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Thus (Fig. 63) the electric current has a communication made for it from the one metal to the other, and wires from each, if joined at their farther ends, will make an electric circuit.
It is to this galvanic current we owe, among many other applications, that wonderful invention, the electric telegraph.
ACTION OF A CURRENT ON A MAGNET.
1. In 1825, Mr. Sturgeon of London discovered that when a soft iron bar is surrounded by a coil of wire through which a galvanic current is passing, the iron becomes a magnet; losing its power, however, the moment the current is made to cease. A bent bar which he made, Fig. 64, acquired a wonderful magnetic power in this way. It consisted of piece's
of soft iron bent into the form of a horseshoe, with well-insulated copper wire wound round the two ends of it. When this wire was wound in the same direction round both ends it was found that the one end became a north and the other a south pole. If the quantity of wire were increased, the magnetism was increased in proportion. Some magneti, thus made, have carried nearly a ton weight. The iron in the horseshoe, in such huge magnets, was over three inches Jd diameter, and Pig. 64. each leg was over a foot in length, while the
copper wire was in coils of a number of turns in depth.
2. What electricity is no one can tell, but scientific research has learned to regard it as only a modification of the same principles as, in other forms, are called heat and magnetism. You have just seen how electricity can be converted into magnetism. So, heat and magnetism can be converted into electricity, and electricity into heat. Thus these sciences are not radically distinct, but are only the same force manifested under different forms. Electricity was formerly supposed to be a fluid substance altogether distinct from the body in which it manifested itself, but the grounds for believing this are fast disappearing, and it is now generally believed to be a condition or motion of the molecules or atoms of the electrified body itself. The same explanation is also accepted for the phenomena of other sciences. Heat is now proved not to be a substance, but a particular mode of motion of the atoms of the heated body. The same is proved to be the case in regard to Light. Magnetism is believed to be nothing more than some other, different, mode of motion of the atoms of magnetised bodies, and the wonderful changes of Chemistry, are only various movements and recombinations of particles so small as to be individually invisible.
EEMINISCENCES OF POETS.—Sir Henry Holland.
An English physician and author: horn, 1788; died, 1873.
Wordsworth, with whom I was much more intimate both at my own house and in his cottage at Eydal, also talked diffusely; but in a different vein of thought and phraseology. The latter part of his life was cheered by a redundance of that admiration which before had been confined to a few, and which he certainly did not undervalue. The phrase which Quintilian applies to Ovid, "nimium amator ingenii sui," * had its close application to Wordsworth. He frequently and fondly referred to his own poems, as if feeling that they had opened a new poetical era to the world. This to a certain extent was the truth. His fame had been clouded over for a time by the satire of the Edinburgh Review, the supreme leader, at that period, of all critical judgments; but his poetry survived the satire and eclipsed it. This was not the only poetical judgment my friend Lord Jeffrey was called upon to revoke.
I happened to be in London when Lord Byron's fame was reaching its height, and saw much of him in society. It was one of those whimsical spectacles, periodically occurring, where an idol is suddenly set up by hands which afterwards help as assiduously to take it down. Though he was far from being a great or ambitious talker, his presence at this time made the fortune of any dinner or drawing-room party for which it could be obtained; and was always known by a crowd gathered round him, the female portion generally predominating. I have seen many of these epidemic impulses of fashion in London society, but none more marked than this. There was a certain haughtiness or seeming indifference in his manner of receiving the homage tendered him, which did not, however, prevent him from resenting its withdrawal—an inconsistency not limited to the case of Lord Byron. Though brought into frequent intercourse by our common travels in the East, my intimacy with him went little beyond this. He was not a man with whom it "was easy to cultivate friendship. He had that double or conflicting nature, well pictured by Dante, which rendered difficult any close or continued relations with him. To his fame as one of the greatest of English poets, I could add nothing by any tribute of mine. It is a fame which will be augmented rather than diminished by time.
* Too great an admirer of his own genius.
My long recollections of Moore and Campbell are somewhat saddened by the gloom which came over the latter years of these two men, whom I saw in the days of their decline as I had done in those of their greater prosperity. The differences of character, national as well as personal, were strongly marked; but there were some circumstances in common, impairing alike the happiness of both—pecuniary need more or less constant, and a morbid sensitiveness to the opinion and admiration of the world. To this was added, in Campbell, a fastidiousness of taste, which gave exquisite point and polish to his poetry, but rendered composition laborious to him, even in those shorter pieces which seem struck off in the fervour of the moment, and by which he will be best remembered hereafter. Moore had more wit, ease, and elasticity, and with his Irish temperament better confronted the cares of life. But he too endured the heavy penalty, common to so many, of fame and fashion gradually passing away—a change which few can bear with equanimity. His Journals curiously indicate what I repeatedly witnessed in my own house and elsewhere, his morbid sensitiveness, when singing his Irish ballads, to the effect they produced on those around him. In the most touching passages his eye was wandering round the room, scrutinising jealously the influence of his song.
Among the poets just named, Eogers was in many respects the most conspicuous in London society, and this for a period of more than half a century. Wealthy, unmarried, highly cultivated in all matters of literature and art, his conversation seasoned with anecdote and personal sarcasms, uttered in a curious sepulchral voice, he gained and kept a higher place than his poetry alone would have procured for him. He was the arbiter in many of the literary controversies and quarrels of his day. His dinner-table—the blanda conciliatrix * in so many social discords—ministered well to this object. In society his most severe sarcasms were often hidden under honeyed phrases; leaving them obvious to others, while undetected by those whose foibles he assailed. There was foundation for the remark that a note from Eogers generally conveyed some indirect satire on the person to whom it was addressed—the more flattery on the surface, the more gall underneath. He could be and was ever generous to poverty and real distress, but intolerant to all that presented itself in social rivalry to himself. The usurpation by others of talk at
* Gentle reoonciler.
a dinner-table, or an interruption to one of his own anecdotes, was sure to provoke some access of bitterness bitterly expressed. These feelings increased with increasing age. They were somewhat curiously modified in the distrust with which he latterly regarded his own memory—rarely venturing upon an anecdote without a caveat as to his having told it before. He long survived most of his contemporaries of middle life, and all those who, in retaliation of his sarcasms, were wont to spend their wit on his death-like physiognomy. I never could learn why so little has been given to the world of those Journals of which he used often to read portions to his friends, and which bore on the face of them the characteristic marks of keen observation and minute fidelity.
His dinners were fashioned in the same artistic mould as his poetry—the society small and select, the cookery superlative; no candles on the table, but light thrown from shaded lamps on the pictures around the room, each a small but consummate gem of art. As a specimen of these dinner parties, I can remember one where I met Walter Scott, Southey, Wordsworth, Crabbe, Luttrell, Lockhart, and I think my friend Henry Taylor, now the sole survivor of the number.
Composition.—Write the details given here respecting each poet in your own words, as briefly, yet fully, as you can.
Notes. — Wordsworth. — See page 270. Reader," page 179. Southey, Robert.—An
Byron.—See pages 67, 112. Moore.—See eminent poet and miscellaneous writer,
page274. Campbell.— See "Fifth Reader," Born, 1774; died, 1843. Crabbe.—See
page 57. Rogers, Samuel.—Authorof "The page 10. Luttrell.—A literary man of the
Pleasures of Memory," "Italy," &c. early part of this century. Lockhart.—
A London Danker, and a man of elegant See "Fifth Reader," page 213. Henry
poetical taste. He was born in 1763, Taylor, Sir. — Author of the drama,
and died in 1855. Scott.—See "Fifth "Philip von Artevelde." Born, 1805.
MARY'S DEATH SCENE.—Froude*
Briefly, solemnly, and sternly they delivered their awful message. They informed her that they had received a commission under the great seal to see her executed, and she was told that she must prepare to suffer on the following morning. She was dreadfully agitated. For a moment she refused to believe them. Then, as the truth forced itself upon her, tossing her head in disdain, and struggling to control herself, she called her physician, and began to speak to him of money
* See "Fifth Reader," p. 171
that was owed to her in France. At last it seems that she broke down altogether, and they left her with a fear either that she would destroy herself in the night, or that she would refuse to come to the scaffold, and that it might be necessary to drag her there by violence.
The end had come. She had long professed to expect it, but the clearest expectation is not certainty. The scene for which she had affected to prepare she was to encounter in its dread reality, and all her busy schemes, her dreams of vengeance, her visions of a revolution, with herself ascending out of the convulsion and seating herself on her rival's throne—all were gone. She had played deep, and the dice had gone against her.
Yet in death, if she encountered it bravely, victory was still possible. Could she but sustain to the last the character of a calumniated suppliant accepting heroically for God's sake and her creed's the concluding stroke of a long series of wrongs, she might stir a tempest of indignation which, if it could not save herself, might at least overwhelm her enemy. Persisting, as she persisted to the last, in denying all knowledge of Babington, it would be affectation to credit her with a genuine feeling of religion ; but the imperfection of her motive exalts the greatness of her fortitude. To an impassioned believer death is comparatively easy.
At eight in the morning the provost-marshal knocked at the outer door which communicated with her suite of apartments. It was locked, and no one answered, and he went back in some trepidation lest the fears might prove true which had been entertained the preceding evening. On his returning with the sheriff, however, a few minutes later, the door was open, and they were confronted with the tall, majestic figure of Mary Stuart standing before them in splendour. The plain grey dress had been exchanged for a robe of black satin; her jacket was of black satin also, looped and slashed and trimmed with velvet. Her false hair was arranged studiously with a coif, and over her head and falling down over her back was a white veil of delicate lawn. A crucifix of gold hung from her neck. In her hand she held a crucifix of ivory, and a number of jewelled paternosters was attached to her girdle. Led by two of Paulet's gentlemen, the sheriff walking before her, she passed to the chamber of presence in which she had been tried, where Shrewsbury, Kent, Paulet, Drury, and others, were waiting to receive her. Andrew Melville, Sir Bobert's brother, who had been master of her household, was kneeling in tears. "Mel