Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/278

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the first time from outside the political world, the 'Left' of the Senate have wished to manifest their good disposition toward the sciences; and, if I am happy in having been chosen on that ground, I am especially happy that anthropology should have acquired so much importance in public opinion as to be called to have its representative in the Senate." A banquet was given him by his friends in honor of his nomination, when he made a remark which had a singular bearing in connection with his sudden death: "My friends, I am too happy .... Yes, I am too happy. If I was superstitious, I should regard my nomination to the Senate as the presage of some great misfortune, perhaps as the presage of death." On the 6th of July, 1880, he was seized with a fainting-fit at his place in the Senate. He resumed his work on the two following days, but was attacked again at midnight on the 8th, and died in ten minutes. His organs were found to be all sound, and his death was attributed to cerebral exhaustion arising from overwork.

For forty years Broca lived a life of persistent work. While still a student, he would pass his nights reading scientific works and journals pen in hand, to note down what he found most interesting. For three years, although he was otherwise the busiest of the professors, he delivered his lectures twice a week, while his colleagues were satisfied to give a single lesson. He was accustomed to spend much time every day at the laboratory, dissecting, drawing, or superintending the modeling and classification of new specimens; and he also devoted most of his evenings to anthropology. The pressure of his duties finally became so great that he could only afford one hour an evening for his favorite work, and he took from eleven o'clock till midnight, promising his family that he would not study later.

As a teacher, says M. Bertillon, he was clearness itself. His passion for truth spoke in his lectures, and he would never leave a subject till he could see the understanding of it reflected in the face of every hearer down to the simplest child. He was always ready to ignore the interests of his own ambition for the sake of those of science, and insisted on retiring from the presidency of the Anthropological Section of the French Association in 1876, so that the honor might be open to others. His style was simple and elegant, and combined the graces of the man of taste and the lover of poetry with the preciseness of the scientific student. In his personality his features were less important than the expression that animated them. In personal intercourse his vivacity, his originality, his fertile memory, and his inexhaustible resources in quotations and anecdotes, made him a charming talker. He was as familiar with questions of aesthetics and literature as with those of politics and science; was interested in everything, and had his own well-reasoned views on everything. In all things love of truth was the great passion of his life.