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logist seemed only to quicken his appetite Alps. He returned to Germany from Switfor research, for he proceeded almost imme- zerland, and was engaged in the study of a diately to Freyburg, where he studied, under splendid collection of exotic plants at Vithe celebrated Werner, the structure of the enna, when the passion for travel and origiearth, as exhibited in its minerals, ores, and nal investigation drew him forth once more; fossils, and was here led to examine the but, on occount of the war which then desobotany of mines and caverns, an account of lated Italy, Humboldt proceeded to Paris, which observations he published in 1793, where he formed an intimacy with Cuvier, under the title of "Specimens of the Sub- Arago, and Gay Lussac, working with them terranean Flora of Freyburg." The Prus- in their observatories and laboratories, and sian government now sought to attach his perfecting himself in those exercises neccsexpansive, inquiring, free mind to the chain sary to ensure accuracy in phenomenal obof politics, lest perhaps it might dare to servation. question the specific gravity of despotism Humboldt's procedure to the New World, as well as that of the earth; and in a phi- the widest and most interesting field of his losophical attempt to destroy his mental observation, may be reckoned another of independence by political association, he those lucky accidents which most fortuiwas nominated assessor to the Council of tously occur to exercise a wonderful influMines at Berlin, and subsequently director- ence upon the weal or ill of the world. He general of the mines of Anspach and Bay- became acquainted, while in Paris, with reuth. These employments were not for Aime Bonpland, who was to have accompaHumboldt, however. He could not be con- nied Captain Baudin as naturalist upon an fined to the dry details of political business. expedition to Egypt, and he had resolved He longed to be away to the woods, and to proceed upon the same expedition with wilds, and solitary places, which were, how- his friend. The German war broke out, ever, full of companionship for him; and however, and the scientific portion of Bauhowever he might seem to brook the harness din's expedition was dispensed with. This with which his partial monarch sought to result to their expectations created great dissaddle him to himself, he panted to throw appointment to the friends, but their hopes it off as an incumbrance and insufferable were again renewed in another quarter. burden. From studying the policy of Met-Skioldebrand, the Swedish consul, who was ternich, the votary of nature ardently turn- passing through Paris with presents to the ed to the experimental discoveries of Gal- Dey of Algiers, offered to procure for them vani. The Bolognese anatomist had just facilities for visiting the Atlas chain in discovered the electric influence upon the Africa, and promised to give them a pasmuscular system by accidentally touching sage on board of the frigate which was to with a knife the limb of a dead frog; and convey him from Marseilles to Algiers in Humboldt was only second to Volta in the October. When at Marseilles the naturaldepth and extent of his researches in this ists discovered, after two month's delay, novel and exciting path of experimental that the frigate would not arrive till the philosophy. He subjected his body to ex- spring. Determined not to tarry till that cruciating pain in order to minister to his mental pleasure; he subjected the corporeal part of his nature to the dominion and ministry of the knowing or intellectual, making wounds in his body in order to apply more closely to his muscles the two metals of the galvanic circle; and in 1796 he published his "Experiments on Galvanism, and in general on the Nervous and Muscular Irritation of Animals."


time, they engaged a passage in a small Ragusan vessel about to proceed to Turis; but when on the eve of embarkation, they heard that a dungeon was the place they were most likely to explore in Barbary, as the government of Tunis was barbarously maltreating every one who came from France. Again disappointed, they turned their footsteps towards Spain, travelling through Valencia and Catalonia, visiting the war-destroyed city of Saragosa and the ruins of ancient Saguntum, and lastly arrived in Madrid, where they were received by the Spanish savans and government with much distinction. From the Spanish soveHe travelled through beautiful reign they obtained permission to travel Italy, and then, with barometer and ham- freely through all his American possessions, mer, climbed the rugged steeps of the Swiss and also to visit the Marianne and Philip

With his frame still quivering under the effects of cantharides and the galvanic battery, he set out to form an intimate and personal acquaintanceship with several countries of Europe which he had not yet visited.

pine Islands, as (crossing the Pacific from From Corunna Bonpland and Humboldt the western shores of the New World) they set sail on the 5th of June, 1799, and proreturned to Europe by the Asiatic Archipe- ceeded to Cumana, where they arrived on lago and the Persian Gulf. This great the 16th of July. Having tested his inprivilege was gratefully received by the tra- struments, the enterprising explorer boldly vellers, who immediately prepared them- invaded the wilds of New Andalusia and selves for entering on the extensive field of Spanish Guiana, determining the geographiSouth American discovery. In the lan- cal position of several important stations, guage of Sir David Brewster, "Vast regions studying the botany, mineralogy, and geunvisited by science stretched beyond the ology of these countries, and rendering himAtlantic, teeming with organic and inor- self familiar with the social and political ganic life-beautiful in their woods and character of the people who dwelt in them. their valleys-sublime in their rivers, their | Humboldt encountered the heats and vapors table-lands, and their mountains, and bask- of the Selva in order to see that mighty ing under an equatorial sun-crossing and wilderness of vegetable wonders. re-crossing their zenith in its annual course, and summoning from their fertile soils all that can please the eye and satisfy the wants of man. For such a field of enterprise the genius of Humboldt was preeminently adapted; and he was led by a succession of disappointments, as fortunate for science as for himself, to explore that interesting portion of the New World-the Spanish territories of South America, which had hitherto been visited but for the purposes of commerce or war "

There is a nobler and more exalted sovereignty than even political autocracy, there is a power whose emanation from and recognition by the Supreme dare not be disputed This sovereignty has placed beneath the dominion of its ken the starry heavens and the stratified earth, the circumambient atmosphere and the boundless sea, with all the known phenomena that in them are. Autocrat, aristocrat, and democrat, coincide in yielding it voluntary homage, and respect it the more the more that it grasps within the compass of its power and reduces to the dominion of its knowledge. It is science, the daughter of the Infinite mind, whose curriculum is the universal cycle of nature, who probates on earth, illuminating to the mortal the mysteries and glories of God. Humboldt was high among the mind-sovereigns of science when he obtained from Maximilian the gracious privilege of translating to universal man the latent knowledge of the Selva and Llanos; so that courtly language in his case strikes us as an absurd and insulting incongruity. God granted to the earth for a season the privilege of possessing the grand and illuminative mind of the German naturalist, and the King of Spain was honored in becoming the porter who should obsequiously open the gates of his dominions in order that the philosopher might freely find admission to God's.


climbed the rocky wilds of Cuehivano, and gazed into the volcanic caves, from which flames sometimes issue, and where nocturnal birds hide themselves from the eye of day. Encountering the most imminent dangers, and enduring the most laborious toil, this man, whom the busy millions in the eastern continents thought not of, but whose footsteps were watched with anxious solicitude by the savans of the republic of letters, travelled over the plains, swamps, and forest wilderness of South America, now gazing on the broad savannahs of Cuba, now on the treeless plain of the pampas, now musing by the waters of the Oronoko, and again climbing the broken shoulders of Cotapaxi; at one moment watching the meteorological phenomena that shone above him; at another tracing the devastation of the earthquakes which had convulsed nature around and beneath where he stood; examining with ardor the treasures that slumbered in the mines of Hualgayoc; and with equal zeal and more labor mounting the dangerous brow of Chimborazo to a height never before reached by the most daring traveller (18,000 feet). Leaving Brazil and the islands. of the Mexican Gulf, Humbolt next explored the ancient kingdom of Montezuma ; after which he returned to Cuba, where he resided for several months; then visited the United States; and finally returned to Europe in 1804.

For upwards of two years Humboldt entirely devoted himself to the arrangement and publication of the materials which he had collected in the New World, among which were 6300 species of plants; and in 1806 and 1807 he was closely engaged in studying at Berlin the solstices and equinoxes, with the oscillations of the magnetic needle. Humboldt's chief residence was now in Paris, however, where he delivered a course of lectures upon the physical history

of the world. In 1818, the philosopher | scientific magnates of England; and in swelled the train of the King of Prussia 1843 and 1844 he composed his last and when that sovereign visited London; and greatest work, 'The Kosmos, or System of in November of the same year he obtained Physical Cosmography.' a pension, in order to enable him to pro- Baron Humboldt still lives. The mind secute anticipated researches in the Him- which, from his earliest youth, has been alaya Mountains. After eighteen years' communing with nature in all her spheres, sojourn in the French metropolis, Hum- and the frame which has been subjected boldt returned to his native Berlin, where through the agency of that mind to the he was received with the highest honors, most stupendous of physical toils, are still, being elected President of the Congress at the age of seventy-nine, in healthy acof German Naturalists and Philosophers, tion. That mind, which is perhaps the who met in the Prussian capital in 1828. most cognisant of nature that ever was lent In 1829, at the invitation of the Em-to mere humanity, still finds, as it reaches peror of Russia, Humboldt left his home nearer and nearer to the source of its own again, if aught save the world can be called life, and nature's source also, that knowthe home of such a man, in order to make ledge is but a faint whisper of the mysteries a survey of Asia. In company with M. of the universe, and the earth but an atom Ehrenberg, the celebrated naturalist, and in the infinite system. The circumstances Gustavus Rose, the chemist, he visited of Humboldt's life and the success of his Tartary, and then, passing on by Persia, researches illustrate his perfect adaptation they mounted the Uralian chain of moun- to his mission. Possessed of all the mentains, where gold and diamonds, and numerous gems and metals, were discovered, as had been predicted by Engelhardt and Humboldt, from the similarity of the mountain ridges in formation to those of Brazil. Fossil elephants' teeth were also met with, surrounded with alluvium of gold. Proceeding along the Southern Ural, the expedition visited the quarries of Orsk and other great natural wonders, reaching at last the borders of the Caspian Sea. They were permitted to pursue their investigations in China, their only passport being a visit to the mandarin, to whom they applied for the privilege. From Astrakan they returned through the country of the Don Cossacks to Moscow; and in November, 1829, Humboldt delivered a discourse upon his recent observations in the Russian territory to an The Kosmos' may be termed the synextraordinary convention of the Imperial thesis and analysis of Humboldt's studies. It Academy of Sciences. The grand result is his interpretations of nature's three great of Humboldt's favor with the Russian auto-spheres, the celestial, terrestrial, and orerat, however, was the establishment of ganic, in the particular order and language magnetic observatories in different parts of appropriate to each. In the first he resolves his extensive empire. He even induced and individualizes the astronomical, meteorthe government of China to erect similar institutions; and, placing the subject before the Royal Society of London, had the gratification of seeing Sir James Ross sent out from England to the Antarctic regions with the Erebus and Terror, in 1839, in order to extend the sphere of magnetic science, and to consummate a plan of simultaneous terrestrial magnetic observation.

In 1842 Humboldt accompanied the King of Prussia to England as chamberlain, and was received with much distinction by the

tal and physical powers and energies requisite for the accomplishment of the cosmographical campaign which has been the business of his life, he also, luckily for humanity, possessed the power of consecrating himself to that high mission. He was rich; and let it be remembered that his personal wealth was exhausted in the prosecution of his world-enriching labors. The scanty means doled out from the political treasury was but a feeble tributary to the stream of his expenses; and although the King of Prussia honored him with the situation of flunkey,' and placed a golden key at his button-hole, the world beyond the republic of letters scarcely knows him, nor does homage to the purpose of his peaceful and glorious life.

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ological, æriform, and atmospheric elements, and reveals his experiences and knowledge drawn from his observations of each. From the heavens he descends to earth, spanning the huge terraqueous ball with the fingers of precise science, and weighing it by the wonderfully accurate laws of gravitation. He looks into its caverns, glittering with stalactites and beautiful encrusted flowers, and he lightens them up with the radiance of his genius, that future travellers may enter their yawning volcanic gates with know

ledge, and tread their carbonated floors | other more capable of its mission in consewith safety. He plunges deep down into quence of its own unimpaired vitality. the series of geological strata, then, rising The features of this great president of the from the primary formation step by step, republic of science are distinguished by through Plutonic vents and fossiliferous traces of keen observation and deep and beds, stands upon the superposed soil powerful thought. His face is thoroughly amongst the trees, and plants, and beasts, German in its character, and his head is of and birds, and creeping things which people the highest order vouchsafed to the human it. He anatomizes the great globe which race. This great philosopher has been diswe inherit, explaining the physiology of its tinguished almost as much for the benignity mountain heights and the voracious force of his disposition and the amenity of his of its yawning earthquakes. He pursues manners as for the splendor of his talents. its veins and arteries of subterranean He could indulge in the gambols of childstreams, and feels, like a physician, the hood with the simplicity of a child; govern, throbbings of its magnetic pulse, until the as chamberlain, the formalities of a royal world, through his revelations, becomes in- ball with the eclat of a finished courtier; stinct with a mysterious vitality, and seems and hold converse with God in nature with to be personified in his own being. He almost more than human intelligence. In looks upon the mighty circle of space, upon the first aspect the great philosopher seems the boundless paths of countless systems of beautiful; childhood is nature fresh and stars; and as the telescope reveals the glowing from heaven, and even Humboldt's magnitude and glory of the heavenly tem- age is dignified when bending down to meet ple and its spheres, the insignificant earthly it. But we must confess that we feel sad observatory upon which he stands, and from to contemplate the man of mind, the phiwhich he looks, becomes lost to the gaze. losopher, whose every moment was precious Again he looks inward, however; he dis- to the world through all posterity, arrangtinguishes the elements of this great ter- ing, with a golden key at his button-hole, restrial essence, and as he does so, the the figure of a contre danse, or standing magnificent whole which they compose re-bare-headed on the walk of Teplitz beside flects again the goodness of God. Hill, the seat of the infant princess of Leignitz, and valley, and wood, and plain, gushing performing the smallest offices of the courtly stream and boundless ocean, swell out and attendant, watching her every motion, and unite in a universal hymn of magnificent running, with hat in hand, to overtake her, praise to the great Creator, and rise in all if perchance she might move forward some the familiar aspects of love upon the soul steps unobserved.' We cannot smile at of the philosopher and man. There is no this, we can only feel grieved. And this is known region of physics or speculation the patronage which despotism bestows which this wonderful genius has not visited upon genius; it transmutes a philosopher and mapped out in this wonderful book. into a royal nursery-maid, and reckons the He has rendered himself familiar with all critical mind of a Humboldt well employed the forms of things and all the mechanism in the criticism of courtly etiquette; and of life, and he leaves the world his ex- it is to this that a mind trained to be free periences as an undying legacy; and now, in the boundless regions of the upper and with a solemnizing sense of the terminabil- lower worlds could stoop. Alas for humanity of that life which he has so well cm-ity! no matter how great and glorious it ployed in the service of rational science, may be in the majority of its aspects, still he turns his bright eyes in faith to heaven, there is something of the original Adam and calmly waits for the fiat which shall always left to recall human veneration to open to his soul an eternity of observation, the shrine of its legitimate exercise, and to a boundless field of wonder and of love. teach us that man, however great, and gloHumboldt's large and comprehensive rious, and mighty he may be, is still immind was fortunately wedded to a strong perfect. and muscular frame, and such was the nature of his employments that the exercise of the one happily entailed a corresponding action on the other. Both grew strong, without either infringing that beautiful equipoise of the corporeal and mental unity, perfect health, and each rendered the

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