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to the view of you, the fare, encircling the
loins of the Ischvostchik, a raga mere
discoloured rag, greasy, dirty, frayed, and
crumpled. The Ischvostchik has a brass
badge with the number of his vehicle, and an
intolerable quantity of Sclavonic verbiage
in relief; and this badge is placed on his
back, so that you may study it, and make
sure of your Ischvostchik, if you have a
spite against him.

This is the Ischvostchik who, with
his beard and blue coat, his boots and
breeches, his once scarlet girdle, his brass
badge in the wrong place; his diminutive
hat (decorated sometimes with buckles,
sometimes with artificial roses, sometimes
with medallions of saints); his dirt, his
wretchedness, his picturesqueness, and his
utter brutishness; looks like the distempered
recollection of a bluecoat boy, and the nightmare
of a beef-eater, mingled with a delirium
tremens' hallucination of the Guildhall Gog
transformed into Japhet in the Noah's Ark.


Two instruments, in modern times, have
enlarged the boundaries of human knowledge
to an immeasurable extent. The scope of the
one takes in everything that lies at a distance;
or &#964λε, tele, in Greek, whence it is called a
telescope; the other directs its penetrating
glance to whatever is small, or μικρος, micros,
and is therefore styled a microscope. The
one helps us to look out into infinite space;
the other assists us to dart an inquisitive
glance into infinite minuteness and the
endless divisibility of material objects. The two
instruments, combined, make us ask ourselves
whether there be any limit to anything, in
any direction, outwardly or inwardly, in
immensity or in infinitesimal exiguity. We
learn that the universe is a vast aggregate of
universes. We cannot conceive a boundary
wall, where space ends, and there is nothing
absolutely nothing, not even extension
beyond. In fact, a pure and absolute nothing
is an utterly inconceivable idea. Neither do
we learn from improved telescopes of
unprecedented power that such a thing exists as
empty space, untenanted by suns, their
systems, and their galaxies. On the other
hand, the deeper we penetrate inwardly, the
more finely we subdivide, the wider we
separate atomic particles and dissect them by
the scalpel of microscopic vision, the more we
want to subdivide and analyse still. We find
living creatures existing which bear about
the same relation to a flea, in respect to size,
as the flea does to the animal whose juices it
sucks. The most powerful microscopes, so
far from giving a final answer to our curious
inquiries, only serve to make us cognisant
of organised beings whose anatomy and even
whose general aspect we shall never discover
till we can bring to bear upon them, in their
magnified state, another microscope concentrated
within the microscope, by which alone
we are enabled to view them at all. In
short, as there is clearly no boundary to
infinite space, above, below, and around; so,
there would appear to be no discoverable
limit to the inconceivable multiplicity of
details of minuteness. A drop of water is a
universe. The weakness of our eyes and the
imperfection of our instruments, and not the
physical constitution of the drop itself, are
the sole reasons, as far as we know at
present, why we do not behold infinity within
the marvellous drop.

The grand start in microscopic power was
made soon after the foundation of the Royal
Society, in sixteen hundred and sixty. Robert
Hooke's Micrographia, was published in sixteen
hundred and sixty-seven, containing descriptions
of minute bodies magnified by glasses.
It is illustrated with thirty-eight plates, and
remains an astonishing production. One of
the grand wrinkles which he bequeathed to
us, was his method of illuminating opaque
objects by placing a glass globe, filled with
salt water or brine, immediately in front of a
lamp; the pencil of rays, from the globe were
received by a small plano-convex lens, placed
with its convex side nearest the globe, which
consequently condensed them upon the
object. Shortly afterwards, the famous
Leeuwenhoek astonished the world, in the
Philosophical Transactions, by the discovery of
numerous marvels, each one more
surprising than its predecessors. Although the
instruments he employed were superior to
any that had been previously made, they
were also remarkable for their simplicity;
each consisting of a single lens,—double-
convex, and not a sphere or globuleset
between two plates of silver that were
perforated with a small hole, with a moveable
pin before it, to place the object on, and
adjust it to the eye of the beholder. At his
death, he left a cabinet of twenty-six
microscopes as a legacy, to the Royal Society.
All the parts of these microscopes are of
silver, and fashioned by Leeuwenhoek's own
hands. The glasses, which are excellent,
were all ground and set by himself, each
instrument being devoted to one or two objects
only, and could be applied to nothing else.
This method led him to make a microscope
with a glass adapted to almost every object,
till he had got some hundreds of them. The
highest magnifying power was a hundred
and sixty diameters, and the lowest forty.
Leeuwenhoek was a striking example of the
boundless fields of knowledge which are
open to the explorer, without employing the
higher powers which modern art has placed
at his disposal.

But another microscopic eraan epoch of
absolute regeneration, has commenced, dating
from about twenty year's ago. The real
improvements effected of late in the instrument
have justly raised it into high favour, both
with learned inquirers into the mysteries of