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mistaken idea of it, either in regard to its qualities and uses, or its classification and relations with other plants as congeners.
Such evils can be more easily pointed out than reme. died. Botanical knowledge, especially of that very kind which is most needed, is less diffused through our country, than any other kind of scientific information. The Botany usually studied, and with which most students seem to content themselves, is merely a knowledge of words and terminology ; and the great endeavor seems to be to know the most plants, instead of the most about plants.
The only remedy to the above mentioned evils must be to diffuse practical information about plants more gener. ally among the people. The knowledge of Monandria and Polyandria is, in itself, of very little importance; but to know how and where to find a useful plant, which is unknown for want of a name, and to know what is its name, may be a very important portion of knowledge.
One grand difficulty in the way of a knowledge of Botanical names is, that they are all in Latin or some other more barbarous dialect. This is the grand opprobrium of our Botanical system. In the sixteenth century, it was well enough that books of Botany should be written in Latin, as few read them, except physicians, even among the learned ; but in the nineteenth century, it is ridiculous, that while everything else is in the vernacular tongue, Botany should still be in Latin.
This is, without doubt, one reason why many are deterred from the pursuit of this delightful study, and surely, the idea is not very consoling, that before fully comprehending it, we must submit to a course of Latin.
The French have Frenchified the Latin terms of Linnæus, but this the stiffness of our northern dialect will hardly permit.
The Latin language is so rooted into the very foundations of the science, that to disencumber it of its learned dress would require of the innovator, the task of almost new-making the whole science. Many of its terms are untranslatable into any thing like convenient or pure English, and when translated, many would lose the spirit of the original.
One reason why the Latin names are so far retained is, that our language is not sufficiently ductile to furnish, easily, compound terms so peculiarly expressive and appropriate. To such a degree is this difficulty felt, that in every period, scientific terms have been borrowed from Latin, rather than to form cumbrous and inelegant compounds out of our own materials. But there are many terms applied in the descriptions of plants which are unnecessarily retained in Latin. The regular Latin names seem to be necessary as a kind of general language to Botanists, and to abandon them would be to throw the science into more difficulty than would be gained by the adaptation of the study to the understanding of the people. When the people get hold of a name, they are apt so to misapply it, or to corrupt it, as to unfit it for any other use but that to which they have corrupted it or falsely applied it. The Latin terms are needed as a general standard whereby each nation is to compare and test its national and peculiar nomenclature. What we want, then, is a purified set of English terms for the plants which are or may be known to us, which shall be accordant with the principles of Botany, comparable with the Latin system, which shall convey no erroneous ideas and lead to no erroneous impressions, and which shall be generally known, or at least easily accessible to the mass of the community.*
The Chinese exhibit a peculiar taste in the structure of their public edifices, which is certainly unlike the rest of
* I would propose that a Literary Scientific Tribunal be established among American Botanists, who shall fix a nomenclature of American plants, and make it generally known. They should be considered as having the power to fix what The name of a plant shall be, taking into account the name it already bears, and providing that the name shall be appropriate to the plant to which it is given. Appeals from their decisions might be made by stating objections and thereupon calling the Tribunal to reconsider their decisions. Any one should have liberty to propose names for the consideration of the Tribunal.
the world, and yet there is a beauty and air of grandeur in some of their most ancient temples, that calls forth the highest admiration of travellers. Among the most celebrated temples in China, is the porcelain tower of Pekin, a very exact drawing of which accompanies these remarks.
We had transcribed, from a popular work, a sketch of what are denominated the towers of England, which is really an interesting article, but a want of room must defer it for the present.
An insect, called the tipula tritici, or wheat insect, has destroyed, in some places in England, about one twentieth part of the produce. An insect, called the ichneumon tipula, deposits its eggs in the larva, or caterpillar, of the wheat fly, and this destroys it. Dr. Darwin gravely pro
poses, in his Phytologia, to counteract the pernicious effects of insects which produce blight, by propagating the larva of the aphidivorous fly. It is not yet settled whether the Hessian fly is of foreign or domestic origin; although a species of tipula, yet it is not the one just mentioned, as I am informed. The farmers on Long Island complain of the 'septennial ravages of an insect which destroys their barley, and which they denominate the army-worm, from its numbers.
TOBACCO-PIPE FISH,- FISTULARIA TABACABIA.
On the Atlantic coast of the United States, as far north as Portland, in the state of Maine, an occasional specimen of this curiously constructed fish is thrown upon the beach. In no instance, as far as our own observation extends, has a live specimen been seen in the New England States.
Its habits are entirely unknown. It is presumed, however, that the tobacco-pipe fish remains at considerable distance from the coast, in deep water, though organized for swimming very near the surface, where it probably lives on aquatic insects, which are captured by darting the long tube-like mouth at them from below. After severe storms only, are they ever found in this section of the country, which shows pretty clearly, that they were forced from their primitive haunts by a power that could not be
resisted. Any facts, illustrative of their character, from those who have investigated the subject, will be interesting to naturalists, and we therefore solicit them.
NEW BOOKS, &c.
The Young Man's Guide, 2d Edition. Lilly, Wait, Colman and Holden. 316 pp. 12mo.-One of the best little works issued from the press in 1834. In the first place, Dr. Alcott, the author, is an excellent man, and all his literary pursuits have for their object the happiness and moral elevation of those who study his writings. The young man who wishes to be all that an indulgent parent desires, and what the law of God requires of a rational being, should possess this unerring Guide.
Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, a Native African and a Sluve; Servant to Mr. John Wheatley, of Boston. Geo. W. Light, Boston.—The story of Phillis is a melancholy one. She was born in a land of heathen darkness, lived a slave, and though her skin was black, and she was further degraded by being married to a brute, the powers of her mind were transcendently original and powerful. Her poetical talents were highly respectable, and, con. sidering her abject and humiliating condition, and the poor advantages for acquiring even a grammatical knowledge of language which her station afforded, her compositions are the sweet breathings of a virtuous and exalted soul, which will remain the indestructible monument of her talents. A correct and well executed Portrait of Phillis is attached to the volume.
Journal of a Residence in Scotland, and a Tour through England, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy, with a Memoir of the Author, and Extracts from his Religious Papers, compiled from the Manuscripts of the late Henry B. McLellan. By I. McLellan, Jr. Boston, Allen & Ticknor.–The early death of this promising young gentleman was a heavy affliction to his family, and a loss to the world. The beauty of the style, the playfulness of the journal, and