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Into this year came Poe, Blackie, and Tennyson, the poet laureates of America, Scotland, and England; Chopin and Mendelssohn, the apostles of sweeter music; Lincoln, who kept the United States united; Baron Haussemann, the beautifier of Paris; Proudhon, the prophet of communism; Lord Houghton, who did much in science, and Darwin, who did most; FitzGerald, who made known the literature of Persia; Bonar, who wrote hymns; Kinglake, who wrote histories; Holmes, who wrote sentiment and humor; Gladstone, who ennobled the politics of the British empire; and McCormick, who gave the world cheap bread, and whose life-story is now set before us in the following pages. ...An English society, for instance, had offered a prize of one hundred and fifty dollars for a better method of reaping grain, and the only answer it received was from a traveller who had seen the Belgians reaping with a two-foot scythe and a cane; the cane was used to push the grain back before it was cut, so that more grain could be cut at a blow.