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Title: The Temple of Nature; or, the Origin of Society - A Poem, with Philosophical Notes
Author: Darwin, Erasmus, 1731-1802
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Unde hominum pecudumque genus, vitæque volantum,
  Et quæ marmoreo fert monstra sub æquore pontus?
  Igneus est illis vigor, & cælestis origo.

                                        VIRG. Æn. VI. 728.





The Poem, which is here offered to the Public, does not pretend to
instruct by deep researches of reasoning; its aim is simply to amuse
by bringing distinctly to the imagination the beautiful and sublime
images of the operations of Nature in the order, as the Author
believes, in which the progressive course of time presented them.

The Deities of Egypt, and afterwards of Greece, and Rome, were derived
from men famous in those early times, as in the ages of hunting,
pasturage, and agriculture. The histories of some of their actions
recorded in Scripture, or celebrated in the heathen mythology, are
introduced, as the Author hopes, without impropriety into his account
of those remote periods of human society.

In the Eleusinian mysteries the philosophy of the works of Nature,
with the origin and progress of society, are believed to have been
taught by allegoric scenery explained by the Hierophant to the
initiated, which gave rise to the machinery of the following Poem.


Jan. 1, 1802.





I. Subject proposed. Life, Love, and Sympathy 1. Four past Ages, a
fifth beginning 9. Invocation to Love 15. II. Bowers of Eden, Adam and
Eve 33. Temple of Nature 65. Time chained by Sculpture 75. Proteus
bound by Menelaus 83. Bowers of Pleasure 89. School of Venus 97. Court
of Pain 105. Den of Oblivion 113. Muse of Melancholy 121. Cave of
Trophonius 125. Shrine of Nature 129. Eleusinian Mysteries 137. III.
Morning 155. Procession of Virgins 159. Address to the Priestess 167.
Descent of Orpheus into Hell 185. IV. Urania 205. GOD the First Cause
223. Life began beneath the Sea 233. Repulsion, Attraction,
Contraction, Life 235. Spontaneous Production of Minute Animals 247.
Irritation, Appetency 251. Life enlarges the Earth 265. Sensation,
Volition, Association 269. Scene in the Microscope; Mucor, Monas,
Vibrio, Vorticella, Proteus, Mite 281. V. Vegetables and Animals
improve by Reproduction 295. Have all arisen from Microscopic
Animalcules 303. Rocks of Shell and Coral 315. Islands and Continents
raised by Earthquakes 321. Emigration of Animals from the Sea 327.
Trapa 335. Tadpole, Musquito 343. Diodon, Lizard, Beaver, Lamprey,
Remora, Whale 351. Venus rising from the Sea, emblem of Organic Nature
371. All animals are first Aquatic 385. Fetus in the Womb 389. Animals
from the Mud of the Nile 401. The Hierophant and Muse 421-450.



  I. By firm immutable immortal laws
  Impress'd on Nature by the GREAT FIRST CAUSE,
  Say, MUSE! how rose from elemental strife
  Organic forms, and kindled into life;
  How Love and Sympathy with potent charm
  Warm the cold heart, the lifted hand disarm;
  Allure with pleasures, and alarm with pains,
  And bind Society in golden chains.

    Four past eventful Ages then recite,
  And give the fifth, new-born of Time, to light;                   10
  The silken tissue of their joys disclose,
  Swell with deep chords the murmur of their woes;
  Their laws, their labours, and their loves proclaim,
  And chant their virtues to the trump of Fame.

    IMMORTAL LOVE! who ere the morn of Time,
  On wings outstretch'd, o'er Chaos hung sublime;
  Warm'd into life the bursting egg of Night,
  And gave young Nature to admiring Light!--
  YOU! whose wide arms, in soft embraces hurl'd
  Round the vast frame, connect the whirling world!                 20
  Whether immers'd in day, the Sun your throne,
  You gird the planets in your silver zone;
  Or warm, descending on ethereal wing,
  The Earth's cold bosom with the beams of spring;
  Press drop to drop, to atom atom bind,
  Link sex to sex, or rivet mind to mind;
  Attend my song!--With rosy lips rehearse,
  And with your polish'd arrows write my verse!--
  So shall my lines soft-rolling eyes engage,
  And snow-white fingers turn the volant page;                      30
  The smiles of Beauty all my toils repay,
  And youths and virgins chant the living lay.

    II. WHERE EDEN'S sacred bowers triumphant sprung,
  By angels guarded, and by prophets sung,
  Wav'd o'er the east in purple pride unfurl'd,
  And rock'd the golden cradle of the World;
  Four sparkling currents lav'd with wandering tides
  Their velvet avenues, and flowery sides;
  On sun-bright lawns unclad the Graces stray'd,
  And guiltless Cupids haunted every glade;                         40
  Till the fair Bride, forbidden shades among,
  Heard unalarm'd the Tempter's serpent-tongue;
  Eyed the sweet fruit, the mandate disobey'd,
  And her fond Lord with sweeter smiles betray'd.
  Conscious awhile with throbbing heart he strove,
  Spread his wide arms, and barter'd life for love!--
  Now rocks on rocks, in savage grandeur roll'd,
  Steep above steep, the blasted plains infold;
  The incumbent crags eternal tempest shrouds,
  And livid light'nings cleave the lambent clouds;                  50
  Round the firm base loud-howling whirlwinds blow,
  And sands in burning eddies dance below.

         [Footnote: _Cradle of the world_, l. 36. The nations, which
         possess Europe and a part of Asia and of Africa, appear to
         have descended from one family; and to have had their origin
         near the banks of the Mediterranean, as probably in Syria,
         the site of Paradise, according to the Mosaic history. This
         seems highly probable from the similarity of the structure of
         the languages of these nations, and from their early
         possession of similar religions, customs, and arts, as well
         as from the most ancient histories extant. The two former of
         these may be collected from Lord Monboddo's learned work on
         the Origin of Language, and from Mr. Bryant's curious account
         of Ancient Mythology.

         The use of iron tools, of the bow and arrow, of earthen
         vessels to boil water in, of wheels for carriages, and the
         arts of cultivating wheat, of coagulating milk for cheese,
         and of spinning vegetable fibres for clothing, have been
         known in all European countries, as long as their histories
         have existed; besides the similarity of the texture of their
         languages, and of many words in them; thus the word sack is
         said to mean a bag in all of them, as [Greek: sakkon] in
         Greek, saccus in Latin, sacco in Italian, sac in French, and
         sack in English and German.

         Other families of mankind, nevertheless, appear to have
         arisen in other parts of the habitable earth, as the language
         of the Chinese is said not to resemble those of this part of
         the world in any respect. And the inhabitants of the islands
         of the South-Sea had neither the use of iron tools nor of the
         bow, nor of wheels, nor of spinning, nor had learned to
         coagulate milk, or to boil water, though the domestication of
         fire seems to have been the first great discovery that
         distinguished mankind from the bestial inhabitants of the

    Hence ye profane!--the warring winds exclude
  Unhallow'd throngs, that press with footstep rude;
  But court the Muse's train with milder skies,
  And call with softer voice the good and wise.
  --Charm'd at her touch the opening wall divides,
  And rocks of crystal form the polish'd sides;
  Through the bright arch the Loves and Graces tread,
  Innocuous thunders murmuring o'er their head;                     60
  Pair after pair, and tittering, as they pass,
  View their fair features in the walls of glass;
  Leave with impatient step the circling bourn,
  And hear behind the closing rocks return.

    HERE, high in air, unconscious of the storm.
  Thy temple, NATURE, rears it's mystic form;
  From earth to heav'n, unwrought by mortal toil,
  Towers the vast fabric on the desert soil;
  O'er many a league the ponderous domes extend.
  And deep in earth the ribbed vaults descend;                      70
  A thousand jasper steps with circling sweep
  Lead the slow votary up the winding steep;
  Ten thousand piers, now join'd and now aloof,
  Bear on their branching arms the fretted roof.

    Unnumber'd ailes connect unnumber'd halls,
  And sacred symbols crowd the pictur'd walls;
  With pencil rude forgotten days design,
  And arts, or empires, live in every line.
  While chain'd reluctant on the marble ground,
  Indignant TIME reclines, by Sculpture bound;                      80
  And sternly bending o'er a scroll unroll'd,
  Inscribes the future with his style of gold.
  --So erst, when PROTEUS on the briny shore,
  New forms assum'd of eagle, pard, or boar;
  The wise ATRIDES bound in sea-weed thongs
  The changeful god amid his scaly throngs;
  Till in deep tones his opening lips at last
  Reluctant told the future and the past.

         [Footnote: _Pictur'd walls_, l. 76. The application of
         mankind, in the early ages of society, to the imitative arts
         of painting, carving, statuary, and the casting of figures in
         metals, seems to have preceded the discovery of letters; and
         to have been used as a written language to convey
         intelligence to their distant friends, or to transmit to
         posterity the history of themselves, or of their discoveries.
         Hence the origin of the hieroglyphic figures which crowded
         the walls of the temples of antiquity; many of which may be
         seen in the tablet of Isis in the works of Montfaucon; and
         some of them are still used in the sciences of chemistry and
         astronomy, as the characters for the metals and planets, and
         the figures of animals on the celestial globe.]

         [Footnote: _So erst, when Proteus_, l. 83. It seems probable
         that Proteus was the name of a hieroglyphic figure
         representing Time; whose form was perpetually changing, and
         who could discover the past events of the world, and predict
         the future. Herodotus does not doubt but that Proteus was an
         Egyptian king or deity; and Orpheus calls him the principle
         of all things, and the most ancient of the gods; and adds,
         that he keeps the keys of Nature, _Danet's Dict._, all which
         might well accord with a figure representing Time.]

    HERE o'er piazza'd courts, and long arcades,
  The bowers of PLEASURE root their waving shades;                  90
  Shed o'er the pansied moss a checker'd gloom,
  Bend with new fruits, with flow'rs successive bloom.
  Pleas'd, their light limbs on beds of roses press'd,
  In slight undress recumbent Beauties rest;
  On tiptoe steps surrounding Graces move,
  And gay Desires expand their wings above.

    HERE young DIONE arms her quiver'd Loves,
  Schools her bright Nymphs, and practises her doves;
  Calls round her laughing eyes in playful turns,
  The glance that lightens, and the smile that burns;              100
  Her dimpling cheeks with transient blushes dies,
  Heaves her white bosom with seductive sighs;
  Or moulds with rosy lips the magic words,
  That bind the heart in adamantine cords.

    Behind in twilight gloom with scowling mien
  The demon PAIN, convokes his court unseen;
  Whips, fetters, flames, pourtray'd on sculptur'd stone,
  In dread festoons, adorn his ebon throne;
  Each side a cohort of diseases stands,
  And shudd'ring Fever leads the ghastly bands;                    110
  O'er all Despair expands his raven wings,
  And guilt-stain'd Conscience darts a thousand stings.

    Deep-whelm'd beneath, in vast sepulchral caves,
  OBLIVION dwells amid unlabell'd graves;
  The storied tomb, the laurell'd bust o'erturns,
  And shakes their ashes from the mould'ring urns.--
  No vernal zephyr breathes, no sunbeams cheer,
  Nor song, nor simper, ever enters here;
  O'er the green floor, and round the dew-damp wall,
  The slimy snail, and bloated lizard crawl;                       120
  While on white heaps of intermingled bones
  The muse of MELANCHOLY sits and moans;
  Showers her cold tears o'er Beauty's early wreck,
  Spreads her pale arms, and bends her marble neck.

    So in rude rocks, beside the Ægean wave,
  TROPHONIUS scoop'd his sorrow-sacred cave;
  Unbarr'd to pilgrim feet the brazen door,
  And the sad sage returning smil'd no more.

         [Footnote: _Trophonius scoop'd_, l. 126. Plutarch mentions,
         that prophecies of evil events were uttered from the cave of
         Trophonius; but the allegorical story, that whoever entered
         this cavern were never again seen to smile, seems to have
         been designed to warn the contemplative from considering too
         much the dark side of nature. Thus an ancient poet is said to
         have written a poem on the miseries of the world, and to have
         thence become so unhappy as to destroy himself. When we
         reflect on the perpetual destruction of organic life, we
         should also recollect, that it is perpetually renewed in
         other forms by the same materials, and thus the sum total of
         the happiness of the world continues undiminished; and that a
         philosopher may thus smile again on turning his eyes from the
         coffins of nature to her cradles.]

    SHRIN'D in the midst majestic NATURE stands,
  Extends o'er earth and sea her hundred hands;                    130
  Tower upon tower her beamy forehead crests,
  And births unnumber'd milk her hundred breasts;
  Drawn round her brows a lucid veil depends,
  O'er her fine waist the purfled woof descends;
  Her stately limbs the gather'd folds surround,
  And spread their golden selvage on the ground.

         [Footnote: _Fam'd Eleusis stole_, l. 137. The Eleusinian
         mysteries were invented in Egypt, and afterwards transferred
         into Greece along with most of the other early arts and
         religions of Europe. They seem to have consisted of scenical
         representations of the philosophy and religion of those
         times, which had previously been painted in hieroglyphic
         figures to perpetuate them before the discovery of letters;
         and are well explained in Dr. Warburton's divine legation of
         Moses; who believes with great probability, that Virgil in
         the sixth book of the Æneid has described a part of these
         mysteries in his account of the Elysian fields.

         In the first part of this scenery was represented Death, and
         the destruction of all things; as mentioned in the note on
         the Portland Vase in the Botanic Garden. Next the marriage of
         Cupid and Psyche seems to have shown the reproduction of
         living nature; and afterwards the procession of torches,
         which is said to have constituted a part of the mysteries,
         probably signified the return of light, and the resuscitation
         of all things.

         Lastly, the histories of illustrious persons of the early
         ages seem to have been enacted; who were first represented by
         hieroglyphic figures, and afterwards became the gods and
         goddesses of Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Might not such a
         dignified pantomime be contrived, even in this age, as might
         strike the spectators with awe, and at the same time explain
         many philosophical truths by adapted imagery, and thus both
         amuse and instruct?]

    From this first altar fam'd ELEUSIS stole
  Her secret symbols and her mystic scroll;
  With pious fraud in after ages rear'd
  Her gorgeous temple, and the gods rever'd.                       140
  --First in dim pomp before the astonish'd throng,
  Silence, and Night, and Chaos, stalk'd along;
  Dread scenes of Death, in nodding sables dress'd,
  Froze the broad eye, and thrill'd the unbreathing breast.
  Then the young Spring, with winged Zephyr, leads
  The queen of Beauty to the blossom'd meads;
  Charm'd in her train admiring Hymen moves,
  And tiptoe Graces hand in hand with Loves.
  Next, while on pausing step the masked mimes
  Enact the triumphs of forgotten times,                           150
  Conceal from vulgar throngs the mystic truth,
  Or charm with Wisdom's lore the initiate youth;
  Each shifting scene, some patriot hero trod,
  Some sainted beauty, or some saviour god.

    III. Now rose in purple pomp the breezy dawn,
  And crimson dew-drops trembled on the lawn;
  Blaz'd high in air the temple's golden vanes,
  And dancing shadows veer'd upon the plains.--
  Long trains of virgins from the sacred grove,
  Pair after pair, in bright procession move,                      160
  With flower-fill'd baskets round the altar throng,
  Or swing their censers, as they wind along.
  The fair URANIA leads the blushing bands,
  Presents their offerings with unsullied hands;
  Pleas'd to their dazzled eyes in part unshrouds
  The goddess-form;--the rest is hid in clouds.

    "PRIESTESS OF NATURE! while with pious awe
  Thy votary bends, the mystic veil withdraw;
  Charm after charm, succession bright, display,
  And give the GODDESS to adoring day!                             170
  So kneeling realms shall own the Power divine,
  And heaven and earth pour incense on her shrine.

    "Oh grant the MUSE with pausing step to press
  Each sun-bright avenue, and green recess;
  Led by thy hand survey the trophied walls,
  The statued galleries, and the pictur'd halls;
  Scan the proud pyramid, and arch sublime,
  Earth-canker'd urn, medallion green with time,
  Stern busts of Gods, with helmed heroes mix'd,
  And Beauty's radiant forms, that smile betwixt.                  180

         [Footnote: _The statued galleries_, l. 176. The art of
         painting has appeared in the early state of all societies
         before the invention of the alphabet. Thus when the Spanish
         adventurers, under Cortez, invaded America, intelligence of
         their debarkation and movements was daily transmitted to
         Montezuma, by drawings, which corresponded with the Egyptian
         hieroglyphics. The antiquity of statuary appears from the
         Memnon and sphinxes of Egypt; that of casting figures in
         metals from the golden calf of Aaron; and that of carving in
         wood from the idols or household gods, which Rachel stole
         from her father Laban, and hid beneath her garments as she
         sat upon the straw. Gen. c. xxxi. v. 34.]

    "Waked by thy voice, transmuted by thy wand,
  Their lips shall open, and their arms expand;
  The love-lost lady, and the warrior slain,
  Leap from their tombs, and sigh or fight again.
  --So when ill-fated ORPHEUS tuned to woe
  His potent lyre, and sought the realms below;
  Charm'd into life unreal forms respir'd,
  And list'ning shades the dulcet notes admir'd.--

    "LOVE led the Sage through Death's tremendous porch,
  Cheer'd with his smile, and lighted with his torch;--            190
  Hell's triple Dog his playful jaws expands,
  Fawns round the GOD, and licks his baby hands;
  In wondering groups the shadowy nations throng,
  And sigh or simper, as he steps along;
  Sad swains, and nymphs forlorn, on Lethe's brink,
  Hug their past sorrows, and refuse to drink;
  Night's dazzled Empress feels the golden flame
  Play round her breast, and melt her frozen frame;
  Charms with soft words, and sooths with amorous wiles,
  Her iron-hearted Lord,--and PLUTO smiles.--                      200
  His trembling Bride the Bard triumphant led
  From the pale mansions of the astonish'd dead;
  Gave the fair phantom to admiring light,--
  Ah, soon again to tread irremeable night!"

         [Footnote: _Love led the Sage_, l. 189. This description is
         taken from the figures on the Barbarini, or Portland Vase,
         where Eros, or Divine Love, with his torch precedes the manes
         through the gates of Death, and reverting his smiling
         countenance invites him into the Elysian fields.]

         [Footnote: _Fawns round the God_, l. 192. This idea is copied
         from a painting of the descent of Orpheus, by a celebrated
         Parisian artist.]

    IV. HER snow-white arm, indulgent to my song,
  Waves the fair Hierophant, and moves along.--
  High plumes, that bending shade her amber hair,
  Nod, as she steps, their silver leaves in air;
  Bright chains of pearl, with golden buckles brac'd,
  Clasp her white neck, and zone her slender waist;                210
  Thin folds of silk in soft meanders wind
  Down her fine form, and undulate behind;
  The purple border, on the pavement roll'd,
  Swells in the gale, and spreads its fringe of gold.

    "FIRST, if you can, celestial Guide! disclose
  From what fair fountain mortal life arose,
  Whence the fine nerve to move and feel assign'd,
  Contractile fibre, and ethereal mind:

    "How Love and Sympathy the bosom warm,
  Allure with pleasure, and with pain alarm,                       220
  With soft affections weave the social plan,
  And charm the listening Savage into Man."

    "GOD THE FIRST CAUSE!--in this terrene abode
  Young Nature lisps, she is the child of GOD.
  From embryon births her changeful forms improve,
  Grow, as they live, and strengthen as they move.

         [Footnote: _God the first cause_, l. 223.

           A Jove principium, musæ! Jovis omnia plena.

           In him we live, and move, and have our being.
                                        ST. PAUL.]

         [Footnote: _Young Nature lisps_, l. 224. The perpetual
         production and increase of the strata of limestone from the
         shells of aquatic animals; and of all those incumbent on them
         from the recrements of vegetables and of terrestrial animals,
         are now well understood from our improved knowledge of
         geology; and show, that the solid parts of the globe are
         gradually enlarging, and consequently that it is young; as
         the fluid parts are not yet all converted into solid ones.
         Add to this, that some parts of the earth and its inhabitants
         appear younger than others; thus the greater height of the
         mountains of America seems to show that continent to be less
         ancient than Europe, Asia, and Africa; as their summits have
         been less washed away, and the wild animals of America, as
         the tigers and crocodiles, are said to be less perfect in
         respect to their size and strength; which would show them to
         be still in a state of infancy, or of progressive
         improvement. Lastly, the progress of mankind in arts and
         sciences, which continues slowly to extend, and to increase,
         seems to evince the youth of human society; whilst the
         unchanging state of the societies of some insects, as of the
         bee, wasp, and ant, which is usually ascribed to instinct,
         seems to evince the longer existence, and greater maturity of
         those societies. The juvenility of the earth shows, that it
         has had a beginning or birth, and is a strong natural
         argument evincing the existence of a cause of its production,
         that is of the Deity.]

    "Ere Time began, from flaming Chaos hurl'd
  Rose the bright spheres, which form the circling world;
  Earths from each sun with quick explosions burst,
  And second planets issued from the first.                        230
  Then, whilst the sea at their coeval birth,
  Surge over surge, involv'd the shoreless earth;
  Nurs'd by warm sun-beams in primeval caves
  Organic Life began beneath the waves.

         [Footnote: _Earths from each sun_, l. 229. See Botan. Garden,
         Vol. I. Cant. I. l. 107.]

    "First HEAT from chemic dissolution springs,
  And gives to matter its eccentric wings;
  With strong REPULSION parts the exploding mass,
  Melts into lymph, or kindles into gas.
  ATTRACTION next, as earth or air subsides,
  The ponderous atoms from the light divides,                      240
  Approaching parts with quick embrace combines,
  Swells into spheres, and lengthens into lines.
  Last, as fine goads the gluten-threads excite,
  Cords grapple cords, and webs with webs unite;
  And quick CONTRACTION with ethereal flame
  Lights into life the fibre-woven frame.--
  Hence without parent by spontaneous birth
  Rise the first specks of animated earth;
  From Nature's womb the plant or insect swims,
  And buds or breathes, with microscopic limbs.                    250

         [Footnote: _First Heat from chemic_, l. 235. The matter of
         heat is an ethereal fluid, in which all things are immersed,
         and which constitutes the general power of repulsion; as
         appears in explosions which are produced by the sudden
         evolution of combined heat, and by the expansion of all
         bodies by the slower diffusion of it in its uncombined state.
         Without heat all the matter of the world would be condensed
         into a point by the power of attraction; and neither fluidity
         nor life could exist. There are also particular powers of
         repulsion, as those of magnetism and electricity, and of
         chemistry, such as oil and water; which last may be as
         numerous as the particular attractions which constitute
         chemical affinities; and may both of them exist as
         atmospheres round the individual particles of matter; see
         Botanic Garden, Vol. I. additional note VII. on elementary

         [Footnote: _Attraction next_, l. 239. The power of attraction
         may be divided into general attraction, which is called
         gravity; and into particular attraction, which is termed
         chemical affinity. As nothing can act where it does not
         exist, the power of gravity must be conceived as extending
         from the sun to the planets, occupying that immense space;
         and may therefore be considered as an ethereal fluid, though
         not cognizable by our senses like heat, light, and

         Particular attraction, or chemical affinity, must likewise
         occupy the spaces between the particles of matter which they
         cause to approach each other. The power of gravity may
         therefore be called the general attractive ether, and the
         matter of heat may be called the general repulsive ether;
         which constitute the two great agents in the changes of
         inanimate matter.]

         [Footnote: _And quick Contraction_, l. 245. The power of
         contraction, which exists in organized bodies, and
         distinguishes life from inanimation, appears to consist of an
         ethereal fluid which resides in the brain and nerves of
         living bodies, and is expended in the act of shortening their
         fibres. The attractive and repulsive ethers require only the
         vicinity of bodies for the exertion of their activity, but
         the contractive ether requires at first the contact of a goad
         or stimulus, which appears to draw it off from the
         contracting fibre, and to excite the sensorial power of
         irritation. These contractions of animal fibres are
         afterwards excited or repeated by the sensorial powers of
         sensation, volition, or association, as explained at large in
         Zoonomia, Vol. I.

         There seems nothing more wonderful in the ether of
         contraction producing the shortening of a fibre, than in the
         ether of attraction causing two bodies to approach each
         other. The former indeed seems in some measure to resemble
         the latter, as it probably occasions the minute particles of
         the fibre to approach into absolute or adhesive contact, by
         withdrawing from them their repulsive atmospheres; whereas
         the latter seems only to cause particles of matter to
         approach into what is popularly called contact, like the
         particles of fluids; but which are only in the vicinity of
         each other, and still retain their repulsive atmospheres, as
         may be seen in riding through shallow water by the number of
         minute globules of it thrown up by the horses feet, which
         roll far on its surface; and by the difficulty with which
         small globules of mercury poured on the surface of a quantity
         of it can be made to unite with it.]

         [Footnote: _Spontaneous birth_, l. 247. See additional Note,
         No. I.]

    "IN earth, sea, air, around, below, above,
  Life's subtle woof in Nature's loom is wove;
  Points glued to points a living line extends,
  Touch'd by some goad approach the bending ends;
  Rings join to rings, and irritated tubes
  Clasp with young lips the nutrient globes or cubes;
  And urged by appetencies new select,
  Imbibe, retain, digest, secrete, eject.
  In branching cones the living web expands,
  Lymphatic ducts, and convoluted glands;                          260
  Aortal tubes propel the nascent blood,
  And lengthening veins absorb the refluent flood;
  Leaves, lungs, and gills, the vital ether breathe
  On earth's green surface, or the waves beneath.
  So Life's first powers arrest the winds and floods,
  To bones convert them, or to shells, or woods;
  Stretch the vast beds of argil, lime, and sand,
  And from diminish'd oceans form the land!

         [Footnote: _In branching cones_, l. 259. The whole branch of
         an artery or vein may be considered as a cone, though each
         distinct division of it is a cylinder. It is probable that
         the amount of the areas of all the small branches from one
         trunk may equal that of the trunk, otherwise the velocity of
         the blood would be greater in some parts than in others,
         which probably only exists when a part is compressed or

         [Footnote: _Absorb the refluent flood_, l. 262. The force of
         the arterial impulse appears to cease, after having propelled
         the blood through the capillary vessels; whence the venous
         circulation is owing to the extremities of the veins
         absorbing the blood, as those of the lymphatics absorb the
         fluids. The great force of absorption is well elucidated by
         Dr. Hales's experiment on the rise of the sap-juice in a
         vine-stump; see Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXIII.]

         [Footnote: _And from diminish'd oceans_, l. 268. The increase
         of the solid parts of the globe by the recrements of organic
         bodies, as limestone rocks from shells and bones, and the
         beds of clay, marl, coals, from decomposed woods, is now well
         known to those who have attended to modern geology; and Dr.
         Halley, and others, have endeavoured to show, with great
         probability, that the ocean has decreased in quantity during
         the short time which human history has existed. Whence it
         appears, that the exertions of vegetable and animal life
         convert the fluid parts of the globe into solid ones; which
         is probably effected by combining the matter of heat with the
         other elements, instead of suffering it to remain simply
         diffused amongst them, which is a curious conjecture, and
         deserves further investigation.]

    "Next the long nerves unite their silver train,
  And young SENSATION permeates the brain;                         270
  Through each new sense the keen emotions dart,
  Flush the young cheek, and swell the throbbing heart.
  From pain and pleasure quick VOLITIONS rise,
  Lift the strong arm, or point the inquiring eyes;
  With Reason's light bewilder'd Man direct,
  And right and wrong with balance nice detect.
  Last in thick swarms ASSOCIATIONS spring,
  Thoughts join to thoughts, to motions motions cling;
  Whence in long trains of catenation flow
  Imagined joy, and voluntary woe.                                 280

         [Footnote: _And young Sensation_, l. 270. Both sensation and
         volition consist in an affection of the central part of the
         sensorium, or of the whole of it; and hence cannot exist till
         the nerves are united in the brain. The motions of a limb of
         any animal cut from the body, are therefore owing to
         irritation, not to sensation or to volition. For the
         definitions of irritation, sensation, volition, and
         association, see additional Note II.]

    "So, view'd through crystal spheres in drops saline,
  Quick-shooting salts in chemic forms combine;
  Or Mucor-stems, a vegetative tribe,
  Spread their fine roots, the tremulous wave imbibe.
  Next to our wondering eyes the focus brings
  Self-moving lines, and animated rings;
  First Monas moves, an unconnected point,
  Plays round the drop without a limb or joint;
  Then Vibrio waves, with capillary eels,
  And Vorticella whirls her living wheels;                         290
  While insect Proteus sports with changeful form
  Through the bright tide, a globe, a cube, a worm.
  Last o'er the field the Mite enormous swims,
  Swells his red heart, and writhes his giant limbs.

         [Footnote: _Or Mucor-stems_, l. 283. Mucor or mould in its
         early state is properly a microscopic vegetable, and is
         spontaneously produced on the scum of all decomposing organic
         matter. The Monas is a moving speck, the Vibrio an undulating
         wire, the Proteus perpetually changes its shape, and the
         Vorticella has wheels about its mouth, with which it makes an
         eddy, and is supposed thus to draw into its throat invisible
         animalcules. These names are from Linneus and Muller; see
         Appendix to Additional Note I.]

    V. "ORGANIC LIFE beneath the shoreless waves
  Was born and nurs'd in Ocean's pearly caves;
  First forms minute, unseen by spheric glass,
  Move on the mud, or pierce the watery mass;
  These, as successive generations bloom,
  New powers acquire, and larger limbs assume;                     300
  Whence countless groups of vegetation spring,
  And breathing realms of fin, and feet, and wing.

         [Footnote: _Beneath the shoreless waves_, l. 295. The earth
         was originally covered with water, as appears from some of
         its highest mountains, consisting of shells cemented together
         by a solution of part of them, as the limestone rocks of the
         Alps; Ferber's Travels. It must be therefore concluded, that
         animal life began beneath the sea.

         Nor is this unanalogous to what still occurs, as all
         quadrupeds and mankind in their embryon state are aquatic
         animals; and thus may be said to resemble gnats and frogs.
         The fetus in the uterus has an organ called the placenta, the
         fine extremities of the vessels of which permeate the
         arteries of the uterus, and the blood of the fetus becomes
         thus oxygenated from the passing stream of the maternal
         arterial blood; exactly as is done by the gills of fish from
         the stream of water, which they occasion to pass through

         But the chicken in the egg possesses a kind of aerial
         respiration, since the extremities of its placental vessels
         terminate on a membranous bag, which contains air, at the
         broad end of the egg; and in this the chick in the egg
         differs from the fetus in the womb, as there is in the egg no
         circulating maternal blood for the insertion of the
         extremities of its respiratory vessels, and in this also I
         suspect that the eggs of birds differ from the spawn of fish;
         which latter is immersed in water, and which has probably the
         extremities of its respiratory organ inserted into the soft
         membrane which covers it, and is in contact with the water.]

         [Footnote: _First forms minute_, l. 297. See Additional Note
         I. on Spontaneous Vitality.]

    "Thus the tall Oak, the giant of the wood,
  Which bears Britannia's thunders on the flood;
  The Whale, unmeasured monster of the main,
  The lordly Lion, monarch of the plain,
  The Eagle soaring in the realms of air,
  Whose eye undazzled drinks the solar glare,
  Imperious man, who rules the bestial crowd,
  Of language, reason, and reflection proud,                       310
  With brow erect who scorns this earthy sod,
  And styles himself the image of his God;
  Arose from rudiments of form and sense,
  An embryon point, or microscopic ens!

    "Now in vast shoals beneath the brineless tide,
  On earth's firm crust testaceous tribes reside;
  Age after age expands the peopled plain,
  The tenants perish, but their cells remain;
  Whence coral walls and sparry hills ascend
  From pole to pole, and round the line extend.                    320

         [Footnote: _An embryon point_, l. 314. The arguments showing
         that all vegetables and animals arose from such a small
         beginning, as a living point or living fibre, are detailed in
         Zoonomia, Sect. XXXIX. 4. 8. on Generation.]

         [Footnote: _Brineless tide_, l. 315. As the salt of the sea
         has been gradually accumulating, being washed down into it
         from the recrements of animal and vegetable bodies, the sea
         must originally have been as fresh as river water; and as it
         is not saturated with salt, must become annually saline. The
         sea-water about our island contains at this time from about
         one twenty-eighth to one thirtieth part of sea salt, and
         about one eightieth of magnesian salt; Brownrigg on Salt.]

         [Footnote: _Whence coral walls_, l. 319. An account of the
         structure of the earth is given in Botanic Garden, Vol. I.
         Additional Notes, XVI. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXIII. XXIV.]

    "Next when imprison'd fires in central caves
  Burst the firm earth, and drank the headlong waves;
  And, as new airs with dread explosion swell,
  Form'd lava-isles, and continents of shell;
  Pil'd rocks on rocks, on mountains mountains raised,
  And high in heaven the first volcanoes blazed;
  In countless swarms an insect-myriad moves
  From sea-fan gardens, and from coral groves;
  Leaves the cold caverns of the deep, and creeps
  On shelving shores, or climbs on rocky steeps.                   330
  As in dry air the sea-born stranger roves,
  Each muscle quickens, and each sense improves;
  Cold gills aquatic form respiring lungs,
  And sounds aerial flow from slimy tongues.

         [Footnote: _Drunk the headlong waves_, l. 322. See Additional
         Note III.]

         [Footnote: _An insect-myriad moves_, l. 327. After islands or
         continents were raised above the primeval ocean, great
         numbers of the most simple animals would attempt to seek food
         at the edges or shores of the new land, and might thence
         gradually become amphibious; as is now seen in the frog, who
         changes from an aquatic animal to an amphibious one; and in
         the gnat, which changes from a natant to a volant state.

         At the same time new microscopic animalcules would
         immediately commence wherever there was warmth and moisture,
         and some organic matter, that might induce putridity. Those
         situated on dry land, and immersed in dry air, may gradually
         acquire new powers to preserve their existence; and by
         innumerable successive reproductions for some thousands, or
         perhaps millions of ages, may at length have produced many of
         the vegetable and animal inhabitants which now people the

         As innumerable shell-fish must have existed a long time
         beneath the ocean, before the calcareous mountains were
         produced and elevated; it is also probable, that many of the
         insect tribes, or less complicate animals, existed long
         before the quadrupeds or more complicate ones, which in some
         measure accords with the theory of Linneus in respect to the
         vegetable world; who thinks, that all the plants now extant
         arose from the conjunction and reproduction of about sixty
         different vegetables, from which he constitutes his natural

         As the blood of animals in the air becomes more oxygenated in
         their lungs, than that of animals in water by their gills; it
         becomes of a more scarlet colour, and from its greater
         stimulus the sensorium seems to produce quicker motions and
         finer sensations; and as water is a much better vehicle for
         vibrations or sounds than air, the fish, even when dying in
         pain, are mute in the atmosphere, though it is probable that
         in the water they may utter sounds to be heard at a
         considerable distance. See on this subject, Botanic Garden,
         Vol. I. Canto IV. l. 176, Note.]

    "So Trapa rooted in pellucid tides,
  In countless threads her breathing leaves divides,
  Waves her bright tresses in the watery mass,
  And drinks with gelid gills the vital gas;
  Then broader leaves in shadowy files advance,
  Spread o'er the crystal flood their green expanse;               340
  And, as in air the adherent dew exhales,
  Court the warm sun, and breathe ethereal gales.

         [Footnote: _So Trapa rooted_, l. 335. 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 a similar material. As the material thus necessary to
         life seems to be more easily acquired from air than from
         water, the subaquatic leaves of this plant and of sisymbrium,
         oenanthe, ranunculus aquatilis, water crow-foot, and some
         others, are cut into fine divisions to increase the surface,
         whilst those above water are undivided; see Botanic Garden,
         Vol. II. Canto IV. l. 204. Note.

         Few of the water plants of this country are used for
         economical purposes, but the ranunculus fluviatilis may be
         worth cultivation; as on the borders of the river Avon, near
         Ringwood, the cottagers cut this plant every morning in
         boats, almost all the year round, to feed their cows, which
         appear in good condition, and give a due quantity of milk;
         see a paper from Dr. Pultney in the Transactions of the
         Linnean Society, Vol. V.]

    "So still the Tadpole cleaves the watery vale
  With balanc'd fins, and undulating tail;
  New lungs and limbs proclaim his second birth,
  Breathe the dry air, and bound upon the earth.
  So from deep lakes the dread Musquito springs,
  Drinks the soft breeze, and dries his tender wings,
  In twinkling squadrons cuts his airy way,
  Dips his red trunk in blood, and man his prey.                   350

         [Footnote: _So still the Tadpole_, l. 343. The transformation
         of the tadpole from an aquatic animal into an aerial one is
         abundantly curious, when first it is hatched from the spawn
         by the warmth of the season, it resembles a fish; it
         afterwards puts forth legs, and resembles a lizard; and
         finally losing its tail, and acquiring lungs instead of
         gills, becomes an aerial quadruped.

         The rana temporaria of Linneus lives in the water in spring,
         and on the land in summer, and catches flies. Of the rana
         paradoxa the larva or tadpole is as large as the frog, and
         dwells in Surinam, whence the mistake of Merian and of Seba,
         who call it a frog fish. The esculent frog is green, with
         three yellow lines from the mouth to the anus; the back
         transversely gibbous, the hinder feet palmated; its more
         frequent croaking in the evenings is said to foretell rain.
         Linnei Syst. Nat. Art. rana.

         Linneus asserts in his introduction to the class Amphibia,
         that frogs are so nearly allied to lizards, lizards to
         serpents, and serpents to fish, that the boundaries of these
         orders can scarcely be ascertained.]

         [Footnote: _The dread Musquito springs_, l. 347. See
         Additional Note IV.]

    "So still the Diodons, amphibious tribe,
  With two-fold lungs the sea or air imbibe;
  Allied to fish, the lizard cleaves the flood
  With one-cell'd heart, and dark frigescent blood;
  Half-reasoning Beavers long-unbreathing dart
  Through Erie's waves with perforated heart;
  With gills and lungs respiring Lampreys steer,
  Kiss the rude rocks, and suck till they adhere;
  The lazy Remora's inhaling lips,
  Hung on the keel, retard the struggling ships;                   360
  With gills pulmonic breathes the enormous Whale,
  And spouts aquatic columns to the gale;
  Sports on the shining wave at noontide hours,
  And shifting rainbows crest the rising showers.

         [Footnote: _So still the Diodon_, l. 351. See Additional Note

         [Footnote: _At noontide hours_, l. 363. The rainbows in our
         latitude are only seen in the mornings or evenings, when the
         sun is not much more than forty-two degrees high. In the more
         northern latitudes, where the meridian sun is not more than
         forty-two degrees high, they are also visible at noon.]

    "So erst, ere rose the science to record
  In letter'd syllables the volant word;
  Whence chemic arts, disclosed in pictured lines,
  Liv'd to mankind by hieroglyphic signs;
  And clustering stars, pourtray'd on mimic spheres,
  Assumed the forms of lions, bulls, and bears;                    370
  --So erst, as Egypt's rude designs explain,
  Rose young DIONE from the shoreless main;
  Type of organic Nature! source of bliss!
  Emerging Beauty from the vast abyss!
  Sublime on Chaos borne, the Goddess stood,
  And smiled enchantment on the troubled flood;
  The warring elements to peace restored,
  And young Reflection wondered and adored."

         [Footnote: _As Egypt's rude design_, l. 371. See Additional
         Note VI.]

         [Footnote: _Rose young Dione_, l. 372. The hieroglyphic
         figure of Venus rising from the sea supported on a shell by
         two tritons, as well as that of Hercules armed with a club,
         appear to be remains of the most remote antiquity. As the
         former is devoid of grace, and of the pictorial art of
         design, as one half of the group exactly resembles the other;
         and as that of Hercules is armed with a club, which was the
         first weapon.

         The Venus seems to have represented the beauty of organic
         Nature rising from the sea, and afterwards became simply an
         emblem of ideal beauty; while the figure of Adonis was
         probably designed to represent the more abstracted idea of
         life or animation. Some of these hieroglyphic designs seem to
         evince the profound investigations in science of the Egyptian
         philosophers, and to have outlived all written language; and
         still constitute the symbols, by which painters and poets
         give form and animation to abstracted ideas, as to those of
         strength and beauty in the above instances.]

    Now paused the Nymph,--The Muse responsive cries,
  Sweet admiration sparkling in her eyes,                          380
  "Drawn by your pencil, by your hand unfurl'd,
  Bright shines the tablet of the dawning world;
  Amazed the Sea's prolific depths I view,
  And VENUS rising from the waves in YOU!

    "Still Nature's births enclosed in egg or seed
  From the tall forest to the lowly weed,
  Her beaux and beauties, butterflies and worms,
  Rise from aquatic to aerial forms.
  Thus in the womb the nascent infant laves
  Its natant form in the circumfluent waves;                       390
  With perforated heart unbreathing swims,
  Awakes and stretches all its recent limbs;
  With gills placental seeks the arterial flood,
  And drinks pure ether from its Mother's blood.
  Erewhile the landed Stranger bursts his way,
  From the warm wave emerging into day;
  Feels the chill blast, and piercing light, and tries
  His tender lungs, and rolls his dazzled eyes;
  Gives to the passing gale his curling hair,
  And steps a dry inhabitant of air.                               400

         [Footnote: _Awakes and stretches_, l. 392. During the first
         six months of gestation, the embryon probably sleeps, as it
         seems to have no use for voluntary power; it then seems to
         awake, and to stretch its limbs, and change its posture in
         some degree, which is termed quickening.]

         [Footnote: _With gills placental_, l. 393. The placenta
         adheres to any side of the uterus in natural gestation, or of
         any other cavity in extra-uterine gestation; the extremities
         of its arteries and veins probably permeate the arteries of
         the mother, and absorb from thence through their fine coats
         the oxygen of the mother's blood; hence when the placenta is
         withdrawn, the side of the uterus, where it adhered, bleeds;
         but not the extremities of its own vessels.]

         [Footnote: _His dazzled eyes_, l. 398. Though the membrana
         pupillaris described by modern anatomists guards the tender
         retina from too much light; the young infant nevertheless
         seems to feel the presence of it by its frequently moving its
         eyes, before it can distinguish common objects.]

    "Creative Nile, as taught in ancient song,
  So charm'd to life his animated throng;
  O'er his wide realms the slow-subsiding flood
  Left the rich treasures of organic mud;
  While with quick growth young Vegetation yields
  Her blushing orchards, and her waving fields;
  Pomona's hand replenish'd Plenty's horn,
  And Ceres laugh'd amid her seas of corn.--
  Bird, beast, and reptile, spring from sudden birth,
  Raise their new forms, half-animal, half-earth;                  410
  The roaring lion shakes his tawny mane,
  His struggling limbs still rooted in the plain;
  With flapping wings assurgent eagles toil
  To rend their talons from the adhesive soil;
  The impatient serpent lifts his crested head,
  And drags his train unfinish'd from the bed.--
  As Warmth and Moisture blend their magic spells,
  And brood with mingling wings the slimy dells;
  Contractile earths in sentient forms arrange,
  And Life triumphant stays their chemic change."                  420

         [Footnote: _As warmth and moisture_, l. 417.

                           In eodem corpore sæpe
           Altera pars vivit; rudis est pars altera tellus.
           Quippe ubi temperiem sumpsêre humorque calorque,
           Concipiunt; & ab his oriuntur, cuncta duobus.

                                        OVID. MET. l. 1. 430.

         This story from Ovid of the production of animals from the
         mud of the Nile seems to be of Egyptian origin, and is
         probably a poetical account of the opinions of the magi or
         priests of that country; showing that the simplest animations
         were spontaneously produced like chemical combinations, but
         were distinguished from the latter by their perpetual
         improvement by the power of reproduction, first by solitary,
         and then by sexual generation; whereas the products of
         natural chemistry are only enlarged by accretion, or purified
         by filtration.]

    Then hand in hand along the waving glades
  The virgin Sisters pass beneath the shades;
  Ascend the winding steps with pausing march,
  And seek the Portico's susurrant arch;
  Whose sculptur'd architrave on columns borne
  Drinks the first blushes of the rising morn,
  Whose fretted roof an ample shield displays,
  And guards the Beauties from meridian rays.
  While on light step enamour'd Zephyr springs,
  And fans their glowing features with his wings,                  430
  Imbibes the fragrance of the vernal flowers,
  And speeds with kisses sweet the dancing Hours.

    Urania, leaning with unstudied grace,
  Rests her white elbow on a column's base;
  Awhile reflecting takes her silent stand,
  Her fair cheek press'd upon her lily hand;
  Then, as awaking from ideal trance,
  On the smooth floor her pausing steps advance,
  Waves high her arm, upturns her lucid eyes,
  Marks the wide scenes of ocean, earth, and skies;                440
  And leads, meandering as it rolls along
  Through Nature's walks, the shining stream of Song.

    First her sweet voice in plaintive accents chains
  The Muse's ear with fascinating strains;
  Reverts awhile to elemental strife,
  The change of form, and brevity of life;
  Then tells how potent Love with torch sublime
  Relights the glimmering lamp, and conquers Time.
  --The polish'd walls reflect her rosy smiles,
  And sweet-ton'd echoes talk along the ailes.                     450






I. Brevity of Life 1. Reproduction 13. Animals improve 31. Life and
Death alternate 37. Adonis emblem of Mortal Life 45. II. Solitary
reproduction 61. Buds, Bulbs, Polypus 65. Truffle; Buds of trees how
generated 71. Volvox, Polypus, Tænia, Oysters, Corals, are without Sex
83. Storge goddess of Parental Love; First chain of Society 92. III.
Female sex produced 103. Tulip bulbs, Aphis 125. Eve from Adam's rib
135. IV. Hereditary diseases 159. Grafted trees, bulbous roots
degenerate 167. Gout, Mania, Scrofula, Consumption 177. Time and
Nature 185. V. Urania and the Muse lament 205. Cupid and Psyche, the
deities of sexual love 221. Speech of Hymen 239. Second chain of
Society 250. Young Desire 251. Love and Beauty save the world 257.
Vegetable sexes, Anthers and Stigmas salute 263. Vegetable sexual
generation 271. Anthers of Vallisneria float to the Stigmas 279. Ant,
Lampyris, Glow-Worm, Snail 287. Silk-Worm 293. VI. Demon of Jealousy
307. Cocks, Quails, Stags, Boars 313. Knights of Romance 327. Helen
and Paris 333. Connubial love 341. Married Birds, nests of the Linnet
and Nightingale 343. Lions, Tigers, Bulls, Horses 357. Triumphal car
of Cupid 361. Fish, Birds, Insects 371. Vegetables 389. March of Hymen
411. His lamp 419. VII. Urania's advice to her Nymphs 425. Dines with
the Muse on forbidden Fruit 435. Angels visit Abraham 447-458.



  I. "How short the span of LIFE! some hours possess'd,
  Warm but to cool, and active but to rest!--
  The age-worn fibres goaded to contract,
  By repetition palsied, cease to act;
  When Time's cold hands the languid senses seize,
  Chill the dull nerves, the lingering currents freeze;
  Organic matter, unreclaim'd by Life,
  Reverts to elements by chemic strife.
  Thus Heat evolv'd from some fermenting mass
  Expands the kindling atoms into gas;                              10
  Which sink ere long in cold concentric rings,
  Condensed, on Gravity's descending wings.

         [Footnote: _How short the span of Life_, l. 1. The thinking
         few in all ages have complained of the brevity of life,
         lamenting that mankind are not allowed time sufficient to
         cultivate science, or to improve their intellect. Hippocrates
         introduces his celebrated aphorisms with this idea; "Life is
         short, science long, opportunities of knowledge rare,
         experiments fallacious, and reasoning difficult."--A
         melancholy reflection to philosophers!]

         [Footnote: _The age-worn fibres_, l. 3. Why the same kinds of
         food, which enlarge and invigorate the body from infancy to
         the meridian of life, and then nourish it for some years
         unimpaired, should at length gradually cease to do so, and
         the debility of age and death supervene, would be liable to
         surprise us if we were not in the daily habit of observing
         it; and is a circumstance which has not yet been well

         Before mankind introduced civil society, old age did not
         exist in the world, nor other lingering diseases; as all
         living creatures, as soon as they became too feeble to defend
         themselves, were slain and eaten by others, except the young
         broods, who were defended by their mother; and hence the
         animal world existed uniformly in its greatest strength and
         perfection; see Additional Note VII.]

    "But REPRODUCTION with ethereal fires
  New Life rekindles, ere the first expires;
  Calls up renascent Youth, ere tottering age
  Quits the dull scene, and gives him to the stage;
  Bids on his cheek the rose of beauty blow,
  And binds the wreaths of pleasure round his brow;
  With finer links the vital chain extends,
  And the long line of Being never ends.                            20

         [Footnote: _But Reproduction_, l. 13. See Additional Note

    "Self-moving Engines by unbending springs
  May walk on earth, or flap their mimic wings;
  In tubes of glass mercurial columns rise,
  Or sink, obedient to the incumbent skies;
  Or, as they touch the figured scale, repeat
  The nice gradations of circumfluent heat.
  But REPRODUCTION, when the perfect Elf
  Forms from fine glands another like itself,
  Gives the true character of life and sense,
  And parts the organic from the chemic Ens.--                      30
  Where milder skies protect the nascent brood,
  And earth's warm bosom yields salubrious food;
  Each new Descendant with superior powers
  Of sense and motion speeds the transient hours;
  Braves every season, tenants every clime,
  And Nature rises on the wings of Time.

         [Footnote: _Unbending springs_, l. 21. See Additional Note I.

    "As LIFE discordant elements arrests,
  Rejects the noxious, and the pure digests;
  Combines with Heat the fluctuating mass,
  And gives a while solidity to gas;                                40
  Organic forms with chemic changes strive,
  Live but to die, and die but to revive!
  Immortal matter braves the transient storm,
  Mounts from the wreck, unchanging but in form.--

         [Footnote: _Combines with Heat_, l. 39. It was shown in note
         on line 248 of the first Canto, that much of the aerial and
         liquid parts of the terraqueous globe was converted by the
         powers of life into solid matter; and that this was effected
         by the combination of the fluid, heat, with other elementary
         bodies by the appetencies and propensities of the parts of
         living matter to unite with each other. But when these
         appetencies and propensities of the parts of organic matter
         to unite with each other cease, the chemical affinities of
         attraction and the aptitude to be attracted, and of repulsion
         and the aptitude to be repelled, succeed, and reduce much of
         the solid matters back to the condition of elements; which
         seems to be effected by the matter of heat being again set at
         liberty, which was combined with other matters by the powers
         of life; and thus by its diffusion the solid bodies return
         into liquid ones or into gasses, as occurs in the processes
         of fermentation, putrefaction, sublimation, and calcination.
         Whence solidity appears to be produced in consequence of the
         diminution of heat, as the condensation of steam into water,
         and the consolidation of water into ice, or by the
         combination of heat with bodies, as with the materials of
         gunpowder before its explosion.]

         [Footnote: _Immortal matter_, l. 43. The perpetual mutability
         of the forms of matter seems to have struck the philosophers
         of great antiquity; the system of transmigration taught by
         Pythagoras, in which the souls of men were supposed after
         death to animate the bodies of a variety of animals, appears
         to have arisen from this source. He had observed the
         perpetual changes of organic matter from one creature to
         another, and concluded, that the vivifying spirit must attend

    "So, as the sages of the East record
  In sacred symbol, or unletter'd word;
  Emblem of Life, to change eternal doom'd,
  The beauteous form of fair ADONIS bloom'd.--
  On Syrian hills the graceful Hunter slain
  Dyed with his gushing blood the shuddering plain;                 50
  And, slow-descending to the Elysian shade,
  A while with PROSERPINE reluctant stray'd;
  Soon from the yawning grave the bursting clay
  Restor'd the Beauty to delighted day;
  Array'd in youth's resuscitated charms,
  And young DIONE woo'd him to her arms.--
  Pleased for a while the assurgent youth above
  Relights the golden lamp of life and love;
  Ah, soon again to leave the cheerful light,
  And sink alternate to the realms of night.                        60

         [Footnote: _Emblem of Life_, l. 47. The Egyptian figure of
         Venus rising from the sea seems to have represented the
         Beauty of organic Nature; which the philosophers of that
         country, the magi, appear to have discovered to have been
         elevated by earthquakes from the primeval ocean. But the
         hieroglyphic figure of Adonis seems to have signified the
         spirit of animation or life, which was perpetually wooed or
         courted by organic matter, and which perished and revived
         alternately. Afterwards the fable of Adonis seems to have
         given origin to the first religion promising a resurrection
         from the dead; whence his funeral and return to life were
         celebrated for many ages in Egypt and Syria, the ceremonies
         of which Ezekiel complains as idolatrous, accusing the women
         of Israel of lamenting over Thammus; which St. Cyril
         interprets to be Adonis, in his Commentaries on Isaiah;
         Danet's Diction.]

    II. "HENCE ere Vitality, as time revolves,
  Leaves the cold organ, and the mass dissolves;
  The Reproductions of the living Ens
  From sires to sons, unknown to sex, commence.
  New buds and bulbs the living fibre shoots
  On lengthening branches, and protruding roots;
  Or on the father's side from bursting glands
  The adhering young its nascent form expands;
  In branching lines the parent-trunk adorns,
  And parts ere long like plumage, hairs, or horns.                 70

    "So the lone Truffle, lodged beneath the earth,
  Shoots from paternal roots the tuberous birth;
  No stamen-males ascend, and breathe above,
  No seed-born offspring lives by female love.
  From each young tree, for future buds design'd
  Organic drops exsude beneath the rind;
  While these with appetencies nice invite,
  And those with apt propensities unite;
  New embryon fibrils round the trunk combine
  With quick embrace, and form the living line:                     80
  Whose plume and rootlet at their early birth
  Seek the dry air, or pierce the humid earth.

         [Footnote: _So the lone Truffle_, l. 71. Lycoperdon tuber.
         This plant never rises above the earth, is propagated without
         seed by its roots only, and seems to require no light.
         Perhaps many other fungi are generated without seed by their
         roots only, and without light, and approach on the last
         account to animal nature.]

         [Footnote: _While these with appetencies_, l. 77. See
         Additional Note VIII.]

    "So safe in waves prolific Volvox dwells,
  And five descendants crowd his lucid cells;
  So the male Polypus parental swims,
  And branching infants bristle all his limbs;
  So the lone Tænia, as he grows, prolongs
  His flatten'd form with young adherent throngs;
  Unknown to sex the pregnant oyster swells,
  And coral-insects build their radiate shells;                     90
  Parturient Sires caress their infant train,
  And heaven-born STORGE weaves the social chain;
  Successive births her tender cares combine,
  And soft affections live along the line.

         [Footnote: _Prolific Volvox_, l. 83. The volvox globator
         dwells in the lakes of Europe, is transparent, and bears
         within it children and grandchildren to the fifth generation;
         Syst. Nat.]

         [Footnote: _The male polypus_, l. 85. The Hydra viridis and
         fusca of Linneus dwell in our ditches and rivers under
         aquatic plants; these animals have been shown by ingenious
         observers to revive after having been dried, to be restored
         when mutilated, to be multiplied by dividing them, and
         propagated from portions of them, parts of different ones to
         unite, to be turned inside outwards and yet live, and to be
         propagated by seeds, to produce bulbs, and vegetate by
         branches. Syst. Nat.]

         [Footnote: _The lone Tænia_, l. 87. The tape-worm dwells in
         the intestines of animals, and grows old at one extremity,
         producing an infinite series of young ones at the other; the
         separate joints have been called Gourd-worms, each of which
         possesses a mouth of its own, and organs of digestion. Syst.

         [Footnote: _The pregnant oyster_, l. 89. Ostrea edulis dwells
         in the European oceans, frequent at the tables of the
         luxurious, a living repast! New-born oysters swim swiftly by
         an undulating movement of fins thrust out a little way from
         their shells. Syst. Nat. But they do not afterwards change
         their place during their whole lives, and are capable of no
         other movement but that of opening the shell a little way:
         whence Professor Beckman observes, that their offspring is
         probably produced without maternal organs; and that those,
         who speak of male and female oysters, must be mistaken: Phil.
         Magaz. March 1800. It is also observed by H. I. le Beck, that
         on nice inspection of the Pearl oysters in the gulf of Manar,
         he could observe no distinction of sexes. Nicholson's
         Journal. April 1800.]

         [Footnote: _And coral insects_, l. 90. The coral habitation
         of the Madrepora of Linneus consists of one or more star-like
         cells; a congeries of which form rocks beneath the sea; the
         animal which constructs it is termed Medusa; and as it
         adheres to its calcareous cavity, and thence cannot travel to
         its neighbours, is probably without sex. I observed great
         masses of the limestone in Shropshire, which is brought to
         Newport, to consist of the cells of these animals.]

         [Footnote: _And heaven-born Storge_, l. 92. See Additional
         Note IX.]

    "On angel-wings the GODDESS FORM descends,
  Round her fond broods her silver arms she bends;
  White streams of milk her tumid bosom swell,
  And on her lips ambrosial kisses dwell.
  Light joys on twinkling feet before her dance
  With playful nod, and momentary glance;                          100
  Behind, attendant on the pansied plain,
  Young PSYCHE treads with CUPID in her train.

    III. "IN these lone births no tender mothers blend
  Their genial powers to nourish or defend;
  No nutrient streams from Beauty's orbs improve
  These orphan babes of solitary love;
  Birth after birth the line unchanging runs,
  And fathers live transmitted in their sons;
  Each passing year beholds the unvarying kinds,
  The same their manners, and the same their minds.                110
  Till, as erelong successive buds decay,
  And insect-shoals successive pass away,
  Increasing wants the pregnant parents vex
  With the fond wish to form a softer sex;
  Whose milky rills with pure ambrosial food
  Might charm and cherish their expected brood.
  The potent wish in the productive hour
  Calls to its aid Imagination's power,
  O'er embryon throngs with mystic charm presides,
  And sex from sex the nascent world divides,                      120
  With soft affections warms the callow trains,
  And gives to laughing Love his nymphs and swains;
  Whose mingling virtues interweave at length
  The mother's beauty with the father's strength.

         [Footnote: _A softer sex_, l. 114. The first buds of trees
         raised from seed die annually, and are succeeded by new buds
         by solitary reproduction; which are larger or more perfect
         for several successive years, and then they produce sexual
         flowers, which are succeeded by seminal reproduction. The
         same occurs in bulbous rooted plants raised from seed; they
         die annually, and produce others rather more perfect than the
         parent for several years, and then produce sexual flowers.
         The Aphis is in a similar manner hatched from an egg in the
         vernal months, and produces a viviparous offspring without
         sexual intercourse for nine or ten successive generations;
         and then the progeny is both male and female, which cohabit,
         and from these new females are produced eggs, which endure
         the winter; the same process probably occurs in many other

         [Footnote: _Imagination's power_, l. 118. The manner in which
         the similarity of the progeny to the parent, and the sex of
         it, are produced by the power of imagination, is treated of
         in Zoonomia. Sect. 39. 6. 3. It is not to be understood, that
         the first living fibres, which are to form an animal, are
         produced by imagination, with any similarity of form to the
         future animal; but with appetencies or propensities, which
         shall produce by accretion of parts the similarity of form
         and feature, or of sex, corresponding with the imagination of
         the father.]

         [Footnote: _His nymphs and swains_, l. 122. The arguments
         which have been adduced to show, that mankind and quadrupeds
         were formerly in an hermaphrodite state, are first deduced
         from the present existence of breasts and nipples in all the
         males; which latter swell on titillation like those of the
         females, and which are said to contain a milky fluid at their
         birth; and it is affirmed, that some men have given milk to
         their children in desert countries, where the mother has
         perished; as the male pigeon is said to give a kind of milk
         from his stomach along with the regurgitated food, to the
         young doves, as mentioned in Additional Note IX. on Storge.

         Secondly, from the apparent progress of many animals to
         greater perfection, as in some insects, as the flies with two
         wings, termed Diptera; which have rudiments of two other
         wings, called halteres, or poisers; and in many flowers which
         have rudiments of new stamina, or filaments without anthers
         on them. See Botanic Garden, Vol. II. Curcuma, Note, and the
         Note on l. 204 of Canto I. of this work. It has been supposed
         by some, that mankind were formerly quadrupeds as well as
         hermaphrodites; and that some parts of the body are not yet
         so convenient to an erect attitude as to a horizontal one; as
         the fundus of the bladder in an erect posture is not exactly
         over the insertion of the urethra; whence it is seldom
         completely evacuated, and thus renders mankind more subject
         to the stone, than if he had preserved his horizontality:
         these philosophers, with Buffon and Helvetius, seem to
         imagine, that mankind arose from one family of monkeys on the
         banks of the Mediterranean; who accidentally had learned to
         use the adductor pollicis, or that strong muscle which
         constitutes the ball of the thumb, and draws the point of it
         to meet the points of the fingers; which common monkeys do
         not; and that this muscle gradually increased in size,
         strength, and activity, in successive generations; and by
         this improved use of the sense of touch, that monkeys
         acquired clear ideas, and gradually became men.

         Perhaps all the productions of nature are in their progress
         to greater perfection! an idea countenanced by 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.]

    "So tulip-bulbs emerging from the seed,
  Year after year unknown to sex proceed;
  Erewhile the stamens and the styles display
  Their petal-curtains, and adorn the day;
  The beaux and beauties in each blossom glow
  With wedded joy, or amatorial woe.                               130
  Unmarried Aphides prolific prove
  For nine successions uninform'd of love;
  New sexes next with softer passions spring,
  Breathe the fond vow, and woo with quivering wing.

    "So erst in Paradise creation's LORD,
  As the first leaves of holy writ record,
  From Adam's rib, who press'd the flowery grove,
  And dreamt delighted of untasted love,
  To cheer and charm his solitary mind,
  Form'd a new sex, the MOTHER OF MANKIND.                         140
  --Buoy'd on light step the Beauty seem'd to swim,
  And stretch'd alternate every pliant limb;
  Pleased on Euphrates' velvet margin stood,
  And view'd her playful image in the flood;
  Own'd the fine flame of love, as life began,
  And smiled enchantment on adoring Man.
  Down her white neck and o'er her bosom roll'd,
  Flow'd in sweet negligence her locks of gold;
  Round her fine form the dim transparence play'd,
  And show'd the beauties, that it seem'd to shade.                150
  --Enamour'd ADAM gaz'd with fond surprise,
  And drank delicious passion from her eyes;
  Felt the new thrill of young Desire, and press'd
  The graceful Virgin to his glowing breast.--
  The conscious Fair betrays her soft alarms,
  Sinks with warm blush into his closing arms,
  Yields to his fond caress with wanton play,
  And sweet, reluctant, amorous, delay.

         [Footnote: _The mother of mankind_, l. 140. See Additional
         Note X.]

    IV. "WHERE no new Sex with glands nutritious feeds,
  Nurs'd in her womb, the solitary breeds;                         160
  No Mother's care their early steps directs,
  Warms in her bosom, with her wings protects;
  The clime unkind, or noxious food instills
  To embryon nerves hereditary ills;
  The feeble births acquired diseases chase,
  Till Death extinguish the degenerate race.

         [Footnote: _Acquired diseases_, l. 165. See Additional Note

    "So grafted trees with shadowy summits rise,
  Spread their fair blossoms, and perfume the skies;
  Till canker taints the vegetable blood,
  Mines round the bark, and feeds upon the wood.                   170
  So, years successive, from perennial roots
  The wire or bulb with lessen'd vigour shoots;
  Till curled leaves, or barren flowers, betray
  A waning lineage, verging to decay;
  Or till, amended by connubial powers,
  Rise seedling progenies from sexual flowers.

         [Footnote: _So grafted trees_, l. 167. Mr. Knight first
         observed that those apple and pear trees, which had been
         propagated for above a century by ingraftment were now so
         unhealthy, as not to be worth cultivation. I have suspected
         the diseases of potatoes attended with the curled leaf, and
         of strawberry plants attended with barren flowers, to be
         owing to their having been too long raised from roots, or by
         solitary reproduction, and not from seeds, or sexual
         reproduction, and to have thence acquired those hereditary

    "E'en where unmix'd the breed, in sexual tribes
  Parental taints the nascent babe imbibes;
  Eternal war the Gout and Mania wage
  With fierce uncheck'd hereditary rage;                           180
  Sad Beauty's form foul Scrofula surrounds
  With bones distorted, and putrescent wounds;
  And, fell Consumption! thy unerring dart
  Wets its broad wing in Youth's reluctant heart.

         [Footnote: _And, fell Consumption_, l. 183.

           ... Hæret lateri lethalis arundo.

    "With pausing step, at night's refulgent noon,
  Beneath the sparkling stars, and lucid moon,
  Plung'd in the shade of some religious tower,
  The slow bell counting the departed hour,
  O'er gaping tombs where shed umbrageous Yews
  On mouldering bones their cold unwholesome dews;                 190
  While low aerial voices whisper round,
  And moondrawn spectres dance upon the ground;
  Poetic MELANCHOLY loves to tread,
  And bend in silence o'er the countless Dead;
  Marks with loud sobs infantine Sorrows rave,
  And wring their pale hands o'er their Mother's grave;
  Hears on the new-turn'd sod with gestures wild
  The kneeling Beauty call her buried child;
  Upbraid with timorous accents Heaven's decrees,
  And with sad sighs augment the passing breeze.                   200
  'Stern Time,' She cries, 'receives from Nature's womb
  Her beauteous births, and bears them to the tomb;
  Calls all her sons from earth's remotest bourn,
  And from the closing portals none return!'

    V. URANIA paused,--upturn'd her streaming eyes,
  And her white bosom heaved with silent sighs;
  With her the MUSE laments the sum of things,
  And hides her sorrows with her meeting wings;
  Long o'er the wrecks of lovely Life they weep,
  Then pleased reflect, "to die is but to sleep;"                  210
  From Nature's coffins to her cradles turn,
  Smile with young joy, with new affection burn.

    And now the Muse, with mortal woes impress'd,
  Thus the fair Hierophant again address'd.
  --"Ah me! celestial Guide, thy words impart
  Ills undeserved, that rend the nascent heart!
  O, Goddess, say, if brighter scenes improve
  Air-breathing tribes, and births of sexual love?"--
  The smiling Fair obeys the inquiring Muse,
  And in sweet tones her grateful task pursues.                    220

    "Now on broad pinions from the realms above
  Descending CUPID seeks the Cyprian grove;
  To his wide arms enamour'd PSYCHE springs,
  And clasps her lover with aurelian wings.
  A purple sash across HIS shoulder bends,
  And fringed with gold the quiver'd shafts suspends;
  The bending bow obeys the silken string,
  And, as he steps, the silver arrows ring.
  Thin folds of gauze with dim transparence flow
  O'er HER fair forehead, and her neck of snow;                    230
  The winding woof her graceful limbs surrounds,
  Swells in the breeze, and sweeps the velvet grounds;
  As hand in hand along the flowery meads
  His blushing bride the quiver'd hero leads;
  Charm'd round their heads pursuing Zephyrs throng,
  And scatter roses, as they move along;
  Bright beams of Spring in soft effusion play,
  And halcyon Hours invite them on their way.

         [Footnote: _Enamoured Psyché_, l. 223. A butterfly was the
         ancient emblem of the soul after death as rising from the
         tomb of its former state, and becoming a winged inhabitant of
         air from an insect creeping upon earth. At length the wings
         only were given to a beautiful nymph under the name of
         Psyche, which is the greek word for the soul, and also became
         afterwards to signify a butterfly probably from the
         popularity of this allegory. Many allegorical designs of
         Cupid or Love warming a butterfly or the Soul with his torch
         may be seen in Spence's Polymetis, and a beautiful one of
         their marriage in Bryant's Mythology; from which this
         description is in part taken.]

    "Delighted HYMEN hears their whisper'd vows,
  And binds his chaplets round their polish'd brows,               240
  Guides to his altar, ties the flowery bands,
  And as they kneel, unites their willing hands.
  'Behold, he cries, Earth! Ocean! Air above,
  'All forms of Life shall this fond Pair delight,
  'And sex to sex the willing world unite;
  'Shed their sweet smiles in Earth's unsocial bowers,
  'Fan with soft gales, and gild with brighter hours;
  'Fill Pleasure's chalice unalloy'd with pain,
  'And give SOCIETY his golden chain.'                             250

    "Now young DESIRES, on purple pinions borne,
  Mount the warm gales of Manhood's rising morn;
  With softer fires through virgin bosoms dart,
  Flush the pale cheek, and goad the tender heart.
  Ere the weak powers of transient Life decay,
  And Heaven's ethereal image melts away;
  LOVE with nice touch renews the organic frame,
  Forms a young Ens, another and the same;
  Gives from his rosy lips the vital breath,
  And parries with his hand the shafts of death;                   260
  While BEAUTY broods with angel wings unfurl'd
  O'er nascent life, and saves the sinking world.

         [Footnote: _While Beauty broods_, l. 261.

           Alma Venus! per te quoniam genus omne animantum
           Concipitur, visitque exortum lumina coeli.

    "HENCE on green leaves the sexual Pleasures dwell,
  And Loves and Beauties crowd the blossom's bell;
  The wakeful Anther in his silken bed
  O'er the pleased Stigma bows his waxen head;
  With meeting lips and mingling smiles they sup
  Ambrosial dewdrops from the nectar'd cup;
  Or buoy'd in air the plumy Lover springs,
  And seeks his panting bride on Hymen-wings.                      270

         [Footnote: _From the nectar'd cup_, l. 268. The anthers and
         stigmas of flowers are probably nourished by the honey, which
         is secreted by the honey-gland called by Linneus the nectary;
         and possess greater sensibility or animation than other parts
         of the plant. The corol of the flower appears to be a
         respiratory organ belonging to these anthers and stigmas for
         the purpose of further oxygenating the vegetable blood for
         the production of the anther dust and of this honey, which is
         also exposed to the air in its receptacle or honey-cup;
         which, I suppose, to be necessary for its further
         oxygenation, as in many flowers so complicate an apparatus is
         formed for its protection from insects, as in aconitum,
         delphinium, larkspur, lonicera, woodbine; and because the
         corol and nectary fall along with the anthers and stigmas,
         when the pericarp is impregnated.

         Dr. B. S. Barton in the American Transactions has lately
         shown, that the honey collected from some plants is
         intoxicating and poisonous to men, as from rhododendron,
         azalea, and datura; and from some other plants that it is
         hurtful to the bees which collect it; and that from some
         flowers it is so injurious or disagreeable, that they do not
         collect it, as from the fritillaria or crown imperial of this

    "The Stamen males, with appetencies just,
  Produce a formative prolific dust;
  With apt propensities, the Styles recluse
  Secrete a formative prolific juice;
  These in the pericarp erewhile arrive,
  Rush to each other, and embrace alive.
  --Form'd by new powers progressive parts succeed,
  Join in one whole, and swell into a seed.

         [Footnote: _With appetencies just_, l. 271. As in the
         productions by chemical affinity one set of particles must
         possess the power of attraction, and the other the aptitude
         to be attracted, as when iron approaches a magnet; so when
         animal particles unite, whether in digestion or reproduction,
         some of them must possess an appetite to unite, and others a
         propensity to be united. The former of these are secreted by
         the anthers from the vegetable blood, and the latter by the
         styles or pericarp; see the Additional Note VIII. on

    "So in fond swarms the living Anthers shine
  Of bright Vallisner on the wavy Rhine;                           280
  Break from their stems, and on the liquid glass
  Surround the admiring stigmas as they pass;
  The love-sick Beauties lift their essenced brows,
  Sigh to the Cyprian queen their secret vows,
  Like watchful Hero feel their soft alarms,
  And clasp their floating lovers in their arms.

         [Footnote: _Of bright Vallisner_, l. 280. Vallisneria, of the
         class of dioecia. 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, rise to the surface
         and continue to flourish, and are wafted by the air or borne
         by the current to the female flowers. In this they resemble
         those tribes of insects, where the males at certain seasons
         acquire wings, but not the females, as ants, coccus,
         lampyris, phalæna, brumata, lichanella; Botanic Garden, Vol.
         II. Note on Vallisneria.]

    "Hence the male Ants their gauzy wings unfold,
  And young Lampyris waves his plumes of gold;
  The Glow-Worm sparkles with impassion'd light
  On each green bank, and charms the eye of night;                 290
  While new desires the painted Snail perplex,
  And twofold love unites the double sex.

         [Footnote: _And young Lampyris_, l. 288. The fire-fly is at
         some seasons so luminous, that M. Merian says, that by
         putting two of them under a glass, she was able to draw her
         figures of them by night. Whether the light of this and of
         other insects be caused by their amatorial passion, and thus
         assists them to find each other; or is caused by respiration,
         which is so analogous to combustion; or to a tendency to
         putridity, as in dead fish and rotten wood, is still to be
         investigated; see Botanic Garden, Vol. I. Additional Note

    "Hence, when the Morus in Italia's lands
  To spring's warm beam its timid leaf expands;
  The Silk-Worm broods in countless tribes above
  Crop the green treasure, uninform'd of love;
  Erewhile the changeful worm with circling head
  Weaves the nice curtains of his silken bed;
  Web within web involves his larva form,
  Alike secured from sunshine and from storm;                      300
  For twelve long days He dreams of blossom'd groves,
  Untasted honey, and ideal loves;
  Wakes from his trance, alarm'd with young Desire,
  Finds his new sex, and feels ecstatic fire;
  From flower to flower with honey'd lip he springs,
  And seeks his velvet loves on silver wings.

         [Footnote: _Untasted honey_, l. 302. The numerous moths and
         butterflies seem to pass from a reptile leaf-eating state,
         and to acquire wings to flit in air, with a proboscis to gain
         honey for their food along with their organs of reproduction,
         solely for the purpose of propagating their species by sexual
         intercourse, as they die when that is completed. By the use
         of their wings they have access to each other on different
         branches or on different vegetables, and by living upon honey
         probably acquire a higher degree of animation, and thus seem
         to resemble the anthers of flowers, which probably are
         supported by honey only, and thence acquire greater
         sensibility; see Note on Vallisneria, l. 280 of this Canto.

         A naturalist, who had studied this subject, thought it not
         impossible that the first insects were the anthers and
         stigmas of flowers, which had by some means loosened
         themselves from their parent plant, like the male flowers of
         vallisneria, and that other insects in process of time had
         been formed from these, some acquiring wings, others fins,
         and others claws, from their ceaseless efforts to procure
         food or to secure themselves from injury. He contends, that
         none of these changes are more incomprehensible than the
         transformation of caterpillars into butterflies; see Botanic
         Garden, Vol. I. Additional Note XXXIX.]

    VI. "The Demon, Jealousy, with Gorgon frown
  Blasts the sweet flowers of Pleasure not his own,
  Rolls his wild eyes, and through the shuddering grove
  Pursues the steps of unsuspecting Love;                          310
  Or drives o'er rattling plains his iron car,
  Flings his red torch, and lights the flames of war.

    Here Cocks heroic burn with rival rage,
  And Quails with Quails in doubtful fight engage;
  Of armed heels and bristling plumage proud,
  They sound the insulting clarion shrill and loud,
  With rustling pinions meet, and swelling chests,
  And seize with closing beaks their bleeding crests;
  Rise on quick wing above the struggling foe,
  And aim in air the death-devoting blow.                          320
  There the hoarse stag his croaking rival scorns,
  And butts and parries with his branching horns;
  Contending Boars with tusk enamell'd strike,
  And guard with shoulder-shield the blow oblique;
  While female bands attend in mute surprise,
  And view the victor with admiring eyes.--

         [Footnote: _There the hoarse stag_, l. 321. A great want of
         one part of the animal world has consisted in the desire of
         the exclusive possession of the females; and these have
         acquired weapons to combat each other for this purpose, as
         the very thick shield-like horny skin on the shoulder of the
         boar is a defence only against animals of his own species,
         who strike obliquely upwards, nor are his tushes for other
         purposes, except to defend himself, as he is not naturally a
         carnivorous animal. So the horns of the stag are sharp to
         offend his adversary, but are branched for the purpose of
         parrying or receiving the thrusts of horns similar to his
         own, and have therefore been formed for the purpose of
         combating other stags for the exclusive possession of the
         females, who are observed, like the ladies in the times of
         chivalry, to attend the car of the victor.

         The birds, which do not carry food to their young, and do not
         therefore marry, are armed with spurs for the purpose of
         fighting for the exclusive possession of the females, as
         cocks and quails. It is certain that these weapons are not
         provided for their defence against other adversaries, because
         the females of these species are without this armour;
         Zoonomia, Sect. XXXIX. 4, 8.]

      "So Knight on Knight, recorded in romance,
    Urged the proud steed, and couch'd the extended lance;
    He, whose dread prowess with resistless force,
    O'erthrew the opposing warrior and his horse,                  330
    Bless'd, as the golden guerdon of his toils,
    Bow'd to the Beauty, and receiv'd her smiles.

      "So when fair HELEN with ill-fated charms,
    By PARIS wooed, provoked the world to arms,
    Left her vindictive Lord to sigh in vain
    For broken vows, lost love, and cold disdain;
    Fired at his wrongs, associate to destroy
    The realms unjust of proud adulterous Troy,
    Unnumber'd Heroes braved the dubious fight,
    And sunk lamented to the shades of night.                      340

      "Now vows connubial chain the plighted pair,
    And join paternal with maternal care;
    The married birds with nice selection cull
    Soft thistle-down, gray moss, and scattered wool,
    Line the secluded nest with feathery rings,
    Meet with fond bills, and woo with fluttering wings.
    Week after week, regardless of her food,
    The incumbent Linnet warms her future brood;
    Each spotted egg with ivory lips she turns,
    Day after day with fond expectance burns,                      350
    Hears the young prisoner chirping in his cell,
    And breaks in hemispheres the obdurate shell.
    Loud trills sweet Philomel his tender strain,
    Charms his fond bride, and wakes his infant train;
    Perch'd on the circling moss, the listening throng
    Wave their young wings, and whisper to the song.

         [Footnote: _The incumbent Linnet_, l. 348. The affection of
         the unexperienced and untaught bird to its egg, which induces
         it to sit days and weeks upon it to warm the enclosed
         embryon, is a matter of great difficulty to explain; See
         Additional Note IX. on Storge. Concerning the fabrication of
         their nests, see Zoonomia, Sect. XVI. 13. on instinct.]

         [Footnote: _Hears the young prisoner_, l. 351. The air-vessel
         at the broad end of an incubated egg gradually extends its
         edges along the sides of the shell, as the chick enlarges,
         but is at the same time applied closer to the internal
         surface of the shell; when the time of hatching approaches
         the chick is liable to break this air-bag with its beak, and
         thence begin to breathe and to chirp; at this time the edges
         of the enlarged air-bag extend so as to cover internally one
         hemisphere of the egg; and as one half of the external shell
         is thus moist, and the other half dry, as soon as the mother
         hearing the chick chirp, or the chick itself wanting
         respirable air, strikes the egg, about its equatorial line,
         it breaks into two hemispheres, and liberates the prisoner.]

         [Footnote: _And whisper to the song_, l. 356. A curious
         circumstance is mentioned by Kircherus de Musurgia, in his
         Chapter de Lusciniis. "That the young nightingales, that are
         hatched under other birds, never sing till they are
         instructed by the company of other nightingales." And
         Johnston affirms, that the nightingales that visit Scotland,
         have not the same harmony as those of Italy, (Pennant's
         Zoology, octavo, p. 255), which would lead us to suspect,
         that the singing of birds, like human music, is an artificial
         language rather than a natural expression of passion.]

    "The Lion-King forgets his savage pride,
  And courts with playful paws his tawny bride;
  The listening Tiger hears with kindling flame
  The love-lorn night-call of his brinded dame.                    360
  Despotic LOVE dissolves the bestial war,
  Bends their proud necks, and joins them to his car;
  Shakes o'er the obedient pairs his silken thong,
  And goads the humble, or restrains the strong.--
  Slow roll the silver wheels,--in beauty's pride
  Celestial PSYCHE blushing by his side.--
  The lordly Bull behind and warrior Horse
  With voice of thunder shake the echoing course,
  Chain'd to the car with herds domestic move,
  And swell the triumph of despotic LOVE.                          370

    "Pleased as they pass along the breezy shore
  In twinkling shoals the scaly realms adore,
  Move on quick fin with undulating train,
  Or lift their slimy foreheads from the main.
  High o'er their heads on pinions broad display'd
  The feather'd nations shed a floating shade;
  Pair after pair enamour'd shoot along,
  And trill in air the gay impassion'd song.
  With busy hum in playful swarms around
  Emerging insects leave the peopled ground,                       380
  Rise in dark clouds, and borne in airy rings
  Sport round the car, and wave their golden wings.
  Admiring Fawns pursue on dancing hoof,
  And bashful Dryads peep from shades aloof;
  Emerging Nereids rise from coral cells,
  Enamour'd Tritons sound their twisted shells;
  From sparkling founts enchanted Naiads move,
  And swell the triumph of despotic LOVE.

         [Footnote: _With undulating train_, l. 373. The side fins of
         fish seem to be chiefly used to poise them; as they turn upon
         their backs immediately when killed, the air-bladder assists
         them perhaps to rise or descend by its possessing the power
         to condense the air in it by muscular contraction; and it is
         possible, that at great depths in the ocean the air in this
         receptacle may by the great pressure of the incumbent water
         become condensed into so small a space, as to cease to be
         useful to the animal, which was possibly the cause of the
         death of Mr. Day in his diving ship. See note on Ulva, Botan.
         Gard. V. II.

         The progressive motion of fish beneath the water is produced
         principally by the undulation of their tails. One oblique
         plain of a part of the tail on the right side of the fish
         strikes the water at the same time that another oblique plain
         strikes it on the left side, hence in respect to moving to
         the right or left these percussions of the water counteract
         each other, but they coincide in respect to the progression
         of the fish; this power seems to be better applied to push
         forwards a body in water, than the oars of boats, as the
         particles of water recede from the stroke of the oar, whence
         the comparative power acquired is but as the difference of
         velocity between the striking oar and the receding water. So
         a ship moves swifter with an oblique wind, than with a wind
         of the same velocity exactly behind it; and the common
         windmill sail placed obliquely to the wind is more powerful
         than one which directly recedes from it. Might not some
         machinery resembling the tails of fish be placed behind a
         boat, so as to be moved with greater effect than common oars,
         by the force of wind or steam, or perhaps by hand?]

         [Footnote: _On pinions broad display'd_, l. 375. The
         progressive motion of birds in the air is principally
         performed by the movement of their wings, and not by that of
         their tails as in fish. The bird is supported in an element
         so much lighter than itself by the resistance of the air as
         it moves horizontally against the oblique plain made by its
         breast, expanded tail and wings, when they are at rest; the
         change of this obliquity also assists it to rise, and even
         directs its descent, though this is owing principally to its
         specific gravity, but it is in all situations kept upright or
         balanced by its wings.

         As the support of the bird in the air, as well as its
         progression, is performed by the motion of the wings; these
         require strong muscles as are seen on the breasts of
         partridges. Whence all attempts of men to fly by wings
         applied to the weak muscles of their arms have been
         ineffectual; but it is not certain whether light machinery so
         contrived as to be moved by their feet, might not enable them
         to fly a little way, though not so as to answer any useful

    "Delighted Flora, gazing from afar,
  Greets with mute homage the triumphal car;                       390
  On silvery slippers steps with bosom bare,
  Bends her white knee, and bows her auburn hair;
  Calls to her purple heaths, and blushing bowers,
  Bursts her green gems, and opens all her flowers;
  O'er the bright Pair a shower of roses sheds,
  And crowns with wreathes of hyacinth their heads.--
  --Slow roll the silver wheels with snowdrops deck'd,
  And primrose bands the cedar spokes connect;
  Round the fine pole the twisting woodbine clings,
  And knots of jasmine clasp the bending springs;                  400
  Bright daisy links the velvet harness chain,
  And rings of violets join each silken rein;
  Festoon'd behind, the snow-white lilies bend,
  And tulip-tassels on each side depend.
  --Slow rolls the car,--the enamour'd Flowers exhale
  Their treasured sweets, and whisper to the gale;
  Their ravelled buds, and wrinkled cups unfold,
  Nod their green stems, and wave their bells of gold;
  Breathe their soft sighs from each enchanted grove,
  And hail THE DEITIES OF SEXUAL LOVE.                             410

    "ONWARD with march sublime in saffron robe
  Young HYMEN steps, and traverses the globe;
  O'er burning sands, and snow-clad mountains, treads,
  Blue fields of air, and ocean's briny beds;
  Flings from his radiant torch celestial light
  O'er Day's wide concave, and illumes the Night.
  With dulcet eloquence his tuneful tongue
  Convokes and captivates the Fair and Young;
  His golden lamp with ray ethereal dyes
  The blushing cheek, and lights the laughing eyes;                420
  With secret flames the virgin's bosom warms,
  And lights the impatient bridegroom to her arms;
  With lovely life all Nature's frame inspires,
  And, as they sink, rekindles all her fires."

    VII. Now paused the beauteous Teacher, and awhile
  Gazed on her train with sympathetic smile.
  'Beware of Love! she cried, ye Nymphs, and hear
  'His twanging bowstring with alarmed ear;
  'Fly the first whisper of the distant dart,
  'Or shield with adamant the fluttering heart;                    430
  'To secret shades, ye Virgin trains, retire,
  'And in your bosoms guard the vestal fire.'
  --The obedient Beauties hear her words, advised,
  And bow with laugh repress'd, and smile chastised.

         [Footnote: _With laugh repress'd_, l. 434. The cause of the
         violent actions of laughter, and of the difficulty of
         restraining them, is a curious subject of inquiry. When pain
         afflicts us, which we cannot avoid, we learn to relieve it by
         great voluntary exertions, as in grinning, holding the
         breath, or screaming; now the pleasurable sensation, which
         excites laughter, arises for a time so high as to change its
         name, and become a painful one; and we excite the convulsive
         motions of the respiratory muscles to relieve this pain. We
         are however unwilling to lose the pleasure, and presently put
         a stop to this exertion; and immediately the pleasure recurs,
         and again as instantly rises into pain. Which is further
         explained in Zoonomia, Sect. 34. 1. 4. When this pleasurable
         sensation rises into a painful one, and the customs of
         society will not permit us to laugh aloud, some other violent
         voluntary exertion is used instead of it to alleviate the

         [Footnote: _With smile chastised_, l. 434. The origin of the
         smile has generally been ascribed to inexplicable instinct,
         but may be deduced from our early associations of actions and
         ideas. In the act of sucking, the lips of the infant are
         closed round the nipple of its mother, till it has filled its
         stomach, and the pleasure of digesting this grateful food
         succeeds; then the sphincter of the mouth, fatigued by the
         continued action of sucking, is relaxed; and the antagonist
         muscles of the face gently acting, produce the smile of
         pleasure, which is thus during our lives associated with
         gentle pleasure, which is further explained in Zoonomia,
         Sect. 16. 8. 4.]

    Now at her nod the Nymphs attendant bring
  Translucent water from the bubbling spring;
  In crystal cups the waves salubrious shine,
  Unstain'd untainted with immodest wine.
  Next, where emerging from its ancient roots
  Its widening boughs the Tree of Knowledge shoots;                440
  Pluck'd with nice choice before the Muse they placed
  The now no longer interdicted taste.
  Awhile they sit, from higher cares released,
  And pleased partake the intellectual feast.
  Of good and ill they spoke, effect and cause,
  Celestial agencies, and Nature's laws.

    So when angelic Forms to Syria sent
  Sat in the cedar shade by ABRAHAM'S tent;
  A spacious bowl the admiring Patriarch fills
  With dulcet water from the scanty rills;                         450
  Sweet fruits and kernels gathers from his hoard,
  With milk and butter piles the plenteous board;
  While on the heated hearth his Consort bakes
  Fine flour well kneaded in unleaven'd cakes.
  The Guests ethereal quaff the lucid flood,
  Smile on their hosts, and taste terrestrial food;
  And while from seraph-lips sweet converse springs,
  Lave their fair feet, and close their silver wings.






I. Urania and the Muse converse 1. Progress of the Mind 42. II. The
Four sensorial powers of Irritation, Sensation, Volition, and
Association 55. Some finer senses given to Brutes 93. And Armour 108.
Finer Organ of Touch given to Man 121. Whence clear ideas of Form 125.
Vision is the Language of the Touch 131. Magic Lantern 139. Surprise,
Novelty, Curiosity 145. Passions, Vices 149. Philanthropy 159. Shrine
of Virtue 160. III. Ideal Beauty from the Female Bosom 163. Eros the
God of Sentimental Love 177. Young Dione idolized by Eros 186. Third
chain of Society 206. IV. Ideal Beauty from curved Lines 207. Taste
for the Beautiful 222. Taste for the Sublime 223. For poetic
Melancholy 231. For Tragedy 241. For artless Nature 247. The Genius of
Taste 259. V. The Senses easily form and repeat ideas 269. Imitation
from clear ideas 279. The Senses imitate each other 293. In dancing
295. In drawing naked Nymphs 299. In Architecture, as at St. Peter's
at Rome 303. Mimickry 319. VI. Natural Language from imitation 335.
Language of Quails, Cocks, Lions, Boxers 343. Pantomime Action 357.
Verbal Language from Imitation and Association 363. Symbols of ideas
371. Gigantic form of Time 385. Wings of Hermes 391. VII. Recollection
from clear ideas 395. Reason and Volition 401. Arts of the Wasp, Bee,
Spider, Wren, Silk-Worm 411. Volition concerned about Means or Causes
435. Man distinguished by Language, by using Tools, labouring for
Money, praying to the Deity 438. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and
Evil 445. VIII. Emotions from Imitation 461. The Seraph; Sympathy 467.
Christian Morality the great bond of Society 483-496.



  I. Now rose, adorn'd with Beauty's brightest hues,
  The graceful HIEROPHANT, and winged MUSE;
  Onward they step around the stately piles,
  O'er porcelain floors, through laqueated ailes,
  Eye Nature's lofty and her lowly seats,
  Her gorgeous palaces, and green retreats,
  Pervade her labyrinths with unerring tread,
  And leave for future guests a guiding thread.

    First with fond gaze blue fields of air they sweep,
  Or pierce the briny chambers of the deep;                         10
  Earth's burning line, and icy poles explore,
  Her fertile surface, and her caves of ore;
  Or mark how Oxygen with Azote-Gas
  Plays round the globe in one aerial mass,
  Or fused with Hydrogen in ceaseless flow
  Forms the wide waves, which foam and roll below.

         [Footnote: _How Oxygen_, l. 13. The atmosphere which
         surrounds us, is composed of twenty-seven parts of oxygen gas
         and seventy-three of azote or nitrogen gas, which are simply
         diffused together, but which, when combined, become nitrous
         acid. Water consists of eighty-six parts oxygen, and fourteen
         parts of hydrogen or inflammable air, in a state of
         combination. It is also probable, that much oxygen enters the
         composition of glass; as those materials which promote
         vitrification, contain so much of it, as minium and
         manganese; and that glass is hence a solid acid in the
         temperature of our atmosphere, as water is a fluid one.]

    Next with illumined hands through prisms bright
  Pleased they untwist the sevenfold threads of light;
  Or, bent in pencils by the lens, convey
  To one bright point the silver hairs of Day.                      20
  Then mark how two electric streams conspire
  To form the resinous and vitreous fire;
  Beneath the waves the fierce Gymnotus arm,
  And give Torpedo his benumbing charm;
  Or, through Galvanic chain-work as they pass,
  Convert the kindling water into gas.

         [Footnote: _Two electric streams_, l. 21. It is the opinion
         of some philosophers, that the electric ether consists of two
         kinds of fluids diffused together or combined; which are
         commonly known by the terms of positive and negative
         electricity, but are by these electricians called vitreous
         and resinous electricity. The electric shocks given by the
         torpedo and by the gymnotus, are supposed to be similar to
         those of the Galvanic pile, as they are produced in water.
         Which water is decomposed by the Galvanic pile and converted
         into oxygen and hydrogen gas; see Additional Note XII.

         The magnetic ether may also be supposed to consist of two
         fluids, one of which attracts the needle, and the other
         repels it; and, perhaps, chemical affinities, and gravitation
         itself, may consist of two kinds of ether surrounding the
         particles of bodies, and may thence attract at one distance
         and repel at another; as appears when two insulated
         electrised balls are approached to each other, or when two
         small globules of mercury are pressed together.]

    How at the poles opposing Ethers dwell,
  Attract the quivering needle, or repel.
  How Gravitation by immortal laws
  Surrounding matter to a centre draws;                             30
  How Heat, pervading oceans, airs, and lands,
  With force uncheck'd the mighty mass expands;
  And last how born in elemental strife
  Beam'd the first spark, and lighten'd into Life.

    Now in sweet tones the inquiring Muse express'd
  Her ardent wish; and thus the Fair address'd.
  "Priestess of Nature! whose exploring sight
  Pierces the realms of Chaos and of Night;
  Of space unmeasured marks the first and last,
  Of endless time the present, future, past;                        40
  Immortal Guide! O, now with accents kind
  Give to my ear the progress of the Mind.
  How loves, and tastes, and sympathies commence
  From evanescent notices of sense?
  How from the yielding touch and rolling eyes
  The piles immense of human science rise?--
  With mind gigantic steps the puny Elf,
  And weighs and measures all things but himself!"

    The indulgent Beauty hears the grateful Muse,
  Smiles on her pupil, and her task renews.                         50
  Attentive Nymphs in sparkling squadrons throng,
  And choral Virgins listen to the song;
  Pleased Fawns and Naiads crowd in silent rings,
  And hovering Cupids stretch their purple wings.

    II. "FIRST the new actions of the excited sense,
  Urged by appulses from without, commence;
  With these exertions pain or pleasure springs,
  And forms perceptions of external things.
  Thus, when illumined by the solar beams,
  Yon waving woods, green lawns, and sparkling streams,
  In one bright point by rays converging lie                        61
  Plann'd on the moving tablet of the eye;
  The mind obeys the silver goads of light,
  And IRRITATION moves the nerves of sight.

         [Footnote: _And Irritation moves_, l. 64. Irritation is an
         exertion or change of some extreme part of the sensorium
         residing in the muscles or organs of sense in consequence of
         the appulses of external bodies. The word perception includes
         both the action of the organ of sense in consequence of the
         impact of external objects and our attention to that action;
         that is, it expresses both the motion of the organ of sense,
         or idea, and the pain or pleasure that succeeds or
         accompanies it. Irritative ideas are those which are preceded
         by irritation, which is excited by objects external to the
         organs of sense: as the idea of that tree, which either I
         attend to, or which I shun in walking near it without
         attention. In the former case it is termed perception, in the
         latter it is termed simply an irritative idea.]

    "These acts repeated rise from joys or pains,
  And swell Imagination's flowing trains;
  So in dread dreams amid the silent night
  Grim spectre-forms the shuddering sense affright;
  Or Beauty's idol-image, as it moves,
  Charms the closed eye with graces, smiles, and loves;             70
  Each passing form the pausing heart delights,
  And young SENSATION every nerve excites.

         [Footnote: _And young Sensation_, l. 72. Sensation is an
         exertion or change of the central parts of the sensorium or
         of the whole of it, _beginning_ at some of those extreme
         parts of it which reside in the muscles or organs of sense.
         Sensitive ideas are those which are preceded by the sensation
         of pleasure or pain, are termed Imagination, and constitute
         our dreams and reveries.]

    "Oft from sensation quick VOLITION springs,
  When pleasure thrills us, or when anguish stings;
  Hence Recollection calls with voice sublime
  Immersed ideas from the wrecks of Time,
  With potent charm in lucid trains displays
  Eventful stories of forgotten days.
  Hence Reason's efforts good with ill contrast,
  Compare the present, future, and the past;                        80
  Each passing moment, unobserved restrain
  The wild discordancies of Fancy's train;
  But leave uncheck'd the Night's ideal streams,
  Or, sacred Muses! your meridian dreams.

         [Footnote: _Quick Volition springs_, l. 73. Volition is an
         exertion or change of the central parts of the sensorium, or
         of the whole of it _terminating_ in some of those extreme
         parts of it which reside in the muscles and organs of sense.
         The vulgar use of the word _memory_ is too unlimited for our
         purpose: those ideas which we voluntarily recall are here
         termed ideas of _recollection_, as when we will to repeat the
         alphabet backwards. And those ideas which are suggested to us
         by preceding ideas are here termed ideas of _suggestion_, as
         whilst we repeat the alphabet in the usual order; when by
         habits previously acquired B is suggested by A, and C by B,
         without any effort of deliberation. Reasoning is that
         operation of the sensorium by which we excite two or many
         tribes of ideas, and then reexcite the ideas in which they
         differ or correspond. If we determine this difference, it is
         called judgment; if we in vain endeavour to determine it, it
         is called doubting.

         If we reexcite the ideas in which they differ, it is called
         distinguishing. If we reexcite those in which they
         correspond, it is called comparing.]

         [Footnote: _Each passing moment_, l. 81. During our waking
         hours, we perpetually compare the passing trains of our ideas
         with the known system of nature, and reject those which are
         incongruous with it; this is explained in Zoonomia, Sect.
         XVII. 3. 7. and is there termed Intuitive Analogy. When we
         sleep, the faculty of volition ceases to act, and in
         consequence the uncompared trains of ideas become incongruous
         and form the farrago of our dreams; in which we never
         experience any surprise, or sense of novelty.]

    "And last Suggestion's mystic power describes
  Ideal hosts arranged in trains or tribes.
  So when the Nymph with volant finger rings
  Her dulcet harp, and shakes the sounding strings;
  As with soft voice she trills the enamour'd song,
  Successive notes, unwill'd, the strain prolong;                   90
  The transient trains ASSOCIATION steers,
  And sweet vibrations charm the astonish'd ears.

         [Footnote: _Association steers_, l. 91. Association is an
         exertion or change of some extreme part of the sensorium
         residing in the muscles and organs of sense in consequence of
         some antecedent or attendant fibrous contractions. Associate
         ideas, therefore, are those which are preceded by other ideas
         or muscular motions, without the intervention of irritation,
         sensation, or volition between them; these are also termed
         ideas of suggestion.]

    "ON rapid feet o'er hills, and plains, and rocks,
  Speed the scared leveret and rapacious fox;
  On rapid pinions cleave the fields above
  The hawk descending, and escaping dove;
  With nicer nostril track the tainted ground
  The hungry vulture, and the prowling hound;
  Converge reflected light with nicer eye
  The midnight owl, and microscopic fly;                           100
  With finer ear pursue their nightly course
  The listening lion, and the alarmed horse.

    "The branching forehead with diverging horns
  Crests the bold bull, the jealous stag adorns;
  Fierce rival boars with side-long fury wield
  The pointed tusk, and guard with shoulder-shield;
  Bounds the dread tiger o'er the affrighted heath
  Arm'd with sharp talons, and resistless teeth;
  The pouncing eagle bears in clinched claws
  The struggling lamb, and rends with ivory jaws;                  110
  The tropic eel, electric in his ire,
  Alarms the waves with unextinguish'd fire;
  The fly of night illumes his airy way,
  And seeks with lucid lamp his sleeping prey;
  Fierce on his foe the poisoning serpent springs,
  And insect armies dart their venom'd stings.

         [Footnote: _The branching forehead_, l. 103. The
         peculiarities of the shapes of animals which distinguish them
         from each other, are enumerated in Zoonomia, Sect. XXXIX. 4.
         8. on Generation, and are believed to have been gradually
         formed from similar living fibres, and are varied by
         reproduction. Many of these parts of animals are there shown
         to have arisen from their three great desires of lust,
         hunger, and security.]

         [Footnote: _The tropic eel_, l. 111. Gymnotus electricus.]

         [Footnote: _The fly of night_, l. 113. Lampyris noctiluca.

    "Proud Man alone in wailing weakness born,
  No horns protect him, and no plumes adorn;
  No finer powers of nostril, ear, or eye,
  Teach the young Reasoner to pursue or fly.--                     120
  Nerved with fine touch above the bestial throngs,
  The hand, first gift of Heaven! to man belongs;
  Untipt with claws the circling fingers close,
  With rival points the bending thumbs oppose,
  Trace the nice lines of Form with sense refined,
  And clear ideas charm the thinking mind.
  Whence the fine organs of the touch impart
  Ideal figure, source of every art;
  Time, motion, number, sunshine or the storm,
  But mark varieties in Nature's _form_.                           130

         [Footnote: _The hand, first gift of Heaven_, l. 122. The
         human species in some of their sensations are much inferior
         to animals, yet the accuracy of the sense of touch, which
         they possess in so eminent a degree, gives them a great
         superiority of understanding; as is well observed by the
         ingenious Mr. Buffon. The extremities of other animals
         terminate in horns, and hoofs, and claws, very unfit for the
         sensation of touch; whilst the human hand is finely adapted
         to encompass its object with this organ of sense. Those
         animals who have clavicles or collar-bones, and thence use
         their forefeet like hands, as cats, squirrels, monkeys, are
         more ingenious than other quadrupeds, except the elephant,
         who has a fine sense at the extremity of his proboscis; and
         many insects from the possessing finer organs of touch have
         greater ingenuity, as spiders, bees, wasps.]

         [Footnote: _Trace the nice lines of form_, l. 125. When the
         idea of solidity is excited a part of the extensive organ of
         touch is compressed by some external body, and this part of
         the sensorium so compressed exactly resembles in figure the
         figure of the body that compressed it. Hence when we acquire
         the idea of solidity, we acquire at the same time the idea of
         figure; and this idea of figure, or motion of a part of the
         organ of touch, exactly resembles in its figure the figure of
         the body that occasions it; and thus exactly acquaints us
         with this property of the external world.

         Now, as the whole universe with all its parts possesses a
         certain form or figure, if any part of it moves, that form or
         figure of the whole is varied. Hence, as motion is no other
         than a perpetual variation of figure, our idea of motion is
         also a real resemblance of the motion that produced it.

         Hence arises the certainty of the mathematical sciences, as
         they explain these properties of bodies, which are exactly
         resembled by our ideas of them, whilst we are obliged to
         collect almost all our other knowledge from experiment; that
         is, by observing the effects exerted by one body upon

    "Slow could the tangent organ wander o'er
  The rock-built mountain, and the winding shore;
  No apt ideas could the pigmy mite,
  Or embryon emmet to the touch excite;
  But as each mass the solar ray reflects,
  The eye's clear glass the transient beams collects;
  Bends to their focal point the rays that swerve,
  And paints the living image on the nerve.
  So in some village-barn, or festive hall
  The spheric lens illumes the whiten'd wall;                      140
  O'er the bright field successive figures fleet,
  And motley shadows dance along the sheet.--
  Symbol of solid forms is colour'd light,
  And the mute language of the touch is sight.

         [Footnote: _The mute language of the touch_, l. 144. Our eyes
         observe a difference of colour, or of shade, in the
         prominences and depressions of objects, and that those shades
         uniformly vary when the sense of touch observes any
         variation. Hence when the retina becomes stimulated by
         colours or shades of light in a certain form, as in a
         circular spot, we know by experience that this is a sign that
         a tangible body is before us; and that its figure is
         resembled by the miniature figure of the part of the organ of
         vision that is thus stimulated.

         Here whilst the stimulated part of the retina resembles
         exactly the visible figure of the whole in miniature, the
         various kinds of stimuli from different colours mark the
         visible figures of the minuter parts; and by habit we
         instantly recall the tangible figures.

         So that though our visible ideas resemble in miniature the
         outline of the figure of coloured bodies, in other respects
         they serve only as a language, which by acquired associations
         introduce the tangible ideas of bodies. Hence it is, that
         this sense is so readily deceived by the art of the painter
         to our amusement and instruction. The reader will find much
         very curious knowledge on this subject in Bishop Berkeley's
         Essay on Vision, a work of great ingenuity.]

    "HENCE in Life's portico starts young Surprise
  With step retreating, and expanded eyes;
  The virgin, Novelty, whose radiant train
  Soars o'er the clouds, or sinks beneath the main,
  With sweetly-mutable seductive charms
  Thrills the young sense, the tender heart alarms.                150
  Then Curiosity with tracing hands
  And meeting lips the lines of form demands,
  Buoy'd on light step, o'er ocean, earth, and sky,
  Rolls the bright mirror of her restless eye.
  While in wild groups tumultuous Passions stand,
  And Lust and Hunger head the Motley band;
  Then Love and Rage succeed, and Hope and Fear;
  And nameless Vices close the gloomy rear;
  Or young Philanthropy with voice divine
  Convokes the adoring Youth to Virtue's shrine;                   160
  Who with raised eye and pointing finger leads
  To truths celestial, and immortal deeds.

         [Footnote: _Starts young Surprise_, l. 145. Surprise is
         occasioned by the sudden interruption of the usual trains of
         our ideas by any violent stimulus from external objects, as
         from the unexpected discharge of a pistol, and hence does not
         exist in our dreams, because our external senses are closed
         or inirritable. The fetus in the womb must experience many
         sensations, as of resistance, figure, fluidity, warmth,
         motion, rest, exertion, taste; and must consequently possess
         trains both of waking and sleeping ideas. Surprise must
         therefore be strongly excited at its nativity, as those
         trains of ideas must instantly be dissevered by the sudden
         and violent sensations occasioned by the dry and cold
         atmosphere, the hardness of external bodies, light, sound,
         and odours; which are accompanied with pleasure or pain
         according to their quantity or intensity.

         As some of these sensations become familiar by repetition,
         other objects not previously attended to present themselves,
         and produce the idea of novelty, which is a less degree of
         surprise, and like that is not perceived in our dreams,
         though for another reason; because in sleep we possess no
         voluntary power to compare our trains of ideas with our
         previous knowledge of nature, and do not therefore perceive
         their difference by intuitive analogy from what usually

         As the novelty of our ideas is generally attended with
         pleasurable sensation, from this arises Curiosity, or a
         desire of examining a variety of objects, hoping to find
         novelty, and the pleasure consequent to this degree of
         surprise; see Additional Note VII. 3.]

         [Footnote: _And meeting lips_, l. 152. Young children put
         small bodies into their mouths, when they are satiated with
         food, as well as when they are hungry, not with design to
         taste them, but use their lips as an organ of touch to
         distinguish the shape of them. Puppies, whose toes are
         terminated with nails, and who do not much use their forefeet
         as hands, seem to have no other means of acquiring a
         knowledge of the forms of external bodies, and are therefore
         perpetually playing with things by taking them between their

    III. "As the pure language of the Sight commands
  The clear ideas furnish'd by the hands;
  Beauty's fine forms attract our wondering eyes,
  And soft alarms the pausing heart surprise.
  Warm from its cell the tender infant born
  Feels the cold chill of Life's aerial morn;
  Seeks with spread hands the bosoms velvet orbs,
  With closing lips the milky fount absorbs;                       170
  And, as compress'd the dulcet streams distil,
  Drinks warmth and fragrance from the living rill;
  Eyes with mute rapture every waving line,
  Prints with adoring kiss the Paphian shrine,
  And learns erelong, the perfect form confess'd,
  IDEAL BEAUTY from its Mother's breast.

         [Footnote: _Seeks with spread hands_, l. 169. These eight
         beautiful lines are copied from Mr. Bilsborrow's Address
         prefixed to Zoonomia, and are translated from that work;
         Sect. XVI. 6.]

         [Footnote: _Ideal Beauty_, l. 176. Sentimental Love, as
         distinguished from the animal passion of that name, with
         which it is frequently accompanied, consists in the desire or
         sensation of beholding, embracing, and saluting a beautiful

         The characteristic of beauty therefore is that it is the
         object of love; and though many other objects are in common
         language called beautiful, yet they are only called so
         metaphorically, and ought to be termed agreeable. A Grecian
         temple may give us the pleasurable idea of sublimity, a
         Gothic temple may give us the pleasurable idea of variety,
         and a modern house the pleasurable idea of utility; music and
         poetry may inspire our love by association of ideas; but none
         of these, except metaphorically, can be termed beautiful, as
         we have no wish to embrace or salute them.

         Our perception of beauty consists in our recognition by the
         sense of vision of those objects, first, which have before
         inspired our love by the pleasure, which they have afforded
         to many of our senses; as to our sense of warmth, of touch,
         of smell, of taste, hunger and thirst; and, secondly, which
         bear any analogy of form to such objects.]

    "Now on swift wheels descending like a star
  Alights young EROS from his radiant car;
  On angel-wings attendant Graces move,
  And hail the God of SENTIMENTAL LOVE.                            180
  Earth at his feet extends her flowery bed,
  And bends her silver blossoms round his head;
  Dark clouds dissolve, the warring winds subside.
  And smiling ocean calms his tossing tide,
  O'er the bright morn meridian lustres play,
  And Heaven salutes him with a flood of day.

         [Footnote: _Alights young Eros_, l. 178. There were two
         deities of Love belonging to the heathen mythology, the one
         said to be celestial, and the other terrestrial. Aristophanes
         says, "Sable-winged Night produced an egg, from which sprung
         up like a blossom Eros, the lovely, the desirable, with his
         glossy golden wings." See Botanic Garden, Canto I. l. 412.
         Note. The other deity of Love, Cupido, seems of much later
         date, as he is not mentioned in the works of Homer, where
         there were so many apt situations to have introduced him.]

         [Footnote: _Earth at his feet_, l. 181.

           Te, Dea, te fugiunt venti, te nubila coeli,
           Adventumque tuum; tibi suaves dædala tellus
           Submittit flores; tibi rident æquora ponti;
           Placatumque nitet diffuso lumine coelum.

    "Warm as the sun-beam, pure as driven snows,
  The enamour'd GOD for young DIONE glows;
  Drops the still tear, with sweet attention sighs,
  And woos the Goddess with adoring eyes;                          190
  Marks her white neck beneath the gauze's fold,
  Her ivory shoulders, and her locks of gold;
  Drinks with mute ecstacy the transient glow,
  Which warms and tints her bosom's rising snow.
  With holy kisses wanders o'er her charms,
  And clasps the Beauty in Platonic arms;
  Or if the dewy hands of Sleep, unbid,
  O'er her blue eye-balls close the lovely lid,
  Watches each nascent smile, and fleeting grace,
  That plays in day-dreams o'er her blushing face;                 200
  Counts the fine mazes of the curls, that break
  Round her fair ear, and shade her damask cheek;
  Drinks the pure fragrance of her breath, and sips
  With tenderest touch the roses of her lips;--
  O'er female hearts with chaste seduction reigns,
  And binds SOCIETY in silken chains.

    IV. "IF the wide eye the wavy lawns explores,
  The bending woodlands, or the winding shores,
  Hills, whose green sides with soft protuberance rise,
  Or the blue concave of the vaulted skies;--                      210
  Or scans with nicer gaze the pearly swell
  Of spiral volutes round the twisted shell;
  Or undulating sweep, whose graceful turns
  Bound the smooth surface of Etrurian urns,
  When on fine forms the waving lines impress'd
  Give the nice curves, which swell the female breast;
  The countless joys the tender Mother pours
  Round the soft cradle of our infant hours,
  In lively trains of unextinct delight
  Rise in our bosoms _recognized by sight_;                        220
  Fond Fancy's eye recalls the form divine,
  And TASTE sits smiling upon Beauty's shrine.

         [Footnote: _The wavy lawns_, l. 207. When the babe, soon
         after it is born into this cold world, is applied to its
         mother's bosom; its sense of perceiving warmth is first
         agreeably affected; next its sense of smell is delighted with
         the odour of her milk; then its taste is gratified by the
         flavour of it; afterwards the appetites of hunger and of
         thirst afford pleasure by the possession of their objects,
         and by the subsequent digestion of the aliment; and lastly,
         the sense of touch is delighted by the softness and
         smoothness of the milky fountain, the source of such variety
         of happiness.

         All these various kinds of pleasure at length become
         associated with the form of the mother's breast; which the
         infant embraces with its hands, presses with its lips, and
         watches with its eyes; and thus acquires more accurate ideas
         of the form of its mother's bosom, than of the odour and
         flavour or warmth, which it perceives by its other senses.
         And hence at our maturer years, when any object of vision is
         presented to us, which by its waving or spiral lines bears
         any similitude to the form of the female bosom, whether it be
         found in a landscape with soft gradations of rising and
         descending surface, or in the forms of some antique vases, or
         in other works of the pencil or the chisel, we feel a general
         glow of delight, which seems to influence all our senses; and
         if the object be not too large, we experience an attraction
         to embrace it with our arms, and to salute it with our lips,
         as we did in our early infancy the bosom of our mother. And
         thus we find, according to the ingenious idea of Hogarth,
         that the waving lines of beauty were originally taken from
         the temple of Venus.]

    "Where Egypt's pyramids gigantic stand,
  And stretch their shadows o'er the shuddering sand;
  Or where high rocks o'er ocean's dashing floods
  Wave high in air their panoply of woods;
  Admiring TASTE delights to stray beneath
  With eye uplifted, and forgets to breathe;
  Or, as aloft his daring footsteps climb,
  Crests their high summits with his arm sublime.                  230

         [Footnote: _With his arm sublime_, l. 230. Objects of taste
         have been generally divided into the beautiful, the sublime,
         and the new; and lately to these have been added the
         picturesque. The beautiful so well explained in Hogarth's
         analysis of beauty, consists of curved lines and smooth
         surfaces, as expressed in the preceding note; any object
         larger than usual, as a very large temple or a very large
         mountain, gives us the idea of sublimity; with which is often
         confounded the terrific, and the melancholic: what is now
         termed picturesque includes objects, which are principally
         neither sublime nor beautiful, but which by their variety and
         intricacy joined with a due degree of regularity or
         uniformity convey to the mind an agreeable sentiment of
         novelty. Many other agreeable sentiments may be excited by
         visible objects, thus to the sublime and beautiful may be
         added the terrific, tragic, melancholic, artless, &c. while
         novelty superinduces a charm upon them all. See Additional
         Note XIII.]

    "Where mouldering columns mark the lingering wreck
  Of Thebes, Palmyra, Babylon, Balbec;
  The prostrate obelisk, or shatter'd dome,
  Uprooted pedestal, and yawning tomb,
  On loitering steps reflective TASTE surveys
  With folded arms and sympathetic gaze;
  Charm'd with poetic Melancholy treads
  O'er ruin'd towns and desolated meads;
  Or rides sublime on Time's expanded wings,
  And views the fate of ever-changing things.                      240

         [Footnote: _Poetic melancholy treads_, l. 237. The pleasure
         arising from the contemplation of the ruins of ancient
         grandeur or of ancient happiness, and here termed poetic
         melancholy, arises from a combination of the painful idea of
         sorrow with the pleasurable idea of the grandeur or happiness
         of past times; and becomes very interesting to us by fixing
         our attention more strongly on that grandeur and happiness,
         as the passion of Pity mentioned in the succeeding note is a
         combination of the painful idea of sorrow with the
         pleasurable one of beauty, or of virtue.]

    "When Beauty's streaming eyes her woes express,
  Or Virtue braves unmerited distress;
  Love sighs in sympathy, with pain combined,
  And new-born Pity charms the kindred mind;
  The enamour'd Sorrow every cheek bedews,
  And TASTE impassion'd woos the tragic Muse.

         [Footnote: _The tragic Muse_, l. 246. Why we are delighted
         with the scenical representations of Tragedy, which draw
         tears from our eyes, has been variously explained by
         different writers. The same distressful circumstance
         attending an ugly or wicked person affects us with grief or
         disgust; but when distress occurs to a beauteous or virtuous
         person, the pleasurable idea of beauty or of virtue becomes
         mixed with the painful one of sorrow and the passion of Pity
         is produced, which is a combination of love or esteem with
         sorrow; and becomes highly interesting to us by fixing our
         attention more intensely on the beauteous or virtuous person.

         Other distressful scenes have been supposed to give pleasure
         to the spectator from exciting a comparative idea of his own
         happiness, as when a shipwreck is viewed by a person safe on
         shore, as mentioned by Lucretius, L. 3. But these dreadful
         situations belong rather to the terrible, or the horrid, than
         to the tragic; and may be objects of curiosity from their
         novelty, but not of Taste, and must suggest much more pain
         than pleasure.]

    "The rush-thatch'd cottage on the purple moor,
  Where ruddy children frolic round the door,
  The moss-grown antlers of the aged oak,
  The shaggy locks that fringe the colt unbroke,                   250
  The bearded goat with nimble eyes, that glare
  Through the long tissue of his hoary hair;--
  As with quick foot he climbs some ruin'd wall,
  And crops the ivy, which prevents its fall;--
  With rural charms the tranquil mind delight,
  And form a picture to the admiring sight.
  While TASTE with pleasure bends his eye surprised
  In modern days at Nature unchastised.

         [Footnote: _Nature unchastised_, l. 258. In cities or their
         vicinity, and even in the cultivated parts of the country we
         rarely see undisguised nature; the fields are ploughed, the
         meadows mown, the shrubs planted in rows for hedges, the
         trees deprived of their lower branches, and the animals, as
         horses, dogs, and sheep, are mutilated in respect to their
         tails or ears; such is the useful or ill-employed activity of
         mankind! all which alterations add to the formality of the
         soil, plants, trees, or animals; whence when natural objects
         are occasionally presented to us, as an uncultivated forest
         and its wild inhabitants, we are not only amused with greater
         variety of form, but are at the same time enchanted by the
         charm of novelty, which is a less degree of Surprise, already
         spoken of in note on l. 145 of this Canto.]

    "The GENIUS-FORM, on silver slippers born,
  With fairer dew-drops gems the rising morn;                      260
  Sheds o'er meridian skies a softer light,
  And decks with brighter pearls the brow of night;
  With finer blush the vernal blossom glows,
  With sweeter breath enamour'd Zephyr blows,
  The limpid streams with gentler murmurs pass,
  And gayer colours tinge the watery glass,
  Charm'd round his steps along the enchanted groves
  Flit the fine forms of Beauties, Graces, Loves.

    V. "Alive, each moment of the transient hour,
  When Rest accumulates sensorial power,                           270
  The impatient Senses, goaded to contract,
  Forge new ideas, changing as they act;
  And, in long streams dissever'd, or concrete
  In countless tribes, the fleeting forms repeat.
  Which rise excited in Volition's trains,
  Or link the sparkling rings of Fancy's chains;
  Or, as they flow from each translucent source,
  Pursue Association's endless course.

         [Footnote: _When rest accumulates_, l. 270. The accumulation
         of the spirit of animation, when those parts of the system
         rest, which are usually in motion, produces a disagreeable
         sensation. Whence the pain of cold and of hunger, and the
         irksomeness of a continued attitude, and of an indolent life:
         and hence the propensity to action in those confined animals,
         which have been accustomed to activity, as is seen in the
         motions of a squirrel in a cage; which uses perpetual
         exertion to exhaust a part of its accumulated sensorial
         power. This is one source of our general propensity to
         action; another perhaps arises from our curiosity or
         expectation of novelty mentioned in the note on l. 145. of
         this canto.

         But the immediate cause of our propensity to imitation above
         that of other animals arises from the greater facility, with
         which by the sense of touch we acquire the ideas of the
         outlines of objects, and afterwards in consequence by the
         sense of sight; this seems to have been observed by
         Aristotle, who calls man, "the imitative animal;" see
         Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXII.]

    "Hence when the inquiring hands with contact fine
  Trace on hard forms the circumscribing line;                     280
  Which then the language of the rolling eyes
  From distant scenes of earth and heaven supplies;
  Those clear ideas of the touch and sight
  Rouse the quick sense to anguish or delight;
  Whence the fine power of IMITATION springs,
  And apes the outlines of external things;
  With ceaseless action to the world imparts
  All moral virtues, languages, and arts.
  First the charm'd Mind mechanic powers collects,
  Means for some end, and causes of effects;                       290
  Then learns from other Minds their joys and fears,
  Contagious smiles and sympathetic tears.

         [Footnote: _All moral virtues_, l. 288. See the sequel of
         this canto l. 453 on sympathy; and l. 331 on language; and
         the subsequent lines on the arts of painting and

    "What one fine stimulated Sense discerns,
  Another Sense by IMITATION learns.--
  So in the graceful dance the step sublime
  Learns from the ear the concordance of Time.
  So, when the pen of some young artist prints
  Recumbent Nymphs in TITIAN'S living tints;
  The glowing limb, fair cheek, and flowing hair,
  Respiring bosom, and seductive air,                              300
  He justly copies with enamour'd sigh
  From Beauty's image pictured on his eye.

         [Footnote: _Another sense_, l. 294. As the part of the organs
         of touch or of sight, which is stimulated into action by a
         tangible or visible object, must resemble in figure at least
         the figure of that object, as it thus constitutes an idea; it
         may be said to imitate the figure of that object; and thus
         imitation may be esteemed coeval with the existence both of
         man and other animals: but this would confound perception
         with imitation; which latter is better defined from the
         actions of one sense copying those of another.]

    "Thus when great ANGELO in wondering Rome
  Fix'd the vast pillars of Saint Peter's dome,
  Rear'd rocks on rocks sublime, and hung on high
  A new Pantheon in the affrighted sky.
  Each massy pier, now join'd and now aloof,
  The figured architraves, and vaulted roof,
  Ailes, whose broad curves gigantic ribs sustain,
  Where holy echoes chant the adoring strain;                      310
  The central altar, sacred to the Lord,
  Admired by Sages, and by Saints ador'd,
  Whose brazen canopy ascends sublime
  On spiral columns unafraid of Time,
  Were first by Fancy in ethereal dyes
  Plann'd on the rolling tablets of his eyes;
  And his true hand with imitation fine
  Traced from his Retina the grand design.

         [Footnote: _Thus when great Angelo_, l. 303. The origin of
         this propensity to imitation has not been deduced from any
         known principle; when any action presents itself to the view
         of a child, as of whetting a knife, or threading a needle;
         the parts of this action in respect of time, motion, figure,
         are imitated by parts of the retina of his eye; to perform
         this action therefore with his hands is easier to him than to
         invent any new action; because it consists in repeating with
         another set of fibres, viz. with the moving muscles, what he
         had just performed by some parts of the retina; just as in
         dancing we transfer the times of the motions from the actions
         of the auditory nerves to the muscles of the limbs. Imitation
         therefore consists of repetition, which is the easiest kind
         of animal action; as the ideas or motions become presently
         associated together; which adds to the facility of their
         production; as shown in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXII. 2.

         It should be added, that as our ideas, when we perceive
         external objects, are believed to consist in the actions of
         the immediate organs of sense in consequence of the stimulus
         of those objects; so when we think of external objects, our
         ideas are believed to consist in the repetitions of the
         actions of the immediate organs of sense, excited by the
         other sensorial powers of volition, sensation, or

    "The Muse of MIMICRY in every age
  With silent language charms the attentive stage;                 320
  The Monarch's stately step, and tragic pause,
  The Hero bleeding in his country's cause,
  O'er her fond child the dying Mother's tears,
  The Lover's ardor, and the Virgin's fears;
  The tittering Nymph, that tries her comic task,
  Bounds on the scene, and peeps behind her mask,
  The Punch and Harlequin, and graver throng,
  That shake the theatre with dance and song,
  With endless trains of Angers, Loves, and Mirths,
  Owe to the Muse of Mimicry their births.                         330

         [Footnote: _The Muse of Mimicry_, l. 319. Much of the
         pleasure received from the drawings of flowers finely
         finished, or of portraits, is derived from their imitation or
         resemblance of the objects or persons which they represent.
         The same occurs in the pleasure we receive from mimicry on
         the stage; we are surprised at the accuracy of its enacted
         resemblance. Some part of the pleasure received from
         architecture, as when we contemplate the internal structure
         of gothic temples, as of King's College chapel in Cambridge,
         or of Lincoln Cathedral, may arise also from their imitation
         or resemblance of those superb avenues of large trees, which
         were formerly appropriated to religious ceremonies.]

    "Hence to clear images of form belong
  The sculptor's statue, and the poet's song,
  The painter's landscape, and the builder's plan,
  And IMITATION marks the mind of Man.

         [Footnote: _Imitation marks_, l. 334. Many other curious
         instances of one part of the animal system imitating another
         part of it, as in some contagious diseases; and also of some
         animals imitating each other, are given in Zoonomia, Vol. I.
         Sect. XXII. 3. To which may be added, that this propensity to
         imitation not only appears in the actions of children, but in
         all the customs and fashions of the world; many thousands
         tread in the beaten paths of others, who precede or accompany
         them, for one who traverses regions of his own discovery.]

    VI. "WHEN strong desires or soft sensations move
  The astonish'd Intellect to rage or love;
  Associate tribes of fibrous motions rise,
  Flush the red cheek, or light the laughing eyes.
  Whence ever-active Imitation finds
  The ideal trains, that pass in kindred minds;                    340
  Her mimic arts associate thoughts excite
  And the first LANGUAGE enters at the sight.

         [Footnote: _And the first Language_, l. 342. There are two
         ways by which we become acquainted with the passions of
         others: first, by having observed the effects of them, as of
         fear or anger, on our own bodies, we know at sight when
         others are under the influence of these affections. So
         children long before they can speak, or understand the
         language of their parents, may be frightened by an angry
         countenance, or soothed by smiles and blandishments.

         Secondly, when we put ourselves into the attitude that any
         passion naturally occasions, we soon in some degree acquire
         that passion; hence when those that scold indulge themselves
         in loud oaths and violent actions of the arms, they increase
         their anger by the mode of expressing themselves; and, on the
         contrary, the counterfeited smile of pleasure in disagreeable
         company soon brings along with it a portion of the reality,
         as is well illustrated by Mr. Burke. (Essay on the Sublime
         and Beautiful.)

         These are natural signs by which we understand each other,
         and on this slender basis is built all human language. For
         without some natural signs no artificial ones could have been
         invented or understood, as is very ingeniously observed by
         Dr. Reid. (Inquiry into the Human Mind.)]

    "Thus jealous quails or village-cocks inspect
  Each other's necks with stiffen'd plumes erect;
  Smit with the wordless eloquence, they know
  The rival passion of the threatening foe.
  So when the famish'd wolves at midnight howl,
  Fell serpents hiss, or fierce hyenas growl;
  Indignant Lions rear their bristling mail,
  And lash their sides with undulating tail.                       350
  Or when the Savage-Man with clenched fist
  Parades, the scowling champion of the list;
  With brandish'd arms, and eyes that roll to know
  Where first to fix the meditated blow;
  Association's mystic power combines
  Internal passions with external signs.

    "From these dumb gestures first the exchange began
  Of viewless thought in bird, and beast, and man;
  And still the stage by mimic art displays
  Historic pantomime in modern days;                               360
  And hence the enthusiast orator affords
  Force to the feebler eloquence of words.

    "Thus the first LANGUAGE, when we frown'd or smiled,
  Rose from the cradle, Imitation's child;
  Next to each thought associate sound accords,
  And forms the dulcet symphony of words;
  The tongue, the lips articulate; the throat
  With soft vibration modulates the note;
  Love, pity, war, the shout, the song, the prayer
  Form quick concussions of elastic air.                           370

    "Hence the first accents bear in airy rings
  The vocal symbols of ideal things,
  Name each nice change appulsive powers supply
  To the quick sense of touch, or ear or eye.
  Or in fine traits abstracted forms suggest
  Of Beauty, Wisdom, Number, Motion, Rest;
  Or, as within reflex ideas move,
  Trace the light steps of Reason, Rage, or Love.
  The next new sounds adjunctive thoughts recite,
  As hard, odorous, tuneful, sweet, or white.                      380
  The next the fleeting images select
  Of action, suffering, causes and effect;
  Or mark existence, with the march sublime
  O'er earth and ocean of recording TIME.

         [Footnote: _Hence the first accents_, l. 371. Words were
         originally the signs or names of individual ideas; but in all
         known languages many of them by changing their terminations
         express more than one idea, as in the cases of nouns, and the
         moods and tenses of verbs. Thus a whip suggests a single idea
         of that instrument; but "to whip," suggests an idea of
         action, joined with that of the instrument, and is then
         called a verb; and "to be whipped," suggests an idea of being
         acted upon or suffering. Thus in most languages two ideas are
         suggested by one word by changing its termination; as amor,
         love; amare, to love; amari, to be loved.

         Nouns are the names of the ideas of things, first as they are
         received by the stimulus of objects, or as they are
         afterwards repeated; secondly, they are names of more
         abstracted ideas, which do not suggest at the same time the
         external objects, by which they were originally excited; or
         thirdly, of the operations of our minds, which are termed
         reflex ideas by metaphysical writers; or lastly, they are the
         names of our ideas of parts or properties of objects; and are
         termed by grammarians nouns adjective.

         Verbs are also in reality names of our ideas of things, or
         nouns, with the addition of another idea to them, as of
         acting or suffering; or of more than one other annexed idea,
         as of time, and also of existence. These with the numerous
         abbreviations, so well illustrated by Mr. Horne Tooke in his
         Diversions of Purley, make up the general theory of language,
         which consists of the symbols of ideas represented by vocal
         or written words; or by parts of those words, as their
         terminations; or by their disposition in respect to their
         order or succession; as further explained in Additional Note

    "The GIANT FORM on Nature's centre stands,
  And waves in ether his unnumber'd hands;
  Whirls the bright planets in their silver spheres,
  And the vast sun round other systems steers;
  Till the last trump amid the thunder's roar
  Sound the dread Sentence "TIME SHALL BE NO MORE!"

    "Last steps Abbreviation, bold and strong,                     391
  And leads the volant trains of words along;
  With sweet loquacity to HERMES springs,
  And decks his forehead and his feet with wings.

    VII. "As the soft lips and pliant tongue are taught
  With other minds to interchange the thought;
  And sound, the symbol of the sense, explains
  In parted links the long ideal trains;
  From clear conceptions of external things
  The facile power of Recollection springs.                        400

         [Footnote: _In parted links_, l. 398. As our ideas consist of
         successive trains of the motions, or changes of figure, of
         the extremities of the nerves of one or more of our senses,
         as of the optic or auditory nerves; these successive trains
         of motion, or configuration, are in common life divided into
         many links, to each of which a word or name is given, and it
         is called an idea. This chain of ideas may be broken into
         more or fewer links, or divided in different parts of it, by
         the customs of different people. Whence the meanings of the
         words of one language cannot always be exactly expressed by
         those of another; and hence the acquirement of different
         languages in their infancy may affect the modes of thinking
         and reasoning of whole nations, or of different classes of
         society; as the words of them do not accurately suggest the
         same ideas, or parts of ideal trains; a circumstance which
         has not been sufficiently analysed.]

    "Whence REASON'S empire o'er the world presides,
  And man from brute, and man from man divides;
  Compares and measures by imagined lines
  Ellipses, circles, tangents, angles, sines;
  Repeats with nice libration, and decrees
  In what each differs, and in what agrees;
  With quick Volitions unfatigued selects
  Means for some end, and causes of effects;
  All human science worth the name imparts,
  And builds on Nature's base the works of Arts.                   410

         [Footnote: _Whence Reason's empire_, l. 401. The facility of
         the use of the voluntary power, which is owing to the
         possession of the clear ideas acquired by our superior sense
         of touch, and afterwards of vision, distinguishes man from
         brutes, and has given him the empire of the world, with the
         power of improving nature by the exertions of art.

         Reasoning is that operation of the sensorium by which we
         excite two or many tribes of ideas, and then reexcite the
         ideas in which they differ or correspond. If we determine
         this difference, it is called judgment; if we in vain
         endeavour to determine it, it is called doubting.

         If we reexcite the ideas in which they differ, it is called
         distinguishing. If we reexcite those in which they
         correspond, it is called comparing.]

    "The Wasp, fine architect, surrounds his domes
  With paper-foliage, and suspends his combs;
  Secured from frost the Bee industrious dwells,
  And fills for winter all her waxen cells;
  The cunning Spider with adhesive line
  Weaves his firm net immeasurably fine;
  The Wren, when embryon eggs her cares engross,
  Seeks the soft down, and lines the cradling moss;
  Conscious of change the Silkworm-Nymphs begin
  Attach'd to leaves their gluten-threads to spin;                 420
  Then round and round they weave with circling heads
  Sphere within Sphere, and form their silken beds.
  --Say, did these fine volitions first commence
  From clear ideas of the tangent sense;
  From sires to sons by imitation caught,
  Or in dumb language by tradition taught?
  Or did they rise in some primeval site
  Of larva-gnat, or microscopic mite;
  And with instructive foresight still await
  On each vicissitude of insect-state?--                           430
  Wise to the present, nor to future blind,
  They link the reasoning reptile to mankind!
  --Stoop, selfish Pride! survey thy kindred forms,
  Thy brother Emmets, and thy sister Worms!

         [Footnote: _The Wasp, fine architect_, l. 411. Those animals
         which possess a better sense of touch are, in general, more
         ingenious than others. Those which have claviculæ, or
         collar-bones, and thence use the forefeet as hands, as the
         monkey, squirrel, rat, are more ingenious in seizing their
         prey or escaping from danger. And the ingenuity of the
         elephant appears to arise from the sense of touch at the
         extremity of his proboscis, which has a prominence on one
         side of its cavity like a thumb to close against the other
         side of it, by which I have seen him readily pick up a
         shilling which was thrown amongst the straw he stood upon.
         Hence the excellence of the sense of touch in many insects
         seems to have given them wonderful ingenuity so as to equal
         or even excel mankind in some of their arts and discoveries;
         many of which may have been acquired in situations previous
         to their present ones, as the great globe itself, and all
         that it inhabit, appear to be in a perpetual state of
         mutation and improvement; see Additional Note IX.]

    "Thy potent acts, VOLITION, still attend
  The means of pleasure to secure the end;
  To express his wishes and his wants design'd
  Language, the _means_, distinguishes Mankind;
  For _future_ works in Art's ingenious schools
  His hands unwearied form and finish tools;                       440
  He toils for money _future_ bliss to share,
  And shouts to Heaven his mercenary prayer.
  Sweet Hope delights him, frowning Fear alarms,
  And Vice and Virtue court him to their arms.

         [Footnote: _Thy potent acts, Volition_, l. 435. It was before
         observed, how much the superior accuracy of our sense of
         touch contributes to increase our knowledge; but it is the
         greater energy and activity of the power of volition, that
         marks mankind, and has given them the empire of the world.

         There is a criterion by which we may distinguish our
         voluntary acts or thoughts from those that are excited by our
         sensations: "The former are always employed about the means
         to acquire pleasurable objects, or to avoid painful ones;
         while the latter are employed about the possession of those
         that are already in our power."

         The ideas and actions of brutes, like those of children, are
         almost perpetually produced by their present pleasures or
         their present pains; and they seldom busy themselves about
         the _means_ of procuring future bliss, or of avoiding future

         Whilst the acquiring of languages, the making of tools, and
         the labouring for money, which are all only the _means_ of
         procuring pleasure; and the praying to the Deity, as another
         means to procure happiness, are characteristic of human

    "Unenvied eminence, in Nature's plan
  Rise the reflective faculties of Man!
  Labour to Rest the thinking Few prefer!
  Know but to mourn! and reason but to err!--
  In Eden's groves, the cradle of the world,
  Bloom'd a fair tree with mystic flowers unfurl'd;                450
  On bending branches, as aloft it sprung,
  Forbid to taste, the fruit of KNOWLEDGE hung;
  Flow'd with sweet Innocence the tranquil hours,
  And Love and Beauty warm'd the blissful bowers.
  Till our deluded Parents pluck'd, erelong,
  The tempting fruit, and gather'd Right and Wrong;
  Whence Good and Evil, as in trains they pass,
  Reflection imaged on her polish'd glass;
  And Conscience felt, for blood by Hunger spilt,
  The pains of shame, of sympathy, and guilt!                      460

         [Footnote: _And gather'd Right and Wrong_, l. 456. Some
         philosophers have believed that the acquisition of knowledge
         diminishes the happiness of the possessor; an opinion which
         seems to have been inculcated by the history of our first
         parents, who are said to have become miserable from eating of
         the tree of knowledge. But as the foresight and the power of
         mankind are much increased by their voluntary exertions in
         the acquirement of knowledge, they may undoubtedly avoid many
         sources of evil, and procure many sources of good; and yet
         possess the pleasures of sense, or of imagination, as
         extensively as the brute or the savage.]

    VIII. "LAST, as observant Imitation stands,
  Turns her quick glance, and brandishes her hands,
  With mimic acts associate thoughts excites,
  And storms the soul with sorrows or delights;
  Life's shadowy scenes are brighten'd and refin'd,
  And soft emotions mark the feeling mind.

         [Footnote: _And soft emotions_, l. 466. From our aptitude to
         imitation arises what is generally understood by the word
         sympathy, so well explained by Dr. Smith of Glasgow. Thus the
         appearance of a cheerful countenance gives us pleasure, and
         of a melancholy one makes us sorrowful. Yawning, and
         sometimes vomiting, are thus propagated by sympathy; and some
         people of delicate fibres, at the presence of a spectacle of
         misery, have felt pain in the same parts of their bodies,
         that were diseased or mangled in the object they saw.

         The effect of this powerful agent in the moral world, is the
         foundation of all our intellectual sympathies with the pains
         and pleasures of others, and is in consequence the source of
         all our virtues. For in what consists our sympathy with the
         miseries or with the joys of our fellow creatures, but in an
         involuntary excitation of ideas in some measure similar or
         imitative of those which we believe to exist in the minds of
         the persons whom we commiserate or congratulate!]

    "The Seraph, SYMPATHY, from Heaven descends,
  And bright o'er earth his beamy forehead bends;
  On Man's cold heart celestial ardor flings,
  And showers affection from his sparkling wings;                  470
  Rolls o'er the world his mild benignant eye,
  Hears the lone murmur, drinks the whisper'd sigh;
  Lifts the closed latch of pale Misfortune's door,
  Opes the clench'd hand of Avarice to the poor,
  Unbars the prison, liberates the slave,
  Sheds his soft sorrows o'er the untimely grave,
  Points with uplifted hand to realms above,
  And charms the world with universal love.

    "O'er the thrill'd frame his words assuasive steal,
  And teach the selfish heart what others feel;                    480
  With sacred truth each erring thought control,
  Bind sex to sex, and mingle soul with soul;
  From heaven, He cried, descends the moral plan,
  And gives Society to savage man.

    "High on yon scroll, inscribed o'er Nature's shrine,
  Live in bright characters the words divine.
  --Winds! wide o'er earth the sacred law convey,
  Ye Nations, hear it! and ye Kings, obey!                         490

         [Footnote: _High on yon scroll_, l. 485. The famous sentence
         of Socrates "Know thyself," so celebrated by writers of
         antiquity, and said by them to have descended from Heaven,
         however wise it may be, seems to be rather of a selfish
         nature; and the author of it might have added "Know also
         other people." But the sacred maxims of the author of
         Christianity, "Do as you would be done by," and "Love your
         neighbour as yourself," include all our duties of benevolence
         and morality; and, if sincerely obeyed by all nations, would
         a thousandfold multiply the present happiness of mankind.]

    "Unbreathing wonder hush'd the adoring throng,
  Froze the broad eye, and chain'd the silent tongue;
  Mute was the wail of Want, and Misery's cry,
  And grateful Pity wiped her lucid eye;
  Peace with sweet voice the Seraph-form address'd,
  And Virtue clasp'd him to her throbbing breast."






I. Few affected by Sympathy 1. Cruelty of War 11. Of brute animals,
Wolf, Eagle, Lamb, Dove, Owl, Nightingale 17. Of insects, Oestrus,
Ichneumon, Libellula 29. Wars of Vegetables 41. Of fish, the Shark,
Crocodile, Whale 55. The World a Slaughter-house 66. Pains from Defect
and from Excess of Stimulus 71. Ebriety and Superstition 77. Mania 89.
Association 93. Avarice, Imposture, Ambition, Envy, Jealousy 97.
Floods, Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Famine 109. Pestilence 117. Pains from
Sympathy 123. II. Good outbalances Evil 135. Life combines inanimate
Matter, and produces happiness by Irritation 145. As in viewing a
Landscape 159. In hearing Music 171. By Sensation or Fancy in Dreams
183. The Patriot and the Nun 197. Howard, Moira, Burdett 205. By
Volition 223. Newton, Herschel 233. Archimedes, Savery 241. Isis,
Arkwright 253. Letters and Printing 265. Freedom of the Press 273. By
Association 291. Ideas of Contiguity, Resemblance, and of Cause and
Effect 299. Antinous 319. Cecilia 329. III. Life soon ceases, Births
and Deaths alternate 337. Acorns, Poppy-seeds, Aphises, Snails, Worms,
Tadpoles, Herrings innumerable 347. So Mankind 369. All Nature teems
with Life 375. Dead Organic Matter soon revives 383. Death is but a
change of Form 393. Exclamation of St. Paul 403. Happiness of the
World increases 405. The Phoenix 411. System of Pythagoras 417. Rocks
and Mountains produced by Organic Life 429. Are Monuments of past
Felicity 447. Munificence of the Deity 455. IV. Procession of Virgins
469. Hymn to Heaven 481. Of Chaos 489. Of Celestial Love 499. Offering
of Urania 517-524.



  I. "HOW FEW," the MUSE in plaintive accents cries,
  And mingles with her words pathetic sighs.--
  "How few, alas! in Nature's wide domains
  The sacred charm of SYMPATHY restrains!
  Uncheck'd desires from appetite commence,
  And pure reflection yields to selfish sense!
  --Blest is the Sage, who learn'd in Nature's laws
  With nice distinction marks effect and cause;
  Who views the insatiate Grave with eye sedate,
  Nor fears thy voice, inexorable Fate!                             10

         [Footnote: _Blest is the Sage_, l. 7.

           Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas;
           Quique metus omnes, et inexorabile fatum,
           Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari.
                                        VIRG. Georg. II. 490.]

    "WHEN War, the Demon, lifts his banner high,
  And loud artillery rends the affrighted sky;
  Swords clash with swords, on horses horses rush,
  Man tramples man, and nations nations crush;
  Death his vast sithe with sweep enormous wields,
  And shuddering Pity quits the sanguine fields.

    "The wolf, escorted by his milk-drawn dam,
  Unknown to mercy, tears the guiltless lamb;
  The towering eagle, darting from above,
  Unfeeling rends the inoffensive dove;                             20
  The lamb and dove on living nature feed,
  Crop the young herb, or crush the embryon seed.
  Nor spares the loud owl in her dusky flight,
  Smit with sweet notes, the minstrel of the night;
  Nor spares, enamour'd of his radiant form,
  The hungry nightingale the glowing worm;
  Who with bright lamp alarms the midnight hour,
  Climbs the green stem, and slays the sleeping flower.

         [Footnote: _The towering eagle_, l. 19.

           Torva leæna lupum sequitur, lupus ipse capellam,
           Florentem cytisum sequitur lasciva capella.

    "Fell Oestrus buries in her rapid course
  Her countless brood in stag, or bull, or horse;                   30
  Whose hungry larva eats its living way,
  Hatch'd by the warmth, and issues into day.
  The wing'd Ichneumon for her embryon young
  Gores with sharp horn the caterpillar throng.
  The cruel larva mines its silky course,
  And tears the vitals of its fostering nurse.
  While fierce Libellula with jaws of steel
  Ingulfs an insect-province at a meal;
  Contending bee-swarms rise on rustling wings,
  And slay their thousands with envenom'd stings.                   40

         [Footnote: _Fell Oestrus buries_, l. 29. The gadfly, bot-fly,
         or sheep-fly: the larva lives in the bodies of cattle
         throughout the whole winter; it is extracted from their backs
         by an African bird called Buphaga. Adhering to the anus it
         artfully introduces itself into the intestines of horses, and
         becomes so numerous in their stomachs, as sometimes to
         destroy them; it climbs into the nostrils of sheep and
         calves, and producing a nest of young in a transparent
         hydatide in the frontal sinus, occasions the vertigo or turn
         of those animals. In Lapland it so attacks the rein deer that
         the natives annually travel with the herds from the woods to
         the mountains. Lin. Syst. Nat.]

         [Footnote: _The wing'd Ichneumon_, l. 33. Linneus describes
         seventy-seven species of the ichneumon fly, some of which
         have a sting as long and some twice as long as their bodies.
         Many of them insert their eggs into various caterpillars,
         which when they are hatched seem for a time to prey on the
         reservoir of silk in the backs of those animals designed for
         their own use to spin a cord to support them, or a bag to
         contain them, while they change from their larva form to a
         butterfly; as I have seen in above fifty
         cabbage-caterpillars. The ichneumon larva then makes its way
         out of the caterpillar, and spins itself a small cocoon like
         a silk worm; these cocoons are about the size of a small
         pin's head, and I have seen about ten of them on each cabbage
         caterpillar, which soon dies after their exclusion.

         Other species of ichneumon insert their eggs into the aphis,
         and into the larva of the aphidivorous fly: others into the
         bedeguar of rose trees, and the gall-nuts of oaks; whence
         those excrescences seem to be produced, as well as the
         hydatides in the frontal sinus of sheep and calves by the
         stimulus of the larvæ deposited in them.]

         [Footnote: _While fierce Libellula_, l. 37. The Libellula or
         Dragon-fly is said to be a most voracious animal; Linneus
         says in their perfect state they are the hawks to naked
         winged flies; in their larva state they run beneath the
         water, and are the cruel crocodiles of aquatic insects. Syst.

         [Footnote: _Contending bee-swarms_, l. 39. Stronger
         bee-swarms frequently attack weak hives, and in two or three
         days destroy them and carry away their honey; this I once
         prevented by removing the attacked hive after the first day's
         battle to a distinct part of the garden. See Phytologia,
         Sect. XIV. 3. 7.]

    "Yes! smiling Flora drives her armed car
  Through the thick ranks of vegetable war;
  Herb, shrub, and tree, with strong emotions rise
  For light and air, and battle in the skies;
  Whose roots diverging with opposing toil
  Contend below for moisture and for soil;
  Round the tall Elm the flattering Ivies bend,
  And strangle, as they clasp, their struggling friend;
  Envenom'd dews from Mancinella flow,
  And scald with caustic touch the tribes below;                    50
  Dense shadowy leaves on stems aspiring borne
  With blight and mildew thin the realms of corn;
  And insect hordes with restless tooth devour
  The unfolded bud, and pierce the ravell'd flower.

    "In ocean's pearly haunts, the waves beneath
  Sits the grim monarch of insatiate Death;
  The shark rapacious with descending blow
  Darts on the scaly brood, that swims below;
  The crawling crocodiles, beneath that move,
  Arrest with rising jaw the tribes above;                          60
  With monstrous gape sepulchral whales devour
  Shoals at a gulp, a million in an hour.
  --Air, earth, and ocean, to astonish'd day
  One scene of blood, one mighty tomb display!
  From Hunger's arm the shafts of Death are hurl'd,
  And one great Slaughter-house the warring world!

         [Footnote: _The shark rapacious_, l. 57. The shark has three
         rows of sharp teeth within each other, which he can bend
         downwards internally to admit larger prey, and raise to
         prevent its return; his snout hangs so far over his mouth,
         that he is necessitated to turn upon his back, when he takes
         fish that swim over him, and hence seems peculiarly formed to
         catch those that swim under him.]

         [Footnote: _The crawling crocodiles_, l. 59. As this animal
         lives chiefly at the bottom of the rivers, which he
         frequents, he has the power of opening the upper jaw as well
         as the under one, and thus with greater facility catches the
         fish or water-fowl which swim over him.]

         [Footnote: _One great slaughter-house_, l. 66. As vegetables
         are an inferior order of animals fixed to the soil; and as
         the locomotive animals prey upon them, or upon each other;
         the world may indeed be said to be one great slaughter-house.
         As the digested food of vegetables consists principally of
         sugar, and from this is produced again their mucilage,
         starch, and oil, and since animals are sustained by these
         vegetable productions, it would seem that the sugar-making
         process carried on in vegetable vessels was the great source
         of life to all organized beings. And that if our improved
         chemistry should ever discover the art of making sugar from
         fossile or aerial matter without the assistance of
         vegetation, food for animals would then become as plentiful
         as water, and they might live upon the earth without preying
         on each other, as thick as blades of grass, with no restraint
         to their numbers but the want of local room.

         It would seem that roots fixed in the earth and leaves
         innumerable waving in the air were necessary for the
         decomposition of water and air, and the conversion of them
         into saccharine matter, which would have been not only
         cumberous but totally incompatible with the locomotion of
         animal bodies. For how could a man or quadruped have carried
         on his head or back a forest of leaves, or have had long
         branching lacteal or absorbent vessels terminating in the
         earth? Animals therefore subsist on vegetables; that is they
         take the matter so prepared, and have organs to prepare it
         further for the purposes of higher animation and greater

    "THE brow of Man erect, with thought elate,
  Ducks to the mandate of resistless fate;
  Nor Love retains him, nor can Virtue save
  Her sages, saints, or heroes from the grave.                      70
  While cold and hunger by defect oppress,
  Repletion, heat, and labour by excess,
  The whip, the sting, the spur, the fiery brand,
  And, cursed Slavery! thy iron hand;
  And led by Luxury Disease's trains,
  Load human life with unextinguish'd pains.

         [Footnote: _While cold and hunger_, l. 71. Those parts of our
         system, which are in health excited into perpetual action,
         give us pain, when they are not excited into action: thus
         when the hands are for a time immersed in snow, an inaction
         of the cutaneous capillaries is induced, as is seen from the
         paleness of the skin, which is attended with the pain of
         coldness. So the pain of hunger is probably produced by the
         inaction of the muscular fibres of the stomach from the want
         of the stimulus of food.

         Thus those, who have used much voluntary exertion in their
         early years, and have continued to do so, till the decline of
         life commences, if they then lay aside their employment,
         whether that of a minister of state, a general of an army, or
         a merchant, or manufacturer; they cease to have their
         faculties excited into their usual activity, and become
         unhappy, I suppose from the too great accumulation of the
         sensorial power of volition; which wants the accustomed
         stimulus or motive to cause its expenditure.]

    "Here laughs Ebriety more fell than arms,
  And thins the nations with her fatal charms,
  With Gout, and Hydrops groaning in her train,
  And cold Debility, and grinning Pain,                             80
  With harlot's smiles deluded man salutes,
  Revenging all his cruelties to brutes!
  There the curst spells of Superstition blind,
  And fix her fetters on the tortured mind;
  She bids in dreams tormenting shapes appear,
  With shrieks that shock Imagination's ear,
  E'en o'er the grave a deeper shadow flings,
  And maddening Conscience darts a thousand stings.

         [Footnote: _Here laughs Ebriety_, l. 77.

                                   Sævior armis
           Luxuria incubuit, victumque ulciscitur orbem.

         [Footnote: _E'en o'er the grave_, l. 87. Many theatric
         preachers among the Methodists successfully inculcate the
         fear of death and of Hell, and live luxuriously on the folly
         of their hearers: those who suffer under this insanity, are
         generally most innocent and harmless people, who are then
         liable to accuse themselves of the greatest imaginary crimes;
         and have so much intellectual cowardice, that they dare not
         reason about those things, which they are directed by their
         priests to believe. Where this intellectual cowardice is
         great, the voice of reason is ineffectual; but that of
         ridicule may save many from these mad-making doctors, as the
         farces of Mr. Foot; though it is too weak to cure those who
         are already hallucinated.]

    "There writhing Mania sits on Reason's throne,
  Or Melancholy marks it for her own,                               90
  Sheds o'er the scene a voluntary gloom,
  Requests oblivion, and demands the tomb.
  And last Association's trains suggest
  Ideal ills, that harrow up the breast,
  Call for the dead from Time's o'erwhelming main,
  And bid departed Sorrow live again.

         [Footnote: _And last association_, l. 93. The miseries and
         the felicities of life may be divided into those which arise
         in consequence of irritation, sensation, volition, and
         association; and consist in the actions of the extremities of
         the nerves of sense, which constitute our ideas; if they are
         much more exerted than usual, or much less exerted than
         usual, they occasion pain; as when the finger is burnt in a
         candle; or when we go into a cold bath: while their natural
         degree of exertion produces the pleasure of life or
         existence. This pleasure is nevertheless increased, when the
         system is stimulated into rather stronger action than usual,
         as after a copious dinner, and at the beginning of
         intoxication; and diminished, when it is only excited into
         somewhat less activity than usual, which is termed ennui, or
         irksomeness of life.]

         [Footnote: _Ideal ills_, l. 94. The tooth-edge is an instance
         of bodily pain occasioned by association of ideas. Every one
         in his childhood has repeatedly bit a part of the glass or
         earthen vessel, in which his food has been given him, and has
         thence had a disagreeable sensation in his teeth, attended at
         the same time with a jarring sound: and ever after, when such
         a sound is accidentally produced, the disagreeable sensation
         of the teeth follows by association of ideas; this is further
         elucidated in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XVI. 10.]

    "Here ragged Avarice guards with bolted door
  His useless treasures from the starving poor;
  Loads the lorn hours with misery and care,
  And lives a beggar to enrich his heir.                           100
  Unthinking crowds thy forms, Imposture, gull,
  A Saint in sackcloth, or a Wolf in wool.
  While mad with foolish fame, or drunk with power,
  Ambition slays his thousands in an hour;
  Demoniac Envy scowls with haggard mien,
  And blights the bloom of other's joys, unseen;
  Or wrathful Jealousy invades the grove,
  And turns to night meridian beams of Love!

         [Footnote: _Enrich his heir_, l. 100.

           Cum furor haud dubius, cum sit manifesta phrenitis,
           Ut locuples moriaris, egenti vivere fato.

         [Footnote: _A Wolf in wool_, l. 102. A wolf in sheep's

    "Here wide o'er earth impetuous waters sweep,
  And fields and forests rush into the deep;                       110
  Or dread Volcano with explosion dire
  Involves the mountains in a flood of fire;
  Or yawning Earth with closing jaws inhumes
  Unwarned nations, living in their tombs;
  Or Famine seizes with her tiger-paw,
  And swallows millions with unsated maw.

    "There livid Pestilence in league with Dearth
  Walks forth malignant o'er the shuddering earth,
  Her rapid shafts with airs volcanic wings,
  Or steeps in putrid vaults her venom'd stings.                   120
  Arrests the young in Beauty's vernal bloom,
  And bears the innocuous strangers to the tomb!--

         [Footnote: _With airs volcanic_, l. 119. Those epidemic
         complaints, which are generally termed influenza, are
         believed to arise from vapours thrown out from earthquakes in
         such abundance as to affect large regions of the atmosphere,
         see Botanic Garden, V. I. Canto IV. l. 65. while the diseases
         properly termed contagious originate from the putrid effluvia
         of decomposing animal or vegetable matter.]

    "AND now, e'en I, whose verse reluctant sings
  The changeful state of sublunary things,
  Bend o'er Mortality with silent sighs,
  And wipe the secret tear-drops from my eyes,
  Hear through the night one universal groan,
  And mourn unseen for evils not my own,
  With restless limbs and throbbing heart complain,
  Stretch'd on the rack of sentimental pain!                       130
  --Ah where can Sympathy reflecting find
  One bright idea to console the mind?
  One ray of light in this terrene abode
  To prove to Man the Goodness of his GOD?"

         [Footnote: _Sentimental pain_, l. 130. Children should be
         taught in their early education to feel for all the
         remediable evils, which they observe in others; but they
         should at the same time be taught sufficient firmness of mind
         not intirely to destroy their own happiness by their
         sympathizing with too great sensibility with the numerous
         irremediable evils, which exist in the present system of the
         world: as by indulging that kind of melancholy they decrease
         the sum total of public happiness; which is so far rather
         reprehensible than commendable. See Plan for Female Education
         by Dr. Darwin, Johnson, London, Sect. XVII.

         This has been carried to great excess in the East by the
         disciples of Confucius; the Gentoos during a famine in India
         refused to eat the flesh of cows and of other animals to
         satisfy their hunger, and save themselves from death. And at
         other times they have been said to permit fleas and
         musquitoes to feed upon them from this erroneous sympathy.]

    II. "HEAR, O YE SONS OF TIME!" the Nymph replies,
  Quick indignation darting from her eyes;
  "When in soft tones the Muse lamenting sings,
  And weighs with tremulous hand the sum of things;
  She loads the scale in melancholy mood,
  Presents the evil, but forgets the good.                         140
  But if the beam some firmer hand suspends,
  And good and evil load the adverse ends;
  With strong libration, where the Good abides,
  Quick nods the beam, the ponderous gold subsides.

    "HEAR, O ye Sons of Time! the powers of Life
  Arrest the elements, and stay their strife;
  From wandering atoms, ethers, airs, and gas,
  By combination form the organic mass;
  And,--as they seize, digest, secrete,--dispense
  The bliss of Being to the vital Ens.                             150
  Hence in bright groups from IRRITATION rise
  Young Pleasure's trains, and roll their azure eyes.

         [Footnote: _From wandering atoms_, l. 147. Had those ancient
         philosophers, who contended that the world was formed from
         atoms, ascribed their combinations to certain immutable
         properties received from the hand of the Creator, such as
         general gravitation, chemical affinity, or animal appetency,
         instead of ascribing them to a blind chance; the doctrine of
         atoms, as constituting or composing the material world by the
         variety of their combinations, so far from leading the mind
         to atheism, would strengthen the demonstration of the
         existence of a Deity, as the first cause of all things;
         because the analogy resulting from our perpetual experience
         of cause and effect would have thus been exemplified through
         universal nature.]

    "With fond delight we feel the potent charm,
  When Zephyrs cool us, or when sun-beams warm;
  With fond delight inhale the fragrant flowers,
  Taste the sweet fruits, which bend the blushing bowers,
  Admire the music of the vernal grove,
  Or drink the raptures of delirious love.

    "So with long gaze admiring eyes behold
  The varied landscape all its lights unfold;                      160
  Huge rocks opposing o'er the stream project
  Their naked bosoms, and the beams reflect;
  Wave high in air their fringed crests of wood,
  And checker'd shadows dance upon the flood;
  Green sloping lawns construct the sidelong scene,
  And guide the sparkling rill that winds between;
  Conduct on murmuring wings the pausing gale,
  And rural echoes talk along the vale;
  Dim hills behind in pomp aerial rise,
  Lift their blue tops, and melt into the skies.                   170

         [Footnote: _The varied landscape_, l. 160. The pleasure, we
         feel on examining a fine landscape, is derived from various
         sources; as first the excitement of the retina of the eye
         into certain quantities of action; which when there is in the
         optic nerve any accumulation of sensorial power, is always
         agreeable. 2. When it is excited into such successive
         actions, as relieve each other; as when a limb has been long
         exerted in one direction, by stretching it in another; as
         described in Zoonomia, Sect. XL. 6. on ocular spectra. 3. And
         lastly by the associations of its parts with some agreeable
         sentiments or tastes, as of sublimity, beauty, utility,
         novelty; and the objects suggesting other sentiments, which
         have lately been termed picturesque as mentioned in the note
         to Canto III, l. 230 of this work. The two former of these
         sources of pleasure arise from irritation, the last from

    "So when by HANDEL tuned to measured sounds
  The trumpet vibrates, or the drum rebounds;
  Alarm'd we listen with ecstatic wonder
  To mimic battles, or imagined thunder.
  When the soft lute in sweet impassion'd strains
  Of cruel nymphs or broken vows complains;
  As on the breeze the fine vibration floats,
  We drink delighted the melodious notes.
  But when young Beauty on the realms above
  Bends her bright eye, and trills the tones of love;              180
  Seraphic sounds enchant this nether sphere;
  And listening angels lean from Heaven to hear.

         [Footnote: _We drink delighted_, l. 178. The pleasure we
         experience from music, is, like that from viewing a
         landscape, derived from various sources; as first from the
         excitement of the auditory nerve into certain quantities of
         action, when there exists any accumulation of sensorial
         power. 2. When the auditory nerve is exerted in such
         successive actions as relieve each other, like stretching or
         yawning, as described in Botanic Garden, Vol. II, Interlude
         the third, these successions of sound are termed melody, and
         their combinations harmony. 3. From the repetition of sounds
         at certain intervals of time; as we hear them with greater
         facility and accuracy, when we expect them; because they are
         then excited by volition, as well as by irritation, or at
         least the tympanum is then better adapted to assist their
         production; hence the two musical times or bars; and hence
         the rhimes in poetry give pleasure, as well as the measure of
         the verse: and lastly the pleasure we receive from music,
         arises from the associations of agreeable sentiments with
         certain proportions, or repetitions, or quantities, or times
         of sounds which have been previously acquired; as explained
         in Zoonomia Vol. I. Sect. XVI. 10. and Sect. XXII. 2.]

    "Next by SENSATION led, new joys commence
  From the fine movements of the excited sense;
  In swarms ideal urge their airy flight,
  Adorn the day-scenes, and illume the night.
  Her spells o'er all the hand of Fancy flings,
  Gives form and substance to unreal things;
  With fruits and foliage decks the barren waste,
  And brightens Life with sentiment and taste;                     190
  Pleased o'er the level and the rule presides,
  The painter's brush, the sculptor's chisel guides,
  With ray ethereal lights the poet's fire,
  Tunes the rude pipe, or strings the heroic lyre:
  Charm'd round the nymph on frolic footsteps move
  The angelic forms of Beauty, Grace, and Love.

    "So dreams the Patriot, who indignant draws
  The sword of vengeance in his Country's cause;
  Bright for his brows unfading honours bloom,
  Or kneeling Virgins weep around his tomb.                        200
  So holy transports in the cloister's shade
  Play round thy toilet, visionary maid!
  Charm'd o'er thy bed celestial voices sing,
  And Seraphs hover on enamour'd wing.

    "So HOWARD, MOIRA, BURDETT, sought the cells,
  Where want, or woe, or guilt in darkness dwells;
  With Pity's torch illumed the dread domains,
  Wiped the wet eye, and eased the galling chains;
  With Hope's bright blushes warm'd the midnight air,
  And drove from earth the Demon of Despair.                       210
  Erewhile emerging from the caves of night
  The Friends of Man ascended into light;
  With soft assuasive eloquence address'd
  The ear of Power to stay his stern behest;
  At Mercy's call to stretch his arm and save
  His tottering victims from the gaping grave.
  These with sweet smiles Imagination greets,
  For these she opens all her treasured sweets,
  Strews round their couch, by Pity's hand combined,
  Bright flowers of joy, the sunshine of the mind;                 220
  While Fame's loud trump with sounds applausive breathes
  And Virtue crowns them with immortal wreathes.

    "Thy acts, VOLITION, to the world impart
  The plans of Science with the works of art;
  Give to proud Reason her comparing power,
  Warm every clime, and brighten every hour.
  In Life's first cradle, ere the dawn began
  Of young Society to polish man;
  The staff that propp'd him, and the bow that arm'd,
  The boat that bore him, and the shed that warm'd,                230
  Fire, raiment, food, the ploughshare, and the sword,
  Arose, VOLITION, at thy plastic word.

    "By thee instructed, NEWTON'S eye sublime
  Mark'd the bright periods of revolving time;
  Explored in Nature's scenes the effect and cause,
  And, charm'd, unravell'd all her latent laws.
  Delighted HERSCHEL with reflected light
  Pursues his radiant journey through the night;
  Detects new guards, that roll their orbs afar
  In lucid ringlets round the Georgian star.                       240

    "Inspired by thee, with scientific wand
  Pleased ARCHIMEDES mark'd the figured sand;
  Seized with mechanic grasp the approaching decks,
  And shook the assailants from the inverted wrecks.
  --Then cried the Sage, with grand effects elate,
  And proud to save the Syracusian state;
  While crowds exulting shout their noisy mirth,
  'Give where to stand, and I will move the earth.'
  So SAVERY guided his explosive steam
  In iron cells to raise the balanced beam;                        250
  The Giant-form its ponderous mass uprears,
  Descending nods and seems to shake the spheres.

         [Footnote: _Mark'd the figur'd sand_, l. 242. The ancient
         orators seem to have spoken disrespectfully of the mechanic
         philosophers. Cicero mentioning Archimedes, calls him
         Homunculus e pulvere et radio, alluding to the custom of
         drawing problems on the sand with a staff.]

         [Footnote: _So Savery guided_, l. 249. Captain Savery first
         applied the pressure of the atmosphere to raise water in
         consequence of a vacuum previously produced by the
         condensation of steam, though the Marquis of Worcester had
         before proposed to use for this purpose the expansive power
         of steam; see Botanic Garden, Vol. I. Canto I. l. 253.

    "Led by VOLITION on the banks of Nile
  Where bloom'd the waving flax on Delta's isle,
  Pleased ISIS taught the fibrous stems to bind,
  And part with hammers from the adhesive rind;
  With locks of flax to deck the distaff-pole,
  And whirl with graceful bend the dancing spole.
  In level lines the length of woof to spread,
  And dart the shuttle through the parting thread.                 260
  So ARKWRIGHT taught from Cotton-pods to cull,
  And stretch in lines the vegetable wool;
  With teeth of steel its fibre-knots unfurl'd,
  And with the silver tissue clothed the world.

         [Footnote: _The waving flax_, l. 254. Flax is said to have
         been first discovered on the banks of the Nile, and Isis to
         have been the inventress of spinning and weaving.]

         [Footnote: _So Arkwright taught_, l. 261. See Botanic Garden,
         Vol. II. Canto II. l. 87, Note.]

    "Ages remote by thee, VOLITION, taught
  Chain'd down in characters the winged thought;
  With silent language mark'd the letter'd ground,
  And gave to sight the evanescent sound.
  Now, happier lot! enlighten'd realms possess
  The learned labours of the immortal Press;                       270
  Nursed on whose lap the births of science thrive,
  And rising Arts the wrecks of Time survive.

         [Footnote: _The immortal Press_, l. 270. The discovery of the
         art of printing has had so great influence on human affairs,
         that from thence may be dated a new æra in the history of
         mankind. As by the diffusion of general knowledge, both of
         the arts of taste and of useful sciences, the public mind has
         become improved to so great a degree, that though new
         impositions have been perpetually produced, the arts of
         detecting them have improved with greater rapidity. Hence
         since the introduction of printing, superstition has been
         much lessened by the reformation of religion; and necromancy,
         astrology, chiromancy, witchcraft, and vampyrism, have
         vanished from all classes of society; though some are still
         so weak in the present enlightened times as to believe in the
         prodigies of animal magnetism, and of metallic tractors; by
         this general diffusion of knowledge, if the liberty of the
         press be preserved, mankind will not be liable in this part
         of the world to sink into such abject slavery as exists at
         this day in China.]

    "Ye patriot heroes! in the glorious cause
  Of Justice, Mercy, Liberty, and Laws,
  Who call to Virtue's shrine the British youth,
  And shake the senate with the voice of Truth;
  Rouse the dull ear, the hoodwink'd eye unbind,
  And give to energy the public mind;
  While rival realms with blood unsated wage
  Wide-wasting war with fell demoniac rage;                        280
  In every clime while army army meets,
  And oceans groan beneath contending fleets;
  Oh save, oh save, in this eventful hour
  The tree of knowledge from the axe of power;
  With fostering peace the suffering nations bless,
  And guard the freedom of the immortal Press!
  So shall your deathless fame from age to age
  Survive recorded in the historic page;
  And future bards with voice inspired prolong
  Your sacred names immortalized in song.                          290

    "Thy power ASSOCIATION next affords
  Ideal trains annex'd to volant words,
  Conveys to listening ears the thought superb,
  And gives to Language her expressive verb;
  Which in one changeful sound suggests the fact
  At once to be, to suffer, or to act;
  And marks on rapid wing o'er every clime
  The viewless flight of evanescent Time.

         [Footnote: _Her expressive verb_, l. 294. The verb, or the
         word, has been so called from its being the most expressive
         term in all languages; as it suggests the ideas of existence,
         action or suffering, and of time; see the Note on Canto III.
         l. 371, of this work.]

    "Call'd by thy voice contiguous thoughts embrace
  In endless streams arranged by Time or Place;                    300
  The Muse historic hence in every age
  Gives to the world her _interesting_ page;
  While in bright landscape from her moving pen
  Rise the fine tints of manners and of men.

         [Footnote: _Call'd by thy voice_, l. 299. The numerous trains
         of associated ideas are divided by Mr. Hume into three
         classes, which he has termed contiguity, causation, and
         resemblance. Nor should we wonder to find them thus connected
         together, since it is the business of our lives to dispose
         them into these three classes; and we become valuable to
         ourselves and our friends as we succeed in it. Those who have
         combined an extensive class of ideas by the contiguity of
         time or place, are men learned in the history of mankind, and
         of the sciences they have cultivated. Those who have
         connected a great class of ideas of resemblances, possess the
         source of the ornaments of poetry and oratory, and of all
         rational analogy. While those who have connected great
         classes of ideas of causation, are furnished with the powers
         of producing effects. These are the men of active wisdom who
         lead armies to victory, and kingdoms to prosperity; or
         discover and improve the sciences which meliorate and adorn
         the condition of humanity.]

    "Call'd by thy voice Resemblance next describes
  Her sister-thoughts in lucid trains or tribes;
  Whence pleased Imagination oft combines
  By loose analogies her fair designs;
  Each winning grace of polish'd wit bestows
  To deck the Nymphs of Poetry and Prose.                          310

         [Footnote: _Polish'd wit bestows_, l. 309. Mr. Locke defines
         wit to consist of an assemblage of ideas, brought together
         with quickness and variety, wherein can be found any
         resemblance or congruity, thereby to make up pleasant
         pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy. To which Mr.
         Addison adds, that these must occasion surprise as well as
         delight; Spectator, Vol. I. No. LXII. See Note on Canto III.
         l. 145. and Additional Note, VII. 3. Perhaps wit in the
         extended use of the word may mean to express all kinds of
         fine writing, as the word Taste is applied to all agreeable
         visible objects, and thus wit may mean descriptive sublimity,
         beauty, the pathetic, or ridiculous, but when used in the
         confined sense, as by Mr. Locke and Mr. Addison as above, it
         may probably be better defined a combination of ideas with
         agreeable novelty, as this may be effected by opposition as
         well as by resemblance.]

    "Last, at thy potent nod, Effect and Cause
  Walk hand in hand accordant to thy laws;
  Rise at Volition's call, in groups combined,
  Amuse, delight, instruct, and serve Mankind;
  Bid raised in air the ponderous structure stand,
  Or pour obedient rivers through the land;
  With cars unnumber'd crowd the living streets,
  Or people oceans with triumphant fleets.

    "Thy magic touch imagined forms supplies
  From colour'd light, the language of the eyes;                   320
  On Memory's page departed hours inscribes,
  Sweet scenes of youth, and Pleasure's vanish'd tribes.
  By thee ANTINOUS leads the dance sublime
  On wavy step, and moves in measured time;
  Charm'd round the Youth successive Graces throng,
  And Ease conducts him, as he moves along;
  Unbreathing crowds the floating form admire,
  And Vestal bosoms feel forbidden fire.

    "When rapp'd CECILIA breathes her matin vow,
  And lifts to Heaven her fair adoring brow;                       330
  From her sweet lips, and rising bosom part
  Impassion'd notes, that thrill the melting heart;
  Tuned by thy hand the dulcet harp she rings,
  And sounds responsive echo from the strings;
  Bright scenes of bliss in trains suggested move,
  And charm the world with melody and love.

    III. "SOON the fair forms with vital being bless'd,
  Time's feeble children, lose the boon possess'd;
  The goaded fibre ceases to obey,
  And sense deserts the uncontractile clay;                        340
  While births unnumber'd, ere the parents die,
  The hourly waste of lovely life supply;
  And thus, alternating with death, fulfil
  The silent mandates of the Almighty Will;
  Whose hand unseen the works of nature dooms
  By laws unknown--WHO GIVES, AND WHO RESUMES.

         [Footnote: _The goaded fibre_, l. 339. Old age consists in
         the inaptitude to motion from the inirritability of the
         system, and the consequent want of fibrous contraction; see
         Additional Note VII.]

    "Each pregnant Oak ten thousand acorns forms
  Profusely scatter'd by autumnal storms;
  Ten thousand seeds each pregnant poppy sheds
  Profusely scatter'd from its waving heads;                       350
  The countless Aphides, prolific tribe,
  With greedy trunks the honey'd sap imbibe;
  Swarm on each leaf with eggs or embryons big,
  And pendent nations tenant every twig.
  Amorous with double sex, the snail and worm,
  Scoop'd in the soil, their cradling caverns form;
  Heap their white eggs, secure from frost and floods,
  And crowd their nurseries with uncounted broods.
  Ere yet with wavy tail the tadpole swims,
  Breathes with new lungs, or tries his nascent limbs;             360
  Her countless shoals the amphibious frog forsakes,
  And living islands float upon the lakes.
  The migrant herring steers her myriad bands
  From seas of ice to visit warmer strands;
  Unfathom'd depths and climes unknown explores,
  And covers with her spawn unmeasured shores.
  --All these, increasing by successive birth,
  Would each o'erpeople ocean, air, and earth.

         [Footnote: _Ten thousand seeds_, l. 349. The fertility of
         plants in respect to seeds is often remarkable; from one root
         in one summer the seeds of zea, maize, amount to 2000; of
         inula, elecampane, to 3000; of helianthus, sunflower, to
         4000; of papaver, poppy, 32000; of nicotiana, tobacco, to
         40320; to this must be added the perennial roots, and the
         buds. Buds, which are so many herbs, in one tree, the trunk
         of which does not exceed a span in thickness, frequently
         amount to 10000; Lin. Phil. Bot. p. 86.]

         [Footnote: _The countless Aphides_, l. 351. The aphises,
         pucerons, or vine-fretters, are hatched from an egg in the
         early spring, and are all called females, as they produce a
         living offspring about once in a fortnight to the ninth
         generation, which are also all of them females; then males
         are also produced, and by their intercourse the females
         become oviparous, and deposite their eggs on the branches, or
         in the bark to be hatched in the ensuing spring.

         This double mode of reproduction, so exactly resembling the
         buds and seeds of trees, accounts for the wonderful increase
         of this insect, which, according to Dr. Richardson, consists
         of ten generations, and of fifty at an average in each
         generation; so that the sum of fifty multiplied by fifty, and
         that product again multiplied by fifty nine times, would give
         the product of one egg only in countless millions; to which
         must be added the innumerable eggs laid by the tenth
         generation for the renovation of their progeny in the ensuing

         [Footnote: _The honey'd sap_, l. 352. The aphis punctures
         with its fine proboscis the sap-vessels of vegetables without
         any visible wound, and thus drinks the sap-juice, or
         vegetable chyle, as it ascends. Hence on the twigs of trees
         they stand with their heads downwards, as I have observed, to
         acquire this ascending sap-juice with greater facility. The
         honey-dew on the upper surface of leaves is evacuated by
         these insects, as they hang on the underside of the leaves
         above; when they take too much of this saccharine juice
         during the vernal or midsummer sap-flow of most vegetables;
         the black powder on leaves is also their excrement at other
         times. The vegetable world seems to have escaped total
         destruction from this insect by the number of flies, which in
         their larva state prey upon them; and by the ichneumon fly,
         which deposits its eggs in them. Some vegetables put forth
         stiff bristles with points round their young shoots, as the
         moss-rose, apparently to prevent the depredation of these
         insects, so injurious to them by robbing them of their chyle
         or nourishment.]

         [Footnote: _The tadpole swims_, l. 359. The progress of a
         tadpole from a fish to a quadruped by his gradually putting
         forth his limbs, and at length leaving the water, and
         breathing the dry air, is a subject of great curiosity, as it
         resembles so much the incipient state of all other
         quadrupeds, and men, who are aquatic animals in the uterus,
         and become aerial ones at their birth.]

    "So human progenies, if unrestrain'd,
  By climate friended, and by food sustain'd,                      370
  O'er seas and soils, prolific hordes! would spread
  Erelong, and deluge their terraqueous bed;
  But war, and pestilence, disease, and dearth,
  Sweep the superfluous myriads from the earth.
  Thus while new forms reviving tribes acquire
  Each passing moment, as the old expire;
  Like insects swarming in the noontide bower,
  Rise into being, and exist an hour;
  The births and deaths contend with equal strife,
  And every pore of Nature teems with Life;                        380
  Which buds or breathes from Indus to the Poles,
  And Earth's vast surface kindles, as it rolls!

         [Footnote: _Which buds or breathes_, l. 381. Organic bodies,
         besides the carbon, hydrogen, azote, and the oxygen and heat,
         which are combined with them, require to be also immersed in
         loose heat and loose oxygen to preserve their mutable
         existence; and hence life only exists on or near the surface
         of the earth; see Botan. Garden, Vol. I. Canto IV. l. 419.
         L'organisation, le sentiment, le movement spontané, la vie,
         n'existent qu'à la surface de la terre, et dans les lieux
         exposés à la lumière. Traité de Chimie par M. Lavoisier, Tom.
         I. p. 202.]

    "HENCE when a Monarch or a mushroom dies,
  Awhile extinct the organic matter lies;
  But, as a few short hours or years revolve,
  Alchemic powers the changing mass dissolve;
  Born to new life unnumber'd insects pant,
  New buds surround the microscopic plant;
  Whose embryon senses, and unwearied frames,
  Feel finer goads, and blush with purer flames;                   390
  Renascent joys from irritation spring,
  Stretch the long root, or wave the aurelian wing.

         [Footnote: _Born to new life_, l. 387. From the innumerable
         births of the larger insects, and the spontaneous productions
         of the microscopic ones, every part of organic matter from
         the recrements of dead vegetable or animal bodies, on or near
         the surface of the earth, becomes again presently reanimated;
         which by increasing the number and quantity of living
         organizations, though many of them exist but for a short
         time, adds to the sum total of terrestrial happiness.]

    "When thus a squadron or an army yields,
  And festering carnage loads the waves or fields;
  When few from famines or from plagues survive,
  Or earthquakes swallow half a realm alive;--
  While Nature sinks in Time's destructive storms,
  The wrecks of Death are but a change of forms;
  Emerging matter from the grave returns,
  Feels new desires, with new sensations burns;                    400
  With youth's first bloom a finer sense acquires,
  And Loves and Pleasures fan the rising fires.--
  Thus sainted PAUL, 'O Death!' exulting cries,
  'Where is thy sting? O Grave! thy victories?'

         [Footnote: _Thus sainted Paul_, l. 403. The doctrine of St.
         Paul teaches the resurrection of the body in an incorruptible
         and glorified state, with consciousness of its previous
         existence; he therefore justly exults over the sting of
         death, and the victory of the grave.]

    "Immortal Happiness from realms deceased
  Wakes, as from sleep, unlessen'd or increased;
  Calls to the wise in accents loud and clear,
  Sooths with sweet tones the sympathetic ear;
  Informs and fires the revivescent clay,
  And lights the dawn of Life's returning day.                     410

         [Footnote: _And lights the dawn_, l. 410. The sum total of
         the happiness of organized nature is probably increased
         rather than diminished, when one large old animal dies, and
         is converted into many thousand young ones; which are
         produced or supported with their numerous progeny by the same
         organic matter. Linneus asserts, that three of the flies,
         called musca vomitoria, will consume the body of a dead
         horse, as soon as a lion can; Syst. Nat.]

    "So when Arabia's Bird, by age oppress'd,
  Consumes delighted on his spicy nest;
  A filial Phoenix from his ashes springs,
  Crown'd with a star, on renovated wings;
  Ascends exulting from his funeral flame,
  And soars and shines, another and the same.

         [Footnote: _So when Arabia's bird_, l. 411. The story of the
         Phoenix rising from its own ashes with a star upon its head
         seems to have been an hieroglyphic emblem of the destruction
         and resuscitation of all things; see Botan. Garden, Vol. I.
         Canto IV. l. 389.]

    "So erst the Sage with scientific truth
  In Grecian temples taught the attentive youth;
  With ceaseless change how restless atoms pass
  From life to life, a transmigrating mass;                        420
  How the same organs, which to day compose
  The poisonous henbane, or the fragrant rose,
  May with to morrow's sun new forms compile,
  Frown in the Hero, in the Beauty smile.
  Whence drew the enlighten'd Sage the moral plan,
  That man should ever be the friend of man;
  Should eye with tenderness all living forms,
  His brother-emmets, and his sister-worms.

         [Footnote: _So erst the Sage_, l. 417. It is probable, that
         the perpetual transmigration of matter from one body to
         another, of all vegetables and animals, during their lives,
         as well as after their deaths, was observed by Pythagoras;
         which he afterwards applied to the soul, or spirit of
         animation, and taught, that it passed from one animal to
         another as a punishment for evil deeds, though without
         consciousness of its previous existence; and from this
         doctrine he inculcated a system of morality and benevolence,
         as all creatures thus became related to each other.]

    "HEAR, O ye Sons of Time! your final doom,
  And read the characters, that mark your tomb:                    430
  The marble mountain, and the sparry steep,
  Were built by myriad nations of the deep,--
  Age after age, who form'd their spiral shells,
  Their sea-fan gardens and their coral cells;
  Till central fires with unextinguished sway
  Raised the primeval islands into day;--
  The sand-fill'd strata stretch'd from pole to pole;
  Unmeasured beds of clay, and marl, and coal,
  Black ore of manganese, the zinky stone,
  And dusky steel on his magnetic throne,                          440
  In deep morass, or eminence superb,
  Rose from the wrecks of animal or herb;
  These from their elements by Life combined,
  Form'd by digestion, and in glands refined,
  Gave by their just excitement of the sense
  The Bliss of Being to the vital Ens.

         [Footnote: _The marble mountain_, l. 431. From the increased
         knowledge in Geology during the present century, owing to the
         greater attention of philosophers to the situations of the
         different materials, which compose the strata of the earth,
         as well as to their chemical properties, it seems clearly to
         appear, that the nucleus of the globe beneath the ocean
         consisted of granite; and that on this the great beds of
         limestone were formed from the shells of marine animals
         during the innumerable primeval ages of the world; and that
         whatever strata lie on these beds of limestone, or on the
         granite, where the limestone does not cover it, were formed
         after the elevation of islands and continents above the
         surface of the sea by the recrements of vegetables and of
         terrestrial animals; see on this subject Botanic Garden, Vol.
         I. Additional Note XXIV.]

    "Thus the tall mountains, that emboss the lands,
  Huge isles of rock, and continents of sands,
  Whose dim extent eludes the inquiring sight,
  ARE MIGHTY MONUMENTS OF PAST DELIGHT;                            450
  Shout round the globe, how Reproduction strives
  With vanquish'd Death,--and Happiness survives;
  How Life increasing peoples every clime,
  And young renascent Nature conquers Time;
  --And high in golden characters record
  The immense munificence of NATURE'S LORD!--

         [Footnote: _Are mighty monuments_, l. 450. The reader is
         referred to a few pages on this subject in Phytologia, Sect.
         XIX. 7. 1, where the felicity of organic life is considered
         more at large; but it is probable that the most certain way
         to estimate the happiness and misery of organic beings; as it
         depends on the actions of the organs of sense, which
         constitute ideas; or of the muscular fibres which perform
         locomotion; would be to consider those actions, as they are
         produced or excited by the four sensorial powers of
         irritation, sensation, volition, and association. A small
         volume on this subject by some ingenious writer, might not
         only amuse, as an object of curiosity; but by showing the
         world the immediate sources of their pains and pleasures
         might teach the means to avoid the one, and to procure the
         other, and thus contribute both ways to increase the sum
         total of organic happiness.]

         [Footnote: _How Life increasing_, l. 453. Not only the vast
         calcareous provinces, which form so great a part of the
         terraqueous globe, and also whatever rests upon them, as
         clay, marl, sand, and coal, were formed from the fluid
         elements of heat, oxygen, azote, and hydrogen along with
         carbon, phosphorus, and perhaps a few other substances, which
         the science of chemistry has not yet decomposed; and gave the
         pleasure of life to the animals and vegetables, which formed
         them; and thus constitute monuments of the past happiness of
         those organized beings. But as those remains of former life
         are not again totally decomposed, or converted into their
         original elements, they supply more copious food to the
         succession of new animal or vegetable beings on their
         surface; which consists of materials convertible into
         nutriment with less labour or activity of the digestive
         powers; and hence the quantity or number of organized bodies,
         and their improvement in size, as well as their happiness,
         has been continually increasing, along with the solid parts
         of the globe; and will probably continue to increase, till
         the whole terraqueous sphere, and all that inhabit it shall
         dissolve by a general conflagration, and be again reduced to
         their elements.

         Thus all the suns, and the planets, which circle round them,
         may again sink into one central chaos; and may again by
         explosions produce a new world; which in process of time may
         resemble the present one, and at length again undergo the
         same catastrophe! these great events may be the result of the
         immutable laws impressed on matter by the Great Cause of
         Causes, Parent of Parents, Ens Entium!]

    "He gives and guides the sun's attractive force,
  And steers the planets in their silver course;
  With heat and light revives the golden day,
  And breathes his spirit on organic clay;                         460
  With hand unseen directs the general cause
  By firm immutable immortal laws."

    Charm'd with her words the Muse astonish'd stands,
  The Nymphs enraptured clasp their velvet hands;
  Applausive thunder from the fane recoils,
  And holy echoes peal along the ailes;
  O'er NATURE'S shrine celestial lustres glow,
  And lambent glories circle round her brow.

    IV. Now sinks the golden sun,--the vesper song
  Demands the tribute of URANIA'S tongue;                          470
  Onward she steps, her fair associates calls
  From leaf-wove avenues, and vaulted halls.
  Fair virgin trains in bright procession move,
  Trail their long robes, and whiten all the grove;
  Pair after pair to Nature's temple sweep,
  Thread the broad arch, ascend the winding steep;
  Through brazen gates along susurrant ailes
  Stream round their GODDESS the successive files;
  Curve above curve to golden seats retire,
  And star with beauty the refulgent quire.                        480

    AND first to HEAVEN the consecrated throng
  With chant alternate pour the adoring song,
  Swell the full hymn, now high, and now profound,
  With sweet responsive symphony of sound.
  Seen through their wiry harps, below, above,
  Nods the fair brow, the twinkling fingers move;
  Soft-warbling flutes the ruby lip commands,
  And cymbals ring with high uplifted hands.

    TO CHAOS next the notes melodious pass,
  How suns exploded from the kindling mass,                        490
  Waved o'er the vast inane their tresses bright,
  And charm'd young Nature's opening eyes with light.
  Next from each sun how spheres reluctant burst,
  And second planets issued from the first.
  And then to EARTH descends the moral strain,
  How isles, emerging from the shoreless main,
  With sparkling streams and fruitful groves began,
  And form'd a Paradise for mortal man.

         [Footnote: _To Chaos next_, l. 489.

           Namque canebat uti magnum per inane coacta
           Semina terrarumque, animæque, marisque fuissent;
           Et liquidi simul ignis; ut his exordia primis
           Omnia, et ipse tener mundi concreverit orbis.
                                        VIRG. EC. VI. l. 31.]

    Sublimer notes record CELESTIAL LOVE,
  And high rewards in brighter climes above;                       500
  How Virtue's beams with mental charm engage
  Youth's raptured eye, and warm the frost of age,
  Gild with soft lustre Death's tremendous gloom,
  And light the dreary chambers of the tomb.
  How fell Remorse shall strike with venom'd dart,
  Though mail'd in adamant, the guilty heart;
  Fierce furies drag to pains and realms unknown
  The blood-stain'd tyrant from his tottering throne.

    By hands unseen are struck aerial wires,
  And Angel-tongues are heard amid the quires;                     510
  From aile to aile the trembling concord floats,
  And the wide roof returns the mingled notes,
  Through each fine nerve the keen vibrations dart,
  Pierce the charm'd ear, and thrill the echoing heart.--

    MUTE the sweet voice, and still the quivering strings,
  Now Silence hovers on unmoving wings.--
  --Slow to the altar fair URANIA bends
  Her graceful march, the sacred steps ascends,
  High in the midst with blazing censer stands,
  And scatters incense with illumined hands:                       520
  Thrice to the GODDESS bows with solemn pause,
  With trembling awe the mystic veil withdraws,
  And, meekly kneeling on the gorgeous shrine,
  Lifts her ecstatic eyes to TRUTH DIVINE!                         524





   36 Origin of European Nations.
   76 Early use of Painting and Hieroglyphics.
   83 Proteus represents Time.
  126 Cave of Trophonius.
  137 Eleusinian Mysteries.
  176 Antiquity of Statuary, casting Figures, and Carving.
  224 Infancy of the present World.
  235 Of Heat.
  239 Of Attraction.
  245 Of Contraction.
  259 Arteries not conical.
  262 Venous Absorption.
  268 Decrease of the Ocean.
  270 Sensation and Volition.
  283 Mucor, Vibrio.
  295 Animals are first aquatic.
  315 Sea, originally was not Salt.
  327 Animals from the Sea.
  335 Aquatic Plants.
  343 Frogs.
  363 Rainbow in Northern Latitudes.
  372 Venus rising from the Sea.
  392 The Fetus in the Womb.
  417 Animals from the Mud of the Nile.


    1 Shortness of Life.
    3 Old Age surprising.
   39 Organic and chemical Properties.
   43 Immortality of Matter.
   47 Adonis emblem of Life.
   71 The Truffle, Lycoperdon.
   83 Volvox.
   85 Polypus.
   87 Tænia.
   89 Oysters.
   90 Coral-Insect.
  114 Female Sex produced.
  118 Power of Imagination.
  122 Mankind were formerly Hermaphrodites and Quadrupeds.
  167 Hereditary Diseases of Vegetables.
  223 Psyche and Cupid.
  268 Some Honey poisonous.
  271 Appetency and Propensity.
  280 Vallisneria.
  288 Lampyris.
  302 Insects from Anthers and Stigmas.
  321 Horns of Stags, and Tusks of Boars, Spurs of Cocks.
  351 Chick in the Egg.
  356 Songs of Birds.
  373 How Fish swim.
  375 How Birds fly.
  434 Of Smiles, and of Laughter.


   13 Oxygen, and Hydrogen, and Azote.
   21 Two electric Ethers.
   64 Irritation.
   72 Sensation.
   73 Volition, Memory.
   81 Intuitive Analogy.
   91 Association.
  103 Armour of Brutes.
  122 Of the Human Hand.
  125 Perception of Figure.
  144 Sight the Language of the Touch.
  145 Surprise, Novelty, Curiosity.
  152 The Lips an Organ of Touch.
  176 Ideal Beauty.
  178 Two Deities of Love.
  207 Idea of Beauty from the Female Bosom.
  230 Taste for Sublimity.
  237 Poetic Melancholy.
  246 Taste for Tragedy.
  258 Taste for uncultivated Nature.
  270 Accumulation of sensorial Power.
  294 Imitation described.
  303 Imitation of one Sense by another.
  319 Mimickry or Resemblance.
  334 The Parts of the System imitate each other.
  342 External Signs of Passions.
  371 Theory of Language.
  398 Ideas so called are parts of a train of Actions.
  401 Of Reason.
  411 Reasoning of Insects.
  435 Volition distinguishes Mankind.
  456 If Knowledge produces Happiness.
  466 Sympathy the source of Virtue.
  485 Maxim of Socrates.


   29 Oestrus or Gadfly.
   33 Ichneumon fly.
   37 Libellula.
   39 Bees.
   57 Shark.
   59 Crocodile
   66 Animals prey on Vegetables.
   71 Defect of Stimulus.
   87 Theatric Preachers.
   93 Pleasure of Life, Ennui.
   94 Of Tooth-edge.
  119 Epidemic Complaints.
  130 Compassion may be too great.
  147 Doctrine of Atoms.
  160 Pleasure of viewing a Landscape.
  178 Pleasure from Music.
  242 Ancient Orators spoke disrespectfully of the mechanic
  270 Influence of Printing.
  299 Associated ideas of three Classes.
  309 Wit defined.
  349 Surprising number of Seeds.
  351 Of the Aphis, its Numbers.
  352 Aphis drinks the Sap-juice.
  359 The Mutation of the Tadpole.
  387 Animation near the Surface of the Earth.
  387 All dead animal and vegetable Bodies become animated.
  403 Doctrine of St. Paul.
  411 Happiness increased.
  417 Doctrine of Pythagoras.
  431 Geology.
  450 Method of investigation of Organic happiness.
  453 Organic Life increases.




  Hence without parent by spontaneous birth
  Rise the first specks of animated earth.
                                        CANTO I. l. 227.

_Prejudices against this doctrine._

I. From the misconception of the ignorant or superstitious, it has
been thought somewhat profane to speak in favour of spontaneous vital
production, as if it contradicted holy writ; which says, that God
created animals and vegetables. They do not recollect that God created
all things which exist, and that these have been from the beginning in
a perpetual state of improvement; which appears from the globe itself,
as well as from the animals and vegetables, which possess it. And
lastly, that there is more dignity in our idea of the supreme author
of all things, when we conceive him to be the cause of causes, than
the cause simply of the events, which we see; if there can be any
difference in infinity of power!

Another prejudice which has prevailed against the spontaneous production
of vitality, seems to have arisen from the misrepresentation of this
doctrine, as if the larger animals had been thus produced; as Ovid
supposes after the deluge of Deucalion, that lions were seen rising out
of the mud of the Nile, and struggling to disentangle their hinder
parts. It was not considered, that animals and vegetables have been
perpetually improving by reproduction; and that spontaneous vitality was
only to be looked for in the simplest organic beings, as in the smallest
microscopic animalcules; which perpetually, perhaps hourly, enlarge
themselves by reproduction, like the roots of tulips from seed, or the
buds of seedling trees, which die annually, leaving others by solitary
reproduction rather more perfect than themselves for many successive
years, till at length they acquire sexual organs or flowers.

A third prejudice against the existence of spontaneous vital
productions has been the supposed want of analogy; this has also
arisen from the expectation, that the larger or more complicated
animals should be thus produced; which have acquired their present
perfection by successive generations during an uncounted series of
ages. Add to this, that the want of analogy opposes the credibility of
all new discoveries, as of the magnetic needle, and coated electric
jar, and Galvanic pile; which should therefore certainly be well
weighed and nicely investigated before distinct credence is given
them; but then the want of analogy must at length yield to repeated
ocular demonstration.

_Preliminary observations._

II. Concerning the spontaneous production of the smallest microscopic
animals it should be first observed, that the power of reproduction
distinguishes organic being, whether vegetable or animal, from
inanimate nature. The circulation of fluids in vessels may exist in
hydraulic machines, but the power of reproduction belongs alone to
life. This reproduction of plants and of animals is of two kinds,
which may be termed solitary and sexual. The former of these, as in
the reproduction of the buds of trees, and of the bulbs of tulips, and
of the polypus, and aphis, appears to be the first or most simple mode
of generation, as many of these organic beings afterwards acquire
sexual organs, as the flowers of seedling trees, and of seedling
tulips, and the autumnal progeny of the aphis. See Phytologia.

Secondly, it should be observed, that by reproduction organic beings
are gradually enlarged and improved; which may perhaps more rapidly
and uniformly occur in the simplest modes of animated being; but
occasionally also in the more complicated and perfect kinds. Thus the
buds of a seedling tree, or the bulbs of seedling tulips, become
larger and stronger in the second year than the first, and thus
improve till they acquire flowers or sexes; and the aphis, I believe,
increases in bulk to the eighth or ninth generation, and then produces
a sexual progeny. Hence the existence of spontaneous vitality is only
to be expected to be found in the simplest modes of animation, as the
complex ones have been formed by many successive reproductions.

_Experimental facts._

III. By the experiments of Buffon, Reaumur, Ellis, Ingenhouz, and
others, microscopic animals are produced in three or four days,
according to the warmth of the season, in the infusions of all
vegetable or animal matter. One or more of these gentlemen put some
boiling veal broth into a phial previously heated in the fire, and
sealing it up hermetically or with melted wax, observed it to be
replete with animalcules in three or four days.

These microscopic animals are believed to possess a power of
generating others like themselves by solitary reproduction without
sex; and these gradually enlarging and improving for innumerable
successive generations. Mr. Ellis in Phil. Transact. V. LIX. gives
drawings of six kinds of animalcula infusoria, which increase by
dividing across the middle into two distinct animals. Thus in paste
composed of flour and water, which has been suffered to become
acescent, the animalcules called eels, vibrio anguillula, are seen in
great abundance; their motions are rapid and strong; they are
viviparous, and produce at intervals a numerous progeny: animals
similar to these are also found in vinegar; Naturalist's Miscellany by
Shaw and Nodder, Vol. II. These eels were probably at first as minute
as other microscopic animalcules; but by frequent, perhaps hourly
reproduction, have gradually become the large animals above described,
possessing wonderful strength and activity.

To suppose the eggs of the former microscopic animals to float in the
atmosphere, and pass through the sealed glass phial, is so contrary to
apparent nature, as to be totally incredible! and as the latter are
viviparous, it is equally absurd to suppose, that their parents float
universally in the atmosphere to lay their young in paste or vinegar!

Not only microscopic animals appear to be produced by a spontaneous
vital process, and then quickly improve by solitary generation like
the buds of trees, or like the polypus and aphis, but there is one
vegetable body, which appears to be produced by a spontaneous vital
process, and is believed to be propagated and enlarged in so short a
time by solitary generation as to become visible to the naked eye; I
mean the green matter first attended to by Dr. Priestley, and called
by him conferva fontinalis. The proofs, that this material is a
vegetable, are from its giving up so much oxygen, when exposed to the
sunshine, as it grows in water, and from its green colour.

Dr. Ingenhouz asserts, that by filling a bottle with well-water, and
inverting it immediately into a basin of well-water, this green
vegetable is formed in great quantity; and he believes, that the water
itself, or some substance contained in the water, is converted into
this kind of vegetation, which then quickly propagates itself.

M. Girtanner asserts, that this green vegetable matter is not produced
by water and heat alone, but requires the sun's light for this
purpose, as he observed by many experiments, and thinks it arises from
decomposing water deprived of a part of its oxygen, and laughs at Dr.
Priestley for believing that the seeds of this conferva, and the
parents of microscopic animals, exist universally in the atmosphere,
and penetrate the sides of glass jars; Philos. Magazine for May 1800.

Besides this green vegetable matter of Dr. Priestley, there is another
vegetable, the minute beginnings of the growth of which Mr. Ellis
observed by his microscope near the surface of all putrefying
vegetable or animal matter, which is the mucor or mouldiness; the
vegetation of which was amazingly quick so as to be almost seen, and
soon became so large as to be visible to the naked eye. It is
difficult to conceive how the seeds of this mucor can float so
universally in the atmosphere as to fix itself on all putrid matter in
all places.

_Theory of Spontaneous Vitality._

IV. In animal nutrition the organic matter of the bodies of dead
animals, or vegetables, is taken into the stomach, and there suffers
decompositions and new combinations by a chemical process. Some parts
of it are however absorbed by the lacteals as fast as they are
produced by this process of digestion; in which circumstance this
process differs from common chemical operations.

In vegetable nutrition the organic matter of dead animals, or
vegetables, undergoes chemical decompositions and new combinations on
or beneath the surface of the earth; and parts of it, as they are
produced, are perpetually absorbed by the roots of the plants in
contact with it; in which this also differs from common chemical

Hence the particles which are produced from dead organic matter by
chemical decompositions or new consequent combinations, are found
proper for the purposes of the nutrition of living vegetable and
animal bodies, whether these decompositions and new combinations are
performed in the stomach or beneath the soil.

For the purposes of nutrition these digested or decomposed recrements
of dead animal or vegetable matter are absorbed by the lacteals of the
stomachs of animals or of the roots of vegetables, and carried into
the circulation of their blood, and these compose new organic parts to
replace others which are destroyed, or to increase the growth of the
plant or animal.

It is probable, that as in inanimate or chemical combinations, one of
the composing materials must possess a power of attraction, and the
other an aptitude to be attracted; so in organic or animated
compositions there must be particles with appetencies to unite, and
other particles with propensities to be united with them.

Thus in the generation of the buds of trees, it is probable that two
kinds of vegetable matter, as they are separated from the solid
system, and float in the circulation, become arrested by two kinds of
vegetable glands, and are then deposed beneath the cuticle of the
tree, and there join together forming a new vegetable, the caudex of
which extends from the plumula at the summit to the radicles beneath
the soil, and constitutes a single fibre of the bark.

These particles appear to be of two kinds; one of them possessing an
appetency to unite with the other, and the latter a propensity to be
united with the former; and they are probably separated from the
vegetable blood by two kinds of glands, one representing those of the
anthers, and the others those of the stigmas, in the sexual organs of
vegetables; which is spoken of at large in Phytologia, Sect. VII. and
in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXXIX. 8. of the third edition, in octavo;
where it is likewise shown, that none of these parts which are
deposited beneath the cuticle of the tree, is in itself a complete
vegetable embryon, but that they form one by their reciprocal

So in the sexual reproduction of animals, certain parts separated from
the living organs, and floating in the blood, are arrested by the
sexual glands of the female, and others by those of the male. Of these
none are complete embryon animals, but form an embryon by their
reciprocal conjunction.

There hence appears to be an analogy between generation and nutrition,
as one is the production of new organization, and the other the
restoration of that which previously existed; and which may therefore
be supposed to require materials somewhat similar. Now the food taken
up by animal lacteals is previously prepared by the chemical process
of digestion in the stomach; but that which is taken up by vegetable
lacteals, is prepared by chemical dissolution of organic matter
beneath the surface of the earth. Thus the particles, which form
generated animal embryons, are prepared from dead organic matter by
the chemico-animal processes of sanguification and of secretion; while
those which form spontaneous microscopic animals or microscopic
vegetables are prepared by chemical dissolutions and new combinations
of organic matter in watery fluids with sufficient warmth.

It may be here added, that the production and properties of some kinds
of inanimate matter, are almost as difficult to comprehend as those of
the simplest degrees of animation. Thus the elastic gum, or
caoutchouc, and some fossile bitumens, when drawn out to a great
length, contract themselves by their elasticity, like an animal fibre
by stimulus. The laws of action of these, and all other elastic
bodies, are not yet understood; as the laws of the attraction of
cohesion, to produce these effects, must be very different from those
of general attraction, since the farther the particles of elastic
bodies are drawn from each other till they separate, the stronger they
seem to attract; and the nearer they are pressed together, the more
they seem to repel; as in bending a spring, or in extending a piece of
elastic gum; which is the reverse to what occurs in the attractions
of disunited bodies; and much wants further investigation. So the
spontaneous production of alcohol or of vinegar, by the vinous and
acetous fermentations, as well as the production of a mucus by
putrefaction which will contract when extended, seems almost as
difficult to understand as the spontaneous production of a fibre from
decomposing animal or vegetable substances, which will contract when
stimulated, and thus constitutes the primordium of life.

Some of the microscopic animals are said to remain dead for many days
or weeks, when the fluid in which they existed is dried up, and
quickly to recover life and motion by the fresh addition of water and
warmth. Thus the chaos redivivum of Linnæus dwells in vinegar and in
bookbinders paste: it revives by water after having been dried for
years, and is both oviparous and viviparous; Syst. Nat. Thus the
vorticella or wheel animal, which is found in rain water that has
stood some days in leaden gutters, or in hollows of lead on the tops
of houses, or in the slime or sediment left by such water, though it
discovers no sign of life except when in the water, yet it is capable
of continuing alive for many months though kept in a dry state. In
this state it is of a globulous shape, exceeds not the bigness of a
grain of sand, and no signs of life appear; but being put into water,
in the space of half an hour a languid motion begins, the globule
turns itself about, lengthens itself by slow degrees, assumes the form
of a lively maggot, and most commonly in a few minutes afterwards puts
out its wheels, swimming vigorously through the water as if in search
of food; or else, fixing itself by the tail, works the wheels in such
a manner as to bring its food to its mouth; English Encyclopedia, Art.

Thus some shell-snails in the cabinets of the curious have been kept
in a dry state for ten years or longer, and have revived on being
moistened with warmish water; Philos. Transact. So eggs and seeds
after many months torpor, are revived by warmth and moisture; hence it
may be concluded, that even the organic particles of dead animals may,
when exposed to a due degree of warmth and moisture, regain some
degree of vitality, since this is done by more complicate animal
organs in the instances above mentioned.

The hydra of Linnæus, which dwells in the rivers of Europe under
aquatic plants, has been observed by the curious of the present time,
to revive after it has been dried, to be restored after being
mutilated, to multiply by being divided, to be propagated from small
portions, to live after being inverted; all which would be best
explained by the doctrine of spontaneous reproduction from organic
particles not yet completely decomposed.

To this should be added, that these microscopic animals are found in
all solutions of vegetable or animal matter in water; as black pepper
steeped in water, hay suffered to become putrid in water, and the
water of dunghills, afford animalcules in astonishing numbers. See Mr.
Ellis's curious account of Animalcules produced from an infusion of
Potatoes and Hempseed; Philos. Transact. Vol. LIX. from all which it
would appear, that organic particles of dead vegetables and animals
during their usual chemical changes into putridity or acidity, do not
lose all their organization or vitality, but retain so much of it as
to unite with the parts of living animals in the process of nutrition,
or unite and produce new complicate animals by secretion as in
generation, or produce very simple microscopic animals or microscopic
vegetables, by their new combinations in warmth and moisture.

And finally, that these microscopic organic bodies are multiplied and
enlarged by solitary reproduction without sexual intercourse till they
acquire greater perfection or new properties. Lewenhoek observed in
rain-water which had stood a few days, the smallest scarcely visible
microscopic animalcules, and in a few more days he observed others
eight times as large; English Encyclop. Art. Animalcule.


There is therefore no absurdity in believing that the most simple
animals and vegetables may be produced by the congress of the parts of
decomposing organic matter, without what can properly be termed
generation, as the genus did not previously exist; which accounts for
the endless varieties, as well as for the immense numbers of
microscopic animals.

The green vegetable matter of Dr. Priestley, which is universally
produced in stagnant water, and the mucor, or mouldiness, which is
seen on the surface of all putrid vegetable and animal matter, have
probably no parents, but a spontaneous origin from the congress of the
decomposing organic particles, and afterwards propagate themselves.
Some other fungi, as those growing in close wine-vaults, or others
which arise from decaying trees, or rotten timber, may perhaps be
owing to a similar spontaneous production, and not previously exist as
perfect organic beings in the juices of the wood, as some have
supposed. In the same manner it would seem, that the common esculent
mushroom is produced from horse dung at any time and in any place, as
is the common practice of many gardeners; Kennedy on Gardening.


The knowledge of microscopic animals is still in its infancy: those
already known are arranged by Mr. Muller into the following classes;
but it is probable, that many more classes, as well as innumerable
individuals, may be discovered by improvements of the microscope, as
Mr. Herschell has discovered so many thousand stars, which were before
invisible, by improvements of the telescope.

Mr. Muller's classes consist of

I. _Such as have no External Organs._

  1. Monas: Punctiformis. A mere point.
  2. Proteus: Mutabilis. Mutable.
  3. Volvox: Sphæricum. Spherical.
  4. Enchelis: Cylindracea. Cylindrical.
  5. Vibrio: Elongatum. Long.


  6. Cyclidium: Ovale. Oval.
  7. Paramecium: Oblongum. Oblong.
  8. Kolpoda: Sinuatum. Sinuous.
  9. Gonium: Angulatum. With angles.
  10. Bursaria. Hollow like a purse.

II. _Those that have External Organs._

  *Naked, or not enclosed in a shell.

  1. Cercaria: Caudatum. With a tail.
  2. Trichoda: Crinitum. Hairy.
  3. Kerona: Corniculatum. With horns.
  4. Himantopus: Cirratum. Cirrated.
  5. Leucophra: Ciliatum undique. Every part ciliated.
  6. Vorticella: Ciliatum apice. The apex ciliated.

  *Covered with a shell.

  7. Brachionus: Ciliatum apice. The apex ciliated.

1. These animalcules are discovered in two or three days in all
decompositions of organic matter, whether vegetable or animal, in
moderate degrees of warmth with sufficient moisture.

2. They appear to enlarge in a few days, and some to change their
form; which are probably converted from more simple into more
complicate animalcules by repeated reproductions. See Note VIII.

3. In their early state they seem to multiply by viviparous solitary
reproduction, either by external division, as the smaller ones, or by
an internal progeny, as the eels in paste or vinegar; and lastly, in
their more mature state, the larger ones are said to appear to have
sexual connexion. Engl. Encyclop.

4. Those animalcules discovered in pustules of the itch, in the feces
of dysenteric patients, and in semine masculino, I suppose to be
produced by the stagnation and incipient decomposition of those
materials in their receptacles, and not to exist in the living blood
or recent secretions; as none, I believe, have been discovered in
blood when first drawn from the arm, or in fluids newly secreted from
the glands, which have not previously stagnated in their reservoirs.

5. They are observed to move in all directions with ease and rapidity,
and to avoid obstacles, and not to interfere with each other in their
motions. When the water is in part evaporated, they are seen to flock
towards the remaining part, and show great agitation. They sustain a
great degree of cold, as some insects, and perish in much the same
degree of heat as destroys insects; all which evince that they are
living animals.

And it is probable, that other or similar animalcules may be produced
in the air, or near the surface of the earth, but it is not so easy to
view them as in water; which as it is transparent, the creatures
produced in it can easily be observed by applying a drop to a
microscope. I hope that microscopic researches may again excite the
attention of philosophers, as unforeseen advantages may probably be
derived from them, like the discovery of a new world.



  Next the long nerves unite their silver train,
  And young Sensation permeates the brain.
                                        CANT. I. l. 250.

I. The fibres, which constitute the muscles and organs of sense,
possess a power of contraction. The circumstances attending the
exertion of this power of contraction constitute the laws of animal
motion, as the circumstances attending the exertion of the power of
attraction constitute the laws of motion of inanimate matter.

II. The spirit of animation is the immediate cause of the contraction
of animal fibres, it resides in the brain and nerves, and is liable to
general or partial diminution or accumulation.

III. The stimulus of bodies external to the moving organ is the remote
cause of the original contractions of animal fibres.

IV. A certain quantity of stimulus produces irritation, which is an
exertion of the spirit of animation exciting the fibres into

V. A certain quantity of contraction of animal fibres, if it be
perceived at all, produces pleasure; a greater or less quantity of
contraction, if it be perceived at all, produces pain; these
constitute sensation.

VI. A certain quantity of sensation produces desire or aversion; these
constitute volition.

VII. All animal motions which have occurred at the same time, or in
immediate succession, become so connected, that when one of them is
reproduced, the other has a tendency to accompany or succeed it. When
fibrous contractions succeed or accompany other fibrous contractions,
the connexion is termed association; when fibrous contractions succeed
sensorial motions, the connexion is termed causation; when fibrous and
sensorial motions reciprocally introduce each other, it is termed
catenation of animal motions.

VIII. These four faculties of the sensorium during their inactive
state are termed irritability, sensibility, voluntarily, and
associability; in their active state they are termed as above
irritation, sensation, volition, association.

Irritation is an exertion or change of some extreme part of the
sensorium residing in the muscles or organs of sense, in consequence
of the appulses of external bodies.

Sensation is an exertion or change of the central parts of the
sensorium, or of the whole of it, beginning at some of those extreme
parts of it, which reside in the muscles or organs of sense.

Volition is an exertion or change of the central parts of the
sensorium, or of the whole of it, terminating in some of those extreme
parts of it, which reside in the muscles or organs of sense.

Association is an exertion or change of some extreme part of the
sensorium residing in the muscles or organs of sense, in consequence
of some antecedent or attendant fibrous contractions; see Zoonomia,
Vol. I.

The word sensorium is used to express not only the medullary part of
the brain, spinal marrow, nerves, organs of sense and muscles, but
also at the same time that living principle, or spirit of animation,
which resides throughout the body, without being cognizable to our
senses except by its effects.


  Next when imprison'd fires in central caves
  Burst the firm earth, and drank the headlong waves.
                                        CANTO I. l. 302.

The great and repeated explosions of volcanoes are shown by Mr.
Mitchell in the Philosoph. Transact. to arise from their communication
with the sea, or with rivers, or inundations; and that after a chink
or crack is made, the water rushing into an immense burning cavern,
and falling on boiling lava, is instantly expanded into steam, and
produces irresistible explosions.

As the first volcanic fires had no previous vent, and were probably
more central, and larger in quantity, before they burst the crust of
the earth then intire, and as the sea covered the whole, it must
rapidly sink down into every opening chink; whence these primeval
earthquakes were of much greater extent, and of much greater force,
than those which occur in the present era.

It should be added, that there may be other elastic vapours produced
by great heat from whatever will evaporate, as mercury, and even
diamonds; which may be more elastic, and consequently exert greater
force than the steam of water even though heated red hot. Which may
thence exert a sufficient power to raise islands and continents, and
even to throw the moon from the earth.

If the moon be supposed to have been thus thrown out of the great
cavity which now contains the South Sea, the immense quantity of water
flowing in from the primeval ocean, which then covered the earth,
would much contribute to leave the continents and islands, which might
be raised at the same time above the surface of the water. In later
days there are accounts of large stones falling from the sky, which
may have been thus thrown by explosion from some distant earthquake,
without sufficient force to cause them to circulate round the earth,
and thus produce numerous small moons or satellites.

Mr. Mitchell observes, that the agitations of the earth from the great
earthquake at Lisbon were felt in this country about the same time
after the shock, as sound would have taken in passing from Lisbon
hither; and thence ascribes these agitations to the vibrations of the
solid earth, and not to subterraneous caverns of communication;
Philos. Transact. But from the existence of warm springs at Bath and
Buxton, there must certainly be unceasing subterraneous fires at some
great depth beneath those parts of this island; see on this subject
Botanic Garden, Vol. II. Canto IV. l. 79, note. For an account of the
noxious vapours emitted from volcanoes, see Botanic Garden, Vol. II.
Cant. IV. l. 328, note. For the milder effects of central fires, see
Botanic Garden, Vol. I. Cant. I. l. 139, and Additional Note VI.


  So from deep lakes the dread musquito springs,
  Drinks the soft breeze, and dries his tender wings.
                                        CANTO I. l. 327.

The gnat, or musquito, culex pipiens. The larva of this insect lives
chiefly in water, and the pupa moves with great agility. It is fished
for by ducks; and, when it becomes a fly, is the food of the young of
partridges, quails, sparrows, swallows, and other small birds. The
females wound us, and leave a red point; and in India their bite is
more venomous. The male has its antennæ and feelers feathered, and
seldom bites or sucks blood; Lin. Syst. Nat.

It may be driven away by smoke, especially by that from inula
helenium, elecampane; and by that of cannabis, hemp. Kalm. It is said
that a light in a chamber will prevent their attack on sleeping

The gnats of this country are produced in greater numbers in some
years than others, and are then seen in swarms for many evenings near
the lakes or rivers whence they arise; and, I suppose, emigrate to
upland situations, where fewer of them are produced. About thirty
years ago such a swarm was observed by Mr. Whitehurst for a day or two
about the lofty tower of Derby church, as to give a suspicion of the
fabric being on fire.

Many other kinds of flies have their origin in the water, as perhaps
the whole class of neuroptera. Thus the libellula, dragon fly: the
larva of which hurries amid the water, and is the cruel crocodile of
aquatic insects. After they become flies, they prey principally on the
class of insects termed lepidoptera, and diptera of Linneus. The
ephemera is another of this order, which rises from the lakes in such
quantities in some countries, that the rustics have carried cart-loads
of them to manure their corn lands; the larva swims in the water: in
its fly-state the pleasures of life are of short duration, as its
marriage, production of its progeny, and funeral, are often
celebrated in one day. The phryganea is another fly of this order; the
larva lies concealed under the water in moveable cylindrical tubes of
their own making. In the fly-state they institute evening dances in
the air in swarms, and are fished for by the swallows.

Many other flies, who do not leave their eggs in water, contrive to
lay them in moist places, as the oestros bovis; the larvæ of which
exist in the bodies of cattle, where they are nourished during the
winter, and are occasionally extracted by a bird of the crow-kind
called buphaga. These larvæ are also found in the stomachs of horses,
whom they sometimes destroy; another species of them adhere to the
anus of horses, and creep into the lowest bowel, and are called botts;
and another species enters the frontal sinus of sheep, occasioning a
vertigo called the turn. The musca pendula lives in stagnant water;
the larva is suspended by a thread-form respiratory tube; of the musca
chamæleon, the larva lives in fountains, and the fly occasionally
walks upon the water. The musca vomitoria is produced in carcases;
three of these flies consume the dead body of a horse as soon as a
lion. Lin. Syst. Nat.



  So still the Diodons, amphibious tribe,
  With twofold lungs the sea and air imbibe.
                                        CANT. I. l. 331.

D. D. Garden dissected the amphibious creature called diodon by
Linneus, and was amazed to find that it possessed both external gills
and internal lungs, which he described and prepared and sent to
Linneus; who thence put this animal into the order nantes of his class
amphibia. He adds also, in his account of polymorpha before the class
amphibia, that some of this class breathe by lungs only, and others by
both lungs and gills.

Some amphibious quadrupeds, as the beaver, water rat, and otter, are
said to have the foramen ovale of the heart open, which communicates
from one cavity of it to the other; and that, during their continuance
under water, the blood can thus for a time circulate without passing
through the lungs; but as it cannot by these means acquire oxygen
either from the air or water, these creatures find it frequently
necessary to rise to the surface to respire. As this foramen ovale is
always open in the foetus of quadrupeds, till after its birth that it
begins to respire, it has been proposed by some to keep young puppies
three or four times a day for a minute or two under warm water to
prevent this communication from one cavity of the heart to the other
from growing up; whence it has been thought such dogs might become
amphibious. It is also believed that this circumstance has existed in
some divers for pearl; whose children are said to have been thus kept
under water in their early infancy to enable them afterwards to
succeed in their employment.

But the most frequent distinction of the amphibious animals, that live
much in the water, is, that their heart consists but of one cell; and
as they are pale creatures with but little blood, and that colder and
darker coloured, as frogs and lizards, they require less oxygen than
the warmer animals with a greater quantity and more scarlet blood; and
thence, though they have only lungs, they can stay long under water
without great inconvenience; but are all of them, like frogs, and
crocodiles, and whales, necessitated frequently to rise above the
surface for air.

In this circumstance of their possessing a one-celled heart, and
colder and darker blood, they approach to the state of fish; which
thus appear not to acquire so much oxygen by their gills from the
water as terrestrial animals do by their lungs from the atmosphere;
whence it may be concluded that the gills of fish do not decompose the
water which passes through them, and which contains so much more
oxygen than the air, but that they only procure a small quantity of
oxygen from the air which is diffused in the water; which also is
further confirmed by an experiment with the air-pump, as fish soon die
when put in a glass of water into the exhausted receiver, which they
would not do if their gills had power to decompose the water and
obtain the oxygen from it.

The lamprey, petromyzon, is put by Linneus amongst the nantes, which
are defined to possess both gills and lungs. It has seven spiracula,
or breathing holes, on each side of the neck, and by its more perfect
lungs approaches to the serpent kind; Syst. Nat. The means by which it
adheres to stones, even in rapid streams, is probably owing to a
partial vacuum made by its respiring organs like sucking, and may be
compared to the ingenious method by which boys are seen to lift large
stones in the street, by applying to them a piece of strong moist
leather with a string through the centre of it; which, when it is
forcibly drawn upwards, produces a partial vacuum under it, and thus
the stone is supported by the pressure of the atmosphere.

The leech, hirudo, and the remora, echeneis, adhere strongly to
objects probably by a similar method. I once saw ten or twelve leeches
adhere to each foot of an old horse a little above his hoofs, who was
grazing in a morass, and which did not lose their hold when he moved
about. The bare-legged travellers in Ceylon are said to be much
infested by leeches; and the sea-leech, hirudo muricata, is said to
adhere to fish, and the remora is said to adhere to ships in such
numbers as to retard their progress.

The respiratory organ of the whale, I suppose, is pulmonary in part,
as he is obliged to come frequently to the surface, whence he can be
pursued after he is struck with the harpoon; and may nevertheless be
in part like the gills of other fish, as he seems to draw in water
when he is below the surface, and emits it again when he rises above



  So erst as Egypt's rude designs explain.
                                        CANTO I. l. 351.

The outlines of animal bodies, which gave names to the constellations,
as well as the characters used in chemistry for the metals, and in
astronomy for the planets, were originally hieroglyphic figures, used
by the magi of Egypt before the invention of letters, to record their
discoveries in those sciences.

Other hieroglyphic figures seem to have been designed to perpetuate
the events of history, the discoveries in other arts, and the opinions
of those ancient philosophers on other subjects. Thus their figures of
Venus for beauty, Minerva for wisdom, Mars and Bellona for war,
Hercules for strength, and many others, became afterwards the deities
of Greece and Rome; and together with the figures of Time, Death, and
Fame, constitute the language of the painters to this day.

From the similarity of the characters which designate the metals in
chemistry, and the planets in astronomy, it may be concluded that
these parts of science were then believed to be connected; whence
astrology seems to have been a very early superstition. These, so far,
constitute an universal visible language in those sciences.

So the glory, or halo, round the head is a part of the universal
language of the eye, designating a holy person; wings on the shoulders
denote a good angel; and a tail and hoof denote the figure of an evil
demon; to which may be added the cap of liberty and the tiara of
popedom. It is to be wished that many other universal characters could
be introduced into practice, which might either constitute a more
comprehensive language for painters, or for other arts; as those of
ciphers and signs have done for arithmetic and algebra, and crotchets
for music, and the alphabets for articulate sounds; so a zigzag line
made on white paper by a black-lead pencil, which communicates with
the surface of the mercury in the barometer, as the paper itself is
made constantly to move laterally by a clock, and daily to descend
through the space necessary, has ingeniously produced a most accurate
visible account of the rise and fall of the mercury in the barometer
every hour in the year.

Mr. Grey's Memoria Technica was designed as an artificial language to
remember numbers, as of the eras, or dates of history. This was done
by substituting one consonant and one vowel for each figure of the ten
cyphers used in arithmetic, and by composing words of these letters;
which words Mr. Grey makes into hexameter verses, and produces an
audible jargon, which is to be committed to memory, and occasionally
analysed into numbers when required. An ingenious French botanist,
Monsieur Bergeret, has proposed to apply this idea of Mr. Grey to a
botanical nomenclature, by making the name of each plant to consist of
letters, which, when analysed, were to signify the number of the
class, order, genus, and species, with a description also of some
particular part of the plant, which was designed to be both an audible
and visible language.

Bishop Wilkins in his elaborate "Essay towards a Real Character and a
Philosophical Language," has endeavoured to produce, with the greatest
simplicity, and accuracy, and conciseness, an universal language both
to be written and spoken, for the purpose of the communication of all
our ideas with greater exactness and less labour than is done in
common languages, as they are now spoken and written. But we have to
lament that the progress of general science is yet too limited both
for his purpose, and for that even of a nomenclature for botany; and
that the science of grammar, and even the number and manner of the
pronunciation of the letters of the alphabet, are not yet determined
with such accuracy as would be necessary to constitute Bishop
Wilkins's grand design of an universal language, which might
facilitate the acquirement of knowledge, and thus add to the power and
happiness of mankind.



  The age-worn fibres goaded to contract
  By repetition palsied, cease to act.
                                        CANTO II. l. 4

I. _Effects of Age._

The immediate cause of the infirmities of age, or of the progress of
life to death, has not yet been well ascertained. The answer to the
question, why animals become feeble and diseased after a time, though
nourished with the same food which increased their growth from
infancy, and afterwards supported them for many years in unimpaired
health and strength, must be sought for from the laws of animal
excitability, which, though at first increased, is afterwards
diminished by frequent repetitions of its adapted stimulus, and at
length ceases to obey it.

1. There are four kinds of stimulus which induce the fibres to
contract, which constitute the muscles or the organs of sense; as,
first, The application of external bodies, which excites into action
the sensorial power of irritation; 2dly, Pleasure and pain, which
excite into action the sensorial power of sensation; 3dly, Desire and
aversion, which excite into action the power of volition; and lastly,
The fibrous contractions, which precede association, which is another
sensorial power; see Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. II. 13.

Many of the motions of the organic system, which are necessary to
life, are excited by more than one of these stimuli at the same time,
and some of them occasionally by them all. Thus respiration is
generally caused by the stimulus of blood in the lungs, or by the
sensation of the want of oxygen; but is also occasionally voluntary.
The actions of the heart also, though generally owing to the stimulus
of the blood, are also inflamed by the association of its motions with
those of the stomach, whence sometimes arises an inequality of the
pulse, and with other parts of the system, as with the capillaries,
whence heat of the skin in fevers with a feeble pulse, see Zoonomia.
They are also occasionally influenced by sensation, as is seen in the
paleness occasioned by fear, or the blush of shame and anger; and
lastly the motions of the heart are sometimes assisted by volition;
thus in those who are much weakened by fevers, the pulse is liable to
stop during their sleep, and to induce great distress; which is owing
at that time to the total suspension of voluntary power; the same
occurs during sleep in some asthmatic patients.

2. The debility of approaching age appears to be induced by the
inactivity of many parts of the system, or their disobedience to their
usual kinds and quantities of stimulus: thus the pallid appearance of
the skin of old age is owing to the inactivity of the heart, which
ceases to obey the irritation caused by the stimulus of the blood, or
its association with other moving organs with its former energy;
whence the capillary arteries are not sufficiently distended in their
diastole, and consequently contract by their elasticity, so as to
close the canal, and their sides gradually coalesce. Of these, those
which are most distant from the heart, and of the smallest diameters,
will soonest close, and become impervious; hence the hard pulse of
aged patients is occasioned by the coalescence of the sides of the
vasa vasorum, or capillary arteries of the coats of the other

The veins of elderly people become turgid or distended with blood, and
stand prominent on the skin; for as these do not possess the
elasticity of the arteries, they become distended with accumulation of
blood; when the heart by its lessened excitability does not contract
sufficiently forcibly, or frequently, to receive, as fast as usual,
the returning blood; and their apparent prominence on the skin is
occasioned by the deficient secretion of fat or mucus in the cellular
membrane; and also to the contraction and coalescence and consequent
less bulk of many capillary arteries.

3. Not only the muscular fibres lose their degree of excitability from
age, as in the above examples; and as may be observed in the tremulous
hands and feeble step of elderly persons; but the organs of sense
become less excitable by the stimulus of external objects; whence the
sight and hearing become defective; the stimulus of the sensorial
power of sensation also less affects the aged, who grieve less for the
loss of friends or for other disappointments; it should nevertheless
be observed, that when the sensorial power of irritation is much
exhausted, or its production much diminished; the sensorial power of
sensation appears for a time to be increased; as in intoxication there
exists a kind of delirium and quick flow of ideas, and yet the person
becomes so weak as to totter as he walks; but this delirium is owing
to the defect of voluntary power to correct the streams of ideas by
intuitive analogy, as in dreams: see Zoonomia: and thus also those who
are enfeebled by habits of much vinous potation, or even by age alone,
are liable to weep at shaking hands with a friend, whom they have not
lately seen; which is owing to defect of voluntary power to correct
their trains of ideas caused by sensation, and not to the increased
quantity of sensation, as I formerly supposed.

The same want of voluntary power to keep the trains of sensitive ideas
consistent, and to compare them by intuitive analogy with the order of
nature, is the occasion of the starting at the clapping to of a door,
or the fall of a key, which occasions violent surprise with fear and
sometimes convulsions, in very feeble hysterical patients, and is not
owing I believe (as I formerly supposed) to increased sensation; as
they are less sensible to small stimuli than when in health.

Old people are less able also to perform the voluntary exertions of
exercise or of reasoning, and lastly the association of their ideas
becomes more imperfect, as they are forgetful of the names of persons
and places; the associations of which are less permanent, than those
of the other words of a language, which are more frequently repeated.

4. This disobedience of the fibres of age to their usual stimuli, has
generally been ascribed to repetition or habit, as those who live near
a large clock, or a mill, or a waterfall, soon cease to attend to the
perpetual noise of it in the day, and sleep dining the night
undisturbed. Thus all medicines, if repeated too frequently, gradually
lose their effect; as wine and opium cease to intoxicate: some
disagreeable tastes as tobacco, by frequent repetition cease to be
disagreeable; grief and pain gradually diminish and at length cease
altogether; and hence life itself becomes tolerable.

This diminished power of contraction of the fibres of the muscles or
organs of sense, which constitutes permanent debility or old age, may
arise from a deficient secretion of sensorial power in the brain, as
well as from the disobedience of the muscles and organs of sense to
their usual stimuli; but this less production of sensorial power must
depend on the inactivity of the glands, which compose the brain, and
are believed to separate it perpetually from the blood; and is thence
owing to a similar cause with the inaction of the fibres of the other
parts of the system.

It is finally easy to understand how the fibres may cease to act by
the usual quantity of stimulus after having been previously exposed to
a greater quantity of stimulus, or to one too long continued; because
the expenditure of sensorial power has then been greater than its
production; but it is not easy to explain why the repetition of
fibrous contractions, which during the meridian of life did not expend
the sensorial power faster than it was produced; or only in such a
degree as was daily restored by rest and sleep, should at length in
the advance of life expend too much of it; or otherwise, that less of
it should be produced in the brain; or reside in the nerves; lastly
that the fibres should become less excitable by the usual quantity of

5. But these facts would seem to show, that all parts of the system
are not changed as we advance in life, as some have supposed; as in
that case it might have preserved for ever its excitability; and it
might then perhaps have been easier for nature to have continued her
animals and vegetables for ever in their mature state, than
perpetually by a complicate apparatus to have produced new ones, and
suffer the old ones to perish; for a further account of stimulus and
the consequent animal exertion, see Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. 12.

II. _Means of preventing old age._

The means of preventing the approach of age must therefore consist in
preventing the inexcitability of the fibres, or the diminution of the
production of sensorial power.

1. As animal motion cannot be performed without the fluid matter of
heat, in which all things are immersed, and without a sufficient
quantity of moisture to prevent rigidity: nothing seems so well
adapted to both these purposes as the use of the warm bath; and
especially in those, who become thin or emaciated with age, and who
have a hard and dry skin, with hardness of the coat of the arteries;
which feels under the finger like a cord; the patient should sit in
warm water for half an hour every day, or alternate days, or twice a
week; the heat should be about ninety-eight degrees on Fahrenheit's
scale, or of such a warmth, as may be most agreeable to his sensation;
but on leaving the bath he should always be kept so cool, whether he
goes into bed, or continues up, as not sensibly to perspire.

There is a popular prejudice, that the warm bath relaxes people, and
that the cold bath braces them; which are mechanical terms belonging
to drums and fiddle-strings, but not applicable except metaphorically
to animal bodies, and then commonly mean weakness and strength: during
the continuance in the bath the patient does not lose weight, unless
he goes in after a full meal, but generally weighs heavier as the
absorption is greater than the perspiration; but if he suffers himself
to sweat on his leaving the bath, he will undoubtedly be weakened by
the increased action of the system, and its exhaustion: the same
occurs to those who are heated by exercise, or by wine, or spice, but
not during their continuance in the warm bath: whence we may conclude,
that the warm bath is the most harmless of all those stimuli, which
are greater than our natural habits have accustomed us to; and that it
particularly counteracts the approach of old age in emaciated people
with dry skins.

It may be here observed in favour of bathing, that some fish are
believed to continue to a great age, and continually to enlarge in
size, as they advance in life; and that long after their state of
puberty. I have seen perch full of spawn, which were less than two
inches long; and it is known, that they will grow to six or eight
times that size; it is said, that the whales, which have been caught
of late years, are much less in size than those, which were caught,
when first the whale-fishery was established; as the large ones, which
were supposed to have been some hundred years old, are believed to be
already destroyed.

All cold-blooded amphibious animals more slowly waste their sensorial
power; as they are accustomed to less stimulus from their respiring
less oxygen; and their movements in water are slower than those of
aerial animals from the greater resistance of the element. There
besides seems to be no obstacle to the growth of aquatic animals; as
by means of the air-bladder, they can make their specific gravity the
same as that of the water in which they swim. And the moisture of the
element seems well adapted to counteract the rigidity of their fibres;
and as their exertions in locomotion, and the pressure of some parts
on others, are so much less than in the bodies of land animals.

2. But as all excessive stimuli exhaust the sensorial power, and
render the system less excitable for a time till the quantity of
sensorial power is restored by sleep, or by the diminution or absence
of stimulus; which is seen by the weakness of inebriates for a day at
least after intoxication. And as the frequent repetition of this great
and unnatural stimulus of fermented liquors produces a permanent
debility, or disobedience of the system to the usual and natural kinds
and quantities of stimulus, as occurs in those who have long been
addicted to the ingurgitation of fermented liquors.

And as, secondly, the too great deficiency of the quantity of natural
stimuli, as of food, and warmth, or of fresh air, produces also
diseases; as is often seen in the children of the poor in large towns,
who become scrofulous from want of due nourishment, and from cold,
damp, unairy lodgings.

The great and principal means to prevent the approach of old age and
death, must consist in the due management of the quantity of every
kind of stimulus, but particularly of that from objects external to
the moving organ; which may excite into action too great or too small
a quantity of the sensorial power of irritation, which principally
actuates the vital organs. Whence the use of much wine, or opium, or
spice, or of much salt, by their unnatural stimulus induces consequent
debility, and shortens life, on the one hand, by the exhaustion of
sensorial power; so on the other hand, the want of heat, food, and
fresh air, induces debility from defect of stimulus, and a consequent
accumulation of sensorial power, and a general debility of the system.
Whence arise the pains of cold and hunger, and those which are called
nervous; and which are the cause of hysteric, epileptic, and perhaps
of asthmatic paroxysms, and of the cold fits of fever.

3. Though all excesses of increase and decrease of stimulus should be
avoided, yet a certain variation of stimulus seems to prolong the
excitability of the system; as during any diminution of the usual
quantity of stimulus, an accumulation of sensorial power is produced;
and in consequence the excitability, which was lessened by the action
of habitual stimulus, becomes restored. Thus those, who are uniformly
habituated to much artificial heat, as in warm parlours in the winter
months, lose their irritability in some degree, and become feeble like
hot-house plants; but by frequently going for a time into the cold
air, the sensorial power of irritability is accumulated and they
become stronger.

Whence it may be deduced, that the variations of the cold and heat of
this climate contribute to strengthen its inhabitants, who are more
active and vigorous, and live longer, than those of either much warmer
or much colder latitudes.

This accumulation of sensorial power from diminution of stimulus any
one may observe, who in severe weather may sit by the fire-side till
he is chill and uneasy with the sensation of cold; but if he walks
into the frosty air for a few minutes, an accumulation of sensorial
power is produced by diminution of the stimulus of heat, and on his
returning into the room where he was chill before, his whole skin will
now glow with warmth.

Hence it may be concluded, that the variations of the quantity of
stimuli within certain limits contribute to our health; and that those
houses which are kept too uniformly warm, are less wholesome than
where the inhabitants are occasionally exposed to cold air in passing
from one room to another.

Nevertheless to those weak habits with pale skins and large pupils of
the eyes, whose degree of irritability is less than health requires,
as in scrofulous, hysterical, and some consumptive constitutions, a
climate warmer than our own may be of service, as a greater stimulus
of heat may be wanted to excite their less irritability. And also a
more uniform quantity of heat may be serviceable to consumptive
patients than is met with in this country, as the lungs cannot be
clothed like the external skin, and are therefore subject to greater
extremes of heat and cold in passing in winter from a warm room into
the frosty air.

4. It should nevertheless be observed, that there is one kind of
stimulus, which though it be employed in quantity beyond its usual
state, seems to increase the production of sensorial power beyond the
expenditure of it (unless its excess is great indeed) and thence to
give permanent strength and energy to the system; I mean that of
volition. This appears not only from the temporary strength of angry
or insane people, but because insanity even cures some diseases of
debility, as I have seen in dropsy, and in some fevers; but it is also
observable, that many who have exerted much voluntary effort during
their whole lives, have continued active to great age. This however
may be conceived to arise from these great exertions being performed
principally by the organs of sense, that is by exciting and comparing
ideas; as in those who have invented sciences, or have governed
nations, and which did not therefore exhaust the sensorial power of
those organs which are necessary to life, but perhaps rather prevented
them from being sooner impaired, their sensorial power not having been
so frequently exhausted by great activity, for very violent exercise
of the body, long continued, forwards old age; as is seen in
post-horses that are cruelly treated, and in many of the poor, who
with difficulty support their families by incessant labour.

III. _Theory of the Approach of Age._

The critical reader is perhaps by this time become so far interested
in this subject as to excuse a more prolix elucidation of it.

In early life the repetition of animal actions occasions them to be
performed with greater facility, whether those repetitions are
produced by volition, sensation, or irritation; because they soon
become associated together, if as much sensorial power is produced
between every reiteration of action, as is expended by it.

But if a stimulus be repeated at uniform intervals of time, the
action, whether of our muscles or organs of sense, is performed with
still greater facility and energy; because the sensorial power of
association mentioned above, is combined with the sensorial power of
irritation, and forms part of the diurnal chain of animal motions;
that is, in common language, the acquired habit assists the power of
the stimulus; see Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXII. 2. and Sect. XII. 3.

On this circumstance depends the easy motions of the fingers in
performing music, and of the feet and arms in dancing and fencing, and
of the hands in the use of tools in mechanic arts, as well as all the
vital motions which animate and nourish organic bodies.

On the contrary, many animal motions by perpetual repetition are
performed with less energy; as those who live near a waterfall, or a
smith's forge, after a time, cease to hear them. And in those
infectious diseases which are attended with fever, as the small-pox
and measles, violent motions of the system are excited, which at
length cease, and cannot again be produced by application of the same
stimulating material; as when those are inoculated for the small-pox,
who have before undergone that malady. Hence the repetition, which
occasions animal actions for a time to be performed with greater
energy, occasions them at length to become feeble, or to cease

To explain this difficult problem we must more minutely consider the
catenations of animal motions, as described in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect.
XVII. The vital motions, as suppose of the heart and arterial system,
commence from the irritation occasioned by the stimulus of the blood,
and then have this irritation assisted by the power of association; at
the same time an agreeable sensation is produced by the due actions of
the fibres, as in the secretions of the glands, which constitutes the
pleasure of existence; this agreeable sensation is intermixed between
every link of this diurnal chain of actions, and contributes to
produce it by what is termed animal causation. But there is also a
degree of the power of volition excited in consequence of this vital
pleasure, which is also intermixed between the links of the chain of
fibrous actions; and thus also contributes to its uniform easy and
perpetual production.

The effects of surprise and novelty must now be considered by the
patient reader, as they affect the catenations of action; and, I hope,
the curiosity of the subject will excuse the prolixity of this account
of it. When any violent stimulus breaks the passing current or
catenation of our ideas, surprise is produced, which is accompanied
with pain or pleasure, and consequent volition to examine the object
of it, as explained in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XVIII. 17, and which
never affects us in sleep. In our waking hours whenever an idea of
imagination occurs, which is incongruous to our former experience, we
feel another kind of surprise, and instantly dissever the train of
imagination by the power of volition, and compare the incongruous idea
with our previous knowledge of nature, and reject it by an act of
reasoning, of which we are unconscious, termed in Zoonomia, "Intuitive
Analogy," Vol. I Sect. XVII. 7.

The novelty of any idea may be considered as affecting us with another
kind of surprise, or incongruity, as it differs from the usual train
of our ideas, and forms a new link in this perpetual chain; which, as
it thus differs from the ordinary course of nature, we instantly
examine by the voluntary efforts of intuitive analogy; or by
reasoning, which we attend to; and compare it with the usual
appearances of nature.

These ideas which affect us with surprise, or incongruity, or novelty,
are attended with painful or pleasurable sensation; which we mentioned
before as intermixing with all catenations of animal actions, and
contributing to strengthen their perpetual and energetic production;
and also exciting in some degree the power of volition, which also
intermixes with the links of the chain of animal actions, and
contributes to produce it.

Now by frequent repetition the surprise, incongruity, or novelty
ceases; and, in consequence, the pleasure or pain which accompanied
it, and also the degree of volition which was excited by that
sensation of pain or pleasure; and thus the sensorial power of
sensation and of volition are subducted from the catenation of vital
actions, and they are in consequence produced much weaker, and at
length cease entirely. Whence we learn why contagious matters induce
their effects on the circulation but once; and why, in process of
time, the vital movements are performed with less energy, and at
length cease; whence the debilities of age, and consequent death.



  But Reproduction with ethereal fires
  New life rekindles, ere the first expires.
                                        CANTO II. l. 13.

I. The reproduction or generation of living organized bodies, is the
great criterion or characteristic which distinguishes animation from
mechanism. Fluids may circulate in hydraulic machines, or simply move
in them, as mercury in the barometer or thermometer, but the power of
producing an embryon which shall gradually acquire similitude to its
parent, distinguishes artificial from natural organization.

The reproduction of plants and animals appears to be of two kinds,
solitary and sexual; the former occurs in the formation of the buds of
trees, and the bulbs of tulips; which for several successions generate
other buds, and other bulbs, nearly similar to the parent, but
constantly approaching to greater perfection, so as finally to produce
sexual organs, or flowers, and consequent seeds.

The same occurs in some inferior kinds of animals; as the aphises in
the spring and summer are viviparous for eight or nine generations,
which successively produce living descendants without sexual
intercourse, and are themselves, I suppose, without sex; at length in
the autumn they propagate males and females, which copulate and lay
eggs, which lie dormant during the winter, and are hatched by the
vernal sun; while the truffle, and perhaps mushrooms amongst
vegetables, and the polypus and tænia amongst insects, perpetually
propagate themselves by solitary reproduction, and have not yet
acquired male and female organs.

Philosophers have thought these viviparous aphides, and the tænia, and
volvox, to be females; and have supposed them to have been impregnated
long before their nativity within each other; so the tænia and volvox
still continue to produce their offspring without sexual intercourse.
One extremity of the tænia, is said by Linneus to grow old, whilst at
the other end new ones are generated proceeding to infinity like the
roots of grass. The volvox globator is transparent, and carries within
itself children and grandchildren to the fifth generation like the
aphides; so that the tænia produces children and grandchildren
longitudinally in a chain-like series, and the volvox propagates an
offspring included within itself to the fifth generation; Syst. Nat.

Many microscopic animals, and some larger ones, as the hydra or
polypus, are propagated by splitting or dividing; and some still
larger animals, as oysters, and perhaps eels, have not yet acquired
sexual organs, but produce a paternal progeny, which requires no
mother to supply it with a nidus, or with nutriment and oxygenation;
and, therefore, very accurately resemble the production of the buds of
trees, and the wires of some herbaceous plants, as of knot-grass and
of strawberries, and the bulbs of other plants, as of onions and
potatoes; which is further treated of in Phytologia, Sect. VII.

The manner in which I suspect the solitary reproduction of the buds of
trees to be effected, may also be applied to the solitary generation
of the insects mentioned above, and probably of many others, perhaps
of all the microscopic ones. It should be previously observed, that
many insects are hermaphrodite, possessing both male and female organs
of reproduction, as shell-snails and dew-worms; but that these are
seen reciprocally to copulate with each other, and are believed not to
be able to impregnate themselves; which belongs, therefore, to sexual
generation, and not to the solitary reproduction of which I am now

As in the chemical production of any new combination of matter, two
kinds of particles appear to be necessary; one of which must possess
the power of attraction, and the other the aptitude to be attracted,
as a magnet and a piece of iron; so in vegetable or animal
combinations, whether for the purpose of nutrition or for
reproduction, there must exist also two kinds of organic matter; one
possessing the appetency to unite, and the other the propensity to be
united; (see Zoonomia, octavo edition, Sect. XXXIX. 8.) Hence in the
generation of the buds of trees, there are probably two kinds of
glands, which acquire from the vegetable blood, and deposite beneath
the cuticle of the tree two kinds of formative organic matter, which
unite and form parts of the new vegetable embryon; which again uniting
with other such organizations form the caudex, or the plumula, or the
radicle, of a new vegetable bud.

A similar mode of reproduction by the secretion of two kinds of
organic particles from the blood, and by depositing them either
internally as in the vernal and summer aphis or volvox, or externally
as in the polypus and tænia, probably obtains in those animals; which
are thence propagated by the father only, not requiring a cradle, or
nutriment, or oxygenation from a mother; and that the five
generations, said to be seen in the transparent volvox globator within
each other, are perhaps the successive progeny to be delivered at
different periods of time from the father, and erroneously supposed to
be mothers impregnated before their nativity.

II. Sexual as well as solitary reproduction appears to be effected by
two kinds of glands; one of which collects or secretes from the blood
formative organic particles with appetencies to unite, and the other
formative organic particles with propensities to be united. These
probably undergo some change by a kind of digestion in their
respective glands; but could not otherwise unite previously in the
mass of blood from its perpetual motion.

The first mode of sexual reproduction seems to have been by the
formation of males into hermaphrodites; that is, when the numerous
formative glands, which existed in the caudex of the bud of a tree, or
on the surface of a polypus, became so united as to form but two
glands; which might then be called male and female organs. But they
still collect and secrete their adapted particles from the same mass
of blood as in snails and dew-worms, but do not seem to be so placed
as to produce an embryon by the mixture of their secreted fluids, but
to require the mutual assistance of two hermaphrodites for that

From this view-of the subject, it would appear that vegetables and
animals were at first propagated by solitary generation, and
afterwards by hermaphrodite sexual generation; because most vegetables
possess at this day both male and female organs in the same flower,
which Linneus has thence well called hermaphrodite flowers; and that
this hermaphrodite mode of reproduction still exists in many insects,
as in snails and worms; and, finally, because all the male quadrupeds,
as well as men, possess at this day some remains of the female
apparatus, as the breasts with nipples, which still at their nativity
are said to be replete with a kind of milk, and the nipples swell on

Afterwards the sexes seem to have been formed in vegetables as in
flowers, in addition to the power of solitary reproduction by buds. So
in animals the aphis is propagated both by solitary reproduction as in
spring, or by sexual generation as in autumn; then the vegetable sexes
began to exist in separate plants, as in the classes monoecia and
dioecia, or both of them in the same plant also, as in the class
polygamia; but the larger and more perfect animals are now propagated
by sexual reproduction only, which seems to have been the
chef-d'oeuvre, or capital work of nature; as appears by the wonderful
transformations of leaf-eating caterpillars into honey-eating moths
and butterflies, apparently for the sole purpose of the formation of
sexual organs, as in the silk-worm, which takes no food after its
transformation, but propagates its species and dies.

III. _Recapitulation._

The microscopic productions of spontaneous vitality, and the next most
inferior kinds of vegetables and animals, propagate by solitary
generation only; as the buds and bulbs raised immediately from seeds,
the lycoperdon tuber, with probably many other fungi, and the polypus,
volvox, and tænia. Those of the next order propagate both by solitary
and sexual reproduction, as those buds and bulbs which produce flowers
as well as other buds or bulbs; and the aphis, and probably many other
insects. Whence it appears, that many of those vegetables and animals,
which are produced by solitary generation, gradually become more
perfect, and at length produce a sexual progeny.

A third order of organic nature consists of hermaphrodite vegetables
and animals, as in those flowers which have anthers and stigmas in the
same corol; and in many insects, as leeches, snails, and worms; and
perhaps all those reptiles which have no bones, according to the
observation of M. Poupart, who thinks, that the number of
hermaphrodite animals exceeds that of those which are divided into
sexes; Mém. de l'Acad. des Sciences. These hermaphrodite insects I
suspect _to_ be incapable of impregnating themselves for reasons
mentioned in Zoonomia, Sect. XXXIX. 6. 2.

And, lastly, the most perfect orders of animals are propagated by
sexual intercourse only; which, however, does not extend to
vegetables, as all those raised from seed produce some generations of
buds or bulbs, previous to their producing flowers, as occurs not only
in trees, but also in the annual plants. Thus three or four joints of
wheat grow upon each other, before that which produces a flower; which
joints are all separate plants growing over each other, like the buds
of trees, previous to the uppermost; though this happens in a few
months in annual plants, which requires as many years in the
successive buds of trees; as is further explained in Phytologia, Sect.
IX. 3. 1.

IV. _Conclusion._

Where climate is favourable, and salubrious food plentiful, there is
reason to believe, that the races of animals perpetually improve by
reproduction. The smallest microscopic animals become larger ones in a
short time, probably by successive reproductions, as is so distinctly
seen in the buds of seedling apple-trees, and in the bulbs of tulips
raised from seed; both which die annually, and leave behind them one
or many, which are more perfect than themselves, till they produce a
sexual progeny, or flowers. To which may be added, the rapid
improvement of our domesticated dogs, horses, rabbits, pigeons, which
improve in size, or in swiftness, or in the sagacity of the sense of
smell, or in colour, or other properties, by sexual reproduction.

The great Linneus having perceived the changes produced in the
vegetable world by sexual reproduction, has supposed that not more
than about sixty plants were at first created, and that all the others
have been formed by their solitary or sexual reproductions; and adds,
Suadent hæc Creatoris leges a simplicibus ad composita; Gen. Plant.
preface to the natural orders, and Amenit. Acad. VI. 279. This mode
of reasoning may be extended to the most simple productions of
spontaneous vitality.

There is one curious circumstance of animal life analogous in some
degree to this wonderful power of reproduction; which is seen in the
propagation of some contagious diseases. Thus one grain of variolous
matter, inserted by inoculation, shall in about seven days stimulate
the system into unnatural action; which in about seven days more
produces ten thousand times the quantity of a similar material thrown
out on the skin in pustules!

The mystery of reproduction, which alone distinguishes organic life
from mechanic or chemic action, is yet wrapt in darkness. During the
decomposition of organic bodies, where there exists a due degree of
warmth with moisture, new microscopic animals of the most minute kind
are produced; and these possess the wonderful power of reproduction,
or of producing animals similar to themselves in their general
structure, but with frequent additional improvements; which the
preceding parent might in some measure have acquired by his habits of
life or accidental situation.

But it may appear too bold in the present state of our knowledge on
this subject, to suppose that all vegetables and animals now existing
were originally derived from the smallest microscopic ones, formed by
spontaneous vitality? and that they have by innumerable reproductions,
during innumerable centuries of time, gradually acquired the size,
strength, and excellence of form and faculties, which they now
possess? and that such amazing powers were originally impressed on
matter and spirit by the great Parent of Parents! Cause of Causes! Ens



  And Heaven-born STORGE weaves the social chain.
                                        CANTO II. l. 92.

The Greek word Storge is used for the affection of parents to
children; which was also visibly represented by the Stork or Pelican
feeding her young with blood taken from her own wounded bosom. A
number of Pelicans form a semicircle in shallow parts of the sea near
the coast, standing on their long legs; and thus including a shoal of
small fish, they gradually approach the shore; and seizing the fish as
they advance, receive them into a pouch under their throats; and
bringing them to land regurgitate them for the use of their young, or
for their future support. Adanson, Voyage to Senegal. In this country
the parent Pigeons both male and female swallow the grain or other
seeds, which they collect for their young, and bring it up mixed with
a kind of milk from their stomachs, with their bills inserted into the
mouths of the young doves. J. Hunter's works.

The affection of the parent to the young in experienced mothers may be
in part owing to their having been relieved by them from the burden of
their milk; but it is difficult to understand, how this affection
commences in those mothers of the bestial world, who have not
experienced this relief from the sucking of their offspring; and still
more so to understand how female birds were at first induced to
incubate their eggs for many weeks; and lastly how caterpillars, as of
the silk-worm, are induced to cover themselves with a well-woven house
of silk before their transformation.

These as well as many other animal facts, which are difficult to
account for, have been referred to an inexplicable instinct; which is
supposed to preclude any further investigation: but as animals seem to
have undergone great changes, as well as the inanimate parts of the
earth, and are probably still in a state of gradual improvement; it is
not unreasonable to conclude, that some of these actions both of large
animals and of insects, may have been acquired in a state preceding
their present one; and have been derived from the parents to their
offspring by imitation, or other kind of tradition; thus the eggs of
the crocodile are at this day hatched by the warmth of the sun in
Egypt; and the eggs of innumerable insects, and the spawn of fish, and
of frogs, in this climate are hatched by the vernal warmth: this might
be the case of birds in warm climates, in their early state of
existence; and experience might have taught them to incubate their
eggs, as they became more perfect animals, or removed themselves into
colder climates: thus the ostrich is said to sit upon its eggs only in
the night in warm situations, and both day and night in colder ones.

This love of the mother in quadrupeds to the offspring, whom she licks
and cleans, is so allied to the pleasure of the taste or palate, that
nature seems to have had a great escape in the parent quadruped not
devouring her offspring. Bitches, and cats, and sows, eat the
placenta; and if a dead offspring occurs, I am told, that also is
sometimes eaten, and yet the living offspring is spared; and by that
nice distinction the progenies of those animals are saved from

"Certior factus sum a viro rebus antiquissimis docto, quod legitur in
Berosi operibus homines ante diluvium mulierum puerperarum placentam
edidisse, quasi cibum delicatum in epulis luxuriosis; et quod hoc
nefandissimo crimine movebatur Deus diluvio submergere terrarum
incolas." ANON.

It may be finally concluded, that this affection from the parent to
the progeny existed before animals were divided into sexes, and
produced the beginning of sympathetic society, the source of which may
perhaps be thus well accounted for; whenever the glandular system is
stimulated into greater natural action within certain limits, an
addition of pleasure is produced along with the increased secretion;
this pleasure arising from the activity of the system is supposed to
constitute the happiness of existence, in contradistinction to the
ennui or tædium vitæ; as shown in Zoonomia, Sect. XXXIII. 1.

Hence the secretion of nutritious juices occasioned by the stimulus of
an embryon or egg in the womb gives pleasure to the parent for a
length of time; whence by association a similar pleasure may be
occasioned to the parent by seeing and touching the egg or fetus after
its birth; and in lactescent animals an additional pleasure is
produced by the new secretion of milk, as well as by its emission into
the sucking lips of the infant. This appears to be one of the great
secrets of Nature, one of those fine, almost invisible cords, which
have bound one animal to another.

The females of lactiferous animals have thus a passion or inlet of
pleasure in their systems more than the males, from their power of
giving suck to their offspring; the want of the object of this
passion, either owing to the death of the progeny, or to the unnatural
fashion of their situation in life, not only deprives them of this
innocent and virtuous source of pleasure; but has occasioned diseases,
which have been fatal to many of them.



  Form'd a new sex, the mother of mankind.
                                        CANTO II. l. 140.

The mosaic history of Paradise and of Adam and Eve has been thought by
some to be a sacred allegory, designed to teach obedience to divine
commands, and to account for the origin of evil, like Jotham's fable
of the trees; Judges ix. 8. or Nathan's fable of the poor man and his
lamb; 2 Sam. xii. 1. or like the parables in the New Testament; as
otherwise knowledge could not be said to grow upon one tree, and life
upon another, or a serpent to converse; and lastly that this account
originated with the magi or philosophers of Egypt, with whom Moses was
educated, and that this part of the history, where Eve is said to have
been made from a rib of Adam might have been an hieroglyphic design of
the Egyptian philosophers, showing their opinion that Mankind was
originally of both sexes united, and was afterwards divided into males
and females: an opinion in later times held by Plato, and I believe by
Aristotle, and which must have arisen from profound inquiries into the
original state of animal existence.



  The feeble births acquired diseases chase,
  Till Death extinguish the degenerate race.
                                        CANTO II. l. 165.

As all the families both of plants and animals appear in a state of
perpetual improvement or degeneracy, it becomes a subject of
importance to detect the causes of these mutations.

The insects, which are not propagated by sexual intercourse, are so
few or so small, that no observations have been made on their
diseases; but hereditary diseases are believed more to affect the
offspring of solitary than of sexual generation in respect to
vegetables; as those fruit trees, which have for more than a century
been propagated only by ingrafting, and not from seeds, have been
observed by Mr. Knight to be at this time so liable to canker, as not
to be worth cultivation. From the same cause I suspect the degeneracy
of some potatoes and of some strawberries to have arisen; where the
curled leaf has appeared in the former, and barren flowers in the

This may arise from the progeny by solitary reproduction so much more
exactly resembling the parent, as is well seen in grafted trees
compared with seedling ones; the fruit of the former always resembling
that of the parent tree, but not so of the latter. The grafted scion
also accords with the branch of the tree from whence it was taken, in
the time of its bearing fruit; for if a scion be taken from a bearing
branch of a pear or apple tree, I believe, it will produce fruit even
the next year, or that succeeding; that is, in the same time that it
would have produced fruit, if it had continued growing on the parent
tree; but if the parent pear or apple tree has been cut down or
headed, and scions are then, taken from the young shoots of the stem,
and ingrafted; I believe those grafted trees will continue to grow for
ten or twelve years, before they bear fruit, almost as long as
seedling trees, that is they will require as much time, as those new
shoots from the lopped trunk would require, before they produce fruit.
It should thence be inquired, when grafted fruit trees are purchased,
whether the scions were taken from bearing branches, or from the young
shoots of a lopped trunk; as the latter, I believe, are generally
sold, as they appear stronger plants. This greater similitude of the
progeny to the parent in solitary reproduction must certainly make
them more liable to hereditary diseases, if such have been acquired by
the parent from unfriendly climate or bad nourishment, or accidental

In respect to the sexual progeny of vegetables it has long been
thought, that a change of seed or of situation is in process of time
necessary to prevent their degeneracy; but it is now believed, that it
is only changing for seed of a superior quality, that will better the
product. At the same time it may be probably useful occasionally to
intermix seeds from different situations together; as the anther-dust
is liable to pass from one plant to another in its vicinity; and by
these means the new seeds or plants may be amended, like the marriages
of animals into different families.

As the sexual progeny of vegetables are thus less liable to hereditary
diseases than the solitary progenies; so it is reasonable to conclude,
that the sexual progenies of animals may be less liable to hereditary
diseases, if the marriages are into different families, than if into
the same family; this has long been supposed to be true, by those who
breed animals for sale; since if the male and female be of different
temperaments, as these are extremes of the animal system, they may
counteract each other; and certainly where both parents are of
families, which are afflicted with the same hereditary disease, it is
more likely to descend to their posterity.

The hereditary diseases of this country have many of them been the
consequence of drinking much fermented or spirituous liquor; as the
gout always, most kinds of dropsy, and, I believe, epilepsy, and
insanity. But another material, which is liable to produce diseases in
its immoderate use, I believe to be common salt; the sea-scurvy is
evidently caused by it in long voyages; and I suspect the scrofula,
and consumption, to arise in the young progeny from the debility of
the lymphatic and venous absorption produced in the parent by this
innutritious fossile stimulus. The petechiæ and vibices in the
sea-scurvy and occasional hæmorrhages evince the defect of venous
absorption; the occasional hæmoptoe at the commencement of pulmonary
consumption, seems also to arise from defect of venous absorption; and
the scrofula, which arises from the inactivity of the lymphatic
absorbent system, frequently exists along with pulmonary as well as
with mesenteric consumption. A tendency to these diseases is certainly
hereditary, though perhaps not the diseases themselves; thus a less
quantity of ale, cyder, wine, or spirit, will induce the gout and
dropsy in those constitutions, whose parents have been intemperate in
the use of those liquors; as I have more than once had occasion to

Finally the art to improve the sexual progeny of either vegetables or
animals must consist in choosing the most perfect of both sexes, that
is the most beautiful in respect to the body, and the most ingenious
in respect to the mind; but where one sex is given, whether male or
female, to improve a progeny from that person may consist in choosing
a partner of a contrary temperament.

As many families become gradually extinct by hereditary diseases, as
by scrofula, consumption, epilepsy, mania, it is often hazardous to
marry an heiress, as she is not unfrequently the last of a diseased



  Then mark how two electric streams conspire
  To form the resinous and vitreous fire.
                                        CANTO III. l. 21.

I. _Of Attraction and Repulsion._

The motions, which accomplish the combinations and decompositions of
bodies, depend on the peculiar attractions and repulsions of the
particles of those bodies, or of the sides and angles of them; while
the motions of the sun and planets, of the air and ocean, and of all
bodies approaching to a general centre or retreating from it, depend
on the general attraction or repulsion of those masses of matter. The
peculiar attractions above mentioned are termed chemical affinities,
and the general attraction is termed gravitation; but the peculiar
repulsions of the particles of bodies, or the general repulsion of the
masses of matter, have obtained no specific names, nor have been
sufficiently considered; though they appear to be as powerful agents
as the attractions.

The motions of ethereal fluids, as of magnetism and electricity, are
yet imperfectly understood, and seem to depend both on chemical
affinity, and on gravitation; and also on the peculiar repulsions of
the particles of bodies, and on the general repulsion of the masses of

In what manner attraction and repulsion are produced has not yet been
attempted to be explained by modern philosophers; but as nothing can
act, where it does not exist, all distant attraction of the particles
of bodies, as well as general gravitation, must be ascribed to some
still finer ethereal fluid; which fills up all space between the suns
and their planets, as well as the interstices of coherent matter.
Repulsion in the same manner must consist of some finer ethereal
fluid; which at first projected the planets from the sun, and I
suppose prevents their return to it; and which occasionally
volatilizes or decomposes solid bodies into fluid or aerial ones, and
perhaps into ethereal ones.

May not the ethereal matter which constitutes repulsion, be the same
as the matter of heat in its diffused state; which in its quiescent
state is combined with various bodies, as appears from many chemical
explosions, in which so much heat is set at liberty? The ethereal
matter, which constitutes attraction, we are less acquainted with; but
it may also exist combined with bodies, as well as in its diffused
state; since the specific gravities of some metallic mixtures are said
not to accord with what ought to result from the combination of their
specific gravities, which existed before their mixture; but their
absolute gravities have not been attended to sufficiently; as these
have always been supposed to depend on their quantity of matter, and
situation in respect to the centre of the earth.

The ethereal fluids, which constitute peculiar repulsions and
attractions, appear to gravitate round the particles of bodies mixed
together; as those, which constitute the general repulsion or
attraction, appear to gravitate round the greater masses of matter
mixed together; but that which constitutes attraction seems to exist
in a denser state next to the particles or masses of matter; and that
which constitutes repulsion to exist more powerfully in a sphere
further from them; whence many bodies attract at one distance, and
repel at another. This may be observed by approaching to each other
two electric atmospheres round insulated cork-balls; or by pressing
globules of mercury, which roll on the surface, till they unite with
it; or by pressing the drops of water,' which stand on a cabbage leaf,
till they unite with it, and hence light is reflected from the surface
of a mirror without touching it.

Thus the peculiar attractions and repulsions of the particles of
bodies, and the general ones of the masses of matter, perpetually
oppose and counteract each other; whence if the power of attraction
should cease to act, all matter would be dissipated by the power of
repulsion into boundless space; and if heat, or the power of
repulsion, should cease to act, the whole world would become one solid
mass, condensed into a point.

II. _Preliminary Propositions._

The following propositions concerning Electricity and Galvanism will
either be proved by direct experiments, or will be rendered probable
by their tending to explain or connect the variety of electric facts,
to which they will be applied.

1. There are two kinds of electric ether, which exist either
separately or in combination. That which is accumulated on the surface
of smooth glass, when it is rubbed with a cushion, is here termed
vitreous ether; and that which is accumulated on the surface of resin
or sealing-wax, when it is rubbed with a cushion, is here termed
resinous ether; and a combination of them, as in their usual state,
may be termed neutral electric ethers.

2. Atmospheres of vitreous or of resinous or of neutral electricity
surround all separate bodies, are attracted by them, and permeate
those, which are called conductors, as metallic and aqueous and
carbonic ones; but will not permeate those, which are termed
nonconductors, as air, glass, silk, resin, sulphur.

3. The particles of vitreous electric ether strongly repel each other
as they surround other bodies; but strongly attract the particles of
resinous electric ether: in similar manner the particles of the
resinous ether powerfully repel each other, and as powerfully attract
those of the vitreous ether. Hence in their separate state they appear
to occupy much greater space, as they, gravitate round insulated
bodies, and are then only cognizable by our senses or experiments.
They rush violently together through conducting substances, and then
probably possess much less space in this their combined state. They
thus resemble oxygen gas and nitrous gas; which rush violently
together when in contact; and occupy less space when united, than
either of them possessed separately before their union. When the two
electric ethers thus unite, a chemical explosion occurs, like an
ignited train of gunpowder; as they give out light and heat; and rend
or fuse the bodies they occupy; which cannot be accounted for on the
mechanical theory of Dr. Franklin.

4. Glass holds within it in combination much resinous electric ether,
which constitutes a part of it, and which more forcibly attracts
vitreous electric ether from surrounding bodies, which stands on it
mixed with a less proportion of resinous ether like an atmosphere, but
cannot unite with the resinous ether, which is combined with the
glass; and resin, on the contrary, holds within it in combination much
vitreous electric ether, which constitutes a part of it, and which
more forcibly attracts resinous electric ether from surrounding
bodies, which stands on it mixed with a less proportion of vitreous
ether like an atmosphere, but cannot unite with the vitreous ether,
which is combined with the resin.

As in the production of vitrification, those materials are necessary
which contain much oxygen, as minium, and manganese; there is probably
much oxygen combined with glass, which may thence be esteemed a solid
acid, as water may be esteemed a fluid one. It is hence not
improbable, that one kind of electric ether may also be combined with
it, as it seems to affect the oxygen of water in the Galvanic
experiments. The combination of the other kind of electric ether with
wax or sulphur, is countenanced from those bodies, when heated or
melted, being said to part with much electricity as they cool, and as
it appears to affect the hydrogen in the decomposition of water by

5. Hence the nonconductors of electricity are of two kinds; such as
are combined with vitreous ether, as resin, and sulphur; and such as
are combined with resinous ether, as glass, air, silk. But both these
kinds of nonconductors are impervious to either of the electric
ethers; as those ethers being already combined with other bodies will
not unite with each other, or be removed from their situations by each
other. Whereas the perfect conducting bodies, as metals, water,
charcoal, though surrounded with electric atmospheres, as they have
neither of the electric ethers combined with them, suffer them to
permeate and pass through them, whether separately or in their neutral
state of reciprocal combination.

But it is probable, that imperfect conductors may possess more or less
of either the vitreous or resinous ether combined with them, since
their natural atmospheres are dissimilar as mentioned below; and that
this makes them more or less imperfect conductors.

6. Those bodies which are perfect conductors, have probably neutral
electric atmospheres gravitating round them consisting of an equal or
saturated mixture of the two electric ethers, whereas the atmospheres
round the nonconducting bodies probably consist of an unequal mixture
of the electric ethers, as more of the vitreous one round glass, and
more of the resinous one round resin; and, it is probable, that these
mixed atmospheres, which surround imperfect conducting bodies, consist
also of different proportions of the vitreous and resinous ethers,
according to their being more or less perfect conductors. These minute
degrees of the difference of these electric atmospheres are evinced by
Mr. Bennet's Doubler of Electricity, as shown in his work, and are
termed by him Adhesive Electric Atmospheres, to distinguish them from
those accumulated by art; thus the natural adhesive electricity of
silver is more of the vitreous kind compared with that of zinc, which
consists of a greater proportion of the resinous; that is, in his
language, silver is positive and zinc negative. This experiment I have
successfully repeated with Mr. Bennet's Doubler along with Mr.

7. Great accumulation or condensation of the separate electric ethers
attract each other so strongly, that they will break a passage through
nonconducting bodies, as through a plate of glass, or of air, and will
rend bodies which are less perfect conductors, and give out light and
heat like the explosion of a train of gunpowder; whence, when a strong
electric shock is passed through a quire of paper, a bur, or elevation
of the sheets, is seen on both sides of it occasioned by the
explosion. Whence trees and stone walls are burst by lightning, and
wires are fused, and inflammable bodies burnt, by the heat given out
along with the flash of light, which cannot be explained by the
mechanic theory.

8. When artificial or natural accumulations of these separate ethers
are very minute in quantity or intensity, they pass slowly and with
difficulty from one body to another, and require the best conductors
for this purpose; whence many of the phenomena of the torpedo or
gymnotus, and of Galvanism. Thus after having discharged a coated
jar, if the communicating wire has been quickly withdrawn, a second
small shock may be taken after the principal discharge, and this
repeatedly two or three times.

Hence the charge of the Galvanic pile being very minute in quantity or
intensity, will not readily pass through the dry cuticle of the hands,
though it so easily passes through animal flesh or nerves, as this
combination of charcoal with water seems to constitute the most
perfect conductor yet known.

9. As light is reflected from the surface of a mirror before it
actually touches it, and as drops of water are repelled from cabbage
leaves without touching them, and as oil lies on water without
touching it, and also as a fine needle may be made to lie on water
without touching it, as shown by Mr. Melville in the Literary Essays
of Edinburgh; there is reason to believe, that the vitreous and
resinous electric ethers are repelled by, or will not pass through,
the surfaces of glass or resin, to which they are applied. But though
neither of these electric ethers passes through the surfaces of glass
or resin, yet their attractive or repulsive powers pass through them:
as the attractive or repulsive power of the magnet to iron passes
through the atmosphere, and all other bodies which exist between them.
So an insulated cork-ball, when electrised either with vitreous or
resinous ether, repels another insulated cork-ball electrised with the
same kind of ether, through half an inch of common air, though these
electric atmospheres do not unite.

Whence it may be concluded, that the general attractive and repulsive
ethers accompany the electric ethers as well as they accompany all
other bodies; and that the electric ethers do not themselves attract
or repel through glass or resin, as they cannot pass through them, but
strongly attract each other when they come into contact, rush
together, and produce an explosion of the sudden liberation of heat
and light.

III. _Effect of Metallic Points._

1. When a pointed wire is presented by a person standing on the ground
to an insulated conductor, on which either vitreous or resinous
electricity is accumulated, the accumulated electricity will pass off
at a much greater distance than if a metallic knob be fixed on the
wire and presented in its stead.

2. The same occurs if the metallic point be fixed on the electrised
conductor, and the finger of a person standing on the ground be
presented to it, the accumulated electricity will pass off at a much
greater distance, and indeed will soon discharge itself by
communicating the accumulated electricity to the atmosphere.

3. If a metallic point be fixed on the prime conductor, and the flame
of a candle be presented to it, on electrising the conductor either
with vitreous or resinous ether, the flame of the candle is blown from
the point, which must be owing to the electric fluid in its passage
from the point carrying along with it a stream of atmospheric air.

The manner in which the accumulated electricity so readily passes off
by a metallic point may be thus understood; when a metallic point
stands erect from an electrised metallic plane, the accumulated
electricity which exists on the extremity of the point, is attracted
less than that on the other parts of the electrised surface. For the
particle of electric matter immediately over the point is attracted by
that point only, whereas the particles of electric matter over every
other part of the electrised plane, is not only attracted by the parts
of the plane immediately under them, but also laterally by the
circumjacent parts of it; whence the accumulated electric fluid is
pushed off at this point by that over the other parts being more
strongly attracted to the plane.

Thus if a light insulated horizontal fly be constructed of wire with
points fixed as tangents to the circle, it will revolve the way
contrary to the direction of the points as long as it continues to be
electrised. For the same reason as when a circle of cork, with a point
of the cork standing from it like a tangent, is smeared with oil, and
thrown upon a lake, it will continue to revolve backwards in respect
to the direction of the point till all the oil is dispersed upon the
lake, as first observed by Dr. Franklin; for the oil being attracted
to all the other parts of the cork-circle more than towards the
pointed tangent, that part over the point is pushed off and diffuses
itself on the water, over which it passes without touching, and
consequently without friction; and thus the cork revolves in the
contrary direction.

As the flame of a candle is blown from a point fixed on an electrised
conductor, whether vitreous or resinous electricity is accumulated on
it, it shows that in both cases electricity passes from the point,
which is a forcible argument against the mechanical theory of positive
and negative electricity; because then the flame should be blown
towards the point in one case, and from it in the other.

So the electric fly, as it turns horizontally, recedes from the
direction of the points of the tangents, whether it be electrised with
vitreous or resinous electricity; whereas if it was supposed to
receive electricity, when electrised by resin, and to part with it
when electrised by glass, it ought to revolve different ways; which
also forcibly opposes the theory of positive and negative electricity.

As an electrised point with either kind of electricity causes a stream
of air to pass from it in the direction of the point, it seems to
affect the air much in the same manner as the fluid matter of heat
affects it; that is, it will not readily pass through it, but will
adhere to the particles of air, and is thus carried away with them.

From this it will also appear, that points do not attract electricity,
properly speaking, but suffer it to depart from them; as it is there
less attracted to the body which it surrounds, than by any other part
of the surface.

And as a point presented to an electrised conductor facilitates the
discharge of it, and blows the flame of a candle towards the
conductor, whether vitreous or resinous electricity be accumulated
upon it; it follows, that in both cases some electric matter passes
from the point to the conductor, and that hence there are two electric
ethers; and that they combine or explode when they meet together, and
give out light and heat, and occupy less space in this their combined
state, like the union of nitrous gas with oxygen gas.

IV. _Accumulation of Electric Ethers by Contact._

The electric ethers may be separately accumulated by contact of
conductors with nonconductors, by vicinity of the two ethers, by heat,
and by decomposition.

Glass is believed to consist in part of consolidated resinous ether,
and thence to attract an electric atmosphere round it, which consists
of a greater proportion of vitreous ether compared to the quantity of
the resinous, as mentioned in Proposition No. 4. This atmosphere may
stand off a line from the surface of the glass, though its attractive
or repulsive power may extend to a much greater distance; and a more
equally mixed electric atmosphere may stand off about the same
distance from the surface of a cushion.

Now when a cushion is forcibly pressed upon the surface of a glass
cylinder or plane, the atmosphere of the cushion is forced within that
of the glass, and consequently the vitreous part of it is brought
within the sphere of the attraction of the resinous ether combined
with the glass, and therefore becomes attracted by it in addition to
the vitreous part of the spontaneous atmosphere of the glass; and the
resinous part of the atmosphere of the cushion is at the same time
repelled by its vicinity to the combined resinous ether of the glass.
From both which circumstances a vitreous ether alone surrounds the
part of the glass on which the cushion is forcibly pressed; which does
not, nevertheless, resemble an electrised coated jar; as this
accumulation of vitreous ether on one side of the glass is not so
violently condensed, or so forcibly attracted to the glass by the
loose resinous ether on the other side of it, as occurs in the charged
coated jar.

Hence as weak differences of the kinds or quantities of electricity do
not very rapidly change place, if the cushion be suddenly withdrawn,
with or without friction, I suppose an accumulation of vitreous
electric ether will be left on the surface of the glass, which will
diffuse itself on an insulated conductor by the assistance of points,
or will gradually be dissipated in the air, probably like odours by
the repulsion of its own particles, or may be conducted away by the
surrounding air as it is repelled from it, or by the moisture or other
impurities of the atmosphere. And hence I do not suppose the friction
of the glass-globe to be necessary, except for the purpose of more
easily removing the parts of the surface from the pressure of the
cushion to the points of the prime conductor, and to bring them more
easily into reciprocal contact.

When sealing wax or sulphur is rubbed by a cushion, exactly the same
circumstance occurs, but with the different ethers; as the resinous
ether of the spontaneous atmosphere of the cushion, when it is pressed
within the spontaneous atmosphere of the sealing wax, is attracted by
the solid vitreous ether, which is combined with it; and at the same
time the vitreous ether of the cushion is repelled by it; and hence an
atmosphere of resinous ether alone exists between the sealing wax and
the cushion thus pressed together. It is nevertheless possible, that
friction on both sealing wax and glass may add some facility to the
accumulations of their opposite ethers by the warmth which it
occasions. As most electric machines succeed best after being warmed,
I think even in dry frosty seasons.

Though when a cushion is applied to a smooth surfaced glass, so as to
intermix their electric atmospheres, the vitreous ether of the cushion
is attracted by the resinous ether combined with the glass; but does
not intermix with it, but only adheres to it: and as the glass turns
round, the vitreous electric atmosphere stands on the solid resinous
electric ether combined with the glass; and is taken away by the
metallic points of the prime conductor.

Yet if the surface of the glass be roughened by scratching it with a
diamond or with hard sand, a new event occurs; which is, that the
vitreous ether attracted from the cushion by the resinous ether
combined with the glass becomes adhesive to it; and stands upon the
roughened glass, and will not quit the glass to go to the prime
conductor; whence the surface of the glass having a vitreous electric
atmosphere united, as it were, to its inequalities, becomes similar to
resin; and will now attract resinous electric ether, like a stick of
sealing wax, without combining with it. Whence this curious and
otherwise unintelligible phenomenon, that smooth surfaced glass will
give vitreous electric ether to an insulated conductor, and glass with
a roughened surface will give resinous ether to it.

V. _Accumulation of electric ethers by vicinity._

Though the contact of a cushion on the whirling glass is the easiest
method yet in use for the accumulation of the vitreous electric ether
on an insulated conductor; yet there are other methods of effecting
this, as by the vicinity of the two electric ethers with a
nonconductor between them.

Thus I believe a great quantity of both vitreous and resinous electric
ether may be accumulated in the following manner. Let a glass jar be
coated within in the usual manner; but let it have a loose external
coating, which can easily be withdrawn by an insulating handle. Then
charge the jar, as highly as it may be, by throwing into it vitreous
electric ether; and in this state hermetically seal it, if
practicable, otherwise close it with a glass stopple and wax. When the
external coating is drawn off by an insulating handle, having
previously had a communication with the earth, it will possess an
accumulation of resinous electric ether; and then touching it with
your finger, a spark will be seen, and there will cease to be any
accumulated ether.

Thus by alternately replacing this loose coating, and withdrawing it
from the sealed charged jar, by means of an insulating handle; and by
applying it to one insulated conductor, when it is in the vicinity of
the jar; and to another insulated conductor, when it is withdrawn;
vitreous electric ether may be accumulated on one of them, and
resinous on the other; and thus I suspect an immense quantity of both
ethers may be produced without friction or much labour, if a large
electric battery was so contrived; and that it might be applied to
many mechanical purposes, where other explosions are now used, as in
the place of steam engines, or to rend rocks, or timber, or destroy
invading armies!

The principle of this mode of accumulating the two electric ethers in
some measure resembles that of Volta's Electrophorus and Bennet's

VI. _Accumulation of electric ethers by heat and by decomposition._

When glass or amber is heated by the fire in a dry season, I suspect
that it becomes in some degree electric; as either of the electric
ethers which is combined with them may have its combination with those
materials loosened by the application of heat; and that on this
account they may more forcibly attract the opposite one from the air
in their vicinity.

It has long been known, that a siliceous stone called the tourmalin,
when its surfaces are polished, if it be laid down before the fire,
will become electrified with vitreous, or what is called positive
electricity on its upper surface; and resinous, or what is called
negative electricity on its under surface; which I suppose lay in
contact with somewhat which supported it near the fire.

In this experiment I suppose the tourmalin to be naturally combined
with resinous electric ether like glass; which on one side next
towards the fire by the increase of its attractive power, owing to the
heat having loosened its combination with the earth of the stone, more
strongly attracts vitreous electric ether from the atmosphere; which
now stands on its surface: and then as the lower surface of the stone
lies in contact with the hearth, the less quantity of vitreous ether
is there repelled by the greater quantity of it on the upper surface;
while the resinous ether is attracted by it: and the stone is thus
charged like a coated jar with vitreous electric ether condensed on
one side of it, and resinous on the other.

So cats, as they lie by the fire in a frosty day, become so electric
as frequently to give a perceptible spark to one's finger from their
ears without friction.

A fourth method of separating the two ethers would seem to be by the
decomposition of metallic bodies, as in the experiment with Volta's
Galvanic pile; which is said by Mr. Davy to act so much more
powerfully, when an acid is added to the water used in the experiment;
as will be spoken of below.

From experiments made by M. Saussure on the electricity of evaporated
water from hot metallic vessels, and from those of china and glass, he
found when the vessel was calcined or made rusty by the evaporating
water, that the electricity of it was positive (or vitreous), and that
from china or glass was negative (or resinous), Encyclop. Britan. Art.
Elect. No. 206, which seems also to show, that vitreous electric ether
was given out or produced by the corrosion of metals, and resinous
ether from the evaporation of water.

VII. _The spark from the conductor, and of electric light._

When either the vitreous or resinous electric ether is accumulated on
an insulated conductor, and an uninsulated conductor, as the finger of
an attendant, is applied nearly in contact with it, what happens? The
attractive and repulsive powers of the accumulated electric ether pass
through the nonconducting plate of air, and if it be of the vitreous
kind, it attracts the resinous electric ether of the finger towards
it, and repels the vitreous electric ether of the finger from it.

Hence there exists for an instant a charged plate of air between the
finger and the prime conductor, with an accumulation of vitreous ether
on one side of it, and of resinous ether on the other side of it; and
lastly these two kinds of electric ethers suddenly unite by their
powerful attraction of each other, explode, and give out heat and
light, and rupture the plate of nonconducting air, which separated

The rupture or disjunction of the plate of air is known by the sound
of the spark, as of thunder; which shows that a vacuum of air was
previously produced by the explosion of the electric fluids, and a
vibration of the air in consequence of the sudden joining again of the
sides of the vacuum.

The light which attends electric sparks and shocks, is not accounted
for by the Theory of Dr. Franklin. I suspect that it is owing to the
combination of the two electric ethers, from which as from all
chemical explosions both light and heat are set at liberty, and
because a smell is said to be perceptible from electric sparks, and
even a taste which must be deduced from new combinations, or
decompositions, as in other explosions: add to this that the same
thing occurs, when electric shocks are passed through eggs in the
dark, or through water, a luminous line is seen like the explosion of
a train of gunpowder; lastly, whether light is really produced in the
passage of the Galvanic electricity through the eyes, or that the
sensation alone of light is perceived by its stimulating the optic
nerve, has not yet been investigated; but I suspect the former, as it
emits light from its explosion even in passing through eggs and
through water, as mentioned above.

VIII. _The shock from the coated jar, and of electric condensation._

1. When a glass jar is coated on both sides, and either vitreous or
resinous electricity is thrown upon the coating on one side, and there
is a communication to the earth from the other side, the same thing
happens as in the plate of air between the finger and prime conductor
above described; that is, the accumulated electricity, if it be of the
vitreous kind, on one coating of the glass jar will attract the
resinous part of the electricity, which surrounds or penetrates the
coating on the other side of the jar, and also repel the vitreous part
of it; but this occurs on a much more extensive surface than in the
instance of the plate of air between the finger and prime conductor.

The difference between electric sparks and shocks consists in this
circumstance, that in the former the insulating medium, whether of
air, or of thin glass, is ruptured in one part, and thus a
communication is made between the vitreous and resinous ethers, and
they unite immediately, like globules of quicksilver, when pressed
forcibly together: but in the electric shock a communication is made
by some conducting body applied to the other extremities of the
vitreous, and of the resinous atmospheres, through which they pass and
unite, whether both sides of the coated jar are insulated, or only one
side of it.

And in this line, as they reciprocally meet, they appear to explode
and give out light and heat, and a new combination of the two ethers
is produced, as a residuum after the explosion, which probably
occupies much less space than either the vitreous or resinous ethers
did separately before. At the same time there may be another
unrestrainable ethereal fluid yet unobserved, given out from this
explosion, which rends oak trees, bursts stone-walls, lights
inflammable substances, and fuses metals, or dissipates them in a
calciform smoak, along with which great light and much heat are
emitted, or these effects are produced by the heat and light only thus
set at liberty by their synchronous and sudden evolution.

2. The curious circumstance of electric condensation appears from the
violence of the shock of the coated jar compared with the strongest
spark from an insulated conductor, though the latter possesses a much
greater surface; when vitreous electric ether is thrown on one side of
a coated jar, it attracts the resinous electric ether of the other
side of the coated jar; and the same occurs, when resinous ether is
thrown on one side of it, it attracts the vitreous ether of the other
side of it, and thus the vitreous electric ether on one side of the
jar, and the resinous ether on the other side of it become condensed,
that is accumulated in less space, by their reciprocal attraction of
each other.

This condensation of the two electric ethers owing to their reciprocal
attraction appears from another curious event, that the thinner the
glass jar is, the stronger will the charge be on the same quantity of
surface, as then the two ethers approaching nearer without their
intermixing attract each other stronger, and consequently condense
each other more. And when the glass jar is very thin the reciprocal
attractive powers of the vitreous and resinous ether attract each
other so violently as at length to pass through the glass by rupturing
it, in the same manner as a less forcible attraction of them ruptures
and passes through the plate of air in the production of sparks from
the prime conductor.

As these two ethers on each side of a charged coated jar so powerfully
attract each other, when a communication is made between them by some
conducting substance as in the common mode of discharging an
electrised coated jar, they reciprocally pass to each other for the
purpose of combining, as some chemical fluids are known to do; as when
nitrous gas and oxygen gas are mixed together; whence as these fluids
pass both ways to intermix with each other, and then explode; a bur
appears on each side of a quire of paper well pressed together, when a
strong electric shock is passed through it; which is occasioned by
their explosion, like a train of gunpowder, and consequent emission of
some other ethereal fluid, either those of heat and light or of some
new one not yet observed. Whence it becomes difficult to explain,
according to the theory of Dr. Franklin, which way the electric fluid
passed; and which side of the coated jar contained positive and which
the negative charge according to that doctrine.

But the theory of the ingenious Dr. Franklin failed also in explaining
other phenomena of the coated jar; since if the positive electricity
accumulated on one side of the jar repelled the electricity from the
coating on the other side of it, so as to produce an electric vacuum;
why should it be so eager, when a communication is made by some
conducting body, to run into that vacuum by its attraction or
gravitation, which has been made by its repulsion; as thus it seems to
be violently attracted by the vacuum, from which it had previously
repelled a fluid similar to itself, which is not easily to be

3. There is another mode by which either vitreous or resinous electric
ether is capable of condensation; which consists in contracting the
volume, so as to diminish the surface of the electrised body; as was
ingeniously shown by Dr. Franklin's experiment of electrising a silver
tankard with a length of chain rolled up within it; and then drawing
up the chain by a silk string, which weakened the electric attraction
of the tankard; which was strengthened again by returning the chain
into it; thus the condensation of an electrised cloud is believed to
condense the electric ether, which it contains, and thus to occasion
the lightning passing from one cloud to another, or from a cloud into
the earth.

This experiment of the chain and tankard is said to succeed as well with
what is termed negative electricity in the theory of Dr. Franklin, as
with what is termed positive electricity; but in that theory the
negative electricity means a less quantity or total deprivation or
vacuity of that fluid; now to condense negative electricity by lowering
the suspended chain into the tankard ought to make it less negative;
whereas in this experiment I am told it becomes more so, as appears by
its stronger repulsion of cork balls suspended on silk strings, and
previously electrised by rubbed sealing wax: and if the negative
electricity be believed to be a perfect vacuum of it, the condensation
of a vacuum of electricity is totally incomprehensible; and this
experiment alone seems to demonstrate the existence of two electric

IX. _Of Galvanic Electricity._

1. The conductors of electricity, as well as the nonconductors of it,
have probably a portion of the vitreous and resinous ethers combined
with them, and have also another portion of these ethers diffused
round them, which forms their natural or spontaneous adhesive
atmospheres; and which exists in different proportions round them
correspondent in quantity to those which are combined with them, but
opposite in kind.

These adhesive spontaneous atmospheres of electricity are shown to
consist of different proportions or quantities of the electric ethers
by Mr. Bennet's Doubler of Electricity, as mentioned in his work
called New Experiments on Electricity, sold by Johnson. In this work,
p. 91, the blade of a steel knife was evidently, in his language,
positive, compared to a soft iron wire which was comparatively
negative; so the adhesive electricity of gold, silver, copper, brass,
bismuth, mercury, and various kinds of wood and stone, were what he
terms positive or vitreous; and that of tin and zinc, what he terms
negative or resinous.

Where these spontaneous atmospheres of diffused electricity
surrounding two conducting bodies, as two pieces of silver, are
perfectly similar, they probably do not intermix when brought into the
vicinity of each other; but if these spontaneous atmospheres of
diffused electricity are different in respect to the proportion of the
two ethers, or perhaps in respect to their quantity, in however small
degree either of these circumstances exists, they may be made to unite
but with some difficulty; as the two metallic plates, suppose one of
silver, and another of zinc, which they surround, must be brought into
absolute or adhesive contact; or otherwise these atmospheres may be
forced together so as to be much flattened, and compress each other
where they meet, like small globules of quicksilver when pressed
together, but without uniting.

This curious phenomenon may be seen in more dense electric atmospheres
accumulated by art, as in the following experiment ascribed to Mr.
Canton. Lay a wooden skewer the size of a goose-quill across a dry
wine-glass, and another across another wine-glass; let the ends of
them touch each other, as they lie in a horizontal line; call them X
and Y; approach a rubbed glass-tube near the external end of the
skewer X, but not so as to touch it; then separate the two skewers by
removing the wine-glasses further from each other; and lastly,
withdraw the rubbed glass-tube, and the skewer X will now be found to
possess resinous electricity, which has been generally called negative
or minus electricity; and the skewer Y will be found to possess
vitreous, or what is generally termed positive or plus electricity.

The same phenomenon will occur if rubbed sealing wax be applied near
to, but not in contact with, the skewer X, as the skewer X will then
be left with an atmosphere of vitreous ether, and the skewer Y with
one of resinous ether. These experiments also evince the existence of
two electric fluids, as they cannot be understood from an idea of one
being a greater or less quantity of the same material; as a vacuum of
electric ether, brought near to one end of the skewer, cannot be
conceived so to attract the ether as to produce a vacuum at the other

In this experiment the electric atmospheres, which are nearly of
similar kinds, do not seem to touch, as there may remain a thin plate
of air between them, in the same manner as small globules of mercury
may be pressed together so as to compress each other, long before they
intermix; or as plates of lead or brass require strongly to be pressed
together before they acquire the attraction of cohesion; that is,
before they come into real contact.

2. It is probable, that all bodies are more or less perfect
conductors, as they have less or more of either of the electric ethers
combined with them; as mentioned in Preliminary Proposition, No. VI.
as they may then less resist the passage of either of the ethers
through them. Whence some conducting bodies admit the junction of
these spontaneous electric atmospheres, in which the proportions or
quantities of the two ethers are not very different, with greater
facility than others.

Thus in the common experiments, where the vitreous or resinous ether
is accumulated by art, metallic bodies have been esteemed the best
conductors, and next to these water, and all other moist bodies; but
it was lately discovered, that dry charcoal, recently burnt, was a
more perfect conductor than metals; and it appears from the
experiments discovered by Galvani, which have thence the name of
Galvanism, that animal flesh, and particularly perhaps the nerves of
animals, both which are composed of much carbon and water, are the
most perfect conductors yet discovered; that is, that they give the
least resistance to the junction of the spontaneous electric
atmospheres, which exist round metallic bodies, and which differ very
little in respect to the proportions of their vitreous and resinous

Thus also, though where the accumulated electricities are dense, as in
charging a coated glass-jar, the glass, which intervenes, may be of
considerable thickness, and may still become charged by the stronger
attraction of the secondary electric ethers; but where the spontaneous
adhesive electric atmospheres are employed to charge plates of air, as
in the Galvanic pile, or probably to charge thin animal membranes or
cuticles, as perhaps in the shock given by the torpedo or gymnotus, it
seems necessary that the intervening nonconducting plate must be
extremely thin, that it may become charged by the weaker attraction of
these small quantities or difference of the spontaneous electric
atmospheres; and in this circumstance only, I suppose, the shocks from
the Galvanic pile, and from the torpedo and gymnotus, differ from
those of the coated jar.

3. When atmospheres of electricity, which do not differ much in the
quantity or proportion of their vitreous and resinous ethers, approach
each other, they are not easily or rapidly united; but the predominant
vitreous or resinous ether of one of them repels the similar ether of
the opposed atmosphere, and attracts the contrary kind of ether.

The slowness or difficulty with, which atmospheres, which differ but
little in kind or in density, unite with each other, appears not only
from the experiment of Mr. Canton above related, but also from the
repeated smaller shocks, which may be taken from a charged coated jar
after the first or principal discharge, if the conducting medium has
not been quickly removed, as is also mentioned above.

Hence those atmospheres of either kind of electric matter, which
differ but very little from each other in kind or quantity, require
the most perfect conductors to cause them to unite. Thus it appears by
Mr. Bennet's doubler, as mentioned in the Preliminary Proposition, No.
VI. that the natural adhesive atmosphere round silver contains more
vitreous electricity than that naturally round zinc; but when thin
plates of these metals, each about an ounce in weight, are laid on
each other, or moderately pressed together, their atmospheres do not
unite. For metallic plates, which when laid on each other, do not
adhere, cannot be said to be in real contact, of which their not
adhering is a proof; and in consequence a thin plate of air, or of
their own repulsive ethers exists between them.

Hence when two plates of zinc and silver are thus brought in to the
vicinity of each other, the plate of air between them, as they are not
in adhesive contact, becomes like a charged coated jar; and if these
two metallic plates are touched by your dry hands, they do not unite
their electricities, as the dry cuticle is not a sufficiently good
conductor; but if one of the metals be put above, and another under
the tongue, the saliva and moist mucous membrane, muscular fibres, and
nerves, supply so good a conductor, that this very minute electric
shock is produced, and a kind of pungent taste is perceived.

When a plate or pencil of silver is put between the upper lip and the
gum, and a plate or pencil of zinc under the tongue, a sensation of
light is perceived in the eyes, as often as the exterior extremities
of these metals are brought into contact; which is owing in like
manner to the discharge of a very minute electric shock, which would
not have been produced but by the intervention of such good conductors
as moist membranes, muscular fibres, and nerves.

In this situation, a sensation of light is produced in the eyes; which
seems to show, that these ethers pass through nerves more easily, than
through muscular flesh simply; since the passage of them through the
retina of the eyes from the upper gum to the parts beneath the tongue
is a more distant one, than would otherwise appear necessary. It is
not so easy to give the sensation of light in the eyes by passing a
small shock of artificially accumulated electricity through, the eyes
(though this may, I believe, be done) because this artificial
accumulated electricity, as it passes with greater velocity than the
spontaneous accumulations of it, will readily permeate the muscles or
other moist parts of animal bodies; whereas the spontaneous
accumulations of electricity seem to require the best of all
conductors, as animal nerves, to facilitate their passage.

4. In the Galvanic pile of Volta this electric shock becomes so much
increased, as to pass by less perfect conductors, and to give shocks
to the arms of the conducting person, if the cuticle of his hands be
moistened, and even to show sparks like the coated jar; which appears
to be effected in this manner. When a plate of silver is laid
horizontally on a plate of zinc, the plate of air between them becomes
charged like a coated jar; as the silver, naturally possessing more
vitreous electric ether, repels the vitreous ether, which the zinc
possesses in less quantity, and attracts the resinous ether of the
zinc. Whence the inferior surface of the plate of zinc abounds now
with vitreous ether, and its upper surface with resinous ether.
Beneath this pair of plates lay a cloth moistened with water, or with
some better conductor, as salt and water, or a slight acid mixed with
water, or volatile alcali of ammoniac mixed with water, and this
vitreous electric ether on the lower surface of the zinc plate will be
given to the second silver plate which lies beneath it; and thus this
second silver plate will possess not only its own natural vitreous
atmosphere, which was denser or in greater quantity than that of the
zinc plate next beneath it, but now acquires an addition of vitreous
ether from the zinc plate above it, conducted to it through the moist

This then will repel more vitreous ether from the second zinc plate
into the third silver one; and so on till the plates of air between
the zincs and silvers are all charged, and each stronger and stronger,
as they descend in the pile.

If the reader still prefers the Franklinian theory of positive and
negative electricity, he will please to put the word positive for
vitreous, and negative for resinous, and he will find the theory of
the Galvanic pile equally thus accounted for.

5. When a Galvanic pile is thus placed, and a communication between
the two ends of it is made by wires, so that the electric shocks pass
through water, the water becomes decomposed in some measure, and
oxygen is liberated from it at the point of one wire, and hydrogen at
the point of the other; and this though a syphon of water be
interposed between them. This curious circumstance seems to evince the
existence of two electric ethers, which enter the water at different
ends of the syphon, and have chemical affinities to the component
parts of it; the resinous ether sets at liberty the hydrogen at one
end, and the vitreous ether the oxygen at the other end of the
conducting medium.

Hence it must appear, that the longer the Galvanic pile, or the
greater the number of the alternate pieces of silver and zinc that it
consists of, the stronger will be the Galvanic shock; but there is
another circumstance, difficult to explain, which is the perpetual
decomposition of water by the Galvanic pile; when water is made the
conducting medium between the two extremities of the pile.

As no conductors of electricity are absolutely perfect, there must be
produced a certain accumulation of vitreous ether on one side of each
charged plate of the Galvanic pile, and of resinous ether on the other
side of it, before the discharge takes place, even though the
conducting medium be in apparent contact. When the discharge does take
place, the whole of the accumulated electricity explodes and vanishes;
and then an instant of time is required for the silver and zinc again
to attract from the air, or other bodies in their vicinity, their
spontaneous natural atmospheres, and then another discharge ensues;
and so repeatedly and perpetually till the surface of one of the
metallic plates becomes so much oxydated or calcined, that it ceases
to act.

Hence a perpetual motion may be said to be produced, with an incessant
decomposition of water into the two gasses of oxygen and hydrogen;
which must probably be constantly proceeding on all moist Surfaces,
where a chain of electric conductors exists, surrounded with different
proportions of the two electric ethers. Whence the ceaseless
liberation of oxygen from the water has oxydated or calcined the ores
of metals near the surface of the earth, as of manganese, of zinc into
lapis calaminaris, of iron into various ochres, and other calciform
ores. From this source also the corrosion of some metals may be
traced, when they are immersed in water in the vicinity of each
other, as when the copper sheathing of ships was held on by iron
nails. And hence another great operation of nature is probably
produced, I mean the restoration of oxygen to the atmosphere from the
surface of the earth in dewy mornings, as well as from the
perspiration of vegetable leaves; which atmospheric oxygen is hourly
destructible by the respiration of animals and plants, by combustion,
and by other oxydations.

6. The combination of the electric ethers with metallic bodies, before
mentioned appears from the Galvanic pile; since, according to the
experiments of Mr. Davy, when an acid is mixed with the water placed
between the alternate pairs of silver and zinc plates, a much greater
electric shock is produced by the same pile; and an anonymous writer
in the Phil. Magaz. No. 36, for May 1801, asserts, that when the
intervening cloths or papers are moistened with pure alcali, as a
solution of pure ammonia, the effect is greater than by any other
material. It must here be observed, that both the acid and the
alcaline solution, or common salt and water, and even water alone, in
these experiments much erodes the plates of zinc, and somewhat
tarnishes those of silver. Whence it would appear, that as by the
repeated explosions of the two electric ethers in the conducting
water, both oxygen and hydrogen are liberated; the oxygen erodes the
zinc plates, and thus increases the Galvanic shock by liberating their
combined electric ethers: and that this erosion is much increased by a
mixture either of acid or of volatile alcali with the water. Further
experiments are wanting on this subject to show whether metallic
bodies emit either or both of the electric ethers at the time of their
solution or erosion in acids or in alcalies.

X. _Of the two Magnetic Ethers._

1. Magnetism coincides with electricity in so many important points,
that the existence of two magnetic ethers, as well as of two electric
ones, becomes highly probable. We shall suppose, that in a common bar
of iron or steel the two magnetic ethers exist intermixed or in their
neutral state; which for the greater ease of speaking of them may be
called arctic ether and antarctic ether; and in this state like the
two electric fluids they are not cognizable by our senses of

When these two magnetic ethers are separated from each other, and the
arctic ether is accumulated on one end of an iron or steel bar, which
is then called the north pole of the magnet, and the antarctic ether
is accumulated on the other end of the bar, and is then termed the
south pole of the magnet; they become capable of attracting other
pieces of iron or steel, and are thus cognizable by experiments.

It seems probable, that it is not the magnetic ether itself which
attracts or repels particles of iron, but that an attractive and
repulsive ether attends the magnetic ethers, as was shown to attend
the electric ones in No. II. 9. of this Note; because magnetism does
not pass through other bodies, as it does not escape from magnetised
steel when in contact with other bodies; just as the electric fluids
do not pass through glass, but the attractive and repellent ethers,
which attend both the magnetic and electric ethers, pass through all

2. The prominent articles of analogical coincidence between magnetism
and electricity are first, that when one end of an iron bar possesses
an accumulation of arctic magnetic ether, or northern polarity; the
other end possesses an accumulation of antarctic magnetic ether, or
southern polarity; in the same manner as when vitreous electric ether
is accumulated on one side of a coated glass jar, resinous electric
ether becomes accumulated on the other side of it; as the vitreous and
resinous ethers strongly attract each other, and strongly repel the
ethers of the same denomination, but are prevented from intermixing by
the glass plane between them; so the arctic and antarctic ethers
attract each other, and repel those of similar denomination, but are
prevented from intermixing by the iron or steel being a bad conductor
of them; they will, nevertheless, sooner combine, when the bar is of
soft iron, than when it is of hardened steel; and then they slowly
combine without explosion, that is, without emitting heat and light
like the electric ethers, and therefore resemble a mixture of oxygen
and pure ammonia; which unite silently producing a neutral fluid
without emitting any other fluids previously combined with them.

Secondly, If the north pole of a magnetic bar be approached near to
the eye of a sewing needle, the arctic ether of the magnet attracts
the antarctic ether, which resides in the needle towards the eye of
it, and repels the arctic ether, which resides in the needle towards
the point, precisely in the same manner as occurs in presenting an
electrised, glass tube, or a rubbed stick of sealing wax to one
extremity of two skewers insulated horizontally on wine-glasses in the
experiment ascribed to Mr. Canton, and described in No. IX. 1, of this
Additional Note, and also so exactly resembles the method of producing
a separation and consequent accumulation of the two electric ethers by
pressing a cushion on glass or on sealing wax, described in No. 4 of
this Note, that their analogy is evidently apparent.

Thirdly, When much accumulated electricity is approached to one end of
a long glass tube by a charged prime conductor, there will exist many
divisions of the vitreous and resinous electricity alternately; as the
vitreous ether attracts the resinous ether from a certain distance on
the surface of the glass tube, and repels the vitreous ether; but, as
this surface is a bad conductor, these reciprocal attractions and
repulsions do not extend very far along it, but cease and recur in
various parts of it. Exactly similar to this, when a magnetic bar is
approximated to the end of a common bar of iron or steel, as described
in Mr. Cavallo's valuable Treatise on Magnetism; the arctic ether of
the north pole of the magnetic bar attracts the antarctic ether of the
bar of common iron towards the end in contact, and repels the arctic
ether; but, as iron and steel are as bad conductors of magnetism, as
glass is of electricity, this accumulation of arctic ether extends but
a little way, and then there exists an accumulation of antarctic
ether; and thus reciprocally in three or four divisions of the bar,
which now becomes magnetised, as the glass tube became electrised.

Another striking feature, which shows the sisterhood of electricity
and magnetism, consists in the origin of both of them from the earth,
or common mass of matter. The eduction of electricity from the earth
is shown by an insulated cushion soon ceasing to supply either the
vitreous or resinous ether to the whirling globe of glass or of
sulphur; the eduction of magnetism from the earth appears from the
following experiment: if a bar of iron be set upright on the earth in
this part of the world, it becomes in a short time magnetical; the
lower end possessing northern polarity, or arctic ether, and the
higher end in consequence possessing southern polarity or antarctic
ether; which may be well explained, if we suppose with Mr. Cavallo,
that the earth itself is one great magnet, with its southern polarity
or antarctic ether at the northern end of its axis; and, in
consequence, that it attracts the arctic ether of the iron bar into
that end of it which touches the earth, and repels the antarctic ether
of the iron bar to the other end of it, exactly the same as when the
southern pole of an artificial magnet is brought into contact with one
end of a sewing needle.

3. The magnetic and electric ethers agree in the characters above
mentioned, and perhaps in many others, but differ in the following
ones. The electric ethers pass readily through metallic, aqueous, and
carbonic bodies, but do not permeate vitreous or resinous ones; though
on the surfaces of these they are capable of adhering, and of being
accumulated by the approach or contact of other bodies; while the
magnetic ethers will not permeate any bodies, and are capable of being
accumulated only on iron and steel by the approach or contact of
natural or artificial magnets, or of the earth; at the same time the
attractive and repulsive powers both of the magnetic and electric
ethers will act through all bodies, like those of gravitation and

Secondly, The two electric ethers rush into combination, when they can
approach each other, after having been separated and condensed, and
produce a violent explosion emitting the heat and light, which were
previously combined with them; whereas the two magnetic ethers slowly
combine, after having been separated and accumulated on the opposite
ends of a soft iron bar, and without emitting heat and light produce a
neutral mixture, which, like the electric combination, ceases to be
cognizable by our senses or experiments.

Thirdly, The wonderful property of the magnetic ethers, when
separately accumulated on the ends of a needle, endeavouring to
approach the two opposite poles of the earth; nothing similar to which
has been observed in the electric ethers.

From these strict analogies between electricity and magnetism, we may
conclude that the latter consists of two ethers as well as the former;
and that they both, when separated by art or nature, combine by
chemical affinity when they approach, the one exploding, and then
consisting of a residuum after having emitted heat and light; and the
other producing simply a neutralised fluid by their union.

XI. _Conclusion._

1. When two fluids are diffused together without undergoing any change
of their chemical properties, they are said simply to be mixed, and
not combined; as milk and water when poured together, or as oxygen and
azote in the common atmosphere. So when salt or sugar is diffused in
water, it is termed solution, and not combination; as no change of
their chemical properties succeeds.

But when an acid is mixed with a pure alcali a combination is
produced, and the mixture is said to become neutral, as it does not
possess the chemical properties which either of the two ingredients
possessed in their separate state, and is therefore similar to neither
of them. But when a carbonated alcali, as mild salt of tartar, is
mixed with a mineral acid, they presently combine as above, but now
the carbonic acid flies forcibly away in the form of gas; this,
therefore, may be termed a kind of explosion, but cannot properly be
so called, as the ethereal fluids of heat and light are not
principally emitted, but an aerial one or gas; which may probably
acquire a small quantity of heat from the combining matters.

But when strong acid of nitre is poured upon charcoal in fine powder,
or upon oil of cloves, a violent explosion ensues, and the ethereal
matters of heat and light are emitted in great abundance, and are
dissipated; while in the former instance the oxygen of the nitrous
acid unites with the carbone forming carbonic acid gas, and the azote
escapes in its gaseous form; which may be termed a residuum after the
explosion, and may be confined in a proper apparatus, which the heat
and light cannot; for the former, if its production be great and
sudden, bursts the vessels, or otherwise it passes slowly through
them; and the latter passes through transparent bodies, and combines
with opake ones.

But where ethers only are concerned in an explosion, as the two
electric ones, which are previously difficult to confine in vessels;
the repulsive ethers of heat and light are given out; and what remains
is a combination of the two electric ethers; which in this state are
attracted by all bodies, and form atmospheres round them.

These combined electric atmospheres must possess less heat and light
after their explosion; which they seem afterwards to acquire at the
time they are again separated from each other, probably from the
combined heat and combined light of the cushion and glass, or of the
cushion and resin; by the contact of which they are separated; and not
from the diffused heat of them; but no experiments have yet been made
to ascertain this fact, this combination of the vitreous and resinous
ethers may be esteemed the residuum after their explosion.

2. Hence the essence of explosion consists in two bodies, which are
previously united with heat and light, so strongly attracting each
other, as to set at liberty those two repulsive ethers; but it
happens, that these explosive materials cannot generally be brought
into each other's vicinity in a state of sufficient density; unless
they are also previously combined with some other material beside the
light and heat above spoken of: as in the nitrous acid, the oxygen is
previously combined with azote; and is thus in a condensed state,
before it is brought into the contact or vicinity of the carbone;
there are however bodies which will slowly explode; or give out heat
and light, without being previously combined with other bodies; as
phosphorus in the common atmosphere, some dead fish in a certain
degree of putridity, and some living insects probably by their
respiration in transparent lungs, which is a kind of combustion.

But the two electric ethers are condensed by being brought into
vicinity with each other with a nonconductor between them; and thus
explode, violently as soon as they communicate, either by rupturing
the interposed nonconductor, or by a metallic communication. This
curious method of a previous condensation of the two exploding
matters, without either of them being combined with any other
material except with the ethers of heat and light, distinguishes, this
ethereal explosion from that of most other bodies; and seems to have
been the cause, which prevented the ingenious Dr. Franklin, and others
since his time, from ascribing the powerful effects of the electric
battery, and of lightning in bursting trees, inflaming combustible
materials, and fusing metals, to chemical explosion; which it
resembles in every other circumstance, but in the manner of the
previous condensation of the materials, so as violently to attract
each other, and suddenly set at liberty the heat and light, with which
one or both of them were combined.

3. This combination of vitreous and resinous electric ethers is again
destroyed or weakened by the attractions of other bodies; as they
separate intirely, or exist in different proportions, forming
atmospheres round conducting and nonconducting bodies; and in this
they resemble other combinations of matters; as oxygen and azote, when
united in the production of nitrous acid, are again separated by
carbone; which attracts the oxygen more powerfully, than that attracts
the azote, with which it is combined.

This mode of again separating the combined electric ethers by pressing
them, as they surround bodies in different proportions, into each
other's atmospheres, as by the glass and cushion, has not been
observed respecting the decomposition of other bodies; when their
minute particles are brought so near together as to decompose each
other; which has thence probably contributed to prevent this
decomposition of the two combined electric ethers from being ascribed
to chemical laws; but, as far as we know, the attractive and repulsive
atmospheres round the minute particles of bodies in chemical
operations may act in a similar manner; as the attractive and
repulsive atmospheres, which accompany the electric ethers surrounding
the larger masses of matter, and that hence both the electric and the
chemical explosions are subject to the same laws, and also the
decomposition again of those particles, which were combined in the act
of explosion.

4. It is probable that this theory of electric and magnetic
attractions and repulsions, which so visibly exist in atmospheres
round larger masses of matter, may be applied to explain the invisible
attractions and repulsions of the minute particles of bodies in
chemical combinations and decompositions, and also to give a clear
idea of the attractions of the great masses of matter, which form the
gravitations of the universe.

We are so accustomed to see bodies attract each other, when they are
in absolute contact, as dew drops or particles of quicksilver forming
themselves into spheres, as water rising in capillary tubes, the
solution of salts and sugar in water, and the cohesion with which all
hard bodies are held together, that we are not surprised at the
attractions of bodies in contact with each other, but ascribe them to
a law affecting all matter. In similar manner when two bodies in
apparent contact repel each other, as oil thrown on water; or when
heat converts ice into water and water into steam; or when one hard
body in motion pushes another hard body out of its place; we feel no
surprise, as these events so perpetually occur to us, but ascribe them
as well as the attractions of bodies in contact with each other, to a
general law of nature.

But when distant bodies appear to attract or repel each other, as we
believe that nothing can act where it does not exist, we are struck
with astonishment; which is owing to our not seeing the intermediate
ethers, the existence of which is ascertained by the electric and
magnetic facts above related.

From the facts and observations above mentioned electricity and
magnetism consist each of them of two ethers, as the vitreous and
resinous electric ethers, and the arctic and antarctic magnetic
ethers. But as neither of the electric ethers will pass through glass
or resin; and as neither of the magnetic ethers will pass through any
bodies except iron; and yet the attractive and repulsive powers
accompanying all these ethers permeate bodies of all kinds; it
follows, that ethers more subtile than either the electric or magnetic
ones attend those ethers forming atmospheres round them; as those
electric and magnetic ethers themselves form atmospheres round other

This secondary atmosphere of the electric one appears to consist of
two ethers, like the electric one which it surrounds: but these ethers
are probably more subtile as they permeate all bodies; and when they
unite by the reciprocal approach of the bodies, which they surround,
they do not appear to emit heat and light, as the primary electric
atmospheres do; and therefore they are simpler fluids, as they are not
previously combined with heat and light. The secondary magnetic
atmospheres are also probably more subtile or simple than the primary

Hence we may suppose, that not only all the larger insulated masses of
matter, but all the minute particles also, which constitute those
masses, are surrounded by two ethereal fluids; which like the electric
and magnetic ones attract each other forcibly, and as forcibly repel
those of the same denomination; and at the same time strongly adhere
to the bodies, which they surround. Secondly that these ethers are of
the finer kind, like those secondary ones, which surround the primary
electric and magnetic ethers; and that therefore they do not explode
giving out heat and light when they unite, but simply combine, and
become neutral; and lastly, that they surround different bodies in
different proportions, as the vitreous and resinous electric ethers
were shown to surround silver and zinc and many other metals in
different proportions in No. IX. of this note.

5. For the greater ease of conversing on this subject, we shall call
these two ethers, with which all bodies are surrounded, the masculine
and the feminine ethers; and suppose them to possess the properties
above mentioned. We should here however previously observe, that in
chemical processes it is necessary, that the bodies, which are to
combine or unite with each other, should be in a fluid state, and the
particles in contact with each other; thus when salt is dissolving in
water, the particles of salt unite with those of the water, which
touch them; these particles of water become saturated, and thence
attract some of the saline particles with less force; which are
therefore attracted from them by those behind; and the first particles
of water are again saturated from the solid salt; or in some similar
processes the saturated combinations may subside or evaporate, as in
the union of the two electric ethers, or in the explosion of
gunpowder, and thus those in their vicinity may approach each other.
This necessity of a liquid form for the purpose of combination
appears in the lighting of gunpowder, as well as in all other
combustion, the spark of fire applied dissolves the sulphur, and
liquifies the combined heat; and by these means a fluidity succeeds,
and the consequent attractions and repulsions, which form the

The whole mixed mass of matter, of which the earth is composed, we
suppose to be surrounded and penetrated by the two ethers, but with a
greater proportion of the masculine ether than of the feminine. When a
stone is elevated above the surface of the earth, we suppose it also
to be surrounded with an atmosphere of the two ethers, but with a
greater proportion of the feminine than of the masculine, and that
these ethers adhere strongly by cohesion both to the earth and to the
stone elevated above it. Now the greater quantity of the masculine
ether of the earth becomes in contact with the greater quantity of the
feminine ether of the stone above it; which it powerfully attracts,
and at the same time repels the less quantity of the masculine ether
of the stone. The reciprocal attractions of these two fluids, if not
restrained by counter attractions, bring them together as in chemical
combination, and thus they bring together the solid bodies, which they
reciprocally adhere to; if they be not immovable; which solid bodies,
when brought into contact, cohere by their own reciprocal attractions,
and hence the mysterious affair of distant attraction or gravitation
becomes intelligible, and consonant to the chemical combinations of

To further elucidate these various attractions, if the patient reader
be not already tired, he will please to attend to the following
experiment: let a bit of sponge suspended on a silk line be moistened
with a solution of pure alcali, and another similar piece of sponge be
moistened with a weak acid, and suspended near the former; electrize
one of them with vitreous ether, and the other with resinous ether; as
they hang with a thin plate of glass between them: now as these two
electric ethers appear to attract each other without intermixing; as
neither of them can pass through glass; they must be themselves
surrounded with secondary ethers, which pass through the glass, and
attract each other, as they become in contact; as these secondary
ethers adhere to the primary vitreous and resinous ethers, these
primary ones are drawn by them into each other's vicinity by the
attraction of cohesion, and become condensed on each side of the glass
plane; and then when the glass plane is withdrawn, the two electric
ethers being now in contact rush violently together, and draw along
with them the pieces of moistened sponge, to which they adhere; and
finally the acid and alcaline liquids being now brought into contact
combine by their chemical affinity.

The repulsions of distant bodies are also explicable by this idea of
their being surrounded with two ethers, which we have termed masculine
and feminine for the ease of conversing about them; and have compared
them to vitreous and resinous electricity, and to arctic and antarctic
magnetism. As when two particles of matter, or two larger masses of
it, are surrounded both with their masculine ethers, these ethers
repel each other or refuse to intermix; and in consequence the bodies
to which they adhere, recede from each other; as two cork-balls
suspended near each other, and electrised both with vitreous or both
with resinous ether, repel each other; or as the extremities of two
needles magnetised both with arctic, or both with antarctic ether,
repel each other; or as oil and water surrounded both with their
masculine, or both with their feminine ethers, repel each other
without touching; so light is believed to be reflected from a mirror
without touching its surface, and to be bent towards the edge of a
knife, or refracted by its approach from a rarer medium into a denser
one, by the repulsive ether of the mirror, and the attractive ones of
the knife-edge, and of the denser medium. Thus a polished tea-cup
slips on the polished saucer probably without their actual contact
with each other, till a few drops of water are interposed between them
by capillary attraction, and prevent its sliding by their tenacity.
And so, lastly, one hard body in motion pushes another hard body out
of its place by their repulsive ethers without being in contact; as
appears from their not adhering to each other, which all bodies in
real contact are believed to do. Whence also may be inferred the
reason why bodies have been supposed to repel at one distance and
attract at another, because they attract when their particles are in
contact with each other, and either attract or repel when at a
distance by the intervention of their attractive or repulsive ethers.

Thus have I endeavoured to take one step further back into the mystery
of the gravitation and repulsion of bodies, which appeared to be
distant from each other, as of the sun and planets, as I before
endeavoured to take one step further back into the mysteries of
generation in my account of the production of the buds of vegetables
in Phytologia. With what success these have been attended I now leave
to the judgment of philosophical readers, from which I can make no



  Fond Fancy's eye recalls the form divine,
  And Taste sits smiling upon Beauty's shrine.
                                        CANTO III. l. 221.

The word Taste in its extensive application may express the pleasures
received by any of our senses, when excited into action by the
stimulus of external objects; as when odours stimulate the nostrils,
or flavours the palate; or when smoothness, or softness, are perceived
by the touch, or warmth by its adapted organ of sense. The word Taste
is also used to signify the pleasurable trains of ideas suggested by
language, as in the compositions of poetry and oratory. But the
pleasures, consequent to the exertions of our sense of vision only,
are designed here to be treated of, with occasional references to
those of the ear, when they elucidate each other.

When any of our organs of sense are excited into their due quantity of
action, a pleasurable sensation succeeds, as shown in Zoonomia, Vol.
I. Sect. IV. These are simply the pleasures attending perception, and
not those which are termed the pleasures of Taste; which consist of
additional pleasures arising from the peculiar forms or colours of
objects, or of their peculiar combinations or successions, or from
other agreeable trains of ideas previously associated with them.

There are four sources of pleasure attendant on the excitation of the
nerves of vision by light and colours, besides that simply of
perception above mentioned; the first is derived from a degree of
novelty of the forms, colours, numbers, combinations, or successions,
and visible objects. The second is derived from a degree of repetition
of their forms, colours, numbers, combinations, or successions. Where
these two circumstances exist united in certain quantities, and
compose the principal part of a landscape, it is termed picturesque by
modern writers. The third source of pleasure from the perception of
the visible world may be termed the melody of colours, which will be
shown to coincide with melody of sounds: this circumstance may also
accompany the picturesque, and will add to the pleasure it affords.
The fourth source of pleasure from the perception of visible objects
is derived from the previous association of other pleasurable trains
of ideas with certain forms, colours, combinations, or successions of
them. Whence the beautiful, sublime, romantic, melancholic, and other
emotions, which have not acquired names to express them. We may add,
that all these four sources of pleasure from perceptions are equally
applicable to those of sounds as of sights.

I. _Novelty or infrequency of visible objects._

The first circumstance, which suggests an additional pleasure in the
contemplation of visible objects, besides that of simple perception,
arises from their novelty or infrequency; that is from the unusual
combinations or successions of their forms or colours. From this
source is derived the perpetual cheerfulness of youth, and the want of
it is liable to add a gloom to the countenance of age. It is this
which produces variety in landscape compared with the common course of
nature, an intricacy which incites investigation, and a curiosity
which leads to explore the works of nature. Those who travel into
foreign regions instigated by curiosity, or who examine and unfold the
intricacies of sciences at home, are led by novelty; which not only
supplies ornament to beauty or to grandeur, but adds agreeable
surprise to the point of the epigram, and to the double meaning of the
pun, and is courted alike by poets and philosophers.

It should be here premised, that the word Novelty, as used in these
pages, admits of degrees or quantities, some objects, or the ideas
excited by them, possessing more or less novelty, as they are more or
less unusual. Which the reader will please to attend to, as we have
used the word Infrequency of objects, or of the ideas excited by them,
to express the degrees or quantities of their novelty.

The source, from which is derived the pleasure of novelty, is a
metaphysical inquiry of great curiosity, and will on that account
excuse my here introducing it. In our waking hours whenever an idea
occurs, which is incongruous to our former experience, we instantly
dissever the train of imagination by the power of volition; and
compare the incongruous idea with our previous knowledge of nature,
and reject it. This operation of the mind has not yet acquired a
specific name, though it is exerted every minute of our waking hours,
unless it may be termed INTUITIVE ANALOGY. It is an act of reasoning
of which we are unconscious except by its effects in preserving the
congruity of our ideas; Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XVII. 5. 7.

In our sleep as the power of volition is suspended, and consequently
that of reason, when any incongruous ideas occur in the trains of
imagination, which compose our dreams; we cannot compare them with our
previous knowledge of nature and reject them; whence arises the
perpetual inconsistency of our sleeping trains of ideas; and whence in
our dreams we never feel the sentiment of novelty; however different
the ideas, which present themselves, may be from the usual course of

But in our waking hours, whenever any object occurs which does not
accord with the usual course of nature, we immediately and
unconsciously exert our voluntary power, and examine it by intuitive
analogy, comparing it with our previous knowledge of nature. This
exertion of our volition excites many other ideas, and is attended
with pleasurable sensation; which constitutes the sentiment of
novelty. But when the object of novelty stimulates us so forcibly as
suddenly to disunite our passing trains of ideas, as if a pistol be
unexpectedly discharged, the emotion of surprise is experienced; which
by exciting violent irritation and violent sensation, employs for a
time the whole sensorial energy, and thus dissevers the passing trains
of ideas; before the power of volition has time to compare them with
the usual phenomena of nature; but as the painful emotion of fear is
then generally added to that of surprise, as every one experiences,
who hears a noise in the dark, which he cannot immediately account
for; this great degree of novelty, when it produces much surprise,
generally ceases to be pleasurable, and does not then belong to
objects of taste.

In its less degree surprise is generally agreeable, as it simply
expresses the sentiment occasioned by the novelty of our ideas; as in
common language we say, we are agreeably surprised at the unexpected
meeting with a friend, which not only expresses the sentiment of
novelty, but also the pleasure from other agreeable ideas associated
with the object of it.

It must appear from hence, that different persons must be affected
more or less agreeably by different degrees or quantities of novelty
in the objects of taste; according to their previous knowledge of
nature, or their previous habits or opportunities of attending to the
fine arts. Thus before its nativity the fetus experiences the
perceptions of heat and cold, of hardness and softness, of motion and
rest, with those perhaps of hunger and repletion, sleeping and waking,
pain and pleasure; and perhaps some other perceptions, which may at
this early time of its existence have occasioned perpetual trains of
ideas. On its arrival into the world the perceptions of light and
sound must by their novelty at first dissever its usual trains of
ideas and occasion great surprise; which after a few repetitions will
cease to be disagreeable, and only excite the emotion from novelty,
which has not acquired a separate name, but is in reality a less
degree of surprise; and by further experience the sentiment of
novelty, or any degree of surprise, will cease to be excited by the
sounds or sights, which at first excited perhaps a painful quantity of

It should here be observed, that as the pleasure of novelty is
produced by the exertion of our voluntary power in comparing uncommon
objects with those which are more usually exhibited; this sentiment of
novelty is less perceived by those who do not readily use the faculty
of volition, or who have little previous knowledge of nature, as by
very ignorant or very stupid people, or by brute animals; and that
therefore to be affected with this circumstance of the objects of
Taste requires some previous knowledge of-such kinds of objects, and
some degree of mental exertion.

Hence when a greater variety of objects than usual is presented to the
eye, or when some intricacy of forms, colours, or reciprocal locality
more than usual accompanies them, it is termed novelty if it only
excites the exertion of intuitive comparison with the usual order of
nature, and affects us with pleasurable sensation; but is termed
surprise, if it suddenly dissevers our accustomed habits of motion,
and is then more generally attended with disagreeable sensation. To
this circumstance attending objects of taste is to be referred what is
termed wild and irregular in landscapes, in contradistinction to the
repetition of parts or uniformity spoken of below. We may add, that
novelty of notes and tones in music, or of their combinations or
successions, are equally agreeable to the ear, as the novelty of forms
and colours, and of their combinations or successions are to the eye;
but that the greater quantity or degree of novelty, the sentiment of
which is generally termed Surprise, is more frequently excited by
unusual or unexpected sounds; which are liable to alarm us with fear,
as well as surprise us with novelty.

II. _Repetition of visible objects._

The repeated excitement of the same or similar ideas with certain
intervals of time, or distances of space between them, is attended
with agreeable sensations, besides that simply of perception; and,
though it appears to be diametrically opposite to the pleasure arising
from the novelty of objects above treated of, enters into the
compositions of all the agreeable arts.

The pleasure arising from the repetition of similar ideas with certain
intervals of time or distances of space between them is a subject of
great metaphysical curiosity, as well as the source of the pleasure
derived from novelty, which will I hope excuse its introduction in
this place.

The repetitions of motions may be at first produced either by
volition, or by sensation, or by irritation, but they soon become
easier to perform than any other kinds of action, because they soon
become associated together; and thus their frequency of repetition, if
as much sensorial power be produced during every reiteration, as is
expended, adds to the facility of their production.

If a stimulus be repeated at uniform intervals of time, the action,
whether of our muscles or organs of sense, is produced with still
greater facility or energy; because the sensorial power of
association, mentioned above, is combined with the sensorial power of
irritation; that is in common language, the acquired habit assists the
power of the stimulus.

This not only obtains in the annual, lunar, and diurnal catenations of
animal motions, as explained in Zoonomia, Sect. XXXVI. which are thus
performed with great facility and energy; but in every less circle of
actions or ideas, as in the burden of a song, or the reiterations of a
dance. To the facility and distinctness, with which we hear sounds at
repeated intervals, we owe the pleasure, which we receive from musical
time, and from poetic time, as described in Botanic Garden, V. II.
Interlude III. And to this the pleasure we receive from the rhimes and
alliterations of modern versification; the source of which without
this key would be difficult to discover.

There is no variety of notes referable to the gamut in the beating of
a drum, yet if it be performed in musical time, it is agreeable to our
ears; and therefore this pleasurable sensation must be owing to the
repetition of the divisions of the sounds at certain intervals of
time, or musical bars. Whether these times or bars are distinguished
by a pause, or by an emphasis, or accent, certain it is, that this
distinction is perpetually repeated; otherwise the ear could not
determine instantly, whether the successions of sound were in common
or in triple time.

But besides these little circles of musical time, there are the
greater returning periods, and the still more distinct choruses;
which, like the rhimes at the end of verses, owe their beauty to
repetition; that is, to the facility and distinctness with which we
perceive sounds, which we expect to perceive or have perceived before;
or in the language of this work, to the greater ease and energy with
which our organ is excited by the combined sensorial powers of
association and irritation, than by the latter singly.

This kind of pleasure arising from repetition, that is from the
facility and distinctness with which we perceive and understand
repeated sensations, enters into all the agreeable arts; and when it
is carried to excess is termed formality. The art of dancing like that
of music depends for a great part of the pleasure, it affords, on
repetition; architecture, especially the Grecian, consists of one part
being a repetition of another, and hence the beauty of the pyramidal
outline in landscape-painting; where one side of the picture may be
said in some measure to balance the other. So universally does
repetition contribute to our pleasure in the fine arts, that beauty
itself has been defined by some writers to consist in a due
combination of uniformity and variety: Zoonomia, Vol. I. Sect. XXII.
2. 1.

Where these repetitions of form, and reiterations of colour, are
produced in a picture or a natural landscape, in an agreeable
quantity, it is termed simplicity, or unity of character; where the
repetition principally is seen in the disposition or locality of the
divisions, it is called symmetry, proportion, or grouping the separate
parts; where this repetition is most conspicuous in the forms of
visible objects, it is called regularity or uniformity; and where it
affects the colouring principally, the artists call it breadth of

There is nevertheless, an excess of the repetition of the same or
similar ideas, which ceases to please, and must therefore be excluded
from compositions of Taste in painted landscapes, or in ornamented
gardens; which is then called formality, monotony, or insipidity. Why
the excitation of ideas should give additional pleasure by the
facility and distinctness of their production for a certain time, and
then cease to give additional pleasure; and gradually to give less
pleasure than that, which attends simple exertion of them; is another
curious metaphysical problem, and deserves investigation.

In our waking hours a perpetual voluntary exertion, of which we are
unconscious, attends all our new trains of ideas, whether those of
imagination or of perception; which by comparing them with our former
experience preserves the consistency of the former, by rejecting such
as are incongruous; and adds to the credibility of the latter, by
their analogy to objects of our previous knowledge: and this exertion
is attended with pleasurable sensation. After very frequent repetition
these trains of ideas do not excite the exertion of this intuitive
analogy, and in consequence are not attended with additional pleasure
to that simply of perception; and by continued repetition they at
length lose even the pleasure simply of perception, and thence finally
cease to be excited; whence one cause of the torpor of old age, and of
death, as spoken of in Additional Note, No. VII. 3. of this work.

When there exists in any landscape a certain number and diversity of
forms and colours, or of their combinations or successions, so as to
produce a degree of novelty; and that with a certain repetition, or
arrangement of parts, so as to render them gradually comprehensible or
easily compared with the usual course of nature; if this agreeable
combination of visible objects be on a moderate scale, in respect to
magnitude, and form the principal part of the landscape, it is termed
PICTURESQUE by modern artists; and when such a combination of forms
and colours contains many easy flowing curves and smooth surfaces, the
delightful sentiment of BEAUTY becomes added to the pleasure of the

If the above agreeable combination of novelty and repetition exists on
a larger scale with more projecting rocks, and deeper dells, and
perhaps with a somewhat greater proportion of novelty than repetition,
the landscape assumes the name of ROMANTIC; and if some of these forms
or combinations are much above the usual magnitude of similar objects,
the more interesting sentiment of SUBLIMITY becomes mixed with the
pleasure of the romantic.

III. _Melody of Colours._

A third source of pleasure arising from the inspection of visible
objects, besides that of simple perception, arises from what may be
termed melody of colours, as certain colours are more agreeable, when
they succeed each other; or when they are disposed in each other's
vicinity, so as successively to affect the organ of vision.

In a paper on the colours seen in the eye after looking for some time
on luminous objects, published by Dr. Darwin of Shrewsbury in the
Philos. Trans. Vol. 76, it is evidently shown, that we see certain
colours not only with greater ease and distinctness, but with relief
and pleasure, after having for some time inspected 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 shows, arises from the ocular spectrum of the colour last viewed
coinciding with the irritation of the colour now under contemplation.

Thus if you make a dot with ink in the centre of a circle of red silk
the size of a letter-wafer, and place it on a sheet of white paper,
and look on it for a minute without moving your eyes; and then gently
turn them on the white paper in its vicinity, or gently close them,
and hold one hand an inch or two before them, to prevent too much
light from passing through the eyelids, a circular spot of pale green
will be seen on the white paper, or in the closed eye; which is called
the ocular spectrum of the red silk, and is formed as Dr. Darwin shows
by the pandiculation or stretching of the fine fibrils, which
constitute the extremities of the optic nerve, in a direction contrary
to that, in which they have been excited by previously looking at a
luminous object, till they become fatigued; like the yawning or
stretching of the larger muscles after acting long in one direction.

If at this time the eye, fatigued by looking long at the centre of the
red silk, be turned on paper previously coloured with pale green; the
circular spot or ocular spectrum will appear of a much darker green;
as now the irritation from the pale green paper coincides with the
pale green spectrum remaining in the eye, and thus excites those
fibres of the retina into stronger action; on this account some
colours are seen more distinctly, and consequently more agreeably
after others; or when placed in the vicinity of others; thus if
orange-coloured letters are painted on a blue ground, they may be read
at as great distance as black on white, perhaps at a greater.

The colours, which are thus more distinct when seen in succession are
called opposite colours by Sir Isaac Newton in his optics, Book I.
Part 2, and may be easily discovered by any one, by the method above
described; that is by laying a coloured circle of paper or silk on a
sheet of white paper, and inspecting it some time with steady eyes,
and then either gently closing them, or removing them on another part
of the white paper, and the ocular spectrum or opposite colour becomes
visible in the eye.

Sir Isaac Newton has observed, that the breadths of the seven primary
colours in the sun's image refracted by a prism, are proportioned to
the seven musical notes of the gamut; or to the intervals of the eight
sounds contained in an octave.

From this curious coincidence, it has been proposed to produce a
luminous music, consisting 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 the 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.

Now as the pleasure we receive from the sensation of melodious notes,
independent of musical time, and 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;
the same laws must probably 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.

This source of pleasure received from the melodious succession of
colours or of sounds must not be confounded with the pleasure received
from the repetition of them explained above, though the repetition, or
division of musical notes into bars, so as to produce common or triple
time, contributes much to the pleasure of music; but in viewing a
fixed landscape nothing like musical time exists; and the pleasure
received therefore from certain successions of colours must depend
only on the more easy or distinct action of the retina in perceiving
some colours after others, or in their vicinity, like the facility or
even pleasure with which we act with contrary muscles in yawning or
stretching after having been fatigued with a long previous exertion in
the contrary direction.

Hence where colours are required to be distinct, those which are
opposite to each other, should be brought into succession or vicinity;
as red and green, orange and blue, yellow and violet; but where
colours are required to intermix imperceptibly, or slide into each
other, these should not be chosen; as they might by contrast appear
too glaring or tawdry. These gradations and contrasts of colours have
been practically employed both by the painters of landscape, and by
the planters of ornamental gardens; though the theory of this part of
the pleasure derived from visible objects was not explained before the
publication of the paper on ocular spectra above mentioned; which is
reprinted at the end of the first part of Zoonomia, and has thrown
great light on the actions of the nerves of sense in consequence of
the stimulus of external bodies.

IV. _Association of agreeable sentiments with visible objects._

Besides the pleasure experienced simply by the perception of visible
objects, it has been already shown, that there is an additional
pleasure arising from the inspection of those, which possess novelty,
or some degree of it; a second additional pleasure from those, which
possess in some degree a repetition of their parts; and a third from
those, which possess a succession of particular colours, which either
contrast or slide into each other, and which we have termed melody of

We now step forward to the fourth source of the pleasures arising from
the contemplation of visible objects besides that simply of
perception, which consists in our previous association of some
agreeable sentiment with certain forms or combinations of them. These
four kinds of pleasure singly or in combination constitute what is
generally understood by the word Taste in respect to the visible
world; and by parity of reasoning it is probable, that the pleasurable
ideas received by the other senses, or which are associated with
language, may be traced to similar sources.

It has been shown by Bishop Berkeley in his ingenious essay on vision,
that the eye only acquaints us with the perception of light and
colours; and that our idea of the solidity of the bodies, which
reflect them, is learnt by the organ of touch: he therefore calls our
vision the language of touch, observing that certain gradations of the
shades of colour, by our previous experience of having examined
similar bodies by our hands or lips, suggest our ideas of solidity,
and of the forms of solid bodies; as when we view a tree, it would
otherwise appear to us a flat green surface, but by association of
ideas we know it to be a cylindrical stem with round branches. This
association of the ideas acquired by the sense of touch with those of
vision, we do not allude to in the following observations, but to the
agreeable trains or tribes of ideas and sentiments connected with
certain kinds of visible objects.

V. _Sentiment of Beauty._

Of these catenations of sentiments with visible objects, the first is
the sentiment of Beauty or Loveliness; which is suggested by
easy-flowing curvatures of surface, with smoothness; as is so well
illustrated in Mr. Burke's Essay on the Sublime and Beautiful, and in
Mr. Hogarth's analysis of Beauty; a new edition of which is much
wanted separate from his other works.

The sentiment of Beauty appears to be attached from our cradles to the
easy curvatures of lines, and smooth surfaces of visible objects, and
to have been derived from the form of the female bosom; as spoken of
in Zoonomia, Vol. I. Section XVI. on Instinct.

Sentimental love, as distinguished from the animal passion of that
name, with which it is frequently accompanied, consists in the desire
or sensation of beholding, embracing, and saluting, a beautiful

The characteristic of beauty therefore is that it is the object of
love; and though many other objects are in common language called
beautiful, yet they are only called so metaphorically, and ought to be
termed agreeable. A Grecian temple may give us the pleasurable idea of
sublimity; a Gothic temple may give us the pleasurable idea of
variety; and a modern house the pleasurable idea of utility; music and
poetry may inspire our love by association of ideas; but none of
these, except metaphorically, can be termed beautiful; as we have no
wish to embrace or salute them.

Our perception of beauty consists in our recognition by the sense of
vision of those objects, first which have before inspired our love by
the pleasure, which they have afforded to many of our senses: as to
our sense of warmth, of touch, of smell, of taste, hunger and thirst;
and secondly, which bear any analogy of form to such objects.

When the babe, soon after it is born into this cold world, is applied
to its mother's bosom, its sense of perceiving warmth is first
agreeably affected; next its sense of smell is delighted with the
odour of her milk; then its taste is gratified by the flavour of it,
afterwards the appetites of hunger and of thirst afford pleasure by
the possession of their objects, and by the subsequent digestion of
the aliment; and lastly, the sense of touch is delighted by the
softness and smoothness of the milky fountain, the source of such
variety of happiness.



  Next to each thought associate sound accords,
  And forms the dulcet symphony of words.
                                        CANTO III. l. 365.

Ideas consist of synchronous motions or configurations of the
extremities of the organs of sense; these when repeated by sensation,
volition, or association, are either simple or complex, as they were
first excited by irritation; or have afterwards some parts abstracted
from them, or some parts added to them. Language consists of words,
which are the names or symbols of ideas. Words are therefore properly
all of them nouns or names of things.

Little had been done in the investigation of the theory of language
from the time of Aristotle to the present æra, till Mr. Horne Tooke,
the ingenious and learned author of the Diversions of Purley,
explained those undeclined words of all languages, which had puzzled
the grammarians, and evinced from their etymology, that they were
abbreviations of other modes of expression. Mr. Tooke observes, that
the first aim of language was to communicate our thoughts, and the
second to do it with dispatch; and hence he divides words into those,
which were necessary to express our thoughts, and those which are
abbreviations of the former; which he ingeniously styles the wings of

For the greater dispatch of conversation many words suggest more than
one idea; I shall therefore arrange them according to the number and
kinds of ideas, which they suggest; and am induced to do this, as a
new distribution of the objects of any science may advance the
knowledge of it by developing another analogy of its constituent
parts. And in thus endeavouring to analyze the theory of language I
mean to speak primarily of the English, and occasionally to add what
may occur concerning the structure of the Greek and Latin.

I. _Conjunctions and Prepositions._

The first class of words consists of those, which suggest but one
idea, and suffer no change of termination; which have been termed by
grammarians CONJUNCTIONS and PREPOSITIONS; the former of which connect
sentences, and the latter words. Both which have been ingeniously
explained by Mr. Horne Tooke from their etymology to be abbreviations
of other modes of expression.

1. Thus the conjunction _if_ and _an_, are shown by Mr. Tooke to be
derived from the imperative mood of the verbs to give and to grant;
but both of these conjunctions by long use appear to have become the
name of a more abstracted idea, than the words give or grant suggest,
as they do not now express any ideas of person, or of number, or of
time; all which are generally attendant upon the meaning of a verb;
and perhaps all the words of this class are the names of ideas much
abstracted, which has caused the difficulty of explaining them.

2. The number of Prepositions is very great in the English language,
as they are used before the cases of nouns, and the infinitive mood of
verbs, instead of the numerous changes of termination of the nouns and
verbs of the Greek and Latin; which gives greater simplicity to our
language, and greater facility of acquiring it.

The prepositions, as well as the preceding conjunctions, have been
well explained by Mr. Horne Tooke; who has developed the etymology of
many of them. As the greatest number of the ideas, we receive from
external objects, are complex ones, the names of these constitute a
great part of language, as the proper names of persons and places;
which are complex terms. Now as these complex terms do not always
exactly suggest the quantity of combined ideas we mean to express,
some of the prepositions are prefixed to them to add or to deduct
something, or to limit their general meaning; as a house with a party
wall, or a house without a roof. These words are also derived by Mr.
Tooke, as abbreviations of the imperative moods of verbs; but which
appear now to suggest ideas further abstracted than those generally
suggested by verbs, and are all of them properly nouns, or names of

II. _Nouns Substantive._

The second class of words consists of those, which in their simplest
state suggest but one idea, as the word man; but which by two changes
of termination in our language suggest one secondary idea of number,
as the word men; or another secondary idea of the genitive case, as
man's mind, or the mind of man. These words by other changes of
termination in the Greek and Latin languages suggest many other
secondary ideas, as of gender, as well as of number, and of all the
other cases described in their grammars; which in English are
expressed by prepositions.

This class of words includes the NOUNS SUBSTANTIVE, or names of
things, of common grammars, and may be conveniently divided into three
kinds. 1. Those which suggest the ideas of things believed to possess
hardness and figure, as a house or a horse. 2. Those which suggest the
ideas of things, which are not supposed to possess hardness and
figure, except metaphorically, as virtue, wisdom; which have therefore
been termed abstracted ideas. 3. Those which have been called by
metaphysical writers reflex ideas, and mean those of the operations of
the mind, as sensation, volition, association.

Another convenient division of these nouns substantive or names of
things may be first into general terms, or the names of classes of
ideas, as man, quadruped, bird, fish, animal. 2. Into the names of
complex ideas, as this house, that dog. 3. Into the names of simple
ideas, as whiteness, sweetness.

A third convenient division of the names of things may be into the
names of intire things, whether of real or imaginary being; these are
the nouns substantive of grammars. 2. Into the names of the qualities
or properties of the former; these are the nouns adjective of
grammars. 3. The names of more abstracted ideas as the conjunctions
and prepositions of grammarians.

These nouns substantive, or names of intire things, suggest but one
idea in their simplest form, as in the nominative case singular of
grammars. As the word a stag is the name of a single complex idea; but
the word stags by a change of termination adds to this a secondary
idea of number; and the word stag's, with a comma before the final s,
suggests, in English, another secondary idea of something appertaining
to the stag, as a stag's horn; which is, however, in our language, as
frequently expressed by the preposition _of_, as the horn of a stag.

In the Greek and Latin languages an idea of gender is joined with the
names of intire things, as well as of number; but in the English
language the nouns, which express inanimate objects, have no genders
except metaphorically; and even the sexes of many animals have names
so totally different from each other, that they rather give an idea of
the individual creature than of the sex, as bull and cow, horse and
mare, boar and sow, dog and bitch. This constitutes another
circumstance, which renders our language more simple, and more easy to
acquire; and at the same time contributes to the poetic excellence of
it; as by adding a masculine or feminine pronoun, as he, or she, other
nouns substantive are so readily personified.

In the Latin language there are five cases besides the nominative, or
original word, and in the Greek four. Whence the original noun
substantive by change of its termination suggests a secondary idea
either corresponding with the genitive, dative, accusative, vocative,
or ablative cases, besides the secondary ideas of number and gender
above mentioned. The ideas suggested by these changes of termination,
which are termed cases, are explained in the grammars of these
languages, and are expressed in ours by prepositions, which are called
the signs of those cases.

Thus the word Domini, of the Lord, suggests beside the primary idea a
secondary one of something appertaining to it, as templum domini, the
temple of the Lord, or the Lord's temple; which in English is either
effected by an addition of the letter s, with a comma before it, or by
the preposition _of_. This genitive case is said to be expressed in
the Hebrew language simply by the locality of the words in succession
to each other; which must so far add to the conciseness of that

Thus the word Domino, in the dative case, to the Lord, suggests
besides the primary idea a secondary one of something being added to
the primary one; which is effected in English by the preposition _to_.

The accusative case, or Dominum, besides the primary idea implies
something having acted upon the object of that primary idea; as felis
edit murem, the cat eats the mouse. This is thus effected in the Greek
and Latin by a change of termination of the noun acted upon, but is
managed in a more concise way in our language by its situation in the
sentence, as it follows the verb. Thus if the mouse in the above
sentence was placed before the verb, and the cat after it, in English
the sense would be inverted, but not so in Latin; this necessity of
generally placing the accusative case after the verb is inconvenient
in poetry; though it adds to the conciseness and simplicity of our
language, as it saves the intervention of a preposition, or of a
change of termination.

The vocative case of the Latin language, or Domine, besides the
primary idea suggests a secondary one of appeal, or address; which in
our language is either marked by its situation in the sentence, or by
the preposition O preceding it. Whence this interjection O conveys the
idea of appeal joined to the subsequent noun, and is therefore
properly another noun, or name of an idea, preceding the principal one
like other prepositions.

The ablative case in the Latin language, as Domino, suggests a
secondary idea of something being deducted from or by the primary one.
Which is perhaps more distinctly expressed by one of those
prepositions in our language; which, as it suggests somewhat
concerning the adjoined noun, is properly another noun, or name of an
idea, preceding the principal one.

When to these variations of the termination of nouns in the singular
number are added those equally numerous of the plural, and the great
variety of these terminations correspondent to the three genders, it
is evident that the prepositions of our own and other modern languages
instead of the changes of termination add to the simplicity of these
languages, and to the facility of acquiring them.

Hence in the Latin language, besides the original or primary idea
suggested by each noun substantive, or name of an entire thing, there
attends an additional idea of number, another of gender, and another
suggested by each change of termination, which constitutes the cases;
so that in this language four ideas are suggested at the same time by
one word; as the primary idea, its gender, number, and case; the
latter of which has also four or five varieties. These nouns
therefore may properly be termed the abbreviation of sentences; as the
conjunctions and prepositions are termed by Mr. Tooke the abbreviation
of words; and if the latter are called the wings affixed to the feet
of Hermes, the former may be called the wings affixed to his cap.

III. _Adjectives, Articles, Participles, Adverbs._

1. The third class of words consists of those, which in their simplest
form suggest two ideas; one of them is an abstracted idea of the
quality of an object, but not of the object itself; and the other is
an abstracted idea of its appertaining to some other noun called a
substantive, or a name of an entire thing.

These words are termed ADJECTIVES, are undeclined in our language in
respect to cases, number, or gender; but by three changes of
termination they suggest the secondary ideas of greater, greatest, and
of less; as the word sweet changes into sweeter, sweetest, and
sweetish; which may be termed three degrees of comparison besides the
positive meaning of the word; which terminations of _er_ and _est_ are
seldom added to words of more than two syllables; as those degrees are
then most frequently denoted by the prepositions more and most.

Adjectives seem originally to have been derived from nouns
substantive, of which they express a quality, as a musky rose, a
beautiful lady, a stormy day. Some of them are formed from the
correspondent substantive by adding the syllable _ly_, or _like_, as a
lovely child, a warlike countenance; and in our language it is
frequently only necessary to put a hyphen between two nouns
substantive for the purpose of converting the former one into an
adjective, as an eagle-eye, a Mayday. And many of our adjectives are
substantives unchanged, and only known by their situation in a
sentence, as a German, or a German gentleman. Adjectives therefore are
names of qualities, or parts of things; as substantives are the names
of entire things.

In the Latin and Greek languages these adjectives possess a great
variety of terminations; which suggest occasionally the ideas of
number, gender, and the various cases, agreeing in all these with the
substantive, to which they belong; besides the two original or
primary ideas of quality, and of their appertaining to some other
word, which must be adjoined to make them sense. Insomuch that some of
these adjectives, when declined through all their cases, and genders,
and numbers, in their positive, comparative, and superlative degrees,
enumerate fifty or sixty terminations. All which to one, who wishes to
learn these languages, are so many new words, and add much to the
difficulty of acquiring them.

Though the English adjectives are undeclined, having neither case,
gender, nor number; and with this simplicity of form possess a degree
of comparison by the additional termination of ish, more than the
generality of Latin or Greek adjectives, yet are they less adapted to
poetic measure, as they must accompany their corresponding
substantives; from which they are perpetually separated in Greek and
Latin poetry.

2. There is a second kind of adjectives, which abound in our language,
and in the Greek, but not in the Latin, which are called ARTICLES by
the writers of grammar, as the letter _a_, and the word _the_. These,
like the adjectives above described, suggest two primary ideas, and
suffer no change of termination in our language, and therefore suggest
no secondary ideas.

Mr. Locke observes, that languages consist principally of general
terms; as it would have been impossible to give a name to every
individual object, so as to communicate an idea of it to others; it
would be like reciting the name of every individual soldier of an
army, instead of using the general term, army. Now the use of the
article _a_, and _the_ in English, and _o_ in Greek, converts general
terms into particular ones; this idea of particularity as a quality,
or property of a noun, is one of the primary ideas suggested by these
articles; and the other is, that of its appertaining to some
particular noun substantive, without which it is not intelligible. In
both these respects these articles correspond with adjectives; to
which may be added, that our article _a_ may be expressed by the
adjective one or any; and that the Greek article _o_ is declined like
other adjectives.

The perpetual use of the article, besides its converting general terms
into particular ones, contributes much to the force and beauty of our
language from another circumstance, that abstracted ideas become so
readily personified simply by the omission of it; which perhaps
renders the English language better adapted to poetry than any other
ancient or modern: the following prosopopoeia from Shakspeare is thus

  She let Concealment like a worm i' th' bud
  Feed on her damask cheek.

And the following line, translated from Juvenal by Dr. Johnson, is
much superior to the original, owing to the easy personification of
Worth and Poverty, and to the consequent conciseness of it.

  Difficile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obstat
  Res angusta domi.
  Slow rises Worth by Poverty depress'd.

3. A third class of adjectives includes what are termed PARTICIPLES,
which are allied to the infinitive moods of verbs, and are formed in
our language by the addition only of the syllable _ing_ or _ed_; and
are of two kinds, active and passive, as loving, loved, from the verb
to love. The verbs suggest an idea of the noun, or thing spoken of;
and also of its manner of existence, whether at rest, in action, or in
being acted upon; as I lie still, or I whip, or I am whipped; and,
lastly, another idea of the time of resting, acting, or suffering; but
these adjectives called participles, suggest only two primary ideas,
one of the noun, or thing spoken of, and another of the mode of
existence, but not a third idea of time; and in this respect
participles differ from the verbs, from which they originate, or which
originated from them, except in their infinitive moods.

Nor do they resemble adjectives only in their suggesting but two
primary ideas; but in the Latin and Greek languages they are declined
through all the cases, genders, and numbers, like other adjectives;
and change their terminations in the degrees of comparison.

In our language the participle passive, joined to the verb _to be_,
for the purpose of adding to it the idea of time, forms the whole of
the passive voice; and is frequently used in a similar manner in the
Latin language, as I am loved is expressed either by amor, or amatus
sum. The construction of the whole passive voice from the verb _to be_
and the participles passive of other verbs, contributes much to the
simplicity of our language, and the ease of acquiring it; but renders
it less concise than perhaps it might have been by some simple
variations of termination, as in the active voice of it.

4. A fourth kind of adjective is called by the grammarians an ADVERB;
which has generally been formed from the first kind of adjectives, as
these were frequently formed from correspondent substantives; or it
has been formed from the third kind of adjectives, called participles;
and this is effected in both cases by the addition, of the syllable
_ly_, as wisely, charmingly.

This kind of adjective suggests two primary ideas, like the
adjectives, and participles, from which they are derived; but differ
from them in this curious circumstance, that the other adjectives
relate to substantives, and are declined like them in the Latin and
Greek languages, as a lovely boy, a warlike countenance; but these
relate to verbs, and are therefore undeclined, as to act boldly, to
suffer patiently.

IV. _Verbs._

The fourth class of words consists of those which are termed VERBS,
and which in their simplest state suggest three ideas; first an idea
of the noun, or name of the thing spoken of, as a whip. 2. An idea of
its mode of existence, whether at rest, or in action, or in being
acted upon. 3. An idea of the time of its existence. Thus "the beadle
whipped the beggar," in prolix language might be expressed, the beadle
with a whip struck in time past the beggar. Which three ideas are
suggested by the one word whipped.

Verbs are therefore nouns, or names of intire ideas, with the
additional ideas of their mode of existence and of time; but the
participles suggest only the noun, and the mode of existence, without
any idea of time; as whipping, or whipped. The infinitive moods of
verbs correspond in their signification with the participles; as they
also suggest only the noun, or name of the thing spoken of, and an
idea of its mode of existence, excluding the idea of time; which is
expressed by all the other moods and tenses; whence it appears, that
the infinitive mood, as well as the participle, is not truly a part of
the verb; but as the participle resembles the adjective in its
construction; so the infinitive mood may be said to resemble the
substantive, and it is often used as a nominative case to another

Thus in the words "a charming lady with a smiling countenance," the
participle acts as an adjective; and in the words "to talk well
commands attention," the infinitive mood acts as the nominative case
of a noun substantive; and their respective significations are also
very similar, as whipping, or to whip, mean the existence of a person
acting with a whip.

In the Latin language the verb in its simplest form, except the
infinitive mood, and the participle, both which we mean to exclude
from complete verbs, suggests four primary ideas, as amo, suggests the
pronoun I, the noun love, its existence in its active state, and the
present time; which verbs in the Greek and Latin undergo an uncounted
variation of termination, suggesting so many different ideas in
addition to the four primary ones.

We do not mean to assert, that all verbs are literally derived from
nouns in any language; because all languages have in process of time
undergone such great variation; many nouns having become obsolete or
have perished, and new verbs have been imported from foreign
languages, or transplanted from ancient ones; but that this has
originally been the construction of all verbs, as well as those to
whip and to love above mentioned, and innumerable others.

Thus there may appear some difficulty in analyzing from what noun
substantive were formed the verbs to stand or to lie; because we have
not properly the name of the abstract ideas from which these verbs
arose, except we use the same word for the participle and the noun
substantive, as standing, lying. But the verbs, to sit, and to walk,
are less difficult to trace to their origin; as we have names for the
nouns substantive, a seat, and a walk.

But there is another verb of great consequence in all languages, which
would appear, in its simplest form in our language to suggest but two
primary ideas, as the verb _to be_, but that it suggests three primary
ideas like other verbs maybe understood, if we use the synonymous term
to exist instead of to be. Thus "I exist" suggests first the abstract
idea of existence, not including the mode of existence, whether at
rest, or in action, or in suffering; secondly it adds to that
abstracted idea of existence its real state, or actual resting,
acting, or suffering, existence; and thirdly the idea of the present
time: thus the infinitive mood _to be_, and the participle, _being_,
suggest both the abstract idea of existence, and the actual state of
it, but not the time.

The verb _to be_ is also used irregularly to designate the parts of
time and actual existence; and is then applied to either the active or
passive participles of other verbs, and called an auxiliary verb;
while the mode of existence, whether at rest, or in action, or being
acted upon, is expressed by the participle, as "I am loving" is nearly
the same as "I love," amo; and "I am loved," amatus sum, is nearly the
same as amor. This mode of application of the verb _to be_ is used in
French as well as in English, and in the passive voice of the Latin,
and perhaps in many other languages; and is by its perpetual use in
conversation rendered irregular in them all, as I am, thou art, he is,
would not seem to belong to the infinitive mood _to be_, any more than
sum, fui, sunt, fuerunt, appear to belong to esse.

The verb _to have_ affords another instance of irregular application;
the word means in its regular sense to possess, and then suggests
three ideas like the above verb of existence: first the abstracted
idea of the thing spoken of, or possession; secondly, the actual
existence of possession, and lastly the time, as I have or possess.
This verb _to have_ like the verb _to be_ is also used irregularly to
denote parts of past time, and is then joined to the passive
participles alone, as I have eaten; or it is accompanied with the
passive participle of the verb _to be_, and then with the active
participle of another verb, as I have been eating.

There is another word _will_ used in the same irregular manner to
denote the parts of future time, which is derived from the verb _to
will_; which in its regular use signifies to exert our volition. There
are other words used to express other circumstances attending upon
verbs, as may, can, shall, all which are probably the remains of
verbs otherwise obsolete. Lastly, when we recollect, that in the moods
and tenses of verbs one word expresses never less than three ideas in
our language, and many more in the Greek and Latin; as besides those
three primary ideas the idea of person, and of number, are always
expressed in the indicative mood, and other ideas suggested in the
other moods, we cannot but admire what excellent abbreviations of
language are thus achieved; and when we observe the wonderful
intricacy and multiplicity of sounds in those languages, especially in
the Greek verbs, which change both the beginning and ending of the
original word through three voices, and three numbers, with uncounted
variations of dialect; we cannot but admire the simplicity of modern
languages compared to these ancient ones; and must finally perceive,
that all language consists simply of nouns, or names of ideas,
disposed in succession or in combination, all of which are expressed
by separate words, or by various terminations of the same word.


The theory of the progressive production of language in the early
times of society, and its gradual improvements in the more civilized
ones, may be readily induced from the preceding pages. In the
commencement of Society the names of the ideas of entire things,
which, it was necessary most frequently to communicate, would first be
invented, as the names of individual persons, or places, fire, water,
this berry, that root; as it was necessary perpetually to announce,
whether one or many of such external things existed, it was soon found
more convenient to add this idea of number by a change of termination
of the word, than by the addition of another word.

As many of these nouns soon became general terms, as bird, beast,
fish, animal; it was next convenient to distinguish them when used for
an individual, from the same word used as a general term; whence the
two articles _a_ and _the_, in our language, derive their origin.

Next to these names of the ideas of entire things, the words most
perpetually wanted in conversation would probably consist of the
names of the ideas of the parts or properties of things; which might
be derived from the names of some things, and applied to others which
in these respects resembled them; these are termed adjectives, as rosy
cheek, manly voice, beastly action; and seem at first to have been
formed simply by a change of termination of their correspondent
substantives. The comparative degrees of greater and less were found
so frequently necessary to be suggested, that a change of termination
even in our language for this purpose was produced; and is as
frequently used as an additional word, as wiser or more wise.

The expression of general similitude, as well as partial similitude,
becomes so frequently used in conversation, that another kind of
adjective, called an adverb, was expressed by a change of termination,
or addition of the syllable ly or like; and as adjectives of the
former kind are applied to substantives, and express a partial
similitude, these are applied to verbs and express a general
similitude, as to act heroically, to speak boldly, to think freely.

The perpetual chain of causes and effects, which constitute the
motions, or changing configurations, of the universe, are so
conveniently divided into active and passive, for expressing the
exertions or purposes of common life, that it became particularly
convenient in all languages to substitute changes of termination,
instead of additional nouns, to express, whether the thing spoken of
was in a state of acting or of being acted upon. This change of
termination betokening action or suffering constitutes the participle,
as loving, loved; which, as it expresses a property of bodies, is
classed amongst adjectives in the preceding pages.

Besides the perpetual allusions to the active or passive state of
things, the comparative times of these motions, or changes, were also
perpetually required to be expressed; it was therefore found
convenient in all languages to suggest them by changes of terminations
in preference to doing it by additional nouns. At the same time the
actual or real existence of the thing spoken of was perpetually
required, as well as the times of their existence, and the active or
passive state of that existence. And as no conversation could be
carried on without unceasingly alluding to these circumstances, they
became in all languages suggested by changes of termination; which are
termed moods and tenses in grammars, and convert the participle above
mentioned into a verb; as that participle had originally been formed
by adding a termination to a noun, as chaining, and chained, from

The great variety of changes of termination in all languages consists
therefore of abbreviations used instead of additional words; and adds
much to the conciseness of language, and the quickness with which we
are enabled to communicate our ideas; and may be said to add
unnumbered wings to every limb of the God of Eloquence.



  The tongue, the lips articulate; the throat
  With soft vibration modulates the note.
                                        CANTO III. l. 367.

Having explained in the preceding account of the theory of language
that it consists solely of nouns, or the names of ideas, disposed in
succession or combination; I shall now attempt to investigate the
number of the articulate sounds, which constitute those names of ideas
by their successions and combinations; and to show by what parts of
the organs of speech they are modulated and articulated; whence may be
deduced the precise number of letters or symbols necessary to suggest
those sounds, and form an alphabet, which may spell with accuracy the
words of all languages.

I. _Imperfections of the present Alphabet._

It is much to be lamented, that the alphabet, which has produced and
preserved almost all the improvements in other arts and sciences,
should have itself received no improvement in modern times; which have
added so much elucidation to almost every branch of knowledge, that
can meliorate the condition of humanity. Thus in our present alphabets
many letters are redundant, others are wanted; some simple articulate
sounds have two letters to suggest them; and in other instances two
articulate sounds are suggested by one letter. Some of these
imperfections in the alphabet of our own language shall be enumerated.

X. Thus the letter x is compounded of ks, or of gz, as in the words
excellent, example: eksellent, egzample.

C. is sometimes k, at other times s, as in the word access.

G. is a single letter in go; and suggests the letters d and the French
J in pigeon.

Qu is kw, as quality is kwality.

NG in the words long and in king is a simple sound like the French n,
and wants a new character.

SH is a simple sound, and wants a new character.

TH is either sibilant as in thigh; or semivocal as in thee; both of
which are simple sounds, and want two new characters.

J French exists in our words confu_si_on, and conclusion, judge,
pigeon, and wants a character.

J consonant, in our language, expresses the letters d, and the French
j conjoined, as in John, Djon.

CH is either k as in Arch-angel, or is used for a sound compounded of
Tsh, as in Children, Tshildren.

GL is dl, as Glove is pronounced by polite people dlove.

CL is tl, as Cloe is pronounced by polite speakers Tloe.

The spelling of our language in respect to the pronunciation is also
wonderfully defective, though perhaps less so than that of the French;
as the words slaughter and laughter are pronounced totally different,
though spelt alike. The word sough, now pronounced suff, was formerly
called sow; whence the iron fused and received into a sough acquired
the name of sowmetal; and that received into less soughs from the
former one obtained the name of pigs of iron or of lead; from the pun
on the word sough, into sow and pigs. Our word jealousies contains all
the vowels, though three of them only were necessary; nevertheless in
the two words abstemiously and facetiously the vowels exist all of
them in their usual order, and are pronounced in their most usual

Some of the vowels of our language are diphthongs, and consist of two
vocal sounds, or vowels, pronounced in quick succession; these
diphthongs are discovered by prolonging the sound, and observing, if
the ending of it be different from the beginning; thus the vowel i in
in our language, as in the word high, if drawn put ends in the sound
of the letter e as used in English; which is expressed by the letter i
in most other languages: and the sound of this vowel i begins with ah,
and consists therefore of ah and ee. Whilst the diphthong on in our
language, as in the word how, begins with ah also and ends in oo, and
the vowel u of our language, as in the word use, is likewise a
diphthong; which begins with e and ends with oo, as eoo. The French u
is also a diphthong compounded of a and oo, as aoo. And many other
defects and redundancies in our alphabet will be seen by perusing the
subsequent structure of a more perfect one.

II. _Production of Sounds._

By our organ of hearing we perceive the vibrations of the air; which
vibrations are performed in more or in less time, which constitutes
high or low notes in respect to the gammut; but the tone depends on
the kind of instrument which produces them. In speaking of articulate
sounds they may be conveniently divided first into clear continued
sounds, expressed by the letters called vowels; secondly, Into hissing
sounds, expressed by the letters called sibilants; thirdly, Into
semivocal sounds, which consist of a mixture of the two former; and,
lastly, Into interrupted sounds, represented by the letters properly
termed consonants.

The clear continued sounds are produced by the streams of air passing
from the lungs in respiration through the larynx; which is furnished
with many small muscles, which by their action give a proper tension
to the extremity of this tube; and the sounds, I suppose, are produced
by the opening and closing of its aperture; something like the trumpet
stop of an organ, as may be observed by blowing through the wind-pipe
of a dead goose.

These sounds would all be nearly similar except in their being an
octave or two higher or lower; but they are modulated again, or
acquire various tones, in their passage through the mouth; which thus
converts them into eight vowels, as will be explained below.

The hissing sounds are produced by air forcibly pushed through certain
passages of the mouth without being previously rendered sonorous by
the larynx; and obtain their sibilancy from their slower vibrations,
occasioned by the mucous membrane, which lines those apertures or
passages, being less tense than that of the larynx. I suppose the
stream of air is in both cases frequently interrupted by the closing
of the sides or mouth of the passages or aperture; but that this is
performed much slower in the production of sibilant sounds, than in
the production of clear ones.

The semivocal sounds are produced by the stream of air having received
quick vibrations, or clear sound, in passing through the larynx, or in
the cavity of the mouth; but apart of it, as the outsides of this
sonorous current of air, afterwards receives slower vibrations, or
hissing sound, from some other passages of the lips or mouth, through
which it then flows. Lastly the stops, or consonants, impede the
current of air, whether sonorous or sibilant, for a perceptible time;
and probably produce some change of tone in the act of opening and
closing their apertures.

There are other clear sounds besides those formed by the larynx; some
of them are formed in the mouth, as may be heard previous to the
enunciation of the letters b, and d, and ga; or during the
pronunciation of the semivocal letters, v. z. j. and others in
sounding the liquid letters r and l; these sounds we shall term
orisonance. The other clear sounds are formed in the nostrils, as in
pronouncing the liquid letters m, n, and ng, these we shall term

Thus the clear sounds, except those above mentioned, are formed in the
larynx along with the musical height or lowness of note; but receive
afterward a variation of tone from the various passages of the mouth:
add to these that as the sibilant sounds consist of vibrations slower
than those formed by the larynx, so a whistling through the lips
consists of vibrations quicker than those formed by the larynx.

As all sound consists in the vibrations of the air, it may not be
disagreeable to the reader to attend to the immediate causes of those
vibrations. When any sudden impulse is given to an elastic fluid like
the air, it acquires a progressive motion of the whole, and a
condensation of the constituent particles, which first receive the
impulse; on this account the currents of the atmosphere in stormy
seasons are never regular, but blow and cease to blow by intervals; as
a part of the moving stream is condensed by the projectile force; and
the succeeding part, being consequently rarefied, requires some time
to recover its density, and to follow the former part: this elasticity
of the air is likewise the cause of innumerable eddies in it; which
are much more frequent than in streams of water; as when it is
impelled against any oblique plane, it results with its elastic force
added to its progressive one.

Hence when a vacuum is formed in the atmosphere, the sides of the
cavity forcibly rush together both by the general pressure of the
superincumbent air, and by the expansion of the elastic particles of
it; and thus produce a vibration of the atmosphere to a considerable
distance: this occurs, whether this vacuity of air be occasioned by
the discharge of cannon, in which the air is displaced by the sudden
evolution of heat, which as suddenly vanishes; or whether the vacuity
be left by a vibrating string, as it returns from each side of the
arc, in which it vibrates; or whether it be left under the lid of the
valve in the trumpet stop of an organ, or of a child's play trumpet,
which continues perpetually to open and close, when air is blown
through it; which is caused by the elasticity of the currents, as it
occasions the pausing gusts of wind mentioned above.

Hence when a quick current of air is suddenly broken by any
intervening body, a vacuum is produced by the momentum of the
proceeding current, between it and the intervening body; as beneath
the valve of the trumpet-stop above mentioned; and a vibration is in
consequence produced; which with the great facility, which elastic
fluids possess of forming eddies, may explain the production of sounds
by blowing through a fissure upon a sharp edge in a common organ-pipe
or child's whistle; which has always appeared difficult to resolve;
for the less vibration an organ-pipe itself possesses, the more
agreeable, I am informed, is the tone; as the tone is produced by the
vibration of the air in the organ pipe, and not by that of the sides
of it; though the latter, when it exists, may alter the tone though,
not the note, like the belly of a harpsichord, or violin.

When a stream of air is blown on the edge of the aperture of an
organ-pipe about two thirds of it are believed to pass on the outside
of this edge, and one third to pass on the inside of it; but this
current of air on the inside forms an eddy, whether the bottom of the
pipe be closed or not; which eddy returns upwards, and strikes by
quick intervals against the original stream of air, as it falls on the
edge of the aperture, and forces outwards this current of air with
quick repetitions, so as to make more than two thirds of it, and less
than two thirds alternately pass on the outside; whence a part of this
stream of air, on each side of the edge of the aperture is perpetually
stopped by that edge; and thus a vacuum and vibration in consequence,
are reciprocally produced on each side of the edge of the aperture.

The quickness or slowness of these vibrations constitute the higher
and lower notes of music, but they all of them are propagated to
distant places in the same time; as the low notes of a distant ring of
bells are heard in equal times with the higher ones: hence in speaking
at a distance from the auditors, the clear sounds produced in the
larynx by the quick vibrations of its aperture, which form the vowels;
the tremulous sounds of the L. R. M. N. NG. which are owing to
vibrations of certain apertures of the mouth and nose, and are so
slow, that the intervals between them are perceived; the sibilant
sounds, which I suppose are occasioned by the air not rushing into a
complete vacuum, whence the vibrations produced are defective in
velocity; and lastly the very high notes made by the quickest
vibrations of the lips in whistling; are all heard in due succession
without confusion; as the progressive motions of all sounds I believe
travel with equal velocity, notwithstanding the greater or less
quickness of their vibrations.


_Mute and antesonant Consonants, and nasal Liquids._

P. If the lips be pressed close together and some air be condensed in
the mouth behind them, on opening the lips the mute consonant P begins
a syllable; if the lips be closed suddenly during the passage of a
current of air through them, the air becomes condensed in the mouth
behind them, and the mute consonant P terminates a syllable.

B. If in the above situation of the lips a sound is previously
produced in the mouth, which may be termed orisonance, the semisonant
consonant B is produced, which like the letter P above described may
begin or terminate a syllable.

M. In the above situation of the lips, if a sound is produced through
the nostrils, which sound is termed narisonance, the nasal letter M is
formed; the sound of which may be lengthened in pronunciation like
those of the vowels.

T. If the point of the tongue be applied to the forepart of the
palate, at the roots of the upper teeth, and some air condensed in the
mouth behind, on withdrawing the tongue downwards the mute consonant T
is formed; which may begin or terminate a syllable.

D. If the tongue be placed as above described, and a sound be
previously produced in the mouth, the semisonant consonant D is
formed, which may begin or terminate a syllable.

N. If in the above situation of the tongue and palate a sound be
produced through the nostrils, the nasal letter N is formed, the sound
of which may be elongated like those of the vowels.

K. If the point of the tongue be retracted, and applied to the middle
part of the palate; and some air condensed in the mouth behind; on
withdrawing the tongue downwards the mute consonant K is produced,
which may begin or terminate a syllable.

Ga. If in the above situation of the tongue and palate a sound be
previously produced in the mouth behind, the semisonant consonant G is
formed, as pronounced in the word go, and may begin or terminate a

NG. If in the above situation of the tongue and palate a sound be
produced through the nostrils; the nasal letter ng is produced, as in
king and throng; which is the french n, the sound of which may be
elongated like a vowel; and should have an appropriated character, as
thus _v_.

Three of these letters, P, T, K, are stops to the stream of vocal air,
and are called mutes by grammarians; three, B, D, Ga, are preceded by
a little orisonance; and three, M, N, NG, possess continued
narisonance, and have been called liquids by grammarians.

_Sibilants and Sonisibilants._

W. Of the Germans; if the lips be appressed together, as informing the
letter P; and air from the mouth be forced between them; the W
sibilant is produced, as pronounced by the Germans, and by some of the
inferiour people of London, and ought to have an appropriated
character as thus M.[TN: Upside down W.]

W. If in the above situation of the lips a sound be produced in the
mouth, as in the letter B, and the sonorous air be forced between
them; the sonisibilant letter W is produced; which is the common W of
our language.

F. If the lower lip be appressed to the edges of the upper teeth, and
air from the mouth be forced between them, the sibilant letter F is

V. If in the above situation of the lip and teeth a sound be produced
in the mouth, and the sonorous air be forced between them, the
sonisibilant letter V is formed.

Th. Sibilant. If the point of the tongue be placed between the teeth,
and air from the mouth be forced between them, the Th sibilant is
produced, as in thigh, and should have a proper character, as [TN: Looks
like the Greek 'phi'].

Th. Sonisibilant. If in the above situation of the tongue and teeth a
sound be produced in the mouth, and the sonorous air be forced between
them, the sonisibilant Th is formed, as in Thee; and should have an
appropriated character as [TN: Looks like the Greek 'theta'].

S. If the point of the tongue be appressed to the forepart of the
palate, as in forming the letter T, and air from the mouth be forced
between them, the sibilant letter S is produced.

Z. If in the above situation of the tongue and palate a sound be
produced in the mouth, as in the letter D, and the sonorous air be
forced between them, the sonisibilant letter Z is formed.

SH. If the point of the tongue be retracted and applied to the middle
part of the palate, as in forming the letter K, and air from the mouth
be forced between them, the letter Sh is produced, which is a simple
sound and ought to have a single character, thus [TN: Looks like the
Greek 'lambda'].

J. French. If in the above situation of the tongue and palate a sound
be produced in the mouth, as in the letter Ga; and the sonorous air
be forced between them; the J consonant of the French is formed; which
is a sonisibilant letter, as in the word conclusion, confusion,
pigeon; it should be called Je, and should have a different character
from the vowel i, with which it has an analogy, as thus _V_.

H. If the back part of the tongue be appressed to the pendulous
curtain of the palate and uvula; and air from behind be forced between
them; the sibilant letter H is produced.

Ch Spanish. If in the above situation of the tongue and palate a sound
be produced behind; and the sonorous air be forced between them; the
Ch Spanish is formed; which is a sonisibilant letter, the same as the
Ch Scotch in the words Bu_ch_anan and lo_ch_: it is also perhaps the
Welsh guttural expressed by their double L as in Lloyd, Lluellen; it
is a simple sound, and ought to have a single character as [TN: Looks
like an H on its side].

The sibilant and sonisibilant letters may be elongated in
pronunciation like the vowels; the sibilancy is probably occasioned by
the vibrations of the air being slower than those of the lowest
musical notes. I have preferred the word sonisibilants to the word
semivocal sibilants; as the sounds of these sonisibilants are formed
in different apertures of the mouth, and not in the larynx like the

_Orisonant Liquids._

R. If the point of the tongue be appressed to the forepart of the
palate, as in forming the letters T, D, N, S, Z, and air be pushed
between them so as to produce continued sound, the letter R is formed.

L. If the retracted tongue be appressed to the middle of the palate,
as in forming the letters K, Ga, NG, Sh, J French, and air be pushed
over its edges so as to produce continued sound, the letter L is

The nasal letters m, n, and ng, are clear tremulous sounds like R and
L, and have all of them been called liquids by grammarians. Besides
the R and L, above described, there is another orisonant sound
produced by the lips in whistling; which is not used in this country
as a part of language, and has therefore obtained no character, but is
analogous to the R and L; it is also possible, that another orisonant
letter may be formed by the back part of the tongue and back part of
the palate, as in pronouncing H and Ch, which may perhaps be the Welch
Ll in Lloyd, Lluellin.

_Four pairs of Vowels._

A pronounced like au, as in the word call. If the aperture, made by
approximating the back part of the tongue to the uvula and pendulous
curtain of the palate, as in forming the sibilant letter H, and the
sonisibilant letter Ch Spanish, be enlarged just so much as to prevent
sibilancy; and a continued sound produced by the larynx be modulated
in passing through it; the letter A is formed, as in ball, wall, which
is sounded like aw in the word awkward; and is the most usual sound of
the letter A in foreign languages; and to distinguish it from the
succeeding A might be called A micron; as the aperture of the fauces,
where it is produced, is less than in the next A.

A pronounced like ah, as in the word hazard. If the aperture of the
fauces above described, between the back part of the tongue and the
back part of the palate, be enlarged as much as convenient, and a
continued sound, produced in the larynx, be modulated in passing
through it; the letter A is formed, as in animal, army, and ought to
have an appropriated character in our language, as thus [TN: Looks like
an A on its head]. As this letter A is formed by a larger aperture than
the former one, it may be called A mega.

A pronounced as in the words cake, ale. If the retracted tongue by
approximation to the middle part of the palate, as in forming the
letters R, Ga, NG, Sh, J French, L, leaves an aperture just so large
as to prevent sibilancy, and sonorous air from the larynx be modulated
in passing through it; the letter A is produced, as pronounced in the
words whale, sale, and ought to have an appropriated character in our
language, as thus [TN: Looks like a handwritten 9]; this is expressed by
the letter E in some modern languages, and might be termed E micron;
as it is formed by a less aperture of the mouth than the succeeding E.

E pronounced like the vowel a, when short, as in the words emblem,
dwelling. If the aperture above described between the retracted tongue
and the middle of the palate be enlarged as much as convenient, and
sonorous air from the larynx be modulated in passing through it, the
letter E is formed, as in the words egg, herring; and as it is
pronounced in most foreign languages, and might be called E mega to
distinguish it from the preceding E.

I pronounced like e in keel. If the point of the tongue by
approximation to the forepart of the palate, as in forming the letters
T, D, N, S, Z, R, leaves an aperture just so large as to prevent
sibilancy, and sonorous air from the larynx be modulated in passing
through it; the vowel I is produced, which is in our language
generally represented by e when long, as in the word keel; and by i
when, short, as in the word it, which is the sound of this letter in
most foreign languages; and may be called E micron to distinguish it
from the succeeding E or Y.

Y, when it begins a word, as in youth. If the aperture above described
between the point of the tongue, and the forepart of the palate be
enlarged as much as convenient, and sonorous air from the larynx be
modulated in passing through it, the letter Y is formed; which, when
it begins a word, has been called Y consonant by some, and by others
has been thought only a quick pronunciation of our e, or the i of
foreign languages; as in the word year, yellow; and may be termed E
mega, as it is formed by a larger aperture than the preceding e or i.

O pronounced like oo, as in the word fool. If the lips by
approximation to each other, as in forming the letters P, B, M, W
sibilant, W sonisibilant, leave an aperture just so wide as to prevent
sibilancy; and sonorous air from the larynx be modulated in passing
through it; the letter O is formed, as in the words cool, school, and
ought to have an appropriated character as thus [TN: Looks like the
infinity symbol], and may be termed o micron to distinguish it from
the succeeding o.

O pronounced as in the word cold. If the aperture above described
between the approximated lips be enlarged as much as convenient; and
sonorous air from the larynx be modulated in passing through it, the
letter o is formed, as in sole, coal, which may be termed o mega, as
it is formed in a larger aperture than the preceding one.


The alphabet appears from this analysis of it to consist of thirty-one
letters, which spell all European languages.

Three mute consonants, P, T, K.

Three antesonant consonants, B, D, Ga.

Three narisonant liquids, M, N, NG.

Six sibilants, W German, F, Th, S, Sh, H.

Six sonisibilants, W, V, Th, Z, J French, Ch Spanish.

Two orisonant liquids, R, L.

Eight vowels, Aw, ah, a, e, i, y, oo, o.

To these thirty-one characters might perhaps be added one for the
Welsh L, and another for whistling with the lips; and it is possible,
that some savage nations, whose languages are said to abound with
gutturals, may pronounce a mute consonant, as well as an antesonant
one, and perhaps another narisonant letter, by appressing the back
part of the tongue to the back part of the palate, as in pronouncing
the H, and Ch Spanish.

The philosophical reader will perceive that these thirty-one sounds
might be expressed by fewer characters referring to the manner of
their production. As suppose one character was to express the
antesonance of B, D, Ga; another the orisonance of R, L; another the
sibilance of W, S, Sh, H; another the sonisibilance of W, Z, J French,
Ch Spanish; another to express the more open vowels; another the less
open vowels; for which the word micron is here used, and for which the
word mega is here used.

Then the following characters only might be necessary to express them
all; P alone, or with antesonance B; with narisonance M; with
sibilance W German; with sonisibilance W; with vocality, termed micron
OO; with vocality, termed mega O.

T alone, or with the above characters added to it, would in the same
manner suggest D, N, S, Z, EE, Y, and R with a mark for orisonance.

K alone, or with the additional characters, would suggest Ga, NG, Sh,
J French, A, E, and L, with a mark for orisonance.

F alone, or with a mark for sonisibilance, V.

Th alone, or with a mark for sonisibilance, Th.

H alone, or with a mark for sonisibilance, Ch Spanish, and with a mark
for less open vocality, aw, with another for more open vocality ah.

Whence it appears that six single characters, for the letters P, T, K,
F, Th, H, with seven additional marks joined to them for antesonance,
narisonance, orisonance, sibilance, sonisibilance, less open vocality,
and more open vocality; being in all but thirteen characters, may
spell all the European languages.

I have found more difficulty in analyzing the vowels than the other
letters; as the apertures, through which they are modulated, do not
close; and it was therefore less easy to ascertain exactly, in what
part of the mouth they were modulated; but recollecting that those
parts of the mouth must be more ready to use for the purpose of
forming the vowels, which were in the habit of being exerted in
forming the other letters; I rolled up some tin foil into cylinders
about the size of my finger; and speaking the vowels separately
through them, found by the impressions made on them, in what part of
the mouth each of the vowels was formed with somewhat greater
accuracy, but not so as perfectly to satisfy myself.

The parts of the mouth appeared to me to be those in which the letters
P, I, K, and H, are produced; as those, where the letters F and Th are
formed, do not suit the production of mute or antesonant consonants;
as the interstices of the teeth would occasion some sibilance; and
these apertures are not adapted to the formation of vowels on the same

The two first vowels aw and ah being modulated in the back part of the
mouth, it is necessary to open wide the lips and other passages of the
mouth in pronouncing them; that those passages may not again alter
their tone; and that more so in pronouncing ah, than aw; as the
aperture of the fauces is opened wider, where it is formed, and from
the greater or less size of these apertures used in forming the vowels
by different persons, the tone of all of them may be somewhat altered
as spoken by different orators.

I have treated with greater confidence on the formation of articulate
sounds, as I many years ago gave considerable attention to this
subject for the purpose of improving shorthand; at that time I
contrived a wooden mouth with lips of soft leather, and with a valve
over the back part of it for nostrils, both which could be quickly
opened or closed by the pressure of the fingers, the vocality was
given by a silk ribbon about an inch long and a quarter of an inch
wide stretched between two bits of smooth wood a little hollowed; so
that when a gentle current of air from bellows was blown on the edge
of the ribbon, it gave an agreeable tone, as it vibrated between the
wooden sides, much like a human voice. This head pronounced the p, b,
m, and the vowel a, with so great nicety as to deceive all who heard
it unseen, when it pronounced the words mama, papa, map, and pam; and
had a most plaintive tone, when the lips were gradually closed. My
other occupations prevented me from proceeding in the further
construction of this machine; which might have required but thirteen
movements, as shown in the above analysis, unless some variety of
musical note was to be added to the vocality produced in the larynx;
all of which movements might communicate with the keys of a
harpsichord or forte piano, and perform the song as well as the
accompaniment; or which if built in a gigantic form, might speak so
loud as to command an army or instruct a crowd.

I conclude this with an agreeable hope, that now war is ceased, the
active and ingenious of all nations will attend again to those
sciences, which better the condition of human nature; and that the
alphabet will undergo a perfect reformation, which may indeed make it
more difficult to trace the etymologies of words, but will much
facilitate the acquisition of modern languages; which as science
improves and becomes more generally diffused, will gradually become
more distinct and accurate than the ancient ones; as metaphors will
cease to be necessary in conversation, and only be used as the
ornaments of poetry.




I. Spontaneous vital production not contrary to scripture; to be
looked for only in the simplest organic beings; supposed want of
analogy no argument against it, as this equally applies to all new
discoveries. II. The power of reproduction distinguishes organic
beings; which are gradually enlarged and improved by it. III.
Microscopic animals produced from all vegetable and animal infusions;
generate others like themselves by solitary reproduction; not produced
from eggs; conferva fontinalis; mucor. IV. Theory of spontaneous
vitality. Animal nutrition; vegetable; some organic particles have
appetencies to unite, others propensities to be united; buds of trees;
sexual reproduction: analogy between generation and nutrition; laws of
elasticity not understood; dead animalcules recover life by heat and
moisture; chaos redivivum; vorticella; shell-snails; eggs and seeds:
hydra. Classes of microscopic animals; general remarks.


Fibres possess a power of contraction; spirit of animation immediate
cause of their contracting; stimulus of external bodies the remote
cause; stimulus produces irritation; due contraction occasions
pleasure; too much, or too little, pain; sensation produces desire or
aversion, which constitute volition: associated motions; irritation;
sensation; volition; association; sensorium.


Their explosions occasioned by water falling on boiling lava; primeval
earthquakes of great extent; more elastic vapours might raise islands
and continents, or even throw the moon from the earth; stones falling
from the sky; earthquake at, Lisbon; subterraneous fires under this


The larva lives chiefly in water; it may be driven away by smoke;
gnats; libelulla; æstros bovis; bolts: musca chamæleon; vomitoria.


Diodon has both lungs and gills; some amphibious quadrupeds have the
foramen ovale open; perhaps it may be kept open in dogs by frequent
immersion so as to render them amphibious; pearl divers; distinctions
of amphibious animals; lamprey, leech; remora; whale.


Used by the magi of Egypt to record discoveries in science, and
historical events; astrology an early superstition; universal
characters desirable; Grey's Memoria Technica; Bergeret's Botanical
Nomenclature; Bishop Wilkins's Real Character and Philosophical


I. Immediate cause of the infirmities of age not yet well ascertained;
must be sought in the laws of animal excitability; debility induced by
inactivity of many parts of the system; organs of sense become less
excitable; this ascribed to habit; may arise from deficient secretion
of sensorial power; all parts of the system not changed as we advance
in life. II. Means of preventing old age; warm bath; fishes;
cold-blooded amphibious animals; fermented liquors injurious; also
want of heat, food, and fresh air; variation of stimuli; volition;
activity. III. Theory of the approach of age; surprise: novelty; why
contagious diseases affect a person but once; debility; death.


I. Distinguishes animation from mechanism; solitary and sexual; buds
and bulbs; aphises; tenia; volvox; polypus; oyster; eel;
hermaphrodites. II. Sexual. III. Inferior vegetables and animals
propagate by solitary generation only; next order by both; superior by
sexual generation alone. IV. Animals are improved by reproduction;
contagious diseases; reproduction a mystery.


Pelicans; pigeons; instincts of animals acquired by a previous state,
and transmitted by tradition; parental love originates from pleasure.


Mosaic history of Paradise supposed by some to be an allegory;
Egyptian philosophers, and others, supposed mankind to have been
originally of both sexes united.


Most affect the offspring of solitary reproduction: grafted trees,
strawberries, potatoes; changing seed; intermarriages; hereditary
diseases owing to indulgence in fermented liquors; immoderate use of
common salt; improvement of progeny; hazardous to marry an heiress.


I. Attraction and repulsion. II. Two kinds of electric ether;
atmospheres of electricity surround all separate bodies; atmospheres
of similar kinds repel, of different kinds attract each other
strongly; explode on uniting; nonconductors; imperfect conductors;
perfect conductors; torpedo, gymnotus, galvanism. III. Effect of
metallic points. IV. Accumulation of electric ethers by contact. V. By
vicinity; Volta's electrophorus and Rennet's doubler. VI. By heat and
by decomposition; the tourmalin; cats; galvanic pile; evaporation of
water. VII. The spark from the conductor; electric light; not
accounted for by Franklin's theory. VIII. Shock from a coated jar;
perhaps an unrestrainable ethereal fluid yet unobserved; electric
condensation. IX. Galvanic electricity. X. Two magnetic ethers;
analogy between magnetism and electricity; differences between them.
XI. Conclusion.


Taste may signify the pleasures received by any of the senses, but not
those which simply attend perception; four sources of pleasure in
vision. I. Novelty or infrequency of visible objects; surprise. II.
Repetition; beating of a drum; dancing; architecture; landscapes;
picturesque; beautiful; romantic; sublime. III. Melody of colours. IV.
Association of agreeable sentiments with visible objects; vision the
language of touch; sentiment of beauty.


Ideas; words the names or symbols of ideas. I. Conjunctions and
prepositions; abbreviations of other words. II. Nouns substantive.
III. Adjectives, articles; participles, adverbs. IV. Verbs;
progressive production of language.


I. Imperfections of the present alphabet; of our orthography. II.
Production of sounds. III. Structure of the alphabet; mute and
antesonant consonants, and nasal liquids; sibilants and sonisibilants;
orisonant liquids; four pairs of vowels; alphabet consists of
thirty-one letters; speaking figure.


Additional Notes, p. 43, l. 3, for Canto II, l. 129, read Canto II, l.

T. Bensley, Printer, Bolt Court; Fleet Street, London.

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