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labour enable him to make use of his understanding and powers, so as to be, in some measure, master of his own welfare. Do we wish to inhabit a world where we should have no occasion to do any thing; where we could not in any way promote our own pleasures; where there should be no rule, no fundamental law; where, the best, the bad, and the worst, being equally unknown, nothing could make us attend to the laws of nature?
Doubtless, there will ever be a number of things in nature, the purposes of which, or their relation with the whole, must ever be concealed from us. But on all occasions, let us rest in this principle, that the Almighty does every thing for wise and beneficent purposes.
The Harmony and Patriotism among the Bees. Union and patriotism form, undoubtedly, the fundamental happiness, which may, in some measure, be ascribed to bees. It is at least certain, that their republic would soon be destroyed, if they did not live in great harmony amongst themselves. Those who have made observations on this subject, inform us, that when the bees return to their hives, loaded with materials for building, they find some of their companions ready to relieve them from their burdens. The travellers begin their journeys again: and while they are gathering more provision, the working bees which remain in the hive, knead together the little the others had brought, and thus prepare a mass proper for the building. Some, who are not directly employed in work, are busy in doing good offices to those that are; and bring them food,
in order to let the work go on without their losing by it. This harmony nearly approaches to the patriot. ism observable amongst men. The riches of a nation are the riches of each citizen; and this numerous republic forms but one family. Here there is no self-interest, no avarice, and consequently no rapine. Here the bees never assemble together to use violence, and fight battles with their countrypeople. Here we never see one bee avariciously wishing for more than is necessary, whilst another is in want: neither do they ever try to get more honey, when they have laid in a sufficient provision for the winter.
Insignificant as we reckon these insects, we may learn from them virtues, on which depend the repose and happiness of our lives! In whatever rank or condition we are, it is necessary to act in concert with our fellow-creatures. The society in which we live, Christianity, and our own happiness, require it. Let each of us cheerfully bear our part in the general burden : and, if it is necessary, let us even take upon us the burdens of others, when, through ignorance or weakness, any may be deficient. And if it should so happen, that religion, duty, and conscience, require us to make great sacrifices to our fellow-creatures, let us take care not to consider it as an evil, let no visible selfishness ever find room in our hearts. Those who seek to enrich themselves at the expence of others, are contemptible members of society. When we can in any ways contribute to the general good, let us not be deterred from it, by the fear of having no reward: are not the testimony of a clear conscience, and the blessings of eternity, sufficient rewards? It is too true, however, that among the evils of this life, which we form to ourselves, we must reckon this one, that there is no such thing as perfect agreement in sentiments and characters: but, even this ought to make sus admire the wisdom of Providence, which, notwithstanding the disunions and disa orders of the world, notwithstanding the self-interest which governs mankind, still keeps up society and makes it flourish. When a pilot knows how to direct his ship, so as to avoid the sand-banks against which it might be cast by the waves, it is then that I admire his skill and experience. And when I see, notwithstanding the wickedness of mankind, in the midst of the storms of passion, that wisdom and virtue still preside, I admire the infinite goodness of Him who governs the world.
The prodigious Number of Plants on the
ABOUT twenty thousand different sorts of plants have been already reckoned, and we discover new 'ones every day. Some have been found out by the help of the microscope, where they were least expected. Mosses and sponges have been classed among vegetables, and have discovered to the virtuosi flowers and seeds before unknown.“ Freestone is often covered with dark brown spots, and the same is seen on the best polished glass. This mouldy substance sticks to most bodies, and it is a garden in miniature, a field, or a forest, where plants have their seeds, which blossom visibly, notwithstanding their extreme littleness. If we reflect on the quan. tity of moss, which covers even the hardest stones, and the most barren spots; on the quantity of herbs and grass.; on the several sorts of flowers; on all the trees and bushes, each of which may be considered as an assemblage of a thousand different vegetables; if we add to these the aquatic plants, as slight and delicate as a hair, and most of which are still un
known to us, we may form some idea of the multitude of plants upon our globe. It is more wonderful how all these different sorts of plants are preserved, without destroying one another. In order to prevent this, the Sovereign Disposer of all things has appointed to each species of vegetables a place analagous to its peculiar qualities. He has distributed them upon the surface of the earth, with so much wisdom and propriety, that no part of it is destitute, nor do they grow in too much abundance any where. This is the reason that some plants require growing in an open field, and not in the shade, where they would at least grow languid and weak. Others can only subsist in water, where the different qualities of the fluid matter occasion great variety. Some plants grow in sand, others in marshy and muddy places. Certain vegetables spring above the surface of the earth, others anfold themselves within its bosom. i.
The different strata of which the soil is composed, sand, clay, chalk, &c. have each their particular vegetables; and from thence it is, that in the immense garden of nature, there is no place absolutely barren. From the smallest dust to the hardest rock, from the torrid to the frigid zone, every soil, every climate, has its peculiar plants. Another circumstance is well worthy our admiration; the Creator's having so ordained, that, among this great number of plants, those used for food or medicine increase much more abundantly than those of less use.
.i s , Leaves of Trees., The leaves of trees form one of the great beauties of nature. Our impatience to see them in spring, and our joy when they do appear, prove sufficiently that they are the ornaments of our gardens, fields, and woods. 1, How great the pleasure we enjoy in the hot summer days, from the refreshing coolness of their delightful shade. Yet, after all, this is certainly the least of the advantages which accrue to us from the foliage of trees : we need only consider the won. derful construction of leaves, to be convinced that they were designed for much more important purposes. Each leaf has certain vessels, which, being pressed close at the end, or in the stalk, extend themselves like ribs within the leaf, and branch out in a thousand ways. There are no leaves without these - extremely fine vessels, and an astonishing number of pores. The nourishment of many plants proceeds directly from the leaves; their pores serve to imbibe the moisture, or the juices of the atmosphere, and to communicate them afterwards to the whole plant. By these means the plants in dry weather run no risk of wanting nourishment. They receive abundance of refreshing dew, which, falling from the upper leaves, waters those beneath them, and thus none of this nourishing juice is lost. Many experiments tend to show us, that plants perspire greatly, and that the leaves appear to be the principal organs of this important operation. They serve also to introduce into the plant the air it requires. They even contribute to the preservation of the bud, which is to succeed in the following year; for the eye of the bud iş already under the stem of the leaf: undoubtedly it is guarded and preserved by them; at the same time that the quantity