Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 25.djvu/245

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

terize ‘intelligent self-reliance’ as the genius of the English system, ‘organized instruction’ of the French, and ‘skillful daring’ of the American, that of the German is unquestionably exact discipline.”

Herr von Weber brings out many other features in illustration of his theory, and, without assuming that he has made even an approach to exhausting the subject, summarizes his conclusions in the remark that “the railway system of every region having distinctly marked geographical characteristics appears to be a product of its physical structure, soil, and climate, just as its flora and fauna, except that man has stepped in as an intervening agent between the natural conditions and their product. At some future period, when railways shall have spread over the whole earth, account will be taken in the particular adaptation of the new institutions of yet more widely differing and more distinctly marked geographical conditions, and the forms they assume will become so diversified that we shall be able to speak of the geography of railway-life as we now speak of the geography of the animal-world and of the plant-world.”—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from Das Ausland.



LOUIS PASTEUR passed his childhood in a small tannery which his father had bought in the city of Arbois, in the department of the Jura, to which he removed from the ancient city of Dôle, in the same department, where he was born. When Louis became of suitable age, he was sent to the communal school, and was so proud of the fact that, though he was the smallest of the pupils, he went on the first day with his arms full of dictionaries away beyond his years. He does not appear, as yet, to have been a particularly diligent student. He was as likely to be found drawing a portrait or a sketch—and the walls of several Arboisian houses bear testimonies of his skill in this art—as studying his lesson, and to go a-hunting or a-fishing as to take the direct way to the school. Yet the principal of the college was ready to predict that it was no small school like this one, but some great royal institution, that was destined to enjoy his services as a professor. As there was no Professor of Philosophy in the college at Arbois, young Pasteur went to Besançon to continue his studies. Here, in the chemistry-class, he so vexed Professor Darlay with his frequent and searching questions, that the

  1. From a volume under this title, translated from the French by Lady Claude Hamilton. In press of D. Appleton & Co. The present article is translated and abridged directly from the French by W. H. Larrabee.