[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Marsh-Cope rivalry to be movie comedy and other news stories
I am looking forward to scenes of Marsh being exhorted by his
> colleagues to bear up under the controversy with repeated expressions
> of "Cope, Marsh, cope!". These will of course be matched with scenes
> of Cope slogging through the bone beds while his comrades exhort him
> to "March, Cope, march!".
That may well happen; but it's not like no really comedic episodes
happened in their lives.
But Case also knew of the happy warrior's darker side. "He hated
opponents he could not respect," he wrote, "and gave them heavy blows
how and when he could." In two Cope anecdotes, Osborn half-consciously
corroborated an impression of calculated vindictiveness. "One day," he
wrote, "he slyly opened the lower-right-hand drawer of his study table
and said to me: 'Osborn, here is my accumulated store of Marshiana. In
these papers I have a full record of Marsh's errors from the very
beginning, which at some future time I may be tempted to publish.'"
Another time, one of Cope's scientific names [*Anisonchus cophater*, a
Miocene mammal] puzzled Osborn. "I had diligently searched the Greek
dictionary for the term _cophater_," he recalled, "because I had always
found Cope's specific, as well as generic, terms highly consistent. He
remarked: 'Osborn, it's no use looking up the Greek derivation of
_cophater_, because it is not classic in origin. It is derived from the
[impeccably Greek-style] union of two English words, Cope and hater, for
I have named it in honor of the number of Cope-haters that surround me.'"
Such caprices are reminiscent of a Webster or Shakespeare character
-- and not one of the pleasanter ones. Wallace Stegner, a Powell
partisan, grew eloquent on Cope's balefulness. "The geological survey
was very truly a consolidation, and contained men of all four of the
original western surveys in its personnel," he wrote, "but one man it
could not placate was Professor E. D. Cope. He took over Hayden's place
as the leader of anti-Powell forces among
The next page isn't shown in the preview today. Let's try again tomorrow.