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naturalist in Captain Flinder's expedition of discovery. At the time of which I am speaking, he might be seen daily in Sir Joseph's library, dissecting plants, and accumulating those stores of knowledge which have since gained for him the reputation of being the first botanist and botanical physiologist in the world, and the honour of being one of the very limited number of foreign associates of the Academy of Sciences of Paris. By his will, Sir Joseph directed that Brown should receive an annuity during his life, on condition of his taking charge of his library, which was still to be accessible to men of science as heretofore. He further directed that after Brown's death the library should be transferred to the British Museum. It being, however, found that a more convenient arrangement might be made both for Brown and for the public, the trustees of the Museum appointed Brown keeper of the botany in that institution, and the library was at once transferred to its ultimate destination.
The attention which Sir Joseph Banks paid to the affairs of the Royal Society was unremitting. He was very much of an autocrat, but, like, other successful autocrats, he maintained his authority by consulting the feelings and opinions of others, and no one complained of it. There is no doubt that his ample fortune, and his devotion of it to purposes of natural science, made his task more easy than it would have been otherwise ; still, he could not have accomplished what he did if he had not possessed a great knowledge of human nature. It was by a combination of these means that he was enabled to exercise his influence over the philosophers, so that every one among them looked up to him as a friend and counsellor; and that he succeeded in keeping in abeyance among them those feelings of jealousy from which even those who, standing apart from mere vulgar pursuits, devote themselves to the acquisition of knowledge, are not altogether exempt.
During the greater part of the summer, Sir Joseph resided at his house in Lincolnshire, where he occupied himself chiefly with agricultural pursuits, and in presiding over agricultural meetings. "In November he returned to
his house in Soho Square, in time to be present at the first meeting of the Royal Society. During the winter, besides the weekly evening meetings in his library, he was in the habit of entertaining parties of scientific men at dinner. Every morning he had a sort of public breakfast in his library, at which foreigners of distinction and others were introduced to him, As the spring advanced he left his house in London to reside at a villa known as 'Spring Grove,' near Hounslow, where he remained until the session of the Royal Society terminated. Here he dined daily at four o'clock, in order that his frequent visitors from London might have ample time to return home in the evening. When the weather permitted, his guests adjourned to have tea and coffee under the cedars in the garden. In the intermediate time it was not unusual to visit his hot-houses and conservatories, under the auspices of his unmarried' sister, Miss Banks ; or the dairy, which was under the especial care of Lady Banks, who was proud of displaying a magnificent collection of old china-ware which was there deposited. These parties at Spring Grove were not the less agreeable because they generally consisted of few persons, and everything was conducted in a simple and unostentatious manner.
On the whole, it is difficult to conceive that any one could perform his duties as President of the Royal Society in a manner more honourable to himself, or more beneficial to the community, than that in which they were performed by Sir Joseph Banks. It is to be observed at the same time that he had some peculiar advantages, having an ample fortune and no family, and having also the good taste to avoid being involved in political discussions and disputes.
In March, 1808, through the interest of Mr. Home, with the assistance of his colleague, and of some little reputation which I had myself acquired as a young teacher of anatomy, I was elected assistant-surgeon to St. George's Hospital. I was fortunate in obtaining such an appointment so early in life. I was indeed not quite twenty-five years of age (my birthday
being in June). I was at that time living in lodgings at No. 24 Sackville Street, not having my name on the door as a candidate for private practice, and being still one of the senior students at the hospital. From the date of my appointment Mr. Home left me very much of the management of his patients, and by degrees interfered in it very little himself. This, however, was not the only advantage which I derived from my new office. The junior surgeon, Mr. Gunning, joined Lord Wellington's army in the Peninsula, being attached to the staff of the commander-inchief as surgeon-in-chief of the British forces. There was an old law of the hospital (now abrogated) which enabled the Weekly Board to give an unlimited leave of absence to any one of the medical officers who was employed on military service. This leave was granted to Mr. Gunning. The governors at the same time appointed the other assistant-surgeon, Mr. Robert Keate, and myself to take charge of his patients in his absence. This arrangement continued until the year 1813, when, on the resignation of Mr. Thomas Keate, his nephew was elected surgeon