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of that part is such, that the filament immediately contracts there, and consequently strikes its anther, full of pollen, against the stigma. Any other part of the filament may be touched without this effect provided no concussion be given to the whole. After a while the filament retires gradually, and may again be stimulated ; and when each petal, with its annexo ed filament, is fallen to the ground, the latter on being touched shows as much sensibility as ever.' pp. 325-326.
These observations, succeeded by a short chapter on the Diseases of plants, in which Dr. S. very ingeniously accounts for the fall of the leaf, as an effort of nature to rid herself of a dead substance, lead very properly to the consideration of the different systems for classifying the vegetable kingdom, and particularly of the Linnean system, the fundamental principles of which are clearly and distinctly explained. We wish, however, for the sake of beginners, that our author had given examples of the factitious, essential, and natural characters, in some well-known plants. His criticisais and remarks on Nomenclature, which follow, though often severe, are commonly just; we much fear, notwithstanding, that it will hardly be divested of barbarism, even by transforming the Japanese Ginko into a wreath for the brows of a Salisbury, while we are at full liberty to introduce names like Scheuchzeria, Schwen. kia, Rauwolfia, Messerschmidtia, Michauria, and others equally cacophonous. Names expressing the colour of the flower, which Dr. S. approves, we should be inclined to esteem less highly, as occasioning frequent misconceptions. If the learner, for instance, should happen to get a specimen of the Greek Valerian with white flowers, it will require some degree, of courage in him, not to be deterred, by the name cæruleum, from examining it under Polemonium.
The two last chapters are devoted to a pretty extensive explanation and illustration of the Linnean Classes and Orders, which are treated of in succession; to the natural connexion of the most striking genera, or natural classes; familiar examples; and references to English Botany, Exotic Botany, Curtis's Magazine, and other known works ; an estimate of the authors who have illustrated particular parts by descriptions, or plates; and the consideration of proposed alterations of Classes and Orders, or removals of Genera. The most material alterations which Dr. S.
proposes, or approves, in the Linnean arrangement, over the integrity of which he watches with a laudable jealousy, are the following:
Besides the rejection of the order Monogynia in Syngenesia, the distribution of the plants in Syngenesia Polygamia frustranea, into the other orders ; some judicious changes in the orders of Icosandria, Polyandria, and Gynandria, the latter to be increased by the natural family of Contorta, and several
aliens to be expelled from it ; Polyadelphia to be divided into three orders: 1. Dodecandria, 12--55 Stamens, filaments unconnected
with the calyx. -2. Icosandria, Stamens many, inserted in parcels into the
calyx. 3. Polyandria, Stamens many, unconnected with the calyx.
Monacia, Diæcia, and Polygamia, to be carefully divested of several plants, which do not strictly belong to them, and perhaps thrown into one. As a specimen of his manner of treating this part of his work, we extract the eighth Class, one of the shortest.
• CLASS 8. Octandria. Stamens 8. Orders 4. • 1. Monogynia. A very various and rich order, consisting of the well-known Tropæolum or Nasturtium, whose original Latin name, given from the flavour of the plant, like Garden Cresses, is now become its English one in every body's mouth. The elegant and fanciful Linnæan appellation, equivalent to a trophy plant, alludes to its use for decorating bowers, and the resemblance of its peltate leaves to shields, as well as of its flowers to golden helmets, pierced through and through, and stained with blood. See Linn. Hort. Cliff. 143.- Epilobium, Engl. Bot. t. 838, 759, &c. with its allics, makes a beautiful part of this order ; but above all are conspicuous the favourite Fuchsia, the chiefly American genus Vaccinium, t. 456, 319, &c. ; the immense and most elegant genus Erica, so abundant in southern Africa, but not known in America ; and the fragrant Daphne, t. 1381, of which last the Levant possesses many charming species. Acer, the Maple, is removed hither in Fl. Brit. from the 23d class.
• 2. Digynia has a few plants, but little known; among them are Galenia africana, and Moehringia muscosa.
• 3. Trigynia. Polygonum, t. 436, 509, 941, is a genus whose spe. cies differ in the number of their stamens and styles, and yet none can be more natural. Here therefore the Linnæan system claims our indulgence. Paullinia and Cardiospermum are more constant.
• 4. Tetragynia. Here we find the curious Paris, t. 7, and Adoxa, t. 453. Of the former I have lately received a new species, gathered by my liberal friend Buchanan among the mountains of Nepal. pp. 421 -422.
In Cryptogamia, which is dismissed in a very summary man. ner (so much so indeed, that this part is by no means sufficient to introduce a beginner to the study of this division of the vegetable kingdom) Hedwig, Acharius, Persoon, and Swartz, are the most distinguished authorities quoted. The Palmæ are still added as an Appendix; but their proper distribution is indicated. A few observations on the manner of collecting and preserving an Herbarium, and 15 plates, neatly engraved by Sowerby, with their descriptions, close the volume. The last would have been still more useful, if referred to, as occasion required, in the work itself.
From the scanty account we have been able to give of this excellent work, our readers will be able, we hope, to form a tolerably correct idea of its contents, and the merit of its execution; they cannot fail to perceive how far superior it is to the mere instructions which they may have elsewhere niet with for pulling a flower to pieces, in order to find out its class, order, and name. It is only when studied on principles like those wbich are here laid down, that Botany deserves the name of a science; that it improves the reasoning faculties, and becomes worthy of serious attention. We sincerely hope that this valuable publication will make it the object of more general study. In our own country, it is as yet almost entirely in the hands of cultivators of plants; and this has contributed to stamp it with a kind of inferiority, in the eyes of men of classical education or improved understanding, who readily imagine that a species of knowledge, which appears so easily attainable, is not particularly suited to enlarge and enrich their minds. We certainly have among our practical botanists, many persons of very superior eminence, to whose endeavours the science is indebted for its rapid and steady progress in late years; men of letters, however, should distinguish between those who, while they are Nurserymen, deserve the title of Botanists, and those who claim the title, because they are Nurserymen. Nor should they condemn the science, as unworthy of attention, because the generality of the Introductions to Botany (occasioned by a fashion of calling plants by their Linnean names, often barbarously distorted, and arranging dried specimens in pretty groups on fire-screens --which was unfortunately called Botany) were beneath their notice. Let those who have entertained these degrading views, peruse the work which we have now the satisfaction of recommending ; and if they still retain any taste for the pleasures of nature, if their curiosity can be delighted with infinitely various and exquisitely beautiful marks of design, if perfection appears to them an object worthy of contemplation, or truth of pursuit, we venture to predict that they will no longer condemn, as frivolous, a studious application to this branch of Natural History. We are indeed obliged, in order to obtain any degree of eminence in most of the sciences, to sacrifice health and comfort to the close confinement of the study; but the book of nature is not the less complete, because it can be perused in the open air, nor are' its truths less recondite or sublime, because we may search them out by the light of day. The practical utility of botany, in a course of liberal education, for which this compendium is excellently adapted, can be best estimated by such as have observed it themselves; and though no application of it should be made in later years, yet, as com
bining the advantages of an innocent recreation, and an improving study, we hardly know any auxiliary branch of learning more worthy of pursuit and recommendation.
The timidity of our fair readers is not so great, we hope, as to deter them from looking into Dr. S.'s work, because we have commended it to the notice of men of letters. They will find it as intelligible, and as free from Latin quotations, as any of the popular and inadequate Introductions, with the material difference, however, that from this they will learn to think on the topic proposed, whereas those only teach how to talk about it. They will surely not, on this account, esteem Botany less an accomplishment.
We do not doubt that this work will soon supersede most other publications of the kind, not only in this country, but on the continent; and are particularly pleased that its utility is not frustrated by expensive typographical parade, though every necessary attention has been paid to neatness and accuracy. The style is generally pleasing ; the marks of carelessness, however, which it not unfrequently betrays, should be removed in a future edition. Art. IV. Sermons on the Practical Obligations of a Christian Life, for the Use of Families. By the Rev. Theodore Robertson, LL. B. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 400. 352. Price 14s. bds. Crosby and Co. 1808. LONG texts and comparatively short sermons, or a species
of exposition, was the fashion of the earlier and purer ages. It afforded the preacher an opportunity of appealing to the judgements and consciences of his hearers, with pe.. culiar energy, as the sentiments and precepts he enforced, were directly drawn from the oracles of divine truth, and were authoritative on the faith and obedience of the hearers, though requiring from them no prostration of intellect to the dogmas of pretended infallibility, or of liberty to the dictates of priestly domination.
The causes which have brought this method into disrepute, it would be easy, though it might be deemed invidious to assign. Whether the caprice of the pastor and the flock will veer round again in favour of expositions, or will still pursue its present course, and even disdain at length to pay such a compliment to the language of God as to adopt it for a text, may be more difficult to ascertain. It is enough for us to know what is the present fashion, and that Mr. R. is one of its zealous followers. Our readers will therefore be satisfied with an enumeration of the titles of these sermons, not caring to see the texts, some of which, it is highly probable, were not once thought of after the author had begun his sermon, nor others till he had finished it.
The following discourses occupy the first volume.
« The Plrarisee and the Publican. Gratitude for every Blessing. Resignation to Providence. Forgiveness of Injuries.. Victory over Sin. On Hypocrisy. On Deception. On Breach of Trust. On Miracles, particularly that of feeding the Multitude. The Kingdom of God. The Transfiguration. ·Against Desertion of our Faith. The Rock of our Salvation. Consequences of yielding to bad Propensities. The Ascension. On Circumspection. The Preference of Virtue over Vice. Joha the Baptist.
On Perseverance. On Affection. On Vain ixcuses. On Immortality. The Duty of Self-examination. The Effect of virtuous Resolutions. The Joy of a religious Life.”
We have turned over page after page, through a whole volume, in search of some passage which might relieve the general dullness, and yield a grauification that might compen. sate for our fatigue; but in vain. Not one sermon occurs, which can aspire even to the faint praise, that it is better than the rest; nor does one parágraph distinguish itself arnidst the universal gloom, by even the gleam of a pho phoric splendour. We shall therefore dip casually into the volume, and if our readers find themselves wearied with realing a short passage, they will doubtless sympathize with us in our official misfortune, and adınire the patience which is capable of reading the whole. We hope also it will turn their indignation against those ungenerous authors, who will not bestow one grain of wheat upon us, among all the bushels of chaff which our duty obliges us to sift.
The following are some of Mr. Robertson's original remarks on the Kingdom of God.
• The gracious design of the creation of man, and of the revealed will of God, has ever been manifest to provide for him a happiness and a rest in Heaven. To obtain this prospect, and the promise of this eternity, very enlarged powers of mind are conferred upon him, by the proper use of which he cannot fail of success : he is, moreover, instructed in a pre. cise and peculiar manner, by the Christian revelation, not only to expect it with certainty, but the means whereby to attain it. Indeed, the revelation might, without presumption, have been deemed incomplete, if the converts to this faith had been left to their wild imaginations to find a certain road : and as the security of that course, which will in the end procure the desired success, is the most important concern, and indeed the chief end of our present existence ; it affords the most satisfactory rem fections to familiarise, in our minds, and ingraft upon our customary habits
, those principles and practices which the Gospel has taught us to adopt as the unerring guides to future happiness.
There cannot be any state of the human mind so grateful as that which, by the comfort of an approving conscience, brings us Rear with holy confidence to our God; there cannot be a happiness in human life, more exalted than that which creates the unclouded assurance of a joyful resurrection at the hour of death ; there cannot be a life more cheerful and