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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 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 imitate: 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 rosin, 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 capsule, a vessel composed of coats, which, compared with the rest of the flower, are strong and tough. From this vessel projects a tube, through which tube the farina, or some subtile fecundating effluvium that issues from it, is admitted to the seed. And here also occurs a mechanical variety, accommodated to the different circumstances under which the same purpose is to be accomplished. In flowers which are erect, the pastil is shorter than the stamina; and the pollen, shed from the antherae into the cup of the flower, is caught, in its descent, by the head of the pistil, called the stigma. But how is this managed when the flowers hang down (as does the crown imperial for instance), and in which position, the farina, in its fall, would be carried from the stigma, and not towards it? The relative strength of the parts is now inverted. The pistil in these flowers is usually longer instead of shorter, than the stamina, that its protruding summit may receive the pollen as it drops to the ground. In some cases (as in the nigella), where the shafts of the pistils or stiles are disproportionably long, they bend down their extremities upon the antherae, that the necessary approximation may be effected. But (to pursue this great work in its progress), the impregnation, to which all this ma– chinery 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 stonefruits 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, and the nnmerous kinds of berries), plunged overhead in a glutinous syrup, contained within a skin or bladder: at other times (as in apples and pears) embedded in the heart of a firm fleshy substance; or (as in strawberries) pricked into the surface of a soft pulp. These and many more varieties exist in what we call fruits". In pulse, and grain,

* 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 plant, the provision itself seems to go beyond its object. The flesh of an apple, 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 be one, ministers to the support and gratification of animal natures; and when we observe a provi

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and grasses; in trees, and shrubs, and flowers; the variety of the seed-vessels is incomputable. We have the seeds (as in the peatribe) 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 brown 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 barricadood (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.

sion to be more than sufficient for one purpose, yet wanted for another purpose, it is not unfair to conclude that both purposes were contemplated together. It favours this view of the subject to remark, that fruits are not (which they might have been) ready altogether, 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 refreshment of the inhabitants of those countries. I will add to this note the following observation communieated to me by Mr. Brinkley: “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 prevents the second use from interfering with the first.”

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

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