Medal in Honor of the Bicentenary of the Birth of Linnæus, struck by the Swedish Academy of Science. The first copy was awarded Sir Joseph Hooker, who celebrated his ninetieth birthday on June 30.
At the beginning of the twentieth century we have seen Sweden apparently losing prestige by the secession of Norway from the union; and, while we have admired the statesmanship that could accommodate itself with dignity to such a severance without the horrors of a brothers' war, we have seen a people mistrustful of its rulers, fearful of its neighbors, and bitter in its own heart. But in this celebration of the most eminent among her sons we may perceive at least one sign that Sweden is recognizing her true greatness. If she did not fully grasp it before, the homage of the world will have forced on her the truth of the Linnean motto—Famam extendere factis. Deeds, no longer of arms, but of honest labor in the ever-widening field of science. Sweden has received a blow; but the blow has aroused her. She stands up; she throws off the garment of slumber; she takes in her hand with renewed vigor the weapons of the future. Around the shrine of Linnæus all classes gathered together, and during those three bright days in a year of rain, as one paced the streets of Upsala and of Stockholm, beyond the celebration of the past, behind the feasts that welcomed spring, one beheld the renascence of a nation.
How appropriate were the words of Viktor Rydberg's beautiful Cantata as they sounded through the cathedral of Upsala during the impressive promotion of the doctors!
"And yet, if we have fallen down in doubt,
And by the way ye mourn and ponder gravely,
Lift up the banner! flame it out
Once more, and bear it through the desert bravely!
Care not, though ye perceive with piercing eye
A thousand suns from heaven's archway showering!
Care not, though 'neath the scythe of Time devouring,
Like golden seed the starry harvests lie!
All noble thoughts, all love that leads you on,
All beauteous dreams. Time never can see wasting;
These are a harvest garnered from his tasting,
'Tis to Eternity that they belong.
Advance Mankind! Be blithe, be of good cheer;
Since in your breasts ye bear the eternal here!"
What deep meaning too may one not see in the beautiful medal issued by the Royal Swedish Academy of Science! Here is the nature that the Swedes love so profoundly: the mountains in which are buried vast deposits of ore and fertilizing minerals, the woods and fields still unexhausted of their wealth, the waters with hidden incalculable energy. In their midst observes and ponders the naturalist