Page images

the attentions which were due to the son of Linnæus, and passed the winter among a circle of learned and ingenious persons. In the spring of 1782, he visited Holland, where he inspected the gardens and museums, and received, as in England and France, the most valuable contributions to his collections. He next proceeded to Hamburg, from whence he went to Kiel to visit his friend Fabricius, the great entomologist. At Copenhagen he experienced the same respectful kindness as in the other great cities. In January 1783, he went to Gottenburg, to render his homage of gratitude to Baron Alstræmer, and in February returned to Upsal.

By this journey he had increased his knowledge, established useful connexions, collected many valuable specimens, and emancipated himself from the state of listlessness into which he had previously fallen. Hopes were entertained that he might prove a worthy successor to the legislator of natural history; and there is no reason to doubt that he would at least have acquitted himself honourably in the discharge of his duties.

But in the month of August he had occasion to go to Stockholm, where he was seized with a bilious fever, which, however, soon abated, so that he was able to return home. There he experienced a relapse ; and having imprudently exposed himself to the cold and damp of the apartment in which his collections were kept, a third accession of fever came on, accompanied with apoplexy, which carried him off on the 1st of November 1783, in the forty-second year

of his age.

He is said to have possessed a vigorous frame of

[ocr errors]

body, and even to have inherited his father's looks, but without his energy, his activity, his consciousness of talent, or his love of adulation. He was, on the contrary, gentle and retired. Had he really been endowed with genius similar to that of his parent, he must have distinguished his career, brief as it was, by some meritorious performance. But it is no doubt wisely ordered that superiority of intellect should not, like the distinctions conferred by birth and fortune, be hereditary.

His remains were solemnly deposited, on the 30th of November, in the cathedral at Upsal, close to those of his father. A funeral oration was pronounced by M. Von Schulzenheim ; and as the male line of the family had become extinct, his coat of arms was broken in pieces. The gardener of the university then strewed flowers over the grave of a generation that,” to use the words of one of its historians,“ will remain great and imperishable as long as the earth, and Nature, and her science shall exist!”

After the death of this young man, the collections, library, and even the manuscripts, of his father, were offered for sale, and purchased by Sir James Edward Smith, the founder of the Linnæan Society of London. They are now in the possession of that illustrious body, whose labours have tended so much to forward the progress of natural history in general, and of botany in particular. The herbarium, which is contained in two deal presses, similar to the model described in the Phi. losophia Botanica, is to the botanist an object of great interest, and has been the means of elucidating many doubtful points. The building in which

his museum was kept at Hammarby, although it now contains only the chair in which he sat when delivering his lectures, and a stuffed crocodile suspended from the roof, continues to attract the no. tice of strangers, who generally carry away with them a specimen of the Linnæa, which grows profusely in the neighbourhood.

It may be mentioned, in conclusion, that the wi. dow of the great Swedish naturalist survived him fourteen years, having died in 1806, after attaining the 94th year of her age.


Printed by Oliver & Boyd,
Tweoddale Court, High Street, Edinburgh.








The EDINBURGH CABINET LIBRARY having now reached its Sixteenth Volume, the Proprietors are desirous of offering a few observations, with a view to elucidate the general character and plan of the Publication more fully than could be done in the original Prospectus.

The primary object of this undertaking was to construct, from the varied and costly materials that have been accumulating for ages, a popular Work, appearing in successive volumes, and comprising all that is really valuable in those branches of knowledge which most happily combine amusement with instruction. A scheme so comprehensive necessarily embraced a wide range of subjects ; all of which, however, though treated by separate writers, were designed to form component parts of one uniform system. To record the prominent changes and revolutions in the history of nations ;—to follow the progress of inland and maritime discovery, embodying the researches of those fearless adventurers who have traversed stormy oceans, or penetrated into the interior of barbarous kingdoms ;-to mark the steps by which the sciences and arts that refine and improve human nature have arrived

« PreviousContinue »