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Of B O T A N Y.
is a Science which hath for its Plytology de-
Word Botane, which signifies an Herb in that Tongue. Hence a Treatise on this Subject is callid Botanology. The Book which gives an alphabetical Account of the Names, Nature, and Uses of Plants, is call'd an Herbal ; and a Person well skill'd in this Science is calld a Botanit, Herbalift, or Simpler.
A TREATISE of Botany should contain four The great great Parts, viz. (1.) A general Theory of Vege- Parts of this tation, explaining from the Principles of Realon Science. and Experiments the Nature and Manner of the Life and Growth of Plants and Vegetables. (2.) A just and orderly Distribution of Herbs and Plants into their several general Kinds, and a particular Enumeration of the Species and Individuals contained in each. (3.) A Division of Plants into their natural component Parts, as Roots, Stalks or Trunks, Branches, Leaves, Flowers, Fruit, &c. with Observations on the Variety and Differences of each Part, in the various Kinds of Plants. (4.) A Declaration of the various Affections of Plants and Vegetables, as their Place of Growth, Time of Blooming, their several Qualities and Uses in Medicine, and other Affairs of Life. This latter Part is the Subject of an Herbal, and so can't be expected here at large. I shall give the
best Account of all these Particulars that I can
form’d, adhering to some other Body by some
Plants, Shrubs, and Trees.
Increase of Bulk, Parts, and Dimensions, by
immediate Cause or Principle of Vegetative Li;e. Theory of In a perfect Theory of Vegetation, therefore, we Vegetation. must have regard to three Things: (1.) The
Original or Genesis of a vegetable Substance or
is made to grow and increase in Bulk.
Propagation thereof by Seed ; but what that is
of a Plant.
nefs or Miniature : And therefore when any Seed is planted, we are not to expect the Production or Creation of a Plant which was not before in being, but only that the Embryo Plant hach, by this means, a Power to vegetate, or to unfold and unravel its Parts, to burst ics Matrix-Seed, to become visible, and to increase its Bulk to its appointed Dimension.
This Doctrine of the Generation of Plants How evinced seems to be intimated by Moses, when he says, and establish'.. And God said, Let the Earth bring forth Grass, the Herb yielding Seed, and the Fruit-Tree yielding Fruit after its Kind, whose Seed is in itself upon the Earth. But it is abundantly confirmed by Microscopic Observations and Reasoning thereon ; for not only all sorts of Grain and Fruit appear in due Form and Proportion of Parts, by the Microscope, even in the Bud, before the Blossom is seen; but even in the very Seed, while yet on the Plant, by help of the Microscope, the Plant of the next Year may be seen. For Instance: Take a full-ripe Bean, and view the Germen with this Glass, and you will plainly perceive it to be nothing but the Stalk, Leaves, &c. of the next Year's Plant in Miniature. If therefore the Plant of this Year produces Seed, and in that Seed we defcry the Plant of the next Year already form’d, 'tis reasonable to suppose the Seed of that small Plant also contains another to be disclosed the second Year, and that another for the third Year, and so on ad infinitum, or to the End of Things.
The modern Philosophers have not only esta- The Sex of blish'd a new Theory of the Generation of Vege- Plants a new tables, but have moreover found that there is Discovery, really such a thing as Sex in Plants as well as in animal Nature. And hence the Distinction of Male and Female, as well as llermaphrodite Plants
is become very familiar : For the Vegetable Females require Impregnation by the Male Vegetables, in order to Generation, as much as Animals ; nor will the Seed produced by Female Plants, if sown, grow without it, any more than Eggs will produce Chickens, which were laid by an Hen not trod by the Cock. But since the Parts ferv. ing to Generation in Vegetables are indeed the Flowers, notwithstanding they are so beautiful, so gay, and much admired; I shall have Occasion to say more of this Matter, when I come to
treat of that Part of a Plant. The Structure The next Thing to be consider'd in Vegetaof Plants. tion, is the Mechanism or System of Organs or
Vessels in a Plant, by which a Circulation of alimentary Juices is carried on through the Plant, and its Vegetation effected. In order to this there is found to be two Series or Orders of Vejfels in Vegetables. (1.) Such as receive and convey the alimental Juices from the Root to all the Parts of the Plant. These answer to the Arteries, Laxteals and Veins in Animals. (2.) Trachee or Air-Vessels, which are long hollow Pipes, wherein Äir is continually received and expellu, i. e. inspired and expired. Within these AirPipes, Malpighi (the Discoverer of this vegetable Mechanism) shews all the former Series of V'ei
sels are contained. Their Vesels. Hence it appears that the Heat of a Year, a The Effect of Day, yea a single Hour or Minute, must have
an Effect on the Air included in these Tracker, Vegetables.
i. e. must rarify it, and consequently dilate the Trachee ; whence arises a perpetual Spring or Source of Action to promote the Circulation in Plants. For by the Expansion of the Tracbice, the Vesels containing the Juices are pressed, and by that means the Juices contain'd are propelled and accelerated, and also comminuted and ren