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March, 1832 AD (search for this): chapter 6
tten to him for a certain book, and, failing to receive it, inquired with some surprise why his commission was neglected. Agassiz's next letter, about a month later than the one to his uncle, gives the explanation. To his brother. Paris, March, 1832. . . . Here is the book for which you asked me,—price, 18 francs. I shall be very sorry if it comes too late, but I could not help it. . . . . In the first place I had not money enough to pay for it without being left actually penniless. Write me soon what you think about it. In the midst of all the encouragements which sustain me and renew my ardor, I am depressed by the reverse side of my position. This letter drew forth the following one. From his mother. Concise, March, 1832. . . . Much as your letter to your uncle delighted us, that to your brother has saddened us. It seems, my dear child, that you are painfully straitened in means. I understand it by personal experience, and in your case I have foreseen it;
March 25th, 1832 AD (search for this): chapter 6
Your brother, being on the spot, might negotiate for you. . . . Finally, my last topic is Mr. Dinkel. You are very fortunate to have found in your artist such a thoroughly nice fellow; nevertheless, in view of the expense, you must make it possible to do without him. I see you look at me aghast; but where a sacrifice is to be made we must not do it by halves; we must pull up the tree by the roots. It is a great evil to be spending more than one earns. . . . To his mother. Paris, March 25, 1832. . . . .It is true, dear mother, that I am greatly straitened; that I have much less money to spend than I could wish, or even than I need; on the other hand, this makes me work the harder, and keeps me away from distractions which might otherwise tempt me. . . . With reference to my work, however, things are not quite as you suppose, as regards either my stay here or my relations with M. Cuvier. Certainly, I hope that I should lose neither his good — will nor his protection on leavi
Louis Agassiz (search for this): chapter 6
y obstacle yielded to the joy of reunion, and Agassiz was soon established with his painter, his foto have felt in him. After a few days he gave Agassiz and his artist a corner in one of his own lab relation continued until Cuvier's death, and Agassiz enjoyed for several months the scientific syman three months after the date of this letter Agassiz went, as often happened, to work one morning ther till eleven o'clock, when Cuvier invited Agassiz to join him at breakfast. After a little tily engaged in their separate occupations when Agassiz was surprised to hear the clock strike five, l, was taken up paralyzed, and carried home. Agassiz never saw him again. This warning of Cuvieations with Cuvier, as told in later years by Agassiz himself, the course of the narrative has beee surprise why his commission was neglected. Agassiz's next letter, about a month later than the osur les Poissons Fossiles. Cyclopoma spinosum Agassiz. Vol. IV. tab. 1, pp. 20, 21. It is interest[2 more...]
the different parts of Switzerland united at some future day by a closer tie, and in case of such a union a truly Helvetic university would become a necessity; then, my aim would be to make my collection the basis of that which they would be obliged to found for their courses of lectures. It is really a shame that Switzerland, richer and more extensive than many a small kingdom, should have no university, when some states of not half its size have even two; for instance, the grand duchy of Baden, one of whose universities, that of Heidelberg, ranks among the first in all Germany. If ever I attain a position allowing me so to do, I shall make every effort in my power to procure for my country the greatest of benefits: namely, that of an intellectual unity, which can arise only from a high degree of civilization, and from the radiation of knowledge from one central point. I, too, have considered the question about Dinkel, and if, when I have finished my work here, my position is n
Elie Beaumont (search for this): chapter 6
what cannot follow me, and what I owe quite as much to him, is the privilege of examining all the collections. These I can have nowhere but in Paris, since even if he would consent to it I could not carry away with me a hundred quintals of fossil fish, which, for the sake of comparison, I must have before my eyes, nor thousands of fish-skeletons, which would alone fill some fifty great cases. It is this which compels me to stay here till I have finished my work. I should add that M. Elie de Beaumont has also been kind enough to place at my disposition the fossil fishes from the collection at the Mining School, and that M. Brongniart has made me the same offer regarding his collection, which is one of the finest among those owned by individuals in Paris. . . . As to my collections, I had already thought of asking either the Vaudois government or the city of Nechatel to receive them into the Museum, merely on condition that they should provide for the expenses of exhibition and pr
Alexander Braun (search for this): chapter 6
tended my knowledge of geology sufficiently to join, without embarrassment at least, in conversation upon the more recent researches in that department. Moreover, Braun has been kind enough to give me a superb collection, selected by himself, to serve as basis and guide in my researches. I leave it at Carlsruhe, since I no longer need it. . . . I have also been able to avail myself of the Museum of Carlsruhe, and of the mineralogical collection of Braun's father. Beside the drawings made by Dinkel, I have added to my work one hundred and seventy-one pages of manuscript in French (I have just counted them), written between my excursions and in the midst once. Should business revive soon, however, I may yet have the pleasure of seeing all completed before I leave Paris. I think I forgot to mention the arrival of Braun six weeks after me. I had a double pleasure in his coming, for he brought with him his younger brother, a charming fellow, and a distinguished pupil of the polytec
M. Brongniart (search for this): chapter 6
ut in Paris, since even if he would consent to it I could not carry away with me a hundred quintals of fossil fish, which, for the sake of comparison, I must have before my eyes, nor thousands of fish-skeletons, which would alone fill some fifty great cases. It is this which compels me to stay here till I have finished my work. I should add that M. Elie de Beaumont has also been kind enough to place at my disposition the fossil fishes from the collection at the Mining School, and that M. Brongniart has made me the same offer regarding his collection, which is one of the finest among those owned by individuals in Paris. . . . As to my collections, I had already thought of asking either the Vaudois government or the city of Nechatel to receive them into the Museum, merely on condition that they should provide for the expenses of exhibition and preservation, making use of them, meanwhile, for the instruction of the public. I should be sorry to lose all right to them, because I hop
M. Christinat (search for this): chapter 6
ris, to the great centre of scientific life, where he could have the widest field for comparison and research. There, also, he could continue and complete to the best advantage his medical studies. His poverty was the greatest hindrance to any such move. He was not, however, without some slight independent means, especially since his publishing arrangements provided in part for the carrying on of his work. His generous uncle added something to this, and an old friend of his father's, M. Christinat, a Swiss clergyman with whom he had been from boyhood a great favorite, urged upon him his own contribution toward a work in which he felt the liveliest interest. Still the prospect with which he left for Paris in September, 1831, was dark enough, financially speaking, though full of hope in another sense. On the road he made several halts for purposes of study, combining, as usual, professional with scientific objects, hospitals with museums. He was, perhaps, a little inclined to be
M. Coulon (search for this): chapter 6
nt opportunity for disposing of your alcoholic specimens. They form, at present, a capital yielding no interest, requiring care, and to be enjoyed only at the cost of endless outlay in glass jars, alcohol, and transportation, to say nothing of the rent of a room in which to keep them. All this, beside attracting many visitors, is too heavy a burden for you, from which you may free yourself by taking advantage of this rare chance. To this end you must have an immediate understanding with M. Coulon, lest he should make a choice elsewhere. Your brother, being on the spot, might negotiate for you. . . . Finally, my last topic is Mr. Dinkel. You are very fortunate to have found in your artist such a thoroughly nice fellow; nevertheless, in view of the expense, you must make it possible to do without him. I see you look at me aghast; but where a sacrifice is to be made we must not do it by halves; we must pull up the tree by the roots. It is a great evil to be spending more than one e
M. Cuvier (search for this): chapter 6
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...]
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