Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 55.djvu/123

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113
SKETCH OF WILLIAM PENGELLY.

so-called childbearing period, is so scientifically deducible that it may be for all practical purposes considered as axiomatic. The way to have healthy, long-lived, and happy children is for parents to be healthful and intelligently careful themselves; while the whole science of health must eventually consist in the science of such symmetrical and high development as will enable individuals to endure necessary strain, resist disease, and rapidly and fully recover from accident and infection.

 
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SKETCH OF WILLIAM PENGELLY.

THE name of William Pengelly is most closely associated with the explorations of caves in England containing relics of men together with the remains of extinct animals, the results of which, confirming similar conclusions that had been reached in France, convinced English geologists of man's extreme antiquity. Speaking of him at the time of his death as one of the last survivors of the heroes who laid the foundation of geological science. Prof. T. G. Bonney said, "He has left behind an example of what one man can do in advancing knowledge by energy and perseverance."

William Pengelly was born at East Looe, a fishing village in Cornwall, England, January 12, 1812, and died in Torquay, March 16, 1894. The name of Pengelly is not uncommon in Cornwall, and has figured in English history—among others, in the person of Sir Thomas Pengelly, who was chief baron of the exchequer, and left certain sums for the discharge of debtors from the jails of Bodmin and Launceston. His father was captain of a small coasting vessel, and he acquired a strong attachment to the sea. He was sent to the Dame's School in his native village when very young, and before he was five years old had made so rapid progress that his mother applied to the master of a school for larger boys to receive him as a pupil. The master declined to take him, but, hearing him reading as he passed the door of the house not long afterward, concluded to grant the mother's request. At school he soon gained such a reputation for scholarship that the boys made him spend all his play hours helping them in their lessons. His school days ended when he was twelve years old, and he accompanied his father to sea, making, however, voyages that were seldom more than three days long, most of the work of which consisted in taking in and taking out cargo. The sailors soon discovered his clerkly gifts and employed him to write their letters, but did not so well appreciate his excellent conversational powers. On "tailoring days" it was understood that his clothes should be repaired for him, while he read aloud for the general benefit, and the sailors would amuse themselves by finding