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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/566

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

ence being highly esteemed in this institution, and its library being well supplied with books on those subjects, Stallo improved his leisure hours in studying them.

In the fall of 1843 Mr. Stallo became Professor of the Higher Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry in St. John's College, Fordham, a position which he held till 1847, when he returned to Cincinnati and entered upon the study of the law.

He was admitted to the bar in 1849, and came rapidly into a large practice. In 1853 he was appointed by the Governor of Ohio to fill a vacancy caused by the resignation of Justice Stanley Matthews as judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Hamilton County, and was elected by the people in the same year to that office for the full term. After discharging the duties of this position for two years, with satisfaction to the bar and the public, he resigned it in 1855, in order to continue his more lucrative practice. He thus lived, an eminent and respected citizen of Cincinnati, one of whom the German element especially was proud, prominent in the rational discussion of all questions of public interest, and active in all measures for advancing the public welfare, till, in 1885, he was appointed by President Cleveland to be the diplomatic representative of the United States at the court of the King of Italy.

According to Koerner's "German Element in America," the study of the higher mathematics, in which his professorial positions engaged him, led him logically to the investigation of the German philosophy, and consequently to the cultivation of those habits of thought which are exemplified in his principal published works. The first fruit of these reflections appeared in the book entitled "General Principles of the Philosophy of Nature, with an Outline of some of its Recent Developments among the Germans, embracing the Philosophical Systems of Schelling and Hegel, and Oken's System of Nature," which was published in Boston in 1848.

The credit is given to this publication, by an eminent scientific author, of having marked an epoch in the education of American thinkers. The views then expressed by the author have been modified and in part rejected by his riper experience; but they were not the less full of suggestion and inspiration, giving a new conception of nature, and opening unexplored vistas of thought to the student. This was at a time when the conception of unity and organic plan in nature, though already seen by poets like Goethe, had scarcely entered into the minds of English-speaking students of science. The second part of this early volume of Stallo's was not less welcome to such inquirers from the fact that it included brief expositions of the philosophic views of Kant, of Fichte, and of Schelling, serving as