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the globe. The first kind of history is useful as showing what has been done, and what is the relative situation of different countries as to gardens and gardening; and the political and geographical history of this art affords interesting matter of instruction as to its past and future progress.
The chronological history of gardening may be divided into three periods:-the ages of antiquity, commencing with the earliest accounts, and terminating with the foundation of the Roman empire; the ancient ages, including the rise and fall of the Roman empire; and the modern times, continued from thence to the present day. The view we purpose taking of the progress of the study of plants among the ancients and moderns, must of course be very rapid; condensed into a paper of half-an-hour's reading, much important matter must necessarily be suppressed. Doubtless men were originally stimulated to the study of plants from the impulse of their immediate wants, regarding not the invention of methods nor discovery of scientific truths, but the means of converting the productions of nature to their use and accommodation. It is long before the mind is allured to the study of the works of GoD merely from the love of speculative knowledge; and in the progress of the study of plants there were many stages preparatory to this period of advancement. The first and incipient stage was that in which the attention of the human mind was directed to the discrimination of vegetables, as furnishing by spontaneous production the indispensable necessaries of life. This was the period of the origin of mankind. In the fabulous history of heathen mythology it was represented by the poets as the happy period of the golden age, when laws were yet unnecessary, and arts and sciences unknown, and men simple in their manners and temperate in their desires, were contented with the repast furnished by the hand of nature. A second stage was that in which men began to direct their attention to vegetables as capable of furnishing by means of cultivation an increased supply of food, proportioned to the wants of an increased population. Then it was that the labours of agriculture were first rendered essential, and seeds first sown by the hand of man. This was the period in which we find Cain represented by the sacred historian as "a tiller of the ground;" and the state of society in which the
inventors of useful arts were regarded by the heathens as celestial beings that had deigned to reside on earth. A third stage was that in which plants began to be regarded as furnishing not merely necessaries but comforts; being the period in which we find Noah represented as a husbandman, having planted a vineyard and drank of the wine. A fourth stage was that in which plants began at length to be regarded and studied or cultivated, as furnishing not merely comforts but luxuries: odours and beautiful flowers would be prized, and hence the origin of floriculture, the period in which we find the Ishmaelites represented as trafficking in spices, and balm, and myrrh, which they carried down from Gilead into Egypt in the days of Joseph.
Hitherto there is no vestige to be found of anything like phytological investigation; though it cannot be doubted that some considerable progress had been already made in botanical remark, from the necessity of discriminating by some striking character such plants as were possessed of properties convertible to the use of man. The silence of sacred history, and the total want of all other history, leaves us wholly in the dark with regard to the probable progress of the study of plants, from the period just mentioned till that of the exodus from Egypt, as well as during a long period of years immediately succeeding; and we are indebted to the earlier histories of the Greeks for the next rays of information on the subject. We will, however, pass this over, and commence with Solomon, who was at once a botanist, a man of learning, of pleasure, and a king. The sacred writings furnish us with at least a species of presumptive evidence, implying that something like philosophical inquiry into the subjects of the vegetable kingdom existed in the days of Solomon, who wrote, as it appears, a treatise on vegetables, of the character and object of which, however, we can form only conjecture, as the work, whatever it might have been, is now lost ;—although the short account of it that still remains seems to represent it as a sort of natural history of all plants then known, for we read in 1 Kings iv. 33-"And he spake of trees, from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon, even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall." Solomon's garden is the principal one on record, though many others, belonging to both Jewish princes and subjects, are mentioned in the Bible.
We know little of the horticulture of the Jews; but, like that of the eastern nations in general, it was probably then, as it still is in Canaan, directed to the growing of cooling fruits to allay thirst and moderate heat; aromatic herbs to give tone to the stomach; and wine to refresh and invigorate the spirits. Hence, while their agricultural produce was wheat, barley, rye, millet, vetches, and beans, their gardens produced cucumbers, melons, gourds, onions, garlic, anice, cummin, mustard, and various spices. Their vineyards were sometimes extensive. Solomon had one at Baalhamon, which he let out at 100 pieces of silver per annum. The Persian kings were very fond of gardens, which were cultivated for the sake of beauty as well as fruit. Xenophon says-Wherever the Persian king Cyrus resides, or whatever place he visits in his dominions, he takes care that the Paradises shall be filled with every thing both beautiful and useful the soil can produce. The Younger Cyrus was found by Lysander, as Plutarch informs us, in his paradise at Sardis; and on its being praised by the Spartan general, he avowed that he had conceived, disposed, and adjusted the whole himself, and planted a considerable number of the trees with his own hands. We are informed that the same prince there mustered the Grecian forces to the number of 13,000. The culture of fruits and culinary plants must have been preceded by a considerable degree of civilisation. Moses gave some useful directions to his people on the culture of the vine and olive. For the first three years they are not to be allowed to ripen any fruit, and it is not till the fifth year it may be eaten by the planter. This must have contributed materially to their establishment in the soil. In Persia, melons were manured with pigeons' dung, as they are to this day in that country. After being sown, the melon tribe produces a bulk of food sooner than any other plant: hence the value of this plant in seasons of scarcity, and the high price of doves' dung during the famine in Samaria (2 Kings vi. 25), when the fourth part of a cab, not quite three pints of corn measure, cost five pieces of silver.
The first mention of a garden in Roman history is that of Tarquinius Superbus; the next in order of time are those of Lucullus, in the bay of Naples, which were of a magnificence and expense rivalling those of the eastern monarchs. The progress of gardening, however, among
the Romans, was much less than that of architecture. They were too much engaged in the turmoil of war to have acquired any considerable relish for the study of natural history and hence the first direct evidence of the existence of any inquiry that can be called botanical, is that which is furnished in the works of Dioscorides and Pliny,-names well-known in the annals of botany, and illustrious in having been long regarded by the learned as the best and most infallible guides to the study of plants. Flowers were rare in Roman gardens under the kings; and during the first ages of the Republic. But as luxury began to be introduced, the passion for flowers became so great, that it was found essential to suppress it by laws. Under Augustus, this passion was carried to the extreme of folly: he caused his beds, his apartments, and the porticos of his palace, to be strewed with flowers. It is related of Nero that he spent £30,000 at one supper on flowers. Scientific assemblages of plants appear to have been unknown to the Romans, who seem to have been very ignorant of vegetable physiology. It was a doctrine held by Virgil and Pliny, that any scion may be grafted on any stock; and that the scion partaking of the nature of the stock, had its fruit changed in flavour accordingly; but experience proves that no faith is to be placed in such doctrines, even though some of these authors affirm to have seen what they describe and although the reputation of these men was deservedly great, botany derived from their labours but little advantage, their works being rather detached histories of some of the most curious plants then known, intermixed with a great deal of loose report, than anything like scientific inquiry. The gardening of the Romans was carried on with all the superstitious observances dictated by a religion founded on polytheism. Almost every operation had its god, who was to be invoked on all occasions. "I will write for your instruction," says Varro, "three books on husbandry." After enumerating the gods which preside over household matters and the common field operations, he adds:-"Adoring Venus as the patroness of the garden, and offering my entreaties to Lympha, because culture is drought and misery without water.' The elements of agriculture (he says) are the same as those of the world, water, earth, air, and the sun. Agriculture is a necessary and great art, and it is a science which teaches what is to be
planted and done in every ground, and what land yields the greatest profit. It should aim at utility and pleasure, by producing things profitable and agreeable.
The decline of the Roman empire commenced with the reign of the emperors. The ages, Hirschfield observes, which followed the fall of the republic-the violence committed by several of the emperors-the invasion of the barbarians and the ferocity introduced by the troubles of the time, extinguished a taste for a country life, in proportion as they destroyed the means of enjoying it. From the establishment of the ecclesiastical government of the Popes in the eighth, to the end of the twelfth century, the monks were almost the only class in Europe who occupied themselves in agriculture. Many of these, carried away by their zeal, fled from the corruption of the age, and striving to overcome their passions, and indulge their gloomy humour-or, as Herder observes, to substitute one passion for another retired into solitary deserts, unhealthy valleys, forests, and mountains. There they laboured with their own hands, and rendered fertile lands till then barren from neglect, or in a state of natural rudeness.
At length the dawn of light appeared with the art of Printing, and the study of plants began to engage the attention of the learned, and to be pursued with a degree of industry unknown before. While the writings of Pliny and others--which, with all their defects, were still regarded as the grand standard of botanical knowledge-began to be studied and commented upon with great zeal, one of the first-fruits of this revived passion for botanical inquiry was the introduction of the aid of figures, with a view to elucidate verbal description, which had not yet attained the degree of accuracy essential to determine the species. The merit of this great and important improvement is due to Brunfelsius, a native of Germany, who published a work about the beginning of the sixteenth century. The figures have been regarded as exhibiting in general a good representation of the intended plants. They served, at least, to excite the emulation of other botanists, who each added something to the number or accuracy of the figures of his predecessors in publication. The flame that was thus kindled soon began to extend itself, and to excite a similar ardour for botanical research. In Italy, the celebrated Mathiolus was the first to catch its incipient emanations,