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You are advancing to a great future. You may see it. I shall not. But then remember the Old Man.' (P. 41.)
In 1849 another topic arose which could only widen the breach between the policy of England and that of the German patriots. The dispute with Denmark about the Duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, which had been raging for some years, was regarded in Germany as the most sacred test of national feeling, and there was hardly a German of any rank or condition who dared to speak a word against the contemplated spoliation of the Danish dominions. Prussia in the fever of revolution had thrown herself into the cause, but she saw reason to conclude the Truce of Malmoe on August 26, and the struggle was then to be carried on between the Frankfort Parliament and Denmark. This, at least, Stockmar condemned, for he saw that for Germany to make war without Prussia was an absurdity. But Stockmar, Bunsen, and even Prince Albert, shared to the full the national enthusiasm in favour of the German party in the Duchies and against the claims of the Danish Crown. Here then they found themselves, for the first time, at open variance on an important question of foreign polioy, even with those statesmen who were most favourably disposed to the liberal cause in Germany. Russia and France were equally hostile to them, and in this country they were frankly told by men of all parties, that if the close alliance of Germany and England was to be purchased by our connivance in the spoliation of Denmark, that was a price we would never pay for their friendship. Even as late as the Crimean war, long after the humiliating result of the first Prussian invasion of Schleswig, hints were given in London that if the Western Powers wished for the active cooperation of Prussia, they might obtain it by abetting the sacrifice of a Danish province. To such a suggestion but one answer could be given. Very little is to be found on this subject in the pages now before us, but we have a lively recollection of the fact that the passionate eagerness'with which the acquisition of these territories was pursued by the Germans had a very powerful effect in alienating from them their best friends in this country, and in undoing the work on which Bunsen had been engaged, with the aid of Stockmar, during the earlier years of his mission to England. The conduct of Prussia in that transaction, followed by her conduct in the Crimean war, caused a rift between the two States, which impaired our relations with her for many years, and indeed the cordiality of feeling, which existed between England and Germany before those occurrences, has never to this day been entirely restored.
The extracts from Stockmar's correspondence which fill the remainder of this volume are of the greatest interest and form no mean addition to the materials of contemporary history. They relate to the important events which placed Louis Napoleon on the throne of France, which drove Lord Palmerston from the Foreign Office, brought on the Crimean war, and caused successive changes in the British Government. The biographer has thought it within his province to introduce some incidents which had better been forgotten; but even on these occasions the conduct of Stockmar was ever fair and dispassionate, and his judgment penetrating and sound. Our limits compel us to pass lightly over these passages.
The last visit of Stockmar to England was paid in 1856 and 1857, and the last occurrence he witnessed here was another marriage—that of the Princess Royal—whom he had known and loved from her infancy, to the accomplished heir of the House of Hohenzollern, the future head and centre of all his fondest hopes. Nothing could have been more appropriate than such a termination to his life at the Court of England. The Queen and the Prince were then thirty-six years of age. He felt that they stood in no need of his guidance; all he had to offer them was his friendship. And thus at seventy he said, ' I must take leave, and this time it is for ever. Well it 'is with me that I can do so with the clearest conscience. I 'have worked as long as I have strength for a purpose without 'reproach.' The Queen and the Prince visited the old man at Coburg in 1860, and that was their last happy interview. Better that he should have died then (as he said himself) than lived to bear the sharp pang of the ensuing year. The death of the Prince, which blighted so many hopes of the future, and left so broad a gap not to be filled in this generation, was to Stockmar not only the keenest wound to his affections, but the undoing of his whole life. 'The building,' he said, • which had been conscientiously raised for the accom'plishment of a great end, with a pious sense of duty and the 'labour of twenty years, is to its foundations overthrown.' All that remained were a few portraits of him he loved so well, as he said to the Queen, when she last saw him at Coburg after the catastrophe, 'My dear good Prince—how happy I 'shall be to see him again! And it will not be long!' On July 9, 1863, he followed him to the grave.
We cannot close the narrative which has this pathetic ending without a pleasing reflection on lives so pure, so honourable, so virtuous. No doubt they were not exempt from those defects which are inseparable from human nature. But they were dignified by a lofty purpose, which raised them alike over great temptations and over little failings. Of Prince Albert it was said by the late Lord Glarendon, that no man had ever proposed to himself a higher standard of duty, and no man, having so high a standard, had ever more nearly lived up to it. To think well, and to act as well as he thought, were the objects of his existence. These things, which are really within the reach of every man, are nevertheless more rare than the highest gifts of rank and fortune. And to the devoted friend, guide of his youth and counsellor of his manhood, a part of that rare excellence is due.
Art. IV.—1. Contributions to Terrestrial Magnetism. By General Sir Edward Sabine, K.C.B. Published in the 'Philosophical Transactions' for 1868 and 1872. London.
2. Terrestrial and Cosmical Magnetism. (The Adams Prize Essay for 1865.) By Edward Walker, M.A., F.K.S. London: 1866.
'rpHE variation of the compass is of that great concernment 'in the art of navigation, that the neglect thereof does 'little less than render useless one of the noblest inventions 'man has yet attained to.' So wrote Halley in 1683. Yet, strange to say, it is only within the last fifty years that the Government of the first maritime nation in the world has learnt to regard the prosecution of magnetical research in the light of a national undertaking. This indifference is the more remarkable when we consider that the first expedition ever sent out expressly for magnetic observation, namely, that of Halley in 1698-9, sailed under the auspices of the English Government; and it cannot be pleaded in excuse that the results of that expedition were so meagre and so unimportant as to discourage any further efforts in the same direction. All that can be said is, that the course of public events during the eighteenth century was not such as to encourage any appeal to the public purse for scientific purposes. Its early years found our statesmen preoccupied with the dynastic struggles of Western Europe. Then came the change of dynasty at home, and its consequent anxieties; whilst later still, an almost unbroken succession of war budgets rendered any grant for scientific objects not connected with the destruction of human life a thing rather to be wished for than expected. But whatever the cause, it was not till after the peace of 1815 that any revival of interest in the advancement of the science of Terrestrial Magnetism took place, at least in this country. The first indication of this revival was the equipment by the British Government, chiefly at the instigation of the Royal Society, of that series of expeditions for ' Geographical dis'covery and scientific research in the North Polar regions,' which was commenced in 1818; and from that time to the present scarcely a year has passed in which the progress of the science of Terrestrial Magnetism has not been marked and decided.
The better to appreciate the advance that has actually been made, it may be well to state briefly the known facts of the science as it existed at the commencement of the present century.
These facts were—
(1.) That at any place on the earth's surface a magnetised bar, suspended horizontally, assumes a position proper to the place of observation, and not necessarily coinciding with the geographical meridian, its angular deviation from which is called the declination. (2.) The secular change in declinatioii; i.e., that at the same place the declination is not the same from one year to another. At London it had varied from 11° 15' E. in 1580 to about 24° W. in 1800. (3.) The diurnal and annual variations in declination; i.e., that the position of the needle is subject to small periodical fluctuations, depending on the hour of the day and the season of the year. (4.) That a magnetised bar, swinging freely in the magnetic meridian on a horizontal axis passing through its centre of gravity, will, when at rest, assume a position proper to the place of observation, and not necessarily horizontal; its angular deviation from horizontality being called the dip or inclination. It was further known that in our latitudes, and generally in the northern hemisphere, it is the north end of the needle which dips below the horizon, whilst the contrary is the case in the southern hemisphere. Of the intensity, in some respects the most important element of all, nothing whatever was known, though in consequence of some very imperfect experiments by Mallet it was generally believed to be invariable— an opinion which was doubtless strengthened by the fact that Borda in his expedition to the Canary Islands in 1776, could detect no difference in the magnetic intensity, as tested by the
(lipping needle when vibrated at Brest, Cadiz, Teneriffe, and Goree (in Senegambia), i.e., over a space of 35° of latitude, a result which could only be due to instrumental imperfection. The first recognition which we find of the importance of deciding this question of the invariability, or the contrary, of the earth's magnetic force, is contained in the instructions drawn up by the Academy of Science in France for the expedition of La Perouse, which was fitted out in 1785 at the expense of the French Government. The total loss of this expedition, probably among the icebergs of the Antarctic Ocean, has deprived us of a series of observations which would have been of inestimable value, as their comparison with those of Sir James Ross in the same quarter, fiftyfive years later, would have enabled us to form some idea of the progress of secular change in localities which, magnetically, are amongst the most important on the globe. From a letter addressed to Oondorcet, then secretary of the French Academy, by Lamanon, the scientific head of the expedition, it appears that the instructions of the Academy were being faithfully carried out; and, moreover, it is stated as one of the results of his observations, that the magnetic force of the earth, as expressed by the number of vibrations of the dipping needle, varies, and increases with the latitude on proceeding from the tropics to the poles. This letter of Lamanon, for some unexplained reason, was laid aside, and the law which it announced was forgotten, till it was rediscovered eighteen years afterwards by Humboldt during his sojourn in tropical America between the years 1799 and 1804. With respect to the law of variation of the magnetic force, the first received opinion, though a natural one, was undoubtedly erroneous. In crossing the line of no dip between Micuipampa and Caxamarca, on the Peruvian Andes, Humboldt found that the force increased both to the north and south of this point, and he was therefore led to conclude—
(1.) That the point of minimum intensity in any meridian coincides with the point where that meridian is cut by the line of no dip, or, in other words, that the lines of minimum intensity and of no dip are coincident. (2.) That the points of maximum intensity coincide with the points where the dip angle = 90°. The latter of these suppositions may be considered as conclusively disproved by the observations of Sir Edward (then Captain) Sabine during Sir John Ross's voyage to the Polar regions in 1818. He found that on ascending Davis's Strait, or any of the adjacent countries or seas, on a meridian, or nearly