works that I have seen in forty years, I could be happy as long as eternity lasted.”
It is impossible to trace the results of such provocatives of thought as these.
A name which the previous speaker used gives me an illustration pertinent to the occasion.
He spoke of one who has just left our shores, a man eminent in every good work,--Dr. Bowditch
You know his family story.
His father was a poor boy, one of those whose early privations and need after-time gathers up with loving and grateful admiration.
It chanced that one of the privateers of Essex county
brought in, as a prize, the extensive library of Dr. Kirwan
,--a scientific man. It was given to the public by the generosity of the merchants of Salem
, and so became open to young Bowditch
He was left to avail himself at will of this magazine of science.
The boy grew into a man; wife and children were about him, and moderate wealth in his hands.
La Place published his sublime work, which it is said only twenty men in the world can read.
With patient toil, with a brain which that early devotion had made strong, he mastered its contents; and was the first among the twenty to open that great commentary on the works of God to every man who reads the English
language, by translating it into our tongue, and supplying, with adroit and skilful industry, the steps by which the humblest student in mathematics may follow the giant strides of La Place. The expense of publishing a work which so few would buy, would take half of his fortune.
That life had in part educated, perhaps, his wife to the same high-souled determination which animated him. He said to her, “Shall we give our wealth to this service for posterity, shall we give it to our boys, or spend it in the pleasures of life?”
“Publish,” was the wife's reply.
He consecrated half his fortune to the