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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 32.djvu/422

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

mospbere. On this occasion, these rays revealed themselves so distinctly and brightly, and shone with such steady light, that he could no longer doubt the accuracy of the accounts of his fellow-observers of the eclipse of 1869, nor that the phenomena were independent of personal equations and atmospheric effects. He explained them as being due to reflection from the streams of meteor-dust which are supposed to be constantly flowing toward and around the sun.

The list of Professor Abbe's published papers down to 1880 includes eighty-four titles, several of which cover more than one article. The papers relate chiefly to subjects in astronomy and meteorology, and to matters connected with the author's particular work. They include reports and other articles of a documentary character, seventeen articles in "Appletons' Cyclopædia," nine in Johnson's, contributions to Baird's "Annual Record of Science and Industry," articles in scientific periodicals, and articles in newspapers—all tending directly to the increase or diffusion of knowledge. Professor Abbe has been engaged for many years in the supervision of a bibliography, which is now near completion; and has completed a treatise on meteorological instruments that will soon be published by the Signal Office.

Some of Professor Abbe's personal qualities have already appeared incidentally in the regular course of this sketch. The key to them appears to be unselfishness—a virtue which has been prominently manifested through the whole of his life. His classmate, already quoted from, writes: "Everybody liked Cleveland Abbe thirty years ago, as I suppose everybody likes him now. He was unselfish, modest, kindly then, and, in disposition, though only twenty years old, a scientific man, a lover of scientific truth." A scientific friend, whom also we quoted before, corroborates this, saying: "In disposition, he is unselfish to a rare degree, generally managing that others shall get the credit for work in which he has had a large share. To this characteristic, together with the somewhat peculiar code of ethics which prevails in the Government service, must be attributed the fact that his contributions to the science of meteorology have appeared less frequently than was hoped for by some of his friends."

His policy in connection with the Signal Service is eloquently described in a letter of January 28, 1886, presented by General W. B. Hazen to the Joint Committee of Congress on the Signal Service, and printed in the bulky volume of testimony, where he says, page 1057 "Until finally accepting the inevitable, he announced it as his own established policy, on the one hand, to himself prepare little or nothing for publication of an original nature; and, on the other hand, to advise, assist, and stimulate the work of every member of the service to the very best of his ability." This policy is now ended by the special orders of Generals Hazen and Greely, who have directed that his time shall be mainly given to those greater works that the world has a right to expect from his knowledge and experience.