Punch,  61 (1871), 191.






Heroism, Geology, Mapping, Stratigraphy, Mathematics, Instruments, Progress

    Laments the death of three 'Landmarks of Science and War': the military general John F Burgoyne, the geologist Roderick I Murchison, and the inventor and mathematician Charles Babbage. Believes they 'shaped our words and deeds' and were 'lights to guide through darkling ways'. Describes Murchison's early career as a soldier and his subsequent exchange of 'hammer for the sword'. Notes that he 'left, mapped and mastered, what he found untranslated in Earth's book' and taught the lessons he had gleaned from examining the earth. Notes his soldier-like mood and 'campaign with Nature' and the way 'men's loves subdued, / As though Silurian slates he cloved his way'. After noting his successful and busy career, wishes he had lived to see David Livingstone return from Africa. Considers that Babbage stood under the 'dark / Of Destiny', and that he was the first to 'range / Lone Analytic heights [...] By lettered sign and symbol quaint and strange'. Notes the 'grudged means and room' he was given to build his machine for 'making wheel / And crank and lever ply the toil of the mind'. Cannot blame him for feeling outraged at those who considered his calculating engine to be a 'toy'. Describes how he subsequently lived a life of comparative obscurity, except for the occasional 'sharp stir of strife'. Thinks his 'sore' but strong brain 'warred for truth', although the 'great dreams of his youth' were 'unachieved, in brain and breast'. Does not doubt that he has gained his late reward of immortality.

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