« AnteriorContinuar »
build his navy :—and this we rather think to be the tree mentioned in the Canticles, which stricter botanology will hardly allow to be camphire.
And if delight or ornamental view invite a comely disposure by circular amputations, as is elegantly performed in hawthorns, then will they answer the figures made by the conversion of a rhombus, which maketh two concentrical circles; the greater circumference being made by the lesser angles, the lesser by the greater.
The cylindrical figure of trees is virtually contained and latent in this order ; a cylinder or long round being made by the conversion or turning of a parallelogram, and most handsomely by a long square, which makes an equal, strong, and lasting figure in trees, agreeable unto the body and motive part of animals, the greatest number of plants, and almost all roots, though their stalk be angular, and of many corners, which seem not to follow the figure of their seeds ; since many angular seeds send forth round stalks, and spherical seeds arise from angular spindles, and many rather conform unto their roots, as the round stalks of bulbous roots and in tuberous roots stems of like figure. But why, since the largest number of plants maintain a circular figure, there are so few with teretous or long round leaves ? Why coniferous trees are tenuifolious or narrow-leafed? Why plants of few or no joints. have commonly round stalks ? Why the greatest number of hollow stalks are round stalks ; or why in this variety of angular stalks the quadrangular most exceedeth, were too long a speculation ? Meanwhile obvious experience may find, that in plants of divided leaves above, nature often beginneth circularly in the two first leaves below, while in the singular plant of ivy she exerciseth a contrary geometry, and beginning with angular leaves below, rounds them in the upper branches.
Nor can the rows in this order want delight, as carrying an aspect answerable unto the dipteros hypathros, or double order of columns open above ; the opposite ranks of trees standing like pillars in the cavedia of the courts of famous buildings, and the porticoes of the templa subdialia of old; somewhat imitating the peristylia or cloister-buildings, and the exedra of the ancients, wherein men discoursed, walked, and exercised ; for that they derived the rule of columns from trees, especially in their proportional diminutions, is illustrated by Vitruvius from the shafts of fir and pine. And, though the inter-arboration do imitate the areostylos, or thin order, not strictly
answering the proportion of inter-columniations : yet in many trees they will not exceed the intermission of the columns in the court of the Tabernacle ; which being an hundred cubits long, and made up by twenty pillars, will afford no less than intervals of five cubits.
Beside, in this kind of aspect the sight being not diffused, but circumscribed between long parallels and the TOKIAO Mòs and adumbration from the branches, it frameth a penthouse over the eye, and maketh a quiet vision :—and therefore in diffused and open aspects, men hollow their hand above their eye, and make an artificial brow, whereby they direct the dispersed rays of sight, and by this shade preserve a moderate light in the chamber of the eye ; keeping the pupilla plump and fair, and not contracted or shrunk, as in light and vagrant vision.
And therefore Providence hath arched and paved the great house of the world, with colours of mediocrity, that is, blue and green, above and below the sight, moderately terminating the acies of the eye. For most plants, though green above ground, maintain their original white below it, according to the candour of their seminal pulp: and the rudimental leaves do first appear in that colour, observable in seeds sprouting in
water upon their first foliation. Green seeming to be the first supervenient, or above ground complexion of vegetables, separable in many upon ligature or inhumation, as succory, endive, artichokes, and which is also lost upon fading in the autumn.
On the mysteries and secrets of this order—Five the number of justice,
called by Plutarch the divisive number, justly dividing the entities of the world—Opinions of the ablest modern naturalists on the quinary arrangement—The conjugal number ; character of genera: tion-A stable number, as we never find animals with five legs, nor with ten- -Query as to Phalangiom-This number often to be observed in scriptural, medical, astrological, cabalistical, magical examples Concluding passage—The Quincunx of Heaven—Night - Sleep.
But the quincunx of heaven runs low, and 'tis time to close the five ports of knowledge. We are unwilling to spin out our awaking thoughts into the phantasms of sleep, which often continueth precogitations ; making cables of cobwebs, and wildernesses of handsome groves. Beside Hippocrates hath spoke so little, and the oneirocritical masters have left such frigid interpretations from plants, that there is little encouragement to dream of Paradise itself. Nor will the sweetest delight of gardens afford much comfort in sleep; wherein the dulness of that sense shakes hands