Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/128

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rope. Returning to Louisville in the autumn of that year, he continued acting in his old capacity until the spring of 1852. Then he returned to New Haven. At the time he was a student, no degrees were granted by the college merely for proficiency in science. There was a general feeling that the pursuit of it, like the pursuit of virtue, was its own reward. But through the exertions of Professor Norton the corporation of the college voted to create the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy, and to grant it to those of the old students in the department of science who would come back and pass a satisfactory examination. Accordingly, Mr. Brush returned, and, after undergoing examination, received, with six others, at the commencement of 1852, the degree of Ph. B., the first time it was given by the college.

The academic year 1852-'53 was now spent by him at the University of Virginia, where he was employed as assistant in the chemical department. Here he was associated with Professor J. Lawrence Smith in a series of special studies, the object of which was to reexamine a number of American minerals which had been described as new species. The results of their joint investigations were published in the fifteenth and sixteenth volumes of the "American Journal of Science," second series. At the end of the academic year Professor Brush went to New York, where he was associated with Professor Silliman, Jr., in charge of the mining and mineral departments of the Universal Exposition held that year in the city. But he now began to feel the necessity of pursuing his studies to an extent which he was not able to do in this country, especially at that time. Accordingly, in 1853, he sailed for Europe, and, during one year at the University of Munich, devoted himself to chemistry and mineralogy under Liebig, Von Kobell, and Pettenkofer. The year following that of 1854-'55—he spent at the Royal Mining Academy in Freiburg, Saxony.

Just about this time an effort was being made at New Haven to put the scientific department of Yale College in a more satisfactory position than it had previously held. To the building of it up Professor Norton had sacrificed time and money, and, at last, his life; and, after the loss it sustained in his early death, it for a while continued to exist rather than to live. Outside of a very small circle, nobody cared for it, and it might at any moment have dropped entirely out of being, and the larger portion of the academic world would not have known enough of it even to regret its death. Modern science is so aggressive, it occupies so prominent a position both in the theory and practice of education, that it is hard for us now to realize how low was the estimation in which it was held in this country, even less than thirty years ago. The academic department of Yale College numbered at that period among its faculty the names of some men of science who were held in honor throughout the country. Their reputation, in fact, rather overshadowed that of most of their colleagues in other branches. Still, so strong was the influence of ancient tradition, that the prevail-