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mitted dissipation of energy, of which the steady cooling of the earth, of the sun, and of all the universe is the gauge, must, so far as can now be seen, depend solely for its beat-supply upon the diminished radiation of the sun. Then we can see but one way in which the forces of nature are to be made to do duty for the purposes of man. Power must be obtained by the direct conversion of the heat of the sun's rays, either into stored heatenergy, by some such plan as that already invented by Captain Ericsson, the “solar engine,” or into electricity, by some efficient form of thermo-electric battery, such as Professor Farmer utilized for lighting his house years ago, or very possibly by both systems. The rivals of steam will, by that date, probably have full sway; and humanity, with its marvelous aggregations of the fruits of inventive genius through thousands of years, guided by science and aided by facilities of which we to-day have no conception, despite all the obstructing natural changes, will have attained a state of enlightenment and civilization compared with which the days of “Vrill,” imagined by Lord Bulwer, will appear rudest barbarism.
R. H. THURSTON.
THE PAINS OF FEAR.
CONSCIENCE makes cowards of us? Tut! It is health, physique, the state of the nerves and the condition of the liver, the size of the heart and the average of red corpuscles in the blood, the amount of gray matter in the brain and the harmony or confusion of the pattern wherein the molecules run—these are the things which either lift us into the serene regions of confidence or plunge us into the turbid depths of fear. A criminal of robust physical constitution will face detection with his wits clear and his nerve unshaken; an innocent accused, whose material is as a broken reed or juicy cabbage-stalk, stands selfaccused by fear, already condemned because his heart is weak, and sure of execution because his brain is confused. No; conscience, independent of organization, has not much to do with cowardice, and the torment of fear has as little connection with innocence.
Manifold are the pains and penalties of existence, and they are as heavy as they are numerous; but it is doubtful if all put together equal the exquisite torture given by fear alone. Think what that poor, dear, timid woman undergoes who nightly looks under her bed for the burglar she believes to be secreted there; who goes round the house after the servants are abed to see that all is safe, and that no ticket-of-leave man is profiting by his liberty to do her harm. With what a sense of dread she locks the doors of those dark, damp, underground places into which she dares not peer.
Ghosts and robbers—she turns the key on both with a quick throb and trembling hand, then beats a retreat with ever the same feeling of nameless terror, the same sensation of being followed by some vague horror, which she has not courage to turn round and confront. She feels safe only after she has looked under the bed, between the curtains, and into the wardrobe and cupboard of her bedroom; and then she bolts the door and gradually calms down into security and confidence. Night after night this torment is renewed, as unfailingly as that which the old bag inflicted on the merchant Abudah; but she would suffer more if she broke through her habit of inspection, for then she would hear housebreakers on the stairs all the livelong night, and ghosts would finish what burglars left undone.
If the night has its terrors so has the day its dangers. Such a person as this in the country dies a thousand deaths in quick succession; and the one is as unnecessary as the other. A tramp loitering on the highway means robbery first and assassination after. A few harmless cows going home to be milked, and driven by a child, are as dangerous as a stampede of buffaloes, heads down and tails aloft. Cattle in a field, however well-worn the public way across, make that field taboo; for is not each dull, slow, grazing ox, each mild-eyed “milky mother of the herd," each tangle polled yearling calf, as dangerous as a wild bull, "man-mad," and to be approached only with caution and in force? That distant, barking collie; that restless, neighing horse prancing up to the gap in the hedge, through which he thrusts his sociably inquisitive nose; that wayside encampment of traveling gypsies -all the circumstances of the country are so many causes of fear to the timid pedestrian, beating along the public road for a constitutional, and taking no pleasure in what she sees. The sweetness of the wayside flowers, the charm of the distant landscape, the clouds and the colors of the glorious sky, the infinite loveliness all around—nothing of this wins her from her self-made torments, and her very dread of danger creates that thing she fears. In a carriage she fares no better. Up hill she is sure the horses will jib; down hill they will slip and fall, or the pole will break, and then Heaven have mercy on her soul! On the plain road, put to a sharp trot they will run away; indeed, they are running away. If they whisk their tails they are about to kick ; if they cock their ears they are sure to shy. She screams at the smallest difference between them and their driver; and when they have to meet another carriage, or pass a lumbering cart, she pinches her companion black and blue in the spasm of her fear. She has been known to stand up in her carriage looking out for the big stones in the road, when she shrieks out her warning to the coachman, who probably wonders why her friends do not put her into a lunatic asylum, for which she is ripe. But greater still is her torment when she passes under a railway bridge or by the side of a line, even though the horses have been seasoned by months of familiarity, and care no more for a train at full speed than they do for a pony carriage or a bicycle. The climax of all is when she meets with a traction engine and her horses are uneasy. Then, if she does not insist on getting out, she probably faints or goes into hysterics; which last state is combined with a few invectives against that monster of the roads, and all who have ever had or will have art or part in it, with the further expression of her opinion that the thing should be indicted.
The torment of fear is hard to bear when it is centered on one's self. What is it when it spreads itself abroad, and includes others—the beloved-in its meshes ?-meshes. more clinging and less to be resisted than those spiders' webs which the enchanter, with his whip of serpents, caused to fall before the Princess Brillante, whilom Trognon of the Bowl. For the beloved, indeed, is no security. Every railway journey includes a smash ; every sea voyage is a foregone shipwreck; if an epidemic touches the outside fringes of the district, it is sure to make a leap into the home where the dear ones live. The smallest cold is bronchitis; and when the little people cough they have whooping-cough, no less. Were the fears of these timorous human mice in any way true the world would be a lazar-house, and contagion would lurk, like the old Italian poison, in the perfume of a rose or the substance of a glove. One of this kind once forewent the services of her favorite physician because he was attending a family with whooping.cough, and she feared he might bring the infection in his clothes. It made no difference that they lived separated by a wide, breezy common, across which the physician would walk, not drive; and that be changed his clothes before setting out for this walk had as little modifying influence over her fears. She was eaten up with her dread of danger. Her common sense, her judgment, her sense of proportion were all equally at fault; and she guarded her young with the ferocious unreasonableness of a wild animal, who dreads an enemy in every grass-blade that moves and scents coming peril in every wind that blows.
Some mothers make their motherhood a long-drawn agony by the fears with which they encompass their young. Is the nurse a quarter of an hour beyond her usual time? Straightway the grave is opened, and the cherished and adored lie therein stark and cold. Wild wanderings to and fro, wild surmises as to what can have happened, angry rejection of any commonplace explanation as to a longer walk than usual, a longer session under the trees than was calculated on, passionate tears of frantic despair, passionate outbursts of as frantic wrath ; when lo! the nurse comes quietly up to the house-door with her charge as fresh as a flower and as gay as a lark, and that voluntary descent into Hades proves itself as futile as it was unnecessary. But the nurse catches it " when she does appear, and in all probability atones in tears for the mistake she made in calculating time and distance,
These fears accompany a mother of this uneasy kind all through life. When her boys go to school she is sure they will be mauled by the bigger ruffians of their class, maimed for life in the play-ground, overworked, underfed, put into damp sheets, and morally corrupted. She believes in no care outside her own; and what is good enough for every other mother's son is not good enough for hers. She suffers more than they from the dire necessities of learning, and wishes that there was a royal road to knowledge where her darlings could bowl along at railroad speed, with never a hill to climb nor a valley wherein to descend. She thinks the masters cruel and the curriculum inhuman, and wonders how so much can be expected from such young brains and growing bodies. The chances are, that were the course more easy she would fret herself on the other side of the bar, and be certain that her boys were going to be dunces and her girls without accomplishments, and that the money spent on their education was money thrown away, by the bad use made of it and time together. All through life it is the same cry of evil. The fortunes of war take her sons here and there, and the mother frets over the possibilities of disaster, as if that possible event