Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/356

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tific world. As we think of this aged but vigorous man sitting down in his study in Potsdam with the learning of the world at his command, with every literary or scientific man in Germany or France or Italy or Russia ready to furnish any information he might ask, we can not help sympathizing with him in his conviction that he was indeed the best man living to write a book like "Cosmos." The reports published in Paris had, in his eyes, only prepared the way for the generalizations he would now make. Yet to the ordinary man they seemed complete in themselves. They covered a vast field of exploration and study. They had engaged the labors of some of the most eminent men in their departments for twenty years. These reports, arranged in six sections filled thirty volumes. These sections are as follows, viz.,

I. Historical, Geographical and Physical Atlas; Views of the Cordilleras and of the Native Peoples of America.
II. Observations on Comparative Anatomy and Zoology.
III. Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain.
IV. Astronomical Observations; Trigometrical and Barometrical Measurements.
V. Essay on Geological Basiography.
VI. Equatorial Plants.

In the International Encyclopedia it is asserted that Vols. I.-XIV. were written by C. S. Kunth, the botanist. They treat of botany almost exclusively. On the South American journey hundreds of new species of plants were discovered and described, and specimens of them sent to Paris. The general title of this extensive work was "Voyage aux regions equinoxiales du Noveau Continent fait en 1799. . . 1804 par Alexandre de Humboldt et Aimé Bonpland." Volumes XV. and XVI. are an "atlas pittoresque."

With the exception of Volume XX. which is devoted to plants. Volumes XVII.-XXII. are occupied with physical geography, geognosy and astronomy. Volumes XXIII. and XXIV. are given to zoology, and Volumes XXV. and XXVI. to a description of the countries of Spanish America. Volumes XXVII. to XXX. contain Humboldt's own narrative and notes upon the countries visited. Unfortunately this narrative was never quite finished. The original work contained the "Essai politique sur royaume de la Noveau Espagñol," the "Essai politique sur l'isle de Cuba," and "Vues des Cordilleries." Special sections of this immense work appeared from time to time under individual titles, and as composed by specialists of distinction. Humboldt's "Ansichten der Natur "was very popular in Germany, as was an edition of his works published in 1864-1866. In Bruhn's "Life of Humboldt," it is shown that he made special contributions to petrography, vulcanology and seismology, that he pointed out the effect upon civilization of the cultivation of the soil in different climates, and drew attention to the languages, architecture and customs of the ancient peoples