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fame. It were easy to enumerate a long list of those who, originally indebted to “English Botany". for distinction, have, in their turn, cisferred lasting obligations on science; and, in this list, Dr. Hooker would find his place : but, as the greater part of these are still happily living, tu speak of them might be invidious. Such is, unfortunately, no longer the case with the more early friends and contemporaries of Sir James Smith, of whom the whole, or nearly so, have, like him, paid the debt of nature. But, though Hudson, Curtis, Lightfoot, Withering, Sibthorpe, Dicksos, and many others, and, above all, the illustrious Banks, then just returned from his voyage round the globe, at the time when Linnæus was taka from the world, are now no longer among us, their names will not fail to live in the annals of their favourite science; and for them, conjointly with the possessor of the Linnæan Herbarium, has lately been raised a beautiful and a lasting monument, in the Sketch of the Biography of Sir James Smith, published by his amiable, intelligent, and affectionate widow.
Dr. Hooker is a native of Norwich, where he was born on the 6th d July, 1785, and where he received his education at the Grammar School under the care of the Rev. Dr. Forster well known as the successful oppo nent of Gilbert Wakefield in a contest for classical honours at Cambridge His father was originally of Exeter, in which city the family has been long established, and boasts a kindred descent with one of the wisest and best men that Britain ever produced, the author of “ Ecclesiastical Polity." His baptismal names he inherits from another relative, Mr. William Jackson, of Canterbury, a young man most honourably recorded in “ Nicho's Literary Anecdotes," (viii. p. 279,) and, upon his death, Dr. Hooker succeeded to his property. From early youth, Dr. Hooker has had the most decided taste for the study of natural history in all its branches
; and, to cultivate this with the greater success, he fixed himself for some years with a distinguished agriculturist, the late Mr. Robert Paul, of Starston ; during his residence with whom, he principally applied bimsel to ornithology and entomology, and was admitted to the personal friend. ship, as well as to the correspondence, of Mr. Kirby, Mr. Spence, asi Mr. Haworth.
This exclusive devotion to botany took place shortly after he returned from Starston to Norwich, and is principally ascribable to his intimacy with the family of Mr. Dawson Turner, the eldest of whose daughters he married in the month of June, 1815; and by her, who is still living
, ki has five children. Six years previously to his marriage, Dr. Hooker bal at the suggestion of Sir Joseph Banks, with whose warm and steady friendship he was for many years honoured, undertaken a voyage to Iceland, with a view of exploring its natural productions. The voyage was made in the company of a London merchant of the name of Phelps, who had embarked a large capital in a project for importing tallow from that island. During the three months of their residence in the country, Dr. Hooker had an opportunity of visiting the extraordinary boiling springs known by the name of the Geysers, as well as the principal volcanoes and the other most striking phenomena of that interesting island. apparently more fortunate than this tour;
“ Sed scilicet ultima semper,
Expectanda dies homini ;” and the last day of the expedition was truly disastrous to Dr. Hooker
, He had already set sail homeward with an ample store of drawings and memoranda, as well as of the natural productions of the island, and the
Nothing could be
essel had just lost sight of land, when she was discovered to be on fire, nd all he had collected fell a prey to the flames. What aggravated the nisfortune was, that it was not the effect of chance, but was caused designdly by some Danes, whom they had brought prisoners from the island, nd who, in this desperate attempt at revenge, were utterly regardless of heir own safety, which nothing could have secured but the accidental cirumstance of another vessel heaving in sight, in a sea where scarcely three ressels are to be seen in a year. consequence of this accident, Dr. Hooker returned to Iceland ; and the following extract from a letter, writen almost immediately afterwards, well paints the circumstance and the nan. “ Last Friday we embarked in the Margaret and Ann, for England, vith the Orion prize under our convoy. The latter vessel sailed so ill, that ve almost immediately lost sight of her, and expected to see her no more. Providentially for us, she, during the Saturday night, took a different but nore dangerous course among some rocks, and thus hove in sight the next norning just before we discovered our ship to be on fire. On this discovery, we fastened down the hatchways, and endeavoured to make for the first land; but it was soon found necessary to abandon the ship; and, by means of our own boats and those of the Orion, we happily reached this latter vessel in safety. In about two hours, our charming vessel, with her cargo of oil, tallow, tar, and wool, altogether worth £25,000, exhibited one of the most magnificent spectacles ever beheld. She very shortly burned down to her copper bottom, which floated about like a great cauldron, blazing prodigiously, till we lost sight of her, making for Řeikevig, which we reached on Tuesday. Nothing could be saved but what was lying in the cabin. All my packages of plants, which I had collected with so much toil, and all my minerals, drawings, and journals, as well as my Danish and Icelandic works, in short, every thing I had, except an Icelandic dress, and the clothes now on my back, perished in the flames. When I read what I have written, I feel inclined to wish I had not told you so much, lest you should think I make myself unhappy about the circumstance; but I assure you I feel so rejoiced at being alive with all the crew, after so narrow an escape, that I think little of what I have lost. I have had the satisfaction of seeing the Geysers in the greatest perfection, and also of seeing the other most interesting objects in Iceland, and I am comparatively regardless of what I have suffered.” So little, indeed, was Dr. Hooker's spirit or zeal broken by this misfortune, that he even made arrangements the following year to accompany the late Earl of Guilford to Ceylon ; but he was dissuaded from exposing his life to the dangers which so ardent a naturalist would hardly have failed to encounter in the torrid zone. Thus turned aside from the favourite bent of his mind, he fixed himself in business at Halesworth in Suffolk ; and he continued there till he accepted the Professorship of Botany in Glasgow, in the spring of 1820, since which time he has resided in that city. The only journeys he has undertaken subsequently to his visit to Iceland, were to France, with Mr. Turner's family, in 1814; to Switzerland and Italy, in the latter part of the same year ; to Ireland, immediately after his marriage ; and to Holland, in 1819. His publications, which are very numerous, have all been confined to the subject of botany, with the exception of the Journal of his Tour in Iceland, which, notwithstanding the loss of his papers, he was induced to give to the press, under the modest title of “Recollections.” But he would on no account consent to print it for other than private distribution, till the concurring testimony of his friends induced him to preprepare a second and enlarged edition for public sale. As a professor, Dr. Hooker is deservedly popular: his extraordinary zeal, and the singular amenity of his manners, are sure to gain the regard of his pupils, whon be annually gratifies by an excursion into the Highlands of Scotland. The same qualities have also won him the most extensive botanical corresposdence, and probably the largest herbarium in Britain. Such of his works as contain coloured figures are peculiarly admired; for his powers as a botanical draughtsman, and particularly where microscopical dissections are required, are scarcely to be rivalled.
The following we believe to be well nigh an accurate catalogue of ha publications :
Tour in Iceland, 1811; 2d Edition.
It is not our intention at present to enter into a dissertation on flowers in general
, although what subject can be more attractive than the pleasurable feelings and associations connected with the whole vegetable race? From the cedar of Lebanon to the hyssop which grows upon the wall; from the oak which lifts its majestic trunk to oppose the tempest; to the humble grass which quivers in every blast beside it, or the gorgeon lichen which enlays its roots; where shall we find a single plant or blossom, to which we do not turn with a sensation of inward love ? An attachment to flowers, indeed, mes us in our cradles, and accompanies us to the verge of our graves ; and with an uparimity which shews that this fondness for one of the most beautiful parts of nature's wartmanship is interwoven with the most subtle principles of our moral essence, we find that all nations at all periods of history, the most savage as well as the most civilized of mankind, are found to have adopted these fragile but graceful emblems, by which w dom, goodness, and love are written on the broad surface of universal earth, as the readiest and most intelligible way of expressing the fluctuating sentiments and emoticos connected with their own fitful state of being. Joy and sorrow, hope and disapposment, love either successful or cherished in vain, are easily expressed by means of this truly general language, and few of the events of human life are uncharacterised by des use. With flowers we decorate alike the couch of sleeping infancy, and the pillow di reposing age. The child delights to weave its simple garland, sitting in peace and es tentment beneath the summer sun; the maiden adorns her brow with flowers in het festal hours of cheerful mirth ; and with these the youthful bride entwines her shining locks ere she delivers herself, in the confidence of fearless affection, to the protection and support of another. The banquet is enlivened by their presence, and the pageant receitas an additional grace from their hues. With Rowers
, finally, the green turf is decem where the hands
of affection have deposited, in hope, all that is mortal of the loved that tive or long-esteemed friend, or where the voice of sorrow, mourning over early blighed
omises, and anticipations too sanguinely entertained, has pronounced the melancholy ords, “Sweets to the sweet, farewell.” Shall we mention, as one among many ustrations of the extent to which this natural feeling prevails among all ranks of ankind, the yearning desire with which the fevered artizan, encircled by the din d tumult of crowded cities, and compelled to spend his time, “from morn to wy ere,” in efforts to procure a mere subsistence, clings to the few sickly plants hich omament his dwelling; as the dusty auricula, placed with all due care to .tch the full allowance of sunshine, which for an hour or two in the day streams along e sultry alley ; wallflowers, which seem longing to flaunt where nature intended them, om the brow of some crumbling turret, beneath an unclouded sky; or even the straging mignionette, which, though sufficiently hardy to shew a few embryo buds in defiice of all unfavourable circumstances, disdains to waste any of its seducing fragrance pon an atmosphere so unworthy of it, and retains its incensed breath unexhaled, to the st. Surely the instance is scarcely necessary, to say nothing of its having been already oticed in verse, from which our humble prose must not dare to plagiarise.
But, to descend from generals to particulars.—May is abroad in her progress through ur woods and meadows, scattering far and wide the seeds of new and vigorous existence. he sun is high in the heavens, giving promise of a cloudless course, yet, the fresh erbage glistening with dew, tells us that the rain necessary to its sustenance has not been rithheld, although we might look long upon the face of that cheerful sky, without dis. overing a sign of the sweeping shower, which half an hour ago dinimed its bright expanion. The lark is mounting over head, uttering lavishly his notes of joyous music, as he oars, lessening, into the heavens; and the wind, which sweeps past us “silky soft,' and carcely waving the bough of the tendrilled honeysuckle, is rich with the odours it bears upon its wings from a hundred fragrant herbs; while the clear unwrinkled stream lies ike the dark surface of a highly polished mirror, saving where a solitary trout, rising sud. denly beneath the shade of living green woven by the hazels pendent above his haunt, Falls back again with a plash, which our venerated friend, Isaac Walton, if yet on earth, ike Sport in the "Ode to the Passions,' would have seized his rod in ecstacy to hear. In ruth, “a goodly day, not to keep house,” for every one who is unconfined within four walls by the voice of actual necessity, and who has sense enough to consider an artificial canopy but a poor substitute for the twinkling texture of the greenwood bough; and we now not whether we can turn it to better account, than by making a reconnoisance for he purpose of discovering how far the Spring has advanced in her labours around us, and what flowers, decked in the pride of their new apparel, are waiting to receive our greeting : happier unquestionably in this, than he who devotes his morning to a round of unmeaning visits at the doors of a hundred friends; since, however, his acquaintance may alter with circumstances, and grow cold under the influence of levity and caprice, Durs remain from year to year unchanged ; ever welcoming and welcomed, and preserv
ng undiminished their claims upon our esteem ; some from association with the joys and sports of our infancy; some from connexion with the scenes and pursuits of our naturer years; many by recalling the names of those with whom we are connected by cies beyond the power of intervening time or space to sunder; and all bearing the Empress of that beauty of design and harmonious adaptation, by which these, perhaps, of all the works of creative power, appeal most effectually to the observant eye: a conecture which it is not irreverent to strengthen by the fact, that they were once selected as the most suitable emblems of instruction by the lips of Divine Wisdom, when enjoinng his rational creatures, after contemplating the care bestowed upon their form and exture, to rely upon the same unsleeping Providence, which has so elaborately clothed the grass of the field, for their own daily supplies of support and protection.
To commence with one of the most common attendants upon our hedgerows and highways.—Is it not much to be regretted that the constant recurrence of what in itself is devoid of neither elegance vor beauty, should effectually blunt our susceptibility to these qualities in any object by which they are frequently represented. What else could induce us to look slightingly upon the cheerful and hardy dandelion, which opez radiated disk wherever the beaten road leaves a scanty space of verdure, or the or of a moss-grown wall affords a hold for its tenacious roots. Observe its regularly to and clustering leaves, gracefully and evenly spread to the sun, and its flowers lite glowing with the light, which it seems expanding itself to enjoy. Now, had it been fortune of this neglected plant, instead of entering our suburbs, and lining our high-ra to bloom on the lofty heights of Himalaya, or on the banks of " Ganges and Hyda Indian streams ;" or to blend its yellow-coloured blossoms with those of the fa tinted nasturtium beside the shadowy rivers of Peru, we should have had a scure Floras contending for the honour of its first and most accurate delineation. As it is honoured by the traveller with but a momentary glance, and shines beside common way:
Unknown, and like esteemed; and the dull swain
Treads on it daily with his clouted shoon. Not a few of our field-flowers, however, are in the same predicament. The grond ivy, with purple lip and mimic crosses, composed of its meeting anthers ; the deadmete whose snowy whorls remind us of the forthcoming spring, when as yet the hedge, a few weeks will clothe with a verdant tapestry, is but a rude and threatening fence thorns; as well as the shepherd's purse, and stellated chickweed, the latter of which se to bid defiance to the change of seasons, by presenting us alike, beneath the driving at of winter and the ardent summer sun, with the refreshing sight of its delicately wrong corolla, and leaves of uniformly lively green.
These, however, are foreign to our subject. We pass, therefore, on our way, and, before us, with its thousand boughs waving in the blast, and its sea of leaves making music to which the ear of fancy loves to listen, while she transports herself in idea the surf-beaten coast, the spacious and venerable wood, not an intertangled forest :
The nodding horror of whose shady brows
but a pleasant alternation of rustling thicket and sunny glades, and intersected by walks winding at one time beneath the star-proof canopy of oak, and beech, and at another beside the low copse, in which the hawthorn relieves, by its showers of bloon, the dai back-ground furnished by the alder and sloe, while through the whole steals, shadow, now in sun," the nameless stream which spreads such a freshness throughout the place; either fringed by a mimic grove of reeds, or bordered by such beds of bright and elastic moss, as might induce one to lie beside its waters, and enact the part of the melancholy Jacques for the summer's day together.
We are fortunate in our first essay. It is not often that our English copses display such an assemblage of the flowers of the yellow-tinted narcissus, as are bere collected before us; not that kind,
Which comes before the swallow dares, and takes
but the rarer variety, with slighter petals, and a yet more delicate hue. If this plari was, indeed, consecrated to the fairies by the ancients, it was a singularly infelicitou appropriation. There it stands, the melancholy flower of yet enduring song
, like the memory of a perished delight, “ as o'er the fabled fountain bending still," and recalling many a legend of the days in which Greece was arising to her queenly emivence in ari and arms. All are acquainted with the elegant poetry which Ovid has connected with this tenant of the secluded wood; but we may also remember, that if the judgment of some botanists is to be relied upon, the renowned Homer himself has introduced it inty his deathless verse, as the principal ornament of those meads, along which the spiri di his departed heroes wander in lonely majesty, and the shadowy Orion sweeps
, like the wild huntsman of modern romance, leading and urging forward the phantom chase :