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where you take your nightly repose, were some years ago all growing in the field.
Is not the hair of camels a part of the materials which compose those rich curtains that hang down by the window, and the easy chairs which accommodate your friends ? And if you think a little, you will find, that camels with their hair were made of grass, as well as the sheep and their wool. I confess the chimney and the coals, with the implements of the hearth, the brass and iron, were dug out of the ground from their beds of different kinds, and you must go below the surface of the earth to fetch them : but what think you of those nice tables of mosaic work? They confess the forest their parent.
• What are the books which lie in the window, and the little implements of paper and wax, pens, and wafers, which I presume may be found in the scrutoire? And may I not add to these, that inch of wax-candle, which stands ready to seal a letter, or perhaps to light a pipe? You must grant they have all the same origin, they were once mere vegetables. Paper and books owe their being to the tatters of linen, which was woven of the threads of flax or hemp; the pasteboard covers are composed of paper; and the leather is the skin of the calf, that drew its life and sustenance from the meadows. The pen that you write with was plucked from the wings of the goose, which lives upon the grass of the common: the inkhorn was borrowed from the front of the grazing ox; the wafer is made of the paste of bread-corn; the sealing-wax is said to be formed chiefly of the gum of a tree; and the wax for the candle was plan
dered from the bee, who stole it out of a thousand flowers,
Permit me, ladies,' said the philosopher, 'to mention your dress; too nice a subject indeed for a scholar to pretend any skill in: but I persuade myself your candoar will not resent my naming the rich materials, since I leave those more important points, the fashion and the shape, to be decided entirely by your superior skill. Shall I inquire then, who gave Eliza the silken habit which she wears ? Did she not borrow it from the worm that spun those shining threads? and whence did the worm borrow it, but from the leaves of the mulberry-tree, which was planted and nourished for this purpose by the country swain ? May I ask again, how came Emily by those ornaments of fine linen which she is pleased to appear in, and the costly lace of Flanders that surrounds it? Was it not all made of the stalks of flax that grew up in the field like other vegetables? And are not the finest of your muslins owing to the Indian cotton-tree? Nor can you tell me, Theron, one upper garment you have, whether coat, cloak, or night-gown, from your shoulders to your very feet, as rich and as new as you think it, which the sleep, or the poor silk-worm, had not worn before you. It is certain the beaver bore your bat on his skin : that soft fur was his covering before it was yours; and the materials of your very shoes, both the upper part and the soles of them, covered the calf or the heifer before they were put on your feet: all this was grass at first, for all the animal world owes its being to vegetables.'
When Crito had given them leave to muse a little, he took up the argument again. "Give me leave, madam,' said he to Eliza, 'without offence, to lead you into further wonders. You have seen that the furniture of the place where we are, as well as the precious attire in which you are dress. ed, were lately the production and the ornaments of the forest, the meadow, or the garden. But could you forgive me, madam, if I should attempt to persuade you, that that beautiful body of yours, those features, and those limbs, were once growing also in the fields and the meadows? I see, lady, you are a little shocked and surprised at the thought. I confess the ideas and sentiments of philosophy are not always so courtly and so favourable to human nature as to be addressed to the tender sex: but pardon me, Laura, if I inquire, was not your infancy nursed with milk and bread-corn? Have you not been fed with wheat, though it was of the finest kind? And your drink, what has it been but either the infusion of barley, or the juice of the grape? or for variety, perhaps, the cider-grove has supplied you. The flesh, with which you have been nourished to such a wellproportioned stature, belonged to four-footed animals, or to the fowls of the air; and each of these has either been fed with corn or grass : whence then has your own body been supported, and what do you think it is made of?
But it is safer to transfer the argument to myself. These limbs of mine owe themselves entirely to the animal or vegetable food, to the roots or the stalks, to the leaves or the fruit of plants, or to the flesh of brute creatures, which have passed through my mouth for these fifty years, or the
mouths of my parents before me: this hand would have been worn to a mere skeleton, my arms had been dry bones, and my trunk and ribs the statue of death, had they not all received perpetual recruits from the field. These lips, which now address you, are of the same materials, and they were once growing in the grass of the earth. This very flesh which I call mine now, did belong to the sheep or the ox, before it was a part of me; and it served to clothe their bones before it covered mine.
• It is true, you have sometimes tasted of fish, either from the sea or the rivers : but even these in their original also are a sort of grass; they have been fed partly by sea-weeds, and partly by lesser fish which they have devoured, whose prime and natural nourishment was from some vegetable matter in the watery world. In short, sir, I am free to declare, that whether I have eaten cheese or butter, bread or milk; whether I have fed on the ox or the sheep, or the fowls of the air, or the fish of the sea, I am certain that this body, and these limbs of mine, even to my teeth and nails, and the hairs on my head, are all borrowed originally from the vegetable creation. Every thing of me that is not a thinking power, that is not mind or spirit, was once growing like grass on the ground, or was made of the roots which supported some green herbage.
THE PLEASURES OF A GARDEN.
I HAVE several acres about my house, which I call my garden, and which a skilful gardener would not know what to call. It is a confusion of kitchen and parterre, orchard and flower-garden, which lie so mixed and interwoven with one another, that if a foreigner, who had seen nothing of our country, should be conveyed into my garden at his first landing, he would look upon it as a natural wilderness, and one of the uncultivated parts of the country. My flowers grow up in several parts of the garden in the greatest luxuriancy and profusion. I am so far from
ing fond of any particular flower by reason of its rarity, that if I meet with any one in a field which pleases me, I give it a place in my garden. By this means, when a stranger walks with me, he is surprised to see several large spots of ground covered with different colours, and has often singled out flowers that he might have met with under a common hedge, in a field, or in a meadow, as some of the greatest beauties of the place. The only method I observe in this particular, is to range in the same quarter the products of the same season, that they may make their appearance together, and compose a picture of the greatest variety. There is the same irregularity in my plantations, which run into as great a wildness as their nature will permit. I take in none that do not naturally rejoice in the soil, and am pleased wlien I am waiking in a labyrinth of my own raising, not to know whether the next tree I shall meet with is an apple, or an oak, an elm, or a pear-tree. My kitchen-garden has likewise its particular quarters assigned it; for, besides the wholesome luxury which that place abounds with, I have always thought a kitchen-garden a more pleasant sight