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at the Paris Observatory, and was fully convinced, a desponding condition of mind, modern science has as were also Matthieu and the late Bonvard, of the been accused-and not entirely without reason-of dissimilarity in the intensity of the light seen in the not attempting to allay apprehensions which it has polariscope, when the instrument received cometary been the very means of exciting. It is an inherent light. When it received light from Capella, which attribute of the human mind to experience fear, and was near the comet, and at an equal altitude, the not hope or joy, at the aspect of that which is images were of equal intensity. On the reappearance unexpected and extraordinary. The strange form of of Halley's comet in 1835, the instrument was altered a large comet, its faint nebulous light, and its sudden so as to give, according to Arago's chromatic polar- appearance in the vault of heaven, have in all regions isation, two images of complementary colours-green been almost invariably regarded by the people at and red.... The comet shewed polarised, and large as some new and formidable agent, inimical to therefore reflected light, whilst the fixed star Capella the existing state of things. The sudden occurrence shone forth a self-luminous sun.' It does not follow and short duration of the phenomenon, lead to the that a comet has no light of its own; the reflected belief of some equally rapid reflection of its agency in may exist with the independent light, as it is supposed terrestrial matters, whose varied nature renders it easy may be the case even with the planets; but every to find events that may be regarded as the fulfilment experiment appears to prove that these snowy, and, of the evil foretold by the appearance of these mystewhen seen by daylight, cloudlike strangers, are nothing rious cosmical bodies. In our own day, however, the more than mirrors of the sun's brightness, and, as public mind'-in Germany—'has taken another and such, very little likely to set fire to the earth.
more cheerful, although singular turn, with regard to Three of the known comets are called planetary, comets; and in the German vineyards of the beautiful because they do not pass beyond the limits of the valleys of the Rhine and Moselle, a belief has arisen orbits described by the principal planets. These are ascribing to these once ill-omened bodies a beneficial Encke's, Biela's, and Haye's. Biela’s comet-which influence on the ripening of the vine.' appears every six years—intersects the earth's path in We need only add, that the expected comet of 1857 its course, and is the only one which does so; but is, we are told, the bright stranger that frightened wlien this passage occurred in 1832, it required a full Charles V. from his throne, and it's an ill comet month before the earth could reach the point of inter- that does nobody good!'-was supposed to be an section. And even if so unlikely an event as collision attendant sign of the Reformation, then about to had occurred, the planet would probably have suffered be established in England through the accession of little, if at all; the poor comet seems more likely to Elizabeth. have been the victim of the shock. This comet also intersects Encke's, and both revolve at short periods. Littrow* has, therefore, justly observed, that 'amid THE ALDBURGH COAC II. the many perturbations experienced by such small Aldburgh, to which there are now three daily trains bodies from the attraction of the larger planets, there in summer, and two in winter, was, about twenty years is a possibility-supposing a meeting of these planets to occur in October—that we earth-dwellers may witness ago, provided with one stage-coach, carrying four the wonderful spectacle of an encounter between the insides and thirteen outsides, besides occasional intertwo, and possibly of their amalgamation or destruc- lopers. Of this vehicle I was a pretty frequent tion. One feels inclined to say with Cowper, in John customer, for the sake of the angling which is to Gilpin: “May I be there to see !'
be enjoyed in perfection in the river flowing past Í'he host of other comets roll far away from our Aldburgh. Imagination fondly turns back to those system into the regions of space, appea only at long intervals of time, and in no dangerous proximity in India, I was fain to make periodical visits to a
days, when, just returned from a thirteen years' exile to our planet. The beautiful comet of 1811 requires a period of 3065 years to complete its appointed scene of recreation familiarised to me in boyhood, circuit—the colossal one of 1680 as much as 8800 where the pleasures of the rod are to be obtained years, according to Encke's calculation,
in perfection. Yet, verily, must I confess that my In closing this brief notice of comets in general, occasional piscatory enjoyments were purchased at a we cannot forbear to quote Humboldt's concluding rather dear rate in the incommodations connected with remarks concerning them :
that coach, by which I used to be conveyed to the "Since scientific knowledge,' he says, “has been more place of action. extensively diffused through wider circles of social life, apprehensions the possible evils threatened by
The starting of the Aldburgh coach was always comets have acquired more weight, as their direction attended with more or less of excitement. Notwithhas become more definite. The certainty that there standing my practice of engaging a seat the day are within the known planetary orbits, comets which before, and taking care to be on the ground in good revisit our regions of space at short intervals—that time, I never somehow could be quite sure that all great disturbances have been produced by Jupiter would be right. Generally, on coming up and casting and Saturn in their orbits, by which such as were
a hurried glance at the interior, I would find the whole apparently harmless have been converted into dangerous bodies—the intersection of the earth's orbit by space occupied by a number of placid-looking, but Biela's comet-the cosmical vapour which, acting as a
determined females, inclusive of one with a nursingresisting and impeding medium, tends to contract all child. My repugnance to outside travelling would orbits—the individual difference of comets, &c., &c. make me insist upon my rights; but it was no pleasant
. . are all considerations more than equivalent thing to see the nurse and her baby descend from the both as to number and variety, to the vague fears vehicle, casting on me a look of outraged humanity as entertained by early ages of the general conflagration she passed, and then to take my due place among the of the world by flaming swords and stars with fiery indignant sisterhood who remained, not without some streaming hair. As the consolatory considerations which may be derived from calculating probabilities apprehension that they would combine with the outaddress themselves to reason and to meditative under sides to toss me in a blanket at the first haltingstanding only, and not to the imagination or to place. Meanwhile, the driver-cum-guard--for the two
were united in one--would bustle about, tearing and * Beschrcibende Astron. 1835. S. 271.
swearing, along with a distracted and bareheaded clerk
from the office, as they vainly endeavoured to recon- a narrow bridge, by far the most critical part of the cile a discrepancy between the numbers on the coach journey. We pass without accident, and keeping on and the way-bill. In intervals of imprecation, the at the same pace, soon reach the end of the stage, former official would come every minute to thrust where a sigh of relief breaks from my lady-comparcels under my seat, obliging me to sit with my consulted as to whether there was real danger in the
panions. Their stiffness is now at an end, and I am knees up to my mouth while he did so; or else would piece of road we had passed. *Well, ladies,' said I, stuff packages into the pockets of the coach, till they | 'I do not think there was more danger in it than one amounted to the bulk of a couple of extra passengers, would encounter in a voyage to India.' Then would grievously encroaching upon the space assigned to the follow some comments on the evils of drink, which, ladies and me.
being of a nature more trite than pointed, I need not When at length we had got every receptacle stuffed,
Willie--for so our charioteer was named-left all and twenty extra things hung on, and all the insides the business of changing the horses to a couple of and outsides fitted, and the three horses put into ragged stable-boys. Taking a parcel from one of the due order for starting by the assistance of porters and pockets of the coach, and surveying it with a knowing bystanders, off our vehicle rolled, or rather swung, look, he would dive into the inn, usually followed by along the crowded street. The fearful crowding on one or two of the outsides, who looked, or tried to look, the top was shadowed to the insides on the walls of as if they felt a little chilly. Then would the frequent the houses we passed, and we saw our jeopardy in the passing to and fro of a dirty serving-girl reveal to countenances of the crowd which we left gazing after house. If we tired of watching these proceedings,
us remaining passengers what was going on in the us. It usually happened that, before we had advanced
we could turn our observation on the couple of hacks two hundred yards, the driver stopped, descended, and, now attached to the coach-for the third was here after casting a wistful look at the inside, as if he had dispensed with-and recall the apt description of not known that it was full, proceeded to make a new Shakspeare: adjustment of the luggage on the top, in the hope of
The poor jades giving his vehicle a better centre of gravity. Then Lob down their heads, dropping the hides and hips, would be heard interchanges of civilities between him
The gum down-roping from their pale dead eyes; and certain Irislı labourers whom he was disturbing in
And in their pale dull mouths the gimmal bit
Lies foul with chawed grass, still and motionless. their seats, or possibly the scoldings of old women who considered themselves as disrespectfully treated, A loud remonstrance from the passengers was necesor clamours from my friend the nurse-maid, mingled sary to recall the roisterers, when out would come the with the screams of her infant charge, and the curses driver, blown with insolence and whisky, to resume -vot loud, but deep-of the old-bachelor gentleman, his seat, and revenge himself by a couple of miles for his sins placed next her. On renewing our journey, of as furious driving as the condition of his cattle
admitted of. a shoemaker's apprentice would get upon the steps
In the course of our journey-granting that we behind, by way of quickening his progress to his work, overcame the sense of danger-other disagreeables and set himself to gaze with an alarmed and curious were in store for us. We would feel a trickling sensaexpression at my face, till I begin to think myself tion about the neck, and discover it to arise from the something not fit for this world. By and by, the dripping of wine, beer, or other fluid, from cases of outskirts of the town being reached, my young friend bottles carried on the roof-some one or two of which would drop with a farewell shout of defiance. The were sure to be broken in consequence of the driver's green fields now beginning to appear, I would turn visited by a sickening odour from a cod or turbot slung
rough way of disposing of them. Sometimes we were to contemplate them through the window, but find I
on the outside of our open windows, the said fish could get but the barest glimpses of them through a having perhaps been left two or three days in the pair of hobnailed feet, hanging over from the roof.coach-ofice before Willie remembered that he had Rather than be reduced to a state of torpid endurance, been commissioned to bring it for a dinner-party. The I would then launch a remark on the long continuance windows of the coach were seldom whole ; and seldom of the east wind to my vis-à-vis
, in the hope of leading did we fail to get either an ear-ache or a gum-boil from to a conversation ; but the curtness of the response
the wind whistling through one of the crannies. It
was ludicrous to see invalids going out to Aldburgh would quickly settle that matter, and leave me no in quest of the health to be inhaled with its pure resource but to speculate in my own mind on the mountain breezes, and frequently commencing their probable state of the river I was about to visit, and residence there with an addition, incurred by the the amount of fish which I should consequently take. journey, to their ordinary ailments. I have sometimes
Suddenly the coach stopped, and the driver, with an been obliged on one of my journeys by this conveyance air of eager business, pushed into a public-house, to sit for half the time holding the door shut by a where, by the favouring shift of a bit of curtain, i strap, the ordinary means of closing being out of order.
Arrived at length at our destination, our woes could could see him in high confidence with the landlady, scarcely be said to have ended. Luggage had been left partaking leisurely of perhaps his second or third behind or given out at the stopping-places instead of * morning,' while the passengers sat in a state of other packages, which had been carefully brought on. patient and becoming solemnity. The reins were mean- Articles of dress belonging to the lady-passengers, and while intrusted to the hands of some stripling, who carefully packed by them in bandboxes, were found to thought himself justified in playing the whip on the have been crushed and wetted irremediably. Sad was ribs of the skittish leader, which immediately would it to hear the lamentations of the fair proprietor over exhibit such vagaries as drew forth the screams of the had been expected, as it would be extracted from its
perhaps a once gay turban in which great triumphis old ladies. Our driver would come out, and, resuming frail case, bearing much the appearance of a bunch of his duty in no good-humour, revenge himself upon the sea-weed. three horses, and away we would go rushing at a At times, however, there was a mixture of agreeables furious pace down a slope terminating in a turn at l in the Aldburgh coach; and I cannot reflect without
sorrow at the breaking up of the many associations excited Jehu himself? All this has passed: no longer connected with the old mode of travel. One who, like will the blast of the guard or the shout of the coachmyself, travelled frequently by the coach, became man awake from sleep the alarmed occupants of the acquainted with the principal families in the district, train of carts on their way to the distant coal-hill; and all the characters along the line of road. Your no longer will the white-headed urchins of the hamlet periodical travellers were soon discovered: the farmers scream delight or defiance to the long-expected coach, on the market-days, taken up at various points ; the and pursue it with yells to the end of the town; no city-merchant on a Saturday, repairing to his family longer will the stoutest of them pant and labour for then living in the country; the clergyman on synod a mile in its wake till the expected penny, chucked or assembly occasions; and the angler and the sports- out by some compassionate philanthropist, sends them man in their various seasons. There, too, you would back to the village. The old hill-farmer will no longer frequently meet the gentleman who was amiably weak draw to the side of the road with his battered gig, on the beauties of his native town, the place to which casting a timid and reverential eye on the towered the coach was daily destined. How eloquent he was coach, as it sweeps furiously on. The traffic itself on on its amenities, its healthiness-pleasant the air, the road is changed: the carrier's wain has disapand light the soil.' He escaped monthly from the peared, and with it the bull-dog which was the terror capital to draw an inspiration of the health-restoring of all the children on the way; the brewer's van, with atmosphere, and to fish once more the pools which its portly horse, is no longer seen at the changenever failed of trout. He was a living advertisement house, where, at the cross-road, were never wanting for the town; he could recommend you the proper inn, rows of cart-horses, with exhausted nose-bags, patiently the comfortable lodgings, and the most respectable awaiting the close of the protracted revel of their dealers. He could inform you on what days such a masters. The drove of cattle, urged on by shouting butcher had beef-scorning the base insinuation of a and foaming drivers, no longer trespasses on the fellow-passenger that mutton was the only butcher- slightly protected garden of the villager, but is commeat of the district. The awe-struck appearance of pressed into the truck, over which they gaze with a the insides would at times admonish you that a squire look of stupid resignation. The road itself will change: was squeezed in beside you; and when he was put the ruts will become less worn, the sides more verdant; down at the porter's lodge, and his numerous trunks and the breakers of stones, who so frequently gazed reverentially deposited by the driver, the conversation from nooks by the way with goggled curiosity and became brisker, and the departed gentleman was suspended hammer on the passing coach, are few and turned inside out, his virtues and vices magnified or far between. The anvil is mute in the stithy; the decried, according to the whim of the passengers or last blast is blown, and the brawny smith with his the humours of the time. The same awe was not lusty sons is now in the Far West. The parish school always observed; for even in the rural districts of suffers in the change: the children of the farmer and Scotland there are some unimpressible men who the laird are now wafted daily in the train to some would push a snuff-box into the hands of the most school in the neighbouring town or capital; and the distressingly mighty-looking aristocrat, and compel vexed teacher, well versed in classic and mathematic him to vouchsafe a reply. The various stoppages, also, lore, must condescend to the labours of an infant at particular points, brought out a set of characters school. The toll-house is a mockery, its receipts not with whom we renewed our intercourse at each trip, being sufficient to support the old man who has thus getting, at times, an insight into the doings of scarcely strength to throw open its portals; and the the great folks in the neighbourhood. An enormous change-house, with its sanded floor, often a welcome basket of fish let down at one lodge gave indication sight to the traveller on foot on a sultry day, is now a of a great dinner at the hall; the deposition of a private house, uninviting and impervious. The very squeamish lady’s-maid, charged with numerous port- aspect of the towns and villages is changed : you see manteaus, the arrival of a great family at the them from new points of view, and the unpresentable castle. The inmates of certain public-houses, where is often brought out painfully. parcels or trunks were left for the neighbourhood, The old associations, the amusement and variety of were familiar to us; their raillery with the driver travel, whether on foot or by coach, have passed away. and the outsides, we anticipated as a periodical The divergence of the pedestrian is gone, with all its treat. And at some villages, which could not boast suggestions and entertainments: the spring by the side of a public-house, there was always some active man, of the way, at which you never failed to rest, and from who, seemingly for the public good, left his loom or which you rose refreshed, your hat moist with waterhis stool, and charged himself with the reception of drops, as if it scooped the stream ;' the runlet, where messages and parcels for the whole country round. water-cresses were to be had in perfection; the knoll, As surely as the buzz of a fly in the web brought out whose ascent gave a distant view of some place of the watchful spider, would the distant rumble of the celebrity; the wood from which you could select your coach evoke from his employment the expected man of walking-staff-are now places comparatively unknown. all work, who, having thrown aside his shuttle or his This divergence could not be indulged in a stage-coach last, stood bareheaded and coatless, ready to scan the —but even in its day, there were many stops by the inmates of the coach, and carefully receive the com- way, when something might be learned of the people munications for the parish. One such as this we through whom you were passing. We might even were always glad to see at the little village of communicate with the return-coach, or scream out a who, while laying aside reverentially a parcel for the message hastily as it passed ; and when bent in the manse or hall
, was not unmindful of the trunk of the same direction, we could have kept up a conversation country lass, or the letter for the shepherd in the with a friend in his gig as he kept close behind with distant glen. And shall we never again see that his horse's nose puffing into the basket ; or, provided benevolent twinkle which recognised every passenger he could ride well, have him with us at the side of the
- that intelligent search which shewed that he knew coach, joking and galloping at the same time. But better where the parcels were stowed than the driver now, we pass each other in a whiff: the father knows --that sedulous care which, while uplifting the females not the features of his son in the crossing train. Even of the place on the coach, did so with the most ingeni- at the stations, where we are detained a second or ous and fatherly gathering of their dresses ? And two, there is an absence of all characters; one formal have we heard for the last time that pleasant voice official twangs out the name of his village, as if trying which used to bid a good-day to half of the passen- to impress the passengers with the idea that it has a gers, and sometimes lent a friendly caution to the claim to recognition; but not a sash is drawn down
for the purpose of looking out; a mummy propriety electricity, of its mysterious agencies in the natural occupies every passenger; the bell rings, the whistle phenomena of the heavens above, of the earth beneath, sounds, and away whisks the monotonous and artificial and of the waters under the earth ; how it rules alike mass of human beings.
the motions of the planets and the arrangement of atoms; how it broods in the air, rides on the mist,
travels with the light, wanders through space, attracts MR CROSSE, THE ELECTRICIAN.
in the aurora, terrifies in the thunder-storm, rules the MR ANDREW CROSSE was a Somersetshire gentleman, growth of plants, and shapes all substances, from the of moderate fortune, who devoted himself with extraor- fragile crystals of ice to the diamond, which it makes dinary zeal to experiments in electricity, and achieved by toil continued for ages in the womb of the solid a fame in that department of science. He died in globe. As he describes to you all these wonders, not 1855, at the age of seventy-one, and his widow has imaginations of a dreamer, but realities which he has published a biographical volume regarding him, from himself seen and proved, by producing, by the same which we learn that he was a man of ardent tempera- agent and the same process, only in a lesser degree, ment and of singularly upright and truthful nature, the same results, his face is lighted up, his eyes are with much of that simplicity which so often is seen fixed upon the ceiling, present things seem to have forming an element of greatness. His old ancestral disappeared from him, lost in the greater vividness of seat, Fyne Court, and his estate of Broomfield, occupy | ideas which his full mind throngs before him; he pours a retired but beautiful situation on the skirts of the out his words in an unfailing stream; but though he Quantock Hills. He had in the course of time filled has a command of epithets, he finds language inadehis house with electrical apparatus, and even extended quate to express his conceptions of the might of that it to the trees of his park, securing thereby, as may mysterious element which, though so very mighty that well be supposed, the alarmed wonder of the country- | it could annihilate a world as easily as it lifts a feather, people, and probably inducing better educated neigh- he has summoned from its throne, compelled into his bours to regard him as a little mad. In reality, he was presence, guided with his hand, and made to do his a philosopher of the rarest stamp, one disposed to bidding !-thus surpassing the fabled feats of the pursue nature into her coyest recesses, and wring from enchanters of old.' her her most mystic secrets, but all for the good of his The visitor entered the philosophical room, which he kind, and in no observable degree for self-glorification. found sixty feet long, with a lofty arched roof, having
In the early part of his career, Mr Crosse's attention been originally built as a music-hall. Here he saw was attracted to the crystals on the roof of a cave in an immense number of jars and gallipots, containing his neighbourhood. He pondered on the laws which fluids on which electricity was operating for the proregulate the growth of crystals, and felt convinced that duction of crystals. But,' says he, you are startled it was caused by some peculiar attraction. The idea in the midst of your observations by the smart crackof electric attraction occurred to him, and, taking hoine ling sound that attends the passage of the electrical some of the water which dropped from the roof of the spark; you hear also the rumbling of distant thunder. cave, he exposed it to the action of a voltaic battery, The rain is already plashing in great drops against the when, in about ten days, he was rewarded by seeing glass, and the sound of the passing sparks continues to crystals forming on the negative platinum wire, which startle your ear. Your host is in high glee, for a proved to be composed of carbonate of lime. When he battery of electricity is about to come within his reach repeated the experiment in the dark, the result was a thousandfold more powerful than all those in the more quickly attained. Thus Mr Crosse simulated in room strung together. You follow his hasty steps to his laboratory one of the hitherto most mysterious of the organ-gallery, and curiously approach the spot the processes of nature. He pursued this line of whence the noise proceeds that has attracted your research for nearly thirty years, totally unknown to notice. You see at the window a huge brass conthe world, when in 1836 he was in a manner discovered ductor, with a discharging rod near it passing into the by the British Association. Being induced to attend floor, and from the one nob to the other, sparks are the meeting of that body at Bristol, he and his leaping with increasing rapidity and noise, rap, rap, researches became known to Dr Buckland, who took rap-bang, bang, bang. You are afraid to approach an opportunity of speaking of them, introducing Mr near this terrible engine, and well you may; for every Crosse as “a man unconnected with any scientific spark that passes would kill twenty men at one blow, if body,' who had “actually made no less than twenty- they were linked together hand in hand, and the spark four minerals and even crystalline quartz. The sent through the circle. Almost trembling, you note audience regarded him with astonishment, and their that from this conductor wires pass off without the feelings were wound to a high pitch when they heard window, and the electric fluid is conducted harmlessly himself relate his experiments and their results. He away. On the instrument itself is inscribed, in large owned to having made crystals of quartz and of arra- letters, the warning words, “Noli me tangere.” Nevergonite, carbonates of lime, lead, and copper, besides theless, your lost does not fear. He approaches as more than twenty other artificial minerals. He con- boldly as if the flowing stream of fire were a harmsidered it possible to make even the diamond, and less spark. Armed with his insulated rod, he plays expressed his belief that every kind of mineral would with the mighty power; he directs it where he will; yet be formed by the ingenuity of man. The meeting he sends it into his batteries: having charged them got into a state of high excitement about Mr Crosse thus, he shews you how wire is melted, dissipated in a and his singular electrical operations. Compliments moment, by its passage ; how metals-silver, gold, and were showered upon him from all quarters ; he became tin-are inflamed, and burn like paper, only with most the especial “lion of the hour. These demonstrations, brilliant hues. He shews you à mimic aurora, and novel as they were, affected him not, and before the a falling-star, and so proves to you the cause of those end of the week, he had slipped away, and was once beautiful phenomena; and then he tells you, that the more buried in his Somersetshire solitude.
wires you had noticed as passing from tree to tree A visitor at this time described Mr Crosse as a round the grounds, were connected with the conductor middle-aged man, of light active figure, intellectual before you ; that they collected the electricity of the cast of countenance, and the voice and movements of atmosphere as it floated by, and brought it into the a person enjoying constant health and good spirits. room in the shape of the sparks that you had witnessed His conversation was of a character entirely his own. with such awe.'
Particularly striking is Mr Crosse's eloquence, when The crystal-producing operations were the subject he tells you the wonders of his favourite science of of nearly unmixed admiration, and for some months
Mr Crosse stood on the pinnacle of fame as a great Though Mrs Crosse only attempts to give detached and original discoverer in science. People spoke of memorials' of her husband, the public owes her his making crystals, without either seeing that he in large thanks for her task, which certainly preserves reality only arranged the conditions under which for us some conception of a most remarkable man, nature did the work, or imagining that such a creative sure in time to take a high place in the history of effort as they attributed to him involved any impiety. science. Her narration is often very animated, and It was by and by announced, unauthorisedly, that her expressions striking and appropriate. The volume while Mr Crosse was experimenting with some highly contains many specimens of poetry by her husband. caustic solutions, out of contact with atmospheric air, They are far above mediocrity; yet we could have there had appeared, as if gradually growing from wished that he had never given to the muses any part specks, between the poles of the voltaic circuit, certain of that time which might have been so much more insects of the acarus tribe. Mr Crosse himself made worthily bestowed on science. no pretension on the subject; at no time was he ever able to say more than that the insects always appeared
MUSIC OF THE STREETS AND CELLARS. under certain conditions, and not otherwise. It was, however, at once assumed that he now set himself It is an April evening, colder than April evenings were forth as having developed animal life from inorganic wont to be in our childhood, but still bright and lovely elements-an idea most odious to both scientific and as the young spring ever is. The sea is dancing in religious men. Instantly, he was assailed from a a fresh breeze from the south, and glittering with thousand quarters. Objections of the nature of pure snowy crests of foam; the clear blue sky has here and assumptions were admitted as conclusive that the there a mass of downy cloud resting on its deep azure, insects were produced from ova, according to the and from the esplanade there floats up the hill a sound ordinary rules of nature. Serious, but weak people -always the harbinger of spring and summer heredenounced him as an enemy of religion, though the of street-music. How well in accordance are the fact was that Mr Crosse at all times of his life culti- sounds with those strange stirrings of memory and vated a pious frame of mind. The lustre that had melancholy which the early season causes in most fallen on his name was dimmed in a moment, and, of us. notwithstanding all his protestations of innocence, it
We look before and after, never revived. We have been assured that many
And pine for what is not; honours which would naturally have been bestowed on
Our sincerest laughter the discoverer of the crystallising process, were with
With some pain is fraught; held by reason of the unpopularity which arose from
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought. the vulgar error regarding the acari.
Most people who have any sympathy with sounds can Little liable to be affected by the praise or blame of respond truly to Jessica's assertion, and say: man, Mr Crosse continued, for the remaining eighteen
I am never merry when I hear sweet music; years of his life, to pursue his experiments. He simulated the making of metallic lodes or veins in clay; but this softening effect of it is peculiarly felt, we he caused the electric fluid to tear pure gold in pieces. believe, when the strain floats unconfined upon the He always spoke as feeling life to be too short for what air, when, as Shelley says, he had to do. The real motto of his laboratory,' says
A strain of sweetest soumd Mrs Crosse, “was, “It is better to follow nature blind
Wraps itself the wind around, fold, than art with both eyes open.” This expression
Until the voiceless wind be music too. explains the character of his mind, and the manner in There is nothing more touching, in our opinion, than which he sought results. When lie walked out, lie street-music; we can-as the musicians are frequently read, not in the book of man, but in the book of God. unseen-divest ourselves, when listening to it, of all His acute powers of observation would reveal to him thought of the performers, and imagine the sounds to some peculiarity in the organisation of plants or com- be the airy tongues' of Milton, or the floating, fleeting bination of mineral substances; which often proved the magic that made Prospero's island first suggestion for a train of interesting experiments.
Full of noises, Mr Crosse ever evinced the most wonderful patience
Sounds and sweet airs that give delight to hurt not; in his scientific arrangements; for months, even for years, he would wait for results, and watch the slow or, with a more human and less selfish sympathy, we induration of what he hoped might be an agate, or the can give a thought and a sigh to those who have minute aggregation of crystals, whose slowly developed perhaps wandered from their own land to gain a scanty facets he would carefully note down from time to time. subsistence beneath the ungenial sky of the stranger At an early period of his experiments on crystalline - the itinerant musicians. formations, he was not unfrequently disappointed, from A strange life theirs must be ! such a compound the fact of his having employed too strong an electric of sweetness and sadness, pleasure and misery; for action. He used to say: "You cannot hurry nature;” many of these wanderers have great taste for the art, too rapid an action throws down the substance in an and much apparent enjoyment in its exercise. Last amorphous state ; atoms seem only to assume a crystal- summer, an Italian boy, who played the harp charmline form when they have time to arrange themselves ingly, performed upon our lawn for some half-hour in a state of polarisation to the surrounding atoms.' or more, and appeared much more gratified by our
At another time he wrote: “When misfortune admiration and understanding of his skill than by the oppresses, and the cares of life thicken around us, pecuniary recompense of it. What links they are, too, how delightful is it to retire into the recesses of one's of the present with the past! Thoughts of troubadours own mind, and plan with a view to carrying out those and wandering minstrels, of Welsh bards and plaided scientific arrangements, with a humble hope of benefit- strangers' with their mournful bagpipes, flit through ing our country, improving our own understandings, the mind as we listen, and come as awakened echoes and finding unspeakable consolation in the study of of the past. Dreams of Blondel and Rizzio, of 'le the boundless works of our Maker! Often have I, petit Lully,' and of many another wandering voice when in perfect solitude, sprung up in a burst of and hand, are brought back by the sounds even now school-boy delight at the instant of a successful termin- floating on the air. That very melody they play was ation of a tremblingly anticipated result. Not all the composed by a plaided stranger of higher grade and applause of the world could repay the real lover of of more noble itinerancy; it is the Annie Laurie of science for the loss of such a moment as this.'