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solved into CA and CF, of which force is used simultaneously by two CF will be opposed to c G, and will or more individuals. The very tend to counteract it, or to move smallest movement is perceived by the table from c to F.

the expectant circle, and the rotatory It is by the difference of these motion once induced the mere conforces c G and c r that the table is tact of each hand with the surface of made to turn. The force is similar the table suffices without further to that of the wind on the sails of a pressure to bring it onwards, no inwindmill, which also produces rota dividual feeling that he helps. tory motion. In the case of the The table experiment is so craftily mill the force is applied perpendi- devised that the same union of hands cularly to the plane of rotation, and that suggests the idea of an electhe sail receives the force at an tric chain ensures also an adequate angle. In the table the force is ap- multiplication of mechanical power, plied at an angle, and the table is the arrangement requiring persons horizontal or parallel to the plane of in sufficient number to compass the rotation.

table; and another mode, that of The resolved part of the force is placing the thumb on the neighin both cases precisely the same, bour's little finger, insures similar and in both, though small compared force and similar multiplication of with the whole force, is sufficient for persons. It is, however, sufficient the motion to be accounted for. In merely to touch the table with the the mill sail the combination is made fingers, for, unless the direction at up by every part of the sail being which the force is applied be perpenstruck by the wind, and the effect dicular to the top of the table, which is increased by the absence of any is nearly impossible, resolved force of opposing force.

some extent must be generated. If It is thus demonstrated that there the deflection from the perpendicuis a definite turning power exerted lar be small, and the pressure also by every hand all round the table, very slight, the chances will merely greater or less according to the de- be increased of a longer interval begree of pressure, and to the angle fore sufficient consent happens in at which the force is applied. If order to begin tbe motion. both hands of each person were laid The popular objection to the independently on the table, and truth of this explanation will no equal pressure made by them, the doubt lie in the belief that no force moving force would then be neutra- whatever is exercised by any indivilized, for then c G would be equal dual; but granting that all the operto c F, but when every person has one ators are honestly avoiding the exhand placed beneath, and the other ercise of any force of which they are above, his neighbour's on each side, sensible, the fact still remains that the probability is that the difference the mere placing of the hands on of position will cause an excess of the table is of itself an appreciable pressure by one hand compared with force; that force may be excessively the other, and that all, or most of minute, but when multiplied by either the right hands together, or combination, which combination the left hands together, will be doing must by the auccession of chances more than the fellow hands. This occur in course of time, the force excess of pressure, whether great or becomes considerable, and is suffismall, constitutes the force by which cient to account for the effect prothe table obtains a rotatory mo- duced. tion.

As a device to procure success, It is almost superfluous to pursue some persons blow on the table, the explanation. It is apparent that and this, while it conduces to a belief all the right and all the left hands in something marvellous, is in fact being similarly circumstanced are a good evidence of the truth of the likely to act in concert, and the foregoing explanation. They all lean direction of the table's motion will towards the table to blow, which depend on which hands give the position inevitably requires some ingreater pressure. The interval be crease of stress upon the hands, and fore success is just such time as may probably separates them wider, causelapse before some slightly increased ing the force to be applied at a greater

causes

angle. The act of blowing also in. One of the most remarkable and inexduces a muscular effort which fa- plicable experiments relative to the vours inequality of pressure.

strength of the human frame, which you No one who sees the · Barker's have yourself seen and admired, is that mills,' now so freely imitated in the in which a heavy man is raised with the filtering shops doubts the cause of

greatest facility, when he is lifted up the their motion of rotation, and yet be

instant that his own lungs and those of

the persons who raise him are inflated fore the opening is made in the arm

with air. This experiment was, I beof the mill the same pressure exists lieve, first shown in England a few years which afterwards produces the mo

ago by Major H., who saw it performed tion, but exists in a state of equili- in a large party at Venice, under the brium. As soon as this equilibrium direction of an officer of the American is disturbed by making an opening navy. As Major H. performed it more in the side for the water to escape,

than once in my presence I shall describe the pressure on the side opposite as nearly as possible the method which being uncounteracted,

he prescribed. The heaviest person in movement of rotation in the arm of the party lies down upon two chairs, his the mill. It is not the resistance of legs being supported by one and his back

by the other. Four persons, one at each the atmosphere, as supposed by some,

leg, and one at each shoulder, then try which produces the motion, for it

to raise him, and they find his dead would take place in a vacuum. While

weight to be very great, from the diffi. the hands on the table press equally culty they experience in supporting him. the case is the same as the undis

When he is replaced in the chair, each turbed equilibrium of the mill; but as of the four persons takes hold of the perfectly equable pressure is all but body as before, and the person to be impossible, the difference causes a

lifted gives two signals, by clapping his state identical with the mill in hands. At the first signal he himself

and the four lifters begin to draw a long action, after its equilibrium has been disturbed.

and full breath, and when the inhalation The efficacy of combined force is

is completed, or the lungs filled, the

second signal is given for raising the not, in general, sufficiently estimated.

person from the chair. To his own sur. Practical experiments of the simul

prise and that of his bearers he rises with taneous exercise of a number of

the greatest facility, as if he were no minute forces would give resul heavier than a feather. On several oc. startling to many of our wonder casions I have observed that when one seekers. It would surprise the

of the bearers perform his part ill, by same number of individuals who are making the inhalation out of time, the experimenting on a table to find part of the body which he tries to raise that the first joint of the little finger

is left as it were behind. As you have of only one hand of each would lift repeatedly seen this experiment, and the same table with the greatest

have performed the part both of the load

and of the bearer, you can testify how ease if care were taken to obey a remarkable the effects appear to all par. signal with precision, so that the

ties, and how complete is the conviction whole united force might be applied either that the load has been lightened at the same instant of time. The or the bearer strengthened by the presailors' chorus when they move the scribed process. capstan is nothing less than a device

At Venice the experiment was perto ensure the efficacy of combined formed in a much more imposing man. efforts;

the rowers' measured stroke, The heaviest man in the party was and many otherinstances, willsuggest raised and sustained upon the points of themselves as familiarly understood; the forefingers of six persons. Major H. but one instance of the effect of declared that the experiment could not combined force gave rise, not many

succeed if the person lifted were placed

upon a board, and the strength of the years ago, to speculations on its

individuals applied to the board. He cause almost as empirical as those

conceived it necessary that the bearers which have lately occupied society,

should communicate directly with the and has been rendered still more

body to be raised. I have not had an remarkable by the way in which opportunity of making any experiments Sir David Brewster has recorded it.

relative to these curious facts; but At page 246 of his Natural Magic whether the general effect is an illusion, we find as follows:

or the result of known or of new prin

ner.

1853.]

The Sublime and the Ridiculous.

29

ciples, the subject merits a careful inves of the day, and would furnish a tigation.*

more eloquent excuse than any yet This narrative is opened by as suggested for those who have been suming that the mysterious agency deluded by such absurdities. is connected with the inflation of The turning of a key tied in the the lungs with air, just as the table inside of a book is an old experimoving is assumed to take place, by ment, now revived as a satellite the agency of electricity and some wonder to the table phenomenon. mysterious volition: and the hidden The key is suspended between two principle which enables the body to opposing fingers, and it is willed to be lifted is recommended by the turn. The operation of a physical author to the searching eye of sci- power in this experiment is, how. ence, as dependent on yet unknown ever, quite intelligible. If a ball be laws. The real power, however, suspended by a string, and pressed consists in neither more nor less at any point other than in a plane than in the efficacy of combined passing through the centre, which efforts, simultaneously applied. As the centre of gravity, such pressure, the very smallest interval in the ap HOWEVER SMALL, will make it turn plication of the individual forces round that centre of gravity. A leaves them as so many isolated and billiard ball is a familiar illustration wholly inadequate attempts, the ne of the same principle; every player cessity for a signal is explained. knows that if he strike his ball out The usual weight of a man, say 140 of the centre, it will spin, or rotate pounds, divided between eight round its centre of gravity. The hands, would give 17 pounds for key is held between two opposing each hand to raise, a truly insignifi. fingers,

fingers, the extremity of each ant weight; and the expedient of touches the shank of the key, which inflating the lungs is a mere prepa is a cylinder, and similarly affected ration for the second signal, the to a ball. So long as both fingers answer to which is thus precisely press directly through the centre of insured. The inflation of the lifted the section, in perfect opposition to person's lungs might assist in keep each other, no movement of rotation ing the body rigid, and in the can take place, but the slightest delifters it might give some little aid, viation of either finger from that since the act of inspiration fixes the direction generates an oblique force, muscles and affords a point d'appui part of which may be resolved into to the arms. This accessory

the direction of the tangent to the strength is, however, superfluous. circumference of the shank, which In the Venetian experiment, said constitutes a turning force. This to be so much more imposing in man

small effect of turning power places ner, the weight divided among the opposing finger out of its immetwelve fingers would be about diate antagonistic direction, and 11 or 12 pounds each, by no means gives to it precisely the same relaa heavy load, even on the tip, since tive position as the first finger holds a woman's little finger has, on trial, to the original plane passing through been found able to raise a 14-pound the centre, thus doubling the aberweight with the utmost ease. That rating power. Every particle of a name so justly great in the annals angular motion in azimuth, as it is of science as Sir David Brewster's astronomically called, increases the should sanction the dissemination of force. The key, like the table turning, a fallacy like this,-that he should waits till a minute aberration comgravely suggest a contradiction of mences, the chances in favour of the laws of physics, by recording departure from direct pressure being the conviction of the experimenters far greater than those in favour of that the load had actually been its long preservation. lightened, and that he should sum A current of air would assist this up all, by declaring the subject to little force, which is continually merit a careful investigation,' is acting; hence may be understood even more surprising than the follies the efficacy of attempts to increase

* Natural Magic. By Sir David Brewster, K.H. Ed. 1832.

the turning power by devices—such, and contempt. The table-moving for instance, as mesmeric passes ; frenzy, spread over two continents, the action of the hand produces the is but a slight incident in the history requisite current: were the key of society, but that unhealthy state hung by a thread, the slightest which prepared the ground for so breath of air would produce a turn facile a reception of such follies is ing motion; and could the whole no light matter for reflection. The earth be suspended in the same propensity to discover wisdom in way, a mouse would have the power ideas which seem foolish or incomto move it.

prehensible to men in general, is a Lord Bacon merely enunciates very common form of vanity, and such facts as these in his Novum the temptation rises in proportion Organum, although his statements as the rejectors of false propositions are now revived, and by some re possess superior claims to informagarded as prophetic as shadowing tion on the subject. It is a glory a mysterious principle applicable to to see further into truth than men of their table-turning faith. When he higher education can see, and where said, however, that all bodies, when vanity suggests a strife, temper soon pressed upon, have a tendency steps in to sharpen weapons of as. to take upon them a turning motion, sault. Cries against prejudice, wilful he was only stating that which he blindness, class-interests, and so on, accurately observed, a fact which have been used by the victims of all was then, as now, beyond all con the quackeries and follies of the last troversy, and the governing laws of ten

years, and have helped the selfish which are in the present day taught designs of many a trader in absurdito every Cambridge freshman who ties. Mere empyricism is, however, reads mechanics.

but a minor evil, but when psycho

logical speculations are grafted on It is really wonderful to reckon it the tendency of indulging in how small a modicum of common credulity ceases to be harmless. sense might have dispelled the de When new attributes are assigned lusion of the table moving, bad to man—as in the pretended power the possessors willed to use it; and to summon departed spirits—when sad to think how tolerant the world

ideas started, which, is of every error, folly, or absurdity, if carried out, would undermine even of the moral evils to which the every truth a Christian could rekindred inventions of the table trick pose on, when the monstrous preare tending, of everything, in fact, tension is actually put forth that one but of the still small voice of reason. human mind may obtain power unIt would be not unprofitable to in limited above another, it is time for quire into the causes of that depar. all who value truth or wisdom to ture from rational sobriety of pause and ask whether it is justithought which we now predict, in fiable even in triftes to foster such a sober earnest, will make posterity dangerous characteristic of the look back on us with mixed wonder times.

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WANTED-AN OWNER. SOME ACCOUNT OF CERTAIN BONES FOUND IN A VAULT BENEATH

ROTHWELL CHURCH, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE. NOTWITHSTANDING thewon- adorn the neighbourhood; but on N ders of Mesmerism and vagaries these, having no property for sale of the Rapparees, or whatever those in the vicinity, it is not our province modern sorcerers may call them to enlarge. Of the town itself and selves, who hold nightly converse its antiquities, its ruined marketwith departed souls through the place, its quaint old hospital, and somewhat unspiritual medium of its magnificent church, we cannot hard knocks, it is not often in the resist saying a few words ere we present day that a matter-of-fact in conduct the inquirer down-down dividual has the opportunity of into the gloomy vaults where sunpassing an afternoon in the society light never penetrates and show of some thirty thousand dead men ! him the mouldering remains of those Such, however, was the luck, not once like himself, clothed in beauty many weeks ago, of the writer of and vigour, and priding themselves, these pages ; and the impression it may be like him, more upon the made upon a mind but little hardened strength and symmetry of the perishby antiquarian research, together able casket than the purity of the with the fact that this extraordinary immortal gem within. assemblage should have hitherto The first object that strikes upon created no excitement or inquiry the eye of the most careless way. at all proportionate to its interest, farer, as he rides through Rothwell, has induced him to put on paper is a square stone-built marketa simple statement of what he then place, partly in ruins, but looking saw and heard concerning these the more dilapidated from its never relics of an age long since gone by, having been completely finished. in hopes that the attention of certain The arms of several gentlemen of idle archæologians being directed to the county, probably friends of the this ample field for conjecture, they projector, are carved on the outside may hit upon some plausible solu. under the cornice, and round it is a tion of a problem which has sorely Latin inscription, setting forth in puzzled those landward wits that quaint language that it is the work have already been exercised upon of Sir Thomas Tresham-a boon to its mysteries.

his beloved fatherland-that in this In the heart of Northamptonshire, disinterested erection he seeks no (a county, by the way, rich in anti. advantage for himself, but merely quarian treasures, and within easy the common good, and the imperishdistance of Kettering and Market able glory of his personal friends ;' Harborough,) stands the picturesque and concluding with an Honi soit and curious old town of Rowell, or qui mal y pense sort of flourishRothwell, as it is more properly Male qui interpretatur dignus haud called, the ancient name given in tanto est bono. His anathema, Domesday Book being Rodewell, it is to be hoped, does not allude to and a more pleasant locale it is not the construing of Sir Thomas's easy to imagine. Without dwell. Latin, at which many an unlettered ing upon its advantages, as lying squire must ere now have tried on the very skirts of those Happy his hand, but simply to the malice Hunting-grounds, a perfect paradise of those detractors who would infer to the lovers of the chase, which the the knight's vainglorious thirst for Mongol would call the Land of fame from his undertaking an edi. Grass, and the scarlet-coated Eng. fice like the one in question, ære lishman denominates the Harbo perennius. This is the same Sir rough Country,' it can boast a situa Thomas Tresham who was after. tion equally charming to the ad. wards concerned in the Gunpowder mirer of the picturesque as to the Plot, of combustible memory, and break-neck follower of Diana. Sunny hence it is fair to suppose that, if slopes, rich meadows, leafy wood. not an ambitious, he was at least a lands, and trim pleasure-grounds vastly stirring gentleman, even in

VOL. XLVIII. NO. CCLXXXIII.

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