Page images
PDF
EPUB

tho, where a country as large as France and Great sediments, and to mark the site round which vast piles of itain combined has been flooded with a continuouslavas and tuffs, 5000 or 6000 feet in thickness, had been eet of basalt. But stratigraphical studies were only heaped up. Likewise, in his previous paper on Tertiary rt of the necessary initiation. Sir Archibald had been volcanoes, he had established by indisputable sketches e of the first field-geologists in England to perceive that the granitic rocks of the islands of Mull and Skye e importance of microscopic investigation as an were ejected during the earlier part of the Tertiary ljunct to field work. He might well have left the care period, and that they belong to the central mass of in

that special study to some officer in the Survey; but i trusions, the lateral veins of which bave taken the form i wished to make himself master of the subject, Con- of granophyres. cted by personal friendship with Zirkel, Renard, and there is another kind of useful geological work which her eminent petrographers, he gave to that branch of Sir Archibald has a right to be credited with : we allude e Survey such a vigorous impulse, that upwards of to the restoration of the most friendly relations between xoo slices of British rocks were soon prepared and the official Survey and the Geological Society of assed in the collections of the museum in Jermyn London. For many years those relations had been treet ; and if he can now rely with full confidence on maintained at a rather low temperature ; both independis distinguished professional officer, Mr. Harris Teall, i ent geologists and Government's surveyors showed, as it or any determination of rocks, he himself has won all were, more inclination to mutual and severe criticism ecessary competence in that department of science, which than to brotherly co-operation. This period of mistas been so much enlarged during the last twenty years. understanding is now well over. Thanks to the present

An undertaking so ably provided for could not but | Director, the Geological Society has more than once rove successful. It is not, of course, our purpose to give received the early flower of the capital results nbtained in account of the results arrived at. The“ History of by the Survey, and the recent Presidentship of Sir ArchiVolcanic Action in the Area of the British Isles," as it was bald has solemnly sanctioned the return of a harmony presented in the presidential addresses for the years 1891 which will prove of great benefit to the advancement of and 1892, is so much condensed that it must be read geological science in England. is extenso by every one who takes interest in the matter. This is a very brief and imperfect account of the chief We would only call attention to the final summary, where work accomplished by the field-geologist, a work which some important and far-reaching conclusions are deduced would have been sufficient for the whole of a man's life. from the observed facts. One of them is that British | But we have now to consider in Sir Archibald the master volcanoes have been active in sinking rather than in who has been engaged in important educational duties. rising areas; to which it is added that the earlier When he was appointed in 1871 to the chair of Geology eruptions of each period were generally more basic, while at Edinburgh he had the whole work of that department the later intrusions were more acid.

to organize, a task which may be wearisome, but which When presenting a connected narrative of ascertained involves great benefit for a man of labour, as he must knowledge regarding the successive epochs of volcanic face every difficulty, and obtain day by day a clear and energy in this country,” Sir Archibald did more than write personal idea of all that is required for teaching. To that an important chapter of British geology. It may be said we are indebted for the undisputed superiority which Sir that he definitively settled the long-controverted question, Archibald has displayed in his “ Text-book," as well as *whetber there has been any essential difference or not in his other educational writings, such as the “ Classbetween the di-play of volcanic activity at various Book," a very model of clearness, whereby it has been once geological periods. Not very long ago some scientific more demonstrated that those only are qualified for writing schools-above all, on the Continent-showed the greatest elementary books, who are in the fullest possession of the reluctance to admit that true volcanoes could have existed whole matter. Likewise he is the author of small books or during the Palæozoic era. When they were told of “primers" on physical geology and geography, of which Cambrian lavas and felspathic ashes, of Silurian tuffs, some hundreds of thousands of copies have been sold, and especially of Precambrian felsites, they could not restrain which have been translated into most European languages a strong feeling of incredulity. Against old granitic or as well as into some Asiatic tongues. This exceptional porphyritic eruptions they had nothing to object; but the success will be easily understood if we remember that in volcanic facies appeared to them a privilege restricted to Sir Archibald's works the traditional barrenness of geology recent geological times. To this the present writer might is always smoothed and adorned by a deep and intense bear personal testimony, as he found his “ way of Damas " feeling for nature. Nobody has done more than he to only when he was fortunate enough to ramble over North associate geological science with the appreciation of Wales, and gather with his own hands pieces of vesicular scenery. In numberless writings he has undertaken to lava embedded in the tuffs of the Snowdon, or boulders explain the origin of existing topographical features. of true felsite lying at the base of the Cambrian series at Among others reference may be made to the volume on Llanberis.

"The Scenery of Scotland viewed in connection with its Not only has Sir Archibald, in common with his Physical Geology," first published in 1869, of which a new countrymen, always escaped that kind of misconception. | edition appeared in 1887; also to “ Geographical Evobut he will have contributed more effectively than any lution," in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical other to place the matter in the true light. Thanks to Society for 1879; and “On the Origin of the Scenery the cliffs of Scotland, he has been able to trace the roots of of the British Isles," published in NATURE (vol. xxix. old volcanoes, to show true volcanic bombs entombed in pp. 347, 396, 419, 442).

Nevertheless, whatever might have been the attain SHAKING THE FOUNDATIONS OF SCIE'S ments of the geologist and of the teacher, they would not

To judge by the columns of the daily press, we have been sufficient to secure universal recognition, had

expect to find a large number of enterpra not Sir Archibald been provided in addition with the best

company-promoters coming forward shortly to urge powers as a writer. From the beginning he was strongly

Parliament and elsewhere, that leave may be es convinced of the importance of cultivating the literary

them to confer lasting benefits upon London -rs. The element in scientific exposition, not only in order to make

good they propose to do comes in the shape science interesting and intelligible to those outside the

underground intercommunication. Locomotive circle of actual workers, as he did in writing “Geological

the ordinary construction, it would seem, are y Sketches at Home and Abroad,” but because he did not

to be employed, but instead of them cable tross admit the right of a man of science to appear before the

or electric energy in some shape or another. On the public without putting on the “nuptial dress.” Every

points, however, we must speak with caution, for a one who knows Sir Archibald will readily admit that in

are told that an absence of definite statemens z. doing so be is not impelled by a desire for personal dis

programmes is one of the main features of the pronous play. He is essentially a man of thought as well as of

ments so far issued. action. “ Res non verba" might well serve him as mo tto,

On two previous occasions it has been our and whoever has seen his silent but piercing attention in

to draw attention to a scheme, intended to prove listening to some scientific controversy would never be

more ready means of intercommunication between 1 tempted to suspect him of a wish to search after re

ferent parts of London, which threatens to inflia xen sounding manifestations. But he has too much of the

damage upon the property of the nation. artist's temper to neglect correctness and elegance in the utterance of his thoughts. And since nothing in the

It so happens that one of the schemes to which rele

ence was made in the opening paragraph is a rehabis. world is less common than the union of scientific insight

tion and expansion of that very project against whică a and acuteness with a vivid appreciation of nature and a delicate feeling for style, it is not strange that Sir Archi

protested on the previous occasion. The atten.

which has already once been thwarted, to render the bald's fame has passed far beyond the circle of profes

study of the sciences involving exact measuress sional men. The portrait will be duly completed when it is added that no one could have a better renown for

impossible at South Kensington, is again to be

peated, and it is necessary to warn the public thu frankness, fair dealing, and perfect trustworthiness in

an enterprise undertaken nominally for their interes, every relation of life.

which are, or the moment, regarded as ideas It is highly gratifying for England that the recognition of such achievements has not been left to future times,

with those of the company.promoter, will strike a fare:

blow at the utility of institutions on which many thousan and that the present generation has not failed in the duty

of pounds of money, public and other, have already bees of rewarding so much continuous and fruitful labour. He

spent, and on which it is in contemplation to spend mn: was admitted to the Roya Society before reaching the

thousands more. Our protest on the former ocasa age of thirty, a most unusual honour; he has been Vice

was based on scientific grounds. There were obers President, and was recently elected Foreign Secretary, of

strongly urged from other points of view, and as a resc that Society. Since 1890 an Associate of the Berlin

of the opposition the scheme was withdrawn for a time Academy ; elected by the Royal Society of Sciences at

In the shape it now assumes it is still inore objectioc. Göttingen, after the death of Studer, the Nestor of Swiss

able, as the scope is now a more ambitious one. geologists; enrolled among the members of the Imperial

Our objection was simply to the route to be follower Leopold-Caroline German Academy, of the Imperial

In London we have only one locality where telescopes Society of Naturalists of Moscow, &c., &c., he was

are nightly used by teachers and students; we have chosen in 1891 as a correspondent by the French Academy of Sciences, and in the same year he was made

only one institution the function of which is limited to a knight. An honorary LL.D. of the Universities of

physical and chemical teaching and research, wbers

delicate measurements are essential, and form part of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, he has received the Murchi

| the routine work; we have only one institution, tbe son medal of the Geological Society of London, and twice the MacDougal Brisbane Gold Medal of the Royal

function of which is to teach applied science in the most

efficient manner-that is, by teaching in which expert Society of Edinburgh has been conferred on him, in recognition of the zeal and skill displayed in explaining

ment and observation, and of extreme delicacy, must the geological peculiarities of his mother-land. He is

go hand in hand with the viva voce exposition of the now at the summit of his career, and not so heavily laden

professor of each branch of applied science.

P with years but that we may express for him the wish

The contemplated railway proposes to sweep all these ad multos annos. Let us hope that he will long remain

away. Astronomical Observatories, the various Labora. at the head of the distinguished staff to which he has

tories of the Royal College of Science, and of the given so profitable an impulse, and continue to serve as a

City and Guilds Institute, are not to be considered the

least in the world. This is practically what it comes comforting example for those who refuse to acknowledge any other means of genuine success than constant labour

to; for we doubt whether either teacher or taught will and faithfulness to duty.

care to remain in a locality where neither valid experi

ments nor observations are possible. A. DE LAPPARENT.

Continued from vol. xlii. p. 146.

'e need not waste time in considering whether some Royal College of Science elsewhere, but if the buildings ns could not be found to continue to take astrono- of the College are notoriously inadequate, it was clearly 1 photographs of say an hour's exposure, or to use stated at the time when the proposal to place a collecnical balances of the greatest delicacy, with a railway tion of pictures on the site reserved for science made it ramway of any kind running intermittently within necessary to explain the future policy of the Department ty yards of the laboratory in which the work is sup- of Science and Art, that the collections and the laborad to be carried on ; and it is also clear that the result tories attached to them were in the future to be housed on d be disastrous if the traffic were carried on at any the plot close to the present site. ticable depih.

But as stated before, it is not necessary only to base st year a joint Committee of the Houses of Lords our case upon the injury which would certainly be done Commons fully considered the question as to the to the Royal College of Science; it must be remembered iples on which future extensions of what may be that hard by is the City and Guilds Central Institution, 1 omnibus traffic should be carried on, and they j in which extensive and costly laboratories, built by the

to the conclusion that electric and cable railways munificence of the City Companies, have during the ructed at a considerable depth below the surface last few years been filled with students, many of whom d probably be the most convenient means for are engaged in advanced studies. ng the various parts of the metropolis more closely. Every argument which applies to the one case holds me people have attempted to read into this part of good in the other. The work of the City Companies and Committee's report that given a cable or electric the interests of these institutions are endangered in the ray there will be no shaking! And it has been sug same way, and for the same reasons, as those of the ed that all such opposition as we have expressed Government College over the way. e should disappear. This of course is the view of the On the previous occasion, when it was proposed to pany-promoter, but it will commend itself to no one bring a railway at the back of the Central Institution,

In fact there are special objections to an electric the Professors there, with the sanction of the City and ay in addition to those earthquakes more or less Guilds of London Institute, opposed the scheme. We ated wlich are associated with any system of understand that the Professors have again made a reion.

presentation to the Institute which in all probability will evidence was laid before the Committee as to | result in steps being taken to prevent the construction ; of the disadvantages which are incidental to the of any railway or tramway which would interfere with of electricity. It is true that these disadvantages the work carried out in the Physical Department of the Tot such as to interfere with the further extension Central Institution. ectrical railways, but they are of sufficient import In both these institutions it is as important that the

to be considered in deciding on the routes which apparatus should be used without let or hindrance from ailways shall follow. Experiments made some little external disturbances, as say, that the reading-room in ago in the neighbourhood of the South London the British Museum should not be rendered uninhabitrical Railway proved that the electrical disturbances able by a nuisance produced either by private individuals

so great that it was doubtful whether ordinary or by some company in the neighbourhood. er students' work could be carried on within a 1 On these grounds we protest in the name of science ter of a mile.

against a railway of any kind in Exhibition Road. quarter of a mile! And the proposed railway, or If there is one district in the metropolis which ought ric way, or cable way, or tramway is to run within to be thus secured, it is the neighbourhood of the ty yards of electrical and magnetic laboratories. great national scientific school and its associated collecn n'est sacré pour un sapeur !” an evil hidden in the tions. nd ceases to be one.

And here a word about these Science Collections. must not be forgotten that the interests at stake are There are philistines among us who think that the collecnly those of the higher sciences and research. It tions would do very well without the schools, as the 1, perhaps, be argued that as the instruments used schools could do very well without either higher teach vestigation become more sensitive, and as the neces ing or research. or accuracy increases, it may be necessary that There is no doubt a certain advantage to be gained by ches of a special character should be carried out in collecting types of all sorts of apparatus, exhibiting them i specially selected for their freedom from all appropriately labelled in glass cases, through which the al disturbance. A serious damage will, however, be public may gaze with, it is to be feared, somewhat indiso our large towns if it becomes necessary for every criminate admiration ; but it must always be recollected e-class youth who wants to master more than the that the nation is proud of the British Museum and Art nts of science to become a boarder at a country Galleries, not merely because they play a useful part in 2. It is frequently complained that there is an educating the crowds who visit them, but also because sing separation between class and class, those who they are centres to which students resort from all parts, le to do so leaving the towns for the more distant not only of the United Kingdom, but of the civilized »s. It would be a thousand pities if the higher world, not to gaze at the collections but to use ion were also, even in part, to be banished from our them. In like manner a national collection of sciencentres of population.

tific apparatus should be brought together, not merely lay be urged by the promoters of the company that to be stared at, but to be used. By an arrangement be easy for them or the Government to plant the ! more logical than those to which our haphazard English customs too frequently lead, this second object is at theory of sound, constructed by Dr. Koenig of te present attained.

| he would " not have attempted to give the prece It is almost ludicrous that at the very moment tures on sound” before such an audience as tha: when a Royal Commission is sitting to determine the actually attended them. With Dr. Koenig's appc constitution of a new University for London, Par- around him, however, he had assured means of esse liament should be asked to sanction a Bill which, taining” his hearers, and of " illustrating in a way to if it serves as a precedent, may make the teaching would otherwise be impossible the most salient facts of some of the most important sciences impossible phenomena of sound." The late Isaac Todhunter within the metropolitan area. Indeed, in this danger deprecated the systematic repetition of perfectly esti we find a new confirmation of the importance of the blished experiments, on the ground that their res. policy which we have often urged upon those who ought to be believed on the statements of a tutor- p. are directly interested in the constitution of the future bably a clergyman of mature knowledge, recor University.

ability, and blameless character "—to suspect us Science teaching in Exhibition Road is threatened was in itself irrational. Prof. Zahm's prices to-day. It may be threatened somewhere else to-morrow.pushes to a great length a view directly opposed to be It will be impossible for a number of competing enunciated—with obvious humorous exaggerationcolleges to defeat the railway engineers, or to pre the well-known Cambridge private tutor. Not contes serve intact for scientific research a number of build a single experiment decisive of each successive issue pe ings planted upon sites selected without reference sented, he performs a whole series bringing into acide to the new danger which has arisen. They will be at- | all the resources of his superbly found collection tacked in detail, and beaten one by one. How immensely acoustical apparatus. It is no detraction from the det in this, as in many other matters, would their position be and interesting manner in which these formidably on strengthened if they were able to speak with one voice in ous experiments are set forth, to say that the amousto support of a plan decided on in common, and defended space necessarily devoted to explaining the mechanis together. If the hoped-for University of the future of the apparatus used gives to parts of Prof. Zata's already existed ; if it s poke with the prestige of the exist. volume somewhat of the look of an acoustical inetronen: ing University of London, combined with that of the maker's illustrated catalogue. Subject, however, to . consolidated teaching staffs of the London Colleges; if defect, if defect it be, the lectures are decidedly please the support of a Government Department could be and attractive reading. The illustrations, too, asked to aid a University which, like the British Museum, thoroughly clear and beautifully executed, so that commanded universal respect and support; then it might author may be fairly congratulated on success o be possible to obtain a ready bearing for opinions given 'entertaining ' - the word is his own — his bezsen with all the weight of a great institution of which the and readers. His object, to give to general reader country would be justly proud. Till the union is effected, | an “exact knowledge” of the principles of acoustics which alone will make science in London able to meet has also been in a fair measure attained, but subject its enemies in the gate, we must struggle as best we can

cate we must struggle as best we can to certain not inconsiderable deductions. In de to prevent irreparable mischief.

scribing the processes and results of experiment Proi. We can only hope that the Vice-President of the Zahm is clear and thoroughgoing : in expounding the Council, who is known to have the interests of the higher parts of acoustical theory which must be masterei education at heart, will not allow a railway, electrical or

if the facts thus obtained are to be understood in tbeit other, to injure the teaching institutions clustered round mutual relations, he is often vague and superficial Thu: the magnificent collections of apparatus in his charge.

the nature of wave-motion, the formation of stationary

undulations, the composition of small vibratory mort - -- -- ---

ments-matters of crucial importance to any connected SOUND AND MUSIC.

comprehension of Acoustics-receive from him po etiecare

elucidation. Nay, he is even chargeable with baving, to Sound and Music. By the Rev. J. A. Zahm, C.S.C., Pro

the misuse of a technical term of perfectly settled me fessor of Physics in the University of Notre Dame.

ing, written in a way likely to confuse his readers ideas Large octavo, 452 pages. (Chicago : A. C. McClurg and on these very matters. On p. 46 he calls certain points Company, 1892.)

in a series of progressive waves “ NODAL points where THIS handsomely got-upand lavishly illustrated volume there is no motion," thus confusing two things whisa

1 is, the author informs us, a largely expanded tran ought to be most carefully distinguished from each other, script of a course of lectures delivered by him, in 1891 “in a point of momentary rest in a progressive ware, and one the Catholic University of America, at Washington, D.C.” of permanent rest in a stationary undulation. The Its “main purpose is to give musicians and general usage which restricts ‘node' to this latter meaning is 59 readers an exact knowledge, based on experiment, of the well established that such use of it as the above is quit: principles of acoustics, and to present at the same time a inexcusable, especially in an author who himself else brief exposition of the physical basis of musical harmony." where, p. 146 &c., employs it in its ordinary signification. A clear intimation is given at the outset (p. 18) of the The same indifference to accuracy of expression recurs predominant role which experiment is to play in the ac- in this volume with a frequency not creditable to a oustical portion of the undertaking. Had Prof. Zahm professor of an exact science. Thus on p. 5o the not had at his disposal “ all the more delicate and import- return movement of a prong of a tuning fork is said ant instruments” of research and verification, in the

I"The Conflict of Studies,' p. 17.

'pull' air particles apart. On p. 52 we are told held, and so the reader is left free to suppose e.g. that the at the motions of particles of a water wave “are tritone, F-B, is a consonance. On p. 390 the 'inversion ways at right angles to the direction of the wave of intervals is mentioned without any explanation of its self." On p. 68 the author corrects this statement, meaning. ut in doing so, takes occasion to speak of a plane “in," Attention may well be called to a process of reasoning istead of passing through the line of progression. which occurs on pp. 388-390. Prof. Zahm abruptly in p. 380 he describes harmonic partial-tones as introduces (p. 388) calculation by “frequency-ratios" ; modifying the quality of their fundamental,” though he assumes, without attempt at proof, that addition of two bviously means the quality of the compound sound due semitones is performed by squaring the ratio is, and then > the fundamental and other partial-tones combined. On remarks (p. 390) "From the foregoing we observe that

387 it is said that the "ratios of frequencies” which the sum of two intervals is obtained by multiplying, not haracterize particular sounds “are called intervals,” and by adding their ratios together.” An assumption in a xat by dividing one note by another we obtain particular case is thus made to do duty as a general he intervals between them. Language of this kind is, demonstration. adeed, hardly misleading, but it is certainly very slip- On p. 396 we read that “ so perfectly does the interval hod.

of the fifth answer the requirements of the ear that even Before passing from the more generally acoustical, to unpractised singers find it quite natural to take a fifth to he more specially musical portion of Prof. Zahm's a chorus that does not quite suit the pitch of their voice.” rolume, it is proper to point out one important respect If, as this passage appears to suggest, practised singers

which it has the advantage ov er most, or possibly all, in America find it still more natural to accompany the manuals on the same subject which have preceded it. | melodies in consecutive fifths, wonderful effects may This merit consists in giving a somewhat full account of surely be expected from the choruses to be heard at the elaborate experimental researches on beats, combination- | Chicago exhibition. tones and quality conducted by Dr. Koenig, the results On p. 429 our author describes a diagram by Helmof which are to a considerable extent at variance with holiz as concerned with the transposition of an interval conclusions previously announced by Prof. Helm- | by an octave, whereas what it really deals with is the holtz. In the opinion of our author, Dr. Koenig is enlargement of the interval in question by the addition ** one who, not excepting even the eminent German to it of an octave. On p. 430 he writes down, as conphilosopher just mentioned (Helmholtz), has contributed stituents of the chromatic scale of C, the notes E., Fb, B# more than any other person to the advancement of the and Cb. science of acoustics” (p. 17). A more balanced judg. On p. 441, he tells us that in listening to such violin ment, while placing great reliance on Dr. Koenig's ex- players as Joachim, Wilhelmj, and others “one can perimental skill and on the superlative excellence of always hear distinctly the Tartini, or beat-tones, that the apparatus construcied by hirn, would probably attri- add such richness and volume to violin music.” bute to Helmholtz's opinion a preponderant weight in " To gauge the amount of truth contained in this remark interpreting and correlating the results of experiment. it suffices to bear in mind that in the case of most major, Be that, however, as it may, Prof. Zahm has done and of all minor consonant chords, Tartini's tones cause excellent service by popularizing the work so laboriously a decided dissonance, Players who made them “always performed, and so modestly placed on record, by the distinctly audible' would soon be reduced to permanent eminent instrument-maker to whom no one who has put inaudibility themselves. his hand to acoustical work can fail to be under consider Prof. Zahm's volume is creditably free from misprints : able practical obligations.

the following have, however, been noted : The specifically musical are decidedly the least P. 23, 1. 16 period' for 'periods.' meritorious parts of our author's performance. The P. 68,1. 21 'amplitude' for 'amplitudes.' looseness of phraseology already complained of is here

P. 90, 1. 8 • Ajugari' for Agujari.' at its worst. On p. 166 we are told that a'comma, P. 142, in diagram, B. for Be. () is "the smallest interval used in music.” A beginner

P. 152, in diagram I, B+ for B. might easily take this to mean that notes differing by only P. 388, 11. 11 and 12, G for F. that interval were actually heard consecutively in a musical phrase-of course an absurd supposition. Very misleading, again, is the statement on p. 388 that tones,

GERLAND'S ETHNOLOGICAL ATLAS. jike major and minor tones, that differ from each other only by a comma “are considered in music to have the

Atlas der Völkerkunde. (Berghaus' Physikalischer Atlas, same value." The only rational meaning to be got out

Abth. vii.). Bearbeitet von Dr. Georg Gerland, Proof it seems to be that in the equally tempered scale the

fessor a.d. Universität in Strassburg. (Gotha : Perthes, distinction between major and minor tones is obliterated

1892.) Un p. 389 the notes of the diatonic scale, and their ANTHROPOLOGY owes much to Prof. Gerland, whose relations, in respect to rapidity of vibration “to one a completion of the two last volumes of the late Prof. another," are set out, and it is added that all but the Waitz's “ Anthropologie der Naturvölker" is a monument second and the seventh of the intervals thus indicated are of that co-ordinated knowledge of fact which is the consonant. The essential piece of information, that it is source of sound principle. His new“ Atlas of Ethnology," not the intervals formed by these notes with "one while forming part of the great Physical Atlas of Berghaus, another," but with the tonic, that are in question, is with may be obtained and used as a separate work by anthro

« PreviousContinue »