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that the accident would not have happened were it not for the rock, and I therefore decide that Macleod shall pay the owners the price of both the boat and the cow." Macleod who was better able to pay than either of his tenants, at once complied with Aodh's decision, and paid the value of both boat and cow. On another occasion, two men were fishing from a rock near
Portree on a very stormy day. An extra high wave carried one of them off his seat into the sea, and the other was only able to reach his drowning companion with his fishing line, the hook of which fixed in his eye. By this means he was hauled ashore, but he lost the use of his eye in consequence. Happening some time after to quarrel with his deliverer, he demanded damages from him for the loss of his eye. The novel dispute was referred to Aodh, who promptly ruled that, whenever there was a storm equal to the one during which the accident took place, the pursuer should go into the sea again at the same place, and, if he gained the shore without any assistance, the defender would then be found liable in damages for the loss of the eye. The pursuer, however, did not quite see the propriety of this course, and nothing more was heard of his claim against the man who had saved him from a watery grave.
Macleod married in September, 1703, Anne Fraser, second daughter of Hugh, eleventh Lord Lovat, by Lady Amilia Murray, daughter of John, Marquis of Athole. She married, secondly, Peter Fotheringham of Powrie, with issue; and, thirdly, John, second Earl of Cromarty, also with issue. By her Roderick Macleod had issue—one son, Norman, born after his father's death, and by whom he was succeeded in the estates of the family and as Chief of the Clan.
A G REAT UN KNOWN SC O T.
THE mother-spirit of the modern world is the printing press.
and that you had no more right to he called a discoverer than you had to be called Emperor of China. That is human nature. But here the facts are simple, clear, and past dispute. Years before the discovery is claimed for any other man, Charles Morison knew that subtle process by which thought flashes round the earth almost with thought's own swiftness. In the early part of last century electricity was a toy, a pet of the study. Men no more dreamed of what it could do than they might dream that a pink morsel of baby-humanity would grow into a Napolean and cover Europe with graves. In 1736, James Watt came into the world that he was to turn upside down. It is probable that Charles Morison was born not far from the same time. Think of it. Greenock was then a cleanly, sleepy, little place. Even Glasgow was hardly bigger than a market town of to-day. Into the Greenock streets came the hardy Highlanders to traffic, and—it must be confessed—to spoil the Saxon as completely as they could. Prince Charlie had not yet made his desperate struggle for his father's throne. Here in this quiet place, with its steady-going, decent people, more intent upon some venture to the Indies than upon all the politics that agitated far-off London, were born, and grew, and had their training in the world's work, two youths, each of whom had in his mind ideas the full extent and vast influence of which they themselves could as little dream as the Virgin-mother with the Holy Infant in her womb could foresee Christian Europe. Did they ever meet? Perhaps they went to school together, perhaps heard the same long sermon in the Parish Church, perhaps bright eyes long gone out, sweet lips long since ashes, gleamed and smiled with simple coquetry on both. Perhaps—but we must stop. The speculation is too romantic, too fascinating. They must have met, probably they have spoken. Whether they interchanged ideas is profitless to discuss. A great mind self-centred, selfabsorbed, is not so apt to detect greatness in others as the hero-worshipping public would love to think. In 1753 Charles Morison was living in Renfrew, and had already found out his great world-changing fact. The Scots Magazine of that year contained the following letter, the extreme interest of which warrants us in publishing it without abbreviation:
AN EXPEDITIOUS METHOD OF CONVEYING INTELLIGENCE BY MEANS OF ELECTRICITY. Renfrew, Feb. 1, 1753. To the author of the Scots Magazine— Sir, LIt is well known to all who are conversant with electrical experiments, that the electric power may be propagated along a small wire, from one place to another, without being sensibly abated by the length of its progress. Let then a set of wires, equal in number to the letters of the alphabet, be extended horizontally between two given places parallel to one another, and each of them about an inch distant from that next to it. At every twenty yards end, let them be fixed in glass, or jeweller's cement, to some firm body, both to prevent them from touching the earth or any other non-electric, and from breaking by their own gravity. Let the electric gun barrel be placed at right angles with the extremities of the wires, and about an inch below them. Also let the wires be fixed on a solid piece of glass, at six inches from the end; and let that part of them which reaches from the glass to the machine, have sufficient spring and stiffness to recover its situation after having been brought in contact with the barrel. Close by the supporting glass, let a ball be suspended from every wire; and about a sixth or an eighth of an inch below the balls place the letters of the alphabet, marked on bits of paper, or any other substance that may be light enough to rise to the electrified ball; and at the same time let it be so contrived, that each of them may reassume its proper place when dropt. All things constructed as above, and the minute previously fixed, I begin the conversation with my distant friend in this manner. Having set the electrical machine a-going as in ordinary experiments, suppose I am to pronounce the word Sir; with a piece of glass or any other electric per se, I strike the wire S, so as to bring it in contact with the barrel, then i, then r, all in the same way; and my correspondent, almost in the same instant, observes these several characters rise in order to the electrified balls at his end of the wires. Thus I spell away as long as I think fit; and my correspondent, for the sake of memory, writes the characters as they rise, and may join and read them afterwards as often as he inclines. Upon a signal given, or from choice, I stop the machine; and taking up the pen in my turn, I write down whatever my friend at the other end strikes out. If anybody should think this way tiresome, let him, instead of the balls, suspend a range of bells from the roof, equal in number to the letters of the alphabet; gradually decreasing in size from the bell A to Z. and from the horizontal wires, let there be another set reaching to the several bells; one, vizt., from the horizontal wire B to the bell B, &c. Then let him who begins the discourse bring the wires in contact with the barrel, as before; and the electrical spark, breathing on bells of different size, will inform his correspondent by the sound what wires have been touched. And thus, by some practice, they may come to understand the language of the chimes in whole words, without being put to the trouble of noting down every letter. The same thing may be otherwise effected. Let the balls be suspended over the characters as before, but instead of bringing the ends of the horizontal wires in contact with the barrel, let a second set reach from the electrified cake, so as to be in contact with the horizontal ones; and let it be so contrived at the same time, that any of them may be removed from its corresponding horizontal by the slightest touch, and may bring itself again into contact when left at liberty. This may be done by the help of a small spring and slider, or twenty other methods, which the least ingenuity will discover. In this way, the characters will always adhere to the balls, excepting when any one of the secondaries is removed from contact with its horizontal; and then the letter at the other end of the horizontal will immediately drop from its ball. But I mention this only by way of variety. Some may perhaps think that although the electric fire has not been observed to diminish sensibly in its progress through any length of wire that has been tried hitherto; yet as that has never exceeded some thirty or forty yards, it may be reasonably supposed, that in a greater length it would be remarkably diminished and probably would be entirely drained off in a few miles by the surrounding air. To prevent the objection, and save longer argument, lay over the wires from one end to the other with a thin coat of jeweller's cement. This may be done for a trifle of additional expense; and as it is an electric per se, will effectually secure any part of the fire from mixing with the atmosphere.—I am, &c., C. M.
Is it not wonderful ? Here is the electric telegraph. In 1753 this Greenock man, Charles Morison, had, and used that which, even in 1886, we regard as a marvel surpassing all other marvels. We have developed and improved it, but we have done no more. The same principle is still applied in the same way. Unfortunately this man, Charles Morison, does not seem to have had that intense power which generally accompanies invention, the power of impressing ideas upon other people. That he could lucidly and completely write down his thoughts, appears by his letter, which is remarkably clear and even elegant in expression.