Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/388

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372
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

we find those whose natural bent is in this direction, and who, by early preparation and life-long discipline in this difficult field, can reach that standard of perfection which science now requires, and which it will continue more and more to exact. But when we take the larger view of the value of observational training, which regards it as nothing less than bringing the general mind into right relations with Nature, art, man, and all the objects and interests around us, of which we are compelled to form judgments, the claims of special science are at once subordinated to the grander requirements of humanity. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that science is itself to be so widened and enlarged as to take control of this fundamental work of education. Until scientific education recognizes this as its first and great task, it will assuredly fall short of its highest duty.

 

DEATH OF MR. GREELEY.

One of the greatest personalities of our country has just passed away. We have little to add to the strain of eulogy that has been heard in all parts of the land, concerning the life and character of the late Mr. Greeley. That he has filled a large space in public attention for the past generation, is of little moment; that he has exerted an extensive influence for good upon the American people during that long period, entitles his name to be written high in the rolls of public honor. He is to be gratefully remembered, not because of his large capacities and extensive influence, but because he used his powers in the best service of his fellowmen. He ever worked in the direction of social amelioration and public improvement. Believing in the power of ideas, the value of knowledge, and the vital need of general education, and that the progress of society is an internal constructive work of its citizens, depending upon virtue, industry, and intelligence, he established a journal dedicated to these objects, and developed it into a great and powerful institution for moulding the public mind, and elevating the public character. For thousands of families scattered all over this land, the newspaper founded by Mr. Greeley has played the part of a people's university—arousing and stimulating multitudes of the young to enter upon the work of self-improvement, or to seek instruction in academies, high-schools, or colleges. Of all this it is superfluous to speak, as its living witnesses may be everywhere met, while the public press has done full justice to the magnitude and salutary influence of Mr. Greeley's work. But, there is one point in regard to his mental character upon which a few words may not be here out of place. Mr. Greeley made the most of his opportunities of self-education. He read widely in critical literature, and attained a mastership of his own language which but few of the largest opportunities of culture have equalled. It has been customary, with many, to lament that Mr. Greeley was without the advantages of a regular collegiate course of study. But he was never much troubled by this alleged deficiency. He saw too much of the influence of our colleges in turning out waste acquisitions, unavailable faculty, and capacities unadapted to the times, to regret very deeply that he had not been exposed to the same peril. This has been often attributed to the ignorant egotism of the self-made man, but, we think, very erroneously; for Mr. Greeley did have his profound regrets at his own mental shortcomings and defective culture. He deplored the circumstances of his early life, which gave him no chance to acquire the rudiments of science. We have often heard him express deep and painful regret that there was no one to guide his childhood in the direction of observing and