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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/268

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

figures of people engaged in their ordinary vocations, presented with a life and spirit which show how far superior in these qualities the higher efforts of the draughtsman's art are to the best photography. The description and historical explanations evince deep research, combined with a genial temper and lively humor, which make the work attractive reading. It has been twice reprinted, the latest revised edition appearing in 1890. In his next publication the author found a subject of wider scope, and assumed a higher position. He had passed from art to literature, from literature to archæological study, and now emerged on the loftier plane of pure science, to which his intellectual tastes and faculties naturally tended. In 1851 appeared his Archæology and Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, which was revised and reproduced in two volumes as Prehistoric Annals of Scotland, in 1803. The expressive adjective "prehistoric," which was first employed in this title and work, has since made its way into the language of almost every civilized nation, and in France constitutes, as Le Préhistorique, the title of an important science. In his preface the author dwells earnestly on the importance of this science of prehistoric man, and expresses his surprise that "the British Association, expressly constituted for the purpose of giving a stronger impulse and a more systematic direction to scientific inquiry, embraced within its original scheme no provision for the encouragement of those investigations which most directly tend to throw light on the origin and progress of the human race. Physical archæology was indeed admissible, in so far as it dealt with the extinct fauna of the paleontologist; but it was practically pronounced to be without the scientific pale whenever it touched on that portion of the archæology of the globe which comprehends the race of human beings to whom we ourselves belong." A delusive hope had been raised by the publication, in the first volume of the Transactions of the Association, of "one memoir on the contributions afforded by physical and philological researches to the history of the human species"; but the ethnologist was doomed to disappointment. From that time all papers relating to this important branch of knowledge had been constantly rejected. It was no small triumph for Sir Daniel Wilson when, thirty-three years later, at the Montreal meeting of the British Association, in 1884, in which he held a prominent position, anthropology was admitted to the rank of a distinct "section," and a committee was appointed, of which he was a member, to investigate the tribes of northwestern Canada—a committee from which very extensive reports of "physical and philological researches" have been warmly welcomed by the Association, and have formed a conspicuous feature of its recent volumes. The publication of this work changed his entire career. The