The illustrious author of the Sexual System of Botany, in his preface to his account of the Natural Orders, ingeniously imagines, that one plant of each Natural Order was created in the beginning; and that the intermarriages of these produced one plant of every Genus, or Family; and that the intermarriages of these Generic, or Family plants, produced all the Species: and lastly, that the intermarriages of the individuals of the Species produced the Varieties.
In the following POEM, the name or number of the Class or Order of each plant is printed in italics; as “Two brother swains.” “One House contains them.” and the word “secret” expresses the Class of Clandestine Marriage.
The Reader, who wishes to become further acquainted with this delightful field of science, is advised to study the words of the Great Master, and is apprized that they are exactly and literally translated into English, by a Society at LICHFIELD, in four Volumes Octavo.
To the SYSTEM OF VEGETABLES is prefixed a copious explanation of all the Terms used in Botany, translated from a thesis of Dr. ELMSGREEN, with the plates and references from the Philosophia Botannica of LINNEUS.
To the FAMILIES OF PLANTS is prefixed a Catalogue of the names of plants, and other Botanic Terms, carefully accented, to shew their proper pronunciation; a work of great labour, and which was much wanted, not only by beginners, but by proficients in BOTANY.
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Lo, here a CAMERA OBSCURA is presented to thy view, in which are lights and shades dancing on a whited canvas, and magnified into apparent life!—if thou art perfectly at leasure for such trivial amusement, walk in, and view the wonders of my INCHANTED GARDEN.
Whereas P. OVIDIUS NASO, a great Necromancer in the famous Court of AUGUSTUS CAESAR, did by art poetic transmute Men, Women, and even Gods and Goddesses, into Trees and Flowers; I have undertaken by similar art to restore some of them to their original animality, after having remained prisoners so long in their respective vegetable mansions; and have here exhibited them before thee. Which thou may’st contemplate as diverse little pictures suspended over the chimney of a Lady’s dressing-room, connected only by a slight festoon of ribbons. And which, though thou may’st not be acquainted with the originals, may amuse thee by the beauty of their persons, their graceful attitudes, or the brilliancy of their dress.