The older ones have been gauged and measured; they may yet, while they live, do something better than they have ever done, but it will be essentially in the same lines.
goes on with his statesmanship and his scholarship to the end of life; so did Holmes
with his inexhaustible sparkle; but their work did not change; we knew what was coming.
The interest of the younger generation lies in the fact that we never know just what to expect from them.
If we had looked at the late eminent philologist, Professor William D. Whitney
, of Yale University, as he appeared in youth, we should have seen a promising geologist; if we had looked at his brother, Professor J. D. Whitney
, of Harvard, we should have seen a rising philologist.
At a certain period of life they exchanged pursuits; the student of languages gave his brother a Sanskrit grammar, and took in exchange his geological tools.
Nothing that either has accomplished, although both have done much, is more essentially interesting than this early interchange of life-work.
Fortunately for all concerned, there is always a period, even in America
, when the young look with a certain admiration and envy on the old, and sometimes, for five minutes