Page:Biographies of Scientific Men.djvu/143

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105
LYELL

greatly inspired him to make "the study of the rocks" his life's work. In 1821 Lyell came to London, entered Lincoln's Inn, and in 1825 was called to the bar. Having practised as a barrister for two years, he finally resolved to follow the life of a man of science. His first contribution to scientific literature was "On the Marls of Forfarshire," in 1822. In the following year he visited France, was introduced to Cuvier, Humboldt, and other distinguished men, and in 1824 accompanied Buckland on a geological tour in Scotland, and thereby laid the foundation of his subsequent scientific career.

Having been appointed Professor of Geology at King's College, London, Lyell was elected F.R.S. in 1826. Between the years 1830-33 he published his famous work, The Principles of Geology. This work is the masterpiece of the great geologist, and is a classic in scientific literature: encyclopaedic in its scope, and exhaustive in its treatment, it may be looked upon with pride, not only as a representative of English science, but as without a rival of its kind anywhere.

The Principles contain an elaborate criticism of Lamarck's views. Lamarck, poor, neglected, and blind in old age, died in 1829, and was attacked by Lyell, who refuted the former's ideas concerning the origin of species; but this adverse criticism was the means of giving Herbert Spencer "a decided leaning to them"—"a partial accept-