Page:An Essay on the Age and Antiquity of the Book of Nabathaean Agriculture.djvu/127

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I am proud to ascend into this chair, the most ancient in the College of France, conspicuous for eminent men in the sixteenth century, and occupied in our own day by a scholar of such merit as M. Quatremère. In founding the College of France as a sanctuary for free science and learning, King Francis the First laid down as a constitutive law of this great establishment, complete independence of criticism, unbiased search after truth and impartial discussion, bounded by no rules but those of good taste and sincerity. Such, gentlemen, is precisely the spirit which I would