Puslapio vaizdai


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


If this balance were properly adjusted to keep time at 32°F. it would lose about 3 minutes a day at 66°F., which is more than a dozen times the amount that a clock with a common iron wire seconds pendulum would lose in the same time and under the same conditions.

Various attempts have been made to introduce a secondary compensation which would take care of the increased rate of weakening of the hair-spring as the weather gets warmer, but although some of these appear to act remarkably well, they are not founded upon any really scientific principle, and they are not perfect. And probably perfection under the circumstances is too much to expect.

The one illustrated herewith, and which was invented by Mr. Dent, has so far given


B the best results.

AB is a compound bar having brass below and steel above. On the upper side of this, and at equal distances from the axis a, are fastened two compound bars, having the form of the letter U, and with brass on the inside and steel on the outside.

The free ends of the U-shaped bars carry upright pins upon which the weights w, w are threaded. When the temperature rises the principal bar AB curls upwards, carrying the U-bars and weights upwards and inwards; and the U-bars themselves tend to straighten and thus to carry the weights further inwards, thus diminishing the moment of the balance 80 as to accommodate itself to the diminished tension of the spring.

The compensation may be varied by shifting the weights to lower or higher positions on the pins. For the higher the weights are the greater will be their motion, and the nearer they will approach the centre, under a given rise of temperature.

The regulation, with this balance, is effected by the screws 8,8 which have heavy heads. By screwing these inwards the moment of the balance is diminished and it swings more quickly, while the opposite effect is produced by drawing the screws outwards.

The hair-spring, h, is in the form of a cylindrical helix, which after being once adjusted is not afterwards interfered with.

Watches which are carried about upon the person are subject to constant change of position during the day, with a rest in one position during the night. If the balance of the watch is truly “balanced”—a condition which every watch-maker tries to obtain that is if, when the hair-spring is detached from the stud which holds it, the balance and attached spring will remain at equilibrium in any position in which it may be placed, these alternations from movement to rest should not affect the time-keeping to any serious extent.

But if, as is quite commonly the case, the balance has a slightly heavy side, the watch will gain time when so situated that this heavy side is downwards when the balance is in neutral position, and will lose time if so situated that the heavy side is upwards with the balance in neutral position.

As a consequence the majority of watches have a rate which is slightly different when the watch is carried from what it is when the watch is at rest.

The efforts made to correct this have given rise to what has been called the tourbilon escapement, although it has nothing whatever to do with the escapement. The tourbilon is an arrangement by which the balance and scape wheel with all the parts of the escapement, are carried around upon a rotating platform, so that the balance takes all positions possible in one or a few minutes, the effect being somewhat the same as if the whole watch were rotating about an axis through its shortest dimension.

In this way the gains and losses due to changing positions are mutually neutralized in their effects, giving rise to an invariable average.

The tourbilon introduces more complication in the construction of the watch, but it is said to make for greater accuracy in the running of the watch and therefore for greater satisfaction to the carrier.



"HE alleged tardiness of Hamlet in obeying the command

to revenge the murder of his father is a time-worn theme. Many authorities have discussed the question from different points of view and from the controversy there has grown a feeling that Hamlet was irresolute by nature, much given to meditation, sluggish in perception, slow in action, moody and (in the opinion of some) even cowardly. I have not such a conception of Hamlet's character. On the contrary I believe that the tragedy discovers him to have been quick to determine and prompt to act. I do not find anywhere any avoidable delay in obeying the Ghost's behests, and indeed I cannot see that he could have done otherwise than he did, unless indeed he had rushed from the interview with the Ghost and plunged his sword in the body of the King. But

That would be scann'd
A villain kills my father; and for that,
I, his sole son, do this same villain send
To heaven.

O, this is hire and salary, not revenge. I do not propose to do more than refer to the view of Ritson in 1783, followed by others, amongst them the poet Campbell, viz., that Hamlet had to justify himself to the world before striking the blow, justify himself with something more than a ghost-story that nobody would have believed. Nor from my point of view need I trouble about the pathos of Hamlet's position in that by killing the King he would have removed from earth the only person besides himself that knew of the strange, foul, and unnatural murder; and would thus have destroyed corroboration of the crime and have demolished justification for his own subsequent action. Hamlet, too, excused what tardiness there was on the ground that he had to ascertain if the Ghost had spoken truly,

The spirit I have seen
May be the devil........yea and perhaps
Out of my weakness and my melancholy

[blocks in formation]

These three points, as causes necessitating delay, have always seemed to me unanswered and unanswerable, and on this account I mention them, though they are but indirectly relevant to the argument of this article.

One thing is quite clear. Hamlet was not dilatory or tardy or irresolute by nature. On the other hand he was resolute, energetic and prompt. Turn over the leaves of the play and there is not found a single instance of anything respecting Hamlet but quick determination and swift execution, with some meditations interposed. When the nightly visitations of the Ghost are first reported to Hamlet his prompt reply is, "I will watch To-Night," and he does. There is no tardiness here. Again Hamlet's conduct when he does see the Ghost is surely prompt enough to satisfy the most exacting critic. "It will not speak,” he says, “then I will follow it.... I do not set my life at a pin's fee . . . Go on I'll follow thee . Unhand me Gentlemen; by heaven I'll make a ghost of him thatlets me." This, surely, is promptitude in excelsis. Note also, after the interview with the Ghost, Hamlet's instant determination "to put an antic disposition on" (a happy thought, all things considered); not to rush away and kill the King (for a reason to appear shortly).

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

I do not wish unduly to labour the point or I would place stress on the estimate so readily formed of the spying process of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and Hamlet's consequent treatment of them. At the very outset he murmurs "Nay then, I have an eye of you” and he blocks their spying by getting much out of them, whereas they get nothing out of him. I feel, too, that it is unnecessary to urge at length Hamlet's conduct respecting the players (where we find him beginning his revenge). Surely nothing could be more prompt, energetic, and resolute than the determination to utilise the players to "catch the conscience of the King." He wrote the playscene, he conducted the rehearsals, he instructed the actors; and so anxious was he that there should be no hitch or slip that he commanded "Speak the speech I pray you as I pronounced it to you"; an emphasis that even our best actors have over-looked. Where is there dilatoriness, tardiness, or sluggishness in all this?

There is no love-scene in the play of Hamlet; but there is the beginning of one ("Soft you now! the fair Ophelia ! Nymph! in thy orisons be all my sins remember'd"). But how sudden and energetic the change!

"Where's your father ?” asks Hamlet with the skill of an astute cross-examining counsel. Then comes Ophelia's docile little lie. "At home my lord." Here is a revelation to the prince. The woman Hamlet loved ("forty thousand brother could not with all their quantity of love make up my sum.") is in league with the schemers, with the two "lawful espials” behind the arras. Let it be remembered that a chief characteristic of Hamlet is his sincerity (“Seems, Madam; nay it is. I know not seems.") What then does he ? There is no delay, no shilly-shallying. He casts off the woman with cruelty as prompt as wanton, with treatment as resolute as brutal. There is no hesitation; his action is decisive and determining. The woman is lost to him for ever, she who had been his morning star, the sun-rise of his life.

Hamlet's speedy response to the request that he should see his mother does not indicate any irresolution, but quite the reverse; while his conduct from beginning to end of that most marvelous of all dramatic interviews, was prompt and energetic throughout, down to the most minute incidents. The murder of Polonius was certainly prompt. Whether Hamlet thought the intruder were Polonius, or the King, or anyone else, it was sufficient for his quick judgment that someone had dared to invade the sanctity of a son's confidential conference with his mother, and the "wretched, rash, intruding fool" paid the penalty for his rashness.

Take thy fortune;
Thou find'st to be too busy is some danger

If Hamlet thought the intruder was the King the promptitude of his action could not be surpassed; Here is the sequence: the Ghost, the players, the play, “a rat, a rat.”

Further, what alert judgment there was in discerning the purposes of the dispatch to England! "I see a cherub that sees them” he told the King in his own quaint phrasing; and to the Queen, he said

« AnkstesnisTęsti »