Imágenes de páginas

than it is. In the same species, I believe, it is always the same.

These observations belong to the whole insect tribe, or to a great part of them. Other observations are limited to a fewer species; but not, perhaps, less important or satisfactory.

less degree of heat than what takes place in a hive. This may be reckoned a nicety: but independently of any nicety in the matter, I would ask, what could. the bee do with the honey, if it had not the wax? how, at least, could it store it up for winter? The wax, therefore, answers a

1. The organization in the abdomen of the silk-purpose with respect to the honey; and the honey worm, or spider, whereby these insects form constitutes that purpose with respect to the wax. their thread, is as incontestably mechanical as a This is the relation between them. But the two wire-drawer's mill. In the body of the silkworm substances, though, together, of the greatest use, are two bags, remarkable for their form, position, and, without each other, of little, come from a difand use. They wind round the intestine; when ferent origin. The bee finds the honey, but makes drawn out, they are ten inches in length, though the wax. The honey is lodged in the nectaria of the animal itself be only two. Within these bags, flowers, and probably undergoes little alteration; is collected a glue; and communicating with the is merely collected: whereas the wax is a ductile, bags, are two paps or outlets, perforated, like a tenacious paste, made out of a dry powder, not grater, by a number of small holes. The glue or simply by kneading it with a liquid, but by a digum, being passed through these minute apertures, gestive process in the body of the bee. What acforms hairs of almost imperceptible fineness; and count can be rendered of facts so circumstanced, these hairs, when joined, compose the silk which but that the animal, being intended to feed upon we wind off from the cone, in which the silkworm honey, was, by a peculiar external configuration, has wrapped itself up in the spider, the web is enabled to procure it? That, moreover, wanting formed from this thread. In both cases, the ex- the honey when it could not be procured at all, it tremity of the thread, by means of its adhesive was farther endued with the no less necessary faquality, is first attached by the animal to some culty of constructing repositories for its preservaexternal hold; and the end being now fastened to tion? Which faculty, it is evident, must depend, a point, the insect, by turning round its body, or primarily, upon the capacity of providing suitable by receding from that point, draws out the thread materials. Two distinct functions go to make up through the holes above described, by an opera- the ability. First, the power in the bee, with retion, as hath been observed, exactly similar to the spect to wax, of loading the farina of flowers upon drawing of a wire. The thread, like the wire, is its thighs. Microscopic observers speak of the formed by the hole through which it passes. In spoon-shaped appendages with which the thighs one respect there is a difference. The wire is the of bees are beset for this very purpose; but, in as metal unaltered, except in figure. In the animal much as the art and will of the bee may be supprocess, the nature of the substance is somewhat posed to be concerned in this operation, there is, changed, as well as the form; for, as it exists secondly, that which doth not rest in art or will, within the insect, it is a soft, clammy gum, or -a digestive faculty which converts the loose glue. The thread acquires, it is probable, its powder into a stiff substance. This is a just acfirmness and tenacity from the action of the air count of the honey, and the honey-comb; and upon its surface, in the moment of exposure; and this account, through every part, carries a creative a thread so fine is almost all surface. This intelligence along with it. property, however, of the paste, is part of the contrivance.

The sting also of the bee has this relation to the honey, that it is necessary for the protection of a treasure which invites so many robbers. III. Our business is with mechanism. In the panorpa tribe of insects, there is a forceps in the tail of the male insect, with which he catches and holds the female. Are a pair of pincers more mechanical than this provision in its structure? or is any structure more clear and certain in its design?

The mechanism itself consists of the bags, or reservoirs, into which the glue is collected, and of the external holes communicating with these bags: and the action of the machine is seen, in the forming of a thread, as wire is formed, by forcing the material already prepared through holes of proper dimensions. The secretion is an act too subtile for our discernment, except as we perceive it by IV. St. Pierre tells us, that in a fly with six the produce. But one thing answers to another; feet, (I do not remember that he describes the spethe secretory glands to the quality and consistence cies,) the pair next the head and the pair next the required in the secreted substance; the bag to its tail, have brushes at their extremities, with which reception: the outlets and orifices are constructed, the fly dresses, as there may be occasion, the annot merely for relieving the reservoirs of their terior or the posterior part of its body; but that burden, but for manufacturing the contents into the middle pair have no such brushes, the situaa form and texture, of great external use, or rather tion of these legs not admitting of the brushes, indeed of future necessity, to the life and func-if they were there, being converted to the same tions of the insect. use. This is a very exact mechanical distinction.

II. Bees, under one character or other, have furnished every naturalist with a set of observations. I shall, in this place, confine myself to one; and that is the relation which obtains between the wax and the honey. No person, who has inspected a bee-hive, can forbear remarking how commodiously the honey is bestowed in the comb; and, amongst other advantages, how effectually the fermentation of the honey is prevented by distributing it into small cells. The fact is, that when the honey is separated from the comb, and put into jars, it runs into fermentation, with a much

V. If the reader, looking to our distributions of science, wish to contemplate the chymistry, as well as the mechanism, of nature, the insect creation will afford him an example. I refer to the light in the tail of a glow-worm. Two points seem to be agreed upon by naturalists concerning it; first, that it is phosphoric; secondly, that its use is to attract the male insect. The only thing to be inquired after, is the singularity, if any such there be, in the natural history of this animal,

* Vol. i. p. 342

which should render a provision of this kind more | is a gratifying spectacle, to see this insect wafted necessary for it, than for other insects. That sin- on her thread, sustained by a levity not her own, gularity seems to be the difference which subsists and traversing regions, which, if we examined between the male and the female; which differ- only the body of the animal, might seem to have ence is greater than what we find in any other been forbidden to its nature. species of animal whatever. The glow-worm is a female caterpillar; the male of which is a fly; lively, comparatively small, dissimilar to the female in appearance, probably also as distinguished from her in habits, pursuits, and manners, as he is unlike in form and external constitution. Here then is the adversity of the case. The caterpillar cannot meet her companion in the air. The winged rover disdains the ground. They might never, therefore, be brought together, did not this radiant torch direct the volatile mate to his sedentary female.

In this example, we also see the resources of art anticipated. One grand operation of chymistry is the making of phosphorus: and it was thought an ingenious device, to make phosphoric matches supply the place of lighted tapers. Now this very thing is done in the body of the glowworm. The phosphorus is not only made, but kindled; and caused to emit a steady and genial beam, for the purpose which is here stated, and which I believe to be the true one.

VI. Nor is the last the only instance that entomology affords, in which our discoveries, or rather our projects, turn out to be imitations of nature. Some years ago, a plan was suggested, of producing propulsion by reaction in this way: by the force of a steam-engine, a stream of water was to be shot out of the stern of a boat; the impulse of which stream upon the water in the river, was to push the boat itself forward; it is, in truth, the principle by which sky-rockets ascend in the air. Of the use or practicability of the plan, I am not speaking; nor is it my concern to praise its ingenuity but it is certainly a contrivance. Now, if naturalists are to be believed, it is exactly the device which nature has made use of, for the motion of some species of aquatic insects. The larva of the dragon-fly, according to Adams, swims by ejecting water from its tail; is driven forward by the reaction of water in the pool upon the current issuing in a direction backward from its body.

VII. Again: Europe has lately been surprised by the elevation of bodies in the air by means of a balloon. The discovery consisted in finding out a manageable substance, which was, bulk for bulk, lighter than air; and the application of the discovery was, to make a body composed of this substance bear up, along with its own weight, some heavier body which was attached to it. This expedient, so new to us, proves to be no other than what the Author of nature has employed in the gossamer spider. We frequently see this spider's thread floating in the air, and extended from hedge to hedge across a road or brook of four or five yards width. The animal which forms the thread, has no wings wherewith to fly from one extremity to the other of this line; nor muscles to enable it to spring or dart to so great a distance: yet its Creator hath laid for it a path in the atmosphere; and after this manner. Though the animal itself be heavier than air, the thread which it spins from its bowels is specifically lighter. This is its balloon. The spider, left to itself, would drop to the ground; but being tied to its thread, both are supported. We have here a very peculiar provision: and to a contemplative eye it 3 L

I MUST now crave the reader's permission to introduce into this place, for want of a better, an observation or two upon the tribe of animals, whether belonging to land or water, which are covered by shells.

I. The shells of snails are a wonderful, a mechanical, and, if one might so speak concerning the works of nature, an original contrivance. Other animals have their proper retreats, their hybernacula also, or winter-quarters, but the snail carries these about with him. He travels with his tent; and this tent, though, as was necessary, both light and thin, is completely impervious either to moisture or air. The young snail comes out of its egg with the shell upon its back; and the gradual enlargement which the shell receives, is derived from the slime excreted by the animal's skin. Now the aptness of this excretion to the purpose, its property of hardening into a shell, and the action, whatever it be, of the animal, whereby it avails itself of its gifts, and of the constitution of its glands, (to say nothing of the work being commenced before the animal is born,) are things which can, with no probability, be referred to any other cause than to express design; and that not on the part of the animal alone, in which design, though it might build the house, could not have supplied the material. The will of the animal could not determine the quality of the excretion. Add to which, that the shell of a snail, with its pillar and convolution, is a very artificial fabric; whilst a snail, as it should seem, is the most numb and unprovided of all artificers. In the midst of variety, there is likewise a regularity, which would hardly be expected. In the same species of snail, the number of turns is usually, if not always, the same. The sealing up of the mouth of the shell by the snail, is also well calculated for its warmth and security; but the cerate is not of the same substance with the shell.

II. Much of what has been observed of snails,

belongs to shell-fish, and their shells, particularly to those of the univalve kind; with the addition of two remarks: one of which is upon the great strength and hardness of most of these shells. I do not know whether, the weight being given, art can produce so strong a case as are some of these shells. Which defensive strength suits well with the life of an animal, that has often to sustain the dangers of a stormy element, and a rocky bottom, as well as the attacks of voracious fish. The other remark is, upon the property, in the animal excretion, not only of congealing, but of congealing, or, as a builder would call it, setting in water, and into a cretaceous substance, firm and hard. This property is much more extraordinary, and, chymically speaking, more specific, than that of hardening in the air, which may be reckoned a kind of exsiccation, like the drying of clay into bricks.

III. In the bivalve order of shell-fish, cockles muscles, oysters, &c. what contrivance can be so simple or so clear, as the insertion, at the back, of a tough tendinous substance, that becomes at once the ligament which binds the two shells


and shut?

together, and the hinge upon which they open | or rather of the studiously diversified methods, by which one and the same purpose is attained. In the article of breathing, for example, which was to be provided for in some way or other, besides the ordinary varieties of lungs, gills, and breathing holes (for insects in general respire, not by the mouth, but through holes in the sides,) the nymphæ of gnats have an apparatus to raise their backs to the top of the water, and so take breath. The hydrocanthari do the like by thrusting their tails out of the water. The maggot of the eruca

ject, has not been able to devise any thing better than what nature presents to his observation. Is not this therefore mechanism, which the mechanic, having a similar purpose in view, adopts. Is the structure of a coat of mail to be referred to art? Is the same structure of the lobster, conducing to the same use, to be referred to any thing less than art?

IV. The shell of a lobster's tail, in its articulations and overlappings, represents the jointed part of a coat of mail; or rather, which I believe to be the truth, a coat of mail is an imitation of a lobster's shell. The same end is to be answered by both; the same properties, therefore, are required in both, namely, hardness and flexibility, a covering which may guard the part without obstructing its motion. For this double purpose, the art of man, expressly exercised upon the sub-labra has a long tail, one part sheathed within another (but which it can draw out at pleasure,) with a starry-tuft at the end, by which tuft, when expanded upon the surface, the insect both supports itself in the water and draws in the air which is necessary. In the article of natural clothing, we have the skins of animals invested with scales, hair, feathers, mucus, froth; or itself turned into a shell or crust: in the no less necessary article of offence and defence, we have teeth, talons, beaks, horns, stings, prickles, with (the most singular expedient for the same purpose) the power of giving the electric shock, and, as is credibly related of some animals, of driving away their pursuers by an intolerable fœtor, or of blackening the water through which they are pursued. The consideration of these appearances might induce us to believe, that variety itself, distinct from every other reason, was a motive in the mind of the Creator, or with the agents of his will.

Some, who may acknowledge the imitation, and assent to the inference which we draw from it, in the instance before us, may be disposed, possibly, to ask, why such imitations are not more frequent than they are, if it be true, as we allege; that the same principle of intelligence, design, and mechanical contrivance was exerted in the formation of natural bodies, as we employ in the making of the various instruments by which our purposes are served? The answers to this question are, first, that it seldom happens, that precisely the same purpose, and no other, is pursued in any work which we compare, of nature and of art; secondly, that it still more seldom happens, that we can imitate nature, if we would. Our materials and our workmanship are equally deficient. Springs and wires, and cork and leather, produce a poor substitute for an arm or a hand. In the example which we have selected, I mean a lobster's shell compared with a coat of mail, these difficulties stand less in the way, than in alinost any other that can be assigned: and the consequence is, as we have seen, that art gladly borrows from nature her contrivance, and imitates it closely.

BUT to return to insects. I think it is in this class of animals above all others, especially when we take in the multitude of species which the microscope discovers, that we are struck with what Cicero has called "the insatiable variety of nature." There are said to be six thousand species of flies; seven hundred and sixty butterflies; each different from all the rest. (St. Pierre.) The same writer tells us, from his own observation, that thirty-seven species of winged insects, with distinctions well expressed, visited a single strawberry-plant in the course of three weeks.* Ray observed, within the compass of a mile or two of his own house, two hundred kinds of butterflies, nocturnal and diurnal. He likewise, asserts, but, I think, without any grounds of exact computation, that the number of species of insects, reckoning all sorts of them, may not be short of ten thousand. And in this vast variety of animal forms (for the observation is not confined to insects, though more applicable perhaps to them than to any other class,) we are sometimes led to take notice of the different methods, † Wisd. of God, p. 23.

* Vol. i. p. 3.

To this great variety in organized life, the Deity has given, or perhaps there arises out of it, a corresponding variety of animal appetites. For the final cause of this, we have not far to seek. Did all animals covet the same element, retreat, or food, it is evident how much fewer could be supplied and accommodated, than what at present live conveniently together, and find a plentiful subsistence. What one nature rejects, another delights in. Food which is nauseous to one tribe of animals, becomes, by that very property which makes it nauseous, an alluring dainty to another tribe. Carrion is a treat to dogs, ravens, vultures, fish. The exhalations of corrupted substances, attract flies by crowds. Maggots revel in putrefaction.


Of Plants.

I THINK a designed and studied mechanism to be, in general, more evident in animals than in plants: and it is unnecessary to dwell upon a weaker argument, where a stronger is at hand. There are, however, a few observations upon the vegetable kingdom, which lie so directly in our way, that it would be improper to pass by them without notice.

The one great intention of nature in the structure of plants seems to be the perfecting of the seed; and, what is part of the same intention, the preserving of it until it be perfected. This intention shows itself, in the first place, by the care which appears to be taken, to protect and ripen, by every advantage which can be given to

* Derham, p. 7.

therefore to be gotten over. Now what we are to remark is, how nature has prepared for the trials and severities of that season. These tender embryos are, in the first place, wrapped up with a compactness, which no art can initate: in which state, they compose what we call the bud. This is not all. The bud itself is enclosed in scales; which scales are formed from the remains of past leaves, and the rudiments of future ones. Neither is this the whole. In the coldest climates, a third preservative is added, by the bud having a coat of gum or resin, which, being congealed, resists the strongest frosts. On the approach of warm weather, this gum is softened, and ceases to be a hindrance to the expansion of the leaves and flowers. All this care is part of that system of provisions which has for its object and consummation, the production and perfecting of the seeds. The SEEDS themselves are packed up in a cap

them of situation in the plant, those parts which most immediately contribute to fructification, viz. the antheræ, the stamina, and the stigmata. These parts are usually lodged in the centre, the recesses, or the labyrinths of the flower; during their tender and immature state, are shut up in the stalk, or sheltered in the bud: as soon as they have acquired firmness of texture sufficient to bear exposure, and are ready to perform the important office which is assigned to them, they are disclosed to the light and air, by the bursting of the stem, or the expansion of the petals; after which they have, in many cases, by the very form of the flower during its blow, the light and warmth reflected upon them from the concave side of the cup. What is called also the sleep of plants, is the leaves or petals disposing themselves in such a manner as to shelter the young stems, buds, or fruit. They turn up, or they fall down, according as this purpose renders either change of posi-sule, a vessel composed of coats, which, compared tion requisite. In the growth of corn, whenever with the rest of the flower, are strong and tough. the plant begins to shoot, the two upper leaves of From this vessel projec a tube, through which the stalk join together, embrace the ear, and pro-tube the farina, or some subtile fecundating efflutect it till the pulp has acquired a certain degree vium that issues from it, is admitted to the seed. of consistency. In some water-plants, the flower- And here also occurs a mechanical variety, acing and fecundation are carried on within the commodated to the different circumstances under stem, which afterward opens to let loose the im- which the same purpose is to be accomplished. pregnated seed.* The pea or papilionaceous In flowers which are erect, the pistil is shorter tribe, enclose the parts fructification within a than the stamina; and the pollen, shed from the beautiful folding of the internal blossom, some- antheræ into the cup of the flower, is caught, in times called, from its shape, the boat or keel; its descent, by the head of the pistil, called the itself also protected under a penthouse formed by stigma. But how is this managed when the the external petals. This structure is very arti- flowers hang down (as does the crown-imperial, ficial; and, what adds to the value of it, though for instance,) and in which position, the farina in it may diminish the curiosity, very general. It its fall, would be carried from the stigma, and not has also this farther advantage (and it is an ad- towards it? The relative length of the parts is vantage strictly mechanical,) that all the blossoms now inverted. The pistil in these flowers is usuturn their backs to the wind, whenever the gale ally longer, instead of shorter, than the stamina, blows strong enough to endanger the delicate that its protruding summit may receive the pollen parts upon which the seed depends. I have as it drops to the ground. In some cases, (as in observed this a hundred times in a field of peas the nigella,) where the shafts of the pistils or in blossom. It is an aptitude which results from stiles are disproportionably long, they bend down the figure of the flower, and, as we have said, is their extremities upon the antheræ, that the nestrictly mechanical; as much so, as the turning cessary approximation may be effected. of a weather-board or tin cap upon the top of a chimney. Of the poppy, and of many similar species of flowers, the head, while it is growing, hangs down, a rigid curvature in the upper part of the stem giving to it that position; and in that position it is impenetrable by rain or moisture. When the head has acquired its size, and is ready to open, the stalk erects itself, for the purpose, as. it should seem, of presenting the flower, and with the flower, the instruments of fructification, to the genial influence of the sun's rays. This always struck me as a curious property; and specifically, as well as originally, provided for in the constitution of the plant: for, if the stem be only bent by the weight of the head, how comes

But (to pursue this great work in its progress,) the impregnation, to which all this machinery relates, being completed, the other parts of the flower fade and drop off whilst the gravid seed-vessel, on the contrary, proceeds to increase its bulk, always to a great, and in some species (in the gourd, for example, and melon,) to a surprising comparative size; assuming in different plants an incalculable variety of forms, but all evidently conducing to the security of the seed. By virtue of this process, so necessary, but so diversified, we have the seed, at length, in stone-fruits and nuts, incased in a strong shell, the shell itself enclosed in a pulp or husk, by which the seed within is, or hath been, fed; or, more generally, (as in grapes, oranges,

est ?
These instances show the attention of
nature to this principal object, the safety and
maturation of the parts upon which the seed

it to straighten itself when the head is the heavi-and the numerous kinds of berries,) plunged overhead in a glutinous syrup, contained within a skin or bladder: at other times (as in apples and pears) imbedded in the heart of a firm fleshy substance; or (as in strawberries) pricked into the surface of a soft pulp.

In trees, especially in those which are natives of colder climates, this point is taken up earlier. Many of these trees (observe in particular the ash and the horse-chesnut) produce the embryos of the leaves and flowers in one year, and bring them to perfection the following. There is a winter

These and many more varieties exist in what we call fruits. In pulse, and grain, and grasses;


Philos. Transact. part ii. 1796, p. 502.

*From the conformation of fruits alone, one might be led, even without experience, to suppose, that part of this provision was destined for the utilities of animals. As limited to the plaut, the provision itself seems to go beyond its object. The flesh of an apple,

in trees, and shrubs, and flowers; the variety of the seed-vessels is incomputable. We have the seeds (as in the pea tribe) regularly disposed in parchment pods, which, though soft and membranous, completely exclude the wet even in the heaviest rains; the pod also, not seldom (as in the bean,) lined with a fine down; at other times (as in the senna) distended like a blown bladder: or we have the seed enveloped in wool, (as in the cotton-plant,) lodged (as in pines) between the hard and compact scales of a cone, or barricadoed (as in the artichoke and thistle) with spikes and prickles; in mushrooms, placed under a penthouse; in fearns, within slits in the back part of the leaf; or (which is the most general organization of all) we find them covered by strong, close tunicles, and attached to the stem according to an order appropriated to each plant, as is seen in the several kinds of grains and of grasses.

of the increase. The result is, that out of the many thousand different plants which cover the earth, not a single species, perhaps, has been lost since the creation.

When nature has perfected her seeds, her next care is to disperse them. The seed cannot answer its purpose, whilst it remains confined in the capsule. After the seeds therefore are ripened, the pericarpium opens to let them out; and the opening is not like an accidental bursting, but, for the most part, is according to a certain rule in each plant. What I have always thought very extraordinary; nuts and shells, which we can hardly crack with our teeth, divide and make way for the little tender sprout which proceeds from the kernel. Handling the nut, I could hardly conceive how the plantule was ever to get out of it. There are cases, it is said, in which the seedvessel by an elastic jerk, at the moment of its explosion, casts the seeds to a distance. We all however know, that many seeds (those of most composite flowers, as of the thistle, dandelion, &c.) are endowed with what are not improperly called wings; that is, downy appendages, by which they are enabled to float in the air, and are carried oftentimes by the wind to great distances from the plant which produces them. It is the swelling also of this downy tuft within the seed-vessel, that seems to overcome the resistance of its coats, and to open a passage for the seed to escape.

In which enumeration, what we have first to notice is, unity of purpose under variety of expedients. Nothing can be more single than the design; more diversified than the means. Pellicles, shells, pulps, pods, husks, skin, scales armed with thorns, are all employed in prosecuting the same intention. Secondly; we may observe, that, in all these cases, the purpose is fulfilled within a just and limited degree. We can perceive, that if the seeds of plants were more strongly guarded than they are, their greater security would interfere with other uses. Many species of animals would suffer, and many perish, if they could not obtain access to them. The plant would overrun the soil; or the seed be wasted for want of room to sow itself. It is, sometimes, as neces-two grand purposes: first, for the safety of the germ; sary to destroy particular species of plants, as it is, secondly, for the temporary support of the future at other times, to encourage their growth. Here, plant. The sprout, as folded up in the seed, is as in many cases, a balance is to be maintained delicate and brittle beyond any other substance. between opposite uses. The provisions for the It cannot be touched without being broken. Yet preservation of seeds appear to be directed, chiefly in beans, peas, grass-seeds, grain, fruits, it is so against the inconstancy of the elements, or the fenced on all sides, so shut up and protected, that, sweeping destruction of inclement seasons. The whilst the seed itself is rudely handled, tossed into depredation of animals, and the injuries of acci- sacks, shovelled into heaps, the sacred particle, dental violence, are allowed for in the abundance the miniature plant, remains unhurt. It is wonderful also, how long many kinds of seeds, by the help of their integuments, and perhaps of their oils,, stand out against decay. A grain of mustard-seed has been known to lie in the earth for a hundred

But the constitution of seeds is still more admirable than either their preservation or their dispersion. In the body of the seed of every species of plant, or nearly of every one, provision is made for

the pulp of an orange, the meat of a plum, the fatness of the olive, appear to be more than sufficient for the nourishing of the seed or kernel. The event shows, that this redundancy, if it he one, ministers to the sup-years; and, as soon as it had acquired a favoura

port and gratification of animal natures; and when we

ble situation, to shoot as

observe a provision to be more than sufficient for one purpose, yet wanted for another purpose, it is not unfair to conclude that both purposes were contemplated to gether. It favours this view of the subject to remark, that fruits are not (which they might have been) ready all together, but that they ripen in succession throughout a great part of the year; some in summer; some in autumn; that some require the slow maturation of the winter, and supply the spring; also that the coldest fruits grow in the hottest places. Cucumbers, pine apples, melons, are the natural produce of warm climates, and contribute greatly, by their coolness, to the refresh ment of the inhabitants of those countries.

I will add to this note the following observation communicated to me by Mr. Brinkley:

vigorously as if just gathered from the plant. Then, as to the second point, the temporary support of the future plant, the matter stands thus. In grain, and pulse, and kernels, and pippins, the germ composes a very small part of the seed. The rest consists of a nutritious substance, from which the sprout draws its aliment for some considerable time after it is put forth; viz. until the fibres, shot out from the other end of the seed, are able to imbibe juices from the earth, in a sufficient quantity for its demand. It is owing to this constitution, that we see seeds sprout, and the sprouts make a considerable progress, without any earth at all. It is an economy also, in which we remark a close analo gy between the seeds of plants, and the eggs of animals. The same point is provided for, in the same manner in both. In the egg, the residence of the living principle, the cicatrix forms a very minute part of the contents. The white and the white only is expended in the formation of the chicken. The yolk, very little altered or diminished, is wrapped up in the abdomen of the young

"The eatable part of the cherry or peach first serves the purposes of perfecting the seed or kernel, by means of vessels passing through the stone, and which are very visible in a peach-stone. After the kernel is perfected, the stone becomes hard, and the vessels cease their functions. But the substance surrounding the stone is not then thrown away as useless. That which was before only an instrument for perfecting the kernel, now receives and retains to itself the whole of the sun's influence, and thereby becomes a grateful food to man. Also what an evident mark of design is the stone Protecting the kernel! The intervention of the stone

vents the second use from interfering with the first."

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