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thing in many directions, particularly in physi- ments, but on scientific methods of thought cal science. One who seeks to understand the and reasoning. relation of worlds must know something of I have said that my acquaintance with the the constitution of those worlds — their masses, Herschels came through the Airys. It was in their densities,- of physical geography, of this way. chemistry, of geology, of natural philosophy. Lady Airy hoped that I should know the He must know something of language, for he Herschels. She said, “Sir John Herschel is must know what has been written. If he would the acknowledged head of astronomy.” understand the language which is unlike his I proposed to go to Paris, and as I had own he must know something of the genius of leaned upon Mrs. Airy for all the small learnthe people whence those writings came; he ing necessary for moving properly along the must understand the national mind.
periphery of English circles, I asked her for a There is a phenomenon well known to as- letter to some English woman in Paris. tronomical observers as “personal equation." An English woman's heart once reached and No two persons receive an impression and won is yours forever. When I asked Mrs. Airy make it known in the same time. Thus, if one for a letter to Paris she said: “I know no one sees a star, and calls out that he sees it
, the in- in Paris, but Lady Herschel probably does. terval of time which elapses between the sight I will ask her to give you one." And a letter and the call, the seeing and the speaking, is was dispatched to Lady Herschel. Lady different for any two persons. We call this Herschel replied: “I know no one in Paris, but difference "personal equation."
Lady Lyell does. I will write to her.” A letThere seems to be a “national equation.” ter was written to Lady Lyell; she was not We do not expect that even the little popular in England; the letter followed her; she rescientific work which we take up written in plied to her sister in England and said, “ Give French shall reach conclusions by the same a letter to Mrs. Power, the sister of Sir Francis processes of thought as those by which the Horner, now in Paris.” And from every one little German book will reach the same. If of these persons, wholly unknown to me, I rewe would understand, then, the science of the ceived the courtesy so valuable to a stranger. period, we must know the national soils in The letter from Lady Herschel contained a which science has taken root.
kind invitation to Collingwood, and I was speA singular illustration of national differences cially advised not “ to take it on my way,” but was seen in the case of the discovery of the to make a separate departure. planet Neptune. Two leading men, one in Lady Herschel afterward wrote to me that England and one in France, sitting in their if I would name the day I was likely to spend studies, proved by careful mathematical in- with them, they would send a carriage to Etchvestigations that there must be a planet away ingham, the nearest station to Collingwood, out beyond what were considered the limits of where they resided; but time would not allow, our solar system. The Englishman worked and I started without any notice. I reached out his problem first, but pondered long, Etchingham at four o'clock on one of the thought much, and consulted with others shortest of the short English days, and taking before he published it. The Frenchman the only cab, an open one, and an old man for finished his computations, put his pencil down, driver, I started for Collingwood. The night and announced the result in the next day's became very dark, our path lay through dense papers. When the planet was found both woods, and just as I began to be frightened, Englishman and Frenchman claimed the dis- the old man turned around and asked me if I covery. But a third, and he was an American, knew that part of the country. I gasped out, said, “True, you have each declared a planet“ No," supposing the next demand would be to exist, and a planet has been found; but you for my purse, when he said in a very gentle did not agree in your calculations, and the way, “ This is Hawkhurst, madam - a very planet which has been found is not the planet respectable neighborhood.” The good old felannounced by either."
low was determined that the American woman Sir John Herschel was less a practical than should appreciate the country. a theoretical astronomer, as much a philosopher I arrived at the Herschels' just at dinner as he was astronomer or mathematician, and time. While the servant was gone to announce almost as much a poet. It is said that his bent me, I looked around the large hall, and the was decidedly towards metaphysics, but that first thing that caught my eye was Borden's his work in astronomy was largely the result map of Massachusetts. I felt at home at once, of love for his father. When I came to look for that map hung in the room most familiar over his printed papers I found that his reputa- to me in America. tion must rest mainly on his work as a natural The servant returned and asked me into the philosopher — a work not on practical experi- drawing room, and Sir John Herschel came
in at once. He reached both hands to me very lems was this: If, at the time of Cheops, or three cordially and said, “We did not receive your thousand years ago, one pair of human beings letter, but you are always welcome in this had lived, and war, pestilence, and famine had house." Lady Herschel followed, also with a not existed, and only natural death came to very kind welcome.
man, and this pair had doubled once in thirty I found a cheery fire awaiting me in my years, and their children had doubled, and so room, and after a few minutes I was asked on, how large would the population of the down to dinner, only Sir John and Lady Her- world be at this time-could they stand upon schel being present.
the earth as a plane ? After dinner the family assembled in the We were sitting at the breakfast-table when drawing-room, and the elder daughters were he asked the question. We thought they could introduced to me. There were twelve children, not. “But if they stood closely and others although Lady Herschel seemed young and stood on their shoulders, man, woman, and was still handsome; she must have been fifty child, how many layers would there be ? " I years old. Sir John was at that time sixty-six said, “ Perhaps three.” “How many feet of years old, but he looked much older, being men ?” he asked. “ Possibly thirty," I said. lame and much bent in his figure. The eldest“ Oh, more!" “Well, we 'll say a hundred." daughter was absent; a marble bust of her “Oh, more!” Miss Herschel said, “ Enough stood in the drawing-room, and I could well to reach the moon.” “ To the sun.” “ More, believe what I had heard - that she was a more !” cried Sir John, exulting in our astonishbeauty.
ment; “bid higher." “ To Neptune," said one. The second daughter was on a visit to an “Now you burn,” he replied. “Take a hunold lady of the neighborhood who was ill; I dred times the distance of Neptune, and it is met her afterward at Rome, as a bride. I ad- very near. That is my way," said he, “ of mired her beauty and her simplicity.
whitewashing war, pestilence, and famine." An unmarried daughter, Bella, struck me as Over the fireplace in the dining-room is a very intelligent. She was the only English- portrait of Sir William Herschel, painted, I woman I met in 1857 who had read Lowell's think, by Russell, with a diagram of the poems.
Georgium sidus (Uranus) beside him. The Then there were groups of boys and girls. expression of the face is of great vigor, very Amelia, a pleasant-looking girl, who had been unlike that of the engravings in the print-shops. presented at court, a group of little planetoids Sir John has a miniature of his father with a - Julia, Rose, Francesca (named for Francis still better expression. He does not know the Baily), and a dear little girì, Constance Anne, painter, for he picked it up by accident in a the latter named for Mrs. Dawes, the wife of shop in London. It is exceedingly like Sir the astronomer, who is her godmother. The John himself. sons were young men: William was in India, Sir John's forehead was bold but retreating; Alexander in Trinity College, and John came his mouth was very good. He was quick in mohome for a vacation from some scientific insti- tion and in speech. He said that efforts were tution.
making to induce the English Government to In the evening we played with letters, put- accept the decimal coinage. I remarked that ting out charades and riddles, and telling an- it would not be easy to make Englishmen ecdotes, Sir John joining the family party and change their ways. “Oh," he said, "we stick chatting away like the young people. to old ways, but we are not cemented to them."
He spoke with great admiration of the clear- On Sunday morning Lady Herschel went ness of the sky at the Cape of Good Hope, to church, and I with her. The Herschels, which Sir John and his family had visited for like all the country gentry whom I knew in the purpose of examining his father's obser- England, attended service in a little old stone vations.
church, with no style about it; this had not Sir John said that one of his imaginings in even an organ. Miss Herschel told me that a regard to Saturn was that the satellites are the good deal of effort had been made to raise children of the ring, some of one ring and some money enough to purchase one, but it had of another. He told pleasant little anecdotes failed. In the afternoon I remained at home of some self-made astronomers who came to and looked over the manuscripts of Sir William him with most absurd notions, such as the non- Herschel and his sister, Sir John pointing out existence of the moon founded upon the the interesting parts. They were very carefully reading of his works! And one good soul sent preserved, and were kept with a system which to him to have a horoscope cast and inclosed was in itself a science. The great astronomer a half-crown. Another wrote to him asking, wrote his notes on slips of paper at different “Shall I marry, and have I seen her ? " times; these slips were afterward compared,
One of Sir John Herschel's numerical prob- the results obtained from them were recorded,
and indices to the manuscripts made. The first ladies came to dinner in barege dresses and notes on the planet Uranus, which he discov- with short sleeves. ered, speak of it as a comet,- he dared not call It is a common saying in Europe that it a planet, - and as a comet it continues for “ • Princes, Americans, and fools ride in firstsome time to be spoken of in the notes, prob- class carriages.” Lady Herschel told me that ably after he knew it to be a planet.1
by traveling “second class” she sometimes Several of the manuscripts are devoted to made valuable acquaintances; she talked with the methods of polishing specula; several to intelligent farmers and learned to know someobservations on light. One of the notes is: thing of a class whom she could never meet “ Observed my sister's comet of August 1." socially. I pitied in England the isolation of
The copies of letters were in themselves nu- rank, the narrow circle of class, which becomes merous and very interesting. The loss of the narrower and narrower all the way from the planet Ceres is mentioned in one to Piazzi. peasant to the queen, the peasant having the One is to Sir William Watson to ask for a term largest social circle, and the queen the smallest
. for the asteroids- what to call them as a group. I met in England, as all Americans at that He suggests that more may be discovered. A time met, great ignorance in regard to Amermost remarkable one is to a French gentleman ica. The eldest daughter of Sir John had read about a chemical discovery, which seems to “Uncle Tom's Cabin," and she asked me if have been a foreshadowing of photography. it was a true picture of life in America — if it
Caroline Herschel followed Sir William to were possible for boys and girls to be educated England when he was appointed astronomer together; if a girl stood a public examination to the king, and remained there until his death. in America; if a young lady really received She shared in all the night-watches of her guests herself
, etc.? brother, and with pencil in hand and eye on I could scarcely believe when I saw Sir John clock recorded what he saw, made the calcula- Herschel in his family, guessing conundrums tions, registered, coördinated, classed, and an- with the children, playing at spelling, and tellalyzed them.
ing funny anecdotes, that he was the same man As a gift for the present Lady Herschel, of whom one had said to me when I first landed Caroline Herschel prepared her own biography in England, " He is living at Hawkhurst, not after she was ninety years of age. It is written very well, and not very good-natured.” Probin a very clear hand, and although English ably the expression on his countenance of physiwas not her native tongue, the language is cal suffering has been mistaken for ill temper. good. The sentences are long, but never ob- He was remarkably a gentleman; more like scure. Lady Herschel read some passages to a woman in his instinctive perception of the me. She says, “My father told me that as I wants and wishes of a guest. Just before I had neither beauty nor riches, no man would came away he came to me, and reaching out be likely to make me an offer until I was old, a leaf of a manuscript said, “Miss Mitchell, when some one might like, on account of my I thought you would like some of my aunt's worth, to marry me."
handwriting," giving me an autograph which When I mingled with English scientists I I value extremely. It was given to me as a was not prepared for so much love of poetry leaf from a folio volume. as I found. Mr. Airy, the astronomer royal, Sir John's mind was full of vigor at the time could repeat the whole of the “ Lady of the of my visit. He was then engaged in rewriting Lake.” Dr. Whewell
, the master of Trinity, his “Outlines of Astronomy,” but was no longer was a great lover of poetry, and wrote verses an active astronomer. He talked with great himself, though Sir John Herschel was more enthusiasm of the Cape observatory, and departicularly the poet of science.
scribed in a very interesting manner the peculiar The Herschels had breakfast about eight appearance of a twisted nebula on the larger o'clock. I did not see Lady Herschel at that of the “ Magellan Patches." time, but Miss Herschel poured tea and coffee; I went over the grounds the last day, rainy Sir John was there. At five or six came dinner, though it was, to get to the barn to see the and we were always told the time of day near remains of the telescope used by Sir William : its approach, and advised to dress, and all only the tube was left. It was forty feet long, and who were to come to table made at once some the diameter was so great that one could sit compreparation. It was cold weather, but the young fortably within it. Arago says that " In 1840
1 These notes of an evening's observation are always the family, then residing at Slough, formed in very clearly writter, and the words, “ Left off here," procession and walked around this telescope, are as distinct as the rest. The writer was the sister. then, seated on benches within the tube, sang
2 The youngest child, at that time two years old, the song written by Sir John and sealed up the was educated at Girton later. 3 See Arago's “Memoirs,” first series, p. 265, for a
tube - its work was over." 3 celebration in honor of this telescope.
Sir John was said to be a man of no wealth.
The family, including the servants, numbered discuss the question whether women have the some twenty persons; and when I asked, “What capacity for original investigation in science is meant in England by a person of no wealth?” is simply idle until equal opportunity is given I was told that it meant one who could not them. We cannot overrate the consequences portion his daughters when they married. of such lives, whether it be Mrs. Somerville
It was the period of our distressing financial translating Laplace, Harriet Hosmer modelcrisis of 1857, and English as well as Ameri- ing her statues, Mrs. Browning writing her can families were ruined. I asked of an Eng- poems, or Caroline Herschel spending nights lish lady, “What will become of the daughters under the open canopy; in all it is the devotion of an English family in which there is no prop- to idea, the loyalty to duty, which reaches erty?” She replied, “ They will live on their all ages. brother.” And the question was asked of me, One of Caroline Herschel's strong character“ What will become of the daughters of an istics was the carefulness with which everything American family in which there is no money?” was done. We are apt to hurry in everything, as “ They will earn money," I replied. The an- if railroad-speed were the law of daily life — swer was, “ You Americans are a sensible as if our hearts did not beat fast enough. She people.”
worked slowly, as if she knew that she had The house was very extensive, the grounds ninety-eight years of this life and all eternity in proportionately so: the table was to me, as all the next. When she worked in the little obEnglish tables seemed, over-bountiful; but in servatory at Slough, where the first observastyle of furniture and of dress I know no mer- tions were made, she not only worked in every chant's family in Boston so simple.
observatory of the world, but she reached English habits may have changed since 1857, every school for girls. but at that time I saw no young ladies in silk. If what Caroline Herschel did is a lesson The plain print for morning and simple white and a stimulus to all women, what she did not for evening were all that the daughters of the do is a warning. Has any being a right not to astronomer royal or those of Sir John Herschel be? When Caroline Herschel so devoted herwore; and yet in the family of the astronomer self to her brother that on his death her own royal, as in that of Sir John Herschel, a ring self died, and her life became comparatively of the door-bell might announce not only the useless, she did, all unconsciously, a wrong, highest potentate of science in England, but and she made the great mistake of her life. the highest representative of any social circle- The fault was only in part her fault. She was even the Queen herself.
honored — late in life — as few women have You would say, in looking at Caroline Her- been, by her family, by her sovereign, by the schel's portrait, which hung in the drawing- savants of all Europe. It was too late. It seems room, She must have been handsome when probable that her gifts were as fully bestowed she was young." Her ruffled cap shades a mild as those of her brother; she was left uneducated face, whose blue eyes were even then full of and undeveloped. It was the English way; it animation. But it was merely the beauty of is still the way of the world. Living on more age. I suspect that this is often the case, es- than twenty years after his death, she needed pecially when the life has been such as to for her own comfort pursuits and avocations develop the soul, which overcomes ugliness outside the life that she had given him, and of feature and coarseness of complexion. throughout her nearly one hundred years the
If you had asked Caroline Herschel after world needed all that she could do. ten years of labor what good had come of When she kept the records, so systematically it, she would probably have answered, with and so scientifically that after nearly one hunthe extreme simplicity of her nature, that she dred years they are still valuable, every line that had relieved her brother of a good deal of she wrote was an argument for the higher edwearisome labor and perhaps kept up his ucation of women; when she wrapped hervigor and prolonged his life. Probably it never self in innumerable wrappings and took care entered her thoughts to be other than the of the body that the mind might do its duty, patient and self-sacrificing assistant to a truly she gave a lesson which every girl ought to great man.
follow. The woman who has peculiar gifts has a She showed also the lesson of the usefulness definite line marked out for her, and the call of the unmarried woman. In England much from God to do his work in the field of scien- more than in our country the unmarried woman tific investigation may be as imperative as that holds a secondary placé — unless she has some which calls the missionary into the moral field, title. She even enters the dining-room after or the mother into the family: as missionary, or every married woman. I would in no way as scientist, as sister, or as mother, no woman underrate the higher value of the wise and the has the right to lose her individuality. To mother and the blessedness of those whom
God has placed in families, but life need months, perhaps for a few years, letters pass, not be a failure and a blank when this position telling of the life on the different sides of the is denied. The family is only a larger one; world; then they grow few and far between. the usefulness is not so intense, but it may be In my case came the dreadful war, and Amerwider spread.
ica and Great Britain seemed to be still farther The peculiarity of Caroline Herschel's char- separated. acter, which in the thought of most persons Engrossed as we all were by the great moral gave the great charm, was her capacity of self- question in our own country, personal ties, abnegation. She was the sister of a great man; except of the closest nature, were subordito help him to make his work complete, to nated. Letters became fewer and then more see that it was the best work that could be concisely stated. I heard that Sir John Herdone, that all guards were placed around it to schel suffered from “dreadful coughs" in preserve it, was what she believed to be her winter, and before the war was over the letters duty, and she did it. It seems ungenerous to had ceased altogether. Suddenly one spring blame at all where we admire so much. came the news that sent a pang to many
We make close friendships in England, and a heart in America —“Sir John Herschel is then we cross the Atlantic and for a few dead."
THE OLD BASCOM PLACE.
BY JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS,
Author of “ Days and Nights with Uncle Remus," " Free Joe,” etc.
the contrary. As I say, you shall be reimbursed
for all —” LL this was
no less the “Dr. Bynum," said Underwood, with some result of Francis Under- degree of emphasis,“ permit me to remind you wood's desire than of the that Judge Bascom is my guest. There is no doctor's commands. The question of money except so far as your bill is old practitioner was noted concerned, and that — for his skill throughout the “Now, now, my dear boy,” exclaimed the region, and after he had old doctor, holding up both hands in a gesture
talked with Judge Bascom of expostulation, "don't, don't fly up! What is he gave it as his opinion that the only physic the use ? I was only explaining matters; I was necessary in the case was perfect rest and quiet, only trying to let you know how we Southernand that these could be secured only by allow- ers feel. You must have noticed that the poor ing the old man to remain undisturbed in the old Judge has n't been treated very well since belief that he was once more the owner of the his return here. His best friends have avoided Bascom Place.
him. I was only trying to tell you that they "He 'll not trouble you for long," said Dr. hold him in high esteem, and that they are Bynum, wiping his spectacles, “and I 've no willing to do all they can for him.” doubt that whatever expense may be incurred “As a Southerner?” inquired Underwood, will be settled by his old friends. Oh, Bascom or as a man?” still has friends here," exclaimed the doctor, “Tut, tut!” exclaimed Dr. Bynum.“ Don't misunderstanding Underwood's gesture of pro- come running at me with your head down and test. “He went wrong, badly wrong; but he your horns up. We've no time to fall into a is a Southerner, sir, to the very core, and in the dispute. You look after the Judge as a NorthSouth we are in the habit of looking after our erner, and I 'll look after him as a Southerner. own. We may differ, sir, but when the pinch His daughter must come here. He is very comes you 'll find us together."
feeble. He has but one irrational idea, and The doctor's lofty air was wholly lost on his that is that he owns the old Place. In every companion.
other particular his mind is sound, and he will “My dear sir," said Underwood, laying his give you no trouble. His idea must be humored hand somewhat heavily on the doctor's shoul- and even then the collapse will come too soon der, “what do you take me for? Do you sup- for that poor girl, his daughter—as lovely a pose that I intend to set up a hospital here?” creature, sir, as you ever saw.”
“Oh, by no means, by no means,” said Dr. This statement was neither information nor Bynum, soothingly. “Not at all; in fact, quite news so far as Underwood was concerned. “If