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[Dr. Waller is an instance of the poets who preserve in age the ardour of their youth. He is still an active contributor to periodical literature; but his career began at a period which is now almost antique. He was born in Limerick in 1810; entered Trinity College when he was but sixteen, and graduated a year before the great Reform Act. He was called to the bar in 1833; in 1852 received from his university the honorary degrees of LL.B. and LL.D., and some time later was appointed one of the permanent officials of the Courts of Chancery.


Mellow the moonlight to shine is beginning;
Close by the window young Eileen is spinning;
Is croaning, and moaning, and drowsily knitting—
Bent o'er the fire her blind grandmother, sitting,
Eileen, achora, I hear some one tapping."
""Tis the ivy, dear mother, against the glass flap-


"Eileen, I surely hear somebody sighing."
""Tis the sound, mother dear, of the summer wind

Such, briefly, are some of the facts connected with the professional and less important side of Dr. Waller's career. To many it may be more interesting to know that he began to write in those early years when he was in London studying for the bar. The foundation of the Dublin University Magazine opened to him, as to so many other Irish littérateurs, a field of literary activity. For many years he was one of the most frequent of its poetic contributors, his poems appearing usually under the nom de plume of "Jonathan And Freke Slingsby." A collection of those poems under the title of The Slingsby Papers was published in 1852. In 1854 Dr. Waller brought out a second volume of poems, which were highly spoken of both in the English and Irish press. In 1856 appeared the Dead Bridal. In addition to his poetic labours Dr. Waller has done his share of the wear-and-tear work of literature. He edited the University Magazine for some years after the retirement of Charles Lever from the post; wrote many of the articles in The Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography, and generally supervised the production of that book; and he also published an edition of Goldsmith's works.

Dr. Waller's chief strength as a poet lies in his power of melodious versification. The rhythm and rhyme in his pieces, the shorter ones especially, are perfect. Many of his songs have accordingly become extremely popular, and have been eagerly grasped at by the musical composer in search of the fit accompaniments of words to music. The majority of Dr. Waller's poems are tender, or tranquilly

fanciful; but he has a rich vein of humour as well, and some of his verses are very mirthprovoking.]

Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,

Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot's stirring;

Sprightly, and lightly, and airily ringing, Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.

"What's that noise that I hear at the window, I wonder?"

"Tis the little birds chirping the holly-bush under."

"What makes you be shoving and moving your stool on,

singing all wrong that old song of 'The


There's a form at the casement-the form of her

true love

And he whispers, with face bent, "I'm waiting for you, love;

Get up on the stool, through the lattice step lightly, We'll rove in the grove while the moon's shining brightly."

Merrily, cheerily, noisily whirring,

Swings the wheel, spins the reel, while the foot's stirring;

Sprightly, and lightly, and airily ringing, Thrills the sweet voice of the young maiden singing.

The maid shakes her head, on her lip lays her fingers,

Steals up from the seat-longs to go, and yet lingers, A frightened glance turns to her drowsy grandmother,

Puts one foot on the stool, spins the wheel with

the other.

Lazily, easily, swings now the wheel round;
Slowly and lowly is heard now the reel's sound;
Noiseless and light to the lattice above her

The maid steps-then leaps to the arms of her lover.

1 This and the following pieces are quoted by permission of the author.

Slower and slower-and slower the wheel


Lower and lower-and lower the reel rings; Ere the reel and the wheel stopped their ringing and moving,

Thro' the grove the young lovers by moonlight are roving.


Air-"St. Patrick's Day."

The white and the orange, the blue and the green, boys,

We'll blend them together in concord to-night; The orange, most sweet, amid green leaves is seen, boys,

The loveliest pansy is blue and white.

The light of the day,
As it glides away,

Paints with orange the white clouds that float on
the West;

And the billows that roar,
Round our own island shore,

Lay their green heads to rest on the blue Heaven's

Where sky and sea meet in the distance away. As Nature thus shows us how well she can fuse 'm, We'll blend them in love on St. Patrick's Day.

Those hues in one bosom be sure to unite, boys,
Let each Irish heart wear those emblems so true;
Be fresh as the green, and be pure as the white, boys,
Be bright as the orange, sincere as the blue,
I care not a jot

Be your scarf white or not,

If you love as a brother each child of the soil.
I ask not your creed,
If you stand in her need,


Once Genius, and Beauty, and Pleasure
Sought the goddess of Art in her shrine;
And prayed her to fashion a treasure,

The brightest her skill could combine.
Said the goddess, well pleased at the notion,
"Most gladly I'll work your behest;
From the margin of yonder blue ocean,
Let each bring the gift that seems best."
Chorus.-Then push round the flagon, each brother
But fill bumper-high ere it pass;
And while we hob-nob one another,
You'll sing us "The Song of the Glass."

The hues of the prism, philosophers say, boys,

Are nought but the sunlight resolved into parts, They're beauteous, no doubt, but I think that the ray, boys,

Unbroken, more lights up and warms our hearts. Beauty glanced at the Crystal, half-frighted,

Each musical tone,

Struck one by one,

For stirring with life it was seen;
Till gazing, she blushed all delighted,
As she saw her own image within.
"Henceforth," she exclaimed, "be thou ever

Makes melody sweet, it is true, on the ear;

But let the hand ring
All at once every string,

The mirror to Beauty most dear;
Not from steel, or from silver, or river,
Is the reflex so lustrous and clear."

And, oh! there is harmony now that is glorious,
In unison pealing to Heaven away;
For UNION is hearty, and strength, and victorious,
Of hues, tones, and hearts, on St. Patrick's Day.

To the land of your birth in the hour of her dolours,
The foe of her foes, let them be who they may.
Then, "fusion of hearts and confusion of colours,"
Be the Irishman's toast on St. Patrick's Day."

Beauty fetched from her ocean-water

The sea-wraik that lay on the strand; And Pleasure the golden sands brought her

That he stole from Time's tremulous hand. But Genius went pondering and choosing,

Where gay shells and sea-flowers shine, Grasped a sun-lighted wave in his musing, And found his hand sparkling with brine.

Chorus.-Then push round the flagon, &c.

"Tis well," said the goddess, as smiling,

Each offering she curiously scanned,
On her altar mysteriously piling

The brine, and the wraik, and the sand;
Mixing up, with strange spells as she used them,
Salt, kali, and flint in a mass,

With the flame of the lightning she fused them,
And the marvellous compound was-GLASS!
Chorus. Then push round the flagon, &c.

Chorus. Then push round the flagon, &c.

But Genius the while rent asunder

A fragment, and raising it high,
Looked through it, beholding with wonder
New stars over-clustering the sky.
With rapture he cried, "Now is given
To Genius the power divine,

To draw down the planets from heaven,
Or roam through the stars where they shine."
Chorus.-Then push round the flagon, &c.

The rest fell to earth-Pleasure caught it—
Plunged his bowl, ere it cooled, in the mass;
To the form of the wine-cup wrought it,
And cried "Here's the true use of Glass!"

[blocks in formation]


[Professor Tyndall is an instance of native | and apt illustration. Indeed, he is one of the genius and energy raising themselves to a pioneers in the new era, in which a polished lofty reputation in spite of early difficulties, style has been found quite compatible with and by nought but worthy means. the revelation of physical truths. His published works are numerous. Most of them are on purely scientific subjects; but occasional visits to the Continent and explorations among the Alps have led to the production of pleasant volumes, in which the scientist brings into striking and sometimes amusing combination the dreamy eye of the lover of the picturesque, and the keen eye of the philosopher in search of explanations of physical phenomena.]

John Tyndall was born in 1820 at LeighlinBridge, Carlow. His parents were poor; but, with that zeal for education which is one of the best characteristics of the Irish people, they managed to have their son taught well; and he early acquired a sound knowledge of mathematics. His first employments were not of a particularly philosophic character, for he had to be content with the post of a "civil assistant" of the Ordnance Survey in his native district, and with employment in railway engineering operations in connection with a Manchester firm. In 1847 came what was, probably, much more congenial employment, when he received an appointment as a teacher in Queenwood College, Hampshire. Here he formed a friendship which was destined to deeply influence his life. The chemist of the college was Mr. (now Dr.) Frankland, and with him Tyndall began that career of physical investigation in which he has since gained such a fame. In company with his friend he went abroad and prosecuted for some time the study of chemical and other phenomena. His discoveries had been noted, and he received the fellowship of the Royal Society. In 1853 he was elected professor of natural philosophy in the Royal Institution, and was successor of Michael Faraday as superintendent. It is not our duty to speak in detail of his scientific achievements. We must content ourselves with saying that he has received those honours which are conferred on those alone who have reached the highest position in the scientific world. He has been President of the British Association, has been made an LL.D. of Cambridge and of Edinburgh, a D.C.L. of Oxford, and held office in 1877 as President of the Birmingham and Midland Institute. In 1872 he went on a lecturing tour in the United States, and the proceeds he devoted to the encouragement of original research.

Professor Tyndall is best known to the general public as a lecturer. He shares with his friend, Professor Huxley, a singular power of making the dark ways of science light to the ordinary understanding by a style of wonderful clearness, and brightened with humour



If you look at the face of a watch you see the hour and minute hands, and possibly also a second-hand, moving over the graduated dial. Why do these hands move? and why are their relative motions such as they are observed to be? These questions cannot be answered without opening the watch, mastering its various parts, and ascertaining their relationship to each other. When this is done we find that the observed motion of the hands follows of necessity from the inner mechanism of the watch when acted upon by the force invested in the spring.

The motion of the hands may be called a phenomenon of art, but the case is similar with the phenomena of nature. These also have their inner mechanism, and their store of force to set that mechanism going. The ultimate problem of physical science is to reveal this mechanism, to discern this store, and to show that from the combined action of both the phenomena of which they constitute the basis must of necessity flow.

I thought that an attempt to give you even a brief and sketchy illustration of the manner in which scientific thinkers regard this problem would not be uninteresting to you on the present occasion; more especially as it will give me occasion to say a word or two on the tendencies and limits of modern science; to point out the region which men of science

1 By permission of the author.

claim as their own, and where it is mere waste of time to oppose their advance, and also to define, if possible, the bourne between this and that other region to which the questionings and yearnings of the scientific intellect are directed in vain.

There have been writers who affirmed that the pyramids of Egypt were the productions of nature; and in his early youth Alexander von Humboldt wrote a learned essay with the express object of refuting this notion. We now regard the pyramids as the work of men's hands, aided probably by machinery of which no record remains. We picture to ourselves the swarming workers toiling at those vast erections, lifting the inert stones, and, guided by the volition, the skill, and possibly at times by the whip of the architect, placing them in their proper positions. The blocks in this case were moved and posited by a power external to themselves, and the final form of the pyramid expressed the thought of its human builder.

Let us pass from this illustration of constructive power to another of a different kind. When a solution of common salt is slowly evaporated, the water which holds the salt in solution disappears, but the salt itself remains behind. At a certain stage of concentration the salt can no longer retain the liquid form; its particles, or molecules, as they are called, begin to deposit themselves as minute solids, so minute, indeed, as to defy all microscopic power. As evaporation continues solidification goes on, and we finally obtain, through the clustering together of innumerable molecules, a finite crystalline mass of a definite form. What is this form? It sometimes seems a mimicry of the architecture of Egypt. We have little pyramids built by the salt, terrace above terrace from base to apex, forming a series of steps resembling those up which the Egyptian traveller is dragged by his guides. The human mind is as little disposed to look unquestioning at these pyramidal salt-crystals as to look at the pyramids of Egypt without inquiring whence they came. How, then, are those salt-pyramids built up?

Guided by analogy, you may, if you like, suppose that, swarming among the constituent molecules of the salt there is an invisible population, guided and coerced by some invisible master, and placing the atomic blocks in their positions. This, however, is not the scientific idea, nor do I think your good sense will accept it as a likely one. The scientific idea is that the molecules act upon each other with

out the intervention of slave labour; that they attract each other and repel each other at certain definite points, or poles, and in certain definite directions; and that the pyramidal form is the result of this play of attraction and repulsion. While, then, the blocks of Egypt were laid down by a power external to themselves, these molecular blocks of salt are self-posited, being fixed in their places by the forces with which they act upon each other.

I take common salt as an illustration because it is so familiar to us all; but any other crystalline substance would answer my purpose equally well. Everywhere, in fact, throughout inorganic nature, we have this formative power, as Fichte would call it-this structural energy ready to come into play, and build the ultimate particles of matter into definite shapes. The ice of our winters and of our polar regions is its handiwork, and so equally are the quartz, felspar, and mica of our rocks. Our chalk-beds are for the most part composed of minute shells, which are also the product of structural energy; but behind the shell, as a whole, lies a more remote and subtle formative act. These shells are built up of little crystals of calc-spar, and to form these crystals the structural force had to deal with the intangible molecules of carbonate of lime. This tendency on the part of matter to organize itself, to grow into shape, to assume definite forms in obedience to the definite action of force, is, as I have said, allpervading. It is in the ground on which you tread, in the water you drink, in the air you breathe. Incipient life, as it were, manifests itself throughout the whole of what we call inorganic nature.

The forms of the minerals resulting from this play of polar forces are various, and exhibit different degrees of complexity. Men of science avail themselves of all possible means of exploring their molecular architecture. For this purpose they employ in turn as agents of exploration, light, heat, magnetism, electricity, and sound. Polarized light is especially useful and powerful here. A beam of such light, when sent in among the molecules of a crystal, is acted on by them, and from this action we infer with more or less of clearness the manner in which the molecules are arranged. That differences, for example, exist between the inner structure of rock-salt and crystallized sugar or sugar-candy, is thus strikingly revealed. These differences may be made to display themselves in chromatic phenomena of great splendour, the play of molecular force being so regulated as to remove some of the

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