Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 45.djvu/368

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impressed itself on the spectator. Truth to say, in actual performance of an important operation Billroth showed no marked superiority over his fellow-surgeons. He avoided any show of brilliancy or flourish, went steadily to work, erred, if at all, on the side of slowness, and was neither more nor less discomposed by any complication or untoward event than any one else. The finish of his operative work was rather the result of his immense experience than of any remarkable aptitude. . . . From first to last he was never a specialist, and his operative experience was singularly varied."

Dr. A. Wölfler, of Gratz, one of his most famous pupils, thinks that the chief power of his fame was not so much in his actual inventions in surgery as in the larger and more general ideas in medicine and surgery which he suggested. In the days when bacteriology was still groping in the dark—twenty years ago—he made successful investigations of a bacterium of wounds which he called streptococcus. In another direction he established and gave effect to general principles in nursing. His highest aim was to look out for the well-being and care of sufferers. Only in his later years did he busy himself with biological questions, and then pursued them with indefatigable ardor and persistence. His works are the classical text-books in Germany.

Prof. Billroth's earliest studies were in music, to which he was devotedly attached, and he retained a strong love for the art and its apostles. He was an excellent performer on the pianoforte and violin, and maintained a close friendship with Johann Strauss, Wagner, and Brahms.


HOWEVER unhappy New York city may be in the matter of pavements between curbs, there is one fact apparent to the most casual observer, and that is that New York has the finest and best sidewalk pavements of any city in the universe. This is due to the fact that the sidewalks are largely paved with huge flat slabs of a natural product known in the commercial marts of New York as North or Hudson River bluestone. These slabs, which form smooth and dry platforms for the use of pedestrians, come from the quarries much in the same shape as they are laid upon the walks of nearly all of the Atlantic coast and many of the inland cities.

North River bluestone is a fine-grained compact sandstone, extremely hard and wearing upon a tool, and is made up of microscopic crystals of the sharpest sand. It abounds in inexhaustible