what we know of OPIUM. We shall therefore subjoin Mr. POPE'S excellent Translation
of that Passage from the Fourth Book of the ODYSSEY, Line 301.
- - - - with genial Foy to warm the Soul
Bright HELEN mix'd a Mirth-inspiring Bowl :
Temper'd with Drugs of sov'reign Use, t' asswage
The boiling Bosom of tumultuous Rage ;
To clear the cloudy Front of wrinkled Care,
And dry the tearful Sluices of Despair.
Charm'd with that virtuous Draught, tb' exalted Mind
All Sense of Woe delivers to the Wind.
Tho' on the blazing Pile his Parent lay,
Or a lov'd Brother groan'd his Life away,
Or darling Son oppressed by Russian-Force
Fell breathless at bis Feet, a mangled Corse,
From Morn to Eve, impassive and serene,
The Man entranc'd would view the deathful Scene.
In order to account in some Degree for these Effects mechanically, Mr. COWPER exa-
mined a Solution of Opium with the Microscope, and found its dissolved Particles in the
Shape of fringed Globules. Whence he concludes, that such Particles circulating in the
Mass of Blood, may be so intangled in its Serum, or thicken it in such a manner, as to
retard its Velocity when over-violent, and render its Motion calm and equal, whereby all
painful sensations will be taken off. And from the same Principles it is easy to deduce all
its other Effects, and become sensible how too great a Number of such fringed Globules must
cause a total Stagnation of the Blood, and consequently kill.--Vid. Phil. Trans. No 222.
An EXPLANATION of the SIXTEENTH PLATE
The Seeds of Purslain
THE beauteous and orderly Configuration of these little Seeds makes them a very
pleasant Object for the Microscope. They resemble a good deal in Shape the
Nautilus or Sailor-Shell, being curled round in the Manner of a Spiral ; at the larger
End whereof, which represents the Mouth or Opening of the Shell, there appears a small
white transparent Substance, like a Skin, as represented by B B B B B. The whole Sur-
face is covered over with Abundance of little Protuberances, very regularly disposed in
spiral Rows, each of which seems nearly to resemble the Wart on a Man's Hand. The
Inside, when cut open, appears filled with a whitish-green pulpy Substance.
There are divers Kinds of Seeds which imitate the Shape of much larger Bodies : The
Seed of Scurvy-Grass nearly resembles the Form of a Concha Venerea, or Sort of Porce-
lain Shell : Those of Sweet-Marjoram and Pot-Marjoram represent Olives. Carrot-Seeds
are like the Cleft of a Cocoa Nut Husk : The Seeds of Succory like a Quiver full of
Arrows : Those of the Amarantbus are delicately formed, something like the Eye ; and
the black shrivell'd Seeds of Onions and Leeks are granulated all over in the manner of a
Seal-skin. The Mention of these is sufficient to excite Curiosity to examine farther ; and
a little Examination will discover numberless more Resemblances.
It is wonderful to observe by what various Means Providence guards and secures the
Seeds of Vegetables from Danger and Destruction, in order to propagate, and, as it were,
eternize every individual Species. Some, as the Kernels of Apples and Pears, are placed
in the Middle of a large Pulp, whose Substance both infolds and nourishes them : Others,
besides the surrounding Pulp, are inclosed in thick Shells of Wood, as Plumbs, Peaches,
Nectarines, Apricocks, &c. Walnuts are guarded with a bitter Rind as well as a woody
Shell ; and Almonds, Chesnuts, &c. have a Covering armed with sharp Prickles, to
preserve them from Injury till they arrive at Maturity. Pease, Beans, Lentils, &c.
grow in Pods : The Seeds of Mulberries, Raspberries, &c. are placed in the little pulpy
Grains of their Berries ; and amongst the most minute Seeds, some are covered with a
Skin, others with a kind of Shell, and others still with both.