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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 48.djvu/367

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BOTANICAL GARDEN OF BUITENZORG.

relate. Huxley was great not because he correctly deciphered the history of a fossil bone, not because he probed deep into the anatomical or physiological mysteries of the living world, nor yet for the reason that he was well-nigh the first—one might say, indeed, the first—to pound the truths and consequences of evolution into the material world, but because in addition to these accomplishments, and much more, he molded the tendencies of modern thought, and to a greater extent than any scientist of his generation with the exception of Charles Darwin. Well could this great philosopher observe that, had it not been for Huxley, the acceptance of the evolutionary hypothesis would have been removed from us by probably at least a generation.

 

THE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF BUITENZORG, JAVA.
By M. ALBERT TISSANDIER.

THE importance of establishing botanical gardens—the utility of which is incontestable—in suitable spots, and particularly in its colonies, has been perceived by nearly every nation. The English, as early as 1786, planted a very fine garden at Calcutta, under the direction of Colonel Robert Hyde; and in 1821 they created the Garden of Peradeniya, near Kandy, in Ceylon. The French Government has laid out interesting botanical gardens at Saigon, in Cochin China, and on the island of Réunion.

The Dutch established in 1817 the Garden of Buitenzorg, on the island of Java, and have made it the finest in the world. It is situated on one of the long ridges that descend on the north from the Salak Mountain to two hundred and eighty metres above the level of the sea. In 1857 the garden was arranged by M. Hasskari, botanist at the time, and at the suggestion of M. Diard, director of a French Natural History Society, into sections, in which the plants of the same family were grouped together. As a result of this scientific organization, which then existed only incompletely in other gardens, the establishment took the first rank. It possesses other considerable advantages growing out of the exceptional importance of its collections of all tropical species, and the generous hospitality with which it receives all foreign naturalists who resort to it for study. The present director, Dr. Treub, an accomplished botanist, has labored constantly for the improvement of the plantations. The garden has been much enlarged within recent years.

The Dutch Government has comprehended from the very foundation of this establishment that a single botanical garden would not be enough, and has supplemented it with annexes. The gardens supported by the state are divided into three parts: the