though the latter is finally slain by Hamlet, is all brought about by the management of other heads and hands, and its conclusion evidently unforeseen by the Prince. From first to last he accomplishes nothing of set purpose. He moralizes by temperament and habit, but acts only when inaction is the more difficult resource. The fine spirit, the clear insight, the keen reader of other men's thoughts, is imprisoned in walls of adipose, and the desire for action dies out with the utterance of wise maxims, philosophic doubts, and morbid upbraidings of his own inertness. Hamlet is like one of those persons (to be met with in every community) who can relieve themselves by talking. This is a kind of character well understood by Shakespeare. In the third Richard's conference with the murderers of Clarence, one replies to him :

“ Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to prate;

Talkers are no great doers." Again, in describing a character the very opposite to that of Hamlet -one of few words, Cordelia—the poet makes her say, “What I well intend, I'll do't before I speak.” Now, of all the characters drawn by Shakespeare, Hamlet is preëminently the man of words ; not only his famous soliloquies but his dialogues take up unwonted space; he is the most prolific moralizer of the dramatist's conception, and thus all practical manhood is allowed to ooze out in words.

To judge the better whether Shakespeare intended in this play to show how the body may clog the aspirations of the mind, we have only to observe that whenever the physical appearance of any character is described by him, we find that leanness is an element of the executive man, and “bulk” or fatness of the dilatory and procrastinating, just as we see it in every-day life. Says Prince Henry to Falstaff :

“What! stand'st thou idle here? Lend me thy sword ! ” And the fat knight replies :

“O Hal, I prithee give me leave to breathe awhile”the very expression used by both the King and Queen in regard to Hamlet, and in which he also describes his own case.

On another occasion Prince John addresses the pseudo-hero of Salisbury Plain :

“Now, Falstaff, where have you been all this while ?

-When everything is ended, then you come.” And the inimitable old rogue, knowing that he must be pardoned for his fat, answers :

“Do you think me a swallow, an arrow, a bullet ?" So also Cæsar, recognizing the physiological improbability of a fat man actually carrying out a treasonable conspiracy, says:

“Let me have men about me that are fat."

And of Cassius

" Would he were fatter !
If my name were liable to fear,
I do not know the man I should avoid
As soon as that spare Cassius."

Macbeth was not fat, nor Richard III., nor Henry V., nor Harry Hotspur. They did the things which they planned to do. They did not have to stop to “breathe " themselves like the Prince of Denmark. Who can possibly conceive of a fat Coriolanus ? The fat man may be greedy and avaricious like Cardinal Wolsey, or witty and sensual like old Jack, or brooding and melancholy like Hamlet ; but he who can vault into his saddle “like feathered Mercury” will ever win the day by action.

Hamlet's uncle-father might confidently have left the unhappy philosopher to his questionings and musings ; had he not set his own trap he might have finished his reign in safety, if not in peace, for the Hamlet of Shakespeare, unlike the real Hamlet of Saxo Grammaticus, would no more bave set the palace on fire than he would have produced a conflagration of the Skager Rack-for he was “fat and scant of breath," impeded at every step by a superfluity of adipose.




THE history of human progress presents no feature more interesting

yet more commonly overlooked and misrepresented than the treatment of discoverers and inventors. That these men have, as a rule, fared ill at the hands of their species is carelessly or grudgingly admitted. "But the questions by whom have they been persecuted, and what may have been the motive of their enemies, are avoided even in works where we might expect them to be carefully discussed and fully answered. Such omission may be especially charged against Sir D. Brewster. His treatise is merely a biography of certain astronomers who have been, for anything the reader learns to the contrary, incidentally and casually afflicted by their contemporaries, and it omits the most striking instances of persecution. Nay, the very term “martyrs of science” is applied quite vaguely, and is made, e. g., in the work of M. Tissandier, to include three distinct classes of men. We have on the one hand personages whose love for research has cost them health and even life itself. We find physicists like Richmann, chemists like Gehlen, Mansfield, Chapman, who have been struck dead while engaged in some hazardous experiment. We read of naturalists like Marcgrave and the elder Wallace, geographers, navigators, and travelers, such as Cook, La Perouse, Franklin, Livingstone, meteorologists like Crocé-Spinelli, who in their ardor for discovery have succumbed to ungenial climates, to the attacks of savages, to hunger, tempest, or to an irrespirable atmosphere. All honor to these men, and to the noble army of which they may be taken as representatives! They have fallen in the cause of science, but they have undergone no persecution, and may hence be regarded as victims rather than martyrs.

We turn to another class : illustrious inventors and discoverers not a few have been clearly and decidedly persecuted ; hunted down by mob-violence, imprisoned, or even judicially murdered ; but these inflictions are to be traced not to their scientific discoveries, speculations, and writings, but to their religious or political opinions. When the house of Priestley was sacked and burned by the rabble of Birmingham, and when his very life was endangered, it was not the chemist and physicist but the so-called “Jacobin" and Socinian whom Midland roughdom sought to crush. It is not, we believe, generally known that the attack on Priestley's house was headed by the town-crier, a man of the name of Sugar, who rang his bell and exclaimed :

“Pile up the wood higher,
I am Sugar, the crier ;
By my desire
This place was set on fire!"

This man and his doggerel are only worth our notice as proof of the official countenance lent to the outrage. It is utterly incredible that a town-crier would thus avowedly act as the ringleader of a mob unless sure of the connivance of his superiors.

If Campanella was put seven times to the torture, on one occasion for forty hours in succession ; if he passed twenty-seven of the best years of his life in loathsome dungeons ; if, after his release, he narnowly escaped the rage of a brutal populace, it was not as the champion of the Copernican system of astronomy, the refuter of mediæval Aristotelianism, but as a patriot who longed to deliver southern Italy from the tyranny of Spain, that he suffered. Still we may concede that like all the reformers of science he must have aroused the hatred and jealousy of many of the learned, who would doubtless use against him whatever influence they possessed.

Servetus was certainly a learned physician, and is by some ranked as one of the forerunners of Harvey. But his judicial murder by Calvin was due solely to his theological opinions. The merits of Bernard Palissy, not merely as the creator of modern fictile art, but as an able physicist, chemist, and geologist, can not be contested. He shocked the philosophasters and sophists of his day by maintaining that fossil shells were not, as was then supposed, mere freaks of Nature, but the remains of extinct animals. He dared to deny that stones were capable of growth. He pointed out the possibility of artesian wells. With an almost prophetic insight he foretold the evil consequences of the destruction of forests, and in our day not merely meteorologists and farmers, but governments find that he was in the right. But in spite of all his innovations in science and in industrial art—or rather in consequence of those very innovations-he was honored and protected by Catherine of Medicis and Henry III. That he was at last arrested, condemned to death, and allowed to die in the Bastile, was the consequence of his firm adherence to the doctrines of the Huguenots. Had it not been for his scientific greatness he would have perished earlier.

If Lavoisier perished on the scaffold amid the storms of the first Revolution, he merely shared the fate of bis colleagues the fermiers généraux, none of whom were men of science. It is true that “the brutish idiot into whose hands the destinies of France had then fallen," as Professor Whewell justly remarks, declared that “the republic had no need of chemists." But these foolish words give us no right to assert, as a modern writer has done, that Lavoisier suffered death for his chemical ideas.

If Bailly likewise perished upon the scaffold, and if Condorcet poisoned himself to escape a similar fate, they died not as philosophers and mathematicians, but as victims of indiscriminate popular frenzy.

There are many other men whose names we are thus compelled to erase from the list of the martyrs of science-men whose inventions and discoveries have been of the highest order, but whose sufferings and death can not be justly looked on as a consequence of their achievements.

But there still remains a third and a too numerous class : thinkers and discoverers who have been persecuted in many cases to the death, not incidentally, but because of the very services they have rendered to science. Their persecutions have differed very much in nature and degree according to the age and the country in which they lived. In the dark ages it was practicable to arrest a troublesome thinker and

put an end to his researches, or at least to their promulgation, by the straightforward means of imprisonment, torture, banishment, and even death at the stake. Hypatia, of Alexandria, was seized by a mob of infuriated monks, who literally tore the flesh from her bones with fragments of pots, dragged her mangled remains outside the city, and there burned them. The Bishop Cyril, who had instigated the outrage, endeavored to screen the malefactors from justice. Virgilius, Bishop of Salzburg, was burned by Boniface, the papal legate, for asserting the existence of antipodes. Cornelius Agrippa, after much persecution, died at last of actual famine. Roger Bacon, perhaps the mightiest philosopher of the middle ages, of whom it has even been said that could he revisit the earth he would shake his head at the slowness of our progress since his death, suffered bitterly. He was first prohibited from lecturing at the University of Oxford and from communicating his researches to any one.

The accession of Clemens IV. to the papal chair gave the illustrious sage a short respite, of which he availed himself to draw up three works, and to publish one of them, the “Opus , Majus.” Scarcely was this effected when the enlightened Pontiff died, and his successor was indifferent, if not formally hostile. Roger Bacon was summoned to appear at Paris before the legate Jerome of Ascoli, was convicted of heresy and witchcraft, and sentenced to imprisonment for life. His works were also condemned as impious, and all persons were forbidden to read them under pain of excommunication. It is certain that he remained ten years in a loathsome dungeon, and that his treatment, even in that rude age, was considered exceptionally harsh. Some say that he died in prison ; others, that he was at length set free at the intercession of certain powerful nobles, and ended his days in England. He is said to lie buried at Oxford. We can wish that ancient university no greater boon than that his spirit may ever rest upon its professors.

Three centuries later Rome witnessed one of the foulest murders ever committed. Giordano Bruno, for upholding the teachings of modern astronomy, and especially for maintaining the immensity of the universe and the plurality of worlds, was burned to death in the Campo di Fiore on February 16, 1600. The words of the sentence passed upon him are significant : “Ut quam clementissime et citra sanguinis effusionem puniretur.” Not less memorable was the reply of the hero-philosopher : “You feel more fear in pronouncing this sentence than I do in receiving it !”

One of the greatest merits of Bruno is his enunciation of the doctrine that on all scientific questions the Scriptures neither possess nor claim any authority, but embody merely the opinions current at the times when they were written. This proposition, from which follows as a corollary that the Church can have no claim to pronounce on the truth or falsehood of scientific theories, was afterward enforced at length by Galileo in his celebrated letter to the Dowager Grand Duchess Cristina of Tuscany. We can not help regretting that he, when brought before the inquisitors in the Convent of Minerva, did not act up to his profession by denying in toto the authority of the court. Had he done so his life would doubtless have been in great peril, but the enemies of science would have been deprived of much scope for sophistry. “E pur si muove ” was well, but “non coram judice” would have been infinitely better. It is worthy of note that, unless we are misinformed, St. Augustine had warned the clergy against the attempt to exercise a jurisdiction over science.

As we approach modern times a change becomes manifest. Ecclesiastical bodies in the more civilized parts of Europe were deprived of civil power, and could no longer imprison, torture, or burn inventors and discoverers. But the old spirit faded away very slowly, and even in our days it still occasionally comes to light. Men of science, scientific works, and learned societies were, and still are, traduced, de

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