Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/168

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156
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

that they lead, and have led, men to regard with more or less of acquiescence the sufferings of "this present evil time." That there may be a Providence inwrapping the whole of human life with its environment, and that there may be, to higher faculties than ours, a significance in life that we have never grasped, it would be most adventurous and, indeed, unphilosophical to deny. Admitting such a possibility, however, or even probability, our duty is in no way changed. The whole solar system may be hurrying on through space toward some unknown goal, or in some infinite and incalculable circuit; but the motions that concern us are those that take place within the solar system, that lend themselves to observation and calculation, and that affect more or less the conditions of human life. We live in an environment to which we are adapted: absolute truth lies beyond us, but relative truth is within our grasp. The poet says that "things are not what they seem," but things are (to us) what they seem. What else can they be? And it is our duty to deal with them as we find them, with a constant view to the realizing of higher and higher harmonies in life. Some notes we have already attuned, but there are discords yet, many and harsh, to be subdued. Then let us set our faces steadfastly forward, not to "confront a void," for there is no void to confront—nothing has fallen out of the universe that ever was in it—but with a determination to conquer more and more of moral freedom, and, by our conscious efforts, to aid that unconscious labor of the ages by which better and better conditions are ever being won for the human race.

 
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TIME-KEEPING IN LONDON.
By EDMUND A. ENGLER,
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI.
I.

IT is proposed in this paper to describe some special features of the instruments by which time is kept at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, the means for correcting them, and the methods and instruments by which time-signals are distributed from the observatory to London and elsewhere.

The primary standard time-keeper of England is a sidereal clock kept in the basement of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. This clock is of the best construction, and is, moreover, provided with the most approved apparatus for compensation and correction.

Experience has shown that the best results are obtained when the connection between the driving-weight and the pendulum of a clock is as slight as possible. This has been accomplished in the Greenwich clock by the use of an elegant escapement, the details of which are