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The chief difficulty with respect to the orders, lies in the class Syngenesia. This class comprehends those flowers that are called compound. Now, if you examine these floscules or florets nicely, you will perceive that they have sometimes both stamens and pointal; but you will also discover that some have stamens only, whilst others are furnished with a pointal alone; and lastly, that there are floscules without either the one or the other. Let us distinguish the first of these by the term perfect floscules; the second by that of stameniferous; the third we will call pistilliferous; and the fourth neuter floscules. These variations require exact attention, because on them, and on the form of the florets, Linnæus has founded the first four orders of this class.
Polygamia is the family name applied to all the orders ; it is used in opposition to Monogamia, Ilo.us signifying many, and Movos one, and implies that there are many florets inclosed within one common calyx, which coincides with the idea of a compound flower. The first order is called Polygamia Æqualis; æqualis means regular or equal, and infers that the floscules are similar, and all furnished with both stamens and pointals, as in the dandelion. In the second order, Polygamia Superflua, all the florets of the disk, or centre of the flower, are perfect; those of the ray or circumference, pistilliferous; both of them produce seed: the daisy is a familiar instance. The third order of the class Syngenesia, is entitled Polygamia Frustranea. The forets in the disk or centre are perfect, and produce seed, whilst those of the ray are imperfect, and therefore frustrate or barren; from which circumstance the order takes its name: example, bluebottle.
The situation is reversed in the fourth order-Polygamia Necessaria ; for the florets in the disk, though apparently perfect, are not really so, and therefore produce no perfect seed; but the fertility of the pistilliferous floscules in the ray, compensate for the deficiency of those in the centre of the flower, as is seen in the marygold. The fifth order-Polygamia Segregata, has many floscules inclosed in one common calyx, yet each of these floscules has one appropriate to itself. Globe thistle supplies us with a beautiful example. The orders of the three following classes, Gynandria, Monæcia, and Diccia, being founded upon the stamens, and taking their names from the preceding classes, according to the number, union, or disunion of the stamens in the respective flowers, require no particular elucidation.
It will be needless to burden your memory with the distinction of the orders of the class Polygamia, as it is omitted by the later botanists, and the flowers which composed it are incorporated with the other classes.
The last class— Cryptogamia, consists of plants whose parts of fructification are either obscure or very minute, thus preventing the possibility of arranging the orders according to the number and situation of the stamens and pointals. The peculiarity of structure of the plants of this class, distinguishes them sufficiently from all others. It is naturally divided into four orders : first, Filices, or ferns; second, Musci, or mosses ; third, Alge, or sea-weeds; and fourth, Fungi, or funguses. The ferns comprehend all plants that bear their seeds in the back or edges of the leaf. · The moss kind forms the second order. The third includes the lichens, fuci, and many others, whose essential parts are too minute or obscure for investigation. If the funguses have any fructification, it is imagined to be underneath, in the gills, pores, &c. Thus we have, at length, reached the end of the classes and orders, which I think will supply your walks with amusement for the whole summer; and, by forming a taste for this delightful part of nature, lay a foundation that will continue to furnish new and interesting objects of thought, to the end of your lives.
OF THE KING AND HIS TITLE.
The supreme executive power of this kingdom is vested by our laws in a single person—the King or Queen; and the person succeeding to it, whether male or female, is immediately invested with all the rights and prerogatives of sovereign power.
The executive power of the English nation being vested in a single person by the general consent of the people, it became necessary to the freedom and peace of the State that a rule should be laid down, uniform, universal, and
permanent, in order to mark out with precision who is that single person to whom are committed (in subservience to the law of the land) the care and protection of the community, and to whom, in return, the duty and allegiance of every individual are due. It is of the highest importance to the public tranquillity that this rule should be clear and indisputable; and our Constitution has not left us in the dark
this. The grand fundamental maxim upon which the jus coronæ, or right of succession to the throne depends, is this : “ That the crown is hereditary; and this in a manner peculiar to itself: but that the right of inheritance may from time to time be changed or limited by Act of Parliament: under which limitations the crown still continues hereditary.”
1. First, it is in general hereditary, descendible to the next heir on the death of the last proprietor. All regal governments must be either hereditary or elective ; and as there is no instance wherein the crown of England has ever been asserted to be elective, except by the regicides at the infamous trial of King Charles I., it must of consequence be hereditary. By an hereditary, it is not intended to assert that it is a · Divine Right” title to the throne; such a title may be allowed to have subsisted under the theocratic establishments of the Children of Israel in Palestine, but it never yet subsisted in any other country. Nor, indeed, have a “Divine Right” and an hereditary right any necessary connection with each other, as some have weakly imagined.
The hereditary right which the laws of England acknowledge owes its origin to the founders of our Constitution, and to them only. It has no relation to, nor does it depend upon, the civil laws of the Jews, the Greeks, the Romans, or any other nation upon earth : the municipal laws of one society having no connection with, or influence upon, the fundamental polity of another. The founders of our English monarchy might perhaps, if they had thought proper, have made it an elective monarchy; but they rather chose, and for good reasons, to establish originally a succession by inheritance. This has been acquiesced in by general consent, and grown by degrees into common law : it is the very same title that every private man has to his own estate. Lands are not naturally descendible, any more than thrones; but the law has thought proper, for the benefit and peace of the public, to establish hereditary succession in the one case as well as the other.
We find from history that, in the infancy and first rudi. ments of almost every State, the leader, chief magistrate, or prince, has usually been elective. And if the individuals who compose that State could always continue true to first principles, uninfluenced by passion or prejudice, unassailed by corruption, and unawed by violence, elective succession would be as desirable in a kingdom as in other inferior communities. The best, the wisest, and the bravest man would then be sure of receiving that crown to which his merits entitle him; and the sense of an unbiassed majority would be dutifully acquiesced in by the few who were of different opinions. But history and observation will inform us that elections of every kind (in the present state of human nature) are too frequently brought about by influence, partiality, or artifice; and even where the case is otherwise, these practices will be often sus.
pected, and as constantly charged upon the successful majority by a disappointed minority. This is an evil to which all societies are liablo, as well those of a private and domestic kind as the great community of the public. But in the former there is this advantage—that such suspicions, if false, proceed no further than jealousies and murmurs, which time will effectually suppress; and, if true, the injustice may be remedied by legal means, by an appeal to those tribunals to which every member of society has virtually engaged to submit. Whereas, in the great and independent society which every nation composes, there is no superior to resort to but the law of Nature; no method to redress the infringements of that law, but the actual exertion of private force.
As, therefore, between two nations complaining of mutual injuries the quarrel can only be decided by the law of arms, so in one and the same nation, when the fundamental principles of their common union are supposed to be invaded, and more especially when the appointment of their chief magistrate is alleged to be unduly made, the only tribunal to which the complainants can appeal is that of the God of Battles, the only process by which the appeal can be carried on is that of a civil and intestine war. An hereditary succession to the crown is therefore now established in this and most other countries, in order to prevent that periodical bloodshed and misery which the history of ancient imperial Rome, and the more modern experience of Poland, may show us are the consequences of elective kingdoms.
2. As to the particular mode of inheritance, it generally corresponds with the feodal path of descents chalked out by the common law in the succession to landed estates, yet with one or two material exceptions. Like estates, the crown will descend lineally to the issue of the reigning monarch: as it did from King John to Richard II. through a regular pedigree of six lineal generations. As in common descents, the preference of males to females, and the right of primogeniture