258 ENGLISH MEN OF SCIENCE. [CHAP.
petition : they doggedly go their own way, and refuse to run races.
Science has hitherto been at a disadvantage, compared with other competing pursuits, in enlisting the attention of the best intellects of the nation, for reasons that are partly inherent and partly artificial. To these I will briefly refer in conclusion, with especial reference to the very important question as to how far the progress of events tends to counterbalance or remove them.
If we class energy, intellect, and the like, under the general name of ability, it follows that, other circumstances being the same, those able men who have vigour to spare for extra professional pursuits, will be mainly governed in the choice of them by the instinctive tastes of their manhood. The majority will address themselves to topics nearly connected with human interests ; a few only will turn to science. This tendency to abandon the colder attractions of science for