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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 4.djvu/222

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

science. Nor can it be fairly said that this department is inferior in dignity to the pursuit of abstract science, so called. It is out of the ranks of the practical workers that those peculiarly gifted in scientific investigation are likely to arise; and it is in the ranks of practical workers that they must look, chiefly, for appreciation and support. It is no derogation from the value of a discovery of truth, to say that it can be made useful to man; and, hence, there is no inferiority in the position of those who make it useful to man.

Indeed, that which the whole world chiefly needs to-day, and our country not less than any other, is the application of scientific truths and principles already known to the affairs, and labors, and problems, of daily life. We might even afford to pause in our career of fresh discoveries, to consolidate the progress and utilize the results already obtained. But the alternative is not presented; it is not necessary or best that any part of the intellectual activity of the age should pause; the advance of science itself assists, and is assisted by, the applications of science.

We need a scientific in the place of a barbarous or scholastic architecture; a scientific in the place of a traditional agriculture; a scientific in the place of an empirical engineering; we need more machinery, more economical applicatians of power, more effective processes of metallurgy and manufacture, more exact knowledge, in all these particulars, of our own condition and necessities, and of the degree in which these can be supplied by experience already attained abroad. Lesoinne, a distinguished French writer, defines metallurgy as "the art of making money in the treatment of metals." This definition may be applied to almost all occupations of life. The practical art of each is not only to achieve certain results, but to do so profitably, to make money in doing so; that is to say, to increase the value of the raw materials, whether wood, or cotton, or ores, or time, or ideas, by the use we make of them, and the transformation to which we submit them, so as thereby to really elevate the condition of humanity: to leave the world better than we found it. This is, in its last analysis, the meaning of honestly making money. Men are put into this world with limited powers and with limited time to provide for their own sustenance and comfort, and to improve their condition. A certain portion of these powers and this time is required for the support of life in a greater or less degree of comfort, and with more or less multiplied means and avenues of enjoyment, activity, and influence. Whatever their labor produces more than this, is represented by wealth, and for purposes of exchange by money. To make money honestly, is to do something for other men better or cheaper than they can do it for themselves; to save time and labor for them; in a word, to elevate their condition. It is in this sense, greatly as we Americans are supposed to be devoted to making money, that we need to learn how to make more money; how to make our labor more fruitful; how