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vailed in its original purity, nor was quite loft : it more pro. bably was gradually intermixed with the laws of the victors, and lost its value in proportion as it was contaminated by bar. barous cuftoms.
• From the whole of what has been advanced, the following conclusions may, I think, be drawn with a tolerable degree of certainty. That during the fifth century, and prior to the existence of any written code among the barbarians, the Roman laws were generally admitted and considered by them as of very high authority: thac they differed from t.e national institutions which the invaders brought with them into their new fete tlements, in having an absolute and universal influence, whereas the Gothic laws were merely conditional, and confined to some particular districts : that in consequence of those revolutions which happened in the fixth century, particularly the introduction of the Salic, Ripuarian, and Visigothic codes, the laws of Theodosius loft much of their authority, though the use of
hem was still permitted to the subjects of the empire dwelling in the provinces; and even the Goths themselves would frequently appeal to them, in preference to all other foreign laws, on points where their own were filent or indecisive: and that, notwithstanding the strong prohibitions under which they.latterly appear to have laboured, it can scarcely be asserted that they were ever thoroughly extinguished ; since the Gothicdegillators, aware of their extraordinary excellence, transferred to large a portion of them into their own compilations, that they effectually preserved the spirit of the Roman law, though they debased its form, and naminally denied its authority.'
The next note is on the temporary restitution of law and letters under Theodoric, and includes a slight ketch of his life. The two laft contain some account of the decline of the Juftinian code, its loss, and subsequent recovery; but our article is too far extended to enable us to enlarge on the subject.
We need scarcely add, that we think this a valuable compendium of the Roman law; it displays the elegance of the scholar, with the accuracy of the lawyer; we Thall recoive with pleasure the second part of the work.
Letters on the Elements of Botany. Addrefed to a Lady. By the
celebrated 7. J. Rousseau. Translated into English, with Notes, and Twenty-four additional Letters, fully explaining the System of Linnæus. By Thomas Martyn, B. D. 8vo. 75. in Boards.
White. EVERY one who teaches, and every one who endeavours to
ftudy botany, will feel the want of an elementary treatise. The common elements are little more than nomenclatures, and
the learner, who wishes to attain a science, finds himself in a labyrinth of words, of which he cannot see the end, or difcern the use : Rousseau followed a different plan ; and many lecturers pursue one, which resembles it. They begin with showing and examining the great families, or those natural classes, which the untutored observer could not fail of forming from the most fuperficial view.
• What books can you recommend, that inay enable me to acquire a competent knowledge of botany? is a question that has frequently been asked me. To the learned I can readily answer, the works of Linnzus alone will furnish you with all the knowledge you have occasion for, or if they are deficient in any point, will refer you to other authors, where you may have every satisfaction that books can give you. But I am not very folicitous to relieve these learned gentlemen from their embarrassment; they have resources enough, and know how to help themselves. As to the unlearned, if I were to send them to the translations of Linnæus's works, they would only find themfelves bewildered in an inextricable labyrinth of anintelligible terms, and would only reap disguft from a ftudy that is perhaps more capable of affording pleasure than any other. If I were to bid them fit down, and study their grammar regularly; fo dry and forbidding an outset might discourage the greater num. ber; and few would enter the temple through a vestibule of fo unpromising an appearance. A language however must be acquired ; but then it may be done gradually; and the tedium of it may in some measure be relieved by carrying on at the same time a study of facts, and the philosophy of nature. This feems to have been Rousseau's idea, and I have endeavoured not to lose fight of it, in my continuation of his eight ingepious letters.'
These were the objects of Rousseau and his continuator, and they have attained them with great success. The elements of the fcience arc explained with clearness and fimplicity; the terms are fo judiciously, scattered, that they are learned with ease, while the ftudent acquires information in the science itself; and the language, free and unembarrassed by affected or injudicious ornament, is raised above didactic dulness, by the addition of pleafing circumstances, not foreign to the subject. The system of Linnæus is considered as floral only, and we have not the flightest hint of the sexual diftinctions: the words andria, and gynia, are supposed to refer to the parts of a flower, not to the organs of an animated being. We need not add, that this mode of explanation meets with our fullest approbation; not that we oppose the sexual fyftem, but because it has no connection with the elements, and cannot always be explained with propriety.
The translation from Rousseau is executed with peculiar neatness, and the notes are intended to correct some mistakes, or to explain what may not appear clear. The eight Letters of this author extend only to the great families, with an Introduction, containing an exact, and, with the aflifiance of Mr. Martyn's notes, a correct history of botany. We shall select a part from Mr. Rousseau, which gives a proper view of his own plan.
• I comprehend, (comprebend is not the best word in this situation) that you may not be pleased at taking so much pains, - without knowing the names of the plants which you examine. But I own fairly, that it did not enter into my plan, to spare you that little chagrin. It is pretended that botany is merely a science of words, which only exercises the memory, and teaches the names of plants. For my part, I know not any reasonable study, which is a mere science of words; and to which of these shall we give the name of botanist, to him who has a name or a phrase ready when he sees a piant, but without knowing any thing of its structure; or to him, who being well acquainted with this itructure, is ignorant nevertheless of the arbitrary name which the plant has in this or that country? If we give our children nothing but an amufing employment, we Jose the best half of our design, which is, at the same time that we amuse them, to exercise their understandings, and to accustom them to attention. Before we teach them to name what they see, let us begin by teaching them how to see. This science, which is forgot in all sorts of education, should make the most important part of it. I can never repeat it often enough, teach them not to pay themselves in words, nor to think they know any thing of what is merely laid up in their memory.
• However, not to play the rogue with you too much, I give you the names of some plants, with which you may easily verify my descriptions, by causing them to be shown you. For instance, if you cannot find a white dead-nettle, when you are reading the analysis of the labiate or ringent flowers; you have nothing to do but to send to an herboriit for it fresh gathered, to apply my description to the flower, and then having examined the other parts of the plant, in the manner which I shall hereafter point out, you will be infinitely better acquainted with the white dead-nettle, than the herborist who furnished you with it will ever be during his whole life ; in a little time however we shall learn how to do without the herborist: but first we must finish the examination of our tribes ; and now I come to the fifth, which at this time is in full fructification.'
The tribes of plants, examined by Rousseau, are the Liliaceous, the Cruciform, Papilionaceous, Labiate, Ringent, Per. Sonate, and Umbellate, the compound, the fruit-trees, or the
Icofandria of Linnæus. The last letter is on the method of preparing a hortus ficcus.
Mr. Martyn, in the same familiar manner, examines the different classes and orders of Linnæus ; so that a perion must be very
dull who, with this book only in his hand, cannot conquer a science, whose aspect is at first rugged and deformed, but whose very deformities will be found of the greatest use, and contribute to the pleasure which it is so capable of affording.
We shall take a specimen of our author's manner, with little choice, for there is little reason for a preference. We open at the Hexandria Monogynia, chiefly composed of the lily tribe ; and we shall cake that part.of it which relates to some well-known fowers. · We need scarcely observe, since it will be fufficientiy obvious, that in our author's familiar, we had almost faid careless, manner, there is a precision; which would add a credit to the most diftinguished botanist. We have formerly remarked that a man of real science is feldom found loose and incorrect, in his lightest moments.
The tulip and some others which I shall now prefent to you; agree with the lily in having naked, unprotected corols. The tulip, unbounded in the variety of colour, in the cultivated ftate of its gaudy flowers, has an inferior bell-Thaped corol of fix petals; and no ftyle, but only a triangular ftigma, fitting close to a long, prismatic germ. The species is distinguished by its short lance-shaped leaves, and its upright flowers, from the Italian tulip, whose flowers nod a little, have longer and narrower lance-shaped leaves, yellow corols never varying in colour, ending in acute points, and having a sweet scent. The common colour of the eastern tulip, in a state of nature, is ied. This, when broken into stripes by culture, has obtained the imaginary value of a hundred ducats for a single root, - among the Dutch florists:
How different is the sweet, the elegantly-modeft lily of the valey, from the faunting beauty of the tulip! the pure, bellshaped corol, is divided at top into fix segments, which are bent back a little: and the seed-vessel is not a capsule, as in
most of this class, but a berry, divided however into three cells, in each of which is lodged one feed: this berry, before it
ripens, is spotted. I doubt not but that you have often searched for it in vain, because this plant feldom produces its fruit: the reason is, that it runs very much at the root, and increases so much that way, as almost entirely to forget the other. I have seen large tracts covered with it, in the remote recesses of woods, without a single berry; and the way to obtain them, is to imprison the plant within the narrow circuit of a pot, when by preventing it from running at the root, it will take to increating by the red berry. This fpecies is distinguifhed from
Solo Solomon's- seal, and others of the genus, by the flowers growing on a scape or naked ftalk; it has only two leaves, which take their rise immediately from the root.
· The hyacinth is one of the most favoured plants of the florists. In the natural state, wherein you seldom see it, the corol is single, and cut into fix segments; and there are three pores or glands, at the top of the germ, exuding honey. The fpecies from whence all the fine varieties take their rise, has the corols funnel-lhaped, divided half-way into fix segments, and swelling out at bottom. This must not be confounded with the wild hyacinth or blue-bells of the European woods, which has longer, narrower flowers, not swelling at bottom, but rolled back at their tips ; the bunch of flowers is also longer, and the top of it bends downwards. This is frequently found with white corols,
We congratulate the English botanist on this valuable guide, which, with the Litchfield translation of Linnæus' System, will facilitate his access to this delightful kingdom. But we proteft, with our author, against these Letters being read inan easy chair at home; they can be of no use but to those who have a plant in their hands.
• Botany is not to be learnt in the closet; you must go forth into the garden or the fields, and there become familiar with Nature herself; with that beauty, order, regularity, and inexhaustible variety which is to be found in the structure of vegetables ; and that wonderful fitness to its end, which we per. ceive in every work of creation, when our limited understand. ings, and partial observations, give us a just view of it.',
An Attempt towards an improved Verfon, a Metrical Arrange
ment, and an Explanation of the Twelve Minor Prophets. By William Newcome, D. D. Bishop of Waterford. 410. 105. 6d. fewed. Robinson, A Nendeavour to elucidate the twelve minor prophets is no
lefs arduous than commendable, as they are generally allowed to be the most obscure part of the Hebrew Scriptures. The learned author briefly itates the nature of those difficul. ties, and then enumerates the peculiar advantages which now offer themselves to the patient investigator towards ascertaining their fensc, and understanding their allusions. cularly mentions Dr. Kennicott's Collation of Hebrew MSS. as eminently useful, and forming an invaluable accession to all external helps.' Like bishop Lowth, in his translation of Isaiah, he has given a metrical form to his version on the fupposition of its concordance with the poetical arrangement of the original. Like him, he feldom enters into any laboured Vol. LX. Aug. 1785.