« ZurückWeiter »
clouds with which he was surrounded. No one can read the speculations of the French Emperor without admiration at the brilliancy of his ideas, and the originality of his conceptions; none can peruse the maxims of the English general without closing the book at every page to meditate on the wisdom and justice of his opinions. The genius of the former shared in the fire of Homer's imagination; the mind of the latter exhibited the depth of Bacon's intellect.
But it was in the prevailing moral principles by which they were regulated, that the distinctive character of their minds was most striking and important. Singleness of heart was the characteristic of the British hero, a sense of duty his ruling principle; ambition pervaded the French conqueror, a thirst for glory was his invariable incentive; but he veiled it to others, and perhaps to himself, under the name of a patriotic spirit. The former proceeded on the belief that the means, if justifiable, would finally work out the end; the latter on the maxim that the end would justify the means. Napoleon placed himself at the head of Europe, and desolated it for fifteen years with his warfare; Europe, in return for Waterloo, placed Wellington at the head of its armies, and he gave it thirty years of unbroken peace. The former thought only in peace of accumulating the resources of future war; the latter sought only in war the means of securing future peace, and finally sheathing the sword of conquest. The one exhibited the most shining example of splendid talents devoted to temporal ambition and national aggrandisement; the other, the noblest instance of moral influence directed to exalted purposes and national preservation. The former was in the end led to ruin while blindly pursuing the meteor of worldly greatness; the latter was unambitiously conducted to final greatness, while only following the star of public duty. The struggle between them was the same at bottom as that which, anterior to the creation of man, shook the powers of heaven; and never was such an example of moral government afforded as the final result of their immortal contest. Wellington was a warrior, but he was so only to become a pacificator; he has shed the blood of man, but it was only to stop the shedding of human blood; he has borne aloft the sword of conquest, but it was only to plant in its stead the emblems of mercy. He has conquered the love of glory, the last infirmity of noble minds, by the love of peace, the first grace of the Christian character.
THE DAY OF THE FUNEEAL.
[This poem on the "Day of the Funeral" of the late Duke of Wellington in 1852, was published anonymously. It was dated from "Oriel College," Oxford.]
No sounds of labour vexed the quiet air
The simplest peasant in the land that day
And seemed more lovely in her people's eyes
But, as the waters of the Northern Sea
("When one strong wind blows steady from the pole)
Come hurryiug to the shore, and far and wide
As eye can reach the creaming waves press on
Impatient; or, as trees that bow their tops
One way, when Alpine hollows bring one way
The blast whereat they quiver in the vale,—
So millions pressed to swell the general grief
One way;—for once all men seemed one way drawn;
Or if, through evil hap and unforeseen,
Some stayed behind, their hearts, at least, were there
The whole day through,—could think of nothing else,
Hear nothing else, see nothing!
In his cell
The student saw the pageant; spied from far
The long-drawn pomp which reached from west to east,
Slow moving in the silence—casque and plume
And banner waving sad; the marvellous state
Of heralds, soldiers, nobles, foreign powers,
With baton, or with pennon; princes, peers,
Judges, and dignitaries of Church and State,
And warriors grown grey-headed;—every form
Which greatness can assume or honour name,
Peaceful or warlike,—each and all were there;
Trooping in sable sorrow after him
Who slept serene upon his funeral car
In glorious restl .... A child might understand
That 'twas no national sorrow, but a grief
Wide as the world. A child might understand
That all mankind were sorrowing for one I
That banded nations had conspired to pay
This homage to the chief who drew his sword
At the command of Duty; kept it bright
Through perilous days; and soon as Victory smiled,
Laid it, unsullied, ia the lap of Peace. ,
NATDRE, VELOCITY, AND DIFFUSION OF LIO.IIT. 365
Concave, (con, cavus, L.) hollow, like the Inside of a cup. Hence planoconcave and concavo-convex.
Converge, (con, vergo, L.) to tend to one point. Hence converging and convergent.
Convex,(convexus, L.) rounded or swelling outwards, like the outside of a cup, or of a ball. Hence convexity, plano-convex, &c.
Diverge, (dit vergo, L.) to tend from a
Soint and recede from each other, [ence diverging, divergent. Ether; (aether, L. from G.) Hence ethereal, which often means unsubstantial or heavenly. Focus, (L.) Lit. a fire-place. Incident, (in, cado, L.) falling upon. Hence incidence.
Luminous, (lumen, L.) emitting light.
Meniscus, (G.) Lit. a little moon.
Microscope, (micros, scopeo, G.) a magnifying glass.
Plane, (planus, L.) level, not curved.
Reflect, reflection, (re.flecto, L.)
Refract, refraction, refractive, (re,franco, L.)
Spectrum, fM Plural, spectra.
Speculum, (L.) a reflector; more especially one of polished metat Plural, specula.
Stereoscope, (stereos, scopeo, G.) an optical instrument which gives the appearance of sohdity to a picture.
Telescope, (tele, scopeo, G.) an instrument for seeing distant objects.
NATUEE, VELOCITY, AND DIFFUSION OF LIGHT.
"What would the world be without light?" is a question not easily answered. Suppose for a moment that the sun were extinguished, we cannot conceive the horrors that would ensue. Nor is it possible that those, whose eyes have always been open to the blessed light of day, can ever fully know how sad it is to spend one's life in darkness, cut off from all the knowledge, and all the pleasure, which the sense of sight affords.
Though light, and the power of perceiving it, are thus among the most precious of the Creator's gifts, and though there are few sciences so well understood as that which treats of the phenomena of vision, yet, strange to say, we cannot tell for certain what light is, or how it is conveyed from one place to another. One party maintains that it consists of incredibly small particles, issuing with inconceivable velocity from those bodies which we describe as luminous. Such bodies are the sun, stars, flames, &c. A very different opinion, however, is now almost universally received. According to this latter view, light is produced, like sound, by a vibratory or wavy motion. The particles of a luminous body are supposed to be in vibration, and to communicate their vibrations to an extremely subtle fluid, with which all space is supposed to be filled. This fluid, to
■which the name of ether has been given, is regarded as a finer kind of air, through which the Uglit-^vaves travel exactly as sound-waves travel through the atmosphere.
We are apt to speak and think of light as if it were transmitted instantaneously, or, in other words, as if it required no time at all to pass from one place to another. This notion is not unnatural, for its real velocity is so prodigious, that the time it would take to travel from pole to pole is too short to be measured by any ordinary means. How is such a velocity to be calculated? The earth is too limited a theatre on which to observe a motion so unparalleled in rapidity, and we are therefore compelled to have recourse to the heavenly bodies. It is well known that the earth revolves round the sun, at the distance of 95 millions of miles. Jupiter, the largest of the planets, also revolves round the sun, but at a much greater distance. Now it is clear that, when the earth and Jupiter are on opposite sides of the sun, they will be farther from each other than when they are on the same side, the difference being the whole breadth of the earth's orbit. Very accurate observations have shown, that light from Jupiter reaches the earth sixteen minutes sooner when they are at their least distance, than it does when they are at their greatest distance from one another. In sixteen minutes, therefore, light travels over a space equal to the breadth of the earth's orbit, that is, to twice the earth's distance from the sun, or 190 millions of miles. This gives a velocity of nearly 200,000 miles, or about eight times the circumference of the earth, per second!
From every point of every luminous body, light is constantly sent forth at this enormous rate. It proceeds only in straight lines, one such line being called a ray, and a bundle or collection of rays a pencil of light. Hence we cannot see through a bent tube; and hence also, when light falls on an opaque body, a shadow of that body is formed on the opposite side to that from which the light comes. Shadow is nothing more than the darkness caused by the absence of the rays of light which the opaque body has intercepted.