Academy Speech

By R. H. Hutton
The Spectator (May 6, 1876)

[531] Professor Huxley made a clever speech at the Academy dinner of Saturday. It is wonderfully difficult to say anything new on those occasions, everything is so used-up, and thought is so restricted by the necessity of answering to the "toast." The Professor, however, speaking for science, said that he would be generous, and tell the Academy that among the primates artists ranked first. Beasts can do everything except draw–"If I cannot believe that my dog reasons, loves, and hates, how am I to be sure my neighbour does?"–so the order is minerals, plants, animals, men who can't draw, artists. Consequently, "the President of the Academy is the crown and summit of creation." This was happy, but the Professor should have gone a step further, and put above the artists the patrons, who educe the highest order of the primates, and then not only the artists, but the diners, would have been glorified and content.


C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University