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the learner, who wishes to attain a science, finds himself in a labyrinth of words, of which he cannot see the end, or dilcern the use : Rousseau followed a different plan; and many lecturers pursue one, which resembles it. They begin with showing and examining the great families, or those natural classes, which the untutored observer could not fail of forming from the most superficial view.

• What books can you recommend, that' inay enable mc to acquire a competent knowledge of botany? is a question that has frequently been asked me. To the learned I can readily answer, the works of Linnæus alone will furnith you with all the knowledge you have occasion for, or if they are deficient in any point, will refer you to other authors, where you may have every

fatisfaction that books can give you.. But I am not very folicitous to relieve these learned gentlemen from their embarrassment; they have resources enough, and know how to help themselves.' As to the unlearned, if I were to send them to the translations of Linnæus's works, they would only find themfelves bewildered in an inextricable labyrinth of unintelligible terms, and would only reap disgust from a ftudy that is perhaps more capable of affording pleasure than any other. If I were to bid them fit down, and study their grammar regularly; fo. dry and forbidding an outset might discourage the greater number; and few would enter the temple through a vestibule of fo unpromising an appearance. A language however mult be acquired; but then it may be done gradually; and the tedium of it may in some measure be relieved by carrying on at the same time a study of facts, and che philosophy of nature. This feems to have been Rousseau's idea, and I have endeavoured not to lose fight of it, in my continuation of his eight ingenious letters.

These were the objects of Rousseau and his continuator, and they have attained them with great success. The elements of the science are explained with clearness and simplicity; the terms are so judiciously scattered, that they are learned with ease, while the student acquires information in the science itself; and the language, free and unembarrassed by affected or injudicious ornament, is raised above didactic dulness, by the addition of pleafing circumfances, not foreign to the subject. The system of Linnæus is considered as floral only, and we have not the slightest hint of the sexual dirtinctions: the words andria, and gynia, are supposed to refer to the parts of a flower, not to the organs of an animated being. We need not add, that this mode of explanation meets with our fullest approbation ; not that we oppose the sexual fyftem, but because it has no connection with the elements, and cannot always be explained with propriety,

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The branslation from Rousseau is executed with peculiar neatness, and the notes are intended to correct some mistakes, or to explain what may not appear clear. The eight Letters of this author extend only to the great families, with an Introduction, containing an exact, and, with the affisance of Mr. Martyn's notes, a correct history of botany. We shall select a part from Mr. Rousseau, which gives a proper view of his own plan.

I comprehend, (comprehend is not the best word in this fituation) that you may not be pleased at taking fo much pains, without knowing the names of the plants which you examine. But I own fairly, that it did not enter into my plan, to spare you that little chagrin. It is pretended that botany is merely a science of words, which only exercises the memory, and teaches the names of plants. For my part, I know not any reasonable Itudy, which is a mere science of words; and to which of these shall we give the name of botanist, to him who , has a name or a phrase ready when he sees a plant, but without knowing any thing of its ftructure; or to him, who being well acquainted with this itructure, is ignorant nevertheless of the arbitrary name which the plant has in this or that country? If we give our children nothing but an amusing employment, we Jose the best half of our design, which is, at the same time that we amuse them, to exercise their understandings, and to accuftom them to attention. Before we teach them to name what they fee, let us begin by teaching them how to see. This science, which is forgot in all forts of education, should make the most important part of it. I can never repeat it often enough, teach them not to pay themselves in words, nor to think they know any thing of what is merely laid up in their memory:

However, not to play the rogue with you too much, I give yoa the names of fome plants, with which you may easily verify my descriptions, by caufing them to be thown you. For inftarice, if you cannot find a white dead-nettle, when you are reading the analysis of the labiate or ringent flowers; you have nothing to do but to send to an herborilt for it fresh gathered, to apply my description to the flower, and then having examined the other parts of the plant, in the manner which I thall hereafter point out, you will be infinitely better acquainted with the white dead-nettle, than the herborift who furnished you with it will ever be during his whole life ; in a little time however we fhall learn how to do without the herborist :. but first we must finish the examination of our tribes ; and now I come to the fifth, which at this time is in full fructification."

The tribes of plants, examined by Rousseau, are the Liliaceous, the Cruciform, Papilionaceous, Labiate, Ringent, Per. fonate, and Umbellate, the compound, the fruit-trees, or the

colandria of Linnæus. The lalt detter is on the method of preparing a hortus ficcus,

Mr. Martyn, in the fame familjar manner, examines the different classes and orders of Linnæus; -fo that a person must be very dull who, with this book only in his hand, cannot conquer a science, whose aspect is at fit rigged and deformed, but whole very deformities will be found of the greatest use, and contribute to the pleasure which, it is so çar pable of affording. We shall take a specimen of our author's

manner,

with little choice, for there is little reason for a preference. We open at the Hexandria Monogynia, chiefly composed of the lily tribe ; and we mall take that part of it which relates to fome well-known flowers. We need scarcely observe, fince it will be fufficiently obvious, that in our author's familiar, we 'had almost said careless, manner, there is a precision, which would add a credit to the most distinguished botanitt. We have formerly remarked that a man of real science is seldom found loose and incorrect, in his lightest moments.

•The tulip and fome ethers which I shall now prefent to y99, sagree with the lily in having naked, unprotected corols. The

tulip, unbounded in the variety of colour, in the cultivated State of its gaudy flowers, has an inferior bell-thaped corol of

fix petals; and no ftyle, but only a triangular kigma, sitting clase to a long, prismatic germ. The species is diftinguilhed by its lhört lance-shaped leaves, and its upright flowers, from 1. the Italian cylip, whose ficwers nod a little, have longer and ( narrower lance-shaped leaves, yello:v corols: never varying in i colour, ending in acute points, and having a sweet scent. The common colour of the eastern tulip, in a state of nature, is red. This, when broken into stripes by culture, has obtained the imaginary value of a hundred ducats for a single root, among the Dutch forifls.

How different is the sweet, the elegantly-modeft lily of the valey, from the flaunting beauty of the tulip! the pure, bellShaped corol, is divided at top into fix, segments, which are bent back a little: and the feed-vessel is not a capsule, as in i molt of this cla{s, but a berry, divided however into three cells, 'in each of which is lodged one feed; this berry, before it ripens, is spotted. I doubt not but that you have often, searched

for it in vain, because this plant feldom produces its fruit: the 3 Teason.is, that it runs very much at the root, and increases fa i much that way, as almoft entirely to forget the other. I have

seen large cracts covered with it, in the remote recefles of woods, without a single berry; and the way to obtain them, is to imprison the plant within the narrow circuit of a pot, when by preventing it from running at the root, it will take to incataling by the red berry. This species is distinguished from

Soloa

Solomon's-seal, and others of the genus, by the flowers growing on a scape or naked ftalk; it has only two leaves, which take their rise immediately from the root.

• The hyacinth is one of the most favoured plants of the florists. In the natural state, wherein you seldom see it, the corol is single, and cut into fix segments ; and there are three pores or glands, at the top of the germ, exuding honey. The fpecies from whence all the fine varieties take their rise, has the corols funnel-shaped, divided half-way into fix fegments, and swelling out at bottom. This must not be confounded with the wild hyacinth or blue-bells of the European woods, which has longer, narrower flowers, not swelling at bottom, but rolled back at their tips ; the bunch of flowers is also longer, and the top of it bends downwards. This is frequently found with white corols.'

We congratulate the English botanist on this valuable guide, which, with the Litchfield translation of Linnæus' System, will facilitate his access to this delightful kingdom. But we proteft, with our author, against thefe Letters being read inan easy chair at home; they can be of no use but to those who have a plant in their hands.

• Botany is not to be learnt in the closet; you must go forth into the garden or the fields, and there become familiar with Nature herself; with that beauty, order, regularity, and inexhaustible variety which is to be found in the structure of vegetables ; 'and that wonderful fitness to its end, which we per: ceive in every work of creation, when our limited understand: ings, and partial observations, give us a just view of it.'

An Attempt towards an improved Verfion, a Metrical Arrange. ment, and an Explanation of the Twelve Minor Prophets. By

William Newcome, D.D. Bishop of Waterford. 4to. 1os. 6d. fewed. Robinson. AN endeavour to elucidate the twelve minor prophets is no

lefs arduous than commendable, as they are generally allowed to be the moft obscure part of the Hebrew Scriptures. The learned author briefly itates the nature of those difficulties, and then enumerates the peculiar advantages which now offer themselves to the patient investigator towards ascertaining their fense, and understanding their allusions. He particularly mentions. Dr. Kennicott's Collation of Hebrew MSS. as eminently useful, and forming an invaluable accellion to all external helps. Like bishop Lowth, in his translation of Isaiah, he has given a metrical form to his version on the fupposition of its concordance with the poetical arrangement of the original. Like him, he seldom enters into any laboured Vol. LX. Aug. 1785.

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difquifitions concerning the scope and tendency of particular predictions, but chiery confines himself to the faithful reprefentation of the prophet's words--that most necefiary bafis for the illustrations and expositions of future commentators. His purport, likewise, after that judicious divine's example, seems to be, not only w render the meaning in a literal manner, but to preserve the form of conitruction, the peculiar turn and caft of the original, as far as the nature of our language will ala low. And, in general, as Addison has observed, the Hebrew idioms run into the English tongue with a particular grace and beauty, and give force and energy to our expressions.'

One design, says the author, of engaging in the present arduous province was to recommend, and, in a small degree, to, facilitate, an improved English version of the scriptures; than which nothing could be more beneficial to the cause of religion, or more honourable to the reign and age in which it was patronised and executed. The reasons for its expediency are, the mistakes, imperfections, and many invincible obscurities of our present version; the accession of various helps since the execu. tion of that work; the advanced state of learning; and our emancipation from slavery to the Masoretic points, and to the Hebrew text as absolutely uncorrupt.'

He then subjoins some directions how the pfan for a uniform tranflation should be adjusted, and lays down various rules, to the number of fifteen, as necessary to be adopted in such an undertaking : these rules are elucidated by explanatory observations; and we do not apprehend that any exceptions can be posibly made against them. The accomplishment of the twelfth indeed, is, we believe, in the opinion of many, more to be wished than expected, — The critical sense of paffages fhould be considered, and not the opinions of any denomination of Christians whatever. The translators should be philologists, and not controversialists.' We will, however, hope the best, and gladly subscribe our testimony to the author's candour in chis pafiage, as we do to bis ingenuity and foundness of judgment in others. In these rules he obviates some ohjections that might be made against the undertaking; and fhews, as indeed the present performance sufficiently evinces, that if they are properly adhered to,

• A new version would be as simple, natural, and majestic, as beautiful, affecting, and fublime, as that in present use; with the additional recommendation of being more pure, exact, and intelligible. It is true, that nothing of this kind can be undertaken without temporary offence to the prejudiced and ige

But the opinion of these will soon be outweighed by the judgment of the reasonable and well-informed. The real 7

question

norant.

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