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funeral was observed as one of public mourning. Such an expression of general grief, was due perhaps even more to the worth of a singularly upright and genial Christian man, than to the admiration excited by his rare eloquence as a lecturer, and the fascination of a peculiarly winning and attractive manner, alike in public and private. To those who knew him in the intimate relatious of private life, his loss creates a blank that nothing can replace. To a wider circle it may suffice to say, the world has lost in him, —at the early age of forty-one,-a most faithful and conscientious servant of science, and a singularly honest acd painstaking searcher after its truths. What he bas done will give his name a place among the honoured ranks of our scientific discoverers,—but what he was capable of doing, had life been granted to him, would have rendered all he has done of little account.
BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE.
The twenty-ninth Annual Meeting of the British Association for the advancement of Science, which opened its proceedings under the presidency of His Royal Highness Prince Albert at Aberdeen, on Wednesday, September 14th, 1859, appears to have fully equalled in general interest the most successful of its predecessors. The attendance was much beyond the average; and so numerous were the pa pers communicated to the various Sections, that a mere enumeration of their titles, alone, would occupy many pages of our Journal In the first Section, for example, comprising Mathematical and Physical Science, ncarly eighty papers were read; and the total number of communications and Reports brought forward at the Meeting, is not far short of four hundred. Some of these papers are of the highest value: but a considerable number are of merely local interest, and many, indeed, appear to be entirely destitute of any special novelty or importance. Considering the undesirable manner in which really valuable communications, on account of the limited duration of the Meetings, are obliged to be hurried through, and their discussion greatly shortened, it would seem advisable to restrict the reading of the papers to such only as contain new facts or practical demonstrations, or which refer to questions of a debatable nature bearing on the philosophy of Science. Mere details of local geology (however useful in their way), with descriptions of ordinary fossils, analyses of river waters, ordinary meteorological observations, and other papers of a similar character, that neither clear up doubtful points nor open out new paths of inquiry, might surely be forwarded with equal profit to some of the numerous scientific journals, in which, if worthy of regard, they would readily receive insertion. Some plan, at least, will have to be adopted sooner or later, to keep down the formidable array of papers, brought forward, in increasing numbers, at each successive meeting of the Association.
We give below (from copies of the Aberdeen Herald, kindly placed at our disposal by Professor Wilson,) a Report of the President's Address, and a few of the more important or generally-interesting papers communicated at this Meeting.
THE PRESIDENT'S ADDRESS. GENTLEMEN OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION,
Yonr kind invitation to me to undertake the office of your President for the ensuing year could not but startle me on its first announcement. The high position which science occupies, the vast number of distinguished men who labour in her sacred and whose achievements, while spreading innumerable benefits, justly attract the admiration of mankind, contrasted strongly in my mind with the consci. ousness of my own insignificance in this respect. I, a simple admirer, and wouldbe student of science, to take the place of chief and spokesman of the scientific men of the day, assembled in furtherance of their important objects—the thing appeared to me inipossible. Yet, on reflection, I came to the conclusion, that, if not as a contributor to or director of your labours, I might still be useful to you, useful to science, by accepting your offer. Remembering that this Association is a popular Association, not a secret confraternity of men jealously guarding the mysteries of their profession, but inviting the uninitiated, the public at large, to join them, having as one of its objects to break down those imaginary and hurtful barriers which exist between men of scienee and so-called men of practice, I felt that I could, from the peculiar position in which Providence had placed me in this country, appear as the representative of that large public, which profits by and admires your exertions, but is unable actively to join in them; that
election was an act of humility on your part which to reject would have looked like false humility, that is like pride, on mine. But I reflected further, and saw in my acceptance the means, of which necessarily so few are offered to her Majesty, of testifying to you, through the instrumentality of her husband, that your labours are not unappreciated by your Sovereign, and that she wishes her people to know this as well as yourselves. Guided by these reflections, my choice was speedily made, for the path of duty lay straight before me.
If these, however, are the motives' which have induced me to accept your Aattering offer of the Presidency, a request on my part is hardly neccessary that you will receive my efforts to fulfil its duties with kind indulgence.
If it were possible for anything to make me still more aware how much I stand in need of this indulgence, it is the recollection of the person whom I have to suc. ceed as your President--a man of whom this country is justly proud, and whose name stands among the foremost of the naturalists in Europe for his patience in investigation, conscientiousness in observation, boldness of imagination, and acuteness in reasoning. Yon have no doubt listened with pleasure to his parting address, and I beg to thank him for the flattering manner in which he has alluded to me in it.
The Association meets for the first time to-day in these regions, and in this ancient and interesting city. The poet, in his works of fiction, has to choose, and anxiously to weigh, where to lay his scene, knowing that, like the painter, he is thus laying in the background of his picture, which will give tone and colour to the whole. The stern and dry reality of life is governed by the same laws, and we are here living, feeling, and thinking under the influence of the local impressions of this northern seaport. The choice appears to me a good one. The travelling philosophers have
had to come far, but in approaching the Highlands of Scotland they meet nature in its wild and primitive form, and nature is the object of their studies. The geologist will not find many novelties in yonder mountains, because he will stand there on the bare backbone of the globe, but the primary rocks which stand out in their nakedness, exhibit the grandeur and beauty of their peculiar form, and in the splendid quarries of this neighbourhood are seen to peculiar advantage the closeness and hardness of their mass, and their inexhaustible supply for the use of man, made available by the application of new mechanical powers. On this primitive soil the botanist and zoologist will be attracted only by a limited range of plants and animals, but they are the very species which the extension of agriculture and increase of population are gradually driving out of many parts of the country. On those blue hills the red deer, in vast berds, holds undisturbed dominion over the wide heathery forest, until the sportsman, fatigued and unstrung by the busy life of the bustling town, invades the moor, to regain health and vigoor by measuring his strength with that of the antlered monarch of the hill. But, notwithstanding all his efforts to overcome an antagonist possessed of such superiority of power, swiftness, caution, and keenness of all the senses, the sportsman would find himself baffled, had not science supplied him with the telescope, and those terrible wea. pons which seem daily to progress in the precision with which they carry the deadly bullet, mocking distance, to the mark.
In return for the help which science has afforded him, the sportsman can supply the naturalist with many facts which he alone has opportunity of observing, and which may assist the solution of some interesting problems suggested by the life of the deer. Man also, the highest object of our study, is found in vigorous healthy developement, presenting a happy mixture of the Celt, Goth, Saxon, and Dane, acquiring his strength ou the hills on the sea. The Aberdeen whaler braves the icy regions of the Polar Sea, to seek and do battle with the great monster of the deep : he has materially assisted in opening these icebound regions to the researches of Science; he fearlessly aided in the search after Sir John Franklin and his gallant companions, whom their country sent forth on this mission, but to whom Providence, alas! has denied the reward of their labours, the return to their bomes, to the affectionate embrace of their families and friends, and the acknow. ledgments of a grateful nation. The City of Aberdeen itself is rich in interest for the philosopher. Its two lately united Universities make it a seat of Learning and Science. The Collection of Antiquities, formed for the present occasion, enables him to dive into olden times, and, by contact with the remains of the handiwork of the ancient inhabitants of Scotland, to enter into the spirit of that peculiar and interesting people, which has attracted the attention and touched the hearts of men accessible to the influence of beroic poetry. The Spalding Club, founded in this city for the preservation of the historical and literary remains of the northeastern counties of Scotland, is honourably known by its important publications.
Gentlemen!—This is the 29th Aniversary of the foundation of this Association ; and well may we look back with satisfaction to its operation and achievements, throughout the time of its existence. When, on the 27th September, 1831, the Meeting of the Yorkshire Philosophical Society took place at York, in the theatre of the Yorkshire Museum, under the presidency of the late Earl Fitzwilliam, then
Viscount Milton, and the Rev. W. Vernon Harcourt eloquently set forth the plan for the formation of a British Association for the promotion of Science, which he showed to have become a want for his country, the most ardent supporter of this resolution could not have anticipated that it would start into life full-grown as it were, enter at once upon its career of usefulness, and pursue it without deviation from the original design, triumphing over the oppositions which he had to encounter in common with everything that is new and claims to be useful. Gentlemen, this proved that the want was a real, and not an imaginary one, and that the mode in which it was intended to supply that want was based upon a just appreciation of unalterable truths. Mr. Vernon Harcourt summed up the desiderata in graphic words, which have almost identically been retained as the exposition of the objects of the Society, printed at the head of the annually-appearing volume of its Transactions:"to give a stronger impulse and more systematic direction to scientific inquiry—to promote the intercourse of those who oultivate Science in different parts of the Empire, with one another and with foreign Philosophers--and to obtain a more general attention to the objects of Science, and a removal of any disadvantages of a public kind which impede its progres.”
To define the nature of Science, to give an exact and complete definition of what that Science, to whose service the Association is devoted, is and means, has as it naturally must, at all times occupied the Metaphysician. He has answered the question in various ways, more or less satisfactorily to himself or others. To me, Science, in its most general and comprehensive acceptation, means the knowledge of what I know, the consciousness of human knowledge. Hence, to know, is the object of all Science; and all special knowledge, if brought to our consciousness in its separate distinctiveness from, and yet in its recognised relation to the totality of our knowledge, is scientific knowledge. We require, then, for Science-that is to say, for the acquisition of scientific knowledge—those two activities of our mind which are necessary for the acquisition of any knowledge---analysis and synthesis; the first, to dissect and reduce into its component parts the objects to be investigated, and to render an accurate account to ourselves of the nature and qualities of these parts by observation ; the second to recompose the observed and understood parts into a unity in our consciousness, exactly answering to the object of our investigation. The labours of the man of Science are therefore at once the most humble and the loftiest which man can undertake. He only does what every little child does from its first awakening into life, and must do every moment of its existence; and yet he aims at the gradual approximation to divine truth itself If then, there exists no difference between the work of the man of Science and that of the merest child, what constitutes the distinction ? Merely the conscious selfdetermination. The child observes what accident brings before it, and uncon. sciously forms its notion of it; the so-called practical man observes what his special work forces upon him, and he forms his notions upon it with reference to this peculiar work. The man of Science observes what he intends to observe, and knows why he intends it. The value which the peculiar object has in his eyes is not determined by accident, nor by an external cause, such as the mere connexion with work to be performed, but by the place which he knows this object to hold in the general universe of knowledge, by the relation which it beats to other parts of that general knowledge.
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 enable to discover the internal connexion which the Almighty has implanted in them, that we can hope to grapple with the boundless. ness of His creation, and with the laws which govern both mind and matter. The operation of Science then has been, systematically to divide human knowledge, and raise, as it were, the separate groups of subjects for scientific consideration, into different and distinct sciences. The tendency to create new sciences is peculiarly apparent in our present age, and is perhaps inseparable from so rapid a progress as we have seen in our days; for the acquaintance with and mastering of distinct branches of knowledge enables the eye, from the newly-gained points of sight, to see the new ramifications into which they divide themselves in strict consecutive ness and with logical necessity. But in thus gaining new centres of light, from which to direct our researches, and new and powerful means of adding to its ever. increasing treasures, science approaches no nearer to the limits of its range, although travelling further and further from its original point of departure. For God's world is infinite; and the boundlessness of the universe, whose confines appear ever to retreat before our finite minds. strikes us no less with awe when, prying into the starry crowd of heaven, we find new worlds revealed to us by every increase in the power of the telescope, than when the microscope discloses to us in a drop of water, or an atom of dust, new worlds of life and animination, or the remains of such as have passed away.
Whilst the tendency to push systematic investigation in every direction enables the individual mind of man to bring all the power of which he is capable to bear on the specialities of his study, and enables a greater number of labourers to take part in the universal work, it may be feared that that consciousness of its unity wbich must pervade the whole of science, if it is not to lose its last and highest point of sight, may suffer. It has occasionally been given to rare intellects and the highest genius, to follow the various sciences in their divergent roads, and yet to preserve that point of sight from which alone their totality can be contemplated and directed. Yet how rare is the appearance of such gifted intellects! And if they be found at intervals, they remain still single individuals, with all the imperfections of human nature.
The only mode of supplying with any certainty this want, is to be sought in the combination of men of science representing all the specialities, and working together for the common object of preserving that unity and presiding over that general direction. This has been, to some extent, done in many countries by the establishment of academies embracing the whole range of the sciences, whether physical or metaphysical, historical or political. In the absence of such an insti. tution in this country, all lovers of science must rejoice at the existence and ac. tivity of this Association, which embraces in its sphere of action, if not the whole range of the sciences, yet a very large and important section of them, those known as the inductive sciences, excluding all that are not approached by the inductive method of investigation. It has, for instance (and, considering its peculiar organisation and mode of action, perhaps not unwisely), eliminated from its con. sideration and discussions those which come under the description of moral and