Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 78.djvu/314

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more perfect means of storage and preservation of foods so that we may at any time avail ourselves of them in their natural freshness; the almost complete control of disease; the utilization of the hitherto uncontrolled energy of the sun through the collection of its heat; and the practical use of the force of the tides. These, however, we shall have to pass by for the present. Nor shall I dwell upon the possibilities of that almost unknown force locked up in the atom and revealing itself as radioactivity, far superior to any other known power. Whether we shall ever be able to liberate and control it we can not even surmise.

In all this I have emphasized the materialistic side, the gaining of dollars and cents, of all that can contribute to comfort and ease, and all to result from applied science. Do not, therefore, regard me as belittling that other aspect—the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, the irrepressible striving to raise one's self through earnest effort toward the level of the Omniscient, the feeling of Paracelsus in his laboratory,

I still must hoard and heap and class all truths
With one ulterior purpose: I must know!
for night is come
And I betake myself to study again,
Till patient searchings after hidden lore
Half wring some bright truth from its prison; my frame
Trembles, my forehead's veins swell out, my hair
Tingles for triumph. Slow and sure the morn
Shall break on my pent room and dwindling lamp
And furnace dead, and scattered earths and ores;
When, with a failing heart and throbbing brow,
I must review my captured truth, sum up
Its value, trace what end to what begins,
Its present power with eventual bearings,
Latent affinities, the view it opens.
And its full length in perfecting my scheme.

For our hearts still harmonize with the outcry of the alchemist,

I shall arrive! what time, what circuit first,
I ask not: but unless God send his hail
Or blinding fireballs, sleet or stifling snow,
In some time, his good time, I shall arrive.
He guides me and the bird. In his good time!

And it is through this patient and persistent toil that in the future, as in the past, man will triumph over the forces of nature,

For these things tend still upward, progress is
The law of life, man is not Man as yet. . . .
But when full roused, each giant-limb awake,
Each sinew strung, the great heart pulsing fast.
He shall start up and stand on his own earth,
Then shall his long triumphant march begin.
Thence shall his being date—thus wholly roused,
What he achieves shall be set down to him