But if you

village in your own pet country haunts | native English. The old English form, has just as curious a history as those Culmingatune, gives you at once the true about Lyme Regis; but it will not do story. Once more, Warwickshire antimerely to take the name in its current quaries used formerly to assert that Birmodern form, and hazard a random guess mingham was a mere corruption of the at its meaning anyhow. You must track vulgar word Brummagem, that is, Bromit back to its earliest known shape in wychham ; West Bromwich and Castle ancient records, and, if possible, find out Bromwich being two other places in the the exact historical circumstances which immediate neighborhood. This is attended its origin. For this purpose you doubt the true derivation of Brummagem, will find Domesday Book quite invalu- which is in fact not a corruption of Birable, as it preserves for us the names of mingham, but an independent collateral almost every parish or hamlet in England name. However, the Domesday form, at the time of William the Conqueror's Beormingham, shows us that the recog. great survey. Even Domesday however, nized legal title of the borough_really priceless as it is, often fails to give us means the ham or home of the Beorm. a trustworthy form, as William's Nor- ings, another of the old Teutonic clans. man commissioners sometimes Latinized These cases will be enough to impress native English names, local or personal, upon you the lesson that you must prounder the most astoundingly garbled dis- ceed with due caution, and must not give guises. Accordingly, the safest guides of way to mere blind guesses. all are the genuine early English, or so- have access to a good library, and take called Anglo-Saxon documents, the Chron- moderate care, and especially if you are icle, and the great collections of Charters fortunate enough to possess a slight published by Kemble and Thorpe. If you knowledge of the old English tongue, are lucky enough to hit upon your local which we foolishly call Anglo-Saxon, you names in any of these — they are to be will have little difficulty in doing for other found in every good reference library places what I have tried to do here in a you will seldom have any difficulty in dis- rapid sketch for Lyme. The new study covering their real origin.

will add a fresh and unexpected interest And now for an example or two of the to even the dullest and most unpictunecessity for finding historical evidence resque hamlets that you happen to meet as to the primitive form of names. Take with in your daily walks. first Glastonbury. In its present shape the name is meaningless. An amateur might guess it to be Glass-town-bury; but the English Chronicle calls it Glæstingabyrig, and we then know at once that it is

From The Spectator.

THE PHOTOPHONE. really the bury or borough of the Glæstingas or Glastings, an early English clan. The world cannot keep pace with the On the other hand, we might be tempted, scientific surprises of this age. Before like Mr. Isaac Taylor, to suppose that sufficient time has elapsed to make one Abingdon was similarly the dune or hill startling invention familiar, another equalof the Æbings, a real clan; but the earlier ly astonishing is already the subject of form in the Chronicle is Abbandun, and lectures and newspaper articles. Before we learn from the records of Abingdon the telephone, the microphone, and the monastery that the great abbey was actu- phonograph have found their way into ally founded by one Abba, an Írish monk, common use, a still more extraordinary from whom the place derives its title. instrument is announced, - one of which There is a strong tendency for names of the results are as unexpected by the scienthis sort to undergo an assimilation to tisic as they are incredible to the ordinary the numerous class which are formed mind. We hear of conversation being from the clan patronymics; for Huntan- carried on by means of a trembling beam dun has similarly become Huntingdon, of light, and incredulity reaches its climax just as captain nowadays becomes cap- when it is whispered that the photophone ting. Again, our old friend Kilmington may enable us to hear the rise and fall of has been explained by local etymologists those gigantic storms that are constantly as the Keltic Kil-maen-dun (Stone-cell- sweeping over the sun's surface. Is it hill). When anybody tries to impose possible that the revelations of modern upon you with a Keltic jawbreaker of that science condemned as materialistic and sort, you may promptly distrust him, and prosaic - can thus outstrip the wildest stick patriotically instead to your own flights of the imagination ?

The photophone is the latest develop- | elements could be eliminated, the varying ment of Professor Graham Bell's ingenu- amount of illumination received at the ity, and for its scientific novelty, if not for distant end would wholly depend upon its practical utility, well deserves a brief the variations in sound at the transmitting description. One of the elementary end, and an exact reproduction of the bodies, named selenium, and allied to original sounds would be obtained. This sulphur, is known to undergo certain we cannot expect yet, but the results alchanges in its molecular structure when ready obtained lead one to hope that in light falls upon it. These changes cause time even this may be achieved. the very high resistance it offers to the The receiver of the photophone, as at passage of an electric current to vary present arranged, consists of a large conslightly, and this curious effect, hitherto cave mirror, which reflects and focusses believed to be unique, has lately been the the light upon a selenium cell; this is subject of investigation by various En connected with a battery, and a couple of glish physicists. It occurred to several ordinary telephones are included in the that this substance might be employed as circuit. The selenium cell is very ina sort of telephone, a beam of light being geniously adapted by Professor Bell to used to replace the conducting wires of its purpose. It consists of alternate discs the usual forms of these instruments. of brass and mica, the edges of which are Professor Graham Bell, the discoverer of coated with selenium, pared to make it as the telephone, to whom, amongst others, thin as possible, whilst yet exposing a this idea occurred, has had the good for- sufficiently large surface to the action of tune to throw that thought into practical the light.' Any increase of light, falling shape.

upon this selenium 'cell, lessens its electric A mirror, from which is reflected a resistance; hence the vibrations of the powerful beam of light, may be caused to mirror (caused by the words spoken into vibrate by means of the voice. These the mouthpiece by the transmitter), altervibrations toss the beam of light slightly ing somewhat the amount of light received to and fro, and this vibrating beam falls upon the cell, reproduce themselves audiupon a selenium receiver, through which bly; by means of the greater or less amount an electric current is passing, thereby of electricity thereby transmitted through creating slight variations in the resis- the telephone. Both transmitter and retances the current encounters, These ceiver must, of course, be so supported tiny variations in electric resistance can as to be free to move, according to the be detected and rendered audible by that direction in which the beam has to be wonderfully sensitive little instrument, sent or received. the Bell telephone. This was the concep- There are many difficulties in the praction which led Professor Bell to announce, tical working of this little instrument, but in a lecture delivered before the Royal though entirely satisfactory results have Institution so long ago as 1878, the “pos. not yet been obtained, the principle is besibility of hearing a shadow fall upon a yond dispute that sound and light can act piece of selenium.” Within the last few upon one another in the manner described. months, he has succeeded in putting this Articulate speech has been transmitted into practical execution.

by means of the telephone to a distance In the articulating photophone, a beam of some two hundred and thirty yards, of light, derived either from an artificial the voice being heard sometimes almost source or from the sun, is thrown by a as loudly as in talking through an ordimirror on to the transmitter, which is a nary telephone, though the sound varies small disc of silvered glass, with a tube in intensity in an unaccountable manand mouthpiece attached. The beam of ner. light reflected from the transmitter is Professor Bell has arrived at many infocussed as nearly as possible upon the teresting results while experimenting upon distant receiver. When, therefore, words this instrument. He has found that curiare spoken into the mouthpiece, the discous molecular changes take place not only becomes agitated, alters slightly in shape, in selenium, but also in thin surfaces of and, therefore, in its focal length, and almost any substance; so that they rethus affects the receiving station, by spond, by audible vibrations, to the action throwing upon it a greater or less amount of an intermittent beam of light. There of light, according as the beam is in or is a great difference, however, in the out of focus. If absolutely accurate ad sensitiveness of the different substances; justment were possible, and all disturbing | vulcanite is one of the best, carbon is


very good, but water is absolutely irre

From The Spectator, sponsive, and glass, unsilvered, is also

SIR ALEXANDER COCKBURN. bad. Upon this discovery, Professor Bell has constructed a simple form of photo- In Sir Alexander Cockburn, we lose phone for transmitting musical tones. one who, after all due abatement has been

A beam of light is thrown upon a mir- made from the rather indiscriminate euloror, and focussed by a lens as before; gies of the past week, must be acknowlat the focus is a disc, perforated round edged to have been a great, and in many its circumference with numerous holes. respects a typical, Englishman. He From this disc, which can be rotated so came of a Scoich house, and had French that the beam passes through a varying blood in his veins; but his nature, both in number of holes, according to the speed its strength and in its weaknesses, was of rotation, the light passes on to a re- thoroughly English. But he was an En. ceiving disc of ebonite, from whence the glishman of a particular epoch, who had sounds are conveyed by a tube to the survived all or almost all, his contemporalistener. That these musical sounds — ries, and lived on into a generation with which are much louder than the spoken whose ideas and aims he was not altowords are really due to the action of gether at home. His vitality was so light or radiant energy of some form, persistent, his powers so elastic, his may be easily proved, for when the beam resources so varied, that he often seemed is interrupted by means of a disc of some as though he were one of ourselves, and opaque body, though the perforated disc we were tempted to forget that he beis still rotating, nothing is heard at the longed, in spirit as well as in time, to the receiver. No wires are needed as con- Palmerstonian era. It was not a mere ductors between the transmitter and the coincidence that the occasion which inreceiver; the beam of light forms the spired his first great effort as a political only necessary connection, and this beam speaker, and which revealed to the House of light, with the simple apparatus de- of Commons his extraordinary faculty for scribed, has been the means of conveying argumentative rhetoric, was the Don distinct musical sounds to a distance of Pacifico Debate. Don Pacifico was more than a mile. Not that even this poor creature; his claims were of the distance is a necessary limit, for there is inost questionable kind; Lord Palmerno reason why the sound should not be ston's interference had been even excepcarried as far as the light can be thrown. tionally blustering; and Mr. Gladstone's We have here, in fact, a musical helio condemnation of the whole business, to stat.

which Cockburn's speech was a reply, The real cause of the molecular changes correctly anticipated the verdict of history. accompanying this action of an intermit. Yet the debate was one long triumph fór tent beani of light upon different sub- Lord Palmerston, and Cockburn's sucstances is not yet certain. It appears cess was as sudden and striking as any in probable, however, that the varying elec- Parliamentary annals. The explanation tric resistances of selenium are directly is that both men were, as they always due to liglit; whilst, as with the radiome- remained, in hearty sympathy with the ter, radiant heat is probably the real ideas which at that time formed the main source of those molecular changes which part of the average Englishman's politiproduce the audible vibrations of vulcan-cal gospel, and which were eloquently ite and other bodies. Whether, however, summed up in the famous Civis Roma. it be heat or light which is the original nus sum peroration with which Lord Palsource of these vibrations, the wonder is merston ended his speech. To the end equally great; for, if it be heat, the mole- of his life, Sir Alexander Cockburn was cules composing the substance must be constantly showing that his mind was cooled and heated with sufficient rapidity under the dominion of the same class of to respond to vibrations, of which there ideas. A man of the widest culture and may be many hundreds in a second. Sci- of excellent literary taste, he had the most ence is every day showing us that we sincere reverence for, and was always are only beginning to discern the subtler ready to give sonorous expression to, the potencies of matter and energy, and we commonplaces of the English Constitufind that the goal of to-day becomes the tion. The “ majesty of the law,” the starting-point of to-morrow, and that a "liberty of the subject,” the inviolability barrier is no sooner reached, than it be of constitutional rights and legal modes of comes a gateway to new and wider views procedure, were themes which excited in of truth.

him genuine enthusiasm. The “

[ocr errors]

common coin


[ocr errors]

form” of the bench had, in his eyes, real persistent and powerful antagonist of meaning and solemnity. To irreverent legal reform. The fusion of law and and sceptical bystanders of a later gener-equity, the unification of the courts, and ation, it was sometimes a matter of amuse- the assimilation of procedure, ment to watch him clothing with his changes which he strenuously opposed, splendid rhetoric one or another of these and to which, even after their adoption, well-worn platitudes. But this temper of he never disguised his hostility. It may mind was one which the chief justice be admitted that many of his criticisms shared with some of his most eminent were justified, and that the new system predecessors, and has proved very ser- has not as yet realized all that was exviceable in liberalizing the interpretation pected of it. But that it has effected and controlling the technicalities of the some considerable improvements, few law. His memorable charge to the grand candid. observers will deny. The lord jury in the case of Nelson and Brand, was chief justice of England, however, could only a conspicuous illustration of the never bring himself to relish the legislaspirit of watchful and well-founded jeal- tion which had transformed his ancient ousy with which be regarded all encroach- and illustrious office into that of president ments upon legal freedom. In the less of the Queen's Bench Division. known case of Dawkins v. Lord Paulet, The question whether he was or was where the majority of the court decided, not a great judge will be answered differin accordance with previous authorities, ently, according to the view taken of the that not even the presence of malice and requirements of his post. That he was a the absence of reasonable cause can make great lawyer, in the technical sense in injurious statements in the report of a which Lord Wensleydale was and Lord superior military officer actionable at the Blackburn is so reputed, no one would suit of his inferior, the chief justice dis- think of asserting. It is probable, indeed, sented from his colleagues. "I cannot that few of his predecessors were as debring myself to think," he said, in the ficient in what may be called “blackcourse of a judgment of which the matter letter” knowledge as he was, when he and the style are equally characteristic, first mounted the bench. It may be " that it is essential to the well-being of doubted, however, whether, in his posiour military or naval force that where tion, this was a serious disadvantage ; and authority is intentionally abused, for the it is certain that with him, as with Lord purpose of injustice or oppression; where Denman, against whom the same comcharges are preferred which, to the knowl- plaint used to be made, it was more than edge of the party preferring them, are counterbalanced by the possession of intentionally unjust; where representa- resources in which he had no rival among tions are made which the party making his colleagues. His voice and manner them knows to be slanderous and false, were as near perfection as such things

- the party injured, whose professional well can be. His dignity was so impresprospects may have been ruined, and sive and his courtesy so winning, that the whose professional reputation may have late Dr. Kenealy was probably almost the been blasted, is to be told that the only man who ever ventured to be imperqueen's courts, in a country whose boast tinent to himn. His intellectual gifts were it is that there is no wrong without equally remarkable. We doubt whether redress, are shut to his just complaint.” he has ever been surpassed in that highIn this passage, the attitude in which Sir est department of the art of advocacy, A. Cockburn approached the decisions of which consists in the telling of a compliinferior tribunals, which were constantly cated story with perfect lucidity, and being brought before him for review, without suppression, addition, or comes out with unmistakable clearness. ment, and yet in such a way as to lead the That in this land of law and liberty there mind of the hearer irresistibly, and as it is no wrong without a remedy, and that were spontaneously, to the desired condo remedies, except or beyond those pre-clusion. Sir A. Cockburn's summings. scribed by law, are either necessary or up were, for the most part, efforts of this allowable, was with him an article of faith. kind. He held, and we think rightly, that Such a belief, while it quickens the zeal it is the duty of the judge in charging the for justice which is the best quality of a jury to do something more than chop up judge, tends to blind the eyes to the im- the evidence into small pieces, and cram it perfections and abuses which arouse the raw down their throats. It was, as a rule, energy of the reformer. In Sir A. Cock- not difficult to gather from his summingburn's case it did more, for it made him al up which way he thought the verdict

ought to go. Accordingly, he was not being said just now in Germany, is not, unfrequently accused by stupid people of we think, very hard to understand. The partiality, when he had in reality only Jewish, like every other tolerably pure done what every judge who is determined race, bas its own distinctive quality, and to prevent the defeat of justice is from that quality, which is substantially quicktime to time bound to do. There is no ness of insight, or, to use a simpler phrase, doubt that he was seen at his best when intelligent keenness, happens, under the presiding over a criminal court or sitting conditions of modern society, to be ex. at nisi prius. That he had a weakness ceedingly valuable.

There are many for sensational cases must be acknowl-i other qualities which the race has never edged; but may not the same thing be displayed, and which are also very imporsaid of the great Lord Mansfield, and of tant. They have never founded a State Lord Campbell, and, indeed, of almost of any magnitude, though they have every judge whose position has allowed always been more numerous than the him to gratify his tastes ? In Banc he Romans who conquered the world, and had the good or the bad fortune to sit for now exceed in numbers any of the minor years side by side with the greatest living peoples of Europe. They have never master of the common law. Of the judg- made even an effort to become a nation, ments which are recorded in the reports which, in recent times, at all events, would of the Queen's Bench during the last have been easy for them, on better soils twenty years, is no disparagement to than Palestine. With a momentary exhis memory to say that those of the chief ception in Moorish Spain, they have justice will not be the most frequently never dominated any people, or concilicited. The elaborate learning with which ated any people, even in the East, where his prepared decisions abound, has some they have had fair chances; or founded times rather the air of having been got up any great city, or done anything, except for the occasion. But they display an in theology, of which history hitherto intellectual grasp, a felicity of expression, has found itself compelled to take great a familiarity with other systems of law, notice. It may hereafter be compelled to and an insight into the principles of gen- describe Lassalle and Marx, but the hour eral jurisprudence, which are not too of triumph for their ideas, if it is ever to common in the English courts, and which arrive, has not come yet. They have will cause them to be remembered and never since the Maccabees produced a admired by posterity.

great soldier, for Masséna was only secThe best iribute to the memory of the ond-rate, the Jewish chief of the staff on late chief justice is the feeling, which is, the Austrian side did not succeed at we believe, universal, both in the legal Sadowa, and we cannot yet credit them profession and in the country, that his with a statesman of the first class. Lord loss bas left a blank which cannot be Beaconsfield is hardly more than a great supplied. His many-sided talents, his party leader in politics, though he has a exuberant energy, and his brilliant career, certain genius for apprehending the passprolonged with unabated vigor and suc- ing waves of emotion in the British peocess through the lifetime of two genera- ple; Herr Lasker has never overthrown a tions, made him a unique figure among government, M. Crémieux proved a failour public men. His name was asso- ure at Bordeaux, M. Fould was only a ciated in the popular mind with a very clear-headed banker, Sir H. Drummond definite and very interesting personality: Wolff has scarcely made a mark, and if The people knew him, understood him, M. Gambetta is, as the Jewish papers and were proud of him; and though a fit say, Hebrew by descent, he is at once the successor to his vacant office may not be strongest representative of the race and difficult to find, it will be long before the the one whose blood is least pure. The void which his death has caused will Jews have never produced a very great cease to be felt. He was a great judge, engineer, and, curiously enough, have not and an even greater power.

risen to the front rank among the captains of industry. We can recall no man of the race, who, as inventor, is on a level with Arkwright; or, as manufacturer,

with Titus Salt; or, as contractor, with From The Spectator. Mr. Brassey; for Herr Strousberg, who JEWISH SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

in the range of his ideas was decidedly The success of the Jews in western greater than any of the three, failed, being and central Europe, of which so much is | beaten, we have always thought, by quali

« VorigeDoorgaan »