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followers; no, not even of faints: his lift of an hundred and fifty fuch names clearly fhows, that his excellent works are the true bafis of his just celebrity, which would have been feebly supported by the stalk of the Linnæa. From what proper name the Plantain is called Mufa, I do not know; but it seems to be the Dutch pronunciation of the Arabick word for that vegetable, and ought not, therefore, to have appeared in his list, though, in my opinion, it is the only rational name in the mufter-roll. As to the system of LINNEUS, it is the system of Nature, fubordinate indeed to the beautiful arrangement of natural orders, of which he has given a rough sketch, and which may hereafter, perhaps, be completed: but the distribution of vegetables into claffes, according to the number, length, and pofition of the stamens and piftils, and of those classes into kinds and Species, according to certain marks of discrimination, will ever be found the clearest and most convenient of methods, and should therefore be studiously observed in the work, which I now fuggeft; but I must be forgiven, if I propose to reject the Linnean appellations of the twenty-four claffes, because, although they appear to be Greek, (and, if they really were so, that alone might be thought a fufficient objection) yet in truth they are not Greek, nor even formed by analogy to the language of Grecians; for Polygamos, Monandros, and the rest of that form, are both masculine and feminine; Polyandria, in the abstract, never occurs, and Polyandrion means a publick cemitery; diæcia and diacus are not found in books of authority; nor, if they were, would they be derived from dis, but from dia, which would include the triacia; let me add, that the twelfth and thirteenth claffes are ill distinguished by their appellations, independently of other exceptions to them, fince the real distinction between them confists not fo much in the number of their stamens, as in the place, where they are inserted; and that the fourteenth and fifteenth are not more accurately discriminated by two words formed in defiance of grammatical analogy, fince there are but two powers, or two diverfities of length, in each of those classes. Calycopolyandros
Calycopolyandros might, perhaps, not inaccurately denote a flower of the twelfth clafs; but fuch a compound would ftill favour of barbarism or pedantry; and the best way to amend such a system of words is to efface it, and supply its place by a more fimple nomenclature, which may easily be found. Numerals may be used for the eleven first classes, the former of two numbers being always appropriated to the stamens, and the latter, to the pistils: fhort phrases, as, on the calyx or calice, in the receptacle, two long, four long, from one bafe, from two, or many, bafes, with anthers connected, on the pistils, in two flowers, in two distinct plants, mixed, concealed, or the like, will answer every purpose of discrimination; but I do not offer this as a perfect substitute for the words, which I condemn. The allegory of fexes and nuptials, even if it were complete, ought, I think, to be discarded, as unbecoming the gravity of men, who, while they fearch for truth, have no business to inflame their imaginations; and, while they profefs to give descriptions, have nothing to do with metaphors: few paffages in Aloisia, the most impudent book ever composed by man, are more wantonly indecent than the hundred-forty-fixth number of the Botanical Philofophy, and the broad comment of its grave author, who dares, like OCTAVIUS in his epigram, to speak with Roman fimplicity; nor can the Linnean description of the Arum, and many other plants, be read in English without exciting ideas, which the occafion does not require. Hence it is, that no well-born and well-educated woman can be advised to amuse herself with botany, as it is now explained, though a more elegant and delightful study, or one more likely to affift and embellish other female accomplishments, could not poffibly be recommended.
When the Sanferit names of the Indian plants have been correctly written in a large paper-book, one page being appropriated to each, the fresh plants themselves, procured in their respective seasons, must be concisely, but accurately, classed and described; after which their several
ufes in medicine, diet, or manufactures, may be collected, with the affistance of Hindu physicians, from the medical books in Sanscrit, and their accounts either difproved or established by repeated experiments, as fast as they can be made with exactness.
By way of example, I annex the descriptions of five Indian plants, but am unable, at this season, to re-examine them, and wholly defpair of leisure to exhibit others, of which I have collected the names, and most of which I have seen in blossom.
Stam. From twelve to fifteen, rather long, fertile; five fhorter, fterile. In fome flowers, the unprolifick stamens, longer.
Pift. Style cylindrick.
Peric. A capfule, with five cells, many-seeded.
Seeds: Roundish, compreffed, winged.
Leaves: Of many different fhapes.
Uses: The quality, refrigerant.
One flower, steeped a whole night in a glass of water, forms a cooling mucilage of use in virulent gonorrhoeas. The Muchucunda, called also Pichuca, is exquifitely fragrant: its calyx is covered with an odoriferous duft; and the dried flowers in fine powder, taken like snuff, are said, in a Sanferit book, almost instantaneously to remove a nervous head-ach.
Note. This plant differs a little from the Pentapetes of LINNÆUS.
Many on the Receptacle, and One.
Cal. Four, or five, cleft, beneath.
Cor. Four, or five, petals; mostly reflex.
Stam. Forty, to forty-eight, filaments; anthers, mostly erect.
Leaves: Ternate; common petiole, long; leaflets, subovate; obtufely notched, with fhort petioles; fome almost lanced.
Stem: Armed with sharp thorns.
Ufes: The fruit nutritious, warm, carthartick; in tafte, delicious; in fragrance, exquifite: its aperient and deterfive quality, and its efficacy in removing habitual coftiveness, have been proved by constant experience. The mucus of the feed is, for fome purposes, a very good cement.
Note. This fruit is called Srip'hala, because it sprang, fay the Indian poets, from the milk of Srì, the goddess of abundance, who bestowed it on mankind at the request of ISWARA, whence he alone wears a chaplet of Bilva flowers; to him only the Hindus offer them; and, when they fee any of them fallen on the ground, they take them up with reverence, and carry them to his temple. From the first bloffom of this plant, that I could infpect, I had imagined, that it belonged to the fame class with the Durio, because the filaments appeared to be distributed in five fets; but in all, that I have fince examined, they are perfectly distinct.
Four and One.
Cal. Four cleft, with a long peduncle, above.
Cor. Four petals.
Stam. Anthers, kidney-shaped.
Pift. Germ, roundish; Style, long as the filaments; Stigma clubbed. Seed: A Nut with four oppofite angles (two of them sharp thorns) formed by the Calyx.
Leaves: Thofe, which float on the water, are rhomboïdal; the two upper fides unequally notched, the two lower, right lines. Their petioles, buoyed up by spindle-shaped spongy substances, not bladders. Root: Knotty, like coral.
Uses: The fresh kernel, in sweetness and delicacy, equals that of the filbered. A mucus, fecreted by minute glands, covers the wet leaves, which are confidered as cooling.
Note. It feems to be the floating Trapa of LINNEUS.
Ufes: The feeds are very bitter, and, perhaps, tonick; fince one of them, bruised and given in two doses, will, as the Hindus assert, cure an intermittent fever.
V. MADHUC A. (See Afiat. Research. vol. I, page 300.)
Cal. Perianth four, or five, leaved.
Cor. One-petaled. Tube inflated, fleshy. Border nine, or ten, parted. Stam. Anthers from twelve to twenty-eight, erect, acute, fubvillous.