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BoTAMY, deriving its name from the Greek word /8«T«>ii, grass, is that branch of natural science, which teaches us the properties, relations, and general (Eco- nomy of what is usually called the vegetable kingdom, and which, at the same time, by presenting the in- numerable individuals of which this kingdom consists, in a form of arrangemtnt that brings them easily within the reach of our comprehension, enables us in practice, both to designate them by their proper names, and to avail ourselves of what is known con- cerning their medical or oeconomical uses.


That men were led, from the earliest times, to pay some attention to the herbs and trees growing spon- taneously around them, is a circumstance so natural as hardly to require that we should say any thing in proof of it. Their dependence on the vegetable kingdom for a part of their food, as well as their in- nate desire to improve their situation, could not fail, even in the least favourable state of society, to make them distinguish a few such plants as they had found to be useful, in order to their afterwards having re- course to them. And in proportion as civilization advanced, and property, now recognised, began to be put under the protection of law, the inducements to extend their discoveries in a branch of knowledge which promised to be of so much advantage- to them, would continue to multiply. A spirit of inquiiy, provoked by self-intyest, and encouraged by the prospect of security in .what regards possession, would begin to manifest itself. The ornamental and un- common, as well as the medicinal and more necessary tribes of vegetables, which are, of course, the first objects of attention in the earlier periods of society, would come, in process of time, to be sought after and cultivated; and the catalogue of discovery, which had hitherto consisted of little else than a few rude names, would gradually assume a more enlarged and interesting form.


At length, when a state of independence had se- cured to individuals a sufficient portion of unoccupied time, curiosity would naturally take a wider range ; and the sum of that knowledge, which till now had been chiefly the result of accident, or, at least, of a confined sort of observation, would receive frequent additions from the labours of men, who devoted them- selves, from o'loice, to the business of inquiry. New plants would be collected ; the habit and virtues of such as were already known, would be carefully ex- plored ; and the result of these researches, being at length committed to writing, along with the facta and circumstances which had been otherwise brought to light, would constitute the first proper rudiments of laotanical history.

Such, we have reason to believe, has been the usual progress of discovery. And on looking back to that period in the history of nations, to which we are re- ferring, we accordingly find, that the degree to which those who enjoyed any facilities of study, had pushed their acquaintance with the vegetable kingdom, was often considerable. Among the Jews, for instance, Moses and Solomon, who lived comparatively in the infant state of science, bestowed much attention on plants ; and by way of giving us som^ idea of the attainments which the latter, more especially, had made in this sort of knowledge, it is said in scripture that " he spoke of trees from the cedar in Lebanon, even to the hyssop that springetli out of the wall." Among the Persians, in like manner, Zoroaster, their celebrated lawgiver, was extensively conversant with botanical studies ; and the same may be said of He- siod, Solon, Pythagoras, and Crateras; but more par- ticularly of Hippocrates and Aristotle among the Greeks.

Of botany, as a science, there is, however, little or . nothing on record that has come down to our times, except a few fragments of a work of Aristotle, of an older date than the age of Theophrastus. This ele- gant scholar, wlio was born at Eresium in the island of Lesbos, about 371 years before Clurist, was the



Early liis- tory of bo- tauy.


of Theo-



AC. 371.


A C. 266.



Diosco- rides.

rliny. Uorn A. D. 20. Died A.D. 76.

favourite disciple of Aristotle, a philosopher, whose ardent and comprehensive mind, had left scarcely any thing unexplored in the circle of the sciences. To the knowledge which he had derived from the lessons of such a master, as well as from the use of an inva- luable library, which that master, at his death, be- queathed to him, as his successor in the Peripatetic school, Theophrastus added the result of much per- sonal observation. And when he was now advanced in life, and had thrown his materials into that form which appeared to him most eligible, he at length favoured the world with a philosophical work on his favourite subject, entitled ■x-i^i (fvrut irro^ixf, or the History of Plants. The greater part of this publi- cation, into which he introduced a description of 500 plants, is still extant ; but as he adopted no better principles of arrangement than the variable ideas whicji soil, size, lactescence, and oeconSmical uses suggest, its merit in these days is considered as arising chiefly from the scientific and classical views which it gives us of the structure and general occonomy of vegetables.

About 400 years afterwards, he was followed in the same course of observation and study by Dioscorides, a native of Cilicia, but of Grecian extraction. After having made several extensive journies through dif- ferent parts of Asia, and spared no pains to get ac- quainted with the names and virtues of all the plants that were then known, this diligent botanist publish- ed an account of 600, distributed, from their officinal qualities, into the four classes of aromatic, vinous, medicinal, and alimentary vegetables. But though his descriptions are accurate and more comprehensive than his predecessors, his principles of arrangement are scarcely less objectionable ; and it may be added, that he wrote particularly with a view to illustrate the medical virtues of plants.

The elder Pliny, who lived but a few years after Dioscorides, and who ultimately fell a victim to his love of knowledge in an attempt to approach Motmt Vesuvius immediately after an eruption, devoted, his attention, among other things, to plants. In the course of his History of the World, which may be viewed as a compilation of all that was known to the ancients on the subject of natural history, he has 'given us some account of upwards of 1000 species. But, as we might naturally expect in a compilation from authors of various merit, his facts and descrip- tions are often inaccurate, and mixed with a good deal of extraneous matter ; and his whole work, so far as he treats of plants, is so devoid of order, that the only distinction which he makes use of is, the obvious, but very uncertain one, of trees, shrubs, and herbs.

From the time of Pliny downwards, for the space of several hundred years, we scarcely read of any per- son who made a figure as a botanist. The study of the science was eitiier wholly neglected, or pursued only by a few insulated individuals, without any ideas of method, or advantage from the labours of their predecessors. In Arabia, it is true, an attempt was made, about the close of the eighth century, to bring it into repute, by Serapis, Razis, Avicenna, and others; who, for this purpose, translated the writings of the- Greek authors, and made various compilations from them. But, in the western world, the birth- 1

place heretofore of genius and learning, improvement of every kind was arrested ; society was put back from its natural course, and a darkness that might be felt succeeding every where the ravages of those numerous hords of barbarians that poured in upon the Roman empire, extinguished for ages the very glimmerings of science. It was only about the be- ginning of the sixteenth century, that a taste for bo- tany, keeping pace with the revival of learning, be- gan to be again cultivated. The works of Theo- phrastus, Pliny, Avicenna, and other ancient authors, were translated, and given to the public with the notes and illustrations of several learned commenta- tors. And, in the mean time, the stock of know- ledge contained in them was enlarged, and by de- grees reduced into a more convenient form by the la- bours of men who devoted themselves to the task of original observation.

Otto Brunfels, a native of Mentz, who died in ISSt at Berne, in Switzerland, where he had gone to practise medicine, was the person who may be said to have taken the lead in this respect, having publish- ed, four years before his death, a work containing the fruit of his own researches, in two vols, folio, il- lustrated with cuts, which he entitled, Historia Plan- tarum Argeiitorati. A short while after, Hierony- mus Bock, or Tragus, as he is generally called, a German, who was born in 1498, and died in 1554, published a history of plants in his Kreuterbuch, into which he introduced pretty accurate descriptions of 800 species, arranged according to their habit, size, and figure, and accompanied with cuts ; which, like those of Brunfels, are, however, rude, and such as might be expected in the infancy of engraving. Eu- ricus Cordus, and his son Valerius, who were natives of Hesse, and nearly contemporaries of Tragus, were rather eminent for their labours in illustrating the descriptions of their predecessors, and more especial- ly of the ancients, than for adding to the sum of ori- ginal discovery. Leonard Fuchsius, however, a Ger- man, who was born in 1501, and died at Tubingen, where he was professor in 1566, Peter Andreas Matthiolus, physician at Siena, in Italy, who flou- rished about the same time, and had made the wri- tings of the Greek authors, but chiefly those of Dios- corides, in a particular manner his study,— Rembert Dodona:us, physician to the Emperor Charles V., and latterly professor of botany at Leyden, where he died in 1585, Matthias de Lobel, physician to James I. of Great Britain,— our countryman Dr Turner, au- thor of the i?n'i2\s/j Herbal, and above all, the celebra- ted Charles L'Ecluse, or Clusius, a Flemish botanist, who, after travelling through many countries, with much risk, and more than one serious accident to himself, from devotedness to his favourite pursuit, became superintendent of the. emperor's gardens at Vienna ; and towards the close of his life, which hap- pened in 1609, accepted of an invitation to be professor at Leyden, contributed, in a very eminent degree, by their own observations, as well as by the improve- ments which they made on the labours of preceding writers, to the advancement of the science. Botany, it is true, had not yet assumed any regular form ; and the histories of the plants which they published, consisted of little else than descriptions, more or less



Modern history of butauy.

Brunfels. Died 1534.

Tragus. Born 1498. Died 1554.

Cordus. Born 1515. Died 1544.


M.'itthie- lus.

Born 1500. Died 1577.

Dodonjeus. Born 1517. Died 1586.

De Lobel. Turner. Died 156S. Clusius.



Fiichsius. Burn 1501. Uied IJb'U.

Tie Lobel. Born 153S, Died 1U16.

Clusius. Born 1526 Died 1609.

accurate, of so many unconnected species. But still the number •f these had been very much augmented, in consequence 'of their diiifrence : for instead of tlie 800 species, described by Tragus in 1.532, we find, in the Stirpiunt Historia of Dodon^us, published a short wliile before his death, an account of 1330; and in the Rarinrum Plantarum Ilisloria of Clusius, which appeared not long after, taken in connection with the writings of De Lobel, we find descriptions of nearly 800 more.

The work by which Fuchsius, who appears to have been a man of an acute mind, but not so conver- sant with nature as Tragus, contributed most to ad- vance the interests of botany, was his Historia Plan- tarum, whicli appeared in 1542, accompanied with 512 large and very excellent outlines, or shaded sketches of plants, taken chiefly from Brunfels. Mat- thiolus, on the other hand, besides publishing in ijtS an elaborate edition of Dioscorides, with cuts, the merit of which may be estimated from its having been translated into different languages, and gone through more than thirty editions, was the author of a work, entitled, Compendium de Plantis, which is also cha- racterised by learning and ability. De Lobel, who was an industrious, but not a very discriminating, bo- tanist, wrote first in conjunction with Pena, a physi- cian in Provence, the Nova Stirjpium Historia, con- taining descriptions, though often crudely enough expressed, of many new plants, discovered by thenx in the course of various journeys in France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, and Great Britain ; and afterward* by himself, the Plantarum seu Stirpium Historia, which was published in 1576, and again republished, in a less detailed form, but with many additional cuts, borrowed chiefly from the works of his contempo- raries, under the title of Plantarum Icones, in 1581. Dodonseus, besides being the author of the Stirpium Historia, above alluded t j, and of two or three other tracts of less moment, which it would be needless to specify, had the merit of benefiting the science, by introducing a peculiar style of neatness and accuracy in his figures, as well as in his descriptions ; and so far as the labours of Clusius are concerned, we may be allowed to say, that while he evinced, in every thing, the powers of a superior mind, he both wrote more, and pushed his inquiries to a greater extent, and with much greater risk to himself, than any botanist of the age in which he lived. His various pubhcations embra- ced some account of almost all that was then known of the vegetable kingdom. But without specifying any of them, except the liariorum Plantarum Histo- ria, already mentioned, which appeared in 1601, and tiie Plantce Exotica:, which followed soon after, we shall content ourselves with rather quoting what is briefly stated by Willdenow, the present able professor at Berlin, partly in the words of Tournefort, by way of giving some general idea of his toils and merit as a botanist. Being early drawn aside from the study of'the law, to which his parents had destined him, by an unusual fondness for botanical pursuits, " he Undertook," says this gentleman, " the most tedious and troublesome journies through Spain, Portugal, France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, and Hungary. In his 24-th year he already became af-

fected with dropsy, but was cured by the use of Hirtory.

cichories, recommended to him by the famous physi- »

cian kondeletius. -In his .^Otii year, in Spam, he broke his right arm close above the elbow, fallin,<^ with his horse ; and soon after he had the same ac- cident with his right thigh. In his 55th year, in Vi- enna, he sprained his left foot ; and eight years after, wards dislocated his hip. This last dislocation was overlooked by his physician, and he had the misfor-, tune to walk for the remainderof his lifeon crutches. The great pain and difficulty he had thus to suffer when walking, prevented him from taking the neces- sary exercise, in consequence of which he was affect, cd with a hernia, obstructions in his abdomen, and calculous complaints. Thus miserable and unhealthy, tired of the court of the emperor, where he had resi- ded for fourteen years past, and finding, besides, the superintendence over the gardens there too great a burden, he accepted, in the year 1593, an invitation as professor at Leyden, where he died soon after." Having said thus much with respect to his history, he adds, " Clusius was the greatest man of his age, and prosecuted t)ie study of botany with an enthusi- astic zeal, and a perseverance, which was not equal- led by any preceding philosophers, nor by any of his followers. His works shew us the great botanist, and they will always remain valuable and indispensa- bly necessary. The cuts annexed to them are neat, the figures distinct, and his descriptions masterly. It was a pity that a man of so great merit should have suffered so much, and even become the first martyr for botany."

Another very eminent person of this period, whom Gesner. it would be unjust in us not to take particular notice ^'^ 1516. of, both on account of his vast acquaintance with Oicd 1 565. every branch of natural history, and especially for the improvements which he had intended to intro- duce into the science of botany, was Conrad Gesner. He was born at Zurich in Switzerland, in the year 1516, and while he was yet hardly more than a boy, discovered an insa'tiable desire for knowledge, and the powers of an almost universal genius, accompa- nied with an industry and perseverance which nothing could appal. Having been early accustomed by an uncle of the name of John Friccius, who had a similar predilection, to wander over his native mountains, and examine what struck him as new and unusual in the vegetable kingdom, with the eye of a botanist, he continued through life, amid innumerable other stu- dies, to bestow a more than ordinary attention on this favourite pursuit. Besides making iiimself familiarly acquainted with the flora round I.,ausanne, Basle, and Zurich, where he successively resided, he extended his researches by degrees over the rest' of his native country, and particularly over the Alps; being in the habit, we are told, of making some botanical ex- cursion through one part or another of it, almost every year. He likewise visited France and Italy : and wherever, in the course of his travels, he hap- pened to find plants which he had not seen before, he delineated them, or endeavoured to have them con- veyed home and cultivated in his garden. Having in this way, or by the good offices of many who had heard of his singular merit, and admired him, prc»


History, cured several hundred pKints, which were not men- tioned by the ancients, nor by any preceding writer ; and having also made numerous experiments to dis- cover their virtues, he was proceeding, with the aid of eminent artists, to prepare a work on the subject which might be worthy of the public eye. Unfor- .tuBately, however, when he liad got ready upwards of 2000 very neatly executed figures, and was now almost on the point of sending the fruit of thirty years labour and study to the press, he was seized witli the plague, which was then raging at Zurich, and died soon after in his Museum, where he had been carried at his own desire, when he found his end approaching, in 1,565 ; having only reached the age of 49, and being nevertheless, to use the words of '1 ournefort, the father of natural history in all its de- partments. HisMSS. relating to botany, though com- mitted with particular directions to the charge of one in whom he reposed confidence, were never made public; and those elegant figures, which he had left for the purpose of iUustrating his own works, were after- wards surreptitiously made use of in several instances, to adorn and recommend the publications of others. Instead, however, of tracing their fate, or of pronoun- cing any opinion upon what he did publislton the general subject of botany, wliich was not very consi- derable, we rather hasten to add, that the prin- cipal reason for our bringing him forward so con- spicuously in this place, is, to present him in what will ever be an interesting point of view, as the origi- nal contriver of systematic arrangement. In the year 1560, this skilful observer, whom Haller elegantly characterises, when he styles him, vir animo, labore, ingenioque pariter eximius, suggested that, in order to facilitate the study of botany, advantage might be taken of the parts of fructification. That he under- stood the doctrine of what is now called the sexual system, and the necessary connection which it supposes between the flower and the fruit, in order to the perfection of the latter, we are not prepared to say, because he never explained his ideas at any length to the public. But still he knew, what long obser- vation must have impressedupon his mind, that the seed was necessary to the reproduction of the vegetable, and was always preceded, in one form or another, by the flower. And as these parts, besides being of course the most essential and interesting, are at the same time possessed of considerable variety, he, na- turally enough, conceived that plants might be so distributed into groypes or classes, by characters drawn from them, as to be viewed to more advantage, and brought more readily under the command of the mind for any useful purpose, than in the vague and in- sulated way in which they had been hitherto treated of.

Proceeding upon this idea, Dr Andrew Cxsalpi- nU3, a Florentine, some time professor of botany at Padua, and afterwards physician to Clement VIII. at Rome, made the first attempt at systematic ar- rangement. In his work De Plantis, published at Florence in 1583, he distributed the plants, which he has described in it to the number of 1520, into 15 classes, of which the distinguishing chai-acters were ^aken from ihe fruit. His classes were as follows ;

Cxsalpi- nu9.

Horn 1519. JJied 1003.


1. Arbores, corculo ex apice scminis.

2. .... . corculo a basi semiiiis.

3. Herbx, solitariis seminibus,

4 solitariis baccis.

5 solitariis capsulis.

6 binis seminibus.

7 binis capsulis.

8 triplici principio, fibrosx.

9 triplici principio, bulbosx.

10 quaternis seminibus.

II pluribus seminibus, Anthemides.

12 pluribus seminibus, Cichoracea:.

seu Acantacese.

13 flore communL

14 foUiculis.

\5 flore fructuque carentes.

From this synopsis of the method of Cxsalpinus, it appears, that he set out by making a distinction, common enough long after his time, between trees and herbs : and that he distributed the species of the first grand division into two classes, according as the corculum or germ is situated at the point ot the seed, as in the oak, elm, ash, walnut, sumach, and cherry ;^-or at the base of it, as in the fig, apple, ta- marind, mulberry, fir,cypress, and juniper. The spe- cies of the second grand division again he formed in- to 13 classes, according to the number of the seeds, seed vessels, and the internal divisions of their ca- vities. The third class, for instance, was made to consist of those plants which have a single naked seed only, as valerian, nettle, hop, and the grasses ; the fourth, of those which liave a single undivided berry, or pulpy seed vessel, with several seeds, as cucumber, honey- suckle, deadly night- shade, and briony ; and the fifth, of those which have a single undivided cap- sule, or dry seed-vessel, as pink, primrose, swallow- wort, and the papilionaceous flowers. The sixth class, on the other hand, was made to consist of those plants which have two naked seeds ; and the seventh, of those which have a twofold seed vessel, or, in other words, a seed vessel divided internally into two cells, as mercury, speedwell, agrimony.and the stellated flowers. The eighth and ninth classes were made to comprehend those plants which have"a tnple seed ves- sel, or a seed vessel divided internally into three cells; the plants of the former being more immediately dis- tinguished by their fibrous roots, as convolvolus, violet, and St John's wort ; and those of the latter by their having bulbous roots, as the tulip, hyacinth, narcissus, and other species of the liliaceous family. The tenth class was made to comprehend those plants which have four naked seeds, as rosemary and sage ; and the eleventh, twelfth, aud tliirteenth, those which have several naked seeds : the ground of distinction among themselves being, that the plants of the eleventh class have what are now called radiant compound flowers, as camomile ; those of the twelfth, either what are now called semiflosculous, or discoid com- pound flowers, as succory, or thistle; and those of the thirteenth, such simple flowers as are common to all the seeds, as flos Adonis, herb bennet, and cinque- foil. The fourteenth class was formed to include such plants as have several capsules, or cells of cap-



incut 111'

Caesiilpi- nus.



I.fonarcl KKiiwoinr, l>icd 13i)6.

Ditd 1587.



Born 1534. Died 1598.

sulea together, as anemone, poppyi and hellebore ; ami tlie last comprehended the ferns, flags, mosses, and mushrooms.

Such was the method proposed by Cicsalpinus, in order to facilitate the study of the vegetable king- dom : and a.i it was both the first attempt of the kind, and hkcwise possessed of considerable merit, one should have thought that, on its being made known, it would naturally have drawn very general attention. The fact was, however, otherwise ; for it ceased to be thought of almost as soon as it was pub- lished. And for a century afterwards, the science was indebted for its advancement, as heretofore, to the exertions of those, who employed themselves in dis- covering new plants, or in giving the world a more accurate delineation of the specific characters of such as were known.

About the time when Cxsalpinus published the book De Planlis, containing his system, Leonard Rauwolff, a celebrated German, who had travelled very extensively through Syria, Palestine, Mesopota- mia, Arabia, and Egypt, between the years 1573, and 1575, and who died in 1596 in the capacity of physician to the Austrian army, gave the pubhc a very excellent account of his travels, embracing, among other things, descriptions of several rare plants, which he had gathered in them.

Four years afterwards appeared a work in 2 vols, folio, entitled Hixtoria Generalis Plantarum, in which an attempt was made for the first time, to com- bine the discoveries of preceding botanists, and to give some connected account of the whole. It had been chiefly compiled by James Dalechamp, a native of Caen, in Normandy, and physician at Lyons ; a man of indefatigable industry, who had made it a leading subject of attention for thirty years, and who had himself gathered many plants on the Alps, and in Switzerland, as well as in the contiguous parts of France, which he meant to describe in it : but as he was somehow prevented from going on with it him- self, the task of completing it was first committed to John Bauhin, whom we shall immediately have occa- sion to notice; and on his retiring into Switzer- land soon afterwards, on account of religion, to John Molinxus, or Moulins, an accomplished physician and naturalist, who also resided at Lyons. It was not however published till after the death both of Mou- Lns and Dalechamp ; and, of course, although it is doubtless a compilation of no small merit, so far as research and industry are concerned, it is not without much of that incorrectness and repetition which we might expect in a work that, besides being the first of the kind, and the production, too, of various au- thors, had not the advantage of being finally com- pleted and published under the inspection of any of them.

Joachim Camerarius, a celebrated German, who had travelled widely through Italy, where he took the degree of doctor of medicine ; and James Theo- dore Tabcrnxmontanus, ative of Deux Fonts, in France, the pupil of Tragus, and latterly physician to the Elector Palatine at Heidelberg, contributed, about the same time with Dalechamp and Moulins, to promote the interests of botany by their valuable labours. The merit of Camerarius lay chiefly in hig

favouring the world with the Horlut Medicus et Vhiloaophicus, a publication extracted for the most part from the writings and MSS. of preceding botan- ists J but particularly from the MSS. of Gesner, which he had the good fortune to purchase along with his collection of cuts, to the number of 2.500 ; and in his publishing new editions of the Epitome of Matthiolus, and of one or two other works, enriched with many excellent figures, partly executed by him- self, and partly taken From the collection of Gesner, and with much useful information as to the names, places of growth, and medical virtues of the plants, which were treated of in them. The merit of Ta- bernaemontanus, on the other hand, consisted in his la- bouring somewhat in the way of Dalechamp, for thirty- six years, as we are informed by Haller, to prepare a general history of plants, illustrated with figures ; which he at length brought well on to a conclusion, though he lived only to pubUsh the 1st vol. of it ; the second appearing in 1590, under the auspices of Dr Nicholas Braun, who had made several additions to it. Nor can we forbear to connect with the memory of these two botanists, the name of a contemporary au- thor, Dr John Thahus, physician at Nordhausen,^who surveyed the Hercynian Forest with much attention, and afterwards communicated his discoveries in a treatise entitled, Sylva Hercynia, which was first pub- lished along V. ith the Hortus Medicus of Camerarius.

Shortly after the time we are speaking of. Prosper Alpinus, an eminent Venetian, who was successively physician at Venice and Genoa, and towards the close of his life, which happened in 1617, professor of bo- tany in the university of Padua, performed an accep- table service by writing on the plants of Egypt, a country which he had been led to visit, from attach- ment to his favourite study, and in which he had spent the greater part of four years. Our country- man Gerard, a native of Namptwich, in Cheshire, proceeded also with much diligence, and no small degree of ability, to complete and publish his Her- led, which was long after appealed to as a sort of standard book among Enghsh botanists; Pona, an apothecary of Verona, in Italy, made that botanical survey of Mount Baldo, of which some account wag first given to the world in Clusius's history of plants, under the title of Iter Montis Baldi, in the year 160I; and, to say nothing of several other sources of infor- mation, we may add, that botanical knowledge began about this time to receive very important accessions from the researches of a few, such as Herrera, and the D'Acostas, whom curiosity or interest had led to visit the newly discovered countries of America and the East Indies.

The most eminent botanists of this period, were, however, doubtless, the two brothers John and Caspar Bauhin, natives of Lyons : of whom the fcrmer died in 1613, at Mumpelgard, as physician to the Duke of Wurtemberg ; and the latter in 1624 at Basle, in Switzerland, where he had obtain- ed a professorship. They both inherited from na- ture a strong predilection for the study of plants ; and the effect which their skill and assiduity had eventually on the state of the science, was such, that Haller has dated one of the periods of its history from the time when they flourished. John, the di^


Taberua- montaniii. Died 1.'><M.


Alpinus. Boru 15.53. Died 1«17.

Gerard. Born 1545. Died 160T.


Herrera. D'Acostas.

John ana






J<ihn Btiuhiii. Born 1541 Died 1613.

Caspar Sauhin. Born 1560, Djed 1624.

ciple of Fuchsius, travelled widely tlirougli Italy, Switzerland, and the contiguous parts of France, and made several discoveries. Caspar, who was almost twenty years younger, followed at some distance of time nearly in the same tract. And after each of them had, in other respects, devoted the greater part of a long life to the examination of the vegetable kingdom, and had maturely consulted the writings of their predecessors, they at length had the honour of completing, in the well-digested result of their re- pectlve labours, a more valuable present .to the sci- ence, than it bad hitherto received from any two in- dividuals.

The principal work of John Bauhin, which was not however published till several years after his death, (though a Prodromus intended to convey some idea of its contents, made its appearance earlier) was an elabo- rate, General History of Plants, in 3 vols. fol. illustra- ted with cuts. And with respect to this work, we can- not express our opinion better than in the words of the celebrated Haller, who, after glancing, in his Bibliothe- ca Botanica, at a few defects ii»it, such as the wrong application of some of the figures, owing to the igno- rance of the editor Chabrjeus, continues thus : " Ve- rum cum istis mendis, vix imputandis auctori, bonus tanien et fidclis codex est, quem typis expressum ha- bemus ; etopusomnibus expeivsis, tamenhactenus sine pari. Plantx numerosissimje, plerumque bene de- scriptae, cum collectis omnium scriptorum locis, non absque critico judicio, et in unum magno cum judicii acumine collecta, quae ad eo tempora de plantis inno- tuerant. Eo opere Rajus plurimum usus est, et non bene Bauhino exprobatur, novas plantas non continere, nam continet plurimas, et ex magnis illis generibus, parum hactenus excultis, quas vel ipse invenerat, vel gener J. Henricus Cherler. Rarum in eo vitiura est, etiam in vasto opere, plantam eamdam duobus nomi- nibus repetitam reperire. Varietates non amavit, con- fusas veterum descriptiones sagax evolvit, et, quae extricare non poterat, intacta deseruit."

Caspar Bauhin, on the other hand, besides impro- ving the nomenclature, and giving proofs of his skill as a botanist in some other valuable works, was au- thor of one in particular, in which he undertook to give an enumeration of all known plants, with the synonymes of preceding writers, accompanied with notes and observations of his own : and by the suc- cess which attended his endeavours, he gave a cer- tain form and consistence to the science, and was long after referred to as the guide of his successors. The work itself, which may be considered as an in- dispensable key to the writings of the older botanists, and was peculiarly serviceable, we are told, even to Linnaeus, was the result of forty years labour, and appeared at Basle in 1623, under the title of Pinax tlieatri botanici, seu index in Theophrasti, Disco- ridis, Plinii et botanicorum, qui a seculo scripserant, opera, jilantaritm fere sex millium nomina cum syno- nymiis et differentiis. A Prodromus of it had, how- ever, been published at the same place in 1596, under the title of Phyto Pinax. To what has been thus said with respect to the works of the younger Bauhin, we shall only subjoin, for the sake of information, the character given to him as a botanist, contrasted with his brother, by the very competent judge whom

we have just now referred *o. His words are the fol- lowing : " Caspar Bauhinus, multis annis fratre suo junior, (anno domum 1560 natus), et in re herbaria a;muhis, in Coliigcndo laboriosus, in iconibus fell- cior, plantarum numero superior, a discipuhs et ab amicis multis omnino symbohsditior,multo minus acuti vero judicii, in admittendis varietatibus, in repetendis cum diversis nominibus iisdem plantis facihs, in de- scriptionibus etiam minus accuratis, classium natura- lium minus studiosus, in eo mecura in felix, quod tempora sua cum anatome partiri sit coactus."

As to those botanists who were immediately pos- terior to the Bauhins, or who followed them at a greater distance for the space of more than half a century, it is not necessary that we should enter much into detail. Their labours, though useful, were not in general marked by any peculiar skill, or at- tended by any very remarkable consequences. Adrian Spigelius, a celebrated Italian, who was nearly con- temporary with Caspar Bauhin, and had travelled widely through his native country in the disguise ol a peasant, that he might have a better opportunity of exploring the vegetable kingdom, published a work of some value, entitled. In rem herbarium Isa- goge. Paul Reneaulme, a Frenchman, shortly after- wards produced a work of a similar nature, entitled Specimen Historian Plantarum, in which, besides in- troducing some good figures, he evinced a very con- siderable talent for observation and description, ta- king notice, among other things, of the inequality of the stamens. Basilius Besler, an apothecary at Nu- remburg, with the assistance of his brother Hierony- mus, wrote about the same time, the Hortus Eystet- tensis, or, An Account of the Plants cultivated in the Bishop's Garden at Aichstaedt in Germany, which, after having been revised by the well-known Ludwig .Tungermann, successively professor at Giessen and Altdorf, was published at the expense of the bishop, John Conrad de Gemmingen, in the most splendid style ; the descriptions being illustrated by 265 beau- tiful copperplates. Jungermann himself, besides be- ing the editor of the work, now mentioned, had the merit of appearing in the character of an original writer : For he composed a catalogue of the plants growing spontaneously round Altdorf, which was first published in 1615, by Caspar Hoffman, an acute and learned contemporary, who made several amendments on it ; and afterwards republished, about the year 1646, under his own eye, with the important addition of those plants, among others, which were cultivated at that time in the university garden. He likewise wrote an account of the plants in the district of Giessen, which appeared under the title of Cornu- copice Florce Giessensis, proventii Spontancorum Stir- pium cum Flora Altdorfensi nomine conspirantis : And to say nothing of his merit in preparing two other catalogues relating to the plants growing round Leipsic and Frankfort on the Mayne, which were never published, he left behind him an Herbarium of no less than 2000 dried specimens, which still remains at Altdorf as a proof of his industry.

In 1628, Guy de la Brosse, physician at Paris, who had lately procured the establisjjment of the royal garden there, from Louis XIII., produced the first catalogue of the plants growing 'in it. Seven


Spigelius. Bofn \5-9. Died 16i'5.

Reneaul- me.

Besler. Born 1C07. Died 1629.

Junger- mann. Born 1572- Died 1653.

Del.i Brosie. A.D. U-



Johnson. Died 1()I4, I'arkinHon. Born 1J6T.

Bontius. A.D. 1612.

PatilUs. Born 1603. Died 1680,


IWarcgraf. Born 1610. ijied 1644.

icrnan- I.D. 1651

year* afterwarJi, John C*mutus, who was also a physician at Paris».publishcd a work, embracing chiefly some account of plants whicii had been discovered in Canada and tiie adjacent parts of North America. And about the same time, Thomas .lohnaon.and John Parkinson, apothecaries, and countrymen of our own, who had in other respects deserved well of th? science, completed, each of them, a work of a general nature : Tiiat by Johnson, who eventually lost his life in the civil wars, in which he had the command of a company, appeared under the title of The Herbal, or genrral Hislori/ of Plants gathered by John Gerard, enlar- ged aiid amended ; and that by Parkinson, (publish- ed first in 1640), under the title of Theatrnm Bota- tanicinn, or an Herbal of great Extent. They were both the result of much industry, and formed, in the opinion of the best judges, an extensive and accurate compendium of all that was then known of botany.

In 164>J, Bontius, a Dutchman, who had long practised medicine at Batavia, in the island of Java, published a book, entitled De Medicina Indorum, con- taining some account of various medicinal and aromatic plants of that part of the world, accompanied with fi- gures, among which we find, for the first time, a pretty good delineation of the tea shrub. Six years after- wards, Simon PauUus, professor at Copenhagen, a learned and entertaining writer, who had already fa- voured the world with a peculiar, but able, perform- ance, called Qtiadriipartitum Botanicum, in wliich plants were distributed alphabetically into four divi- sions according to the seasons of the year, proddced his Flora Danica, the rudiment, if we may say so, of those greater works which have since appeared on the botany of Denmark. The Historia Naturalis Brasdiee, ai Piso and Marcgraf, a work of consider- able information, and the first catalogue of the plants cultivated in the garden which had been lately found- ed at Oxford by the Earl of Danby, drawn up by the elder Bobart, were published in the course of the same year. And in 1651, appeared at length, the first European