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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/413

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SKETCH OF PROFESSOR S. S. HALDEMAN.

and two mock-heroic poems. He was a contributor to Johnson's "Cyclopædia" and an associate editor of the department of comparative philology and linguistics in it; and he left behind him in manuscript two complete philological works; one on "Word-Building," the other on "English Prosody." The diversity of occupation of which this varied bibliography affords evidence was in part a matter of principle with him, for, says Dr. Brinton, "it was his taste and apparently also his theory that a student should not be a specialist, but should devote his mind to different branches, thus securing wider knowledge"; and he once said to Professor Barber, "I never pursue one branch of science more than ten years, but lay it aside and go into new fields." That he was able to acquit himself creditably in everything he undertook, we have the word of Agassiz, who said of him, "That man Haldeman has an idea behind every word he utters." Professor Le Conte has said that "next to his valuable contributions in philology, the most important work of Professor Haldeman was in the direction of descriptive natural history. He was well versed in several branches of zoölogy, and notably in conchology and entomology; in both studies he perceived latent possibilities of future philosophical development which the then imperfect observations rendered impossible to do more than dimly outline. . . . While his contributions in the two branches of zoology above mentioned have contributed to their advance in this country, what are to be especially admired are the zeal, the honesty of expression, and the unselfishness with which he did everything he believed to be right, or to be his duty as the occasion dictated. . . . At all times he was an industrious and intelligent laborer, a warm and sympathetic friend, and a thorough hater of pretense and empiricism."

Professor Haldeman was born of Protestant parents, but, not satisfied with the theology that was preached around him, made a study of the evidences of Christianity for himself, and ended by uniting with the Roman Catholic Church, in whose faith he died.

His death took place suddenly on September 15, 1880, a few days after his return from the Boston meeting of the American Association. The immediate cause was heart-disease, following a period of considerable fatigue.