Observes that 'every one who has occasion to do so, talks of "electricity", and there is a large and most important class of scientific facts, which it would be impossible to investigate at all without the use of that word; yet no one knows precisely what it means. The assignment of a precise signification to it will be the crowning achievement of the science which is concerned with the subject' (33).
Drawing on what the author has 'learned amongst burglars and garrotters in my prison ministrations', relates how the 'garrotte system of robbery' was at first 'a scientific operation, abundantly cruel, but not absolutely murderous; the intention was neither to kill nor to maim', but has now been 'imitated by bungling ruffians more dangerous even than the original practitioners' (79). Also details the housebreaker's continual 'invention' of 'fresh means' by which the skill of the 'locksmith [can] be circumvented'. Now, however, the capacity of the burglar's ingenious 'instrument[s]' to open locks has been 'met by a certain improvement in the "detector lock" of Mr. ChubbChubb, John
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>'. (84) The 'box-makers, and not the box-breakers, have the advantage at present; and now the hope and dream of these latter is that some one will invent a chemical preparation capable of fretting a lock away or consuming an iron door' (87).
Amongst those who benefited from the corruption which pervaded public life during the American Civil War are the 'Inventors [who] piled the arsenal grounds with motley models of tents, knapsacks, rifles, and projectiles' (95), and the 'Physicians, [who,] catching the infection, thieved in medicines' (96).
After criticising the conventional practices of 'defective taxidermy', observes that 'examples of true taxidermy are now to be found in Mr. Waterton'sWaterton, Charles
DSB CloseView the register entry >> museum [at Walton HallWalton Hall, Yorkshire CloseView the register entry >>] and no where else' (121). Waterton's technique of 'employing the mere skin' in a hollow structure means that 'the whole of the body is set free for the purposes of the anatomist: no slight advantage in the case of a rare or choice specimen' (124), and it has a 'great zoological value' in that 'every specimen is represented in some natural and characteristic attitude' (121–22). Additionally, Waterton's technique means that 'there is no need of camphor or turpentine, whose oppressive vapours pervade our museums, and give dire and dreadful headaches to the visitors' (123). It also allows the bodies of animals to be modelled into 'amusing' and 'bizarre forms, wittily ticketed as Cancer zodiacus and Diabolus cæruleus, two ludicrous combinations of heterogeneous parts, belonging to all kinds of creatures', as well as 'Frogs, toads, and lizards [...] grotesquely transmuted into caricatures of the human form' (124). Despite suggestions that Waterton's system would be impracticable for 'professional taxidermists' (124), his methods, when used in 'judicious combination' with a Russian process that involves 'injecting certain preservative fluids' into the bodies of embalmed animals, 'would be of infinite value to science, inasmuch as the whole of the creature would be made available for the museum or dissecting-room' (125).
Remarks that while Daniel Wilson'sWilson, Sir Daniel
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> recent book Prehistoric ManWilson, Daniel
1862. Prehistoric Man: Researches into the Origin of Civilisation in the Old
and the New World, 2 vols, Cambridge: Macmillan & Co
CloseView the register entry >> is of 'great interest' in its attempt to 'collect and classify material respecting the arts and habits of savage tribes and early forms of civilization', it is 'too ill-organized to be of service' as 'a contribution to the philosophy of the subject' (137). The consideration of the origin of literary plagiarism in The Origin and History of the English LanguageMarsh, George
Perkins 1862. The Origin and History of the English Language and
of the Early Literature it Embodies, London: Sampson Low
CloseView the register entry >> by George P MarshMarsh, George Perkins
CBD CloseView the register entry >>, 'an American philologist of the new school of philologists, of whom Max MüllerMax Müller, Friedrich
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> is the most brilliant professor' (138), leads Lewes to compare 'plagiarism [from] ShakespeareShakespeare, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, ScottScott, Sir Walter, 1st Baronet
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, or DickensDickens, Charles John Huffam
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>' with the charge made by 'the opponents of Marshall HallHall, Marshall
DSB CloseView the register entry >>' that he 'appropriated the German physiologist's [i.e. Georgius ProcháskaProcháska, Georgius (Jirí)
DSB CloseView the register entry >>] discovery of Reflex Action', although Lewes makes it clear that the 'charge against Marshall Hall we believe to have been unfounded' (139). In the Science section, Herschel reports that 'M. Foucault'sFoucault, Jean Bernard Léon
DSB CloseView the register entry >> beautiful experiment, by which, through the medium of a pendulum, the rotation of the earth on its axis may be said to have been rendered palpable to our senses, has had the effect of calling attention to a great many other phenomena going on on its surface, into which it enters as a modifying cause'. These include 'the phenomena of Cyclones', which have been 'reduced to a dependence on this cause combined with local disturbances in temperature'. Similarly, it has afforded an explanation for the greater erosion of different sides of river banks ('in the northern hemisphere, the rotary motion of the earth will have the effect of driving the water against the right bank of the river [...] and vice versâ in the southern hemisphere'), a tendency that 'had already been noticed by more than one geologist of eminence, without any suspicion of its cause' (140–41). Recent work on the 'uses of sugar in assisting assimilation' suggests that 'Puddings and fruit tarts are not [...] simply flatteries of the palate, but digestive agents; provided always they are not themselves made of rebelliously indigestible materials, which in English cookery is too frequently the case' (141–42). Notes that 'the most brilliant physiologist of the day, Claude BernardBernard, Claude
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, has been led to doubt the truth of what has been considered indubitable ever since the nervous system has been systematically investigated: namely, that nerves are excitors, their functions being to excite the activity of the muscles and glands'. Instead, Bernard urges that nerves are 'bridles', and that organs manifest their functional power only when the nervous influence is suspended. Warns, however, that 'the conclusion drawn by M. Bernard is precipitate', and 'the discharge of the secretion from the gland' in fact occurs only when 'the nerves are stimulated'. (142–43) Every 'increase in the power of our telescopes tends to enhance' our conception of the variability of nebulæ 'by bringing into view new and unexpected features in their form and structure' (143). For instance, the observations made by Eyre B PowellPowell, Eyre Burton
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, 'an astronomer resident at Madras', of 'the remarkable variable star' Eta Argus have revealed a 'most extraordinary change in its configuration' since 'the elaborate definition [of it] made by Sir John Herschel during his residence at the Cape of Good Hope' in the 1830s. Concludes that 'Should the effort now in progress to procure the erection of a great reflecting telescope at Melbourne prove successful, the further observation of these changes will be secured in a way leaving nothing to desire'. (144)
Scientific Practitioners, Ancient Authorities, Psychology, Morality, Sociology, Organicism, Positivism
The pavilion of the Rucellai family has been frequented by many eminent philosophers and thinkers of the past, most notably 'Leon Battista AlbertiAlberti, Leone Battista
DSB CloseView the register entry >> [...] a robust, universal mind, at once practical and theoretic, artist, man of science, inventor, poet' (151). Notes that 'so distinct sometimes is the working of a double consciousness within us, that Tito himself, while he triumphed in the apparent verification of his lie, wished that he had never made the lie necessary to himself' (161). The amoral Tito, however, feels 'the effect of an opposite tradition' than that in which 'Our lives make a moral tradition for our individual selves, as the life of mankind at large makes a moral tradition for the race; and to have once acted greatly seems to make a reason why we should always be noble' (158). Savanorola, who Romola encounters whilst attempting to flee Florence, is, as Sally Shuttleworth notes, an embodiment of Auguste Comte'sComte, Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier
DSB CloseView the register entry >> Priest of Humanity, and he preaches that she must obey her obligations to the larger social organism of which she forms a part [Shuttleworth 1984Shuttleworth, Sally 1984. George Eliot and
Nineteenth-Century Science: The Make-Believe of a Beginning, Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press
CloseView the register entry >>; 100–01]. He argues persuasively that she is 'a child of Florence' who must altruistically 'fulfil the duties of that great inheritance' (169), and, in adherence to the unchangeable 'law that lies at the foundation of the trust which binds man to man', must return to her home (165).
Education, Medical Practitioners, Engineers, Status, Professionalization, Steamships
Advises sailors to spend more of their 'spare hours [...] in studying', remarking that 'For science, we see what a naval experience can do by helping to form DarwinDarwin, Charles Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, Edward ForbesForbes, Edward, Jr
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, and HuxleyHuxley, Thomas Henry
DSB CloseView the register entry >>; and, in fact, it is in science that the navy is strong, when strong'. (180) Notes that aboard ship the 'surgeon and his assistant-surgeons—(these last were only promoted into the ward-room after much agitation, not many years ago)—have, of course, been educated for their profession, in just the same manner as their brother doctors in town and country. Their "sick list", presented to the captain every morning, has nothing distinctively naval about it'. Also observes, 'Yon shrewd, grave, rather stiff-looking man—probably Scotch—is the chief engineer. This is an officer added to the ward-room in quite recent times, by the universal adoption of steam in the navy; and at present, perhaps, a little out of his element. The subordinate officers of his branch, unlike those of others, have a mess to themselves, instead of passing through the gun-room,—an arrangement which must surely isolate them, and keep them from acquiring the tone of the profession'. (181)
Contends that the 'criminal law is at present in the condition in which medical practice would be if, after bestowing the utmost possible care on the diagnosis of a disease, a physician took no trouble at all about his prescription', and 'after spending half the morning in finding out that his patient was consumptive, should politely show him the door, saying as he did so, "Go and spend 25l. in drugs at such a chemists"'. What is required is the 'classification of crimes, the classification of criminals, and the classification of punishments' in order to 'bestow upon the punishment of offenders a degree of care bearing some sort of proportion to that which is at present expended, wisely and properly, on the proof of the fact that they are criminals'. This 'classification of crimes ought to be based on the moral sentiment which the crime would excite in the public at large if it were an isolated act in the life of a man otherwise unobjectionable', and would ensure that offenders were always given a punishment appropriate to their particular crime. (195)
Observes that 'Experiments in social science are extremely difficult to work, except by the expenditure of large means', and commends the 'Glasgow merchant' Thomas CorbettCorbett, Thomas
WBI CloseView the register entry >> for devoting 'a certain amount of capital' to the 'Great Western Cooking Depôt' as a 'philanthropic experiment'. Indeed, 'the community has reason to be thankful to one who is willing to conduct a social experiment on a scale sufficiently large to leave reliable results'. (252)
Cornhill Magazine, 7 (1863), 260–67.
Roundabout Papers.—No. XXVIII. Atour De Mon Chapeau
In reflecting on how old age increases the concern for small, trivial matters, asks, 'What do you know about the natural history of your household? [...] Can you answer the above questions? You know, sir, you cannot. Now turn round, lay down the book, and suddenly ask Mrs. Jones and your daughters if they can answer? They cannot. [...] Some of them know something about history, geology, and so forth. But of the natural history of home—Nichts, and for shame on you all!' (265). Then asks, 'What is this talk of my friend, Mr. LewesLewes, George Henry
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, about objects at the seaside, and so forth? [...] My daily life is surrounded with objects which ought to interest me. [...] To the man who does know these things, I say the interest of life is prodigiously increased. [...] Go, Lewes, and clap a hideous sea-anemone into a glass: I will put a cabman under mine, and make a vivisection of a butcher' (265–66).
Ancient Authorities, Anatomy, Gender, Scientism, Measurement, Physiological Psychology, Phrenology, Botany, Gas Chemistry, Physical Geography, Geology
Recalls that 'AristotleAristotle
DSB CloseView the register entry >> asserted that man has a larger brain than woman', and even though 'there have not been wanting investigators of some authority to oppose this assertion, it is now generally accepted'. The 'new method of measurement' recently announced by Marie P C SappeySappey, Marie Philibert Constant
WBI CloseView the register entry >> has only added to the results of earlier 'authorities [who] are tolerably unanimous as to the marked superiority of man's brain'. Indeed, the 'marked superiority in the male Cerebrum seems to lend scientific authority to the general verdict respecting the intellectual inferiority of woman'. Explicitly constructing the audience of the article as male, the authors reflect, 'The reader may, perhaps, think that the authority of science is wholly superfluous in a matter so patent to common sense. But we would beg him to consider that by many this general verdict as to woman's inferiority is stoutly denied, and by many more is attributed to education, not to organic differences. Let women have the same advantages as men, it is said, and they will exhibit their intellectual equality. Of course there could be no sustaining such an argument if it were demonstrated that women were organically inferior to men. And on a superficial view such does seem to be the case, according to the measurements of the brain'. (276) However, 'while the fact of woman's intellectual inferiority,—if it be a fact—would find a parallel in the inferiority of her brain, we should still have to prove these two things to be causally related', and 'up to this time there has not been the vestige of a proof discovered'. The 'bearing' of the size of the cerebrum 'on the psychological question [is] at present [...] sheer guess work'. (278) Cerebral activity is dependent not only on size, but also on structural factors such as 'the proportions of [...] fat, water, salts, &c.' and 'the arrangement of [...] tissues (including the distribution of [...] masses, or what phrenologists call the localization of faculties)' (277). Although we must 'grant that in the purely intellectual activities woman is, as history seems to prove her to be, on the average inferior to man, though often individually superior', when looking at the brains of the two sexes 'the mere estimate of size is too general for any particular conclusions' to be drawn. Also reports that Jean B A DumasDumas, Jean-Baptiste-André
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has brought to light the recent discovery of a young protégé that some plants 'really are capable of the direct absorption of nitrogen, instead of receiving it by a decomposition of nitrates' (278). The examination of a well in Vermont that remains frozen even during the summer has revealed that 'the only principle which science can lay its finger on [...] connects the effect obviously with the continuous issue of cold air' which 'must have emanated from some subterranean reservoir, taking up latent heat in its expansion'. However, the reasons for the 'maintenance of a perennial supply of this expanding air' remain unexplained. (280)
Romola's enthusiasm for the Comtean element of the teachings of Savanarola, while deliberately casting aside its 'wearisome visions and allegories', engenders in her 'a new consciousness of the great drama of human existence in which her life was a part' that affords a 'definite motive of self-denying practice' (295). However, both her benevolent godfather Bernardo del Nero and her treacherous husband Tito Melema, like the authors of the Science section in the previous number of the Cornhill [see [George H Lewes] [John F W Herschel], 'Notes on Science', Cornhill Magazine, 7 (1863), 276–80], comment on the supposed intellectual weakness of women. Bernardo muses, 'These women, if they are not happy, and have no children, must either take to folly or to some overstrained religion that makes them think they've got all heaven's work on their shoulders. And as for my poor child Romola, it is as I always said—the cramming with Latin and Greek has left her as much a woman as if she had done nothing all day but prick her fingers with the needle' (297). Tito questions whether his wife has 'a small amount of reason at your disposal just now' (308), and tells her, 'You fair creatures live in the clouds' (309).
Complains that in France the 'military colleges' which provide 'enough of scientific knowledge to fit the man who profits by it for command' cost considerably less than their often 'defective' English counterparts (312).
Observes that in a period which 'has not been distinguished, in this country, by any special regard for the sanctity of human life', murderers have become 'alarmingly familiar with some of the most recondite secrets of toxicology', while 'unfortunately the power of detecting poisoning has by no means reached perfection' (338). Reflects on the understandable 'slowness and unwillingness to act' on their suspicions, of doctors who know 'all the difficulties which will attend the production of proofs which will satisfy a jury, or all the obloquy, and perhaps fatal damage to reputation, which will fall upon the medical man who prefers an unfounded charge of poisoning' (339). A doctor should not be given 'the functions of detective police officer, which he has made no contract with society to perform' (348). Rather, proposes that the 'Chief Commissioner of Police be empowered, by an Act of Parliament, to supply any medical man, who may apply to him in such a difficulty, with the assistance of two medico-legal experts, paid servants of the Crown, and permanently appointed for this very purpose' (340–41). Also contends that 'the sober dignity of science should not be turned into a mockery by a system which forces the medical witness to take the position of an advocate' (348), and which provides 'no means of knowing the comparative weight which ought to be attached to statements and opinions of the different medical witnesses'. In this system, the members of the jury are led to think that 'Dr.—, who was plucked at the college and hall, and afterwards managed to slip through the mild ordeal necessary for procuring the M.D. diploma of a very complaisant university, is the equal or superior of plain Mr.—, who may happen to be one of the first physiologists and toxicologists of the day'. (341) Instead, such medical 'evidence should be presented, in its first confused shape, not to a jury of laymen who are utterly unable to extract the truth from a mass of seeming contradictions, but to a selected and perfectly impartial commission, chosen from among the highest authorities in legal medicine, who should hear and weigh every possible medical argument which can be urged on either side, and should present a report to the court, which should be considered final as regards the purely scientific questions involved in the case' (343).
Medical Practitioners, Status, Gender, Class, Breeding
Reflects that the 'profession of a medical man in a small provincial town is not often one which gives its owner in early life a large income. Perhaps in no career has a man to work harder for what he earns, or to do more work without earning anything. It has sometimes seemed to me as though the young doctors and the old doctors had agreed to divide between them the different results of their profession,—the young doctors doing all the work and the old doctors taking all the money' (357). Indeed, the young Dr. Crofts had 'succeeded in obtaining the medical care of all the paupers in the union', and was also 'assistant-surgeon at a small hospital which was maintained in that town, and held two or three other similar public positions, all of which attested his respectability and general proficiency' but which 'did not enable him to regard himself as a successful professional man. Whereas old Dr. Gruffen, of whom but few people spoke well, had made a fortune in Guestwick, and even still drew from the ailments of the town a considerable and hardly yet decreasing income'. Questions whether 'Young unmarried doctors ought perhaps to be excluded from houses in which there are young ladies. I know, at any rate, that many sage matrons hold very strongly to that opinion'. (358). Lord De Guest replaces Dr. Gruffen, who has 'poked his fun at him, just as though he was nobody' (360), with Dr. Crofts, whose medical advice is 'given in such a way that the earl said he would be glad to see him again' (361). In discussing the prospects of Bell Dale marrying her cousin Bernard, Dr. Crofts, who is secretly in love with Bell, tells Lord De Guest, 'I'm not quite sure that it's a good thing for cousins to marry' (362).
Amongst European royalty there seems 'to be a love for particular names in particular families, no doubt to give emphasis to the theory of hereditary succession' (374). Notes that 'the most important characteristic of European royal families [...] in their relations one to another, is the custom of intermarriage', and the 'rigour of etiquette gives rise in some countries to the frequent marriage of cousins with cousins, and even of uncles with nieces—unions which are productive of more bad effects than good' (376).
Describes the Royal Observatory at Greenwich as 'a certain edifice in which the longest calculations, the deepest thought, and the minutest care, are in operation day and night'. Accordingly, it is important that the signs on the building's doors read 'no visitors are admitted', as inside the 'instruments are most delicate' and for 'long calculations, perfect quiet is also necessary, and it is not improbable that the visitation of an occasional organ-grinder near the Observatory might lead to the wreck of some half-dozen ships, which had erroneously calculated their positions by data influenced for ill in consequence of the computer's nerves being tormented'. The author, 'anxious to acquire knowledge of the system adopted here', has nevertheless gained rare access to the interior of the Observatory. (381) He observes that the 'aim of all the time and labour' expended inside the building is 'to give accurately the position of the various heavenly bodies, and, from past and present observations, to be enabled to foretell for two, three, or four years in advance, the exact position of the sun, moon, and stars, at any instant during the twenty-four hours'. He notes that 'Upon the information thus afforded depends the accuracy of all large surveys in various parts of the world'. Many of these calculations are made using 'the large "transit-instrument"', a huge telescope, which takes up most of the 'principal observing room' and is 'the most important thing in the establishment'. (382) The usefulness of this 'great gun telescope', however, is dependent upon weather conditions, and a 'densely cloudy or foggy night is holiday time at the Observatory' (383). Another room contains several hundred chronometers 'all passing an examination, in order to test their regularity', and 'for a small sum, any maker may have his instrument tested at Greenwich'. Every one of the many observers employed at Greenwich 'has about his eyes an individuality which causes him to invariably perceive a phenomenon, such as the transit of a star, a little before or a little after another observer', and this 'personal equation' is 'a singular phenomenon well worthy of the inquiry of psychologists; for it would appear as though there was a variation in the rate at which the external senses telegraphed to the seat of reason' (386). According to the 'astronomical clock, indicating sidereal time' (387) the length of each day is 'not an uniform quantity of time'. But to have 'a variable length of day [...] in the present days of railway travelling regulating clocks would be a very difficult matter'. Therefore, 'For business, as well as scientific purposes [...] a day of uniform length is adopted, and this day is the mean of all the variable days throughout the year, and is hence called a mean day, and portions thereof "mean time"'. (388) The Royal Greenwich Observatory is 'a sort of head-quarters for all practical astronomical information' where the 'whole training and work of the various members partake entirely of the practical and mechanical'. However, it is not from there 'that any important discoveries connected with the nature and constitution of the various celestial bodies are likely to emanate'. Rather, 'From independent observers it is most probable that the next great advance will originate'. (389)
Remarks that beauty will always give 'its possessors a thousand advantages in the "struggle for existence"', and that the 'art of adorning the person' in order to 'hide [...] defects' and 'present a more agreeable aspect' is a 'universal practice of mankind' and the 'earliest art acquired by savages' (391). Nevertheless, many of the artificial cosmetics currently available are 'impositions' that prey upon the 'credulity of vanity, supported by blank ignorance', and, more importantly, incur 'serious risks [...] of injury to health' (392). As 'those who are instructed in physiology' know only too well, popular cosmetic treatments such as the 'painting or enamelling' of the skin (which aim at 'bestowing the radiance of health where nature or disease has set a very different sign') are 'tantamount to destroying it, for the enamel prevents transpiration, and the skin, recollect, is a breathing organ. Experiments have often shown that if an animal be prevented from breathing by its skin (as when a coat of varnish is laid over a considerable surface) it dies in agony' (392–93). Explicitly constructing the audience as male (he comments, 'if the reader is getting alarmed at the rapidity with which his hair is falling off, I bid him do not despair' ), Lewes chides the 'Many women' who use 'cold-cream, pâte d'amandes, and the like' for failing to 'Understand the nature of the complexion', for 'in sober truth, the epidermis, or outer-skin—that which alone can be attacked by cream, milk or cosmetics—is [...] essentially separated from the colouring elements of the complexion [...]. The outer skin is a layer of dead cells [...] it cannot be modified by external agents into any beauty of living texture'. Similarly, 'To wash the negro white has long been recognized as an effort of romantic benevolence, even by those who believe they can make a brown skin fair, or a muddy complexion transparent'. (394) Advises that the only route to real beauty is health and exercise, although exercise may in fact 'be as hurtful as it is beneficial. In excess, or under improper conditions, it has seriously damaged many. The limit of excess varies with each organism; but Fatigue plainly marks the limit for each; all exercise beyond the point of fatigue is directly injurious' (397–98).
Contends that the 'teaching of physiology is plain enough. If it have one lesson more emphatic than another, it is the intimate dependence of health on the free supply of oxygen. Oxygen is the flame of vital activity. Unless the blood take up oxygen from the atmosphere, in exchange for the carbonic acid which results from the wear and tear of the organs, no vital activity can long continue; the incessant waste can no longer be replaced by incessant repair; the flame goes out, and the engine stops' (412). However, although 'during the repose of sleep, muscle and nerve recover their exhausted energies' (412), sleep is 'a condition during which the vital functions are all depressed', and therefore we can 'sleep with a very moderate supply of oxygen', and certainly with less 'fresh air' than is 'indispensable to the waking organism' (414). The suggestion made by French physiologists that, like plants which absorb oxygen during the night, 'animals at night absorb some of the carbonic acid which they exhale during the day', is nevertheless false. Indeed, 'Analogy is a treacherous guide; and in the present case a more comprehensive acquaintance with the physiological facts would have recognized the imperfection of the analogy' (413). Reports that Claude BernardBernard, Claude
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has located 'a peculiar substance analogous to vegetable starch' which 'he calls glycogène, i.e., the sugar-former' in the tissues, and especially the livers, of all healthy animals (414). It 'disappears entirely under the prolonged suffering of pain or disease', and this absence produces a 'marked difference in flavour' if the animal's flesh is eaten, thus providing 'good reason for exercising some circumspection over the practices of our meat markets' (414–15). Relates how a group of American 'civil engineers employed for procuring [...] a supply of pure water' came across a lake consisting of two distinct strata of pure and saline water. They lowered into it a 'slip of silvered copper' which was 'partially immersed in the lower stratum for some hours, [and] all above was found unaltered and all below the line of demarcation sulphurized by electro-chemical action'. (415) After reflecting that 'Verily the marvels of mechanical ingenuity are inexhaustible!', describes the invention of a 'figure of a woman with a larynx formed of a caoutchouc tube [...] which so accurately imitates the human mechanism, that it gives out two whole octaves with the tone and pitch of a female voice' (415). While 'Hitherto all the exhibitions of speaking machines have been either squeaking machines or impostures [...] in this one [...] the actual timbre of the human voice is reproduced' (415–16). Although many of the gigantic carcasses have been allowed to decompose, and the 'tusks only [...] have been made an object of conservation, from their commercial value', in 'the last two centuries it is computed that at the very least 20,000 mammoths, and probably twice or thrice that number, have been washed out of the ice and soil in which they have been embedded' in the Siberian tundra. Now Aleksander F MiddendorfMiddendorf, Aleksander Fedorovich
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has proposed 'promoting the further discovery of the congealed remains of gigantic mammifers' to the Imperial Academy of St PetersburgImperial Academy of St Petersburg
CloseView the register entry >>. At the same time, the 'microscopic observations of Johann F BrandtBrandt, Johann Friedrich
DSB CloseView the register entry >> [...] upon the soft portions of those which have been preserved have proved that down to the minutest elementary detail of structure in the animal tissues of those parts, precisely the identical laws of structure and development prevailed in the animal economy in those far-removed ages, and in species now extinct, that prevail now in animated nature'. If 'but one more of these carcasses be discovered and speedily and well preserved, the mere inspection of the contents of its stomach might throw a wonderful light on a host of geological and physiological problems'. (416)
Health, Physiology, Monstrosities, Disease, Nutrition, Physiological Chemistry, Degeneration, Ancient Authorities, Medical Treatment, Quackery, Neurology
Addressing 'all classes' and not only 'that large section of the community who remember with fond regret the slimness and activity which were once theirs, and now, alas! have departed', the article examines, as 'a matter of real importance', the 'causes of excessive fatness [...] and how its development may be prevented' (457). Although the 'celebrated Daniel LambertLambert, Daniel
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, probably the fattest man whose history has been recorded, lived to a good age, and, though much encumbered by his bulk, preserved his faculties well', he is one of a few 'exceptions to the general rule' that 'in the majority of instances, the development of a large amount of fat diminishes bodily and mental activity' (457–58). Fat is 'one of the most useful of the tissues' (458) in the body and it performs the necessary function of a 'cushion, filling up the spaces between more important organs, and preventing their mutual pressure and concussion' (458–59). Nevertheless, the 'fatty matter of the body which forms the regular "adipose" tissue' is subject to 'remarkable fluctuations in quantity' that can soon become injurious to health (459). As 'Dr. StarkStark, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, who subsequently fell a victim to his enthusiastic zeal for physiological experiments, proved in his own person', it is primarily through the intake of 'food which contains actual fat', such as suet, that the amount of fatty adipose tissue in the body is increased, although it is now also known that 'other than fatty food might generate fatty tissue' by the process of conversion of carbon into hydrogen described by Justus von LiebigLiebig, Justus von
DSB CloseView the register entry >> (459–60). Anstie goes on to describe how ancient authorities such as AristotleAristotle
DSB CloseView the register entry >> were greatly concerned with 'what I should call the "disease" obesity', although he remarks knowingly, 'I advise obese readers who may happen to be nervous, to take a glass or two of sherry before reading the following list of remedies' which includes 'bleeding from the jugular vein' and 'removal of the exuberant tissue with the scalpel!' (462–63). Those who lived before the 'important era when physiological chemistry first started into life', however, were ignorant of the 'discovery [of] "fatty degeneration", a process by which the more highly organized tissues are degraded to a lower organic type', and which means that 'the fatty subject as a rule can ill-sustain the shock of acute diseases' and other threats to the bodily system (462). Reflects that the 'lay reader who has a personal interest in the subject of my paper will, however, turn from these matters, of which he cannot fairly judge, to those dietetic and hygienic considerations which must, after all, lie at the foundation of any proper treatment for such an affection as corpulence', and advises adopting a diet that largely avoids 'fatty foods' as well as 'all saccharine and farinaceous matters' (463–64). Also suggests that 'active muscular exercise is a powerful agent in reducing corpulence' (465), although it must be borne in mind that any 'Violent muscular exercise' may end up 'fatally increasing a degeneration of the heart-tissue which had already commenced' (466).
In an account of the war-ravaged Confederate states of America, observes that 'it is rather amusing to sit for a short time in the [railway] car reserved for the niggers. They are a most ridiculous race of beings, and always appear to be caricaturing themselves. No representation of their manners can be too ridiculous or extravagant for the reality' (508). Remarks later that 'they are unaccountable beings, and always appear ready to laugh. I remember once seeing a lot of niggers sitting round a house which was being shelled, and on my remarking to their master, who was looking very mournful, that he was being shot at, they went into fits of laughter' (512).
Contends that the idea that perjury is more culpable than deliberate falsehood because 'the Deity regards' it as a 'personal affront' is 'a notion fitter for a heathen than a Christian, and is probably a remnant of heathen superstition. All experience shows that, in point of fact, this is so. Savage nations and uneducated classes place the greatest distinctive value on an oath, and lay the greatest stress on the difference between lying and perjury. [...] This superstition is almost universal, and clings closer to all of us than we are aware, though it is strongest in the most ignorant, ill-instructed, and wicked' (517).
After detailing the paradoxical 'dream of the alchemists [...] to discover an universal solvent, or alcahest', which, as Johann von L KunckelKunckel (von Lowenstern), Johann
(c. 1630–c. 1703)
DSB CloseView the register entry >> pointed out, would 'dissolve all vessels' in which it was contained, Lewes venerates the powers of 'Nature, the supersubtle alchemist', who 'contrives [...] to effect this paradox, by giving the stomach an alcahest for all animal tissues, which is nevertheless contained in a vessel formed of animal tissues. The gastric juice is a solvent to tissues in the stomach, but it is not turned against the stomach itself'. Several diverse hypotheses have been put forward to explain this apparent paradox. Indeed, a 'numerous class of physiologists, who, from their philosophic method, may be called metaphysiologists', finding that gastric fluids sometimes attacked the stomachs of dead bodies but not those of the living, 'at once jumped to the conclusion that the mystery was referable to the Vital Principle, which was said to have the "power of controlling chemical agency"'. Being a 'profound mystery, amenable to no known test', the concept of 'the Vital Principle has the common advantage of the unknown', but 'unfortunately for the metaphysiologists, this controlling power over chemical agency is one of the few things which cannot be predicated in the present case', as can be seen clearly in the fact that the 'Vital Principle does not prevent acids from burning the skin'. (542). An explanation which has more 'to commend it to the attention of investigators' has recently been propounded at the Royal SocietyRoyal Society of London
CloseView the register entry >> by Frederick W PavyPavy, Frederick William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>. He avers that the 'essential condition of the digestive action is a sufficient acidity; but the lining membranes of the living stomach are so abundantly supplied with currents of blood, which is alkaline, that they are protected against the digestive action of the gastric juice'. Lewes, however, cautions as to whether 'due allowance has been made for the fact of the presence of food in the stomach whenever the gastric juice is present', and calls for further observations of the effect of 'an abundant secretion in an empty stomach'. Notes that 'our brilliant physicist, Professor TyndallTyndall, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >>' has 'made some curious revelations of the invisible' while lecturing 'on Radiant Heat, at the Royal InstitutionRoyal Institution of Great Britain
CloseView the register entry >>'. (543) Tyndall's bold assertions concerning the 'invisible vapour—that is, the watery atoms floating in the air' which 'oppose barriers to the waves of ether' will 'open the eyes of astonishment, but they rest on vigorous evidence'. As Tyndall's lecture shows, the 'vapour of our moist atmosphere is a blanket, not less necessary for the fruitful earth than clothing is for the earth's proudest inhabitant'. After reflecting on how Jean B L Foucault'sFoucault, Jean Bernard Léon
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'important discovery that the velocity of Light is less than was supposed [...] must alter almost all astronomical calculations', Lewes asks, 'Is it not piquant to reflect that by the property of an imponderable, the weight of a mighty planet may be determined?'. (544) Likewise, it is 'one of the triumphs of science to foresee—not simply to see unborn consequences, but to assert the vision of invisible existences. BesselBessel, Friedrich Wilhelm
DSB CloseView the register entry >> is the creator of the astronomy of the invisible; and the creation promises to be fruitful'. After all, Bessel's calculation of the existence of 'a large mass of invisible matter, probably a planet' that interferes with the proper motion of the star Sirius, at which 'Even HumboldtHumboldt, Alexander von (Friedrich Wilhelm
Heinrich Alexander von)
DSB CloseView the register entry >> jested', has since been proven correct by the observations of Christian A F PetersPeters, Christian August Friedrich
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and Alvan G ClarkClark, Alvan Graham
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, and such 'remarkable confirmation of abstract prevision naturally excited great rejoicing'. (545)
Noting that 'a packet of Mayall'sMayall, John Edwin
WBI CloseView the register entry >> photographs' accompanies his letter describing the 'notable festivities of the past week' commemorating the royal wedding of the PrinceEdward VII, King of Great Britain and Ireland and
of the British Dominions Beyond the Seas, Emperor of India
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and Princess of WalesAlexandra [Princess Alexandra of Denmark]Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
and Ireland, and the British dominions beyond the seas, and Empress of India, consort of Edward VII
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the narrator informs his rustic relations that the newly-married princess is 'a lady of whose appearance the photographers will enable you to judge' (546). He then reflects, 'it would be interesting to know how many hundreds of thousands of photographs of the fair bright face have by this time made it beloved and familiar in British homes. Think of all the quiet country nooks from Land's End to Caithness, where kind eyes have glanced at it. The farmer brings it home from market; the curate from his visit to the Cathedral town; the rustic folk peer at it in the little village shop window; the squire's children gaze on it round the drawing-room table' (547). Also observes, 'as we trace in the young faces of his many children the father's features and likeness, what Englishman will not pray that they may have inherited also some of the great qualities which won for the Prince ConsortAlbert [Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha],
prince consort, consort of Queen Victoria
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> the love and respect of our country?' (552).
Mathematics, Ethnology, Amusement, Genius, Reasoning, Human Species, War, Gender, Instinct, Race
After noting that there are two distinct categories of chess player, observes that 'it would be amusing to watch the collision where genius is pitted against science over a chess-board. On this field genius is sure to get the worst of it. [...] Science rather enjoys a wild-beast struggle like this, and sometimes lets the animal loose on purpose to torture him again, and see him plunge and tear. All this time science may be, originally, the less noble beast of the two. But the arms, the "appliances and means" she has provided, more than make up the difference' (591). The two faculties necessary to be successful at chess—depth and breadth—'differ as the mathematician differs from the man of the world. The mathematician reasons more patiently and more profoundly. But he reasons along a straight line, and sometimes forgets to take in all the facts when setting up his premises. A mathematician, therefore, is not always a safe man of business' (594). Asserts that 'Man is a fighting animal. The element of war is in his blood; and being there it must come forth and show itself—somewhere' (596). The competitiveness of chess, however, is a 'safety-valve for the spirit of war' (597). It is a 'curious fact that ladies can never learn chess. But the reason is plain enough. It is an art of war, and nature intended them to shine in arts of peace. For this particular recreation, therefore, they are incapacitated by natural constitution. In common life instinct serves them instead of logic' (598). Also notes that 'the Zulu mind' is 'a mind arithmetically disposed' (590).
Begins a 'meditation on skeletons in general' after looking at 'some skeletons of sparrows and mice, which an ingenious friend of mine, who is a lover of zoology, had very cleverly dissected and set up in all the glory of brilliant glass-cases, as ornaments to his bachelor apartments'. Insists that instead of viewing the skeleton as the 'the basis on which the creature's structure was built up' with the bones 'first marshalled in their place, and then clothed with flesh', we must 'recognize the skeleton as a derived and secondary structure, built up within themselves by the living parts around' (623). Above all, we must understand that bone is formed by 'a process like that of excretion, or the casting off of waste materials [...] the production of bony matter is a result of the loss and failure of vitality' (622–23). Although we are rightly 'accustomed to think of the body as the product of an active power', we must also appreciate that 'essential to it, constituting its fundamental portion, without which all the rest were utterly waste and useless, we find that which is the result of the very opposite: of the absence and ceasing of life' (623). The skeleton, then, is formed by the 'comparative failure and absence of vital action', when parts of the organic body assume 'that crystalline arrangement' common to minerals and 'step downwards from the living towards the inorganic state' (623–24). The natural 'law is a glorious one' which states that 'Decay shall render its meed to the stability of that body of which it seems to be the enemy. Out of the destroyer comes forth strength' (624). Indeed, the 'body is carved and modelled by decay', which is 'like the artist's chisel by which it is sculptured into grace' (625). In a 'parallel on which the fancy cannot but dwell with pleasure, however doubtfully the intellect may regard it', the jointed or segmented form of 'the skeleton in all the higher group of animals' can be seen to resemble a glacier in a mountain gully which is 'ribbed like a living creature [...] segmented like, though unlike, the spine. Now what are these markings athwart its bosom? Mr. TyndallTyndall, John
DSB CloseView the register entry >> has brought evidence to show that they represent lines of greatest pressure, and result from a thawing of the ice line due to that pressure, and followed by a renewed freezing. May we connect these two cases in our thoughts, and imagine that the lines of segmentation in the skeleton denote lines of greatest pressure, and mark a changed vital process due thereto?' (627).
Crime, Telegraphy, Sound, Hospitals, Pharmaceuticals, Medical Practitioners
Reports that 'there is one system of prison converse which distances all others for ingenuity: it is known as the telegraph. Prisoners are often heard tapping more or less gently in their cells. It sounds like the objectless occupation of idle hands, or an accompaniment to some wearily whistled tune, which no warder is bound to take cognizance of. In fact, it is the clicking of the telegraph'. The system works because the 'staples upon which the bed-hooks hang penetrate the walls that divide the cells; and iron is so facile a conductor of sound that, for that matter, there might just as well be no masonry between the prisoners at all. The slightest tap on a staple in one cell is distinctly heard in the other; and it is only necessary, therefore, to arrange a code of alphabetical rap-signals, and conversation is easy enough, though not very fluent'. (642) Although this system of telegraphy must, of course, be 'very slow at first [...] time is only worth killing in gaol, and when once the prisoner has become familiar with the telegraph, he works it with astonishing rapidity'. Also notes how, in order to 'secure the enjoyment of nothing-to-do in hospital, with the snugger lodging and better food of that institution', prison inmates often resort to 'feigning' illness, and 'Soap-pills taken in sufficient quality are highly esteemed as productive of a large amount of showy but safe sickness'. (643). Although the prison doctor 'often sees through the plot of course', the antagonistic atmosphere that pervades most gaols means that 'medical men concerned with the criminal classes are obliged to make doubtful concessions now and then "for the sake of peace"' (644).
Proposes to end that age-old 'controversy' in which a baby's 'pretensions to intellectual eminence' are 'artfully, and sometimes vociferously, asserted by the women' and 'dubiously received by the men', by referring the question 'to science, with her passionless experimental methods, equally regardless of the fluttering agitations and flattering self-delusions of maternal instinct, and of the combative opinionativeness of men always ready to presuppose irrationality in woman. Science sets aside emotion, and sees only the logical connection between a premiss and its conclusion'. (649). Asserts that 'Very far from a tabula rasa is the mind of a new-born infant. It is from the first equipped with sensibilities and organized tendencies, which not only vindicate its psychological character, but at once manifest its individual peculiarities' (650). Although the mental capacity of a human baby is very different from that of 'the young alligator' which 'emerges from the egg nearly as intelligent (the intelligence of an alligator, you will observe!) as its parents', it is nevertheless 'certain that philosophers have been hopelessly wrong in their estimates' of the 'special sensibilities' of the infant mind (650–51). Indeed, the 'precision of scientific research discloses their utter inaccuracy, and vindicates the baby's claims to manifold sensibilities', thus gaining a 'ready ear' among 'the mothers of Cornhill and its "circumambient" parishes' (651). The full 'psychological integrity of the infant' (652) has been shown by Adolf KussmaulKussmaul, Adolf
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, who is the 'first person who, to our knowledge, has examined this question in a scientific spirit' (651). However, 'making new-born infants subjects of experiment [...] would, no doubt, have drawn upon him the voluble execrations of outraged womankind, were it not' for the 'mollifying circumstance' of his having produced 'results which so triumphantly vindicate' the special sensibilities of babies (651–52). In a personal aside, Lewes reflects, 'Experiment on babies! We remember that, in a communication we submitted to the British Association for the Advancement of ScienceBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> [i.e. Lewes 1860bLewes, George
Henry 1860b. 'A Demonstration of the Muscular Sense', Report of
the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of
Science held at Aberdeen in September 1859, Notices and Abstracts of
Miscellaneous Communications to the Sections, 167
CloseView the register entry >>], the mention of experiments performed on sleeping children was not very well received by some mothers, although the experiments carried with them no operation more formidable than tickling the sleeper's cheeks. The sanctity of the infant was felt to have been violated! Perhaps, also, the experiments being mentioned in conjunction with others on decapitated frogs and salamanders, the timorous imagination at once conjured up visions of remorseless physiologists decapitating babies to detect the laws of nervous action' (651). Avers that while we 'may warrantably reject the old notion of the mind being from the first well furnished with truths of wide generality—"innate ideas", as they are called [...] the advance of psychology, founded on physiology, has made it pretty certain that if not furnished with ready-made truths, if not enriched with innate ideas, the mind is from the first furnished with hereditary tendencies and aptitudes' (655–56). Concludes that, as PlatoPlato
DSB CloseView the register entry >> and William WordsworthWordsworth, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> once suggested, 'a new solemnity surrounds the cradle' (656).
The valetudinarian and ill-tempered Lord De Courcy is such objectionable company that his wife asks their daughter Margaretta, 'Don't you wish we could get Sir Omicron to order him to the German spas?', at which the narrator comments, 'Now Sir Omicron was the great London physician, and might, no doubt, do much in that way' (669).
In recounting how the circumspect Tito Melema managed to 'secure his own safety with the fewest unpleasant concomitants' throughout the discoveries of the various Medicean plots, the narrator comments, 'It is agreeable to keep a whole skin; but the skin still remains an organ sensitive to the atmosphere' (682). This observation echoes the experimental findings of George H LewesLewes, George Henry
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> [alluded to in [George H Lewes], 'The Mental Condition of Babies', Cornhill Magazine, 7 (1863), 649–56] that small patches of skin left on the bodies of flayed frogs remain sensitive even after their brains have been removed [see Lewes 1860bLewes, George
Henry 1860b. 'A Demonstration of the Muscular Sense', Report of
the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of
Science held at Aberdeen in September 1859, Notices and Abstracts of
Miscellaneous Communications to the Sections, 167
CloseView the register entry >>]. Romola, having 'lost her trust' in the Comtean ideals seemingly personified by Savonarola, 'cease[s] to believe in our own better self' and begins to feel 'even the springs of her once active pity drying up, and leaving her to barren egotistic complaining' (703–04). After all, she reasons, 'few had cared for her, while she had cared for many', and now all she wishes for is to 'repose in mere sensation' (704).
Complains that in 'some quarters' the 'remarkable inference' has arisen that 'the CORNHILL MAGAZINE [is] a ghostly organ, favouring the pretensions of spirit-rappers and others of the same or analogous persuasions', and insists that the 'Magazine, the object of which is to inform and amuse the public', as well as 'the persons connected with the management of the magazine', remain resolutely disinterested on the matter. Prompted by the recent publication of William Howitt'sHowitt, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>History of the SupernaturalHowitt,
William 1863. The History of the Supernatural: In All Ages and
Nations, and in All Churches, Christian and Pagan, Demonstrating a Universal
Faith, 2 vols, London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green
CloseView the register entry >>, Daniel D Home'sHome, Daniel Dunglas
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>Incidents in My LifeHome, Daniel
Dunglas 1863. Incidents in My Life, London : Longman, Green,
Longman, Roberts & Green
CloseView the register entry >>, and Robert D Owen'sOwen, Robert Dale
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>Footfalls on the Boundary of Another WorldOwen, Robert Dale
1860. Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World: With Narrative
Illustrations, Philadelphia: J. P. Lippincott & Co
CloseView the register entry >>, Stephen proposes 'to consider in the present paper, what opinion a person of ordinary common sense would form of Spiritualism'. (706) Inverting the 'usual order', and beginning by 'stating the conclusions which the writer personally draws from a pretty careful perusal of these books and other publications of the same kind', Stephen states unequivocally that he 'does not believe a single word of them from one end to the other' (707). Howitt and Owen both fail to give 'sufficient weight to the amount of simple lying there is in the world' (708), although 'it must in honesty be admitted that a considerable number of the stories told', especially those by or about Home, 'cannot be explained away to any purpose. They must be accepted, or rejected on the broad ground of their inherent incredibility' (711). Even though both Robert BellBell, Robert
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and James M GullyGully, James Manby
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> are 'credible witnesses' who 'affirm that they saw a man float in the air' [as recorded in , [Robert Bell], 'Stranger than Fiction', Cornhill Magazine, 2 (1860), 211–24], the 'writer of the present article has no hesitation in saying, No, I do not believe it'. If, however, the 'question is to be really considered, the author, however unwillingly, must drop the impersonal tone' and 'get into the witness-box and cross-examine himself'. (713) In this legalistic dialogue, Stephen asserts that 'in common with all educated men, I have an interest in physical science' which has 'performed solid services' in 'explaining [...] the order of the universe', and has 'ennobled and purified the understanding, and freed it from every sort of degrading superstition'. In this perspective, spiritualistic phenomena would be worthy of belief only if they could be made to accord with 'the ordinary [...] working apparatus' of the known order of things; 'If a spiritual telegraph is established which habitually anticipates electricity [...] if, in short, the spirits are harnessed to the wheels of life and become part of its recognized machinery'. (715) Although, with the endeavours of Home, 'the spirit-rappers have made out a case for scientific enquiry' (716), it must still be remembered that all 'notions about spirits are derived entirely from observations on matter,—matter is the hidden external cause to which we refer our sensations', and there is 'no evidence [...] to show that there are things called ghosts flying about in the air' (717). Spiritualism teaches that 'atheism and materialism are to be rejected', but it will 'set up something instead which is, to my mind, far more dreary and repulsive than blank unbelief. Men, when they die, become, it appears, miserable things', and, although endowed with numerous new powers, 'are so stupid, that [...] they never even hit upon the clumsy plan of the raps and the alphabet till a Yankee Quaker suggested it' (718). By the end of the article, Stephen is 'irresistably impelled to say that, even if true, the whole affair is at most a witches' sabbath' from 'the idiots who rap to those who are idle enough to listen' (719).
When Sibyl Rivers discovers that a love letter which she thought had been written by Digby Stuart was in fact penned as a 'jest' by her cousin Isabel Vernon, she is overcome by 'shock' and is 'suddenly stricken as by a total suspension of every sense, every faculty'. The story of the jest is 'a true tale, and therefore it can have no end in particular; no neat tying up of loose tags; no decisive sentences of moral or poetical justice'. Instead, Sibyl remains in a vegetative state, there being 'no change any more on earth in the breathing statue that had been instinct once with youth and joyous love', and she dies seven years later. (736) Her mother, who has cared for her uncomprehending daughter all this time, greets the news of her death 'almost cheerfully' (737).
Reflecting that in 'all times, and in as many climes, there has been a certain disinclination to leave matters as Nature gave them', the author gives an historical account of the diverse ways in which humans have changed the form of their heads for the purposes of decoration. In several 'Eastern cities', for instance, the inhabitants were 'proud of such children as had sugar-loaf heads', for it was 'a sign that they were of the right tap; and when a child was born, it was the first duty of all concerned to mould its head into the figure of the conical cap once worn by Oriental potentates'. (738) Surveying the wide variety of facial adornments common in 'savage' societies, the author observes, 'I am inclined to think that I would rather make love' to the 'Tartar lady of good principles' for whom a 'couple of nostrils and no nose used to form the perfect idea of beauty' than to 'those Eastern ladies [...] whose ears, by artificial fashionable training, reached down to their feet'. Also remarks on the 'monstrosities' into which the 'prettiest lips in the world may be turned'. (741)
Reports that on the question of the colour of eyes, 'Nature, in spite of a seeming impartiality in her acts, has a decided preference for black; and, if we are to trust a physiologist, has decreed their ultimate empire, if not the final extinction of the blue'. As such, we should 'pity our remote descendants', who, 'in spite of their rich inheritance of civilization which will make them regard us as beggarly pioneers [...] will have the drawback of living under the dynasty of universal black: monarchia monochromatica!'. Cautions that before 'any proposition respecting the future fate of fair complexions can wear a scientific aspect, it must base itself on the proved facts of physiological inheritance. That we do inherit from our parents and ancestors every physical peculiarity we exhibit, is a fact now beyond dispute'. In fact, in 'all thinking minds it is now firmly fixed, that nothing occurs in this world by "accident"; everything issues from inexorable law' (781), and even the most 'strange and seemingly capricious' feature or disposition 'owes its origin to the law of inheritance' (781–82). Forecasts that the 'discovery of the laws of inheritance is the problem for future science' (782). Casts doubt upon the 'Popular prejudice' that 'attributes to mothers the predominating influence in the production of genius', and insists that 'both parents influence the offspring' equally (783).
Describing the Cornhill's miscellaneous contents, proclaims, 'Foremost in the bright array, noblest Fiction leads the way. [...] Poesy, divinely bright, scatters roses red and white, where Science treads, correctly cool, a fascinating pas de seul' (804).