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of the small band of truth-seeking philosophers, who founded an association which has acquired world-wide renown, and whose members have probably done more than any other body of men to benefit the community by rendering science available for the practical purposes of life.

A few words require to be said with respect to the biographies of some of the Presidents, which may not be thought so full as could be desired; but having devoted much time in search of information respecting them, with generally very indifferent success, I could only arrive at the conclusion, that the subjects of my research were persons who had done little in practical science, and therefore did not enjoy an extended reputation. Happily this remark applies to but two or three of the number; with the rest, the difficulty consisted more in condensing than in collecting the materials at command.

I am well aware that omissions, though not I trust of

any great consequence, will be detected; but without attempting apologies for the sake of conciliating the criticism of the reader, which is his privilege as it is his right, I must remind him, that it was considered more judicious to bring these volumes into a compass of reasonable size, than to extend them to dimensions, which, in these days, could hardly be expected to meet with approval.

It has been deemed advisable to close the history of the Society, with the election of the Duke of Sussex,

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State of Literature and Science in Europe during the Twelfth and Thirteenth

Centuries, Prevalence of Ecclesiastical Authority—Its baneful effect on

Learning-Labours of Barlaam, Petrarch, and Boccaccio-Their zeal

for Classical Literature Restoration of Classical Learning in Italy,

Discovery of Ancient Manuscripts-Patronage of learning by the Medici

Family Philosophy not advanced-Roger Bacon-Other English Philo-

sophers-Leonardo da Vinci-His great philosophical acquirements-

Establishes an Academy of Arts at Milan—Theoretical Reformers of

Science in the Sixteenth Century-Cæsalpinus-Campanella-Ramus-

Bruno-Galileo-Francis Bacon-Establishment of Scientific Societies

-Institution of the Academia Secretorum Naturæ-Academy at Venice

-Accademia dei Lyncei-Della Crusca-Del Cimento—Great number

of Academies and Scientific Institutions founded in Italy—Their quaint

Titles-Establishment of a Society of Antiquaries in England in 1572—

Its dissolution by James I.- Proposition for a Royal Academy in Eng-

land— Curious Scheme for its Incorporation—Charles I. grants a Special

License for establishing a Scientific Institution styled 'Minerva’s Mu-

seum'-Objects of the Institution—Duties of the Professors Scientific

and Literary Societies in Germany—Their brief existence Number of

Books printed in the principal Cities of Europe from the Invention of

Printing to the beginning of the Sixteenth Century-Establishment of

the French Academy--Its subsequent Incorporation with the Academy

of Sciences First Institution for the Investigation of Science out of

Italy established in England-Laplace's Opinion of Scientific Societies.

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