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unweariable power of taking pains was his leading cha- jfTM*^ racteristic. Th«
In his eighteenth year he came to London with the im- J"1TMTM" mediate object of studying chemistry and botany, before lie entered on other studies more distinctively medical. EARLT He learned chemistry under Staphorst,* and of ^oTM.1" botany he acquired a good deal of knowledge by fre- 1677_1082 quenting, with much assiduity, the recently founded Botanical Garden at Chelsea. In the latter pursuit he met with assistance from the intelligent keeper of the garden, Mr. Watts. And ere long he acquired the friendship of MS- Corr"i' John Rat, and of Robert Boyle.
After six years of steady educational labours, both scientific and medical, he went to Paris, which possessed in 1683—and long afterwards—facilities for medical education far superior to any that could then be found in London. His companions in the journey were Dr. Tancred Robinson and Dr. Wakeley. Ibsm.
Sloane had scarcely got farther into France than the town of Dieppe, before it was his good fortune to make the acquaintance of Nicholas Lemery, and to find himself able to communicate to that eminent chemist the results of some novel experiments. They journeyed together from sioge, u Dieppe to Paris, and the acquaintance thus casually formed "TMJ'.us was productive of good to both of them. The studies sTM£" begun in Ireland, and assiduously continued in London, were now matured in Paris under men of European fame, Cb.m.) And the young botanist who heretofore could profit only by the infant garden established by the London apothecaries at Chelsea, and by an occasional botanizing ramble
* Staphorst was, by birth, a German. He is known in English literature as the translator of Rauwolf 8 Travels in Ada. This task he undertook upon Sloane's recommendation.
Book i, into the country, could now expatiate at will in the magThkp nificent Jardin des Plantes of the King of France. In Okthk"tm that botanical university Sloane, too, had Todrnefort— Mdsmii ^our years nis senior—for his frequent companion and fellow-student.
In July, 1683, he took his degree as Doctor of Medicine in the University of Orange. Thence he went to Montpelier, where he resided until nearly the end of May, 1684. After visiting Bordeaux, and some other parts of France, he returned to Paris. There were few towns, in which lie made any stay, that had not given him some friend or other, in addition to a valuable accession of knowledge. And the friendships he had once formed were but rarely lost.
Towards the close of 1684 Dr. Sloane returned to England, whither the reputation of his increased acquirements had preceded him. In January, 1685, he was chosen a Fellow of the Royal Society, and exactly one year afterwards he was proposed for election as Assistant-Secretary. Among the other candidates were Denis Papin and Edmund Halley. Cn the first scrutiny, Sloane had ten votes; Halley sixteen. The majority was not enough, but on a second ballot Halley was chosen. Early in 1687 he became a Fellow of the College of Physicians. He had thus early laid some foundation for a London practice that would lead him to social eminence, as well as to fortune. And for the good gifts of fortune he had a very keen relish.
Loving wealth well, he loved science still better. But he had already good reason to hope that both might be won, in company. He had become known to Christopher Monk, second Duke of Albemarle, and when that nobleman received, in 1687, the office of Governor-General of the West India Colonies, Sloane received an invitation to sail with him, as the Duke's physician and as Chief Booki. Physician to the fleet; and he was desired to name his own conditions, if disposed to accept the appointment. *°VTMJM He did not take any long time to think over the offer. SLOAK»
If it presented no very brilliant prospect of monetary profit, it opened a large field for scientific research. And, ^J^"TM in the main, the field was new. No Englishman had 1687. ever yet been tempted to take so long a journey in the interests of science. He knew that he had excellent personal qualifications for turning to good account the large opportunities of discovery that such a voyage was sure to bring. Nor was it less certain that it would bring innumerable occasions for enlarging his strictly professional knowledge. And he had on his side the vigour of youth, as well as its curiosity and its enthusiasm.
In annexing to his reply the conditions of his acceptance he wrote thus: 'If it be thought fit that Dr. Sloane go physician to the West Indian Fleet, the surgeons of all the ships must be ordered to observe his directions.
He proposes that six hundred pounds, per
annum, shall be paid to him quarterly, with a previous payment of three hundred pounds, in order to his preparation for this service; and also that if the Fleet shall be called home he shall have leave to stay in the West Indies if he pleases.' The proposed terms were approved. The Doctor Cortap h embarked at Portsmouth, in the Duke's frigate Assistance, Ms sloai«.
° 4069, ff. Sfi,
on the 12th of September. 87.
His work as a scientific collector began at Madeira. To botanize in that pleasant island was an enjoyment all the rtu., more welcome after an unusual share of suffering from sea- sMsff.'sio. sickness, in the midst of professional toil. For it was honourably characteristic of Sloank that, under all circumstances and forms of temptation, medical duties had the
Courten 1887, Nov. 38.
Booi i, first place with him. What he achieved for science, ?bbp throughout his life, was achieved in the intervals of more immediate duty.
S1.0ABK jje reached Barbadoes in November. Thence he wrote
to Cocrten: 'This is indeed a new world in all things. You may be sure the task I have is already delightful to si.me to nie.' Then he continues: 'I am heartily sorry that I, being new landed here, cannot now send [what I have collected for you] with this letter. What I had at Madeira cannot be come at. What is here I have not, as yet, gathered. But you may assure yourself that what these parts of the West Indies afford is all your own, the best way I can send them.'
The collections begun thus favourably were continued at the beginning of December in the islands of Nevis, St. Christopher, and Hispaniola. The fleet reached Port Royal on the 19th of that month. Jamaica was explored with ardent enthusiasm and with minutest care. Its animals and minerals, as well as its plants; its history, as well as its meteorology, were thoroughly studied. And the medical MeaicfdCi«es skill of the new-comer was put as heartily at the service of 7oy»„eto the toil-worn negro as at that of the wealthiest planter, or of the highest officer of the Crown.
But presently Sloane himself needed the care and skill he so williugly bestowed. 'I had a great fever,' he says, 'though those about me called it a little seasoning.' He had scarcely recovered before his knowledge of the natural history of Jamaica was suddenly and unpleasantly increased.
'Ever since the beginning of February/ I find him writing to the Lord Chief Justice Herbert (who seems to have been one of the earliest of the many patients who became also friends): 'I dread earthquakes more than heat.
For then we had a very great one. Finding the house to B°oki, dance and the cabinets to reel, I looked out of window T„t 1 to see whether people removed the house (a wooden struc- "IM"-1,S
ture) or no. Casting my eyes towards an aviary, I saw the birds in as great concern as myself. Then, another terrible shake coming, I apprehended what it was, and betook me to my heels to get clear of the house; but before I got down stairs it was over. If it had come the day after, it had frighted us ten times more. For the day it happened there uTdchTef arrived a Spanish sloop from Porto Bello, giving an account jj^ceert. of the destruction of great part of the kingdom of Ms.si<»ii».
Or D 4069, ff. 277,
Long before this letter was written the exploring studies and expedition had been resumed with all the activity of renewed health, and they were carried on—at every available interval, as I have said, of pressing medical duty— throughout the year 1688. That eventful year, during which the thoughts and anxieties of the mass of his countrymen were so differently engrossed, was to Sloane the especial seedtime of his study of Nature. All that he was enabled to effect in that attractive path may now seem very small and dim, when viewed in the light of subsequent achievements. But it was great for that day, when, in England, the path was so newly opened that the possession of a taste for collecting insects was thought, by able men of the world, to be a strong presumption of lunacy. And it soon fired the ambition of a multitude of inquirers who rapidly carried the good work of investigation onward, in all directions.
Towards the close of the year, the Duke of Albemarle suddenly died. The contingency for which Sloane had had the foresight to make provision had arisen, but in a quite unexpected way; so that his forecast failed to secure