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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/98

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the briefer and more popular account which has become one of the classics of English literature.

More than this, and vastly transcending it in the importance of its bearing on the future of science, it was while going round the world and observing on the Beagle that those fundamental facts were gathered and stored in Mr. Darwin's mind which, worked over and developed in after years and compared and combined with subsequently accumulated facts, bore fruit in the Origin of Species and the transformation of science that resulted upon the enunciation of Mr. Darwin's theory of descent.

We all regard the association of any object with great events or with those in which we have great interest as making it precious. We endow ships with a kind of personality, regard them affectionately, and often speak of them fondly, as if they were real living beings in whom we had an interest. Such feelings we might legitimately entertain with regard to the Beagle, so closely associated with the history we have referred to. Few associations deserve, in fact, to be more highly valued than that of this brig, the Beagle, with Mr. Darwin's books and his theory. It is therefore a matter of legitimate concern to inquire into what was the fate of the famous vessel.

The inquiry has been made, and is answered by the Rev. V. Marshall Law, of Oakland, Cal., whose account follows:

"I was lying in my room, in Tsukiji, as I had been day after day, in 1890, watching the lazy roll of the school-ship in the Imperial Naval Academy, just a little to the south, when a caller and an old resident, Mr. Arthur Morris, said to me, 'I see you have Darwin's old ship, the Beagle, in plain sight out there.'

"'Is that the Beagle?' I asked in great surprise.

"He assured me that it was, and somehow after he had gone it impressed itself more strongly on my mind the more I thought of it. I lay ill, and part of the time in delirium, for ten days. When I at last got up, the Beagle was gone. I sent inquiries to the Naval Academy, but no one seemed to know anything about her. As soon as I was able to go out, I lost no time in setting on foot inquiries of the whereabouts of the missing ship. I finally learned that she had probably gone to the Imperial Navy Yard in Yokosuka, about thirty miles from Tokio. As soon as I was able to travel we started to go to Yokosuka in search of the missing vessel. Before this, however, I had taken the precaution to put on the track the Englishman, Mr. F. W. Hammond, who taught the young Japanese gunnery in the Imperial Naval Academy at Tokio, and he promised to do all in his power—which in this instance was very great—to help me in my search for the