Page:A memoir of Lewis David von Schweinitz.djvu/36

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LEWIS D. VON SCHWEINITZ.

had to lament that their remoteness from the richer treasures of scientific truth, the vast libraries of metropolitan cities, did not allow them to consult the productions of Bulliard, Sowerby, Bolton, Shæffer, Mitchel, Batsch, and others. At a subsequent period, when treating of the fungi of America, Mr. Schweinitz was enabled to profit by the contemporary labours of those whom he is pleased to term the coryphæi of mycological science, such as Fries, Nees, Link and Kunz, and he then takes occasion to remark, that all the genera described by them are likewise found in America, and that indeed but few species are known in Europe, (except those parasitic fungi which belong to a matrix not here produced,) but what are equally the products of both continents. This seemed conclusively to refute the notion that fungous forms are the mere fortuitous generation of accidental causes, and incapable of definite classification.

It is not, perhaps, among the least interesting and of creditable circumstance connected with the publication of this work, that the twelve plates containing figures of ninety-three new species of fungi were drawn, engraved, and coloured by the hands of Mr. Schweinitz himself. We are assured, by one who was at that period his pupil, that he "recollects the untiring research with which our departed friend, amidst the various arduous duties of his office, (that of tutor at Niesky,) pursued bis favourite study, and the labour bestowed by his own hands on the coloured plates of the well known "Synopsis Fungorum." The modesty with which the