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on the upper extremities of the white pines of Canada ; and in the forest of Geltsdalo, the Earl of Carlisle has an ash, an alder, and a mountain ash growing out of the same solid trunk.
Here, too, we may note some resemblance with the manners of birds and insects. The cuckoo lays its eggs in the nest of a hedge-sparrow; the long-eared owl lays its eggs in the old nest of a magpie ; and the hornet-fly deposits hers in the cells of an humble bee. Some birds, as the American goat-sucker, make no nest at all ; but drop their eggs, as many fishes shed their spawn, careless what becomes of them. Birds, however, are for the most part assiduous in their parental duties. Some plants bear analogies even with these : the tamarind closes upon its fruit, when the sun has set, in order to preserve it from the dew; and in Ceylon and in Java there is a plant a remarkable for having a small vegetable bag attached to the base of its leaves. This bag is covered with a lid, which moves on a strong fibre, answering the purpose of a hinge. When dews rise, or rains descend, : this lid opens; when the bag is saturated, the lid falls, and closes so tightly that no evaporation can take place. The moisture, thus imbibed, cherishes the seed, and is gradually absorbed into the body of the plant. Sharks permit their young ones to retreat, in times of danger, into their stomachs ; and there are some land animals, also, that possess the power of resisting the action of the gastric juice.
Some flowers are even viviparous; but I know of none that bear even a distant relation to the toad; which impregnates the eggs of the female as they issue from her anus. The potatoe, on the other hand, claims a peculiarity, on behalf; of vegetables, not unworthy of observation. It produces more abundantly* from a small portion of its fruit, than from the seed itself. There is nothing in animals associating with this. Some plants, too, have not even so much as a root..
· The Nepenthes distillatoria. Voy. Cochin China, 189, 4to. Vid. Jacquin, Flora Austriaca, 73, 77.
The fucus natans and the conferva vagabundi, for instance, swim on the surface of the sea like a nautilus. They may, therefore, not inaptly be styled plants of passage. The former swims upon the grassy sea ; and the latter among the estuaries of Carnarvon and Merioneth, and not unfrequently in Milford Haven. Some plants may, also, be propagated by being engrafted or inoculated. Thus by inoculating one tree with the buds of others, several fruits may be made to grow upon one tree. Engrafting is performed either by insinuating a bud or scion into the stock, into the rind, into the bark, between the rind and the bark, cr into the root
In general economy, the internal structure of viviparous and oviparous animals are different; but in serpents the conformation of both is the same. In the leech there seems to be no passage, by which it can eject the blood it has taken into its body. It will remain clotted, but not putrified, for months; and little altered either in texture or consistence. It probably exudes by the medium of pores. .
Insects have no bones :-their blood is not red:-their mouths open lengthwise :—they have no eyelids :--and their lungs open at their sides. They seem to have the capacity of hearing, but they have no ears. Lizards, also, exhibit remarkable phenomena. They are neither beast, fish, bird, serpent, nor insect; and yet, in some measure, they share the natures of them all. Some are viviparous, like beasts; as the Lophius piscatorius ;—others oviparous, like birds: some shed spawn like fishes ; some have teeth like serpents ; and others none, like many insects.
Some plants bear fruit on the backs of their leaves : as spleenwort, maidenhair, fern, brake, pepper-grass, and many species of moss. After the same manner, the Lapland marmot, the spider, and the American scorpion, carry their young upon their backs, wherever they go, in case of alarm. The monoculus insect carries its young on its back even in the water ; but the Surinam toad exhibits & still more wonderful phenomenon :-its eggs are buried in the skin of its back, When the animals, enclosed in those eggs, burst from their shells, the mother is seen crawling, with her family riding on her person ; some still in the egg; others just emerging out of it; and some clinging to various parts of her body. In animals an abundant supply of food tends to early production ; but in vegetables, the more scanty the nourishment, the earlier will a plant propagate its kind.
ELECTRICAL AND OTHER AFFINITIES, &c. AFFINITIES of electricity may be traced in marine substances, in insects, vegetable oils, and mineral essences. In 40 degrees 30 minutes south of the Line a are seen a multitude of minute sea animals, emitting colours equal to those of the most brilliant sapphires and rubies. When observed by candle-light, they appear of a pale green. In the Gulf of Guinea, ships seem frequently to sail, at night, in a sea of milk b; a whiteness, which is occasioned by pellucid salpæ, and crustaceous animals of the scyllarus genus, attached to them. Other oceans contain a particular species of sea anemones, so brilliant, that the terms white, carmine, and ultramarine, are o insufficient to express their beauty. In the River St. Lawrence , luminous appearances are caused by a vast number of porpoises darting and crossing each other with great velocity. Star-fishes, also, float on the surface of the sea in summer, and emit light like phosphorus. By land these luminous appearances are far from being unknown ; though in instances more detached.
When Missone was in Italy, he observed the hedges, bushes, fields, and trees, covered with innumerable flies (lucicole), which gave great splendour to the evening air. The fulgoria candelaria, and the diadema, give equal brilliancy to many parts of China and India. In the Torrid Zone, also, countless multitudes of phosphorescent insects a fly in all directions, and give light to groves of palms and mimosas. The elata noctilucus of South America emits a light so brilliant, that ten of them are equal to the effulgence of a candle: while the Peruvian fulgoria, having a head nearly as large as its entire body, is so luminous, that four, tied to the branch of a tree, are carried, near Surinam, to guide travellers by night. Light is emitted, also, by dead plants, and rotten carcasses: while sulphuric acid, if mixed with water, emits a heat more violent than even boiling water.
Y-1 P. 48, 4to.
- b Tuckey, p. 48, 4to. * Abbé Dieguemarre, Phil. Trans. for 1773, art. 37. . Aubery's Travels in Amer. vol. i. p. 26.
• Misson's Travels, vol. ii. p. 234.
Under the influence of fire, coal elicits a red flame ; jet a green, and amber a white one. The Siberian topaz becomes white; the Brazilian topaz red; the chrysolite fades of its green; and Oriental sapphires, from a deep blue, become so brilliant, that they are frequently taken for diamonds. At Ancliff, in Lancashire, there is a well, the vapour of which is so impregnated with sulphur, that, by applying a light to it, it burns like the flame of spirits. In the Grotto del Cane, on the road from Naples to Puzzuoli, carbonic acid gas exists in a state of purity, unmixed with the atmosphere. It rises, however, only three feet from the bottom of the grotto ; so that a man may enter the cave without danger. But if an animal is held to the floor, for a short space of time, it loses all appearance of life; a state, however, from which it soon recovers if it be thrown into the adjoining lake. A torch, taken into this cave, blazes with brilliancy; but if held within three feet of the floor, it becomes immediately extinguished. In Germany there is an odoriferous plant belonging to the Decandria monogynia class and order, which blossoms in June
• Lampyris Italica, L. noctiluca.
and July; and which, when approached of a calm night, with a candle, becomes luminous : this arises from the finer parts of its essential oil dissolving in the atmospherical air; and impregnating it.
Kircher relates, that, near the village of Pietra Mala, in Tuscany, he observed the air frequently to sparkle in the night-time. This fire was called Fuogo del Legno: and probably proceeded, like the ignis fatuus, from phosphorated hydrogen gas: since that combination fires spontaneously at any temperature of the atmosphere. Salt produced from a solution of copper in nitric acid, if sprinkled with water over tinfoil, and wrapt up suddenly, will elicit sparks of fire from the tinfoil: and filings of zinc, mixed with gunpowder, produce those stars and spangles, in artificial fireworks, which it is impossible not to admire.
If some vegetables exist without roots, there are animated beings, in return, which are propagated after the manner of plants. The earthworm may be divided into two parts; upon which each part becomes a perfect worm. The head portion acquires a tail; and the tail portion acquires a head. The star-fish may be divided into many parts with similar effects: but the polypus may be divided and subdivided into 500; and · thus by compulsion become the parent of 500 others. Indeed polypi exhibit the most wonderful phenomena, in respect to propagation, of any objects in nature; for they propagate like quadrupeds ; like insects ; like fishes; and like plants. Some are viviparous ; and some issue from an egg; some are multiplied by cuttings, and others grow out of the bodies of their parent like buds out of trees : and from which they fall, much after the manner of the testuca ovina of northern latitudes.
It may here be remarked, that, though in general plants are extremely regular in producing their relative and respective number of males and females, they do not do so always. In the flower called the Turk’s-cap I have observed corollas con