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known to have been during ages mistaken for human heads; while the tibia of the elephant was denominated the thigh bone of a giant; and people blessed themselves, that the race of these monstrous brethren of ours was extinct. The remains of the vegetable creation do not at the first view captivate our attention so forcibly, but the useful transformation which has taken place in substances that were originally trees, and plants, and the manner in which Providence has, if I may use the expression, condescended to make man amends for the ruin of former times, is interesting indeed: nothing less than an abundant growth over the whole of what is now ocean, could have furnished the immense masses of fossil wood, which are known to exist for leagues together sometimes near the surface of the earth, and sometimes full many a foot below, and under various forms: trunks of trees are frequently found in quarries of peat; how they have resisted the causes of decomposition which have operated upon the rest of the mass is inconceivable; but it is apparent that they once floated at the mercy of the waves, for they are stripped of all appearance of branches and of roots, and have orifices which can only have been made by the smaller shell fish, or by the worm which is so destructive to ships in warm climates: a substance adherent to trees in their fossil state is frequently found upon the shores of the Baltic, in particular, and sometimes at the depth of one hundred feet under ground; this is what we call amber; it appears to have been formerly nearly liquid; some naturalists have supposed, that it was once honey, and to have in that state given access to the little animals, that are now found incased in it; they are frequently in such perfect preservation that their species may be immediately recognised, and some of them also serve as witnesses of the great change of place, which vegetables as well as the large terrestrial and marine animals have been exposed to; for as similar insects exist only in the warmer latitudes, they must have floated thence with the tree which furnished the substance they preyed upon, and into which they had incautiously ventured themselves. That wood has been converted into iron-stone, I have no difficulty in believing, from the samples I saw here, and there is a mine of iron ore in Russia, I find, which is made up in great measure of leaves, branches, and roots of trees, the particular species of which may be still ascertained. Had the same mass been left exposed to the action of humidity, for a course of ages, it might have become peat; in Africa, beneath the burning sands, it would probably have been converted into flint-stones, and there are situations in which, according to the opinion of some Naturalists, nature being aided in its operation by the salts of the sea, and other marine productions, it would have become coal. But I have said enough of the garden of plants, and of the Museum and Cabinet of Natural History, as it is called in French; if I said more, I might wander still further out of my depth than I find myself already; for my knowledge on these subjects is, I am sorry to confess it, extremely superficial. We will now return homewards by the Rue St. Victor, and passing the place Maubert, famous for the rude loquacity of the sellers of vegetables, enter the Island of the Cité by the bridge, which is opposite to that which takes its name from the ancient Cathedral, that we must next visit.
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
A BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE LATE MAJOR GENERAL ANTHONY WAYNE.
Fashioned much to honour from his cradle,
Now to his ashes honour!_Peace be with him!
GENERAL ANTHONY WAYNE occupies a conspicuous station among the heroes and patriots of the American Revolution. That eventful epoch was calculated to call into exertion the talents and virtues of our citizens, and the page of history can offer to our view, no country in the maturity of its age, with which the infancy of our own may not be proudly compared. Never has a war been conducted with such purity of intention, such integrity of principle, as the one which separated the United States from the British Empire; and while these principles remain with us, while America continues true to herself, resting on the favour of that Providence which led her through the dangerous ordeal, she may confidently bid defiance to the arts, and to the arms of the old world.
Anthony Wayne was born in the year 1745, in Chester County, in the State, then Colony, of Pennsylvania. His father, who was a respectable farmer, was many years a representative for the County of Chester in the General Assembly, before the revolution. His grandfather, who was distinguished for his attachment to the principles of liberty, bore a captain's commission under King William at the battle of the Boyne. Anthony Wayne succeeded his father as a representative for the County of Chester, in the year 1773; and from his first appearance in public life, distinguished himself as a firm and decided patriot. He opposed with much ability the unjust demands of the mother country, and in connexion with some gentlemen of distinguished talents, was of material service in preparing the way for the firm and decisive part which Pennsylvania took in the general contest.
In 1775 he was appointed to the command of a regiment, which his character enabled him to raise in a few weeks in his native county. In the same year he was detached under general Thompson into Canada. In the defeat which followed, in which general Thompson was made a prisoner, colonel Wayne, though wounded, displayed great gallantry and good conduct in collecting and bringing off, the scattered and broken bodies of troops.
In the campaign of 1776 he served under general Gates at Ticonderoga, and was highly esteemed by that officer for both his bravery and skill as an engineer. At the close of that campaign he was created a brigadier-general.
At the battle of Brandywine he behaved with his usual bravery, and for a long time opposed the progress of the enemy at Chad's Ford. In this action the inferiority of the Americans in numbers, discipline, and arms, gave them little chance of success; but the peculiar situation of the public mind was supposed to require a battle to be risked ; the ground was bravely disputed, and the action was not considered as decisive. The spirits of the troops were preserved by a belief that the loss of the enemy had equalled their own. As it was the intention of the American commander in chief to hazard another action on the first favourable opportunity that should offer, general Wayne was detached with his division, to harass the enemy by every means in his power. The British troops were encamped at Tryduffin, and general Wayne was stationed about three miles in the rear of their left wing, near the Paoli tavern, and from the precautions he had taken, he considered himself secure; but about eleven o'clock, on the night of the 17th September, major general Gray, having driven in his pickets, suddenly attacked him with fixed bayonets. Wayne, unable to withstand the superior number of his assailants, was obliged to retreat; but formed again at a small distance, having lost about one hundred and fifty killed