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mals, nor any fo intricate variety of Texture, but
Parts to cut and divide other Bodies (as Wedges
We may here note the Order and Method that Metals and Minerals observe in their growth, how regularly they shoot, ferment, and as it were vegetate and regenerate ; Salts in their proper
and constant Figures, as our ingenious Country-man Dr. Jordan observes at large in his Discourse of Baths and Mineral Waters.
Of Vegetables or Plants.
I have now done with inanimate Bodies both fimple and mix'd. The Animate are. First, Such as are endued only with a Ve
getative Soul, and therefore commonly called Vegetables or Plants; of which if we consider either their Itature and shape, or their age and duration, we shall find it wonderful; For why should some Plants rise up to a great height, others creep upon the ground, which perhaps may have equal Seeds, nay, the lesser Plant many times the greater Seed? Why should each particular so observe its kind, as constantly to produce the same Leaf for consistency, figure, division, and edging; and bring forth the same kind of Flower, and Fruit, and Seed, and that tho' you translate it into a Soil which natu‘
rally puts forth no such kind of Plant, so that it is some * Aóga- oweshalomès, which doth effect this or rather some intelligent plastick Nature ; as we have before intiinated : For what account can be given of the determination of the growth and magnitude of Plants from Mechanical Prin, ciples, of Matter mov’d without the Presidency and Guidance of some superior Agent? Why may not Trees grow up as high as the Clouds or Vapours ascend, or if you say the Cold of the superiour Air checks them, why may they not spread and extend their lateral Branches lo far 'till their distance from the Center of Gravity depress them to the Earth, be the Tree never fo high ? How comes it to pass that tho’ by Culture
and Manure they may be highly improv'd, and augmented to a double, treble, nay fome a much greater proportion in magnitude of all their Parts; yet is this advance restrain'd within certain li
* Seminal Formor Vir tue.
mits? mits? There is a maximum quod sic which they cannot exceed. You can by no Culture or Art extend a Fennel Stalk to the stature and bigness of an Oak: Then why should some be very long-lived, others only Annual or Biennial? How can we imagine that any Laws of Motion can determine the Situation of thie Leaves, to come forth by pairs, or alternately, or circling the Stalk, the Flowers to grow singly, or in company and tufts, to come forth the bofoms of the Leaves and Branches, or on the tops of Branches and Stalks ; the Figure of the Leaves, that they should be divided into so many Jags or Efcallops, and curiously indented round the Edges; as also of the Flower-leaves, their number and site, the figure and number of the stamina and their apices, the figure of the Stile and Sced-veslel, and the number of Cells into which it is divided. That all this be done, and all these parts duly proportion’d one to another, there seems to be necessary fome' intelligent plastick Nature, which may understand and re gul t? the whole Oeconomy of the Plant: For this cannot be the Vegetative Soul, because that is material and divisible together with the Body : Which appears in that a Branch cut off of a Plant will take root, and grow, and become a perfect Plant it felf, as we have already observ'd. I had almost forgotten the complication of the Seed-leaves of fome Plants in the Seed, which is so strange, that one cannot believe it to be done by Matter, however mov'd by any Laws or Rules imaginable. Some of them being so close plaited, and straitly folded up and thrust together within the Membranes of the Seed, that it would puzzle a Man to imitate it, and yet none of the Folds sticking or growing together; so that they may easily be taken out of their Cases, and spread and extended even with ones Fingers.
Secondly, if we consider each particular part of a Plant, we shall find it not without its End or Use : The Roots for its stability and drawing Nourishment from the Earth. The Fibres to contain and convey the Sap. Besides which there is a large fort of Vessels to contain the proper and specifick Juice of the Plant : and others to carry Air for such a kind of Refpiration as it needeth ; of which we have already spoken. The outer and inner Bark in Trees ferve to defend the Trunk and Boughs from the excesses of Heat and Cold and Drought, and to convey the Sap for the Annual augmentation of the Tree. For in truth every Tree may in some sense be said to be an Annual Plant, both Leaf, Flower and Fruit, proceeding from the Coat that was superinduc'd over the Wood the last Year, which Coat also never heareth any more, but together with the old Wood serves as a Forın or Block to sustain the succeeding annual Coat. The Leaves before the Gemma or Bud be explicated to embrace and defend, the Flower and Fruit, which is even then perfectly forın'd; afterwards to preserve the Branches, Flowers and Fruit from the Injuries of the Summer Sun, which would