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[127] beginning of the new institution, it has probably developed nearly as it would have done had he lived to direct it himself. He had gathered and trained his own assistants and they were thoroughly competent to carry out his instructions. Most fortunately his son was well acquainted with his designs and interested to carry them to completion. He has been curator of the Museum since his father's death and by his oversight and generosity has done much to bring it to its present rank among the foremost of the great museums.

The first room one enters in the Museum is the realization of a favorite plan of Agassiz. He wanted a “Synoptic room” set apart for a general view of the field of zoology. Here is shown the transition from the earliest fossil life, through vertebrates, to man. Only a few representative forms are displayed, and so one can see almost at a glance the relations of different orders of beings. It is a brief history of the animal kingdom from its first appearance. This room is apart from all other exhibits, and is, for the popular taste perhaps, the most instructive portion of the Museum.

The bulk of the vast collection is arranged in many connecting rooms, to illustrate, according to the plan of Agassiz, “succession in time and distribution in space” of the forms of life. In one direction, several rooms contain the more primitive forms of life — the earliest known species and their humble cousins of the present day. In the other direction one finds the higher animals. Here are casts of extinct antediluvian forms with unpronounceable names, spreading out their huge skeletons. From the ceiling hang the bones of whales and sharks. Elephants and rhinoceri, game oxen and bisons, almost startle one by their powerful, lifelike

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Louis Agassiz (2)
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