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not unfit for its purpose—which does not kill many of those it ought to cure. Surgical fever, or Pyæmia, is the bane of general hospitals ; puerperal fever, of obstetric institutions. Small are the chances, more especially at certain seasons of the year, of the man whose leg has been smashed by a railway accident or similar casualty, and who undergoes amputation in an old-fashioned hospital. Far better would it be for him to be treated in a hovel on a bleak hillside, or under a tent. In like manner, the poor women who in their hour of sorrow have to depend on public charity, have far better chances if attended in their own comfortless homes, than in many a luxuriously furnished maternity hospital of the old construction. The conviction of these truths has recently led to the proposal to abolish hospitals altogether, and to substitute for them clusters of cottages which shall accommodate one, or at most two, patients in each room. Happily we need not make a change so sweeping and likely to be attended with so many inconveniences.
Hospitals built on the pavilion system, carried out in its integrity, may have as pure an atmosphere as a detached cottage, and the medical officers of the older hospitals, who do not with all possible urgency strive to impress upon those in authority the duty of rebuilding their hospitals on the improved plan, will assuredly incur a grave responsibility. The example has been set in the Herbert Hospital, in the new St. Thomas's, and in the new infirmaries at Leeds, and some other places, and it is to be hoped that it will be universally followed.
amongsters of thethe rulers, id in the earithout
VII. FARADAY. On the 25th day of August, 1867, a spirit passed away from amongst us, leaving a gap amidst the noble few, who have, by the powers of their intellectual industries, placed themselves in the position of being the rulers,—the instructors --- of mankind. All that remained of Faraday was laid in the earth at Highgate, on the 30th of the same month, without display, without parade, and the busy world, involved in the circles of its joys and cares, appeared to be little conscious of the extinction of a light, by the aid of which it had been advanced into some of the recesses of Nature, and gleaned a few of those truths which alone are capable of giving man power over matter.
With a strange inconsistency the world applauds with enthusiasm the doings of the warrior, the influences of whose labours are often the chaining of truth, the reinvigoration of vice, and the perpetuation of ignorance amongst men. The appreciation of his greatness is shown by recording in enduring bronze, above his ashes, the deeds by which he has been distinguished, the triumphs which he has won. Whereas the man who has devoted all the powers of his mind with unwearying industry to seeking out “the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things, and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire;"* the man who really advances the human race by dispelling ignorance, by dethroning superstition, by throwing light into dark places, and by training all in the right use of that intellect with which they have been gifted, and by the strength of which alone they can fulfil the first command of the Creator and subdue the earth—he passes away in silence, and is consigned to “the lap of earth,” with the mournful tribute of the tears of a few; but with slight indications of sorrow from the many. “The storied urn or animated bust,” however, which rises in honour of him who has trodden “the paths of glory” are but short lived in comparison with the monument which is reared for him who has linked his name with the discovery of some Eternal Truth. .
Mr. Davies Gilbert, to whom we are indebted for the discovery of the Carver's Son, at Penzance, who “was said to be fond of making chemical experiments," who raised himself to the temporal rank of Sir Humphry Davy, Bart., and to the intellectual position of the leader of Science, once said, paraphrasing a remark made respecting Bergman and Scheele, “The greatest discovery Davy ever made was the discovery of Faraday.” This, be it remembered, was not spoken by Davies Gilbert in depreciation of the master, but it was a forcible way of putting his high appreciation of the merits of the man.
In recording our sense of the loss which the world has sustained, we have no intention of writing a memoir of Michael Faraday, even in brief: That he was born on the 20th September in 1791, the son of a blacksmith at Newington, in Surrey, and that he died, having achieved for himself a world-wide reputation,-in the Royal Palace of Hampton Court in 1867, at the age of seventy-six, is the sum of our notice of the ordinary life of Faraday. But we have something more to say respecting the higher life, the intellectual labours of this great man. Faraday's childhood was one of promise, and all the learning which a common day-school could give him was turned to early account. At thirteen he became the apprentice of a bookbinder, and the books of Science which he bound, he so far made his own as to be enabled by their guidanca to construct electrical machines and to try chemical experiments. In 1812, through the attention of Mr. Dance, Michael Faraday was taken to hear some of Davy's lectures in the Royal Institution. “I took," Faraday writes to Dr. Paris, “notes, and afterwards wrote them out more fairly in a quarto volume. My desire to escape from trade, which I thought vicious and selfish, and to enter into the service of
* Bacon: New Atlantis.'
Science, which I imagined made its pursuers amiable and liberal, induced me at last to take the bold and simple step of writing to Sir H. Davy, expressing my wishes, and a hope that, if an opportunity came in his way, he would favour my views; at the same time I sent the notes I had taken at his lectures.” Davy was kind and generous, he saw Faraday and procured for him the situation of assistant in the Laboratory of the Royal Institution, then just vacant; but, writes Faraday, “he smiled at my notion of the superior moral feelings of philosophic men, and said he would leave me to the experience of a few years to set me right on that matter.”
It has been most unjustly stated that Davy soon grew jealous of his assistant, and that during a visit to Paris, in October, 1813– Faraday having been appointed assistant only in March of the same year-he was annoyed at the attention which the French chemists paid to the young man; and that in 1824 Davy showed much unwillingness to Faraday's being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. The first statement is so absurd that it carries its own refutation; of the second, it can only be said that Davy never exhibited any unwillingness to the election of Faraday to the honours belonging to F.R.S.; but we have reason to know that
Davy was slightly annoyed that the certificate proposing Faraday ' for election should have originated with Richard Phillips, and that he should not have been consulted before that gentleman was allowed to take the matter in hand.
It is not possible to trace out here the progress of Faraday as an experimentalist, or as a discoverer. His early devotion to Chemical Science was richly rewarded. Passing over several smaller matters, we may mention the discovery of Benzole in 1825, to which "we virtually owe our supply of aniline with all its magnificent progeny of colours.” Such is the judgment of Hofmann, who demands, “Who, then, discovered benzole ?—England may well be proud of the answer, Michael Faraday.” He was ever a searcher after Truth, regardless of any money value belonging to a discovery; but he, doubtless, felt “that the search after the True for its own sake leads on to the discovery of its natural corollaries, the Useful and the Beautiful. For these, indeed, lie folded up in Truth, to be in due time evolved therefrom; even as the great tree unfolds itself from the little seed."'*
Other fine chemical investigations were carried out, and other discoveries made, by Faraday about the same time. In 1821 was published his paper on the condensation of the gases, in which he proclaimed them to be simply the vapours of volatile liquids.
The important position assumed by the Science of Electricity, at this period, naturally won the attention of Faraday. In the same year, the 'Quarterly Journal of Science' contains a paper
“On some new Electro-Magnetical Motions, and on the Theory of Magnetism," in which was announced the brilliant discovery of the rotation of a wire under electrical excitation round a magnetic pole. This paper is in every way remarkable; but it is especially so in being the precursor of a series of Memoirs which certainly stand as the finest exemplification of the value of inductive science which the world has received since it had birth from the mind of Bacon.
It is impossible to give even a sketch of the remarkable series of experiments which stand recorded in the “Experimental Researches in Electricity," or to record the chain of discoveries which, link being added to link, led us from the most simple phenomena of electricity up to the very threshold of what we may, without presumption, believe man is permitted to know of its connection with animal life.
Without these “ Experimental Researches,” we should not now be employing Electro-Metallurgy as a practical art. The ElectricLight, -especially as evolved from magnetic arrangements,—would never have been brought to that degree of certainty and steadiness, as well as brilliancy, which has recommended its adoption in the light-house economy of England and of France; and, beyond all, the electric current, with even the extraordinary mechanical powers of Wheatstone to promote its application to the purposes of telegraphy, would never have been brought under control; and neither the wires which now girdle the world, nor the cables which, lying hidden in the ocean, bind Europe and America together, would have had existence.
But none of these applications were made by the discoverer of most of the truths upon which they depend. The mind of Faraday was of that order which could not bend itself to the labour of making science a stepping-stone to commercial enterprise. The feelings shadowed out in his letter to Davy, which has been quoted, followed him to the end. If ever any man pursued Truth for its own exceeding great reward, with an entire abandonment of all selfish feeling, that man was Faraday. Not that he disregarded the value of science in its practical applications—he rejoiced to see those discoveries which appeared abstract brought to the test of usefulness- but he worked earnestly in the elucidation of the great mysteries of Nature, feeling certain that no truth could be born into the world which would not sooner or later become of value to mankind as an ameliorating or a refining agency.
Faraday was an Inductive Philosopher—nothing can be more beautifully precise than the method of his Experimental Researches. Step by step he advanced, making sure of each fact by testing it under all conditions, before he allowed it to support him in his attempt to reach another. Nothing can show this more satisfactorily than his paper on “Definite Electro-chemical Action," in which he arrives at his remarkable conclusions “On the absolute quantity of Electricity associated with the particles or atoms of Matter.” To this series of his Researches we are indebted for the enunciation of the startling truth that “ The Chemical Action of a grain of water upon four grains of Zinc can evolve Electricity equal in quantity to that of a powerful thunderstorm," and that this enormous quantity of the Electrical Element is exactly that which is required to maintain the atoms of Oxygen and Hydrogen in the condition of a grain of water.
Faraday was not a Deductive Philosopher. As long as he solicited nature with his wands,—his experimental and ever beautifully contrived apparatus,-he was the Arch-evocator who proudly compelled an answer to his evocations, but, when he laid aside his wands and endeavoured to think out truths, he was still as noble as Prospero, but as powerless as the Duke of Milan, when he “his magic did abjure,” breaking his staff to “ bury it certain fathoms in the earth.”
No other evidence of this is required than Faraday's “Speculations touching Electrical Conduction and the Nature of Matter,"* and his clever papers “On Magnetic Hypothesis,”ť and “On some points of Magnetic Philosophy.”ť In these, and in other essays which might be named, Faraday displays his remarkable genius, in picking up the threads of an argument and weaving them together into a symmetrical cord, but when he casts that from his hand as a lasso to entangle a distant and flying truth, he shows that he is not practised in the art. His early education (and “the child is ever father of the man”) unfitted him for large generalization. In this he stood on a lower pedestal than Davy, and why? The circumstances of the place of birth had much to do with this. Faraday was born and educated at Newington, and apprenticed in Soho. Davy was born on the beautiful heights of Ludgvan, looking down upon a bay, unrivalled in the world ; and he was educated at Penzance, where nature has been lavish of her charms. Faraday learnt to love nature in the mechanical aspects which she assumes in the fuliginous metropolis,
“But ’midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men,” Davy's boyish delight was
“ To sit on rocks, to muse o'er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest's shady scene;" and thus, in the day-spring of life,
“ to hold
* Philosophical Magazine.' 1844, vol. xxiv.
• Philosophical Magazine,' Feb., 1855.