« PreviousContinue »
«vere before unknown), accompanied by lations, the hedysarum gyrans, a species as many plates. This was a fine speci- of sanfoin, of Bengal, that raises and men of an inportant work; and it will depresses its lateral folioles, day and night, always be regrerted, that notwithstanding without any external inciteinent. He the preparations which had been made gave an interesting account of the deterfor the engravings, the author did not carry ininate directions taken by different parts it forward.
of plants in spite of obs:acles; of the Broussonnet returned from London, progress of the roots to secki for moisture, preceded by the reputation of bis book, and the inflections of the leaves in pursuit decorated with the title of Fellow of the of light. Royal Society, and counting among his Such subjects were far superior to those friends the younger Linneus, Dr. Solan- of his first writinys, which were inere der, Sparman, Sibthorp, Scarpa, and descriptions of species: but he soon rose several other naturalists of distinction. to still higher; and his Memoir on the
An unreserved contormity to the plan Respiration of Fishes belonys entirely to and systemis of Linneus, would have been the philosophy of natural bistory. He of itself no recommendation in the eyes liere shews the diminution in the intensity of those who then possessed the most of respiration, and in the heat of the influence in France; and particularly of blood, progressively from birds to quathe respectable Daubentoni, who enjoyed drupeds, and from quadrupeds lo repiiles; much credit both with the academy and he compares ile size of the heart, and the the minister: but the amiable character, quantity of blood, in different fishes; exthe mild and engaging inanners, and the plains how it is that those wbich bave modest and dithident tone, of Broussonnet, small bronchial apertures can live out of atuned for his scientific creed; and his the water longer than others; and relates most zealous protector, was the man soine experiments on the dutierent degrees whose ideas on that subject were in the of heat which tishes can support, and on greatest opposition to his own. Thus substances that prove fatai to them when Daubenton appointed him bis substitute mixed with the water in which they swim. in the college of France, and his associate The greater part of these ideas and facts at the veterinary school; and was the bad before been contained in his doctoral principal means of procuring his recep
thesis. iion ai so early an age into the academy: Ilis Memoir on the Tecth of Animals a conduct which was equally honourable is of the saine class. The dillerences beto both. llc was not elicted academician tween those of carnivorous and ut hierbie However without a competition which vorous animals; the laminæ of enamel continued tor six months; and during which penetrate the substance of the latthat period he presented a series of me- ter, and give to their crown the incqualimoirs, of such mierit as could not have ty necessary for the purposes of triturafailed of ensuring his success, even if he tion; the infinite variety in the number, had not been assisted by any patronage. figure, and position, of the teeth of qua
Among these was the plan of his in- drupeds; and the inference, that from the tended great work on ichthyology. His structure of the human teein, man is arrangement was nearly the same as naturally both a frugilerous and carnivos that of Linneus; but he enumerated rous animal, in the proportion of S 1 2 → 1200 species, though Linneus had then these facts, though now faipiliar, were only 400. As specimens of. his manner then neither void of novelty nor of inpt description, le gave a meinoir on the terest. sea wolf (anarrhichus lupus), and another The experiments of Spallanzani and on the scomber gludius. ' lle wrote after. Bonnet on the reproductive power of ward on the speriatic vessels of fishes; aquatic salamanders, at this time excited and shewer that scales are possessed by a lively attention among natural philoso. several animals of this class, which are phers. Broussoonet repeated thein on commonly thought to be destitute of fishes; and found that these also reprothem. But the article most likely to duce every part of their fins, if the sinall strike such men of learning as were not bones are not actually turn out by the professed naturalists, was his Comparison root. of the Mosions of Plants with those of The whole of the above-mentioned laAnimals. In this he gave the first com. bours were previous to his becoming a plete description of the vegetable which member of the academy, and they are approaches nearest to the appearance of nearly all that he published on naturii Laving solnetbing voluntary in its oscil: history. It will doubtless appear sua
prising that lie quitted a career which he of eloquence. The first of his éloges, had entered upon with so much distinc. that of Buffon, is perhaps rather feeble tion, and in which there was reason to for so great a name; but in two which expect such happy results from his genius followed it, at one time lie charms us and activity. The occasion of this was, with the peaceful virtues of Blaveau, and that in the same year in which he was at another excites our admiration of the adınitted into the acadeny, he was also self-devotion to the public good, and of appointed secretary to the Agricultural the probity and frankness, which marked Suciety; and this was followed by many the conduct of Turgot. At the period other causes of turning his attention into when every wish seemed directed to a a diterent channel.
popular revolution, he frequently obAgricultural societies had been esta- tained applause by recalling the public blished in the several districts of France attention to agricultural subjects. in 1761: but as they were mostly com It is well knotn what influence the posed of the great proprietors of land, or activity of an individual can exert on af mere farmers, they had evinced little that of a whole body of men; and how activity in their proceedings; and that of powerfully a young man of an ardent the metropolis had done no more in a pe- character, as Broussonnet then was, may riod of four-and-twenty years, than publish be tempted by such occasions of exersome instructions. Berihier de Sauvigny, cising a brilliant genius, and of acquiring however, who was intendunt of Paris at the public favour: but perhaps it is less this time, made it a kind of point of understood, in what degree that perpe. honour to raise this society to notice; tual self-devotion tu the glory of others, and thought the execution of such a de- which constitutes the first duty of those sign could not be entrusted to any person who are ihe organs of a learned society, more capable than M. Broussonnet, with may prore detrimental to the success whom he had had occasion to form a and display of their personal labours. connection in England. The latter ac- Broussonnet must have experienced this cord ngly lost no time in applying all his more than any body else, in a departexertions to this purpose; and succeeded ment that is doubtless of the greatest in giving, in some measure, a new cha jinmediate utility; but which, being con. racter to the association. Useful me- tined by its very nature to noticing direct moirs were published every quarter of a applications, had also, in an cqual proyear; numerous instruccions were circu- portion, the effect of keeping him from Jailed in tbe country-places; mectings of access to those general truths which are farmers were established in every canton, the only possible objects of really scienfor their more effectual information in tific labours; and of making his situation advantageous methods and processes; rather an intermediate office between the and prizes were solemnly distributed to provinces and the government, than a such of thein as had most successfully centre of the correspondence of learner applied those processes in practice. men. He thus entered insensibly on a These steps quickly brought the snciety new career, from the time of his being into general respect; and induced the appointed to this post; and in that ca. government to form it into a central reer he became continually more and corporation, with a cognizance extending more engaged, particularly when the re. over the whole kingdom, for the purpose volution seemed to have called every one of collecting and communicating intel to the nranagement of public affairs. ligence of discoveries and inventions in A man who is capable of exercising a agriculture. Persons of the first dis- personal and independant influence on tinction did not disdain to enrol thein- the welfare of his couatrymen by the sclves as its members; the society held peaceful investigation of truth, will find public sittings; and in short, it assumed it very hazardous, without previously a rank among the great learned asso- ascertaining his own strength, to agree ciations of the capital.
to become one of the inferior springs of It cannot be denied ibat, in his new the complicated machine of government; office, Broussonnet shewed a great flexi- a machine in which the irresistible and bility of talent. He gradually aban. simultaneous action of so many wheels, doned the dryness which forms a cha- leaves to no individual an uncontrolled racteristic of ihe school that he had fol. motion or will. How much more danjowed in natural bistory; and soon at- gerous must this determination be, at a jawed an elegant and well-supported time when the whole state, delivered up style, rising sometimes to all the warmth to the passions and caprices of the mul
titude, was borne along by an impetuous ings, character can accomplish every torrent, and when every successive in. thing, and knowledge almost nothing; stant night expose the magistrates to decisions are enthusiastically made in the alternative of crime or death! the aggregate, which afterward each in
Broussonnet, whose public discourses dividual privately condeinns in the nine had gained him popularity, could scarcely ments of reflection; and when a deliberafail of being called to some political tion is opened, no one can foresee to trust in those early moments when the what issue it may be brought by the popular opinion guided each choice; but accumulated sophisms, and the prothe first situations that he filled of this pitious or wayward warmth, of successive kind, must soon have made him look speakers, and by the tumultuous agitaback with regrei to the pursuit of the tions of party-spirit. M. Broussonnet sciences, and the tranquil occupations of attempted in vain to reclaim the conthe closet. Being appointed in 1789 to tending factions by proposing conciliatory the electoral body of Paris, he was re. views; but his inild and insinuating manners quired, with the other electors, to assume were weapons too weak to oppose the that species of intermediate magistracy universal frenzy. which for an instant supplied the place After the events which put an end to of the suspended authorities; and on the Legislative assembly, he retired to his the very day of his coming to the town- country-seat near Montpellier; where he ball, he belield his friend and patron the hoped at length to enjoy, in the cultiintendant of Paris murdered before bis vation of his lands, that repose to which face. He was afterwards, together with he had been a stranger froin the time of Vauvilliers, charged with the task of pro- his yielding to the allurements of ambie curing a supply of provisions for the ine- tion. But the moment had arrived when i ropolis; and say himself twenty times there was no longer any repose to be threatened with destruction by those who expected by whoever had been concerned were themselves preserved by the results in public affairs, or had attained to any of his solicitude, and who submitted only degree of distinction. In consequence to the guidance of such as were inters of the revolution of the 31st of May, ested in bringing upon thein the mise- which gave the preponderance to the ries of fainine.
most violent of the factions that struge Discouraged by the view of so much gled for power, a great number of the folly and ingratitude, the atiliction which departments revolted: their plans how. had now taken possession of his spirits, ever were badly concerted, and by tijeir was vented in his last discourses before failure completed the triumph of the the Ayricultural Socicty; and from that oppressors. Commissioners were now time it might have been apprehended sent into every part of the country, to that he would never again be tempted proceed with rigour against such as had to exert his knowledge and zeal for the taken an energetic part in those meapublic welfare. He had a seat however sures: and as Broussonnet had been de. in that celebrated assembly (the Second), puted by his fellow-countrymen (though which, though it existed only for a few against his will) to the coinmittee of in. months, will leave such deep traces in surrection at Bourdeaux, and appointed the annals of france; which, at the first member of a convention which the in. moment of its meeting, received almost surgent depa. tments projected to assemon its knees the same constitution from ble, he was imprisoned in the citadel of which afterward it daily tore some one Montpellier; and would soon have had of the pages; which shrunk under the to undergo the same fate as so many fall of a throne that it had sworn to other illustrious scholars and virtuous support; and, in quitting the scene, apo magistrales, it he had not ctfected liis peared wantonly to multiply the chances escape in an almost miraculous manner. of anarchy, to the nation for which it On this occasion he took refuge with had undertaken to hold the reins of go. his brother, who acted as a physician in vernment. In this situation he might the army of the Pyrences; and here he perceive the wide difference between the for a short time concealed himnself, under calm reasonings which are adapted for the appearance of an inferior plıysician : the persuasion of the solitary philosopher, but as he knew too well that this
expeand the violent arguments which alone dient could not give him permanent see, are capable of producing effect upon a curity, he eagerly sought a favourable numerous body of men.. In such queetopportunity of passing the frontiers. 3
One day, on pretence of gathering herbs ticular, received him with open arms at for the military hospital, he ascended Madrid; but no one displayed more ea. the mountain in a slight dress to avoid gerness and delicacy in serving him than suspicion, and accompanied only by some sir Joseph Banks. As soon as he learnt young physicians belonging to the army: he the flight of his old friend, he imme. found means to escape from their sight at diately took every active and precau. the turning of a valley; and after climbing tionary measure for securing in him not the raggedest patlıs, which exposed hiin only a refuge but an honourable subsiste least to the risk of being seen, as expe- ence, in case of his being still further ditiously as his strength permitted, he pursued by dangers, as the turn of darted forward through one of the out. affairs about this time rendered possible. lets. But fresh dangers now awaited This kindness proved of more eariy utility him. Even the arrival of night did not to the subject of it, than M. Broussonnet allow him to rest, for the appearance bimself could have anticipated; nor did of a French patrol would have been cer. the persecutions which the latter had suill tain death to him; and thus he wandered to undergo, proceed from the quarte: among the rocks, in a freezing cold, scan. that he dreadeil. cily clothed, and without food, having Spain was already the resort of mumeonly a little snow tu quench bis thirst, rous French emigrants wiro bad left their starting at the smallest noise, and fearing country at a previous stage of the revo. above all that some of the winding paths lution, and the political principles of might lead him back toward the fatal these made them averse to associate with territory which he had just left. Ac one who had borne an active part in the day-break his foot struck against some innovations which they had themselves object, which proved to be a corpse; opposed. They determined therefore to perhaps that of a wretched exile, like get rid of him; and in consequence of himself, whom dread of the execu- their suggestions he was first banished to tioner hurried from bis native country. Xeres, and afterward einbarked at Cadiz A second nigiit, Djore terrible than the in an English vessel; which being met by first, closed in upon him before he had two French frigates that were cruising off discovered any inhabited place; and it St. Vincent, he was compelled to take was not till afier eight-and-forty hours retiige at Lisbon. But even bere he did spent in this manner, and when he was not venture to land openly, lest he should quite overcome with fatigue and want, incur new persecution. 'M. Correa de that he inet a poor man who directed Serra, a celebrated botanist, obtained and supported him to the nearest Spa- from the duke de la Foens (a prince of nish cottage. His sufferings were hardly the blood), president of the Academy of inferior, in pursuing his journey to Ma- Sciences of this city, permission to condrid: on fout, without money, and alınost ceal him in the house of that society; and without clothes, he offered himself as an though this was still a sort of prison to assistant to several village-barbers, for him, how much he must have pre'erred no other reward than his victuals, but it to that of Montpellier! He slept in was refused.
the library of the academy; and there be Fortunately, in the bosom of political passed his time in learning the Porulia associations there exists an association guese language, and in making valuable of a diferent nature, which aims at ren. extracts from ancient manuscripts cons dering service to them all, without taking taiming the narratives of the earliest voya part in their continual dissensions. The ages performed by that once enterprising true friends of the sciences, at the same people. time that they yield to no class of men The emigrants at the court of Portu. in feelings of patriotisin, are also united gal however, by means of communicaaigong ihemselves by the same general tions from those of Madrid, discovered wes that attach them to the great cause him in this concealment. He was now of humanity. The mere mention of M. subjected to the interference of the Broussonnet's name, and a knowledge of inquisition, on pretence of having been his situation, were sufficient to procure a freemason; the prince who protected Join a kind reception, protection, and him was publicly accused of jacobruisin assistance of every sort, from all votaries in a pamphler; and matters proceeded of science, without distinction of coun. so far, that Broussonnet was glad to try, religion, or political engagements. assume the character of physician in the Diessieur's Cavanilles and Ortega, in par- train of the ambassadur-extraordinary
from the United States to the emperor of natural bistory itself, as well as merely
his fame, when his career in both was
selves to his mind in abundance; and he It must be acknowledged that botany, contrived to multiply them in his diswhich had again become the favourite pure course, in such a striking manner as to suit of Broussonnet, bad a considerable make himself understood. If, for inshare in his motives for desiring to live stance, he wished to speak of any partia abroad. During the whole period of his cular person, he described his appeara residence at Salee, Mogadore, Morocco, ance, his qualities, and his occupation; ånd Teneriff, he employed his leisure or if of a plant, he described its form and moments in studying the plants of those its colours. He recognised the name
places; and the interesting observations when pointed out to him in a book, but which he frequently sent home, were it never occurred to him spontaneously. well adapted to atone for his absence. His case suggests a curious question conBut whatever importance might charac- cerning the nature of memory: Whether terize his researches, they were still of this incomprehensible faculty is divided 'too particular a nature. The proper into different and independant departe post for such a man as Broussonnet, was ments; in which ideas are distributed a professor's chair; from which his genius according to grammatical classes, instead and activity might extend the general of being connected by the sensations doinain of science, as much as his elo- from whicb the ideas themselves flow? quence would diffuse a taste for it; aud His health continued to amend daily, MONTHLY Mac, No. 198,