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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/554

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and his companions." Of the series of voyages to Spitzbergen, "Nature" says: "These expeditions were not undertaken for the mere purpose of creating a sensation by the foolhardy feat of attempting to reach the pole at all hazards. Geographical discovery certainly formed a part of the programme of all the expeditions in which Nordenskiöld has been engaged;" and it contrasts the results—of the first importance, and obtained with a modest expenditure—strongly with those of "the expensive and elaborately equipped expedition in the Alert and Discovery." Speaking in 1879, while the last expedition was still in progress, "Nature" said, "Comparatively young as Professor Nordenskiöld is, he has done an amount of work rarely accomplished even in a long life-time." And in February of this year, reviewing his whole work, it said: "Thus no one man has done half so much as Baron Nordenskiöld for a scientific exploration of the Arctic regions. The most striking characteristics of his various expeditions have been the small expense at which they were conducted, their modest but carefully considered equipment, the clear and scientific methods on which they were planned, and the wealth and high value of the results obtained." Baron Nordenskiöld is now preparing for another expedition.

Baron Nordenskiöld represented the capital of Sweden in the Diet from 1869 to 1871, and was instrumental in bringing about some important legislative measures for the promotion of science.

Personally, Baron Nordenskiöld is a genial man. His modesty and aversion to public display, which are well known and recognized, are quite remarkable in his "Voyage of the Vega," where he shuts his personality wholly out of sight, and devotes his attention, with an exclusiveness which is rare among travelers, to the account of what he observed and learned. Yet he loses no occasion to introduce his companions and their labors, and to give them full credit. So complete is his sinking of himself that it has been impossible to find anything in that work with which to illustrate his personality for the purposes of this sketch.