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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 18.djvu/566

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

"His talents and industry made him a man of mark, to whom was intrusted much work that required original thought. Especially did he show interest in the problems of deep-sea soundings and the structure of the ocean-bottom, an interest that led to profound observations on the physical geography of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf Stream. His papers on this subject were of the first order, and established his reputation in Europe as well as in America.

"By the death of his father, he succeeded to the title, and received a fortune which enabled him to devote himself wholly to his favorite studies, and to do much in continuing the great work of Louis Agassiz. Appointed keeper of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, he gave himself, with untiring devotion, to carrying out the arrangement so laboriously planned by his friend and master. Dividing the task with the curator, Alexander Agassiz, he pushed forward his part of the work with the easy power of a strong and highly-trained intellect. Every day and all day at his post—now pursuing special investigations, and now directing the details of the museum—he was the model of an administrative officer.

"He had not an enemy, and could not have had one; for, although firm and persevering in temper, he possessed the gentleness of a child and a woman's kindness. His modesty amounted almost to a fault; and people wondered why a man who was master of three languages should talk so little. But with intimate friends he would speak freely, and never without giving information and amusement. His range of learning was very wide, and his command of it perfect; nor was it confined to mathematics, physics, and zoölogy. He did not scorn novels and light poetry, and was knowing in family anecdotes and local history. Indeed, it was a saying in the Museum that, if Count Pourtales did not know a thing, it was useless to ask any one else."

Professor Alexander Agassiz writes to "Nature" as follows: "M. Pourtales was the pioneer of deep-sea dredging in America, and he lived long enough to see that these expeditions had paved the way not only for similar English, French, and Scandinavian researches, but had led in this country to the Hassler, and finally to the Blake Expeditions, under the auspices of the Hon. Carlile P. Patterson, the present Superintendent of our Coast Survey. On the Hassler Expedition from Massachusetts through the Straits of Magellan to California, he had entire charge of the dredging operations; owing to circumstances beyond his control, the deep-sea explorations of that expedition were not so successful as he anticipated.

"The materials of the different deep-sea dredging expeditions above mentioned had been chiefly deposited at the Museum in Cambridge, and were thence distributed to specialists in this country and in Europe. A large part of the special reports upon them have already appeared. M. Pourtales reserved to himself the Corals, Halcyonarians, Holothu-