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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 29.djvu/612

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

tion of Israel. "These words that I command thee this day shall be upon thine heart: and thou [not the minister or the Sunday-school teacher] shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou risest up." How little this is done in Christian families to-day may be gathered from President Seelye's recent article in "The Forum," where he urges the utter insufficiency of the domestic teaching of morality and religion as a reason why the State should take the matter in hand. If, therefore, ex-President Porter and President Seelye, and all the other great educators of our time, want to render a signal service to the State, let them unite in earnest and continued efforts to revive the domestic teaching of morality. Let them strive to persuade Christian parents that it is more important for their sons to be honest than to be rich; more important for their daughters to be pure-minded, rational, and womanly than to be fashionable; and there will soon be a wonderful change in the moral tone of society. But so long as men like these stand apart, thundering against the methods of modern science, and representing moral authority as inseparable from supernatural creeds that are daily becoming more difficult of acceptance, so long will a very hurtful degree of uncertainty as to all moral law prevail in the community. The only escape from a situation that really threatens moral anarchy lies in the recognition of the fact that the Universe, as related to man, has lessons to teach; and that these, revealed as truths of reason to the mind and conscience, are not less authoritative than if thundered on affrighted ears from the cloud-wrapped summit of Sinai.

 

GENIUS AND PRECOCITY.
By JAMES SULLY.
II.

Men of Science.—Instances of astounding precocity do not fail us when we leave the more romantic walks of art and letters for the austere region of science. Mathematical genius and original power in physical research have alike been frequently heralded by exceptional boyish endowment.

Among the greatest discoverers we have instances of juvenile distinction. Galileo showed remarkable aptitude from earliest childhood. His favorite pastime was the construction of toy machines. A passion for music did not seduce him from his supreme devotion to mathematics, and by nineteen he was making important discoveries. Tycho Brahe illustrates the same early bent in a slightly different way. His devotion to astronomy had to contend, not with his own, but with