Page images

its property was sold, its weekly organ died, and occupy a place in the newspapers. To a thonghtful shortly after the society itself shared the same fate. mind, the recurrence of the Utopian idea offers food Thus the bubble burst.

for profitable meditation. It seems to point to the The halls of science established in many large truth, that man is destined for a brighter and haptowns are said to have cost the socialists upwards pier world than that which he at present occupies. of 20,0001., and to have numbered 30,000 attend. That men should have been so deluded as to pursue ants at one time.

the phantom of that happiness whose substance But it must not be supposed that socialism is Christianity freely offers to the famishing soul, extinct because the society which advocated its is a melancholy subject of consideration. To principles is dissolved. Some of the socialists warn others against this profitless chase is one emigrated in 1843 to the state of Wisconsin, in great object of this paper ; to point out the true North America, and in 1845 a body of them went way to a bliss superior beyond conception to the to Venezuela. Many also joined co-operative so brightest anticipations of communist writers, is cieties in this country. In 1842, a metaphysical another. The true abodes of happiness are those mystic, named Greaves, died, leaving behind him a alluded to in the words, “In my Father's house number of disciples, who started a communist are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have society, called the “ Concordium,” at Ham, in told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And Surrey, which became extinct in two or three if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come years. These regenerators of society set about again, and receive you unto myself; that where I their exalted labours in a different manner from the am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye socialists. Marriage was to be put under peculiar know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto restrictions. Long beards, long hair, and choco: him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and late-coloured tunics, seem also to have formed how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto items in this valuable system. Hard mattresses, him, I am the way, the truth, and the life : no and cold baths too, were approved of, and in this man cometh unto the Father, but by me." respect at least they seem to have acted sensibly. They were all vegetarians. Raw vegetables were preferred by many of them, who believed that cooking would rob their food of its spiritualizing

HOW SOMETHING WAS DISCOVERED. powers. Conceive to yourself, reader, a long- MORE than half a century ago, a mysterious tube bearded, long-haired, and chocolate-tunicked dis- was directed towards the starry sky. The fashionciple munching a raw cabbage, and refrain from able town of Bath was the spot from whence that laughter if you can!

tube arose, and to many regions of the manyThe White Friends, who occupied a large house spangled heavens did it point. A curious eye at Usher's-quay, Dublin, and a fine mansion about gazed along that tube the feeler, as it were, of a five miles from London, advocated also the com still more curious mind. In ignorance, dark ig. munity of goods. They were originally seceders norance, had that mind, been while young; but from the Society of Friends, and wore long beards, years had passed on and brought important white undyed clothes, and went bareheaded, and changes. That mind was no longer uncultimany of them barefooted likewise. They also vated at the period when its eye gazed down adopted a vegetable diet, and did not employ sur; that tube. Rapidly were its powers developing; names. Their religious opinions, however, are said and with truth it may be said, that few higher into differ but little from those of the body from tellects have ever been delighted with the wonders which they originally separated.

of telescopic revelations than the mind of that In 1843, a young man founded a communist poor organist of Bath. For even thus was it that church. This was a pantheistic society, and its Sir William Herschel, in the year 1781, while doctrines were announced as the continuation of organist of the Octagon Chapel at Bath, discovered Christianity. The style used by the founder was a new planet. as peculiar as his creed. He appeared to consider This planet, like all other planets, and like every himself as the Messiah of a new dispensation, and little child, must of course be named, for the purdescanted upon beautiful communist mansions, pose of recognition when alluded to; so, after a in which the inmates would, in progress of time, good deal of discussion, and being called by some dine off gold and silver plate in magnificent halls. Georgium Sidus and by others Herschel, Úranus Splendid pictures and strains of music were to add was finally agreed to, as being a suitable, conveto the charms of the banquet. The happy com- nient, and intelligible name. All this time, howmunists were to be conveyed by steam from one ever, whether as Georgium Sidus, Herschel, or mansion to another, or balloons and aërial ships Uranus, a pair of sharp eyes on the other side of were to be at their service if they preferred ethereal the channel were watching him, and for a long, travelling. To this nonsense we only reply, that long time afterwards did they continue to watch when these vagaries of a diseased and heated imag- him. But this process of close observation ination are realized, sober-minded people may listen was no very easy matter. The distance of the to the ravings of such a day-dreamer ; but not planet is such that, although its diameter is more before then. Of the recent history of this body we than five times that of the earth, it is invisible to know no particulars.

the unassisted eye, and in order to make it appear The fantastic doings of a set of enthusiasts who as a bright speck of appreciable size, it must be dwelt in an abode which they styled “The Abode magnified two hundred times. Then, too, the of Love,” surprised the readers of the public prints weather will have its own way, in spite of astronoa year or two ago, but their history appears to be mers. So, what with rainy weather, and cloudy too recent for a lengthened notice. They still weather, and bright moonlight nights, which are as fatal for astronomical purposes as cloudy ones, and accordingly both, unknown to each other, set it required much patience to make many observa- about the computation. The amount of labour intions on this little speck in the heavens. But volved in working out such a problem is overMonsieur Bouvard had patience-sufficient pa- whelming. This will be readily admitted when we tience, too, to obtain many particulars of the hea- state that Mr. Adams has since published his calvenly stranger in due time.

culations, which occupy 940 printed pages. HowAstronomers are a curious set of fellows, never ever, as the " longest day will pass away," so did this satisfied, always restless, always aiming after some operation come to an end; and in the month of thing that appears perfectly hopeless to persons of September, 1846, Mr. Adams made known to Proordinary ways of thinking. As an illustration of fessor Challis, of the Cambridge Observatory, the this remark, take the case of Uranus. No sooner result of his labours, and intimated to him that if was it discovered, than they immediately began to he looked in a certain place in the heavens, he pry into the mysteries of the relation it bears to would discover a new. planet. Professor Challis our earth, or the sun, or the moon. It was not not long afterwards exannined with a telescope the enough to be able to tell how many unimaginable locality specified, and out of 300 stars observed, millions of miles it is distant, or how many thou- against one made the note, “ This seems to have a sands of miles it is in diameter, but they must needs disc." Not having a chart of the stars of that find out how long it will be before it has performed portion of the heavens with him, he was unable to its voyage round the sun; how many times it is determine at the time whether it was other than a pleased to turn on its own centre in the course of fixed star. A short time elapsed, and M. Verrier a year; or how much a pound of iron or a hippo. also communicated to Dr. Gelle, of the Berlin Obpotamus would weigh if transferred to its surface. servatory, the result of his investigations, naming Now one of this prying set was M. Bouvard. The the position in which the planet ought to be found. observations he made, and all his calculations, were The same evening, in comparing the stars in that for the purpose of ascertaining its periodic time locality with a chart of the heavens prepared by of revolution-an inquiry preparatory to many of Dr. Bremiker, Dr. Gelle perceived a star not laid a still more prying nature. Patiently performing down in that map, which proved to be the planet. all the operations of adding, dividing, subtracting, Dr. Gelle was therefore the first to make the disand multiplying, M. Bouvard expected the result covery known to the world. The honour of actual would give him the place in the heavens in which discovery, however, has since been given to Mr. the planet should be found at a certain time. Adams, because the star noticed by Professor

But, most unaccountably, Uranus seemed to Challis was found to be the planet. have a will of its own. Spite of all M. B.'s en- We have in this instance unquestionably a most deavours, and spite of all his re-observations and extraordinary triumph of science. What would re-calculations, Uranus never was to be found in its Galileo have thought, if any one bad stated to him right place ; at least not in the place M. B. assigned his belief, that at some future day, from merely obto it." Sorely, perplexed and unhappy was he serving the irregularities of a planet-itself invisby reason of the irregularities exhibited in the un- ible to the naked eye--the exact position of another, accountable movements of this planet. In vain an unknown planet, should be foretold? What were the processes of division, addition, multipli- would his holiness the pope have said ? What cation, and subtraction, gone over again, again, and wonld the very reverend vicars-apostolic and inonce again. It appeared as if he had been a little quisitor-general have done? Probably such a too strict in marking out the line Uranus was to prophet would have been treated as an impostor travel. It is true, these aberrations were but com- or a madman, and most certainly as a heretic. paratively trifling; nevertheless, the planet did But there is Neptune, as the new planet thus not move with the straightforwardness and regn- discovered was named, still rolling in silent malarity to be expected from so highly respectable an jesty along its distant orbit; far beyond the range individual.

of vision--far also beyond the orbit of distant The result of all this observation, calculation, Uranus—so far away indeed in the depths of space, perplexity, and disappointment, was that Monsieur that light darting along 192,000 miles in a second Verrier, a French astronomer, received all the would be nearly five hours traversing the enormous data obtained by M. B., to try if he could ascertain distance between our sun and that planet! Yet the cause of this vagrancy. This gentleman cogi- man, by his mental powers, succeeded in discovertated deeply over the matter, examined the figures ing its true place, though so immensely distantand calculations, and finally concluded that this man, a tiny speck on a globe so small, that were irregularity could not be caused by the attraction one of our astronomers, with his best telescope, of Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, or the Earth, or any transferred to Neptune, or even to Uranus, it would other body within the orbit of Uranus. He con- baffle his most careful scrutiny to discern the cluded, therefore, that such disturbance was caused smallest speck in the pathway along which our by an unknown planet, revolving outside the orbit earth rushes ; still, though so insignificant, aided of Uranus. The observed irregularity corresponded, by his fine instruments, his delicate eye, and his in fact, with that which would be produced by the subtle mind, he pries into all the sublime secrets attractive power of a body beyond it.

of nature about him, discovering and revealing Next arose the question-supposing this hypo- wonders without end. thesis to be true, was it possible to find the position of the unknown body by calculation, taking the amount of its disturbing influence as the data.

LONDON FIFTY YEARS AGO. M. Verrier, the Frenchman, and Mr.Adams, of Cam- WE happen to have before us at this time a bridge, both thought it quite a feasible proposition, “ Picture of Modern London," published exactly half a century ago, the examination of which only a 24-inch cylinder, and does not make more suggests some remarks that may interest our noise than a spinning.wheel.” About the security readers. We do not dwell on subjects of mere sta- of the railroad-travelling by steam now-a-days we tistical detail, such as the increase of buildings, can scarcely dare to say much, but the perils are population, and wealth, and other things which different from those to which our author in 1803 can be measured and numbered, as these are fami- referred, when he describes “an armed guard traliarly known, and often referred to. Suffice it to velling always with the mail coach, the rapidity of say, that the popnlation, which was then under a which is unequalled in any country, and the present million, inclading strangers, now amounts, in the rate sixpence per mile.” The inland post office is same area, to two millions three hundred and fifty another field on which we are now enjoying the thousand. The consumption of wheat, which was benefit of vast improvement. Great, too, are the then 700,000 quarters annually, is now nearly improvements in lighting, paving, water-supply, 1,600,000. In almost every article of provisions the and, in spite of our sewerage defects, in draining supply is far more than doubled, and in many But most striking of all is the change in that respects the change in the markets indicates the instrument of public opinion by which all other general increase of the wealth and of the comforts of improvements are mainly to be sought. After the people. We are told, for instance, that in those enumerating the journals of that day, the writer days " poultry was seldom seen at the tables of any says, “ It is to be regretted that the assistance and but the wealthy and luxurious, and the prices were the talents employed upon these supposed repreexorbitant." There are now sold at Leadenhall sentatives of the public mind are not more equal Market alone 1,270,000 fowls annually, and of to the difficulty and importance of the undertaking." geese, ducks, partridges, and grouse, nearly the If we were asked to give any single index of the same number. o of bullocks, the annual consump- changes of the past half century, a copy of the tion in 1802 was 110,000, and of sheep and lambs "Times” newspaper of 1803 and 1853, would, in the 776,000. The Smithfield sales alone are now about appearance, contents, and inflaence of the two 225,000 cattle, and 1,820,000 sheep. The author papers, afford the most striking illustration of the of the " Picture of Modern London" pauses in his two epochs. In the comparisons which the volume details to denounce what he calls “the detestable before us suggests, it is chiefly in the general pronuisance of Smithfield, a disgrace to the police and gress of the people that satisfactory results are to the corporation of London.” After the lapse of perceived. A separate chapter of the “ Picture of fifty years this nuisance has received its death. Modern London" is devoted to a sketch of “ society blow, but not till it had long stood as a striking and manners," the improvements in which are instance of the tenacions vitality of public abuses. even more marked than those of an external and Our guide-book warns strangers not to linger in physical kind. We have much to mend yet in Hyde Park or other open places after dark," as it social life, apart from the private evils with which is impossible to shut out robbers and other evil- neither legislation nor police can interfere ; but the disposed persons.” Directions are also given to gibbet is not now seen on the public roads, nor are persons who may be attacked in the streets by eight or ten criminals frequently executed in the night, when a "cry of' watch,' three or four times public street, in the centre of the metropolis, in the repeated, will bring up the assistance of several broad light of day, the populace looking on as at a watchmen." Travellers are recommended to use raree-show, and the scene, become familiar by every effort to enter London by daylight, “ as they repetition, scarcely exciting emotion.” In those are subject to two evils during the last stage that days the difficulties of the young females who are of being robbed by highwaymen or footpads, or of now known as “ distressed needlewomen” were having their laggage cut from behind their care attracting much attention, and a chief cause was riage. What an altered state of things is repre- assigned, which is worthy of serious notice. Until sented by merely naming the new London police the beginning of this century it was as rare to find force and the metropolitan railway stations. We young men employed behind the counter as it is have not yet much to boast of in the improvement now common in certain departments of business. of street carriages. In number they are vastly in- “It is no ancommon thing,” says our chronicler, creased, and omnibuses and cabs have displaced " to see men employed in the most effeminate the old stages and hackney coaches of the begin. branches of art and commerce ;" and after describning of the century. But as to the comfort of the ing “the man-milliner as the most conspicuous vehicles, and civility or honesty of the drivers, we in this class of innovators," he speaks with indig. are much in the same state that our fathers were. nant contempt of “perfumed coxcombs measuring

The number of hackney coaches in 1802 was the riband or folding the gauze," while young only 1000, and there were still 400 sedan chairs women are thrust out of occupations suitable to in regular use for hire. On the river 3000 wher- their sex, and the few employments left to female ries plied, instead of the steamers which have now industry are overstocked. almost supplanted them in the water between Lon- Many interesting literary and historical recol. don and Westminster bridges. Some curious notices lections are also suggested by a perusal of this book of steam power, then beginning to come into use, of “ London Fifty Years Ago," when Pitt and Fox occur in this book. In the description of Mr. were leaders in the House of Commons, when Eldon Whitbread's brewery, we read that “one of Watts' was Chancellor, and Ellenborough Lord Chief Jus. fire-engines works the machinery. It pumps the tice, and when Mr. Davy lectured at the Royal water, wort, and beer, grinds the malt, stirs the Institution, Count Rumford presided over the "ex. mash-tubs constantly when wanted, and raises the perimental dinners," and the keepers of the British casks out of the cellars. It is able to do the work Museum slumbered in Old Montague House. of seventy horses, though it is of a small size, being Literary Gazette.


A CRYSTAL STRUCTURE FOR SHIP-BUILDING.-One HOLYROOD PALACE.—This interesting building is of the most recent applications of glass on a large scale, henceforth to be open to the public every Saturday, free of of which we have heard, is in the case of a shipbuilder's charge. Improvements are also to be made on the firm in Glasgow, who have contracted to have their build. grounds, so as to render it an attractive spot not only to ing - yard covered with that transparent material, and the inhabitants of Edinburgh, but also to strangers visiting lighted with gas. In this structure they will be able to the city. build several first-class ocean steam-ships at once, the men GIGANTIC CHIMNEY.-A monster chimney near Manworking full time comfortably in all sorts of weather, chester, commenced on the 7th of December, 1852, has

This is the first application of Sir. J. Paxton's beautiful lately been completed. Its dimensions have rarely been invention to such a purpose, but it will probably not be exceeded. Its height reaches 270 feet, the diameter of its the last. The cost of the erection will be about 12,0001., outward base is 26 feet, and the aperture for smoke 7 feet. and the New York, the new vessel for the Glasgow and The structure contains 507,000 bricks, and it serves for a New York Steamship Company, it is expected will be the number of furnaces, in which there is an aggregate weekly first vessel launched from uuder this crystal palace.

consumption of 190 tons of coals. SBED OP TIE TOBACCO PLANT.-A discovery which may prove of some commercial importance has been made in contemplation to fit out another Admiralty expedition

NEW EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE THE NIGER.-It is by a British resident in Russia, namely, that the seed of to explore the source of this river, with the view of prooil possessing peculiar drying properties, calculated to moting civilization in Africa, and opening up new channels render it a superior medium, especially for paints and for commerce. It is considered that the present is a fit

ting opportunity for prosecuting this great undertaking, varnishes.

inasmuch as the mortality on the coast of Africa has of Perry POSTAGE.—By a late proclamation, the penny late somewhat decreased. post system has been extended to the whole of the Danish monarchy, so that a penny stamp will now frank a let-dreary vacancy which has so long been observable in

THE PANOPTICON IN LEICESTER-SQUARE.-In the ter to either Schleswig or Holstein.

Leicester-square, London, there has suddenly sprung up a SINGULAR OCCURRENCE.—There will be twenty-seven substantial edifice, which is beginning to attract curiosity Saturdays in the half-year ending December 31, 1853. from its singular style of architecture. It is in imitation

EPFECT OF LEGISLATION ON Dogs.-We find from of a Saracenic structure of the 14th or 15th century, and several provincial papers that these animals are being has been erected by a company bearing the title of " The massacred in consequence of the alteration in the assessed Royal Panopticon of Science and Art.” The objects of the taxes, which now includes all the canine species in the institution are somewhat similar to those of "The Poly. impost, and presses more heavily than before upon those technic” in Regent-street, so well known and so highly who keep the ordinary kinds of dogs.

appreciated. The building, appears to the visitor, on THE NEW METROPOLITAN Gas COMPANY.The entering, to be a lofty, star-domed, galleried temple, sparkworks of the Great Central Gas Consumers Company, situ- ling with all the gold and colours of the Albambra, but

characterised by an admirable taste and uniformity of ated on Bow Common, which have lately been completed, style. It is lit from the top and from a few side windows. possess a power of production equal to eight hundred In order to darken the building

for exhibition purposes, an millions of cubic feet of gas per annum. Their cost was only 210,0001., one seventh of which sum was spent in apparatus bas been fitted to the windows, by which they

can all be closed simultaneously. For artificial light the law proceedings necessitated by the opposition of other companies. Works of such magnitude, with such power of lamps of Saracenic character, 200 to 300 in number, and

gas is to be used in chains of single suspended argand production, have never before, it is believed, been construct

an electric stream of light will expand its rays, if praced for less than three times the amount. Their street mains are nearly 70 miles in length. Their four gas- ticable, from the

dome. In the centre of the ground floor holders can store nearly two million feet of gas, produced streams of different-coloured waters at the will of the ex

is a fountain of very novel pattern, which will throw up by retorts placed in two rows of arches--the one over the hibitor. Around the fountain will be placed various pieces other-each upper arch containing six clay retorts, and the of machinery in motion, while the remainder of the groundunder arch seven of iron, and each retort producing on the floor will be occupied by casts of eminent works of British average 8000 cubic feet per day. The fires heating the

sculptors. retorts are but seven inches wide by twenty-eight inches long, which is only about one-fourth of the

size generally articles are to be exhibited or sold, unless they are mann

The galleries are to be let off for bazaar counters, but no in use. An ingenious expedient is also resorted to for getting rid of the offensive coal-tar-one of the

greatest factured publicly on the spot. The crafts will be of the abominations usually connected with gas-works. Instead

most miscellaneous description, in order to furnish variety of being permitted to accumulate and pollute the air, it of subjects. One counter, for example

, has been taken by is carefully stored in tanks, and introduced into the fire and a third by a'hatter. The principal

feature, in the way

an ivory-turner; another by an artificial flower-maker; as fuel to heat the retorts.

of pictorial illustration, will be an optical Diorama on a RABBITS IN PARIS.-A gentleman, relating the in- very large scale. Scenic representations are to be here cidents of his travels while in Paris, says :-"I entered a given, exceeding in dimensions anything of the kind yet restaurant on the other side of the Seine, and ordered a

exhibited. In the recess, behind the sliding field of the rabbit. I was green-verdant as the first cucumber, eren Diorama, an enormous organ is being erected, of the same as early peas-or I should not have done this. The calibre as the famous instrument in the Town-hall of Birrabbit came, and I offered the Moniteur to an old French- mingham. Indeed, it is said that it will not be inferior in man opposite, whose eyes were fixed upon my plate, but power to any organ in Europe. he bowed a negative. The bow puzzled me. It was too For popular experimental lectures, there are two spacions much. "Monsieur has not been long in Paris ? No, ! theatres and a laboratory. The steam-engine, the tele have just arrived.' 'Monsieur is going to eat that ?' graph, the lathe, and the loom, will be exhibited in all Yes; may I offer you a slice ?' 'Monsieur will allow me

their various modifications, and an electrical-machine is to make a small observation ?' inquired the Frenchman, being constructed of proportions far exceeding anything of with a frightful grimace. "Certainly,' I replied, becoming the kind ever known or contemplated before. I'he glass alarined. Monsieur, that rabbit once mewed,' he replied, plate, already in the building, is ten feet in diameter! The with the utmost gravity.”

machine will be worked by a steam-engine. The front New Moth.–At a recent meeting of the Entomolo attic of the Panopticon building is occupied by a beautilogical Society, Mr. Westwood exhibited the cocoon of a fully constructed suite of photographic-rooms, and classes new moth from tropical Africa, which he thought might are formed for instruction in the art. It is expected that be brought into use as a new material for textile fabrics. the institution will be opened towards the close of the year.

« PreviousContinue »