Men of the Day

Vanity Fair
January 1871

PROFESSOR HUXLEY, the inventor of Protoplasm, is a great Medícine Man among the Inqui-ring Redskins. The renowned Ongpatonga himself was not more popular in the Solemn Calumet dance than Professor Huxley in the annual gatherings and other ceremonials observed by the various tribes of the great Philistine family who roam over the deserts of the metropolis, to the terror of the ecclesiastical police and the intense disgust of the respectable portion of society who go clothed and in their right mind. Professor Huxley, like the rest of the Ongpatonga, tribe, is wonderfully matter-of-fact; but with all his hardness and anti-transcendentalism, his geniality of temperament and his happy talent for illustration are hardly less remarkable than the logical clearness of his discourseó of which it will be quite sufficient to state that the denizens of Vanity Fair will find a good popular specimen in his "Lay Sermons.î Professor Huxley favours the movement for the Scientific Education of Women. He wants them to be the associates of men in the ìfeast of reason and flow of soul,î and would no longer feed them with the fag-ends and scraps of knowledge which they have been accustomed to pick up. In this respect his practice differs essentially from that of the Un-inqui-ring Redskins, whose squaws are compelled to keep in the background until their lords have dined, and are then admitted to a scramble for the bones and shreds of the repast. If Ongpatonga has a fault, it is on which may fairly be ascribed to incompleteness rather than intellectual vice. He refuses to believe in angels, because the telescope has not yet discovered them. Like a man who hops on one leg, instead of walking erect with his face heavenwards, he has to pick his steps with care through the mud of Materialism, and in this way it has come to pass that he has stumbled on Protoplasm, which he sees on the seamy side but not on the shining inner surface. In good time, when he is tired of hopping, he will get both his feet firmly on the ground. And then, trusting to his eyes and his inner senses, he will have more to tell the world than the telescope has ever told him. Take him for all in all, there is no popular teacher who has contributed more to the awakening of the intellect, and whose career in the future may be more confidently associated in idea with all that is manly and progressive in social science and comprehensive, to say the least, in physical research.


C. Blinderman & D. Joyce
Clark University