« PreviousContinue »
the latter is that which veils over the gills of the Agarici, being à membrane extending from the stem of the plant to the rim of the pileus.- Parts evidently distinct and applicable to very different purposes-Linné had confounded them.--All the parts of an Agaric are exhibited, and illustrated in a rude but sufficiently expressive plate at the head of the introduction, con. taining nine figures. Mr. Bolton makes good use of these parts, in directing the student in his pursuits.
• In describing an Agaric, every part of the plant should be examined, in relpect to the following particulars.
• The rool, whether tapering, bulbous, compressed, or of what other figure ; nore the colour and consistence of the fibres, and co what they adhere ; whether the root produces one single ftem, or more than one ; and if more, how many: say in what situation it grows, and at what fealon. Noie, whether it be furnished with a volva, and if there is a volva, lay of what fize, figure, texture, colour, and duration ; if it perishes and disappears before the other parts, say how, and at what age of the plant: under this head, note also, the duration of the plant, wbether it Springs up and perifhes in the space of a few hours, in one or two days, or whether it abides for weeks.
Of the fem say, whether upright or leaning; if leaning, whether in a regular curve, or crooked in various directions ; whe. ther hard and firm on being pressed between the fingers, or freely yielding to a gentle preffure ; whether folid, and of the fame fub fance throughout, or ffular, hollow within ; whether easily di. viding in filaments, or of a brittle spongy subftance, not divisible in filaments ; say how thick, how tall, of what colour both within and without.
• If there be a curtain, say, at what age of the plant it breaks; and how, of what colour and confiftence it is, and whether it entirely vanishes, or leaves any vestiges.
of the gills, as before mentioned, say, if they are in one, two, or three series; whether broad or narrow, many or few; whether fine or coarse; whether adhering to the stem by a narrow claw, by a broad bale, or not touching the item. Say of whai colour from firit to last. Note, whether they yield a milky fluid, on being wounded or broken ; and if such a fuid, say of what colour, taste, and smell. :: Of the pileus, note, what figure it affumes, from first to last; what its diameter in a stare of perfectior, or at full growth; whether waved, undulated, or cramped round the margin, or regular and even, whether the surface be smooth and plain, or rugged withi scales, or other inequalities ; if rugged, say, whether the matter is of the same substance with, and growing from the pileus, or is of a different substance, adhering to the pileus by means of a gluten, or otherwise; and nore che colour of these inequalities.--If the surface is smooth, noce how it feels to the touch ; whether clammy or 'dry; whether like cloth, Glk, velvet, leather, vellum, or what elle ; nore, whether it confits of much Aesh or not, and of whát
fubftance and colour within; whether soft and fibrous, or batd and brittle ; whether diffolving or withering in decay; and note, what mutations of colour take place on its surface, from the first appearance above ground, to the utter decay of the plant.'
Such practical hints as these are always valuable, and we with to give them all the publicity in our power, as they are very likely to produce useful observations, which promise to lead to a true knowlege of the specific character of each species, and to a determination of the limits of the several varieties. Thus far all is in Mr. Bolton's favour.
In executing his figures, our naturalift seems to have had his eye continually on the natural air and habit of his. several fubjects : but, in so costly a work, it is a pity that the band of the masterly artist is not observable. With a great natural likeness, very often an inelegant penciling prevails ; and the colouring is laid on in rather a rude manner, in many instances. We do not mean to say that these defects are obstacles to the knowlege of the subject : but, charmed as we are by the ele. gant and expreffive figures of Mr. Curtis and Mr. Sowerby, we should have no objection to have had our eyes pleased with a beautiful display of the painter's art; while our minds were Jabouring in such abftrufe studies,
The essential character of each species is given in Latin :-we, must recall our expression,-oftener in the worst of what is called Dog-Latin. It seems as if two or three persons were employed on this part of the work; for some are expressed in a true and proper style, as Agaricus croceus, No. LIX. A. ftipitatus luteus, fipitis parte inferiori & pileo conico villosis, lemellis albis numerosis densis. Others are given in what may be called media Latinitatis, as Agaricus luridus, No. XXVI. 1. ftipitatus, pileo conico griseo viscido, margine inæquale, lamellis integris profundis fordide cæruleus, ftipite folidà arcuata. Here only gender and declension are murdered. We may observe by the way, that we are told this grows on Gibbethill. Some are in the true infimæ Latinitatis,-as, Spheria VIRDIS, No. CLII. S. fimplex globosa virida cortice granulatâ, granula fufca. We really have not hunted for these in. stances of Parnallian reformation. We may say of the book, Ipfe capi voluit,-cach volume opened in these places. Who: ever will hunt after game of this fort, will be sure to find sport : but, seriously speaking, we wonder that Mr. Bolton, when he was preparing fo costly a publication, and was willing to appear in Latin, did not take better care, and get some learned friend, (furely he must have many equal to the task,) to corredt such ridiculous faulis :-a common school-boy could have done it. In our character as protectors and promoters of sci
ence and literature, we must ask, why would he not content himself with that to which he seems equal, plain English ? Why is the science to be so overloaded with coftly imperfections? Is a man's merit raised by meddling with the jargon of literature! We could say a great deal more to the same purpose: but we Aatter ourselves that Mr. Bolton is ready to acknowlege his offence. His merit lies in great observation and pra&ical knowlege; and this would be very sufficient, were he to communicate his subject to others by word of mouth : but when he proceeds farther to the art we will not deem it in him, the trade,) of book-making, many other requisites are necessary :-Correct language, taste in the disposition of sube jects, an elegant execution of them, and, in foort, that happy talent, with which few are blessed, of conftituting a complete whole. The London Cockney Naturalis will not find his subjects in Band-ftrect, nor in Cheapfide : but, having a more scientific taste thân bis more learned country practitioner, will execute his plan, the materials for which he collects from various distances, far more correatly. The Country Naturalist has to boaft of more intimate knowlege of his subjects: but his mind is not habituated to move in the elegant line of refined life, nor is his hand correct in expressing what he would with.--Evidently, then, they each want mutual aslistance ; and if ever Mr. Bolton wilhes to appear again in print, we hope he will profit from our friendly hint. Let him collect for himself, and let him submit his language to scholars, and his drawings to an acknowleged artist.
We must beg to dispute a point of pra&ical observation with Mr. Bolton-Speaking of the Boletus elegans, which was found in the hollow of an old elm-tree root, in August 1786,” he says, “it did not make its appearance there in 1787, but in 1988 on the 28th of July another specimen grew in the self Lame spot; fo that this species seems to be biennial in its nature.' [See Introduction, p. xx.] There is no proof at all of this. In the first place, no general conclufion can be drawn from a fingle instance; and 2dly, If the circumstances of growth and appearance are to give the notion of the powers of vegetation in any species, all things must be thrown into confusion ;--and, by the same rule, some must be decennials, and some twentennials, and, in short, we must coin new cerms to express all these novel irregularities. We know nothing of the culture of Fungi from feed. Affertions have been made :--but assertions (to gain credit with sober-minded people,) must be founded in actual and repeated experiments.
We mentioned our intention of taking some notice of the Continuation of the Introduction in the third volume. We
would wish to bring forward a very ingenious remark of Mr. Thomas Flintoff of Guisborough in Yorkshire, on the motion of the fibres in the scarlet clathrus; it is contained in a letter from that Gentleman to Mr. Edward Robson of Dare lington, who transmitted it to Mr. Bolton.
• I have enclosed a specimen of a wonderful little plant. The talk is about a line in length, bearing at the top a round head, about the size of a rape seed, at the firll very tender, and contains a liquor like milk; from that they turn to a beautiful orange coa lour, and after that to an olive. When mature, and fit for examination, I looked at a great many of them through the explacator; and some amongst them were just opening at the top: one of These I laid on the calck in the slider, and viewed it through the Glver speculum. At the first I was much surprized, to see a part of the fibres, that had got through the rupture, moving like the legs of a fy when laid on its back. I then burst it with the point of a pin, and was surprized ftill more, when I saw it had the appearance of a little bundle of worms entangled together, or fibres all alive. I next took the little bundle of fibres quite out, and the animal motion was then so exceeding strong, as to turn it half round, first one way and then another, and two or three times it got out of the focus. 'Almost every fibre had a different motion ; Tome of them twined one round another, and then uniwined again, while others were bending, extending, coiling, waving, &c. The fibres had many little balls adhering to their fides, which I take to be the feeds: I observed many of these were disengaged at every motion of the fibres. I distinguished many of the fibres, and they appeared onder the lens as thick as a horse-hair, and were all exactly of the same length, which was, to my apprehension, about two inches; they were smallest at each end, which, together with their vermicular motion, gave them the strongest resemblance of little live worms. I examined many of them, at various times, and always found the motion precisely the same; but strongest when recent, and on the first bursting. The seeds appeared like gunpowder, finely granulated.'
By some mistake, this remark is here attributed to Mr. Robfon. However, in a letter which we have received from that Gentleman, he very handsomely restores it to the right owner.
We take our leave for the present of Mr. Bolton, heartily thanking him for having laid so good a foundation for the study of English Fungi : his work is absolutely necessary to all who would be masters of the subject. Mr. Bolton will observe, that nothing which we have faid, in the way of criticism, 'takes from his character as a very laborious and intelligent botanist. It is no impeachment of his abilities in this line, to say that we think him blameable in not profiting from Mr. Aiton's sensible declaration in his Hortus Kervensis, that he was favoured with the " affistance of men more learned than himself.” (See the Dedication to the King. ] - It is naturally to be expected from
modern publications, that they should complete the subject, to the time in which they offer their sentiments: but a book, like a gentleman, should not presume on the mere foundness and quantity of knowlege contained within ; some respect must be paid to the fashion of the times; and it must be allowed that the most profound scholar is not excuseable, if he lays aside the attention due to exteriors.
For our account of Mr. Bolton's Filices Britannica, or History of British Ferns, see Rev. vol. Ixxvi. p. 129.
Art. XVII. Thirteen Sermons to Seamen ; preached on board of
his Majesty's Ship, Leander, in the Bay of Gibraltar. Ву Percival Scockdale. 8vo. pp. 620. 55. Boards. Deighton.
1791. TRI His author has frequently engaged our attention, and as
we have not failed (we hope,) to treat him with due regard, neither have we neglected to point out, with candour, any defects which discovered themselves to us in his publications. In his various writings, some of which have, perhaps, been rather too hastily produced, we have observed the marks of genius, and of an acquaintance with futjects of learning; we have farther remarked with pleasure, that whatever peculiarities might attend them, they are accompanied, in other instances, with good sense; and are generally directed to promote the great purposes of piety and morality. In the present volume, we find little matter for objection, and much to approve.
The author pleads occasionally for the established church in which he officiates, and has also spoken unfavourably of those who dissent from it ; yet we cannot regard him as a bigot, nor rank him with those, who, either through ignorance or superftition, or policy, declaim in support of what others have deemed indefensible. Several of his sentiments in this collectjon, as well as in his former productions, intimate to us that he is a friend to liberty, civil and religious, to every thing that may justly and reasonably contribute to the comfort and benefit of his fellow-creatures. His theology, he would suppose, and we will not dispute it, accords with the declared te. nets of our establishment : yet we cannot but remark the manner in which he speaks of one great article ; concerning which he thus exprefles himself, the ever blefed Trinity-or the existence of God, in his three characters, energies, or actions, of our Creator, Redeemer, and Inspirer of good thoughts, relolu* See our General Index; and vols. Ixxi, and lxxix.
Page 137. 140, 141.