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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 12 - Volume 10.djvu/541

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12 S. X. JUNE 10, 1922.] NOTES AND QUERIES. 443 encouraging. During the six years he was upon the staff of the Comte he appears to have prepared and written or published some six or seven substantial monographs, dealing respectively with fire, light and electricity, in addition to works upon optics, which appeared at a later date. Here, if we take Jean Paul at his own valuation, he proves himself a prodigy indeed. Thus in physics his discoveries were such that they would " force their way against wind and tide and render him immortal " ; in optics " the true primitive colours had been unknown until he took them in hand " ; in electricity " the real nature of this marvellous force con- sidered as a universal agent had hitherto been ignored he, however, had made it known and in such a way as to leave no fur- ther doubt upon the subject " ; while, as to the igneous fluid, he had " freed it from every hypothesis and conjecture, purged it of error, and in his volume on the subject consigned to oblivion all that scientific bodies had previously published " (Taine, ' La Revolution,' vol. iii., p. 163). It is easy to understand that these vapourings did not greatly commend him to the serious savants of Paris, so that when, session after session, he pressed himself, his experiments and his discoveries upon the Academy of Sciences, it would have none of them. Nor was his prestige enhanced by his fracas, in March, 1783, with the famous scientist Charles, who, according to one account, had publicly stigmatized him as a charlatan, and according to another had detected him passing off a spurious magnet, and subse- quently met Jean Paul's demand for redress with forcible expulsion and a serious wound (Cabanes, pp. 289-96, 527-8). But apart altogether from the validity of Jean Paul's scientific claims, a question which does not concern us here, there can be no doubt that all these researches, experiments and tech- nical publications must not only l^tve proved a constant drain on his financial resources, but have played havoc with his medical practice, the chief means he had of replenishing them. In one instance alone he speaks of shutting himself up for thirteen months in his labo- ratory in pursuit of various investigations (Vellay, p. 29). This very probably was an exaggeration intended to serve the particular purpose in hand (his application for the Madrid post), but, if only partially true, it shows to what an ebb his practice must have sunk to permit of these prolonged seclusions. Such, then, being the condition of things after six years of unremitting struggle in Paris, we find that, about the end of 1783 or early part of 1784, his engagement with the Comte d'Artois suddenly ceases. No reasons are known ; he may have been dismissed, he may have resigned. At all events, for the next two years very little is heard of him. We learn, indeed, that in May, 1785 r he petitioned the authorities to be relieved from taxation on the ground that, no longer on the staff of the Comte, he is reduced to the condition of a foreigner and man of letters, travelling in the pursuit of knowledge (Vellay, pp. 89-90) ; also that, 12 months later, he presents a copy of one of his works to the King. In the same years, too, he appears to have competed, not very success- fully, for prizes on certain scientific subjects offered by one or two of the French pro- vincial Academies. And then there super- venes in his career another of those mys- terious lacunae that have proved so baffling to his biographers. From 1786 to 1788 he is plunged into limbo again, and once more, though for the last time, becomes the " Marat Inconnu " of history. By way of bridging this awkward interval, the more imaginative of his chroniclers have, as we have seen, caused him to retire on his savings and devote himself to his favourite hobby of science. SIDNEY L. PHIPSON. (To be continued.) GUORANEGON OF ANCASTER, IN his 'Roman Roads in Britain' (1918, p. 124) Mr. Thomas Codrington says : " At Ancaster, Erming Street passed through a Roman camp which can be traced on the north of the cross-roads in the town, measuring 300 yards by 230 yards." In the map of Roman Britain in ' Monumenta His- torica Britannica ' (1848) the Roman station of Causennae is connoted by " Ancaster." This error is copied by Professor Ramsay Muir in his ' School Atlas of Modern History"' (1911), Map 24. Similarly^ in his 'British Place-names in their Historical Setting ' (1910, pp. 108-9), the Rev. Edmund McClure, when annotating the Fifth Britannic Route in Antoniiie's Itinerary, copies the ' Monu- menta ' and says that " Causennis is at the exact distance for An-Caster, where the an- may still preserve a relic of its former name." But Ancaster is seventeen miles from Lincoln, whereas Causennse was xxvi. m.p. from Lindum Colonia. Hence we must