Page images
PDF
EPUB

ter ;

too much parch and dry them, if they lay open and expos'd to its Beams without any Shel

the Leaves I say, qualifie and contemper the Heat, and serve also to hinder the too halty evaporation of the moisture about the Root : But the principal use of the Leaves (as we learn of Seignior Malpighii, Monsieur Perault, and Monsieur Mariotte) is to concoct and prepare the Sap for the nourishment of the Fruit, and the whole Plant, not only that which afcends from the Root, but what they take in from without, from the Dew, moist Airand Rain. This they prove because maily Trees, if despoild of their Leaves, will die ; as it happens sometimes in Mulberry-Trees, when they are pluck'd off to feed Silk-worms. And because if in Summertime you denude a Vine-Branch of its Leaves, the Grapes will never come to maturity : But tho' you expose the Grapes to the Sun-beams, if you pluck not off the Leaves, they will ripen notwithstanding. That there is a regress of the Sap in Plants from above downwards and that this descendent Juice is that which principally nourisheth both Fruit and Plant, is clearly proved by the Experiments of Seignior Malpighii, and those rare ones of an Ingenious *Philofop:

Country Man of our own * 1 bomas Transact. Brotherton Esquire; of which I shall

mention only one, that is, If you cut off a ring of Bark from the Trunk of any Tree, that part of the Tree above the Barked Ring shall

grow and encrease in bigness, but not that beneath.

But

ز

Num. 187

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

But whəther there be such a constant circulation of the Sap in Plants as there is of the Blood in Animals, as they would from hence infer, there is some reason to doubt. I might add hereto the pleasant and delectable, cooling and refreshing Shade they afford in the Summer-time ; which was very much esteemid by the Inhabitants of hot Countries, who always took great delight and pleasure to fit in the open Air, under shady Trees; Hence that Expression so often repeated in Scripture, of every Man's sitting under bis own Vine, and under bis own Fig-tree, where also they us'd to eat; as appears by Abraham's entertaining the Angels under a Tree, and standing by them when they did eat, Gen. 18. 8. Moreover the Leaves of Plants are very beautiful and ornamental. That there is great pulchritude and comeliness of Proportion in the Leaves, Flowers and Fruits of Plants, is attested by the general Verdict of Mankind, as Dr. More and others well observe. The adorning and beautifying of Temples and Buildings in all Ages, is an evident and undeniable Testimony of this : For what is more ordinary with Architects than the taking in Leaves and Flowers and Fruitage for the garnishing of their Work; as the Roman the Leaves of Acanthus sat. and the Jewish of Palm-Trees and Pomegranets : And these more frequently than any of the five regular Solids, as being more comely and pleasant to behold. If any Man shall object, that comeliness of Propor

tion

4

* Antidore

[ocr errors]

tion and Beauty is but a ineer Conceit, and that all things are alike handsome to some Men who have as good Eyes as others, and that this ap** pears by the variation of Fashions, which doth so alter Mens Fancies, that what e'er-while seem'd very handsome and comely, when it is once worn out of fashion appears very absurd, uncouth and ridiculous. To this I answer, that Custom and Use doth much in those Things where little of Proportion and Symmetry shew themselves, or which are alike comely and beautiful, to disparage the one, and commend the other. But there me degrees of things ; fur

(that I may use * Dr. More's Words) againft

I dare appeal to any Man that is not Acheism, funk into fo forlorn a pitch of dege

neracy that he is as stupid to these things as the bafest Beasts, whether, for example, a rightly-cut Tetraedrum, Cube or Icofaedrum have no more Pulchritude in thein than any rude broken Ştone, lying in the field or High-ways; or to name other solid Figures, which tho’they be not regular properly so callid, yet have a fetled Idea and Nature, as a Cone, Sphere or Cylender, whether the fight of those do not more gratify the Minds of Men, and pretend to more elegancy of shape than those rude cuttings or chippings of Free-stone that fall from the Mason's hands, and serve for nothing but to fill up the middle of the Wall, as fit to be hid from the Eyes of Men for their ugliness. And therefore it is observable, that if Nature shape any thing but near to this Ge

ometrical

1. 2. c. 5.

ometrical Accuracy, that we take notice of it with much content and pleasure, and greedily gather and treasure it up. As if it be but exactly round, as those spherical Stones found in Cuba, and some also in our own Land, or have but its fides parallel, as those rhomboideal Selenites found near St. Ives in Huntingtonshire, and many other places in England. Whereas ordinary Stones of rude and uncertain Figures we pass by, and take no notice of at all. But tho' the Figures of these Bodies be pleasing and agreeable to our Minds, yet (as we have already observ’d) those of the Leaves, Flowers and Fruits of Trees, more. And it is remarkable, that in the Cirumscription and Complication of many Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, and Seeds, Nature affects a regular Figure. Of a pentagonal or quincunial Disposition Sir Thomas Brown of Norwich produces several Exảmples in his Discourse about the Quincunx. And doubtless Instances might be given in other regular Figures, were Men but obfervant.

The Flowers serve to cherish and defend the first and tender Rudiments of the Fruit: I might also add the inasculine or prolifick Seed contain’d in the Chives or Apices of the Stamina. These beside the Elegancy of their Figures, are many of them endued with splendid and lovely Colours, and likewise molt grateful and fragrant Odours. Indeed such is the beauty and Lustre of some Flowers, that our Saviour faith of the Lilies of the Field (which Tome, not without Reason, suppose to have been Tulips) that Solomon in all bis Glory was not arrayed like one of

these.

2.

* 1l28

. ad these. And it is observ'd by * Spirem Herbari- gelius, That the Art of the most

skilful Painter cannot so mingle and temper his Colours, as exactly to imitate or counterfeit the native ones of the Flowers of Vegetables.

As for the Seeds of Plant, † Dr. + Apridote againstAthe

More esteems it an evident sign of ilm, l. 2. c. Divine Providence, that every Kind

hath its Seed : For it being no necessary result of the Motion of the Matter, (as the whole contrivance of the Plant indeed is not) and it being of so great consequence, that they have Seed for the continuance and propagation of their own Species, and also for the gratifying Man's Art, Industry and Necessities, (for much of Husbandry and Gardening lies in this) it cannot but be an Act of Counsel to furnish the several Kinds of Plants with their Seeds.

Now the Seed being so necessary for the inaintenance and encrease of the several Species, it is worthy the Observation, what care is taken to secure and preserve it, being in fome doubly and trebly defended. As for instance, in the Walmit, Almond, and Plumbs of all sorts, we have first a thick pulpy Covering, then a hard Shell, within which is the Seed enclos'd in a double Membrane. In the Nutmeg another Tegument is added besides all these, viz. the Mace. between the green Pericarpium and the hard Shell, iminediately enclosing the Kernel. Neither

yet doth the exteriour Pulp of the Fruit or Pericarpium serve only for the defence and

security

« PreviousContinue »