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refresh his own mind while he contemplates the labours of others and enjoy a series of new and vivid impressions. As in a carriagedrive through an agreeably diversified country, we feel the rapid movement which we do not cause, and gaze, reposing, on the changing prospect. Such relaxation exerts a healthful influence ; nor can it be rightly enjoyed by those who do not themselves labour for science, so that, indirectly, it serves to stimulate research. Some there are who would denounce all pleasures of this kind as tending to excite desultory habits, forgetting that it is one thing, after work-hours, to vary our moments of leisure,—another to waste our whole time in multiple pursuits. They forget, also, that for want of a wider acquaintance with previous investigations, many discoverers have brought little aid to science, because the true import of what they have seen has but dimly revealed itself to their ill-trained powers of apprehension. These miss much which the more accomplished student of nature is ever ready to secure. Opportunity offers new objects of study, of which they are slow to avail themselves, and their restricted habit of mind, if it does not engender positive errors, tends at least to beget the evils that accompany an inadequate method. For what is the real use of special investigations ? Others, of course, will value them in so far as they increase the general stock of knowledge, but to the investigator himself they are mainly serviceable as a means of mental culture—as affording him, so to speak, a key wherewithal to unlock the treasures which his fellow-workers have collected. Thus is he enabled to make their experience his own. Many expend their hours in going over the old ground of their predecessors, forgetting how impossible it is that each should study everything for himself. If this were so, why print books or papers, except to promote self-glorification? The man whose illogical mind will not teach him when he can trust what has been done by others should be expelled the threshold of science, neck and heels. How little in the way of direct observation is even the best of us able to effect! “The greatest genius,” wrote Goethe, “will never be worth “much if he pretends to draw exclusively from his own resources. " What is genius, but the faculty of seizing and turning to account “everything that strikes us ?”—let us call it the faculty of appropriation. Edward Forbes, in a well-known passage, advocating the study of our native fauna, has made eloquent reference to “ the glorious variety of Nature,” which those only will contemn as an emptysounding phrase, who have neglected to cultivate the yaried faculties

N.H.R.-1865.

of mind on whose exercise the genial interpretation of Nature depends. Yet, in spite of the example which Linnæus has set, do we still find botanists ignorant of zoology, and zoologists equally ignorant of botany, to the great detriment of both. Is not the healthy observation of living animals, the best preliminary study for every young zoologist, too often wantonly divorced from systematic zoology on the one hand, and from embryology and anatomy on the other ? Persons educated in other respects, but unacquainted with Biology, are deterred from its pursuit by such unnatural isolations. Why is it made to assume this forbidding aspect to those without the gate, who very willingly would come in, were they graciously invited ? “Everything in science," now, as in Goethe's time, “is become too “much divided into compartments.” On this account a Society, embracing Biological inquiry in all its aspects, deserves the fullest recognition. Linnæus himself owed to the diversity of his studies, no less than to his mental endowments, that extraordinary influence which, during the lifetime of their master, inspired his pupils with such zeal, that it might be truly said they would have compassed sea and land to make one addition to the Systema.' The spirit of the great Swede, loath to leave his collections, still survives, and beholds, unseen, the substantial progress of the Linnean Society.

XX.—The ANCIENT AND MODERN FLORAS OF MONTPELLIER. ÉTUDE DES TUFS DE MONTPELLIER AU POINT DE VUE GÉOLOGIQUE

ET PALÉONTOLOGIQUE, par G. Planchon, Docteur-des-Sciences.

Montpellier : 1864. 4to. DES MODIFICATIONS DE LA FLORE DE MONTPELLIER DEPUIS LE

SEIZIÉME SIÉCLE JUSQU'À NOS JOURS. By the same. These are, as far as we know, the first productions of a young naturalist, and we hail them with satisfaction as evincing great ability, and doing credit to a name already eminent in systematic and structural botany through the labours of his distinguished brother. From their form we conclude that the two memoirs constitute the author's thesis on taking his degree of Doctor of Science, and he justifies the presenting them together, notwithstanding the difference of their titles, as being closely connected, each one forming as it were the complement of the other. The two tend to the solution of one and the same problem, the one in investigating the state of the Montpellier vegetation before any probable intervention of man, the other in indicating the modifications which the flora has undergone within a determinate historical period. Both of them furnish data of considerable interest towards the general history of vegetation, as we shall endeavour to show, taking first into consideration the second memoir relating to the recent historical period.

The Montpellier district has some peculiar advantages for researches into this branch of its history during the last three centuries—a minute portion of time it is true when compared with that which it must have taken to establish its present flora, but yet sufficient to test the value of several of the opposing theories recently propounded on the introduction, dispersion, and extinction of species. Its rich and varied vegetation has been carefully observed and repeatedly described by eminent botanists from the eighteenth century to the present day, during which period also various efforts to introduce new plants have been recorded, accidental importations have been observed, and the real or supposed disappearance of others more than once commented on.

Rondelet, professor at the University of Montpellier towards the middle of the eighteenth century, was the first great promoter of botanical studies in that country. He did not himself publish anything on its Flora, but the works of the period describe him as exploring the region at the head of his numerous pupils and directing them into the true scientific paths for the study of its vegetable treasures. Amongst these pupils are reckoned Rabelais, Dalechamp, Clusius, Jean Bauhin, Pena, and Lobel, and many of these, especially Lobel and Pena have, in their various works, left numerous indications of the precise localities of plants in the neighbourhood of Montpellier. In 1596 Richer de Belleval founded the celebrated Jardin des Plantes in the suburbs of the town, which has ever since been kept up as a great centre of botanical research. He also drew up some “Herborisations autour de Montpellier," which, however, were never published. In the latter half of the seventeenth century Magnol published his “Botanicon Monspeliense,” of which Dr. Planchon says: “under its modest exterior, this little book of Magnol's, the first catalogue of our species, is an important work, revealing the qualities of a conscientious observer and a really scientific mind. It is yet in the present day the best local Flora we possess, it is deserving of full confidence, and would perhaps be the guide the most consulted by explorers, had it not been that its now antiquated nomenclature renders its practical use very difficult”-an

approbation which we can fully endorse from personal experience. In the eighteenth century the Linnean nomenclature was first applied to the Montpellier Flora, by Nathhorst, in a dissertation, entitled, “Flora Monspeliensis,” maintained in Upsala under the presidency of Linnæus, but which is a mere catalogue of species. And during the whole of the latter half of that century and the first years of the present one, the botanical sceptre at Montpellier was in the hands of the celebrated Gouan, the steady and favoured correspondent of Linnæus, whose devotion to the science only increased with age, and whom we still remember, some years above 80, and perfectly blind, yet enjoying nothing more than being led to feel his favourite trees and plants. His regular herborisations were attended, amongst other pupils, by Commerson, Dombey, Bruguière, Olivier, Riche, and Labillardière, and his several works on the surrounding Flora, embodying most valuable information, are well known to all northern botanists, although, as observed by Planchon, they must be used with caution, for they are far from possessing the reliable precision of Magnol's little book. Stations are occasionally set down from memory, subalpine plants from the Cevennes are sometimes confounded with the low vegetation of the plains, and thus facts met with in Gouan's works which may appear startling, cannot be admitted without confirmation from other observers.

Since Gouan's time no special work on the Montpellier Flora has appeared, but De Candolle and Delile, who respectively occupied the botanical chair, Duval, Salzmann, Roubieu, Pouzin, BouchetDoumenq, Cambessèdes, etc., besides numerous botanists yet living, have amassed extensive materials or published numerous notes scattered through their works, from which very accurate details of the present vegetation of the country may be obtained. Gouan and Amoreux have left detailed lists of the exotic plants they attempted to introduce, chiefly by sowing, in the last century, and in the present one, the adventitious plants which spring up at the Port Juvenal, the place where foreign wools are landed and washed, first adverted to in the supplemental volume of De Candolle's Flore Francaise, have more especially occupied the attention of Delile, Touchy, Godron, Cosson, Lespinasse, and others. These and other sources from which Dr. Planchon, independently of personal observation, has collected his facts, are critically reviewed in a preliminary introduction.

In sketching out the plan of his work Dr. Planchon distinguishes two questions, the research into the facts observed relating to the

are the defoods, pastures, for wanton 17 Pneither

modifications of the Flora, and the inquiry into the various causes which have produced these changes. In the following chapters, however, the two questions are combined, and the subject matter divided into two parts, 1. the destruction or disappearance of old species, and, 2. the introduction of new ones. The region which he takes as the field of his observations is defined as limited by the Hérault on the west, and the Vidourle on the east, a breadth of about 30 miles, and as extending between 40 and 50 in length from the seaboard on the south, to the mountains of Esperou and Aigoual on the ridge of the Cevennes, which bound on the north that hot, botanically rich, district known under the name of the region of Olives.

The causes of destruction the most striking to the casual observer, and which would a priori appear to be the most effective in a region like that of Montpellier, where the cultivator and the botanist have been equally at work during the three centuries in question, are the defrichements or breaking up and bringing under cultivation of old woods, pastures, and wastes, and the extirpation of rare species by the collecting zeal or wanton rapacity of botanists and dealers; but a closer observation shows that neither of these causes have had the effects popularly attributed to them. Cultivation, observes Dr. Planchon, can only be a cause of destruction to species occupying a very limited area. “It is a difficult matter," he continues, “to extirpate a plant from a country where it is well established. Wherever it occupies an area of any extent, it always finds some points which suit it, where it can maintain itself, and from whence it can take advantage of the first favourable opportunity for reinvading its ancient possessions."

These observations, applied generally by Dr. Planchon, are more peculiarly applicable to the Montpellier districts. That the advance of agriculture during the last three centuries has been comparatively slow, is proved by the study of Olivier de Serres' Théatre d’Agriculture, published at the close of the eighteenth century, and still a standard work for that country. Deep ploughing, rotation of crops, drill sowing, clearing the banks and borders of fields, and other devices, practised in central and northern Europe, for giving to the objects of cultivation exclusively the beneficial possession of the soil, are scarcely yet brought into bearing on the arable lands of Lower Languedoc ; and nowhere else, perhaps, do the cornfields teem with such a variety of De Candolle's "plantes cultivées malgré la volonté de l'homme.” The draining of large tracts of bog, to which so much

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