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Page 47,-Note, 6th line from bottom, for framed plate, read frame and plate.
64,-line 1, for necessary consequence of, read perfectly consistent with.
80,-Exper. 25, line 2, bd.
ba. 83,--line 19 from top, DE.
De. 96,- for Attractive force, read every where Attractive force of the free
295, line 6, for Gen.—EAGLES, insert Subg.-Eagles.
- 23, - 20,
Note-Mr. Prideaux's paper having been printed two years, and written more than three, contains many geological terms which have gradually become obsolete ; but as they are still understood, it has not been thought necessary to particularize them.
A DISCOURSE, DELIVERED AT THE OPENING OF THE
PLYMOUTH ATHENÆUM, FEBRUARY 4TH, 1819, BY
Omnes in universum monitos volumus, ut scientiæ veros fines cogitent ; nec eam aut animi causa petant, aut ad contentionem, aut ut alios despiciant, aut ad commodum, aut ad famam, aut ad potentiam, aut hujusmodi inferiora, sed ad meritum et usus vitæ, eamque in Charitate perficiant et regant.
THE occasion on which we now meet, is most interesting to all who have watched the progress of the Plymouth Institution with a friendly solicitude. It is impossible to take possession of this Athenæum, the result of your perseverance, and the public memorial of your zeal, without feeling satisfied, that the classical elegance of this edifice will not be suffered to remain an evidence of hopes, rather than of attainments; but that every exertion will be used to secure all that it seems to promise. For, without any extravagant estimate of the past, you may cherish the remembrance of your efforts hitherto, however unpretending, as contributions towards the local facilities of improvement; and you cannot but look with confidence to the stronger claims to support, which a continuance of such exertions must enable your Society to prefer. It may be your praise to have given stability to an Institution uniting
social with intellectual enjoyment, and affording motives to exertion, and means of acquiring knowledge, which seldom stimulate and assist the labours of the solitary student.Neither could I be accused of unjustifiable partiality, if I were to assert, that local attachment may be allowed to influence our anticipations. It cannot be unworthy our zeal to promote the intellectual character of a town, distinguished by its national importance, and by the residence of men, estimable in literary accomplishments, and the pursuits of science and the arts. It is however so easy to transgress the limits which separate the reasonable from the visionary, that we cannot be too cautious in our speculations on the future, if we take care not to damp the ardour which is essential to the continuance of energy. Will it be said that I go beyond the bounds of allowable expectation, when I confess, that surrounded as I pow am, by many respectable individuals, united by the common desire of improving the best possession of their nature, I foresee much invaluable enjoyment gladdening the privacy of domestic life; much elevation of character bestowed on social intercourse; many innocent resources afforded to diver. sify the occasional sameness, to relieve the frequent anxieties, and to ennoble the daily pleasures of existence? There are indeed some, who look with less complacency on the progress and effects of mental acquirements; but I have now the satisfaction of addressing those who partake in one feeling of congratulation and encouragement. The very circumstance of our assembling here, proves that we all calculate on the further progress of those powers which have hitherto been progressive ; and that we set a proper value on the increase of our intellectual wealth. Without being misled by any visionary hopes, the experienced possibility of improvement must always afford delight to the benevolent friends of mankind. In thus looking forward to the advancement of society in all rational habits and happiness, we insensibly make the future an object of the most lively interest, for we identify its promises with the most affectionate wishes of our hearts. In our
present attempt to cherish and diffuse the love of knowledge, and to inculcate the inestimable worth of its pleasures, it is impossible to forget that our children may reap where we have sown; that what with us is hope, may with them be reality,
But to secure the benefits that may so reasonably be anticipated, it is necessary that we should keep steadily in view, the great end of all knowledge; and endeavour so to employ the means of its attainment, that we may not deceive ourselves in the pursuit. There is something so sublime in Mind, that it is most difficult to lead it, from the contemplation of its own powers, to that great end for which those powers were designed. Its effects, like those of all invisible and mysterious agents, more frequently excite an indolent feeling of admiration, than encourage profitable inquiry into their moral results. How surpassingly wonderful indeed is that sacred gift of heaven; that inborn excellence of our nature ;-continually active in exploring new regions of thought ;-dilating as it were the limited period of human life, by ever presenting to us the visions of the past or the future; the inexhaustible treasures of recollection, or of hope. The indications of Mind survive our accidental possessions, and perpetuate the wisdom of ages. They breathe from the ruins of Thebes and Palmyra; and after the desert has for centuries resumed its silence and its solitude, we can still discover that it was once enlivened by the dominion of intellect. The lapse of time indeed only augments the sources of mental enjoyment, while it shows us how fragile are all our other possessions. Man is not allowed to involve in the discomfiture of his expectations, that high privilege and principle of his nature, which like the sun, shines above the reach of storms, and though often partially obscured, is always the source of light and life. What is it that attaches us to the records of history, but the evidences of Mind, which they · perpetuate? We look back to the people of ancient fame, and admire the greatness of their actions, because those actions were evident symbols of superior intellect. It is what they