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It is a common opinion, though undoubtedly a mistaken one, that heavy bodies, sinking at sea, go down only to a certain depth, where they find the water in such a condition, owing to the superincumbent pressure, that it sustains them from any
further sinking; and that there, each one finding its own proper level, floats about forever. It is true, indeed, that the pressure of the water is enormously increased at great depths; but its power of floating heavy bodies depends upon its density, not upon its pressure. If water could be compressed itself into very much narrower dimensions than it naturally occupies at the surface, so that a large bulk of it could be made to occupy a small space, its weight and its buoyant power would, in that case, be very much increased. It would become like mercury, and it would then be able to float iron, lead, stones; in fact, all other bodies lighter than itself. But no such effect can be produced upon it. Although the pressure is enormous to which it is subjected at great depths in the sea, it resists it all, and obstinately retains very nearly its original dimensions. Its density, therefore, and its weight, and consequently its buoyant power, remain very nearly the same, at all depths, and the iron or the lead which it cannot sustain at the surface, it can no better sustain a thousand fathoms below. In fact, it is probable that most sinking bodies, including even iron itself, are compressed themselves as they descend, more rapidly than the water, so that they become heavier and heavier as they go down, and thus seek their final place of repose with a constantly accelerated force.
There can be no doubt, therefore, that the loaded coffin, in such a case as this, continues the descent commenced by its first solemn plunge, till it reaches the bottom. The average depth of the ocean has been ascertained to be five miles. If we suppose now, which may not be far from the truth, that such a weight would descend with a motion of about one mile an hour, the body would be five hours proceeding to its final place of repose. What a march to the grave is this! Five hours ! alone, unattended, unthought of, pressing steadily on, away from all light and life; passing, without even a pause, the limit where the last ray of the sun becomes extinct, and where the last trace of life forever fails ! And what a tomb to come to at last! What silence! What darkness! What desolation! What eternal and motionless rest! At such a depth, it would seem, that almost absolutely nothing could ever transpire; and a human body, seeking there its last home, must find one so entirely its own, that probably for ages past, and for ages to come, there will have been nothing but its own intrusion to disturb the death-like repose.
The service concluded, the port-hole was closed. The sailors went forward to their duty. The passengers resumed their usual attitudes and positions about the decks. Four bells struck, and half a dozen hands were called aft to “heave the log.” The funeral was forgotten.
When you have found a man, you have not far to go to find a gentleman. You cannot make a gold ring out of brass. You cannot change a Cape May crystal to a diamond. You cannot make a gentleman till you have first
To be a gentleman, it will not be sufficient to have had a grandfather.
To be a gentleman, does not depend upon the tailor, or the toilet. Blood will degenerate. Good clothes are not good habits. The Prince Lee Boo concluded that the hog, in England, was the only gentleman, as being the only thing that did not labor.
A gentleman is just a gentle-man; no more, no less; a diamond polished, that was first a diamond in the rough. A gentleman is gentle. A gentleman is modest. A gentle. man is courteous. A gentleman is generous. A gentleman is slow to take offence, as being one that never gives it. A gentleman is slow to surmise evil, as being one that never thinks it. A gentleman goes armed only in consciousness of right. A gentleman subjects his appetites. A gentleman refines his taste. A gentleman subdues his feelings. A gentleman deems every other better than himself. Sir Philip Sidney was never so much a gentleman — mirror though he was of England's knighthood - as when, upon the field of Zutphen, as he lay in his own blood, he waived the draught of cold spring water, that was brought to quench his mortal thirst, in favor of a dying soldier. St. Paul described a gentleman when he exhorted the Philippian Christians. “ Whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” And Dr. Isaac Barrow, in his admirable sermon on the calling of a gentleman, pointedly says: “He should labor and study to be a leader unto virtue, and a notable promoter thereof; directing and exciting men thereto by his exemplary conversation; encouraging them by his countenance and authority; rewarding the goodness of meaner people by his bounty and favor: he should be such a gentleman as Noah, who preached righteousness, by his words and works, before a profane world.”
Hiero and Archimedes. Hiero. You have come in good time, dreamer. I was beginning to get tired of myself; you come along with your Utopias, and that will restore my gayety.
Archimedes. I have no Utopias, sire; I predict the fu
ture, not after the manner of you priests, by inspiration which often deceives, but by calculation, which never lies.
H. I do not deny your science as to things present, my Prometheus, and I know how to appreciate your worth, but your scientific dreams and distractions are very amusing, nevertheless.
When you were inquiring the quantity of gold which a jeweller had abstracted from your crown, you hardly suspected that the solution of the problem was in a bath.
H. (laughing.) Wonderful! you call to my mind one of your most amusing absences. I seem to see you still running stark naked through the palace, crying Eureka! Eureka! It was so droll, - a nude philosopher,—that I had not strength to forbid the merriment of my slaves, though they are the worst race that lives beneath the sun.
A. They are bad because they are slaves. They are lazy because they have no motive to labor. This, too, is one of those things which will disappear.
H. Not so fast. Society without slaves is just as impossible as orators without voice, carts without horses, vessels without oars or sails, and lamps without oil or grease. Before we can get along without slaves, man will come to fly in the air, without getting drowned as Icarus did.
A. You are quite right, sire, that all those impossibilities are of the same order. If, twenty centuries hence, your conversation could be recalled, one would laugh at your having set down as impossibilities things so elementary. You speak of orators without voice. I am sure the day will come, when, with the simple language of the fingers, and gestures, a deaf mute will excite as much enthusiasm as Demosthenes did among the Athenians.
H. That deaf mutes may come to understand one another, I admit; but to believe that they will ever arrive at eloquence is a foolish Utopia. You might as well say that cloth will some day be woven out of stones, or that a limb will be amputated without giving its owner any pain.
A. You may laugh, but the day will come, when, thanks to fire, paving stones will be transformed into silken fabrics ; when, thanks to some unknown fluid, surgical operations will be performed to the laughter of the subjects.
H. (laughing.) Ha! ha! you abuse the permission of serving me with stories. You soon will be telling me that, from my palace in Syracuse, I can hear all that is said in that of the tyrant of Agrigentum, and converse with him.
A. I should only speak the truth if I did. Not only will people be able to converse from Syracuse to Agrigentum, but to Rome, to Athens, to Babylon, to the ends of the world. It will take less time to converse at such distances than to write the same words upon our tablets.
H. Ha, ha, ha! (Laughing immoderately.) reckon, then, upon the lightning for your messenger ?
A. Precisely so. The lightning will, one day, become the carrier of letters. You have heard of Salmoneus, who once imitated the thunder, in contempt of Jupiter ? Well, men will do more; they will disarm Jupiter, simply by bristling their houses with points. They will confine the thunder in a tube, and launch it at pleasure; the length of this tube will not exceed half that of your sword. To produce this thunder, which will bellow with the voice of Ætna, it will only be necessary for the filaments of a plant, or an old linen rag, to imbibe a certain liquid; or it may be done by combining charcoal, sulphur and saltpetre.
H. You are crazy, my poor philosopher, and I am sorry Är it, for you have more science in your single head than all the sages who speak our Greek language.
A. The day will come, your majesty, when these copyists who take several days to copy sixty-four pages of writing, will give place to a machine that will do it in less than one second; the day when one will only have to sit down before one of our metallic mirrors to leave his portrait impressed upon it ;— what do I say, a portrait? nay, the whole panorama which the eye can embrace at once, will remain impressed upon the mirror. . Carriages will pass through