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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/273

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SKETCH OF SIR DANIEL WILSON.

the college and university work continued without the interruption of a single lecture. Hundreds of letters poured in, but not one of them was left without a suitable reply. "Courtesy does not cost much," was his frequent answer, when urged to take no notice of seemingly trivial letters. Encouraged by public sympathy, and bent on seeing his much-prized university more than itself again, he seemed to renew his youth. "Sir Daniel is the youngest man in college," was a common saying at the time. "I mean," he wrote, "not to bate heart or hope; but trust, near as I am to the goal of life, to see the renovated pile in its old beauty, and vastly improved within." This hope was fulfilled, mainly, it may be said, through the influence of his own great reputation and the character for liberality of comprehension, irrespective of class, creed, or race, which he had stamped upon the institution. Offers of substantial aid to the building fund, the library, and the museum came from numerous and often unexpected quarters in Europe and America, including a generous contribution from the Legislature of Roman Catholic Quebec. So rapidly was the work of renovation pushed on that at the college "commencement" of 1891 he was enabled to give his presidential address—one of the most eloquent and brilliant, and unfortunately, as the event proved, the last of his efforts in that line, in one of the new halls; and before his death the restoration of the university, in a condition far superior to that which it held before the fire, had been practically completed.

Among other honors it may be mentioned that he received the degree of LL. D. from the University of Aberdeen, and later also from McGill University, of Montreal, of which, at an earlier day, he had been offered the presidency. He was for several years President of the Canadian Institute of Toronto, the leading scientific association of Ontario. When the Royal Society of Canada was founded by the Governor-General, Lord Lome, he was at first made president of its Literature Section, and three years later was elected president of the society. He was a member of various learned societies in Europe and America, too numerous to mention. In religious and charitable associations at home he was an active worker. He aided in founding Wycliffe College in Toronto, and was at his death a member of its governing board. The newsboys of the city attracted his special care, and it was mainly through his efforts that the "Newsboys' Home," a most useful and well-managed charity, was founded and maintained.

Near the close of his life one special honor came to him which he highly prized. In the summer of 1891 he paid his last visit to Scotland. While he was there, the "freedom" of his native city was, with much public ceremony and cordial demonstration, conferred upon him, and he thus happily "renewed his youth as the