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constitution of Geneva. And when his term of office was completed, he resigned entirely all share in the government of his country.
He could not forgive a revolution which could tempt from the culture of intelligence the vigorous offspring of noble and opulent families, to immerse them in business affairs. The recognized superiority of his native city over many others greater in extent and population, he explained, not by its position upon the shores of Lake Léman, nor by the beauty of its surroundings, nor yet by its great trade in watches. attributed all its importance to the brilliant assembly of thinkers, philosophers, writers, and savants who had rendered it illustrious. Vol. taire, Rousseau, Madame de Staël, for instance, would never be forgotten; and the beautiful investigations of Charles Bonnet in natural phi. losophy; the discoveries of Tremblay in regard to polyps; of the blind Huber concerning bees, and his son in respect to the habits of the ant; the Alpine journeys of Horace Benedict de Saussure, one of the founders of geological science; the works of Senebier and of Theodore de Saussure upon the physiology of plants, could not be effaced from the great book of human knowledge without injuring the intellectual prospects of future ages. The academy and the venerable ecclesiastic company had been the soul of Geneva, and he could not see without uueasiness their influence diminish. He was right. Alexander victorious did not save Macedonia from forgetfulness; Athens, so often invaded, has survived her misfortunes, and will always live in the memory of man. War may make slaves and reduce to impotency the limbs of the vanquished, but she cannot touch the human mind nor the imprint it leaves upon the religion, philosopby, letters, science, and art of its masters.
Geneva, like Florence, considered that her real existence lay in the noble minds that made her famous, but the fears of De La Rive for her future were witbout foundation. To the wise generation of the last century and the commencement of the present, to which he belonged, has succeeded a people full of vigor and worthy to occupy the palace raised by the provident city in honor of science. In this privileged country, thanks to the example of our associate and of his assistant laborers, as well as to the liberal institutions inspired by bim, the youthful representatives of noble and ancient families are more ready to look upon fortune as a means of advancing knowledge than to value learning as an assistance in the acquirement of material prosperity.
The interests of Auguste De La Rive were not all centered in Geneva. A large share of his thoughts and affections were reserved for Présinge, an estate of considerable extent, ancient tenure of the dukes of Savoy. The family of La Rive had been in possession of this patriarchal domain for several centuries, and for generations the surrounding agricultural population were benefited by the influence of its amiable representatives. Gaspard De La Rive and his son no doubt did much to foster the
hatred of display, the active benevolence, absence of pride, and aversion to pedantry, which are characteristic in Savoy of the habits and manners of the gentleman.
His quiet life in this peaceful retreat was troubled by the material speculations of the age, which he regarded with more solicitude than most of his countrymen. Attached to the truths of the Christian religion, he was a member of the Protestant Church of Geneva, but his respect was great for the Roman Catholic faith, which was professed by many of his relations and friends, and by the larger part of the resident population in the neighborhood of Présinge, among whom he lived, loving and beloved, sharing all their interests, moral and religious, even to the building of their church. In what times of religious disorder we live, he said, and how science is implicated. In our youth, full of enthu. siasm for her, we little thought a day would come when she would deny the assertion of Bossuet, "Were man openly to declare himself God, his pride would revolt at such presumption; but to call himself God, and yet feel himself to be mortal, is to shame even the blindest arrogance."
The spirit of tolerance, so natural to our associate, led him to avoid everything that would wound the convictions of others; but there came a time when to keep silent was to deny his faith, and he did not wish the world to think that those who advocated materialism in the name of science were sure of the approbation and complicity of all savants. It is by no means the case, he said, with decision, and it is our duty to say 80. Science is great; her role is glorious; but her domain is circumscribed. She commands matter, but has no control over mind. We can better explain the course of the stars than the astronomers of the time of Homer, but bave added nothing to our knowledge of the human pas. sions he so vividly portrayed. Our ideas in regard to heat are more certain than those of Eschylus, but concerning oppression and wrong they have not changed since the protestations against tyranny and brutal force of the author of Prometheus Bound. We are better acquainted than Virgil with the action of the heart in the circulation of the blood, but have discovered no new sentiment of pity or tenderness. Man does not need science to sound the depths of the human soul, and the study of the physical forces shows that between them and the moral attributes there is nothing in common.
Many associations connected De La Rive with England, formed during his residence as minister in that country, and with France he was united by friendship with many of its distinguished men, among whom were M. de Tocqaeville and M. de Montalembert. With Savoy and Italy ancient family relations had been revived and strengthened by an affectionate and close intimacy with his relative, the count of Cavour, who was, from his earliest infancy, accustomed to spend every year several weeks at Présinge. In early life the young savant and the future statesman who was to exercise so great an influence upon the destinies of Italy, were for a long time in perfect accord upon the ground of liberal ideas. Surrounded by influences unfavorable to their convictions, they enjoyed together the forbidden fruit; and sometimes in the evening, in the parlor of Présinge, while their elders slept by the fireside, would scandalize the feminine portion of the family circle by exaggerated expression of their opinions, which their troubled audience dared not oppose for fear of awakening those in whom these views would have excited the utmost consternation. In later years this union of sentiment was gradually dissolved, Cavour, through struggling with absolute governments, became more and more a partisan of liberty, while De La Rive, disgusted with the unreasonable demands of democracy, united himself more and more closely with the conservative party. Their friendship, however, was never disturbed, and if the bust of the statesman occupied in the parlor of our associate a place of distinction opposite that of the celebrated Rossi, on the other hand Cavour never could speak of the savant except in terms of tender affection and profound respect.
M. Auguste De La Rive was, to an unusual degree, favored in the circumstances of his life. The scion of an illustrious family, of a spotless name, educated by a father of large heart and noble understanding, master of a fortune which allowed free pursuit of his studies, and residing in a country where he was appreciated at his proper value, he passed his days in unbroken prosperity and in the quiet enjoyment of the pleasures derived from a love for letters and the fine arts, the culture of science, the practice of benevolence, devotion to his country, and the joys of domestic life. When, after having long been a correspondent of the French Academy, he was made a member, he wrote to me, “I have nothing now to wish for; my desires are more than satisfied.” A portion of the year he passed in his city residence, the remainder of the time in the country at Présinge, and in both places he exercised a generous hospitality. Favorable as destiny had been to him in life, his death was followed by a series of distressing events. In one short month, his brother, who was united to him by ties of the tenderest affection, his relative and friend M. Jules Francois Pictet, one of the most eminent naturalists of the day, two of his sons-in-law, and Madame Quetelet, who in her sorrow survived him only a few days, had also passed away. As we visit his deserted laboratories, the scene of so many interesting discov. eries, and wander, in imagination, through his two abodes, so full of happy memories; through the silent halls whose echoes might repeat the noble words of one of the greatest philosophers of the century, the heart is oppressed with grief. But we remember that the eminently good man, the illustrious and venerated savant, whose presence we seek in vain in these now melancholy abodes of sorrow, will live forever in the ineffaceable record of the past. Auguste De La Rive, far from the belief that, on leaving this world, he would sink into nothing, as the ephemeral vapor is dissipated in the rays of the sun, placed full confidence in a future reserved for man, in the hope of another and higher state of existence. There is consolation in the thought that he leaves behind him two sons worthy to be his successors, as well as a son-inlaw, and three daugbters, whom he regarded with great tenderness, and who will cherish with veneration and transmit to his descendants his noble example of patriotism, benevolence, and respect for labor. But the homage we render him is not confined to this world; it mounts to the happy regions where he dwells an immortal soul, and worthy of his immortality.