Page:Makers of British botany.djvu/389

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AS PHILOSOPHICAL BIOLOGIST

We have seen him to excel in them all. The cumulative result is that he is universally held to have been, during several decades, the most distinguished botanist of his time. He was before all things a philosopher. In him we see the foremost student of the broader aspects of Plant-Life at the time when evolutionary belief was nascent. His influence at that stirring period, though quiet, was far-reaching and deep. His work was both critical and constructive. His wide knowledge, his keen insight, his fearless judgment were invaluable in advancing that intellectual revolution which found its pivot in the mutability of species. The share he took in promoting it was second only to that of his life-long friend Charles Darwin.