Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/274

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

aberrations of those who take refuge under his name." M. Robin made an argument which presents a singular appearance now, in view of the hosts of minute but important facts which Mr. Darwin has showered upon science since it was made, that, in respect of demonstrable facts which he had introduced, there would be a hundred zoölogists who should have precedence over him. If from his publications "we eliminate the views, neither the reality nor falseness of which is demonstrable, and which are therefore not objects of science, there remains to him a share of titles which is inferior to that represented by the well-demonstrated scientific data introduced by M. Bischoff; there remain to him even fewer titles to our suffrages than to any of the savants who are placed on an equality with him in our list of presentations." Mr. Darwin was not elected. His name came before the Academy again, on a nomination to be a foreign correspondent, in 1872, and received the same support and the same opposition as two years before. He was rejected—receiving only fifteen votes, to thirty-two cast for Mr. Loewen, of Stockholm. His time came at last to receive the recognition of French men of science. He was elected a corresponding foreign member in the zoölogical section in 1878, by a vote of twenty-six to fourteen, after a rapid change in his favor, and three years after having received a similar recognition from the Imperial Academy of Science of Vienna. On the occasion of his sixty-ninth birthday, in 1877, he received, as a testimonial from Germany, an elegant album, containing the photographs of one hundred and fifty-four men of science in that country, addressed "To the Reformer of Natural History, Charles Darwin," and a similar album containing the photographs of two hundred and seventeen distinguished professors and lovers of science in the Netherlands, accompanied with an account of the progress of opinion in that country with respect to evolution, as a proof which, it expressed, "we are persuaded, can not but afford you some satisfaction that the seeds by you so liberally strewed have also fallen on fertile soil in the Netherlands." Mr. Darwin replied to the latter testimonial modestly, acknowledging his obligations to previous observers of facts, and adding: "I suppose that every worker at science occasionally feels depressed, and doubts whether what he has published has been worth the labor which it has cost him; but for the remaining years of my life, whenever I want cheering, I will look at the portraits of my distinguished co-workers in the field of science, and remember their generous sympathy." In 1877 the University of Cambridge, amid circumstances of great enthusiasm, conferred the degree of LL. D. on him in a Latin oration, in which his work was neatly summarized, and which closed, "Thou, also, who hast so learnedly illustrated the laws of nature, be our doctor of laws." A subscription was afterward inaugurated at Cambridge for the erection of a permanent memorial of him, which it was agreed should be a picture, to be painted by Mr. W. M. Richmond.