Obrazy na stronie

ology of Vegetables*, I had not an opportunity of seeing any part, until I had printed off a great part of my work. Many other works, as well nomenclatural as physiological, which would have been of great service to me, have never reached me. However, in the Supplement which I propose to publish, I shall endeavour to avail myself extensively of these various helps.

For some of the imperfections of this work, I may, perhaps, claim the indulgence of the public, on a ground, which, to me at least, is interesting. A very infirm state of health, which would, perhaps, rob any one (however ardent in the pursuit of science) of a portion of his zeal; and would, necessarily, abridge the hours of his intellectual labours, has long been, and continues to be, my companion. With respect to this very work, I may complain, almost without a metaphor, in the words of Linnæus (there is even no necessity to change the name of the disease): “ At dira arthritis, vix incepto opere, ita una cum corpo. “ ris viribus mentem et animum fregit, ut in ipsa herba “ fere suffocatum fuissett."

Physiologie Vegetale; contenant une description des organes des plantes, et une exposition des phenomenes produits par leur organization. Par Jean Senebier. A Geneve.

† Philosophia Botanica, &c. Praefatio-Viennæ: 1783.



THE former edition of this work, though written under many disadvantages, has, upon the whole, been favourably received by the public. It has been republished in Britain, and has met with some flattering marks of attention on the continent of Europe. Among my own countrymen, for whom it was especially composed, it has not been neglected. It has, indeed, if I mistake not, been the principal Elementary work on Botany that has been in the hands of my pupils, and the students of this interesting and amiable branch of natural history, in almost every part of the United States, since the year 1803.

A new edition of the work is now presented to the public. This edition is much more extensive than the former; and though still very imperfect, and deformed, I fear, by many errors, I may venture to assert, that it is greatly amended, in many respects; and in all respects more worthy of the attention of the students and lovers of Botany, and especially of the young botanists of my own country.

It may not be improper to mention, in this place, the principal points of difference between the present and the former edition.

The first part of the work, which forms the great mass of the first volume*, remains pretty much in the same state in which it originally came from the press. Several additions, however, have been made to the body of this part: some errors have been corrected. Some notes, chiefly illustrative of the text, are added; and these, from their miscellaneous nature, will, I hope, be deemed acceptable to the curious reader. They may serve to enliven the subject, and convey to him some idea of the manner in which I treat the science of botany, in my public lectures.

The two platest representing the principal forms of Leaves, both simple and compound, and also plates xxxiv and xxxv, which are attached to this volume, are entirely new additions. They are accompanied by a copious explanation: and the explanations of the other plates, though not wholly new, are more full than in the former edition.

But the most important addition to the first volume, the plates of the leaves perhaps excepted, is the copious INDEX, which terminates the volume. This index will, I am persuaded, be deemed a valuable supplement to my work: for the want of it was much complained of by the purchasers of the first edition. It is principally intended as an index, or catalogue, of the terminology, or technical terms, that are made use of in every part of the work. In this respect, if I do not mistake, it is so extensive and complete, that it may supply the want of some of those mere botanical dictionaries, which I have referred to, in the body of the work.

The first edition of the work was generally comprized in one volume, but was sometimes formed into two. The present, from its increased size, is neces. sarily distributed into two volumes.

† Plates xxxii, xxxiji.

This index also contains a list of all the Natural Orders, or assortments, of plants that are mentioned, either inciden. tally or more particularly, in the two volumes: but it contains no references to individual plants. It embraces, also, references to many of the principal miscellaneous subjects of my work. But, I repeat it, I wish it to be considered chiefly as an index of technical terms.

The second part, though still small in comparison of either the first or the third parts, is somewhat corrected, and considerably enlarged. In particular, it contains a section, of some length, on the Generative functions of the stamens and the pistils; including observations on the irri. table movements of these sexual organs, &c., &c. I have, also, added a short section on the chief Principles contained in vegetables; and, at the end of the part, a small body of notes.--I should have greatly enlarged this portion of the work, had I not been unwilling to increase, beyond certain limits, the size of the volume; and were it not still my intention to publish, at some future period, a small volume on the PhSIOLOGY of vegetables, somewhat upon the plan which I have mentioned in the Preface to the first edition*

But it is in the third and last part of this work, that the reader will find the most important corrections and additions. Indeed, throughout the whole of this portion of the volume, additions and corrections have been made. Many of the genera are now disposed of very differently from what they were in the former edition. In many instances, I have, also, added remarks on the anomalies of the stamens, in regard to number, insertion, &c.; and these re

* See page is

marks, especially when I speak of the North-American plants, will, perhaps, be considered as a morceau of some value to systematic botanists.

All the observations on the Algæ, Fungi, Palmæ, &c., &c., after page 168, and between this and the Appendix, are new additions. To the appendix itself, I have made some additions: as well as to the explanations of some of the thirty plates, which were included in the first edition of the Elements. The new plates, of which mention in presently to be made, are of course accompanied by new explanatory matter.

The volume is terminated by an Index of the principal vegetables which are mentioned in the work, and especially in the third part. In this index, both the scientific and English and provincial names of the plants are given: and although this catalogue is less extensive than I could wish it were, it cannot fail to be of essential use to the student in aiding him in his investigations into the position or arrangement of many of the plants, concerning which he may wish to obtain information.

The first edition of this work contained thirty plates: the present is enriched by ten additional plates. Some of these will, I fatter myself, be found valuable and important; or at least of great use to the young student of botany. They are all original plates, and some of them after drawings done by artists of the first character. Such, in particular, are plates xxxi, xxxii, xxxii, xxxiv, xxxvi.

Besides the addition of these ten new plates, important additions have been made to some of those which accompanied the first edition of the work. Such additions will

« PoprzedniaDalej »