Obrazy na stronie

that it might be essentially useful to many readers; and at the same time, rationally pleasing to all. He has therefore made such additions to the original work, both in the text and notes, as the late improvements in Astronomy and Philosophy appeared to justify: and, confident of its beneficial tendency, he thus presents it to the Public.


Frome, 1808.


MR. HENRY BAKER, an ingenious and diligent Naturalist, the Author of the following Poem, was born, in London, about the beginning of the last century. He was brought up under an eminent Bookseller; but his mind being inclined to other pursuits he quitted that line of business, soon after the expiration of his apprenticeship, and took to the employment of teaching deaf and dumb persons to read and write. For his amusement, he cultivated various natural and philosophical sciences; particu, larly botany, natural history, and microscopical sub. jects, in the latter of which he especially excelled ; and in the year 1744, obtained the Royal Society's gold medal, for his microscopical experiments on the crystallizations and configurations of saline particles. He was a Member of that Society, and of the Society of Antiquaries.

Besides his philosophical poem entitled “ The UNIVERSE, ,” he published two volumes on the construction and the employment of the Microscope. These works were found so worthy the attention of the curious that they passed through many editions in his life time:-and, indeed, so very useful are they in microscopical researches, that no one, pos. sessed of a microscope, should be without them.

He also published a history of a small, but wonderful, aquatic animalcule, called the POLYPE; a creature which, in the ordinary mode of propagation, is produced from the side of its parent; first appearing as a small protuberance, from whence it gradually encreases to a perfect animalcule, and then drops from the side of its parent, to provide for itself, and to produce its own likeness. This créature is multiplied by other extraordinary means ; namely, by being cut into two or more parts, each of which parts will, in a few days, become a perfect animal, like the first.

Mr. BAKER terminated a creditable and useful life, in November, 1774, and was buried at St. Mary le Strand, in which church is a tablet to his


« PoprzedniaDalej »