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Guil. Believe me, I cannot.
Ham. T is as easy as lying; govern these ventages with your fingers and thumb, give it breath with your mouth, and it will discourse most eloquent music. Look you, these are the stops.
Guil. But these cannot I command to any utterance of har. mony ; I have not the skill.
Ham. Why, look you, now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You would play upon me ;121 you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the top of my compass; —and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little organ; yet cannot you make it speak. Why, do you think I am easier to be played on than a pipe ? Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, you cannot play upon me. SHAKSPEARE
CLXXIII. - POETRY OF THE SEASONS.
Its bleak autumnal birth; the rocks and shores,
2. AN AMERICAN AUTUMNAL SCENE. — Anon.
3. NOVEMBER. — Bryant. Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapory air, Ere o'er the frozen earth the loud winds run,
Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare. One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast, And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last. Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way, The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray. Yet one rich smile, and we will try to hear The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.
4. HOPE AMID DECAY.
O'er the wild waste the autumnal leaf careers ;
Nor vale nor mountain now is ripe with flowers; Nature's fair brow the snow of winter sears, And all but Hope hath filed her once green bowers, -
Hope, with her sunny hair.
And why thus lonely lingers she, when all
The glorious gifts of Summer are no more?-
Distant, yet still how fair!
CLXXIV. — TELEGRAPHS.
1. From the earliest times, men have known how to communi. cate with those living at a distance, especially in times of urgency, by means of the fire-signal. When, however, from hill to hill over a whole landscape, the beacon-flames arose, these signals could communicate no very definite information. It could only be learned that some great event had occurred. Vastly more useful, therefore, were the telegraphs, 1 which, by varying the positions of their arms, represented letters, syllables, and whole words, and so rendered a regular conversation possible between
individuals separated by a hostile army, or other insurmountable . obstructions. The language which these telegraphs exchanged
with one another, from one tower or steeple to another, before the eyes of the enemy, or thousands of the curious, depended upon an agreement between those who had to converse by these means; to them alone was it intelligible. Others, who lacked the key, could only guess at the meaning of the quickly-changing positions of the machine.
2. Of a quite different character are the telegraphs of which we now propose to speak. By their means the apparently impossible has been made easy. Two persons, living fifty, or, indeed, hundreds of miles apart, may now communicate their thoughts in words, not, as in the case of the ordinary telegraph, in the space of an hour, or a half-hour, but instantly, as if they were seated at the same table. And could a connection by copper wire be established between Washington and Pekin', and the loss of power which the electric fluid would sustain in such a space be avoided, then might a person in the capital of China receive intelligence from the United States in a fraction of a second; and even the man in the moon, if our electric fluid could be carried thither, would hear from the earth in the space of a second, for the transmission of thought by this method is swifter than light. The electric fluid travels in this way about two hundred and eighty-eight thousand miles in a second; a ray of light, only one hundred and ninety-two thousand miles.
3. But, in addition to this all-surpassing speed, such a mode of communication has quite other advantages over the ordinary telegraph. That which is to be communicated to a distant point is not seen by thousands of eyes, but only at the destined place does it make itself known. The course which the word thus expressed takes, in the invisible form of an electric discharge, is hidden under the earth, or, enclosed in the metal of the wire, passing high over the roofs of cities. But when it reaches its goal it announces itself, not only to the eye by the common telegraphic sign, but also to the ear. He with whom another communicates in the still, midnight hour, sits, perhaps, sunk in thought at his desk, or has fallen asleep, — the sound of a littl bell arouses him; he listens; the sounds now of a lower, then of a higher toned bell are repeated; the number of bell-strokes, and the difference of the sounds, have meaning.
4. First, a deep sound, then, quickly succeeding, a higher, and then again a low note, represent an A ; a low note, succeeded by two high notes, and again a low note, signifies B; a low note followed by no high note, and a high note followed by no low note, signify, the first E, the last J; three low notes, following one upon the other, stand for D. Thus, by the number and variety of sounds, every letter of the alphabet is expressed. Between the letters occurs a short pause; between the words the interval is longer. Thus, rapidly as an intelligent child may make out words by spelling, does it become possible by practice to understand the language of bells.
5. But suppose that the person to whom the distant intelligence comes is not awakened by the first stroke of the bell, and has lost the first part, or the whole, even, of what is thus communicated. Still, the loss is not irrep'arable. He finds, upon approaching the table at which his magical telegraph is arranged, that everything which he had failed to hear is set down there in visible characters. He finds a letter written, not, indeed, in ordinary characters, but in points, the peculiar position of which (corresponding to the different notes of the bell), and their combination, represent alphabetical signs, marked, like the sounds, with regularly occurring intervals between the letters and the words; or, by another plan, he may find a message legibly printed out in bold letters on a narrow strip of paper.
6. In such phenomena as the motion of the electric fluid and of light, which the mind of man has taken into his service and learned to use at will, we have a type of the difference between the action of the mind and the body. Electricity and Light, although possessing power to penetrate space to an extent almost immeasurable, are indeed both material agents, and yet distance and time are almost annihilateu by them; the connection they
establish, although by the material means of a metallic conductor, is miraculously direct and intimate. But what must that uniting attraction of souls be, which requires no corporeal medium, but darts instantaneously through an all-uniting spiritual element from one disembodied spirit to another! Even now the director of an electric telegraph, although confined by the burthen of a body to a certain spot, is able at pleasure to converse with a distant friend, and be present with him in thought and will. What will not be possible when this confinement to the conditions of our planet shall fall away!
CLXXV. — THE ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH.
Hither — thither — clear and quick.
Sing who will of Orpheän ei lyre,
2. Let the sky be dark or clear,
Comes the faithful messenger;
Sing who will of Orpheän lyre,
Ours the wonder-working wire !
It is caught as soon as heard,
Sing who will of Orpheän lyre,
Ours the wonder-working wire! 4. Marvel — triumph of our day,
Flash all ignorance away :