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bonor bestowed only upon five or six, out of four hundred students. Among other prizes, he received that for the German language ; and this, only nine months after his arrival at Stuttgard. In addition to his regular studies, he found time for the frequent perusal of Linnæus, Reinhart, Mur, and Fabricius. His walks for exercise were improved, in the formation of an herbarium; and his severer studies were relieved by the elegant recreation of delineating insects, birds, and plants.
On the termination of his course of study at Stuttgard, it was necessary for him to wait two or three years, before a post could be assigned bim by his patron, for the exercise of his profession. But the slender resources of his parents being inadequate to his sopport, in the mean time, he had the resolution, notwithstanding the undertaking was much below his fine attainments, to accept of the tutorship of an only son, in a protestant family, at Caën, in Normandy. Accordingly in July; 1788, he took up his residence with Count d'Hericy, where new opportunities of improvement Fere offered him, in his admission to the society of the neighboring nobility; of which he eagerly availed himself, for the acquirement of those manners by which he was so powerfully aided in securing his subsequent advancement in life. His taste for zoology, also, led him immediately to improve his new situation of contiguity to the sea, to enter upon the investigation of marine animals. Nor did the entire want of books upon the science appear to check his inquiries ; but, on the contrary, the impossibility of satisfying his mind from any other source than from nature herself, caused him to apply to her with redoubled ardor. His first dissection (an art he had learnt at Stuttgard) was that of a cuttle-fish; from which beginning, he proceeded to a similar examination of many other Mollusca - carefully recording his observations, without supposing them to be new, though sensible that they were original on his part. The next important epoch in his life, will be best described in the following passage from Mrs. Lee:
' A little society met every evening in the town of Valmont, near the château de Fiquainville, belonging to the Count d'Hericy, for the purpose of discussing agricultural topics. M. Tessier was often present at these meetings, who had fled from the reign of terror in Paris, and who was concealed under the title and office of surgeon to a regiment, then quartered at Valmont. He spoke so well, and seemed so entirely master of the subject, that the young secretary of the society, M. Cuvier, recognized him as the author of the articles on agriculture, in the Encyclopédie Méthodique.
On saluting him as such, M. Tessier, whose title of Abbé had rendered him suspected at Paris, exclaimed, “I am known, then, and consequently lost.”—“ Lost,” replied M. Cuvier, “no; you are henceforth the object of our most anxious care.” This circumstance led to
an intimacy between the two ; and by means of M. Tessier, M. Cu vier entered into correspondence with several savans, to whom he sen his observations, especially Laméthrie, Olivier, De la Cépéde, Geot roy St. Hilaire, and Millin de Grand Maison. Through their influ ence, and from the memoirs published in several learned journals, b was called to Paris, where endeavors were making to re-establish th literary institutions, overthrown by the Revolution, and where it wa reasonable to suppose that he would find the means of placing himsel In the spring of 1795, he obeyed the invitation of his Parisian friend and, by the influence of M. Millin, was appointed membre de la Com mission des Arts, and, a short time after, professor at the central schoo of the Panthéon. pp. 14, 15.
Deferring for subsequent enumeration, all notices of the literar and scientific labors of Cuvier, which from this period were pub lished in rapid succession, we proceed to indicate merely a fer points in his remaining history, and which principally relate to th offices he sustained, and the public honors by which he was dis tinguished. A short time after his arrival at Paris, he was as sociated with M. Mertrud, who held the chair of comparativanatomy at the Garden of Plants, and who had become too ad vanced in life, for the discharge of the arduous duties of that sta tion. His plan was as congenial to the taste, as it was worthy o the attainments, of Cuvier. Thus says his biographer :
From the moment of his installation in this new office, M. Curie commenced that magnificent collection of comparative anatomy, which i now so generally celebrated. In the lumber-room of the museum, wer four or five old skeletons, collected by M. Daubenton, and piled u there by M. de Buffon. Taking these, as it were, for the foundation he unceasingly pursued his object; and aided by some professors, opposet by others, he soon gave it such a degree of importance, that no further obstacle could be raised against its progress. No other pursuit, no re: laxation, no absence, no legislative duties, no sorrow, no illness, eve turned him from this great purpose ; and created by him, it now remain one of the noblest monuments to bis memory.' p. 15.
His scientific memoirs, published in various journals, immedi ately caused him to be appointed member of the Institute. In 1800, he was elected professor at the College of France, wher he taught natural philosophy, at the same time that he lectures on comparative anatomy at the Garden of Plants. In 1802 Napoleon made him one of six inspectors-general of education in France. About this time, the Institute was re-modeled, and Cu vier appointed perpetual secretary of the natural sciences. I 1803, he married the widow of M. Duvaucel, farmer-general, who had perished on the scaffold, in 1794. He was ordered, in 1811 to form academies in Holland and the Hanseatic towns; and while on the execution of this duty at Hamburg, he received the
title of chevalier from the emperor. In 1814, he was made counsellor of state, in 1819, president of the Comité de l'Intérieur, and in the same year was created baron, and repeatedly summoned to assist Louis XVIII. in the cabinet councils. He was presbot, in 1824, as one of the presidents of the council of state, at the coronation of Charles X.; and, in 1826, received from that monarch the decoration of the grand office of the legion of honor. In addition to the office which he held, as grand master to the University, he was intrusted with the management of all the affars of the different religions in France. In 1832, at the order of Louis Philippe, he was made a peer of France ; and his appointment of president to the entire council of state, only wanted the royal signature, when on the 13th of May of the same year, he ciosed his earthly existence.
Leaving our remarks on the private life of Cuvier, for a subsequent place, we now propose to give a brief outline of what has been regarded as his master-production, “The Animal Kingdom,” which, while it will illustrate the character of his labors, may prove instructive to such readers as have not accustomed themselves to general views on this subject.
The system of zoology which this work presents, is based on the orgavization of living beings,—those species which most resemble each other, being approximated into genera, the resembling genera into orders and families, etc. It is, therefore, a system entitled to be called natural, since it is constructed synthetically; and it exhibits a general chart of all organic and functional diversities in the animal races. In the view now proposed, however, it will be most advantageous to commence with the descriptions of the highest assemblages of animals; or the four great groups into which Cuvier disposes sentient beings; in order to comprehend which, it is necessary to attend to the physiological considerations upon which the distribution is founded.
He begins with an account of those properties which distinguish animals from plants. The food of vegetables consists of inorganic matter, and is admitted into their tissue solely through their roots, in a state of solution in water; that of animals, on the other hand, consists of matter which has been subjected to the control of the living principle. In the first case, since it is universally distributed, plants do not require the power of locomotion; whereas, in the latter
, from a more partial dispersion, existence could not be maintained without spontaneous movements. Depending upon this difference, also, we should expect another, in order to qualify animals to endure those temporary privations of food, to which they must occasionally be liable. Accordingly, they are provided with an internal cavity for the reception of their food, from which, as a fountain, streams of nourishment pervade the whole body ;
and hence the propriety of Boerhave's remark, -plants are nourished by external roots, animals by internal roots. The presence of a stomach in animals, constitutes Cuvier's first character for their discrimination from plants.
Next in importance to the digestive system, is the system of circulation ; which must differ from that of vegetables, inasmuch as the bodies of animals have to perform more varied functions than vegetables, and are unable to preserve a fixed position. Hence the motions of the fluids in animals, must be independent of temperature and the atmosphere. A peculiar system of circulation, therefore, is the second character of animals.
As a consequence of being obliged to go in quest of their food, animals need a system of muscles adapted to voluntary motion ; and to warn them of dangers which expose their life, a system of nerves is superadded. Besides these differences, animals contain an additional chimical element,-nitrogen, which, though occasionally met with in plants, only exists in a minute and accidental proportion. Thus the muscular and nervous system, and the different composition of animal bodies, form Cuvier's third character.
The nutrinient of plants consists of water, atmospheric air, and carbonic acid ; the chimical elements of which, are oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen. Of these, plants reject almost wholly the nitrogen, together with a large portion of the oxygen. The food of animals, on the other hand, is derived either directly from vegetables, in which hydrogen and carbon are the principal constituents, or from those animals which feed on plants, and in which there is the additional element of nitrogen. Still, in order that this food may become proper aliment, it is necessary that a large portion of hydrogen, but more particularly of carbon, should be withdrawn, and nitrogen supplied in its place. This is accomplished in respiration by the oxygen of the atmosphere, which, in that secret process, combines with the hydrogen and carbon of the blood, and is exhaled from the lungs in the form of water and carbonic acid. Nitrogen, by whatever route it finds access to the animal body, becomes inherent. Hence, the relations of vegetables and animals with the atmosphere, are opposite to each other: vegetables decompose water and carbonic acid ; animals re-produce them. This difference constitutes the fourth character of animals.
The foregoing is an outline of Cuvier's distinction of animals from plants. We now proceed to indicate briefly the functions of the animal body, which are subdivided into animal and vegetative functions; the former peculiar to animals, and consisting of sensibility and voluntary motion, the latter consisting of nutrition and generation, which are common both to animals and plants.
Sensibility resides in the nervous system. The impressions received by the external senses, which in some animals are reduced to but two, or even to the single one of feeling, are conveyed by the nerves to the central masses of the nervous system, which in the superior animals constitute the brain and spinal marrow. The brain is larger, and more immediately the receptacle of sensation, in the higher animals; whereas in the more imperfect families, the nervous mass is less considerable, and is diffused through the general substance of the body. When an animal has received a sensation, and a volition is occasioned, the nerves transmit it to the muscles.
The muscles, which are collections of fleshy fibers, produce by their contractions all the motions of the body. They are variously disposed in different animals, conformably to the motions they have to execute. In those possessed of great strength, the muscles are inserted into firm jointed parts, or bones, whose operation by these means becomes similar to a system of levers. The firm parts to which the muscles are attached, in shell-fish, insects, and crustaceous animals, are external, and are called shells
, crusts, or scales. The fleshy fibers are attached to the hard parts by ineans of tendons, which may
be considered as prolongations of the muscles. According to the different arrangement of these parts, and to the form and proportion of the members
, animals are enabled to perform the various motions which attend walking, leaping, flying, and swimming.
One considerable class of muscles is removed from under the control of volition, viz., that of the circulating and digestive systems : and their action, except in cases of disease, or when the individual is affected by powerful passions, goes on, unattended even by sensation.
The food, sucked in when fluid, masticated by teeth and jaws when solid, or finely divided by an apparatus more internal still, is deposited in the upper part of the alimentary canal, which is swelled out into one or more stomachs, whose inner coats afford a peculiar juice, adapted to its solution. As it descends, it is further acted upon by other juices, and in its course, yields its nutritive parts to innumerable villous absorbents, which deliver it to the blood. Disseminated through this fluid, it requires, before it can subserve the final purpose of nutriment to the body, to be exposed to atmospheric air in the respiratory cavity. The motion of the blood to this cavity is accomplished through the contractions of one or more fleshy organs, called hearts. When the respiration is effected purely by means of air, the respiratory organ is cellular, and is called the lungs; when through air dissolved in water, it is laminated, and denominated gills. The blood containing the elaborated aliment, after exposure to air, as described, carries new molecules to the various parts. In the whole tribe of insects, however,