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coloured constituents of white light, and to leave others with increased intensity behind.
And now let us pass from what we are accustomed to regard as a dead mineral to a living grain of corn. When it is examined by polarized light, chromatic phenomena similar to those noticed in crystals are observed. And why? Because the architecture of the grain resembles the architecture of the crystal. In the grain also the molecules are set in definite positions, and in accordance with their arrangement they act upon the light. But what has built together the molecules of the corn? I have already said regarding crystalline architecture that you may, if you please, consider the atoms and molecules to be placed in position by a power external to themselves. The same hypothesis is open to you now. But if in the case of crystals you have rejected this notion of an external architect, I think you are bound to reject it now, and to conclude that the molecules of the corn are self-posited by the forces with which they act upon each other. It would be poor philosophy to invoke an external agent in one case and to reject it in the other.
Instead of cutting our grain of corn into slices and subjecting it to the action of polarized light, let us place it in the earth and subject it to a certain degree of warmth. In other words, let the molecules, both of the corn and of the surrounding earth, be kept in that state of agitation which we call warmth. Under these circumstances the grain and the substances which surround it interact, and a definite molecular architecture is the result. A bud is formed; this bud reaches the surface, where it is exposed to the sun's rays, which are also to be regarded as a kind of vibratory motion. And as the motion of common heat with which the grain and the substances surrounding it were first endowed, enabled the grain and these substances to exercise their attractions and repulsions, and thus to coalesce in definite forms, so the specific motion of the sun's rays now enables the green bud to feed upon the carbonic acid and the aqueous vapour of the air. The bud appropriates those constituents of both for which it has an elective attraction, and permits the other constituent to resume its place in the air. Thus the architecture is carried on. Forces are active at the root, forces are active in the blade, the matter of the earth and the matter of the atmosphere are drawn towards both, and the plant augments in size. We have in succession the bud, the stalk, the ear, the full corn in the
ear; the cycle of molecular action being completed by the production of grains similar to that with which the process began.
Now there is nothing in this process which necessarily eludes the conceptive or imagining power of the purely human mind. An intellect the same in kind as our own would, if only sufficiently expanded, be able to follow the whole process from beginning to end. It would see every molecule placed in its position by the specific attractions and repulsions exerted between it and other molecules, the whole process and its consummation being an instance of the play of molecular force. Given the grain and its environment, the purely human intellect might, if sufficiently expanded, trace out à priori every step of the process of growth, and, by the application of purely mechanical principles, demonstrate that the cycle must end, as it is seen to end, in the reproduction of forms like that with which it began. A similar necessity rules here to that which rules the planets in their circuits round the sun.
You will notice that I am stating my truth strongly... But I must go still further, and affirm that, in the eye of science, the animal body is just as much the product of molecular force as the stalk and ear of corn, or as the crystal of salt or sugar. Many of the parts of the body are obviously mechanical. Take the human heart, for example, with its system of valves, or take the exquisite mechanism of the eye or hand. Animal heat, moreover, is the same in kind as the heat of a fire, being produced by the same chemical process. Animal motion, too, is as directly derived from the food of the animal, as the motion of Trevethyck's walking engine from the fuel in its furnace. As regards matter, the animal body creates nothing; as regards force, it creates nothing. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? All that has been said, then, regarding the plant may be restated with regard to the animal. Every particle that enters into the composition of a muscle, a nerve, or a bone, has been placed in its position by molecular force. And unless the existence of law in these matters be denied, and the element of caprice introduced, we must conclude that, given the relation of any molecule of the body to its environment, its position in the body might be determined mathematically. Our difficulty is not with the quality of the problem, but with its complexity; and this difficulty might be met by the simple expansion of the faculties which
we now possess. Given this expansion, with sciousness is unthinkable. Granted that a the necessary molecular data, and the chick definite thought, and a definite molecular might be deduced as rigorously and as logic-action in the brain occur simultaneously; we
ally from the egg as the existence of Neptune was deduced from the disturbances of Uranus, or as conical refraction was deduced from the undulatory theory of light.
do not possess the intellectual organ, nor apparently any rudiment of the organ, which would enable us to pass, by a process of reasoning, from the one to the other. They appear together, but we do not know why. Were our minds and senses so expanded, strengthened, and illuminated as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain; were we capable of following all their motions, all their groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be; and were we intimately acquainted with the corresponding states of thought and feeling, we should be as far as ever from the solution of the problem, "How are these physical processes connected with the facts of consciousness?" The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually impassable. Let the consciousness of love, for example, be associated with a right-handed spiral motion of the molecules of the brain, and the consciousness of hate with a left-handed spiral motion. We should then know when we love that the motion is in one direction, and when we hate that the motion is in the other; but the "WHY?" would remain as unanswerable as before.
In affirming that the growth of the body is mechanical, and that thought, as exercised by us, has its correlative in the physics of the brain, I think the position of the "Materialist" is stated, as far as that position is a tenable one. I think the materialist will be able finally to maintain this position against all attacks; but I do not think, in the present condition of the human mind, that he can pass beyond this position. I do not think he is entitled to say that his molecular groupings and his molecular motions explain everything. In reality they explain nothing. The utmost he can affirm is the association of two classes of phenomena, of whose real bond of union he is in absolute ignorance. The problem of the connection of body and soul is as insoluble in its modern form as it was in the prescientific ages. Phosphorus is known to enter into the composition of the human brain, and a trenchant German writer has exclaimed, "Ohne Phosphor, kein Gedanke." That may or may not be the case; but even if we knew it to be the case; the knowledge would not lighten our darkness. On both sides of the zone here assigned to the materialist he is equally helpless. If you ask him whence is this "Matter" of
You see I am not mincing matters, but avowing nakedly what many scientific thinkers more or less distinctly believe. The formation of a crystal, a plant, or an animal, is in their eyes a purely mechanical problem, which differs from the problems of ordinary mechanics in the smallness of the masses and the complexity of the processes involved. Here you have one half of our dual truth; let us now glance at the other half. Associated with this wonderful mechanism of the animal body we have phenomena no less certain than those of physics, but between which and the mechanism we discern no necessary connection. A man, for example, can say I feel, I think, I love; but how does consciousness infuse itself into the problem? The human brain is said to be the organ of thought and feeling; when we are hurt the brain feels it, when we ponder it is the brain that thinks, when our passions or affections are excited it is through the instrumentality of the brain. Let us endeavour to be a little more precise here. I hardly imagine there exists a profound scientific thinker, who has reflected, upon the subject, unwilling to admit the extreme probability of the hypothesis, that for every fact of consciousness, whether in the domain of sense, of thought, or of emotion, a certain definite molecular condition is set up in the brain; who does not hold this relation of physics to consciousness to be invariable, so that, given the state of the brain, the corresponding thought or feeling might be inferred; or given the thought or feeling, the corresponding state of the brain might be inferred.
But how inferred? It is at bottom not a case of logical inference at all, but of empirical association. You may reply that many of the inferences of science are of this character; the inference, for example, that an electric current of a given direction will deflect a magnetic needle in a definite way; but the cases differ in this, that the passage from the current to the needle, if not demonstrable, is thinkable, and that we entertain no doubt as to the final mechanical solution of the problem. But the passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of con
which we have been discoursing, who or what | may offer itself to terrestrial, if not to human divided it into molecules, who or what im- investigation. Meanwhile, the mystery is not pressed upon them this necessity of running into without its uses. It certainly may be made a inorganic forms, he has no answer. Science power in the human soul; but it is a power is mute in reply to these questions. The pro- which has feeling, not knowledge, for its base. cess of things upon this earth has been one of It may be, and will be, and we hope is turned amelioration. It is a long way from the to account, both in steadying and strengtheniguanodon and his contemporaries to the pre-ing the intellect, and in rescuing man from sident and members of the British Association. that littleness to which, in the struggle for A time may, therefore, come when this ultra- existence, or for precedence in the world, he scientific region by which we are now enfolded is continually prone.
JOHN CRAWFORD WILSON.
[John Crawford Wilson was born at Mal- | in humble life who nobly sacrifices all she low, county Cork, on the 20th April, 1825, holds dear, her lover and her fame, to gratify but he has passed the great part of his life in a father and shield a sister from disgrace.] London. He is favourably known as a poet, dramatist, and miscellaneous writer. His chief poetical works are, The Village Pearl, and other Poems, 1852; Elise and Flights to Fairy Land, 1865; Lost and Found, a pastoral, 1865. His most important dramas are Gitanilla and a stage version of his poem Lost and Found. Jonathan Oldaker, or Leaves from the Diary of a Commercial Travellera bright and amusing series of sketches and tales-has passed through several editions. For eighteen years Mr. Wilson has been a member of the Dramatic Authors' Society, and is president of the Whitefriars' Club, a literary association which he was chiefly instrumental in founding. Among his fugitive pieces, which have been highly praised, we find Eight Hours at the Sea-side, a sketch, and A New Ode to St. Patrick, a poem. "As an author," says a reviewer, "Mr. Wilson has been eminently successful, the scenes he depicts and the characters he introduces being calculated to promote a thrilling interest, nor is he wanting in that quality of pathos which invests a story, where requisite, with solemn and sober touches." "To the moral qualities which distinguish poets Mr. Wilson may lay an undoubted claim," says the Athenæum. "Genuine feeling is so infectious that such a writer can hardly tell a plain and pathetic story to unsympathizing readers." The greater number of the author's poems depict the pathetic and tender feelings of our nature, and among these his poem Home takes a high place. In Lost and Found, the most ambitious of his poetical efforts, he depicts a heroine
THE DEATH OF LILY.
And there she lay at last,-almost in Heaven-
Her eyes were closed. Her mother thought she slept
The sleep that wakes no more: but 'twas not so.
"Mother! 'tis he
1 This and the following extract are made by the author's permission.
He fears I am gone Home. Go, mother dear!
And through those clouds, as in a sea of blood,
A faltering voice said "Come!" 'Twas Lily's Her soul enfranchised, bounded from its thrall;
So he went in-a stalwart lusty man
A giant, with a tiny infant's heart,
He sat beside her bed, and in his hands
Or whispered rather-but a thunder peal
And then he rose, and round her wasted form
The fiery steed stood conquered and subdued—
Far in the west Long waves of crimson clouds stretched o'er the hills;
Its crumbling fetters drooped upon his heart-
HOW CÆSAR WAS DRIVEN FROM
She was the daughter of an Irish clergyman, who shortly before her birth had obtained a living in Bath, and there she was born about 1825. She was Irish in heart and sympathies, as well as in descent, and her father, though like her in another land, seems to have been of a similar mind, for it was from him she obtained-as she wrote to a countrywoman-much of her knowledge of Irish scenes and insight into Irish character. She published, in 1861, Early Egyptian History; in 1863 appeared Janet's Home; in 1866, Clemency Franklyn; in 1869, Oldbury; in 1870, Nations Around, which she contributed to the "Sunday Library;" in 1875, Castle Daly; and A Doubting Heart has been published in volume form since her death. She was also the authoress of A York and a Lancaster Rose, and,
BORN 1825 DIED 1879.
[Annie Keary "should have died hereafter." | in collaboration with her sister, of a ScandiShe was not torn away in youth, nor had she navian story entitled The Heroes of Asgard. but just begun to show her literary powers; Of those works the most remarkable is but no reader-no Irish reader, at least-who | Castle Daly. This is a fascinating book, and studied one of her latest works, could help be- | probably the best Irish story of the present lieving that there were yet rich stores in her generation. It sets out with the purpose of imagination which had still to be drawn upon contrasting English and Irish character, and for delight and instruction, and which now are English and Irish ideas. No Irish reader can lost for ever. complain that the writer has not the tenderest sympathy with the feelings of her countrypeople, and on the other hand full justice is done to the virtues of English men and women. It is a part of the author's design to present the cases of Ireland and England, and both sides are discussed with eloquence, wit, and energy. It is a triumph of artistic skill that these discussions, however, are not introduced apropos of nothing, and to the interruption of the narrative. They arise naturally out of the fortunes of the character, and are inextricably mixed up with the plot; and thus the story conveys its weighty political moral while apparently employed solely in pleasing the reader's curiosity. We hesitate not to say that a careful study of this work would do more to instruct the student of Anglo-Irish politics than cart-loads of blue-books and