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I. Geology and Mineralogy: E. J. CHAPMAN, Prof. of Geology and Mineralogy, Univ. Coll. Toronto.
II. Physiology and Natural History: REV. WM. HINOKS, F.L.S., Prof. of Natural History, Univ. Coll., Toronto.
III. Ethnology and Archæology: DANIEL WILSON, LL. D., Prof. of History and English Literature, Univ. Coll., Toronto.
IV. Meteorology: G. T. KINGSTON, M.A., Director of the Magnetic Observatory, Toronto.
V. Chemistry: HENRY CROFT, D. C. L., Prof. of Chemistry and Experimental Philosophy, Univ. Coll., Toronto.
VI. Mathematics and Natural Philosophy: J. B. CHERRIMAN, M. A., Prof. of Natural Philosophy, Univ. Coll., Toronto.
VII. Engineering and Architecture: SANDFORD FLEMING, C. E.
Read before the Canadian Institute, January 18, 1862.
A master of English prose has told us how he found in an old writer, a quaint apologue, in which human life is symbolized by a vast board pierced with innumerable openings of every size and figure, -circular, square, obtuse and acute angled.
Every denizen of the earth has there his fitting opening-if he can only find it. But some maladroit influence has arranged the occupants, and, as the author says, feelingly, "How often do we see
the round man in the three-cornered hole?"
The occupation of the chair this evening may possibly revive this pleasant fable in many memories, as it certainly has in mine. I can but console myself by the thought that, like thousands of others similarly situated, I am but in a secondary degree responsible for the misplacement.
The custom of the Society calls upon me for a few introductory remarks on assuming the position with which I have been honoured. The short space in which I intend to trespass on your patience, must be occupied in viewing the topics suggested by the occasion, from a VOL. VII.
stand-point outside the charmed circle of Science and Art, so worthily occupied by our more distinguished members. I may be reproached for my deficiencies by the well-known saying of Finch, "The sparks of all the Sciences may be raked from the ashes of the Law," but we have few amongst us here to whom we can point as an illustration of this tribute to a profession-which first merited the compliment in Francis Bacon, and still claims it for Henry Brougham.
In a retrospect of the past year in any Institute for the Promotion of Science or Art throughout the vast domains of Britain, an earnest sorrow must find an early utterance for the unexpected calamity which has darkened the happy circle of our beloved Sovereign's home, and thrown a shadow over the light of Christmas hearths alike in the stately and the lowly "homes of England."
It seems as it were but a few short months since we saw the very manly and noble form of him who is departed, standing at the right hand of the Royal Presence, in the rich summer of life, surrounded by a pleasant band of children—or heard his voice in well-chosen, happily turned, if not eloquent, words, opening the proceedings of some gathering of educated minds for the advancement of the Arts and Sciences, or possibly with loftier aim, for the spread of education amongst the masses, to elevate the tone or ameliorate the condition of his fellow-men. Royalty has never given to the cultivated intellect of our country one so choicely adapted to preside over its councils-and it may be long, indeed, before its gatherings will be so gracefully honoured by the leadership of one so near the throne. And long will the memory of his calm and stately presence live in the minds of Englishmen, associated, possibly, with thoughts like these suggested by the portrait of one as prematurely lost
The enterprise and intellect of our country, now engaged in the stupendous task of preparing for the forthcoming exposition of the Science, the Art, and the Industry of the world, have to mourn the loss of the zealous leader of their splendid adventure; and through every educated Association in the land will thrill the same genuine sorrow for the untimely passing away of Albert of Saxe-Gotha.
It would be as idle as impertinent for me to attempt even a sketchy outline of the progress of Science and of Art during the past year. As I already hinted, I may but glance at the relation of my outside world to such themes. The position occupied by the professors of Scientific knowledge in relation to the cognate worlds of Thought, to social, theological, or ethical philosophy, is all-important in its bearing on their ultimate usefulness to mankind.
It may be well to notice the most prominent aspect of this relation during the past twelve months.
A very old controversy-never really closed-has been forced into unwonted vitality and bitterness, chiefly by the interest attached to the peculiar position of certain of the combatants, and the deepseated jealousy of large masses of excellent people towards scientific research, has received a most powerful stimulant. It has been assumed by thousands, that in some way or another the labours and the results of scientific investigations are hostile to the truths of revelation.
The uneasiness has been chronic. From the labors of the great Florentine in deciphering the story of the midnight heavens to the latest explorations in the crust of this aged world-from the demonstration of the diurnal motion, to the finding of the flint implements in the Picardy gravel beds, we have the same jealous distrust-generally honest-too often querulous and unreasonable-always most offensively exhibited by minds from habit and capacity the least suited for the right understanding of matters of such surpassing magnitude.
Much of this is traceable to the nature of the enquiry. It is of the very essence of inductive science; the condition of all logical pursuit, that the investigation of every scientific problem must be conducted by a mind simply striving after truth-striving to discover what is, not what ought to be, or what it wishes to be, in order to support some preconceived theory or deep-seated prepossession. The philosophic mind of the highest order, bending itself to the task of investigating obscure phenomena, whether amongst heaven's stars or