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spinners' Combination, the Glasgow riots of 1848, the lesser Briggate rising concerning the Stone Pulpit, and, indeed, who was familiar with all the ups and downs of Glasgow life, from the passing of the Reform Bill to a period even beyond the trial of Mrs. M'Lachlan, in which he was concerned, and describes. Every reader of the “Autobiography” will turn over its pages with pleasure, not only because it records the opinion and the experience of a careful observer, or even because he was a painstaking and intelligent Judge, but because they will see therein reflected a generous appreciation of politicians who differed from him in thought, as his fine review of Macaulay's “History” still bears witness.
GRAHAM OF THE MINT.
LATEST and, to all present appearances, last scientific Master of the Mint, Thomas Graham was also the last of that brilliant group of inquirers who did so much to reveal the wonders of chemical science during the first half of the present century. Berzelius, given to Sweden in 1779, one year after the death of his illustrious countryman, Linnæus, was spared to carry on his researches till Graham had established for himself a world-wide reputation, first in the Andersonian Institution here, as successor to Ure, and afterwards in University College, London, as the successor of Professor Edward Turner. Born in 1805, Graham was busy with experiments when Davy was called away in 1829 at the early age of fifty-one. Dalton, born in 1766, was spared till he reached seventy-eight; while Faraday was only five years younger when he died in 1867, two years before his friend Graham, then Master of the Mint in succession to Sir John Herschel. ClerkMaxwell, a friend and favourite with all the scientific men of his day, was cut off Nov., 1879, at the early age of forty-eight, while his successor in the new
Laboratory at Cambridge, Lord Rayleigh, president of the British Association, was born so recently as 1842. Graham's friend and pupil, Dr. Young of Kelly, who died only last year (1883), was spared till he had reached seventy-two. Without making any pretensions to having been a discoverer herself, but justly esteemed as a profound interpreter of researches made by others, the case of Mary Somerville, who showed so wisely the “Connection of the Physical Sciences,” remains still without a parallel so far as age and mental activity is concerned. This good lady, known in youth as “The Rose of Jedwood," did not commence publishing till she was near fifty, when Brougham induced her to undertake a translation of Laplace's “Mecanique Celeste.” Mrs. Somerville lived till she was ninety-two, her brilliant intellect remaining so vigorous that at the age of eighty she sent out her famous treatise on that science of molecules which Graham had evolved with so much patience and ingenuity. Fascinating beyond the dreams of romance as have been the discoveries made during the present century by Graham and his brother scientists, it must be remembered at the same time that they had a long line of predecessors, and are certain to have many after them fitted by careful training to pass on the torch of knowledge. As it is impossible to eliminate altogether some notice of astrology in the history of astronomy, so the early alchemists must be accepted as in some way preparing the ground for our modern Wollastons, Stahls, Liebigs, and Lavoisiers. Earlier even than the alchemists of the Middle Ages, earlier even than the introduction of the Christian Era, Lucretius was speculating with much ingenuity and accuracy concerning that atomic theory with which Graham's name is now so closely associated. “Sunt igitur solida primardia simplicitate," &c., writes the poet in his first book of Nature-all primordial bodies are solid in their simplicity, and consist of the smallest parts closely united, not combined by a union of others, but rather endowed with eternal simplicity.
Younger than Graham by twelve years, one of his most distinguished followers was the late Dr. Angus Smith of alkali fame, who shortly before his death in the spring of 1883 put together for the Graham Lecture Committee
of the Glasgow Philosophical Society a brief memoir of his friend, full of suggestive matter concerning investigations pursued by the Master of the Mint. Engaged in preparing the paper as a lecture to be delivered by himself before the Philosophical Society, Dr. Angus Smith was seized with his fatal illness, but contrived amid much feebleness and effort to get the manuscript sent on here, where it was read to members by Professor Ferguson. The title, “Life and Works," is only correct in a modified sense. The “Life" is admitted to be but fragmentary in character, while “Works” rather indicate work accomplished than present Graham's researches at length. The special value of the memoir centres in the sixty-four letters hitherto unpublished, furnished by Dr. Smith, and addressed by Graham for the most part to relatives at home-his mother, sisters, and brother-although one or two of exceptional interest connect themselves with Liebig and Professor Johnston of Durham University. Here is a pleasant glimpse flashed to his sister Margaret, from Köchlin's Laboratory, at Mulhausen, Alsace—“We found here the excellent chemist Schlomberger, who has written the best papers on madder. The chemist was throng at work in his blouse coat and wooden clogs. Köchlin is himself a most interesting person. By the way, C. Thomson is studying with him; he has a high opinion of Walter Crum, and pronounces him, now that James Thomson is getting old, the most accomplished printer we have in England. The afternoon we devoted to Mr. Hoffer's own establishment; John finds them exceedingly communicative, and they seem to show us everything without reserve. He thinks that he has already attained the most important objects of his mission, and that he will be able on returning to produce the beautiful madder rosereds for which Alsace is famed, so that the journey will not be lost.” Again, and also to his sister, a few years earlier, when in Edinburgh—“The gingerbread was excellent. Mr. Johnston got away the last of it as a supply for his Durham journey, thinking greatly of it from the scientific principles upon which it had been baked." A prince of chemists in his laboratory, out of it Graham's life glided on in the most uneventful manner, and may be condensed within the
compass of a few lines.
Born in Glasgow, December, 1805, he passed first to a preparatory school, then to the High School, when he was nine years of age, and in 1819 to the University, where he remained seven years, taking his M.A. degree in 1826. Graham was originally intended for the Church, but strong predilections for a scientific career, especially as a chemist, caused him to shape out a path for himself, much to the grief of his father, a merchant of good position, who, not knowing much about the aims or scope of science, may have been prejudiced in his judgment. From Glasgow the young student proceeded to Edinburgh, where his scientific inquiries were carried on under Dr. Hope.
Graham's progress afterwards may be thus indicated :-Lecturer on Chemistry in the Mechanics’ Institute; Professor in Andersonian Institution, 1830; succeeded Dr. Turner in Chemical Chair of University College, London, 1837; Chairman of Chemical Section, British Association (Birmingham), 1839; first President of Chemical Society of London, 1841; Master of the Mint, 1855. in Glasgow under the skilful teaching of Dr. Thomson, that Graham first applied himself to chemistry as a science, for, however much his boyish mind may have been attracted by the wonders of experiment, Dr. Smith believes that it was at a very early age Graham began seriously to consider the recondite laws of matter. In 1826 a paper was prepared by him on the absorption of gases by liquids, and his shrewdness and calm mode of speculation were as apparent at twenty-one as at any time of his after life.
He supposed, for example, that absorption and liquefaction of gases are regulated by the same fundamental properties. Three years later (1829), he succeeded in demonstrating what has come to be known as Graham's Law—that the diffusion of gases is inversely as the square root of their density. Other rapid discoveries regarding the nature and movement of gases and liquids soon placed Graham alongside the foremost chemists of his day. In addition to many delicate experiments connected with the gold coinage, much time was devoted by the new Master of the Mint to the issue of a bronze coinage as a substitute for the once familiar
copper pieces. When Graham died in September, 1869, the Mastership of the Mint was not filled up, the coinage Act of next year providing for the title passing to the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the time being, the practical duties connected with the office falling to be discharged by the Deputy-Master.
In this way an end came to be put to an office which had been filled by the most illustrious men of science from the days of Sir Isaac Newton, who called in the vitiated coinage of his time, till Thomas Graham, who, in his own department of physics, was no way overshadowed by the universal fame of even the great astronomer. In addition to the text of the “Life," made up as indicated, there is an appendix in the shape of “Critical Remarks," written by Dr. Smith, and originally prefixed to the “Physical Researches of Thomas Graham,” printed for private circulation eight years since by himself and Dr. James Young of Kelly. A photographic portrait conveys a pleasing impression of Graham's mild and retiring yet happy disposition, although even in these points it does not surpass Brodie's fine statue in our Square, where the seated figure of the great chemist (presented to the City by Mr. Young), and almost within earshot of that useful Institution where he filled his first professorial chair, fitly matches with Chantrey's wonderful delineation of the great engineer on the opposite or western corner.
GENERAL ROY OF CARLUKE.
FORMING, as it now does, the basis for most surveys within Great Britain and the foundation also for all reliable maps, whatever scale it may be found necessary to use, the Annual Official Survey Report just sent out in the form of a Parliamentary Blue-book, suggests matter for reflection involving wider issues than the usual duty of simply noting what progress has been made with this great national undertaking. A hundred years (in 1884) has just run out since General Roy,