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derives the famous Drummond light for its work of mercy.
5. Light is no longer a mere colourless medium of sight. We
may evoke from it any colour we please, either for use or pleasure. We may also take its chemical rays from the rest, or its light rays, or its heat rays, and employ them separately or together; for we have found out where its strength lies in these particulars, so that at will, light may pass from our manipulations, shorn of its heating power, or of its power of promoting growth or chemical change. Yes, the subtile agent will now use its pencil in taking sketches from nature or portraits, if we desire it; and the work is well done.
6. The ancient wise men, discoursing on the power which holds matter together, sometimes attributed to the particles convenient hooks for clinging to one another. Little was it dreamed that the force of combination in matter-now called attraction—included the lightning among its effects, and would be made to run errands and do hard work for man. Electricity, galvanism, magnetism, are modern names for some of the different moods under which this agent appears and none of nature's powers now do better service.
7. It is kept in constant activity with messages over the continents, scaling mountains or traversing seas with equal facility. It does our gilding and silver-plating. Give it an engraved plate as a copy, and it will make a hundred such in a short time. If taken into employ, it will in case of fire set all the bells of a city ringing at once; or it will strike a common beat for all the clocks of a country; or be the astronomer's best and surest aid in observing phases in the heavens or measuring longitude on the earth. All this and more it accomplishes for us, or can if we wish, besides opening to our inquiring eyes the profound philosophy which God has inscribed in His works.
8. Nature is not now full of gloom and terror. Her fancied fiends have turned out friends. Although God still holds supreme control, and often makes man remember whence his strength is derived, yet every agent, however mighty in itself, is becoming a gentle and ready assistant, both in our work and play,—in the material progress of nations, as well as their moral and intellectual advancement.—Dana.
Questions on the lesson :—How did Nature, being unsubdued, prove herself a tyrant? So long as this continued what was man's position in regard to Nature? How does man stand related to Nature now? To what have we not applied for the knowledge of Nature which we have? What is the fountain whence the knowledge has been drawn? What are the different ways in which water has become man's servant? What power has man acquired over light? What other agencies of Nature have been subdued and now do man's work? In what way may man regard Nature now, in consequence of all these things?
Drummond light, better known as the lime light. The particles of a cylinder of lime may be heated to incandescence (white heat) and then give forth a light of intense brilliance which is visible at a great distance, and is useful for lighthouses or for signalling. Captain Thomas Drummond, born in Edinburgh in 1797, first suggested this use of the lime light for the Irish survey.
Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet,
- Milton (Paradise Lost, book iv.).
AN ALPINE THUNDERSTORM.
1. The sky is changed !—and such a change! Oh night,
And storm, and darkness, ye are wondrous strong,
mountain now hath found a tongue,
Thou wert not sent for slumber! let me be
Of the loud hills shakes with its mountain-mirth, As if they did rejoice o'er a young earthquake's birth.
3. Now, where the swift Rhone cleaves his way
between Heights which appear as lovers who have parted In hate, whose mining depths so intervene, That they can meet no more, though broken-hearted ! Though in their souls, which thus each other thwarted, Love was the very root of the fond rage Which blighted their life's bloom, and then departed :
Itself expired, but leaving them an age
years all winters,—war within themselves to wage:4. Now, where the quick Rhone thus hath cleft his way,
The mightiest of the storms hath ta'en his stand:
That in such gaps as desolation worked, There the hot shaft should blast whatever therein lurked. 5. Sky, mountains, river, winds, lake, lightnings! ye!
With night and clouds and thunder and a soul
ye like those within the human breast?
6. Could I embody and unbosom now
That which is most within me,—could I wreak
But as it is, I live and die unheard,
-Lord Byron (1788–1824.)
Jura, a chain of mountains between France and Switzerland