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the Garden for these last twenty years, waters of his little lake, and reapfor the most part with M. Dufresne, pearing again, all moist and black, the King's naturalist, chief director of protruding his huge round back, more the zoological department, and is con- like a floating island, or a Leviathan of sequently well acquainted with the the ocean, than an inhabitant of terramanagement, both in its general spi- firma. rit and most minute details.
In this neighbourhood, too, there The Garden of Plants is certainly a are camels and dromedaries, the "ships most interesting spot. What can be of the desert,” as they are so beautimore delightful than to wander about fully called in the figurative languages in the twilight of a fine autumnal of the east, either standing upright, with evening, beneath those magnificent their long, ghost-like necks, and amiarows of ancient lime-trees, when the ble, though imbecile countenances, or air is perfumed by the balmy breath couched on the grass, " and bedward of many thousand flowers-to listen, ruminating," apparently well pleased amid such a scene of stillness and re- to have exchanged the burning plains pose, to the multitudinous voice of a of Arabia for the refreshing shades of mighty city-or to contrast a sound the Jardin des Plantes. No fear now composed of such discordant and tu, of the blasting, breath of the desert, or multuous elements with the wild and of those gigantic columns of moving plaintive cries of some solitary wa- sand which had so often threatened to ter-fowl, which inhabit the banks of overwhelm them, and the leaders of a little lake, in the centre of this their tribe-no delusive mirage, temptGarden of Paradise ! On the other ing them still onwards, amongst those hand, during the day-time, if less in- glaring, glittering wildernesses,“ with teresting to your sentimentalist, it is show of waters mocking their distress.” certainly fully more amusing to the Even the wilder and more romantic ordinary class of visitors. Great part animals seem here to have found a of one side of the Garden is laid out happy haven and a fit abode. The as a Menagerie, in which all sorts of milk-white goat of Cachmire, with its wild animals are confined, or, more long silky clothing, is seen reposing properly speaking, detained the ex- tranquilly, with half-closed eyes, upon treme comfort and extent of the dwel- some artificial ledge of rock, forming lings, with their beautiful conforman a beautiful and lively contrast to the bility to the pursuits and manners of dark green moss with which it is surtheir inhabitants, almost entirely pre- rounded. Deers and antelopes repose cluding the idea of anything so harsh upon the dappled ground, or are seen and rigorous as confinement. There the tripping about under the shade of the elephant,"wisest of brutes," occupies, neighbouring lime-trees, while the enas he ought to do, a central and conspi- closures, with their surrounding shrubcuous situation. He is not lodged, as he bery, are so skilfully arranged, and so is with us, in a gloomy crib, in which intermingled with each other, that he can scarcely turn himself round every animal appears as if it enjoyed with sufficient freedom to perform the the free range of the whole encamplittle devices taught him by his keeper, ment, instead of being confined to the and which one sees how much he de- vicinity of its own little hut. The spises by the calm melancholy expres- walks are laid out somewhat in a lasion of his eyes. He dwells in a large byrinthic form, so that every step a and lofty apartment, opening by means person takes he is delighted by the of broad folding-doors into a capacious view of some fair or magnificent creaarea, which is all his own. In this he ture from “ a far countrie.” Birds of has dry smooth banks to repose upon, the most gorgeous and graceful plu. and a deep pond of water, into which, mage, peacocks, golden pheasants, and once a day, he sinks his enormous body, cranes from the Balearic Isles, solicit causing the waters to flow over every attention in every quarter, and are seen part, except his mouth and proboscis. crossing your path in all the stateliness Nothing can be more refreshing than of conscious beauty, or gliding like to see him, after basking for some hours · sun-beams through groves of everin the morning sun, till his skin be. green, “ star bright, or brighter.” In comes as parched and dry as the de- whatever direction you turn, you find sert dust of Africa--to see him calmly the features of the scenery impressed sinking down amidst the clear, cool with characters very different from those which are usually met with in the groups of people who crowd its European countries. At the head of walks. Some of these animals, when the Garden, beyond the house which they perceive any one looking over was once the dwelling of the illustrious their parapet, erect themselves on their Baffon, there grows a magnificent ce- hind legs, and, stretching forth their dar, its head rendered more pictu- great paws, seem to ask for charity resque by a cannon-ball, which struck with all the importunity of a moaning it during the Revolution ;* and from a beggar. Indeed, they are so much aclittle bill in the neighbourhood, there customed to have bread and fruit is an extensive and beautiful view, not thrown to them by strangers, that the only of the Garden of Plants, with its slightest motion of the hand is genefine groves and shady terraces, but rally sufficient to make them assume also of the city itself, with Mont an erect position, which they will mainMartre rising like an acropolis in the tain for some time, till their strength distance, the old square tower of the fail them, and they drop to the ground, Cathedral of Notre Dame, and the testifying by a short and sullen growi golden dome of the Hospital of Inva- their displeasure at having been oblilids.
ged to play such fantastic tricks to so Between the Garden of Plants pro- little purpose. An unfortunate acciperly so called, and that part of it dent befel one of the largest of these, which is devoted to the uses of the creatures some years ago. He was sitMenagerie, there is a broad and deep ting perched near the top of his tree, sunk fence divided by stone walls into when his footing gave way, and he was several compartments. These are the precipitated to the ground. A broken dwelling-houses of the bears, the awk, limb was the only disagreeable result ward motions and singular attitudes of of this misfortune. His temper of which seem to afford a constant source mind does not, however, appear to have of amusement to the visitors. Bare been much mollified by his decreased leafless trees have been planted in the strength of body, for it was this same centre of some of these inclosures, to animal which caused the death of the the top of which Bruin is frequently unfortunate sentinel who had descend, seen to climb, as if to enjoy the more ed into his area, misled, as it was sup extended view of the garden, and of posed, by an old button or bit of me
• " The largest of the pine tribe on the hillocks, is a cedar of Lebanon, P. Cedrus, the trunk of which measures twelve feet in circumference. The history of this tree, as recited to us by Professor Thouin, is remarkable. In 1736, Bernard de Jussieu, when leaving London, received from Peter Collinson a young plant of Pinus Cedrus, which he placed in a flower-pot, and conveyed in safety to the Paris Gardens. Common report has magnified the exploit by declaring, that Jussieu carried it all the way in the crown of his hat. It is now the identical tree admired for its great size.”—Neill's Journal of a Horticultural Tour through Flanders, Holland, and the North of France. This work is no doubt in the hands of every horticulturist, whether professional or amateur. Mr Neill's name is a sufficient pledge for the extent and accuracy of the information which it contains. But the interest of the work is by no means confined to horticultural details. Although these form, as they ought to do, the leading topics of in. vestigation and description, yet the author's eye has been by no means inobservant of other things. His narrative is continually relieved by sensible and ingenious observations on the characteristic manners and aspect of the people, and on the general features of the scenery of the various districts through which his tour extends. The whole book, indeed, is written in a very clear, intelligent style ; and, the author's mind being naturally active, and, during this period especially, occupied by subjects of the greatest in. terest and the highest utility, there is no unsuccessful searching after subjects for the memorandum-book, no necessity for attempting to cover and conceal that vacancy of mind, which is the companion of most modern tourists. “ Senza istruzione,” says an Italian writer, “ non puo aversi utilitá, ne diletto viaggiando ; ed è miglior cosa che il ricco incolto nascondo fra le domestiché mura la sua nullitá, e la vergogna della sua ignoranza.” With Mr Neill, on the contrary, there was always a delighful subject at hand to occupy the attention, and a constant exercise of intelligence required in comparing what he then witnessed for the first time in foreign countries, with the result of his own past experience at home; and the “ Horticultural Tour,” recently published, exhibits what, indeed, might have been anticipated from the author's
character, although it is rarely met with now-a-days, great knowledge without the slightest pretension.
tal, which he mistook for a piece of fiercely, and his breath comes as hot,
Turning to the right as you enter yet found a place in English literature. the lower gate of the Garden, opposite We must, however, premise, that the the Bridge of Austerlitz, now called nature and confined limits of our abthe Pons du Jardin du Roi, you ap- stract will necessarily exclude a thouproach the dwellings of the more car- sand interesting particulars regarding nivorous animals, which are confined the history of individual plants and in cages with iron gratings, very simi- animals, for the elucidation of which lar to our travelling caravans. Here we therefore refer our readers to the the lion is truly the king of beasts, work itself, which is just about this being the oldest, the largest, and in all tiine ready for delivery to the public. respects the most magnificent, I have The King's Garden in Paris, com
There is a melancholy monly called the Garden of Plants, grandeur about this creature in a state was founded by Louis XIII., by an of captivity, which I can never witness edict given and registered by the Parwithout the truest commiseration.- liament, in the month of May, 1635. The elegant and playful attitudes of Its direction was assigned to the first the smaller animals of the feline tribe Physician Herouard, who chose as Inbeing so expressive of happiness and tendant Guy de la Brosse. At first it contentment, prevent one from com- consisted only of a single house, and · passionating their misfortunes in a si- twenty-four acres of land. Guy de la milar manner; while the fierce and Brosse, during the first year of his cruel eye of the tiger, with his restless management, formed a parterre 292 and impatient demeanour, produces feet long, and 227 broad, composed of rather the contrary feeling of satisfac- such plants as he could procure, the tion, that so savage an animal should greater number of which were given be kept for ever in confinement. He him by John Robin, the father of Vesappears to lament his loss of liberty, pasian, the King's botanist. . These chiefly because he cannot satiate his amounted, including varieties, to 1800. thirst for blood by the sacrifice of those He then prepared the ground, procubefore him ; his countenance glares as red new plants by correspondence, tra
• We understand that the bears are now removed to the new Menagerie of wild beasts, and their places in the Fossés occupied by a breed of boars. Our old friend Marguerite, the great elephant, alluded to in a preceding paragraph, has been dead for some years.
ced the plan of the garden to the ex- ment the establishment assumed intent of ten acres, and opened it in creasing importance, and it would have 1640. It appears by the printed cata- advanced still more rapidly, had the logue of the ensuing year, that the principal administration not been uninumber of species and varieties had ted with other offices. Fagon, who had increased to 2360. De la Brosse died for several years filled the botanical in 1643.
and chemical chairs with applause, Such was the origin of an establish- being encumbered with other duties, ment which has since attained so high meditated the resignation of his place, a degree of prosperity, and has become and, wishing to appoint a successor the first school of Natural History in worthy of himself, he called, from a the world. We shall not consider it remote part of France, the afterwards necessary to mention each subsequent so highly celebrated Joseph Pitton de change in the management and super- Tournefort, then only twenty-six years intendence, but shall rest satisfied with of age, but who had already given proalluding only to the labours of those mise of what he was one day to bewhose appointment may be regarded come. He was appointed to the chair as a prosperous era in the history of of botany in 1683. Ten years after, the garden. About the year 1652, Fa- Fagon became first physician. This gon, grand-nephew of De la Brosse, appointment gave him the intend obtained a situation in the establish- ance of the Garden ; and, from the ment, and travelled at his own expense singular respect in which he was held, through several provinces of France, the title of Superintendent was re-esand among the Alps and Pyrenees, tablished in his favour. and sent the fruit of his researches to The signal success of Tournefort in the Garden. In 1665, the number of the cultivation of botanical science, is species and varieties amounted to 4000. universally known. He was the first
In the meantime, Gaston D'Orleans, successfully to define the genera of brother of Louis XIII., had establish- plants, and the excellence of his groups ed a botanical garden at his palace of exhibits the clearness of his concepBlois, which had acquired celebrity tions, and ranks him as the father of through the works of Morison, and that branch of the science. He died by a collection of drawings of the most in 1708, in consequence of an injury remarkable plants. These drawings received from a waggon in a narrow were chiefly executed on vellum, by street of Paris, and left his collection Robert, eminent for his great skill as of natural history, and herbarium, to a botanical painter. After the death the Garden. This herbarium is not of Gaston, in 1660, Colbert persuaded extensive, but it is rendered valuable the King to purchase the whole col- by the plants gathered in the Levant, lection, and Robert was appointed and indicated in the Corollarium of painter to the Museum, where he con- the Institutiones Rei Herbarium. He tinued his labours till his death in was succeeded in the botanical chair by 1684. Other eminent painters have Danty D’Isnard. continually succeeded to the situation, D'Isnard retired after delivering a and it is thus that the magnificent single course of lectures, and was succollection of drawings of plants and ceeded by Antony de Jussieu, a name animals has been formed, which was so justly celebrated in botany, in conat first deposited in the King's library, sequence of the impulse which his and now forms the most valuable part own labours, and those of his two broof that of the Museum.
thers and nephew, have given to the Vallot, the chief director, dying in science. In 1716, he visited Spain and 1671, Colbert united the superintend- Portugal, and brought back an imence of the Garden to that of the mense accession to the Garden. It King's buildings, already held by him- was this same Antony
de Jussieu, who, self, leaving to the first physician the in 1720, intrusted Declieux, a lieutitle of Intendant only, with the di- tenant in the Royal Nary, with a rection of the cultivation. In the young coffee tree, which, transported month of December be obtained a de- to Martinique, became the parent of claration from the King, regulating the immense culture of the West Inthe administration of the Garden, and dies. Meanwhile, the cultivation of gave commissions to the Professors de- the Garden was confided to Sebastian fining their duties. From this mo- Vaillant, who formed a very considera able herbarium, the genera of which dour to Buffon,--to that magnificent were methodically arranged, and the establishment he, on the other hand, species accompanied by tickets, indi- owes his fame. If he had not been cating all the synonyms then known. placed in the midst of collections, furThis herbarium, which, at his death in nished by Government with the means 1722, was purchased by order of the of augmenting them, and thus enabled King, forms the basis of that of the by extensive correspondence to elicit Museum. What chiefly signalizes the information from all the naturalists of name of Vaillant, is his first public his day, he would never have conceidiscourse on assuming the functions ved the plan of his natural history, or of Assistant Professor, (in the absence been able to carry it into execution ; of the Principal,) in which he demon- for that genius which embraces a great strates the existence of two sexes, and variety of facts, in order to deduce the phenomena of fecundation in ve- from them general conclusions, is congetables. Thus it was in the King's tinually exposed to err, if it has not at Garden that this great discovery, which hand all the elements of its speculahad been only hinted at before, and tions. was not generally admitted, was first We may now be said to commence announced, and supported by irrefra- the second period of the bistory of the gable proofs.
Royal Garden. When Buffon entered We shall pass in silence the unpro- upon his office, the Cabinet consisted fitable period of Chirac's administra- of two small rooms, and a third, contion of the affairs of the Garden, and taining the preparations of anatomy, proceed to the appointment of Buffon which were not exposed to public view: in 1739, who was preferred to the si- the herbarium was in the apartment tuation in consequence of the dying of the demonstrator of botany: the request of Du Fay, bis immediate pre Garden, which was limited to the predecessor. This illustrious writer was sent nursery on the eastern side, to already distinguished by several me- the green house on the north, and the moirs on mathematics, natural philo“ galleries of natural history on the west, sophy, and rural economy, which had still presented empty spaces, and congained him admittance to the Acade- tained neither avenues nor regular my of Sciences; but he was as yet un- plantations.* known as a naturalist. Endowed with Buffon first directed bis attention to that power of attention which disco- the increasing of the collections, and vers the most distant relations of to the providing of more commodious thought, and that brilliancy of imagi- places for their reception. They were nation which commands the attention arranged in two large rooms of the of others to the result of laborious in- building which contains the present vestigations, he was equally fitted to galleries, and which was formerly the succeed in different walks of genius. dwelling-house of the Intendant; and, He had not yet decided to what ob- soon after, were opened to the public jects he should devote his talents and on appointed days. He next occupied acquirements, when his nomination to himself in the embellishment of the the place of Intendant of the King's Garden. Having cut down an old aveGarden determined him to attach him- nue which did not correspond with the self to natural history. As his repu- principal gate, he replaced it in 1740, tation increased, he employed the ad- by one of lime trees in the proper divantages afforded by his credit and ce- rection, and planted another parallel lebrity, to enrich the establishment to on the other side of the parterre. These which he had allied himself; and to avenues, which are now more than him are owing its growth and improve- eighty years old, terminate towards the ment till the period of its reorganiza- extremity of the nursery, and mark tion, and that extension and variety the limits of the Garden at that pewhich rendered a reorganization ne- riod. cessary. If the Museum owes its splen- The care of the Cabinet was at this
The name of Museum of Natural History is of recent date ; it was given at the period when the Garden assumed its present form, and was employed to designate the union of three former establishments, the King's Garden, the Cabinet, and the Menagerię.