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here he is, and here he has been ever since, waiting for me till I could find my sealskin, and now I am going home with him to my first family, and you will never see me again, but do be kind to my children on land for my sake.' There, that is my story,” adds Magnus, "and that is why I say seals are strange creatures, and that they can talk just as well as we if they only choose.”
And now we begin to close with the coast of Unst, and can see Stevenson's lighthouse, the rival of that at North Ronaldshay, rising from the rock on which it is built. By five P.M. we are close to it, and we might run in there if we choose on the sandy beach of the deep bay between the cliffs, just where the stream famous for sea-trout runs out from the loch. But we prefer to seek the friendly shelter of Balta Sound on the east side of the beautiful island, and thither we shape our course. All the cormorants in the world seem gathered together in rows upon the rocks, where they sit digesting their food in long lines, row upon row. Tysties and grebes and puffins and guillemots dive and fly about us. The wind is now light but fair, and we have luckily a strong tide. As we sail by the coast Magnus has still some lessons in birdlore for us. That's what the Danes call a Skarv, and what we call a Hiblingur;' what you call here I don't know.” “A cormorant,” we answer. “Ah, but what do you call that fellow ?" pointing to another bird as like the other as two peas are to each other, only that he has a topknot on his head. “ A cormorant too,” we answer. “ What! both cormorants? Well, we are wiser than you. Him we call Skarvar in Faroe, and the Danes call him Topskarv because of his topknot, but he only wears it from Yule till August, all the rest of the year he is like the hiblingur, but there is one sure way of telling them. Look, there's a hiblingur; watch him when he dives. Don't you see he just turns himself over head foremost when he goes under, and there's a skarv, see he shuts his wings close together and takes a little spring into the air before he dives. That's how to tell them. And do you know what we call that?”— pointing to another cormorant sitting on the water, now almost calm, with outspread wings. “You don't? Well, in Faroe we say, when we see the cormorant do that, that he is 'burning salt, though why we say so I am sure I can't tell. And shali I tell you how you may get within shot of them? You must go in a boat, and when he dives, which he always does when he sees the boat coming a long way off, you must row straight after him, for he always swims under water in a straight line, and when he rises you must row after him again, and he will dive at once, and so on four or five times, but after his fifth dive he Landing in Unst and return Home.
i Graculus carbo.-Lipn.
must stay a minute above water to draw breath, and then you may shoot him, but you must row fast to keep up with him, for he swims at a great rate under water.”
Now we run into the fine harbour of Balta Sound, and see a schooner lying off the Factory there. It is just seven o'clock, so we have run down from Faroe in forty hours in the most delightful way possible. As we land we hear the weird wailing screech of the great Arctic Diver sounding from the loch like a condemned spirit, an awful cry to hear in the wilderness all around you far from house or shelter, but now we only laugh at our friend who has never heard it before, and asks rather anxiously what it is. In a few minutes we are seated at tea round a table groaning with food, and present our Faroe friends to our kind host and his family. That night we sleep the sleep of the blest, and next morning we part the best friends in the world with our crew, who we may add soon have a south-easterly breeze which takes them safely back to Faroe. As for ourselves, we take passage in the fish schooner which brings us down to Lerwick in a day, and thence we take the steamer to Kirkwall and Granton. There we and our friend part, he for his wife and children in the south, and we to resume our seat in our easy-chair at Edinburgh. So ends our “ Fortnight in Faroe.”
And now, reader, for you know of course that it is you and you alone that we have been taking with us on our journey, how do you like it? Say “yes,” like a man at once, and be sure that you are often too happy and comfortable at home. When we knew you before you were married, say eighteen years ago, you could go anywhere or do anything. To go back far earlier still: Have we not been with you on the “ box” of the “ mail” all the way from London to Plymouth, nay even between London and Edinburgh? Think of the agonies we underwent, though we called it pleasure. Would you take that journey outside now? We trow not. You must go first class by the limited mail from Euston Square, or by the day mail by the Great Northern via King's Cross, and you must stop half an hour here and half an hour there to sup and dine, and you must have one of the windows up besides, and you scoff at a poor London banker who is fond of the night air, and abuse him for not honouring his own draughts. You call that “wit,” and so it is, but you are worse than witty, you are effeminate. You boast yourself better than your grandfather, and so you might be and yet not be worth much ; but there are many things which your grandfather could bear better than you, bleeding and calomel, for instance, and into the bargain heat and cold and hunger. He drank his Port and had his gout perhaps, but
then he lived before Mr. Gladstone's cheap wines, and escaped divers aches of which you know but too well. Suppose you called him from the grave, and asked him if he had caught
neuralgia” from sleeping so long in the wet ground, his fleshless jaws would laugh in your face and say he knew not what you meant.
As for heart diseases and kidney diseases the doctors had not as yet found them out. Of the spleen he knew something, but then he thought it came from the climate, and that “ Port” sovran” for it. In these days the doctors call it dyspepsia and liver, and now we look at you we think that old disease is the one you have got, and if you do not take care it will turn this summer to kidney or heart or head disease. But the plain truth is you are too happy and comfortable at home, your wife is too good to you, your children are too fond of you ; in society we remark that you are long-winded ; at the club people begin to vote you a bore. You subscribed too to the * Metropolitan Memorial to Shakspére,” that looks very much like softening of the brain. For Heaven's sake don't tempt Providence any longer. Don't stay here where people look up to you and respect you--for your money, but fly to some land where you must learn to shift for yourself, cease to eat your food alone, learn also to kill it. If needs be wash your own shirts. Then you will respect yourself, which you cannot do now, when every one has heard the truth of you from us, and then you will be able to bear the respect of others. Follow therefore, dyspeptic brother, the example in the flesh which we have set you in the spirit. Fly from your wife and family. Have a thorough outing, make yourself as uncomfortable as you can, and when you come back with renewed strength and spirits thank us for having shown you the way to Faroe.
ART. III.—1. JOULE. Series of Papers in the Philosophical
Magazine in 1841 and subsequent years. 2. MAYER. Bemerkungen über die Kräfte der unbelebten Natur.
Liebig's Annalen, 1842. Die organische Bewegung in ihrem Zusammenhange mit dem
Stoffwechsel. Heilbronn, 1845. Beiträge zur Dynamik des Himmels. Heilbronn, 1848. 3. HELMHOLTZ. Ueber die Erhaltung der Kraft
. Berlin, 1847. Lectures on the Natural Law of Conservation of Energy, de
livered at the Royal Institution. Medical Times and Gazette,
April 1864. 4. Exposé de la Théorie Mécanique de la Chaleur. Par M.
VERDET. Paris, 1863.
In our recent article on The Dynamical Theory of Heat we considered at some length the absurdity of attempting to base extensions of Natural Philosophy upon mere metaphysical speculations; and we showed that without direct experimental proof, or the less direct but still conclusive proof furnished by rigorous mathematical deductions from experimental results, nothing can with any show of reason be predicated of the laws of Nature. Experience is our only guide in these investigations, for there can evidently be no à priori reason whatever why matter should be subject to one set of laws rather than another, so long at least as each of these codes is consistent with itself. We particularly instanced the caloric or material theory of heat, as not only unjustifiable in itself, but (while it was received) antagonistic to all real progress. The corpuscular, or material, theory of light furnishes another excellent example. The preposterous nonsense that was gravely enunciated, and greedily accepted, with regard to the nature and laws of light, and the elaborately absurd properties assigned to its supposed particles in order to fit them for their everyday work, would be almost inconceivable to a modern reader, were it not that equally, or more, extravagant dicta of the great inexperienced” have been, and are even now, propounded by self-constituted interpreters of the original designs of Nature. And we nowhere find them more prevalent, or more pernicious, than in the case of the grand question which we are about to discuss. We have no more reason, before experiment settles the question, to fancy Energy indestructible than the Calorists had for believing in the materiality of heat. The philosophers who said that “ Nature abhors a vacuum" had at least an experimental basis for their guidance; and, if they had limited the generality of their statement to the class of circumstances really involved in their experiments, we might have smiled at the peculiarity of the language in which their conclusion was expressed, but we must have allowed it to be correct.
But when we find, in modern times, a sermon, however able, founded without experiment on such a text as “ Causa æquat effectum,” we feel that the writer and his supporters are little in advance of the science of the dark ages, and are irresistibly reminded of the famous Tenterden Steeple. This is the fundamental characteristic of all the writings of Mayer, and therefore we may for the present leave them unnoticed, although we shall afterwards have occasion to consider them as furnishing a most admirable development of the consequences of an unwarrantable assumption. For there can be no more doubt that the works of Mayer, above enumerated, contain highly original and profound deductions from his premises, than that those premises were unjustified by experiment, and therefore not only unphilosophic but destructive of true scientific method.
Let it not be imagined that we undervalue the assistance which science often receives from the wildest speculations-s0 long as these are not elaborately enunciated as a priori laws, but are confined to their only legitimate use, the suggestion of new methods of interrogating nature by experiment. By all means let philosophic minds indulge in any vagaries they may choose to foster, but let these be kept as private magazines from which, when required, may be extracted an idea leading to an experimental research. In perhaps one case in a million, the expected result
: but, in the many cases in which it does not occur, there are thousands of chances (which will not be lost to the careful experimenter) of discovering something utterly unlooked for. We might give instances of this without number, The discovery of electro-magnetism by Erstedt was arrived at by his fancy that a conducting wire might act on a magnet if heated by an electric current. Kepler's Laws were deduced by an almost incredible amount of numerical calculation based upon the supposition of the existence of all sorts of harmonies, perfect solids, etc. etc., in the solar system. In chemistry this principle has been long recognised as most important, since, in the attempt to produce directly some particular compound, it often happens that the experimenter is gratified by the appearance of some other which he had never dreamt of as capable of existing, or at least of being obtainable by his process. Mayer, therefore, and others who have followed a course similar to his, cannot be considered as having any claims to the credit of founding the science of Energy; though their works have become of great value as developments and applications, since the science has been based upon rigorous experiments.
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