Punch,  56 (1869), 117.

Hints for Conversation  [9/14]



Instructions, Drollery, Serial


Heat, Instruments, Societies, Pneumatics, Telegraphy, Engineering, Universities, Religion, Education, Mathematics, Natural Philosophy, Amusement

    Suggests that the title of a recent paper read before the Royal Society, 'On the Behaviour of Thermometers in a Vacuum' (later published as Loewy 1869), implies that thermometers are living creatures, a notion which 'leads one to think of the behaviour of Society' and of the importance of those people who fill up vacuums or pauses in conversation. Suggests that 'The newspapers carefully examined will often supply material' for conversation, and gives as an example a cutting describing how Charles T Bright 'picked up the electric cable lost last year' in the Gulf of Mexico. Suggests that this could lead to the notion of Bright competing with giants for the title of the 'strongest man'. Later suggests discussing the abolition of religious tests by the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford. Ridicules the notion that study is the 'main object of a modern University education', and observes that the study of the works of such eminent philosophers as Aristotle, Euclid, and Isaac Newton is generally supplanted by sport.

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