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Science and the making of VictoriaRoyal Society of Victoria
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Inaugural and Anniversary Addresses of the Royal Society

Inaugural Address, delivered by Mr. Justice Barry, President of the Institute, at the Opening Converzazione, 22nd Sept., 1854

Inaugural Address of the President, Captain Clarke, R. E., Surveyor-General, &c., &c.

Anniversary Address of the President, the Honourable Andrew Clarke, Captain R. E., M.P., Surveyor-General of Victoria, &c., &c., &c.

Anniversary Address of the President, His Honor Sir William Foster Stawell, Knight, Chief Justice of Victoria, &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Institute, 12th April, 1858]

Anniversary Address of the President, Ferdinand Mueller, Esq., Ph.D., M.D. F.R.G. and L.S., &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Institute, 28th March, 1859]

Address of the President, Ferdinand Mueller, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.G. & L.S., &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Institute at the Inauguration of the Hall, January 23rd, 1860.]

Inaugural Address of the President, His Excellency Sir Henry Barkly, K.C.B., &c., &c. [Delivered to the Members of the Royal Society, at the Anniversary Meeting held on the 10th April, 1860.]

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Address of the President, Ferdinand Mueller, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.G. & L.S., &c., &c.
[Delivered to the Members of the Institute at the Inauguration of the Hall, January 23rd, 1860.] (continued)


Great will be the impetus now given to our work; greater still will be the gain which we may now prognosticate for the remoter future of the Institute. Our imagination may carry us onward to a distant time, when all assembled with us now shall long have ceased to exist on earth when other generations have extended this building to one of the more noble of the grandest southern city; when a long series of discoveries, important in their bearings on Australia's prosperity shall have been first enunciated at this forum; when those scanty shelves of books shall have expanded to a library, bearing testimony to the literary work in which this Institute shared; when a glance at the busts of the wisest of all ages, raised here in veneration of by-gone greatness, shall to new efforts excite the wearied mind; when a gallery of works of art shall elevate the thoughts to sublime ęsthetics; and when collections from every region of the globe shall to the searching eye unfold that harmony eternal which Isis' works pervade. And then, perhaps (if we may be allowed to indulge in this train of thought)—then, perhaps, the memory of this day and our early struggles may not have fully sunk into oblivion, and future generations, whilst celebrating their scientific triumphs on this spot, and measuring their achievements by the standard of our time, will gently judge the labors of this epoch. And is not all which we hopefully foresee commensurate with the already gigantic progress of these flourishing youthful colonies?

Let us cast our eyes on the vivid picture which, as the beginning of future decorations of these walls, a friend equally talciited and generous has placed. before us. We recognise the greatest of Britain's exploring navigators, not bent on warfare's glory, but on the triumphs of more enduring conquests, boldly directing his vessels into waters unfurrowed by a keel before. His eagle eyes in inexpressible delight are glancing, like Columbus's, along the verdant shores of a new continent—a panorama of nature never before beheld by ally European's sight, is there expanding before him. His phantasy perceives cities arising on the virgin ground, sees millions crowded in activity where then the solitude of the wilderness prevailed, sees browsing herds and flocks on the then trackless pastures—the "harvest treasures" clothing hill and dale, sees anchoring the fleets of commerce in the peaceful waters of that romantic bay. The realisation of what the most vivid imagination brought before the vision of the immortal Cook, has been the work of much less than a century. This presage of Australia's future, we may well imagine, was the greatest reward which crowned his arduous labors—the richest jewel he took with him from these shores.

If since that period the gigantic strides made by civilisation have verified the highest expectations of a now bygone time, what marvels may not yet be revealed by the second century of Australia's colonisation? No longer shall we then remain almost exiled from the northern countries from whence our population sprang; no longer shall we then regard with mingled feelings of hope and dread the blanks of our geographic charts; no longer shall the tired traveller then stray waterless through inhospitable wastes; no longer shall, for many thousand miles, the coast of this great continent remain unoccupied by homesteads and settlements; no longer tracts of immense extent remain devoid of the harvest grain.


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