Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/27

This page has been validated.

and energy that is spent in classical education where it is merely the following of an old tradition.

As a crown to all this useful work Mr. Youmans established, in 1872, The Popular Science Monthly, which has unquestionably been of high educational value to the general public. It was not the aim of this magazine to give an account of every theory expounded, every fact observed, every discovery made from year to year, whether significant or insignificant. The mind of the people is not educated by dumping a great, unshapely mass of facts into it. It needs to be stimulated rather than crammed. Education in science should lead one to think for one's self. The scientific magazine, therefore, should present articles from all quarters that deal with the essential conceptions of science or discuss problems of real theoretical or practical interest, no matter whether every particular asteroid or the last new species of barnacle receives full attention or not. The Popular Science Monthly has now been with us eighteen years; its character has always been of the highest, and it must have exerted an excellent influence not only as a diff user of valuable knowledge, but in training its readers to scientific habits of thought in so far as mere reading can contribute to such a result.

In concluding our survey of this useful and noble life, what impresses us most, I think, is the broad, democratic spirit and the absolute unselfishness which it reveals at every moment and in every act. To Edward Youmans the imperative need for educating the great mass of the people so as to use their mental powers to the best advantage came home as a living, ever-present fact. He saw all that it meant and means in the raising of mankind to a higher level of thought and action than that upon which they now live. To this end he consecrated himself with unalloyed devotion; and we who mourn his loss look back upon his noble career with a sense of victory, knowing how the good that such a man does lives after him and can never die.

[Mr. Fiske's address was followed by appreciative remarks from several gentlemen who had known Mr. Youmans, and who gave many interesting reminiscences of him. We append a letter from Mr. Spencer, which arrived too late to be read at this meeting.]

64 Avenue Road, Regent's Park, London, N. W., March 13, 1890.

Dear Mr. Skilton: I received your telegram last night, and from the wording conclude that you wish some letter from me about Youmans which Fiske may read in his lecture on the 23d. I am very glad to respond to the request, and I can not do this better than by giving you the following copy of a passage in my Autobiography concerning him:

"The relation thus initiated was extremely fortunate; for