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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/97

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

The education of Linnæus was irregular, as has been frequently the ease with men of science, and his early life was more adventurous than is usual al the present day. His interest in the names and qualities of plants is said to have begun at the age of four. His father, who was a clergyman, wished to train him for the church, but when he showed no taste for routine studies, he was almost apprenticed to a shoemaker. He made his way through Swedish universities with many adventures and spent a number of years in Holland, whence he visited England. He practised medicine for a time at Stockholm, but finally received a professorship at Upsala which he held for thirty-seven years. He made this northern town the center for natural history in Europe, its students increasing from 500 to 1,500 through his influence. Expeditions proceeded thence to all parts of the world, and all discoveries were reported to Linnæus, resulting in a large series of works by him and his pupils. All honors were then showered upon him. He was ennobled under the name Carl von Linné and founded an estate. His son inherited his position at the university, but not his talents. When he died on January 10, 1778, his reputation was world-wide, and his name will always be a landmark in the history of science.

 

PRESIDENT ELIOT.

The seventieth birthday of President Eliot, perhaps the greatest American now living, was celebrated at Harvard University on March 20. Mr. John Sargent has been invited to paint a portrait which will be placed in the Harvard Union. The following admirably expressed letter with some ten thousand signatures was presented to President Eliot:

March 20, 1904.

Dear Mr. President: As with undiminished power you pass the age of seventy, we greet you.

Thirty-five years ago you were called to be president of Harvard College. At the age of thirty-five you became the head of an institution whose history was long, whose traditions were firm, and whose leading counselors were of twice your age. With prophetic insight you anticipated the movements of thought and life; your face was towards the coming day. In your imagination the college was already the university.

You have upheld the old studies and uplifted the new. You have given a new definition to a liberal education. The university has become the expression of the highest intellectual forces of the present as well as of the past.

You have held from the first that teacher and student alike grow strong through freedom. Working eagerly with you and for you are men whose beliefs, whether in education or in religion, differ widely from your own, yet who know that in speaking out their beliefs they are not more loyal to themselves than to you. By your faith in a young man's use of intellectual and spiritual freedom you have given new dignity to the life of the college student.

The universities and colleges throughout the land, though some are slow to accept your principles and adopt your methods, all feel your power and recognize with gratitude your stimulating influence and your leadership.

Through you the American people have begun to see that a university is not a cloister for the recluse, but an expression of all that is best in the nation's thought and character. From Harvard University men go into every part of our national life. To Harvard University come from the common schools, through paths that have been broadened by your work, the youth who have the capacity and the will to profit by her teaching. Your influence is felt in the councils of the teachers and in the education of the youngest child.

As a son of New England you have sustained the traditions of her patriots and scholars. By precept and example you have taught that the first duty of