Thornton, Robert John (1768?-1837) / Temple of Flora, or, Garden of the botanist, poet, painter, and philosopher.
Aesculapius, Ceres, Flora, and Cupid, Honouring the Bust of Linnaeus.
AESCULAPIUS, CERES, FLORA, AND CUPID, HONOURING THE BUST OF LINNAEUS. THE introduction of AESCULAPIUS, CERES, and FLORA, is emblematic of the advantages derived from the study of the science of Botany, as in the works of: Linnaeus, to physic, agri-culture, and as an elegant pursuit for Ladies. CUPID is represented in allusion to the sexual system, invented by LINNAEUS. The ZEPHYR above denotes Spring, the season most favourable to the study of Botany. The fair forms of FLORA and of CUPID, with the bust of LINNAEUS, cannot fail to disclose to the eye of the observer the magic pencil of a RUSSELL; and the figures of AESCULAPIUS and CERES, the nervous and masterly strokes of an OPIE. I. SACRED to great LINNIEUS' honour'd name, A laurel grove perpetuates his fame, Where, deck'd in honest pride by Sculpture's hand, See rival NATIONS * bid his image stand, The foremost of the human race to rise, Nor servile flattery this, or base disguise: Crowds, now retiring, leave the hallow'd place, When Sol's bright car has run its daily race, And gold-fring'd pearly clouds dissolve away, And evening veils the glaring face of day. Then; first, the sprightly, subtle boy, Beauty's offspring, winged LOVE, Bounding on in wanton joy, Springs forward to the laurel grove, And grateful traces on the stone In golden lines his tribute gay +, Proud thus indelibly to own The triumphs of his tender sway. * In allusion to the bust of Linnaeus, which was first raised in the botanic garden of Edinburgh by the botanical Professor. LINNAO POSUIT J. HOPE. as was also done in the year 1790, in the botanic garden at Paris, by a decree of the National Assembly. + The lines which Cupid writes on the pedestal are as follow: All animated Nature owns my sway, Earth, sea, and air, my potent laws obey, And thou, divine Linnaeus, trac'd my reign O'er trees, and shrubs, and FLORA's beauteous train, Prov'd them obedient to my soft controul, And gaily, breathe an aromatic soul. CHARLOTTE LENOX. This lady was invited by the late illustrious Dr. Samuel Johnson, to meet all his literary acquaintances. After dinner, the Doctor gave, "To the Muses," and as one of them, he publicly crowned this celebrated authoress with bays. vide Life of Johnson, prefixed to his stupendous Dictionary. D
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