Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/734

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vacation tour; the reply was that he could not be spared from the work of teaching the younger children.

The "Autobiography" gives a full account of his acquaintances among the young men resident at Cambridge, who afterward came to London, including, besides Charles Austin, who was the means of introducing him, Macaulay, Hyde and Charles Villiers, Strutt (Lord Belper), Romilly, etc. There is no mention of his having gone to Cambridge in 1822, on a visit to Charles Austin. The contrast of his boyish figure, and thin voice, with his immense conversational power, left a deep impression on the undergraduates of the time, notwithstanding their being familiar with Macaulay and Austin.

I alluded, in my last article on James Mill, to the persistent attempts of Professor Townshend, of Cambridge, to get John entered there. Here are two sentences from a letter dated March 29, 1823, two months before he entered the India House: "I again entreat you to permit me to write to the tutor at Trinity to enter your son's name at that noble college. Whatever you may wish his eventual destiny to be, his prosperity in life can not be retarded, but must on the contrary be increased by making an acquaintance at an English University with his Patrician contemporaries." Whether it would have been possible to induce his father to send him to Cambridge, I very much doubt. I suspect that, of the two, the son would have been the more intractable on the matter of subscription to the Articles. Ten years later, it was an open question in the house whether his brother Henry should be sent to Cambridge.



A GOOD deal of noise was made a few months ago about a discovery that an American astronomer believed he had made during the recent solar eclipse of July 29, 1878. At the moment of totality, while the bright disk of the sun was completely hidden by the black disk of the moon, and after the eye had become habituated to this sudden darkness, the American astronomer made a search to find whether there might not be, in the vicinity of the sun, a planet answering to the theoretical planet Vulcan, whose existence was announced by Leverrier after he had mathematically analyzed the motion of Mercury. As every one knows, during total eclipses of the sun, our atmosphere being no longer illumined, night comes on as though at the bidding of an enchanter, and the brighter stars make their appearance in the heavens. It is this sudden metamorphosis of nature that most forcibly impresses

  1. Translated from "La Nature" by J. Fitzgerald, A.M.