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Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 3: 1828-1829: Aet. 21-22. (search)
part of the Spix fishes. letter concerning it from Cuvier. It was not without a definite purpose that Agased. The book was written in Latin and dedicated to Cuvier. Selecta genera et species piscium quos collegit eng them as soon as possible. Let me tell you why. M. Cuvier has announced the publication of a complete work ounch myself in the scientific world than by sending Cuvier my fishes with the observations I have made on theie given the rough draft of a letter from Agassiz to Cuvier, written evidently at a somewhat earlier date. Alt it never was sent. An old letter (date 1827) from Cuvier to Martius, found among Agassiz's papers of this tie the criticism that I suppose it will receive from Cuvier. . . . I think the best way of reaching the varioe my book. I can the less explain the delay since M. Cuvier, to whom I sent it in the same way, has acknowledgatest naturalists of the age writes me about it. Cuvier to Louis Agassiz. Paris, Au Jardin du Roi, August
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 4: 1829-1830: Aet. 22-23. (search)
action with which I was so familiar. The first course of lectures on zoology I attended was given in Lausanne in 1823. It consisted chiefly of extracts from Cuvier's Regne animal, and from Lamarck's Animaux sans Vertebres. I now became aware, for the first time, that the learned differ in their classifications. With this daleontology. The publication of Goldfuss's great work on the fossils of Germany was just then beginning, and it opened a new world to me. Familiar as I was with Cuvier's Regne animal, I had not then seen his Researches on fossil remains, and the study of fossils seemed to me only an extension of the field of zoology. I had no ijustice to add, that after I knew more of the history of our science I learned also duly to reverence Linnaeus. But a student, already familiar with the works of Cuvier, and but indifferently acquainted with the earlier progress of zoology, could hardly appreciate the merit of the great reformer of natural history. His defects w
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 5: 1830-1832: Aet. 23-25. (search)
d the evening very agreeably at the house of M. Cuvier, who sent to invite me, having heard of my a . . On Saturday only I spend the evening at M. Cuvier's. . . . The homesickness which is easil it went on. This relation continued until Cuvier's death, and Agassiz enjoyed for several monthd their skeletons in the Museum. Knowing that Cuvier intended to write a work on this subject, I suas given me for my work, the more so because M. Cuvier, M. Humboldt, and several other persons of meach my goal in good time. This trust from Cuvier proved to be a legacy. Less than three monthsnd he would return soon to complete his task. Cuvier answered that he was quite right not to neglecthat you are intrusted with the portfolio of M. Cuvier, I suppose your plan is considerably enlarge in a great degree through his drawings that M. Cuvier has been able to judge of my work, and so habsequently at Carlsruhe. Had I not done so, M. Cuvier might still be in advance of me. Now my mind[15 more...]
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 6: 1832: Aet. 25. (search)
arrangements were made. Meanwhile the following letter shows us the doubts and temptations which for a moment embarrassed Agassiz in his decision. The death of Cuvier had intervened. Agassiz to Humboldt. Paris, May, 1832. . . . I would not write you until I had definite news from Nechatel. Two days ago I received a ver future the hope of establishing myself in your neighborhood and devoting to my country the fruits of my labor. It is true, as you suppose, that the death of M. Cuvier has sensibly changed my position; indeed, I have already been asked to continue his work on fishes in connection with M. Valenciennes, who made me this propositi those admirable works of Agassiz which are now nearly completed. . . . I have strongly advised M. Agassiz not to accept the offers made to him at Paris since M. Cuvier's death, and his decision has anticipated my advice. How happy it would be for him, and for the completion of the excellent works on which he is engaged, could
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 7: 1834-1837: Aet. 27-30. (search)
bitrary master, whom we have imprudently chosen, who flatters and pets us first, and then tyrannizes over us if we do not work to his liking. You see, my dear friend, I play the grumbling old man, and, at the risk of deeply displeasing you, place myself on the side of the despotic public. . . . With reference to the general or periodical lowering of the temperature of the globe, I have never thought it necessary, on account of the elephant of the Lena, to admit that sudden frost of which Cuvier used to speak. What I have seen in Siberia, and what has been observed in Captain Beechey's expedition on the northwest coast of America, simply proves that there exists a layer of frozen drift, in the fissures of which (even now) the muscular flesh of any animal which should accidentally fall into them would be preserved intact. It is a slight local phenomenon. To me, the ensemble of geological phenomena seems to prove, not the prevalence of this glacial surface on which you would carry
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 11: 1842-1843: Aet. 35-36. (search)
the ice-period, and also upon the transportation of boulders, whether pushed along or carried by floods or gliding over slopes. My own opinion, as you know, can have no weight or authority, since I have not myself seen the most decisive points. Indeed I am, perhaps wrongly, inclined to look upon all geological theories as having their being in a mythical region, in which, with the progress of physics, the phantasms are modified century by century. But the elephants caught in the ice, and Cuvier's instantaneous change of climate, seem to me no more intelligible today than when I wrote my Asiatic fragments. According to all that we know of the decrease of heat in the earth, I cannot understand such a change of temperature in a space of time which does not also allow for the decaying of flesh. I understand much better how wolves, hares, and dogs, should they fall to-day into clefts of the frozen regions of Northern Siberia (and the so-called elephant-ice is in plain prose only porph
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 16: 1850-1852: Aet. 43-45. (search)
5. Proposition from Dr. Bache. exploration of Florida reefs. letter to Humboldt concerning work in America. appointment to professorship of medical College in Charleston, S. C. life at the South. views concerning races of men. Prix Cuvier. The following letter from the Superintendent of the Coast Survey determined for Agassiz the chief events of the winter of 1851. From Alexander Dallas Bache. Webb's hill, October 30, 1850. my dear friend,—Would it be possible for you tothe spring of 1852, while still in Charleston, Agassiz heard that the Prix Cuvier, now given for the first time, was awarded to him for the Poissons Fossiles. This gratified him the more because the work had been so directly bequeathed to him by Cuvier himself. To his mother, through whom he received the news in advance of the official papers, it also gave great pleasure. Your fossil fishes, she says, which have cost you so much anxiety, so much toil, so many sacrifices, have now been estimat
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 18: 1855-1860: Aet. 48-53. (search)
opportunity to greet old friends and colleagues called together to meet him at Sir Roderick Murchison's. He allowed himself also a week in Paris, made delightful by the cordiality and hospitality of the professors of the Jardin des Plantes, and by the welcome he received at the Academy, when he made his appearance there. The happiest hours of this brief sojourn in Paris were perhaps spent with his old and dear friend Valenciennes, the associate of earlier days in Paris, when the presence of Cuvier and Humboldt gave a crowning interest to scientific work there. From Paris he hastened on to his mother in Switzerland, devoting to her and to his immediate family all the time which remained to him before returning to his duties in Cambridge. They were very happy weeks, passed, for the most part, in absolute retirement, at Montagny, near the foot of the Jura, where Madame Agassiz was then residing with her daughter. The days were chiefly spent in an old-fashioned garden, where a corne
Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Louis Agassiz: his life and correspondence, third edition, Chapter 23: 1871-1872: Aet. 64-65. (search)
In former years I had made a careful study of the pigment cells of the skin in a variety of young fishes, and I now resorted to this method to identify my embryos. Happily we had on board several pelagic fishes alive. The very first comparison I made gave the desired result. The pigment cell of a young Chironectes pictus proved identical with those of our little embryos. It thus stands, as a well authenticated fact, that the common pelagic Chironectes of the Atlantic, named Ch. pictus by Cuvier, builds a nest for its eggs in which the progeny is wrapped up with the materials of which the nest itself is composed; and as these materials consist of the living Gulf weed, the fish cradle, rocking upon the deep ocean, is carried along as in an arbor, which affords protection and afterwards food also, to its living freight. This marvelous story acquires additional interest, when we consider the characteristic peculiarities of the genus Chironectes. As its name indicates, it has fin-lik