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pleased to allude to me individually, when first we became acquainted on the shores of Ionia, and also as connected with Sir James Brooke's exertions in promoting the extension of geographical knowledge in the Indian Archipelago. I also am desirous of expressing how gratified I feel at having been invited to attend here to-day, as the representative of my friend the Rajah of Sarāwak, on this interesting and important occasion.
“ It was my good fortune to be much associated with that great man during the last two years of his unequalled career in the East; it was also my good fortune to be selected by Rear-Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane, the Commander-in-Chief in the Indian Seas, to take possession, in the name of The Queen, of the Island of Labuan, over which Sir James Brooke now rules ; an island which, though small and insignificant in itself, yet, from its position at the mouth of the river on which stands the capital of Borneo Proper; from its excellent harbour; from the large vein of coal which it contains in its bosom, and from other local circumstances, will, we may reasonably anticipate, ere many years pass over, form a valuable commercial establishment in that quarter of the globe. From that island, as a general centre, we may also predict that many expeditions will shortly set forth with the grand object of extending our geographical and geological knowledge of the neighbouring countries, and, under the guidance of the master mind of its founder and governor, we may surely look forward to the happiest results, and thus, by imperceptible advances, make ourselves acquainted with much that will be valuable to science in general.
“ Mr. President, feeling enthusiastically as I do every thing connected with Sir James Brooke, it is difficult for me to resist the temptation, which the opportunity of speaking now offers me, of dwelling at some length on the many and great services performed by my distinguished friend for the benefit of his country and for the advancement of civilization; but I feel that it would be out of my province to do more on this occasion than express my admiration of the able and correct statement which you have yourself just given of the general character of Sir James Brooke's mission to Celebes and Borneo. As connected with the object for which I am here to-day, I may also state that I was engaged with Sir James Brooke in all those extensive operations which terminated in the total expulsion of the pirate communities from the N.W. coast of Borneo, and which placed the seaboard of that magnificent island in a state of security; the practical result of which has been, that on the same ground where, only two years since, that zealous officer Sir Edward Belcher met with every obstacle, and was obliged to hurry from station to station at the risk of the loss of his instruments and even of his life, there is now not only no opposition from the natives, but even a desire to afford every assistance to the officer employed on surveying duty in that quarter.
" It now only remains for me to add, that in frequent conversations held with Sir James Brooke, I have ever heard him express himself in terms of warmth and anxiety for the extension of geographical knowledge in the Indian Archipelago ; indeed, with the exception of the
two leading and animating passions of his mind (if I may so express myself), namely, the gradual civilization of our semi-barbarous brethren in those seas, and the opening of a new field for the commercial enterprise of his own great country, the progress of geographical discovery has been one of the grand ideas which occupied him from the commencement of his hazardous voyage, and which he cherished with the same enthusiasm which has marked every other act of his extraordinary life.
66 You will then, Mr. President, easily comprehend how gratified Sir James Brooke will be when he receives this testimony of the feelings of this distinguished Society towards him. He will, I am assured, receive this valuable token of the estimation in which his services have been held by this Society with every sentiment of gratitude. It will be a proof to him, that although his labours have been carried on at the distance of half the globe, those labours on behalf of science have not been in vain ; he will know that the eye of a small but scientific body of his fellow-countrymen has been anxiously watching his proceedings through the many years of his voluntary exile, and, at the proper time and season, have offered to him the greatest reward it is in their power to bestow.
" This gift will, indeed, be an earnest and still further encouragement to Sir James Brooke to continue those services so long as Providence continues to him the blessing of health, and the Patron's Gold Medal will, I am satisfied, ever remain in his family as a memorial of the honour now conferred on him by the Council of the Royal Geographical Society."
Delivered at the Anniversary Meeting on the 22nd May, 1848,
By W. J. HAMILTON, Esq.,
GENTLEMEN,–In conformity with the practice now for some years established by my predecessors in this Chair, I proceed to lay before you a statement of the progress made in geographical knowledge during the past year. And although it may, perhaps, appear that the results have hardly equalled our expectations, and that the amount of geographical discovery falls short, in some respects at least, of that made during former periods, I think you will agree with me when I say, that much has been done both by our own countrymen and by foreigners to mark the epoch we are now celebrating as one not altogether devoid of interest or novelty, and as one which will add fresh laurels to those who have already distinguished themselves in a career in which they may be justly called the pioneers of an enlightened civilization.
. But before proceeding to those matters which form the main feature of my task, I must detain you for a short time, while I refer to those amongst our associates whose loss we have to lament, who have more particularly distinguished themselves by their exertions in the field, or their less active but not less meritorous investigations in the closet.
OBITUARY. : We have to lament the loss of three distinguished foreign honorary members of our Society-Count Gråberg of Hemsö, Major-General Visconti, and Professor Magnussen of Copenhagen. In the two former we have, I regret to say, lost two of our most valued and useful correspondents. From them we were in the habit of regularly receiving the most correct and detailed information of the progress of our science, or of whatever related to it, from Florence and from Naples.
Count James Gråberg de Hemsö was born at Gannarfve, in the Swedish island of Gothland, the 7th of May, 1776. After receiving an excellent education from his father, President of the Court of Appeal in Gothland, he entered the merchant service at the age of 16, and visited England, Portugal and America. In the year 1793 he served on board a British man-of-war, and in 1794 commanded a gunboat at the capture of the fort of Calvi in Corsica. When about to obtain the rank of Lieutenant he was obliged, in consequence of a duel, to leave the service, and retired to Genoa. In 1800 he was attached to the Swedish Legation, in Italy, as Private Secretary to M. de Laggerswärd, and devoted himself to his favourite studies of statistics, mediæval history, ethnography, and philology. He then became Swedish Vice-Consul at Genoa, and in 1815 was appointed Secretary to the Consulate at Tangiers. In 1822 he was compelled to fly from Tangiers, and to take refuge in Gibraltar; in 1823 the King of Sweden named him Consul at Tripoli, but not meeting with the support he expected from his own Government, he obtained permission, in 1828, to retire from his post and to reside in Florence, where he had remained since that period, devoting his time to the pursuit of his favourite studies, amassing a valuable and extensive library, and writing memoirs on the different subjects connected with his studies. A catalogue of his works, published in 1837, thus enumerates 112 distinct performances :- Works printed separately, 27; poetical works, 8; academical memoirs, 15; articles in periodicals and journals, 62. These were written in no less than eight different languages, viz., Italian 76, French 24, English 4, Latin 3, Swedish 2, German, Portuguese, and Arabic, 1 each. Amongst these numerous works I may mention his 6 Annali di Geografia e di Statistica, full of useful and curious information, and his “Specchio del imperio di Marocco,' the result of a residence of six years at Tangiers. Many papers by him are to be found in the "Memoirs of the Geographical Society of Paris,' and in the seventh volume of our own Journal is an interesting communication from him, with a vocabulary of names of places, &c. in the empire of Marocco.
General Ferdinand Visconti was born at Palermo in 1772. Whilst still at the military college he was arrested and confined, without any accusation, in the dungeons of Pantellaria. Although liberated in 1801, he was obliged to fly to Milan, where he entered the corps of engineers, and rapidly distinguished himself. He was charged by the Emperor Napoleon with the construction of a new large military and