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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/419

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prospects in Utrecht. One day a Protestant clergyman paid him a visit and, after speaking in flattering terms of his professional ability and success, expressed regret that Moleschott did not attend church, and promised, on this condition, to recommend him to the members of the congregation. Moleschott thanked him for his good opinion and kind intention, but positively declined to pretend to worship God in the service of Mammon.

Moleschott's predilection for scientific research became more and more a passion to him. He determined henceforth to make a specialty of the study and teaching of biology in the broadest sense of the terra as the science of life, and for this purpose habilitated as Privatdocent in his alma mater, the University of Heidelberg. No sooner was his intention made known than he was offered the position of Lecturer on Medical Jurisprudence in the University of Utrecht, which, however, had no attractions for him.

The subject chosen for his first course of lectures at Heidelberg in the summer of 1847 was physiological chemistry, and, although his audience was small, it comprised a number of students who afterward became scientists of distinction. As the fees for lectures furnished only a scanty source of revenue, he was compelled to keep up a limited medical practice and to devote himself earnestly to literary work. One of his first tasks of this kind was a thorough revision of the volume on foods in Prof. Tiedemann's elaborately planned but unfortunately never completed Manual of Human Physiology, which he undertook at the request of the venerable author.

On March 14, 1849, Moleschott married Sophie Strecker, the eldest daughter of a prominent citizen of Mayence, who entered heartily and intelligently into her husband's special studies and proved to be an efficient helpmate in catching and preparing frogs for experimental purposes, and aiding him in his microscopical observations.

In a course of lectures on the blood and its constitution, especially as to the effects of different kinds of food upon the relation of the white to the red corpuscles, Moleschott was assisted by seven students, who volunteered to undergo the necessary experiments. They came in the morning without having eaten anything and then partook of the prescribed diet, whose nutritive qualities were to be tested by an analysis of the blood. If eggs and other albuminous fare, roast meats, and peas were served, all was well; but if the meal consisted merely of potatoes and apple sauce, the youthful votaries of science, after their work was done, returned to their homes with ravenous appetites and pillaged cupboards and kitchens, so that the cooks in their respective families began to gossip about the queer sort of hospitality shown by that Dr. Moleschott, who invited the young men to dine with him and