Page:Curtis's Botanical Magazine, Volume 73 (1847).djvu/13

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and shortly after, this gentleman published the same account, with important additions, in the Miscellaneous Notices of the 'Botanical Register', whence copious extracts appeared in numerous papers and journals. Nevertheless, that able botanist had to acknowledge, that the specimens in the possession of the Geographical Society, from which his generic and specific character (aided by Schomburgk's coloured drawings) had been drawn up, were in a very decayed condition, owing to the manner in which they had been packed. They were, however, he says, botanically examinable; and such he has proved them to be by the accuracy of his descriptive character, and by the correct result at which he arrived, viz., that the Victoria is truly and generically distinct from Euryale, which in its similar habit, inferior germen, and the prickly nature of the foliage, petioles, peduncles, and ovaries, it so completely resembles, that, as has been previously observed, both Poeppig and Guillemin unhesitatingly referred it to that genus.

Still it is obvious that, as far as the public was concerned, with the exception of individuals versed in scientific Botany, hardly any one could be gratified with the sight of a figure, and still fewer with that of a specimen of this wonderful production. The former was only known in the portfolio of the 'London Botanical Society ', where we believe the original drawing, made by Sir R. Schomburgk, is deposited, along with a letter[1] addressed to that body, and published by Mr. Gray in the 22nd vol. of the 'Magazine of Zoology and Botany (Edinburgh, 1838, p. 440.)'; also by the twenty-five copies of the beautiful, but unpublished plates of Dr. Lindley, above mentioned; to which we must add a splendid private delineation of the plant, of the natural size, placed in the alcove of a greenhouse at Chiswick, which has more than once been thrown open to public view by the noble proprietor, on the days of the Horticultural Society's fêtes; while, with regard to specimens, actually none existed, save the imperfect ones already alluded to, which have been presented by the Geographical Society of London to Dr. Lindley.

But before proceeding to speak of the fortunate circumstances which gave us possession of specimens, and with them the power of representing this noble plant, it is only right to mention what the French botanists have written upon the subject. Dr. Lind-

  1. Under the title of "Dr. Robt. H. Schomburgk's description of Victoria Regina, Gray ": but unaccompanied by any botanical definition. Dr. Lindley's specific name is "regia," and this appears to have been published in a very early number of the "Botanical Register for 1838'; while Mr. Gray's namer "Regina" is given in a later number of the 'Magazine of Natural History' for the same year.