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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 35.djvu/867

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SKETCH OF CAROLUS LINNÆUS.

this, and regarded his system as simply a stepping-stone to something better. He is quoted as having said that whoever should found a natural system on a solid basis would be his great Apollo. An account in the "Philosophia Botanica" of a series of naturally allied families is prefaced by the words that "a natural method is the first and last thing to be desired in botany; Nature does not make leaps. All plants show affinity on either side, like the territory in a geographical map." He and Bernard de Jussieu corresponded on the subject, and the latter urged him to institute a natural system. Such a system, however, could not be built at once, or by one man, and Linnæus had to content himself with furnishing the staging by the aid of which others could more slowly build up the permanent structure.

Linnseus is described as having been a little above the medium height, rather slight, but well shaped; with broad head and frank and open physiognomy; lively and piercing eyes, with a peculiarly refined expression. He was quick-tempered, but soon recovered from his passion. "He lived simply, acted promptly, and noted down his observations at the moment. ... He found biology," says Mr. Jackson, "a chaos; he left it a cosmos. When he appeared upon the scene, new plants and animals were in the course of daily discovery, in increasing numbers, due to the increase of trading facilities; he devised schemes of arrangement by which these acquisitions might be sorted provisionally, until their natural affinities should have become clearer. He made many mistakes; but the honor due to him for having first enunciated the true principles for defining genera and species, and his uniform use of trivial names, will last so long as biology itself endures."

Another biographer gives as the peculiar features in which he surpassed, "the distinct study he made of each species, the regularity and detail of the characteristics he gave of genera, the care which he took to put in the background variable circumstances like size and color, the energetic precision of his language, and the convenience of his nomenclature."

A scheme was started for erecting a monument to Linnæus in connection with the centenary of his death. As is usual in such affairs, the subscriptions were slower in coming in than was contemplated by the promoters of the enterprise, and the completion of the monument was delayed. The statue, by Prof. Kjelberg, was unveiled on the 13th of May, 1885. It stands in the Humlegarden in Stockholm, and represents the "flower-king," as he is called in Sweden, at the age of sixty years, in a meditating attitude, holding the "Systema Naturæ" and a bunch of flowers in his right hand. It is surrounded by allegorical female figures representing botany, zoölogy, medicine, and mineralogy.