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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/494

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and in subsequent life, he derived the benefits of the labors of Lorenzo of Pisa, who had introduced algebra into the universities of Europe; and of Müller and Boehm, who had, by their geometrical researches and theories, demonstrated the rotundity of the earth. With this knowledge, confirmed by observation during his early life as a navigator, and the works of Marco Polo, Columbus projected the voyage which resulted in the discovery of the Western Continent. But printing and the rotundity of the earth were not the only consequences of the studies of book-men in the fifteenth century. We have already mentioned algebra, and have time only to state that the establishment of the first bank at Genoa, the Hanseatic League, the voyage of Vasco de Gama around the Cape of Good Hope, the first working of coal-mines at Newcastle, Norwich, the first drama, the final systematization of musical notation, all took place in the fifteenth century. We should also have shown how the study of æsthetical principles in this and the preceding century, by the societies and guilds of masons and architects, endowed the world with great painters and architects, and sculptors—Benvenuto, Raphael, Angelo, Titian, and many more who have left behind them imperishable monuments of their studies and genius.

Need we look back to recapitulate and confirm the fact that the highest source, continuous movers and central custodians of the studies which caused these great events were book-men, school-men, and theologists? Let us rather look forward into succeeding centuries, and merely mention the names of Erasmus, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, Descartes, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Dalton, Lavoisier, Shakespeare, Harvey. But no! the names of the studious thinkers who from their cabinets and laboratories have revolutionized the world, and to whom we owe the grand and beautiful civilization and works—arts, machines, products, conveniences, political science, liberty, commerce, etc., which we now enjoy, would take hours to enumerate. There is not a development of science or art that can not be traced back to the "eureka" of some solitary, plodding book-man.

 

ABOUT ELEPHANTS.
By Dr. ANDREW WILSON, F. R. S. E.

THE interest which attaches to the modern representatives of the mammoth host is by no means limited to the zoölogical world, but extends throughout all classes of society, who find something to wonder at even in the huge proportions and ungainly ways of the elephant family. A remarkably limited family circle is that which includes the elephants as its typical representatives. The past history of the race, like that of not a few other groups of animals and plants, is exactly the converse of its present-day phases, as regards numerical