Adams Papers

Monday [24 April.]

Monday [24 April.]

Viewed the British Musaeum. Dr. Grey who attended Us spoke very slightly of Buffon. Said “he was full of mauvais Fois. No Dependence upon him. Three out of four of his Quotations not to be found. That he had been obliged to make it his Business to examine the Quotations. That he had not found a quarter of them. That Linnaeus was quoted from early Editions long after the last Edition was public of 1766 the 12th, which was inexcuseable. He did not think Buffon superiour to Dr. Hill. Both had Imagination &c.”—This is partly national Prejudice and Malignity, no doubt.1

1This visit was arranged by Benjamin Vaughan. “Dr. Gray makes a private party for Mr. V:, and of course will be happy to see Mrs. and Miss Adams, with Col. Jefferson and Col. Smith” (Vaughan to JA, 20 April 1786, Adams Papers). Their guide was Edward Whitaker Gray, botanist and keeper of the collections of natural history and antiquities at the British Museum (DNB description begins Leslie Stephen and Sidney Lee, eds., The Dictionary of National Biography, New York and London, 1885–1900; 63 vols. plus supplements. description ends ).

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