Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/708

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

the labor necessary for the ascertainment of truth, and if you patiently and watchfully bide your time, the discovery of the truth itself may reward your endurance and your toil.

It is by failures as well as by successes that the true ideal of the man of science is reached. The task allotted to him in life is one of the noblest that can be undertaken. It is his to penetrate into the secrets of Nature, to push back the circumference of darkness that surrounds us, to disclose ever more and more of the limitless beauty, harmonious order, and imperious law that extend throughout the universe. And while he thus enlarges our knowledge, he shows us also how Nature may be made to minister in an ever-augmenting multiplicity of ways to the service of humanity. It is to him and his conquests that the material progress of our race is mainly due. If he were content merely to look back over the realms which he has subdued, he might well indulge in jubilant feelings, for his peaceful victories have done more for the enlightenment and progress of mankind than were ever achieved by the triumphs of war. But his eye is turned rather to the future than to the past. In front of him rises the wall of darkness that shrouds from him the still unknown. What he has painfully accomplished seems to him but little in comparison with the infinite possibilities that lie beyond. And so he presses onward, not self-satisfied and exultant, but rather humbled and reverential, yet full of hope and courage for the work of further conquest that lies before him.—Nature.



I AM induced to write a few lines on this subject by a remark recently made to me by a widow of large property. In speaking about the management of her money she said: "As to myself, I leave everything to my business man or agent. I would not know if my tax bills were correct. He gives me plenty of money to spend on my charities; why should I trouble myself about the details?" Evidently it had never occurred to her that she might be spending her principal; that some day she might wake up to the fact that her fortune had been dissipated. Another rich woman, to whom I made the remark that certain bonds were bought at par, inquired, "Is that the same thing as buying them on a margin?" Now here were representative women of New York society, both belonging to excellent families, and to all appearances