Miscellany | Published:


Nature volume 71, pages 491494 (23 March 1905) | Download Citation



ON Friday last, March 17, the worlds of science and art combined to do honour to a man who has rendered to both services of the utmost value and of a nature that time cannot diminish—for so long as the human throat is capable of emitting musical sounds, and so long as throats are liable to disease, the great invention of Manuel Garcia will, hold its place among vocalists and laryngologists. The celebration of Señor Garcia's centenary was held in the hall of the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society, Hanover Square, under the direction of Sir Felix Semon, chairman of the Garcia committee. Señor Garcia sat alone on a daïs, while in front of him were ranked the representatives of kings, governments, universities, scientific societies, and his old pupils who had gathered to do him honour. Sir Felix Semon announced that that morning the King had invited Señor Garcia to Buckingham Palace, and with his own hands invested him with the insignia of Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, and had expressed a desire to be represented at the banquet in the evening by his Lord-in-Waiting, Lord Suffield. The Marquis de Villalobar then delivered a congratulatory message from the King of Spain, and added, “In the name of His Majesty and your motherland, I invest you with the Royal Order of Alfonso XII. as a reward of your merits and the services you have rendered to mankind. I desire also to make public the sentiments of my beloved Sovereign and of his Government to King Edward VII. for the distinction he has conferred upon our compatriot, and the hearty gratefulness of Spain to all who have come here to-day to honour Don Manuel Garcia.” Other tributes followed thick and fast during a crowded hour. Prof. Fränkel presented on behalf of the German Emperor the great gold medal of science. Sir Archibald Geikie, Mr. Francis Darwin, and Prof. Halliburton, representing the Royal Society, presented an address, recalling the fact that their Proceedings for March 22, 1855, contained the epoch-making paper in which Señor Garcia laid the foundations of the experimental study of the voice. The Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences, the University of Königsberg, the Victoria University, the Medical Faculty of Heidelberg, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music sent distinguished representatives, who in rapid succession laid before the maestro illuminated addresses in rich profusion, until the table in front of him was heaped. We have not space to give the long list of public institutions and societies, laryngological and other, which brought tribute; but every quarter of the globe was represented, and during the proceedings a constant stream of. telegrams poured in. After the addresses a portrait of Señor Garcia, painted by Mr. Sargent, R.A., and subscribed for by friends and admirers in all parts of the world, was unveiled and presented to him by Sir Felix Semon. The proceedings were concluded by a remarkably eloquent speech by Señor Garcia. In the evening Sefior (now Don) Garcia was entertained at a banquet held in his honour at the Hotel Cecil.

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