No apple-trees I saw in England compare with one next my own door, and there are many others as fine in the neighborhood.
It is not far from St. Etienne du Mont to the Pantheon. I cannot say that there is any odor of sanctity about this great temple, which has been consecrated, if I remember correctly, and, I will not say desecrated, but secularized from time to time, according to the party which happened to be uppermost. I confess that I did not think of it chiefly as a sacred edifice, or as the resting-place, more or less secure, of the "grands hommes" to whom it is dedicated. I was thinking much more of Foucault's grand experiment, one of the most sublime visible demonstrations of a great physical fact in the records of science. The reader may not happen to remember it, and will like, perhaps, to be reminded of it. Foucault took advantage of the height of the dome, nearly three hundred feet, and had a heavy weight suspended by a wire from its loftiest point, forming an immense pendulum,--the longest, I suppose, ever constructed. Now a moving body tends to keep its original plane of movement, and so the great pendulum, being set swinging north and south, tended to keep on in the same direction. But the earth was moving under it, and as it rolled from west to east the plane running through the north and south poles was every instant changing. Thus the pendulum appeared to change its direction, and its deviation was shown on a graduated arc, or by the marks it left in a little heap of sand which it touched as it swung. This experiment on the great scale has since been repeated on the small scale by the aid of other contrivances.
This referred to a bill proposed by Sir Andrew Agnew, a noted Scotch Sabbatarian agitator.
On Friday, the 25th, I went to the hall of the university, where I was to receive the degree of LL.D. The ceremony was not unlike that at Cambridge, but had one peculiar feature: the separate special investment of the candidate with the hood, which Johnson defines as "an ornamental fold which hangs down the back of a graduate." There were great numbers of students present, and they showed the same exuberance of spirits as that which had forced me to withdraw from the urgent calls at Cambridge. The cries, if possible, were still louder and more persistent; they must have a speech and they would have a speech, and what could I do about it? I saw but one way of pacifying a crowd as noisy and long-breathed as that which for about the space of two hours cried out, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians!" So I stepped to the front and made a brief speech, in which, of course, I spoke of the "perfervidum ingenium Scotorum." A speech without that would have been like that "Address without a Phoenix" before referred to. My few remarks were well received, and quieted the shouting Ephesians of the warm-brained and warm-hearted northern university. It gave me great pleasure to meet my friend Mr. Underwood, now American consul in Glasgow, where he has made himself highly esteemed and respected.