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To as minute a domestic occurrence as GALVANI'S we owe the steam-engine. When the Marquis of WORCESTER was a State prisoner in the Tower, he one day observed, while his meal was preparing in his apartment, that the cover of the vessel being tight, was, by the expansion of the steam, suddenly forced off, and driven up the chimney.

These two pieces of metal form the basic principle of the modern galvanic battery, and led directly to Alessandro Volta's invention of his "voltaic pile," the immediate ancestor of the modern galvanic battery. Volta's experiments were carried on at the same time as those of Galvani, and his invention of his pile followed close upon Galvani's discovery of the new form of electricity.

And yet the fruit of Goethe's endeavours is not less significant than Galvani's discovery, for the progress of mankind. For in Goethe's achievement lay the seed of that form of knowing which man requires, if in the age of the electrification of civilization he is to remain master of his existence.

In 1790, a year before Galvani's monograph, Concerning the Forces of Electricity, appeared, Goethe published his Metamorphosis of Plants, which represents the first step towards the practical overcoming of the limitations of the onlooker-consciousness in science. Goethe's paper was not destined to raise such a storm as soon followed Galvani's publication.

In historic times and to keep merely to the modern period the collection of authentic facts would fill a large volume. Who does not know of Newton's apple, Galileo's lamp, Galvani's frog?

Working along lines suggested by Galvani's discovery, Volta constructed an apparatus made up of a number of disks of two different kinds of metal, such as tin and silver, arranged alternately, a piece of some moist, porous substance, like paper or felt, being interposed between each pair of disks.

Then came the discoveries of Galvani and Volta, followed by the demonstrations of Galvani's nephew Aldini, whereby dead animals were made to display the movements of life, not only by the electricity of the Voltaic pile, but, as Aldini especially showed, by a transfer of this mysterious agency from one animal to another.

If there was any doubt left as to whether in nature the same power was at work which, in animal and man, was hidden away within the soul, this doubt seemed finally to have been dispelled through Galvani's discovery that animal limbs could be made to move electrically through being touched by two bits of different metals.

His aim was to secure proof that such forces exist, or, at any rate, to penetrate into the realm where the transition from matter to pure, matter-free force takes place. And once again, as in Galvani's day, electricity fascinated the eyes of a man who was seeking for the land of the soul. What spiritism denied, electricity seemed to grant.

Whilst Galvani persisted in this mistake until his death, Volta realized that the source of the electric force, as in the first of Galvani's observations, must still be sought outside the specimens, and himself rightly attributed it to the contacting metals.