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originality of thought, which strongly marked his intellectual character. From his first outset in science, he had pursued the track of experiment and observation, and it was not till after being long exercised in this school, that he entered on the field of general and abstract speculation. He combined accordingly, through his whole life, the powers of an accurate observer, and of a sagacious theorist, and was as cautious and patient in the former character, as he was bold and rapid in the latter.

Long and continued practice had increased his powers of observation to a high degree of perfection; so that, in discriminating mineral substances, and in seizing the affinities or differences among geological appearances, he had an acuteness hardly to be excelled. The eulogy so happily conveyed in the Italian phrase of osservatore oculatissimo, might most justly be applied to him; for, with an accurate eye for perceiving the characters of natural objects, he had in equal perfection the power of interpreting their signification, and of decyphering those ancient hieroglyphics which record the revolutions of the globe. There may have been other mineralogists, who could describe as well the fracture, the figure, the smell, or the colour of a specimen; but there have been few who equalled him in reading the characters, which tell not only what a fossil is, but what it has been, and

declare the series of changes through which it has passed. His expertness in this art, the fineness of his observations, and the ingenuity of his reasonings, were truly admirable. It would, I am persuaded, be difficult to find in any of the sciences a better illustration of the profound maxims established by Bacon, in his Prerogativæ Instantiarum, than were often afforded by Dr Hutton's mineralogical disquisitions, when he exhibited his specimens, and discoursed on them with his friends. No one could better apply the luminous instances to elucidate the obscure, the decisive to interpret the doubtful, or the simple to unravel the complex. None was more skilful in marking the gradations of nature, as she passes from one extreme to another; more diligent in observing the continuity of her proceedings, or more sagacious in tracing her footsteps, even where they were most lightly impressed.

With him, therefore, mineralogy was not a mere study of names and external characters, (though he was singularly well versed in that study also,) but it was a sublime and important branch of physical science, which had for its object to unfold the connection between the past, the present, and the future conditions of the globe. Accordingly, his collection of fossils was formed for explaining the principles of geology, and for illustrating the changes which mineral substances have gone through, in the passage which, according to all theories, they

have made, from a soft or fluid, to a hard and solid state, and from immersion under the ocean, to elevation above its surface. The series of these changes, and the relative antiquity of the different steps by which they have been effected, were the objects which he had in view to explain; and his cabinet, though well adapted to this end, with regard to other purposes was very imperfect. They who expect to find, in a collection, specimens of all the species, and all the varieties, into which a system of artificial arrangement may have divided the fossil kingdom, will perhaps turn fastidiously from one that is not remarkable either for the number or brilliancy of the objects contained in it. They, on the other hand, will think it highly interesting, who wish to reason concerning the natural history of minerals, and who are not less eager to become acquainted with the laws that govern, than with the individuals that compose, the fossil kingdom.

The loss sustained by the death of Dr Hutton was aggravated, to those who knew him, by the consideration of how much of his knowledge had perished with himself, and, notwithstanding all that he had written, how much of the light collected by a long life of experience and observation, was now completely extinguished. It is indeed melancholy to reflect, that with all who make proficiency in the sciences founded on nice and delicate observation, something of this sort must unavoidably

happen. The experienced eye, the power of perceiving the minute differences, and fine analogies, which discriminate or unite the objects of science; and the readiness of comparing new phenomena with others already treasured up in the mind ; these are accomplishments which no rules can teach, and no precepts can put us in possession of. This is a portion of knowledge which every man must acquire for himself, and which nobody can leave as an inheritance to his successor.

It seems, indeed, as if nature had in this instance admitted an exception to the rule, by which she has ordained the perpetual accumulation of knowledge among civilized men, and had destined a considerable portion of science continually to grow up and perish with the individual.

A circumstance which greatly distinguished the intellectual character of the philosopher of whom we now speak, was an uncommon activity and ardour of mind, upheld by the greatest admiration of whatever in science was new, beautiful, or sublime. The acquisitions of fortune, and the enjoyments which most directly address the senses, do not call up more lively expressions of joy in other men, than hearing of a new invention, or being made acquainted with a new truth, would, at any time, do in Dr Hutton. This sensibility to intellectual pleasure was not confined to a few objects, nor to the sciences which he particularly cultivat

ed: he would rejoice over Watt's improvements on the steam-engine, or Cook's discoveries in the South Sea, with all the warmth of a man who was to share in the honour or the profit about to accrue from them. The fire of his expression, on such occasions, and the animation of his countenance and manner, are not to be described; they were always seen with great delight by those who could enter into his sentiments, and often with great astonishment by those who could not.

With this exquisite relish for whatever is beautiful and sublime in science, we may easily conceive what pleasure he derived from his own geological speculations. The novelty and grandeur of the objects offered by them to the imagination, the simple and uniform order given to the whole natural history of the earth, and, above all, the views opened of the wisdom that governs nature, are things to which hardly any man could be insensible; but to him they were matter, not of transient delight, but of solid and permanent happiness. Few systems, indeed, were better calculated than his, to entertain their author with such noble and magnificent prospects; and no author was ever more disposed to consider the enjoyment of them, as the full and adequate reward of his labours.

The great range which he had taken in science has sufficiently appeared, from the account already

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