Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/535

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531
JOHANNES MÜLLER

edge of the appropriate both in speech and in action. In his domestic life Müller appears to have been a true husband and to his son and daughters a good father. His home life was of the pleasantest—at least until the misfortune of ill-health in his later life.

As Müller's work as a whole is most comparable to Haller's, so we can say that his personality must have had much in common with that of Pasteur. In both we see the fine sensitiveness of mind, the same modesty in self-assertion, the same love of simplicity, the tenacity of purpose, the scrupulousness for details and the same religious devotion to the hardest labor: these attributes make up a character not altogether common in the general biography of the older school of natural scientists.

Müller's address was characterized by that stiff formality peculiar to the old school type of German professor; and yet with this he combined the dexterity and activity of the more modern scholar. His conversation was never productive. The constant consideration of the various problems of his activity was usually uppermost in his mind and, although he would talk pleasantly and interestingly of many varied subjects, as art, architecture and music, it was to some phase of his labors that the further discussion of these subjects almost invariably led back. And yet, in the circle of his own family, in a group of personal friends, or on his vacation and outings with his nets and microscopes, he could be the most congenial fellow, entering with enthusiasm into whatever duty, sport or pastime presented. Recreation for its own sake, however, Müller seems never to have desired. Yet in his earlier years at Berlin, he was seldom seen exhausted. In his later life, however, the intense nervous strain under which he worked was a source of much regret to his many friends; and the knowledge of his frequent use of opium and other alkaloids to bring him sleep a deeper source of sorrow to those who knew and loved him best.

As a teacher in the anatomical theater and in the class room, as also a guide of young investigators in the laboratory, Müller possessed an extraordinary ability. And yet, in the beginning he had no natural gift of speaking, no eloquence and no talent for foreign languages. Indeed, his early years as academic lecturer at the University of Bonn were, in this particular respect, not in the least promising. With constant practise, however, he was later able to develop a clearness in speaking, and a straightforwardness of expression, which, in itself, approximated to the gifts of eloquence, so that at Berlin he was considered one of the best of university lecturers. His delivery was never of the demonstrative sort, which held an audience spellbound by its bubbling vivacity, its ravishing fire of words, or through a kaleidoscopic blending of current witticism with scientific truth. He never went rambling in a lecture, either in thought or in person. His de-