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THE RECENT PROGRESS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE.

most precise measure of his character. The other chief point that I wish to impress is, that a practice of deliberately and methodically testing the character of others and of ourselves is not wholly fanciful, but deserves consideration and experiment.—Fortnightly Review.

 

THE RECENT PROGRESS OF PHYSICAL SCIENCE.[1]
By Professor LORD RAYLEIGH.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: It is no ordinary meeting of the British Association which I have now the honor of addressing. For more than fifty years the Association has held its autumn gathering in various towns of the United Kingdom, and within those limits there is, I suppose, no place of importance which we have not visited. And now, not satisfied with past successes, we are seeking new worlds to conquer. When it was first proposed to visit Canada, there were some who viewed the project with hesitation. For my own part, I never quite understood the grounds of their apprehension. Perhaps they feared the thin edge of the wedge. When once the principle was admitted, there was no knowing to what it might lead. So rapid is the development of the British Empire, that the time might come when a visit to such out-of-the-way places as London or Manchester could no longer be claimed as a right, but only asked for as a concession to the susceptibilities of the English. But, seriously, whatever objections may have at first been felt soon were outweighed by the consideration of the magnificent opportunities which your hospitality affords of extending the sphere of our influence and of becoming acquainted with a part of the Queen's dominion which, associated with splendid memories of the past, is advancing daily by leaps and bounds to a position of importance such as not long ago was scarcely dreamed of. For myself, I am not a stranger to your shores. I remember well the impression made upon me, seventeen years ago, by the wild rapids of the St. Lawrence, and the gloomy grandeur of the Saguenay. If anything impressed me more, it was the kindness with which I was received by yourselves, and which I doubt not will be again extended not merely to myself but to all the English members of the Association. I am confident that those who have made up their minds to cross the ocean will not repent their decision, and that, apart altogether from scientific interests, great advantage may be expected from this visit. We Englishmen ought to know more than we do of matters relating to the colonies, and anything which tends to bring the various parts of the empire into closer contact can hardly be over--

  1. Inaugural address of the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, delivered at Montreal, August 27, 1884.