Page:The Whitney Memorial Meeting.djvu/69
DR. WARD'S ADDRESS.
needed. Only two students, Whitney and Hadley, had ever sought instruction in Sanskrit from the Professor of Arabic and Sanskrit during the dozen years he held the chair before the accession of Professor Whitney. Whitney was the first American Sanskrit scholar to exploit the whole broad field of Indo-European philology, or indeed any field of comparative philology; for up to that time—only forty odd years ago—there was no Semitic comparative philology. Let it then be remembered that it is no exaggeration, no figure of speech, which calls him, who has so lately left us, yet lacking three years of a man's allotted threescore and ten, the Father of American Philological Science. Every one of the Sanskritists of this country,—and a great school it has been, if a young one,—Avery, Bloomfield, Buck, Edgren, Hopkins, Jackson, Lanman, Oertel, Perry, and a dozen others that deserve mention, may fairly claim to have been his pupils, either because they received his instructions in his lecture-room, or else because of the potent personal influence which he exerted upon their studies and work, albeit they had not belonged to that more favored circle. And to these pupils should be added others, men like Harper, Perrin, Peters, Tarbell, Wright, who learned from him the methods which they have since employed in other fields of philology than Sanskrit. His impulse, given specially to Aryan studies, has reacted even on Semitic, through his pupils; and all our students of human language, of whatever family, have felt his power.
Scholarship moves like the tides of the sea. It is started by some great celestial attraction, some force