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MENDELEYEV, ONE OF THE WORLD'S GREAT
THE greatest of Russian chemists, and
one of the most eminent of any nationality, Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleyev, died in St. Petersburg, on February 2. Mendeleyev was one of the few great scientists who have given Russia the right to rank with the civilized nations of the world. In the estimation of the noted English chemist, Thorpe, Mendeleyev was for Russia what Berzelius was for Sweden, Liebig for Germany, and Dumas for France.
In view of the world influence of Mendeleyev on the development of chemistry, Thorpe's statement is not at all exaggerated. Chemical science owes to Mendeleyev a new conception and philosophy, for before his day chemistry was a collection of facts rather than a clear exposition of the laws concerning the transformation of
Mendeleyev was born on February 7, 1834, at Tobolsk, Siberia, where his father was director of the classical gymnasium. Soon after Mendeleyev's birth his father lost his eyesight, and the care of the large family fell to his mother, a woman of marked ability and energy. She opened a glass factory in Tobolsk, and her young son learned there his first lessons in chem- gases is of a high order. He was the first istry, and developed the love for it which influ- to point out why some gases failed to follow
DMITRI IVANOVICH MENDELEYEV.
enced the rest of his life. After completing his studies at the gymnasium Mendeleyev went to St. Petersburg and enrolled as a student at the Pedagogical Institute, then the highest institution of learning in Russia. He received instruc
exactly the law of Boyle-Mariotte, and in his studies of permanent gases he discovered the critical temperature of gases, which explained why their liquefaction had not hith
tion in chemistry under Professor Voskresinski, and was sent soon after graduation to Odessa, and thence to the in the
high-school instructor. At the conclusion of the Crimean War in 1856 Mendeleyev became a privat-docent at the University of St. Petersvanced studies at Heidelberg. He was appointed professor of chemistry at the Technological Institute in 1863, and became professor at the Uni
1859 to carried on ad
versity of St. Petersburg in 1866.
erto been accomplished.
the science of chemistry was his discovery of But the greatest service of Mendeleyev to the periodic system of chemical elements, a discovery with which his name will forever remain indissolubly linked. His "Principles of Chemistry" (1869) the first textbook on chemistry based on the periodic law, is called The periodic system gave philosophy access by Thorpe a system of chemical philosophy. to chemistry, and to Mendeleyev belongs the credit of having made such access possible, an achievement which he owed to his remarkable mental make-up, uniting the abili
Mendeleyev's labors at Heidelberg concerned various investigations in organic, mineralogical, physical, and industrial chemistry, which, while not of great moment in themselves, were important in broadening
his chemical knowledge and in developing ty of mathematical abstraction to a purely his analytical skill, an acquisition which poetical imagination. served him well in the pursuit of his subsequent investigations. His doctor's thesis was on mixtures of alcohol and water, and was characterized by the extreme exactness of his measurements. His work on the expansion of liquids and on the liquefaction of
ginnings in the conception of the indestructiModern chemistry, which found its bebility of matter, was at first inclined to study chemical phenomena almost exclusively from the material standpoint.
The chemists had discovered about sixty ele
ments, whose properties and combination were made the subject of extensive study. They studied the color, odor, taste, solubility, optical properties, and crystal systems of substances, as well as their ability to react upon other substances. No attempt was made to find a systematic numerical expression for the properties noted. Some of the empirical laws which were discovered seemed to have no connection with one another. There was no systematic arrangement of the chemical elements then known, and the conceptions of atomic weights in their rela
tion to one another were rather indefinite. While it was known that such elements as sodium, potassium, rubidium, and cesium had properties in common, as was true likewise of the group of elements including calcium, strontium, and barium, or of the group including phosphorus, arsenic, and silicon,-no one was apparently struck with the great similarity of properties of the elements in each group and the relations of one group to another.
The periodic law as conceived by Mendeleyev may be described briefly in the statement that "the properties of elements are the periodical functions of their atomic weights." Arranging the elements in the order of their atomic weights, we find at certain intervals the repetition of the same properties. The fruitfulness of Mendeleyev's conception was soon demonstrated in chemical investigation. The atomic weights of some of the rarer elements, which had been determined only ap
proximately, were corrected. Furthermore, new elements predicted by Mendeleyev in accord with the periodic law were actually discovered. A few years after Mendeleyev's framing of his system the element gallium was discovered, and its properties were found to agree exactly with those predicted by Mendeleyev. The discovery of the elements scandium, germanium and of others followed that of gallium, and all_found a place in Mendeleyev's system. The great service rendered by the periodic law to chemistry consists, among other things, in its having made possible the discovery of analogies and properties where no one had hitherto suspected them.
Mendeleyev also performed important service in the employ of the Russian Government. In 1893 he was appointed director of the Bureau of Standards, and took a prominent part in the investigation of the Russian oil fields. The Russian press is practically unanimous in its praise of his services to science and to his country. A complete bibliography of his scientific writings, numbering about 150 books, pamphlets and periodical articles, is to be found in the bibliographical dictionary of the University of St. Petersburg.
ALFRED DEAKIN, THE BAYARD OF AUSTRALIAN
Australian commonwealth held a conditions, Mr. Maxwell H. H. Macartney, series of important elections in Decem- contributes to the National Review a sketch ber. The general result, while not making of Mr. Deakin in which he claims that this any marked difference in the complexion of tribute is amply justified by the past quarter the federal Parliament, shows an increased of a century of Australian politics. Labor vote. The Deakin ministry has apparently neither lost nor gained ground. Mr. Deakin was the first Prime Minister of the commonwealth. Then his party split and he was succeeded by Mr. Watson, with the first Labor party ministry in the commonwealth. Mr. Watson was succeeded by Mr. Reid, and the latter gave way before the last session to Mr. Deakin. Ón the issue of tariff the new House stands 40 Protectionists to 26 Free-Traders. Railroad legislation and the question of Chinese and Japanese coolie labor are among the problems which will press for settlement before the present Parliament of the commonwealth.
The subject of the sketch is Australian, born and bred. He is now in his fifty-first year and the plenitude of his powers. In According to an epigram current in the the Victorian Parliament, which he entered antipodes, Alfred Deakin is the Bayard of in 1879, he has a distinguished career upon
alities, like Sir Wilfrid Laurier or Mr. Balfour,
the federal Parliament. It was he who, when Mr. Chamberlain told the British Australasian newspaper that he would be interested to know Australian opinion on his scheme, cabled to that journal that “the commonwealth government and all the governments of the separate states approve of Mr. Chamberlain's preferential trade proposals. Only the extreme section of the Free-Traders are opposed to them, and an immense majority is assured for the new policy when it is put before the country. Personally, I consider preferential tariffs an indispensable foundation of the empire." It was Mr. Deakin who invited Mr. Chamberlain to "star" in Australia, who took the first definite steps by the preferential trade resolutions which he moved in December, 1904, and who has now passed an act granting a customs preference averaging 10 per cent. upon British goods imported into the commonwealth in British bottoms manned by white crews. The act, which, when the relative scales of duties are considered, may be taken roughly as equivalent to the Canadian preference of 33 1-3 per cent., has been reserved for the royal assent on the ground of its conflicting with existing treaties.
Unfortunately, the National Review writer concludes, Mr. Deakin is a little weak as
a leader, being "somewhat prone to magnify HON. ALFRED DEAKIN, PREMIER OF AUSTRALIA. difficulties and to allow undue latitude to his
lieutenants." General, Commissioner of Public Works, Chief Secretary, Minister of Health, and has been his weakness. For Mr. Deakin has all
It is not paradoxical to say that his strength Commissioner of Water Supply,—the last the strength of a man who pushes away from named official being the most important, eco- himself the fruits of ambition rather than jostle nomically, in the colony. So far his federal a fellow toiler on the path. It is magnificent, career has not been distinguished by any par- politicians of all countries. That Mr. Deakin,
but it is not politics as understood by most ticularly noteworthy piece of legislation. Its with his genius for self-effacement, should so most interesting feature, perhaps, has been long have maintained his high position amongst the attitude which he has taken toward the Australian statesmen is an equal testimony to Chamberlain fiscal policy.
his own personality and worth and to the saving
common sense of his countrymen. He is the Mr. Deakin is the acknowledged leader of the one Australian statesman who is alike indispenpreferential trade movement in Australia and in sable to the commonwealth and to the empire.
NEW IRISH PROBLEMS AS A GERMAN VIEWS THEM. AN interesting, though lengthy, discussion problem.—which seemed to have been removed of the Irish question is contributed to by the suppression of the Celtic elements. For the
last thirteen years the English legislators have the Preussische Jahrbücher for December by had to reckon with the Gaelic League, a wellWilhelm Dibelius. This question, he says, conducted agitation of great vitality that has for has generally been considered an economic its object to revive the dying Irish speech and one since the land and the concomitant politi- make it the official language of the country. cal privileges have passed into the hands of Founded in 1893 by Dr. Douglass Hyde, it now
covers about 700 localities, with 60,000 members, the English. But that is an erroneous view. and has a yearly income (1905) of £7268. The Irish qustion has long ago ceased to be a
After two pages of interesting statistics merely economic one. While the economic showing the percentage of persons speaking problems have by no means been solved by the Celtic in the several counties, the writer reformatory laws of the last generations, they reaches the startling conclusion that Ireland have yet been brought much nearer to their solution. But a_new difficulty has unexpectedly has really ceased long ago to be a Celtic arisen in the Emerald Isle, -namely, the national country, linguistically; Scotland has a much
better claim to that title, and Wales even scoldings and the lawlessness of that leader more so, for in two counties here the larger of discontent. Its program is, in brief, the half of the population speaks only Celtic, and development of the natural resources of Irein nearly all the coast districts nine-tenths of land, raising it to an industrial power and the population are bilingual. Yet the league thereby forcing the recognition of its indeis proceeding systematically with its work, pendence. The coal and minerals shall be organizing local festivals (Feiseanna), and mined, the land prepared for agriculture by the great national festival at Dublin drainage and irrigation, and the fisheries re(Oireachtas), where prizes are awarded for stored to their former flourishing state; and Irish poems; dramas, recitations, paintings, at the same time all things English shall be and drawings. Traveling teachers are sent boycotted. Here the temperance movement through the country and Irish periodicals are shall join hands with the Nationalists; ethics subsidized. The league also endeavors to and economics shall combine to oust the Enghave Irish officially recognized in public doc- lish; for every glass of whisky less will not uments and commercial paper, and in busi- only benefit the health of the people, but will ness life generally; in short, to make the also injure England financially, since the excountry bilingual. The government so far cise tax produces a considerable revenue. We has taken small cognizance of this movement, have here a striking instance of the mixture deeming the mere matter of language an un- of the ideal and the material tendencies so important one politically, since the Celtic characteristic of this movement. In summing Welsh are among the King's most loyal sub- it up the writer says: jects. The writer sums up his conclusion
It is noteworthy, that this people, which so on this movement as follows:
far indulged only in fierce declamation, is now The immense disproportion between the place called upon to do practical work, even if it were occupied by the Irish language in public life and only, to choose domestic instead of imported the demands of the Gaelic League is astonishing goods, and to refrain from whisky. There is Less than 72 pet cent. of the population does progress when the people no longer plan how to not know English, and yet all the officials in the kill the members of the English cabinet, and kingdom are required to be bilingual, even in the "giving trouble to government” is no longer counties where there are hardly any Celts. In the alpha and omega of all political wisdom, but Dublin the magistrate decides to put only Irish when the people seriously consider how to desuperscriptions upon all official letters, and the velop the resources of their rich country. And citizens sign money orders and checks with ar- if the Gaelic movement makes the Irishman love bitrary Irish names. As the Irish have an al- his nationality and his country and prevents him phabet of their own, using the Latin of the early from casting longing eyes across the water to Middle Ages, which is also found in the Anglo-America after every poor harvest, then an ethical Saxon manuscripts, many characters of which element is introduced into Irish politics that it are difficult to decipher, it is easy to see to what has lacked for generations, which will result, an extent all commercial intercourse would be economically at least, in a decreased emigration. impeded by its general adoption. Can the Post Office or the banks be expected to identify Baile The writer finally sums up his views on atha Cliath with Dublin, Rogers with MacRory, the various forces at work in the regeneraCole with MacCumhaill? Banking, circles gen- tion of Ireland in the following sentences: erally have therefore refused the Irish demands, and the government also has so far opposed
Changes are apparent in Irish politics which them. Among the English the opinion is fre- may decide the future of the island. Everyquently expressed that a movement dealing with where parliamentary declamation is giving way such palpable impossibilities cannot be taken se
to the ideal of actual work, though in two enriously, but will soon die out again. But these tirely different directions, with diametrically opare ostrich politics. The Czechs in Bohemia posed tendencies. The flourishing unions and have shown how a moribund language may be the other workers in the Agricultural Departrevived and elevated almost into a dominant ment demand reconciliation with England as the language; hence the “ Bohemian War of Liber- only means of satisfying the economic interests ation" plays a great rôle in Gaelic literature. of the country. The Gaelic movement, on the And with a league that has succeeded in in- other hand, in widening the chasm between the creasing the bilingual portion of the population two islands, tends to hasten the breach, for from 13.05 per cent to 13.9 per cent., and the ethico-national motives, which Parnell and number of school children studying Irish from O'Connell sought to bring about for political 1400 to 36,100, within six years, such a move ambition. The outcome of the Sinn Féin movement cannot be passed by with a shrug of the ment will tip the scales in either direction. Here shoulders.
we find ideal and material motives, blind pasAn equally important phase of Irish poli- sion and cool judgment, still so closely united tics is the more recent Sinn Féin movement, that any prophecy is futile. If the government
policy of economic betterment can win over the which has arisen since the downfall of Par- Sinn Féin movement, then the Irish question will contrary, the Gaelic movement succeeds in af- material or ideal factors shall decide a country's filiating with itself the Sinn Féin tendencies, then fate, as here, where a justifiable national desire the future of Ireland will be decided by national for independence demands separation from Engand linguistic questions, and serious complica- land, while all the economic interests can be best tions will result. Nowhere else in European served only in connection with the Anglo-Saxon politics is the problem so clearly defined, whether policy.
INFLUENCE OF THE OCEAN ON CLIMATE.
IT does not, perhaps, need much argument
The Gulf Stream, that warm current which to prove that the countries of western
moves from the Antilles near the American Europe would have a far different history, rection and washes the west coast of Europe, is
coast through the ocean in a northeasterly diand their peoples would now lead a far dif- set in motion chiefly by the winds that reguferent life, if a change should come about in larly, blow from the west. The southwest the conditions that prevail in the Atlantic winds, when they blow long enough and strong Ocean, if its currents were to take a different and thus cause the drift, or current, which is
enough, push the water of the sea before them direction, and its winds were to be of a dif- called the Gulf Stream. Other causes co-operferent character from what they are at pres- ate in this, as has been brought to light particent. This becomes clear to all who compare ularly in recent days, but we may pass these by the barren, almost uninhabited, rocky terri- ly the southwest winds blow, e. g., from August
for the present. The more regularly and strongtory of Labrador, with its icy climate, with to February, the greater the quantity of warm the countries lying on the opposite side of water that will be pushed from the southwest the ocean, with Great Britain and the Neth- through the Gulf Stream along the coast of erlands, Northern Germany and Denmark, able
influence on the atmospheric temperature which lie in the same latitude.
during the spring months. The winds which That a direct and intimate connection ex- drive the Gulf Stream are themselves again the ists between the conditions of the Atlantic result of the forming of a minimum of atmosOcean and the weather of western Europe, the Atlantic along the coasts of Europe are
pheric pressure. And the southwest winds in is the text of a thought-provoking article in a chiefly controlled by a similar minimum of atrecent issue of the Dutch magazine Vragen mospheric pressure which occurs in autumn van den Dag. It is a matter of universal near Iceland, but is most prevalent there in knowledge, declares the writer of this arti- January. This minimum is thus to be regarded
as the originating cause at the same time of the cle, that the reason why the countries of direction of the wind and of the Gulf Stream, Europe lying in the same latitude as their and, by the co-operation of both, of the chief opposites in America have a climate so much characteristics of the weather in northwestern milder than the latter is to be found chiefly such manner are natural phenomena connected
Europe during the first months of the year. In in the Gulf Stream, in connection with the with one another by a concatination of causes prevailing west winds. Since, moreover, this and effects. general connection is known, a constant search is going on whether the alternations Dr. Meinardus compared the temperature in the Gulf Stream may or may not be the of the sea with the alternations in the rapidcause of the less or more favorable weather ity of the ocean currents of the northeastern conditions in Europe for any given year. If Atlantic. These, again, are a result of the such a connection exists, the investigation of wind, and this itself of a difference in atthe nature and character of the Gulf Stream mospheric pressure. And with this he found with its changes and variations may enable that an increase in the air and ocean currents us to determine for a long period in advance in the Northeast Atlantic goes hand in hand what will be the general weather conditions with greater warmth of the waters of the of western Europe. Science might go even ocean along the coast of Europe. Frequently
. farther. By investigating more thoroughly the changes in the temperature of the sea the causes of the origin of that stream it occur from one to three months after the might get at the first and chief influence that changes in atmospheric circulation. controls the state of the weather. This last On the west side of the Atlantic the Labmentioned question is discussed by Dr. Wil- rador stream comes out of Baffin's Bay and helm Meinardus in the Meteorologische Davis Strait. This stream runs along the Zeitschrift, the final result of which study east coast of Labrador toward the south, caramounts to the following:
rying great quantities of ice either out of