Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/708

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Catherine can not go, but sends her moaning there"; and the child would cease to fret.

The Vilas play a subordinate part in many other stories, and occasionally appear mixed up with religious ideas in such a way that a course of comparative studies would be necessary to make them clear.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from Das Ausland.

 

SKETCH OF THOMAS CORWIN MENDENHALL.
By GEORGE ILES.

AMERICA is rich in men who have proved how much more decisive in a career of usefulness is nature than nurture, the instinct for acquiring knowledge than facilities for instruction, a worthy ambition to render service to one's fellows than all the means and agencies which wait upon circumstances ordinarily and often ignorantly called favorable. Such a man is the subject of this sketch.

Thomas Corwin Mendenhall was born on October 4, 1841, near Hanoverton, Ohio. On his father's side he is of Quaker stock, tracing his descent from Benjamin Mendenhall, who emigrated from Wiltshire, England, with William Penn, and settled in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Young Mendenhall's schooling was of the scanty kind afforded by small country villages more than a generation ago; defective though it was, it developed in him at an early age a fondness for the study of mathematics and the natural sciences. He gradually won for himself an education which his opportunities would have denied to a less sturdy spirit.

Among the most important influences working for his mental development in boyhood was the encouragement of his father, who, while he had enjoyed only limited opportunities for educational training, was an earnest, thoughtful man, and fond of reading. From him, along with the conviction that there must be an antecedent cause for every effect, he derived a disposition to investigate causes and inquire after reasons. Another impulse, which must have had a very considerable effect upon the determination of his future career, was given him by one of his teachers in the old log school-house—a good Quaker lady, who had a way of setting her pupils to making simple experiments, and thus, as he has said to us, directed the first physical laboratory that he ever entered. She taught him that a ray of light was bent in passing from one medium to another of different density, by means of the-old and familiar experiment with the coin and tin cup. On another occasion, by darkening the windows, except for a small opening in the