Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/859

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SKETCH OF CARL SEMPER.

the child who brings his certificate of conduct or advancement, move in a world of abstractions. The words number, form, distance, situation, are so many mental concepts. Language is a translation of reality, a transposition in which objects figure already generalized and classified by the labor of thought.—Translated for the Popular Science Monthly from the Revue des Deux Mondes.

SKETCH OF CARL SEMPER.

CARL SEMPER is characterized by Dr. August Schuberg[1] as a student who, while being especially thorough in a particular line of research and generally preferring it, was remarkably free from, that kind of specialism which is so common and often detrimental to science as a whole. "There are few investigators who have made themselves so familiar with the most various groups of the animal kingdom through their own researches as he; and he most catholicly busied himself with all branches of zoölogy—anatomy, histology, embryology, physiology and general biology, systematic biology, and geographical distribution—in all of which he pursued his own lines of investigation, so that it may be said that there are few regions of zoölogy which he did not explore." He was also an industrious student in anthropology and ethnology.

Carl Gottfried Semper was born at Altona, July 6, 1832, the son of the manufacturer Johann Carl Semper, and died at Würzburg, May 29, 1893. He attended the gymnasium of his native city till he reached the Secunda, and then entered the school for naval cadets which was founded by the "Provisional Government" of Schleswig-Holstein at Kiel in 1848. Not finding the conditions here very attractive, he joined the artillery as a volunteer and engaged in a brief campaign against the Danes. When Schleswig Holstein was given up to Denmark, he, by his father's advice, attended the Hanover Polytechnic School from 1851 to 1854. At the University of Würzburg (1854 to 1858) he gave special attention to comparative morphology and histology. Having received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Würzburg in 1856, he continued his studies there and at the Kiel High School in 1857, and in November of that year started on a tour through Germany, France, and Spain, the object of which, he said, was partly study in the museums and libraries, and partly to find associates who would join him in a more extensive scientific journey. His inten-


  1. In Arbeiten aus dem Zoologisch-zootomischen Institut in Würzburg, in an article whence the material for this sketch is derived.