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ters, had they been given, would have been little attended to; and hence the numbers found favourable to the cure of particular complaints : the aliments of domestic creatures, or deemed injurious to them. Modern science may wrap up the meaning of its epithets in Greek and Latin terms; but in very many cases they are the mere translations of these despised “old vulgar names.” What pleasure it must have afforded the poor sufferer in body or in limb, what confidence he must have felt for relief, when he knew that the good neighbour who came to bathe his wounds, or assuage his inward torments, brought with him such things as “all-heal, break-stone, bruise-wort, gout-weed, feverfew” (fugio), and twenty other such comfortable mitigators of his afflictions! Why, their very names would almost charm away the sense of pain! The modern recipe contains no such terms of comfortable assurance ; its meanings are all dark to the sufferer, its influence unknown. And then the good herbalist of old professed to have plants which were “all good;" they could assuage anger by their "loose strife;" they had “honesty, true love, and heart's-ease.” The cayenues, the soys, the catsups, and extra-tropical condiments of these days were not required, when the next thicket would produce “poor man's pepper, sauce-alone, and hedge-mustard :" and the woods and wilds around, when they yielded such delicate viands as “fat-hen, lamb'squarters, way-bread, butter, and eggs, with codlins and cream,” afforded no despicable bill of fare. No one ever yet thought of accusing our old simplers of the vice of avarice or the love of lucre; yet their “thrift” is always to be seen ; we have their humble "pennywort, herb-twopence, moneywort, silverweed, and gold.” We may smile, perhaps, at the cognomens, or the commemorations of friendship or of worth, recorded by the old simplers, at their herbs, “ Bennett, Robert, Christopher, Gerrard, or Basil ;" but do the names so bestowed by modern science read better, or sound better? It has
Lightfootia, Lapeyrousia, Hedwigia, Schkuhria, Scheuchzeria ;" and surely we may admit, in common benevolence, such partialities as good King Henry, sweet William, sweet Marjory, sweet Cicely, Lettuce, Mary Gold, and Rose." There are epithets, however, so very extraordinary, that we must consider them as mere perversions, or, at least, incapable of explanation at this period. The terms of modern science waver daily ; names undergo an annual change, fade with the leaf, and give place to others; but the ancient terms, which some may ridicule, have remained for centuries, and will yet reremain till nature is swallowed up by art. No; let our
ancient herbalists, “ a grave and wiskered race," retain the honours due to their labours, which were most needful and important ones at those periods ; by them were many of the casualties and sufferings of man and beast relieved ; and by aid of perseverance, better constitutions to act upon, and faith to operate than we possess, they probably effected cures which we moderns should fail to accomplish if attempted.
OF VEGETABLE NATURE.
It has been already stated, that every substance known on earth is divided into three kingdoms—mineral, vegetable, and animal. The prince of naturalists thus distinguishes these kingdoms : “ Stones grow; vegetables grow and live ; and animals grow, live, and feel.” The existence of all vegetables may be regarded as mechanical, or as similar to that of an animal when asleep, during which time his functions proceed without consciousness. The mechanism of plants is, however, most wonderful, and bespeaks the contrivance of an all-wise and all-powerful Creator. A seed, which is thrown into the earth by the husbandman, is similar in its construction to the egg of an animal. The earth acts upon it by means as inexplicable to man as that by which the sitting of a hen on an egg converts it into a chicken. In a few days its two ends open; and from one of them issues a green plant, and from the other a number of fibrous threads. Whatever was the position of the seed, the
green sprout struggles through the soil upward into the air, and the fibrous shoots strike downward into the ground, and imbibe, transmit, or pump up the moisture as nourishment to the plant. Nothing is more wonderful than the means of nature for the preservation of seeds, and the contrivances by which they are distributed. Some seeds are provided with downy wings, as the dandelion ; others are swallowed whole by animals, and voided again in distant places; and all are blown about by the winds, and preserved by their coverings till excited into germination by the heat of the sun's rays in the following spring. Botanists have divided all plants into 24 classes, and 121 orders; and they have discovered 2000 genera, 30,000 species, and varieties of the species without number. Each has its peculiar habitation, and each adapts the nutriment derived from the same earth, so differently, that, by an unknown agency, it produces all the degrees of flavour, odour, poison, and nutriment, which we find in various plants.
Each tree, each plant, from all its branching roots,
FRUITS AND FLOWERS.
Fruits, which afford us so many luxuries, are, in fact, nothing more than the covering, or the natural production which protects the seed of plants, and called by botanists Pericarps Some pericarps are pulpy, as apples, pears, nectarines, &c.; some are hard, as nuts; and some scaly, as the cones of fir-trees.
Your contemplation further yet pursue;
On smiling meads unfold their gaudy pride.-BLACKMORE. It must not then be forgotten that the design of the beautiful flowers which cover the earth is to create the seed of future trees;—that the leaves or corolla of the flowers are merely protections of the delicate pistil, stamen, and germen; in which last is produced the seeds, and for their protection, the pericarp, which we call the fruit.
Go, mark the matchless workings of the Power
To dance on earth, and charm all human eyes.--CowPER. LINNÆUS seized on the variations in the number of the stamens, as a means of classing the vegetable kingdom into twenty-four denominations. Those flowers having one pistil, and but one stamen, he called monandria; those of two stamens he called diandria ; three, triandria ; so on up to twenty stamens; and above twenty, polyandria. When he found stamens in one flower, and pistils in another, on the same plant, he called them diæcia ; and on different plants, polygamia. When altogether invisible, cryptogamin. Other distinctions in each class produce a division of the classes, called orders. A further division of the orders,
founded on distinctions in the nectarium, lead to the genera. Other divisions of the genera, in regard to the root, trunk, leaves, &c., lead to species; and casual differences in species are called varieties. The natural substances found in all vegetables are, sugar in the sugar-cane, beet, carrots, &c.; gum, or mucilage, which oozes from many trees; jelly, procured from many fruits ; tar, from the bark of trees; bitters, from hops and quassia ; and the narcotic principle from the milk of poppies, lettuce, &c. The vegetables of the greatest value to man are those which produce gluten or starch, as wheat, potatoes, barley, beans, &c. Oils are produced by pressing the seeds or kernels of vegetables ; as olives, almonds, linseed, &c. Volatile oils are distilled from peppermint, lavender, &c. Wax is collected from all flowers by bees. Resins exude like gum from firs and other trees, and are known as balsams, varnishes, turpentine, tar, pitch, &c. Of this class, too, is Indian rubber, which is a gum, that exudes from certain trees in South America. Iron also mixes with the substance of most vegetables, and is the cause of the beautiful colours of flowers. Pot-flowers; the cryptogamia contain the natural tribes of ferns, mosses, seaweeds, and mushrooms. Healthy vegetables perspire water by the under part of their leaves equal to one-third of their weight every twenty-four hours; by which part they also give out oxygen. Nor do they derive their substance in a principal degree from the matter of the soil in which they grow, but they are created by a vital principle of their own out of air and water, and of the imperceptible matters combined with air and water, from which are derived all their distinctions of smell, taste, and substance !
Hail, Source of Being! Universal Soul
All this innumerous-colour'd scene of things.—THOMSON. Some plants exhibit signs of great sensibility, besides the effects visible from the presence or absence of the rays of the sun in nearly all : these are the sensitive plant, whose leaves drop on being touched by the hand; and Venus's
mouse-trap, which closes on any insect that goes into it, and stings it to death.
For ye waft me to summers of old,
Like treasures of silver and gold.
And of broken blades breathing their balm ;
Made music that sweetened the calm,
Of old ruinous castles ye tell;
And your blossoms were part of her spell.
Can the wild water-lily restore !
In the vetches that tangled the shore !
Had scathed my existence's bloom ;
And I wish you to grow on my tomb.-CAMPBELL.
The Rock RosE, AND THE GRASS OF PARNASSUS.—The common rose rock (Cistus helianthemum) is a plentiful wild flower, blowing, during the summer months, in dry, rocky, or calcareous places, beautifying the patches of withered herbage with its golden blossoms, and giving an air of sunshine and gaiety to the barren rock. If you take a small probe, or a hog's bristle, and irritate any of the numerous stamens of this flower, you will see them fall back from the pistil and spread themselves upon the petals, exhibiting a very pretty example of vegetable irritability. A similar instance may be remarked of the spontaneous approach and