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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/424

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POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

In the autumn of 1861 Moleschott was called by Cavour to the chair of Physiology in the University of Turin. In 1876 he was made senator of the kingdom of Italy, and in 1879 appointed to a professorship in the newly organized University of Rome, where he united with his academical duties and senatorial functions an extensive practice as a physician. There he died, May 20, 1893; and, although more than threescore years and ten, he was constitutionally so robust that his death may be said to have been premature. Like his father, he fell a victim to overwork and exposure in the conscientious exercise of his profession. During the last twenty years of his life he devoted himself also with laudable zeal and marked success to the land of his adoption in the promotion of education and the sanitary improvement of the Italian capital and other cities of the realm.

Moleschott was not only an able and painstaking specialist but also a man of broad culture, an excellent musician, a connoisseur in art, and a keen observer and intelligent critic of all the social, political, philosophical, and theological movements of the age. Whatever concerned the progress of knowledge and the perfection of humanity enlisted his sympathies and secured his support. He was a good linguist, and wrote and spoke French, Italian, and German with rare correctness and facility. The greater part of his works were composed originally in German, which he preferred even to Dutch, his mother tongue, as a medium of literary and scientific communication; but, unlike most German authors, his style is wonderfully clear and succinct, and wholly free from the awkward involutions into which the peculiar genius of the language, its very vitality and plasticity, are apt to tempt the unwary scribe. Moleschott was saved from this fatality by his artistic sense of proportion. In his treatment of a subject he had the rare gift of knowing what to put in, what to leave out, and when to stop. He was a "full" man, in the Baconian use of the term, but was mentally too well poised to slop over. He had inherited a hasty temper, but had learned in early life to keep it under control, and this natural sensitiveness under proper discipline rendered him a most charming and sympathetic companion in his intercourse with his family and his friends. Above all, he was thoroughly honest and sincere, and never permitted personal feeling to warp his judgment; in his controversies and criticisms he was generous and just, welcomed the truth from every source, and did not show the slightest disposition to ignore or depreciate the merits and achievements of an adversary.

    Wirth, 1894, ix, pp. 404). The author is the pastor of St. Leonhard's Church in Bâle. We may add that photographs of Moleschott, of a cabinet size, may be procured from his publisher, Emil Roth, in Giessen, for one mark, or twenty-five cents.