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The language of botany, in whatever form, is not very inviting to general readers and though it does not appear fusceptible of any advantages beyond perspicuity and brevity, yet where these are wanting, even the professed botanist (though no poet) may be allowed to knit his brows. Method, indeed, is of much more importance than style, in a body of gardening; yet when a clergyman, who must, in course, be supposed a man of letters, becomes our inftructor, we expect good language ; free, at least, from that obscurity, or unnecellary verbufity, into which uneducated writers are apt to fall. We are forry, however, to observe, that the merit of this work is rather derived from the tiller of ground, than from the cultivator of learning. Defects of this kind, might pass unnoticed in an ELLIS; but they can hardly be excused in an HANBURY.
We do not expect that a cenfure of this kind will be very cordially received by Mr. H. himself; but, surely, he who passes so confident, so harsh, and so indiscriminate a censure on all writers who have gone before him in the fame walk, can never object to the unreserved expression of our real opinion of bis performance. The second paragraph in his preface is conceived in the following emphatic terms:
• Numbers of books have been written within thefe few years on different parts of planting, botany, or gardening; all of which are extremely defective, their plan of execution being koth unnatural and absurd.'
Dr. Johnson Ihrewdly observes, in the preface to his edition, of Shakespeare, that great part of the labour of every writer, is only the destruction of those that went before him ;' and that
the first care of the builder of a new system, is to demolish the fabrics which are standing.' Where a new builder determines to erect an edifice on pre-occupied ground, he muft undoubtedly overturn whatever stands in his way, without diftinction; and then he has nothing to do but to begin his intended foundation, and convert the old materials and rubbish to his own use. This is exactly the conduct which Mr. Hanbury has adopted. Proposing to write a voluminous body of gardening, it was first necessary to prejudice the Public against every thing lately done of that kind, as the productions of fools, or madmen. This he attempts to effect in a very summary manner, by such confident affertions as that above quoted. The proofs are next to be attended to.
We entirely agree with Mr. Hanbury, that " to treat the plants as they stand arranged in the different clasics of the science, is certainly a good method for a treatise folely on botany, but should by no means be adopted in a book on gardening, where the unlearned but useful gardener would be puzzled to find out the forts for bis purpose, among the hard names,
titles, classes, and technical terms of the science. Having con. demned the botanical arrangement of the articles, in a treatise of practical gardening, he proceeds to censure a writer who has created the according to the seasons, as they rise in the course of the year; a method not ill calculated however for una learned gardeners. But it is the alphabetical form which Mr. Hanbury chiefly aims to discredit, for a reason not very difficult to discover. Another performance, says he, has appeared under the form of a dictionary; though nothing can be more injudi. cious than to compose a book of this nature dictionary wile : for to arrange the various genera, so widely different in their natures, in an alphabetical order, is very bad; but to continue all the species, of what kind soever, under their respective ge. nera, must be still worse. One species of a genus may, perhaps, be an annual, the next a perennial, a third a tree, and the fourth an useful esculent for the table : this perhaps may require the heat of a stove; that perhaps be hardy enough for the coldest situations; while another may demand the moderate protection of a green-house, or thrive very well abroad under à. warm wall.'
All these objections may be admitted, and yet the alphabeti. cal arrangement, nevertheless, remain the cleareft both to the intelligent and the ignorant; having, as in Miller's Dictionary, the work above alluded to, an English index of popular names, referring to the botanical denominations under which the artis cles may be found : fome trouble is undoubtedly caused by this double search, but it will daily decrease in proportion as the reader improves in his knowledge of botanical arrangement; which he will insenfibly do by consulting the articles. To this indeed might be added, a green-house index, and an hot-house index, for the ready turning to articles in the dictionary, which require those kinds of forced cultivation, with indexes of other kinds for particular purposes. Thus the whole botantical system being digested under one alpbabet, no person with the affiítance of such proper indexes, could be at a loss for any thing, if he knows what he is seeking for, either in botanical Latin or conja mon English
It remains now to examine how far Mr. Hanbury's plan is calculated to guard against the objections which he has made to the plans of other writers.
The whole fubject is divided into fix books; and the diftribution is as follows : Book I. After an introduction to botany, according to the
Linozan system, this first book treals of the culture of forest trees, under the fubdivisions of deciduous, aquatic, and evergrcen.
Book II. Principles for design in gardening, for the manage
ment of the seminary and nursery, and for grafting, budding, layering, &c. culture of hardy, deciduous, foreign trees and thrubs, proper for the wilderness, hardy evergreen trees and
ihrubs, and climbers. Book III. Treats of perennial flowers, under the subdivisions
of prize flowers, and hardy flowers in general. This con
cludes the first volume. Book IV. Of annuals and biennials in general; the green
house, and green-house plants, stove, and stove plants. Book V. Of the kitchen garden in general, the doctrine of
hot beds, &c. with the management of low sorts of fruit. Book VI. The culture and management of orchards, fruit · trees, and fruit.
Notwithstanding Mr. Hanbury found so much confufion in the dictionary form, and notwithstanding this digcft may appear fo unexceptionable to the Author, yet these fix divisions, with their subdivisions, under each of which the articles are ranged in separate alphabets, as so many small dictionaries, actually perplex the unity of the subject, and introduce more confusion than they were contrived to avoid. In a professed body of planting and gardening, why are useful grain, edible roots, flowers merely for fight, useless or noxious weeds, all to be afsociated together, under the clasles of perennial, and annual FLOWERS? When this jumble occurs under an improved arrangement, why not accept Miller's jumble, with the advantage of having the whole under one alphabet ? Duck's meat, for inftarce, though intitled to a place among aquatic plants, in a treatise of botany, or an herbal, has surely no bufiness in a treatise of planting and gardening, under the class of perennial flowers, where no instructions are given for cultivating them, and where no one wishes for the knowledge. As litile propriety is observed in ranking a species of the parsnep in the fame deparıment, among flowers ! The several kinds of marjoram, are scattered about under the classes, Perennial flowers, Annual flowers, Green-1;0:1fe.plants, and the Kitchen-garden. Anemonies are divided into two chapters, under Prize fiswers, and Perennial flowers; the arbutus, or strawberry tree, is a title to be found under the divisions of Evergreen trees, and again under Perennial flwers; and the pine apple, with its cultivation, will be seen under the class of stove plants, and in the kitchen garden, among the low fruits. Walnut trees appear three times, first as timber crees, secondly as ornamental trees for. shade, and thirdly as fruit trees. Thus articles are multiplied, to prevent confusion ; though so many chapters under the same head titles, in different divitions of the work, muft confuse and millead
every reader who has not the botanical distinctions at his fingers ends; when he has, he will prefer collecting all the fpecies under their proper genera.
If Mr. Hanbury's method and difpofition, in his work, is not so clear as might be expected after his liberal and repeated charges of absurdity heaped upon other horticultural writers, in his preface, his language and style have as little claim to the Critic's approbation. For this the very title may be appealed to; and (not to repeat here, what we bave frequently observed, of the effrontery of those authors who dare to recommend their own productions as compleat) a more confused, long-winded enumeration of particulars, extended by and, with, also, ir-. cluding, likewise, comprehending, and other copulatives, is seldom seen: a farther specimen, or two may be given, to lhew that this censure is not ill founded. The chapter upon the viscum or misseltoe, 'begins in the following rambling inelegant manner : . The misseltoe is a very extraordinary plant, growing from the fides and branches of other trees, instead of the earth, out of which our noble collection Springs. This occasions a fingularity beyond expression, and is by many thought very delightful and fine. In those countries where the miffeltoe is rarely found, it is much admired, and is to most people a very desirable plant; and even where it abounds in the hedges and woods, they have a peculiar regard for it, and feldom fail to procure some of it in the winter, by which a part of the house is distinguished.' Again, the first chapter that mentions the anemone, introduces it in the following pompously obscure terms : Inferior in beauty to none, though perhaps the least cultivated of any of the seven capital fhed flowers, is the wind flower; for which no other reason can be assigned than the inattention it has mostly met with, perhaps in the great regard and over-care of the other forts; and which - if taken off, and the nature of the flower duly weighed, reason would direct us to thew it more respect than it has hitherto met with ; for its charms in its variety of colours are transcendant, and its compofition is of such a nature as to form (if the phrase may be allowed) a confiicus beauty. There is a certain freedom or ease in this fiower, that is not common; they blow with those truly admired flowers the ranunculi at all their times; but the proportions required to establish a compleat flower of that kind, give it rather a stiff formal look. Nothing of this is to be found in the anemone ; and without defaming the preceding flowers, for that turn in those is perfection, the anemone shews itself without that stiff look in its varieties of all colours (yellow excepted) large and double, in all its natural luxuriance and ease, waving with 'every wind its petals of so delicate a nature, so soft and furceptible as to be affected by every breath of air, opening and
thutting, shutting, and gently obeying the direction of such externals.' The confused turn of expreffion in this passage, is so uniform throughout, that the general remark cannot escape the reader; but there are two rhetorical efforts in it, that claim particular attention : these are, the conscious beauty attributed to the anemone, and the Writer's delicate care not to defame other flowers. If thofe other flowers have a consciousntis of character, Mr. H.'s tenderness is laudable, as defamation is cruel, and even atrionable; the consciousness of beauty shewn by the anemone, may perhaps have given disgust, and point out the reason of its being so much neglected : self conceit feldom escapes this mortification
It was not without concern that we perceived, in Mr. Han. bury, fomething of a disposition to promote old wivery, in order to awaken our devotion ; for which good purpose far superior motives are, we hope, to be urged on a rational foundation. Under the article passiflora, the passion flower, Mr. H. observes that these flowers are well known; and in some countries serve as monitors to the religious, as fhewing the inftruments of our bleffed Saviour's paflion; for they bring in the leaves of some of the forts to represent fome part of it, and the contorted cirrhi the Aagella with which he was scourged. I fee no ili ufe to be made of this, and am for encouraging every thing that may raise in us due reflection, and awaken us to a sense of devotion and of our duty.' On the contrary it is to be apprehended that superstition, being a veneration contracted by FOLLY for NONSENSE, can be converted to no use without the intervention of knavery; and what kind of purpose it will then be made to serve, is left to the reflection of every sensible and honest man.
As to the botanical doctrine, and the preceptive rules, exhibited in the work, Mr. Hanbury is himself too able a gardener, and has moreover called in the affiftance of Miller's reprobated dic. tionary too frequently, to leave them open to any very material impeachment : at the same time that these volumes bear no striking appearances of superiority, to diftinguish them above all those which this Gentleman treats with such con. tempt, as extreamly defe&tive, unnatural, and absurd.
Art. Il. An Attempt to demonstrate the Mesabhip of Jefus, from the
prophetic History and Chronology of Mefiab's Kingdom in Daniel, By Richard Parry, D.D. Preacher at Market-Harborough. 8vo. 2's. 6 d. Davis. 1773.
E have had more than one opportunity of mentioning
this Writer in terms of approbation. His endeavours to elucidate Scripture, and to remove the difficulties with which