RECORD: Anon. 1882. [Obituary] The late Mr. Darwin. The Times 3 May: 10.

REVISION HISTORY: Scanned by John van Wyhe, transcribed (single key) by AEL Data. RN1


[page] 10

THE LATE MR. DARWIN.

At the scientific meeting of the Zoological Society, yesterday evening, before the commencement of the proceedings, the president, Professor Flower said,—The minutes read recall the fact that at our last meeting we were honoured by a communication from Dr. Darwin, probably his last contribution to that science to which he devoted his life-long labours. No one who heard that paper, showing as it did no sign of faltering from that eager interest which he had always manifested in a subject which he had made peculiarly his own, expected that not 24 hours would elapse before those labours would be brought to a close. During the fortnight that has passed the whole world has been moved at the loss it has sustained, and his work and his character have, more than any other theme, filled the minds of thinking people of all countries, classes, creeds, and occupations. We who humbly follow him in cultivating the science he adorned must feel elevated at the sight of the full recognition accorded to his work. The general acceptance of Darwin as one who has exercised a powerful influence upon the whole realm of human thought, the cordial reception of his remains in our magnificent Abbey, among the illustrious men of whom our country is proud, are triumphs in the history of zoology, for it was mainly zoological observation which led to those philosophical speculations which have made his name famous. The nation's grief at his loss has already found eloquent and feeling expression in many quarters; the resources of our language seem to have been exhausted in bearing testimony to his worth. No words that I could find would add anything to what has been so well said by others, and surely here, if an any place in the world, among those who are always occupied with subjects the pursuit of which has been so profoundly modified by his writings, and among many who loved him as a personal friend, nothing is needed but to mention his name to call forth the strongest feelings of admiration for his work and reverence for character. If it is not given to any of us to emulate him in brilliancy of scientific induction, or to light upon discoveries that will change the current of human ideas, we can at least endeavour to follow the example he has set us of patient perseverance in observation, scrupulous accuracy of statement, deference for the opinions and feelings of others, candour towards opponents, and of that invariable modesty and gentleness of demeanour which shed such a charm around his public as well as his private life.


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Citation: John van Wyhe, editor. 2002-. The Complete Work of Charles Darwin Online. (http://darwin-online.org.uk/)

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