Methodology, Mathematics, Statistics, Observation, Political Economy, Natural Law, Progress, Positivism
Urges that even though 'applied mathematics' seems to present 'an exhaustive system of eternal unqualified truth', it must be remembered that in all cases 'science is not a self-existing, overruling power, but a mere classification devised to enable the minds which conceive it to understand the phenomena to which it applies' (25). Statistics are 'the science not of omniscient, but of ignorant and limited observers' (26). While they afford rough data concerning its effects, 'they prove nothing whatever as to the causes of human action. They are simply a numerical expression of the state of the observer's expectations' (27). Also cautions that even assuming that 'it contains (as no doubt it does) a considerable degree of truth', 'Auguste Comte'sComte, Isidore Auguste Marie François Xavier
DSB CloseView the register entry >> theory that human thought must of necessity pass through three stages' is only 'an assertion which may be true or false, but which is nothing more than an assertion' (34–35). After detailing Comte's immense egotism, Stephen remarks nevertheless that the 'individual follies of a single man and the faults of style of his admirers, however characteristic' must not prevent the serious examination of the Comtean system of philosophy (36).
Begins by noting that there is 'something almost akin to romance in the history of the salmon' (42), and suggests that many interesting aspects of the salmon's history can be observed 'rod in hand, on a breezy spring day, while trying to coax "the monarch of the brook" from his sheltering pool' (44). Such an observer may even witness things that have so far been missed by 'naturalists [...] and some of our savans' (45). Indeed, while 'Dr. KnoxKnox, Robert
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, the anatomist, asserted that the parr was a hybrid belonging to no particular species of fish', the 'Etterick ShepherdHogg, James ('the Ettrick Shepherd')
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> always believed the parr to be the young of the salmon', and he was subsequently proved correct, although 'the question was determined in a rather more formal mode than that adopted by the poet' (43). Also comments on the numerous predators that prey upon the salmon, which mean that 'only one egg out of every thousand ever becomes a full-grown salmon' (45). When one takes 'into account the enormous waste of life indicated by these figures', it is only the immense fecundity of the female salmon that prevents the fish's total extinction. However, the 'sad destruction of life incidental to the natural mode of breeding' can be overcome by the artificial breeding system known as 'pisiculture'. Far from pisiculture being a recent innovation, it is known that the 'luxurious Romans indulged in the mysteries of fish breeding, and [...] fattened fish or dwarfed them at pleasure'. (46)
Cornhill Magazine, 4 (1861), 50–57.
Middle Class and Primary Education in England: Past and Present
Warns middle-class parents to 'put little faith' in teachers who advertise themselves as 'F.G.S., F.R.G.S., F.A.S., F.S.S., F.E.I.S. (whatever this last may mean)' because the 'baptism which imparts these capital letters is commonly a trifling affair, and is mostly a matter of a few guineas'. Although the author does 'not mean to say that it is not all right and proper for men distinguished, or even engaged, as geologists, or geographers, or statisticians to write F.G.S., F.R.G.S., or F.S.S. after their names', he insists that nothing is added to a man's teaching ability by 'having these letters, or, if he likes, the whole alphabet tagged to his name'. (51) Before 'the National Schools came into existence' in 1818, the standard of middle-class education was so poor that many pupils 'had never seen a map, except perhaps those in Goldsmith's GeographyPhillips, Richard [J.
Goldsmith, pseud.] 1815. Geography Illustrated on a Popular Plan:
For the Use of Schools and Young Persons, with Sixty Engravings, 7th edn,
London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown
CloseView the register entry >>, which were never used' (55). Nowadays, however, pupil-teachers are trained exhaustively in a variety of subjects, including 'mathematics' and 'physical science' (56). In addition, 'Cabinets of chemical apparatus are granted to every school where the master has proved, by examination, his ability to use it' (55).
Describes the manifold processes of digestion by which food is 'Variously changed by the secretions and the glands appointed for that purpose, [and] is poured into the blood', becoming 'part of that river of Life from which the body ever rises afresh' (93). The albuminous material in the outer environment which forms the most suitable food for the human body is so 'akin to our own substance' (76) that there seems 'a preparedness and adaptation in the one to become the other', and the 'term "assimilation"' best expresses the 'result of the digestive process'. Indeed, although the processes of digestion are extremely complex, we should 'regard with a certain reverence [...] what Nature, and the Author of Nature, have thought worthy of so much care, and have purchased at so large an expenditure of means'. (77) In our digestive organs 'we carry about with us an entire laboratory: the whole armoury of the chemist is laid under contribution to furnish forth our digestive apparatus' (78). Much of our knowledge of the physiology of the stomach, an organ usually 'hidden from our sight and cut off from our manipulation', has come from occasional occurrences of 'accidental apertures' in that organ, especially 'the well-known one [...] experimented on and described by Dr. BeaumontBeaumont, William
DSB CloseView the register entry >> of the United States army' (82). Despite the importance of healthy digestion for cerebration, it must nevertheless be recognised that the body is always 'under the dominion of the mind. Its destiny is to be not only subservient to, but in every change and action swayed by, the mental and conscious part'. By the power of his 'will' man 'rules his body as he rules the obedient horse or elephant, whose powers yet are greater than his own'. (79) The flesh of dead animals contains the force through which the body performs its various functions, and when digested into the blood is 'Entombed' like a 'living corpse within a living sepulchre', thereby fulfilling the 'Divine promise [...] to raise up again His dead' in accordance with the natural law that 'Whatever thing is given up shall be restored again' (93).
According to its commissioners, the International Exhibition in 1862 will display only 'works of industry [...] produced since 1850'. Cole declares that it will therefore 'be one showing the progress made during the last ten years [...] —an exhibition of progress'. (95) The Lancashire mill towns, he notes, have shown 'no interest to exhibit'; but, 'if cotton machinery and cotton manufactures have no progress to show during the last ten years, or have no desire to show it—let cotton be absent from the Exhibition, and let electric telegraphs and photography [...] take its space'. He also contrasts the arrangement of museums, where classification is 'scientifically correct', with the 'commercially or practically convenient' arrangement of 'an Exhibition, which, after all, is a real trade show'. (96)
According to her husband, Mrs. General Baynes 'really is a magnificent physician, now. She has got some invaluable prescriptions, and in India she used to doctor the whole station'. However, the narrator, Arthur Pendennis, remarks that Mrs. Baynes 'would have taken the present writer's little household under her care, and proposed several remedies for my children, until their alarmed mother was obliged to keep them out of her sight'. (138)
Complains that in Scottish public schools earlier in the century 'Arithmetic was taught [...] by an entirely mechanical and illogical process' in which the boys 'committed to memory the multiplication table, [and] were given over to somebody's "Arithmetic", to puzzle over rules and make our answers to the questions tally, by any means whatever, with those in the book' (225). Nevertheless, in the Scottish education system, 'No distinction of rank was preserved in any way whatever. The laird's son and the grave-digger's son stood up in class side by side' (223), and both 'the middle and lower classes in Scotland have a passion for learning'. Indeed, the author recalls that 'Our herd-boy taught himself the elements of astronomy out in the fields, while tending the cattle', and he eventually went to university where 'he carried off the first mathematical prize'. (228)
Advises that in the 'digestive "struggle for existence"', it is best to avoid the 'yoke of pedantry' by which 'science [...] has attempted to lay down dietetic laws' and has succeeded only in 'expos[ing] its own incompetence'. Rather, it is 'experience, and not theory' which must provide us with 'all the rules of any practical value that we possess', and it teaches that we should obey only the 'natural desires' of our appetite. In the case of nutrition, 'science itself has grown wiser, gaining modesty with maturity, and has accepted an humbler part than that of dictating laws to nature'. (281) Nutrition is 'an exact interlinking of powers without with corresponding powers within', and the instinctual desires of the appetite 'reveals to us deep and wide relations, links and affinities of things, to which we should otherwise be blind' (282). Nutrition also reveals in a 'striking light the mutual subservience of mind and matter' (282), and extensive 'mental labour' requires appropriate nourishment (291). For example, the 'head worker [...] should be largely a vegetable feeder; farinaceous articles, with milk, might constitute a valuable portion of his food' (290). Nevertheless, there are well known exceptions to these dietary principles for the 'sedentary man' (290), and 'NewtonNewton, Sir Isaac
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, during the birth-throes of his great discovery, took only a few biscuits and a little wine' (291). In a discussion of the latest 'tendency of physiological research' (292) with regard to the effects of alcohol on the body, it is noted that 'the emaciation produced by spirit-drinking, and the obesity consequent on the free consumption of beer' is clearly demonstrated 'by HogarthHogarth, William
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> in "Gin Alley", and "Beer Lane"' (293).
Claims that the 'course of peace, prosperity, and scientific discovery through which we have so long been passing seems likely to produce a strange result'. Having 'produced an unexampled number of comfortable people [...] attention will probably begin to be directed before long with considerable earnestness to the question why these people exist, and whether any reasonable account of their existence can be given or ought to be required?'. (313) After these deliberations it will be 'generally admitted that people have no business to gratify their affections at the expense of breeding paupers', and 'labourers and artisans' should be encouraged to 'adopt a standard of comfort high enough to deter them from marriage' until they can afford to maintain a family at that standard (314).
In a chapter entitled 'The Division of Labour' which details the founding of a haberdashery emporium that is to be run according to George Robinson's modern commercial principles, the narrator wryly eulogises 'Competition, that beautiful science of the present day, by which every plodding carthorse is converted into a racer' (328).
Declares that right up 'to the present day' well-meaning people such as Richard PhillipsPhillips, Sir Richard
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> have 'striven to prove the identity of the fair and dark races, [...] have denied that the African differed mentally from the European' (341), and have 'hailed them as men and brothers' (340). Nevertheless, asserts that 'the fact remains that these two branches of the great human family are not on a level'. (341). Indeed, the 'negro invents nothing, originates nothing, improves nothing' and 'vegetated in his tropical swamps until his fair-complexioned brother, the world's bully, pioneer, and school master, came to draw him forth and load him with his burdens' (341). Although not advocating slavery, the author gives several examples drawn from both North America and the British Colonies of the enormous differences which exist between the industrious white races and the indolent 'Sambo and Gumbo' (340). On the still unsettled 'question of "amalgamation"', he reports that it 'has seldom been found that a direct cross between a European and any of the coloured races, whether Hindoo, Negro, or American Indian, has produced very good results. Physically and morally, the half-castes appear distinct from both stocks, and they seldom show intellectual or bodily vigour of very high quality' (347).
In a leisurely tour of Ashridge House, the author observes, 'The tomb at which I next glance is that of [...] the Earl Francis HenryEgerton, Francis Henry, 8th Earl of Bridgewater
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, whose bequest of 8,000l., to be awarded to the writers of certain works that should illustrate the wisdom, greatness, and goodness of God, created the "Bridgewater Treatises"Chalmers,
Thomas et al. 1833–36. The Bridgewater Treatises on the
Power, Wisdom and Goodness of God as Manifested in the Creation, 12 vols,
London: William Pickering
CloseView the register entry >>, and is duly noticed, amid some graceful symbols and emblems of nature, on his monument. The tenant of this quiet tomb I had often seen in my boyish days—a quaint, retired, reserved, eccentric man, in Paris' (355).
Cornhill Magazine, 4 (1861), 377–84.
Roundabout Papers.—No. XVI. On Two Roundabout Papers Which I Intended to Write
Gives an outline of an abandoned roundabout paper in which the narrator 'was going to imagine myself to be a young surgeon-apprentice' (381) who joins an expedition 'down the Pdodo river' in Central Africa and encounters a gorilla civilization (382). While the surgeon-apprentice initially mistakes a family of gorillas for 'three negroes' (382), his trigger-happy companion soon shoots two of them and is suddenly 'felled, brained, and torn into ten thousand pieces' by a 'whole army of Gorillas'. The surgeon-apprentice, however, begins to treat one of the wounded gorillas which is 'stretching out its little hands, with movements and looks so strangely resembling human', who turns out to be 'the young Prince of the Gorillas', and as a reward for his kindness is taken back to meet the King and Queen of the Gorillas (383). There he is able to observe 'the manners and habits of the Gorillas chez eux', many of which resemble those of humans (i.e. parliamentary democracy, hegemony of a privileged class, suspicion of neighbouring tribes). The rest of the narrative is summarised in ironic chapter headings ('In a part of the country (its geographical position described) I see several negroes under Gorilla domination'.) which satirize the conventions of books on travel and exploration. The narrator reveals that the imaginary narrative will never be completed because recently a friend showed him 'a portrait, executed in photography, of your humble servant, as an immense and most unpleasant-featured baboon, with long hairy hands, and called by the waggish artist "A Literary Gorilla"'. (384)
Begins by insisting that there is 'a diversity deep and broad between the natural mode of thinking and that which science suggests [...] which separates the practical and "common sense" view of things'. This division 'finds emphatic expression in the different meanings of the word force to the initiated and uninitiated mind'. (409) From a properly scientific point of view, the term force does not designate 'something which has a separate existence' (411), but rather 'the active conditions of matter, of whatever kind they may be' (412). As merely different conditions of matter, the seemingly different forces witnessed by an untrained sensibility can now be seen 'passing continually into one another', and 'We are obliged to think of the forces as one, because, in fact, they will not remain distinct' (413). The 'idea of force which science present to us', then, is that of actions 'continually shifting from one kind to another, but [remaining] essentially one [...]. Thus we grasp nature in our thought' (414). This idea of forces being part of a continual 'circle of transmutations, from one to another' (413), as well as the 'great doctrine [...] of the "conservation of force"', both of which insist on 'the constancy of nature's laws, and [...] the rational connection of all her processes' (415), together form 'the corner stone of modern science' (414). Indeed, the 'very spirit of science consists in the confidence' with which these principles can be 'applied to all cases, however vast beyond the reach of our observation, or complex beyond our power to unravel, however long the completion of the process may be deferred' (418). Because the 'absolute constancy of force' means that all natural actions must involve 'two equal and opposite actions—the ceasing of force in one relation, and its operation in another' (419), the sum of all human activity on earth 'exactly equals—none. These opposites are like plus and minus, and they make up 0'. Nevertheless, the 'discovery of the unity of force carries with it a conviction that brings harmony to our mental life [...] which nature teaches directly to the heart, [and] reveals also to the intellect', and this is that the 'manifold energies of nature, uniting into one, point to one act as their source and secret'. (420)
Ann Blenkinsop, who teaches at 'The Misses Blenkinsop's Select Seminary for Young Ladies' (421), is 'always reading two books—PaleyPaley, William
1802. Natural Theology; or, Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the
Deity: Collected from the Appearances of Nature, [London]: R.
CloseView the register entry >> and DebrettDebrett, John
1802. The Peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Ireland,
2 vols, London: F. C. & J. Rivington
CloseView the register entry >>—and is up in them to a great extent; just a leetle jumble and confusion here and there—such as thinking the peerage the highest evidence of Christianity, and so on' (434).
Reports that the question of the herring harvest has taken on a new urgency because, while George L Leclerc, comte de BuffonBuffon, Georges-Louis Leclerc,
DSB CloseView the register entry >> once gave a blithe assurance that 'the produce of a male and female herring, if allowed to multiply without check, would in time produce a bulk of fish greater than twenty of our globes', John Cleghorn'sCleghorn, John (of Wick)
CM1/4/4/3 Cleghorn 1855 CloseView the register entry >>recent paperCleghorn,
John 1855. 'Fluctuations in Herring Fisheries', Report of the
Twenty-Fourth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science
held at Liverpool in September 1854, Notices and Abstracts of Miscellaneous
Communications to the Sections, 134
CloseView the register entry >> to the British AssociationBritish Association for the Advancement of Science
CloseView the register entry >> has now 'shaken our security in ever-abundant herring harvests'. Unfortunately, 'the natural history' of the fish is 'not well understood even by naturalists', and Thomas Pennant'sPennant, Thomas
DSB CloseView the register entry >> 'highly-imaginative "theory" of the annual migration of the herring [...] has now been given up as a fable'. (440) At the same time, 'even our practical men' have little knowledge of the favoured habitats of the fish, and much of the available information is derived from 'anecdotes' and 'popular notions' (441). Indeed, 'if we are to believe the fisherman, his harvest is entirely a matter of "luck"', but it is 'this belief in "luck" which is, in a great degree, the cause of our fisher-folk not keeping pace with the times: they are greatly behind in all matters of progress' (443). Although 'science has thrown but little light' on these questions, and 'has found itself beset with serious and perplexing difficulties', the importance of the herring industry is such that they 'demand immediate inquiry' (451).
Complains that 'physiognomy, as a science, has advanced not a step' beyond the condition in which it was left by Johann K LavaterLavater, Johann Kaspar
CBD CloseView the register entry >> at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Although it has long 'been held by close observers that there is an inevitable correspondence between the mind and the outward form', they have 'never discovered what is the nature of the correspondence'. (472) Lavater's own 'fragmentary and disjointed' writings, which have 'No order, no logic, no finish—nothing but a dense tangled shrubbery of facts', have also 'done something to discredit the science' (472–73). Hopefully, the 'discovery of the photograph will prove to be the dawn of a new day' for physiognomy, by allowing, for the very first time, the systematic classification of the human form. However, even more than 'the want of adequate collections' of accurate images of the body, the 'false start made by phrenology has retarded the progress of physiognomy', and, although it considers only the 'physiognomy of the skull', phrenology has given 'its own bad name' to the whole subject. (475) While the 'strange topography' and 'still stranger psychology' of phrenology 'makes a pretence of science where there is none at all, affects precision, and leaps to conclusions', physiognomy represents 'the very opposite [...] spirit' and remains 'modest [and] emphatically disclaims the name of science, and pretends only to collect the bricks from which the house is to be built'. Although 'Based on good intentions', phrenology is now 'At last [...] confessed to be a failure and a mock science'. (476) At the same time, ever increasing 'testimony in favour of physiognomy' is found in the very latest works by 'brilliant novelists' (480) such as George EliotEliot, George (Mary Ann or Marian Cross [née
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> and Charles J H DickensDickens, Charles John Huffam
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> (477). Although the 'established principles of physiognomy are as yet but few', acceptance of its 'cardinal doctrine', that 'the human form is homogeneous, not heterogeneous [...] that there is a unity of character and of testimony in all the parts', will help to finally 'vindicate the possibility of the science' (480–81).
Relates how, amongst the pavilions set up for a shooting-match in Gotha, a 'family of "Live Bushmen" excited [...] curiosity' and were displayed for money inside a 'booth' (493). In the booth, a 'young fellow' who 'performed the part of lecturer and interpreter' declared, 'I will show you the wild people of Africa, the only specimens in Europe' (493–94). However, when there 'appeared a little old woman, with a yellow skin and an immense bushy head of hair, followed by a girl of eighteen' it became clear that 'Bushmen they were not, nor Africans: very likely ordinary gypsies, dyed and frizzled' (494).
Gives an account of a trip to 'a spot within the British islands in which the rising generation of Englishmen' can learn 'by experience what it is to exist for a time without telegraphs, railroads, and steamboats', and still witness the kind of 'prejudices that would have laughed to scorn, half a century ago, any one who would be rash enough to assert that ships could be conveyed across the sea by machinery, regardless of wind and weather' (537). Also narrates a visit to the Gouliot Caves, 'celebrated in the annals of natural history, and remarkable beyond all others of those oceanic recesses which Neptune has reserved to himself, and has lined with his choicest treasures of animal and vegetable life' (541). These 'temples of Marine Zoology' contain in abundance 'the soft animals with hard names on which the lips of beauty now love to linger' (542). However, the caves are visited every year by 'pilgrimages of eager naturalists armed with knives and possessed of every kind of pot and pan to carry away the objects of their worship' (541). Indeed, the current 'mania of collecting' is such that many of the marine animals in the caves are simply 'cut away and shipped off to England as fast as they can be procured' (542–43). In addition, suggests that many 'pot-holes' and 'curious natural shafts' might be 'visited with advantage at various times of tide by the geologist as well as the artist' (547), and comments on the 'peculiar physiognomy' of the 'small population, always intermarrying' which inhabits the island (550).
Cornhill Magazine, 4 (1861), 569–81.
The First Principles of Physiognomy[2/2][Eneas S Dallas], 'On Physiognomy', Cornhill Magazine, 4 (1861), 472–81
Answers criticism of the previous article on physiognomy by stating that not even the most skilfully executed painting can compete with the accuracy of representation offered by photographs and 'make the physiognomist feel that that he is on sure ground'. Now that 'everybody is making a collection' of photographic portraits it can be hoped 'that something will one day come of these numerous collections' (571) that will help advance physiognomy 'beyond the nebulous science of a LavaterLavater, Johann Kaspar
CBD CloseView the register entry >>' (570). Contends that 'What Professor OwenOwen, Richard
DSB CloseView the register entry >> can make out of the single bone of an unknown animal is now an old story', and 'His power of constructing the entire animal depends upon a law in comparative anatomy, to which the first principle of physiognomy is the counterpart'. For if 'animal forms generally are homogeneous, so that, given but one tooth, we can describe every bone of the beast to the last joint of the tail, is there any difficulty in going further and declaring that the human form is homogeneous in all its parts?'. (572) This law of the unity of character of the whole human form opposes the 'phrenological method of patchwork' (581), in which the 'face is divided into little freeholds' (573). Moreover, the 'whole fabric of phrenology arose out of a mistake' caused by Franz J Gall'sGall, Franz Joseph
DSB CloseView the register entry >> complete ignorance of the changes which occur in the human countenance between childhood and adulthood (576).
Reports that 'a certain school of modern speculators' attribute 'differences of race and national character' to 'physical facts, such as differences in climate, [...] the aspect of natural objects, and other circumstances independent of human control' (584). As with the theories of this 'necessarian school of historical inquirers', so with 'philosophical theories of natural history', the 'existence of closely analogous differences among animals [...]. Poodles [...] not [being] bred from mastiffs, nor crows from pigeons [...] furnish the conditions which such theories, if they are to be valuable, must fulfil' (585). Also describes the method of physical science by which 'we compare [...] inferences with facts, and we then argue back to the premises from the difference between the facts and the conclusion'. For example, after 'observing a variety of facts [...] various physical philosophers were led to imagine that there was such a thing as an electrical fluid', and from the 'existence of this creature of their own imaginations, they inferred that certain results ought to follow'. When these results did not follow they 'modified their notions of the electrical fluid; but without the first imperfect notion on the subject, they would never have arrived at the more correct ones which they afterwards succeeded in reaching'. (588)
Gives a technical description of the various processes by which 'the material for the Cornhill Magazine' (622) is now almost entirely 'machine-made' (616). However, even with the backing of both 'science and enterprise' (623), machinery, which 'can do almost anything but think', cannot reproduce exactly the quality of 'hand-made papers' which 'are still the best'. Nevertheless, 'Man is especially a machine-making animal' and the mechanisation of paper production can only but increase. (616)
Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Status, Periodicals
Although disgraced in England, Dr Brand Firmin has established 'a not inconsiderable practice' in North America. In a letter to his son, he reports, 'My reputation as a physician had preceded me to this country. My work on Gout was favourably noticed here [i.e. New York], and in Philadelphia and in Boston, by the scientific journals of those great cities. People are more generous and compassionate towards misfortune here than in our cold-hearted island'. (653)
In a heated exchange with his business partners, George Robinson asserts that the commercial value of advertising is one of the 'facts as to which the world has ceased to dispute'. If it is denied, he declares, 'You may as well tell me that the needle does not point to the pole, that the planets have not their appointed courses, that the swelling river does not run to the sea'. (690)
Education, Universities, Mathematics, National Efficiency
Advises that a system of competitive examinations will 'directly hamper and discourage a love of knowledge for its own sake pursued by an independent mind', and can only ever 'test the fact that specific knowledge in prescribed subjects has been attained'. It will 'no more enable a man to work a mathematical problem neatly and correctly [...] than it will enable him to draw a spirited sketch, or to compose an air'. (696) However, competitive examinations may be valuable in the 'scientific branches of the army' where 'special definite knowledge is indispensable, [and] its presence may be tested' (709).
Steamships, Invention, Military Technology, National Efficiency, Engineering, Status, Government, Professionalization, Patronage
Complains about the Admiralty'sAdmiralty
CloseView the register entry >> 'culpable delay [...] in adopting great mechanical improvements' with regard to the navy. Indeed, the navy's current 'humiliating' (715) inadequacies do not lie 'in failing to invent new mechanical agencies, but in refusing to apply them promptly when invented' (716). After the delayed introduction of 'iron cased [...] line-of-battle-ships' (715–16), the next improvement which the navy urgently requires is the addition of iron casing to 'the remainder of our vast war navy' (716). The efficacy of this new technology has been demonstrated by 'the great successes which the WarriorHMS Warrior CloseView the register entry >> has [...] so fully accomplished' in recent months (722). Adds that 'we are glad to know that that opinion has since been officially confirmed by the bestowal of a Companionship of the Bath upon Mr. Isaac WattsWatts, Isaac
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, the chief constructor of the navy, and the responsible designer of the ship. We mention the official recognition of the scientific skill displayed in the Warrior with the more pleasure, inasmuch as it is a mark of respect for a profession which has been too much slighted in times past' (722–23).
In travelling on the 'magic Bronze Horse', people of all classes can now 'cling to the long tail of the fiery steed, and ride rough-shod over the laws of time and space' (727). Reports that 'All this, and more, has been done within the last twenty years, and in an age which is too wise to believe in miracles!' (730). However, the man who was 'born in an age of high-pressure speed, and has fed upon express trains almost from his cradle' (730) soon learns to 'despise short distances, and twenty miles an hour' (728) and becomes 'infected with [...] restless activity' (729).
Although 'not an advocate for "the institution" [i.e. slavery]', the narrator records his memories of the ebullient cheerfulness of the 'negroes of the cities of the southern parts of the then United States', who often dressed in 'such splendour and comfort as freeborn workmen in our towns seldom exhibit' (754). Also notes that his travelling companions on a Mississippi steamer were 'no less personages than the Vermont Giant and the famous Bearded Lady of Kentucky'. While the latter's son was a 'little Bearded Boy of three years old' (757), her six-year old daughter had 'a cheek no more bearded than a rose's', and was consequently ignored by her mother in favour of her brother whose 'little beard was beginning to be a little fortune already' (759).