Page images
PDF
EPUB

from the adjoining desert, where to creep a little, the man is presently there are plenty to this day ; for to killed. Pausanias speaks of partithe westward in Egypt, where the cular serpents that were to be found Nile overflows, there is no sort of in Arabia among the balsam trees, serpent whatever that I ever saw; several of which I procured botla nor, as I have before said, is there alive and dead, when I brought the any other of the mortal kind that I free from Beder Hunein ; but they know in those parts of Africa adjoin. were ftill the same species of sera ing to Egypt, excepting the Ce, pent, only some from sex, and raites.

some from want of age, had not the It should seem very natural for horns, though in every other respect any one, who, from motives of dis; they could not be mistaken. Iba tress, has refolved to put a period to Sina, called by Europeans Avicenna, his existence, especialiy women and has described this animal very exweak perfons unaccustomed to han- actly; he says it is frequent in Shem dle arms, to seek the gentleft method that is the country about and south to free themselves from that load of Damascus) and also in Egypt of life now become insupportable. and he makes a very good observaThis, however, has not always been tion on their manners ; that they the case with the ancients. Aria, do not go or walk straight, but more Petus's wife, ftabbed herself with a by contracting themselves. But in dagger, to let her husband an ex- the latter part of his description ample to die, with this memorable he seems not to have known the ferassurance, after giving herself the pent he is speaking of, because he blow, “ Petus, it is not painful!" says its bite is cured in the fame Porcia, the wife of Brutus, died by manner as that of the viper and Ce the barbarous, and not obvious way rastes, by wbich, it is implied, that of perishing, by swallowing fire ; the animal he was describing was the violent agitation of spirits pre- not a Cerastes, and the Ceraltes is vailing over the momentary differ- not a viper, both which assertions ence in the suffering. It is not to be are false. doubted but that a woman, highe The general size of the Ceraftes fpirited like Cleopatra, was also from the extremity of its fnout to above the momentary differences in the end of its tail, is from thirteen feeling, and had the way in which to fourteen inches. Its head is Me died not been ordinary and usual, triangular, very flat, but higher Me certainly would not have applied near where it joins the neck than herself to the invention of a new one. towards the nose. The length of We are therefore to look upon her its head, from the point of the nose dying by the bite of the Cerastes, as to the joining of the neck, is ten only following the manner of death twelfths of an inch, and the breadth which she had seen commonly nine twelfths. Between its horas adopted by those who were intended is three twelfths. The opening of its go die without torment.

mouth, or rictus oris eight twelfths, Galen speaking of the aspic in Its horns in length three twelfths, the great city of Alexandria, fays, Its large canine teeth something I have seen how speedily they (the inore than two twelfths and an half, aspics), occafioned death, When- Įts neck at the joining of the head ever any person is condemned to die four twelfths. The body where whom they wish to end quickly and thickest ten twelfths. Its tail at without torment, they put the viper the joining of the body two twelfths to his breast, and suffering him there and an half. The tip of the tail

onc

[ocr errors]

one twelfth. The length of the cid. I Azould imagine it hath other taił one inch and three twelfths. reservoirs than the bag under the The aperture of the eye wo tooth, for I compelled it to scratch ewelfths, but this varies apparently eighteen pigeons upon the thigh according to the impreffion of light. as quick as poffible, and they all

The Cerastes has fixteen small died nearly in the fame interval of immoveable teeth, and in the upper time, but I confess the danger at. jaw two canine teeth, hollow, crook-tending the diffection of the head of ed inward, and of a remarkable fine this creature made me so cautious, polish, white in colour, inclining that any observation I should make to blueifh. Near one fourth of the upon these parts would be less to be bottom is Arongly fixed in the upper depended upon. jaw, and folds back like a clasp People have doubted whether or knife, the point inclining inwards, not this yellow liquor is the poison, and the greatest part of the tooth is and the reason has been, that ani covered with a green soft memmals who had tafted it did not die brane," not drawe tight, but as it as when bitten ; but this reason does were wrinkled over it. Immedi not hold in modern phyfics. We ately above this is a fit along the know why the saliva of a mad dog back of the tooth, which ends nearly has been given to animals and has in the middle of it, where the tooth not affected them; and a German curves inwardly. From this aper- physician was bold enough to distil ture I apprehend that it fheds its the puş, or putrid matter, flowing poison, not from the point, where from the ulcer of a person infected with the best glafles I never could by the plague, and takte it afterwards perceive an aperture, so that the without bad confequences ; fo that tooth is not a tube, but hollow only it is clear the poison has no activity, half way; the point being for mak till through some fore or wound it is ing the incifion, and by its pressure admitted into circulation. Again, occafioning the venom in the bag at the tooth itself, divested of that the bottom of the fang to rise in the poison, has as little effect. The tooth, and spill itself through the Viper deprived of his canine teeth, flit into the wound.

an operation very easily performed, By this flat position of the tooth bites' without any fatal consequence along the jaw, and its being defend with the others, and many instances ed by the membrane, it eats in per- there have been of mad dogs having fed fafety; for the tooth cannot bit people cloathed in coarse woollen prefs the bag of poison at the root stuff, which had so far cleaned the while it lies in this position, nor can teeth of the faliya in paffing through it rise in the tube to fpill itself, nor it, as not to have left the smallest in can the tooth make any wound Yo as fammation after the wound. to receive it ; bui the animal is fup. I can myfelf vouch, that all the posed to eat but feldom, or only black people in the kingdom of when it is with young.

Sennaar, whether Funge or Nuba The viper hás but one row of are perfe&tly armed against the bite teeth, none but the canine are of either fcorpion or viper. They noxious. The poison is very copi- take the Ceraites in their hands at afi ous for so small a creature, it is fully times, put them in their bofoms, as large as a drop of laudanum dropt and throw them to one another as from a phial by a careful hand. children do apples or balls, without Viewed through a glass, it appears having irritated them by this usage not perfectly transparent or pellu, fo much as to bite, The Arabe

have not this fecret naturally, but animals, by chewing a certain root, from their infancy they acquire an and washing themselves it is not exemption from ihe mortal confe- anointing) with an infusion of cere quences attending the bite of these tain plants in water.

[ocr errors]

SELECT BIOGRAPHY.

CAROLA

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

MEMOIRS OF LINNÆUS.

as totally to disregard his other

ftudies; and made such an inconfi. By Mr. Coxe.

derable progress, that, upon his reVARL. Von Linné, or, as he is moval, in 1724, to the Gymnasium

more known to foreigners, Lin- in the same town, his new master renæus, the eldett for of Nils Linnæus, peatedly complained of his idieness a Swedish divine, was born on the Urged by these remonftrances, 24th of May 1707, at Rashult, in his father conceived his son to have the province of Smoland.

no taste for literature, and proposed His inclination for the studies in to bind him apprentice to a fhocwhich he afterwards made so won maker. This destination would have derful a progress, commenced at a taken place, if a neighbouring phyvery early period of his life, and fician, whose name was Rothman, took its rise from the following cir- Aruck with the boy's great genius, cumstance:- His father used to had not predicted, that he would, in amuse himself in the garden of his time, become deeply skilled in a parfonage with the cultivation of science, to which he seemed nature plants and flowers. Linnæus, while rally inclined. an infant, was soon led to take a This fagacious observer, having share in this entertainment; and, prevailed upon the father of Linbefore he was scarcely able to walk, næus to continue his son's education, expressed extreme satisfaction when took the boy into his house, supplied he was permitted to accompany his him with botanical books, and in father into the garden. As his structed him in the firk rudiments strength increased, he delighted in of physic, in which he soon made a digging and planting; and after confiderable progress. When his wards obtained, for his own use, a father bad affented to this advice, small portion of ground, which was he had defigned him for the church; called Charles's garden. He foon and was not, without great diffilearnt to diftinguish the different culty, induced to agree, that he flowers; and, before he attained the should apply himself to the study of tenth year of his age, made finall botany and physic. excursions in the neighbourhood of In 1727 he was sent to the uni. Rashult, and brought many indige- versity of Lund, where he acquired, nous plants into his little garden. under the celebrated Stobæus, the

Being sent, in 1717, to school at first systematic principles of natural Wexio, under the tuition of Lanae history. Being lodged in that prorius, by whom he was indulged with feflor's house, he enjoyed many opthe permission of continuing his ex- portunities of improvement; and cursions, he passed his whole time particularly from a curious collecin collecting plants, talking of them, tion of fossils, shells, buds, and and making himself acquainted with plants. their names and qualities. He was In 1728 he was removed to the lo absorbed in this favourite pursuit, university of Upsala, where his par

SOW

row circumstances involved him at and his great årt was not only in firft in diftreffes unfriendly to the satisfying the curiosity, but in gain. pursuits of science, bắt which did ing the affection and esteem of the not, however, obstruct his usual students. His lectures were diftinexertions. About this period he guished by the conciseness and prebegan to arrange his Bibliotheca cifion fo conspicuous in his works; Botanica, his Clafles, and Genera and yet were delivered with a spirit Plantarum; from whence we may and animation, which irrefillibly collect, how early he had fixed the caught the attention of the hearers; principles of that method, which for he spoke with a persuafion, he afterwards carried to such per- which was inspired by his deep infection.

fight, his just conceptions, and his His knowledge was con Gderably zealous ardour for the knowledge of improved by a journey into Lap- nature. He diffufed a sudden fpirit land in 1732, to which he was de. of enquiry, and kindled among his puted by the Royal Society of Sci- students a new zeal for the ftudy ences at Upsala, in order to invefti- of natural history. gate the natural history of that unDuring the first years of his refiknown region. But as he received dence at Upsala, he gave public only a gratuity of about eight pounds herborifing le&tures in the fpring towards defraying this expence, he and fummer. In these botanical was obliged to travel alınost the excursions he was attended with a whole way on foot, which he per. band of trumpets and French horns, formed with great alacrity and and fallied out at the head of two fpirit.

or three hundred students, divided He commenced this expedition into detached companies. When on the 17th of May 1732; fayed Linnæus was inclined to explain some time at the mines of Fahlain; any curious plant, bird, or inseat, vifited various parts of Lapland; which had either fallen under his underwent many hardships; escaped own notice, or was brought to bim imminent perils; and returned to by any of the students, the ftragglers Uprala in the month of October of were called together by the found the following year, after having of music, and, crowding round their traversed near four thousand miles. master, liftened in respectful filence,

In 1741' he at length obtained the while he offered his observations. object of his warmest ambition, the His reputation was now so widely professorship of botany in the uni- spread in foreign countries, that he versity of Upfala. He turned his received the most flattering invitaprincipal attention and care to the tions to Petersburgh, to Gottingers

, regulation and improvement of the and particularly to Madrid, where botanical garden, which, at the time he was offered, by the king of Spain, of his appointment to the profeffor a very confiderable stipend, the rank ship, searcely contained forty, exo- of nobility; and the toleration of his tics; but produced, in 1748, nor- religion. Bat the prospect even of withstanding the obstructions arising the most fplendid advantages could from the severity of the climate, not seduce him from his naciretoureleven hundred species, exclusive of try, where he had acquired the indigenous plants and varieties, effcem of his fovereign, and the ge

By his incomparable lectures he neral respect of his countrymen, raised the university to the highest which he maintained until the day Tepute, and induced many foreigners of his death. to resort to Upsala. . He was always

His services, in promoting every attended by a numerous audience, branch of natural history, were ac

koowledged

11

19

knowledged in the fullest manner, His remains were interred in the
and every affistance afforded to his cathedral of Upsala, with all the
endeavours to improve and diffuse funeral honours which gratitude and
his favourite science. A new house respect could inspire. The king of
was raised for him, at the public Sweden ordered a medal to be itruck,
expence, close to the phyfic-garden. expreffive of the dejection of Science
He was occafionally deputed by the upon the death of Linnæus, and a
ftates to make excursions into va- monument to be erected over his
rious parts of Sweden, with a view afhes. His majesty also attended
to the advancement of natural his. the meeting of the Academy of
tory. For this purpose, he, at dif- Sciences, in which his commemora-
ferent times, visited the islands of tion speech was delivered; and, as a
Gothland and Oeland; the pro- ftill higher tribute to his memory,
vinces of Skone and West Goth- lamented, in a speech from the
land; and communicated to the pub- throne to the diet of 1778, the iro
lic, in his native language, the iti- retrievable loss which Sweden had
neraries of his travels, which are suffered from his death.
said to be replete with curious and To the honour of his country

and philosophical observations; the ge- the present age, Linnæus reaped the neral purport of which was princi- advantage of his superior genius, pally directed in adapting natural by the unsolicited accumulation of history to economical uses.

wealth and honours. In 1753 he Many of his scholars were also, was created a knight of the polar under his auspices, dispatched to star, and ennobled in 1756. various parts of the world, at the His writings brought him, on acexpence of the public, or of parti- count of their number, no inconficular focieties; and they all seem to derable emolument; while his falary have caught from their beloved as profeffor, his practice as a phymaster a spirit of emulation and zeal sician, and the presents which he ocfor science. The communications, casionally received from his scholars, which he received from their unre- rendered him easy and independent. mitted labours, furnished him with He purchased, in the neighboursuch information, as enabled his hood of Upsala, two estates, at Hancomprehensive mind to appropriate, marby and at Sæfja; at the former as it were, their discoveries, and to of which he built a villa; and at " exemplify in a more perfect and his decease bequeathed an ample detailed manner his system of na- provision to his widow and children. ture.” Thus his genius may be He left four daughters and one fon, said to have diffused itself through Charles Linnæus, who succeeded the most diftant regions of the globe; him in the professorship, and died on and his fpirit still continues to ani- the 1st of November 1783. mate the zealous disciples of the The name of Linnæus may be Linnean school.

classed amongst those of Newton, In the year 1776, a paralytic Boyle, Locke, Haller, and other stroke deprived Linnæus of the use great philosophers, who were friends of his right side, and confined him to religion. He always testified in wholly to his bed. His strength his conversation, writings, and acgradually forsook him; his mental tions, the highest reverence for the faculties were impaired; and an Supreme Being; and was so strongly ague, attended by a dropsy, brought impressed with the idea of omnion a tranquil dissolution on the oth presence, that he wrote over the of January 1778, in the seventy-first door of his library, Innocui vivite, year

numen ad ef. Vol. II,

3 F

REVIEW

of his age.

« PreviousContinue »