Mr. Lowe gave away the prizes at the Middle-class School
in Cowper Street on Wednesday, and took the opportunity, as usual, to congratulate the boys on learning something useful, instead of the old Latin and Greek,—an advantage which he himself, he said, had not enjoyed. Science, he remarked, is full of marvels greater than any which romance can invent, and by way of illustrating them, he quoted from Lucian a story of a company of men who were indulging in the wildest wishes, in order to amuse a heavy hour,
of whom one coveted the power to for if I could fly, I could know the fountains of the Nile, and whether there are any Anti- podeans inhabiting the Southern hemisphere ; and what would be pleasantest of all, I could tell on the same day at Babylon who had conquered at the Olympian games in Greece ; and I could destroy my enemies without being seen, by dropping stones on their heads while I was suspended out of their reach, and so I could survey their operations." As Mr. Lowe pointed out, science has granted all these wishes, which seemed mere fairy dreams. Nay, it has done more, it has enlarged the scale of such dreams, and made us speculate, not fruitlessly, about the constitution of the sun and of the most distant nebula. But it does not any the more follow that these are the things which most men gain most by knowing, or that that self- knowledge in which we have hardly yet rivalled the Greeks, is not a better possession for at least one man in every two, than all the wonders of physical science. Mr. Lowe covets the knowledge he has not got. Would it count as much, in his own grasp, as the knowledge counts which he has got,—and which he began to get at Winchester and Oxford ?