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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/548

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the best-equipped modern German universities, where he studied both science and the fine arts. I refer to the Prince Consort. From that year to his death he was the fountain of our English educational renaissance, drawing to himself men like Playfair, Clark, and De la Beche; knowing what we lacked, he threw himself into the breach. This college is one of the many things the nation owes to him. His service to his adopted country, and the value of the institutions he helped to inaugurate, are by no means even yet fully recognized, because those from whom national recognition full and ample should have come, were, and to a great extent still are, the products of the old system of middle-age scholasticism which his clear vision recognized was incapable by itself of coping with the conditions of modern civilized communities.

It was in the year 1845 that the influence of the Prince Consort began to be felt. Those who know most of the conditions of science and art then and now, know best how beneficial that influence was in both directions; my present purpose, however, has only reference to science.

The College of Chemistry was founded in 1845, first as a private institution; the School of Mines was established by the Government in 1851.

In the next year, in the speech from the throne at the opening of Parliament, her Majesty spoke as follows: "The advancement of the fine arts and of practical science will be readily recognized by you as worthy the attention of a great and enlightened nation. I have directed that a comprehensive scheme shall be laid before you having in view the promotion of these objects, toward which I invite your aid and co-operation."

Strange words these from the lips of an English sovereign!

The Government of this country was made at last to recognize the great factors of a peaceful nation's prosperity, and to reverse a policy which has been as disastrous to us as if they had insisted upon our naval needs being supplied by local effort as they were in Queen Elizabeth's time.

England has practically lost a century; one need not be a prophet to foresee that in another century's time our education and our scientific establishments will be as strongly organized by the British Government as the navy itself.

As a part of the comprehensive scheme referred to by her Majesty, the Department of Science and Art was organized in 1853, and in the amalgamation of the College of Chemistry and the School of Mines we have the germ of our present institution.

But this was not the only science school founded by the Government. The Royal School of Naval Architecture and Marine En-