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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/279

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

first place, the scientific mind must "vibrate in unison with that of which it is in search." It is in search of truth, and it must therefore vibrate in unison with truth. The follower of science must have a truthfulness beyond that of the ordinary man, who does not set a great price upon exactness in his observations or conclusions, and readily confounds things which, superficially similar, are fundamentally different. Nature resents even the most trifling inexactness, and the careless student will find that the further he carries his inquiries the further he goes astray. The scientific mind must also be alert. The indications and hints which Nature gives are sometimes very slight, and only one who is watchful in the extreme and attentive to the smallest things will catch them. Then the problems which Nature sets are often complicated, and call for a high degree of courage and perseverance. An inquiry which seemed easy at first will suddenly become overcast by what seems the most hopeless obscurity, and the scientific worker, unless he possesses the necessary moral as well as intellectual qualities, will fail in his quest. Considering the characteristics which the pursuit of science tends to develop in its votaries, and considering that scientific method is now and has been for many years past a wonderfully devised system for carrying on research, Professor Foster is surprised that the progress of science is not even more rapid than it is. He fears that perhaps Science does not get the best minds enrolled in her service, and rather hints that our institutions of education are responsible for turning aside many who might lend great aid in the advancement of real knowledge to less profitable pursuits. In words of almost precisely similar import to some that we used in these columns not very long ago, he observes that "that teaching is one-sided, and therefore misleading, which deals with the doings of man only and is silent about the works of Nature, in the sight of which he and his doings shrink almost to nothing." The whole address is stamped with the high thoughtfulness which so eminently distinguishes its author, and deserves to be carefully pondered by all who would understand the character and mission of science and the intellectual needs of the present age.

 

 

THE LATE WILLIAM H. APPLETON.

As many of our readers will have learned through the daily press, Mr. William H. Appleton, long the head of the well-known publishing house of D. Appleton and Company, passed away at his home in Riverdale on the Hudson, October 19, 1899, having reached the advanced age of eighty-five years. As one of the founders of this magazine, who from the start was in close sympathy with its aims, kept up an active interest in its management, and was ever ready to aid its conductors with advice and encouragement, it is fitting that a few memorial words should be spoken of him in these columns.

The career of Mr. Appleton was a marked one in many respects. Entering the book business of his father, Mr. Daniel Appleton, at an unusually early age, he soon developed such an aptitude for affairs that at twenty-one he went abroad for the purpose of making the acquaintance of the leading foreign publishers and paving the way for closer relations with them in the importation and sale of their books in this country. Three years later, or at the age of twenty-four, his father made him a partner in the business, which had previously been extended so as to include the publication as well as the sale of books, and had now so