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pidly. My ardour was indeed the astonishment of the students; and my proficiency, that of the masters. Professor Krempe often asked me, with a sly smile, how Cornelius Agrippa went on? whilst M. Waldman expressed the most heartfelt exultation in my progress. Two years passed in this manner, during which I paid no visit to Geneva, but was engaged, heart and soul, in the pursuit of some discoveries, which I hoped to make. None but those who have experienced them can conceive of the enticements of science. In other stu

dies you go as far as others have gone

before you, and there is nothing more to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder. A mind of moderate capacity, which closely pursues one study, must infallibly arrive at great proficiency in that study; and I, who continually sought the attainment of one object of pursuit, and was solely wrapt up in this, improved so rapidly, that, at the end of two years, I made some discoveries in the improvement of some chemical instruments, which procured me great esteem and admiration at the university. When I had arrived at this point, and had become as well acquainted with the theory and practice of natural philosophy as depended on the lessons of any of the professors at Ingolstadt, my residence there being no longer conducive to my improvements, I thought of returning to my friends and my native town, when an incident. happened that protracted my stay. . . . - One of the phaenonema which had peculiarly attracted my attention was: the structure of the human frame, and, indeed, any animal endued with life. Whence, I often asked myself, did the E 5

principle of life proceed It was a bold question, and one which has ever been considered as a mystery; yet with how many things are we upon the brink of becoming acquainted, if cowardice or carelessness did not restrain our inquiries. I revolved these circumstances in my mind, and determined thenceforth to apply myself more particularly to those branches of natural philosophy which relate to physiology. Unless I had been animated by an almost supernatural enthusiasm, my application to this study would have been irksome, and almost intolerable. To examine the causes of life, we must first have recourse to death. I became acquainted with the science of amatomy: but this was not sufficient; I must also observe the natural decay and corruption of the human body. In my education my father had taken the

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greatest precautions that my mind should be impressed with no supernatural horrors. I do not ever remember to have trembled at a tale of superstition, or to have feared the apparition of a spirit. Darkness had no effect upon my fancy; and a church-yard was to me merely the receptacle of bodies deprived of life, which, from being the seat of beauty and strength, had become food for the worm. Now I was led to examine the cause and progress of this decay, and forced to spend days and nights in vaults and charnel houses. My attention was fixed upon every object the most insupportable to the delicacy of the human feelings. I saw how the fine form of man was degraded and wasted; I beheld the corruption of death succeed to the blooming cheek of life; I saw how the worm inherited the wonders of the eye and brain. I

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paused, examining and analysing all
the minutiae of causation, as exempli-
fied in the change from life to death,
and death to life, until from the midst
of this darkness a sudden light broke
in upon me—a light so brilliant and
wondrous, yet so simple, that while I
became dizzy with the immensity of the
prospect which it illustrated, I was sur-
prised that among so many men of ge-
nius, who had directed their inquiries
towards the same science, that I alone
should be reserved to discover so asto-
nishing a secret.
Remember, I am not recording the
wision of a madman. The sun does not
more certainly shine in the heavens,
than that which I now affirm is true.
Some miracle might have produced it,
yet the stages of the discovery were dis-
tinct and probable. After days and
nights of incredible labour and fatigue,

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