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the exhausted powers of vegetation were restored. These out-field spots were selected by any feuar at his own choice, among the sheepwalks and hills which were always annexed to the Township, to serve as pasturage to the community. The trouble of cultivating these patches of outfield, and the precarious chance that the crop would pay the labour, were considered as giving a right to any feuar, who chose to undertake the adventure, to the produce which might result from it.
4. There remained the pasturage of extensive moors, where the valleys often afforded good grass, and upon which the whole cattle belonging to the community fed indiscriminately during the summer, under the charge of the Town-herd, who regularly drove them out to pasturage in the morning, and brought them back at night, without which precaution they would have fallen a speedy prey to some of the Snatchers in the neighbourhood. These are things to make modern agriculturists hold up their hands and stare; but the same mode of cultivation is not yet entirely unused in some parts of North Britain, and may be witnessed in full force and exercise in the Zetland Archipelago.
5. The habitations of the church-feuars were not less primitive than their agriculture. In each village or Town were several small towers, having battlements projecting over the side-walls, and usually an advanced angle or two with shot-holes for flanking the doorway, which was always defended by a strong door of oak, studded with nails, and often by an exterior grated door of iron. These small peel-houses were ordinarily inhabited by the principal feuars and their families; but upon the alarm of approaching danger, the whole inhabitants thronged from their own miserable cottages, which were situated around, to garrison these points of defence. It was then no easy
matter for a hostile party to penetrate into the village, for the men were habituated to the use of bows and firearms, and the tower being generally so placed that the discharge from one crossed that of another, it was impossible to assault any of them individually.
6. The heads of these allied families, having more time for reflection, and more skill, as well as stronger motives for improving their small properties, bore amongst their neighbours the character of shrewd, intelligent men, who claimed respect upon account of their comparative wealth, even while they were despised for a less warlike and enterprising turn than the other Borderers. They lived as much as they well could amongst themselves, avoiding the company of others, and dreading nothing more than to be involved in the deadly feuds and ceaseless contentions of the secular landholders.—Scott.
feu, a piece of land conferred upon vassals and their heirs held, for a small quit-rent, or a moderate proportion of the produce. The holders of feus are called feuars.
1. Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates and men decay:
When once destroyed, can never be supplied. 2. A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintained its man;
Just gave what life required, but gave no more:
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
Usurp the land, and dispossess the swain:
And every pang that folly pays to pride.
Those calm desires that asked but little room,
Oliver Goldsmith (1728–1774).
1. The articulating telephone was invented by Professor Graham Bell of Boston in 1876. The whole apparatus is a wonderfully exact imitation of ear and voice in one. Acting in the first instance like an ear, the instrument collects the sound-waves which have been created by the speaker's or singer's voice. The delicate electric throbs into which these sound-waves have been changed are then with inconceivable rapidity transmitted to the required distance by means of the connecting wire, and, when they have been retranslated into sound-waves, the words enter the listener's ear precisely as they fell from the lips of speaker or singer.
2. A few simple facts will serve to explain its working. Sound, as is well known, is produced by the rapid motion or vibration of the body which emits the sound. A tuning-fork, when giving forth its note, may be felt to be in rapid vibration. As soon as the motion ceases, the sound also is at an end. Similarly a water-glass which
has been sounding is silent as soon as the finger is placed on its edge.
3. But there is another fact, not less important, which is equally well known. Sounding bodies are not only in rapid motion themselves, but they impart their motion to the air which surrounds them, and it again to other bodies which are capable of vibration. Thus the drum of the listener's
's ear vibrates in unison with the vibration of the tuning-fork, or with the water-glass, or the speaker's voice, and it is thus we hear the sounds they severally emit.
4. Professor Bell had no difficulty in finding a body sensitive enough to answer with its vibrations to those
created by the human voice. The difficulty was to find the means whereby these vibrations might first be changed into waves of electricity, so to speak, and after having been transmitted to a distance, be again translated into articulate speech. A very ingenious contrivance enabled him to accomplish both of these ends.
5. A piece of iron, it is well known, when held in the neighbourhood of a magnet is drawn or attracted to it. The strength of the attraction is greater or less according as the iron is less or more distant from the magnet. But more than that. When a bar of iron is moved near a magnet round which is wrapped a coil of silk-covered wire, the motion of the iron gives rise to electric waves in the coil, varying in strength according to the nearness or distance of the iron.
6. It was this fact along with the others already mentioned that Professor Bell turned to account in making his telephone. If, he said, a plate of sheet-iron, so thin that the vibrations caused by the human voice can easily be felt by it, be suitably placed with reference to a magnet surrounded with wire, I may hope that waves of electricity will be excited, answering exactly to the sound-waves which move the iron. Thus the sound-waves were to become electric waves.
7. But then came the difficulty of changing electric back to sound waves, in other words, of making his instrument speak out to the distant listener the words which it had heard in the manner that has now been explained. An apparatus precisely similar to that used at the speaker's end being provided where the hearer stood, the professor reasoned that if the electric wave passing along the wire were strong, the magnet at the distant end would be powerfully excited by the strong electric current and would draw the iron plate powerfully to itself; if weak, the drawing would