« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
of the Society and its work; and secondly, to show that it has done very valuable work for humanity.
I should be glad if a third should be attained. The Society has made Manchester a scientific centre for a whole century, and has done much to dispose it to seek a University, and given it a right to demand one-a right that has been conceded; but at no time has it ever received the slightest assistance from without, and the world has allowed the scien. tific men within the circle to do their own work unaided. Of this no complaint has been made ; but now, from some change not to be discussed, it is considered that investigators require external aid ; and I think it fair to say—and I do so without consulting with the Society—that the giving public would do well to consider the claims of this institution. The Society requires money for several purposes, and the account of its work is poor if I have not shown that from its beginning it has had among its leading men such as might be expected to be among the foremost to make good use of that kind of assistance. The chief demand at present comes to us from a want of room ; our books are increasing, and we can neither afford them sufficient shelter nor engage the services of one who can give enough of his time. Hitherto the work, and that not small, has been
done entirely by honorary or voluntary labour, and Mr. Bailey and Mr. Windsor have done much, whilst we now claim very greedily a large share of Mr. Nicholson's time. There is another point of even greater import
Our fees are two guineas per annum, besides an equal sum for entrance. This sum is sufficient to exclude many of the younger scientific men. It ought to be our aim rather to encourage such. Besides this, it would be much more honourable to be a member of a scientific society if no payment were requisite beyond scientific contributions, and I should be glad if we could rather show an example of electing many ordinary members without waiting till they sought for admission, in addition to honorary members elected as at present, looking rather to the intellectual gain than the help to be derived from the revenue, Of the younger men who are inclined to be original workers, we might wisely add a considerable number, and the community would receive more direct benefit from our work, and take more interest in it. I should be glad to see the Society able to aid those who show themselves able to originate ideas and ready to work them out.
In any case it would be better if we could afford to lower the subscription. I have always had an objection to the policy we have maintained, but the difficulty has been to inaugurate a more liberal
R. ANGUS SMITH.
MANCHESTER : May 9, 1882.
NOTE.--I have to thank my young assistant, Mr. Frank Scudder, for making a complete list of all the members and officers of the Society for the whole period of its existence, also an Index.
The Society is not in the smallest degree responsible for any opinion given in this volume. I am told of some grave errors (I believe about the Warrington and Manchester Academies); but as the same gentleman who complains refuses to point them out, I must leave them for others to correct, if they are worth correcting.
A Universal Written Character and Visible Speech, 193; &c.
James Watt and Smoke-burning, 236 ; Benjamin Franklin,
J. F. Ekman, 287 ; Mr. John Moore, 288; The Potato Dis-
Officers and Members from 1781 ; Presidents, 397 ; Vice-