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On the Art-Treasures Exhibition.
general interest, but to give to your collection, by a scientific and historical arrangement, an educational character—thus not losing the opportunity of teaching the mind, as well as gratifying the senses.
And manifold are the lessons which it will present to us! If art is the purest expression of the state of mental and religious culture, and of general civilization of any age or people, an historical and chronological review given at one glance, cannot fail to impress us with a just appreciation of the peculiar characteristics of the different periods and countries the works of which are here exhibited to us, and of the influence which they have exercised upon each other.
In comparing these works with those of our own age and country, while we may well be proud of the immense development of knowledge and power of production which we possess, we have reason also for humility in contemplating the refinement of feeling and intensity of thought manifested in the works of the older schools.
THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE MASS.
STATISTICS are declared useless, because they cannot be relied on for the determination of any given cause, and do only establish probabilities where man requires and asks for certainty. This objection is well founded, but it does not affect the science itself, but solely the use which man has in vain tried to make of it, and for which it is not intended. It is the essence of statistical science that it only makes apparent general laws, but these laws are inapplicable to any special case; that, therefore, which is proved to be the law in general is uncertain in the particular. Thus are the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Creator manifested, showing how the Almighty has established the physical and moral world on unchangeable laws conformable to His eternal nature, while He has allowed to the individual the
The Individual and the Mass.
freest and fullest use of his faculties, vindicating at the same time the majesty of His laws by their remaining unaffected by individual self-determination.
I AM almost ashamed to speak such homely truths (of which I feel myself at best to be a very inadequate exponent) to a meeting like this, including men of such eminence in the science, and particularly in the presence of one who was your first President, M. Quétélet, and from whom I had the privilege, now twenty-four years ago, to receive my first instruction in the higher branches of mathematics—one who has so successfully directed his great abilities to the application of the science to those social phenomena, the discovery of the governing laws of which can only be approached by the accumulation and reduction of statistical facts.
SCIENCE AND THE BEGGING-BOX.
We may be justified in hoping that, by the gradual diffusion of Science, and its increasing recognition as a principal part of our national education, the public in general, no less than the Legislature and the State, will more and more recognise the claims of Science to their attention; so that it may no longer require the begging-box, but speak to the State, like a favoured child to its parent, sure of his parental solicitude for its welfare; that the State will recognise in Science one of its elements of strength and prosperity, to foster which the clearest dictates of self-interest demand.
The discovery of vaccination was not the result of mere accident, like many other discoveries; but it was the result of long and thoughtful observation and reflection to which the discoverer's whole life was devoted. This country might be justly proud to number among her sons such a man as Jenner, for no man had been able to save so many lives as he had been able to do. His contemporaries had testified their approbation and feeling of gratitude for the important public service he had rendered ; but it was reserved for our own day to inaugurate a memorial as a mark of our appreciation of Jenner's services in the cause of humanity. I hope that statue will be long preserved, to give the features of this benefactor of the human race for the contemplation and admiration of generations to come. I hope that vaccination will be further spread, for it is deplorable to think that, through neglecting it, fifty thousand victims still die annually in this country.