CUVIER Georges, baron [Montbéliard, 1769... - Lot 62 - Varenne Enchères

Lot 62
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CUVIER Georges, baron [Montbéliard, 1769... - Lot 62 - Varenne Enchères
CUVIER Georges, baron [Montbéliard, 1769 - Paris, 1832], French zoologist and paleontologist. Autograph manuscript of the preface letter of the first volume of his works addressed to Jean Claude Mertrud (professor of animal anatomy at the Museum of Natural History in Paris). 43 pages in-8°. "The work that I am addressing to you owes its existence to you; because if my lesson had some interest, it is mainly due to the use that you and your colleagues, allowed me to make of the beautiful collection which is now entrusted to your care and to the formation of which you contributed so much, when Daubenton created it, when he pursued the materials of the most important part of an immortal work. Today that this collection, enriched by a wise administration and by assiduous work, surpasses all those which exist in its kind; today that it presents, in the most beautiful order and in the greatest development, all the parts of the animal body taken in the most distant species, from those which approach the most to the men by their perfections until those where one appercises more than a pulp hardly organized, the simple comparative anatomy became almost a game: it is enough to look at a garlic to see the variations, the suuccessive degradations of each organ; and if the effects that these organs produce are not yet explained, it is because there is in the living body something more than these fibers, than these tissues which strike our eyes; It is that the mechanical part of the organization is, so to speak, only the passive instrument of vitality and that between the first shaking of the imperceptible elements and the sensible movement which is the last result, there is a multitude of intermediate movements of which we have no notion.
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