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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/277

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SKETCH OF F. A. VULPIAN.

"One Tuesday, at the usual hour of his demonstrations in the. laboratory, he gave us students an agreeable surprise, and one which we shall long remember. He had invited the renowned Pasteur to show to the class the results of his researches in his now world-famed methods of prophylaxis by vaccination of many virulent diseases of the lower animals. For the short hour of the lecture, Pasteur took chicken-cholera for his subject. He showed the students the micrococcus which causes the disease, the manner of converting it into a harmless vaccinating matter, and finally the lesions produced in the unvaccinated fowl by the micrococcus. Prof. Vulpian, in his large-hearted admiration for his fellow-scientist, took a real pleasure in giving his class an opportunity of seeing and hearing Pasteur.

"The personal appearance of Prof. Vulpian was more than usually striking. He was above the average in stature, and his broad but slightly stooping shoulders were surmounted by a large, finely shaped head, which was adorned by a thick growth of wavy, iron-gray hair. His grave and dignified mien, and the modest air of a true savant that he constantly bore, at once commanded the respect and consideration that he so well merited. His kindly disposition of character endeared him to all with whom he came in contact; and the generosity and absence of jealousy with which he welcomed any discovery made by another scientist, or any honor conferred upon a colleague, was another trait in the character of this truly estimable man.

"He lived in the rue Soufflot, that short but fine street in the Latin Quarter of Paris which is closed at one end by the Pantheon, where the remains of Victor Hugo rest, and at the other by the beautiful Jardin du Luxembourg, where stands the stately palace in which the Senate sits. In this remarkable garden of the Luxembourg, full of fountains, statuary, flower-beds, orange-trees, and students, the hero of this sketch was fond of walking after dinner. Almost every evening about sundown he could be seen strolling quietly through the garden, during half an hour, in company with a tall young man whom I supposed to be his son, and with whom he kept up a pleasant, fatherly conversation. Then, before the retraite sounded, which was the signal to close the gates, he would return to his home close by, where his arduous professional work awaited him.

"During the progress of that hot debate which took place last year in the French Academy of Medicine upon the value of Pasteur's method of vaccination as a means of preventing the outbreak of hydrophobia after the bite of a mad animal. Prof. Vulpian gave proof of his excellent judgment in medical controversy, and of his unshaken friendship for Pasteur. In the session of January 18, 1887, he made a warm defense of Pasteur's method,