Page:The Whitney Memorial Meeting.djvu/40
THE WHITNEY MEMORIAL MEETING.
ground. For how genuine was his modesty of bearing, of speech, and of soul!
And in harmony therewith was his reverence for things hallowed.
He counted not himself to have attained,
As was his attitude toward things sacred, so also was it toward those who went before him in science. He did not speak sneeringly of what they, with lesser light, had achieved. And to him Aristotle was none the less a giant because some dwarf on a giant's shoulders can see farther than the giant himself.
If I may cite my own words used on a former occasion, Whitney's life-work shows three important lines of activity,—the elaboration of strictly technical works, the preparation of educational treatises, and the popular exposition of scientific questions. The last two methods of public service are direct and immediate, and to be gainsaid of none; yet even here the less immediate results are doubtless the ones by which he would have set most store. As for the first, some may incline to think the value of an edition of the Veda or of a Sanskrit grammar—to say nothing of a Prātiçākhya—extremely remote; they certainly won for him neither money nor popular applause; and yet, again, such are the very works in which we cannot doubt he took the deepest satisfaction. He realized their fundamental character, knew that they were to play their part in unlocking the treasures of Indian antiquity, and knew that that antiquity has its great lessons for us moderns;