Obrazy na stronie

"Paul Ferroll” may take their places where tinction of prize carrying, than the reputathey list. Both preserve the unity of interest, tion established among the first and ablest of and are written with the hands of masters, their fellows, and the expectation impress. In both the anxiety is brought to bear wholly ed upon these of high future achievement. upon the one character, and that anxiety is The one of these young lecturers, after a never lost for a moment. This is the charm course of more than ordinary brilliancy ; of Pamela, Manon, and La Dame aux Ca- after establishing a European reputation in mélias, and if we cannot accuse Miss Bronté that specific department of science to which and Mrs. Clive of immoral writing, both, he had devoted himself, found himself, while we fear, must meet the censure of the strict yet in the prime of his manhood and the full for upholding a bad moral, though in a kind, vigour of his power, in the position on fond, womanly way.

which his aim had long been set—the proTo-day the Dramatic School is reviving. fessor of his favourite science in his parent We hail'it gladly. It has been forced on by university. Influence, opportunity, position, the too great license that the Natural has all in his grasp, it seemed that the career, played with the interest. Mr. Charles already so brilliant, were but now to open. Reade here, and Hawthorne in America, Suddenly, almost as in a moment, it closed; uphold its purer doctrine; but greater and on the heart of the city that had welgeniuses are needed to bring it back to full comed back with such fulness of hope its favour. We are convinced, for our part, graduate, the death of Edward Forbes struck that an interest, unbroken, unforced, is the like a sharp and almost universal bereavegreat aim of Romance. The reader must ment. lose his identity in the realization of the To the other of the young lecturers thus actors. Unity of action, of character, of associated in the opening act of their publie place, and even briefness, if not unity of time, career, and not far severed in the time when are needful for this,

and these are the cha- closed, for each, all carthly aims, hopes, and racteristics of the Dramatic novel. May workings,-to Samuel Brown, certainly not they they be worked out by the talents of the inferior of Edward Forbes in power, Dickens, the genius of Bulwer, and the satire though power of a different order, a far dif of Thackeray, and we shall not fear that ferent life-destiny was assigned. The sciencheap trash will quite ruin our literature. tific conception that even then possessed

To recapitulate then briefly: An equal him, and indeed for long before had done poise of matter and manner is the meed of so, precluded all hope of speedy realization. History. In the Essay it is of more im- He knew that toils and disappointments, port to write well than to think deeply. In uncheered by the breath of public sympa. Descriptive Literature the matter may ex- thy, lay before him in the course he had cuse the style, or the style be lieutenant for selected, and he was content to know it so; the substance; but the manner alone gives though he did not know anything like the the charm to the Novel.

full extent of these. They came on him soon and clung to him to the very last. Once he was tempted by peculiar circumstances to stand forward, and proclaim what he believed he had then achieved : it involv

ed accomplishments for atomics as great as Art, III.-1. Experiments on Chemical Iso-Galileo and Kepler had won for astronomy.

merism, for 1840–41. Transactions of But the announcement was premature. The the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

proof was found, was admitted by himself to 2. Lay Sermons on the Theory of Christian- be, incomplete ; and to mere disappoint

ity. Nos. 1 & 2. Smith, Elder, and Co. ment and failure of sympathy, were thenceLondon.

forth added obloquy and distrust. From 3. Galileo Galilei : a Tragedy. James that time, as the chemist he was unheard of; Hogg, Edinburgh.

and the prevalent impression was that he 4. David Scott, R.S.A. North British Re- had abandoned as an idle dream all he had view, 1849.

so daringly aimed to achieve. Never was

impression more at fault; but to all save There lies now before us the prospectus of himself this is now of little moment. In the a course of associated Lectures, delivered very midst of his silent and solitary toils, sixteen years ago in this city, by two young struggles, and encouragements, disease, long graduates of our University. They had just hovering about him, fairly seized him in one completed, with marked distinction, their of the most depressing and agonizing forms college career. It was less, however, the our suffering humanity can know. During more commonplace and often delusive dis- the few and partial respites its seven years

course allowed him, he laboured on. What of the founder of itinerating libraries, and measure of success attended him is fully grandson of John Brown of the Self-interknown to none on earth ; only isolated preting Bible, was born at Haddington on notices and incidental memoranda shew, that the 230 February 1817. For those who he himself believed it to have surpassed his can recall the quaint old country town as it brightest hopes. Quietly he passed away then, and for some time after, was—by a at last : not, like his early co-labourer, in sarcastic visitor described as the most finishthe flush of position and opportunity won, ed town in Britain, for not a stone had been and with a fairer and clearer field before added to it during his long experience him ; but wasted and worn out by a long it is unnecessary further to particularize it. decay that had constrained him, with victory For others, it may be enough to designate as he deemed attained, to forego all its its then society as not greatly dissimilar honours, and even his formal enunciation from that of other places of its size and class, of it.

-very kindly, rather cliquish and sectarian, It were difficult to say which of these two and intensely gössiping. The household, life-scenes, thus, as we are prone to think, however, and especially its head, claims a alike so prematurely closed, most solemnly more particular notice. There are few of sounds to us from the eternal Wisdom, the younger grandchildren of John Brown of “My thoughts are not your thoughts; my Haddington-once a numerous and compact ways are not your ways." Vainly we seek race, now scattered abroad and sadly thinned to please ourselves, to still the restless ques- by death—who have not many a kindlier tionings that arise at thought of such seem- thought towards the dear old town, for the ing waste of intellect and power, with the sake of the elder Samuel. He was one not fancy that all are immortal till their work is to be soon forgotten,-one of those men done. We feel there is mystery far beyond who seem specially set forth to illustrate the impenetration of this formal truism, in how much more love and its energy, than the passing away in all their freshness of two mere intellect, is an influence and power in such natures, with so much of work before the world. In no way remarkable for intelthem which we deem they, and they alone, lectual endowments—making no pretensions could so well have wrought out; and we whatever to genius, even to what is ordifind consolation only in falling back on a narily understood as talent-simply a plain, deeper and more vital truism from all such sound-minded, clear-headed man, of thorough strange and sad catastrophes of our mortal business habits and capabilities, he yet, by state "I was dumb: I opened not my the pure force of love, developed and permouth, because Thou didst it."

fected in the school of the Cross, accom

plished for the best interests of his county We do not here propose any attempt at what genius alone would never have done. critical examination of the literary and But it is as the father of the family, and the scientific claims of Samuel Brown. The head of the household, we have here to do materials for such an examination are not with him; and in this capacity, the pervadyet before the public; for all he gave forth ing quality of his nature shone forth with to it during his comparatively brief career, peculiar lustre. Allied, by the depth and only very imperfectly and partially repre- pervading stillness of his piety, to those old sented the entire man. All we would en- religionists who have laid our Scotland undeavour to do is, in briefly sketching the der a heavy debt, that piety wanted the career itself, to indicate the salient features sternness and austerity which too often enof a nature and character not easily analyzed crusted theirs. Geniality was its marked or defined ; a nature at once singularly and unmistakable characteristic. His rule varied in its aspects of manifestation, and in the family was maintained, not by the yet singularly self-consistent; a character in arbitrary authority these old Calvinistic which men of the most different conceivable patriarchs claimed as their divine right, but habitudes, views, and powers, found some by firm, systematic, and faithful love. Few thing kindred, attractive, and cognate to of the many nephews and nieces, paternal themselves. With those who knew and and maternal and the old-fashioned roomy loved him, the impression of their loss is house seldom wanted some of these as guests still perhaps too recent to allow of their --can forget the Sunday evening catechisings fairly estimating him : and if to those who there; and especially the tender, heartfelt knew him less closely, or only through his solemnity with which it was often his wont public appearances, there shall appear over- to close them, with the commending of each estimation in this record, we pray them to particularly, and by name, to the grace of receive this as the apology for it.

the one Father. Then he was to some exSamuel Brown, the fourth and name-son tent an experimental physicist-an adept in

certain branches of economic chemistry; and I too, was shown that faculty for strong perthe younger Samuel's first appearance as a sonal attachments which characterized him scientific inquirer before the public, was as throughout life; and boyish friendships the worker out and expounder of an idea of were then formed which went with him to his father's.*

the grave, Nor was physical speculation Such were the leading features of the pa- altogether wanting. The well-remembered ternal influence under which Samuel Brown attic of that Haddington house witnessed emerged into boyhood. Those, however, many a solemn council

, prompted and prewho hold by hereditary transmission of sided over by him, for discussion of knottiest qualities, might incline to trace back some problems in the science of our globe; and thing of his whole tendency of mind to an heard many an original and startling hypoearlier generation--to his maternal grand-thesis propounded, explanatory of pheno mother. From all that can be learnt re- mena which are mysterious to the wisest garding her, she was in more than one re- still. There was small reverence for mysspect a remarkable woman; and in this one tery there, most of all, and in it closely followed by her He passed through the usual course of pregrandson, that she had caught the “rare and liminary, classical, and general instruction ill-beloved trick of thinking for herself, and creditably; but, we believe, nothing more. At of trusting her thought.” Boys are not in no time of his life did his strength lie in the acgeneral rigid or accurate analysts--at least quisition of languages; although, when strongformally and logically-of each other's cha- ly actuated by the motive of coveted literary racters; and older friends seldom possess or scientific treasures to become thus more acthe faculty of entering fully into those strange cessible, he soon achieved sufficient mastery penetralia of younger natures, wherein lies over all their difficulties to accomplish his end, unfolded the germ-life of the after career. In the session of 1832-33, he entered the UniThis, however, may be safely asserted, that versity of Edinburgh nominally as a student there was in this boyhood nothing of that of medicine, but, perhaps, more truly with morbid and unhealthy precocity which some a view to that course of study which is preappear to esteem the necessary precursor scribed for the medical student. It is more and premonition of genius. He was than doubtful if at any time he looked forthoroughly and to the soul a boy; not over- ward to the life of the medical practitioner; studious; his occupations, his amusements, and it is certain that, with nearly his first the whole tenor of his life, those of a session at college, the determination of his healthy-minded boy. One well-marked cha- mind toward chemistry, so far as physical racteristic there certainly was; and it was science is concerned, was decided and final. one that went with him through all his It was indicative, too, of the character of his career. Whatever he did, he did it heartily, whole mind; of his indisposition to rest in almost enthusiastically. Whatever the oc- the bare present of any department of scicupation of the time, whether boating on the ence or of knowledge, and especially of his river in the home-built coble, the chef- early revulsion against materialism in all its d'ouvre-at least in our eyes of an elder forms, that in physiology his strongest symbrother; or during pleasant rambles through pathies were with Fletcher, the fearless his well-loved East Lothian, improvising assailant of established dogmas, and the dismantled wind-mill into Pictish round resolute defender of man's mortal frame tower, for behoof of a companion smitten against those, whose so-called analysis would with archæological madness; or restfully reduce it to a mere aggregation of chemical watching the stars, and northern streamers, compounds. and shimmering wildfire from among the

The set with whom he more closely assoautumn sheaves, - each and all was done ciated himself at College included, with with heart and soul. Those were pleasant many names of minor distinction, at least days to all who shared them, specially two whose reputation is now European,pleasant through him. And that number Edward Forbes, and John Goodsir. included strange varieties; for even then Toward the former, in particular, though perwas established that remarkable power of sonal intercourse had comparatively ceased fascination for the most different conceivable between them, his attachment continued natures and developments, which appeared strong to the last. How truly he loved, to grow with his growth, and strengthen and how deeply mourned, that gifted spirit

, with his strength, to the very last. Already, --how highly yet discriminatingly estimated

him, the following extract from his private * "On the Mucilage of the Fuci, with remarks on

journal testifies :its application to Economical ends:" read before the Society of Arts, April 1837.

“Edward Forbes is dead and buried before me;

-died this day week,-was buried on Thursday. conceive) sincere rather than earnest, in religion. He behaved at the close with his old composure There lay his great defect; since all are but and considerateness, and sweetness of nature,' fragments after all that can be said even of a writes Dr. John. This is a great public loss,-a Shakspere. He wanted intensity of character, pungent public grief too; but to us, his friends, it depth of soul, spirituality; and it is curious in a is past the blasphemy of grief. Surely it is man so large. * wondrous in our eyes. Not forty yet; bis "And in connexion with this lay one of the work sketched out largely, rather than done : his secrets of Forbes' boundless popularity. He was proper career, as the Edinburgh Professor of a conformist,-ran against no man or thing. He Natural History, just opened, and that with un joined no new cause ; he assailed no old one; usual brilliancy of circumstance,- Edinburgh, nay, he even assailed no new one. All were wel young and old, proud to receive him as her new come to him, therefore, and he to all. Even in Great Man,--the Naturalists of Scotland rising Natural History he brought no agitating or per up to call the Manxman blessed — The pity of it, plexing news,--perplexing men with the fear of the pity of it!'

change. He sailed nobly with the wind and tide "We almost began our public career together. of ordinary progress, not needing to carry a single He in his twenty-fifth, I in my twenty-third year, gun, bat the foremost of this peaceful fleet. This delivered at Edinburgh a joint course of lectures was all very delightful and wise; yet let a word on the Philosophy of the Sciences - he the gra be said for the men of war, John Kepler and the phic or static, I the principal or dynamic hemi- rest; and also let a distinction betwixt the two sphere of the round. Tall for his strength, slightly orders of men be 'remembered. To forget such round-shouldered, slightly in-bent legs, but ele distinctions is to confound the morality of critigant, with a fine round head and long face, a cism. He of Nazareth, not to be profane, brought broad, beautifally arched forehead ; long dim-not peace, but a sword,'—the Divine image of brown hair like a woman's, a slight monstache, “the greater sort of greatness.”” no beard, long-limbed, long-fingered, lean,- such was one of the most interesting figures ever be and like-hearted, Dr. Brown was associated

With these men, and others like-minded good, bis manner not flowing, -not even easy. in one of those attempts which the young He was not eloquent, but he said the right sort enthusiastic truth-seeker so naturally turns of thing in a right sort of way; and there was to, to detach himself from the mass of insuch an air of mastery about him, of genius, of tellectual and moral indifferentism on the geniality, of unspeakable good-nature, that he won one hand, and of sectarianism on the other, all hearts, and subdued all minds, and kept all which is almost sure to surround him wherimaginations prisoners for life. Nobody that has not heard him can conceive the charm.

ever his lot may be cast. The form as“In natural history his labours are acknow- sumed by this desire in the present case was ledged by his peers ; and it is not for a chemist the introduction of the o. e. p.* Society to say a word. Yet I fancy he has made no among the Edinburgh students. The obmemorable discovery,-initiated no critical move-jects of this institution, at least as these dement. It is by the width of his views he has fined themselves in the purpose of the intold, and by his personal influence. In short, he troducers, were, firstly, the pursuit of truth; is a first-rate naturalist, near-sighted and farsighted, and eminently disposed and able to re secondly, the engaging themselves to this duce the chaos of observation to order, and to pursuit in perfect catholicity, alike as to the discern the one soul of nature in all her manifold forms of truth

and as to the general opinions body of members ; bat he has not shown himself and views of the brethren of the order; and, inventive like Linnæus or Ouvier, or even Buffon. thirdly, the recognition of the great principle His true greatness was cumulative; and if he of brotherhood and association, not merely had lived as long, he might have rivalled Ham- formally, but in actual practice, in this purboldt. As it is, he was not a philosopher, nor suit. great discoverer ; but he was a consummate noble attempt

, but it was the attempt of

It was a generous scheme, and a and philosophical naturalist, wider than any man alive in his kind. Add to that noble distinction, youth; and it failed from causes which that he was much of an artist, not a little of a cooler heads and colder hearts could easily man of letters, something of a scholar, a humor- have predicted,--the introduction of unsuitist, the very most amiable of men, a perfect able and unworthy members, and the fallgentleman, and a beantiful pard-like creature, and ing away of others from the first fresh enyou have our Hyperion, gone down, alas, ere it thusiasm and frank daring and freedom of was yet noon! After all, what a combination of charms, what a constellation of gifts, what a man! youth Nay, even among the originators Edward Forbes was a sweet, wise, broad

and themselves, --so at least Dr. Brown's later sunny, great kind of man, else I do not know a and stern self-judgment deemed, the assonobleman when I see him.

ciation principle soon began too much to "As for religion, I can only say he never talked degenerate into mere sociality, the sign, infidelities even in our rash youth. He always as it ever tends to do with our poor humanabided by the church, though he rarely frequent- ity, had begun too much to usurp the place ed its tabernacles. He was a kind of half-intel of the thing signified. lectual, half-ästhetical believer. Theology somehow did not lie in his way; and he was (as I * The initials of its legend, "olvos, {pos, púbnois." VOL. XXVI.


But there is no need that we should, be- of darkness and desolation; which pressed cause its sensibly active operation for good the more severely on him, that, for most soon ceased, assume the attempt to have eyes, it was veiled beneath an exterior little been without its fruits. More than one of changed from his wonted one. Everything these young enthusiasts could be named, as was shaken within him--all faith for the having, amid all other change in them and time dethroned, life overshadowed, definite around them, continued essentially true to purpose and aim put aside. The bond bethe principles they had thus attempted to tween father and son had been one of pecuembody in form. And though undoubtedly liar tenderness, even for such a relation. that attempt was itself indicative of a cha- One or two of the early, indeed the schoolracter and tendency already in them de- boy, letters of the son to the father, have, since veloped, there need be as little doubt that the death of the former, been found in the this institution aided, defined, and confirmed repositories of the latter; and the touching that tendency. Among those who thus to and beautiful tone of perfect confidence and the end held true to the confession of faith free and full self-unveiling that characterizes and purpose, veiled under the symbol of the them reveal, better than all directer words 0. E. H., Samuel Brown was undoubtedly or description could have done, how closely one. As regards his own special quest in these two were knit together. science, indeed, the principle of actual and The year thus peculiarly solemnized saw active association became soon impossible. also such progress taken in his outward Ere long he had to tread that path literally career as graduation constituted, for one alone. But the truth-seeking and the catho- to whom it was, in effect, little more than a licity were his to the last; and this lone- form. Chemistry had now taken full, almost liness on his own peculiar path, seemed only tyrannous, possession of him; and while to broaden and deepen his sympathies with his Thesis, on chemical topics,* was one of the whole brotherhood, devoted, like him the prize themes of the year, we well reself, to the extension of the boundaries of member he was, what was rare indeed with human knowledge and human faith. his firm self reliant nature, rather nervous

In 1837 his course of study at Edinburgh about certain others of his examinations. University was interrupted by his removal He had already won for himself high standto St. Petersburg, where his eldest brother ing, more, however, among his cotemporaries was then settled, preparatory to his com- than, with one or two exceptions, among his pleting his medical curriculum at Berlin. teachers. His appearances at the various Mitscherlich, the discoverer of the doctrine students' societies had, in particular, apof isomorphism, and the able expounder of proved to those perhaps best capable of that of isomerism, as it then was and still forming a judgment-not only his general is accepted, was the principal attraction to power, but the singularly flexible and cathothe Prussian capital; for already the initial Olic character of it and excited in the minds conception of an isomerism far more exten- of men, least of all likely to be imposed on sive and profound had assumed definite by mere show and appearance, because form in his thoughts. At Berlin, however, directly and personally interested in the deand under Mitscherlich, he was never to be tection of these, the highest hopes with repermitted to study. He was stricken down gard to his future career. Already, too, at St. Petersburg by typhus fever, followed was strongly pronounced the possession, in by malignant dysentery; and, in the spring peculiar degree, of that open-minded and of the following year, returned to England open hearted receptivity of nature, which is with health greatly shattered, and with, one of the foremost essentials to the true there is too much reason to believe, the discoverer; and the courage which never -seeds of that disease implanted in his con- shrunk from giving fair and calm considerastitution which ultimately wore out his life. tion to the new, even though he might find But the year 1839_-that also of his gradua- himself alone in doing so. Mere novelty tion-brought to him a yet sterner and more in itself had no overpowering attraction for searching initiation into "worship of sorrow," than even the personal assault of dis

**Chemical Fragments First, on the preparation, ease, in the death of his father, and that also &c., of carburets; second, on the coagulation of albu

men." The latter section, which formed his contriof one with whom his life had long been bution to the Academic Annual for that year, was very intimately associated. How these chiefly devoted to the discussion of catalysis, -a strokes looked to him in anticipation, is subject in which he was greatly interested. The known in some degree from a letter to his former may be regarded as his first public appearfather of this year's date.

ance in connexion with that work which was the

And when the after-devotion of his life ; for subsequent examdouble bereavement was actually consum- ination of these supposed carburets led him to apmated, it brought for the time a very horror / pend to his MS. the note, * They were siliciurets."

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