The Botanic Garden
Erasmus Darwin

Part 3 out of 7

notes, No. XXV. All late travellers have ascribed the rise of the Nile
to the monsoons which deluge Nubia and Abyssinia with rain. The whirling
of the ascending air was even seen by Mr. Bruce in Abyssinia; he says,
"every morning a small cloud began to whirl round, and presently after
the whole heavens became covered with clouds," by this vortex of
ascending air the N.E. winds and the S.W. winds, which flow in to supply
the place of the ascending column, became mixed more rapidly and
deposited their rain in greater abundance.

Mr. Volney observes that the time of the rising of the Nile commences
about the 19th of June, and that Abyssinia and the adjacent parts of
Africa are deluged with rain in May, June, and July, and produce a mass
of water which is three months in draining off. The Abbe Le Pluche
observes that as Sirius, or the dog-star, rose at the time of the
commencement of the flood its rising was watched by the astronomers, and
notice given of the approach of inundation by hanging the figure of
Anubis, which was that of a man with a dog's head, upon all their
temples. Histoire de Ciel.]

[Illustration: Fertilization of Egypt.]

[_Egypt's shower-less lands_. l. 138. There seem to be two situations
which may be conceived to be exempted from rain falling upon them, one
where the constant trade-winds meet beneath the line, for here two
regions of warm air are mixed together, and thence do not seem to have
any cause to precipitate their vapour; and the other is, where the winds
are brought from colder climates and become warmer by their contact with
the earth of a warmer one. Thus Lower Egypt is a flat country warmed by
the sun more than the higher lands of one side of it, and than the
Mediterranean on the other; and hence the winds which blow over it
acquire greater warmth, which ever way they come, than they possessed
before, and in consequence have a tendency to acquire and not to part
with their vapour like the north-east winds of this country. There is
said to be a narrow spot upon the coast of Peru where rain seldom
occurs, at the same time according to Ulloa on the mountainous regions
of the Andes beyond there is almost perpetual rain. For the wind blows
uniformly upon this hot part of the coast of Peru, but no cause of
devaporation occurs till it begins to ascend the mountainous Andes, and
then its own expansion produces cold sufficient to condense its vapour.]

145 V. 1. "High in the frozen North where HECCLA glows,
And melts in torrents his coeval snows;
O'er isles and oceans sheds a sanguine light,
Or shoots red stars amid the ebon night;
When, at his base intomb'd, with bellowing sound
150 Fell GIESAR roar'd, and struggling shook the ground;
Pour'd from red nostrils, with her scalding breath,
A boiling deluge o'er the blasted heath;
And, wide in air, in misty volumes hurl'd
Contagious atoms o'er the alarmed world;
155 NYMPHS! YOUR bold myriads broke the infernal spell,
And crush'd the Sorceress in her flinty cell.

[_Fell Giesar roar'd_. l. 150. The boiling column of water at Giesar in
Iceland was nineteen feet in diameter, and sometimes rose to the height
of ninety-two feet. On cooling it deposited a siliceous matter or
chalcedony forming a bason round its base. The heat of this water before
it rose out of the earth could not be ascertained, as water looses all
its heat above 212 (as soon as it is at liberty to expand) by the
exhalation of a part, but the flinty bason which is deposited from it
shews that water with great degrees of heat will dissolve siliceous
matter. Van Troil's Letters on Iceland. Since the above account in the
year 1780 this part of Iceland has been destroyed by an earthquake or
covered with lava, which was probably effected by the force of aqueous
steam, a greater quantity of water falling on the subterraneous fires
than could escape by the antient outlets and generating an increased
quantity of vapour. For the dispersion of contagious vapours from
volcanos see an account of the Harmattan in the notes on Chunda, Vol. II.]

2. "Where with soft fires in unextinguish'd urns,
Cauldron'd in rock, innocuous Lava burns;
On the bright lake YOUR gelid hands distil
160 In pearly mowers the parsimonious rill;
And, as aloft the curling vapours rise
Through the cleft roof, ambitious for the skies,
In vaulted hills condense the tepid steams,
And pour to HEALTH the medicated streams.
165 --So in green vales amid her mountains bleak
BUXTONIA smiles, the Goddess-Nymyh of Peak;
Deep in warm waves, and pebbly baths she dwells,
And calls HYGEIA to her sainted wells.

[_Buxtonia smiles_. l. 166. Some arguments are mentioned in the note on
Fucus Vol. II. to shew that the warm springs of this country do not
arise from the decomposition of pyrites near the surface of the earth,
but that they are produced by steam rising up the fissures of the
mountains from great depths, owing to water falling on subterraneous
fires, and that this steam is condensed between the strata of the
incumbent mountains and collected into springs. For further proofs on
this subject the reader is referred to a Letter from Dr. Darwin in Mr.
Pilkington's View of Derbyshire, Vol I. p. 256.]

"Hither in sportive bands bright DEVON leads
170 Graces and Loves from Chatsworth's flowery meads.--
Charm'd round the NYMPH, they climb the rifted rocks;
And steep in mountain-mist their golden locks;
On venturous step her sparry caves explore,
And light with radiant eyes her realms of ore;
175 --Oft by her bubbling founts, and shadowy domes,
In gay undress the fairy legion roams,
Their dripping palms in playful malice fill,
Or taste with ruby lip the sparkling rill;
Croud round her baths, and, bending o'er the side,
180 Unclasp'd their sandals, and their zones untied,
Dip with gay fear the shuddering foot undress'd,
And quick retract it to the fringed vest;
Or cleave with brandish'd arms the lucid stream,
And sob, their blue eyes twinkling in the steam.
185 --High o'er the chequer'd vault with transient glow
Bright lustres dart, as dash the waves below;
And Echo's sweet responsive voice prolongs
The dulcet tumult of their silver tongues.--
O'er their flush'd cheeks uncurling tresses flow,
190 And dew-drops glitter on their necks of snow;
Round each fair Nymph her dropping mantle clings,
And Loves emerging shake their showery wings.

[_And sob, their blue eyes_. l. 184. The bath at Buxton being of 82
degrees of heat is called a warm bath, and is so compared with common
spring-water which possesses but 48 degrees of heat, but is nevertheless
a cold bath compared to the heat of the body which is 98. On going into
this bath there is therefore always a chill perceived at the first
immersion, but after having been in it a minute the chill ceases and a
sensation of warmth succeeds though the body continues to be immersed in
the water. The cause of this curious phenomenon is to be looked for in
the laws of animal sensation and not from any properties of heat. When a
person goes from clear day-light into an obscure room for a while it
appears gloomy, which gloom however in a little time ceases, and the
deficiency of light becomes no longer perceived. This is not solely
owing to the enlargement of the iris of the eye, since that is performed
in an instant, but to this law of sensation, that when a less stimulus
is applied (within certain bounds) the sensibility increases. Thus at
going into a bath as much colder than the body as that of Buxton, the
diminution of heat on the skin is at first perceived, but in about a
minute the sensibility to heat increases and the nerves of the skin are
equally excited by the lessened stimulus. The sensation of warmth at
emerging from a cold-bath, and the pain called the hot-ach, after the
hands have been immersed in snow, depend on the same principle, viz. the
increased sensibility of the skin after having been previously exposed
to a stimulus less than usual.]

"Here oft her LORD surveys the rude domain,
Fair arts of Greece triumphant in his train;
195 LO! as he steps, the column'd pile ascends,
The blue roof closes, or the crescent bends;
New woods aspiring clothe their hills with green,
Smooth slope the lawns, the grey rock peeps between;
Relenting Nature gives her hand to Taste,
200 And Health and Beauty crown the laughing waste.

[_Here oft her Lord_. l. 193. Alluding to the magnificent and beautiful
crescent, and superb stables lately erected at Buxton for the
accomodation of the company by the Duke of Devonshire; and to the
plantations with which he has decorated the surrounding mountains.]

VI. "NYMPHS! YOUR bright squadrons watch with chemic eyes
The cold-elastic vapours, as they rise;
With playful force arrest them as they pass,
And to _pure_ AIR betroth the _flaming_ GAS.
205 Round their translucent forms at once they fling
Their rapturous arms, with silver bosoms cling;
In fleecy clouds their fluttering wings extend,
Or from the skies in lucid showers descend;
Whence rills and rivers owe their secret birth,
210 And Ocean's hundred arms infold the earth.

[_And to pure air_. l. 204. Until very lately water was esteemed a
simple element, nor are all the most celebrated chemists of Europe yet
converts to the new opinion of its decomposition. Mr. Lavoisier and
others of the French school have most ingeniously endeavoured to shew
that water consists of pure air, called by them oxygene, and of
inflammable air, called hydrogene, with as much of the matter of heat,
or calorique, as is necessary to preserve them in the form of gas. Gas
is distinguished from steam by its preserving its elasticity under the
pressure of the atmosphere, and in the greatest degrees of cold yet
known. The history of the progress of this great discovery is detailed
in the Memoires of the Royal Academy for 1781, and the experimental
proofs of it are delivered in Lavoisier's Elements of Chemistry. The
results of which are that water consists of eighty-five parts by weight
of oxygene, and fifteen parts by weight of hydrogene, with a sufficient
quantity of Calorique. Not only numerous chemical phenomena, but many
atmospherical and vegetable facts receive clear and beautiful
elucidation from this important analysis. In the atmosphere inflammable
air is probably perpetually uniting with vital air and producing
moisture which descends in dews and showers, while the growth of
vegetables by the assistance of light is perpetually again decomposing
the water they imbibe from the earth, and while they retain the
inflammable air for the formation of oils, wax, honey, resin, &c. they
give up the vital air to replenish the atmosphere.]

"So, robed by Beauty's Queen, with softer charms
SATURNIA woo'd the Thunderer to her arms;
O'er her fair limbs a veil of light she spread,
And bound a starry diadem on her head;
215 Long braids of pearl her golden tresses grac'd,
And the charm'd CESTUS sparkled round her waist.
--Raised o'er the woof, by Beauty's hand inwrought,
Breathes the soft Sigh, and glows the enamour'd Thought;
Vows on light wings succeed, and quiver'd Wiles,
220 Assuasive Accents, and seductive Smiles.
--Slow rolls the Cyprian car in purple pride,
And, steer'd by LOVE, ascends admiring Ide;
Climbs the green slopes, the nodding woods pervades,
Burns round the rocks, or gleams amid the shades.
225 --Glad ZEPHYR leads the train, and waves above
The barbed darts, and blazing torch of Love;
Reverts his smiling face, and pausing flings
Soft showers of roses from aurelian wings.
Delighted Fawns, in wreathes of flowers array'd,
230 With tiptoe Wood-Boys beat the chequer'd glade;
Alarmed Naiads, rising into air,
Lift o'er their silver urns their leafy hair;
Each to her oak the bashful Dryads shrink,
And azure eyes are seen through every chink.
235 --LOVE culls a flaming shaft of broadest wing,
And rests the fork upon the quivering string;
Points his arch eye aloft, with fingers strong
Draws to his curled ear the silken thong;
Loud twangs the steel, the golden arrow flies,
240 Trails a long line of lustre through the skies;
"'Tis done!" he shouts, "the mighty Monarch feels!"
And with loud laughter shakes the silver wheels;
Bends o'er the car, and whirling, as it moves,
His loosen'd bowstring, drives the rising doves.
245 --Pierced on his throne the slarting Thunderer turns,
Melts with soft sighs, with kindling rapture burns;
Clasps her fair hand, and eyes in fond amaze
The bright Intruder with enamour'd gaze.
"And leaves my Goddess, like a blooming bride,
250 "The fanes of Argos for the rocks of Ide?
"Her gorgeous palaces, and amaranth bowers,
"For cliff-top'd mountains, and aerial towers?"
He said; and, leading from her ivory seat
The blushing Beauty to his lone retreat,
255 Curtain'd with night the couch imperial shrouds,
And rests the crimson cushions upon clouds.--
Earth feels the grateful influence from above,
Sighs the soft Air, and Ocean murmurs love;
Etherial Warmth expands his brooding wing,
260 And in still showers descends the genial Spring.

[_And steer'd by love_. l. 222. The younger love, or Cupid, the son of
Venus, owes his existence and his attributes to much later times than
the Eros, or divine love, mentioned in Canto I. since the former is no
where mentioned by Homer, though so many apt opportunities of
introducing him occur in the works of that immortal bard. Bacon.]

[_And in still showers._ l. 260. The allegorical interpretation of the
very antient mythology which supposes Jupiter to represent the superior
part of the atmosphere or ether, and Juno the inferior air, and that the
conjunction of these two produces vernal showers, as alluded to in
Virgil's Georgics, is so analogous to the present important discovery of
the production of water from pure air, or oxygene, and inflammable air,
or hydrogene, (which from its greater levity probably resides over the
former,) that one should be tempted to believe that the very antient
chemists of Egypt had discovered the composition of water, and thus
represented it in their hieroglyphic figures before the invention of

In the passage of Virgil Jupiter is called ether, and descends in
prolific showers on the bosom of Juno, whence the spring succeeds and
all nature rejoices.

Tum pater omnipotens foecundis imbribus Aether
Conjugis in gremium laetae descendit, et omnes
Magnus alit, magno commixtus corpore, faetus.

Virg. Georg. Lib. II. l. 325.]

VII. "NYMPHS OF AQUATIC TASTE! whose placid smile
Breathes sweet enchantment o'er BRITANNIA'S isle;
Whose sportive touch in showers resplendent flings
Her lucid cataracts, and her bubbling springs;
265 Through peopled vales the liquid silver guides,
And swells in bright expanse her freighted tides.
YOU with nice ear, in tiptoe trains, pervade
Dim walks of morn or evening's silent shade;
Join the lone Nightingale, her woods among,
270 And roll your rills symphonious to her song;
Through fount-full dells, and wave-worn valleys move,
And tune their echoing waterfalls to love;
Or catch, attentive to the distant roar,
The pausing murmurs of the dashing shore;
275 Or, as aloud she pours her liquid strain,
Pursue the NEREID on the twilight main.
--Her playful Sea-horse woos her soft commands,
Turns his quick ears, his webbed claws expands,
His watery way with waving volutes wins,
280 Or listening librates on unmoving fins.
The Nymph emerging mounts her scaly seat,
Hangs o'er his glossy sides her silver feet,
With snow-white hands her arching veil detains,
Gives to his slimy lips the slacken'd reins,
285 Lifts to the star of Eve her eye serene,
And chaunts the birth of Beauty's radiant Queen.--
O'er her fair brow her pearly comb unfurls
Her beryl locks, and parts the waving curls,
Each tangled braid with glistening teeth unbinds
290 And with the floating treasure musks the winds.--
Thrill'd by the dulcet accents, as she sings,
The rippling wave in widening circles rings;
Night's shadowy forms along the margin gleam
With pointed ears, or dance upon the stream;
295 The Moon transported stays her bright career,
And maddening Stars shoot headlong from the sphere.

[_Her playful seahorse._ l. 277. Described form an antique gem.]

VIII. "NYMPHS! whose fair eyes with vivid lustres glow
For human weal, and melt at human woe;
Late as YOU floated on your silver shells,
300 Sorrowing and slow by DERWENT'S willowy dells;
Where by tall groves his foamy flood he steers
Through ponderous arches o'er impetuous wears,
By DERBY'S shadowy towers reflective sweeps,
And gothic grandeur chills his dusky deeps;
305 You pearl'd with Pity's drops his velvet sides,
Sigh'd in his gales, and murmur'd in his tides,
Waved o'er his fringed brink a deeper gloom,
And bow'd his alders o'er MILCENA'S tomb.

[_O'er Milcena's tomb_. l. 308. In memory of Mrs. French, a lady who to
many other elegant accomplishments added a proficiency in botany and
natural history.]

"Oft with sweet voice She led her infant-train,
310 Printing with graceful step his spangled plain,
Explored his twinkling swarms, that swim or fly,
And mark'd his florets with botanic eye.--
"Sweet bud of Spring! how frail thy transient bloom,
"Fine film," she cried, "of Nature's fairest loom!
315 "Soon Beauty fades upon its damask throne!"--
--Unconscious of the worm, that mined her own!--
--Pale are those lips, where soft caresses hung,
Wan the warm cheek, and mute the tender tongue,
Cold rests that feeling heart on Derwent's shore,
320 And those love-lighted eye-balls roll no more!

--HERE her sad Consort, stealing through the gloom
Hangs in mute anguish o'er the scutcheon'd hearse,
Or graves with trembling style the votive verse.

325 "Sexton! oh, lay beneath this sacred shrine,
When Time's cold hand shall close my aching eyes,
Oh, gently lay this wearied earth of mine,
Where wrap'd in night my loved MILCENA lies.

"So shall with purer joy my spirit move,
330 When the last trumpet thrills the caves of Death,
Catch the first whispers of my waking love,
And drink with holy kiss her kindling breath.

"The spotless Fair, with blush ethereal warm,
Shall hail with sweeter smile returning day,
335 Rise from her marble bed a brighter form,
And win on buoyant step her airy way.

"Shall bend approved, where beckoning hosts invite,
On clouds of silver her adoring knee,
Approach with Seraphim the throne of light,
340 --And BEAUTY plead with angel-tongue for Me!"

IX. "YOUR virgin trains on BRINDLEY'S cradle smiled,
And nursed with fairy-love the unletter'd child,
Spread round his pillow all your secret spells,
Pierced all your springs, and open'd all your wells.--
345 As now on grass, with glossy folds reveal'd,
Glides the bright serpent, now in flowers conceal'd;
Far shine the scales, that gild his sinuous back,
And lucid undulations mark his track;
So with strong arm immortal BRINDLEY leads
350 His long canals, and parts the velvet meads;
Winding in lucid lines, the watery mass
Mines the firm rock, or loads the deep morass,
With rising locks a thousand hills alarms,
Flings o'er a thousand streams its silver arms,
355 Feeds the long vale, the nodding woodland laves,
And Plenty, Arts, and Commerce freight the waves.
--NYMPHS! who erewhile round BRINDLEY'S early bier
On show-white bosoms shower'd the incessant tear,
Adorn his tomb!--oh, raise the marble bust,
360 Proclaim his honours, and protect his dust!
With urns inverted, round the sacred shrine
Their ozier wreaths let weeping Naiads twine;
While on the top MECHANIC GENIUS stands,
Counts the fleet waves, and balances the lands.

[_On Brindley's cradle smiled_. l. 341. The life of Mr. Brindley, whose
great abilities in the construction of canal navigation were called
forth by the patronage of the Duke of Bridgwater, may be read in Dr.
Kippis's Biographia Britannica, the excellence of his genius is visible
in every part of this island. He died at Turnhurst in Staffordshire in
1772, and ought to have a monument in the cathedral church at

365 X. "NYMPHS! YOU first taught to pierce the secret caves
Of humid earth, and lift her ponderous waves;
Bade with quick stroke the sliding piston bear
The viewless columns of incumbent air;--
Press'd by the incumbent air the floods below,
370 Through opening valves in foaming torrents flow,
Foot after foot with lessen'd impulse move,
And rising seek the vacancy above.--
So when the Mother, bending o'er his charms,
Clasps her fair nurseling in delighted arms;
375 Throws the thin kerchief from her neck of snow,
And half unveils the pearly orbs below;
With sparkling eye the blameless Plunderer owns
Her soft embraces, and endearing tones,
Seeks the salubrious fount with opening lips,
380 Spreads his inquiring hands, and smiles, and sips.

[_Lift her ponderous waves_. l. 366. The invention of the pump is of
very antient date, being ascribed to one Ctesebes an Athenian, whence it
was called by the Latins machina Ctesebiana; but it was long before it
was known that the ascent of the piston lifted the superincumbent column
of the atmosphere, and that then the pressure of the surrounding air on
the surface of the well below forced the water up into the vacuum, and
that on that account in the common lifting pump the water would rise
only about thirty-five feet, as the weight of such a column of water was
in general an equipoise to the surrounding atmosphere. The foamy
appearance of water, when the pressure of the air over it is diminished,
is owing to the expansion and escape of the air previously dissolved by
it, or existing in its pores. When a child first sucks it only presses
or champs the teat, as observed by the great Harvey, but afterwards it
learns to make an incipient vacuum in its mouth, and acts by removing
the pressure of the atmosphere from the nipple, like a pump.]

"CONNUBIAL FAIR! whom no fond transport warms
To lull your infant in maternal arms;
Who, bless'd in vain with tumid bosoms, hear
His tender wailings with unfeeling ear;
385 The soothing kiss and milky rill deny
To the sweet pouting lip, and glistening eye!--
Ah! what avails the cradle's damask roof,
The eider bolster, and embroider'd woof!--
Oft hears the gilded couch unpity'd plains,
390 And many a tear the tassel'd cushion stains!
No voice so sweet attunes his cares to rest,
So soft no pillow, as his Mother's breast!--
--Thus charm'd to sweet repose, when twilight hours
Shed their soft influence on celestial bowers,
395 The Cherub, Innocence, with smile divine
Shuts his white wings, and sleeps on Beauty's shrine.

[_Ah! what avails_. l. 387. From an elegant little poem of Mr.
Jerningham's intitled Il Latte, exhorting ladies to nurse their own

XI. "From dome to dome when flames infuriate climb,
Sweep the long street, invest the tower sublime;
Gild the tall vanes amid the astonish'd night,
400 And reddening heaven returns the sanguine light;
While with vast strides and bristling hair aloof
Pale Danger glides along the falling roof;
And Giant Terror howling in amaze
Moves his dark limbs across the lurid blaze.
405 NYMPHS! you first taught the gelid wave to rise
Hurl'd in resplendent arches to the skies;
In iron cells condensed the airy spring,
And imp'd the torrent with unfailing wing;
--On the fierce flames the shower impetuous falls,
410 And sudden darkness shrouds the shatter'd walls;
Steam, smoak, and dust in blended volumes roll,
And Night and Silence repossess the Pole.--

[_Hurl'd in resplendent arches_. l. 406. The addition of an air-cell to
machines for raising water to extinguish fire was first introduced by
Mr. Newsham of London, and is now applied to similar engines for washing
wall-trees in gardens, and to all kinds of forcing pumps, and might be
applied with advantage to lifting pumps where the water is brought from
a great distance horizontally. Another kind of machine was invented by
one Greyl, in which a vessel of water was every way dispersed by the
explosion of gun-powder lodging in the centre of it, and lighted by an
adapted match; from this idea Mr. Godfrey proposed a water-bomb of
similar construction. Dr. Hales to prevent the spreading of fire
proposed to cover the floors and stairs of the adjoining houses with
earth; Mr. Hartley proposed to prevent houses from taking fire by
covering the cieling with thin iron-plates, and Lord Mahon by a bed of
coarse mortar or plaister between the cieling and floor above it. May
not this age of chemical science discover some method of injecting or
soaking timber with lime-water and afterwards with vitriolic acid, and
thus fill its pores with alabaster? or of penetrating it with siliceous
matter, by processes similar to those of Bergman and Achard? See
Cronstadt's Mineral. 2d. edit. Vol. I. p. 222.]

"Where were ye, NYMPHS! in those disasterous hours,
Which wrap'd in flames AUGUSTA'S sinking towers?
415 Why did ye linger in your wells and groves,
When sad WOODMASON mourn'd her infant loves?
When thy fair Daughters with unheeded screams,
Ill-fated MOLESWORTH! call'd the loitering streams?--
The trembling Nymph on bloodless fingers hung
420 Eyes from the tottering wall the distant throng,
With ceaseless shrieks her sleeping friends alarms,
Drops with singed hair into her lover's arms.--
The illumin'd Mother seeks with footsteps fleet,
Where hangs the safe balcony o'er the street,
425 Wrap'd in her sheet her youngest hope suspends,
And panting lowers it to her tiptoe friends;
Again she hurries on affection's wings,
And now a third, and now a fourth, she brings;
Safe all her babes, she smooths her horrent brow,
430 And bursts through bickering flames, unscorch'd, below.
So, by her Son arraign'd, with feet unshod
O'er burning bars indignant Emma trod.

[Footnote: _Woodmason, Molesworth_. l. 416. The histories of these
unfortunate families may be seen in the Annual Register, or in the
Gentleman's Magazine.]

"E'en on the day when Youth with Beauty wed,
The flames surprized them in their nuptial bed;--
435 Seen at the opening sash with bosom bare,
With wringing hands, and dark dishevel'd hair,
The blushing Beauty with disorder'd charms
Round her fond lover winds her ivory arms;
Beat, as they clasp, their throbbing hearts with fear,
440 And many a kiss is mix'd with many a tear;--
Ah me! in vain the labouring engines pour
Round their pale limbs the ineffectual shower!--
--Then crash'd the floor, while shrinking crouds retire,
And Love and Virtue sunk amid the fire!--
445 With piercing screams afflicted strangers mourn,
And their white ashes mingle in their urn.

XII. "PELLUCID FORMS! whose crystal bosoms show
The shine of welfare, or the shade of woe;
Who with soft lips salute returning Spring,
450 And hail the Zephyr quivering on his wing;
Or watch, untired, the wintery clouds, and share
With streaming eyes my vegetable care;
Go, shove the dim mist from the mountain's brow,
Chase the white fog, which floods the vale below;
455 Melt the thick snows, that linger on the lands,
And catch the hailstones in your little hands;
Guard the coy blossom from the pelting shower,
And dash the rimy spangles from the bower;
From each chill leaf the silvery drops repel,
460 And close the timorous floret's golden bell.

[_Shove the dim mist_. l. 453. See note on l. 20 of this Canto.]

[_Catch the hail-stones_. l. 456. See note on l. 15 of this Canto.]

[_From each chill leaf_. l. 459. The upper side of the leaf is the organ
of vegetable respiration, as explained in the additional notes, No.
XXXVII, hence the leaf is liable to injury from much moisture on this
surface, and is destroyed by being smeared with oil, in these respects
resembling the lungs of animals or the spiracula of insects. To prevent
these injuries some leaves repel the dew-drops from their upper surfaces
as those of cabbages; other vegetables close the upper surfaces of their
leaves together in the night or in wet weather, as the sensitive plant;
others only hang their leaves downwards so as to shoot the wet from
them, as kidney-beans, and many trees. See note on l. 18 of this Canto.]

[_Golden bell_. l. 460. There are muscles placed about the footstalks of
the leaves or leaflets of many plants, for the purpose of closing their
upper surfaces together, or of bending them down so as to shoot off the
showers or dew-drops, as mentioned in the preceeding note. The claws of
the petals or of the divisions of the calyx of many flowers are
furnished in a similar manner with muscles, which are exerted to open or
close the corol and calyx of the flower as in tragopogon, anemone. This
action of opening and closing the leaves or flowers does not appear to
be produced simply by _irritation_ on the muscles themselves, but by the
connection of those muscles with a _sensitive_ sensorium or brain
existing in each individual bud or flower. 1st. Because many flowers
close from the defect of stimulus, not by the excess of it, as by
darkness, which is the absence of the stimulus of light; or by cold,
which is the absence of the stimulus of heat. Now the defect of heat, or
the absence of food, or of drink, affects our _sensations_, which had
been previously accustomed to a greater quantity of them; but a muscle
cannot be said to be stimulated into action by a defect of stimulus. 2.
Because the muscles around the footstalks of the subdivisions of the
leaves of the sensitive plant are exerted when any injury is offered to
the other extremity of the leaf, and some of the stamens of the flowers
of the class Syngenesia contract themselves when others are irritated.
See note on Chondrilla, Vol. II. of this work.

From this circumstance the contraction of the muscles of vegetables
seems to depend on a disagreeable _sensation_ in some distant part, and
not on the _irritation_ of the muscles themselves. Thus when a particle
of dust stimulates the ball of the eye, the eye-lids are instantly
closed, and when too much light pains the retina, the muscles of the
iris contract its aperture, and this not by any connection or consent of
the nerves of those parts, but as an effort to prevent or to remove a
disagreeable sensation, which evinces that vegetables are endued with
sensation, or that each bud has a common sensorium, and is furnished
with a brain or a central place where its nerves were connected.]

"So should young SYMPATHY, in female form,
Climb the tall rock, spectatress of the storm;
Life's sinking wrecks with secret sighs deplore,
And bleed for others' woes, Herself on shore;
465 To friendless Virtue, gasping on the strand,
Bare her warm heart, her virgin arms expand,
Charm with kind looks, with tender accents cheer,
And pour the sweet consolatory tear;
Grief's cureless wounds with lenient balms asswage,
470 Or prop with firmer staff the steps of Age;
The lifted arm of mute Despair arrest,
And snatch the dagger pointed to his breast;
Or lull to slumber Envy's haggard mien,
And rob her quiver'd shafts with hand unseen.
475 --Sound, NYMPHS OF HELICON! the trump of Fame,
And teach Hibernian echoes JONES'S name;
Bind round her polish'd brow the civic bay,
And drag the fair Philanthropist to day.--
So from secluded springs, and secret caves,
480 Her Liffy pours his bright meandering waves,
Cools the parch'd vale, the sultry mead divides,
And towns and temples star his shadowy sides.

[_Jones's name_. l. 476. A young lady who devotes a great part of an
ample fortune to well chosen acts of secret charity.]

XIII. "CALL YOUR light legions, tread the swampy heath,
Pierce with sharp spades the tremulous peat beneath;
485 With colters bright the rushy sward bisect,
And in new veins the gushing rills direct;--
So flowers shall rise in purple light array'd,
And blossom'd orchards stretch their silver shade;
Admiring glebes their amber ears unfold,
490 And Labour sleep amid the waving gold.

"Thus when young HERCULES with firm disdain
Braved the soft smiles of Pleasure's harlot train;
To valiant toils his forceful limbs assign'd,
And gave to Virtue all his mighty mind,
495 Fierce ACHELOUS rush'd from mountain-caves,
O'er sad Etolia pour'd his wasteful waves,
O'er lowing vales and bleating pastures roll'd,
Swept her red vineyards, and her glebes of gold,
Mined all her towns, uptore her rooted woods,
500 And Famine danced upon the shining floods.
The youthful Hero seized his curled crest,
And dash'd with lifted club the watery Pest;
With waving arm the billowy tumult quell'd,
And to his course the bellowing Fiend repell'd.

[_Fierce Achelous_. l. 495. The river Achelous deluged Etolia, by one of
its branches or arms, which in the antient languages are called horns,
and produced famine throughout a great tract of country, this was
represented in hieroglyphic emblems by the winding course of a serpent
and the roaring of a bull with large horns. Hercules, or the emblem of
strength, strangled the serpent, and tore off one horn from the bull;
that is, he stopped and turned the course of one arm of the river, and
restored plenty to the country. Whence the antient emblem of the horn of
plenty. Dict. par M. Danet.]

505 "Then to a Snake the finny Demon turn'd
His lengthen'd form, with scales of silver burn'd;
Lash'd with restless sweep his dragon-train,
And shot meandering o'er the affrighted plain.
The Hero-God, with giant fingers clasp'd
510 Firm round his neck, the hissing monster grasp'd;
With starting eyes, wide throat, and gaping teeth,
Curl his redundant folds, and writhe in death.

"And now a Bull, amid the flying throng
The grisly Demon foam'd, and roar'd along;
515 With silver hoofs the flowery meadows spurn'd,
Roll'd his red eye, his threatening antlers turn'd.
Dragg'd down to earth, the Warrior's victor-hands
Press'd his deep dewlap on the imprinted sands;
Then with quick bound his bended knee he fix'd
520 High on his neck, the branching horns betwixt,
Strain'd his strong arms, his sinewy shoulders bent,
And from his curled brow the twisted terror rent.
--Pleased Fawns and Nymphs with dancing step applaud,
And hang their chaplets round the resting God;
525 Link their soft hands, and rear with pausing toil
The golden trophy on the furrow'd soil;
Fill with ripe fruits, with wreathed flowers adorn,
And give to PLENTY her prolific horn.

[_Dragg'd down to earth_. l. 517. Described from an antique gem.]

XIV. "On Spring's fair lap, CERULEAN SISTERS! pour
530 From airy urns the sun-illumined shower,
Feed with the dulcet drops my tender broods,
Mellifluous flowers, and aromatic buds;
Hang from each bending grass and horrent thorn
The tremulous pearl, that glitters to the morn;
535 Or where cold dews their secret channels lave,
And Earth's dark chambers hide the stagnant wave,
O, pierce, YE NYMPHS! her marble veins, and lead
Her gushing fountains to the thirsty mead;
Wide o'er the shining vales, and trickling hills
540 Spread the bright treasure in a thousand rills.
So shall my peopled realms of Leaf and Flower
Exult, inebriate with the genial shower;
Dip their long tresses from the mossy brink,
With tufted roots the glassy currents drink;
545 Shade your cool mansions from meridian beams,
And view their waving honours in your streams.

[_Spread the bright treasure_. l. 540. The practice of flooding lands
long in use in China has been but lately introduced into this country.
Besides the supplying water to the herbage in dryer seasons, it seems to
defend it from frost in the early part of the year, and thus doubly
advances the vegetation. The waters which rise from springs passing
through marl or limestone are replete with calcareous earth, and when
thrown over morasses they deposit this earth and incrust or consolidate
the morass. This kind of earth is deposited in great quantity from the
springs at Matlock bath, and supplies the soft porous limestone of which
the houses and walls are there constructed; and has formed the whole
bank for near a mile on that side of the Derwent on which they stand.

The water of many springs contains much azotic gas, or phlogistic air,
besides carbonic gas, or fixed air, as that of Buxton and Bath; this
being set at liberty may more readily contribute to the production of
nitre by means of the putrescent matters which it is exposed to by being
spread upon the surface of the land; in the same manner as frequently
turning over heaps of manure facilitates the nitrous process by
imprisoning atmospheric air in the interstices of the putrescent
materials. Water arising by land-floods brings along with it much of the
most soluble parts of the manure from the higher lands to the lower
ones. River-water in its clear state and those springs which are called
soft are less beneficial for the purpose of watering lands, as they
contain less earthy or saline matter; and water from dissolving snow
from its slow solution brings but little earth along with it, as may be
seen by the comparative clearness of the water of snow-floods.]

"Thus where the veins their confluent branches bend,
And milky eddies with the purple blend;
The Chyle's white trunk, diverging from its source,
550 Seeks through the vital mass its shining course;
O'er each red cell, and tissued membrane spreads
In living net-work all its branching threads;
Maze within maze its tortuous path pursues,
Winds into glands, inextricable clues;
555 Steals through the stomach's velvet sides, and sips
The silver surges with a thousand lips;
Fills each fine pore, pervades each slender hair,
And drinks salubrious dew-drops from the air.

"Thus when to kneel in Mecca's awful gloom,
560 Or press with pious kiss Medina's tomb,
League after league, through many a lingering day,
Steer the swart Caravans their sultry way;
O'er sandy wastes on gasping camels toil,
Or print with pilgrim-steps the burning soil;
565 If from lone rocks a sparkling rill descend,
O'er the green brink the kneeling nations bend,
Bathe the parch'd lip, and cool the feverish tongue,
And the clear lake reflects the mingled throng."

The Goddess paused,--the listening bands awhile
570 Still seem to hear, and dwell upon her smile;
Then with soft murmur sweep in lucid trains
Down the green slopes, and o'er the pebbly plains,
To each bright stream on silver sandals glide,
Reflective fountain, and tumultuous tide.

575 So shoot the Spider-broods at breezy dawn
Their glittering net-work o'er the autumnal lawn;
From blade to blade connect with cordage fine
The unbending grass, and live along the line;
Or bathe unwet their oily forms, and dwell
580 With feet repulsive on the dimpling well.

So when the North congeals his watery mass,
Piles high his snows, and floors his seas with glass;
While many a Month, unknown to warmer rays,
Marks its slow chronicle by lunar days;
585 Stout youths and ruddy damsels, sportive train,
Leave the white soil, and rush upon the main;
From isle to isle the moon-bright squadrons stray,
And win in easy curves their graceful way;
On step alternate borne, with balance nice
590 Hang o'er the gliding steel, and hiss along the ice.

_Argument of the Fourth Canto._

Address to the Sylphs. I. Trade-winds. Monsoons. N.E. and S.W. winds.
Land and sea breezes. Irregular winds. 9. II. Production of vital air
from oxygene and light. The marriage of Cupid and Psyche. 25. III. 1.
Syroc. Simoom. Tornado. 63. 2. Fog. Contagion. Story of Thyrsis and
Aegle. Love and Death. 79. IV. 1. Barometer. Air-pump. 127. 2. Air-
balloon of Mongulfier. Death of Rozier. Icarus. 143. V. Discoveries of
Dr. Priestley. Evolutions and combinations of pure air. Rape of
Proserpine. 165. VI. Sea-balloons, or houses constructed to move under
the sea. Death of Mr. Day. Of Mr. Spalding. Of Captain Pierce and his
Daughters. 195. VII. Sylphs of music. Cecelia singing. Cupid with a lyre
riding upon a lion. 233. VIII. Destruction of Senacherib's army by a
pestilential wind. Shadow of Death. 263. IX. 1. Wish to possess the
secret of changing the course of the winds. 305. 2. Monster devouring
air subdued by Mr. Kirwan. 321. X. 1. Seeds suspended in their pods.
Stars discovered by Mr. Herschel. Destruction and resuscitation of all
things. 351. 2. Seeds within seeds, and bulbs within bulbs. Picture on
the retina of the eye. Concentric strata of the earth. The great seed.
381. 3. The root, pith, lobes, plume, calyx, coral, sap, blood, leaves
respire and absorb light. The crocodile in its egg. 409. XI. Opening of
the flower. The petals, style, anthers, prolific dust. Transmutation of
the silkworm. 441. XII. 1. Leaf-buds changed into flower-buds by
wounding the bark, or strangulating a part of the branch. 461. 2.
Ingrafting. Aaron's rod pullulates. 477. XIII. 1. Insects on trees.
Humming-bird alarmed by the spider-like apearance of Cyprepedia. 491. 2.
Diseases of vegetables. Scratch on unnealed glass. 511. XIV. 1. Tender
flowers. Amaryllis, fritillary, erythrina, mimosa, cerea. 523. 2. Vines.
Oranges. Diana's trees. Kew garden. The royal family. 541. XV. Offering
to Hygeia. 587. Departure of the Goddess. 629.



As when at noon in Hybla's fragrant bowers
CACALIA opens all her honey'd flowers;
Contending swarms on bending branches cling,
And nations hover on aurelian wing;
5 So round the GODDESS, ere she speaks, on high
Impatient SYLPHS in gawdy circlets fly;
Quivering in air their painted plumes expand,
And coloured shadows dance upon the land.

[_Cacalia opens_. l. 2. The importance of the nectarium or honey-gland
in the vegetable economy is seen from the very complicated apparatus,
which nature has formed in some flowers for the preservation of their
honey from insects, as in the aconites or monkshoods; in other plants
instead of a great apparatus for its protection a greater secretion of
it is produced that thence a part may be spared to the depredation of
insects. The cacalia suaveolens produces so much honey that on some days
it may be smelt at a great distance from the plant. I remember once
counting on one of these plants besides bees of various kinds without
number, above two hundred painted butterflies, which gave it the
beautiful appearance of being covered with additional flowers.]

I. "SYLPHS! YOUR light troops the tropic Winds confine,
10 And guide their streaming arrows to the Line;
While in warm floods ecliptic breezes rise,
And sink with wings benumb'd in colder skies.
You bid Monsoons on Indian seas reside,
And veer, as moves the sun, their airy tide;
15 While southern gales o'er western oceans roll,
And Eurus steals his ice-winds from the Pole.
Your playful trains, on sultry islands born,
Turn on fantastic toe at eve and morn;
With soft susurrant voice alternate sweep
20 Earth's green pavilions and encircling deep.
OR in itinerant cohorts, borne sublime
On tides of ether, float from clime to clime;
O'er waving Autumn bend your airy ring,
Or waft the fragrant bosom of the Spring.

[_The tropic winds_. l. 9. See additional notes, No. XXXIII.]

25 II. "When Morn, escorted by the dancing Hours,
O'er the bright plains her dewy lustre showers;
Till from her sable chariot Eve serene
Drops the dark curtain o'er the brilliant scene;
You form with chemic hands the airy surge,
30 Mix with broad vans, with shadowy tridents urge.
SYLPHS! from each sun-bright leaf, that twinkling shakes
O'er Earth's green lap, or shoots amid her lakes,
Your playful bands with simpering lips invite,
And wed the enamour'd OXYGENE to LIGHT.--
35 Round their white necks with fingers interwove,
Cling the fond Pair with unabating love;
Hand link'd in hand on buoyant step they rise,
And soar and glisten in unclouded skies.
Whence in bright floods the VITAL AIR expands,
40 And with concentric spheres involves the lands;
Pervades the swarming seas, and heaving earths,
Where teeming Nature broods her myriad births;
Fills the fine lungs of all that _breathe_ or _bud_,
Warms the new heart, and dyes the gushing blood;
45 With Life's first spark inspires the organic frame,
And, as it wastes, renews the subtile flame.

[_The enamour'd oxygene_. l. 34. The common air of the atmosphere
appears by the analysis of Dr. Priestley and other philosophers to
consist of about three parts of an elastic fluid unfit for respiration
or combustion, called azote by the French school, and about one fourth
of pure vital air fit for the support of animal life and of combustion,
called oxygene. The principal source of the azote is probably from the
decomposition of all vegetable and animal matters by putrefaction and
combustion; the principal source of vital air or oxygene is perhaps from
the decomposition of water in the organs of vegetables by means of the
sun's light. The difficulty of injecting vegetable vessels seems to shew
that their perspirative pores are much less than those of animals, and
that the water which constitutes their perspiration is so divided at the
time of its exclusion that by means of the sun's light it becomes
decomposed, the inflammable air or hydrogene, which is one of its
constituent parts, being retained to form the oil, resin, wax, honey,
&c. of the vegetable economy; and the other part, which united with
light or heat becomes vital air or oxygene gas, rises into the
atmosphere and replenishes it with the food of life.

Dr. Priestley has evinced by very ingenious experiments that the blood
gives out phlogiston, and receives vital air, or oxygene-gas by the
lungs. And Dr. Crawford has shewn that the blood acquires heat from this
vital air in respiration. There is however still a something more subtil
than heat, which must be obtained in respiration from the vital air, a
something which life can not exist a few minutes without, which seems
necessary to the vegetable as well as to the animal world, and which as
no organized vessels can confine it, requires perpetually to be renewed.
See note on Canto I. l. 401.]

"So pure, so soft, with sweet attraction shone
Fair PSYCHE, kneeling at the ethereal throne;
Won with coy smiles the admiring court of Jove,
50 And warm'd the bosom of unconquer'd LOVE.--
Beneath a moving shade of fruits and flowers
Onward they march to HYMEN'S sacred bowers;
With lifted torch he lights the festive train,
Sublime, and leads them in his golden chain;
55 Joins the fond pair, indulgent to their vows,
And hides with mystic veil their blushing brows.
Round their fair forms their mingling arms they fling,
Meet with warm lip, and clasp with rustling wing.--
--Hence plastic Nature, as Oblivion whelms
60 Her fading forms, repeoples all her realms;
Soft Joys disport on purple plumes unfurl'd,
And Love and Beauty rule the willing world.

[_Fair Psyche_. l. 48. Described from an antient gem on a fine onyx in
possession of the Duke of Marlborough, of which there is a beautiful
print in Bryant's Mythol. Vol II. p. 392. And from another antient gem
of Cupid and Psyche embracing, of which there is a print in Spence's
Polymetis. p. 82.]

[_Repeoples all her realms_. l. 60.

Quae mare navigerum et terras frugiferentes
Concelebras; per te quoniam genus omne animantum
Concipitur, visitque exortum lumina folis. Lucret.]

III. 1. "SYLPHS! Your bold myriads on the withering heath
Stay the fell SYROC'S suffocative breath;
65 Arrest SIMOOM in his realms of sand,
The poisoned javelin balanced in his hand;--
Fierce on blue streams he rides the tainted air,
Points his keen eye, and waves his whistling hair;
While, as he turns, the undulating soil
70 Rolls in red waves, and billowy deserts boil.

[_Arrest Simoom_. l. 65. "At eleven o'clock while we were with great
pleasure contemplating the rugged tops of Chiggre, where we expected to
solace ourselves with plenty of good water, Idris cried out with a loud
voice, "fall upon your faces, for here is the simoom!" I saw from the
S.E. a haze come in colour like the purple part of a rainbow, but not so
compressed or thick; it did not occupy twenty yards in breadth, and was
about twelve feet high from the ground. It was a kind of a blush upon
the air, and it moved very rapidly, for I scarce could turn to fall upon
the ground with my head to the northward, when I felt the heat of its
current plainly upon my face. We all lay flat upon the ground, as if
dead, till Idris told us it was blown over. The meteor, or purple haze,
which I saw was indeed passed; but the light air that still blew was of
heat to threaten suffocation. For my part I found distinctly in my
breast, that I had imbibed a part of it; nor was I free of an asthmatic
sensation till I had been some months in Italy." Bruce's Travels. Vol.
IV. p. 557.

It is difficult to account for the narrow track of this pestilential
wind, which is said not to exceed twenty yards, and for its small
elevation of twelve feet. A whirlwind will pass forwards, and throw down
an avenue of trees by its quick revolution as it passes, but nothing
like a whirling is described as happening in these narrow streams of
air, and whirlwinds ascend to greater heights. There seems but one known
manner in which this channel of air could be effected, and that is by

The volcanic origin of these winds is mentioned in the note on Chunda in
Vol. II. of this work; it must here be added, that Professor Vairo at
Naples found, that during the eruption of Vesuvius perpendicular iron
bars were electric; and others have observed suffocating damps to attend
these eruptions. Ferber's Travels in Italy, p. 133. And lastly, that a
current of air attends the passage of electric matter, as is seen in
presenting an electrized point to the flame of a candle. In Mr. Bruce's
account of this simoom, it was in its course over a quite dry desert of
sand, (and which was in consequence unable to conduct an electric stream
into the earth beneath it,) to some moist rocks at but a few miles
distance; and thence would appear to be a stream of electricity from a
volcano attended with noxious air; and as the bodies of Mr. Bruce and
his attendants were insulated on the sand, they would not be sensible of
their increased electricity, as it passed over them; to which it may be
added, that a sulphurous or suffocating sensation is said to accompany
flames of lightning, and even strong sparks of artificial electricity.
In the above account of the simoom, a great redness in the air is said
to be a certain sign of its approach, which may be occasioned by the
eruption of flame from a distant volcano in these extensive and
impenetrable deserts of sand. See Note on l. 294 of this Canto.]

You seize TORNADO by his locks of mist,
Burst his dense clouds, his wheeling spires untwist;
Wide o'er the West when borne on headlong gales,
Dark as meridian night, the Monster sails,
75 Howls high in air, and shakes his curled brow,
Lashing with serpent-train the waves below,
Whirls his black arm, the forked lightning flings,
And showers a deluge from his demon-wings.

[_Tornado's_. l. 71. See additional notes, No. XXXIII.]

2. "SYLPHS! with light shafts YOU pierce the drowsy FOG,
80 That lingering slumbers on the sedge-wove bog,
With webbed feet o'er midnight meadows creeps,
Or flings his hairy limbs on stagnant deeps.
YOU meet CONTAGION issuing from afar,
And dash the baleful conqueror from his car;
85 When, Guest of DEATH! from charnel vaults he steals,
And bathes in human gore his armed wheels.

[_On stagnant deeps_. l. 82. All contagious miasmata originate either
from animal bodies, as those of the small pox, or from putrid morasses;
these latter produce agues in the colder climates, and malignant fevers
in the warmer ones. The volcanic vapours which cause epidemic coughs,
are to be ranked amongst poisons, rather than amongst the miasmata,
which produce contagious diseases.]

"Thus when the PLAGUE, upborne on Belgian air,
Look'd through the mist and shook his clotted hair,
O'er shrinking nations steer'd malignant clouds,
90 And rain'd destruction on the gasping crouds.
The beauteous AEGLE felt the venom'd dart,
Slow roll'd her eye, and feebly throbb'd her heart;
Each fervid sigh seem'd shorter than the last,
And starting Friendship shunn'd her, as she pass'd.
95 --With weak unsteady step the fainting Maid
Seeks the cold garden's solitary shade,
Sinks on the pillowy moss her drooping head,
And prints with lifeless limbs her leafy bed.
--On wings of Love her plighted Swain pursues,
100 Shades her from winds, and shelters her from dews,
Extends on tapering poles the canvas roof,
Spreads o'er the straw-wove matt the flaxen woof,
Sweet buds and blossoms on her bolster strows,
And binds his kerchief round her aching brows;
105 Sooths with soft kiss, with tender accents charms,
And clasps the bright Infection in his arms.--
With pale and languid smiles the grateful Fair
Applauds his virtues, and rewards his care;
Mourns with wet cheek her fair companions fled
110 On timorous step, or number'd with the dead;
Calls to its bosom all its scatter'd rays,
And pours on THYRSIS the collected blaze;
Braves the chill night, caressing and caress'd,
And folds her Hero-lover to her breast.--
115 Less bold, LEANDER at the dusky hour
Eyed, as he swam, the far love-lighted tower;
Breasted with struggling arms the tossing wave,
And sunk benighted in the watery grave.
Less bold, TOBIAS claim'd the nuptial bed,
120 Where seven fond Lovers by a Fiend had bled;
And drove, instructed by his Angel-Guide,
The enamour'd Demon from the fatal bride.--
--SYLPHS! while your winnowing pinions fan'd the air,
And shed gay visions o'er the sleeping pair;
125 LOVE round their couch effused his rosy breath,
And with his keener arrows conquer'd DEATH.

[_The beauteous Aegle_. l. 91. When the plague raged in Holland in 1636,
a young girl was seized with it, had three carbuncles, and was removed
to a garden, where her lover, who was betrothed to her, attended her as
a nurse, and slept with her as his wife. He remained uninfected, and she
recovered, and was married to him. The story is related by Vinc.
Fabricius in the Misc. Cur. Ann. II. Obs. 188.]

IV. 1. "You charm'd, indulgent SYLPHS! their learned toil,
And crown'd with fame your TORRICELL, and BOYLE;
Taught with sweet smiles, responsive to their prayer,
130 The spring and pressure of the viewless air.
--How up exhausted tubes bright currents flow
Of liquid silver from the lake below,
Weigh the long column of the incumbent skies,
And with the changeful moment fall and rise.
135 --How, as in brazen pumps the pistons move,
The membrane-valve sustains the weight above;
Stroke follows stroke, the gelid vapour falls,
And misty dew-drops dim the crystal walls;
Rare and more rare expands the fluid thin,
140 And Silence dwells with Vacancy within.--
So in the mighty Void with grim delight
Primeval Silence reign'd with ancient Night.

[_Torricell and Boyle_. l. 128. The pressure of the atmosphere was
discovered by Torricelli, a disciple of Galileo, who had previously
found that the air had weight. Dr. Hook and M. Du Hamel ascribe the
invention of the air-pump to Mr. Boyle, who however confesses he had
some hints concerning its construction from De Guerick. The vacancy at
the summit of the barometer is termed the Torricellian vacuum, and the
exhausted receiver of an air pump the Boylean vacuum, in honour of these
two philosophers.

The mist and descending dew which appear at first exhausting the
receiver of an air-pump, are explained in the Phil. Trans. Vol. LXXVIII.
from the cold produced by the expansion of air. For a thermometer placed
in the receiver sinks some degrees, and in a very little time, as soon
as a sufficient quantity of heat can be acquired from the surrounding
bodies, the dew becomes again taken up. See additional notes, No. VII.
Mr. Saussure observed on placing his hygrometer in a receiver of an air-
pump, that though on beginning to exhaust it the air became misty, and
parted with its moisture, yet the hair of his hygrometer contracted, and
the instrument pointed to greater dryness. This unexpected occurrence is
explained by M. Monge (Annales de Chymie, Tom. V.) to depend on the want
of the usual pressure of the atmosphere to force the aqueous particles
into the pores of the hair; and M. Saussure supposes, that his vesicular
vapour requires more time to be redissolved, than is necessary to dry
the hair of his thermometer. Essais sur l'Hygrom. p. 226. but I suspect
there is a less hypothetical way of understanding it; when a colder body
is brought into warm and moist air, (as a bottle of spring-water for
instance,) a steam is quickly collected on its surface; the contrary
occurs when a warmer body is brought into cold and damp air, it
continues free from dew so long as it continues warm; for it warms the
atmosphere around it, and renders it capable of receiving instead of
parting with moisture. The moment the air becomes rarefied in the
receiver of the air-pump it becomes colder, as appears by the
thermometer, and deposits its vapour; but the hair of Mr. Saussure's
hygrometer is now warmer than the air in which it is immersed, and in
consequence becomes dryer than before, by warming the air which
immediately surrounds it, a part of its moisture evaporating along with
its heat.]

2. "SYLPHS! your soft voices, whispering from the skies,
Bade from low earth the bold MONGULFIER rise;
145 Outstretch'd his buoyant ball with airy spring,
And bore the Sage on levity of wing;--
Where were ye, SYLPHS! when on the ethereal main
Young ROSIERE launch'd, and call'd your aid in vain?
Fair mounts the light balloon, by Zephyr driven,
150 Parts the thin clouds, and sails along the heaven;
Higher and yet higher the expanding bubble flies,
Lights with quick flash, and bursts amid the skies.--
Headlong He rushes through the affrighted air
With limbs distorted, and dishevel'd hair,
155 Whirls round and round, the flying croud alarms,
And DEATH receives him in his sable arms!--
So erst with melting wax and loosen'd strings
Sunk hapless ICARUS on unfaithful wings;
His scatter'd plumage danced upon the wave,
160 And sorrowing Mermaids deck'd his watery grave;
O'er his pale corse their pearly sea-flowers shed,
And strew'd with crimson moss his marble bed;
Struck in their coral towers the pausing bell,
And wide in ocean toll'd his echoing knell.

[_Young Rosiere launch'd_. l. 148. M. Pilatre du Rosiere with a M.
Romain rose in a balloon from Boulogne in June 1785, and after having
been about a mile high for about half an hour the balloon took fire, and
the two adventurers were dashed to pieces on their fall to the ground.
Mr. Rosiere was a philosopher of great talents and activity, joined with
such urbanity and elegance of manners, as conciliated the affections of
his acquaintance and rendered his misfortune universally lamented.
Annual Register for 1784 and 1785, p. 329.]

[_And wide in ocean_. l. 164. Denser bodies propagate vibration or sound
better than rarer ones; if two stones be struck together under the
water, they may be heard a mile or two by any one whose head is immersed
at that distance, according to an experiment of Dr. Franklin. If the ear
be applied to one end of a long beam of timber, the stroke of a pin at
the other end becomes sensible; if a poker be suspended in the middle of
a garter, each end of which is pressed against the ear, the least
percussions on the poker give great sounds. And I am informed by laying
the ear on the ground the tread of a horse may be discerned at a great
distance in the night. The organs of hearing belonging to fish are for
this reason much less complicated than of quadrupeds, as the fluid they
are immersed in so much better conveys its vibrations. And it is
probable that some shell-fish which have twisted shells like the cochlea
and semicircular canals of the ears of men and quadrupeds may have no
appropriated organ for perceiving the vibrations of the element they
live in, but may by their spiral form be in a manner all ear.]

165 V. "SYLPHS! YOU, retiring to sequester'd bowers,
Where oft your PRIESTLEY woos your airy powers,
On noiseless step or quivering pinion glide,
As sits the Sage with Science by his side;
To his charm'd eye in gay undress appear,
170 Or pour your secrets on his raptured ear.
How nitrous Gas from iron ingots driven
Drinks with red lips the purest breath of heaven;
How, while Conferva from its tender hair
Gives in bright bubbles empyrean air;
175 The crystal floods phlogistic ores calcine,
And the pure ETHER marries with the MINE.

[_Where oft your Priestley_. l. 166. The fame of Dr. Priestley is known
in every part of the earth where science has penetrated. His various
discoveries respecting the analysis of the atmosphere, and the
production of variety of new airs or gasses, can only be clearly
understood by reading his Experiments on Airs, (3 vols. octavo, Johnson,
London.) the following are amongst his many discoveries. 1. The
discovery of nitrous and dephlogisticated airs. 2. The exhibition of the
acids and alkalies in the form of air. 3. Ascertaining the purity of
respirable air by nitrous air. 4. The restoration of vitiated air by
vegetation. 5. The influence of light to enable vegetables to yield pure
air. 6. The conversion by means of light of animal and vegetable
substances, that would otherwise become putrid and offensive, into
nourishment of vegetables. 7. The use of respiration by the blood
parting with phlogiston, and imbibing dephlogisticated air.

The experiments here alluded to are, 1. Concerning the production of
nitrous gas from dissolving iron and many other metals in nitrous acid,
which though first discovered by Dr. Hales (Static. Ess. Vol. I. p. 224)
was fully investigated, and applied to the important purpose of
distinguishing the purity of atmospheric air by Dr. Priestley. When
about two measures of common air and one of nitrous gas are mixed
together a red effervescence takes place, and the two airs occupy about
one fourth less space than was previously occupied by the common air

2. Concerning the green substance which grows at the bottom of
reservoirs of water, which Dr. Priestley discovered to yield much pure
air when the sun shone on it. His method of collecting this air is by
placing over the green substance, which he believes to be a vegetable of
the genus conferva, an inverted bell-glass previously filled with water,
which subsides as the air arises; it has since been found that all
vegetables give up pure air from their leaves, when the sun shines upon
them, but not in the night, which may be owing to the sleep of the

3. The third refers to the great quantity of pure air contained in the
calces of metals. The calces were long known to weigh much more than the
metallic bodies before calcination, insomuch that 100 pounds of lead
will produce 112 pounds of minium; the ore of manganese, which is always
found near the surface of the earth, is replete with pure air, which is
now used for the purpose of bleaching. Other metals when exposed to the
atmosphere attract the pure air from it, and become calces by its
combination, as zinc, lead, iron; and increase in weight in proportion
to the air, which they imbibe.]

"So in Sicilia's ever-blooming shade
When playful PROSERPINE from CERES stray'd,
Led with unwary step her virgin trains
180 O'er Etna's steeps, and Enna's golden plains;
Pluck'd with fair hand the silver-blossom'd bower,
And purpled mead,--herself a fairer flower;
Sudden, unseen amid the twilight glade,
Rush'd gloomy DIS, and seized the trembling maid.--
185 Her starting damsels sprung from mossy seats,
Dropp'd from their gauzy laps the gather'd sweets,
Clung round the struggling Nymph, with piercing cries,
Pursued the chariot, and invoked the skies;--
Pleased as he grasps her in his iron arms,
190 Frights with soft sighs, with tender words alarms,
The wheels descending roll'd in smoky rings,
Infernal Cupids flapp'd their demon wings;
Earth with deep yawn received the Fair, amaz'd,
And far in Night celestial Beauty blaz'd.

[_When playful Proserpine_. l. 178. The fable of Proserpine's being
seized by Pluto as she was gathering flowers, is explained by Lord Bacon
to signify the combination or marriage of etherial spirit with earthly
materials. Bacon's Works, Vol. V. p. 470. edit. 4to. Lond. 1778. This
allusion is still more curiously exact, from the late discovery of pure
air being given up from vegetables, and that then in its unmixed state
it more readily combines with metallic or inflammable bodies. From these
fables which were probably taken from antient hieroglyphics there is
frequently reason to believe that the Egyptians possessed much chemical
knowledge, which for want of alphabetical writing perished with their

195 VI. "Led by the Sage, Lo! Britain's sons shall guide
Huge SEA-BALLOONS beneath the tossing tide;
The diving castles, roof'd with spheric glass,
Ribb'd with strong oak, and barr'd with bolts of brass,
Buoy'd with pure air shall endless tracks pursue,
200 And PRIESTLEY'S hand the vital flood renew.--
Then shall BRITANNIA rule the wealthy realms,
Which Ocean's wide insatiate wave o'erwhelms;
Confine in netted bowers his scaly flocks,
Part his blue plains, and people all his rocks.
205 Deep, in warm waves beneath the Line that roll,
Beneath the shadowy ice-isles of the Pole,
Onward, through bright meandering vales, afar,
Obedient Sharks shall trail her sceptred car,
With harness'd necks the pearly flood disturb,
210 Stretch the silk rein, and champ the silver curb;
Pleased round her triumph wondering Tritons play,
And Seamaids hail her on the watery way.
--Oft shall she weep beneath the crystal waves
O'er shipwreck'd lovers weltering in their graves;
215 Mingling in death the Brave and Good behold
With slaves to glory, and with slaves to gold;
Shrin'd in the deep shall DAY and SPALDING mourn,
Each in his treacherous bell, sepulchral urn!--
Oft o'er thy lovely daughters, hapless PIERCE!
220 Her sighs shall breathe, her sorrows dew their hearse.--
With brow upturn'd to Heaven, "WE WILL NOT PART!"
He cried, and clasp'd them to his aching heart,--
--Dash'd in dread conflict on the rocky grounds,
Crash the mock'd masts, the staggering wreck rebounds;
225 Through gaping seams the rushing deluge swims,
Chills their pale bosoms, bathes their shuddering limbs,
Climbs their white shoulders, buoys their streaming hair,
And the last sea-shriek bellows in the air.--
Each with loud sobs her tender sire caress'd,
230 And gasping strain'd him closer to her breast!--
--Stretch'd on one bier they sleep beneath the brine,
And their white bones with ivory arms intwine!

[_Led by the Sage_. l. 195. Dr. Priestley's discovery of the production
of pure air from such variety of substances will probably soon be
applied to the improvement of the diving bell, as the substances which
contain vital air in immense quantities are of little value as manganese
and minium. See additional notes, No. XXXIII. In every hundred weight of
minium there is combined about twelve pounds of pure air, now as sixty
pounds of water are about a cubic foot, and as air is eight hundred
times lighter than water, five hundred weight of minium will produce
eight hundred cubic feet of air or about six thousand gallons. Now, as
this is at least thrice as pure as atmospheric air, a gallon of it may
be supposed to serve for three minutes respiration for one man. At
present the air can not be set at liberty from minium by vitriolic acid
without the application of some heat, this is however very likely soon
to be discovered, and will then enable adventurers to journey beneath
the ocean in large inverted ships or diving balloons.

Mr. Boyle relates, that Cornelius Drebelle contrived not only a vessel
to be rowed under water, but also a liquor to be caried in that vessel,
which would supply the want of fresh air. The vessel was made by order
of James I. and carried twelve rowers besides passengers. It was tried
in the river Thames, and one of the persons who was in that submarine
voyage told the particulars of the experiments to a person who related
them to Mr. Boyle. Annual Register for 1774, p. 248.]

[_Day and Spalding mourn_. l. 217. Mr. Day perished in a diving bell, or
diving boat, of his own construction at Plymouth in June 1774, in which
he was to have continued for a wager twelve hours one hundred feet deep
in water, and probably perished from his not possessing all the
hydrostatic knowledge that was necessary. See note on Ulva, Vol. II. of
this work. See Annual Register for 1774. p. 245.

Mr. Spalding was professionally ingenious in the art of constructing and
managing the diving bell, and had practised the business many years with
success. He went down accompanied by one of his young men twice to view
the wreck of the Imperial East-Indiaman at the Kish bank in Ireland. On
descending the third time in June, 1783, they remained about an hour
under water, and had two barrels of air sent down to them, but on the
signals from below not being again repeated, after a certain time, they
were drawn up by their assistants and both found dead in the bell.
Annual Register for 1783, p. 206. These two unhappy events may for a
time check the ardor of adventurers in traversing the bottom of the
ocean, but it is probable in another half century it may be safer to
travel under the ocean than over it, since Dr. Priestley's discovery of
procuring pure air in such great abundance from the calces of metals.]

[_Hapless Pierce!_ l, 219. The Haslewell East-Indiaman, outward bound,
was wrecked off Seacomb in the isle of Purbec on the 6th of January,
1786; when Capt. Pierce, the commander, with two young ladies, his
daughters, and the greatest part of the crew and passengers perished in
the sea. Some of the officers and about seventy seamen escaped with
great difficulty on the rocks, but Capt. Pierce finding it was
impossible to save the lives of the young ladies refused to quit the
ship, and perished with them.]

"VII. SYLPHS OF NICE EAR! with beating wings you guide
The fine vibrations of the aerial tide;
235 Join in sweet cadences the measured words,
Or stretch and modulate the trembling cords.
You strung to melody the Grecian lyre,
Breathed the rapt song, and fan'd the thought of fire,
Or brought in combinations, deep and clear,
240 Immortal harmony to HANDEL'S ear.--
YOU with soft breath attune the vernal gale,
When breezy evening broods the listening vale;
Or wake the loud tumultuous sounds, that dwell
In Echo's many-toned diurnal shell.
245 YOU melt in dulcet chords, when Zephyr rings
The Eolian Harp, and mingle all its strings;
Or trill in air the soft symphonious chime,
When rapt CECILIA lifts her eye sublime,
Swell, as she breathes, her bosoms rising snow,
250 O'er her white teeth in tuneful accents slow,
Through her fair lips on whispering pinions move,
And form the tender sighs, that kindle love!

"So playful LOVE on Ida's flowery sides
With ribbon-rein the indignant Lion guides;
255 Pleased on his brinded back the lyre he rings,
And shakes delirious rapture from the strings;
Slow as the pausing Monarch stalks along,
Sheaths his retractile claws, and drinks the song;
Soft Nymphs on timid step the triumph view,
260 And listening Fawns with beating hoofs pursue;
With pointed ears the alarmed forest starts,
And Love and Music soften savage hearts.

[_Indignant lion guides_. l. 254. Described from an antient gem,
expressive of the combined power of love and music, in the Museum

VIII. "SYLPHS! YOUR bold hosts, when Heaven with justice dread
Calls the red tempest round the guilty head,
265 Fierce at his nod assume vindictive forms,
And launch from airy cars the vollied storms.--
From Ashur's vales when proud SENACHERIB trod,
Pour'd his swoln heart, defied the living GOD,
Urged with incessant shouts his glittering powers;
270 And JUDAH shook through all her massy towers;
Round her sad altars press'd the prostrate crowd,
Hosts beat their breasts, and suppliant chieftains bow'd;
Loud shrieks of matrons thrill'd the troubled air,
And trembling virgins rent their scatter'd hair;
275 High in the midst the kneeling King adored,
Spread the blaspheming scroll before the Lord,
Raised his pale hands, and breathed his pausing sighs,
And fixed on Heaven his dim imploring eyes,--
"Oh! MIGHTY GOD! amidst thy Seraph-throng
280 "Who sit'st sublime, the Judge of Right and Wrong;
"Thine the wide earth, bright sun, and starry zone,
"That twinkling journey round thy golden throne;
"Thine is the crystal source of life and light,
"And thine the realms of Death's eternal night.
285 "Oh, bend thine ear, thy gracious eye incline,
"Lo! Ashur's King blasphemes thy holy shrine,
"Insults our offerings, and derides our vows,---
"Oh! strike the diadem from his impious brows,
"Tear from his murderous hand the bloody rod,
290 "And teach the trembling nations, "THOU ART GOD!"--
--SYLPHS! in what dread array with pennons broad
Onward ye floated o'er the ethereal road,
Call'd each dank steam the reeking marsh exhales,
Contagious vapours, and volcanic gales,
295 Gave the soft South with poisonous breath to blow,
And rolled the dreadful whirlwind on the foe!--
Hark! o'er the camp the venom'd tempest sings,
Man falls on Man, on buckler buckler rings;
Groan answers groan, to anguish anguish yields,
300 And DEATH'S loud accents shake the tented fields!
--High rears the Fiend his grinning jaws, and wide
Spans the pale nations with colossal stride,
Waves his broad falchion with uplifted hand,
And his vast shadow darkens all the land.

[_Volcanic gales_. l. 294. The pestilential winds of the east are
described by various authors under various denominations; as harmattan,
samiel, samium, syrocca, kamsin, seravansum. M. de Beauchamp describes a
remarkable south wind in the deserts about Bagdad, called seravansum, or
poison-wind; it burns the face, impedes respiration, strips the trees of
their leaves, and is said to pass on in a streight line, and often kills
people in six hours. P. Cotte sur la Meteorol. Analytical Review for
February, 1790. M. Volney says, the hot wind or ramsin seems to blow at
the season when the sands of the deserts are the hottest; the air is
then filled with an extreamly subtle dust. Vol. I. p. 61. These winds
blow in all directions from the deserts; in Egypt the most violent
proceed from the S.S.W. at Mecca from the E. at Surat from the N. at
Bassora from the N.W. at Bagdad from the W. and in Syria from the S.E.

On the south of Syria, he adds, where the Jordan flows is a country of
volcanos; and it is observed that the earthquakes in Syria happen after
their rainy season, which is also conformable to a similar observation
made by Dr. Shaw in Barbary. Travels in Egypt, Vol. I. p. 303.

These winds seem all to be of volcanic origin, as before mentioned, with
this difference, that the Simoom is attended with a stream of electric
matter; they seem to be in consequence of earthquakes caused by the
monsoon floods, which fall on volcanic fires in Syria, at the same time
that they inundate the Nile.]

305 IX. 1. "Ethereal cohorts! Essences of Air!
Make the green children of the Spring your care!
Oh, SYLPHS! disclose in this inquiring age
One GOLDEN SECRET to some favour'd sage;
Grant the charm'd talisman, the chain, that binds,
310 Or guides the changeful pinions of the winds!
--No more shall hoary Boreas, issuing forth
With Eurus, lead the tempests of the North;
Rime the pale Dawn, or veil'd in flaky showers
Chill the sweet bosoms of the smiling Hours.
315 By whispering Auster waked shall Zephyr rise,
Meet with soft kiss, and mingle in the skies,
Fan the gay floret, bend the yellow ear,
And rock the uncurtain'd cradle of the year;
Autumn and Spring in lively union blend,
320 And from the skies the Golden Age descend.

[_One golden secret_. l. 308. The suddenness of the change of the wind
from N.E. to S.W. seems to shew that it depends on some minute chemical
cause; which if it was discovered might probably, like other chemical
causes, be governed by human agency; such as blowing up rocks by
gunpowder, or extracting the lightening from the clouds. If this could
be accomplished, it would be the most happy discovery that ever has
happened to these northern latitudes, since in this country the N.E.
winds bring frost, and the S.W. ones are attended with warmth and
moisture; if the inferior currents of air could be kept perpetually from
the S.W. supplied by new productions of air at the line, or by superior
currents flowing in a contrary direction, the vegetation of this country
would be doubled; as in the moist vallies of Africa, which know no
frost; the number of its inhabitants would be increased, and their lives
prolonged; as great abundance of the aged and infirm of mankind, as well
as many birds and animals, are destroyed by severe continued frosts in
this climate.]

2. "Castled on ice, beneath the circling Bear,
A vast CAMELION spits and swallows air;
O'er twelve degrees his ribs gigantic bend,
And many a league his leathern jaws extend;
325 Half-fish, beneath, his scaly volutes spread,
And vegetable plumage crests his head;
Huge fields of air his wrinkled skin receives,
From panting gills, wide lungs, and waving leaves;
Then with dread throes subsides his bloated form,
330 His shriek the thunder, and his sigh the storm.
Oft high in heaven the hissing Demon wins
His towering course, upborne on winnowing fins;
Steers with expanded eye and gaping mouth,
His mass enormous to the affrighted South;
335 Spreads o'er the shuddering Line his shadowy limbs,
And Frost and Famine follow as he swims.--
SYLPHS! round his cloud-built couch your bands array,
And mould the Monster to your gentle sway;
Charm with soft tones, with tender touches check,
340 Bend to your golden yoke his willing neck,
With silver curb his yielding teeth restrain,
And give to KIRWAN'S hand the silken rein.
--Pleased shall the Sage, the dragon-wings between,
Bend o'er discordant climes his eye serene,
345 With Lapland breezes cool Arabian vales,
And call to Hindostan antarctic gales,
Adorn with wreathed ears Kampschatca's brows,
And scatter roses on Zealandic snows,
Earth's wondering Zones the genial seasons share,
350 And nations hail him "MONARCH OF THE AIR."

[_A vast Camelion_. l. 322. See additional notes, No. XXXIII. on the
destruction and reproduction of the atmosphere.]

[_To Kirwan's hand_. l. 342. Mr. Kirwan has published a valuable
treatise on the temperature of climates, as a step towards investigating
the theory of the winds; and has since written some ingenious papers on
this subject in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Society.]

X. 1. "SYLPHS! as you hover on ethereal wing,
Brood the green children of parturient Spring!--
Where in their bursting cells my Embryons rest,
I charge you guard the vegetable nest;
355 Count with nice eye the myriad SEEDS, that swell
Each vaulted womb of husk, or pod, or shell;
Feed with sweet juices, clothe with downy hair,
Or hang, inshrined, their little orbs in air.

[_The myriad seeds_. l. 355. Nature would seem to have been wonderfully
prodigal in the seeds of vegetables, and the spawn of fish; almost any
one plant, if all its seeds should grow to maturity, would in a few
years alone people the terrestrial globe. Mr. Ray asserts that 101
seeds of tobacco weighed only one grain, and that from one tobacco plant
the seeds thus calculated amounted to 360,000! The seeds of the ferns
are by him supposed to exceed a million on a leaf. As the works of
nature are governed by general laws this exuberant reproduction prevents
the accidental extinction of the species, at the same time that they
serve for food for the higher orders of animation.

Every seed possesses a reservoir of nutriment designed for the growth of
the future plant, this consists of starch, mucilage, or oil, within the
coat of the seed, or of sugar and subacid pulp in the fruits, which
belongs to it.

For the preservation of the immature seed nature has used many ingenious
methods; some are wrapped in down, as the seeds of the rose, bean, and
cotton-plant; others are suspended in a large air-vessel, as those of
the bladder-sena, staphylaea, and pea.]

"So, late descry'd by HERSCHEL'S piercing sight,
360 Hang the bright squadrons of the twinkling Night;
Ten thousand marshall'd stars, a silver zone,
Effuse their blended lustres round her throne;
Suns call to suns, in lucid clouds conspire,
And light exterior skies with golden fire;
365 Resistless rolls the illimitable sphere,
And one great circle forms the unmeasured year.
--Roll on, YE STARS! exult in youthful prime,
Mark with bright curves the printless steps of Time;
Near and more near your beamy cars approach,
370 And lessening orbs on lessening orbs encroach;--
Flowers of the sky! ye too to age must yield,
Frail as your silken sisters of the field!
Star after star from Heaven's high arch shall rush,
Suns sink on suns, and systems systems crush,
375 Headlong, extinct, to one dark centre fall,
And Death and Night and Chaos mingle all!
--Till o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm,
Immortal NATURE lifts her changeful form,
Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame,
380 And soars and shines, another and the same.

[_And light exterior_. l. 364. I suspect this line is from Dwight's
Conquest of Canaan, a poem written by a very young man, and which
contains much fine versification.]

[_Near and more near_. l. 369. From the vacant spaces in some parts of
the heavens, and the correspondent clusters of stars in their vicinity,
Mr. Herschel concludes that the nebulae or constellations of fixed stars
are approaching each other, and must finally coalesce in one mass. Phil.
Trans. Vol. LXXV.]

[_Till o'er the wreck_. l. 377. The story of the phenix rising from its
own ashes with a twinkling star upon its head, seems to have been an
antient hieroglyphic emblem of the destruction and resuscitation of all

There is a figure of the great Platonic year with a phenix on his hand
on the reverse of a medal of Adrian. Spence's Polym. p. 189.]

2. "Lo! on each SEED within its slender rind
Life's golden threads in endless circles wind;
Maze within maze the lucid webs are roll'd,
And, as they burst, the living flame unfold.
385 The pulpy acorn, ere it swells, contains
The Oak's vast branches in its milky veins;
Each ravel'd bud, fine film, and fibre-line
Traced with nice pencil on the small design.
The young Narcissus, in it's bulb compress'd,
390 Cradles a second nestling on its breast;
In whose fine arms a younger embryon lies,
Folds its thin leaves, and shuts its floret-eyes;
Grain within grain successive harvests dwell,
And boundless forests slumber in a shell.
395 --So yon grey precipice, and ivy'd towers,
Long winding meads, and intermingled bowers,
Green files of poplars, o'er the lake that bow,
And glimmering wheel, which rolls and foams below,
In one bright point with nice distinction lie
400 Plan'd on the moving tablet of the eye.
--So, fold on fold, Earth's wavy plains extend,
And, sphere in sphere, its hidden strata bend;--
Incumbent Spring her beamy plumes expands
O'er restless oceans, and impatient lands,
405 With genial lustres warms the mighty ball,
And the GREAT SEED evolves, disclosing ALL;
LIFE _buds_ or _breathes_ from Indus to the Poles,
And the vast surface kindles, as it rolls!

[_Maze within maze_. l. 383. The elegant appearance on dissection of the
young tulip in the bulb was first observed by Mariotte and is mentioned
in the note on tulipa in Vol.II, and was afterwards noticed by Du Hamel.
Acad. Scien. Lewenhook assures us that in the bud of a currant tree he
could not only discover the ligneous part but even the berries
themselves, appearing like small grapes. Chamb. Dict. art. Bud. Mr.
Baker says he dissected a seed of trembling grass in which a perfect
plant appeared with its root, sending forth two branches, from each of
which several leaves or blades of grass proceeded. Microsc. Vol. I. p.
252. Mr. Bonnet saw four generations of successive plants in the bulb of
a hyacinth. Bonnet Corps Organ. Vol. I. p. 103. Haller's Physiol. Vol.
I. p. 91. In the terminal bud of a horse-chesnut the new flower may be
seen by the naked eye covered with a mucilaginous down, and the same in
the bulb of a narcissus, as I this morning observed in several of them
sent me by Miss ---- for that purpose. Sept. 16.

Mr. Ferber speaks of the pleasure he received in observing in the buds
of Hepatica and pedicularis hirsuta yet lying hid in the earth, and in
the gems of the shrub daphne mezereon, and at the base of osmunda
lunaria a perfect plant of the future year, discernable in all its parts
a year before it comes forth, and in the seeds of nymphea nelumbo the
leaves of the plant were seen so distinctly that the author found out by
them what plant the seeds belonged to. The same of the seeds of the
tulip tree or liriodendum tulipiferum. Amaen. Aced. Vol. VI.]

[_And the great seed_. l. 406. Alluding to the [Greek: proton oon], or
first great egg of the antient philosophy, it had a serpent wrapped
round it emblematical of divine wisdom, an image of it was afterwards
preserved and worshipped in the temple of Dioscuri, and supposed to
represent the egg of Leda. See a print of it in Bryant's Mythology. It
was said to have been broken by the horns of the celestial bull, that
is, it was hatched by the warmth of the Spring. See note on Canto I. l.

[_And the vast surface_. l. 408. L'Organization, le sentiment, le
movement spontané, la vie, n'existent qu'a la surface de la terre, et
dans le lieux exposes á la lumiére. Traité de Chymie par M. Lavoisier,
Tom. I. p. 202.]

3. "Come, YE SOFT SYLPHS! who sport on Latian land,
410 Come, sweet-lip'd Zephyr, and Favonius bland!
Teach the fine SEED, instinct with life, to shoot
On Earth's cold bosom its descending root;
With Pith elastic stretch its rising stem,
Part the twin Lobes, expand the throbbing Gem;
415 Clasp in your airy arms the aspiring Plume,
Fan with your balmy breath its kindling bloom,
Each widening scale and bursting film unfold,
Swell the green cup, and tint the flower with gold;
While in bright veins the silvery Sap ascends,
420 And refluent blood in milky eddies bends;
While, spread in air, the leaves respiring play,
Or drink the golden quintessence of day.
--So from his shell on Delta's shower-less isle
Bursts into life the Monster of the Nile;
425 First in translucent lymph with cobweb-threads
The Brain's fine floating tissue swells, and spreads;
Nerve after nerve the glistening spine descends,
The red Heart dances, the Aorta bends;
Through each new gland the purple current glides,
430 New veins meandering drink the refluent tides;
Edge over edge expands the hardening scale,
And sheaths his slimy skin in silver mail.
--Erewhile, emerging from the brooding sand,
With Tyger-paw He prints the brineless strand,
435 High on the flood with speckled bosom swims,
Helm'd with broad tail, and oar'd with giant limbs;
Rolls his fierce eye-balls, clasps his iron claws,
And champs with gnashing teeth his massy jaws;
Old Nilus sighs along his cane-crown'd shores,
440 And swarthy Memphis trembles and adores.

[_Teach the fine seed_. l. 411. The seeds in their natural state fall on
the surface of the earth, and having absorbed some moisture the root
shoots itself downwards into the earth and the plume rises in air. Thus
each endeavouring to seek its proper pabulum directed by a vegetable
irritability similar to that of the lacteal system and to the lungs in

The pith seems to push up or elongate the bud by its elasticity, like
the pith in the callow quills of birds. This medulla Linneus believes to
consist of a bundle of fibres, which diverging breaks through the bark
yet gelatinous producing the buds.

The lobes are reservoirs of prepared nutriment for the young seed, which
is absorbed by its placental vessels, and converted into sugar, till it
has penetrated with its roots far enough into the earth to extract
sufficient moisture, and has acquired leaves to convert it into
nourishment. In some plants these lobes rise from the earth and supply
the place of leaves, as in kidney-beans, cucumbers, and hence seem to
serve both as a placenta to the foetus, and lungs to the young plant.
During the process of germination the starch of the seed is converted
into sugar, as is seen in the process of malting barley for the purpose
of brewing. And is on this account very similar to the digestion of food
in the stomachs of animals, which converts all their aliment into a
chyle, which consists of mucilage, oil, and sugar; the placentation of
buds will be spoken of hereafter.]

[_The silvery sap_. l. 419. See additional notes, No. XXXVI.]

[_Or drink the golden_. l. 422. Linneus having observed the great
influence of light on vegetation, imagined that the leaves of plants
inhaled electric matter from the light with their upper surface. (System
of Vegetables translated, p. 8.)

The effect of light on plants occasions the actions of the vegetable
muscles of their leaf-stalks, which turn the upper side of the leaf to
the light, and which open their calyxes and chorols, according to the
experiments of Abbe Tessier, who exposed variety of plants in a cavern
to different quantities of light. Hist. de L'Academie Royal. Ann. 1783.
The sleep or vigilance of plants seems owing to the presence or absence
of this stimulus. See note on Nimosa, Vol. II.]

XI. "Come, YE SOFT SYLPHS! who fan the Paphian groves,
And bear on sportive wings the callow Loves;
Call with sweet whisper, in each gale that blows,
The slumbering Snow-drop from her long repose;
445 Charm the pale Primrose from her clay-cold bed,
Unveil the bashful Violet's tremulous head;
While from her bud the playful Tulip breaks,
And young Carnations peep with blushing cheeks;
Bid the closed _Petals_ from nocturnal cold
450 The virgin _Style_ in silken curtains fold,
Shake into viewless air the morning dews,
And wave in light their iridescent hues;
While from on high the bursting _Anthers_ trust
To the mild breezes their prolific dust;
455 Or bend in rapture o'er the central Fair,
Love out their hour, and leave their lives in air.
So in his silken sepulchre the Worm,
Warm'd with new life, unfolds his larva-form;
Erewhile aloft in wanton circles moves,
460 And woos on Hymen-wings his velvet loves.

[_Love out their hour_. l. 456. The vegetable passion of love is
agreeably seen in the flower of the parnassia, in which the males
alternately approach and recede from the female, and in the flower of
nigella, or devil in the bush, in which the tall females bend down to
their dwarf husbands. But I was this morning surprised to observe,
amongst Sir Brooke Boothby's valuable collection of plants at Ashbourn,
the manifest adultery of several females of the plant Collinsonia, who
had bent themselves into contact with the males of other flowers of the
same plant in their vicinity, neglectful of their own. Sept. 16. See
additional notes, No. XXXVIII.]

[_Unfolds his larva-form_. l. 458. The flower bursts forth from its
larva, the herb, naked and perfect like a butterfly from its chrysolis;
winged with its corol; wing-sheathed by its calyx; consisting alone of
the organs of reproduction. The males, or stamens, have their anthers
replete with a prolific powder containing the vivifying fovilla: in the
females, or pistils, exists the ovary, terminated by the tubular stigma.
When the anthers burst and shed their bags of dust, the male fovilla is
received by the prolific lymph of the stigma, and produces the seed or
egg, which is nourished in the ovary. System of Vegetables translated
from Linneus by the Lichfield Society, p. 10.]

XII. 1. "If prouder branches with exuberance rude
Point their green gems, their barren shoots protrude;
Wound them, ye SYLPHS! with little knives, or bind
A wiry ringlet round the swelling rind;
465 Bisect with chissel fine the root below,
Or bend to earth the inhospitable bough.
So shall each germ with new prolific power
Delay the leaf-bud, and expand the flower;
Closed in the _Style_ the tender pith shall end,
470 The lengthening Wood in circling _Stamens_ bend;
The smoother Rind its soft embroidery spread
In vaulted _Petals_ o'er their fertile bed;
While the rough Bark, in circling mazes roll'd,
Forms the green _Cup_ with many a wrinkled fold;
475 And each small bud-scale spreads its foliage hard,
Firm round the callow germ, a _Floral Guard_.

[_Wound them, ye Sylphs!_ l. 463. Mr. Whitmill advised to bind some of
the most vigorous shoots with strong wire, and even some of the large
roots; and Mr. Warner cuts, what he calls a wild worm about the body of
the tree, or scores the bark quite to the wood like a screw with a sharp
knife. Bradley on Gardening, Vol. II. p. 155. Mr. Fitzgerald produced
flowers and fruit on wall trees by cutting off a part of the bark. Phil.
Trans. Ann. 1761. M. Buffon produced the same effect by a straight
bandage put round a branch, Act. Paris, Ann. 1738, and concludes that an
ingrafted branch bears better from its vessels being compressed by the

A compleat cylinder of the bark about an inch in height was cut off from
the branch of a pear tree against a wall in Mr. Howard's garden at
Lichfield about five years ago, the circumcised part is now not above
half the diameter of the branch above and below it, yet this branch has
been full of fruit every year since, when the other branches of the tree
bore only sparingly. I lately observed that the leaves of this wounded
branch were smaller and paler, and the fruit less in size, and ripened
sooner than on the other parts of the tree. Another branch has the bark
taken off not quite all round with much the same effect.

The theory of this curious vegetable fact has been esteemed difficult,
but receives great light from the foregoing account of the individuality
of buds. A flower-bud dies, when it has perfected its seed, like an
annual plant, and hence requires no place on the bark for new roots to
pass downwards; but on the contrary leaf-buds, as they advance into
shoots, form new buds in the axilla of every leaf, which new buds
require new roots to pass down the bark, and thus thicken as well as
elongate the branch, now if a wire or string be tied round the bark,
many of these new roots cannot descend, and thence more of the buds will
be converted into flower-buds.

It is customary to debark oak-trees in the spring, which are intended to
be felled in the ensuing autumn; because the bark comes off easier at
this season, and the sap-wood, or alburnum, is believed to become harder
and more durable, if the tree remains till the end of summer. The trees
thus stripped of their bark put forth shoots as usual with acorns on the
6th 7th and 8th joint, like vines; but in the branches I examined, the
joints of the debarked trees were much shorter than those of other oak-
trees; the acorns were more numerous; and no new buds were produced
above the joints which bore acorns. From hence it appears that the
branches of debarked oak-trees produce fewer leaf-buds, and more flower-
buds, which last circumstance I suppose must depend on their being
sooner or later debarked in the vernal months. And, secondly, that the
new buds of debarked oak-trees continue to obtain moisture from the
alburnum after the season of the ascent of sap in other vegetables
ceases; which in this unnatural state of the debarked tree may act as
capillary tubes, like the alburnum of the small debarked cylinder of a
pear-tree abovementioned; or may continue to act as placental vessels,
as happens to the animal embryon in cases of superfetation; when the
fetus continues a month or two in the womb beyond its usual time, of
which some instances have been recorded, the placenta continues to
supply perhaps the double office both of nutrition and of respiration.]

[_And bend to earth_. l. 466. Mr. Hitt in his treatise on fruit trees
observes that if a vigorous branch of a wall tree be bent to the
horizon, or beneath it, it looses its vigour and becomes a bearing
branch. The theory of this I suppose to depend on the difficulty with
which the leaf-shoots can protrude the roots necessary for their new
progeny of buds upwards along the bended branch to the earth contrary to
their natural habits or powers, whence more flower-shoots are produced
which do not require new roots to pass along the bark of the bended
branch, but which let their offspring, the seeds, fall upon the earth
and seek roots for themselves.]

[_With new prolific power_. l. 467. About Midsummer the new buds are
formed, but it is believed by some of the Linnean school, that these
buds may in their early state be either converted into flower-buds or
leaf-buds according to the vigour of the vegetating branch. Thus if the
upper part of a branch be cut away, the buds near the extremity of the
remaining stem, having a greater proportional supply of nutriment, or
possessing a greater facility of shooting their roots, or absorbent
vessels, down the bark, will become leaf-buds, which might otherwise
have been flower-buds. And the contrary as explained in note on l. 463.
of this Canto.]

[_Closed in the style_. l. 469. "I conceive the medulla of a plant to
consist of a bundle of nervous fibres, and that the propelling vital
power separates their uppermost extremities. These, diverging, penetrate
the bark, which is now gelatinous, and become multiplied in the new gem,
or leaf-bud. The ascending vessels of the bark being thus divided by the
nervous fibres, which perforate it, and the ascent of its fluids being
thus impeded, the bark is extended into a leaf. But the flower is
produced, when the protrusion of the medulla is greater than the
retention of the including cortical part; whence the substance of the
bark is expanded in the calyx; that of the rind, (or interior bark,) in
the corol; that of the wood in the stamens, that of the medulla in the
pistil. Vegetation thus terminates in the production of new life, the
ultimate medullary and cortical fibres being collected in the seeds."
Linnei Systema Veget. p. 6. edit. 14.]

2. "Where cruder juices swell the leafy vein,
Stint the young germ, the tender blossom stain;
On each lop'd shoot a softer scion bind,
480 Pith press'd to pith, and rind applied to rind,
So shall the trunk with loftier crest ascend,
And wide in air its happier arms extend;
Nurse the new buds, admire the leaves unknown,
And blushing bend with fruitage not its own.

[_Nurse the new buds_. l. 483. Mr. Fairchild budded a passion-tree,
whose leaves were spotted with yellow, into one which bears long fruit.
The buds did not take, nevertheless in a fortnight yellow spots began to
shew themselves about three feet above the inoculation, and in a short
time afterwards yellow spots appeared on a shoot which came out of the
ground from another part of the plant. Bradley, Vol. II. p. 129. These
facts are the more curious since from experiments of ingrafting red
currants on black (Ib. Vol. II.) the fruit does not acquire any change
of flavour, and by many other experiments neither colour nor any other
change is produced in the fruit ingrafted on other stocks.


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