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Title: Lives of Eminent Zoologists, from Aristotle to Linnæus - with Introductory remarks on the Study of Natural History
Author: MacGillivray, William, 1796-1852
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Lives of Eminent Zoologists, from Aristotle to Linnæus - with Introductory remarks on the Study of Natural History" ***

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[Illustration: Engraved by J. Horsburgh.













Author of "A Narrative of the Travels and Researches of Alexander Von





Printed by Oliver & Boyd,
Tweeddale Court, High Street, Edinburgh.


Natural History has of late become a favourite pursuit in this country;
and although its progress as a study may not have been equal to the
enthusiasm which it has excited, its general effect is unquestionably
beneficial. In consequence of the interest which it has created, a great
variety of works, from the simple catechism to the elaborate treatise,
have appeared in rapid succession. But while compends and manuals are
thus multiplied, little has been said with regard to the private history
and professional pursuits of the distinguished persons who have
contributed most to the general stock of knowledge from which these
popular essays have in a great measure been derived. We have, therefore,
endeavoured in some degree to supply this deficiency, by presenting a
series of Lives of the more Eminent Zoologists, from Aristotle to
Linnæus inclusive.

In the Introduction will be found a view of the objects, to the
investigation of which the talents of the individuals whose annals we
record were principally directed. The remarks there offered are
calculated to enable such readers as may not have been previously
acquainted with the subject to comprehend many circumstances which might
otherwise appear unintelligible.

Few, even of those who have made considerable progress in the study of
nature, are aware of the difficulties with which the ancient
philosophers had to contend. For this reason we have begun with
Aristotle, the founder of Natural History among the Greeks. A biography
of the elder Pliny, the greatest of Roman writers in this department,
comes next in order. The lives of the more remarkable zoologists who
flourished after the revival of learning in Europe are briefly sketched;
while some degree of connexion has been given to the series by remarks
on the progress of knowledge at that period, on the labours of their
contemporaries, and on the principal works which occasionally issued
from colleges and museums. Although it is unnecessary here to enumerate
all the names that enter into the catalogue of zoological writers of the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Swammerdam, Ray, and Reaumur, may
be particularly mentioned. The great Linnæus witnessed the termination
of those dark ages, during which his favourite pursuits were treated
with comparative neglect, and the commencement of a happier era, in
which they were to assume the dignity of a science. His life is given
with more detail than those of his predecessors, both because the facts
relating to him are more abundant, and because he exercised a more
decided influence upon the opinions of Europe. The volume concludes with
a notice respecting his son, which forms an appropriate appendix to that
of his more distinguished parent.

Although the lives of studious men may, generally speaking, present
fewer striking incidents than those of warriors, navigators, and
politicians, yet the memoirs of naturalists are always extremely
interesting, on account of the connexion in which they are necessarily
placed with whatever is curious, beautiful, or sublime in creation. Some
of them, too, will be found to have occupied a high station in society;
others to have forced their way through numberless obstacles, before
obtaining the end of their ambition; while a third class are seen
perishing in the midst of their career, the victims of indiscretion, or
of neglect. Certain highly-gifted individuals, again, shine as bright
luminaries in the firmament of science, and extend their influence over
the whole of the civilized world; while the labours of nearly all have
been in some degree productive of good. Perhaps there is no order of men
to whose charge so little positive evil can be laid; and if their
studies do not always elevate the mind above the corroding cares and
cankering jealousies of life, they at least tend to bring it into a more
immediate relation with the great Creator and Governor of the universe.

It is not therefore imagined that the general reader will find the
following sketches destitute of interest, even although he should
possess only a superficial knowledge of the principles and phenomena to
which they refer. The professional student, on the other hand, cannot
fail to obtain in them information which will prove of the utmost value
to him, whether viewed as a guide, or as a stimulus to exertion; and
even the accomplished naturalist may derive pleasure from the general
review of the labours of those to whom he is mainly indebted for the
knowledge which he possesses.

The authorities which have been consulted with reference to these Lives
are too numerous to be mentioned here; but the more important are
pointed out as occasion presents. It may be sufficient to remark, that
no modern work on Natural History would be deserving of public
confidence, which did not acknowledge some obligation to the valuable
labours of the French School, and of Sir James Edward Smith in our own

The second volume, already in preparation, will be devoted to the most
distinguished writers in the same department, from Pallas, Brisson, and
Buffon, down to Cuvier, and will conclude with General Reflections on
the present state of the science.

EDINBURGH, _June 1834_.



     Remarks on the Estimation in which Natural History is held
     at the present Day, and on its Importance--Men are more
     conversant with Nature in uncivilized Life--The original
     State of Man, and his progressive Acquisition of
     Knowledge--General View of the Objects of Natural History:
     the Earth's Surface and Structure, the Ocean, the
     Atmosphere, Plants, and Animals--Definition of Mineralogy,
     Botany, and Zoology--Sketch of the Progress of Zoology: four
     Eras distinguished, as marked by the Names of Aristotle,
     Pliny, Linnæus, and Cuvier,                                      17




     Introductory Remarks--Birth and Parentage of Aristotle--He
     studies Philosophy under Plato--Is highly distinguished in
     the Academy--Retires to Atarneus on the Death of his
     Master--Marries--Is invited by Philip to superintend the
     Education of Alexander--Prosecutes his Studies at the
     Court--On the Succession of Alexander, returns to Athens,
     where he sets up a School in the Lyceum--Corresponds with
     Alexander, who supplies Means for carrying on his
     Investigations--Alexander finds Fault with him for
     publishing some of his Works, and after putting Callisthenes
     to Death, exalts his Rival Xenocrates--On the Death of
     Alexander, he is accused by his Enemies of Impiety, when he
     escapes to Chalcis, where he dies soon after--His personal
     Appearance and Character--His Testament--History of his
     Writings--Great Extent of the Subjects treated of by
     him--His Notions on elementary Bodies--The Material
     Universe--The Changes to which the Earth has been subjected,
     and the Eternity of its Existence--Conclusion,                   38



     Aristotle's Ideas respecting the Soul--His Views of Anatomy
     and Physiology--Introduction to his History of Animals,
     consisting of Aphorisms or general Principles--His Division
     of Animals; their external Parts; their Arrangement into
     Families; their internal Organs; Generation, &c.                 55



     Introductory Remarks--Notice respecting Pliny by
     Suetonius--Account of his Habits, as given by his Nephew,
     Pliny the Younger--Various Particulars of his Life--His
     Death occasioned by an Eruption of Vesuvius--Buffon's
     Opinion of the Writings of Pliny--Judgment of Cuvier on the
     same Subject--Brief Account of the Historia Naturalis,
     including Extracts respecting the Wolf, the Lion, and other
     Animals--Cleopatra's Pearls--History of a Raven--Domestic
     Fowls--General Remarks,                                          74



     Conrad Gesner--Account of his Life and Writings, preceded by
     Remarks on those of Ælian, Oppian, Albertus Magnus, Paolo
     Giovio, and Hieronymus Bock--Pierre Belon--Hippolito
     Salviani--Guillaume Rondelet--Ulysses Aldrovandi--General
     Remarks on their Writings, and the State of Science at the
     Close of the Sixteenth Century,                                 102



     Brief Account of the Lives and Writings of John Jonston,
     John Goedart, Francis Redi, and John Swammerdam--Notice
     respecting the principal Works of Swammerdam--His Birth and
     Education--He studies Medicine, but addicts himself chiefly
     to the Examination of Insects--Goes to France, where he
     forms an Acquaintance with Thevenot--Returns to Amsterdam,
     takes his Degree, improves the Art of making Anatomical
     Preparations--Publishes various Works--Destroys his Health
     by the Intensity of his Application--Becomes deeply
     impressed with religious Ideas--Adopts the Opinions of
     Antoinette Bourignon--Is tortured by conflicting
     Passions--Endeavours to dispose of his Collections--Is
     affected with Ague and Anasarca, and dies after protracted
     Suffering--His Writings published by Boerhaave--His
     Classification of Insects,                                      118



     Birth and Parentage of Ray--He receives the Rudiments of his
     Education at Braintree School--At the age of Sixteen enters
     at Katherine Hall, Cambridge--Removes to Trinity College,
     where he passes through various Gradations, and becomes a
     Fellow--Publishes his Catalogue of Cambridge Plants, and
     undertakes several Journeys--Extracts from his
     Itineraries--Resigns his Fellowship--Becomes a Member of the
     Royal Society--Publishes his Catalogue of English Plants,
     &c.--Death of his most intimate Friend, Mr
     Willughby--Character of that Gentleman--Mr Ray undertakes
     the Education of his Sons, and writes a Vocabulary for their
     Use--Notice of Dr Lister--Several Works published by Mr Ray,
     who improves and edits Willughby's Notes on Birds and
     Fishes--Continues his scientific Labours--Remarks on the
     Scoter and Barnacle--Letters of Dr Robinson and Sir Hans
     Sloane--Notice respecting the latter--Publication of the
     Synopsis of British Plants, the Wisdom of God manifested in
     the Works of Creation, &c.--Estimate of the Number of
     Animals and Plants known--Synopsis of Quadrupeds and
     Serpents--Classification of Animals--Various
     Publications--Ray's Decline--His last Letter--His Ideas of a
     Future State, and of the Use of the Study of Nature--His
     Death, Character, and principal Writings,                       136



     Birth and Education of Reaumur--He settles at Paris, where
     he is introduced to the Scientific World by the President
     Henault, and becomes a Member of the Academy of
     Sciences--His Labours for the Improvement of the Arts--His
     Works on Natural History, of which the Memoirs on Insects
     are the most important--His Occupations and Mode of Life,       183




     Birth and Parentage of Linnæus--He is destined for the
     Clerical Profession--His early Fondness for Plants--He is
     sent to School, where his Progress is so slow that his
     Father resolves to make him a Shoemaker--Is rescued from
     this Fate by Dr Rothmann, who receives him into his
     Family--He becomes decidedly attached to the Study of
     Nature, enters the University of Lund, and is patronised by
     Professor Stobæus--When on an Excursion is attacked by a
     dangerous Malady--Stobæus surprises him in his nocturnal
     Studies--He goes to Upsal--Is reduced to extreme Poverty,
     from which he is relieved by Professor Celsius, whom he
     assists--Is next patronised by Rudbeck, and delegated to
     read his Lectures--Forms a Friendship with Artedi,              193



     Linnæus, chosen by the Royal Society of Upsal to travel in
     Lapland, sets out in May 1732--Enters Lycksele Lapland--A
     Lapland Beauty--Beds made of Hair-moss--Conversation of a
     Curate and a Schoolmaster--The Lapland Alps--Their
     Vegetation--Brief Account of the Rein-deer--Passing over the
     alpine Region, he enters Norway--Again visits the
     mountainous Region--Difficulties of the
     Journey--Pearl-fishery--Forests set on Fire by Lightning--At
     Lulea he discovers the Cause of an epidemic Distemper among
     the Cattle--Returns through East Bothland--Concluding
     Remarks,                                                        204



     Linnæus returns to Upsal--Is prevented from lecturing by
     Rosen, whom he attempts to assassinate--Accompanies some
     young Men on an Excursion to Fahlun, where he is introduced
     to the Governor of the Province, with whose Sons he travels
     to Norway--Returning to Fahlun, he delivers Lectures, falls
     in Love, is furnished with Money by his Mistress, and
     prepares to go Abroad for his Degree--He visits Hamburg,
     detects an Imposture there, and is obliged to make his
     Escape--Obtains his Degree at Harderwyk--Proceeds to Leyden,
     where he publishes his Systema Naturæ, and waits upon
     Boerhaave--Goes to Amsterdam, is kindly received by Burmann,
     and lodges with him--Is employed by Cliffort, publishes
     various Botanical Works--Goes to England, visits Sir Hans
     Sloane, Miller, and Dillenius--Returns to Holland, publishes
     several Works--Goes to Leyden, and resides with Van
     Royen--Publishes the Ichthyologia of Artedi, who was drowned
     in Amsterdam--Becomes melancholy, and falls into a violent
     Fever--On his Recovery goes to Paris, where he is kindly
     received by the Jussieus--Returns to Sweden after an Absence
     of Three Years and a Half,                                      218



     Linnæus is treated with Neglect at Stockholm--Is offered a
     Botanical Professorship at Gottingen, but prefers remaining
     in Sweden--His medical Practice is at length extended--He
     prescribes for the Queen, and becomes acquainted with Count
     Tessin, who procures for him the Offices of Lecturer to the
     School of Mines and Physician to the Admiralty--He marries
     Miss Moræus, delivers Lectures on Botany, and becomes a
     Candidate for the Botanical Chair at Upsal, which, however,
     is given to Rosen--Is sent to examine the Islands of Oeland
     and Gothland--Being appointed to succeed Roberg in the Chair
     of Medicine and Anatomy, he goes to Upsal, is reconciled to
     Rosen, and delivers his Introductory Discourse--Linnæus and
     Rosen exchange Professorships--The Botanic Garden is
     restored, and a House erected for the Professor, who enters
     upon his Duties with Ardour,                                    234



     Linnæus restores the Botanic Garden at Upsal--Takes
     Possession of his new Residence--Founds a Natural History
     Museum--Publishes Catalogues of the Plants and Animals of
     Sweden--In 1746, makes a Journey to West Gothland--Medal
     struck to his Honour--He publishes a Flora of Ceylon from
     the Herbarium of Hermann--His alleged Discovery of a Method
     of producing Pearls--Success as a Professor--Malice of his
     Enemies--Journey to Scania--Is appointed Rector of the
     University--Attacked by Gout--Sends several of his Pupils to
     travel in foreign Countries,                                    243



     Enthusiasm excited by the Lectures of Linnæus--Ternstroem
     dies on his Voyage to China--Hasselquist, after travelling
     in Egypt, Arabia, and Palestine, dies at Smyrna--Forskal
     perishes in Arabia; Loefling in South America; Falk in
     Tartary--Kalm sent to Canada; Rolander to Surinam; Toren to
     Malabar; Osbeck to China--Sparrmann travels in the Cape, and
     accompanies Cook on his second Voyage--Thunberg visits
     Japan, Ceylon, and other Countries--Various parts of Europe
     visited by Pupils of Linnæus--Remarks on the Accumulation of
     Facts produced by their Exertions,                              251



     Publication of the Philosophia Botanica--General Account of
     that Work--Linnæus engaged in arranging the Collections of
     the Queen and Count Tessin--The Species Plantarum--Sir J. E.
     Smith's Remarks on it--Quotation from the Preface, with
     Remarks--Linnæus publishes improved Editions of his
     Works--Obtains Prizes for Essays from the Royal Societies of
     Stockholm and Petersburg--Is elected a Member of the Academy
     of Sciences of Paris--Receives Plants and Seeds from various
     Quarters--Purchases two Estates--Delivers private Lectures
     at his Museum--His Emoluments--His Son appointed his
     Assistant and Successor--He receives Letters of Nobility;
     and is rewarded for his Discovery of the Art of producing
     Pearls--His domestic Troubles, Infirmities, and sincere
     Reconciliation to his old Antagonist Rosen, who attends him
     in his Sickness,                                                260



     Linnæus's Classification of the Animal Kingdom--Remarks on
     the Gradations employed, and on Nomenclature--Classification
     of the Animal Kingdom--General Remarks--Method of
     Tournefort--Method of Linnæus--Classification of the
     Vegetable Kingdom--Theory of the Formation of Minerals and
     Rocks,                                                          272



     Review of the Medical Writings of Linnæus--His Materia
     Medical System of Nosology, Theory of Medicine--His last
     Work, a Continuation of the Mantissa, published in
     1771--Declining State of his Health--In 1774, has an Attack
     of Apoplexy, followed by Prostration of his Intellectual
     Powers--Another Attack in 1775, from the Effects of which,
     and Tertian Fever, he never recovers--His Death in
     1778--Honours paid to his Memory,                               307



     Linnæus's first Letter, addressed to Rudbeck in 1731--His
     last, to Dr Cusson in 1777--Correspondence with Haller--With
     Dillenius, Ellis, and other English Naturalists,                322



     Specific Character of Linnæus--Remarks of
     Condorcet--Linnæus's Appearance and bodily Conformation--His
     Habits, mental Characteristics, Sociality, domestic
     Relations, Parsimony, and Generosity--His Forbearance
     towards his Opponents, Inaptitude for the Acquisition of
     Languages, Love of Fame, moral Conduct, religious
     Feelings--Character of his Writings--Remarks on his
     Classifications,                                                361



     Hortus Uplandicus--Florula Lapponica--Systema
     Naturæ--Hypothesis Nova de Febrium Intermittentium
     Causa--Fundamenta Botanica--Bibliotheca Botanica--Musa
     Cliffortiana--Genera Plantarum--Viridarium
     Cliffortianum--Caroli Linnæi Corollarium Generum
     Plantarum--Flora Lapponica--Hortus Cliffortianus--Critica
     Botanica--Petri Artedi, Sueci Medici, Ichthyologia--Classes
     Plantarum, seu Systema Plantarum--Oratio de Memorabilibus
     in Insectis--Orbis Eruditi Judicium de C. Linnæi
     Scriptis--Oratio de Peregrinationum intra Patriam
     Necessitate--Oratio de Tellurus Habitabilis
     Incremento--Flora Suecica--Animalia Sueciæ--Oeländska och
     Gothländska Resa--Fauna Sueciæ Regni--Flora
     Zeylanica--Wästgötha Resa--Hortus Upsaliensis--Materia
     Medica Regni Vegetabilis--Materia Medica Regni
     Animalis--Skänska Resa--Philosophia Botanica--Materia Medica
     Regni Lapidei--Species Plantarum--Museum Tessinianum--Museum
     Regis Adolphi Suecorum--Frederici Hasselquist Iter
     Palestinum--Petri Loeflingii Iter Hispanicum--Oratio
     Regia--Disquisitio Quæstionis, ab Acad. Imper. Scientiarum
     Petropolitanæ, in annum 1759 pro Præmio, Propositæ--Genera
     Morborum--Museum Reginæ Louisæ Ulricæ--Clavis Medica
     Duplex--Mantissa Plantarum--Mantissa Plantarum
     altera--Deliciæ Naturæ--Essays printed in the Transactions
     of the Academies of Upsal and Stockholm,                        375



     Unnatural Conduct of the Mother of the Younger Linnæus--His
     Birth and Education--In his eighteenth Year he is appointed
     Demonstrator of Botany, and, three Years after, Conjunct
     Professor of Natural History--He visits England, France,
     Holland, Germany, and Denmark--On returning engages in the
     Discharge of his Duties; but at Stockholm is seized with
     Fever, which ends in Apoplexy, by which he is carried
     off--His Character and Funeral,                                 386





     Remarks on the Estimation in which Natural History is held
     at the present Day, and on its Importance--Men are more
     conversant with Nature in uncivilized Life--The original
     State of Man, and his progressive Acquisition of
     Knowledge--General View of the Objects of Natural History:
     the Earth's Surface and Structure, the Ocean, the
     Atmosphere, Plants, and Animals--Definition of Mineralogy,
     Botany, and Zoology--Sketch of the Progress of Zoology: four
     Eras distinguished, as marked by the Names of Aristotle,
     Pliny, Linnæus, and Cuvier.

At no period in the progress of civilisation have the advantages to be
derived from the study of nature been so highly appreciated as at the
present day, when descriptions and representations of the various
objects by which we are surrounded, or which have been observed in
distant countries, are issuing from the press in a variety of forms
calculated to attract the attention and to gratify the taste of almost
every class of society. Only a few years ago, Natural History was held
in some degree of contempt by the enlightened as well as by the
ignorant; its cultivators were considered as triflers, wasting their
energies upon that which could profit nothing; and the information which
it affords was looked upon as unworthy of the attention of persons
fitted for intellectual pursuits. Now, it is raised in popular
estimation to the highest dignity, and is pronounced to be a science
capable of exercising the most splendid talents, and of affording
pleasure to the most improved minds.

Of the several changes that have recently taken place in society this is
not the least important. The diversified productions of Nature,--those
objects, in the formation of which have been exercised unlimited wisdom
and power,--are not now considered beneath the notice of the wisest of
the sons of men. It still, however, remains to be perceived, that in the
construction of the familiar fly that buzzes through our apartments, not
less than in the frame of the mighty elephant,--in the simple blade of
grass that springs from between the stones of the pavement, not less
than in the knotted oak or the graceful palm,--in the small cube of
salt, not less than in the granitic mountain or the volcanic
cone,--there is something of a mysterious nature, the comprehension of
which would be a much more glorious achievement than any that the human
intellect has yet performed. The ship that carries the adventurous
merchant over the great ocean is an object worthy of our admiration; but
how complicated is its apparatus, compared with the fins of the most
common fish! The balloon that floats calmly in the atmosphere,--what an
unwieldy instrument is it, compared with those beautiful organs of
Divine workmanship by which the swallow is conveyed from the equatorial
to the polar lands, or pursues its prey through the pathless air!

Man, in the early stages of his existence, is drawn by an instinctive
power to observe and admire nature. The love of it, too, glows in the
breast of every child. We have never, indeed, witnessed the actions of
men in the infancy of society, and therefore cannot estimate the
influence exercised upon them by external objects; for the savages whom
the European, wandering over the globe in quest of gold or knowledge,
finds in the deserts or in the remote isles of the ocean, are evidently
degraded beings who have degenerated from a nobler stock. But the
history and traditions of most of the tribes with which we are
acquainted, and especially of those inhabiting the American continent,
show that at some remote period they must have possessed more knowledge
than they exhibited at our first acquaintance with them. Revelation,
too, assures us that man was made perfect; and philosophy has not
succeeded in forming a theory to account for the physical or moral
diversities exhibited by our race, approaching in consistency to that
which may be drawn from the pages of the Sacred Writings.

"Man," says Cuvier, "who was cast feeble and naked on the surface of the
globe, seemed created for inevitable destruction. Evils assailed him on
all sides; the remedies remained concealed from him, but he had been
endowed with genius for discovering them. The first savages gathered in
the woods some nutritious fruits, some wholesome roots, and thus
satisfied their more urgent wants. The first shepherds perceived that
the stars follow a regular course, and were directed by them in their
journeys over the plains of the desert. Such was the origin of the
mathematical and physical sciences.

"When the genius of man had discovered that it could combat Nature by
her own means, it no longer rested; it watched her incessantly, and
continually wrested from her new conquests, each marked by some
improvement in his condition. Then succeeded, without interruption,
meditating minds, which, being the faithful depositaries of acquired
knowledge, and continually occupied with connecting and giving a
vivifying unity to its parts, have led us, in less than four thousand
years, from the first attempts of those pastoral observers to the
profound calculations of Newton and Laplace, and to the learned
classifications of Linnæus and Jussieu. This precious inheritance,
always augmenting, borne from Chaldea to Egypt, from Egypt to Greece,
hidden during periods of misfortune and darkness, recovered in a happier
age, unequally dispersed among the nations of Europe, has been every
where followed by riches and power; the nations which have welcomed it
have become the mistresses of the world, while those which have
neglected it have fallen into feebleness and obscurity."

Had man, in his original state, been cast feeble and naked on the
surface of the globe, he could not have survived a single week, with all
the elements of nature combined against him. His first experiment on the
tiger or the asp, even his first morsel of food, might have been fatal
to him. He must have been formed perfect in knowledge; or, being formed
in ignorance and feebleness, he must have been protected by a power
capable of controlling the influences of surrounding nature. But before
we proceed to offer a few remarks on the origin and progress of
zoological science, it seems expedient to mark the subjects to which the
attention of the naturalist is directed.

If we cast our eyes around, and survey, in a comprehensive manner, the
objects which exhibit themselves to our view, we may form some idea of
the occupations of those individuals who devote themselves to the
examination of nature. The surface of the globe presents in part a vast
expanse of water bounded by the sinuosities of the shores, and in part
an undulating succession of plains and mountains. It is enveloped with
an aërial fluid, which extends to a considerable height, sometimes
transparent, and sometimes obscured with masses of floating vapour.

The land is diversified by slopes of every degree of
inclination,--extensive plains, depressions and hollows, ridges and
protuberances of various forms; the highest, however, bearing a very
insignificant proportion to the earth's diameter. The waters, which
cover more than two-thirds of the globe, separate the land into unequal
portions, dividing it into continents and islands. Tracts of elevated
ground traverse these in various directions, constituting the elongated
mountain-groups named chains; which, being intersected by valleys and
containing the sources of numberless streams, slope towards the adjacent
countries. Other portions of the surface consist of irregularly-grouped
eminences, of inferior height, interspersed with corresponding valleys.
Elevated platforms are sometimes met with, and the plains and slopes are
not unfrequently diversified with hills. The depressed parts of
mountainous regions present great diversity of form, extent, and
direction, and often exhibit basins or hollows, which are occasionally
filled with water.

Descending into the plains, we find that they are seldom perfectly
level, but are formed into slopes of small inclination and of various
extent. The pampas of South America, for example, stretch from the base
of the Andes to Buenos Ayres, over a space of 900 miles; and in Africa
are vast expanses of nearly level land, where the traveller, day after
day, sees the horizon preserving the same distance as he proceeds, and
bounding an ocean of arid sand. Large flats are also found at great
elevations above the sea, such as those of Tartary, Thibet, and Mexico.

Of the other inequalities of the land, the more remarkable are the
cavities forming lakes, and the grooves occupied by the beds of rivers.
The former are of all sizes, from several hundred miles in circumference
down to very small dimensions, and occur in all situations,--between
mountain-chains, like the Caspian,--in plains, like Onega,--and along
the course of rivers, like those of Canada. The streams necessarily flow
in the line which marks the greatest depression of the valleys;
although, in some instances, towards their mouths, they occupy a higher
level, their beds having been raised by the deposition of the debris
carried down by the torrent.

The bottom of the ocean, being merely the continuation of the surface of
the land, may be supposed to present inequalities of a similar nature,
although, owing to the action of currents, they are probably not so
distinctly marked. The transition from what is above to that which is
under the water is not in general denoted by any striking phenomenon,
excepting the not unfrequent occurrence of long ranges of cliffs,
pebbly beaches, and accumulations of sand. When the coast is low and
flat, the depth of the sea in its vicinity is usually small; whilst
along a rocky and abrupt shore it generally presents a depression in
some measure corresponding to the height of the land. The existence of
submarine chains of mountains is established by the numerous shoals and
rocks which are to be considered as their summits. On these, coral reefs
and islands have been gradually raised by myriads of zoophytes.

The mighty mass of waters, which is collectively termed the sea,
occupies, as has been already mentioned, more than two-thirds of the
surface of the globe. Its chemical composition, its tides, its currents,
and all the varied phenomena which it presents, afford subjects of
highly-interesting research.

The atmosphere, in like manner, which envelopes the earth, supplies, in
its ever-varying aspects, its motions, its electrical phenomena, and the
influence which it exercises on animal and vegetable life, an object of
investigation pregnant with curious and useful knowledge.

The mysterious agency of subterranean fire has elevated great masses of
rocky matter in various parts of the globe. Earthquakes have effected
extensive and remarkable changes upon its surface; the waters of the
ocean have alternately worn away the shores and eked them out by
depositions of sand and mud; the rivers have furrowed the land, and
carried the debris of the higher regions to the valleys and plains;
while air and moisture have exercised their decomposing influence upon
the hardest substances. By the action of these powers the earth has
become a fit receptacle for the varied forms of animal and vegetable
existence with which we see it so profusely stored.

The variable distribution of heat has produced a striking effect in
modifying the earth's surface. The cold of the polar regions covers them
at all seasons with an extensive deposite of snow and ice, the margins
of which are periodically dissolved by the increasing warmth of summer,
to be repaired during the succeeding winter. The numberless icebergs,
originally formed on the land or in its vicinity, floating on the ocean,
and drifted by winds and currents, often pass into more genial regions,
producing occasional variations of temperature. The elevated ridges of
mountains experience a similar degree of cold, and in all climates, even
in the torrid zone, are covered towards their summits with perennial

Limited as are our powers of examining the interior of the globe, we yet
find in its crust indications of a power which, by operating so as to
produce apparent confusion, has effected results highly beneficial to
the beings by whom the earth has been peopled. The strata, at first
regularly superimposed upon each other, and consisting of those
diversified materials which are supplied by the disintegration of
pre-existing rocks, have been broken up, and inclined in every possible
degree, so as to form those depressions and elevations which we every
where observe on the surface. These inequalities have been increased by
the protrusion of masses from the more central regions, and the whole
has been subjected to the agency of powerful currents of water, by means
of which the angular cavities and projections have been smoothed or
filled up. The consideration of these phenomena constitutes a distinct
branch of natural science.

The mountains, rocks, and strata, are composed of ingredients which in
themselves are worthy of examination, and capable of affording intense
interest. The extremely-diversified forms which these substances assume,
their various properties, their uses in the economy of nature, and the
purposes to which they may be applied by man, render their investigation
not less useful than pleasant.

A most extensive and delightful field of observation presents itself to
us in the vegetable bodies with which the surface of the land, and even
the depths of the ocean, are so profusely furnished. The various regions
of the globe are not less characterized by the form and grouping of the
plants which have been allotted to them, than by the comparative
activity of their vegetating power. The wastes of Europe, covered by
ling, heaths, rushes, and sedges, exhibit little change of aspect under
the variations of temperature and the revolutions of the year; while the
plains of Venezuela, which during the drought are covered with a layer
of sand, and present only a few withered palms scattered along the
margins of muddy pools, are converted in the rainy season into an ocean
of luxuriant vegetation. In the equinoctial regions of the globe, palms,
arborescent ferns, and a multitude of magnificent trees, intertwined
with flowering lianas hanging in festoons, form themselves into
impenetrable forests, whereas the frigid regions of the arctic circle
hardly produce plants a foot in height. The solemn and stately pines of
the north of Europe have a very different aspect from the
slender-twigged beeches and chestnuts of its temperate regions, or the
laurels and fan-palms of its southern shores.

Viewed in relation to their productions, the gelid regions of the globe
are not confined to the circumpolar zone, but extend along the summits
of the lofty mountains, following the line of perennial snow, which
rises from the level of the sea, in Greenland and Spitzbergen, to the
height of 14,000 feet in the Andes. These steril tracts nourish only a
few species of plants, although the individuals belonging to them are
frequently numerous. In the valleys, and on the southern slopes, no
sooner has the returning heat of summer melted the snow, than a
beautiful carpeting of verdure, diversified by flowers of various tints,
spreads over the soil, displaying an astonishing rapidity of
development, while the rocks in many places appear covered with
cryptogamic plants. Besides mosses, lichens, and other inferior tribes,
multitudes of ferns make their appearance. Grasses and creeping
dicotyledonous plants are fully matured; and a rich pasturage affords,
during the warm season, abundant nourishment to herbivorous animals.
Some trees of small size also appear here and there, or even form
themselves into thickets and woods. But, in general, the vegetation of
these dreary regions, placed on the limits of the habitable earth, is
characterized by a paucity of species and a stunted growth.

Firs and pines, existing in vast numbers, and retaining a perpetual
though gloomy verdure, characterize the transition from the frigid to
the northern temperate zone. This last extends from the parallels of 50°
to 40° north latitude, and in its southern borders, the beech, the lime,
and the chestnut, mingle with the trees peculiar to more southern
regions. The meadows and pastures, especially those in the vicinity of
the sea and in the mountain-valleys, are clothed with a brilliant
verdure, which we in vain look for in the other sections of the globe.

The warm temperate zone, extending to 25°, presents in general a less
beautiful vegetation; for although the heat is greater the humidity is
less constant. But it is in the torrid latitudes that Nature displays
all her magnificence. There the species of tribes, which in other
climates are herbaceous, become shrubs, and the shrubs trees. Ferns rise
into trunks equal to those of pines in the northern regions of Europe;
balsams, gums, and resins, exude from the bark; aromatic fruits and
flowers abound; and the savage, as he roams the woods, satisfies his
hunger with the spontaneous offerings of the soil. Here also are all the
climates of the globe, and almost all their productions united; for,
while the plains are covered with the gorgeous vegetation of the
tropics, the lofty mountains display the forms that occur in the colder
regions, and the places intermediate in elevation all the graduated
transitions from these to the warmest parallels.

The vegetation of the seas presents much less diversity than that of the
land. It is less luxuriant, less elegant, less ornamented, and less
productive of substances directly useful to man. There is also less
distinction between marine plants of different latitudes; for the great
currents of the ocean, and other causes, render its temperature more
equable than that of the atmosphere.

The numerous and diversified forms which plants assume, their
distribution over the globe, their various qualities and uses, and
their internal organization, are subjects which have long occupied the
attention of observers. In their reproduction, growth, and maturation,
phenomena are presented to us, which are well calculated to excite our
admiration; and the curious and diversified apparatus of tubes and
cells, in which are circulated the fluids derived from the atmosphere
and the earth, although apparently more simple than that of the animal
economy, affords a profound as well as an interesting subject of

All parts of the earth's surface, even the deep recesses of caves and
mines, the snows of the polar and alpine regions, and the bottom of the
sea, are more or less covered with plants. The same may be said
respecting animals, which, being much more diversified in their forms
and internal structure, and endowed with more wonderful faculties, lead
the mind, by the contemplation of their mechanism and habits, to a
nearer approach to the great Creator of all things.

From the gigantic elephant that roams among the splendid forests of the
warmer regions of the earth, the unwieldy hippopotamus that plunges in
the pools and marshes of the African wilds, and the timid and graceful
giraffe that bounds over the sandy desert, down to the little dormouse
that we find slumbering in its winter retreat, to the lemming that in
congregated myriads overruns the fields of the North, or to the mole
that burrows under our feet, we find an astonishing variety of beings,
exhibiting forms, instincts, passions, and pursuits, which adapt them
for the occupation of every part of the globe. The woods, the plains,
the mountains, and the sands of the sea, are replete with life. The
waters, too, whether of the ocean or of the land, teem with animated
beings. Scarcely is a particle of matter to be found that does not
present inhabitants to our view; and a drop of ditch-water is a little
world in itself, stored with inmates of corresponding magnitude.

The consideration of the anatomical structure and external conformation
of the many thousands of living creatures that come under our view,
would of itself occupy many volumes, were it presented in detail; and
even the simplest outline in which it could be produced would require
more space than can be devoted to it here. All departments of Nature are
full of wonders; but this excels the rest in interest, and is
proportionally more difficult to be studied; although men, contented
with superficial knowledge, may fancy themselves masters of her secrets
when they have merely learned to distinguish some hundreds of objects
from each other.

Man, separated from all other animals by peculiarities of corporeal
organization, not less than by those intellectual faculties which are
not in any considerable degree participated by the other inhabitants of
the globe, and who is capable of subsisting in every climate, from the
arid regions of the torrid zone to the frozen confines of the poles,
also belongs in some measure to the study of nature. But the
consideration of man includes a multitude of subjects that do not
properly belong to Natural History, in the limited sense in which we use
the term. It might even be said that it embraces all human knowledge.
Thus, the constitution of the human mind, and the structure of the human
body, as well as its healthy and morbid phenomena, together with the
means of regulating the former and of counteracting the latter, may
certainly be included in it.

Natural history, however, in its more limited acceptation, may be
considered as comprehending the three great kingdoms of Nature,--the
mineral, the vegetable, and the animal,--the sciences treating of which
are named Mineralogy, Botany, and Zoology. The first of these
departments of knowledge comprehends, along with the consideration of
simple minerals, that of the masses produced by the aggregation of these
substances, and the changes effected upon them by natural causes. Botany
teaches us to distinguish and arrange the subjects of the vegetable
kingdom, points out the forms and functions of their organs,
investigates their internal structure, traces them in their distribution
over the surface of the globe, and makes known the various properties
which render them noxious or useful to us. Zoology treats of the various
tribes of animals, marks their external forms, compares their various
organs, describes their habits, discloses the laws which regulate their
distribution over the continents and islands, arranges them into
families according to principles deduced from their structure, and in
general makes us acquainted with all that belongs to their history.
Although it is unnecessary here to offer any extended remarks on the
cultivation of the vast field which is thus opened up to us, yet, the
science of animals being intimately connected with the Series of Lives
which we propose to offer to the public, it may not be improper to give
a short account of its origin and progress.

In the History of Zoology, four eras are marked by the names of four
great cultivators of that science. All knowledge of nature must have
commenced in the observation of individuals, or in an intuitive
perception of their properties bestowed upon the first man. We may
suppose, however, that at some period not remote from the creation of
the human race men were left to their own resources, when they were
necessarily forced to examine the nature and qualities of plants and
animals, as well as of all natural objects with which they came into
contact. The son would learn from the father, and impart to his
descendants a certain degree of knowledge acquired by observation. Where
the art of writing was unknown, science would advance but slowly; and
even where it was practised, the privilege would probably belong to
individuals or families, so that the mass would still be left to their
ordinary resources. Those who lived in the remote ages antecedent to the
Christian era probably knew as much of natural history as the unlettered
peasant of our own age and country. Whatever may have been the
acquirements of the priests, the sole depositaries of science in ancient
India, Chaldea, and Egypt, they perished amid the revolutions of
empires. The Sacred Scriptures, however, show that Moses, who was
learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, had bestowed considerable
attention on the animal world; but as these writings were not intended
for our instruction in natural knowledge, the observations which they
contain on the subject have no reference to systematic arrangement. In
short, whatever may have been the knowledge possessed by the subjects of
the Pharaohs, or the Hebrews and Greeks of the earlier ages, we do not
find that it had assumed any definite form, or constituted a body of
doctrine, until the time of Alexander the Great. At this epoch the
illustrious Aristotle collected the observations of his predecessors;
added to them those, more extensive and more important, which were made
by himself; and, although deeply engaged in the study of other subjects,
succeeded in collecting a mass of facts, and in eliciting from them
general principles, the accuracy of many of which might surprise us, did
we not reflect that, in this department at least, he followed the true
method by which the physical sciences have in our times received so vast
an augmentation. He, however, stands alone among the writers of remote
antiquity in this field; for, if others followed in his steps, their
works have been lost.

Among the Romans, by whom the sciences were carried from Greece to
Western Europe, there must have been many naturalists of considerable
attainments; but the only writer of that nation whose descriptions have
come down to us is Pliny the Elder, who flourished under Vespasian. His
books on natural history are compiled from the writings of others, and
may be considered as a general collection of all that was known in his
time. Although he must have possessed opportunities of observing the
many rare animals that were brought from all parts of the world to Rome,
it does not appear that, by original observation, he added much to the
mass of facts; still he may be viewed as marking the second epoch in the
history of zoology, more especially as his works supplied the materials
out of which naturalists in later ages have constructed their systems.
As to Ælian, a Greek writer, whose treatise was also a compilation, his
merits were much fewer, and his absurdities more numerous than those of
his predecessor. Both were fond of the marvellous, but he was eminently
addicted to falsehood.

During the long ages of barbarism that succeeded the destruction of the
Roman empire all the sciences were lost. On the revival of learning some
feeble efforts were made to rescue natural history from its degraded
condition; and at the commencement of the sixteenth century appeared
several works on fishes, by Paolo Giovio, Pierre Belon, Rondelet, and
Salviani. Belon wrote on birds also, and his observations are remarkable
considering the period at which he lived. Conrad Gesner, a physician of
Zurich, in his History of Animals, presented a compilation, arranged in
alphabetical order, of all that the ancients had left on the subject;
and Aldrovandi, after the labour of sixty years, left behind him an
immense work on natural history, comprising no less than fourteen folio
volumes. In the seventeenth century, we find our own Ray and Willughby
among the most successful students of nature. Besides these celebrated
individuals, there were others, such as Jonston and Redi, who laboured
in the field of zoology; but perhaps the most original authors of this
period were Swammerdam and Reaumur, whose minute observations, in
entomology especially, have not been excelled in accuracy by those of
any subsequent writers. It was not, however, until the middle of the
eighteenth century, that a new era was formed by the labours of Linnæus,
who was the first to collect all the known productions of nature, to
class them according to simple principles derived from the observation
of facts, and to invent a nomenclature at once efficient and

Since the time of that philosopher natural history in all its branches
has been cultivated with extreme ardour. The writers of this period have
been numerous beyond those of any former epoch; and as anatomical
investigation was successfully applied to the study of zoology, while
the objects known were immensely increased, it was soon found that the
classifications of the great reformer of the science were in many
respects deficient, and that he had frequently associated objects which
have too little affinity to be grouped together in the same class or
order. The Systema Naturæ, in place of forming a complete catalogue of
all the objects of nature, "became," to use the words of an accomplished
author, "a mere sketch of what was to be done afterwards. Even more
recent naturalists touched with a timid hand upon the natural grouping
of the highest branches of the science, and it was reserved for a mighty
genius of our own time to open the path to us, and to smooth the
difficulties of that path, by precisely determining the limits of the
great divisions, by exactly defining the lesser groups, by placing them
all according to the invariable characters of their internal structure,
and by ridding them of the accumulations of synonymes and absurdities
which ignorance, want of method, or fertility of imagination, had heaped
upon them."[A] This "mighty genius," it is almost unnecessary to add,
was the illustrious Cuvier, who, although by no means the only great,
and possibly not even the greatest zoologist of his time, may, if we
are disposed to mark an epoch by a single name, be selected for that
purpose. But even this celebrated writer has, in his Règne Animal,
merely presented a sketch, leaving to others the task of completing the
various departments. They who think otherwise forget that the generic
and specific characters of the systematist, necessarily condensed, are
very inadequate to convey any other than the most superficial knowledge
of the diversified objects of nature.

These, then, were the men who progressively reared the structure of
zoology. Aristotle was a universal genius; but with respect to natural
history he is to be looked upon chiefly as a zoologist. Pliny was a
collector of every thing known in his time, whether true or fabulous,
that related to animals, minerals, and plants. Linnæus arranged all the
objects of nature. He was perhaps greater as a zoologist than as a
botanist, although, in the latter capacity, his labours have been more
highly appreciated, because there have been more cultivators of the
science of plants, of which the study requires less laborious
investigation, and to many persons is more attractive. Lastly, Cuvier,
an original genius, an acute observer, and an accurate reasoner,
profiting by the accumulated knowledge of ages, remodelled the system of
zoology, and, in his Règne Animal, arranged the series of animals
according to principles elicited from the investigation of their
structure and relations.

The present volume includes the lives of the more eminent zoologists,
from Aristotle to Linnæus. Those who succeeded the latter will furnish
ample materials for another.

It is scarcely necessary to remark, that these volumes may either be
considered as complete in themselves, or as introductory to a general
and particular description of the various tribes of animals. A work on
this most extensive subject is a great desideratum in English
literature,--not that books on this department of science are wanting,
but because we have none that present a continuous view of the families
end species of the different classes, at once intelligible to the
student of nature, attractive to the general reader, and free from that
meagreness of phraseology necessarily peculiar to the composers of
systematic catalogues.

It is not now required of us to point out the advantages that might
result from the establishment of natural history as a branch of popular
education. These advantages have been repeatedly pressed on the notice
of the public; and, although the system has not been as yet adopted, the
time cannot be far distant when the elements of mineralogy, botany, and
zoology shall be taught in our schools, along with those branches of
knowledge which at present occupy the field, to the exclusion of others
not less adapted for the improvement of the youthful mind. "To
constitute such pursuits a prominent part of elementary education," says
a popular writer, "would without doubt be erroneous: it is, however,
certain that none are more eminently fitted to fill the minds of youth
with admiration of the numerous contrivances and proofs of design
afforded in every part of the creation, and to inspire them with exalted
conceptions of the Supreme Being."[B] We are of opinion,
notwithstanding, that they ought to occupy a distinct place in
elementary education, because they possess many important
recommendations, of which those mentioned are certainly not the least.
The study of nature may be pursued in any degree, as a relaxation from
other studies, as a pleasing occupation invigorating alike to the mind
and the body, or as a science capable of calling into action the noblest
faculties of man, and of affording employment to intellects of even a
higher order than any of those who have hitherto acquired distinction in
the walks of literature. Natural history has already to boast of an
Aristotle, a Ray, a Reaumur, a Linnæus, a Haller, a Hunter, and a
Cuvier. What other science can rank abler men among its cultivators?
And, as is remarked by one of the most eminent naturalists that this
country has produced, the late president of the Linnæan Society, "How
delightful and how consolatory it is, among the disappointments and
anxieties of life, to observe science, like virtue, retaining its relish
to the last!"


[A] Mrs R. Lee's Memoirs of Baron Cuvier, p. 51.

[B] Quarterly Review, vol. xxxvi. p. 219.



_Remarkable Events in the Life of Aristotle._

     Introductory Remarks--Birth and Parentage of Aristotle--He
     studies Philosophy under Plato--Is highly distinguished in
     the Academy--Retires to Atarneus on the Death of his
     Master--Marries--Is invited by Philip to superintend the
     Education of Alexander--Prosecutes his Studies at the
     Court--On the Succession of Alexander, returns to Athens,
     where he sets up a School in the Lyceum--Corresponds with
     Alexander, who supplies Means for carrying on his
     Investigations--Alexander finds Fault with him for
     publishing some of his Works, and after putting Callisthenes
     to Death, exalts his Rival Xenocrates--On the Death of
     Alexander, he is accused by his Enemies of Impiety, when he
     escapes to Chalcis, where he dies soon after--His personal
     Appearance and Character--His Testament--History of his
     Writings--Great Extent of the Subjects treated of by
     him--His Notions on elementary Bodies--The Material
     Universe--The Changes to which the Earth has been subjected,
     and the Eternity of its Existence--Conclusion.

Natural History, considered as a science or body of doctrine, commenced
with Aristotle, the founder of the Peripatetic School, and one of the
most illustrious philosophers of antiquity. His writings were held in
the highest estimation by his own countrymen the Greeks, as well as by
the Romans: they were considered as the most authentic sources of
knowledge, after the revival of learning in Europe; and even at the
present day their influence may be traced in the works of many who have
not so much as bestowed upon them a cursory glance. It is therefore fit
that we should begin our biographical sketches with that celebrated
author, the more especially as he did not confine himself to a single
branch of natural history, but, like all great minds, possessed an
extensive acquaintance with objects of various classes. It is he only,
whose comprehensive glance seizes upon what is common to numerous
tribes, that can duly estimate what ought to be considered as
distinctive of a particular group, or can form rules for the arrangement
and description of the beings which compose it. The three greatest
naturalists whom the world has produced, Aristotle, Linnæus, and Cuvier,
were men whose conceptions were enlarged by the most expanded views.
Others have excelled them in particular departments, but none have
equalled them in general knowledge.

Aristotle was born at Stagira, a city of the Thracian Chersonesus, in
the first year of the 99th Olympiad, or the 384th before the Christian
era. His father, Nicomachus, was physician to Amyntas, king of
Macedonia, the father of Philip, and grandfather of Alexander the Great.
Of his mother, we only know that her name was Phestis, and that, like
her husband, she was originally from Chalcis. His family claimed descent
from Machaon, the son of Esculapius. Having lost his parents at an early
age, he went to reside with Proxenus, a citizen of Atarneus in Mysia,
the friend to whose guardianship he had been left. According to some
authorities, not being observed very strictly by those who had the
immediate charge of his education, he spent a great part of his youth in
licentious indulgences, by which he dissipated nearly the whole of a
large patrimony. It is also said that he entered into the military
profession, but finding it disagreeable soon renounced it, and, as a
means of subsistence, sold medicines at Athens. But most of these
reflections on his juvenile character may perhaps be attributed to

However this may be, it became necessary for him to choose an
employment; and, on going to Delphi to consult the oracle, he was
directed to proceed to Athens, and apply himself to the study of
philosophy. This he accordingly did, and at the age of seventeen
commenced his career as a pupil of Plato.

Being of an ardent temperament, he addicted himself to his new pursuit
with so much energy, that he determined to reduce his hours of repose to
the smallest possible limits. For this purpose he placed a metallic
basin beside his couch, and on lying down held out one of his hands with
an iron ball in it, that the noise produced by the collision might awake
him should he happen to slumber. Such intensity of application, in a
penetrating and subtile mind, could not fail to render him highly
successful in his studies. We accordingly find that he had not been long
in the academy when he was distinguished above all the other scholars;
and it is said that Plato used to call him the mind of his school, and
to compare him to a spirited colt that required the application of the
rein to restrain its ardour.

He has been accused of disrespect and ingratitude to his aged master,
and with having set up a school in opposition to him. The author of this
charge was Aristoxenus, his own pupil; but it is well known that he was
personally an enemy to Aristotle, because that philosopher, in choosing
a successor, had preferred Theophrastus. It is doubted, besides,
whether he taught publicly until after Plato's death, which happened in
348 B. C.

Speusippus, the nephew of the sage just named, having been appointed to
succeed him in his school, Aristotle, retiring from Athens, went to
reside with Hermeias, governor of Assus and Atarneus in Mysia. Here he
remained three years; but his friend having been executed, by command of
Artaxerxes, as a rebel against Persia, he was obliged to seek refuge in
Mytelene, taking with him Pythias, the kinswoman and adopted daughter of
Hermeias, to whose memory he afterwards erected a statue in the temple
of Delphos. This lady, endeared to him by the gratitude which he felt
towards her father, and by the distress to which she had been reduced by
his death, he married in the thirty-seventh year of his age. She died,
however, soon after their union, leaving an infant daughter, who
received the same name.

A short time having elapsed, he was invited by Philip to superintend the
education of his son. This distinction he no doubt owed in part to his
previous intimacy with the King of Macedonia; but it must also have
arisen from the great celebrity which he enjoyed, as excelling in all
kinds of science, and especially in the doctrine of politics. Alexander
had attained the age of fifteen when the management of his studies was
confided to Aristotle, then in his forty-second year. There is ground,
however, for presuming that previous to this period the philosopher had
been consulted respecting the instruction of the young prince.

The master, it has been said, was worthy of his pupil, and the pupil of
his master. In our opinion the master was worthy of a better pupil, and
the pupil might have had a better master. At all events, Alexander, who
was ambitious of excelling in every pursuit, must have profited greatly
in the acquisition of knowledge by the lessons of the most
eminently-endowed philosopher of his age. According to Plutarch and
Aulus Gellius, he was instructed by him in rhetoric, physics, ethics,
and politics; and so high was the estimation in which he held his
preceptor, that he is said to have declared, that "he was not less
indebted to Aristotle than to his father; since if it was through the
one that he lived, it was through the other that he lived well." It is
also supposed that he had been initiated in the abstruse speculations
respecting the human soul, the nature of the Divinity, and other
subjects, on which his master had not yet promulgated his notions to the

During his residence at the court of Macedonia, Aristotle did not
exclusively devote himself to his duties as instructor of the young
prince, but also took some share in public business, and continued his
philosophical researches. For the latter purpose Philip is said to have
granted him liberal supplies of money. In consideration of his various
merits the king also rebuilt his native city, Stagira, which had been
destroyed in the wars, and restored it to its former inhabitants, who
had either been dispersed or carried into slavery.

Alexander had scarcely completed his twentieth year when the
assassination of his father, by Pausanias, one of the officers of the
guard, called him to the throne. Aristotle, however, continued to
reside at the court two years longer; when some misunderstanding having
arisen, he left the young monarch at the commencement of his celebrated
expedition into Asia, and returned to Athens. It has been alleged that
he accompanied his former pupil as far as Egypt; but the fact is not
certain, although circumstances would seem to render it probable.

He was well received at Athens, on account of the benefits which Philip
had conferred, for his sake, on the inhabitants of that city; and,
obtaining permission from the magistrates to occupy the Lyceum, a large
enclosure in the suburbs, he proceeded to form a school. It was his
custom to instruct his disciples while walking with them; and for this
reason the new sect received the name of Peripatetics, or walking
philosophers. In the morning he delivered his acroatic lectures to his
select pupils, imparting to them the more abstruse parts of metaphysical
science; and in the evening gave to his visiters or the public at large
exoteric discourses, in which the subjects discussed were treated in a
popular style. As the Lyceum soon acquired great celebrity, scholars
flocked to it from all parts of Greece. Xenocrates, who shared with him
the lessons of Plato, had by this time succeeded Speusippus in the
Academy, and it has been alleged that Aristotle established his seminary
in contemptuous opposition; observing, that it would be shameful for him
to be silent while the other taught publicly. But although the rival
sages of those days cannot be supposed to have been influenced by a
gentler spirit than animates those of our own times, there is no reason
for attributing to the Stagirite in this matter any other motive than a
laudable desire of seeking his own interest by communicating knowledge
to those who were desirous of receiving it.

In this manner he gave public lectures at Athens thirteen years, during
the greater part of which time he did not cease to correspond with
Alexander. That celebrated prince had placed at his disposal several
thousand persons, who were occupied in hunting, fishing, and making the
observations which were necessary for completing his History of Animals.
He is moreover said to have given the enormous sum of 800 talents for
the same purpose; while he also took care to send to him a great variety
of zoological specimens, collected in the countries which he had

The misunderstanding which had begun before Aristotle parted from his
royal pupil, but which had not prevented the good offices of the latter,
increased towards the end of his career. One of the first occasions
seems to have been offered by the philosopher, who, having published his
works on physics and metaphysics, received from Alexander, who was
piqued at his having divulged to the world the valuable knowledge which
he had obtained from him in his youth, the following letter:--

     "Alexander to Aristotle, wishing all happiness. You have
     done amiss in publishing your books on the speculative
     sciences. In what shall I excel others if what you taught me
     privately be communicated to all? You know well that I would
     rather surpass mankind in the more sublime branches of
     learning than in power. Farewell."

This epistle exhibits the king as a very exclusive personage; and,
joined to what history has recorded of his actions, tends to show that
selfishness, however refined or disguised, was the main source of his
insatiable ambition. One of the sincerest pleasures of a great mind is
to communicate to others all the blessings that it possesses. On other
occasions he appeared to entertain a wish to mortify the philosopher by
exalting his rival Xenocrates, who had nothing to recommend him besides
a respectable moral character. It has even been asserted by some, that
the conqueror, after he had put Callisthenes to death, intended the same
fate for Aristotle.

This Callisthenes was a kinsman and disciple of the other, through whose
influence, it is said, he was appointed to attend the king on his
Asiatic expedition. His republican sentiments and independent spirit,
however, rendered him an indifferent courtier; while his rude and
ill-timed reflections finally converted him into an object of suspicion
or dislike. The conspiracy of Hermolaus affording Alexander a plausible
pretext for getting rid of his uncourtly monitor, he caused him to be
apprehended and put to death. Some say that he was exposed to lions,
others that he was tortured and crucified; but, in whatever way he met
his end, it is generally agreed that his life was sacrificed to gratify
the enmity of his sovereign. Aristotle naturally espoused the cause of
his relative, and from that period harboured a deep resentment against
his destroyer. It has even been alleged that he was privy to the
supposed design of murdering the victorious prince; but of this there is
no satisfactory evidence.

Notwithstanding the coolness which thus existed between "Macedonia's
madman" and "the Stagirite," the latter continued to enjoy at least an
appearance of protection, which prevented his enemies from seriously
molesting him. But as the splendour of his talents, his success in
teaching, and the celebrity which he had acquired in all parts of
Greece, had excited the animosity of those who found themselves eclipsed
by the brightness of his genius, no sooner was Alexander dead, than they
stirred up a priest, named Eurymedon, with whom was associated
Demophilus, a powerful citizen, to prefer a charge of impiety against
him before the court of Areopagus, on the ground that he had
commemorated the virtues of his wife and of his friend Hermeias with
such honours as were exclusively bestowed on the gods. Warned by the
fate of Socrates under similar circumstances, he judged it prudent to
retire; remarking, that he wished to spare the Athenians the disgrace of
committing another act of injustice against philosophy.

He effected his escape, with a few friends, to Chalcis in Euboea,
where he died soon after, in the year 322 B.C., and the 63d of his age;
having, on his deathbed, appointed Theophrastus of Lesbos, one of his
favourite pupils, his successor at the Lyceum. Various accounts are
given of his demise; but it is probable that an overexcited mind, and a
body worn out by disease, were the real causes of his dissolution.

According to Procopius and others, Aristotle drowned himself in the
Euboean Euripus, because he could not discover the cause of its ebbing
and flowing, which are said to take place seven times a-day. Sir Thomas
Browne, in his Enquiries into Vulgar and Common Errors, refutes this
assertion on the following grounds:--In the first place, his death is
related to have taken place in two ways by Diogenes Laertius; the one,
from Eumolus and Phavorinus, that being accused of impiety for composing
a hymn to his friend Hermeias, he withdrew to Chalcis, where he drank
poison; the other, by Apollodorus, that he died of a disease in his
stomach, in his sixty-third year. Again, the thing is in itself
unreasonable, and therefore improbable; for Aristotle was not so apt to
be vexed by the difficulty of accounting for natural phenomena, nor is
there any evidence that he endeavoured to discover the ebb and flow of
the Euripus, for he has made no mention of it in his works. Lastly, the
phenomenon itself is disputable; and it appears from a comparison of
testimonies on the subject, that the stream in question flows and ebbs
only four times a-day, as is the case with other parts of the sea,
though it is subject to irregularities dependent upon the winds and
other causes. "However, therefore, Aristotle died," concludes our
author, "what was his end, or upon what occasion, although it be not
altogether assured, yet that his memory and worthy name shall live, no
man will deny, nor gratefull schollar doubt: and if, according to the
Elogie of Solon, a man may be onely said to be happy after he is dead,
and ceaseth to be in the visible capacity of beatitude: or if, according
unto his own Ethicks, sence is not essentiall unto felicity, but a man
may be happy without the apprehension thereof; surely in that sence he
is pyramidally happy, nor can he ever perish but in the Euripe of
ignorance, or till the torrent of barbarisme overwhelme all."

With respect to personal appearance, Aristotle was not highly favoured.
He was of short stature, with slender legs, and remarkably small eyes.
His voice was shrill, and his utterance hesitating. Although his
constitution was feeble, he seems to have enjoyed good health. His moral
character has been impeached by some; but we may presume that it was not
liable to any serious imputation, otherwise his faults would not have
escaped the observation of his numerous enemies, who yet could only
prefer against him some vague charges of impiety.

Aristotle was not merely a philosopher; he was also what would at the
present day be called a gentleman and a man of the world. In accordance
with this character he dressed magnificently, wore rings of great value,
shaved his head and face, contrary to the practice of the other scholars
of Plato, and freely indulged in social intercourse. He was twice
married. By his first wife, Pythias, he had a daughter of the same name,
who was married to Nicanor, the son of Proxenus. His second wife was
Herpylis, a native of Stagira, by whom he had a son, called Nicomachus.

It is difficult to determine his real character. Those who seem to find
pleasure in reviling him, assert that he was a parasite, a habitual
glutton and drunkard, a despiser of the gods, a vain person, whose chief
care was to ornament his person, and thereby counteract the unfavourable
impression which his disproportioned figure might make. It has been
said, with perhaps more truth, that he taught his pupil Alexander
principles of morals and policy which were not the best adapted for a
prince of his ambitious temper; and that his desire of standing forth
as the founder of a philosophical sect, induced him to prefer abstract
disquisitions to solid knowledge, and to indulge in a spirit of
contradiction and innovation. On the other hand, he has been extolled as
a prodigy of knowledge and intellect, and represented as "the secretary
of nature." Jews have laid claim to his philosophy as derived from
Solomon, and Christians have held him up as a person ordained to prepare
the way for a Divine revelation. It is certain, however, that he was a
very remarkable individual, possessed of great powers of observation and
discrimination, and one who, had he devoted himself to the study of
natural objects with a sincere desire of ascertaining their properties
and a resolution to adhere to truth, might have succeeded in laying on a
solid basis the foundations of physical science.

Diogenes of Laertes in Cilicia, who lived about the end of the second
century, and who wrote an account of the lives of the philosophers,
has preserved his testament, the substance of which is as
follows:--Antipater, the regent of Macedonia, is appointed his executor.
To his wife Herpylis he leaves the choice of two houses, the one in
Chalcis, the other at Stagira. He commends her domestic virtues, and
requests his friends to distinguish her by the kindest attention. To
Nicomachus, his son by Herpylis, and to Pythias, his daughter by his
first wife, he bequeaths the remainder of his fortune, excepting his
library and writings, which he leaves to Theophrastus. He desires that
his daughter shall be given in marriage to Nicanor, the son of his
benefactor Proxenus, or, should he not be inclined to receive her, to
Theophrastus, his esteemed pupil. The bones of Pythias he orders to be
disinterred and buried with his own body, as she herself had desired.
None of his slaves are to be sold; they are all either emancipated by
his will, or ordered to be set free by his heirs whenever they shall
become worthy of liberty. Finally, he orders that the dedications which
he had vowed for the safety of Nicanor be presented at Stagira to
Jupiter and Minerva.

The same writer gives the titles of 260 works of Aristotle. Many of
these, however, have perished. From his situation in society, and the
munificent patronage of Alexander, he possessed more ample resources
than any other man of science that could be named; and, considering the
age in which he lived, his success in the investigation of nature may be
considered as almost unrivalled. It is to be regretted that so many of
his treatises have been lost, and that even those which have been
transmitted to us have not been preserved in a perfect state.

Strabo has given a melancholy history of these works, in the ninth book
of his geography. Aristotle, as we have stated above, had bequeathed
them to Theophrastus, the most distinguished of his pupils, and his
successor in the school. That philosopher left them, together with his
own works, to his scholar Neleus, who carried them to his native city,
Scepsis in Asia Minor. The heirs of Neleus, who were unlettered men,
kept them locked up; and when they understood that the King of Pergamos,
to whom the town belonged, was collecting books, to form a library on
the plan of the Alexandrian, they concealed them in a vault or cellar,
where they lay forgotten 130 years. When accidentally discovered, at
the end of that period, they were found to be greatly injured by damp
and vermin. At length they were sold to an inhabitant of Athens, named
Apellicon, who, however, was not so much a lover of philosophy as a
collector of manuscripts, and who adulterated the original text by his
injudicious emendations and interpolations. Several copies thus altered
were published by him. When Athens was taken by Sylla, the library of
this citizen was carried to Rome, where the works of Aristotle were
corrected by Tyrannion, a grammarian. Andronicus of Rhodes afterwards
arranged the whole into sections, and gave them to the world.

According to Dr Gillies, Aristotle must have "composed above 400
different treatises, of which only forty-eight have been transmitted to
the present age. But many of these last consist of several books; and
the whole of his remains together still form a golden stream of Greek
erudition, exceeding four times the collective bulk of the Iliad and

He was scarcely less ambitious than his pupil Alexander, and his works
embrace nearly the whole range of human knowledge as it existed in his
day. He was the inventor of the syllogistic mode of reasoning, the
principles of which he lays down in his work on logic. In his books on
rhetoric, he has investigated the principles of eloquence with great
accuracy and precision, insomuch that they form the basis of all that
has since been written on the subject. His work on poetics, or rather
the fragment which has come down to us under that name, although almost
entirely confined to the consideration of the drama, contains principles
applicable to poetical composition in general, and is equally
distinguished for precision and depth of thought. Those on ethics and
politics are also remarkable productions; and although the former has
been effectually superseded by a more perfect system, the latter
contains much that is interesting even at the present day. In his
metaphysics, he expounds the doctrine of Being abstracted from Matter,
and speaks of a First Mover,--the life and intellect of the universe,
eternal and immutable, but neither omnipresent nor omnipotent. When
treating of physics, he does not in general lay down rules _a priori_,
but deduces them from the observation and comparison of facts. This
being the case, we might expect that such of his writings as relate to
natural history should contain much truth.

He holds that all terrestrial bodies are composed of four
elements,--earth, water, air, and fire. Earth and water are heavy,
because they tend towards the earth's centre; while air and fire, which
tend upwards, are light.

Besides these four elements, he has admitted a fifth, of which the
celestial objects were composed, and whose motion is always circular. He
supposed that there is above the air, under the concave part of the
moon, a sphere of fire to which all the flames ascend, as the brooks and
rivers flow into the ocean.

He maintains that matter is infinitely divisible; that the universe is
full, and that there is no vacuum in nature; that the world is eternal;
that the sun, which has always revolved as it does at present, will for
ever continue to do so; and finally, that the generations of men succeed
each other without having had a beginning or foreseeing an end.

He alleges that the heavens are incapable of decay; and that although
sublunar things are subject to corruption, their parts nevertheless do
not perish; that they only change place; that from the remains of one
thing another is made; and that thus the mass of the world always
remains entire. He holds that the earth is in the centre of the world;
and that the First Being makes the skies revolve round the earth, by
intelligences which are continually occupied with these motions.

He asserts that all of the globe which is now covered by the waters of
the sea was formerly dry land; and that what is now dry land will be
again converted into water. The reason is this: the rivers and torrents
are continually carrying along sand and earth, which causes the shores
gradually to advance, and the sea gradually to retire; so that in the
course of innumerable ages the alleged vicissitudes necessarily take
place. He adds, that in several parts which are considerably inland, and
even of great elevation, the sea, when retiring, left shells, and that,
on digging in the ground, anchors and fragments of ships are sometimes
found. Ovid attributes the same opinion to Pythagoras.

Aristotle farther remarks, that these conversions of sea into land, and
of land into sea, which gradually take place in the long lapse of ages,
are in a great measure the cause of our ignorance of past occurrences.
He adds, that besides this other accidents happen, which give rise even
to the loss of the arts; and among these he enumerates pestilences,
wars, famines, earthquakes, burnings, and desolations, which exterminate
all the inhabitants of a country, excepting a few who escape and save
themselves in the deserts, where they lead a savage life, and where
they give origin to others, who in the progress of time cultivate the
ground, and invent or rediscover the arts; and that the same opinions
recur, and have been renewed times without number. In this manner, he
maintains that, notwithstanding these vicissitudes and revolutions, the
machine of the world always remains indestructible.

If an apology were necessary for the brevity of the above sketch, it
might be urged, that it probably contains all that is authentic
respecting the life of this eminent philosopher; and that our object is
to condense, not to expand; to direct the attention to characteristic
features, not to lead the mind to expatiate vaguely upon the general


_Account of Aristotle's History of Animals._

     Aristotle's Ideas respecting the Soul--His Views of Anatomy
     and Physiology--Introduction to his History of Animals,
     consisting of Aphorisms or general Principles--His Division
     of Animals; their external Parts; their Arrangement into
     Families; their internal Organs; Generation, &c.

Of all the sciences, it has been remarked, that which owes most to
Aristotle is the natural history of animals. Not only was he acquainted
with numerous species, he also described them according to a
comprehensive and luminous method, which perhaps none of his successors
have approached; arranging the facts observed, not according to the
species, but according to the organs and functions, which affords the
only means of establishing comparative results. It may in fact be said,
that besides being the oldest author on comparative anatomy whose
writings we possess, he was likewise one of those who have treated that
part of natural history with most genius, and best deserves to be taken
as a model. The principal divisions which are still adopted by
naturalists in the animal kingdom are those of Aristotle, and he
proposed some which have been resumed after having been unjustly
rejected. If we examine the foundation of these great labours, we shall
find that they all rest on the same method, which is itself derived
from the theory respecting the origin of general ideas. He always
observes facts with attention, compares them with great precision, and
endeavours to discover the circumstances in which they agree. His style,
moreover, is suited to his method: simple, precise, unstudied, and calm,
it seems in every respect the reverse of Plato's; but it has also the
merit of being generally clear, except in some places where his ideas
themselves were not so.[C]

In one of his treatises, Aristotle divides natural bodies into those
possessing life, and those destitute of that principle,--into animate
and inanimate. He considers soul as the vital energy or vivifying
principle common to all organized bodies; but distinguishes in it three
species. Thus, in plants there is a vegetative, in animals a vegetative
and a sentient, in man a vegetative, a sentient, and a rational soul.
The functions of nutrition and generation in plants and animals he
attributes to the vegetative soul; sense, voluntary motion, appetite,
and passion, to the sentient soul; the exercise of the intellectual
faculties, to the rational soul.

His ideas of anatomy and physiology were extremely imperfect. Thus, he
supposed the brain to be a cold spongy mass, adapted for collecting and
exhaling the superfluous moisture, and intended for aiding the lungs and
trachea in regulating the heat of the body. The heart is the seat of the
vital fire, the fountain of the blood, the organ of motion, sensation,
and nutrition, as well as of the passions, and the origin of the veins
and nerves. The blood is confined to the veins; while the arteries
contain an aërial spirit; and by nerves he means tendons, nerves, and
arteries,--in short, strings of all kinds, as the name implies. The
heart has three cavities; in the larger animals it communicates with the
windpipe, or the ramifications of the pulmonary artery receive the
breath in the lungs and carry it to the heart. Respiration is performed
by the expansion of the air in the lungs, by means of the internal fire,
and the subsequent irruption of the external air to prevent a vacuum.
Digestion is a kind of concoction or boiling, performed in the stomach,
assisted by the heat of the neighbouring viscera.

It is perhaps impossible at the present day, when the investigation of
nature is so much facilitated by the accumulated knowledge of ages in
every department of physical science, by the commercial relations
existing between countries in all parts of the globe, by a tried method
of observation, experiment, and induction, and finally, by the
possession of the most ingenious instruments, to form any adequate idea
of the numerous difficulties under which the ancient naturalist
laboured. On the other hand, he had this great advantage, that almost
every thing was new; that the most simple observation correctly
recorded, the most trivial phenomenon truly interpreted, became as it
were his inalienable property, and was handed down to succeeding ages as
a proof of his talents,--a circumstance which must have supplied a great
motive to exertion.

The History of Animals is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable
performances of which physical science can boast. It must not, however,
be imagined that it is a work which, replete with truth and exhibiting
the well-arranged results of accurate observation and laborious
investigation, is calculated to afford material aid to the modern
student. To him more recent productions are the only safe guides; nor is
it until he has studied them, and interrogated nature for himself, that
he can derive benefit from the perusal of the treatise which we now
proceed to examine.

The first book contains a brief description of the parts of which the
bodies of animals are composed. The introduction consists of general
propositions; of which we shall present a few of the more remarkable as
a specimen.

Some parts, he observes, are simple, and divided into similar particles;
while others are compound, and consist of dissimilar elements. The same
parts in different animals vary in form, proportion, and other
qualities; and there are many creatures which, although they have the
same parts, have them in different situations. Animals differ in their
mode of living, actions, and manners: thus, some reside on land, others
in water; and of the latter some breathe water, others air, and some
neither. Of aquatic animals, some inhabit the sea, others the rivers,
lakes, or marshes. Of those which live in the sea, some are pelagic,
others littoral, and others inhabit rocks. Of land-animals, some respire
air, as man; others, although they live on the land and obtain their
food there, do not breathe air, as wasps, bees, and other insects.

We know no animal, says he, that flies only, as the fish swims; for
those which have membranous wings walk also; and bats have feet, as have
seals, although imperfect. But some birds have the feet weak; in which
case the defect is compensated by the superior action of the wings, as
in swallows. There are many species which both walk and swim. Animals
also differ in their habits; thus, some are gregarious, others
solitary,--a distinction applicable to them whether they walk, fly, or
swim. Some obey a leader, others act independently; cranes and bees are
of the former, ants of the latter kind. Some feed on flesh, others on
fruits, while others feed indiscriminately; some have homes, others use
no covering of this kind, but reside in the open air. Some burrow, as
lizards and snakes; others, as the horse and the dog, live above ground.
Some animals seek their food at night, others by day; some are tame,
others wild; some utter sounds, others are mute, and some sing; all of
them, however, sing or cry in some way at the season of pairing.

In this way he proceeds, stating briefly the various circumstances in
which animals differ from each other, and in conclusion asserting that
man is the only one capable of design; for, says he, although many of
them have memory and docility, none but man have the faculty of

These general propositions or aphorisms are not so simple or so easily
attained as one might imagine on reading them inattentively. Let any
person who has a tolerably comprehensive idea of the series of animated
beings reflect a little, and he will perceive, that such as the
following must be derived from the observation of a great number of
facts:--Those parts which seize the food, and into which it is received,
are found in all animals. The sense of touch is the only one common to
all. Every living creature has a humour, blood or sanies, the loss of
which produces death. Every species that has wings has also feet.

In this chapter Aristotle divides animals into such as have blood, and
such as have it not. Of the former (the red-blooded) some want feet,
others have two of these organs, and others four. Of the latter (the
white-blooded) many have more than four feet. Of the swimming-animals,
which are destitute of feet, some have fins, which are two or four;
others none. Of the cartilaginous class, those which are flat have no
fins, as the skate. Some of them have feet, as the mollusca. Those which
have a hard leathery covering swim with their tail. Again, some animals
are viviparous, others produce eggs, some worms. Man, the horse, the
seal, and other land-animals, bring forth their young alive; as do the
cetacea and sharks. Those which have blow-holes have no gills, as the
dolphin and whale. In this department, the observations of the great
philosopher are often minute, and generally accurate, although usually
too aphoristic and unconnected to be of much use to the student.

Of flying-animals, some, as the eagle and hawk, have wings; others, in
place of wings, have membranes, as the bee and the beetle; others a
leathery expansion, as the bat. Those which have feathered or leathery
wings are blooded (red-blooded); but those which have membranous wings,
as insects, are bloodless (white-blooded). Those which fly with wings or
with leathery expansions, either have two feet or none; for, says he, it
is reported that there are serpents of this kind in Ethiopia. Of the
flying bloodless animals, some have their wings covered by a sheath, as
beetles; others have no covering, and of these some have two, others
four wings. Those which are of large size, or bear a sting behind, have
four; but the smaller and stingless, two only. Those which have sheaths
to their wings, have no sting; but those which have two wings are
furnished with a sting in their fore part, as the gnat.

Animals are distinguished from each other, so as to form kinds or
families. These, according to our author, are quadrupeds, birds, fishes,
cetacea, all which he says have (red) blood. There is another kind,
covered with a shell, such as the oyster; and another, protected by a
softer shell, such as the crab. Another kind is that of the mollusca,
such as the cuttlefish; and lastly, the family of insects. All these are
destitute of (red) blood.

Here, then, we have a general classification of animals, which it is
important to notice, as we may have occasion afterwards to compare it
with arrangements proposed by other naturalists. It may be reduced to
the following form:--

     _Red-blooded Animals._


     _White-blooded Animals._


It must, however, be understood, that Aristotle proposes no formal
distribution of animals, and that his ideas respecting families, groups,
or genera, such as those of our present naturalists, are extremely

His quadrupeds include the mammalia and the quadrupedal reptiles. He
divides them into those which are viviparous, and those which are
oviparous; the former covered with hair, the latter with scales.
Serpents are also scaly, and, excepting the viper, oviparous. Yet all
viviparous animals are not hairy; for some fishes, he remarks, likewise
bring forth their young alive. In the great family of viviparous
quadrupeds also, he says, there are many species (or genera), as man,
the lion, the stag, and the dog. He then mentions, as an example of a
natural genus, those which have a mane, as the horse, the ass, the mule,
and the wild-ass of Syria, which are severally distinct species, but
together constitute a genus or family.

This introduction to the History of Animals the philosopher seems to
have intended, less as a summary of his general views respecting their
organization and habits, than as a popular exordium, calculated to
engage the attention of the reader, and excite him to the study of
nature. Whatever errors it may contain, and however much it may be
deficient in strictly methodical arrangement, it is yet obviously the
result of extensive, and frequently accurate observation. He then
proceeds to the description of the different parts of the human body,
first treating of what anatomists call the great regions, and the
exterior generally, and then passing to the internal organization. His
descriptions in general are vague, and often incorrect. As an example,
we may translate the passage that refers to the ear.

This organ, he says, is that part of the head by which we hear; but we
do not respire by it, for Alcmeon's opinion, that goats respire by the
ears, is incorrect. One part of it has no name, the other is called
lobos; it consists entirely of cartilage and flesh. The internal region
is like a spiral shell, resembling an auricle at the extremity of the
bone, into which as into a vessel the sound passes. Nor is there any
passage from it to the brain, but to the palate; and a vein stretches
from the brain to it. But the eyes belong to the brain, and each is
placed upon a small vein. Every animal that has ears moves them,
excepting man; for of those which are furnished with the sense of
hearing, some have ears, others none, but an open passage; of which kind
are feathered animals, and all that are covered with a scaly skin. But
those which are viviparous, the seal, the dolphin, and other cetacea
excepted, have external ears, as well as the viviparous cartilaginous
animals. The seal has a manifest passage for hearing; but the dolphin,
although it hears, yet has no ears. The ears are situated at the same
level as the eyes, but not higher, as in certain quadrupeds. The ears of
some persons are smooth, of others rough, or partly so; but this
furnishes no indication of disposition. They are also large, small, or
of moderate size, projecting, or flat, or intermediate. The latter
circumstance indicates the best disposition. Large and projecting ears
are indicative of a fool and babbler.

From this passage we perceive that Aristotle was acquainted with the
Eustachian tube; although his anatomical knowledge of the ear is
certainly of the most superficial kind, and his physiognomical notions
respecting it sufficiently ludicrous. He divides the body into head,
neck, trunk, arms, and legs, much as we do at the present day. The head
consists of the calvaria, or part covered with hair, which is divided
into three regions, the bregma or fore part, the crown, and the occiput.
Under the bregma is the brain; but the back part of the head is empty.
When speaking of the face, he remarks, that persons having a large
forehead are of slow intellect, that smallness of that part indicates
fickleness, great breadth stupidity, and roundness irascibility. The
physiognomists of our day have a different opinion. The neck contains
the spine, the gullet, and the arteria (or windpipe). The trunk consists
of the breast, the belly, &c.;--and in this manner he passes over the
different external regions.

In describing the brain, he states that all red-blooded animals have
that organ, as have also the mollusca, and that in man it is largest and
most humid. He had observed its two membranes, as well as the
hemispheres and cerebellum; but he asserts that it is bloodless, that no
veins exist in it, and that it is naturally cold to the touch. He was
ignorant of the distribution of the nerves, was not aware that the
arteries contain blood, imagined that the heart being connected with the
windpipe is inflated through it, and, in a word, manifests extreme
ignorance of every thing that relates to the internal organization.

Judging from this specimen, the reader may suspect that his time would
not be profitably employed in separating the few particles of wheat from
the great mass of chaff which the writings of Aristotle present to us.
Nor must it be concealed that the modern naturalist does not consult his
volumes for information, but merely to gratify curiosity. There is to be
found, indeed, in the most imperfect of our elementary works on anatomy,
whether human or comparative, more knowledge than was probably contained
in the Alexandrian library.

In his second book, he treats more particularly of animals. At its
commencement we unfortunately meet with a stumbling-block, in the shape
of an assertion, that the neck of the lion has no vertebræ, but consists
of a single bone. In speaking of limbs, he takes occasion to describe
the proboscis of the elephant, and to enter generally into the history
of that gigantic quadruped. He then speaks with reference to the
distribution of hair, remarking, that the hair of the human head is
longer than that of any other animal; that some are covered all over
with long hair, as the bear; others on the neck only, as the lion; and
others only along the back of the neck, as the horse and the bonasus. He
describes the buffalo and the camel; of the latter of which he mentions
the two species, the Arabian and the Bactrian. The subject of claws,
hoofs, and horns, is next discussed. He states that some quadrupeds have
many toes, as the lion; while others have the foot divided into two, as
the sheep; and others again have a single toe or hoof, as the horse. His
aphorisms on the subject of horns are in general correct. Thus, he
states that most creatures furnished with them have cloven hoofs, and
that no single-hoofed animal has two horns.

He then proceeds to speak of teeth, which he says are possessed by all
viviparous quadrupeds. Some have them in both jaws, others not; for
horned animals have teeth in the lower jaw only, the front ones being
wanting in the upper. Yet all animals which have no teeth above are not
horned; the camel, for example. Some have projecting teeth, as the boar;
others not. In some they are jagged, as in the lion, panther, and dog;
in others even, as in the horse and cow. No animal has horns and
protruded teeth; nor is there any having jagged teeth that has either
horns or projecting teeth. The greater part have the front teeth sharp,
and those behind broad; but the seal has them all jagged for it partakes
of the nature of fishes, which have that peculiarity. His remarks on the
shedding of the teeth are in general erroneous. The elephant, he says,
has four grinders, together with two others, the latter of which are of
great size and bent upwards in the male, but small and directed the
contrary way in the female. This circumstance Cuvier states to be
correct with respect to the African variety, although the case is
different in the Asiatic. His account of the hippopotamus, however, is
inaccurate in almost every particular. Thus, he says it has a mane like
a horse, cloven feet like an ox, and is of the size of an ass,--a
description which answers better to the gnu. In speaking of monkeys, of
which he mentions several kinds, he remarks their resemblance to the
human species, and the peculiar formation of their hind feet, which may
be used as hands.

He then gives a general account of the oviparous quadrupeds,
particularly of the Egyptian crocodile and the chameleon, concerning
which he relates many interesting circumstances.

In treating of birds, he remarks that they are bipedal, like man,
destitute of anterior limbs, but furnished with wings, and having a
peculiar formation in the legs. Those birds which have hooked claws, he
says, have the breast more robust than others. He then describes the
differences in the structure of their feet; remarking, that most of them
have three toes before and one behind, although a few, as the wryneck,
have two only before. Birds, he adds, have the place of lips and teeth
supplied by a bill; and instead of external ears and nostrils properly
so called, they have passages for hearing and smelling in different
parts of the head. The eyes have no lashes, but are furnished with a
membrane like lizards. The other remarkable peculiarities, such as the
feathers and the form of the tongue, are then mentioned. No birds, he
observes, that have hooked claws are furnished with spurs. In his
remarks on this family he is generally correct; though here, as
elsewhere, he is not merely brief, but vague and superficial. His
division of birds would seem to be the following:--Those with hooked
claws; those with separated toes; and such as are web-footed.

Fishes are next discussed with nearly equal brevity. He remarks, that
they have a peculiar elongated form, are destitute of mammæ, emit by
their gills the water received at the mouth, swim by means of fins, are
generally covered with scales, and are destitute of the organs of
hearing and smelling.

His description of the internal parts of these tribes of animals
contains a mixture of truth and error. This book terminates with remarks
on the structure of serpents.

The third commences with observations on those parts of animals which
are homogeneous, such as the blood, the fibres, the veins, the nerves,
and the hair. Under the general title of nerve, he confounds the columnæ
carneæ of the heart, the tendons and fasciæ; and it does not appear that
he had any idea of what modern anatomists call nerves. In speaking of
hair, he remarks that it grows in sick persons, especially those
labouring under consumption, in old people, and even in dead bodies. The
same remark applies to the nails. The blood is contained in the veins
and heart, is, like the brain, insensible, flows from a wound in any
part of the flesh, has a sweet taste and a red colour, coagulates in the
air, palpitates in the veins, and when vitiated is productive of
disease. On the subject of milk, his observations deserve attention.
Thus, he says that all viviparous animals which have hair are furnished
with mammæ, as are also the whale and the dolphin; but those which are
oviparous are not so provided. All milk has a watery fluid, called
serum, and a thick part, called cheese; while that produced by animals
which are destitute of fore teeth in the upper jaw coagulates. On this
subject he mentions some curious circumstances. Some kinds of food
occasion the appearance of a little milk in women who are not pregnant.
There have even been instances of it flowing from the breasts of elderly
females. The shepherds about Mount Oeta rub the udders of
unimpregnated goats with nettles, and thus obtain abundance of milk from
them. It sometimes happens that male animals secrete the same fluid;
thus, there was a he-goat in the island of Lemnos, which yielded so much
that small cheeses were made of it. A little may be pressed from the
breasts of some men after the age of puberty; and there have been
individuals who on being sucked have yielded a large quantity. Instances
of this have been recorded by other observers; and Humboldt met with a
similar case in South America.[D]

In the fourth book, Aristotle treats of the animals which are destitute
of red blood. Of these, he says there are several genera: the mollusca,
such as the cuttlefish, which is externally soft with an internal firm
part; the crustacea, internally soft and covered with a firm integument,
such as the crab; the testacea, internally soft and externally hard and
solid, as the limpet and oyster. The insects form the fourth genus; and
are distinguished by their being externally and internally formed of a
hardish or cartilaginous substance, and divided into segments; some of
them having wings, as the wasp; while others have none, as the
centipede. He then gives a pretty full account of the cuttlefish and
nautilus, treats of the crustaceous animals generally, and enters into
details respecting the other two classes. After this he enumerates the
organs of sensation, stating that man, and all the red-blooded and
viviparous animals, possess five senses, although in the mole vision is
deficient. He describes correctly the eye of that creature, showing that
it is covered by a thickish skin, but presents a conformation similar to
that of other animals, and is furnished with a nerve from the brain. He
shows that although fishes have no visible organs of smelling or
hearing, they yet possess both senses, and, in treating of this subject,
states many interesting facts relative to the mode employed in catching
dolphins. He also shows that insects have the faculty of hearing and
smelling. The testacea, he says, besides feeling, which is common to all
animals, have smell and taste; but he also asserts that some of them,
the solen and pecten, are capable of seeing, and others of hearing.

All viviparous quadrupeds not only sleep, but also dream; but whether
the oviparous dream is uncertain; although it is plain that they sleep,
as do the aquatic animals, fishes, mollusca, testacea, and crustacea. A
transition is then made to the subject of sex, for the purpose of
showing that in the mollusca, crustacea, testacea, and eels, there is no
difference in that respect between individuals of the same species.

The subjects of generation and parturition occupy the fifth, sixth, and
seventh books. From the comparatively large space which he has devoted
to the result of his inquiries in these departments, the minuteness with
which he describes the phenomena presented by them in man and the
domestic animals, and the accurate knowledge which he frequently
exhibits, it may be inferred that they were favourite subjects with
Aristotle. It is sufficient for our purpose to mention some of the cases
in which he attained the truth, and others in which he failed.

He describes the membranes with which some of the mollusca envelope
their eggs, mentions the changes through which insects pass before they
acquire the perfect state, and speaks with tolerable accuracy of the
economy of bees and wasps. He states, however, that the former make wax
from flowers, but gather their honey from a substance which falls from
the air upon trees. The eggs of tortoises, he says, are hard, like those
of birds, and are deposited in the ground. His remarks on those of
lizards and the crocodile are also correct. He states accurately that
some serpents bring forth their young enclosed in a soft membrane, which
they afterwards burst; but that sometimes the little animals escape from
the egg internally, and are produced free. Other serpents, he observes,
bring forth eggs cohering in the form of a necklace. On the eggs of
birds his observations are nearly as correct as those which we find in
books at the present day. He was acquainted with their general
structure, and the development of the chick, which he minutely
describes. He remarks of the cuckoo, that it is not a changed hawk, as
some have asserted; that, although certain persons have alleged that its
young have never been seen, it yet certainly has young; that, however,
it does not construct a nest, but deposites its eggs in the nest of
other birds, after eating those which it finds there.

He remarks that the cartilaginous fishes are viviparous, but that the
other species bring forth eggs, and states correctly that they have no
alantoid membrane. He then passes to the cetacea, with which he seems to
be nearly as well acquainted as modern naturalists, and reverts to the
oviparous fishes, respecting which he presents numerous details. He
maintains, however, that the eel is produced spontaneously, and that no
person had ever detected eggs or milt in it.

Having discussed the subject of generation, he proceeds, in the eighth
book, to treat of the food and actions of animals, their migrations, and
other circumstances. The ninth consists of a multitude of topics without
any direct relation to each other, but apparently treated as they had
successively presented themselves to the author. Thus, at the
commencement we find remarks on the peculiarities of disposition
observed in the males and females of different animals, the combats of
hostile species, the actions of animals, nidification, generation, and
other matters. Several species of different classes are then described,
such as the kingfisher, the black-bird, the cuckoo, the marten, eagles,
owls, fishes, insects, and quadrupeds.

The fragments which remain of Aristotle's History of Animals may,
perhaps, be considered as presenting the general views which he had
intended to precede his more particular descriptions; but, regarded even
in this light, it cannot be denied that they are extremely deficient in
method. There is in them no approach to a regular classification, we do
not say of animals, but of subjects to be discussed. He is continually
making abrupt transitions, seems to lose sight of the object more
immediately in view, to indulge in digressions foreign to it, and
frequently repeats a circumstance which he had related before. His work
resembles the rude notes which an author makes previous to the final
arrangement of his book; and such it may possibly have been. Of
descriptions, properly so called, there are few,--those of the elephant,
the camel, the bonasus, the crocodile, the chameleon, the cuckoo, the
cuttlefish, and a few others, being all that we find.

It may appear strange, that the statements of naturalists should so
frequently prove incorrect. In how many works, even of the present day,
are errors to be discovered, which might have been avoided by a proper
use of the organs of vision, and a resolution to take nothing on trust!
But it is much easier to employ the imperfect remarks of others, to
collect from books, compare and arrange, than to seek or make
opportunities of observation for one's self; and of so little
consequence do some men hold the actual inspection of natural objects,
that, without practising it to any extent, they nevertheless arrogate
to themselves the title of philosophical inquirers.

In fine, the observations of Aristotle, considering the period at which
he lived, and the proneness of the human intellect to wander from the
true path, are remarkable for the great proportion of truth which they
present to us. Whatever may be their actual merits, they are certainly
superior to those of any other naturalist whose works have come down to
us from the remote ages of classical antiquity; and we may take leave of
this distinguished man by observing, in the words of Dr Barclay, that,
"notwithstanding his many imperfections, he did much both for anatomy
and natural history, and more, perhaps, than any other of the human
species, excepting such as a Haller or Linnæus, could have accomplished
in similar circumstances."

The best edition of his History of Animals ([Greek: Peri Zôôn
Historia]), is that of Schneider, in 4 vols 8vo, which issued from the
press at Leipsic in 1811. Many editions of his works have been
published; but the most complete is said to be Sylburge's, printed at
Frankfort, containing,--Organon, 1585; Rhetorica et Poetica, 1584;
Ethica ad Nicomachum, 1584; Ethica Magna, &c. 1584; Politica et
Oeconomica, 1587; Animalium Historia, 1587; De Animalium Partibus, &c.
1585; Physicæ Auscultationis, lib. viii. et Alia Opera, 1596; De
Coelo, lib. iv.; De Generatione et Conceptione; De Meteoris, lib. iv.;
De Mundo; De Anima; Parva Naturalia; Varia Opuscula, 1587; Alexandri et
Cassii Problemata, 1585; Aristotelis et Theophrasti Metaphysica, 1585.


[C] Biogriphie Universelle.

[D] See Edinburgh Cabinet Library, No. X. Travels and Researches of
Alexander Von Humboldt, p. 91.


_Account of his Life and Works._

     Introductory Remarks--Notice respecting Pliny by
     Suetonius--Account of his Habits, as given by his Nephew,
     Pliny the Younger--Various Particulars of his Life--His
     Death occasioned by an Eruption of Vesuvius--Buffon's
     Opinion of the Writings of Pliny--Judgment of Cuvier on the
     same Subject--Brief Account of the Historia Naturalis,
     including Extracts respecting the Wolf, the Lion, and other
     Animals--Cleopatra's Pearls--History of a Raven--Domestic
     Fowls--General Remarks.

Between the death of Aristotle and the birth of the celebrated
naturalist whose life and writings we now proceed to delineate, there
elapsed nearly three centuries and a half. It was in the reign of
Tiberius in the 774th year of Rome and the 20th of the Christian era,
that Pliny was born. Some assert that he was a native of Verona; others
maintain that Comum was his birthplace; while Hardouin labours to prove
that the honour belongs to Rome. Of his history little, except the
circumstances of his death, is known that could afford any interest to
those who look into biographies for marvellous adventures, although it
would appear that he had travelled extensively, having visited Germany,
Spain, the coast of Africa, and perhaps Britain, Egypt, and Judea. There
are only two brief notices respecting him to be found among the ancient
writers, besides those contained in the works of his nephew, Pliny the
Younger, and the incidental remarks that occur in his own books on
natural history. From these, together with a few casual observations by
other authors, have been elaborated all the lives of this illustrious
naturalist that are to be found in our dictionaries and cyclopædias. The
first authentic account is contained in the book of Suetonius, De Viris
Illustribus, and is to the following effect:--

Caius Plinius Secundus was a native of New Comum. When young he served
with distinction in the cavalry. He was intrusted with the most
important procuratorships, and on all occasions discharged his office
with the greatest integrity. At the same time he engaged with so much
assiduity in the study of literature, that hardly any one, though
entirely free from public occupations, wrote so many works. Among these
was an account of all the wars that had been carried on between his
countrymen and the Germans, which he comprehended in twenty volumes. He
also compiled thirty-six volumes of natural history.

From his nephew we learn the following interesting particulars
respecting his habits:--In summer he usually began his studies about
sunset, and in winter generally at one in the morning, never later than
two, bestowing very little time on sleep. Before it was day he went to
the Emperor Vespasian, who, like himself, was in the practice of using
the hours of darkness for philosophy or business. He then proceeded to
discharge the duties of his office, and, on returning home, spent the
remainder of the morning in reading or contemplation. In summer, when he
happened to have any leisure, he often lay in the sunshine, having a
book read to him, from which he carefully took notes. It was a saying
of his, that no treatise was so meagre but that some part of it might
afford instruction. Afterwards he usually took a cold bath, ate a
little, and slept a very short time. He then resumed his labours till
the hour of dinner. These were his ordinary habits while occupied with
his public duties, and amid the tumult of the city. In retirement his
studies were still more constant. When travelling, he seemed to set all
other cares aside, and employ himself in literary occupations. He had a
secretary by his side with a book and tablets, his hands in winter
protected by gloves, so that even the inclemency of the weather should
not cause any loss of time. For the same reason, when at Rome, he was
carried in a sedan chair. By this continued application he accumulated
an almost incredible mass of materials, insomuch that his works, had
they been preserved, would have formed a library of themselves.

But it is very obvious that the study of books, to which alone he seems
to have been addicted, cannot impart all the information necessary to
constitute a naturalist; and accordingly the writings of Pliny contain
less a description of the objects of which they treat than a compilation
of all that had been recorded by observers regarding them. As such,
however, they are of considerable value.

At an early age he went to Rome, where he studied under Appion. It does
not appear that he could have seen Tiberius, who by this time had
retired to Capreæ; but it is probable that he was admitted to the court
of Caligula. When twenty-two years of age, he resided some time on the
coast of Africa, and afterwards served in the cavalry under Lucius
Pomponius, when he had an opportunity of traversing Germany from one
extremity to the other. At this time he wrote a treatise, De Jaculatione
Equestri, on the art of casting the javelin on horse-back; and
afterwards composed an historical work, in which he detailed all the
wars carried on by the Romans beyond the Rhine. Returning to Rome at the
age of thirty, he pled several causes, and became a member of the
college of augurs. Part of his time was spent at Comum in superintending
the education of his nephew, for whom, it is probable, he composed his
three books entitled Studiosus, in which he described the progress of an
orator in the various steps towards perfection. During the greater part
of the reign of Nero he seems to have been without any public
employment; but towards the end of it he was appointed procurator in
Spain, where, it is presumed, he remained pending the civil wars of
Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. On revisiting the capital he was favourably
received by Vespasian, on whom he had the privilege of waiting every
morning before sunrise, as already mentioned. It is probable that at
this period he wrote the History of his own Times, which consisted of
thirty-one books, and completed the work which Aufidius Bassus had left
unfinished. His Natural History, which he dedicated to Titus, appears to
have been finished about the 78th year of our era.

He was at Misenum, where he commanded the fleet which protected all that
part of the Mediterranean comprised between Italy, the Gauls, Spain, and
Africa, when a great eruption of Vesuvius took place. His sister and her
son, the latter of whom was then about eighteen years of age, were with
him. He had just retired to his study, when he was apprized of the
appearance of a cloud of the most extraordinary form and size. It
resembled a pine-tree, having an excessively elongated trunk, from which
some branches shot forth at the top, and appeared sometimes white,
sometimes dark and spotted, according as the smoke was more or less
mixed with earth and cinders. Anxious to discover the cause of this
singular appearance, he ordered a light vessel to be got ready, and was
proceeding on board, when he met the mariners belonging to the galleys
stationed at Retina, who had just escaped from the danger. They conjured
him not to advance and expose his life to imminent peril; but he ordered
the fleet immediately to put to sea, for the purpose of rendering aid to
such as might require it; and so devoid of fear was he, that he noted
all the variations and forms which the cloud assumed. By this time the
vessels were covered with ashes, which every moment became hotter and
more dense, while fragments of white pumice and stones blackened and
split with the heat threatened the lives of the men. They were likewise
in great danger of being left aground by a sudden retreat of the sea. He
stopped for a moment to consider whether he should return; but to the
pilot who urged to this expedient, he replied, "Fortune helps the
brave--steer to Pomponianus." That officer was at Stabiæ, and being in
sight of the danger, which, although still distant, seemed always coming
nearer, had put his baggage on board, and was waiting a more favourable
wind to carry him out. Pliny finding him alarmed, endeavoured to recall
his firmness. In the mean time the flames were bursting from Vesuvius
in many places, so as to illuminate the night with their dazzling glare.
He consulted with his friends whether it were better to remain in the
house or to flee to the open fields; for the buildings were shaken by
frequent and violent shocks, so as to reel backwards and forwards, and
in the open air they were not less in danger from the cinders. However,
they chose to go forth, as the hazardous alternative, covering their
heads with pillows, to protect them from the stones. It was now morning,
but the country was enveloped by thick darkness. He proceeded towards
the shore by the light of torches, but the sea was still so much
agitated that he could not embark; and, seating himself on a sail which
was spread for him, he asked for some water, of which he drank a little.
The approach of flames, preceded by the smell of sulphur, put his
companions to flight, excepting two slaves, who assisted him to rise,
when he seems to have immediately fallen, suffocated by the vapours and
ashes. On the following day, his body was found in the same place
without marks of external violence, and resembling a person asleep
rather than one who had suffered death. This event took place on the
24th August, in the seventy-ninth year of the Christian era, and a few
months after the demise of Vespasian.

As in the case of almost every writer of eminence, so in that of Pliny,
we find panegyrists, whose admiration leads them to lavish the most
extravagant praise, and calumniators, who seem resolved to leave nothing
to be admired. It is astonishing, says one, that in every department he
is equally great. Elevation of ideas, and grandeur of style, give
additional exaltation to his profound erudition. Not only was he
acquainted with all that was known in his time, but he possessed that
facility of forming comprehensive conceptions, which multiplies science;
he possessed that delicacy of reflection on which depend elegance and
taste; and he communicates to his readers a certain freedom of mind, a
boldness of thought, which is the germ of philosophy. His work, which is
as varied as Nature, paints her always in a favourable light. It may be
said to be a compilation of all that had previously been written, a copy
of every thing useful and excellent that existed; but in this copy the
execution is so bold,--in this compilation the materials are disposed in
a manner so new, that it is preferable to the greater part of the
originals which treat of the same topics.[E]

The judgment of a recent author, founded also on an extensive view of
his character, is perhaps more worthy of our confidence. It were
impossible, it is remarked, that in handling, even in the briefest
manner, so prodigious a number of subjects, he should not have made
known a multitude of facts, which are not only in themselves remarkable,
but so much the more valuable to us, that he is the only author who has
made mention of them. Unfortunately, the manner in which he has
collected and expounded them detracts much from their value; while, from
the mixture of truth and falsehood, but more especially from the
difficulty, and even in some cases the impossibility, of making out the
objects of which he speaks, the reader is often left in the dark. Pliny
was not such an observer as Aristotle; much less was he a man of genius
like that great philosopher, capable of apprehending the laws and
relations according to which Nature has disposed her productions. He was
in general merely a compiler, and even in many instances a compiler who,
not having himself any knowledge of the objects concerning which he
collected the testimony of others, was unable to appreciate the truth of
these testimonies, or even in all cases to comprehend their precise
meaning. He is in short an author destitute of critical acumen, who,
after occupying a great deal of time in making his extracts and
arranging them in certain chapters, has added to them reflections which
have no relation to science properly so called, but present alternately
the most superstitious impressions, or the declamations of a peevish
philosophy, which is continually accusing man, nature, and the gods
themselves. The facts which he accumulates ought not, therefore, to be
considered in connexion with the opinion which he forms of them; but, on
the contrary, ought to be restored in imagination to the writers from
whom he has derived them; and the rules of criticism should be applied
agreeably to what we know of those writers, and the circumstances in
which they were placed. Studied in this manner, the Natural History of
Pliny is one of the richest stores; it being, according to his own
statement, composed of extracts from more than 2000 volumes, written by
authors of all kinds, travellers, historians, geographers, philosophers,
and physicians,--authors of whom there remain to us only about forty,
and of several of whom we have merely fragments, or works different from
those which Pliny used; and, even of those whose labours are lost to us,
there are many whose names have escaped from oblivion only through the
quotations which he has made from them.

On comparing his extracts with such originals as we still have, and in
particular with Aristotle, we find that he was by no means accustomed to
select the parts that were most important or most correct. In general,
he fixes upon the singular or marvellous; upon those circumstances which
answer best for the contrasts which he is fond of making, or for the
reproaches which he so often prefers against Providence. He certainly
does not place the same confidence in all that he relates; but his
doubts and affirmations are made at random, and the most childish
stories are not those that most excite his incredulity. For example,
there are none of the fables of the Grecian travellers, about headless
and mouthless men, men with only one foot, or men with large ears, that
he does not place in his seventh book, and with so much confidence in
their truth, that he concludes his enumeration with this remark: _Hæc
atque talia ex hominum genere, ludibria sibi, nobis miracula, ingeniosa
fecit natura_: "See how nature is disposed for the nones to devise full
wittily in this and such like pastimes to play with mankind, thereby not
onely to make herselfe merrie, but to set us a wondering at such strange
miracles." Any one may judge, from this credulity in respect to the
absurd fables about the human species, of the little discernment which
he must have exercised in selecting testimonies respecting exotic or
little-known animals. Accordingly, the most fabulous creatures,
manticores, with the head of a man and the tail of a scorpion, winged
horses, catoblepas, the mere sight of which caused death, occupy their
station by the side of the elephant and lion. However, all is not false
even in those articles which are most replete with falsehoods. We can
sometimes come at the truths which have given rise to them, by
recollecting that they are extracts from travellers, and supposing that
the ignorance of the ancient tourists, and their love of the marvellous,
betrayed them into the same exaggerations, and dictated the same vague
and superficial descriptions, with which we are shocked in so many of
their modern successors. It may likewise be said of Pliny, that he does
not always give the true sense of the authors whom he translates,
especially when treating of the designation of species. Although we have
now very few means of judging with certainty respecting errors of this
kind, it is easy to prove, that on several occasions he has substituted
for the Greek word which denoted a particular animal in Aristotle, a
Latin word which belongs to another species. It is true that one of the
great difficulties experienced by the ancients was that of fixing a
nomenclature; and the defects of their systems are more perceptible in
Pliny than in any other writer. The descriptions, or rather the
imperfect indications, which he gives, are almost always insufficient
for recognising the species, when tradition has not preserved the names;
and there is even a very great number, of which he mentions the names
without joining to them any character, or affording any means by which
they may be distinguished. Could there be any longer a doubt as to the
advantages of the systems invented by the moderns, it would be
dissipated by finding that all that the ancients have said of the
virtues of their plants is lost to us, from our not being able to
distinguish the species to which they assigned them.--Were we to give
credit to all that he says in the part of his work devoted to Materia
Medica, there is not a disease incident to humanity for which nature has
not provided twenty remedies; and unfortunately, during two centuries
after the revival of letters, all these absurdities were confidently
repeated by physicians. It must therefore be admitted, that with
reference to facts the volume of Pliny is of no real interest, excepting
in regard to the manners and customs of the ancients, the processes
which they followed in the arts, and some particulars respecting
geography, of which we should otherwise be ignorant.[F]

The Historia Naturalis was the last work which Pliny wrote, and is the
only one that has come down to us. It is not a treatise on natural
history, as that term is at present limited; but, besides relating all
that he knew of animals, plants, and minerals, it embraces astronomy,
geography, agriculture, commerce, medicine, and the arts; so that it may
be considered as a cyclopædia rather than a publication on any
particular subject. It is divided into thirty-seven books.

The first contains a dedication to the Emperor Titus Vespasian, together
with a summary of the following sections, and the names of the authors
who contributed to them.

In the second book, he treats of the universe, the elements, and the
stars. The world and the heavens, which he says are God, are infinite,
without beginning and without end; the form of the latter is spherical,
the motion circular, and they are impressed with innumerable forms of
animals and other objects. The elements are four; namely, fire, air,
earth, and water. There are seven planets, or wandering stars, in the
midst of which moves the sun, the ruler of all things. As to God, if
indeed there be any Existence distinct from the world, it were absurd,
says he, to assign him any form or image, He being all in all; for which
reason the gods that the nations worship are mere fancies. It is absurd
to imagine that He should have regard to the human race, for by
interfering with their affairs he would necessarily be polluted. Men, he
observes, are wretchedly prone to superstition of all kinds; however, it
is beneficial, he admits, to believe that the gods take care of them,
and punish malefactors. The nature of the planets, the moon, eclipses,
comets, lightning, winds, clouds, meteoric stones, land, water,
earthquakes, and many other subjects, are discussed in this book.

The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, treat of geography; and the seventh
of the different races of men, monsters, great characters, human
inventions, longevity, and other matters relating to the human race,
disposed without order, and selected without discrimination.

The eighth book, which is devoted to land-animals, contains notices
respecting the elephant, dragons, serpents, lions, panthers, tigers, the
camel, the camelopard, the rhinoceros, and a multitude of other
mammalia, and reptiles. As a specimen of our author's manner of
discussing these subjects, we give his account of the wolf:--

It in commonly believed, says he, in Italy, that the sight of wolves is
hurtful, and that when they see a man before he observes them, they
cause him to lose his voice for the time. Those which are produced in
Africa and Egypt are small and sluggish; but in the colder climates they
are fierce and cruel. That men are changed into wolves, and afterwards
restored to their proper shape, we must either believe to be false, or
else at once admit all those tales which have for so many ages been
proved to be fabulous. But how this opinion came to be so firmly fixed,
that when we would apply the most opprobrious term to one, we call him
_versipellis_ (or turn-skin), I shall shew. Euanthes, a respectable
Greek writer, reports that he found among the records of the Arcadians,
that a person is chosen by lot from the family of Anthus. Being led to a
certain pool in that country, he relinquishes his clothes, which are
hung up on an oak, swims over, proceeds into the deserts, is transformed
into a wolf, and for nine years herds with the wild animals of that
race. This period being completed, if he has refrained from eating human
flesh, he returns to the same pool, and, recrossing it, is restored to
his original form, only looking nine years older than before. Fabius
adds, that he finds his clothes again. It is strange to see how far the
credulity of the Greeks goes; for there is no lie so shameless that it
does not find one of them to vouch for it. Thus, Agriopas, who wrote of
the conquerors at the Olympic games, relates that Demoenetus of
Parrhasia, at a sacrifice, ate of the entrails of a child that had been
offered as a victim (for the Arcadians at that time offered human
sacrifices to Lycean Jupiter), and turned himself into a wolf; and that
the same person, ten years after, having been restored to his proper
shape, fought at the Olympian games, and was proclaimed victor. Besides,
it is commonly believed that in the tail of this animal there is a
minute hair possessing a power over love, and that the wolf casts it
when he is taken; but that it has no efficacy unless it be plucked from
him when alive. Wolves pair only during twelve days in the whole year.
When famished, they eat earth. With respect to auguries, when one meets
a wolf, and the latter turns to the right hand, especially if he have a
full mouth, there could not be a better presage. There are some of this
kind that are called stag-wolves, such as the one mentioned by us as
having been seen in the circus of Pompey the Great. They say that this
animal, however hungry he may be, should he happen to look back, forgets
the food which he had, and goes to look for some elsewhere.

The following extract from Pliny's account of the lion, "right
pleasaunte" as it is in the original, is rendered still more so by Dr
Holland. "To come againe to our lions: the signe of their intent and
disposition, is their taile; like as in horses, their ears: for these
two marks and tokens, certainly hath nature given to the most couragious
beasts of all others, to know their affections by: for when the lion
stirreth not his taile, hee is in a good mood, gentle, mild, pleasantly
disposed, and as if hee were willing to be plaied withall; but in that
fit he is seldome seene: for lightly hee is alwaies angrie. At the
first, when hee entreth into his choller, hee beateth the ground with
his taile: when hee groweth into greater heats, he flappeth and jerketh
his sides and flanks withall, as it were to quicken himselfe, and stirre
up his angry humor. His maine strength lieth in his breast: hee maketh
not a wound (whether it be by lash of taile, scratch of claw, or print
of tooth), but the bloud that followeth is blacke. When his belly is
once full, all his anger is past, and he doth no more harme. His
generositie and magnanimitie he sheweth most in his daungers: which
courage of his appeareth not onely herein, that he seemeth to despise
all shot of darts against him, defending himselfe a long time onely with
the terrible aspect of his countenance, and protesting as it were that
he is unwilling to deale unlesse he be forced thereto in his own
defence, and at length maketh head againe, not as compelled and driven
thereto for any perill that he seeth, but angred at their follie that
assaile and set upon him: but herein also is seen rather his noble heart
and courage, that be there never so many of hounds and hunters both
following after him, so long as hee is in the open plaines where he may
be seene, hee maketh semblance as though he contemned both dog and man,
dismarching and retiring with honour, and otherwhiles seeming in his
retreat to turne againe and make head; but when he hath gained the
thickets and woods, and gotten once into the forrests out of sight, then
he skuds away, then hee runneth amaine for life, as knowing full well
that the trees and bushes hide him, that his shamefull dislodging and
flight is not then espied. When he chaseth and followeth after other
beasts, hee goeth alwaies saltant or rampant; which he never useth to
doe when he is chased in sight, but is onely passant. If hee chaunce to
be wounded, hee hath a marveilous eye to marke the partie that did it,
and be the hunters never so many in number, upon him he runneth onely.
As for him that hath let flie a dart at him, and yet missed his marke
and done no hurt, if he chaunce to catch him, hee all to touzeth,
shaketh, tosseth, and turneth him lying along at his feet, but doth him
no harme at all besides. When the lionesse fighteth for her young
whelpes, by report, she setteth her eies wistly, and entirely upon the
ground, because she would not be affrighted at the sight of the
chasing-staves of the hunters. Lions are nothing at all craftie and
fraudulent, neither be they suspicious: they never look askew, but
alwaies cast their eie directly forward, and they love not that any man
should in that sort looke side-long upon them. It is constantly
beleeved, that when they lie a dying they bite the earth, and in their
very death shed teares. This creature, so noble as he is, and withall so
cruell and fell, trembleth and quaketh to heare the noise of
cartwheeles, or to see them turne about; nay he cannot abide of all
things charriots when they be void and emptie: frighted he is with the
cocks comb, and his crowing much more, but most of all with the sight of
fire. The lion is never sick but of the peevishnes of his stomacke,
loathing all meat: and then the way to cure him, is to tie unto him
certain shee apes, which with their wanton mocking and making mowes at
him, may move his patience and drive him for the verie indignitie of
their malapert saucinesse, into a fit of madnesse; and then, so soone as
he hath tasted their blood, he is perfectly well againe: and this is the
onely remedie.

"_Q. Scævola_ the sonne of Publius, was the first at Rome that in his
Curule Ædileship exhibited a fight and combat of many lions togither,
for to shew the people pastime and pleasure: but _L. Sylla_, who
afterwards was Dictatour, was the first of all others that in his
Pretorship represented a shew of an hundred lions, with manes and
collars of haire: and after him _Pompeius_ the Great shewed 600 of them
fighting in the grand Cirque, whereof 315 were male lions with mane. And
_Cæsar_ Dictatour brought 400 of them into the shew-place. The taking of
them in old time was a verie hard peece of worke, and that was commonly
in pit-fals; but in the Emperor _Claudius_ his daies it chaunced, that a
shepheard or heardman who came out of Gætulia, taught the manner of
catching them: a thing (otherwise) that would have been thought
incredible, and altogither unbeseeming the name and honour of so goodly
a beast. This Getulian I say, fortuned to encounter a lion, and when he
was violently assailed by him, made no more adoe but threw his mandilion
or cassocke full upon his eies. This feat or cast of his was soone after
practised in the open shew-place, in such sort, that a man would hardly
have beleeved, but he that saw it, that so furious a beast should so
easily be quailed and daunted so soone as ever hee felt his head
covered, were the things never so light; making no resistance, but
suffering one to doe what he would with him, even to bind him fast, as
if in very truth all his vigor and spirit rested in his eyes. Lesse
therefore is it to be marvelled at, that _Lysimachus_ strangled a lion,
when as by commaundement of _Alexander_ the Great, he was shut up alone
togither with him. The first that yoked them at Rome and made them to
draw in a charriot, was _M. Antonius_. And verily it was in the time of
civill warre, after the battaile fought in the plains of Pharsalia, a
shrewd fore-token and unhappie presage for the future event, and namely,
for men of an high spirit and brave mind in those daies, unto whom this
prodigious sight did prognosticate the yoke of subjection: for what
should I say, how Antonie rode in that wise with the courtisan
_Cytheris_, a common actresse in enterludes upon the stage? to see such
a sight was a monstrous spectacle, that passed all the calamities of
those times. It is reported, that _Hanno_ (one of the noblest
Carthaginians that ever were) was the first man that durst handle a lion
with his bare hand, and shewe him gentle and tame, to follow him all the
citie over in a slip like a dogge. But this device and tricke of his
turned him to great domage, and cost him his utter undoing: for the
Carthaginians hereupon laid this ground, that _Hanno_, a man of such a
gift, so wittie and inventive of all devises, would be able to persuade
the people to whatsoever his mind stood; and that it was a daungerous
and ticklish point to put the libertie of so great a state as Carthage
was, into the hands and managing of him, who could handle and tame the
furious violence of so savage a beast: and thereupon condemned and
banished him." He then relates two examples of the gentleness of this
animal, or rather of his confidence in man. On one occasion, a lion
applied to Mentor, a Syracusan, for relief from a thorn which had
pierced his foot; and on another, Elpis, a Samian, had the honour, when
in Africa, of extracting a bone from the palate of the royal beast, for
which he was rewarded by him with an abundant supply of fresh venison so
long as he remained in the country.

In this book Pliny follows no methodical arrangement, either as to the
animals themselves or as to the descriptions and anecdotes in each
article. He commences indeed with the largest, and ends with mice,
which are among the smallest bred on land; but in this catalogue he
includes mammalia, crocodiles, lizards, serpents, and snails. It may be
said generally, that in his descriptions at least three-fourths of each
article are erroneous, false, or fabulous; and that he scarcely anywhere
attempts to elicit general principles, or to discover the circumstances
in which animals agree or differ. It were therefore vain for the student
of nature to look into this book for any information on which he could
place reliance, with respect to their organization or habits. Some
particulars respecting the exhibition at Rome of elephants, lions,
panthers, crocodiles, and other ferocious creatures, with the combats of
which the emperors and great men amused the people, and a few facts
relating to the geographical distribution of the more interesting
species, are all that the reader finds to recompense him for the labour
of examination.

The ninth book treats of fishes, crabs, sea-urchins, mollusca, and other
marine animals, including not only turtles and cetacea, but also
mermaids, tritons, and other fabulous creatures. These he arranges in no
definite order, although he proposes a kind of classification founded on
the covering or skin; some, as seals and hippopotami, having a skin and
hair; others skin only, as the dolphin; while the tortoises are covered
with a substance resembling bark; oysters and other shells with a
substance as hard as flint; echini with crusts and prickles; fishes with
scales; sharks with a rough skin fit for polishing wood; lampreys with a
soft skin; and polypi with none at all.

As might be expected, many wonderful tales are related of the dolphin,
which was a special favourite with the ancients, on account of its
supposed attachment to the human species. One of these animals, if we
may credit Pliny and his authorities, carried a boy daily to school and
home again, from Baianum to Puteoli; another, who used to mount a child
on his back, having one day suffered him to be drowned, brought back his
body, and out of grief thrust himself ashore, where he of course died;
and, lastly, a king of Caria having caught a dolphin, and kept him
prisoner within the harbour, a whole multitude of the same species came
to beg his release, and remained until their prayer was granted.

The most interesting chapters in this book are those on pearls and the
shell-fish that furnished the purple dye so highly esteemed by the
Romans. This oyster, he says, which is the mother-of-pearl, at a certain
season of the year, gapes and receives one or more drops of a kind of
dew, which are ultimately converted into pearls. According to the nature
of this dew, or the state of the weather at the time of its being
received, the pearl is dusky or white, dull or possessed of a brilliant
lustre. These ornaments were very highly esteemed in Pliny's days. The
ladies wore them dangling at their fingers and ears, took great delight
in hearing them rattle, and not only appended them to their upper
garments, but even embroidered their buskins with them. It will not
suffice them, says he, nor serve their turn, to carry pearls about them,
but they must tread upon pearls, go among pearls, and walk as it were on
a pavement of pearls. Lollia Paulina, the wife of Caligula, was seen by
him, on an ordinary occasion, ornamented with emeralds and pearls,
which she valued at forty millions of sestertii (about £300,000).

The two finest specimens ever seen were in the possession of the
celebrated Cleopatra, who, on being sumptuously feasted by Mark Antony,
derided him for the meanness of his entertainment; and on his demanding
how she could go beyond him in such a matter, answered that she would
spend upon him in one supper ten millions of sestertii. Antony,
conceiving it impossible for her to make good her boast, laid a great
wager with her about it. When the supper came, although it was such as
to befit the condition of the hostess and guests, it presented no
extraordinary appearance; so that Antony jeered the queen on the
subject, asking by way of mockery a sight of the bill of fare; whereupon
she affirmed, that what had as yet been brought to table was not to be
reckoned in the count, but that even her own part of the supper should
cost sixty millions. She then ordered the second service to be brought
in. The servants placed before her a cruet of vinegar, and she put into
it one of the pearls which were appended to her ears. When it was
dissolved, she took up the vessel, and drank its contents; on which
Lucius Plancus declared that she had gained the wager. Afterwards, when
Cleopatra was taken prisoner and deprived of her royal estate, the other
pearl was cut into two, and affixed to the ears of the statue of Venus
in the Pantheon at Rome.

The tenth book speaks of birds, beginning with the larger species, and
concluding with remarks on generation, the food of animals, and other
circumstances of a general nature. He believes that the spinal marrow
of a man, as many persons have asserted, may turn into a snake; that
salamanders, eels, and oysters, are neither male nor female; and that
young vipers make their way through the sides of their mother. His
History of Birds is extremely meagre and incorrect; but many amusing
particulars are related by him, of which we select two examples.

In the days of Tiberius Cæsar, a young raven that had been hatched in a
nest upon the temple of Castor and Pollux took her first flight into a
shoemaker's shop just opposite. The master of the booth was well pleased
to receive the guest, especially as it had come from so sacred a place,
and took great care of it. In a short time the winged visitor began to
speak, and every morning flew to the top of the rostra, where, turning
to the open forum, he saluted the emperor, and after him Germanicus and
Drusus, the young princes, each by his name, and after them the people
that passed by. This he continued to do for many years, till another
shoemaker, either envying his neighbour the possession of so rare a
prize, or enraged at the bird for muting on his shoes, killed him. At
this rash proceeding, the people were so indignant that they drove the
ungenerous mechanic out of the street, and afterwards murdered him. The
body of the raven was solemnly interred in a field two miles from the
city, to which it was carried by two blacks, with musicians playing
before, and a great crowd following. In such esteem, says Pliny, did the
people of Rome hold this wit and aptness to learn in a bird, that they
thought it a sufficient cause for ordering a sumptuous funeral, and even
for putting a man to death, in that very city where many brave and
noble persons have died without having their obsequies solemnized, and
which afforded not one individual to revenge the undeserved death of the
renowned Scipio Æmilianus, after he had conquered both Carthage and

Cocks, he says, which are our sentinels by night, and destined by nature
to rouse us from sleep and call us up to our work, have also, like the
peacock, a sense of glory, and a love of approbation. They are
astronomers too, and know the course of the stars; they divide the day
by their crowing which is performed at the end of every three hours;
they go to roost when the sun sets, and before he rises again they warn
us of the approach of day by clapping their wings and crowing. They are
rulers in their own community, whether consisting of other males or
females. Their sovereignty is obtained by combat, as if they knew that
they had weapons on their heels for the purpose, and the battle is often
protracted until one is killed. The conqueror proclaims his victory by
crowing, while the vanquished hides his head in silence, although it
goes hard with him to be beaten. Not only are these fighting cocks thus
high-minded, but even the common dunghill kind are equally proud,
marching in a stately manner, their neck erect, with a comb on the head
like the crest of a soldier's helmet. There is no other bird that so
often looks aloft to the sun and sky, and as he moves he carries his
tail in an arched form. Even the lion, the most courageous of animals,
stands in awe of the cock. Some of these birds are made for nothing else
than fighting, and are never satisfied unless when engaged in a quarrel;
and to them the emperors and nobles of Rome do not disdain to give
honour. The best breeds are from Rhodes, Tenagra, Melos, and Chalcis.
These birds rule our rulers, nor is there a great man in Rome that dare
open or shut the door of his house before he knows their good pleasure;
even the sovereign, in all the majesty of the empire, with the insignia
of office, neither sets forward nor recedes without their direction.
They give orders to armies to advance to battle, or command them to keep
within the camp. They supplied the signal and foretold the issue of all
the famous fields, in which the Romans achieved their victories in all
parts of the world. In a word, they command the greatest commanders of
all nations, and, small as they are, prove as acceptable to the gods in
sacrifice as the largest and fattest oxen. Their crowing out of time is
portentous, and it is well known that, by once crowing all night long,
they foretold to the Boeotians the noble victory which that people
achieved over the Lacedemonians, for this result was expected, as these
birds never crow when beaten. When converted into capons, they cease to
crow; but in this state they become sooner fat. At Pergamus there is a
solemn cock-fight every year. It is recorded that, within the territory
of Ariminum, in the year when Marcus Lepidus and Quintus Catulus were
consuls, a dunghill-cock, belonging to one Galerius, spoke; but, as far
as Pliny could learn, the like never happened again.

Bees, silkworms, spiders, scorpions, locusts, grashoppers and a few
other animals of a similar nature, are briefly treated of in the
eleventh book, which, moreover, contains an anatomical description of
the human body, and of various parts of animals, not remarkable for its
accuracy, but not the less interesting to the historian of science. The
greater part is derived from Aristotle.

Then follow seventeen books on plants, their cultivation and uses in
domestic economy and the arts, and the remedies that are obtained from
them. These subjects form the most extensive portion of Pliny's
writings, but they are discussed in so irregular and injudicious a
manner, that it is impossible, in most cases, to determine the species
of which he speaks; and as to the cures alleged to be accomplished by
means of herbs, it is obvious that no confidence can be placed in his
details. The culture of many of the more important species, such as the
vine, the mulberry, the olive, wheat, and other cereal plants, is
described at length; as are the processes of making bread, wine,
olive-oil, and other substances obtained from vegetables.

The twenty-eighth book treats of dietetics, remedies derived from
various animals, and the nature and cure of certain diseases. These
subjects are continued to the end of the thirty-second book, and give
occasion to the discussion of numerous topics, such as water, magic,
medicine, &c.

The metals are considered in the two next books; colours and painting in
the thirty-fifth; stones and minerals are mingled in the thirty-sixth
with obelisks, temples, and statues; and the last book contains an
account of precious stones, the descriptions of some of which, amber and
beryl, for example, are as good as those of many of our modern

It is not our object to present a detailed account of the contents of
any of these books, it being sufficient for our purpose to indicate the
general nature of the work, and to point out a few of the subjects
discussed. It affords a magazine of curious information on most subjects
connected with natural history and the arts; but it is obvious that this
information could not be useful to the student unless he were furnished
with a correct commentary. Pliny's volumes have been translated into
various modern languages, and there is an English version by Dr Philemon
Holland, published at London in 1601. This performance, although
generally accurate, fails in the nomenclature of the plants and animals;
so that a good translation is a desideratum at the present day, which,
however, is not likely to be soon supplied,--an extensive acquaintance
with Greek and Roman literature, and a critical knowledge of the various
branches of natural history, being essentially requisite in him who
should undertake it.

Although Pliny cannot be depended upon as a naturalist, his writings are
important as a source of pure Latinity. His style is generally simple,
sometimes harsh, usually laconic, although when he enters upon
philosophical reflections it becomes animated, energetic, and copious.
His morality is more pure than we could have expected, considering his
doubts respecting the existence of a Deity, his disbelief in the
immortality of the human soul, and the absence of those motives by which
mankind are commonly influenced. He never ceases to censure vice of
every kind; and as to the examples of cruelty, luxury, and effeminacy,
which he has occasion to relate, his remarks are not less accordant with
reason than with the soundest principles of Christian ethics.

The first editions of Pliny appeared at Venice in 1469, and at Rome in
1470. The most useful and convenient is that of Franzius, in ten volumes
8vo, published at Leipsic in 1791.

From what has been said above it will appear, that down to the time of
Pliny naturalists had not succeeded in forming any system of zoology. In
the writings of that author, the animals of which he treats are so
disposed, that the absence of all arrangement is very obvious; nor is it
even possible to guess upon what principle he makes the species succeed
each other. In his chapter on land-animals, he places the elephant
first; and as mice come last, we might imagine that he had intended to
proceed on the principle of size. The bison, the wild-horse, the elk,
the bonasus, the lion, the panther, the tiger, the camel, and the
camelopard, of which the first individual seen at Rome was exhibited by
Julius Cæsar at the Circensian games, follow in order. Then come the
rhinoceros, the lynx, apes and monkeys, wolves, serpents, the ichneumon,
the crocodile, the skink, the hippopotamus, first shown at Rome by
Marcus Scaurus, lizards, tortoises, hyenas, frogs and seals, deer,
porcupines, bears, marmots, squirrels, vipers, snails, dogs, horses,
asses, and mules, and the other principal domestic animals. His
arrangement of birds is equally unsystematic. The fabulous phoenix
occupies the first rank, and is followed by eagles, hawks, birds of evil
omen, as ravens and owls, woodpeckers, peacocks, the domestic fowl,
geese, cranes, swans, thrushes, doves, the ibis, the nightingale, and
the kingfisher. With these are mingled various heterogeneous elements.
The same may be said of all the other departments. Were the knowledge of
animals which we possess at the present day not regularly methodized,
it would be utterly impossible for an individual to distinguish half the
number of mammalia and birds, which are among the least extensive
classes. The first inventor of a system, however imperfect, has
therefore the strongest claims upon our gratitude. Aristotle may be said
to have laid the foundation for one, or at least to have made an
attempt; Ray was the first who sketched a rude classification, in which
he partly adopted that of the Stagirite: it is to Linnæus, however, that
we owe a system, which is at least methodical and perspicuous; and if
succeeding zoologists have produced more perfect arrangements, they can
only be said to have improved upon his.


[E] Buffon, Histoire Naturelle, tome i. p. 54, edit. 1785.

[F] See Life of Pliny, by Cuvier, in the Biographie Universelle, tome
xxxv. p. 70.


_Zoologists of the Sixteenth Century._

     Conrad Gesner--Account of his Life and Writings, preceded by
     Remarks on those of Ælian, Oppian, Albertus Magnus, Paolo
     Giovio, and Hieronymus Bock--Pierre Belon--Hippolito
     Salviani--Guillaume Rondelet--Ulysses Aldrovandi--General
     Remarks on their Writings, and the State of Science at the
     Close of the Sixteenth Century.


From the time of Pliny to the commencement of the sixteenth century,
zoology, like the other sciences, made little progress. The only
naturalists during the earlier portion of this interval at all deserving
of notice are Ælian and Oppian. The former was born at Præneste in the
year 160, and wrote in Greek a History of Animals, which, like that of
the philosopher of Comum, is disfigured by numerous errors and fables.
The latter was a poet, a native of Cilicia, who lived under the Emperor
Caracalla in the beginning of the third century. Two only of his
productions are now extant, his Halieuticon and Cynægeticon; the one
containing five books on fishing, the other, four on hunting. These
works are still occasionally consulted, though they afford little useful
information, and might without any loss to science be consigned to

The principal author who appeared between the epoch which witnessed the
destruction of the Roman Empire and the beginning of the century just
specified, was Albertus Magnus; so called, according to some, not
because he was great as a man of science, but because his family-name
was Groot, which in Dutch signifies "great," and being Latinized, as was
then the fashion, became "magnus." However, he was not a small personage
in his day; for it is told of him that he constructed a brazen head
which had the faculty of answering questions, and wrote so many works
that, when collected for a general edition at Lyons in 1651, they filled
twenty-one thick folios. His character was highly respectable, and his
History of Animals is certainly a remarkable production for the age in
which he lived. Born at Lavingen in Suabia in 1205, he received his
education at Pavia, where he entered the order of Dominicans. Some time
having elapsed, he went to Paris and delivered public lectures with
applause. In 1248, he was invited to Rome by Pope Alexander III., who
appointed him to the office of Master of the Holy Palace, and bestowed
on him the bishopric of Ratisbon, which he soon after resigned.
Returning to Cologne, he resumed his lectures, which were much
frequented. Pope Gregory X. called him to assist at the general council,
held at Lyons in 1274, where the conclave of cardinals for the election
of the successor of St Peter was first instituted. He died at Cologne at
the age of 77. The celebrated Thomas Aquinas, who was his pupil, is
reported to have broken, in a fit of terror, his famous brazen oracle;
and the progress of science has shown as little respect to his other
works, consisting chiefly of a commentary on Aristotle, with certain
additions from the Arabian writers.

Sir Thomas Browne, in his famous Enquiries into Vulgar and Common
Errors, thus characterizes our author:--"Albertus, bishop of Ratisbone,
for his great learning and latitude of knowledge sirnamed Magnus,
besides divinitie, hath written many Tracts in Philosophie; what we are
chiefly to receive with caution, are his naturall Tractates, more
especially those of Mineralls, Vegetables, and Animals, which are indeed
chiefly Collections out of Aristotle, Ælian, and Plinie, and
respectively containe many of our popular errors. He was a man who much
advanced these opinions by the authoritie of his name, and delivered
most conceits, with strickt enquirie into few."

It is scarcely necessary to mention here a work on the fishes of Rome,
De Romanis Piscibus, by the celebrated Paolo Giovio, an Italian writer
of this age, who was born at Como in the year 1483. It was dedicated to
the Cardinal of Bourbon, and appeared in 1524, but is of little or no
value, being the production of a person who, although eminent in general
literature, had no claims to the character of a naturalist.

Another author who lived at this period, Hieronymus Bock, generally
known by his Latinized name Tragus, was principally distinguished as a
botanist, although he wrote also on animals. In 1549, he published a
work entitled Kraeuterbuch von den vier Elementen, Thieren, Voegeln, and
Fischen, of which there have been various editions. He was born at
Heidesbach at Zweybruecken in 1498, and died, in the 56th year of his
age, on the 21st of June 1554.

The sixteenth century produced a little band of worthies, who, without
having made great acquirements, may yet be justly styled the fathers of
modern zoology. These were Guillaume Rondelet, a physician of
Montpellier; Hippolito Salviani, also a physician, and a native of Citta
di Castello in Umbria; Conrad Gesner, surnamed the German Pliny, who was
born at Zurich, and followed the same profession; Pierre Belon, a
Frenchman; and Aldrovandi, professor at Bologna. In presenting a sketch
of the lives and labours of these venerable sages, we shall begin with
him whom Haller characterizes as a prodigy of knowledge, _monstrum

Conrad Gesner, one of the most celebrated of this class of naturalists,
was born at Zurich on the 26th March 1516. His parents were of an humble
rank in life, and having several other children, could not have given
him the benefit of a good education, had it not been for the kindness of
his maternal uncle, a clergyman, who imparted to him the rudiments of
knowledge, and instructed him in botany. This relative, however, died
while he was yet at an early age; and when not more than fifteen he was
also deprived of his father, who was killed at the battle of Zug, in
which the celebrated reformer Zuinglius or Zwingle lost his life. The
small patrimony left by his parent having been divided among a large
family, Gesner was reduced to great distress, which was heightened by a
dropsical affection. Recovering from this disease, he resolved to seek
his fortune in another country, and going to Strasburg, entered into the
service of Wolfgang Fabricius Capito, professor of Hebrew in the
university of that city. Soon after, receiving pecuniary assistance
from the canons of Zurich, he betook himself to Bourges, where he
commenced the study of medicine. At the age of eighteen, he had occasion
to go to Paris, where he indulged to excess his literary appetite, and
devoured indiscriminately all kinds of knowledge; being supported
meanwhile by a young Bernese nobleman, named Steiger, who had contracted
a friendship for him. Soon after, he returned to Strasburg, whence, in
1536, he was recalled to Zurich, to teach some children the elements of
grammar, with a salary barely sufficient for his support. In the
following year, the magistrates, perceiving the superiority of his
character, furnished him with an additional grant of money, which
enabled him to go to Basil to prosecute his medical studies. To increase
his income he assisted Phavorinus in editing his Lexicon, and in a short
time removed to Lausanne, where the senate of Berne appointed him Greek
professor, in which office he continued three years. He then went to
Montpellier, where he engaged more particularly in the study of anatomy
and botany, and formed an intimate acquaintance with the celebrated
Laurent Joubert and the naturalist Rondelet. In 1541, he obtained the
degree of doctor in medicine at Basil, where he arranged some extracts
respecting botany and physic, taken from Greek and Arabian writers,
which were published the following year at Zurich and Lyons; in the
former of which places he now took up his residence and engaged in
professional practice. Soon afterwards, he published a catalogue of
plants in four languages, in which he evinced his extensive knowledge of
botany, which was subsequently increased by several excursions among the
Alps. In 1545, he made a journey to Venice and Augsburg, where he
enjoyed some valuable opportunities of consulting rare works and
manuscripts. The same year, he commenced the publication of his famous
Bibliotheca Universalis, which contains a catalogue of all the works
then known, whether extant or lost. Several other fruits of his industry
appeared successively between this period and the year 1555, when his
merits induced the magistrates of Zurich to appoint him professor of
natural history. The Emperor Ferdinand I., to whom he dedicated one of
his works, the History of Fishes, rewarded him with various marks of his
esteem. These, however, he did not long enjoy, as he fell a victim to a
pestilential disease which, commencing at Basil in the spring of 1564,
afterwards broke out in his native city with increased violence. When
attacked by this fatal malady he betook himself to his cabinet, for the
purpose of arranging his papers, and in this occupation died on the 13th
December 1565, at the age of 49 years and a few months; leaving a widow
who had participated in his adversity and prosperity, having been
married by him when he acted as grammar-teacher at Zurich. He bequeathed
his library and manuscripts to Caspar Wolf, his pupil, with injunctions
to print all that could be rendered fit for the public eye. His
principal work is the Historia Naturalis Animalium, chiefly composed of
extracts from Aristotle, Ælian, and Pliny, without order or
discrimination, but intermixed with numerous original observations, and
illustrated by rude engravings. It consists of five books, and forms
four folio volumes. There is an English translation by Topsell of part
of it under the name of The History of four-footed Beasts and Serpents,
collected out of the Writings of Conradus Gesner. Down to the end of the
seventeenth century his compilations were held in the highest estimation
in every department of zoology: they are now considered as objects of
curiosity rather than stores of useful knowledge.--The three next of
whom mention is to be made were chiefly eminent as ichthyologists.


The three great authors, it has been remarked, who really laid the
foundation of modern ichthyology, appeared in the middle of the
sixteenth century, and, what is remarkable, almost at the same time:
Belon, in 1553; Rondelet, in 1554 and 1555; Salviani, from 1554 to 1558.
Unlike the compilers who, after Aristotle and Theophrastus, swell our
list of writers, they saw and examined for themselves the fishes of
which they speak, and had drawings of them taken under their immediate
inspection with considerable accuracy. Too faithful, however, to the
spirit of their time, they took more pains to find out the names which
these fishes bore among the ancients, and in selecting fragments for
their history, than in describing them in a distinct manner; so that,
were it not for the figures, it would in many instances be almost
impossible to determine their species.[G]

Scarcely any of the older naturalists, however, confined their attention
to one department of their favourite science. Belon was a physician, a
zoologist, and a botanist. He was born at Souletière, in the parish of
Oisé, in Le Maine, about the year 1518. It is supposed that his parents
were poor; and we accordingly find that he was indebted for his
education to René du Bellay, bishop of Mans, William Duprat, bishop of
Clermont, and the Cardinals of Tournon and Lorraine. At an early age, he
commenced the study of medicine and botany, and having distinguished
himself among the pupils of Valerius Cordus, professor of natural
history at Wirtemberg, was allowed to accompany his master on the
excursions which he was wont to make into Germany and Bohemia, for the
purpose of obtaining specimens. On finishing his education he travelled
through Greece, Egypt, Palestine, and Asia Minor, whence he returned to
Paris in 1550, with a valuable collection, after an absence of three
years. He now arranged the materials which he had thus procured, and
published several interesting works; notwithstanding the merit of which,
he experienced great difficulty in obtaining admission into the medical
faculty of Paris. In 1557, he undertook another journey into Italy,
Savoy, Dauphiny, and Auvergne. On his return, he engaged in a
translation of Dioscorides and Theophrastus, and was preparing an
important work on agriculture, when he was murdered in the wood of
Boulogne, as he was proceeding from Paris to his place of residence at
the Chateau de Madrid. This happened in 1564, when he was about
forty-five years of age.

His first great performance was the Natural History of Sea Fishes, with
wood engravings, containing a figure and description of the dolphin, and
several other species of the same family. It was published at Paris in
1551, in quarto. In 1553, he gave to the world another work on fishes,
entitled De Aquatitibus Libri Duo, cum Eiconibus ad Vivam ipsorum
Effigiem, which he afterwards translated into French, and with certain
additions printed in three different forms in 1555. A work on pines and
other evergreen trees, De Arboribus Coniferis, also appeared in 1553, as
well as a dissertation on Egyptian antiquities. Soon after he presented
to the public his Observations de plusieurs Singularités et Choses
memorables, trouvées en Grèce, Asie, Judée, Egypte, Arabie et autres
Pays étranges, redigées en trois livres, in which are many curious
details on the subject of geography, and on the manners of Eastern
nations. A treatise on birds was published at Paris in 1555; another,
containing representations of animals and plants observed in Arabia and
Egypt, was put forth in 1557; which in 1558 was succeeded by an essay on
the cultivation of plants. As a botanist, Belon ranks not less highly
than as a zoologist; and, to do honour to him in the former capacity,
Plumier has dedicated to his memory an American genus, to which he has
given the name of _Belonia_.


The Aquatilium Animalium Historia of Salviani is chiefly remarkable for
the beauty of its engravings, some of which have scarcely been surpassed
by the efforts of modern art. The titlepage bears the date of 1554, but
the work was not completed till 1558. It contains descriptions of
ninety-nine species of fishes, each including the synonymy, the external
appearance of the animal, the places in which it occurs, its habits, the
manner in which it is caught and prepared, and its medical properties.
He also points out the passages in Aristotle, Pliny, and other ancient
writers, who have spoken of them, and to the observations of these
authors adds many excellent ones of his own; so that the work, on
account of the general accuracy of the plates and descriptions, is one
that may be considered indispensable to the modern ichthyologist.

Salviani was born in 1514, at Citta di Castello in Umbria. His family
was noble. After finishing his studies, he settled at Rome, where he
practised medicine, and delivered public lectures. The friendship of
Cardinal Cervini obtained for him the appointment of physician to the
pope, Julius III. The death of this personage, and that of Cervini, who
had been elevated to the apostolic chair, which, however, he occupied
only three weeks, were not productive of any serious disadvantage to
him, for he was continued in his offices by Paul IV., to whom he
dedicated his work. He died at Rome, in 1572, at the age of fifty-eight.


Rondelet greatly surpassed Gesner, Belon, and Salviani, in the extent of
his knowledge as an ichthyologist; and although his figures, being only
wood-cuts, are inferior in beauty to the copperplate-engravings of the
last of these authors, they are yet more correct in the characteristic
details. His work is entitled De Piscibus Marinis Libri XVIII., in
quibus vivæ piscium imagines expositæ sunt, and was published at Lyons
in 1554. A second part appeared in 1555, under the name of Universæ
Aquatilium Historiæ Pars Altera, cum veris ipsorum Imaginibus. The first
part treats of marine animals, including the cetacea, turtles and
seals, the mollusca, and the crustacea. In the second part, shells,
insects, zoophytes, and fresh-water fishes, are described. These
objects, although not methodically arranged, are often placed in such a
manner as to indicate that the author had some idea of generic affinity.
The anatomical details which he presents are pronounced by Cuvier to be
frequently correct; but his descriptions, it must be granted, are
inferior to the figures, which are truly surprising for the period at
which he lived. In reference to the fishes of the Mediterranean this
work is indispensable, and, indeed, to the ichthyologist generally it is
one of the most important that exists. The descriptions and figures have
been copied by Gesner, in his work De Aquatilibus; while Ray, Artedi,
and Linnæus, have obviously profited by them.

Rondelet, the son of an apothecary, was born at Montpellier on the 27th
September 1507. Being originally of a very infirm constitution, he was
judged incapable of performing a part in active life, and, accordingly,
when his father's fortune was distributed, he received a sum merely
sufficient to procure his admittance into a convent. As he grew up,
however, he improved in strength, and having no affection for a monastic
life, he commenced his studies at the age of eighteen, and finished his
general education at Paris, where he was supported by his elder brother.
Having resolved to embrace the medical profession, he returned in 1529
to his native city, and afterwards settling at Pertuis, a small village
in Provence, he began to practise; but not meeting with success in the
healing art, he endeavoured to procure subsistence by setting up a
grammar-school. This expedient also failing, he went again to Paris in
order to improve his knowledge of the Greek language, and, being
unwilling to burden his brother any longer, became tutor to a young
nobleman. Some time after, he removed to Maringues, in Auvergne, where
he again entered upon practice, and in 1537 received a medical degree at
Montpellier. The following year he married a young lady endowed with
many estimable qualities, but destitute of fortune; and, as his brother
was dead, this alliance increased his difficulties. However, he settled
finally at the place of his birth; and, being assisted by his wife's
sister, began to extend his acquaintance, and succeeded so well in his
profession, that, in 1545, he was appointed professor of medicine in the

He also obtained the office of physician to the Cardinal of Tournon,
whom he accompanied on his missions in France, Italy, and the Low
Countries, of which occasions he eagerly availed himself to increase his
knowledge of natural history. Returning once more to his usual place of
residence he established an anatomical theatre, at which he lectured
several hours daily to a numerous audience. His passion for dissection
was so strong, that he opened one of his own children after death, and
this circumstance has naturally enough given rise to the opinion, that
he must have been a man destitute of sensibility; which, however, does
not appear to have been the case. His wife having died in 1560, he soon
procured another, poor and handsome like the first. While on a journey
to Toulouse he was attacked by dysentery, occasioned by eating too many
figs, and he died at Realmont, whither he had gone to visit a patient.
His death happened on the 30th July 1566, in the fifty-ninth year of his

He was a man of very small stature, but robust and active. At the age of
twenty-five he gave up the use of wine and spirits, from an apprehension
of gout; but he compensated for his abstemiousness in these articles by
indulging his appetite for fruit and pastry. Although he had acquired
considerable sums of money in the practice of his profession, he
expended them in the gratification of his taste for building, and in
various acts of generosity; so that he left very little behind him.


One of the most celebrated naturalists of the sixteenth century was
Ulysses Aldrovandi, professor at Bologna, who was born in that city in
1527, and died on the 4th of May 1605. He was of a noble family, and his
fortune enabled him to travel extensively, to collect materials for his
books, and to employ artists in painting and engraving suitable
illustrations. He carried, indeed, his liberality in this respect so
far, that, having expended his whole fortune in his enthusiastic pursuit
of natural history, he left nothing for the support of his old age, and
is commonly believed to have died in the hospital of his native city.
Cuvier, in a notice of his life in the Biographie Universelle, regards
this circumstance as doubtful; imagining it improbable that the senate
of Bologna, to whom he bequeathed his museum and manuscripts, and who
laid out large sums after his death in completing the publication of his
works, would have left him destitute during his life. This, however, is
mere conjecture; and there is too much reason to fear that, like many
other eminent persons, he was abandoned to struggle with misfortune, and
not advanced to honour and estimation until after his career was
finished, when they could be of no use to him.

The works of Aldrovandi form thirteen folio volumes. Of these, four only
were published by himself; namely, three on birds and one on insects.
Immediately after his death, in 1606, his widow put forth a volume on
the other white-blooded animals, including testacea and crabs. Cornelius
Uterverius, a native of Delft, and his successor in the institute of
Bologna, revised the work on fishes and whales, which appeared in 1613,
as well as that on the quadrupeds with solid hoofs, published in 1616.
In 1621, the History of the Quadrupeds with split Hoofs was edited by
Thomas Dempster, a Scottish gentleman, who was also a professor at
Bologna. The other treatises, on the viviparous and oviparous digitate
quadrupeds, on serpents, monsters, and minerals, were prepared for the
press by Bartholomew Ambrosinus, another of his successors, and that on
trees by Ovid Montalbanus. These works underwent a second impression at
Bologna, and some of them were subsequently printed at Frankfort. It is
difficult to procure a uniform edition, and some of the tracts are much
rarer than others.

Aldrovandi was certainly one of the most zealous naturalists of his
time; but, although he added considerably to the stock of information,
he can only be considered as a laborious collector of materials. Cuvier
pronounces his works "an enormous compilation without taste or genius,"
and agrees with Buffon in thinking, that were the useless parts
removed, they would be reduced to a tenth of their bulk. Moreover, the
plan and matter are to a great extent borrowed from Gesner; but in all
ages writers on natural history have been so much addicted to the
practice of borrowing, that Aldrovandi is hardly to be censured on this

Some portions of his museum have successfully struggled with the
destructive energies of time, and are still to be seen in the collection
of the Institute of Bologna. His manuscripts, of which there is an
immense mass, are preserved in the public library of the same city; and
the drawings from which the engravings for his work were taken were
carried, at the time of the Revolution, to the Museum of Natural History
at Paris.

Such were the dawnings of zoological science after the revival of
learning in Europe. The authors of those times, it is manifest, looked
less to nature than to the writings of Aristotle, Pliny, and their other
predecessors; so that in their works we find little more than a
repetition of what had been previously said. Their descriptions are
rude, frequently incorrect, and in few cases characteristic. They had no
idea of disposing the objects of which they treated in a manner
resembling that to which we have been accustomed since the period of Ray
and Linnæus. The alphabetical arrangement was followed by some, while
others possessed a rude notion of the affinity of species; but although
attempts were made to separate the animal creation into classic groups,
yet from the days of Aristotle to those of Swammerdam, Ray, and Reaumur,
we find no traces of the anatomical knowledge necessary for the
accomplishment of such an undertaking. We have, indeed, little reason
to expect in the writings of the ancients, or in those of the succeeding
naturalists, any example of a just classification; still we cannot but
marvel when we find, that very few of them endeavoured to represent
objects as they might have seen them with their own eyes. Whatever may
be the causes of this defect, those who are extensively conversant with
the publications of our own times must be aware, that the practice of
copying from books, instead of having recourse to Nature herself, has
not yet been relinquished; though nothing is more clear than that there
can be no real progress in natural history without authenticating the
observations of preceding writers by examining the objects which they
have described, and by noting the particulars in which they are


[G] Cuvier, Hist. Nat. des Poissons.


_Zoologists of the Seventeenth Century._

     Brief Account of the Lives and Writings of John Jonston,
     John Goedert, Francis Redi, and John Swammerdam--Notice
     respecting the principal Works of Swammerdam--His Birth and
     Education--He studies Medicine, but addicts himself chiefly
     to the Examination of Insects--Goes to France, where he
     forms an Acquaintance with Thevenot--Returns to Amsterdam,
     takes his Degree, improves the Art of making Anatomical
     Preparations--Publishes various Works--Destroys his Health
     by the Intensity of his Application--Becomes deeply
     impressed with religious Ideas--Adopts the Opinions of
     Antoinette Bourignon--Is tortured by conflicting
     Passions--Endeavours to dispose of his Collections--Is
     affected with Ague and Anasarca, and dies after protracted
     Suffering--His Writings published by Boerhaave--His
     Classification of Insects.


Of the three kingdoms of nature, the vegetable was that which, down to
the time of Linnæus, had received most attention. Mineralogy could
scarcely be said to have commenced. Zoology had indeed made considerable
progress; but botany had advanced in a still greater degree, having been
cultivated by a host of naturalists, chiefly belonging to the medical
profession. One of these, Cæsalpinus, who flourished in the end of the
16th century, had already invented a system; whereas Ray, who belonged
to the 17th, was the first zoologist who formed a methodical
arrangement of animals. It might thus be supposed that the examination
of plants is easier, while that of minerals is more difficult, than the
study of zoology; but the cause of the preference given to the vegetable
economy seems to be connected with the value of herbs as articles of the
Materia Medica, while the animal kingdom attracted more attention than
the mineral, as exciting greater curiosity, and tending more directly to
supply the most urgent wants of man. However this may be, it is certain,
that in the 17th century the botanists greatly exceeded the zoologists
in number. One of the most remarkable of the latter was the subject of
the present notice, who, although merely a compiler, and not possessed
of much judgment or taste, continued to be a popular author on natural
history until his works were superseded by those of Linnæus.

John Jonston, descended from a family originally Scottish, was born, in
1603, at Sambter, near Lissa, a city of the palatinate of Posen in
Poland. After studying at Beuthen on the Oder, and at Thorn in the
Prussian dominions, he prosecuted his education at the University of St
Andrews; whence, in due time, he returned to his native country, and for
three years acted as tutor to the sons of Count Kurtzbach. He then
studied medicine and natural history in several of the more
distinguished seminaries at home and abroad. In 1632, he took charge of
two young noblemen, whom he accompanied to England, Holland, France, and
Italy. At Leyden he obtained a medical degree, and was offered a
professorship; which, however, he declined, preferring a private life.
On completing his travels, he retired to a place in the neighbourhood of
Lignitz, where he spent the rest of his days. He died on the 8th June

The most important of Jonston's works is his Historia Animalium, which
was published at Frankfort on the Maine. The first part, containing five
books on fishes and cetacea, and four on the white-blooded aquatic
animals, appeared in 1649. The second part, which treats of birds,
followed in 1650; the third, on quadrupeds, in 1652; and the fourth, on
insects and serpents, in 1653. Several editions of this work have since
come out; the latest being that of Heidelberg, in 1755. It is, however,
a mere compilation from the writings of Gesner, Aldrovandi, and others.
The plates, which are numerous, are also, for the most part, copied from
these authors, a few only being original. They are not without merit,
having been engraved by the famous Matthew Merian; but several of them,
resting on no authority beyond that of simple description, represent
objects which have no real existence. His first treatise, which is a
collection of the most curious phenomena presented by the sky, the
elements, meteors, fossils, plants, birds, quadrupeds, insects, and man,
was printed at Amsterdam in 1632, under the title of Thaumatographia
Naturalis in Decem Classes Distincta. He also produced a Dendrographia,
or natural history of trees and shrubs; and two smaller tracts, the one
entitled Notitia Regni Vegetabilis, the other Notitia Regni Mineralis;
together with several others, on various subjects, which, as they have
long since passed into oblivion, it is unnecessary to mention at greater


This distinguished naturalist was born at Middleburg in Holland, in
1620. He was a sedulous observer of the nature and properties of
insects, which he examined with admirable patience and sagacity. His
work, which was written in Dutch, was published at Middleburg in 1662,
with the title Descriptions of the Origin, Species, Qualities, and
Metamorphoses of Worms, Caterpillars, &c. Being a painter by profession,
he adorned it with very accurate coloured engravings. The treatise was
also printed in Latin and French translations. The former bore this
title:--Metamorphosis et Historia Naturalis Insectorum, cum Commentario
Jo. de Mey et duplici cjusd. Appendice, una de Hemerobiis, altera de
Natura Cometarum. An improved edition, in the English language, was
published by Lister in 1682; and another, in Latin, in which the species
were methodically disposed, appeared in 1685, under the care of the same
naturalist, who had the work reprinted a third time as an appendix to
his Historia Animalium Angliæ. Goedart describes 150 different species,
and may be considered as the first who subjected the metamorphoses of
insects to accurate examination. He died in 1668.


The principal works of this eminent physician, having any reference to
zoology, are on the generation of insects, on the poison of the viper,
and on intestinal worms. His observations and experiments were
translated from the Italian into Latin, and published at Amsterdam in
1670 and 1686, and at Leyden in 1729. Fabroni gives his life in the
third volume of his Vitæ Illustrium Italorum. Sprung from a noble
family, he was born at Arezzo on the 18th February 1626. After finishing
his studies at the University of Pisa, he settled at Florence, where he
soon became known as a successful practitioner, and was appointed
physician to Ferdinand II, grand duke of Tuscany, in which office he was
continued by Cosmo III. Redi's experiments, directed by professional
views, had for their chief object the treatment of the bite of serpents,
and the destruction or removal of intestinal worms. His letters,
however, published in 1724, in two volumes 4to, are replete with
interesting observations in every department of natural history; his
poetical works are said to be distinguished by elegance and grace; and
his numerous literary compositions are described as evincing a pure and
cultivated taste. He was a considerable contributor to the edition of
the Dictionary of the Academia della Crusca, printed in 1691. He died at
Pisa on the 1st of March 1694, at the age of sixty-eight, and was buried
at Arezzo, in a tomb which his nephew decorated with an inscription,
remarkable for its simplicity and good taste:--



As a naturalist, Swammerdam is chiefly celebrated for the extent and
accuracy of his inquiries into the structure of insects; though anatomy
and physiology are equally indebted to his labours. He was the first who
discovered the method of rendering the blood-vessels more easy to be
traced in dissection, by injecting them with coloured wax in a fluid
state; and although he cannot for that reason alone claim all the
discoveries that have been made in anatomy, any more than the first
person who skinned birds can claim the honour of determining the
numerous species that have been conveyed from distant countries, or he
who first cut a slice of petrified wood, all the results that have
emanated from his experiment, yet he certainly devised the means of
extending our knowledge of the human body as well as of pathology. His
works on insects are the following:--1. The General History of Insects,
published in Dutch at Utrecht in 1669, and subsequently in French and
Latin, in which he gives a classification of these animals, founded on
their structure and metamorphoses. 2. The History of the Ephemeris,
published in Dutch at Amsterdam in 1675, and in Latin at London in 1681.
3. The Biblia Naturæ, sive Historia Insectorum in Classes Certas
Redacta, Leyden, 1737-38, 2 vols folio, which has been translated into
German, English, and French. This important work was published after his
death by Boerhaave, in Dutch and Latin, and contains a masterly
exposition of the structure of such insects as came under his

It has been remarked by an eminent entomologist, that natural history,
which, during the long series of ages in which barbarism reigned, shared
the fate of the other sciences, underwent the same treatment when a
taste for knowledge began to revive. For example, it was chiefly in
Aristotle that the history of animals was sought; whereas, if
Aldrovandi, Gesner, Moufet, and other physiologists, had studied nature
as much as they studied the ancient writers, the assiduous labour of so
many active minds would have secured for that science a more sure and
rapid progress. The material world was then observed only for the
purpose of confirming the reports made by the authors of antiquity. At
length Nature opened the eyes of those who were trying to see in her
only what they had seen in Aristotle and Pliny. She disclosed to them
facts worthy of being noticed, which they vainly sought in the books
which they imagined to contain every thing; and unfolded others, which
gave them reason to doubt the truth of those that had been transmitted
from former ages. After having thrown off the fetters of authority,
farther, perhaps, than was quite consistent with the respect that was
really due to the ancients, men perceived that they ought to study
facts, verify whatever had been related, and try to discover more. It
was thus that Malpighi, Swammerdam, Redi, and other illustrious authors
proceeded. Even those, such as Goedart and Madame Merian, who, from an
ignorance in some degree fortunate, were unable to read the ancients,
laboured with advantage as observers.[H]

The subject of this memoir was born at Amsterdam on the 12th February
1637. His father, an apothecary, was fond of natural history, and, being
in prosperous circumstances, embellished his house with preserved
animals, shells, and minerals, insomuch that it became an object of
attraction to the curious. Young Swammerdam was intended for the church,
and received instructions in the Greek and Latin languages, to qualify
him for the study of divinity; but, on seriously considering the
importance of the task designed for him, he judged himself incapable of
discharging the duties of a religious instructor. On representing the
matter to his parents, he received their permission to commence the
study of medicine. Being frequently employed in cleaning and arranging
his father's cabinet, he gradually acquired a liking to natural history,
and even at an early age began to form a collection of insects, which he
disposed into classes, agreeably to ideas derived from observation and
the descriptions of authors. Day and night he pursued his favourite
employment, searching the woods and fields, the sandhills and muddy
shores, the lakes, rivers, and canals, for insects, worms, and mollusca,
until he acquired, even while a youth, a more extensive and more
accurate knowledge of the lower animals than all the naturalists who had
preceded him.

In 1661, he went to Leyden, for the purpose of attending the lectures at
the celebrated university of that city. There he remained two years,
studying surgery with Van Horne, and medicine with Franciscus Sylvius de
le Boe, with as much diligence as he had previously displayed in his
other pursuits. During the whole of this time he enjoyed the friendship
of Steno and De Graaf; and, becoming much attached to the study of
anatomy, he exerted his utmost ingenuity in devising means for
effectually preserving his preparations.

He then went to Paris to improve himself in his profession. There he
continued the examination of insects, and had the good fortune to
discover the valves in the lymphatic vessels. After this he resided for
some time at Lyons, where he lived on terms of intimacy with Thevenot
the celebrated traveller, who introduced him to the learned men by whom
his house was frequented. In their society he usually remained a
listener, and could not be prevailed upon to communicate his ideas; but,
being repeatedly urged to exhibit one of his minute dissections, he
gratified the wishes of his friends, and, by the profound knowledge
which he displayed, acquired at once their esteem and admiration.
Thevenot recommended him to Van Beuningen, a senator at Amsterdam, who,
on his returning to that city, obtained permission for him to examine
the bodies of patients dying in the hospital,--an opportunity of
increasing his knowledge which he took care not to neglect.

In his native town he frequented a society of medical men, who met once
a-fortnight for the purpose of discussing subjects connected with their
profession, and made observations on the structure of the spinal marrow
and nerves, on respiration, and on the effects produced by the injection
of fluids into the blood-vessels of animals.

About the end of 1666, he returned to Leyden with the view of obtaining
his medical diploma, and there continued his researches in company with
his former teacher, Van Horne, in whose house he injected the uterine
vessels with wax,--a method of showing the distribution of the arteries
and veins afterwards greatly improved by him, and which has been
productive of much advantage in the study of anatomy. In February 1667,
he received the degree of doctor, and in March published his thesis on
respiration, which he dedicated to Thevenot. He next invented a new
method of preserving anatomical subjects by inflating them with air. But
the eagerness with which he engaged in these occupations was
prejudicial to his health, and he was seized with a quartan ague, which
reduced him to a state of extreme debility. On recovering from this
disease, he remitted his professional studies for two years; resuming
the investigation of insects, the structure of which he unfolded with
astonishing precision and success.

It happened about this time that the Grand Duke of Tuscany visited
Amsterdam. Accompanied by Thevenot, he examined the collections made by
Swammerdam and his father, and was so struck by the wonderful
dissections of insects that he offered 12,000 florins for the museum, on
condition that its proprietor should accompany it to Florence, and take
up his residence in the palace. But the young naturalist had been no
much accustomed to roam about at will, that he could not relinquish his
liberty, and therefore refused the offer.

In 1669, he published his General History of Insects, which he dedicated
to the senate of Amsterdam. The expense which he incurred in procuring
specimens from all quarters, while no emoluments resulted from his
labours, so displeased his father, that he earnestly urged him to
relinquish his unprofitable pursuits, and engage in the practice of
medicine. At length, finding him unwilling to follow his advice, he was
obliged to threaten a total intermission of supplies; though by this
time the ardent student had fallen into such a state of debility that he
was totally unfit to undergo the fatigues of practice. He was, however,
sensible of the propriety of the counsel which was administered to him,
and retired to the country to recruit his strength; but he had scarcely
arrived when he recommenced his studies, being wholly unable to resist
the temptation offered by solitude and by the presence of the objects
which invited his research. In the mean time, Thevenot, being made
acquainted with these circumstances, urged him to return to France,
generously offering him every thing necessary to enable him to follow
the bent of his genius. His father, however, did not approve of this
scheme, which was therefore relinquished; but the son did not the less
continue to pursue his former occupations.

In 1672, he published his Miraculum Naturæ, seu Uteri Muliebris Fabrica.
He soon afterwards entered upon an extensive examination of fishes,
having reference chiefly to the pancreas. About this time he began to be
impressed with religious ideas; becoming sensible of the vanity of human
pursuits, as well as of the sinfulness of that inordinate ambition which
impels men to aim at the highest place in the estimation of their
fellows. He accordingly resolved to eradicate that base passion from his
breast. In this state of mind he imbibed the mystical notions of the
celebrated Antoinette Bourignon.

This lady, who was a native of Lisle in Flanders, had become at an early
age impressed with the idea that pure Christianity was in a state of
decay, and that she was called to revive it. She became governess of the
hospital of her native city, and took the order and habit of St
Augustin; but owing to the disturbances caused by her violent temper and
pretensions to inspiration, the magistrates were obliged to expel her
from her office, when she retired to Ghent. The fortune which she
inherited from her parents, and that bequeathed to her by her convert De
Cordt, enabled her to publish several works of her own composition, and
rendered her, notwithstanding the deformity of her person, the object of
much hypocritical admiration. Such was her extreme parsimony, and so
inconsistent was her conduct with her professions, that she declared she
would rather throw her wealth into the sea than bestow the smallest sum
on the poor, or on "beastly persons who had no souls to be saved."

She was at that time in Holstein; and Swammerdam wrote to a friend of
his who accompanied her, to obtain permission to consult her in writing
respecting his doubts. The result of their correspondence was a
resolution on his part no longer to addict himself exclusively to
pursuits which had reference to this world only, but to endeavour to
make his peace with God. He did not, however, entirely relinquish his
anatomical studies, but on the contrary engaged with astonishing ardour
in the examination of the structure of bees, which he finished on the
last day of September 1674. "He had laboured so assiduously at this
work," says Boerhaave, "as to destroy his constitution; nor did he ever
recover even a shadow of his former strength. The labour, in fact, was
beyond the power of ordinary men: all day he was occupied in examining
subjects, and at night described and delineated what he had seen by day.
At six in the morning, in summer, he began to receive sufficient light
from the sun to enable him to trace the objects of his examination. He
continued dissecting till twelve, with his hat removed lest it should
impede the light, and in the full blaze of the sun, the heat of which
caused his head to be constantly covered with a profuse perspiration.
His eyes being continually employed in this strong light, the effect of
which was increased by the use of the microscope, they were so affected
by it, that after mid-day he could no longer trace the minute bodies
which he examined, although he had then as bright a light as in the
forenoon." A month of this excessive labour was necessary to examine and
depict the intestines of bees alone; and the investigation of their
entire structure cost him much additional labour; and all this was done,
with a body debilitated by disease, and a mind agitated by conflicting
passions, amid sighs and tears. At one time the bent of his disposition
impelled him to investigate the wonderful works of Omnipotence; at
another a voice within told him that he ought to set his affections on
God alone. After finishing his examination of the structure of bees, he
was so affected with remorse, that he gave the manuscript and drawings
to a friend, careless what might happen to them. At the same time,
however, he wrote two letters to Boccone, on the nature of corals.

These occupations being ended, he was more powerfully impressed than
ever with the vanity of human pursuits, and after this period he never
engaged in his customary investigations. He acknowledged that hitherto
ambition alone had incited him to undergo so many labours, but now
resolved to devote the remainder of his life to the cultivation of
Christian piety. Being encouraged in this resolution by the approbation
of Antoinette Bourignon, he firmly adhered to it; and estimating the
annual sum necessary for his subsistence at 400 Dutch florins, he
endeavoured to dispose of his collections, which formed the only
treasures that he possessed. For this purpose, he applied to Thevenot,
who, however, was unable to find a purchaser in France. He then had
recourse to another friend, Nicolas Steno, who had abjured the
Protestant faith and was living at Florence, and whom he requested to
represent the matter to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, in case he might feel
disposed to purchase them. This person advised him to follow his
example, relinquish his creed, embrace the Catholic faith, and proceed
to Florence, promising that he should induce the duke to accept the
offer. Swammerdam replied indignantly, that he would not sell his soul
for money.

Being without any fixed occupation, he devoted his leisure to arranging
and cleaning the contents of his museum, and writing out a catalogue of
them. They consisted of anatomical preparations and insects, of the
latter of which there were nearly three thousand distinct species. These
were all described and arranged into classes, and the entire structure
of many of them had been demonstrated by the most minute dissection. He
then published his Treatise on the Ephemeris, which he had commenced
when in France, and which is considered as one of the most remarkable
productions of any age. He did not, however, venture upon this step
without consulting Bourignon. These arrangements completed, he now
determined in earnest to lead a holy life, and being desirous of a
personal consultation with his directress, he went to Holstein, where he
remained with her some time. On returning to Amsterdam, he again
endeavoured to dispose of his museum, but without success; and his
sister, who had hitherto presided over the domestic establishment,
happening at this time to be married, his father resolved upon living
with his son-in-law, so that he was obliged to look out for another
residence. On this occasion his allowance was limited to 200 florins,
and as he could not find any one to purchase his collection he was
reduced to great perplexity. However, a thought struck him that he might
apply to an old friend, who had formerly treated him with great
kindness; but in this he also failed.

In the following year, his father died, leaving him heir to his
property, which was sufficient for his support; but he became involved
in disputes with his sister, which, together with his assiduous
endeavours to discharge his religious duties, so agitated his mind, that
he was again seized with a severe ague. For three entire months he was
confined to his bed, and even when the accessions of the fever had
become more gentle and less frequent, he still persisted in remaining in
the house. In vain did his friends, Sladus, Ruysch, Schrader, Hotton,
and Guenellon, urge upon him the propriety of adopting means for
improving his health. He would not yield to their proposals; and, when
they still persisted, at length maintained an obstinate silence.

Finding all his endeavours to sell his collection fruitless, he
determined to expose it to public auction; but before the period
arrived, his disease was much aggravated by the various agitations to
which his mind was now habitually subject. The fever proved again
regular and continuous, the countenance was emaciated, the eyes were
sunk, the feet, the legs, and at length the whole body, dropsical. His
friends dared not speak to him respecting his former studies, for he
detested all allusion to them, and wished to withdraw his mind entirely
from earthly concerns. At length, on the 25th January 1670, when he
perceived his end approaching, he wrote his will, leaving to Thevenot
all his original manuscripts on the history of bees, butterflies, and
anatomy, with 52 plates; all of which were at that time in the house of
Herman Wigendorp in Leyden, to whom they had been delivered to be
translated into Latin. He bequeathed his property to Margaret Volckers,
wife of Daniel de Hoest, appointing her and Christopher Wyland his
executors. The remainder of his time he spent in devotion, and died on
the 17th February.

It was some years before Thevenot obtained possession of the
manuscripts, and after his death they passed into various hands, but
were bought in 1727 by the illustrious Boerhaave, who arranged and
published them in two folio volumes, prefixing a life of the author,
from which we have drawn the materials of this notice.

The learned editor gives an interesting account of the instruments and
expedients employed by Swammerdam in dissecting insects and other minute
animals. When the anatomical preparations, insects, and apparatus, were
offered for sale, no purchaser could be found, and the collection was
subsequently dispersed. The manuscripts and drawings of the Biblia
Naturæ were deposited by Boerhaave in the library of the University of

The works of Swammerdam contain more original and accurate observations
than those of any naturalist who preceded him, excepting Aristotle. He
refuted numerous errors committed by his predecessors, and carried his
observations to a degree of minuteness and accuracy truly astonishing;
but it is not a little surprising that he succeeded less in describing
the structure of large objects than in delineating the organs of the
most minute.

His classification of insects differs very materially from those now in
use. The characters of his four classes he derives from the state in
which each insect appears after its birth, and those through which it
passes before attaining its entire development. In the first he places
all those which issue from the egg with nearly the same form as that
which they have at the period of their full growth; such as spiders,
slugs, leeches, &c. In the second are included those which, like the
grashopper, issue with six feet, and some time after cast off the
covering under which the wings were concealed. These insects run or leap
with agility in their first stage, which is not the case with those of
the next class. To the third are referred insects which undergo greater
changes, such as caterpillars, and which proceed from the egg in the
state of a worm, remain in that state for some time, cast off their
hairy covering, assume the form of a chrysalis, when they become
motionless, and finally emerge in a winged state. The fourth class
consists of such as, like the common fly, on changing the form under
which they issued from the egg to assume that of a worm, do not cast
their covering, but become separated from it, while it remains and forms
a shell or egg-like investiture, in which the insect remains in the pupa
state until it finally emerges with wings.

The history of Swammerdam must excite our sympathy and commiseration;
but that, as some have alleged, he lost his reason towards the end of
his life, and became subject to mania, arising from religious
melancholy, no one who has any share of that piety which he evinced
will feel disposed to admit. Although he lived in misery, the close of
his life was perhaps more enviable than that of many who have gone
smiling to their final rest; and it is well for those who, before the
period arrives when as the tree falls so it must lie, can like him
become truly sensible of the vanity of all earthly pursuits, even
although after death they should be pointed out as the victims of a
distempered imagination.


[H] Reaumur, Histoire des Insectes, tome i. p. 28.


_Account of the Life and Writings of Ray._

     Birth and Parentage of Ray--He receives the Rudiments of his
     Education at Braintree School--At the age of Sixteen enters
     at Katherine Hall, Cambridge--Removes to Trinity College,
     where he passes through various Gradations, and becomes a
     Fellow--Publishes his Catalogue of Cambridge Plants, and
     undertakes several Journeys--Extracts from his
     Itineraries--Resigns his Fellowship--Becomes a Member of the
     Royal Society--Publishes his Catalogue of English Plants,
     &c.--Death of his most intimate Friend, Mr
     Willughby--Character of that Gentleman--Mr Ray undertakes
     the Education of his Sons, and writes a Vocabulary for their
     Use--Notice of Dr Lister--Several Works published by Mr Ray,
     who improves and edits Willughby's Notes on Birds and
     Fishes--Continues his scientific Labours--Remarks on the
     Scoter and Barnacle--Letters of Dr Robinson and Sir Hans
     Sloane--Notice respecting the latter--Publication of the
     Synopsis of British Plants, the Wisdom of God manifested in
     the Works of Creation, &c.--Estimate of the Number of
     Animals and Plants known--Synopsis of Quadrupeds and
     Serpents--Classification of Animals--Various
     Publications--Ray's Decline--His last Letter--His Ideas of a
     Future State, and of the Use of the Study of Nature--His
     Death, Character, and principal Writings.

The distinguished individual whose history we are about to sketch, and
who is considered by many persons of the present age as the greatest
naturalist that Britain has yet produced, was born on the 29th November
1628, at Black Notley, near Braintree in Essex. His father, Roger Wray,
was a blacksmith,--a circumstance which affords another proof that
natural history has had among its most successful cultivators men of all
stations in society, from the lowest to the highest. He received the
rudiments of his education at Braintree School, under the care of a Mr
Love, who, it seems, was but indifferently qualified for his office.
Young Wray, however, profited so well by his opportunities of acquiring
knowledge, that at the age of sixteen he was sent to the University of
Cambridge, where he entered at Katherine Hall in June 1644. As it is not
stated that on this occasion he had to draw on the generosity of any of
his rich neighbours, it is to be presumed that his father was in
prosperous circumstances. At the end of a year and three-quarters he
removed to Trinity College, where he had the good fortune to have for
his tutor Dr Duport, a man of great learning, under whose direction he
acquired considerable skill in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages.
About three years afterwards he was chosen Minor Fellow of Trinity, at
the same time with his friend the celebrated Isaac Barrow; and, after
passing through the usual gradations, was appointed Greek lecturer of
the College in October 1651, Mathematical lecturer in October 1053, and
Humanity reader in October 1655. After this he was made Prælector
Primarius, Junior Dean, and College Steward, having been sworn into the
latter office in 1659.

During the time of Mr Wray's residence at the university, he had several
gentlemen of great merit under his tuition. He also became eminent as a
pulpit orator, being, according to the testimony of Dr Tenison,
archbishop of Canterbury, "much celebrated for his preaching solid and
useful divinity, instead of that enthusiastick stuff, which the sermons
of that time were generally filled with." He contracted an intimate
friendship with Mr John Nid, who, like himself, was an ardent "admirer
of the works of God," and whom, in a funeral sermon, he eulogizes for
his admirable amenity and candour, his strict probity, innocence of life
and manners, singular modesty, and great learning. He was aided by this
gentleman in writing his Catalogue of Cambridge Plants, which he
published in 1660, and which was found of great use in promoting the
much-neglected study of botany at that university. But before it was
entirely finished, he was deprived of the companion whose society had
afforded him so much delight.

The favourable reception given to the work now mentioned, encouraged Mr
Wray to prosecute his researches with more vigour, and induced him to
extend his excursions through the greater part of England and Wales, as
well as over a portion of Scotland. On these journeys or "simpling
voyages," as he calls them, he was usually accompanied by some of his
friends, and in particular by his pupil, Mr Willughby. The notes made on
these hurried expeditions were afterwards published by Mr George Scott,
under the title of "Select Remains of the learned John Ray;" and as they
are not deficient in interest, one or two extracts from them may be not
misplaced here:

"August the 17th (1661), we travelled to Dunbar, a town noted for the
fight between the English and Scots. The Scots generally (that is the
poorer sort) wear, the men blue bonnets on their heads, and some russet;
the women only white linen, which hangs down their backs as if a napkin
were pinned about them. When they go abroad, none of them wear hats,
but a party-coloured blanket, which they call a plad, over their heads
and shoulders. The women generally to us seemed none of the handsomest.
They are not very cleanly in their houses, and but sluttish in dressing
their meat. Their way of washing linens is to tuck up their coats, and
tread them with their feet in a tub. They have a custom to make up the
fronts of their houses, even in their principal towns, with firr boards
nailed one over another, in which are often made many round holes or
windows to put out their heads. In the best Scottish houses, even the
king's palaces, the windows are not glazed throughout, but the upper
part only, the lower have two wooden shuts or folds to open at pleasure,
and admit the fresh air. The Scots cannot endure to hear their country
or countrymen spoken against. They have neither good bread, cheese, nor
drink. They cannot make them, nor will they learn. Their butter is very
indifferent, and one would wonder how they could contrive to make it so
bad. They use much pottage made of coal-wort, which they call keal,
sometimes broth of decorticated barley. The ordinary country houses are
pitiful cots, built of stone, and covered with turves, having in them
but one room, many of them no chimneys, the windows very small holes,
and not glazed. In the most stately and fashionable houses, in great
towns, instead of cieling, they cover the chambers with firr boards,
nailed on the roof within side. They have rarely any bellows, or
warming-pans. It is the manner in some places there, to lay on but one
sheet as large as two, turned up from the feet upwards. The ground in
the valleys and plains bears good corn, but especially beer-barley, or
bigge, and oats, but rarely wheat and rye. We observed little or no
fallow-grounds in Scotland; some layed ground we saw, which they manured
with sea-wreck. The people seem to be very lazy, at least the men, and
may be frequently observed to plow in their cloaks. It is the fashion
for them to wear cloaks when they go abroad, but especially on Sundays.
They lay out most they are worth in cloaths, and a fellow that hath
scarce ten groats besides to help himself with, you shall see come out
of his smoaky cottage clad like a gentleman."

That this is a true character of the people of the southern division of
Scotland in those days is very probable;--it is needless to say that
things are much altered now. Still the picture applies in almost every
particular to the inhabitants of several districts at the present day,
although the men seldom plough in their plaids; but as the Scots cannot
(any more than the English) endure to hear their country spoken against,
we desist from making any reflections, merely wishing that they would
strive to render it such as to merit the utmost praise.

The next extract which we shall present, has a reference to the Bass
Rock, in the estuary of the Forth:

"August the 19th, we went to Leith, keeping all along on the side of the
Fryth. By the way we viewed Tantallon Castle, and passed over to the
Basse Island; where we saw, on the rocks, innumerable of the soland
geese. The old ones are all over white, excepting the pinion or hard
feathers of their wings, which are black. The upper part of the head and
neck, in those that are old, is of a yellowish dun colour. They lay but
one egg a-piece, which is white, and not very large. They are very
bold, and sit in great multitudes till one comes close up to them,
because they are not wont to be scared or disturbed. The young ones are
esteemed a choice dish in Scotland, and sold very dear (1s. 8d.
plucked). We eat of them at Dunbar. They are in bigness little inferior
to an ordinary goose. The young one is upon the back black, and speckled
with little white spots, under the breast and belly grey. The beak is
sharp-pointed, the mouth very wide and large, the tongue very small, the
eyes great, the foot hath four toes webbed together. It feeds upon
mackrel and herring, and the flesh of the young one smells and tastes
strong of these fish. The other birds which nestle in the Basse are
these; the scout, which is double ribbed; the cattiwake, in English
cormorant; the scart, and a bird called the turtle-dove, whole-footed,
and the feet red. There are verses which contain the names of these
birds among the vulgar, two whereof are,

    'The scout, the scart, the cattiwake,
    The soland goose sits on the lake,
    Yearly in the spring.'

"We saw of the scout's eggs, which are very large and speckled. It is
very dangerous to climb the rocks for the young of these fowls, and
seldom a year passeth, but one or other of the climbers fall down and
lose their lives, as did one not long before our being there. The laird
of this island makes a great profit yearly of the soland geese taken; as
I remember, they told us £130 sterling. There is in the isle a small
house, which they call a castle; it is inaccessible, and impregnable,
but of no great consideration in a war, there being no harbour, nor any
thing like it. The island will afford grass enough to keep thirty sheep.
They make strangers that come to visit it _Burgesses of the Basse_, by
giving them to drink of the water of the well, which springs near the
top of the rock, and a flower out of the garden thereby. The island is
nought else but a rock, and stands off the land near a mile; at Dunbar
you would not guess it above a mile distant, though it be thence at
least five. We found growing in the island, in great plenty, _Beta
marina_, _Lychnis marina nostras_, _Malta arborea marina nostras_, _et
Cochlearia rotundifolia_."

In this sketch, short as it is, there are several inaccuracies, and yet
it is on the whole more correct than some later accounts of the same
interesting islet.

On the restoration of Charles II., when there was a prospect of
peaceable times, and the church of England was re-established, Mr Wray
took orders, though he continued a fellow of Trinity College. But his
views of preferment were blasted by his resolution not to subscribe to
the conditions implied in the Act of Uniformity, by which divines were
required to declare that the oath entitled the Solemn League and
Covenant was not binding on those who had sworn it. The reason of his
refusal did not, however, arise from his having himself taken the oath,
which he never did, having always believed it to be unlawful, but from
his considering those who had taken it as still under an obligation to
abide by it. In consequence of this opinion he deemed it proper to
resign his fellowship in 1662.

On leaving Cambridge he resolved to go to the Continent, with the view
of extending his knowledge of natural history, to which he had long
been devoted. Accordingly, in the spring of 1663, accompanied by Mr
Willughby, Mr Skippon, and Mr Bacon, his pupils, he crossed to Calais,
and traversing the Low Countries, visited Germany, Italy, and several
islands in the Mediterranean. In returning homewards he directed his way
through Switzerland and France, and arrived in his own country in the
spring of 1666, with a rich store of materials for the cultivation of
his favourite science. He now occupied himself in reading the works that
had been published during his absence; in reviewing and arranging Mr
Willughby's collections; and in making a catalogue of such plants as
were natives of the English soil. He was also employed during the winter
in forming a table of plants and quadrupeds to illustrate the famous
work of Dr Wilkins on a "Real or Universal Character." In the summer of
1667, he made a journey into the west, accompanied by his favourite
pupil. While on this excursion the two friends described many natural
objects, and in particular examined the Cornish mines, and the methods
employed for smelting ores.

His fame as a naturalist being now fully established, he was solicited
to become a member of the Royal Society, which he accordingly entered in
1667. The remainder of this year he spent with his friends in Sussex and
Warwickshire. In 1668, he made a journey into Yorkshire and
Westmoreland, where he assiduously exerted himself in collecting plants
and animals. The greater part of the winter was passed in Warwickshire,
with Mr Willughby, who in the following spring engaged with him in a
series of experiments on the ascent and descent of the sap in trees,
the results of which were published in the Philosophical Transactions.

Although botany seems to have been his principal study, his attention
was by no means confined to it, for, like most naturalists of the time,
he was a general collector. The materials which he had accumulated in
the course of his journeys having now increased to a great extent, he
began to digest his observations; commencing, rather oddly, with a set
of proverbs, which he made ready for the press, although they were not
published till 1672. In 1669, he also prepared his Catalogue of English
Plants, which was printed in the following year.

At this time he changed his name to Ray, omitting the initial letter;
the altered mode of spelling being, as he conceived, more correct. In
one of his notes to Dr Lister he mentions his having had an offer of
L.100 per annum to travel with three young noblemen, expressing, at the
same time, his unfitness for the office, and his unworthiness of so
large a salary. To this his friend replies: "I joy you of the condition
offered you. If you accept it, I wish you all the satisfaction and
comfort in the world of it; and I pray God, of his infinite mercy, to
preserve you in your travels, and to send me home again my dear friend
well. Fix not long with them in any place; for the gentry of France are
very proud, and will soon (when acquainted) learn them to despise their
tutors, however well deserving." This proposal, however, Mr Ray
rejected, being in a weak state of health, and considering it more
expedient to continue his pursuits.

In the spring of 1671, he had an attack of jaundice, of which, as he
informs Dr Lister, he "got pretty well rid." On recovering, he pursued
his experiments on the motion of sap, and in summer visited several of
his acquaintances; after which, in July, he commenced a journey to the
northern counties, taking with him Thomas Willisel, from whose
assistance in collecting and describing plants he derived much profit.

In this erratic mode of living,--at one time wandering over the country
in quest of its rarer productions, at another residing with his friends
at their country-seats, enjoying their conversation, and deriving
instruction from the inspection of their collections,--Mr Ray must have
experienced much real happiness; one principal source of which, however,
was now dried up. He had scarcely returned from his excursion when he
was informed of the dangerous illness of Mr Willughby, who, having been
seized with violent pain in his head, followed by pleurisy and fever,
expired in the thirty-seventh year of his age, on the third day of July

The character of this estimable man and excellent naturalist cannot be
better described than in Dr Derham's words:--"His example deserves the
imitation of every person of great estate and honour. For he was a man
whom God had blessed with a very plentiful estate, and with excellent
parts, capable of making him useful to the world. And accordingly he
neglected no opportunity of being so. He did not (as the fashion too
much is) depend upon his riches, and spend his time in sloth or sports,
idle company-keeping, and luxury; but practising what was laudable and
good,--what might be of service to mankind. And among other virtuous
employments, one he much delighted in was the searching after, and
describing of, animals (birds, beasts, fishes, and insects), which
province he had taken for his task, as Mr Ray had that of plants. And in
these matters he was a great master, as he was also in plants, fossils,
and, in short, the whole history of nature; to which I may add that of
coins, and most other curious parts of learning. And in the pursuit and
acquest of this knowledge he stuck neither at any labour or cost. Noble
monuments of which he left behind him in those posthumous pieces which
Mr Ray afterwards published."

To render a separate article unnecessary, some particulars may here be
given respecting that distinguished individual. He was born in
Lincolnshire in 1635, and, as has already been mentioned, studied at
Trinity College, Cambridge, under the tuition of Ray, whose most
intimate friend he continued to be until the period of his premature and
lamented death. Dr Derham states, from a conversation which he had with
Ray a short time before his last illness, that "these two gentlemen,
finding the history of nature very imperfect, had agreed between
themselves, before their travels beyond sea, to reduce the several
tribes of things to a method; and to give accurate descriptions of the
several species, from a strict view of them." Both entered upon the task
with an enthusiasm which could have been excited only by an intense love
of nature, and although Ray was more successful in the event, Willughby
was not less industrious during his short career. Ornithology and
ichthyology seem to have been his favourite studies, and in prosecuting
them he formed an extensive museum, not, however, excluding other
objects. In 1668, he married the daughter of Sir H. Bernard, and settled
at Middleton Hall in Warwickshire, where he continued his researches
under the eye of his former tutor. His untimely death prevented the
publication of his several essays, which were left to the care of Mr
Ray, who was also one of the executors of his will. As a special mark of
his friendship, besides bequeathing an annuity of £60, he confided to
him the education of his two sons, Francis and Thomas, the first of whom
died before attaining his twentieth year. The younger was one of the
twelve peers created on the same day by Queen Anne, on which occasion he
received the title of Lord Middleton.

Mr Ray accordingly betook himself to the instruction of these two young
gentlemen, the eldest of whom was only four years of age at the period
of their father's decease. For their improvement he composed his
Nomenclator Classicus, which was published in 1672, and which, with
respect to the names of natural objects, was much more accurate than any
that had previously appeared. Having resolved to discharge his duties
with fidelity, he was obliged to give up the thoughts of another
botanical excursion which he had meditated, as well as to refuse the
invitation of Dr Lister, who wished him to live in his house at York.

This eminent physician and naturalist, who was one of Ray's most
intimate friends, was born, in 1638, in the county of Buckingham. He was
educated at St John's College, Cambridge, and having chosen the medical
profession, settled at York as a practitioner. In the year 1683, he
removed to London, when he took the degree of doctor at Oxford, and was
elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians. Having, in 1698,
attended the Earl of Portland on his embassy to France, he published,
when he returned, an account of the journey, which was ridiculed by Dr
William King in a parody, in consequence of the minute observations in
natural history which it contained. In 1709, he was made physician in
ordinary to Queen Anne; but he occupied this post only two years, as he
died in February 1711. Omitting his medical writings, which are not of
much importance, we may observe, that besides composing several papers
which were printed in the Philosophical Transactions, he published the
following works on shells, which are referred to by the naturalists of
the present day as important productions:--

Historia Animalium Angliæ, with three tracts on spiders, land and
fresh-water shells, and marine shells, together with fossils having the
form of shells. 4to, London, 1678.

Exercitatio Anatomica de Cochleis. 8vo, 1694. Exercitatio Anatomica
Altera, de Buccinis Fluviatilibus et Marinis. 8vo, 1695. Exercitatio
Anatomica tertia Conchyliorum Bivalvium. 4to, 1696.

Historiæ sive Synopsis Conchyliorum libri iv., 2 vols. folio, 1685-1693.
An edition was published, in 1770, by Mr Huddesford, keeper of the
Ashmolean Library at Oxford. Of this work there is a new impression by
Mr Dillwyn, with a scientific index. The plates of the Historia
Conchyliorum were executed from drawings by his daughters, and are in
general accurate.

As a specimen of the correspondence which naturalists hold with one
another, we may present the following letter to Mr Ray:--

     "SIR,--August 18, I passed through Marton Woods, under
     Pimco-Moore, in Craven. In these woods I then found very
     great plenty of _Mushromes_, and many of them then wither'd,
     and coal-black; but others new sprung and flourishing. They
     are some of them of a large size, and yet few much bigger
     than the _Champignon_ or _ordinary red-grilled eatable
     Mushrome_, and very much of the shape of that; that is an
     exactly round cap, or crown, which is thick in flesh, and
     open deep gills underneath; a fleshy, and not hollow, round
     foot-stalk, of about six fingers breadth above ground, and
     ordinarily as thick as my thumb. The foot-stalk, gills, and
     cap, all of a milk-white colour. If you cut any part of this
     _mushrome_, it will _bleed_ exceeding freely and plentifully
     a pure white juice. Concerning which, note,

     "1. That the youngest did drop much more plentifully and
     freely than those that were at their full growth and
     expansion. That the dried and withered ones had no signs of
     milk in them that I then discern'd.

     "2. That this milk tastes and smells like pepper, and is
     much hotter upon the tongue.

     "3. That it is not clammy or roapy to the touch.

     "4. That although I used the same knife to cut a hundred of
     them, yet I could not perceive all that time, that the milk
     changed colour (as is usual with most vegetable milks) upon
     the knife blade.

     "5. That it became, in the glass viol I drew it into,
     suddenly concrete and stiff, and in some days dried into a
     firm cake, or lump, without any _serum_ at all.

     "6. That it then also, when dried, retained its keen biting
     taste, as it does at this day, yet not so fierce: Its colour
     is now of a yellowish green, yet very pale.

     "7. This milk flows much faster from about the outmost rimm,
     or part equivalent to the bark of plants, than from the more
     inward parts, &c.

     "8. I observed these _mushromes_ even then, when they
     abounded with milk (not to be endured upon our tongues) to
     be exceeding full of _fly_-maggots; and the youngest and
     tenderest of them were very much eaten by the small grey
     naked snail.

     "You can tell me what author describes this mushrome, and
     what he titles it.

     "I have revised the History of Spiders, and added this
     summer's notes. Also I have likewise brought into the same
     method the land and fresh water snails, having this year
     added many species found in these northern lakes. And by way
     of Appendix, I have describ'd all the _shell-stones_ that I
     have anywhere found in England, having purposely viewed some
     places in Yorkshire where there are plenty. The tables of
     both I purpose to send you. I am not so throughly stocked
     with sea-shells as I wish and endeavour. I aim not at
     exoticks, but those of our own shores. Concerning _St
     Cuthbert's Beads_, I find 3 species of them in Craven: and
     this makes it plain, that they have not been the back-bone
     of any creature, because I find of them ramous and branched
     like trees.

     "York, October 12, 1672."

Soon after Mr Willughby's death, Mr Ray lost another of his best
friends, Bishop Wilkins, who died on the 19th November 1672. Being thus
deprived of some of those persons whose intercourse had afforded him the
purest pleasure, he began to think of consoling himself by marriage;
having formed an attachment to a young woman recommended by her personal
and mental accomplishments. She was the daughter of Mr John Oakeley of
Launton, in Oxfordshire. They were married in Middleton Church, on the
5th June 1673. This lady gave him important assistance in educating Mr
Willughby's children; and afterwards, by her unremitting attentions and
constant affection, contributed to enliven his mind, when he was
labouring under the pressure of protracted disease.

In the year just named, he published an account of the observations
which he had made in his travels on the Continent, to which was appended
a catalogue of plants observed in foreign countries, and also, about the
same time, his Collection of Unusual or Local English Words, adding to
it a catalogue of English birds and fishes, and an account of the way of
smelting and refining metals and minerals. Mr Oldenburgh, the secretary
of the Royal Society, having solicited him by numerous letters to
communicate any discoveries which he might have made, he sent several
papers, some of which were printed in the Philosophical Transactions, as
well as a discourse concerning seeds and the specific differences of
plants, which was read to the members.

In 1674 and the following year, he was busily engaged in the task of
preparing for the press Mr Willughby's observations on birds. These
notices had been committed to paper without any method, and left in a
very imperfect state, so that the trouble of revising and digesting was
of no light kind. Without at all detracting from the merits of the
author, whose labours, according to Dr Derham, were such, "that he
allowed himself little or no time for those recreations and diversions
which men of his estate and degree are apt to spend too much of their
time in, but prosecuted his design with as great application, as if he
had been to get his bread thereby," it may fairly be presumed, and
indeed has been generally admitted, that the greater part of his works
belong in fact to Mr Ray, who, however, claimed no merit in the
performance. The book was published in 1676, in Latin, with engravings,
which, in the titlepage, are designated as _icones elegantissimi et
vivarum avium simillimi_, although few who inspect them will be disposed
to concur in the opinion now stated. It was afterwards translated into
English by his affectionate editor, and put forth with large additions
in the year 1678. Derham apologizes for the inferior execution of the
plates, which were done at the charge of the author's widow.
"Considering," says the Doctor, "how well the engravers were paid for
their labour, it is great pity they had not had some able person in
London to have supervised them, that they might have given better
likenesses to the birds than what most of them have. But this is what Mr
Ray could only complain of, but not help, by reason of his being in
Warwickshire, at a distance from London, where every thing was
transacted by letters,--a method which could never afford sufficient
directions in a matter of that nature." The descriptions, however, are
in general excellent, regard being had to the state of science at the
time when they were written. Some of them, indeed, are very imperfect,
and there is, besides, a deficiency of method, which becomes more
striking when they are compared with those of Temminck or Selby, or any
other of our best modern ornithologists.

In this important work birds are divided into _Terrestrial_ and
_Aquatic_. The former are disposed in the following order:--

In the first place, land-birds are either furnished with hooked-bill and
claws, or have these organs nearly straight.

Those with hooked-bill are carnivorous and predatory or frugivorous. The
former are either diurnal, that is, hunt by day, or nocturnal, seeking
their food by night.

The diurnal carnivorous birds are either large, as the _eagles_ and
_vultures_, or small. Of the former there are two kinds, the _generous_,
as the peregrine falcon, lanner, goshawk, &c.; and the _ignoble_, as the
_buzzard_, kite, &c. The smaller predatory birds are the _shrikes_, and
birds of paradise.

The nocturnal birds of prey are the _owls_.

The _frugivorous_ birds with hooked-bill are the _macaws_, _parrots_,
and _parrakeets_.

Those having the bill and claws nearly straight, are divided into large,
middle-sized, and small. The large are the _ostrich_, _emeu_, and
_dodo_; the middle-sized are the _crows_ and _woodpeckers_, _peacock_,
_pigeons_, &c.; the small are such birds as the _swallow_ and _lark_,
which have the bill slender, and the _sparrow_, _greenfinch_, &c., in
which it is thick.

The _aquatic_ birds are of two kinds; some frequent watery places,
without being capable of swimming, while others betake themselves to
the water.

Of the former some are large, as the crane; others of smaller size. The
latter either live on fish, as the _heron_, _spoonbill_, _stork_,
_ibis_, &c., or search for insects in the mud, as the _oyster-catcher_,
_plover_, _sandpiper_, &c.

Of the swimming water-birds some have the toes separated, as the _coot_
and _water-hen_; while in others they are united by membranes. The
web-footed birds are either long-legged, as the _flamingo_ and _avocet_,
or furnished with short legs. Of the latter some have three toes, as the
_penguin_, _auk_, &c.; others have four. The four-toed aquatic birds
either have all the toes webbed, as the _pelican_, _gannet_,
_cormorant_, &c., or have the hind toe loose. Of the latter some have a
narrow bill, which is hooked at the tip in the _merganser_ and
_albatross_, or acute and straight in the _divers_ and _gulls_. Others
have the bill broad, as _geese_ and _ducks_.

Of the figures which accompany the descriptions there certainly are not
ten that bear a tolerably accurate resemblance to their originals; but,
in criticizing ornithological plates, we are apt to forget that it was
not until Audubon displayed his drawings that artists began to see how
well nature might be imitated.

Mr Willughby's sons having been withdrawn from Mr Ray's inspection, in
1675, he left Middleton Hall where he had resided, and removed with his
wife to Sutton Cofield, about four miles distant, where he continued
till Michaelmas 1677, when he went to Falborne Hall in Essex, near his
native place. In the course of his residence there his mother died, to
whom he was affectionately attached, and of whom he says that she stuck
constantly to her profession, and never "left the church in these times
of giddiness and distraction." Immediately after this event he repaired
to Black Notley, where he resolved to remain during the "short pittance
of time he had yet to live in this world."

He now finished his Methodus Plantarum Nova, which was published in
1682; and laboured at his Historia Plantarum Generalis, of which the
first volume appeared in 1686, the second in the following year, and the
third in 1704. In compiling this great work, he received much valuable
assistance from his friends, but more especially from Sir Hans Sloane
and Dr Tancred Robinson. With respect to the former of these
publications, it may be stated, that it was founded upon the labours of
his predecessors, such as Cæsalpinus and Jungius, as well as on the
writings of Morison, whose method he principally followed. He divided
plants into woody and herbaceous. The woody kinds he again divided into
trees and shrubs, distinguishing the trees by their possessing buds;
which he showed to be, in fact, new plants annually springing from the
old ones. The families were better defined, the classes characterized
with more precision, and various terms introduced which were of great
advantage as tending to render the language of botany more appropriate.
The General History of Plants is his most celebrated work on the
vegetable kingdom. In it he describes with considerable exactness and
perspicuity all the species which his predecessors had made known,
adding those that had been discovered in his own time. All botanists who
have spoken of this work agree in considering it as one of immense
labour, although, as the greater part was avowedly borrowed from other
writers, it has not the advantage of ranking among those that have
resulted from original observation.

About the same time he revised and arranged Mr Willughby's papers
relative to fishes, which, being put in order for the press, and
communicated by Dr Robinson to the Royal Society, were published at the
charge of that learned body; the engravings having been executed at the
expense of several of the members. This important treatise appeared in

Besides all the species of Belon, Rondelet, Gesner, Aldrovandi, Olina,
and Margrave, says an eminent ichthyological writer, there are in these
works a great number which Willughby and Ray had observed in Germany and
Italy. The fishes of the Mediterranean in particular are described with
great accuracy, and it is often easier to trace them in their volumes
than in Linnæus. To these two works are appended numerous figures, most
of which are only copies, although there are some very good original
ones among them. Even such of them as are borrowed from Belon and
Rondelet acquire an interest from the descriptions which accompany them,
and which are much superior to those of the French writers.[I]

Dr Robinson appears, by his notices contained in the "Philosophical
Letters between the late learned Mr Ray and several of his ingenious
Correspondents," to have been of considerable use to our author in
transmitting information on every subject that seemed interesting to the
latter, and especially in procuring objects for description. In one of
his communications from Geneva is a passage respecting the celebrated
Malpighi, which exhibits the character of that great anatomist in a
favourable light:--"I had several conferences with S. Malpighi at
Bononia, who expressed a great respect for you, and is not a little
proud of the character you give him in your Method. Plantar. Nov., which
book I had presented him withal a day before. Just as I left Bononia I
had a lamentable spectacle of Malpighi's house all in flames, occasioned
by the negligence of his old wife. All his pictures, furniture, books,
and manuscripts, were burnt. I saw him in the very heat of the calamity,
and methought I never beheld so much Christian patience and philosophy
in any man before; for he comforted his wife, and condol'd nothing but
the loss of his papers, which are more lamented than the Alexandrian
Library, or Bartholine's Bibliothece at Copenhagen."

Of the epistolary correspondence of this gentleman, and of Sir Hans
Sloane, it may be interesting to some of our readers to peruse a


     "London, August 1, --84.

     "SIR,--I have sent you two _Macreuses_, male and female, and
     hope they will come safe to Black Notley. My ingenious and
     worthy friend Mr Charlton (now at London) procur'd them for
     me at Paris, who hath them both design'd to the life in
     proper colours by the most accurate hand in France. If you
     saw the pictures I believe they would give you a better
     insight than these skins, which are a little broke and
     chang'd; yet nevertheless your most discerning faculties
     may discover that in the dark which few can distinguish at
     noon-day. This Parisian bird (very famous of late) may be no
     unwelcome subject, it being in Lent, and upon maigre days,
     the greatest dainty of convents. I have been told by several
     of the most learned priests beyond sea, that the macreuse
     was as much a fish as the barnacle (and indeed I am of the
     same opinion), that the blood was the same in every quality
     with that of fishes; as also the fat, which (as they falsely
     affirm) will not fix, dry, or grow hard, but always remains
     in an oily consistence. Upon these and other reasons the
     Sorbonists have ranked the macreuse in the class of fishes.
     For the rest I refer you to my paper from Paris, and
     impatiently wait for your judgment, for which I have a
     particular esteem."

The bird referred to in this letter, and concerning which Mr Ray had not
previously been able to satisfy himself, is the scoter or black-duck
(_Anas nigra_ of Linnæus, Latham, and Temminck). "Why they of the Church
of Rome should allow this bird to be eaten in Lent, and upon other
fasting days, more than others of this kind," we see no reason, any more
than Mr Ray did. Perhaps the story of the barnacle's originating from a
shell of the same name, may have been invented for a similar purpose. On
this head we have the following testimony from Hector Boëce:--"All trees
that are cast into the seas, by process of time, appear first
worm-eaten, and in the small holes and bores thereof grow small worms;
first, they show their head and feet, and last of all they show their
plumes and wings; finally, when they are coming to the just measure and
quantity of geese, they fly in the air as other fowls do, as was notably
proven in the year of God 1480, in sight of many people, beside the
Castle of Pitsligo." The evidence of Gerard, the herbalist, on this
subject is an excellent specimen of leasing:--"What our eyes have seen,"
saith the venerable man, "and our hands have touched, we shall declare.
There is a small island in Lancashire, called the Pile of Soulders,
wherein are found broken pieces of old and bruised ships, some whereof
have been cast thither by shipwrecks; also the trunks and bodies, with
the branches, of old and rotten trees, cast up there likewise, whereon
is found a certain spume or froth, that in time breedeth into certain
shells, in shape like those of the muscle, but sharper-pointed, and of a
whitish colour, and the end whereof is fastened unto the inside of the
shell, even as the fish of oysters and muscles are, and the other end is
made fast unto the belly of a rude mass or lump, which, in time, cometh
into the shape and form of a bird. When it is perfectly formed, the
shell gapeth open, and then the first thing that appeareth is the
aforesaid lace or string; next cometh the legs of the bird hanging out;
and, as the bird groweth greater, it openeth the shell by degrees, till
at length it has all come forth and hangeth only by the bill. In short
space after it cometh to full maturity, and falleth into the sea, where
it gathereth feathers, and groweth to a fowl, bigger than a mallard, and
lesser than a goose, having black legs and bill or beak, and feathers
black and white, spotted in such manner as our magpie, called in some
places pie-annes, which the people of Lancashire call by no other name
than tree-goose; which place aforesaid, and all those places adjoining,
do so much abound therewith, that one of the best is bought for
three-pence. For the truth hereof, if any doubt, may it please them to
repair to me, and I will satisfy them by the testimonies of good

Now the whole substance of this wondrous narrative is simply
this:--There is a species of goose called barnacle, and there is a
species of cirripedous animal or shell-fish bearing the same name. The
latter animal is furnished with certain filamentary organs which may be
imagined to bear a semblance to feathers; and hence the conclusion that
it must be a bird in the progress of development, which is finally
converted into a goose. A refutation of the inference here made does not
require the acuteness of an Aristotle. Gerard saw the shells, no doubt,
but the rest he dreamt; and the good people beside the Castle of
Pitsligo may have seen a flock of geese, but what else they saw nobody
cares. But let us now hear Sir Hans.


     "London, March 9, 169-8/9.

     "SIR,--This day a large tyger was baited by three bear-dogs,
     one after another. The first dog he kill'd; the second was a
     match for him, and sometimes he had the better, sometimes
     the dog; but the battle was at last drawn, and neither car'd
     for engaging any farther. The third dog had likewise
     sometimes the better, and sometimes the worse of it; and it
     came also to a drawn battle. But the wisest dog of all was a
     fourth, that neither by fair means nor foul could be brought
     to go within reach of the tyger, who was chain'd in the
     middle of a large cock-pit. The owner got about £300 for
     this show, the best seats being a guinea, and the worst five
     shillings. The tyger used his paws very much to cuff his
     adversaries with, and sometimes would exert his claws, but
     not often; using his jaws most, and aiming at under or upper
     sides of the neck, where wounds are dangerous. He had a fowl
     given him alive, which, by means of his feet and mouth, he
     very artfully first pluck'd, and then eat, the feathers,
     such as got into his mouth, being troublesome. The
     remainders of his drink, in which he has lapp'd, is said by
     his keeper to kill dogs and other animals that drink after
     him, being, by his fome, made poisonous and ropy. I hope you
     will pardon this tedious narration, because I am apt to
     think 'tis very rare that such a battle happens, or such a
     fine tyger is seen here."

Ray had many other correspondents besides those of whom mention has been
made. Their communications, however, seem neither very interesting in
themselves, nor so closely connected with our narrative as to render it
necessary to introduce any extracts. But, as we have given some samples
of his friends' letters, it may be thought right to present one of his


     "Black Notley, Dec. 15, --98.

     "SIR,--The essay you propound concerning the ancient and
     modern learning were not difficult to make; but I think you
     are better qualified for such an undertaking than I, and
     therefore shall refer it to you. In summe the ancients excel
     the moderns in nothing but acuteness of wit and elegancy of
     language in all their writings, in their poetry and oratory.
     As for painting and sculpture, and musick and architecture,
     some of the moderns I think do equal, if not excel, the best
     of them, not in the theory only, but also in the practice of
     those arts: Neither do we give place to them in politicks or
     morality; but in natural history and experimental philosophy
     we far transcend them. In the purely mathematical sciences,
     abstracted from matter, as geometry and arithmetick, we may
     vie with them, as also in history; but in astronomy,
     geography, and chronology, we excel them much. No wonder
     they should outstrip us in those arts which are conversant
     in polishing and adorning their language, because they
     bestowed all their time and pains in cultivating of them,
     and had but one, and that their native tongue, to mind. But
     those arts are by wise men censured, as far inferior to the
     study of things, words being but the pictures of things; and
     to be wholly occupied about them, is to fall in love with a
     picture, and neglect the life; and oratory, which is the
     best of these arts, is but a kind of voluptuary one, like
     cookery, which sophisticates meats, and cheats the palate,
     spoiling wholsome viands, and helping unwholsome."

Before resuming our narrative it may be proper to state some particulars
respecting the celebrated founder of the British Museum, to whom there
has been more than one occasion of alluding in the preceding pages. Sir
Hans Sloane was born at Killileagh in Ireland on the 16th April 1660.
His father was a Scotchman, who headed a colony which, in the reign of
James I., was planted in the northern part of the sister isle. Having at
an early age evinced a decided taste for natural history, he chose the
profession of medicine, and after studying four years in London, where
he became acquainted with Boyle and Ray, went to Paris, and afterwards
to Montpellier, in which latter place he took his degree. At the age of
twenty-four he settled in London, and became a Member of the Royal
Society. In April 1687, he was made a Fellow of the College of
Physicians, and in November following embarked for Jamaica as physician
to the Duke of Albemarle, who was appointed governor of the island; but
that nobleman having died soon after his arrival, Dr Sloane returned to
England after an absence of only fifteen months. In 1693, he was made
secretary to the Royal Society, and in the ensuing year named physician
to Christ's Hospital; in 1701, he obtained a medical diploma from
Oxford, and, in 1708, was elected an Associate of the Academy of
Sciences at Paris. In 1716, he was created a baronet by George I., an
honour which no medical man had previously obtained, and afterwards was
raised to the rank of physician-general to the army. On the accession of
George II. he was made physician in ordinary to his Majesty; and on the
death of Sir Isaac Newton, in 1727, succeeded that illustrious
philosopher in the chair of the Royal Society, which he occupied till
1740, when his advanced age induced him to resign it. He died at Chelsea
on the 11th January 1752.

Sir Hans Sloane was a man of the most respectable character, being
distinguished not less for his liberality and patriotic zeal, than by
his attainments in science. The most important of his works is the
Natural History of Jamaica, of which the first volume appeared in 1707,
the second not till 1725. He was a governor of most of the hospitals of
the metropolis, to which he left considerable sums. He set on foot the
scheme of a dispensary for the poor; gave the Apothecaries' Company a
piece of ground for a botanic garden; and on many occasions exerted
himself effectually for the public benefit. Such a man is undoubtedly
worthy of more honour and admiration than the mere author, who, it may
be from the most selfish motives, labours in solitude to enlighten the
world and illustrate himself: "The good that men do too often dies with
them," and as books are legacies of which the benefit is more extended
than that of individual acts of generosity or patriotism, people are
ever ready to laud an author, even although they may not clearly see
wherein his merit lies; while the truly good, whose lives are a
continued scene of beneficence, have but a slight hold on the admiration
of posterity. The share which Sir Hans Sloane had in the establishment
of the British Museum is the circumstance on which his reputation seems
now chiefly to depend. Having made an extensive museum of natural
history, medals, books, and manuscripts, he bequeathed it to the public,
on condition that £20,000 should be paid to his executors,--a sum far
from equal to the value of the collection. In 1753, an act was passed by
the legislature for purchasing it and the Harleian manuscripts, as well
as for procuring a general repository for their better reception and
more convenient use, the Cottonian library included. In this manner
commenced the British Museum, which, by the numerous and extensive
additions made to it, has become worthy of the greatest empire of modern
times; although, in the department of natural history, it is admitted to
be still much inferior to the National Museum of France, and, in several
branches of zoology, to be surpassed by many collections in Britain.

Mr Ray, who had now betaken himself to a more sedentary and studious
mode of life, began to suffer severely in his health. His Catalogue of
English Plants having become scarce, he was solicited by some friends to
improve it for a third edition, which he accordingly did; but a
difference arising between him and the booksellers, to whom the
copyright belonged, he forthwith resolved to publish it in another form.
In the mean time, however, to satisfy his friends, he printed his
Fasciculus Stirpium Britannicarum, as a substitute for the Catalogue. In
1690, appeared the Synopsis Methodica Stirpium Britannicarum, which may
be considered as the most important work on British plants that has been
hitherto written, with the exception of Sir James Smith's English
Botany, and its continuation by Dr Hooker. It was farther augmented by
him, and reprinted in 1696, together with a description of the
Cryptogamic plants, which had hitherto received little attention.

Having thus published many important works on natural history, he
resolved to compose another in which he should unite that science with
his proper profession of divinity, and accordingly commenced his
Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of the Deity,--a performance
on which his popular fame now principally rests. When finished he
transmitted it, in March 1690, to his friend Dr Tancred Robinson, who
disposed of it agreeably to his directions; so that it made its
appearance in the following year. One of his reasons for writing this
admirable treatise he expresses in the following words:--"By virtue of
my function I suspect myself to be obliged to write something in
divinity, having written so much on other subjects; for being not
permitted to serve the church with my tongue in preaching, I know not
but it may be my duty to serve it with my hand by writing; and I have
made choice of this subject, as thinking myself best qualified to treat
of it. If what I have now written," he continues, "shall find so
favourable acceptance as to encourage me to proceed, God granting life
and health, the reader may expect more; if otherwise, I must be content
to be laid aside as useless, and satisfy myself in having made this

The objects of this work, which is entitled The Wisdom of God manifested
in the Works of the Creation, were, _1st_, To demonstrate the existence
of a Deity; _2dly_, To illustrate some of his principal attributes;
_3dly_, "To stir up and increase in us the affections and habits of
admiration, humility, and gratitude." Like many excellent theological
treatises of former times, it is now less frequently read than it
deserves to be. Happily, however, we have volumes of more recent date,
which inculcate the same principles, with perhaps more accuracy of
detail in all that relates to science. From a passage in it we learn
what was his conception of the true character of a naturalist: "Let it
not suffice us," says he, "to be book-learned, to read what others have
written, and to take upon trust more falsehood than truth. But let us
ourselves examine things as we have opportunity, and converse with
nature as well as books. Let us endeavour to promote and increase this
knowledge, and make new discoveries, not so much distrusting our own
parts, or despairing of our own abilities, as to think that our industry
can add nothing to the invention of our ancestors, or correct any of
their mistakes. Let us not think that the bounds of science are fixed
like Hercules' pillars, and inscribed with a _ne plus ultra_. Let us not
think we have done when we have learnt what they have delivered to us.
The treasures of nature are inexhaustible. Here is employment enough for
the vastest parts, the most indefatigable industries, the happiest
opportunities, the most prolix and undisturbed vacancies."

As a specimen of the author's manner and reasoning, we may present a
passage in which he refutes the opinion of Descartes, that it were an
absurd and childish thing, and a resembling of God to a proud man, to
assert, that he had made the world, and all the creatures in it, for his
own honour. "It is most reasonable that God Almighty should intend his
own glory: For he being infinite in all excellencies and perfections,
and independent upon any other being, nothing can be said or thought of
him too great, and which he may not justly challenge as his due; nay, he
cannot think too highly of himself, his other attributes being adequate
to his understanding; so that, though his understanding be infinite, yet
he understands no more than his power can effect, because that is
infinite also. And, therefore, it is fit and reasonable, that he should
own and accept the creatures' acknowledgments and celebrations of those
virtues and perfections, which he hath not received of any other, but
possesseth eternally and originally of himself. And, indeed (with
reverence be it spoken), what else can we imagine the ever-blessed Deity
to delight and take complacency in for ever, but his own infinite
excellencies and perfections, and the manifestations and effects of
them, the works of the creation, and the sacrifices of praise and thanks
offered up by such of his creatures as are capable of considering those
works, and discerning the traces and footsteps of his power and wisdom
appearing in the formation of them; and, moreover, whose bounden duty it
is so to do. The reason why man ought not to admire himself, or seek his
own glory, is, because he is a dependent creature, and hath nothing but
what he hath received; and not only dependent, but imperfect; yea, weak
and impotent: And yet I do not take humility in man to consist in
disowning or denying any gift or ability that is in him, but in a just
valuation of such gifts and endowments, yet rather thinking too meanly
than too highly of them; because human nature is so apt to err in
running into the other extreme, to flatter itself, and to accept those
praises that are not due to it; pride being an elation of spirit upon
false grounds, or a desire and acceptance of undue honour. Otherwise, I
do not see why a man may not admit, and accept the testimonies of
others, concerning any perfection, accomplishment, or skill, that he is
really possessed of; yet can he not think of himself to deserve any
praise or honour for it, because both the power and the habit are the
gift of God: And considering that one virtue is counterbalanced by many
vices, and one skill or perfection with much ignorance and infirmity."

This book obtaining general approbation, the impression, which consisted
of 500 copies, was quickly sold off. A new edition was therefore
published, and several others succeeded. Encouraged by this success, he
prepared for the press his Three Physico-theological Discourses,
concerning the Chaos, Deluge, and Dissolution of the World, the
substance of which had been embodied in some sermons which he preached
before the university. This work has also gone through several editions.
In the opinion of the illustrious Cuvier, it affords "a system of
geology as plausible as any of those which had appeared at this period,
or for a long time afterwards;" and if it contain facts and arguments
which are not now admitted as accurate or conclusive, this, with our
experience of like defects in other theories, should teach us to
moderate our zeal in defending any hypothesis elicited from the partial
examination of that complex system, which, being the work of infinite
power and wisdom, cannot be thoroughly understood by minds constituted
like ours.

In one of these works is an estimate of the number of animals and plants
known in Ray's time, to which it is of importance that we should advert,
as it furnishes an interesting fact in the history of science. According
to the author's classification, animate bodies are divided into four
orders, "beasts, birds, fishes, and insects." The number of _beasts_,
including also _serpents_, that had been accurately described, he
estimates at not above 150, adding that, according to his belief, "not
many, that are of any considerable bigness, in the known regions of the
world, have escaped the cognizance of the curious." At the present day,
more than 1000 species have been described. The number of _birds_, he
says, "may be near 500; and the number of _fishes_, secluding
shell-fish, as many: but, if the _shell-fish_ be taken in, more than six
times the number." As to the species remaining undiscovered, he supposes
"the whole sum of beasts and birds to exceed by a third part, and fishes
by one-half, those known." The number of _insects_, that is, of animals
not included in the above classes, he estimates at 2000 in Britain
alone, and 20,000 in the whole world. The number of _plants_ described
in Bauhin's Pinax was 6000, and our author supposes, that "there are in
the world more than triple that number; there being in the vast
continent of America as great a variety of species as with us, and yet
but few common to Europe, or perhaps Africk and Asia. And if," says he,
"on the other side the equator, there be much land still remaining
undiscovered, as probably there may, we must suppose the number of
plants to be far greater."--"What," he continues, "can we infer from all
this? If the number of creatures be so exceeding great, how great, nay
immense, must needs be the power and wisdom of Him who formed them all!"

Early in 1692, the Synopsis Methodica Animalium Quadrupedum et
Serpentini Generis was finished, and published the year after. Important
as were the botanical writings of Ray, his zoological works have had a
more decided influence on the advancement of natural history. "Their
peculiar character," says Cuvier, "consists in clearer and stricter
methods than those of any of his predecessors, and applied with more
constancy and precision. The divisions which he has introduced into the
classes of quadrupeds and birds have been followed by the English
naturalists almost to our own day; and we find very evident traces of
his system of birds in Linnæus, Brisson, Buffon, and all the authors who
have treated of that class of animals." In the Synopsis of Four-footed
animals and Serpents, he commences with an interesting discussion
respecting the nature and faculties of animals. The definition, however,
on which he proceeds is scarcely correct, or at least sufficiently
distinctive:--"An animal is an animated body, endowed with sense and
spontaneous motion, or rather with the faculty of feeling and moving,
although it may not change place." In treating of the generation of the
lower species, he discusses the subject of spontaneous or equivocal
origin, the idea of which he refutes, and endeavours to prove that all
animals were created at one time. The division of them into viviparous
and oviparous he rejects, alleging, that all are in one sense or other
oviparous. The most suitable primary division, he says, is into
_blooded_ and _bloodless_, or, as we should say, red-blooded and
white-blooded. The former may be divided into those which respire by
_lungs_, and those which respire by _gills_. The first of these are
again divided into such as have two ventricles to the heart, and such as
have only one. Animals with two ventricles are viviparous, as
_Quadrupeds_ and _Cetacea_, or oviparous, as _Birds_. Those having a
heart furnished with a single ventricle, are the _Oviparous Quadrupeds_,
and serpents. Animals that respire by gills are the true _Fishes_, not
including whales. The _white_-blooded animals are divided into the
larger and the smaller. The former, he says, are suitably divided by
Aristotle into three kinds or orders: 1. _Mollusca_; 2. _Crustacea_; 3.
_Testacea_. The smaller white-blooded animals are the _Insects_. The
following table exhibits a summary of this classification, which is
essentially that of Aristotle:--

    _Red-blooded Animals._

    Respiring by lungs, and having a heart furnished with two
    ventricles, viviparous, and aquatic,  CETACIA.

    Terrestrial,                          QUADRUPEDS.

    Oviparous,                            BIRDS.

    Those having a heart with
     a single ventricle,                  OVIPAROUS QUADRUPEDS AND SERPENTS.

    Respiring by gills,                   FISHES.

    _White-blooded Animals._

                                        { MALACIA or MOLLUSCA.
    Of large size,                      { MALACOSTRACA or CRUSTACEA.
                                        { OSTRACODERMA or TESTACEA.

    Of small size,                        INSECTS.

Characterizing the different groups by circumstances connected with
their organization, he arranges quadrupeds into those which have
undivided hoofs, as the _horse_; those having cleft hoofs, of which some
are ruminant, others not. Of the former, some have permanent concave
horns, as _oxen_, _sheep_, _goats_; others have solid deciduous horns,
as _deer_. The cloven-footed animals which do not ruminate are the _hog_
family. The rhinoceros, hippopotamus, tapir, and musk, he classes as
anomalous. Of the unguiculate animals, some are ruminant, with two claws
only, as the _camel_; others are carnivorous, with more numerous claws,
as _cats_, _dogs_, _polecats_. Some again are herbivorous, with two long
front teeth, as _hares_; and others are toothless, as the _anteater_.
Other animals of this kind are furnished with wings, and have a short
muzzle, as the _bats_; while some are without wings, as the sloth.
_Tortoises_, _lizards_, and _serpents_, bring up the rear.

After this work had been published, he completed a Synopsis of Birds and
Fishes, which was sent to Dr Robinson to be printed; but the booksellers
who had the copyright neglected it, so that it did not appear until
after the author's death, when it was enlarged and edited by Derham in

Having finished these synopses, Mr Ray considered his labours at an
end,--a consummation which gave him the more joy, because he had for
several years suffered severely in his health. But soon after, he was
induced to add to an English translation of Rauwolf's Travels "three
Catalogues of such trees, shrubs, and herbs, as grow in the Levant." His
next publication was the Catologus Stirpium in Exteris Regionibus
Observatarum, consisting of species not growing spontaneously, or at
least very rarely seen, in Britain. Having taken occasion in this work
to criticize the method of Rivinus, this circumstance gave rise to some
literary altercation, the result of which was a more careful revisal of
his system, and a republication of his Methodus Plantarum Nova. At this
period he was so tormented by a continual diarrhoea and painful ulcers
in his legs, which kept him sleepless for whole nights, that he could
not walk into the fields, much less visit the botanic gardens, where he
might have found materials for his work.

His booksellers being unwilling to incur the pecuniary hazard attending
this work, it was transmitted by Mr Ray to his friend Dr Hotton,
professor of botany at Leyden, who got it printed in 1703. The Dutch
publishers inserted in the titlepage that it was printed at London for
Smith and Walford, the persons who usually took charge of his books; and
although the author objected to this proceeding they disregarded his
wishes, alleging, that "it was customary among the printers to say what
they thought would be for their interest in such cases." This production
was very favourably received on the Continent, and Hotton used it as his

In a letter to Dr Derham, written in May 1702, he thus describes his
condition:--"It is not many years since I applied myself to the
observation and search of insects, in order to compose an history of
them; but now I am wholly taken off from that study, by the afflictive
pains I almost constantly labour under, by reason of ulcers upon my
legs, I having not been half a mile out of my house these four years;
and though I have made use of many means, and have had the advice of
some of the most skilful surgeons and physicians, yet without success,
growing yearly worse and worse. Besides, I have been very much haunted
with a troublesome diarrhoea, frequently recurring; so that you may
well think I can have but little heart to mind natural history: But I am
yet so far engaged, that I cannot shake it off. I have now just ready to
go under the press a third volume of the History of Plants, being a
supplement to the two former volumes, which hath engrossed almost my
whole time for two whole years. Besides, I have a little book now
printing at Leyden, in Holland, entitled Methodus Plantarum emendata et

We now approach the termination of the career of this truly great man,
who was distinguished not less for his fervent piety than for his
extensive knowledge and unwearied application. The last letter which he
wrote was to Sir Hans Sloane, and is as follows:--

     "DEAR SIR,--The best of friends. These are to take a final
     leave of you as to this world. I look upon myself as a dying
     man. God requite your kindness expressed any ways towards me
     an hundred-fold,--bless you with a confluence of all good
     things in this world, and eternal life and happiness
     hereafter,--grant us an happy meeting in heaven. I am, Sir,
     eternally yours,

     JOHN RAY.

     "Black Notley, Jan. 7, 1704."

There is a passage in The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of
Creation, which exhibits his ideas of a future state, and which it would
be instructive to compare with the maniacal effusions of infidela and
scoffers: "It is not likely that eternal life shall be a torpid and
inactive state, or that it shall consist only in an uninterrupted and
endless act of love; the other faculties shall be employed, as well as
the will, in actions suitable to, and perfective of, their
natures,--especially the understanding, the supreme faculty of the soul,
which chiefly differenceth from brute beasts, and makes us capable of
virtue and vice, of rewards and punishments, shall be busied and
employed in contemplating the works of God, and observing the divine art
and wisdom manifested in the structure and composition of them; and
reflecting upon their great Architect the praise and glory due to him.
Then shall we clearly see, to our great satisfaction and admiration, the
ends and uses of these things which here were either too subtle for us
to penetrate and discover, or too remote and unaccessible for us to come
to any distinct view of, viz. the planets and fixed stars, those
illustrious bodies, whose contents and inhabitants, whose stores and
furniture, we have here so longing a desire to know, as also their
mutual subserviency to each other. Now the mind of man being not capable
at once to advert to more than one thing, a particular view and
examination of such an innumerable number of vast bodies, and the great
multitude of species, both of animate and inanimate beings, which each
of them contains, will afford matter enough to exercise and employ our
minds, I do not say to all eternity, but to many ages, should we do
nothing else.

"Let us, then, consider the works of God, and observe the operations of
his hands. Let us take notice of, and admire his infinite wisdom and
goodness in the formation of them. No creature in this sublunary world
is capable of so doing beside man, and yet we are deficient herein. We
content ourselves with the knowledge of the tongues, or a little skill
in philology, or history perhaps, and antiquity, and neglect that which
to me seems more material, I mean natural history and the works of the
creation. I do not discommend or derogate from those other studies; I
should betray mine own ignorance and weakness should I do so; I only
wish they might not altogether justle out and exclude this. I wish that
this might be brought in fashion among us. I wish men would be so equal
and civil, as not to disparage, deride, and vilifie those studies which
themselves skill not of, or are not conversant in; no knowledge can be
more pleasant than this,--none that doth so satisfie and feed the soul;
in comparison whereto that of words and phrases seems to me insipid and
jejune. That learning (saith a wise and observant prelate) which
consists only in the form and pedagogy of arts, or the critical notions
upon words and phrases, hath in it this intrinsical imperfection, that
it is only so far to be esteemed as it conduceth to the knowledge of
things, being in itself but a kind of pedantry, apt to infect a man with
such odd humours of pride, and affectation, and curiosity, as will
render him unfit for any great employment."

We do not find any particular account of his last years, nor of his
family relations and circumstances, further than that he had three
daughters, and lived contentedly on very humble means; being constantly
occupied, when his health permitted, in studying the works of God, and
communicating the results of his observations to the world. We are not
aware of a single stain on his character, and are proud to point to him
as a naturalist of undoubted and acknowledged powers, who "walked humbly
with his God," and furnishes the best practical refutation of the lying
assertion advanced by certain philosophers of the "grand nation," that
men eminent for piety are either fools or knaves. As he had lived, so he
desired to die "in the communion of the Catholick Church of Christ, and
a true though unworthy son of the church by law established in this
kingdom," of which he considered "the doctrine pure, and the worship
decent, and agreeable to the Word of God." After making this
declaration, he desired the Rev. Mr Pyke, rector of Black Notley, to
read to him the prayers of the church appointed to be used in the
visitation of the sick; and, in particular, the absolution. He then
received the sacrament, "which, as it is men's duty often to receive in
the time of health, so, at the hour of death," he said, "it was a
necessary _viaticum_ he thought for the great journey he was now

He died in his own house, at Black Notley, on the 17th January 1705,
having reached the seventy-seventh year of his age, and was buried,
according to his own desire, in the church of that parish. The authors
of the Biographia Britannica, however, assert that he declined the offer
made by the rector, of a place in the chancel, choosing rather to repose
with his ancestors in the churchyard. A monument was erected to him at
the expense of some of his friends, with an elegant Latin epitaph,
descriptive of his character, composed by the Rev. William Coyte, M. A.
In 1737, this monument, having fallen into decay, was restored at the
charge of Dr Legge, and removed into the church. Forty-five years after,
it was repaired by Sir Thomas Gery Cullum and others, who subjoined an
additional inscription.

According to his biographer, Dr Derham, he "was a man of excellent
natural parts, and had a singular vivacity in his style, whether he
wrote in English or Latin. In a word, in his dealings, no man more
strictly just; in his conversation, no man more humble, courteous, and
affable. Towards God, no man more devout; and towards the poor and
distressed, no man more compassionate and charitable, according to his
abilities." His merits have been duly appreciated, both by foreigners
and his own countrymen; and although, in the last century, they seemed
in danger of falling into oblivion, amid the blaze of the numerous
discoveries and improvements then made, they are, at the present day,
brought more prominently into view, when men have begun to compare
systems, and to shake off the influence of party-spirit. An interesting
commemoration of him was made in London on the 29th November 1828. A
genus of plants was dedicated to his memory by Plumier, under the name
of _Jan Raia_, which Linnæus changed into _Rajania_, and Smith into
_Raiana_. _Raia_ would have been more appropriate; but unfortunately it
was previously occupied by the skate, and therefore could not be
allotted to him of whom Sir James Smith says, that he was "the most
accurate in observation,--the most philosophical in contemplation,--and
the most faithful in description, amongst all the botanists of his own,
or perhaps any other time." Several species of fishes, however, are
named after him, in consequence of his having been the first who made
mention of them.

"Mr Ray," says Dr Pulteney, in his Sketches of the Progress of Botany,
"had the singular happiness of devoting fifty years of his life to the
cultivation of the sciences he loved. Incited by the most ardent genius,
which overcame innumerable difficulties and discouragements, his labours
were, in the end, crowned with a success before almost unequalled. He
totally reformed the studies of botany and zoology; he raised them to
the dignity of a science, and placed them in an advantageous point of
view; and, by his own investigations, added more real improvement to
them in England than any of his predecessors. The extent of his
improvements in science procured him the admiration of his
contemporaries, and have justly transmitted his name to posterity, among
those who have done honour to their age and country."

We have now only to present a catalogue of his more important works:--

     1. Historia Plantarum Generalis, species hactenus editas
     aliasque insuper multas noviter inventas et descriptas
     complectens. Two vols folio. The first was published in
     1686; the second, in 1687; and the third, in 1704.

     2. Synopsis Methodica Stirpium Britannicarum. The first
     edition was published in 1690. The second, considerably
     enlarged, appeared in 1696. The third, printed in 1724, was
     edited by the celebrated Dillenius. This edition is the one
     in general use, and is that referred to by Linnæus, Hudson,
     Smith, and other botanists. The Synopsis was illustrated by
     Petiver with a set of seventy-two folio plates, having
     twelve figures in each.

     3. Synopsis Methodica Animalium Quadrupedum et Serpentini
     Generis. 8vo, London, 1693.

     4. Synopsis Methodica Avium et Piscium. 8vo, London, 1713. A
     posthumous work, edited by Dr Derham.

     5. Historia Insectorum. 4to, London. Printed at the expense
     of the Royal Society in 1710.

     6. The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the
     Creation, in two parts. London, 1691. There are many

     7. Three Physico-Theological Discourses concerning the
     Chaos, Deluge, and Dissolution of the World.

     8. Observations, Topographical, Moral, and Physiological,
     made in a Journey through Part of the Low Countries, &c.
     London, 1673. A second edition in 1738.

     To these may be added,

     9. Francisci Willughbeii Ornithologiæ, Libri tres, with
     plates. Folio, London, 1676. There is also an edition in
     English, with three discourses, viz. Of the Art of Fowling,
     Of the Ordering of Singing Birds, and Of Falconry. London,

     10. Francisci Willughbeii Historia Piscium, Libri quatuor,
     with plates. Folio, Oxford, 1686.

When this pious writer died, his papers were intrusted to his friend Dr
Derham, who, having arranged and selected such as seemed of most
importance, published a part of them in 1718, under the name of
Philosophical Letters between the late learned Mr Ray and several of his
ingenious Correspondents, natives and foreigners, to which are added
those of Francis Willughby, Esq. The same person, as has been already
mentioned, also edited the Synopsis of Birds and Fishes, and prepared
for publication his posthumous work on Insects. He moreover got ready
for the press his Travels in England, Wales, and Scotland, to which he
intended to prefix an account of the author; but, although the life was
written, the book did not make its appearance until a later period,
when, as has been noted above, it came forth under the direction of Mr
George Scott, bearing the title of the Select Remains of the learned
John Ray.

The principal authorities for his life and writings are, the Select
Remains just mentioned; Dr Pulteney's Sketches of the Progress of
Botany; the article Ray, in Rees' Cyclopædia, by Sir James Edward Smith;
and that by Cuvier and Du Petit-Thouars, in the Biographie Universelle.
In the two latter, his botanical and zoological labours are carefully
recorded; and from the former we learn, in conclusion, that "his
handwriting was peculiarly fair and elegant;" which has been the case
with few of the more distinguished naturalists. His portraits are not
numerous, but there is one in oil, taken at an advanced period of his
life, remaining in the British Museum; a miniature, in the possession of
Dr John Sims, having been engraved in the first volume of the Annals of
Botany, published in 1805; and two prints, the one by Elder, the other
by Vertue, from a picture by Faithorne, being prefixed to the third
edition of the Synopsis, and to the Historia Plantarum. We may add that,
in the fifteenth number of the Gallery of Portraits, published under the
Superintendence of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, is
a beautiful engraving by Meyer of the painting in the British Museum.

In the likeness of Ray the phrenologist will look in vain for
indications of those intellectual faculties which are displayed in his
writings. The forehead is contracted in all its dimensions; so as to
form a direct contrast to that of Cuvier, another naturalist of equal
industry and zeal, but perhaps of not more comprehensive mind.


[I] Biographic Universelle, art. Ray, tome xxxvii. p. 161.


_Account of the Life and Writings of Reaumur._

     Birth and Education of Reaumur--He settles at Paris, where
     he is introduced to the Scientific World by the President
     Henault, and becomes a Member of the Academy of
     Sciences--His Labours for the Improvement of the Arts--His
     Works on Natural History, of which the Memoirs on Insects
     are the most important--His Occupations and Mode of Life.

René Antoine Ferchault de Reaumur, one of the most ingenious naturalists
whom France has produced, was born at Rochelle in 1683. He commenced his
studies in his native place, continued them at Poitiers under the
Jesuits, and finished his professional course at Bourges; but feeling
less inclined to the practice of law than to the investigations of
natural science, he resolved to devote himself entirely to the latter.
In this respect he was the more justified in following his inclination,
that he possessed a fortune sufficient to support him without engaging
in any occupation merely to procure the means of subsistence. He began
to prepare for his new pursuits by studying mathematics, and when he
thought his proficiency such as to qualify him to make a respectable
figure among the naturalists and philosophers of the capital, he removed
thither in the year 1703.

The President Henault, who held a distinguished station among the
literati of Paris, and who was his relative, introduced him to the
scientific world. In 1708, when only twenty-four years of age, he
presented some geometrical memoirs to the Academy of Sciences, who were
so much pleased with his performance as to admit him into their
society,--an honour which he enjoyed nearly fifty years. His exertions
were directed successively to the improvement of the arts, to natural
philosophy, and to natural history. From his entrance into the academy
he scarcely allowed a year to pass without publishing some work of
importance. Soon after his admission he was appointed to assist in
drawing up a description of certain arts and trades; but not confining
himself to a simple elucidation, he endeavoured also to improve them, by
applying the principles of physics and chemistry. On the other hand, by
observing the ingenious combinations employed in some of the arts, he
had frequent opportunities of adding to his knowledge of the phenomena
of nature.

In his inquiries into the business of ropemaking, for example, he proved
by conclusive experiments that, contrary to the common opinion, twisting
impairs the strength of ropes. Again, while describing the labours of
the goldbeater, he took occasion to show the prodigious ductility
possessed by certain substances. But, more especially, when examining
the processes by which artificial pearls are coloured, he discovered the
singular matter which gives lustre to the scales of fishes, and even
explained the formation and growth of those scales. The colouring
principle in glass pearls is obtained from the bleak (_Cyprinus
alburnus_), an inhabitant of fresh water, and about six inches in
length. This silvery ingredient is procured by macerating its scales in
water, and is then mixed with a little isinglass. The small globes which
are to represent pearls are first furnished with an internal coating of
the solution, and then filled with melted wax to give them suitable
weight. The pearly matter occurs also in the membrane which envelopes
the stomach and intestines, and is supposed by Reaumur to be produced in
the latter, from which it is conveyed by the blood-vessels to the
scales. He likewise made inquiries into the formation and growth of
shells, which he proved to be developed by accessions to their outer
edge. He is even said to have examined the structure of pearls, with the
view of forcing the shell-fish to produce them. When describing the
turquoise-mines of the south of France, and the means adopted to make
the mineral assume a blue colour, he discovered that these alleged
stones were the teeth of a large animal, which is now known under the
name of the mastodon.

His most important labours, however, with reference to the arts, were
his researches respecting iron and steel, which he published in 1722, in
a separate work under the title of Traité sur l'art de convertir le fer
en acier, et d'adoucir le fer fondu. At this period all the steel that
was used in France was imported, none having previously been made in
that country; and one may imagine how numerous and patient were the
trials made by Reaumur before he succeeded in his object. The Duke of
Orleans rewarded him for this valuable discovery, by bestowing on him a
pension of 12,000 livres. In like manner, he found out the method of
manufacturing tin-plate or whiteiron, which until then had been brought
from Germany. In his various experiments, he had frequent occasion to
observe that melted metals assume regular forms on cooling, and he
accordingly gave an account of the crystallizations which they present.
The manufacture of porcelain also engaged his attention, and received
considerable improvements from him, although he did not succeed in
perfecting it. In 1739, he made known a method which he had discovered
of giving a whiteness and opacity to glass, which causes it to assume
the appearance of chinaware. He was also the first who tried in France
the expedient practised by the Egyptians for hatching eggs,--a subject
which, being of a nature suited to popular apprehension, procured for
him at least as much estimation as all his other researches.

In Great Britain his fame seems to rest almost entirely on his peculiar
scheme of graduating the thermometer. He chose the extreme points of the
freezing and boiling of water, which, under similar circumstances, are
always fixed and unvarying. The interval between these points he divided
into eighty degrees, upon the principle that spirit of wine, in a
certain state of rectification, expands 80,000 parts. In his experiments
on this subject he arrived at some valuable conclusions, in regard to
the varieties in their volume and temperature which are exhibited by
particular fluids when combined, as well as on frigorific mixtures. He
also carefully collected the observations on heat made in different
places by means of his thermometer.

The importance and utility of these researches are unquestionable, and
yet there is even more of novelty and interest in those which he made in
natural history. For instance, he explained the means by which many
shells, sea-stars, and other mollusca or zoophytes, execute their
progressive motion. He likewise illustrated the curious manner in which
the claws of crabs and lobsters are reproduced. He also threw a new
light on the singular action of the torpedo, and the organ by means of
which it is exercised, although the phenomena of electricity were not
then sufficiently understood to enable him to perceive all the relations
of his subject. In 1718, he published a memoir on the rivers of France,
which contain grains of gold in their sands, and soon after described
the immense beds of fossil shells known in Touraine under the name of
_falun_. In 1723, he made observations on the lustre emitted by several
kinds of shell-fish, especially the pholades, which perforate wood and

Physiology is indebted to him for the ingenious and decisive experiments
which, in 1752, made known the difference that exists, with respect to
digestion, between birds of prey, whose stomach acts on their food only
by means of a solvent fluid, and granivorous birds, in which a very
powerful muscular gizzard exercises a pressure sufficient to break down
the hardest bodies and reduce them to powder.

These labours might well have sufficed for a single life; but the most
remarkable undertaking of Reaumur has not yet been mentioned. It is
entitled Memoires pour servir à l'Histoire des Insectes, and extends to
six quarto volumes, which were published between 1734 and 1742. This
work occupied many years, and was the result of numerous observations
made principally in his own garden, where he kept insects of all kinds,
for the purpose of examining their habits, changes, and generation. It
is, however, incomplete,--the locusts and grashoppers, as well as the
whole tribe of coleoptera, having been intended for subsequent volumes,
which never appeared.

In regard to these Memoires, he remarks, that although he has
endeavoured to give them some degree of connexion, they might for the
most part be considered as independent of each other; and that his
object was not to present a systematic description of insects, but to
furnish materials for the use of future naturalists. It is therefore
improper to say, that he wrote his work with an entire contempt of
method; and certainly the notices which he collected must have required
more time and talent than the mere arrangement of insects according to
characters derived from their external form. "The number of observations
necessary for a tolerably complete history of so many minute animals,"
he says, "is prodigious. When one reflects on all that an accomplished
botanist ought to know, it is enough to frighten him. His memory is
loaded with the names of twelve or thirteen thousand plants, and he is
expected to be able to recall on occasion the image of any one of them.
There is perhaps none of these plants that has not insects peculiar to
itself; and some trees, such as the oak, give sustenance to several
hundreds of different species. And, after all, how many are there that
do not live on plants! How many species that devour others! How many
that live at the expense of larger animals, on which they feed
continually! How many species are there, some of which pass the greater
part of their time in water, while others pass it entirely there! The
immensity of Nature's works is nowhere more apparent than in the
prodigious multiplicity of these species of little animals." He then
proceeds to remark, that, as it is impossible for one man to acquire a
knowledge of all the insects of even a limited district, and as
thousands of minute insects must for ever remain unknown to us, instead
of burdening our memory with the characteristic distinctions of these
creatures, and thus preventing ourselves from attending to matters of
more importance, it would be sufficient for us to know the principal
genera, and especially those that are of most frequent occurrence, and
to make ourselves acquainted with their peculiarities, their food, their
propagation, the different forms which they assume in the course of
their life, and such like circumstances. He avows that he had no great
regard for a precise enumeration of the species of each genus; holding
it enough to distinguish the more remarkable.

"Although," he continues, "we would greatly restrict the limits of the
study, there are persons who will think them still too wide; there are
even some who consider all knowledge of this part of natural history as
useless, and who unhesitatingly pronounce it a frivolous amusement. We
are equally willing that these pursuits should be regarded as
amusements, that is, as studies which, so far from being troublesome,
afford pleasure to the person who engages in them. They do more,--they
necessarily raise the mind to admire the Author of so many wonders.
Ought we to be ashamed of ranking among our occupations observations and
researches, of which the object is an acquaintance with the works on
which the Supreme Being has displayed a boundless wisdom, and varied to
such a degree? Natural history is the history of his works; nor is there
any demonstration of his existence more intelligible to all men than
that which it furnishes."

The two first volumes treat of caterpillars, their forms and habits,
their metamorphoses into butterflies, and the insects which attack them,
or which live within their bodies. The third speaks of the small
creatures named moths, which exist in the interior of the substances
which they devour, or form of them coverings for their protection. It
also contains the history of the aphides, a very numerous race of small
insects, which suck the juices of trees and plants, live in society, and
are often productive of great damage. These animalcules are especially
remarkable for their mode of generation; it having been proved by M.
Bonnet, that a single impregnation is sufficient for the production of
many successive generations, and that they are viviparous in summer and
oviparous in autumn. The flies which produce the excrescences named
gall-nuts, and the worms from which come the dipterous insects, so
diversified in their forms, manners, and places of abode, occupy the
fourth volume. The fifth contains, among other genera, the bees, of
which the history is so singular and interesting. Certain varieties of
these as well as wasps are described in the last volume. Similar
researches were made by Bonnet and De Geer, of whom we shall have
occasion to speak in another part of our series.

Reaumur was the first naturalist who formed an extensive collection of
animals in France. The celebrated Brisson, who was the keeper of his
museum, derived from it the principal materials for his works on
quadrupeds and birds. These last afterwards constituted the basis of the
Royal Museum at Paris.

When the first volumes of Buffon made their appearance, the elegance of
their style had a prejudicial effect on the popularity of Reaumur's
writings; and as naturalists, like poets and artists, generally belong
to the _irritabile genus_,--the sensitive class of mankind,--our author
seems to have experienced considerable chagrin. In other respects,
however, he lived a very quiet life; residing sometimes on his estate in
Saintonge, and sometimes at his country-house of Bercy, in the
neighbourhood of Paris. He had no public employment, except that of
intendant of the order of St Louis, of which he performed the duties for
the benefit of a relative whom circumstances prevented from discharging
them, and to whom he resigned the emoluments. He died on the 18th
October 1757, at the age of 74; his death being accelerated by a fall
which he had received at the castle of Bermondière, whither he had gone
to pass the vacations. He seems to have been in all respects an amiable
man, of correct habits and great mildness of disposition. His life,
therefore, presents none of those bickerings and other manifestations
of rivalry which have produced so much disquietude to some other
naturalists; and, as his fortune was sufficient for his comfortable
subsistence, he was freed from those cares which distract the attention,
and enabled to pursue his favourite studies with advantage.[J]


[J] Biographie Universelle, art. Reaumur, tome xxxvii. p. 198.



_Birth and Education of Linnæus._

     Birth and Parentage of Linnæus--He is destined for the
     Clerical Profession--His early Fondness for Plants--He is
     sent to School, where his Progress is so slow that his
     Father resolves to make him a Shoemaker--Is rescued from
     this Fate by Dr Rothmann, who receives him into his
     Family--He becomes decidedly attached to the Study of
     Nature, enters the University of Lund, and is patronised by
     Professor Stobæus--When on an Excursion is attacked by a
     dangerous Malady--Stobæus surprises him in his nocturnal
     Studies--He goes to Upsal--Is reduced to extreme Poverty,
     from which he is relieved by Professor Celsius, whom he
     assists--Is next patronised by Rudbeck, and delegated to
     read his Lectures--Forms a Friendship with Artedi.

Charles Linnæus was born on the 23d May 1707, at Rashult, in the
province of Smaland. His father, Nils, whose ancestors were peasants,
was pastor of the village, and being the first learned man of his house,
had, agreeably to a custom prevalent in Sweden, changed his family-name
with his profession, and borrowed that of Linné from a large
linden-tree, which stood in the vicinity of his native place, between
Tomsboda and Linnhult. His mother, Christina Broderson, was the daughter
of his father's predecessor in office.

The pious parents had intended him likewise for the service of the
church, either because they considered the clerical profession the best
adapted to their son, or as calculated to ensure the means of a
comfortable subsistence, and to render him the stay of their old age.
But, whatever were their motives, the design, fortunately for the
progress of natural science, was frustrated by the propensities which he
soon displayed; for, inheriting a strong passion for flowers, he devoted
a great part of his earlier years to the cultivation of a corner of the
family-garden, which he profusely stocked with wild plants collected in
the woods and fields. The excursions which he was thus induced to make,
gradually led him to an acquaintance with the productions of the
vegetable and animal kingdoms, and were at first rather encouraged than
discountenanced by his parents, as affording innocent amusement, and
being beneficial to health.

Charles was happy also in the affectionate care of his father, who
taught him the elements of the Latin language, geography, and other
departments of knowledge suited to his capacity. At the age of seven,
however, he was committed to the care of a teacher ill qualified for the
task; and three years after he was sent to a grammar-school in the
neighbouring town of Wexio, where he continued several years. During
this period he made little proficiency in the studies connected with his
intended profession; for the love of nature prevailed in his mind to
such a degree as to induce him to consider every other occupation as
compulsory. He found much more pleasure in gathering plants and insects
than in performing the tasks imposed by his teachers. Every hour of
respite from his lessons was devoted to his favourite occupation, and
all his holidays were spent in rambling over the country. His
school-fellows considered him as an idle vagabond; but his master,
whose name was Lanaerius, formed a proper judgment of his genius, which
he was the better enabled to do, as he himself was fond of botany.

In 1724, young Linnæus entered the upper college or gymnasium at Wexio,
where his deficiencies in classical attainments were looked upon with
less indulgence. The admonitions of his teachers were contemned; the
passion inspired by nature still prevailed; and complaints were made to
his father, who, finding him averse to the study of divinity, and
perhaps believing him incapable of acquiring literary knowledge,
resolved to bind him apprentice to a shoemaker. Considering the
circumstances of his parents, and the little prospect of their son's
obtaining a comfortable livelihood by his botanical pursuits, we need
not ascribe this determination to a less estimable motive than prudent
affection. Fortunately, however, the design was not carried into effect.

A physician at Wexio, who was also professor of medicine in the college
of that city, had taken notice of the genius and peculiar pursuits of
the boy, and, hearing of his father's intentions, ventured to offer his
assistance and advice. The encomiums of this benevolent person, Dr John
Rothmann, inspired the parents with unexpected pleasure. The entreaties
of their son himself were joined to the kind intercession of his
protector, who had promised to take him into his own family for a year,
and provide him with every thing necessary. Natural history was not then
in Sweden, any more than it is now in our own country, a study which of
itself could lead to wealth, or even to a moderate independence. It was
therefore resolved that he should qualify himself for the practice of
medicine; and to this proposal the pastor and his wife at length
reluctantly assented.

Baffled in their views with respect to Charles, they resolved to
transfer their cares to their second son, Samuel, whom they hoped to
prevent from addicting himself to similar pursuits by prohibiting his
entrance into the garden, and even the gathering of flowers in the
fields. This restriction, however, had not the full effect; for Samuel
also was a lover of botany, although his parents had the gratification
of seeing him at length become a preacher.

In the house of Rothmann, the elder brother, who had hitherto studied
botany without any regular method, found Tournefort's Institutiones Rei
Herbariæ,--a work which opened new prospects to his view, and tended to
increase his zeal. The more he became acquainted with nature, the more
did his love of knowledge increase, and his frequent excursions into the
country soon rendered his acquirements conspicuous. Having remained
three years at the College of Wexio, he was prepared to become a pupil
in a higher seminary of learning, and in 1727 set out for the University
of Lund.

At an early stage of his progress he had studied several botanical works
which are now little known, such as those of Manson, Tilland, Palmberg,
Bromellius, and Rudbeck. But the benevolent Rothmann showed him that the
guides whom he had followed were unworthy of confidence, and advised him
to begin by examining the flower, as recommended by Tournefort, giving
him at the same time Valentini's figures of plants. He accordingly
copied these engravings, and commenced a rigorous examination of flowers
and fruits. Towards the end of his twentieth year, he attempted to
arrange in systematic order the various species growing in the
neighbourhood of Wexio and Stenbrohult, many of which he found it
difficult to determine, owing to the imperfect manner in which they had
been described. Down to this period he had not distinguished himself in
any other way than as a young man who was supposed to be foolishly
addicted to the study of natural objects, while he ought to have been
engaged in more important pursuits; although he says he had always been
among the first in mathematics and natural philosophy.

On leaving the gymnasium at Wexio, the rector, Nicolas Krok, gave him a
certificate expressed in the following terms:--"Students may be compared
to the trees of a nursery. Often among the young plants are found some
which, notwithstanding the care that has been bestowed upon them,
resemble wild shoots; but, if transplanted at a later period, they
change their nature, and sometimes bear delicious fruit. With this hope
only I send this young man to the university, where another climate may
perhaps prove favourable to his progress." This testimonial, however, he
did not find it necessary to show; for he was introduced to the rector
by one of his old teachers, Gabriel Hoek, whom he fortunately met at

Professor Humærus, who was his relative, had promised to support him at
this university; but, on arriving, Linnæus was informed that the last
duty had just been paid to his remains. He became a pupil of Kilian
Stobæus, professor of medicine and botany, whose notice he soon
attracted by his diligence and attention, and who, learning his indigent
condition, received him into his family. Here he found a small
collection of natural objects, which he studied with great delight. At
the same time he began to form an herbarium for himself; to add to which
he made excursions into the neighbouring districts.

On one of these expeditions he was, or imagined himself to have been,
stung by a venomous worm, said to be not uncommon in some parts of
Sweden. However this may be, he was seized with a violent disorder,
which threatened the extinction of life, more especially as he had
removed far into the country, where medical assistance could not be
readily procured. This accident, instead of diminishing his zeal, tended
to increase his desire of becoming more acquainted with the lower orders
of animals. In a work which he subsequently published, this singular
worm, the existence of which, however, is still doubtful, is thus
described by him:--"It occurs in the extensive turfy marshes of Bothnia,
in the northern parts of Sweden. Falling from the atmosphere, frequently
upon the bodies of men and animals, it instantly penetrates them with
the most intense pain, so as to produce death from agony within a
quarter of an hour. I myself was smitten by it at Lund, in 1728. I have
not seen the animal unless in a dried state. It seems in its properties
to be allied to the chaotic animals. By what means it rises into the
air, whence it falls during the interval between the summer and winter
solstice, no one has explained."

Stobæus's library was well stored with works on botany, which Linnæus
procured secretly from a young man who also lodged in the house, and in
perusing which he often spent a great part of the night. His patron was
informed of his vigils, and as he was of a merry, convivial disposition,
suspected him of sitting up for the purpose of amusing himself with the
servants. He resolved, therefore, to watch his proceedings, and, if his
suspicions proved just, to reprimand him for his unbecoming conduct. But
on entering Linnæus's room unexpectedly, what was his surprise to find
him intrenched among the tomes of Cæsalpinus, Bauhin, Tournefort, and
other eminent botanists! The result of this visit, as might have been
expected, was free permission to make use of the library, and an
increased attachment to the student. The same benevolent person embraced
every opportunity of aiding him in his pursuits; gave him lessons on
petrifactions and molluscous animals; taught him various branches of
medicine; admitted him to his table; sent him occasionally to visit his
patients; and went so far as to talk of making him his heir.

In 1728, after he had recovered from the effects of the severe malady
with which he had been attacked, he visited his parents. His mother was
extremely grieved at seeing him occupy his whole time in collecting
plants and glueing them upon paper, as she plainly perceived that there
was now no hope of his ever becoming a preacher. Dr Rothmann, who
frequently saw him, pointed out the superior advantages which students
possessed at Upsal, where there were "the learned Roberg, the great
Rudbeck," a splendid library, and a fine botanic garden. He also named
many poor students who had received assistance from the government, and
had become able practitioners. The young naturalist readily believed the
representations of one who had taken so much interest in him, and
resolved to follow his advice. At setting out, his father gave him a sum
of money equivalent to about £8 sterling; informing him at the same time
that he could do no more for him.

With this slender provision Charles proceeded to the University of
Upsal, where, although he had no reason to expect a kind reception, he
hoped at least to obtain more ample means of scientific research. The
professors, however, were not such as they had been represented, nor did
any of them show the smallest attention to the poor student. Before he
had been a year there his pecuniary resources failed; so that he was in
a manner cast upon the charity of his companions, among whom he was glad
to accept an occasional meal, and even a worn-out article of clothing.
The old shoes which they gave him, he was often obliged to mend with
pasteboard and birch-bark before he could render them tolerably
efficient. He now found reason to sigh for the comfortable home which he
had left at Lund; but to it he could not return, for as he had quitted
his benefactor Stobæus abruptly, and without so much as apprizing him of
his intentions, he justly dreaded his displeasure. Aware that he could
not obtain aid from his father, destitute of friends, and even of the
hope of procuring a livelihood by the exertion of his talents, he was
reduced to the extremity of indigence: yet he despaired not; nature had
at all times charms to support his spirits; he struggled with his fate
and conquered. On an important occasion which occurred many years
after, he publicly returned thanks to Providence for having supported
him amid these privations:--"I thank thee, Almighty God," said he, "that
in the course of my life, amidst the heavy pressure of poverty, and in
all my other trials, thou hast been always present to me with thine
omnipotent aid."

At this period, Olaus Celsius, first professor of divinity, whom Linnæus
afterwards, in a letter to Haller, describes as the only botanist in
Sweden, returned from Stockholm, where he had been on official business,
and happening to visit the college-garden, met a young man, who
attracted his notice by the accurate knowledge of plants which he
displayed. On inquiring after him, and receiving a satisfactory account
of his character and conduct, he gave him an apartment in his house, and
supplied him with every thing of which he stood in need. Thus was he on
many occasions obliged, if not to solicit, at least to accept pecuniary
assistance. He, however, repaid in some measure the kindness of the
venerable Celsius, by assisting him in preparing his _Hierobotanicon_,
in which the vegetable productions mentioned in Scripture are described.
To enable him to perform his task, he was allowed the free use of a
library rich in botanical works.

Hitherto Tournefort was the only author to whose works Linnæus was
indebted for the more solid parts of his knowledge; but a small book of
Vaillant on the structure of flowers now coming into his hands, he
perceived many defects in the system he had embraced; and from the
ingenious observations made by the latter writer on the sexes of plants,
he conceived the idea of founding a system of botany on the stamens and
pistils. With this object in view, he recommenced his studies on a new
plan; the sexual distinction continually occupied his thoughts, and the
knowledge which he acquired in this path became the basis of his future
eminence. A small treatise which he composed on the subject of an
academical disputation attracted the notice of Rudbeck, the second of
the name, then professor of botany, who, being advanced in years, was
looking out for an assistant. He received the ardent student into his
house, and delegated to him the office of reading his lectures, and
demonstrating the plants in the botanic garden. Rudbeck was also a
zoologist, and had made a collection of all the Swedish birds; the
examination of which failed not to add to Linnæus's knowledge in this
department of natural history. Botany, however, continued to be his
favourite study; and about this period he wrote several treatises, which
were afterwards published in Holland.

During his residence at Upsal, he had the happiness to enjoy the
friendship of a young man, not less fervently devoted than himself to
the study of nature. This was Peter Artedi, so well known for his work
on fishes. The name of Linnæus is usually mentioned as that of a
distinguished botanist; but it ought to be observed, however great his
merits were in that capacity, they were scarcely less in the department
of zoology, and that from the commencement of his career he manifested
nearly as strong a liking to the one as to the other. Speaking of his
friendship for Artedi, he says, "He excelled me in chemistry, and I
outdid him in the knowledge of birds and insects, and in botany."

At this period, a new prospect opened to his ambition. A society had
been instituted at Upsal, chiefly for the purpose of examining the
natural productions of the kingdom. The remote and desert regions of
Lapland were less known than any other of the Swedish provinces,
although Rudbeck the elder had been sent by Charles XI. to explore them.
The curiosities which he brought home had been destroyed by the great
fire in 1702; and it was now proposed to repair the loss by sending out
another scientific traveller. The choice fell on Linnæus, who was
recommended by Celsius and the younger Rudbeck.


_Journey to Lapland._

     Linnæus, chosen by the Royal Society of Upsal to travel in
     Lapland, sets out in May 1732--Enters Lycksele Lapland--A
     Lapland Beauty--Beds made of Hair-moss--Conversation of a
     Curate and a Schoolmaster--The Lapland Alps--Their
     Vegetation--Brief Account of the Rein-deer--Passing over the
     alpine Region, he enters Norway--Again visits the
     mountainous Region--Difficulties of the
     Journey--Pearl-fishery--Forests set on Fire by Lightning--At
     Lulea he discovers the Cause of an epidemic Distemper among
     the Cattle--Returns through East Bothland--Concluding

Having received this appointment, he visited his friend Stobæus at Lund,
as also his parents, who were now reconciled to him, and returned to
Upsal to prepare for his perilous enterprise.

On the 12th May 1732, he set out alone, equipped as follows:--"My
clothes," says he, in his Lachesis Lapponica, "consisted of a light coat
of West Gothland linsey-woolsey cloth without folds, lined with red
shalloon, having small cuffs and collar of shag; leather breeches; a
round wig; a green leather cap, and a pair of half-boots. I carried a
small leather bag, half an ell in length, but somewhat less in breadth,
furnished on one side with hooks and eyes, so that it could be opened
and shut at pleasure. This bag contained one shirt; two pair of false
sleeves; two half-shirts; an ink-stand, pencase, microscope, and
spying-glass; a gauze cap to protect me occasionally from the gnats; a
comb; my journal, and a parcel of paper stitched together for drying
plants, both in folio; my manuscript Ornithology, Flora Uplandica, and
Characteres Generici. I wore a hanger at my side, and carried a small
fowling-piece, as well as an octangular stick, graduated for the purpose
of measuring. My pocket-book contained a passport from the Governor of
Upsal, and a recommendation from the Academy."

Nature wore her most delightful aspect; the dandelion, the violet, and
the primrose, unfolded their blossoms to the sun; the skylark chanted
its lively song as it soared aloft in the clear sky; and the redwing
warbled its love-notes from the lofty pines. How delightful must have
been the feelings of the young naturalist, as he advanced toward the
scene of those anticipated discoveries, which were to immortalize his
name, or at least to increase the sphere of his ideas, and perhaps form
the basis of his fortune! As he advanced, "the redwing, the cuckoo, the
black-grous, and the mountain-finch, with their various notes, made a
concert in the forest, to which the lowing herds of cattle under the
shade of the trees formed a bass."

He proceeded through Helsingland, Angermanland, and West Bothland, to
Lycksele Lapland, where he embarked on a large river, during his voyage
on which he was gratified by the sight of numerous birds. But a
succession of cataracts occurring soon after, the owner of the boat,
inverting its position, placed it on his head, and "scampered away over
hills and valleys, so that the devil himself could not have overtaken

By the beginning of June he found himself among swamps, torrents, and
woods, occasionally accompanied by a Laplander as guide, and now and
then incurring dangers which would have damped the ardour of a less
enthusiastic traveller. On one of these occasions, after wandering a
long time in a labyrinth of marshes, he was met by a woman, whom he
describes as presenting a very extraordinary appearance: "Her stature
was very diminutive; her face of the darkest brown, from the effects of
smoke; her eyes dark and sparkling; her eyebrows black; her
pitchy-coloured hair hung loose about her head, and on it she wore a
flat red cap. 'O thou poor man!' quoth she, 'what hard destiny can have
brought thee hither, to a place never visited by any one before? This is
the first time I ever beheld a stranger. Thou miserable creature! how
didst thou come, and whither wilt thou go?'" Linnæus entreated her to
point out some way by which he might continue his journey. "'Nay, man,'
said she, 'thou hast only to go the same way back again; for the river
overflows so much, it is not possible for thee to proceed further in
this direction. From us thou hast no assistance to expect in the
prosecution of thy journey, as my husband, who might have helped thee,
is ill.'" The traveller begged of her something to eat, and after much
difficulty procured a small cheese. He was obliged to retrace his steps
through the marshes; and, when almost exhausted by hunger and fatigue,
at length reached the house of a poor curate, where his wants were

The bountiful provision of nature, he remarks, is evinced in providing
mankind with bed and bedding, even in this savage wilderness. The great
hair-moss (_Polytrichum commune_), called by the Laplanders _romsi_,
grows copiously in their damp forests, and is used for this purpose.
They choose the starry-headed plants, out of the tufts of which they cut
a surface as large as they please for a bed or bolster, separating it
from the earth beneath; and, although the shoots are scarcely branched,
they are, nevertheless, so entangled at the roots as not to be separable
from each other. This mossy cushion is very soft and elastic, not
growing hard by pressure; and if a similar portion of it be made to
serve as a coverlet, nothing can be more warm and comfortable. They fold
this bed together, tying it up into a roll that may be grasped by a
man's arms, which, if necessary, they carry with them to the place where
they mean to sleep the following night. If it becomes too dry and
compressed, its former elasticity is restored by a little moisture.

Leaving the town of Lulen, on the 25th June, he embarked on the river,
which he continued to navigate for several days and nights in a
comfortable boat. At a place called Quickjock he was presented by the
"famous wife of the curate, Mr Grot," with provisions sufficient to last
a week. At Jockmock, the schoolmaster and the priest tormented him "with
their consummate and most pertinacious ignorance." The latter began his
conversation with remarks on the clouds, showing how they strike the
mountains in their passage over the country, carrying off stones, trees,
and cattle. "I ventured," says Linnæus, "to suggest that such accidents
were rather to be attributed to the force of the wind, for that the
clouds could not of themselves lift or carry away any thing. He laughed
at me, saying, surely I had never seen any clouds. I replied, that
whenever the weather is foggy I walk in clouds, and when the fog is
condensed, and no longer supported in the air, it immediately rains. To
all such reasoning, being above his comprehension, he only returned a
sardonic smile. Still less was he satisfied with my explanation how
watery bubbles may be lifted up into the air, as he told me the clouds
were solid bodies. On my denying this, he reinforced his assertion with
a text of Scripture, silencing me by authority, and then laughing at my
ignorance. He next condescended to inform me, that after rain a phlegm
is always to be found on the mountains, where the clouds have touched
them. Upon my replying that this phlegm is a vegetable called nostoc, I
was, like St Paul, judged to be mad, and that too much learning had
turned my brain.

"The other, the pedagogue, lamented that people should bestow so much
attention upon temporal vanities, and consequently, alas! neglect their
spiritual good; and he remarked that many a one had been ruined by too
great application to study. Both these wise men concurred in one thing:
They could not conceal their wonder that the Royal Academy should have
expressly appointed a mere student for the purposes on which I was sent,
without considering that there were already as competent individuals
resident in the country, who would have undertaken the business. They
declared they would either of them have been ready to accept the charge.
In my opinion, however, they would but have exhibited a fresh
illustration of the proverb of the ass and the lyre."

On the 1st July, the traveller obtained a glimpse of the Lapland Alps,
which resembled a range of white clouds rising from the horizon.
Arriving in the evening at a place named Riomitis, he saw the sun set
apparently on the summit of a high mountain,--a spectacle which,
although common enough in hilly countries, was so new to him as to
excite his utmost surprise, and to induce him to exclaim, "O Lord, how
wonderful are thy works!"

Towards the close of day, July 6, accompanied by a native, who acted as
his servant and interpreter, he ascended the heights of Wallavari, the
first of the range. Here he found himself as in a new world. The forests
had disappeared; mountains upon mountains, covered with snow, presented
themselves on all sides; no traces of human habitations were to be seen;
the plants of the lower districts had ceased, and a vegetation of a
peculiar kind occupied their place, presenting such a profusion of new
forms to the delighted eye of the naturalist, that he was overcome with
astonishment. He observed the silken-leaved alpine lady's-mantle, the
deep-green sibbaldia, the little purple-flowered azalea, the diapensia
lapponica, the beautiful saxifraga stellaris, rivularis, and
oppositifolia, the succulent rose-root, the red lychnis, several
ranunculi, and a variety of other species, most of which are found
towards the summits of our own Grampians. The more elevated parts were
composed of slaty rocks; and from the snow with which they were covered
the water was running in copious streams. He caught a young ptarmigan,
upon which the parent bird ran so close to him that he might have taken
her also. "She kept continually jumping round and round me," says he;
"but I thought it a pity to deprive the tender brood of their mother,
neither would my compassion for the mother allow me long to detain her
offspring, which I restored to her in safety."

About the evening of the following day, they reached a secluded spot
where a Laplander had pitched his tent. Immediately after their arrival,
the herd of reindeer, consisting of seven or eight hundred, came home to
be milked. Some of the milk was boiled for the stranger, but it proved
rather rich for his stomach. His host furnished him with his own spoon,
usually carried in his tobacco-bag, and which he washed by squirting a
mouthful of water upon it.

He was here joined by another guide, and after refreshing themselves by
sleep they proceeded on their journey. On the sides of the hills were
observed in abundance the holes of the lemming-rat; and the alpine hare
occasionally presented itself. Scarcely any other fish occurs in the
lakes than the char, a beautiful species of trout, with the belly of a
bright-red colour. In the evening they sought in vain for one of the
native dwellings. Linnæus had walked so much that he could hardly stand;
and, being ready to faint with fatigue, lay down, resolving rather to
endure the cold and boisterous wind than proceed any farther. But his
companions at length found some reindeer-dung, which by smelling they
discovered to be fresh; and, perceiving a track in the snow, they
advanced till they came to a hut, where they remained all next day, it
being Sunday.

It is mentioned that the reindeer of those mountains are innumerable.
The herds are brought home night and morning to be milked, and are so
tractable as to be easily conducted by a single driver and a dog. The
head is of a grayish colour, black about the eyes; the mouth whitish;
the tail short and white; the feet encompassed with the same colour
above the hoofs. The whole body is gray, darker when the new pile comes
on, and lighter before it falls. The hair, like that of some other
species of deer, is brittle and easily broken. The horns of the female
are upright, or slightly bent backward, furnished with one or two
branches in front near the base, the summit sometimes undivided,
sometimes cleft. Those of the male are often two feet and a half long,
and their points are as far distant from each other. They are variously
branched. These animals cast their horns every year; the males about the
end of November, the females in May; at first they are hairy, but the
pile disappears before Michaelmas.

As the reindeer walks, a crackling noise proceeds from its feet, which
is produced by the hooflets striking against each other. When these
animals are driven to the place where they are accustomed to be milked,
they all lie down, panting violently, and chewing the cud all the while.
One of the attendants takes a small rope, and, making a noose, throws it
over their heads in succession. The cord is then twisted round the
horns, and the other end fastened to a stick thrust into the ground. If
the milk does not come readily the udder is beaten sharply with the
hand. The nipples are four, very rarely six, and all yield the fluid.
After the process was finished, he observed the maid-servant taking up
some of the dung, which she kneaded with her hands and put into a
vessel. This was for the purpose of smearing the teats, to prevent the
fawns from sucking too much.

He remained a few days among the Laplanders, who were occupied in
feeding their flocks along the valleys, during which time he had an
opportunity of observing their manners. He then proceeded over the range

At length the mountains began to present rocks uncovered by snow, a
glimpse of the ocean was obtained, and soon after the scene entirely
changed. Arriving upon the abrupt edge of this elevated region, he
beheld a vast expanse of forest stretching towards the sea, and
presenting the semblance of cultivated fields. As he descended, the
alpine plants gradually disappeared, the climate improved, and on
reaching the margin of the plain, he sat down to regale himself with
wild strawberries. He was struck with the circumstance, that the two
natives who accompanied him showed no symptoms of fatigue. He attributes
their superiority as walkers to their wearing no heels on their boots,
to their being accustomed to running from their infancy, to their
exemption from hard labour, to the habitual exercise of their muscles,
to their chiefly using animal food, to their not overloading their
stomachs, and to their being of small stature. Their continued health he
imagines to be owing to the extreme purity of the air, to their eating
their meat cold, to the excellence of the water, to their tranquillity
of mind, to the absence of spirituous liquors, and to their being inured
to cold from their earliest days.

Nothing could be more delightful to the feelings of our traveller than
this transition from the severity of winter to the warmth of summer. He
now approached the coast, and next day proceeded by sea, examining the
various objects that presented themselves. In the evening he arrived at
the house of Mr Rask, the pastor of Torfjorden, who received him with
much kindness. When day dawned he proceeded on his voyage, but was
obliged by a contrary wind to put about and return to the place from
which he had sailed. On the following morning, having climbed one of the
neighbouring heights, he was resting on its side, when he heard the
report of a gun, the ball from which struck a stone quite near him. It
was fired by a native, whose intention, it would appear, had been to
murder him, although, as he presently took to flight, no information
could be obtained respecting his motives.

On the 15th of July he set out on his return from the low grounds of
Norway, and began to ascend the snowy mountains, accompanied by an
interpreter. He directed his course towards the Alps of Tornea, which
were described as about forty miles distant; but having for several days
endured the greatest fatigue and privation, he doubted the expediency of
advancing farther, especially as he made few discoveries in natural
history. He therefore, on the 23d, took leave of the mountainous part of
Lapland, and returned by water towards Lulea. In this tract he had
abundant opportunities of observing the peculiar characters and manners
of the inhabitants, which he cursorily details in his journal. On the
26th he reached a place called Purkijaur, where he in vain attempted to
procure a boat to descend the river. His attendants and he were
therefore obliged to make a raft, on which they embarked; but they had
not proceeded half a mile when the force of the current separated the
timbers, and with great difficulty they reached a house situated on an

Here he hired a man to show him the manner of fishing for pearls. This
person made a raft of five logs, two fathoms in length, which he
furnished with a stone anchor, a cable of birch-rope, a pole, and a pair
of wooden pincers. When he reached a part which he wished to examine, he
dropped the anchor, lay down at full length, looked over the edge of the
raft, and on perceiving a pearl-mussel laid hold of it with the
instrument. This shell is common in many of our own rivers, such as the
Tay, the Ythan, the Dee, and the Don; but the pearls which it yields,
although frequently large, are inferior in brilliancy to those of the
true pearl-oyster, which is a marine, not a fresh-water production.

The forests having been set on fire by lightning, the flames raged with
great violence, owing to the drought of the season; hence he and his
guide, in crossing a part of the woods, experienced no small danger. The
wind beginning to blow, a sudden noise arose, and the travellers,
imagining it best to hasten forward, ran with all their might to reach
the open ground. Sometimes the fall of a huge tree was so sudden that
they looked aghast, not knowing which way to turn; and in one instance a
large trunk fell between them, while the space by which they were
separated did not exceed six feet. However, they at length effected
their escape.

Visiting the Laxholms, or Salmon Islands, in this vicinity, he made
observations on the fish, for the taking of which an establishment had
been formed. He remarked, that the individuals of which the lower jaw
was bent inwards and attenuated, were invariably males. On the 30th July
he reached the old town of Lulea, where he was detained a day by a
violent storm of thunder and rain; and on the 3d of August arrived at
Tornea, which stands on a small island, or rather peninsula, with a
swamp for its isthmus. At this place every body was talking of a
distemper to which the cattle were subject, and which attacked them
principally in spring. On walking to examine the meadows to which they
are first turned out, he found them covered with a profusion of the
water-hemlock (_Cicuta virosa_), to which he attributed the malady. "The
slightest observation," he says, "teaches us that brute animals
distinguish, by natural instinct, such plants as are wholesome to them
from such as are poisonous. The cattle, therefore, do not eat this
hemlock in summer or autumn, whence few of them perish at those seasons,
and such only as devour the herb in question incautiously, or from an
inordinate appetite. But when they are first let out in the spring,
partly from their eagerness for fresh herbage, partly from their long
fasting and starvation, they seize with avidity whatever comes within
their reach. The grass is then but short, and insufficient to satisfy
them," and they eat up whatever comes in the way. The proper remedy was
pointed out by the visiter; and, as from 50 to 100 of their cattle
perished annually, the matter was of great importance to the

In the church he saw a memorial of King Charles the Eleventh's zeal for
astronomical science. That prince having visited Tornea, on the 14th
June 1694 saw from the belfry the solar orb at midnight, and the
following year sent Professors Bilberg and Spole to repeat the

Leaving that town on the 9th August, Linnæus proceeded to Kimi, where
there was a great salmon-fishery, and continued his journey through East
Bothland; but finding that the Finlanders did not, or would not,
understand him, he was obliged to return. He next directed his steps to
Calix, and made several excursions in the neighbourhood, noting the
Finnish names of articles which he might want at the inns, and again
ventured to enter East Bothland. He then pursued his way along the east
coast, through that district and Finland, visiting Ulea, Brabestadt,
Carleby, Christina, and Abo. In the latter place he found one of his
class-fellows, Mennander, who was afterwards archbishop of Upsal, and
who furnished him with some money as a recompense for instructions in
natural history. He then went by the post-yacht to Aland, crossed the
sea of that name, and on the 10th October reached Upsal.

The whole extent of the journey was about 3800 English miles. It is
quite unnecessary for us to expatiate on the dangers of such an
expedition, to extol the courage and perseverance of him who
accomplished it, or even to dilate on the important results. "My journey
through Lapland," he says in a subsequent notice, "was the most
toilsome; and I confess, that I was obliged to sustain more hardship and
danger in wandering through this single tract of our northern world,
than in all the travels which I undertook in other parts, though these
were certainly not without fatigue. But when my journeys were over, I
quickly forgot all their dangers and difficulties, which were
compensated by the invaluable fruits obtained on these excursions."

If he turned to such advantage the observations which he had made in a
region but scantily supplied with the forms of animal and vegetable
life, how much more profitable, it may be thought, would it have been
for himself and for the world, had it been his lot to travel in some
equinoctial country, teeming with the wonders of creation! Yet, perhaps
the multiplicity of objects which would have forced themselves upon his
notice in that richer scene, in an age when natural history was only
beginning to emerge from its pristine chaos, would have bewildered the
most comprehensive mind; whereas the less abundant stores of Lapland and
Sweden presented themselves to him in such a way as to afford time to
examine each individually, and to note the common and distinctive
characters. It seems indeed more than probable, that if he had been a
native of one of the warmer regions of the globe, he would not have
attained such distinguished merit as a reformer of science.


_Studies, Adventures, and Travels of Linnæus, from 1733 to 1738._

     Linnæus returns to Upsal--Is prevented from lecturing by
     Rosen, whom he attempts to assassinate--Accompanies some
     young Men on an Excursion to Fahlun, where he is introduced
     to the Governor of the Province, with whose Sons he travels
     to Norway--Returning to Fahlun, he delivers Lectures, falls
     in Love, is furnished with Money by his Mistress, and
     prepares to go Abroad for his Degree--He visits Hamburg,
     detects an Imposture there, and is obliged to make his
     Escape--Obtains his Degree at Harderwyk--Proceeds to Leyden,
     where he publishes his Systema Naturæ, and waits upon
     Boerhaave--Goes to Amsterdam, is kindly received by Burmann,
     and lodges with him--Is employed by Cliffort, publishes
     various Botanical Works--Goes to England, visits Sir Hans
     Sloane, Miller, and Dillenius--Returns to Holland, publishes
     several Works--Goes to Leyden, and resides with Van
     Royen--Publishes the Ichthyologia of Artedi, who was drowned
     in Amsterdam--Becomes melancholy, and falls into a violent
     Fever--On his Recovery goes to Paris, where he is kindly
     received by the Jussieus--Returns to Sweden after an Absence
     of Three Years and a Half.

On returning to Upsal, Linnæus was elected a member of the Royal Academy
of Sciences; but this distinction was the only reward which he obtained
for having undergone so many fatigues, excepting a small bursary, of
which he was soon deprived. Now, however, he expected a more favourable
reception in society, and in 1733 began to give public lectures on
botany, chemistry, and mineralogy. Unfortunately for his success, he had
not yet taken his degree,--a circumstance which legally disqualified
him for such an office; and a rival, Dr Nicholas Rosen, professor of
anatomy, instigated, it would appear, by motives of envy, denounced him
to the senate of the university. He was summoned to appear before that
august body; and, although several of its members were disposed to
favour him, he was prohibited from continuing his course.

Fortune then seemed bent upon thwarting him in all his projects.
Stimulated by revenge, he laid wait for Rosen, and, assailing him with
the utmost fury, attempted to run him through with his sword, when the
bystanders interfering, wrested the weapon from his hand. For this
offence he would have been expelled, had not Celsius interposed, and got
him off with no other punishment than a reprimand. Men of quick
tempers seldom cherish hatred; but Linnæus was of a peculiar
disposition,--ambitious, confident of superiority, irritable, and
obstinate. Moreover, he was in desperate circumstances, utterly
destitute of all means of subsistence, and the world seemed to have
conspired against him. He was still determined to stab his enemy to the
heart, should he ever meet him in the streets. The conflict of his mind,
under such excitement, must have been truly painful. He awoke one night
from a dream of horror, seriously considered what he was about, and
resolved, instead of assassinating Rosen, to expel the demon from his
own breast.

An assistant-professorship being vacant in the University of Lund, he
endeavoured to procure it, but, although his claims were supported by
Stobæus and others, was unsuccessful. Prohibited from lecturing, he was
only prevented from falling into despair by the consciousness of
superior intellect, by cherishing a plan of botanical reform, and by
still fixing his eyes on the prospect, however distant, of future
independence. In the mean time, some of his former pupils, resolving to
make an excursion to Norberg, Bipsberg, Afwestadt, Garpesberg, and
Fahlun, solicited the benefit of his knowledge and experience in
conducting their researches.

At the last-named town, where he occupied himself assiduously in
exploring the mines, he was introduced to Baron Reuterholm, governor of
the province of Dalecarlia, who was fond of natural history, and
especially of mineralogy. Having two sons whom he was desirous of
sending upon a journey, for the purpose of improving themselves in that
department of science, he resolved to place them under the guidance of
Linnæus. They set out in the spring of 1734, and extended their travels
as far as the mines of Roraas in Norway.

Returning to Fahlun, he commenced lecturing on mineralogy, under the
patronage of the governor, and found himself in all respects more
comfortably situated than he had ever been at Upsal. He also obtained
some employment in the medical line, and contracted an intimacy with
John Browall, the tutor of the baron's children, who afterwards became
bishop of Abo. Although he was now in comparatively easy circumstances,
his friend advised him to procure a degree, and settle as a regular
practitioner. This, however, being impracticable, on account of his want
of funds, he turned his thoughts to matrimony, in the hope of being able
to accomplish a suitable establishment.

There was a physician at Fahlun named More, or Moræus, who was reputed
rich, and in fact was one of the wealthiest individuals in the
district. He had two daughters, of whom the elder, Sarah Elizabeth, was
in all respects to the mind of Linnæus, who became a frequent visitor,
and soon ingratiated himself with the family. Finding that the object of
his choice was not less pleased with his person and manners, he
determined to ask her in marriage; and, summoning all his resolution,
made known his views to her father, who, although he had no objection to
the character of the suitor, was little satisfied either with his
fortune or his prospects. However, he promised that, should he succeed
in obtaining his diploma, the young lady should be consigned to him
after a period of three years.

It was customary at this time for Swedish students to take their degree
at some foreign university, where it could be procured at the least
expense. Hitherto Linnæus had been unable to qualify himself in this
respect for the practice of his profession; but love now came to the aid
of ambition. Miss Moræus, who was thrifty as well as handsome, had saved
about 100 dollars of the pocket-money which she had received at various
times, and offered them to her lover. To this sum he succeeded in adding
a little by his own exertions, though the whole did not amount to more
than thirty-six Swedish ducats.

After visiting his friends, weeping over the grave of his mother, who
had died some months before, preparing his academical dissertations, and
arranging his papers, he set out from Fahlun, in April 1735, accompanied
by a young man named Sholberg. Travelling through the southern provinces
of Sweden, Jutland, and Holstein, he arrived at Hamburg, where he
remained for some time, inspecting the collections and curiosities
which that celebrated city contained. In the museum of John von
Spreckelsen was a preparation of great value, presenting the appearance
of a serpent with seven heads. It had even been pledged for a loan of
10,000 merks, and was in fact considered one of the most remarkable
objects in the cabinets of the curious. Linnæus, however, on minutely
inspecting the monster, discovered that the heads consisted of the jaws
of a small quadruped covered over with the skin of a serpent. The wonder
ceased, Spreckelsen nearly became bankrupt, and the stranger was obliged
to leave Hamburg in order to avoid the enmities in which his sagacity
had involved him.

Continuing his journey to Holland, he arrived at Harderwyk at the end of
May, and made application for his degree, which he received on the 24th
June. His thesis was on intermittent fevers, one of the principal causes
of which he maintained to be water impregnated with argillaceous
substances. Though he had now accomplished his chief object, he
resolved, before returning to Sweden, to make himself known to some of
the Dutch literati; and for this purpose proceeded to Leyden, where he
hired a lodging. Here he made the acquaintance of Professor Royen, Dr
Van Swieten, Lieberkuhn, Gronovius, and several others.

By the advice and assistance of the last of these scholars, he published
his Systema Naturæ, in fourteen folio pages. This little work,
containing a compendious classification of the three kingdoms of nature,
was very favourably received. Boerhaave, one of the most illustrious
physicians that the world has ever seen, was at the same time the most
eminent individual in the University of Leyden. Linnæus was therefore
anxious to see him; but finding an interview impracticable in the
ordinary way, on account of the great man's constant occupation, he
resolved to send him a copy of his treatise, accompanied with a letter.
The consequence was an invitation to meet him at his villa near the
city, where he had a botanical garden. On entering into conversation
with the young foreigner, the venerable professor, astonished at his
knowledge, strongly advised him to remain in Holland, where he might be
sure of making a fortune; but the other, prevented by poverty from
adopting this counsel, was obliged to set out on the following day.

Arriving at Amsterdam with a recommendation to Professor Burmann, he was
kindly received by that gentleman, who was then occupied with his
description of the plants of Ceylon. Linnæus himself relates the
occurrences which took place during this interview: "'Do you wish to see
my plants?' asked Burmann, 'which of them would you inspect?' He held
out one, and observed, 'It is very rare.' I begged a single flower,
which I examined after softening it in my mouth, and pronounced it to be
a species of laurus. 'It is not a laurus,' said Burmann. 'But it is,'
said I; 'it is the cinnamon-tree.'--'It certainly is the cinnamon,'
rejoined Burmann. I then convinced him that this tree was a species of
laurus, and so of other plants. At length he said, 'Will you help me
with my work on Ceylon, and you shall lodge with myself?'" To this
proposal the other assented, delighted with the prospect of at once
adding to his reputation and his knowledge.

In Burmann's house he found a collection of natural objects and an
extensive library, both of which were of great use to him. The time
passed pleasantly enough, and he deferred his return to Sweden till the
following spring; about which period, a circumstance occurred that
proved of great advantage to him. Dr George Cliffort, burgomaster at
Amsterdam and one of the directors of the Dutch East India Company, who
was a zealous lover of natural science, was in need of a domestic
physician to take daily care of his health. Boerhaave, who was his
medical attendant, recommended Linnæus, whom he represented as being
also an excellent botanist, and capable of arranging his botanic garden.
Cliffort accordingly invited Burmann and Linnæus to Hartecamp, his
villa, where they found many new plants from the Cape of Good Hope. The
young Swede pointed out those which had not been described, and evinced
so accurate a knowledge of botany, that the burgomaster made him a
proposal of free board and lodging, with a salary of 1000 florins. The
terms were accepted with no small satisfaction.

This year he published a tract which he had commenced at Upsal,--his
Fundamenta Botanica,--in which he exhibited the basis of his new system
in 365 aphorisms. About the same time he printed his Bibliotheca
Botanica, another small work, the materials of which he had found in the
libraries of Spreckelsen, Burmann, Gronovius, and Cliffort. A
description of the banana-tree (_Musa paradisiaca_), which had flowered
in the garden of his patron, formed the subject of a third treatise. The
Imperial Academy of Naturalists at Vienna admitted him as a member,
under the honourable appellation of Dioscorides the Second, and his
name began to be known throughout Germany.

Cliffort being desirous of extending his collection by obtaining new
species from England, resolved to send Linnæus to that country, which he
did in the latter part of July, limiting the period of his absence to
twelve days. The passage from Rotterdam to Harwich occupied eight; and
the stranger, finding himself surrounded by attractions, was in no haste
to return, even to the elysium of Hartecamp. He arrived in London, with
a letter of introduction from Boerhaave to the celebrated Sir Hans
Sloane. Whether the venerable physician meant to make merry at the
expense of the naturalists, or whether he really thought they both
deserved the compliment which he paid to them in his note, let the
reader determine:--"Linnæus, who will give you this letter, is alone
worthy of seeing you, alone worthy of being seen by you. He who shall
see you both together shall see a pair, whose like will scarcely be
found in the world."

Notwithstanding this high encomium, Sir Hans exhibited no kindliness of
feeling towards him. He was in fact a person who had grown old in
self-esteem. Cliffort was desirous of procuring some plants from the
garden at Chelsea, and his agent accordingly waited upon Mr Miller, who
listened to his request with very little respect. At a subsequent visit,
however, the Englishman became in some degree sensible of the merits of
the young foreigner, and furnished him with the specimens which he had
solicited. Proceeding to Oxford, he presented himself before the
celebrated Dillenius, professor of botany, who received him much in the
same way as the others had done. "See," quoth Dillenius to his patron
Sherard, who happened to be present at the interview, "this is the young
man who confounds all botany." Although the Swede was ignorant of the
language spoken by these islanders, he readily guessed at the meaning of
"confounds," but thought it prudent to take no notice of the accusation.
They then went to the garden, but the professor still treated the
presumptuous youth with undisguised contempt. Next day, he waited upon
Dillenius previous to his departure. "Before I go," said he, "I have one
favour to request; tell me why you lately used those words about
confounding botany." He refused to explain; but when Linnæus insisted
that he should, "Come this way," said he; so the sheets of half of the
Genera Plantarum were referred to. On almost every page were the letters
N. B. When he asked what they meant, Dillenius said they marked the
false genera. He maintained that the genera were not false, and the
Oxonian referred to a plant in the garden, which he and other botanists
considered as having three stamens. It was found to have only one, as
his opponent had alleged. "O!" quoth Dillenius, "it may be so
accidentally in a single flower;" but behold, all the flowers were the
same; for when they examined a number, all turned out as the Swedish
youth had described them. The professor had been slow of belief, it is
true; but he now gave due honour to his visiter, detained him several
days, and supplied him with all the plants which Cliffort required.

In a letter to his friend Dr Richardson, dated August 25, 1736,
Dillenius expresses the following opinion of him:--"A botanist is
arisen in the North, who has founded a new method on the stamens and
pistils, whose name is Linnæus. He has published Fundamenta Botanica,
Bibliotheca Botanica, Systema Naturæ; and is now printing in Holland his
Characteres, and his Flora Lapponica. He is a Swede, and has travelled
over Lapland. He has a thorough insight and knowledge of botany, though
I am afraid his method will not hold. He came hither, and stayed about
eight days, but is now gone back to Sweden."

On his return to Holland, which took place in September, Linnæus
continued his researches with increased diligence. In the course of the
year 1737, he laid before the scientific world about two hundred printed
sheets, not of compilation, nor of fiction, but for the most part
completely original. The Genera Plantarum, containing the characters of
all the genera of plants according to the number, form, situation, and
proportion of their organs of generation, was the first work published
by him after his return from England. This treatise exhibited 935
genera, to which were added during the same year sixty others, in a
supplement, to which he also appended a concise view of his system. A
full account of the plants observed by him in Lapland, arranged
according to the method invented by himself, formed his next
undertaking. It was dedicated to the Royal Society of Upsal, and
contained a brief physico-geographical description of the country. At
the solicitation of Gronovius, he permitted one of the productions of
that northern region to be named after himself, _Linnæa borealis_. The
great object of his residence at Hartecamp was now completed by the
publication of his Hortus Cliffortianus, in which were described all the
species of plants cultivated in the burgomaster's garden. The Critica
Botanica, in which he attempted to reform the absurd nomenclature that
then prevailed, and the Viridarium Cliffortianum, describing the
greenhouse-plants of Cliffort's establishment, were the other books
published by him during this year.

Boerhaave, who had been in a great measure the author of his good
fortune in Holland, now procured for him the appointment of physician in
ordinary to the Dutch colony of Surinam, which, however, he declined,
both on account of the insalubrity of the climate, and because he could
now entertain the prospect of a more eminent station. He therefore
recommended a young friend named Bartsch, who died in six months after
his arrival in South America.

When about to depart from Leyden, Linnæus went to take leave of
Boerhaave. The interview, which, however melancholy, was very
flattering, is thus related by him: "That great man, who was affected
with a dropsy of the chest which forced him to keep himself always
sitting in his bed to prevent suffocation, would not receive visiters,
but admitted me to bid him farewell. Summoning the little strength that
remained in him, he raised my hand to his lips, and said: 'I have
finished my career, and all that I have been permitted to do I have
done; may God preserve you, who have yet a greater task to perform! What
the learned world expected from me it has obtained; but it expects much
more from you, my dear son. Farewell, farewell, my dear Linnæus!'"

Having gone with Cliffort to Amsterdam, and afterwards to Leyden, he
visited among others his friend Van Royen, professor of botany, who
having made proposals of marriage to Miss Boerhaave, the sole heiress of
the great physician, had been rejected, and therefore vowed hostility to
the family. The botanic garden there had been arranged and described
agreeably to Boerhaave's method; but the other now resolved to alter the
disposition, and adopt the system of Linnæus. He accordingly offered him
a salary of eight hundred florins, if he would live with him, and assist
in the execution of this scheme. Influenced by respect for his deceased
friend, he would not countenance the alteration, although he devised a
plan by which neither his benefactor nor himself should receive the
honour. He remained with Van Royen, classed the plants after a principle
of his own invention, and drew up a catalogue of them, which was
published in the name of that teacher.

The next work which he printed was produced by the genius and industry
of Artedi. When he resided at Leyden, previous to his going to
Hartecamp, he had the pleasure of meeting this friend of his youth, who
had left Sweden in 1734, and gone to England to prosecute his scientific
labours. From thence he went to Holland for the purpose of obtaining his
degree, which he was unable to accomplish on account of his extreme
poverty. Linnæus recommended him to Seba, an apothecary at Amsterdam,
and author of a large work on natural history, who received him as his
assistant. But soon after, returning home in a dark night, he fell into
a canal and was drowned. His countryman had the melancholy satisfaction
of depositing his remains in the grave; and having induced Cliffort to
purchase his manuscripts, which were detained for debt, he arranged and
committed them to the press. This tract, in his opinion, was the best
that had appeared on the subject of fishes. He also published his own
Classes Plantarum, in which he presented a general view of all the
botanical systems that had been previously proposed.

His ambition was now on the point of being attained. Not only were his
works received with approbation, but his principles had been adopted by
several teachers. He had also formed connexions in Holland which
promised to be of the greatest advantage to him; and the Dutch, desirous
of securing his services, proposed that he should make a botanical
voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, with the promise of a professorship on
his return.

But Linnæus about this time was seized with an ardent desire to revisit
his native country, and fell into a state of extreme depression of
spirits, succeeded by a violent fever, which lasted upwards of six
weeks. His excessive application to study may be considered as the
source of his complaints; and perhaps to this may be added his
disquietude concerning the daughter of Moræus. But it does not, however,
appear that his love for Elizabeth was equal to that for botany or even
for his own renown; for though the stated period had elapsed, he still
resolved to make a journey to Paris before returning to the place of his

He reached that capital in the beginning of May 1738, and was kindly
received by the two Jussieus, one of whom was the successor of
Tournefort.--It is related by M. Fée, that on his arrival he went first
to the Garden of Plants, where Bernard de Jussieu was describing some
exotics in Latin. There was one which the demonstrator had not yet
determined, and which seemed to puzzle him. The Swede looked on in
silence, but, observing the hesitation of the learned professor, cried
out,--"Hæc planta faciem Americanam habet,--It has the appearance of an
American plant." Jussieu, surprised, turned about quickly and
exclaimed,--"You are Linnæus."--"I am, sir," was the reply. The lecture
was stopped, and Bernard gave the learned stranger an affectionate
welcome. Through the kind offices of these amiable men and excellent
botanists, he was introduced to many of the literati of Paris, and
obtained access to the libraries, collections of natural objects, and
public institutions. The French, however, were by no means disposed to
adopt his views: "He is a young enthusiast," they said, "who confounds
all, and whose only merit consists in having reduced botany to a state
of anarchy." He was, notwithstanding, admitted a corresponding member of
the Académie des Sciences. He then visited Versailles, accompanied by
his two friends, who defrayed all his expenses, and showed him the
public libraries, the museums, and the most celebrated private
collections, especially that of Reaumur. "Linnæus," says he, in his
autograph memoirs, "was now desirous of returning to Sweden without
further delay, for time seemed to him too valuable to allow him to
engage in studying the manners and language of the French. He never had
a genius for languages, nor could he ever render himself familiar with
the English, French, German, or even the Lapland tongues. He felt the
same difficulties with respect to Dutch, although he had resided three
years in Holland. This, however, fortunately did not prevent him from
making himself sufficiently understood. After seeing all the curiosities
at Paris, he went to Rouen in the dog-days. There he embarked for the
Cattegat, with a favourable wind, and after crossing the Sound landed at
Helsingburg. He immediately visited his old father at Stenbrohult,
rested there a few days, and set out for Fahlun. After being formally
betrothed to his bride, he proceeded to Stockholm, where he arrived in

He had left his native country in April 1734, and returned in the autumn
of 1738, having been absent three years and a half. In the course of
this period, he visited Holland, England, and France, formed
acquaintance with many eminent naturalists, obtained his medical degree,
published numerous works on botany, and extended his fame over all

With respect to the improvements which he made in that branch of natural
history, it is unnecessary here to enter into any detail, as it is
proposed to speak particularly of them in a subsequent volume. It may be
sufficient to remark, that there had not previously been any good
arrangement of plants; that the principles of the science had not been
laid down in a satisfactory manner; that the nomenclature was barbarous
and unsuitable; the mode of distinguishing species rude and inefficient;
and that, in short, the works on this subject were little better than a
chaos of names and unintelligible descriptions. Some writers maintain,
indeed, that he did more harm than good, when he became the legislator
of botany. But their opinion can deceive those only who, too idle or too
weak to judge for themselves, adopt the sentiments of their teachers
with a deference unworthy of the student of nature.


_Principal Events in the Life of Linnæus from 1738 to 1741._

     Linnæus is treated with Neglect at Stockholm--Is offered a
     Botanical Professorship at Gottingen, but prefers remaining
     in Sweden--His medical Practice is at length extended--He
     prescribes for the Queen, and becomes acquainted with Count
     Tessin, who procures for him the Offices of Lecturer to the
     School of Mines and Physician to the Admiralty--He marries
     Miss Moræus, delivers Lectures on Botany, and becomes a
     Candidate for the Botanical Chair at Upsal, which, however,
     is given to Rosen--Is sent to examine the Islands of Oeland
     and Gothland--Being appointed to succeed Roberg in the Chair
     of Medicine and Anatomy, he goes to Upsal, is reconciled to
     Rosen, and delivers his Introductory Discourse--Linnæus and
     Rosen exchange Professorships--The Botanic Garden is
     restored, and a House erected for the Professor, who enters
     upon his Duties with Ardour.

Linnæus had naturally expected, on returning to his native land, to
enjoy the fruits of his labours, and if not to step at once into a
lucrative office, to receive, at least, the honours which he imagined to
be due to him. This hope, however, was more the result of a strong
confidence in his own powers, and of the high sense which he entertained
of his merits, than of sound judgment, which might have taught him that
time was yet required to render him known to his countrymen, and address
or accident to bring him into the notice of those who might interest
themselves in his behalf. He had forgotten that a prophet is usually
less esteemed at home than any where else. At Stockholm he was treated
with neglect, and even with contempt. Science in the North had few gifts
to bestow; and, in order to obtain the means of subsistence, he found
himself once more obliged to attempt the practice of medicine. In this,
however, he had very little success, public opinion being opposed to the
professional qualifications of one who had merely the reputation of
being an aspiring botanist; and in the capital he seemed destined to
undergo hardships similar to those which he had experienced at Upsal. In
this, perhaps, the inhabitants judged rightly; for the important office
of a physician certainly ought not to be assumed by one who has resolved
to devote the greater part of his time to studies unconnected with the
healing art. The only favour, he says, which was at this time conferred
upon him was his being elected a member of the Academy of Sciences of
Upsal; and he would have again left Sweden had not his Elizabeth
prevented him.

In this perplexed condition he remained until the summer of 1739, when
the tide of misfortune began to ebb. At this time he received from his
friend, the illustrious Haller, an offer of the botanical professorship
at Gottingen, which, however, the prospect of success in his own country
induced him to reject. The first turn in his affairs was caused by his
having cured two young men of debility brought on by long excesses; and
in less than a month he had under treatment most of the profligates in
the capital. Soon afterwards a catarrhal fever or influenza became
prevalent. He happened to be called to visit, among others, the lady of
an Aulic councillor, for whom he prescribed a remedy which she was
directed to carry about her for occasional use. This lady being one day
at court, and engaged in a card-party, was following his direction, when
the queen, Ulrica Eleonora, asked her what it was she from time to time
put into her mouth. Upon being informed, her majesty, who was herself
troubled with a cough, immediately sent for Linnæus, who recommended the
same medicine, by which the complaint was removed.

This fortunate accident completely established his popularity, and he
now became the fashionable doctor of the place. About the same period he
was elected president of a society instituted by Captain Triewald for
the improvement of the national language,--a circumstance which also
tended to promote his reputation. He had, moreover, the good luck to
become acquainted with the celebrated Count Charles Gustavus Tessin, who
being himself fond of natural history, could not fail to take an
interest in one who had undeservedly suffered so much obloquy for his
devotion to it. The nobleman asked him if there were any office for
which he wished to petition, as the Diet was then sitting. He replied
that he wanted nothing; but his patron having allowed him a day to
consider, he consulted his friend Triewald, who advised him to ask the
office of lecturer to the School of Mines, which brought about a hundred
ducats a year. The count soon after invited him to dinner, when he
informed him that the request had been granted. In a short time the more
important office of physician to the Admiralty became vacant, and was
procured for him by his Mæcenas, who, besides, offered him apartments in
his house, and frequently admitted him to his table. There he had an
opportunity of making the acquaintance of many persons of influence, by
whose means his credit was greatly extended.

Being now in prosperous circumstances, he resolved to complete the
contract into which he had entered with the daughter of old Moræus, and
proceeding to Fahlun, received her in due form. After spending a month
of merrymaking, he returned to Stockholm. In September he resigned the
presidency of the Academy, and, agreeably to the rules of the
institution, delivered on that occasion a discourse on insects (De
Memorabilibus in Insectis), which was afterwards printed.

In the summer of 1740, he delivered a course of lectures on botany, and
published a new edition of his Fundamenta Botanica, which he dedicated
to Dillenius, Haller, Van Royen, Gronovius, Jussieu, Burmann, and
Ammann; showing, in this classification, his opinion of the comparative
merits of the most eminent botanists of that time. His medical practice
continued to increase; and with his lectures, his private studies, and
his duty as physician to the Admiralty, his time was fully and
satisfactorily occupied. His former protector, Olaus Rudbeck the
younger, professor of botany, having died in the spring of this year,
Linnæus, Rosen, and Wallerius offered themselves as candidates for the
vacant office. Count Tessin supported the first mentioned; but the
chancellor, Count Gyllenborg, gave Rosen the preference, as he had taken
his degrees before the other, and had acquired stronger claims on the
public by a longer residence at Upsal. The king, however, was desirous
of bestowing the office on the great botanist, who was consoled for the
loss by the promise of succeeding Roberg, who held the chair of
medicine and anatomy. That gentleman, being advanced in years, requested
permission to resign, which was granted; but although the appointment
had been promised to Linnæus, it was not without difficulty that he
obtained it. In the mean time, Wallerius, his rival, took every
opportunity of impugning his botanical doctrines, with the view of
lessening the estimation of his merits; though the effort tended only to
bring himself into contempt.

The affair was brought before the Diet in 1741, when it was decided that
Linnæus should be preferred to the vacant place. War having broken out
between Sweden and Russia, he was apprehensive of being obliged to
officiate as physician to the fleet; and finding that the government had
resolved upon sending persons to explore the least-known parts of the
Swedish provinces, for the purpose of promoting domestic manufactures,
he made application for this office also, which was granted to him.
Accompanied by six of his friends, to each of whom was assigned a
separate department, he accordingly examined the islands of Oeland and
Gothland, with the view of discovering any earth that might answer for
the making of porcelain, and of bringing to light such ingredients,
mineral or vegetable, as might be useful in medicine, dyeing, and
domestic economy. The expenses of the journey were defrayed by the Board
of Manufactures. In the course of this expedition, he narrowly escaped
breaking his leg while descending into an alum-pit; was nearly
suffocated among the snow in the vicinity of Blakulla; and experienced
great danger from a violent storm while crossing from Gothland to Upsal.
Although he was unable to accomplish the chief object of his mission,
he made numerous observations on the antiquities of those islands,
their natural productions, fisheries, and the manners of their
inhabitants. The States gave him a public acknowledgment of their
satisfaction, and the narrative of his tour was published four years

On arriving at Upsal in September, he made a sincere peace with his old
antagonist Rosen, proposing to him a mutual oblivion of the past. In
October, he assumed his professional duty as successor to Roberg; on
which occasion he delivered a discourse on the advantages of examining
the interior of the country,--De Peregrinationum intra Patriam
Necessitate. Towards the end of the year, Rosen and he entered into an
amicable negotiation, the result of which was an interchange of offices;
the former taking the chair of anatomy and physiology, and resigning to
the latter that of materia medica, botany, dietetics, and natural

No man of eminence, in any department of science or literature, has been
without enemies. Linnæus could not, therefore, expect to become an
exception to the general rule. It is doubtful whether Haller manifested
more kindness or enmity towards him; or it may be said that though he
remained his friend, he yet took many opportunities of uttering censure.
A more violent opponent appeared in Heister, professor at Helmstadt,
who, imagining himself a great botanist, was offended by the pretensions
of the Swedish naturalist, and stirred up one of his pupils, Dr
Siegesbeck, a man of even less knowledge than his master, to fight his
battle for him. The representations of this last had, for a time,
considerable influence over the fortunes of Linnæus, and Heister
secretly rejoiced at his success; while he excited partisans every where
to wage war against the sexual system. Other adversaries started up in
Germany, France, and various parts of Europe. The only open antagonist
whom he had in his own country was the celebrated Wallerius, the
mineralogist; in order to counteract whose unfair criticisms he
published a pamphlet entitled Orbis Eruditi Judicium de Car. Linnæi,
M.D. Scriptis,--The Judgment of the Learned World on the Writings of
Charles Linnæus, M.D. This is the only defence that he ever made of
himself, and the only work which he published anonymously. It contained
merely a short sketch of his life, a list of the books published by him,
and testimonials and opinions of celebrated individuals respecting his
merits. Whatever vexation these attacks may have given him, they had no
permanent influence, and he had the happiness of triumphing over all
opposition. With reference to the attacks of Siegesbeck, he thus writes
from Hartecamp to Haller:--

"I have received from a friend Professor Siegesbeck's Verioris
Botanosophiæ Specimen, with his Epicrisis on my writings. This author
has been very hard upon me. I wish he had written these things when I
was first about publishing. I might have learned when young, what I am
forced to learn at a more advanced age, to abstain from writing, to
observe others, and to hold my tongue. What a fool have I been, to waste
so much time, to spend my days and nights in a study which yields no
better fruit, and makes me the laughing-stock of all the world! His
arguments are nothing; but his book is filled with exclamations, such as
I never before met with. Whether I answer him or keep silence, my
reputation must suffer. He cannot understand argument. He denies the
sexes of plants. He charges my system with indelicacy; and yet I have
not written more about the polygamy of plants than Swammerdam has about
bees. He laughs at my characters, and calls upon all the world to say if
any body understands them. I am said to be ignorant of scientific terms.
He judges me by the principles of Rivinus, and hundreds of the vilest
scribblers. Inasmuch as the man humbles me, so do you, whose learning
and sense have been made sufficiently evident, exalt me. It distresses
me to read the commendations you are pleased to heap upon so unworthy an
object. I wish there might ever be any reason to expect that I could
evince my gratitude and regard for you. I hope life will be granted me,
to give some proof of my not being quite unworthy."

Linnæus was now, however, in his proper element, and commenced his
academical career with great ardour. The botanical garden, founded by
the celebrated Olaus Rudbeck about fifty years before, was entirely
destroyed by the dreadful fire which, as already mentioned, had, in
1702, converted the greater part of Upsal into a heap of ruins, and now
served no more important purpose than that of pasturing a few cows. His
first efforts were directed towards its renovation, which he soon
succeeded in accomplishing. Count Gyllenborg, who was then chancellor of
the university, was a man of considerable scientific attainments, and
had a special love for botany. This circumstance, as well as his
interest in the prosperity of the institution, induced him to lend a
ready ear to the solicitations of the professor, and to give his
important aid to the undertaking. Baron Harlemann, the king's architect,
furnished the plan. Hothouses were erected, walks formed, ponds dug,
plots furnished with plants; in short, the garden soon assumed a most
promising appearance. A house was also built for the accommodation of
the teacher, who had no longer any cause to complain of the neglect of
his countrymen. In the early part of this year his wife presented him
with a son; so that in all respects he was a happy man.

At this point ends the more romantic portion of this illustrious
individual's life. His continued struggles for subsistence, for the
acquisition of knowledge, for fame, for an honourable independence, were
now crowned with success. His rivals had shrunk from the contest, his
calumniators had fallen into deserved obscurity, his merits had been
acknowledged at home and abroad, his perseverance, his ardour, and his
acuteness of observation, were duly estimated. While yet in the vigour
of manhood, he had attained the honour and emolument that are often
deferred to cheer only the declining years of the votary of science. On
the other hand, how many individuals have toiled through a life of
continued misery, without ever reaching that haven into which the gentle
breezes of prosperity had already wafted our ardent adventurer.


_Commencement of Linnæus's Academical Career._

     Linnæus restores the Botanic Garden at Upsal--Takes
     Possession of his new Residence--Founds a Natural History
     Museum--Publishes Catalogues of the Plants and Animals of
     Sweden--In 1746, makes a Journey to West Gothland--Medal
     struck to his Honour--He publishes a Flora of Ceylon from
     the Herbarium of Hermann--His alleged Discovery of a Method
     of producing Pearls--Success as a Professor--Malice of his
     Enemies--Journey to Scania--Is appointed Rector of the
     University--Attacked by Gout--Sends several of his Pupils to
     travel in foreign Countries.

Under the fostering care of Linnæus, the botanical garden of Upsal was
gradually enriched by donations from numerous friends. In the year 1742,
he introduced into it more than two hundred indigenous species, while he
sent a student to Norway to collect rarities. An experienced gardener,
whom he had formerly known with Mr Cliffort, was engaged to take charge
of it. Some idea may be formed of his zeal, from the circumstance of his
having the first year sown seeds of 567 different species, the next year
of 600, and the third of more than 1000. Plants and seeds were liberally
transmitted from Berlin by Haller and Gleditsch, from Leipsic by Ludwig,
from Yevern by Dr Mochren, from Stutgard by Gesner, from Paris by
Jussieu, from Montpellier by Sauvages, from Oxford by Dillenius, from
London by Collinson, Miller, and Catesby, from Leyden by Gronovius, from
Amsterdam by Burmann, and from Petersburg by Gmelin and Ammann. He even
received seeds from Louis XV.; and the Baron Bjilke brought him from
Russia a great number of plants, collected in Siberia by Messerschmidt,
Gerber, Heller, Heinzelman, and others, most of them not previously
described. From Holland he also obtained the Musa, a tree which he
considered himself extremely fortunate in possessing.

Six years after the restoration of the garden, he published a
description of it under the title of the Hortus Upsaliensis. At this
time, the number of exotic plants which it contained amounted to 1100. A
learned traveller, who visited it in 1771, writes as follows:--"An iron
gate of excellent workmanship leads to it from the road. At the top of
the gate are displayed the Swedish arms, and those of Count Gyllenborg,
who so zealously promoted its restitution. Within, a large court
presents itself to view; on the right stands the house of Linnæus, who
is the director of the garden, and on the left are some other buildings.
A straight avenue leads by another gate to the garden, which is
separated from the court by a neat wooden railing. The garden itself is
laid out in a superb style. The greater part consists of two large
tracts of ground, one of them containing the perennial, the other the
annual plants. Each of these tracts is divided into forty-four beds,
surrounded with a low hedge and small doors. The plant-house is divided
into the greenhouse, the hothouse, and the thriving-house, which form
the northern side; the gardener's cottage, which is on the southern;
the thriving-bank on the west; and the grass-bank on the east. The
sun-house faces the ponds, into which fresh water is conveyed by pipes."

The professor took possession of his beautiful residence in 1743, and
delivered a course of lectures on dietetics, which was numerously
attended. The same year he was elected a corresponding member of the
Academy of Montpellier. In 1744, Prince Frederick visited the university
for the first time, when the professors were presented to him. Celsius
and Linnæus were complimented with the title of _lumina academiæ_, on
account of their great learning and reputation. Some months after this
occurrence, the same prince was received at Upsal by the rector and
professors; on which occasion Linnæus alone was invited to follow him to
Ekhelsund, where he had a private interview. In October, he was
appointed secretary to the university, in the place of Andrew Celsius,
professor of astronomy, who had died in the preceding spring, and in
November was made medical inspector of Smaland, an office which had also
been possessed by the same individual.

In the following year, he founded a museum of natural history at the
botanic garden; the prince-royal and Count Gyllenborg furnishing the
first collection of animals. In autumn, he published two important
works, the Flora Suecica and the Fauna Suecica, in the composition of
which he had laboured occasionally during fifteen years. The former
contained descriptions of 1140 species of plants indigenous to Sweden,
with their medical and economical uses, their stations, and other useful
information; the latter exhibited the characters of 1350 animals
occurring in the same country. In a subsequent edition this number was
increased to 2266.

In the summer of 1746, he made a journey to West Gothland, accompanied
by several of his students, and, on returning, devoted himself to the
completion of his work on the species of plants. To favour his views,
and contribute to the extension of science, Count Tessin obliged the
East India Company, who at this time had their charter renewed, to send
out every year to China, at their own expense, a young naturalist, to be
selected by Linnæus. The same year he received a very flattering
testimony of respect from four patriotic noblemen, the Barons Harlemann,
Hopken, Palmstjerna, and Count Ekeblad, who caused a medal to be struck
in honour of him as well as of his patron, the Count Tessin. One side
represented the bust of Linnæus, with these words:--

     Carol. Linnæus, M. D., Bot. Prof. Ups. Ætat. XXXIX.

On the other were the following:--

     Carolo Gustavo Tessin et immortalitati effigiem Caroli
     Linnæi Cl. Ekeblad, Andr. Hoepken, N. Palmstierna, et Car.
     Harlemann. Dic. MDCCXLVI.

This mark of respect to the distinguished naturalist and his illustrious
friend proved so agreeable to the latter, that it induced him to order a
piece to be stamped, representing on the one side a likeness of the
professor, and on the other three crowns, indicative of his dominion
over the three kingdoms of nature, with the sun casting his beams on
them, as emblematic of the genius of the North illuminating the mundane
system. _Illustrat_,--He illumines,--was the appropriate motto. It is
not in infancy only that men are "pleased with a rattle, tickled with a
straw;" nor are flattery and presumption peculiar to any age.

In January 1747, the King of Sweden conferred on Linnæus and his issue
the title of First Physician, or Dean of the College of Physicians; and
soon after he was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Berlin.

Professor Hermann of Leyden, who, towards the end of the preceding
century, had been sent to Ceylon and other parts of India, for the
purpose of examining the spice-plants, died soon after his return, and
his collections fell into the hands of Mr Gunther, apothecary at
Copenhagen. This person, desirous of knowing what they contained, sent
them to Holland; but receiving from thence information that Linnæus was
the only person who could satisfy him, he finally addressed them to
Upsal. Delighted with this oriental treasure, which had been lost half a
century, the botanist examined it with the greatest attention, and, on
completing his laborious task, published the result under the name of
Flora Zeylanica. At the same time he gave to the world an account of his
journey to West Gothland.

It is stated, that about this period he made an important discovery
relative to the formation of pearls in the river-mussel (_Unio
margaritifera_), a shell of common occurrence in the northern parts of
Europe as well as in our own country, and from which are obtained all
our indigenous pearls, which not many years ago were held in
considerable estimation. By injuring the shell, probably by means of
puncture or perforation, it is supposed that he succeeded in causing a
deposition of the pearly matter, so that one might procure a certain
quantity at pleasure. The precise method, however, is still uncertain,
nor is it believed to have been generally successful; at all events the
secret has been entirely lost.

At this period, says Linnæus, botany was cultivated at Upsal with
unparalleled ardour. Frequent excursions were made for the purpose of
collecting plants, insects, and birds. Every Wednesday and Saturday
herbarizations took place, which continued from dawn to night. The
pupils, having their hats covered with flowers, returned to the town,
and preceded by musical instruments accompanied their professor to the

But amid all this success he was harassed by the malice of his enemies.
A decree of the senate appeared, which prevented any native of Sweden
from publishing a work in a foreign country. This was evidently directed
against him alone, for, as he says, it could apply to no other person.
In a fit of bad humour he flung his pen from him, and swore that he
would never write another book. At this period also a person named Fick
endeavoured, by disgraceful calumnies, to injure him in the esteem of
his fellow-citizens. This conduct he felt so much the more severely,
because the slanderer was one of his familiar friends, which was also
the case with respect to Halenius, who openly censured one of his
dissertations, although he had approved of it before it was sent to
press. About the same time he received a letter from Haerlem, which he
says nearly cost him his life, and prevented him from sleeping for two
months. The purport of this communication has not been disclosed; but,
surely, if he had not placed too much value on the opinion of the world,
he would have allowed the malice of his enemies to vent itself in
impotent rage.

His self-love, however, was soon gratified by the arrival of a pupil
from Paris, the first who had come to him from a foreign country, and by
the presence of several persons of distinction at his excursions. This
year he had a hundred and forty students at his lectures.

The following year, after publishing a work on Materia Medica, he was
directed by the Diet to make a journey to Scania or Schonen, the most
northern of the Swedish provinces, for the purpose of examining its
natural productions. This was the sixth and last tour which he made in
his native land. On returning he visited his brother Samuel at
Stenbrohult. During his absence he was appointed rector of the
university, and towards the end of the year entered upon the duties of
his new office.

In 1750, he continued his lectures with his wonted energy and success.
The king and queen had commenced a collection of objects belonging to
natural history, which were kept at Ulrichsdahl or Drottningholm, about
eight Swedish miles from Upsal. Thither he used to repair during the
summer and winter vacations, for the purpose of arranging and describing
the various specimens. But a violent attack of gout obliged him to
relinquish for a time all his occupations.

On his recovery he laboured at his Philosophia Botanica, which appeared
in the following season, together with an account of his journey to
Scania. During this and the preceding year, he sent out several of his
most distinguished pupils to travel in various parts of the world.


_Travelling Pupils of Linnæus._

     Enthusiasm excited by the Lectures of Linnæus--Ternstroem
     dies on his Voyage to China--Hasselquist, after travelling
     in Egypt, Arabia, and Palestine, dies at Smyrna--Forskal
     perishes in Arabia; Loefling in South America; Falk in
     Tartary--Kalm sent to Canada; Rolander to Surinam; Toren to
     Malabar; Osbeck to China--Sparrmann travels in the Cape, and
     accompanies Cook on his second Voyage--Thunberg visits
     Japan, Ceylon, and other Countries--Various parts of Europe
     visited by Pupils of Linnæus--Remarks on the Accumulation of
     Facts produced by their Exertions.

The enthusiasm excited by the lectures and demonstrations of Linnæus,
seems to have exceeded that produced by the efforts of any other
professor. The fervour of the teacher, his ardent love of nature, his
eloquence, and the kindliness of his disposition, made an indelible
impression upon his pupils, many of whom were anxious to devote their
lives to the extension of their favourite science. Upsal became the
centre of botanical, if not of zoological knowledge; and while students
flocked to it from all parts of Europe, there were proceeding from it
those whom we may call the devoted heroes of science, and who were
resolved to enlarge its boundaries, by exploring regions previously
unknown to the natural historian. An account of these men belongs in
some measure to the life of their master, in which it will form an
interesting episode.

The first of his pupils that embraced the opportunity presented by the
Swedish East India Company, was a young man named TERNSTROEM, who in
1745 embarked for China. He died, however, at Pulicandor, before
reaching the place of which he had intended to describe the productions,
and thereby to secure for himself a scientific immortality.

In the summer of 1749, FREDERICK HASSELQUIST, another of his students,
was induced by his representations to undertake a voyage to Smyrna, for
the purpose of examining the natural treasures of Palestine. Private
contributions were made to defray the expense of his journey, and a free
passage was given in an East Indiaman. Next year he continued his course
to Egypt, where he remained nine months, surveying the pyramids and
other remarkable objects, and collecting all the information that he
could obtain respecting minerals, plants, and animals. He communicated
the result of his labours to his friends at home, and was admitted a
member of the Royal Society of Upsal, and of the Stockholm Academy of
Sciences. In March 1751, he left Cairo, and taking the route of Jaffa,
travelled with a caravan of pilgrims to Jerusalem, where he remained
some time. He then visited the river Jordan, Mount Tabor, Jericho,
Bethlehem, Tyre, and Sidon, and embarked for Smyrna, where he arrived
with a great variety of specimens illustrative of natural history, as
also with a valuable selection of Arabic manuscripts, coins, and
mummies. He was preparing to return to his native country, to enjoy the
fruit of his toils, when he was seized with a violent affection of the
lungs, the predisposition to which existed before he left Sweden, and
of which the symptoms had been aggravated by the fatigues and privations
he endured in crossing the sandy deserts. The disease quickly assumed an
alarming character, and he finally sunk under it on the 9th February
1752, in the thirtieth year of his age.

Hasselquist having contracted debts at Smyrna, his creditors seized his
collections, and would have exposed them to sale, had they not been
prevented by the Swedish consul, who sent home an account of the
circumstances under which the youth had died. The queen, Louisa Ulrica,
gave orders to redeem his property, which was accordingly transmitted to
her, and deposited in the palace of Drottningholm, where she usually
resided. Duplicates of the various articles were given to Linnæus,
together with all the manuscripts, which were published in the Swedish
language under the title of Iter Palæstinum. This work was afterwards
translated into German, English, and French. It consists of two parts,
the first of which contains the journal of the traveller and his
correspondence; while the second is devoted to observations on
mineralogy, botany, and zoology, as well as to many interesting subjects
relating to the diseases, commerce, and arts, of the countries which had
been visited. A Flora of Palestine, made up from the papers and
specimens of Hasselquist, was afterwards published in the fourth volume
of the Amænitates Academicæ.

Professor Michaelis of Gottingen, so well known for his proficiency in
the languages of the East, having strongly enforced the propriety of
obtaining a more extensive knowledge of those countries in which most of
the events recorded in the Scriptures took place, a society was
instituted for that purpose; and through the influence of the Danish
ministers, Counts Bernstorff and Moltke, an expedition was fitted out
for Arabia. In 1761, five persons were chosen for conducting this
enterprise, viz. Counsellor Niebuhr, Professor Forskal, a native of
Sweden, Von Haven, Cramer, and Baurnfeind the painter. In June 1763,
FORSKAL wrote to Count Bernstorff, communicating some information
respecting the balsam of Mecca; but in about a month afterwards he fell
a sacrifice to science, and died at Jerim. His companions suffered a
similar fate, with the exception of Niebuhr, who on returning published
an account of the journey. The observations of the naturalist were
arranged by the same author, and appeared in 1775, accompanied with
illustrative engravings. In a letter to Ellis, several years earlier,
Linnæus mentions him thus:--"Mr Forskal, an excellent pupil of mine,
just appointed professor at Copenhagen, is to be sent next year, at the
expense of the King of Denmark, to the Cape of Good Hope and Arabia
Felix. If God preserve him to us, we may expect a multitude of
interesting discoveries. He excels more particularly in the knowledge of
insects, although very well versed in the other branches of natural
history." Niebuhr, who sent to him a copy of the posthumous work as soon
as it was printed, was elected a member of the Stockholm Academy of
Sciences, out of gratitude for the pains which he had taken to preserve
the name of his unfortunate friend.

Application having been made to Linnæus, from Madrid, for an able
botanist, he chose PETER LOEFLING, one of the most distinguished of
his pupils, who proceeded to Spain in 1751. During two years he
continued to collect and describe the plants of that country. At the end
of this period, he was sent by the government to travel through the
different Spanish settlements in South America. He had explored the
districts of Cumana, New Barcelona, and St Thomas of Guyana, and was
preparing to extend his journey, when he was attacked by fever, and died
in the twenty-seventh year of his age. The professor, who was much
affected by the death of this zealous and enterprising youth, published
an account of his travels, under the name of Petri Loeflingii Iter

The next victim to the eager pursuit of knowledge was FALK, a native of
West Gothland, who, coming to Upsal in 1751 to study natural history,
was received by Linnæus into his house, and appointed to take charge of
the education of his son. In 1759, he made a journey to Gothland, and
afterwards went to Copenhagen, in the hope of being sent to Arabia along
with Niebuhr and Forskal; but not finding his wishes gratified returned
to college. In 1763, through the recommendation of his master, he was
engaged by M. Kruse, first physician to the Emperor of Russia, to take
charge of his cabinet of natural curiosities, and was proceeding to
Petersburg when he suffered shipwreck at Narva. In 1765, he was
appointed keeper of the botanic garden and professor of the medical
college; but the assiduity with which he pursued his studies rendered
him subject to a disease of the bowels, causing accessions of
melancholy. In one of these fits of hypochondriasis he shot himself, at
Casan in Tartary, on the night of the 20th March 1774.

Thus perished, in the midst of their career, five of the most promising
pupils of Linnæus; but, not deterred by their fate, others pressed
forward with the desire of distinguishing themselves.

The professor, knowing that a species of mulberry-tree grew in Canada,
proposed to the Royal Society of Stockholm a voyage to that country, for
the purpose of learning whether the plant in question could be
naturalized in Sweden. The proposal being acceded to, he made choice of
PETER KALM, one of the most promising of his students. In 1747, he
departed for America, where he remained three years. In 1751, he
returned to Abo, in Finland, where his patron had obtained a
professorship for him, and published an account of his voyage. The
Canadian mulberry-tree (_Morus rubra_) was in fact introduced by him
into Sweden, and seems in some degree to have answered the purpose
intended; but, although the government offered a premium for its
cultivation, the silk-manufacture of that country has never succeeded.
Kalm, after travelling in various parts of Russia, died at his own
residence in 1790. His travels in America were translated into English
by John Reinhold Forster, who accompanied Captain Cook on his second

Rolander embarked for Surinam in 1755; Toren, in 1750, for the coast of
Malabar and Surat; and Osbeck for China in 1751. The journal of the
latter was also translated by Forster. But the most distinguished among
the more fortunate travelling-pupils of Linnæus were Sparrmann and
Thunberg, the latter of whom became his successor in the university.

ANDREW SPARRMANN studied medicine at Upsal, where, by his attention to
natural history, he attracted the notice of the celebrated professor of
that science. In 1765, he made a voyage to China with his cousin,
Captain Ekeberg, who commanded a ship belonging to the East India
Company, and who was also fond of similar studies. On his return, he
described, in an academic thesis, the plants and animals which he had
collected on this voyage. Having now formed a strong attachment to
botany and zoology, he again became desirous of travelling; but his
poverty would have prevented him had not his friend Ekeberg procured for
him the office of tutor to the children of a person residing at the Cape
of Good Hope, where he arrived in 1772. Soon after, he had the pleasure
of meeting his countryman Thunberg, from whom, however, he was soon
forced to separate; and in October made a journey to Paarl, on his
return from which he occupied himself with a description of the plants
indigenous to the district in which he resided. Captain Cook, on his
second voyage, having arrived at the Cape, the two Forsters, who
accompanied him as naturalists, went to see Sparrmann, and persuaded him
to go along with them. This he was not loath to do, and, accordingly,
had the pleasure of circumnavigating the globe. On revisiting the Cape,
in July 1775, he subsisted by practising medicine, and in a short time
acquired sufficient funds to enable him to undertake an excursion into
the interior. He penetrated 350 leagues in a north-easterly direction,
and returned with a large stock of plants and animals. The same year he
revisited his native country, where he found that in his absence he had
been promoted to the degree of Doctor in Medicine. He was now elected a
member of the Royal Society of Stockholm, and, after the death of Baron
de Geer, was appointed conservator of his collection of natural history,
which had been bequeathed to that body. Some time after, he was made
president of the same learned institution,--an office which he resigned
in three months. In 1787, he accompanied his friend Wadstroem on an
expedition into the interior of Western Africa; but the project failed,
and in the following year he returned to the Swedish capital, where he
continued till his death in July 1820. The principal works which he
published are, 1. A Voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, to the South Polar
Circle, and round the Globe, with a Journey into the Country of the
Hottentots and Caffres. This book has been translated into English. 2.
The Musæum Carlsonianum, containing Descriptions of the rarer Animals in
the Collection of Baron Carlson. 3. A Discourse on the Advantages of
Expeditions to the Pacific Ocean, with Descriptions of Animals and

CHARLES PETER THUNBERG was born in Sweden in 1743, and died at Upsal in
1828. In 1770, after finishing his education, he went to France, and
from thence to Holland, where, on being recommended by Burmann, he was
engaged by the Dutch East India Company to go to Japan in a medical
capacity. After remaining some time at the Cape, he proceeded to his
destination, and afterwards to Java and Ceylon, whence he returned first
to England, and subsequently to Germany. His travels occupied nine
years. Fourteen months after the death of Linnæus, he was appointed
director of the botanic garden of Upsal during the absence of the son of
that renowned professor. He acquired the honours usually bestowed on
fortunate cultivators of science, and finally succeeded the younger

Besides these celebrated individuals, who explored the most remote
regions of the globe, many of the students trained in the garden and
lecture-rooms of Upsal traversed various parts of Europe. Koehler
visited Italy; Alstroemer the same country, as well as France and Spain;
Von Troil made a voyage to Iceland; Fabricius travelled in Norway,
England, and France; and Solander examined the Lapland Alps. In short,
an astonishing impulse was given to the study of natural history in
general, and of botany in particular. Facts and observations were
accumulated to such a degree, that had Linnæus lived ten years longer he
would have been utterly unable to continue the legislator of the science
in all its departments.

To him, however, remains the glory of having been the only individual
who described all the minerals, plants, and animals, known in his time.
Before him no one had attempted the task.


_Linnæus's Occupations from 1750 to 1770._

     Publication of the Philosophia Botanica--General Account of
     that Work--Linnæus engaged in arranging the Collections of
     the Queen and Count Tessin--The Species Plantarum--Sir J. E.
     Smith's Remarks on it--Quotation from the Preface, with
     Remarks--Linnæus publishes improved Editions of his
     Works--Obtains Prizes for Essays from the Royal Societies of
     Stockholm and Petersburg--Is elected a Member of the Academy
     of Sciences of Paris--Receives Plants and Seeds from various
     Quarters--Purchases two Estates--Delivers private Lectures
     at his Museum--His Emoluments--His Son appointed his
     Assistant and Successor--He receives Letters of Nobility;
     and is rewarded for his Discovery of the Art of producing
     Pearls--His domestic Troubles, Infirmities, and sincere
     Reconciliation to his old Antagonist Rosen, who attends him
     in his Sickness.

It has been already mentioned that Linnæus, when residing in Holland,
printed a short treatise containing his theoretical views respecting the
classification of plants. This work, to which he gave the title of
Fundamenta Botanica, consisted of a series of aphorisms or propositions,
which his friends afterwards repeatedly urged him to demonstrate at
length, so as to constitute them into a body of doctrine which might be
considered as the code of botanical science. Accordingly, in 1751, he
published the Philosophia Botanica, one of the most remarkable
performances that any age or country can boast of. It consists of 12
chapters, 52 sections, 365 aphorisms, in imitation of the different
divisions of the year,--a puerile conceit, with which his enemies have
not failed to taunt the illustrious author. Had there been a hundred
days more he might have found aphorisms for them all; and any one
conversant with zoology might engage to construct a classification of
animals on the very same principle. Since he was so attached to
numerical analogies, it is surprising that he did not form 12 classes of
plants, 52 orders, 365 families, and a number of genera corresponding to
that of the hours in a year. On such an arrangement might, with due
calculation, have been founded a system of botany as perfect as any that
had appeared before his time. The distribution of his materials, however
is the only childish part of the book; for in other respects it must be
acknowledged to be a model of perspicuity, precision, and force.

The first chapter gives an account of the principal writers on botany;
the second, of systems of classification; the third, of the roots,
stems, and leaves of plants; the fourth, of the parts of fructification.
In the remaining chapters are discussed the doctrine of sexes, the
characters of the classes and subdivisions, the names of the genera, the
specific differences, varieties, synonymes, the descriptions of the
species, and the virtues or uses. At the end of the volume are several
curious fragments, containing directions to students of botany, the
method of forming herbariums, a plan to be followed by naturalists in
travelling, and other matters of a like nature.

"The Genera Plantarum," says Linnæus in his private memoirs, "the most
important of all the works on botany, and which was intended for
facilitating the study of that science, being completed, he laboured at
the species. He was at this period the only person who had at his
disposal the materials necessary for the composition of that great work.
His herbarium was immense, and no one had seen so great a number of
gardens and collections. With the assistance of this methodical book,
any person can make out the plants already described by authors, and
those which have become known only of late, or which are entirely new.
He laboured, two successive years at the species; and it was at this
period that he felt the first attacks of calculus, the usual consequence
of too sedentary a life, and of long-continued pressure on the lower
abdominal viscera."

In 1753, being again called to Drottningholm, he was desired to describe
the natural productions contained in the museums of his majesty and the
Count Tessin. The former rewarded him with a valuable ring, the latter
with a gold watch and a copy of Rumphius's splendid Herbarium
Amboinense. But what delighted him most was the assurance given by the
queen, that should his son evince a liking to natural history, she would
send him to travel over Europe at her own expense.

This year appeared the Species Plantarum, which was published at
Stockholm in two volumes, and contained the characters of 7000 species.
Haller denominates this production "maximum opus et æternum." It is
unnecessary here to offer any detailed account of it, as it is well
known to every botanist. Sir James E. Smith, in his Life of Linnæus,
observes, that "it is ever memorable for the adaptation of specific,
or, as they were at first called, trivial names. This contrivance, which
he first used in his Pan Suecicus, a dissertation printed in 1749,
extended to minerals in his Museum Tessinianum, and subsequently to all
the departments of zoology, has perhaps rendered his works more popular
than any one of their merits besides. His specific differences were
intended to be used as names; but their unavoidable length rendering
this impracticable, and the application of numeral figures to each
species, in Haller's manner, being still more burthensome to the memory,
all natural science would have been ruined for want of a common
language, were it not for this simple and happy invention. By this means
we speak of every natural production in two words, its generic and its
specific name. No ambiguous comparisons or references are wanted, no
presupposition of any thing already known. The distinguishing character
of each object is mostly stamped in its name; and if this perfection of
the art cannot always be attained, the memory is assisted, often very
ingeniously, with collateral information, indicating the colour, the
habit, or the qualities of the object of our examination. The
philosophical tribe of naturalists, for so they are called by themselves
and their admirers, do not therefore depreciate Linnæus when they call
him a nomenclator. On the contrary, they celebrate him for a merit which
no other person has attained, and without which their own discoveries
and remarks, of whatever value, would not be understood."

In the preface to this work, which he dedicated to the king and queen,
we find the following passage, which will enable the reader to form an
estimate of that kind of forbearance which he showed towards his
critics:--"I have never sent back upon my enemies the shafts which they
have hurled at me. The grins of the malicious, the ironies and attacks
of the envious, I have quietly borne. They have always been the reward
of the labours of great men; but nothing of all this can hurt a hair of
my head. Why should I not tolerate the wretches, when I have been loaded
with the praises of the most celebrated botanists, before whom they must
bend in the dust. My age, my profession, and my character, prevent me
from waging war with my opponents. I will employ the few years I have to
live in making useful observations. In natural history, errors cannot be
defended nor truths concealed. I appeal to posterity." The decision of
posterity, however, may be as unjust as that of our contemporaries, and
the former is in all cases of less importance to us than the latter, for
it can in no degree benefit the author who relies upon it. And to show
that Linnæus severely felt the censure of his opponents, we have only to
refer to his private memoirs. His treatment of them seems to have been
the effect of pride more than of magnanimity, although it appeared to
belong to the latter. Rousseau, who greatly admired it, was heard to
exclaim, "Would that I had imitated the Upsal professor! I should have
gained some days of happiness and years of peace."

About this time also was published his description of the museum of
Count Tessin, already alluded to, under the name of Musæum Tessinianum.
Loefling sent him plants from Spain, and similar accessions poured in
from other quarters; but he occasionally experienced a return of his
complaints, which were relieved by the plentiful use of wild
strawberries. His account of the king's museum appeared the following

Besides his ordinary occupations of lecturing and accompanying his
pupils on their excursions into the country, he sent forth successively
improved editions of several of his works, which he endeavoured to bring
up to the level of his expanding knowledge. The Stockholm Academy having
offered a prize, consisting of two gold medals, for the best essay on
the means of improving Lapland, he composed a treatise on the subject,
which received the approbation of that learned body. Although no regular
cultivation could be applied to so dreary a region, he showed that
considerable improvements might be made by introducing plants which grow
in the mountainous districts of similar latitudes, and especially by
planting trees suited to the climate. In 1759, the Imperial Academy of
Sciences at Petersburg announced a premium for the best work on the
confirmation or refutation of the doctrine of sexes in the vegetable
kingdom. He wrote on this topic also, in which he established the fact
by new and irrefragable arguments, and the reward was of course adjudged
to him. The motto which he affixed to this tract was indicative of his
prevailing passion: "Famam extendere factis."

The celebrity of his name now attracted pupils from many parts of
Europe; obtained him admission into most of the distinguished learned
societies; and rendered him an object of attraction to travellers. In
1762, he was elected a foreign member of the Academy of Sciences of
Paris,--a circumstance of which he was not a little proud. "It was,"
says he, "the greatest honour that could be conferred on a man of
science, and hitherto no Swede had enjoyed it. The number of foreign
members is limited to eight. The following are the names of the persons
who were then invested with that dignity:--Morgagni, Bernouilli, Euler,
Macclesfield, Poleni, Haller, Van Swieten, and Linnæus."

The botanic garden at Upsal received accessions corresponding to the
increasing fame of its restorer, and was enriched by specimens or seeds
transmitted from many remote regions; from Kamtschatka and Siberia, by
Demidoff and Gmelin; from China, by several of his pupils; from Egypt,
Palestine, Java, and the Cape of Good Hope, by Thunberg, Sparrmann, and
others; from Canada, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, by Kalm and Gronovius;
from Jamaica, by Dr Browne; and from South America, by Miller. A great
quantity of African seeds came into his possession in the following
singular manner:--Donati, a young Italian naturalist, had been sent to
Egypt and the Levant, at the expense of the King of Sardinia. At
Alexandria he fell in love with a young lady, the daughter of a
Frenchman, and in order to forward his suit, allowed her brother to
accompany him on his travels. The intended relative, however, robbed him
of all his money and collections, and carried them to France. Not
finding himself safe there, he embarked again for Constantinople; but
being still unable to turn his stolen seeds to any account, he sent them
to Linnæus, whose name he had often heard mentioned by Donati. Among the
rare exotics which he procured was the tea-plant, which his friend
Ekeberg brought from China in 1763, and which had not been previously
seen in Europe.

In 1758, he purchased for 80,000 dollars (above £2330 sterling) two
estates, situated at the distance of about three miles from Upsal, to
which he retired during the vacations, and where he spent the last ten
years of his life. On an eminence, near the mansion at Hammarby, he
erected a museum, in which he deposited all his collections. It was of
an oblong form, and had a magnificent prospect over an extensive plain
sprinkled with villages, the city of Upsal and the river Sala appearing
at a distance, and the lofty mountains of Dalecarlia lining the horizon.
Here he occasionally gave lessons to foreigners, and improved his
various works.

These private instructions seem to have been a source of great emolument
to him. They were confined chiefly to strangers, who used to lodge in
the neighbouring villages of Honby and Edeby, and to whom he pronounced
his lectures, not in the grave and solemn habit of a professor, but as a
companion, frequently wearing his dressing-gown and a red fur cap, with
a tobacco-pipe in his mouth. Lord Baltimore, governor of Maryland,
having gone from Stockholm for the purpose of seeing him, was
entertained with a discourse on natural history; for which he presented
him with a splendid gold snuff-box, 100 ducats, and a superb piece of
silver plate.

A pleasing picture of his manners and amusements is given by his pupil
Fabricius, although, in one circumstance at least, his example may not
be considered as commendable: "We were three, Kuhn, Zoega, and I, all
foreigners. In summer we followed him into the country. In winter we
lived facing his house, and he came to us almost every day in his short
red robe-de-chambre, with a green fur cap on his head, and a pipe in his
hand. He came for half an hour, but stopped a whole one, and many times
two. His conversation on these occasions was extremely sprightly and
pleasant. It consisted either of anecdotes relative to the learned in
his profession with whom he got acquainted in foreign countries, or in
clearing up our doubts, or giving us other kinds of instruction. He used
to laugh then most heartily, and displayed a serenity and an openness of
countenance, which proved how much his soul was susceptible of amity and
good fellowship.

"Our life was much happier when we resided in the country. Our
habitation was about half a quarter of a league distant from his house
at Hammarby, in a farm-house, where we kept our own furniture and other
requisites for housekeeping. He rose very early in summer, and mostly
about four o'clock. At six he came to us, because his house was then
building, breakfasted with us, and gave lectures upon the natural orders
of plants as long as he pleased, and generally till about ten o'clock.
We then wandered about till twelve upon the adjacent rocks, the
productions of which afforded us plenty of entertainment. In the
afternoon we repaired to his garden, and in the evening we usually
played at the Swedish game of trisset in company with his wife.

"On Sundays the whole family usually came to spend the day with us. We
sent for a peasant who played on an instrument resembling a violin, to
the sound of which we danced in the barn of our farm-house. Our balls
certainly were not very splendid,--the company was but small, the music
superlatively rustic, and no change in the dances, which were constantly
either minuets or Polish; but, regardless of these defects, we passed
our time very merrily. While we were dancing, the old man, who smoked
his pipe with Zoega, who was deformed and emaciated, became a spectator
of our amusement, and sometimes, though very rarely, danced a Polish
dance, in which he excelled every one of us young men. He was extremely
delighted whenever he saw us in high glee, nay, if we even became very
noisy. Had he not always found us so, he would have manifested his
apprehension that we were not sufficiently entertained."

The presents which he received from his admirers, the fees of his
pupils, his salary, and the property which he had acquired by marriage,
rendered him one of the richest of the Upsal professors; and, during the
latter period of his life, his stated income was doubled by order of the
king. The emoluments which he derived from his works were not great, as
he got only for each printed sheet the small sum of one ducat, or about
nine shillings and sixpence sterling.

To add to his happiness, his son, at the age of twenty-one, was
appointed his assistant and successor, shortly after he himself had
received letters of nobility, which were antedated four years. In 1748,
Frederick I. had founded the order of the Polar Star for men of merit
in the civil line, and Linnæus was the first who was admitted into it by
his successor, Frederick Adolphus. He proposed for his arms the three
fields of nature, black, green, and red, surmounted by an egg, with the
Linnæa for a crest; but the keeper of the great seal adopted a different
arrangement. The Diet at the same time bestowed on him a reward of
upwards of £520 sterling, for his discovery relative to the production
of pearls; and it is even asserted that his elevation to the rank of
nobility was not given on account of his botanical labours, or his
general merits, but for this alleged discovery, which, however, has
turned to no account.

But the interest which we have felt in the progress of this great man
now begins to be less intense. He seems to us to have accomplished his
destiny, and we prepare to trace his steps to the grave. In his domestic
life he is supposed to have been subjected to many mortifications,
arising from the parsimony and domineering temper of his wife. Long
before this period, too, he had become subject to attacks of rheumatism,
gravel, and gout; while his too-sensitive mind was harassed by the open
as well as more insidious attacks of his opponents. It is pleasing to
witness the reconciliation of enemies, and we have already remarked that
Linnæus and his old antagonist Rosen were ultimately on the most
friendly terms. "In 1764," says the private manuscript, "he was attacked
by a violent pleurisy. He was anxiously attended by Dr Rosen, who saved
him from certain death. From this time he conceived the most sincere
affection for his brother-professor."

Before proceeding to convey the prince of naturalists to the tomb, it
seems expedient to examine the most important of his numerous
works,--that, namely, in which he arranges all the known objects of
nature, and of which the last edition, brought out under his own
inspection, appeared about this epoch of his life.


_Account of the Systema Naturæ of Linnæus._

     Linnæus's Classification of the Animal Kingdom--Remarks on
     the Gradations employed, and on Nomenclature--Classification
     of the Animal Kingdom--General Remarks--Method of
     Tournefort--Method of Linnæus--Classification of the
     Vegetable Kingdom--Theory of the Formation of Minerals and

The work just mentioned bears the title of Systema Naturæ per Regna tria
Naturæ, secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus,
Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis,--A System of Nature, in which are
arranged the objects constituting the three kingdoms of nature, in
classes, orders, genera, and species, with their characters,
differences, synonymes, and places of occurrence.

The first volume contains the animal kingdom. The introduction presents
a brief view of the constitution of the world, in the usually laconic
style of the author. In it the three kingdoms of nature are thus
defined:--_Minerals_ are concrete bodies, possessing neither life nor
sensibility; _vegetables_ are organized bodies, possessed of life, but
without sensibility; _animals_ are organized bodies, possessing life and
sensibility, together with voluntary motion. Objections may be made to
these definitions; but it is not our object at present to criticise his
views and arrangements, our intention being simply to offer a brief
account of them, omitting all that is not absolutely essential. It ought
to be understood, that the entire work is merely an index or catalogue
of the productions of nature; that it was obviously intended as such by
its author; and that they who object to the Systema Naturæ, because it
contains nothing more than characteristic notes methodically arranged,
forget that Linnæus never professed to give descriptions in it.

The natural division of animals, he says, is indicated by their internal
structure. This principle his modern adversaries have chosen to
overlook, asserting that his classification is founded on external form.
In some species the heart has two distinct cavities, and the blood is
warm and red; of these some are viviparous,--the _mammalia_,--others
oviparous,--the class of _birds_. In certain species the heart has only
a single cavity, with a single auricle, the blood red but cold; of these
the _amphibia_ have a voluntary respiration, while _fishes_ respire by
gills. In other animals the heart has also a single cavity, but without
an auricle, while the blood is cold and of a white colour; of these the
_insects_ are characterized by their antennæ, the _vermes_ or _worms_ by
their tentacula.

The _Mammalia_, which constitute the first class, are the only animals
furnished with teats. Their clothing, hoofs, claws, horns, teeth, and
other organs, are briefly described, in such a manner as to enable the
student to comprehend the meaning of the terms to be subsequently
employed. The characters of the orders are derived principally from the

     I. PRIMATES or _Nobles_: Mammalia furnished with fore teeth,
     of which there are four in the upper jaw, and two pectoral

     II. BRUTA: No fore teeth in either jaw.

     III. FERÆ, _Beasts of Prey_: The fore teeth conical, usually
     six in each jaw.

     IV. GLIRES or _Gnawers_: Two chissel-shaped fore teeth in
     each jaw.

     V. PECORA, _Cattle_: No fore teeth in the upper jaw, several
     in the lower.

     VI. BELLUÆ: Fore teeth obtuse; feet furnished with hoofs.

     VII. CETE, _Whales_: Pectoral fins in the place of feet, and
     in place of a tail the hind feet united so as to form a flat
     fin; no claws; the teeth cartilaginous.

The order _Primates_ contains four genera:--

1. _Homo_, _Man_, of which (strange to say) he makes two species, viz.
_Homo Sapiens_, including all the descendants of Adam, and _Homo
Troglodytes_, the orang-outang! The varieties of the human race are the
American, the European, the Asiatic, the African or Negro, and those
called monstrous, such as the Patagonians, characterized by their great
size, the flat-headed Indians of Canada, &c. His description of the
human figure is amusing; and as it may afford an idea of his mode of
viewing objects, we shall translate it in part:--

"The _Body_ erect, bare, sprinkled over with a few distant hairs, and
about six feet high. The _Head_ inversely egg-shaped: scalp covered with
longer hairs: the fore part obtuse, crown very obtuse, hind-head
bulging. The _Face_ bare: _Forehead_ flattish, square, compressed at the
temples, ascending at the corners among the hair. _Eyebrows_ somewhat
prominent, with hairs closely set and directed outwards, separated by
the flattish glabella. Upper _eyelid_ moveable, lower fixed, both
pectinated with projecting somewhat recurved hairs. _Eyes_ round: pupil
round, without nictitant membrane. _Cheeks_ bulging, softish, coloured,
their lower part somewhat compressed, the buccal portion looser. _Nose_
prominent, shorter than the lip, compressed, higher and more bulging at
the tip; nostrils ovate, hairy within, with a thickish margin. Upper
_lip_ nearly perpendicular, grooved in the middle; lower _lip_ nearly
erect, more prominent. _Chin_ protruded, obtuse, bulging. _Mouth_ in the
male bearded with bristles, which on the chin especially form a bundle.
_Fore teeth_ in both jaws sharp edged, erect, parallel, close; _canine
teeth_ solitary, a little longer, close to the rest on both sides;
_grinders_ five, bluntish. _Ears_ lateral; auricles roundish-semilunar,
pressed in some measure towards the head, bare, vaulted above the
margin; bulging and soft below." He then proceeds to state more
particularly, that there is no tail, and that the thumb is shorter and
thicker than the fingers. Man, therefore, differs from other animals, as
he says, in having the body erect and bare, although the head and
eyebrows are covered with hair, two pectoral mammæ, a brain larger than
that of any other creature, a uvula, the face bare and parallel to the
abdomen, the nose prominent and compressed, the chin projecting, no
tail, feet resting on the heels, the males bearded on the chin, the
females smooth.

As to the orang-outang, which forms his second species of man, he might
have known that having four hands, and being incapable of carrying its
body erect, it had no right to stand beside the lord of the creation.

The second genus, _Simia_, includes the baboons and monkeys, of which,
with and without tails, he enumerates thirty-three species.

     3. _Lemur_, the macaucos: 5 species.

     4. _Vespertilio_, the bats: 6 species.

These are the _Nobles_ of the animal kingdom: men, monkeys, lemurs, and
bats. There could hardly be a more unnatural association; but all
artificial systems, founded upon the consideration of a single organ or
set of organs, are chargeable with similar absurdities.

The second order, BRUTA, is composed of the following genera:--

     5. _Elephas_, the elephant, of which there is only one

     6. _Trichechus_, the walrus: 2 species, the morse and

     7. _Bradypus_, the sloth: 2 species.

     8. _Myrmecophaga_, the anteater: 4 species.

     9. _Manis_: 2 species.

     10. _Dasypus_, the armadillo: 6 species.

The third order, FERÆ, or Beasts of Prey:--

     11. _Phoca_, the seal: 3 species.

     12. _Canis_, the dog, wolf, hyena, fox, jackal, &c.: 9

     13. _Felis_, the cat kind, including the lion, the tiger,
     &c.: 7 species.

     14. _Viverra_, the civet: 6 species.

     15. _Mustela_, the martin, including otters, weasels,
     ermines, polecats, &c.: 11 species.

     16. _Ursus_, the bear: 4 species.

     17. _Didelphis_, the opossum: 5 species.

     18. _Talpa_, the mole: 2 species.

     19. _Sorex_, the shrew: 5 species.

     20. _Erinaceus_, the hedgehog: 3 species.

The fourth order, GLIRES, Gnawing Animals:--

     21. _Hystrix_, the porcupine: 4 species.

     22. _Lepus_, the hare: 4 species.

     23. _Castor_, the beaver: 3 species.

     24. _Mus_, rats and mice: 21 species.

     25. _Sciurus_, the squirrel: 11 species.

     26. _Noctilio_: 1 species.

The fifth order, PECORA, the Ruminating Animals:--

     27. _Camelus_, the camel, dromedary, lama, and alpaca: 4

     28. _Moschus_, the musk: 3 species.

     29. _Cervus_, the deer: 7 species.

     30. _Capra_, the goat: 12 species.

     31. _Ovis_, the sheep: 3 species.

     32. _Bos_, the ox tribe: 6 species.

The sixth order, BELLUÆ, contains,--

     33. _Equus_, the horse, ass, and zebra: 3 species.

     34. _Hippopotamus_: 1 species.

     35. _Sus_, the hog tribe: 5 species.

     36. _Rhinoceros_: 1 species.

The seventh order, CETE, the Whales, consists of four genera:--

     37. _Monodon_, the narwhal, or sea-unicorn: 1 species.

     38. _Balæna_, the whale, properly so called: 4 species.

     39. _Physeter_, the cachalot: 4 species.

     40. _Delphinus_, the dolphin: 3 species.

Including a few additional species mentioned in the appendix to the
third volume, and the Mantissa of 1771, the number of Mammalia known to
Linnæus was about 230. At the present day, more than 1000 species are

The second class, that of BIRDS, is divided by him into six orders, the
essential characters of which are derived from the bill and feet, as

     I. ACCIPITRES: _Birds of Prey_. The bill more or less
     curved, the upper mandible dilated or armed with a
     tooth-like process near the tip; the feet short, robust,
     with acute hooked claws.

     II. PICÆ. The bill cultriform, with the back convex; the
     feet short, rather strong.

     III. ANSERES: _Web-footed Birds_. The bill smooth, covered
     with epidermis, enlarged at the tip; the toes united by a
     web, the legs compressed and short.

     IV. GRALLÆ: _Waders_. The bill somewhat cylindrical; the
     feet long, bare above the knee, and formed for wading.

     V. GALLINÆ: _Gallinaceous Birds_. Bill convex, the upper
     mandible arched over the lower, the nostrils arched with a
     cartilaginous membrane. Feet with the toes separated, and
     rough beneath.

     VI. PASSERES: _Small Birds_. Bill conical, sharp pointed;
     feet slender, the toes separated.

It may here be remarked, that this arrangement is liable to many
objections, and especially because the characters given to the orders
are totally inapplicable to many species contained in them. Thus, the
vultures, which belong to the first order, have no projecting processes
on the upper mandible; the parrots, which are referred to the second,
have the bill hooked, not cultriform, and bear no resemblance to the
other species; among the Anseres, which are characterized as having the
bill smooth, covered with epidermis, and enlarged at the tip, are the
gannet with a bare pointed bill, the divers, the terns, and the gulls,
with bills not at all answering to the description given; among the
Grallæ with a cylindrical bill, are the ostrich with a short depressed
one, the boatbill with one resembling a boat, the spoonbill, the heron,
the flamingo, and others, whose bills differ from each other as much as
from that of the snipes and curlews; the character given to the bill of
the Gallinæ agrees with that of many Passeres; and, lastly, the wagtail,
the swallow, the tit, the robin, and a multitude of other small birds,
have bills extremely unlike those of the goldfinch, bunting, and
crossbill, which are referred to the same order. We mention these
circumstances, not for the purpose of detracting from the merit of
Linnæus, but simply because we are persuaded that many of his
generalizations are extremely incorrect, as are in many respects those
of all his predecessors, and even of the ablest philosophers of the
present age. It is absurd to attempt to thrust the objects of nature
into squares or circles, or enclosures of any other form. Every system
that has been invented has failed in presenting even a tolerably
accurate view of the discrepancies and accordances of the
endlessly-diversified forms that have resulted from the creation of an
Infinite Power.

The following table presents the Linnæan arrangement of Birds in

     _Order I._ ACCIPITRES.

     41. _Vultur_, vultures. Beak hooked; head bare: 8 species.

     42. _Falco_, eagles and hawks. Beak hooked; head feathered:
     32 species.

     43. _Strix_, owl. Beak hooked, feathers at its base directed
     forwards: 12 species.

     44. _Lanius_, shrike. Beak straightish, notched: 26 species.

     _Order II._ PICÆ.

     45. _Psittacus_, parrots. Beak hooked; upper mandible
     furnished with a cere: 47 species.

     46. _Ramphastos_, toucan. Beak very large, hollow, convex,
     serrated; both mandibles incurved at the tip: 8 species.

     47. _Buceros_, hornbill. Beak convex, curved, cultrate,
     large, serrated; forehead covered with a horny plate: 4

     46. _Buphaga_, beef-eater. Beak straight, somewhat
     quadrangular; the mandibles bulging: 1 species.

     49. _Crotophaga_, plantain-eater. Beak compressed,
     half-eggshaped, arched, keeled on the back: 2 species.

     50. _Corvus_, crows. Beak convex, cultrate; nostrils covered
     by recumbent bristly feathers: 19 species.

     51. _Coracias_, roller. Beak cultrate, the tip incurved, not
     covered with feathers at the base: 6 species.

     52. _Oriolus_, oriole. Beak conical, convex, straight, very
     acute; upper mandible slightly longer, and indistinctly
     notched: 20 species.

     53. _Gracula_, grakle. Beak cultrate, convex, bareish at the
     base: 8 species.

     54. _Paradisea_, birds of Paradise. Beak covered with the
     downy feathers of the forehead; feathers of the sides long:
     3 species.

     55. _Trogon_, curucui. Beak shorter than the head, cultrate,
     hooked, serrated: 3 species.

     56. _Bucco_, barbet. Beak cultrate, laterally compressed,
     notched at the tip, incurved, opening to beneath the eyes: 1

     57. _Cuculus_, cuckoo. Beak roundish; nostrils with a
     prominent margin: 22 species.

     58. _Yunx_, wryneck. Beak roundish, sharp pointed; nostrils
     concave: 1 species.

     59. _Picus_, woodpecker. Beak angular, straight, the tip
     wedgeshaped; the nostrils covered with recumbent bristly
     feathers: 21 species.

     60. _Sitta_, nuthatch. Beak awlshaped, roundish, straight: 3

     61. _Todus_, tody. Beak awlshaped, a little flattened,
     obtuse, straight, with spreading bristles at the base: 2

     62. _Alcedo_, kingsfisher. Beak three cornered, thick,
     straight, long: 15 species.

     63. _Merops_, bee-eater. Beak curved, compressed, keeled: 7

     64. _Upupa_, hoopoe. Beak arcuate, convex, a little
     compressed, rather obtuse: 3 species.

     65. _Certhia_, creeper. Beak arcuate, slender, acute: 25

     66. _Trochilus_, humming-bird. Beak slender, longer than the
     head, its tip tubular: 22 species.

     _Order III._ ANSERES.

     67. _Anas_, swans, geese, and ducks. Beak lamellated at the
     margin, convex, obtuse: 45 species.

     68. _Mergus_, merganser. Beak denticulate, cylindrical, the
     tip hooked: 6 species.

     69. _Alca_, auk. Beak short, compressed, convex, furrowed;
     the lower mandible with a prominent angle: 5 species.

     70. _Procellaria_, petrel. Beak a little compressed; the
     upper mandible hooked, the lower channelled and compressed
     at the tip: 6 species.

     71. _Diomedea_, albatross. Beak straight; upper mandible
     hooked at the tip, lower abrupt: 2 species.

     72. _Pelecanus_, pelican, gannet, shag. Beak straight, the
     tip hooked, unguiculate: 8 species.

     73. _Plotus_, darter. Beak straight, sharp pointed,
     denticulate: 1 species.

     74. _Phaeton_. Beak cultrate, straight, acuminate: 2

     75. _Colymbus_, diver. Beak slender, straight, sharp
     pointed: 11 species.

     76. _Larus_, gull. Beak straight, cultrate, the tip a little
     hooked; the lower mandible with an angular prominence: 11

     77. _Sterna_, tern. Beak slender, nearly straight, acute,
     compressed: 7 species.

     78. _Rynchops_, skimmer. Beak straight; upper mandible much
     shorter, lower abruptly terminated: 2 species.

     _Order IV._ GRALLÆ, Waders.

     79. _Phoenicopterus_, flamingo. Beak incurvated as if
     broken, denticulate; feet webbed: 1 species.

     80. _Platalea_, spoonbill. Beak flattish, the tip dilated,
     rounded, and flat: 3 species.

     81. _Palamedea_, screamer. Beak conical; the upper mandible
     hooked: 2 species.

     82. _Mycteria_, jabiru. Beak acute; lower mandible trigonal,
     ascending; upper three cornered, straight: 1 species.

     83. _Cancroma_, boatbill. Beak bulging; the upper mandible
     resembling a boat with the keel uppermost: 2 species.

     84. _Ardea_, cranes and herons. Beak straight, acute, long,
     a little compressed, with a furrow from the nostrils to the
     tip: 26 species.

     85. _Tantalus_, ibis. Beak long, slender, arcuate; face
     bare: 7 species.

     86. _Scolopax_, snipes, curlews. Beak long, slender, obtuse;
     face feathered: 18 species.

     87. _Tringa_, sandpiper. Beak roundish, as long as the head;
     nostrils linear; feet with four toes: 23 species.

     88. _Charadrius_, plover. Beak roundish, obtuse; feet with
     three toes: 12 species.

     89. _Recurvirostra_, avoset. Beak slender, recurved,
     pointed, the tip flexible: 1 species.

     90. _Hæmatopus_, oyster-catcher. Beak compressed, the tip
     wedgeshaped: 1 species.

     91. _Fulica_, coot. Beak convex; upper mandible arched over
     the lower, which has a prominent angle: 7 species.

     92. _Parra_, jacana. Beak roundish, bluntish; forehead
     wattled; wings spurred: 5 species.

     93. _Rallus_, rail. Beak thicker at the base, compressed,
     acute: 10 species.

     94. _Psophia_, trumpeter. Beak conical, convex, rather
     sharp; the upper mandible longer: 1 species.

     95. _Otis_, bustard. Beak with the upper mandible arched: 4

     96. _Struthio_, ostrich and cassowary. Beak somewhat
     conical; wings unfit for flying: 3 species.

     _Order V._ GALLINÆ, Gallinaceous Birds.

     97. _Didus_, dodo. Beak contracted in the middle, with two
     transverse rugæ; the tip of both mandibles bent inwards: 1
     species, now extinct.

     98. _Pavo_, pea-fowl. Head covered with feathers; feathers
     of the rump elongated, with eyelike spots: 3 species.

     99. _Meleagris_, turkey-fowl. Head covered with spongy
     caruncles; the throat with a longitudinal membranous wattle:
     3 species.

     100. _Crax_, curassow-bird. Beak with a cere at the base;
     head covered with recurved feathers: 5 species.

     101. _Phasianus_, pheasant. Sides of the head bare: 6

     102. _Numida_, Guinea-fowl. Carunculated wattles on each
     side of the face; head with a horny crest: 1 species.

     103. _Tetrao_, grouse and partridge. A bare papillar spot
     near the eyes: 20 species.

     _Order VI._ PASSERES.

     104. _Columba_, pigeon. Beak straight; nostrils with a tumid
     membrane: 40 species.

     105. _Alauda_, lark. Beak slender, pointed; tongue slit;
     hind claw very long: 11 species.

     106. _Sturnus_, starling. Beak slender, flattened towards
     the point: 5 species.

     107. _Turdus_, thrush. Beak tubulate, compressed, notched:
     28 species.

     108. _Ampelis_, chatterer. Beak awlshaped, depressed at the
     base, notched: 7 species.

     109. _Loxia_, grossbeak. Beak conical, bulging at the base:
     48 species.

     110. _Emberiza_, bunting. Beak somewhat conical; lower
     mandible broader: 24 species.

     111. _Tanagra_, tanager. Beak notched, awlshaped, conical at
     the base: 24 species.

     112. _Fringilla_, finch. Beak conical, acute: 39 species.

     113. _Muscicapa_, flycatcher. Beak notched, awlshaped, with
     large bristles at the base: 21 species.

     114. _Motacilla_, wagtails, warblers. Beak awlshaped, tongue
     jagged; claw of the hind toe of moderate length: 49 species.

     115. _Pipra_, manakin. Beak awlshaped, incurved: 13 species.

     116. _Parus_, tit. Beak awlshaped, feathers at its base
     directed forwards; tongue abrupt: 14 species.

     117. _Hirundo_, swallow. Beak very small, depressed at the
     base, incurved; the mouth wider than the head: 12 species.

     118. _Caprimulgus_, goatsucker. Beak very small, incurved,
     depressed at the base; large bristles; the mouth very wide:
     2 species.

The class of Birds comprehends 930 species, which are characterized by
the colours of the plumage, the forms of the feathers, the existence of
wattles, spurs, and various other circumstances.

The third class, _Amphibia_, is composed of animals not, strictly
speaking, capable of living both in air and in water, but having the
power of suspending their respiration in a more arbitrary manner than
others. They are arranged under four orders:--

     I. REPTILES. Amphibious animals respiring through the mouth
     by means of lungs; and furnished with four feet.

To this order belong the tortoises, dragons, crocodiles, lizards, toads,
and frogs, which are disposed into four genera, containing 83 species.

     II. SERPENTES, _Serpents_. Respiring through the mouth by
     means of lungs; destitute of feet, fins, and ears.

There are six genera, and 132 species.

     III. MEANTES, _Gliders_. Respiring by means of gills and
     lungs; furnished with feet and claws.

There is only one species, the lizard-syren of Carolina.

     IV. NANTES, _Swimming Amphibia_. Respiring at will by means
     of gills and lungs: the rays of the fins cartilaginous.

These animals, of which 76 species are enumerated, are referred to
fourteen genera,--the lamprey, ray or skate, shark, chimæra, frog-fish,
sturgeon, lump-fish, oldwife-fish, bonyskin-fish, sun-fish,
porcupine-fish, trumpet-fish, pipe-fish, and dragon-fish.

The number of species described as belonging to this class is 292. The
specific characters are derived from various circumstances connected
with the external conformation; in the tortoises, from the shell and
feet; in the snakes, from the number of the abdominal and caudal plates;
in the swimming amphibia, or, as they are now more properly called, the
cartilaginous fishes, from the form of the body, the differences of the
fins, and other circumstances.

The fourth class, that of FISHES, contains four orders, founded upon the
relative position of the fins, which are compared to the feet of other
animals. Thus, the ventral fins may be placed before, beneath, or behind
the pectoral, or they may be wanting.

     I. APODES, _Apodal_ or _Footless_. Fishes destitute of
     ventral fins; such as the eel, the wolf-fish, and the

     II. JUGULARES, _Jugular_. Fishes having the ventral fins
     placed before the pectoral; as the dragonet, weever, cod,
     haddock, and coal-fish.

     III. THORACICI, _Thoracic_. Fishes having the ventral fins
     placed under the pectoral; as the goby, bull-head, holibut,
     gilt-head, perch, mackerel, &c.

     IV. ABDOMINALES, _Abdominal_. Fishes having the ventral fins
     placed on the abdomen behind the pectoral fins; as in the
     salmon, trout, pike, mullet, and herring.

In this class there are 47 genera, and 400 species. The specific
characters are taken from the number of rays in the fins, the form of
the tail, the cirri or filaments at the mouth, the colouring of the
body, the form of the scales, and other circumstances.

The fifth class, that in which the INSECTS are included, comprehends 86
genera, disposed into seven orders, which are founded on the number and
texture of the wings.

     I. COLEOPTERA, or Hard-winged Insects. Insects having the
     wings covered by two crustaceous cases. This order is the
     most extensive, including 30 genera, and 893 species. It
     includes all the insects commonly known by the name of

     II. HEMIPTERA, or _Half-winged Insects_, having the shells
     or cases semicrustaceous, not divided by a straight line as
     in the coleoptera, but overlapping each other at the margin;
     the beak curved inwards; 12 genera, 353 species. The
     cockroach, cricket, locust, and cochineal-insect, are

     III. LEPIDOPTERA, or _Scaly-winged Insects_, having four
     wings, which are covered with imbricated scales; the tongue
     spiral and coiled up, the body hairy. In this order there
     are only 3 genera, _Papilio_, _Sphinx_, and _Phalæna_, the
     butterflies and moths; but the species are 780.

     IV. NEUROPTERA, or _Net-winged Insects_, with four naked,
     transparent, or reticulated wings; the tail generally
     destitute of a sting. There are 7 genera, and 83 species,
     among which are the dragon-fly, the may-fly, and the

     V. HYMENOPTERA, or _Thin-winged Insects_, with four naked
     membranous wings; some species, however, being wingless. The
     females have the tail armed with a sting. This order
     contains 10 genera, and 313 species, of which may be
     mentioned as examples, the wasp, bee, ichneumon-fly, and

     VI. DIPTERA, or _Two-winged Insects_, having only two wings,
     and being furnished with a balance or club behind each wing.
     There are 10 genera, and 262 species, among which are the
     common house-fly, the flesh-fly, and the gnat.

     VII. APTERA, _Wingless_. Insects destitute of wings in both
     sexes. They are arranged under 14 genera, and consist of 300
     species. In this order there are three divisions: some have
     six feet, as the flea, the louse, and the white ant; others
     have from 8 to 14 feet, as the spider, scorpion, crab, and
     lobster; while others have a still greater number, as the

The generic characters are derived from the antennæ, the jaws, the head,
the thorax, the wings, the elytra or wing-covers; and the specific, from
the colours and other circumstances. The number of species is 2984.

The sixth class, that of VERMES or WORMS, is a very heterogeneous one,
and to later authors has supplied materials for several classes. Linnæus
divides it into five orders:

     I. INTESTINA, _Intestinal Animals_: simple, naked, and
     destitute of limbs: for example, the earth-worm, the
     guinea-worm, the leech, and the ascaris: 7 genera, 24

     II. MOLLUSCA. Simple, naked animals, furnished with limbs:
     the slug, the sea-mouse, the sea-anemone, the cuttlefish,
     the sea-nettle, the star-fish, and the sea-urchin: 18
     genera, 110 species.

     III. TESTACEA, _Shell-fish_. Soft, simple animals, covered
     with a shell which is usually calcareous. This order
     includes 36 genera, and 814 species. It is divided into
     three groups, the multivalve shells, or those which consist
     of several pieces; the bivalve, of two pieces; and the
     univalve, or those of one piece only.

     IV. LITHOPHYTA. Compound animals, affixed to, and
     fabricating a fixed calcareous base, called coral. There are
     59 species, which are referred to 4 genera, the tubipores,
     madrepores, millepores, and cellepores.

     V. ZOOPHYTA. Compound animals, sending forth processes
     resembling flowers, and springing from a vegetating stem.
     This order contains 15 genera, among which are the red
     coral, the sea-fan, the sponge, coralline, &c. The number of
     species is 156.

The characters of the genera and species of these orders are derived
from so many various circumstances, that it would be tedious to
recapitulate them. The number of objects defined in this part of the
Systema Naturæ, is as follows:--

    Mammalia,                           219
    Birds,                              930
    Amphibia,                           292
    Fishes,                             400
    Insects,                           2984
    Vermes,                            1163
    Species from the Appendices,        140

    In all, 6128 species of animals.

It may be observed with respect to the method followed by Linnæus in his
arrangements, that he has generally chosen the most simple and
perspicuous that he could devise. The whole creation he disposes into
three _kingdoms_, the animal, the vegetable, and the mineral. The animal
kingdom is divided into six great _classes_, characterized by various
circumstances of their organization. Each of these six classes is
divided into several _orders_ and numerous _genera_; and the genera are
composed of _species_. Sometimes the species exhibits _varieties_, or
variations of form, colour, and other qualities, dependent upon climate,
food, domestication, and other circumstances. There are thus in his
arrangement of animals five gradations: kingdom, class, order, genus,
and species. We shall find that the same series is adopted in his
classification of the vegetable kingdom. It must be remarked, however,
that in nature none of these gradations actually exist. Individuals
alone form the subjects of observation; but a number of individuals
closely resembling each other are considered in the mind as forming a
species; and several species agreeing in certain respects with each
other form a genus; while genera united by particular characters compose
an order; and the orders constitute a class. Thus all the individual
birds called goldfinches form the species _Goldfinch_, which with the
species _Chaffinch_ and others constitute the genus _Finch_. This genus,
and those known by the names of _Grossbeak_, _Bunting_, _Lark_, &c.
constitute the order _Passerine Birds_. Natural objects may thus be
arranged in a definite series, so that the place of any given species
may be determined; hence, if the student should be desirous of finding
the name and history of a particular object, he can readily discover it,
or he can satisfy himself that it has not yet been described. At the
same time, it must be remembered, that the classification in question is
entirely artificial, and does not necessarily place together genera that
are the most closely allied. It is a kind of systematic index to the
works of nature, and is useful in many respects, although it may not
lead to the disclosure of all the peculiarities or all the affinities
and relations of the object to be examined. The Linnæan arrangement of
animals cannot be considered in any other light; for, if we view it as a
natural classification, we meet with false positions and erroneous views
at almost every step. His disciples mistook it for a perfect system, and
viewed the various species with reference to it, rather than with
respect to their mutual relations. Still, they who look upon the
artificial classifications of our great master as having done more harm
than good, judge erroneously; for although they are certainly imperfect,
without them or others of a similar kind it would have been impossible
to retain any distinct remembrance of the numerous objects which have
successively been introduced to notice. It were more reasonable to
admire the ingenuity displayed in the construction of so simple a
system, than to blame the unsuccessful attempt to classify, according to
their essential peculiarities, objects whose multiplied relations have,
to the present day, defied the most accomplished naturalists.

With respect to the nomenclature, it is sufficient to remark, that the
classes and orders bear appropriate names, derived from various
circumstances. Thus in the class _Mammalia_, so denominated because the
animals composing it bear mammæ and suckle their young, are the orders
_Primates_ or Nobles, _Bruta_, _Feræ_, &c. The generic names are always
substantives, as _Phoca_, _Canis_, _Lepus_, &c.; and the specific names
are either adjectives, as _Phoca barbata_, _Canis familiaris_, _Lepus
timidus_, or, in certain rarer cases, substantives, as _Canis Lupus_,
_Ursus Arctos_, &c. We now proceed to the examination of another

The second volume of the Systema Naturæ contains an arrangement of all
the species of vegetables known to Linnæus. It is in this department
that our author has been generally allowed to excel, and his system,
after undergoing some modifications, remains in use at the present day;
nor is it likely ever to be superseded by any other merely artificial

Before proceeding to a general account of this celebrated scheme, it
may be useful to take a brief view of those by which it was preceded. It
is obvious, that without a methodical disposition of plants, and a fixed
nomenclature, it would be impossible for an individual to retain the
knowledge of the numerous and diversified forms which these present.
Descriptions, moreover, would be unintelligible, and we should find it
difficult or impracticable to ascertain the species of which authors
might write.

The alphabetical arrangement of plants, the most artificial, or at least
the most unnatural of all, was at one time much followed by botanists,
especially in local catalogues. The time of flowering, the place of
growth, the general habit or appearance, and various other
circumstances, formed a basis to other arrangements. In the sixteenth
century, Conrad Gesner showed that the flower and fruit were the only
parts capable of affording determinate characters. Cæsalpinus, physician
to Pope Clement VIII., presented the first model of a botanical system,
in his _Libri de Plantis_, published in 1583. The characters are derived
principally from the fruit, though likewise from the flowers, and the
duration of plants. The two Bauhins, Ray, and Morison, published systems
constructed on similar principles. Others, as Rivinus and Ludwig,
derived their characters from the corolla. All these methods, however,
successively passed into neglect, and were superseded by that of
Tournefort, who was professor of botany at the Garden of Plants in
Paris, in the reign of Louis XIV. This eminent writer was the first who
defined the species and genera with any degree of precision. He arranged
plants according to the various forms of the corolla, dividing them
primarily, according to the consistence of the stem, into _Herbs_ and
_Trees_. The former were subdivided into three orders; those with simple
flowers, those with compound flowers, and those destitute of flowers.
The following is an outline of his system:--

     _Division I._ HERBS.

     * _With simple flowers._

     Corolla of one piece, regular.

     Class I. CAMPANIFORMES, with a regular corolla, of one
     piece, and resembling a bell; as the convolvulus.

     II. INFUNDIBULIFORMES, with a regular corolla, of one piece,
     and resembling a funnel; as the tobacco.

     Corolla of one piece, irregular.

     III. PERSONATÆ, with an irregular corolla, of one piece,
     resembling an antique mask; as the foxglove.

     IV. LABIATÆ, with an irregular corolla, of one piece,
     divided into two lips; as the sage.

     Corolla of several pieces, regular.

     V. CRUCIFORMES, with a regular corolla, composed of four
     petals, placed crosswise; as the wallflower.

     VI. ROSACEÆ, with a regular corolla, composed of several
     petals, arranged in the form of a rose; as the wild rose and

     VII. UMBELLIFERÆ, with a regular corolla, composed of five
     petals, the flowers arranged on stalks resembling the spokes
     of an umbrella; as in the carrot.

     VIII. CARYOPHYLLEÆ, with a regular corolla, composed of five
     petals, having long claws; as the pink.

     IX. LILIACEÆ, with a regular corolla, composed of six or
     three petals, or sometimes of one piece with six divisions;
     as the tulip.

     Corolla of several pieces, irregular.

     X. PAPILIONACEÆ, with an irregular corolla, composed of five
     petals; as the pea.

     XI. ANOMALÆ, with an irregular corolla, composed of five
     petals, but differing from the papilionaceous form; as the

     * * _With compound flowers._

     XII. FLOSCULOSÆ, with flowers composed of small
     funnel-shaped, regular corollas, divided into five segments;
     as the thistle.

     XIII. SEMIFLOSCULOSÆ, with flowers composed of small
     irregular corollas, of an elongated flat shape; as the

     XIV. RADIATÆ, with flowers composed of funnel-shaped florets
     at the centre, and flat ones at the circumference; as the

     * * * _Destitute of flowers._

     XV. APETALÆ, whose flowers have no true corolla; as the

     XVI. APETALÆ, entirely destitute of flowers, but having
     leaves; as the ferns.

     XVII. APETALÆ, without apparent flowers or fruit; as mosses.

     _Division II._ TREES.

     Without petals.

     XVIII. APETALOUS _Trees_ or _Shrubs_, having their flowers
     destitute of corolla; as the box.

     XIX. AMENTACEÆ, with the flowers disposed in catkins; as the

     With flowers of one petal.

     XX. TREES with a regular or irregular corolla of one piece;
     as the lilac.

     With regular flowers of several petals.

     XXI. TREES or _Shrubs_ with rosaceous corolla; as the

     With irregular flowers of several petals.

     XXII. TREES or _Shrubs_ with papilionaceous corolla; as the

Each of these classes is subdivided into various sections or orders,
founded upon modifications in the form of the corolla, the nature of the
fruit, the figure of the leaves, &c. The sections contain a greater or
less number of genera, under which are disposed all the species known to
the author.

This classification was of the greatest service to botanists; though it
was, like every other method that had been proposed, defective in many
respects. A great objection to it is, that it separates the herbaceous
from the woody plants, thus tearing asunder the most natural connexions;
nor is the form of the corolla always so determinate, that one can say
whether it be bell-shaped, funnel-shaped, or salver-shaped,--a point
which it is necessary to decide before the species can be made out.
Various changes were soon proposed, and new methods planned, so that the
science was again falling into confusion, when Linnæus published his
system, which was presently adopted by many teachers, and long before
his death was in general use.

He made the stamina and pistils the basis of his arrangement, which he
was induced to do from the consideration of their great importance, as
the parts most essential to fructification. These organs being analogous
to those distinguishing the sexes of animals, the Linnæan method is
sometimes called the sexual system. It consists of twenty-four classes.
The first ten are determined by the number of the stamina.

     Class I. MONANDRIA, containing all plants of which the
     flowers have only one stamen; as the mare's tail.

     II. DIANDRIA: two stamens; as the jasmine.

     III. TRIANDRIA: three stamens; as wheat, oats, and grasses
     in general.

     IV. TETRANDRIA: four stamens; as woodruff.

     V. PENTANDRIA: five stamens; as the primrose.

     VI. HEXANDRIA: six stamens; as the lily and tulip.

     VII. HEPTANDRIA: seven stamens; as the horse-chestnut.

     VIII. OCTANDRIA: eight stamens; as the heaths.

     IX. ENNEANDRIA: nine stamens; as rhubarb.

     X. DECANDRIA: ten stamens; as the pink.

In the next three classes, the stamens exceed ten in number, but differ
from each other in certain circumstances.

     XI. DODECANDRIA: stamens from twelve to twenty; as in

     XII. ICOSANDRIA: twenty or more stamens, inserted upon the
     inner side of the calyx; as in the rose and apple.

     XIII. POLYANDRIA: twenty or more stamens, inserted upon the
     receptacle or point of union of all the parts of the flower;
     as in the crowfoot and anemone.

The relative length of the stamens determines the next two classes.

     XIV. DIDYNAMIA: four-stamens, of which two are shorter; as
     in thyme and foxglove.

     XV. TETRADYNAMIA: six stamens, of which two are shorter; as
     in cabbage and wallflower.

Three classes are indicated by having the stamina connected by their

     XVI. MONADELPHIA: stamens united by their filaments into a
     single body or set; as in mallows.

     XVII. DIADELPHIA: stamens united into two distinct sets; as
     in fumitory.

     XVIII. POLYADELPHIA: stamens united into three or more
     bundles; as in hypericum and cistus.

In the next class, the stamens are united by their anthers.

     XIX. SYNGENESIA: five stamens united by the anthers; as in
     the dandelion and violet.

In the twentieth, the pistil and stamen are united.

     XX. GYNANDRIA: stamens united to the pistil; as in orchis.

The plants of all the above classes have flowers furnished with both
stamens and pistils; but in the next three the flowers are unisexual.

     XXI. MONOECIA: Flowers bearing stamens only, and flowers
     bearing pistils only, occurring on the same plant; as in the

     XXII. DIOECIA: stameniferous flowers on one, and
     pistilliferous flowers on another individual of the same
     species; as in willows.

     XXIII. POLYGAMIA: Flowers bearing stamens and pistils,
     flowers bearing stamens only, and flowers bearing pistils
     only, all on the same individual, or on different
     individuals of the same species; as in the ash and

The above classes contain all the plants that are _Phoenogamous_, or
have distinctly perceptible organs of reproduction; the next and last
class is composed of the _cryptogamous_, or those of which the flowers
either do not exist, or have not been demonstrated.

     XXIV. CRYPTOGAMIA: Ferns, mosses, lichens, sea-weeds,
     mushrooms, &c.

The orders or subdivisions of the classes are founded on the number of
the pistils in the first thirteen. Thus, in any of these classes, the
first order is _Monogynia_, or one pistil; the second _Digynia_, two
pistils, &c. But in the fourteenth class, Didynamia, there are only two
orders, _Gymnospermia_ and _Angiospermia_, the former having four naked
seeds, the latter having the seeds enclosed in a seed-vessel. In the
fifteenth class, Tetradynamia, there are also two orders, _Siliculosa_,
in which the pod is short, and _Siliquosa_, in which it is long. The
orders of Monadelphia, Diadelphia, and Polyadelphia, are formed from the
number of the stamina, and bear the names of _Hexandria_ when there are
six, _Decandria_ when there are ten, &c. The orders of the nineteenth
class, Syngenesia, are six. In the first, _Polygamia æqualis_, all the
flowers (or _florets_, as they are here called on account of their small
size, and because they are viewed as components of a compound flower)
have stamens and pistils, and are equally fertile; in the second,
_Polygamia superflua_, the flowers of the centre have stamens and
pistils, those of the circumference pistils only, but both kinds produce
seeds; in the third, _Polygamia frustranea_, the flowers of the centre
have stamens and a pistil, and are fertile, those of the circumference
neutral, or furnished with a pistil, but steril; in the fourth,
_Polygamia necessaria_, the flowers of the centre have stamens and a
pistil, but are steril, in consequence of an imperfection in the stigma,
those of the circumference have a pistil, and are fertile; in the fifth,
_Polygamia segregata_, all the flowers are perfect, but each has a small
calyx, and the whole are contained within a common involucre; and in the
last order, _Monogamia_, the flowers are separated from each other. In
Gynandria, the orders are determined by the number of the stamens. In
Monoecia and Dioecia, the characters distinctive of the classes are
employed for the orders. Polygamia has three orders, _Monoecia_,
_Dioecia_, _Trioecia_; and the last class, Cryptogamia, is divided
into four orders, consisting of the _Filices_ or _Ferns_, the _Musci_ or
Mosses, the _Algæ_, and the _Fungi_.

The genera are established upon characters derived from all the parts of
fructification compared together, according to their number, figure,
proportion, and situation; but as this volume was intended to contain
all the plants known to the author, the _natural_ characters thus formed
could not be employed on account of their length, and he has used the
_essential_ character, which is shorter, and consists of those marks
that serve to distinguish the genera from each other in the natural
orders; while at the head of each class, the genera are synoptically
disposed, being defined by their _factitious_ characters, or those by
which one is distinguished from another in the artificial order only.

The remarks which we have already made respecting the generic and
specific names, apply equally to this department. These last, in the
systems of former botanists, were lengthened descriptions, taken from
various circumstances, and seldom in any degree distinctive; but Linnæus
reduced them to twelve words at most, and derived them from some
remarkable difference in the leaves, roots, stems, or other unvarying
properties. These short phrases he continued to call the specific name,
but they are now properly considered as the specific character; while he
invented what he called the _trivial_ name, consisting of a single word
added to the generic, and which we now use as the specific. The number
of species mentioned in the Systema Naturæ amounts to upwards of 7800.

We come now to the third and last volume, containing his arrangement of
the objects forming the mineral kingdom. This department has received
less elucidation from him than the others. In 1736, he first digested a
mineralogical system, in which he attempted to found the genera on
definite characters; but he seems to have lost sight of the subject
until obliged to attend to it when editing the twelfth edition of his
work. There he prefixes to his arrangement a brief account of his theory
on the origin of fossil bodies in general, and of their several
combinations. His views, however, are extremely fanciful, and cannot be
said to have produced any beneficial effect on the study of this
science. As they have long ago passed into oblivion, it may afford
amusement, if not instruction, to present an outline of them.

The earth originated from water, agreeably to the testimony of Moses,
Thales, and Seneca! The sea becoming pregnant gradually produced the dry
land, from which the dew rose by evaporation, was elevated into clouds,
and again descended in showers. No certain indications of a universal
deluge have yet been found, but we every where perceive that land has
been formed from the sea.

The water of the ocean, being impregnated by the air, produces a twin
birth; the _saline_ principle, which is masculine, soluble, acrid,
transparent, and crystalline; the _earthy_, which is feminine, fixed,
viscid, opaque, and attractive. It also nourishes the animal and the
vegetable beings, which in course of time are reduced to earth.

The _salts_, which are sapid, polyhedral, transparent, multiplicative,
soluble into infinitely minute particles, although always retaining the
same form, and again becoming concrete so as to form larger particles of
the same figure, generate various minerals by crystallizing.

_Nitrum_, which is aërial, by covering over increases _sand_.

_Muria_, which is marine, by corroding attracts _clay_.

_Natrum_, which is of animal origin, by deliquescing coagulates _lime_.

_Alumen_, which is of vegetable origin, by ramifying produces _earthy

These are the _Fathers_ of minerals.

The _Earths_, which are powdery, drying, soluble, fixed, primitive, are
generated or reproduced by crystallizing, precipitating, fermenting, or
putrefying. From them, by crystallization or attraction, minerals are
reformed, and these again are resolved into earths and regenerated.

_Clay_ is the precipitation of the viscid water of the sea; and is
opaque, plastic, friable, capable of hardening, and fireless.

_Sand_ is the crystallization of turbid rain-water; and is transparent,
juiceless, giving sparks, durable, and capable of being vitrified.

_Mould_ is the decomposition of fermenting vegetables; and is black,
bibulous, powdery, and combustible.

_Lime_ is the decomposition of putrescent animal substances; and is
whitish, absorbent, mealy, penetrable, and effervescent.

Clay, the earth of sea-water, is hardened into _talc_, when redissolved
is regenerated in the form of _asbestus_, and when more intimately
dissolved resumes the form of _mica_. Sand, the earth of rain-water,
when thrown on the land and dried, forms _drift-sand_, which finally
becomes _gravel_. Both substances, when under ground, are converted into
_sandstone_, and when mixed with other matters form _pebbles_, which
grow into _stones_. When redissolved and crystallized, it produces
_quartz_. _Mould_, the earth of vegetables, is hardened into fissile
slate, which being impregnated with bitumen becomes _coal_. It is
dissolved into _ochre_, and regenerated into _tophus_. Lime, the wife of
natron, produces _marble_, dissolved and saturated with acid is
crystallized into _gypsum_. Both are decomposed by the elements into
_chalk_, which, acted upon by rain-water, becomes _flint_; and when
dissolved, is crystallized into _spar_ (or _calcedony_).

Such are the _Mothers_ of minerals.

It is unnecessary to follow our author, while he states the principles
of his sexual system of minerals, through the forms and modifications of
crystals, metals, rocks, and petrifactions. His scheme of geology may be
described as follows:--The strata of the earth are generally parallel to
each other, although not always so, nor always of marine origin. The
lowest is of sandstone (_cos_), the second of slate, the third of marble
filled with marine petrifactions, the fourth of slate, the uppermost of
the saxose kind, which includes granite, porphyry, trap, conglomerate,
and puddingstone. It is obvious that the ocean has produced the land. It
is rendered turbid by nitrous showers, precipitates, and is crystallized
into sand, which covers the bottom of the sea. The surface of it is here
and there covered over to a great extent with floating fuci, the mould
derived from which gradually descends, while the lighter particles help
to form a floating meadow. Marine vermes, the mollusca, testacea,
lithophytes, and zoophytes, together with fishes and sea-birds, feed
beneath this floating meadow. An argillaceous sediment falls down in the
quiet water, and this, together with the calcareous shells of the marine
vermes, gradually forms a heap, which rises to the surface, while the
pressure agitating the water drives out the marine animals. On the rock
thus formed, the sea casts up great quantities of fuci, which are
converted into mould, until at length the sandy earth rises above the
surface, dries, is driven about, and concresces into gravel and
sandstone. In the course of ages, the sand is hardened into sandstone,
the mould into bituminous shale and coal, the clay into marble, other
layers of mould into other beds of shale or slate, and other masses of
sand into gravel and conglomerate. This again is converted into pebbles,
these into stones, the stones into rocks. At length, the water
subsiding, the mass becomes a mountain. Had Linnæus been as unfortunate
in his other theories as in this, his name would have been long ago

However fanciful his theoretical views may be, his classification is not
unworthy of praise, and his specific definitions are generally
intelligible to a modern mineralogist; but this is nearly all, however,
that can be said in their favour. He divides the mineral kingdom into
three classes, under the names of _Petræ_, _Mineræ_, and _Fossilia_.
These are again subdivided into several orders, and the number of genera
amounts to fifty-four.

     Class I. PETRÆ or STONES, or, as modern geologists would
     say, ROCKS.

     Steril stones, originating from an earthy principle by
     cohesion; simple, as being destitute of salt, sulphur, or
     mercury; fixed, as not being intimately soluble; similar, as
     consisting of particles united at random.

     Order I. HUMOSÆ. Deposited from vegetable earth, combustible
     and burning to cinders, their powder harsh and light; as

     Order II. CALCARIÆ. Originating from animal earth;
     penetrable by fire, and becoming more porous, their powder
     mealy; and when burnt, they fall into a fine powder; as
     limestone, marble, gypsum.

     Order III. ARGILLACEÆ. Originating from the viscid sediment
     of the sea, becoming harder and stiffer in the fire, their
     powder unctuous before exposure to fire; as serpentine,
     asbestus, mica.

     Order IV. ARENATÆ. Originating from precipitation caused by
     rain-water, when struck with steel emitting sparks, very
     hard, their powder rough and angular like bits of glass; as
     quartz, jasper, flint.

     Order V. AGGREGATÆ. Originating from a mixture of the
     foregoing, and therefore participating their constituent
     particles; their powder differing accordingly; as granite,


     Fertile stones, originating from a saline principle by
     crystallization; compound, as produced from a stony
     substance (of the preceding class), impregnated by salt,
     sulphur, or mercury, intimately soluble in an appropriate
     menstruum, and crystalline.

     Order I. SALIA, _Salts_. To be distinguished by the taste,
     soluble in water; as rock-salt, alum, borax.

     Order II. SULPHURA, _Sulphureous Minerals_. Distinguishable
     by smell, emitting an odour and flaming under the action of
     fire, soluble in oil; as amber, naphtha, pyrites.

     Order III. METALLA, _Metallic Minerals_. Distinguishable by
     good eyes! very heavy, fusible, soluble in appropriate acid
     menstrua; as molybdæna, lead, gold, and copper.


     Ambiguous stones, originating from modifications of the
     substances included in the preceding classes.

     Order I. PETRIFICATA, _Petrifactions_. Impressed with the
     form of some natural object, as,--

     _Zoolithus_, the petrifaction of an animal of the class

     _Ornitholithus_, a petrified bird.

     _Amphibiolithus_, a petrified frog, snake, &c.

     _Ichthyolithus_, a petrified fish.

     _Entomolithus_, a petrified insect or crab.

     _Helmintholithus_, of the class vermes, including shells.

     _Phytolithus_, vegetable petrifactions.

     _Graptolithus_, resembling figures produced by painting; as
     florentine and landscape marble.

     Order II. CONCRETA, coagulated from particles agglutinated
     at random; as urinary and salivary calculi; tartar of wine;
     pumice, formed by fire; stalactite, formed by air; tophus,
     produced under water, as oolite.

     Order III. TERRÆ, _Earths_. Pulverized, their particles
     loose; as ochre, sand, clay, and chalk.

The first edition of the Systema Naturæ, which consisted of fourteen
folio pages, was, as has been already related, printed at Leyden in
1735. That which the author reckoned the twelfth, but which was in
reality the fifteenth, is the one that ought to be referred to by
naturalists, it being the last that was published under his own care and
inspection. It appeared at Stockholm in 1766.

An edition, greatly enlarged, was published at Leipsic by Gmelin in
1788, and contains numerous species not included in any of the
preceding. "No nation," says Dr Stoever, "can produce so complete a
repertory of natural history as the above. With infinite labour,
exertion, and judgment, all the recent discoveries and observations in
all the branches of natural science have been united in it." It is,
however, as every one who has had occasion to consult it must be aware,
a most injudicious compilation, in which a single species is often
described under two, three, or even four different names, and in which
no improvement corresponding to the advanced state of the science was
made in the grouping of the species or genera.

There is an English edition of the same work, translated by William
Turton, M.D. London, 1806, 7 vols 8vo.

"We may venture to predict," says Sir J. E. Smith, in his account of the
Life of Linnæus, "that as the Systema Naturæ was the first performance
of the kind, it will certainly be the last; the science of natural
history is now become so vast, that no man can ever take the lead again
as an universal naturalist."


_Decline and Death of Linnæus._

     Review of the Medical Writings of Linnæus--His Materia
     Medical System of Nosology, Theory of Medicine--His last
     Work, a Continuation of the Mantissa, published in
     1771--Declining State of his Health--In 1774, has an Attack
     of Apoplexy, followed by Prostration of his Intellectual
     Powers--Another Attack in 1776, from the Effects of which,
     and Tertian Fever, he never recovers--His Death in
     1778--Honours paid to his Memory.

Hitherto we have considered Linnæus principally as a naturalist; but his
merits in another department of science were such as to entitle him to
rank among its more eminent cultivators. It will be recollected, that he
practised medicine with success at Stockholm; that he was appointed
physician to the Admiralty; that on the resignation of Roberg he
obtained the professorship of anatomy, which in the following year he
exchanged with Rosen, and became, with the consent of the chancellor of
the university, professor of botany. As the latter chair, however, was
essentially a medical one, he was bound to direct his attention to the
sanative powers of plants, as well as to their uses as articles of food,
and was moreover obliged to deliver lectures on materia medica and
dietetics. He may even be said to have been the founder of the
first-mentioned of these branches of medical science. As a text-book for
his lectures, he published an account of the medicinal substances
derived from the vegetable kingdom. This treatise, which appeared at
Stockholm in 1749, bears the title of Materia Medica, Liber I. de
Plantis digestis secundum Genera, Loca, Nomina, Qualitates, Vires, &c.
The author seems to have regarded it as one of his most successful
performances; for in his private memoirs he remarks of it, that "it is
undoubtedly the best work that has appeared in this department of
medical science."

In treating of each plant, he first gives its specific character, then a
synonyme from Caspar Bauhin, or its discoverer,--thirdly, the country of
which it is a native,--fourthly, the Swedish officinal name, the part
used, the preparations made of it, and the doses. Its qualities and
uses, its effects, the diseases in which it is employed, and the
compound medicines of which it forms an ingredient, are then mentioned.
At the end of the volume is an index of diseases, with the plants proper
for each. Haller's opinion of this work confirms that of Linnæus
himself; for, in his Bibliotheca Botanica, he says of it,--"He has
referred to their proper genera very many plants which were highly
celebrated for their use in medicine, although their true genus was
unknown. He also praises various plants, unknown in the shops, for their
healing powers. But it is necessary to read the whole work, which is
among the best that its author has produced." Two other parts were
published afterwards, one on the animal, the other on the mineral

The subject of dietetics also engaged his attention in an eminent
degree. In this department, however, he did not write any specific
volume, but confined himself to his lectures, which were copious and
highly interesting.

In pathology, or rather in nosology, by which latter term is meant the
systematic arrangement and precise definition of diseases, his merits
are very considerable. His practice was no doubt too limited, and of too
short duration, to enable him to form, from his own experience, correct
ideas of all the ailments to which man is liable; but it was sufficient
to render him capable of methodizing the observations of others; and it
requires little penetration to perceive, that one man may learn more in
three years than another in fifty. The several classifications of
diseases which have been given to the world, possess various degrees of
accuracy. Dr Cullen of Edinburgh, whose Synopsis Nosologiæ Methodicæ has
been almost universally acknowledged as one of the most successful
attempts to reduce to order the complicated phenomena of morbid action,
considers the Genera Morborum of Linnæus as the most important work on
the subject, next to that of Sauvages. It was first published in 1759 as
an academical dissertation, and afterwards as a separate work.

In the system now mentioned he arranges the genera of diseases under
eleven classes, as follows:--

     I. EXANTHEMATICI. Fevers attended with eruptions on the

     II. CRITICI. Critical fevers.

     III. PHLOGISTICI. Fevers from local inflammation.

     IV. DOLOROSI. Painful diseases without fever.

     V. MENTALES. Diseases in which the functions of the mind are

     VI. QUIETALES. Diseases in which the voluntary and
     involuntary motions and the senses are impaired.

     VII. MOTORII. Diseases attended with involuntary motion of
     parts whose action is ordinarily under the influence of the

     VIII. SUPPRESSORII. Diseases characterized by oppression of
     the organs, or impeded excretions.

     IX. EVACUATORII. Diseases attended with increased excretion.

     X. DEFORMES. Diseases causing deformity of the body, or
     change of colour in the skin.

     XI. VITIA. Cutaneous, external, or palpable diseases.

Systems of nosology are no doubt useful or convenient, in the same
manner as systems of zoology and botany; but so complicated are the
phenomena of Nature, and so diversified her productions, that no
arrangement, made according to any principles hitherto assumed, can
possibly discriminate objects in conformity with all their connexions.
If this remark required illustration, it might readily be afforded by
the mere inspection of any one of the Linnæan classes or orders. Thus,
in the class Vitia there are eight orders.

     1. _Humoralia._ Diseases attended with vitiated or
     extravasated fluids; as emphysema, oedema, inflammation,
     abscess, and gangrene.

     2. _Dialytica._ Solutions of continuity; as fracture,
     dislocation, contusion, wound, laceration, burn,
     excoriation, chapped skin.

     3. _Exulcerationes._ Purulent solutions of continuity; as
     ulcer, cancer, caries, fistula, whitlow.

     4. _Scabies._ Cutaneous diseases; as lepra, itch, pimples,
     warts, pustule, eschar.

     5. _Tumores._ Tumours or swellings; as aneurism, varix,
     scirrhus, anchylosis, ganglion, exostosis.

     6. _Procidentiæ._ Swellings arising from dislocation of soft
     parts; as rupture, prolapsus, phymosis.

     7. _Deformationes._ Distortions; as rigidity of joints,
     humpback, curved bones, squinting, harelip, plica polonica.

     8. _Maculæ._ Spots; as mole, scar, freckle, sunburn.

Now it is obvious that, in a pathological point of view, aneurism,
anchylosis, and scirrhus, have no affinity to each other, nor to spina
binda or scrofula, which are all genera of the same order. Nor have the
different orders, deformationes, procidentiæ, humoralia, &c. any very
perceptible bond of affinity. But the nosological, like the botanical
system of Linnæus, without being natural, may be useful; and it were
absurd to reject all attempts to classify diseases, because no scheme
has been or can be invented, capable of giving each state of the body,
or its various parts, its precise position in the mind. However, we have
no reason to join the outcry of his biographers against the criticism of
M. Vicq d'Azyr, who says, "he should have been the last to write on
objects that were foreign to him, because he had recourse to that spirit
of detail, and that aphoristic and figurative style, which have been
considered as defects even in the works which established his

"The whole class of envious persons at Upsal," says Dr Stoever, "and in
other parts of Sweden, found it strange and inconsistent at first to see
the botanist Linnæus appear on the scene as a pathologist. They made
very merry at his expense; but the goodness of his cause soon became
triumphant." That his nosology was contemptible can hardly be admitted;
but that it ever was triumphant, excepting in his own university, no
one who is desirous of adhering to truth can assert.

His theory of medicine is amusing, if not instructive. He supposes the
human body to consist of a _cerebroso-medullary_ part, of which the
nerves are processes; and a _cortical_ part, including the vascular
system and its fluids. The nervous system, which is the animated part,
derives its _nourishment_ from the finer fluids of the vascular system,
and its _energy_ from an electrical principle inhaled by the lungs. The
circulating fluids are capable of being vitiated by _acescent_ or
_putrid_ ferments, the former acting on the serum, and causing _critical
fevers_; the latter on the crassamentum, and exciting _phlogistic_
diseases. Eruptive ailments are excited by external causes, which he
supposes to be animalcula. The cortical or vascular system undergoing
continual waste, requires continual reparation, which is effected by
means of suitable diet. Its diseases arise from improper food, and are
to be remedied by _sapid_ medicines; while those of the medullary system
are cured by _olid_ substances.

Systems of nosology, theories of medicine, and classifications of
natural objects and phenomena, agree in this one respect, that they are
all eagerly embraced, strenuously defended, fall into disuse, and become
subjects of ridicule. Such must be the fate of the Linnæan system of
botany, as it has been of the other fancies of its author; and such must
be the fate of every system not founded on organic structure and its
modifications, or upon external form as connected with internal

In 1766, he published a small work extending to only twenty-nine pages,
entitled Clavis Medicinæ duplex, Exterior et Interior, which may be
considered as a syllabus of his lectures. It contains a view of his
theory of medicine, and an arrangement of drugs in thirty orders,
according to their sensible qualities.

The last book which he produced was a continuation of his Mantissa,
containing new species and genera, with a variety of emendations. Such
of his writings as have not been already mentioned, will be noticed in a
subsequent section; and in the mean time we resume our narrative,
remarking, that few individuals had a longer scientific career than he;
forty-four years having elapsed between the appearance of his first
tract, the Hortus Uplandicus (in 1731) and the Mantissa (in 1771).

It would appear that Linnæus possessed a good constitution, although we
have seen him suffering under attacks of rheumatism, nephritis, and
gout. In 1764, as already mentioned, he had a violent attack of
pleurisy; after which he passed the period of his convalescence at his
villa of Hammarby, where, on the 9th July, he celebrated the 25th
anniversary of his marriage. The same year he had the pleasure of
marrying his eldest daughter to Lieutenant Bergencrantz.

It does not seem very easy to determine the precise nature of the
disease under which he laboured, although it is probable that it was
rheumatism and not gout. In the Latin diary of Dr Gieseke, as quoted by
Stoever, is the following passage relative to this subject:--"In 1750, I
(Linnæus) had such a violent attack of rheumatism (malum ischiadicum),
that I had great difficulty in getting home. For a whole week the pain,
which was insupportable, prevented me from sleeping; for which reason I
would have taken opium, but was prevented by a friend who came in on the
seventh evening. My wife asked me if I would eat some strawberries. I
will try, said I. It was about the beginning of the strawberry-season,
and they were in good condition. Half an hour after, I fell asleep, and
continued so till two in the morning. When I awoke, I wondered that the
pain had abated, and asked whether I had been asleep, which the persons
who were watching assured me had been the case. I asked if they had more
of the strawberries, and ate up the remainder. I then slept till
daylight, when the pain was about my ankles. Next day I ate as many
strawberries as I could, and on the second morning was free of pain. I
thought that mortification had taken place; but the part was entire, and
I was able to get up, although I felt weak. Next year, about the same
time, I had an attack, and another the following year, but milder, and
it was always alleviated by the strawberries; and from that time I have
been free of the disease." This conversation took place in 1771.

In the spring of 1772, he was visited by Dr Murray, professor of
medicine and botany at Gottingen, who had been one of his pupils, and
had long enjoyed his confidence and esteem. At this period he possessed
good health, and was as ardent as ever in his endeavours for the
improvement of science. He was appointed rector of the university for
the third time, and, during the six months in which he discharged the
duties of that office, the conduct of the young men was highly
exemplary. When he retired, deputations from all the nations of the
students came to present their warmest thanks, and to beg his
permission to print the address which he delivered on resigning.

In 1773, he had another attack of lumbago, and was moreover affected
with an epidemic sore throat; but on the whole his health did not suffer
materially. This year, a committee of six bishops, six doctors of
divinity, and eight literary and scientific individuals, was appointed
by the government to undertake a better translation of the Bible into
the Swedish language. Linnæus was among the number, having been chosen
on account of his knowledge of the animals and plants mentioned in the
Scriptures; but it does not appear that he ever engaged seriously in the
undertaking, although he made two journeys to Stockholm for the purpose.

While delivering one of his lectures in the botanic garden, in the
beginning of May 1774, he had a slight attack of apoplexy, from which he
did not recover for some time; and from this period his health rapidly
declined. It is said, that the vexation produced by the publication of a
letter in which he had confidentially disclosed to a friend the history
of his youth, and especially the progress of his courtship, was the
exciting cause of this fatal affection. The illustrious Haller, with
whom he had corresponded from 1737 to 1766, published a volume of
letters, written in Latin by men of literary eminence, and addressed to
himself; and, having been always extremely jealous of Linnæus, thought
proper to print all his epistles, in order to defend his own character
against the accusations of envy which had been but too justly preferred.
When he read these communications he was violently agitated, and from
that moment his health became perceptibly worse. The apoplectic attack
followed soon after; and from a comparison of testimonies on the
subject, it seems to us extremely probable that it was occasioned by the
causes now assigned.

He did not, however, despair, nor give himself up to inactivity under
these distressing circumstances. A Swedish gentleman returning from
Surinam, where he had been residing on his estates, brought with him a
collection of plants preserved in spirits of wine, which he presented to
the king. The latter sent them to Linnæus, whose health was much
benefited by the pleasure which the possession of these treasures
inspired. He immediately commenced a description of them, which was
published in the Amænitates Academicæ,--a work respecting which we shall
have occasion to speak in another section.

After this period, however, little remained of his former vigour. His
body feeble and emaciated, his mind stripped of its distinguishing
faculties, he rapidly sunk into decrepitude. In 1775, he thus describes
his state in his diary:--"Linnæus limps, can hardly walk, speaks
unintelligibly, and can scarcely write." Even in this condition he
received pleasure from occasional visits to his museum, and more
especially from the regard of his sovereign, who did him the honour of
going from Ekhelsund to Upsal for the purpose of seeing him, and
continued in conversation with him a whole afternoon. The following
year, finding his infirmities greatly increased, he requested permission
to retire from his offices; but the king would not grant it. On the
contrary, his majesty doubled his salary, and gave him two farms, which
his children were to inherit. The last words inscribed in his diary are
the following:--"Horrebow and Berger, both Danes, and Gruno from
Hamburg, came to Upsal as pupils; but Linnæus is so ill that he can with
difficulty speak to them; for the tertian fever is added to paralysis,
and his weakness is extreme."

In the winter of 1776, he was reduced to the most deplorable condition;
and as in the day of his mental vigour he had presented a brilliant
example of the human intellect, so now in that of his prostration did he
afford an instance of the utter feebleness of our nature. Another attack
of apoplexy caused paralysis of his right side, in which he had most
frequently suffered pain; his memory failed him to such a degree that he
could not remember the names of the most familiar objects; his
incoherent and unconnected words indicated a total decay of the powers
of his understanding; he could no longer feed, dress, or clean himself;
he could not even move from one place to another. The fever continued,
and he became extremely emaciated. Yet even in this state he contrived
to write a few scarcely-legible letters, one of which was to his friend
Baek. It was dated the 9th December 1776, and contained the following
sentence:--"God has determined to break all the bonds that attach me to
terrestrial objects." Yet to the last he clung to these with a
pertinacity as deplorable as it is surprising in a man who had
manifested in his writings, if not in his actions, no small degree of
piety. For several years previous to his death, his diary contains
little else than an enumeration of the incidents most calculated to
gratify his vanity; such as a visit or letter from the king, the
adoption of his system in the botanic garden of Paris, the Pope's
approval of his works, and similar occurrences.

At the beginning of 1777, he was still at Upsal, and continued in the
same lamentable state, although he occasionally enjoyed intervals of
intellectual vigour. In general, however, his powers had so much failed,
that he ceased to recognise his own works when they were placed before
him; and, it is said, even forgot his name. When the season advanced, he
was carried to his country-house at Hammarby, where he remained during
the summer. In fine weather he was occasionally taken into the garden or
museum, that he might see his collections and books, which always gave
him pleasure. In autumn his health improved a little, and he returned to
Upsal; but, although he had intimated that he was still desirous of
rendering himself useful to the university, so far as his decayed
faculties might permit, he was unequal to the delivery of his
introductory lecture, which was therefore read by his son.

He was still able to go out, however, although the coachman had orders
not to take him beyond the limits of the town. In December, he got upon
a sledge, and forced his servant to drive him to Safja, about a league
distant. The family, finding that he did not return as usual, became
extremely uneasy, and sent in search of him. He was found stretched on
the covering of his vehicle, and quietly smoking his pipe by the
farmer's fire; nor was it without difficulty that he was induced to go
home. This is the last remarkable act of his life that has been
recorded; and we have nothing more to add, but that his sufferings
daily increased, until, worn out with disease, he expired on the 10th
January 1778, in the 71st year of his age. According to the report of
his son, in a letter to Mutis, he died of a gouty suppression of urine,
terminating in gangrene.

The honours paid to the memory of this great naturalist were
correspondent to the high estimation in which he was held. His death was
regarded as an irreparable loss to science; and he is said to have
"carried to the grave, with the grief of his fellow-citizens, the
admiration of the learned of all countries. Upsal was in deep sorrow on
the day of his funeral." His body was conveyed to the cathedral, where
it was committed to the tomb. Eighteen doctors, who had been of the
number of his pupils, supported the pall, and all the professors,
officers, and students of the university, followed in procession.

The king, Gustavus III., ordered a medal to be struck in commemoration
of him who had contributed so essentially to elevate the Swedish
character in the scientific world; and in 1778, at a convention of the
Diet, expressed himself in the following terms:--"The University of
Upsal has also attracted my attention. I shall always remember with
pleasure that the chancellorship of that university was intrusted to me
before I ascended the throne. I have instituted in it a new
professorship; but, alas! I have lost a man whose renown filled the
world, and whom his country will ever be proud to reckon among her
children. Long will Upsal remember the celebrity which it acquired by
the name of Linnæus." The Academy of Belles Lettres, History, and
Antiquities of Stockholm, offered a prize for the best panegyric in
Latin, French, or Italian. One written in French was received in 1786,
but the Academy judging it unsuitable, offered a second prize, which in
1792 was conferred on Mr Gunnar Baekmann, a Swede. The late Dr Hope of
Edinburgh erected to his memory, in the botanic garden there, a monument
bearing the simple inscription, "Linnæo posuit, J. Hope;" and the Duc
d'Ayen-Noailles placed in his garden a cenotaph, with the bust of the
naturalist in a medallion, surrounded by the _Linnæa_ and _Ayenia_,--the
latter plant having been dedicated to himself. Three éloges or
panegyrics were pronounced; the first by his friend Dean Baek, at a
meeting of the Royal Society of Stockholm; the second by M. Condorcet,
in the Parisian Academy of Sciences; the third by M. Vicq d'Azyr, in the
Medical Society of Paris. In 1787, an association was formed in that
city, under the name of La Société Linnéenne, which subsequently changed
its designation into that of Société d'Histoire Naturelle. In 1788, the
Linnæan Society of London was established by Dr Smith and other admirers
of the Swedish sage; and in 1790, another, bearing the same appellation,
was constituted at Leipsic. It is unnecessary to mention all the honours
that have been paid to this illustrious professor, as his name has been
distinguished in all civilized countries beyond that of any cultivator
of natural history, and in our own is as familiar as that of Newton or
Herschel. We shall therefore conclude with stating, that in 1822 the
students of the university of which he had so long been the chief
ornament, resolved to erect a statue as a token of their admiration of
his character. It was executed by a native artist, and in 1829 was
erected upon a pedestal of porphyry.

Besides the three medals which were struck in Sweden to perpetuate his
memory, his portrait has been repeatedly engraved. It appears, for
example, in the edition of the Systema Naturæ, published at Leipsic in
1798; in the second edition of the Species Plantarum, published at
Stockholm in 1762; and in the sixth edition of the Genera Plantarum,
which appeared in 1748. In Trapp's translation of his life by Stoever is
another likeness engraved by Heath, which, being the most characteristic
that we could find, has been selected for the purpose of adorning the
present volume. In the biography of Linnæus by M. Fée, are two
lithographic portraits, one taken at the age of 20, the other at that of

On inspecting our engraving, the physiognomist will readily detect
several of the more prominent traits of his character. The person
represented is evidently an active, lively little man, possessed of much
acuteness, great judgment, love of order, a self-estimation not
susceptible of being diminished by opposition, and a love of
approbation, prompting his benevolent mind to generous labours.


_Correspondence of Linnæus._

     Linnæus's first Letter, addressed to Rudbeck in 1731--His
     last, to Dr Cusson in 1777--Correspondence with Haller--With
     Dillenius, Ellis, and other English Naturalists.

The correspondence of Linnæus was so extensive, that he declared to a
friend that ten hands like his were insufficient to return answers to
all the letters which were sent to him. Some time before his death, he
drew up a list of 150 persons with whom he had maintained a
communication of his ideas in writing. Among the earliest of his
epistles was one directed to his benefactor, Olaus Rudbeck, professor in
the University of Upsal, and is dated the 29th July 1731. The last is
addressed to Peter Cusson, M.D. of Montpellier, and was written in 1777.

The first of his correspondents of whom we shall make mention is the
celebrated Albert Haller, who was born in October 1708, and died on the
12th December 1777, aged 69. He was eminently distinguished for his
knowledge of the physical sciences, as well as by his poetical talents,
and his general acquaintance with literature. In fact, he aimed at
universal dominion; and the renown of Rousseau, Voltaire, Linnæus, and
Buffon, excited his envy of some and his contempt of others of these
celebrated men. After the death of his father, who was an advocate and
citizen of Berne, he chose the medical profession; and in 1723, went to
Tubingen, where he studied comparative anatomy under Duvernoi. In 1725,
he removed to Leyden, then the first medical school in Europe. After
taking his degree at the former seminary, he visited England, whence he
went to Paris, and dissected under Le Dran. He then proceeded to Basil,
to study mathematics under Bernouilli. There he imbibed also a taste for
botany,--a science in which he subsequently made great progress. In
1729, he returned to Berne, and commenced his professional career as a
lecturer on anatomy. In 1736, he was appointed by George II. to the
professorship of surgery and botany in the University of Gottingen. Here
he resided seventeen years, in the course of which he distinguished
himself by his numerous and important discoveries. But, in 1753, having
taken a journey to Berne, where his countrymen received him with the
honour due to his talents, he settled there, and, having been elected a
magistrate, entered with zeal on the duties of a citizen. The
correspondence of Linnæus with this eminent naturalist and physician
commenced when the latter was at Gottingen, and originated in a report
that he was hostile to the proposed system of the young Swede, who thus
supplicates his forbearance:--

              "_From Mr Cliffort's Museum, April 3, 1737._

     "... 1. I must declare, that I am anxious to avoid, if
     possible, all anger or controversy with you; my wish is
     rather to act in conjunction with you. I should detest being
     your adversary, and, as far as possible, I will avoid it.
     May there be peace in our days!

     "2. I have always, from the time I first heard your name,
     held you in the highest estimation; nor am I conscious of
     ever having shown a contrary disposition. Why then should
     you provoke me to a dispute? Let me know if I have
     unwillingly offended, and I will omit nothing to satisfy
     you. I ask but for peace.

     "3. If my harmless sexual system be the only cause of
     offence, I cannot but protest against so much injustice. I
     have never spoken of that as a natural method; on the
     contrary, in my Systema, p. 8, sect. 12, I have said, 'No
     natural botanical system has yet been constructed, though
     one or two may be more so than others; nor do I contend that
     this system is by any means natural. Probably I may, on a
     future occasion, propose some fragments of such an one, &c.
     Meanwhile, till that is discovered, artificial systems are
     indispensable.' And in the preface to my Genera Plantarum,
     sect. 9,--'I do not deny that a natural method is
     preferable, not only to my system, but to all that have been
     invented.... But, in the mean time, artificial
     classification must serve as a succedaneum.' Therefore, if
     you establish a natural method, I shall admit it.

     "4. If you detect any mistakes of mine, I rely on your
     superior knowledge to excuse them; for who has ever avoided
     errors in the wide-extended field of Nature? Who is
     furnished with a sufficient stock of observations? I shall
     be thankful for your friendly corrections. I have done what
     I could of myself; but a lofty tree does not attain its full
     stature by the first storm that bursts forth.

     "5. I have been acquainted with most botanists of
     distinction, who have all given me their encouragement; nor
     has any one of them thwarted my insatiable desire of natural
     knowledge. Will you be more severe than any body else? You
     appear, by your dissertation, too noble to triumph over the
     ignorance of others.

     "6. You may, with great advantage, and without injury to me,
     display your profound learning and intimate knowledge of the
     works of Nature, so as to acquire the thanks of all the
     learned world. Do but turn over the writings of botanists in
     general, and you will see, by their earlier performances,
     how they are puffed up at first with their own consequence,
     and scarcely able to keep from assaulting others; of which I
     myself have perhaps been guilty, which I deeply regret,
     having now learned better. But when these same people have
     passed a few years in the field of battle, they become so
     mild, candid, modest, and civil to every body, that not a
     word of offence escapes them. This chiefly leads me to doubt
     the truth of the report in question; for I know your
     reputation has already been long established.

     "7. It seems wonderful to me that I should have excited so
     much of your displeasure; for I cannot but think there is no
     work of any author more in unison with my ideas than this
     essay of yours.

     "8. I, and perhaps I alone, have acquired what I know
     entirely by the rules you have laid down, of studying
     without a master. I am still but a learner; and you must
     pardon me if I am not yet become learned. If knowledge is to
     be acquired by your mode, the hope of it, at least, still
     serves to illuminate my path.

     "9. I doubt, indeed, whether you, or any other lecturer, can
     enter into controversy with propriety. Professors and
     teachers should, above all things, acquire the confidence
     and respect of their hearers. If they appear in the light of
     students, how much of human imperfection must appear, and
     what a depreciation of their dignity! What man was ever so
     learned and wise, who, in correcting others, did not now and
     then show he wanted correction himself? Something always
     sticks to him. We have lately seen an instance of this in a
     most distinguished professor, the ornament of his
     university, who, having long indulged himself in attacks
     upon schoolmasters, has at last got so severe a castigation
     from one of this tribe, that it is doubtful whether he can
     ever recover his ground at all, and certain that he cannot
     recover it entirely. A very wise physician has declared,
     that he would rather give up physic, and the practice of it
     altogether, than enter into public controversy.

     "10. Look over the whole body of controversial writers, and
     point out one of them who has received any thanks for what
     he has done in this way. Matthiolus would have been the
     greatest man of his day if he had not meddled with such
     matters. Who is gratified by 'the mad Cornarus,' or 'the
     flayed fox,' (titles bestowed on each other by Fuchsius and
     Cornarus)? What good have Ray and Rivinus done with their
     quarrels? Dillenius still laments that he took up arms
     against Rivinus; nor has the victory he gained added any
     thing to his fame. Did not Threlkeld give him much more just
     cause of offence? But he was now grown wiser, and would not
     take up the gauntlet. Vaillant, at one time a most
     excellent observer, attempted to cut his way with authority
     through the armies of Tournefort; has he not met with his
     deserts? and would he not have risen much higher had he left
     him unmolested?

     "11. I dread all controversies, as, whether conqueror or
     conquered, I can never escape disgrace. Who ever fought
     without some wound, or some injurious consequence? Time is
     too precious, and can be far better employed by me as well
     as by you. I am too young to take up arms, which, if once
     taken, cannot be laid aside till the war is concluded, which
     may last our lives. And, after all, the serious contentions
     of our time may, fifty years hence, seem to our successors
     no better than a puppet-show. I should be less ashamed to
     receive admonition from you than you must be to take it from

     "Behold, then, your enemy, submissively seeking your
     friendship; which, if you grant him, you will be more
     certain of securing a friend than of stirring up an
     adversary. I know you to be of a more generous nature than
     to level your attacks at one who has not offended, unless
     any enemies of mine have raised doubts in your mind against
     me. If, after all, I cannot obtain that peace which, by
     every argument and supplication, I seek of you, I hope you
     will at least be so generous as to send me whatever you may
     print on the subject, and I will take care to convey my
     answers to you.

     "If the news I have heard be without foundation, I earnestly
     beg of you to forgive me for the trouble I now give you."

Linnæus is here exhibited under the influence of fear, with much
flattery and humiliation soliciting the forbearance of a powerful rival;
but the report which had reached him was false, and Haller hastened to
dispel from the mind of the young botanist the apprehensions under which
he laboured. The correspondence thus commenced continued with great
regularity, the letters of Linnæus manifesting entire confidence in
Haller; who, however, from a feeling of envy, or, as he alleges, in his
own defence, thought proper to publish what had obviously been intended
to remain private. The publication of these epistles, as we have seen,
was productive of great distress to their author; and more especially of
the following one, which gives an account of his earlier years. The
Swiss professor concludes one of his notes in the following generous
terms:--"Farewell, my dear Linnæus! may you enjoy your health and your
botanical pursuits, with every advantage for the prosecution of your
labours! My studies and engagements, of a different kind, draw me
unavoidably aside; but my inclination always leads me to the charms of
Flora. To botany I wish to devote my leisure and my old age; and my
fortune to the collecting of drawings, plants, and books. May you, from
whom Flora expects more than from any other mortal, make the most of
your advantages, and one day or other return to a more genial climate!
If at any time my native country should invite me, or I can ever, as I
hope, return to it, I have fixed upon you, if the situation be worth
your having, to inherit my garden and my honours, such as they are. I
have spoken on this subject to those in whose hands all these concerns
are placed. As soon as I hear from you, I will tell you all the news I
can, for I shall be happy to resume our agreeable correspondence."

The following is Linnæus's answer:--

                "Stockholm, Sept. 12th, finished the 15th, 1739.

     "Your letter, of which the value to me is beyond estimation,
     though dated Nov. 14, 1738, did not reach me till the 12th
     of August of the present year, when I received it from the
     minister of the German church at this place. Of the cause of
     its delay I am ignorant.

     "A thousand times have I invoked the honoured shade of
     Hermann! How well did he deserve the compliment of having
     all the fountains in the royal gardens play on his arrival,
     if we consider his liberal conduct towards Tournefort!
     Hermann had previously offered to resign the botanical
     professorship (at Leyden) in his favour, intending himself
     to seek some other situation during Tournefort's life. But
     what shall I say of you, who have conceived so strong an
     affection for a stranger, as to invite him to accept your
     professorial appointment, your honours, and your garden! A
     man could scarcely do this for his brother, or a father for
     an only son. I can only say, in one word, I have had a
     numerous acquaintance among my fellow-creatures, and many
     have been kindly attached to me; but no one has ever made me
     so bountiful an offer as yourself. I would express my
     thanks, if possible, but cannot find words for the purpose.
     Your memory shall be engraved on my heart whilst I live, and
     shall be cherished by those who come after me.

     "I cannot give an answer; but as you have placed yourself in
     the light of a father, and me of a son, I will lay before
     you a sort of history of my life, down to the present time.

     "In the year 1730, I taught botany in the garden at Upsal.
     Our common friend, Dr Rosen, returned thither the same year.
     I, then a student of medicine, was Professor Rudbeck's
     deputy in botany, as Rosen was in anatomy; he being likewise
     the adjunctus or coadjutor in medicine. In 1732, I went to
     Lapland, and returned; after which, I read lectures on
     botany and metallurgy for a whole year. I then quitted
     Upsal, and, as Providence ordained, went into Dalecarlia.
     Having accomplished my journey, I returned to Fahlun, the
     principal town of that province. Here I lectured on
     mineralogy, and followed the practice of physic. I stayed a
     month at Fahlun, where I was received with universal
     kindness. A physician named Moræus resided there, who was
     esteemed rich by the common people. Indeed he was one of the
     richest persons in that very poor country. With regard to
     learning, he might undoubtedly claim the first rank among
     the medical men of Sweden. I have heard him say, a thousand
     times, that there was no line of life less eligible than the
     practice of physic. Nevertheless, he was much attached to
     me. I found myself frequently a welcome visiter under his
     roof. He had a handsome daughter, besides a younger one, the
     former of whom was courted, but in vain, by a gentleman of
     rank and title. I was struck when I first saw her, and felt
     my heart assailed by new sensations and anxieties. I loved
     her, and she at length, won by my attentions, listened to my
     proposals, and returned my passion. I became an accepted
     lover. I addressed myself to her father, avowing, not
     without much confusion, my total want of fortune. He was
     favourable on some accounts, but had many objections. He
     approved of me, but not of my circumstances; and desired
     that things might remain as they were for three years, after
     which he would tell me his determination. Having arranged my
     affairs, and made the necessary preparations for a journey,
     I quitted my native country with thirty-six gold ducats in
     my pocket. I immediately took my medical degree (at
     Harderwyk in Holland), but was not in circumstances to
     return home with much comfort. I remained, as you know, in
     Holland. In the mean time, my most intimate friend B----
     regularly forwarded the letters of my mistress by the post.
     She continued faithful. In the course of last year, 1738,
     which I passed at Dr Van Royen's with the approbation of the
     young lady, though it was the fourth year of my absence, and
     her father had required but three, B---- thought he had
     himself made considerable progress in her favour. By my
     recommendation he was made a professor; and he took upon him
     to persuade my betrothed that I should never return to my
     own country. He courted her assiduously, and was very near
     obtaining her, had it not been for another friend, who laid
     open his treachery. He has since paid dearly for his
     conduct, by innumerable misfortunes.

     "At last I came back, but still destitute of a maintenance.
     The young lady was partial to me, and not to him. I settled
     at Stockholm, the laughing-stock of every body on account of
     my botany. No one cared how many sleepless nights and
     toilsome hours I had passed, as all, with one voice,
     declared that Siegesbeck had annihilated me. There was
     nobody who would put even a servant under my care. I was
     obliged to live as I could, in virtuous poverty. By very
     slow degrees I began to acquire some practice. But now my
     adverse fate took a sudden turn, and after so long a
     succession of cloudy prospects the sun broke out upon me. I
     emerged from my obscurity, obtained access to the great, and
     every unfavourable presage vanished. No invalid could now
     recover without my assistance. I began to get money, and was
     busy in attendance on the sick, from four in the morning
     till late in the evening; nor were my nights uninterrupted
     by the calls of my patients. Aha! said I, Esculapius is the
     giver of all good things; Flora bestows nothing upon me but
     Siegesbecks! I took my leave of Flora; condemned my
     too-numerous observations a thousand times over to eternal
     oblivion; and swore never to give any answer to Siegesbeck.

     "Soon afterwards, I was appointed first physician to the
     navy. The magistracy immediately conferred upon me the
     regius professorship, that I might teach botany in the seat
     of government at Stockholm, with the addition of an annual
     stipend. Then my fondness for plants revived. I was also
     enabled to present myself to the bride to whom I had been
     for five years engaged, and was honourably received as her
     husband. My father-in-law, rather fond of his money, proved
     not very liberal to me; but I can do without it, and those
     who come after me will enjoy it.

     "Just now, both the medical professorships are likely to
     become vacant. Professors Rudbeck and Roberg, both advanced
     in age, are about offering their resignation. If this takes
     place, probably Mr Rosen may succeed Roberg, and I may
     obtain Rudbeck's appointment. But if I do not, I am content
     to live and die at Stockholm; nor shall I oppose the
     pretensions of any competitor. If, therefore, I should not
     obtain the botanical professorship at Upsal, and you, at the
     end of three months, should invite me, I would come, if I
     may bring my little wife with me. Otherwise, if there be any
     chance of my ever seeing you at Hamburg, for that reason
     alone I would go thither, though I live here at a great
     distance. My regard for you makes me wish to know you
     personally, to see and talk to you, before I die. Farewell!
     may you long continue to be the load-star of our science!"

Linnæus and Haller, notwithstanding the frequent disputes that took
place between them, continued upon the whole on friendly terms, and
wrote to each other occasionally, until 1749. The last letter from the
Swiss naturalist is dated Berne, April 10, 1766. The correspondence,
which is full of interest, more especially with respect to botany, is
given by Sir J. E. Smith, from whose "Selection" the above translations
have been copied.

"It is to be lamented," says he, "that Haller published so many
confidential letters, unjustly reflecting, here and there, on Linnæus;
and that he betrays, in his prefaces and notes, so much petulance
towards this old and distinguished friend. He pretends, indeed, to have
excluded from all the letters he published every thing personal or
confidential. But there are few more disgraceful chronicles of ill
humour than this collection of letters of various persons to Haller. He
leaves chasms, truly, in many places, which, like Madame Dacier's
asterisks, is 'hanging out lights;' for they serve to aggravate the
force of what remains. Above all, he is censurable for printing letters
from this very son of his, after his death, reflecting severely on
persons who had, as the young man says, shown him the greatest favour at
Paris; and abusing the Academy of Sciences, which had just elected him
into its body as a corresponding member."

Linnæus, in one of his letters to Haller, says, "There is nobody in
England who understands or thinks about genera except Dillenius." We may
therefore mention, as next in order among his correspondents, this
celebrated professor of botany. Born at Darmstadt in 1685, and educated
as a physician at Giessen, he was brought to England by Sherard in 1721;
and, when the latter, who had been English consul at Smyrna, founded his
botanical professorship at Oxford, he appointed him to it.

Dillenius was a plain blunt man, and used great freedom of speech in
writing to Linnæus. Thus, in one of his letters, he says,--"I feel as
much displeased with your Critica Botanica as I am pleased with your
Lapland Flora, especially as you have, without my deserving such a
compliment or knowing of your intention, dedicated the book to me. You
must have known my dislike to all ceremonies and compliments. I hope
that you have burthened but few copies with this dedication,--perhaps
only the copy which you have sent me. If there be more, I beg of you to
strip them of this vain parade, or I shall take it much amiss. At least
I cannot offer you my thanks for what you have done, though I gratefully
acknowledge the favour of the copies you have sent me of the Critica as
well as the Flora. We all know the nomenclature of botany to be an
Augean stable, which C. Hoffmann, and even Gesner, were not able to
cleanse. The task requires much reading, and extensive as well as
various erudition; nor is it to be given up to hasty or careless hands.
You rush upon it, and overturn every thing. I do not object to Greek
words, especially in compound names; but I think the names of the
ancients ought not rashly and promiscuously to be transferred to our new
genera, or those of the New World. The day may possibly come when the
plants of Theophrastus and Dioscorides may be ascertained; and, till
this happens, we had better leave their names as we find them. That
desirable end might even now be attained, if any one would visit the
countries of these old botanists, and make a sufficient stay there; for
the inhabitants of those regions are very retentive of names and
customs, and know plants at this moment by their ancient appellations,
very little altered, as any person who reads Belonius may perceive. I
remember your being told, by the late Mr G. Gherard, that the modern
Greeks give the name of amanita ([Greek: amanita]) to the eatable
field-mushroom; and yet, in Critica Botanica, p. 50, you suppose that
word to be French. Who will ever believe the _Thya_ of Theophrastus to
be our arbor vitæ? Why do you give the name of cactus to the tuna? Do
you believe the tuna, or melocactus (pardon the word), and the arbor
vitæ, were known to Theophrastus? An attentive reader of the
description he gives of his sida, will probably agree with me that it
belongs to our nymphæa, and indeed to the white-flowered kind. You,
without any reason, give that name to the malvinda; and so in various
other instances concerning ancient names; in which I do not, like
Burmann, blame you for introducing new names, but for the bad
application of old ones. If there were, in these cases, any resemblance
between your plants and those of the ancients, you might be excused; but
there is not. Why do you, p. 68, derive the word medica from the virtues
of the plant, when Pliny, book xviii. chap. 16, declares it to have been
brought from Media, &c.?

"I fear I have angered you by saying, as you observe in your last, so
much against your system of arrangement. Nevertheless, I could say a
great deal more, and should be able to prove to you that you separate
and tear asunder several genera nearly related to each other. But this
is not my aim, as I value your friendship too much."

In another letter, dated May 16, 1737, he writes as follows:--"I must
say a word concerning stamens and styles, as being unfit to found a
system of arrangement upon; not only because they vary as much as
flowers and seed-vessels, but because they are hardly to be discerned,
except by yourself, and such lynx-eyed people;[K] and in my judgment,
every scheme of classification offers violence to nature.
Notwithstanding all this, I applaud and congratulate you, in the highest
degree, for having brought your premature birth to such perfection. You
have accomplished great things, and, that you may go on and prosper
still more, let me exhort you to examine more and more species. I do not
doubt that you yourself will one day overthrow your own system. You see,
my dearest Linnæus, how plainly I speak my sentiments, depending on your
candour to receive them favourably."

One of the most respectable of his English correspondents was Peter
Collinson, with whom he became acquainted when he visited London in
1736. He belonged to the Society of Friends, possessed a most amiable
disposition, evinced the strictest probity and the purest benevolence,
was blessed with a genuine and ardent love of nature, enjoyed a long
life of active virtue, and died in the glorious hope of a happiness
unappreciable. The gentle though rather romantic character of the quaker
shines forth in all his letters, but in none more than in the last he
wrote, which is as follows:--

     "Ridgeway-house, on Mill-hill, ten miles north of London,--
     March 16, 1767.

     "I am here retired to a delightful little villa, to
     contemplate and admire, with my dear Linnæus, the
     unalterable laws of vegetation. How ravishing to see the
     swelling buds disclose the tender leaves! By the public
     newspapers we were told that with you in Sweden the winter
     was very severe, the Sound being frozen over. I have no
     conception of the power of that cold which could fetter the
     rolling ocean in icy chains. The cold was what we call
     severe, but not so sharp as in the year 1740. It lasted
     about a month, to the 21st of January, and then the thaw
     began and continued. February the 1st and 2d were soft,
     warm, sunny days, as in April, and so continued, mild and
     warm, with southerly winds, all the month. This brought on
     the spring flowers. Feb. 8th, the _Helleborus niger_ made a
     fine show; the _Galanthus_ and winter aconite by the 15th
     covered the garden with beauty, among some crocuses and
     violets, and _Primula veris_, &c. How delightful to see the
     order of nature! Oh, how obedient the vegetable tribes are
     to their great Lawgiver! He has given this race of flowers a
     constitution and fibres to resist the cold. They bloom in
     frost and snow, like the good men of Sweden. These flowers
     have some time made their exit; and now, March 7th, a
     tenderer tribe succeeds. Such, my dear friend, is the order
     of nature. Now the garden is covered with more than twenty
     different species of crocuses, produced from sowing seeds,
     and the _Iris Persica_, _Cyclamen vernale_, and polyanthos.
     The 16th March, plenty of _Hyacinthus cæruleus_ and _albus_
     in the open borders, with anemones; and now my favourites,
     the great tribe of narcissuses, show all over the garden and
     fields. We have two species wild in the woods that now begin
     to flower. Next, the _Tulipa præcox_ is near flowering; and
     so Flora decks the garden with endless variety, ever

     "The progress of our spring, to the middle of March, I
     persuade myself will be acceptable to my dear baron. Now I
     come to thank him for his most acceptable letter of the 8th
     of October last. I am extremely obliged for your kind
     intentions to send me the work of works, your Systema
     Naturæ. I hope it will please God to bless my eyes with the
     sight of it. I feel the distress you must be under with the
     fire. I am glad, next to your own and family's safety, that
     you saved your papers and books. By this time I hope all is
     settled and in order; so pray now, at your leisure, employ
     some expert pupil to search into the origin of the
     nectarine; who are the first authors that mention how and
     when it was first introduced into the European gardens. It
     is strange and marvellous, that a peach should naturally
     produce or bear nectarines, a fruit so different, as well in
     its exterior coat as flavour, from a peach; and yet this
     nectarine will produce a nectarine from the stone, and not a
     peach. This remarkable instance is from a tree of a
     nectarine raised from a stone in my own garden, which last
     autumn had several dozen of fruit on it, finely ripened. For
     more particulars I refer to my last letter. Pray tell me who
     Perses was, what countryman, and who is the author that
     relates his introducing peaches into the European gardens?

     "That bats as well as flies lie as dead all winter is true;
     but they do not change elements, and go and live all that
     time under water. Swallows cannot do it without a provision
     and contrivance for that end, which it becomes your great
     abilities to find out; for it is not sufficient to assert,
     but to demonstrate the internal apparatus God Almighty has
     wonderfully contrived for a flying animal, bred on the land
     and in the air, to go voluntarily under water, and live
     there for so many months. Besides, we are not informed which
     species lives under water, as there are four species. You,
     my dear friend, have raised my admiration, and that of all
     my curious acquaintance; for we never heard before that
     mushrooms were of an animal nature, and that their eggs are
     hatched in water. We must suspend gratifying our curiosity
     until this phenomenon is more particularly explained to us
     here. Dr Solander is also a stranger to it. Very probably
     some account has been published in the Swedish tongue; if
     that is sent to Solander, then we shall be made acquainted
     with the discovery.

     "I herewith send you a print of the _Andrachne_, which
     flowered, for the first time I presume in Europe, in Dr
     Fothergill's garden in May last year. It was raised from
     seed from Aleppo, sent to him by Dr Russell in the year
     1756. Yon see its manner of flowering is very different from
     the arbutus. I have a large tree raised from the same seed,
     that stands abroad in the garden, but never blossomed. It is
     now beginning to shed its bark, as Belon or Belonius well
     describes; which is a peculiar difference from the
     _Arbutus_, and nearly agrees with the _Platanus_.

     "I am, my dear friend, with my sincere wishes for your
     health and preservation, your affectionate friend,

                                    "P. COLLINSON,

     "Now entered into my 73d year, in perfect health and
     strength in body and mind. God Almighty be praised and
     adored for the multitude of his mercies!--March 16th, 1767."

A great part of the correspondence which Collinson had with Linnæus bore
a reference to the alleged hibernation of swallows, which the latter,
following the authority of certain writers, supposed to retire on the
approach of winter to the bottom of lakes and rivers, among reeds and
other aquatic plants, where they remain in a torpid state till the
beginning of summer. This preposterous idea the Englishman labours to
convince his friend ought either to be given up, or established by
accurate observation; but, if the great botanist was not too proud to
renounce an error, he at least manifested no desire to satisfy his
correspondent, nor does it appear that he ever afterwards alluded to the
subject in any of his letters.

The other individuals with whom he carried on an epistolary intercourse
in England were, Dr Solander, his pupil; Mr Ellis, the first who proved
the animal nature of corals and corallines; Mr George Edwards, librarian
of the Royal College of Physicians, who produced a work on birds; Mr
Pennant, the celebrated author of the British Zoology and other
treatises; Mr Catesby, who wrote the Natural History of Carolina; Dr
Mitchell, and a few more. Of these Mr Ellis appears to have been his
most assiduous correspondent.


                              "London, December 5, 1766.

     "SIR,--I am obliged to you for sending me Dr Garden's
     account of the _Siren_. I am sorry I could not get the rest
     of the things he sent you, before the ship sailed, when I
     sent you the specimens of plants. I have only got the
     insects, which are of little value, and the skin of a
     _Siren_. The things in spirits are not yet brought on shore;
     but I hope to get them; and as soon as I have an
     opportunity, will send them to you. Peter Collinson spent
     the evening with me, and shewed me a letter you wrote to
     him about funguses being alive in the seeds, and swimming
     about like fish. You mention something of it to me in your
     last letter. If you have examined the seeds of them
     yourself, and found them to be little animals, I should
     believe it. Pray, what time of the year, and what kinds? I
     suppose they must be taken while growing, and in a vigorous
     state. I intend to try; I think my glass will discover them,
     if they have animal life in them. The seeds of the
     _Equisetum palustre_ appear to be alive by their twisting
     motion, when viewed through the microscope; but that is not
     animal life.

     "I have just finished a collection of the _Corallinæ_. I
     think there are thirty-six species; but I believe some of
     them will prove varieties. I have most of the copperplates
     that represent them finished. They are the most difficult to
     examine of all the zoophytes; their pores are so small, and
     their manner of growing so singular....

     "Pray let me know how your Tea-tree grows. It is very odd
     that, notwithstanding we have had fifteen ships from China
     this year, we have not had one Tea-tree brought home alive.
     I have sent a boy to China, whose dependence is on me, to
     try to bring over several sorts of seeds in wax. I expect
     him home next summer.

     "The English are much obliged to you for your good wishes.
     We every day see a superiority in the Swedes over the other
     European nations. All your people that appear among us are
     polite, well-bred, and learned; without the vanity of the
     French, the heaviness of the Dutch, or the impudence of the
     Germans. This last nation has intruded on us swarms of their
     miserable, half-starved people, from the connexion that our
     royal family have had with them."

The first voyage of Captain Cook, in which he was accompanied by Sir
Joseph Banks and Dr Solander, interested Linnæus in a high degree, as he
expected from it great accessions to science. On being apprized by Ellis
of the return of the expedition in 1771, he thus writes in reply:--

"I received, about an hour ago, my ever valued friend, yours of the 16th
of July, nor did I ever receive a more welcome letter, as it conveys the
agreeable news of my dear Solander's safe return. Thanks and glory to
God, who has protected him through the dangers of such a voyage! If I
were not bound fast here by sixty-four years of age, and a worn-out
body, I would this very day set out for London, to see this great hero
of botany. Moses was not permitted to enter Palestine, but only to view
it from a distance; so I conceive an idea in my mind of the acquisitions
and treasures of those who have visited every part of the globe."

The following letter, principally on the same subject, is selected as
one of the best specimens of Linnæus's epistolary style:--


                              "Upsal, October 22, 1771.

     "MY DEAR FRIEND,--I have just read in some foreign
     newspapers, that our friend Solander intends to revisit
     those new countries, discovered by Mr Banks and himself, in
     the ensuing spring. This report has affected me so much, as
     almost entirely to deprive me of sleep. How vain are the
     hopes of man! Whilst the whole botanical world, like
     myself, has been looking for the most transcendent benefits
     to our science, from the unrivalled exertions of your
     countrymen, all their matchless and truly astonishing
     collection, such as has never been seen before, nor may ever
     be seen again, is to be put aside untouched, to be thrust
     into some corner, to become perhaps the prey of insects and
     of destruction.

     "I have every day been figuring to myself the occupations of
     my pupil Solander, now putting his collection in order,
     having first arranged and numbered his plants in parcels,
     according to the places where they were gathered, and then
     written upon each specimen its native country and
     appropriate number. I then fancied him throwing the whole
     into classes; putting aside, and naming, such as were
     already known; ranging others under known genera, with
     specific differences; and distinguishing by new names and
     definitions such as formed new genera, with their species.
     Thus, thought I, the world will be delighted and benefited
     by all these discoveries; and the foundations of true
     science will be strengthened, so as to endure through all

     "I am under great apprehension, that if this collection
     should remain untouched till Solander's return, it might
     share the same lot as Forskal's Arabian specimens at
     Copenhagen. Thus shall I be only more and more confirmed in
     my opinion, that the Fates are ever adverse to the greatest
     undertakings of mankind.

     "Solander promised long ago, while detained off the coast of
     Brazil, in the early part of his voyage, that he would visit
     me after his return; of which I have been in expectation.
     If he had brought some of his specimens with him, I could at
     once have told him what were new; and we might have turned
     over books together, and he might have been informed or
     satisfied upon many subjects, which after my death will not
     be so easily explained.

     "I have no answer from him to the letter I enclosed to you,
     which I cannot but wonder at. You yourself know how much I
     have esteemed him, and how strongly I recommended him to

     "By all that is great and good, I entreat you, who know so
     well the value of science, to do all that in you lies for
     the publication of these new acquisitions, that the learned
     world may not be deprived of them. They will afford a fresh
     proof, that the English nation promote science more than the
     French, or any other people whatsoever. At the same time,
     let me earnestly beg of you to publish, as soon as possible,
     your own work, explaining those elegant plates of rare
     zoophytes, &c. which you last sent me. I can no longer
     restrain my impatience. Allow me to remind you, that
     'nothing is so uncertain, nothing so deceitful, as human
     life; nothing so frail, or surrounded with so many diseases
     and dangers, as man.'

     "Again the plants of Solander and Banks recur to my
     imagination. When I turn over Feuillée's figures, I meet
     with more extraordinary things among them than anywhere
     else. I cannot but presume, therefore, as Peru and Chili are
     so rich, that in the South Sea Islands as great an abundance
     of rarities have remained in concealment, from the beginning
     of the world, to reward the labours of our illustrious
     voyagers. I see these things now but afar off. If our
     travellers should take another trip, I shall have seen them
     as Moses saw Canaan.

     "When I ponder upon the insects they have brought, I am
     overwhelmed at the reported number of new species. Are there
     many new genera? Amongst all the insects sent from the Cape,
     I have met with no new genus; which is remarkable. And yet,
     except four European ones, they are all new species.

     "Pray make use of your interest with Solander, to inform me
     to what class and order the nutmeg belongs. I shall not take
     advantage of this information without making honourable
     mention of my authority.

     "When I think of their _Mollusca_, I conceive the new ones
     must be very numerous. These animals cannot be investigated
     after death, as they contract in dying. Without doubt, as
     there were draughtsmen on board, they would not fail to
     afford ample materials for drawings.

     "Do but consider, my friend, if these treasures are kept
     back, what may happen to them. They may be devoured by
     vermin of all kinds. The house where they are lodged may be
     burnt. Those destined to describe them may die. Even you,
     the promoter of every scientific undertaking in your
     country, may be taken from us. All sublunary things are
     uncertain, nor ought any thing to be trusted to treacherous
     futurity. I therefore once more beg, nay I earnestly beseech
     you, to urge the publication of these new discoveries. I
     confess it to be my most ardent wish to see this done before
     I die. To whom can I urge my anxious wishes but to you, who
     are so devoted to me and to science?

     "Remember me to the immortal Banks and Solander.

     "P.S.--I can never sufficiently thank you and Mr Gordon for
     the beautiful and precious trees of Magnolia, both the
     Gardeniæ, both the Kalmiæ, and the Rhododendrum; all now in
     excellent health. But the Calycanthus, and a tree of a new
     genus allied to Hamamelis, I am sorry to say, are no more.
     They were very sickly when they came, nor did they put forth
     any new roots. Dionæa died, as might be expected, in the

     "My Lord Baltimore passed a day with me about a year ago, at
     my country-house. I read over to him whatever he desired.
     After his departure, he sent me a most elegant vase of
     silver gilt, certainly worth more than 150 guineas. I never
     received so splendid a present before. No Frenchman, nor
     perhaps any other person, was ever so bountiful. The English
     are, doubtless, the most generous of all men.

     "My second Mantissa is at length published. After it was
     finished, I received from Surinam what I call Hypericum
     Lasianthus, so similar to your Gordonia that at first I
     thought them the same. The flower is, in like manner,
     internally hairy; the stem is shrubby, and the leaves
     similar. But the stamens are in five sets, separated by five
     hairy nectaries. On a careful examination, I conclude your
     Gordonia Lasianthus to be really a different plant, agreeing
     with that of Plukenet, in having winged seeds, as you
     rightly describe it. The synonym of Plukenet, therefore,
     does not belong to my Lasianthus, which, however like it, is
     truly a species of Hypericum; but that synonym must be
     referred to your plant."

Mr Ellis was a native of Ireland, but had settled in London, where he
died in 1776. In the early part of his life he engaged in merchandise,
and subsequently was employed as agent for West Florida and Dominica.
His foreign connexions were the means of furnishing him with rich
supplies of curious specimens: and hence both botany and zoology were
enriched by him with many discoveries, the most remarkable of which, as
we have already mentioned, was that of the animal nature of corals and

It was to this gentleman that Linnæus recommended his favourite pupil
Solander, who came to England in 1759, and who was held in great
estimation on account of his politeness and extensive knowledge in
natural history. Being engaged by Sir Joseph Banks he accompanied him on
his voyage round the world, and on his return was domesticated under his
roof as his secretary and librarian. He undertook to describe the
objects which had been collected on the voyage; but the dissipation of
London society, his other avocations, and the indolence which soon
gained upon him, rendered his progress too slow for the expectations of
the learned, and in 1782 he was carried off by apoplexy. He seems to
have almost forgotten his venerable master, to whom he was under so many
obligations, and even his aged mother, several of whose letters to him
were found unopened after his death. He was, notwithstanding, a man of
considerable merit, and more especially in that he proved the means of
establishing the Linnæan doctrines in this country.

Mr Ellis, in return, had the satisfaction of introducing to the
correspondence of Linnæus the celebrated Dr Garden, who had settled at
Charleston in South Carolina, where he practised medicine for nearly
thirty years. He was a native of Scotland, and received his education at
Aberdeen and Edinburgh. During the intervals of leisure which
occasionally occurred in the practice of his profession, he directed his
attention to the study of botany and zoology. When the differences
between Great Britain and her American colonies arose, he took part with
the former, and returned to Europe about the end of the war, with his
wife and two daughters, leaving, however, a son, who submitted to the
new government. He died of pulmonary consumption in 1791, in the
sixty-second year of his age.


                              "Charleston, Nov. 30, 1758.

     "SIR,--Three years ago I troubled you with a letter by way
     of Holland, of which I sent also a duplicate; but I fear
     they have both accidentally miscarried. From that period I
     have often thought of soliciting afresh your friendship and
     correspondence, but shame has deterred me. I am well aware
     that your time must be fully occupied with more valuable
     correspondents, and that I am likely to be more troublesome
     than useful, having nothing worthy to repay such an
     indulgence. I do, however, stand in great need of your
     advice and assistance in the prosecution of the most
     delightful of studies; and such is my conviction of the
     benevolence of your character, that I cannot refrain from
     writing you another letter. I earnestly beseech you to take
     this in good part, and not to refuse me the favour of your
     friendship. Mr Ellis, in a recent letter, encourages me to
     believe that my correspondence may not be unwelcome to you,
     which, you may well suppose, has greatly delighted me; and
     it has induced me to hope you will pardon this intrusion. I
     learn from him that you have already written to me; and it
     has given me no small concern that your letter has never
     come to hand. I flattered myself, as long as I possibly
     could, with the prospect of its arrival; but I have now
     given up all hopes, and am only sensible of my loss and

     "Had it not been for the repeated encouragement of Mr Ellis,
     I should scarcely ever have ventured to expect that my
     friendship and correspondence could engage your attention;
     nor can I now attribute your favour and kindness towards me
     to any other cause than, probably, to the too partial
     representations of this friend. I fear that his usual
     indulgence for me, of which I have had repeated instances,
     may have prompted him to say more in my recommendation than
     my abilities deserve, or than truth can justify.

     "Of this I am very certain, that if you do deign to
     correspond with me, I can never repay such a favour as it
     deserves. Nevertheless, I am ready to receive and to obey
     your wishes and directions; and if this country should
     afford any thing worthy of your notice, I will, if you
     please, make descriptions, or send specimens, with all
     possible care. Your commands will indeed prove most welcome
     to me. I have only to request that you will inform me of
     every thing you want, and of the best methods of preserving
     and forwarding specimens. Every opportunity that you may be
     so good as to afford me of serving you, I shall esteem an
     honour; and if at the same time you favour me with your
     advice, and allow me to drink at the fountain of pure
     botanical science from your abundant stores, I shall esteem
     it the highest honour, as well as gratification, that I can

     "Almost every one of your works is already in my hands, and
     I trust I have thence greatly improved my knowledge of
     botany. Mr Ellis informs me of your being about printing a
     new edition of your Systema Naturæ and Genera Plantarum,
     both which I have ordered to be sent me as soon as they
     appear. From the riches and erudition of what you have
     already published, your whole mind being devoted to this one
     pursuit, I am at no loss to anticipate the still greater
     degree of information, elegance, and perfection, of your
     future performances. Nothing, indeed, more excites my
     wishes, as a certain source of pleasure and improvement,
     than to be more deeply conversant with your writings; that I
     may not only profit by your genius, but, at the same time,
     have the information of the most eminent and approved
     writers in botany always ready at hand.

     "I am disgusted with the coarse and malicious style in which
     some carping and slanderous critics have attacked these
     works of yours, the delight and ornament of botanical
     science. But such men are objects of pity rather than anger.
     Their blind inclination to find fault leads them so far into
     the mazes of absurdity, that they censure what ought to
     afford them nothing but instruction. Their futile
     reasonings, indeed, fall harmless to the ground, like the
     dart of Priam from the shield of Pyrrhus. The works they
     abuse shine brighter the more strictly they are scrutinized,
     and will certainly be read with delight by men in every age
     who are best qualified to appreciate their value. Your
     censors, when duly weighed themselves, seem to have acquired
     what they know by application rather than by any great
     powers of mind; and they make but a poor figure, with all
     that they can find to say, when they enter into a
     controversy with a man whose learning has received its last
     polish from genius. Nor are you, my excellent friend,
     unsupported in the contest; for you are surrounded by all
     who have entered on the same studies at the impulse of
     genius, or under the auspices of Minerva, and whose industry
     has gradually improved, sharpened, and given the last finish
     to the powers of their understanding. These stand ready
     armed for the battle in your defence. They will easily put
     to flight the herd of plodding labourers; for nature can
     certainly do much more without learning, than learning
     without nature.

     "If your adversaries and detractors had candidly pointed out
     the disputable, inconvenient, or faulty parts of your
     system, for your better consideration and revision, I have
     no doubt that they would now have found in you a friend and
     patron, instead of an enemy and conqueror. But they were
     excited by an envious malignity, and a depraved appetite for
     controversy, to write without judgment or genius, and to
     blame without candour or liberality. Not that I pretend to
     say, that your system is already brought to the supreme
     point of perfection. That would indeed be a foolish
     assertion, which your better judgment would at once reject
     as mere flattery. But to give due praise to supreme merit
     in botanical science, and to recommend, as they deserve,
     your most ingenious and most useful writings, is a duty
     incumbent on me, as well as on all who are not destitute of
     every spark of gratitude, for the immense services which
     your labour and ingenuity have rendered to the whole world.
     Nor are you, sir, so little able to appreciate your own
     merits, as not to be perfectly conscious that the attacks
     alluded to originate in envy, rather than the commendations
     you receive, in flattery. Compliments out of the question,
     we certainly ought to give every one his due.

     "But it is time to conclude. I venture to enclose for your
     opinion the characters of a very handsome plant, which seems
     to me a new genus. I am very anxious that it should bear the
     name of my much-valued friend, Mr Ellis; and if, upon mature
     examination, you should judge it to be new, I wish you would
     correct my description wherever it may be necessary, and
     publish it in the new edition of your Genera Plantarum,
     under the name of _Ellisia_. This plant grows about the
     bases of the Apalachian Mountains, rising annually from its
     old roots to the height of about twelve feet, ornamented
     with whorls of leaves, at the distance of eighteen inches
     from each other.

     "It only remains for me, sir, to beg your pardon for this
     intrusion. I am well aware how many important labours you
     have on your hands, and you probably have many more in
     prospect. Grant me only your friendly assistance in my
     ardent prosecution of the study of nature; and may you at
     the same time go on advancing in reputation and success!
     and after you have given your works to the public, may you
     long enjoy the honours which your abilities have acquired!

     "May God grant you a long life, to investigate the secrets
     of nature, as well as to improve the powers of your mind in
     their contemplation! and may your valuable exertions benefit
     the literary world as long as you live!--Such is my sincere
     prayer. Farewell!"

In France, the correspondents of Linnæus were Messrs Angerville,
Barrere, De Bomare, Duchesne, Carrere, Chardon, Cusson, Guan, Guettard,
the two Jussieus, Le Monnier, Maynard, F. de Sauvages, and the Abbé de


                              "Paris, July 1, 1736.

     "SIR,--I received with much pleasure your work on the
     _Musa_, which I immediately read through with avidity, and
     no less satisfaction; not only because of the singularity of
     the plant itself, but for the sake of your remarks. I never
     suspected that this plant, which I had seen bearing flowers
     and fruit in Spain, could produce any in Holland, as we have
     never had an instance of the kind in the royal garden at
     Paris, where it has not even flowered. None of the other
     works mentioned as having been published by you have ever
     reached me, and I shall be greatly obliged by your ordering
     them to be sent hither at my expense. I long very much to
     see your Hortus Cliffortianus and Flora Lapponica;
     especially the latter, as the king has recently sent some
     of our academicians towards the most northern parts of
     Europe, to whom, in their search after plants in those
     countries, your book would be a guide, instructing them what
     seeds or dried specimens to send us. If, therefore, you are
     likely soon to complete this work, I request the favour of
     two copies, which shall be paid for with the above-mentioned
     publications. If you know of any thing issuing from our
     Parisian press likely to be worthy of your notice, nothing
     will give me more pleasure than to procure it for you. Be
     pleased, sir, to accept the respects of my brother and

The writer of the above letter was elder brother to the author of the
following, who was also Regius Professor of Botany at Paris, and the
reputed inventor of what is called the Natural System of Plants, which
was subsequently improved by his nephew, Antoine de Jussieu.


                              "Paris, Feb. 15, 1742.

     "MY DEAREST FRIEND,--I received your welcome letter, and
     have several times been desirous of answering it, but have
     as often been hindered by various affairs. Pardon my past
     neglect, though I have permitted some opportunities of
     testifying my regard for you to pass by. I have been
     occupied in various journeys. All last autumn I was
     wandering on the seacoast of Normandy. I have met with many
     novelties, among which you will be surprised to find some
     additions to the animal kingdom. I mean, however, before I
     make my discoveries public, to examine into the matter more

     "I have heard with the most sincere pleasure of your being
     appointed professor of botany at Upsal. You may now devote
     yourself entirely to the service of Flora, and lay open more
     completely the path you have pointed out, so as at length to
     bring to perfection a natural method of classification,
     which is what all lovers of botany wish and expect. I know
     of nothing new here except an essay on the natural history
     of Cayenne, and a catalogue of officinal plants. These
     little works will be conveyed to you by the surgeon of Count
     de Tessin, when he returns home. I shall also add a
     fasciculus of medical questions, of the faculty of Paris. I
     have not yet received what you last sent me; but I return
     you many thanks for your repeated kindness. I beg leave to
     offer you, as a testimony of my gratitude, a few exotic
     seeds. May God preserve you long in safety! Believe me your
     most devoted,

                              BERNARD DE JUSSIEU."

We have nothing of much interest to offer from this quarter, as Buffon,
who was the most popular naturalist of his time, showed himself the
rival of the Swede and a despiser of all classifications; although, as
Lord Monboddo says, "those who have merely made themselves acquainted
with the first rudiments of philosophy, cannot possibly be ignorant,
that a distribution into genera and species is the foundation of all
human knowledge; and that to be acquainted with an individual, as they
term it, or one single thing, is neither art nor science."

From the long list of correspondents which Linnæus had in Germany and
other parts of the Continent, we shall only mention Professor Gesner at
Tubingen; Hebenstreit and Ludwig at Leipsic; Hermann and Jacquin at
Vienna; Gieseke at Hamburg; Murray at Gottingen; Brunnich, Fabricius,
and Muller, in Denmark; Gmelin, Ammann, and G. Muller, in Russia;
Allemand, Burmann, Gorter, Cliffort, and Van Royen, in Holland; John
Gesner and Scheuchzer, in Switzerland. We do not, however, find it
necessary to insert any of the letters of these celebrated individuals;
but shall conclude with part of a communication to the younger Linnæus,
from Don Joseph Celestine Mutis, professor of philosophy, mathematics,
and natural history, at the University of Santa Fé de Bogota, in New

                   "From the Mines of Ybagua, Sept. 12, 1778.

     "This letter, which I have many a time, in the joy of my
     heart, had it in contemplation to write to you, my worthy
     friend, I find myself now scarcely able to begin, on account
     of the grief with which yours just received has overwhelmed
     me. As I opened this letter, enclosed in one from a beloved
     brother of mine who lives at Cadiz, I did not at once
     discover from whom it came, the superscription being in an
     unknown hand; but I feared it might bring me an account of
     the precious life of my valued friend the Chevalier Von
     Linné being either in danger, or perhaps extinct. When I had
     read it, I perceived but too certainly the truth of what had
     been announced in the public papers, that this great man,
     your illustrious father, was no more. To cultivate his
     faithful friendship has for many years been my chief
     ambition, in spite of the wide distance between your polar
     region and the equator. I wanted resolution to open, soon
     afterwards, a packet from M. Gahn, whose handwriting I
     recognised in the direction, lest I might perhaps find a
     letter, the last, and now posthumous, pledge of his
     friendship, flattering me with hopes which I had already
     abandoned. Allow me, therefore, my dear sir, to recall to
     your mind those recollections which, however sad, we ought
     not to forget. If it were possible for you to overcome the
     feelings of nature, I cannot satisfy the claims of
     friendship without lamenting, with you, our common loss.

     "Let me inform you, therefore, that, so long ago as the year
     1761, when I ventured to introduce myself to this great man
     by a trifling communication, as I had not enjoyed any
     intercourse with him before my departure from Europe, I was
     first favoured, in this my distant abode, with one of those
     letters, so highly valued by the most learned men in Europe.
     In this, according to his usual custom, your distinguished
     father endeavoured, in the most attractive style, to
     stimulate my youthful ardour more and more for the study of
     nature. From that period I rejoiced to devote myself to his
     service, and our correspondence was kept up for eighteen
     years, as regularly as the great distance between us, the
     negligence of those in whom we confided, and my occasional
     extensive journeys would admit. By some unavoidable
     accidents, indeed, many of my letters never reached him; and
     I have also, too late, discovered that many of his had been
     lost. Meanwhile, our communications were confidential and
     exclusive, not extended on my part to any other persons,
     whether my countrymen or not; for I devoted all my
     discoveries and all my labours to his immortal genius alone.
     A little while ago, when I still supposed him living (as I
     saw the illustrious name of Von Linné among the members of
     the Royal Academy of Paris, in a list at the end of the
     Connoissance des Tems), I was particularly happy to obtain
     the complete fructification of that most elegant tree which
     yields the Peruvian balsam, in order that I might satisfy
     his curiosity, so often expressed, on the subject of the
     genus of this tree, either by describing it among my new
     genera, or by transmitting any observations for his use. But
     when I had just overcome the difficulties which had so long
     deprived me of this acquisition, and was anticipating the
     pleasure my excellent friend would receive from the
     communication, the world was deprived of him. You have lost
     an affectionate parent, and I a most highly-esteemed patron.
     I trust that you, my honoured friend, will, with his blood,
     inherit his exalted genius, his ardent love of science, his
     kind liberality to his friends, and all the other valuable
     endowments of his mind. On my part, I shall show my
     gratitude to his memory by teaching and extolling the name
     of Linnæus, as the supreme prince of naturalists, even here
     under the equator, where the sciences are already
     flourishing, and advancing by the most rapid steps; and
     where, I am disposed to believe, the muses may, perhaps, in
     future ages, fix their seat. If my opinion be of any weight
     as a naturalist, I must declare that I can find no name, in
     the whole history of this department of knowledge, worthy to
     be compared with the illustrious Swede. Of this at least I
     am certain, that the merits of Newton in philosophy and
     mathematics are equalled in botany, and all the principles
     of natural history, by the immortal Von Linné. These great
     men stand equal and unrivalled, in my judgment, as the most
     faithful interpreters of Nature's works. I trust, sir, you
     will not take amiss this testimony of mine in favour of your
     distinguished parent; for, as you are closely allied to him
     in blood, I feel myself scarcely less intimately attached,
     by the particular friendship with which he was so good as to
     favour me. His memory will ever be cherished by me, as that
     of a beloved preceptor, and I shall value, as long as I
     live, every pledge of his regard...."

With this testimony to the transcendent merits of Linnæus we conclude
the present section, regarding it as a fit introduction to that which
follows, in which we shall attempt to sketch the character of this
extraordinary man.


_Character of Linnæus._

     Specific Character of Linnæus--Remarks of
     Condorcet--Linnæus's Appearance and bodily Conformation--His
     Habits, mental Characteristics, Sociality, domestic
     Relations, Parsimony, and Generosity--His Forbearance
     towards his Opponents, Inaptitude for the Acquisition of
     Languages, Love of Fame, moral Conduct, religious
     Feelings--Character of his Writings--Remarks on his

The character of Linnæus, marked as it is by features which the least
reflective mind can hardly fail to distinguish as indicative of
qualities that seldom present themselves in so high a degree of
development, is not difficult to be appreciated.

The method which he employed for characterising the genera and species
of animals and plants, he applied to himself as an individual, and the
description which he gave of his own person and mind is too remarkable
to be omitted here. It is this:--

"Occipite gibbo, ad suturam lambdoideam transverse depresso, pili in
infantia nivei, dein fusci, in senio canescentes. Oculi brunnei,
vivaces, acutissimi, visu eximio. Frons in senio rugosa. Verruca
obliterata in bucca dextra et alia in nasi dextro latere. Dentes
debiles, cariosi ab odontalgia hæreditaria in juventute.

"Animus promptus, mobilis ad iram et lætitiam et mærores, cito
placabatur; hilaris in juventute, nec in senio torpidus, in rebus
agendis promptissimus; incessu levis, agilis.

"Curas domesticas committebat uxori, ipse naturæ productis unice
intentus; incepta opera ad finem perduxit, nec in itinere respexit."

To convert this aphoristic description into elegant English, such as is
employed by writers of the Buffon school,--men of many words and few
facts,--would be to destroy its peculiar beauty, which can only be
retained in an appropriate translation:--

"The head of Linnæus had a remarkable prominence behind, and was
transversely depressed at the lambdoid suture. His hair was white in
infancy, afterwards brown, in old age grayish. His eyes were hazel,
lively, and penetrating; their power of vision exquisite. His forehead
was furrowed in old age. He had an obliterated wart on the right cheek,
and another on the corresponding side of the nose. His teeth were
unsound, and at an early age decayed from hereditary toothach. His mind
was quick, easily excited to anger, joy, or sadness; but its affections
soon subsided. In youth he was cheerful, in age not torpid, in business
most active. He walked with a light step, and was distinguished for
agility. The management of his domestic affairs he committed to his
wife, and concerned himself solely with the productions of nature.
Whatever he began he brought to an end, and on a journey he never looked

"Some time before his death," says Condorcet in his Eloge, "Linnæus
traced in Latin, on a sheet of paper, his character, his manners, and
his external conformation, imitating in this respect several great men.
He accuses himself of impatience, of an excessive vivacity, and even of
a little jealousy. In this sketch he has pushed modesty and truth to
their utmost; and they who have known that great naturalist, justly
charge him with severity towards himself. There are moments when the
most virtuous person sees nothing but his own failings. After describing
universal nature in all its details, it may be said that the picture
would have remained incomplete had he not painted himself. At the same
time it is vexing that he should have painted himself in colours so
unfavourable. Judging him by his conduct, no one could have fancied the
existence of these defects, nor could they have been known unless he had
revealed them." Yet, if the damnatory revelation which he made be, as M.
Fée asserts, nothing more than the above sketch, it would appear that he
has half in playfulness presented a technical character of himself, such
as he would have written of a bear or a baboon. It presents indications
of candour and self-reproach, but certainly is, on the whole, much more
laudatory than otherwise.

With respect to bodily conformation, he was of a stature rather below
the ordinary standard, as has been the case with several very ambitious,
active, and successful men. His temperament was the sanguineous, with a
proportion of the nervous; whence he was lively, excitable, full of
hope, and of great ardour; but since he was in no degree melancholic,
some physiologists might puzzle themselves to discover where he obtained
his indefatigable industry, his perseverance, his obstinate
straightforwardness, and the tenacity with which he held all opinions
which he had once received. In youth and middle age he was light, but
muscular; whence his personal agility and energy; but as he advanced in
years he became rather full, although with little diminution of his
corporeal, and still less of his mental activity. In walking he stooped
a little, having contracted that habit from his constant search for
plants and other objects. He was moderate in his diet, regulated his
mode of living by strict method, and by temperance preserved his
energies, that he might devote them to the cultivation of his favourite
sciences. His hours of sleep were in summer from ten to five, in winter
from nine to six.

Punctual and orderly in all his arrangements, he underwent labours which
to most men would have been impracticable. Yet the period of study he
always limited by the natural flow of his spirits, and whenever he
became fatigued, or felt indisposed for labour, he laid aside his task.
Some persons have accounted for the immense extent of his works by
simply allowing him industry and perseverance; but they who think so are
not aware, that these qualities are generally inseparable from genius of
the highest order.

In the evenings he frequently indulged in social intercourse with his
friends, when he gave free vent to his lively humour; never for a moment
enveloping himself in that reserve with which men of little minds
conceal their real want of dignity. Whether delivering a solemn oration
at the university, or familiarly conversing with the learned, or dancing
in a barn with his pupils, he was respected and esteemed alike.

It is perhaps strange that, although of this joyous temperament, he had
not a musical ear, having been in this respect like a man whose
character was in almost every point very different, but not less truly
estimable,--that great master of moral wisdom, Dr Johnson. It would
even seem that he had a kind of antipathy to certain combinations of
harmonious sound, although it is clear that he enjoyed the lively song
of the thrush and skylark, which he mentions in his Lapland journey as
affording him delight.

With respect to his domestic relations, it is agreed by his biographers
that he manifested a very amiable character. He was a faithful and
tender husband, although his consort possessed few estimable qualities;
a fond and indulgent father, although his children obtained a much
smaller share of his solicitude than his garden and museum. His wife,
who, as we have seen, took charge of all his domestic arrangements, is
described as having been of a masculine appearance, selfish,
domineering, and destitute of accomplishments. Unable to hold any share
in rational conversation, she had little desire to encourage it in
others; and as her parsimony was still greater than her husband's, we
may suppose that her mode of management was not very conducive to the
comfort of her guests. As a mother being incapable of estimating the
advantages of proper training, her daughters were in a great measure
left destitute of the polite acquirements becoming their station in
society; and the father being, as he says, "naturæ productis unice
intentus," did not trouble himself about uninteresting affairs of this
nature. The result, so far as regards his son, we shall see in a
subsequent section.

It is generally acknowledged that Linnæus was more addicted to the love
of gold than becomes a philosopher, and that his style of living was by
no means equal to his income. "For my own part," says his pupil
Fabricius, "I can easily excuse him for having been a little too fond
of money, when I consider those extremes of poverty which so long and so
heavily overwhelmed him. It may also be said in his defence, that the
parsimonious habits which he had contracted under the most pressing
necessity remained with him ever after, and that he found it impossible
to renounce them when he lived in the midst of abundance." This apology
may perhaps suffice, especially when we find it asserted that his
frugality never degenerated into avarice.

Towards his pupils he conducted himself with the most praiseworthy
liberality. To those who were poor he remitted the fees due to him as
professor, and even from the rich he on many occasions refused to
receive any recompense. Dr Gieseke, when about to leave him in the
autumn of 1771, pressed upon him a Swedish bank-note, as a remuneration
for the trouble which he had taken in affording him instruction; but he
was unwilling to accept it, and it was not till after the repeated
entreaties of his pupil that he acceded to his request:--"Tell me
candidly," said he, "if you are rich, and can afford it;--can you well
spare this money on your return to Germany? If you can, give the note to
my wife; but should you be poor, so help me God, I would not take a
farthing from you!"--"To the praise of Linnæus," says Mr Ehrhart, "I
must farther own, notwithstanding his parsimony, that he neither would
nor did accept a single penny as a fee for the lectures which he gave
me. You are a Swiss," he once said to me, "and the only Swiss that
visits me. I shall take no money of you, but feel a pleasure in telling
you all that I know gratis."

His excitable temper not unfrequently betrayed him into expressions
which indicated a great want of self-control; but if he was easily
roused to anger, he was as speedily appeased. He was exceedingly
pleasant in conversation, humorous, and fond of telling entertaining
stories. Constant in his attachments, he was ever disposed to look with
indulgence on the faults of his friends; and he was fortunate in the
affection which his pupils manifested towards him. But it is said that
he was equally tenacious of dislike towards his enemies, or those of
whom he had formed an unfavourable opinion.

His opponents he treated with forbearance or contempt, and on no
occasion engaged in controversy. In a letter to Haller he says,--"Our
great example, Boerhaave, answered nobody whatever: I recollect his
saying to me one day, 'You should never reply to any controversial
writers; promise me that you will not.' I promised him accordingly, and
have benefited very much by it." If he cherished animosity towards his
adversaries, it certainly did not prevent him from expressing his esteem
for their merits; and as dissimulation had no place in his character, he
did not follow the example of those who by private misrepresentations
undo the benefits conferred by public encomiums. "I am certain," says
Murray, "that had his most unjust and most violent opponents heard him,
they could not have refused him their esteem and affection."

No man ever excelled him in the discrimination of natural objects; nor
is it necessary for us to enter upon any exposition of the excellencies
of his mental constitution, as fitting him for the office which he
assumed as legislator of natural history. Active, penetrating,
sagacious, more conversant with nature than with books, yet not
unacquainted with the labours of others, he succeeded in eliciting order
from the chaotic confusion which he found prevailing in his favourite
sciences. His memory, which was uncommonly vigorous, was, like his other
faculties, devoted to natural history alone; and it was the first that
suffered decay. When he was only fifty years of age it already exhibited
symptoms of decline; and a few years before his death it was almost
entirely extinguished. In the study of modern languages he had never
made sufficient progress to enable him to express his ideas with fluency
in any other than his native tongue. His intercourse with strangers was
carried on in Latin, of which he had a competent knowledge, although in
his letters he paid little attention to elegance, or even in some cases
to grammatical accuracy. He used to say to his friends,--"Malo tres
alapas a Prisciano, quam unam a Natura,--I would rather have three slaps
from Priscian than one from Nature."

The love of fame was his predominant passion. It possessed his soul at
an early age, strengthened as he advanced in years, and retained its
hold to the last. "Famam extendere factis" was his favourite motto, and
that which, when ennobled, he chose for his coat of arms. But his
ambition was entirely confined to science, and never influenced his
conduct towards the persons with whom he had intercourse, nor manifested
itself by the assumption of superiority. Fond of praise, he was liberal
in dispensing it to others; and, although nothing afforded him more
pleasure than flattery, he was neither apt to boast of his merits, nor
disinclined to extol those of his fellow-labourers.

We do not find any remarkable deviations in his general conduct from the
straight path of morality. It is true, that in the affair of Rosen the
impetuosity of his temper had nearly betrayed him into an act which
would have stamped his memory with indelible disgrace; but if he
exhibited some of the frailties and errors inseparable from humanity, it
is neither our inclination to search them out, nor our province to
pronounce judgment upon them. He has been accused of betraying a
prurient imagination in the names which he gave to many objects, both in
the vegetable and animal kingdoms. It is certain, that a more chastened
taste would have enabled him to avoid offence in this matter; but
neither in conversation nor in act has any moral delinquency been laid
to his charge.

In all his writings there appears a deep feeling of reverence and
gratitude towards the Supreme Being; and in the history of his life we
find nothing which could lead us to suppose that such feelings were
assumed for the occasion. Over the door of his room was
inscribed,--"Innocui vivite, Numen adest,--Live in innocence, for God is
present." His more important works he commences and ends with some
passage from the Scriptures, expressive of the power, the glory, the
beneficence of God, the creator and preserver of all things. Whenever,
in his lectures or on his excursions, he found an opportunity of
expatiating on these subjects, he embraced it with enthusiasm. "On these
occasions," says one of his biographers, "his heart glowed with
celestial fire, and his mouth poured forth torrents of admirable
eloquence." Where is the naturalist, possessed of the true feelings of a
man, who does not honour in his heart the being possessed of such a
character! The sneer of the filthy sensualist, who, steeped in
pollution, endeavours to persuade his turbid mind that all others are
like himself; the scorn of the little puffed-up intellect, which, having
traced the outline of some curious mechanism in nature, exults in the
fancied independence of its own poor energies; the malice of the
grovelling spirit, that, finding itself eclipsed by the splendour of
superior talents, strives to obscure them by the aspersions of
calumny,--what are they that they should influence our estimation of the
character of this great man, who with his ardent piety and the devotion
of his faculties to the glory of his Creator, is, amid all his
imperfections, an object worthy of our love and esteem. And such he will
remain, while the world endures, in the view of every enlightened
admirer of the wonderful works of God.

His writings are characterized by extreme brevity, nervousness, and
precision. He expresses in a dozen words what might be expanded into
half as many sentences. His style certainly is not always pure, nor even
on all occasions grammatically correct. He was more desirous to instruct
than to entertain, and therefore his expressions are weighed but not
ornamented. Yet no teacher ever excited such enthusiasm in his pupils;
and since the world began has there been none who gave such an impulse
to the progress of natural history. They who can sneer at such a man
must be cold and selfish indeed. "The language of Linnæus," says Cuvier,
"is ingenious and singular. Its very singularity renders it attractive.
His phraseology, and even his titles, are figurative; but his figures
are in general highly expressive. With him, the various means by which
Nature ensures the reproduction of plants are their nuptials; the
changes in the position of their parts at night are their sleep; the
periods of the year at which they flower form the calendar of Flora."

As an example of his manner, when treating of a subject not technically
described, we may present his account of the plant to which he gave the
name of Andromeda: "This most choice and beautiful virgin gracefully
erects her long and shining neck (the peduncle), her face with its rosy
lips (the corolla) far excelling the best pigment. She kneels on the
ground with her feet bound (the lower part of the stem incumbent),
surrounded with water, and fixed to a rock (a projecting clod), exposed
to frightful dragons (frogs and newts). She bends her sorrowful face
(the flower) towards the earth, stretches up her innocent arms (the
branches) toward heaven, worthy of a better place and happier fate,
until the welcome Perseus (summer), after conquering the monster, draws
her out of the water and renders her a fruitful mother, when she raises
her head (the fruit) erect." The analogy that gave rise to this fanciful
description, which is contained in the Flora Lapponica, suggested itself
to Linnæus on his Lapland journey. "The Chamædaphne of Buxbaum," says
he, "was at this time in its highest beauty, decorating the marshy
grounds in a most agreeable manner. The flowers are quite blood-red
before they expand, but when full grown the corolla is of a
flesh-colour. Scarcely any painter's art can so happily imitate the
beauty of a fine female complexion; still less could any artificial
colour upon the face itself bear a comparison with this lovely blossom.
As I contemplated it, I could not help thinking of Andromeda as
described by the poets; and the more I meditated upon their
descriptions, the more applicable they seemed to the little plant before
me; so that, if these writers had had it in view, they could scarcely
have contrived a more apposite fable. Andromeda is represented by them
as a virgin of most exquisite and unrivalled charms; but these charms
remain in perfection only so long as she retains her virgin purity,
which is also applicable to the plant, now preparing to celebrate its
nuptials. This plant is always fixed on some little turfy hillock in the
midst of the swamps, as Andromeda herself was chained to a rock in the
sea, which bathed her feet, as the fresh water does the roots of the
plant. Dragons and venomous serpents surrounded her, as toads and other
reptiles frequent the abode of her vegetable prototype, and, when they
pair in the spring, throw mud and water over its leaves and branches. As
the distressed virgin cast down her blushing face through excessive
affliction, so does the rosy-coloured flower hang its head, growing
paler and paler till it withers away. Hence, as this plant forms a new
genus, I have chosen for it the name of _Andromeda_."

"Botany may be compared to one of those plants which flower only once in
a century. It first put forth some seed-leaves in the reign of
Alexander. After the war of Mithridates, the victorious Romans
transported it to Rome, when the root-leaves began to appear. Receiving
no further cultivation, it ceased to grow. It was next carried from
Italy to Arabia, where it remained until the twelfth century. It then
languished in France during three centuries; its root-leaves began to
wither, and the plant was ready to perish. Towards the sixteenth
century, however, it yielded a slight flower (Cæsalpinus), so frail that
the gentlest breeze might seem sufficient to detach it from its slender
stalk. This flower bore no fruit. Towards the seventeenth century, the
stem, which had been so long without appearing, shot up to a great
height; but its leaves were few, and no flower appeared. In the early
spring of this happy period, however, when a gentle warmth had succeeded
the frosts of winter, this stem yielded a fresh flower, to which
succeeded a fruit (C. Bauhin) that nearly attained maturity. Soon after,
this splendid stem was surrounded with numerous leaves and flowers."

These figurative descriptions, however, have no place in the more
technical writings of Linnæus, where, on the contrary, all is brief,
clear, and precise; but, as we have already presented some specimens of
these, it is unnecessary to make any additional remarks.

Notwithstanding the attacks that have been made on his mineralogical
system, it is at least deserving of praise, as showing the
practicability of arranging the objects belonging to this kingdom of
nature according to strict method. In botany his merits were
transcendent, and with the mention of that science his name is uniformly
associated. He found it in a rude and unsettled state, and left it so
admirably disposed, that the beauty and practical utility of his method
recommended it to the cultivators of science in all countries. Nor were
his labours in the animal kingdom less successful. The general
principles of classification which he introduced, his invention of
specific names, his improvements in nomenclature and terminology, and
the wonderful precision of his descriptions, rendered the study of these
sciences as pleasing and easy as it had previously been irksome and

All systems flourish and fade. The mineralogy of Linnæus has perished;
his zoology, cut down to the root, has sent forth a profusion of
luxuriant shoots; and although his botany maintains as yet a strong
claim upon the admiration of the lovers of nature, a fairer plant has
sprung up beside it, which promises a richer harvest of golden fruits.
But should the period ever arrive when all that belonged to him of mere
system and technicology shall be obliterated, he will not the less be
remembered as a bright luminary in the dark hemisphere of natural
science, which served for a time to throw a useful light around, and led
observers to surer paths of observation than had previously been known.


_Catalogue of the Works of Linnæus._

     Hortus Uplandicus--Florula Lapponica--Systema
     Naturæ--Hypothesis Nova de Febrium Intermittentium
     Causa--Fundamenta Botanica--Bibliotheca Botanica--Musa
     Cliffortiana--Genera Plantarum--Viridarium
     Cliffortianum--Caroli Linnæi Corollarium Generum
     Plantarum--Flora Lapponica--Hortus Cliffortianus--Critica
     Botanica--Petri Artedi, Sueci Medici, Ichthyologia--Classes
     Plantarum, seu Systema Plantarum--Oratio de Memorabilibus in
     Insectis--Orbis Eruditi Judicium de C. Linnæi
     Scriptis--Oratio de Peregrinationum intra Patriam
     Necessitate--Oratio de Telluris Habitabilis
     Incremento--Flora Suecica--Animalia Sueciæ--Oeländska och
     Gothländska Resa--Fauna Sueciæ Regni--Flora
     Zeylanica--Wästgötha Resa--Hortus Upsaliensis--Materia
     Medica Regni Vegetabilis--Materia Medica Regni
     Animalis--Skänska Resa--Philosophia Botanica--Materia Medica
     Regni Lapidei--Species Plantarum--Museum Tessinianum--Museum
     Regis Adolphi Suecorum--Frederici Hasselquist Iter
     Palestinum--Petri Loeflingii Iter Hispanicum--Oratio
     Regia--Disquisitio Quæstionis, ab Acad. Imper. Scientiarum
     Petropolitanæ, in annum 1759 pro Præemio, Propositæ--Genera
     Morborum--Museum Reginæ Louisæ Ulricæ--Clavis Medica
     Duplex--Mantissa Plantarum--Mantissa Plantarum
     altera--Deliciæ Naturæ--Essays printed in the Transactions
     of the Academies of Upsal and Stockholm.

1. Hortus Uplandicus, sive enumeratio plantarum exoticarum Uplandiæ, quæ
in hortis vel agris coluntur, imprimis autem in horto Academico
Upsaliensi. Upsal, 1731. 160 pages 8vo. This is the first work published
by Linnæus, and in it the plants are already disposed according to the
sexual system.

2. Florula Lapponica, quæ continet catalogum plantarum, quas per
provincias Lapponicas Westrobothnienses observavit C. Linnæus. It was
written in 1732, and inserted in the Acta Litteraria Sueciæ of the same
year, but only in part, the second section having appeared in the same
collection in 1735.

3. Systema Naturæ, sive Regna Tria Naturæ, systematice proposita, per
classes, ordines, genera et species. Lugd. Batav. apud Haak, 1735. 14
pages folio. Of this work we have already spoken at considerable length.
The two editions most in use are that of 1766-68, published at
Stockholm, being the last that appeared under the author's inspection,
and the enlarged but ill-digested one of Gmelin, published in 1788-1792
at Leipsic.

4. Hypothesis Nova de Febrium Intermittentium Causa. Harderovici, 1735.
4to. This is Linnæus's thesis, written when he took his medical degree
at Harderwyk in Holland.

5. Fundamenta Botanica, quæ majorum operum prodromi instar, theoriam
scientiæ botanicæ per breves aphorismos tradunt. Amst. 1736, apud
Schouten. 36 pages 12mo. There have been eight editions of this tract,
of which the last was published at Paris in 1774. 8vo.

6. Bibliotheca Botanica, recensens libros plus mille de plantis, huc
usque editos secundum systema auctorum naturale, in classes, ordines,
genera et species dispositos, &c. Amstelod. 1736, apud Schouten. 136
pages 12mo. There have been two other editions; the last of which
appeared at Amsterdam in 1751.

7. Musa Cliffortiana, Florens Hartecampi prope Harlemum. Lugd. Batav.
1736. 40 pages 4to.

8. Genera Plantarum earumque characteres naturales, secundum numerum,
figuram, situm et proportionem omnium fructificationis partium. Lugd.
Batav. apud Wishof, 1737. 384 pages 8vo. The last edition, corrected by
Linnæus, was published at Stockholm in 1764. It contains 1239 genera.
Five other editions have appeared since; the two last by Schreber and

9. Viridarium Cliffortianum. Amst. 1737. 8vo.

10. Caroli Linnæi Corollarium Generum Plantarum; cui accedit Methodus
Sexualis. Lugd. Batav. 1737. 8vo.

11. Flora Lapponica, exhibens plantas per Lapponiam crescentes, secundum
systema sexuale, collectas itinere impensis Societ. Reg. Litterar.
Scientar. Sueciæ, anno 1732 instituta, additis synonymis, &c. Amstelod.
apud Schouten, 1737. An improved edition was published by Sir J. E.
Smith, London, 1792.

12. Hortus Cliffortianus. Amst. 1737. One vol. folio.

13. Critica Botanica, in qua nomina plantarum generica, specifica et
variantia examini subjiciuntur, selectiora confirmantur, indigna
rejiciuntur simulque doctrina circa denominationem plantarum traditur;
cui accedit Browalii Discursus de introducenda in scholas Historiæ
Naturalis lectione. Lugd. Batav. apud Wishof, 1737. A second edition,
with a Dissertation on the Life and Writings of Linnæus, was given by J.
E. Gilibert in 1788.

14. Petri Artedi, Sueci Medici, Ichthyologia, sive opera omnia de
Piscibus; scilicet Bibliotheca Ichthyologica; Genera Piscium; Synonyma
Specierum et Descriptiones; omnia in hoc genera perfectiora quam antea
ulla. Posthuma vindicavit, recognovit, coaptavit et edidit C. Linnæus.
Lugd. Batav. apud Wishof, 1738. A second edition, by Walbaum, appeared
at Gryphishaw in 1788-1791. 3 vols 4to.

15. Classes Plantarum, seu Systema Plantarum; omnia a fructificatione
desumpta, quorum sexdecim universalia et tredecim particularia,
compendiose proposita secundum classes, ordines et nomina generica, cum
clave cujusvis methodi et synonymis genericis. Lugd. Batav. apud Wishof,
1738. A second edition came out in 1747.

16. Oratio de Memorabilibus in Insectis, in Swedish. Stockholm, 1739.
8vo. There have been seven editions in Swedish, German, and Latin, one
of which was inserted in the Amænitates Academicæ.

17. Orbis Eruditi Judicium de C. Linnæi Scriptis. Upsal, 1741. This
pamphlet was published anonymously by Linnæus, to vindicate himself
against the attacks of Wallerius. A second edition by Stoever, in his
Collectio Epistolarum Caroli a Linné. Hamburg, 1792.

18. Oratio de Peregrinationum intra Patriam Necessitate. Upsal, 1742.
4to. This oration was delivered by Linnæus when he assumed his
professorial functions. It is also inserted in the Amænitates Academicæ.

19. Oratio de Telluris Habitabilis Incremento. Upsal, 1743. 4to.

20. Flora Suecica, exhibens plantas, per Regnum Sueciæ crescentes,
systematice cum differentiis specierum, synonymis auctorum, nominibus
incolarum, solo locorum, usu pharmacopæorum. Lugd. Batav. apud Wishof,
1745. A second edition was printed at Stockholm, 1755.

21. Animalia Sueciæ. Holm. 1745. 8vo.

22. Oeländska och Gothländska Resa. Travels in Oeland and Gothland.
Stock. och Upsal, 1745. This work was translated into German by
Schreber, 1763.

23. Fauna Sueciæ Regni, Mammalia, Aves, Amphibia, Pisces, Insecta,
Vermes; distributa per classes, ordines, genera et species. Holm. apud
Salvium, 1746. A second edition also at Stockholm, 1761.

24. Flora Zeylanica, sistens plantas Indicas Zeylonæ Insulæ, quæ olim
1670-1677, lectæ fuere a Paulo Hermanno. Holm. 1747. A second impression
was executed at Leipsic, 1748.

25. Wästgötha Resa. Travels in West Gothland. Stockholm, 1747.
Translated into German by Schreber, 1765.

26. Hortus Upsaliensis, exhibens plantas exoticas horto Upsaliensis
Academiæ a Car. Linnæo illatas ab anno 1742, in annum 1748, additis
differentiis, synonymis, habitationibus, hospitiis, rariorumque
descriptionibus, in gratiam studiosæ juventutis. Holm. 1748.

27. Materia Medica Regni Vegetabilis. Holm. 1749. 8vo.

28. Materia Medica Regni Animalis. Upsal, 1750.

29. Skänska Resa. Travels in Scania. Stockholm, 1749. 434 pages 8vo.
Translated into German by Klein, vol. i. The rest has not appeared.

30. Philosophia Botanica, in qua explicantur fundamenta botanica, cum
definitionibus partium, exemplis terminorum, observationibus rariorum,
adjectis figuris. Holm. apud Kiesewetter, 1751. 362 pages 8vo. Seven
editions have been published of this splendid work. It has also been
translated into English by Rose, and into Spanish by Capdevila.

31. Materia Medica Regni Lapidei. Upsal, 1752. The three parts of the
Materia Medica were published separately, and the two last have been
inserted in the Amænitates Academicæ. Two editions were afterwards
required by the scientific world.

32. Species Plantarum, exhibens plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas
cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis,
locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas. Holm. apud Salvium.
2 vols 8vo, 1753. Two other editions have since appeared, the last by
Trattner in 1764.

33. Museum Tessinianum, Opera Comitis C. G. Tessin, Regis Regnique
Senatoris, collectum. Latin and Swedish. Stockholm, 1753.

34. Museum Regis Adolphi Suecorum, &c., in quo Animalia rariora imprimis
Exotica, Quadrupedia, Aves, Amphibia, Pisces, Insecta, Vermes
describuntur et determinantur. In Latin and Swedish. Stockholm, 1754.
Folio, with 35 plates. The preface has been translated into English by
Sir J. E. Smith, and published under the title of Linnæus's Reflections
on the Study of Nature.

35. Frederici Hasselquist Iter Palestinum; Ella resa til heliga landet.
Holm. 1757. These travels have been translated into German, French, and

36. Petri Loeflingii Iter Hispanicum; Ella resa til Spanksa landerna,
uti Europa och America, &c. Holm. 1758. 8vo. This work was translated
into English by the Forsters. London, 1771.

37. Oratio Regia, coram rege reginaque habita. 1759. Folio. This is to
be found also in the Amænitates Academicæ.

38. Disquisitio Quæstionis, ab Acad. Imper. Scientiarum Petropolitanæ,
in annum 1759 pro Præmio, Propositæ: Sexum Plantarum argumentis et
experimentis novis, &c. Petropol. 1760. This essay has been inserted in
the Trans. of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences, vol. vii. 1761; and in
the 22d volume of the Journal Encyclopedique. A translation also
published in London in 1786. 8vo.

39. Genera Morborum, Upsal, 1763. Three editions.

40. Museum Reginæ Louisæ Ulricæ, in quo Animalia rariora Exotica,
imprimis Insecta et Conchylia describuntur et determinantur; et Musei
Regis Adolphi prodromus tomi secundi. Holm. 1764.

41. Clavis Medica Duplex, exterior et interior. Holm. 1763.

42. Mantissa Plantarum, generum editionis sextæ et specierum editionis
secundæ. Holm. 1767.

43. Mantissa Plantarum altera. Holm. 1771.

44. Deliciæ Naturæ, an oration delivered in 1772. It was translated into
Swedish by Linnæus himself, at the request of the students, and
published at Stockholm, 1773. 8vo. The Latin edition has also been
printed in the Amænitates Academicæ.

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides the above works, of which the Systema Naturæ alone would have
sufficed to immortalize its author, he published numerous essays on
various subjects in the Transactions of the Academies of Sciences of
Upsal and Stockholm.

In the Transactions of the Upsal Academy:--

    1. Animalia Regni Sueciæ, 1738.
    2. Orchides, iisque affines, 1740.
    3. Decem Plantarum genera nova, 1741.
    4. Euporista in Febribus intermittentibus, 1742.
    5. Pini usus oeconomicus, 1743.
    6. Abietis usus oeconomicus, 1744.
    7. Sexus Plantarum, 1744.
    8. Scabiosæ novæ; speciei descriptio, 1744.
    9. Penthorum, 1744.
    10. Euporista in Dysenteria, 1745.
    11. Sexus Plantarum usus oeconomicus, 1746.
    12. Theæ potus, 1746.
    13. Cyprini speciei descriptio, 1746.

In the Transactions of the Stockholm Royal Academy of Sciences:--

    Vol. I. 1739-40.

    1. Cultura plantarum naturalis.
    2. Gluten Lapponum e Perca.
    3. Oestrus rangiferinus.
    4. Picus pedibus tridactylis.
    5. Mures Alpini Lemures.
    6. Passer nivalis.
    7. Piscis aureus Chinensium.
    8. Fundamenta oeconomiæ.

    Vol. II. 1741.

    9. Formicarum sexus.
    10. Officinales Sueciæ Plantæ.
    11. Centuria Plantarum in Suecia rariorum.

    Vol. III. 1742.

    12. Plantæ Tinctoriæ Indigenæ.
    13. Amaryllis formosissima.
    14. Gramen Soelting.
    15. Foenum Suecicum.
    16. Phaseoli Chinensis species.
    17. Epilepsiæ vernensis causa.

    Vol. IV. 1743.

    18. De Uva Ursi seu Jackas Hapuck Sinus Hudsonici.

    Vol. V. 1744.

    19. Fagopyrum Sibiricum.
    20. Petiveria.

    Vol. VI. 1745

    21. Passer procellarius.

    Vol. VII. 1746.

    22. Limnia.
    23. Claytonia Sibirica.
    24. De vermibus lucentibus ex China.

    Vol. X. 1749.

    25. Coluber (Chersea) scutis abdominalisbus 150,
        squamis subcaudalibus 34.
    26. Avis Sommar Guling appellata.
    27. Musca Frit, insectum quod grana interius exedit.
    28. Emberiza Ciris.

    Vol. XIII. 1752.

    29. De Characteribus Anguium.

    Vol. XIV. 1753.

    30. Novæ duæ Tabaci species, paniculata et tinosa.

    Vol. XV. 1754.

    31. De plantis quæ Alpium Suecicarum indiginæfieri possint.
    32. Simiæ, ex Cereopithecorum genere, descriptio.

    Vol. XVI. 1755.

    33. Mirabilis longiflora descriptio.
    34. Lepidii descriptio.
    35. Ayeniæ descriptio.
    36. Gauræ descriptio.
    37. Loeflingia et Minuartia.

    Vol. XX. 1759.

    38. Entomolithus paradoxus descriptus.
    39. Gemma, penna-pavonis dicta.
    40. Coccus Uvæ Ursi.

    Vol. XXIII. 1763.

    41. De Rubo arctico plantando.

    Vol. XXIV. 1764.

    42. Observationes ad cerevisiam pertinentes.

    Vol. XXIX. 1769.

    43. Animalis Brasiliensis descriptio.
    44. Viverræ naricæ descriptio.
    45. Simia Oedipus.
    46. Gordius Medinensis.

    Vol. XXXI. 1770.

    47. Caleceolariæ pinnatæ descriptio.

Many of the doctrines discussed in the course of his lectures were
converted by his pupils into subjects of academical dissertations. These
were published by him, under the name of Amænitates Academicæ,--a
collection which comprises many admirable essays in natural history,
medicine, domestic and rural economy. The first volume appeared in 1749,
the seventh and last in 1769. An edition in ten volumes, containing also
the later essays of Linnæus himself, was published by Schreber in
1785-91. Selections from the Amænitates have also been printed in
English and German.

It has been judged necessary to give at least the titles of the numerous
works of Linnæus, because the list may be useful to those desirous of
examining them generally, or of referring to a particular treatise. The
influence which they exercised upon the advancement of science, and
especially upon that of botany and zoology, we shall have occasion to
notice in the second volume of the present work.


_A brief Notice of Linnæus's Son._

     Unnatural Conduct of the Mother of the Younger Linnæus--His
     Birth and Education--In his eighteenth Year he is appointed
     Demonstrator of Botany, and, three Years after, Conjunct
     Professor of Natural History--He visits England, France,
     Holland, Germany, and Denmark--On returning engages in the
     Discharge of his Duties; but at Stockholm is seized with
     Fever, which ends in Apoplexy, by which he is carried
     off--His Character and Funeral.

Although the younger Linnæus has been considered as a botanist rather
than a zoologist, a brief notice of him may be suitably appended to the
biography of his father, more especially as he can scarcely be said to
have possessed an independent existence, either as a man or as a
naturalist. The victim of domestic tyranny, he seems to have lost
whatever energy he might originally have possessed, and to have passed
through life without being influenced by those powerful motives which
usually impel ambitious men in their career. His mother, who in her
conduct towards him bore some resemblance to the infamous mother of
Savage the poet, entirely broke his spirit, which perhaps was never of
the most ardent or aspiring description. Not content with making his
home as uncomfortable as she could, she conceived a positive hatred for
her only son, which she displayed by every affront and persecution that
her situation gave her the means of inflicting on his susceptible and
naturally amiable mind.[L]

Charles Linnæus was born on the 20th January 1741, at the house of his
maternal grandfather, Moræus, at Fahlun. From his earliest childhood he
was encouraged by his father in the attachment which he manifested to
natural objects, especially plants; and when only ten years old, he knew
by name most of those which were cultivated in the botanic garden at
Upsal. A stranger, however, to the "stimulus of necessity," which had
urged his parent to surmount every obstacle, he appears not to have
exhibited any indications of enterprise or enthusiasm. Notwithstanding
this, in his eighteenth year, he was appointed demonstrator in the
botanical garden, and at the age of twenty-one commenced authorship by
publishing a decade of rare plants. Within twelve months another decade
was produced, but the work was discontinued, for what reason is not
known. In 1763, he was nominated conjunct professor of botany, with the
promise that after his father's death he should succeed him in all his
academical functions. In 1765, he took his degree of doctor of medicine,
and began to give lectures; but, owing to the causes already alluded to,
his fondness for science soon degenerated into disgust.

When he was thirty-seven years of age his father died, and he succeeded
to his offices; but his mother forced him to pay for the library,
manuscripts, herbarium, and other articles, which he ought to have
inherited. However, a stimulus was thereby imparted which roused him
from his lethargy, and he began in earnest to discharge the duties that
were imposed upon him, among which were the arrangement of his father's
papers, and the superintendence of new editions of several of his works.
A third mantissa or supplement to the Systema Vegetabilium, left in
manuscript by Linnæus, and enlarged by his son, was published at
Brunswick in 1781, under the care of Ehrhart.

The young lecturer had long been desirous of travelling, but during his
father's life had found it impossible to gratify his inclination. Being
now his own master, he prepared to visit the principal countries of
Europe; and, as Thunberg had been appointed demonstrator of botany, the
government granted him permission. Want of money, however, presented an
obstacle; to overcome which he found it necessary to borrow a sum of his
friend Baron Alstroemer, to whom he resigned his juvenile herbarium in
pledge. At London, where he arrived in May 1781, he was received with
enthusiasm, and treated with every possible attention by his father's
friends and correspondents, especially Sir Joseph Banks, in whose house
he principally resided. Here he occupied himself in preparing several
works, such as a System of the Mammalia, and a Treatise on the Liliaceæ
and Palms; but an attack of jaundice interrupted his pursuits, and his
happiness was further diminished by the death of his friend Solander.

On recovering from his illness, he proceeded to Paris in the end of
August, accompanied by M. Broussonet. In that capital he was loaded with
all the attentions which were due to the son of Linnæus, and passed the
winter among a circle of learned and ingenious persons. In the spring of
1782, he visited Holland, where he inspected the gardens and museums,
and received, as in England and France, the most valuable contributions
to his collections. He next proceeded to Hamburg, from whence he went to
Kiel to visit his friend Fabricius, the great entomologist. At
Copenhagen he experienced the same respectful kindness as in the other
great cities. In January 1783, he went to Gottenburg, to render his
homage of gratitude to Baron Alstroemer, and in February returned to

By this journey he had increased his knowledge, established useful
connexions, collected many valuable specimens, and emancipated himself
from the state of listlessness into which he had previously fallen.
Hopes were entertained that he might prove a worthy successor to the
legislator of natural history; and there is no reason to doubt that he
would at least have acquitted himself honourably in the discharge of his

But in the month of August he had occasion to go to Stockholm, where he
was seized with a bilious fever, which, however, soon abated, so that he
was able to return home. There he experienced a relapse; and having
imprudently exposed himself to the cold and damp of the apartment in
which his collections were kept, a third accession of fever came on,
accompanied with apoplexy, which carried him off on the 1st of November
1783, in the forty-second year of his age.

He is said to have possessed a vigorous frame of body, and even to have
inherited his father's looks, but without his energy, his activity, his
consciousness of talent, or his love of adulation. He was, on the
contrary, gentle and retired. Had he really been endowed with genius
similar to that of his parent, he must have distinguished his career,
brief as it was, by some meritorious performance. But it is no doubt
wisely ordered that superiority of intellect should not, like the
distinctions conferred by birth and fortune, be hereditary.

His remains were solemnly deposited, on the 30th of November, in the
cathedral at Upsal, close to those of his father. A funeral oration was
pronounced by M. Von Schulzenheim; and as the male line of the family
had become extinct, his coat of arms was broken in pieces. The gardener
of the university then strewed flowers over the grave "of a generation
that," to use the words of one of its historians, "will remain great and
imperishable as long as the earth, and Nature, and her science shall

After the death of this young man, the collections, library, and even
the manuscripts, of his father, were offered for sale, and purchased by
Sir James Edward Smith, the founder of the Linnæan Society of London.
They are now in the possession of that illustrious body, whose labours
have tended so much to forward the progress of natural history in
general, and of botany in particular. The herbarium, which is contained
in two deal presses, similar to the model described in the Philosophia
Botanica, is to the botanist an object of great interest, and has been
the means of elucidating many doubtful points. The building in which
his museum was kept at Hammarby, although it now contains only the chair
in which he sat when delivering his lectures, and a stuffed crocodile
suspended from the roof, continues to attract the notice of strangers,
who generally carry away with them a specimen of the _Linnæa_, which
grows profusely in the neighbourhood.

It may be mentioned, in conclusion, that the widow of the great Swedish
naturalist survived him fourteen years, having died in 1806, after
attaining the 94th year of her age.


[K] A singular objection, remarks Sir James E. Smith, from the great
sharp-eyed cryptogamist!

[L] Life by Sir J. E. Smith.


Printed by Oliver & Boyd,
Tweeddale Court, High Street, Edinburgh.

Edinburgh, _June 1834_.


The Edinburgh Cabinet Library having now reached its Sixteenth Volume,
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invaders, and the various dynasties established there by that
devastating power, the career of which is diversified by such striking
vicissitudes of grandeur and humiliation;--and, finally, those still
more brilliant events, so glorious to our countrymen, who with a handful
of troops subverted all the states which had sprung from the ruins of
the Mògul empire, and made themselves masters of a wealthy and fertile
territory, containing a population of more than one hundred millions,
that still remain in subjection to a government seated at the opposite
extremity of the globe. In addition to these historical details, a
concise account is given of the present state of British India;--the
arts, learning, mythology, domestic habits, and social institutions
of the Hindoos;--the labours and present condition of the
Missionaries;--the affairs and arrangements of the Company,--including
an explanation of the mode and terms on which young men going out to
India obtain their appointments;--and a summary of the valuable
information recently collected by Parliament respecting the commerce of
the country. On the subject of the projected steam-communication with
India by way of the Red Sea, which now engages so much of the public
attention, some interesting remarks were supplied by the late
distinguished officer and historian, Sir John Malcolm, who was surpassed
by none in the knowledge of all that relates to the management and
resources of our Oriental possessions. To render the information
concerning these extensive regions as complete as possible, the Natural
History has been fully and methodically treated,--the separate articles
being contributed by writers of acknowledged scientific acquirements; so
that, by thus directing to one object the talents and learning of many,
a more perfect work on British India has been produced, than if the
undivided task had been assigned to any one individual.

Next in importance and equal in interest to Hindostan is ARABIA, the
history of which, ANCIENT AND MODERN, forms the thirteenth and
fourteenth volumes of the CABINET LIBRARY. The physical aspect and
geographical limits of that celebrated peninsula, hitherto so little
known;--the peculiar character, customs, and political condition of the
primitive race by which it is inhabited;--the life and religion of the
false prophet, Mohammed, under whom was achieved one of the most
wonderful revolutions that the world has ever beheld;--the rapid and
extensive conquests of the Saracens, who, in a few years, spread their
dominion, and diffused a taste for arts and learning, from the shores of
the Atlantic to the frontiers of China;--the reigns and dynasties of the
Caliphs;--the civil government, religious ceremonies, and social
institutions of the modern Arabs;--these are the prominent topics
illustrated in this work.

PERSIA is connected, both locally and historically, with the preceding
countries; and, in the fifteenth volume of the series, a descriptive
account is given of its antiquities, government, resources, productions,
and inhabitants. Its ancient and modern history is critically detailed;
and a lucid sketch is given of the religion and philosophy of Zoroaster.
As this work is the production of a writer who has travelled in that
kingdom, the view which is given of its modern state has a truth and
freshness which could only be derived from a personal acquaintance with
the country. This volume comprises also a description of AFGHANISTAN AND
BELOOCHISTAN. At no very distant interval works will appear, on CHINA,
including JAPAN AND COREA, and on ASSYRIA, with the interesting region
between the Tigris and the Euphrates; and when to these are added some
other sections of the great Eastern Continent, the Asiatic department of
the LIBRARY, like the African, will be perfect in itself,--forming a
complete epitome of the social and religious, as well as of the
political and commercial state of those vast and important nations, so
many of which are now closely connected by ties of reciprocal
intercourse with the British Empire.

AMERICA has as yet occupied comparatively less space than the two
preceding divisions of the globe; but a survey of its several states, as
well as those of EUROPE, forms part of the plan upon which the CABINET
LIBRARY has been constructed. A History of the Scandinavian kingdoms,
DENMARK, SWEDEN, AND NORWAY, and of the adjacent Islands and
Dependencies in the Northern Seas, is in course of preparation; and
among the contributors to this work the Proprietors may mention HENRY
WHEATON, Honorary Member of the Scandinavian and Icelandic Literary
Societies, who, from his long residence at Copenhagen, in his official
capacity of Chargé d'Affaires from the United States, has had access to
the best sources of information. GREECE and ITALY, both ANCIENT AND
MODERN, are now in a state of considerable progress; and from what has
already been accomplished, some idea may be formed by the reader as to
the nature and contents of this department of the LIBRARY.


This subdivision of the plan is intimately and essentially connected
with the preceding. The Adventures and Discoveries of Navigators are not
only highly entertaining in themselves, as they abound in perils and
disasters, and give rise to extraordinary displays of heroism and
intrepidity; but they serve to correct and enlarge our knowledge of
history, by throwing new lights on the realities of nature and of human
life. To this very interesting and important subject two volumes of the
CABINET LIBRARY have already been assigned. The Series opened with a
description of the POLAR SEAS AND REGIONS,--giving a connected narrative
of the successive voyages to those remote parts for the purposes of
colonization or discovery; a view of the climate and its phenomena; the
geological structure and other remarkable features peculiar to the
sublime scenery of the Polar latitudes; with a copious account of the
whale-fishery. To complete the history of Arctic adventure, the subject
was resumed in the ninth volume, which delineates, in the same condensed
AMERICA, including a detail of the numerous expeditions undertaken by
the nations of Europe, and particularly by Britain, to trace the extreme
limits of that vast continent, partly by land, and partly by coast and
river navigation. In these two volumes are contained a full and
consecutive view of the various efforts that have been made to explore
the Arctic Regions, from the times of Cabot and Cortereal to those of
Parry, Franklin, and Beechey.

There is now also in preparation a minute narrative of The
TIME. This work has a twofold object;--first, to present to the reader
an accurate account of the various commanders who have sailed round the
world, their achievements and adventures; and, secondly, to describe the
progress of discovery in the South Sea, as well as to give a concise
view of the actual condition of the interesting communities of
Polynesia. This, combined with the LIVES OF DRAKE, CAVENDISH, AND
DAMPIER, already published, and with a work on AUSTRALASIA, now
preparing, will complete the account of OCEANICA, which modern
cosmographers have recognised as a fifth geographical division of the
globe. In this department will be exhibited, in a popular and authentic
shape, a general survey of all that is most curious or valuable in the
annals of naval enterprise.


To render the plan of the CABINET LIBRARY as perfect and comprehensive
as possible, the design embraces useful and instructive compends of
Natural Science, more especially in those branches of it which serve to
illustrate the progress of general knowledge. With this intention the
Proprietors have introduced into their Work what may be termed a new and
important feature, by annexing to the description of each country a
popular survey of its Natural History. This department has been
uniformly intrusted to authors of undisputed professional attainments,
amongst whom are numbered some of the most distinguished men of science
in the present day. Instead of discussing the subject in a merely
technical style, they have given to it a form which renders it at once
intelligible and attractive to the general reader. By this means a novel
interest and a more inviting aspect have been given to an important
branch of knowledge, which has not hitherto been treated in combination
with Civil History. In thus endeavouring to render Natural History not
merely descriptive of the geological structure or the animal and
vegetable productions of a country, but also illustrative of the
character, habits, and resources of its inhabitants, the CABINET LIBRARY
has done what no similar publication has hitherto attempted.


The lives of distinguished men are often intimately associated with the
political events, as well as the scientific discoveries, of their times.
National history draws its principal materials, and frequently borrows
the only elucidation of its most important incidents, from the memoirs
of individuals. Of the pleasure and advantage to be derived from the
relation of travels, voyages, and adventures, or of the aid which these
afford in the study of maritime discovery, it is unnecessary here to
speak. There is scarcely a region of the globe, or a page in history or
geography, to which these sources of intelligence have not added
valuable contributions.

In the department of Biography several specimens have already been
given, and others are in preparation. The LIVES AND DISCOVERIES of the
three celebrated English Navigators, DRAKE, CAVENDISH, AND DAMPIER, are,
as already mentioned, comprised in the fifth volume; in which is
embodied much curious information relative to the romantic spirit of
maritime enterprise by which their times were distinguished, and a
picturesque Narrative is given of the daring adventures of the
BUCCANEERS. The LIFE OF SIR WALTER RALEIGH, in the eleventh volume,
belongs to the same class with the preceding; for, while it includes a
view of the most important transactions in the reigns of Elizabeth and
James I., interspersed with Sketches of contemporary public characters,
it also details his nautical achievements, and unravels certain
obscurities in his history, both as a statesman and a navigator, that
have not hitherto been explained or understood. The TRAVELS AND
RESEARCHES OF BARON HUMBOLDT, one of the most eminent naturalists of the
present day, fall likewise under this head; and, accordingly, the tenth
volume has been devoted to an analysis of the journeys and scientific
labours of that illustrious philosopher, who has perhaps done more than
any living author to extend the boundaries of physical knowledge. In
preparing this work, application was made to M. de Humboldt himself, who
kindly pointed out sources of information to the Editor. In addition to
these works will follow a Series of "LIVES OF CELEBRATED NATURALISTS" in
all the different branches of the science. The first volume of the LIVES
OF EMINENT ZOOLOGISTS, being the sixteenth of the LIBRARY, is now
published, extending from the times of ARISTOTLE to those of LINNÆUS
inclusive, and containing Introductory Remarks on the study of Natural
History and the progress of Zoology. The second volume, already in
preparation, will be devoted to the most distinguished writers in the
same department, from PALLAS, BRISSON, and BUFFON, down to CUVIER,--and
will conclude with General Reflections on the present state of the
science. It is intended to offer to the public similar Memoirs of the
principal Cultivators of BOTANY, MINERALOGY, and GEOLOGY; so that the
Series, while forming a useful introduction to the study of those
branches of knowledge, will also present a succession of biographical
narratives, which, independently of their scientific details, cannot
fail to prove extremely interesting to all classes of readers.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is a general outline of the plan on which the EDINBURGH CABINET
LIBRARY will continue to be conducted. To point out its peculiar
advantages, or to exhibit more at length the harmony and regularity of
the scheme, and how the main subdivisions mutually coalesce with and
illustrate each other, would be superfluous. After the delineation of
the several parts, just given, and the progress already made, no
additional evidence can be requisite, to satisfy the public that the
Work advances no claim for which it does not offer a sufficient
guarantee, and that it is fitted to become, what it was originally
designed to be, a complete and connected LIBRARY OF HISTORICAL,

The typography of the EDINBURGH CABINET LIBRARY has been generally
acknowledged to be equally correct and beautiful; and the binding is
executed in a style which unites elegance with durability. Each volume
is sold for five shillings; and although the quantity of letterpress has
in every instance considerably exceeded the original calculation, the
price has not on that account been in any degree increased. Maps,
accurately constructed, are prefixed to the several works, not only
illustrative of the kingdom or region to which they refer, but from time
to time carefully corrected, so as to include the latest discoveries.
Portraits and numerous other Engravings, executed by able artists, have
been introduced, with the view of illustrating the text and conveying
characteristic ideas of the several countries, rather than of merely
producing a picturesque effect.

Having said so much on the plan, it only remains to subjoin a list of
the principal writers who have contributed the volumes already before
the public; by which it will be seen that the Proprietors have redeemed
their pledge given at the outset, that the Series should be the
production of authors of eminence, who had acquired celebrity by former
labours in their respective departments:--

Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, and
Corresponding Member of the Royal Institute of France.

Regius Professor of Natural History, Lecturer on Mineralogy, &c.
in the University of Edinburgh.

Professor of Mathematics in the University of Edinburgh.



P. F. TYTLER, F.R.S. & F.S.A.







Master Attendant at Madras.










_On the Twelfth of July was published, price Three Shillings, to be
continued every alternate Week,_


_With Introductory Dissertations on the History of the Sciences,_


_Illustrated by a New Set of Engravings on Steel, and compiling a
complete Series of Folio Maps engraved by Sydney Hall._


The extraordinary circulation attained by many of the cheap publications
of the day has suggested to the Proprietors of the ENCYCLOPÆDIA
BRITANNICA, that if a work of high and established character were
offered to the public, at a price and in a form accommodated to the
demands of the age, the support which it might reasonably anticipate
would be proportionally liberal. In accordance with this view, they have
resolved to commence a New Issue of the ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, in a
form which will bring it within the reach of all classes of the

This valuable work forms an Alphabetical Repertory of every branch of
human knowledge. It was the first work of the class which aspired to
embrace all the departments of learning, to render the alphabet a ready
key, not only to the _Arts and Sciences_, but to the multiplied
details of _History_, _Biography_, _Geography_, and _Miscellaneous
Literature_;--and it was also the first in which the Sciences
themselves were treated in a form at once consistent with alphabetical
arrangement and systematic exposition. By the successive labours of the
learned Contributors to its different editions, its pages have been
stored with a mass of valuable and varied information. In its third
edition, it became, through the numerous contributions of the late
PROFESSOR ROBISON, the most complete Digest of the modern improvements
in Physics that had yet been presented to the British Public; and in the
fourth, it was raised, by means of those of PROFESSOR WALLACE, to a
similar eminence in the Mathematical Sciences. The compass and variety
of its plan and information, the general ability of its execution, and
its approved method of treating the Sciences, have, in a word, given it
so decided a preference in public favour, that its popularity, instead
of suffering any diminution from rivalship, has continued to increase to
the present day.

This is sufficiently proved by the successive publication of SIX
extensive Editions, three of which have appeared within the last twenty
years, and it is well known that the SUPPLEMENT to the last of these
Editions, completed in six volumes in 1824, attained a degree of
celebrity never before reached by any similar undertaking in this
country. But whilst it must be admitted to be one of the most valuable,
it is also one of the cheapest publications of the day. If the quantity
and quality of the matter, as compared with the price (not to mention
the superior style in which both the printing and engraving are
executed), be taken into account, this will be too evident to require
further illustration. Every part indeed contains an interesting
collection of Philosophical Disquisitions, Scientific Treatises, and
articles on History and Biography, by the most eminent authors in these
several departments, each of them respectively embracing the newest
discoveries, the most recent improvements, or the latest information,
which the progress of knowledge has supplied. These contributions,
therefore, besides possessing the interest of entirely new works
periodically issuing from the press, will, when completed, form THE
acquisition of Useful Knowledge, this Work, accordingly, offers peculiar
advantages; nothing being admitted into its pages of a frivolous or
ephemeral description, or unfavourable to the best interests of morals
or revealed religion; and every part being corrected, improved,
remodelled, or enlarged, so as not only to enhance the general value of
the work in a literary point of view, but at the same time to bring down
the information in each department to the date of publication. The
additions which have thus been made, both in the way of amending former
articles, and introducing, in every branch of science, literature, and
general knowledge, a very great number of new contributions, expressly
written for the purpose, are perhaps without precedent in any similar
undertaking; and, upon the whole, the present is not so much a new
edition of the ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA as a new work under that title.
In every view, therefore, no periodical can be more beneficially put
into the hands of the young, who can scarcely fail to find some source
of attraction in every Part of it, and who, in the course of the
publication, must acquire a stock of information altogether invaluable.

In the execution of the numerous improvements which are in course of
being made in every part of the Work, the Editor is aided by those
eminent scientific and literary men whose co-operation he enjoyed in the
preparation of the Supplement, as well as by many other Contributors of
distinguished reputation, both in this country and on the Continent.

       *       *       *       *       *


I. By augmenting the contents of the page, without decreasing the size
of the type, the Work, while much improved in appearance, will,
notwithstanding the great extension of its matter, be comprehended in
TWENTY Quarto Volumes, handsomely printed on paper of a superior
quality; twenty volumes of the present being nearly equal to twenty-four
of the former Editions. Each volume will consist of eight hundred pages,
containing a much greater quantity of matter than any similar
publication; and the Proprietors hold themselves distinctly PLEDGED to
the Public, that the Work shall not, on any account, exceed TWENTY-ONE
Volumes; their present confident belief, at the same time being, that it
will be completed in TWENTY.

II. The publication will proceed in THREE SHILLINGS PARTS, published
every alternate week, Twelve of which Parts will form a volume; each
Part thus averaging above sixty-six pages, and containing three and two
Plates alternately. The First Part was published on the Twelfth of July
1834. As the printing of the whole will be finished long before the
expiration of the period required for the periodical issue of the PARTS,
the Subscribers will have the option of more speedily completing their
copies of the Work, or of abiding by the publication in Parts till the
end of the Series.

III. Each Part will be sold for THREE SHILLINGS, thus making the price
of a quarto volume, of eight hundred ample pages, only THIRTY-SIX
SHILLINGS; a price very considerably lower than that of any similar
publication of the day, and which, when the quantity of Matter in each
volume, the quality of Paper and Printing, the numerous Engravings, and
the ability of the Articles, are taken into account, must be allowed to
place the Work in a highly advantageous point of view, even at a period
when the modes of diffusing useful knowledge at a moderate expense have
so justly engaged the attention of the Public. Considering its Extent
and Execution, it will unquestionably form the cheapest, as well as the
most valuable Digest of Human Knowledge that has yet appeared in

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