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inviting his troops to assist at the Celebration. Every steamboat in port, (so the story ran,) was engaged to carry select and particularly genteel parties, who wished to avoid the inconveniences of a mixed assembly. The great steam frigate was chartered to convey the three liberal professions; and a strong detachment of marines would be stationed in different parts of the vessel, to preserve harmony and order. The honourable board of brokers bad chartered a vessel just from the stocks, and offered to accommodate the gentlemen of the banks for a small premium. The most taking part of the company, however, it was asserted, would be the whole corps of ConTRIBUTORS to the ATLANTIC, with appropriate banners, dresses and decorations. This last report particularly determined us to assist at the grand annual Linnæan celebration at Flushing.
Busy rumour, however, had, as usual, prodigiously magnified. We are confident of speaking within bounds, when we assert, that there were less than fifty thousand persons present; and the brilliant assemblage of ladies, brokers, soldiers and physicians, had dwindled down to—but we anticipate.
At eight o'clock, on the memorable twenty-fourth of May, we arrived at the Fulton Market, and elbowing our way through a greasy assemblage of watermen and boys, we were safely deposited on board the steam-boat Linnæus. The quarter deck was literally swarming with pretty faces; and the members of the New-York Linnæan Branch, with a sprig of the Linnæa borealis stuck gracefully in their hats, acted as masters of the ceremonies. In a few minutes, the boat left the wharf, the band striking up the appropriate air of Yankee Doodle, in honour of the Swedish naturalist. The ladies beat excellent time, and even the wheels of the steam-boat seemed to strike in unison. It was, in fact, as a member of the Lunch observed, a Moving spectacle ! Nothing occurred to destroy the pleasure of the voyage, except that several of the ladies were marvellously frightened by the appearance of a school of porpoises, gracefully disporting in the vicinity of Hell Gate. Upon being assured, however, that they were the harmless dolphins* of the poet, their fears were allayed; and, in the course of a few moments after, we arrived safely at our port of destination.
The company, under the superintendence of the Linnæan members, were marshalled in Indian file, and marched to the neat and airy hall”ł of Mr Peck, which was tastefully deco
* It may be worth mentioning that a question arose as to what genus and species these porpoises belonged. A Linnæan member, who was applied to for information, answered, that “pon honour he was not sufficiently acquainted with Botany to decide."
See the “Statesman,” May 27th.
rated for the occasion. The two presidents of the branch walked into the hall, arm in arm, like the two redoubtable kings of Brentford; and were scarcely seated, when a third president, who had been appointed to preside for this particular occasion, declared the society in session. The secretary opened a large trunk, and produced a huge package of letters; which, as he informed us, were answers from different august personages, to invitations to attend the celebration. Owing to the low voice of the secretary, we could only catch at intervals a few of the answers. Ira Hill thanked the society for their politeness, but was too much occupied with the centre of the earth, to care about what was transacting on its surface. Captain Symmes apologized for non-attendance, by stating, that the convexity of the earth, between Vandalia and Flushing, increased the distance so much, that he could not think of honouring them with his presence, unless they would pay his travelling expenses. He concluded by hinting, that should he find a shorter cut through the interior, (of which he was very sanguine,) he would certainly make it a point to be with them. Rachel Baker, in a very short letter, thanked the BRANCH for their polite invitation ; and in three postcripts, (true woman!) gave thirty reasons why she could not attend. An additional P. P. S. stated, that she had given over dreaming, but she was pleased to find that the society had taken it up. They would go far, she had no doubt, to illustrate scientific, if not devotional somnium. Miss Caraboo was studying the Ricaraw tongue with an eminent Aricaree professor, in the University which, some time ago, sent a diploma to one of the Presidents, Charles the Tenth of France could not come for want of funds; but promised to do something handsome for the Branch, when he should be restored to the throne of his ancestors. A great man regretted his inability to be present at the celebration, but promised to carry the society's compliments, shortly, to Linnæus himself. Some of the members expressed their doubts, whether it might not be dangerous to go in his company ; but all agreed, that the undertaking was magnani
The president now announced, that, as the bour that gave birth to Linnæus was at hand, he should request the company to walk into the garden, where the “ prescribed ritual”* would be celebrated. The ladies, accordingly, formed into a hollow square, and led by the Linnæan members, marched into the garden, which, in spite even of newspaper puffing, is really worth going fifty miles to visit.
* Statesman, May 27th.
We now learned that the exercises of the day were actually to commence. The business at the “neat and airy hall," was merely a preliminary flourish—an anchovy for the delicate repast that was to follow. Accordingly, a member arose, and delivered, in good Miltonic blank verse, an eulogy on the life and writings of Linnæus, of which the following lines afford but a faint and imperfect specimen.
Way, some may ask, are we assembled here,*
GREATNESS means different things; and when applied
HOMER was great: he wrote the Iliad,
DEMOSTRENES and CICERO were great ;
FRANKLIN was great: he brought the lightning down
* See this poetry, done into prose, page 9th of the procès verbal, of the si celebration at Flushing."
† See page 13th, of the “celebration.” Much valuable information, on subjects connected with natural history, may be found in the address, contained in that and the preceding pages ; e. g.
“ William Tell, with an arrow, is reported to have shot from the top of his son's bead, the apple placed there by Governor Grisler, and by that means saved his life,” &c.
This idea is sublimely conveyed, in very elegant Latin, in a poem by M. Derrailly, which gained the prize at the ancient University of Paris.
Summaque sulphureus jam turbo in tecta ruebat ;
FULTON was great: he made his steamboats go
And here I stand to speak his eulogy, &c.
who furnished the colours and varnish, were placed on the list of honorary members.
During the excitement produced at this period, a young lady unfortunately fell among a parcel of raspberry and gooseberry bushes ; whence she was extricated by the prompt and chivalrous exertions of the same gentleman who formerly jumped into the Chesapeake bay, and rescued Miss from a watery grave, in a high sea, when the steamboat was going at the rate of ten knots an hour.
An awful pause ensued. Another member arose, and after stating that he was totally unprepared, owing to his extensive correspondence, and his numerous avocations, he drew from his pocket a curious manuscript, (something like Pope's autograph of the Iliad,) and commenced in a clear and manly tone the following
Discourse. Ladies and Gentlemen-At the earnest solicitation of the dis tinguished personage who this day presides over our festival, I have reluctantly consented to deliver an address, explanato, ry of the objects of the society.
Detrudit rutilos vis imperiosa paratam
The birthday of Linnæus is a day of no ordinary moment: My enlightened audience will, doubtless, be gratified to learn, that the parent society at Paris have, at length, determined the true etymon of the name of the immortal Swede. His original name was Lin or Linn ; but, as it is customary among the Scandinavians, to annex a Latin termination to the vernacular appellative, he is known to the learned world chiefly under the name of Linnæus. Memorable instances of this kind are not wanting in our own highly favoured city, (excuse my partiality ; I ought to be a citizen of the world.) Thus we have Bogardus, Arcularius, &c. &c. altered from their primitives. -(applause). But not to exhaust the patience of my Fredonian brethren, I beg leave to refer them, for a more ample elucidation of this subject, to the 4th vol. second hexade of the Medical Repository ; a work conducted for more than twenty years, by the person who now addresses you : a work, allow me to add, which is characterized by that ornament of science, the illustrious Carl Bang of Dusseldorf, as an “opus mirabile, gaza magna Naturce," and other equally flattering, and perhaps not undeserved compliments. This recals to my mind an elegant Latin epistle, addressed to me, on the same work, by the venerable and immortal Wepferius, of Breda:
Noscitur Ungue Leo: sed tu clarissim' MITCHILLI
Evadis docto, nobilis ingenio.
Porro Hoc, ingenium nobile, laudat Opus.
Quod de monstrosis, ut scribere perplacuit.
(Three cheers from the ladies.)
* For the benefit of the country gentlemen, we subjoin a free translation of the above. Of course it is the only species of translation that should be tolerated in our free republic.
We know the lion by his claw;
by lectures upon law,
Of steamboats, per last mails;
And Scoresby by his whales.
that delightful being: