Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 52.djvu/861

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839
SKETCH OF CARL SEMPER.

This preference was recognized by the authorities of the university in an assurance that a reorganization of the zoölogical cabinet—the arrangement of which was poorly adapted for purposes of instruction—should be begun, to be completed in five years. Professor Semper proceeded at once with a provisional rearrangement, and with the foundation of a museum of comparative anatomy; and the former zoölogical cabinet was named by the Academical Senate in December, 1871, the Zoölogical Zoötomical Institute. The number of his pupils increased, and many valuable studies were undertaken by them under his lead and at his suggestion; but all their work was hampered by want of means and of space. A site for a building had been granted the university by the city authorities of Würzburg in 1875, but no building money had been appropriated, and the question of the way in which funds could be obtained offered a serious problem.

His work at Würzburg suffered several interruptions. During the war of 1870 his characteristic energy found full sway in the direction of the transportation of provisions and hospital furnishings to the seat of hostilities, in which he was several times engaged. A sojourn in Heligoland in 1873 and 1874, and a visit of a few months in 1876 in company with some of his pupils to the Balearic Islands, were of much advantage to his scientific work. Most important results of his residence in Heligoland were his thorough investigations of the excretory organs of the shark.

In 1877 Professor Semper was invited to deliver the Lowell Institute Lectures in Boston, and improved the opportunity to travel over the western part of our continent. The substance of the twelve Lowell Lectures was afterward embodied in the book, Animal Life as affected by the Natural Conditions of Existence, which was published as No. 30 of the International Scientific Series, and is characterized by Dr. Schuberg as one of his most important works.

In 1887 Professor Semper suffered a stroke of apoplexy, by which his life was immediately endangered and his vigor was permanently weakened. For a short time he seemed to recover very rapidly, but the evidence of advancing disease which was destined to end in his death became gradually plainer. Still, he would not spare himself, but labored on, as he had done in his younger days, to his injury.

One joy, however, was still to be afforded him. The Bavarian Landtag in 1887 voted money for the erection of a zoological institute. He was permitted to have this building constructed according to his own views. It was ready for use in November, 1889, and he was able to enjoy it for a short time; but his health continuing to fail, he was not permitted to carry on the investigations for which it had