Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/461

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JOHN STUART MILL

trait—an intellectual liberality unusual among scholars devoted to some chosen branch of study. "Some years ago," Fawcett narrates, "I happened to be conversing at Cambridge with three men who were respectively of great eminence in mathematics, classics and physiology. We were discussing the inaugural address which Mr. Mill had just delivered as rector of the St. Andrews University. The mathematician said that he had never seen the advantages to be derived from the study of mathematics so justly and so forcibly described; the same remark was made by the classic about classics, and by the physiologist about natural science. No more fitting homage can probably be offered to the memory of one to whom so many of us are bound by the strongest ties of gratitude and affection, than if, profiting by his example, we endeavor to remember that above all things he was just to his opponents, that he appreciated opinions from which he differed, and that one of his highest claims to our admiration was his general sympathy with all branches of knowledge."

What we of to-day owe to Mill, it seems safe to assert in closing, is not so much the advancement of learning in any particular direction—for the world has already caught up with and assimilated a great part of the new truth uttered by him—as the stimulus of a rarely pure and lofty and strenuous nature, devoted to high ideals for the amelioration of mankind, and unflinchingly courageous in advocating them by example as well as by precept. Industrious and versatile to a degree that astonishes one on surveying the products of his literary and his business activity, he at the same time achieved, in whatever he undertook, a uniformly high quality of workmanship that would be noteworthy even in the most rigorous specialist. To the strenuous youth of this strenuous age (if one may be pardoned for using again a much over-worked adjective) Mill may well serve as a model of nobly directed activity, generous self-sacrifice, and memorable achievement. But in emulating his example, let us first ponder well these words of his from a letter to Caroline Fox: "No one should attempt anything intended to benefit his age, without at first making a stern resolution to take up his cross and to bear it. If he does not begin by counting the cost, all his schemes must end in disappointment; either he will sink under it, as Chatterton, or yield to the counter-current, like Erasmus, or pass his life in disappointment and vexation, as Luther did."