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The Port Folio.
to say how mucu we Musei particular, and the scien
buat 1, were indebted to his co-operation with Buffon. He assembled and disposed all the contents of the former cabinet; and when specially intrusted with the mineral collection, he bestowed the utmost pains upon its arrangement; passing his mornings in the gallery, in examining specimens, answering questions, and attending to the observations of his pupils. Every person listened with respect to this patriarch of natural history, who, at the age of eighty-four years, retained all the force and clearness of his intellect, and that freedom from prejudice which renderMAY, 1824.NO. 265.
The Port Folio.
BY OLIVER OLDSCHOOL, ESQ.
VARIOUS; that the mind
FOR THE PORT FOLIO.
(Concluded from our last.)
HISTORY OF THE GARDEN OF PLANTS
We have now detailed the principal improvements and acquisitions of the Museum; and shall next notice the progress of instruction, and the professors to whom the teaching of the different branches of natural history was confided, after the new organization, which as we have already mentioned, took place towards the end of last century. The mineralogical chair was at first filled by M. Daubenton, who had professed that science during twenty years, in the college of France. It is unnecessary. to say how much the Museum in particular, and the sciences in general,were indebted to his co-operation with Buffon. He assembled and disa posed all the contents of the former cabinet; and when specially intrusted with the mineral collection, he bestowed the utmost pains upon its arrangement; passing his mornings in the gallery, in examining specimens, answering questions, and attending to the observations of his pupils. Every person listened with respect to this patriarch of natural history, who, at the age of eighty-four years, retained all the force and clearness of his intellect, and that freedom from prejudice which renderMAY, 1824.No. 265.
ed him always accessible to truth. He died on the 31st December, 1799, and was buried in the scene where he had spent his life, and where every object recalls the memory of his services.
M. Dolomieu, who had been long celebrated as a mineralogist, and as the founder of geology in France, was chosen by the professors as Daubenton's successor. This learned man, whom love of science had determined to join the expedition to Egypt, had been thrown into prison at Messina on his return, on a most groundless and absurd suspicion of his having been accessary to the invasion of Malta. The powers that interfered in his behalf had been unable to loosen his chains, or to soften the rigours of bis captivity, and the professors were ignorant of the probable period of his deliverance; but they preferred leaving the chair vacant for a time, to foregoing an opportunity of rendering justice to a man, whose elevated character, and devotion to science, bad not shielded bim from the most ridiculous calumnies, and the most odious persecution. M. Dolomien was liberated on the 15th March, 1801, by an article in the treaty between France and Naples. He hastened to Paris, and, on bis first appearance in the Amphitheatre, was received by the audience with an enthusiasm which manifested their opinion of his merit, and their interest in his sufferings. He delivered a course of lectures, and then set off upon a mineralogical tour among the Alps; but his constitution was injured by the hardships which he had previously undergone, and he died at Neuchatel in the Charolois, on the 26th of November, 1801.
The ingenious observations of Bergmann and Romé de Lisle, had, for several years, fixed the attention of mineralogists on the regular and constant forms of crystals; but they had presented only detached facts, of which M. Haüy divined the cause, and, by the aid of geometry, attained the general results which have changed the basis of the science. He was called, on the 18th December, 1801, to fill a chair for which there could be no competition; and from that time, the instruction has been conformed to the new method. The influence of this method has been felt in foreign countries. The Germans associate the new characters with their own classification; and several works have been published, uniting the principles of Werner and Haüy, or those of the German and French schools.
In regard to Botany, M. Desfontaines has bad no occasion to change the methods introduced by him in 1786. M. de Jussieu has continued his herborisations during summer, since the year 1770. The course of agriculture is delivered by M. Thouin, with such illustrations as are possible from the practice in the Garden, and the collection of Models. He is charged with the correspondence with all the public gardens of France and other countries; and with the yearly distribution of more than 80,000 parcels of seeds, the produce of the Garden, or collected by travellers.
Our limits forbid our entering into any detail regarding the well-known advancement of chemical science, under the successive auspices of Fourcroy, Laugier, Vrongniart, and Vaquelin; all of whom were Professors in the Garden of Plants.