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formed on the general subject of the poor, and fo little aware of the powerful prejudices which exist against their instruction; for ignorant we must conceive him to have been upon this point, if he supposed it possible to force down fo extensive a plan of education over the whole community.
In the year 1797, Dr Bell, a clergyman of the Church of England, published an account of an institution for education at Ma. dras, to which Mr Lancaster is certainly indebted for some very material parts of his improvements,-as, in the early editions of his book, he very honestly and plainly owned himself to be. To this valuable infoșmation, received from Dr Bell, Mr Lancaster has made important additions of his own, quite enough to entitle him to a very high character for originality and invention. We sin. cerely hope Dr Bell will not attribute to us the most distant in. tention of depreciating his labours, when we say that he has by no means taught Mr Lancaster all, though he has taught him much. We are so far from wishing to undervalue the labours of Dr Bell, that it gives us great pleasure to express our warmest admiration at what he has done for education. He is unquestionably the beginner in an art, which we trust will be carried to still greater perfection; and we hope he will reap from his pre, sent patron those rewards for which he never could have looked, to which he is eminently entitled, and which, if ever they are bestowed, will honour the giver as much as the receiver.
It has pleased the present Archbishop of Canterbury to establish a large school, for the instruction of the poor of the established church, under the care of Dr Bell. If the thing is done at all,—if the education of the poor goes on,-we are content. We only interfered in the cause to say, education is a great goodi and to shelter from calumny a friendless man, who sat himself down (like a drop of healing oil in an ulcer) in the worst parts of the metropolis, to diffuse the word of God, and the rudiments of knowledge among the lowest of mankind. If, in so doing, we have been compelled to treat with severity a lady of real piety and of estimable character, let that lady remember, that had we found her in her own proper department of an instructress of youth, which she has so long and so respectably filled, we could not but have mentioned her with credit, if it had fallen within the plan of our work to mention her at all. But we found her acting the part of a judge and a critic, and, above all, of a religious accuser,--a part never to be taken up but with extreme Teluctance, and exposing him, and still more her who assumes it, to the most severe responsibility,-a part which, of late years, has been played so often, and paid so well, that it is not respectable even in the hands of so honest and conscientious a per
son as Mrs Trimmer. We have been a little alarmed by obo serving, that Dr Bell, after all he has wrote and done, calls in question the propriety of teaching the poor to write and to cypher. We hope that he will valve his deserved reputation above every thing else, and not lose that originality which has brought him irito notice. The sartetion of the Archbishop of Canterbury may be venerable and respectable but it is not sacred : at least we believe this term is never emptoyed upon such occasions.
ART. V. The Principles of Botany and of Vegetable Physiology,
Translated from the German of V. C. Willdenow, Professor of Botany and Natural History at Berlin. pp. 508. 8vo. W. Blackwood, Edinburgh; and 'T. Cadell and W. Davies, Lon. don, 1805.
ha rich comprektion to Botany ex
Te have nor hitherto had arry introductory botanical treatise
which comptehends all the branches of botanical knowledge. Lee's Introduction to Botany, which has been longest in use in this country, contains merely an explanation of the system of Linnæus, and of the terms employed by him. Berkenhout's Botanical Lexicon, is nothing more than an explanation of the Linnzan terms, arranged in alphabetical order. But the author be. foré us, besides explaining the Linnäan method, and the terms Ofed by its followers, likewife gives a very full account of the different natural and artificial systems that have been proposed by different boranists previous and fubsequent to that of the Knight of the Polar Star; together with vegetable phyfiology, esplained according to principles established on the latest difcoveries in chemistry; the diseases of plants, and the history of botany. In short, his work, which we understand has fuperseded all other elementary trearifes on the Continent, contains almost every thing connedted with botany.
His introduction contains fome remarks on the study of botany, together with good and ample directions for forming a Hortus Siccus. In his Terminology, he gives a very full enumeration of the various terms used in botany, which are, in general, very well defined, but not fo judiciously arranged. He diftributes them as they are applicable to the root, the item, the leaves, the props, the flower and the fruit. Many of the terms that are applicable to one part, may likewise be applied to others; confequently it becomes necessary, not only to repeat the same term under different heads, but likewise to repeat their definitions. Thus we find Multifidum filamentum, when it is divided into many
is no fewer the same n bulk of the book comes
branches; M. folium, with many clefts, and so on; M. periana thium; M. stigma; M. cirrhus; M. stylus. Simplex, with its definition, occurs no fewer than thirteen times ; and there are a great many repetitions of the same nature. This certainly produces one good effect; it adds to the bulk of the book, and con. fequently to the emolument of the book-maker : but dors it add to the information, or diminish the trouble of the liudent? Botanical terms, even when reduced into the smallest compaís, are so very numerous, as to deter beginners of ordinary fortitude from entering on the study: Whatever, therefore, increases the bulk of the Terminology, must add to the apparent difficulty of acquiring them, and tend to disgust the student. Had M. Willdenow given the general terms apart from the special ones, he would have prevented much unnecessary reperition. It sometimes happens, indeed, that the same terms, when applied to diffrent parts, rective a different signification ; and, in such cases, a repetition and separate explanation becomes necessary. Hi has placed the terms which express the arma and pubes under the head fulcra, where few people would think of looking for them; for they are no more props, than they are leaves or branches.
His classification of vegetables, contains a complete account of all the more eminent systems that have been made public, and a good exposition of the Linnæan method, which he prefers to all others. He divides botanical systems into Natural, Artificial and Sexual : we conceive, however, that there are only two, viz. Natural and Artificial. The epithet, Sexual, has been applied to the artificial system of Linnæus, by way of distinction ; but this cannot alter its nature. The words Willdenow himself makes use of, in describing an artificial system, are, "Some botanists have founded their systems on the number, proportion and agreement, of minute and not very obvious parts; and such a system has been called Artificial.' The Linnæan method, which he wishes to erect into a particular kind of system, is founded on the number, proportion and agreement in different particulars of the parts of generation, which, in most cases, are minute enough: it, therefore, even according to his own definition, can be viewed in no other light than that of an artificial system. His reason for establishing a difference is, that the Linnæan method is partly natural, partly artificial, which is merely an accidental circumstance. There is one mistake he has committed through inadvertence--for it cer, tainly could not proceed from ignorance. When mentioning the distinguishing marks by which the orders are determined (p. 1 49.) he says, " The orders of the 15th class are, like the foregoing, taken from the fruit, with this ffrenc:; :hat here there are no naked seeds, but a siniqua ; and the orders are bhained, ac
cording to the size of this, Siliculosæ and Siliquosæ.' The mere size of the siliquæ by no meanis determines the orders of this class, though, from the names affixed to each, it might naturally be supposed to do so; for there are many plants which Linnæus has placed in his order Siliculosæ, which have far larger, siliquæ than those that are placed in the order Siliquosæ ;--Lunaria, for example. It is the proportion which the length of the germen bears to that of the style, which determines the orders in this class. Those plants, whose germen is short in proportion to the style, are placed in the order Siliculosæ, and vice versa. Under the head, Botanical Aphorisms, he shows the method of acquiring a knowledge of plants,-gives directions for distinguishing and establishing genera,-points out the different characters by which plants are to be described,—and treats of species and varieties, together with the method of ascertaining them. He has given here a table of 36 colours, which has at least novelty to recommend it ; for, as far as we know, nothing of the kind has been attempted by any other writer on natural history. It would have a still stronger recommendation, utility, could pigments of sufficient durability be obtained, and were the colours always mixt up according to the same standard for the different copies, and applied with the same attention. But, unfortunately, most of the pigments we possess, particularly those formed of metallic oxides, are liable to change, when exposed to air and light; and the attention necessary to preserve exact uniformity in the tables prepared for the different copies, could not be expected from any artists that might be employed to paint them. These two circumstances might render a table of this kind a source of error ; for in copies printed by different hands, and at different periods, dissimilar tints might stand under the same name. Nevertheless, the design is good, and may be usefully employed to explain what colour is meant to be denoted by the different Latin words employed in natural history. Even when the primary colours are known, an idea of the intermediate shades is imperfectly con- . veyed by words, but they are easily described to the eye. Both methods have been adopted by Willdenow ; for in the explanation of his table, he gives a verbal description, which, to make the matter still surer, is frequently illustrated by examples painted by nature.
In his Nomenclature of Vegetables, he has laid down a great many regulations for imposing names on plants. Had something of the same kind been done earlier, botany would not only have rested on a more stable foundation, but botanical language would have been rendered less harsh than it is at present. When the name of any thing is undetermined and unsettled, the knowledge
ei ole thing itself is in danger of being lost. The old botanists
var got much concerned about preserving the names of plants; beso a most every author gave them new ones; on which account,
2 were disgusted with the barbarous, dry and unfixed nomené ere which prevailed, and declined entering on the study of dy most beautiful objects of nature. But, by the introduction oi lixed and generally received names, botanists are now able to Sake themsives understood wherever botany is known. Tournafort krst fixed the generic names; but, instead of specific manet, gave only short descriptions. Linnæus, who has cortributed more to the advancement of his science than any other Tran, not only employed generic names, but affixed to each speespas its trivial name. M. Willdenow objects to long names ; to those taken from foreign languages ; to those which are already appropriated to animals or fossils; and to those borrowed from scligious, moral, anatomical, pathological, geographical, or such subjects : but he wishes the generic name to be taken from the general properties or resemblances of the genus, and to have them formed from the Greek language with a Latin termination, or from the name of some eminent botanist, likewise latinized. Names, however, derived from this last source, are, we think, frequently both harsh and long ; such as, Buxbaumia, Gleditschia, Hasselquistia, &c. The specific name is commonly an adjective, expressive of some property of the plant, but should not be taken from properties liable to variation, such as colour. Willdenow objects to substantives as specific names; but we think that no solid objections can be made to Pyrus malus, Prunus cerasus, Brassica rapa, and many others. Some do not approve of the Linnaan method of denoting every plint by a generic and specific name, because genera are only invented by botanists, and have no real existence in nature. Ehrhart, on this account, in his Phytophylaceum, has proposed to distinguish every plant by a single word: but what memory could contain the names of all rhe plants already known, which amount to nearly 80,000 species, formed into about 2,000 genera ? Wolf has proposed to dencte every character of a plant, by a particular letter, and of these to form the name of the plant. Were this plan to be adopted, such harsh words would be formed, such concurrence of consonants take place, as would render it difficult, if not altogether impossible, for Mr Wolf himself to get his mouth about them.
The Phyhology of Vegetables, contains a multiplicity of articles, most of which are treated very correctly, and briefly enough ; indeed, fomctimes a little too much to. He begins with the daferent powers of organized bodies, ard with the anatoniy of vegerables. There is one opinion he advances, to which we can by no