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watery Juice which almost entirely evaporates every Day by the heat of the Sun, does not raise up along with it the small quantity of fat Matter which it brings thither, and by this means amasses it till its perfect maturity.
The Seeds of small Plants, and that which is contained in the Kernels and Pippins of Fruits of the larger size, serve not only for the nourishment of Animals, but also the reproduction of new Plants ; and herein appears visibly a wonderful Oeconomy and Providence in Nature : For the different Species of Plants have something particular in their Grains and Seeds, to make them disperse in different places that they may raise up the like.
Some have downy Tufts on the top of the Grain, as Thistles and Scorsonera, and when it is ripe the Wind carries it away and sowes it every where, and it falls down upright because the Tuft is higher than the Body of the Seed. Others have Hooks, as Burdock and Agrimony, that sticking to Peoples Cloaths, and the Wool and Hair of Country Animals, they may be carried elsewhere.
Alleluia, which is a Species of four Trefoil, grow in the Woods where there is no Wind : These downy Tufts would be of no manner of use to its Seeds ; neither have they any Hooks, but are contained in Husks, which being ripe, burft asunder by the heat, and by that means throw them off to ten or twelve foot of Circumference. The wild Cucumber does the same thing, on which account we give it the name of Elaterium. Rampions, which generally grow under Moss, have a very minute Grain ; for if it were large or tufted, it could not pass through
the Moss to geminate, but it easily passes through it on account of its Tenuity upon the first Rain.
Strawberries shoot out in long Arms with a Leaf at the end, which, touching the Earth, takes Root. Cardamines, or wild Creffes, do the same. And Monsieur Marchand shewed me in the King's Garden a Species of Trefoil which bent down its flower when it began to dry, and pushed it into the Earth, that the Grain might there be formed, and plant it self by that
There are besides in Plants other ways of their being sown, and occupying the void Soil, and fome Writers have also told us that the Ashes of Plants may serve for Seeds to produce the fame Plants.
You will, perhaps, here ask me, Sir, What is that virtue in every Plant which makes them throw out their Leaves according to a certain fize and figure, and which disposes their Seed in a manner proper to produce other the like Plants ? Whence may it proceed? For Example, that all little Shrubs, for the most part, have very sharp Points to defend themselves from Men and Beasts, as the Rose-tree, the Sloe, Holly, Whitethorn, &c. and that there are but very few great Trees which have any. That Plants, to which too much heat of the Sun is hurtful, have very large Leaves to cover their Fruits; that those which creep along the Ground have little Hooks to link themselves together, and the Stones of Fruit that contain the Seed are very hard, the better to conserve it, &c.
Some Philosophers call this Virtue or Principle, the vegetative Soul of Plants, or their subftantial form ; but they do not make us one jot the wiser, since they do not explain what this
Soul is, nor whence it proceeds; if it be spread all over the whole Plant, or in some small
part only; if it be inherent in the Plant, or not. Some others say that it is sufficient that there is in the Seed a certain configuration of Particles, and fome particular disposition of the Pores and Fibres, through which the Sap may be differently filtrated, to produce all the diversities which we observe therein.
There are several of them who maintain, that the Seed of every Plant has already in it in little, all the parts which it must afterwards throw out, and that it only unwraps and extends them as it grows, and that it has not only its own, but those also of all the other it is to produce to the end of the World. But can we believe that one Grain of a Melon, for Example, has in its little Germe, its Leaves, Fruits, the other Grains which will be produced within the Germes of each of these Grains, and every thing that these Germes shall produce ad infinitum? It seems more likely to me that the Grains contain only the principal parts of Plants, and that the others form themselves successively by the dispositions which the former give to the Sap. One may plainly see in the Bulbs of Tulips foon after the Month of January, by the help of a large Convex Glass, some of their Parts, as the fix Leaves of the Flower, the Stalk, the Pistil which must hold the Grain, and the small Threads that accompany it; but one cannot see, even with the best Microscope, either the Grains or Tulips which shall be produced from these Grains, or the new Bulbs. What follows is almost all that I could observe in this Matter.
The Bulb being put into the Earth, throws out at its side a new Bulb, which in the Month
of April is no bigger than a Lentil; it grows afterwards at the same time as the Flower does, and we perceive in it several folds, but if we take it up when it is but very little, we do not perceive any parts of the Flower, nor of the new Bulb it is to produce the Year following; at last when the Flower is gone, and the grain entirely formed, the new Bulb has also very nigh its whole Bulk, and towards the beginning of June we begin to discover in it fome small Leaves which appear a little, but it is with a great deal of difficulty that we discern them with the Microscope ; which shews that this is produced by little and little by the disposition of the Root which has filtrated this first little principle of the Plant which is to shoot the year following.
It is the same with those Bulbs which throw out two or three Leaves and no Flower, but they eject in the Earth two, three, or four Tubes three or four Inches long, at the extremity of which are formed two new Bulbs which produce Tulips the next Year : And this is the Reason why those which we call Tulips of Perfia are lost; for the Tubes which they throw forth every Year are very long, and enter fo deeply into the Earth, that the Bulbs can no more produce any Flowers, and if they shoot these Tubes sideways, it may happen in five or fix Years time that the new Bulbs may be carried to a very great distance from the places where the first were planted, and might even run into the neighbouring Gardens.
Besides, all Plants are not produced of Grains, and a great many come out of the Earth without being fown.
Concerning ETERNAL and IMMUTABLE
MORALITY, by Ralph Cudworth, D.D. Formerly Master of Christ's College in Cambridge; with a Preface by the Right Reverend Father in God Edward Lord Bishop of Durham. Printed for James and John Knapton at the Crown in St. Paul's Church-yard. 1731.
E shall resume our Excellent Author,
and begin where we stop'd in our second Extract:
NOTWITHSTANDING Dr. Cudworth sufficiently proved, that Sense as Sense is not Knowledge, yet he makes it still further appear by more particular Considerations, with a full Explication and Demonstration from Plato.
1. Sense having no attive Principle of its own to take Acquaintance with what it receives from without, it, must needs be a Stranger to that which is altogether adventitious to it. For, says he, to know or understand a thing, is nothing else but by some inward anticipation of the Mind, that is Native and Domestick, and so familiar to it to take acquaintance with it. 3