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University of Toronto 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2020 with funding from 
University of Toronto 



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“The progress of science consists in the perpetual correction of the errors and 
falsehoods which preceding minds conceived to be the correct answers they received 
from nature.” 

Kenelm Chillingley — Lord Bttlwer Lytton. 

“ It is only by the questioning of received opinions that truth is advanced.” 

Short Studies on Great Subjects — James Anthony Froude. 

“ Science must be cultivated for its own sake, for the pure love of truth, rather 
than for the applause or profit that it brings.” 

New York Lectures —Dr. John Tyndall. 




[The right of Translation is reserved .] 




Unknown to tlie world of Science we present our¬ 
selves as advocates of the vast undertaking, which 
is, we expect, to revolutionize the whole theory of 
Natural Science taught and believed in at the 
present day, and to inaugurate a new system, based 
upon a natural law, the evidences of which we have 
discovered, and which we hereby show to be of 
necessity universal, and therefore capable of ex¬ 
plaining all natural phenomena. 

This system is not the development of a day, but 
has been in progress, in various ways, for many 
years, more particularly since the hidden meaning 
of Magnetism was discovered and applied by us. 

The nucleus of the present work appeared some 
time ago in a weekly periodical, in the form of 
Essays on Natural Science; and the reception 
given them, along with the importance and admitted 
necessity for such a work, have induced us to issue 
the present volume. 

The data upon which our theories have been 
built have, in all the subjects touched upon, been 
based on personal observations in chemistry, tele- 




graphs and marine diving; in an extensive ex¬ 
perience in coal and gold mines ; also while travel¬ 
ling in the Gulf Stream, the Calms of the Equator, 
the coasts of Brazil, California, and Mexico, the 
Mediterranean, the Bay of Fundy, the Hot Sulphur 
Baths of Salt Lake, the Great Geysers of California, 
and the mangroves of the Isthmus of Panama. 

To our readers generally, let us say, that we 
desire to he judged only by the light of their faculty 
of common sense and their own personal observa¬ 
tions in nature, without reference to any book 
whatever, except it may be the Scriptures. 

To our possible critics we desire to say that it is 
useless, for the purpose of convincing us, to attempt 
to refute our theories by referring to the statements 
of any man of science, however eminent, as we 
recognise no positive authority under God and 

To the many distinguished men now living whose 
opinions we have ignored we are personally un¬ 
known, and whatever force of language may have 
been used in refuting their theories must be attri¬ 
buted to the strength of our convictions on the 
subject and its commanding importance, and not of 
course to any unkind feeling to the gentlemen 

We are aware of the imperfect nature of our 
work, that many unavoidable inaccuracies will 
present themselves to the careful reader, and that 
much is comprised in the main part of the work 



which should appear only as notes, yet we would 
have these drawbacks excused for the sake of the 
great truths meant to be conveyed. 

The scope of the work also is such—covering, as 
it does, facts and systems of Science about which 
whole libraries have been written—that, owing to 
our limited space and the necessary condensation, 
the intent and meaning may sometimes be difficult 
to apprehend, but we have preferred to publish the 
book even in its imperfect condition in order that 
we might the sooner obtain the critical suggestions 
of the scientific world as a means of rendering it 
more perfect, for, far from being a work for one 
man only, there is material to occupy the lives of 
many scientific men. We have, therefore, hastened 
the publication in order, as intimated, to obtain the 
assistance of such distinguished men of science as 
are still left us, for the rising or progressive men 
of Natural Science are few, and owing to their 
cramped ideas, comparatively stationary. Agassiz 
knew and lamented this fact when he said that we 
have more than enough of manufacturers of books, 
men who are mere compilers, who know nothing— 
of their own knowledge—of the subjects about 
which they write; while we have few men of patient 
investigation and research coupled with daring and 
original thought. 

For the sake of truth, then, we have had the 
temerity to light a taper to guide the shipwrecked 
observer who is drowning amidst the swelling seas 

b 2 



of opposing theories and systems. We have planted 
an acorn in the already well sown field of science, 
but whether it will rot in the soil, or the birds of 
the air will eat it, or the biting frosts will kill it, 
or whether it will pass unharmed through all these 
dangers, and grow year by year into a mighty oak 
that shall overtop the forest, time alone will show. 

The present systems of science and theories of 
accounting for natural phenomena are like to the 
starry hosts of heaven. Now one startling announce¬ 
ment, with the first flush of youth, passes like the 
full moon athwart the zenith, dimming all the 
others ; but in half a day it is gone, and it appears 
next evening only as another speck studded to the 
starred crown of earth, adding its faint twinkle to 
the others : yet, after all, there are none capable of 
illumining the midnight darkness. Many more are 
like to the evanescent flight of a meteor that does 
not even leave a stone behind it to tell of its passage. 
Amidst this host we would also claim a space in 
which to set our feeble flame, and contribute our 
quota towards dispelling the gloom of mystery and 
ignorance ; but even this may be denied us. 

No greater misfortune can befal a man than to 
be much in advance of his day and generation. 
How many hundreds are there probably of such 
men alive at the present time, who, for want of 
encouragement, are vainly striving against poverty 
and misery ? While willing enough to raise statues 
and monuments to them fifty years after they are 



dead, the world, foolish still and foolish ever, almost 
invariably refuses to know them while living. When 


we say, among other things,that magnetism will, long 
before the present century closes, entirely replace 
steam as a motive power—for the latter at the best 
is only a clumsy, uncertain and dangerous agent to 
work with—then the tenets which we have advanced 
are perhaps (without drawing censure on us for 
egotism) sufficiently ahead of the world’s knowledge 
to wound the vanity of some scores of professors, 
to touch the pockets of some thousands whose pros¬ 
perity would be affected by them, and to render 
valueless the “ loads of learned lumber” in the 
heads of some millions of bookworms. There is 
thus sufficient influence—does any one doubt it ?— 
in this interested army to allay the curiosity of the 
world, and to soothe it back to the even tenor of 
its way ; but, fortunately for us, our daily bread 
does not depend on the acceptance of our theories; 
and as we watch and wait, and see a few more 
thousands killed by boiler explosions, a few more 
thousands drowned by the variation of ships’ com¬ 
passes, a few more millions poisoned by improper 
medical treatment, a few more fields of coal ex¬ 
hausted, and all our interested professors dead, then 
perhaps a more intelligent generation will be content 
to accept the dictation and lessons of Nature. 

In the meantime we retain those pleasurable 
emotions which cannot be taken away from us, the 
gratification which every writer experiences in un- 



folding a new idea, the glow of feeling on witness¬ 
ing for the first time the dawn of a new light on 
the horizon of knowledge, and the delight in taking 
home to oneself a seed of thought garnered from 
the unfathomable granary of Immensity. 




Two classes of Atoms—Hydrogen and Oxygen—Male and Female 
Atoms—Matter on Earth—Prof. Tyndall on dead and living 
Atoms—His opinions change—Prof. W. A. Norton on one kind 
of Force—Law of repulsion— Vestiges of Creation on Fire Mist— 
Fraser s Magazine on Matter—Prof. Grove on Matter—Locke— 
Bishop Berkeley—Analogy between language and two classes 
of Atoms.1—6 



Atomagnetism—What Prof. Huxley would like to know—Matter 
and motion—Every Atom a Magnet—Law of Atoms—Like 
attracts Like—Unlike poles attract—Atomagnetism the law of 
attraction and repulsion—Examples—Experiments with filings 
—How Atoms combine their Polarity.7—10 



Minerals not dead—Mineral life a low form of vegetable and animal 
Life—Iron filings have life—Compass needle has life—Philo¬ 
sopher’s tree—Coral—Candy—Mineral life—Atomagnetism— 
Atoms of lead, sugar, and coral. Magnets—Greater always in¬ 
fluences the less—Explanations of Philosopher’s Tree—Cause of 
beautiful forms in snow flakes.11—13 





Origin of Life—Spontaneous generation—Sir William Thomson on 
seed bearing Meteors— Cornhill Magazine —Atomagnetism—No 
seed required—Railway Cuttings—Clover—How a plant grows 
without a seed—Scripture proof for it—Seeds rot—Hardwood 
and softwood Forests—Darwin’s Origin of Species overthrown— 
Thousands of plants in the first creation—New plants with every 
change of soil and climate—Present theory of plant life—How a 
cell develops—Absurdity of plants breathing—Why roots and 
branches spread—Experiments to prove the reason—Why a tree 
does not grow in winter ... 14—21 



Man afraid to inquire into the origin of life—Milk and cheese— 
Dumas and Agassiz on seeds and eggs—A cow the mother of 
maggots—Insects spontaneously produced—How animals are 
produced without an egg—Excess of vegetable matter forms 
animals—Process of creation—Darwin—All animals produced 
not from one but from many—Agassiz on Men and Monkeys — 
One animal may produce a different animal—Animals, parasites 
—Argument against spontaneous generation—Germ theory— 
Pasteur—Dr. Child—Lamarck—Canned meats—Why ice and 
salt preserve meats—The formation of germs—Tyndall on respi¬ 
rators—Spontaneous fish —Agassiz on Special Creation—Mr. C. 
Charlton Bastian— Origin of lowest organisms . . . 22—34 



Darwin thinks development of Mind a hopeless inquiry—We ex¬ 
plain it—Appetite the lowest form of Mind in Animals—Spon¬ 
taneous Insects eating immediately—What is Appetite ?—The 
Atomic Law of Like to Like—Mind and Life, Properties of 
Matter—Vegetable Appetite — A Seal’s Appetite — A Calf’s 
Appetite—Why it does not eat bricks and stones—A Baby’s 
Appetite — Appetite for Tomatoes — Superiority of a Brute’s 
Appetite over Man’s.. 35—38 





Instinct a higher phase of Mind—Frank Buckland—Why a Chicken 
knew a Gentleman was not its Mother—Sparrows require no 
Teaching — Foreknowledge of Bees and Beavers — Important 
Fact—Animal’s Mind Perfect—Never Progresses—Man always 
Progressing—Difference between Man and Beast—Man two 
minds—Animals one—Animals no Soul—Mind returns to Earth 
—Their Mind all Nature—Animals Perfect on separation from 
the Parent—Answer to Frank Buckland’s questioner . 39—43 


man’s animal and spiritual mind. 

Schelling and Hegel on Nature as “ petrified intelligence”—Hope on 
Origin and Prospects of Man —Matter without properties— 
Mind a property of matter—No limit to the properties of 
matter—Brutes have one mind, man two minds—Animal and 
Divine — Agassiz on two minds — Why Man’s animal mind 
degenerated — Man should distrust man—Manner in which 
man’s mind is formed—From food—Difference between animal 
mind and Divine—Situation of the mind—Of Memory—Brain a 
picture gallery — Difference between man’s mind and the 



A knowledge of chemical action requisite—Nothing known about it 
by scientific writers—-Prof. Grove—Chemical action only one 
form of atomagnetism—Great separater—Attraction the great 
builder—Repulsion the great designer—Chemical action the 
great destroyer—How sugar dissolves in water—How a nail 
dissolves—Concentrated acid not so good a dissolver as diluted 
acid—Soda powder, Sulphuric acid—Amusement for speculative 
philosophers—How water evaporates—No latent moisture in the 
atmosphere—No latent dryness in the sea— Steam Boiler 
explosions —Facts connected with explosions—The materials 
dealt with—The manufacture of hydrogen gas—What the United 
States Commissioners on explosions have discovered—How ex¬ 
plosion takes place—Not by pressure—Mingling of gases— 





Heat the result of chemical action between certain classes of atoms— 
Dynamical theory of Heat—Motion—Tyndall on Heat—Christo¬ 
pher Columbus and his followers—No ambition among scientific 
men—Heat produced in three ways—Natural Heat—Combustion 
—Friction—Ice melting—Hot springs and Geysers of California— 
Volcanoes caused by chemical action—Why coal burns—Poker 
experiment—Conductive power of Heat—Tyndall’s experiments 
—Laboratory experiments incorrect—Atomic action likened to a 
gossamer thread—How the Crusade against the present system 
of science will be conducted—Ruskin’s Crusade against Renais¬ 
sance Painting and Architecture—Grove and Lardner 61—72 



Light caused similarly to heat—Propagated differently—Three divi¬ 
sions—Light without heat—Light with heat—Propagated light 
—Auroras explained—Phosphorescence—Tyndall refuted on 
molecular motion—Fire-flies—Lighting gas by the finger— 
Auroras from trees—Candle a guide to light—Four things 
required to be looked at—The flame—The heat—The light— 
And light as an object—All light, reflection—The Undulatory 
theory disputed—Light and Sight are instantaneous—Light 
cannot travel half a mile—Sight travels 286,000 miles a second 
—Flame not seen in daylight—Astronomical fallacy of star-light 
—Undulation follows Emission into oblivion—Tyndall’s security 
for the continued acceptance of the Undulatory theory, over¬ 
thrown .73—81 



Professors Thomson, and Tait, on the Sun—The Sun a huge furnace 
—Herschel on the waste heat of the Sun—Temperature of 
space—Our view of the universe—The solar system an inhabi¬ 
tant of it—The Sun a stomach—The atmospheres, the flesh and 
bones of the solar system—Movements regulated by Magnetism 
—The Sun an inhabited world—How Sunlight is caused by mag¬ 
netism—The Sun, Earth, and Planets, Magnetic batteries—Sun 
the main battery and head office—Planets telegraph stations— 



Sunlight caused in a similar way to the spark at the poles of a 
battery—The Journey to the Sun .82—90 



Undulation theory of colour—What is the force which governs 
colour—Primary causes overlooked as usual—Great display of 
Arithmetic—Looseness in Science—When we will freeze to death 
—Portland Scientific Convention—Tyndall on the vibratory 
theory—474,439,680,000,000 red waves a second—This theory 
questioned—No colour on the Earth—Herschel—Helmholtz— 
Science like a voyage of discovery—We introduce the atomag- 
netic theory of colour—Colour a property of matter—Colours 
of mineral flames—Why is the sky blue?—Tyndall’s Scien¬ 
tific use of the Imagination —The setting sun red—The hills 



All light is Electricity—Greatest Scientific delusion of the day— 
Magnetism and Electricity essentially different—Quotations to 
show how little is known about either—Dr. Thomson—Parker’s 
School Booh of Philosophy —Sir Win. Thomson on Electricity 
flowing—Prof. Tyndall also confesses ignorance'—Prof. Grove— 
Prescott’s History—Electric spark, what composed of—No com¬ 
bustion without a mixture of the two classes of matter—The 
cause of Lightning.99—105 



Explanation chapter—To show difference between Magnetism and 
Electricity—Profs. Grove and Faraday—Electricity not a force 
at all—Arrangement of a galvanic battery—How telegraphing 
is accomplished—Telegraph worked by grass—A few facts about 
Magnetism—Well known and not generally known—Faraday’s 
misfortune—Born too soon—The “Magnetic curves” explained 
—Tyndall astray again—Polarity of iron railings—How the 
polarity of magnetism changes with position—Sir Isaac Newton’s 
apple—The law of gravitation upset—How magnetism is a weight, 



and how it affects weight—What Newton wished to discover— 
The cause of deviation in iron ships.106—120 



Difficult problem in Science—Prof. Tyndall’s explanation not satis¬ 
factory—Sound vibrations and light vibrations—Sound generates 
heat—How long fifty organs would take to heat St. Paul’s 
Cathedral—Sound in summer and winter—How we hear fifty 
sounds at the same time—Echoes—New theory of Sound—A 
sympathy between the mineral atoms of matter—Iron a better 
conductor than wood—If a man has S} T mpathy why should not 
an atom ?—Dancing flames—Tyndall’s new theory of Sound— 
Experiments at the South Foreland, England—Vapour in 



Fire not so powerful as water—Water in granite—Herschel on 
Rain—Rain caused by chemical action in the atmosphere—The 
Rain gauge—Rain forms in the lower atmosphere—Proctor and 
Kamtz on the reason why—Rain shot out from clouds—Herschel 
on Rain storms—Climate of North America changing—Egypt 
cultivating the Palm for Rain—Forests and vegetation cause 
Rain—Herschel’s reason why, a failure—Drainage said to be 
bad—Chicago, St. Louis, once unhealthy—Why—No large city 
unhealthy—No air in water—Fishes gills used for filtering food, 
not for breathing—The air they need produced from digestion— 
Can we produce or bring down Rain ?—Great battles in America 
were followed by Rain—The cause.126—139 



Chambers's Journal —Baptista Porta nearly discovered the true 
theory of dew—Thought dew was condensed from air— 
Aristotle thought it was condensed from vapour—Musschenbroek 
kept back Meteorology one hundred years—Great discoveries 
often foiled by the stupidity of the world—Dr. Wells said to 
be the discoverer of the true dew theory—The radiation of heat, 



the basis—The cause of moonblindness—Dew forms most readily 
on vegetation—Dew on wild strawberry plants—Arguments 
against radiation—Observations with wool packs—Position 
everything —Calm and clear evenings essential—Dew is water— 
Produced in a similar way—The cause of fog and hoar frost— 
Hoar frost spears of ice.140—145 



Atmosphere said to be composed of oxygen and nitrogen—An 
impossibility—Air in no two places the same—Balloon explora¬ 
tions—Gay-Lussac—Everything with life has an atmosphere— 
The atmosphere of the African—Impossible to get rid of it— 
The earth a living body—Has an Atmosphere composed of its 
own materials—The Atmosphere composed of hundreds of dif¬ 
ferent compounds of materials —-Storms : Sir John Herschel 
and Prof. Rogers on storms—Magnetic curves from the poles 
of the earth, the cause of wind and storms—Cause of Equatorial 
Calms—Maury on cyclones—Description of a so-called Circular 
Storm—Hints for Weather Prophets .146—156 



Nothing so much to do with our discomforts as food—The body a 
machine—Professor Lyon Playfair on Eood—Liebig’s classes of 
food—Flesh formers—Heat givers, and mineral ingredients— 
Knows nothing of the action of the last class—Contradictions— 
Experiments by- scientific men always conducted too loosely— 
Animal food only concentrated vegetable matter—English Navvies 
and Arabs—Sepoys and Ghoorkas—How much an Esquimaux 
eats, according to Sir John Ross—Canadian Indians and salt—- 
Criminals in Holland—The Scotch and Indigestion—The action 
of minerals in the body—Alcohol—Its action in the body—Will 
support no germ of life—Does not change like other food— 
Ignorance of doctors—Local diseases induced by alcohol 157—165 



Found to be of vegetable origin—Prof. Rogers on Coal—Statements 
faulty—Unacquainted with natural law—Rogers’ theory—Gi’ew 



in a swamp—Soaked with mineral oils—Baked by the earth’s 
internal fire—A forest makes half an inch of coal—A tree said to 
absorb carbon—Incorrect—Sir Hem-y De la Beche and his calcu¬ 
lations—Fallacies about carbon—How carbon and hydrogen came 
into the coal—Our theory of coal—Prairies—Charcoal in the 
seams—Nova Scotia mines—Inundations—No internal fire—No 
Baking—The whole process one of petrifaction—Coal inexhaus¬ 
tible—Employment of magnetism for machinery—How to stop 
the great waste of coal.166—172 



Strange Chapter—Coral insects unworthy of notice—Misplaced 
eulogy—Theories of Coral grow T th—The insect monument and 
tomb—Not found below thirty fathoms—Coral found a mile and 
a half deep—Coral on the Isthmus of Panama, not made by 
insects—The Coral insect a parasite merely—The cochineal— 
How Coral grows—Millions feeding from one mouth—Coral 
grows by budding—Agassiz on Florida reefs, and arguments 
against Darwin—Darwin’s curious theories on Coral reefs—Sir 
John Herschel—How coral commences to grow—The true 
theory of reefs—How a gap in a reef was filled—Coral merely 
the home of the insect.173—181 



Another popular fallacy—The earth’s internal fire—Dr. Mayer’s 
theory—Dr. Tyndall opposed to it—Dr. Mayer’s dogged asser¬ 
tion—Selfishness of men of science—Herschel on Volcanoes—- 
The earth and an egg—Objection to Herschel’s theory—Expla¬ 
nation of Volcanoes—Why Volcanoes become extinct—Coal gas 
—Mount St. Helena and Sulphur Springs—Prof. Mallet on 
Water and Volcanoes—Cause of Earthquakes—Prevention of 
Earthquakes—Oil boring in Pennsylvania—Herschel’s extra¬ 
ordinary theory of Earthquakes—What he knew of chemical 
action in the interior—The necessity for scientific men not taking 
anything for granted.182—190 



The regularity of the Tides—The influence of the new and full moon 
on the Tides—There must be one grand cause of the Tides—This 



is pressure, not attraction—Cause of Variation in the Tides by 
the position of the moon—Formation of the Land—Winds— 
Lardner’s theory of the Tides—-Its fallacy shown—The earth 
ought to be approaching the moon—Facts to be remembered— 
The Plane of the Ecliptic—The effect of pressure on the atmo¬ 
sphere—The Tides caused by pressure in passing the Plane of 
the Ecliptic—The moon’s atmosphere—The Tide in the Mediter¬ 
ranean—The Bay of Fundy Tides seventy feet high—Ram 
Pasture—Rise of two feet in three miles—The repelling forces 
control the Tides.191—197 



The cause of the Gulf Stream—Dr. Carpenter’s theory—Oceanic 
Circulation—Experiment with glass trough—No comparison— 
Strength of Polar Currents—Channel between Faroe Islands 
and Shetland—Dr. Wyville Thompson differs from Dr. Car¬ 
penter—Reciprocal circulation of Water and Air—Beautiful 
theory of Atmospheric Circulation overlooked by Dr. Carpenter 
—Icebergs, why granulated—Cause of great height of Icebergs 
—What causes the cold deep waters. 198—205 



Very little known about Comets—Facts about them—Jupiter’s 
influence on them—Comet of 1680—Herschel’s description of it 
—The movements of a Comet different from a Planet—All the 
heavenly bodies, Magnets—The motions of Comets explained on 
this theory—How Comets are made periodic—Encke’s and 
Biela’s Comets—The atmospheres of Comets—Their tails—Their 
purpose—Are they inhabited?. 206—210 



Strange theories regarding them—Sir Wm, Thomson’s—Seed bearing 
Meteors—Prof. Newton on November Meteors—No orbit of 
Meteors—Meteors caused by pressure and reciprocation—Dr. 
Sorby, the microscopist, on Meteors—Prof. Graham on the 
Leonarto Meteor—The great November showers caused by a 
Comet—The yearly and ordinary Meteors caused by pressure 






Visible at both poles—Mairan on the extent of the Sun’s atmo¬ 
sphere—Lardner on Auroras—M. Biot on Polar Volcanoes— 
Distance of Auroras—Seen by Aeronauts below them—Facts 
—Caused by mineral emanations from the Polar Latitudes— 
How they affect the compasses—Why seen on Calm evenings 
—Dew—Cause of colours—Similarity between Auroras and 



A revolution in medicine—The cause of disease unknown—Incurable 
diseases—Not creditable to the profession—What are our bodies 
composed of?—What keeps up life in us?—What is blood?—How 
is blood formed?—How is the material we eat transformed into 
blood?—What causes and keeps up the circulation of the blood? 
—What is life?—The magnetic action of the body—The function 
of the blood—How the waste from the body is thrown off—Hot 
water—Purging—Emetics—The body compared to a fire—Indi¬ 
gestion—Consumption, its cause and cure—Fevers . 219—229 



Religion not affected by Atomagnetism—The inherent life in atoms 
and the spontaneous development of the mind, seem grand argu¬ 
ments for the Materialist—The movements of Planets and 
Comets—The great machinery of the universe—What need of a 
God?—Man fancies himself a Monarch—No animal intelligence 
his superior—Only a parasite—Chained to the earth—On a level 
with his dog—Matter existed without properties—Who endowed 
it with them ?—Divine mind of man—Magnetism not God—How 
simple miracles must be to Him who formed and holds the key 
of natural law—Insignificance of man. 230—234 



Agassiz, Louis. 

Bacon, Lord. 

Bastian, H. Charlton. 

Beche, Sir Henry de la. 
Berkeley, Bishop. 

Biot, M. 

Brewer, Dr. 

Buckland, Frank. 

Carpenter, Dr. W. B. 
Child, Dr. 

Coulomb, M. A. C. De. 
Crosse, Mr. 

Davy, Sir Humphry. 

Darwin, Dr. 


Dumas, Prof. 

Faraday, Michael. 

Grove, Prof. W. R. 

Graham, Prof. 


Helmholtz, Prof. H. L. M. 
Herschel, Sir J. F. W. 
Higgins, W. M. 

Huxley, Prof. 





Lardner, Dr. D. 

Liebig, J. Yon. 

Lussac, Gay-. 

Lyell, Sir Charles. 


Mallet, Prof. 

Maury, Dr. M. F. 

Maury, Prof. Thompson B. 
Maxwell, Prof. 

Mayer, Dr. 


Newton, Sir Isaac. 
Newton, Prof. 

Nichols, Prof. 

Norton, Prof. W. A. 

Pasteur, M. 

Playfair, Prof. Lyon. 
Porta, Baptista. 

Proctor, Prof. R. A. 

Rive, Prof. A. de la. 
Rogers, Prof. 

Ross, Sir John. 



Sorby, Dr. 

Tait, Prof. P. G. 

Thomson, Sir William. 
Thompson, Dr. Wyville. 
Thomson, Dr. Thos. 
Tyndall, Prof. John. 

Wells, Dr. 

Young, Dr. Thos. 



The Duality of Atoms. 

The Properties and Force of Matter. 

The Cause of Life. 

The Source of Mind. 

The Cause of Chemical Action. 

The Cause of Sunlight. 

The Cause of Variation in Ship’s Compasses. 

The Cause of Boiler Explosions. 

The Cause of Winds and Storms. 

The Process of Digestion. 

The Cause of the Tides. 

That Magnetism is Weight, and Supersedes Gravitation. 
That Coral is a Semi-Mineral Growth and not the Work 
of Insects. 

The Cause of Meteors. 

The Cause of Auroras. 

The Cause of the Circulation of the Blood. 

* That Hydrogen Gas has the Properties, not only of 
Metals but of Minerals. 

That Oxygen Gas has the Properties of Vegetable 

* We are aware that Prof. Graham has the credit of the discovery 
that hydrogen was metallic ; hut as we published the announce¬ 
ment of the same fact in the Phrenological Journal, in 1863, Prof. 
Graham’s alleged discovery was thus anticipated by some years. 


To propound a new system of Natural Philosophy 
in this age of enlightenment and great men, which 
shall overthrow the cherished theories of centuries, 
as well as those of later date, is a difficult, and, we 
suspect, a thankless task; but it is one which, in 
the interest of truth, the progress of knowledge, 
and the eradication of sensationalism in Science, we 
feel compelled to undertake. 

If it is acknowledged that no one knows the 
composition of matter; that the force of matter is 
unknown; that chemical action is a mystery; that 
life and mind are inexplicable ; that electricity and 
magnetism are forces but partially understood, and 
that over all natural phenomena there hangs a veil 
of mystery : then, if our most voluminous writers 
on science mean what they say in their reverence 
for the truth and their endeavours after its accep¬ 
tance, we, who offer an explanation of all these 
mysteries, should receive encouragement and as¬ 
sistance on every hand. 

It must be, moreover, the desire of every intelli¬ 
gent man, outside of scientific circles, that some 

c 2 



more definite system of science should be adopted 
than that in which belief is generally placed. 
People are beginning to tire of the extraordinary 
theories regarding the sun, moon, and stars, which 
are successively being advanced, and which intelli¬ 
gent men are compelled to read if not to accept— 
if they would keep pace with what is called the 
progress of knowledge—despite, too, their own doubts 
and convictions of error. 

Of course it is the last result that the lower 
grades of scientific men generally would try to 
bring about. It would lower them from the proud 
position of heroic poets—gifted with an illimitable 
imagination, and furnished with an unbounded 
licence to terrify mankind—to the level of common 
mortals like ourselves. No more would their names 
be heralded by the journals of the world, accom¬ 
panied by some brain-whirling paragraph, and un¬ 
less they were really possessed of more intellectual 
power than their brethren generally, their names 
would never be heard of. 

For instance, see what happened at a late meet¬ 
ing of the American Scientific Association at Port¬ 
land, U.S.; and although Americans, they only 
imitate the theories advanced by European savants. 
Five papers were read apparently to horrify the 
audience; each having as its grand conclusion, the 
extinction of life on the earth. We beg to be 
excused for giving their names such prominence. 
Prof. Young said, in substance, that the sun was 



being gradually muffled by a peculiar rain falling 
on it, which formed a crust that w r ould eventually 
exclude all light and heat, so that a return to 
original chaos would be the inevitable consequence. 
He forbore giving the exact date of the catastrophe. 

Gen. J. G. Barnard came more to the point. 
He said our earth is only a fire-bubble with a very 
thin crust, so that we are liable to explode at any 
moment. As soon, therefore, as we hear of any 
telegraphic report of a volcano in eruption, or see 
any heavy meteor or comet dashing towards the 
earth, then, too, we may listen for the sound of 
the last trumpet. 

Mr. H. F. Walling read an essay on the “ Dissi¬ 
pation of Energy” in which he stated that the sun 
was losing its heat so rapidly that there will be a 
slowing of the machinery of the universe, until 
stagnation culminates in a total extinction of life. 
No date given. 

Prof. Franklin B. Hough foretold a perpetual 
drought in consequence of clearing the forests. 
The result will be a universal famine, and the 
world will be depopulated by starvation. No date 

The last paper was by Dr. Le Conte, the new 
President of the Association, and he foretold there 
would be such an alarming increase of insects, that 
all vegetation would be destroyed, and finally 
starving and helpless man himself would be eaten. 
No date. 



“ All of which,” says an American paper, 
“ argues an early dropping of the curtain upon the 
fleeting show of life.” 

Is it at all possible that a system of science can 
he true which permits such an outcrop of startling 
absurdities, no speculation being too ridiculous to 
he issued, while the inventor of the most terrifying 
announcement becomes the most celebrated man of 
the time ? The wonder, too, is that such illus¬ 
trious men as Herschel should be led aw r ay by the 
prevailing weakness. It is to be hoped that it was 
only as a joke when he said that some of the spots 
on the sun, 600 miles long by 300 miles wide, 
might be living creatures; but Prof. Proctor in his 
New York Lectures seemed to quote it as a state¬ 
ment made in earnest. Prof. Proctor himself in¬ 
dulges in some visionary dreams regarding the 
exhaustion of the solar heat and the aspect of the 
inhabitants of Saturn, which are but a shade re¬ 
moved from the absurd. There is nothing so 
correct and invariable as nature in all her laws, 
and thus no study should be so free from sensa¬ 
tionalism as Natural Science. The very semblance 
of it ought to be an abomination to the true 

While, therefore, it is admitted that the esta¬ 
blished system of science—if it may be called a 
system—is incorrect: for it is not only we who 
say so, but every great physicist from Newton 
downwards has acknowledged that there was some- 



thing lacking: yet Science lias collected a vast 
array of valuable facts which only want an assorter. 
They are like the multitude of objects sent to an 
Universal Exhibition, but the building in which 
they are to be displayed has still to be erected. 
Or they are like the hieroglyphics on an Egyptian 
tomb waiting for a Eawlinson to interpret them; 
we hope that they will not be like the Aztec 
characters on the Central American ruins which 
have waited, and are, as far as appearances go, 
likely to wait in vain for an interpreter. 

Every river has a source; every tree has a root; 
every building has a foundation ; but it is confessed 
by all men that Natural Science at present has no 
source, no root, no foundation upon which to stand. 
The different theories are like Arabian streams 
which are lost in the sands of the desert; or 
northern lights which are never seen twice in the 
same place. A pole or guiding star has continually 
been sought, but, like the North West Passage, it 
has eluded all search, and many brave men have 
died in the pursuit. Still, we do not blame ex¬ 
plorers for not finding it. Man is not omniscient, 
and even a Eranldin may fail to reach the North 
Pole, or a Buckle may die when his work is half 
done. But every man should be honoured for the 
work he has accomplished, if performed conscien¬ 
tiously and with originality, according to his lights. 
We do not consign the heathen to hell because they 
do not happen to know there is a true God; but 



we certainly condemn those men who, knowing 
evil, continue to preach and practise that evil. So 
while we use all forbearance to those who have 
been educated in a false system of science, we 
would unmercifully scath those bigoted pedants 
who would spurn the truth when it is offered them; 
who would rather continue to teach false doctrine, 
knowing it to be false, than condescend to learn a 
science which was true. 

We feel that we have been censorious and that 
we have perhaps condemned the innocent with the 
guilty. We know that we have spoken irreverently 
of names that do honour to our race. But it is a 
necessity almost forced on us by the nature of the 
work. Our object is not so much to show where 
Newton, Herschel, Agassiz, Tyndall, Thomson, 
and others are right, but where they are wrong ; 
not to praise them, but to condemn them where 
they deserve it; for it must be admitted that there 
are few who do not deserve censure. If our object 
was to praise alone, nothing would afford us greater 
pleasure, and we are conscious that we could find 
much iu the life and work of these men overlooked 
by the superficial flatterer, whereby to exalt and do 
them honour; but praising a man who is success¬ 
ful, is a work which is already too well done by an 
army of parasites and sycophants all the world 
over, an army which is also ready at the same time 
to tear to shreds the reputation of a genius who 
stumbles in his life struggle. There is a praise 



which degenerates into fulsomeness, and a worship 
which degenerates into toadyism; and while the 
refusal to give merit to whom it is due is bad, the 
over-praise of a man leading to the general belief 
that he is an infallible authority—a prerogative 
conceded only to nature herself — is infinitely 

The great bane of cultured progress in the pre¬ 
sent, if not in all centuries, has been the worship 
of authority. If the Pope says the sun goes round 
the earth, then Galileo must believe him. If Sir 
Isaac Newton says gravitation is the universal law 
of earth, then Herschel will not question the fact ; 
and strange to say—although many knew the dis¬ 
crepancies of that law, and the many exhibitions of 
force which it was unable to explain—no man up 
to the present time has had the manliness to speak 
against gravitation. Scientific men seem to have 
gone on the principle that a law, although de¬ 
fective, is better than no law at all ; just as many 
nations to their cost have said that a bad govern¬ 
ment is better than no government. But as a 
bloody revolution is the inevitable destiny of such a 
people, and good government, easily to have been 
obtained if sought for in time, is at length only 
attained by a sacrifice of life which blackens the 
page of history ; so it will be in science, for the 
tree of knowledge has been so overgrown and 
entwined with creepers, that its growth has been 
choked and stunted, its fair proportions destroyed. 



and its vitality threatened. In order, therefore, 
that it may again branch out in all its beauty, it 
will have to be severed at the roots. 

This worship of authority has poisoned the 
streams of other branches of knowledge, for Archi¬ 
tecture slept at the Reformation, and until lately a 
blind copyism of Grecian, Roman, and in due 
sequence all the types of the Gothic styles pre¬ 
vailed, so that artistic feeling was almost quenched 
in the architect who would be popular. So also 
was it in Painting, where Cupids, Yenuses, Ma¬ 
donnas, and artificial landscapes were the main 
staple of art. Our Theologians also are still con¬ 
tinually trammelled and led into trouble by quoting 
authority two or three hundred years old ; while 
Doctors allow their thousands of patients to die 
annually through the like blind worship. 

It will be said that some authority must be 
acknowdedged, else there would be neither science 
nor government. Unquestionably. But because 
authority is in power, it does not follow that it 
should remain unquestioned. All law except 
nature's is fallible, and can only be kept right by a 
continual examination. It is the cashier in wdiom 
implicit confidence is placed that usually embezzles 
the funds of the Bank. So if we would have 
authority—and it is a necessity—it must be one 
that undergoes a continual scrutiny, and answers 
every interrogation promptly. As long as it does 
so, then reverence it; but once it fails, look out 



for another more sure. Do not try to prop up a 
fallacy. The ruin is only the greater when it does 


It may be said that we should have accepted at 
least some men as authorities. In many things we 
certainly do, but where their theories conflict with 
obvious truth, then we throw them at once to the 
winds. Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Bacon, and Sir 
Humphry Davy were all celebrated menin their 
day. They were all students of nature, and each, 
as was said by Newton, picked up but a pebble of 
truth from an inexhaustible shore, knowing that 
there were many more yet to be discovered. Far 
be it from us, therefore, to detract anything from 
the honour they deserved, and the glory they 
earned. But knowledge is no law of the Medes 
and Persians, which cliangeth not. The dullest 
schoolboy may now know what these men would 
have given worlds to understand. Is it then 
worthy of such intelligence as we are possessed of, 
or worthy of this grand century of thought and 
discovery, to have so little confidence in ourselves 
as to place implicit belief in theories which these 
men—great though they were—in their imperfect 
knowledge laid down, while facts are every day 
being brought to our notice antagonistic to them ? 
We believe that such men were above a paltry 
adulation. While some philosophers blind them¬ 
selves to consequences which the recognition of 
facts entail, and would rather believe that the 



phenomena never occurred than that Newton 
should he wrong; we believe that Newton’s, or 
any other sensible mam’s last wish would be, that 
anything he had said should stay the progress of 
truth. Besides, in such false humility we do in¬ 
justice to ourselves, and are ungrateful to the age 
we live in. 

The sun of knowledge is ever brightening as the 
years roll on, making the hidden places clearer and 
the difficult paths easy of travel. But this light 
has been unrecognised, and this sun overlooked in 
preference to those twinkling stars, which in their 
own day and in their own system shone as suns 
with brightest effulgence, but which to us as the 
years glide by, are now no more than brilliant and 
beautiful gems in the sparkling galaxy of the past. 

Our greatest men are not so much to blame for 
the spread of erroneous opinions as their disciples 
and followers, who insist on translations and ex¬ 
planations of their great preceptor’s discovery, 
which would be denied by the master himself were 
he alive. A Newton, when he has made a dis¬ 
covery, is willing that all should take advantage of 
it, but the parasites, who hang round every great 
man, seize it, take their own interpretation out of 
it, and say thus and thus did our leader teach, and 
nothing more. It reminds us of the lion and the 
jackal. The lion, when he has finished his meal, 
is willing that all should partake of the fruits of 
his spoil, but the sneaking jackal appropriates 



everything to itself. The jackals of science are 
many, and as contemptible. 

The present work we believe to be the first 
attempt that has yet been made to arrange the 
sciences under one common head, and to show how 
they are all governed by one and the same law. 
How far we have been successful, our readers will 
decide. We suspect that there may be something 
observed in every chapter to startle the ordinary 
scientific student, but we offer no opinion which 
cannot be proved correct by a reference to the 
operations of nature, since we have been guided 
entirely by her teachings. 

To detail fully the manner in which we arrived 
at the principles of our theory and the experiments 
performed, would occupy too much space, we there¬ 
fore give the following brief statement:— 

Finding all theories of Natural Science to be 
conflicting and unsatisfactory even to Scientific 
men, we laid them aside and referred to Nature for 
explanations of her working. By tracing every 
phenomenon to its origin we found all phenomena 
to spring from one and the same source. That is, 
the variety of Natural phenomena are not—as is 
generally supposed—caused by a variety of forces 
and a variety of laws, but result from the diversified 
compounds, conditions and positions into which 
matter may be placed, operated on by its own inhe¬ 
rent force under one law that controls the whole. 
The theory is then as follows :— 



Matter is composed of two classes of atoms, mineral 
and vegetable ; or, as they are often called throughout 
the work, Hydrogen and Oxygen. Every atom is a 
magnet having polarity. Like atoms attract. Like 
poles repel, and unlike poles attract. 

To this universal law of the attraetion of like 
atoms and the repulsion of like poles by their 
inherent magnetic force, we have applied the term 

That the law is correct and complete we have no 
doubt ; but we do not assert that we are right in 
the interpretation of every detail of the law, as 
exhibited in all the variations of natural phenomena, 
for infinite wisdom is not attained by man. 

Thus while all other systems fail to give a reli¬ 
able explanation of the simplest natural phenomenon, 
we are confident that the Atomagnetic will never 
fail. That it will always give the right answer 
will depend upon the mind of the man who asks 
the question, for it is not always the law which 
answers a question, but, unfortunately for science, 
the fallible mind of man himself assumes the respon¬ 
sibility. Thus while we have discovered the law we 
do not claim to be the infallible interpreters of it. 

People generally judge of a scientific theory by 
its practical value and usefulness. Looking at 
it even in this light (which is disclaimed by modern 
scientific writers for very obvious reasons) Atomag¬ 
netism is bound to be of immense permanent value. 
We expect to save the lives of thousands by showing 



the cause of boiler explosions, by explaining the 
variation of ship’s compasses, and by showing the 
source of life; also how our bodies are kept in 
life, and how sick people should be treated. But 
we suspect that the most valuable practical discovery 
we have made will be that of the nature and action 
of magnetism, which shows that it may be brought 
under control, and made to subserve man’s will and 
work in every department of labour. It is strange, 
that if magnetism is the only force which nature 
employs to accomplish her mighty work in all her 
actions and movements, that man cannot make it 
propel his tiny engines and machinery. Without 
going into particulars we may say that we have made 
a machine and propelled it by magnetism. We 
proceeded with our experiments far enough to 
satisfy us that there was no limit to the power that 
might be obtained ; and this power could be gained 
without smoke, without fire, without danger of 
explosion, and at a cost of only a thousandth part 
of that of steam. It seems like a dream, but it 
is a dream that will yet be realized. 

In conclusion, the realm of science, we have 
often thought, resembles the vast expanse of ocean 
that lies glistening in the morning sun ; not a 
breath of air disturbs the glassy surface, the vessels 
lie lazily without movement or sign of life, and the 
spars are all clearly reflected in the water. Anon, 
as we cast our eyes out to sea, we perceive a shade 
darkening the horizon. On it comes, gradually 



widening and expanding till it spreads like the 
shadow of an eclipse over the sea, throwing the 
water into foam, spreading a mantle of blue where 
all was white, and converting the lazy boats into 
birds of flight, so that each ship could now enter 
on its voyage and go where it willed, while pre¬ 
viously it had to drift with tide and current. The 
ocean is the sea of all knowledge ; the wind is the 
guiding law which leads to the sources and ends of 
all truth; and the vessels are scientific theories 
which drift about with the tide. Sometimes the 
name of a man may urge a theory along and give 
it prominence, just as we sometimes see a tug-boat 
towing a vessel out of a harbour. But the steamer 
cannot always be with it, and after the vessel is 
alone it is still at the mercy of the tide. The ships 
may also make a great display and noise, they may 
hoist flags and fire off cannon, they may challenge 
respect and attract considerable attention, but they 
are only becalmed after all. Which, then, of all 
the theories before the world, is that favourable 
wind ? 




Two classes of Atoms—Hydrogen and Oxygen—Male and Female 
Atoms—Matter on Earth—Prof Tyndall on dead and living 
Atoms—His opinions change — Prof. IF. A. Norton on one 
kind of Force—Law of repulsion—“ Vestiges of Creation” on 
Fire Mist — Fraser’s Magazine on Matter — Prof. Grove on 
Matter — Locke—Bishop Berkeley—Analogy between language 
and two classes of Atoms. 

All matter is eternal, and resolvable into atoms. 

Atoms are invisible, indivisible, intangible, and in¬ 

They are separated into two great classes , viz .— 
mineral and vegetable atoms , or, as they may be called, 
Hydrogen and Oxygen.* There are many different 
kinds of mineral and vegetable atoms, the former 
producing different minerals, and the latter uniting 
with the mineral, producing different kinds of vege¬ 
tation ; still there are only two classes of them. 

* In this work, wherever we use the terms Hydrogen and Oxy¬ 
gen, they must be understood as generic terms for the two great 
classes of matter; Hydrogen being the generic name for the 
mineral atoms, and Oxygen for the vegetable atoms. 




All Atoms are Male and Female. 

We find that all animals and vegetables are male 
and female, and as all animate matter is kept alive 
by eating or absorbing so-called inanimate matter, 
for the theory which divides atoms or matter into 
animate and inanimate is untenable, as we show 
farther on, is it unreasonable to suppose that each 
inert atom is also either male or female? Besides 
the action between the atoms in order to form any 
production on earth, is (as we will also find farther 
on) as much a marriage as the intercourse between 
larger masses of atoms. 

These atoms also have in our world peculiar in¬ 
herent properties belonging to each individually. 
For instance, the mineral atom is the Male, and its 
properties are, that it is naturally cold; that it has 
the blue and white cold colours; and that it is acid 
and combustible. 

The vegetable atom is the Female; and its proper¬ 
ties are, that it is naturally warm; that its colours 
are yellow, red, and the warm colours; and that it is 

Many scientific men have endeavoured to reduce 
matter to a simple form, but without success—Pro¬ 
fessor Tyndall in his lecture on Matter and Force, 
delivered at Dundee in 1867, said :—“The matter of 
the world may be classified under two distinct 
heads, that of dead and living atoms. All atoms 
were once alive, but having exhausted their force in 
attracting other atoms in forming granite, limestone, 



and metals, they are dead and cannot live again.”* 
This is manifestly incorrect, for by a simple experi¬ 
ment we can show that if these granites or metals were 
pulverized, mixed with vegetable atoms, and seeds were 
planted in them and well watered, the atoms would 
show themselves alive by dissolving and aiding in pro¬ 
ducing a plant, and probably a flower; or they could be 
so mixed with other substances that they would assist 
in blasting the hardest iron stone. There is no such 
thing as a dead atom . All atoms are alive, or have 
inherent life properties, but they must occupy certain 
positions and conditions in order to show their 

Prof. W. A. Norton, in the American Journal of 
Science for 1872, endeavours to show that there may 
be only one kind of matter, and one form of force 
governing it. Matter is of three varieties, he says :— 
“ Ordinary or gross matter directly recognised by our 
senses; universal or luminiferous ether, filling all space ; 
and electric ether, associated with all bodies of ordi¬ 
nary matter.” He thinks, however, that they are all 
formed from luminiferous ether. The force which 
governs this matter is a law of repulsion. As the fact 
of an attractive power cannot, however, be denied, 
he seems to^ imply that it is caused by the repul- 

* Since 1867, Professor Tyndall seems to have considerably 
modified his assertions, for we find the following sentence in his 
lecture on The Scientific Limit of the Imagination :—“ Incipient 
life, as it were, manifests itself throughout the whole of what we 
call inorganic nature.” 

B 2 



sive power of the atoms being so feeble that they 
attract each other ! Rather a paradoxical mode of 

It would baffle him to explain how any pheno¬ 
menon of nature is caused, and how any product of 
the earth grows by the operation of the law of repul¬ 
sion alone. 

In the Vestiges of Creation we are told that matter 
was originally a universal “ Fire Mist/' which 
gradually cooled off into suns aud planets. How 
fire mist could cool when there was nothings* to 
cool it, and how one substance could change without 
coming in contact with another, is inconceivable 
to us. 

In the same book we find that there are fifty-five 
simple elements composing the earth. But in an 
article on the Materials of the Universe in Fraser’s 
Magazine, 1869, we find there are sixty-two elements, 
of which forty-nine are metals, eight are substances 
with an individual character of their own, and five 
are gases. They can however be resolvable into the 
two classes of mineral and vegetable. The author of 
the above mentioned article says :—“ We cannot 
affirm it to be matter of demonstration that none of 
these may be some day found reducible to a more 
simple form. We cannot pronounce with mathe¬ 
matical confidence, that no unexpected and startling 
discovery may yet effect at least a partial change in 
some of these positions. But we may safely affirm, 
that the probability of any general revolution is in- 



finitesimally small.” It remains for our readers to 
judge whether it has not now become a certainty. 

We find the nearest approach to our views on the 
composition of matter, in Park’s Chemical Catechism ; 
■where, after showing that plants may he grown in 
sand, litharge, and even in common lead shot, merely 
bv moistening them with water, it concludes:— 
“ Oxygen and Hydrogen, with the assistance of solar 
light, appear to be the only elementary substances 
employed in the constitution of the whole universe, 
and nature in her simple process works the most 
infinitely diversified effects by the slightest modifica¬ 
tions in the means she employs.” 

Some scientific men seem to assert that we can 
never know anything of matter; thus Professor Grove 
says :—“ Probably man will never know the ultimate 
structure of Matter, or the minutiae of molecular 
action; indeed it is scarcely conceivable that the 
mind of man can ever attain to this knowledge.” 
Locke affirms that we know nothing of substance of 
any kind. Bishop Berkeley said to the Materialists : 
—“ You tell me that all the phenomena of nature 
are resolvable into matter and its affections. I assent; 
to your statement, and now I put you the further 
question, What is Matter ?” This was a puzzler for 

There is a remarkable analogy between the compo¬ 
nent parts of matter, and the component parts of 
language. Our alphabet is composed of a number of 
letters, but they are all divisible into the two great 



classes of consonants and vowels. By them we express 
ourselves in simple language that children might 
understand, while the inspired poet by the same 
means can give utterance to the grandest thoughts 
our literature contains. Although also the vowels 
and consonants remain the same, yet there is no lack 
to the multiplicity of new names that may be 
coined; nor a dearth of grand ideas or of sonorous 

So in our language of nature, although it is 
composed of an infinite variety of simple elements, 
yet they are all divisible into two great classes. 
By a simple union they form water and weeds, and 
worms and insects; while by a more intricate process 
they suffice to produce the beautiful bird, the pretty 
flower, and the lovely woman. 

Moreover, as we have said by means of the same 
letters, new words are being coined, and new ideas 
expressed every day; so by the commingling of the 
same elemental atoms in nature, new plants are 
growing, new flowers are blooming, new colours are 
imparted, and new animals are created every day the 
world exists. 



Atomagnetism—What Prof. Huxley would like to know—Matter 
and Motion—Every Atom a Magnet—Law of Atoms—Like 
attracts Like—Unlike poles Attract—Atomagnetism the law of 
Attraction and Repulsion—Examples — Experiments with 
Filings—How Atoms combine their Polarity. 

Haying in the preceding chapter stated what the two 
great classes of matter are, we now proceed to speak 
of the force which governs them in all their move¬ 
ments and products, and to which we have given the 
name of Atomagnetism. 

It is this law which Prof. Huxley, as shown in the 
following quotation, has been striving after without 
success. In an article on Bishop Berkeley’s works in 
Macmillan’s Magazine 1871, he says:—“There is a 
passage in the preface to the first edition of the 
Principia , which shows that Newton was penetrated 
as completely as Descartes, with the belief that all 
the phenomena of nature are expressible in terms of 
matter and motion. It is this, f Many circumstances 
lead me to suspect, that all those phenomena may 
depend upon certain forces, in virtue of which the 
particles of bodies, by causes not yet known, are 
either mutually impelled against one another and 



cohere into regular figures, or repel or recede from 
one another; which forces being unknown, philoso¬ 
phers have as yet explored nature in vain/ ” 

A great deal has been said lately about matter and 
motion, but the latter is as yet only known to the 
most daring speculators as a senseless dance of the 
atoms; a dance so omnipresent and never ending, 
that they imagine it never had a beginning, and is as 
likely never to have an end. On shifting sand like 
this, the accepted theory of physics is based, its 
advocates forgetting that it is quite contrary to the 
working of any law of nature with which we are 

We have said all matter is formed of atoms. But 
every atom is also, we say , a magnet having polarity. 
That is, each atom has two poles similar to a compass 
needle, which may be designated north and south. 

The law of atoms is observed to be, that like attracts 
like; but by the law of magnets, it is seen that like 
poles repel, while unlike poles attract. Ato- 

poles. In order to make this principle clear, we 
will give a few illustrations. 

A tree, for instance, in growing does not attract 
sand, and clay, and metal, and form a branch of clay 
or another of metal, but it attracts only material 
similar to itself. If a smith in casting a bar of iron 
tried to combine clay or coal ashes with it, he could 



not succeed, or else there would be no strength in the 
bar. Again, we cannot attract the poles of a 
magnetic compass with a wooden stick, or a piece of 
coal, or indeed anything not in the nature of iron or 
steel. This is the attraction of like atoms. 

Now, in order to explain the repulsion of like poles, 
suppose we have two bars of magnetized iron, and 
some iron filings. If we take the ends pointing 
north, or the ends which attract the north point of a 
compass needle, and dip them into the filings, these 
particles will stick to the bars, and bristle out on 
both ends like hairs. Suppose we then bring the 
same ends together, the filings seem possessed of life 
and fall back from each other, thus showing the 
repulsive power of similar poles. But if we place 
filings on the north end of one, and on the south end 
of the other, the particles stretch out from each bar 
and cling to one another. This is a simple experi¬ 
ment, but very important and suggestive, and it may 
be performed by any one. 

While thus all atoms are magnets having polarity, 
when a number of them coalesce or join together, 
each individual atom merges its polarity into the 
force or polarity of the whole. For instance, a small 
piece of iron has a north and south polarity, because 
it attracts the points of a compass needle; but sup¬ 
pose we take some hundreds of these small pieces, 
and form them into a large bar of iron, we do not 
find some hundreds of north and south poles in it, 
but only one north and one south pole. The force 



which was in each small piece is concentrated into 
the whole, so that the attractive and repulsive power 
of the bar is stronger by every piece that is added 
to it. 

While then it may he believed, by our readers 
generally, that some atoms are magnets, as iron for 
instance, it will be hard to convince many that all 
atoms are magnets—for instance, the atoms of the 
paper we write on, or the bread we eat; but it shall 
be our endeavour to prove them to be so in suc¬ 
ceeding chapters. It will be hard also to convince 
the world that besides being magnets, all atoms are 
governed by the universal law which we have 
advanced; but not till the last chapter is finished 
will we consider that we have proved our assertions, 
for should one effect or phenomenon of nature arise 
which cannot be explained by it, then we throw the 
whole theory aside as utterly worthless. 



Minerals not dead—Mineral life a low form of vegetable and 
animal life—Iron filings have life—Compass needle has life — 
Philosopher’s Tree — Coral — Candy—Mineral life — Atomag- 
netism—Atoms of lead, sugar, and coral, Magnets—Greater 
always influences the less —j 'Explanations of Philosopher’s Tree 
—Cause of beautiful forms in snow flakes. 

The title of this chapter may seem curious and 
incomprehensible to many, but we do not think it 
difficult of explanation or incapable of being under¬ 

Minerals have been looked upon as dead matter, 
but, as we have said before, every atom in this 
universe has the elements of life, only it must be in a 
certain position and condition to show it. 

Mineral life is indeed the lowest form of life. It is 
not so complicated as either vegetable or animal life, 
yet it is governed by the same law. The experiment 
of the iron filings shows that they are possessed of 
life. A low form of life it is indeed, yet one that 
infallibly directs them when to attract, and when to 
repel. The compass needle has similar life, and man, 
although possessed of the highest form of life on this 
earth, has to depend upon its guidance, and to stake 
his life upon its warnings. 



But there are other forms of mineral life. We all 
know or have seen the philosopher’s tree. A piece of 
zinc is suspended in a solution of sugar of lead, and 
in a short time the atoms of lead will he seen 
deposited on the zinc; which will then appear to 
shoot out branches and leaves in the form of a tree. 
If these particles of metal are not possessed of a 
certain principle of life activity, what leads them to 
arrange themselves in such a beautiful manner? 

We have another fine example of growth in a simi¬ 
lar manner in the coral—erroneously supposed to be 
formed by insects, but the result, as will be shown 
hereafter, of natural growth from water saturated 
with suitable material. 

All confectioners, too, in making crystallized candy, 
see the operation of the same life in the formation of 
it, although they do not understand it otherwise than 
as the process of crystallization. 

Mineral life is also exhibited in every snow flake 
that falls; the beautiful forms which they exhibit, all 
springing from a centre, being caused by the same 

Mineral life is only one form of atomagnetism or 
medium by which atomagnetism displays itself; and 
it shows that all these various substances, the parti¬ 
cles of lead, the coral, the sugar, and the snow, are 
all magnets. Bor instance, in the philosopher’s tree, 
the piece of zinc first obeys the atomic law, and draws 
all the small atoms of lead in the solution to itself— 
as the greater body always influences the less. But 



being a magnet also, it has polarity, and as particle 
after particle is added to it, its force is continually 
becoming stronger, so that it shoots out branches and 
leaves as though possessed of vegetable life. 

While, however, minerals have life, it is not a form 
of existence fitted to produce seed, but in other re¬ 
spects it resembles vegetable and animal life, inasmuch 
as it reproduces its kind from suitable material. 



Origin of Life—Spontaneous generation—Sir William Thomson on 
seed- bearing Meteors—Cornhill Magazine—A tom ag net ism—No 
seed required—Railway Cuttings — Clover—JIow a plant grows 
without a seed—Scripture proof for it—Seeds rot—Hardwood 
and softwood Forests — Darwin’s Origin of Species overthrown 
■—Thousands of plants in the first creation—New plants with 
every change of soil and climate—Present theory of plant 
life—How a cell developes—Absurdity of plants breathing — 
Why roots and branches spread—Experiments to prove the 
reason—Why a tree does not grow in winter. 

For a number of years of late, there lias been consi¬ 
derable discussion on the origin of life upon the earth. 
Vegetable life has been accepted as its lowest form, 
and numberless theories have been advanced, some in 
favour of spontaneous generation, but most against it. 
The latest and most extraordinary theory is that ad¬ 
vanced by Sir Wm. Thomson. In a lecture before 
the British Association, he suggested that Meteors 
were seed bearing . For instance, two worlds or more 
collided in space and burst, and the fragments bear¬ 
ing moss seeds found their way to our earth, and 
thus generated life on it. But supposing this correct, 
his theory would not account for the origin of life in 
the universe; there must have been a higher power 
to originate the seed bearing meteors. A writer on 

o o 



this subject in Cor nliill Magazine for 1872, very aptly 
says :— u By this theory, nature must destroy two 
worlds in order to plant a few moss seeds in a new one.” 

Following up the law of Atomagnetism, we say, 
that the growth of any plant is governed by the same 
law which forms the philosopher's tree; and that, 
practically, a seed—in the first instance—is no more 
required in the one case than in the other. 

We are told that no vegetation can be produced 
without a seed; but how is it that when a railway 
cutting is made in new earth, which has never before 
been disturbed, a crop of clover should immediately 
grow up; and that it, in its turn, gives way to other 
vegetation, as the soil changes year by year ? 

Besides, every seed does not become a plant; for 
they often rot by being placed in unfavourable posi¬ 
tions for growing; and thus they return to the dust 
from which they sprung. If, then, seed can return 
to dust, is it not possible for dust to perform the 
functions of seed ? 

Moreover, a plant, while growing, forms a seed in 
itself from the soil in which it is placed. What, 
then, should prevent seeds or plants forming in the 
soil itself, under favourable circumstances and suitable 
conditions ? Let us detail the process by which this 
could be accomplished. 

In the soil we have mineral and vegetable atoms. 
All atoms are magnets. Several like vegetable atoms 
are attracted together, along with a sufficiency of 
mineral atoms to generate a combined action. Bain, 



composed also of both classes—oxygen and hydrogen 
—descends, and increases, the force. More atoms are 
attracted; and with the addition of every atom, more 
action or life is given to the whole. In due time, 
enough atoms have come together to enable the force 
to show itself. Accordingly, a root is thrown out 
below, and a leaf is pushed out above. The further 
progress of the plant then is simple. The root attracts 
atoms in every direction from its battery—the decom¬ 
posing soil—and sends them as sap to the axis of the 
plant, which is the life centre. From there they are 
sent through the whole plant by the nature that 
governs them ; either to the branches to clevelope 
leaves, blossoms, fruit, or seed in succession, or to 
multiply and extend the roots. 

It may be asked, Why should a seed be formed in 
the plant at all, seeing there is no absolute need for 
it ? This question would lead us still further, and we 
would ask why there should be any fruit, or blossoms, 
or any law ordering plants yielding seed to be formed 
from the soil, and who ordered the same? Scientific 
men in general are not noted in their theories for 
paying much regard to the statements of Scripture, 
nor are they willing to look there for authority in dis¬ 
cussing them. But to show the correctness of our 
views, we can point in many instances to Scripture 
for our proof. There are in the Bible many mysteries 
which man does not understand, but when he shall 
thereby be fully informed, little else will be left for 
him to learn. 



In confirmation of, or agreement with, the correct¬ 
ness of our theory of vegetable life, we quote the follow¬ 
ing verse from Genesis :—“ And God said, Let the 
Earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the 
fruit trees yielding fruit after his kind whose seed is in 
itself \ upon the earth ; and it was so.” 

The thoughtful reader will observe that it is not 
written :— e( And God said, let the seed of the grass be 
planted, that grass may be brought forth by the 
earth —but He ordained : “ Let the earth bring 
forth grass.” In other words, God in creating the 
earth, had placed within the atoms of which it is com¬ 
posed, the principle of life giving force, which is part 
of His universal law; and by which the earth, spon¬ 
taneously, brings forth the “ grass, the herb yield¬ 
ing seed, and the fruit trees yielding fruit after his 
kind.” Surely He who gave the atoms their atomag- 
netic power and properties, is able to give them any 

Again, plants die out, and seeds do not always 
grow to plants. 

For instance, a forest of hardwood is burned down ; 
and, although the roots may be uninjured, the hard¬ 
wood trees do not renew themselves, but a forest of 
softwood grows up in their place. What is the cause 
of this ? The nature of the soil has been changed by 
the fire, and the new soil, as a natural consequence, 
not being adapted for the hardwood, developes a plant 
bearing seed suitable to itself. 

Thus is Darwin’s theory of the origin of species 




overthrown in a moment. He asserts that all plants 
are descended from four or five progenitors, “ or pro¬ 
bably only one.” But if a plant will grow only in a 
soil and in a climate suitable to it, there must have 
been some thousands of species at first. For Darwin 
surely does not mean us to believe there was only 
one kind of soil, and but one climatic condition in 

the beginning*. 

o o 

We do not, however, believe with his opponents 
that no new species have sprung up, for with every 
change of soil there must necessarily be a change of 
plant growth. Every day, therefore, old plants are 
dying out and new ones are being created. Expe_ 
rienced gardeners, while they can produce a new 
variety of almost any plant or fruit grown, might 
doubtless, if they tried, produce entirely new plants 
also, by chemically changing the soil. 

Having thus given our view of vegetable life, it may 
not be uninteresting to see how it tallies with that 
given by botanists. 

Although botanical students know the structure of 
every well-known species of plant, and examine the 
minutest parts of them with a microscope, besides 
giving them names, such as cells, granules, raphides, 
&c., yet, strangely enough, they have not attempted 
to discover the principle of force which makes them 
grow. They say a cell contains the first germ of life, 
that it grows by dividing itself into four other cells, 
and these four into sixteen, and so on. But what 
impels the cell to divide itself? There is the mystery! 



They say plants have two principal parts, an ascend¬ 
ing and a descending axis. (See how agreeably this 
conies in with our theory of the poles.) The one 
axis produces leaves and branches, whereas the other 
only forms roots. In the leaves they find flattened 
cells with mouths, and consequently they say plants 
inhale carbon and ammonia. In the roots they find 
spongioles, and these they say draw up water and 
potash only. If we ask, Why the roots spread out in 
all directions, it is to search for food; and why the 
leaves and branches spread out in the atmosphere, it is 
to give them room to breathe. If we ask what is 
the power that causes them to do so, they cannot 
explain; unless that it is a wonderful law of Provi¬ 
dence for preserving the life of the plant. 

That plants breathe through their leaves, is just as 
absurd as to say a man breathes through the pores of 
his skin. They say this is proved by coating a tree 
with paint and it dies. But if we coated a man with 
paint, he too would die. The reason of this is, the 
exhalations from the body through the pores are 
stopped, and sent back, contrary to the healthy course 
of nature, and the man dies. So it is with the tree. 
It is giving out exhalations continually by its flat¬ 
tened cells, and should they be checked, the tree is 
choked, and its life action ceases. Moreover, if we 
placed a man under a glass case with plenty of food 
and water, and closed every aperture, he would 
speedily die for want of fresh air. But enclose a 
plant under the same, and it thrives and grows well; 

c 2 



thus showing that plants neither breathe, nor inhale 
carbon, nor anything else, from the atmosphere. The 
flattened cells answer a similar purpose to our pores, 
and are merely the channel of exit, for the exhalations 
from the plant. 

To illustrate the force which naturally spreads the 
roots and branches of trees:—Suppose we again take 
the magnetized bar of steel, and the filings. If we 
dip both ends into the filings, we have a perfect 
representation of a tree in winter, with the roots at 
the one end, and the bare branches at the other. No 
two roots in a tree are observed to go together, nor 
any two branches. Even the smallest twigs are 
observed to shoot out in places where no others are 
growing. So it is with the filings. Each hair of 
steel dust is as distinct from another as needles would 
be. The reason of this is—as already explained—that 
similar poles repel each other. Roots and branches of 
the same tree, therefore, repel each other, because they 
are of the same poles. A plant or tree consequently 
must have polarity, and this would show us, if we did 
not know from other sources, that a tree is by nature a 

It may be asked why a tree in our latitude does not 
grow in winter ? This is a question that cannot be 
answered by a botanist. For, if plants feed on carbon 
-—which they say is given out by animals—they 
ought to grow in winter as well as in summer, for 
animals are breathing at all times of the year. How 
is it also that they obtain their carbon in a hot house 



in winter, from whence all exhalations except the 
gardener’s own breath are excluded? We answer, for 
the same reason that we find trees in tropical 
climates, growing and bearing flowers and fruit all 
the year round. They need warmth, and similar 
exhalations to their own to grow in. A cold, 
mineral, frosty air, checks the exhalations, and kills 
the plant. While a warm, vegetable, moist (or 
mixed) atmosphere draws it out, and increases its 
growth. As there is an excess of mineral in the soil 
which supplies the plant, it must necessarily grow in 
an atmosphere having an excess of vegetable atoms. 



Man afraid to inquire into the origin of life—Milk and cheese — 
Dumas and Agassiz on seeds and eggs—A cow the mother of 
maggots—Insects spontaneously produced—Hoio animals are 
produced without an egg—Excess of vegetable matter forms 
animals—Process of creation — Darwin—All animals produced 
not from one but from many—Agassiz on Men and Monkeys— 
One animal may produce a different animal—Animals parasites 
—Argument against spontaneous generation—Germ theory — 
Pasteur — Dr. Child — Lamarck—Canned meats—Why ice and 
salt preserve meats—The formation of germs—Tyndall on re¬ 
spirators—Spontaneous fish—Agassiz on special creation — Mr. 
H. Charlton Bastian —Origin of lowest organisms. 

Haying shown that mineral and vegetable life are 
caused by the simple law of atomagnetism, it will be 
said we are surely not giving animal life so humble 
an origin. Human life has ever been considered such 
an awfully mysterious thing, that men come to look 
at it as something forbidden to be talked about. 
“ God breathed into maifs nostrils the breath of 
life” has been sounded faintly through all the ages, 
into intelligent mem’s ears, and the meaning con¬ 
veyed thereby was so inscrutable, so sublime, and so 
far above mundane thoughts, that few ever dared to 
inquire into it. 

No wonder that men should have such a dread of 



the subject, when everything connected with life is so 

A great poet full of lofty ideas, whose works are 
known by educated men all over the world, by an 
accident falls and breaks a cord in his body, and at 
once he is as inanimate, as senseless, and as incapable 
of anything for good as the stones he lies on. That 
head, once brimful of knowledge and overflowing 
with song, is now vacant and silent as the tomb, and 
the key to those chambers of learning the world 
wondered at is lost for ever. 

But the mode in which life comes into the world 
astonishes us as much, if not more, than the way it 

We buy a piece of cheese, and in a few days it is 
teeming with living creatures; or we lay aside milk 
for the same term, and the microscope shows us 
thousands of living organisms. Who were the 
fathers and mothers of these creatures ? 

M. Dumas in his first Faraday lecture, denied that 
the chemist with all his endeavours had ever imitated 
life itself, or would ever be able to produce a living 
being. “ There must be a living seed for a living 
plant, and a living egg to produce a living animal. 
These were far above human power, and within the 
power of God alone.” Agassiz also says :— u A1 
living beings are born of eggs, and developed from 
eggs.” Did the cow then furnish the eggs from which 
these organisms grew in the cheese, and the milk ? 

In the Vestiges of Creation we find that a Mr* 



Crosse, unexpectedly, produced insects while con¬ 
ducting some chemical experiments with silicate of 
potash, and since that time numberless experiments 
have been tried with different materials, ending in 
similar results. What inference therefore must we 
draw, but that life is regulated according to some law 
which God gave to the component materials of this 
earth at the beginning, and that when the full con¬ 
ditions required for producing life are fulfilled, the 
so-called creation of minute animals is as natural as 
the growth of weeds from the ground in spring. 

Let us then explain how animal life may he pro¬ 
duced from matter without an egg. 

In all life and growth water is necessary. Water 
is a combination of the two great classes of matter, 
vegetable and mineral, or, as they are commonly 
called in these pages, oxygen and hydrogen. 

In mineral life and growth an excess of mineral 
atoms in watery solution is requisite. 

In vegetable life and growth, both mineral and 
vegetable atoms in watery solution are required. 

And in animal life, an excess of vegetable atoms in 
watery solution is essential. 

It may be asked why an excess of vegetable atoms 
should form animals, and not vegetables ? Because in 
vegetable life a certain quantity of miueral atoms, 
and a certain position and condition are required; 
and should these not be obtained, an animal results. 
Bor instance, if we moisten some hay seeds and 
expose them on a warm floor for a few days, animal 



life will teem all over them. Why is this? Because 
the requisite amount of mineral matter could not be 
obtained. If they had been placed in the ground, 
grass would have grown. Thus the difference in the 
production of animal and vegetable life is chiefly one 
of condition and position of matter. 

Let us explain how these minute animals are 
formed. Every atom is a magnet. The water and 
heat in the atoms of hay initiate an action, which 
leads them to form an attraction of like to like. A 
number of these atoms being brought together, an 
action commences in the centre as a stomach, a 
mouth opens to take in other atoms; and thus an 
animal is the result. Low animal life is thus only a 
higher form and development of vegetable life, the 
animal, as a general rule, being migratory, and the 
vegetable stationary. 

Wherein, then, consists the life of this animal ? 
Merely in the process of the stomach receiving the 
food and dissolving it, and the innate force of the 
animal as a magnet, sending the necessary material 
from the food as blood, to its extremities to repair 
and increase its body. 

All animal life, including that of man, consists 
therefore, first, in the dissolving of food into atoms, 
and assimilating them to the material of the body; 
and, secondly, in the magnetism of all the atoms of 
the body acting as one magnet, forcing these atoms 
from the centre to the extremities of the body. 

The law which governs life then is Atomagnetism. 



In corroboration of our statements we have that of 
Prof. Leo. H. Grindon, who, in his valuable work on 
“ Life” says :—“ All life, whether physical, physio¬ 
logical, or spiritual, is a state of marriage or the 
union of two complementary forces acting and re¬ 

Such being our theory it may be asked, do we 
then say with Darwin, that all animals have been 
produced from one minute primordial form, and have 
so progressed up to man? By no means. Just as 
matter itself is composed of a variety of elements— 
just as all minerals are not, and cannot be produced 
from one sort of mineral matter; nor all vegetables 
from one species of vegetable matter; so animals are 
governed by the same law, and have not been 
produced from one animal, but from many. 

Agassiz is of the same opinion, and even carries it 
further when he says, in his lecture on “ Men and 
Monkeys,” 1867 :—“If it is an error” (as he proves 
it is) “to consider man as derived from monkeys, we 
must admit that men are not derived from a common 
stock, because the differences which exist among men, 
are of the same kind, and quite as striking, as the 
differences which exist between monkeys and the 
lower animals.” Also :—“ The doctrine which I sup¬ 
port, is that it is not only the few which were started 
in the beginning by a creative act, but the many.” 

We do not say, however, that one animal may not 
produce some other, just as some plants produce 
others. Wheat, for instance, if sown one year and 



cropped during the summer and autumn, will produce 
a crop of rye the following season. 

All plants and animals may be classed as parasites. 
Not only has each variety of mineral its peculiar soil, 
and each soil a plant peculiar to itself which may be 
considered its parasite; but in almost every instance, 
the plant itself has other smaller plants or animals 
parasitical to it. Each animal also, while a parasite 
to certain soils, has other animals parasitical to itself, 
and so on indefinitely. 

Raspberries produce an insect peculiarly their own, 
so do strawberries, apples, figs, and in fact every kind 
of fruit. Yet these same fruits, when preserved, will 
produce a different kind of insect from that which it 
produces in its natural state. Thus showing that the 
nature of the animal, is dependent on the matter it 
springs from, and feeds on. 

All animals including man are parasites of the 
earth, and each is peculiarly fitted for the climate in 
which it is a native. 

The camel, the elephant, the lion, the moose, the 
polar bear, the seal, in fact each particular animal, 
enjoys its life to the utmost in the place where it is 
found; and speaking generally, when animals are 
transported to other countries, they live a precarious 
existence, and require to be carefully tended—a study 
being necessarily made of their natural appetites and 
habits, in order to preserve life. 

We find also that many animals die, or are exter¬ 
minated from a country. The wolf has gone out of 


Britain, and geologists tell us that the elephant, the 
woolly rhinoceros, and the cave bear, had once a 
home there in ages gone by. What inference then 
must we draw from these facts? Nothing less than 
that these animals were produced on those soils, and 
in those countries in which their remains are found, 
and that the condition on which their lives depended 
being changed, they had to die, and became extinct. 

While thus showing the truth of spontaneous gene¬ 
ration, let us review the arguments which have been 
adduced for and against it. 

A number of years ago, the French Academy offered 
a prize for the best essay on the subject, and it was 
awarded to M. Pasteur, a celebrated chemist, an oppo¬ 
nent of spontaneous generation. Dr. Child, an emi¬ 
nent English physician, however, tried the same expe¬ 
riments from which Pasteur derived his arguments, 
and with a more powerful microscope, found life 
where Pasteur could not see it. 

In order to explain how fungus mould on cheese 
and on boots, mildew on cotton, the hop blight, and 
the vine disease are caused, Pasteur says, <e the air is 
filled with living invisible germs, which alight in 
suitable places, and commence to grow immediately.” 
As this germ theory is the main argument adduced 
by the opponents of spontaneous generation, let us 
see what it really means. 

Life we are told is originated by living invisible 
germs. What is the difference between a germ and 
an atom? We do not see that there is any difference, 



but many scientific men seem to say there is. We ex¬ 
plain what atoms are, where they come from, and how 
they cause life; but where do these germs come from? 
They must have been born in some way. Pasteur does 
not know, and the only man of science who advances 
an opinion regarding their origin, is Lamarck. He 
says that the germs or rudiments of life, which he 
calls monads, are continually coming into the world, 
and that there are different kinds of monads, for each 
primary division of the animal and vegetable world. 
“This hypothesis,” as Sir Charles Lyell correctly 
says, “ is wholly unsupported by any modern experi¬ 
ments or observations, and affords us no aid whatever, 
in speculating on the commencement of vital pheno¬ 
mena on the earth.” Lamarck's theory, to be of any 
service, ought to have explained where the monads 
came from. 

If invisible atoms and invisible germs are not the 
same, then the germs must be formed from atoms, by 
the law of atomagnetism; that law or cause of life, 
which men have been seeking for so long, and could 
not find. We can prove that germs are not exclu¬ 
sively in the air, and that atomagnetism causes germs 
—if such things do exist—for Pasteur says, in speak¬ 
ing of the length of time during which preserved 
meats and vegetables may be kept in cans :—“ This 
result is solely obtained by the exclusion of the germs 
of corruption and decay, which prey upon all perish¬ 
able substances with more or less rapidity.” 

But if we expose one of these cans to the heat of 



the sun, in a window, for several days, we find that 
germs have gained admission to it, and animals innu¬ 
merable have been hatched from “ nothing.” Al¬ 
though the can was air-proof, the heat of the sun, 
acting on the meat and the water, or the vegetable 
and mineral matter inside, formed a power which im¬ 
mediately set the atoms moving. Like began to draw 
like, germs—as they say—were formed, magnetism 
set in, and in a few days, the so-called can of dead 
animal or vegetable matter, was a mass of living and 
moving animals. 

Moreover, this preserved meat, if taken out of the 
can and placed on ice, will keep for months, although 
exposed to the atmosphere; thus showing conclusively, 
that germs are not floating about in the air alone, but 
are formed from matter under certain conditions of 
temperature, etc. It may be asked, why ice and salt 
preserve meat so well ? Merely because they are 
mineral substances; and as we said before, animals 
are only formed and supported, from an excess of 
vegetable matter, kept at a certain high temperature. 

Professor Tyndall believes in the floating germ 
theory, and in an article on “Dust and Disease,” in 
Fraser’s Magazine, he shows the air of London to be 
so bad, that he recommends every one to wear a 
woollen respirator over the mouth. This is unneces¬ 
sary, for the nose is so constructed that a germ would 
have great difficulty in reaching the lungs by it. The 
only precaution required is to keep the mouth shut. 

Another difficulty with the germ theory is, that 



while its upholders believe it to develope into fungus, 
worms, and insects; they cannot understand how it 
developes into fishes. For instance, the writer of an 
article on “ Spontaneous Generation” in Blackwood’s 
Magazine (1861) says :— a There are numberless cases 
in which we are baffled in the attempt to explain 
how animals could possibly find their way to the 
places where they are discovered, but spontaneous 
generation is not an acceptable solution of the 
difficulty. No one supposed that the fish which 
Macartney found in a pond, in the middle of an 
island far away from any continent, and which 
seemed to have been thrust up from the bed of the 
ocean by a volcano, were produced spontaneously; 
yet how they got there is inexplicable.” Why should 
they not be produced spontaneously? Small animals 
would develope out of the vegetable matter which 
grew in the water. These would enlarge and alter, 
as the water gradually changed from the different 
substances draining into it; and at last, a full-grown 
fish would be developed, suitable for living in the 
pond, and capable of propagating its species too. In 
this view there is nothing inexplicable about it. 
Spontaneous generation is merely the result and 
continuation of the law and order of Creation at the 

o o 

In opposition to the theory of spontaneous genera¬ 
tion, or Evolution its sister theory, Agassiz main¬ 
tains the doctrine of special creation. But we perceive 
no material difference between special Creation and 



Evolution, as we have explained it. For instance, 
would it be more difficult for the Creator to order at 
the beginning for all time, that just as certain mate¬ 
rials were combined under certain conditions of 
warmth, moisture, and air, an animal would result, 
of a character and kind suitable to the material 
it was horn in; than to interpose in a special manner, 
whenever any chemist should be chancing to mingle 
creative substances, or wherever a new kind of pre¬ 
serve was storing, or some fruit was decomposing? 

It would be limiting the power of the Creator to 
say so. 

It is evident, however, that while matter has been 
endowed with an inherent creative force, both in 
plant and animal life, a certain limit has been affixed 
to that power. No being higher than man may be 
formed; no monstrosity may be perpetuated; nor 
any animal created, but what may be controlled or 
governed by man. 

If a simple evolution of nature originated all things, 
we would have expected that in the course of six 
thousand years all these above results would have 
happened. We should, for instance, have found some 
men able to fly. If, as Darwin says, animals de- 
velope into something higher by merely wishing to 
advance; then certainly it is not for want of wishing, 
that man is not gifted with the power of flight; for, 
from the days of the mythological Icarus—who 
soared so high that the sun melted the wax on his 
winas, and he fell into the sea—there have not been 



wanting men to experiment with wings on their 
shoulders: hut the appenchiges refused to become in¬ 
corporated with their bodies, and all their endeavours 
have only ended in failure, if not disaster. 

The nearest approach to our explanation on the 
origin of life, is in a pamphlet by Mr. H. Charlton 
Bastian on The Mode of Origin of Lowest Organisms ; 
which is a reply to Pasteur, Tyndall, and Huxley. 
After detailing his experiments, he sums up by 
saying :—“ It would thus appear, that specks of 
living matter may be born in suitable fluids, just as 
specks of crystalline matter may arise in other fluids t 
Both processes are really alike inexplicable. Both 
products are similarly the result of inscrutable 
natural laws, and what seems inherent molecular 
affinities. Living matter developes in organisms of 
different kinds, while crystalline matter grows into 
crystals of divers shapes.” 

The only thing he appears to lack is a knowledge 
of the inherent molecular affinities, and that, it will be 
evident, is supplied by nothing else than Ato- 

It will be seen, therefore, that Atomagnetism 
explains all difficulties connected with the subject of 
life, and that a knowledge of it is all that is necessary 
for every one to see the mode, and to believe in 
the process of spontaneous generation. It accounts 
for Lamarck’s monads, explains to Mr. Bastian how 
animals are born in suitable fluids, and finally annihi¬ 
lates the germ theory. 




Life, awful mysterious life, is then merely that 
atomic attraction and repulsion of matter, which we 
see everywhere combined with, or similar to, that 
magnetism which is exhibited so abundantly in steel. 
This simple law (for the one cannot work without the 
other) is so universal that there is nothing so minute 
that it does not affect, and nothing so powerful that 
it cannot control. The tiniest shell-fish that creeps 
on the shore, and the noblest animal that walks, are 
governed by the same law. All movements whatever 
are but parts of the one great machine the globe, our 
earth itself, so to speak, being but a wheel in the 
grand clockwork of the universe. 



Darwin thinks development of Mind a hopeless inquiry—We explain 
it—Appetite the lowest form of Mind in Animals—Spontaneous 
Insects eating immediately — What is Appetite ?—The Atomic 
Law of Like to Like—Mind and Life, Properties of Matter — 
Vegetable Appetite—A Seals Appetite—A Calf’s Appetite — 
Why it does not eat bricks and stones—A Baby’s Appetite- 
Appetite for Tomatoes—Superiority of a Brute’s Appetite over 

Darwin, in his Descent of Man , says:—“ In what 
manner the mental powers were first developed in 
the lower organisms is as hopeless an inquiry as how 
life first originated. These are problems for the 
distant future, if they are ever to be solved by 
man / 5 

But if we have shown how, by an atomic law, the 
greater mystery of life originates, surely an explana¬ 
tion of the lesser mystery of mind ought to he com¬ 
paratively easy. 

All animals, the instant they are endowed with 
life and freedom, are given also a mind suitable to 
their condition, in the form of an apjpetite, which is 
the lowest phase of mind in animals. For instance, 
the minute insects which Mr. Crosse brought out of 



silicate of potash, immediately began to feed on the 
matter they were produced from. What led them to 
do so ? What told them that silicate of potash was 
good for them to eat ? Their instinctive appetite, of 
course. What then is the natural appetite ? Merely 
the atomic law of like attracting like; the same law 
which draws similar materials to minerals and vege¬ 
tables, to assist in their formation. The matter of 
the animal, having an affinity for material like that 
it is formed of, is drawn towards it, and feeds on it. 
The animal then is, as it were, merely a living magnet , 
and its appetite or mind merely a property of the 
substance of which it is composed, as magnetism is a 
property of the iron magnet. 

Incipient mind, or appetite, and life, are thus alike 
manifested as properties of matter, in different con¬ 
ditions only. 

Let us now see how this same law of appetite 
governs all animals, from Mr. Crosse’s insect up to 
man; and not only animals, but vegetables too. 

All kinds of vegetation will not grow on the one 
soil, for each plant has an appetite, and this can only 
be supplied by a situation which contains materials 
similar to itself. If planted in a different soil it dies. 
The same law holds with animals. We have seen 
seals transferred from the clear, cold, salt water of the 
North Atlantic Ocean, where they had abundance of 
fresh fish for food, and placed in a pond of muddy 
fresh water, in the belief that they would enjoy life 


in company with frogs, eels, and musk-rats. They 
died of course. 

When a calf is born, it is immediately attracted to 
the cow for a supply of food, because its natural 
appetite tells it, its mother can furnish suitable 
material; and shortly afterwards it proceeds to nibble 
the grass and to drink water. The material of the 
calf's body being produced from grass, saturated with 
water, it has an attraction to a similar vegetable 
product growing in the field, and to water, and thus 
it partakes of both. For this reason it does not 
proceed to chew bricks, or stones, or rubbish, as we 
might expect such a young and inexperienced calf to 
do; nor will it eat a different vegetable from that fed 
on by its mother; so powerful is the atomic law 
governing its life and instincts. 

A baby likewise is drawn to its mother, and feeds 
on her milk, or on substance similar to the food which 
it obtains from her. Its appetite as it grows to man¬ 
hood also, is still governed by the materials com¬ 
posing its body, and it generally dislikes what it 
and its mother never tasted before. 

For instance, a Briton going to America, and 
trying to eat tomatoes, Indian corn, or bananas, 
generally dislikes them, till by persistence in tasting 
them, the material becomes incorporated with the 
other material of his body, and he finally acquires an 
appetite for them. 

There is one grand distinction, however, between 



the appetite of the beast and of man. The beast, 
uncontaminated with man, will never eat anything 
which is injurious to it, as its appetite or instinct is 
perfect and never fails; while man’s appetite, guided 
by his reasoning powers, is uncertain, and not to be 
depended on. Why this is so, is explained in the 
next chapter. 



Instinct a higher 'phase of Mind—Frank Buckland—Why a 
Chicken knew a Gentleman was not its Mother—Sparrows 
require no Teaching—Foreknowledge of Bees and Beavers — 
Important Fact—Animals Mind Perfect—Never Progresses — 
Man always Progressing—Difference between Man and Beast — 
Man two Minds—Animals one—Animals no Soul—Mind 
returns to Barth—Their Mind all Nature—Animals Perfect 
on separation from the Parent—Answer to Frank Buckland''s 

While appetite is akin to instinct, and should scarcely 
be separated from it, yet we wish to allude more par¬ 
ticularly to the higher phase of animal mind, as shown 
in the skill of the bees, ants, and spiders; the fore¬ 
knowledge of the beaver, the cunning of the fox, and 
the scent of the hound. 

A curious paragraph went the round of the news¬ 
papers some time ago, about a gentleman, who told 
Mr. Frank Buckland the naturalist, that on watching 
a chicken coming out of its shell, it ran away from 
him as soon as it was free ; the gentleman wished to 
know how the chicken knew he was not its mother. 
The question was a puzzler for the naturalist, so he 
contented himself with merely turning the whole 
thing into a joke. But there is more than a joke in 



the query, and it involves other questions about the 
instinctive habits of animals, which should have 
definite answers in this age of intelligence. 

There is something very curious about the habits 
of what we call the inferior animals, which seems to 
make them gifted in many respects, far beyond what 
man apparently will ever attain to. Instinct in them 
often excels reason in man. We find the inferior 
animal, as it comes into existence to be perfect—so 
to speak—each according to its species and its in¬ 
stincts, as shown by each adapting itself to its proper 
food and conditions; whereas man is altogether help¬ 
less, and he only reaches a kind of perfection by the 
long road of education. 

The scent of the hound is a gift which no man 
possesses; and the foresight displayed by the bee in 
laying up a store of honey when the winter is to be 
long, and in killing the drones early if a wet summer 
is coming, seems to baffle human prescience entirely. 
The swallow also, in his mild winter residence, knows 
when it is time to migrate to his northern home, and 
the carrier-pigeon, no matter where taken to, will find 
his way back to his original starting-place; the fore¬ 
knowledge of the beaver and musk-rat outstrips the 
telegraph, while the spider excels man in the art of 
spinning and drawing mathematical lines. Yet there 
lies the comparative limit of their skill; for, while 
the animal of to-day knows no more than his con¬ 
gener of creation, the man of to-day is continually 
progressing in knowledge and acquirements. 



Wherein then lies this immense difference between 
man and the beast ? 

The grand difference lies in the fact that the ani¬ 
mal is possessed of one mind only, known as instinct, 
and that it is perfect in its kind; while man has two, 
an animal mind, similar to that of the beast, and a 
divine one, the soul, implanted by God. 

The beasts have no soul or spiritual existence. 
Their mind being merely a property of earthly matter 
and of earthly origin, returns to the dust from whence 
it came. They know not sin nor do wrong. Being 
guided by nature, all species of animals have their 
own instincts. They have appetites, but no desires. 
Their only object in life is to satisfy their wants, to 
preserve and defend themselves from danger, and to 
increase their kind. Thus it is they know what to 
eat, and what to avoid, while they are also provided 
with a suitable defence in danger. The fox has 
cunning, the flying-fish wings, the porcupine bristles, 
and so on indefinitely. 

But how is it they can know beforehand of the 
near approach of storms ? 

If their appetites or the material composing their 
bodies, infallibly regulate them in their choice of 
natural food, and of the unfailing remedy to be taken 
when they are sick, what is more probable than that 
the gaseous adjuncts of their minds being of similar 
material to the atmosphere, should inform them of 
every change about to take place in it ? If so-called 
inanimate substances like mercury, salt, etc., should 



be so sensitive to atmospheric changes, how much 
more would an animate body feel them, whose mind 
we might say is all nature itself? 

It may be asked, how is it that the mind of the 
young animal is so perfect ? Because it is transmitted 
by the parent. 

If a hen gives to her brood wings, beaks, legs, toes, 
feathers, etc., similar to herself, and not similar to a 
duck, she must give them appetites, and a mind, also, 
similar to her own. If a chicken did not derive its 
mind from its mother, it would not necessarily act 
like a lien, but might follow a duck into the water, 
or try to quack, or do many other stupid things which 
would be considered unnatural. 

We can now answer Frank Buckland’s questioner 
by saying, that the chicken knew he was not its 
mother, firstly, because its appetite told it there was 
a deficiency of proper food for it in the person of the 
inquisitive gentleman—and secondly, because its 
mother had a natural dread of such persons, and com¬ 
municated that feeling, as a matter of course, to her 

It may be asked, why are foxes cunning, geese 
stupid, and ants industrious ? This can only be an¬ 
swered by asking, why is sugar sweet and salt acid ? 
Each mineral has a quality of its own, gold, silver, 
iron, and granite, for instance. Each plant has a 
property of its own. So also each animal has a cha¬ 
racter of its own. Why they are so and should not 
be something different is beyond our inquiry; even as 



why certain letters should represent a particular sound. 
They are only known to us as properties of the mate¬ 
rial forming each, and every one of them is developed 
in many, if not in all cases, by the circumstances 
which surround them. 



Schelling and Hegel on Nature as “petrified intelligence”—Hope 
on Origin and Prospects of Man — Matter without, properties — 
Mind a property of matter—No limit to the properties of 
Matter—Brutes have one mind, man two minds—Animal and 
Divine—Agassiz on two minds—Why his animal mind degene¬ 
rated—Man should distrust man—Manner in which mind is 
formed—From food—Difference between animal mind and 
Divine—Situation of the mind — Of Memory—Brain a picture 
gallery—Difference between man's mind and the brutes. 

Some philosophers assert that mind is matter. Schel¬ 
ling and Hegel, for instance, say that surrounding 
things are “ solidified mind,” and nature is “ petrified 

Hope, also, on the Orgin and Prospects of Man , 
says :—" Can we say that God has not in matter 
itself laid the seeds of every faculty of mind, rather 
than that he has made the first principles of mind, 
entirely distinct from that of matter ? Cannot the 
first cause of all we see and know, have fraught 
matter itself from its very beginning, with all the 
attributes necessary to develope into mind.” 

Rut we can fancy matter without any properties, 
where the world would be a perfect "chaos without 
form and void;” as it was in the beginning; and 

man’s animal and spiritual mind. 45 

once this is admitted, mind cannot be deemed matter, 
but only a property of it. 

Although the matter of this earth has been en¬ 
dowed with atomagnetic properties, we have no right 
to say all other worlds are endowed with exactly the 
same force; for we would thus be limiting the power 
of the Creator. If, then, matter can be endowed 
with different kinds of properties, and we find it to 
he so, there is no limit that we can ascribe to the 
properties and combinations of matter. 

If, therefore, man is endowed with an animal mind, 
possessing the properties of the matter of this earth, 
in character similar to the beast; who can say that 
he is not gifted with an additional divine mind, 
not included in our earth’s material properties at all ? 

If we say that the beast’s mind is as perfect as the 
properties of this earth can make it, and that the 
brutes worship no superior being; we must admit 
that man has a Divine mind, in addition to his 
earthly mind, because he believes in and worships 
a superior being. 

In Agassizes lecture on Men and Monkeys delivered 
in 1867, we have a partial confirmation of our theory. 
He says:—“Were we not made in the image of the 
Creator, did we not possess a spark of that divine 
spirit which is a godlike inheritance, why should we 
understand nature ? Why is it that nature is not to 
us a sealed book ? It is because we are akin to the 
world, not only the physical and the animal world , but 
to the Creator himself } that we can read the world, 



and understand that it comes from God.” Agassiz, 
however, while thus obviously suggesting two dif¬ 
ferent minds, yet did not grasp the idea in all its 
fulness, and consequently is weak and erroneous in 
many of his arguments. 

That the animal mind when properly cultivated in 
man is not greatly inferior to the beast’s, may be seen 
in those tribes lowest in the scale of civilization, who 
live and prey upon animals. The manner in which 
one Indian will track another through the forest, is 
almost equal to a dog’s faculty of scent. The instinct 
which shows the former how to make a fire; to discern 
the signs of the weather; which tells the natives of 
northern latitudes to eat no salt, and to drink no cold 
water in winter, while their more civilized neigh¬ 
bours bring on sickness and disease by overdosing 
themselves with both; all show that the animal mind 
only wants cultivation. He can also outwit the fox, 
and outstrip the swiftest antelope with cunning; 
besides, he can bid the elephant do his will, and is 
also able to combat the lion with advantage. 

How is it then since man at first rose above the 
brutes, that his animal mind proved to he of so little 
use to him; that as he progressed in knowledge, skill, 
science and art, he knew so little of the weather; 
that he distrusted his appetite; that he could not 
cure himself when sick, and died more by ignorance 
than disease? Surely man was not given a divine 
mind to acquire a superior knowledge of nature and 
art, and to forget what concerns his life, and the best 

man’s animal and spiritual mind. 47 

way of preserving his health and existence on earth. 
Certainly not. His Divine mind, if consulted and 
properly controlled, was given to aid him in under¬ 
standing all that the brutes know, and infinitely 
more; but man distrusted or misused it. He pre¬ 
ferred to trust and be taught of brother man, “ while 
the beast was taught of God.” Till therefore he 
dethrones the authority of man, and seeks wisdom by 
prying for the sources of natural law in nature 
herself, and applying it properly, his progress will 
only be obtained in the future, as it has been in the 
past, by an endless series of blunders, impediments, 
and failures. 

A literary man when starved, or hungry, does not 
feel in a humour to write, and if obliged to do so, the 
task is accomplished in anything but a satisfactory 
manner. A man who is sick or feverish cannot do 
any mental work. When we eat too much we feel 
drowsy, and disinclined for literary labour, but allow 
two or three hours to elapse, and we are ready for 
such work. After a smart walk or early in the 
morning, we are inclined and ready for anything 
that demands attention. 

If we drink alcoholic spirits, some evil influence 
usually ascends to the head, and disarranges our 
faculties; while again, some men can only write or 
speak with effect, when half intoxicated. Many men 
also when sober, will forget everything they did when 
intoxicated, hut remember the circumstances when 
they become inebriated again. We have read of the 



mind acting in a similar manner with people under 
the influence of chloroform. We would gather from 
these facts, that the mind is influenced in a great 
measure by what the body eats and drinks. Some 
might thus say that the intellect is in the region of 
the stomach, but such is not strictly correct. 

We may lay it down as certain , however , that the 
animal mind of man—like that of the beast—is formed 
from the properties of the matter he eats and drinks ; 
and maids divine mind is a property acquired by matter, 
after it has been transformed within him. 

But the properties of matter in food, as they lie on 
the dinner-table, are not in a fit condition for our 
purpose; neither are they while dissolving in the 

Where then is the mind ? 

During the dissolving process a gaseous force is 
generated from our food—as more fully described in 
another chapter—which ascends to a space at the top 
of the head—the purpose of which space physiologists 
have long and vainly endeavoured to discover—and 
there the mind, we believe, assimilates and arranges 
the materials to be stored away in the memorial 

Where then is the memory located ? 

We see numbers of landscapes, paintings, objects, 
faces of men and women, etc.—and can recognise a 
large number of them when we see them again, or 
recall them in vision. Where are these memories 
kept, to be exercised at the will of the mind? We 

man’s animal and spiritual mind. 49 

hear, read, and are taught numberless words and 
facts from books, and can bring them up again at a 
moment’s notice for use. Where are all these facts 
garnered and stored away ? We have great powers 
of compression, and can contract an immense land¬ 
scape into a picture the size of the pupil of our eye, 
but to imagine that the contents of hundreds of 
books, with other knowledge, is stowed away in the 
interior of the head seems an impossibility; yet we 
can scarcely think otherwise. For, although we read 
and hear a vast amount of information every day, 
most of it is soon forgotten. Those books also which 
are just read are best remembered, and only those 
pictures we last saw, or the landscapes we viewed 
lately, can we recall to mind distinctly. 

The brain is therefore, as it were, like a gallery of 
transparent pictures, each distinct class of knowledge 
having a section of its own; the largest being that 
devoted to the subject which we study most. The 
last picture is always hung on the top of the 
preceding ones, so that unless we take care to make 
our pictures clear and distinct, when photographed 
on the brain, and often renew such as we wish to 
remember, we are apt to lose them altogether. Each 
meal of knowledge as surely leaves its impress on the 
mind, as each meal of food leaves its impress on 
the body. 




A knowledge of chemical action required—Nothing known about it 
by scientific writers—Prof Grove—Chemical action only one 
form of atomagnetism—Great separater—Attraction the great 
builder—Repulsion the great designer—Chemical action the 
great destroyer—How sugar dissolves in water—How a nail 
dissolves—Concentrated acid not so good a dissolver as diluted 
acid—Soda powder—Sulphuric acid—Amusement for specula¬ 
tive philosophers—How water evaporates—No latent moisture 
in the atmosphere—No latent dryness in the sea — Steam 
Boiler Explosions —Facts connected with explosions—The 
materials dealt with—The manufacture of hydrogen gas — 
What the United States Commissioners on explosions have dis¬ 
covered—How explosion takes place—Not by pressure — 
Mingling of gases — Prevention. 

Before commencing to state what heat, light, sound, 
and colour are, we propose to give a definite idea of 
chemical action, for in this lies partly the root of our 
system ; and, if we can convey our meaning in such 
a manner as to be understood, we have no fear for 
the other subjects to be considered. 

It may be stated that, hitherto, no man has 
properly understood what chemical action is, although 
he sees evidences of its working every day, in food 
digesting in the stomach, in a nail rusting in water, 
in a fire burning, and in numberless other ways. 



Prof. Grove says :—We have no knowledge as to 
the exact nature of any mode of chemical action, and 
for the present, must leave it as an obscure action of 
force, of which future researches may simplify our 

Bearing- in mind the law of atomagnetism—the 
attraction of like atoms, and the repulsion of like 
poles—all mystery is at once removed from chemical 
action, for it is only one of the modes in which that 
law works. 

In all chemical action the two classes of matter are 
present, and in all its operations there is a constant 
endeavour on the part of like atoms to associate or 
coalesce with each other, and thus to be ever wearing 
away all material bodies, wherever situated. Thus 
the granite rocks on the moors have their sharp 
corners rounded, and their rough surfaces smoothed 
by its operation. Thus a tree—when its life-giving 
impulse or life power has left it—is attacked by the 
destroying force of atomagnetism or chemical action, 
and it is soon reduced to the dust from which it 
sprung. Thus also with a dead animal, chemical 
action at once attacks and soon decomposes it; but 
life-giving atomagnetic action also returns, and 
innumerable living organisms are the result; to be 
again succeeded, when the supply of food is ex¬ 
hausted, by a different chemical action, when all the 
animal substances are finally dissipated, into their 
original mineral and vegetable elements. 

All dissolving processes, such as in a galvanic 

e 2 



battery ; all cooking, or digestion of food; all trans¬ 
formations from one substance into another, are 
examples of chemical action. 

All life and growth might be said to be examples 
of chemical action also—for this is only a sample of 
the same law working under different conditions— 
but we wish it to be understood only as the great 
dissolver, because the varied actions of the one great 
law will be more readily comprehended, by separating 
the different modes of force as much as possible. 

Thus if a division could be said to exist at all, we 
would consider the attractive force as the great 
builder; the repulsive force as the great designer; 
while chemical action would receive the ominous 
appellation of the great destroyer. 

By way of illustration, we may offer a few examples 
of the particular action referred to. 

Suppose we drop a piece of sugar in a glass of 
water, in a short time it dissolves. There is in the 
process no perceptible disturbance, but, on tasting 
the water, it will be evident a change has come over 
it. How did this take place ? Merely by the 
mineral atoms in the water finding some other 
mineral atoms in the sugar, and attracting them; 
and by the vegetable atoms finding similar vegetable 
atoms and attracting them. But in attracting each 
other, similar poles often come in contact, so that 
great repulsion must continually ensue. It is evident, 
therefore, that in every solution there is a continuous 
motion and reciprocation between the atoms. The 



more evenly divided the two classes of atoms are in 
the solution also, the more active will the interaction 
he. Thus, if we place a nail in water, it takes a long 
time for it to rust or dissolve, for the hydrogen or 
mineral atoms in the water are few, compared to the 
oxygen or vegetable atoms. But pour some acid into 
the water, and the chemical action is instantly 
increased, and the nail dissolved. Suppose we place 
a nail in concentrated acid, the action is, strange to 
say, also slow; but pour in some water, to weaken it 
as some would think, and the action is again 

Chemical action is also exhibited in various forms. 
For instance, when a soda powder is mixed, great 
effervescence is the result shown; while in mixing 
sulphuric acid in water great heat ensues for a 
few minutes, without any visible motion. Why the 
one should have great motion without heat, and the 
other great heat without apparent motion, are pro¬ 
blems that we can only solve by saying, that all 
individual atoms and classes of atoms have properties 
of their own, which they have possessed from the 
beginning, which are inseparable from them, and 
which cannot be annihilated. Why certain atoms 
are only effervescing, and others only heating, we 
would suggest as a capital and safe amusement, for 
those speculative philosophers, who are continually 
indulging in those harmless and incontrovertible cal¬ 
culations anent the end of the world; as to whether 
it will be caused by a comet, or a tidal wave, or a 



collision with Hercules, or by the extinction of the 
sun, or by the destruction of vegetation by insects, or 
by the spontaneous combustion and explosion of the 
earth from its internal fires. For on the acceptation 
of our system of matter and force, and its evident 
connexion with all the phenomena of the heavens 
and the earth, their occupation in that direction will 
be entirely gone. 

Let us now take a simple experiment of chemical 
action by the atmosphere. Allow a glass of water to 
stand on a table a whole day, and when any one 
attempts to drink it, he will immediately say it is 
not fresh. A change, therefore, must have taken 
place in the water. What was the nature of it? 
Simply that the atmosphere, being composed of the 
same material as the water (only in different propor¬ 
tions) the atoms in the one attracted the atoms in the 
other, and reciprocated, so that the water lost some 
of its own particular atoms, and became possessed of 
the composite particles of the atmosphere. Thus it is 
that water kept in a room tends to keep the air pure; 
not mechanically, but by its natural or chemical 
action with the atmosphere. 

Again, if we lay aside a loaf of bread it will be 
chemically changed in a few days, and become hard 
and stale, instead of soft and moist. Scientific works 
tell us that there is moisture in the air, but all ex¬ 
perience rather proves to us that there is none, for we 
can keep nothing moist for any length of time. Our 
bread becomes stale, our wood loses its sap, our gar- 



dens thirst for rain, and even our tumbler of water 
eventually evaporates into air in the atmosphere. 

There is no more latent moisture in the air than 
there is latent dryness in the sea; and we would just 
as soon expect a piece of new bread to remain moist 
on a warm summer’s day, as a piece of stale bread to 
remain dry when immersed in water. 

But there is no need for enumerating further ex¬ 
amples, for every natural change or action is chemical 
action, and is caused by the reciprocal attraction and 
repulsion of the two classes of atoms. 

It may not be out of place to record here, an ex¬ 
ample of chemical action, which is causing the de¬ 
struction of life and property almost every day. We 
refer to 


No clue seems as yet to have been found regarding 
the cause of explosion. Boilers which have been 
tested by an hydraulic pressure of one hundred pounds 
to the square inch, have exploded at a pressure of 
thirty pounds; and although it has been surmised 
that this could not have been caused by pressure, and 
that some other force must have been in operation, 
yet with all the skill and knowledge of scientific men 
the cause has still evaded their research. 

In the United States, Congress appointed commis¬ 
sioners to investigate the cause of boiler explosions, 
and allowed them fifty thousand dollars for making 
experiments, but after expending half the amount, 



the only discovery reported to be made, is, that the 
steam gauges in use are very incorrect. 

Before showing how chemical action is the cause of 
explosion, we present a few of the facts connected 
with steam boiler explosions, culled from numerous 
accounts of them in the newspapers. 

1. New boilers are more frequently found to explode 
than old ones. 

2. The explosion of a steamboat or locomotive 
boiler almost always takes place on its starting, after 
having been at rest for some time. Our readers may 
remember the terrible Westville explosion of one of 
Com. Vanderbilt*s Staten Island steamers, which was 
just leaving the wharf at New York, when the boiler 

3. The explosion in a stationary boiler takes place 
when what is called a heavy pressure of steam is 
put on. 

Let us now examine the nature of the material we 
have to deal with. In the first place there is the 
boiler made of iron. An old boiler has generally an 
inside coating of rust or sediment, which is more or 
less composed of vegetable matter, caused by chemical 
action between the water and the iron; whereas a 
new boiler has a surface of pure metal, together with 
the scrap iron from its manufacture. 

The water which is used in the boiler is composed 
of two gases—oxygen and hydrogen—in certain pro¬ 
portions. It is well known also that if those gases 
are mixed in a certain definite but different proper- 



tion, an explosion will take place. Steam is the form 
of gas which rises from water at a temperature of 
212° F. As water is composed of two gases, it of 
course follows, that steam must be composed of the 
same. If we take this steam and allow it to pass 
through a red-hot iron tube, the gases separate, the 
oxygen being absorbed by the hot iron, while the hy¬ 
drogen, if allowed to escape through a jet and lighted, 
will burn like ordinary gas. It is thus that hydrogen 
gas is obtained. 

Another fact about steam is, that it cannot be much 
compressed, as may be inferred from observing the 
lid of a kettle rising by its force; and hence comes 
the absurdity of trying to retain and utilize an ex¬ 
cessive pressure of steam. 

We think we have now facts enough before us, to 
consider and explain the cause of explosion. Let us 
suppose, for the sake of clearness, that the iron boiler 
is transparent, as a glass bottle or retort. Let it be 
half full of water. Put fire under it, and after a time 
the water begins to boil at the bottom, and to change 
into gases, which rise through the water and fill the 
upper chamber. There they remain transparent till 
they issue from the boiler into the atmosphere, with 
which they chemically unite in the form of cloud. 

Suppose we now shut off steam. The gases cannot 
be compressed, and the water cannot be made to 
reach a higher temperature than 212° F. without 
changing into steam—although the latter may be 
raised to a temperature of 600°. As the fire is still 



burning at the bottom of the boiler, the water then 
must be continuously changing into steam, and as 
it cannot gain the surface, because the upper part 
is already completely occupied by the gases, it must 
remain at the bottom. The water then is gra¬ 
dually being suspended above the bottom of the 
boiler, diminishing in quantity as it boils, while the 
bottom of the boiler and the steam are both increasing 
in temperature. 

As there is thus a space filled only with gases be¬ 
tween the bottom of the boiler and the water, the iron 
must at that part soon become red hot. We have 
already found that steam, in passing through a red- 
hot pipe, has the oxygen absorbed from it. The 
same result follows here; the red-hot metal “absorbs” 
chemically all the oxygen gas derived from the hot 
steam, and at the same time throws off its mineral or 
metallic (hydrogen) gas, which takes the place of the 
oxygen until the whole becomes in consequence only 
hyd rogen. 

We have thus in the boiler, the hydrogen at the 
bottom, the water in the middle—suspended—and 
the steam at the top. But as in water there are eight 
parts of oxygen to one of hydrogen, it follows that 
the steam at the top, being the same in proportion as 
the water, is almost wholly composed of oxygen gas. 
We have stated before that oxygen and hydrogen, 
when separate or alone, are incombustible, but when 
mixed in certain proportions they become one of the 
most explosive compounds. It follows, then, that 



should the hydrogen at the bottom, and the oxygen 
at the top, come into contact, the explosion that 
would ensue will suffice to rend the strongest 
boiler ever made, and the greater the resistance 
offered, the greater the explosion and destruction 
must be. 

The materials being in the position indicated, sup¬ 
pose we open the valve, or start the engine, the pres¬ 
sure is relieved on the top by allowing the steam to 
escape, but what is the next result? The water im¬ 
mediately, by its “ gravity/"’ falls to the bottom, the 
hydrogen gas is forced up, the gases intermingle, 
and, as the opening is not large enough for the steam 
to escape in time, an explosion takes place by the 
consequent natural combustion of the gases, and then 
the terrible destruction and loss of life we so frequently 
read of, ensues. This then illustrates in a simple 
way what happens in the case of all boiler explosions, 
and their prevention can be at once made certain and 
simple. As steam cannot be compressed—its force 
being caused by its escape or condensation—an extra 
quantity or superabundance, is no more necessary 
than food for an over-loaded stomach. Therefore, the 
engineer should always allow the steam to escape after 
the water and steam are brought to their highest tem¬ 

If by any means the steam should have been acci¬ 
dentally shut off, then the only safe way to prevent 
explosion is to allow the fires to go down, so as to 
permit the steam to condense into water before being 



agitated; or else to have an escape at both the top 
and bottom of the boiler. 

If boilers were made of any material but iron, the 
danger would also almost entirely cease. 

The reason old boilers are not so apt to explode, is 
that the “rust” at the bottom of the boiler, being 
largely composed of vegetable matter, preserves the 
iron from any rapid chemical action, and so prevents 
an accumulation of hydrogen gas sufficient to cause 
an explosion. We frequently bear, however, of those 
old boilers bursting in a quiet, peaceable way, and 
washing out the fires, but doing no serious damage. 
Some of the plates have then been usually found to 
be so completely oxidized, that they were not of 
sufficient solidity to stand repairing. 

Should the facts here stated be widely known and 
acted upon, we might guarantee that accidents from 
boiler explosions will almost entirely cease. 




Heat the result of chemical action between certain classes of 
atoms—Dynamical theory of Heat — Motion—Tyndall on Heat 
—Christopher Columbus and his followers—No ambition among 
scientific men—Heat produced in three ways—Natural Heat — 
Combustion — Friction—Ice melting—Hot springs and Geysers 
of California—Volcanoes caused by chemical action—Why coal 
burns — Poker experiment — Conductive power of Heat — 
Tyndall's experiments — Laboratory experiments incorrect — 
Atomic action likened to a gossamer thread—How the crusade 
against the present system of science will be conducted — Ruslan's 
crusade against Renaissance Fainting , and Architecture — 
Grove and Lardner. 

Phom what we have stated in the previous chapter, it 
must he evident, that heat is the result of chemical 
action between certain atoms of the two classes. 

Because motion in most cases will produce heat, the 
originators and followers of the Dynamical Theory of 
Heat , assert that motion is the primal cause of heat 
among all atoms. 

Professor Tyndall, in his work on Heat , as a mode 
of motion , says :—“ Heat is not the clash of winds, 
nor the quiver of a flame, nor the ebullition of water ; 
all these are mechanical motions into which the 
motion of heat may he converted ; but heat itself is 
a molecular motion, an oscillation of ultimate par- 



tides.” But as the particles are not always oscillating, 
there must he a force which initiates the motion. 

We admit that the discovery which elicited the 
connexion between motion and heat was a great one, 
but it much resembles that made by Christopher 
Columbus when he landed on one of the West India 
Islands, and went home proclaiming he had found a 
great country; while the vast continent of America 
lay still beyond his ken. If our scientific men pos¬ 
sessed half the daring displayed by the followers of 
Columbus, they would have searched into this theory 
of motion, indicated by Mayer and others, and by 
discovering what caused it, a great deal of useless 
writing might have been spared the world. For 
there is this bane connected with science, that while 
we have trumpeters and drummers innumerable, we 
have no real leaders in it at the present time. There 
is not sufficient ambition among scientific men gene¬ 
rally to make researches, and hew out paths of their 
own; they would rather, like mo,st of our professors 
and teachers of science, be flunkies to an eminent 
maids opinion, than ride in carriages of their own. 

Heat is produced in apparently three different 
ways, but the action of matter is the same in all. 

Firstly, natural heat, caused by the natural motion 
and reciprocal action of atoms, as explained in the 
preceding chapter on chemical action, or such as is 
known as animal heat. 

Secondly, heat given out by combustion, which is 
the result of an excess of the same action, when the 



atoms of the two classes are of a more favourable 
character to produce heat, and in a more favourable 
condition and position to reciprocate or act under a 
changed or different form. 

Thirdly, heat produced by friction, where that 
atomic action is induced by mechanical influences, as 
by the rubbing of two solid bodies against each 

As regards the natural heat exhibited in our bodies, 
what causes it? 

The human body, like every other production of 
nature endowed with life, is a magnet; and as in 
other magnets, the force is exerted from the centre to 
either end. The stomach being the centre of the 
body—and the place where the food is transformed 
into blood, for repairing the waste of the body and 
increasing its growth—the material is forced from 
thence in both directions. While therefore a certain 
amount of animal heat is caused by the dissolving of 
the food in the stomach, and the action and inter¬ 
action of the atoms, it is also increased by the 
magnetic power of the body forcing these into 
circulation. We also increase the natural heat of 
our bodies by taking our food warm. In cold 
climates, it may be said, the inhabitants could not 
preserve life otherwise. 

Similar heat is produced by mixing sulphuric acid 
and water, as already explained, and by the pouring 
of water on lime. Great heat is the result in both 
of these cases without combustion. Masons engaged 



in labour at new buildings may be seen warming 
their dinners by placing their pitchers among lime 
and wet sand. Although heat is induced by water, 
it is kept within certain limits of temperature by 
water also. 

Hot springs and geysers furnish other examples of 
the same action. At the Great Geysers in California, 
we find the ground all around them completely burnt, 
and exhibiting the most beautiful varieties of colour. 
Dozens of different kinds of chemicals are found all 
over the place. Water and steam ooze out under the 
feet, and from the sides of the ravine on either hand. 
Water also bubbles and boils in natural pots, and 
steam rushes out of natural funnels, with the force 
and noise of a steamboat whistle. This all shows the 
result of chemical action, by water, under the surface ; 
for we find that*the action has ceased in many spots, 
and every year it is travelling further up the valley, 
and breaking out in new places. Mount St. Helena 
which crowns the beautiful Napa Valley, and towers 
over all the hills around, was once a volcano, but its 
action has now ceased. Should not this lead us to 
believe that volcanoes also are merely the result 
of chemical action ; else why would they become 
extinct ? 

Let us now consider the second cause of heat in the 
process of combustion, or heat from combustion. 

In the chapter on Matter, we stated that the 
mineral atoms were combustible; but minerals will 
not burn of themselves, for in all continued action 



there must be a union of the two classes. For 
example, sulphur will not burn while alone, but put 
some portion on a piece of wood, and the two substances 
will burn or reciprocate together; the consequence 
is we see the sulphur on fire. Iron will not burn if 
alone, but when it is in fine particles as filings, and 
separated (as in sprinkling them in the atmosphere 
over a gas jet), they are combustible, and when ignited 
burn more readily than gunpowder. Wood burns 
because there are mineral atoms in the composition 
and formation of the woody fibre. Wood is pro¬ 
duced by a combination of vegetable and mineral 
atoms, through the agency of water, which comprises 
the elements of both. 

This shows conclusively that there is reciprocity 
and motion in the process of chemical action, and of 
course, according to the properties of the atoms, 
the greater the motion is, the greater will be the heat, 
provided the material elements and conditions are 
adapted to produce heat. 

Mineral atoms are not combustible in every 
situation and condition, for some find certain vege¬ 
table atoms with which they will specially reciprocate, 
and often times will reciprocate with no other suffi¬ 
ciently to produce heat. The differing effects of the 
various combinations of the same material, are to be 
seen from the variety of displays in pyrotechnic exhibi¬ 
tions, induced by merely changing the conditions and 
positions of the material. 

This is a branch of chemistry which is comparatively 




unexplored. The foundation, or cause , of chemical 
action being now furnished, and its mystery removed, 
there is abundant room here (that is in classing matter 
according to its nature and properties) for students to 
make themselves useful, not to say distinguished, in 
their day and generation. 

A coal fire burns. Why? 

Because we have in the coal the suitable material 
for producing combustion ; that is, a certain species 
of both classes of atoms required. Coal is formed from 
vegetable matter, saturated with mineral solutions 
and gases. These have been produced from the dis¬ 
solving of minerals in the interior of the earth, 

O s 

through the agency of water. These solutions and 
gases by reciprocating permeate the vegetable matter 
until it is crystallized or petrified into coal. By the 
mechanical appliance of fire, or combustion, to this 
coal, a reciprocal action again takes place in a new and 
different form, between the atoms of the two classes in 
the coal, in consequence of which these gases and 
particles are again set free, or are repelled from the 
pieces of coal; and by the intense action of the atoms 
both heat and light are produced. 

If we put a poker in the fire it becomes red with 
heat, and should the fire be made hot enough, it will 
melt. Why? Because the polarity of the atoms of 
the iron are reversed, and the mineral atoms of the 
fire have a greater attraction for the atoms in the 
poker than the iron has. Gradually, therefore, the 
polarity of the atoms is reversed, and as the fire 



becomes hotter, they are repelled from the poker and 
amalgamate with the atoms in the fire; for the greater 
always influences the less. The end of the poker if 
held in the hand, is found to be hot also, although it 
is some distance from the fire. Why is this ? 
Because the metal, being conditionally a combustible 
material, possesses a conductive power of heat, just as 
it has a conductive power of sound. 

If we hold the hand before a fire we feel it warm. 
Why ? Because certain atoms in the fire have an 
affinity to similar atoms in the hand, and are seeking 
to draw them out. If we can bear it Ions’ enough for 
them to do so (and our hand is burned) then we feel 
it just as much as if a hook were put into the flesh, 
and a piece were torn off. 

We now come to the third division, and consider 
how heat is produced by friction. 

Suppose we take two pieces of metal, in which, by 
polarity, the atoms are all lying in one way. That is, 
the “ north” pole of one atom, is next in position to 
the “ south” or opposite pole of another, and so on all 
through, leaving the middle of the atom exposed on 
the outside of each piece. If we then rub the pieces 
together, we are disturbing the position of the poles 
by rubbing similar points together, and as similar 
poles naturally repel one another, an action commences 
in the atoms, if the friction continues long enough to 
reverse the poles. Should the friction be intense, we 
have the metal dissolved, or repelled from each 
bar or piece, and amalgamated with that of the other. 

F 2 



In rubbing two pieces of wood we have a similar 
resultant action, but as the beat increases the atoms 
are thrown off in the form of gas, and such is the 
nature of the action in this class of atoms, that com¬ 
bustion is the result of their reciprocation. 

Sir Humphry Davy’s experiment of dissolving 
two pieces of ice by rubbing them together, caused 
quite a discussion at one time, and strange conclusions 
are drawn from it by Prof. Tyndall and others. 
But it is easily explained. In ice there are a con¬ 
siderable number of mineral atoms, and the friction of 
these at opposite poles produces a heat, which gives 
the atoms of one piece a greater attraction for the 
atoms in the other than they have to the piece they 
are connected with, and thus they are repelled ; a suf¬ 
ficiency of oxygen being thus set free by the heat, or 
being present in the atmosphere, it combines with the 
repelled mineral atoms and forms water. 

We have now given, it is hoped, such an explana¬ 
tion of heat as will be understood, and, by way of con¬ 
trast, we quote some sayings from our most distin¬ 
guished writers on the subject. 

In reading Professor Tyndall’s lectures on Heat as 
a Mode of Motion , we admired them very much, and 
his experiments were no doubt beautiful to behold. 
But while we do not deny any fact he illustrated, 
or any experiment he performed, we certainly do 
deny many of the conclusions he arrived at. For, 
as regards the assistance to be derived from experi¬ 
ments performed in the laboratory, in corroborating 



assertion, or proving theory, we are very much in 
doubt; inasmuch as the mode of action in atoms, in 
all the phenomena which they exhibit, are biassed by 
the slightest influences to an extent that few of our 
physicists even dream of. 

In all natural action, the atoms, in order to assume 
their atomic position—that is, regarding their polarity 
to each other, which affects their form and dis¬ 
position, their transparency and opacity—must 
have perfect rest and an even temperature. The 
typical form of atomic action may be likened to a 
glistening gossamer thread, springing from earth 
to heaven, and which, if undisturbed, becomes as an 
endless gleam of silver, straight, pure, and trans¬ 
parent ; but it is so sensitive to motion that the 
slightest zephyr that blows will twist and turn 
it, and cause it to become knotted and ragged. 
Laboratory experiments are therefore like unto the 
last; for the action being in nearly all instances 
forced, the chemists see only these knots and rags, 
and argue from them. We believe, therefore, that 
more good would result, and more truths would be 
discovered, if physicists would appeal more to nature, 
and confine themselves mainly to a scrutiny of ex¬ 
periments conducted by nature herself, in her alpine 
glaciers, her grottoes of stalactite, and her forest 
dells of ferns and flowers; for every one could then 
test for himself the truth of the theory propounded, 
without the aid of expensive and delicate apparatus. 

While, however, we object to the common practice 



of theorizing and basing grave laws of science on 
forced results obtained from in-door experiments, we 
have no objection to their endeavouring to prove 
by such tests the truth of problems found and solved 
in nature; yet we fear that our physicists generally 
proceed in a contrary manner. The crusade against 
the present system of science, therefore, will have 
to be conducted on much the same principles, and for 
somewhat similar reasons, that Ruskin waged war 
against the great Renaissance revival in painting and 
architecture; by appealing to nature as a paramount 
authority in everything, over the opinions or doctrines 
of any man, or class of men, however eminent or 

A number of persons, again, may read the same 
sentence of a foreign language, yetscarcely any two 
will translate it similarly: and as a person who is 
ignorant of the language could only guess at the mean¬ 
ing of the sentence, so one who is ignorant of the 
composite law of nature and its working, can only 
stumble at the processes of any of its phenomena. 
It may seem a startling thing to say, but we assert 
that neither Professor Tyndall, nor any other physicist, 
can read nature, or experiments in nature or in the 
laboratory, aright, until they understand magnetism 
and atomic action. 

For instance, he says —“A leaden bullet in hitting 
a target is much hotter than an iron one, for iron has 
a greater capacity for absorbing heat than leadA 
This is manifestly incorrect, for such heat is entirely 



induced by friction. The ball of lead in bitting the 
target is crushed out of shape; the intense friction 
of the particles consequent on this circumstance 
must produce great heat. The harder iron, on the 
other hand, by not yielding, has little or no friction, 
and of course very little heat. 

Again, from this illustration, they argue that if a 
solid body be stopped, a certain amount of heat would 
be generated, according to the rate at which it was 
going. But it is obvious that if the same leaden 
bullet had been stopped in sand, so as to preserve its 
shape, it would have generated no more heat than the 
iron one. 

Thus, they argue, “if the world was suddenly 
stopped, enough heat would be generated to reduce it 
in great part to vapour.” If the earth were stopped 
by coming into collision with another world (an 
absurdity also) and it was crushed out of shape, we 
could account for the friction causing heat, but the 
simply stopping its movement through space would 
not do so. 

In order to carry out this great discovery to its 
fullest limits, according to dynamical principles, we 
are also told by Prof. Tyndall that “ the earth on 
stopping would assuredly fall into the sun, and the 
heat generated by the blow would be equal to five 
thousand worlds on fire !” In order to calm the 
fears of unsophisticated mankind, we will show in 
another chapter, how, under the existing laws of 
nature, such an event is impossible. 



Prof. Grove, while endeavouring to show that heat 
is motion, feels himself compelled to say : “ We know 
not the original source of terrestrial heat, far less 
that of solar heat.” 

Brewer states that the principal source of heat is 
the sun, and Tyndall also means the same thing 
when he says : “ We are all souls of fire, and children 
of the sun.” 

The climax is, however, reached by Dr. Lardner 
when he says : “ Heat is propagated by radiation, 
which is apparently independent of matter.” If the 
Professor could point out a place where there is heat, 
or anything else without matter, the scientific world 
would be largely indebted to him. 



Light caused similarly to heat—Propagated differently—Three 
divisions—Light without heat—Light with heat—Propagated 
light—Auroras explained — Phosphorescence—Tyndall refuted 
on molecular motion — Fire-flies—Lighting gas by the finger — 
Auroras from trees—Candle a guide to light—Four things 
required to be looked at—The flame—The heat—The light — 
And light as an object—All light , reflection—The Undulatory 
theory disputed—Light and Sight are instantaneous—Light 
cannot travel half a mile — Sight travels 286,000 miles a 
second—Flame not seen in daylight—Astronomical fallacy of 
star-light — Undulation follows Emission into oblivion — 
Tyndall’s security for the continued acceptance of the Undula¬ 
tory theory, overthrown. 

In considering this subject, we find that light, or 
flame, is produced in a similar manner to heat, but it 
is transmitted differently. If we are right in stating 
heat to be the result of chemical action between two 
certain classes of mineral and vegetable atoms, then 

light is produced in the same way; and, in most 


instances, we cannot get one without the other. 
Light however does not always indicate or give heat, 
and some materials do not afford such a bright light 
as others. This is owing, we believe, entirely to the 
proportion, condition, and position of the materials 
yielding the light. For example, a lamp may not 
give a very bright light by itself, but put a glass 



shade over it, to secure an oxygenized current around 
it, and we have a light equal to gas. 

We will consider light under three divisions. 

First, light without heat or combustion. 

Second, light with heat and combustion. 

Third, how light is propagated. 

In the first division we have the aurora, fire-flies, 
phosphorescence on water, etc. 

How are those lights caused ? 

Merely by two classes of suitable atoms, combining 
in suitable proportions, and reciprocating, causing 
friction and light. The aurora is caused by the 
mineral gases from the poles, or in polar latitudes, 
mingling with the vegetable gases from equatorial 
or warmer latitudes, in certain proportions, and under 
certain conditions. These same gases in other pro¬ 
portions and conditions will produce rain and snow, 
lightning and thunder, hail and storms; so that it 
will be observed nearly everything depends upon pro¬ 
portion, condition, and position. 

On the Pacific Ocean we have seen the waves made 
by the steamer rolling in a volume of liquid fire, 
while a long stream of light was left behind, almost 
bright enough to read by; yet there was no more 
heat in it than in the surrounding water. 

Why was this ? Because the atoms were not in a 
position to produce and show a development of heat. 

If these light-giving properties could be extracted 
from the water, we have no doubt they might be 
placed in a position to exhibit heat also. 



If merely cutting through the water lights it up, 
it may he asked why does the water not always shine, 
seeing that the light-producing properties are always 
present in it? Because it is not in a condition to do 
so. Light is caused only when the atoms are in exces¬ 
sive motion , when the poles are disturbed and clash with 
each other; and they are only in this condition when 
the atoms are unequally divided . 

In calm water the different classes are thoroughly 
at rest, and arranged in natural atomic position. But 
the crest of a wave in falling, or a steamer in motion, 
presses the atoms into collision with each other; many 
consequently combine, while instant commotion en¬ 
sues throughout the mass, the greater lights attracting 
the lesser, till by rapid attraction and repulsion, the 
atoms are at length in order,and darkness a^ain reigns. 

It may he asked why these little globes of light, 
having once been set in motion, do not continue to 
attract the light-producing atoms, till they formed 
an immense ball of fire ? Because crystallization, or 
the aggregation of any particular class of atoms, can 
only ensue when such atoms preponderate over others; 
and as the light atoms in the water are few, in 
comparison to the mass of other atoms in solution, 
therefore, as before, the lesser must necessarily give 
way to the greater. 

The streak of light left by a fish as it dashes through 
the water, or a meteor in passing through the atmo¬ 
sphere, is evolved on the same principle. (See chapter 
on Auroras.) 



In the fire-fly, the light is caused hy the atomic 
mingling of two different kinds of suitable material, 
one of which the fly manufactures and developes in its 
body from its food; the other is probably derived from 
the atmosphere. The heat from this light is very 
slight, no greater than the temperature of the insect’s 

Many healthy persons, after a brisk walk, will ignite 
our ordinary coal gas by merely applying their finger 
to the jet. This is caused by the animal, or concen¬ 
trated vegetable gas, from the body, reciprocating 
with the mineral gas from the pipe. 

A light is often seen at the ends of branches of trees 
on a cool morning, resembling miniature auroras in 
appearance. This is caused by the vegetable gas from 
the tree, reciprocating with the mineral atoms in the 

The second and third divisions of the subject—viz., 
light with heat and combustion, and how light is 
pro'pagated, we will consider together. The ex¬ 
planation of daylight we will reserve for another 

Taking a candle for our means of illustration, we 
find that there are four things required to be looked at. 

First, the flame itself. 

Second, the heat from it, extending twelve inches 
or more all around. 

Third, the light from it, extending in a greater or 
less degree for ten or twelve feet. 

Fourth, the phenomenon of the light itself, looked 



at from a local distance of a few miles, according to 
the state of the atmosphere. 

In the first, we burn our fingers if we put them in 
the flame. 

In the second, we feel warmth, hut we are not 

In the third, we do not feel the heat, but the light 
is bright enough to read by. 

In the fourth, we lose both heat and light, locally, 
and can only see the flame as a distant object. 

The phenomena felt and observed in these four 
instances must of necessity make the action in each 
several case different from the others. 

Now what is the action? 

In the first, we have the atoms of the materials under 
intense motion and friction, causing heat and light. 

In the second we have the same action, but with 
differing materials, or atoms in a different condition 
and in a less degree. 

In the third, as the light is too far removed to be 
apparently affected by, or to take part in, the chemical 
action going on in the flame, the cause and effect must 
be ascribed to something different. This we assert to be 
due to the reflective power of the atoms. If materials 
can combine into a flame, and reflect a powerful light 
all around from the action of the atoms on one another 
(for all light may be said to be reflection), and if all 
substances reflect light more or less, the atmosphere 
being composed of the same kinds of material, must 
be possessed of the like reflective power. Consequently 



this reflection of one atom on another produces what 
we experience as light, the intensity of the light or 
reflection decreasing as the distance from the flame is 

In the fourth instance we have a pure case of sight; 
that is, we are looking through a transparent medium 
at a mass of reflecting atoms; but the scientific world 
have invented a theory connected with it which is 
worth combating. 

Prof. Tyndall, in his lectures on Heat , says : “ Sir 
Isaac Newton supposed light to consist of minute 
particles darted out from luminous bodies."” “This 
was the celebrated Emission theory.” “ To Dr. 
Thomas Young, however, belongs the immortal honour 
of establishing on a safe basis the theory of Undula¬ 
tion.” “ According to the notion now universally 
received, light consists first of a vibratory motion of 
the particles of the luminous body.” “This motion 
is communicated to the ether in which they swing, 
and thus it is transmitted in waves to the eye.” “The 
act is as truly mechanical as the breaking of the sea 
waves upon the shore.” The idea is a very beautiful 
one, but very hard to comprehend, for he adds, “ a 
wave of light comes from Jupiter to us in a second!— 
186,000 miles.” Again, different waves of light have 
waves of different lengths. “ 39,000 waves of red 
light placed end to end make up one inch; accordingly 
474,439,680,000,000 red waves enter the eye in a 
single second; while 699,000,000,000,000 of violet 
waves enter in the same time.” 



A great mistake, it will be observed, is made 
between light and sight. 

Both Light and Sight are instantaneous. If we 
shut our eyes and open them again we can see any 
object within their range, whether five or ten miles 
away. It does not require a distant vessel or house 
to send waves of their colour to us in order that we 
may distinguish them; so also is it with a candle. 

If we place it in a room we see it as a bright light, 
and everything in its immediate vicinity is rendered 
distinct by its reflection; but place it a hundred yards 
away, and we only see it as a point of light. Place it 
ten miles away, and we cannot see it at all, and if it 
be kept burning for a million of years the light will 
never reach us. 

It is asserted as one of the poetical facts of astro¬ 
nomy, that the light of probably some thousands of 
stars has been travelling towards us ever since, if not 
before, Adam was created, and has not reached us 
yet. If, as we assume, sight and light are one, both 
instantaneous, then we may safely affirm that the 
light from these thousands of stars beyond our vision 
will never reach us. 

We believe that the light of the stars is caused by 
a reflection similarly to the planets. The reason why 
they are sometimes bright and sometimes dim, some¬ 
times disappear altogether, or appear suddenly for 
the first time, is owing to their position with regard 
to us, and to the suns they reciprocate with. Just as 
the beam from a lighthouse reflects more or less 



brightly according to its position, or as the setting 
sun shining on the windows of a long terrace, causes 
one window after another to dazzle with radiance. 
Considerable excitement was caused in astronomi¬ 
cal circles some years ago about a star which ap¬ 
peared much brighter than usual for a short time, 
and then sank back to its normal condition. It was 
stated by Prof. Proctor and others that we had here 
the phenomenon of a world on fire . A sensational 
explanation must be sought for as a matter of course, 
although such a simple thing as direct reflection was 
able to account for the wonderful occurrence. 

Again, if we hold a piece of glass before us we can 
see Jupiter through it. The waves being communi¬ 
cated through the ether, which is everywhere and in 
everything , glass included, of course it goes through it 
to our eye. But suppose we hold a piece of cloth 
before us—which is much more porous than glass— 
we cannot see Jupiter. Waves and ether , therefore, 
have nothing whatever to do with seeing the star, 
but sight and a transparent medium, everything. 

Lastly, if a fire is lighted a mile or two away 
during the day, we see only the smoke; the flame is 
not visible at all; while at night the light only is 
visible. What is to be said of the waves of light 


during the day ? 

Prom what we have remarked, light at a distance 
must be regarded only as a question of sight, and the 
Undulation theory will have to follow its predecessor 
Emission, into oblivion. 



Prof. Tyndall, in his lectures in New York, stated, 
that while it was quite logical for any one to insist 
that sufficient evidence might be brought forward in 
the future to overthrow the Undulatory theory of 
light, just as other theories as widely accepted had 
been given up before, yet it was as unlikely to he 
overthrown as the theory of gravitation. If our 
theory is correct—which we are endeavouring to 
prove—then the foundation of security on which he 
has built his hopes is gone, for we adduce proof 
enough in another chapter to insure the rejection, 
even of Newton’s law of gravitation. 




Professors Thomson, and Tail, on the Sun—The Sun a huge furnace 
•—Herschel on the waste heat of the Sun— Temperature of space 
— Our view of the universe—The solar system an inhabitant of 
it—The Sun a stomach—The atmospheres , the flesh and bones of 
the solar system—Movements regulated by Magnetism—The Sun 
an inhabited world—How Sunlight is caused by Magnetism — 
The Sun, Earth, and planets, Magnetic batteries—Sun the main 
battery and head office—Planets telegraph stations—Sunlight 
caused in a similar way to the spark at the poles of a battery 
—The Journey to the Sun. 

Haying explained how ordinary lights are caused, and 
what our views of light are, we now proceed to dis¬ 
cuss the character and phenomena of daylight. 

We do not profess to be astronomers, and would not 
wilfully run counter to the grand discoveries which 
eminent men such as Newton, Kepler, and Herschel, 
have made in connexion with astronomy; but as our 
system clashes with theirs, and as it is impossible for 
us to see how daylight is caused by a huge roaring 
furnace, it is essential that we lay down a system in 
accordance with natural law, as understood by us. 

Before doing so, let us examine a few of the state¬ 
ments made by teachers in physics. Professors Thom¬ 
son and Tait, in an article on “Energy” in Good 



Words, 1862, give four theories on the nature and 
action of the sun. The fourth, which they say is 
probably the true explanation, is as follows :—“ Ac¬ 
cording to this theory, matter when created was dif¬ 
fused irregularly through space, but was endowed 
with the attractive force of gravitation, by virtue of 
which it gradually became agglomerated into masses 
of various sizes. The temperature produced by colli¬ 
sion, etc., would not only be in general higher for the 
larger bodies, but they would of course take longer to 
cool; and hence our earth—though probably in by¬ 
gone ages a little sun—retains but a slight amount of 
its original heat, at least in its superficial strata, 
while the sun still shines with brilliance, perhaps 
little impaired. Supplies of energy are, no doubt, 
yet received continually by the sun, on its casual 
meeting with masses traversing through space, or the 
falling in of others revolving about it; just as on an 
exceedingly small scale, the earth occasionally gets a 
slight increase of kinetic energy, by the impact of a 
shooting star or aerolite." “ But it is not probable 
that the sun receives in this way more than a very 
small portion of his heat. He must therefore, at pre¬ 
sent, be in the condition of a heated body cooling." 
“But it will take seven thousand years, before his 
average temperature can go down one degree." 

This conclusion is a very safe statement to enun¬ 
ciate, but we are astonished that any man with an 
established reputation should express it. 

The accepted idea, therefore, is that the sun is a 

g 2 



huge furnace, which is being continually fed with 
fuel to keep the heat up. This heat, we are told, is 
given off in every direction, and as the planets— 
which the sun lights—are mere specks in comparison 
with the vast open spaces between, there seems to 
be, as Sir John Herschel says :—“ An enormous 
waste or what appears to be waste/'* “ Take all the 
planets together, great and small, the light and heat 
they receive is only one 227 millionth part of the 
whole quantity thrown out by the sun. All the rest 
escapes into free space and is lost among the stars, or 
does there some other work that we know nothing 

This very fact should have told Herschel the theory 
was a bad one; for as there is nothing more perfect than 
nature in all its inherent principles or laws, sc it is 
not in accordance with any of God’s works that such 
a furnace should be poised in the heavens to light and 
heat a few planets, when it could equally well perform 
the same service to a million of them. 

But there is another strong objection. Herschel 
says the temperature of empty space is no less than 
“ 230° F. Thermometer below zero.” If the sun is a 
furnace, then according to all rules of furnaces, the 
heat must be wasted or absorbed by this cold region 

* Prof. R. A. Proctor, in his late lectures in New York, repeats 
all this, as any mere learner would do, and although he states that 
it is one of the mysteries which the study of astronomy presents, 
he never thinks of questioning the theory, or applying his know¬ 
ledge to an elucidation of it. 



of space. Or if it is really the heat of the furnace 
which we feel on a summer’s day, then the “ empty” 
space must be hotter still, for the nearer we approach 
a furnace the hotter the temperature becomes. But 
the reverse in this case is the reality, for the higher 
we rise from the earth the colder it becomes, and 
mountain tops are covered with ice and snow all the 
year round. 

We must therefore give up the supposition that 
the sun is a furnace, and seek for an explanation of 
the light and heat which we receive from it in the 
theory of atomagnetic action. 

In giving a theory of the sun we are obliged to 
lay down a theory of the universe, which, it is un¬ 
necessary to say, differs from that accepted by astro¬ 

The universe is a vast body of which the solar 
systems are the inhabitants, and yet these are all so 
regulated in their movements, the one with the other, 
that even the universe itself, as far as we see it, may 
be but as a solar system in a universe more boundless 

Our solar system, then, may be compared to an 
animal body with a stomach—the sun and the 
planets being different members of it, all having 
regular arteries and channels to travel along, and from 
which they cannot deviate. And just as the different 
members, or parts of our bodies, are connected with 
blood, flesh, and bones, so the planets are all con¬ 
nected with the sun and with each other by their 



atmospheres ; a firm, although elastic, and invisible 

This accounts, firstly, for their position. 

Secondly, their movements are regulated by the law 
of Magnetism. 

We have shown that every atom is a magnet; every 
conglomeration of atoms, therefore, must also be a 
magnet. The sun, planets, moons, and comets are 
therefore magnets; and they act upon, reciprocate 
with, and attract and repel each other. Thus it is 
that sometimes the earth approaches the sun, and 
again recedes, yet still keeping its fixed course and 
position. But the sun could not attract any plane¬ 
tary body close to or into itself, for it must be like 
unto the earth, having its own atmosphere; every 
body and planet, therefore, having its own emanations, 
or atmosphere, enables it to keep its solid parts free, 
and apart from every other body. 

Thirdly, the life action, producing heat, light, or 
electricity, and all other natural phenomena on the 
earth, is shown to be the result of chemical action, 
caused by magnetism or atomagnetic action. 

We do not think therefore that the sun is a furnace, 
but rather that it is a vast body probably inhabited 
like our own earth. Being the largest also, it 
occupies the centre of our system, and controls the 
life force or magnetism of the whole. 

How then is sunlight caused ? 

As we have already said, the sun and planets are 
magnets. They are also magnetic telegraph batteries 



with their poles, and between them there is an atmo¬ 
sphere acting as a connecting wire or medium—by 
which they all communicate with the head office, the 
sun. Whatever part of our earth's surface is in line 
with the sun, there is bound to be a powerful reci¬ 
procal force and action between them ; and the more 
direct and unobstructed the line is, the greater will 
be the action. How do we know this ? By the 
phenomena of sunlight. Supposing for illustration 
we cut the wire of an ordinary telegraph line, and 
bring the two ends into merely the slightest contact, 
we have a spark of light or electricity—Why? Be¬ 
cause the force of the decomposing battery is trans¬ 
ferred from its poles within the solution to the 
partially disconnected poles on the line, inducing 
them to attract and unite. This force is so concen¬ 
trated by the slight contact, that minute particles of 
mineral matter are thrown off the wire, and by recipro¬ 
cating with the particles of oxygen and hydrogen in 
the atmosphere, light and fire, or electricity, is the 

Sunlight is an exhibition of this spark on a grand 
scale. The earth, as a battery, is continually, by the 
action of water in its interior, dissolving and reform¬ 
ing minerals, and throwing their particles into the 
atmosphere. But on the surface the vegetable atoms 
assert themselves, the conditions—heat, light, and 
moisture — being favourable for their development, 
and thus they grow into vast forests, and these in 
turn produce and feed animals. The emanations 



from these forests, as well as other vegetable emana¬ 
tions, are sufficient to form a rim or covering of 
oxygen all around the earth, in close contact with it. 

The sun, we believe, is of an entirely similar 
formation, with its dissolving and reforming action, 
its vegetation and animals, and its oxygen atmo¬ 
sphere. The mineral gases rising from both sun and 
earth being lighter than oxygen, occupy the higher 
spaces of the atmospheres. The connecting medium— 
called by the supporters of the Undulatory theory of 
light “ luminiferous ether,”—all through space, must 
necessarily be of the same nature, because the con¬ 
ditions for the presence and maintenance of vegetable 
atoms do not exist there. The earth and sun, being 
thus like working magnetic dissolving batteries, con¬ 
nected by a metallic medium, there is a strong action 

existent between them, as between two poles. But 
the rim of oxygen at either end partially breaks the 
connexion. The result then is the continuous spark 
of electricity, on a scale commensurate with the 
great size of the batteries; for the force of the sun 
and earth striving to meet each other, through the 
hydrogen or metallic medium, causes the elementary 
atoms of oxygen and hydrogen to reciprocate in the 
lower atmosphere, and, as may be shown by experi¬ 
ment, the combination of the two gases with the 
intense friction and motion between the poles and 
atoms, produces our glorious sunlight. 

A similar action goes on in the sun, and thus its 
brightness is accounted for. But, while we have 



light and darkness every day, the inhabitants of the 
sun may not know what night is; for owing to its 
central position, it is doubtless at all times reciproca¬ 
ting with planets on every side of it. 

It may he said by some opponents that the electric 
spark burns us if we touch it; why not daylight 
too ? Because usually, the action is so diffused, and 
the continuity disturbed by winds, etc. But if we 
concentrate the light on the hand with a lens, it may 
be burnt also; besides, how many people have their 
faces sunburnt by direct exposure to the sun’s rays ? 

If we ascend out of this oxygen atmosphere, we 
gradually enter the cold region which aeronauts have 
experienced. Why ? Because we lose the region of 
the compound which causes the development of light 
and heat. 

It may be asked why the moon does not reciprocate 
with the earth in a similar manner to the sun ? Be¬ 
cause, very probably, by being connected with us its 
atomagnetic character resembles our earth’s, and is of 
a similar pole, consequently it would not act with us; 
but it also reciprocates with the sun. 

Daylight, then, is a vast process of chemical action 
between the atoms of the atmosphere, induced by the 
reciprocal magnetic force of the bodies of the sun and 
earth; this is the reason exposure to sunlight in 
temperate latitudes is so healthy, for the intense 
action and motion in the atmosphere must produce a 
corresponding action and circulation in the bodies 
that are exposed to it. 



Thus have vve given an explanation of the general 
features of that wonderful orb, which shines on us 
with such splendour, and which regulates our move¬ 
ments in a manner that the simplest may under¬ 
stand ; and yet proved on our atomagnetic theory to 
be governed according to natural law, which is infal¬ 
lible. Thus have we done away with, it is hoped for 
ever, that superstition worthy only of untutored 
minds, which imagines the sun to be a huge furnace, 
feeding upon comets and shooting stars, and now and 
then swallowing a planet to assuage its hunger. 
Thus have we done away with the necessity of think¬ 
ing so little of the works of nature, and so much of 
ourselves, that a few planets should monopolize a 
great furnace, which—if it had them in proper posi¬ 
tion-—could light and heat up all the starry hosts of 
heaven. And thus, in conclusion, are turned into 
ridicule those theoretic descriptions of a Journey to 
the Sun by a sensational philosopher, in which the 
voyagers, impervious to heat or cold, after travel¬ 
ling far through “ empty” space, at last encounter 
flames of burning hydrogen thousands of miles long, 
and see through the rifts of the raging fiery clouds 
the red-hot nucleus of our luminary within. 



Undulation theory of colow—What is the force which governs 
colour ?—Primary causes overlooked as usual—Great display (W 
Arithmetic—Looseness in Science—When ice will freeze to death 
—Portland Scientific Convention—Tyndall on the vibratory 
theory —474,439,680,000,000 red waves a second—This theory 
questioned—No colour on the Earth — Herschel — Helmholtz — 
Science like a voyage of discovery—We introduce the atomag- 
netic theory of colour—Colour a property of matter—Colours of 
mineral flames—Why is the sky blue ? — Tyndall's Scientific 
Use of the Imagination —The setting sun red—The hills 

Haying given the cause of light, and its inodes of 
action in different forms, we now give an explanation 
of that element of it which we reserved for a chapter 
to itself. 

As light has been explained by the theory of undu¬ 
lation, so also has colour, which in one way is in¬ 
separable from it. The theory is said to have been 
suggested by the vibration of a harp string. The 
shorter the string is made, the greater are the number 
of vibrations produced by the same force, and the 
shriller the note becomes. Thus it is said to be with 
colour. Light vibrates, but coloured lights vibrate 
more. From experiments made it has been shown 



that red rays are propagated the shortest distance, 
and violet rays the longest. Consequently it is laid 
down, as a settled fact, that a certain number of 
vibrations, or waves per second, produce red, a few 
more produce orange, and so on all through the 
colours of the spectrum. 

We can understand why a harp string should vibrate 
rapidly or slowly, because we know the force which is 
applied to it. But what is the force which controls 
the colours, and makes the violet to vibrate more 
rapidly than the red ? No explanation is made of 
this circumstance, and, as it never seems to have been 
thought of, the statement about the waves is clearly 
an empirical one. This shows again how our leaders 
in science are for ever striving to understand secondary 
causes and phenomena, forgetting altogether, or not 
seeming to remember, that there must be a first cause 
for evervthing. They find something, out of which, 
by a great display of arithmetic, astounding announce¬ 
ments may be made, and they therefore seek to 
obtain all the glory possible for this discovery, before 
another shall find the first cause of his secondary 
force, and blast his fame. From this looseness in 
science, we have one philosopher stating that we will 
all freeze to death on this earth, while the sun is 
gradually cooling; but it will take seven thousand 
years to go down one degree ! Another states we are 
rushing into collision with Hercules, but we need not 
pack our trunks for a million of years or so yet. 
Thus every scientific journal we look at is filled with 



some extraordinary theory, and instead of being 
laughed at, the pedants are considered as men of 
genius. An exception, in this respect, must be made 
to the papers delivered at the late Science Convention 
in Portland, United States, which have been so 
thoroughly ridiculed, not only by outsiders, but by 
the Americans themselves, that we only hope it will 
teach a lesson to dabblers in science all over the 
world, which will not soon be forgotten. 

This vibratory theory is improbable on the face of 
it, and seems very sensational. 

Prof. Tyndall on heat says:—“Light travels 
through space at a velocity of 192,000 miles in a 
second. Reducing this to inches we find the number 
to be 12,165,120,000. Now it is found that 39,000 
waves of red light placed end to end would make up 
an inch; multiply the number of inches in 192,000 
miles by 39,000, we obtain the number of waves 
of red light in 192,000 miles ; this number is 
474,439,6S0,000,000. All these leaves enter the eye 
in a single second. To produce the impression of red 
in the brain, the retina must be hit at this almost 
incredible rate.” 

But all colours are not 192,000 miles away. For 
instance we set fire to a red light three feet from us, 
and in a second we perceive the colour. By Tyndalhs 
own figures the greatest number of waves that could 
possibly exist in that distance would be 1,404,000. 
This number then produces the impression of red 
on the brain, whereas he says nothing less than 



474,439,680,000,000 could do it. It is evident that 
there must he something faulty about this theory, or 
it would not break down so easily. 

Again, if we examine a bouquet of flowers, is our 
eye being hit by millions of waves of colour coming 
from it? We think it more probable that our 
nose is being hit by millions of waves of the atoms of 
perfume, for we have a stronger sensation from the 
matter by the one, than from the properties of the 
matter, by the other. 

Nearly all who have written on the subject in these 
latter days, seem to assert that there is no colour 
whatever in the earth, and that all the brilliant hues 
which we see in a summer's day, are imparted to 
objects by light. Herschel, Tyndall, Maxwell, 
Helmholtz, Brewer, and others endeavoured to prove 
this, and there is no doubt that it is the rock on 
which they have stranded. Science in many ways is 
like a voyage of discovery into unknown seas and 
rivers, amidst which navigators have heard that cer¬ 
tain lands are to be found. Now one philosopher and 
now another takes the helm, and, after placing buoys 
at different points to mark the channels of knowledge 
from which no succeeding explorer must deviate, and 
whose correctness no one must question, they stumble 
along from one quicksand to another, till they are lost 
amidst rocks and shoals. This is what is being done 
in the region of colour, as well as in many other path¬ 
ways of science. 

One observer having a slight show of plausibility to 



support him, asserted that there was no colour natu¬ 
rally on the earth, hut that it was imparted to it by 
light. There being no better theory at the time, it 
was not questioned much. A buoy was immediately 
placed, and every scientific man guided by this, at 
once commenced to puzzle his brains in order to 
account for the colours in the light, and how they 
acted on objects around him. First the refraction 
theory, and then the undulatory theory was started, 
but they have most miserably failed. 

We now introduce the atomagnetic; and as it 
springs from primary causes, and elements, altogether, 
and as no buoys or soundings by previous observers 
are recognised unless they stand our own test, we 
feel sure it has better claims to stability than any that 
have been previously advanced. 

As we stated in the first chapter, matter is naturally 
possessed of certain properties which are inseparable 
from it. The mineral atoms have naturally, as inhe¬ 
rent elements, the cold colours, blue, black, and white; 
while the vegetable atoms are naturally possessed of 
the warm colours, red, yellow, and orange. Of course 
there appear to be exceptions. Gold is yellow, but 
it is very scarce and prized accordingly. Sulphur is 
yellow also, but it sheds a blue light when burned. 
Sometimes we see blue flowers also, but they are 
very rare indeed. Every material we know of has a 
colouring element of its own, caused by the colours of 
the different classes of matter composing it. Grass 
and most vegetation is green—a mixture of the yellow 



and blue of the two classes of atoms—while all the 
beautiful variety of colours we see in a flower garden 
are derived in a similar way. 

We once saw a professor experimenting before an 
audience of an evening with different minerals, show¬ 
ing the colours which they assumed on being set on 
fire, and were astonished that he did not, or would 
not, understand what gave these flames their various 
colours. It could not have been from sunlight, for 
there was none; neither could it have been gaslight 
(or “ bottled sunshine,” as it is called by our sensa¬ 
tional philosophers) for that was turned down. It 
must, therefore, as a necessary consequence, have 
been inherent in the materials themselves, and we 
cannot see how it could be properly explained other¬ 

Again, by the accepted theory, a bouquet of flowers 
ought to be colourless at night, but if we hold them 
to this mineral flame, we see the natural colours of 
the flowers just as in daylight. Thus proving the 
fallacy of the assertion that everything is colourless, 
and that it is the sunlight that gives them, or indeed 
anything else, their colour. 

It may be asked, how is it we see a spectrum of 
colours in light at all? Because the atmosphere in 
which light is exhibited is composed of all the mate¬ 
rials—in a gaseous form—of which this earth is 
composed, and of course they retain their inherent 
colours also. Consequently light by coming through 
these different materials, displays also their colours to us. 



If the spectroscope is held to one of those mineral 
flames we speak of, it shows a spectrum of all the 
colours too ; for a similar reason, that in order to 
produce flame at all, there must he a mixture of the 
two classes of matter; and adding the materials of 
the atmosphere in which the experiment is shown, 
there need he no difficulty in collecting all the colours 
together. In corroboration of our system, we give a 
few facts illustrative of the different colours, and the 
materials to which they belong. 

Why is the sky blue? This is a question which 
Prof. Tyndall says is the most difficult one in me¬ 
teorology ; and the explanation he gives of it in his 
lecture on The Scientific Use of the Imagination , is one 
that few could follow. Compare our account of it 
with his. The atmosphere nearest the earth is dense, 
and composed mainly of oxygen, while the higher 
atmosphere is rarefied, and composed mainly of hydro¬ 
gen, or mineral atoms. As blue is the main, or dis¬ 
tinctive colour of the mineral atoms, the sky is blue 
in appearance, because in looking upwards, we are 
gazing through a greater volume of mineral, than of 
vegetable atmosphere. But when we look at the 
rising and setting sun or moon, we see them red. 
Why? Because we are looking through a dense 
volume of vegetable atmosphere, and red is the dis¬ 
tinctive vegetable colour. 

Why are distant hills purple ? Because we have a 
blending of the two atmospheres, and we are looking 
at the blue mineral atoms surrounding the hill. 



through the red warm vegetable atoms of the valley. 
The chasms in the Alpine glaciers are blue, showing 
the mineral nature of ice and frost. Cobalt blue 
again is highly magnetic, a characteristic of mineral 
matter only in an intense degree. Iron, on the other 
hand, when it rusts, becomes red with oxide, on 
account of the action of vegetable atoms upon it. 

Many more examples might be adduced in support 
of our assertions, but we think enough has been 
advanced to establish their truth. 



All light is Electricity—Greatest Scientific delusion of the day — 
Magnetism and Electricity essentially different—Quotations to 
show how little is known about either — l)r. Thomson — Parker’s 
School Book of Philosophy— Sir Wm. Thomson on Electricity 
flowing — Prof. Tyndall also confesses ignorance — Prof. Grove 
— Prescott’s History—Electric spark, what composed, of—No 
combustion without a mixture of the two classes of matter — The 
cause of Lightning. 

Following up our chapters on light, we come to 
electricity. In fact it ought to form part of the 
chapter on Light, for all light is electricity. The 
greatest scientific delusion of the day is the supposi- 
ion that electricity has anything whatever to do with 
telegraphing, except, that under certain necessary 
conditions, the magnetic force in the wires ofttimes 
exhibits it. 

Magnetism and electricity are essentially two 
different things, but they have been so interchanged 
by writers for several generations, that the public 
mind is uncertain where the boundary line lies. We 
hope, however, by a few facts and illustrations, to be 
able to show clearly what each phenomenon is, and 
the difference between them. 

In the first place, to show how little is really 

h 2 



known about either, we will quote a few paragraphs 
from well known writers on the subject. 

Dr. Thos. Thomson, in his treatise on Ileat and 
Electricity, says :— u Electricity is the property ac¬ 
quired by bodies, of attracting and repelling light 
bodies, through the action of friction on them/'’ This 
is exactly the property possessed by a magnet. Why 
then should two names be given to the same thing? 

In another chapter the same writer says :—“ I 
shall now give an account of the recently discovered 
facts, which have shown the dependency of magne¬ 
tism on electricity.” Then follow a number of state¬ 
ments which, in our view, would show the reverse, 
for the names are merely transposed. Notwithstand¬ 
ing all he says in his treatise regarding electricity, he 
has at last to confess, in speaking of the powers of 
attraction and repulsion :—“ We are altogether igno¬ 
rant of the cause of these properties.” 

In Parker’s School Boole of Philosophy, we read :— 
tc Electricity is the name given to an imponderable 
agent which pervades the material world, and which 
is visible only in its effects.” Again, he has also to 
confess :—“ The nature of electricity is unknown.” 

Sir Wm. Thomson in Good Words , 1867, says:— 
u In every kind of electric telegraph, long or short, 
aerial or submarine, a signal is sent from either 
end, by causing electricity to flow through an isolated 
metal wire.” A very rapid and singular kind of 
flowing it must be; for he tells us that it travels at 
the rate of, “ twelve times around the globe in a 



second/’ He lias also to confess his want of knowledge 
on the subject, for he says :—“ It may he regarded as 
probable that there is a real electric fluid, and that 
this fluid really flows through the wire; but in the 
present state of electric science, we cannot tell, or 
even conjecture on any ground of probability, whether 
the true positive electricity is that which is commonly 
so-called, or,” etc. 

Prof. Tyndall also says in his lectures on Heat 
“We have every reason to conclude that heat and 
electricity are both modes of motion; we know ex¬ 
perimentally that from electricity we can get heat, 
and from heat that we can get electricity. But 
although we have, or think we have, tolerably clear 
ideas of the character of the motion of heat, our ideas 
are very unclear as to the precise nature of the change 
which this motion must undergo, in order to appear 
as electricity; in fact we lenow as yet nothing about it. ,} 

Prof. Grove says:—“ How the phenomena are pro¬ 
duced to which the term attraction is applied, is still 
a mystery.” 


In Prescott’s “ History of the Electric Telegraph” 

•—which is a compilation of facts from De la Bive— 
we read:—“ The theory most generally admitted is 
that there are two electricities, each composed of 
particles that mutually repel each other.” What 
would be the use of two electricities, having the same 
properties; in fact we cannot see how there could be 
two, if they had the same force. Moreover, two 
differing electricities could reciprocate, while two 



similar ones could not. We do not see either how a 
message could be sent along the wires, if the particles 
mutually repelled each other. If, on the contrary, 
they mutually attracted and repelled, there might be 
some sense in it. 

From the quotations given, it will he seen how 
little is really known about either electricity or mag¬ 
netism, and it is no wonder, seeing the manner in 
which they have been mixed up, that no one has been 
found capable of separating them. This, however, we 
shall now endeavour to do. 

It is admitted that the sparJc at the poles of a 
magnetic battery is electricity, and we are assured 
that this spark flows through the whole length of the 
wire. This can easily be proved by demonstrating 
what the composition of the spark is. 

There can he no light or fire without a combination 
of the two classes of matter. As stated in the chapter 
on Sunlight, the spark from the telegraph wires is 
composed of the two gases, oxygen and hydrogen; 
being minute atoms thrown off the metallic wires by 
the force of the magnetic action in them, and recipro¬ 
cating with the oxygen and hydrogen in the atmo¬ 

If, then, electricity is a combustion of two different 
materials, how could this combustion flow through a 
metal wire ? Or how is it that the wires do not burn 
away instantly ? Moreover, the spark is only exhi¬ 
bited when the wires are in a certain position, and 
when the force is concentrated. 



It is just as incorrect, therefore, to call the mag¬ 
netic action in the wires electricity, because under 
certain conditions there is an exhibition of electricity 
at their poles, as it would be to call thunder clouds 
lightning, because under certain conditions they pro¬ 
duce and yield lightning; or to call a tadpole a frog, 
because it becomes a frog; or to call an egg a chicken, 
because it produces a chicken; or indeed to call any¬ 
thing else by any name whatever, except its own. 

Of course if the scientific world chose to reverse 
the names, and call magnetism, electricity, and vice 
versa, it would he all right, if the same name be 
only applied to the same property wherever it is 
found. But this is not done. A magnet by them is 
called a magnet, and its force is called magnetism. 
This force is exactly similar to the force in a telegraph 
line, and yet they call the latter electricity. This is 
what we object to, and wherein we desire to correct 
public opinion. 

Magnetism, therefore, and not electricity, is the 
great “imponderable agent” which governs and con¬ 
trols all the movements of the material world. Instead 
of magnetism being dependent upon electricity, the 
case is reversed, as will be shown in the next chapter, 
and all forms of “light” whatever, are consequently 
caused by magnetism under certain conditions. 

We stated at the commencement of the chapter 
that all light was electricity. How do we prove 
this ? 

Electricity in its broadest sense is combustion be- 



tween the two classes of matter, wherever exhibited. 
We can find no combustion without the two classes, 
and no electricity can take place without combustion, 
in some form or another. Sunlight, lightning, gas, 
coal and wood fires, and volcanoes, are all examples. 
As lightning is the best known form of electricity, 
we will explain how it is caused. 

Gases are always rising from the earth, mineral as 
well as vegetable; these coming in contact in the 
atmosphere, by reciprocating, and reversing their 
poles, become opaque and form clouds. Thus com¬ 
bined, they occupy less space than at first, and by the 
greater attractive power which is acquired by them, 
surrounding gases are drawn to them. This tends to 
produce wind, which still further increases the re¬ 
ciprocal action. The atoms when in form of clouds 
being free, are reciprocally brought into immediate 
action, and according to their position, condition, and 
compounds, produce rain or snow, hail, fire or elec¬ 
tricity, all these being the result of different unions 
of the same two classes of material, under varied con¬ 

Where clouds thus formed are insulated, and moved 
within the influence of others, they resemble decom¬ 
posing galvanic batteries, and act upon—or discharge 
into—each other, the lesser into the greater, by their 
instantaneous chemical action. The friction of the 
atoms produces combustion, and this is exhibited as 
lightning, being similar to that derived from the 
poles of a battery. When these thunder clouds with 



this excess of action move within the attracting influ¬ 
ence of an object connected with the earth, its mineral 
particles are concentrated into a ball-like mass of 
liquid fire, and through this point of contact—such as 
a lightning rod or church steeple, the earth, as the 
greater magnet, attracts the fire-ball to its surface. 
Its contact, in passing, will destroy any small moist 
or large dry object, but will be immediately dissipated 
when coming in contact either with the wet earth or 
a large metallic surface. The remaining oxygen and 
hydrogen (or vegetable and mineral atoms) in the 
cloud, being shaken and brought together, then com¬ 
bine, form water, and fall as rain to the earth. 



Explanation chapter—To show difference between Magnetism and 
Electricity — Profs. Grove and Faraday—Electricity not a force 
at all—Arrangement of a galvanic battery—How telegraphing 
■ is accomplished—Telegraph worked by grass—A few facts about 
Magnetism—Well known and not generally known — Faraday’s 
misfortune—Born too soon—The “ Magnetic curved’ explained 
—Tyndall astray again—Polarity of iron railings—How the 
polarity of magnetism changes with position—Sir Isaac Newton’s 
apple—The Law of gravitation upset—How magnetism is a 
weight , and how it affects weight—What Newton wished to 
discover—The cause of deviation of compasses in iron ships. 

This chapter is introduced more by way of explana¬ 
tion than anything else, in order to distinguish Mag¬ 
netism from electricity. We described in our second 
chapter on matter and its force the leading charac¬ 
teristics of magnetism, and every chapter since has 
had more or less reference to it. Being the universal 
force in nature we could not explain the cause of any 
phenomena without mentioning it, and the conse¬ 
quence is that nearly every succeeding chapter will 
also contain something new regarding 1 it, according 
as the subject matter appears in different positions 
and conditions. 

Prof. Grove, In his Correlation of Physical Forces , 
says :—“ Magnetism, as was proved by the important 



discovery of Faraday, will produce electricity, but 
with this peculiarity—that in itself it is static ; and 
therefore to produce a dynamical force motion must 
be added to it. It is in fact directive, not motive, 
altering the direction of other forces but not in strict¬ 
ness initiating them/'’ If magnetism is powerful 
enough to alter the direction of, and to control other 
natural forces, we would argue that it is more power¬ 
ful than any of them, and that in consequence all 
others take their rise in it. The object of our whole 
work is to prove the truth of this theory. 

Again he says :— <c Magnetism can, through the 
medium of electricity, produce heat, light, chemical 
affinity and motion.^ But if it be acknowledged, as 
we have shown in the previous chapter, that the 
spark in a galvanic battery is combustion, caused by 
the force of magnetism in the ends or poles of the 
wires, then electricity is not a force at ally and can no 
more produce heat, light, chemical affinity, or motion, 
than it can produce, or have any control over itself. 
The very arrangement of a galvanic battery might 
show us, that electricity has nothing to do with the 
force in it; for, if it had, the producing material 
would show it, which it does not. 

Magnetism is an invisible influence or force, which 
appears to have been observed only under particular 
conditions in iron or steel, and a few other metals. 
But indications of a similar influence and action may 
be found in all substances, and in connexion with all 
natural phenomena. It is traceable also in all atoms, 



and is thus found to be an inherent property of 

Let us examine the nature, influence, and action of 
that force as observed in steel, and trace some of its 
effects to their source; then by comparing the same 
action in other substances and forms of matter, the 
identity of the same natural law will be observed in 
the whole of them. 

Magnetism was first discovered in a peculiar kind 
of stone or metal, by its attracting pieces of iron ; 
such stones were called magnets. By rubbing a 
magnet over a piece of steel it was found to impart a 
force or power to the steel, so that it became a 
magnet, and, when poised upon a point where it was 
free to act, its ends would incline towards the ends or 
poles of the earth. Magnets when thus poised are 
observed to influence each other by attracting their 
opposite ends or poles, and by repelling their similar 

At this point we would like to give an explanation 
of the “ magnetic curves” formed by filings between 
two poles of a magnet, an experiment which has long 
been known to scientific men, but never explained. It 
was Faraday’s misfortune that he should have been 
born before the law of atomagnetism was discovered, 
for Tyndall in his New York lectures stated, that 
these magnetic curves, or “ lines of force,” “ so 
fascinated Faraday that the greater portion of his 
intellectual life was devoted to pondering over them.” 
These curves are caused simply by the attraction of 



the opposite poles of the magnet, and the reason they 
form lines is that each hair, or branch of filings, must 
repel every other hair starting from the same pole, 
because similar poles repel, whereas only opposite poles 
attract. This is the whole mystery, and any one 
with a magnet and filings can speedily test the truth 
of it. 

We have already said, in our chapter on Heat, that 
the force of atomagnetism when undisturbed is in 
straight lines, and we see evidences of it everywhere. 
In the fibre of trees, in grass and rushes. In dis¬ 
solving a piece of iron in acid it is eaten away in lines. 
If the frost leaves on our windows are observed 
forming on a winter’s morning, we may also perceive 
that the force is in straight lines, unless they are 
swayed either one way or other by the polarity of 
rival shoots. Thus we have seen two fronds starting 
from the bottom of a sash, a little apart from each 
other, and shooting out towards the centre, but 
on the points approaching they each repelled the 
other, which caused them both to curve outward 

On breaking a piece of shell ice we have often seen 
on the under side, long lines of small spears of ice, 
formed as regularly, the one behind the other, as a 
regiment on parade. Tyndall thinks that these 
magnetic curves will, by the progress of science, be 
found to represent a condition of the “ luminiferous 
ether,” which is “ the mysterious substratum of all 
radiant action.” We are sorry, on his account, that 



these curves, in the progress of science, will only prove 
that his theories of light and heat are all wrong. 

To resume our facts regarding magnetism. Particles 
of iron are attracted to both ends or poles of magnets, 
hut not to their middle portion or centre. A steel 
magnet when bent to the shape of a U, or of a 
“ horse shoe,” shows its greatest force at either end, 
gradually diminishing towards the middle. This 
may be seen by placing the magnet in iron filings, 
when the ends by attracting the filings are united, 
forming an arch of filings. A piece of soft iron 
similar in size to the ends of the magnet, if brought 
into contact with the ends, will be immediately 
attracted to the magnet. In this situation no filings 
will be attracted to the magnet, because the ends or 
poles of all the atoms are pre-occupied one with the 
other. If the magnet be divided into minute par¬ 
ticles, the like force and action will be found to 
prevail in each particle or atom, and is merely 
diminished in proportion to the reduced size of the 

If a bar of steel remains fixed in a vertical position 
for any length of time, it will afterwards exhibit all 
the properties of a magnet, the upper end, when 
placed in any position, will attract the north point 
of a compass needle, and the other end the south 
point. But if we take a piece of soft iron, every time 
its ends are vertically reversed, it is immediately 
changed in its magnetic polarity, to correspond with 
the attraction of the earth—that is, the lower end 



attracting the south point, and the upper end the 
north, in these northern latitudes; in southern lati¬ 
tudes of course it is reversed. If we hold a pocket 
compass to the upper ends of iron railings surrounding 
gardens or houses, or the upper end of a stove, or any 
fixture of iron whatever, we will find that the north 
point will be attracted, while the lower ends will 
attract the south point. 

One of the strange scientific delusions of the day is, 
that if a piece of iron is struck several times with a 
hammer, it is converted into a magnet. It never 
seems to occur to those ingenious philosophers who 
perform the experiment, to try whether it is not a 
magnet without being hammered. From these facts, 
we infer that there exists an inherent force in the 
atoms of the iron, which must be under the domi¬ 
nating influence of a similar and greater force in the 

In the arrangement of metals for the operation of 
the telegraph we again find that the force in the line 
and instruments may be produced, diminished, or 
changed and controlled at pleasure by the operator. 

We will examine the arrangement and observe the 
effects and causes of these changes. 

To form a battery, the ends of two pieces of metal 
are placed in diluted acid, and by chemical action 
they are gradually dissolved. In this position they 
show no other magnetic force than the power of dis¬ 
solving. Each piece has, however, two poles, the 
poles in the acid being similar, and those in the air 



being also alike. If the dry ends be brought into 
contact, the action of the ends in the solution is seen 
to increase; this is owing to the two pieces now 
forming one magnet with two poles, in place of four. 
The two poles lost at the point of contact now merge 
their influence into the whole, and the poles in the 
solution become dissimilar, opposite poles (as ex¬ 
plained before) then reciprocate, or attract one 
another; and thus we have the increase of the dis¬ 
solving power exhibited, and an increase of force 

If the junction of the two metals be made by a long 
connecting wire, instead of close contact, the same 
action is continued between the poles or ends in solu¬ 
tion. No more force is shown in the connecting 
wire than in the middle of the magnet, because the 
force can, by its nature, only be developed or exhibited 
at the ends or poles. If, however, we sever the wire 
or its connexion at any part, the action is imme¬ 
diately checked at the ends, because they are now as 
before, two magnets and four poles; the poles in the 
solution being of course similar. Bring the separated 
ends slightly into contact, and the result is the 
electric spark : for as we have explained before, those 
ends act as opposing poles, and attract the mineral 
atoms towards each other in such a way, that they 
combine with the oxygen of the atmosphere, and 
'produce electricity and light. By the same action in 
the solution between the poles, the metal dissolving 
unites with the oxygen of the water and throws off 



hydrogen, or forms other compounds, such as sulphate 
of zinc, etc. 

It will be observed, then, that a close connexion of 
the wires throws the force into the ends that are in 
the solution, thus converting the whole line into one 
magnet; while a slight connexion induces the poles 
of the two pieces, as two magnets, to reciprocate at 
their junction, thereby producing the resulting mag¬ 
netic spark, known as electricity. Telegraph instru¬ 
ments, or relays” as horse-shoe magnets, forming 
poles, are arranged in the several offices along the 
line, and by them the operation of telegraphing is 

The magnetic force may be increased in the line to 
any extent, by multiplying and arranging a great 
number of pieces of any two kinds of metal in a solu¬ 
tion of acids, the force being increased in proportion 
to the quantity of surface metal and the strength of 
the solution adapted to act chemically upon the 
metal; besides paying regard to the arrangement and 
amount of metal in connexion. 

Magnetism is latent (or active) in all atoms of 
matter, and may be brought into action, condition¬ 
ally, in many ways. 

The magnetic repelling force of atoms in dissolving 
substances is equal to their attracting force in re¬ 
forming new substances. The process of producing 
or reforming minerals may be satisfactorily seen in 
the electro-plate, in the formation of the lead tree, 
and in all kinds of crystallization. As all natural 




formations arise from the operation of this atomag- 
netic force, its action in dissolving and reforming 
minerals, vegetation and animals, upon and within 
the earth, is noticed in other chapters. 

Electricity therefore no more flows along, or 
through the telegraph wire, than milk or water does; 
and if physicists would examine more into the nature 
and action of atomagnetism, not only in reference to 
metals, but in other departments of nature, they 
would have fewer failures in connexion with tele¬ 
graphing, and other similar operations, than have 
generally fallen to their lot. 

As an incentive to new inquiry in this direction, it 
may he stated that we have seen a telegraph line 
charged and worked without the metal galvanic 
battery, by simply allowing the wire line to come in 
contact with the long blades of grass growing in 
swampy ground. The force from the dissolving, or 
decomposition of the soil yielding the grass, affected 
the line in a similar manner to a mineral battery, and 
induced the magnetism in the blades of grass, on the 
occasion referred to, to supply the wire with a much 
greater force than was necessary for the ordinary 
working of the line. 

In conclusion, the magnetism which is so abun¬ 
dantly possessed by iron, is also adherent in all other 
bodies, but in a much less marked degree. The 

magnet is only observed to exert its influence on 


iron, when the said iron is in a favourable condition 
for the purpose; so all bodies when in favourable 



positions and conditions, principally attract or repel 
their own kind; although a large body, like the 
earth, composed of every variety of substances, will 
attract materials of every kind. 

The apple that Sir Isaac Newton saw fall by the 
law of gravitation, was attracted by the law of 
magnetism to the earth, from which it had been pro¬ 
duced ; because the earth contained the same kind of 
material as that which composed the apple. The tree 
kept the apple as long as it had the power to do so ; 
but as soon as the attraction of the earth became 
more powerful than the tenacity or attraction of the 
tree, it fell. Sir Isaac NewtoiBs grand discoveiy 
about the law of gravitation may then merge into, or 
become a branch of, the more comprehensive and 
universal law of Atomagnetism, for by the following 
simple experiment we prove the theory of gravitation 
to be not universal. Take a bar of steel, not ma«-ne- 
tized, and balance it in the middle; then merely 
touch it with a powerful magnet, to charge it with 
magnetism, and one end—that which attracts the 
south point of the compass—immediately falls. Can 
gravitation explain this. No. But atomagnetism 
can, for the earth being also a magnet, it attracts 
that pole of any other magnet which is the reverse 
of its own polarity. We at this part of the earth— 
north of the equator—are placed far towards the 
north pole, consequently the opposite or south pole of 
a magnet is attracted to the earth. If the same bar 
is balanced anew, and its whole polarity is again 

i 2 



reversed, the other end will fall. The experiment 
may be repeated again and again with the same 

Sir Isaac Newton himself was evidently not satis¬ 
fied with his discoveries, for he said :—“ To derive 
two or three general principles of motion from pheno¬ 
mena, and afterwards to tell us how the properties 
and actions of all corporeal things follow from those 
manifest principles, would be a great step in philo¬ 
sophy.” This we believe atomagnetism can do. 

Before closing this chapter, we would like to say a 
few words on the deviation of the compass in ships, 
for the loss of life and property on the North 
American coast and other shores of late has, through 
this and other causes, been lamentable. 

Notwithstanding the long time that the mariner’s 
compass has been used, scientific as well as practical 
men seem to he as ignorant as ever of the influences 
to which the needle is subject, and to have learned 
absolutely nothing in this respect to efficiently protect 
their vessels from danger. Since the introduction of 
iron vessels also, accidents have become more nume¬ 
rous, even as high, compared, with wooden vessels, as 
8 to 1; and yet the only invention brought into use 
to prevent the deviations is one of the most stupid, 
not to say dangerous, that could have been thought 
of—viz., the placing of fixed magnets on the deck of 
a vessel under the compass. The one thing abso¬ 
lutely required in the use of a compass is perfect free¬ 
dom from all magnetic influence, except that of the 



earth's polarity; and yet fixed magnets are placed in 
such a manner, that if the ship alters its position or 
its course, by storm or otherwise, the true marking of 
the compass is lost altogether. 

In wooden vessels there is not so much danger of 
deviation as in an iron vessel, and the only care neces¬ 
sary is that no iron of any description be placed near 
the compass. Any metal required for the fitting up 
of a ship also should be of composition. Care more¬ 
over should be taken with the description of cargo 
stowed under or near the compass. 

We read lately of a captain who sailed from New 
York for Japan, with a cargo of petroleum in tin 
cases, and after being out a day, found that he was 
going more southwardly than he expected. On 
making an examination of the compasses, and trying 
them in different parts of his ship, be found that any¬ 
where within three feet of the main deck they were 
alike, but on raising them six feet and over, they 
showed differently. He thus discovered that the tin 
cans had caused the deviation, as they were merely 
sheet iron covered with tin; so during the remainder 
of the voyage he steered with a compass fixed half¬ 
way up the mizenmast. He stated that if he had 
sailed from Boston in thick weather, instead of from 
New York, it was highly probable he should have lost 
his vessel on Cape Cod. But it would not require a 
full cargo of tin cans to make such difference in the 
compass, as only one tin can, if sufficiently near, would 
affect it. Before iron ships came into use we heard 



an account of a difficulty from compasses on board 
one of H.M. ships, the officers finding an error in her 
position after every night's sailing. An investigation 
showed it to be caused by the officer of the night 
watch carelessly placing his speaking trumpet in the 
binnacle, alongside of the compass, when he came on 

The influences to which compasses in iron ships or 
steamers are subject, are more numerous. 

The first great cause of deviation is from the iron 
sides and projections of the vessel, all iron projections, 
such as stanchions, davits, etc., acting as separate poles 
of the ship's magnetism. 

The uppermost sides of the ship and the projec¬ 
tions will always—in northern latitudes—attract the 

north" point of the compass. Thus, if the ship rolls 
heavily from side to side, the compasses will move 
from side to side with every roll. But if the ship 
sails with a steady list to one side, the north point of 
the compass will keep inclining to the uppermost side 
as long as the ship is in this position. A vessel from 
this cause is apt to go a long way out of her course, 
and instead of attributing the trouble to the deviation 
of the compass, currents are stated to have caused it. 

The steering apparatus of many steamers in the 
wheel-house is also composed of iron and steel, and 
these act as the poles of the ship's magnetism. They 
not only at all times affect the compass, but the effect 
varies as the helm is shifted hard a-port or starboard, 
the joints of the screw steering gear sometimes ad vane- 



ing towards, or receding from, the compass, thus at¬ 
tracting the north point of the needle, or repelling the 
south. Again, when steam is up in the boilers, the 
magnetic influence of the whole machinery is increased 
by the action from them. Care in observations should 
also be taken in approaching a rocky iron-bound coast, 
particularly such as that of Nova Scotia, where the 
S.S. Atlantic and the City of Washington were lost; 
because the strata of rock is nearly vertical, and in 
consequence it allows the escape of mineral emanations 
from the interior of the earth to influence the ship’s 
magnetism, and thus to alter her compasses. A con¬ 
siderable deviation might thereby be induced without 
any apparent cause for it. 

A writer in the Nautical Magazine very recently 
gave some facts showing that compass deviations 
occurred from the unequal warming of a ship’s 
metallic hull. He illustrated his meaning by the case 
of an iron steamship going up the Red Sea, which 
had the rays of a blazing sun impinging on one side 
of her hull in the evening, the effect being a very 
marked difference in the morning and evening devia¬ 
tion. The writer suggested that his views should be 
put to a crucial test. The head of the Admiralty 
Compass Department, however, sharply replied to 
him for his presumption in proposing such a magnetic 
inquiry, and severely criticised him on the ground that 
his own observations had brought no such result to light . 
Thus is science always kept hack by those in autho¬ 
rity unless they are themselves the leaders. We refer 

] 20 


to teachers of science particularly. They do not 
believe that wisdom may come from the mouths of 
babes and sucklings. They resemble that celebrated 
Pope who threatened to burn Galileo for differing 
with him in his opinions regarding the movements of 
the earth and sun ; or like Petruchio, in The Taming of 
the Shrew , who insisted that if he called the moon the 
sun it was to be so named, whether he was right or 
not. Notwithstanding all authoritative assertions to 
the contrary, the increase of magnetic action does 
exist from the causes assigned, just as much as this 
Admiralty servant’s blood would circulate much more 
rapidly after a horsewhipping, than before. 

The best safeguard, with due care, would in most 
instances, be the fixing of a compass at such a dis¬ 
tance above the deck as would be beyond any local 
influence. And yet with this precaution the most 
absurd mistakes are made; for in many steamers we 
have seen the compass elevated on the mast, but fixed 
there under iron crosstrees, where it was almost 
directly in contact with the dangerous influence 
that was sought to be avoided. 

For the safety of life and property, all sailors in 
particular, should know these simple facts; and all 
iron vessels should be examined and reported upon, 
concerning such parts of their construction or fittings 
as are liable to derange the compasses. 



Difficult problem in Science — Prof. Tyndall’s explanation not satis¬ 
factory—Sound vibrations and light vibrations—Sound generates 
heat—How long fifty organs would take to heat St. Paul’s 
Cathedral ?—Sound in summer and winter—How we hear fifty 
sounds at the same time — Echoes—New theory of Sound — A 
sympathy between the mineral atoms of matter—Iron a better 
conductor than wood—If a man has sympathy, why should not 
anatom?—Dancing flames — Tyndall’s new theory of Sound — 
Experiments at the South Foreland, England — Vapour in 

An explanation of the phenomenon of Sound we 
consider to be one of the most difficult problems in 
science, and the manner in which it has been explained 
by Prof Tyndall, and others, is far from satisfactory. 
For instance, he says sound, light, and heat are all 
caused bv the vibrations of the atoms of the at- 


mcsphere. But sound, light, and heat all travel at 
different rates of speed, and in order to surmount this 
difficulty he says :— u They all vibrate different ways:” 
a most empirical and yet safe assertion, for it is be¬ 
yond the power of any experimenter or microscopist 
to demonstrate how atoms vibrate. 

Again he says :—■“ Sound generates heat.” “ Every 
sonorous vibration which speeds through the air of 
this room and wastes itself upon the walls, seats, and 



cushions is converted into the form with which the 
cycle of actions commenced—namely, into heat.” 
Theories like these are very easily advanced, hut 
rather difficult to prove. We would like to ask the 
professor how long-, under the most favourable circum¬ 
stances for accumulation, it would take fifty ordinary 
church organs to heat St. PauPs Cathedral. 

The experiments which are made in every Scientific 
Institution, to illustrate the various phases of sound 
and vibration, are both numerous and beautiful; but 
we fail to see that sound is vibration of the atoms of 
the atmosphere only, and that it cannot exist inde¬ 
pendently of such motion. For instance, if we sound 
a bugle on a warm summers day, and again on a 
clear frosty day, it is heard with twice the distinct¬ 
ness, and at twice the distance on the latter occa¬ 
sion, although the vibrations are theoretically the 

Again, metal is the best conductor of sound, and a 
long piece of iron, from its mineral character, will 
yield more sound when struck, than a similar piece of 
wood, although in theory the vibration is necessarily 
the same. 

Suppose a bar of iron, twenty feet long by twelve 
inches square, lay on the ground, and we strike it 
with a tiny hammer, sound would result, although it 
is impossible that the bar could vibrate. Again, if 
the bar were suspended and struck with the same force, 
we would have more sound, and yet there would be 
no vibration; thus showing that th eposition of atoms 



has a great deal to do with sound. If the material 
composing a bell were cast in any other shape, it 
would not yield nearly so much sound as when in the 
bell form. 

While we admit that in many instances vibration 
causes sound, and particular vibrations cause par¬ 
ticular notes, yet we could no more say vibration of 
itself was sound, than that a hammer was sound; for 
if the vibration of a bell caused sound, then the 
hammer caused vibration. These are only secondary 
causes; sound must be something deeper , some innate 
property of the atoms entirely independent of vibration 
or motion . 

Vibration also will produce sound from a tuning 
fork or a violin string, but that a special vibration of 
the air for each particular note, speeds from the 
instrument through the atmosphere to strike the 
listener’s ear, we deny. If this were the case, how is 
it possible for us to hear fifty different sounds at the 
same time ? 

It may be said that echoes prove there must be 
vibrations in the atmosphere, for the sound waves 
strike the obstruction and are forced back again. We 
disbelieve in sound waves altogether, and think it 
evident that if there were such phenomena, in striking 
the obstruction the waves would be so changed, that 
a note would be sent back of a different character 
from the one first sent. 

Taking everything into consideration, we submit 
the following theory of sound :— Sound is a property 



of sympathy between the mineral atoms of matter , in¬ 
duced in the first place by f riction or vibration. 

Thus we hear better on a frosty day, because the 
atmosphere has more mineral atoms in it than on a 
summer’s day. On the like principle, iron must be a 
better conductor of sound than wood. 

Thus also we can hear any number of sounds at the 
same time, for the sympathy of the atoms naturally 
repeats them all, whereas the vibrations of the at¬ 
mosphere, as defined by the theory referred to, would 
neutralize one another. 

So also in echoes, the sound is accumulated at the 
point of obstruction, and must necessarily come back 
without change. 

Human beings are endowed with a great amount 
of sympathy and thus will naturally laugh, or cry, or 
dance, just as the sounds they hear impel them. If 
human beings, who are only made up of a con¬ 
glomeration of atoms, should have sympathy, is it 
not likely that each individual atom is also propor¬ 
tionally possessed of it ? If a man should feel im¬ 
pelled to dance while under the influence of music, 
why should not the sympathetic atoms in a flame 
cause it to dance also ? 

There are many of the experiments relating to 
sound not easily to be explained, and many theories 
scarcely admitting of demonstration, but we think 
that fewer difficulties will present themselves by the 
explanation we have given, than by any other. 

Prof. Tyndall lately delivered a lecture at the Royal 



Institution, on Sound, giving an account of numerous 
experiments made off the South Foreland, at Dover, 
with steam whistles, trumpets and cannons, in order 
to determine the distance at which sounds could be 
heard at sea. The result of these observations is a 
New Theory of Sound, and it just tends to show how 
little dependence is to be placed on any theory of 
abstruse science, where the imagination is allowed 
considerable latitude—no permanent basis of natural 
science being established, which would enable any one 
to prove or disprove any startling assertion. 

The theory is not complete, but it is to the effect 
that the imagination has to picture vapour from sea 
and land, rising in layers; these layers presenting 
“ reflecting surfaces” to the passage of sound :—“ In 
the relative homogeneity of the atmosphere, or its 
being split up into many layers, we have a clue, 
which may enable us to arrive at a knowledge why 
sounds of equal intensity, will travel further in some 
days than others.” Long discussions and lectures 
will probably be the result of this discovery, till, 
when it is on the point of being universally adopted, 
another clue will be unfortunately discovered. 



Fire not so powerful as Water—Water in granite—Herschel on 
Rain—Rain caused by chemical action in the atmosphere—The 
Rain gauge—Rain forms in the lower atmosphere—Proctor and 
Kamtz on the reaso)i why—Rain shot out from clouds — Hers¬ 
chel on Rain storms—Climate of North America changing — 
Egypt cultivating the Palm for Rain—Forests and vegetation 
cause Rain — Herschel’s reason why , a failure—Drainage said 
to be bad — Chicago , St. Louis, once unhealthy — Why—No large 
city unhealthy—No air in Water—Fishes gills usedforfiltering 
food, not for breathing—The air they need produced from 
digestion—Can we produce or bring down Rain ?—Great battles 
in America were followed by Rain—The Cause — Coticlusion. 

The present chapter deals with one of the most 
powerful agencies in nature, by the medium of which 
all formations—animal, vegetable, and mineral—are 
by turns produced, dissolved, and again reformed. 

Many scientific men assert that fire is a more 
powerful agent than water. For dissipating and dis¬ 
solving it is so, but it does not rebuild, and cannot 
reproduce. It has been generally considered that all 
minerals, diamonds, and precious stones, besides 
granites and coal, have been formed from the action of 
fire; but scientific opinion is gradually veering round 
to a belief in the more powerful agency of water. 
Strange to say, granite when examined by a mi- 



croscope, is found by Dr. Sorby to have minute cells 
filled with water, a most emphatic demonstration that 
it has been formed by the medium of water; yet this 
has been explained away on the ground that it is 
condensed steam, or vapour, which was present 
during: its formation. How steam could exist where 
every substance (as believed) was in a molten state, 
and confined to the interior of the earth, is more than 
any one could imagine possible. 

If we except the atmosphere, there is nothing so 
abundant on this earth as water, for the oceans are 
larger than the continents, and the land even abounds 
in lakes and rivers, while the atmosphere itself is 
continually pouring down deluges of rain. What is 
this wonderful element, and how is it produced ? 

Natural philosophers tell us it is composed of 
oxygen and hydrogen—eight parts of oxygen to one 
of hydrogen—and that with these gases “ artificial” 
water can be easily manufactured in a laboratory. 
They also tell us that the most powerful combustion 
is produced by a combination of the same gases in 
different proportions. 

Agreeably with our atomagnetic system, we prefer 
to use simpler language and say: Water is the result 
of the simplest combination, next to air, of the two 
classes of matter in the form of gases. Moreover, 
because these gases can be made on a small scale only, 
by a certain chemical process, our teachers would have 
us believe that they are not to be found naturally in 
sufficient abundance in the atmosphere, and conse- 



quently, that rain is not formed by their combination 
in it. But they forget, or rather they do not per¬ 
ceive, that the earth itself is a vast laboratory, where 
hundreds of nature’s gases, of every description, are 
continually being manufactured by the agency of 
water in the interior, and thrown into the atmo¬ 
sphere, where they again reform and descend in the 
shape of rain, or snow, or hail, to repeat the same 
transformation below. 

They account for rain, therefore, by saying that all 
the water that comes down to us in that form, must 
have arisen first as vapour, and so remained for a 
time in invisible particles in the atmosphere, till it 
accumulated and fell again. Thus Prof. Tyndall 
in his “ Forms of Water ,” says :— c< Solar heat is the 
true origin of glaciers. The sun acting on the ocean 
within the tropics, causes an exhalation which floats 
away as clouds to the Polar regions, as well as the 
high mountain ranges, where, in each case, the clouds 
yield up their contents as snow or rain.” The too 
common practice of tracing everything to the sun is 
something to be deprecated, and, just as absurd, as to 
be for ever blaming Adam for all the ills and miseries 
that afflict the human race. There is no necessity for 
searching for a remote ancestry for any natural 
phenomenon, when its own immediate cause can be 
explained. Apart from this the theory is incorrect, 
as we will show further on. 

Thus, also. Sir John Herschel, in Good Words , 
1864, says :—“ Common sense assures us that all the 



rain, etc., which falls from the skies, must have 
originated in the sea, and must (if the present state 
of things is to endure) find its way hack to it.” 
Common sense is a very good guide for a man’s 
actions, but a poor guide to the study of science, unless 
the given principles of science are correct. In our 
opinion this theory would be merely distillation, 
which is an induced process, whereby the particles of 
water are expanded by heat, when confined in a vessel, 
so that their properties or compounds are in no way 
altered by coming in contact with other compounds 
or gases, and, if cold he applied, they then return to 
their former condition as water. Evaporation, on the 
other hand, is a chemical action, induced by cold as 
well as by heat, and is a throwing off into gases of the 
particles of the material acted upon. Thus we have 
seen the wet muddy streets of a city in spring dried 
up in a few hours by a piercing north wind, and such 
clouds of dust raised that would have taken the sun a 
day or two in summer to have accomplished. 

When bodies are evaporated into their original 
elements, either by heat or cold, or fire or water, and 
then allowed to come into contact with other smses | n 
the atmosphere, those compounds will be chemically 
changed into a variety of new compounds, and are 
thus in a position to produce a variety of atmospheric 
phenomena, such as rain, hail, snow, fog, clouds, 
lightning, thunder, and auroras. 

If all bodies can be converted into gases or their 
original elements, water cannot be an exception. The 




main scientific objection to this is the statement 
given by professors of chemistry, that oxygen is the 
most universal gas, for it is found in connexion with 
every other gas on earth, while hydrogen is only 
found beside metals. This is only apparently so. 
Vegetable gas must, as a matter of course, be con¬ 
tiguous to vegetation. It is also more dense than 
mineral gas, consequently we find it close to the earth. 
But as we ascend into the atmosphere the air becomes 
more cold and rarefied, so that we breathe with diffi¬ 
culty. This atmosphere cannot be composed princi¬ 
pally of oxygen or vegetable gas, for no vegetation 
grows on the tops of high mountains; it must then 
partake more of the hydrogen or mineral gas. If a 
large quantity of this oxygen should come in contact 
with the hydrogen, the result would probably be 
cloud and then rain; not on account of the tem¬ 
perature of the gases, but of their opposite characters 
causing a reciprocation and chemical action. Let 
us give a common illustration: The weather (in 
winter) has been cold for several days, with the wind 
blowing from the north, so that everything is frozen 
hard. Suddenly the wind veers round to the south. 
The consequence is we first have snow (which is a 
compound of the gases when they are both cold or 
below 3&° F.), and as the south wind prevails the tem¬ 
perature of both gases rises, or rather the south wind 
so overpowers the north that it turns to rain. 

What is the philosophy of this ? 

The north wind is composed of a large proportion 



of mineral atoms—emanating from the pole—which 
permeate everything, so that when the south wind 
blows with its large allowance of vegetable gas, 
brought from the region of the tropics, or where 
there is a warm sun and abundance of vegetation, 
there is an immediate change of combination with 
the result mentioned. 

The rain or snow which deluges us does not 
necessarily come from the Gulf Stream, or result 
from the evaporation of the Atlantic, as is generally 
assumed, but from the atmosphere which immediately 
surrounds us. Rain also does not necessarily fall 
from a distance of some hundreds of yards above us, 
but may be formed only a few feet over our heads. 
This is proved by observations which have been taken 
lately, showing that the nearer the rain gauge is kept 
to the surface of the earth, the greater is the rainfall 
indicated. The process of rain formation is every¬ 
where in the atmosphere up to a certain height, and 
even down to, and on, the surface of the earth. 

Thus it is we have fogs from a similar union of 
gases. The opacity is occasioned, we believe, from 
the poles of the atoms—by reciprocating with others 
—being all turned on end, or reversed. When the 
atoms have combined and are in position, they are 
again transparent. Thus if we allow sugar to crys¬ 
tallize quietly it will be transparent, but stir the syrup, 
and it becomes opaque. If water freezes on a calm 
evening, it is transparent, because the atoms are un¬ 
disturbed,—thus we have seen the fish in the East 

’ k 2 



river of Pictou, Nova Scotia, gliding along under the 
ice, and yet the latter was so thick that horses and 
sleighs were travelling over it. But if the wind 
blows during the process of freezing—as we once 
observed on Dunsappie Loch, near Edinburgh, Scot¬ 
land—the ice, no matter how thin, becomes milky 
white and obscure. So it is with many other 

Prof. Proctor, in an article on Bain, in the Intellec¬ 
tual Observer , alludes to these observations with the 
rain gauge, and says Kamtz explains it thus :—“ A 
drop carries with it the temperature of the upper 
region of air, and condenses on its surface the aqueous 
vapour present throughout the lower strata of the 
atmosphere, as a decanter of cold water does when 
brought out of a room.” 

But the mere immaterial sensation of cold could 
not produce a material substance like rain. The cold 
must either be a material substance itself, or it must 
have a material to represent it. We say cold, as 
experienced by us, is caused by hydrogen or mineral 
gas, being a property of it. If then a drop fell from 
the upper atmosphere and enlarged on entering the 
lower, it would not do so merely from the temperature, 
but because the hydrogen in the drop combined with 
the oxygen it came in contact with. Water forms on 
the outside of the decanter in a similar manner, not 
by reason of the temperature, but by the proximate 
cause of the temperature, the ice, sending forth 
mineral gas, which combining with the oxygen 



(or animal and vegetable gas in the room) forms 

Kamtz’s theory, such as it is, is supported by several 
well-known men, but Sir John Herschel applies the 
Dynamical Theory to it, and because it does not stand 
the test, he opposes it, but offers no explanation in 

Mr. Proctor, in concluding his article, thinks there 
is no difficulty in explaining the phenomenon, for he 
has observed that when rain is falling heavily small 
specks are seen flitting among them, which could not 
be caused by the collision of the drops, for they all 
fall paraljel. This, he says, shows rain is generated 
in the lower as well as the upper strata of atmosphere, 
for these specks are observed to be water. Why this 
is so, however, he does not profess to explain. A 
simple acquaintance with atomagnetic law will settle 
the question for ever. The idea that raindrops all 
fall parallel is not strictly correct, for we have seen 
them shot out from a cloud (like rays of sunlight), 
thus indicating that there is a force in the cloud 
which ejects, as well as forms the rain, when the 
combination of the materials present becomes repellent 
to it. 

The theory of rain-storms is very vague at the 
present time. Sir John Herschel, in the article we 
quoted from previously, asks: “ Is it in any degree 
in the power of man to alter the weather ?” This he 
tells us is not so absurd a question as it may appear, 
for from the registers of rainfalls which are kept all 



over England the rain would seem to have a preference 
for some places more than others. All well wooded 
districts are observed to have a large yearly rainfall, 
while waste barren moors are dry in comparison. He 
also says : “ The rainfall over large regions of North 
America is said to be gradually diminishing, and the 
climate otherwise altering in consequence of the clear¬ 
ance of the forests; while, on the other hand, under 
the beneficial influence of a largely increased culti¬ 
vation of the palm in Egypt, rain is annually becom¬ 
ing more frequent. Lakes are cited in what was 
formerly Spanish America (that of Nicaragua, if we 
mistake not, is one) whose water supply (derived, of 
course, from atmospheric sources) had been so largely 
diminished, owing to the denudation of the country 
under the Spanish regime, as to contract their areas 
and leave large tracts of their shores dry, which, now 
that the vegetation is again restored, are once more 
covered by their waters.” 

The reason why trees attract the rain is. Sir John 
says, ‘‘The foliage of the trees defends the soil beneath 
and around them from the sun’s direct rays, and 
disperses their heat in the air to be carried away by 
winds, and thus prevents the ground from being 
heated in the summer; while, on the other hand, a 
heated surface soil reacts by its radiation on the clouds 
as they pass over it, and thus prevents many a refresh¬ 
ing shower which they would otherwise deposit, or 
disperses them altogether.” 

We confess we cannot understand, neither does he 



explain, why a soil that is not heated will attract rain, 
or vice versa. How much simpler would it not be to 
say that well wooded districts attract or produce rain, 
because there is always an excess of vegetable gases 
in their vicinity which are ever ready to combine with 
the mineral winds that may be blown over them; 
while on a barren moor which has no sufficient supply 
of oxygen reciprocation seldom takes place ? 

“ Drainage,” Herschel also says, “is bad, for it 
cuts off a great deal of the supply of local evaporation, 
which is the material element in the amount of rain¬ 
fall.” We admit that drainage lessens the rainfall, 
not for the reason he gives, but because there is less 
concentrated activity in vegetable growth, and con¬ 
sequently a smaller supply of the vegetable exhalations 
necessary for forming rain. Still we would not say 
that drainage is bad, for a clump of trees at the end 
of a field would counteract the effect of drainage over 
a hundred acres; and, besides, the crop of cereal 
grown yields a very large quota of vegetable emana¬ 

These facts regarding vegetable exhalations give us 
an insight into the cause of fever and malaria. A 
hundred years ago the sites of many of those great 
western cities of America—St. Louis, Chicago, Cin¬ 
cinnati, and others—were fever swamps, full of all 
kinds of malaria, striking down the strongest man 
that took up his abode in their midst, yet they are 
now as healthy as any of the cities of the Republic. 
Why were these cities unhealthy ? Because there was 



too much vegetation along with decomposing vege¬ 
table matter, and in consequence more oxygen or 
vegetable gas in the atmosphere than is suitable for 
the health of man. We never hear of a city being a 
place of fever and ague, especially one which is largely 
built of brick and stone, unless the drainage and cleanli¬ 
ness are defective, for the vegetable emanations in its 
area are very scant. But allow the cities to go to 
ruin, let them be overrun with vegetation, like Palen- 
que and Uxmal in Central America, or those mag¬ 
nificent ruined cities of Cambodia in Siam, and they 
become as dangerous to the life of man as the worst 
ague swamps known. 

A curious fallacy expounded regarding water is that 
it contains a quantity of air. Prof. Tyndall proves 
this by saying that bubbles rise to the surface when 
water is boiled. But if we boil the water long enough 
it will all vanish into air or its original elements, 
therefore, according to Tyndall’s own showing, water 
is air. If water contained air we should think it 
would be enclosed when frozen into ice, but Prof. 
Tyndall declares that it is not so, “ for although ice 
is full of small bubbles, they are not filled with air.** 

Mr. H. Higgins, in Fraser’s Magazine , 1870, on 
“ The Water we Should Not Drink,” says : “ A con¬ 
siderable volume of air is absorbed by water.” “ In 
this and in other ways (bubbling over falls and among 
rocks) water receives atmospheric air, without which 
it would fail of the purposes for which it was ordained. 
It is necessary to the existence of the creatures who 


live in the water, and for the continued purity of the 
water itself.” 

This statement is plainly incorrect, for if water were 
capable of absorbing air by a process of agitation, then 
when we introduce a small quantity into a large vessel 
of water it ought to permeate imperceptibly through 
it, and not show itself, but it invariably (except when 
confined by pressure) comes to the surface in bubbles, 
thereby showing that water has an aversion to air 
although its action is continually producing air. 
Water may be, however, saturated with air by 
mechanical pressure, as in soda water or champagne, 
the pressure while corked not allowing the air to escape. 

The idea that fish use their gills to assimilate air 
for themselves is a grand mistake, for the motion of 
the mouth and gills of the fish is not a breathing 
process, but one for filtering or separating their food 
from the water with which it is combined. This can 
be proved by observing the peculiar construction of 
the gills of certain kinds of fish and the nature of their 
food. The shark and the dog-fish have but little or 
no gills (neither has the lobster), because their food 
is solid, and no filtering is necessary; but the whale, 
the herring, the mackerel, and others that are pro¬ 
vided with extensive gills, take in a small description 
of animalculse for food with the water, and having 
discharged the latter through their gills, as we see 
the whales in particular do, the food is then left in a 
fit state for them to swallow. From the fact already 
noticed that water does not contain any fixed air, the 



air necessary for the support of the fish is produced 
from the dissolving of the food in the stomach during 
the process of solution and digestion. 

The idea that air is generated by the dissolving and 
decomposition of food in the fish, is supported by 
deduction from natural facts, for we find that all 
decomposing or chemical action generates a gas or 
air. The drowned body of an animal, for instance, 
becomes inflated with gas—not from air contained in 
the water, but from the process of decomposition by 
the water—and the body rises to the surface, where 
it floats. 

The question has often been asked, Can we call 
down rain at will ? and it has been answered in 
different ways. We reply that under certain condi¬ 
tions it is possible, but the expense of doing so would 
he greater than the value returned. During the civil 
war in the United States, it was observed that every 
great battle fought in the South, was followed by 
deluges of rain and violent wind. It was then stated 
by many, in consequence, that we could easily bring 
down rain by merely discharging cannon. But during 
the Franco-Prussian war the like phenomenon was 
not observed, so the idea was declared a myth. Since 
the war, some scientific American wished his Govern¬ 
ment to lend him a few hundred guns to settle the 
question; but the Government very properly refused. 
It was thought the concussion of the guns caused the 
rain, but no vibration, however great, will cause rain 
to fall, unless the necessary materials are present in 



the atmosphere to furnish it. The rain was in part 
produced from the material used in firing the cannon, 
viz.: the gunpowder. As powder (sulphur, saltpetre, 
and charcoal) is composed principally of mineral in¬ 
gredients, these in passing into gases consequent on 
explosion, reciprocated with the abundant vegetable 
gases that filled the atmosphere in the Southern 
States, and in the first place formed clouds, then 
wind and rain. The same result would have followed, 
if the powder had been merely set on fire without 
the use of guns. The reason why no rain appeared 
on the occasion of the Prussian victories was, that 
they occurred in winter, and in places where no excess 
of vegetable gases existed in the atmosphere. 

In conclusion, as animal and vegetable bodies are 
composed of the same material elements as water,, let 
us apply our knowledge to a practical purpose. We 
cannot then perform our ablutions too often, and the 
more frequently we wash ourselves without becoming 
altogether amphibious, the more healthy we shall 
become. We cannot also, if at proper intervals, drink 
too much water, but it should always be preferred of 
the same temperature as the body. The frequent use 
of iced water is often injurious to health, and there is 
no doubt that in the present day it is used much too 



Chambers’s Journal— Baptista Borta nearly discovered the true 
theory of dew—Thought dew was condensed from air—Aristotle 
thought it was condensed from vapour—Musschenbroek kept back 
Meteorology one hundred years—Great discoveries often foiled 
by the stupidity of the world — Dr. Wells said to be the discoverer 
of the true dew theory—The radiation of heat, the basis—The 
cause of moon-blindness—Dew forms most readily on vegetation 
—Dew on wild strawberry leaves—Arguments against radiation 
—Observations with wool packs—Position everything—Calm and 
clear evenings essential—Dew is water—Produced in a similar 
way—The cause of fog and hoar frost—Roar frost spears of 

In Chambers’s Journal for 1868 is an article on the 
above subject, which pretends to settle the question 
definitely about the formation and phenomenon of 
dew; but, like most other explanations of natural 
phenomena, it fails for want of an accurate conception 
of natural law. 

We find in it, that Baptista Porta, nearly dis¬ 
covered (according to our view of it) the true theory 
of dew; but his notions are sneered at altogether, 
because they do not agree with dynamical principles. 

The old idea was, that dew was precipitated from 
the moon and stars; which also shed down cold. But 
the writer of the above-mentioned article states, that 



so far from shedding cold on the earth, astronomers 
and physicists show, that an important portion of the 
earth's heat supply is derived from the stars. A 
statement just as absurd as the other. 

Porta denied that the moon and stars had anything 
to do with dew. He discovered that dew was some¬ 
times deposited on the inside of glass panes; and 
again, that a glass bell placed over a plant in cold 
weather, was more copiously covered with dew within 
than without. He thought his observations justified 
him in looking on dew as condensed—not from vapour, 
as Aristotle thought, and as is now believed by the 
scientific world generally —but from the air itself. 
This, although not entirely correct, was a remarkable 
discovery, and had it been believed in then and 
worked up to, a great deal of blundering might 
have been avoided, and our knowledge of meteoro¬ 
logy would have been much further advanced than 
it is. 

Dew was generally supposed to fall , and people 
still continue to speak of its falling, but Porta's ex¬ 
periment showed that it rose from the earth, that it 
was an exhalation from the ground and from plants. 
In making observations to establish this view, Muss- 
chenbroek found that dew forms much more readily 
on some substances than others. This was supposed 
to be damaging to Porta's theory, for dew neither 
seemed to fall, nor to rise, but to be caused in a great 
measure by the nature of the substance on which it 
was found deposited. Had this circumstance only 



been searched into more minutely, it would have 
shown still more conclusively that Porta was right, 
and greater discoveries might have resulted from it. 
Yet it is always the way of the world, we are often on 
the eve of wonderful discoveries, by great minds who 
are ahead of their day and generation, but which are 
foiled by the stupidity of those for whose benefit they 
are designed, and who have not the brains to under¬ 
stand their tendency. 

The true theory, we are told, was at length dis¬ 
covered by Dr. Wells, of London, who made a series 
of observations with a number of little wool packs, and 
the result was :—“The rate of the deposition of dew, 
depends upon the rate at which bodies part with their 
heat by radiation. If the process of radiation is 
checked, dew is less copiously deposited, and vice 
versa ,For instance, we are told that the earth is 
continually throwing off its internal heat. If there 
are any clouds, the radiation is checked at night and 
there is no dew, but when it is clear, plenty of dew is 
the result. This, however, is incorrect, for we have 
often observed that on a clear night no dew is formed, 
because there was wind. A calm night is just as 
essential as a clear one. • 

Dr. Wells also asserts moon-blindness to be caused 
by the want of clouds to check the radiation of heat 
from the eye, which consequently becomes chilled. 
Moon-blindness, therefore, according to his theory, 
ought to be as frequent on clear starry nights as on 
clear moonlight nights, yet we never hear of persons 



being afflicted by it. This assertion, then, is as little 
to be relied on as the others. 

Let us now endeavour to find out the origin of 
dew from Atomagnetic law. 

Some objects have more dew formed on them than 
others. Grass and bushes in the morning are found 
covered with dew, while rocks and gravel roads are 
perfectly dry. We have seen on a dewy morning the 
serrated leaves of a wild strawberry plant encircled 
with a diadem of glistening pearly dew drops, for 
from each individual point hung a globule of dew ; 
showing, probably, where the leaf had exuded its 
gases, and where the natural action had concentrated. 
Metal, we are told, radiates very little heat, and no 
dew forms on it, yet if we place a piece of metal 
among grass, it will be covered with dew ; while a 
piece placed on the road bed will have none. What is 
the reason of this ? It cannot be that it radiated its 
heat quicker in the one place than in the other. This 
is one argument against the radiation theory. 

Again, if dew be formed by radiation, why is it 
that a glass bell placed over plants is covered with 
dew inside, but not outside, and that there is no dew 
on the plants themselves ? Obstructions between an 
object and the sky, we are told, check radiation, and 
prevent the formation of dew, yet here we have the 
plants radiating , and dew forming on the obstruction ! 

The whole series of observations, which led Dr. 
Wells to advance his theory, seem to have been con¬ 
ducted in a loose manner. He had a number of little 



wool packs which he exposed at night, some he 
covered, and some he did not; and it was by weighing 
the amount of dew which each contained, that he 
became convinced he had something to work on. He 
found, generally, that those packs which were hid 
from the sky, contained more moisture than the 
others. This ought to have been contrary to his 
theory, but he does not seem to have thought so. It 
does not appear that he thought the situation of his 
wool packs of any consequence, and if so, his observa¬ 
tions are of no value whatever, because position had 
everything to do with the deposition of dew on them. 
If he placed them in the centre of a broad road, with 
little vegetation around it, no dew would ever reach 
them; while if he placed them over grass, or among 
trees, they would be heavy with it. 

It will be observed that the action and formation 
of dew has thus been explained by secondary causes 
only. We are told, for instance, that glass radiates 
heat better than metal. Why it does so they cannot 
show us. That it radiates heat at all, is an assertion 
which is dogmatically laid down, and cannot be 
proved (heat being merely a property or condition of 

Two facts remain, however: that with few excep¬ 
tions, it is only on calm and clear evenings that dew 
is formed, and the warmer the day has been, the 
greater is the amount of deposition. It is evident, 
therefore, that some part of-the material necessary is 
derived from the upper atmosphere; and as dew is 



found principally beside vegetation, the other material 
comes from it. 

What then is dew? Dew is water, and it is formed 
in a similar manner to water, by a reciprocal or chemical 
action betiveen the two classes of matter — viz., the veget¬ 
able emanations rising from plants, reciprocating with 
those gases from the upper mineral atmosphere which on 
calm evenings descend and mingle. 

If the sky is cloudy, the same action is going on in 
forming the cloud, or making the cloud larger, there¬ 
fore it cannot work on the earth’s surface; and if it 
is windy, the gases take of necessity a horizontal 
direction, and do not meet in a suitable position to 
form dew, for each class is blown onwards at its own 

Sometimes the differing gases will be more dense, 
and meet in the lower atmosphere—the result is a fog; 
and if the cold mineral air is more powerful, the result 
is hoar frost. On the latter occasion, if a rounded 
stone or stick be examined, it will be observed that 
the spears of ice are longest at the highest points of 
the surface, and that they diminish on the sides, till 
they degenerate into a mere glistening powdered dust. 
Thus showing, in a humble way, the direct continuity 
in the action of atoms, before spoken of, and that the 
formation is caused by a direct reciprocation between 
the ascending and the descending gases. 




Atmosphere said to he composed of oxygen and nitrogen—An impos¬ 
sibility—Air in no two places the same—Balloon explorations — 
Gay-Lussac—Everything with life has an atmosphere—The 
atmosphere of the African—Impossible to get rid of it—The 
earth a living body—Has an Atmosphere composed of its own 
materials—The Atmosphere composed of hundreds of different 
compounds of materials — Stokms : Sir John Herschel and 
Prof Rogers on Storms—Magnetic curves from the poles of 
the earth, the cause of wind and storms—Cause of Equatorial 
calms—Maury on cyclones—Description of a so-called Circular 
Storm—Hints for Weather Prophets. 

In school books we are told that air is composed of 
“ 20 parts of oxygen to 80 parts of nitrogen.” What 
nitrogen is we are not told, but from the way it is 
made artificially, we should imagine it to be of a 
vegetable character. As oxygen is of the same nature, 
there must he some of the other elements—as a 
mineral—to counteract and modify the vegetable, 
else the atmosphere would he unfit for man or beast 
to live in. Besides, we do not find the air in any 
two places to he the same. The air of the city is 
different from that of the country, and the sea air 
from the air near a lake. The air at the tropics is 
different from that of temperate or polar regions, and 



the air on a mountain top from that in the valley. 
All the atmospheric phenomena we see—fog, rain, 
lightning, hail, snow, and cloud formations—show us 
that the constitution of the atmosphere is continually 
changing. Therefore, to say the atmosphere is com¬ 
posed of two kinds of gases, in certain proportions as 
elements, and nothing else, is simply ridiculous. 

Researches have been made in balloons to discover 
whether the atmosphere decreases in density and 
temperature at any regular rate, but with no very 
successful results. Gay-Lussac, a Frenchman, found 
the temperature at 22,000 feet high to be 15°, while 
other balloonists found it 30° below zero, thus show¬ 
ing that the temperature and composition of the higher 
atmosphere varies in a like degree to that on the 
earth, and is subject to the different conditions and 
positions of its surroundings, or the material with 
which it comes in contact. 

What, then, is our atmosphere composed of? We 
have stated before that everything with life, or having 
a life action, has an atmosphere consisting of emana¬ 
tions from itself. In life action the plant or animal 
is continually throwing off waste material into the 
atmosphere through its outer covering. This keeps 
around it an atmosphere of its own, peculiarities of 
which may generally be detected by the organ of 
smell. Thus we have the atmosphere of a rose, sweet 
brier, a horse, a cow, a rabbit, an African, or a Euro¬ 
pean. The atmosphere is thus part and parcel of the 
body, and it would be as impossible for animals to 

L 2 



avoid or cut off their shadows as their emanations. 
The earth, then, is a vast body having a life action. 
It is composed probably of hundreds of different kinds 
of mineral and vegetable atoms. These, by the action 
of water in the interior, are continually forming, dis¬ 
solving, and re-forming into the different substances 
found in Nature’s arcana, and all the time throwing 
off gases, which find their way through fissures in the 
rock, through volcanoes, and in other ways to the 
surface of the earth, where they again take up a posi¬ 
tion in the atmosphere according to their density. 
The light mineral gases all ascend and take up a 
position in the higher atmosphere, while the vegetable 
gases, being more dense, remain near the surface. 

Just also as a man, or other animal, has a coating 
of hair on the skin, so is our earth bristled all over 
(except at high polar latitudes) with an edging of 
vegetation, which is thrown out on every side by the 
atomagnetic repellent force of nature, after being 
produced by the dissolving process of water and ele¬ 
ments on the surface. Thus thousands of varieties of 
trees and plants have been, and are being, continuously 
produced, each with a different exhalation, because 
composed in varying proportions of different vegetable 
and mineral materials; consequently thousands of 
differing; vegetable as well as mineral gases mingle 
in our atmosphere. It will be seen, therefore, that 
to define our atmosphere as composed only of two 
particular gases is clearly incorrect. Enough it is for 
us to know that, as we ourselves and every living 


thing are composed elementally of certain proportions 
of mineral and vegetable atoms, so the atmosphere 
adapted for our use is also composed of certain pro¬ 
portions of the same; and, as in overloading the 
stomach with one description of either vegetable or 
mineral food we bring on disease and death, so wher¬ 
ever there is an atmosphere with an excess of one gas 
or the other it is also a dangerous place for us to live 
in. We should, therefore, learn the nature and action 
of those materials, and be able by what we eat and 
drink to adapt ourselves to any climate or atmosphere. 

A great deal has been said in these latter days about 
a substance alleged to exist in the atmosphere, and 
which is considered beneficial to health. In order to 
show how little it is known, and how those who write 
about it contradict themselves and expose their igno¬ 
rance while endeavouring to define its character, we 
give a few extracts from an article on “ Ozone*’ in 
The Scientific American, February, 1874:— 

“ Ozone is generated by lightning flashes !** 
<e Ozone is oxygen in a negatively electric state .** 
“ Evaporation of saline solutions disengages ozone.** 
“ Ozone is found near the sea.** u Ozone is heavier 
than oxygen.** 

Another experimenter in New York discovered that 
matches dipped in water and hung up cleared the 
atmosphere by generating ozone. We would suggest 
that they would be more efficacious if burnt. We 
have read of some other philosopher who declared the 
best place for generating ozone was a swamp l We 



thus have it stated that ozone is a vegetable gas, and 
as often that it is a mineral gas. Our readers, we 
think, will be more inclined to side with us when we 
state the whole discovery to he a delusion. If exha¬ 
lations for purifying the air are wanted it is not neces¬ 
sary to institute a search for ozone. If the air is 
poisoned with vegetable or animal matter then any 
mineral burnt and given off as gas will purify it, and 
vice versa. 


From what we have advanced regarding the com¬ 
position and formation of the atmosphere and the 
cause of rain, in a previous chapter, it would not be 
difficult now to arrive at the cause of winds and storms, 
and it may not be amiss to lay down some proposi¬ 
tions which may tend to assist those devoted to the 
study of meteorology in their predictions of coming 

Sir John Herschel, in Good Words , 1864, has a 
long article on the subject of Weather and Weather 

Prophets, in which he tries to show that the trade 


winds, and all others, are caused by the sun attract¬ 
ing the vapour from the earth, thus making a kind 
of vacuum, towards which the winds rush from all 

Prof. Rogers, in Good Words, 1863, also says: 
“The wind and every material movement of the 
atmosphere is primarily, as we all know, a consequence 
of the unequal warming by the sun of the different 
latitudes and tracts of the globed varied surface.” 



This we deny, and believe it is one of those empirical 
assertions which are not sustained by facts in nature. 
That the sun has an influence in causing winds we 
admit, for the heat induced by it locally in certain 
situations so increases the growth and life action of 
plants—in swamps, for instance—that vast quantities 
of vegetable gases are released, and these, by coming 
in contact with the mineral emanations floating in 
the atmosphere—near hills, for instance—a reciprocal 
action is sure to take place. The gases will thus mingle, 
form cloud and rain, and descend , creating a vacuum, 
which attracts the atmosphere from all quarters, thus 
producing wind. A vacuum, therefore, is not caused 
by the vapour ascending , as Sir John Herschel says, 
but by the gases coalescing, occupying less space as 
vapour and water, and then descending to the earth. 

In place of HerscheFs and Rogers 5 untenable 
theories we present the following :—The “ magnetic 
curves 55 formed by the opposite poles of a magnet 
with iron filings—as explained in the chapter on 
Magnetism—suggest a theory of wind currents over 
the surface of the globe, which accounts for the cause 
of almost all storms. If there is a powerful current 
existing between the two poles of a magnet, then, as 
the earth is a magnet and has two poles, there must 
be a similar current forcing its way from both the 
North and South Pole towards the Equator. This 
current, therefore, drives the cold mineral winds from 
the poles into contact with the warm vegetable exhala¬ 
tions from central latitudes, and causes—along with 



the special reciprocation necessary in each case-—all 
the atmospheric phenomena we are acquainted with. 

Thus the calms in the “ Horse” latitudes, near the 
Equator, which last for days, and during which deluges 
of rain fall continuously, are easily accounted for, 
because the two opposing Polar currents, striving to 
meet there, are- intercepted by the dense vegetable 
gases accumulated on either side of the Equator, and 
by reciprocating with each other they condense as 
rain. This, of course, occurs only at certain seasons. 
As the earth changes its position with regard to the 
sun, so does the latitude change which is to be the 
scene of the warfare, or rather of marriage, between 
the opposing gases. Thus in winter the rainy season 
is far to the south, near the Equator, because the 
Polar winds have the mastery over us. As the spring 
advances we—in the Temperate regions—are enveloped 
by the belt of rain, and when summer comes the waters 
have passed over us, and are reciprocating far away to 
the northward, because the vegetable emanations in 
summer, owing to the heat of the sun, have now 
gained the mastery. As autumn and winter advance 
the Polar, current regains its strength, and again drives 
everything before it. 

Faraday, in his works, indicated some figures of 
magnetic curves, which show iron filings to arrange 
themselves round three centres in a magnet, one at 
either end, and the third in the centre. The central 
curve could have existed only in his imagination, for 
the centre of a magnet will not attract even the 



smallest particle of iron. Maury, in his Geography of 
the Sea , copies these figures, without ever testing the 
experiment himself, and in trying to deduce a theory 
of wind currents from them he of course fails. Thus 
here we have another of those false beacons anchored 
in the ocean of knowledge, which has lured to destruc¬ 
tion or made shipwreck of—in a scientific point of 
view—one of the most eminent men of science America 
has produced, and that, too, while he was far on the 
voyage and at the threshold of discovery, for there 
are many facts in his book which indicate that he only 
wanted to know of the existence of this great magnetic 
current from the North to the South Pole to make 
everything clear to him; but an unquestioning faith 
betrayed him. Faith, although essential in religion, 
is often as the wrecker’s light or the phantom mirage 
to him who trusts in fallible man. 

A curious idea seems to be prevalent, and it is 
strongly supported by Prof. Thompson B. Maury, of 
Washington, U.S., that all storms are cyclonic or 
circular in movement—that is, the winds all blow 
round a centre. Such occurrences are very rare indeed, 
and then whirlpools and waterspouts are the result. 

In most of the instances mentioned of these storms 


they are traceable directly to a centre, but not round 

In the World of Science there appeared some years 
ago an article on a, so-called, circular storm, which 
passed over the ship Solent at St. Thomas. This is 
accompanied by a diagram, showing the direction of 



the wind on the ship, at different intervals during 
the storm. First there was a tremendous gale of 
wind:—“ The barometer falling, at nine a.m., the 
storm increased, and at noon it was blowing a fearful 
hurricane, wind steady at N.N.W. hf. W.; at 12.15 
P.M., it fell a dead calm , with a considerable sea ; . . . 
at 12.40 p.m., it became almost dark; and of a sudden, 
a most fearful and terrible rush of wind succeeded 
from S.S.E. hf. E. (a directly opposite point), and 
struck the ship on the port broadside, keeling her 
over on her beam ends, blowing her fore and mizen- 
mast right out of her. ... At 1 p.m., the barometer 
began to rise; 2 p.m., rising gradually, the wind steady 
at S.S.E. hf. E.” This diagram shows the storm to 
be round a centre, strictly according to the accepted 
theory. But how is it possible to make the circular 
force correspond with the facts as stated, where the 
wind blew furiously from only two directly opposite 
points, into a dead calm, which lasted some twenty- 
five or thirty minutes, and during the calm at noon , it 
was almost darlc ? How in this case can they account 
for the calm between the gales, or in the centre ? 
Generally the focus of any whirlwind, or whirlpool, 
shows the most violent disturbance. Such a storm as 
we have described, if circular, must of necessity have 
resulted in some such tremendous central commotion. 
There could not possibly be a calm. If, instead of 
saying the winds blew round a centre, we say they 
blew into a centre, then the whole phenomena can be 
easily accounted for. A deluge of rain poured con- 



tinually during the calm, accompanied with intense 
darkness. The rain and darkness were caused from 
the reciprocation of those contending and combining 
currents of vegetable and mineral air, which blew 
from exactly opposite directions; the calm showing 
where the centre of union formed a dense dark cloud 
and deluge of rain. By condensing into cloud or rain, 
these gases would necessarily occupy much less space, 
and as their horizontal force was spent, they would 
then form a vacuum, and attract the surrounding 
gases until they were neutralized—only then would 
there be rest and a clear atmosphere. 

In Chicago, United States, during January, 1873, 
we happened to witness a great snow storm accom¬ 
panied by violent wind. Nothing like it had occurred 
for years before, and on examining the maps issued next 
day from the weather office, showing the direction of 
the wind at different stations all over the continent, 
we observed that for hundreds of miles around the 
city the wind was trending towards, or to one side of 
it. The most distant points had wind without either 
snow or rain, those nearest had either rain or snow, 
according to the temperature of the locality, while at 
and around Chicago there was nothing but snow. 

o o 

If those who are stationed at meteorological obser¬ 
vatories, in inland towns especially, paid due attention 
to the nature, temperature, velocity, and direction of 
the wind, as sent to them in the reports from the 
surrounding districts, the exact locality of any storm 
might easily be designated twenty-four hours before- 



hand. The temperature and character of the gases 
must also be considered, for many while on the way 
to the storm centre, might reciprocate with each 
other, and beget a little storm centre on their own 



Nothing so much to do with our discomforts as Food—The body a 
machine—Professor Lyon Playfair on Food — Liebig's classes of 
food—Flesh formers—Heat givers, and mineral ingredients —■ 
Knows nothing of the action of the last class — Contradictions — 
Experiments by scientific men always conducted too loosely — 
Animal food only concentrated vegetable matter—English 
Navvies and Arabs—Sepoys and GhoorJcas—How much an 
Esquimaux eats, according to Sir John Ross—Canadian Indians 
and salt—Criminals in Holland—The Scotch and Indigestion — 
The action of minerals in the body — Alcohol : Its action in the 
body—Will support no germ of life—Does not change like other 
food—Ignorance of doctors—Local diseases induced by alcohol. 

One of the most important matters connected with 
health and comfort is the food we eat. Nothing else 
has so much to do with the trifling little annoyances 
to which we are subject, and those irritations of 
temper, lassitudes, and headaches which worry and 
annoy us. The body is like a machine, which is 
almost wholly sustained, repaired, and kept in 
thorough working order—or injured and destroyed— 
by that which we put into it. Any one who desires 
to prove this can easily do so. Let him starve for a 
short time, and he will soon find his flesh reduced, 
and his bones showing their form. Or let him eat 



but one kind of food for a few days, sucli as plum 
pudding, and see how miserable he will feel. Or let 
him drink a bottle of champagne in the evening, and 
observe how incapable of work he is next morning. 
Much lesser ordeals than these, however, suffice to 
make one miserable and out of sorts. 

How necessary is it, therefore, that we should strive 
to know the nature of our bodies, and of the food 
we eat. 

Half the ailments that people are troubled with 
could easily be avoided, if a little more attention were 
paid to the kind of food required, the time of eating 
it, the quality of each kind actually necessary, and 
the manner in which it is eaten. 

Prof. Lyon Playfair has two excellent articles on 
The Nature and Composition of Food in Good Words , 
1865, which we propose to discuss; but, while he 
gives an immense fund of useful and practical infor¬ 
mation, he yet admits that neither he nor any other 
chemist can explain the working of the mineral matter 
which we are obliged to take in our food, and how it 
is we cannot digest anything, or even exist without it. 

Liebig, he tells us, classes all food into three divi¬ 
sions : (1.) Flesh formers. (2.) Heat givers. (3.) 
Mineral ingredients. Many philosophers object to 
this classification, but Playfair insists on supporting 
and upholding it. We, however, object to it on much 
the same grounds as his opponents—viz., that flesh 
could neither be formed, nor heat given, without a 
mixture of at least two of the classes. If, moreover, 


he knows nothing about the working of one of the 
divisions, his statements about the other two are not 
much to be relied on, because, like all other chemical 
actions, the atoms must work in unison. Playfair 
asrain contradicts himself from his own “ Table of 
Food,^ for he says :—“ The Esquimaux live on heat 
givers principally ” Yet we find that some of the 
greatest heat givers are vegetable substances, such as 
sugar, rice, flour, and oatmeal, but the Esquimaux 
does not eat them—he prefers, or rather is compelled 
to eat meat and blubber, while the people of warm 
climates eat those very substances which are stated to 
give the most heat. "Why then do the Esquimaux 
live on blubber? We say on account of their living in 
a cold mineral region, they require the strongest 
vegetable food they can find, to counteract the in¬ 
fluence of the cold atmosphere. This they get in 
animal food, which is merely concentrated vegetable 
substance. Thus it is we can eat more meat in winter 
than in summer, and the people of hot climates are 
content with the simplest vegetable diet, along with 
so much mineral, such as salt, as they can relish. 

Playfair also tells us the principal flesh former is 
animal food. But some of the strongest and largest 
animals are vegetarians; such as the elephant, the 
rhinoceros, the hippopotamus, the buffalo, the cow, 
and the horse; while those animals which supply us 
with our animal food all live on vegetables. 

We think Liebig^s division of food altogether erro¬ 
neous, for no account seems to be taken of the 



climate, and tliat is everything in importance. What 
would form flesh in the Esquimaux would only breed 
sickness or disease in an Arab, and vice versa. 

The experiments made by scientific men to prove 
certain formulas, are all done far too loosely. They 
seldom think anything of the nature , position, and 
condition of the material, or the locality in which 
they are theorizing, or of the nature of the object 
operated on; and thus their generalizations can seldom 
be depended on as correct. If a man, therefore, were 
to diet himself by Playfair’s Tables, with the expec¬ 
tation of forming flesh or losing it, he would probably 
end by being sick ; because, for any such purpose, 
these Tables are absolutely worthless until the nature 
and action of the mineral ingredients in food are ex¬ 
plained. When these are known, they may then 
become valuable for reference. Before explaining 
this action let us give a few facts concerning the 
nature and character of food. 

We explained before, that animals are formed from 
an excess of vegetable matter. Animal and vegetable 
food, therefore, we class as one, while mineral forms a 
class by itself. 

From chemical analysis, we find that mineral matter 
is associated with all substances in their formations. 

The close connexion also that exists between animal 
and vegetable substances, is shown in the following 
quotation from Playfair’s essay :—“ In all kinds of 
vegetable food capable of affording nutrition, there 
are certain substances which are not only alike, but 


essentially the same in composition, as the principles 
of which the animal body consists. The albumen of 
the white of an egg is equally found in the cabbage. 
The fibrin, which forms an important part of blood, 
and the chief part of flesh, abounds in wheaten flour 
and in the cauliflower. The casein or cheese which is 
obtained from milk is present still more abundantly 
in peas and beans, and from which the Chinese in 
reality extract and make cheese for sale.” “ Human 
fat also exists in palm oil; the fat of train oil—as got 
from the whale—is also found in the root of valerian; 
and the fat of mutton and beef exists in cocoa beans.” 

Is it any wonder then that minute animals should 
spontaneously spring from these vegetable produc¬ 
tions when in favourable conditions ? They all con¬ 
tain very little mineral matter, and this accounts for 
what microscopists tell us of brown sugar—that the 
cheapest kinds are often a mass of living creatures. 

As meat then is only concentrated vegetable matter, 
it follows that as it is the nature of man to eat both, 
those who feed on animal food are likely to be the 
strongest race of men, and so we find it. Playfair 
says that one English navvy will do as much work as 
four rice-eating Arabs. The Sepoys, moreover, who 
gave us so much trouble in India, were the flesh¬ 
eating men of the upper provinces, while our best 
allies were the Ghoorkas, who are also omnivorous. 

As previously mentioned, the season and climate 
have a great deal to do with the variety, quantity, 
and quality of the food to be taken. In a warm 




climate, or in summer, when the atmosphere is 
charged with vegetable gases, a vegetable diet, ac¬ 
companied by plenty of salt as mineral matter, 
suffices for our wants. While in a cold climate, or 
in winter, we require the strongest animal food we 
can obtain, accompanied by very little mineral matter, 
and this we get in animal food. 

Thus we find the Arab and the African using great 
quantities of salt with their vegetables—the children 
sucking rock salt as ours here do sticks of candy. 
The Esquimaux again, as Sir John Ross assures us, 
can consume daily 20 lbs. of flesh and oil. Sometimes 
he will wash down this enormous mass with a quart 
or two of train oil, and finish with, as a dessert, a 
dozen tallow candles. They eat very little salt, and 
their first demand in spring is for a supply of it. 
The Indians in Canada live in a similar manner; the 
villages near their winter encampments being besieged 
in spring for the same article. 

Concerning the mineral ingredients of our food, 
Prof. Playfair says :—“ Unfortunately the knowledge 
of this subject is far from being precise; certain 
mineral bodies such as phosphate of lime, magnesia, 
soda, potash, common salt, the sulphates of the alka¬ 
line bases, and oxide of iron, are absolutely essen¬ 
tial to nutrition. It was formerly a punishment in 
Holland, to feed great criminals on food free from 
salt; and they are stated to have been subject to the 
most loathsome diseases.” 

“ Undoubtedly it is essential to the processes of 


digestion and assimilation, although we cannot ex¬ 
plain more than a few of its actions.” “ If all the 
organic elements of nutrition—the flesh formers, and 
heat givers, were presented to an animal in abundance, 
in the absence of these mineral substances, the animal 
would not only cease to thrive, but all nutrition would 
he impossible.” “ Our information on this subject is 
very meagre, and while we recognise the importance 
of these mineral ingredients of food, chemists do not 
at present profess to explain their action;” 

We dare say our readers, by this time, are able 
themselves to explain the mystery to Prof. Playfair. 
We have already said that all dissolving processes are 
caused by chemical action. Digestion is a similar 
action, and chiefly a reciprocation between the two 
classes of matter—mineral and vegetable. As our 
food then is principally vegetable, no motion will take 
place in it unless it is accompanied with a quantity 
of mineral matter, when every individual atom is 
loosened and the whole dissolves away. 

In conclusion, we need not be troubled with indi¬ 
gestion, or lack that “ mysterious” ingredient, gastric 
juice , if we take a proper quantity of mineral matter 
and drink a sufficiency of water with our food. It 
may account for the Scotch, as a people, being so 
little troubled with indigestion, that the food, es¬ 
pecially of the poorer classes, is mainly composed of 
oatmeal, salt fish, and cheese—substances which. 
Professor Playfair shows us, have a large quantity of 
mineral matter in their composition 

m 2 




It may not be out of place to say a few words here 
concerning the action of alcohol in the body, seeing 
that with many nations ’it is now an essential part of 
their diet. 

Alcohol is a substance which is readily thrown into 
gas. It evaporates or passes into gas at any tem¬ 
perature, and boils at 170° F. It is not known to 
contain any nourishing properties for man or other 
animal , and will support no germ of animal or vegetable 
life . It is an artificial substance entirely, nothing 
similar to it being found among nature's own dis¬ 
tillations, although it is manufactured from nutritive 
vegetation. It is as indigestible or unreciprocal with 
the other material in the body as a meal of brass 
buttons would be, although it is more stimulating. 
This may seem strange, yet the experiments and 
observations of our learned men on animals have 
shown that alcohol when given to a dog passes off as 
alcohol, or remains in its body as alcohol, and is 
found there unchanged when the animal is dissected. 
Especially is it found in the blood and in the brain. 
It does not reciprocate with or change into animal 
substance like any ordinary article of food. 

Alcohol thus fills places in the body which ought 
to be occupied by more healthy and suitable material. 
We hear doctors say that, if alcohol does not change 
it cannot do any harm in the body, for it cannot then 
originate disease; but the remark only shows their 



great ignorance of the action of the body they pro¬ 
fess to understand and keep in working order. It is 
evident to any other class of men but doctors, that if 
alcohol lodges in parts of the body it follows that it 
takes the place of more suitable material. As the 
material surrounding these localities cannot recipro¬ 
cate with the alcohol, a separate local action is bound 
to take place; the general circulation of the body is 
thus checked, and disease or sickness must ensue 
sooner or later. The local disease brought on by 
alcohol may be observed in the nose of a brandy 
drinker, or in the gouty feet of a wine bibber, or 
more temporarily in the idiotic expression and be¬ 
haviour of a drunkard. 

As the body while in sickness or disease is in a 
poor state of circulation, it is evident that to prescribe 
alcohol to sick persons is one of the most silly actions 
that could be done, for while alcohol supplies a false 
action and force, it necessarily hinders the return of 
the natural action of the body. 



Found to be of vegetable origin — Prof. Rogers on Coal—Statements 
faulty—Unacquainted with natural law — Rogers' theory — 
Grew in a swamp—Soaked with mineral oils—Baked by the 
earth's internal fire — A forest makes half an inch of coal — A 
tree said to absorb carbon — Incorrect—Sir Henry Be la Beche 
and his calculations—Fallacies about carbon—How carbon and 
hydrogen came into the coal—Our theory of coal — Prairies — 
Charcoal in the seams — Nova Scotia mines — Inundations — No 
internal fire—No Baking—The whole process one of petrifaction 
—Coal inexhaustible—Employment of magnetism for machinery 
—How to stop the waste of Coal. 

Foe a great many years this useful production of nature 
was very little understood. It was classed among the 
ordinary minerals, and was supposed to have been 
made in a similar manner —“out of nothing by fire.” 
Geologists, however, in pursuing their researches 
some thirty years ago, found numbers of fossil leaves 
and stems among the coal; and in the shale (a strati¬ 
fied kind of rock always found in connexion with coal) 
appeared a forest of fossilized vegetation. The con¬ 
clusion was then arrived at that coal was of vegetable 

After this had been discovered numberless theories 
were thrown out regarding the way in which these 



coal-fields were produced, but we have not seen one 
that gives an altogether satisfactory solution of the 

Prof. Rogers, in Good Words , 1863, has two inte¬ 
resting articles on Coal and Petroleum , which contain 
the latest ideas on the subject, but the statements are 
so faulty, and show such unacquaintance with natural 
law, that we propose, firstly, to detail how the popular 
idea of the formation is incorrect; and, secondly, to 
show how coal is really formed. 

Prof. Rogers’ theory is that the coal-producing 
vegetation grew in a bog or swamp, that it was of 
colossal dimensions, and as each season’s growth 
decayed it sunk into a sort of peat. A succession of 
earthquakes then occurred, gradually sinking the coal 
measures to their present level. The vegetation being 
all compressed hard, petroleum and other mineral oils 
and juices soaked through the substance, and the whole 
field was then baked into coal by the earth’s internal 
fire, those masses which were nearest the interior 
being baked the hardest, and thus it is we have the 
hard anthracite and the common soft coal. 

This theory seems very plausible, but, as we will 
show, it cannot be sustained by facts. A forest, it is 
said, will only make half an inch of coal. How many 
hundreds of forests, then, must have grown, or how 
luxuriant must have been the growth, in order to 
produce a coal-field, which, with its shale, is frequently 
found three or four hundred feet thick. 

Prof. Rogers, in order to account for the luxuriant 



vegetation, enters into a speculation which shows 
how little is really known of natural phenomena seen 
by us every (lay. A tree, he as well as all other teachers 
say, is mainly composed of carbon. This substance it 
absorbs from the atmosphere, and according to the 
amount of carbon, so is the quantity of vegetation. 
In the coal-producing ages, therefore, there must have 
been an incalculable amount of carbon in the atmo¬ 
sphere, for the immense growth of vegetation that then 
existed could not have sprung up without it. As 
carbon is deadly to animals, none could have lived at 
that time. In the Vestiges of Creation we find a 
similar statement to the effect that Sir Henry De la 
Beclie has calculated that, "if the quantity of carbonic 
acid gas which is locked up in limestone and coal were 
disengaged in a gaseous form, the constitution of the 
atmosphere would undergo a change, of which the first 
effect would be the extinction of life in all animals.” 
If this is correct how is it that the work of coal min¬ 
ing is so healthy ? Again, the quantity of carbon 
that is disengaged every day in a large city where coal 
is consumed ought to be so enormous that much injury 
should result from it, yet we hear of no evil effects. 
As the coal is being gradually consumed the whole of 
the carbon which was once in the atmosphere must 
eventually be restored to it again, the earth every 
year, therefore, ought to be becoming more and more 
unhealthy till no animal will be able to live, yet we 
hear of no appearances to indicate such a change. 



Lastly, carbon is said to be so injurious to man that 
if he breathes much of it he dies, yet we are told that 
he lives on it, for all vegetables, they say, are mainly 
composed of it! 

That there is such a gas as carbon may be admitted, 
but that vegetation feeds on it, and is mainly sustained 
by it from the atmosphere, is an impossibility. The 
only necessaries demanded are heat, good or suitable 
soil, and water; whatever carbon is found in the tree 
or plant has been absorbed from the soil and water, 
and not from the atmosphere. 

The hydrogen in the coal we can account for also. 
Prof. Rogers says: “ A passing allusion has been 
made to the absence of any mineral source for the 
material of the coal beds. This is a fact patent to 
every mineralist; and there is another fact disclosed 
by chemistry, that both the carbon, and the other 
main ingredient of coal, the hydrogen, could have 
come together from no sources but the earth’s atmo¬ 
sphere and water, and only by the process of vegetable 
growth or plant life/' 7 This was written before 
hydrogen was generally known, or admitted to be 
mineral. One source of the mineral, therefore, 
was from water, but this could not have supplied 
the coal with the quantity found in it. Prof. 
Rogers himself gave the cause when he said, “ mineral 
oils and juices soaked through the decayed vegeta¬ 

Our view of coal formation is as follows, and we 



think it will be found to tally with all the facts that 
have been ascertained relating to the subject, and 
with true natural law. 

In the Western Prairies of America we have a 
vegetation continually growing, decaying, and grow¬ 
ing again. During the time this has been progressing 
an immense depth of vegetable soil has been deposited. 
It is probable that the material of many coal beds, 
though not of all, was first formed in this manner. 
Parts of trees are often found fossilized in the coal, 
but they are all in an upright position, or rather at 
right angles to the strata of coal. This shows that, 
comparatively speaking, the growth was of inferior 
vegetation, such as ferns, grasses, and bushes. They 
were probably more luxuriant, however, then than 
now ; and in order to account for the great depth of 
the deposit, many fields by convulsions may be sup¬ 
posed to have doubled on themselves. 

In the strata of the Nova Scotian shale and coal¬ 
fields, are found seams containing charcoal; showing 
where fires had run over the prairies, just as they do 
at the present time. As the earth also was in more 
violent action than now, occasional inundations took 
place, and sands, sediments, etc., were deposited, in 
the positions in which we now find them, between 
and over the coal-beds. Taking into account how¬ 
ever the vast thickness of many coal-beds, and the 
vast quantity of vegetation that would be required to 
form them, we are inclined to believe it possible that 
most of them may have been formed from deposits of 



vegetable soil or matter, independent of vegetable 

The process which the material undergoes to form 
coal we will now state briefly. 

Prof. Rogers’ first fallacy is the statement that 
there is any internal fire at all, and this we prove in 
another chapter. The next is that vegetation, even 
although soaked by mineral oils, could by any manner 
of baking whatever be converted into coal. We 
assert that the whole process was merely one oipetri¬ 
faction, As the vegetable deposits were gradually 
covered over, they would be saturated with the 
mineral emanations, solutions and gases, which are 
continually being formed in the interior of the earth; 
then, by the chemical action between the two sub¬ 
stances, the vegetable matter would be thoroughly 
combined with the others. After a time this would 
merely harden or petrify into coal. Neither fire 
nor a baking operation, or pressure, were there¬ 
fore required. It may be asked, how is it, when 
the prairies are level, that seams of coal are always 
found lying at an angle ? Because by the mineral 
gases and solutions petrifying the vegetable de¬ 
posits, the escape into the atmosphere of other 
accumulating gases from below is stopped, and in 
consequence, a force is generated which causes an 
earthquake. This throws the whole field into the 
position in which we usually find it. These positions 
allow a free escape of the ever-accumulating gases 
through the strata; examples of which may be seen 



at many mines, arising from the fissures in the strata. 
Sometimes when the crop is covered with water, the 
gas boils through it, and may be collected and burned 
m the atmosphere. 

In conclusion, great fears have been entertained 
that the coal supply of the world will run out, but we 
believe, that like every other production of nature it 
is inexhaustible. By the time the present coal seams 
are worked out, fresh seams equally as good may 
generally be found in the same vicinity. Fresh deposits 
also are continually being discovered, and there is no 
doubt but that fresh fields are at the same time con¬ 
tinually being formed. 

It moreover, the employment of magnetism as a 
motive power be generally adopted, as we advocate, 
and are prepared to initiate, the great waste of the 
coal will be stopped. Coal, we believe, is only meant 
to be the fuel or heating material of the inhabitants of 
the earth; not to be squandered in order to obtain a 
motive power, when there is another much cheaper, 
more powerful, and better adapted for all purposes. 



Strange Chapter—Coral insects unworthy of notice—Misplaced 
eulogy—Theories of Coral growth—The insect monument and tomb 
—Not found below thirty fathoms—Coral found a mile and a 
half deep—Coral on the Isthmus of Panama, not made by insects 
—The Coral insect a parasite merely—The cochineal—How 
Coral grows—Millions feeding from one mouth—Coral grows 
by budding—Agassiz on Florida reefs, and argument against 
Darwin — Darwin’s curious theories on Coral reefs—Sir John 
Herschel—How Coral commences to grow—The true theory of 
reefs—Hoio a gap in a reef was filled—Coral merely the home 
of the insect. 

The title of this chapter may seem strange, as we 
have always been taught that Coral did not grow, 
but was designed and built by small insects. Many 
are the lessons that have been drawn from their sup¬ 
posed industry, the sermons that have been preached 
on them, and the lectures in which eminent men 
have waxed eloquent upon them; but it is our painful 
duty to inform naturalists generally, that their eulogy 
is misplaced, that coral insects are no more to be 
compared to bees than sand is to sugar, and that they 
are as unworthy of notice as a common grub or fly. 

Coral is only found in equatorial latitudes. In the 
Pacific Ocean there are islands said to be entirely 



composed of it, and these appear to have been formed 
from the bottom to the surface. 

On examining the substance it was observed to be 
covered with small insects, and scientific men, without 
much thought or close research, at once assumed that 
they built the coral. 

Commencing at the bottom of the ocean, we were 
told, these industrious insects struggled higher and 
higher from their vast lurid sea-green depths towards 
the light, until they reached the surface; then, with 
a devotion worthy of a higher phase of being, they 
sealed the work with their own bodies, thus making 
it their tomb as well as their monument. Later dis¬ 
coveries have proved this to be contrary to fact. 
Chambers's Encyclopedia tells us it has been ascertained, 
that none of the polypes , or coral insects, live at 
depths of more than twenty or thirty fathoms; and 
that most of them are inhabitants of much shallower 
water. As coral is found at much lower depths than 
this, the question arises—what formed it at the 
bottom of the ocean ? 

During the cruise of H.M.S. Challenger, a piece of 
coral was brought up from a depth of a mile and a 
half; and in the newspapers it was stated to be, 
unfortunately dead. If by this it was meant that no 
coral insects were found in it, then we have evidence 
that pur view of its formation is correct—viz., by 
semi-mineral growth. 

Every one has probably seen coral. It is generally 
in the form of a tree, with branches; or it is of a 



circular form, like a sponge, with the appearance of 
having all sprung from a centre. On the Isthmus of 
Panama we saw a large solid block that looked like 
the trunk of a tree, and on breaking it, we found the 
formation to radiate from an innumerable series of 
centres, the whole filled up with an interlacing of 
stars. The construction was such that it could not 
have been built by insects, for the openings were so 
small that they would scarcely allow the point of a 
needle to enter, far less a polyp to live and grow 
there. It afforded in our view the most beautiful 
exhibition of mineral growth that could possibly be 
seen. The forms of the centres resembled the figures 
of snow flakes,—which is another form of mineral 
growth, or crystallization,—only they were on a 
much smaller scale. On being broken, the coral 
split in vertical layers, and showed the star cavities 
to continue in long unbroken lines from the top to 
the bottom of each fragment. The only sign of animal 
life about it was a number of worm holes circling 
through it made by the borer. 

Coral is only a form of mineral growth, and it as 
surely grows in equatorial waters by natural law, as a 
tree grows on the surface of the ground. The coral 
insect is merely a parasite of the coral, just as the 
cochineal is a parasite of the cactus; and it would be 
as correct to say, that the one formed the plant, as 
that the other formed the coral. 

We have already explained how the lead tree is 
grown by suspending a piece of zinc in a solution of 



sugar of lead,—the formation and growth of the 
coral is by a similar process. 

Coral is composed of material having all the pro¬ 
perties of vegetable matter. In the equatorial lati¬ 
tudes, vegetable material is most abundant; the 
waters, therefore, must also he largely permeated 
with similar matter. This accords with the popular 
theory, for it is acknowledged that the material for 
producing the coral is in the water, and that it is 
taken from thence by the insect, and laid with mathe¬ 
matical precision and artistic taste on the fabric. But 
if we can show how the material may be drawn 
together without any animal aid whatever, we deal a 
death blow to another of those sensationalisms of 
science, which are so destructive to the acquirement 
of a correct knowledge of the power and functions of 
natural law. 

Various particles of animal and vegetable matter, 
in the nature of coral elements, settle on a rock or sea 
bottom. As their numbers increase, they acquire a 
greater magnetic influence, and attract other particles. 
But, as atoms, they have the repelling power of the 
magnet, and like to either the philosopher’s tree, or 
the vegetable one, they throw out roots on the rock and 
branches in the ocean; looking almost exactly like a 
leafless tree in winter. The shape, size, and colour, 
of the formation, is naturally guided by the condition, 
quantity and quality of the surrounding materials. 

All coral does not contain insects, and while some, 
from its coarse nature, may provide convenient abodes 



for a species of animate jelly, yet, even supposing that 
this jelly is as high in the intellectual scale as the 
oyster—which it is admitted not to be—it has no 
more the power of design, the gift of aspiration, the 
longing for the light and the glories of the sunshine, 
than a barnacle or a piece of seaweed; and no more 
influence in determining the size, shape, colour and 
extent of its coral home, than a mouse has over the 
castle it dwells in. 

Compare with this view what the late lamented 
Agassiz said about polypes in his Cambridge Lectures , 
in 1873 :— a Here then are animals remaining united 
by the lower parts of their body, but having distinct 
heads, and distinct internal cavities, yet in which the 
juices elaborated by digestion in one individual feed 
the common stock. This may go on till hundreds of 
thousands, nay millions, of individuals share the result 
of functions of life and digestion, performed only by a 
certain limited number of the community.” Fancy 
millions of stomachs fed from one mouth. 

Agassiz again asserts that some species of coral 
grows by budding. This ought to have been a capital 
argument against insect formation, but he fails to see 
it, and moreover states :—“ Botanists never look upon 
a tree as a simple individual, but an aggregate of 
individuals growing upon the same foundation, and 
remaining attached to the parent stock.” If asser¬ 
tions like these are good for anything, there is no 
saying where they might end, for a man may, with 




as much reason, be said to be composed of an aggre¬ 
gate of individuals also. 

Agassiz founds a curious argument with coral 
insects, against Darwin's development of species, 
which is worth noting. In tracing the formation 
and growth of coral reefs in Florida, he has shown 
that eight thousand years are required to raise one of 
these reefs, or walls, from its foundation to the surface 
of the ocean, and as there are four wall reefs round 
the southern extremity of Florida, the first of these 
must be thirty thousand years old; “ and yet all of 
them are built by the same identical species." “ These 
facts then," says he, te furnish as direct evidence as 
we can obtain in any branch of physical inquiry, that 
some at least of the species of animals now existing, 
have been living over thirty thousand years, and have 
not undergone the slightest change during the whole 
of that period." But as we have shown the insects 
cannot build these reefs or anything else, Darwin is 
safe enough yet, so far as that argument is concerned. 

Darwin himself has some curious theories regarding 
coral insects, and their work, from which he draws 
conclusions more illogical than any Agassiz has given. 
Many of the coral islands are surrounded by a reef a 
short distance from the shore, and deep water exists 
between them. Darwin says these islands were 
originally connected with the reef outside, but as the 
islands are continually sinking, they carried down 
with them the coral fringing it. While therefore 
the fringe was carried down, the reef was always 



brought up to the surface by the aforesaid industrious 
insects. Why the insects only worked on the reef 
and not on the fringe, is unexplained by Dr. Darwin. 
Moreover, the depths of the vacant spaces are so 
great, that if it were true the islands were sinking 
and had continued to sink along with the fringe, 
they must have gone out of sight long ago. 

In connexion with this, Sir John Herschel says 
in his Essay on Volcanoes :—“ Dr. Darwin has shown 
by the most curious and convincing proofs that the 
Coral Islands are sinking, and have been sinking for 
ages, and are only kept above water—by what think 
you ? By the labours of the coral insect which 
always builds up to the surface.” If we only 
examine the statement for a moment, we will find 
the arguments are certainly curious, but scarcely 

Suppose the island to sink twelve inches, the 
insects cannot assemble below the island, and raise 
it up again the space of that foot. Neither can they 
invade the island and form coral all over its surface. 
The only thing they could do, would be to work all 
around the shore , and build it up a foot high. If 
this had been progressing for ages, an immense high 
wall would be formed all around the shore, and on 
looking over it we would see a beautiful island, a 
hundred feet or so below us, looking like a fairy 
world with luxuriant groves of cocoa-nut and palm 
trees. Such romantic scenes, however, are not for 
this world, and the plain dull truth is simply this, 

n 2 



that the Islands are not sinking, that the reefs do 
not require to be brought up to the surface, and that, 
not only are the insects not required, but they are 
also as incapable of the herculean task which the 
Doctor assigns to them, as a starfish or a sponge. 

Our belief is that the reefs never were connected 
with the islands, but that they are formed in a 
similar manner to the bars at the mouths of rivers or 
harbours, or the sand bars off islands on the North 
American coast—such as those of Sable Island— 
which are deposited where the wash and the under¬ 
tow from the shore, meet. To explain more fully. 
The bottom of the sea is composed of material and 
formations similar to the surface of the dry land. 
Both have their valleys, rocks, hills, and mountains. 
The higher mountains which rise above the level of 
the sea form islands; such as St. Helena, St. Thomas, 
the Azores, the Bermudas, and Sable Island. What 
are called coral islands then are no more composed 
of coral than any of the others. The parts formed of 
coral are probably only the reef on, and outside of 
them. Comparative quiet is needed for mineral for¬ 
mations, therefore the fringes could not form on 
shore, as the surf by continually dashing on it, 
caused too much disturbance. But where the wash 
and undertow met there would be an accumulation of 
the necessary material, and all the tranquillity that is 
requisite. Thus we account for the reef outside the 
island, and once that reef is properly filled in solid, 
sufficient to intercept the inrolling sea, another reef 



by the same action of wash and undertow will be 
formed beyond, or outside of it; and so on in¬ 

Chambers’s Encyclojocedia gives an instance of this 
outer reef having been broken through to allow a 
vessel to pass out, and says the gap was filled up 
again in fifteen years , by these industrious insects. 
This incident is introduced to show the rapidity with 
which they work. But if we are to attribute this 
work to them, we must also believe them endowed 
with considerable administrative and governing 
powers. Orders must have been issued to all parts 
of the reef, for the assembling of an army to repair 
the damages; and work in other places must have 
been delayed in order to finish this great under¬ 
taking. We should rather think that they would 
have been annoyed with the destruction, and left 
the gap alone. If we could find any such gap 
abandoned, or not filled up again, then we would 
admit our theory wrong, for the law of nature in 
repairing the breach could not be stopped. 

In conclusion, every production of nature capable 
of sustaining life has a parasite peculiar to it, the coral 
insect therefore is merely one of these parasites making 
its home in or about the coral, and feeding on the 
congenial water around it. 



Another popular fallacy—The earth?s internal fire — Dr. Mayers 
theory — Dr. Tyndall opposed to it — Dr. Mayer's dogged asser¬ 
tion—Selfishness of men of science—Herschel on Volcanoes —■ 
The earth and an egg—Objection to HerscheTs theory—Ex¬ 
planation of Volcanoes—Why Volcanoes become extinct—Coal 
gas—Mount St. Helena and Sulphur Springs — Prof. Mallet on 
Water and Volcanoes—Cause of Earthquakes—Prevention of 
Earthquakes—Oil boring in Pennsylvania—HerscheVs extra¬ 
ordinary theory of Earthquakes—What he knew of chemical 
action in the interior—The necessity for scientific men not 
taking anything for granted. 

In this chapter we deal with a popular fallacy advo¬ 
cated by scientific men for many years past, but which 
has nothing to support it, save their own assertions. 
This theory is that the interior of the earth is a mass 
of molten fire, where everything is reduced to a state 
of “ igneous fluidand the crust we live on is only 
about twenty or thirty miles thick, so that, taking 
the size of the earth into account, the solid substance 
we are supported on is not so thick, by comparison, 
as the shell of an egg to the matter within it. Then, 
when we fancy that the interior is bubbling and boil¬ 
ing all the time, the wonder is that we have not 
exploded long ago, or that the Himalayas, the Alps, 


or the Andes, have not fallen through, and added fuel 
to the flame. 

The theory, as expounded by Dr. Mayer in his 
Celestial Dynamics , is as follows :—“ Several facts 
indicate that our earth was once a fiery liquid mass, 
which has since cooled gradually, down to a com¬ 
paratively inconsiderable depth from the surface, to 
its present temperature. The first proof of this is the 
form of the earth. According to the most careful 
measurements, the flattening at the poles is exactly 
such as a liquid mass rotating on its axis with the 
velocity of the earth, would possess. From this we 
may conclude that the earth at the time it received 
its rotary motion was in a liquid state.” 

Scientific men will, however, differ, and we find 
that Dr. Tyndall does not coincide with this theory. 
In a note to his book on Heat we find the following:— 
“ Prof. Wm. Thomson has recently raised a point 
which deserves the grave consideration of theoretic 
geologists. Supposing the constituents of the earth’s 
crust to contract on solidifying, as the experiments 
thus far made indicate, a breaking in and a sinking 
of the crust would assuredly follow its formation. 
Under these circumstances it is extremely difficult to 
conceive that a solid shell should he formed, as is 
generally assumed, round a liquid nucleus.” Dr. 
Mayer’s theory is, however, strongly supported by 
Sir John Herschel, Dr. Lardner, and others. 

Dr. Mayer, proceeding with his theory, says :— 
“ The cooling of the earth must have shortened the 



length of the day,” as the earth would contract as it 
solidified, and the contraction would make it revolve 
quicker on its axis. But Laplace has shown that in 
twenty-five centuries—the time in which our earth 
revolves on its axis—it has not altered one five 
hundredth part of a sexagesimal second. This puzzles 
Mayer, hut he very doggedly asserts that if they give 
up the theory of an internal fire, they then deprive 
themselves of any tenable explanation of volcanic 
activity. This result, however, remains to be seen. 
The assertion of Mayer is of a piece with most of the 
scientific dogmas of later days, for when facts will 
not coincide with theories the ambitious philosophers 
yet cling to their statements, and by perpetually 
dinning them into people’s ears endeavour to stifle 
the attempts of others to arrive at the truth. It is 
to be deplored that there is displayed among scientific 
men more of a selfish desire to have their names 
mentioned in connexion with some secondary, and 
comparatively unimportant, pet theory, than is con¬ 
sistent with a true ambition to promote the interests 
of science. 

Sir John Herschel says, in an article on Volcanoes 
and Earthquakes, Good Words, 1863, that they are 
“ unavoidable (I had almost said necessary) incidents 
in a vast system of action, to which we owe the very 
ground we stand on; without which neither man, 
beast, nor bird would have a place for their existence, 
and the world would be the habitation of nothing but 
fishes.” The reason he assigns for this is, that the 



land being every day washed by the tides and rivers, 
is having vast quantities of its material gathered and 
deposited in the ocean, and this is so constant and 
universal, that if there were no counter action by 
earthquakes to raise the land, the earth would be one 
vast ocean ! That earthquakes raise vast tracts of 
country occasionally we admit, but that they have 
the influence which Herschel attributes to them we 

Volcanoes and earthquakes, according to the popular 
theory, are thus caused by the central heat of the 
earth. Herschel attempts to prove this hypothesis on 
different grounds from Mayer by saying that when 
we descend into the earth the atmosphere becomes 
gradually hotter, till—supposing the rate of increase 
to continue the same—at twenty or thirty miles the 
crust of the earth would be found red hot. Thus the 
English Commissioners have fixed four thousand feet 
as the limit for the depth of the coal mines. The 
health of the colliers, it is supposed, would suffer 
should the hope of gain induce mine owners to sink 
their shafts below that depth. 

The objections to this theory are very numerous, 
although the number of hot springs and volcanoes 
and earthquakes would seem to support it. The main 
objection is that Herschel and others have calculated 
the heat of the interior from the surface inwards; 
they have never reckoned what the effect would be 
on the surface of the earth from the amount of heat 
they say is inside of it. If an egg-shell and the meat 



within it is a correct illustration of the relative thick¬ 
ness of the crust of the earth to the molten matter 
within, then we wonder how hot the egg-shell would 
be if the contents were only boiling hot. Any sum¬ 
mation at all would show us that if our crust was 
only twenty miles thick the heat would be so intense 
on the surface that, far from the world being only 
inhabited by fishes, our oceans would be dry, our river 
beds empty, and neither man, beast, fish, nor plant 
could have any existence whatever. The whole theory 
is such an untenable one, and so much out of harmony 
with natural law, that it only remains for us to give 
a feasible explanation of the cause of volcanoes and 
earthquakes to have it rejected altogether. 

Firstly, then, with regard to Volcanoes. 

They are mountains, from the tops of which issue, 
when in activity, smoke, flame, ashes, and lava. It 
has been argued in consequence that if fire issues from 
the crater there must be fire inside. This, however, 
need not of necessity follow. The whole phenomena 
connected with both volcanoes and earthquakes are 
caused by chemical action. The intense flame wit¬ 
nessed at the mouth of a volcano is caused by the 
ignition of the vast volumes of gases which are issuing 
from it. The flame does not extend inside the moun¬ 
tain, for it is subject to the same conditions as our 
coal gas is. When we light the gas in our rooms we 
have flame, but it does not extend inside the pipe or 
burner; in fact, there is a space outside, between the 
burner and the flame, that will not ignite. This is 



owing to the fact that until a sufficient quantity of 
oxygen is combined with the hydrogen there can be 
no combustion or flame. If we could introduce coal 
gas into a vessel containing other mineral gases we 
could not light it. In a similar manner there can be 
no flame in the interior of the mountain, for there is 
not sufficient oxygen inside to induce a combustion. 

Under the surface of the mountain, in the interior 
of the earth, there are immense stores of mineral 
materials, such as sulphur, nitre, salt, iron, etc., 
saturated with water, which chemically act upon 
each other. By this action, they are continually 
dissolving, reforming and generating gases, which 
accumulate in such quantities that they cannot 
be confined; they then burst with terrific force, 
combine with the oxygen of the atmosphere, and 
igniting, burn until the explosive and combustible 
gases are exhausted. The dissolving and reforming 
action with water may then continue, and fresh 
outbursts may occur until the whole material is 
changed, then the volcano becomes extinct. Thus 
we find numberless extinct volcanoes all over the 
globe, a result which would never ensue, were 
they—as we are told—funnels or chimneys for 
the molten fires within. A good illustration of 
this exists in California, where Mount St. Helena, 
before mentioned, was once an active volcano, but 
it has long been silent. The evidences of its 
violent action are however to be seen in the 
wonderful Petrified Forest, while the remains of its 



once extensive stores of gas-producing matter, now 
burn away in insignificant puffs in the Great Geysers, 
and the Hot Sulphur Springs; the whole phenomena 
suggesting the picture of the charred and dying 
embers of an extensive conflagration. 

The lava and burnt earth found at the “crop” 
of the coal at the Albion Mines in Nova Scotia, 
show the site where the gas generated from the 
action of water in the mine at one time formed a 

To show that we are not altogether alone in 
our statements regarding the cause of volcanoes, 
we may state that Prof. Mallet of England also 
maintains that there are no volcanoes set in erup¬ 
tion without the action of water. 


Earthquakes are caused similarly to volcanoes. The 
interior of the earth, as we have said, is saturated 
with water, and forms a grand magnetic battery, 
continuously in action, dissolving and reforming its 
mineral matter. This action produces the mineral 
gas we have so frequently referred to, and throws it 
off, through the strata of rock, principally from the 
poles of the earth, and mountain tops as poles. 
But where this gas is confined it accumulates, and 
finally generates a force sufficient to produce an 

If Artesian wells were bored to a sufficient depth 
in those places that are subject to earthquakes, 



we are inclined to believe that there might result 
a comparative immunity from them, for those gases 
which are dangerous might thus be provided with 
a vent to ascend and pass off without accumulating. 

Volcanoes which are always smoking seldom break 
out with great fury. The danger lies in the aper¬ 
tures closing up for long periods, and thus preventing 
the escape of accumulating gases. 

Some suggestive illustrations of the force of these 
gases in the earth, occurred while boring for oil in 
Pennsylvania. In many instances, after drilling a 
few hundred feet, a cavity would be tapped containing 
gas, oil and water, and the compression had been so 
great, that the boring machinery and everything 
connected with it were blown to a great height 
above the surface. Thus, gases were relieved, which 
in time might have generated an earthquake. 

Sir John Herschel has an extraordinary theory 
regarding earthquakes. It is to the effect, that the 
continual washing away of the land into the sea 
causes some parts of the earth to become top 
heavy, and then they fall, making a crack through 
which the molten fluid escapes. 

Notwithstanding all these strange doctrines, 
Herschel was quite conversant with the chemical 
action at work in the interior, and with the force of 
accumulated gases, yet he evidently refused to 
accept the natural deductions from these truths, and 
would rather propound a sensational explanation 
than a simple one. He says :—“ There is no doubt 



that among the minerals of the subterranean world, 
there is water in abundance, and sulphur, and other 
vaporizable substances, all kept subdued and repressed, 
by the enormous pressure/* “ But let the pressure 
be relieved, and they make their way to the surface, 
expanding as they rise, till they burst in great 

This admission shows how necessary it is for men 
of science to beware of taking any doctrine for 
granted, unless they have sifted it in every particular, 
and made it stand the test of their own observations, 
experiments, and calculations; for it is evident that 
had Herschel allowed his own common sense to 
guide him, he would probably have discovered, and 
caused to be accepted long ago, the true explanation 
of volcanoes and earthquakes. 



The regularity of the Tides—The influence of the new and full 
moon on the Tides—There must be one grand cause of the Tides 
—This is pressure , not attraction—Cause of variation in the 
Tides by the position of the moon—Formation of the Land — 
Winds — Lardner’s theory of the Tides—Its fallacy shown—The 
earth ought to be approaching the moon—Facts to be remem¬ 
bered—The Plane of the Fcliptic—The effect of pressure on 
the atmosphere—The Tides caused by pressure in gassing the 
Plane of the Fcliptic—The moon’s atmosphere—The Tide in 
the Mediterranean—The Pay of Fundy Tides seventy feet high 
—Ram Pasture—Rise of two feet in three miles—The repelling 
forces control the Tides. 

The cause of the tides is an interesting subject of 
inquiry, and yet there are few who attempt to explain 
it. The periods of the tides are so regular that they 
may he determined for months, or even years, before 
their recurrence; yet again they are never so regular 
that it can be said the waters will rise to such a point, 
and no higher. The rise and fall of the tides are the 
same at scarcely any two places. In the Mediterranean 
the rise is only about one foot, whereas in the Bay of 
Eundy it is sixty or seventy feet. 

When the moon is at the new and the full the tides 
are unusually high. When a storm also is blowing 



on the coast from the ocean the tide in the harbours 
exposed to it is elevated several feet higher than usual. 

We glean from the above facts that while there 
must be one grand regular cause of tides, there are 
several peculiar influences to which they are subject, 
and which cause them to vary in different localities 
and at different seasons. This grand cause we believe 
to be induced by pressure. The variations to which 
they are liable are produced :—Firstly, by the position 
of the new and full moon; secondly, by the formation 
of the sea coast; thirdly, by pressure of winds. 

Before explaining our views, let us review the old 
established theory, and show that the grounds for 
accepting it are not conclusive. 

In consulting various authorities we find that 
attraction is given as the cause of the tides, and that 
it is the sun and moon which are the reputed 
possessors of the influence. 

In Dr. Lardner’s Science and Art we find an expla¬ 
nation to the following effect of the two tides a day, 
one on either side of the earth at the same time :— 
Let us, for instance, imagine a diagram of the earth, 
with the four cardinal points marked on it. If the 
moon is directly above the north point, Lardner says 
the waters will be heaped up there by the moon^s 
attraction, while on the east and west sides there will 
be low tides. But as the moon could not attract the 
waters on the south end also, the high tide there is 
caused by the earth being drawn in from the water. 

A more extraordinary theory has seldom gained 



ground, and we wonder how it was ever accepted, for 
it will not hear even the slightest examination. In 
the first place, how the moon, being the smaller body, 
could attract the earth, the larger body, is a mystery, 
for according to all rules of attraction or gravitation 
the greater always influences the less. Secondly, the 
same rule applies to the question, Why does the sun, 
the larger body, not exercise a greater attractive 
influence over the tides than the moon ? Thirdly and 
lastly, if the moon draws the earth in, or the earth 
“recedes” from the water at the side more distant 
from the moon, it follows that, as the tides are rising 
and falling continuously from one part of the globe 
to another, the earth is gradually receding from the 
water hour by hour, and accordingly ought to be 
approaching nearer and nearer to the moon every day. 
This, however, is not the case, and would be indig¬ 
nantly denied even by Lardner himself, but it is the 
only logical conclusion to which his theory leads. 

Having thus shown that the tides are not caused 
by attraction, we now explain how, according to our 
views of the law of nature, they are caused by 

In order to understand our statements clearly the 
following facts should be kept in remembrance, viz.: 
That the moon has an influence on the tides; that 
the highest tides occur when the sun and moon are 
on the same side, or one on either side of the earth; 
that high tides follow the meridian by two or three 
hours, and in many places by ten or twelve hours, 




according to their position on the coast; that the 
whole rise of the tide is, on an average, only a height 
of four or five feet; and that, while the earth moves 
from west to east, the tides go from east to west. 

Recalling our arrangement of the solar system 
expounded in previous chapters, we have a number of 
planets revolving round the central planet, the sun. 
The planets all revolve on one level, called the Plane 
of the Ecliptic. Each planet has an atmosphere that 
extends till it meets the atmosphere of the planet 
next it. We know also this fact in connexion with our 
atmosphere that if it is pressed by currents of wind, 
it in turn presses whatever is opposed to it. On 
water, therefore, we find that wind storms will some¬ 
times raise the tide two or three feet higher than 
usual. If our atmosphere, consequently, is pressed 
from without—that is, by any other atmosphere— 
the oceans are impelled to show evidence of such 
pressure by their rise and fall. 

It will be observed, then, that as the earth revolves 
on its axis, its atmosphere must be pressed by the 
atmospheres of the other planets whenever it crosses 
the Plane of the Ecliptic, as they are more confined 
at that point than any other. As the earth revolves 
once on its axis daily, the whole of the globe’s surface 
must be exposed twice to the pressure of the other 
planets’ atmospheres on the Plane of the Ecliptic. 
We have two tides daily. What is the natural infe¬ 
rence to be drawn from these facts? Nothing less 



than that the pressure of other atmospheres on the atmo¬ 
sphere of the earth } as it crosses the Plane of the 
Ecliptic , causes the tides. 

But it will be argued that we make nothing of the 
influence of the moon, which undoubtedly has some 
action on the tides. We admit the fact of that 
influence, but its effect is apparent only when the 
moon is at the new or the full. The tides are then 
much higher than usual, and this arises, in a similar 
way, by the moon crossing the Plane of the Ecliptic, 
and adding the pressure of its own body and atmo¬ 
sphere to the influence which is felt there already. 
Although it is denied that the moon has an atmo¬ 
sphere, such a condition would not be in accordance 
with the existence of any other known body, and 
according: to atomagmetic or natural law it could not 
exist without one. 

It may be asked, how do we account for the tide 
following the meridian ? The attraction theory ex¬ 
plains it on the ground that inertia keeps the mass of 
water from immediately rising and obeying the 
attraction of the moon. We may also answer that 
inertia prevents it from yielding at once to the 
pressure of the atmosphere, and that just as the ocean 
billows are largest when the tempest has nearly blown 
itself out, so the tidal wave is highest after the 
pressure is over. 

In answer to the query—What makes the tide 
vary so much in different localities? We answer, 

o 2 



that this is all due to the formation of the land 
at the points of contact with the sea, or its position 
with regard to prevailing winds. 

The reason that there is scarcely any tide observed 
in the Mediterranean, is owing to the wind’s blowing 
three-fourths of the year into the bay at the mouth 
of the Straits of Gibraltar. This causes a strong 
current to flow through the Straits into the Mediter¬ 
ranean, and as the waters are thus raised higher than 
the general sea level of the Atlantic, and have no 
other outlet, they flow back again to the Atlantic by 
an undercurrent. This we proved by experiment 
in the year 1830, on board the brig Clarence , John 
U. Ross, master. 

In the Bay of Fundy, which is a long straight bay, 
with a very wide entrance, tapering to a narrow point 
like a funnel, there is a higher tide than at any other 
place in the world. This is caused by the tidal wave 
striking the shore, and running along the North 
Atlantic coast into the wide-mouthed bay, and as 
the funnel is continually narrowing, the waters are 
pressed far above the sea level, because they cannot 
fall back owing to the heavy pressure of the currents 
behind urging them on. Tides of sixty and seventy 
feet thus occur daily at the head of the Bay. In 
Cumberland Basin, at the head of the Bay of Fundy, 
near Sackville, New Brunswick, the tide flows up 
Tantramer River, and round a peninsula called 
Ram Pasture. This peninsula is only connected by a 
narrow neck of land fifty yards wide, and is three 



miles in circumference from neck to neck. This 
neck is very flat and level. When, therefore, the 
tide in rising has encircled the peninsula, the waters 
flow back over the neck into the river again, falling 
into it a distance of two feet. Thus showing that 
in three miles the water has risen a height of two 

It will be evident, therefore, that great inaccu¬ 
racies must prevail from similar causes in certain 
parts of the world, regarding the height of rising 
ground above the general sea level. 

In conclusion, while we have great faitb in the 
mutually attractive forces of nature, we have no 
reason to believe that they cause the tides, but rather 
that the influence exerted over them arises from their 
counterpart, the repelling forces of nature, which 
have here sole control. 



The cause of the Gulf Stream — Dr. Carpenter's theory—Oceanic 
Circulation—Experiment with glass trough—No Comparison- 
Strength of Polar Currents—Channel between Faroe Islands 
and Shetland — Dr. Wyville Thompson differs from Dr. Car¬ 
penter—Reciprocal circulation of JFater and Air—Beautiful 
theory of Atmospheric Circulation overlooked by Dr. Carpenter 
— Icebergs, why granulated—Cause of great height of Icebergs 
—What causes the cold deep waters. 

Attek being one of tlie wonders of tbe world for 
a long time, and a mystery which men of science in 
vain tried to unravel, we have now come to regard 
the Gulf Stream as a phenomenon very easily ex¬ 
plained by the various natural causes which give it 

The trade winds, which blow almost constantly 
from East to West, press and force the waters of the 
Atlantic into the Gulf of Mexico, and these along 
with the rivers running into the Gulf, raise the 
waters higher than the general sea level of the 
Atlantic. As the narrow Strait of Florida is 
the only free outlet from the Gulf, a rapid and 
permanent motion is given to the water, which it 
maintains, in a greater or less degree, for hundreds 


of miles; and thus the Gulf Stream is established 
and kept moving. 

Dr. Carpenter, while describing the cause of the 
Gulf Stream in a somewhat similar manner, sees- 
in it only a particular instance of what is constantly 
occurring all over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. 
He has a theory of a general oceanic circulation 
which he is endeavouring to have accepted as an 
established doctrine of science, viz.: That there is a 
continuous undercurrent of cold water throughout 
the oceans, from the Poles to the Equator, and 
a surface current of warm water from the Equator 
back again; thereby equalizing the temperature all 
over the world, and bringing every part of the 
waters to the surface, to purify and make it fit 
for the preservation of animal life in the deepest 
sea beds. He has made his observations from a 
series of deep sea soundings, in which he has found 
that the sea bottom, even at the depth of two 
and three miles, has averaged thirty degrees by 
Fahrenheit’s Thermometer. His opinion is, there¬ 
fore, that the water could not be so cold unless 
it came from the Polar regions, inasmuch as cold 
water always falls to the bottom, while warm water 
floats on the surface. 

In order to illustrate his assertions he performs an 
experiment with a glass trough, six feet long, one 
foot deep, and one inch wide. This is filled with 
water. At the surface of one end he fixes a piece of 
ice, to represent the Pole, and at the other he applies 



a bar of heated metal, for the Equator. Dropping 
some blue colouring matter into the polar end, 
and some red at the equator, a circulation is at 
once seen to be established. The cold blue water 
sinks, then creeps along the bottom till it reaches the 
heated end, is there warmed, rises to the surface, and 
returns to the pole again; while the reddened water 
flows along the surface to the pole, sinks and returns, 
just as it is expected to do. But this is not a fair 
illustration, because what would occur in six feet 
of water, would not well apply to a distance of three 
or four thousand miles—the experiment is not a com¬ 
parative one. The ice and the heated iron almost 
touch one another, whereas in the ocean there are 
thousands of miles of water of a medium tempera¬ 
ture. If the trough were a mile long, by the same 
depth and height, it would afford a better com¬ 
parison, and, of course, it is easy to conjecture that 
the two temperatures would never meet to form a 

This polar current Dr. Carpenter says is so strong, 
that in many places it has rounded the stones at the 
bottom of the sea, as in a channel between the Faroe 
Islands and Shetland. But it only requires one to 
reflect how much force is necessary to roll stones over 
one another in order to round them, to be convinced 
that this explanation of their form is not the correct 
one. Besides, in another part of his essay he says the 
motion is only a creeping one. 

Dr. Wyville Thompson, one of Dr. Carpenter's 


colleagues in Deep Sea Explorations, says in his late 
book. The Depths of the Sea, that he differs from him 
in his theory of oceanic circulation, and does not 
think that the facts he has given warrant him in 
arriving at the conclusions he draws from them. 

Moreover, it is not a matter of necessity that there 
should be such an oceanic circulation. It is enough 
for the purpose of keeping the water pure, and pre¬ 
venting stagnation, that there is a continuous reci¬ 
procal or chemical atomic action between the upper 
and lower strata of water, throughout the whole body 
of it. This we believe to be the true producer of the 
oceanic circulation, for its action is not confined to 
the ocean, but pervades the whole system of our 
planet. Eor instance, water percolates to the interior 
of the earth, and by its chemical action dissolves 
minerals and produces gases which find their way to 
the surface; there they meet other gases, which, by 
combining, form fog, clouds, rain, or snow, that 
descend as water, and percolate back again. On the 
surface of the earth vegetation is forced out, as from a 
centre, by the magnetic force of the escaping mineral 
gas, and this again exhaling a vegetable gas into the 
lower atmosphere, reciprocates with the rising mineral 
gases and forms dew, or cloud and rain. 

Or, let us take for consideration the bottom of the 
ocean. The mineral gases from the interior of the 
earth are forced into the water, and thence through 
the whole mass of it; thus the warm vegetable atoms 
which are at the surface, left from evaporation and 



from rivers running into it, are reciprocated with, or 
neutralized and purified. The surface of the water, 
again, reciprocates by evaporation with the lower 
atmosphere, and that again with the higher, thus 
forming, as said before, rain and cloud, etc. Through¬ 
out the whole extent of our planet, therefore, from 
the interior of its solid body to the utmost verge of 
the atmosphere (for we show that meteors are caused by 
a similar reciprocation also) there is a continuous action 
ever taking place, forming, dissolving, and reforming, 
and keeping up a universal reciprocal circulation , 
which prevents stagnation of any kind. 

For any one to suppose that nature works in the 
slow fashion of causing all the impure water dis¬ 
tributed over the surface of the ocean to creep to the 
Poles before it can be purified again, is egregious 
folly; for it is evident on the face of it that such is 
not the case. To bring the matter home, does Dr. 
Carpenter really mean to say, that if we pour a pail¬ 
ful of slops into the sea, it will require to float 
onward to the Arctic Pole before it can be changed ? 
We certainly say not, for in the slops and in 
the salt water are the two differing classes of atoms, 
and by each attracting its like they neutralize each 
other. This process, as we have said, is continually 
proceeding all over the surface, and throughout the 
whole body of the oceans. 

To press the question still further. The atmo¬ 
sphere is continually being charged with all sorts of 


gaseous impurities induced by the heat of the sun, 
and given out by plants and animals. Does Dr. 
Carpenter mean to affirm that we must wait for a 
storm to blow these away, or must they also travel to 
the Poles to be purified ? In either case a plague 
would probably result before we could be relieved by 
these modes. The phenomenon of dew shows us that 
the reciprocal circulation is continually in progress, 
and that even when there are no winds blowing, the 
purification of the atmosphere is accomplished by the 
chemical action of the atoms. 

This leads us to ask the question why Dr. Car¬ 
penter has not endeavoured to found a general system 
of atmospheric circulation, on the same principle as 
that of the oceanic ? If the law is good in the one 
instance, it ought to hold good in the other. He 
would then have made his theory complete, for the 
cold Polar current of air being mineral, would be the 
highest, and this would form an upper current from 
the Poles towards the Equator, while the warm vege¬ 
table atmosphere being denser, would travel on the 
surface from the Equator along with the warm 
current of water to the Poles, the one thus helping 
along the other. A beautiful and complete theory of 
ocean and air currents would thus be deduced, the 
motions of the one accurately fitting into the motions 
of the other. But unfortunately, he only managed to 
grasp the least acceptable theory, for, as we have 
shown in the chapter on the Atmosphere, there is 



more than a grain of truth in the theory of the 
atmospheric current, while there is none in that of 
the oceanic. 

While we deny that there is a general oceanic 
circulation such as Dr. Carpenter describes, we admit 
that the condition of the water and the position of 
the land may in many instances be such as to induce 
currents that, from a superficial examination, might 
lead an observer to suspect they form part only of one 
general movement. 

It may be asked, how do we account for the 
extreme coldness of the deep waters if it is not caused 
by the Polar currents? We answer by asking and 
answering another question. How do we account for 
the coldness of the Polar sea ? If the conditions for 
inducing coldness are the same on the sea-bed at the 
Equator, and in the Arctic ocean at the Poles, there 
is no necessity for the supposition of a current. 
This we try to show. 

The gases expelled from the interior of the earth 
are mainly mineral in character. As the earth is a 
magnet, its gases are discharged principally at the 
Poles. Ice and snow being composed largely of 
mineral substances, are therefore caused by the 
mineral emanations from the Poles of the earth com¬ 
bining with suitable vegetable particles of the water. 
(This mode of ice formation accounts for the granulated, 
and not stratified character of icebergs. For icebergs 
—not like stratified ice formed on the water—are made 
from the bottom and forced upwards. This explains 


the great height of the icebergs.) But these mineral 
emanations are not exuded wholly at the Poles; they 
are exhaled all over the eartlPs surface, and wherever 
we find a place free from vegetation or the influence 
of oxygen gases, there we may observe it more par¬ 
ticularly. Thus the tops of high mountains are cold 
and covered with snow, while in the depths of the 
sea, where no vegetation exists and the warmth of 
the sun does not reach, we also have the cold mineral 
exhalations acting upon the salt water, and producing 
the so-called Polar current. 



Very little known about Comets—Facts about them — Jupiter's 
influence on them—Comet of 1680 — Herschel's description of 
it—The movements of a Comet different from a Planet—All 
the heavenly bodies Magnets—The motions of Comets explained 
on this theory—How Comets are made periodic — Encke's and 
Biela's Comets—The atmospheres of Comets—Their tails — 
Their purpose—Are they inhabited ? 

In writing this chapter on Comets, we do not intend 
to enter into a full history of them, for that can be 
obtained in any book on Natural Science; neither 
do we pretend to give a correct account of what they 
actually are; but as they come within the influence 
of atomagnetic law by entering our system, we 
propose to offer some explanation of the phenomena 
and movements which they exhibit, and also a sug¬ 
gestion as to their character. 

On an average, it is said, two or three comets 
visit us every year; but most of them are too 
small, or too distant to be seen by the naked eye, or 
are situated in such a position with regard to the 
earth that they cannot be observed. 

The following are a few of the particulars connected 
with comets, which may help us to an explanation of 
their nature:— 

COMETS. 207 

First .—They all seem to be attracted towards the 
sun ; but none have ever been absorbed by it. 

Second .—Jupiter sometimes attracts a comet on its 
way towards the sun, and delays its movements, but 
always repels it again. None of the other planets 
have been reported to influence comets in any way. 

Third .—Some comets, such as Halley's, Encke's 
and others, return within a certain number of years; 
but by far the greater number are never again noticed 
or reported. 

Fourth .—While a large number of comets have 
luminous tails, most of them have none. 

Fifth .—Comets do not keep on one plane, nor 
move similarly to the planets, but they appear to 
come from any, and every direction. 

Sixth .—Sometimes a comet when it approaches 
the sun is shot straight back again with tremendous 
force. This was the case with one in 1680, which 
Sir Isaac Newton saw, and which he endeavoured to 
explain by the law of Gravitation ; but he could not 
account for the force which repelled it from the sun. 

The comet of 1680, Sir John Herschel says, was 
perhaps the most magnificent one ever seen. It 
appeared from November, 1680, to March, 1681. 
It was not very bright at first, but as it approached 
the sun it grew more brilliant. tc When within one- 
sixth of its surface, it turned violently round” and 
was shot back in exactly the opposite direction 
with tremendous force. In receding from the sun, 
it travelled seven times faster than in approaching it. 



Seventh ,—It has not yet been ascertained whether 
the nucleus of a comet is solid or not, but from its 


intense brightness, it is supposed to be so. 

Thus in the motion of comets we have an entirely 
different movement from that obeyed by planets. A 
planet circles round the sun in a regular orbit, while 
a comet goes apparently beyond the hounds of the solar 
system; and when it does come within it, it speeds 
towards the sun at a tremendous rate, and after ap¬ 
proaching very close, it is generally repelled again with 
greater force than ever. This is contrary to the so- 
called principle of Gravitation, according to the law as 
promulgated by Newton's disciples in the present day; 
for they say that if the earth were to approach as near 
the sun as a comet does, it would assuredly fall into it. 

Believing all the heavenly bodies to he magnets 
(many savants are now urging the propriety of the 
theory)—and Atomagnetic law to he universal—the 
movements of comets are explained at once. 

Supposing a comet, on its journey through the 
universe, to be drawn within the influence of our solar 
system, it is attracted by and speeds directly to the 
centre of our magnetic attraction, the sun; but as 
soon as it comes within the influence of our luminary's 
denser atmosphere, it undergoes a change. What 
is the nature of the change ? If two different sized 
magnets are brought together, the greater will in¬ 
stantly reverse the polarity of the lesser. Thus it is 
with the comet, the larger body being the sun, it 
instantly reverses the polarity of the former; similar 



poles are thus brought together, and as similar 
poles repel, the comet is driven from the system with 
irresistible force. It would then never return, unless 
it came under the influence of another sun, which 
reversed its polarity, and sent it back again. 

Those small comets such as Encke's and Biela’s, 
have been rendered periodic by being hemmed in by 
the attraction and repulsion of the planets and the 
sun, and made to revolve on the Plane of the Ecliptic. 

That comets have atmospheres may be accepted as 
correct, for their bright light could not be caused 
without it. The fact of their having an atmosphere, 
also, should reassure us that they can never do any 
harm by coming in contact with us; for besides the 
magnetic repelling power each body possesses, our 
atmosphere is elastic enough to preserve us from 
close contact. It might be worth while however, to 
inquire whether the pressure of any comet which 
approached very close to the earth especially on the 
Plane of the Ecliptic had any influence on the tides. 

The luminous tails of the comets may be attributed, 
we believe, to a cause which we have already sug¬ 
gested in explanation of the transparency and opacity 
of atoms. We find that although water is clear and 
transparent, yet if blown into foam, it becomes 
white and obscure, simply because the polarity of 
the atoms is disarranged and in motion. Thus at 
night, off the coast of Mexico, we have seen the 
crested billows as they folded over one another, 
flashing brightly as they curved into foam, spangling 




the whole surface of the sea with the dazzling spec¬ 
tacle of an endless succession of phosphorescent 
beacon lights. So, in a similar manner, we believe, 
that these vast luminous envelopes, as they are 
called, stretching it is said for millions of miles, and 
which strike even the most cultured observer with 
awe, are caused by the atoms of the material filling 
all space—which are arranged according to their 
natural atomic position, and are transparent—being 
disturbed by the different atmosphere of the comet 
in passing, and have their poles deranged, thereby 
causing a motion and an opacity, which in the dark¬ 
ness we see as light. This displacement continues 
till the comet is no longer able to influence them, and 
then they assume their natural position again. The 
tails of comets are long, or short, or invisible, 
according to their position in regard to the earth. 

The light of the comets is caused in a similar 
manner to that of the planets, by a reciprocal action 
of the magnetic force in the comet and the sun acting 
on their atmospheres. What may be the purpose of 
comets, and the object they accomplish, are questions 
which, in the present state of our knowledge regard¬ 
ing them, are unanswerable, until we can find out 
the extent of their journeys, and what other heavenly 
bodies they may circle round. 

Whether they are inhabited or not is also a question 
to be decided when there is more discovered about the 
solid nucleus, but the probability is that they are, like 
our Planet, inhabited by some description of beings. 



Strange theories regarding them—Sir Wm. Thomson's—Seed hearing 
Meteors — Prof. Newton on November Meteors—No orbit of 
Meteors—Meteors caused by pressure and reciprocation — Dr. 
Sorby, the microscopist, on Meteors — Prof. Graham o?i the 
Leonarto Meteor—The great November showers caused by a 
Comet—The yearly and ordinary Meteors caused by pressure. 

For a long time no attention whatever was given to 
the study of meteors, but lately there has arisen a 
great interest in their movements, and, as usual, the 
most extravagant theories are promulgated regarding 
them. Some physicists say they are fragments of 
broken worlds travelling through space; others that 
they are ejected from the sun and moon; and others 
that they fill all space and rush towards our sun, where 
they act as fuel to keep the fires burning. But the 
most extraordinary one of all is that theory, before 
referred to, suggested by Sir Wm. Thomson, that 
meteors are seed bearing. 

The following are a few of the facts concerning 

While meteors and shooting stars may be seen 
nearly every clear evening, there are particular seasons 
when they are more numerous than usual. On the 

p 2 



9th and 10th of August, or the 14th of November, 
there are often to be seen magnificent displays. This 
fact has led some astronomers to suggest that there 

o o 

must be a ring, or several rings, of meteorites, which 
travel round the sun in an orbit, bearing a similarity 
to the orbit of our earth. But the great objection to 
this theory is that they move in a contrary direction 
to that of the earth and the other planets. Another 
peculiarity is that in the history of all the aerolites 
contained in museums only one was observed to fall 
on a “star shower” date. Prof. Newton, of Yale 
College, America, also states, from observations taken 
with the spectroscope, that the shooting stars of 
November consist of more inflammable material than 
those of other meteoric showers. All these facts tend 
to show the improbability of an orbit of meteors. 

Sir Wm. Thomson’s theory of the seed-bearing 
meteors is so improbable, and has so little apparent 
evidence to support it, that it may be dismissed at 
once. We would, however, call attention to the 
argument which he brings forward, to show how it 
is possible for two worlds to have collided, and dis¬ 
tributed the seeds. He says :—“ It is as sure that 
collisions must occur between masses moving through 
space, as it is that ships steered without intelligence 
directed to prevent collision could not cross and recross 
the Atlantic for thousands of years with immunity 
from collision.” We are astonished that such a 
student of science should have investigated the 
mechanism of the universe to so little purpose as not 



to have discovered the perfection of every movement 
connected with the heavenly bodies, and compared 
with which human action or skill is as perpetual 
blundering*. That any leader in science at the present 
day should consider it possible that planets and other 
similar bodies are not gifted with attractive and 
repulsive properties and atmospheres calculated to 
keep them from colliding, only shows how little is 
really discovered by scientific men about nature and 
her laws. Besides, he can point to no direct evidence 
of any collision having ever taken place; and of all 
the numerous erratic comets which have passed 
through our system not one is known to have collided 
with a planet. 

Our theory of Meteors is as follows;—“The earth 
in its daily journey through space has its atmosphere 
pressed by the atmospheres of other planets (as shown 
in the chapter on Tides). The outer or upper surface 
of the earth’s atmosphere is composed of metallic 
atoms. If, then, by the pressure or contact of the 
atmospheres, two of these metallic atoms should unite, 
they must immediately influence and attract other 
atoms. They then accumulate, become more and more 
dense, and fall towards the earth, increasing in bulk 
force of attraction, and also in velocity, till they come 
into the oxygen atmosphere near the surface of the 
earth, when the reciprocal action between the two 
classes of atoms takes place, and the friction is so 
intense that combustion and light is the result; they 
may either then explode and be dissolved into a 



gaseous condition again, or fall as solid meteoric 
stones to the earth. 

To support our assertions we have three facts, 
besides Prof. Newton's statement already referred to, 
to bring forward in proof. 

The first is that the microscopist, Dr. Sorby, of 
Sheffield, England, has arrived at the conclusion, 
from the examination of a large number of specimens, 
that the structure of meteorites cannot be explained 
in a satisfactory manner, except by supposing that their 
constituents were originally in a state of vapour. 

The second is that the late Prof. Graham said the 
“ Leonarto" meteor had so much hydrogen in its iron 
that the inference was “ the meteorite was extruded 
from a dense atmosphere of hydrogen gas” 

The third is, a discovery which has lately been 
announced by Schiaparelli, that the great star showers 
of November , which occur every thirty-three years, have 
been hitherto preceded by a comet. There is no doubt, 
then, but that it is the great pressure of a comet's 
atmosphere on the atmosphere of the earth which 
causes the atoms to combine and to form meteors. 
We have also no doubt, that the yearly display in 
August and November, will be found traceable ere 
long to a similar cause; or to some combination of 
the atmospheres by which there is more pressure 
exerted at one time than at another. The meteors 
which we see on ordinary occasions are probably only 
caused by the constant daily effect of pressure on the 



Visible at both poles—Mairan on the extent of the Sun’s atmo¬ 
sphere—Lardner on Auroras — M. Biot on Polar Volcanoes — 
Distance of Auroras—Seen by Aeronauts below them — Facts — 
Caused by mineral emanations from the Polar Latitudes—How 
they affect the compasses—Why seen on Calm evenings — Dew — 
Cause of colours—Similarity between Auroras and Meteors. 

Auroras are visible in the direction of both the 
Northern and Southern poles—various explanations 
have been given of them, but they are all open to 

A curious one is given by Mairan, who supposed 
the aurora to proceed from the intermixture of the 
far extending atmosphere of the sun with that of the 
earth. While we do not altogether coincide with it, 
we are glad to get an incidental confirmation of our 
theory of tides and atmospheres from him. 

Lardner says :—Although the complete explana¬ 
tion of the aurora has not been accomplished, the 
electricity and magnetism of the earth and its atmo¬ 
sphere must now be regarded as its source.” This is 
partly correct, but as he does not apprehend the pro¬ 
perties or mode of action of either, of course he could 
not understand the theory in its entirety. 

M. Biot supposed that metallic clouds thrown out 



of polar volcanoes were the cause of auroras, and this 
accounted for their disturbing the magnetic needle. 
But the disturbance of the needle can be accounted 
for in a more simple manner. 

Some philosophers asserted that the auroras are 
thousands of miles above the surface of the earth, 
but the most generally accepted theory is that they 
are within our atmosphere; for aeronauts have fre¬ 
quently been elevated above them. 

The principal facts to be borne in mind concerning 
auroras are these :— 

Firstly, that (in our latitudes) they are always 
seen to the northward of us, never to the south— 
even although persons to the south of us may see 
auroras between us and them. 

Secondly, that when they are visible, the evening 
is usually calm and clear. 

Thirdly, that they influence the compass needle 
and affect the telegraph lines. 

Fourthly, that they have different shades of colour. 

We have already shown by the experiment of the 
“ magnetic curves” that there is a magnetic force or 
current continually extending from the Poles towards 
the Equator. The poles of a magnetic battery if in¬ 
troduced into a vase of oxygen will exhibit light, and 
we have proved that sunlight is produced in Nature 
from a similar action. We have, moreover, shown 
that when the poles of atoms are disturbed, opacity is 
the result in daylight, and light is the consequence in 
darkness. We have, therefore, two explanations open 



to us. The magnetic upper current issuing from the 
north, being of necessity accompanied by mineral 
gases which are exuded principally from the polar 
latitudes, comes in contact on a clear and calm even¬ 
ing with the vegetable gases in the lower atmosphere; 
either, then, a chemical action is induced between 
the two gases, causing intense friction and light; or 
the polarity of the mineral atoms in the upper at¬ 
mosphere is deranged, and opacity or light is the 
result. We are inclined to think that both causes 
may be in operation at times, and thus we may 
account for the brilliancy and dulness of the displays 
—the bright ones being caused by chemical action. 
By the latter theory, the evanescent character and 
continuously shifting position of these northern lights 
may be accounted for more easily than by any other, 
for a shoot of the current along the “ lines of force'” 
could instantly reverse the poles of the atoms in the 
direction traversed; and in withdrawing as instantly 
allow them to resume their natural position again. 
The fact that nearly all these displays shoot out in 
lines from a Polar centre, very materially corroborates 
our assertion that the action of the “ magnetic curves” 
of the earth is the principal cause of auroras. 

The influence of the aurora on the compass needle 
and on telegraph lines may then be easily accounted 
for by the Polar magnetic current. 

But the auroras are seen much further south, how 
far south we believe has not been correctly ascer¬ 
tained; but, we should think, that under suitable 



conditions, they would be visible wherever any mag¬ 
netic influence is found to be exerted on the compass. 

It may be ashed why do we not see the aurora to 
the south of us ? We believe it is owing to the posi¬ 
tion of the atoms of the atmosphere, and to the atoms 
having two poles. The mineral atoms, under the 
influence of the polarity of the earth, being attracted 
southward through the oxygen, only those southern 
poles that come in contact with the oxygen exhibit 
light. Thus, also, for a somewhat similar reason, only 
those observers who are between the sun and a rainbow 
can see the latter. A rainbow cannot be seen if it 
exists between the point of observation and the sun. 

Why is it only on calm and clear evenings that 
auroras are seen? 

Because like dew, they are formed in consequence 
of a reciprocal action between the lower and upper 
atmospheres; a process which can only exhibit its 
action as the aurora, when the atmospheres are other¬ 
wise at rest, and when there are no winds to dissipate 
the gases, or divert them from the natural position 
necessary to form the aurora, otherwise they form 
clouds, etc. 

The sensation of cold is caused by the quantity of 
mineral gases mingling in the atmosphere. 

The colours of the aurora are produced by the 
variety, and the different combinations, of the gases 
mingling; the vegetable gases causing the red, 
yellow, and warm colours, and the mineral gases 
showing the blue and cold colours. 



A revolution in medicine—The cause of disease unknown — In¬ 
curable diseases—Not creditable to the profession—What are 
our bodies composed of?—What keeps up life in us?—What is 
blood?—IIow is blood formed?—How is the material we eat 
transformed into blood?—What causes and keeps up the circu¬ 
lation of the blood?—What is life?—The magnetic action of 
the body—The function of the blood—How the waste from the 
body is thrown off—Hot water — Purging — Emetics—The body 
compared to a fire — Indigestion — Consumption, its cause and 
cure — Fevers. 

If the atomagnetic system be true, it is destined 
to revolutionize the whole practice of medicine. Any¬ 
one who has been sick must have noticed how 
ignorant certain doctors are of the nature of disease, 
and how uncertain they are about the proper manner 
of treating it. The true cause of fevers and other 
diseases, the circulation of the blood, etc., is mis¬ 
apprehended, and in many cases totally unknown 
to them. Numerous diseases also are deemed in¬ 
curable, such as consumption, heart disease, liver 
complaint, indigestion, and some others which ought 
to be no more so than measles or scarlatina. It 
seems far from creditable to the profession that 
such should be the case, when, as a class, they 



Lave been operating on the human system for a term 
that is infinite, compared to the status of any other 

The name and purpose of every bone and muscle 
in the body are well known, but neither the true nature 
of the atomic material that composes the body, 
nor the nature of the action which keeps up 
life in it, is understood by them. The remedial 
knowledge of the profession, also, is obtained almost 
solely by an uncertain, or careless experience; and in 
many instances the remedy which has proved success¬ 
ful with one will be tried on another without consi¬ 
dering the differing nature of either case relatively 
to the other. 

How many cases of mysterious death also occur 
from the prescriptions of the physician, which are 
kindly ignored by the coroner, who is, fortunately, 
often one of themselves ? Yet, notwithstanding all 
this, certain medical professors in Ontario, Canada, 
have petitioned their legislature for a bill, to consti¬ 
tute them the only life-preserving and death-dealing 
power in the land. To give them the power “to 
decide what is medical truth; to decide how truth 
shall be taught; to fix the standard of medical 
knowledge; and to prosecute all medical practitioners 
who may differ from them.” Either the people in 
Ontario are imbecile, or their doctors are gifted with 
an audacity which could only result from ignorance. 
We hope for the honour and good name of the pro¬ 
fession that there are no others in the world so bereft 



of reasoning capacity, for, it is evident, that a branch 
of any other profession or trade could as well claim 
similar privileges. 

So much will, henceforth, he known about matter 
and its chemical properties, that disease should be, 
as Sir J. Y. Simpson said, the exception, rather 
than the rule. 

There ought to he no disease in existence hut such 
as might be cured, if treated in time, as it usually 
exhibits its character early. A better knowledge of 
the qualities and character of medicine will also 
henceforth be easily obtained—that is as regards its 
mineral or vegetable character—thus fewer mistakes 
should occur in dispensing medicine; while experi¬ 
ments with new medicines might, with due care, be 
tried with impunity. 

If we explain the life action of the body, it will 
show us what effect medicine is expected to produce, 
and how it accomplishes its work. 

In the first place of what are our bodies composed ? 
Of matter in its varied forms and conditions ; that is 
animal, vegetable and mineral atoms, in solid, liquid, 
and gaseous forms. 

What keeps up life in the human system ? Let us 
examine the human structure. There is a frame-work 
or skeleton of bones to support the body. There are 
muscles and nerves that work and guide the frame, 
and flesh and skin to protect these muscles and bones. 
But all throughout this flesh, muscle, and bone, there 
are multiplied arteries and veins filled with blood, 



coursing* through and saturating the whole, from the 
stomach to the extremities. 

"What is this blood ? 

If we bleed a man exhaustively, he becomes gradu¬ 
ally weaker, till he has no strength to move, and 
finally he dies. He has lost his blood, and with that 
his breath of life; hut all the rest of the machine, the 
bone, muscle, flesh, veins, etc., remain, yet they 
cannot keep life in the man; his life support, there¬ 
fore, must of course be through the blood. 

How is this blood formed ? 

If we take a strong, healthy, full-blooded man, 
and starve him for a time, we find he loses his flesh, 
and there is little or no blood or life left in him. 
Furnish him with warm water, he will revive, and 
may thus be kept alive for a time; but the reduced 
flesh is not restored. If we now take this famished 
and reduced man, and furnish him gradually with 
food and drink, he speedily becomes robust, fleshy, 
and full-blooded. The correct inference then is, that 
not only the blood, but the flesh, muscles, bones, 
hair, and everything connected with the body, must 
be formed from what we eat and drink. 

How is this material that we eat transformed into 
blood? The stomach is analogous to a magnetic 
battery. The food which we eat is passed into it, 
and dissolved there by a process of chemical action 
between the particles of the animal, vegetable, and 
mineral matter contained in the food, similar to that 
which takes place in the mineral magnetic battery. 



This chemical action is produced through the agency 
of the water, or the fluids we drink and with which 
the food is saturated. The portion which has dis¬ 
solved, is then forced into the arteries and veins 
along with the blood, as new blood; while the more 
indigestible parts are ejected from the system, along 
with the waste material of the body, through the 

But the blood itself is not life. It circulates 
through the body, we are told, once in twenty 
minutes. There must then be something to drive 
the new blood through the arteries and veins, in 
order to take the place of the old which has served 
its purpose, and is returning laden with impurities. 
For, while it is the function of the blood to restore 
the decayed parts of the body, it is also its function 
to carry off whatever inert material it wastes. 

What, then, causes and keeps up the circulation of 
the blood ? 

We have already said the body, in its vital parts, 
is like a decomposing magnetic battery. In such 
a battery, the force produced by the dissolving of the 
minerals, is sent from the battery to the poles or 
extreme ends of the metal in connexion. So it is 
with the body. While the food is being dissolved in 
the stomach, a force is generated which is continually 
urging the material, as soon as it is in a fit condition, 
from the stomach to the extremities. For the body 
is as much a magnet in its nature as a loadstone, 
although the magnetism is exhibited in a different 



way. This, therefore, is the primal force which keeps 
up the circulation of the blood. Life, then , is the 
atomagnetic action of the body. 

In order now to discover the cause of fever and 
disease in the system, let us examine again the 
function of the blood, and the action of the body 
in throwing off its waste material, and of rebuilding 
the same. The waste is thrown off in two ways; 
firstly, by the exhalations from the body externally 
all over its surface; and secondly, by passing along 
with the blood to the intestines, where it is ejected 
from the body with the insoluble parts of the food 
eaten. It will be seen, therefore, that should there 
be a checking of the circulation in any way, as 
by cold or chills, or by the food not being digested as 
well or as readily as it ought to be, or by the waste 
material clogging up the veins, or by uncleanliness 
checking and filling up the pores of the skin, some 
disease or ailment is sure to ensue. In a stoppage of 
this sort, the atoms of the body interfere with, or 
obstruct, the general arrangement of its working, 
and a new local action takes place in the part so 
clogged, causing inflammation, fever, palpitation, 
rheumatism, cholera, bodily pain, or a condition and 
disposition to take on disease in the form of any con¬ 
tagion or infection that may be prevalent. 

As we cannot always foresee, and so prevent a 
stoppage of the bodily functions, no household should 
be without the knowledge and means of restoring the 
circulation of the blood. 



The first remedy on the list we commend is hot 
water. Inasmuch as the blood and other material of 
the body are composed largely of water, should any 
poisonous matter exist in the human system that is 
foreign to it, the hot water will dilute it, and assist 
in urging it along to the intestines and extremities to 
eject it from the system. In many cases of lassitude 
or exhaustion, no other remedial agent would be 

The next agent is a purgative food or medicine 
adapted to the chemical condition of the body; and 
in urgent cases an emetic—adapted to the same con¬ 
ditions—given in a weak solution, in doses every 
twenty minutes, or at sufficient intervals to allow it 
to permeate the whole body through the circulation 
of the blood, before vomiting takes place. This, 
together with a moderate application of moisture and 
heat to the body, would generally be a certain cure. 
Some simple treatment such as we have described, 
administered in time, would in many instances check 
what might otherwise result—by the prescribed 
system of treatment—in a long and serious illness. 

As regards the circulation of the human body, it 
may be compared to a fire. If the fire is expected to 
burn well, there must be freedom for the air to 
circulate through the material that feeds it, and 
therefore it wants occasional clearing of the ashes, 
before having a fresh supply of fuel put on. Should 
the ashes be allowed to accumulate, the fire will bum 
low and threaten to go out; then the extensive 




poking which is necessary to restore a draught almost 
puts the fire out. So it is with the body if the 
circulation is neglected ; the body becomes feeble and 
the spirits languish, then sickness, cold or fever 
ensues, and unless the circulation is speedily restored 
in a proper manner, the life of the patient is apt to 
go out. 

Indigestion is one of the most common complaints, 
and the source of many ulterior diseases. It is caused, 
m most instances, by an insufficiency of liquid to dis¬ 
solve the food, in order to enable the body to keep up 
a free circulation. In England, where great quantities 
of beer and wines are drank during dinner, indiges¬ 
tion is not half so frequent as in America, where iced 
water is the too frequent accompaniment to every 
meal. Our food and drink should always be taken 
warm when possible, because a certain temperature 
must be kept up in the body to digest the food. 
Sufficient salt, too, should always be taken at every 
meal—especially in warm weather, and in equatorial 

What causes consumption ? Inflammation. What 
causes inflammation ? Merely the circumstance of 
certain veins or arteries becoming clogged with waste 
material. This is caused by a chill in the region of 
the lungs tending to check the circulation; or may 
arise from neglect or improper care of the body. A 
local action then takes place, and a pain is felt in one 
of the lungs. The doctor probably explains that the 
lungs are wasted or decayed in that particular spot, 



and that the only treatment he can recommend is a 
change of climate, or a blister. If the patients do not 
go away from home—and there are comparatively 
few who can afford to do so—then they may make up 
their minds to die. It seems like murder that some 
hundreds or thousands of people should die every 
year of consumption, and that the profession which is 

so greatly accountable for the calamity should never 


have found a remedy for the disease. Those who try 
to discover a cure also, are treated discourteously 
instead of offered assistance. 

How would we treat consumption ? 

Not so much by drugs or blisters as by careful 
nursing. From what we have said of the nature of 
the body and its mode of action, it may be inferred 
that we would in the first place restore it to a proper 
working condition by attending to the digestion and 
the circulation, so that the body be kept warm in 
every part by its own natural atomic action. We 
would then find the locality of the inflammation, and 
by the continuous application of moisture and heat, 
along with a slightly mineral solution to the part 
affected, we would exp#ct to produce a reciprocal 
action between the atoms in the region of inflamma¬ 
tion and in the liniment, which would neutralize each 
other, and so induce a healthy circulation that might 
result in removing the state of inflammation entirely. 
If carelessness or inattention to the rules of health 
should bring on the inflammation again, the same 
treatment would have to be repeated. Thus no young 

Q 2 



or otherwise healthy person need die of consumption 
if properly prescribed for. It will be evident, there¬ 
fore, that all those compound nostrums, patent medi¬ 
cines, and galvanic batteries which are advertised 
indiscriminately to cure consumption, without some 
general treatment of the body and system besides 
that of local application to the parts affected, are a 
deception and destined only to failure. 

How are fevers caused and cured ? 

Fevers, as we have already said, are caused by the 
cheeking of the circulation, owing to the blood being 
vitiated. To bleed, in such cases, may for the 
moment relieve by reducing the quantity , but cer¬ 
tainly can never alter the quality or condition of the 
blood. The dogma that every fever must run its 
course of so many days, and that its various changes 
and stages should be watched and named, is a most 
absurd and dangerous one; for, admitted that the 
fever is caused by vitiated blood, the common-sense 
treatment would obviously be to chemically change 
its condition, and to induce a free and full circulation 
of the blood throughout the body : not to wait till 
symptoms of some particular type of fever or other 
disease be developed, and the whole bodily system ig, 
reduced and paralysed. Or worse still, ere symptoms 
are fully developed, to guess at the disease and pre¬ 
scribe a strong medicine, which, if the surmise should 
be wrong, may probably prove to be the worst drug 
the patient could have taken. 

Suppose two men are in a room with a fever 



patient, and both are attacked by the fever, but one 
man recovers in a few days, while the other has the 
fever for weeks, it will then be commonly said that 
the one who recovered did not have the fever at all. 
Is it not more likely that the constitution or con¬ 
dition of the one was able to resist, or counteract the 
influence of the disease, and thus throw it off sooner, 
while the other wanted assistance from a physician, 
but the proper means were not used ? It is only 
reasonable to suppose, that if a strong healthy man is 
able naturally or voluntarily to throw off a fever, a 
weak man with proper assistance and medicine ought 
to be able to do so too. 

It is not our province, in a work of this kind, to 
enter into a detailed system of medical treatment, for 
such a proceeding would enlarge the volume into a 
library ; but we desire principally to call attention to 
the fact that many diseases are deemed incurable 
which properly ought not to be so called; and also 
that the few illustrations we have given of the cause 
of disease and the manner of treating sickness, may 
lead those who feel sick to trust to and to act in the 
first place for themselves, until a better system of 
medical treatment is adopted; thus many valuable 
lives may be saved every year. 



Religion not affected by Atomagnetism—The inherent life in atoms 
and the spontaneous development of the mind , seem grand 
arguments for the Materialist—The movements of Planets and 
Comets—The great machinery of the universe—What need of a 
God?—Man fancies himself a Monarch—No animal intelli¬ 
gence his superior—Only a parasite—Chained to the earth—On 
a level with his dog—Matter existed without properties — 
Who endowed it with them ?—Divine mind of man — Mag¬ 
netism not God—How simple miracles must be to Him who 
formed and holds the key of natural law—Insignificance of 

As Religion may be considered to be affected by the 
system of science promulgated in the previous 
chapters, we have reserved our remarks on the con¬ 
nexion between them for a concluding chapter. 

It may seem, to many readers, that we supply 
arguments from which the materialist could still 
further advance his cause. When we say that matter 
is possessed of inherent life, and that this life is 
capable of forming any production on earth spon¬ 
taneously, according to the nature, condition, and 
position of the materials commingling, not only in 
the mineral and vegetable kingdom, but in the 
animal kingdom as well, it appears a most astound- 



ing assertion. But when we state that the same 
atomic matter spontaneously produces the mind, not 
only in the unintellectual animal but in man, and 
that those wonderful instinctive powers which seem 
to baffle the wisdom of man, in the bee and the 
beaver, are only manifestations of the same power 
inherent in the atoms of matter; might not the 
infidel exclaim, what more do we want? Further¬ 
more, if the power of matter controls and governs 
the universe, guides the planets in their course, 
steers the comets in their erratic wandering’s through 
space, and shields those bodies which come in their 
path ; if the mysterious meteoric shower, the awe in¬ 
spiring thunder, the earthquake, and every movement 
in earth, sea, and atmosphere, from the tiniest in¬ 
dividual atom to the bright orb above us, are all 
controlled by the same inanimate force, so that each 
is powerless to work except as that law impels it, and 
each moves but as a wheel in the great machinery of 
the universe! might not the materialist exclaim, 
what need of a God at all ? But here insignificant 
man fancies himself monarch of all he surveys. His 
lofty mind looking down on the brute creation, and 
seeing nothing which could be deemed his superior, 
makes a God of himself. He forgets that this earth 
is infinitely less than millions of others in space. He 
sees those brilliant worlds above him, but fancies 
they are only jewels studded in the skies, to add to 
the glories of his earthly home. He forgets that 
they are peopled with beings perhaps many times 



more able than himself, and with intellect as much 
above his, as his own is above that of his dog ! He 
forgets that he is merely a parasite of the earth, 
chained to its surface without hope of escape, while 
those other beings may be gifted with angels'’ wings 
to soar from star to star. He forgets that the dog he 
spurns from his feet is made of dust like to himself, 
and yet he would place himself on a level with Him 
who created the heavens and the earth, and caused 
both himself and his dog to grow upon it. 

While we deny that our system favours the 
materialist or the infidel, we maintain that it brings 
the most conclusive evidence to bear against them. 
In the science of the day mystery is found on every 
hand, and no two observers read phenomena alike. 
A man may in consequence be excused for holding 
opinions of his own on science and religion, when his 
statements cannot be disproved. But, as we have laid 
down the law which regulates all nature, which origi¬ 
nates and controls all forces in it, and is, therefore, 
as infallible as nature itself, the possibility of any 
misconception or misconstruction is obviated entirely. 
The existence of the Great God, the Designer and 
Ruler of all, is thus seen at once to be true, for in the 
perfection of the law is shown the perfection of Him 
who created it. 

While, then, we say that matter has inherent pro¬ 
perties, we have also said that it may exist in a posi¬ 
tion not to exhibit its properties, as in the beginning 
of our earth, when, as we are informed, the material 



forming the earth, sea, and atmosphere was “ chaos,” 
or invisible matter —“ without form, and void.” 
Grant, therefore, that matter did exist without pro¬ 
perties, where is the materialist who will explain how 
the properties were imparted to it without a God ? 
The fact, too, that man has a divine mental faculty 
or mind, distinct from his animal or earthly mind, is 
also conclusive evidence of a power beyond that con¬ 
tained in matter. We have ourselves been told that 
because we stated life to be magnetism, we therefore 
implied that magnetism was God. But if magnetism 
is a power with which matter was endowed, there 
must also of necessity have been an endower of that 

This latter fact strikes a vein of thought which 
convinces us of the illimitable power of the Creator. 

If atomagnetism so regulates all atoms and forces 
of matter that not the slightest movement, not the 
waving of a blade of grass, not the flutter of a bird 
on the wing, not the fleeting of a cloud in the sky, 
but is governed by this law; then how great is the 
power of Him who holds the key thereof! He who 
gives a power can surely take it away again, and He 
who can create one power can surely devise another. 
How simple a matter, then, must it be to the Deity 
to shut the mouths of lions, to take the heat from a 
burning fiery furnace, to part asunder the Bed Sea, 
and to raise Lazarus from the dead! The fact that 
not only these mysteries, but the creation of our world, 
the flood which deluged it, and all other natural 



phenomena recorded in Scripture, are found by this 
atomagnetic system to harmonize with scientific facts, 
and the impressive and yet simple fact that the infidel's 
own lips but open and shut according to the same law, 
should show proud man what a miserable and insig¬ 
nificant being he is, and how much he is at the mercy 
of an Almighty Ruler. 


blamed for all the ills that afflict mankind, 128 

- Q - African, atmosphere of the, 147 
Agassiz, Louis, on living beings born of eggs, 23 

on an animal and divine mind, 45 
on men and monkeys, 26 

on the creation of the many at the beginning, 26 
on special creation, 31 
on coral insects, 177 

on millions of coral insects fed from one mouth, 177 
on coral growing by budding, 177 
argument against Darwin with coral insects, 178 
on the age of Florida reefs, 178 

Air, no moisture in, 55 
,, no, in water, 136 
„ no, in ice, 136 

,, Mr. H. Higgins on water absorbing, 136 
,, composition of, 146 

Albion Mines, Nova Scotia, site of a volcano, 188 
Alphabet, similarity between the elements of matter and the, 5 
America, rain diminishing in North, 134 innrc.<3oin rc in ftrvor»iall 134 

disastrous effects of clearing the forests in North, 134 
ruined cities in Central, 136 

American, weather maps, 1 55 
Animals, possessed of one mind only, 41 

have no soul, 41 

their mind a property of earthly matter only, 41 
how produced spontaneously, 25 

Appetite is incipient mind, 35 

the, of spontaneous insects, 35 
what is, 36 

governs all animals up to man, 36 

a seal’s, 36 

a calf s, 37 

how to acquire an, 37 

Atomagnetism, the law of matter and its force, 7 

how great the power of Him who holds the key 

of, 233 




Atomagnetism, supersedes gravitation, 115 

,, the motive power of the whole machinery of the 

universe, 231 
,, religion and, 230 

,, explains all mysteries in Scripture, 234 

,, brings the most conclusive evidence to bear against 

infidels, 232 

Atoms, their character, 1 
,, two great classes of, 1 

,, mineral and vegetable, 2 

,, male and female, 2 

,, properties of, 2 

,, all alive, 3 

,, are all magnets having polarity, 8 

,, the attraction of like explained, 8 

Atomic action, continuity of, 145 

,, likened to a gossamer thread, 69 
,, matter spontaneously produces mind, 231 
Atmosphere, the, in layers, 125 

,, temperature of, in balloon researches, 147 

,, composition of, 147 

,, everything has an, 147 

,, of the African, 147 

„ extent of the planets, 194 

,, pressure of, causes tides, 195 
,, pressure on, causes meteors, 213 
Atmospheric circulation, theory of, 203 
Atlantic, S.S., loss of, 119 
Attraction not the cause of the tides, 192 
Artesian wells for the prevention of earthquakes, 188 
Auroras, facts concerning, 215 
,, Mairan on, 215 
,, Lardner on, 215 

,, M. Biot on, 215 

,, disturb the magnetic needle, 216 
,, caused by the magnetism of the earth, 216 
,, two theories of, 216 

,, colours of, caused by, 218 

"DALLOON researches, by Gay-Lussac, 147 

Bastian, Mr. H. Charlton, on Origin of Lowest Organisms, 33 
Battles, followed by rain, cause of, 138 
Beasts have only one mind, 41 
have no soul, 41 
know not sin, nor do wrong, 41 
„ have appetites, but no desires, 41 
Beavers, foreknowledge of, 40 
Bees, ,, ,, 40 

Beche, Sir Henry de la, on carbon, 168 
Beer, vast quantities of, drank in England, 226 




Berkeley, Bishop, on matter, 5 

Biot, M., on auroras, 216 

Bible, the, comprehensiveness of, 16 

,, proof of vegetable life drawn from, 17 
Blood, what is, 222 

,, function of the, 223 
,, cause of the circulation of the, 223 
Botanical theories of vegetable life, 17 
,, ,, of trees, 177 

Bottled sunshine, 96 

Borer, the, worm holes in coral made by, 175 
Body, human, a machine easily injured, 157 
Brain, the, a picture gallery, 49 
Branches and leaves, why they spread, 19 
Brewer, Dr., on the sun the source of heat, 72 
Buckland, Frank, on a chicken’s instinct, 39 
Buoys, scientific, for leading men astray, 96 

F1ALM3, cause of equatorial, 152 

,, in the centre of cyclones, 154 
Cambodia, ruined cities of, 136 
Cambridge, Lectures, Agassiz, 177 
Carbon, trees composed of, 168 

Sir Henry de la Beche on, 168 
said to be injurious to man, 169 
eaten by man, 169 


5 i 


’ i 





Carpenter, Dr. W. B., his theory of oceanic circulation, 199 

his deep sea soundings, 199 
experiment with glass trough, 199 
Dr. Wyville Thompson against, 200 
atmospheric and oceanic theory overlooked 
by, 203 

Cells in plants, what impels them to divide, 18 
Central America, ruined cities in, 136 
Celestial Dynamics, Dr. Mayer’s, 183 
Chambers 8 Journal on dew, 140 
Charcoal in the Nova Scotian coal-fields, 170 
Challenger , H.M.S., 174 

Chambers's Encyclapcedia on coral insects, 174 

,, ,, on the time taken to fill a gap in a coral 

reef, 181 

Cheese, life in, 23 
,, Chinese, 161 

Chemical action, Prof. Grove on, 51 

all changes caused by, 51 
digestion caused by, 52 
the great destroyer, 52 
examples of, 52 
Child, Dr., on spontaneous generation, 28 
Chicago, once a fever swamp, 135 



i i 









9 9 


Chicago, snow storm at, 155 
Chinese cheese, made of peas and beans, 161 
City, a, why it is free of fever and ague, 135 
City of Washington, S.S., loss of, 119 
Cincinnati, once a fever swamp, 135 
Circulation of the blood, cause of the, 223 

„ of the blood in the body compared to a fire, 225 
Clouds, formation of, 129, 145 
Common sense, Sir John Herschel on, 128 

,, a poor guide to the study of science, 129 

Coal, how formed, 66 

of vegetable origin, 166 
Prof. Rogers on how it is baked, 167 
formed by petrifaction, 171 
Nova Scotia, fields, 170 
inexhaustible, 172 

a forest will only produce half an inch of, 167 
how hydrogen entered the, 169 
Cochineal, a parasite of the cactus, 175 
Cobalt blue, magnetic, 98 
Columbus, Christopher, 62 
Colour, length of red and violet rays of light, 92 
„ Vibratory theory of, 93 

Herschel, Tyndall, Maxwell, Helmholtz on, 94 
Atomagnetic theory of, 95 
„ a property of matter, 107 
Compass, magnetic, exhibition of mineral life, 11 
cause of deviation of, in ships, 115 
general ignorance of its action, 116 
influence of a cargo of petroleum on the, 117 
disturbed by auroras, why, 217 
Comets, two or three visit the earth every year, 206 
facts connected with, 206 
not absorbed by the sun, 206 
Jupiter attracts, 207 
periodical, Halley’s and Encke’s, 207 
some have not tails, 207 
of 1680, 207 

why repelled from the sun, 209 
how made periodical, 209 
have atmospheres, 209 
cause of the luminous tails of, 209 
Consumption, cause of, 226 

,, the doctors on, 226 

,, cure of, 227 

,, no young person need die of, 228 

Cornhill Magazine on seed-bearing meteors, 15 
Coral insects, sermons preached on their industry, 173 
unworthy of notice, 173 
live in shallow water, 174 
merely parasites, 175 

5 > 




5 > 










9 ) 



Coral insects, Agassiz on millions of, fed from one mouth, 177 
„ Agassiz’s argument against Darwin with, 178 

,5 Darwin’s theories of, 178 

,, Sir John Herschel on, 179 

„ how they keep the Coral Islands above water, 178 

,, a species of animate jelly, 177 

,, artistic taste of, 176 

„ possessed of administrative and governing powers, 181 

Coral, how it grows, 173 

„ found only in equatorial latitudes, 173 
„ grows by budding, 177 
,, Florida reefs of, 173 

what causes the colour of, 176 
Islands said to be sinking, 178 
,, not formed wholly of coral, 180 
Coroner, danger of having a doctor as a, 220 
Cow, is a, the mother of maggots ? 23 
Crosse, Mr., producing insects spontaneously, 24 
Creator, the illimitable power of, 233 
Crystallization, coral a form of, 175 

a form of mineral life, 12 










TiARWIN, Dr., on one primordial form, 26 
^ theory of the origin of species overthrown, 17 

on mind, 35 

on the power of wishing, 32 

Agassiz’s argument with, coral insects against, 178 
theories of coral insects, 178 
states the Coral Islands are sinking, 178 
quoted by Sir John Herschel, 179 
Daylight, cause of, 89 
Descartes on matter and motion, 7 
Davy, Sir Humphry, on heat in ice, 68 
Deep sea, the temperature of, 199 
„ animal life in, 199 

„ coldness of the, accounted for, 204 
,, currents, Dr. Carpenter’s theory of, 200 
,, Dr. Wyville Thompson on, 200 

Dew, Chambers's Journal on, 140 

Baptista Porta nearly discovered the true theory of, 140 
Aristotle on, 141 

Musschenbroek delayed the discovery of the true theory of, 141 
Dr. Wells, discoverer of the accepted theory of, 142 
produced similarly to water, 145 

a calm and clear evening essential for the formation of, 145 
on strawberry plants, 143 
De la Rive, on two differing electricities, 101 
Delusions, scientific, about magnetism, 111 

Deviation of ships’ compasses, caused by a speaking trumpet, 118 

caused by steering apparatus, 118 


9 9 






Deviation of ships’ compasses, caused by a cargo of petroleum, 117 
,, caused from unequal warming of a 

ship’s hull, 119 

,, ,, caused by iron cross-trees, 120 

Diseases, doctors ignorant of the nature of, 219 
,, so-called incurable, 219 

„ should be the exception, as Sir J. Y. Simpson said, 221 
,, the cause of, 224 

Distillation, the common theory of rain a process of, 129 
Digestion, what is, 163 

,, extraordinary case of, by coral insects, 176 
Doctors, ignorant of disease, 219 

,, their ignorance not creditable to them, 219 

,, life action of the body unknown to, 220 

,, their remedial knowledge gained only by experience, 220 

,, mysterious deaths by, ignored by the coroner, 220 

,, audacity of, in Ontario, 220 

,, one class of, petitioning for a bill to persecute others, 220 
Dogfish has little or no gills, 137 

Drainage, Sir John Herschel says, lessens the rainfall, 134 
Dumas, M., on origin of life, 23 

Dunsappie Loch, near Edinburgh, Scotland, obscure ice on, 132 
Dust and Disease, Tyndall on, 30 


"DARTH, the, heat generated by, falling into the sun, 71 
a magftltic battery, 87 
no colour on, 94 

Prof Rogers on the central heat of, 167, 182 
thickness of the crust of, 182 
Dr. Mayer on the internal fire of, 183 
Drs. Tyndall, Thomson, and Herschel on, 183 
Earthquakes, Sir John Herschel on, 184, 189 
„ how prevented, 189 

,, caused by chemical action, 188 

Ecliptic, plane of the, tbies caused by pressure on, 195 
Eggs, not necessary for producing life, 24 
,, Agassiz on, 21 
,, not chickens, 103 

Egypt, rain becoming more frequent in, 134 
,, cultivation of the palm in, 134 
Electricity, Dr, Thos. Thomson on, 100 

Parker, Sir Wm. Thomson, Tyndall, Grove, and De la 
Rive on, 100, 101 
confounded with magnetism, 99 
not a force, only combustion, 102 
caused by magnetism, 102 
all light is, 103 
lightning is, 105 
Emission theory of light, Sir Isaac Newton’s, 78 
Emetic, efficacy of an, in sickness, 225 



Encke’s comet, 207, 209 
Energy, Professors Thomson and Tait on, 82 
English navvies, the work they do, 161 
Equator, calms of the, explained, 1£2 
Esquimaux, Sir John Ross on the appetite of, 162 
Evaporation, a chemical action, 129 

,, induced by cold as well as by heat, 129 
Evolution, doctrine of, 81 

Experiments, laboratory, doubtful helps to science, 68 
,, Nature’s, to be studied, 69 

TL4ITH essential in religion, 153 
-*• Faraday on magnetism, 107 

,, on magnetic curves, 108 

„ born too soon, 108 

,, led astray by his imagination regarding magnetic 
curves, 153 

,, how he led Maury astray, 153 
Fevers, how caused and cured, 228 
Filings, iron, magnetic arch formed by, 110 
Fireflies, light of, 76 
Fire mist, 4 

Fire, not so powerful as water, 126 
Fish produced spontaneously, 31 

Fishes’ gills used for filtering their food, not for breathing, 137 
Florida reefs, Agassiz on the age of, 178 
Food, Prof. Lyon Playfair on, 158 
,, Liebig on, 158 
,, Playfair’s tables of, 158 
,, on mineral, 162 
,, how transformed into blood, 223 
Fogs, cause of, 129-131, 145 
Forests, why they produce rain, 134 
Forms of water, Tyndall’s, 128 
Fox, cunning of the, 41 
Fraser's Magazine on matter, 4 
Frost leaves, 109 
,, hoar, cause of, 145 

Fundy, Bay of, North America, high tides in, cause of, 191, 196 
,, ,, rise of two feet in three miles, 197 

/GASTRIC juice, what is, 163 
^ Germs, theory of, 29 

,, difference between atoms and, 29 
,, where do they come from, 29 
,, must be born in some way, 29 
,, Pasteur and Tyndall on, 29, 30 
Geography of the sea, Maury’s, 153 



Geysers and hot springs, cause of, 64 
,, great, California, 64, 188 
Ghoorkas, flesh eating, 161 

Gills of a fish used for filtering food, not breathing, 137 
Gibraltar, upper and under current at Straits of, 196 
Glaciers, why chasms in Alpine are blue, 98 

,, Tyndall on solar heat, the cause of, 128 
God, magnetism not, 233 
,, perfection of, 232 
,, the power of, 233 

Gossamer thread, atomic action likened to a, 69 
Graham, Prof., on the Leonarto meteorite, 214 
Granite, water in, 127 
Gravitation, the law of, upset, 115 

,, fails to acount for the repelling power of the sun, 207 
,, as explained at the present time, 208 
Grass, why green, 95 

,, why dew deposits on, 143 
Grindon, Leo. II., on life, 26 
Grove, Prof., on matter, 5 

,, confesses ignorance of the source of heat, 72 

,, on electricity, 101 

,, on magnetism, 106 

Gulf Stream, no longer a mystery, 198 
,, Dr. Carpenter on, 199 

TT ALLEY’S Comet, 207 

-L*- Hens, how they transmit their mind to their chickens, 42 
Heat, natural, 62 

,, by combustion, 62 
,, by friction, 63 
,, dynamical theory of, 61 
„ Tyndall on, 61, 70, 71 
,, Mayer on, 62 
,, as a mode of motion, 68 
,, Grove. Lardner, and Brewer on, 72 
,, independent of matter, 72 
,, Tyndall on sound generating, 121 
Hegel on mind, 44 
Helmholtz on colour, 94 

Herscliel, Sir J. F. W., on the waste heat of the sun, 84 
,, ,, on the temperature of space, 84 

,, ,, on colour, 94 

,, ,, on common sense, 128 

,, „ on the formation of rain, 129 

,, ,, opposed to Kamtz’s theory of rain, 133 

,, ,, on altering the weather, 133 

,, ,, on the reason why trees attract rain, 134 

,, ,, on drainage being bad, 135 

,, ,, on weather and weather prophets, 150 




Herschel, Sir J. F. W., on the cause of wind, 151 
,, ,, on coral insects, 179 

,, ,, on volcanoes, 184 

,, ,, on earthquakes, 189 

,, ,, knew of chemical action in the interior of 

the earth, 189 

,, ,, his failure, 190 

,, ,, on comet of 1680, 207 

Hercules, collision with, 54 
Hills, why purple, 97 
Horse latitude:?, calms of the, 152 
Holland, criminals fed on food free from salt in, 162 
Hound, scent of a, 40 

Hope, on “Origin and Prospects of Man,” 44 
,, on mind, 44 

Hot springs and geysers, cause of, 64 
Huxley, Prof., on matter and motion, 7 
,, on origin of life, 33 

Hydrogen, in coal, 169 

,, how introduced into coal, 169 
,, all mineral matter is, 2 
,, in the Leonarto meteorite, 214 

TCARUS, fate of, 32 

Ice, action of magnetism in shell, 109 
,, hoar frost, spears of, 145 
,, composition of, 204 
Icebergs, why granulated, 204 
Inertia, action of, on the tides, 195 
Indigestion, the Scotch comparatively free from, 163 
,, cause of, 226 

,, not so common in England as in America, 226 
Indian, animal mind of an, 46 
Instinct, a higher phase of mind than appetite, 39 
Intellectual Observer on rain, 132 
Iron, why rust reddens, 98 

„ cross trees, dangerous nature of, 120 
Iron ships, great mortality in, 99 

„ great care should be taken in fitting up, 116 

,, the steering apparatus in, dangerous, 118 

„ the iron stanchions and davits of, are magnetic poles, 118 

TUPITER, the time light takes to come from, 78 
" Jackals of science, xxviii 

TTAMTZ on rain, 132 

,, his theory opposed by Sir John Herschel, 133 
Kepler as an astronomer, 82 


AMARCK, M., on origin of life, 29 
,, on monads, 29 

E 2 



Lamarck, M., Sir Chas. Lyell on, 29 
Language and matter, analogy between, 5 
Laplace, on the revolution of the earth, 184 
Lardner, Dr., on heat independent of matter, 56 
,, on the moon causing the tides, 192 
,, on Auroras, 215 
Lead tree, example of mineral life, 12 
,, caused by magnetism, 113 
Leonarto meteorite, Prof. Graham on, 214 
Life, the atomagnetic action of the body is, 224 
,, mineral, 11 
,, vegetable, 14 
,, magnetism is, 233 

Light, Sir Isaac Newton’s emission theory of, 78 
,, Undulatory theory of, 78 
,, Tyndall’s waves of, 78 
,, rate of travelling, 79 
,, how many waves of, make an inch, 78 

„ how many red and violet waves of, enter the eye in a second 

,, mistake made between sight and, 79 
,, candle experiment, 79 
,, cannot travel, 79 

,, of stars travelling to us all nonsense, 79 
,, phosphorescent, on the Pacific, 74 
,, cause of, 75 
,, of fireflies, 76 
Locke on matter, 5 
Lobster has no gills, 137 
London air, Tyndall on, 30 
Luminiferous ether, 109 
Lussac, Gav, balloon researches by, 147 
Lyell, Sir Charles, on Lamarck’s monads, 29 

lyiACARTNEY, discovering fish produced spontaneously, 31 
Machinery worked by magnetism, 172 
Magnets, howto make them without hammering, 111 
,, absui'dity of fixed, in ships, 116 
,, all heavenly bodies are, 208 
Magnetic battery, how arranged, 111 

the stomach like a, 222 
curves, the cause of, 108 
Faraday unable to explain them, 108 
Tyndall on, 109 
the cause of storms, 152 
Faraday’s fallacies regarding, 152 
Maury led astray by Faraday’s theories of, 153 
cause of auroras, 216 
Magnetism, the universal force in nature, 106 
the cause of germs, 28 
Prof. Grove on, 106 


7 7 
7 7 


7 7 





5 ) 


Magnetism, Faraday on, 107 

an inherent property of matter, 108 
of iron railings, 111 
of iron ships, 110 
in straight lines, 109 
not God, 233 

matter endowed with, 233 
for machinery, viii, xxx, 172 
Mairan on auroras, and extent of sun’s atmosphere, 215 
Mallet, Prof., on volcanoes, 188 
Man, animal and spiritual mind of, 40 
„ pride of intellectual, 231 
,, a parasite of the earth, 234 
,, on a level with his dog, 232 
,, insignificance of, 234 

Matter, Grove, Locke, Berkeley, Tyndall, Norton on, 1, 2, c 
eternal and resolvable into atoms, 1 
composed of male and female atoms, 1 
Vestiges of Creation on, 4 
Park’s Chemical Catechism on, 5 
analogy between the alphabet and, 5 
without properties, 44 
and its force, 7 

and motion, Huxley, Descartes, and Newton on, 7 
,, and motion a senseless dance of the atoms, 8 
Maury, estimate of, 153 

,, led astray by Faraday, 153 
,, Prof. J. B., on circular storms, 153 
Maxwell, Prof., on colour, 94 
Mayer, Dr., on motion, 62 

,, on the internal fire of the earth, 183 
on volcanoes, 184 
his doggedness, 184 
Medicine, whole practice of, changed by atomagnetism, 219 
Mediterranean, rise of the tide in the, 191 

cause of the low tide in the, 196 
the undercurrent in, tested in 1830, 196 
Memory, where located, 48 

Meteors, Sir William Thomson on seed bearing, 14, 211 
theories regarding, 211 
facts concerning, 211 
no ring of, 212 

Prof. Newton on the inflammable nature of, 212 
Sir Wm. Thomson on the probability of, colliding, 
atomagnetic theory of, 213 
caused by pressure of the atmosphere, 213 
,, Schiaparelli on comets causing, 214 

,, November showers of, 214 

Meteorites, Dr. Sorby, on the structure of, 214 
Meteorite, Prof. Graham on the Leonarto, 214 
Mexico, phosphorescent waves off the coast of, 209 







Milk, life in, 23 

Mind, Schelling, Hegel, and Hope on, 44 
,, Agassiz on, 45 
,, situation of the, 48 
,, what composed of, 48 
Mineral life, lowest form of life, 11 
„ ,, infallibly correct, 11 

,, ,, the compass needle, 11 

,, „ philosopher’s tree an example of, 12 

„ ,, coral and crystallized candy examples of, 12 

Monads, Lamarck on, 29 

Mount St. Helena, California, an extinct volcano, 51, 64 
Moon, the, light of, 89 

,, tides high at new and full, 191 
,, how it influences the tides, 195 
,, Lardner on the influence of the, on tides, 192 
Moonblindness, Dr. Wells on the cause of, 142 
Musschenbroek on dew, 141 
,, stupidity of, 142 
Muskrat, foreknowledge of the, 40 

5 > 


MAPE VALLEY, California, 64 

■*-' Navvies, English, work done by, 161 

Newton, Sir Isaac, on matter and motion, 7 

,, ,, on the emission theory of light, 78 

,, „ on the apple falling, 115 

,, ,, his law of gravitation upset, 115 

not satisfied with his discoveries, 116 
on comet of, 1680, 207 
Newton, Prof., Yale College, America, on meteorites, 212 
Nicaragua, Lake, effect of rainfall on, 134 
Nitrogen, classification of, 146 
Norton, Prof. W. A., on matter, 3 
North America, the rainfall diminishing over, 134 
Nova Scotia, dangerous coast of, 119 

transparent ice on Pictou river, 132 
coal fields of, 170 
Albion Mines in, 188 

OCEANIC circulation, Dr. Carpenter’s theory of, 199 
^ , ,, Carpenter’s experiment to prove, 199 

,, ,, Dr. Wyville Thompson against Carpenter’s 

theory of, 200 

,, ,, no necessity for an, 201 

Oil boring in Pennsylvania, 189 
Opacity, cause of, 131 

,, caused by combination of gases, 155 
,, cause of Auroras light, 217 
Origin of life, 14 

Sir Wm. Thomson on, 14 

5 > 



“ Origin of lowest organisms,” by H. Charlton Bastian, 33 
Ozone, the discovery of, nonsense, 149 

contradictions regarding, 149 
matches generate, 149 

"DALENQUE, Central America, 136 

Parker's School Book of Philosophy on electricity, 100 
Pasteur, M., on spontaneous generation, 28 
,, on germs, 28 
,, on preserved meats, 29 
Panama, Isthmus of, coral on the, 175 
Park’s Chemical Catechism on matter, 5 
Parasites, all plants and animals, 27 

,, of fruit, raspberries, figs, etc., 27 
Pennsylvania, oil boring in, 189 
Petrifaction, coal made by, 171 
Pictou River, Nova Scotia, transparent ice on, 132 
Pigeons, instinct of, 40 
Philosopher’s tree, 12 
Playfair, Prof. Lyon, on food, 158-162 

supports Liebig’s division of food, 158 
food tables, 160 

on the close connexion between animal and 
vegetable substances, 160 
on English navvies and Arabs, 161 
knows not the action of the mineral part of 
food, 162 

Phosphorescent waves off the coast of Mexico, 209 
Plants do not breathe, but exhale, 19 

„ absorb sustenance from the earth, 19 
„ result of painting, 19 
Poles, every atom has two, 8 

,, like, repel; unlike, attract, 8 
,, North and South, why cold, 204 
Polarity of atoms, 8 
Polypes, coral insects, Agassiz on, 177 
„ Chambers s Encyclopcedia on, 174 
Porta, Baptista, nearly discovered the true theory of dew, 140 
denied the moon and stars caused dew, 141 
thought dew was condensed from air, 141 
,, ,, showed that dew rose from the earth, 141 

Prairies in coal fields, 170 

Prescott’s History of the Electric Telegraph, 101 
Preserved meats, why they decompose, 29 
Pressure on the atmosphere, the cause of tides, 192 
,, the cause of meteors, 212 
Proctor, Prof. R. A., on rain, 132, 133 
,, on a world on fire, 68 





TIAINBOW, why not seen between the observer and the sun, 218 
Rain, how accounted for 128 



Rain assists in the formation of glaciers, 128 
,, Sir John Herschel on, 128 
,, does not come from the Gulf Stream, 131 
,, formed in the atmosphere around us, 131 
,, does not necessarily fall a great distance, 131 
,, Prof. Proctor on, 132 
,, Kamtz on, 132 
,, shot out of a cloud, 133 
,, becoming more frequent in Egypt, 134 
,, why trees attract, 134 
,, why forests produce, 134 
,, great battles followed by, 138 
Rainfall, diminishing in North America, 134 
„ Herschel says drainage lessens the, 135 
Rain gauge, the nearer the ground the greater the rainfall indicated, 

Reefs, coral, Agassiz on the age of Florida, 178 
,, „ Darwin’s theories of, 178 

,, „ how formed, 180 

,, „ how a gap was filled up, 180 

Religion, faith essential in, 153 
,, and atomagnetism, 230 
Renaissance, Painting and Architecture, 70 
Rogers, Prof., on winds, 150 

„ on coal and petroleum, 167 

,, on coal being baked, 167 
,, on hydrogen in coal, 169 
,, on the earth’s internal fire, 167 
Roots, why they spread, 19 

Ross, Sir John, on the appetite of an Esquimaux, 162 
Ruskin, John, his crusade against Renaissance Art, 70 


U Soil 

BARS, how caused, 180 

Salt, used in great quantities by Africans and Arabs, 162 
,, Canadian Indians eat no, in winter, 162 
„ criminals fed on food free from, 162 
„ action of, in the body, 163 
„ necessary for digestion, 226 
Sable Island, sand bars of, 180 
Science, absurdities of, 92 
looseness in, 92 
like a voyage of discovery, 70 
convention in Portland, U.S., 1873, 93 
„ Jackals of, xxviii 

Scientific use of the imagination, Prof. Tyndall’s, 97 
Sclielling on mind, 44 

Scriptures, the, harmonize with scientific facts, 234 
Scotch, the, comparatively free from indigestion, 163 
,, food of the poorer classes of, 163 
Schiaparelli on comets causing meteoric showers, 214 




Sea level, no such thing as a, 196 

Seals, transported from salt to fresh water, 36 

Sepoys, flesh eating, 161 

Sensational philosophers, 92, 96 

Shark has little or no gills, 137 

Siam, ruined cities of Cambodia in, 136 

Simpson, Sir J. Y., on disease, 221 

Sky, why is it blue ? 97 

,, „ Prof. Tyndall’s explanation, 97 

Snow flakes, cause of their beautiful forms, 11 
Solar heat, Prof. Tyndall says, is the true origin of glaciers, 128 
Solent , the ship, a circular storm passed over, 153 
Sound generates heat, says Tyndall, 121 

,, heard better on a winter’s day than in summer, 122 
,, a property of sympathy, 123 
,, Tyndall’s new theory of, 124 
„ experiments at South Foreland, England, on, 125 
Sorby, Dr., on water in granite, 127 
,, on meteorites, 214 
Space, temperature of, 84 
Spectrum of colours, why seen, 97 
Spiders, mathematical knowledge of, 40 
Spontaneous generation, Blackwood's Magazine on, 31 

,, ,, the French Academy’s prize for essay on, 28 

M. Pasteur on, 28 
Dr. Child on, 28 
Germ theory in opposition to, 28 
fish produced by, 31 
Mr. H. Charlton Bastian on, 33 
insects produced by, through Mr. Crosse, 24 
,, ,, atomagnetism the cause of, 33 

St. Louis, United States, once a fever swamp, 135 
St. Paul’s Cathedral, how long fifty organs would take to heat, 122 
Steam boiler explosions, 55 

U.S. Commissioners on, 55 
Com. Vandex-bilt’s Staten Island Steamer, 48 
caused by combustion between oxygen and 
hydrogen, 59 
prevention of, 59 
Stomach, like a magnetic battery, 222 

Storms, how the inferior animal knows of the approach of, 41 
,, cause of, 150 

,, Sir John Herschel on, 150 

,, Prof. Rogers on, 150 

,, the magnetic curves of the earth, the cause of, 151 
Maury on circular, 153 
description of a circular, 153 
snow storm in Chicago, 155 
wind, blow to a centre, not round one, 154 
raise the tide, 191 
Sun, the, Professors Thomson and Tait on, 83 




5 ) 


5 5 

> J 






Sun, the, Sir John Herschel on the waste heat of, 84 
,, new theory of, 84 
,, inhabited, 88 
,, not a furnace, 90 
,, winds caused by, 150 
„ forms glaciers, 108 
,, repelling power of, on comets, 207, 208 

,, influence of, on the tides, 192 

,, Mairan on the extent of the atmosphere of, 215 
Sunlight, how caused, 86 
,, is electricity, 87 
Swallows, instinct of, 40 

TABLES of food, Prof. Lyon Playfair’s, 158 
■*- Tails of comets, length of, 209 
„ „ cause of, 209 

Tait, Prof., on energy and the sun, 82 

Tantramer River, Bay of Eundy, tide rises two feet in three 
miles, 196 

Telegraph, arrangement of, 110 
,, worked by grass, 114 
Tides, regularity of the, 191 

in the Mediterranean, 191 
in the Bay of Fundy, and cause of, 191, 196 
high, at new and full moon, 195 
storms raise the, 195 

caused by pressure on the plane of the Ecliptic, 194 
cause of variation of the, 194 
said to be caused by attraction, 11 95 
Lardner's theory of, untenable, 192 
average rise of the, 194 
follow the Meridian, 193 
moon’s influence on the, explained, 195 
Thompson, Dr. Wyville, against Dr. Carpenter’s theory of oceanic 
circulation, 200 

Thomson, Dr. Thomas, on electricity, 100 
Thomson, Sir William, on seed bearing meteors, 14 

on origin of life, 14 
on energy, 82 

on how the sun’s furnace is fed, 83 
on electricity flowing, 100 
on the internal fire of the earth, 15 
Trees, attract only material similar to themselves, 8 
result of coating, with paint, 19 
why they do not grow in winter, 20 
composed of carbon, 168 
formed of an aggregate of individuals, 177 
Tyndall, Prof., on Matter and Force at Dundee, 2 
on dust and disease, 30 
on heat as a mode of motion, 68 













Tyndall, Prof., on Sir Humphry Davy’s ice experiment, 68 
,, ,, lectures on heat, 68 

,, ,, on the heat caused by the stoppage of the earth, 71 

,, ,, on incipient life, 3 

,, ,, on souls of fire, 72 

,, ,, on Dr. Thos. Young and the undulatory theory of 

light, 78, 81 

,, ,, on iron and lead bullets, 70 

,, ,, on the heat caused by the earth falling into the sun, 71 

,, ,, on waves of coloured light, 93 

,, . ,, on electricity, 101 • 

,, ,, on magnetic curves, 108, 109 

,, ,, on sound, 121 

,, ,, his experiments at South Foreland, 125 

,, ,, new theory of sound, 125 

,, ,, on glaciers, 128 

,, ,, on the internal fire of earth, 183 

ig, 78 

rTNDULATORY theory of light discovered by Dr. Young 
u ,, „ ,, follows Emission into oblivion, 


,, „ ,, Tyndall on the stability of the, 81 

Uxmal, Central America, 136 

T7ACUUM, how caused in the atmosphere, 150 
* „ causes wind, 150 

Vegetable life, 14 

Volcanoes, Dr. Mayer on the cause of, 183 
Sir John Herschel on, 184 
Prof. Mallet on, 188 
atomagnetic theory of, 186 
when apt to become dangerous, 189 
Mount St. Helena, California, extinct, 51, 187 



THAYER more powerful than fire, 126 
'' in granite, 127 

of what composed, 127 
manufactured in the atmosphere, 128 
Tyndall’s Forms of, 128 
no air in, 136 

Tyndall proves air to be in, 136 
efficacy of hot, in disease, 225 
danger of iced, 226 
Waves of coloured light, Prof. Tyndall on, 93 
Weather and weather prophets, Sir John Herschel on, 150 
,, maps, American, 155 
Wells, Dr., theory of dew, 142 

experiments with wool packs, 142 


5 > 




5 ) 

252 ' 


Wells, Dr., says radiation is the cause of dew, 142 
,, on the cause of moonblindness, 142 
Wheat becoming rye, 26 
Winds, Prof. Rogers on the cause of, 150 
,, the sun the cause of, 150 
World, the end of the, 53 
Wrecker’s light, faith in man like to the, 153 

X70UNG, Dr. Thos., author of the Undulatory theory of light, 78 



Tyndall’s estimate of, 78