20 SEPTEMBER 1873, Page 3

Professor Williamson's description of isoneric compounds, such as ether and

butyric alcohol, which have precisely the same elements combined in the same proportions, but with totally different qualities, was particularly interesting. The carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules are the same in each, but in ether the molecule of oxygen is found in the middle of a chain of carbon molecules, while in butyric (or butter) alcohol, it is found at the extremity of the- chain of carbon molecules. Is not this, as well as a lesson in chemistu, an instructive allegory of the chemistry of character? May we not say of the French character, for • instance, that where the vital oxygen of it is embedded in the very midst of the more life- sustaining molecules, it fields the purest stimulus, the finest ether of national life ; but that where this vital oxygen comes between these molecules and those of the hydrogen,—the in- flammable gas of the Gascon imagination,—it produces only a. kind of butyric (or buttery) alcohol, not of the highest order even of intoxicating influences? On the "kindly mixing" of

moral qualities, as well as on those qualities themselves, the net moral result depends, quite as completely, as physical qualities can ever depend, on the kindly mixing of physical atoms.