||Science and the making of Victoria
Table of Contents
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.]
Inaugural Address, delivered by Mr. Justice Barry, President of the Institute, at the Opening Converzazione, 22nd Sept., 1854 (continued)
These afford themes which will for ever create fresh interest; for ever yield new gratification; for ever mock the efforts of the human race to exhaust them. From these as the elegant relaxations of our prudently husbanded vacation, we may harvest riches which neither birth nor fortune can confer, which neither poverty nor the vicissitudes of adversity can take away.
If it be necessary to adduce further reasons, besides those indicating the good results expected to follow on the establishment of this Institute, let me call your attention to what is going on elsewhere without the boundaries of our immediate range of action; amongst other nations, with whom, in the charities of Art tnd the catholicity of Science, we may claim kindred. Every department of Philosophy is marching onward with gigantic steps, each stride elongated beyond the last. Every year teems with some new disclosure respecting the phenomena of nature, and the laws by which they are governed. While HUMBOLDT, eminent for the remarkable diversity of his matured knowledge, is endeavouring to prepare his Cosmical sketch of Creation, he finds himself outstripped and forced to pause, that he may append by supplemental annotation to each part as it issues forth, the results of that inductive reasoning which, carried on by simultaneous yet independent study, has enabled a LE VERRIER and an ADAMS to herald the existence of new worlds, undetected by the inquisitive astronomer; and of the patient meditations of other men, who have spread out before him unimagined wonders. Methods of treating abstruse topics are simplified; improvements in the instruments to assist philosophical investigation, succeed each other to an extent which, while they excite a just admiration, hold out a belief that we tre hovering on the threshold of more astounding discoveries than any which have hitherto awed us by their sublimity, or gratified us by the practical usefulness which has tended so extensively to the civilization of mankind.
And is it for us to lag behind, in the race in which the sages of our time show us such an example of diligence and activity? Is it to be said of us, the tenants of a portion of one of the grand divisions of the globea storehouse of unrevealed mysteriesthe theatre, we may presume, of future great actionsthat we have no ambition but to vegetate on its surface, mere "air plants whose roots are the lungs," (as Novalis quaintly terms men) without even contributing our quota of information respecting those things daily exposed to the observing eye, or endeavouring to awaken an appreciation of their concert, or aspiring to add a sign to the zodiac of science?
Are we to waste life in frivolity, or in occupations which, when we perish, will leave no memorial even of our own existence; and allow our to be cited as that of the Cimmerian obscurity of the Southern Hemisphere? Are we to shrink from solving our portion of the great problem of truth; or is it apprehended that the grandeur of the theme should repel, that we should doubt our powers, distrust our endurance nad be fearful for our success?
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