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scope or not." By an ingenious And when our human atom procontrivance Micromégas extem. ceeds to describe animals which are porises a huge speaking trumpet, for the bees what the bees are for like an enormous tunnel, from the men, what the Sirian himself was parings of one of his nails, so that for the vast animals which he had thanks to his patient ingenuity, the seen in other globes, and what experimentalist was in a short time those great animals are for other enabled to distinguish the humming substances before which they of the microscopic animals. In a would appear as atoms, the few hours he could distinguish astonishment of the strangers in. words, and, in fine, make out the creases to the highest pitch. French language. The Saturnian By degrees the conversation did as much, though with more grows extremely interesting, and difficulty. Surprises crowd upon the Sirian gives utterance to his them : they heard the atoms, feeling of admiration at the happy speak apparently very good sense. condition of beings who,“ having But what was to be done to hold so little matter, and appearing all the conversation for which our mind, must pass their lives in philosophers were dying with im. loving and thinking. It is the patience? Their tones of thunder true spiritual life. I have nowhere must assuredly deafen the atoms else seen true happiness; but with. without any result. On this new out doubt it is here." All the difficulty, it occurs to them to philosophic atoms, however, at once moderate the insufferable noise by begin shaking their heads violently; putting small toothpicks into their and one, more frank than the others, mouths. The Sirian held the avows that, in fact, “if one exdwarf upon his knees, who, in his cepts a very small proportion of turn, held the ship with its freight inhabitants, all the rest are an upon his nail. Lowering his head, assemblage of fools, knaves, and the Sirian began to whisper. As unfortunates. We have more may be imagined, the first feeling matter a great deal than we need of the atoms was one of utter for doing a great deal of evil, if surprise and terror. “The chaplain the evil come from matter; and of the ship recited formulas of too much mind, if the evil come exorcism, the sailors set them from mind.” He proceeds to selves swearing, and the philoso- speak of some of the horrors of phers invented a system.”

life created by the atoms amongst At length, the first alarms some themselves; of the wars, e.g., then what appeased, some of the atoms, raging, and their trifling causes. bolder than the rest, ventured to The first impulse of the Sirian is, converse; and, after certain geo. with three kicks of his foot, to metrical observations, to the com- overturn the whole ant-hill of such plete surprise of their captors, they ridiculous assassins: but he refrains are proceeding to give the exact on being told he might spare him. measurement not only of the self the trouble, since they effectu. Saturnian dwarf, but also of ally enough worked their own Micromégas himself ; and assert destruction. the existence of intelligent The Sirian then delivered himcreatures smaller even than them- self as follows: “Since you know selves, repeating “not what Virgil so well what is external to you, had had said about the bees, but without doubt you know much what Swammerdam had discovered better what is within you. Tell and what Réaumur had dissected.” me what is your soul, and how do

you form your ideas. The philo- tained that their persons, their sophic atoms all speak at once, as worlds, their suns, their stars, before ; but now they were all of everything was made wholly and different opinions. The Aristo. solely for man's benefit.” At this telian, the Cartesian, the followers discourse, our two friends from of Malebranche, of Leibnitz, of beyond the moon fall one upon Locke proceed each to instruct the other in attempting to choke their questioner in turn. An old that inextinguishable laughter Aristotelian defines the soul in the which, according to Homer, is the words of his master as ivciasxsía proper heritage of the Gods. Their 'I don't understand Greek,' said stomachs and chests heave convul. the Sirian. Nor I either,' said sively; and, in the midst of these the philosophic atom. 'Why, sudden convulsions, the vessel falls then,' replied the other, do you into one of the pockets of the cite one Aristotle in Greek?' Saturnian's breeches. After search'Beca use,' rejoined the savan, ing for it a long time, they find the ‘it is perfectly necessary to quote equipage, and readjust it very what one does not understand at considerately. Micromégas takes all in the language which is least up the mites, speaks to them with understood.'” A disciple of Locke, much kindness, “although he was who speaks last, most engages the a little angry, in the bottom of his sympathy of the Sirian. But, heart, at seeing the infinitely little unfortunately, at this moment a possess a pride almost infinitely little animalcule, in a square hat,* great," and promises a brief philointerrupts the conversation by pro- sophical treatise for their use, in nouncing with an air of authority which they should see “the end of that “ he knew the whole secret : things.” In fact, before his departhat it was found in the Summa of ture, he sent the book to the St. Thomas. He regarded the two Academy of Sciences at Paris.t strange and gigantic experimentalists from top to toe ; he main.

HOWARD WILLIAMS.

* The owner of the square hat, presumably, represents a member of the Society of Jesus.

+ See Romans de Voltaire (Didot, Paris).

CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITS.

NEW SERIES.—No. 7.

E. J. POYNTER, R.A.

Much good work in the world-indeed, some of the highest-is done by people by no means the most physically robust. Indifferent health, instead of proving a hindrance, is frequently found to constitute a positive spur to exertion. The energy of the character, debarred from some of the usual outlets, concentrates its force, asserts the dominion of mind over matter, and, supplying by repetition of nervous impulse the lack of muscular solidity, achieves its ends. This is true of the subject of the present memoir, one of the most indefatigable workers of the day. His life has been, in a certain sense, an uneventful one-a boyhood of delicate health and a manhood of intense application to his chosen work being the readily-formed summation of his career.

Edward John Poynter was born on the 20th of March, 1836, in the Avenue Marbeuf, Paris. In consequence of the formation of a new street, the house has since disappeared in which our painter first saw light. He was only a few months old when his parents returned with their young family to their home in London, and he was brought up in England entirely. He was entered first at Westminster School, but his health being deemed too delicate for a London life, he was removed to the Elizabethan Grammar School at Ipswich, then under the direction of Mr. Rigaud, afterwards Bishop of Antigua. At the age of sixteen he was sent abroad, being still a delicate lad, to pass the winter in Madeira, where he spent much of his time in sketching from nature among the lovely scenery. He had before this been a student in Leigh's Gallery, Newman-street, during his vacations.

The following winter he passed in Rome. By this time his early dispositions for art were unmistakably confirmed, and his strong bias led him into the society of other men who have since made their mark in the same walk of life. Mr. Leighton encouraged the young student in his work, allowing him to draw from his models, and arranging art draperies for him on the lay figure. The out-of-door sketching was still continued. On his return to England he worked at Leigh’s again, and in the studio

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- awy uguic. The out-of-door sketching was still continued. On his return to England he worked at Leigh's again, and in the studio

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