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Chap. V.
THE FOUN-
DER OF THE
BANKSIAN

AND

placed it at the absolute disposal of the French emigrant Book 11, Princes.

By the eldest Prince, afterwards LEWIS THE EIGHTEENTH, directions were given that an offer should be made to Museum Queen CHARLOTTE to place at Her Majesty's disposal Library. whatever she might be pleased to select from the Collections of LA BILLARDIÈRE, and that all the remainder of them should be given to the British Museum.

To the interests of that Museum no man of sense will think that Sir Joseph Banks was, at any time, indifferent. At this particular time, he had been, repeatedly, an eminent benefactor to it. By the French Prince the Collections were put at his orders for the advantage of the Museum, of which he was now a Trustee, as well as a benefactor. But his first thought was for the national honour of Britain, not for the mere aggrandizement of its Museum.

I have never heard,' said Banks, of any declaration of war between the philosophers of England and the philosophers of France. These French Collections must go to the French Museum, not to the British. And to France he sent them, without a moment's hesitation. Such an act, I take it, is worthy of the name of cosmopolitanism.' The bastard imitation, sometimes current under that much abused term—that which knows of no love of country, except upon a clear balance of mercantile profit-might be more fitly called by a plainer word.

Nor were Frenchmen the only persons to benefit by the Instances largeness of view which belonged to the new President of LIBRARIETY the Royal Society. At a later period, he heard that Collections which had been made by William Von HUMBOLDT, and subsequently seized by pirates, had been carried to the Cape, and there detained. BANKS sent to the Cape a commission for their release, and restoration to the Collector.

OF BANKS'
LIBERALITY
TO HUM-
BOLDT

DER OF THE
BANKSIAN
MUSEUM
AND
LIBRARY.

Book II. He defrayed the expenses, and refused to accept of any
Chap. V.
The Foun. reimbursement. Such actions might well reflect honour

on the Royal Society, as well as on the man whom the
wisest among its fellows had placed at their head.

The Royal Society had but a share of its President's attention, though the share was naturally a Benjamin's portion. He worked assiduously on the Board of Agriculture. He helped to found the Horticultural Society and the Royal Institution of London. He became, also, in 1788, a co-founder of that “African Institution' which contributed so largely, in the earlier years of this century, to promote geographical discovery in Africa, and to spread —of dire necessity, at but a snail's pace—some of the blessings of Christian civilization to those dark places of the earth which are full of cruelty.

Banks' close intercourse with the Continent enabled him to do yeoman's service to the African Institution. Many ardent and aspiring young men in all parts of Europe were fired, from time to time, with an ambition to do some stroke or other of good work in an enterprise which was, at once, scientific and, in its ultimate issues, evangelical. Some of the aspirants were, of course, but very partially fitted or equipped for such labours. But among those who entered on it with fairest promise the protégés of BANKS were conspicuous. Some brief notice of the services he was enabled to render in this direction belongs, however, more fitly, to a somewhat later date than that at which we have, as yet, arrived.

BANKS'
PAVOURABLE
RECEPTION
AT THE
COURT OF

Among the Fellows of the Royal Society there had been * much division of opinion as to the eligibility of Joseph

Banks for their Presidency. At Court, there was none. George III. GEORGE THE THIRD, with all his genuine good nature, had

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DER OF THE
BANKSIAN

AND

been unable to restrain a lurking dislike of Sir John Book II, PRINGLE's friendly intercourse with Benjamin FRANKLIN. Thx FounHe was pleased to see Pringle retire to his native Scotland, and to receive Banks at Court, in Sir John's place. He Museum did not then anticipate that the new President would, one LIBRARY. day, offend (for a moment) his irrepressible prejudices in a somewhat like manner.

Sometimes, Sir Joseph's attendance at Court brought him into company which had become to him, in some degree, unwonted. We have seen him making a very favourable impression in the feminine circles at Otaheite. But the ladies in attendance on Queen CHARLOTTE were less charmed with him. In March, 1788, I find Fanny BURNEY diarizing (at Windsor Castle) thus :— Sir Joseph Banks was so exceedingly shy that we made no acquaintance at all. If, instead of going round the world, he had only fallen from the moon, he could not appear less versed in the usual modes of a tea-drinking party. But what, you will say, has a tea-party to do with a botanist, a man of science, and a President of the Royal D'Arblay, Society ?

p. 128. In March, 1779, Mr. BANKS made a happy marriage with Dorothea HUGESSEN, daughter and coheir of William Weston HUGESSEN, of Provender, in Kent. Two years afterwards, the King made him a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, and cultivated his familiar and frequent acquaintance both in town and at Windsor. Ere long, he was still further honoured with the rank of a Privy Councillor. Both men were deeply interested in agriculture and in the improvement of stock. Sir Joseph shared his sovereign's liking for the Merino breeds; took an active part in managing those in Windsor Park, and for many years presided, very successfully, over the annual

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Chap. V.

DER OF THE
BANKSIAN
MUSEUM
AND
LIBRARY.

many

Book II, sales. The King had been willing to give away his surplus The Foun- stock, for the mere sake of promoting improvement, but he

was made to see that more good was likely to accrue from sales than from gifts. When in Lincolnshire Sir Joseph BANKS laboured hard for the more complete drainage of the fens, and in many ways furthered the introduction of sound agricultural methods. He was a good neighbour ; though not a very keen sportsman. And most of his time was now necessarily passed either in London or in its neighbourhood. But, among other acts of good fellowship, he rarely visited Reresby Abbey without patronising a picnic ball at Horncastle, for the benefit of the public dispensary of that town. And it was noted by Lincolnshire people that when, in the after years, Sir Joseph's severe sufferings from gout kept him much away from Reresby, the dispensary suffered also—from depletion—until Mr. DYMOKE, of Scrivelsby, had revived, after Banks' example, the good old annual custom of the town.

It was in the year 1797, and again in 1806, that Sir African IN- Joseph was enabled to render special service to that African

enterprise which lay near his heart, by enlisting in its toils a zealous German and a not less zealous Swiss-Frederick HORNEMANN and John Lewis BURCKHARDT. It was the fate of both of those enterprising men to pay the usual penalty of African exploration. HORNEMANN succumbed, after six years' service. BURCKHARDT was spared to work for ten years. Some among the minor scientific results of his well-known travels are preserved in the Public Library at Cambridge (to which he bequeathed his manuscripts). Others of them are in the British Museum. The latter would deserve record in these pages, were it now practicable. BURCKHARDT died at Cairo on the seventeenth of

THE

STITUTION.

Chap. V.

October, 1817, just eleven years after his arrival in London, Book II, from Göttingen, with that letter to Sir Joseph Banks in the his pocket which, under Divine Providence, determined his BARRETH work in life. Another great public service of a like kind, Museum rendered by Sir Joseph Banks to his country and to man- LIBRARY. kind, was his zealous encouragement of explorations in Australia.

AND

IIIS ELEC-
TION INTO

TUTE OY

Meanwhile, a new outburst of discord in the Royal Society arose out of a well-merited honour conferred on its Presi. dent by the Institute of France, in 1802. It was inevitable that a body so eminent and illustrious as the French Institute should not only feel gratitude to Sir Joseph BANKS for that liberality of spirit which had dictated, in the midst of war, his many gracious and generous acts of service to Frenchmen, but should long since have reached the conviction that they would be honouring themselves, not less Iis than honouring him, by his reception in their midst. During THE INSTIthe momentary lull afforded by the Peace of Amiens—when France. the Institute was reorganized by the hand of the great man who was proud of its badge of fellowship, even when clad in the dalmatica—they placed Banks at the head of their eight Foreign Members. Banks' estimate of the honour of membership was much like NAPOLEON's. 'I consider this mark of your esteem,' said Banks, in his reply, the highest and most enviable literary distinction which I could possibly attain. To be the first elected as an Associate of the first Literary Society in the world surpasses my most ambitious hopes.'

Several Fellows of the Royal Society resented these warm acknowledgments. They thought them both unpatriotic, Letter of Miand uncomplimentary to themselves. The mathematical 1802 (primalcontents, with Bishop HORSLEY at their head, eagerly printed).

sogallus, 1802 (pri. vately

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