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Page 14. 1. 3. after them, read-the part placed in contact with the foil fends forth roots, whilst that exposed to the open air fends forth branches.
HE earth produces an almost infinite variety
of Plants, poffeffing various properties,
and different degrees of ftrength and ftature. In the vegetable as in the animal world, the ftronger fubdue the weaker: the herbaceous tribes bow to the fhrub, and this to the more robust foreft-tree; and in an unpeopled country a ftate of woodiness prevails. The interior parts of America are at this day a foreft: the Continent of Europe too has ftill its foreft; and England once was famous for her's.
As inhabitants increase, woodineffes give way to husbandry and the arts; not merely as incumbrances, but as affording useful materials. Popu lation ftill increafing, the forest breaks into woods. Commerce
Commerce and luxury advancing, the canoe becomes a fhip, and the cottage a manfion; at length even the woods dwindle away, and plantations, or an import of foreign timber, become neceffary to fupply the want.
England has experienced, more or less, every ftage of this decline. Its prefent ftate, in respect to timber, we conceive to be this: A few broken forefts and many extenfive woodlands ftill remaining; a great number of plantations of different growths, and a vaft fupply of foreign timber of various kinds. Indeed, we are of opinion, that had it not been for this foreign fupply, fcarcely a timber-tree, at this day, would have been left standing upon the island.
Our exiftence, as a nation, depends upon a full and certain fupply of fhipping; and this, we may venture to fay, upon an internal supply of fhiptimber. That there is no want of oak-timber at present in this ifland is, we believe, a fact; but that the article of fhip-timber is growing fcarce, as we fhall explain more fully in its proper place, is, we believe, alfo a fact which cannot be controverted. This is an important matter, which demands the first attention of Government, and is not unworthy the notice of every landed individual.
Mankind, however, do not view the face of nature in the light of felf-prefervation only; the great Author