Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 53.djvu/529

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their knowledge of mathematics and its application to astronomy, they show but little aptitude for the natural sciences, and rarely exhibit any inventive faculty.

That a learned woman can be a happy wife and good mother such lives as Mary Somerville's and Laura Bassi's show us; that learning alone does not satisfy we learn from Sophie Kowalevsky.

Perhaps those women who have found the greatest happiness in their studies are those who, like Madame Lavoisier and Caroline Herschel, have been able to assist some loved one to perfect his researches. As a general rule the scientific woman must be strong enough to stand alone, able to bear the often unjust sarcasm and dislike of men who are jealous of seeing what they consider their own field invaded. This masculine attitude has been summarized by De Goncourt, who writes: "There are no women of genius; when they become geniuses they are men."


LET us begin, like a wise preacher, with a personal anecdote. It happened to me once, many years since, to be taking a class in logic in a West Indian college. The author of our text-book had just learnedly explained to us that personal proper names had no real connotation. "Nevertheless," he went on, "they may sometimes enable us to draw certain true inferences. For example, if we meet a man of the name of John Smith, we shall at least be justified in concluding that he is a Teuton." Now, as it happened, that class contained a John Smith; and as I read those words aloud, he looked up in my face with the expansive smile of no Teutonic forefathers: for this John Smith was a pure-blooded negro. So much for the pitfalls of ethnological generalization!

Nevertheless, similar conclusions on a very large scale are often drawn on grounds as palpably insufficient as those of my logician. Facts of language and facts of race are mixed up with one another in most admired disorder. If people happen to speak an "Aryan" tongue, we dub them Aryans. We take it for granted one man is a Scot merely because he is called Macpherson or Gillespie; we take it for granted another is an Irishman on no better evidence than because his name is Paddy O'Sulivan. Yet a survey of some such delusive examples will suffice to show that all is not Celtic that speaks with a brogue, nor all Chinese that wears a pigtail.

Some familiar instances of outlying linguistic or ethnical islands.