Imatges de pÓgina

and at present it may be a desperate remedy for a desperate evil. Kleist-Retzow, one of the Conservative deputies, quoted in the recent debates the following incident, which did no doubt really take place. A little boy was taught at school by a clergyman, that all the Obrigkeit (that is to say, every agent of the Government, ministers, judges, policemen, schoolmasters, &c.) were appointed by God. The little boy burst out laughing, and answered, 'But I have read in the Vorwärts that there is no God.' The Conservative deputy might indeed be grieved that atheist doctrines should be so widely disseminated and so eagerly accepted, but the Government which has deliberately taught its subjects that God is the unreasoning ally of a foolish despotism, has no one but itself to thank, when men arise and deny that God exists at all.

Since the preceding paragraph was written, the bill against the Socialists has become law. The party which calls itself the National Liberal party joined its strength to that of the Government in support of one of the most reactionary measures ever framed in the present century. Sheltering themselves under the same plea as that which the Government adopted, the National Liberals declared the bill to be a necessity to still the fears of the populace, and to ensure the public safety. They believe, or profess to believe, that forbidding the written or spoken utterances of certain opinions will silence all objectors to the tyranny which called those very opinions into being. Thus far their hopes have not been in any way disappointed. Germany has submitted mostly in silence, and even with much approval, to the renewal of a despotism much like that thrust upon her sixty years before. But the Berliner Freie Presse, in its swan-song on the day of its suppression, declared that the Reichstag at Berlin had excelled the Conference of Carlsbad, that Eulenberg surpassed Hassenpflug, and Bismarck Metternich in triumphs over prostrate freedom.


All over Germany newspapers, books, and pamphlets have been seized by the omnipotent censorship. A history of the Commune in Paris, and an account of the Plebeian discontent in Ancient Rome, have been included among the long list of several hundred writings which are supposed to aim at overturning the existing conditions of society.' Workmen's associations have been forced to dissolve when anything savouring at all of socialism was found in their composition, and public meetings of every kind have been most diligently watched and instantly stopped when any sentiments were uttered at all at variance with the opinions of the Government. Till now all has been submission: no voice has yet been raised to inveigh against this almost inconceivable tyranny.

It was curious to listen to the debates in the Reichstag while the anti-Socialist bill was before the assembly. Of the ultimate triumph of the Government there was, of course, no doubt; but the opponents

of the measure, and indeed all right-feeling men, must have felt satisfaction that the Socialists had the opportunity of stating their case not only to the other deputies, but through the press to all Germany. Prince Bismarck was rarely present-as far as I know twice only. On the first occasion he insisted on the necessity of the bill; on the last occasion, when the bill had become law, he thanked the House for having so readily supported him, but averred that it would be necessary to extend its length of action. The extreme Left gave vent to an ironical Hear, hear;' for they knew how little the Chancellor cared for the decision of the Parliament-that decision having carefully limited the period for which the Act was to be in force. Yet even then no one conceived how firmly Prince Bismarck had determined to quash altogether the power of his Parliaments.

There had been much to ruffle him. It was disagreeable enough when Windthorst protested against the uses to which the enormous wealth of the annexed dominions of Hanover had been applied by Prussia, when he inveighed against the Government which had employed those funds for infamous and shameless corruption. It was disagreeable too when Liebknecht related how time after time the Government had tried to press Socialists into their service by means of threats and bribes. These charges were unpleasant ones, for there was no answer to them, and the newspapers, which could have ventured on no such comments of their own, in reporting these debates of the Imperial Reichstag were reporting to all Germany the vileness of her rulers.

This, too, must be prohibited. Accordingly the Chancellor has devised a bill by which he who says in the Reichstag anything which may be adjudged derogatory to the Government may be punished, expelled from the assembly, and disqualified from ever sitting there again. Further, any newspaper which reports such offensive utterances is to be silenced or prohibited as Censorship shall see fit. Thus is Representative Government, which, as we have seen, Germany has been passionately demanding for more than sixty years, to be reduced to a meaningless farce, and the press is to be humiliated as it was humiliated when reaction reached the highest pinnacle of its glory after the Decrees of Carlsbad.

The suppression of written and spoken opinion has not been all. The Anti-Socialist Act gave the Government permission to put any town into a 'Lesser State of Siege' whenever it seemed expedient so to do. Just before the recent entry of the Emperor a rumour was circulated that the Government intended to take advantage of this clause, which gave them the singular power of exiling, unheard, whomsoever they pleased. But it seemed too absurd to be true: many of the National Liberals laughed at the suggestion. When Berlin was gay with flags, and all the civic officers were enjoining the devoted people to welcome with merry greeting the return of their

adored despot, would it then-then of all times-be necessary to regard the capital as a hotbed of angry discontent?


It seemed impossible, men said as much at least, and yet it was true enough. Men and women, whose opinions were such as were likely to disturb the public peace,' were driven from the town at two days' notice. And not in Berlin only, but in all Germany, were such tactics pursued; at the time I write (January 14, 1879) sixty-two persons have been already expelled from their homes. Many of the exiles lost by the edict all means of livelihood, and arrived, supported on such means as the benevolence of their friends could give them, in countries where thought is free, and all opinions are allowed expression. Here they will live to feel that bitterest Heimweh, the knowledge of their fatherland's infinite degradation.

Our chapter closes, then, with the inauguration of a new tyranny. The history of liberty in Germany, as far as we have followed it, has indeed been a very chequered one-chiefly a chronicle of failure. It is a story that must seem dull and profitless to those who can sympathise only with success already attained. But by the nobler and more far-seeing natures there may here, too, be discerned events which may lead to great thoughts, even as great thoughts begot them. Nor let anyone think that the future of the story, distant though it may be, is not most surely forthcoming. What Börne wrote forty years ago has not yet been fulfilled, but it remains a world-truth :-"The French Revolution will presently be translated into every country of Europe.'5


" AUTHORITIES.-For 1840-1848:-Neues Taschenbuch der Geschichte. Leipzig, 1840-1848.-Kritische Blätter. Köln, 1846-47.-SCHÖN: Wohir und Wohen. Strassburg, 1842.-JACOBY: Vier Fragen. Leipzig, 1842.-DRONKE: Berlin (invaluable social sketches). Berlin, 1847. For the revolution in March, 1848:- Globe newspaper. London.-Leipziger illustrirte Zeitung.-National Zeitung. Berlin. Besides these a mass of material is to be found in the pamphlet and placard literature of the time. In this literature, which is, I need not say, of intense interest, the British Museum is very rich. A brilliant and faithful account of the Barricade day may be found also in Spielhagen's incomparable romance, Durch Nacht zum Licht. For the history of the Reaction there are among other works:-B. BECKER: Die Reaction in Deutschland, 1863.-Die politische Todtenschau (an anonymous work attributed to L. Wallesrode), Kiel, 1858.-M. E. GRANT DUFF: Studies in European Politics. Edinburgh, 1866. The history of the Socialist movement is to be found in a very ample literature. Most important are:-MEHRING: Die deutsche Social-Demokratie.-JAGER: Der heutige Socialismus.-SYBEL: Die Lehren des heutigen Socialismus.-KAUFFMAN: Socialism, an abbreviation of the larger work by Schäffle. The German newspapers of the day of course furnish other material. The bitterness of the Ultramontane hatred for the Prussian Chancellor may be gathered from an amusing but ridiculous pamphlet published in Bern, 1877, called Das kleine Buch vom grossen Bismarck. I have learnt much also from German friends, and I must in conclusion express my gratitude to two English friends who have helped me with the revision and correction of these papers.


'We do not know that any one of the bodies denominated elementary is absolutely indecomposable.'-DALTON.

I HAVE recently announced to the Royal Society that, reasoning from the phenomena presented to us in the spectroscope when known compounds are decomposed, I have obtained evidence that the socalled elementary bodies are in reality compound ones.

Although the announcement took this form, which was as sober and as unsensational as I could make it, the interest taken in science now-a-days by the general public is so great, that it is apt to travel beyond the record, and as newspaper editors are not content to wait for what the experimentalist himself has to say, they are often at the mercy of those who, perhaps more from a sanguine temperament than anything else, are prepared to provide columns filled with statements wide of the mark. Nor is this all: if there be a practical side to the work, some 'application of science' is brought to the front, and the worker's own view of his labour is twisted out of all truth.

This has happened in my case. The idea of simplifying the elements is connected with the philosopher's stone; the use of the philosopher's stone was to transmute metals; therefore I have been supposed to be 'transmuting' metals; and imaginations have been so active in this direction that I am not sure that when my paper was eventually read at the Royal Society, many were not disappointed that I did not incontinently then and there 'transmute' a ton of lead into a ton of gold.

It is in consequence of this general misapprehension of the nature of my work, that I the more willingly meet the wishes of the Editor that I should say something about it in the Nineteenth Century. The paper itself I need not reproduce, as it has appeared in extenso in Nature, but there are many points touching both the origin of the views I have advanced and the work which has led up to them, on which I am glad of the opportunity of addressing a wider public.


It is now upwards of ten years since I began a series of observations having for their object the determination of the chemical constitution of the atmosphere of the sun. The work done, so far as

the number of elementary substances found to exist in it, I summed up in an article printed in the last July number of this Review, but the ten years' work had opened up a great number of problems above and beyond the question of the number of elements which exist in the solar atmosphere, because we were dealing with elements under conditions which it is impossible to represent and experiment on here.

In the first place, the temperature of the sun is beyond all definition; secondly, the vapours are not confined; and thirdly, there is an enormous number of them all mixed together, and free, as it were, to find their own level. Nor is this all. Astronomers have not only determined that the sun is a star, and have approximately fixed his place in nature as regards size and brilliancy, but they have compared the spectrum of this star, this sun of ours, with those of the other bodies which people space, and have thus begun to lay the foundations of a science which we may christen Comparative Stellar Chemistry. Dealing with the knowledge already acquired along this line, we may say roughly that there are four genera of stars recognisable by their spectra.

We have first the brightest and presumably hottest stars, and of these the spectrum is marvellously simple-so simple, in fact, that we say their atmospheres consist in the main of only two substances

a statement founded on the observation that the lines in the spectra are matched by lines which we see in the spectra of hydrogen and calcium; there are traces of magnesium, and perhaps of sodium too, but the faintness of the indication of these two latter substances only intensifies the unmistakeable development of the phenomena by which the existence of the former is indicated.

So much, then, for the first class: now for the second. In this we find our sun. In the spectra of stars of this class, the indications of hydrogen are distinctly enfeebled, the evidences by which the existence of calcium has been traced in stars of the first class are increased in intensity, and, accompanying these changes, we find all simplicity vanished from the spectrum. The sodium and magnesium indications have increased, and a spectrum in which the lines obviously visible may be counted on the fingers is replaced by one of terrific complexity.

The complexity which we meet with in passing from the first class to the second is one brought about by the addition of the lines produced by bodies of chemical substances of moderate atomic weight. The additional complexity observed when we pass from the second. stage to the third is brought about by the addition of lines due in the main to bodies of higher atomic weight. And this is a point of the highest importance-at the third stage the hydrogen, which existed in such abundance in stars of the first class, has now entirely disappeared.

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