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THE CELL THEORY, PAST AND PRESENT.
In taking the Chair at the First General Meeting of the Scottish Microscopical Society, I would offer to the members my hearty thanks for having done me the honour to choose me as the President under whom the work of the Society is to be inaugurated, and during whose incumbency the Society is to begin to substantiate its claim to have an existence amongst the scientific societies in Scotland. I cannot but think that I owe this honour to a friendly feeling entertained towards me personally by the members, so many of whom I can claim as old pupils, rather than to the special work that I have done in research with the microscope. For although I have been accustomed to use the instrument as an aid to my anatomical studies, yet my attention, more especially of late years, has not been so continuously directed to inquiries in which the microscope is an essential instrument, as has been the case with other members of the Society, who from having specialised their work are more entitled to your
confidence. In making our first public appearance as a Society it will be advisable that I should say a few words in support of our existence, and of the reason why those who have been mainly instrumental in founding the Society have considered that such an association might fill a vacant place and discharge a useful function in this division of the kingdom. The primary object of the Society is to bring into closer communication with each other all who are interested in the use of the microscope, and who are engaged in researches in which this instrument is a necessity. As the employment of the microscope is not limited to any single branch of science, the Society is intended to