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relations in ignorance of his presence. ral remained unfilled, and whether it was Again, he has no business to listen, if, Mary, the mason's daughter, or somebody though the talkers do not know him, he in those “ very old ancient times you've knows them. In either of these cases heard tell on, who drank the hemlock, there is a personal relation established be. remained and remains a mystery. Some tween him and the talkers, and it would people would, no doubt, be disappointed be a betrayal of the courtesies of life to at anything so incomplete as this. These take advantage of the fact that the talkers will prefer the scenes of genteel comedy had forgotten his presence. It is only one gets in a first-class railway-carriage. when a man can feel that the people to The present writer has no hesitation in whose words he is listening are total saying that the very best piece of acting strangers whom he has never seen before, for vivacity, naturalness, and good taste and whom he will never see again—who that he has ever witnessed, he saw as a are, in fact, as far as he is concerned, corner seat spectator on the London and mere shadows on the screen-that the de- South-Western. . The dramatis persona lights accidental conve ation can be were an elderly but handsome and wellfreely indulged in. Fortunately, these bred man of the world, anxious to amuse are the conditions which usually prevail himself by a flirtation, but even more anxin public conveyances in London. " Come ious not to commit himself, and a clever like shadows, so depart," is the rule of and exceedingly good-looking old young the knife-board. As a concrete example lady of about nine and twenty. A better of the manner in which the line must be acted or more finished little comedy it is drawn between assisting at a comedy of impossible to imagine. Every point was real life and mere eavesdropping, we may taken up and given its proper value, and give the experiences of an inveterate prac- not a gesture or tone was overdone. tiser of the art of listening. The person But, it may be said, this must be an im. in question had taken possession of a new agivary case, people never talk before a house a day earlier than he intended. stranger. . Not, perhaps, if you look agStrolling round his garden he heard be- gressive. If, however, you retire behind hind the fence the voices of two country- your paper and make it quite clear that men : When do the folks come in !'' you have no sort of intention of trying to " To-morrow.'! " What sort be they ?” join in the conversation, and are, in fact, Here it was obvious that to listen further a person of no account, they will be pretty would be to act a very dishonorable part ; sure to take you at your word, and treat and accordingly the householder in ques. you as part of the carriage furniture. In tion had nothing to do but to sigh as a order to assume this carriage-furniture lover of accidental conversations, and de- status, however, it is imperative not to part like a man of honor. When, how- speak. Do not say, “May I move this ever, he found himself sketching under bag ?”
" on May I open this one side of a high hedge, while a couple window a little ?” Such phrases at once of unknown hedgers were trimming on break the spell, and put out the actors. the other, he could listen with a perfectly The only way to secure a good represencasy conscience. What he heard on the tation is to sit like a log, and either look occasion in question was well worth hear- out of the window or into your newsing. “So they did take the hemlock and paper.
In third-class carriages such preboiled it, and gave it to the 'oman ; and cautions are, however, hardly necessary. the 'oman died.” “Did er, now !” The poorer classes are accustomed to pubWas it some new tale of rustic poisoning licity, and perform in public without any that was being related, or sonie ancient sense of uneasiness. The most thrilling fable, old perhaps as the Odyssey, which scene will sometimes take place with five was being re-dished by one of the hedgers on each side. It was once the good forfor the other's benefit?
Who shall say ?
tune of the present writer to be in a thirdThe sketcher heard no more. Not be- class Underground carriage, when a recause he was seen, or because the men spectably dressed woman and a man, who were called away, but simply because can best be described by saying that he there then occurred one of those long- looked like what is described in the serdrawn pauses which are so rem kable a nts' advertisement columns as a “ thorfeature of real country talk. The inter- ough indoor,” got in. The woman's first
words were as good as any ever invented old peasant in a third-class carriage begin by novelist or playwright to open a sensa- to give a friend a chapter of autobiographitional story :—“'He never knew till the cal reminiscences which was worth going day he followed her to the grave that she a hundred miles to hear. “ Yes," he wasn't his mother. Then followed a began, or rather went on,
" And I can very exciting but very tangled conversa- mind seeing four men hung in a very tional web, from which one could dimly rustic manner. It was back in the rick gather that somebody was keeping some- burnings. I was a lad ; but they were body else—apparently the thorough in- hung just opposite our door for a warning. door"-out of a great deal of money, and They was tried in Wells, and they brought that there was a great deal of oppression 'em down to the country where I was, in and knavery going on, again apparently a wagon, sitting on their own coffins, and against the thorough indoor," who sat every village they passed through they all the time deeply interested, as well he tolled the bells. They was to be hung might be, and asking an occasional and opposite their own cottages. They put usually irrelevant question. Above every- up a gallows with four ropes, and they thing, the “ thorough indoor” was to see stood one of these big wagons boarded a third person before he was seen by the over, underneath, and when they had other side, and “put it to him.” There fastened the men up, they put in the was just a chance that he might do right, horses and drew the wagon away from unbut a still stronger one that it would all der their feet. Law bless you, they be no good. At this melancholy conclu- kicked there for more nor half an hour, sion the train stopped, the respectable and their polls was drawn out half a foot, woman in black got out, followed by the and all as red as fire. It was just against " thorough indoor," and the scene where we lived, and I saw 'em banging “ closed in," leaving the spectators with there till it was dark. They'd set the an intense, but unfortunately unassuagable, ricks on fire, you see. There used to be thirst for more light. Told barely, the a lot of it, and they wanted to stop it and story sounds comic, but at the time the to make these l am speaking of a warnearnestness of the speakers left no doubt
Whether this hideous rustic that it was a real tragedy they were dis- manner” of hanging was ever really purcussing, -one of those strange things” gued we do not know, but certainly the of English middle-class life which Mr. old man spoke as if he were speaking the Wilkie Collins loved to dissect.
truth ; and when he turned to give an acOccasionally, the people who train count of the bull-baiting on Mendip, and themselves to listen in railway-carriages how the young chaps used to run in and will do more than merely witness “ little catch hold of the rope, and then run out coinedies” enacted before their eyes, or again before the bull could get at them, see odd characteristics exhibited. If they it was clear that he was not romancing, are lucky, they may hear some really good for such displays of village cruelty and
yarn" spun, as poor people spin them prowess have often been described. But, to each other. Try to get a laboring-man true or false, accidental conversations cer. to tell you a story, and he will make it as tainly form no small part for many people colorless and bald as an affidavit. Hear of the charm of town life. They are not him, however, in the ale-bouse, among better than the woods and fields, but they his own people, and it is a very different are a considerable compensation.-Spectastory. The present writer once heard an tor.
SCIENCE AND SOCIETY IN THE FIFTIES.
BY MRS. ANDREW CROSSE.
The experimental philosopher, as Germans would probably seek to explain rule, is blessed with a love of fun and this condition of mind, as due to the inhumor, and possesses perhaps in a higher termittance of objective, in distinction to degree than his brethren of the pen, a the continuity of subjective trains of happy facility for mental relaxation. The thought ; but these are hard words, and
as Bishop Berkeley says, metaphysicians philosopher in his most vivacious manner, first raise a dust, and then complain they and his ever cheery voice, welcomed us, cannot see. It is a fact, and that is not forgetting however to place a mark in enough for us, that scientific men are his book. generally cheerful minded, and can take These were winter days, a busy time pleasure in wholesome frivolity ; they, with “ lectures” and laboratory work ; more easily than scholars or poets, can but we wanted to engage the Faradays to get out of their sphere of work, can more pay us a visit at Fyne Court, in the late easily unbend the bow, and restore there- summer, when they would be able to get by the balance of their physical well- away from London. Mr. Crosse, who being.
fully shared in Faraday's delight in a This was certainly the case with Faraday thunder-storm, said laughingly, that he -though not perhaps conspicuously to hoped we might have a “rattling good the world at large, with whom, his rela- storm, to welcome them to the Quantock tions were those of a solemn teacher of hills ;'' adding“ but I am sorry to say nature's mysteries, a grave exponent of that we are not unfrequently disappointed, her laws, and above all a man of such ab- owing to that abominable Bridgwater struse originality that he seemed a dweller river which carries off some of our best in the very empyrean of thought.
storms." One of the earliest visits we paid in This remark led to a discussion upon London, after our marriage in 1850,- the electric attraction of river systems, and was an afternoon call on Mr. and Mrs. the consequent distribution of rain. Faraday at the Royal Institution. My Schönbein's recent researches on husband was on terms of intimacy with were touched upon, in reference to its exthe great electrician, being himself an en- cess in the atmosphere, or its absence, thusiastic laborer in the same field—a field being possibly in some way connected whose limits were even then known to be with influenza and other epidemic disas illimitable as Cosmos itself.
orders. Dr. Faraday then asked Mr. I had never yet seen Faraday. A feel- Crosse about his experiments upon the ing of awe overcame me, as we ascended carrying and transferring power of electhe long flight of stairs leading to the tricity. In conclusion he remarked, on Upper Chambers of that famous house in hearing of Mr. Crosse's success in the Albemarle Street. With the knowledge transfer of pure silver throngh distilled that we were approaching the Arcana of water by slow electric action, that there Science, I was in no condition of sym- can be no doubt that that power has been pathy with the fools that rush in, but astonishingly influential in bringing about rather felt restrained by the reverent spir- many of the earthy and metalliferous arits of those who fear to tread, on sacred rangements of the globe.” ground. The very sound of the homely The conversation had begun simply door knocker, rapped on my heart. Youth enough, about the novels of Lever and and ignorance are ever diffident—at least Trollope, and the promise of the first they ought to be—and they were in the Exhibition, which was to be opened ere days that are past. We entered, and many months ; but science was too near were kindly greeted by Mrs. Faraday, to both these enthusiasts for them to rewho led us through the outer siting-room, main long without touching on the subinto an inner sanctum ; there was Faraday ject. bimself, half reclining on a sofa-with a Leaving the eager talkers to their alloheap of circulating library novels round tropic condition of oxygen in the atmoshim; he had evidently rejected some, phere, and the ceaseless interchange of that were thrown carelessly on the floor- atoms in the earth beneath ; Mrs. Faraday but his eyes were glued on the exciting drew me aside, and candidly told me, in pages of a third volume.
much kindness, and with true wifely wis“He reads a great many novels, and it dom, that our house, was of all places, is very good for him to divert his mind,” the one where she could not permit her said Mrs. Faraday to us, later on.
husband to spend his holiday. She was It was a touch of nature, delightfully well aware that Fyne Court had its laborareassuring ; the feeling of awe gave place tories and foundries, in short had electrito warmest buman sympathy, when the cal arrangements from garret to basement, and she foresaw that Faraday, instead of bis “ old master, that truly great man,' resting his brains, would be talking sci- in terins of reverence, that showed the ence all day long.
largeness of his own nature. I did not fail to vindicate
husband's The readers of Faraday's Biography character as not being one of the Dryas- will remember, that when in the capacity dust school; assuring Mrs. Faraday that of private secretary he accompanied Sir he had at tiines, the ebullient spirits of a llumphry Davy in his travels on the Conschoolboy, could play practical jokes— tinent, be suffered not a little from the talk most excellent nonsense, on the prin- unsuitable impositions of service made ciple that he who is not a fool sometimes, upon him, and from the temper of Lady is a fool always, and lastly that he bad Davy ; and what was far worse, in 1824, been convicted times out of mind, of per- when Faraday sought the distinction of petrating the most execrable puns ! adding F.R.S. to his name, bis election
Faraday himself had been known to in- was strongly opposed by Sir Ilumphry. dulge in bad pups ; there is a story told I knew nothing of these circumstances at of his being terribly bored by a long- the time of the visit I am describing; but winded friend, who went on prosing about I have often thought since in reference to a misadventure, be had bad on one occa- the words I then heard, that certainly, sion, when driving across country after few men could so gratefully remember, dark. This friend's coachman, who we and still fewer, could so nobly forget as may suppose was not a total abstainer,
Faraday. lost his way and wandered about and Coleridge who had been Davy's friend, about ; the narrator did the like in verbal when the raw Cornish lad first entered description, which was most tiresome ; upon scientific work, in Beddoe's Pneu
at length” said he “the fellow set me inatic Institution, in the far-off Bristol down in a miry road, where I was plunging days -complained in later years—of Davy about half the night in a perfect morass. “ moulding himself to the world,” be“More ass you” rapped out the philos- coming in short “a Theo-mammorist.” opher, glad to finish boredom with a laugh. Coleridge, unconventional to a fault, anti
To return to the incidents of a visit, mundane in the extreme, frankly preferred which to me so memorable ; we “ little i against a whole alphabet of pubwere about to take our leave, when to my lic opinion. great delight, Dr. Faraday, offered to Before we left the “old ” laboratory, show us over the workshops,
Faraday let us have a peep into the called them, of the Royal Institution. froggery,” a dismal sort of oubliette in
Descending to the basement, we passed this castle of science. Here, tradition through several rooms, but made our first says, those hapless creatures were kept for halt in the old laboratory, where Davy repeating Galvani's experiments on animal had, with the marvellous insight of true electricity. genius, worked out bis philosophical in- Passing to the new laboratory we found ductions, and given experimental proof of Anderson busy with his furnaces. Every their accuracy. Here in this very spot,
one who recollects the Royal Institution the principles of electro-chemistry took in the Augustan age of Faraday, will retangible form and significance ; to the member the familiar figure of Anderson, unreflecting mind, a scientific fact may the assistant at the lectures, who never perchance seem small and isolated, one failed to bring the right thing, at the may even be tempted to say with that right moment. As once said of a greater foolish person, who with a sneer remarked personage,
he was never in the way, to Franklin " What's the use of it ?" if and never out of the way.” Anderson, one did not remember the philosopher's who was an old soldier, had been selected rejoinder“ What's the use of a baby?”
" ' as specially suited to be Faraday's assistSpeaking of Davy's great scientific ant, from his military habits of strict achievements Mr. Crosse reinarked. that obedience The experimental scientist the Swedish chemist Berzelius, jealously requires his helpers " not to reason why? " endeavored to detract from his merits say- but to do as they are bid. The story is ing, “It was I, Berzelius, who opened told, * that on one occasion Faraday had the door and Davy walked in.” This gave Faraday, the occasion to speak of * In Dr. Gladstone's “ Michael Faraday.:'
forgotten to tell Anderson to stop work ter of serious regret to me that I am no one evening as usual and go honie. “ He mathematician ; if I could live my life was found the next morning, still stoking over again, I would study mathematics ; away at the glowing furnaces, as he had it is a great mistake not to do so, but it is been all night.”
too late now," When we were about to leave the labo- “An electrician should be a Jack-ofratory, Faraday turned to give some direc- all-trades,” remarked my husband. tions to Anderson, and I could not but Just then there came over Faraday's notice his kind tone of voice, in issuing countenance, one of those quick transithese orders ; it was done in a manner tions of expression, that was so characterwhich implied a true sense of the mutua! istic of him, and he adverted to his strugobligation, always existing between master gling days of mere hand-labor, when as he and servant. Sixteen quarterings of pure put it," the binding of other men's Norman ancestry, could not have inade thoughts in leather backs, seemed the only Michael Faraday, the blacksmith's son, a means of livelihood open to him.” finer gentleman than he was by nature. * You must be very happy in your Faraday has been known to put embar- present position, Dr. Faraday," I obrasscd Royalty at ease, with a grace that served, turning to him, for I felt my courtiers might envy.
womanly sympathy appealed to; " your Our Cicerone had now taken us to the present pursuits must elevate you so entheatre of the Royal Institution. With tirely out of all the meaner aspects, and the exception of our three selves, it was lower aiins of common life.” vacant, our voices echoing strangely in He shook his head, and with that wonthe semi-obscurity of the vaulted space. derful mobility of countenance so peculiar How often in subsequent years, I was to to him, his bright look changed to one of see this theatre crowded almost to suffo. profound sadness, and he replied: "When cation, when Faraday “the Prince of Lec. I quitted business, and took to science as turers’’ was giving one of his Friday even- a career, I thought I had left behind me ing discourses. Those seats would be all the petty meannesses and small jealfilled again and again with personages of ousies which hinder man in bis moral the highest rank of intellect and social progress ; but I found myself raised into standing in our realm ; and with foreign another sphere, only to find poor human savants, whose names belong to the world, nature just the same everywhere, subject and to all time ; but these brilliant gath- to the same weaknesses and the same selferings will never obliterate the impression seeking, however exalted the intellect.” made upon me, when Faraday stood-all Faraday's character, looked at from its but alone-in the vacant theatre !
non-scientific, but purely human side, is Dr. Faraday had been explaining to Mr. extremely interesting. We know the
" Crosse, some new appliances for the bet. best men are moulded ont of faults,' and ter exhibition of certain experiments be- Faraday was no ready-made angel, but fore an audience ; when turning to me, felt and confessed himself, a humble he said, with a mischievous smile : scholar in life's school, where the dis
“ In the good old days, the ladies were cipline of circumstances mars or makes a kept well out of the way, up there in the character. The journal written during gallery ; but even poor philosophers must his tour abroad with Sir Humphry Davy, submit to the inevitable, and they have together with the early letters to his friend come down among us.”
Abbott, as they appear in Dr. Bence “I hope they are not a disturbing in- Jones's “Life of Faraday, are very fluence,” I ventured to remark.
helpful to an understanding of the growth “We will not talk of that now,” he and self-training of his mind. He seems replied, laughing, and patting my shoulder to have shared with Kant, whom I believe --a kindly gesture, not infrequent on his he never read, a knowledge of the true part, toward intimate friends, and when balance of belief in the infinitude of main a playful mood.
terial creation, and a due reverence for The conversation then turned on the the moral law within the soul of man. lines of magnetic force ; it was of too which also is infinite. The spiritual intechnical a nature for me to low, but stinct was very strong in Faraday, though I remember Faraday saying, “ It is a mat- as an experimentalist he dealt only with