Page images

The Royal Academy.


than another, this only proves that it is even more difficult to sustain an aristocracy of merit than one of birth or of wealth, and may serve as a useful check upon yourselves when tempted at your elections to let personal predilections compete with real merit.

On one thing, however, you may rest assured, and that is the continued favour of the Crown. The same feelings which actuated George the Third in founding this institution still actuate the Crown in continuing to it its patronage and support, recognising in you a constitutional link, as it were, between the Crown itself and the artistic body. And when I look at the assemblage of guests at this table,* I may infer that the Crown does not stand alone in this respect, but that our feelings are shared also by the great and noble in the land.


Spoken at the anniversary dinner in 1851.


To arrange and classify that universe of knowledge becomes therefore the first, and perhaps the most important, object and duty of science. It is only when brought into a system, by separating the incongruous and combining those elements in which we have been enabled to discover the internal connexion which the Almighty has implanted in them, that we can hope to grapple with the boundlessness of His creation, and with the laws which govern both mind and matter.


EXHIBITION. . ALTHOUGH we perceive, in some countries, a fear that the advantages to be derived from the Exhibition will be mainly reaped by England, and a consequent distrust in the effects of our Foreign Distrust of the Great Exhibition.


scheme upon their own interests, we must at the same time freely and gratefully acknowledge that our invitation has been received by all nations, with whom communication was possible, in that spirit of liberality and friendship in which it was tendered, and that they are making great exertions and incurring great expenses in order to meet our plans.

Of our own doings at the commission, I should have preferred to remain silent : but I cannot let this opportunity pass without telling you how much benefit we have derived, in our difficult labours, from your uninterrupted confidence in the intentions, at least, which guided our decisions; and that there has been no difference of opinion on any one subject, between us and the different local committees, which has not, upon personal consultation, and after open explanation and discussion, vanished, and given way to agreement and identity of purpose.*

[ocr errors]

Spoken at the banquet given by the Lord Mayor of York, Oct. 25, 1850.


I FEEL convinced that its existence will by degrees cause a complete change in the domestic comforts of the labouring classes, as it will exhibit to them that with real economy can be combined advantages with which few of them have hitherto been acquainted ; whilst it will show to those who possess capital to invest, that they may do so with great profit and advantage to themselves, at the same time that they are dispensing those comforts to which I have alluded to their poorer brethren.


I CONCEIVE it to be the duty of every educated person closely to watch and study the time in which he lives, and, as far as in him lies, to add his humble mite of individual exertion to further the accomplishment of what he believes Providence to have ordained.

Characteristics of the Age.


Nobody, however, who has paid any attention to the peculiar features of our present era, will doubt for a moment that we are living at a period of most wonderful transition, which tends rapidly to accomplish that great end to which, indeed, all history points—the realization of the unity of mankind. Not a unity whch breaks down the limits and levels the peculiar characteristics of the different nations of the earth, but rather a unity, the result and product of those very national varieties and antagonistic qualities.

The distances which separated the different nations and parts of the globe are rapidly vanishing before the achievements of modern invention, and we can traverse them with incredible ease; the languages of all nations are known, and their acquirement placed within the reach of everybody; thought is communicated with the rapidity, and even by the power, of lightning. On the other hand, the great principle of division of labour, which may be called the moving power of civilization, is being extended to all branches of science, industry, and art.

« EelmineJätka »