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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/135

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COPERNICUS.

like these. What was the attitude of man towards everything not himself before the day of Copernicus? towards things divine, things spiritual, things natural? What is his view of the world now? The changes are so fundamental, extensive and bewildering as not to be described, much less estimated, except by a long series of separate steps, each one opening new worlds in religion, philosophy, science, art, technics. To name them all would be to summarize the entire history of human progress for three hundred and fifty years. In the long stairway of ascent Copernicus established the foundation stone. Tycho, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Kant, Laplace, Herschel, Darwin (to speak only of men of science) each laid successive steps upon it. Until the first was firmly laid no building, no advance, was possible. We stand to-day in a high place of vantage won for us by the master builders of more than three centuries. Without Copernicus their work would have been in vain. The modern world is erected upon foundations that he laid.