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THE DAILY NEWS.
Largest Circulation.-THE DAILY NEWS
y-HEING THE NEWSPAPER OFFICIALLY RE?
COGNIZED JS HA VINO THE LARGEST CIR?
CULATION IN THE CITY OP CHARLESTON,
PUBLISHES THE LIST OF LETTERS REMAIN?
ING IN THE POSTOFFICE AT tnt END OF
EACH WEEK, ACCORDING TO TBS PROVIS?
IONS OF THE NEW POSTOFFICE LAW.
TOE CHAS-SION NEWS, the circulation of
which is about twice as large as that of any
other paper published in South Carolina, is the
oest advertising medium for all business men.
For persons who want bi tuitions or servants;
?tho want houses or apartments, or have them
to rent; who want or who offer board and lodg?
ing; who have lost or found articles of value,
'THE NEWS has no equal; and in order that all
?lasses may hare their wanta supplied, we have
adopted the, following scale of CHEAP ADVEB
TUEMXNTS,payment for which must invariably
be made when the order is given:
Advertisements of situations wanted by or
offered to clerks, governesses, tutor?, Work
len, mechanics, house-servants, porters, shop
?oyb, cooks and washers; board and lodging
. waited or offered; apartments wanted or to
lot; articles lpst or found; houses, shops, offices
jgand warehouses wanted or to let, and miscella?
neous wants of all kinds.
For each insertion of advertisements of the
classes specified :
Vol exceeding TH REI: UNES or 20 words... .?5 ceuts
'. Poua LIKES or 30 words.40
'. FIVE LEVES or 40 words.50
All advertisements to be inserted at these
rates must be prepaid and delivered at THE
NEWS office by 9 P. M.
Bange of Thermometer at thc News
8 A. M.
3 P. M.
6 P. M.
Sleeting? This Day.
Tyre Lodge, at 8 P. M.
C. L., at hair-past 8 P. If.
Belief Loan Association, at 8 P. Bi.
Rutledge Rifle Club, at 8 P. H.
Auction Sales This Day.
See Fourth Page for auction sties.
WILLIAM MCKAV will sell at 10 o'clock, at his
store, furniture, crockery, &c.
N: A. BUNT will sell at 10 o'clock, at his
store, boots, alases, Ac.
R. M. MAKSHAT.T. A BEOTHEB will sell at half
past, 10 o'clock, at their office, carpets, pianos,
Ac. ______ m
^LUNCH at Torck'a to-day-okra soup, boiled
h- b, and boiled ham, with dainty trimmings.
MERCANTILE PRESTI?O.-AU kinds of mer?
cantile printing, such as circulars, letterheads,
cards, bill beads, statement?, Ac., for count?
ing-rooms and offices, promptly executed in
the neatest style and at the lowest rates for
cash, at THH NEWS JOB OFFICE, NO. 119 East
Ooa NEW TOES STEAMSHIPS.-The steamship
Champion, Captain E. W. Lockwood, of the
Adger line of New York steamships, arrived
yesterday with every part of the ship full of
freight and a large passenger list. The Cham?
pion is an unusually large carrier, measuring
some 1400 tons, and was oompelled, on this
trip, to leave freight for the steamer to follow,
so large were the offerings.
PERSONAL.-?lr. William Comm, of New
York, the well known type founder, is now
making a flying trip through the South, and
was in Columbia yesterday.
Mr. Laogniek, of the enterprising Hayne
stroet Arm of Leng nick & Sall, has lately re?
turned from a-visit to Europe, the result of
which customers will find in the endless vari?
ety and choice character of the Arm's stock of
THE CONSTABLES OF THE MODEL NSOBO
M AOLs TB ATE -OOAH, Joseph Ball, Agrippa
Gadsden, Adam Frazier and Marsh Lacas,
wore arraiga ;d before Magistrate Eanapaux
yesterday to answer tho < harge of false im?
prisonment. Theyfailet to give security for
their appearance for trial before the State
Court, and were commit ted to jail. They were
then carried before Magistrates Bohr oder and
Mickey upon a writ of habeas corpus, and
were dischaiged opon their own recogniz?
GONE INTO THE HUSBAND BUSINESS.-On
Monday afternoon a colored man named Wm.
Barnett applied to Magistrate Mitha*, color-'
ed, fora warrant to arrest Eliza Barnett, alias,
Brown. He stated that about a year ago he
and Hliza were married, but a short time ago
she left him, and, on last Thursday night,
married Wm. Brown. Warrants were issued,
.od both Elisa and Brown arrested. Eliza
stated that Brown waa not to blame at all, as
?be had inducer him to marry her. ?liza was |
tent to jail ip default of security to appear and
answer the charge of bigamy, and Brown was
required tc give security t J keep the peace to-; j
"THE Cm BY THE SSA."-This is the title of |
a bi-weekly advertising sheet, the first num?
ber of which is announced to be forthcoming,
OD Saturday next. Mr. F. W. Miller, who is j
to be the publisher and general manager,
tells us in the prospectus that it "is to be no
haphazard enterprise, no evanescent intruder
into the domain of journalism; but a substan?
tial representative of our commercial charac?
ter^" It is promised that, the varied topics of j
finance and commercial economy shall be
treated "with an acceptable breadth of philos
pby and public spirit," and that " The City by
the Sea" shall "be distributed gratis in every
part of the city, State and South." If energy
and activity on the part of the publisher eau
command success, the new venture is likely to
be a prosperous ope.,..
: SALE OF STOCKS AND BONDS.-Yesterday
Messrs. .Wardlaw & Carew sold the following
stocks and booda:
SM shares Savana- and Chi rles ton Railroad
i-took. at $&i??_lf;
16580 City ste pac cent, stock, (old,) st $59J.
50 shares Northeastern Railroad stock, at $9.
213 Union Bank r.ock, at $8. *
105 Bank of Charleston stock, at $12|.
il shares Plantera ' and Mechanics' Bank
Btook, at 82 75.
- abares People's- Sa*k stock, at VS 90.
60 shares City Railway Company stock, at
$53f. r: ; ,- -
2 bonds Northeastern Railroad, (1590 each,)
first mortgage, at 179.
li? shares South Carolina Railroad stock, at
$8000 Six per cent, booda of Charleston and
guaranteed reatta, 3s
THE VON HUMBOLDT FESTIVAL.
AN IMMENSE AUDIENCE.
Addresses by Kev. Dr. Bachman, Gen?
eral John A. Wagener, Professor Mc
Crudy and Ker. Mr. Mueller.
Seldom bas Ibero been congregated in
Charleston such an audience as assembled last
night in Hibernian Hall to celebrate the cen
tennial birthday of Alexander von Humboldt
Except at the Sch?tzenfeste, indeed, we doubt
if a similar number of our German and Ameri?
can citizens have ever met together in any sin
gie locality in this city.
The occasion, however, and the manner in
wbiohit waa distinguished, was worthy of auch
au exhibition of public interest. The commit
tee in charge of the exercises had secured tho
services of able men to speak of the career and
achievements of the illustrious dead, and mu
sic waa invoked to add its charm to the scene
The hall was handsomely prepared, the stage
especially being most tastefully arranged
The new scenery intended for theatrical dis
play was exhibited for tho first time, and, with
tbs additional decoration of flags belonging to
various German societies, anda liberal a prink
ling of evergreen, tho harmony of color and ar?
rangement was calculated to satisfy the sever?
In order to secure an appreciative audience
and at the same time prevent tho oppressive
jam of humanity which otherwise would have
been present, the committee of arrangements
wisely issued tickets, which were distributed
without charge among cui? citizens to the num?
ber, it is said, jf twelve or thirteen hundred.
Few of tbeso could have been unused, for not
a seat was unoccupied, and overy foot of epaco
whereon humanity could stand upright was
filled by well-dressed and interosted spectators
After eight o'clock it was physically impossible
to enter thc hall. a
Ou the stage were a number of the represen?
tative German citizens of Charleston and
others. Among these, besides the speakers
of the occasion, were observable Captain Jacob
Small, president of the German Friendly Socie?
ty and Freundschaftabnod; H. B. Olney, Esq.,
senior warden of the same; Captain Alexander
Melchers, vice-president of the Freundscbafts
bund; Father Birmingham, and the members
of the committee and of the S?ngerbund.
Promptly at eight o'clock the exercises were
commence ! by the choral hymn-"Open, ye
Gates; Let the King of Glory in"-from the
members c the Tentonia S?ngerbund, under
the leadership of Professor A. J. Hoffman, the
accompaniment being rendered by a fine or?
chestra, under the direction of Professor
Tho venerable Rev. Dr. Bachman hoing now
introduced to the audience by Captain Small,
advanced to the front of the platform and
stated that, agreeably to the invitation of the
committee, be bad prepared an address to be
delivered on the occasion, bat that in cons??
quence of bis great age and bodily infirmities,
be felt unequal to the task of its presentation,
and accordingly had requested his friend and
associate, the Rev. Dr. Hicks, to address the
assemblage in his stead.
Thereupon the Rev. Mr. Hicks read the fol?
lowing interesting personal reminiscences of
the great "hero pf science," aa they were en?
joyed and1 desorfood by our aged and distin?
guished citizen and naturalist, Dc, Bachman:
Address at Kev. Dr. J. Buchanan.
Haring been honored with a request from
these German societies to join in the celebra?
tion of an event which recalls to the mind, not
only of the German, bot of the man of science
in every land, the name, character and eminent
usefulness cf one of the greatest men in the
natural sciences whioh the world has ever oro
duoed, I feel at a loss where I am to begin, or
which of the numerous subjects presented on
the eventful life of Humboldt it would be most
interesting to dwell upon.
I have thought that JOB might be most in?
terested in a Tow of the reminiscences of my
early intercourse with that great mm, who,
even at my first acquaintance with him, ap?
peared among the naturalista and philosophers
as a giant among a noe of pigmies.
We delight to trase tue history of a great
mind who climbed far beyond the footprints
which his predecessors had left, and from this
high eminence listened to the harmony of the
universe and r?pe?te* tts music to a listening
world. Ho whoso life and history are called to
our remembrance to-day, has le't a name so
world-renowned that until now none have
equalled it. That name echoes from the peak
of Teneriffe, the summits of Obimborazo, aud
the gigantic tanges of the Himalayas, where
science, from her mountain throne, contem?
plates the vast monuments on which time has
recorded the history of the wjorld, or unfolding
the bosom of the earth,- reveals tho record of
the successive phases ot. its devolonrae*,;
wherever the tides of ocean or of air, the rush
of mights rivers and the stillness of unbounded
plains proclaim tue laws whioh make this globe
a habitable world-wherever forests wavo,
decked with exuberant foliage, laden with
many hued and fragraut flowers and fruits of
luscious taste, and teeming with throngs of.
beasts, birds sud insects-thioughoat Nature's
richest kingdoms, the name of Humboldt
stands confessed the greatest of Nature's his?
torians, tbo wisest and most eloquent expound?
er of her laws.
It was in tho latter part of the sommer of
1804 that I was permitted for the first time, to
look upon the countenance, to press the hand
and listen to the interesting words of this
great philosopher. He bad arrived in Phila?
delphia with bis associate, Bonpland, after
having explored almost every portion ot Mexi?
co, and measured the heights of the Cordil?
leras and of Chimboruz i. He had visited por?
tions .of South America, whioh had not been
reached by previous travellers; be had re?
mained in Havana ten months, where be com?
pleted bis political essay on Cub-;, and after a
five years' residence in America, he ?as now
about to return to Europe. Efforts were made
to evince the respect of the community tor
such a successful traveller and so emioenta
naturalist. Attempts were made to collect to?
gether the few who bad any pretensions to
natural science, residing in Philadelphia. I
was thou a student, only sixteen years of age,
bat it being known that I was occasionally m
the habit of accompanying Wilson iu his re?
searches in ornithology and of spending my
vacations and saturdays io Bartram's Garden,
the u-uil resort of botanists, I waa honored
with an invitation to meet those wlio wore
about to welcome this eminent philosopher
and naturalist to our country. I iclt that I was
not deceiving of tho higu uonor of the invita?
tion, and mention the face here, to show how
sointy m tbose days were tho materials in
natural science. A dinner had been prepared
for the occasion in Peal's Museum.
Among the few naturalists who attended
wero t be two B ir tr? ms. Wilson, the ornitholo?
gists; Lawson, his engraver; George Ord, and
a few others, whose names bavo now escaped
my recollection. To this small group wore
added a considerable number of men who were
eminent in the varions departments of litera?
ture and science. Few speeches were made,
aud those were short. There was no formality.
Humboldt was theo, as he was afterwards,
in every society "the observed of ali observers,"
ready to answer any question that was pro?
pounded to bim, and evidencing throughout a
spirit of ' gentleness sad kindness and great
amiability of character. I saw bim every dav
duri ni: the next tew days he remained in Phil?
adelphia. He inserto*! rav name in his note
book, and tor the last sixty years we corres?
ponded at long intervals.
His publications, ai thoy successively ap?
peared, mostly in the Frenob langaage, with
the exoeotion of bis "Atpects of Nature,"'
whioh was in German, were regal arly sen* to
me. It would have b-'oa very gratifying to me.
and intoteating to your societies, if I could
have exhibited bis autograph io some of bis
loiters; bat, alas I mv wo ole library sod all my
collections m natural history, the accumula?
tion ot the labora of a long life, were corned
by Sherman's vandal army, and with tho ex?
ception of a single letter, which, by accident,
fell into the hands of another member of my
family. I possess no memorials of one who oou
descended to speak to me as a friend.
Thirty-four years passed away, and I was
once more permitted to renew a personal inter?
course, which bad been so long interrupted
Arriving ra Berlin, ks was the first to welcome
me and extend tbose civilities which enabled
me to feol myself at home amone; tho mc
learning and science in my fatherland,
though years had pa^ed away, time
wrought but very little change in his con
nance or in his habits He was the 8
cheerful, pleasant compauion, the samo i
t'atigable student, giving but four hour
sleep, and laboring in bis studies with u
When about to sep?ralo, we arranged tc
new our intercourse again at the Associ.1
of Naturalists, who were to rc-jt that yet
Freiburg, in the Duchy of Bauen, where \
to be congregated tho most eminent uatt
istsot Europe. The members ail dined
common table, but our breakfast and toa \
served up in private apartments. An oppo
nity was then afforded us for private in
course and conversation with friends,
made arrangements to welcome Humboldt
the small group who breakfasted and took
tea together. A few of the eminent natu
ists of Eurone composed our little party. 1
fesaor Buckland, of Oxford, was there, and
lady presided at our cheerful board. Prof?
Owen, of England, assisted in forming
party. But we were doomed to disappo
ment. Humboldt was detained by order of
King in Prussia, and wrote to express his
gret that he could not be with us.
I never expected to meet him again,but
in the autumn of that year, happening to b
Paris, aud attending a meeting of the Fre
Academy, one of the first persons I met
Humboldt, and for two weeks I saw him nei
every day. He was still, as usual, the studen
nature; gave his hours of repast to a grou]
friends who united in conversation with bim.i
devoted the remainderof the day to the vari
studies in those sciences to which his life 1
been devoted. He always sp ike of himself ae
humble student of nature, who knew but lit
and was struggling to acquire more knowler]
It was pleasant and somewhat amusing
observe his mannor and occupations during
day. At a stabed hour in the morning he i
to be found at the Garden of Plants engag?e
some investigations in natural history.
I met him there with hts coat off, and in
apron that nearly covered his whole body,
gaged in dissecting an animal that had j
died in the monaperie. So intent was lie U]
his labors, that bo seemed to have scare
time td turu bis head to answer tho varii
questions that were addressed to bim. Th
for some boura tverv ono appeared to be
tensely engaged in his own work. At a c
tain time of the day, tbeso French philosoph
always resolved OD an hour of rest and recr
tion. When that time arriv d one of the s
dents passed through the rooms of those s
dents of nature, calling aloud. "Th? hour I
como,.bcyt>; come out to play !" Insfautly I
whole avene was changed. I he, Philosoph
shut up their books, laid aside*'their inst
monts, changed their outward dress in a i
moments, ana it appeared as if a croup of hi
py children were jumping andlrolicking aron
A considerable portion of the garden was i
voted to a menagerie of wild animals, a
among the most amusing were tho monke
collected from all quarters of the earth. Hi
these philosophers amused themselves ut
the dinner hour, and for a time the scient
were all forgotten m the hilarity of tho oe
sion. 1 noticed that Humboldt exerted hi
self to bo as gay and happy os any in that mc
The dinner hour having arrived, men w
wished to render their time in Paris agreeal
usually arranged to dine together at some
the tables aVhote, where old associations are i
newed, and where they can enjoy uni n tomi pt
the most entertaining and delightful conven
tiona. Ou these occasions ? usually met Hu:
bold t. There he was, the pleasant and instrt
tive companion, and we all conceived it to
not only a groat privilege, but a high honi
thus to be associated with him. ?
At the meetings of tho Academy of Scienc
he preferred being a listener. Occasionally, I
the purpose of eliciting an opinion, a quoati<
was put to him which ho would answer ia a ti
briet words, and then resume his seat,
night, to the various parties which weie giv
in Pans, Humboldt was always invited, and
appeared that he never declined the invtl
tio_a. Ladies of the highest rank were n
satisfied without au introduction, and they i
ways spoke of the occasion as one of the grea
eit honors that had ever been conferred upi
I would just here remark that Humbol
was a figure of the medium BIZ 3;' his torehei
broad aud high; bis bands and feet delicate
formed; his looks in the latter part of bis li
of silvery whiteness; his eyes were blao an
full of expression.
Thirty years ago his features appeared u
dimmed by age, and while enjoying his conve
sation, in which there was wit arni tendernea
you lost for a moment your reverence for tt
great man in your admiration for a kind an
He was born in Berlin in 1769, a memorabl
year for the annals of genius, for in it wei
born bir Walter Scott, Cuvier, Cbatoaubnam
also the eminent English orators and state:
men. Canning. McIntosh aud Brougham. B
was of baronial lineage. His father was ohan
berlain lo Frederick thc Great, and the pei
sonal and intima.e friend of the succeedm
king. His father was nqt gifted with an
stnkinc qualities. Humboldt was indebted fe
the direction of his education to the barones:
bis mother, who was no ordinary woman, an
whom bo loved and venerated. She had dt
soeuded from that sturdy race of French Prc
testants, whom the revocation of tho Edict c
Nantes scattered abroad, to the advantage c
every country where they fixed their abod<
This lady appears to have transmitted to be
sou the cheerfulness, vivacity and qutckues
of apprehension which belonged to her ow
race, while he inherited from bis father th
tenacity .of purpose which so much distill
gmshes tho Teutonic character.
Humboldt was peculiarly favored in the poa
sessitn of every advantage for the acquisitioi
of knowledge, it cannot be said of bim tba
be was ever deprived of auything that wai
necessary to reuder bim a great and eminon
man. From bia earliest years to mature man
hood, be lacked no instruction which wealth
rank and affection could lavish upon him.
He was educated at the University in Gotten
gen. Wherever ho wont, in bis aaventuroui
career, tho same cordial welcome aud co-oper?
ation awaited him. Kings and governors viec
in promoting bis progress. Lovers and culti
valors of science, in every country, con tribu tee
of their own stores to enrich him, and through
him the world.
m How vast those resources were and how ase
fully tbey were employed may be seen in bis
works. He kved to a great age. He was born
in 1769, and died in 1859,- having jcpacbed the
the unusual age of nm itv years, i li e whole ol
his long life was devoted to studies and labor*
calculated to benefit mankind- Hts last work
-the Cosmos-is a 'monument of meditation
and research unequalled in all the labors ol
science. Even when the weight of four score
and ten years lay upon his head, he toiled
while others rested, ana it ts asserted by those
who knew him most iufimately that the morn?
ing's dawn often surprised bim at his desk.
He bada brother-Carl Wilhelm, two years his
senior-who became almost as eminent as him?
self in many of the sciences.
10 the many conversions I had with Hum?
boldt, ho often alluded to his attachment to
the American nation, and spoke jf nimself as
half an American, inasmuch as some of bis
earliest labors bad commenced in America. He
had no time to devote himself to minor points
in the sciences. His mind dwelt upon the groat
laws of nature comprehending tho whole circle
of the sciences, in Ihe knowledge of genera
aud species, in the particular sciences, ho had
many superiors. Thus in botany, Liunous
and Decandolo were fuller in thsir kuowledge
in tbeso departments. Cuvier, and even But?
lern, had entered more minutely into tho study
of tho quadrupeds, aud other authors, who de?
voted tuemselvcs to the stotly of birds, fishes,
insects, Ac, surpassed lum 111 miuute descrip?
tion; but in a general knowledeo, he surpassed
them all. And it is not to bo wondered at that
a man who, by his intellectual greatness, tow?
ered above the loltiest of his conten?pomries,
and by his simplicity, gentleness, affability and
modesty of manner, made even the humblest
at borne m Ina society, should hare become the
admired aud honored of all men.
In the streets of Berlin every one seemed
to know him and to lovo him. Crowds would
separate to let bim pass without disturbing
the reflections in which he was engaged.
I remarked that the two neioes ot the King
ran up to him in the street lo impioss a kiss
on his cheek, calling him by tho endearing
name of father.
11 his ninetieth year, with bis faculties yet
unimpaired, when all bis associates of early
life had been removed, and bm name had been
rendered immortal, he was summoned from
the earth, and all that was perishable was com
mitted to the tomb, amid tho homage ol great
scientific bodies and the solemn revurence and
silent tears of the multitude wbo bas won?
dered at his wisdom, and loved hun for hts
lt is difficult to decide whether he displayed
more humility in his greatness or dignity in
bis simplicity. He adored the highest and
graoad the humblest position. Having had ex?
perience with men of all climes, ranks and
characters, he was yet never known to have
made an enemy.
In order to form somo idea of the varions
sciences which Humboldt bad studied, and of
which be bad acquired a knowledge above all
other men, I refer you toa summary contained
io the first volume of bis Cosmos, where it will
be seen that there was no study, however
deep and abstruse, which bis mind d
grasp, and no aspect of nature with whi
mind had not become familiarized.
The lessons taught na in these simple
enees to the life of a great man ought
be overlooked. He who desires to be
must study to acquire knowledge. Hun
considered every moment of time lost thi
not devoted to the acquisition of know
He who would be eminent must preser
mind pure and elevated, and free from a
gularities and indulgence in licentiou
Humboldt's moral character was pun
without a stain. He who desires to hand
his name to posterity among the grea
the good, must follow tbe example of
boldt, and labor to bo an ornament to s
and a blessing to mankind.
After an overture by the Srchostra, Qi
John A. Wagener rose to deliver the orat
Oration of General John A. Wage
The remarks of this gentleman were de
ed in Oerman. They had been pr?par?e
care, abounded with passages of striking
and beauty, and were appreciated, as thei
quence deserved, by those who understoc
laoguage in which they were spoken.
He commenced by observing how bea
was the spectacle of men releasing theme
from tho cares of business for the pnrpc
doing honor to one whose greatness cons
in his usefulness to mankind. The pr
was a festival coextensive with the limi
civilization, and it could not but be a soul
pride to every German that from one e:
the earth to the other-throughout Eu
part of Asia. Africa, and the two Am?ne;
would be celebrated in his own mother toi
Nay more, the object of all this praise v
the children of other nations os well ai
German people delight to bestow-he whe
gathered and worn theso laurels-was hit
The speaker then proceeded to briefly si
tho lifo of Humboldt, concluding the i
with ?beautiful eulogium upon the chan
and setvices of this "honorary citizen o
world." Science had become bia pride in
ly?lfe, nnd he had benn true to her unti
decked his brow with a silver c?ronot, n
rested upon his vision, and he d-sappc
like somo glorious atpr drawn from cari
heaven. Even if time* permuted, few woul
bold enough on such au occasion to expr?s
opinion of Humboldt and his works at
ance with tho opinion of .the wholo ol
learned of the efctb-aa opinion which is
fled by tue events of this day, because
world combl?es todo him honor. Thee
object of Humboldt's lite, as proposed by ]
self, was not to study? morely one braue
science, but io make himself famibar with,
it' practicable, the master of ail ;
when his labors are reviewed, it secraei
if Providence had specially selected him a
instrument in His hands to begin a
epoch m tho intellectual development of n
kind. His early studies, personal wei
family associa ions; his habits and tastes;
powerful constitution and an unusually I
life in "which to complete the varie 1 I thor
auspiciously begun, were all circumstai
tending to achieve success, and enable nia
enjoy the fruition of his work. Ihe s.
spirit which precedes and prepares period
development, calls into action those who
to become its agents, and marks the epocl
the announcement of new thought, or tho
covcry of now facts, thus .either alterini
amending science aud life, or increasing
pre-existent harmony. Humboldt did
commence bis travels without drawing lil
good general upon bis extensive armor]
science. Thus it was that he was aaablei
investigate Nature in all her phases with
most effectual results. He described the ea
and her position in the astronomical system,
continents and oceans, her mountains and i
leys, her hills and dales; tho rocks above i
tho strata below; birds, animals, insects, tn
and all manner of vegotatiou; ber past t
present history; the phenomena of nttuce, a
finally humanity itself, and its relation to i
arts ?ud sciences. While he ascended in p
son to the highest altitudes in three portie
of thc globo, and penetrated to the lo?
depths attainable by*man, he likewise seorcl
tor the riches contributed to mankind in I
booka and laboratories of the moat learned
his own intellectual sphere, Schiller t
Goethe, by their massive genius in developi
the strength and beauty of German poet
imparted fresh vigor to the literature of <
world; and so it was reserved for Humboldt
become the founder of a new school of nata
science as distinguished from the previe
speculative philosophy, and based upon ext
aud mathematical principles.
Humboldt was the firsi who undertook to (
scribe whole countries according to their gee
nostical profiles, and to fix the uniform chi
acter of volcanoes. Ho was the first to r
forth the true view of the relation of the va
ons elements of the earth to itself, and her
was instrumental iu doing away with the pla
less gathering of single facts. Takmg ii
consideration tho interior structure of t
earth, bo founded a new school of climai
observation and philosophy. Ho was thc iii
to mention the peculiar uniformity m tho di
position and distribution of precious meta
and mad? valuable suggestions concerning d
posit* of diamonds. Procuring seed in the v
rious counlries which he visited, he causi
their propagation in Europe, aud thecstablis
mont of public botanical gardens for tho di
semination of this branch ot human knowledc
Wo see htm on lue poiut of Cbimboniz
twenty thousand feet, or nearly four mile
from the lovel of tho earth-i height whic
before Humboldt, no maa had ever roache
We find him in tho Cave ol' Ataroipo-lhe gra
of a tribe of peoplo-lingering among the s
hundred skeletons there lound. We seo hi
amid the throes of an earthquake, calmly i
vestigating the nature of the phenomena, whi
all around him men oro trembling in terro
or fleci j? for safety. We find him again d
econdiifg the craters of volcanoes tu the Pacii
Ocean, or experimenting with the power of tt
electric eel - everywhere, .indeed, pal-suie
with enthusiasm, and with aa eye single to tl
advancement of science, those great objects I
attain which only tho bravest, purest and bei
I of mankind are willing to sacrifice life, if nei
essary, for the benefit of their tetlow mei
Fm kim robbed the heavens of their lightnin:
Humboldt followed Nature m h ir most seen
workshop. His aspiring eye reached region
fai beyoud the lightning, and if there ever wa
a mortal who bad a clear conception of th
mysteries and all-pervading power of God, i
waa him to whose name we do honor to-day.
The question theo arises, was he not select
ed by the Almighty to become the Coryphea
of a new epoch tn science, that bumanit,
might take a giant step forward in the trui
kuowledge of life, and, at the same time, dis
cover the art of true happiness and materia
Humboldt discoursed of agriculture, tho en?
couragement of manufactures, the exteusioi
of trade and commerce, the economical anc
political relations of government. Ho scannee
the beavens, and tells ns of planets, comets
clouds of light, asteroids and meteors that fin?
ish their existence on our earth. Who, with?
out admiration, can contemplate that know?
ledge winch has demonstrated that light
travels 41.882 foot in a second, at which rate tl
would require 2000 years* to reach us from the
milby way; that the number of stars amount
to twenty million; that there are iu the. milky
way alone eighteen thousand; that, according
to Kepler, there aro more comets in space than
there are fish in tho depths ot the ocean.
Humboldt, in spirit, travelled all 1I1030 worjds,
aud whatever he gathered he brought with lib?
erality muck to bia poople. His genius waa
indeed tjui versal.
That such a man should have been rogarded
with euvy and jealously by many ot his con
contoinporanes is not a subject of wonder.
Few,Indeed, is the number of those who, la?
boring iu beti..If of humanity, have escaped
tho sh ifts of malice. But the scientific glory
ot Alexander von Humboldt waa too well
founded to suffer detraction dom any cause,
and only bis tender tiature was wounded by
the potty assaults o' these enemies. It hos
beeu thought hard of Humboldt that bc allow?
ed himself lo be elrawn into controversy with
his opponents. Bul it must bo remembered
that the most noble, the most elevated, the
wisest and best ot mankind aro tbose who have
tn contend chiefly with ibo literary hyenas of
tho world, whoso vocation is never to build,
bur always to tear down. Ualliloo, who vos fir.it
to promulgate the theory of the earth's revolu?
tion, was condemned to perform the penaoce
ot the church; Socrates drank of the poisoned
chalice; and our Saviour was crucified. 8.>,
too, oar Humboldt eudured persecution. Al?
though in every work he proclaims the glory
of the Creator, and the loveliness of Hts
creatures, he was accused of Atheism. Ou
one occ sion he assured a friend that were it
not for the friendship of the King of Prussia
he would have been banished from tbe coun?
try because of the hate of tao prelates and ul?
A man like Humboldt, however, shcald not
be adjudge J from the single features of his
character, bat fxom the remits of bis whole
life. His fear was not ihe world of the
present, bat the world of the future; of the
frreat thinners who are to follow and test bis
a bora by the lient of additional experience and
investigation. But let na believe that the
wisest and beat men of the coming century
will bear witness, as we do to-day, to the uni?
versality of his genios, to the magnitud J of
bis labors, to the benefit he has conferred
opoo mankind, and elevate him lo a position
in the annals of fame higher and proi
than any that will be occupied by his con!
IQ the light cf the present alone, we os (
mans can well feel proud of a fellow Geri
whose name has been sounded to-d&g in
lions of human ears. Yes I the beams of
sun ore Illuminating our foreheads, and ai
view ourselves in the great mirror of the
there ie reflected upon us something of I
halo whioh glorifies the name of Uumbc
and through bim the German people. -
I greet you, theD. my fellow-countryn
with that joy which befits this occasion,
bid you God speed in the use of that int
genoe, energy and patient industry which
have exhibited in all the pursuits of life,
which should ever illustrate the cbaracte
the countrymen of Yon Humboldt.
I greet you, dear German women-you wfa
domestic virtues adorn the circle of boru
you whose faith, purity and excellence oem
the bonds ot society-you whose devotion
the fatherland is only one of the marnies
tions of that love which von bear to the go
the true and the beautiful everywhere.
May God, in His mercy, watch over and t
tect your career, and bless and comfort yoi
all the relations or life.
It is but justice to General Wagoner to i
that the above is a meagre translation i
synopsis, and conveys but an imperfect ide;
the address as spoken in the original Genna
Part II was opened with a haudsorn
rendered chorus-"To thee, I Sing, belo
German Fatherland," after which Proles
McCrady delivered the following address:
Address of Professor AlcCrady.'
In the distribution of the duties of th's n
moria! evening, it has fallen to my lot to tra
bowcvcr imperfectly, tho position occupied
the intellect and labors of Alexander von Hu
boldt in the history of physical science. C<
ecious asl am that to execute such a t:
with a skill proportionate to the magnitude
the subject, ia something quite beyond I
share ol'critical acumen aud research to whi
I may lay claim, I shall nevertheless ondeai
faithfully to delineate the impression ma
upon me by tho scientific career ot tho gn
author of Cosmos, lu thc conviction that wm
there is opnertunity to render homage to t
memory ot those who mark epochs in the t
vanceruent of human knowledge, it is the dt
of evory ono to contribute what he may:
WMilhl rightful me of such opportunity."
I feel a particular satisfaction in being th
limited TO the consideration of Hnmb)ld
scienuhe achievements, as I may thereby ave
.the barren obverse of his life,-"wherein, st
rounded by the foibles of humanity and ovi
ehadowed by a defiant pride of intellect, li
the defaced symbol of that religion to who
influence modem science owes nearly all i
peculiar characteristics, and without whu
Humboldt's achievements themselves WJU
have been impvssib'e.
It is one of t he teachings of that religion to gi
hemer to whom honor is due, and so from eve
part of bis fatherland aud from those distant t
g. on s into which the German race bas puahi
ita vigorous offshoots, as well as from the lo
era of scientific advancement throughout Cnn
tendom, there arises at thia voluntary festiv
a hearty recognition of one of the most extr
ordinary intellectual reputations it has ev
been given to man to acquiro-a reputation i
great that the boldest who may differ from bi
would hardly venturo to attack the sc entil
opinions aud judgments of Alexander vc
Humboldt with levity, or witlr other than tl
reverence which wo instinctively feel in tl
presence of tuc bu heat order of Genius.
When we ask ourselves, however, what sp;
cial achievement in science it is that has lei
in thc case of Hnmboldt, so doop au ?more
sion upon tho mind of the race, a satisfactoi
answer to our question is by no moins so ol
vious as wo might naturally have expected.
It ia easy to fix upon tho source ot Newton
fame, ia tho fact that bo was tho discoverer i
a law which science has since accepted as on
versal, and was, moreover, tho inventor of
wonderful machinery of analysis by which tl
investigation of that law became possible.
is likewise evident that the world-wide repu
which attaches to tho name of Linnie as is di
rived from his being the first to perceive th
scientific importance of the co-ordination <
groups in Nature, and tho first to devise th
means of reflecting tho sistom of Nature i
scientific thought and scientific language.
Nor is it difficult to traco the celebrity of tl
great Cuvier io his discovery of the correll
tion of animal structures, by which it becam
possible to obtain a knowledgo, more or len
precise, of extinct forms of lifo, by tao caroft
study of a few of thou* lesa pe.ishab e part
preserved in the necropolis of the geologic:
In each of these instances, and in man
others which could be added to the compar
son did time permit, there is some special die
covery capable ot being designated in a fe
definite words which nos openod a long av?
nuo of research to students,' nd yielded a
endless harvest to science, more th m suffic
ing to account to us, eve tata glance, for th
veneration in which mankind have ombalme
thc name of ita author.
Bu,t when wo seek tulay the finger of cor
tointy upon that ono thing in Humboldt'* sri
entitle career, to which as to a fountain bea
may be traced the mighty stream of his raino
it seems liker tb? vain effort to determine th
souroo of the Anuzm, or tbc spring fron
which thc Mississippi first sees tho light. I
is true that he was a great traveller, am
has left his footprints in very remote quarter;
of the globe; iu the Steppes of Asia, and th
equatorial foreats of America, on the Peak u
Teneriffe and in the mines of Mexico. It ii
true that everywhere he rrfido even the acct
dents of travel thc opportunities of scieuco
and has left behind him a storo of original ob
servalions of imperishable value. It is inti
that he waa tho fortunate witness of mani
grand exhibitions of the forces at work it
Nature, and that he has left such records o
thom as no other inan baa surpassod, if an-?
have ever equalled. It is trae that he m tut
original rejcarcucs iu physical geography
metoorology, terrestrial magnotism, chemis?
try, mineralogy, botany and zoology," and ir
the geographical diatributiou of organic life,
It is true that history, archa) j'ogy and eth?
nology did noteacape tua comprehensive grasp.
In a word, it is true that he could Uko rank
among tho prona ?uta of each science in turo,
and that he made a number of valuable con?
tributions to several sciences, besides defi?
nitely settling many poi uta of uncertainty.
All this would have entitled him to auch ad?
miration os we give to mou of well balanced
and varied learning, vivi'iud bv a wholesome
personal acquaintance with t uJ sources from
which such knowledge has 'una derived; and
such alone, we may ireely ackuowlo Ige, would
have been the groundwork of a much more
than ordinary repulatio >. Yoi this reputation
would have had lit'le other lOUadstion than
the exhibition of vas., personal power; and
wheo wo should come to inquire what impulse
had been given thereby to tbe progress of sci?
ence no honest mind would, for a m omen ,
comparo such achievements to those of Coper?
nicus, Kepler, Newton, or to those of Linnaeus,
Jussieu, and Cuvier. It would be even an in?
justice to tho memory of Humboldt wero wet J
institute a parallel between his contributions
to physical geography, which constitute nearly
the whole, of bis contributions to scienco.
and the discoveries of the great men just men?
tioned, or with some of the moro recent revela?
tions of science, as, for instance, that which us
known variously as tho Correlattoj, tho Con?
servation or the Persistence of forcea, a dis?
covery which has ?lied luatro upon the assisi
ct Mayer, in Germany,and Jonie, in Eng.'ind
1'liat physical discoveries liku this wer- await?
ing development in Humboldt's lifo ime, and
that borne of iii-m like tli.it just mentioned,
and tho more recent Spectrum Analysis of Kir?
chhoff, while they wero of the utmost imp >r
taucj to Humboldt's scientific aims, lay not
very far from Ina reach, aa Ire grandly tra?
versed all the domains of physical roscaren, are
c::cumsiancea that, take i in connection with
the profound impression left by this great in?
tellect upon his age, become of singular signi?
ficance. For these circumstances indicate that
thc position ol' Humboldtin he historical pro?
gresa of science is Something quite peculiar,
und that a remarkable- idiosyiicracy lioa within
the halo of bis r?putation?
What this idiosvueracy ia we. of course, can?
not dotermiue unless wu first separate fi om
tho scientific reputation of thia illustrious stu?
dent of nit uro those oilier sonre?s of finie
with which it hai no necessary connection.
Wo must bear in mind that we are analyzing
the light of a manifold source, and that, in
this one man mutt be recognized tho profound
scholar, tho sensitive and refined art critic,
the sagacious histonan, tho experienced aud
adroit man of the world, the liberal politician,
united with tho hereditary aristocrat, ai well
tin the colaborator in tbe development of that
doctrine of Humanity which is now so popular
among men. E ich ot these tributary streams
has c m tributed ila flood to the great river of
bis fame, and s ime of them have eiouo more
for its universality than could have buen ef?
fected by any merely scientific reputation.
ret. even when subjected to so destructive
an aualyais. lhere still remains the pure gold
of a scientific distinction lo which DO other
man in Germany or the world can lay an equal
Apart, then, from the popularity which he
knew so woll how to attract und how to retain,
and apart from those accessory powers which
constitute the flying buttresses of tho majestic
struc'uro, ho has left behind bim what cou
8' itu rea the real value of Humboldt's lil
I fear voa will feel some impatience.',
after all this pre'iminarv-'analysis, I a
that the real bisis of .Humboldt's sch
fame is a work which appeared after its a
had already tong been' famous. Does not
one knuw, you will.s'ay, that the Cosmo
great work-the great work of our age, in i
as Bunsen said on its first appearance ?
Bat what I hope will appear, as we pr
is, that the Cosmos must not be reg,
merely as the greatest wc:k of its aathoi
as his whole work, the end and aim of hi
and the embodiment of all he could be t
en ce. Ia short, Humboldt was famous i
earlier years, because he was theo prep
his great powers for the task of writio
"Cosmos" iu "the late evening of his life:
cause be was then writing the Cosmos, anc
that the marvellous energy of that cosmic
tellect has ceased to exhibit its operations I
Humboldt is famous because be bas wr
There are, of coarse, many different p
of view from whioh that great work nu
regarded. As a literary composition, I be
it takes rank among the classics of his c
try. As an artistic effort, it is really wonde
for the success with which, while sacrificio
tittle of its scientific value, the author bas
tri ved to throw off the conventional and ai
ly necessary trammels of technical termino
and professional usage, and to infuse th
and motion of nature into details which,
side the circle of his intellectual influe
usually appear as the d y boues of a life
anatomy. Moreover, as au exhibition of
tensive and varied learning, there are f<
any works, in any language that can bo <
pared with it.
But that which constitutes the value of
Cosmos to the progress of science, and
sequently determines Humboldt's posi
among the great men o? the past, of
present, and of the future, is the concsptio
tho thole work, and the success with wi
that conception has been communicated to
What this conception is, we may find eh
oraleiy set forth in tho preface and iotrod
tion to the Cosmos; but it will be found va
convenient for om present purpose to conde
it, though at some risk, into the compa 1 <
Humboldt conceived the possibility and e
cuted the task of presenting to the agc
which he lived a view of the Cosmos, of
entire physical creation a.t one whole, mo
and animated by internal forces, os a prep.i
tory study to the solution of ibo problem
the rational unity of creation. The roa li
tion of this desigu appears to have been
once tho ultimate object and guiding mol
of his intellectual life. Even from his ear
years, a peculiar longing appears to have r.
sessod him to attain to a conception of
physical universe as a whole, and to expi
this conception in one great series of conni
ed pictures, every line abd shade qf wh
should have a real and definite scion'tifie va
determined by scientific methods.
To show how all his scientific labors gravfl
ed towards the realization of this design,
have but to quote his pwo words: ' Althoug
he declares, "the outward relations of lite, i
an irresistible impulse towards knowledge
various kinds have led me to occupy myself
many years, and apparently exclusively, v.
separate branches of science, as for instai
with descriptive botany, geognosy, chemist
astronomical determinations ol position t
terrestrial magnetism, in owler that I nih
tho better preparo myself for the exteue
travels in which I was desirous of engagi
thc actuil object ot my studies bas, nevert
less, beeo of a higher cjiaracter. The prir
pal impulse by w'nieta I was directed, was
earnest endeavor to comprehend the pbenon
na of physical objec's in their general conn
lion, and to represent nature as one gi
whole, moved and auimaic-d by internal for
-to show in what manner the common coi
tiona, tbat is to say, the great laws by wh
individual ?rou pa of t?ese phenomena are R
ci ned, have been recognized, and what cou
has been pursued in ascending from these Is
to the discovery of their causal connection.'
And he explains his devotion to the speci
ties of so many branches ofsciooce by telling
that his "intercourse with highly gifted m
early led h'm to discover that without an e
nest striving to attain to a knowledge of sj
cial branches of study, all attempts to give
grand and general view of tSe universe wot
be nothing moro than a vain illusion."
The great magnitude of his andertokii
and the impossibility of its perfect accompli!
meat, be recognize sin the folio, vin g word
"In a work of so corbprebcnaive a characti
tbe object of which is to give a scientific a
at thc same time an animated description
nature, a first attempt must rather lav cia
to the merit ot inciting, than to that of sat
But we nav add that this lesser merit is tt
which constitutes its principal practical val
to science, in that it bis given a new and
coamicil character to subaequont n-soarches
Such being thc scientific mission of Alexand
von Humboldt, lot us endeavor to form a go
idea of its absolute and relative valuo to tl
proeress of human knowledge. We eau oe
do so by a consideration of tho history of ii
ductive science, and the laws by which, ind
pendently of tho volition of mau, ita gradi!
evolution has been effected. And it was ono
the army proofs of thc grandeur of Hum bold
work that its true proportions can be appr?t
atod only whoo we view it at a distance as
prominent point in tho vast field of human ii
telle3tual labor, aud ono which hos sumo ir
portant relation to almos, ever'- part of th
So accustomed are we at present to the rap
accumulation of facts and swift succession
discoveries, that we have to be reminded
the time when the amount of mau's posits
knowledge of natural phenomena was vei
small in compass, and when no wide circlo
readmg nor very prolonged application to ri
search waa necessary to embie students <
lair abilities to master tbs whole domain <
physical knowledge. It was then no very dill
cult thing to acquire all that was really knot*
in the fields of astronomy, geognosy, naturi
history aud chemistry. So it was. iu tho epoc
of Roger B icon, of Leonardo di Vinci, and g
it continued in a less eminent degree even t
the time of Newton and Linnraus.
Inducive science was thea in embryo, and
like the beginnings of m tay other great deve
opments, occupied but a small space ia tb
intellectual world. Yet was this small space c
very manifold comprehensiveness, for in it la
the germ < of all tho special acionces since un
folded. Men indeed had not followed the in
ductive method a great way before discovenni
that nature is infinite in the number and diver
sity of ber special phenomena as well as iu he
cosmical expansion. The determination of om
fact in any one direction of stadv, instead o
satisfying inquiry, was found to create a wan
of further information by betraying the exist
ence of a greater or less number of unsus
fleeted and often veiy puzzling appearance!
ving beyond it. To ascertain the cause o
these appearances, farther investigations be
cime necessary. From the very complexity
itself of nature, it resulted that the attain'
ment of accurate knowledge, in one particu?
lar, involved the necessity of attaining equal?
ly accurate knowledge ia several ochei
related particulars, and consequently the
observer was * lsd to expend a much
greater amcunt : of time * and labor on
every several object of research than could at
first have boon anticipated. Tho growth ot
positive or empirical knowledge, once begun,
was found to bb of such a nature that, thai more
it grow, the mo't must it .continue to grow,
ant? that, iu short, so exhaust oss was tho va?
riety of phenomena in the unity of nature, no
limit could bc assigned to thc continuous ac?
cumulation of physic.il knowledge but those bar?
riera imposed by time and space, and theJm
perfection of tho i-eiis:i3. and ot the meaw of
locomotion possessed by min. Even these
barriers, however, lo eomo extent gave Tay
when America waa made known to Europe;
when tho t?lescopa and niic.oseope were in?
vented, and wheo tho methods and objee a of
chemical analysis came to bo better under?
stood! By such moan* new worl ls of discov?
ery of an in finite richness, far exsieding the
conceptions of the profoundest thinkers, wore
disclosed to observation. Science became, wo
might almost say, suddenly emancipated from
tho bondago of unlimited speculation, and
found herself free in *ho midst of the untold
intellectual wealth of the physical universe.
She soon realized, however, thal tho necessary
condition of oujoymont is labor. The mosses
of material derived from all sources increased
so rapidly from day to day, that enthusiasm
gradually sottled down to tho humbler sphere
of systematic work, and even thou the worker
found tho possibility of mastering the whole
domain of knowledge growing daily less and
ilecourso was next had to classification, at
first with bnt little higher aim than that of so
arranging the growing material os to econo?
mizo labor; but even the aid thus derived,
tho igli vase, did not keep paco with the growth
of material. Ia short, classification itself be?
came a laborious intellectual employment,
when it was perceived to have its root iu the
very nature of Ibo things classified, and most
become a new and fruitful source of error, un?
less brougbt toto conformity with that nature.
The problem thus introduced involved the
study of laws so recondite aa to require the
most extensive and minute comparisons of phe?
nomena and thc moat profound meditation
upon them, so that the mastery of sucb la^s
io one department only, demande J a large part
and sometimes tne wuoie ai me mc-uius wi ?
at ud mt of even eminent ability.
Meanwhile, though the intellectual energy
of men was gradually discovering, by practical
experience, the way of employing itself to the
best advantage, yet tho actual amount of that
energy, 01 what I may call its specific value,
remained the same. The material for study
.constantly growing in bulk and complexity,
the capacity for study remained almost un?
changed, except in the improvement of its
methods; and it was finally found impractica?
ble for the average ability of the distinguished
intellects of our race to conquer the whole
domain of physical knowledge. Nor will we
wonder at this, when we call to mind the in?
finite diversity in the unity of nature, and that
the service she exacts of ber followers is in?
tellectual Labor, ot which Humboldt is one of
the most remarkable representatives; a kind
of labor so intense tbat it has been scientifi?
cally estimated that two hours ot suob exer?
tion exhausts the vital energy of man as much
as a whole day of manual labor.
These difficulties in the pursuit of a positive
knowledge of nature gradually, and indepen?
dently ot the volition of man, wrought out
their own result tn the well-known form of a
"division of labor," by which the idea of a
tingle individual's attaining to the mastery of
the whole field was finally abandoned, and
each worker selected and devoted himself to s
single branch of research.
The concentration of individual energy upon
specialties soon produced iu science effects
similar to those it has given birth to in com?
merce and to industrial arts, namely, -increas?
ed production with leas expenditure of time.
But it is easy to understand that the more the
study of the Cosmos became thereby divided
into separate channels, and the more the de?
tails of the separate branches were multiplied,
the less was it possible to retain tho links of
connection which, in nature, bind all these to?
gether into one great whole, animated by \rbat
we may call a single Ufe. The difficulty o? do?
ing so was, moreover, incroased by the fact that
such cosmical principles of unity as were par?
tially revealed from timo to time to ooservers
were seeL to involve wh illy now conceptions,
such as the human mind could not have fore?
seen. ? little reflection will disclose to us the
re ason of this uew difficulty in tbs .great dif?
ference there is between th3 peroiption of a
truth and the mature conception ot it.
A. notional perception of the unity of creation
men had had from the earliest epochs, and
though practically obscured to a greater or
less degree in past ages, by the prevalence of
polytheism, we may say that this- perception
has" always existed, either in a latent form or
with that decree of distinct vitality which it
manifests in the pages of our Bibles; a vitality
to which our present knowledge can add
Now, otu* modern science began its career
with this perception and bas always retained
it, and modern science bas never yet attained
to a rational conception of the unity of nature.
In making snch distinctions as these, compari?
sons often help us. Let us attempt such au
It bas for example always been perceived by
mankind that the light and heat of the sun are
essential to . the well-being of animals and
plants; and so greatly at times bas that percep?
tion influenced human thought, that religious
systems have been formed upon or modified by
it. Yet so far as is known, it was not untu
within a few years past that scienco carno to
understand that light and heat once considered*
as fluids, are really forces, which, in the lumi?
nous splendor of nur central orb, are combined
with other forces, such as actinism and mag?
netism, and that the operation of these forces
from tho sun produces upon earth tbat^ndless
internal movement of matter which is the es?
sential condition of the exercise of vital activity.
Thus, though men have always peroeioed that
sunlight is essential to organic fife, they have -
1 never, until quito recently, approached to s
clear conception of the mutual relation between
these two things.
In a manner precisely similar, science has
a; way a perceived the unity of the Cosmos, bat
has never yet arrived at a rational conception
of it. Always, however, aspiring to saoh s
conception, many and varied have been tbe
speculative attempt*: iu philosophical systems
to discover some principle of unification, which,
derived from pure theory, might suoply the
means of reaching that conception without the
protracted labors of the inductive method.
Such were nearly all tbe physical doctrines of
the Greeks and of the Middle Ages. They,
with others of more modern birth, lie scattered
along the road-side of history like the ruins by
which we nome times trace the miration
of races. Notwithstanding the germs of
truth, which many of them contain, they
have each in tura been found insuffi?
cient, and have demonstrated the great
truth that mm cannot preconceive-the mys?
teries of creation. Experiment and observation
alone, by well directed and unce as i og labor, eau
gradually bring us to a nearer view of these
myateridS. The rational conception of the
unity of tho Cosmos not only has not yet been
a'tamed, but, perhaps, it never can be folly
attained, because it may, and probably does,
involve one of those apparent contradictions
which constitute the limits of human thought,
"We are still," says Humboldt, "very far from
the time when it will be possible for us to re?
duce by the operation of thought all that we
perceive by tho senses, to the unity of a ra?
tional principle. It may even be doubted,"
he continues, "if such a victory couti ever ba
achieved in the field of Natural Phylosophy.
?'Yet," he concludes, "even a partial solution
of the problem-the tendency towards the
comprehension ot the phenomena of the uni?
verse-will not tho less remain the eternal and
sublime aim of every investigation of nature."
Such, thon, being the problem towards tbe
eolation of which all real progress in physical
science must tend, and such as we have seen
being the natural laws and conditions which
make mat progress wnat ii ?Z, w9 ai"0? I hope,
m a position to understand tho relation of
Humboldt to the advaocemmt of hu**;"-^
knowledge, and the magnitude of ii?e task
which he seems to have been specially design?
ed to accompliab.
The infinite diversity of the special phenom?
ena of nature which had compelled men tacitly
to adopt a system of division of labor, had un?
avoidably led at the samo time to a virtual
neglect of the problem of the unity of nature.
Tho study of special adaptations to special
ends, seemed to engage the whole attention of
scientific mea, asd though out of such re?
searches often grew the most ?pleodid gene?
rals nions of the last importance to science,,
yet these were for the most part limited by
their nature to the special departments ia
which they had originated. The task of com?
bining all the results of all of the man? fields
of systematic reaaarctLjuto one whole, pro
serving at the same time their trae relations
to each other, seems to have been quietly pass?
ed by as an impracticable undertaking.
To any other man than Humboldt it proba?
bly would have been so. He who should at?
tempt this work must first make himself prac?
tically and critically famiii *r with every branch
of physical science. No encyclopedist, no com?
piler, no mere bookworm could be the author
of the Cosmos. He who would put the problem
of the unity of creation into a distinct and
tangible form, by bringing to one focus all the
manifold lights derived from the researches of
innumerable observers in the most varied fields
of research, must be by nature a critic and a
judge of other men's labors, and must, more?
over, qualify himself by culture for the exer?
cise of bis functions. We all know the great
distance between these two things. Every
one recognizes that to be a judge
of what other men have done ifca very differ
ont thing from being the mere narrator of
their achievements. In a great musical per?
formance any on<*, however unskilful, may en?
joy the full harmony and the exquisite melody,
and may even give a pleasant account of their
effect upon himself; but it ia only the educat?
ed musician, experimentally acquainted with
the difficulties both of composition and per?
formance, who is reallv in a poattiou to judge
of the faults and excellencies of the exhibition.
And in science, critical ability ia recognized as
the highest form of ability, acd thiu to which
it ia most hazardous to lay an unsubstantial
Humboldt saw that to sift out from the vast
masa of scientific writings all that was reliable
for his grand picture of the Comos, he must
constitute himself a critic and a judge m every
branch of critic, research, and he early learn?
ed, as he tells us, that this was simply im?
possible, unless ho became einen mentally ac?
quainted with the inner working life of each
science, and could weigh ali its diffloulti -a and
correctly estimate the sources ot error peculiar
to its characteristic methods. lu short that,
11 wnte the Cosmos, he must become practi?
cally a proficient in every physical science
that be must do tbat which all other devotees
of science had by tacit consent to tbe division
of labor acknowledged tho impassibility of
doing. Nothing but the consciousness of vast
powers, profound enthusiasm, indomitable
will and herculean capacity for labor could
have enabled him to venture upon the task,
and we cannot be surprised that fr ma time to
time he abandoned it as impracticable and
even at last, when it waa completed, fall a cer?
tain degree of human diffidence in bri ging it
before tho world.
Njr can we wonder that a life-ti me-an uuu- J
anally long bfe-time of labor- was consumed ba?
hia preparations for so great an achievement,
nor that the faint glimpses which tbe world
caught of the interior of bis laboratory while
these preparations wire ia progrese, were
[Continutd on fourth fag:]