Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 26.djvu/276

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
264
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

whether we might not find genius and originality in other races of animals which would throw as much light upon the genius and originality of man as the eccentricities of this pigeon seem to throw on the eccentricities of a most active and confident school of modern thought? If John Stuart Mill were right in thinking it a sacred duty not to discourage the milder lunacies of human beings, might we not with equal advantage extend his exhortation, and make it include the duty of protecting the independent development of the idiosyncrasies of bird and beast, in the hope of finding in them some clew to the various oddities and harmless insanities of human thought and action?—Spectator.

 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF E. B. TYLOR.

AMONG the most prominent of the British scientists, attracted to the recent meeting at Montreal, was the President of the Anthropological Section, Edward Burnett Tylor. He is well known as a distinguished author on the early history of the races of mankind, and his investigations of this comprehensive subject entitle him to an eminent rank among the founders of the recently established science of anthropology.

He was born at Camberwell, about four miles from St. Paul's Cathedral, London, on October 2, 1832. He was of Quaker parentage, and was educated principally at the school of the Society of Friends, Grove House, Tottenham. He was a fair classical scholar, and had mastered the differential calculus, when at sixteen he entered his father's manufactory in London, with the intention of pursuing a business career. But at twenty, soon after the death of his father and mother, symptoms of consumption, or what became dangerous symptoms, appeared. He then traveled in the United States and Mexico for two years to recruit his health. On his return to England he had a severe attack of phthisis, and his case was several times declared hopeless by eminent physicians, but, after spending several winters on the Riviera, he partially recovered. He was then advised that he might marry, and this completed his restoration, his wife taking excellent care of his health. He is now a strong, broad-chested man, six feet high, in the full enjoyment of mental and bodily vigor.

Dr. Tylor was not a university man, and the circumstances which turned his attention to the department of knowledge to which he has devoted himself and the influences by which he was impelled to pursue it are interesting. He entered into scientific life under unusual advantages, having the opportunity of meeting many eminent scientific men