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maining has been to some extent supplied by means of extracts from his speeches, letters, and published

writings, but these naturally lack much of the perTHE LATE DUKE OF ARGYLL.

sonal revelation which gives a charm to the Duke's

own tale. The extracts, as well as a large part of the George Douglas, Eighth Duke of Argyll, K.G., K.T.

later chapters of the autobiography, deal in great (1823-1900). Autobiography and Memoirs. Edited

measure with politics, any reference to which would by the Dowager Duchess of Argyll. Vol. i., pp.

be out of place here. We shall therefore confine this xi +602; Vol. ii., pp. vii +635. (London : John

notice of the book to the scientific side of the Duke's Murray, 1906.) Price 36s, net. THE THE last Duke of Argyll was unquestionably one of No parts of the autobiography are more delightful

the most conspicuous and interesting men of his than those wherein the writer reveals the intensity of time. Inheritor of an ancient peerage, chief of a great his love of nature. Even to those readers who have Highland clan, head of an illustrious house that had had most acquaintance with his published writings, played a prominent part in the history of his country, but who never came into personal contact with him, possessor of wide estates and surrounded by a this revelation may perhaps be a surprise. His childnumerous and thriving tenantry, he had every hood and youth were spent amid country surroundings advantage which worldly position and hereditary dis- on the shores of the Firth of Clyde, and being much tinction could confer. That he owed much to these alone he was brought face to face with birds and gifts of fortune he himself was well aware, and fitly trees and flowers, and the ever-changing aspects of acknowledged. Yet even without them his strong sea and sky and mountain. All through life he was character and vigorous intellect would have assuredly delighted to escape from the din and turmoil of made him a prominent figure in any walk of life that politics to find rest and refreshment among his own he might have chosen. It will be for ever recorded Highland hills and glens, the ever varying mood of to his honour that he turned his social advantages to which under sunshine or cloud, from hour to hour, the highest uses. The most accomplished orator of and from season to season, he watched with the most his day in the House of Lords, he held successively ardent devotion. Nor did he confine himself to the various posts as Cabinet Minister, took an active manifold attractions of his environment at Inveraray. share in the political life of the country, both inside For many years he spent a part of each summer and outside of Parliament, and gained the respect and yachting among the Western Isles, with most of the esteem of all parties in the State. Possessing literary rocks and bays of which he became familiar, and over tastes, he became the personal friend of many of the the endless beauties of form and colour of which he best writers of his time, and having, as he says of lingered with enthusiastic admiration. He had a himself, “ an inborn tendency to write," he showed by keen artistic sense, which found expression in many the vigour and elegance of his style that he had solid a coloured sketch of the scenes that fascinated him, claims to literary eminence. From early youth he and has manifested itself in many passages of vivid was an attentive observer of nature, so that he was description in his autobiography. His poetic temperaled to follow with the keenest interest the develop- ment likewise received constant stimulus from the ments of modern science, and having ample self- same marvellous panorama of sea and sky, mountain, confidence he did not hesitate to take part in the islet, and cliff. He had steeped his mind first in the scientific discussions of his day. Whether on public poetry of Wordsworth and then in that of Tennyson, platforms, in periodical literature, or in separate and from time to time the exuberance of his feelings volumes, his tongue and his pen were always busy,

found relief in verse. rither in trenchantly denouncing assertions which he From his earliest years the Duke was passionately believed to be erroneous or in standing up stoutly for fond of birds, watching them in their haunts, noting opinions and interests which he felt sure were just and their habits, and in this way acquiring an intimate true. But he was ever the high-bred gentleman, who, knowledge of the bird-life of his native country. As though a keen controversialist, did not lose sight of an instance of the hold which this pursuit had upon the dignity of his order.

him, he tells hou, when he first looked out for a The biography of such a man could not fail to be

house of his own in London, he went to see one on Full of interest. It has been edited by his widow, the Campden Hill, with some four acres of land about it. Dowager Duchess of Argyll, and is comprised in two There were various objections to the place, but when volumes, whereof the first and about a sixth part of he saw a flock of starlings on the lawn, nuthatches the second consist of an autobiographical fragment climbing the trees, fly-catchers and warblers darting Only begun solate as 1897, this autobiography around, “ all doubts and dilliculties vanished; the birds occupied the writer's leisure hours during the last settled everything"; and he returned to town to inthree years of his life. At his death in 1900, he had struct his agent to make the purchase. In this way brought his narrative no farther than the close of he chose the charming residence which became his 1857, when he was thirty-four years of age, so that London home up to the end of his life. Besides the story of the longest and most active part of his observing the forms and ways of birds, he specially career remained untold. The great blank thus re

studied their various kinds of flight as a scientific


problem to which he often directed attention in his shaping of that surface, he continued to maintain the writings.

same belief up to the last. Again, having in his Within the domain of science his chief interest, younger days adopted what was long the prevalent however, lay in geology. Many of the questions with opinion that some of the latest touches to the landwhich geology deals relate to familiar aspects of the scapes of this country were given by icebergs and outer world, and do not require much technical know- floes during a time of submergence, he stoutly adhered ledge for their comprehension, though in spite of their to this doctrine, and lost no opportunity of ridiculing apparent simplicity they may demand much know- the conclusions of those who maintained that the ledge of that nature for their adequate solution. phenomena in question could only be explained by Amid the surroundings of the Duke's boyhood and the observed action of land-ice. But ridicule was not youth there were many features to attract the notice argument. Neither on this subject nor on that of the of anyone with a geological bent. He does not origin of scenery does the Duke appear ever to have appear, however, to have seriously considered the sub- studied the detailed evidence on the ground and ject until he was seven-and-twenty years of age. In grappled with it in a careful and candid examination 1850, when on one of his usual visits to his estates of the facts. To use one of his own phrases, which in Mull, he received from a villager at Bunessan some he applies to some ecclesiastical tendencies of Gladspecimens of fossil leaves which had been broken off stone, there was “a fundamental indelibility in his from the face of a neighbouring sea-cliff. He ascer- opinions " on scientific problems regarding which he tained that these leaves, evidently of a terrestrial had once made up his mind. vegetation, came from a stratum intercalated between The Duke began his public career by a series of the sheets of basaltic lava which cover so much of pamphlets and other writings on the ecclesiastical that region. His curiosity being thus thoroughly matters which at that time were agitating Scotland. roused, he sent specimens to the Jermyn Street In these publications he showed that he possessed no Museum for examination. Eventually he small share of the logical and metaphysical habit of encouraged by De la Beche to give an account of mind so common among his fellow-countrymen. In the discovery in a paper to the Geological Society, his writings on scientific subjects, wherein he was while at the same time Edward Forbes described the often rather the keen critic than the sympathetic leaves, which proved to be of Tertiary age. These advocate, he found scope for the manifestation of the papers, published in the summer of 1851, showed for same mental characteristic. His three volumes, " The the first time the comparatively late date of the basalt Reign of Law,' "“ The Unity of Nature," and " The plateau in the west of Mull, and thus fixed an Philosophy of Belief,” may be particularly cited as important epoch in the volcanic chronology of this illustrations of his treatment of scientific questions. country. So auspicious a beginning might have been A period of thirty years intervened between the expected to become the starting-point of a successful appearance of the first and that of the last of these geological career. But the Duke never followed it up. books, which, in their author's words, represented So far as the numerous calls on his time and thought his opinions on “the greatest of all subjects, the allowed, he tried to keep himself in touch with the philosophy of religion in its relations with the philoprogress of research in some of the wider branches of sophy of science.” Even where scientific men differed geology, and from time to time, as the result of such most widely from him in his dealing with the intervals of leisure, he wrote articles or gave lectures problems which he discussed, they could not but on the subject. But these efforts of his could hardly recognise the intense earnestness and obvious lofti. be regarded as fresh and solid contributions to the ness of his purpose, the vigour with which he plied advance of the science.

his arguments, and the fearless and sometimes acule The Duke of Argyll's interest in facts seemed criticism to which he subjected some of the generally always to be limited by the extent to which he per accepted opinions of the evolutional school of the day. ceived, or thought he could perceive, their meaning, Nevertheless, it must be admitted that the general connection, and causes. Fundamentally, he lacked impression made on the minds of the Duke's the patience and restraint that characterise the true opponents by his declamation in these controversies man of science. His lively imagination was apt to was that he hardly ever had a doubt about any statesee in the facts what he expected or wished to see, ment which he propounded. Scientific readers of his and he was tempted to group and explain them in articles and books would express their amusement al accordance with some conception he had formed re- what they styled his cocksureness, even in questions garding them, and to leave out of sight as irrelevant of difficult research regarding which he had no those other facts which did not fit in with his in- direct and first-hand knowledge. Such readers when terpretation. Thus, in regard to geological theory, he they turn to his Autobiography may well rub their had early in life adopted the belief of the old eyes when they meet there with the following stateCatastrophist school that the inequalities on the sur

ment:face of the land have been mainly determined by “I have never had any tendency to a dogmatic gigantic earth-movements, and, shutting his eyes to temperament. On the contrary, I have always had all the arguments of those who pointed to the proofs an ingrained liability to doubt. of the enormous share taken by denudation in the He affirms that it was only where he had reached



“ the most assured convictions " that he deemed it

and great travellers, though how the Duke “not only justifiable but a positive duty to express came to confound the one with the other is difficult such convictions with all the certainty that is felt." to understand. The " certainty," however, extended to so many sub- Another error, more serious than a mere lapse of jects that he might well remark that “some, perhaps memory, is to be found on p. 350, where it is gravely many, of my contemporaries in my later years have asserted that thought me very confident in my opinions, and very “Smith of Jordanhill was the real founder of the aggressive in my expression of them.”

He com- Glacial Theory, which has played so great a part in plained of Huxley's aggressive style of writing, but recent geology. It is commonly assigned to Agassiz,

but he did not visit this country till 1840." when he penned his strongly-worded articles and letters he seems to have been unconscious that the No one would for a moment wish to disparage the same complaint might not seldom be brought against importance of the discovery made by James Smith in himself.

1839, when he found among the extinct shells of the There is no intimation in these volumes to what, if Clyde basin a number of northern forms, and conany, extent the author of the Autobiography had cluded from them that “it seems probable that the journals or letters to rely upon in writing it. The climate of Europe was colder during the newest preface states that “memory was invoked to bring Tertiary than during the Recent period.” But he did back from the storehouse of the past all that had not venture to propound a “ theory” of any kind, specially impressed him." That he had a tenacious nor did he refer to ice in any form. Agassiz, howmemory can well be believed, but it has undoubtedly ever, though he did not visit this country until 1840, played him false in a number of instances, some of had already spent some years in the study of glacial which are to be regretted. Thus he misdates certain phenomena among the Alps, and as far back as 1837 transactions by a whole year. He refers to Lady had announced his opinions as to the former greater Lyell, whom he intimately knew and admired, as

extension of the ice of central Europe and of the a sister of Leonard Horner, a man of whom much northern hemisphere. When he came to Britain he had been expected by his college friends, from his

was able to demonstrate the existence here of the eminent abilities." Lady Lyell, however, was the

same types of glaciation as are found in Switzerdaughter, not the sister, of Leonard Horner, and the land, and he thus produced further overwhelming Duke confounds two brothers. It was Francis Horner evidence in favour of the views which he had already


Duke has here who passed away comparatively young; Leonard, who published.

suffered wrote an excellent memoir of his brother, lived until antagonism to these views to blind him to the 1864, when he died in the seventy-ninth year of his

historical facts of the case, and the same spirit of age.

opposition has led him to conclude his reference to A more extraordinary mistake occurs on p. 289 of

the subject with a characteristically sarcastic allusion the Autobiography in the following sentence :

to the “fads and faddists” that have followed in the

track of the great Swiss naturalist. " It does seem a marvellous fact that no knowledge of the wonders of Staffa had ever reached the world

It is in many ways a misfortune that the Duke of till it had been visited and described by a scientific Argyll did not live to carry his Autobiography down Englishman. Sir Stamford Raffles."

through the central and later parts of his life, and to

review in the calm of his old age the controversies, Now Staffa, though not belonging to the Duke of scientific and other, in which he had been engaged. Argyll, lies near to his favourite island of lona, and The din of conflict had long ceased, and many of opposite to his estates in Mull. He had been in

those with whom he had crossed swords had passed timately familiar with it during many cruises among

away. It would have been interesting and instructive the isles, and must be supposed to have been

to learn from his own pen how the questions in debate acquainted with that classic of Scottish geographical looked to him after the long lapse of years; to disdescription, Pennant's second “ Tour in Scotland,”

whether time had modified the confident in which so much of the scenery, natural history, assurance with which he used to do battle, or had and antiquities of the kingdom was for the first time left him in the same convinced and defiant frame of described and figured. That volume was published in mind in which he fought. Up to their close, his 1774, and one of its distinguishing features was the chapters reveal not the slightest symptom of the appearance in it of the earliest account of the wonders

mental enfeeblement of old age. Indeed, he never of Staffa, communicated to the author by no less a

wrote more vigorously or with more apparently voluble personage than Joseph Banks, afterwards the dis

ease than in this Autobiography. It contains many tinguished president of the Royal Society, who like

passages which might be collected as examples of an wise contributed a number of excellent drawings of admirable style of composition, and among his varied the cliffs and caves of the island, which were repro- contributions to literature it will not be surprising duced by Pennant, and form some of the best plates if this latest effort of his pen shall outlast in general in his book. Sir Stamford Raffles, who spent his acceptance any of his previous writings. life in the East, was not born until 1781, seven years The chapters which follow the Autobiography give after the account of Staffa had been given to the a most inadequate picture of what the Duke was in world. He and Banks were both “ scientific English- , his prime and of what he did. The chapter on his




science is particularly disappointing. It consists About three-fifths of the volume is devoted to the almost wholly of disconnected excerpts from letters to methods of discovering and demonstrating fraudulent or from correspondents, interesting enough in them- alterations of documents. The treatment is very comselves, but embodying no connected review of his plete, embracing as it does not only the microscopical relations to science, and leaving the reader very much examination of the written characters, the chemical in the dark as to what these relations really were. testing of the ink and paper, and the indications of The truth is that, what with politics on the one side erased or altered letters brought out by photographic and the management of his estates on the other, the enlargement, but also the consideration of pencil Duke had but little time for other occupations. marks and “ secret" inks. Science was to him not so much a serious study as Some fifty pages are assigned to the examination a refreshing relaxation. Even had he undergone the of blood-stains, and include a careful description of training and possessed the special mental gifts which the conditions which should be employed in carrying go to make the successful man of science, he could out the “ biological” test for the characterisation of hardly have found room for their exercise in his busy human blood. The authors think, in opposition to life. His mind, however, was so active, that such Uhlenhuth, that, given the requisite knowledge of intervals of leisure as he could secure sufficed to bacteriology and physiology, the analyst rather than enable him to keep himself informed of what was the medical man should be entrusted with this exbeing done in various important lines of investigation. periment. A good plate shows the absorption spectra And it was this course of interrupted reading and of hæmoglobin and its congeners, and, indeed, a the thoughtful reflection that accompanied and word of praise is due to the excellent photographic followed it, rather than any original inquiry of his reproductions with which the book generally is own, that blossomed out into the lectures, addresses, furnished. Next follows a short chapter on the ex. articles, and books which came in such a crowded amination of suspected articles for the presence of procession from his pen. His death left a blank in human spermatozoa, whilst the last thirty pages deal society which has been filled by no one of his con- with the evidence of incendiary origin which the temporaries. Few men of his class were endowed chemist may find on closely scrutinising such objects with so remarkable a mental versatility and took such as may have been left undestroyed where a fire has an eager interest in all kinds of intellectual pursuits. broken out. He will be remembered as an illustrious example of a

Throughout the book careful directions are given type too rare among us, wherein the grand seigneur, for conducting the various operations, and numerous the statesman, the man of letters, and the lover of pitfalls which beset the unwary are indicated. As nature and of science are blended in one noble is befitting where serious charges are concerned, character.

clear distinctions are drawn between the results which constitute proof and those which, however strongly

confirmatory, are not in themselves decisive. The CHEMISTRY AND THE DETECTION OF

general impression left by a perusal of the volume CRIME.

is that in the solution of the crime-problems dealt Lehrbuch der gerichtlichen Chemie. Zweite gänzlich with the guidance afforded is admirably practical umgearbeitete Auflage, bearbeitet von Dr. Georg and safe.

C. S. Baumert, Dr. M. Dennstedt, und Dr. F. Voigtländer. Vol. ii. Pp. X+248. (Brunswick : F. Vieweg and Son, 1906.) Price 9 marks.

VERIOUS DISEASE. IN N addition to cases of alleged poisoning, there

exist a number of crimes in the detection of The Management of a Nerve Patient. By Dr. A. T. which chemical and physical science can render Schofield. Pp. ix + 267. (London: J. and l. special aid to the dispensation of justice. Thus, in Churchill, 1906.) Price 5s. net.

. WE E cannot congratulate Dr. Schofield on the title strating a forgery, in the identification of blood

he has selected, for a book written, as the stains or other body-secretions, and in the discovery author tells us, for the use of students and pracof evidence confirming a charge of incendiarism, the titioners requires no such popular designation as results of a capable scientific examination will often “ The Treatment of a Nerve Patient." Further, the furnish a direct proof, where otherwise the verdict' writer does himself an injustice, for many medical would depend upon a mere balancing of probabilities. men would not trouble to read a book the title of

The second part of Dr. Baumert's “ Lehrbuch ” which suggests some words of advice for a nurse or deals exhaustively with the foregoing problems. Par- layman. ticular attention is devoted to the photography in- Now we consider this little manual well worthy of volved, and in the investigations described much use a careful perusal, for although we do not agree bu is made of this adjunct. In fact, the expert in any means with all that the writer tells us, neverthecriminological chemistry, if he is to render all the less it is a book full of valuable suggestions and assistance possible, must be not merely a chemist, advice. We agree with the statement that “mans but a combination of photographer, microscopist, and physicians do not sufficiently recognise the influence detective as well.

of mind over body," but Dr. Schofield, in his desire



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