Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/141

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THE

POPULAR SCIENCE

MONTHLY.

 

DECEMBER, 1876.


 

FERMENTATION AND ITS BEARINGS ON THE PHENOMENA OF DISEASE.[1]
By JOHN TYNDALL, LL. D., F. R. S.

IN a book with which we are all familiar, amid other wise utterances, this one occurs: "Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days." In more senses than one this precept is illustrated by my presence here to-night. Firstly, in a general sense, I stand indebted, morally and intellectually, to the poets, historians, and philosophers, of Scotland. Secondly, in a special sense, it so happens that one of the first rootlets of my scientific life derived its nutriment from this city of Glasgow. In early youth it was my ambition to qualify myself for the profession of a civil engineer, and as I grew up one of my aids toward the attainment of this object was the study of a periodical then published in Glasgow, and called The Practical Mechanic's and Engineer's Magazine. In that journal I read, with an interest unfelt before, a series of essays on various departments of science—on anatomy and physiology, on geology, on mechanics, on arithmetic, and on natural philosophy and chemistry. Biography and history were also included, while in detached articles various collateral subjects were discussed, such, for example, as the difference between Newton and Leibnitz as to the measure of moving force. It was there that I first learned what Leslie had done in Edinburgh, and what Davy had done in the Royal Institution. And I can now call to mind the day and hour when the yearning to possess such apparatus as Leslie and Davy possessed, and to institute with it such inquiries as they had instituted, rose to a kind of prophetic strength within me—prophetic, for it has come to pass that my own studies as a scientific man have been in great part pursued in that particular domain which had been enriched by the discoveries of Les-

  1. A discourse delivered before the Glasgow Science Lectures Association, October 9, 1876.