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NATURAL DAGUERREOTYPING. | duced by being again breathed upon or subjected From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.
to other vapor, and this over and over again, as
often as may be desired. The British journals have as yet taken no no. An account of Dr. Möser's discovery was givtice, that we are aware of, of some very curious en a few months ago in the Paris Academy of discoveries respecting light lately made by Dr. Sciences, and had the effect of calling from M. Moser of Königsberg. By accident, in a great Breguet, the celebrated watchmaker of that city, measure, we have obtained some information on a remark highly favorable to the presumption the subject, which we shall now lay before our that it is true. M. Breguet stated that he had readers, confident that it will be read with con- frequently observed, upon the polished inner siderable interest even by those but slightly ac- surface of the gold cases of his fat watches, the quainted with science.
name of his house plainly and legibly markDr. Möser observes, that if a flat seal or piece ed, the impression having been received from of black horn, having figures engraved upon it, the engraved letters of the covering of the works, be placed below a smooth and polished silver which did not touch the case.* plate, and allowed to remain there for ten min-1 Möser infers from his observations that there utes, the silver will become charged with a faint is LATENT LIGHT-a bold idea, which, if it bepicture of the figures engraved upon the seal or comes an established truth in science, must impiece of horn, which will be rendered visible by mortalize his name. He conceives that light the plate being exposed to the vapor of water, enters into and resides in bodies, or is, as it were, or any other fluid, or even by being breathed absorbed in them, and may yet, after remaining upon, and will become permanent if the vapor in them many years, be capable of exhibiting its of mercury is used. This surprising result will action. He calls this light proper lo bodies, and at once lead the mind to the photographic pro- shows reasons for distinguishing it from both cess, in which, by the action of a strong light, phosphorescence and the light of those rays of either original or reflected, the images of objects which the retina is not sensible. He says it is become impressed upon a surface of paper pre-l in all its effects the same as ordinary light. In viously washed in a solution of nitrate of silver, two plates exposed to each other, that the one or a metallic plate prepared with iodine. But a may catch an image from the other, nearness is remarkable difference exists; the silver plate in necessary, because otherwise the rays would Dr. Möser's experiment is presented in the dark, diverge, and produce a confused image.t How and there receives the impression of the object, strange to think of a divergence of rays from a without, as we would suppose, the agency oi substance placed in what our senses would call light.* The experiment has even been made absolute darkness ; for example, between the in a dark room at midnight with perfect success. works and case of a watch ! It is also remarable, that any polished surface These phenomena are not curious only for will do as well as a silver plate-glass, for in-their reference to the novel idea of latent light, stance, or the smooth leather-cover of a book. but as an addition to the wonders of that perIt appears that, to produce the effect, the object haps most wonderful of all modern inventions, must not be far distant from the smooth surface; the photographic and Daguerreotype processes. the nearer it is, the better is the impression pro- What we have hitherto seen of this process is duced. When the vapor of mercury is used, a the production of an image under the influence permanent image is produced, by an union of of a powerful light: the experiments of Möser the mercury with the silver; when other vapors give an image by the agency of a degree of are used, the image quickly vanishes. But per-| light below the power of our senses to apprehaps the most surprising thing of all is, ihat hend; and which we, therefore, for want of a after the image has vanished, it can be repro- better term, call latent light. This is a remark
able extension, indeed, of what we not long ago + In a letter written by him to Sir David Brews. knew of the powers of light: we now know that ter which we have seen-he states that he has it will act as a medium through which the image found the following invariably to succeed. He of one object may be impressed on another, the places a small camera obscura, furnished with aime
impression possessing durability in proportion lens of very small aperture* under the moon in any of her stages, and makes her image fall upon a
to the conditions of the impressed surface; and, plate of iodised silver, which has been previously
more than this, capable of being reproduced after
.. exposed to certain vapors noted below.t The moon it has vanished, and that several times over. Nor having passed over the plate, he subjects the plate
* Athenæum Report, September 10, 1842. to the vapor of mercury, and obtains a very clear
| Letter of Dr. Möser, MS. representation of her path.-It may here be re
I Theilea of latent light corresponds with an marked, that there is no necessity for supposing
opinion of Newton, that light entered the surface Möser's experiments to be fallacious becanse an
of charcoal, and never was brought out again. attempt to repeat them may fail. While it is pro- |
There are other phenomena tending to the same per, of course, to be guarded against both voluntary
conclusion, as that nitrous acid gas, in a glass tube, and involuntary deception, there can be no doubt
on being exposed to heat, changes from a transpa. that nice experiments of this nature often fail, or
rent yellow to an opaque red. The blood of a paall but fail, at first, with others than the discoverers,
tient under inflammation, everted from a cup with and yet are found to be true phenomena after all.
la green flower, presents vermilion images of the Such was the case with Mr. Fox Talbot's experi.
flower relieved upon the dark ground of the clot. ments in photography, which some of the most in
And, to preclude all doubt as to the character of genious practical men of science in the country
these images, we are assured by a medical friend vainly, for some time, attempted to imitate.
that he has produced them by green coloring on the • Fifteen millimetres.
Chloridised iodine. I outside of a glass cup.
is even this all. The Daguerreotype process, objects flitted before his eyes. He could not till a very recent period, did, like Dr. Möser's distinguish the whitest face in the company experiments, require what may be called a con- from the darkest. Here was a picture continusiderable time to produce its effects; that is to ing longer than usual, in consequence of the resay, it required a few seconds at least, and only tina being longer impressed. In some cases, still objects could be taken with accuracy. But he had been enabled to tear off the mask, and last year, by the application of electricity, M. fill up these blank faces with individual likeDaguerre made his plates so sensitive, that less nesses." These remarks of the British philosothan a second became necessary to produce the phers have since been found to coincide with image. Indeed, so small a space of time was views entertained by Dr. Möser, and which he required, that no mechanical arrangement could has expressed in a paper published at Berlin. be contrived to submit the plate instantaneously. That the impressions on the retina are photoenough; the consequence of which was, that graphic processes, is, we should say, by do one part was overdone before the rest was sub-means unlikely. Many phenomena, long before mitted, and it was found necessary to take means the world, perfectly harmonise with such an to dull or lessen the sensitiveness of the plates.* idea. The sixth of a moment, is, we believe, Possibly, the application of electricity would the space of time which these impressions remake a much less space of time necessary for main in an ordinary state of health ; hence, we even latent light to produce images. The Da- may remind unscientific readers, such phenoguerreotype process is evidently only in its in- mena as that of a lighted stick making a fiery fancy. Within the last few months, Sir John arc when waved quickly to and fro. The eye, Herschel has been experimenting with paper then, may be said to be, in its ordinary state, a surfaces prepared in two different ways, by one plate or speculum prepared to receive, and reof which he produces impressions which may be tain for that definite portion of time, any image brought up from faintness to distinctness by re-thrown upon it. Amongst relative phenomena, peated washings, while by the other he creates the mind very quickly lights upon a well-known positive pictures, which sade in a few hours, one recorded by Dr. Darwin : "1 covered a leaving ihe paper capable of receiving other paper about four inches square with yellow, and impressions.t
with a pen filled with a blue color, wrote upon In a conversation on Dr. Möser's experiments, the middle of it the word BANKS in capitals; which took place at the meeting of the British and sitting with my back to the sun, fixed my Association at Manchester, Sir John Herschel eyes for a minute exactly upon the centre of the called particular attention to the reproduceabili. letter N in the word. After shutting my eyes, ty of the pictures, and confirmed the fact by and shading them somewhat with my hand, the drawing from his pocket one of his own pictures, word was distinctly seen in the spectrum in relwhich he said was then invisible, but might be low colors on a blue ground; and then, on openmade visible by being placed over the vapor of ing my eyes. on a yellowish wall at twenty feet muriatic gas. After a time, he said the image distance, the magnified name of BANKS apwould again vanish, but a reapplication of the peared on the wall written in golden characters." gas would bring it again into sight. He ex- Dr. Abercromby records a similar instance: “A plained that the paper had been washed in a friend of mine had been, one day, looking incertain vegetable solution, which made it sus- tensely at a small print of the Virgin and Child, ceptible of such pictures. He also adverted to and had sat bending over it for some time. On the remarkable fact, that the muriatic gas is per- raising his head, he was startled by pereeiving fectly colorless. He then added, “ Might not at the further end of the apartment a female the retina itself be affected in a somewhat simi- figure of the size of life, with a child in her arms. lar manner? The impressions made upon it The first feeling of surprise having subsided, he were gone in a moment. Might not those im-instantly traced the source of the illusion, and pressions on the retina be produced by a sort of remarked that the figure corresponded exactly photographic apparatus ? The number of ques- with that which he had contemplated in the tions arising on this topic," he said, “were like-print, being what painters call a kit-cat figure, ly to render it a most electrilying topic among in which the lower parts of the body are not rephilosophers." Sir David Brewster considered presented. The illusion continued distinct for the remark of Sir John Herschel, as “having about two minutes."* In Dr. Darwin's case, an important bearing on the philosophy of the there was, we believe, only the ordinary action senses. The moment it was mentioned in the of the eye inexhibiting the spectrum of the accihearing of any one acquainted with the physi- dental colors: in such instances as that recorded ological action of the retina, he would see a by Dr. Abercromby, and described by Sir David crowd of facts referable to it. He should men. Brewster, there is probably some extraordinary tion one fact which appeared to be explained by phenomena, by which the impression, a simple it. After being present at a few of the meetings image, is rendered permanent; we can easily of the Association, where there had been so conceive it to be some phenomena in organic many white faces, a mass of white faces had at pathology analogous to the washing of a plate length become impressed on his retina. Each with a solution. face had three black spots on it, two for the eyes! But is it upon the retina, or the retina alone, and one for the mouth. For two days, these that the impression lingers?"In regard to a
ocular spectra,” says Dr. Abercromby, another . Athenæum Report, July 17, 1841.
† Letter of Sir John Herschel, Athenæum, Au-l * Abercromby's Inquiries concerning the Intel. gust 20, 1842.
lectual Powers, p. 65.
fact of a very singular nature appears to have they are objects—things producing a clear phobeen first observed by Sir Isaac Newton; name- tographic image, so to speak, on the brain. ly, that when he produced a spectrum of the sun Men in a partially diseased or infirm condition by looking at it with the right eye, the left being lose the recollection of words, or of names, but covered, upon uncovering the left, and looking remember things and persons. They know the upon a white ground, aspectrum of the sun friend they meet, but they caanot pronounce his was seen with it also. He likewise acquired name. Dr. Abercromby tells of a gentleman the power of recalling the spectra alter they had who could not be made to understand the ceased, when he went into the dark, and directed name of an object, if it was spoken to him, but his mind intensely, 'as when a man looks earn- understood it perfectly when it was written. His eslly to see a thing which is difficull to be seen.' mental faculties were so entire, that he was enBy repeating these experiments frequently, such gaged in an extensive agricultural concerns, and an effect was produced upon his eyes, 'that for he managed them with perfect correctness by some months after,' he says, 'the spectrum of means of a remarkable contrivance. He kept the sun begun to return, as often as I began to before him, in the room where he transacted meditate upon the phenomena, even though I business, a list of the words which were most lay in bed at midnight with my curtains drawn."" apt to occur in his intercourse with his workmen. Does not this seem to imply that, if an actual When any of them wished to communicate with impression of any kind is made, it must be upon him upon any subject, he first heard what the something beyond the retina, something com- workman had to say, but without understandmanding both the outlets where the retinæ are ing him further than simply to catch the words. placed; upon that internal nervous substance, in He then turned to the words in the writshort, which forms the medium or organism of ten list, and whenever they met his eye, he mind itself?
understood them perfectly." Here, clearly, a There are certainly many psychological certain mental power was wanting. But the phenomena which seem to bear a curious ana- | power of receiving a direct impression from an logy to these image-making properties of light. object remained sound, and was used. What For instance, “the distinct recollection of a fact was this but having to repeat every time those is generally in proportion to the intensity with messages between objects in the external world which it has been contemplated."* Suppose and the inner powers of mind, which usually beattention to be a greater than usual develop come unnecessary in a mature intellect, from so ment of electric action in the brain, how strange- much coming to be fixed and understood ? It ly akin seem the recent experiments of Da- was like Herschel's photographic paper, or guerre! When attention is languid, or when Möser's plates, where some common vapor was one is in a state of reverie, something is said by used. Old men generally remember recent a neighbor: you are not conscious of more than evenis least perfectly. This may be simply that some one has spoken; but in a few seconds, owing to the images in early life having been or perhaps minutes, by an effort, the words are impressed on what was in a more fit state to rerecalled. May not this be simply an electric ceive them, or having been better secured after evolution upon some impressible medium within, they were impressed. A silver plate bearing a before the photographic impression had faded, good photographic image, of three years' standcatching up its shrinking tints ? Newlon could ing, fixed with the fumes of mercury, or nitrate recall the spectra by intensely looking for them, of silver, may be, in comparison with a piece of or meditating upon them; so, by an effort of the Herchel's paper which bore an image yestermind, do we recall to memory a fact which we day, and none to-day, exactly what an old man's once knew, but which has been forgotten. To memory of remote events is to his recollection write down any thing we may wish to remem of recent occurrences. ber, or to learn it from print or writing, is ac There are instances of teniporary loss of meknowledged to be the most ready means of ac-mory in consequence of external injuries to the quiring it by heart. A comedian, accustomed
A comedian, accustomed nervous system, and we chance to be able to adto study his parts deliberately, and who remem- vert to a remarkable example heretofore unrebered them afterwards without effort, had on one corded. A boy of uncommon talents, who has occasion to study one very hurriedly. This part since attained high civil employment in India, immediately after disappeared from his mind. was boarded, during his attendance at the uni" When questioned respecting the mental pro-versity, in the house of a medical gentleman, cess which he employed the first time he per- who took charge of a few other youths of about formed this part, he said that he lost sight en-the same age. Towards the conclusion of a sestirely of the audience, and seemed to have noth-sion, during which he had studied very hard, and ing before him but the pages of the book from the night before he was to deliver a prize essay which he had learnt it, and that if any thing had to a particular professor, the young man was aloccurred to interrupt this illusion, he should have lowed by his protector to have a small supper stopped instantly."'+ And Sir James Mackin-party, at which he was very merry. Next day, tosh, who could repeat whole pages of a book on after giving in the essay, he took a game at ball the Brownonian system which he had read thirty with some companions, in the course of which he years before, always acknowledged that he was fell on his rump and experienced a slight conguided by a recollection of the actual appear-cussion of the brain. Coming home, he was ance of the pages of the book itself. The signs found to talk incoherently, and he had no recolof thought, we may suppose, are more easily re- lection of either the supper party or the delivery membered than the direct thought itself, because of the prize essay. He was inmediately put to * Abercromby. Idem.
I bed and bled, when he gradually, as with an ef
fort, came to a faint recollection of these inci- new course of instruction. Suddenly, he recov. dents, but remembered nothing which took place ers all that was lost, but has forgot every new after the fall; and the few hours which elapsed idea acquired since his recovery. In some cases, between that event and the bleeding continued the two conditions have alternated oftener than ever after to be a complete blank in his memory. once. Dr. Beattie mentions a clergyman who,
There are remarkable instances of a revival on recovering from an apoplectic attack, was of old and forgotten impressions in a state of dis- found to have lost the recollection of exactly four ease, particularly with regard to languages. years; cvery thing that occurred before that pe. “A man, mentioned by Mr. Abernethy, had been riod he remembered perfectly. He gradually born in France, but had spent the greater part of recovered the lost knowledge, partly by a sponhis life in England, and for many years had en- taneous reviral of his memory, and partly by tirely lost the habit of speaking French. But reading histories of the period. How like is all when under the care of Mr. Abernethy, on ac- this to what has been stated about Möser's vancount of the effects of an injury of the head, he ishing but revivable pictures ! always spoke French. A similar case occurred Many of the recorded phenomena of dreaming in St. Thomas's Hospital, of a man who was in also seem to bear a strong relation to the Moser a state of slúpor in consequence of an injury of process. The metaphysicians make out a class the head. On his partial recovery, he spoke a of dreams as consisting of the revival of ideas language which nobody in the hospital under which had passed out of the mind, or appeared stood, but which was soon ascertained to be to have been forgotten. For example, a gentleWelsh. It was then discovered that he had been man, about to be cast in a law-suit for want of a thirty years absent from Wales, and, before the particular document which has been lost, dreams accident, had entirely forgotten his native lan- a dream in which his deceased father or some guage. On his perfect recovery, he completely other person appears, and informs him of the forgot his Welsh again, and recovered the Eng- place in which it is deposited. The theory relish language. * * A case has been related to specting such cases is that the fact was once me of a boy, who, at the age of four, received a known, but became forgotten, and the informafracture of the skull, for which he underwent the tion given in the dream was only a resurrection operation of trepan. He was at the time in a of this deceased piece of knowledge. And that state of perfect stupor, and, aster his recovery, we are capable of thus utterly forgetting a piece retained no recollection either of the accident or of knowledge which we once possessed, is prov. the operation. At the age of fifteen, during the ed by our frequently being reminded ef sayings delirium of a fever, he gave his mother an ac- of our own by other parties to whom we had count of the operation, and the persons who spoken them, but of which we have no recollecwere present at it, with a correct description of rion. The revival of these lost ideas may be their dress, and other minute particulars. He only a physical process in the brain, of the same had never been observed to allude to it before, nature with the vaporing of an occult photoand no means were known by which he could graphic picture. Dr. Watts by anticipation gives have acquired the circumstances which he men- a sort of countenance to such a supposition, when tioned. An eminent medical friend informs me, he conjectures that those very fibres, pores, or that, during fever, without any delirium, he on traces of the brain, which assist at the first idea or one occasion repeated long passages from Ho- perception of any object, are the same which assist mer, which he could not do when in health; and also at the recollection of it." Even the language another friend has mentioned to me, that, in a of the metaphysicians, vague as it generally is, similar situation, there were represented on his seems strangely in harmony with that of our mind, in a most vivid manner, the circumstances new science. They describe conception and imof a journey in the Highlands, which he had per- agination as two different degrees of activity of formed long before, including many minute par- the intellectual powers in reviving past impresticulars which he had entirely forgotten. * * sions. Dr. Brown, the last and best of this seAn ignorant servant girl, mentioned by Cole- ries of philosophers, taught that "there is a law ridge, during the delirium of a sever, repeated of the mind over which volition has no control, passages from theological works in Latin, Greek, or a tendency, which is constantly operating inand Rabbinical Hebrew, which, being taken voluntarily, to renovate prior feelings. This he down and traced to the works from which they called Simple Suggestion. When two or more were derived, were found to be repeated with objects, or two or more thoughts, primary or reperfect accuracy. It turned out that she had novated, are present to the mind, feelings of rebeen servant to a clergyman, a man of much lation arise in it independently of the will, and learning and peculiar habits, who was in the from a law or tendency of the mind itself. This practice of walking backwards and forwards he called Relative Suggestion. Lastly, there is along a passage in his house which led to the in the mind a susceptibility of, or tendency to, kitchen, and there reading aloud his favorite au- another distinct class of feelings, called Emothors."* Of this class of phenomena many oth- tions, as Grief, Joy, Pleasure, Pain, Cheerfuler examples might be adduced. There is an-ness, Wonder, Fear, Remorse, &c. These feelother class, which have obtained the general ings are also involuntary. They arise unbidden name of double consciousness. A person becomes in the mind, when certain objects are seen, or ill, and at his recovery is found to have forgot all certain feelings of relation perceived." This is previously-attained knowledge. He begins, like an abstract of the principal parts of Dr. Brown's
child, with the alphabet, and goes through a doctrine, which was given out thirty years ago."
We find it in the Edinburgh Magazine, 1820.
Its relation to these curious experiments is faint and that the crucifix was designated as the mark and indescribable, but yet it is impossible not to by which he might be known. The luquisitors see that there is some relation.
never caught him; though they often had infor. The Quarterly Review, a number of years mation of his practising as a conjuror, and exhibitago, contained an article on the “Connection of ing the blazing cross on his forehead in the dark, Intellectual Operations with Organic action," in -a trick often practised by school-boys with a which it was stated that, “in certain conditions bit of phosphorus. They arrested, indeed, a juggler of the mind, and when the eye has been for some at Seville ; but, on inquiry, he proved to be " no time withdrawn from the influence of visible conjuror," and had the good luck to be liberated, figures, the impressions usually recalled by the after having endured - only the moderate tor. act of volition are forced upon it by causes of ture.” which we are entirely ignorant, and possess a While the Spaniards were taught to regard the distinctness of outline which permits us to sub-Wandering Jew as an object of horror, the French ject them to the same examination as the per- and Brabantine legends always spoke of him as manent impressions made upon the retina by the deserving the warmest sympathy and compassion. action of highly luminous bodies. When this The Germans invested him with something of a examination is carefully made, we shall find that speculative and philosophic character; whence the images recalled by the memory follow the mo- Goethe, in his singular piece, “ Ahasuerus," the tions of the head and of the eye, and are seen name last bestowed upon the wanderer, has made according to the very same laws which regulate the Jew a scholastic cobbler, strongly attached to the vision of those impressions which remain on materialism, particularly in the shape of material the retina after the objects which produce them comforts. Ahasuerus is represented as having are withdrawn. The very same result will be engaged in a dialectic controversy with our Savobtained in the case of forms created by the im-iour, who, provoked by his insensibility to spiritual agination, so that the two leading faculties of the blessings, sentences himn to continue in the life mind memory and imagination perform their for which he manifests so decided a preference. operations through the medium of the organs of This is one of the worst perversions of a poetic sense.” This is a very remarkable assertion, and legend with which we are acquainted; and it is quite in harmony with the view which we have saddening to find it connected with so great a taken. If received as true, it can leave little name. room for doubt that mental action generally is Ahasuerus was the name usually given to the inextricably connected with the laws of some of Wandering Jew in the last century ; but in the the so-called imponderable bodies.
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries he was known as Isaac Lackedem or Lackedion-names which point to an Armenian or Greek origin of the story.
The Chanson, of which we are about to lay a ver. THE WANDERING JEW.
sion before our readers, as nearly in the original
metre as the structure of our language will admit, From Bentley's Miscellany.
is believed to have been composed in Brabant,
rather earlier than the age of the Reformation. We are not acquainted with any popular En glish ballad on the subject of the Wandering Jew,
The language has been softened and modernized, itough the adventures of this extraordinary being
as it passed down the stream of tradition ; but the
"18 air possesses the psalmodic character of those have afforded themes to the poets of the people in
slow and plaintive chaunts, with which in the almost every other country in Europe. France,
| Middle Ages the relics of martyrs were venerated, especially, is rich in legends connected with this
and the sufferings of the saints lamented. We fabled personage ; songs and sermons equally re
have preserved in the translation some of the late the horrors to which “the undying one" was subjected, and the heritage of wo conjoined to
roughness which characterizes the original ballad,
particularly in the verses spoken by the burgesses his unparalleled length of life. Most of the noti
to the Wanderer. ces are announcements of his speedy appearance at some specified place, or anecdotes supposed to have been related by those who had the good for.
Can life, with each transition,
From bright to darkest hue, tine of meeting with him. They all agree in des.
Show one of worse condition cribing him as aged, care-worn, with a white
Than the poor Wandering Jew? beard of immense length, and grizzled hair. His
How horrid is his state ! dress, though ragged and torn, was said to retain His wretchedness how great! fraces of oriental finery; but he also wore a leather apron, which, in the fifteenth and sixteenth One day, before the city centuries, was the usual cognizance of laborers, Of Brussels, in Brabant, and the lower class of mechanics. Xeniola de
We saw, with fear and pity, clares that, in Spain, he appeared with a very
This man of comforts scant,
And ne'er before our sight awful mark, which is not mentioned either by the
Was beard so long and white
His garments, torn and streaming, the Jew wore a black bandage on his forehead,
The winds could not withstand, which concealed a crucifix of flame, ever burning And we knew by his seeming a brain that grew as fast it was consumed. It is He came from Eastern land: intimated that the familiars of the Inquisition had A leathern bag before orders to keep a sharp lookout for the wanderer, |
He, like some workman, wore !