different sizes and of all shapes. Some which reflect light, ceases to be illuminated, float virgin-like in silver folds, others voy- the depth and fulness of the blue most age in golden groups ; some are embroid. intensely increase.

This effect is proered with burning crimson, others are like dnced by the very fine particles of dust in “ islands all lovely in an emerald sea. the sky overhead being unable to scatter And when the flood of rosy light, as it any colors unless those of short wave. deepens into bright crimson, brings out lengths at the violet end of the spectrum. into bold relief the circlet of flaming Thus we see, above, blue in its intensity mountain peaks, it is like a gorgeons trans- without any of the red colors. When, formation scene. Stranger still, when the however, the observer brings his eyes sun sinks below the horizon, and a dull down in any direction except the west, ashen gray has possessed the western he will see the blue mellowing into blueheavens, what occasions the hectic flush on green, green, and then rose-color. And the eastern horizon ! Gradually the clouds some of the most beautiful and delicate are tinged with light red from the eastern rose tints are formed by the air cooling, horizon all over the zenith ; whence comes and depositing its moisture on the parthe coloring?

ticles of dust, increasing the size of the It is a strange coincidence that these re- particles till they are sufficiently large to markably fine sunsets have been since the stop and spread the red rays, when the tremendous eruptions at Krakatoa, in the sky glows with a strange Aurora-like light. Straits of Sunda. Along with the lava The dust theory of the splendor of sunset eruption there was ejected an enormous coloring is strengthened by the often gloquantity of fine dust. The decks of ves- rious afterglows. The fiercely brilliant sels, hundreds of miles away, were covered streaks of red have disappeared ; over the with it. Mr. Verbreek computed that no mountain ridge a flush of orange hovers, less than 70,000 cubic yards of dust and softens the approaching blue. The actually fell round the volcano. This will western hills, that once stood out bronzed give an idea of the enormous quantity of against the glare of light, are sonubre. dust still floating in the atmosphere, and hued. But suddenly, as by a fairy's drifting all over the world. In the upper wand, the roseate flush of beauty rises in atmosphere, too, there must always be the east, and stretches its beautiful tints dust, for without the dust no clouds could all over the sky. As the sun sinks, but be formed to shield us from the sun's before it ceases to shine on our almosscorching rays ; and of cosmic dust there phere, the temperature of the air begins must be a considerable quantity in the air, to fall, and its cooling is accompanied by produced by the waste from the millions an increase in the size of the particles of meteors that daily fall into it. Mr. floating in it by the condensation of the Aitken has ably shown that the brilliancy water-vapor. The particles to the east lose and variety of the coloring are due to the the sun first, and are thus first cooled. suspended dust in the atmosphere. Accordingly, the rays in that direction

Observers of the gorgeous sunsets and are best sifted by the larger water-clad afterglows have been most particularly particles of dust, and the roseate coloring struck with the immense wealth of the va- is there more distinct than in the north rious shades and tints of red. Now, if the and south. As the sun sinks further, the glowing colors are due to the presence of particles overhead become cooler, and atdust in the air, there must be somewhere tract the water vapor ; thus they increase a display of the colors complementary to in size, and thereby reflect the red rays. the reds, because the dust acts by a selec- Here the red hues, at first visible in the tive dispersion of the colors. The small east, slowly rise, pass overhead, and dedust-particles arrest the direct course of scend in the west to form the charming the rays of light and reflect them in all afterglow. Sometimes a flood of glory directions ; but they principally reflect the will roll once more along the suinmits of rays of the violet end of the spectrum, the hills, entrancing the attention of the while the red rays pass on almost un- artistic spectator. checked. Overhead 'deep blue reigns in All examinations of the volcanic dust awe-inspiring glory. As the sun passes lately collected from the atmosphere show below the horizon, and the lower stratum that a great quantity of it is composed of of air, with its larger particles of dust small glassy crystals. An abundance of

these would quite account for the pecu- coloring in sunrise or sunset than the liarity in the visibility of the first glow; smaller and fewer particles on the mounand the evidence seems to indicate that the tain-top. quantity of such crystals is sufficient to It is now admitted that the inherent produce the result.

When these are fully hue of water is blueness. Even distilled illuminated, they become iv. turn a source water has been proved to be almost exof illumination, and reflect their reddish actly of the same tint as a solution of light all around. In winter sunsets, the Prussian blue. This is corroborated by water-clad dust-particles become frozen, the fact that the purer the water is in and the peculiarly brilliant crimson is nature, the bluer is the hue. But though seen, coloring the dead beech-leaves and the selective absorption of the water dered sandstone houses, and making thein termines its blueness, it is the dust-particles appear to be painted with vermilion. suspended in it which determine its brill

If, then, there were no fine dust-par- iancy. If the water of the Mediterranean ticles in the upper strata of the atmosphere, be taken from different places and examthe sunset effect would be paler ; if there ined by means of a concentrated beam of were no large particles in the lower strata, light, it is seen to hold in suspension millthe beautiful sunset effects would cease. ions of dust-particles of different kinds. In fact, if our atmosphere were perfectly To this fine dust it owes its beautiful, brill. void of dust-particles, the sun's light iant, and varied coloring. Where there would siinply pass through without being are few particles there is little light reseen, and soon after the sun dipped below flected, and the color of the water is deep the horizon total darkness would ensue. blue; but where there are many particles The length of our twilight, therefore, de- more light is reflected, and the color is pends on the amount of dust in one form chalky blue-green. Along its shores the or another in our atmosphere. Not only, Mediterranean washes the rocks and rnbs then, would a dustless atmosphere have no off the minute solid particles, which make clouds, but there would be no charming the water beautifully brilliant. sunsets, and no thought-inspiring twilights. That this is the case can be illustrated.

There is a generally prevalent fallacy If a dark metal vessel be filled with a that the coloring at sunrise or sunset is weak solution of Prussian blue, the water much finer when seen from the summit of will appear quite dark and void of color. a mountain than from a valley: To this But if some fine white powder be thrown matter Mr. Aitken has been giving some into the vessel, the water at once becomes attention, and his observations point the of a brilliant blue color ; if more powder very opposite way, corroborative of his be added, the brilliancy increases. This dust-theory. From the summit of the accounts for the changes of depth and Rigi Kulm in Switzerland he saw several brilliancy of color in the several shores of sunsets, but was disappointed with the the Mediterranean. In Lake Como, where flatness and weakness of the coloring ; there is an entire absence of white dustwhereas in the valley, on the same even- particles, the water is of a deep blue color, ings, careful observers were enchanted with but void of brilliancy ; but, where the the gorgeous display. The lower dusty Lake enters the river Adda, the increase humid air was the chief source of the of the current rubs down fine reflecting color in the sunset effects. His opinion particles from the rocks ; in consequence, is strengthened by the fact that when from there the water is of a finer blue. When the summit he saw large cumulous clouds, the dust-particles carried down by the the near ones were always snowy white, Rhone spread out into the centre of the while it was only the distant ones that Lake of Geneva, the color assumes the were tarnished yellow, showing that the deeper blue, rivalling in brilliancy any light came to these clouds unchanged, and water in the world. it was only the air between the far-distant The phenomenon called a haze puzzled clouds and his eye that tarnished them investigators until Mr. Aitken explained it yellow. On the mountain-top it required on the principle of the condensing power a great distance to give even a slight col- of dust-particles. Haze is only an arrested oring. The larger and more numerous form of condensation of water-vapor. If dust-particles in the air of the valley are, one half of a dusty pane of glass be cleaned therefore, productive of more brilliant in cold weather, the clean part will remain undewed, while the dusty part is damp to tation ; and it is better to bear the inconthe

eye and greasy to the touch. Why is venience of fogs than be subjected to the this ?

evils of a pestilence. At the same time it Fit up an open box with two pipes, one should be known that smoke-particles can for taking in water and the other for tak- be deposited by the agency of electricity. ing away the overflow. Inside fix a ther- If an electric discharge be passed through mometer. Cover the top edge of the box a jar containing smoke, the dust will be with india-rubber, and fix down with spring deposited so as to make the air clear. catches (so as to make the box water- Lightning clears the air, restoring the detight) a glass mirror, on which dust has vitalized oxygen and depositing the dust been allowed to collect for some time. on the ground. Might it not, then, be Clean the dust carefully off one half of the possible for strong enough electrical dis. mirror, so that one half of the glass cover- charges from several large voltaic batteries ing the box is clean and the other half to attack the smoke in the air of large dusty. Pour cold water through the pipe cities, and especially the fumes from chem. into the box, so as to lower the temperature ical works, so as to bring down the dust of the mirror, and carefully observe when in the form of rain instead of leaving it in condensation begins on each of the halves, the form of mystifying fog ? taking a note of the temperature. It will Organic germs also float in the air. be found that the condensation of the Some are being vomited into the air from water-vapor appears on the dust-particles the pestilential hot-beds of the lowest before coming down to the natural dew- slums. In a filthy town no less than point temperature of the clean glass. thirty millions of bacteria in a year will The difference between the two tempera- be deposited by the rain upon every square tures indicates the temperature above the yard of surface. A man breathes thirtydew-point at which the dust condenses the six germs every minute in a close town, water-vapor. Mr. Aitken found that the and double that in a close bedroom. The condensing power of the dust in the air of wonder is how people escape sickness, a smoking-room varied from 4° to 8° Fahr. though most of these germs are not above the dew-point, whenever that of the deadly. In a healthy man, however, the outer air varied from 3° to 54°.

warm lung surfaces repel the colder dustMoisture is, therefore, deposited on the particles of all kinds, and the moisture dust-particles of the air which is not satu- evaporating from the surface of the airrated, and condensation takes place while tubes helps the prevention of the dust the air is comparatively dry, before the clinging to the surface. temperature is lowered to the dew-point. From this outline the reader will obThe clearest air, then, has some haze ; serve the increasing importance of careful and, as the humidity increases, the thick- attention to the influence of dust in the ness of the air increases. In all haze the

economy of nature. As a sickness-bearer temperature is above the dew-point. And and a death-bearer it must be attacked and in all circumstances the haze can be ac- rendered harmless ; as a source of beauty counted for by the condensing power of unrivalled we must rejoice at its existthe dust-particles in the atmosphere, at a ence. The clouds that shelter us from the higher temperature than that required for sun's scorching heat, the refreshing showthe formation of fogs, or mists, or rain. ers that clear the air and cheer the soil,

But whence comes the dust ? Meteoric the brilliancy of the deep-blue sea and waste and volcanic débris have already lake, the charms of twilight, and above been mentioned. On or near the sea the all the glory of the colors of sunrise and air is impregnated by the fine brine-dust sunset, are all dependent upon the existlashed by the waves and broken upon the ence of millions of dust-particles which rocks and vessel-sides. But the most ac- are within the power of man's enumerative of all surfaces as a fog-producer in tion. No more brilliant achievement has towns is burnt sulphur. No less than 350 been made in the field of ineteorology tons of the products of the combustion of than during the past few years by the sulphur from the coal are thrown into the careful observation and inventive genius atmosphere of London every winter day. of Mr. Aitken in connection with the imBut the powerful deodorizing and antisep- portance of dust in air and water. -Longtic properties of the sulphur assist in sani- man's Magazine.



It was once said of the French Army unsatisfied ambition. The extent of an that every man carried a marshal's baton individual's success is to be estimated, not in bis knapsack. Encouraging as such a by his present position in the world, but figure of speech may at first sight appear, by the distance between that position and it meant nothing more than that no one the point of starting. A soldier of humwas precluded from competing for the ble origin who has risen from the ranks to prize, although probably only one in a be a subaltern officer may claim to have hundred thousand of those who entered achieved very great success, whereas an the ranks ever succeeded in attaining to aristocratic cadet who attains to the same that much coveted position. Similarly, rank has very little to boast of. From no natural-born subject of Her Majesty is whatever position in life one commences debarred from aspiring to become Lord his career it will be found on examination Chancellor, Premier, or Primate ; whether that the requisites of success are very sim. he will ever get beyond the first rung of ilar, differing principally in degree. the ladder depends much on himself, but Success in life depends upon a combinanot by any means entirely, and the object tion of merit and luck. Luck, pure and of this essay is to make an attempt to an- simple, may confer a very great amount alyze and classify the principal causes of of success of a kind, but a man cannot and obstacles to success.

possibly achieve any considerable success Success, from the worldly point of view, on his merits without a large amount of in which aspect alone it is proposed to re- good fortune of some description coming gard it in this article, may be defined in a to his aid. By luck or good fortune is general way as the attainment to a posi- not meant merely the operations of tion of comfort, influence, wealth, honors chance ; the term is here used as a coland respect. Wealth, indeed, may be in- lective expression for all circumstances cluded in influence, as it is nothing more favorable to a person's success, but not than command over commodities in gen- due to any inherent merit of his own. eral, and to a great extent over ease, The good qualities which constitute power, honors and respect. Happiness merit


be divided into two classes : cannot be included, for while success character and ability. The favorable cirwould probably conduce to happiness, a cumstances which we have called luck may successful man may yet be very unhappy. likewise be classified under two categories : Happiness is, perhaps, correctly defined opportunity and assistance. as a continuing placid state of mind result- It will be convenient, before proceeding ing from the absence of disquieting con- further, to again subdivide these four ditions and circumstances rather than from classes, in so far as they include qualities the presence of elating and exhilarating or circumstances which usually contribute causes, which produce the transitory effect to a successful career. called joy. Fortunately for the human Character is divisible into bonesty, sorace, a high degree of happiness may ex- briety, self respect, morality, punctuality ist apart altogether from success in life, a and thrift. lack of material prosperity being fre- Ability, for the purpose of advancing quently more than counterbalanced by do- one's self, consists of natural talent, educa. mestic felicity, a contented mind, good tion or acquired ability, energy, discretion, health, a clear conscience, and the com- address and self-assertion. fort of religious hope. So little is happi- Opportunity includes choice of business ness a result of success that it is sometimes or profession, removal of obstacles to prothe concomitant of a share of this world's motion, health, age, and absence of goods so meagre as to be almost bordering temptation. on poverty, and conjoined with a life of Assistance comprises unearned capital, labor and obscurity. Indeed, a quiet life parentage, friends, marriage, appearance, has certainly the advantage of being free good report, and the accident of chance. from the strife and jealousy of a life of The whole of the above qualities and



surroundings being favorable to and con- on to positions of success and emolument centrated in one person would make con- without being dependent upon men. siderable success a certainty. But it will Happily the modern man is evincing a disusually be found that one or more of these position to be less selfish and more just and various constituents of luck and merit are considerate in this respect than his forerepresented by a negative quantity. Upon fathers. However, as society is at present the extent of the deficiencies and the num- organized, when we speak of success in ber of adverse clements depends failure or life we are principally concerned with the

A small minus quantity of hon- advancement of men, leaving to women, esty may annihilate every advantage of with few exceptions, sometimes very brillability, opportunity and assistance, iant exceptions, only the reflected glory although a superabundance of discretion of a successful husband, father, or son. and natural talent might reduce its dam. Nevertheless, many women are compelled aging effects to a minimum.

to take their places in the great battle of It is obvious, from an examination of life precisely on the same terms as men, the qualities and circumstances already and to such the following rules and remarks enumerated, that women are more depen- are equally applicable. dent upon

luck and less on ability than men As previously stated, all the qualities

The prevalent form of assisting luck and circumstances favorable to a successful which may give a woman great worldly career may be classed under one or other prosperity and honors at one bound, or of these four categories : character, abilmay, when the luck is a negative quantity, ity, opportunity, and assistance. make her life a dismal failure, is marriage. in commercial life, in the professions, It may here be noticed that our system of and in most descriptions of service, the society allows women of ambition to soar great sesame is character. Woe unto the to much higher positions in the social man who has lost his character, or who scale than men are permitted to attain to. has none to lose ! To him the door of A man of middle-class birth, however im- success is closed, bolted and barred. maculate his character and transcendent The chief components of character his abilities, very seldom indeed becomes which most completely ruin a man's a peer ; and however high the position he chances of success are dishonesty and may reach in the political world, the basin drunkenness. Of the fearful curse of inwhich surrounds the fountain of honor, temperance it is quite unnecessary to even though he attain to the premiership, speak; its victims are legion, its havoc he must regard an earldom as finality in terrible, its warnings everywhere. Its acthat direction ; whereas, on the other tion is usually slow but certain. A swifter hand, a middle-class woman, with

is dishonesty, it may

kill at a blow ; tle merit, may possibly become a duchess. but frequently it, too, grows as Personal beauty may be, perhaps, the upon its victim till at last his doom is cause of such a rapid rise to one of the sealed. Dishonesty is of two kinds : dishighest places of influence, wealth, and honesty that brings one within the law, honors ; but personal beauty is an acci. and dishonesty which does not.

A man dent of birth, and is the purest chance. may be thoroughly dishonest without actSo, it may be said, is natural talent ; but ually being a thief. The consequences of there is this difference, that while natural being a thief are as well known as the contalent is useless, or nearly so, unless cul- sequences of being a drunkard. But the tivated to some extent, natural beauty other form of dishonesty must also be would probably deteriorate by being sub- avoided by those who wish to climb the jected to any process of cultivation. ladder of success. Veiled dishonesty in

To the vast majority of women the prin- business, which, for the sake of euphony, cipal road to success in life is only to be is usually called “ sharp practice, may found in a satisfactory matrimonial alli- secure gain at the time, but tells to one's ance, This dependence upon luck rather disadvantage in the long run. Duplicity, than merit is the result of the restrictions untruthfulness, and a want of straightwhich the custom of society formerly rig- forwardness are forms of dishonesty which orously enforced in closing against women often, not always, retard the progress of almost every channel through which, by otherwise gifted men. means of their abilities, they might pass If success in life meant nothing more

« VorigeDoorgaan »