Page:Biographies of Scientific Men.djvu/100

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BIOGRAPHIES OF SCIENTIFIC MEN

Linnæus there was little or no attempt to illuminate the science of botany from the standpoint of evolution. Advance, however, in this direction was commenced late in the Victorian reign.

In 1730 Linnæus was appointed Lecturer on Botany at Upsala. The vivacity and novelty of his lectures charmed his audiences, and he was greatly esteemed by the college authorities.

The Royal Academy of Sciences sent Linnæus to collect the flora and fauna of Lapland, and on 17th May, 1732, at the age of twenty-five, he started on his ever memorable journey with only ten pounds. Riding and walking were the modes of conveyance. Hardships and difficulties surrounded him; rivers, bogs, forests, and want of food, however, did not stop his enthusiasm. "Nothing ventured, nothing won." Trees, shrubs, herbs, animals, mountains, etc., became the objects of his observation and attention. He used to rest his weary limbs in Laplanders' huts. It can be well imagined that the journey was a lonely and perilous one, when it is borne in mind that Lapland in those days comprised only thirty-two scattered villages.

Linnæus travelled over four thousand miles, and brought back to Sweden over a hundred plants previously unknown. He also studied the fauna and inhabitants of this inhospitable country; and in 1748 he published a book on his travels.