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Tenet insanabile multos
Many are bitten with an unconquerable furor for writing, which takes full possession of their infatuated intellects.
LIKE Sportsman, large covey unlook'd for surpriz
ing, That shoots quite at random the game as it's rising, I, Scribblecumdash, at mine authors let fly; All Scribes in one focus, enchaining mine eye.
With style chaste and easy appear Rhetoricians,
(u) The small remains of Longinus sufficiently testify the abilities possessed by that ancient classic writer; while Burke on the Sublime and Beautiful will for ever reflect honour upon his name, as a writer of the most finished and elegant style of composition. The great utility of the study of mathematics is too generally known to require further comment; I shall therefore content myself with naming Dr. Hutton as one of the most scientific labourers in this walk of literature.
(v) Among the various writers on chemistry Arthur Aikin and Reece stand in a most conspicuous point of view; while as a geometrician no living author has exceeded the labours of Keith; and on reference to the subject of husbandry, Sinclair has written in a most perspicuous style: added to whom must be
A Wildman, in Apiary's study well taught, (w)
recorded the name of William Aiton, whose research has greatly facilitated the labour of gardening in all its useful and amusing branches. With respect to agriculture, it may not be amiss to mention the opinion of many individuals engaged in this pursuit, who very gravely affirmed, that during the fire of London plants vegetated which were only known to flourish in the East Indies. The belief of these persons was, that there existed but one seed in nature, which produced different plants according to the degree of heat, whereby it was brought to perfection.
Pliny tells us of one Cresin, who only manured a piece of ground which produced fruits in abundance, whilst his neighbours lands were all poor and barren. In consequence of this he was accused of having enchanted them; otherwise, said his accusers, he could not have raised such a revenue. Upon this, Cresin contented himself with producing his carts, oxen, and the various implements of husbandry, together with his whole equipage of tillage in very good order, and then said to his judges Behold the Art, Magic, and Charms of Cresin! Upon which he instantly received an honourable acquittal.
Mineralogist lur'd by the produce of earth;
Having adverted above to the subject of gardening, I cannot refrain from offering the just meed of praise to the departed Linneus, su universally honoured for his extensive and useful labours; and although not generally known, I will annex the name of Cowley, whose poem contains much original and curious matter; as a specimen of which, the following lines on the virtues of the hazel-rod may not prove unentertaining.
That secret beds of metals can descry,
shall with a force divine,
: Ulysses Aldrovandi, a celebrated philosopher and physician, public reader of logic and botany, the Sir Hans Sloane of his day in Italy, was born in the city of Bologna, in 1521. His passion for natural history was so great, that, whilst yet a boy, he
Those Scribes, who by topics of Magic are taken, Astrologers famous, as Bungy or Bacon; (x)
began to make collections in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, &c.; and notwithstanding his income was slender, he allowed a person (whose pursuits were in a great measure congenial with his own) two hundred ducats a year for the space
of thirty years, to make drawings of plants, fruits, &c. The draftsman drew and coloured many of the latter after nature, to a degree of temptation. He made a present, during his life-time, of his library to the Senate of Bologna; which it seems had the sense to appreciate the gift, for they ordered apartments to be erected in the public palace, in which this intellectual treasure was deposited with great ceremony. The taste and penetration evinced by Aldrovandi in his favourite study could only be equalled by his astonishing industry; yet, lamentable to relate, with virtues that ought to have ensured the friendship of the good, and learning that might inflame the pride of patronage, he died in great distress in his old days, in an hospital in his native city, on the 10th of May, 1605. Of his writings, which are extremely voluminous, Cardinal Montalto, the Duke of Urbino, Franciscus Morea, and Pope Clement the VIIIth, caused several to be printed.
(w) The literary and practical labours of the above gentleman have for a series of years been usefully employed in the