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38 FRAGMENTS or SCIENCE.

in the pursuit of this object. The faith in such a consum-
mation, involving as it did immense personal interest to
the inventor, was extremely exciting, and every attempt to
destroy this faith was met by bitter resentment on the
part of those who held it. Gradually, however, as men
became more and more acquainted with the true functions
of machinery, the dream dissolved. The hope of getting
work out of mere mechanical combinations disappeared;
but still there remained for the speculator a cloudJand
denser than that which filled the imagination of the Tyrol-
ese priest, and out of which he still hoped to evolve per-
petual motion. There was the mystic store of chemic
force, which nobody understood; there were heat and
light, electricity and magnetism, all competent to produce
mechanical motions’.Jl Here, then, is the mine in which
we must seek our gem. A modified and more refined form
of the ancient faith revived; and, for aught I know, a rem-
nant of sanguine designers may at the present moment be
engaged on the problem which like-minded men in former
years left unsolved.

And Why should a perpetual motion, even under modern
conditions, be impossible ? The answer to this question is
the statement of that great generalization of modern sci.-
ence, which is known under the name of the Conservation
of Energy. This principle asserts that no power can make
its appearance in Nature without an equivalent expenditure
of some other power; that natural agents are so related to
each other as to be mutually convertible, but that no new
agency is created. Light runs into heat; heat into elec-
tricity; electricity into magnetism; magnetism into me-
chanical force; and mechanical force again into light and
heat. The Proteus changes, but he is ever the, same; and
his changes in Nature, supposing no miracle to supervene,
are the expression, not of spontaneity, but of physical 726063-

1 See Helmholtz—“ Wechselwirkung der Naturkr'afte.”

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