페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

seems to be the true representation of this fine fragment, entitled “ Discours sur les period of his life, according to the light passions de l'Amour."* Here the evidence which the labors of M. Faugères have of a pure and fervid passion unmistakably thrown upon it.

manifests itself. His most intimate friend at this time We naturally ask, with M. Faugères, was the Duke de Roannez, subsequently Did Pascal find his love returned by the associated with his other friends in the sister of his noble friend? There is reason publication of his “ Thoughts." Capti- to believe so, when we see a correspondence vated by his genius and devoted to his established between them, implying the person, the duke, according to the expres- highest degree of esteem and confidence. sion of Margaret Perier, “could not lose But it is to be regretted that we know sight of him.” An appartment was re- nothing of the letters of Mademoiselle de served for him in his hotel, where he Roannez; and it is, in fact, only fragments would sometimes remain for days, although of those of Pascal that have been preserved. possessing a house of his own in Paris. The rigidity of the Jansenist copyists have Here Pascal would seem occasionally to left us only such passages as they thought have mingled in the light and careless might minister to edification. society in which the youth of Paris then But whether or not Pascal's passion moved. We cannot, however, imagine was shared, circumstances did not favor that such society in itself attracted his it. He had then acquired but little of the interest. It was more a study for him, celebrity which afterward awaited him. serving to originate some of those trains His position was not a promising one, and of reflection which he afterward pursued his rank greatly inferior to that of the with such profit in the seclusion of Port object of his attachment. Awakening Royal. As he listened to the conversa- from his brief enchantment, he no doubt tional frivolities of a Chevalier de Méré, deeply felt all this. He saw the vanity or the cynical sentiments of a Miton or of the delicious dreams in which he had Desbarreau, the first conceptions of his for a while forgotten himself. An alarming great vindication of morality and religion incident, which had nearly proved fatal to probably arose within him. “He touched him, coöperated strongly to rouse him for a moment with his feet,” says M. from the soft indulgences which were Faugères, “the impurities of this corrupt weaving their spell around him. In the society, but his divine wings were never month of October, 1654, while taking his soiled.”

usual drive along the bridge of Neuilly in The blandishment which now filled Pascal a carriage with four horses, the two leaders with delighted distraction was something became restive at a part where there was very different. Charlotte Gonffier de Roan

no parapet, and precipitated themselves nez, the sister of his noble friend, then into the Seine. Happily, the sudden lived with him. About sixteen years of age, violence of their leap broke the traces she possessed a captivating form and man- which yoked them to the pole, and the ner, while a sweet intelligence gave carriage remained on the verge of the brightness and animation to her mere ex- precipice. The effects of such a shock ternal graces.

Pascal was constantly upon the feeble and impaired frame of thrown in her company, and “what so Pascal may be easily imagined. With natural,” M. Faugères asks, " as that he difficulty he recovered from the swoon should love; and overlooking their dis-into which he had fallen ; but so shattered parity of rank, secretly aspire to a union were his nerves, that for long afterward, with the possessor of charms so irresist- during his sleepless nights and moments ible ?" There can now, indeed, exist no of depression, he constantly saw a precipice doubt that he had ventured to cherish such at his side, over which he seemed in feelings. Apart from the letters which he danger of falling. addressed to her at a later period, now This striking incident has commonly published for the first time by M. Faugères, been regarded as the sole cause which led and so obviously revealing, under all the pious gravity of their style, a depth of This fragment was brought to light by M. tender solicitude which mere Christian Cousin, and so bighly did he value it that he interest will hardly explain, this fact is considered it a sufficient reward of all his labors

upon Pascal ; labors to which we shall presently clearly established by the discovery of the allude.

to Pascal's retirement from the world. THE DISCOVERY OF THE STEAMThe probable truth would seem to be,

ENGINE. however, that it only combined with his sense of the apparent hopelessness of his F some of the greatest philosophers of passion to make him seek a refuge from disappointment, and a nobler source of re-appear they would perhaps see many enjoyment, in the sublime meditations and of their own brilliant guesses and profound devout observances of religion. His musings expanded into the sciences of sister Jaqueline had already prepared the modern times. Pythagoras might see his way for this. We are told by Madame theory of the universe taught in every Perier that she had contemplated with school, and illustrated in popular treatgreat anxiety the manner in which her ises ; and Roger Bacon behold his anticibrother was mingling so freely with the pations verified in the beautiful discoveries world, and earnestly besought him to quit of modern chemistry. They often saw in it. And with his mind now awed by so dim outline, and amid the glimmering of narrow an escape from death, and his twilight, the truths which we calmly conheart cherishing a secret affection of which template by the light of a bright noon : he dared not anticipate the fulfillment, her thus in some departments our knowledge entreaties readily prevailed with him, and differs from that of former ages in degree he finally withdrew into the pious seclusion rather than in kind: they had mounted of Port Royal des Champs, and became one or two steps upward ; we have adthe associate of the holy men who have vanced a hundred. given to this spot so undying a name. But some of our discoveries are wholly

The Abbey of Port Royal, after a long modern, and never once, as far as we period of relaxed discipline, during which know, entered the minds of the ancient many abuses had crept into it, had at length poets or sages. The steam-engine is one attained a high renown for sanctity, under of these conquests of the world's old age, the strict and vigorous rule of the Mère which its younger, that is, its past periAngelique Arnaud. Appointed to her high ods, did not even register as a may be office, when only eleven years old, through so," or a possibility; simply because the a deceit practiced upon the pope, she very thing never entered their thoughts, never soon began to manifest that she would be once projected its form along the horno party to the motives which had induced izon. Had it been proposed by some her election at so premature an age. An oracle or superior being as a problem accidental sermon preached in the convent, to such men as Aristotle and Archimwhen she had reached her sixteenth year, edes, they might have admitted the idea ; by a wandering Capuchin monk, left an but as a guess or speculation, it never impression upon her which was never once appears. This may reasonably exeffaced ; and she set herself immediately cite some surprise, as one essential eleto reform her establishment, and carried ment of the steam-engine must have freher measures into effect with a zeal and quently presented itself to their notice. determination betokening that peculiar We allude to the force exerted by steam, firmness of character which was destined which must have been observed whenever to be so severely tried.

boiling water was covered. At this time the Papal Church in France We should have expected that some of was divided into the two great parties of the subtile intellects, then struggling to the Jesuits and the Jansenists. The obtain clear views of the phenomena Abbey of Port Royal favored the latter, around, would have stooped from specuand had, indeed, under the directorship of lating on the sublimities of metaphysics, M. de St. Cyran, become the great strong- to examine so simple a fact, and one so hold of this party. It would be out of close at hand, as steam. But as thousands place here to enter into the ground of have seen apples fall from the bough withthis controversy. It will only be neces out thinking of gravitation, so many gensary to trace historically, in a few words, erations looked upon steam forcing itself its rise, in order to enable the reader to from the vessel, without asking the quesunderstand the future relations and labors tion, “ Cannot that power be made subserof Pascal.

vient to man, to lighten his labors and add (To be continued.)

to his joys ?" Hard work and toilsome

struggles were then, as now, the lot of hundred years before Christ, who, in one men. What an amount of strength, and of his treatises entitled “ Pneumatic Maeven of life were expended on the pyra- chines,” describes a circular motion given mids! what efforts on the great Roman to a wheel by steam rushing through the roads! much of which steam power would spokes. This, though but a sort of mehave saved; but this mighty agent was chanical toy, might have led others, even allowed to remain unemployed, while the Hero himself, to dwell on the powers of world toiled on, digging, building, and steam ; but his treatise remained unnoticed, hauling navies through the deep, by the and his experiment pointed in vain toward hand. Yet, during these periods, acade- the road of further discovery. The mies-old, middle, and new—had risen, schoolmen debated, the crusaders shook disputed, and departed; thousands of Europe and Asia, artillery filled statesmen books had been written, even in those and archers with forebodings, and a new ages, and ten thousand curious specula- world had been found beyond the Atlantic; tions on things visible and invisible haz- yet, amid all this work of busy nations, arded; but no man saw the sleeping giant, steam power remained a hidden thing. At which in future ages should stretch his length, a singular revelation is made in arms from sea to sea, and make his voice to 1543, and exhibited before thousands, but be heard at the poles. Thus the elements of finds the world unprepared, and retires to power are often in the world, close at its its hiding-place. In that year the inhabdoors, but the world sees them not. It is itants of Barcelona were startled by the not our purpose to describe the steam-engine announcement that a Spanish captain, itself ; such details are perhaps too tech- named Blasco de Garay, had offered to nical for the pages of a magazine; we navigate a ship without sails or oars, and rather desire to note the successive steps that the government had deemed the plan by which men reached the full knowledge worthy of a trial in the harbor of the city. of this world-moving power.

The day arrived, one in the bright month Reader, enter some store-yard ; on one of June, well fitted to enable the Cataloside you see a heap of coals, near is a nians to see the new wonder cut the wabrook, and in a corner lies a quantity of ters. Commissioners were appointed to iron; hast thou skill to shape that iron, watch the experiment, and report the reuse that water, and so arrange those coals, sults to the authorities. A vessel of two that from them a power shall arise able to hundred tons burden, called the Trinity, carry thee and all thy townspeople round was actually moved by steam, acting upon the globe in five weeks? You are not wheels, before the astonished city. Now much startled at the question ; you have the reader might expect that the managenot, it may be, such mechanical knowl- ment of steam power then began to excite edge, but feel quite assured that it is in the attention of men, especially of all who the world—that some whom you could were aiming at the development of human name possess the power. Let us then resources. A strange disappointment is trace the road by which this discovery has felt when we see the Spanish government been gained.

rewarding Garay, and hear the majority For fifteen hundred years after the com- of the commissioners report in favor of mencement of our era, men saw not the his invention, while no further results folenergies hidden in steam, and a whole low. What was the cause of this ? Prejacademy of philosophers might have walked udice against the novelty and ignorance of into the store-yard, and gazed upon the the machine for de Garay kept his plan coal, iron, and water, without a thought a secret-may have prevented success. of the steam-engine. During this long All that was known was that he used a interval, however, a glance was taken by boiler and that wheels were turned by its one man at steam as a moving power; it agency. Is it possible, some one may ask, was but a recognition, for the force was that a Spanish captain should invent the not yet pressed into man's service. steam-engine, and unaided advance it to

The philosopher who first detected the such perfection that a ship was moved applicability of steam to promote machine through the waters by its action; and that movement was an Egyptian mathemati- such a discovery should be neglected by cian and mechanist, (engineer we should so ambitious a power as Spain? These call him,) Hero of Alexandria, about two things are stated as facts, and must be

received as true, however extraordinary. had so often groped for, and so often The machinery may have been clumsy, missed. To this imprisoned nobleman is the working bad, and the power small; but ascribed the first well-digested idea of the that Blasco de Garay navigated a vessel steam-engine. How did the thought by steam in 1543 cannot be reasonably de- reach him? By what is commonly called nied. The experiment had little or no an accident, or more properly by the hapinfluence on the subsequent history of the py observation of a simple and most comsteam-engine, and must be regarded as mon occurrence, and by just reasoning one of those bold movements which fail upon the fact noticed. from unsuitableness to the age or the na We must imagine the marquis seated tions in which made. The attention of in his small prison-room ; on the fire is a Europe had, however, been aroused; men pot, in which his dinner is preparing; his began to feel that steam contained within thoughts are not upon the meal, but fitting it some element of mighty force, and thus to and fro, across the numerous battlethe hitherto neglected power attracted the fields, where the Stuart banner had droopwatching eyes of philosophers. During ed, or picturing the solemn and mournful the next hundred years some notices ap- circumstances of that 30th of January, pear indicating this altered feeling. 1649, when a king died by the headsman's

An engineer of Louis XIII., who be- hand. These reflections have, however, came clerk of the works to the Prince of too often before occupied his mind, which Wales in the time of James I., paid some is, therefore, easily drawn from such attention to the subject; and an Italian gloomy reminiscences to the events close mechanist, named Giovanni Bianca, pro at hand. What is that upon which Edposed to turn mills by steam. Thus, at ward Somerset gazes so fixedly? That the beginning of the seventeenth century fire is not the alchemist's furnace, nor that men seemed watching for the birth of the pot a Rosicrucian crucible, and yet his new power.

Amid the fury of theological eyes refuse to move therefrom. Naught strife, and the rancor of political warfare, is visible, save the hissing steam rushing while England was distracted by civil | from the pot, and the sharp risings and commotions, and battles raged by sea and fallings of the lid, forced up by the exland, the element destined to unite distant panded vapor.

He has heard of men who nations, and form the world into one great regarded steam as capable of becoming a household, was slowly rising from its con- strong and untiring servant of mankind, cealment of many ages.

and now sees those feeble heavings of its proach the period when the notion of infantine energies with some strange steam power assumed a clear and distinct fluttering anticipations. New thoughts form, and took its place among the rea crowd upon him, from which he, closely sonable speculations and experiments of interrogating, sees other and still more thoughtful men.

startling ideas rise. The quietude of a Edward Somerset, Marquis of Worces- prison enabled him calmly to follow out ter, had engaged with ardor on the side of and test his opinions, which were published the unfortunate Charles I., and found him after the Restoration in a book entitled self at last in the Tower of London, his “ The Scantling of One Hundred Invenfriends dead or exiled, his property in tions." Those who can obtain access to other hands, and the cause for which he the work may read in the sixty-eighth had fought and suffered trampled to the invention the theory of the Marquis of dust.

Worcester, and discern the point in the What now occupied the thoughts of the line of discovery to which he reached. royalist noble ? Some have enlivened The production of steam in one vessel or the solitude of a dungeon by watching the boiler, and its passage to another, in which habits of a spider, or observing the growth its force should act upon the machinery, of a flower in their prison window; he were included in his theory, and this is turned his active mind to the unexplored still the principle of action in our modern realms of science, and gazed inquiringly engines. Thus the Marquis of Worcester along those paths at the entrance of which first marked out the plan of this mighty Bacon had raised the clear sign-posts, with machine. the finger of true philosophy pointing the A great step was now made in the disstranger in the direction which the world covery; the notion of the boiler in which

We now ap

the steam was raised from the water by gourmands only know him as the inventor heat, and the cylinder in which the expan- of a machine for extracting soup from sive vapor is kept ready for action, were bones, which apparatus is called “ Papin's now exhibited to the active speculations Digester," wherein, by the heat of steam, of men. Let us mark the second great the largest bones are made to yield nutristage in the progress. This is also due tious matter. Papin's studies, however, to an Englishman, Sir Samuel Morland, conducted him to objects of far greater who was master of the works to Charles importance than the preparation of soups, II., and of such fame as an engineer that or the development of culinary arts. The Louis XIV. sought his assistance in some reader is supposed to know that, in order of the great works which distinguished his to communicate motion to a machine by reign. When the powers treasured in steam, a bar, called a piston, must be steam became known, by the experiments moved to and fro by the force of the vaof the author of “The Hundred Inven- por. It is easily seen that a jet of steam tions,” Morland began to examine the rushing against one end of the piston will capabilities of heated water to produce a move it forward; but how can it be brought certain amount of steam. This was walk- back again? Only by the withdrawal of ing in the right path, avoiding all useless the steam, or by its reduction to water, in speculations and blind experiments for the which case the piston will again be forced road of patient investigation. To ascer- down by the mere weight of the atmostain the volume of steam produced from a phere, acting with a pressure of fifteen given quantity of water was of the highest pounds on each square inch of surface. importance to the successful working of But how reduce the steam to the water the new power. To use so dangerous a whence it rose? By letting water flow upon force without being able to calculate its the expanded vapor, which will then be effects would have only resulted in disap- instantly condensed to hot water, and perpointments, which might have led men to mit the piston to fall through the vacuum abandon the discovery already made, and thus produced. By such a succession of thus have retarded the progress of the great steam-jets pushing forward the lever, and machine. To prevent the new auxiliary the condensation allowing of its return, from becoming the master instead of the is the whole movement of the steamservant of men, it was necessary to calculate engine effected. The easy and ready its powers, observe its workings, and note, production of the vacuum under the piston with a nice discrimination, its various de- may be ascribed to Papin, who thus prevelopments. In this work Morland suc- sented the steam-engine to the world, ceeded so well that his results differ but ready for all work, either upon the surface little from those derived from the experi- or beneath the earth in deep mines. But ence of our times. He drew up tables, much was yet required ere the power of exhibiting the expansions of certain vol- the machine could be usefully developed ; umes of water into steam, and thus sup- it might at that stage be likened to a strongplied future engineers with a guide for bodied, but rude and awkward man, sumtheir operations.

moned to act as a soldier. The drillTwo points were now gained—a knowl- sergeant looks at the raw recruit, and sees edge of the manner in which the steam with pleasure the store of rough power lyshould be collected for its appropriate ing in those bones and muscles, but also action, and of its probable force when ob- thinks of the drilling necessary to reduce tained. The boiler, the cylinder, the that clumsy form to soldier-like activity steam, were now prepared; who made the and facility of movement. next advance, and what was its character ? The steam-engine was now fairly in the Denis Papin, a Frenchman, was driven world, but as yet rude and cumbrous in its from his native country by the cruelty and workings. But science has taken it under folly of Louis XIV., who, by revoking the her charge, and issues her commands to edict of Nantes, compelled vast numbers various teachers, who shall bring it to a of his Protestant subjects to leave France, beautiful precision and hair-breadth accuand carry their ingenuity and industry to racy in its gigantic movements. England. Papin became an intimate Captain Savery now begins his experifriend of Boyle, the scientific chemist, and ments, and, by various devices, advances a Fellow of the Royal Society. Some the steam-engine to greater efficiency; he

« 이전계속 »