Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 13.djvu/513

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applications to the trustees of the Tyndall fund for aid to young men of genius and aptitude for research, which, if it could have been granted, would have given them a career, and told in the most effectual way toward the extension of scientific knowledge. But the sum consecrated by Prof. Tyndall to this important end was not adequate i to the wants of a nation. It was a large gift for a scientific professor without wealth, and, by the wise directions of the donor, it will be productive of large and lasting good, but it was given also to call emphatic attention to a neglected field of education, well worthy of the consideration of generous persons who desire to be certain that their benefactions will be well directed and confer real benefit. We do not say that Prof. Tyndall desired to set an example to anybody, but only that he contributed what was in his power to give an impulse to science in this country in a direction that was most needed; but how little Americans care for the object he had in view is shown by the fact that, amid all the multitudinous donations, gifts, and squanderings of wealth, on all sorts of objects, not a dollar has yet been added to the Tyndall fund for the promotion of scientific research by helping to train capable and ambitious young men for the work!

The country is characterized by the mad pursuit of wealth and the worship of riches; but this is not the worst, for along with this sordid passion there go the most vulgar and ignoble ideals of the uses of wealth. That ignorant, low minded men, who become millionaires by inheritance or speculation, should spend their money in tawdry ostentation is to be expected; but the worst is, that gentlemen of sobriety, cultivation, and earnestness of character, who have large means at their disposal, should bestow them in charities that often do more harm than good, or in endowing professorships or building institutions that give notoriety to their names, and are of but little other use. Meantime, the country stands arraigned before the world for its lack of interest in those higher developments of thought which have given origin to civilization, and for giving their most powerful impulse to tendencies which threaten the deterioration of society and the degeneracy and debasement of civilization itself.


Since the appearance of the last number of this magazine, one of the company of brothers by whom it is published has passed away. Most of our readers have, no doubt, been informed by the newspapers that Mr. George S. Appleton died July 7th, at the age of fifty-seven. His unexpected death has been a painful shock to the relatives and intimate friends, by whom he was much beloved, and who are now left with only the consolatory memory of his many excellences of character. A few memorial words in regard to him will be appropriate in this place.

Mr. Appleton was a gentleman of marked mental accomplishments, such as are but rarely met with in the common walks of practical life. He was liberally educated, his early tastes and aptitudes for study being favored by attendance upon the best schools at home, and more completely developed by a four years' course at a German university. He was a wide and careful reader, but, as he designed to devote himself to the publishing business, he was specially interested in lingual studies, being a critical student of English and a master of the German, French, and Italian languages. He also gave early and prominent attention to the subject of art, was familiar with its history, and a discriminating critic in several of its principal departments.

But, though a man of refinement, of elegant culture, and fastidious tastes, Mr. Appleton did not allow æsthetic