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collection till the reorganization. These saloons were open to the public two days in each week, and the pupils had hours set apart for study. Daubenton was always present to give the necessary explanations; and foreign naturalists often resorted to him for instruction. His patience was inexhaustible, but the duties of his situation became too laborious for the exertions of a single in. dividual, and his cousin, the younger Daubenton, was created as. sistant, with a salary of 2400 francs.
Antony de Jessieu, who still filled the chair of Botany, was no less assiduous in promoting the advancement of his peculiar department, not merely by delivering lectures, but by sending young men, at his own expense, to travel through the provinces, to collect seeds and plants. He formed a library of natural history and a considerable herbarium, which were of eminent service to his illustrious brother and nephew, and which have been always as much at the disposal of those who cultivate the sciences, as if they belonged to the establishment, with this advantage, that desired explanations are never withheld by the courtesy of the possessors. Antony de Jessieu died in 1758, and was succeeded by Lemonier, who being appointed first physician to the king in 1770, Antony Laurence de Jessieu, the present venerable Professor of Botany, succeeded to the chair. Sometime prior to this, J. A. Thouin, the head of a family since become distinguished by its services to the Garden, had obtained a situation as assistant cultivator in the establishment.
Buffon had now attained the meridian of his glory; bis works, which assigned him the first rank amongst the authors of his time, had diffused a universal taste for the study of Natural History, while the collections he had formed facilitated the study of this science. In foreign countries, also, he enjoyed the highest reputation; and the authors of new observations, or discoveries, eagerly coinmunicated them to a man of genius, by whom to be mentioned was a sort of passport to immortality. M. D'Angiviller, whose place as director of the King's buildings, and chief of the Academies of painting and sculpture, required him to point out the great man whose statues were to be executed in marble at the public expense, asked permission of the King to erect one to Buffon. This was, perhaps, the most flattering distinction which could be conferred on a living man, as it had till then been reserved for the memory of those who hail rendered the most eminent services to their country. But the King, reading the judg. ment of posterity regarding the merits of Buffon in thai of his cotemporaries, assented to the proposal, and the celebrated Pajou was charged with the execution. This statue is now in the lirbary of the Museuin. We may easily conceive how gratifying the circumstance must have proved to one so sensible of the love of fame, and withall sufficiently impress d with a knowledge of his own high attainments. The works of eminent geniuses,” he
used to say, “ are few; they are those of Newton, Bacon, Leibnitz, Montesquieu, and my own."
The health of Buffon, which had suffered severely during the preceding year, being perfectly re-established in the beginning of 1772, he resolved to fix his residence once more in the Garden, and to employ his whole influence for the benefit of the establishment. With the aid of government, he purchased two houses adjoining the museum, one of wnich he destined for the dwelling of the Intendant, and removed into it accordingly; the first floor was approprited to his household, and the others to such objects as had not yet found their place in the Museum. The return of Buffon forms an epoch in the history of the Garden. From that moment, every branch of the establishment rapidly increased, and the way was prepared for the improvements which have taken place since the new nization. It would far exceed our utmost limits if we were to give a detail of all the improvements introduced by Buffon during the sixteen years of his administration. Suffice it to say, that the Garden was more than doubled in extent, its plan and distribution became regular and beautiful, and every possible advantage was offered for the culture and study of vegetables: but the perfection of one part of the establishment only rendered the deficiencies of the rest more apparent. The Cabinet was not spacious enough to contain the vast accession of objects, and the Amphitheatre was both too small, and in other respects inconvenient.
In 1787, Buffon procured the purchase of the Hotel de Magny, with its courts and gardens, situated between the Hill of Evergreens, and the Ru de Seine; he there constructed the Amphitheatre, which now serves for the lectures of botany and chemistry, and removed the lodging of M. M. Daubenton, and Lacepede to the Hotel de Magny. The second floor of the Cabinet which was thus left vacant, was fitted up for the reception of the collections, and permission obtained from government to erect an addition to the former galleries; the work was immediately begun, and continued without intermission, but it was not completed till after the death of Buffon.
As the buildings became more extensive, and the objects were disposed in a more striking manner, more value was attached to the collections, and the celebrity of the establishment increased. Individuals offered specimens to the Cabinet, where they were seen inscribed with the name of the donor, in preference to retaining them at home; learned societies eagerly contributed to the progress of knowledge, by enriching a public deposit; and sovereigns, as an agreeable present to the King, sent to his museum duplicates of the curiosities in their The Academy of Sciences, for instance, having acquired Hunaud's anatomical collection, added it to that of Duverney in the Garden; the Count D'Angiviller gave Buffon his private cabinet; the missionaries in China sent him
whatever interesting objects they could procure in a country where they alone could penetrate; the King of Poland presented
very considerable collection of minerals; and the Empress of Russia, not being able to induce Buffon to visit St. Petersburgh, invited his son, and on his return presented him with several animals from the North, which were wanting to the Cabinet, and with various objects of natural history collected in her dominions.
Meanwhile, the government neglected nothing for the perfecting of an establishment which did honour to the nation as a repository of light, and a centre of communication. More considerable funds than had before been granted, were placed at the disposal of M. Daubenton, for the purchase of objects interesting from their rarity or their utility to science; foreign trees were transplanted; the Cabinet of Zoology was enriched by the collection of Sonnerat in India, by that of Commerson, made in Bougainville's voyage round the world, and by a part of that brought by Dombey from Peru and Chili, of which half the objects were detained by the Spanish government, who even prevented the publication of his narrative; commissions of correspondence, accompanied by a salary, were also given to learned travellers, who engaged to collect objects for the Botanical Garden and the Cabinet. Nevertheless, it must be owned, that all these collections were not at that moment of much utility, and it is only at a later period, and since the new organization of the establishment, that their importance has been felt, and their end attained. Buffon was not a friend to method; he described the exterior form, the habits and economy of animals, and ascended to the most elevated general views; but he disliked the labour of distinguishing characters, and settling principles of classification. In the arrangement of the Cabinet, he wished to excite curiosity by striking contrasts, so that like his own writings, it should present a picture of the most remarkable things in nature, independent of system, which he regarded as the artifice of man. This manner of considering natural history, was particularly pleasing to a mind that delighted in contemplating the universe of things as a whole; and, indeed, in nature, where all is harmony, the most different beings are placed side by side, and the imagination seizes at once the links which unite, and the characters which separate them. According to Buffon, the end of a general collection was attained, when it captivated the attention, and led the beholder to seek in living nature what was thus imperfectly represented; it was even deemed a useful exercise to separate what related to a peculiar study, from the crowd of objects that surrounded it.
One of the worst consequences of this system was the neglect of whatever was not calculated to interest the public. When a collection arrived, the most remarkable objects were selected to fill the empty spaces, and the rest were preserved in boxes, or allowed to remain in the obscurity of their packing cases. As there
was, at this period, no professor of zoology, or of mineralogy, the botanical garden was the only part of the establishment methodically distributed throughout. Yet, far from reproaching Buffon with not having effected what it was perhaps impossible at that time to perform, we should rather acknowledge our obligations to him for having assembled, not only the numerous collection of birds contained in his work, and that of fishes described by M. de Lacepede, but also a multitude of objects of all kinds, which have since been properly arranged, and have eminently contributed to the progress of natural history.
In 1784, Daubenton the younger being obliged by bad health to resign his place of keeper and demonstrator of the Cabinet, Buffon appointed, as his successor, M. de Lacepede, who was thus fixed in the pursuit of natural history, in which he has since made so eminent a figure, both as a professor and an author.
We have said that there was at this period chairs for botany, anatomy, and chemistry only; but as Daubenton and his assistant repaired daily to the Cabinet, naturalists were enabled to obtain explanations of the objects before them, and these private lessons were the more useful, as they were adapted to the capacity and knowledge of the hearers. Lemonier had been Professor of Botany since 1758, and Bernard de Jussieu demonstrator since 1722; but the former being obliged to reside at Versailles, and the latter finding himself weakened through age, M. de Jussieu, his nephew, was chosen to supply the place of both, and was thus charged with the lectures in the garden, and the botanical excursions in the country. During the last years of his life, Bernard de Jussieu intrusted the details of cultivation wholly to M. Andre Thouin, and it was a signal satisfaction to hiin to witness the replanting of the Botanic Garden. When he walked in the establishment, his former pupils crowded around him, listening to him with eagerness, and treasuring up with veneration his slightest words. Among his many services to the garden, must be reckoned the education of his nephew, who has made of botany a regular science, by developing and perfecting the natural method.
M. Desfontaines was appointed Professor of Botany about the year 1786, immedia'ely after his return from Barbary with the plants of which he has since published the history. At the period of his appointment, the Botanic Garden was already very rich; and the instruction was no longer limited to the demonstration of medicinal plants; for the progress of the science since Tournefort, by the intermediate labours of Linnæus, Adanson, and de Jussieu, authorized and required a more philosophic plan. M. Desfontaines was the first to perceive the importance of a general knowledge of the nature of vegetables, the functions peculiar to each organ, and the phenomena of the different periods of their development, in order duly to understand their generic and specific characters; he therefore, divided his course into two parts; the MARCH, 1824.-263
first he devoted to the anatomy and phisiology of vegetables; the second to the classification and description of the genera and species. From that period, botanical instruction was no longer confined to the exterior forms of plants, but comprised their affinities, uses, and modifications. To the method of teaching adopted in the King's Garden since 1788, are to be ascribed those works which have made vegetable physiology the basis of botany, and led to the applications of this science in agriculture and the arts.
Buffon died on the sixteenth of April, 1788, and his place of Chief Intendant of the King's Garden was given to the Marquis de la Billarderie. We come now to the third and last period of our history, that which extends from the death of Buffon down to the present time, including the epoch of the new organization, to which we have already occasionally alluded. On the 20th of August, 1790, M. Lebrun made a report, in the name of the committee of Finances of the Constituent Assembly, on the state of the King's Garden, in which its expenses were estiinated at 92,222 francs; 12,777 being necessary for repairs. This report, which was the signal for a new organization, was followed by the draught of a decree proposing the reduction of the Intendant's salary from 12,000 to 8000 francs; the suppression of several places, particularly that of commandant of the police of the Garden; an increased stipend to some of the professors; the creation of a chair of natural history, &c. &c.
The disorders of the revolution beginning at this period, M. de la Billarderie withdrew from France, and his place of Intendant was filled by the appointment of M. de St. Pierre, in 1792. St. Pierre undertook the direction of the King's Garden at a difficult conjuncture. That distinguished writer was gifted with eminent talents as a painter of nature, and a master of the milder affections; he knew at once to awaken both the heart and the imagination; but he wanted exact notions in science, and his timid and melancholy character deprived him of that knowledge of the world, and that
purpose, which are alike requisite for the exertion of authority. Nevertheless, he was precisely the man for the crisis. His quiet and retired life shielded him from persecution, and his prudence was a safeguard to the establishment. sented several memoirs to the ministry, containing some very sound regulations, conceived in a spirit of economy which circumstances rendered necessary. In these memoirs may always be noticed the following words," After consulting the elders," by which term he designated the persons who had been long attached to the establishment, though without an official share in its administration.
At a period so pregnant with disaster to the fortunes of the King, it may well be supposed that the King's wild beasts would not meet with a kinder treatment than the rest of the family. In