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son after the death of the great philosopher by whom it was founded. He had great sagacity, great powers of observation, and great memory, but he wanted that method which a better early education would have afforded him; and his knowledge, though extensive, was of a very desultory kind. His devotion to the memory of Hunter, and his attachment to the museum, formed a remarkable feature of his character, at the same time that his simplicity of mind, his disinterestedness, and the kindness of his disposition, gained him the affection of all who knew him.
It was during the period of which I am now speaking, and not very long after I had ceased to be house surgeon, that Mr. Home introduced me to Sir Joseph Banks. Sir Joseph took much interest in any one who was in any way engaged in the pursuit of science, and as I suppose, partly from Home's recommendation, and partly from knowing that I was occupied with him in making dissections in comparative anatomy, was led to show me much kindness and attention, such as it was very agreeable for
so young a man to receive from so distinguished a person. He invited me to the meetings which were held in his library on the Sunday evenings which intervened between the meetings of the Royal Society. These meetings were of a very different kind from those larger assemblies which were held three or four times in the season by the Duke of Sussex, the Marquis of Northampton, and Lord Rosse, and they were much more useful. There was no crowding together of noblemen and philosophers and would-be philosophers, nor any kind of magnificent display. The visitors consisted of those who were already distinguished by their scientific reputation, of some younger men who, like myself, were following these greater persons at a humble distance, of a few individuals of high station who, though not working men themselves, were regarded by Sir Joseph as patrons of science, of such foreigners of distinction as during the war were to be found in London, and of very few besides. Everything was conducted in the plainest manner. Tea was handed round to the company, and there were no other refreshments. But here were to be seen the elder Herschel, Davy, Wollaston, Young, Hatchett, Wilkins the Sanscrit scholar, Marsden, Major Rennell, Henry Cavendish, Home, Barrow, Maskelyne, Blagden, Abernethy, Carlisle, and others who have long since passed away, but whose reputation still remains, and gives a character to the age in which they lived.
In the course of the first few years which elapsed after my introduction to Sir Joseph Banks, I derived so much advantage from the society which I met in his library, and occasionally at his dinner-table, that I feel it in some measure a duty not to omit some further notice of this eminent individual. I have been informed by those who might be supposed to be well acquainted with his history, that as a boy at Eton he was a very indifferent student of Greek and Latin, and that he was himself mortified to find how much less a proficient he was in the school exercises than his fellow-pupils. But even at this early period he began the study of plants; examining the different parts of their structure, and laying the foundation of that extensive knowledge for which he was afterwards distinguished in this department of natural history. Having inherited a considerable fortune, he had no taste for the usual trifling pursuits of affluent young men, and being of an enterprising disposition, he obtained permission to accompany Captain Cook in one (I believe the first) of his voyages of discovery in the Pacific Ocean. I do not know how soon it was after his return to England that he was elected President of the Royal Society, superseding the former President, Sir John Pringle. His election took place after a severe contest, in which his principal opponents were the mathematicians, with Dr. Horsley, the Pishop of Rochester, at their head. He was created a Baronet, a Civil Knight of the Bath (corresponding to the G.C.B. of the present time), and a Privy Councillor. He was annually re-elected to the presidential chair for many years, resigning the office as soon as he found that his declining health prevented his attending the meetings, that being not long before he died.
ing-house, which contained his library and his botanical collection. The former consisted chiefly of books on Natural History and the transactions of learned societies, and was probably in these departments unrivalled in the world. His principal librarian was a Swede, Dr. Dryander; and under his superintendence the library was so well managed that, although books were lent to men of science in the most liberal manner, I believe that not a volume was ever lost. Dryander was indeed a pattern as a librarian. The library over which he presided was to him all in all. Without being a man of science himself, he knew every book, and the contents of every book in it. If any one enquired of him where he might look for information on any particular subject, he would go first to one shelf, then to another, and return with a bundle of books under his arm containing the information which was desired.
Besides Dryander, there were two others who acted as sub-librarians, and Dr. Brown, the botanist, who had the charge of the botanical collection. Brown had formerly been engaged as