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strain of indelicacy which runs throughout it, and which is interwoven in its very texture.--The poet, however, deserves much praise for his skill in the conduct of his play, and for many of his sentiments, as well as for the language in which they are conveyed. We certainly must rejoice in the recovery of this comedy, as it affords real pleasure to the reader, while it adds to the fame of the writer.
To each of these plays is aslixed a short critical inquiry into its merits, written by Dr. Ireland *; and subjoined to The Old Law,' an eloquent and masterly delineation of Massinger's character' is given by the same hand. These, we are happy to say, in the words of Mr. Gifford, ' will be received with peculiar pleasure, if precision, vigour, discrimination, and originality, preserve their usual claims to esteem.'
Art. II. The Principles of Botany, and of Vegetable Physiology.
Translated from the German of D. C. Willdenow, Professor of
Plantarum, though still unfinished, bears ample testimony to the extent and accuracy of his botanical knowlege, we opened this elementary volume with more than ordinary expect ations. In one important respect, namely, in a greater variety of valuable information, it certainly possesses a decided advantage over similar publications, which have from time to time appeared in our own country: but logical precision has not uniformly presided over the exposition and distribution of his materials. In the first section of the Introduction, a very inadequate definition is given of Natural Philosophy, or Physics, which is said to be that science which teaches the properties of elements. The distinctions of the three kingdoms of Nature, founded on the presence or absence, and on the duration or decay of the organs of reproduction, are scarcely more satisfactory, because, in a great many instances, the existence of these organs cannot be easily ascertained. The remainder of the Introduction is occupied with directions for forming an Herbarium, and with definitions of certain technical terms : the former of which are too short to be of much practical utility, and might with propriety have been detailed in a conclude ing section of the work, while the latter should have been incorporated with the explanation of terms.
• Prebendary of Westmiuster, and Vicar of Croydon in Surrey,
The Treatise itself is divided into eight parts, viz. Termino. logy, Classification, Botanical Aphorisms, Nomenclature, Physiology, Diseases of Plants, History of Plants, and History of the Science. It is obvious that this divison of the subject is by no means strictly philosophical. Nomenclature is only the detailed expression of Classification; Botanical Aphorisms are the principles on which both are founded; and the Diseases and His. tory of Plants åppertain to their Physiologv. The Uses of Plants, on the contrary, might have formed a separate and important section : but these are wholly overlooked.
5. The title of the Professor's first division is a word of hya brid origin, which we could therefore wish to discard from our language. Under this head, nearly the whole range of botanical phraseology is explained with suitable precision and perspicuity; and, for the most part, in conformity with the Line néan definitions : but there is an obvious inaccuracy in stating the stem (caulis) as a genus, having under it several species, of which the stem or coulis is the first mentioned. The terms applicable to the stems of mosses are inserted with great propriety; though we can scarcely approve of the new application of seta, since it may give rise to ambiguity. The rea moval of frond from the Trunk to the Leaves is a very justic fiable innovation : but the species of Fulcra, or Props, are very superfluously multiplied, and are represented as including bulbs, gems, and involucra. M. Willdevow's exposition of the fructification and other parts of plants comprizes various terms relative to the class Cryptogami?, which had not yet found their way into other works of a similar description, and for which the student will feel duly indebted to the author.. We see no good reason, however, for substituting theca, which had already a determinate signification, instead of capsula. Utriculus and Samara are assumed from Gertner as species of pericarp, to which are added pepo, lomentum, and some others, though Gärtner's improved division of pericarps is passed unnoticed. The new terms introduced by Hedwig form part of the explanations.
2. Having briefly stated the necessity of systematical arrangement, the learned author indicates a few of the most ob. vious natural families of plants, and then proceeds to a concise exposition of the methods constructed by Caesalpinus, Morrison, Hermann, Ray, Camellus, Rivinus, Tournefort, Linné, &c. That of the illustrious Swedish naturalist is, unfortunately, too compressed; and though the names of Batsch and Jussieu are mentioned, we are not favoured even with an outline of their arrangements : an omission for which it is not easy to devise an apology
3. The botanical Aphorisms, in so far as they regard genta ric and specific distinctions, are well stated and illustrated, being chiefly borrowed from the Philosophia and Critica Betanica. We only wish that they had morcover embraced those principles on which are founded the orders and classes.
4. The Nomenclature presents us with an abridged view of the rules which are or ought to be observed in the formation of the generic and trivial names of plants, as they have been laid down by Linné and his followers.
5. Under Physiology, are noted the results of many curious and interesting experiments : but we are not satisfied that the Professor has succeeded in proving a genuine circulation of the vegetable sap, or in conveying to the tyro any very distinct nolions of the different systems of vessels. We are more pleased with the ensuing enumeration of vegetable principles, most of which also occur in the animal kingdom :
1. Caloric, is present in all parts of vegetables, and constitutes their temperature when free.
• 2. Light, is found in the oils and other inflammable vegetable substances.
3. The electric fluid shows itself by various electrical phenomena observed in plants.
4. Carbon, is the chief constituent part of all vegetables.
5. Hydrogen. This may easily be obtained in a gazeous form, combined with caloric, from all leguminose plants.
• 6. Oxygen is, we shall soon find, evolved by the rays of the sun. Part of it, however, is combined with acidifiable bases and forms vegetable acids.
7. Azote, is exhaled by plants in the night; the greatest part of it however is in a combined state.
Whether azote belongs to the simple substances (ele
ments), or as Goettling supposes, is a compound of oxygen and light, we must leave to lhe future decision of chemists. At present we shall consider it as a simple
substance. • 8. Phosphorus occurs in plants of the 15th class, and in the gramina. Its existence manifestly appears by the shining of old rotten wood, the root of the common Tormentilla recta, and of rote ten potatoes, Solanum tuberosum, c.
9. Sulphur, in form of acid combined with oxygen, is met with in many plants, either with potash, forming a sulphat of potash, or with soda, as sulphat of soda. Even in substance, sulphur has been found in the roois of the Rumex Patientia. After they were cut down, boiled and scumined, sulphur appeared in the scum when left to settle.
11. Soda is peculiar to almost all plants growing on sea-shores or in salt marshes.
* 12. Silica is found in the stem of the Bambusa arundinacea, and in the common reed, Arundo Phragmites. It is supposed to exist in the alder, Betula Alnus, and birch, Betula alba, as their wood often emits sparks when under the hand of turners. • 13. Alumina, it is said has been found in some plants.
14. Magnesia some philosophers think, they have met with likewise. • 15. Barytes is chiefly obvious in grasses.
16. Lime is found in almost all vegetables, most frequently in Chara lomentosa, a pound of which is said to contain five ounces it.
• 17. Iron is detected in the ashes of most plants. • 18. Manganese has likewise been sometimes found in plants *.'
The amount of some of M. Humboldt's experiments on gere mination is thus briefly but distinctly reported:
• He found that oxygen proved an extreme stimulus to plants, and that without it they never can be brought to germinate. On this account germination went on quickly in metallic oxyds, especially in minium. In oil, on the contrary, carbon, hydrogen, in the filings of lead, iron, and copper, as well as in powdered molybdene and in alkalis, no one seed germinated. It soon occurred to him, that with oxygen as a stimulant he might forcibly make seeds germinate faster, and he actually found, that at the temperature of 20° Reaum. ali seeds vegetated most rapidly when steeped in oxy.muriatic acid. One instance only will suffice. The seeds of the Lepidium sativum germinated after 6 or 7 hours, when put into oxy-muriatic acid; whereas when lying in common water, they required from 36 to 38 hours. In a letter, dated February, 1801, he writes me, that in Vienna they found much benefit from the discovery of this fact, and that seeds twenty and thirty years old, brought from the Bahama islands, Madagascar, &c. which constantly refused to germinate, very readily, in this way, vegetated, and produced plants which grew up very successfully. The Mimosa scandens, which as yet is not to be found in any botanic garden, grew very well with this acid. As every gardener cannot obtain the oxy-muriatic acid, Mr. Humboldt proposes a very easy method to procure it without difficulty. He took a cubic inch of water, a tea spoonful of common muriatic acid, two tea. spoonfuls of oxyd of manganese, mixed it and placed the seeds in them. The whole was now allowed to digest with a heat of 18---30 Reauin. The 'seeds all germinated beyond expectation. It is necessary to take the sceds out, as soon as the corcle appears. That the seeds are not impaired by the acid, is proved by the many plants which have been treated in this way, under the inspection of Mr. Jacquin, and
If some have detected gold in the vine, Vitis vinifera, oak, Quercus robur, hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, or in ivy, Hedera helix, and tin in Spanish broom, Spartium juncrum, it seems merely to have been accidentally, as their presence has been stated as impossible by late experiments. Of the above principles, No 1--7, and to, 16 and 17 are found in all plants, the rest only in some.
The Fungi, especially the genera Peziza, Octospora, and Byssus have, according to the latest researches, not a vestige of lime.' Rev. JAN. 1807 с
in which vegetation goes on wonderfully well, though many of them had their seeds steeped in the oxy-muriatic acid.'
On the subject of vegetable generation, the Berlin Professor frequently refers to the amusing and instructive experiments of Sprengel and Koelreuter.
0. The next division contains a succinct account of the principal diseases incident to plants, and the most approved methods of cure, when these are known. This nosology como prizes Vulnus, Fracturn, Fissura, Defoliatio notha, Hæmorrhagia, Albiga, Melligo, Rubigo, Lepra, Galla, Folliculus carnosus foliorum, Versuce, Syunmationes, Bedeguar, Chlorosis, icterus, Anasarca, Phiriasis, Verminatio, Tobes, Debilitas, Suffocatio incrementi, Exulceratio, Carcinoma, Necrosis, Gangræna, Ustilago, Mutilucio, Monstrosiías, Flos multiplicatus, Flos plenus, Fios deformis, Flos prolifer, Clavus, Sterilitas, and Abortus. The explanations of these maladies, and the modes of treating them, will not bear further abridgment: but we are glad to see them formallv introduced into an elementary treatise.
7. By the History of Plants, we are in this place to understand a comprehensive vicw of the influence of climate upon vegetation, of the changes which planis most probably have suffered during the various revolutions this earth has under. gone, of their dissemination over the globe, of their migrations, and lastly, of the manner in which nature has provided for their preservation. The intelligent reader will immediately infer chat such topics invite to a more abundant display of fancy and conjecture than perfectly consists with a book of priniidles; and the author, accordingly, has not scrupled to blend theory with fact, and to digress into geological discusBions which lie opro 10 criticism. All the relevant matter, however, highly deserves the attention of the botanical student.
8. The concluding part is necessarily limited to a very rapid sketch, and appears to be generally correct in regard to dates and assertivns: but we have again to remark that the celebrated Jussicu, whose system has attracted so much notice on the continent, descruce more specific illustration than the mere insertion of his game among a crowd of writers less known to the world of science. - The anecdote relative to Boerhaave's Spinosism would require confirmation, and should not be circulated unless on good authority. We are well assured that this cminent Dutch Physician was a man of most exemplary piery. A typographical anachronism occurs in the notice of Tournetort, whose death is said to have taken place in 1788, instead of 1708. Other typographical crrors are discernible, which are unnoticed in the Erroid,