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Death of Mr. Loudon. This will be the last Number of the Gardener's Magazine, as its Founder and Conductor is no more. On the 14th of Dec. 1843, died, at his house at Bayswater, John CLAUDIUS LOUDON, Esq., who, for nearly half a century, has been before the public as a writer of numerous useful and popular works on gardening, agriculture, and architecture.
Mr. Loudon's father was a farmer, residing in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, where he was very highly respected; but Mr. Loudon was born on April 8th, 1783, at Cambuslang, in Lanarkshire, where his mother's only sister resided, herself the mother of the Rev. Dr. Claudius Buchanan, afterwards celebrated for his philanthropic labours in India. Dr. Buchanan was several years older than Mr. Loudon, but there was a singular coincidence in many points of their history. The two sisters were, in both cases, left widows at an early age, with large families, which were brought up by the exertions of the eldest sons; and both mothers had the happiness of seeing their eldest sons become celebrated. Mr. Loudon was brought up as a landscape-gardener, and began to practise in 1803, when he came to England with numerous letters of introduction to some of the first landed proprietors in the kingdom. He afterwards took a large farm in Oxfordshire, where he resided in 1809. In the 1813-14-15, he made the tour of Northern Europe, traversing Sweden, Russia, Poland, and Austria ; in 1819 he travelled through Italy; and in 1828 through France and Germany.
Mr. Loudon's career as an author began in 1803, when he was only twenty years old, and it continued with very little interruption during the space of forty years, being only concluded by his death. The first works he published were the following: Observations on laying out Public Squares, in 1803, and on Plantations, in 1804; a Treatise on Hothouses, in 1805, and on Country Residences, in 1806, both 4to; Hints on the Formation of Gardens, in 1812; and three works on Hothouses, in 1817 and 1818. In 1822 appeared the first edition of the Encyclopædia of Gardening; a work remarkable for the immense mass of useful matter which it
In the years
contained, and for the then unusual circumstance of a great quantity of woodcuts being mingled with the text: this book obtained an extraordinary sale, and fully established his fame as an author.
Soon after was published an anonymous work, written either partly or entirely by Mr. Loudon, called the Greenhouse Companion ; and shortly afterwards Observations on laying out Farms, in folio, with his name. In 1824, a second edition of the Encyclopædia of Gardening was published, with very great alterations and improvements; and the following year appeared the first edition of the Encyclopædia of Agriculture. In 1826, the Gardener's Magazine was commenced, being the first periodical ever devoted exclusively to horticultural subjects. The Magazine of Natural History, also the first of its kind, was begun in 1828. Mr. Loudon was now occupied in the preparation of the Encyclopædia of Plants, which was published early in 1829, and was speedily followed by the Hortus Britannicus. In 1830, a second and nearly re-written edition of the Encyclopædia of Agriculture was published, and this was followed by an entirely re-written edition of the Encyclopædia of Gardening, in 1831 ; and the Encyclopædia of Cottage, Farm, and Villa Architecture, the first he published on his own account, in 1832. This last work was one of the most successful, because it was one of the most useful, he ever wrote, and it is likely long to continue a standard book on the subjects of which it treats. Mr. Loudon now began to prepare his great and ruinous work, the Arboretum Britannicum, the anxieties attendant on which were, undoubtedly, the primary cause of that decay of constitution which terminated in his death. This work was not, however, completed till 1838, and in the mean time he began the Architectural Magazine, the first periodical devoted exclusively to architecture. The labour he underwent at this time was almost incredible. He had four periodicals, viz. the Gardener's, Natural History, and Architectural Magazines, and the Arboretum Britannicum, which was published in monthly numbers, going on at the same time; and, to produce these at the proper times, he literally worked night and day. Immediately on the conclusion of the Arboretum Britannicum, he began the Suburban Gardener, which was also published in 1838, as was the Hortus Lignosus Londinensis; and in 1839 appeared his edition of Repton's Landscape-Gardening. In 1840, he accepted the editorship of the Gardener's Gazette, which he retained till November, 1841; and in 1842 he published his Encyclopædia of Trees and Shrubs. In the
same year he completed his Suburban Horticulturist; and finally, in 1843, he published his work on Cemeteries, the last separate work he ever wrote. In this list, many minor productions of Mr. Loudon's pen have necessarily been omitted; but it may be mentioned, that he contributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica and Brande's Dictionary of Science; and that he published numerous supplements, from time to time, to his various works.
No man, perhaps, has ever written so much, under such adverse circumstances, as Mr. Loudon. Many years ago, when he came first to England (in 1803), he had a severe attack of inflammatory rheumatism, which disabled him for two years, and ended in an anchylosed knee and a contracted left arm. In the year 1820, whilst compiling the Encyclopædia of Gardening, he had another severe attack of rheumatism ; and the following year, being recommended to go to Brighton to get shampooed in Mahommed's Baths, his right arm was there broken near the shoulder, and it never properly united. Notwithstanding this, he continued to write with his right hand till 1825, when the arm was broken a second time, and he was then obliged to have it amputated; but not before a general breaking up of the frame had commenced, and the thumb and two fingers of the left hand had been rendered useless. He afterwards suffered frequently from ill health, till his constitution was finally undermined by the anxiety attending on that most costly and laborious of all his works, the Arboretum Britannicum, which has unfortunately not yet paid itself. He died at last of disease of the lungs, after suffering severely about three months; and he retained all the clearness and energy of his mind to the last.
His labours as a landscape-gardener are too numerous to be detailed here, but that which he always considered as the most important, was the laying out of the Arboretum so nobly presented by Joseph Strutt, Esq., to the town of Derby. Never, perhaps, did any man possess more energy
and determination than Mr. Loudon; whatever he began he pursued with enthusiasm, and carried out, notwithstanding obstacles that would have discouraged any ordinary person. He was a warm friend, and most kind and affectionate in all his relations of son, husband, father, and brother; and he never hesitated to sacrifice pecuniary considerations to what he considered his duty. That he was always most anxious to promote the welfare of gardeners, the volumes of this Magazine bear ample witness; and he laboured not only to improve their professional knowledge, and to increase their temporal comforts, but to raise their moral and intellectual character.
Art. II. Comparative Physiology. By R. LYMBURN.
(Continued from p. 578.) In Chap. VIII. On Nutrition and Formation of Tissues, General Considerations, it is remarked :— “ The nature of the absorption of the alimentary fluid, and the means of transmitting it to the distant parts of the system, having now been considered, the question next arises, how the nutritive ingredients thus introduced are applied to the developement and maintenance of the several portions of the structure. The conversion of the inorganic elements of the food of vegetables into complex tissues so entirely different from their components, is a process in which several stages may be traced with considerable distinctness; and although the food of animals is not so simple, yet the alterations which it undergoes in composition and properties are scarcely inferior in extent or peculiarity of character. The imperfection of our present means of observation has caused great ignorance of the nature of these changes. The recent application of polarised light to the examination of vegetable juices has shown important differences in nutritious principles, not before suspected. Where, as in the higher plants and animals, the alimentary materials are not so speedily organised as in the lower, the complex nature of the process requires considerable alteration in the character of the nutritious fluid, before being applied to its ultimate purpose, the food being prepared into substances ready to be assimilated by the various tissues : probably, also, the lower beings go through similar unperceived changes with their food, as solid structures cannot assimilate matter without being first formed into combinations differing essentially from the inorganic. The blood of animals contains various ingredients, produced subsequently to the reception of the food into the stomach, prepared for the reparation and maintenance of the several tissues ; and the elaborated sap of vegetables contains other principles peculiar to its structure, and adapted to its maintenance: these are called organisable products, the proximate principles of chemists being made to contain, besides these, many of the peculiar secretions and excretions, as they are stored up or excreted, and not the materials only. Of the manner in which the organisable products are formed from their elements, little is positively known; but late chemical researches favour the opinion that their elements are held together by affinities that do not differ from those which operate in the productions and changes of the combinations presented to us in the inorganic world; and that, being subject to the same laws, they may be made to exhibit analogous phenomena. The conversion of organisable products into organised tissues is a process entirely different from the production of the former, and takes place under the laws of vitality alone. The power of communicating to nutritious matter their own structure and properties, which is characteristic of living beings, is also peculiar to each of their component textures. From the same circulating fluid, of uniform character in every part of the body, is developed in one spot muscular fibre, in another nervous tissue, in another solid osseous matter, and so on; the new matter being deposited in continuity with the previously existing structure. The circulating fluid is also possessed of properties that must be considered vital, since they differ from any which a mere mechanical admixture of the ingredients could present. The aliment absorbed, while still fluid, is endowed with qualities which prepare it for its final assimilation. In tracing the alterations which occur from absorption to assimilation, it will be desirable to examine them just as they occur in the higher classes of plants and animals, and then apply the results thus obtained to the more simple."
The preparation of the elaborated sap in the leaf has been compared to that of digestion, but is entirely different in character. The action in the leaf requires the highest chemical powers to be exerted. The decomposition of carbonic acid, water, and ammonia into their elements, and combining of them again into the organisable products fit to serve for nutrition to the vegetable organs, cannot be compared to the preparation of the animal food in the stomach, which is one of solution merely, not combination, and similar to that of the solution of the vegetable food in the soil, the stomach of the plant. Liebig says: “ Those vegetable principles, which in animals are used to form blood, contain the chief constituents of blood, fibrine and albumen, ready formed, as far as regards their composition. All plants, besides, contain a certain quantity of iron, which reappears in the colouring matter of the blood. Vegetable fibrine and animal fibrine, vegetable albumen and animal albumen, hardly differ, even in form. Vegetables produce in their organism the blood of all animals; for the carnivora, in consuming the blood and flesh of the graminivora, consume, strictly speaking, only the vegetable principles which have served for the nutrition of the latter. Vegetable fibrine and albumen take the same form in the stomach of the graminivorous animal, as animal fibrine and albumen do in that of the carnivorous animal. In this sense we may say the animal organism gives to blood only its form ; it can form other compounds, differing in composition from the chief constituents of blood; but the above, which form the starting point of the series, it cannot produce. The fat of beef and mutton occurs in cocoa beans, human fat in olive oil, the prin