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3 6 8 FRAGMEN TS OF SCIENCE.

ception; for if we break one of our strips of wood in the
middle we have one half entirely red and the other entirely
green, and with these it would be impossible to imitate the
action of our broken magnet. How, then, must we modify
our conception? We must evidently suppose each atom
of wood painted green on one face and red on the opposite
one. If this were done the resultant action of all the atoms
would exactly resemble the action of a magnet. Here, also,
if the two opposite colors of each atom could be caused
to mix so as to produce white, we should have, as before,
perfect neutrality.

Substitute in your minds for these two self-repellant
and mutually attractive colors two invisible self-repellant
and mutually attractive fluids, which in ordinary steel are
mixed to form a neutral compound, but which the act of
magnetization separates from each other, placing the oppo-
site fluids on the opposite faces of each atom, and you have
a perfectly distinct conception of the celebrated theory of
magnetic fluids. The strength of the magnetism excited is
supposed to be proportional to the quantity of neutral fluid
decomposed. According to this theory nothing is actually
transferred from the exciting magnet to the excited steel.
The act of magnetization consists in the forcible separation
of two powers which existed in. the steel before it was mag-
netized, but whichthen neutralized each other by their coa-
lescence. And if you test your magnet after it has excited
a hundred pieces of steel, you will find that it has lost no
force—no more, indeed, than I should lose had my words such
a magnetic influence on your minds, as to excite in them a
strong resolve to study natural philosoPhy. I should, in
fact, be the gainer by my own utterance and by the reac-
tion of your strength; and so also the magnet is the gainer-
by the reaction of the body which it magnetizes.

Look now to your excited piece of steel; figure each
atom to your minds with its opposed fluids spread over its

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