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Nor does a commentator of Virgil see even the simple herb sweet marjoram, but his imagination is wafted to the island of Cyprus, where it grows abundantly; or it reposes on the picture of Virgil, where he describes Ascanius in the bosom of Beauty among the groves of Idalia 1.
Why does the club moss, occupying the space between ferns and mosses, waft the poet from the mountain, on which it grows, to the theatres of London, Paris, Venice, and Vienna? Because the dust of its capsule is frequently used in those cities, for producing the effect of lightning. And often, amid the pomp and blossom of Nature, remembering an exquisite passage of Buchanan?, we reflect with what easy grace the year steals onward from spring to winter; and with what insensible gradations youth glides into manhood, manhood into age, and age into eternity
VIII. Orpheus is said to have been buried in Thrace; and his monument was surrounded by olive trees, in which a
great number of nightingales were accustomed to build. Wieland buried the wife of his heart in his garden at Osmanstadt, where he was afterwards buried himself.
With gardens we frequently associate cottages. How beautifully retired is that in Kew Gardens! Still more picturesque is that of our friend, Philotes, in which resides the pastor of his village. It is covered with vines on every side, north, east, west, and south; and so luxuriantly, that they spread entirely over the roof; while grapes hang in clusters along the sides of the chimneys so gracefully, that I never gaze upon them, but the following passage of the Hebrew poet occurs to my memory. 6 The husbandman shall sit under the shade of his vine tree; and there shall be peace and good will from one man to another.” This cottage is the most poetical I have seen; while the flower-garden of Lady Mary Talbot, at Penrice Castle, is, perhaps, the most beautiful in Europe. It lies at the feet of high rocks; enjoys many fine peeps into the Bay of Oxwich; and, its climate being equal to that of La Vendee, fuschias border the flower-beds; and many species of plants live throughout the winter, which, in other places, are found only in green-houses.
IX. It is an interesting employment to trace the march of science. Botany, like many other sciences, has been twice lost, and twice recovered. It was lost in Egypt, and, in a great measure, recovered by Linus, Theophrastus, Aristotle, Hippocrates, and Dioscorides; Pliny and Galen. Then it slept, till it was revived by Brasa
volus, Cordus, Fuschius, and Mathiolus ; Gessner, Alpinus, and others: and still more perfected by Malpighi, Herman, Ray, Tournefort, Sloane, and Linnæus. The last of these philosophers, consulting the structures Nature had ordained, reduced the science to symmetry and order. From him we are enabled partially to enter into their natures and anatomies: subjects far more agreeable and satisfactory, though, perhaps, not so useful, as the investigation of the natures and anatomies of animals. · The calyx is the (generally) greenish cover in the form of a cup, which surrounds the flower in its infancy, and supports the petals, after they are expanded ; serving also as a basis for the whole. It involves the petals, as the petals involve the organ of generation. This calyx consists, in some flowers, but of one piece; in others, of 2, 8, 4, 5, and 6; but seldom more. It generally rolls back its segments, after the flower is expanded: sometimes it closes upon the fruit, after the petals are fallen: but some flowers have no calyx. Petals are the leaves of flowers; so called to distinguish them from the leaves of the plant, and the leaves of the calyx. These form one flower: each flower being a distinct house for the males and females to reside in: the petals, by encompassing the other parts, securing the generative organs of those males and females from external injury. The hymen is a delicate skin, covering flowers in the bud. As the flower opens, the hymen bursts.
The males are called stamens, the females pistyls. Sometimes males and females grow upon different plants : for the most part, however, they rise out of the same base, and are defended by the same calyx. The sta
mens generally bear little capsules on their tops, called anthers. These anthers contain the farina fecundans. The farina fecundans is a fine dust, secreted and prepared in the anthers of the stamens. When the anther arrives at maturity, it bursts, and the dust falls into the aperture of the pistyl; whence it is conveyed to the matrix, in order to fecundate the ova, or female seed, which that matrix contains. The pistyl is the upright shaft, which rises out of the pedicle of the flower, or centre of the calyx. This is the female organ of generation, in the lower part of which the seed is formed. It has, at its top, an aperture into which the farina fecundans enters, and falls down a little tube, which reaches to the germen. This tube answers to the vagina in women, as the germen answers to the womb. When the pistyl has grown higher than the stamens, it is an indication, that its seed is impregnated.
If you doubt the creating hand of an Almighty Power, my Lelius, in the expanding flower, examine it in the bud; and say, if any thing can be more exquisitely folded than the petals, formed in the. calyx, before that calyx expands. Perfect emblems are they of delicacy and refinement. In fact, the smallest flower is almost as great a miracle, as the sun itself; though Nature permits not every one to distinguish the justice of the remark: the symmetry of her combinations being, from the defective plan of their education, greatly beyond the observation of seventy-eight persons out of a hundred.
Man sees towering rocks fringed with moss; the ocean glittering with various coloured fishes; high mountains purpled with the descending sun; clouds forming themselves into pyramids; and these, reflected in the bosom
of rivers, he sees, and, because they are beyond his réach, his imagination paints them as worthy his possession. Plants, on the other hand, have, when growing in their natural spheres, every object and wish concentrated in themselves and their companions. In one instance, therefore, they enjoy a superiority over the whole of animated nature. Animals, from the woman to the insect, conceive in pain, and parturate in danger. Vegetables, on the contrary, even from the first opening of their corollas, appear to enjoy all the delights of love without any of its pains. The season of a flower's conception is that of her beauty; her family she cherishes with delight in the germen; and when she has completed the maturity of her seeds, she finds her consolation in parting with her offspring, in autumn, in the pleasure of seeing them start up by her side' in the season of spring, images of her own person: expanding their petals, receiving the pollen from their lovers, and becoming mothers in the same manner, and in the same season, as herself.
Some have doubted the probability of a superintending Deity, because plants seem scattered in profusion, where no animals derive benefit from their nutritious juices. In many parts even of England and Scotland, doubtless there are spots, seldom visited by human eye, where no beasts graze, and where even the appearance of an insect would be a circumstance of rarity. More of these spots are there in France and Germany; still more in Russia and Siberia; in Tartary and among the mountains of Thibet; while in America they are more numerous, than in the continents of Europe and Asia combined. There grow a vast profusion of pines, mossed with leaves, fre