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disposition to repay those benefits with
ingratitude. So, after all, men and women are
not so bad as it sometimes suits bystanders to
say, and humanity is of smoother skin than the
cynical will allow.

Was not Watt honoured? Did not George
Stephenson find backers, friends, and disciples?
Did not Arkwright, the Bolton barber, make
a colossal fortune? And what would be the
Peels and the Marshalls, the Hargreaves and
the Cromptons, if their ancestors had not been
inventors? Ah, well! humanity has
something to answer for here; for the machinery
inventors, the men who have made straps and
wheels and pulleys do the work of living thews
and sinews, have seldom got well off in the
outset. They interfered with existing rights,
with a man's vested interest in his own muscles,
and consequently had every working hand dead
against them, at all events for a time, and until
the sum of comparative advantage was pretty
clearly made out. Hargreaves, the inventor of
the spinning-jenny, died at Nottingham in great
poverty and distress; Crompton's mule was taken
to pieces for safety against the mobs, warring
and raging against all new-fangled machinery;
Cartwright was defrauded; the elder Peel had
his carding-machines broken, and was finally
driven out of the country where he lived;
Jacquard, the great benefactor of all figure-
pattern weavers, made no fortune by his invention,
but left his family in such poverty that
they were obliged to offer for sale the golden
medal which Louis the Eighteenth had given
him. The Chamber of Commerce at Lyons
generously bought the medal, and gave twenty-
four pounds for itbeing exactly four pounds
more than the intrinsic value of the gold!
Earlier than all this, we find Lee, the first
stocking-weaver, dying in Paris, heart-broken by
poverty and disappointment; while, later, John
Lombe is poisoned by the Italians, whose secret
of silk-weaving he stole and transplanted into
England. No: the history of machine inventors
is not, on the whole, satisfactory; for we rarely
find that those who originated an idea got
anything by it excepting persecution and hatred,
while all the great fortunes made, have some sly
taint or other in some out-of-the-way corner,
where only the most prying and impolite of
biographers would think of looking. Even the
highest names are not quite stable, and in the
most portly bankers' books may be found a few
dog's-eared pages with a smirch and a stain
over the larger figures.

Street gas-lighting had a hard day of it once,
when a committee of the Royal Society,
appointed by government, met to decide on its
merits. It was almost hunted to the death
then, and tossed over to the kites and crows.
Brougham, Davy, Wollaston, and Watt, were
all dead against the possibility of such a plan.
Brougham bitterly ridiculed Accum the chemist,
and one of the upholders and believers in the
idea; and Sir Humphrey Davy asked, with a
scientific sneer, if the dome of Saint Paul's were
to be taken as a gasometer? Frederick Albert
Winsor and his scheme stood their ground; and
after the due and proper amount of badgering
which such an innovation must expect, the
point was gained, and London was lighted with
gas. This was in 1825; though the first
triumphant experiment of lighting Saint James's
Park had been made three years earlier, namely,
in 1822.

But we have not come to the end of street-
lighting yet; though, indeed, nothing has
hitherto been discovered which can satisfactorily
supersede coal gas. But it has to come, being
among the future "destinies" of science. The
patent air-light (from hydro-carbon mixed with
atmospheric air) cost thirty thousand pounds
in the experiments which were made, to see if it
would do better than gasbut it failed; and
though the lime ball, the Bude, and the electric
lights, are all flaming successes in themselves,
they are all too expensive for the open streets
and public buildings. Still we may be very sure
that street-lighting, like many other things, is in
its infancy, and that, when it comes to maturity,
it will be widely different to what it is now.
The question is stirring, evidently. We hear of
sundry working chemists poring over all sorts
of calculations and analyses, preparatory to
setting the world in a blaze with a new light;
we may rest assured that our gas-lamps will be
blown out, and some new-fashioned flames take
their place. It is the way of the worldthe way
by which all inventions have fought, risen,
culminated, and gone out, when a better thing
has been discovered.

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