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garden characterized as a piece of mauvaise plaisanterie, for it appeared to derive amusement from lifting the body in its paws and rolling it along the ground, and showed no symptom of fierceness or anger when driven into its interior cell.*
Turning to the right as you enter the lower gate of the Garden, opposite the Bridge of Austerlitz, now called the Pons du Jardin du Roi, you approach the dwellings of the more carnivorous animals, which are confined in cages with iron gratings, very similar to our travelling caravans. Here the lion is truly the king of beasts, being the oldest, the largest, and in all respects the most magnificent, I bave ever seen. There is a melancholy grandeur about this creature in a state of captivity, which I can never witness without the truest commiseration. The elegant and playful attitudes of the smaller animals of the feline tribe being so expressive of happiness and contentment, prevent one from compassionating their misfortunes in a similar manner; while the fierce and cruel eye of the tiger, with his restless and impatient demeanour, produces rather the contrary feeling of satistaction, that so savage an animal should be kept for ever in confinement. He appears to lament his loss of liberty, chiefly because he cannot satiate his thirst for blood by the sacrifice of those before him; his countenance glares as fiercely, and his breath comes as hot, as if he still couched among the burned-up grass of an Indian jungle. But his companion in adversity appears to suffer from a more kingly sorrow the remembrance of his ancient woods and rivers, with all their wild magnificence, “dingle and bushy dell," is visibly implanted in his recollection. Like the dying gladiator, he thinks only of his young barbarians,” and when he paces around his cell, he does so with the same air of forlorn dignity as Regulus might have assumed in the prison of the Carthaginians.
But, while we are indulging ourselves in “ a world of fond remembrances,” we are forgetting Mr. Royer's book, to which we had sat down with the intention of extracting an article. We shall therefore proceed in the first place to form a compendious sketch of the Garden and Cabinet, from the period of their origin to the close of last century, which we deem it the more necessary to do, as the subject has not yet found a place in English literature. We must, however, premise, that the nature and confined limits of our abstract will necessarily exclude a thousand interesting particulars regarding the history of individual plants and animals, for the elucidation of which we therefore refer our readers to the work itself, which is just about this time ready for delivery to the public.
* We understand that the bears are now removed to the new Menagerie, of wild beasts, and their places in the Fosses occupied by a breed of boars. Our old friend Marguerite, the great elephant, has been dead for some years
MARCH, 1824.NO. 263 25
The King's Garden in Paris, commonly called the Garden of Plants, was founded by Louis XIII., by an edict given and registered by the Parliament, in the month of May, 1635. Its direction was assigned to the first Physician Herouard, who chose as Intendant Guv de la Brosse, At first it consisted only of a single house, and twenty-four acres of land. Guy de la Brosse, during the first year of his management, formed a parterre 292 feet long, and 227 broad, composed of such plants as he could procure, the greater number of which were given him by John Robin, the father of Vespasian, the King's botanist. These amounted, including varieties, to 1800. He then prepared the ground, procured new plants by correspondence, traced the plan of the garden to the extent of ten acres, and opened it in 1640. It appears by the printed catalogue of the ensuing year, that the number of species and varieties had increased to 2360. De la Brosse died in 1643.
Such was the origin of an establishment, which has since attained so high a degree of prosperity, and has become the first school of Natural History in the wortd. We shall not consider it necessary to mention each subsequent change in the management and superintendence, but shall rest satisfied with alluding only to the labours of those whose appointment may be regarded as a prosperous era in the history of the garden. About the year 1652, Fagon, grand-nephew of De la Brosse, obtained a situation in the establishment, and travelled at his own expense through several provinces of France, and among the Alps and Pyrenees, and sent the fruit of his researches to the Garden. In 1665, the number of species and varieties amounted to 4000.
In the meantime, Gaston D'Orleans, brother of Louis XIII., had established a botanical garden at his palace of Blois, which had acquired celebrity through the works of Morison, and by a collection of drawings of the most remarkable plants. These drawings were chiefly executed on vellum, by Robert, eminent for his great skill as a botanical painter. After the death of Gaston, in 1660, Colbert persuaded the King to purchase the whole collection; and Robert was appointed painter to the Museum, where he continued his labours till his death in 1684. Other eminent painters have continually succeeded to the situation, and it is thus that the magnificent collection of drawings of plants and animals has been formed, which was at first deposited in the King's library, and now forms the most valuable part of that of the Museum.
Vallot, the chief director dying in 1671, Colbert united the su. perintendance of the Garden to that of the King's buildings, al. ready held by himself, leaving to the first physician the title of Intendant only, with the direction of the cultivation. In the month of December he obtained a declaration from the King, regulating the administration of the Garden, and gave commissions to the Professors defining their duties. From this moment the establishment assumed increasing importance, and it would have ad
vanced still more rapidly, had the principal administration not been united with other offices. Fagon, who had for several years filled the botanical and chemical chairs with applause, being encumbered with other duties, meditated the resignation of his place, and, wishing to appoint a successor worthy of himself, he called, from a remote part of France, the afterwards so highly celebrated Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, then only twenty-six years of age, but who had already given promise of what he was one day to be
He was appointed to the chair of botany in 1683. Ten years after, Fagon became first physician. This appointment gave him the intendance of the Garden; and, from the singular respect in which he was held, the title of Superintendant was re-established in his favour.
The signal success of Tournefort in the cultivation of botanical science, is universally known. He was the first successfully to define the genera of plants, and the excellence of his groups exhibits the clearness of his conceptions, and ranks him as the father of that branch of the science. He died in 1708, in consequence of an injury received from a wagon in a narrow street of Paris, and left his collection of natural history, and herbarium, to the Garden. This herbarium is not extensive, but it is rendered valuable by the plants gathered in the Levant, and indicated in the Corollarium of the Institutiones Rei Herbarium. He was succeeded in the botanical chair by Danty D'Isnard.
D'Isnard retired after delivering a single course of lectures, and was succeeded by Antony de Jussie', a name so justly celebrated in botany, in consequence of the impulse which his own labours, and those of his two brothers and nephew, have given to the science. In 1716, he visited Spain and Portugal, and brought back an immense accession to the Garden. It was this same Antony de Jussieu, who, in 1720, intrusted Declieux, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, with a young coffee tree, which, transported to Martinique, became the parent of the immense culture of the West Indies. Meanwhile, the cultivation of the Garden was confided to Sebastian Vaillant, who formed a very considerable herbarium, the genera of which were methodically arranged, and the species accompanied by tickets, indicating all the synonyms then known. This herbarium, which, at his death in 1722, was purchased by order of the King, forms the basis of that of the Museum. What chiefly signalizes the name of Vaillant, is his first public discourse on assuming the functions of Assistant Professor, (in the absence of the Principal,) in which he demonstrates the existence of two sexes, and the phenomena of fecundation in vegetables. Thus it was in the King's Garden that this great discovery, which had only been hinted at before, and was not generally admitted, was first announced, and supported by irrefragable proofs.
We shall pass in silence the unprofitable period of Chirac's administration of the affairs of the Garden, and proceed to the ap.
pointment of Buffon in 1739, who was preferred to the situation in consequence of the dying request of Da Fay, his immediate predecessor. This illustrious writer was already distinguished by several memoirs on mathematics, natural philosophy, and rural economy, which had gained him admittance to the Academy of Sciences; but he was as yet unknown as a naturalist. Endowed with that power of attention which discovers the most distant relations of thought, and that brilliancy of imagination which commands the attention of others to the result of laborious investigations, he was equally fitted to succeed in different walks of geni. us. He had not yet decided to what objects he should devote his talents and acquirements, when his nomination to the place of Intendant of the King's Garden determined him to attach himself to natural history. As bis reputation increased, he employed the advantages afforded by his credit and celebrity, to enrich the establishment to which he had allied himself; and to him are owing its growth and improvement till the period of its reorganization, and that extension and variety which rendered a reorganization necessary. If the Museum owes its splendour to Button—to that magnificent establishment, he, on the other hand, owes his fame. If he had not been placed in the midst of collections, furnished by Government with the means of augmenting them, and thus enabled by extensive correspondence to elicit information from all the naturalists of his day, he would never have conceived the plan of his natural history, or been able to carry it into execution; for that genius which embraces a great variety of facts, in order to deduce from them general conclusions, is continually exposed to err, if it has not at hand all the elements of its speculations.
We may now be said to commence the second period of the history of the Royal Garden. When Buffon entered upon his of fice, the Cabinet consisted of two small rooms, and a third, containing the preparations of anatomy, which were not exposed to public view: the herbarium was in the apartment of the demon. strator of botany: the Garden, which was limited to the present nursery on the eastern side, to the green house on the north, and the galleries of natural history on the west, still presented empty spaces, and contained neither avenues nor regular plantations.*
Buffon first directed his attention to the increasing of the collections, and to the providing of more commodious places for their reception. They were arranged in two large rooms of the buildiny, which contains the present galleries, and which was formerly the dwelling house of the Intendant; and, soon after were opened to the public on appointed days. He next occupied bimself in the embellishment of the Garden. Having cut down an old ave.
* The uame of Museum of Natural History is of recent date; it was given at the period when the Garden assumed its present form, and was employed to designate the union of three former establisbments, the King's Garden, the Cabinet, and the Menagerie.
nue which did not correspond with the principal gate, he replaced itin 1740, by one of lime trees in the proper direction, and planted another parallel on the other side of the parterre. These avenues, whích are now more than eighty years old, terminate towards the extremity of the nursery, and mark the limits of the Garden at that period.
The care of the Cabinet was at this time intrusted to Bernard de Jussieu, who had bestowed unceasing pains upon its arrangement and preservation. The extent of his knowledge, and the facility with which he seized the affinities of bodies, and classed them in their natural order, qualified him particularly for this task, rendered more difficult by the increase of the collections; but, being diverted by other occupations, and residing at some distance from the Garden, he expressed a desire to be relieved from an office which required unwearied activity and ceaseless assiduity. Buffon also felt that his researches in natural history needed the assistance of a man who had still all the ardour of youth, and who possessed, in a high degree, both the spirit of method, and a talent for observation. Gifted with that genius which seizes the principal characters of objects, and unites them in splendid combinations, he had neither time nor patience for the examination of details, to wiich the weakness of his sight was also an obstacle. He made choice of his countryman Daubenton, who was then twenty-nine years of age, and who, after studying botany under De Jessieu, and anatomy under Winslow and Duverney, had retired to Montbard, the place of his birth to practice medicine. Buffon invited him to Paris, and in 1745, procured him the place of keeper of the Cabinet, with a lodging in the Garden, and appointments which soon rose from 500 to 4000 francs per annum. He charged him with the arrangement of the Cabinet, and associated him to his own studies, in the descriptive part of his natural history, especially in the anatomy.
The first volumes of his great work on Natural History were published in 1749, and attracted the attention of all Europe. The subsequent labours of Linnæus, and the light which his classification threw upon the intricate and almost endless variety of subjects, no doubt contributed greatly to augment the number of zealous students, and to increase their confidence in the result of their labours; but the splendid writings of Buffon may be said to have been the first which excited a general interest in this delightful study. These two men may be looked upon as the great lights of the science of nature.
But to return to the history of the Museum. In 1766, the collection had so greatly increased, that Buffon, who had previously given up a part of his dwelling house, which he occupied as Superintendant of the Garden, now resigned it entirely, and remov. ed to No. 13, Rue des Fosses Saint Victor. The Cabinet was then disposed in four large saloons, which contained the whole