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Hooke, Robert, 1635-1703 / Micrographia: or some physiological descriptions of minute bodies made by magnifying glasses : with observations and inquiries thereupon
(MDCLXVII [1667])

Observ. XXVIII. Of the seeds of Venus looking-glass, or corn violet,   pp. 152-153


Page 152


I 52                 MICROGRFAHP I A.
     and cold. And were this Principle very well examin'd, I am very apt
to
     think, it would afford us a very great help to find out the fechanzi-,
     of the Mufcles, which indeedas farr as I have hitherto been able to
ex-
     amine, feems to me not fo very perplex as one might imagine,efpecially
     upon the examination which I made of the Mufcles of CrabrLobfters~and
     feveral forts of large Shell-fifh,and comparing my Obfervations on them,
     with the circumftances I obferv d in the mufcles of terreftrial Animals.
        Now, as in this Inftance of the Beard of a wilde Oat, we fee there
is
     nothing elfe requifite to make it wreath and unwreath it felf, and to
     ftreighten and bend its knee, then onely a little breath of moifk or
dry
     Air, or a fmall atone almoft of water or liquor, and a little heat to
make
     it again evaporate; for, by holding this Beard, plac'd and fix'd as
I be-
     fore dire&ed, neer a Fire, and dipping the tip of a fmall fhred
of Paper
     in well reffify'd fpirit of Wine, and then touching the wreath'd Cylini
     drical parr,you may perceive it to untwift it felf; and prefently again,up-
     on the avolation of the fpirit, by the great heat, it will re-twifi
it felf,
     and thus will it move forward and backwards as oft as you repeat the
     touching it with the fpirit of Wine; fo may, perhaps, the thrinking
and
     relaxing of the mufcles be by the influx and evaporation of fome kind
     of liquor or juice. But of this Enquiry I fhall add more elfewhere.
     Obferv. X X V I I I. Of the Seeds of Venus looking-gla/f, or Corn
         Violet.
     FRom the Leaves, and Downs, and Beards of Plants,we come at laft to
     Fthe Seeds; and here indeed feems to be the Cabinet ofNature,where-
     in are laid up its Jewels. The providence of Nature about Vegetables,is
in
     no part manifefted morethen in the various contrivances about the feed,
     nor indeed is there in any part of the Vegetable fo curious carvings,
and
     beautifull adornments, as about the feed ; this in the larger forts
of feeds
     is moft evident to the eye; nor is it lefs manifeft through the microfnepe,
     in thofe feeds whofe fhape and ftru&ure, by reafon of their fmalnefs,
the
     eye is hardly able to diftinguifh.
        Of thefe there are multitudes, many of which I have obferv'd through
      a Aficrofcopc, and find, that they do, for the moft part, every one
afford
      exceeding pleafant and beautifull objefis. For befides thofe that have
      various kinds of carv'd furfaces, there are other that have fmooth
and
      perfeffly polifh'd furfaces, others a downy hairy furface; fome are
      cover'd onely with a kin, others with a kind of {hell, others with
both,
      as is obfervable alfo in greater feeds.
        Of thefe feeds I have onely described four forts which may ferve
as a
     specimen of what the inquifitive observers are likely to find among
the
     reft. The firft of thefe feeds which are described in the I . 7scheme,
are
     thofe of Corn-Violets, the feed is very fmall, black, and ibining, and,
to
     the naked eye, looks almoft like a very fmall Flea; But through the
                                                               4ticrofCopc


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