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The Poppy is illustrated at some length; some of the extracts are scarcely relevant. There is a very elegant ode to the Poppy, which our Author had probably not seen; printed, if we mistake not, in some work of Mrs. Charlotte Smith's, but written by another lady, and connected, we believe, with an affecting story. The first stanza is as follows.
• Not for the promise of the laboured fields,
I bend at Ceres' shrine :
Thou brilliant weed,
That dost so far exceed
can bestow, Heedless I passed thee in life's morning hour,
Thou comforter of woe!
Till sorrow taught me to confess thy power.' We should have thought that the Wall-flower had been illustrated by some of our poets. One slight notice only is given from Thomson. An elegant sonnet has been addressed to this picturesque flower, by the anonymous Author of “ Sixty“ five Sonnets, -a volume which escaped our notice at the time of publication, but which contains, under an unattractive title, some very felicitous specimens of that delicate species of poem. We shall make room for the sonnet alluded to.
I will not praise the often flattered rose,
Or when in dazzling splendour, like a queen,
Beneath the valley's cool and shady screen ;
Nor yet the sun-flower that with warrior mien,
And muse art dearest, wildest, sweetest flower,
Proudly to root thyself above the rest,
Lend fragrance to the purest breath of heaven.'
* « Sixty-five Sonnets ; with prefatory Remarks on the Accordance of the Sonnet with the Powers of the English Language." 12mo. pp. 124. London. 1818.
Another anonymous poet has some very beautiful lines on the subject of flowers, in the singular poem entitled, “ The
Comforter,” reviewed in a former volume. Speaking of the healing influence of natural scenery, he attributes this charm to
• Each flower brocaded on earth's mantle green,
every little undistinguished weed
Often to muse on.' The whole passage is worthy of finding a place in this literary flower garden. Other additions will, we doubt not, have been pointed out to our Author by her private correspondents. In the event of a new edition, we should be glad to see the plan somewhat extended, so as to comprise the poetical character and natural history of all the plants or weeds which belong to the British Flora. For this purpose, the fair Horticulturist must travel out of the precincts of her portable flowergarden, spacious as they are ; must escape from the metropolis and its suburbs, and make herself thoroughly acquainted with the innumerous tribes which bloom unnoticed and despised by all but clowns and poets, beneath hedge-rows, or by the stream's side, or on heathy uplands, or in the recesses of the Hamadryad’s retreat. If the old English and provincial names can be given, all the better; and then, after we have heard the botanist's account, let us have all that our poets have said about them. The volume thus completed, would make one of the most elegant introductions to Botany imaginable. It is in vain to wish that a higher tone of sentiment pervaded the
work ; such as Cowper expresses, when he speaks of all nature being, by an emphasis of interest, his, who can
• lift to heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say, My Father made them all.' The Hortus Anglicus, which we have associated with this work as relating to a common subject, is of a very different character, but will be found highly useful to those who have leisure and opportunity to pursue the study of Botany. As a work of science, it is of course far more valuable than the slight and elegant volume we have been reviewing ; it is designed for those who are already initiated in the elements of botanical science, and who wish to possess some knowledge of the beautiful objects which surround them in nature.
easy, intelligible, and compendious guide to an acquaintance • with those plants which form the pride and delight of the • modern garden, is not,' the Author remarks, ' to be found • in the English language.' The very comprehensiveness of the larger works, renders them unfit for the use of the inexperienced inquirer, who, amid a description of more than 20,000 plants, finds himself bewildered. We warmly approve of both the plan and the general execution of the present work. If we have
any fault to find, it is with the nomenclature, which is very much too Latinized to be intelligible to the non-initiated without a glossary. If Botanical works are written in English, it should be English. The pedantry which leads to the perpetual coining of technical barbarisms, half Latin half English, is exceedingly offensive : it serves only to deter many persons from entering upon the study. It is all very well for Swedes, and Russians, and Germans, to write their systems and criticisms in Latin ; but an Englishman ought to be too proud of his language, (which bids fair to surpass the French itself in its extensive diffusion, as much as it does in every noble quality,) ought to respect his mother-tongue too much, to submit to have this disrespect put upon it; as if it could not express the shape and structure of a plant, or the most common earth, such as clay or slate, without foreign assistance. And after all, while such words as funnel-shaped, heart-shaped, salver-shaped, &c. are freely used, it seems absurd to mix up with these, the uncouth Latinisms which are to be found sometimes in the same sentence, such as ‘umbel peduncled,' terminal cymes,' • decurrent," villous,' ringent,'. crenate,' &c. In this respect, the present compiler, however, has but followed his authorities. The essential generic characters, which are placed at the beginning of each class, are collected from the last edition of the “ Species Plantarum” edited by Willdenow, with occasional emendations and additions from the Hortus Kewensis and the works of Sir J. E. Smith. The place of each genus, when ascertained, in the natural systems both of Linnæus and of Jussieu, is also inserted. The etymology of the genera, which our Author has been careful to give as far as it can be discovered, will not a little add to the interest of the work. Both the generic and the specific names are accented. The specific characters are generally followed by a concise description, drawn from Rees's Cyclopedia and the larger works on English Botany; the time of flowering, native country, and date of introduction of each plant, being given on the authority of the Kew Catalogue. The utility of the work is considerably enhanced by a double index, both of Latin and English names. This, to a sciolist, is the more necessary, from the circumstance of the same name being sometimes used for a generic, sometimes for a specific appellation, with a different meaning: For instance, the genus Syringa belongs to the order Diandria Monogynia, and includes the lilacs. The common Syringa is found under the
genus Philadelphus in the class of Icosandria. The Althea Frutex is found under the genus Hibiscus, while the Althea genus comprehends the common marsh mallow and others of the same description, which would naturally be sought for under the genus Malva. In Jussieu's system, all the mallows, together with other genera of the same order, range under Malvaceæ. On the whole, the work contains much useful and entertaining information; it is at least a capital descriptive index, and entitles the Compiler to the thanks of the public.
• To unite botanical science with useful information, has been,' he states, the constant aim of the Author. He confides his work, therefore, to the favour of the public ; trusting that it will be found to promote the prevailing regard for the attractions of the vegetable creation; the contemplation of which, said old Gerarde in his Herbal, as long ago as the year 1597, " is a study for the wisest, an exercise for the noblest, a pastime for the best." ;
Art. IV. Remarks on Female Education, adapted particularly to the
Regulation of Schools, 12mo. pp. xiv. 394. Price 58. 6d.
London. 1823. THE comparative advantages and disadvantages of a home
and a boarding-school education for girls, have often been zealously and anxiously canvassed; but no general decision on the subject could, we are persuaded, be laid down, so as to meet all the circumstances of the case. The choice of the best mode of education, could that be determined, would go so little way towards securing the effective application of that mode, that the parent might be led to place a fallacious reliance on the approved plan, so as to be less particular or watchful as to the manner in which it was carried into execution. With all our decided preference for home education, when the alternative presented is that of a good school or an ill-regulated family, competent instruction with school discipline, or half-education and no discipline--we confess that we should decide without scruple for the former. But these matters are not always at the option of the most judicious parent. The question not unfrequently becomes, not what is preferable, but what is practicable ; and schools are had recourse to, not as abstractedly the best mode of education, but that which is best under all the circumstances of the case. The very intelligent Author of this volume candidly and frankly concedes, that the balance of advantages will generally be found to lie in favour of a private education. But the word ' generally' may be thought even too strong, taken in connexion with the considerations which belong to the conditions of the question.
• To those parents, remarks the Writer,' who, regarding their offspring as the heirs of immortality, seek to render every species of instruction, and all the discipline of early life, subservient to the great end of their existence, the associations and the pursuits of childhood will
appear too important to be entirely confided to any other superintendence than their own. And the feelings of natural affection will thus unite with many serious considerations, in inducing a preference of home education ; respecting which it may be fairly conceded. that it affords opportunities of communicating the most valuable instruction, of watching and correcting the temper, and of aiding the gradual development of the rising character, which cannot be ensured in an equal degree in the best regulated school. These advantages, however, if not altogether neglected, are too frequently counterbalanced by many and most serious evils ; some of which are too obvious, and unhappily too well known by experience, to require particular enumeration. Such, for instance, as arise from deficiency of resolution in a mother, from her want of confideace in a governess, from occasional, if not frequent, opposition of sentiment between them, which children seldom fail to discover, and of which, when discovered, they never fail to take advantage. To these may be added, the successive changes in the superintendence of the schoolroom, which, whether they are the result of caprice, of unreasonable expectations on either side, or of circumstances that could be neither foreseen nor prevented, are equally unfavourable in their influence on the improvement of the children.'
When, indeed, the home plan is adopted, not so much from a deliberate conviction of its superior recommendations, as from economical motives, or from parental fondness, the danger