I think I committed every possible absurdity in the way of preparation for this blessed event. I turn hot when I remember the cravat I bought. My boots might be placed in any collection of instruments of torture. I provided, and sent down by the Norwood coach the night before, a delicate little hamper, amounting in itself, I thought, almost to a declaration.
The room partially lighted by damar torches; the clang of the noisy instruments; the crowd of wild spectators; their screams of encouragement to the performers; the flowing hair and rapid evolutions of the dancers, formed a scene I wish could have been reduced to painting by such a master as Rembrandt or Caravaggio.
The things that we carried were necessities food, medicines, bedding, instruments for determining the altitude and longitude and latitude except a few books, each in small compass: Lyra's were in German, consisting of two tiny volumes of Goethe and Schiller; Kermit's were in Portuguese; mine, all in English, included the last two volumes of Gibbon, the plays of Sophocles, More's "Utopia," Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus, the two latter lent me by a friend, Major Shipton of the regulars, our military attaché at Buenos Aires.
To turn a modern thermometer into a thermoscope we need only remove the figures from its scale. If we make the experiment with two such thermoscopes we at once become aware of something which usually escapes us, our attention being fixed on the figures recorded by the two instruments.
At the present time the contrary prevails; the community is always thinking of enforcing the penal laws, and of preparing means of punishment, instruments of death and chastisement, places for imprisonment and banishment; and they expect crimes to be committed. This has a demoralizing effect.
His idea was that if God had decreed that through all eternity certain men should die of small pox, it was a frightful sin to endeavor to prevent it; that plagues and pestilence were instruments in the hands of God with which to gain the love and worship of mankind; to find the cure for the disease was to take the punishment from the Church.
So let me remind you how here, in these little unnumbered acts of trivial transgression which scarcely produce any effect on conscience or on memory, but make up so large a portion of so many of our lives, lies one of the most powerful instruments for making us what we are. If we indulge in slight acts of transgression be sure of this, that we shall pass from them to far greater ones.
All the instruments of the natural philosopher are the products of art; the adjusting one of them for use is an art; there is art in making an observation with one of them; it requires art properly to treat the facts ascertained; nay, even the employing established generalisations to open the way to new generalisations, may be considered as art.
The only tools the settlers took were the two woodmen's axes, which they could use to cut a path through the thick forests, as also the instruments, the telescope and pocket-compass.
In the middle was as plain a table, with half a dozen books, a microscope under a glass shade, a little wooden case which was opened to display an array of delicate scientific instruments, a Bunsen burner, which was burning bluely under a small glass bowl half filled with a dark and turgid concoction of some kind.