Terre Napoleon. A History Of French Explorations And Projects In Australia By Ernest Scott














































































 -  His fertile and curious
mind, we cannot doubt, would have enriched the scientific literature of
France with many other monographs - Page 260
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His Fertile And Curious Mind, We Cannot Doubt, Would Have Enriched The Scientific Literature Of France With Many Other Monographs.

The deaths at sea of Bernier and Deleuze also deprived the records of the expedition of contributions which they

Would have made on their special lines of research. Collections of specimens and piles of memoranda, uninformed by the intelligence of those to whom their meaning is most apparent, are a barren result.

Peron's biological work was done in accordance with the spirit and principles of Cuvier, who stood at the head of European savants in his own field. "Trained for four years in Cuvier's school," wrote the naturalist, "I had for guide not only his method and his principles, but manuscript instructions that he had had the goodness to write for me on my departure from Europe." Cuvier insisted on the importance of structure and function; "to name well you must know well." The part played by the creature in its own share of the world, its nervous organisation, its life as involved in its form, were essentials upon which he laid stress in his teaching; and he imparted to those who came under his influence a breadth of view, a feeling for the unity of nature, that is quite modern, and has governed all the greatest of his successors. "Not only is each being an organism, the whole universe is one, but many million times more complicated; and that which the anatomist does for a single animal - for the microcosm - the naturalist is to do for the macrocosm, for the universal animal, for the play of this immense aggregation of partial organisms." Detailed research, coupled with an outlook on the whole realm of nature - that was the essential principle of Cuvier's science; and it is because we can recognise in Peron a man who had profitably sat at the feet of the great master, that his death before he had applied his zeal to the material collected with so much labour is the more deeply to be regretted.

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