Imágenes de páginas


The quincuncial form observable, in many of the works of nature-TO

pass over the constellations, we find it in gypsumIn the asterias ; in the juli of several plants; in the flowers and seed-heads of others; in some fruits; in the network of some sea-weedsIn teazel, bur, thistle, and elder-In sun-flower, fir-apples, &.— In the rudimental spring of seedsThe process of germination considered-Dr. Power's letter on this subject, with B.'s answerDigression, on the production of one creature from the body of anotherExplained of the ichneumonida , and entozoa --The number five exists in a number of instances in the leaves and parts of flowers, and is remarkable in every circleNotice of Mr. Colebrooke's paper on dichotomous and quinary arrangementsOther instances of the number five-In animal figurations ; in some insects; and in honey-comb- In the eyes, eggs, and cells of insects ; in the skins of snakes, the tail of the beaver - In the skins and feet of birds, the scales of fish, the skin of man, &c.In many of the internal membranes of man and animalsThe motion of animals quincuncial-Cruciform appearances in many plantsVarious analogies traced in vegetables, animals, and insects - Proportions in the motive parts of animals and birds, and obscurely in plants -Modern observations hereon.

Now although this elegant ordination of vegetables hath found coincidence or imitation in sundry works of

art, yet is it not also destitute of natural examples ; and, though overlooked by all, was elegantly observable, in several works of nature.

The same is observably effected in the jülus, catkins, or pendulous excrescencies of several trees ; of walnuts, alders, and hazels, which hanging all the winter, and maintaining their network close, by the expansion thereof are the early foretellers of the spring : discoverable also in long pepper, and elegantly in the jülus of calamus aromaticus, so plentifully growing with us, in the first palms of willows, and in the flowers of sycamore, petasites, asphodelus, and blattaria, before explication. After such order stand the flowery branches in our best spread verbascum, and the seeds about the spicous head or torch of thapsus barbatus, in as fair a regularity as the circular and wreathed order will admit, which advanceth one side of the square, and makes the same rhomboidal. In the squamous heads of scabious, knapweed, and the elegant jacea pinea, and in the scaly composure of the oak rose which some years most aboundeth. After this order hath nature planted the leaves in the head of the common and prickled artichoke, wherein the black and shining flies do shelter themselves, when they retire from the

purple flower about it. The same is also found in the pricks, sockets, and impressions of the seeds, in the pulp or bottom thereof; wherein do elegantly stick the fathers of their mother : to omit the quincuncial specks on the top of the miscle-berry, especially that which grows upon the tilia, or lime tree; and the remarkable disposure of those yellow fringes about the purple pestil of Aaron, and elegant clusters of dragons, 80 peculiarly secured by nature, with an umbrella or skreening leaf about them.

The rose at first is thought to have been of five leaves, as it yet groweth wild among us, but in the most luxuriant, the calicular leaves do still maintain that number. But nothing is more admired than the five brethren of the rose, and the strange disposure of the appendices or beards, in the calicular leaves thereof, which in despair of resolution is tolerably salved from this contrivance, best ordered and suited for the free closure of them before explication. For those two which are smooth, and of no beard, are contrived to lie undermost, as without prominent parts, and fit to be smoothly covered ; the other two which are beset with beards on either side, stand outward and uncovered, but the fifth or half-bearded leaf is covered on the bare side, but on the open side stands free, and bearded like the other.

Besides, a large number of leaves have five divisions, and may be circumscribed by a pentagon or figure of five angles, made by right lines from the extremity of their leaves, as in maple, vine, fig-tree ; but fiveleaved flowers are commonly disposed circularly about the stylus, according to the higher geometry of nature, dividing a circle by five radii, which concur not to make diameters, as in quadrilateral and sexangular intersections.


On the various conveniences and delights of the quincunxIn the due

proportion of earth, allowed by it-In the room afforded for equal spreading of the trees, and the due circulation of air-In the action of the sun-In the greatest economy of spaceIn mutual shelter for currents of winds-Effect of water and oil on the germination of seedsNote thereon-Whether ivy would do less injury in this arrangement ?-Great variety afforded by this order -Grateful to the eye by its regular green shadeSeeds lie in perpetual shade-This order is agreeable to the eye, as consonant to the angles observable in the laws of optics and acousticsPlato chose this figure to illustrate the motion of the soul.

Now if for this order we affect coniferous and tapering trees, particularly the cypress, which grows in a conical figure ; we have found a tree not only of great ornament, but, in its essentials, of affinity unto this order : a solid rhombus being made by the conversion of two equicrural cones, as Archimedes hath defined. And these were the common trees about Babylon, and the East, whereof the ark was made : and Alexander found no trees so accommodable to

« AnteriorContinuar »