« ZurückWeiter »
three times, at a Fortnight's distance from each other, and then deposits 80 or go Eggs at a time, which are hatched by the Sun in 24 or 25 Days time. After this he acquaints the Company with the Use the Groenlanders make of the Bones of some Fishes, and of their Skins with which they build Boats, much safer to navigate in than ours. The Walruis is a cetaceous The Wala Fish, whose Teeth are of an exceeding. white
" p. 397. Ivory, and whose left Jaw is armed with a very long Ivory Horn, sometimes. 16 Feet long. This is the Horn commonly said to belong to a fictitious Animal called Unicorn. A short Account of the Whale, and of the manner of The Whale: fishing it ; and its several Properties, follows the Cro next. A Description of the Crocodile, and of codile. its Enemies, the Hippopotamus, and the Ichneu-TheHippomon, a kind of Water-rat, or Dog, put an end the Ich
and potamus. to this Conservation..
neumon. The very agreeable and ingenious Coun- Conv.XIVI tess still fitting in the Chair, proposes Botany Botany. for the Subject of this Conversation, which the p. 407. Prior gives the Scheme of, and reduces to three Heads. 1. The Origin of Plants. 2. Their essential Parts. And, 3. Their Nutricion.
As to the first, it is plainly proved, that these, as well as Animals, have not a spontaneous Origin. Their Seed is considered next, and how carefully it is preserv’d: then the different forts of Fruit, and their Covering, some having a Surtout of a harder Texture, and some fofter, or finer, according to the several Seasons they are designed for.
The Count and the Prior inform the Company of the manner of their Growth, and how the Seed, tho' sown very often in a different No. XX. 1732.
Situation from what it should be to emit the Root in the Ground, does notwithstarding nacurally turn the Fibres of the Root downwards. The Circulation of the Sap in Plants, is plainly proved from the manner used in Languedoc in the
grafting of Olive-trees, which is related in this p. 420. place. Touching this Phænomenon a curious
Account from AEta Erudit. of Leipf. is here likewise related of an Old Oak, almoft dried up, which let several Tuns of Water out of one of its Knots, which had a hole made in it. The Prior, who relates all this, gives his Reasons why Moss kills Trees; why Endive, and other Plants, when tied up,whiten. TheCount likewise gives an Account of the Action of the Air upon their Sap and their Growth; how some are propagated from Cuttings, others from Seeds, others from the OH-sets of Roots, others from Layers : and makes some curious Obfervations. The Countess gives an Account of the prodigious Fecundity of Plants, and proceeds to å curious Description of Flowers, and of the man- . ner of propagating them. She takes notice that fomeTrees bear no Blossoms,and instances in the Fig-Tree ; fhe mentions also some curious Obr servations concerning the Blossoms of Melons, and the way of ordering them. The Lady afterwards closes the Conversation with a flight Account of Plants, usually callid Male and Female; and instances in Hemp, the use of which jaft is in the next Conversation to be the Sub
ject Matter of the Lady's. Discussion. " Conv.XV.
This last Meeting opens with the afflicting 8°News of the Chevalier's approaching Departure p. 48.
on account of Family-affairs, in hopes however, that every September, which is his Vacation-time, he will enjoy the same pleafure as he has done
with this agreeable Company. The Lady, according to her promise, informs the Chevalier p. 451. of the use of Hemp and Flax ; which are near Hemp, a-kin ; in order to which, she begins with the Manufacture of these, from the time it is pluck'd from theEarth,and brings it down to the laft Hand that is given them; as that they furnish Men with Sails, Cordages, &c. fine Linen, &c. The Prior, in his turn, commends three forts of Cotton-Trees to be found in America.c This gives occasion to the Count to relate the Trees. many uses chat a Plant he calls the China- Aloe Chinais puc to : infomuch, that a whole Family may Aloe live upon such an Aloe, which alone will find them in Meat, Drink, Clothing, and Lodging. The Prior, at the request of the young Gen- P: 460: tleman, describes the Sugar-Cane, and what Su-Sugar-cane gar is. The Count obliges the Chevalier with an Manna Account of Manna, and how it is produced; Rhubarb, Rhubarb, Ipecacuanba, Cortex-Peruvianus, and pecacuthe Simarouba, are hardly more than named; andanha. Cor
rex-Peruthe Thoughts of the Count upon the Effects of vianus. these several Roots fhew he is a much better marouba, Naturalist, than Physician. The Prior men-Gentian,
"Tea, Cof. tions Gentian ; and, at the Lady's request, Tea, Coffee, and Chocolate, are confider'd by the Vanilla. Count : the laft of which is made of Cacao-Nuts, Cinamon, the beft of which are those called Carracca. Cloves, The Chevalier is told what Vanilla is, which is Mace. so often mix'd with it. He is likewise instructed what Cinamon, Cloves, Nutmegs, Mace, are ; their different kinds ; where they grow, and · in whose hands they are : viz. the Dutch. Burgundy and Champagne Wines, are com-wine. mended next. The Prior blesses God for the p. 475, Gift of Wheat, which, well managed, will keep one hundred Years; an Instance of which
he gives. The very judicious Reflexions of the Prior concerning the Superftitions still kept to, by Gardeners, &c. are well worth the reading; and their fanciful Heed to the Age of the Moon,
and its pretended Influences on Plants is, with Virgil's
.. very good reason, exploded. Virgil is here cencensurd. sur'd, by the by, for his frequent and frivolous p. 480. Cautions in his Georgics, of certain Days, pre
tended to be influenced by Orion, the Dog-Star, &c. This gives the Chevalier occasion to ask
the reason why the several Constellations in the · Zodiac are called by the Names of Animals ?
And the Prior. very learnedly satisfies his Curi
osity; and puts an end to this last Conversation. : THE Chevalier being gone home, writes a
Letter to his dear Prior; and after he has. thanked him for his kind Instructions, he acquaints him, that upon informing his Brother and his Bride how he had spent his time in the Country, they were also become Naturalists. But while they were intense upon examining
every Object that fell in their way, a certain p. 491. Gentleman ridiculed their Researches, and told Obječtions them, 6. That the Study of Natural History againt the or was but loft time: that all our knowledge Study of Natural " was nothing but Mistake, and Uncertainty : History. " that indeed we might, for instance, be ac
66 quainted with the larger Vessels that help to 66 nourish the Body of an Animal, but that 66 we cou'd not distinguish the other Vessels thac “ nourished these, and much less understand " the Texture of the smallest ; and that, after .66 all, the Knowledge of one Branch was not of " any service without the Knowledge of the o" ther Branches ; and that therefore it was 16 needless to begin a thing, he was sure, we “ shou'd never be able to.compass.". To this
the Chevalier's Brother had answered, " That " the Gentleman's Objection did not render 66 those things dubious, which we are already “ certain of, nor deprive us of the means of
acquiring still more Knowledge: that tho' “ we were in the dark with respect to some " things, there were others, notwithstanding, 66 that we were perfectly well acquainted with : "s that we were not to enquire after such as were " above our reach, but after those only, we " could come at." This last part gives the Chevalier a handle to enquire what are the just Rights and Bounds of. buman Reason.
This Extract is spun out unawares, to so The --it's great a length, that we find ourselves obliged obs. to refer our Readers for a Solution of this Difficulty to the judicious and learned Prior's Letter, which contains a fine and true Eulogium of REASON, that greatest Gift of GOD to. Man. The Author, being cramp'd by the Religion he professes, is fallen into some few Contradictions; and tho’we cannot come into all his philosophical Notions, with respect to the Bounds within which he circumscribes Reason, we must do the ingenious and worthy Author the Justice to fay, that there runs such a Vein of good Sense, and sound Reasoning throughout this Lecter, that indeed abstracting it would be doing a prejudice to him whose whole View in this moft entertaining Book has been not only to instruct young People, with the Beauties of the Works of the Creation ; but to carry them, from the Consideration of these, to the eternal Praise of the Wisdom, Goodness, &c. of their Maker ; and, consequently, to direct them in the Paths of Virtue, as all Knowledge must tend to that end.