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No speck was in the sky,--00 little cloud
IT may with truth be asserted, that if pure and rational happiness is to be found on earth, except in the temples of religion and the practice of benevolence, it is in the love of nature. The eulogium pronounced by Cicero on the pleasures of literature, in bis oration for the poet Archias, is equally applicable to the calm and elegant satis. faction which a well directed inind continually derives from the beauty, magnificence, order, and regularity dis
verable in the whole creation. "Such studies,” said he, “ are not only suited to every time, to every age, to every place, but they give joy in old age, and strength in youth, adorn prosperity, and are the comfort and consolation of adversity: at home they are delightful, abroad they are easy : thus when we travel they attend us; and in retirement they never leave us.” .
Your attention, my friend, has lately been directed to the wonderful formation of the root and stem. We will continue our investigations ou secreted fluids. Nothing is more astonishing than the production of flinty earthis in vegetable bodies. A substance is found in the hollow stem of the Bamboo aruudo. Bamboo of Linnæus, called Tabasheer; which is supposed in the East Iodies to be endowed with extraordinvry qualities, like the imaginary stone which Shakspeare has so beautifully eulogized, as similar in its virtues to the benefits derived from adversity.
Some of this substance underwent a chemical examination, and proved as near as possible, pure earth. It is even found occasionally in the Bamboo cultivated in our hot-bouses. A similar discovery has also been made by Sir Humphrey Davy in the euticle of various plants, of the family of grasses, in the cane, a kind of palm, and the rough horse-tail Equisetum, hyemale. In the latter it is very copions, and so disposed as to make a natural file, which renders this plant useful in various manufacturés, for even brass cannot resist its action. Common wheat straw when burnt, is found to contain a portion of finty earth in the form of a 'most exquisite powder; and this accounts for the utility of burnt straw in giving the last polish to marble. “How great,” says Sir James Smith, in his valuable Introduction to Botany, “is the contrast between this production, if it be a secretion of the tender vegetable frame, and those exhalations which constitute the perfume of flowers! One is among the most permanent substances in nature, an ingredient in the primeval mountains of the globe; the other the invisible, untangible breath of a moment.
“How delightful and fragrant is this breath, when in a calm summer moroing or evening, the air is perfumed with the sweet scent of the rose and honeysuckle. The aromatic smell which is observable in pive groves at noon during the heat of the summer months, is also pecu agreeable, as well as that of new mown hay. Many associations are connected with them, and they bring before the mental eye scenes of pastoral simplicity, brighter skjes, and more luxuriant shades. It would not perhaps be easy to define the sensible delight which perfumes in general administer. They are grateful to the living, and poets have imagined that they are even delightful to the dead. A Persian poet has celebrated in the following pleasing stanza the odoriferous ringlets of his mistress. «Should the gentle breezes that play around my tomb waft rich odours from the hair of my love, the perfume would recal me to life again, and render me vocal in her praise.” The burning of perfumes in ancient times was confined in this country to the great, and a lamp with odours suspended in the sleeping room considered as a peculiar mark of royal favour.' The followiug lines from the poems of an ancient minstrel, particularly notice the fondness of our ancestors for perfumes. It is supposed to be addressed by a monarch to bjs daughter, who was plunged, in consequence of her attachment to a “ squire of lowe degree," into the deepest melancholy, and after presenting a picture of the amusements which he designed to procure her, concludes in the following manner.
" When you are laid in bed so soft,
All night, minstrels for you shall wake.” Many flowers which are scentless in the day, emit a powerful fragrance as soon as the evening draws in ; and this peculiar property does not appear at all dependant on the state of the atmosphere. Such is the case with those which Livnæus has elegantly termed fores tristes, melancholy flowers, belonging to various dissimilar tribes agrecing only in the dusky colour of their petals, and the exquisite nature of their scents. Some of the most conspicuous of foreign growth are the Mesembryanthemum noctiflorum, Cheiranthus tristis, Daphne pontica, Crassula odoratissima. The Epidendrum ensifolium, and Chloranthus inconspicuus, are of this description, and emit a delightful fragrance, similar to the lemon. They are noticed as being great favourites of the Chinese, and form conspicuous ornaments in their public festivals.
“Earth, yield me roots.
POSTHUMOUS GRIEF. PHILIPS, in his Pastorals, makes shepherdesses tear their hair and beat their breasts at their own deaths:
Ye brighter maids, faint emblems of my fair,