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Bagges. "Eh? well! I suppose it's all

"Quite so, uncle. Burn carbon  or charcoal
either in the air or in oxygen, and it is sure
always to make carbonic acid, and nothing
eIse, if it is dry. No dew or mist gathers in
a cold glass jar if you burn dry charcoal in
it. The charcoal goes entirely into carbonic
acid gas, and leaves nothing behind but ashes,
which are only earthy stuff that was in the
charcoal, but not part of the charcoal itself.
And now, shall I tell you something about

"With all my heart," assented Mr. Bagges.

"I said that there was carbon or charcoal
in all common lights,—so there is in every
common kind of fuel. If you heat coal or
wood away from the air, some gas comes away,
and leaves behind coke from coal, and charcoal
from wood; both carbon, though not pure.
Heat carbon as much as you will in a close
vessel, and it does not change in the least;
but let the air get to it, and then it burns and
flies off in carbonic acid gas. This makes
carbon so convenient for fuel. But it is
ornamental as well as useful, uncle. The diamond
is nothing else than carbon."

"The diamond, eh? You mean the black

"No; the diamond, really and truly. The
diamond is only carbon in the shape of a

"Eh? and can't some of your clever
chemists crystallise a little bit of carbon, and
make a Koh-i-noor?"

"Ah, uncle, perhaps we shall, some day.
In the meantime I suppose we must be
content with making carbon so brilliant as it
is in the flame of a candle. Well; now you
see that a candle-flame is vapour burning,
and the vapour, in burning, turns into water
and carbonic acid gas. The oxygen of both
the carbonic acid gas and the water comes
from the air, and the hydrogen and carbon
together are the vapour. They are distilled
out of the melted wax by the heat. But, you
know, carbon alone can't be distilled by any
heat. It can be distilled, though, when it
is joined with hydrogen, as it is in the wax,
and then the mixed hydrogen and carbon
rise in gas of the same kind as the gas in
the streets, and that also is distilled by
heat from coal. So a candle is a little gas
manufactory in itself, that burns the gas as
fast as it makes it."

"Haven't you pretty nearly come to your
candle's end?" said Mr. Wilkinson.

"Nearly. I only want to tell uncle, that
the burning of a candle is almost exactly like
our breathing. Breathing is consuming oxygen,
only not so fast as burning. In breathing
we throw out water in vapour and carbonic
acid from our lungs, and take oxygen in.
Oxygen is as necessary to support the life of
the body, as it is to keep up the flame of a

"So," said Mr. Bagges, "man is a candle,
eh? and Shakespeare knew that, I suppose,
(as he did most things,) when he wrote

                 'Out, out, brief candle!'

Well, well; we old ones are moulds, and you
young squires are dips and rushlights, eh?
Any more to tell us about the candle?"

"I could tell you a great deal more about
oxygen, and hydrogen, and carbon, and water,
and breathing, that Professor Faraday said,
if I had time; but you should go and hear
him yourself, uncle."

"Eh? well! I think I will. Some of us
seniors may learn something from a juvenile
lecture, at any rate, if given by a Faraday.
And now, my boy, I will tell you what,"
added Mr. Bagges, "l am very glad to find
you so fond of study and science; and you
deserve to be encouraged: and so I'll give
you a what-d' ye-call-it?—a Galvanic Battery
on your next birth-day; and so much for
your teaching your old uncle the chemistry
of a candle."


THE rippling water, with its drowsy tone,—
  The tall elms, tow'ring in their stately pride,—
Andsorrow's typethe willow sad and lone,
  Kissing in graceful woe the murmuring tide;—

The grey church-tower,—and dimly seen beyond,
  The faint hills gilded by the parting sun,—
All were the same, and seem'd with greeting fond
  To welcome me as they of old had done.

And for a while I stood as in a trance,
  On that loved spot, forgetting toil and pain;—
Buoyant my limbs, and keen and bright my glance,
  For that brief space I was a boy again!

Again with giddy mates I careless play'd,
  Or plied the quiv'ring oar, on conquest bent;—
Again, beneath the tall elms' silent shade,
  I woo'd the fair, and won the sweet consent.

But brief, alas! the spell, for suddenly
  Peal'd from the tower the old familiar chimes,
and with their clear, heart-thrilling melody,
  Awaked the spectral forms of darker times.

And I remember'd all that years had wrought
   How bow'd my care-worn frame, how dimm'd my eye,
How poor the gauds by Youth so keenly sought,
  How quench'd and dull Youth's aspirations high!

And in half mournful, half upbraiding host,
  Duties neglectedhigh resolves unkept
And many a heart by death or falsehood lost,
  In lightning current o'er my bosom swept.

Then bow'd the stubborn knees, as backward sped
  The self-accusing thoughts in dread array,
And slowly, from their long-congealed bed,
  Forced the remorseful tears their silent way.

Bitter, yet healing drops! in mercy sent,
  Like soft dews falling on a thirsty plain,—
And 'ere those chimes their last faint notes had spent,
  Strengthen'd and calm'd, I stood erect again.