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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/857

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ent from us in all respects. It would be at least prudent not to ascribe similar functions to different organs; and our language, the product of our cerebration, would be impotent to represent the emotions of an arthropod or a mollusk; for beings that differ in structure differ also in thought and instinct. The cochlea being adapted to the hearing of simple or composite sounds, tones, or noises, audition proper does not exist where there is no cochlea. We are, in return, much less well endowed than the spider and crawfish to perceive rapid tremors and vibrations, of which we can make continuous sounds only when they exceed forty in a second.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.



THE name of Winthrop has always been an honored one in New England, in the domain of public affairs, and one member of the family, at least, has placed it high on the rolls of science. Several of the Winthrops of colonial times were cultivators of the sciences, but none employed such high talents so exclusively in this field of activity as did the subject of the present sketch.

John Winthrop, one of many Johns in that family, was born in Boston, December 19, 1714, and was graduated from Harvard College in 1732. His family history is a part of the history of Massachusetts. His father, Judge Adam Winthrop, was a great-grandson of the first Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony; a graduate of Harvard; chief justice of the Court of Common Pleas; colonel of the Boston regiment; and a lay member of the Provincial Council. Six years after graduation, John Winthrop, being then twenty-four years old, was elected to the Hollis professorship of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy by the corporation of Harvard College. The choice being submitted to the overseers of the college, that body appointed a committee "to examine the professor-elect as to his knowledge of the mathematics," which soon reported favorably. Certain of the overseers, who were especially anxious to protect the college from any possible contamination of heresy or schism, tried to have a committee appointed "to examine Mr. Winthrop about his principles of religion." This matter was debated at several meetings, but finally voted down, and Winthrop's election was thereupon approved. He was formally inaugurated, as was then the custom, January 2, 1738-'39. The ceremonies included two Latin orations, the reading of the rules to govern the professor, prescribed by the founder of the professorship, and the singing of a psalm, after which came a dinner.