tinguished from comparative—-wealth. There were already, in 1836, more than nine thousand known species of shells.

It was further shown in the evidence that, even under the arrangements of 1836, the facilities of public access equalled those given at the most liberal of the Continental Museums, and considerably exceeded those which obtained at fully four-fifths of their number.

Among the many services rendered to the Museum by Dr. Gray, one is of too important a character to be passed over, even in a notice so brief as this must needs be. The large bequest in Zoology of Major-General Hardwicke grew out of a stipulation made by Dr. Gray, when he undertook, at General Hardwicke's request, the editorship of the Illustrations of Indian Zoology. A long labour brought to the editor no pecuniary return, but it brought an important collection to the British Public in the first instance, and eventually a large augmentation of what had been originally given.

In March, 1849, the course of inquiries pursued by Lord Ellesmere's Commission led to a new review of the growth of the Natural-History Collections, and more especially of the Zoology. It applied in particular to the twelve or thirteen years which had then elapsed since the prior inquiries of 1835-1836. The statement possesses much interest, but it is occasionally deficient in that systematic and necessary distinction between species and specimens which characterised the evidence of 1836. In brief, however, it may be said, that in the eight years extending between June, 1840, and June, 1848, twenty-nine thousand five hundred and ninety-five specimens of vertebrated animals were added to the Museum galleries and storehouses. Of these, five thousand seven hundred and ninetyseven were mammals; thirteen thousand four hundred and Book m, fourteen were birds ; four thousand one hundred and twelve Hotoet reptiles; and six thousand two hundred and seventy-two Musk** were fish. The number of specimens of annulose animals TMB^11 added during the same period was seventy-three thousand five hundred and sixty-three: and that of mollusca and radiata, fifty-seven thousand six hundred and ten. .

These large additions comprised extensive gatherings made by Dyson in Venezuela, and in various parts of North America; by Gardiner and Clausen in Brazil; by Gosse in Jamaica; by Gould, Gilbert, and Stephenson, in Australia and in New Zealand; by Hartweg in Mexico; by Goudot in Columbia; by Verreaux and Smith in South Africa; by Erazer in Tunis; and by Bridges in Chili and in some other parts of South America.

Of the splendid collections made by Mr. Hodgson in India, some more detailed mention must be made hereafter.

Meanwhile, on the Continent of Europe, political com- Check m motion had seriously checked the due progress of scientific OtfNATURALcollections. Britain had been making unwonted strides in Collections the improvement of its Museum, at the very time when °"THE


most of the Continental States had allowed their fine Ims-1865. Museums to remain almost stationary. In mammals, birds, and shells, the British Museum had placed itself in the first rank. Only in reptiles, fish, and Crustacea, could even Paris now claim superiority. Those classes had there engaged for a long series of years the unremitting research and labour of such naturalists as Cuvier, Dumeril, Valenciennes, and Milne-edwards; and their relative wealth of specimens it will be hard to overtake. In insects, the Museum Collection vies with that of Paris in point of extent, and excels it in point of arrangement.

Book III,
Chap. II.
H. E.LL.Is.

Not less conspicuous had been the growth of the several Departments of Antiquities. And this part of the story of the Museum teems with varied interest. Within a period of less than thirty years, vast and widely-distant cities, rich in works of art, have been literally disinterred. In succession to the superb marbles of Athens, of Phigaleia, and of Rome, some of the choicest sculptures and most curious minor antiquities of Nineveh, of Calah, of Erech, of Ur-ofthe-Chaldees, of Babylon, of Xanthus, of Halicarnassus, of Cnidus, and of Carthage, have come to London.

The growth of the subordinate Collections of Archaeology has been scarcely less remarkable. The series of ancient vases—to take but one example—of which the research and liberality of Sir William HAMILTON laid a good foundation almost a century ago, has come at length to surpass its wealthiest compeers. Only a few years earlier, it ranked as but the third, perhaps as but the fourth, among the great vase-collections of Europe. London, in that point of view, was below both Naples and Paris, if not also below Munich. It now ranks above them all; possessing two thousand six hundred vases, as against two thousand at Paris, and two thousand one hundred at Naples."

Another department, lying in part nearer home—that of British, Mediaeval, and Ethnological Antiquities—has been almost created by the labours of the last twenty years. The ‘British Museum can no longer be said to be a misnomer, as designating an establishment in which British Archaeology met with no elucidation.

* Birch, Ancient Pottery, vol. i. pp. 209, 210.



'Whatever be the judgment formed on [certain con-
tested] points at issue, the Minutes of Evidence must be
admitted to contain pregnant proofs of the acquirements
and abilities, the manifestation of which in subordinate
office led to Mr. Pauizzi's promotion to that which he
now holds under circumstances which, in our opinion-
formed on documentary evidence—did credit to the Prin-
cipal Trustees of the day.'—Rkport Of The Commis-

MENT Of The Bbitish Museum (1850).

'In consideration of the long and very valuable services
of Mr. Panizzi, including not only his indefatigable labours
as Principal-Librarian, but also the service which he ren-
dered as architect of the new Reading-Room,the Trustees
recommended that he should be allowed to retire on full
salary after a discharge of his duties for thirty- four years.'
Hansard's Parliamentary Debates (27 July, 1866).

The Museum Buildings.The New Beading-Boom and its History.The House of Commons9 Committee of I860: Further Reorganization of the DepartmentsSummary of the Growth of the Collections in the years 1856-1866, and of their increased Use and Enjoyment by the Public.

No Question connected with the improvement of the Book m,

grossed the attention, either of Parliament or of the Public Mtm at large, than has the question of the Buildings. On none TMJ

British Museum has, from time


Book III,
Chap. III.
of THE
A. PANIzzi.


have the divergences of opinion been greater, or the ex-
pressions of dissatisfaction with the plans—or with the
want of plan—louder or more general.
Yet there is no doubt (amongst those, at least, who have
had occasion to examine the subject closely) that the archi-
tects of the new British Museum—first Sir Robert SMIRKE,
and then Mr. Sydney SMIRKE—have been conspicuous for
professional ability. Nor is there any doubt, anywhere,
that the Trustees of the Museum have bestowed diligent
attention on the plans submitted to them. They have
been most anxious to discharge that part of their duty to
the Public with the same faithfulness which, on the whole,
has characterised their general fulfilment of the trust com-
mitted to them. Why, it is natural to ask, has their suc-
cess been so unequal?
Without presuming upon the possession of competence
to answer the question with fulness, there is no undue con-
fidence in offering a partial reply. Part of their failure to
satisfy the public expectations has arisen from a laches in
Parliament itself. At the critical time when the character
of the new buildings had practically to be decided, parsi-
moniousness led, not only to construction piecemeal, but to
the piecemeal preparation of the designs themselves. Tem-
porary makeshifts took the place of foreseeing plans. And
what may have sounded like economy in 1830 has, in its
necessary results, proved to be very much like waste, long
before 1870.
Had a comprehensive scheme of reconstruction been
looked fully in the face when, forty years ago, the new
buildings began to be erected, three fourths at most of
the money which has been actually expended would have
sufficed for the erection of a Museum, far more satisfactory
in its architectural character, and affording at least one

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