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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 70.djvu/304

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

Smithsonian Institution an Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men." Henceforth, for thirty-two years, until his death in 1878, he devoted his life to the public service, not alone of our own country, but of the entire civilized world. In this work be manifested the same creative capacity that had distinguished his earlier career in the domain of natural philosophy. He became an organizer and a leader of men. To his wise foresight we owe not only the beneficent achievements of the Smithsonian Institution itself, but also, in large degree, the correspondingly beneficent achievements of the Naval Observatory, the Coast and Geodetic Survey, the Weather Bureau, the Geological Survey, the Bureau of Fisheries and the Bureau of American Ethnology; for to Henry, more than to any other man, must be attributed the rise and the growth in America of the present public appreciation of the scientific work carried on by governmental aid.

We may lament, with John Tyndall, that so brilliant an investigator and discoverer as Henry should have been sacrificed to become so able an administrator. And American devotees to mathematico-physical science may be pardoned for entertaining an elegaic regret that Henry as a pioneer in the fields of electromagnetism did not have the aid of a penetratng mathematical genius, as Faraday had his Maxwell. But posterity, just in its estimtes towards all the world, will recognize in Henry, as we have recognized in our earlier hero, Benjamin Franklin, a many-sided man—a profound student of nature; a teacher whose moral and intellectual presence pointed straight to the goal of truth; an inventor who dedicated his inventions immediately to the public good; a discoverer of the permanent laws which reign in the sphinx-like realm of physical phenomena; an administrator and organizer of large enterprises which have yielded a rich fruitage for the enlightenment and for the melioration of mankind; a leader of men devoted to the progress of science; a patriot, friend and counsellor of Abraham Lincoln in the darker clays of the republic —in short, an exemplar for his race, a man whose purity and nobility are here fitly symbolized in enduring marble for our instruction and guidance and for the instruction and the guidance of our successors in the centuries to come.