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From The Athenæum.
Phillips, upon whose presence here I conDR. HOOK ER'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS BE- gratulate both you and him. Again, look
FORE THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR ing back beyond thirty years ago, in the THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.
pages of your records I find those to have Ar the annual meeting at Norwich, on 19 been halcyon years for Presidents, when the August, the Duke of Buccleuch surrendered preparation and delivery of the Addresses the sceptre of the British Association to his devolved upon the treasurer, secretary, or successor, Dr. Joseph D. Hooker, * who other officers than the President; and that, rose, and delivered the following address :- in fact, Presidential Addresses date from THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS.'
the first meeting after that at Newcastle.
Of late years these addresses have been My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, regarded, if not as the whole duty of the Thirty years will to-morrow have elapsed President, certainly as his highest. For since I first attended a meeting of the Brit- your sakes, as well as for my own, I wish ish Association; it was the one which this were not so, both because there are opened at Newcastle on the 20th of Au- among your officers so many men far more gust, 1838. On that occasion the Council competent than I am, and because I believe of the Association resolved to recommend that the responsibility which the preparato Her Majesty's Government the despatch tion of these Addresses entails limits disadof an expedition to the Antarctic regions, vantageously your choice of Presidents. under the command of Capt. James Ross; The impression is very prevalent that the and it was from Newcastle that I wrote to Address should either be a scientific tour de my friends announcing my resolve to ac-force, philosophical and popular, or a résucompany it in whatever capacity I could mé of the progress of one or more imporobtain a situation among its officers. It tant branches of science; and this view of was thus that my scientific career was first the duty has greatly embarrassed me, inasshaped; and it is to this expedition, which much as I am unable to fulfil either of these was one of the very earliest results of the requirements. labours of the British Association, that I On various occasions during the last halfam indebted for the honour you have con- year I have essayed to fulfil the wishes of ferred upon me in placing me in your Pres- my botanical friends that I should either ident's chair. If I now look back with discuss the phenomena of the vegetable pride to those immediately following years kingdom in their relation to collateral sciwhen I had a share, however small, in the ences, or sketch the rise and progress of discovery of the Antarctic Continent, the scientific botany during the present century, Southern Magnetic Poles, the Polar Bar- or a portion of it; but every
bas rier, and the ice-clad volcanoes of Victoria been quickly frustrated by the pressure of Land, I do so also with other and far differ- official duties. Such themes require much ent feelings.
research, much thought, and, above all, Thirty years, as statisticians tell us, rep- some continuous leisure, during which the resent the average duration of a human whole mind may be concentrated on the life; I need not say, as measured by the method of treatment, as well as on the marecords of this British Association, a human terial to be treated of; and this leisure was lifetime is far shorter than this; for of the incompatible with the discharge of my dufourteen officers who presided over us in ties as administrator of a large public de1838 but two remain — your former Presi-partment, entailing a ceaseless corresponddent and devoted adherent for thirty-five lence with the Government offices and with years, Sir Roderick Murchison, who deliv-botanical establishments all over the globe. ered the opening address on that occasion, And I do not ask your indulgence for myand whose health, I regret to add, prevents self alone, for there are at this meeting his attendance at this meeting, and your official men of scientific attainments, who faithful and ever-green Secretary, Prof. have accepted the presidentship of Sections,
but who, on leaving their posts to do your * [Dr. Hooker is Director of the Royal Gardens at Kew.)
bidding, drag a lengthening chain of correspondence after them, and sacrifice no methods, they will command all the sympashort portion of those brief holidays which thy, and their meetings will receive all the are allowed to public officers. After all, it support, that my fellow members of the is deeds, not words, that we want from British Association can afford to them; them; and I am proud to find our Sections and there is one way in particular by which presided over by men who have won their we can show our goodwill and give our supspurs in their respective sciences, and who port, — and it is so simple that I hope no will wear them in the chairs they occupy, one will neglect it, — and that is, that we and use them too if needs must. For my shall all call at their official residence at the own part, I propose to offer some remarks Free Library, inscribe our names in their upon several matters to which the attention books, and obtain cards for their meetings. of your
Council was directed when at Dun- The next subject which I have to bring dee, and then upon some of the great ad- officially before you will interest the memvances that have been made in Botany bers of the Congress no less than ourselves, during the last few years — this will infalli- and relates to the action of a committee bly drag me into Darwinism; after which I which your Council appointed to represent shall allude to some matters connected with to the Secretary of State for India “the that dawning science, the earlier history of great and urgent importance of adopting mankind, a theme which will be a distin- active measures to obtain reports on the guishing collateral feature of the Norwich physical form, manners and customs of the Association. If in all this I disappoint you, indigenous populations of India, and esit will be my solace to hope that I may pecially of those tribes which are still in the thereby break the fall of some future Presi- habit of erecting megalithic monuments." dent, who, like myself, may have all the Upon consideration, the Committee dewill, but not the time, adequately to meet cided that it would be better, in the first your great expectations. Before commenc- instance, to direct the attention of the Secing, however, I must attend to a circum- retary of State to the last-mentioned tribes stance which cannot but be uppermost in jonly, both because the whole inquiry was the minds of all habitual attendants at these so vast, and because systematic efforts are annual gatherings; it is that, but for a se- now being made by the Indian Government vere accident, there would have been pres- to obtain photographs and histories of the ent here to-night the oldest surviving, and native Indian tribes. Their efforts are, as indeed the first but two, of the Presidents regards the photographs obtained in India, of the British Association; my geological eminently successful, which renders it all friends will understand to whom I allude, the more disappointing that the descriptive as that rock of science in whom age and matter appended to them in this country, the heat and shocks of scientific controversy and which is happily anonymous, is most have wrought no metamorphosis, and de- discreditable to the authority under which veloped no cleavage planes — a man of it is issued. I am informed that measures whom both Norwich and the Association have been taken to repair this, and that are proud — your Canon, our father, Sedg- Col. Meadows Taylor, than whom a more wick.
competent man could not be found, bas My first duty as president is the pleasant been appointed to undertake the literary one of introducing to you the members of and scientific portions in future. It will, the International Congress of Pre-historic no doubt, surprise many here to be told Archæology, who, under the presidency of that there exists within 300 miles of the Sir John Lubbock, himself a master of this British capital of India a tribe of Semibranch of knowledge, open their third ses- savages, who habitually erect dolmens, sion to-morrow in this city. The researches menhirs, cysts and cromlechs, almost as which specially occupy the attention of the gigantic in their proportions, and very simiCongress are, perhaps, the most fascinating lar in appearance and construction to the that ever engaged the faculties of man, and so-called Druidical remains of Western Eupursued as they now are in a scientific rope; and, what is still more curious. spirit, and in due subjection to scientific though described and figured nearly a quar
ter of a century ago by Col. Yule, the emi-, is a standing stone, and a dolmen a tablenent oriental geographer, except by Sir J. stone, &c. At the date of Col. Yule's, Lubbock, they are scarcely alluded to in as of my visit to these people, our interthe modern literature of pre-historic monu- course with them was limited, and not alments. In the Bengal Asiatic Journal for ways friendly; we were ignorant of their 1844 you will find Col. Yule's description language, and they themselves far from comof the Khasia people of East Bengal, an municative. Of late, however, the country Indo-Chinese race, who keep cattle but has been more opened up, and the estabdrink no milk, estimate distances traversed lishment of a British cantonment among by the mouthfuls of pawn chewed en route, them renders it all the more important that and among whom the marriage tie is so the inquiry into their origin, language, beloose that the son commonly forgets his liefs, customs, &c. should be followed up father when the sister's son inherits property without delay. This will now be done, and rank. Dr. Thomson and I dwelt for thanks to your representations, and I cansome months among the Khasia people, not doubt but that it will throw great light now eighteen years ago, and found Col. upon that obscure and important branch of Yule's account to be correct in all particu- pre-historic archæology, the megalithian lars. The undulatory eminences of the monuments of Western Europe. country, some 4,000 feet to 6,000 feet The Council of the Association, upon the above the level of the sea, are dotted with recommendation of the Biological Section, groups of huge unpolished squared pillars appointed a committee to report upon the and tabular slabs, supported on three or subject of the government of the natural four rude piers. In one spot, buried in a history collections of the British Museum, sand grove, we found a nearly complete which resulted in a deputation, who precircle of menhirs, the tallest of which was sented to the Prime Minister, in the name 30 feet out of the ground, 6 feet broad, and of the Council, that it was desirable these 2 feet 8 inches thick; and in front of each collections be placed under the control of a was a dolmen or cromlech of proportion- single officer, who should be directly reately gigantic pieces of rock, while the sponsible to a Minister of the Crown; and largest slab hitherto measured is 32 feet this opinion was shared by an overwhelmhigh, 15 feet broad, and 2 feet thick. Sev- ing majority of British naturalists. The eral that we saw had been very recently reasons stated were that there appeared no erected, and we were informed that every reason why the national collections of natuyear some are put up, but not in the rainy ral history should be administered in a way season, which we spent in the country. different from that which was found appliThe method of removing the blocks is by cable to the Royal Gardens and botanical cutting grooves, along which fires are light- collections at Kew, the Museum of Practied, and into which, when heated, cold water cal Geology, and the Royal Observatory at is run, which causes the rock to fissure along Greenwich; and that the interposition of the groove; the lever and rope are the only any board or committee between the sumechanical aids used in transporting and perintendent of the collections and the Goverecting the blocks. The objects of their ernment must interfere with the responsierection are various — sepulture, marking bility of the superintendent and the efficient spots where public events had occurred, control of the Minister. It was not for the &c. It is a curious fact that the Khasian first time that this subject had been brought word for a stone, “man,” as commonly oc- before Her Majesty's Government, and incurs in the names of their villages and deed before the selfsame Minister; for ten places as that of man, maen, and men does years previously a few naturalists, consistin those of Brittany, Wales, Cornwall, &c.;, ing of Messrs. Bentham, Bush, Darwin, thus Mansmai signifies in Khasia the stone Huxley, Dr. Carpenter, and myself, togethof oath, Mamloo, the stone of salt, Man- er with the late Profs. Lindley, Henslow, flong, the grassy stone, &c., just as in Harvey, and Henfrey, presented a memoWales Penmaen Mawr signifies the hill of rial to Mr. Disraeli, then, as now, a Ministhe big stone, and in Brittany a menhyr ter, embodying precisely the same views as to the government of the Natural History | Ipswich; it requires some space, many picDepartment of the British Museum, to-torial illustrations, magnified views of the gether with a scheme for the administration smaller organs and their structure, and coof the whole Metropolitan natural history pious legible descriptive labels; and it should Collection, geological and botanical; and I not contain a single specimen more than is have only to add, regarding this document, wanted. The other requirements of a prothat the surviving memorialists have not vincial museum aré - complete collections during the ten intervening years found rea- of the plants and animals of the province, son to alter the views therein expressed on which should be kept rentirely apart from any vital point. Of the objections to the the instructional series, and from everything present system of government by trustees, else. The curator of the museum should some of the most grave have been stated be able to give elementary demonstrations by Mr. Andrew Murray, in a communica- (not lectures, and quite apart from any tion (Report for 1867 ; Transactions of Sec- powers of lecturing that he may possess) tions, p. 95) made to the Biological Sec- upon this classified series to schools and tion at Dundee; to which I would only add, others, for which a fee should be charged, that though the zoological collections are and go to the support of the institution. the finest in the world, and the geological And the museum might be available (under and palæontological of prodigious extent similar conditions of payment) for lectures and value, there are of the 45 trustees only and other demonstrations. Did such a muthree who have any special knowledge what-seum exist in Norwich, I am sure that there soever of the branches of science these col- is not an intelligent schoolmaster in the city lections illustrate; that since Sir Joseph who would not see that his school profited Banks' death, nearly half a century ago, no by the demonstrator's offices, nor a parent botanist has ever been appointed a trustee, who would grudge the trifling fee. You though the Banksian Herbarium and Botani- boast of a superb collection of birds of cal Library, then among the most valuable prey; how much would the value of this be in Europe, were left by their owner to the enhanced were it accompanied by such an nation, and, in fine, that the interests of illustration of the nature, habits and affinibotany have by their trustees been greatly ties of the Raptores as might well be obneglected.
tained by an exhibition of the skeleton and Much as has been written upon the uses dissected organs of one hawk and one owl, of museums, I believe that the subject is so laid out and ticketed that a schoolboy still far from being exhausted; for in the should see the structure of their beaks, feet, present state of education in this country, wings, feathers, bones, and internal organs these appear
to me to afford the only means -should see why it is that hawks and owls of efficiently, teaching to schools the ele- are pre-eminent among birds for power of ments of zoology and physiology. I say in sight and flight; for circling and for swoopthe present state of education, because I ing; for rapacity, voracity, and tenacity of believe it will be many years before we have life should see, in short, the affinities and schoolmasters and mistresses trained to special attributes of birds of prey ? This, teach these subjects, and many more years which refers to the teaching of natural bisbefore either provincial or private schools tory, is an operation altogether apart from will be supplied with such illustrative spe- training the minds to habits of exact obsercimens as are essential for the teacher's vation, which, as is now fully admitted, is purposes. Confining myself to the consid- best attained in schools by Prof. Henslow's eration of provincial and local museums method of teaching botany. and their requirements for educational pur- Excellent manuals of many branches of poses, each should contain a series of spe- geology are now published, which are incimens illustrating the principal and some valuable to the advanced student and demof the lesser divisions of the animal and onstrator; but from which the schoolboy revegetable kingdoms, so disposed in well-coils, who would not refuse to accept oblighted cases as that an inquiring observer jects and pictures as memory's pegs, on may learn therefrom the principles upon which to hang ideas, facts, and hard names. which animals and plants are classified, the To schoolboys, skeletons have often a relations of their organs to one another and strange fascination, and upon the structure to those of their allies, the functions of of these and the classification of the vertethose organs, and other matters relating to brata much depends. What boy that had their habits, uses, and place in the economy ever been shown their skulls would call a of Nature. Such an arrangement has not seal or porpoise a fish, or believe a bedgebeen carried out in any museum known to hog could milk cows, as I am told many me, though partially attained in that at l boys in Norfolk and Suffolk, as elsewhere,
do believe implicitly? A series of illus- provincial museums, when space is an obtrated specimens, occupying some 5,800 ject, there is no better plan than rectangular feet of wall-space, would give at a glance long rooms, with opposite windows on each a connected!and intelligible elementary view side, and buttress cases projecting into the of the classification and structure of the room between each pair of windows. This whole animal kingdom; it would stand in arrangement combines economy of space the same relation to a complete museum and with perfect illumination, and affords faciliSystema Naturæ as a chart on which the ties for classification. Upon this plan the principal cities and coastlines are clearly large museum at Kew is built, where the laid down does to a map crowded with un- three principal rooms are 70 feet long, by distinguishable details.
25 feet wide, and each accommodates 1,000 Much of the utility of museums depends square feet of admirably-lighted cases, 6,700 on two conditions often strangely overlooked feet of wall-room for pictures and for por
their situation and their lighting and in- traits of naturalists, besides two fire-places, terior arrangements. The provincial mu- four entrances, and a well-staircase 11 feet seum is too often huddled away, almost out each way. A circular building, with cases of sight, in a dark, crowded, and dirty thor- radiating from the wall between the windows, oughfare, where it pays dear for ground- would probably be the best arrangement of rent, rates, and taxes, and cannot be ex- all. A light spiral staircase in the centre tended; the object, apparently, being to would lead to the upper stories. Two or catch country people on market days. Such more of the bays might be converted into localities are frequented by the town's peo- private rooms without disturbing the symple only when on business, and when they metry of the interior or intercepting the consequently have no time for sight-seeing. lighting of the cases. The proportions of In the evening, or on holidays, when they the basement and first floor might be such could visit the museum, they naturally pre- as to admit of additional stories being added, fer the outskirts of the town to its centre. and the roof be so constructed as to be reHence, too, the country gentry scarcely movable without difficulty when an additionknow of the museum's existence; and I al story was required; fúrthermore, rectannever remember to have heard of a provin- gular galleries might be built, radiating from cial museum that was frequented by schools, the central building, and lighted by opposite but rather the contrary. I do not believe windows, with buttress-cases between each that this arises from indifference to knowl- pair of windows. In respect of its natural edge on the part of the upper classes or of history collections, the position of the Britteachers, but to the generally uninstructive ish Museum appears to me to be a disadvannature of the contents of these museums, tageous one; it is surrounded by miles of and their uninviting exterior and interior. streets, including some of the principal meThere are plenty of visitors of all classes to tropolitan thoroughfares, which pour clouds the museums at Kew, despite the outer at- of dust and the product of coal-combustion tractions of the gardens, and I know no into its area day and night; and I know few more pleasing sight than these present on a more disappointing sights, to me, than its Sunday and Monday afternoon, when crowd- badly-lighted interior presents on a hot and ed by intelligent visitors, directing their crowded public holiday, when whole families children's attention to the ticketed ob- from London and its outskirts flock to the jects in the cases. The Museum should be building. Then young and old may be seen in an open grassed square or park, planted gasping for fresh air in its galleries, with no with trees, in or in the outskirts of the alternative but the hotter and dustier streets town, a main object being to secure clean- to resort to. How different it would be liness, a cheerful aspect, and space for ex- were these collections removed to the towntension. Now, vegetation is the best inter- ward end of one of the great Parks, where ceptor of dust, which is injurious to the spacious and well-lighted galleries could be specimen as well as unsightly, while a cheer- built, among trees, grass and fountains ; ful aspect and grass and trees will attract and where whole families need not any more visitors, and especially families and schools. be cooped up for the day in the building,
If the external accessories of provincial but avail themselves of the fresh air and its museums are bad, the internal are often accessories at the same time as they profit worse; the rooms are usually lighted by by the collection. Norwich, I hear - and windows on one side only, so that the cases I hear it with surprise — has no public park between the walls are dark, and those op- worthy of the name. That she may soon posite the windows reflect the light when have one should be the endeavour of every viewed obliquely, and when viewed in front citizen, and to have a good instructional the visitor stands in his own light. For museum transferred to it should be the as