« PreviousContinue »
houses, our schools, workshops, churches, villages, towns, and cities upon such principles and in such styles as will allow the life-giving element to have its fullest and freest entrance, and to chase from every crypt and cell and corner the elements of uncleanness and corruption which had a vested interest in darkness.
8. In lanes or closes shut up at both ends by lofty houses it is sometimes only from a small portion of the sky over-head that the light can be obtained, and in this case part of it should be thrown into a window by extensive reflectors. A different plan must be adopted in streets and lanes open at both ends, where only a narrow strip of the sky is visible from one point of the horizon to the opposite point. In such cases if windows made of ground glass and flush with the outer walls were substituted for those now in use, and which are six or eight inches within the wall, the light from the whole of the visible sky, as well as that reflected from the remotest parts of the opposite wall, will be introduced into the apartment and radiate into all parts of the room.
9. In aid of this method of distributing light, the opposite sides of the street or lane should be kept whitewashed with lime; and the ceiling, walls, and furniture of the apartment itself should be of the lightest possible colours. Such are the effects produced by these simple arrangements, that when we have succeeded in having them adopted we feel as if we had introduced our poor workman or needle-woman from a dungeon into a summer-house, where the aged can read their Bibles, where the inmates can see each other and carry on their work in ease and comfort. By pushing out the window we increase by a few cubic feet the quantity of air to be breathed, and we enable the housemaid to look into dark corners where there had hitherto nestled all the elements of corruption. To these inmates the winter twilight has been shortened, the sun has risen sooner and set later, and the midnight lamp is no longer lighted when all nature is smiling with the blessed influences of day.
10. But it is not merely to the poor man's home that those processes are applicable. In all great towns, where
, neither houses nor palaces can be insulated, there are in almost every edifice dark and gloomy crypts thirsting for light; and in the city of London there are places of business where the light of day never enters, and where the precious light which the sky sends down between chimney tops is allowed to fall useless on the ground. On visiting a friend in that city we found him with bleared eyes struggling against the feeble light which the opposite wall threw into his window. We counselled him to extend a blind of fine white muslin on the outside of his window and flush with the wall. The experiment was soon made. The light of the sky above was caught by the fibres of the linen and thrown straight upon his writing. table as if it had been reflected from an equal surface of ground glass. — Adapted from an address by Sir David Brewster (1781–1868).
Questions on the lesson :-In its bearing on what three different things may light be regarded? What services is light spoken of as rendering to us—as regards nature-our knowledge—the recording of various things? What has the science of light done for us—as regards the phenomena of nature-in the way of aiding other sciences -in unfolding the subject of the colours of plants and animals? What services may it render to health? Where is the most perfect type of man found? What is his condition in the tropics? In polar regions? How is the bearing of light on health shown in the case of invalids? What did a Russian physician find? What suggestions are made as to supplying light to houses in a lane closed at both ends—open at both ends? What are some of the results from these arrangements? How may the rich also benefit? What was done in the case of the London merchant?
the language of metaphor, that is, figurative language. In using į metaphor we ascribe those relations which belong to one object to another object that the latter may be better understood.
the pure sunbeam, &c. Sir Isaac Newton first showed that white light is composed of many differently coloured rays. The colour of any object is due to the absorption by the object of some of the elements of white light and the reflection of the others. If all but red are absorbed, the object will be seen to be red; if all but blue and yellow, it will appear to be green.
THE SITTING STATUES AND THE RAMASÉUM.
1. The Pair, sitting alone amidst the expanse of verdure, with islands of ruins behind them, grew more striking to us every day. To-day, for the first time, we looked up at them from their base. The impression of sublime tranquillity which they convey when seen from distant points is confirmed by a near approach. There they sit, keeping watch, hands on knees, gazing straight forward, seeming, though so much of the faces is gone, to be looking over to the monumental piles on the other side of the river, which became gorgeous temples after these throne seats were placed here;--the most immovable thrones that have ever been established on earth.
2. He who is popularly called the Memnon is sadly shattered. This is the work that Cambyses tried his hand upon overthrowing. With all his efforts he shattered it only down to the waist. It is built up again-patched up-a blank rough space only remaining where we would fain see a face. If the faces were of the tranquil, innocent character which marks the old sculptures and would eminently suit the composure of the attitude, the impression must have been majestic indeed; inviolable to any but Cambyses.
3. These statues sit now, as I have said, in the midst of an expanse of verdure at the season when travellers visit them. At high Nile they are islands in the midst of a
waste of waters. But of old, their pedestals rose from the pavement of the Dromos or Course which formed the avenue to the palace-temple of Amunoph, eleven hundred feet behind the colossi. This palace-temple, once superb with its statues, columns, and sphinxes, is now a mere heap of sandstone; a little roughness in the plain when seen from the heights behind.
4. The sphinxes are at St. Petersburgh, the columns are
broken off from their bases, the statues peep out in fragments from under the soil. In the days of the glory of Thebes, the Nile did not come here; but the whole avenue with all its erections stood on raised ground—a magnificent sight from the river. The Nile itself has risen since these days; and in proportion to the raising of its bed has been its spread over the plain, so that the pavement of the Dromos and the pedestals of the colossi have been buried deeper and deeper in mud, and must continue to be so.
5. How strange it is to look forward to the gradual stifling of these giants, sitting patiently there for more thousands of years, to be buried inch by inch out of human sight! They now stand about fifty-three feet above the soil, and seven feet below it. But the mention of the total height gives less idea of their magnitude than the measurement of the limbs. From the elbow to the fingers' ends they measure seventeen feet nine inches; and from the knee to the plant of the foot, nineteen feet eight inches.
6. To-day we saw an old Egyptian palace, that of Ramases the Great, so many of whose monuments we had visited higher up the river. This palace of the Ramaséum (commonly and erroneously called the Memnonium) is also a temple. The old Pharaohs brought their gods into their palaces, and also had apartments in the temple, so that the great buildings of this metropolis were appropriated to gods and kings jointly.
7. It is melancholy to sit on the piled stones amidst the wreck of this wonderful edifice, where violence inconceivable to us has been used to destroy what art inconceivable to us had erected. What a rebuke to the vanity of succeeding ages is here! What have we been about, !
, to imagine men in those early times childish or barbarous,