against three thousand five hundred species of Mammals Book in, which are known, named, and have been more or less History adequately described, by zoologists. Moseum

Of Birds, about two thousand five hundred species were, in 1S62, exhibited in the galleries of the British Museum, and in its store-rooms there were the skins of about four thousand two hundred species. The number of species already known and described, in 1862, was not less than eight thousand three hundred. And, it is hardly necessary to add, vast explorations have since been undertaken, in the years which have elapsed, or are now about to be undertaken, in Africa, in Madagascar, in Borneo, in New Guinea, and in many parts of Australia.

Of Fishes, the Museum contained, in 1862, about four thousand species. These were then represented, by way of public exhibition, irrespectively of the unexhibited stores, by about one thousand five hundred stuffed specimens, illustrating about one thousand species. The total number of recorded species, already at that date, amounted to more than eight thousand.

Of Reptiles, little more than two hundred and fifty species were publicly shown in the Museum Galleries, but its collections, unexhibited for want of space, were already much larger. The number of known species of Reptilia, in 1862, exceeded two thousand.

Coming to the Invertebrata, it appears that, in 1862, about ten thousand species of molluscs, illustrated by about one hundred thousand specimen shells, were publicly exhibited. This, it will be remembered, was anterior to see, heremthe great accession of the Cuming Collection, which already, cuap. vi. in 1862, contained more than sixteen thousand species— and is the finest and most complete series ever brought together.

Hook III,

About forty-five thousand specimens of molluscs were, Hhtolt m 1862, stored in the drawers of the galleries and other rooms, or in the vaults beneath. These, on a rough com

01 THE


1-j.DEmsn nutation, may have illustrated about four thousand five


hundred species.

Within the two years only, 1860-1862, the registered number of specimens of Fossils was increased from one hundred and twenty thousand to one hundred and fiftythree thousand, but of these it was found possible to exhibit to the Public little more than fifty thousand specimens.

Okthe" Coming to the Department of Mineralogy, we find that

Minebalo- the registered specimens had increased, within about four Lectioks. years, from fifteen thousand to twenty-five thousand. This 1808-186.. increase was mainly due to the acquisition of the noble Allan-greg Cabinet formed at Manchester. But large as this increase is, the national importance of the Mineralogical Collections is very far from being adequately represented by the existing state of the Museum series, even after all the subsequent additions made" between the years 1862-1870. A Museum of Mineralogy worthy of England must eventuKeport, as ally include five several and independent collections. ub<»e(]8C2). There must be (1) a Classificatory Collection, for general purposes; (2) a Geometrical Collection, to show the crystalline forms; (3) an Elementary Collection, to show the degrees of lustre and the varieties of cleavage and of colour; (4) a Technological Collection, to show the economic application of minerals—the importance of which, to a commercial, manufacturing, and artistic country, can hardly be exaggerated. Last of all, there is needed a special collection of an ancillary kind; that, I mean, which has been tibia.) called sometimes a 'teratological' collection, sometimes a 1 pseudomorphic' collection. Call it as you will, its object

is important. Such a series serves to show both the defec- Book m,

tive and the excessive forms of minerals, and their transi- History

tional capacities. These five several collections are, it will ^uTMTM

be seen, over and above that other special Collection of Tmdeesir

1 A. Panizzi.

Sky-stones or ' Meteorites,' which is already very nobly represented in our National Museum.



* She doted upon the Assyrians her neighbours, ....
when she saw men pourtrayed upon the wall,—the images
of the Chaldeans pourtrayed with vermilion, girded with
girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon
their heads; all of them princes to look to, after the
manner of the Babylonians of Chaldca.1

Ezekiel xxiii, 12-15.

'I do love these ancient ruins;
We cannot tread upon them, but we set
Our foot upon some reverend history.

But all things have their end,
Castles and cities (which have diseases like to men)
Must have like death which we have.*

"webster, The Duchess ofMalfi.

The Libraries of the East.The Monasteries of the Nitrian Desert, and their Explorers.William Cureton and his Labours on the MSS. of Nitria, and in other Departments of Oriental Literature.The Researches in the Levant of Sir Charles Fellows, of Mr. Layard, and of Mr. Charles Newton.Other conspicuous Augmentors of the Collection of Antiquities.

Book in, \\rE have now to turn to that vast field of research

Another and exploration, from which the national Museum of An

Archiolo- tiquities has derived an augmentation that has sufficed to

Explorers, double, within twenty-five years, its previous scientific and literary value to the Public. In this chapter we have Book in, to tell of not a little romantic adventure; of remote Another and perilous explorations and excavations; sometimes, of iK°H*oLo. sharp conflicts between English pertinacity and Oriental TMTSAND

A o r J Explorers.

cunning; often, of great endurance of hardship and privation in the endeavour at once to promote learning—the world over—and to add some new and not unworthy entries on the long roll of British achievement.

Two distinct groups of explorers have now to be recorded. The labours of both groups carry us to the Levant. What has been done of late years by the searchers after manuscripts, in their effort to recover some of the lost treasures the

1 Libraries

of the old Libraries of the East, will be most fairly appre- Oetheeast ciated by the reader, if, before telling of the researches and the studies of Curzon, Tattam, Cureton, and their fellowworkers in Eastern manuscript archaeology, some brief, prefatory notice be given of the earlier labours, in the same field, of Huntington, Browne, and other travellers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Mention must also be made of the explorations of Sonnini and of Andreossi.

About the year 1680, Robert Huntington, afterwards The Bishop of Raphoe, visited the Monasteries of the Nitrian Of Robert Desert, and made special and eager research for the Syriac Totmtmtm version of the Upistles of St. Ignatius, of the existence of which there had been wide-spread belief amongst the TEEIES; learned, since the time of Archbishop Ussher. But his quest was fruitless, although, as it is now well known, a Syriac version of some of those epistles did really exist in one of the monasteries which Huntington visited. The monks, then as afterwards, were chary of showing their MSS., very small as was the care they took of them. The

« ElőzőTovább »