeds ripen in May, contrary to the usual habits of vegetables, which
slower 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 insects, and thus guards the seed-vessel during the
winter. The defoliation 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.]


        GREAT HELIANTHUS guides o'er twilight plains
        In gay solemnity his Dervise-trains;
225  Marshall'd in _fives_ each gaudy band proceeds,
        Each gaudy band a plumed Lady leads;
        With zealous step he climbs the upland lawn,
        And bows in homage to the rising dawn;
        Imbibes with eagle-eye the golden ray,
230  And watches, as it moves, the orb of day.


[_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 males;" 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.]

[_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. Carlïna.]


        Queen of the marsh, imperial DROSERA treads
        Rush-fringed banks, and moss-embroider'd beds;
        Redundant folds of glossy silk surround
        Her slender waist, and trail upon the ground;
235  _Five_ sister-nymphs collect with graceful ease,
        Or spread the floating purple to the breeze;
        And _five_ fair youths with duteous love comply
        With each soft mandate of her moving eye.
        As with sweet grace her snowy neck she bows,
240  A zone of diamonds trembles round her brows;
        Bright shines the silver halo, as she turns;
        And, as she steps, the living lustre burns.


[_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 mucilage,
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 insects from infesting the leaves. As the
ear-wax in animals seems to be in part designed to prevent fleas and
other insects 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 hiving described
the motion of the Dionæa, adds, that a similar appearance has been
observed in the leaves of two species of Drosera.]


        Fair LONICERA prints the dewy lawn,
        And decks with brighter blush the vermil dawn;
245  Winds round the shadowy rocks, and pansied vales,
        And scents with sweeter breath the summer-gales;


[_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 insects. 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, monkshood, the
nectaries stand upright like two horns covered with a hood, which abounds
with such acrid matter that no insects 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 explained at large in the notes on part
the first.

Many insects 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 Convolvuli, 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 Conserva polymorpha.]


        With artless grace and native ease she charms,
        And bears the Horn of Plenty in her arms.
        _Five_ rival Swains their tender cares unfold,
250  And watch with eye askance the treasured gold.

        Where rears huge Tenerif his azure crest,
        Aspiring DRABA builds her eagle nest;
        Her pendant eyry icy caves surround,
        Where erst Volcanos min'd the rocky ground.
255  Pleased round the Fair _four_ rival Lords ascend
        The shaggy steeps, _two_ menial youths attend.
        High in the setting ray the beauty stands,
        And her tall shadow waves on distant lands.


[_Draba_. I. 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?]


        Stay, bright inhabitant of air, alight,
260  Ambitious VISCA, from thy eagle-flight!--
        ----Scorning the sordid soil, aloft she springs,
        Shakes her white plume, and claps her golden wings;
        High o'er the fields of boundless ether roves,
        And seeks amid the clouds her soaring loves!

265  Stretch'd on her mossy couch, in trackless deeps,
        Queen of the coral groves, ZOSTERA sleeps;


[_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 Tillandsia, 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 countries the
peasants brush their apple-trees annually.]

[_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 Scyllcea. 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 still retain it, explode
if they be wetted, like an eolopile suddenly exposed to a strong heat.
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
Vallisneria 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.]


        The silvery sea-weed matted round her bed,
        And distant surges murmuring o'er her head.--
        High in the flood her azure dome ascends,
270  The crystal arch on crystal columns bends;
        Roof'd with translucent shell the turrets blaze,
        And far in ocean dart their colour'd rays;
        O'er the white floor successive shadows move,
        As rise and break the ruffled waves above.--
275  Around the nymph her mermaid-trains repair,
        And weave with orient pearl her radiant hair;
        With rapid fins she cleaves the watery way,
        Shoots like a diver meteor up to day;
        Sounds a loud conch, convokes a scaly band,
280  Her sea-born lovers, and ascends the strand.

        E'en round the pole the flames of Love aspire,
        And icy bosoms feel the _secret_ fire!--
        Cradled in snow and fann'd by arctic air
        Shines, gentle BAROMETZ! thy golden hair;
285  Rooted in earth each cloven hoof descends,
        And round and round her flexile neck she bends;
        Crops the grey coral moss, and hoary thyme,
        Or laps with rosy tongue the melting rime;
        Eyes with mute tenderness her distant dam,
290  Or seems to bleat, a _Vegetable Lamb_.


[_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. II. 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 externally 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 purpose 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 account, when living animals are
buried in snow, they are not moistened by it; but the cavity enlarges as
the snow dissolves, affording them both a dry and warm habitation.]


         --So, warm and buoyant in his oily mail,
        Gambols on seas of ice the unwieldy Whale;
        Wide-waving fins round floating islands urge
        His bulk gigantic through the troubled surge;
295  With hideous yawn the flying shoals He seeks,
        Or clasps with fringe of horn his massy cheeks;
        Lifts o'er the tossing wave his nostrils bare,
        And spouts pellucid columns into air;
        The silvery arches catch the setting beams,
300  And transient rainbows tremble o'er the streams.

        Weak with nice sense, the chaste MIMOSA stands,
        From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands;
        Oft as light clouds o'er-pass the Summer-glade,
        Alarm'd she trembles at the moving shade;
305  And feels, alive through all her tender form,
        The whisper'd murmurs of the gathering storm;
        Shuts her sweet eye-lids to approaching night;
        And hails with freshen'd charms the rising light.


[_Mimosa_. I. 301. 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, folding their
upper surfaces together, and in part over each other like scales 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 collapse, may it not be owing
to a numbness or paralysis consequent to too violent irritation, like the
faintings of animals from pain or fatigue? I kept a sensitive plant in
a dark room till some hours after day-break: its leaves and leaf-stalks
were collapsed as in its most profound 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.]


        Veil'd, with gay decency and modest pride,
310  Slow to the mosque she moves, an eastern bride;
        There her soft vows unceasing love record,
        Queen of the bright seraglio of her Lord.--
        So sinks or rises with the changeful hour
        The liquid silver in its glassy tower.
315  So turns the needle to the pole it loves,
        With fine librations quivering as it moves.

        All wan and shivering in the leafless glade
        The sad ANEMONE reclined her head;
        Grief on her cheeks had paled the roseate hue,
320  And her sweet eye-lids dropp'd with pearly dew.
        --"See, from bright regions, borne on odorous gales
        The Swallow, herald of the summer, sails;


[_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 melliferous pore
on the claw of each petal. ]

[_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 previously 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. 1. p. 19.]


        "Breathe, gentle AIR! from cherub-lips impart
        Thy balmy influence to my anguish'd heart;
325  Thou, whose soft voice calls forth the tender blooms,
        Whose pencil paints them, and whose breath perfumes;
        O chase the Fiend of Frost, with leaden mace
        Who seals in death-like sleep my hapless race;
        Melt his hard heart, release his iron hand,
330  And give my ivory petals to expand.
        So may each bud, that decks the brow of spring,
        Shed all its incense on thy wafting wing!"--

        To her fond prayer propitious Zephyr yields,
        Sweeps on his sliding shell through azure fields,
335  O'er her fair mansion waves his whispering wand,
        And gives her ivory petals to expand;
        Gives with new life her filial train to rise,
        And hail with kindling smiles the genial skies.
        So shines the Nymph in beauty's blushing pride,
340  When Zephyr wafts her deep calash aside;
        Tears with rude kiss her bosom's gauzy veil,
        And flings the fluttering kerchief to the gale.
        So bright, the folding canopy undrawn,
        Glides the gilt Landau o'er the velvet lawn,

345  Of beaux and belles displays the glittering throng;
        And soft airs fan them, as they roll along.

        Where frowning Snowden bends his dizzy brow
        O'er Conway, listening to the surge below;
        Retiring LICHEN climbs the topmost stone,
350  And 'mid the airy ocean dwells alone.--
        Bright shine the stars unnumber'd _o'er her head_,
        And the cold moon-beam gilds her flinty bed;
        While round the rifted rocks hoarse whirlwinds breathe,
        And dark with thunder sail the clouds _beneath_.--
355  The steepy path her plighted swain pursues,
        And tracks her light step o'er th' imprinted dews,
        Delighted Hymen gives his torch to blaze,
        Winds round the craggs, and lights the mazy ways;


[_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.]


        Sheds o'er their _secret_ vows his influence chaste,
360  And decks with roses the admiring waste.

        High in the front of heaven when Sirius glares,
        And o'er Britannia shakes his fiery hairs;
        When no soft shower descends, no dew distills,
        Her wave-worn channels dry, and mute her rills;
365  When droops the sickening herb, the blossom fades,
        And parch'd earth gapes beneath the withering glades.
        --With languid step fair DYPSACA retreats;
        "Fall gentle dews!" the fainting nymph repeats;
        Seeks the low dell, and in the sultry shade
370  Invokes in vain the Naiads to her aid.--


[_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 insects 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 countries. Nepenthes had a
bucket for the same purpose at the end of every leaf, Burm. Zeyl. 41.
17.]

        _Four_ silvan youths in crystal goblets bear
        The untasted treasure to the grateful fair;
        Pleased from their hands with modest grace she sips,
        And the cool wave reflects her coral lips.

375  With nice selection modest RUBIA blends,
        Her vermil dyes, and o'er the cauldron bends;
        Warm 'mid the rising steam the Beauty glows,
        As blushes in a mist the dewy rose.


[_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. Lipsiæ. This circumstance is worth further attention.
The colouring materials of vegetables, like those which serve the purpose
of tanning, varnishing, and the various medical 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;
Butterflies 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
colour 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 properties of the materials
which possess them.]


        With chemic art _four_ favour'd youths aloof
380  Stain the white fleece, or stretch the tinted woof;
        O'er Age's cheek the warmth of youth diffuse,
        Or deck the pale-eyed nymph in roseate hues.
        So when MEDEA to exulting Greece
        From plunder'd COLCHIS bore the golden fleece;
385  On the loud shore a magic pile she rais'd,
        The cauldron bubbled, and the faggots blaz'd;---
        Pleased on the boiling wave old ÆSON swims,
        And feels new vigour stretch his swelling limbs;


[_Pleased on the boiling wave._ l. 387. The story of Æson 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
moistening 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 serviceable in
retarding the advances of age.]


        Through his thrill'd nerves forgotten ardors dart,
390  And warmer eddies circle round his heart;
        With softer fires his kindling eye-balls glow,
        And darker tresses wanton round his brow.

        As dash the waves on India's breezy strand,
        Her flush'd cheek press'd upon her lily hand,
395  VALLISNER sits, up-turns her tearful eyes,
        Calls her lost lover, and upbraids the skies;


[_Vallisniria_. 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 surface 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, Phalæna, 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 Linneus, p. 677.]

[Illustration: Vallisneria Spiralis]


        For him she breathes the silent sigh, forlorn,
        Each setting-day; for him each rising morn.--
        "Bright orbs, that light yon high etherial plain,
400  Or bathe your radiant tresses in the main;
        Pale moon, that silver'st o'er night's sable brow;--
        For ye were witness to his parting vow!--
        Ye shelving rocks, dark waves, and sounding shore,--
        Ye echoed sweet the tender words he swore!--
405  Can stars or seas the sails of love retain?
        O guide my wanderer to my arms again!"--

        Her buoyant skiff intrepid ULVA guides,
        And seeks her Lord amid the trackless tides;


[_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 floating 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 found 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
(Staphylæa), 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 surrounding 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 fetus, and cotyledons of quadrupeds, are
respiratory organs rather than nutritious ones.

The air in the hollow stems of grasses, and of some umbelliferous 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 specifically 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, miscarried 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.]


        Her _secret_ vows the Cyprian Queen approves,
410  And hovering halcyons guard her infant-loves;
        Each in his floating cradle round they throng,
        And dimpling Ocean bears the fleet along.--
        Thus o'er the waves, which gently bend and swell,
        Fair GALATEA steers her silver shell;

415  Her playful Dolphins stretch the silken rein,
        Hear her sweet voice, and glide along the main.
        As round the wild meandering coast she moves
        By gushing rills, rude cliffs, and nodding groves;
        Each by her pine the Wood-nymphs wave their locks,
420  And wondering Naiads peep amid the rocks;
        Pleased trains of Mermaids rise from coral cells,
        Admiring Tritons sound their twisted shells;
        Charm'd o'er the car pursuing Cupids sweep,
        Their snow-white pinions twinkling in the deep;
425  And, as the lustre of her eye she turns,
        Soft sighs the Gale, and amorous Ocean burns.

        On DOVE'S green brink the fair TREMELLA stood,
        And view'd her playful image in the flood;


[_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. 1. 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 Oftiacks blister their skin by a fungus found on
Birch-trees; and use the Agiricus 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, together 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.]


        To each rude rock, lone dell, and echoing grove
430  Sung the sweet sorrows of her _secret_ love.
        "Oh, stay!--return!"--along the sounding shore
        Cry'd the sad Naiads,--she return'd no more!--
        Now girt with clouds the sullen Evening frown'd,
        And withering Eurus swept along the ground;
435  The misty moon withdrew her horned light,
        And sunk with Hesper in the skirt of night;

        No dim electric streams, (the northern dawn,)
        With meek effulgence quiver'd o'er the lawn;
        No star benignant shot one transient ray
440  To guide or light the wanderer on her way.
        Round the dark craggs the murmuring whirlwinds blow,
        Woods groan above, and waters roar below;
        As o'er the steeps with pausing foot she moves,
        The pitying Dryads shriek amid their groves;
445  She flies,--she stops,--she pants--she looks behind,
        And hears a demon howl in every wind.
        --As the bleak blast unfurls her fluttering vest,
        Cold beats the snow upon her shuddering breast;
        Through her numb'd limbs the chill sensations dart,
450  And the keen ice bolt trembles at her heart.
        "I sink, I fall! oh, help me, help!" she cries,
        Her stiffening tongue the unfinish'd sound denies;
        Tear after tear adown her cheek succeeds,
        And pearls of ice bestrew the glittering meads;
455  Congealing snows her lingering feet surround,
        Arrest her flight, and root her to the ground;
        With suppliant arms she pours the silent prayer;
        Her suppliant arms hang crystal in the air;
        Pellucid films her shivering neck o'erspread,
460  Seal her mute lips, and silver o'er her head,
        Veil her pale bosom, glaze her lifted hands,
        And shrined in ice the beauteous statue stands.
        --DOVE'S azure nymphs on each revolving year
        For fair TREMELLA shed the tender tear;
465  With rush-wove crowns in sad procession move,
        And sound the sorrowing shell to hapless love."

        Here paused the MUSE,--across the darken'd pole
        Sail the dim clouds, the echoing thunders roll;
        The trembling Wood-nymphs, as the tempest lowers,
470  Lead the gay Goddess to their inmost bowers;
        Hang the mute lyre the laurel shade beneath,
        And round her temples bind the myrtle wreath.
        --Now the light swallow with her airy brood
        Skims the green meadow, and the dimpled flood;
475  Loud shrieks the lone thrush from his leafless thorn,
        Th' alarmed beetle sounds his bugle horn;
        Each pendant spider winds with fingers fine
        His ravel'd clue, and climbs along the line;
        Gay Gnomes in glittering circles stand aloof
480  Beneath a spreading mushroom's fretted roof;
        Swift bees returning seek their waxen cells,
        And Sylphs cling quivering in the lily's bells.
        Through the still air descend the genials showers,
        And pearly rain-drops deck the laughing flowers.



INTERLUDE.


_Bookseller_. Your verses, Mr. Botanist, consist of _pure description_, I
hope there is _sense_ in the notes.

_Poet_. I am only a flower-painter, or occasionally attempt a landskip;
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 between 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. _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 distinct than those
derived from the objects of our other senses, the words expressive of
these ideas belonging to vision make up the principal part of poetic
language. That is, the Poet writes principally 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 rather 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 expected.

_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 feather, 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 reasoning 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 as forcibly as to make us
attend to its improbability; but in painting, the figures being all much
more distinct, their improbability becomes apparent, and seizes our
attention to it. Thus the person of Concealment is very indistinct 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 consequent
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 introduced 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 improbability
becomes more striking, when there are the figures of real persons by
their side to compare them with. 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 conclude, 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, that
"the 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 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 perfectly
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 deception 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 dissevered by the irritations of external objects,
and can not therefore be contrasted with our sensations. 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 irritations suddenly obtrude themselves, and
dissever our passing trains of ideas.

Secondly, because in sleep there is a total suspension of our voluntary
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. 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 believe 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 suggested
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 knowledge 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 ingenious critic "the ideal presence" of
such objects. (Elements of Criticism by Lord Kaimes). And in respect to
the compliment intended by Mr. Fielding to Mr. Garrick, it would seem
that an ignorant Rustic at the play of Hamlet, who has some previous
belief in the appearance of Ghosts, would sooner be liable to fall into
reverie, and continue in it longer, than one who possessed more knowledge
of the real nature of things, and had a greater facility of
exercising 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
particularly 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 induce
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. Yourself will be sensible of the
truth of this doctrine by recollecting over in your mind the works of
three of our celebrated artists. Sir Joshua Reynolds has introduced
sublimity even into its portraits;  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 unmindful 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 improbablity 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 machinery
difficult and cumbersome to manage?

_P_. Just so, we should be mocked 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 six 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 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.



        THE

        LOVES

        OF THE

        PLANTS.



        CANTO II.

         Again the Goddess strikes the golden lyre,
        And tunes to wilder notes the warbling wire;
        With soft suspended step Attention moves,
        And Silence hovers o'er the listening groves;
5      Orb within orb the charmed audience throng,
        And the green vault reverberates the song.
        "Breathe soft, ye Gales!" the fair CARLINA cries,
        Bear on broad wings your Votress to the skies.
        How sweetly mutable yon orient hues,
10    As Morn's fair hand her opening roses strews;
        How bright, when Iris blending many a ray
        Binds in embroider'd wreath the brow of Day;
        Soft, when the pendant Moon with lustres pale
        O'er heaven's blue arch unfurls her milky veil;
15    While from the north long threads of silver light
        Dart on swift shuttles o'er the tissued night!


[_Carlina._ l. 7. Carline Thistle. Of the class Confederate Males. The
seeds of this and of many other plants of the same class are furnished
with a plume, by which admirable mechanism they perform long aerial
journeys, crossing lakes and deserts, and are thus disseminated far from
the original plant, and have much the appearance of a Shuttlecock as they
fly. The wings are of different construction, some being like a divergent
tuft of hairs, others are branched like feathers, some are elevated from
the crown of the seed by a slender foot-stalk, which gives, than 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 fast till they vegetate. This it
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.]


        "Breathe soft, ye Zephyrs! hear my fervent sighs,
        Bear on broad wings your Votress to the skies!"--
        --Plume over plume in long divergent lines
20    On whale-bone ribs the fair Mechanic joins;
        Inlays with eider down the silken strings,
        And weaves in wide expanse Dædalian wings;
        Round her bold sons the waving pennons binds,
        And walks with angel-step upon the winds.

25    So on the shoreless air the intrepid Gaul
        Launch'd the vast concave of his buoyant ball.--
        Journeying on high, the silken castle glides
        Bright as a meteor through the azure tides;
        O'er towns and towers and temples wins its way,
30    Or mounts sublime, and gilds the vault of day.
        Silent with upturn'd eyes unbreathing crowds
        Pursue the floating wonder to the clouds;
        And, flush'd with transport or benumb'd with fear,
        Watch, as it rises, the diminish'd sphere.
35    --Now less and less!--and now a speck is seen!--
        And now the fleeting rack obtrudes between!--
        With bended knees, raised arms, and suppliant brow
        To every shrine with mingled cries they vow.--
        "Save Him, ye Saints! who o'er the good preside;
40    "Bear Him, ye Winds! ye Stars benignant! guide."
        --The calm Philosopher in ether fails,
        Views broader stars, and breathes in purer gales;
        Sees, like a map, in many a waving line
        Round Earth's blue plains her lucid waters mine;
45    Sees at his feet the forky lightnings glow,
        And hears innocuous thunders roar below.
        ----Rife, great MONGOLFIER! urge thy venturous flight
        High o'er the Moon's pale ice-reflected light;
        High o'er the pearly Star, whose beamy horn.
50    Hangs in the east, gay harbinger of morn;
        Leave the red eye of Mars on rapid wing;
        Jove's silver guards, and Saturn's dusky ring;
        Leave the fair beams, which, issuing from afar;
        Play with new lustres round the Georgian star;
55    Shun with strong oars the Sun's attractive throne,
        The sparkling zodiack, and the milky zone;
        Where headlong Comets with increasing force
        Through other systems bend their blazing course.--
        For thee Cassiope her chair withdraws,
60    For thee the Bear retracts his shaggy paws;
        High o'er the North thy golden orb shall roll,
        And blaze eternal round the wondering pole.
        So Argo, rising from the southern main,
        Lights with new stars the blue etherial plain;
65    With favoring beams the mariner protects,
        And the bold course, which first it steer'd, directs.

        Inventress of the Woof, fair LINA flings
        The flying shuttle through the dancing strings;


[_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.]


        Inlays the broider'd weft with flowery dyes,
70    Quick beat the reeds, the pedals fall and rise;
        Slow from the beam the lengths of warp unwind,
        And dance and nod the massy weights behind.--
        Taught by her labours, from the fertile soil
        Immortal Isis clothed the banks of Nile;
75    And fair ARACHNE with her rival loom
        Found undeserved a melancholy doom.--
        _Five_ Sister-nymphs with dewy fingers twine
        The beamy flax, and stretch the fibre-line;
        Quick eddying threads from rapid spindles reel,
80    Or whirl with beaten foot the dizzy wheel.
        --Charm'd round the busy Fair _five_ shepherds press,
        Praise the nice texture of their snowy dress,
        Admire the Artists, and the art approve,
        And tell with honey'd words the tale of love.

85    So now, where Derwent rolls his dusky floods
        Through vaulted mountains, and a night of woods,
        The  Nymph, GOSSYPIA, treads the velvet sod,
        And warms with rosy smiles the watery God;
        His ponderous oars to slender spindles turns,
90    And pours o'er massy wheels his foamy urns;
        With playful charms her hoary lover wins,
        And wields his trident,--while the Monarch spins.
        --First with nice eye emerging Naiads cull
        From leathery pods the vegetable wool;


[_Gossypia_. l. 87. Gossypium. The cotton plant. On the river Derwent near
Matlock in Derbyshire, Sir RICHARD ARKWRIGHT has created 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 carded by _cylindrical
cards_, which move against each other, with different velocities. 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 those from Flax, Hemp, and Nettles, or from the bark of the
Mulberry-tree, require a previous putrefection 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
simplefied the labour and art of carding and spinning the Cotton-wool,
but performs both these circumstances _better_ than can be done by hand,
it is probable, that the clothing of this small 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.]


95    With wiry teeth _revolving cards_ release
        The tanged knots, and smooth the ravell'd fleece;
        Next moves the _iron-band_ with fingers fine,
        Combs the wide card, and forms the eternal line;
        Slow, with soft lips, the _whirling Can_ acquires
100  The tender skeins, and wraps in rising spires;
        With quicken'd pace _successive rollers_ move,
        And these retain, and those extend the _rove_;
        Then fly the spoles, the rapid axles glow;--
        And slowly circumvolves the labouring wheel below.

105  PAPYRA, throned upon the banks of Nile,
        Spread her smooth leaf, and waved her silver style.


[_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. Afterwards 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
perpetually 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 practice 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 antiquity of the invention of music, of astronomical
observations, and the manufacture of Gold and Iron, are recorded in
Scripture.]


        --The storied pyramid, the laurel'd bust,
        The trophy'd arch had crumbled into dust;
        The sacred symbol, and the epic song,
110  (Unknown the character, forgot the tongue,)
        With each unconquer'd chief, or fainted maid,
        Sunk undistinguish'd in Oblivion's shade.
        Sad o'er the scatter'd ruins Genius sigh'd,
        And infant Arts but learn'd to lisp and died.
115  Till to astonish'd realms PAPYRA taught
        To paint in mystic colours Sound and Thought.
        With Wisdom's voice to print the page sublime,
        And mark in adamant the steps of Time.
        --Three favour'd youths her soft attention share,
120  The fond disciples of the studious Fair,


[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 expressed, as well as note and time. Charles
the Twelfth of Sweden had a design to have introduced a numeration by
squares, instead of by decimation, which might have served the purposes
of philosophy better than the present mode, which is said to be of
Arabic invention. The alphabet is yet in a very imperfect state; perhaps
seventeen letters could express all the simple sounds in the European
languages. In China they have not yet learned to divide their words
into syllables, and are thence necessitated to employ many thousand
characters; it is said above eighty thousand. It is to be wished, in
this ingenious age, that the European nations would accord to reform our
alphabet.]


        Hear her sweet voice, the golden process prove;
        Gaze, as they learn; and, as they listen, love.
        _The first_ from Alpha to Omega joins
        The letter'd tribes along the level lines;
125  Weighs with nice ear the vowel, liquid, surd,
        And breaks in syllables the volant word.
        Then forms _the next_ upon the marshal'd plain
        In deepening ranks his dexterous cypher-train;
        And counts, as wheel the decimating bands,
130  The dews of Ægypt, or Arabia's sands,
        And then _the third_ on four concordant lines
        Prints the lone crotchet, and the quaver joins;
        Marks the gay trill, the solemn pause inscribes,
        And parts with bars the undulating tribes.
135  Pleased round her cane-wove throne, the applauding crowd
        Clap'd their rude hands, their swarthy foreheads bow'd;
        With loud acclaim "a present God!" they cry'd,
        "A present God!" rebellowing shores reply'd--
        Then peal'd at intervals with mingled swell
140  The echoing harp, shrill clarion, horn, and shell;
        While Bards ecstatic, bending o'er the lyre,
        Struck deeper chords, and wing'd the song with fire.
        Then mark'd Astronomers with keener eyes
        The Moon's refulgent journey through the skies;
145  Watch'd the swift Comets urge their blazing cars,
        And weigh'd the Sun with his revolving Stars.
        High raised the Chemists their Hermetic wands,
        (And changing forms obey'd their waving hands,)
        Her treasur'd gold from Earth's deep chambers tore,
150  Or fused and harden'd her chalybeate ore.
        All with bent knee from fair PAPYRA claim
        Wove by her hands the wreath of deathless fame.
        --Exulting Genius crown'd his darling child,
        The young Arts clasp'd her knees, and Virtue smiled.

155  So now DELANY forms her mimic bowers,
        Her paper foliage, and her silken flowers;


[_So now Delany_. l. 155. Mrs. Delany has finished nine hundred and
seventy accurate and elegant representations of different vegetables
with the parts of their flowers, fructification, &c. according with the
classification of Linneus, in what she terms paper-mosaic. She began this
work at the age of 74, when her sight would no longer serve her to paint,
in which she much excelled; between her age of 74 and 82, at which time
her eyes quite failed her, she executed the curious Hortus ficcus
above-mentioned, which I suppose contains a greater number of plants
than were ever before drawn from the life by any one person. Her method
consisted in placing the leaves of each plant with the petals, and all
the other parts of the flowers, on coloured paper, and cutting them with
scissars accurately to the natural size and form, and then parting them
on a dark ground; the effect of which is wonderful, and their accuracy
less liable to fallacy than drawings. She is at this time (1788) in her
89th year, with all the powers of a fine understanding still unimpaired.
I am informed another very ingenious lady, Mrs. North, is constructing a
similar Hortus ficcus, or Paper-garden; which she executes on a ground of
vellum with such elegant taste and scientific accuracy, that it cannot
fail to become a work of inestimable value.]


        Her virgin train the tender scissars ply,
        Vein the green leaf, the purple petal dye:
        Round wiry stems the flaxen tendril bends,
160  Moss creeps below, and waxen fruit impends.
        Cold Winter views amid his realms of snow
        DELANY'S vegetable statues blow;
        Smooths his stern brow, delays his hoary wing,
        And eyes with wonder all the blooms of spring.

165  The gentle LAPSANA, NYMPHÆA fair,
        And bright CALENDULA with golden hair,


[_Lapsana, Nymphæa alba, Calendula_. l. 165. And many other flowers close
and open their petals at certain hours of the day; and thus constitute
what Linneus calls the Horologe, or Watch of Flora. He enumerates 46
flowers, which possess this kind of sensibility. I shall mention a few of
them with their respective hours of rising and setting, as Linneus terms
them. He divides them first into _meteoric_ flowers, which less accurately
observe the hour of unfolding, but are expanded sooner or later, according
to the cloudiness, moisture, or pressure of the atmosphere. 2d. _Tropical_
flowers open in the morning and close before evening every day; but the
hour of the expanding becomes earlier or later, at the length of the day
increases or decreases. 3dly. _Æquinoctial_ flowers, which open at a
certain and exact hour of the day, and for the most part close at another
determinate hour.

Hence the Horologe or Watch of Flora is formed from numerous plants, of
which the following are those most common in this country. Leontodon
taraxacum, Dandelion, opens at 5--6, closes at 8--9. Hieracium pilosella,
mouse-ear hawkweed, opens at 8, closes at 2. Sonchus lævis, smooth
Sow-thistle, at 5 and at 11--12. Lactuca sativa, cultivated Lettice, at
7 and jo. Tragopogon luteum, yellow Goatsbeard, at 3--5 and at 9--10.
Lapsana, nipplewort, at 5--6 and at 10--1. Nymphæa alba, white water
lily, at 7 and 5. Papaver nudicaule, naked poppy, at 5 and at 7.
Hemerecallis fulva, tawny Day-lily, at 5 and at 7--8. Convolvulus, at
5--6. Malva, Mallow, at 9--10, and at 1. Arenarea purpurea, purple
Sandwort, at 9--10, and at 2--3. Anagallis, pimpernel, at 7--8. Portulaca
hortensis, garden Purilain, at 9--10, and at 11--12. Dianthus prolifer,
proliferous Pink, at 8 and at 1. Cichoreum, Succory, at 4--5.
Hypochiaeris, at 6--7, and at 4--5. Crepis at 4--5, and at 10--II.
Picris, at 4--5, and at 12. Calendula field, at 9, and at 3. Calendula
African, at 7, and at 3--4.

As these observations were probably made in the botanic gardens at Upsal,
they must require further attention to suit them to our climate. See
Stillingfleet Calendar of Flora.]


        Watch with nice eye the Earth's diurnal way,
        Marking her solar and sidereal day,
        Her slow nutation, and her varying clime,
170  And trace with mimic art the march of Time;
        Round his light foot a magic chain they fling,
        And count the quick vibrations of his wing.--
        First in its brazen cell reluctant roll'd
        Bends the dark spring in many a steely fold;
175  On spiral brass is stretch'd the wiry thong,
        Tooth urges tooth, and wheel drives wheel along;
        In diamond-eyes the polish'd axles flow,
        Smooth slides the hand, the ballance pants below.
        Round the white circlet in relievo bold
180  A Serpent twines his scaly length in gold;
        And brightly pencil'd on the enamel'd sphere
        Live the fair trophies of the passing year.
        --Here _Time's_ huge fingers grasp his giant-mace,
        And dash proud Superstition from her base,
185  Rend her strong towers and gorgeous fanes, and shed
        The crumbling fragments round her guilty head.
        There the gay _Hours_, whom wreaths of roses deck,
        Lead their young trains amid the cumberous wreck;
        And, slowly purpling o'er the mighty waste,
190  Plant the fair growths of Science and of Taste.
        While each light _Moment_, as it dances by
        With feathery foot and pleasure-twinkling eye,
        Feeds from its baby-hand, with many a kiss,
        The callow nestlings of domestic Bliss.

195  As yon gay clouds, which canopy the skies,
        Change their thin forms, and lose their lucid dyes;
        So the soft bloom of Beauty's vernal charms
        Fades in our eyes, and withers in our arms.
        --Bright as the silvery plume, or pearly shell,
200  The snow-white rose, or lily's virgin bell,
        The fair HELLEBORAS attractive shone,
        Warm'd every Sage, and every Shepherd won.--
        Round the gay sisters press the _enamour'd bands_,
        And seek with soft solicitude their hands.
205  --Ere while how chang'd!--in dim suffusion lies
        The glance divine, that lighten'd in their eyes;


[_Helleborus_. I. 201. Many males, many females. The Helleborus niger,
or Christmas rose, has a large beautiful white flower, adorned with a
circle of tubular two-lipp'd nectarics. After impregnation the flower
undergoes a remarkable change, the nectaries drop off, but the white
corol remains, and gradually becomes quite green. This curious
metamorphose of the corol, when the nectaries fall off, seems to shew
that the white juices of the corol were before carried to the nectaries,
for the purpose of producing honey: because when these nectaries fall
off, no more of the white juice is secreted in the corol, but it becomes
green, and degenerates into a calyx. See note on Lonicera. The nectary of
the Tropaeolum, garden nasturtion, is a coloured horn growing from the
calyx.]


        Cold are those lips, where smiles seductive hung,
        And the weak accents linger on their tongue;
        Each roseat feature fades to livid green,--
210  --Disgust with face averted shuts the scene.

        So from his gorgeous throne, which awed the world,
        The mighty Monarch of the east was hurl'd,
        To dwell with brutes beneath the midnight storm,
        By Heaven's just vengeance changed in mind and form.
215  --Prone to the earth He bends his brow superb,
        Crops the young floret and the bladed herb;
        Lolls his red tongue, and from the reedy side
        Of slow Euphrates laps the muddy tide.
        Long eagle-plumes his arching neck invest,
220  Steal round his arms, and clasp his sharpen'd breast;
        Dark brinded hairs in bristling ranks, behind,
        Rise o'er his back, and rustle in the wind,
        Clothe his lank sides, his shrivel'd limbs surround,
        And human hands with talons print the ground.
225  Silent in shining troops the Courtier-throng
        Pursue their monarch as he crawls along;
        E'en Beauty pleads in vain with smiles and tears,
        Nor Flattery's self can pierce his pendant ears.

        _Two_ Sister-Nymphs to Ganges' flowery brink
230  Bend their light steps, the lucid water drink,
        Wind through the dewy rice, and nodding canes,
        (As _eight_ black Eunuchs guard the sacred plains),
        With playful malice watch the scaly brood,
        And shower the inebriate berries on the flood.--
235  Stay in your crystal chambers, silver tribes!
        Turn your bright eyes, and shun the dangerous bribes;
        The tramel'd net with less destruction sweeps
        Your curling shallows, and your azure deeps;
        With less deceit, the gilded fly beneath,
240  Lurks the fell hook unseen,--to taste is death!--
        --Dim your slow eyes, and dull your pearly coat,
        Drunk on the waves your languid forms shall float,


[_Two Sister-Nymphs._ l. 229. Menispernum. Cocculus. Indian berry. Two
houses, twelve males. In the female flower there are two styles and eight
filaments without anthers on their summits; which are called by Linneus
eunuchs. See the note on Curcuma. The berry intoxicates fish. Saint
Anthony of Padua, when the people refused to hear him, preached to the
fish, and converted them. Addison's travels in Italy.]


        On useless fins in giddy circles play,
        And Herons and Otters seize you for their prey.--

245  So, when the Saint from Padua's graceless land
        In silent anguish sought the barren strand,
        High on the shatter'd beech sublime He stood,
        Still'd with his waving arm the babbling flood;
        "To Man's dull ear," He cry'd, "I call in vain,
        "Hear me, ye scaly tenants of the main!"--
250  Misshapen Seals approach in circling flocks,
        In dusky mail the Tortoise climbs the rocks,
        Torpedoes, Sharks, Rays, Porpus, Dolphins, pour
        Their twinkling squadrons round the glittering shore;
255  With tangled fins, behind, huge Phocæ glide,
        And Whales and Grampi swell the distant tide.
        Then kneel'd the hoary Seer, to heaven address'd
        His fiery eyes, and smote his sounding breast;
        "Bless ye the Lord!" with thundering voice he cry'd,
260  "Bless ye the Lord!" the bending shores reply'd;
        The winds and waters caught the sacred word,
        And mingling echoes shouted "Bless the Lord!"
        The listening shoals the quick contagion feel,
        Pant on the floods, inebriate with their zeal,
265  Ope their wide jaws, and bow their slimy heads,
        And dash with frantic fins their foamy beds.

        Sopha'd on silk, amid her charm-built towers,
        Her meads of asphodel, and amaranth bowers,
        Where Sleep and Silence guard the soft abodes,
270  In sullen apathy PAPAVER nods.
        Faint o'er her couch in scintillating streams
        Pass the thin forms of Fancy and of Dreams;
        Froze by inchantment on the velvet ground
        Fair youths and beauteous ladies glitter round;


[_Papaver_. l. 270. Poppy. Many males, many females. The plants of this
class are almost all of them poisonous; the finest opium is procured by
wounding the heads of large poppies with a three-edged knife, and
tying muscle-shells to them to catch the drops. In small quantities it
exhilarates the mind, raises the passions, and invigorates the body: in
large ones it is succeeded by intoxication, languor, stupor and death.
It is customary in India for a messenger to travel above a hundred miles
without rest or food, except an appropriated bit of opium for himself,
and a larger one for his horse at certain stages. The emaciated and
decrepid appearance, with the ridiculous and idiotic gestures, of the
opium-eaters in Constantinople is well described in the Memoirs of Baron
de Tott.]


275  On crystal pedestals they seem to sigh,
        Bend the meek knee, and lift the imploring eye.
        --And now the Sorceress bares her shrivel'd hand,
        And circles thrice in air her ebon wand;
        Flush'd with new life descending statues talk,
280  The pliant marble softening as they walk;
        With deeper sobs reviving lovers breathe,
        Fair bosoms rise, and soft hearts pant beneath;
        With warmer lips relenting damsels speak,
        And kindling blushes tinge the Parian cheek;
285  To viewless lutes aërial voices sing,
        And hovering Loves are heard on rustling wing.
        --She waves her wand again!--fresh horrors seize
        Their stiffening limbs, their vital currents freeze;
        By each cold nymph her marble lover lies,
290  And iron slumbers seal their glassy eyes.
        So with his dread Caduceus HERMES led
        From the dark regions of the imprison'd dead,
        Or drove in silent shoals the lingering train
        To Night's dull shore, and PLUTO'S dreary reign
295  So with her waving pencil CREWE commands
        The realms of Taste, and Fancy's fairy lands;
        Calls up with magic voice the shapes, that sleep
        In earth's dark bosom, or unfathom'd deep;
        That shrined in air on viewless wings aspire,
300  Or blazing bathe in elemental fire.
        As with nice touch her plaistic hand she moves,
        Rise the fine forms of Beauties, Graces, Loves;
        Kneel to the fair Inchantress, smile or sigh,
        And fade or flourish, as she turns her eye.

305  Fair CISTA, rival of the rosy dawn,
        Call'd her light choir, and trod the dewy lawn;
        Hail'd with rude melody the new-born May,
        As cradled yet in April's lap she lay.


[_So with her waving pencil._ l. 295. Alluding to the many beautiful
paintings by Miss EMMA CREWE; to whom the author is indebted for the very
elegant Frontispiece, where Flora, at play with Cupid, is loading him
with garden-tools.]

[_Cistus labdaniferus._ l. 304. Many males, one female. The petals of this
beautiful and fragrant shrub, as well as of the Oenothera, tree primrose,
and others, continue expanded but a few hours, falling off about noon, or
soon after, in hot weather. The  most beautiful flowers of the Cactus
grandiflorus (see Cerea) are of equally short duration, but have their
existence in the night. And the flowers of the Hibiscus trionum are said
to continue but a single hour. The courtship between the males and females
in these flowers might be easily watched; the males are said to approach
and recede from the females alternately. The flowers of the Hibiscus
sinensis, mutable rose, live in the West Indies, their native climate,
but one day; but have this remarkable property, they are white at the
first expansion, then change to deep red, and become purple as they
decay.

The gum or resin of this fragrant vegetable is collected from extensive
underwoods of it in the East by a singular contrivance. Long leathern
thongs are tied to poles and cords, and drawn over the tops of these
shrubs about noon; which thus collect the dust of the anthers, which
adheres to the leather, and is occasionally scraped off. Thus in some
degree is the manner imitated, in which the bee collects on his thighs
and legs the same material for the construction of his combs.]


        I.

        "Born in yon blaze of orient sky,
310  "Sweet MAY! thy radiant form unfold;
        "Unclose thy blue voluptuous eye,
        "And wave thy shadowy locks of gold.

        II.

        "For Thee the fragrant zephyrs blow,
        "For Thee descends the sunny shower;
315  "The rills in softer murmurs slow,
        "And brighter blossoms gem the bower.

        III.

        "Light Graces dress'd in flowery wreaths
        "And tiptoe Joys their hands combine;
        "And Love his sweet contagion breathes,
320  "And laughing dances round thy shrine.

        IV.

        "Warm with new life the glittering throngs
        "On quivering fin and rustling wing
        "Delighted join their votive songs,
        "And hail thee, GODDESS OF THE SPRING."

325  O'er the green brinks of Severn's oozy bed,
        In changeful rings, her sprightly troop She led;
        PAN tripp'd before, where Eudness shades the mead,
        And blew with glowing lip his sevenfold reed;
        Emerging Naiads swell'd the jocund strain,
330  And aped with mimic step the dancing train.--


[_Sevenfold reed._ I. 328. The sevenfold reed, with which Pan is
frequently described, seems to indicate, that he was the inventor of the
 musical gamut.]


        "I faint, I fall!"--_at noon_ the Beauty cried,
        "Weep o'er my tomb, ye Nymphs!"--and sunk and died.
        --Thus, when white Winter o'er the shivering clime
        Drives the still snow, or showers the silver rime;
335  As the lone shepherd o'er the dazzling rocks
        Prints his steep step, and guides his vagrant flocks;
        Views the green holly veil'd in network nice,
        Her vermil clusters twinkling in the ice;
        Admires the lucid vales, and slumbering floods,
340  Fantastic cataracts, and crystal woods,
        Transparent towns, with seas of milk between,
        And eyes with transport the refulgent scene:--
        If breaks the sunshine o'er the spangled trees,
        Or flits on tepid wing the western breeze,
345  In liquid dews descends the transient glare,
        And all the glittering pageant melts in air.
        Where Andes hides his cloud-wreath'd crest in snow,
        And roots his base on burning sands below;
        Cinchona, fairest of Peruvian maids
350  To Health's bright Goddess in the breezy glades
        On Quito's temperate plain an altar rear'd,
        Trill'd the loud hymn, the solemn prayer preferr'd:
        Each balmy bud she cull'd, and honey'd flower,
        And hung with fragrant wreaths the sacred bower;
355  Each pearly sea she search'd, and sparkling mine,
        And piled their treasures on the gorgeous shrine;
        Her suppliant voice for sickening Loxa raised,
        Sweet breath'd the gale, and bright the censor blazed.

        --"Divine HYGEIA! on thy votaries bend
360  Thy angel-looks, oh, hear us, and defend!
        While streaming o'er the night with baleful glare
        The star of Autumn rays his misty hair;
        Fierce from his fens the Giant AGUE springs,
        And wrapp'd in fogs descends on vampire wings;


[_Cinchona_. l. 349. Peruvian bark-tree. Five males, and one
female. Several of these trees were felled for other purposes into a
lake, when an epidemic fever of a very mortal kind prevailed at Loxa in
Peru, and the woodmen, accidentally drinking the water, were cured; and
thus were discovered the virtues of this famous drug.]


365  "Before, with shuddering limbs cold Tremor reels,
        And Fever's burning nostril dogs his heels;
        Loud claps the grinning Fiend his iron hands,
        Stamps with his marble feet, and shouts along the lands;
        Withers the damask cheek, unnerves the strong,
370  And drives with scorpion-lash the shrieking throng.
        Oh, Goddess! on thy kneeling votaries bend
        Thy angel-looks, oh, hear us, and defend!"
        --HYGEIA, leaning from the blest abodes,
        The crystal mansions of the immortal gods,
375  Saw the sad Nymph uplift her dewy eyes,
        Spread her white arms, and breathe her fervid sighs;
        Call'd to her fair associates, Youth, and Joy,
        And shot all-radiant through the glittering sky;
        Loose waved behind her golden train of hair,
380  Her sapphire mantle swam diffus'd in air.--
        O'er the grey matted moss, and pansied sod,
        With step sublime the glowing Goddess trod,
        Gilt with her beamy eye the conscious shade,
        And with her smile celestial bless'd the maid.
385  "Come to my arms," with seraph voice she cries,
        "Thy vows are heard, benignant Nymph! arise;
        Where yon aspiring trunks fantastic wreath
        Their mingled roots, and drink the rill beneath,
        Yield to the biting axe thy sacred wood,
390  And strew the bitter foliage on the flood."
        In silent homage bow'd the blushing maid,--
        _Five_ youths athletic hasten to her aid,
        O'er the scar'd hills re-echoing strokes resound,
        And headlong forests thunder on the ground.
395  Round the dark roots, rent bark, and shatter'd boughs,
        From ocherous beds the swelling fountain flows;
        With streams austere its winding margin laves,
        And pours from vale to vale its dusky waves.
        --As the pale squadrons, bending o'er the brink,
400  View with a sigh their alter'd forms, and drink;
        Slow-ebbing life with refluent crimson breaks
        O'er their wan lips, and paints their haggard cheeks;
        Through each fine nerve rekindling transports dart,
        Light the quick eye, and swell the exulting heart.
405  --Thus ISRAEL's heaven-taught chief o'er trackless lands
        Led to the sultry rock his murmuring bands.
        Bright o'er his brows the forky radiance blazed,
        And high in air the rod divine He raised.--
        Wide yawns the cliff!--amid the thirsty throng
410  Rush the redundant waves, and shine along;
        With gourds and shells and helmets press the bands,
        Ope their parch'd lips, and spread their eager hands,
        Snatch their pale infants to the exuberant shower,
        Kneel on the shatter'd rock, and bless the Almighty Power.

415  Bolster'd with down, amid a thousand wants,
        Pale Dropsy rears his bloated form, and pants;
        "Quench me, ye cool pellucid rills!" he cries,
        Wets his parch'd tongue, and rolls his hollow eyes.
        So bends tormented TANTALUS to drink,
420  While from his lips the refluent waters shrink;
        Again the rising stream his bosom laves,
        And Thirst consumes him 'mid circumfluent waves.
        --Divine HYGEIA, from the bending sky
        Descending, listens to his piercing cry;
425  Assumes bright DIGITALIS' dress and air,
        Her ruby cheek, white neck, and raven hair;
        _Four_ youths protect her from the circling throng,
        And like the Nymph the Goddess steps along.--
        --O'er Him She waves her serpent-wreathed wand,
430  Cheers with her voice, and raises with her hand,
        Warms with rekindling bloom his visage wan,
        And charms the shapeless monster into man.


[_Digitalis_. l. 425. Of the class Two Powers. Four males, one female,
Foxglove. The effect of this plant in that kind of Dropsy, which is
termed anasarca, where the legs and thighs are much swelled, attended
with great difficulty of breathing, is truly astonishing. In the ascites
accompanied with anasarca of people past the meridian of life it will
also sometimes succeed. The method of administering it requires some
caution, as it is liable, in greater doses, to induce very violent and
debilitating sickness, which continues one or two days, during which time
the dropsical collection however disappears. One large spoonful, or half
an ounce, of the following decoction, given twice a day, will generally
succeed in a few days. But in more robust people, one large spoonful
every two hours, till four spoonfuls are taken, or till sickness occurs,
will evacuate the dropsical swellings with greater certainty, but is
liable to operate more violently. Boil four ounces of the fresh leaves of
purple Foxglove (which leaves may be had at all seasons of the year) from
two pints of water to twelve ounces; add to the strained liquor, while
yet warm, three ounces of rectified spirit of wine. A theory of the
effects of this medicine, with many successful cases, may be seen in a
pamphlet, called, "Experiments on Mucilaginous and Purulent Matter,"
published by Dr. Darwin in 1780. Sold by Cadell, London.]


        So when Contagion with mephitic breath
        And withered Famine urged the work of death;
435  Marseilles' good Bishop, London's generous Mayor,
        With food and faith, with medicine and with prayer,
        Raised the weak head and stayed the parting sigh,
        Or with new life relumed the swimming eye.--
440  --And now, PHILANTHROPY! thy rays divine
        Dart round the globe from Zembla to the Line;
        O'er each dark prison plays the cheering light,
        Like northern lustres o'er the vault of night.--


[_Marseillle's good Bishop_. l. 435. In the year 1720 and 1722 the
Plague made dreadful havock at Marseilles; at which time the Bishop
was indefatigable in the execution of his pastoral office, visiting,
relieving, encouraging, and absolving the sick with extream tenderness;
and though perpetually exposed to the infection, like Sir John Lawrence
mentioned below, they both are said to have escaped the disease.]

[_London's generous Mayor_, l. 435. During the great Plague at London in
the year 1665, Sir John Lawrence, the then Lord Mayor, continued the
whole time in the city; heard complaints, and redressed them; enforced
the wisest regulations then known, and saw them executed. The day after
the disease was known with certainty to be the Plague, above 40,000
servants were dismissed, and turned into the streets to perish, for no
one would receive them into their houses; and the villages near London
drove them away with pitch-forks and fire-arms. Sir John Lawrence
supported them all, as well as the needy who were sick, at first by
expending his own fortune, till subscriptions could be solicited and
received from all parts of the nation. _Journal of the Plague-year,
Printed for E. Nutt, &c. at the R. Exchange_. 1722.]


        From realm to realm, with cross or crescent crown'd,
        Where'er Mankind and Misery are found,
445  O'er burning sands, deep waves, or wilds of snow,
        Thy HOWARD journeying seeks the house of woe.
        Down many a winding step to dungeons dank,
        Where anguish wails aloud, and fetters clank;
        To caves bestrew'd with many a mouldering bone,
450  And cells, whose echoes only learn to groan;
        Where no kind bars a whispering friend disclose,
        No sunbeam enters, and no zephyr blows,
        HE treads, inemulous of fame or wealth,
        Profuse of toil, and prodigal of health;
455  With soft assuasive eloquence expands
        Power's rigid heart, and opes his clenching hands;
        Leads stern-ey'd Justice to the dark domains,
        If not to fever, to relax the chains;
        Or guides awaken'd Mercy through the gloom,
460  And shews the prison, sister to the tomb!--
        Gives to her babes the self-devoted wife,
        To her fond husband liberty and life!--
        --The Spirits of the Good, who bend from high
        Wide o'er these earthly scenes their partial eye,
465  When first, array'd in VIRTUE'S purest robe,
        They saw her HOWARD traversing the globe;
        Saw round his brows her sun-like Glory blaze
        In arrowy circles of unwearied rays;
        Mistook a Mortal for an Angel-Guest,
470  And ask'd what Seraph-foot the earth imprest.
        --Onward he moves!--Disease and Death retire,
        And murmuring Demons hate him, and admire."

        Here paused the Goddess,--on HYGEIA'S shrine
        Obsequious Gnomes repose the lyre divine;
475  Descending Sylphs relax the trembling strings,
        And catch the rain-drops on their shadowy wings.
        --And now her vase a modest Naiad fills
        With liquid crystal from her pebbly rills;
        Piles the dry cedar round her silver urn,
480  (Bright climbs the blaze, the crackling faggots burn),
        Culls the green herb of China's envy'd bowers,
        In gaudy cups the steamy treasure pours;
        And, sweetly-smiling, on her bended knee
        Presents the fragrant quintessence of Tea.


 INTERLUDE II.

_Bookseller._ The monsters of your Botanic Garden are as surprising as
the bulls with brazen feet, and the fire-breathing dragons, which guarded
the Hesperian fruit; yet are they not disgusting, nor mischievous: and
in the manner you have chained them together in your exhibition, they
succeed each other amusingly enough, like prints of the London Cries,
wrapped upon rollers, with a glass before them. In this at least they
resemble the monsters in Ovid's Metamorphoses; but your similies, I
suppose, are Homeric?

_Poet._ The great Bard well understood how to make use of this kind of
ornament in Epic Poetry. He brings his valiant heroes into the field with
much parade, and sets them a fighting with great fury; and then, after a
few thrusts and parries, he introduces a long string of similies. During
this the battle is supposed to continue; and thus the time necessary for
the action is gained in our imaginations; and a degree of probability
produced, which contributes to the temporary deception or reverie of the
reader.

But the similies of Homer have another agreeable characteristic; they
do not quadrate, or go upon all fours (as it is called), like the more
formal similies of some modern writers; any one resembling feature seems
to be with him a sufficient excuse for the introduction of this kind of
digression; he then proceeds to deliver some agreeable poetry on this new
subject, and thus converts every simile into a kind of short episode.

_B._ Then a simile should not very accurately resemble the subject?

_P._ No; it would then become a philosophical analogy, it would be
ratiocination instead of poetry: it need only so far resemble the
subject, as poetry itself ought to resemble nature. It should have so
much sublimity, beauty, or novelty, as to interest the reader; and should
be expressed in picturesque language, so as to bring the scenery before
his eye; and should lastly bear so much veri-similitude as not to awaken
him by the violence of improbability or incongruity.

_B._ May not the reverie of the reader be dissipated or disturbed by
disagreeable images being presented to his imagination, as well as by
improbable or incongruous ones? _P_. Certainly; he will endeavour to
rouse himself from a disagreeable reverie, as from the night-mare. And
from this may be discovered the line of boundary between the Tragic and
the Horrid: which line, however, will veer a little this way or that,
according to the prevailing manners of the age or country, and the
peculiar associations of ideas, or idiosyncracy of mind, of individuals.
For instance, if an artist should represent the death of an officer in
battle, by shewing a little blood on the bosom of his shirt, as if a
bullet had there penetrated, the dying figure would affect the beholder
with pity; and if fortitude was at the same time expressed in his
countenance, admiration would be added to our pity. On the contrary, if
the artist should chuse to represent his thigh as shot away by a cannon
ball, and should exhibit the bleeding flesh and shattered bone of the
stump, the picture would introduce into our minds ideas from a butcher's
shop, or a surgeon's operation-room, and we should turn from it with
disgust. So if characters were brought upon the stage with their limbs
disjointed by torturing instruments, and the floor covered with clotted
blood and scattered brains, our theatric reverie would be destroyed by
disgust, and we should leave the play-house with detestation.

The Painters have been more guilty in this respect than the Poets; the
cruelty of Apollo in flaying Marcias alive is a favourite subject with
the antient artists: and the tortures of expiring martyrs have disgraced
the modern ones. It requires little genius to exhibit the muscles in
convulsive action either by the pencil or the chissel, because the
interstices are deep, and the lines strongly defined: but those tender
gradations of muscular action, which constitute the graceful attitudes of
the body, are difficult to conceive or to execute, except by a master of
nice discernment and cultivated taste. _B._ By what definition would you
distinguish the Horrid from the Tragic?

_P._ I suppose the latter consists of Distress attended with Pity, which
is said to be allied to Love, the most agreeable of all our passions;
and the former in Distress, accompanied with Disgust, which is allied to
Hate, and is one of our most disagreeable sensations. Hence, when horrid
scenes of cruelty are represented in pictures, we wish to disbelieve
their existence, and voluntarily exert ourselves to escape from the
deception: whereas the bitter cup of true Tragedy is mingled with some
sweet consolatory drops, which endear our tears, and we continue to
contemplate the interesting delusion with a delight which it is not easy
to explain.

_B._ Has not this been explained by Lucretius, where he describes a
shipwreck; and says, the Spectators receive pleasure from feeling
themselves safe on land? and by Akenside, in his beautiful poem on the
Pleasures of Imagination, who ascribes it to our finding objects for the
due exertion of our passions?

_P_. We must not confound our sensations at the contemplation of real
misery with those which we experience at the scenical representations of
tragedy. The spectators of a shipwreck may be attracted by the dignity
and novelty of the object; and from these may be said to receive
pleasure; but not from the distress of the sufferers. An ingenious
writer, who has criticised this dialogue in the English Review for
August, 1789, adds, that one great source of our pleasure from scenical
distress arises from our, at the same time, generally contemplating one
of the noblest objects of nature, that of Virtue triumphant over
every difficulty and oppression, or supporting its votary under every
suffering: or, where this does not occur, that our minds are relieved
by the justice of some signal punishment awaiting the delinquent. But,
besides this, at the exhibition of a good tragedy, we are not only amused
by the dignity, and novelty, and beauty, of the objects before us; but,
if any distressful circumstances occur too forcible for our sensibility,
we can voluntarily exert ourselves, and recollect, that the scenery is
not real: and thus not only the pain, which we had received from the
apparent distress, is lessened, but a new source of pleasure is opened
to us, similar to that which we frequently have felt on awaking from a
distressful dream; we are glad that it is not true. We are at the same
time unwilling to relinquish the pleasure which we receive from the other
interesting circumstances of the drama; and on that account quickly
permit ourselves to relapse into the delusion; and thus alternately
believe and disbelieve, almost every moment, the existence of the objects
represented before us.

_B_. Have those two sovereigns of poetic land, HOMER and SHAKESPEAR, kept
their works entirely free from the Horrid?--or even yourself in your
third Canto?

_P_. The descriptions of the mangled carcasses of the companions of
Ulysses, in the cave of Polypheme, is in this respect certainly
objectionable, as is well observed by Scaliger. And in the play of Titus
Andronicus, if that was written by Shakespear (which from its internal
evidence I think very improbable), there are many horrid and disgustful
circumstances. The following Canto is submitted to the candour of the
critical reader, to whose opinion I shall submit in silence.



        THE

        LOVES

        OF THE

        PLANTS.



        CANTO III.

        And now the Goddess founds her silver shell,
        And shakes with deeper tones the inchanted dell;
        Pale, round her grassy throne, bedew'd with tears,
        Flit the thin forms of Sorrows, and of Fears;
5      Soft Sighs responsive whisper to the chords,
        And Indignations half-unsheath their swords.
        "Thrice round the grave CIRCÆA prints her tread,
        And chaunts the numbers, which disturb the dead;
        Shakes o'er the holy earth her sable plume,
10    Waves her dread wand, and strikes the echoing tomb!
        --Pale shoot the stars across the troubled night,
        The timorous moon withholds her conscious light;
        Shrill scream the famish'd bats, and shivering owls,
        And loud and long the dog of midnight howls!--


[_Circæa_. l. 7. Enchanter's Nightshade. Two males, one female. It was
much celebrated in the mysteries of witchcraft, and for the purpose of
raising the devil, as its name imports. It grows amid the mouldering
bones and decayed coffins in the ruinous vaults of Sleaford-church in
Lincolnshire. The superstitious ceremonies or histories belonging to some
vegetables have been truly ridiculous; thus the Druids are said to have
cropped the Misletoe with a golden axe or sickle; and the Bryony, or
Mandrake, was said to utter a scream when its root was drawn from the
ground; and that the animal which drew it up became diseased and soon
died: on which account, when it was wanted for the purposes of medicine,
it was usual to loosen and remove the earth about the root, and then to
tie it by means of a cord to a dog's tail, who was whipped to pull it up,
and was then supposed to suffer for the impiety of the action. And even
at this day bits of dried root of Peony are rubbed smooth, and strung,
and sold under the name of Anodyne necklaces, and tied round the necks of
children, to facilitate the growth of their teeth! add to this, that in
Price's History of Cornwall, a book published about ten years ago, the
Virga Divinatoria, or Divining Rod, has a degree of credit given to it.
This rod is of hazle, or other light wood, and held horizontally in the
hand, and is said to bow towards the ore whenever the Conjurer walks over
a mine. A very few years ago, in France, and even in England, another
kind of divining rod has been used to discover springs of water in a
similar manner, and gained some credit. And in the very last year, there
were many in France, and some in England, who underwent an enchantment
without any divining rod at all, and believed themselves to be affected
by an invisible agent, which the Enchanter called Animal Magnetism!]


        --Then yawns the bursting ground!--_two_ imps obscene
        Rise on broad wings, and hail the baleful queen;
        Each with dire grin salutes the potent wand,
        And leads the sorceress with his sooty hand;
        Onward they glide, where sheds the sickly yew
20    O'er many a mouldering bone its nightly dew;
        The ponderous portals of the church unbar,--
        Hoarse on their hinge the ponderous portals jar;
        As through the colour'd glass the moon-beam falls,
        Huge shapeless spectres quiver on the walls;
25    Low murmurs creep along the hollow ground,
        And to each step the pealing ailes resound;
        By glimmering lamps, protecting saints among,
        The shrines all tremble as they pass along,
        O'er the still choir with hideous laugh they move,
30    (Fiends yell below, and angels weep above!)
        Their impious march to God's high altar bend,
        With feet impure the sacred steps ascend;
        With wine unbless'd the holy chalice stain,
        Assume the mitre, and the cope profane;
35    To heaven their eyes in mock devotion throw,
        And to the cross with horrid mummery bow;
        Adjure by mimic rites the powers above,
        And plite alternate their Satanic love.

        Avaunt, ye Vulgar! from her sacred groves
40    With maniac step the Pythian LAURA moves;
        Full of the God her labouring bosom sighs,
        Foam on her lips, and fury in her eyes,
        Strong writhe her limbs, her wild dishevell'd hair
        Starts from her laurel-wreath, and swims in air.--
45    While _twenty_ Priests the gorgeous shrine surround
        Cinctur'd with ephods, and with garlands crown'd,


[_Laura_. l. 40. Prunus. Lauro-cerasus. Twenty males, one female. The
Pythian priestess is supposed to have been made drunk with infusion
of laurel-leaves when she delivered her oracles. The intoxication or
inspiration is finely described by Virgil. Æn. L. vi. The distilled
water from laurel-leaves is, perhaps, the most sudden poison we are
acquainted with in this country. I have seen about two spoonfuls of it
destroy a large pointer dog in less than ten minutes. In a smaller dose
it is said to produce intoxication: on this account there is reason to
believe it acts in the same manner as opium and vinous spirit; but that
the dose is not so well ascertained. See note on Tremella. It is used
in the Ratafie of the distillers, by which some dram-drinkers have been
suddenly killed. One pint of water, distilled from fourteen pounds of
black cherry stones bruised, has the same deleterious effect,
destroying as suddenly as laurel-water. It is probable Apricot-kernels,
Peach-leaves, Walnut-leaves, and whatever possesses the kernel-flavour,
may have similar qualities.]


        Contending hosts and trembling nations wait
        The firm immutable behests of Fate;
        --She speaks in thunder from her golden throne
50    With words _unwill'd_, and wisdom not her own.

        So on his NIGHTMARE through the evening fog
        Flits the squab Fiend o'er fen, and lake, and bog;
        Seeks some love-wilder'd Maid with sleep oppress'd,
        Alights, and grinning fits upon her breast.
55    --Such as of late amid the murky sky
        Was mark'd by FUSELI'S poetic eye;
        Whose daring tints, with SHAKESPEAR'S happiest grace,
        Gave to the airy phantom form and place.--
        Back o'er her pillow sinks her blushing head,
60    Her snow-white limbs hang helpless from the bed;
        While with quick sighs, and suffocative breath,
        Her interrupted heart-pulse swims in death.
        --Then shrieks of captured towns, and widows' tears,
        Pale lovers stretch'd upon their blood-stain'd biers,
65    The headlong precipice that thwarts her flight,
        The trackless desert, the cold starless night,
        And stern-eye'd Murder with his knife behind,
        In dread succession agonize her mind.
        O'er her fair limbs convulsive tremors fleet,
70    Start in her hands, and struggle in her feet;
        In vain to scream with quivering lips she tries,
        And strains in palsy'd lids her tremulous eyes;
        In vain she _wills_ to run, fly, swim, walk, creep;
        The WILL presides not in the bower of SLEEP.
75    --On her fair bosom sits the Demon-Ape
        Erect, and balances his bloated shape;


[_The Will presides not._ 1. 74. Sleep consists in the abolition of all
voluntary power, both over our muscular motions and our ideas; for we
neither walk nor reason in sleep. But, at the same time, many of our
muscular motions, and many of our ideas, continue to be excited into
action in consequence of internal irritations and of internal sensations;
for the heart and arteries continue to beat, and we experience variety
of passions, and even hunger and thirst in our dreams. Hence I conclude,
that our nerves of sense are not torpid or inert during sleep; but that
they are only precluded from the perception of external objects, by their
external organs being rendered unfit to transmit to them the appulses of
external bodies, during the suspension of the power of volition; thus the
eye-lids are closed in sleep, and I suppose the tympanum of the car is
not stretched, because they are deprived of the voluntary exertions of
the muscles appropriated to these purposes; and it is probable something
similar happens to the external apparatus of our other organs of sense,
which may render them unfit for their office of perception during sleep:
for milk put into the mouths of sleeping babes occasions them to swallow
and suck; and, if the eye-lid is a little opened in the day-light by the
exertions of disturbed sleep, the person dreams of being much dazzled.
See first Interlude.]


        Rolls in their marble orbs his Gorgon-eyes,
        And drinks with leathern ears her tender cries.

        Arm'd with her ivory beak, and talon-hands,
80    Descending FICA dives into the sands;
        Chamber'd in earth with cold oblivion lies;
        Nor heeds, _ye Suitor-train_, your amorous sighs;
        Erewhile with renovated beauty blooms,
        Mounts into air, and moves her leafy plumes.
85    --Where HAMPS and MANIFOLD, their cliffs among,
        Each in his flinty channel winds along;
        With lucid lines the dusky Moor divides,
        Hurrying to intermix their sister tides.


[When there arises in sleep a painful desire to exert the voluntary
motions, it is called the Nightmare or Incubus. When the sleep becomes so
imperfect that some muscular motions obey this exertion of desire, people
have walked about, and even performed some domestic offices in sleep;
one of these sleep-walkers I have frequently seen: once she smelt of a
tube-rose, and sung, and drank a dish of tea in this state; her awaking
was always attended with prodigious surprize, and even fear; this disease
had daily periods, and seemed to be of the epileptic kind.]

[_Ficus indica_. l. 80. Indian Fig-tree. Of the glass Polygamy. This large
tree rises with opposite branches on all sides, with long egged leaves;
each branch emits a slender flexile depending appendage from its summit
like a cord, which roots into the earth and rises again. Sloan. Hist. of
Jamaica. Lin. Spec. Plant. See Capri-ficus.]


        Where still their silver-bosom'd Nymphs abhor,
90    The blood-smear'd mansion of gigantic THOR,--
        --Erst, fires volcanic in the marble womb
        Of cloud-wrapp'd WETTON raised the massy dome;
        Rocks rear'd on rocks in huge disjointed piles
        Form the tall turrets, and the lengthen'd ailes;


[_Gigantic Thor._ l. 90. Near the village of Wetton, a mile or two above
Dove-Dale, near Ashburn in Dirbyshire, there is a spacious cavern about
the middle of the ascent of the mountain, which still retains the Name of
Thor's house; below is an extensive and romantic common, where the rivers
Hamps and Manifold sink into the earth, and rise again in Ham gardens,
the seat of John Port, Esq. about three miles below. Where these rivers
rise again there are impressions resembling Fish, which appear to be of
Jasper bedded in Limestone. Calcareous Spars, Shells converted into a
kind of Agate, corallines in Marble, ores of Lead, Copper, and Zinc, and
many strata of Flint, or Chert, and of Toadstone, or Lava, abound in this
part of the country. The Druids are said to have offered human sacrifices
inclosed in wicker idols to Thor. Thursday had its name from this Deity.

The broken appearance of the surface of many parts of this country; with
the Swallows, as they are called, or basons on some of the mountains,
like volcanic Craters, where the rain-water sinks into the earth; and the
numerous large stones, which seem to have been thrown over the land by
volcanic explosions; as well as the great masses of Toadstone or Lava;
evince the existence of violent earthquakes at some early period of the
world. At this time the channels of these subterraneous rivers seem to
have been formed, when a long tract of rocks were raised by the sea
flowing in upon the central fires, and thus producing an irresistable
explosion of steam; and when these rocks again subsided, their parts
did not exactly correspond, but left a long cavity arched over in this
operation of nature. The cavities at Castleton and Buxton in Derbyshire
seem to have had a similar origin, as well as this cavern termed Thor's
house. See Mr. Whitehurst's and Dr. Hutton's Theories of the Earth.]


95    Broad ponderous piers sustain the roof, and wide
        Branch the vast rain-bow ribs from side to side.
        While from above descends in milky streams
        One scanty pencil of illusive beams,
        Suspended crags and gaping gulphs illumes,
100  And gilds the horrors of the deepen'd glooms.
        --Here oft the Naiads, as they chanced to play
        Near the dread Fane on THOR'S returning day,
        Saw from red altars streams of guiltless blood
        Stain their green reed-beds, and pollute their flood;
105  Heard dying babes in wicker prisons wail,
        And shrieks of matrons thrill the affrighted Gale;
        While from dark caves infernal Echoes mock,
        And Fiends triumphant shout from every rock!
        ---So still the Nymphs emerging lift in air
110  Their snow-white shoulders and their azure hair;
        Sail with sweet grace the dimpling streams along,
        Listening the Shepherd's or the Miner's song;
        But, when afar they view the giant-cave,
        On timorous fins they circle on the wave,
115  With streaming eyes and throbbing hearts recoil,
        Plunge their fair forms, and dive beneath the soil.--
        Closed round their heads reluctant eddies sink,
        And wider rings successive dash the brink.--
        Three thousand steps in sparry clefts they stray,
120  Or seek through sullen mines their gloomy way;
        On beds of Lava sleep in coral cells,
        Or sigh o'er jasper fish, and agate shells.
        Till, where famed ILAM leads his boiling floods
        Through flowery meadows and impending woods,
125  Pleased with light spring they leave the dreary night,
        And 'mid circumfluent surges rise to light;
        Shake their bright locks, the widening vale pursue,
        Their sea-green mantles fringed with pearly dew;
        In playful groups by towering THORP they move,
130  Bound o'er the foaming wears, and rush into the Dove.

        With fierce distracted eye IMPATIENS stands,
        Swells her pale cheeks, and brandishes her hands,


[_Impatiens._ l. 131. Touch me not. The seed vessel consists of one
cell with five divisions; each of these, when the seed is ripe, on being
touched, suddenly folds itself into a spiral form, leaps from the stalk
and disperses the seeds to a great distance by it's elasticity. The
capsule of the geranium and the beard of wild oats are twisted for a
similar purpose, and dislodge their seeds on wet days, when the
ground is best fitted to receive them. Hence one of these, with its
adhering capsule or beard fixed on a stand, serves the purpose of
an hygrometer, twisting itself more or less according to the moisture
of the air.

The awn of barley is furnished with stiff points, which, like the teeth
of a saw, are all turned towards the point of it; as this long awn lies
upon the ground, it extends itself in the moist air of night, and pushes
forwards the barley corn, which it adheres to; in the day it shortens as
it dries; and as these points prevent it from receding, it draws up its
pointed end; and thus, creeping like a worm, will travel many feet from
the parent stem. That very ingenious Mechanic Philosopher, Mr. Edgeworth,
once made on this principle a wooden automaton; its back consisted of
soft Fir-wood, about an inch square, and four feet long, made of pieces
cut the cross-way in respect to the fibres of the wood, and glued
together: it had two feet before, and two behind, which supported the
back horizontally; but were placed with their extremities, which were
armed with sharp points of iron, bending backwards. Hence, in moist
weather, the back lengthened, and the two foremost feet were pushed
forwards; in dry weather the hinder feet were drawn after, as the
obliquity of the points of the feet prevented it from receding. And thus,
in a month or two, it walked across the room which it inhabited. Might
not this machine be applied as an Hygrometer to some meteorological
purpose?]


        With rage and hate the astonish'd groves alarms,
        And hurls her infants from her frantic arms.
135  --So when MEDÆA left her native soil
        Unaw'd by danger, unsubdued by toil;
        Her weeping sire and beckoning friends withstood,
        And launch'd enamour'd on the boiling flood;
        One ruddy boy her gentle lips caress'd,
140  And one fair girl was pillow'd on her breast;

        While high in air the golden treasure burns,
        And Love and Glory guide the prow by turns.
        But, when Thessalia's inauspicious plain
        Received the matron-heroine from the main;
145  While horns of triumph sound, and altars burn,
        And shouting nations hail their Chief's return:
        Aghaft, She saw new-deck'd the nuptial bed,
        And proud CREUSA to the temple led;
        Saw her in JASON'S mercenary arms
150  Deride her virtues, and insult her charms;
        Saw her dear babes from fame and empire torn,
        In foreign realms deserted and forlorn;
        Her love rejected, and her vengeance braved,
        By Him her beauties won, her virtues saved.--
155  With stern regard she eyed the traitor-king,
        And felt, Ingratitude! thy keenest sting;
        "Nor Heaven," She cried, "nor Earth, nor Hell can hold
        "A Heart abandon'd to the thirst of Gold!"
        Stamp'd with wild foot, and shook her horrent brow,
160  And call'd the furies from their dens below.
        --Slow out of earth, before the festive crowds,
        On wheels of fire, amid a night of clouds,
        Drawn by fierce fiends arose a magic car,
        Received the Queen, and hovering flamed in air.--
165  As with raised hands the suppliant traitors kneel
        And fear the vengeance they deserve to feel,
        Thrice with parch'd lips her guiltless babes she press'd,
        And thrice she clasp'd them to her tortur'd breast;
        Awhile with white uplifted eyes she stood,
170  Then plung'd her trembling poniards in their blood.
        "Go, kiss your sire! go, share the bridal mirth!"
        She cry'd, and hurl'd their quivering limbs on earth.
        Rebellowing thunders rock the marble towers,
        And red-tongued lightnings shoot their arrowy showers;
175  Earth yawns!--the crashing ruin sinks!--o'er all
        Death with black hands extends his mighty Pall;
        Their mingling gore the Fiends of Vengeance quaff,
        And Hell receives them with convulsive laugh.

        Round the vex'd isles where fierce tornados roar,
180  Or tropic breezes sooth the sultry shore;
        What time the eve her gauze pellucid spreads
        O'er the dim flowers, and veils the misty meads;
        Slow, o'er the twilight sands or leafy walks,
        With gloomy dignity DICTAMNA stalks;


[_Dictamnus._ l. 184. Fraxinella. In the still evenings of dry seasons
this plant emits an inflammable air or gas, and flashes on the approach
of a candle. There are instances of human creatures who have taken fire
spontaneously, and been totally consumed. Phil. Trans.

The odours of many flowers, so delightful to our sense of smell, as well
as the disgreeable scents of others, are owing to the exhalation of their
essential oils. These essential oils have greater or less volatility, and
are all inflammable; many of them are poisons to us, as these of Laurel
and Tobacco; others possess a narcotic quality, as is evinced by the oil
of cloves instantly relieving slight tooth-achs; from oil of cinnamon
relieving the hiccup; and balsam of peru relieving the pain of some
ulcers. They are all deleterious to certain insects, and hence their use
in the vegetable economy being produced in flowers or leaves to protect
them from the depredations of their voracious enemies. One of the
essential oils, that of turpentine, is recommended, by M. de Thosse,
for the purpose of destroying insects which infect both vegetables and
animals. Having observed that the trees were attacked by multitudes of
small insects of different colours (pucins ou pucerons), which injured
their young branches, he destroyed them all intirely in the following
manner: he put into a bowl a few handfuls of earth, on which he poured a
small quantity of oil of turpentine; he then beat the whole together with
a spatula, pouring on it water till it became of the consistence of soup;
with this mixture he moistened the ends of the branches, and both the
insects and their eggs were destroyed, and other insects kept aloof by
the scent of the turpentine. He adds, that he destroyed the fleas of
his puppies by once bathing them in warm water impregnated with oil of
turpentine. Mem. d'Agriculture, An. 1787, Trimest. Printemp. p. 109. I
sprinkled some oil of turpentine, by means of a brush, on some branches
of a nectarine-tree, which was covered with the aphis; but it killed both
the insect and the branches: a solution of arsenic much diluted did
the same. The shops of medicine are supplied with resins, balsams, and
essential oils; and the tar and pitch, for mechanical purposes, arc
produced from these vegetable secretions.]


185  In sulphurous eddies round the weird dame
        Plays the light gas, or kindles into flame.
        If rests the traveller his weary head,
        Grim MANCINELLA haunts the mossy bed,
        Brews her black hebenon, and, stealing near,
190  Pours the curst venom in his tortured ear.--
        Wide o'er the mad'ning throng URTICA flings
        Her barbed shafts, and darts her poison'd stings.


[_Mancinella_, I. 188. Hyppomane. With the milky juice of this tree the
Indians poison their arrows; the dew-drops, which fall from it, are so
caustic as to blister the skin, and produce dangerous ulcers; whence many
have found their death by sleeping under its shade. Variety of noxious
plants abound in all countries; in our own the deadly nightshade,
henbane, hounds-tongue, and many others, are seen in almost every high
road untouched by animals. Some have asked, what is the use of such
abundance of poisons? The nauseous or pungent juices of some vegetables,
like the thorns of others, are given them for their defence from the
depredations of animals; hence the thorny plants are in general wholesome
and agreeable food to graminivorous animals. See note on Ilex. The
flowers or petals of plants are perhaps in general more acrid than their
leaves; hence they are much seldomer eaten by insects. This seems to have
been the use of the essential oil in the vegetable economy, as observed
above in the notes on Dictamnus and on Ilex. The fragrance of plants
is thus a part of their defence. These pungent or nauseous juices of
vegetables have supplied the science of medicine with its principal
materials, such as purge, vomit, intoxicate, &c.]

[_Urtica_. I. 191. Nettle. The sting has a bag at its base, and a
perforation near its point, exactly like the stings of wasps and the
teeth of adders; Hook, Microgr. p. 142. Is the fluid contained in this
bag, and pressed through the perforation into the wound, made by the
point, a caustic essential oil, or a concentrated vegetable acid?
The vegetable poisons, like the animal ones, produce more sudden and
dangerous effects, when instilled into a wound, than when taken into
the stomach; whence the families of Marfi and Psilli, in antient Rome,
sucked the poison without injury out of wounds made by vipers,
and were supposed to be indued with supernatural powers for this
purpose. By the experiments related by Beccaria, it appears that four
or five times the quantity, taken by the mouth, had about equal effects
with that infused into a wound. The male flowers of the nettle are
separate from the female, and the anthers are seen in fair weather to
burst with force, and to discharge a dust, which hovers about the
plant like a cloud.]


        And fell LOBELIA'S suffocating breath
        Loads the dank pinion of the gale with death.--
195  With fear and hate they blast the affrighted groves,
        Yet own with tender care their _kindred Loves!_--
        So, where PALMIRA 'mid her wasted plains,
        Her shatter'd aqueducts, and prostrate sanes,


[_Lobelia. I._ 193. Longiflora. Grows in the West Indies, and spreads such
deleterious exhalations around it, that an oppression of the breast is
felt on approaching it at many feet distance when placed in the corner of
a room or hot-house. Ingenhouz, Exper. on Air, p. 14.6. Jacquini hort.
botanic. Vindeb. The exhalations from ripe fruit, or withering leaves,
are proved much to injure the air in which they are confined; and, it is
probable, all those vegetables which emit a strong scent may do this in
a greater or less degree, from the Rose to the Lobelia; whence the
unwholesomeness in living perpetually in such an atmosphere of perfume
as some people wear about their hair, or carry in their handkerchiefs.
Either Boerhaave or Dr. Mead have affirmed they were acquainted with a
poisonous fluid whose vapour would presently destroy the person who sat
near it. And it is well known, that the gas from fermenting liquors, or
obtained from lime-stone, will destroy animals immersed in it, as well as
the vapour of the Grotto del Cani near Naples.]

[_So, where Palmira._ I. 197. Among the ruins of Palmira, which are
dispersed not only over the plains but even in the deserts, there is one
single colonade above 2600 yards long, the bases of the Corinthian
columns of which exceed the height of a man: and yet this row is only a
small part of the remains of that one edifice! Volney's Travels.]


        (As the bright orb of breezy midnight pours
200  Long threads of silver through her gaping towers,
        O'er mouldering tombs, and tottering columns gleams,
        And frosts her deserts with diffusive beams),
        Sad o'er the mighty wreck in silence bends,
        Lifts her wet eyes, her tremulous hands extends.--
205  If from lone cliffs a bursting rill expands
        Its transient course, and sinks into the sands;
        O'er the moist rock the fell Hyæna prowls,
        The Leopard hisses, and the Panther growls;
        On quivering wing the famish'd Vulture screams,
210  Dips his dry beak, and sweeps the gushing streams;
        With foamy jaws, beneath, and sanguine tongue,
        Laps the lean Wolf, and pants, and runs along;
        Stern stalks the Lion, on the rustling brinks
        Hears the dread Snake, and trembles as he drinks;
215  Quick darts the scaly Monster o'er the plain,
        Fold after fold, his undulating train;
        And, bending o'er the lake his crested brow,
        Starts at the Crocodile, that gapes below.

        Where seas of glass with gay reflections smile
220  Round the green coasts of Java's palmy isle;
        A spacious plain extends its upland scene,
        Rocks rise on rocks, and fountains gush between;
        Soft zephyrs blow, eternal summers reign,
        And showers prolific bless the soil,--in vain!
225  --No spicy nutmeg scents the vernal gales,
        Nor towering plaintain shades the mid-day vales;
        No grassy mantle hides the sable hills,
        No flowery chaplet crowns the trickling rills;
        Nor tufted moss, nor leathery lichen creeps
230  In russet tapestry o'er the crumbling steeps.
        --No step retreating, on the sand impress'd,
        Invites the visit of a second guest;
        No refluent fin the unpeopled stream divides,
        No revolant pinion cleaves the airy tides;

235  Nor handed moles, nor beaked worms return,
        That mining pass the irremeable bourn.--
        Fierce in dread silence on the blasted heath
        Fell UPAS sits, the HYDRA-TREE of death.
        Lo! from one root, the envenom'd soil below,
240  A thousand vegetative serpents grow;
        In shining rays the scaly monster spreads
        O'er ten square leagues his far-diverging heads;
        Or in one trunk entwists his tangled form,
        Looks o'er the clouds, and hisses in the storm.


[_Upas_. l. 238. There is a poison-tree in the island of Java, which is
said by its effluvia to have depopulated the country for 12 or 14 miles
round the place of its growth. It is called, in the Malayan language,
Bohon-Upas; with the juice of it the most poisonous arrows are prepared;
and, to gain this, the condemned criminals are sent to the tree with
proper direction both to get the juice and to secure themselves from the
malignant exhalations of the tree; and are pardoned if they bring back a
certain quantity of the poison. But by the registers there kept, not
one in four are said to return. Not only animals of all kinds, both
quadrupeds, fish, and birds, but all kinds of vegetables also are
destroyed by the effluvia of the noxious tree; so that, in a district of
12 or 14 miles round it, the face of the earth is quite barren and rocky,
intermixed only with the skeletons of men and animals; affording a scene
of melancholy beyond what poets have described or painters delineated.
Two younger trees of its own species are said to grow near it. See
London Magazine for 1784, or 1783. Translated from a description of the
poison-tree of the island of Java, written in Dutch by N.P. Foereh. For
a further account of it, see a note at the end of the work.]



245  Steep'd in fell poison, as his sharp teeth part,
        A thousand tongues in quick vibration dart;
        Snatch the proud Eagle towering o'er the heath,
        Or pounce the Lion, as he stalks beneath;
        Or strew, as marshall'd hosts contend in vain,
250  With human skeletons the whiten'd plain.
        --Chain'd at his root two scion-demons dwell,
        Breathe the faint hiss, or try the shriller yell;
        Rise, fluttering in the air on callow wings,
        And aim at insect-prey their little stings.
255  So Time's strong arms with sweeping scythe erase
        Art's cumberous works, and empires, from their base;
        While each young Hour its sickle fine employs,
        And crops the sweet buds of domestic joys!

        With blushes bright as morn fair ORCHIS charms,
260  And lulls her infant in her fondling arms;


[_Orchis_. l. 259. The Orchis morio in the circumstance of the
parent-root shrivelling up and dying, as the young one increases, is
not only analogous to other tuberous or knobby roots, but also to some
bulbous roots, as the tulip. The manner of the production of herbaceous
plants from their various perennial roots, seems to want further
investigation, as their analogy is not yet clearly established. The
caudex, or true root, in the orchis lies above the knob; and from this
part the fibrous roots and the new knob are produced. In the tulip the
caudex lies below the bulb; from whence proceed the fibrous roots and the
new bulbs; and I suspect the tulip-root, after it has flowered, dies
like the orchis-root; for the stem of the last year's tulip lies on the
outside, and not in the center of the new bulb; which I am informed does
not happen in the three or four first years when raised from seed, when
it only produces a stem, and slender leaves without flowering. In the
tulip-root, dissected in the early spring, just before it begins to
shoot, a perfect flower is seen in its center; and between the first and
second coat the large next year's bulb is, I believe, produced; between
the second and third coat, and between this and the fourth coat, and
perhaps further, other less and less bulbs are visible, all adjoining
to the caudex at the bottom of the mother-bulb; and which, I am told,
require as many years before they will slower, as the number of the coats
with which they are covered. This annual reproduction of the tulip-root
induces some florists to believe that tulip-roots never die naturally, as
they lose so few of them; whereas the hyacinth-roots, I am informed, will
not last above five or seven years after they have flowered.

The hyacinth-root differs from the tulip-root, as the stem of the last
year's flower is always found in the center of the root, and the new
off-sets arise from the caudex below the bulb, but not beneath any of the
concentric coats of the root, except the external one: hence Mr. Eaton,
an ingenious florist of Derby, to whom I am indebted for most of the
observations in this note, concludes, that the hyacinth-root does not
perish annually after it has flowered like the tulip. Mr. Eaton gave me a
tulip root which had been set too deep in the earth, and the caudex had
elongated itself near an inch, and the new bulb was formed above the old
one, and detached from it, instead of adhering to its side.

The caudex of the ranunculus, cultivated by the florists, lies above the
claw-like root; in this the old root or claws die annually, like the
tulip and orchis, and the new claws, which are seen above the old ones,
draw down the caudex lower into the earth. The same is said to happen to
Scabiosa, or Devil's bit, and some other plants, as valerian and greater
plantain; the new fibrous roots rising round the caudex above the old
ones, the inferior end of the root becomes stumped, as if cut off, after
the old fibres are decayed, and the caudex is drawn down into the earth
by these new roots. See Arum and Tulipa.]


        Soft play _Affection_ round her bosom's throne,
        And guards his life, forgetful of her own.
        So wings the wounded Deer her headlong flight,
        Pierced by some ambush'd archer of the night,
265  Shoots to the woodlands with her bounding fawn,
        And drops of blood bedew the conscious lawn;
        There hid in shades she shuns the cheerful day,
        Hangs o'er her young, and weeps her life away.

        So stood Eliza on the wood-crown'd height,
270  O'er Minden's plain, spectatress of the sight,
        Sought with bold eye amid the bloody strife
        Her dearer self, the partner of her life;
        From hill to hill the rushing host pursued,
        And view'd his banner, or believed she view'd.
275  Pleased with the distant roar, with quicker tread
        Fast by his hand one lisping boy she led;
        And one fair girl amid the loud alarm
        Slept on her kerchief, cradled by her arm;
        While round her brows bright beams of Honour dart,
280  And Love's warm eddies circle round her heart

        --Near and more near the intrepid Beauty press'd,
        Saw through the driving smoke his dancing crest,
        Heard the exulting shout, "they run! they run!"
        "Great GOD!" she cried, "He's safe! the battle's won!"
285  --A ball now hisses through the airy tides,
        (Some Fury wing'd it, and some Demon guides!)
        Parts the fine locks, her graceful head that deck,
        Wounds her fair ear, and sinks into her neck;
        The red stream, issuing from her azure veins,
290  Dyes her white veil, her ivory bosom stains.--
        --"Ah me!" she cried, and, sinking on the ground,
        Kiss'd her dear babes, regardless of the wound;
        "Oh, cease not yet to beat, thou Vital Urn!
        "Wait, gushing Life, oh, wait my Love's return!--
295  "Hoarse barks the wolf, the vulture screams from far!
        "The angel, Pity, shuns the walks of war!----
        "Oh, spare ye War-hounds, spare their tender age!--
        "On me, on me," she cried, "exhaust your rage!"--
        Then with weak arms her weeping babes caress'd,
300  And sighing bid them in her blood-stain'd vest.
        From tent to tent the impatient warrior flies,
        Fear in his heart, and frenzy in his eyes;
        Eliza's name along the camp he calls,
        Eliza echoes through the canvas walls;
305  Quick through the murmuring gloom his footsteps tread,
        O'er groaning heaps, the dying and the dead,
        Vault o'er the plain, and in the tangled wood,
        Lo! dead Eliza weltering in her blood!--
        --Soon hears his listening son the welcome sounds,
310  With open arms and sparkling eyes he bounds:--
        "Speak low," he cries, and gives his little hand,
        "Eliza sleeps upon the dew-cold sand;
        "Poor weeping Babe with bloody fingers press'd,
        "And tried with pouting lips her milkless breast;
315  "Alas! we both with cold and hunger quake--
        "Why do you weep?--Mama will soon awake."
        --"She'll wake no more!" the hopeless mourner cried
        Upturn'd his eyes, and clasp'd his hands, and sigh'd;
        Stretch'd on the ground awhile entranc'd he lay,
320  And press'd warm kisses on the lifeless clay;
        And then unsprung with wild convulsive start,
        And all the Father kindled in his heart;
        "Oh, Heavens!" he cried, "my first rash vow forgive!
        "These bind to earth, for these I pray to live!"--
325  Round his chill babes he wrapp'd his crimson vest,
        And clasp'd them sobbing to his aching breast.

        _Two_ Harlot-Nymphs, the fair CUSCUTAS, please
        With labour'd negligence, and studied ease;


[_Cuscuta._ l. 327. Dodder. Four males, two females. This parasite plant
(the seed splitting without cotyledons), protrudes a spiral body, and not
endeavouring to root itself in the earth ascends the vegetables in its
vicinity, spirally W.S.E. or contrary to the movement of the sun;
and absorbs its nourishment by vessels apparently inserted into its
supporters. It bears no leaves, except here and there a scale, very
small, membranous, and close under the branch. Lin. Spec. Plant. edit. a
Reichard. Vol. I. p. 352. The Rev. T. Martyn, in his elegant letters on
botany, adds, that, not content with support, where it lays hold, there
it draws its nourishment; and at length, in gratitude for all this,
strangles its entertainer. Let. xv. A contest for air and light obtains
throughout the whole vegetable world; shrubs rise above herbs; and, by
precluding the air and light from them, injure or destroy them; trees
suffocate or incommode shrubs; the parasite climbing plants, as Ivy,
Clematis, incommode the taller trees; and other parasites, which exist
without having roots on the ground, as Misletoe, Tillandsia, Epidendrum,
and the mosses and funguses, incommode them all.

Some of the plants with voluble stems ascend other plants spirally
east-south-west, as Humulus, Hop, Lonicera, Honey-suckle, Tamus,
black Bryony, Helxine. Others turn their spiral stems west-south-east, as
Convolvulus, Corn-bind, Phaseolus, Kidney-bean, Basella, Cynanche,
Euphorbia, Eupatorium. The proximate or final causes of this difference
have not been investigated. Other plants are furnished with tendrils for
the purpose of climbing: if the tendril meets with nothing to lay hold of
in its first revolution, it makes another revolution; and so on till it
wraps itself quite up like a cork-screw; hence, to a careless observer,
it appears to move gradually backwards and forwards, being seen sometimes
pointing eastward and sometimes westward. One of the Indian grasses,
Panicum arborescens, whose stem is no thicker than a goose-quill, rises
as high as the tallest trees in this contest for light and air. Spec.
Plant a Reichard, Vol. I. p. 161. The tops of many climbing plants are
tender from their quick growth; and, when deprived of their acrimony by
boiling, are an agreeable article of food. The Hop-tops are in common
use. I have eaten the tops of white Bryony, Bryonia alba, and found them
nearly as grateful as Asparagus, and think this plant might be profitably
cultivated as an early garden-vegetable. The Tamus (called black Bryony),
was less agreeable to the taste when boiled. See Galanthus.]


        In the meek garb of modest worth disguised,
330  The eye averted, and the smile chastised,
        With sly approach they spread their dangerous charms,
        And round their victim wind their wiry arms.
        So by Scamander when LAOCOON stood,
        Where Troy's proud turrets glitter'd in the flood,
335  Raised high his arm, and with prophetic call
        To shrinking realms announced her fatal fall;
        Whirl'd his fierce spear with more than mortal force,
        And pierced the thick ribs of the echoing horse;

        Two Serpent-forms incumbent on the main,
340  Lashing the white waves with redundant train,
        Arch'd their blue necks, and (hook their towering crests,
        And plough'd their foamy way with speckled breasts;
        Then darting fierce amid the affrighted throngs,
        Roll'd their red eyes, and shot their forked tongues,--
345  --Two daring Youths to guard the hoary fire
        Thwart their dread progress, and provoke their ire.
        Round sire and sons the scaly monsters roll'd,
        Ring above ring, in many a tangled fold,
        Close and more close their writhing limbs surround,
350  And fix with foamy teeth the envenom'd wound.
        --With brow upturn'd to heaven the holy Sage
        In silent agony sustains their rage;
        While each fond Youth, in vain, with piercing cries
        Bends on the tortured Sire his dying eyes.
355  "Drink deep, sweet youths" seductive VITIS cries,
        The maudlin tear-drop glittering in her eyes;
        Green leaves and purple clusters crown her head,
        And the tall Thyrsus stays her tottering tread.
        --_Five_ hapless swains with soft assuasive smiles
360  The harlot meshes in her deathful toils;
        "Drink deep," she carols, as she waves in air
        The mantling goblet, "and forget your care."--
        O'er the dread feast malignant Chemia scowls,
        And mingles poison in the nectar'd bowls;
365  Fell Gout peeps grinning through the flimsy scene,
        And bloated Dropsy pants behind unseen;
        Wrapp'd in his robe white Lepra hides his stains,
        And silent Frenzy writhing bites his chains.


[_Vitis_. 1. 355. Vine. Five males, one female. The juice of the ripe
grape is a nutritive and agreeable food, consisting chiefly of sugar and
mucilage. The chemical process of fermentation converts this sugar into
spirit, converts food into poison! And it has thus become the curse of
the Christian world, producing more than half of our chronical diseases;
which Mahomet observed, and forbade the use of it to his disciples. The
Arabians invented distillation; and thus, by obtaining the spirit of
fermented liquors in a less diluted slate, added to its destructive
quality. A Theory of the Diabætes and Dropsy, produced by drinking
fermented or spirituous liquors, is explained in a Treatise on the
inverted motions of the lymphatic system, published by Dr. Darwin.
Cadell.]


        So when PROMETHEUS braved the Thunderer's ire,
370  Stole from his blazing throne etherial fire,
        And, lantern'd in his breast, from realms of day
        Bore the bright treasure to his Man of clay;--
        High on cold Caucasus by VULCAN bound,
        The lean impatient Vulture fluttering round,
375  His writhing limbs in vain he twists and strains
        To break or loose the adamantine chains.
        The gluttonous bird, exulting in his pangs,
        Tears his swoln liver with remorseless fangs.


[_Prometheus_, l. 369. The antient story of Prometheus, who concealed
in his bosom the fire he had stolen, and afterwards had a vulture
perpetually gnawing his liver, affords so apt an allegory for the effects
of drinking spirituous liquors, that one should be induced to think the
art of distillation, as well as some other chemical processes (such as
calcining gold), had been known in times of great antiquity, and lost
again. The swallowing drams cannot be better represented in hieroglyphic
language than by taking fire into one's bosom; and certain it is, that
the general effect of drinking fermented or spirituous liquors is an
inflamed, schirrous, or paralytic liver, with its various critical or
consequential diseases, as leprous eruptions on the face, gout, dropsy,
epilepsy, insanity. It is remarkable, that all the diseases from drinking
spirituous or fermented liquors are liable to become hereditary, even to
the third generation; gradually increasing, if the cause be continued,
till the family becomes extinct.]


        The gentle CYCLAMEN with dewy eye
380  Breathes o'er her lifeless babe the parting sigh;
        And, bending low to earth, with pious hands
        Inhumes her dear Departed in the sands.
        "Sweet Nursling! withering in thy tender hour,
        "Oh, sleep," She cries, "and rise a fairer flower!"
385   --So when the Plague o'er London's gasping crowds
        Shook her dank wing, and steer'd her murky clouds;
        When o'er the friendless bier no rites were read,
        No dirge slow-chanted, and no pall out-spread;
        While Death and Night piled up the naked throng,
390  And Silence drove their ebon cars along;
        Six lovely daughters, and their father, swept
        To the throng'd grave CLEONE saw, and wept;


[_Cyclamen_. 1. 379. Shew-bread, or Sow-bread. When the seeds are ripe,
the stalk of the flower gradually twists itself spirally downwards, till
it touches the ground, and forcibly penetrating the earth lodges its
seeds; which are thought to receive nourishment from the parent root, as
they are said not to be made to grow in any other situation.

The Trifolium subterraneum, subterraneous trefoil, is another plant,
which buries its seed, the globular head of the seed penetrating the
earth; which, however, in this plant may be only an attempt to conceal
its seeds from the ravages of birds; for there is another trefoil, the
trifolium globosum, or globular woolly-headed trefoil, which has a
curious manner of concealing its seeds; the lower florets only have
corols and are fertile; the upper ones wither into a kind of wool, and,
forming a bead, completely conceal the fertile calyxes. Lin. Spec. Plant,
a Reichard.]


        Her tender mind, with meek Religion fraught,
        Drank all-resigned Affliction's bitter draught;
395  Alive and listening to the whisper'd groan
        Of others' woes, unconscious of her own!--
        One smiling boy, her last sweet hope, she warms
        Hushed on her bosom, circled in her arms,--
        Daughter of woe! ere morn, in vain caress'd,
400  Clung the cold Babe upon thy milkless breast,
        With feeble cries thy last sad aid required,
        Stretch'd its stiff limbs, and on thy lap expired!--
        --Long with wide eye-lids on her Child she gazed,
        And long to heaven their tearless orbs she raised;
405  Then with quick foot and throbbing heart she found
        Where Chartreuse open'd deep his holy ground;


[_Where Chartreuse_. l. 406. During the plague in London, 1665, one pit
to receive the dead was dug in the Charter-house, 40 feet long, 16 feet
wide, and about 20 feet deep; and in two weeks received 1114 bodies.
During this dreadful calamity there were instances of mothers carrying
their own children to those public graves, and of people delirious, or in
despair from the loss of their friends, who threw themselves alive into
these pits. Journal of the Plague-year in 1665, printed for E. Nutt,
Royal-Exchange.]


        Bore her last treasure through the midnight gloom,
        And kneeling dropp'd it in the mighty tomb;
        "I follow next!" the frantic mourner said,
410  And living plunged amid the festering dead.

        Where vast Ontario rolls his brineless tides,
        And feeds the trackless forests on his sides,
        Fair CASSIA trembling hears the howling woods,
        And trusts her tawny children to the floods.--


[_Rolls his brineless tide._ l. 411. Some philosophers have believed
that the continent of America was not raised out of the great ocean at
so early a period of time as the other continents. One reason for this
opinion was, because the great lakes, perhaps nearly as large as the
Mediterranean Sea, consist of fresh water. And as the sea-salt seems to
have its origin from the destruction of vegetable and animal bodies,
washed down by rains, and carried by rivers into lakes or seas; it
would seem that this source of sea-salt had not so long existed in that
country. There is, however, a more satisfactory way of explaining this
circumstance; which is, that the American lakes lie above the level of
the ocean, and are hence perpetually desalited by the rivers which run
through them; which is not the case with the Mediterranean, into which a
current from the main ocean perpetually passes.]

[_Caffia._ l. 413. Ten males, one female. The seeds are black, the
stamens gold-colour. This is one of the American fruits, which are
annually thrown on the coasts of Norway; and are frequently in so recent
a state as to vegetate, when properly taken care of, the fruit of the
anacardium, cashew-nut; of cucurbita lagenaria, bottlegourd; of the
mimosa scandens, cocoons; of the piscidia erythrina, logwood-tree; and
cocoa-nuts are enumerated by Dr. Tonning. (Amæn. Acad. 149.) amongst
these emigrant seeds. The fact is truly wonderful, and cannot be
accounted for but by the existence of under currents in the depths of the
ocean; or from vortexes of water passing from one country to another
through caverns of the earth.

Sir Hans Sloane has given an account of four kinds of seeds, which are
frequently thrown by the sea upon the coasts of the islands of the
northern parts of Scotland. Phil. Trans. abridged, Vol. III. p. 540.
which seeds are natives of the West Indies, and seem to be brought
thither by the gulf-stream described below. One of these is called, by
Sir H. Sloane, Phaseolus maximus perennis, which is often also thrown
on the coast of Kerry in Ireland; another is called, in Jamaica,
Horse-eye-bean; and a third is called Niker in Jamaica. He adds, that
the Lenticula marina, or Sargosso, grows on the rocks about Jamaica, is
carried by the winds and current towards the coast of Florida, and thence
into the North-American ocean, where it lies very thick on the surface of
the sea.

Thus a rapid current passes from the gulf of Florida to the N.E.
along the coast of North-America, known to seamen by the name of the
GULF-STREAM. A chart of this was published by Dr. Francklin in 1768, from
the information principally of Capt. Folger. This was confirmed by the
ingenious experiments of Dr. Blagden, published in 1781, who found that
the water of the Gulf-stream was from six to eleven degrees warmer
than the water of the sea through which it ran; which must have been
occasioned by its being brought from a hotter climate. He ascribes the
origin of this current to the power of the trade-winds, which, blowing
always in the same direction, carry the waters of the Atlantic ocean to
the westward, till they are stopped by the opposing continent on the west
of the Gulf of Mexico, and are thus accumulated there, and run down the
Gulf of Florida. Philos. Trans. V. 71, p. 335. Governor Pownal has given
an elegant map of this Gulf-stream, tracing it from the Gulf of Florida
northward as far as Cape Sable in Nova Scotia, and then across the
Atlantic ocean to the coast of Africa between the Canary-islands and
Senegal, increasing in breadth, as it runs, till it occupies five or six
degrees of latitude. The Governor likewise ascribes this current to the
force of the trade-winds _protruding_ the waters westward, till they are
opposed by the continent, and accumulated in the Gulf of Mexico. He very
ingeniously observes, that a great eddy must be produced in the Atlantic
ocean between this Gulf-stream and the westerly current protruded by the
tropical winds, and in this eddy are found the immense fields of floating
vegetables, called Saragosa weeds, and Gulf-weeds, and some light woods,
which circulate in these vast eddies, or are occasionally driven out of
them by the winds. Hydraulic and Nautical Observations by Governor
Pownal, 1787. Other currents are mentioned by the Governor in this
ingenious work, as those in the Indian Sea, northward of the line, which
are ascribed to the influence of the Monsoons. It is probable, that in
process of time the narrow tract of land on the west of the Gulf of
Mexico may be worn away by this elevation of water dashing against it, by
which this immense current would cease to exist, and a wonderful change
take place in the Gulf of Mexico and West Indian islands, by the
subsiding of the sea, which might probably lay all those islands int
one, or join them to the continent.]


415  Cinctured with gold while _ten_ fond brothers stand,
        And guard the beauty on her native land,

        Soft breathes the gale, the current gently moves,
        And bears to Norway's coasts her infant-loves.
        --So the sad mother at the noon of night
420  From bloody Memphis stole her silent flight;
        Wrapp'd her dear babe beneath her folded vest,
        And clasp'd the treasure to her throbbing breast,
        With soothing whispers hushed its feeble cry,
        Pressed the soft kiss, and breathed the secret sigh.--
425  --With dauntless step she seeks the winding shore,
        Hears unappall'd the glimmering torrents roar;
        With Paper-flags a floating cradle weaves,
        And hides the smiling boy in Lotus-leaves;
        Gives her white bosom to his eager lips,
430  The salt tears mingling with the milk he sips;
        Waits on the reed-crown'd brink with pious guile,
        And trusts the scaly monsters of the Nile.--

        --Erewhile majestic from his lone abode,
        Embassador of Heaven, the Prophet trod;
435  Wrench'd the red Scourge from proud Oppression's hands,
        And broke, curst Slavery! thy iron bands.

        Hark! heard ye not that piercing cry,
        Which shook the waves and rent the sky!--

        E'en now, e'en now, on yonder Western shores
440  Weeps pale Despair, and writhing Anguish roars:
        E'en now in Afric's groves with hideous yell
        Fierce SLAVERY stalks, and slips the dogs of hell;
        From vale to vale the gathering cries rebound,
        And sable nations tremble at the sound!--
445  --YE BANDS OF SENATORS! whose suffrage sways
        Britannia's realms, whom either Ind obeys;
        Who right the injured, and reward the brave,
        Stretch your strong arm, for ye have power to save!
        Throned in the vaulted heart, his dread resort,
450  Inexorable CONSCIENCE holds his court;
        With still small voice the plots of Guilt alarms,
        Bares his mask'd brow, his lifted hand disarms;
        But, wrapp'd in night with terrors all his own,
        He speaks in thunder, when the deed is done.
455  _Hear him_ ye Senates! hear this truth sublime,
        "HE, WHO ALLOWS OPPRESSION, SHARES THE CRIME."

        No radiant pearl, which crested Fortune wears,
        No gem, that twinkling hangs from Beauty's ears,
        Not the bright stars, which Night's blue arch adorn,
460  Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn,
        Shine with such lustre as the tear, that breaks
        For other's woe down Virtue's manly cheeks."

        Here ceased the MUSE, and dropp'd her tuneful shell,
        Tumultuous woes her panting bosom swell,
465  O'er her flush'd cheek her gauzy veil she throws,
        Folds her white arms, and bends her laurel'd brows;
        For human guilt awhile the Goddess sighs,
        And human sorrows dim celestial eyes.



INTERLUDE III.


_Bookseller_. Poetry has been called a sister-art both to Painting and to
Music; I wish to know, what are the particulars of their relationship?

_Poet_. It has been already observed, that the principal part of the
language of poetry consists of those words, which are expressive of the
ideas, which we originally receive by the organ of sight; and in this it
nearly indeed resembles painting; which can express itself in no other
way, but by exciting the ideas or sensations belonging to the sense of
vision. But besides this essential similitude in the language of the
poetic pen and pencil, these two sisters resemble each other, if I may
so say, in many of their habits and manners. The painter, to produce a
strong effect, makes a few parts of his picture large, distinct, and
luminous, and keeps the remainder in shadow, or even beneath its natural
size and colour, to give eminence to the principal figure. This is
similar to the common manner of poetic composition, where the subordinate
characters are kept down, to elevate and give consequence to the hero or
heroine of the piece.

In the south aile of the cathedral church at Lichfield, there is an
antient monument of a recumbent figure; the head and neck of which lie
on a roll of matting in a kind of niche or cavern in the wall; and about
five feet distant horizontally in another opening or cavern in the wall
are seen the feet and ankles, with some folds of garment, lying also on
a matt; and though the intermediate space is a solid stone-wall, yet the
imagination supplies the deficiency, and the whole figure seems to exist
before our eyes. Does not this resemble one of the arts both of the
painter and the poet? The former often shows a muscular arm amidst a
group of figures, or an impassioned face; and, hiding the remainder of
the body behind other objects, leaves the imagination to compleat it. The
latter, describing a single feature or attitude in picturesque words,
produces before the mind an image of the whole.

I remember seeing a print, in which was represented a shrivelled hand
stretched through an iron grate, in the stone floor of a prison-yard, to
reach at a mess of porrage, which affected me with more horrid ideas of
the distress of the prisoner in the dungeon below, than could have
been perhaps produced by an exhibition of the whole person. And in the
following beautiful scenery from the Midsummer-night's dream, (in which I
have taken the liberty to alter the place of a comma), the description of
the swimming step and prominent belly bring the whole figure before our
eyes with the distinctness of reality.

        When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive,
        And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
        Which she with pretty and with swimming gate,
        Following her womb, (then rich with my young squire),
        Would imitate, and sail upon the land.

There is a third sister-feature, which belongs both to the pictorial and
poetic art; and that is the making sentiments and passions visible, as
it were, to the spectator; this is done in both arts by describing or
portraying the effects or changes which those sentiments or passions
produce upon the body. At the end of the unaltered play of Lear, there
is a beautiful example of poetic painting; the old King is introduced as
dying from grief for the loss of Cordelia; at this crisis, Shakespear,
conceiving the robe of the king to be held together by a clasp,
represents him as only saying to an attendant courtier in a faint voice,
"Pray, Sir, undo this button,--thank you, Sir," and dies. Thus by the
art of the poet, the oppression at the bosom of the dying King is made
visible, not described in words.

_B_. What are the features, in which these Sister-arts do not resemble
each other?

_P_. The ingenious Bishop Berkeley, in his Treatise on Vision, a work of
great ability, has evinced, that the colours, which we see, are only a
language suggesting to our minds the ideas of solidity and extension,
which we had before received by the sense of touch. Thus when we view the
trunk of a tree, our eye can only acquaint us with the colours or shades;
and from the previous experience of the sense of touch, these suggest to
us the cylindrical form, with the prominent or depressed wrinkles on
it. From hence it appears, that there is the strictest analogy between
colours and sounds; as they are both but languages, which do not
represent their correspondent ideas, but only suggest them to the mind
from the habits or associations of previous experience. It is therefore
reasonable to conclude, that the more artificial arrangements of these
two languages by the poet and the painter bear a similar analogy.

But in one circumstance the Pen and the Pencil differ widely from each
other, and that is the quantity of Time which they can include in their
respective representations. The former can unravel a long series of
events, which may constitute the history of days or years; while the
latter can exhibit only the actions of a moment. The Poet is happier in
describing successive scenes; the Painter in representing stationary
ones: both have their advantages.

Where the passions are introduced, as the Poet, on one hand, has the
power gradually to prepare the mind of his reader by previous climacteric
circumstances; the Painter, on the other hand, can throw stronger
illumination and distinctness on the principal moment or catastrophe of
the action; besides the advantage he has in using an universal language,
which can be _read_ in an instant of time. Thus where a great number of
figures are all seen together, supporting or contrasting each other, and
contributing to explain or aggrandize the principal effect, we view
a picture with agreeable surprize, and contemplate it with unceasing
admiration. In the representation of the sacrifice of Jephtha's Daughter,
a print done from a painting of Ant. Coypel, at one glance of the eye
we read all the interesting passages of the last act of a well-written
tragedy; so much poetry is there condensed into a moment of time.

_B._ Will you now oblige me with an account of the relationship between
Poetry, and her other sister, Music? _P_. In the poetry of our language
I don't think we are to look for any thing analogous to the notes of the
gamut; for, except perhaps in a few exclamations or interrogations, we
are at liberty to raise or sink our voice an octave or two at pleasure,
without altering the sense of the words. Hence, if either poetry or prose
be read in melodious tones of voice, as is done in recitativo, or in
chaunting, it must depend on the speaker, not on the writer: for though
words may be selected which are less harsh than others, that is, which
have fewer sudden stops or abrupt consonants amongst the vowels, or
with fewer sibilant letters, yet this does not constitute melody, which
consists of agreeable successions of notes referrable to the gamut; or
harmony, which consists of agreeable combinations of them. If the Chinese
language has many words of similar articulation, which yet signify
different ideas, when spoken in a higher or lower musical note, as some
travellers affirm, it must be capable of much finer effect, in respect to
the audible part of poetry, than any language we are acquainted with.

There is however another affinity, in which poetry and music more nearly
resemble each other than has generally been understood, and that is in
their measure or time. There are but two kinds of time acknowledged in
modern music, which are called _triple time_, and _common time_. The
former of these is divided by bars, each bar containing three crotchets,
or a proportional number of their subdivisions into quavers and
semiquavers. This kind of time is analogous to the measure of our heroic
or iambic verse. Thus the two following couplets are each of them divided
into five bars of _triple time_, each bar consisting of two crotchets and
two quavers; nor can they be divided into bars analogous to _common time_
without the bars interfering with some of the crotchets, so as to divide
them.

        _3_  Soft-warbling beaks ¦ in each bright blos ¦ som move,
          4   And vo ¦ cal rosebuds thrill ¦ the enchanted grove, ¦

In these lines there is a quaver and a crochet alternately in every bar,
except in the last, in which _the in_ make two semiquavers; the _e_ is
supposed by Grammarians to be cut off, which any one's ear will readily
determine not to be true.

        _3_ Life buds or breathes ¦ from Indus to ¦ the poles,
          4  And the ¦ vast surface kind ¦ les, as it rolls. ¦

In these lines there is a quaver and a crotchet alternately in the first
bar; a quaver, two crotchets, and a quaver, make the second bar. In the
third bar there is a quaver, a crotchet, and a rest after the crotchet,
that is, after the word _poles_, and two quavers begin the next line. The
fourth bar consists of quavers and crotchets alternately. In the last bar
there is a quaver, and a rest after it, viz. after the word _kindles_;
and then two quavers and a crotchet. You will clearly perceive the truth
of this, if you prick the musical characters above mentioned under the
verses.

The _common time_ of musicians is divided into bars, each of which
contains four crotchets, or a proportional number of their subdivision
into quavers and semiquavers. This kind of musical time is analogous to
the dactyle verses of our language, the most popular instances of which
are in Mr. Anstie's Bath-Guide. In this kind of verse the bar does not
begin till after the first or second syllable; and where the verse is
quite complete, and written by a good ear, these first syllables added to
the last complete the bar, exactly in this also corresponding with many
pieces of music;

        _2_  Yet ¦ if one may guess by the ¦ size of his calf, Sir,
          4   He ¦ weighs about twenty-three ¦ stone and a half, Sir.

        _2_  Master ¦ Mamozet's head was not ¦ finished so soon,
          4   For it ¦ took up the barber a ¦ whole afternoon.

In these lines each bar consists of a crotchet, two quavers, another
crotchet, and two more quavers: which are equal to four crotchets, and,
like many bars of _common time_ in music, may be subdivided into two in
beating time without disturbing the measure.

The following verses from Shenftone belong likewise to common time:

        2/4 A | river or a sea |
        Was to him a dish | of tea,
        And a king | dom bread and butter.

The first and second bars consist each of a crotchet, a quaver, a
crotchet, a quaver, a crotchet. The third bar consists of a quaver, two
crotchets, a quaver, a crotchet. The last bar is not complete without
adding the letter A, which begins the first line, and then it consists of
a quaver, a crotchet, a quaver, a crotchet, two quavers.

It must be observed, that the crotchets in triple time are in general
played by musicians slower than those of common time, and hence minuets
are generally pricked in triple time, and country dances generally in
common time. So the verses above related, which are analogous to _triple
time_, are generally read slower than those analogous to _common time_;
and are thence generally used for graver compositions. I suppose all the
different kinds of verses to be found in our odes, which have any measure
at all, might be arranged under one or other of these two musical times;
allowing a note or two sometimes to precede the commencement of the bar,
and occasional rests, as in musical compositions: if this was attended
to by those who set poetry to music, it is probable the sound and sense
would oftener coincide. Whether these musical times can be applied to the
lyric and heroic verses of the Greek and Latin poets, I do not pretend to
determine; certain it is, that the dactyle verse of our language, when
it is ended with a double rhime, much resembles the measure of Homer
and Virgil, except in the length of the lines. B. Then there is no
relationship between the other two of these sister-, Painting and Music?

_P_. There is at least a mathematical relationship, or perhaps I ought
rather to have said a metaphysical relationship between them. Sir Isaac
Newton has observed, that the breadths of the seven primary colours
in the Sun's image refracted by a prism are proportional to the seven
musical notes of the gamut, or to the intervals of the eight sounds
contained in an octave, that is, proportional to the following numbers:

        Sol.   La.     Fa.    Sol.   La.       Mi.   Fa.     Sol.
        Red. Orange. Yellow. Green.  Blue.  Indigo. Violet,
        1      1       1       1       1      1      1
        9      16      10      9       16     16     9

Newton's Optics, Book I. part 2. prop. 3 and 6. Dr. Smith, in his
Harmonics, has an explanatory note upon this happy discovery, as he terms
it, of Newton. Sect. 4. Art. 7. From this curious coincidence, it has
been proposed to produce a luminous music, confiding of successions
or combinations of colours, analogous to a tune in respect to the
proportions above mentioned. This might be performed by a strong light,
made by means of Mr. Argand's lamps, passing through coloured glasses,
and falling on a defined part of a wall, with moveable blinds before
them, which might communicate with the keys of a harpsichord; and thus
produce at the same time visible and audible music in unison with each
other. The execution of this idea is said by Mr. Guyot to have been
attempted by Father Cassel without much success. If this should be
again attempted, there is another curious coincidence between sounds and
colours, discovered by Dr. Darwin of Shrewsbury, and explained in a paper
on what he calls Ocular Spectra, in the Philosophical Transactions, Vol.
LXXVI. which might much facilitate the execution of it. In this treatise
the Doctor has demonstrated, that we see certain colours, not only with
greater ease and distinctness, but with relief and pleasure, after having
for some time contemplated other certain colours; as green after red, or
red after green; orange after blue, or blue after orange; yellow after
violet, or violet after yellow. This he shews arises from the _ocular
spectrum_ of the colour last viewed coinciding with the _irritation_ of
the colour now under contemplation. Now as the pleasure we receive
from the sensation of melodious notes, independent of the previous
associations of agreeable ideas with them, must arise from our hearing
some proportions of sounds after others more easily, distinctly, or
agreeably; and as there is a coincidence between the proportions of the
primary colours, and the primary sounds, if they may be so called; he
argues, that the same laws must govern the sensations of both. In this
circumstance, therefore, consists the sisterhood of Music and Painting;
and hence they claim a right to borrow metaphors from each other;
musicians to speak of the brilliancy of sounds, and the light and shade
of a concerto; and painters of the harmony of colours, and the tone of a
picture. Thus it was not quite so absurd, as was imagined, when the blind
man asked if the colour scarlet was like the sound of a trumpet. As the
coincidence or opposition of these _ocular spectra_, (or colours which
remain in the eye after having for some time contemplated a luminous
object) are more easily and more accurately ascertained, now their laws
have been investigated by Dr. Darwin, than the _relicts_ of evanescent
sounds upon the ear; it is to be wished that some ingenious musician
would further cultivate this curious field of science: for if visible
music can be agreeably produced, it would be more easy to add sentiment
to it by the representations of groves and Cupids, and sleeping nymphs
amid the changing colours, than is commonly done by the words of audible
music.

_B._ You mentioned the greater length of the verses of Homer and Virgil.
Had not these poets great advantage in the superiority of their languages
compared to our own?

_P_. It is probable, that the introduction of philosophy into a country
must gradually affect the language of it; as philosophy converses in more
appropriated and abstracted terms; and thus by degrees eradicates the
abundance of metaphor, which is used in the more early ages of society.
Otherwise, though the Greek compound words have more vowels in proportion
to their consonants than the English ones, yet the modes of compounding
them are less general; as may be seen by variety of instances given in
the preface of the Translators, prefixed to the SYSTEM OF VEGETABLES by
the Lichfield Society; which happy property of our own language rendered
that translation of Linneus as expressive and as concise, perhaps more so
than the original.

And in one respect, I believe, the English language serves the purpose
of poetry better than the antient ones, I mean in the greater ease of
producing personifications; for as our nouns have in general no genders
affixed to them in prose-compositions, and in the habits of conversation,
they become easily personified only by the addition of a masculine or
feminine pronoun, as,

        Pale Melancholy sits, and round _her_ throws
        A death-like silence, and a dread repose.
                                                       _Pope's Abelard._

And secondly, as most of our nouns have the article _a_ or _the_ prefixed
to them in prose-writing and in conversation, they in general become
personified even by the omission of these articles; as in the bold figure
of Shipwreck in Miss Seward's Elegy on Capt. Cook:

        But round the steepy rocks and dangerous strand
        Rolls the white surf, and SHIPWRECK guards the land.

Add to this, that if the verses in our heroic poetry be shorter than
those of the ancients, our words likewise are shorter; and in respect
to their measure or time, which has erroneously been called melody and
harmony, I doubt, from what has been said above, whether we are so much
inferior as is generally believed; since many passages, which have been
stolen from antient poets, have been translated into our language without
losing any thing of the beauty of the versification.

_B._ I am glad to hear you acknowledge the thefts of the modern poets
from the antient ones, whose works I suppose have been reckoned lawful
plunder in all ages. But have not you borrowed epithets, phrases, and
even half a line occasionally from modern poems?

_P._ It may be difficult to mark the exact boundary of what should be
termed plagiarism: where the sentiment and expression are both borrowed
without due acknowledgement, there can be no doubt;--single words, on
the contrary, taken from other authors, cannot convict a writer of
plagiarism; they are lawful game, wild by nature, the property of all
who can capture them;--and perhaps a few common flowers of speech may be
gathered, as we pass over our neighbour's inclosure, without stigmatizing
us with the title of thieves; but we must not therefore plunder his
cultivated fruit.

The four lines at the end of the plant Upas are imitated from Dr. Young's
Night Thoughts. The line in the episode adjoined to Cassia, "The salt
tear mingling with the milk he sips," is from an interesting and humane
passage in Langhorne's Justice of Peace. There are probably many others,
which, if I could recollect them, should here be acknowledged. As it is,
like exotic plants, their mixture with the natives ones, I hope, adds
beauty to my Botanic Garden:--and such as it is, _Mr. Bookseller_, I now
leave it to you to desire the Ladies and Gentlemen to walk in; but please
to apprize them, that, like the spectators at an unskilful exhibition in
some village-barn, I hope they will make Good-humour one of their party;
and thus theirselves supply the defects of the representation.



        THE

        LOVES

        OF

        THE

        PLANTS



        CANTO IV.

        Now the broad Sun his golden orb unshrouds,
        Flames in the west, and paints the parted clouds;
        O'er heaven's wide arch refracted lustres flow,
        And bend in air the many-colour'd bow.--
5      --The tuneful Goddess on the glowing sky
        Fix'd in mute extacy her glistening eye;
        And then her lute to sweeter tones she strung,
        And swell'd with softer chords the Paphian song.
        Long ailes of Oaks return'd the silver sound,
10    And amorous Echoes talk'd along the ground;
        Pleas'd Lichfield listen'd from her sacred bowers,
        Bow'd her tall groves, and shook her stately towers.

        "Nymph! not for thee the radiant day returns,
        Nymph! not for thee the golden solstice burns,
15    Refulgent CEREA!--at the dusky hour
        She seeks with pensive step the mountain-bower,


[_Pleas'd Lichfield._ I. 11. The scenery described at the beginning of
the first part, or economy of vegetation, is taken from a botanic garden
about a mile from Lichfield.

_Cerea._ l. 15. Cactus grandiflorus, or Cereus. Twenty males, one female.
This flower is a native of Jamaica and Veracrux. It expands a most
exquisitely beautiful corol, and emits a most fragrant odour for a few
hours in the night, and then closes to open no more. The flower is nearly
a foot in diameter; the inside of the calyx of a splendid yellow, and the
numerous petals of a pure white: it begins to open about seven or eight
o'clock in the evening, and closes before sun-rise in the morning.
Martyn's Letters, p. 294. The Cistus labdiniferus, and many other
flowers, lose their petals after having been a few hours expanded in
the day-time; for in these plants the stigma is soon impregnated by the
numerous anthers: in many flowers of the Cistus lubdiniferus I observed
two or three of the stamens were perpetually bent into contact with the
pistil.

The Nyctanthes, called Arabian Jasmine, is another flower, which expands
a beautiful corol, and gives out a most delicate perfume during the
night, and not in the day, in its native country, whence its name;
botanical philosophers have not yet explained this wonderful property;
perhaps the plant sleeps during the day as some animals do; and its
odoriferous glands only emit their fragrance during the expansion of
the petals; that is, during its waking hours: the Geranium triste has
the same property of giving up its fragrance only in the night. The
flowers of the Cucurbita lagenaria are said to close when the sun
shines upon them. In our climate many flowers, as tragopogon, and
hibiscus, close their flowers before the hottest part of the day comes
on; and the flowers of some species of cucubalus, and Silene, viscous
campion, are closed all day; but when the sun leaves them they expand,
and emit a very agreeable scent; whence such plants are termed
noctiflora.]


        Bright as the blush of rising morn, and warms
        The dull cold eye of Midnight with her charms.
        There to the skies she lifts her pencill'd brows,
20    Opes her fair lips, and breathes her virgin vows;
        Eyes the white zenyth; counts the suns, that roll
        Their distant fires, and blaze around the Pole;
        Or marks where Jove directs his glittering car
        O'er Heaven's blue vault,--Herself a brighter star.
25     --There as soft Zephyrs sweep with pausing airs
        Thy snowy neck, and part thy shadowy hairs,
        Sweet Maid of Night! to Cynthia's sober beams
        Glows thy warm cheek, thy polish'd bosom gleams.
        _In crowds_ around thee gaze the admiring swains,
30    And guard in silence the enchanted plains;
        Drop the still tear, or breathe the impassion'd sigh,
        And drink inebriate rapture from thine eye.
        Thus, when old Needwood's hoary scenes the Night
        Paints with blue shadow, and with milky light;
35    Where MUNDY pour'd, the listening nymphs among,
        Loud to the echoing vales his parting song;
        With measured step the Fairy Sovereign treads,
        Shakes her high plume, and glitters o'er the meads;
        Round each green holly leads her sportive train,
40    And little footsteps mark the circled plain;
        Each haunted rill with silver voices rings,
        And Night's sweet bird in livelier accents sings.

        Ere the bright star, which leads the morning sky,
        Hangs o'er the blushing east his diamond eye,
45    The chaste TROPAEO leaves her secret bed;
        A saint-like glory trembles round her head;


[_ Where Mundy._ l. 35. Alluding to an unpublished poem by F. N. Mundy,
Esq. on his leaving Needwood-Forest.

_Tropæolum._ l. 45. Majus. Garden Nasturtion, or greater Indian cress.
Eight males, one female. Miss E. C. Linneus first observed the Tropæolum
Majus to emit sparks or flashes in the mornings before sun-rise, during
the months of June or July, and also during the twilight in the evening,
but not after total darkness came on; these singular scintillations were
shewn to her father and other philosophers; and Mr. Wilcke, a celebrated
electrician, believed them to be electric. Lin. Spec. Plantar. p. 490.
Swedish Acts for the year 1762. Pulteney's View of Linneus, p. 220. Nor
is this more wonderful than that the electric eel and torpedo should give
voluntary shocks of electricity; and in this plant perhaps, as in those
animals, it may be a mode of defence, by which it harrasses or destroys
the night-flying insects which infest it; and probably it may emit the same
sparks during the day, which must be then invisible. This curious subject
deserves further investigation. See Dictamnus. The ceasing to shine of
this plant after twilight might induce one to conceive, that it
absorbed and emitted light, like the Bolognian Phosphorus, or calcined
oyster-shells, so well explained by Mr. B. Wilson, and by T. B. Beccari.
Exper. on Phosphori, by B. Wilson. Dodsley. The light of the evening,
at the same distance from noon, is much greater, as I have repeatedly
observed, than the light of the morning: this is owing, I suppose, to the
phosphorescent quality of almost all bodies, in a greater or less degree,
which thus absorb light during the sun-shine, and continue to emit it
again for some time afterwards, though not in such quantity as to produce
apparent scintillations. The nectary of this plant grows from what is
supposed to be the calyx; but this supposed calyx is coloured; and
perhaps, from this circumstance of its bearing the nectary, should rather
be esteemed a part of the coral. See an additional note at the end of the
poem.]


        _Eight_ watchful swains along the lawns of night
        With amorous steps pursue the virgin light;
        O'er her fair form the electric lustre plays,
50    And cold she moves amid the lambent blaze.
        So shines the glow-fly, when the sun retires,
        And gems the night-air with phosphoric fires;


[_So shines the glow-fly._ l. 52. In Jamaica, in some seasons of the year,
the fire-flies are seen in the evenings in great abundance. When they
settle on the ground, the bull-frog greedily devours them; which seems to
have given origin to a curious, though cruel, method of destroying these
animals: if red-hot pieces of charcoal be thrown towards them in the dusk
of the evening, they leap at them, and, hastily swallowing them, are
burnt to death.]


        Thus o'er the marsh aërial lights betray,
        And charm the unwary wanderer from his way.
55    So when thy King, Assyria, fierce and proud,
        Three human victims to his idol vow'd;
        Rear'd a vast pyre before the golden shrine
        Of sulphurous coal, and pitch-exsuding pine;--
        --Loud roar the flames, the iron nostrils breathe,
60    And the huge bellows pant and heave beneath;
        Bright and more bright the blazing deluge flows,
        And white with seven-fold heat the furnace glows.
        And now the Monarch fix'd with dread surprize
        Deep in the burning vault his dazzled eyes.
65    "Lo! Three unbound amid the frightful glare,
        Unscorch'd their sandals, and unsing'd their hair!
        And now a fourth with seraph-beauty bright
        Descends, accosts them, and outshines the light!
        Fierce flames innocuous, as they step, retire!
70    And slow they move amid a world of fire!"
        He spoke,--to Heaven his arms repentant spread,
        And kneeling bow'd his gem-incircled head.
        _Two_ Sister-Nymphs, the fair AVENAS, lead
        Their fleecy squadrons on the lawns of Tweed;
75    Pass with light step his wave-worn banks along,
        And wake his Echoes with their silver tongue;
        Or touch the reed, as gentle Love inspires,
        In notes accordant to their chaste desires.

        I.

         "Sweet ECHO! sleeps thy vocal shell,
         "Where this high arch o'erhangs the dell;
         "While Tweed with sun-reflecting streams
         "Chequers thy rocks with dancing beams?--


[_Ovena_. l. 73. Oat. The numerous families of grasses have all three
males, and two females, except Anthoxanthum, which gives the grateful
smell to hay, and has but two males. The herbs of this order of
vegetables support the countless tribes of graminivorous animals. The
seeds of the smaller kinds of grasses, as of aira, poa, briza, stipa,
&c. are the sustenance of many sorts of birds. The seeds of the large
grasses, as of wheat, barley, rye, oats, supply food to the human
species.

It seems to have required more ingenuity to think of feeding nations of
mankind with so small a seed, than with the potatoe of Mexico, or the
bread-fruit of the southern islands; hence Ceres in Egypt, which was the
birth-place of our European arts, was deservedly celebrated amongst their
divinities, as well as Osyris, who invented the Plough.

Mr. Wahlborn observes, that as wheat, rye, and many of the grasses, and
plantain, lift up their anthers on long filments, and thus expose the
enclosed fecundating dust to be washed away by the rains, a scarcity of
corn is produced by wet summers; hence the necessity of a careful choice
of seed wheat, as that, which had not received the dust of the anthers,
will not grow, though it may appear well to the eye. The straw of the
oat seems to have been the first musical instrument, invented during the
pastoral ages of the world, before the discovery of metals. See note on
Cistus.]


        II.

        "Here may no clamours harsh intrude,
        No brawling hound or clarion rude;
85    Here no fell beast of midnight prowl,
        And teach thy tortured cliffs to howl!

        III.

        "Be thine to pour these vales along
        Some artless Shepherd's evening song;
        While Night's sweet bird, from yon high spray
90    Responsive, listens to his lay.

        IV.

        "And if, like me, some love-lorn maid
        "Should sing her sorrows to thy shade,
        "Oh, sooth her breast, ye rocks around!
        "With softest sympathy of sound."

95    From ozier bowers the brooding Halcyons peep,
        The Swans pursuing cleave the glassy deep,
        On hovering wings the wondering Reed-larks play,
        And silent Bitterns listen to the lay.--
        _Three_ shepherd-swains beneath the beechen shades
100  Twine rival garlands for the tuneful maids;
        On each smooth bark the mystic love-knot frame,
        Or on white sands inscribe the favour'd name.

        From Time's remotest dawn where China brings
        In proud succession all her Patriot-Kings;
105  O'er desert-sands, deep gulfs, and hills sublime,
        Extends her massy wall from clime to clime;
        With bells and dragons crests her Pagod-bowers,
        Her silken palaces, and porcelain towers;
        With long canals a thousand nations laves;
110  Plants all her wilds, and peoples all her waves;
        Slow treads fair CANNABIS the breezy strand,
        The distaff streams dishevell'd in her hand;


[_Cannabis_. l. 111. Chinese Hemp. Two houses. Five males. A new
species of hemp, of which an account is given by K. Fitzgerald, Esq. in a
letter to Sir Joseph Banks, and which is believed to be much superior
to the hemp of other countries. A few seeds of this plant were sown in
England on the 4th of June, and grew to fourteen feet seven inches
in height by the middle of October; they were nearly seven inches in
circumference, and bore many lateral branches, and produced very white
and tough fibres. At some parts of the time these plants grew nearly
eleven inches in a week. Philos. Trans. Vol. LXXII. p. 46.]


        Now to the left her ivory neck inclines,
        And leads in Paphian curves its azure lines;
115  Dark waves the fringed lid, the warm cheek glows,
        And the fair ear the parting locks disclose;
        Now to the right with airy sweep she bends,
        Quick join the threads, the dancing spole depends.
        --_Five_ Swains attracted guard the Nymph, by turns
120  Her grace inchants them, and her beauty burns;
        To each She bows with sweet assuasive smile,
        Hears his soft vows, and turns her spole the while.

        So when with light and shade, concordant strife!
        Stern CLOTHO weaves the chequer'd thread of life;
125  Hour after hour the growing line extends,
        The cradle and the coffin bound its ends;


[_Paphian curves._ l. 114. In his ingenious work, entitled, The Analysis
of Beauty, Mr. Hogarth believes that the triangular glass, which was
dedicated to Venus in her temple at Paphos, contained in it a line
bending spirally round a cone with a certain degree of curviture;
and that this pyramidal outline and serpentine curve constitute the
principles of Grace and Beauty.]


       Soft cords of silk the whirling spoles reveal,
        If smiling Fortune turn the giddy wheel;
        But if sweet Love with baby-fingers twines,
130  And wets with dewy lips the lengthening lines,
        Skein after skein celestial tints unfold,
        And all the silken tissue shines with gold.

        Warm with sweet blushes bright GALANTHA glows,
        And prints with frolic step the melting snows;


[_Galanthus._ l. 133. Nivalis. Snowdrop. Six males, one female. The
first flower that appears after the winter solstice. See Stillingfleet's
Calendar of Flora.

Some snowdrop-roots taken up in winter, and boiled, had the insipid
mucilaginous taste of the Orchis, and, if cured in the same manner, would
probably make as good salep. The roots of the Hyacinth, I am informed,
are equally insipid, and might be used as an article of food. Gmelin, in
his History of Siberia, says the Martigon Lily makes a part of the food
of that country, which is of the same natural order as the snowdrop. Some
roots of Crocus, which I boiled, had a disagreeable flavour.

The difficulty of raising the Orchis from seed has, perhaps, been a
principal reason of its not being cultivated in this country as an
article of food. It is affirmed, by one of the Linnean school, in the
Amoenit. Academ. that the seeds of Orchis will ripen, if you destroy the
new bulb; and that Lily of the Valley, Convallaria, will produce many
more seeds, and ripen them, if the roots be crowded in a garden-pot, so
as to prevent them from producing many bulbs. Vol. VI. p. 120. It is
probable either of these methods may succeed with these and other
bulbous-rooted plants, as snowdrops, and might render their cultivation
profitable in this climate. The root of the asphodelus ramosus, branchy
asphodel, is used to feed swine in France; and starch is obtained from
the alstromeria licta. Memoires d'Agricult.]


135  O'er silent floods, white hills, and glittering meads
        _Six_ rival swains the playful beauty leads,
        Chides with her dulcet voice the tardy Spring,
        Bids slumbering Zephyr stretch his folded wing,
        Wakes the hoarse Cuckoo in his gloomy cave,
140  And calls the wondering Dormouse from his grave,
        Bids the mute Redbreast cheer the budding grove,
        And plaintive Ringdove tune her notes to love.

        Spring! with thy own sweet smile, and tuneful tongue,
        Delighted BELLIS calls her infant throng.
145  Each on his reed astride, the Cherub-train
        Watch her kind looks, and circle o'er the plain;
        Now with young wonder touch the siding snail,
        Admire his eye-tipp'd horns, and painted mail;
        Chase with quick step, and eager arms outspread,
150  The pausing Butterfly from mead to mead;


[_Bellis prolifera_ l. 144. Hen and chicken Daisy; in this beautiful
monster not only the impletion or doubling of the petals takes place, as
described in the note on Alcea; but a numerous circlet of less flowers on
peduncles, or footstalks, rise from the sides of the calyx, and surround
the proliferous parent. The same occurs in Calendula, marigold; in
Heracium, hawk-weed; and in Scabiosa, Scabious. Phil. Botan. p. 82.]


        Or twine green oziers with the fragrant gale,
        The azure harebel, and the primrose pale,
        Join hand in hand, and in procession gay
        Adorn with votive wreaths the shrine of May.
155  --So moves the Goddess to the Idalian groves,
        And leads her gold-hair'd family of Loves.
        These, from the flaming furnace, strong and bold
        Pour the red steel into the sandy mould;
        On tinkling anvils (with Vulcanian art),
160  Turn with hot tongs, and forge the dreadful dart;
        The barbed head on whirling jaspers grind,
        And dip the point in poison for the mind;
        Each polish'd shaft with snow-white plumage wing,
        Or strain the bow reluctant to its string.
165  Those on light pinion twine with busy hands,
        Or stretch from bough to bough the flowery bands;


[_The fragrant Gale._ l. 151. The buds of the Myrica Gale possess an
agreeable aromatic fragrance, and might be worth attending to as an
article of the Materia Medica. Mr. Sparman suspects, that the green
wax-like substance, with which at certain times of the year the berries
of the Myrica cerifera, or candle-berry Myrtle, are covered, are
deposited there by insects. It is used by the inhabitants for making
candles, which he says burn rather better than those made of tallow.
 _Voyage to the Cape,_ V. I. 345.]


        Scare the dark beetle, as he wheels on high,
        Or catch in silken nets the gilded fly;
        Call the young Zephyrs to their fragrant bowers,
170  And stay with kisses sweet the Vernal Hours.
        Where, as proud Maffon rises rude and bleak,
        And with mishapen turrets crests the Peak,
        Old Matlock gapes with marble jaws, beneath,
        And o'er fear'd Derwent bends his flinty teeth;
175  Deep in wide caves below the dangerous soil
        Blue sulphurs flame, imprison'd waters boil.


[_Deep in wide caves_. l. 175. The arguments which tend to shew
that the warm springs of this country are produced from steam raised by
deep subterraneous fires, and afterwards condensed between the strata of
the mountains, appear to me much more conclusive, than the idea of their
being warmed by chemical combinations near the surface of the earth: for,
1st, their heat has kept accurately the same perhaps for many centuries,
certainly as long as we have been possessed of good thermometers; which
cannot be well explained, without supposing that they are first in a
boiling state. For as the heat of boiling water is 212, and that of the
internal parts of the earth 48, it is easy to understand, that the steam
raised from boiling water, after being condensed in some mountain, and
passing from thence through a certain space of the cold earth, must be
cooled always to a given degree; and it is probable the distance from the
exit of the spring, to the place where the steam is condensed, might be
guessed by the degree of its warmth.

2. In the dry summer of 1780, when all other springs were either dry or
much diminished, those of Buxton and Matlock (as I was well informed on
the spot), had suffered no diminution; which proves that the sources of
these warm springs are at great depths below the surface of the earth.

3. There are numerous perpendicular fissures in the rocks of Derbyshire,
in which the ores of lead and copper are found, and which pass to
unknown depths; and might thence afford a passage to steam from great
subterraneous fires.

4. If these waters were heated by the decomposition of pyrites, there
would be some chalybeate taste or sulphureous smell in them. See note in
part 1. on the existence of central fires.]


        Impetuous steams in spiral colums rise
        Through rifted rocks, impatient for the skies;
        Or o'er bright seas of bubbling lavas blow,
180  As heave and toss the billowy fires below;
        Condensed on high, in wandering rills they glide
        From Maffon's dome, and burst his sparry side;
        Round his grey towers, and down his fringed walls,
        From cliff to cliff, the liquid treasure falls;
185  In beds of stalactite, bright ores among,
        O'er corals, shells, and crystals, winds along;
        Crusts the green mosses, and the tangled wood,
        And sparkling plunges to its parent flood.
        --O'er the warm wave a smiling youth presides,
190  Attunes its murmurs, its meanders guides,

        (The blooming FUCUS), in her sparry coves
        To amorous Echo sings his _secret_ loves,
        Bathes his fair forehead in the misty stream,
        And with sweet breath perfumes the rising steam.
195  --So, erst, an Angel o'er Bethesda's springs,
        Each morn descending, shook his dewy wings;
        And as his bright translucent form He laves,
        Salubrious powers enrich the troubled waves.


[_Fucus_.l. 191. Clandestine marriage. A species of Fucus,
or of Conserva, soon appears in all basons which contain water. Dr.
Priestley found that great quantities of pure dephlogisticated air were
given up in water at the points of this vegetable, particularly in
the sunshine, and that hence it contributed to preserve the water in
reservoirs from becoming putrid. The minute divisions of the leaves of
subaquatic plants, as mentioned in the note on Trapa, and of the gills
of fish, seem to serve another purpose besides that of increasing their
surface, which has not, I believe, been attended to, and that is to
facilitate the separation of the air, which is mechanically mixed or
chemically dissolved in water by their points or edges; this appears
on immersing a dry hairy leaf in water fresh from a pump; innumerable
globules like quicksilver appear on almost every point; for the
extremities of these points attract the particles of water less forcibly
than those particles attract each other; hence the contained air,
whose elasticity was but just balanced by the attractive power of the
surrounding particles of water to each other, finds at the point of each
fibre a place where the resistance to its expansion is less; and in
consequence it there expands, and becomes a bubble of air. It is easy to
foresee that the rays of the sunshine, by being refracted and in part
relieved by the two surfaces of these minute air-bubbles, must impart to
them much more heat than to the transparent water; and thus facilitate
their ascent by further expanding them; that the points of vegetables
attract the particles of water less than they attract each other, is seen
by the spherical form of dew-drops on the points of grass. See note on
Vegetable Respiration in Part I.]


        Amphibious Nymph, from Nile's prolific bed
200  Emerging TRAPA lifts her pearly head;
        Fair glows her virgin cheek and modest breast,
        A panoply of scales deforms the rest;


[_Trapa,_ l. 200. Four males, one female. The lower leaves
of this plant grow under water, and are divided into minute capillary
ramifications; while the upper leaves are broad and round, and have
air-bladders in their footstalks to support them above the surface of
the water. As the aerial leaves of vegetables do the office of lungs, by
exposing a large surface of vessels with their contained fluids to the
influence of the air; so these aquatic leaves answer a similar purpose
like the gills of fish; and perhaps gain from water or give to it a
similar material. As the material thus necessary to life seems to abound
more in air than in water, the subaquatic leaves of this plant, and of
sisymbrium, coenanthe, ranunculus aquatilis, water crowfoot, and some
others, are cut into fine divisions to increase the surface; whilst those
above water are undivided. So the plants on high mountains have their
upper leaves more divided, as pimpinella, petroselinum, and others,
because here the air is thinner, and thence a larger surface of contact
is required. The stream of water also passes but once along the gills of
fish, as it is sooner deprived of its virtue; whereas the air is both
received and ejected by the action of the lungs of land-animals. The
whale seems to be an exception to the above, as he receives water and
spouts it out again from an organ, which I suppose to be a respiratory
one. As spring-water is nearly of the same degree of heat in all
climates, the aquatic plants, which grow in rills or fountains, are found
equally in the torrid, temperate, and frigid zones, as water-cress,
water-parsnip, ranunculus, and many others.

In warmer climates the watery grounds are usefully cultivated, as with
rice; and the roots of some aquatic plants are said to have supplied
food, as the ancient Lotus in Egypt, which some have supposed to be the
Nymphæa.--In Siberia the roots of the Butemus, or flowering rush, are
eaten, which is well worth further enquiry, as they grow spontaneously in
our ditches and rivers, which at present produce no esculent vegetables;
and might thence become an article of useful cultivation. Herodotus
affirms, that the Egyptian Lotus grows in the Nile, and resembles a Lily.
That the natives dry it in the sun, and take the pulp out of it, which
grows like the head of a poppy, and bake it for bread. Enterpe. Many
grit-stones and coals, which I have seen, seem to bear an impression of
the roots of the Nymphæa, which are often three or four inches thick,
especially the white-flowered one.]


        Her quivering fins and panting gills she hides
        But spreads her silver arms upon the tides;
205  Slow as she sails, her ivory neck she laves,
        And shakes her golden tresses o'er the waves.
        Charm'd round the Nymph, in circling gambols glide
        _Four_ Nereid-forms, or shoot along the tide;
        Now all as one they rise with frolic spring,
210  And beat the wondering air on humid wing;
        Now all descending plunge beneath the main,
        And lash the foam with undulating train;
        Above, below, they wheel, retreat, advance,
        In air and ocean weave the mazy dance;
215  Bow their quick heads, and point their diamond eyes,
        And twinkle to the sun with ever-changing dyes.

        Where Andes, crested with volcanic beams,
        Sheds a long line of light on Plata's streams;
        Opes all his springs, unlocks his golden caves,
220  And feeds and freights the immeasurable waves;
        Delighted OCYMA at twilight hours
        Calls her light car, and leaves the sultry bowers;--
        Love's rising ray, and Youth's seductive dye,
        Bloom'd on her cheek, and brighten'd in her eye;
225  Chaste, pure, and white, a zone of silver graced
        Her tender breast, as white, as pure, as chaste;---


[_Ocymum salinun_. l. 221. Saline Basil. Class Two Powers. The Abbè
Molina, in his History of Chili, translated from the Italian by the Abbè
Grewvel, mentions a species of Basil, which he calls Ocymum salinum: he
says it resembles the common basil, except that the stalk is round and
jointed; and that though it grows 60 miles from the sea, yet every
morning it is covered with saline globules, which are hard and splendid,
appearing at a distance like dew; and that each plant furnishes about
half an ounce of fine salt every day, which the peasants collect, and use
as common salt, but esteem it superior in flavour.

As an article of diet, salt seems to act simply as a stimulus, not
containing any nourishment, and is the only fossil substance which the
caprice of mankind has yet taken into their stomachs along with their
food; and, like all other unnatural stimuli, is not necessary to people
in health, and contributes to weaken our system; though it may be useful
as a medicine. It seems to be the immediate cause of the sea-scurvy, as
those patients quickly recover by the use of fresh provisions; and is
probably a remote cause of scrophula (which consists in the want of
irritability in the absorbent vessels), and is therefore serviceable to
these patients; as wine is necessary to those whose stomachs have been
weakened by its use. The universality of the use of salt with our food,
and in our cookery, has rendered it difficult to prove the truth of these
observations. I suspect that flesh-meat cut into thin slices, either raw
or boiled, might be preserved in coarse sugar or treacle; and thus a very
nourishing and salutary diet might be presented to our seamen. See note
on Salt-rocks, in Vol. I, Canto II. If a person unaccustomed to much salt
should eat a couple of red-herrings, his insensible perspiration will
be so much increased by the stimulus of the salt, that he will find it
necessary in about two hours to drink a quart of water: the effects of a
continued use of salt in weakening the action of the lymphatic system may
hence be deduced.]


        By _four_ fond swains in playful circles drawn,
        On glowing wheels she tracks the moon-bright lawn,
        Mounts the rude cliff, unveils her blushing charms,
230  And calls the panting zephyrs to her arms.
        Emerged from ocean springs the vaporous air,
        Bathes her light limbs, uncurls her amber hair,
        Incrusts her beamy form with films saline,
        And Beauty blazes through the crystal shrine.--
235  So with pellucid studs the ice-flower gems
        Her rimy foliage, and her candied stems.
        So from his glassy horns, and pearly eyes,
        The diamond-beetle darts a thousand dyes;
        Mounts with enamel'd wings the vesper gale,
240  And wheeling shines in adamantine mail.

        Thus when loud thunders o'er Gomorrah burst,
        And heaving earthquakes shook his realms accurst,
        An Angel-guest led forth the trembling Fair
        With shadowy hand, and warn'd the guiltless pair;


[_Ice-flower_. l. 235. Mesembryanthemum crystallinum.]


245  "Haste from these lands of sin, ye Righteous! fly,
        Speed the quick step, nor turn the lingering eye!"--
        --Such the command, as fabling Bards indite,
        When Orpheus charm'd the grisly King of Night;
        Sooth'd the pale phantoms with his plaintive lay,
250  And led the fair Assurgent into day.--
        Wide yawn'd the earth, the fiery tempest flash'd,
        And towns and towers in one vast ruin crash'd;--
        Onward they move,---loud horror roars behind,
        And shrieks of Anguish bellow in the wind.
255  With many a sob, amid a thousand fears,
        The beauteous wanderer pours her gushing tears;
        Each soft connection rends her troubled breast,
        --She turns, unconscious of the stern behest!--
        "I faint!--I fall!--ah, me!--sensations chill
260  Shoot through my bones, my shuddering bosom thrill!
        I freeze! I freeze! just Heaven regards my fault,
        Numbs my cold limbs, and hardens into salt!--
        Not yet, not yet, your dying Love resign!--
        This last, last kiss receive!--no longer thine!"--
265  She said, and ceased,--her stiffen'd form He press'd,
        And strain'd the briny column to his breast;
        Printed with quivering lips the lifeless snow,
        And wept, and gazed the monument of woe.--
        So when Aeneas through the flames of Troy
270  Bore his pale fire, and led his lovely boy;
        With loitering step the fair Creusa stay'd,
        And Death involved her in eternal shade.--
        Oft the lone Pilgrim that his road forsakes,
        Marks the wide ruins, and the sulphur'd lakes;
275  On mouldering piles amid asphaltic mud
        Hears the hoarse bittern, where Gomorrah stood;
        Recalls the unhappy Pair with lifted eye,
        Leans on the crystal tomb, and breathes the silent sigh..

        With net-wove sash and glittering gorget dress'd,
280  And scarlet robe lapell'd upon her breast,
        Stern ARA frowns, the measured march assumes,
        Trails her long lance, and nods her shadowy plumes;


[_Arum_. I. 281. Cuckow-pint, of the class Gynandria, or masculine ladies.
The pistil, or female part of the flower, rises like a club, is covered
above or clothed, as it were, by the anthers or males; and some of the
species have a large scarlet blotch in the middle of every leaf.

The singular and wonderful structure of this flower has occasioned many
disputes amongst botanists. See Tourniff. Malpig. Dillen. Rivin. &c. The
receptacle is enlarged into a naked club, with the germs at its base;
the stamens are affixed to the receptacle amidst the germs (a natural
prodigy), and thus do not need the assistance of elevating filaments:
hence the flower may be said to be inverted. _Families of Plants_
translated from Linneus, p. 618.

The spadix of this plant is frequently quite white, or coloured, and the
leaves liable to be streaked with white, and to have black or scarlet
blotches on them. As the plant has no corol or blossom, it is probable
the coloured juices in these parts of the sheath or leaves may serve the
same purpose as the coloured juices in the petals of other flowers; from
which I suppose the honey to be prepared. See note on Helleborus. I am
informed that those tulip-roots which have a red cuticle produce red
flowers. See Rubia.

When the petals of the tulip become striped with many colours, the plant
loses almost half of its height; and the method of making them thus break
into colours is by transplanting them into a meagre or sandy soil, _after
they have previously enjoyed a richer soil: hence it appears, that
the plant is weakened when the flower becomes variegated. See note on
Anemone. For the acquired habits of vegetables, see Tulipa, Orchis.

The roots of the Arum are scratched up and eaten by thrushes in severe
snowy seasons. White's Hist. of Selbourn, p. 43.]


        While Love's soft beams illume her treacherous eyes,
        And Beauty lightens through the thin disguise.
285  So erst, when HERCULES, untamed by toil,
        Own'd the soft power of DEJANIRA'S smile;--
        His lion-spoils the laughing Fair demands,
        And gives the distaff to his awkward hands;
        O'er her white neck the bristly mane she throws,
290  And binds the gaping whiskers on her brows;        290
        Plaits round her slender waist the shaggy vest,
        And clasps the velvet paws across her breast.
        Next with soft hands the knotted club she rears,
        Heaves up from earth, and on her shoulder bears.
295  Onward with loftier step the Beauty treads,        295
        And trails the brinded ermine o'er the meads;
        Wolves, bears, and bards, forsake the affrighted groves,
        And grinning Satyrs tremble, as she moves.

        CARYO'S sweet smile DIANTHUS proud admires,
300  And gazing burns with unallow'd desires;        300


[_Dianthus_. l. 299. Superbus. Proud Pink. There is a kind of pink
called Fairchild's mule, which is here supposed to be produced between
a Dianthus superbus, and the Garyophyllus, Clove. The Dianthus superbus
emits a most fragrant odour, particularly at night. Vegetable mules
supply an irrefragable argument in favour of the sexual system of botany.
They are said to be numerous; and, like the mules of the animal kingdom,
not always to continue their species by seed. There is an account of a
curious mule from the Antirrbinum linaria, Toad-flax, in the Amoenit.
Academ. V. I. No. 3. and many hybrid plants described in No. 32. The
Urtica alienata is an evergreen plant, which appears to be a nettle from
the male flowers, and a Pellitory (Parietaria) from the female ones and
the fruit; and is hence between both. Murray, Syft. Veg. Amongst the
English indigenous plants, the veronica hybrida mule Speedwel is supposed
to have originated from the officinal one; and the spiked one, and the
Sibthorpia Europæa to have for its parents the golden saxifrage and marsh
pennywort. Pulteney's View of Linneus, p. 250. Mr. Graberg, Mr. Schreber,
and Mr. Ramstrom, seem of opinion, that the internal structure or parts
of fructification in mule-plants resemble the female parent; but that
the habit or external structure resembles the male parent. See treatises
under the above names in V. VI. Amænit. Academic. The mule produced from
a horse and the ass resembles the horse externally with his ears, main,
and tail; but with the nature or manners of an ass: but the Hinnus, or
creature produced from a male ass, and a mare, resembles the father
externally in stature, ash-colour, and the black cross, but with the
nature or manners of a horse. The breed from Spanish rams and Swedish
ewes resembled the Spanish sheep in wool, stature, and external form; but
was as hardy as the Swedish sheep; and the contrary of those which were
produced from Swedish rams and Spanish ewes. The offspring from the male
goat of Angora and the Swedish female goat had long soft camel's hair;
but that from the male Swedish goat, and the female one of Angora, had no
improvement of their wool. An English ram without horns, and a Swedish
horned ewe, produced sheep without horns. Amoen. Academ. V. VI. p. 13.]


        With sighs and sorrows her compassion moves,
        And wins the damsel to illicit loves.
        The Monster-offspring heirs the father's pride,
        Mask'd in the damask beauties of the bride.
305  So, when the Nightingale in eastern bowers
        On quivering pinion woos the Queen of flowers;
        Inhales her fragrance, as he hangs in air,
        And melts with melody the blushing fair;
        Half-rose, half-bird, a beauteous Monster springs,
310  Waves his thin leaves, and claps his glossy wings;
        Long horrent thorns his mossy legs surround,
        And tendril-talons root him to the ground;
        Green films of rind his wrinkled neck o'espread,
        And crimson petals crest his curled head;
315  Soft-warbling beaks in each bright blossom move,
        And vocal Rosebuds thrill the enchanted grove!--
        Admiring Evening stays her beamy star,
        And still Night listens from his ebon ear;
        While on white wings descending Houries throng,
320  And drink the floods of odour and of song.

        When from his golden urn the Solstice pours
        O'er Afric's sable sons the sultry hours;
        When not a gale flits o'er her tawny hills,
        Save where the dry Harmattan breathes and kills;


[_The dry Harmattan_. l. 324. The Harmattan is a singular wind blowing
from the interior parts of Africa to the Atlantic ocean, sometimes for
a few hours, sometimes for several days without regular periods. It is
always attended with a fog or haze, so dense as to render those objects
invisible which are at the distance of a quarter of a mile; the sun
appears through it only about noon, and then of a dilute red, and very
minute particles subside from the misty air so as to make the grass, and
the skins of negroes appear whitish. The extreme dryness which attends
this wind or fog, without dews, withers and quite dries the leaves of
vegetables; and is said of Dr. Lind at some seasons to be fatal and
malignant to mankind; probably after much preceding wet, when it may
become loaded with the exhalations from putrid marshes; at other
seasons it is said to check epidemic diseases, to cure fluxes, and
to heal ulcers and cutaneous eruptions; which is probably effected by its
yielding no moisture to the mouths of the external absorbent vessels,
by which the action of the other branches of the absorbent system is
increased to supply the deficiency. _Account of the Harmattan. Phil.
Transact. V. LXXI._

The Rev. Mr. Sterling gives an account of a darkness for six or eight
hours at Detroit in America, on the 19th of October, 1762, in which
the sun appeared as red as blood, and thrice its usual size: some rain
falling, covered white paper with dark drops, like sulphur or dirt, which
burnt like wet gunpowder, and the air had a very sulphureous smell.
He supposes this to have been emitted from some distant earthquake or
volcano. Philos. Trans. V. LIII. p. 63.

In many circumstances this wind seems much to resemble the dry fog which
covered most parts of Europe for many weeks in the summer of 1780, which
has been supposed to have had a volcanic origin, as it succeeded the
violent eruption of Mount Hecla, and its neighbourhood. From the
subsidence of a white powder, it seems probable that the Harmattan has
a similar origin, from the unexplored mountains of Africa. Nor is it
improbable, that the epidemic coughs, which occasionally traverse immense
tracts of country, may be the products of volcanic eruptions; nor
impossible, that at some future time contagious miasmata may be thus
emitted from subterraneous furnaces, in such abundance as to contaminate
the whole atmosphere, and depopulate the earth!]


325  When stretch'd in dust her gasping panthers lie,
        And writh'd in foamy folds her serpents die;
        Indignant Atlas mourns his leafless woods,
        And Gambia trembles for his sinking floods;
        Contagion stalks along the briny sand,
330  And Ocean rolls his sickening shoals to land.


[_His sickening shoals_. 330. Mr. Marsden relates, that in the island of
Sumatra, during the November of 1775, the dry monsoons, or S.E. winds,
continued so much longer than usual, that the large rivers became dry;
and prodigious quantities of sea-fish, dead and dying, were seen floating
for leagues on the sea, and driven on the beach by the tides. This was
supposed to have been caused by the great evaporation, and the deficiency
of fresh water rivers having rendered the sea too fast for its inhabitants.
The season then became so sickly as to destroy great numbers of people,
both foreigners and natives. Phil. Trans. V. LXXI. p. 384.]


        --Fair CHUNDA smiles amid the burning waste,
        Her brow unturban'd, and her zone unbrac'd;
        _Ten_ brother-youths with light umbrella's shade,
        Or fan with busy hands the panting maid;
335  Loose wave her locks, disclosing, as they break,
        The rising bosom and averted cheek;


[_Chunda_. l. 331. _Chundali Borrum_ is the name which the natives give
to this plant; it is the Hedylarum gyrans, or moving plant; its class is
two brotherhoods, ten males. Its leaves are continually in spontaneous
motion; some rising and others falling; and others whirling circularly by
twisting their stems; this spontaneous movement of the leaves, when the
air is quite still and very warm, seems to be necessary to the plant, at
perpetual respiration is to animal life. A more particular account, with
a good print of the Hedyfarum gyrans is given by M. Brouffonet in a paper
on vegetable motions in the Histoire de l'Academie des Sciences. Ann.
1784, p. 609.

There are many other instances of spontaneous movements of the parts of
vegetables. In the Marchantia polymorpha some yellow wool proceeds from
the flower-bearing anthers, which moves spontaneously in the anther,
while it drops its dust like atoms. Murray, Syst. Veg. See note on
Collinfonia for other instances of vegetable spontaneity. Add to this,
that as the sleep of animals consists in a suspension of voluntary
motion, and as vegetables are likewise subject to sleep, there is reason
to conclude, that the various actions of opening and closing their petals
and foliage may be justly ascribed to a voluntary power: for without
the faculty of volition, sleep would not have been, necessary to them.]

[Illustration: Hedysarum gyrans.]


        Clasp'd round her ivory neck with studs of gold
        Flows her thin vest in many a gauzy fold;
        O'er her light limbs the dim transparence plays,
340  And the fair form, it seems to hide, betrays.

        Where leads the northern Star his lucid train
        High o'er the snow-clad earth, and icy main,
        With milky light the white horizon streams,
        And to the moon each sparkling mountain gleams.--
345  Slow o'er the printed snows with silent walk
        Huge shaggy forms across the twilight stalk;
        And ever and anon with hideous sound
        Burst the thick ribs of ice, and thunder round.--
        There, as old Winter slaps his hoary wing,
350  And lingering leaves his empire to the Spring,
        Pierced with quick shafts of silver-shooting light
        Fly in dark troops the dazzled imps of night--


[_Burst the thick rib of ice_. l. 348. The violent cracks of ice heard
from the Glaciers seem to be caused by some of the snow being melted in
the middle of the day; and the water thus produced running down into
vallies of ice, and congealing again in a few hours, forces off by its
expansion large precipices from the ice-mountains.]


        "Awake, my Love!" enamour'd MUSCHUS cries,
        "Stretch thy fair limbs, resulgent Maid! arise;
355  Ope thy sweet eye-lids to the rising ray,
        And hail with ruby lips returning day.
        Down the white hills dissolving torrents pour,
        Green springs the turf, and purple blows the flower;
        His torpid wing the Rail exulting tries,
360  Mounts the soft gale, and wantons in the skies;
        Rise, let us mark how bloom the awaken'd groves,
        And 'mid the banks of roses _hide_ our loves."


[_Muschus_. l. 353. Corallinus, or lichen rangiferinus. Coral-moss.
Clandestine-marriage. This moss vegetates beneath the snow, where the
degree of heat is always about 40; that is, in the middle between the
freezing point, and the common heat of the earth; and is for many months
of the winter the sole food of the rain-deer, who digs furrows in the
snow to find it: and as the milk and flesh of this animal is almost the
only sustenance which can be procured during the long winters of the
higher latitudes, this moss may be said to support some millions of
mankind.

The quick vegetation that occurs on the solution of the snows in high
latitudes appears very astonishing; it seems to arise from two causes,
1. the long continuance of the approaching sun above the horizon; 2. the
increased irritability of plants which have been long exposed to the
cold. See note on Anemone.

All the water-fowl on the lakes of Siberia are said by Professor Gmelin
to retreat Southwards on the commencement of the frosts, except the Rail,
which sleeps buried in the snow. Account of Siberia.]


        Night's tinsel beams on smooth Lock-lomond dance,
        Impatient ÆGA views the bright expanse;--
365  In vain her eyes the parting floods explore,
        Wave after wave rolls freightless to the shore.
        --Now dim amid the distant foam she spies
        A rising speck,--"'tis he! 'tis he!" She cries;
        As with firm arms he beats the streams aside,
370  And cleaves with rising chest the tossing tide,
        With bended knee she prints the humid sands,
        Up-turns her glistening eyes, and spreads her hands;
        --"'Tis he, 'tis he!--My Lord, my life, my love!--
        Slumber, ye winds; ye billows, cease to move!
375  beneath his arms your buoyant plumage spread,
        Ye Swans! ye Halcyons! hover round his head!"--


[_Æga_ l. 364. Conserva ægagropila. It is found loose in many lakes
in a globular form, from the size of a walnut to that of a melon, much
resembling the balls of hair found in the stomachs of cows; it adheres
to nothing, but rolls from one part of the lake to another. The Conserva
vagabunda dwells on the European seas, travelling along in the midst of
the waves; (Spec. Plant.) These may not improperly be called itinerant
vegetables. In a similar manner the Fucus natans (swimming) strikes no
roots into the earth, but floats on the sea in very extensive masses, and
may be said to be a plant of passage, as it is wafted by the winds from
one shore to another.]


        --With eager step the boiling surf she braves,
        And meets her refluent lover in the waves;
        Loose o'er the flood her azure mantle swims,
380  And the clear stream betrays her snowy limbs.

        So on her sea-girt tower fair HERO stood
        At parting day, and mark'd the dashing flood;
        While high in air, the glimmering rocks above,
        Shone the bright lamp, the pilot-star of Love.
385  --With robe outspread the wavering flame behind
        She kneels, and guards it from the shifting wind;
        Breathes to her Goddess all her vows, and guides
        Her bold LEANDER o'er the dusky tides;
        Wrings his wet hair, his briny bosom warms,
390  And clasps her panting lover in her arms.

        Deep, in wide caverns and their shadowy ailes,
        Daughter of Earth, the chaste TRUFFELIA smiles;


[_Truffelia_. l. 392. (Lycoperdon Tuber) Truffle. Clandestine marriage.
This fungus never appears above ground, requiring little air, and perhaps
 no light. It is found by dogs or swine, who hunt it by the smell. Other
plants, which have no buds or branches on their stems, as the grasses,
shoot out numerous stoles or scions underground; and this the more,
as their tops or herbs are eaten by cattle, and thus preserve
themselves,]


        On silvery beds, of soft asbestus wove,
        Meets her Gnome-husband, and avows her love.
395  --_High_ o'er her couch impending diamonds blaze,
        And branching gold the crystal roof inlays;
        With verdant light the modest emeralds glow,
        Blue sapphires glare, and rubies blush, _below_;
        Light piers of lazuli the dome surround,
400  And pictured mochoes tesselate the ground;
        In glittering threads along reflective walls
        The warm rill murmuring twinkles, as it falls;
        Now sink the Eolian strings, and now they swell,
        And Echoes woo in every vaulted cell;
405  While on white wings delighted Cupids play,
        Shake their bright lamps, and shed celestial day.

        Closed in an azure fig by fairy spells,
        Bosom'd in down, fair CAPRI-FICA dwells;--


[_Caprificus_. l. 408 Wild fig. The fruit of the fig is not a
seed-vessel, but a receptacle inclosing the flower within it. As these
trees bear some male and others female flowers, immured on all sides by
the fruit, the manner of their fecundation was very unintelligible, till
Tournefort and Pontedera discovered, that a kind of gnat produced in the
male figs carried the fecundating dust on its wings, (Cynips Psenes
Syst. Nat. 919.), and, penetrating the female fig, thus impregnated
the flowers; for the evidence of this wonderful fact, see the word
Caprification, in Milne's Botanical Dictionary. The figs of this country
are all female, and their seeds not prolific; and therefore they can only
be propagated by layers and suckers.

Monsieur de la Hire has shewn in the Memoir, de l'Academ. de Science,
that the summer figs of Paris, in Provence, Italy, and Malta, have all
perfect stamina, and ripen not only their fruits, but their seed; from
which seed other fig-trees are raised; but that the stamina of the
autumnal figs are abortive, perhaps owing to the want of due warmth. Mr.
Milne, in his Botanical Dictionary (art. Caprification), says, that the
cultivated fig-trees have a few male flowers placed above the female
within the same covering or receptacle; which in warmer climates perform
their proper office, but in colder ones become abortive: And Linneus
observes, that some figs have the navel of the receptacle open; which
was one reason that induced him to remove this plant from the class
Clandestine Marriage to the class Polygamy. Lin. Spec. Plant.

From all these circumstances I should conjecture, that those female
fig-flowers, which are closed on all sides in the fruit or receptacle
without any male ones, are monsters, which have been propagated for their
fruit, like barberries, and grapes without seeds in them; and that the
Caprification is either an ancient process of imaginary use, and blindly
followed in some countries, or that it may contribute to ripen the fig
by decreasing its vigour, like cutting off a circle of the bark from the
branch of a pear-tree. Tournefort seems inclined to this opinion; who
says, that the figs in Provence and at Paris ripen sooner, if their buds
be pricked with a straw dipped in olive-oil. Plumbs and pears punctured
by some insects ripen sooner, and the part round the puncture is sweeter.
Is not the honey-dew produced by the puncture of insects? will not
wounding the branch of a pear-tree, which is too vigorous, prevent the
blossoms from falling off; as from some fig-trees the fruit is said to
fall off unless they are wounded by caprification? I had last spring six
young trees of the Ischia fig with fruit on them in pots in a stove; on
removing them into larger boxes, they protruded very vigorous shoots, and
the figs all fell off; which I ascribed to the increased vigour of the
plants.]


        So sleeps in silence the Curculio, shut
410  In the dark chambers of the cavern'd nut,
        Erodes with ivory beak the vaulted shell,
        And quits on filmy wings its narrow cell.
        So the pleased Linnet in the moss-wove nest,
        Waked into life beneath its parent's breast,
415  Chirps in the gaping shell, bursts forth erelong,
        Shakes its new plumes, and tries its tender song.--
        --And now the talisman she strikes, that charms
        Her husband-Sylph,--and calls him to her arms.--
        Quick, the light Gnat her airy Lord bestrides,
420  With cobweb reins the flying courser guides,
        From crystal steeps of viewless ether springs,
        Cleaves the soft air on still expanded wings;
        Darts like a sunbeam o'er the boundless wave,
        And seeks the beauty in her _secret_ cave.
425  So with quick impulse through all nature's frame
        Shoots the electric air its subtle flame.
        So turns the impatient needle to the pole,
        Tho' mountains rise between, and oceans roll.
        Where round the Orcades white torrents roar,
430  Scooping with ceaseless rage the incumbent shore,
        Wide o'er the deep a dusky cavern bends
        Its marble arms, and high in air impends;
        Basaltic piers the ponderous roof sustain,
        And steep their massy sandals in the main;
435  Round the dim walls, and through the whispering ailes
        Hoarse breathes the wind, the glittering water boils.
        Here the charm'd BYSSUS with his blooming bride
        Spreads his green sails, and braves the foaming tide;
        The star of Venus gilds the twilight wave,
440  And lights her votaries to the _secret_ cave;
        Light Cupids flutter round the nuptial bed,
        And each coy sea-maid hides her blushing head.


[_Basaltic piers_. l. 433. This description alludes to the cave of
Fingal in the island of Staffa. The basaltic columns, which compose the
Giants Causeway on the coast of Ireland, as well as those which support
the cave of Fingal, are evidently of volcanic origin, as is well
illustrated in an ingenious paper of Mr. Keir, in the Philos. Trans. who
observed in the glass, which had been long in a fusing heat at the bottom
of the pots in the glass-houses at Stourbridge, that crystals were
produced of a form similar to the parts of the basaltic columns of the
Giants Causeway.]

[_Byssus_. 437. Clandestine Marriage. It floats on the sea in the day,
and sinks a little during the night; it is found in caverns on the
northern shores, of a pale green colour, and as thin as paper.]


        Where cool'd by rills, and curtain'd round by woods,
        Slopes the green dell to meet the briny floods,
445  The sparkling noon-beams trembling on the tide,
        The PROTEUS-LOVER woos his playful bride,
        To win the fair he tries a thousand forms,
        Basks on the sands, or gambols in the storms.
        A Dolphin now, his scaly sides he laves,
450  And bears the sportive damsel on the waves;
        She strikes the cymbal as he moves along,
        And wondering Ocean listens to the song.
        --And now a spotted Pard the lover stalks,
        Plays round her steps, and guards her favour'd walks;


[_The Proteus-love_. l. 446. Conserva polymorpha. This vegetable is
put amongst the cryptogamia, or clandestine marriages, by Linneus; but,
according to Mr. Ellis, the males and females are on different plants.
Philos. Trans. Vol. LVII. It twice changes its colour, from red to brown,
and then to black; and changes its form by losing its lower leaves, and
elongating some of the upper ones, so as to be mistaken by the unskilful
for different plants. It grows on the shores of this country.

There is another plant, Medicago polymorpha, which may be said to assume
a great variety of shapes; as the seed-vessels resemble sometimes
snail-horns, at other times caterpillars with or without long hair upon
them; by which means it is probable they sometimes elude the depredations
of those insects. The seeds of Calendula, Marygold, bend up like a hairy
caterpillar, with their prickles bridling outwards, and may thus deter
some birds or insects from preying upon them. Salicornia also assumes
an animal similitude. Phil. Bot. p. 87. See note on Iris in additional
notes; and Cypripedia in Vol. I.]


455  As with white teeth he prints her hand, caress'd,
        And lays his velvet paw upon her breast,
        O'er his round face her snowy fingers strain
        The silken knots, and fit the ribbon-rein.
        --And now a Swan, he spreads his plumy sails,
460  And proudly glides before the fanning gales;
        Pleas'd on the flowery brink with graceful hand
        She waves her floating lover to the land;
        Bright shines his sinuous neck, with crimson beak
        He prints fond kisses on her glowing cheek,
465  Spreads his broad wings, elates his ebon crest,
        And clasps the beauty to his downy breast.

        A _hundred_ virgins join a _hundred_ swains,
        And fond ADONIS leads the sprightly trains;


[_Adonis_. l. 468. Many males and many females live together in the
same flower. It may seem a solecism in language, to call a flower, which
contains many of both sexes, an individual; and the more so to call a
tree or shrub an individual, which consists of so many flowers. Every
tree, indeed, ought to be considered as a family or swarm of its
respective buds; but the buds themselves seem to be individual plants;
because each has leaves or lungs appropriated to it; and the bark of the
tree is only a congeries of the roots of all these individual buds. Thus
hollow oak-trees and willows are often seen with the whole wood
decayed and gone; and yet the few remaining branches flourish with
vigour; but in respect to the male and female parts of a flower, they do
not destroy its individuality any more than the number of paps of a sow,
or the number of her cotyledons, each of which includes one of her young.

The society, called the Areoi, in the island of Otaheite, consists of
about 100 males and 100 females, who form one promiscuous marriage.]


        Pair after pair, along his sacred groves
470  To Hymen's fane the bright procession moves;
        Each smiling youth a myrtle garland shades,
        And wreaths of roses veil the blushing maids;
        Light joys on twinkling feet attend the throng,
        Weave the gay dance, or raise the frolic song;
475  --Thick, as they pass, exulting Cupids fling
        Promiscuous arrows from the sounding string;
        On wings of gossamer soft Whispers fly,
        And the sly Glance steals side-long from the eye.
        --As round his shrine the gaudy circles bow,
480  And seal with muttering lips the faithless vow,
        Licentious Hymen joins their mingled hands,
        And loosely twines the meretricious bands.--
        Thus where pleased VENUS, in the southern main,
        Sheds all her smiles on Otaheite's plain,

485  Wide o'er the isle her silken net she draws,
        And the Loves laugh at all, but Nature's laws."

        Here ceased the Goddess,--o'er the silent strings
        Applauding Zephyrs swept their fluttering wings;
        Enraptur'd Sylphs arose in murmuring crowds
490  To air-wove canopies and pillowy clouds;
        Each Gnome reluctant sought his earthy cell,
        And each bright Floret clos'd her velvet bell.
        Then, on soft tiptoe, NIGHT approaching near
        Hung o'er the tuneless lyre his sable ear;
495  Gem'd with bright stars the still etherial plain,
        And bad his Nightingales repeat the strain.

[Illustration: Apocynum androsæmifolium.]


 ADDITIONAL NOTES:

P. 7. _Additional note to Curcuma._ These anther-less filaments seem to
be an endeavour of the plant to produce more stamens, as would appear
from some experiments of M. Reynier, instituted for another purpose:
he cut away the stamens of many flowers, with design to prevent their
fecundity, and in many instances the flower threw out new filaments from
the wounded part of different lengths; but did not produce new anthers.
The experiments were made on the geum rivale, different kinds of mallows,
and the æchinops ritro. Critical Review for March, 1788.

P. 8. _Addition to the note on Iris._ In the Persian Iris the end of the
lower petal is purple, with white edges and orange streaks, creeping, as
it were, into the mouth of the flower like an insect; by which deception
in its native climate it probably prevents a similar insect from
plundering it of its honey: the edges of the lower petal lap over those
of the upper one, which prevents it from opening too wide on fine days,
and facilitates its return at night; whence the rain is excluded, and the
air admitted. See Polymorpha, Rubia, and Cypripedia in Vol. I.

P. 12. _Additional note on Chandrilla._ In the natural state of the
expanded flower of the barberry, the stamens lie on the petals; under
the concave summits of which the anthers shelter themselves, and in this
situation remain perfectly rigid; but on touching the inside of the
filament near its base with a fine bristle, or blunt needle, the stamen
instantly bends upwards, and the anther, embracing the stigma, sheds its
dust. Observations on the Irritation of Vegetables, by T. E. Smith, M. D.

P. 15. _Addition to the note on Silene._ I saw a plant of the Dionaea
Muscipula, Flytrap of Venus, this day, in the collection of Mr. Boothby
at Ashbourn-Hall, Derbyshire, Aug. 20th, 1788; and on drawing a straw
along the middle of the rib of the leaves as they lay upon the ground
round the stem, each of them, in about a second of time, closed and
doubled itself up, crossing the thorns over the opposite edge of the
leaf, like the teeth of a spring rap-trap: of this plant I was favoured
with an elegant coloured drawing, by Miss Maria Jackson of Tarporly, in
Cheshire, a Lady who adds much botanical knowledge to many other elegant
acquirements. In the Apocynum Androsaemifolium, one kind of Dog's bane,
the anthers converge over the nectaries, which consist of five glandular
oval corpuscles surrounding the germ; and at the same time admit air
to the nectaries at the interstice between each anther. But when a fly
inserts its proboscis between these anthers to plunder the honey, they
converge closer, and with such violence as to detain the fly, which thus
generally perishes. This account was related to me by R.W. Darwin, Esq;
of Elston, in Nottinghamshire, who showed me the plant in flower, July
2d, 1788, with a fly thus held fast by the end of its proboscis, and was
well seen by a magnifying lens, and which in vain repeatedly struggled to
disengage itself, till the converging anthers were separated by means
of a pin: on some days he had observed that almost every flower of this
elegant plant had a fly in it thus entangled; and a few weeks afterwards
favoured me with his further observations on this subject.

   "My Apocynum is not yet out of flower. I have often visited it, and
   have frequently found four or five flies, some alive, and some dead,
   in its flowers; they are generally caught by the trunk or proboscis,
   sometimes by the trunk and a leg; there is one at present only caught
   by a leg: I don't know that this plant sleeps, as the flowers remain
   open in the night; yet the flies frequently make their escape. In a
   plant of Mr. Ordino's, an ingenious gardener at Newark, who is
   possessed of a great collection of plants, I saw many flowers of an
   Apocynum with three dead flies in each; they are a thin-bodied fly, and
   rather less than the common house-fly; but I have seen two or three
   other sorts of flies thus arrested by the plant. Aug. 12, 1788."

P. 18. _Additional note on Ilex_. The efficient cause which renders the
hollies prickly in Needwood Forest only as high as the animals can reach
them, may arise from the lower branches being constantly cropped by them,
and thus shoot forth more luxuriant foliage: it is probable the shears in
garden-hollies may produce the same effect, which is equally curious, as
prickles are not thus produced on other plants.

P. 41. _Additional note on Ulva_. M. Hubert made some observations on the
air contained in the cavities of the bambou. The stems of these canes
were from 40 to 50 feet in height, and 4 or 5 inches in diameter, and
might contain about 30 pints of elastic air. He cut a bambou, and
introduced a lighted candle into the cavity, which was extinguished
immediately on its entrance. He tried this about 60 times in a cavity of
the bambou, containing about two pints. He introduced mice at different
times into these cavities, which seemed to be somewhat affected, but soon
recovered their agility. The stem of the bambou is not hollow till it
rises more than one foot from the earth; the divisions between the
cavities are convex downwards. Observ. sur la Physique par M. Rozier,
l. 33. p. 130.

P. 65. _Additional note on Gossypium_.

                  --------emerging Naïads cull
        From leathery pods the vegetable wool.
        ----_eam circum Milesia vellera nymphæ
        Carpebant, hyali saturo fucata colore_.
                                                     Virg. Georg. IV. 334.

P. 119. _Addition to Orchis_. The two following lines were by mistake
omitted; they were to have been inserted after l. 282, p. 119.

        Saw on his helm, her virgin hands inwove,
        Bright stars of gold, and mystic knots of love;

P. 136. _Addition to the note on Tropæolum_. In Sweden a very curious
phenomenon has been observed on certain flowers, by M. Haggren,
Lecturer in Natural History. One evening be perceived a faint flash of
light repeatedly dart from a Marigold; surprized at such an uncommon
appearance, he resolved to examine it with attention; and, to be assured
that it was no deception of the eye, he placed a man near him, with
orders to make a signal at the moment when he observed the light. They
both saw it constantly at the same moment.

The light was most brilliant on Marigolds, of an orange or flame colour;
but scarcely visible on pale ones.

The flash was frequently seen on the same flower two or three times in
quick succession, but more commonly at intervals of several minutes; and
when several flowers in the same place emitted their light together, it
could be observed at a considerable distance.

This phaenomenon was remarked in the months of July and August, at
sun-set, and for half an hour after, when the atmosphere was clear; but
after a rainy day, or when the air was loaded with vapours, nothing of it
was seen.

        The following flowers emitted flashes, more or less vivid, in this
        order:

        1. The Marigold, _(Calendula Officinalis)_.
        2. Garden Nasturtion, _(Tropæolum majus)_.
        3. Orange Lily, _(Lilium bulbiferum)_.
        4. The Indian Pink, _(Tagetes patula et erecta)_.

Sometimes it was also observed on the Sun-flowers, _(Helianthus annuus)_.
But bright yellow, or flame colour, seemed in general necessary for the
production of this light; for it was never seen on the flowers of any
other colour.

To discover whether some little insects, or phosphoric worms, might not
be the cause of it, the flowers were carefully examined even with a
microscope, without any such being found.

From the rapidity of the flash, and other circumstances, it might be
conjectured, that there is something of electricity in this phaenomenon.
It is well known, that when the _pistil_ of a flower is impregnated, the
_pollen_ bursts away by its elasticity, with which electricity may be
combined. But M. Haggren, after having observed the slash from the
Orange-lily, the _anthers_ of which are a considerable space distant from
the _petals,_ found that the light proceeded from the _petals_ only;
whence he concludes, that this electric light is caused by the _pollen_,
which in flying off is scattered upon the _petals._ Obser. Physìque par
M. Rozier, Vol. XXXIII. p. iii.

P. 153. _Addition to Avena._ The following lines were by mistake omitted;
they were designed to have been inserted after l. 102, p. 153.

        Green swells the beech, the widening knots improve,
        So spread the tender growths of culture'd love;
        Wave follows wave, the letter'd lines decay,
        So Love's soft forms neglected melt away.

P. 157. _Additional note to Bellis._ Du Halde gives an account of a white
wax made by small insects round the branches of a tree in China in great
quantity, which is there collected for economical and medical purposes:
the tree is called Tong-tsin. Description of China, Vol. I. p. 230.


_Description of the Poison-Tree in the Island of JAVA. Translated from
the original Dutch of_ N. P. Foerich.

This destructive tree is called in the Malayan language _Bohon-Upas,_
and has been described by naturalists; but their accounts have been
so tinctured with the _marvellous,_ that the whole narration has been
supposed to be an ingenious fiction by the generality of readers. Nor
is this in the least degree surprising, when the circumstances which we
shall faithfully relate in this description are considered.

I must acknowledge, that I long doubted the existence of this tree, until
a stricter enquiry convinced me of my error. I shall now only relate
simple unadorned facts, of which I have been an eye-witness. My readers
may depend upon the fidelity of this account. In the year 1774 I was
stationed at Batavia, as surgeon, in the service of the Dutch East-India
Company. During my residence there I received several different accounts
of the Bohon Upas, and the violent effects of its poison. They all then
seemed incredible to me, but raised my curiosity in so high a degree,
that I resolved to investigate this subject thoroughly, and to trust only
to _my own observations._ In consequence of this resolution, I applied to
the Governor-General, Mr. Petrus Albertus van der Parra, for a pass to
travel through the country: my request was granted; and, having procured
every information. I set out on my expedition. I had procured a
recommendation from an old Malayan priest to another priest, who lives
on the nearest inhabitable spot to the tree, which is about fifteen or
sixteen miles distant. The letter proved of great service to me in my
undertaking, as that priest is appointed by the Emperor to reside there,
in order to prepare for eternity the souls of those who for different
crimes are sentenced to approach the tree, and to procure the poison.

The _Bohon-Upas_ is situated in the island of _Java,_ about twenty-seven
leagues from _Batavia,_ fourteen from _Soura Charta,_ the seat of the
Emperor, and between eighteen and twenty leagues from _Tinksor,_ the
present residence of the Sultan of Java. It is surrounded on all sides by
a circle of high hills and mountains; and the country round it, to the
distance of ten or twelve miles from the tree, is entirely barren. Not
a tree, nor a shrub, nor even the least plant or grass is to be seen.
I have made the tour all around this dangerous spot, at about eighteen
miles distant from the centre, and I found the aspect of the country on
all sides equally dreary. The easiest ascent of the hills is from that
part where the old ecclesiastick dwells. From his house the criminals are
sent for the poison, into which the points of all warlike instruments are
dipped. It is of high value, and produces a considerable revenue to the
Emperor.


_Account of the manner in which the Poison it procured._

The poison which is procured from this tree is a gum that issues out
between the bark and the tree itself, like the _camphor._ Malefactors,
who for their crimes are sentenced to die, are the only persons who fetch
the poison; and this is the only chance they have of saving their lives.
After sentence is pronounced upon them by the judge, they are asked in
court, whether they will die by the hands of the executioner, or whether
they will go to the Upas tree for a box of poison? They commonly prefer
the latter proposal, as there is not only some chance of preserving
their lives, but also a certainty, in case of their safe return, that a
provision will be made for them in future by the Emperor. They are also
permitted to ask a favour from the Emperor, which is generally of a
trifling nature, and commonly granted. They are then provided with a
silver or tortoiseshell box, in which they are to put the poisonous gum,
and are properly instructed how to proceed while they are upon their
dangerous expedition. Among other particulars, they are always told to
attend to the direction of the winds; as they are to go towards the tree
before the wind, so that the effluvia from the tree are always blown from
them. They are told, likewise, to travel with the utmost dispatch, as
that is the only method of insuring a safe return. They are afterwards
sent to the house of the old priest, to which place they are commonly
attended by their friends and relations. Here they generally remain
some days, in expectation of a favourable breeze. During that time
the ecclesiastic prepares them for their future fate by prayers and
admonitions. When the hour of their departure arrives, the priest puts
them on a long leather-cap, with two glasses before their eyes, which
comes down as far as their breast; and also provides them with a pair of
leather-gloves. They are then conducted by the priest, and their friends
and relations, about two miles on their journey. Here the priest repeats
his instructions, and tells them where they are to look for the tree. He
shews them a hill, which they are told to ascend, and that on the other
side they will find a rivulet, which they are to follow, and which will
conduct them directly to the Upas. They now take leave of each other;
and, amidst prayers for their success, the delinquents hasten away. The
worthy old ecclesiastic has assured me, that during his residence there,
for upwards of thirty years, he had dismissed above seven hundred
criminals in the manner which I have described; and that scarcely two
out of twenty have returned. He shewed me a catalogue of all the unhappy
sufferers, with the date of their departure from his house annexed; and
a list of the offences for which they had been condemned: to which was
added, a list of those who had returned in safety. I afterwards saw
another list of these culprits, at the jail keeper's at _Soura-Charta,_
and found that they perfectly corresponded with each other, and with the
different informations which I afterwards obtained. I was present at some
of these melancholy ceremonies, and desired different delinquents to
bring with them some pieces of the wood, or a small branch, or some
leaves of this wonderful tree. I have also given them silk cords,
desiring them to measure its thickness. I never could procure move than
two dry leaves that were picked up by one of them on his return; and all
I could learn from him, concerning the tree itself, was, that it stood on
the border of a rivulet, as described by the old priest; that it was of a
middling size; that five or six young trees of the same kind stood close
by it; but that no other shrub or plant could be seen near it; and that
the ground was of a brownish sand, full of stones, almost impracticable
for travelling, and covered with dead bodies. After many conversations
with the old Malayan priest, I questioned him about the first discovery,
and asked his opinion of this dangerous tree; upon which he gave me the
following answer:

"We are told in our new Alcoran, that, above an hundred years ago, the
country around the tree was inhabited by a people strongly addicted to
the sins of Sodom and Gomorrha; when the great prophet Mahomet
determined not to suffer them to lead such detestable lives any longer,
he applied to God to punish them: upon which God caused this tree to
grow out of the earth, which destroyed them all, and rendered the
country for ever uninhabitable."

Such was the Malayan opinion. I shall not attempt a comment; but must
observe, that all the Malayans consider this tree as an holy instrument
of the great prophet to punish the sins of mankind; and, therefore, to
die of the poison of the Upas is generally considered among them as an
honourable death. For that reason I also observed, that the delinquents,
who were going to the tree, were generally dressed in their best apparel.

This however is certain, though it may appear incredible, that from
fifteen to eighteen miles round this tree, not only no human creature can
exist, but that, in that space of ground, no living animal of any kind
has ever been discovered. I have also been assured by several persons of
veracity, that there are no fish in the waters, nor has any rat, mouse,
or any other vermin, been seen there; and when any birds fly so near this
tree that the effluvia reaches them, they fall a sacrifice to the effects
of the poison. This circumstance has been ascertained by different
delinquents, who, in their return, have seen the birds drop down, and
have picked them up _dead,_ and brought them to the old ecclesiastick.

I will here mention an instance, which proves them a fact beyond all
doubt, and which happened during my stay at Java.

In the year 1775 a rebellion broke out among the subjects of the Massay,
a sovereign prince, whose dignity is nearly equal to that of the Emperor.
They refused to pay a duty imposed upon them by their sovereign, whom
they openly opposed. The Massay sent a body of a thousand troops to
disperse the rebels, and to drive them, with their families, out of
his dominions. Thus four hundred families, consisting of above sixteen
hundred souls, were obliged to leave their native country. Neither the
Emperor nor the Sultan would give them protection, not only because they
were rebels, but also through fear of displeasing their neighbour, the
Massay. In this distressful situation, they had no other resource than to
repair to the uncultivated parts round the Upas, and requested permission
of the Emperor to settle there. Their request was granted, on condition
of their fixing their abode not more than twelve or fourteen miles from
the tree, in order not to deprive the inhabitants already settled there
at a greater distance of their cultivated lands. With this they were
obliged to comply; but the consequence was, that in less than two months
their number was reduced to about three hundred. The chiefs of those
who remained returned to the Massay, informed him of their losses,
and intreated his pardon, which induced him to receive them again as
subjects, thinking them sufficiently punished for their misconduct. I
have seen and conversed with several of those who survived soon after
their return. They all had the appearance of persons tainted with an
infectious disorder; they looked pale and weak, and from the account
which they gave of the loss of their comrades, of the symptoms and
circumstances which attended their dissolution, such as convulsions, and
other signs of a violent death, I was fully convinced that they fell
victims to the poison.

This violent effect of the poison at so great a distance from the tree,
certainly appears surprising, and almost incredible; and especially when
we consider that it is possible for delinquents who approach the tree to
return alive. My wonder, however, in a great measure, ceased, after I had
made the following observations:

I have said before, that malefactors are instructed to go to the tree
with the wind, and to return against the wind. When the wind continues to
blow from the same quarter while the delinquent travels thirty, or six
and thirty miles, if he be of a good constitution, he certainly survives.
But what proves the most destructive is, that there is no dependence on
the wind in that part of the world for any length of time.--There are no
regular land-winds; and the sea-wind is not perceived there at all, the
situation of the tree being at too great a distance, and surrounded by
high mountains and uncultivated forests. Besides, the wind there never
blows a fresh regular gale, but is commonly merely a current of light,
soft breezes, which pass through the different openings of the adjoining
mountains. It is also frequently difficult to determine from what part of
the globe the wind really comes, as it is divided by various obstructions
in its passage, which easily change the direction of the wind, and often
totally destroy its effects.

I, therefore, impute the distant effects of the poison, in a great
measure, to the constant gentle winds in those parts, which have not
power enough to disperse the poisonous particles. If high winds are more
frequent and durable there, they would certainly weaken very much, and
even destroy the obnoxious effluvia of the poison; but without them, the
air remains infested and pregnant with these poisonous vapours.

I am the more convinced of this, as the worthy ecclesiastick assured me,
that a dead calm is always attended with the greatest danger, as there is
a continual perspiration issuing from the tree, which is seen to rise and
spread in the air, like the putrid steam of a marshy cavern.


_Experiments made with the Gum of the UPAS TREE._

In the year 1776, in the month of February, I was present at the
execution of thirteen of the Emperor's concubines, at _Soura-Charta,_
who were convicted of infidelity to the Emperor's bed. It was in the
forenoon, about eleven o'clock, when the fair criminals were led into
an open space within the walls of the Emperor's palace. There the judge
passed sentence upon them, by which they are doomed to suffer death by a
lancet poisoned with Upas. After this the Alcoran was presented to them,
and they were, according to the law of their great prophet Mahomet, to
acknowledge and to affirm by oath, that the charges brought against them,
together with the sentence and their punishment, were fair and equitable.
This they did, by laying their right hand upon the Alcoran, their left
hands upon their breast, and their eyes lifted towards heaven; the judge
then held the Alcoran to their lips, and they kissed it.

These ceremonies over, the executioner proceeded on his business in the
following manner:--Thirteen posts, each about five feet high, had been
previously erected. To these the delinquents were fastened, and their
breasts stripped naked. In this situation they remained a short time in
continual prayers, attended by several priests, until a signal was
given by the judge to the executioner; on which the latter produced an
instrument, much like the spring lancet used by farriers for bleeding
horses. With this instrument, it being poisoned with the gum of the Upas,
the unhappy wretches were lanced in the middle of their breasts, and the
operation was performed upon them all in less than two minutes.

My astonishment was raised to the highest degree, when I beheld the
sudden effects of that poison, for in about five minutes after they were
lanced, they were taken with a _tremor,_ attended with a _subsultus
tendinum,_ after which they died in the greatest agonies, crying out to
God and Mahomet for mercy. In sixteen minutes by my watch, which I held
in my hand, all the criminals were no more. Some hours after their death,
I observed their bodies full of livid spots, much like those of the
_Petechiæ,_ their faces swelled, their colour changed to a kind of blue,
their eyes looked yellow, &c. &c.

About a fortnight after this, I had an opportunity of seeing such another
execution at Samarang. Seven Malayans were executed there with the same
instrument, and in the same manner; and I found the operation of the
poison, and the spots in their bodies exactly the same.

These circumstances made me desirous to try an experiment with some
animals, in order to be convinced of the real effects of this poison; and
as I had then two young puppies, I thought them the fittest objects for
my purpose. I accordingly procured with great difficulty some grains of
Upas. I dissolved half a grain of that gum in a small quantity of arrack,
and dipped a lancet into it. With this poisoned instrument I made an
incision in the lower muscular part of the belly in one of the puppies.
Three minutes after it received the wound the animal began to cry out
most piteously, and ran as fast as possible from one corner of the room
to the other. So it continued during six minutes, when all its strength
being exhausted, it fell upon the ground, was taken with convulsions, and
died in the eleventh minute. I repeated this experiment with two other
puppies, with a cat, and a fowl, and found the operation of the poison
in all of them the same: none of these animals survived above thirteen
minutes.

I thought it necessary to try also the effect of the poison given
inwardly, which I did in the following manner. I dissolved a quarter of
a grain of the gum in half an ounce of arrack, and made a dog of seven
months old drink it. In seven minutes a retching ensued, and I observed,
at the same time, that the animal was delirious, as it ran up and down
the room, fell on the ground, and tumbled about; then it rose again,
cried out very loud, and in about half an hour after was seized with
convulsions, and died. I opened the body, and found the stomach very much
inflamed, as the intestines were in some parts, but not so much as the
stomach. There was a small quantity of coagulated blood in the stomach;
but I could discover no orifice from which it could have issued; and
therefore supposed it to have been squeezed out of the lungs, by the
animal's straining while it was vomiting.

From these experiments I have been convinced that the gum of the Upas is
the most dangerous and most violent of all vegetable poisons; and I am
apt to believe that it greatly contributes to the unhealthiness of that
island. Nor is this the only evil attending it: hundreds of the natives
of Java, as well as Europeans, are yearly destroyed and treacherously
murdered by that poison, either internally or externally. Every man of
quality or fashion has his dagger or other arms poisoned with it; and in
times of war the Malayans poison the springs and other waters with it; by
this treacherous practice the Dutch suffered greatly during the last war,
as it occasioned the loss of half their army. For this reason, they have
ever since kept fish in the springs of which they drink the water; and
sentinels are placed near them, who inspect the waters every hour, to see
whether the fish are alive. If they march with an army or body of troops
into an enemy's country, they always carry live fish with them, which
they throw into the water some hours before they venture to drink it; by
which means they have been able to prevent their total destruction.

This account, I flatter myself, will satisfy the curiosity of my readers,
and the few facts which I have related will be considered as a certain
proof of the exigence of this pernicious tree, and its penetrating
effects.

If it be asked why we have not yet any more satisfactory accounts of this
tree, I can only answer, that the object to most travellers to that part
of the world consists more in commercial pursuits than in the study of
Natural History and the advancement of Sciences. Besides, Java is so
universally reputed an unhealthy island, that rich travellers seldom
make any long stay in it; and others want money, and generally are too
ignorant of the language to travel, in order to make enquiries. In
future, those who visit this island will probably now be induced to make
it an object of their researches, and will furnish us with a fuller
description of this tree.

I will therefore only add, that there exists also a sort of Cajoe-Upat on
the coast of Macassar, the poison of which operates nearly in the same
manner, but is not half so violent or malignant as that of Java, and
of which I shall likewise give a more circumstantial account in a
description of that island.--_London Magazine_.


CATALOGUE OF THE POETIC EXHIBITION.

CANTO I.

Group of insects--Tender husband--Self-admirer--Rival lovers--Coquet
--Platonic wife--Monster-husband--Rural happiness--Clandestine marriage
--Sympathetic lovers--Ninon d'Enclos--Harlots--Giants--Mr. Wright's
paintings--Thalestris Autumnal scene--Dervise procession--Lady in full
dress--Lady on a precipice--Palace in the sea--Vegetable lamb--Whale--
Sensibility--Mountain-scene by night--Lady drinking water--Lady and
cauldron--Medea and Æson--Forlorn nymph Galatea on the sea--Lady frozen
to a statue

CANTO II.

Air-balloon of Mongolfier--Arts of weaving and spinning--Arkwright's
cotton mills--Invention of letters, figures and crotchets--Mrs. Delany's
paper-garden--Mechanism of a watch, and design for its case--Time, hours,
moments--Transformation of Nebuchadnazer--St. Anthony preaching to fish
Sorceress--Miss Crew's drawing--Song to May--Frost scene--Discovery of the
bark--Moses striking the rock--Dropsy--Mr. Howard and prisons

CANTO III.

Witch and imps in a church--Inspired Priestess--Fusseli's night-mare--Cave
of Thor and subterranean Naïads--Medea and her children--Palmira weeping
Group of wild creatures drinking--Poison tree of Java--Time and hours--Lady
shot in battle--Wounded deer--Harlots--Laocoon and his sons--Drunkards and
diseases--Prometheus and the vulture--Lady burying her child in the plague
Moses concealed on the Nile--Slavery of the Africans--Weeping Muse

CANTO IV.

Maid of night Fairies--Electric lady--Shadrec, Meshec, and Abednego, in
the fiery furnace--Shepherdesses--Song to Echo--Kingdom of China--Lady and
distaff--Cupid spinning--Lady walking in snow--Children at play--Venus and
Loves--Matlock Bath--Angel bathing--Mermaid and Nereids--Lady in salt--
Lot's wife--Lady in regimentals--Dejanira in a lion's skin--Offspring from
the marriage of the Rose and Nightingale--Parched deserts in Africa--
Turkish lady in an undress--Ice-scene in Lapland--Lock-lomond by moon
light--Hero and Leander--Gnome-husband and Palace under ground--Lady
inclosed in a fig--Sylph-husband--Marine cave--Proteus-lover--Lady on a
Dolphin--Lady bridling a Pard--Lady saluted by a Swan--Hymeneal procession
--Night


CONTENTS OF THE NOTES.

       *       *       *       *       *

Seeds of Canna used for prayer-beads

Stems and leaves of Callitriche so matted together, as they float on the
water, as to bear a person walking on them

The female in Collinsonia approaches first to one of the males, and then
to the other

Females in Nigella and Epilobium bend towards the males for some days,
and then leave them

The stigma or head of the female in Spartium (common broom) is produced
amongst the higher set of males; but when the keal-leaf opens, the pistil
suddenly twists round like a French-horn, and places the stigma amidst
the lower set of males

The two lower males in Ballota become mature before the two higher; and,
when their dust is shed, turn outwards from the female

The plants of the class Two Powers with naked seeds are all aromatic

Of these Marum and Nepeta are delightful to cats

The filaments in Meadia, Borago, Cyclamen, Solanum, &c. shewn _by
reasoning_ to be the most unchangeable parts of those flowers

Rudiments of two hinder wings are seen in the class Diptera, or
two-winged insects

Teats of male animals

Filaments without anthers in Curcuma, Linum, &c. and styles without
stigmas in many plants, shew the advance of the works of nature towards
greater perfection

Double flowers, or vegetable monsters, how produced

The calyx and lower series of petals not changed in double flowers

Dispersion of the dust in nettles and other plants

Cedar and Cypress unperishable

Anthoxanthum gives the fragrant scent to hay

Viviparous plants: the Aphis is viviparous in summer, and oviparous in
autumn

Irritability of the stamen of the plants of the class Syngenesia, or
Confederate males

Some of the males in Lychnis, and other flowers arrive sooner at their
maturity

Males approach the female in Gloriosa, Fritillaria, and Kalmia

Contrivances to destroy insects in Silene, Dionæa muscipula, Arum
muscivorum, Dypsacus, &c.

Some bell-flowers close at night; others hang the mouths downwards;
others nod and turn from the wind; stamens bound down to the pistil in
Amaryllis formofissima; pistil is crooked in Hemerocallis flava, yellow
day-lily Thorns and prickles designed for the defence of the plant; tall
Hollies have no prickles above the reach of cattle

Bird-lime from the bark of Hollies like elastic gum

Adansonia the largest tree known, its dimensions

Bulbous roots contain the embryon flower, seen by dissecting a tulip-root

Flowers of Colchicum and Hamamelis appear in autumn, and ripen their seed
in the spring following

Sunflower turns to the sun by nutation, not by gyration

Dispersion of seeds

Drosera catches flies

Of the nectary, its structure to preserve the honey from insects

Curious proboscis of the Sphinx Convolvoli

Final cause of the resemblance of some flowers to insects, as the
Bee-orchis

In some plants of the class Tetradynamia, or Four Powers, the two shorter
stamens, when at maturity, rise as high as the others

Ice in the caves on Teneriff, which were formerly hollowed by volcanic
fires

Some parasites do not injure trees, as Tillandsia and Epidendrum

Mosses growing on trees injure them

Marriages of plants necessary to be celebrated in the air

Insects with legs on their backs

Scarcity of grain in wet seasons

Tartarian lamb; use of down on vegetables; air, glass, wax, and fat, are
bad conductors of heat; snow does not moisten the living animals buried
in it, illustrated by burning camphor in snow

Of the collapse of the sensitive plant

Birds of passage

The acquired habits of plants

Irritability of plants increased by previous exposure to cold

Lichen produces the first vegetation on rocks

Plants holding water

Madder colours the bones of young animals

Colours of animals serve to conceal them

Warm bathing retards old age

Male flowers of Vallisneria detach themselves from the plant, and float
to the female ones

Air in the cells of plants, its various uses

How Mr. Day probably lost his life in his diving-ship

Air-bladders of fish

Star-gelly is voided by Herons

Intoxicating mushrooms

Mushrooms grow without light, and approach to animal nature

Seeds of Tillandsia fly on long threads, like spiders on the gossamer

Account of cotton mills

Invention of letters, figures, crotchets

Mrs. Delany's and Mrs. North's paper-gardens

The horologe of Flora

The white petals of Helleborus niger become first red, and then change
into a green calyx

Berries of Menispernum intoxicate fish

Effects of opium

Frontispiece by Miss Crewe

Petals of Cistus and Oenanthe continue but a few hours

Method of collecting the gum from Cistus by leathern throngs

Discovery of the Bark

Foxglove how used in Dropsies

Bishop of Marseilles, and Lord Mayor of London

Superstitious uses of plants, the divining rod, animal magnetism

Intoxication of the Pythian Priestess, poison from Laurel-leaves, and
from cherry-kernels

Sleep consists in the abolition of voluntary power; nightmare explained

Indian fig emits slender cords from its summit

Cave of Thor in Derbyshire, and sub-terraneous rivers explained

The capsule of the Geranium makes a hygrometer; Barley creeps out of a
barn Mr. Edgeworth's creeping hygrometer

Flower of Fraxinella flashes on the approach of a candle

Essential oils narcotic, poisonous, deleterious to insects

Dew-drops from Mancinella blister the skin

Uses of poisonous juices in the vegetable economy

The fragrance of plants a part of their defence

The sting and poison of a nettle

Vapour from Lobelia suffocative; unwholesomness of perfumed hair-powder

Ruins of Palmira

The poison-tree of Java

Tulip roots die annually

Hyacinth and Ranunculus roots

Vegetable contest for air and light

Some voluble stems turn E.S.W. and others W.S.E.

Tops of white Bryony as grateful as asparagus

Fermentation converts sugar into spirit, food into poison

Fable of Prometheus applied to dram-drinkers

Cyclamen buries its seeds and trifolium subterraneum

Pits dug to receive the dead in the plague

Lakes of America consist of fresh water

The seeds of Cassia and some others are carried from America, and thrown
on the coasts of Norway and Scotland

Of the gulf-stream

Wonderful change predicted in the gulph of Mexico

In the flowers of Cactus grandiflorus and Cistus some of the stamens are
perpetually bent to the pistil

Nyctanthes and others are only fragrant in the night; Cucurbita lagenaria
closes when the sun shines on it

Tropeolum, nasturtian, emits sparks in the twilight

Nectary on its calyx

Phosphorescent lights in the evening

Hot embers eaten by bull-frogs

Long filaments of grasses, the cause of bad seed-wheat

Chinese hemp grew in England above 14 feet in five months

Roots of snow-drop and hyacinth insipid like orchis

Orchis will ripen its seeds if the new bulb be cut off

Proliferous flowers

The wax on the candle-berry myrtle said to be made by insects

The warm springs of matlock produced by the condensation of steam raised
from great depths by subterranean fires

Air separated from water by the attraction of points to water being less
than that of the particles of water to each other

Minute division of sub-aquatic leaves

Water-cress and other aquatic plants inhabit all climates

Butomus esculent; Lotus of Egypt; Nymphæa

Ocymum covered with salt every night

Salt a remote cause of scrophula, and immediate cause of sea-scurvy

Coloured spatha of Arum, and blotched leaves, if they serve the purpose
of a coloured petal

Tulip-roots with a red cuticle produce red flowers

Of vegetable mules the internal parts, at those of fructification,
resemble the female parent; and the external parts, the male one

The same occurs in animal mules, as the common mule and the hinnus, and
in sheep

The wind called Harmattan from volcanic eruptions; some epidemic coughs
or influenza have the same origin

Fish killed in the sea by dry summers in Asia

Hedysarum gyrans perpetually moves its leaves like the respiration of
animals

Plants possess a voluntary power of motion Loud cracks from ice-mountains
explained

Muschus corallinus vegetates below the snow, where the heat is always
about 40.

Quick growth of vegetables in northern latitudes after the solution of
the snows explained

The Rail sleeps in the snow

Conserva ægagropila rolls about the bottom of lakes

Lycoperdon tuber, truffle, requires no light

Account of caprification

Figs wounded with a straw, and pears and plumbs wounded by insects ripen
sooner, and become sweeter

Female figs closed on all sides, supposed to be monsters

Basaltic columns produced by volcanoes shewn by their form

Byssus floats on the sea in the day, and sinks in the night

Conserva polymorpha twice changes its colour and its form

Some seed-vessels and seeds resemble insects

Individuality of flowers not destroyed by the number of males or females
which they contain

Trees are swarms of buds, which are individuals


INDEX OF THE NAMES OF THE PLANTS

Adonis
Aegragrópila
Álcea
Amarýllis
Anemóne
Anthoxánthum
Arum
Avéna

Bárometz
Béllis
Byssus

Cáctus
Caléndula
Callítriche
Cánna
Cánnabis
Cápri-fícus
Carlína
Caryophýllus
Cáffia
Céreus
Chondrílla
Chunda
Cinchóna
Circæa
Cistus
Cócculus
Cólchicum
Collinsónia
Consérva
Cupréssus
Curcúma
Cuscúta
Cýclamen
Cypérus

Diánthus
Dictámnus
Digitális
Dodecátheon
Drába
Drósera
Dýpsacus

Fícus
Fúcus
Fraxinélla

Galánthus
Genísta
Gloriósa
Gossýpium

Hedýsarum
Heliánthus
Helléborus
Hippómane
Ilex
Impátiens
Iris

Kleinhóvia

Lápsana
Láuro-cérasus
Líchen
Línum
Lobélia
Lonicéra
Lychnis
Lycopérdon

Mancinélla
Méadia
Melíssa
Menispérmum
Mimósa
Múschus

Nymphæa

Ócymum
Orchis
Osmúnda
Osýris

Papáver
Papýrus
Plantágo
Polymórpha
Polypódium
Prúnus

Rúbia

Siléne

Trápa
Tremélla
Tropáeolum
Truffélia
Túlipa

Ulva
Upas
Urtíca

Vallisnéria
Víscum
Vítis

Zostéra

       *       *       *       *       *

FINIS


DIRECTIONS to the BINDER.

Please to place the print of Flora and Cupid opposite to the Title-page.

The two prints of flowers in small compartments both facing the last page
of the Preface.

The print of Meadia opposite to p. 6.

Gloriosa opposite p. 14.

Dionaea p. 16.

Amaryllis p. 17.

Vallisneria p. 40.

Hedysarum p. 172.

Apocynum p. 185.





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