Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/861

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society was the Duke of Montausier, who was a constant visitor at the Hôtel Rambouillet, the seat of the most refined manners of the day, and married the daughter of the marquise of that name, Julie d'Augennes. This house was of Italian origin, and probably received the fork along with its other Italian heritages. The duke, as the first chamberlain of King Louis XIV, had excellent opportunities, which he improved, to introduce the fork among the aristocracy and make its use common.

The history of the fork after the middle of the seventeenth century chiefly concerns the extension of its use and its spread from the aristocracy to humble circles of society. Its form has also been gradually improved, and changed from that of the straight, two-pronged instrument of the olden time, of little use except as a spit, to the gracefully and conveniently curved, broad, many-pronged English fork of the present day, spoon-like in shape, and precisely adapted to its purpose.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from Ueber Land und Meer.


WHATEVER may be the future progress of the sciences of botany and zoölogy. Prof. Flower has said, in the British Association, "the numerous writings of Linnæus, and especially the publication of the 'Systema Naturæ,' can never cease to be looked upon as marking an era in their development." In the "Systema Naturæ," the speaker added, the accumulated knowledge of all the workers at zoölogy, botany, and mineralogy, since the world began, was collected by patient industry, and welded into a complete and harmonious whole by penetrating genius.

Carolus Linnæus, afterward called Carl von Linné, was born at Råshult, in the parish of Stenbrohult, in the province of Småland, Sweden, May 13, 1707, and died at Upsala, January 10, 1778. He was the eldest child of Nils or Nicolas Linnæus, commissioner and afterward pastor of the parish, and Christina, the daughter of the previous incumbent. The father was versed in natural history; a well-stocked flower-garden was attached to the house; and the child, hearing his father talking about the virtues of certain of the plants, at four years of age became interested in them, and formed the habit of asking about the names and qualities of all that he saw. The father, as a condition of further answering his questions, insisted that he should remember all that he had been told before. The child thus received a valuable mnemonic discipline that served him through life, and was familiar from the start with the Latin and the vernacular names of plants. His