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selves. 't Assuming that the various species of fungus are propagated by seeds as the least objectionable hypothesis, Mr Knight observes, it will not be difficult to show that they are sufficiently numerous to account for the ubiquity of the plants they are supposed to produce; and as these apparent seeds are, by their lightness, capable of being everywhere dispersed by the winds, Mr Knight, from an experiment made by him on a mushroom, conceives that 250 million seeds were produced in 96 hours. He has endeavoured to point out some means by which the injurious effects of the common white mildew may be prevented. The secondary and immediate causes, to him appear a want of sufficient supply of moisture from the soil, with excess of humidity in the air; particularly if plants are exposed to a temperature below that to which they have been accustomed. And it is observed, if damp and cold weather in July succeed that which has been warm and bright, without the intervention of sufficient rain to moisten the ground to some depth, the wheat crop is generally much injured by mildew.
I suspect that, in such cases, an injurious absorption of moisture, by the leaves and stems of wheat plants, takes place;
and I have proved that, under similar circumstances, much ' water will be absorbed by the leaves of trees, and carried • downwards through their alburnous substance, though it is
certainly through this substance that the sap rises under other s circumstances. If a branch, be taken from a tree when its • leaves are mature, and one leaf be kept constantly wet, that
leaf will absorb moisture, and supply another leaf below it
upon the branch, even though all communication between • them through the bark be intersected; and if a similar ab
sorption takes place in the straws of wheat, or the stems of • other plants, and a retrograde motion of the fluids be pro
duced, I conceive that the ascent of the true sap, or organiza
ble matter, in the seed vessels, must be retarded, and it may • become the food of parasitical plants, which then only may
+ A hypothesis, differing little from his, has been published in the Quarterly Review, respecting the dry rot, or Boletus Lacrymans of Finiber, in which it is supposed the different kinds of fungus which appear upon decaying timber, are produced by the remaining powers of life in the sap of the unseasoned wood; and that the same kind of living organizable matter which, whilst its powers remained perfect, would have generated an oak branch, will, when debilitated, give existence to a species of fungus. It only requires to pursue this argument, to see its absurdity; which would soon arrive at the conclusion, that a mass of animal matter, as old cheese, might generate a miteand a larger mass of decomposing animal matter, produce us elephants !
grow luxuriant and injurious.' This is Mr Knight's view of the subject; and, whether correct or not, it is impossible not to see how much good must be derived from inquiries of this nature, pursued with such unremitting care and attention as is bestowed on them by the President. In some experiments made on the cultivation of the Pea, (a plant peculiarly subject to the mildew-at the latter part of the year), considerable quantities of water was given to the growing plants, and to the ground before the sowing; and all appearance of mildew was avoided. Several of the more delicate fruits now cultivated in this country cannot be made to produce, unless with the assistance of being trained against a south wall.
VII. The facts observed by Mr Knight with respect to vegetable physiology, have enabled him to improve much in the practice of training wall trees, which was irrational and defective--no attention having been paid to the form which the species or variety naturally assumed ; and, be its natural growth upright or pendent, it was constrained to take the same form on the wall. From experiments, Mr Knight inferred, that none of the forms in which fruit-trees are generally trained, are those best calculated to promote an equal distribution of the circulating fluids, by which alone permanent health and vigour, and power to afford a succession of abundant crops, can be given. The principal of his improvements is, to expose a greater surface of leaf to the light, without placing any of the leaves so as to shade the others; and, hy selecting the strongest and earliest buds towards the points of the year-old branches, and the weakest and latest near the bases, an equal vigour was thus given to each annual shoot; and when one grew with greater luxuriance by being depressed, and the weaker elevated, they acquired an equal degree of vigour. In France there is an annual publication, called Le Bon Jardinier, which contains much useful information on practical gardening; and we trust, before long, that a similar publication will be produced in this country, under the auspices of the Horticultural Society. In addition, however, to the difficulties arising from the climate, the French materially surpass us in several branches of horticulture; and one of their principal means of success is the division of labour, which has not yet been adopted in this country. In France, whole villages are employed in the cultivation of one single sort of fruit; and, consequently, the whole attention of individuals, for generations, is directed to one point only. At Montreal, the whole population has been long maintained by the cultivation of peaches, their sole occupation; and the inhabitants of Argenteuil derive their chief support from the cultivation of fig-trees. Near the town, are immense fields covered with these trees on the sides
of hills facing the south, and in other places sheltered from the north and south-west; and it is at these towns alone, perhaps, that the true management of these delicious fruits can be acquired.
Next in interest to the papers by the President, are those contributed by Mr Sabine the Secretary, and by the late Sir Joseph Banks, who was indefatigable in his exertions to promote the interests of the Society. We cannot conclude our observations, without recommending that those entrusted with the selection of the papers for publication should in future be somewhat more careful, or at least more sparing in their choice; for though there are many containing useful practical information, yet there is much that might have been omitted; and we confess, that had we, in the early part of our examination, stumbled on some of Mr R. Salisbury's long papers, or the account of Mr Seaton's invention of marked tallies, or garden sticks, accompanied by a plate,' it is most probable we should have been deterred from all further progress; in which case, our general readers would have remained ignorant of the Theory of hybrid plants, and the whole mystery of the propagation of apple-trees, whether by seeds or grafts.
* All must regret the recent loss of the late venerable President of the Royal Society. The annals of science do not perhaps afford an instance of a man who so entirely devoted his time, talents and fortune, to the advancement of knowledge. At his entrance into life, succeeding to a splendid inheritance, he turned aside from the paths of pleasure, and the usual pursuits of his age, to become the companion of Cook; and, scarcely arrived at manhood, was a sharer of the fame of that illustrious navigator.
The zeal and eagerness with which he pursued all subjects connected with science, continued one of the most striking features of his character ; and, at an advanced age, and although long suffering under the most painful diseases, the freshness and vigour of his mind, and his interest in those subjects, were unabated. His valuable collections, and his unbounded stores of information, were at the service of all. His library (the richest perhaps in Europe on subjects of natural history) was of far more easy access than any other public library in England. His unostentatious readiness to supply the pecuniary wants of scientific persons will, we are persuaded, long live in the memory of many. No one perhaps, in our time, has gained such universal and unmixed admiration and esteem : unconnected with politics or party, he neither trenched upon the interests, nor interfered with the prejudices of any. It wil be long.indeed before one shall be found capable of filling the vacancy made by his death • Artium tum utilium, tum elgantiorum judex et patronus !?
ART. VI. Mademoiselle de Tournon, par l'Auteur d'Adèle de
Sénange. 2 vol. Paris, 1820.
spect to her commercial and political advancement, is not very favourable to the immediate interests of her literature, The minds of a great part of the population are still too unsettled for such calm pursuits, and to those, who study any thing-politics is so new a study, that we cannot wonder it should take the lead of all others, and draw most of the thinking spirits of the day into its vortex. Accordingly we find that, out of the circle of this tempting theme--which they pursue with all the freshness, as well as the rawness of schoolboys—there is but little original produced in any department of literature; and the Press is chiefly employed in circulating either new editions of long-established works, or translations from the popular writers of other countries. In the field of poetry, where it might be expected that the excitements of the Revolution would have called forth something at least bold and new, France has been long without even a candidate for Fame; and M. Chateaubriand, who has written nothing but prose, is the only real poet she at present possesses. There has appeared, indeed, within the last year, a little work entitled . Méditations Poétiques,' which has been profusely lauded in certain circles, but which appears to us a very unsuccessful attempt to break through the ancien régime of the French Parnassus, and transplant the wild and irregular graces of English poetry into the trim parterre of the Gallic Muse. What this author's notions of sublimity are, may be collected from the first stanza of one of his Méditations.'
Lorsque du Créateur le parole féconde,
Des germes du Chaos,
Rentra dans son repos.
Va, dit-il, &c. &c.
When the Deity saw what a world he had fram'd
He turn'd from his work with disdain ;
And return'd to his slumbers n;
" Go and be, &c. &ce
M. Chateaubriand himself, in his interesting work, Les Martyrs,' which contains more bright pictures and fanciful thoughts than are to be found, perhaps, in any one poem in his language, yet shows, throughout his unlucky descriptions of Hell and of Paradise, how dangerous it is for a Frenchman to meddle with the sublime. The following scene (worthy only of the Petites Danaïdes), is supposed to take place during a council held by Satan.
"A ce discours de l'Esprit le plus profondément corrompu de l'abîme, les Démons applaudirent en tumulte. Le bruit de cette lamentable joie se prolongea sous les voûtes infernales. Les réprouvés crurent que leurs persécuteurs venoient d'inventer de nouveaux tour.
Aussitôt ces ames, qui n'étoient plus gardées dans leurs bûchers, s'echappèrent des flammes, et accoururent au conseil; elles trainoient avec elles quelque partie de leurs supplices : l'une son suaire embrasé, l'autre sa chape de plomb, celle-ci les glaçons qui pendoient à ses yeux remplis de larmes, celle-la les serpens dont elle étoit dévorée. Les affreux spectateurs d'un affreux Sénat prennent leurs rangs dans les tribunes brûlantes. Satan lui-même appelle les spectres gardiens des ombres .... “ Remettez, s'écrie-t-il, ces coupables dans les fers, ou craignez que Satan ne vous enchainé avec
He is not more fortunate in revealing to us the mysteries of the other region. Thus, describing a part of the Cité de Dieu,' he says,
• Là sur-tout s'accomplit, loin de l'oeil des Anges, la mystère de la Trinité. L'Esprit qui remonte et descend sans cesse du Fils au Père, et du Père au Fils, s'unit avec eux dans ces profondeurs impénétrables. Un triangle de feu paroît alors à l'entrée du Saint des Saints : les globes s'arrêtent de respect et de crainte, l’Hosanna des Anges est suspendu, les milices immortelles ne savent quels seront les décrets de l'Unité vivante, elles ne savent si le Trois Fois Saint ne va point changer, &c. &c.
Quand les essences primitives se séparent, le triangle de feu disparoit : l'Oracle s'entr'ouvre, et l'on aperçoit les trois Puissances.'
After all, however, our own Milton's actual artillery, and the • broad extinguisher' with which Dryden furnishes the hand of Omnipotence, for the purpose of putting out the fire of London, leaves us but little right to reproach M. Chateaubriand, in particular, for this disparagement of things divine,—this profane familiarity, which a too close approach to sacred subjects has, in all times and all writings, produced.
In the dramatic department-in addition to those countless • minora sidera' which twinkle out their gay and brief existence on the Boulevards—there have lately appeared two or three successful tragedies; and though, in Marie Stuart,'