Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/390

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386
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

THE HALO OF A HUNDRED YEARS[1] (FEBRUARY, 1809, TO FEBRUARY, 1909)
By Professor R. M. WENLEY
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

IN ordinary circumstances, a humble representative of Wissenschaft der Philosophie, like myself — a pursuer rather than a possessor of knowledge, would deem any poor words of his superfluous on such an occasion, and in an assembly composed chiefly of those who have consecrated their lives to the natural sciences. But, to-night, I am so bold as to proffer claim to a little niche, because we are to make a pregnant pause, and enjoy an interchange of ideas, in commemoration of the illustrious name, services and discoveries of Charles Robert Darwin, who first saw the light at Shrewsbury, on February 12, 1809, that memorable year of memorable infants.

Place aux dames, as if Darwin were not enough, 1809 gave us Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mary Cowden Clarke, the Shakespeare scholar, and Fanny Kemble, the great actress. In science, it produced Grassmann and Liouville, the eminent mathematicians; the botanists K. H. E. Koch and George Engelmann; the geologist J. D. Forbes; Jakob Henle, the anatomist; Fitch, the economic entomologist; Stöckhardt, the founder of agricultural experiment stations; and Griscom, the physician. Its children made literature immensely their debtor, for, among them were Tennyson, Edgar Allan Poe, Charles Lever, Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton), Oliver Wendell Holmes, Mark Lemon (the humorist), Edward Fitzgerald, who rendered Omar Khayyam an English classic; Paludan-Müller, an ornament of Scandanavian letters; Giusti, the Tuscan poet, whom his countrymen delight to call the Béranger of Italy; and Nikolaus Becker, author of that famous song, "Der deutsche Rhein." In music we owe it Chopin and Mendelssohn; in art, Diaz de la Peña, the French landscape painter; in history, Hefele, John Hill Burton, Kinglake, Skene, Cronholm, Bruno Bauer, and Michael Horvath, greatest of Hungarian historians; in scholarship, Theodor Benfey and John Stuart Blackie; in theology, Isaac Dorner; and, in practical religion, Selwyn, the influential missionary-bishop of New Zealand. The educationist, Barnard; the jurist, Phillimore; the publicist, William Rathbone Greg; the philanthropist, Miall, and Baron Hausmann, who found Paris brick and left it

  1. Address of the president of the Research Club of the University of Michigan, on the occasion of the Darwin commemoration.