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SKETCHES OF THE LINNEAN SYSTEM
OF BOTANY.-No. V.
divisions. The berry is dark blackish purple. Medicinally, both the berries
and leaves are employed as a warm carAs in chaotic darkness the word of minative and narcotic stimulant; but as God called forth the light; so in spring, their effects depend on the prussic acid it may be said, the breath of the All contained in them, and this being uncermighty diffuses life throughout the earth. tain in quantity, they are very far from What was dead is made to live, what was
safe. For the same reason it is not safe sterile becomes abundant, and what was
use bay leaves in cookery, as is dumb becomes tuneful. May is a season
often recommended, particularly in the of blossoms and balmy breezes. It is older books. So dangerous à poison a month that gives much, and promises ought not to be thus tampered with for more. The hill, the valley, the wood, the the sake of the aromatic flavour which coppice, and the hedgerow, are sprinkled it imparts. with buds and flowerets. The beetle,
Belonging to the same genus is the the bee, and the butterfly, on their cinnamon laurel, (L. cinnamomus,) an errands of food gathering, or pleasure, evergreen tree, a native of the island of are abroad. The live-long day rejoices, Ceylon, and other parts of tropical Asia, and morning, noon, and night, the song flowering with us in January, which anof the nightingale is heard.
swers to the midsummer of its native In May, while the cuckoo is proclaim- climate. The flowers, which are white, ing the spring, and the birds are build grow in axillary, panicles. The calyx ing their nests, the hedge hog sallies is wanting, and the corolla has six oval, abroad in search of cockchafers, his painted, and spreading petals. The fruit dainty meat. Lady birds, or, as young is an oval berry, with a depressed top, people call them, lady cows, with their and containing one seed.
The bark, speckled wings, congregate together. which is in so great esteem as an aroField crickets and forest flies grow bold, matic spice, is taken off from May till Ocand the death-watch beetle beats his tober, from the younger branches. It forehead against any thing that emits a
has a warm, pleasant, sweetish taste, and sound.
ought to be very smooth, thin, and How many a dame, in midnight hour,
splintery, not liable to break in short Has heard that gentle tap with fear;
cross pieces. It is employed in making And gazed with pallid face around,
oil of cinnamon, cinnamon cordial, and And trembled at the boding sound.
other preparations. In Ceylon, the na"Oh may we live, that we may dread
tives also procure, from the tree, a sinThe grave as little as our bed!"
gular production, called cinnamon suet, And look, amid our earthly strife, On death, as on the gate of life!
used for making candles. In the speci
men which the writer of this article reIn the ninth class, Enneandria, are ceived from professor Christisan, of the arranged plants which have blossoms University of Edinburgh, it appeared to with “ nine stamens," as the term Ene be not unlike mutton suet; but rather of neandria implies. It is divided into a more yellowish tinge, with little taste three orders. 1. Monogynia, with one or smell. It contains eight per cent. of a pistil, as sweet bay and laurel. 2. Di- fluid oil, not unlike olive oil, and a waxy gynia, with two pistils, as rhubarb. 3. substance, similar to cerin. Hexagynia, with six pistils, as flowering In the same climates grows a very rush.
similar tree to the cinnamon laurel, called One of the most common evergreens cassia, (L. cassia,) an evergreen, bein shrubberies and clumps for ornament- longing to the same genus, and so like ing the lawns of villas and country resid- the cinnamon, that botanists are not ences, is the noble laurel, or sweet bay, quite agreed whether it is specifically dis(Laurus nobilis,) a native of the south tinct, or a mere variety. The fruit is an of Europe, flowering in April and May, egg oblong, black berry, with a sharp and ripening berries in the autumn. The top, differing in this from the fruit of blossoms are of a yellowish white colour, the cinnamon tree, which has a depressed and grow in short clusters. They have the top. What are called cassia buds are peculiarity of some plants, producing flow- not procured from this, but from the ers with stamens only, and other plants cinnamon tree. The cassia bark is not and flowers with pistils only. In both unlike cinnamon in qualities, but is not sorts of flowers, the corolla has four oval so thin and smooth, and does not break
so splintery, but in short cross pieces ; , unite and blend so intimately; But by and, above all
, the aroma is not so delicate putting a sample on a piece of hot bread, and fine. It is often sold for cinnamon its goodness will be proved by its becomto those who do not know the distinc ing moist. It is a powerful stimulant, tion.
and in a large dose may prove poisonThe biblical reader may remember that cassia is a sweet spice, mentioned by In the second order, we find the highly Moses as one of the ingredients in the interesting rhubarb plants, (Rheum,) of composition of the holy oil, used when which there are two principal species, the sacred vessels of the tabernacle were and innumerable varieties. The wavyanointed. Sweet cinnamon was also leaved rhubarb, (R. undulatum,) in another ingredient. “Take thou also some of its varieties, is to be found in unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh almost every garden, and is a perennial, five hundred shekels, and of sweet cin- indigenous to Asia, and flowering with us namon half so much, even two hundred in May and the following months. The and fifty shekels, and of sweet cala- flower stem rises from four to six feet mus two hundred and fifty shekels, and high ; the flowers being white, and
growof cassia five hundred shekels, after the ing in bunches, on a large branchy panishekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive,” cle. The leaves are very broad, unExod. xxx. 23, 24.
divided, but more or less waved on the The sassafras tree (L. sassafras) margin. The leaf stalks are extensively is another plant of this interesting genus, used for making tarts, either alone or and is a native of North America, and with gooseberries, or apples. The coalso of Asia, flowering with us in May rolla has six persistent divisions, and the and June. The flowers, which are small seed is three cornered and flat. The and greenish white, grow in hanging varieties consist chiefly in the size and panicles. There is no calyx, and the colour of leaf stalks, some being green, corolla has six narrow convex divi- and some pink or scarlet; and some sions. Some flowers have stamens only, very large and long, while others are nine in number, and no pistils ; other thin and short. They are all easily proflowers have both stamens, six in num- pagated from seed, which springs up a ber, and one pistil. The berry is deep few days after it is sown, or by dividing blue, in a small red cup. The wood, the roots, and planting out the divisions. the root, and bark are the parts medici- The root has similar medicinal propernally used, the taste being sweetish, ties to the Indian rhubarb, though of aromatic, and somewhat acrimonious, considerably less power. It is frequently depending on a resin, and an essential sold for the genuine. oil, which are both soluble in alcohol There is a variety called, on account and water. It smells somewhat like fen- of its unusual size, the Goliath rhubarb. nel. In medicinal effect it is diaphoretic, A field of this variety, when in flower, promoting perspiration ; and alterative, presents the appearance of a miniature being used in form of decoction, or in- forest. The thick and jointed stalks are fusion. An oil is also prepared from it. crowned with bunches of flowers that
The camphor laurel (L. camphora) resemble clusters of white caterpillars. is another evergreen species of this The Indian rhubarb (R. palmatum) genus, and is a native of North America is also a native of Asia, and was formerly and Asia. The flowers, which are small much more common in gardens than it and white, grow in close clusters. There is now, since the common species came is no calyx ; the corolla has six small to be so generally cultivated for its leaf petals of an egg oblong form; the cap- stalks. It flowers in May, like the pre
n sule is roundish; the fruit is a red oval ceding, the flowers being small and berry. The roots, wood, and leaves are whitish, and growing in panicled clusused from which to distil camphor, ters. There is no calyx; the corolla is which is a strongly odoriferous substance, six cleft, the divisions being blunt; the of a bitter aromatic taste, slightly solu- seed organ has three membranaceous ble in water, on which it will swim, and margins, and encloses a triangular seed. wholly soluble in alcohol. In the mar- The root is one of the most valuable ket, camphor is extensively adulterated purgatives ever discovered. The Ruswith spermaceti white wax, which can sian or Turkey rhubarb is brought to with difficulty be detected by the eye, market in round pieces, artificially dressed their appearance is so similar, and they and perforated in the middle with a hole,
intended to show the soundness of the the term Decandria implies. There are interior. The sort hawked about the five orders. 1. Monogynia, with one streets of the
metropolis, by Jews pistil, as rue. 2. Digynia, with two and Armenians, is some inferior sort, pistils, as the pink and saxifrage. 3. rasped, dyed with turmeric, and artifi- | Trigynia, with three pistils, as campian cially dressed, so as to make it resemble and catchfly. 4. Pentagynia, with five the genuine. It ought to be very compact pistils, as lychnis and stonecrop: 5. and solid; not light and porous, and Decagynia, with ten pistils, as phytoeasily pulverized into a bright buff yel- lacca. low-coloured powder. When chewed, Rue, (Ruta graveolens) which illusit should feel gritty, and tinge the spit- trates the first order of this class, is an tle with saffron yellow. When broken, evergreen shrubby herb, a native of the the fracture should appear rough and south of Europe, to be met with in aljagged, showing numerous streaks of a most every garden, and blowing from fine bright red colour. The East Indian, June till late in the autumn. The flow. or Chinese rhubarb, is not in round, but ers, which are yellowish green, grow in largish flat pieces, with perforation. In bundles. The calyx and corolla of the colour, it is brownish yellow, not reddish first blown flowers are five; the calyx yellow, like the Turkey rhubarb. The and the corolla of the succeeding flowers texture is more compact and heavy, and are only four parted. The petals are it is less easily powdered. When broken, concave. The receptacle has ten honey it presents a more compact smooth points (Nectaria) around it; the capsule fracture of a dull colour, mottled with is lobed, and the seeds rough and black. yellow, pink, and grey. The powder of The leaves, which are sea green and this root is reddish, and not bright yel- very nauseous, are the part used in melow. In the powdered state, all the sorts dicine. The distilled oil of rue is poiare extensively adulterated with the roots of meadow rue, common dock, and com- A great number of interesting foreign mon garden rhubarb, very difficult to plants belong to this order, such as the detect.
senna tree, (Cassia senna ;) the copaiva In the third order, we find only one tree, (Copaifera officinalis ;) the guaiac plant which is not very uncommon, the tree, (Guaiacum officinale ;) the logcommon flowering rush-on-water gladi- wood tree, (Hæmataxylon Campechiaole, (Butomus umbellatus,) a native num;) the Benjamin tree, (Styrax perennial, growing in ponds and slow Benzoin ;) the storax tree, (S. officinarunning streams, such as the Ravens- lis ;) the Tolu balsam tree, (Myroxylon bourne, at Lewisham, near the five mile- | Toluifera ;) and the Peruvian balsam stone from London. It is a very hand- tree, (M. Peruvianum ;) besides a nasome plant, blowing from June till late tive shrub, the bearberry, (Arbutus in autumn, the flowers growing on the alvæursi ;) and the strawberry tree, (A. top of a tall stem, in form of an umbel, unedo. The bearberry is not uncomtheir stalks being arranged like the mon in marshy, mountainous situations spokes of an umbrella, with six divi- in Scotland; and the strawberry tree has sions. The capsules are six, with many been found wild, it is said, in the south seeds. The leaves are sharp edged. of Ireland. It is a very common ever
A sluggish half-choked stream is, in green in shrubberies, and bears blossoms sunshine, the rendezvous of insects of and fruit at the same time, late in all kinds, gamboling in the air; fitting autumn, and early in winter, the fruit from one side to the other, and settling being not unlike a small strawberry, and on the tops of the rushes and sedgy the blossom somewhat like that of the grass.
whortle berry, or of the cross-leaved What time, amid the glowing west,
In the second order, the most common
plant, perhaps, is the shady saxifrage, Myriads of gnats the gazer sees;
(Saxifraga umbrosa,) better known Moths, beauteous butterflies, and bees;
under the popular names of none-soAnd harry-long-legs, beetles bold, And dragon flies of green and gold.
pretty, and London pride, the latter name having been given, it is said, on
account of the plant thriving in the garIn this class are arranged such plants dens of the most confined suburbs of the as have flowers with “ ten stamens," as metropolis, in spite of smoke and want
The summer sun retires to rest;
of light and air. It is a native perennial, , quently to be met with in hedges, copses, found in shady woods, in mountainous and woods. The blossom, which appears situations, and blows from April till from March till June, is white and June, with a pale carnation coloured showy; the calyx with five spreading blossom, in a handsome panicled spike, leaves; the corolla with five petals, two about one foot high. The calyx has cleft; the capsule two celled, with many five divisions; the corolla has five petals, seeds; and the leaves sharp pointed, and prettily dotted with scarlet; and the somewhat rough. seed vessel is two-beaked, and one celled In gardens, an illustration of the order with many seeds. The leaves vary in may be found in the pink-eater fly, shape, but are almost uniformly notched (Silene armeria,) a native annual, ocwith a sort of gristly notches.
curring, though not very commonly, on The clove, July flower, (Dianthus rubbish, and in waste places. It blows caryophyllus,) is another common gar- from July till killed by the frost. The den plant of this order, said to be a na- blossom is lake red, and grows in a tufttive of Britain ; but if so, it is very ed bouquet; the calyx consists of one rarely to be met with wild. It flowers bulging leaf; the corolla of five petals, in July, with blossoms of various shades crowned and clawed. of red, growing in branched panicles. In the fourth order, are two not unThe calyx is cylindrical, having one common wild plants, the wood sorrel, striated leaf, with four scales at the base, (Oxalis acetosella,) found in damp very short and egg oblong; the corolla woods, and the stonecrop, (Sedum acre,) has five petals, very broad, beardless, on dry walls, and on the sea shore. The and with claws; the capsule is cylindri- wood" sorrel is a very pretty flower, of a cal, with one cell and many seeds. The delicate reddish white colour, with darker sweet-william (D. burbatus,) a well- veins, growing snugly on slender flower known species of the same genus, from stalks, and slightly nodding. The calyx Germany, has the flowers growing in a has five leaves, purple at the tip; the tufted bouquet, and the calyx leaves are corolla is bell shaped, and five petaled; the bearded. Both are biennial.
capsule opens, when ripe, with a spring, The July flower and sweet-william which causes the seeds to be projected to are to be found in the cottage garden of some distance from the root. The stonethe poor, while slips of both adorn the crop is often grown in pots, and has a blue broken jug of the almshouse win- showy yellow blossom appearing in June. dow, and the sabbath-coat button hole of The calyx and corolla have each five the aged labourer.
divisions. There are five scales at the
bottom of the seed organ. Go on, old man! thou doest well
The scarlet lychnis (Lychnis chalceGo forward to the house of prayer,
donica,) is a very common garden plant Haply thy God may meet thee there :
of this order, from Russia, flowering A Saviour's love demands thy praise; Thy God has blest thee all thy days;
from June to July, and again in SeptemThen give him, while his mercies fall,
ber, with a flat bouquet, or tufted umbel Thy hope, thy heart, thy soul, thy all.
of fine scarlet blossoms. The calyx is of Another foreign plant, of this order, one leaf, cylindrical, ribbed, and claved ; commonly grown in garden pots for win the corolla of five petals, with two lobed dows, is the hydrangea, (H. hortensis,) | divisions. The ragged robin of the fields, a native of China, and blowing from or cuckoo flower, (L. flos cuculi,) is of April, throughout the summer and au- the same genus ; and the ragged robin tumn. The flowers are produced in a of the gardens is a double flower of a large globular rayed bouquet. The calyx common field plant, (L. diorca.) The is five toothed; the corolla with five rose campion (L. cæli rosa) is also of petals; the capsule with two cells, open- the same genus, and a very common ing by a hole between two beaks. The garden flower. colour of the flowers may be changed from In the fifth order, we find the tree pink to blue, by growing the plants in a mustard, (Phytolacca dodecandria,) soil mixed with wood ashes, peat earth, which, from a misapprehension of a conor iron rust.
versation of one botanist with another, has The most common wild plant, illus- been recently said, in many works, to be trative of the third order, is the hedge the mustard alluded to by our blessed stitohwort, (Stellaria holostea,) a very Saviour, as producing the smallest of all pretty evergreen perennial, very fre seeds, and afterwards growing to a high
To listen to the sabbath bell:
OF THE SUN.
INVENTION OF ANIMALS.
branching tree. The phytolacca, how- OLD HUMPHREY ON THE GOING DOWN ever, does not grow in the Levant, and therefore could not be the tree alluded
An hour ago, I was gazing on the setto. See Linnæan Trans. vol. xvi. for a ting sun. It was not lost to human statement of the original conversation, vision in its own unendurable splendour. or mistake.
It flung not around, on earth and heaven, insufferable beams of brightness, banishing and interdicting the eye from
an admiring participation of its visible I could cite an hundred instances glories ; nor yet did it light up and gild which would prove that animals have the skirts of a gorgeous retinue of acinvention, independent of the instinct companying clouds; hanging in mid air, handed down from generation to genera- like the shield of a warrior, intelligible tion. I will, however, content myself to the sight, the dull, red orb gradually with one instance of superior invention approached the horizon. in the elephant, which occurred at Cey
Often have I gazed (who has not ?) on lon. Parties were employed felling tim- the declining sun, till my eyes have ber in the forests of Candia, and this swam in tears, and my heart dissolved timber, after having been squared, was
within me, in silent ecstacy at its overdragged to the depot by a large party of powering magnificence; but in this inelephants, who, with their keepers, were stance it was delightful, unblinded by its sent there for that purpose. This work beams, to watch its perceptible withwas so tedious, that a large truck was
drawal from the world." made, capable of receiving a very heavy
As I stood rooted to the spot, the huge load of timber, which might be trans- red orb entered a coal-black cloud that ported at once. This truck was dragged lay beneath it. A third of it was soon out by the elephants, and it was to be gone ;
half of it disappeared, as if, loaded. I should here observe, that severed by an Almighty hand, a moiety when elephants work in a body, there is only being left to illuminate the skies. always one who, as it were by common Still lower it descended, till the rim of consent, takes the lead, and directs the it alone was visible; and then rushed others, who never refuse to obey him. upon me the arresting thought, which had The keepers of the elephants and the before occurred, that the united power of natives gave their orders, and the ele- men and angels, could not, for an instant, phants obeyed. But the timber was so
arrest its course. Had a moment been farge, and the truck so high on its wheels, wanting, in which to offer an effectual that the elephants could not put the tim prayer for the pardon of individual transber in the truck, according to the direc-gression, or the eternal welfare of a sintions given by the men. After several ful world, it could not have been obattempts, the natives gave up the point, tained. How invaluable to me did even and retired to the side of the road, as
a moment of that time appear, which, usual, squatted down, and held a consult- by hours, and days, and months, and ation. In the mean time, the elephant years, we are wasting as a thing of who took the lead, summoned the others, nought! made them drag two of the squared We toil and spend our lives for trifles vain, pieces to the side of the truck, laid
In wasting that which worlds could not obtain. them at right angles with it, lifting Accustomed as I am, when opportuone end of each on the truck, and leav- nity allows, to watch, with an intensity ing the other on the ground, thus form- of interest, the sun going down in the ing an inclined plane. The timber was skies, it would be hard for me to impart then brought by the elephants, without to you my emotions, when it was made any interference on the part of the keep- known to me that an aged New Zealand ers or natives, who remained looking on, chief had cried out in his own emphatic was pushed by the elephants with their language, when the probability of sendforeheads up the inclined plane, and the ing out missionaries to New Zealand had truck was loaded. Here then is an in- been intimated to him, • Make haste ! stance, in which the inventive instinct of my sun is fast going down." I saw in the animal, if that term may be used, my fancy, the fierce, the treacherous, was superior to the humbler' reasoning the man-devouring savage; the ignopowers of the men who had charge of rant, the implacable and cruel cannibal, them.-Marryatt.
whom God had made willing, in the day