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tends,--that if any one is incapable of seeing a universal fitness in creation, he has only to look at the dullest lump of matter, of clay, sand, or mud, from any clime, formed at any age, be it matter kept for ages in the water or taken from the fires of the volcano, and the fitness is to be found, not by mere imagination, not by mere reasoning, but by taking the balance and proving that the oxygen in each of these specimens unites with an equal weight of silicon, aluminum, or calcium, and that each element, each particle of each, was made to fit each of the particles of its fellow-elements. Whether we can say the same of the whole universe is a different question. The fitness may not be in such minute particles when we leave our own solar system, or it may be somewhat altered when we leave our own globe; but so far we might safely suppose many general analogies in the elements composing our system, having so many of the same conditions of existence, and growing under so many of the same influences. Could we establish the particulars of the nebular theory, could we prove that all the plants were in a gaseous form together, we might then see more of the subject; but we see animal and vegetable life to have changed so much, so many movements like to creations made at various times upon the earth, so many adaptations of structure to habits, moral and physical creations made and unmade (whether by a law or without a law is not to the purpose), that he must be excused who pauses for a little before he believes that creative power, which would seem to be not a momentary impulse, but a continuous or it may be an eternal agent, has, or has had, something to do, as well with the inorganic as the organic structures of the earth. It is an interesting thing to consider the cast of mind necessary to a great discovery, and the mind also which inakes a discovery. With Dalton they are both one, as the extraordinary unity of the man left two forms of mind as a thing impossible for him. A physical constitution, calm, steady, unexcitable; a mental constitution the same; no violent feelings, no strong passions, no enthusiasm which could not be instantly repressed—not as much as to cause involuntary haste in moving a limb, in drawing a conclusion, or in making an experiment; no inertness tempting him to rest when he had strength to work; no weariness of mind, no fatiguing of his body; working neither too much nor too little for his
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- - . . strength; no yielding to the opinions of others drawing him aside to the right hand or to the left; an imagination curbed or silent; those moral sympathies which the love of literature proves to be in men weak and neglected, developed no farther in him, the great searcher of nature, than may be seen in the most uneducated man in our social system:—he stands before us with an isolated grandeur sufficient to absorb the pity that some minds must feel for one whose moral sympathies are not drawn out in an equal ratio with his intellectual powers. Let us not be mistaken : Dalton was a kind man and an agreeable companion, an upright and a moral man; but these faculties were simple, and were not more highly cultivated than we see in ignorant minds. That he curbed all his passions and his expressions is certain; whether from principle or from the original formation of his mind we cannot say ; but his soul never expanded in his warmest, and in his most animated and playful moments he was mever without a breastplate. This bespeaks a man of strong will, of great self-possession. He had too much self-respect to be seen to seek fame, and was almost too proud to take notice of it when gained. Unaccompanied, however, with haughtiness, but the most child-like simplicity, his dignity seldom showed itself except on a few occasions, and even then it was not until many years of fame had given him a standing. If we are correct in giving these elements of his character this prominence, raising the observing and reflecting, but especially the former, and sinking the rest of the man down to a beautiful simplicity, rare in a great man, but not rare in many of the mass, we find at least an unusual character, and have some idea of the power requisite to do such work as he did. Before we say more, we shall give a few examples of his mode of reasoning, which show the great predominance of his observing powers, protruding themselves as they do every where, and at no time allowing themselves rest when the other faculties are in action. His reasoning is a succession of pictures, his conclusions are results of observation on those pictures laid before us, so that we almost suppose that we arrive at the conclusion without the trouble of reflection. He says—
In such clear figurings does he continue to explain himself. By reasoning on an atmosphere of mixed gases, which have no repulsion for each other, but follow each the law of its own gravitation, he explains in a mechanical manner the law of the constant composition of the atmosphere, the particles of the gases falling downwards upon each other until they attain a position in which they can support the incumbent weight. He has not, however, attempted to explain how the little central particle exists in the large globe of heat which surrounds it, nor what use the centre can have, since the circumference does all the work, holds all the properties, and seems to know nothing of foreign relations, except that it was present when the deeds were drawn out, and appended its signature, which after all seems to be a mere matter of form.
Dalton's conception of atoms was so matural and easy to him, that he spoke of them as things which he could see. His usual illustration was a pile of shot. He talked of these invisible beings as a geologist would of the movement of a glacier, or of transported boulder-stones; and traced an atom of hydrogen through the masses of a pile of oxygen atoms, as an astronomer would a comet influenced by the attractions and repulsions met on all sides in its way through space. Newton had probably the grandest idea of matter words ever expressed, if indeed they can be said to express all that is contained in the conception, Gravitation, a universal dependence in creation, a unity in all existing things. Ages have been found requisite to teach man the omnipresence of God, and one man taught us the omnipresence of matter. Strange fact, that the influence of the clods beneath us is felt everywhere; that there is nothing so trivial that it has not something to say in the govern
Wol. VIII.-No, I. 41
ment of the universe; nothing so small that it should remain forgotten, when the powers of creation assembled together' We might almost say, everything is every where. As Newton saw matter in its largeness and unity, Dalton saw it in its minuteness and separateness. The one saw the unity of the whole, the other strongly insisted on the individuality of its parts. Both spoke great truths. We have observed that Dalton never read much, and probably more in his later than earlier life. His mind was peculiarly fitted for inquiring and recording, but peculiarly unfitted for following the reasonings of others. This seems to have happened not from mere obstinacy, but from a natural self-reliance, and a habit of believing so firmly whatever his senses took cognizance of; a proof that these were stronger in him than any other faculties; as many of the feelings, had they been more lively in him, would have tended to make him consider the works of others; and had he reflected more than he observed, he would have paid more attention to the reasonings of other men. He still preserved his own atomic weights when every chemist had adopted those now established. In a long, steady, and busy life, but, as far as external movements go, entirely monotonous, Dalton's whole history may be found in the books before us. He lectured in the Royal Institution in 1804, and asterwards in 1810. Strange that Davy and Wallaston ridiculed his theory so much. Afterwards, when Davy was converted, he urged the claims of Higgins against Dalton, at which the latter was much displeased, but was too dignified to speak of the matter. In 1822 he went to France, where we need not describe his reception otherwise than in his own words, and in a man of Dalton's temperament they had all the meaning they bear. He said quietly to a friend on his return, “If any Englishman has reason to be proud of his reception in France, I have.” He was made a Foreign Fellow of the French institute, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Doctor of Civil law, a title he prized very much; but he shone as President of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester, to which he was elected annually from the year 1817 till his death, and to which he gave his principal papers. It would little suffice to tell of his visits to the great, of the visits of the great to him, of his presentation at court, and of the honor bestowed on him by the British
Association. But we may say that he seems to have been honored more as one who had risen from the dead, as a historical personage whose name was connected with the birth of chemistry, rather than a living, working cotemporary, so little does he seem to have mixed with the philosophers of his time. In 1837 paralysis weakened him very much, both bodily and mentally, and he never was again the great mind of earlier life. On the 17th May, 1844, he was still further reduced, but still attending the Philosophical Society, although unable to articulate the words he wished to utter. He still read the journals of the day, and made meteorological observations. On the 19th of July, 1844, an address of the society thanked him for his fiftieth annual meteorological report, and prayed that he might be long spared to them. He received the address standing, but could not reply otherwise than by a few words in writing, which he had prepared; “I feel gratified by this testimony of kind regard offered to me by my old associates of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Manchester. At my age, and with my infirmities, I can only thank you for this manifestation of sentiment, which I heartily reciprocate.” On the 26th he made his last observation, noting down the state of the thermometer and barometer, and finding that he had written “little rain this,” in a previous observation, he took the precaution to add “day.” His hand trembled at this time, but at six in the morning, when his servant left him, he seemed as usual, although he had spent a restless night. On coming again in half an hour he was found dead by his bedside. So gradually did this man go hence; with such calmness and repose was closed a long life wholly devoted to science. In 1833 a pension of 150l. was granted him from the Civil List, and in 1836 it was raised to 300l. Some time between those two periods his paternal property fell to him by the death of his brother, amounting to about another annual 150l. To a nan who lived so simply, this was more than was wantd, so that he left above 9,000l. at his death. His body lay in state in the Town Hall, and a long procession followed him to the grave, whilst all business was suspended for the time in Manchester. He was buried in a vault in the Ardwick Green Cemetery. The long procession was much to the annoyance of some of the Society of Friends, but it did one good thing—it told out loudly
and plainly that a great man had taken leave of them. Such a circumstance ought not to happen as unheeded as if the great were buried daily. It is different when a rich or a strong man dies. These powers can be made again ; these accumulations can be possessed and repeated, if not in one man, by the efforts of many; but when a mind that thought not as other minds do leaves this earth, we know not if it may please Heaven ever again to send us the like. Dalton's body, like the whole texture of his mind, like every action which he performed, like every thought which he has expressed, was firm and well-knit. He was below middle size: his face is said to have resembled Newton's very much, but the head does not seem to us to have had any resemblance. A beautiful statue of him, by Chantrey, is placed in the Royal Manchester Institution, which resembles the living man very much. It was the intention of Manchester to erect some monument to him, although it has not been decided as to the best mode of doing so, whether by following the custom of all ages, and making a bronze or a marble one, or by making one in the form of a school of chemistry, which Manchester does not possess. Which is best might soon be decided. We read of a Greek to whom three hundred brazen statues were erected, to be pulled down in as many days. A living institution can fight for itself. It is interesting to us to know the daily life of a man who could make such investigations. Simple beyond the most of men, he lived with few wants in his house or in his laboratory, showing little of himself to his fellow-men, but marking the age with his footsteps. Unwearied, and mechanically regular in all things, he made his observations with no more regularity than he went to the bowling-green regularly on Thursday afternoon with a few friends,not philosophers, not the great, but such as he had long known. He had great pleasure in visiting his old friends in Kendal and Keswick; and when one of his prouder companions wished him to leave the place in which they were met, as not being sufficiently dignified in appearance, he only said, “I see them seldom, Lyou, I can see every day in Manchester.” Dalton was not a man to be frightened by any of the hobgoblins that hover around respectability, nor can we find a man any where so thoroughly independent, so thoroughly regardless of all the world said of him, in so far as allowing any change in his mode of thinking or acting.
We cannot ascribe to him the bright eyes of Lavoisier, of Davy, and of Liebig ; for what he saw, however great, seemed to him so simple, so natural. The awe and majesty of Nature's laws first seen, did not affect him to rhapsody, and we may either call it greatness or weakness, as we feel inclined. Both qualities are respected by nature, both have their types in creation; the monotonous movement of the earth round its axis for the one, and the sudden glare of day on the dark night marks the other; the one a continuous, unexcited movement, pleasing but not joyful; the other a succession of rapid and great changes, in which the whole man is at one time deep in darkness and in sorrow, walking through the valley of the shadow of death; at another, scarcely able to support the excess of joy, for nature seems all gloriousness, and earth a constant round of thrilling joys. Some would prefer the quiet repose of the simple “Naturforscher,’ Dalton. R. S.
From Frazer's Magazine.
MARGARET LUCAs, Duchess of NewCASTLE.
“The whole story of this lady is a romance, and ali she does is romantic."—PEPys.
Whe N Waller was shewn some verses by the Duchess of Newcastle, On the Death of a Stag, he declared that he would give all his own compositions to have written them ; and being charged with the exorbitance of his adulation, answered, “That nothing was too much to be given that a lady might be saved from the disgrace of such a vile performance.” This was said by the courtly Waller of the thrice noble, illustrious, and excellent princess, as she calls herself, Margaret Lucas, the wife of the thrice-noble, high, and puissant prince, William Cavendish, duke, marquis, and earl of Newcastle. But the worth of all the poems by the Duchess of Newcastle is not to be tested by her poem on the death of a stag ; nor should her abilities be looked meanly upon through the contemptuous smartness of a happy remark.”
* By the way, Waller has a copy of verses On the Head of a Stag, far below even the middle level of the duchess's genius,
Wit and satire have done much to keep her down. Pope has placed her works in the library of his Dunciad hero: —
“Here swells the shels with Ogilby the great, There, stamp'd with arms, Newcastle shines complete.”
And Horace Walpole, a far inferior poet to the duchess, endeavored to turn to ridicule, not the duchess only, but the duke—to do for the names of Cavendish and Lucas what he had attempted to do for Sydney and for Falkland. But Walpole, who affected a singularity of opinion, raised a laugh, and a laugh only; there is too much good sense in the duchess's writings, and too much to love about her character, to deprive her altogether of admirers. Charles Lamb delighted in her works; Sir Egerton Brydges showed his respect for her genius by reprinting, at his private press, her own little, delightful autobiography, to which he appended a selection of her poems. And Mr. Dyce, who has as much good taste as variety of knowledge, is too well acquainted with her writings to dislike them ; and, fresh from “Greek and Latin stores,” can yet return to her pages with renewed enjoyment, and lose nothing in a reperusal of the complete works of the Duchess of Newcastle. As if certain that some day or other the curiosity of aster-ages would be extended to her own personal history, the duchess drew up A True Relation of her Birth, Breeding, and Life—the too short but charming piece of autobiography we have already referred to. Her father was Sir Thomas Lucas, of St. John's, near Colchester, in Essex; her mother's maidenname was Elizabeth Leighton. Margaret was born about the year 1626.
“My father,” she says, “was a gentleman, which title is grounded and given by merit, not by princes. He had a large estate. He lived happily and died peaceably, leaving a wife and cight children, three sons and five daughters, I being the youngest he had, and an infant when he died.”
Of her brothers she says:
“There was not any one crooked or any ways deformed; neither were they dwarfish, or of a giant-like stature, but every ways proportionable, likewise well-featured, clear complexions, brown hairs, but some lighter than others; sound teeth, eweet breaths, plain speeches, tunable voices—I mean not so much to sing as in sueaking, as not stuttering or
wharling in the throat, or speaking through the nose, or hoarsely (unless they had a cold). or squeakingly, which impediments many have.” . . . . “How they were bred,” she continues, she was too young to recollect; “but this I know, that they loved virtue, endeavored merit, practised justice, and spoke truth.” . . . . “ T. practice was, when they met together, to exercise themselves with fencing, wrestling, shooting, and such-like exercises, for I observed they did seldom hawk or hunt, and very seldom or never dance, or play on music, saying it was too effeminate for masculine spirits; neither had they skill, or did use to play, for aught I could hear, at cards or dice, or the like games, nor given to any vice, as I did know, unless to love a mistress were a crime; not that I knew any they had, but what report did say, and usually reports are false, at least exceed the truth.”
Of these brothers, one became the first Lord Lucas; the youngest was the Sir Charles Lucas, whose melancholy but heroic end is told so affectingly by Lord Clarendon. “He had,” says his sister, “a superfluity of courage.”
Her own breeding, she says, was according to her birth and the nature of her sex. Her mother, of whom she speaks in the highest and most affectionate terms,
“Never suffered the vulgar serving-men to be in the nursery amongst the nurse-maids, lest their rude love-making might do unseemly actions, or speak unhandsome words in the preBence of her children. As for the pastimes of my sisters,” she says, and their pastimes were her own, “when they were in the country, it was to read, work, walk, and discourse with each other. Commonly they lived half the year in London. Their customs were, in winter time, to go sometimes to plays, or to ride in their coaches about the streets, to see the concourse and recourse of people; and, in the spring-time, to visit the Spring Garden, Hyde Park, and the like places; and sometimes they would have music, and sup in barges upon the water; these harmless recreations they would pass their time away with ; for, I observed, they did seldom make visits, nor ever went abroad with strangers in their company, but only themselves in a flock together; agreeing so well that there seemed but one mind amongst them.”
Margaret was a mere girl in her teens when she went to Oxford to become one of the maids of honor to Henrietta Maria; an office, she tells us, she had a great desire to fill, and to which she “wooed and won " her mother's consent to her seeking and accepting. But in the then disturbed state of the three countries, Oxford was not long a place for Henrietta; and the queen, ac
companied by her youthful attendant, left, in 1643, the shores of England for the court of the French king. In April, 1645, for she has herself recorded the period, Margaret Lucas had the good fortune to see the Marquis of Newcastle for the first time. This nobleman, whose name for loyalty deserves to be proverbial, had come to Paris to tender his humble duty to the queen. The fight at Marston Moor, that ill-fated field to King Charles, had been fought some ten months before; and Newcastle, seeing the utter hopelessness of the king's cause and the complete exhaustion of his own finances, had resigned his command, and retired to the Continent.
“And after,” says the duchess, “he had stayed at Paris some time, he was pleased to take some particular notice of me, and express more than an ordinary affection for me; insomuch that he resolved to choose me for his second wife; and though I did dread marriage, and shun men's companies as much as I could, i. I could not, nor }. I the power to refuse him, by reason my affections were fixed on him, and he was the only person I ever was in love with. Neither was I ashamed to own it, but gloried therein, for it was not amorous love; I never was infected there with ; it is a disease, or a passion, or both I only know b relation, not by experience: neither could title, wealth, power, or person entice me to love; but my love was honest and honorable, being placed upon merit, which affection joyed at the same of his worth, pleased with delight in his wit, proud of the respects he used to me, and the affection he profest for me.” . . “Having but two sons,” she says in another place, “he purposed to marry me, a young woman, that might prove fruitful to him, and increase his posterity by a masculine offspring. Nay, he was so desirous of male issue, that 1 have heard him say he cared not so God would be pleased to give him many sons, although they came to be persons of the meanest fortune; but God, it seems, had ordered it otherwise, and frustrated his designs by making me barren ; which yet did never lessen his love and aflection for me.”
The widower of fifty-two prevailed with the fearful maiden of twenty-one,—they were married.
“A poet am I neither born nor bred, But to a witty poet married,”
she was wont to say in after life, and certainly the Marquis of Newcastle was not without pretensions to literature; his comedies are bustling pieces of intrigue and wit, characteristic of his age, and very readable; at least we have found them so.