by the laboratory, with the understanding that, in return for favors received, they should contribute a certain amount of labor toward the main purposes of the institution. Such volunteers, if I may call them so, could give, say, one-third of their time to this general work, and have the remaining two-thirds for their own investigations. Thus the laboratory might often aid young men of promise and ability, and derive real benefit from them in return. This power of encouraging and directing the beginner in research would not be least among the merits of the institution. For want of just such encouragement many and many a young enthusiast is driven out of scientific work into some field of labor less congenial and often less important. How much the world has lost in this way, how much science has been retarded, no one can ever estimate.
But how much money is needed for all this? That depends partly upon locality, partly upon other circumstances. In a place where building is cheap, real estate low, and living inexpensive, a moderate endowment would go much farther than in a city like Boston or New York. Under the most favorable conditions perhaps half a million dollars would suffice. Such a sum is by no means extravagant. Single individuals have given us much and sometimes a great deal more toward the establishment of a college, school, art-gallery, observatory, library, or hospital. Why not, then, half a million for a laboratory, three-tenths or less to go for building and equipment, and the remainder for permanently endowing the institution? Even a million would not be too much by any means. There are in our country a good many men able to give as much as this, whose fortunes have been made from applications of science to the arts. Here, then, is a chance for them to reciprocate a little, and at the same time to cover themselves with at least posthumous glory. Or, the expense might be borne by Government. A hundred and fifty thousand dollars down for building and outfit, with twenty-five or thirty thousand dollars annually for sustenance, would do very well. If it is right for Congress to equip transit expeditions in the interest of astronomy, it would certainly be right thus to assist the two sciences to which our greater industries are so deeply indebted. In fact, the United States can better afford to incur this very moderate expense than not to incur it. In the long-run the laboratory would be worth as much to the country as either the Naval Observatory, the Coast Survey, or the geological expeditions—all, by-the-way, excellent enterprises, which have received, if anything, less encouragement than they have deserved. The development of science in a nation means eventually the discovery of new resources and the creation of new wealth. Whoever doubts this statement needs only to look at the past achievements of physical science in order to be fully convinced of its truth. What national investment ever brought in richer returns than that famous grant made by Congress to S. F. B. Morse?