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year, accompanied by his daughter, he thought which had often occurred to him returned to Germany. France and Aus- of returning to his native country now tria were then at war, while Bavaria revived. Mr. Rufus King was at that sought to remain rigidly neutral. Eight time American ambassador in London : days after Rumford's arrival, the elector and he, by Rumford's desire, wrote to took refuge in Saxony. Moreau had Colonel Pickering, then secretary of state crossed the Rhine and threatened Bava. for the United States, informing him of ria. After a defeat by the French, the the count's intention to settle down at or Austrians withdrew to Munich, but found near Cambridge, Massachusetts, where the gates of the city closed against them. he proposed to live in the character of a They planted batteries on a height com- German nobleman, renouncing all politimanding the city. According to an ar-cal action, and devoting himself to literrangement with the elector, Rumford as-ary pursuits. In reply to this communisumed the command of the Bavarian cation Mr. King was authorized to offer forces, and by his firmness and presence Rumford, in addition to the post of superof mind prevented either French or Aus. intendent of the Military Academy, that trians from entering Munich. The consid- of inspector-general of the artillery of the eration in which he is held was illustrated United States; “and we shall moreover by the fact that the elector_made Miss be disposed to give to you such rank and Thompson a countess of the Empire, con emoluments, as would be likely to afford ferring on her a pension of £ 200 a year, you satisfaction, and to secure to us the with liberty to enjoy it in any country advantage of your service." wliere she might wish to reside.
The hour of final decision approached, The New England girl, brought up in but before it arrived another project had the quietude of Concord, transplanted laid hold of Rumford's imagination, a thence to London, and afterwards to Mu- project which in its results has proved of nich, was subjected to a somewhat trying more importance to physical science, and ordeal. After a short period of initiation, of more advantage to 'mankind, than any she appears to have passed through it which this multifarious genius had previcreditably. Her writing does not exhibit ously undertaken. This project was the her as possessing any marked qualities of foundation of the Royal Institution of intellect. She was bright, gossipy, “vol. Great Britain. atile," and throws manifold gleams on the His ideas on this subject took definite details of Rumford's life. He kept shape in 1799. They were set forth in a through the year a box at the opera, pamphlet of fifty pages, the introduction though he hardly ever went there, and to which is dated from Rumford's resi. hired by the year a doctor named Haube. dence in Brompton Row, March 4th, 1799. nal. She amusingly describes a quin. His aim is to cause science and art to tuple present made to her by her father work together; to establish relations besoon after her arrival in Munich. The tween philosophers and workmen; and to first item was “a little shaggy dog, as bring their united efforts to bear on the white as snow, excepting black eyes, ears improvement of agriculture, manufactures, and nose;”the second was a lady named commerce, and on the augmentation of Veratzy, who was sent to teach her French domestic comforts. He specially dwells and music; the third was a Catholic priest, on the management of fire, it being, as he named Dillis, who was to be her drawing. thinks, a subject of peculiar interest to master; the fourth was a teacher of Ital. mankind. Fuel, he asserted, cost the king. ian, named Alberti; and the fifth, the be- dom more than ten millions sterling annu. fore-mentioned Dr. Haubenal, who was ally, which was more than twice what it to look after her health. She did not at ought to cost. In the pall of smoke which all like the arrangement. She was partic- hung over London, defacing its edifices ularly surprised and shocked at a doctor's and works of art, he saw "unused material offering his services before they were which was turned equally to waste and wanted. In fact the little dog • Cora” made a means of annoyance and insalu. was the only welcome constituent of the brity;" He would bind himself, if the gift.
opportunity were allowed him, " to prove The elector put the seal to his esteem to the citizens that the heat and the mafor Rumford by appointing him plenipo-terial of heat thus wasted would suffice tentiary from Bavaria to the court of Lon. to cook all the food in the city, warm don. King George, however, declined to every apartment, and perform all the me. accept him in this capacity. He was obochanical work done by fire.” With his viously stung by this refusal; and the hope, strength, and practical insight, and with the sympathy which he would com- merston, and Earl Spencer respectively. mand, there is no knowing what might be The first professor of natural philosophy accomplished in the way of smoke abate- and chemistry was Dr. Thomas Garment were he now amongst us.
nett, while the first treasurer was Mr. Rumford could at this time count on Thomas Bernard. A home and foreign the sympathy and active support of a secretary, legal counsel, a solicitor, and a number of excellent men, who, in advance clerk, were added to the list. One rule of him, had founded a “society for bet. established at this time has been adhered tering the condition and increasing the to with great fidelity to the present day; comforts of the poor.” He sought the No political subject was to be mentioned aid of the committee of this society. It in the lectures. was agreed on all hands that the proposed The word “ Institution" was chosen new institution promised to be too impor. because it had been least used previously, tant to permit of its being made an ap- and because it best indicated the objects pendage to any other. A committee of the new society. The mechanical arts consisting of eight members of the old have promoted civilization and refinement. society was, however, appointed to confer Nations, provinces, towns, and even vil. with Rumford regarding his plan. The lages thrive in proportion to the activity committee met and ratified Rumford's of their industry. “Exertion quickens proposals. Subscribers of fifty ne the spirit of invention, makes science each were to be the perpetual proprietors flourish, and increases the moral and of the institution; a contribution of ten physical powers of man.” The printingguineas was to secure the privileges of a press, navigation, gunpowder, the steainlife subscriber; whilst a subscription of engine, have changed the whole course of two guineas constituted an annual sub. human affairs. The slowness with which scriber. The managers, nine in number, improvements make their way among were to be chosen by ballot by the pro- workmen arises from prejudice, suspicion, prietors. A committee of visitors was jealousy, dislike of change, and the naralso appointed, the same in number as rowing effect of the subdivision of work the committee of managers, and holding into many petty occupations. But slowoffice for the same number of years. At ness is also due to the greed for wealth, a general meeting of the proprietors held the desire for monopoly, the spirit of at the house of Sir Joseph Banks, in Soho secret intrigue exhibited anong manufacSquare, on the 7th of March, 1799, fifty- turers. Between these two the philosoeight persons, comprising many men of pher steps in, whose business it is “10 great distinction, were found to have examine every operation of nature and qualified as proprietors by the subscrip-art, and to establish general theories for tion of fifty guineas each. The committee the direction and conducting of future of managers was chosen, and they held processes.” But philosophers may be. their first meeting at the house of Sir come dreamers, and they have therefore Joseph Banks on the 9th of March, 1799. habitually to be called back to the study Mr. Thomas Bernard, one of the most of practical questions which bear upon active members of the society from whose the ordinary pursuits of life. Science committee the first managers were chosen, and practice are, in short, to interact, to was appointed secretary. On the 13th of the advantage of both. January, 1800, the royal seal was attached Houses in Albemarle Street were purto the charter of the institution. The chased, and modified to suit the objects king was its patron, and the first officers in view. Rumford's obvious intention of the institution were appointed by him. was to found an institute of technology The Earl of Winchester was president and engineering. The institution was to Lord Morton, Lord Egremont, and Sir be made a repository for models of all Joseph Banks were vice-presidents. The useful contrivances and improvements: managers were divided into three classes cottage fireplaces and kitchen utensils; of three each; the first class serving kitchens for farmhouses and for the for one, the second for two, and the houses of gentlemen; a laundry, includthird for three years. The Earls of Bessing boilers, washing, ironing, and drying. borough, Egremont, and Morton, respec- rooms; German, Swedish, and Russian tively, beaded the lists of the three classes stoves; open chimney fireplaces, with of managers. Rumford himself was ap- ornamental grates; ornamental stoves; pointed io serve for three years. The working models “of that most curious three classes of visitors were headed by and most useful machine, the steam-enthe Duke of Bridgewater, Viscount Pal- gine;” brewers' boilers; distillers' copo
pers; condensers; large boilers for hos. | out to Davy the prospect of becoming, in pitals; ventilating apparatus for hot. the course of two or ihree years, full prohouses; lime-kilns; steam-boilers for fessor of chemistry, with a salary of 300l. preparing food for stall-fed cattle; spin- per annum, “provided,” he adds, "that ning-wheels; looms; agricultural imple. within that period you shall have given ments; bridges of various constructions; proofs of your fitness to hold that distinhuman food; clothing; houses;. towns; guished situation.” This promise of the fortresses; harbors; roads; canals; car- professorship in two or three years was riages; ships; tools; weapons ; etc. ominous for Dr. Garnett, between whom Chemistry was to be applied to soils, til. and the managers differences soon arose lage, and manures; to the manufacture of which led to his withdrawal from the inbread, beer, wine, spirits, starch, sugar, stitution. Davy began his duties butter, and cheese ; to the processes of Wednesday, the nith of March, 1801. dyeing, calico printing, bleaching, paint.
tThe name of a man who has no inteling, and varnishing; to the smelting of lectual superior in its annals, now appears ores; the formation of alloys; to mortars, for the first time in connection with the cements, bricks, pottery, glass, and enam. institution. At the suggestion of Sir els. Above all, “the phenomena of light Joseph Banks, Rumford had an interview and heat -those great powers which give with Dr. Thomas Young, destined to be. lise and energy to the universe - powers come so illustrious as the first decipherer which, by the wonderful process of com- of the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and as the bustion, are placed under the command of foremost founder of the undulatory theory human beings — will engage a profound of light. Young accepted an engagement interest."
as professor of natural philosophy in the In reference to the alleged size of the Institution, as editor of its journals, and bed of Og, the king of Bashan, Bishop as superintendent of the house, at a salary Watson asked Tom Paine to determine of £300 per annum. the bulk to which a human body may be A portion of the motive force of a man augmented before it will perish by its own of Rumford's temperament may be deweight. As regards the projected institu- scribed as irritability. During the postion, Rumford surely had passed this limit, session of physical vigor and sound health, and by the ponderosity of his scheme, this force is grasped by the will and had ensured either change or ruin. In directed by intelligence and tact. But such an establishment Davy was sure to when health slackens and physical vigor become an iconoclast. He cared little for subsides, that which had been a firmly models, not even for the apparatus with ruled power becomes an energy wanting which his own best discoveries were adequate control. Rumford's success in made, but incontinently broke it up when- Bavaria illustrates his pliancy as much as ever he found it could be made subser- his strength. But before he started the vient to further ends,
Royal Institution his health had given The experimental lectures of Davy way, and his irritability, it is to be feared, were then attracting attention. Rumors got the upper hand. In point of intelof the young chemist reached Rumford, tect, moreover, he came then into contact and, at his request, Davy came to Lon with people of larger calibre and more don. His life at the moment was purely varied accomplishments than he had prea land of promise, but Rumford had the viously met. He could hardly count upon sagacity to see the promise, and the wis. the entire sympathy of Young and Davy, dom to act upon his insight. Nor was though I believe he remained on friendly bis judgment rapidly formed. Several terms with them to the end. They were interviews preceded his announcement to gems of a different water, if I may use Davy, on the 16th of February, 1801, the the term, from Rumford. The chief obresolution of the managers, That Mr. ject of his fostering care was, at that time, Humphry Davy be engaged in the ser- mechanical invention, applied to the uses vice of the Royal Institution, in the capac- of life. The pleasures of Young and ity of assistant lecturer in chemistry, Davy lay in another sphere. To them director of the chemical laboratory, and science was an end, not a means to an assistant editor of the journals of the end. In his excellent work on the Royal Institution; and that he be allowed to Institution Dr. Bence Jones informs us occupy a room in the house, and be fur- that difficulties were gathering round it in nished with coals and candles, and that he | 1803, and it was even proposed to sell it be paid a salary of one hundred guineas off. Rumford, being in Paris, with the per annum. Rumford, moreover, held | aid of Davy, Mr. Bernard, and Sir Joho
Hippisley, carried on the work, " without | 8th of May, 1794; and inheriting his workshops, or mechanics' institute, or great name, together with a fortune of kitchen, or model exhibition.” The place three million francs, she gathered round of these was taken by experimental and her, in her receptions, the most dis. theoretical researches, which instead of linguished society of Paris. She and dealing with things achieved, carried the Rumford became friends, the friendship mind into unexplored regions of nature, afterwards passing into what was thought forgetful whether the discoveries made in to be genuine affection. The elector of that region had or had not a bearing on Bavaria took great interest in his prothe necessities of material life.
jected marriage, and when that consumRumford and his institution had to bear mation came near, settled upon him an the brunt of ridicule, and he felt it; but annuity of four thousand florins. In a men of ready wit have not abstained from letter to his daughter he thus describes exercising it on societies of greater age his bride elect: "I made the acquainand bigher claims. Shafts of sarcasm tance of this very amiable woman in Paris, without number have been launched at who, I believe, would have no objection to the Royal Society. It was perfectly nat. having me for a husband, and who in all ural for persons who had little taste for respects would be a proper match for me. scientific inquiry and less knowledge of
. She is a widow without children, never the methods of nature, to feel amused, if having had any; is about my own age not scandalized, by the apparently insignif- (she was four years younger than Rumicant subjects which sometimes occupied ford), enjoys good health, is very pleasant the scientific mind. They were not aware in society, has a handsome fortune at her that in science the most stupendous phe. own disposal, enjoys a most respectable nomena often find their suggestion and reputation, keeps a good house, which is interpretion in the most minute — that the frequented by all the first philosophers smallest laboratory fact is connected by and men of eminence in the science and indissoluble ties with the grandest opera literature of the age, or rather of Paris. tions of nature. Thus the iridescences And, what is more than all the rest, is of the common soap-bubble, subjected to goodness itself.” scientific analysis, have emerged in the All preliminaries having been arranged, conclusion that stellar space is a plenum Count Rumford and Madame Lavoisier filled with a material substance capable of were married in Paris on the 24th of Oc. transmitting motion with a rapidity which tober, 1805. He describes the house in would girdle the equatorial earth eight which they lived, Rue d'Anjou, No. 39, as times in a second; while the tremors of a paradise. In a letter written to Count. this substance in one form constitute what ess Sarah two months after his marriage, we call light, and, in all forms, constitute he refers to their style of living as really what we call radiant heat. Not seeing magnificent; bis wife was exceedingly this connection between great and small; fond of company, in the midst of which not discerning that as regards the illustra- she made a splendid figure. She seldom tion of physical principles there is no went out, but kept open house to all the great and no small, the wits, considering great and worthy: He describes their the small contemptible, permitted sarcasm dinners and evening teas, which must to flow accordingly. But these things have been trying to a man who longed for have passed away, while the ridicule and quiet. The dinners, his daughter says, intolerance from which she once suffered, he could have borne, but the teas annoyed are now, I think unfairly, sometimes laid him. Instead of living melodious days, to the charge of science.
his life gradually became a discord; and
on the 15th of January, 1806, he confides This lapsing of the technical side of to his daughter, as a family secret, that Rumford's scheme can hardly be called a he is “not at all sure that two certain defeat, for his institution flourishes to the persons were not wholly mistaken in their present hour. The real defeat of his life inarriage, as to each other's characters.” was yet to come, and it came through a The dénouement lastened; and on the power pronounced on high authority to first anniversary of his marriage he de. be the strongest in the world. While in scribes his wife as "a female dragon.” Paris, he made the acquaintance of Ma. On the second anniversary, matters were dame Lavoisier, a lady of wealth, spirit, worse. The quarrels between him anı! social distinction, and, it is to be added, a Madame had become more violent and lady of temper. Her illustrious husband open. He gives the following sample of had suffered under the guillotine on the them: "I am almost afraid to tell you the
story, my good child, lest in future you painful to do away with the sins of a thou. should not be good; lest what I am about sand years. Rumford, in fact, writes with relating should set you a bad example, the bitterness of a defeated man. His make you passionate, and so on. But I wife retained her friends, while he, who a had been made very angry. A large party short time previously had been the obhad been invited í neither liked nor ap: served of all observers, found himself proved of, and invited for the sole purpose practically isolated. This was a new and of vexing me. Our house being in the bitter experience, the thought of which, centre of the garden, walled around, with pressing on him continually, destroyed all iron gates, I put on iny hat, walked down magnanimity in his references to her. to the porter's lodge, and gave him orders, Notwithstanding his hostility to his wife, on his peril, not to let any one in. Be be permitted her to visit him on appar. sides I took away the keys. Madame ently amicable terms. The daughter went down, and when the company ar- paints her character as admirable, ascrib. rived, she talked with them — she on one ing their differences to individual inde. side, they on the other, of the high brick pendence, arising from their having been wall. After that she goes and pours accustomed to rule in their own ways: boiling water on some of my beautiful" It was a fine match, could they but have flowers.” The wrangling went on, and agreed.”. One day in driving out with her he made up his mind for a separation, father, she remarked to him how odd it purposing to take a house at Auteuil. It was that he and his wife could not get on would be unfortunate if he could not live together, when they seemed so friendly to more independently than with this unfeel. each other, adding that it struck her that ing, cunning, tyrannical woman. “ Alas! Madame de Rumford could not be in her little do we know people at first sight!”right mind. He replied bitterly, “Her He describes his habitation as no longer mind is, as it has ever been, to act differthe abode of peace. He breakfasts alone ently from what she appears." in his apartment, while to his infinite The statesman Guizot was one of Ma. chagrin most of the visitors are his wife's dame de Rumford's most intimate friends, determined adherents. “A separation," and his account of her and her house difhe says, " is unavoidable, for it would be fers considerably from the account of both highly improper for me to continue with a given by her husband. Rumford became person who has given me so many proofs her guest at a time when he enjoyed in of her implacable hatred and malice.” public "a splendid scientific popularity.
The lease of the villa at Auteuil was His spirit was lofty, his conversation was purchased by Rumford in 1908, and the full of interest, and his manners separation took place “amicably" on the marked by gentle kindness. He made 13th of June, 1809.* Ever afterwards, himself agreeable to Madame Lavoisier. however, anger rankled in his heart, and She married him, happy to offer to a dishe never mentions his wife but in terms tinguished man a great fortune and a most of repugnance and condemnation. His agreeable existence.” The lady, accordrelease from her filled him at first with ing to Guizot, had stipulated, on her seco unnatural elation, and on the fourth anni- ond marriage, that she should be perversary of his wedding.day be writes to mitted to retain the name of Lavoisier, his daughter, “I make choice of this day calling herself Madame Lavoisier de to write to you, in reality to testify joy, Rumford. This, it is said, proved disabut joy that I am away from her.” On greeable to the count, but she was not the fifth anniversary he writes thus: to be moved from her determination to “You will perceive that this is the anni. retain the name. “ I have,” she says, versary of my marriage. I am happy to " at the bottom of my heart a profound call it' to mind that I may compare my conviction that M. de Rumford will not present situation with the three and a disapprove of me for it, and that on takhalf horrible years I was living with that ing time for reflection, he will permit me tyrannical, avaricious, unfeeling woman.” to continue to fulfil a duty which I regard The closing six months of his married life as sacred.” Guizot adds that the hope he describes as a purgatory sufficiently proved deceptive, and that." after some
domestic agitations, which M. de Rum* From 1772 to 1800, Rumford's house at Auteuil had been the residence of the widow of a man highly ford, with more of fact, might have kept celebrated in his day as a freethinker, but whom Lange from becoming so notorious, a separation describes as “the vain andusuperficial Helvetius.". It became necessary;' Her dinners and reis also the house where, in the month of January, 1870, the young journalist Victor Noir was shot dead by ceptions during the remaining twenty. Prince Pierre Bonaparte.
seven years of her life, are described as