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seven were mammals; thirteen thousand four hundred and Bookiii, fourteen were birds ; four thousand one hundred and twelve History reptiles; and six thousand two hundred and seventy-two 5iok"« were fish. The number of specimens of annulose animals Htm",8,1* 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, Gilbeut, and Stephenson, in Australia and in New Zealand; by Hartweg in Mexico; by Goudot in Columbia; by Verreaux and Smith in South Africa; by Frazer 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- cmc* i»
motion had seriously checked the due progress of scientific Ofnaturalcollections. Britain had been making unwonted strides in Collections the improvement of its Museum, at the very time when °"TM%
1 '* Continent,
most of the Continental States had allowed their fine Ims-isss. 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 m, Not less conspicuous had been the growth of the several
HmoHv Departments of Antiquities. And this part of the story of
Mcikcm the Museum teems with varied interest. Within a period
Und«k8ir of less than thirty years, vast and widelv-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.
INTRODUCTION TO BOOK Ul(Continued) :-GROWTH,
'Whatever be the judgment formed on [certain con-
'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 rendered as architect of the new Rcading-Rooni, 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 ParVui»ie>tt<iry Debatet (27 July, 1*6G).
The Museum Buildings.—The New Beading-Room and its History.—The House of Commons Committee o/"1860: —Further Reorganization of the Departments—Summary 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 in,
T* • • n • • Chap. III.
British Museum has, from time to tune, more largely en- irisTM*! grossed the attention, either of Parliament or of the Public Mitm*m at large, than has the question of the Buildings. On none
have the divergences of opinion been greater, or the expressions 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 architects 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 committed to them. Why, it is natural to ask, has their success been so unequal?
Without presuming upon the possession of competence to answer the question with fulness, there is no undue confidence 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, parsimoniousness led, not only to construction piecemeal, but to the piecemeal preparation of the designs themselves. Temporary 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 fourth more of accommodation for the National Collections, Book m. The British Museum buildings have afforded a salient in- nZoTM stance of the truth of Burke's words: 'Great expense may "JTM^ be an essential part in true economy. Mere parsimony is UK°KR S,R not economy.' But, in this instance, the fault is plainly in Parliament, not in the Trustees of the establishment which has suffered.
The one happy exception to the general unsatisfactoriness of the new buildings—as regards, not merely architectural beauty, but fitness of plan, sufficiency of light, and adaptedness to purpose—is seen in the new Reading-Roora. ^*J)"W And the new Reading-Room is, virtually, the production of R«o«an amateur architect. The chief merits of its design belong, indubitably, to Sir Antonio Panizzi. The story of that part of the new building is worth the telling.
That some good result should be eventually derived from the large space of ground within the inner quadrangle had been many times suggested. The suggestion offered, in 1837, by Mr. Thomas Watts was thus expressed in his letter to the Editor of the Mechanics Magazine:—
Mr. Watts began by criticising, somewhat incisively, Tlll!slB
. . * OESTIONS
the architectural skill which had constructed a vast quad- Tmebuh.drangle without providing it even with the means of a free nomi" circulation of air. He pinned Sir Robert Smirke on the J1,TMTM horns of a dilemma. If, he argued, the architect looked to 0fl847a sanitary result, he had, in fact, provided a well of malaria. If he contemplated a display of art, he had, by consenting to the abolition of his northern portico, spoiled and destroyed all architectural effect. 'The space,' he proceeded to say, which has thus been wasted, 'would have afforded accommodation for the whole Library, much superior to what is now proposed to afford it. A Reading-Room of ample dimensions might have stood in the centre, and