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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/274

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

youngest burgess of the guild." His portrait was also painted byrequest, that it might have a place in the Scottish Portrait Gallery. It now hangs there, an admirable work of art by Sir George Reid, President of the Scottish Academy. To Sir Daniel, Edinburgh was (in his own words) "as Jerusalem was to the royal Hebrew, or the city of the violet crown to the old Athenian"; and these marks of the esteem and personal regard of his early friends and their children were specially grateful and cheering. On his return home the elasticity of his spirits was noted by his friends and correspondents. A busy winter followed, in which his energy and intellectual force showed themselves in no way abated. Then, almost suddenly, the end came. A brief and nearly painless illness closed with his death on August G, 1892, in the seventy-seventh year of his age.

His life was, as he himself said, "a singularly happy one." "I have been fortunate," he wrote, "beyond my deserts, and seem to have had far more than my share of God's best gifts." The qualities which insured this singular happiness appear to deserve particular note. A naturally sanguine and sunny temperament had doubtless much to do with it, but the main element was unquestionably his entire unselfishness. His thoughts were constantly for others, and were only for himself so far as the power of serving others was concerned. This disposition was quickly evident to all with whom he came in contact, and was evinced in many ways, great and small. "His colleagues," we are told by one who knew him intimately, "noted his extreme thoughtfulness for others and forgetfulness of self. This naturally led to harmonious relations and strong attachments. One writes, "My friendship for him is one of the sweetest recollections of my life"; and he was not alone in the expression of such a feeling. In his students he took a deep personal interest, frequently inviting them to his house. In their debating societies, sports, and Young Men's Christian Association they could always rely on his practical sympathy. No length of years diminished his interest in a former student's fortunes. The result was a strong affection for him, which was displayed whenever an occasion offered.

A striking characteristic, we are told, "was his unfailing fun. It made his home a very merry one. His letters are full of it, and remind one of Thackeray in their humor. With his students a joke was a more potent weapon for maintaining order than a reproof. He would cleverly turn the laugh of the class against some idler or disturber of the peace. Senate and council meetings were relieved of their tedium by his ready wit; and when in good spirits—and he was rarely otherwise—he was a great acquisition to any social gathering. In early days he wrote valentines for his daughters, and was found out in delivering one of