Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/126

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116
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

whole, both larger and handsomer than the fauna of colder climates. But in the general aspect of tropical nature an occasional bright flower or brilliant parrot counts for very little among the mass of lush green which surrounds and conceals it. On the other hand, in our museums and conservatories we sedulously pick out the rarest and most beautiful of these rare and beautiful species, and we isolate them completely from their natural surroundings. The consequence is that the untraveled mind regards the tropics mentally as a sort of perpetual replica of the hot-houses at Kew, superimposed on the best of Mr. Bull's orchid shows. As a matter of fact, people who know the hot world well can tell you that the average tropical woodland is much more like the dark shade of Box Hill or the deepest glades of the Black Forest. For really fine floral display in the mass, all at once, you must go, not to Ceylon, Sumatra, Jamaica, but to the far north of Canada, the Bernese Oberland, the moors of Inverness-shire, the North Cape of Norway. Flowers are loveliest where the climate is coldest; forests are greenest, most luxuriant, least blossoming, where the conditions of life are richest, warmest, fiercest. In one word. High Life is always poor but beautiful. — Cornhill Magazine.


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SKETCH OF JAMES CURTIS BOOTH.

THE life of Prof. Booth is divided by Mr. Patterson Dubois, in his memorial address, into three periods: that of his preparatory student life, or the formative period, which closed in 1835-'36; the creative period, so named "because it called into being a method of technical education which has, probably more than anything else, resulted in establishing chemistry as a factor in commerce, and in gaining for the chemist a recognized place in the economy of the world's work," 1836 to 1849; and the period of his official life as melter and refiner at the United States Mint in Philadelphia.

James Curtis Booth was born in Philadelphia, July 28, 1810, the son of George Booth, of New Castle, Del., and Ann Balton, of Chestertown, Md.; and died in Philadelphia, March 21, 1888. He was taught in Philadelphia, at the seminary in Hartsville, Pa., and at the University of Pennsylvania, whence he was graduated in 1829. He then spent a year at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, N. Y. He had a decided preference for the study of chemistry, of which he very early realized the capabilities and the practical value. Seeking opportunities and facilities for the performance of laboratory work in connection with his studies which America could not afford, he went to Europe