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lives apart from the bustle of the world in his quiet home in Kent. Mayer and Joule dealt in unobtrusive retirement with the weightiest scientific questions. None of these men, to my knowledge, ever became Presidents of the Midland Institute or of the British Association. They could not fail to know that both positions are posts of honour, but they would also know that such positions cannot be filled without grave disturbance of that sequestered peace which to them is a first condition of intellectual life.

There is, however, one motive power in the world which no man, be he a scientific student or otherwise, can afford to treat with indifference, and that is, the cultivation of right relations with his fellow-men-the performance of his duty, not as an isolated individual, but as a member of society. Such duty often requires the sacrifice of private ease to the public wishes, if not to the public good. From this point of view the invitation conveyed to me more than once by your excellent senior Vice-President was not to be declined. It was an invitation written with the earnestness said to be characteristic of a Radical, and certainly with the courtesy characteristic of a gentleman. It quickened within me the desire to meet in a cordial and brotherly spirit the wish of an institution of which not only Birmingham but England may well be proud, and of whose friendliness to myself I had agreeable evidence in the letters of Mr. Thackray Bunce.

To look at his picture as a whole, a painter requires distance ; and to judge of the total scientific achievement of any age, the stand point of a succeeding age is desirable. We may, however, transport ourselves in idea into the future, and thus obtain a grasp more or less complete of the science of our time. We sometimes hear it decried, and contrasted to its disadvantage with the science of other times. I do not think that this will be the verdict of posterity. I think, on the contrary, that posterity will acknowledge that in the history of science no higher samples of intellectual conquest are recorded than those which this age has made its own. One of the most salient of these I propose, with your permission, to make the subject of our consideration during the coming hour.

It is now generally admitted that the man of to-day is the child and product of incalculable antecedent time. His physical and intellectual textures have been woven for him during his passage through phases of history and forms of existence which lead the mind back to an abysmal past. One of the qualities which he has derived from that past is the yearning to let in the light of principles on the otherwise bewildering flux of phenomena. He has been described by the German Lichtenberg as “ das rastlose Ursachenthier"_the restless cause-seeking animal-in whom facts excite a kind of hunger to know the sources from which they spring. Never, I venture to


say, in the history of the world has this longing been more liberally responded to, both among men of science and the general public, than during the last thirty or forty years. I say "the general public,” because it is a feature of our time that the man of science no longer limits his labours to the society of his colleagues and his peers, but shares, as far as it is possible to share, with the world at large the fruits of inquiry.

The celebrated Robert Boyle regarded the universe as a machine ; Mr. Carlyle prefers regarding it as a tree. He loves the image of the umbrageous Igdrasil better than that of the Strasburg clock. A machine may be defined as an organism with life and direction outside; a tree may be defined as an organism with life and direction within. In the light of these definitions, I close with the conception of Carlyle. The order and energy of the universe I hold to be inherent, and not imposed from withou*, the expression of fixed law and not of arbitrary will, exercised by what Carlyle would call an Almighty Clockmaker. But the two conceptions are not so much opposed to each other after all. In one fundamental particular they at all events agree. They equally imply the interdependence and harmonious interaction of parts, and the subordination of the individual powers of the universal organism to the working of the whole.

Never were the harmony and interdependence just referred to so clearly recognised as now. Our insight regarding them is not that vague and general insight to which our fathers had attained, and which, in early times, was more frequently affirmed by the synthetic poet than by the scientific man. The interdependence of our day has become quantitative-expressible by numbersleading, it must be added, directly into that inexorable reign of law which so many gentle people regard with dread. In the domain now under review men of science had first to work their way from darkness into twilight, and from twilight into day. There is no solution of continuity in science. It is not given to any man, however endowed, to rise spontaneously into intellectual splendour without the parentage of antecedent thought. Great discoveries grow. Here, as in other cases, we have first the seed, then

. the ear, then the full corn in the ear, the last member of the series implying the first. Thus, as regards the discovery of gravitation with which the name of Newton is identified, notions more or less clear concerning it had entered many minds before Newton's transcendent mathematical genius raised it to the level of a demonstration. The whole of his deductions, moreover, rested upon the inductions of Kepler. Newton shot beyond his predecessors, but his thoughts were rooted in their thoughts, and a just distribution of merit would assign to them a fair portion of the honour of discovery. Scientific theories sometimes float like rumours in the air before they receive definite expression. The doom of a doctrine is often practically sealed, and the truth of one is often practically accepted, long prior to the theoretic demonstration of either the error or the truth. Perpetual motion, for example, was discarded before it was proved to be in opposition to natural law; and as regards the connection and interaction of natural forces, pre-natal intimations of modern discoveries and results are strewn through scientific literature.

Confining ourselves to recent times, Dr. Ingleby has pointed out to me some singularly sagacious remarks bearing upon this question, which were published by an anonymous writer in 1820. Roget's penetration was conspicuous in 1829. Mohr had grasped in 1837 some deep-lying truth. The writings of Faraday furnish frequent illustrations of his profound belief in the unity of nature. "I have

“ long,” he writes in 1845, “held an opinion almost amounting to conviction, in common, I believe, with other lovers of natural knowledge, that the various forms under which the forces of matter are made manifest have one common origin, or, in other words, are so directly related and mutually dependent, that they are convertible, as it were, one into another, and possess equivalence of power in their action.” His own researches on magneto-electricity, on electro-chemistry, and on the “magnetisation of light” led him directly to this belief. At an early date Mr. Justice Grove made his mark upon this question. Colding, though starting from a metaphysical basis, grasped eventually the relation between heat and mechanical work, and sought to determine it experimentally. And here let me say, that to him who has only the truth at heart, and who in his dealings with scientific history keeps his soul unwarped by envy, hatred, or malice, personal or national, every fresh accession to historic knowledge must be welcome. For ever

For every newcomer of proved merit, more especially if that merit should have been previously overlooked, he makes ready room in his recognition or his reverence.

But no retrospect of scientific literature has as yet brought to light a claim which can sensibly affect the positions accorded to two great Path-hewers, as the Germans call them, whose names in relation to this subject are linked in indissoluble association. These names are Julius Robert Mayer and James Prescott Joule.

In his essay on “Circles” Mr. Emerson, if I remember rightly, pictured intellectual progress as rythmic. At a given moment knowledge is surrounded by a barrier which marks its limit. It gradually gathers clearness and strength until by and by some thinker of exceptional power bursts the barrier and wins a wider circle, within which thought once more entrenches itself. But the internal force


again accumulates, the new barrier is in its turn broken, and the mind finds itself surrounded by a still wider horizon. Thus, according to Emerson, knowledge spreads by intermittent victories instead of progressing at a uniform rate.

When Dr. Joule first proved that a weight of one pound, falling through a height of seven hundred and seventy-two feet, generated an amount of heat competent to warm a pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, and that in lifting the weight so much heat exactly disappeared, he broke an Emersonian “circle," releasing by the act an amount of scientific energy which rapidly overran a vast domain. Helmholtz, Clausius, Thomson, Rankine, Regnault, Woods, Favre, and other illustrious names, are associated with the conquests since achieved and embodied in the great doctrine known as the “Conservation of Energy.' This doctrine recognises in the material universe a constant sum of power made

of items among

which the most Protean fluctuations are incessantly going on. It is as if the body of Nature were alive, the thrill and interchange of its energies resembling those of an organism. The parts of the “stupendous whole" shift and change, augment and diminish, appear and disappear, while the total of which they are the parts remains quantitatively immutable. Immutable, because when change occurs it is always polar-plus accompanies minus, gain accompanies loss, no item varying in the slightest degree without an absolutely equal change of some other item in the opposite direction.

The sun warms the tropical ocean, converting a portion of its liquid into vapour, which rises in the air and is recondensed on mountain heights, returning in rivers to the ocean from which it came. Up to the point where condensation begins, an amount of heat exactly equivalent to the molecular work of vaporisation and the mechanical work of lifting the vapour to the mountain-tops has disappeared from the universe. What is the gain corresponding to this loss? It will seem when mentioned to be expressed in a foreign currency. The loss is a loss of heat; the gain is a gain of distance, both as regards masses and molecules. Water which was formerly at the sea-level has been lifted to a position from which it can fall; molecules which had been locked together as a liquid are now separate as vapour which can recondense. After condensation gravity comes into effectual play, pulling the showers down upon the hills, and the rivers thus created through their gorges to the sea. Every raindrop which smites the mountain produces its definite amount of heat; every river in its course develops heat by the clash of its cataracts and the friction of its bed. In the act of condensation, moreover, the molecular work of vaporisation is accurately reversed. Compare, then, the primitive loss of solar warmth with the heat generated by the condensation of

to sea.

the vapour, and by the subsequent fall of the water from cloud

They are mathematically equal to each other. No particle of vapour was formed and lifted without being paid for in the currency of solar heat; no particle returns as water to the sea without the exact quantitative restitution of that heat. There is nothing gratuitous in physical nature, no expenditure without equivalent gain, no gain without equivalent expenditure.

With inexorable constancy the one accompanies the other, leaving no nook or crevice between them for spontaneity to mingle with the pure and necessary play of natural force. Has this uniformity of nature ever been broken ? The reply is: “Not to the knowledge of science.”

What has been here stated regarding heat and gravity applies to the whole of inorganic nature. Let us take an illustration from chemistry. The metal zinc may be burnt in oxygen, a perfectly definite amount of heat being produced by the combustion of a given weight of the metal. But zinc may also be burnt in a liquid which contains a supply of oxygen-in water, for example. It does not in this case produce flame or fire, but it does produce heat which is capable of accurate measurement. But the heat of zinc burnt in water falls short of that produced in pure oxygen, the reason being that to obtain its oxygen from the water the zinc must first dislodge the hydrogen. It is in the performance of this molecular work that the missing heat is absorbed. Mix the liberated hydrogen with the oxygen and cause them to recombine; the heat developed is mathematically equal to the missing heat. Thus in pulling the oxygen and hydrogen asunder an amount of heat is consumed which is accurately restored by their reunion.

This leads up to a few remarks upon the Voltaic battery. It is not my design to dwell upon the technic features of this wonderful instrument, but simply, by means of it, to show what varying shapes a given amount of energy can assume while maintaining unvarying quantitative stability. When that form of power which we call an electric current passes through Grove's battery, zinc is consumed in acidulated water; and in the battery we are able so to arrange matters that when no current passes no zinc shall be consumed. Now the current, whatever it may be, possesses the power

, of generating heat outside the battery. We can fuse with it iridium, the most refractory of metals, or we can produce with it the dazzling electric light, and that at any terrestrial distance from the battery itself.

We will now, however, content ourselves with causing the current to raise a given length of platinum wire, first to a blood-heat, then to redness, and finally to a white heat. The heat under these circumstances generated in the battery by the combustion of a fixed quantity of zinc is no longer constant, but it varies inversely as the

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