Page:A memoir of Lewis David von Schweinitz.djvu/18

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9
LEWIS D. VON SCHWEINITZ.

In the baneful spirit of uncharitableness he saw nothing either lovely or respectable; it never found a lodging in his heart, and he had, accordingly, no occasion in after life to eject so unprofitable a tenant.

His first impulse towards the study of Botany had been received at Nazareth, before being placed as a pupil in the institution. When a mere child, being on a visit to that place in company with his grandfather, Bishop de Watteville, it chanced that a specimen of the Lichen digitatus, lying on a table in one of the apartments of the school, attracted his attention, and led to a few observations on its name and physiology. From this moment he dated his own partiality for the beauties of the vegetable kingdom. When his abode was afterwards fixed at the school, and he enjoyed the advantage of some instructions in the elements of botany from one of the teachers[1] in the seminary, he pursued his researches in this delightful science with the most enthusiastic ardour. He seems to have been, in truth, a very child of Flora, and with the vernal breath of that divinity to have inhaled all the benign influences which the beauty, simplicity and grandeur of Nature's truth are every where fitted to inspire.

A partial flora of Nazareth and its vicinity, formed at this early period, is still among his manuscript papers, and the occupation which its composition afforded to his moments of relaxation, continued through life to constitute the delight of his leisure hours. Such was his progress in manly attainments, that before the close of

  1. Mr. Kramtsch.