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had resolved to do much for the extension of natural-history science. He hoped to make the University of Edinburgh one of the most eminent schools of Europe, and its museum one of the most important. He saw around him a group of young men, to all of whom he offered the hand of friendship, who were imbibing from his lips that love of science and scientific labour which had made his name so famous. They heard him with attention in the theatre, they sought him in the museum, they followed him in his periodical excursions. He needed no other hope for the accomplishment of his high and honourable designs but health and life-they were denied him.
At the last meeting of the British Association, held at Liverpool, Professor Edward Forbes occupied the chair of the geological section, and after a short excursion returned to Edinburgh to resume his college duties. On the 1st of November he commenced his second course of lectures, in ill health, suffering from cold and low fever. For a few days he continued to labour and suffer, but the febrile symptoms increased, and he was compelled to discontinue his lectures. On the 18th of the same month he died, and we may well mourn; for we have lost a star of the first magnitude from the hemisphere of science; one who was a guide to the inquiring, a censor to the slothful; and his disappearance at a moment when he shone most brightly has for a time dimmed the light of kindred flames.
Having briefly stated the principal events in the life of Edward Forbes, and the means by which he reached that honourable distinction with which his name will be united in this and many succeeding ages in the history of natural science, we will take a brief review of some of the opinions he held and supported, and select one example of the mode in which he entered upon a scientific inquiry
The papers collected from the pages of the 'Literary Gazette, re-published and edited by the proprietor of that journal, are full of interest, for they give, in popular phraseology, and in a light, gracile style, the opinions of the great naturalist upon subjects which could searcely find a place in scientific memoirs and formal reports. The volume consists of numerous reviews of books upon geography, natural history, and geology. These reviews Mr. Reeve has classed under general designations, and the reader may, on first opening the book, be deceived into the supposition that each division or chapter is an essay upon the subject announced at the beginning. The publisher will no doubt reap a publisher's reward in this reprint, but we protest, as all the friends of Professor Forbes will do, against this hasty collection of his fugitive writings in a form they were never intended to take, almost before a suitable literary memorial could be decided. The book
his inaugural lecture at King's College to a class who soon learned, as all intelligent persons did who were admitted to familiar intercourse, to honour and love him. In the same year he was elected assistant secretary to the Geological Society of London, a post of great honour, but one of the most laborionis a man of science can accept.
This situation he retained until he was appointed palæontologist to the Geological Survey of Great Britain, and fulfilled its duties with the highest honour to himself and advantage to the Society; and that, too, as the successor of Mr. Lonsdale, one of the most unwearying and best informed palæontologists of the age, to whom every geologist has been more or less indebted. But although his official labours were so heavy, the productions of his pen and pencil were numerous, all stamped with that originality of thought and breadth of handling of which his early labours had given promise. Among the papers which he produced at this time, we may mention, as especially deserving notice, his memoir “On the Geological Relations of the Existing Fauna and Flora of the British Isles,' to which we shall presently refer. We need not tell how efficiently he held the office of president of the Geological Society, or allude to the masterly summary of the state of geology which he gave to the Society from the president's chair, at the aniversary meeting in February 1854. These are fresh in the memory of every geologist who had an opportunity of attending the meetings of the Society, or of reading its proceedings.
Soon after his term of office in the Geological Society had expired, Professor Forbes was elected to the chair of Natural History in the University of Edinburgh, which had become vacant by the lamented death of Dr. Jameson. In the meridian of manhood he thus obtained the highest object of his ambition. By the force of his genius and industry he had achieved many conquests for science and much honour for himself; he had been received by the most eminent naturalists and geologists as one fitted to continue their labours, and to sustain the reputation of their names; he had been crowned with the highest distinctions science can bestow.
now reunited to many of his earliest friends; took his seat again as a resident member at the Botanical Society, in the formation of which he had been so active ; and became a teacher and an authority where, not twenty years before, he had been a pupil. Welcomed on all sides by attached friends and admiring scholars, a wide sphere of usefulness seemed to be opened to him, and his heart might well congratulate his intellect that the time had come when the desires of each could be satisfied without privation to the other. But he had also come nearly to the end of the race he had to run. He
in which Edward Forbes delighted to entice men into the pursuit of science for the true enjoyment of nature :
Were the famous wishing carpet of the ‘ Arabian Nights' either purchasable or let out for hire, we could not resist the temptation of taking a fly to the West Indies, and alighting among the mountains of Jamaica. We would go there when the yellow fever was out of season, and by a careful study of Colonel Reid's law of storms select the interval between two hurricanes for our visit. How delightful to rise out of the semi-solid atmosphere of London and find ourselves suddenly under the cloudless heavens of the tropics. Doubtless the sun is very hot, but then we would choose the cool evening for our flight, and so avoid inconvenience. Seated under a palm-tree, with an arborescent fern in the foreground, and a grove of cocoa nuts in the distance, we would pass a few hours of intense exotic enjoyment. All manners of curious creatures would congregate around us-strange birds with bright feathers; agile lizards, changing colour every moment; beetles, with prodigious horns, and wasps with awful stings; snails, with no ends to their shells; and, at a safe distance, boa constrictors of terrific dimensions. And yet how confused and uninstructive our pleasure would be amid all these wonders if we were ignorant of natural history. Unable to observe correctly, incapable of judging of the meaning of the curious organisms about us, we should soon begin to regret our neglect of the most fascinating of the sciences, and find ourselves in the condition of ninety-nine out of a hundred travellers through foreign parts. The charms of a residence in a foreign land are increased tenfold if the traveller be a zoologist or botanist. However dull a country may seem, however uninteresting its human population, the creatures that live on its surface or swarm amid the waves that wash its shores afford a constant and inexhaustible source of amusement and instruction. The naturalist is at home everywhere, and finds a museum where the ordinary voyager finds nothing but a waste. In the polar regions he is intensely happy, but in the tropics he is in paradise itself. No district is so poor and barren but that it has treasures for him, and none so rich but that all its gold would fail to prevent his rushing after a new butterfly, or climbing the rocks after a new flower. It is a curious fact that several able botanists explored and resided in the gold region of California, aware of the indications of the precious metal, before the rush to the diggings, but were too absorbed in the delights of their own peculiar pursuits to think of grubbing for lucre.'--pp. 278-280.
This abandonment of the mind to a pursuit which has not money-getting for its end is incomprehensible to the great mass of mankind. The boy who neglects his books to draw diagrams, construct clocks, and make telescopes; or he who loses his sachel on his way from school while collecting flowers and hunting for fossils, will have the cane : and in the opinion of fathers and teachers not a few, it should be wielded with more firmness than mercy. But what in the opinion of the world should be the contains many admirable criticisms, and some allusions to the discoveries which will give the author posthumous fame. There are passages of great beauty in thought and expression, and many suggestions of moment; nor are these anonymous productions wanting in that spirit of truthfulness, kindness, affection, and playfulness, which distinguished Edward Forbes as a companion and teacher. We can find nothing to offend, and there is much to please and instruct ; yet while we recommend the book as one which may be useful to the young in forming the taste, and in cultivating a love of natural science, we are bound to say that it does not place this distinguished man, admirable in literature and in science, in that position which his genius demands, and his friends anticipate. From its pages, however, we may collect his opinions upon many subjects connected with the sciences he studied, and draw from them many inducements to the adoption of similar pursuits.
It has been sometimes said, and ignorant people pretend to believe it, that intellectual improvement of a high order makes a man retiring and unsocial. Our author answers that charge :
"There is no greater or more prevalent mistake than the supposition that the intellectual development is inconsistent with a keen sense of enjoyment. There are, it is true, a considerable number of grave, dull, would be sages, moving at a snail's pace, with a snail's gravity, through society-looking, as Oken says in his transcendental philosophy, like so many prophesying goddesses seated on tripods. But nine out of ten of them maintain a philosophic fame only on the credit of an ominous and unbroken silence; the tenth on the strength of supporting some incomprehensible paradox, which neither he nor the stupid people who listen to him comprehend. Your real philosopher is neither uncommunicative nor dogmatic; he utters his words of wisdom at the right time and place, but on ordinary occasions is like other men, and enjoys himself, perhaps even more intensely, when enjoyment is afloat. Davy was one of these, as every man of genius is, and has been. Hence the unaffected enthusiasm with which Sir Humphrey plunged into stream and pool, and pursued his salmon fishing hobby all over Europe. And whilst the zest for pleasure humanizes the philosopher, his science and taste in turn elevates his pleasures. The objects of his sport become to him a source of interest, such as they cannot be to common men. In their forms he delights to trace all-wise contrivance, and in their instincts the guidance of superhuman wisdom. He follows them to their haunts, marking every charm of the landscape on his way, and every turn and varying chance of his sport suggests reflections on men and things-fanciful analogies, it may be, but not the less true-such as give eloquence to his tale of adventure, and render the records of his amusements as classical as these · Conversations of Fly Fishing' by Davy.'-pp. 291, 292.
The following passage is a good example of the pleasing manner the progress of time; they deny the assertion, and thus reduce the Vestigian to the disreputable position of being called on to prove his assertions.
The speculator in development,' says Professor Forbes, 'was not content to misinterpret, he misrepresented (probably unconsciously) the facts upon which he founded his theory, or knew them so imperfectly as to forget to mention the most important. Professor Sedgwick's searching examination of such mis-statements cannot fail to expose the fallacies of the work he reviews, and must do good service, especially among students, by preventing their reception of mistakes for facts. This is conspicuously the case with that part of the inquiry which deals with the first appearanee of organized beings. If the theory of progressive development in the Lamarckian sense be good for anything, the earliest creatures of which we find traces should be the simplest and lowest forms, not only of their tribes but of all creatures. To the practical geologist it is needless to say that such is not the case; but so positively and frequently has the statement to the contrary been put forward, that strong and repeated denials, and an appeal to facts over and over again, are necessary to convince numerous able men, many of them men of science, who are not practically conversant with geological researches. Yet no faet is more certain than that the remains of the oldest animals yet discovered do not belong to the most rudimentary forms.
Instead of Sponges, hydroid Zoophytes, Bryozoa, and Formanifera, the simplest types which, under the conditions indicated by the strata, could be expected to occur in the most ancient Palæozoic deposits, we find asteroid and helianthoid Zoophytes, Cephalopods (the highest of Mollusca), Brachiopods, and Trilobites. No person, whose acquaintance with zoology is sufficient to enable him to estimate the position in the animal series of a Cuttle-fish or a Crustacean, can for a moment hold the notion that the Palæozoic fauna was rudimentary, if he possesses any familiarity with the fossils of the Silurian system. Every day we are learning more and more to recognise the common-sense view, that the appearance of genera and species in time has been, from the beginning to the present, determined simply by the physical conditions adapted to them. The Creator, willing that there should be no great epoch of desolation, has called into being species after species, organizing each for the circumstances amidst which it was destined to live.'-pp. 14-16.
An hypothesis which assumes that every variety of organization has its origin in one that is a grade lower, and after its appeals to geology for the support of its assertion is found by the very evidence given under its subpoena to be false, can have no favour from honest minds. It is a vain, half-witted, foolish imagination ; or, still worse, a sham and imposture. It assumes that the forms of life are progressive, and it lacks a beginning. Where it desires to find rudimentary forms, rocks yield the relics of an organization of a high character. Nor is this all. To prove its claim upon our credence it should show an uninterrupted pro