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No class of plants present a more varied and exquisitely beautiful structure than the mosses ; whether we consider their foliage, their capsules, or the delicate single or double fringe which surrounds the mouth of the latter. No part of the globe appears to be entirely destitute of them.
Affording,” says Linnæus, “a harbour to an immense number of insects, protecting them, lest they should be destroyed by the frosts of winter, or be parched by the heats of summer, or withered by the vicissitudes of spring, or decayed by the damps of autumn.” So that nothing, we may be assured, not even the minutest vegetable, is made in vain.
Sir W. HOOKER.
The least proclaims, and loudly too,
Where the gravelly pathway leads,
The stalks of this moss make neat little besoms; when divested of their outer skins they are of a beautiful bright chesnut colour, and very soft and pliant.
WHITE, OF SELBORNE.
The examination of plants tends much to quicken the faculties, improve the memory, induce habits of order and neatness, and, above all, it leads the mind to contemplate that great Being who fashioned them. By a study like this, not only the mind imbibes much valuable information, but it is soothed with pleasing and beautiful associations.
WHERE'ER we search, the scene presents
And elevate the mind;
On the silent mouldering wall,
Mrs. ABDY, ADAPTED.
The Corydalis shall be mine,
TOWNSEND, ADAPTED. Of all the natural objects which surround us, flowers are the least connected with our absolute necessities. The earth might be clothed with a sober green; all the processes of fructification might be perfected without being attended by the glory with which the flower is crowned; but beauty and fragrance are poured abroad over the earth in blossoms of endless variety, radiant evidences of the boundless benevolence of the Deity.