Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 30.djvu/716

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694
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.


ment of general society. It made him timid and hesitating, and often occasioned awkward and most embarrassing mistakes although he was by nature the most sociable and genial of men, and delighted in society where he felt at ease.

He published a book in 1853 entitled “Alcohol and the Constitution of Man,” which grew out of an article of his on the “license system,” covering a full page of the "New York Tribune.” His argument was based upon the view, put forth by eminent scientists, that alcohol is in all cases a brain-poison. The temperance people urged him to make a book of it, which he accordingly did; but further knowledge of the subject made him uncertain of his ground, and the work was allowed to pass out of print.

In illustration of his dependence upon others at every step of his life, it may be stated that in 1853 a younger brother returned from a four-years' residence in California, and, being unsettled as to his future, was persuaded to undertake the establishment of an experimental farm at Saratoga. But, before matters had taken shape, it became apparent that the young man could not be content with the quiet labors for which there had been neither emotional nor intellectual preparation, and the enterprise was abandoned. Feeling the importance, in the light of this experience, of early scientific culture, Edward did all in his power to promote the scientific education of a much younger brother, who many years later began with him the management of this magazine, and without whose co-operation it would not have been attempted.

In 1856 Edward read in a foreign periodical a review of Herbert Spencer's “Psychology,” which had been published the year before; and his interest was so aroused that he at once imported the book. This led to a correspondence with the author concerning the publication in this country in book form of his essays on education, with the result that D. Appleton & Co. brought out the work in 1858. Thus began my brother's acquaintance with Mr. Spencer, and co-operation in the publication of his writings, which was kept up to the end. In 1859 he accidentally got hold of a copy of the English programme of Spencer's “System of Philosophy,” which was to be issued in parts to yearly subscribers. Edward immediately wrote to Mr. Spencer, volunteering to aid the project in this country, and was informed that it would require two hundred and fifty more subscribers, in addition to those already secured in England, to justify the expense of an American edition. The needed names were soon secured; and an arrangement was also made with the Messrs. Appleton to reprint Mr. Spencer's earlier works. From the beginning of his acquaintance with these writings, my brother was convinced that they were destined to exercise great influence in this country, and this opinion has been fully confirmed.

Of my brother's experience as a lecturer, there is little room here to speak. He early showed an aptitude for making scientific subjects