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The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Raven Edition Volume 2

Notes to This Volume

page 2 of 3 | page 1 | The Works of Edgar Allan Poe Raven Volume 2

Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

{*7} The hardest steel ever manufactured may, under the action of a blowpipe, be reduced to an impalpable powder, which will float readily in the atmospheric air.

{*8} The region of the Niger. See Simmona's _Colonial Magazine_ .

{*9} The Myrmeleon-lion-ant. The term "monster" is equally applicable to small abnormal things and to great, while such epithets as "vast" are merely comparative. The cavern of the myrmeleon is vast in comparison with the hole of the common red ant. A grain of silex is also a "rock."

{*10} The _Epidendron, Flos Aeris,_ of the family of the _Orchideae_, grows with merely the surface of its roots attached to a tree or other object, from which it derives no nutriment -- subsisting altogether upon air.

{*11} The _Parasites,_ such as the wonderful _Rafflesia Arnaldii_.

{*12} _Schouw_ advocates a class of plants that grow upon living animals -- the _Plantae_ _Epizoae_. Of this class are the _Fuci_ and _Algae_.

_Mr. J. B. Williams, of Salem, Mass._, presented the "National Institute" with an insect from New Zealand, with the following description: " '_The Hotte_, a decided caterpillar, or worm, is found gnawing at the root of the _Rota_ tree, with a plant growing out of its head. This most peculiar and extraordinary insect travels up both the _Rota_ and _Ferriri_ trees, and entering into the top, eats its way, perforating the trunk of the trees until it reaches the root, and dies, or remains dormant, and the plant propagates out of its head; the body remains perfect and entire, of a harder substance than when alive. From this insect the natives make a coloring for tattooing.

{*13} In mines and natural caves we find a species of cryptogamous _fungus_ that emits an intense phosphorescence.

{*14} The orchis, scabius and valisneria.

{*15} The corolla of this flower (_Aristolochia Clematitis_), which is tubular, but terminating upwards in a ligulate limb, is inflated into a globular figure at the base. The tubular part is internally beset with stiff hairs, pointing downwards. The globular part contains the pistil, which consists merely of a germen and stigma, together with the surrounding stamens. But the stamens, being shorter than the germen, cannot discharge the pollen so as to throw it upon the stigma, as the flower stands always upright till after impregnation. And hence, without some additional and peculiar aid, the pollen must necessarily fan down to the bottom of the flower. Now, the aid that nature has furnished in this case, is that of the _Tiputa Pennicornis_, a small insect, which entering the tube of the corrolla in quest of honey, descends to the bottom, and rummages about till it becomes quite covered with pollen; but not being able to force its way out again, owing to the downward position of the hairs, which converge to a point like the wires of a mouse-trap, and being somewhat impatient of its confinement it brushes backwards and forwards, trying every corner, till, after repeatedly traversing the stigma, it covers it with pollen sufficient for its impregnation, in consequence of which the flower soon begins to droop, and the hairs to shrink to the sides of the tube, effecting an easy passage for the escape of the insect." --_Rev. P. Keith-System of Physiological Botany_.

{*16} The bees -- ever since bees were -- have been constructing their cells with just such sides, in just such number, and at just such inclinations, as it has been demonstrated (in a problem involving the profoundest mathematical principles) are the very sides, in the very number, and at the very angles, which will afford the creatures the most room that is compatible with the greatest stability of structure.