Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 71.djvu/196

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

PSM V71 D196 George douglas 8th duke of argyl 1898.png

without qualification, it does him a great injustice. He was, throughout his life, an earnest, sincere and industrious man, much interested in the advancement of his fellows and the cultivation of his own mind. Inheriting an enormous estate, and taking a most prominent part in the politics of his time, he bore on his shoulders as great a burden as a man might care to lift, without taking time and energy for scientific work. It is impossible to say what he might have done, had he devoted himself mainly to some single branch of science or literature, but one may readily believe that it would in no

wise have equalled his actual achievement as a versatile man of affairs. He was not a genius, in the ordinary acceptation of the term; but he was one of those thoroughly useful citizens who serve to hold together the diverse elements of human society. In this sense, he was a duke in fact as well as in name, and an aristocracy so typified is not without a certain justification even from our democratic point of view.

Many naturalists are familiar—and some no less tired than familiar—with the duke's controversial writings on semi-metaphysical questions relating to evolution. Fewer, we imagine, know