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using an interlinear translation prepared for them by Mr. Hart. These lessons being gradually increased in length, the first three books were soon read. With their review a Latin grammar for the first time was used, which, now that the text was understood, proved a fascinating exercise instead of the usual bugbear. With this start the remaining nine books were read by means of the clavis of the Delphin edition of Virgil, as Mr. Hart's translation then only included three books.* The whole "Æneid” was thus completed in twelve weeks, at the end of which an examination of the class by a professor at Trinity (then Washington) College, Hartford, was pronounced highly creditable, and excited much interest at the time.
Two or three years later several of the leading men in Manchester, together with Major Bissell, an army officer, having become interested in Lyman's mechanical and scientific pursuits, and wishing him to have the advantages of a thorough education, sent an application to the Secretary of War for a cadetship at West Point. There was every prospect that the appointment would be given him, but, before the requisite time bad elapsed, he, having become interested in religious matters, determined, instead of entering the military profession, to go to college with a view of becoming a minister. He had now reached the age of eighteen, had taught school two winters in his native town, and been active in a society which he had started for debate and literary practice, giving occasional lectures on scientific and other subjects. He had, withal, fallen into the habit of occasionally writing verses, which now and then got into the newspapers. This habit, begun at the age of ten or twelve, followed him to college and on occasions through life. Entering, in June, 1832, the Ellington School, then one of the most prominent preparatory schools in New England, he fitted for college in twelve months' time, entering Yale in 1833, without conditions.
During his college course he took several literary prizes ; and in his junior year he was one of the originators and editors of the “Yale Literary Magazine,” being associated with W. T. Bacon, W. M. Evarts, and others. In addition to his regular studies, in which he took high rank, he continued through his course his scientific pursuits, being assistant to the Professor of Natural Philosophy and having access to the observatory, from which he saw, among other objects, the famous Halley's comet at its return in 1835.
On graduating in 1837 he declined several eligible positions, among them a professorship in a Western university, a place in the Wilkes Exploring Expedition, an examinership in the Patent-Office, etc., and became for two years Superintendent of the Ellington School, among his immediate predecessors having been Hon. Alphonso Taft, of Cin
* This translation was subsequently completed and published in Baltimore, with the names of V. R. Osborn and Levi Hart on the title-page, and serves to this day as a pony for students in Virgil.
cinnati, and Professor John L. Taylor, of Andover. After studying theology in Union and Yale Seminaries, and holding a short pastorate over the First Church in New Britain, Connecticut, he was obliged to travel for his health.
After a seven and a half months'vovage in a sailing-vessel he reached the Sandwich Islands via Cape Horn in May, 1846, where he remained a little more than a year. Wbile there, he visited and mapped the volcanic crater of Kilauea, which he afterward described fully in the "American Journal of Science.”
While staying at Hilo, in the family of Mr. Coan, the missionary, tbe unusually large rainfall on that side of Hawaii (over ten feet annually) led Mr. Lyman to construct an ingenious self-registering raingauge, which, by means of clock-work, drew a line on a ruled diagram, showing the time of day and all the circumstances of the rainfall.*
During his stay at Honolulu, Mr. Lyman was called upon to teach the Royal School for a few months, having among his pupils four young chiefs, who later successively occupied the Hawaiian throne, and also the chiefess who was afterward Queen Emma.
Just before leaving the islands for California, Mr. Lyman bought an outfit of surveying instruments from his friend Chief-Justice Lee. With these instruments he arrived, in July, 1847, at San Francisco, just then newly laid out among scrub-oaks and sand-bills, and adopting that name instead of its previous one of Yerba Buena. He found it a small settlement, and the only one of its streets on which there were enough buildings of any sort to show which way it ran was Montgomery Street, which then was at the water-front, and in one place was covered with water at high tide, but now is many blocks inland.
Having been commissioned as surveyor by Colonel Mason, the military governor, Mr. Lyman soon found himself fully occupied in the survey of ranches and towns in various parts of California, especially in the country between San Francisco and San José. Among these was a resurvey of the city and adjacent lands of San José (which had been fraudulently laid out by his predecessor, so that many of the lots existed only on his chart), and also the original survey of the famous New Almaden mine, probably the richest quicksilver-mine in the world.
In May, 1847, while he was engaged in surveying the town of San José, there came reports, at first uncredited, that gold had been discovered at Sutter's Mill, on the American River, a hundred and fifty miles or so up in the mountains. At length, a man who had come from the diggings showed some gold specimens in a store at San José, and, the report being at last believed, men began soon to flock to the
* One peculiarity of this rain-gauge was the device by which, in extra heavy rainfalls, which would more than have filled the reservoir, a valve, by which it was emptied, automatically opened and closed, bringing the recording pencil back to zero.
mines. When Mr. Lyman's assistants, who were earning twenty-five dollars a month, beard that their friends at the mines were making as much each day, they also were for starting immediately. Mr. Lyman induced them to finish the work in hand by the promise of going with them if they waited, which was indeed his only alternative, as no more assistants were to be had.
Accordingly, in June, he with a small party started for the mountains, in reaching which they had many difficulties to encounter. Having learned that in order to cross the Strait of Carquinez, which lay in the regular route thither, they must wait three weeks at the ferry, to take their turn with the crowds of gold-seekers already before them, they decided to take a bee-line across the flooded San Joaquin Valley. This they accomplished by improvising a unique boat out of a wagon-body, set into an envelope of rawhides, which they had obtained from wild cattle shot on the way and sewed together for the purpose.
After many other rough experiences of this kind, they reached Sutter's Mill in about a fortnight.
Though they found the district already overrun with diggers, they succeeded in extracting for themselves amounts of gold varying from fifteen to a hundred dollars each daily. The extraordinary price of provisions and all useful articles naturally used up much of their profits-potatoes, sugar, coffee, etc., costing a dollar a pound (and later three dollars !); butter, a dollar and a half a pound ; shovels, ten dollars a piece ; milk-pans, five to ten dollars; shirts, as high as twentyfive dollars each, etc.
From the mines Mr. Lyman sent to the East some of the first authentic accounts of the gold discovery, which produced much excitement, and found their way into many newspapers. One account was published in "The American Journal of Science."
But life in the gold-region being exceedingly rough, Mr. Lyman after about two months left them, and resumed his work of surveying, which he continued until, with entirely restored health, he returned to New Haven via Panama, in 1850.
Being married in that city, in June of the same year, to Miss Delia W. Wood, a daughter of the Hon. Joseph Wood and granddaughter of Chief-Justice Oliver Ellsworth, he settled permanently in New Haven, engaging in scientific and literary pursuits, among which was the preparation of the definitions of scientific words for new editions of Webster's Dictionary. In 1859 he became Professor of Industrial Mechanics and Physics in Yale College, taking an active part in organizing the Sheffield Scientific School, in which he also taught astronomy, and in the early years of the school rhetoric and moral science. In 1871, with the growth of the school, he was relieved of mechanics, and his professorship was changed to that of Astronomy and Physics. On account of impaired health, he resigned the chair of
Physics in 1884, but still retains the Sheffield professorship of Astronomy, of which science he has been the instructor from the organization of the school in 1860.
He spent the summer of 1869 in Europe, for the purpose of collecting mechanical and physical apparatus for the school, and of visiting scientific institutions. He has been a contributor to “The American Journal of Science,” “The New Englander,” and other periodicals, and is the originator of various useful inventions, among which are the wave apparatus known by his name, patented and manufactured by Messrs. Ritchie & Sons, of Boston, and a pendulum apparatus for describing Lissajou’s acoustic curves, constructed several years in advance of a similar apparatus made in London by Tisley & Spiller.
Professor Lyman is the original inventor of the combined transit instrument and zenith telescope for determining latitude by Talcott's method. This instrument was designed and mainly constructed in 1852–53, and numerous observations together with a description of the instrument were published in "The American Journal of Science” and elsewhere, some ten years before the construction and published account of a like instrument by Davidson.* His aptitude in practical mechanics was of much service to him in devising and constructing apparatus for the lecture-room.
Professor Lyman has been actively interested from the first in the establishment of the Yale Observatory, and is one of its board of managers. His attention has been much given also to practical horology, and some improvements of bis in escapements and compensation pendolums bave proved practically valuable. He was the first to observe Venus as a delicate ring of light when very near the sun in inferior conjunction, as in December, 1866, and also before and after the transit of Venus in 1874.
He is a member of various scientific and literary bodies, among them the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and was for twenty years President of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Mr. Lyman's life-work has been mainly teaching. He has the quality so necessary in a successful instructor—that of explaining difficulties with great clearness and patience. His uniform practice of treating his students as gentlemen rather than school-boys, and trusting to their sense of honor, has gained for bim their universal respect and affection.
* This instrument has been in use for many years, and known by Lyman's name, in the governmental survey of India.
DISSECTION OF A GLASS-SNAKE. tached by a blow. The animal could not
HOME weeks ago Messrs. O. R. Glover break into several pieces, and it certainly favored us with a living specimen of joint-or
W. A. CONKLIN, glass-snake, which had been captured on a
Director of Central Park Menagerie. farm owned by them in Starke County, Indiana. With a view of obtaining, if pos
FICTIONAL ASTRONOMY. sible, any facts in addition to what was published in the Correspondence department of Editor Popular Science Monthly: the “Monthly" for February and April, and
SIR: I note the letter of Anne M. Johnin the Popular Miscellany department for son, in the September number, on the asthe latter month, the creature was sent for tronomical mistake in “King Solomon's examination to Dr. W. A. Conklin, Director Mines.". She is quite right in saying that of the Central Park Menagerie, New York, others, besides Mr. Haggard, may make er. who has kindly furnished the following re rors in regard to the moon. Here is an inport.-E..]
stance from so careful a writer as Andrew
Lang: In his “ Letters to Dead Authors," Editor Popular Science Monthly:
he tells Theocritus, “Thou wouldst see the SIR: I delayed sending you any report on dawn awake in rose and saffron across the the chain-snake (ophibolus) for the follow waters, an Etna, gray and pale against the ing reason: Shortly after reaching the men- sky, and the setting crescent would dip agerie the snake laid a number of eggs, and, strangely in the glow on her way to the as I had some curiosity to see if they would sea." This is the reverse of the mistake be batched, I decided not to disturb it for made by Mr. Haggard and Anna Bowman a few days. It remained six days coiled Dodd. Edward King, in his recently-pubaround the eggs, leaving them for a short lished poem, "A Venetian Lover," also time each morning to drink water. On the says (line sixteen), “The young moon pales seventh day it was found dead. The theory before approaching dawn.” Many other that a full-fledged vertebrate animal such similar instances might be quoted, some as this should possess power of unjointing from rather unexpected sources. and rejointing itself seems hardly worthy But Mr. Haggard excels all competitors of discussion. I sent the specimen to Dr. in that his error of making the crescent moon W. S. Gottheil for dissection, and he writes rise soon after sunset is only one of a series, me as follows: “There is a vertebral col- | By referring to the book, it will be seen that umn, running the entire length of the ani- the very next night“ the full moon rose in mal, the individual segments of which are splendor about ten," without any explanaaccurately fitted together, bound to each tion of the change from“ crescent to other by a complicated and firm system of “full” in some twenty-four hours, or of a ligaments, and containing continuous nerve- full moon rising so late in a country which structures; here are muscles running from seems somewhere near the tropic of Capri. bone to bone, long internal organs, intes- corn. Following the narrative a little lurtinal canal, liver, etc., and covering the ther, we find that, on the succeeding day, whole is a perfectly continuous and very there is an eclipse of the sun, with total tough dermal envelope. There is no more darkness for nearly half an hour. As it is possibility for it to unjoint than for a per- hardly necessary to mention, an eclipse of son to unjoint his head from his trunk. One the sun can take place only at new moon, peculiarity only is noticeable: the cloaca is and the total obscuration never lasts more very high up at the junction of the anterior than a very few minutes-four, if I rememand middle thirds of the animal's length, and ber rightly. It will be seen that Mr. Hagthe tail-piece is thus relatively very long.". gard has made the most of his opportunities
I believe that in some of these animals for blundering. EDWARD H. BEEBE. the terminal segments of the body are nei- CHICAGO, August 31, 1887. ther so firmly attached nor so highly vitalized as the rest, and can be detached by a comparatively slight amount of violence, ANOTHER ANOMALY IN PLANT-GROWTH. and without entailing any disability upon Editor Popular Science Monthly: the animal. The tail being exceptionally Sir: To the illustrated letter of E. W. long here, it may be that a comparatively B. Canning, in your September number, enlarge section of the body may become de- titled "An Anomaly in Plant-Growth,” I