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ing deserts and rocky valleys, where the | Edinburgh. At the university the same simoom sported with the lives of the daring rapidity of comprehension and masculine travellers, and the red-hot sun glared down depth of thought (grown more acute and in wonderment upon their pale faces. They stronger by exercise) which had distinguished followed the sceptic through the arcana of his boyhood's career distinguished his adolesnature, reconciling the cosmogony of revela- cence, and indicated the future destiny of tion with the discoveries of modern science, the man. While scarcely recognized as a and refuting infidelity upon the material young man by those coeval with him, he basis of its self-assumed arguments. Where- was admitted to the intimate fellowship and ever mind could exercise a legitimate majesty, friendship of the then distinguished professor Scotchmen have majestically exercised it. of natural philosophy, Robison; of the faIn every region subject to human dominance mous Playfair, professor of mathematics; they have asserted a special dominion. and the great Dugald Stewart, who filled the chair of moral philosophy. At the age of nineteen he had won from the university the honorary title of M.A., and subsequently he obtained a license to preach the Gospel as a minister of the Scottish Established Church. The genius of the young licentiate had, prior to this period, however, been moving in its own spontaneous course; and had now attained a force which no circumstances were able to counteract, and a direc tion which no prospects of professional preferment could subvert. He had become wedded to the study of the physical sciences, and absorbed in the observation of God's power, and wisdom, and glory, as exemplified in nature. In the year 1801 he devoted himself with singular zeal to the study of optics, and during twelve years continued his beautiful and interesting experiments. The results of these elaborate and long-continued researches were presented to the public, in 1813, in a "Treatise upon New Philosophical Instruments."

To Sir David Brewster incontestibly belongs the greatest name on the roll of scientific Scotchmen. Although only a professor in what may be termed an obscure Scottish university, he has acquired a cosmopolitan reputation and an imperial throne beside the Humboldts and Aragos of Europe. His has been one of the world's great voices, speaking to humanity from the depths of a studious experience, and awakening the echoes of an active and productive futurity by the originality and variety of his discoveries.

There is nothing that excites the wonder of a reflective being so much as the power and influence of genius; it speaks with heart, soul, and mind; and the hearts, souls, and minds of common men are inevitably moved by its power. It struggles through the sternest difficulties, bearing above the reach of fate and the adversities of circumstances the idea which constitutes its life; and it strides on from disappointment to disappointment, and from injustice to injustice, until it attains to sympathy and competent criticism. The progress of Sir David Brewster through life has been (like that of all men of genius) a progress of toil, and disappointment, and injustice; it has also been an illustrious and noble progress, however; illustrious in this, that the greatest savants in the world have distinguished him and honored him; and noble, insomuch that the warmth of his heart and the enthusiasm of his nature have increased with his years.

Sir David Brewster is a native of the town of Jedburgh, in Roxburghshire, where he was born on the 11th of December, 1781. The family of the illustrious savant is distinguished for vigor and originality of mind, and in his earliest years he exhibited these family characteristics. He early acquired the ordinary branches of a Scottish education; and, having shown himself to be possessed of great aptitude for learning, he was sent to complete his studies for the ministry of the Church of Scotland at the University of

In 1807, while prosecuting his optical and other studies, the University of Aberdeen conferred upon the young philosopher the title of LL.D., the highest literary distinction in the gift of any Scottish senatus academicus, and one which is seldom accorded to young men of twenty-six years of age. In 1808 Dr. Brewster was elected a Fellow of the Royol Society of Edinburgh; and in the same year he became editor of the " Edinburgh Encyclopædia," whose publication he continued to supervise, and to the pages of which he contributed, till its close in 1830, a period of twenty-two years. The pastimes of men of genius, and the accidents which seem fortuitously to happen to them, have often been the blessings of the world. The mysteries of God's providence are so veiled from mortal eyes, and the agencies of his will are often so obscure, that human speculation can seldom elucidate them; and, even if our comprehension does reach them sometimes, our rhetoric is inadequate for their

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adjudged to him the half of the physical prize of 3000 francs, awarded for the two most important scientific discoveries which had been made, during the two previous years, in Europe; and in the same year he invented the kaleidoscope. This instrument, so valuable and important to the printer of cloth (whose inventive powers would, but for its assistance, be immensely inadequate to sustain the variety of patterns demanded by the fashionable appetite), was patented, and ought to have remunerated its inventor; but the commercial spirit of Great Britain prompted its adherents to evade the patent, and to seek their own aggrandizement at the expense of the philosopher. Everybody knew and acknowledged the inventor, and consequently he obtained what is called fame; but, for the tens of thousands of kaleidoscopes which were sold both for use and amusement, he obtained not one penny of


In 1819 the indefatigable and indomitable savant obtained the gold and silver Rumford medal from the Royal Society of London, for his discoveries on the polarization of light; and in the same year he established, in conjunction with Professor Jameson, the "Edinburgh Philosophical Journal," which attained to its sixteenth volume.

definite expression. To the Christain the infidelity of a Gibbon or a Hume seems a moral calamity; yet, when we behold the array of genius which seemed to spring from the unknown to meet and controvert them -genius that infused new life into the drooping spirit of virtue and truth-we are constrained to pause and reflect upon the hidden nature of those decrees of Providence which sometimes become thus visible. We are not sufficiently acquainted with the eternal purposes of God to discuss the nature of those circumstances which are generally termed accidental. Their occurrence is accounted trivial, and is truly involved in the mysterious; but the ideas which they suggest, and the results to which they lead, are sometimes of the highest importance to humanity. While engaged, in 1811, in writing an article upon "Burning Instruments" for the " Edinburgh Encyclopædia," Dr. Brewster was led to consider the proposal of Buffon to construct a lens of great diameter, out of a single piece of glass, by cutting out the central parts in successive ridges, like the steps of a stair. This proposal Dr. Brewster declared to be practically impossible, but it induced his suggestion for constructing a lens by building it up of several circular segments; and thus forming an apparatus for the illumination of lighthouses, of unequalled power. This beautiful and useful invention was afterwards more fully developed by the learned philosopher in the "Edinburgh Transactions," and is now generally applied to the purpose which he had indicated. In this consists the crowning glory of science, it illumines the world's dark path, leads it from the shades of a general barbarism, and points it towards a brighter and a better day. It is the lighthouse of the future, burning amidst the darkness of mental night and the storms of selfish ignorance, and steadily and constantly performing a circle of disinterested admonition and warning. This splendid invention now pierces with its brilliant beams far into the night, in order to reach the eyes of the wayfaring mariner, to warn him of the hidden rocks that beset his liquid path; and In 1831 Dr. Brewster proposed a meeting little does he think, as he beholds its admon- of all those persons in Britain most distinitory beams and blesses God for this illus-guished in the peculiar paths of research tration of his providence and care, that men once reckoned the invention in the catalogue of accidents. In 1815 the Copley medal was conferred upon Dr. Brewster for one of his optical discoveries; and shortly after obtaining this distinguished mark of merit, he was admitted a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. In 1816 the Institute of France

In 1825 the Institute of France elected Dr. Brewster a corresponding member of that distinguished body; and the Royal Academies of Russia, Prussia, Sweden, and Denmark, vied with each other in investing him with the highest distinctions which they could confer upon a foreigner. These honorary titles, although they conferred no real lustre on the man to whom they were given, nevertheless opened up to him a correspondence with the greatest 'intellects and celebrities in the world. They brought him nearer to Biot, and Cuvier, and Aragothose great French discoverers of new worlds of science. They introduced him intimately and personally to the many-knowledged Humboldt, and to all the other distinguished men of Germany.

which he had himself pursued and adorned; and this re-union of savants led to the formation of the "British Association for the Advancement of Science."

Perhaps the circumstance is attributable to a twist in human nature, perhaps to the catalogue of perverted and debased justice; but still it is a fact, that men are far more

promptly rewarded and distinguished for the execution of feats of destruction, than for the graceful and untiring exercise of that benign genius which seeks only to do good. In 1831 this grand-master of science received the decoration of the Hanoverian Guelphic Order; and in 1832 William IV. was graciously pleased to knight him.

power and wisdom. The savant who most liberally expounds the mysterious attributes of nature, and demonstrates the order and regularity that reigns in its great cosmos, most liberally and abundantly interprets the voice of the everlasting God, and exhibits to humanity the government of infinite wisdom. To Sir David Brewster most honorably The labors of Sir David Brewster have belongs the title of the people's philosopher; not been merely experimental; the literary he who has raised himself into the highest works which he has edited have of them- and brightest constellation of scientific glory, selves been sufficient to win for him the fame has not disdained to illumine the home of of a laborious and accomplished writer. A A the lowly mechanician with the lustre of his review of his philosophical discoveries and discoveries and the excellence of his Chrisscientific inventions induces us to pause and tian beneficence. His treatise on the kaleidoask the question, "How does he accomplish scope, and his letters on "Natural Magic," these things, in addition to his duties as a will long preserve his memory amongst the professor and to his exertions as an editor?" | humbler dabblers in the sciences. Ordinary ability feels itself sufficiently employed to meet the exigencies of one of those onerous department of duty, and yet this savant seems to know no difficulty in his accomplishment of them all; the laboratory, the bureau, and the atelier, each claims his attention, and the zeal of his spirit sustains him to discharge the duties of them all.

At St. Andrews he discourses to the Scottish students of natural philosophy in an obscure cloister; in his closet he examines the wondrous things that are above and around us; while the scientific world stands respectfully by to listen to the teachings of his experience. In his social position he is scarcely more than an ill-remunerated Scottish teacher in a provincial college; in his actual, he is one of the most accomplished and profound of the European imperial dignitaries of science. Sir David Brewster is one of the editors of the "London and Edinburgh Philosophical Magazine;" and the pages of the "Edinburgh" and "North British Reviews" are opulent with illustrations of his genius and energy. He has been a constant and eloquent contributor to almost all the scientific works of note in Great Britain; and his prelections are as familiar to the French and Germans as to his own countrymen. Like M. François Arago, Sir David Brewster has popularized science. He has placed its instruments in the hands of laughing childhood; and he has rendered its language intelligible to the least educated inquirer. His treatise upon optics in the "Cabinet Cyclopædia" has largely conduced to familiarize the popular mind with the nature and utility of scientific research. The most common and casual phenomena, reduced to a system, cannot fail to interest the reflective mind, and to impress it with a serious cognizance of God's VOL. XVIII. NO. II.

His life of Sir Isaac Newton, in the "Family Library," is one of his most excellent and valuable works; it is glowing with brilliant eulogy and graceful criticism. To M. Arago has been universally conceded the character of a most generous critic and an elegant panegyrist. From the tribune of the Academy of Sciences at Paris he has delivered some of the most beautiful and profound eloges that ever living genius poured over the coffined clay of departed eminence. Sir David Brewster belongs, in an equal degree, the generous and sympathetic attributes which distinguish the famous Frenchman.


His style is as rich and ornate as his highly-cultivated intellect; it is as powerful as his earnestness, and as ardent as his enthusiasm. His criticism of men of science in the "Edinburgh Review," and the other literary vehicles open to his pen, are all characterized by that clearness and eloquence which are always associated with knowledge and allied to generosity.

Humboldt has casually declared, in the most celebrated of his works, that he has no aptitude for speculative philosophy, and he therefore refrains from adventuring into the regions of metaphysics and theology. Like Newton, however, Sir David Brewster preserves, amidst the triumphs of his scientific career, the faith and humility of a Christain; as the unseen things of this life have been laid open before the importunities of his inquiry, he has been strengthened more and more in that faith and sense which bear the soul above the glorious of this mundane world, into that brighter and more glorious universe which God has prepared for the soul's exigencies, and the Redeemer has purchased for ransomed man.

The last and crowning circumstance of Sir


David Brewster's celebrity was his election, on the 2d of January, 1849, as one of the eight foreign associate members of the National Institute of France, which was vacant by the death of M. Berzelius, the celebrated chemist. This distinction-coveted by the most illustrious philosophers of Europe, and of the whole world-is conferred by this academy only after a rigorous examination of the scientific claims of the candidates, who are proposed to the Institute by a commission of five members; of which M. Arago, on the admission of Sir D. Brewster, as on former occasions, was the reportThe elevation of Sir David to this dis


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tinguished position was no act of judicial disputation; the friends of the other candidates immediately withdrew their claims, and bent respectfully in approval of the election of the Scottish philosopher. The eight associate members of the Institute are generally regarded as the greatest celebrities in the learned world; and to none of his celebrated compeers does the inventor of the kaleidoscope, the discoverer of the physical laws of metallic reflection, of the optical properties of crystals, and the law of the angle of polarization, yield in originality of conception and vigor of soul.



"How much is expressed by the form of oriental benediction, May you die among your kindred.'"-GREENWOOD.

"MAY you die among your kindred;" may you rest your parting gaze

On the loved familiar faces of your young and happy days;

May the voices whose kind greeting to your infancy was dear

Pour lovingly, while life declines, their music in your ear.

"May you die among your kindred;" may the friends you love the best,
List to your fainting accents, and receive your last request;

Read your unuttered wishes, on your changeful features dwell,

And mingle sighs of sorrow with your faltering faint farewell.


May you die among your kindred;" may your peaceful grave be made

In the quiet, cool recesses of the churchyard's hallowed shade;

There may your loved ones wander at the silent close of day,
Fair buds and fragrant blossoms on the verdant turf to lay.

"Tis a tender benediction; yet methinks it lacks the power
To cast a true serenity o'er life's last solemn hour.
Ye whom I love, I may not thus love's Christian part fulfil;
List while I ask for you a boon, more dear, more precious still.

So may you die, that though afar from all your cherished ties,
Though strangers hear your dying words and close your dying eyes,
Ye shall not know desertion, since your Saviour shall be near
To fill your fainting spirit with the "love that casts out fear."

So may you die, so willingly submit your soul to God,
That evermore your kindred, as they tread the path you trod,
May picture your existence on a far-off heavenly shore,
And speak of you as one not "lost," but only "gone before."

So may you die, that when your death to pious friends is known,
Each shall devoutly, meekly wish such lot may be their own;
Not heeding if you died in want, in exile, or in pain,
But feeling that you died in faith, and thus “ to die is gain."

From Blackwood's Magazine.



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NORTH. Trim-trim-trim. TALBOYS. Gentlemen, are you all seated? NORTH. Why into such strange vagaries fall as you would dance, Longfellow! Seize his skirts, Seward. Buller, cling to his knees. Billy, the boat hook-he will behe is overboard.

TALBOYS. Not at all. somewhat crank-and I sir.

Gutta Percha is Gutta Percha is am steadying her,

NORTH. What is that round your waist?
TALBOYS. My Air-girdle.

NORTH. I insist upon your dropping it, Longman. It makes you reckless. I did not think you were such a selfish character.

TALBOYS. Alas! in this world, how are our noblest intentions misunderstood! I put it on, sir, that, in case of a capsize, I might more buoyantly bear you ashore.

NORTH. Forgive me, my friend. Butbe seated. Our craft is but indifferently well adapted to the gallopade. Be seated, I beseech you! Or if you will stand, do plant both feet-do not-do not alternate so -and above all do not, I implore you-show off on one, as if you were composing and reciting verses-There, down you are-and if there be not a hole in her bottom, Gutta Percha is safe against all the hidden rocks in Loch Awe.

TALBOYS. Let me take the stroke oar.

NORTH. For sake of the ancient houses of the Sewards and the Bullers, sit where you are. We are already in four fathom water. TALBOYS. The Lines.

NORTH. Billy-mum.

TALBOYS. The Heavens are high-and they are deep. Fear would rise up from that Profound, if fear there could be in the perfectly Beautiful!

SEWARD. Perhaps there is-though it wants a name.

NORTH. We know there is no dangerand therefore we should feel no fear. But we cannot wholly disencumber ourselves of the emotions that ordinarily great depth inspires-and verily I hold with Seward, while thus we hang over the sky-abyss below with suspended oars.

SEWARD. The Ideal rests on the RealImagination on Memory-and the Visionary, at its utmost, still retains relations with Truth.

BULLER. Pray you to look at our Encampment. Nothing visionary there

TALBOYS. Which Encampment? BULLER. On the hill-side-up yonder-at Cladich.

TALBOYS. You should have said so at first. I thought you meant that other down—

BULLER. When I speak to you, I mean the bona fide flesh and blood Talboys, sitting by the side of the bona fide flesh and blood Christopher North, in Gutta Percha, and not that somewhat absurd, and, I trust, ideal personage, standing on his head in the water, or it may be the air, some fathoms below her keel-like a pearl-diver.

TALBOYS. Put up your hands-so-my dear Mr. North, and frame the picture.

NORTH. And Maculloch not here! Why the hills behind Cladich, that people call tame, make a background that no art might meliorate. Cultivation climbs the green slopes, and overlays the green hill-ridges, while higher up all is rough, brown, heathery, rocky-and behind that undulating line, NORTH. Shove off, lads. for the first time in my life, I see the peaks TALBOYS. Are we on earth, or in heaven? of mountains. From afar they are looking BILLY. On t' water.

BILLY. Nea, nea-Mister Talboy. Nane shall steer Perch when He's afloat, but t'auld commodore.

at the Tents. And far off as they are, the

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