tion, betook himself on a poor horse to the army, which was encamped near Lippstadt, in Westphalia. He was furnished with a letter of introduction from Frau von Lameth, proprietor of a neighboring estate, to Colonel de Lastic, of the Beaujolais regiment. This officer, when he saw the seventeen-year-old youth, who looked much younger, sent him to his quarters. A battle took place on the next day. M. de Lastic drew up his regiment, and noticed his protégé in the front rank of a company of grenadiers. The French army was under the command of Marshal Broglie and Prince Soubise while the allied troops were commanded by Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick. The two French officers, who did not agree together, were killed. The company Lamarck had joined was broken up by the enemy's fire, and was forgotten in the confusion of the retreat. The officers and under-officers were killed, and only fourteen were left standing. The oldest of these counseled retreat; Lamarck, who had, on the spur of the moment, improvised himself to the command, answered: "We have been assigned to this position, and we must not forsake it till we are relieved." The colonel, who now remarked that the company was not with his regiment, recalled it by an order which he managed to get back to it by a secret way. On the next day Lamarck was appointed an officer, and soon afterward a lieutenant. Fortunately for science, this brilliant beginning of a military career was not decisive of the future of the youth. After the conclusion of peace he performed garrison duty in Toulon and Monaco, till an inflammation of the lymphatic glands of the neck made it necessary for him to go to Paris to undergo an operation by Tenon, the scar of which he carried all his life.
The aspect of the vegetation in the neighborhood of Toulon and Monaco had attracted the attention of the young officer, who had already acquired some knowledge of botany from the "Traité des plantes usuelles" of Chomel. After he withdrew from the military service and had been awarded a modest pension of four hundred francs, he became engaged with a banker in Paris. Moved by an irresistible impulse to the study of Nature, he observed from his attic-room the forms and movements of the clouds, and made himself acquainted with plants in the royal gardens, and by means of botanical excursions. He felt that he was on the right way, and recalled Voltaire's judgment on Condorcet, that discoveries to come would secure him more fame with posterity than a company of soldiers. Dissatisfied with the botanical systems in use, he wrote in a half-year his "Flore française," and published his "Clé dichotomique," by the aid of which it is easy for a beginner to ascertain the name of the plants he is accustomed to see. This was in 1778. Through Rousseau botany became a fashionable study; the lords and ladies of the world of society busied themselves with plants; Buffon had the three volumes of the "Flore française" published at the Royal Printing-House; and in the next year