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NOVEMBER, 1877, TO APRIL, 1878. 


549 & 551 BROADWAY. 







NOVEMBER, 1877. 






FEW persons pare to study logic, because everybody conceives 
himself to be proficient enough in the art of reasoning already. 
But I observe that this satisfaction is limited to one s own ratiocina 
tion, and does not extend to that of other men. 

We come to the full possession of our power of drawing infer 
ences the last of all our faculties, for it is not so much a natural gift 
as a long and difficult art. The history of its practice would make a 
grand subject for a book. The mediaeval schoolmen, following the 
Romans, made logic the earliest of a boy s studies after grammar, as 
being very easy. So it was, as they understood it. Its fundamental 
principle, according to them, was, that all knowledge rests on either 
authority or reason ; but that whatever is deduced by reason depends 
ultimately on a premise derived from authority. Accordingly, as 
soon as a boy was perfect in the syllogistic procedure, his intellectual 
kit of tools was held to be complete. 

To Roger Bacon, that remarkable mind who in the middle of the 
thirteenth century was almost a scientific man, the schoolmen s con 
ception of reasoning appeared only an obstacle to truth. He saw 
that experience alone teaches anything a proposition which to us 
seems easy to understand, because a distinct conception of experience 
has been handed down to us from former generations ; which to him 
also seemed perfectly clear, because its difficulties had not yet un 
folded themselves. Of all kinds of experience, the best, he thought, 
was interior illumination, which teaches many things about Nature 

VOL. XII. 1 


which the external senses could never discover, such as the transub- 
stantiation of bread. 

Four centuries later, the more celebrated Bacon, in the first book 
of his " Novum Organum," gave his clear account of experience as 
something which must be open to verification and reexamination. 
But, superior as Lord Bacon s conception is to earlier notions, a mod 
ern reader who is not in awe of his grandiloquence is chiefly struck 
by the inadequacy of his view of scientific procedure. That we have 
only to make some crude experiments, to draw up briefs of the re 
sults in certain blank forms, to go through these by rule, checking 
off everything disproved and setting down the alternatives, and that 
thus in a few years physical science would b^ finished up what an 
idea ! " He wrote on science like a Lord Chancellor," indeed. 

The early scientists, Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Kepler, Galileo, 
and Gilbert, had methods more like those of their modern brethren. 
Kepler undertook to draw a curve through the places of Mars ; J and 
his greatest service to science was in impressing on men s minds that 
this was the thing to be done if they wished to improve astronomy ; 
that they were not to content themselves with inquiring whether 
one system of epicycles was better than another, but that they were 
to sit down to the figures and find out what the curve, in truth, was. 
He accomplished this by his incomparable energy and courage, blun 
dering along in the most inconceivable way (to us), from one irra 
tional hypothesis to another, until, after trying twenty-two of these, 
he fell, by the mere exhaustion of his invention, upon the orbit which 
a mind well furnished with the weapons of modern logic would have 
tried almost at the outset. 

In the same way, every work of science great enough to be re 
membered for a few generations affords some exemplification of the 
defective state of the art of reasoning of the time when it was writ 
ten ; and each chief step in science has been a lesson in logic. It was 
so when Lavoisier and his contemporaries took up the study of chem 
istry. The old chemist s maxim had been, " Lege, leye, lege, labor a, 
ora, et relege." Lavoisier s method was not to read and pray, not to 
dream that some long and complicated chemical process would have 
a certain effect, to put it into practice with dull patience, after its in 
evitable failure to dream that with some modification it would have 
another result, and to end by publishing the last dream as a fact : 
his way was to carry his mind into his laboratory, and to make of his 
alembics and cucurbits instruments of thought, giving a new concep 
tion of reasoning, as something which was to be done with one s eyes 
open, by manipulating real things instead of words and fancies. 

The Darwinian controversy is, in large part, a question of logic. 
Mr. Darwin proposed to apply the statistical method to biology. The 
same thing had been done in a widely different branch of science, the 

1 Not quite so, but as nearly so as can be told in a few words. 


theory of gases. Though unable to say what the movements of any 
particular molecule of a gas would be on a certain hypothesis regard- 
in o- the constitution of this class of bodies, Clausius and Maxwell 


were yet able, by the application of the doctrine of probabilities, to 
predict that in the long run such and such a proportion of the mole 
cules would, under given circumstances, acquire such and such veloci 
ties ; that there would take place, every second, such and such a num 
ber of collisions, etc. ; and from these propositions were able to deduce 
certain properties of gases, especially in regard to their heat-relations. 
In like manner, Darwin, while unable to say what the operation of 
variation and natural selection in any individual case will be, demon 
strates that in the long run they will adapt animals to their circum 
stances. Whether or not existing animal forms are due to such ac 
tion, or what position the theory ought to take, forms the subject of 
a discussion in which questions of fact and questions of logic are curi 
ously interlaced. 


The object of reasoning is to find out, from the consideration of 
what we already know, something else which we do not know. Con 
sequently, reasoning is good if it be such as to give a true conclusion 
from true premises, and not otherwise. Thus, the question of its 
validity is purely one of fact and not of thinking. A being the 
premises and B the conclusion, the question is, whether these facts 
are really so related that if A is B is. If so, the inference is valid ; 
if not, not. It is not in the least the question whether, when the 
premises are accepted by the mind, we feel an impulse to accept the 
conclusion also. It is true that we do generally reason correctly by 
nature. But that is an accident ; the true conclusion would remain 
true if we had no impulse to accept it ; and the false one would re 
main false, though we could not resist the tendency to believe in it. 

We are, doubtless, in the main logical animals, but we are not 
perfectly so. Most of us, for example, are naturally more sanguine 
and hopeful than logic would justify. We seem to be so constituted 
that in the absence of any facts to go upon we are happy and self- 
satisfied ; so that the effect of experience is continually to contract 
our hopes and aspirations. Yet a lifetime of the application of this 
corrective does not usually eradicate our sanguine disposition. Where 
hope is unchecked by any experience, it is likely that our optimism is 
extravagant. Logicality in regard to practical matters is the most 
useful quality an animal can possess, and might, therefore, result from 
the action of natural selection ; but outside of these it is probably of 
more advantage to the animal to have his mind filled with pleasing 
and encouraging visions, independently of their truth ; and thus, 
upon unpractical subjects, natural selection might occasion a falla 
cious tendency of thought. 


That which determines us, from given premises, to draw one in 
ference rather than another, is some habit of mind, whether it be con 
stitutional or acquired. The habit is good or otherwise, according as 
it produces true conclusions from true premises or not ; and an infer 
ence is regarded as valid or not, without reference to the truth or fal 
sity of its conclusion specially, but according as the habit which 
determines it is such as to produce true conclusions in general or not. 
The particular habit of mind which governs this or that inference 
may be formulated in a proposition whose truth depends on the va 
lidity of the inferences which the habit determines ; and such a for 
mula is called a guiding principle of inference. Suppose, for example, 
that we observe that a rotating disk of coppar quickly comes to rest 
when placed between the poles of a magnet, and we infer that this 
will happen with every disk of copper. The guiding principle is, that 
what is true of one piece of copper is true of another. Such a guid 
ing principle with regard to copper would be much safer than with 
regard to many other substances brass, for example. 

A book might be written to signalize all the most important of 
these guiding principles of reasoning. It would probably be, we 
must confess, of no service to a person whose thought is directed 
wholly to practical subjects, and whose activity moves along thor 
oughly-beaten paths. The problems which present themselves to 
such a mind are matters of routine which he has learned once for 
all to handle in learning his business. But let a man venture into an 
unfamiliar field, or where his results are not continually checked by 
experience, and all history shows that the most masculine intellect 
will ofttimes lose his orientation and waste his efforts in directions 
which bring him no nearer to his goal, or even carry him entirely 
astray. He is like a ship in the open sea, with no one on board who 
understands the rules of navigation. And in such a case some gen 
eral study of the guiding principles of reasoning would be sure to be 
found useful. 

The subject could hardly be treated, however, without being first 
limited ; since almost any fact may serve as a guiding principle. 
But it so happens that there exists a division among facts, such that 
in one class are all those which are absolutely essential as guiding 
principles, while in the others are all which have any other interest as 
objects of research. This division is between those which are neces 
sarily taken for granted in asking whether a certain conclusion fol 
lows from certain premises, and those which are not implied in that 
question. A moment s thought will show that a variety of facts are 
already assumed when the logical question is first asked. It is im 
plied, for instance, that there are such states of mind as doubt and 
belief that a passage from one to the other is possible, the object of 
thought remaining the same, and that this transition is subject to 
some rules which all minds are alike bound bv. As these are facts 


which we must already know before we can have any clear concep 
tion of reasoning at all, it cannot be supposed to be any longer of 
much interest to inquire into their truth or falsity. On the other 
hand, it is easy to believe that those rules of reasoning which are 
deduced from the very idea of the process are the ones which are the 
most essential ; and, indeed, that so long as it conforms to these it 
will, at least, not lead to false conclusions from true premises. In 
point of fact, the importance of what may be deduced from the as 
sumptions involved in the logical question turns out to be greater 
than might be supposed, and this for reasons which it is difficult to 
exhibit at the outset. The only one which I shall here mention is, 
that conceptions which are really products of logical reflection, with 
out being readily seen to be so, mingle with our ordinary thoughts, 
and are frequently the causes of great confusion. This is the case, 
for example, with the conception of quality. A quality as such is 
never an object of observation. We can see that a thing is blue or 
green, but the quality of being blue and the quality of being green 
are not things which we see ; they are products of logical reflection. 
The truth is, that common-sense, or thought as it first emerges above 
the level of the narrowly practical, is deeply imbued with that bad 
logical quality to which the epithet metaphysical is commonly applied ; 
and nothing can clear it up but a severe course of logic. 


We generally know when we wish to ask a question and when we 
wish to pronounce a judgment, for there is a dissimilarity between the 
sensation of doubting and that of believing. 

But this is not all which distinguishes doubt from belief. There is 
a practical difference. Our beliefs guide our desires and shape our 
actions. The Assassins, or followers of the Old Man of the Mountain, 
used to rush into death at his least command, because they believed 
that obedience to him would insure everlasting felicity. Had they 
doubted this, they would not have acted as they did. So it is with 
every belief, according to its degree. The feeling of believing is a 
more or less sure indication of there being established in our nature 
some habit which will determine our actions. Doubt never has such 
an effect. 

Nor must we overlook a third point of difference. Doubt is an un 
easy and dissatisfied state from which we struggle to free ourselves 
and pass into the state of belief; while the latter is a calm and satis 
factory state which we do not wish to avoid, or to change to a belief 
in anything else. 1 On the contrary, we cling tenaciously, not merely 
to believing, but to believing just what we do believe. 

1 I ara not speaking of secondary effects occasionally produced by the interference 
of other impulses. 


Thus, both doubt and belief have positive effects upon us, though 
very different ones. Belief does not make us act at once, but puts us 
into such a condition that we shall behave in a certain way, when the 
occasion arises. Doubt has not the least effect of this sort, but stim 
ulates us to action until it is destroyed. This reminds us of the irri 
tation of a nerve and the reflex action produced thereby ; while for 
the analogue of belief, in the nervous system, we must look to what 
are called nervous associations for example, to that habit of the 
nerves in consequence of which the smell of a peach will make the 
mouth water. 


The irritation of doubt causes a struggle tb attain a state of belief. 
I shall term this struggle inquiry^ though it must be admitted that 
this is sometimes not a very apt designation. 

The irritation of doubt is the only immediate motive for the strug 
gle to attain belief. It is certainly best for us that our beliefs should 
be such, as may truly guide our actions so as to satisfy our desires ; 
and this reflection will make us reject any belief which does not seem 
to have been so formed as to insure this result. But it will only do so 
by creating a doubt in the place of that belief. With the doubt, 
therefore, the struggle begins, and with the cessation of doubt it ends. 
Hence, the sole object of inquiry is the settlement of opinion. We 
may fancy that this is not enough for us, and that we seek, not merely 
an opinion, but a true opinion. But put this fancy to the test, and it 
proves groundless ; for as soon as a firm belief is reached we are en 
tirely satisfied, whether the belief be true or false. And it is clear 
that nothing out of the sphere of our knowledge can be our object, for 
nothing which does not affect the mind can be the motive for a mental 
effort. The most that can be maintained is, that we seek for a belief 
that we shall think to be true. But we think each one of our beliefs 
to be true, and, indeed, it is mere tautology to say so. 

That the settlement of opinion is the sole end of inquiry is a very 
important proposition. It sweeps away, at once, various vague and 
erroneous conceptions of proof. A few of these may be noticed here. 

1. Some philosophers have imagined that to start an inquiry it 
was only necessary to utter a question or set it down upon paper, and 
have even recommended us to begin our studies with questioning 
everything ! But the mere putting of a proposition into the interrog 
ative form does not stimulate the mind to any struggle after belief. 
There must be a real and living doubt, and without this all discussion 
is idle. 

2. It is a very common idea that a demonstration must rest on 
some ultimate and absolutely indubitable propositions. These, ac 
cording to one school, are first principles of a general nature; accord 
ing to another, are first sensations. But, in point of fact, an inquiry, 


to have that completely satisfactory result called demonstration, has 
only to start with propositions perfectly free from all actual doubt. 
If the premises are not in fact doubted at all, they cannot be more 
satisfactory than they are. 

3. Some people seem to love to argue a point after all the world is 
fully convinced of it. But no further advance can be made. When 
doubt ceases, mental action on the subject comes to an end ; and, if it 
did go on, it would be without a purpose. 


If the settlement of opinion is the sole object of inquiry, and if 
belief is of the nature of a habit, why should we not attain the desired 
end, by taking any answer to a question which we may fancy, and 
constantly reiterating it to ourselves, dwelling on all wbich may con 
duce to that belief, and learning to turn with contempt and hatred 
from anything which might disturb it ? This simple and direct 
method is really pursued by many men. I remember once being en 
treated not to read a certain newspaper lest it might change my 
opinion upon free-trade. "Lest I might be entrapped by its fallacies 
and misstatements," was the form of expression. " You are not," my 
friend said, "a special student of political economy. You might, 
therefore, easily be deceived by fallacious arguments upon the subject. 
You might, then, if you read this paper, be led to believe in protec 
tion. But you admit that free-trade is the true doctrine ; and you do 
not wish to believe what is not true." I have often known this sys 
tem to be deliberately adopted. Still oftener, the instinctive dislike 
of an undecided state of mind, exaggerated into a vague dread of 
doubt, makes men cling spasmodically to the views they already take. 
The man feels that, if he only holds to his belief without wavering, it 
will be entirely satisfactory. Nor can it be denied that a steady and 
immovable faith yields great peace of mind. It may, indeed, give rise 
to inconveniences, as if a man should resolutely continue to believe 
that fire would not burn him, or that he would be eternally damned 
if he received his ingesta otherwise than through a stomach-pump. 
But then the man who adopts this method will not allow that its in 
conveniences are greater than its advantages. He will say, " I hold 
steadfastly to the truth, and the truth is always wholesome." And in 
many cases it may very well be that the pleasure he derives from his 
calm faith overbalances any inconveniences resulting from its decep 
tive character. Thus, if it be true that death is annihilation, then the 
man who believes that he will certainly go straight to heaven when 
he dies, provided he have fulfilled certain simple observances in this 
life, has a cheap pleasure which will not be followed by the least dis 
appointment. A similar consideration seems to have weight with 
many persons in religious topics, for we frequently hear it said, " Oh, 


I could not believe so-and-so, because I should be wretched if I did." 
When an ostrich buries its head in the sand as danger approaches, it 
very likely takes the happiest course. It hides the danger, and then 
calmly says there is no danger ; and, if it feels perfectly sure there is 
none, why should it raise its head to see ? A man may go through 
life, systematically keeping out of view all that might cause a change 
in his opinions, and if he only succeeds basing his method, as he 
does, on two fundamental psychological laws I do not see what can 
be said against his doing so. It would be an egotistical impertinence 
to object that his procedure is irrational, for that only amounts to 
saying that his method of settling belief is not ours. He does not 
propose to himself to be rational, and, indeed, will often talk with 
scorn of man s weak and illusive reason. So let him think as he 

But this method of fixing belief, which may be called the method 
of tenacity, will be unable to hold its ground in practice. The social 
impulse is against it. The man who adopts it will find that other men 
think differently from him, and it will be apt to occur to him, in some 
saner moment, that their opinions are quite as good as his own, and 
this will shake his confidence in his belief. This conception, that an 
other man s thought- or sentiment may be equivalent to one s own, is 
a distinctly new step, and a highly important one. It arises from an 
impulse too strong in man to be suppressed, without danger of destroy 
ing the human species. Unless we make ourselves hermits, we shall 
necessarily influence each other s opinions ; so that the problem be 
comes how to fix belief, not in the individual merely, but in the com 

Let the will of the state act, then, instead of that of the individual. 
Let an institution be created which shall have for its object to keep 
correct doctrines before the attention of the people, to reiterate them 
perpetually, and to teach them to the young ; having at the same time 
power to prevent contrary doctrines from being taught, advocated, 
or expressed. Let all possible causes of a change of mind be removed 
from men s apprehensions. Let them be kept ignorant, lest they 
should learn of some reason to think otherwise than they do. Let 
their passions be enlisted, so that they may regard private and unusual 
opinions with hatred and horror. Then, let all men who reject the 
established belief be terrified into silence. Let the people turn out 
and tar-and-feather such men, or let inquisitions be made into the 
manner of thinking of suspected persons, and, when they are found 
guilty of forbidden beliefs, let them be subjected to some signal 
punishment. When complete agreement could not otherwise be 
reached, a general massacre of all who have not thought in a certain 
way has proved a very effective means of settling opinion in a coun 
try. If the power to do this be wanting, let a list of opinions be 
drawn up, to which no man of the least independence of thought can 


assent, and let the faithful be required to accept all these propositions, 
in order to segregate them as radically as possible from the influence 
of the rest of the world. 

This method has, from the earliest times, been one of the chief 
means of upholding correct theological and political doctrines, and 
of preserving their universal or catholic character. In Rome, espe 
cially, it has been practised from the days of Numa Pompilius to 
those of Pius Nonus. This is the most perfect example in history ; 
but wherever there is a priesthood and no religion has been without 
one this method has been more or less made use of. Wherever 
there is an aristocracy, or a guild, or any association of a class of 
men whose interests, depend or are supposed to depend on certain 
propositions, there will be inevitably found some traces of this natu 
ral product of social feeling. Cruelties always accompany this sys 
tem ; and when it is consistently carried out, they become atrocities 
of the most horrible kind in the eyes of any rational man. Nor 
should this occasion surprise, for the officer of a society does not feel 
justified in surrendering the interests of that society for the sake of 
mercy, as he might his own private interests. It is natural, there 
fore, that sympathy and fellowship should thus produce a most ruth 
less power. 

In judging this method of fixing belief, which may be called the 
method of authority, we must, in the first place, allow its immeasur 
able mental and moral superiority to the method of tenacity. Its 
success is proportionately greater ; and, in fact, it has over and over 
again worked the most majestic results. The mere structures of 
stone which it has caused to be put together in Siam, for example, 
in Egypt, and in Europe have many of them a sublimity hardly 
more than rivaled by the greatest works of Nature. And, except 
the geological epochs, there are no periods of time so vast as those 
which are measured by some of these organized faiths. If we scru 
tinize the matter closely, we shall find that there has not been one 
of their creeds which has remained always the same ; yet the change 
is so slow as to be imperceptible during one person s life, so that 
individual belief remains sensibly fixed. For the mass of mankind, 
then, there is perhaps no better method than this. If it is their 
highest impulse to be intellectual slaves, then slaves they ought to 

But no institution can undertake to regulate opinions upon every 
subject. Only the most important ones can be attended to, and on 
the rest men s minds must be left to the action of natural causes. 
This imperfection will be no source of weakness so long as men are in 
such a state of culture that one opinion does not influence another 
that is, so long as they cannot put two and two together. But in the 
most priestridden states some individuals will be found who are 
raised above that condition. These men possess a wider sort of social 


feeling ; they see that men in other countries and in other ages have 
held to very different doctrines from those which they themselves 
have been brought up to believe ; and they cannot help seeing that it 
is the mere accident of their having been taught as they have, and 
of their having been surrounded with the manners and associations 
they have, that has caused them to believe as they do and not far 
differently. And their candor cannot resist the reflection that there 
is no reason to rate their own views at a higher value than those 
of other nations and other centuries ; and this gives rise to doubts in 
their minds. 

They will further perceive that such doubts as these must exist 
in their minds with reference to every belief which seems to be deter 
mined by the caprice either of themselves or of those who origi 
nated the popular opinions. The willful adherence to a belief, and 
the arbitrary forcing of it upon others, must, therefore, both be given 
up, and a new method of settling opinions must be adopted, which 
shall not only produce an impulse to believe, but shall also deckle 
what proposition it is which is to be believed. Let the action of nat 
ural preferences be unimpeded, then, and under their influence let men, 
conversing together and regarding matters in different lights, grad 
ually develop beliefs in harmony with natural causes. This method 
resembles that by which conceptions of art have been brought to ma 
turity. The most perfect example of it is to be found in the history 
of metaphysical philosophy. Systems of this sort have not usually 
rested upon any observed facts, at least not in any great degree. 
They have been chiefly adopted because their fundamental proposi 
tions seemed " agreeable to reason." This is an apt expression ; it 
does not mean that which agrees with experience, but that which we 
find ourselves inclined to believe. Plato, for example, finds it agree 
able to reason that the distances of the celestial spheres from one an 
other should be proportional to the different lengths of strings which 
produce harmonious chords. Many philosophers have been led to 
their main conclusions by considerations like this ; but this is the 
lowest and least developed form which the method takes, for it is 
clear that another man might find Kepler s theory, that the celestial 
spheres are proportional to the inscribed and circumscribed spheres 
of the different regular solids, more agreeable to his reason. But the 
shock of opinions will soon lead men to rest on preferences of a far 
more universal nature. Take, for example, the doctrine that man only 
acts selfishly that is, from the consideration that acting in one way 
will afford him more pleasure than acting in another. This rests on 
no fact in the world, but it has had a wide acceptance as being the 
only reasonable theory. 

This method is far more intellectual and respectable from the point 
of view of reason than either of the others which we have noticed. 
But its failure has been the most manifest. It makes of inquiry 


something similar to the development of taste ; but taste, unfortu 
nately, is always more or less a matter of fashion, and accordingly 
metaphysicians have never come to any fixed agreement, but the pen 
dulum has swung backward and forward between a more material 
and a more spiritual philosophy, from the earliest times to the latest. 
And so from this, which has been called the a priori method, we are 
driven, in Lord Bacon s phrase, to a true induction. We have ex 
amined into this a priori method as something which promised to 
deliver our opinions from their accidental and capricious element. 
But development, while it is a process which eliminates the effect 
of some casual circumstances, only magnifies that of others. This 
method, therefore, does not differ in a very essential way from that of 
authority. The government may not have lifted its finger to influ 
ence my convictions ; I may have been left outwardly quite free to 
choose, we will say, between monogamy and polygamy, and, appeal 
ing to my conscience only, I may have concluded that the latter prac 
tice is in itself licentious. But when I come to see that the chief 
obstacle to the spread of Christianity among a people of as high cult 
ure as the Hindoos has been a conviction of the immorality of our 
way of treating women, I cannot help seeing that, though govern 
ments do not interfere, sentiments in their development will be very 
greatly determined by accidental causes. Now, there are some peo 
ple, among whom I must suppose that my reader is to be found, who, 
when they see that any belief of theirs is determined by any circum 
stance extraneous to the facts, will from that moment not merely 
admit in words that that belief is doubtful, but will experience a real 
doubt of it, so that it ceases to be a belief. 

To satisfy our doubts, therefore, it is necessary that a method 
should be found by which our beliefs may be caused by nothing hu 
man, but by some external permanency by something upon which 
our thinking has no effect. Some mystics imagine that they have 
such a method in a private inspiration from on high. But that is 
only a form of the method of tenacity, in which the conception of 
truth as something public is not yet developed. Our external perma 
nency would not be external, in our sense, if it was restricted in its 
influence to one individual. It must be something which affects, or 
might affect, every man. And, though these affections are necessarily 
as various as are individual conditions, yet the method must be such 
that the ultimate conclusion of every man shall be the same. Such is 
the method of science. Its fundamental hypothesis, restated in more 
familiar language, is this : There are real things, whose characters 
are entirely independent of our opinions about them ; those realities 
affect our senses according to regular laws, and, though our sensa 
tions are as different as our relations to the objects, yet, by taking 
advantage of the laws of perception, we can ascertain by reasoning 
how things really are, and any man, if he have sufficient experience 


and reason enough about it, will be led to the one true conclusion. 
The new conception here involved is that of reality. It may be asked 
how I know that there are any realities. If this hypothesis is the 
sole support of my method of inquiry, my method of inquiry must 
not be used to support my hypothesis. The reply is this : i. If in 
vestigation cannot be regarded as proving that there are real things, 
it at least does not lead to a contrary conclusion ; but the method 
and the conception on which it is based remain ever in harmony. No 
doubts of the method, therefore, necessarily arise from its practice, 
as is the case with all the others. 2. The feeling which gives rise to 
any method of fixing belief is a dissatisfaction at two repugnant 
propositions. But here already is a vague Concession that there is 
some one thing to which a proposition should conform. Nobody, 
therefore, can really doubt that there are realities, or, if he did, 
doubt would not be a source of dissatisfaction. The hypothesis, 
therefore, is one which every mind admits. So that the social im 
pulse does not cause me to doubt it. 3. Everybody uses the scien 
tific method about a great many things, and only ceases to use it 
when he does not know how to apply it. 4. Experience of the method 
has not led me to doubt it, but, on the contrary, scientific inves 
tigation has had the most wonderful triumphs in the way of set 
tling opinion. These afford the explanation of my not doubting the 
method or the hypothesis which it supposes ; and not having any 
doubt, nor believing that anybody else whom I could influence has, 
it would be the merest babble for me to say more about it. If 
there be anybody with a living doubt upon the subject, let him con 
sider it. 

To describe the method of scientific investigation is the object of 
this series of papers. At present I have only room to notice some 
points of contrast between it and other methods of fixing belief. 

This is the only one of the four methods which presents any dis 
tinction of a right and a wrong way. If I adopt the method of 
tenacity and shut myself out from all influences, whatever I think 
necessary to doing this is necessary according to that method. 
So with the method of authority : the state may try to put down 
heresy by means which, from a scientific point of view, seem very ill- 
calculated to accomplish its purposes; but the only test on that meth 
od is what the state thinks, so that it cannot pursue the method 
wrongly. So with the a priori method. The very essence of it is to 
think as one is inclined to think. All metaphysicians will be sure to 
do that, however they may be inclined to judge each other to be per 
versely wrong. The Hegelian system recognizes every natural ten 
dency of thought as logical, although it be certain to be abolished by 
counter-tendencies. Hegel thinks there is a regular system in the 
succession of these tendencies, in consequence of which, after drifting 
one way and the other for a long time, opinion will at last go right. 


And it is true that metaphysicians get the right ideas at last ; Hegel s 
system of Nature represents tolerably the science of that day ; and 
one may be sure that whatever scientific investigation has put out of 
doubt will presently receive a priori demonstration on the part of 
the metaphysicians. But with the scientific method the case is dif 
ferent. I may start with known and observed facts to proceed to 
the unknown ; and yet the rules which I follow in doing so may not 
be such as investigation would approve. The test of whether I am 
truly following the method is not an immediate appeal to my feelings 
and purposes, but, on the contrary, itself involves the application of 
the method. Hence it is that bad reasoning as well as good reason 
ing is possible ; and this fact is the foundation of the practical side 
of logic. 

It is not to be supposed that the first three methods of settling 
opinion present no advantage whatever over the scientific method. 
On the contrary, each has some peculiar convenience of its own. The 
a priori method is distinguished for its comfortable conclusions. It is 
the nature of the process to adopt whatever belief we are inclined to, 
and there are certain flatteries to the vanity of man which we all be 
lieve by nature, until we are awakened from our pleasing dream by 
some rough facts. The method of authority will always govern the 
mass of mankind ; and those who wield the various forms of organized 
force in the state will never be convinced that dangerous reasoning 
ought not to be suppressed in some way. If liberty of speech is to 
be untrammeled from the grosser forms of constraint, then uniformity 
of opinion will be secured by a moral terrorism to which the respect 
ability of society will give its thorough approval. Following the 
method of authority is the path of peace. Certain non-conformities 
are permitted ; certain others (considered unsafe) are forbidden. 
These are different in different countries and in different ages ; but, 
wherever you are, let it be known that you seriously hold a tabooed 
belief, and you may be perfectly sure of being treated with a cruelty 
less brutal but more refined than hunting you like a wolf. Thus, the 
greatest intellectual benefactors of mankind have never dared, and 
dare not now, to utter the whole of their thought ; and thus a shade 
of prima facie doubt is cast upon every proposition which is con 
sidered essential to the security of society. Singularly enough, the 
persecution does not all come from without; but a man torments him 
self and is oftentimes most distressed at finding himself believing 
propositions which he has been brought up to regard with aversion. 
The peaceful and sympathetic man will, therefore, find it hard to resist 
the temptation to submit his opinions to authority. But most of all 
I admire the method of tenacity for its strength, simplicity, and 
directness. Men who pursue it are distinguished for their decision of 
character, which becomes very easy with such a mental rule. They 
do not waste time in trying to make up their minds what they want, 


but, fastening like lightning upon whatever alternative comes first, 
they hold to it to the end, whatever happens, without an instant s 
irresolution. This is one of the splendid qualities which generally 
accompany brilliant, unlasting success. It is impossible not to envy 
the man who can dismiss reason, although we know how it must turn 
out at last. 

Such are the advantages which the other methods of settling 
opinion have over scientific investigation. A man should consider 
well of them ; and then he should consider that, after all, he wishes 
his opinions to coincide with the fact, and that there is no reason why 
the results of these three methods should do so. To bring about this 
effect is the prerogative of the method of science. Upon such con 
siderations he has to make his choice a choice which is far more 
than the adoption of any intellectual opinion, which is one of the 
ruling decisions of his life, to which, when once made, he is bound to 
adhere. The force of habit will sometimes cause a man to hold on to 
old beliefs, after he is in a condition to see that they have no sound 
basis. But reflection upon the state of the case will overcome these 
habits, and he ought to allow reflection its full weight. People some 
times shrink from doing this, having an idea that beliefs are whole 
some which they cannot help feeling rest on nothing. But let such 
persons suppose an analogous though different case from their own. 
Let them ask themselves what they would say to a reformed Mussul 
man who should hesitate to give up his old notions in regard to the 
relations of the sexes ; or to a reformed Catholic who should still 
shrink from reading the Bible. Would they not say that these per 
sons ought to consider the matter fully, and clearly understand the 
new doctrine, and then ought to embrace it, in its entirety ? But, 
above all, let it be considered that what is more wholesome than any 
particular belief is integrity of belief, and that to avoid looking into 
the support of any belief from a fear that it may turn out rotten is 
quite as immoral as it is disadvantageous. The person who confesses 
that there is such a thing as truth, which is distinguished from false 
hood simply by this, that if acted on it will carry us to the point we 
aim at and not astray, and then, though convinced of this, dares not 
know the truth and seeks to avoid it, is in a sorry state of mind 

Yes, the other methods do have their merits: a clear logical con- 
science does cost something just as any virtue, just as all that we 
cherish, costs us dear. But we should not desire it to be otherwise. 
The genius of a man s logical method should be loved and reverenced 
as his bride, whom he has chosen from all the world. He need not 
contemn the others ; on the contrary, he may honor them deeply, and 
in doing so he only honors her the more. But she is the one that he 
has chosen, and he knows that he was right in making that choice. 
And having made it, he will work and fight for her, and will not com- 


plain that there are blows to take, hoping that there may be as many 
and as hard to give, and will strive to be the worthy knight and 
champion of her from the blaze of whose splendors he draws his 
inspiration and his courage. 





1 This sketch is condensed from lectures originally written for delivery to an audi 
ence of engineers and mechanics, at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in the winter 
of 1871-"72, and from lectures since prepared for classes in the Department of Mechani 
cal Engineering, and revised to date. The most novel portion referring to the practi 
cal realization of the " perfect steam-engine " is here more fully developed than it had 
previously been, and the paper, as a whole, is for the first time here published. The 
illustrations are principally from Stuart and Farey, and from the article " Steam-Engine," 
prepared by the writer of these lectures for APPLETONS CYCLOPAEDIA, new edition. 

A very complete history of "The Growth of the Steam-Engine" has been prepared by 



[" A machine, receiving at distant times and from many hands new combi 
nations and improvements, and becoming at last of signal benefit to mankind, 
may be compared to a rivulet, swelled in its course by tributary streams until 
it rolls along a majestic river, enriching in its progress provinces and kingdoms. 
In retracing the current, too, from where it mingles with the ocean, the pre 
tensions of even ample subsidiary streams are merged in our admiration of the 
master-flood. But, as we continue to ascend, those waters which, nearer the 
sea, would have been disregarded as unimportant, begin to rival in magnitude, 
and divide our attention with, the parent stream ; until, at length, on our ap 
proaching the fountains of the river, it appears trickling from the rock, or ooz 
ing from among the flowers of the valley. So, also, in developing the rise of a 
machine, a coarse instrument or a toy may be recognized as the germ of that 
production of mechanical genius whose power and usefulness have stimulated 
our curiosity to mark its changes and to trace its origin. The same feelings of 
reverential gratitude which attached holiness to the spots whence mighty riv 
ers sprung, also clothed with divinity, and raised altars in honor of the saw, 
the plough, the potter s wheel, and the loom." STUAET.] 

[...." And, last of all, with inimitable power, and with whirlwind- 
sound, comes the potent agency of steam. In comparison with the past, what 
centuries of improvement has this single agent comprised in the short compass 
of fifty years ! Everywhere practicable, everywhere efficient, it has an arm a 
thousand times stronger than that of Hercules, and to which human ingenuity 
is capable of fitting a thousand times as many hands as belonged to Briareus. 
Steam is found in triumphant operation on the seas ; and, under the influence of 
its strong propulsion, the gallant ship 

Against the wind, against the tide, 
Still steadies with an upright keel. 

It is on the rivers, and the boatman may repose on his oars ; it is on highways, 
and exerts itself along the courses of land-conveyance ; it is at the bottom of 
mines, a thousand feet below the earth s surface ; it is in the mill, and in the 
workshops of the trades. It rows, it pumps, it excavates, it carries, it draws, 
it lifts, it hammers, it spins, it weaves, it prints. It seems to say to men, at 
least to the class of artisans : Leave off your manual labor ; give over your 
bodily toil ; bestow but your skill and reason to the directing of my power, and 
I will bear the toil, with no muscle to grow weary, no nerve to relax, no breast 
to feel faintness ! What further improvement may still be made in the use of 
this astonishing power it is impossible to know, and it were vain to conjecture. 
What we do know is, that it has most essentially altered the face of affairs, and 
that no visible limit yet appears beyond which its progress is seen to be impos 

QECTIOK I. The Period of Speculation. HERO TO WOECESTEE. 
O B. c. 200 to A. D. 1700. 1. The history of the steam-engine is 

f * 

a subject that interests greatly every intelligent mind. . 

As Religion has always been, and still is, the great moral agent in 

the same author, and is about to be published, finely illustrated, in the " International 


civilizing the world, and as Science is the great intellectual promoter 
of civilization, so the steam-engine is, in modern times, the most im 
portant physical agent in that great work. 

It would be superfluous to attempt to enumerate the benefits 
which it has conferred upon the human race, for such an enumeration 
would include an addition to every comfort, and the creation of almost 
every luxury that we now enjoy. 

" It has increased the sum of human happiness, not only by call 
ing new pleasures into existence, but by so cheapening former enjoy 
ments as to render them attainable by those who before could never 
have hoped to share them." 

2. The wonderful progress of the present century is, in a very 
great degree, due to the invention and improvement of the steam-en 
gine., and to the ingenious application of its power to kinds of work 
that formerly tasked the physical energies of the human race. We 
cannot examine the methods and processes of any branch of industry 
without discovering somewhere the assistance and support of this 
wonderful machine. 

Relieving mankind from manual toil, it has left to the intellect 
the privilege of directing the power formerly absorbed in physical 
labor into other and more profitable channels. The intelligence which 
has thus conquered the powers of Nature now finds itself free to do 
brain-work ; the force formerly utilized in the carrying of water and 
the hewing of wood is now expended in the Godlike work of thought. 

What, then, can be more interesting than to trace the history of 
the growth of this wonderful invention, the greatest among the many 
great creations of one of God s most beneficent gifts to man, the power 
of invention. 

3. While following the records and traditions of the steam-engine, 
I propose to call to your attention the fact that its history illustrates 
the very important truth that great inventions are never, and great 
discoveries are seldom, the work of any one mind. 

Every great invention is really an aggregation of minor inven 
tions, or the final step of a progression. It is not usually a creation, 
but a growth, as truly so as is the growth of the trees in the forest. 

Hence the same invention is frequently brought out in several 
countries and by several individuals simultaneously. 

Frequently, an important invention is made before the world is 
ready to receive it, and the unhappy inventor is taught, by his fail 
ure, that it is as unfortunate to be in advance of the age as to be 
behind it. 

Inventions only become successful when they are not only needed, 
but when mankind is so far advanced in intelligence as to appreciate 
and to express the necessity for them, and at once to make use of them. 

4. About a half-century ago, an able New England writer, in a 

1 Dr. Lardner. 

VOL. XII. 2 


communication to an English engineering periodical, described the 
new machinery which was built at Newport, Rhode Island, by John 
Babcock and Robert L. Thurston, for one of the first steamboats that 
ever ran between that city and New York. He prefaced his descrip 
tion with a frequently-quoted remark to the effect that, as Minerva 
sprang, mature in mind, in full stature of body, and completely armed, 
from the head of Jupiter, so the steam-engine came forth, perfect at 
its birth, from the brain of James Watt. 

But we shall see, as we examine the records of its history, that, 
although James Watt was an inventor, and probably the greatest of 
the inventors of the steam-engine, he was still but one of the many 
men who have aided in perfecting it, and who have now made us so 
familiar with its tremendous power and its facile adaptation to labor, 
that we have almost ceased to admire it, or to wonder at this product 
of the workings of the more admirable intelligence that has so far 
perfected it. 

5. Twenty-one centuries ago, the political power of Greece was 
broken, although Grecian civilization had risen to its zenith. 

Rome, ruder than her polished neighbor, was growing continually 
stronger, and was rapidly gaining territory by absorbing weaker 

Egypt, older in civilization than either Greece or Rome, fell but 
two centuries later before the assault of the younger states, and be 
came a Roman province. Her principal city was at this time Alex 
andria, founded by the great soldier whose name it bears when in the 
full tide of his prosperity. It had now become a great and prosper 
ous city, the centre of the commerce of the world, the home of stu 
dents and of learned men, and its population was the wealthiest and 
most civilized of the then known world. 

It is among the relics of this ancient Egyptian civilization that we 
find the first record of the early history of the steam-engine. 

6. In Alexandria, the home of Euclid, the great geometrician, and 
possibly contemporary with that talented engineer and mathematician 
Archimedes, a learned writer, Hero, produced a manuscript which he 
entitled " Spiritalia sen Pneumatica." 

The work is still extant, and has been several times republished. 
In it are described a number of interesting though primitive forms 
of water and heat engines, and, among the latter, that shown in Fig. 
2, 1 an apparatus moved by the force of steam. 

This earliest of steam-engines consisted of a globe, , suspended 
between trunnions, 6r L, through one of which steam enters through 
pipes, C M, F E, from the boiler, D, below. 

The hollow bent arms, JJand A", cause the vapor to issue in such a 
direction that the reaction produces a rotary movement of the globe, 
just as the rotation of reaction water-wheels is produced by outflow 
ing water. 

1 Vide Woodcroft s " Translation of Hero." 


It is quite uncertain whether this machine was ever more than a 
toy, although it has been supposed by some authorities that it was act 
ually used by the Greek priests for the purpose of producing motion 
of other apparatus in their temples. 

FIG. 2. HEKO S ENGINE, B. c. 200. 

7. It seems sufficiently remarkable that, while the power of steam 
had been, during all the many centuries that man has existed upon the 
globe, so universally displayed in so many of the phenomena of natu 
ral change, mankind lived almost up to the Christian era without 
making it useful in giving motion even to a toy ; but it must excite 
still greater surprise that, from the time of Hero, we meet with no good 
evidence of its application to any practical use for many hundreds of 

Here and there, in the pages of history and in special treatises, we 
find a hint that the knowledge of the force of steam is not forgotten ; 
but it is not at all to the credit of biographers and of historians that 
they have devoted so little time to the task of seeking and recording 
information relating to the progress of this and other important inven 
tions and improvements in the mechanic arts. 

8. In the year 1825, the Superintendent of the Royal Spanish Ar 
chives at Simancas furnished an account, which had been there dis 
covered, of an attempt made in 1543, by Blasco de Garay, a Spanish 
navy-officer, under Charles I., 1 to move a ship by paddle-wheels, driven, 
as was inferred from the account, by a steam-engine. 

It is impossible to say to how much confidence the story is entitled ; 
but, if true, it was the first attempt, so far as is now known, to make 
steam useful in developing power for practical purposes. Nothing is 
known of the form of the engine employed, it only having been stated 
that a " vessel of boiling water " formed a part of it. 

The account is, however, in other respects, so circumstantial that 
it has been credited by many, but it is looked upon as very doubtful 
by the majority of writers upon the subject. It was published in 1825 

1 Charles V., Emperor of Germany, was also Charles I. of Spain. 



by M. cle Navarrete, in the form of a letter from Tomas Gonzales, 
Director of the Royal Archives at Simancas, Spain. 

9. In 1601 Giovanni Battista della Porta, in his work " Spiritali," 
described an apparatus by which the pressure of steam might be 
made to raise a column of water, and the method of operation included 
the application of the condensation of steam to the production of a 
vacuum into which the water would flow. He used a separate boiler. 
Fig. 3 is copied from an illustration in a later edition of his work. 1 


10. Iii 1615 Salmon de Caus, who had been an engineer and archi 
tect under Louis XIII. of France, and later in the employ of the Brit 
ish Prince of Wales, published a work at Frankfort, entitled " Les 
Raisons des Forces Mouvantes avec diverses machines tant utile que 
plaisantes," in which he illustrated his proposition, " Water will, by 
the aid of fire, mount higher than its level," by describing a machine 
designed to raise water by the expanding power of steam. (See Fig. 4.) 

This consisted of a metal vessel partly filled with water, and in 
which a pipe was fitted leading nearly to the bottom and open at the 

Fire being applied, the steam, formed by its elastic force, drove 
the water out through the vertical pipe, raising it to a height depend 
ing upon either the wish of the builder or the strength of the vessel. 

11. In 1629 Giovanni Branca, of Lovetto, an Italian town, de- 

1 "I Tre Libri Spiritali," Napoli, 1606. 



scribed, in a work published at Rome, a number of ingenious mechani 
cal contrivances, among which was a steam-engine (Fig. 5), in which 
the steam, issuing from a boiler, impinged upon the vanes of an hori 
zontal wheel. 

This it was proposed to apply to many useful purposes. 


12. In illustration of the singular manner in which old inventions 
disappear only to reappear in latter times, it may be remarked that 
this contrivance was brought forward quite recently by a sanguine 
inventor, who spent a considerable sum in building what he considered 
a great improvement upon existing forms of steam-engines. 

The engine of Hero also has been frequently reinvented, and, un- 



der the designation of " steam turbine," it has been applied with some 

satisfactory effect to the production of very high velocity of rotation. 

13. We now come to the first instance in which the expansive 


force of steam is supposed to have actually been applied to do impor 
tant and useful work. 

In 1663, Edward Somerset, second Marquis of Worcester, published 
a curious collection of descriptions of his inventions, couched in ob- 


scure and singular language, and called a " Century of the Names 
and Scantlings of Inventions by me already practised." 

One of these inventions is an apparatus for raising water by steam. 


The description was not accompanied by a drawing, but the sketch 
here given (Fig. (3), probably resembles his contrivance very closely. 
Steam is generated in the boiler Z>, and thence is led into the ves 
sel A, already nearly filled with water. It drives the water in a jet 
out through a pipe, For F . The vessel A is then shut off from the 


boiler and again filled "by suction" after the steam has condensed 
through the pipe G-, and the operation is repeated, the vessel J3 being 
used alternately with A. 

The instruments of Porta and of De Caus were " steam fountains," 
and were applied, if used at all, merely for ornamental uses. 

That of the Marquis of Worcester was used for the purpose of 
elevating water for practical purposes at Yauxhall, near London. It 
was still earlier used at the home of Worcester, Raglan Castle, where 
the openings cut in the wall for its reception are still to be seen, as in 
Fig. 7. 

14. The separate boiler, as here used, constitutes a very impor 
tant improvement upon the preceding forms of apparatus, although 
the idea was original with Porta. 

The " water-commanding engine," as its inventor called it, was, 
therefore, the first instance in the history of the steam-engine in which 
the inventor is known to have " reduced his invention to practice." 


It is evident, however, that the invention, important as it was, 
does not entitle the marquis to the honor claimed for him by many 
authorities of being the inventor of the steam-engine. Somerset was 
simply one of those whose works collectively make the steam-engine. 

SECTION II. The Period of Application of the Early Type of 
Steam-Engine. Morland, Savery, and Desaguliers. 14. The inven- 


tion of the Marquis of Worcester was revived twenty years later, by 
Sir Samuel Morland, but in what form is not now known. 

In a memoir, 1 which he wrote upon the subject in 1683, he exhib 
ited a degree of familiarity with the properties of steam that could 
hardly have been expected of any one at that early date. 

In his manuscript, now preserved in the Haarlem Collection of the 
British Museum, he states the size of the cylinders required in his 
machine to raise given quantities of water per hour, and gives very 
exactly the relative volumes of equal weights of water and of steam 
under atmospheric pressure. 

He tells us that one of his engines, with a cylinder six feet in 
diameter and twelve feet long, was capable X>f raising 3,240 pounds 
of water through a height of six inches, 1,800 times an hour. 

15. From this time forward the minds of many mechanicians were 
earnestly at work on this problem the raising of water by aid of 

Hitherto, although many ingenious toys, embodying the principles 
of the steam-engine separately, and sometimes, to a certain extent, 
collectively, had been proposed and even occasionally constructed, 
the world was only just ready to profit by the labors of inventors in 
this direction. 

But, at the end of the seventeenth century, English miners were 
beginning to find the greatest difficulty in clearing their shafts of the 
vast quantities of water which they were meeting at the considerable 
depths to which they had penetrated, and it had become a matter of 
vital importance to them to find a more powerful aid in that work 
than was then available. 

They were, therefore, by their necessities, stimulated to watch for, 
and to be prepared promptly to take advantage of, such an invention 
when it should be offered them. 

16. The experiments of Papin, and the practical application of 
known principles by Savery, placed the needed apparatus in their 

When Louis XIY. revoked the Edict of Nantes, by which Henry 
IV. had guaranteed protection to the Protestants of France, the ter 
rible persecutions at once commenced by the papists drove from the 
kingdom some of its greatest men. 

Among these was Denys Papin, a native of Blois, and a distin 
guished philosopher. He studied medicine at Paris, and, w r hen ex 
patriated, went to England, where he met the celebrated philosopher 
Boyle, who introduced him into the Royal Society, of which Papin 
became a member, and to whose " Transactions " he contributed sev 
eral valuable papers. 

He invented, in 1680, the "Digester," in which substances, unaf- 

1 " Elevation des Eaux, par toutes Sortes de Machine, reduite a la Mesure, au Poids 
et a la Balance." 


fected by water boiling under atmospheric pressure, can be subjected 
to the action of water boiling under high pressure, and thus thoroughly 
" digested," or cooked. 

The danger of bursting these vessels caused him, in 1681, to in- 


vent and apply the lever safety-valve? now an indispensable appur 
tenance to every steam-boiler. 

17. In 1690 he constructed a working model of an engine, consist 
ing of a steam-cylinder with a piston which was raised by steam-press 
ure, and which descended again when the condensation of the steam 
produced a vacuum beneath it. 

This apparatus the inventor proposed to use as a motor for working 
pumps and for driving paddle-wheels ; but he never built a successful 
working machine on this plan, so far as we can ascertain ; and he did 
not then propose a separate boiler, but made the same vessel serve 
at once as a boiler, steam-cylinder, and condenser, evaporating water 
in the cylinder itself; 2 and, after raising the piston, removing the 
cylinder from the fire, or the fire from under the cylinder, to effect 
condensation by the gradual loss of heat by radiation. 

18. The most important advance in actual construction was made 
by Thomas Savery. 

The constant and embarrassing expense, and the engineering diffi 
culties presented by the necessity of keeping the British mines, and 

1 Other forms of safety-valve had been previously used. 

2 " Recueil des diverses Pieces touchant quelques nouvelles Machines et autres Sujets 
philosophiques," M. D. Papin, Cassel, 1095. 


particularly the deep pits of Cornwall, free from water, and the failure 
of every attempt previously made to provide effective and economical 
pumping machinery, were noted by Savery, who, July 25, 1698, pat 
ented the design of the first engine which ever was actually employed 
in this work. 

A working model was submitted to the Royal Society of London, 
in 1699, 1 and successful experiments were made with it. 

This engine is shown in Fig. 8, as described by Savery himself in 
1702, in the "Miner s Friend." 

L L is the boiler, in which steam is raised, and through the pipes 
it is alternately let into the vessels P P. 

Suppose it to pass into the left-hand vessel first. The valve M 
being closed and r being opened, the water contained in Pis driven 
out and up the pipe S to the desired height, where it is discharged. 

The valve r is then closed, and also the valve in the pipe 0. The 
valve M is next opened, and condensing water is turned upon the exte 
rior of P by the cock Y, leading water from the cistern X. As the 
steam contained in P is condensed, forming a vacuum, a fresh charge 
of water is driven by atmospheric pressure up the pipe T. 

Meantime, steam from the boiler has been let into the right-hand 
vessel .P, the cock W having been first closed and 7 opened. The 
charge of water is driven out through the lower pipe and the cock 7?, 
and up the pipe S as before, while the other vessel is refilling prepara 
tory to acting in its turn. 

1 " Transactions of the Royal Society," 1699. 



The two vessels thus are alternately charged and discharged as 
long as is necessary. Savery s method of supplying his boiler with 
water was at once simple and ingenious. 

The small boiler D is filled with water from any convenient source, 
as from the stand-pipe 8. A fire is then built under it, and, when the 
pressure of steam in D becomes greater than in the main boiler L, a 
communication is opened between their lower ends and the water 

FIG. 8. SAVERY S ENGINE, A. B. 1699. 

passes under pressure from the smaller to the larger boiler which is 
thus "fed" without interrupting the work. G and ^Vare gauge-cocks 
by which the height of water in the boilers is determined, and these 
attachments were first adopted by Savery. 

19. Here we find, therefore, the first really practicable and com 
mercially valuable steam-engine. Thomas Savery is entitled to the 
credit of having been the first to introduce into general use a machine 
in which the power of heat, acting through the medium of steam, was 
rendered useful. 

It will be noticed that Savery, like the marquis of Worcester, and 
like Porta, used a boiler separate from the water-reservoir. 

He added to the " water-commanding engine " of the marquis the 
system of surface condensation, by which he was enabled to change 
his vessels when it became necessary to refill them ; and the secondary 
boiler, which enabled him to supply the working boiler with water 
without interrupting its action. 

The machine was capable of working uninterruptedly for a period 
of time only limited by its own endurance. 



Savery never fitted his boilers with the safety-valve, although it 
was subsequently used on Savery engines by Desaguliers ; and in deep 
mines he was compelled to make use of higher pressures than his 
rudely-constructed boilers could safely bear. 

The introduction of his machines was, therefore, greatly retarded 
by the fear, among miners, of the explosion of his boilers ; in fact, 
such explosion did occur on more than one occasion. 

20. The Savery engine was improved, about 1716 or 1*718, by Dr. 
Desaguliers, who attached to it Papin s safety-valve, and substituted 
a jet injection from the stand-pipe into the " forcing-vessels r for the 
surface condensation of Savery s original arrangement. 

21. The Savery engine, however, after all improvement in design 
and construction, though a working and a useful machine, was still a 
very wasteful one. The steam from the boiler, passing into the cold, 
wet water-reservoir or forcing-vessel, was condensed in large quan 
tity, and also to a very serious extent, by coming into actual contact 
with the water itself. 

Papin, who has already been referred to, in 1707 proposed 1 to 
avoid this loss, to some extent at least, by the use of his piston, which 


he interposed between the steam and the water, as in Fig. 9, which 
is copied from a sketch given by Papin himself. 

This engine is, in principle, a Marquis of Worcester engine, in 
which the piston E is introduced to separate the steam from the water 
which it impels, and thus to reduce the amount of loss by condensa 

This engine was never constructed, except experimentally, how 
ever, and is principally of interest in a history of the steam-engine 
from the fact that it was a useful suggestion to succeeding inventors. 

Papin had, as early as 1698, abandoned his earlier but more ad- 

1 " Nouvelle Maniere de lever 1 Eau par la Force de Feu, mise en Lumiere." Par 
M. D. Papin, Docteur en Hedecine, Professeur en Matbematique a Cassel, 170Y. 


vanced project of a piston, driven by steam-pressure on one side, 
assisted by a vacuum produced on the other ; and he can only be 
regarded, therefore, as an ingenious and intelligent though unfortu 
nate projector, and not as a successful inventor, notwithstanding his 
acknowledged ability and learning. 



WHEN" the details of knowledge had in modern times accumu 
lated to so great an extent as to demand some organization 
of them into principles, thoughtful men cast about for some law 
which might serve to relate and connect together, in part at least, the 
multitude of facts and theories which were in an isolated and incohe 
rent state. 

At this important stage of scientific development, Galileo was the 
first to recognize the value of Plato s thought as to the continuous 
action of natural forces. By arranging in serial order the cases of 
a law, he showed that phenomena which might be supposed to be 
radically distinct were really due to one cause ; and he said that, 
where links of connection were unknown, they should be sought for 

Galileo, however, was too busy a man to work out many of the 
suggestions of the law of continuity, and it remained for Leibnitz to 
be the first to apply it extensively in the test of physical theories, and 
in the reduction of fragmentary knowledge to order and intelligibility. 
He affirmed that nothing passes from one state to another without 
passing through all intermediate states, and established the truth of 
his proposition by showing the absurdity of the contrary. If a change 
were to happen without the lapse of time, the thing changed must be 
in two different conditions at the same instant, which is manifestly 

From this principle, for example, if it be known that a body at one 
moment had a temperature of 20, and at another moment a tempera 
ture of 40, it is certain that at some intervening moment its tempera 
ture was 30. Although this law is so simple when stated as to seem 
almost axiomatic, yet its cases are frequently so obscure as to have 
caused much hesitation in its acceptance as a universal or even a 
widely-operating law. Some of its illustrations, lately discovered, are 
among the hardest-won triumphs of experimental skill, and have de 
manded the aid of the most refined modern apparatus. 

Atypical example of continuity has long been familiar to students 
of geometry ; figures which may differ so much in graphic delineation 


as the circle, the ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola, may be united by 
the insensible modifications of surface afforded by the inclination, 
more and more, of a plane dividing a cone asunder. 

Similarly, in mechanics, the arc of a vibrating pendulum may be 
gradually enlarged by successive impacts until it becomes a circle. 
The part of a rotation differs generically from a complete one, yet it 
may approach infinitely near to it, and with only such a difference as 
exists between one arc and another slightly shorter. 

The works on physics issued during the last century abound with 
distinctions which close and accurate investigations have since re 
moved. Iron was once thought to be the only substance endowable 
with magnetism ; now, not only all the metals, ^ut all bodies whatever, 
are proved to present this polar force. In like manner, with respect 
to heat and electricity, conductors and non-conductors were ranged 
as two opposite classes; this disposition is still practically useful, 
since most substances conduct either very well or very ill ; but it has 
given way as a precise statement of truth before the demonstration 
that all substances may be placed in unbroken order as to conductive 
power. For, while no material transmits either heat or electricity 
without some resistance, that resistance is in no case indefinitely 

The transmission of light is another property which is not now 
confined within a narrow area ; transparency is no longer attributed 
to a few bodies only air, glass, and the like it is extended to matter 
universally, experiment and reason both warranting the belief that 
any substance whatever, if reduced to a sufficiently thin film, would 
be pervious to light. Gold, one of the densest metals, can now be 
deposited by electricity in such tenuity as to be easily penetrated by 
the solar ray, and, although science is unable to give us any metal 
but gold in a translucent state, we know the degrees at which such 
light as passes through every member of the metallic catalogue is re 
fracted. This curious piece of information has been attained by ex 
tending to the cases concerned a law, which, as far as experiment has 
gone, has been found true namely, that the angle of a ray polarized 
by reflection always makes 90 with the angle of a refracted ray. 
Now, the particular angles at which lead, copper, and the rest, polar 
ize light by reflection being observed, a simple calculation tells us 
how much deflection a beam may undergo in piercing metallic plates. 
This is an instance of how Science appropriates territory, one might 
deem ever to be undiscovered, by availing itself of the relationship of 
laws binding all things together, and interweaving the known and the 

Chemists have taken their acids and alkalies, that were formerly 
adjudged as possessing qualities diametrically opposite, and now 
include them in one catalogue, no two consecutive members of which 
are much more than distinguishable in character. The same order 


has also been adopted in the electro-chemical arrangement of metals. 
Upon the possibility of placing all bodies in a continuous list under 
the head of any property whatever cohesion, elasticity, and so on 
the opinion is now entertained that all matter is capable of receiving, 
holding, and giving forth, any kind of force. 

The varieties of force themselves have been instructively reduced 
to a single basis that of motion ; electricity, gravity, light, and all 
the rest, are at present referred to the movement in particular orbits 
and planes of the ultimate particles which build up all masses. For 
any sort of force can be converted by suitable means into any other, 
and all into common mechanical motion. Now, as transformations of 
energy are incessant in Nature changes whereby heat becomes elec 
tricity, electricity light, and light chemical action it must be that 
there are intermediate phases which a body assumes while passing 
from the manifestation of one of these forces to another. It must be 
that the ordinary forms of force just named, which seem to be so 
broadly marked off from each other, must be really united in trans 
mutation by processes of motion too unstable to be caught and de 
tained by our comparatively rude methods of detection and arrest. 
The extremes of a series we see, the links between elude ns. 

The kinds of motion to which are given names in our works on 
physics are, perhaps, only the stable varieties of an indefinitely great 
number. The swiftness of the transitions from one stable form to an 
other may explain and excuse the notion long held that the different 
kinds of force were individual entities, unrelated to each other. 

Here one of the chief lessons taught us by the law of continuity 
comes in: we are confronted by a variety of seemingly isolated forces; 
we find them taking on indifferently one another s forms ; and, although 
we know not how they do so, yet we can see the danger of over-esti 
mating the apparent, while much more may be present though hidden 
from our sight. The comprehension of all the varieties of force under 
the one category of motion is hardly fraught with any deduction more 
suggestive than that which inclines us to acknowledge that mere per 
manence has hitherto unduly influenced our ideas of what the modes 
of motion may be in extent and diversity. The existence of electricity 
was unsuspected, except in the case of rubbed amber, until within a 
few generations ; the fleeting character of the force evading the scru 
tiny of the majority of the acutest investigators of Nature who have 

The noble generalization of the conservation of energy affords an 
other fact and hint of much value. It tells us of the radical identity 
of all sorts of force, whether as that of the descending clock-weight ; 
or in a simple form of much fixity, as that of heat; or evanescent and 
easily convertible, as electricity ; or intricate and with many paths of 
working, as chemical affinity ; or beyond the reach of any but vague 
and general means of examination, as the forces of nerve and brain. 


Every one of these is within the jurisdiction of the laws of mechanics, 
even when the motions are so exalted in degree and dignity as to seem 
of other stock than their real parents. Or, to change the metaphor, 
the tortuous labyrinth of the whole series diverges by clear and con 
tinuous avenues from one simple highway, where the elementary laws 
of motion are visibly obeyed. 

The consistences of matter, as well as its properties, illustrate in a 
remarkable manner the principle of continuity. Sir William Herschel 
long ago ventured on general grounds to predict that the solid, liquid, 
and gaseous states of matter would be found to shade off impercepti 
bly into each other. Twenty years afterward, the labors of Prof. An 
drews, of Belfast, proved the great astronomer right. By the most 
ingenious appliances, he detained for convenient inspection processes 
of transition from gas to liquid, which, in their ordinary progress, co 
alesce so abruptly as to seem instantaneous. In some familiar cases 
we can perceive changes of the same kind going on ; as, for example, 
in the melting of wax we can follow the alteration from brittle hard 
ness to plasticity, and thence to viscosity and liquefaction. From 
facts such as these, here very briefly indicated, has arisen the convic 
tion that all matter can assume any of the three consistences. Fara 
day liquefied, by cold and great pressure, several of what had been 
called permanent gases, and improvements in the means of producing 
pressure and cold will doubtless enable us in the future to liquefy the 
remainder. Although the greatest heat we can bring to bear on car 
bon does not fuse it, still the tendency of our knowledge is to induce 
us to believe that coal in burning for a brief instant, too short for ob 
servation, exists in the liquid state. A second of time is divisible into 
millionths quite as perfectly as a geological cycle. 

The thread of continuity has, in a variety of cases, been established 
in the laboratory. No two physical facts would seem to stand more 
decidedly apart than chemical union and mechanical admixture, yet 
we find them inextricably joined when we add sulphuric acid and 
water together. In all possible percentages do these liquids chemi 
cally combine, and this at variance with the generally-obeyed law of 
definite proportions. The same departure from the usual rule also 
obtains among other complex unions, and corroborates what first 
principles affirm namely, that chemical forces are but intense and 
involved mechanical ones. 

In the progress of science there has been much speculation as to 
the method by which light, electricity, and gravitation, are propa 
gated through space. It is the old question again, " Can matter act 
v;here it is not ? r Newton found the idea inconceivable, and ima 
gined an ether as the vehicle of motions between the suns and planets 
of the universe. This position has been criticised by Mill, who says 
that inconceivableness is no test of truth, and who asserts, with a lack 
of his usual caution, that scarcely any living thinker of eminence now 


doubts that matter can act where it is not. What light have recent 
researches shed upon this interesting question, heretofore little more 
than metaphysical ? 

The solar atmosphere has been found to extend to more than half 
a radius beyond its surface ; at the top of its corona, high above the 
hydrogen, there are vast masses of a gas which emits a simple, green 
ray, not corresponding with that of any known substance. In auro 
ral displays on earth, in the uppermost regions of our atmosphere, the 
same simple ray has been detected ; whence it has been supposed that 
atmospheres are not restrictedly planetary nor solar, but continuous 
and cosmical ; and that it may be a gas indefinitely rarefied that con 
veys to us through the depths of space not only light-motion, but the 
yet more inappreciable tremors of electricity and gravitation. 

The ordinary definitions of the interstellar ether are open to the 
objections urged by Mill, because of a dread there seems to be abroad 
of ascribing materiality to it ; while its infinitesimal materiality is not 
only within the bounds of possibility, but well agrees with the facts. 
All motion takes time ; light has a measurable velocity ; chemical ac 
tion of the most violent kind and even explosions are not instantane 
ous. Were it otherwise, the hypothesis of no medium or of an imma 
terial one might be entertained. Now, the decidedness in amount of 
a body s weight as a mass, or in its particles, has no necessary connec 
tion with its efficiency as a medium of motion. Just the reverse : we 
find that as matter is smaller and lighter in its ultimate parts or gross 
masses, the more rapidly can it communicate motion, and the greater 
is its capacity for motion. It is a familiar fact that, in the use 
of machinery, a small wheel can, proportionately to its weight, con 
tain and transmit more motion than a large one, the plain reason 
of which is that it can be driven at a higher peripheral speed, its 
smaller bulk causing less centrifugal strain at the axis than if it were 

Sound travels nearly four times faster in hydrogen than in air, 
and in quickness of elastic recoil it is, when compressed, preferable to 
air in the same degree. Its extraordinary chemical energy, far tran 
scending that of denser gases, is a fact of parallel bearing. 

If we can imagine a gas as much thinner than hydrogen as the 
square of light s velocity exceeds the speed of sound in hydrogen 
(about 4,000 feet a second), we have a reasonable presentation of 
what the luminous medium may be its marvelous tenuity being 
vastly more than compensated by the mobility of its molecules. 
And, therefore, the most subtile aeriform fluid conceivable is of enor 
mously more utility in propagating impulses from star to star than 
solid steel would be. The ether of space perhaps sustains some such 
relation to a gas as a gas does to a liquid ; and the current disputes 
as to the materiality or immateriality of a cosmic medium recall very 
suggestively the days, not very distant, when wise men doubted the 
VOL. xii. 3 


materiality of air, and the still more recent times when it was found 
that gases other than air had existence. 

Some further speculations, enkindled by the green ray observed in 
the sunshine, may be here presented as relevant to the subject. Du 
mas, the eminent French chemist, sought by very careful determina 
tion to prove that all atomic weights were exact multiples of that of 
hydrogen. He found them to be multiples of a number one-fourth that 
of hydrogen, whence the tenuous masses which lie above the hydrogen 
on the sun s surface are supposed to be one-fourth the specific gravity 
of the lightest gas we commonly know. And, as the spectrum it 
yields is the simplest known or even possible, it is thought that this* 
new unit of the atomic scale may be primal matter, and the source of 
all material forms. This conjecture is not unsupported by other con 
siderations, for, in the four kinds of stars regarded in the order of their 
brightness and heat, there is a progressively increasing variety of 
gases as they approach a lower temperature a suggestion this as to 
the origin of our sixty-three so-called elements in chemistry. 

In domains above the plane of physics, we can observe many 
beautiful cases of the law of continuity. On a window-pane in winter 
we can notice structural forces beginning their work where there has 
been, as far as we could see, no structure. We may breathe on the 
glass, and no microscope can there reveal any definite direction in the 
disposal of the moisture. Yet, from it a symmetrical architecture of 
frost slowly arises. We may take a crystal just deposited from a 
solution, break off a corner from it, and replace it in the liquid whence 
it came, when the damage will be accurately repaired. 

Between the inorganic and the organic kingdoms of Nature the 
old partition-walls have at many points been removed. Formic acid, 
such as ants secrete, has been made artificially by the synthesis of its 
elements ; and so have other products, formerly regarded as purely 
organic. Prof. Huxley maintains the opinion that, in the past, highly- 
complex chemical compounds have passed into the state of what he 
calls protoplasm, the simplest basis of organic life. The controversy 
about spontaneous generation is not whether the organic is contained 
and potential in the inorganic, but whether the transition can be arti 
ficially effected now. 

Plants, like the fly-catcher, which closes on venturesome insects 
and absorbs their juices, show us how powers, commonly supposed to 
be exclusively animal, may be shared by members of the vegetable 
world. The sensitive-plant has something very like the nervous sys 
tem which marks the highest types of life, for it not only shrinks 
when rudely touched, but also when exposed to fumes of chloroform. 
In the same direction points what in plants generally seems to paral 
lel instinct in animals. If a layer of soil near the surface of the 
ground be unusually rich and moist, the rootlets in growth are spread 
almost wholly along that layer, while in any other case they descend. 


The tendrils of vines find points for attachment an inch or two from 
their stems; in cellars and caverns the feeble sprouts grow toward 
the light which they seem to feel is their life. 

Is not all this conformable to the law by which motion takes the 
path of least resistance, as in the case of the waters of a broken reser 
voir descending to a valley by the shortest channel; or discharges 
of electricity harmlessly betaking themselves to the earth through a 
purposely-exposed conductor ? 

Instinct, especially in insects, borders on and at times invades 
the higher realm of intelligence. The shapes of birds -nests, wax- 
cells, and so on, are not rigidly invariable, but are always more or 
less adapted to circumstances. Glass rods have been placed in a bee 
hive, and the little workers to avoid them have sprung all sorts of but 
tresses and arches, such probably as neither they nor any of their pro 
genitors ever undertook before. 

Natural history, in the discussions which have recently shaken 
the world, illustrates how difficult, if not impossible, is the task of 
trying to draw lines of demarkation, hard and fast, in Nature. The 
arguments pro and con as to what constitutes a true species might 
be gathered into a very bulky volume, and the end of the discussion 
is not yet. 

The probability of truth, on the side of those naturalists who affirm 
the principle of continuity as explaining the genesis of species, has 
been strengthened by that principle being made the basis of the best 
method of zoological classification yet produced. 

Profs. Huxley and Haeckel describe a tree of life : the main branch 
es of it are the great classes ; the divergent limbs, the families ; and 
the minor branches, the species. The wide gaps between the groups 
of organisms now extant are in considerable measure bridged by re 
course to fossils, and the suggestions of embryology which science 
studies the phases an animal passes through from conception to birth, 
and observes the affiliations indicated in antenatal history. 

As the gulfs existing between living things present the most for 
midable difficulty in the way of the reception of the principle of con 
tinuity in its broadest claims, it may be admissible here to present 
some of the explanations given by Lyell and others to account for the 
fact that so many links of genetic connection are missing. It is most 
important to a species that it should preserve and intensify some 
definite method of subsistence a habit of diving, climbing, swimming, 
digging, or of catching some particular prey, or finding and living on 
some special plant. There is a natural premium set upon some ex- 
pertness of this kind, which we must mark is very apt to run in a nar 
row groove ; and there is a yet greater reward for any new expertness, 
the occupying of a new field of animal possibility, or an adaptation to 
circumstances changed by the great forces of Nature as in the mighty 
revolutions brought about by astronomical and geological causes. 


In periods of transition we can well imagine that an elasticity in 
stationary circumstances, usually all but dormant in an organism 
comes into play with all its power; and hence that the type fit for 
the new conditions is, comparatively speaking, soon formed and fixed. 
We may thus understand how it is that a wide diversity among liv 
ing forms has been brought about, and why it is that few fossils in 
termediate between them have been discovered. Some very striking 
ones have been unearthed, but it would be an unwarrantable digres 
sion to describe them in a paper of these limits. 

The remote extremes which may be joined together by gentle and 
imperceptible modifications are well illustrated in the facts of ordinary 
growth. Newton had once to be taught th^t two and two make four, 
yet from that day to the culmination of his powers there was no ab 
rupt accession of knowledge or insight. He came by steady advances 
from the ignorance of a babe to the full stature of the first physical 
philosopher in Europe. 

All this teaches us the supreme importance of looking at things 
in their dynamic as well as in their static aspect; of regarding the 
mechanics not less earnestly than the geometry of Nature. For dif 
ferences in degree may gradually accumulate until they become dif 
ferences in kind. We have seen how various sources of obscurity may 
veil processes of genesis, and lead any but a minute and careful ob 
server to mistake a new form for a new identity. We have noticed 
how the possession of qualities usually in extremes may conceal the 
fact that the qualities are general as in the magnet, which is but an 
exaggerated case of any mass whatever. 

We have noticed how the vast differences in the time required in 
transmutation may tend to confuse the similarity of two cases of a 
law. The embrowning of a pine fence in the course of years is due to 
the same cause which chars in a few minutes the same wood when 
used as fuel. We have remarked, also, the enormous differences in 
the stability of natural forces : some of them, as heat, are metamor 
phosed with great difficulty ; others, as electricity, are of very weak 
permanence ; and others, again, in whose existence we have good 
reasons to believe, are too evanescent to be detected by the keenest 

It has also appeared that mere complexity of resultant lines, as 
simple forces interact, may yield the erroneous supposition that new 
and higher causes than the real ones have come into action. 

It has been briefly stated how diverse properties merge into one 
another, and various consistencies overpass the bounds of common 
definition ; and, leaving the region of fact for that of speculation, it 
has been shown how the principle of continuity may account for the 
genesis of our chemical elements, and the transfer of impulses across 
the diameter of the heavens. 

All these facts, probabilities, and suggestions, lead to the convic- 


tion that continuity is a universal law ; that it prevails everywhere, 
and has prevailed throughout all time ; that its present innumerable 
and intricate threads have been spun forth from the simplest conceiv 
able state of matter and motion, which from the beginning have been 
subject to a uniform code of law a code of law growing more com 
plicated with time by the interaction and mutual influence of primi 
tive principles. 

The study of continuity presents many results very pertinent to 
the great question, " How has Nature assumed the infinite beautiful 
forms which engage our attention and admiration to-day ? r The 
probabilities in favor of the solution offered by the evolution theory 
are much enhanced when we consider how insignificant in area, and 
transient in operation, are many of the bridges connecting together 
the islands and continents of forces and life. 

As we trace out with great pains the unbroken links stretching 
between the most diverse facts and appearances, links which a cursory 
view would never discover, we find that that theory which supposes a 
community of origin and descent for all that now is, has a remarkable 
body of evidence adducible in its favor. 

That Nature has arrived at its present state by the continuous 
action of forces such as are now at work around us, has become so 
widely-prevalent a conviction that Mill said, speaking of the inclusion 
of special laws in general ones convergently, that the question Sci 
ence now asks is, " What are the fewest and simplest assumptions 
which, being granted, the existing order of Nature would follow ? 



THE Troglodytes or Cave-dwellers of ancient Nubia belonged to 
a tribe which seems to have formed an intermediate link between 
the Semitic and Ethiopian races, but which has become entirely ex 
tinct before the second century of the Christian era. Between Sidi 
Elgor and Port Er-nassid (the ancient Berenice), on the shores of the 
Red Sea, Dr. Brehm examined many of the limestone-caverns which 
were the favorite haunts of these singular beings, and found no diffi 
culty in distinguishing the bones of the Coptic and Arabian burial- 
places from the Troglodyte skeletons, which could be recognized by 
their demi-simian skulls, their attenuated brachial and femoral bones, 
and especially their narrow chests. 

These peculiarities Dr. Brehm ascribes to the unnatural habits of 
the wretched cave-men, who, from cowardice or constitutional sloth, 
passed the greater part of their existence in the penetralia of their 


foul "burrows, while their neighbors preferred a manlier way of secur 
ing themselves against enemies and wild beasts, and saved themselves 
from the glow of the midsummer sun by cultivating shade-trees. 
" Herodotus speaks of persecutions," the doctor remarks, " but this 
fixed custom of theirs may perhaps be attributed to vicious habit, 
strengthened by hereditary transmission, quite as much as to neces 
sity, for men can become fond of vitiated air, as they contract a pas 
sion for fermented drink or decayed food." 

It seems really so, if we reflect on the hereditary perversity of 
millions of Europeans and North American citizens, who in the midst 
of social security, and without the excuse of the persecuted Nubians,, 
insist on secluding themselves and their children in the foul atmos 
phere of tenement-houses, factories, and workshops, which might just 
as cheaply be supplied with pure as with warm air. 

The air we breathe, which a great English physician calls gaseous 
food, may become impure to the degree of being indigestible to our 
lungs and utterly unfit for the performance of functions which are 
quite as important as those of our solid and fluid victuals. Dull 
headaches, nausea, loss of appetite and of the sense of smell, and the 
sadness produced by the unsatisfied hunger after oxygen, are only 
incidental and secondary evils ; the great principal curse of the trog 
lodyte-habit is its influence on the respiratory organs. In 1853, when 
Hanover and other parts of Northern Germany were visited by a very 
malignant kind of small-pox, the great anatomist Langenbeck tried 
to discover " the peculiarity of organic structure which disposes one 
man to catch the disease while his neighbor escapes .... I have cut 
up more human bodies than the Old Man of the Mountain with all his 
accomplices," he writes from Gottingen in his semi-annual report, 
" and, speaking only of my primary object, I must confess that I am 
no wiser than before. But, though the mystery of small-pox has 
eluded my search, my labors have not been in vain ; they have re 
vealed to me something else the origin of consumption. I am sure 
now of what I suspected long ago, viz., that pulmonary diseases have 
very little to do with intemperance or with erotic excesses, and much 
less with cold weather, but are nearly exclusively (if we except tuber 
culous tendencies inherited from both parents, I say quite exclusively) 
produced by the breathing of foul air. The lungs of all persons, 
minors included, who had worked for some years in close workshops 
and dusty factories, showed the germs of the fatal disease, while con 
firmed inebriates, who had passed their days in open air, had pre 
served their respiratory organs intact, whatever inroads their ex 
cesses had made on the rest of their system. If I should go into 
practice and undertake the cure of a consumptive, I should begin by 
driving him out into the Deister (a densely-wooded mountain-range of 
Hanover), and prevent him from entering a house for a year or two." 

The ablest pathologists of the present time incline to the same 


view. " There is a cure for consumption," says Dio Lewis, " though 
I doubt if it will ever become popular. Even in its advanced stage* 
the disease may be arrested by roughing it / I mean by adopting 
savage habits, and living out-doors altogether, and in all kinds of 

That low temperature in open air does not injure our lungs has 
been recognized even by old-school physicians, who now send their 
patients to Minnesota and Northern Michigan quite as often as to 
Florida; and is conclusively proved by the fact that of all nations of 
the earth, next to the inhabitants of the Senegal highlands, the Nor 
wegians, Icelanders, and Yakuts of Northern Siberia, enjoy the most 
perfect immunity from tubercular diseases. Dry and intensely cold 
air preserves decaying organic tissue by arresting decomposition, and 
it would be difficult to explain how the most effective remedy came to 
be suspected of being the cause of tuberculosis, unless we remember 
that, where fuel is accessible, the disciple of civilization rarely fails to 
take refuge from excessive cold in its opposite extreme an over 
heated artificial .atmosphere and thus comes to connect severe win 
ters with the idea of pectoral complaints. 

There is a rather numerous class of beasts whose lungs seem 
able to adapt themselves to an atmosphere almost devoid of oxygen, 
but the human animal and the Quadrumana do not belong to that 
class. Monsieur de la Motte-Baudin, who was connected with the 
scientific staff of the Jardin des Plantes as their " menagerie-doctor v 
for more than twenty years, never omitted to dissect his deceased 
patients before turning them over to the taxidermist, and invariably 
found that all monkeys had succumbed to some variety of phthisis, 
while the lungs of the badgers, bears, and foxes, were perfectly sound. 
The three last-named animals are natural cave-dwellers, and have 
been provided with organs especially contrived to resist the effluvia 
of their burrows ; while the Simice, like man, are open-air creatures, 
whose proper atmosphere is the cordial air of woodlands. 

Among the natives of Senegambia pulmonary affections are not 
only nearly but absolutely unknown ; yet a single year passed in the over 
crowded man-pens and steerage-hells of the slave-trader often sufficed 
to develop the disease in that most virulent form known as galloping 
consumption; and the brutal planters of the Spanish Antilles made a 
rule of never buying an imported negro before they had "tested his 
wind," i. e., trotted him up-hill and watched his respirations. If he 
proved to be " a roarer," as turfmen term it, they knew that the dun 
geon had done its work and discounted his value accordingly. " If a 
perfectly sound man is imprisoned for life," says Baron d Arblay, the 
Belgian philanthropist, " his lungs, as a rule, will first show symptoms 
of disease, and shorten his misery by a hectic decline, unless he should 
commit suicide." 

Our home statistics show that the percentage of deaths by con- 


sumption in each State bears an exact proportion to the greater or 
smaller number of inhabitants who follow in-door occupations, and 
is highest in the factory districts of New England and the crowded cit 
ies of our central States. In Great Britain the rate increases with the 
latitude, and attains its maximum height in Glasgow, where, as Sir 
Charles Brodie remarks, windows are opened only one day for every 
two in Birmingham, and every three and a half in London ; but going 
farther north the percentage suddenly sinks from twenty-three to 
eleven, and even to six, if we cross the fifty-seventh parallel, which 
marks the boundary between the manufacturing counties of Central 
Scotland and the pastoral regions of the north. , 

It is distressingly probable, then, to say the least, that consump 
tion, that most fearful scourge of the human race, is not a " mysteri 
ous dispensation of Providence," nor a " product of our outrageous 
climate," but the direct consequence of an outrageous violation of 
the physical laws of God. Dyspepsia (for which also open-air exer 
cise is the only remedy), hypochondria, and not only obstruction but 
destruction of the sense of smell "knowledge from one entrance 


quite shut out" will all be pronounced mere trifles by any one who 
has witnessed the protracted agony of the Luft-Noth, as the Ger 
mans call it with horrid directness the frantic, ineffectual struggle 
for life-air. Dr. Haller thought that, if God punishes suicide, he would 
make an exception in favor of consumptives ; and there is no doubt 
that, without the merit of martyrdom, the victim of the cruel dis 
ease endures worse than ever Eastern despot or grand-Inquisitor 
could inflict on the objects of his wrath, because the same amount of 
torture in any other form would induce speedier death. 

But not only the punishments but also the warnings of Nature 
are proportioned to the magnitude of each offense against her laws. 
Injurious, substances are repulsive to our taste, incipient exhaustion 
warns us by a feeling of hunger or weariness, and every strain on our 
frame that threatens us with rupture or dislocation announces the 
danger by an unmistakable appeal to our sensorium. How, then, 
can it be reconciled with the immutable laws of life that the great 
est bane of our physical organism overcomes us so unawares that 
consumption is proverbially referred to as the insidious disease? 
Should it really be possible that Nature has failed to provide any 
alarm-signals against a danger like this ? The truth is, that none 
of her protests are more pathetic or more persistent than those di 
rected against the habit that is fraught with such pernicious conse 
quences to our respiratory organs. 

It is probable that some of the victims of our numerous dietetic 
abuses have become initiated to these vices at such an early period 
of their lives that they have forgotten the time when the taste of tea 
and alcohol seemed bitter, or the smell of tobacco produced nausea ; 
but I am certain that no man gifted with a moderate share of memory, 


who has grown up in the pest atmosphere of our city tenements, 
school-rooms, and workshops, can forget the passionate yearnings of 
his childhood for the free air of the woods and mountains; the wild 
outcry of his instinct against the process that inoculated him with 
the seeds of death, and stunted the development of his most vital 
faculties. The remorselessness of the pagan Chinese, who smother 
the life-spark of their infants in the swift embrace of the river-god, is 
mercy itself compared to the cruelty of Christian parents who suffo 
cate their children by the slow process of stinting their life-air, through 
years and years of confinement in dungeons to which an enlightened 
community would not even consign their malefactors. 

Honest Jean Paul relates that he used to secure a seat in a certain 
corner of an overcrowded village schoolhouse, where a knot-hole in 
the wall established a communication with the outer world. Through 
this orifice he imbibed comfort and inspiration as from a flask, but 
conceived conscientious scruples against the practice, as he never 
could indulge without becoming conscious of a temptation to aban 
don his old parents and his home, and join a troop of wood-cutters or 
gypsies, not from any vagrant tendencies, or want of dutiful sentiments, 
but from an almost irresistible desire to make the luxury of fresh air 
a permanent blessing. " I knew they would charge me with black 
ingratitude, if I should run away," he says. " Good God ! how I 
longed to prove my affection by working for them in wind and weath 
er, fetching in cord-wood from the woods and splitting it into the 
nicest, handiest pieces, carrying messages over the snow-covered 
mountains and be back in half the time any one else could make the 
trip do anything that would save me not from my books, but from 
that glowing Moloch of a big stove, and that stifling, soul-stifling 
smell of our dungeon ! 

Even to the most inveterate believer in natural depravity this 
might suggest a doubt whether the repugnance of children to study 
may not be founded on a physical virtue rather than on moral per- 
verseness. To whatever is really beneficent we are commonly drawn 
by natural attraction, and whatever appears violently repulsive to 
youthful minds may be justly suspected of containing more of evil 
than of good. The very disciple of Socrates who used to run six 
teen miles a day to hear the apiaro? larpw (best of physicians), would 
have hesitated to purchase physic for his soul at the price of physical 
health; and we cannot blame our children for being unable to recon 
cile the precepts they hear with those they feel, and giving way now 
and then to the more consistent and more logical prompter. 

The farmer s boy may look forward to each afternoon and each 
summer vacation as a refreshing interlude, and to the last term of 
his school-years as the last act of the tragedy; but in cities the end 
of the school-room bondage is too often the beginning of the endless 
slavery which awaits the young apprentice of the workshops, facto- 


rics, and counting-houses. In Northwestern Europe and the Eastern 
States of North America, eleven million human beings, a fourth of 
that number minors, are performing their daily toil in an atmosphere 
that saps the vigor of their souls and bodies more effectually than a 
diet of potatoes and water could do it in the same time. A full third 
of the cotton-spinners of Lancashire and Massachusetts are girls and 
boys in their teens ! They do not complain to a stranger, unless he 
should be able to interpret the language of their haggard faces and 
weary eyes ; but no one who has fathomed the depth of their misery 
will charge me with exaggeration if I say that, to the vast majority of 
the unfortunates, loss of feeling and of reason would be a blessing. 
What do they feel but unsatisfied hunger in a hundred forms, and 
what can reason tell them but that they ha^ve been defrauded of their 
birthright to happiness ; that not only their opportunity but their ca 
pacity for enjoyment is ebbing away ; and that, whatever after-years 
may bring, their life has been robbed as a day of its morning or a 
year of its spring-time ? 

The opium-habit may be acquired in less than half a year, and the 
natural repugnance to alcohol and tobacco is generally overcome after 
four or five trials ; but the factory-slave has to pass through ten or 
fifteen years of continual struggle against his physical conscience, 
before the voice of instinct at last becomes silent, and the painful 
longing for out-door life gives way to that anaesthesia by which Na 
ture palliates evils for which she has no remedy. In more advanced 
years the habit becomes confirmed, and we find old habitues who 
actually enjoy the effluvia of their prisons, and dread cold air and 
" drafts" as they would a messenger of death. They avoid cold in 
stead of impurity, just as tipplers on a warm day imagine that they 
would " catch their death " by a draught from a cool fountain, but 
never hesitate to swallow the monstrous mixtures of the liquor-vender. 

Rousseau expresses a belief .that any man, who has preserved his 
native temperance for the first twenty-five years, will afterward be 
pretty nearly proof against temptation, because very unnatural habits 
can only be acquired while our tastes have the pliancy of immaturity, 
and I think the same holds good of the troglodyte-habit : no one who 
has passed twenty or twenty-five years in open air can be bribed very 
easily to exchange oxygen for miasma. 

Shamyl-ben-Haddin, the Circassian hero chieftain, who w T as capt 
ured by the Russians in the winter of 1864, was carried to Novgorod 
and imprisoned in an apartment of the city armory, which resembled 
a comfortable bedchamber rather than a dungeon, and was otherwise 
treated with more kindness than the Russians are wont to show their 
prisoners, as the Government hoped to use his influence for political 
purposes. But a week after his arrival in Novgorod the captive moun 
taineer demanded an interview with the commander of the armory, 
and offered to resign his liberal rations and subsist on bread and cab- 


bage-soup like the private soldiers of his guard, and also to surrender 
some valuables he had concealed on his person, on condition that they 
would permit him to sleep in open air. One more week of such nausea 
and headache as the confinement in a closed room had caused him, 
would force him to commit suicide, he said, and, if his request was 
refused, God would charge the guilt of the deed on his tormentors. 
After taking due precautions against all possibility of escape, they 
permitted him to sleep on the platform in front of the guard-house ; 
and Colonel Darapski, the commander of the city, informed his govern 
ment in the following spring that the health and general behavior 
of his prisoner were excellent, but he had slept in open air every one 
of the last hundred nights, with no other covering but his own worn- 
out mantle, and a woollen cap he had purchased from a soldier of the 
guard to keep his turban from getting soiled by mud and rain. 

General Sam Houston, the liberator of Texas, who had exiled him 
self from his native State in early manhood, and passed long years, 
not as a captive, but as a voluntary companion of the Cherokee Indians, 
was ever afterward unable to prolong his presence in a crowded hall 
or ill-ventilated room beyond ten or twelve minutes, and described 
his sensation on entering such a locality as one of " uneasiness, increas 
ing to positive alarm, such as a mouse may be supposed to feel under 
an air-pump." 

The cause of this uneasiness is less mysterious than our nature s 
wonderful power of adaptation that can help us ever to overcome it. 
The elementary changes in the human body are going on with such 
rapidity that the waste of tissue and organic fluids is only partially 
retrieved by the digestible part of the substances which we feed 
to the abdominal department of our laboratory twice or thrice in 
twenty-four hours, The difference is made up by the labors of the 
upper or pectoral department, which renews its supply of raw mate 
rial independently, or even in spite of our will, twenty times per 
minute, or 70,000 times in twenty-four hours ! With every breath 
we draw we take into our lungs about one pint of air, so that the 
quantity of gaseous food thus consumed by the body amounts in a 
day to 675 cubic feet. The truth, then, is that eating and drinking 
may be considered as secondary or supplementary functions in the 
complicated process performed by that living engine called the animal 
body, while the more important task falls to the share of the lungs. 
The stomach may suspend its labors entirely for twenty-four hours 
without serious detriment to the system, and for two or three days 
without endangering life, while the work of respiration cannot be 
interrupted for six minutes without fatal consequences. 

The first object of respiration is to introduce elements needed in 
the preparation of blood, the second to remove gaseous carbon and 
other secretions of the air-cells. The deleterious consequences, there 
fore, of breathing the same air over and over again arise not only 


from the exhaustion of oxygen, but also from the circumstance that 
the confined atmosphere may become azotized or surcharged with 
carbon to the limit of its absorbing powers, just as water, after being 
saturated with certain percents of salt or sugar, refuses to dissolve any 
further additions. The act of reinspiring air, which has already been 
subjected to the process of pulmonary digestion, is thus precisely anal 
ogous to the act of a famished animal devouring its own fasces, and if 
performed habitually cannot fail to be attended with equally ruinous 
consequences. Corruption of the alimentary ducts would surely ensue 
in the latter (supposed) case, putrefaction of the respiratory organs 
does follow in the other. Working-men employed in localities whose, 
azotized atmosphere is loaded besides with particles of flying cotton- 
fibre, metallic dust, or fatty vapors, inspire ^ubstances which are just 
as indigestible to their lungs as mercury and alcohol are to their 
stomachs, and like these cause a rapid deterioration of the tissues in 
proximity to which they are deposited. 

The only wonder, then, is how Nature can resist outrages of this 
kind for any length of time ; and it is a curious reflection to think 
what amounts of hardship of the primitive sort, such as hunger, 
fatigue, cold, heat, deprivation of sleep, etc., a healthy savage might 
accustom himself to, if he tried as hard as the poor children of civili 
zation try to wean themselves from their hunger after life-air ! 

Can necessity be we will not say an excuse, but an explanation 
of such systematic self-ruin ? We must utterly refuse to believe it. 
Wherever men barter life for bread, there is a violent presumption that 
they do not know what they are doing ; for against recognized health- 
destroyers even the poorest of the poor will rebel with a prompitude 
that vindicates the dignity of human nature under the most abject 
conditions of bondage. Let a railroad contractor be caught in the 
trick of adulterating his flour with chalk or his sugar with alum, and 
see how quickly his navvies will leave him ; or observe how firmly 
reckless Jack Tar insists on his anti-scorbutic raspberry-vinegar! 
Miners have left a colliery en masse, because the owner shirked his 
duty of providing safety-lamps; and the very negro slaves of a South 
Carolina plantation attempted the life of their master, who stinted 
their allowance of quinine brandy which his father had issued them to 
counteract the miasmatic tendencies of the rice-swamp. 

Neither is it possible to suppose that want of hygienic education 
can be the origin of such ignorance ; for Nature does not wait for the 
scientist to inform her children on questions of such importance. All 
normal things are good, all evil is abnormal; vice is a consequence of 
ignorance only in so far as it is a result of perverse education, and the 
troglodyte-habit is the direct offspring of mediaeval monachism. Un 
til after the fourth century of the Christian era, habitual in-door life 
between closed walls was know T n only as the worst form of punish 
ment. Though the Greeks and Romans were familiar with the manu- 


facture of glass, they never used it to obstruct their windows ; in all 
the temples, palaces, and dwelling-houses of antiquity, the apertures 
provided to admit light admitted fresh air at the same time. The 
tuguria of the Roman peasants were simply arbors ; and the domiciles 
of our hardy Saxon forefathers resembled the log-cabins of Eastern 
Tennessee rough-hewed logs laid crosswise, with liberal interspaces 
that serve as windows on all sides except that opposed to the prevail 
ing wind, north or northwest, where they are stopped with moss. 

Men had to be utterly divorced from Nature before they could pre 
fer the hot stench of their dungeons to the cool breezes of heaven, but 
our system of ethics has proved itself equal to the task. For eighteen 
hundred years our spiritual guides have taught us to consider Nature 
and everything natural as wholly evil, and to substitute therefor the 
supernatural and the artificial, in physical as well as in moral life. The 
natural sciences of antiquity they superseded by the artificial dogma, 
suppressed investigation to foster belief, substituted love of death for 
love of life, celibacy for marriage, the twilight of their gloomy vaults 
for the sunshine of the Chaldean mountains, and their dull religious 
" exercises " for the joyous games of the palaestra. This system taught 
us that the love of sport and out-door pastimes is wicked, that the flesh 
has to be " crucified " and the buoyant spirit crushed to make it accept 
able to God; that all earthly joys are vain; nay, that the earth itself is 
a vale of tears, and the heaven of the Hebrew fanatic our proper home. 

" The monastic recluse," says Ulric Hutten, " closes every aper 
ture of his narrow cell on his return from midnight prayers, for fear 
that the nightingale s song might intrude upon his devotions, or the 
morning wind visit him with the fragrance and the greeting of the 
hill forests, and divert his mind to earthly things from things spiritual. 
He dreads a devil wherever the Nature-loving Greeks worshiped a 
god." These narrow cells, the dungeons of the Inquisition, the 
churches whose painted windows excluded not only the air but the 
very light of heaven, the prison-like convent-schools and the general 
control exercised by the Christian priests over the domestic life of their 
parishioners, laid the foundation of a habit which, like everything un 
healthy, became a second nature in old habitues, and gave birth to that 
brood of absurd chimeras which, under the name of " salutary precau 
tions," inspire us with fear of the night air, of " cold draughts," of 
morning dews, and of March winds. 

I have often thought that mistrust in our instincts would be the 
most appropriate word for a root of evil which has produced a more 
plentiful crop of misery in modern times than all the sensual excesses 
and ferocious passions of our forefathers taken together. What a dis 
mal ignorance of the symbolic language by which Nature expresses her 
will is implied by the idea that the sweet breath of the summer night 
which addresses itself to our senses like a blessing from heaven could 
be injurious ! Yet nine out of ten guests in an overheated ballroom 


or travelers in a crowded stage-coach will protest if one of their num 
ber ventures to open a window after sundown, no matter how glori 
ous the night or how oppressive the effluvia of the closed apartment. 
Pious men they may be, and most anxious to distinguish good from 
evil, but they never suspect that God s revelations are written in an 
other language than that of the Hebrew dogmatist. Here, as else 
where, men suppress their instincts instead of their artificial cravings. 
If we have learned to interpret the fact that a child whose mind is not 
yet biased by any hearsays is sure to prefer pure and cold air to the 
miasmatic " comfort" of a close room, the troglodyte-habit will dis 
appear, as intemperance will vanish if we recognize the significance of 
that other fact that to every beginner the taste of alcohol is repul 
sive, and that only the tenth or twelfth doqis of the obnoxious sub 
stance begins to be relished; just as the Russian stage-conductor 
relishes the atmosphere of his ambulant dungeon, whatever may have 
been his feelings of horror on the first trip. 

If ever we recognize a truth which was familiar enough to the an 
cients, but seems to have been forgotten for the last ten or twelve 
centuries, viz., that our noses were given us for some practical pur 
pose, the architecture of our dwellings, our factories, school-rooms, and 
places of worship, will be speedily corrected ; and even the builder of 
an immigrant-ship will find a way to modify that floating Black Hole 
of Calcutta called the steerage. Prisons, too, will be modeled after 
another plan. Our right to diet our criminals on the ineffable mixt 
ure of odors w r hich they are now obliged to accept as air depends 
on the settlement of the question whether the object of punishment is 
reform or revenge ? In the latter case the means answer the purpose 
with a vengeance indeed : in the first case there is no more excuse for 
saturating the lungs of a prisoner with the seeds of tuberculosis than 
there would be for feeding him on trichinae or inoculating him with 
the leprosy-virus. 

The exegesis of consumption very nearly justifies Michelet s para 
dox that the greatest evils might be easiest avoided. " There is no 
excuse for famine," says Yarnhagen von Ense; "we could all live in 
clover if we did not misapply a large portion of our arable land to the 
production of tobacco, opium, and other poisonous weeds, and send 
ship-loads of our breadstuff s to the distillery. I am sure that if the 
spontaneous productions of the soil furnished us mountains of grain 
and rivers of honey, we would still manage to use it up in the manu 
facture of intoxicating poisons, and complain of hunger as before. If 
any one should doubt this, let him reflect on the fact that, while we are 
surrounded by a respirable atmosphere of more than 800,000,000 cubic 
miles, civilization has contrived a famine of air ! 




EACH of the stars which glitter in the depths of space is a volu 
minous and massive sun like that which gives light to our 
earth. Distance alone reduces them to the appearance of fixed points. 
If we could approach any one of them we should experience the same 
impression as in passing from Neptune to the sun ; the star would 
increase in size as we should approach it ; it would soon exhibit a cir 
cular disk and continue to increase its proportions until they would 
be as large as the sun ; finally, this luminous disk, continuing to in 
crease in consequence of our approach, would expand and present 
itself as a fiery furnace filling the entire heavens a colossal blaze, 
under which we would be reduced to nothing, melted like wax, vapor 
ized like a drop of water dropped on red-hot iron ! Such is every star 
in the heavens. 

Each sun in space has its special sphere of attraction, a sphere 
which extends to the limit of neutralization by another. This attrac 
tion diminishes in the inverse ratio of the square of the distances, 
but never becomes absolutely nothing. At the distance of Neptune 
the solar attraction is 900 times less than at the distance of the 
earth. While the earth if it were stopped in its course would fall 
toward the sun 294 hundred-thousandths of a metre during the first 
second of time, Neptune would fall only 327 hundred-millionths of a 
metre in the same time. At the aphelion distance of the comet of 
1680 the fall toward the sun is only the minute distance of 416 hun- 
dred-billionths of a metre during the first second of time. This at 
traction continues thus to decrease as the distance increases. But, at 
the same time, if a body moves in the direction of one of the neigh 
boring stars, it begins immediately to receive its influence. The star 
nearest us is at a distance 210,000 times greater than that which sep 
arates the earth from the sun, or eight trillions of leagues; it is the 
star Alpha Centauri, a brilliant double star whose orbit and mass I 
have calculated. This mass is equal to the half of that of the sun ; 
it happens that if one could travel from the sun to this star a point 
would be reached where the attraction of the two would neutralize 
each other; this point is three-quarters of the distance which sepa 
rates us, that is, six trillions of leagues from our sun, or, what is the 
same, two trillions of leagues from Alpha Centauri, the whole distance 
being eight trillions. At that point, a celestial body, a comet, would 
hesitate as to which course to pursue, would weigh nothing, would 

1 Translated from the French by P. A. Towne. 


stop in its flight ; but the feeblest outward influence would be felt, 
throwing it either into the sphere of attraction of our sun or into that 
of Alpha Centauri. 

This sun called Centaurus is located in the southern sky, near the 
antarctic pole. It appears to us in the form of a bright star of the 
first magnitude. The sun nearest to us, next after this, is situated in 
the northern sky, in the constellation Cygnus, or the Swan. It is 
famous as 61 Cygni. Its distance is 400,000 times the radius of the 
earth s orbit, or about fifteen trillions of leagues. I have often observed 
this star : it is just visible to the naked eye, but to the telescope it is 
double, as the preceding, only its components do not move around 
each other, a conclusion which has much surprised me, although ar 
rived at by comparing all the observation^ made during the last hun 
dred years ; its mass, therefore, cannot be determined. But, however 
that may be, the fact which should impress us is that the distances 
which separate the suns of the universe are reckoned not by millions, 
nor by billions, but by trillions of leagues. 

The most brilliant star of our sky, SIBIUS, is a sun whose volume, 
judging from its light, should be 2,600 times larger than that of our 
sun. Its distance is about 897,000 times thirty-seven millions, that is 
about thirty-three trillions of leagues. 

Let us mention again among " our neighbors " the sixty-second of 
Ophiuchus, situated near the equator. I have calculated that it weighs 
about three times as much as our sun^ that is, 900,000 times more 
than the earth. Its distance is 1,400,000 times the semi-diameter of 
the earth s orbit, that is, fifty-four trillions of leagues. 

Astronomers, since the time of Kepler, agree in admitting that 
each of the countless suns that fill infinite space is the centre of a sys 
tem analogous to the planetary system of which we form a part. 
Each of these suns that we see in the sky shows to us a luminous fire 
side around which other human families are gathered. Our eyes are 
too feeble to see these unknown planets. The most powerful of our 
telescopes do not yet reach down to these depths. But Nature con 
cerns itself neither with our eyes nor with our telescopes, and so, be 
yond the boundaries that stop the flight of our tired conceptions, she 
continues to display her boundless and magnificent works. 

However, the hour has come when these planetary systems different 
from ours cease to slumber in the domain of hypothesis. In spite of 
the telescope, celestial mechanics have already revealed the existence 
of obscure stars, invisible in the rays of these distant suns, but which 
affect them in their proper movements across immensity ; and already 
powerful telescopes have contemporaneously recognized several among 
the stars known before to exist only in hypothesis. 

One of the most splendid conquests of sidereal astronomy has been 
the discovery of the system of Sirius, made some fifteen years since. 
For a long time, from careful measures of its position, it has been 



remarked that this brilliant star is slowly moving in space, like all 
the other stars, but that its proper movement is not uniform ; and 
Bessel announced, thirty years ago, that at some time there would be 
discovered, without doubt, a world of its system moving around it 
and disturbing it in its progress. This discovery was made in 1862. 
The companion of Sirius was then almost exactly on the eastern side, 
quite small, and buried in the rays of the star. Since that year it lias 
been constantly watched by the aid of powerful instruments, and it is 
seen to slowly gravitate around the Sirian sun. 

But this companion certainly does not follow the theoretic orbit 
calculated to correspond to the perturbations noted in the proper 
movement of the brilliant star. Differences more and more marked 
are shown between the calculated ellipse and the observed ellipse. 
The following is the orbit calculated by the German astronomer Au- 
wers in 1 864 to correspond with recognized perturbations : 

Passage by lower apsis 1793.890 

Annual movement 70.28475 

Period years 49.418 

Eccentricity 0.6010 

The last orbit calculated by Auwers, placed in the form of the 
orbits of double stars, and given as definitive, is the following : 

Perihelion passage 1843.275 

Longitude of node 61. 57, 8 

Angle between node and perihelion 18. 54,5 

Inclination 47. 8,7 

Eccentricity .; 0.6148 

Semi-major axis 7". 33 1 

Period years 49.399 

From these elements, the limits of distance ought to be 2.3 \" at 
302.5 in 1841, and 11.23" at 71.7 in 1770, and the ephemeris is- 

1862 85.4 10MO 1874 65.0 10".95 

1885 79.9 10".78 1876 62.l 10".59 

1868 7o.0 11".15 1878 58 4 10".05 

1871.. 70.3 11". 20 1880.. 54. 2 9". 33 

But, in making out my " Catalogue of Double Stars in Movement," I 
have found that all the observations on the satellite of Sirius give the 
following means for each year since its discovery : 



9 ".84 
10" 33 
10". 61 
11 ".18 




11 ".40 

VOL. XII. 4 


Pardon these figures ! But they form the basis of the reasonings 
which constitute the groundwork of this article, and it is essential to 
consider them in order to know on what to rely in discussing the sys 
tem of Sirius. In comparing these last numbers with those of the 
preceding ephemeris, we see at the first glance that the angle dimin 
ishes more rapidly than had been announced, while the distance has 
continued to increase since 1870 instead of having attained its maxi 
mum on that year, as the orbit of Auwers indicated. It is still fur 
ther shown by the diagram I have constructed that the arc of the 
observed orbit crosses the calculated orbit about 1868 and is pro 
jected outside of it, pursuing a wholly different curve which must be 
larger than the orbit traced and less eccentric. 

If the observed motion were the mean motion, the revolution of 
the satellite would be accomplished in a period of about one hundred 
and sixty-seven years. But the arc passed is yet too small to allow 
any positive conclusion, and, as the observed perturbations of Sirius 
demand a period of forty-nine years, we are brought to the conclu 
sion that the observed companion continues to accelerate its motion 
and will be found in the west of Sirius in 1892, or else there is another 
body causing perturbation nearer Sirius, and moving more rapidly, 

We should reserve all conclusions in regard to the existence of 
these other satellites, as well as all difference of period between the 
observed orbit and the calculated orbit; but the inevitable conclusion 
is, that the observed positions do not correspond with those of the 
ephemeris, and that the orbit thence resulting differs from the calcu 
lated orbit. 

By the aid of all the observations I have constructed the figure, 
which shows the movement of the observed planet from 1862 to 187V. 
The central disk represents Sirius ; the four cardinal points are indi 
cated by dotted lines ; the proper movement of Sirius in space is 
marked by the large arrow, whose length corresponds exactly to this 
movement during ten years (the figure is drawn to the precise scale 
often millimetres for ,1 second). If the small star discovered in 18C2 
to the east of Sirius did not belong to it, if it was situated in the 

CT 7 

depths of space far beyond, it would have remained fixed, and Sirius 
would have moved from it in the direction indicated by the arrow. 
But, on the contrary, it belongs to Sirius, accompanies that sun in its 
progress as the earth accompanies its sun, and turns around it in an 
elliptic orbit. It has yet traversed, from 1862 to 1877, only the line 
marked on the figure a curve not long enough to enable us to calcu 
late the remainder of its orbit. As it is seen, this star is quite small 
by the side of Sirius, but still larger than Jupiter relatively to our sun. 
Is it an immense planet, totally opaque and shining only by reflection 
of the light of Sirius? This is not probable; it must still be self- 
luminous just as our own earth was during so many ages. It does 
not correspond exactly to the observed perturbations, a fact which 


r- f 





proves that the system of Sirius certainly contains other worlds yet 
unseen. Our lamented friend Goldschmidt believed he saw three 
other planets. Thus, in conclusion, we have a solar system, outside 
of our own, as an object of study. 

We know a great number of stars which are accompanied by 
smaller stars moving around them like the earth around the sun. 
These systems, which are now numbered by hundreds, have been so 
carefully observed that we have been able to calculate the orbits and 
periods of the planets, brilliant or opaque, which compose them. 

It is, then, no longer on mere hypothesis that we can speak of solar 
systems other than our own, but with certainty, since we already 
know a great number, of every order and of every nature. Single stars 
should be considered as suns analogous to our own, surrounded by 
planetary worlds. Double stars, of which the second star is quite 
small, should be placed in the same class, for this second star may be 
an opaque planet reflecting only the light of the large one, or a planet 
still giving out heat and light. Double stars of which the two com 
ponents give the same brightness are combinations of two suns around 
each of which may gravitate planets invisible from this distance ; 
these are worlds absolutely different from those of our system, for 
they are lighted up by two suns, sometimes simultaneous, sometimes 
successive, of different magnitudes, according to the distances of these 
planets from each of them ; and they have double years of which the 
winter is warmed by a supplementary sun, and double days of which 
the nights are illuminated, not only by moons of different colors, but 
also by a new sun, a sun of night ! 

Those brilliant points which sparkle in the midnight sky, and 
which have, during so many ages, remained as mysteries in the imagi 
nation of our fathers, are therefore veritable suns, immense and mighty, 
governing, in the parts of space lighted by their splendor, systems 
different from that of which we form apart. The sky is no longer a 
gloomy desert ; its ancient solitudes have become regions peopled 
like those in which the earth is located ; obscurity, silence, death, 
which reigned in these far-off distances, have given place to light, to 
motion, to life; thousands and millions of suns pour in vast waves 
into space the energy, the heat, and the diverse undulations, which 
emanate from their fires. All these movements follow each other, 
interfere, contend, or harmonize, in the maintenance and incessant 
development of universal life. 




a man do himself up into a mathematical point and throw 
himself into the middle of infinite empty space, wherever that 
is, he would be surprised at the flatness of life under such circum 
stances. Infinite empty space is absolute sameness. It is, so far as I 
have traveled the field of mental possibilities, the only specimen of 
the thinkable or the unthinkable of which we can say, " It is all 

Should we melt up the matter which is supposed to be scattered 
throughout infinite space, and then, by increased heat, turn it into 
gas, and expand it till all the systems of the universe became one 
infinitely-extended and equally-distributed universe of intermingled 
gases, we should have about as little variety as in the case of empty 

Having unshackled the universe, and brought chaos back again, 
having secured a condition somewhat like that in which the advocates 


of the nebular theory suppose it to have been, consider what a dull 
time we should have if we were unable to find some little nook outside 
of infinite space, and, as a result, be obliged to amuse ourselves with 
such monotonous surroundings ! It would be as wearisome as star 
ing day after day at a blank wall without so much as a Tain-streak 
on it. 

But Nature seems to have understood that variety is not only 
" the spice of life," but life itself; and no sooner does she get in hand 
her raw material, than she sets herself to the work of creating differ 
ences. True, some astronomers reject the nebular theory ; but, if not 
true, it will serve as an illustration. It seems to have been the great 
work of Nature to multiply differences. For instance, there was a 
time or an eternity in which Nature turned out her first owl, just as 
the first patent Yankee washing-machine must have had its day. But 
the inventors of the owl and of the washing-machine have gone on dif 
ferentiating with unlike results. Most of the washing-machines are 
at rest. The fittest even scarcely survives. The owls are hooting still 
in varieties uncounted, and if, here and there, a specimen, discouraged 
and disgusted with the "modern improvements 1 of the Cainozoic 
period, gave up the ghost, and laid himself away with the old saurians 
his Darwinian ancestors he now finds himself resurrected, his 
bones neatly wired together, and the human owls hooting over him 
still. Like the immortal Webster, he "still lives as a witness of 
Nature s wonderful resources as a differentiator a difference-maker. 

But let us look further into Nature s method of creating varieties. 
Shortly after the beginning of eternity, Nature began to put the uni- 


verse in order. She at once began to make distinctions by getting 
her material together, and turning out worlds. It was the first step. 
Leaving other worlds to themselves, watch the progress of affairs at 
home. As soon as the first flurry is over, Nature settles down to the 
creation of differences. She puts the solid earth as a foundation, and 
piles the hot atmosphere above it ; then she takes the water from the 
atmosphere, and we have air, earth, and water. With these she gets 
up some low forms of life. But, as she has only begun her work, she 
makes very little difference between the opposite ends of these forms. 
One end of a worm is so much like the other end that you may cut 
him in two, and one part putting on a tail and the other a head, you 
will in a short time have two very respectable worms. From these 
low forms, which carry as much life in one $nd as in the other, Nature 
goes on differentiating, till at last we find her getting up forms whose 
parts are so widely different that each has its own work to do, and 
one part cannot be substituted for another. A man losing any organ 
is imperfect; and many of his organs are such that the loss of one of 
them requires that he should go back into Nature s melting-pot, and 
be moulded over again into a new form of life a Rhode Island pippin 
it may be, as good Roger Williams was. There is no record of any 
surgeon s having cut a man in two, and having made two men of the 
pieces. Nature is not content with multiplying species alone. She 
shows the same love for difference in varieties, and even in indi 
viduals, so that, as we are often told, there are no two peas exactly 

The utilitarian may ask : " But what is the need of all this variety? 
Why not have all peas alike? 1 This brings me to the important part 
of my essay ; for, whimsical as some of my notions may appear to 
others, the conclusion to which I hope to bring my readers is to me a 
source of moral rest : 

1. Relation of Difference, to Consciousness. How is it that we 
gain a knowledge of the external world whereby we become conscious 
intelligences ? Simply by a perception of differences. What would 
follow were there no difference in color or shade ? Go into a dark 
cellar with an extinguished candle to find a black cat that is* not 
there. I know black is said to be no color, but it answers as an illus 
tration. Your eyes are wider open than when above-ground in broad 
daylight, looking for a white cat that is there. Things being " all of 
a color," as common people remark when left in the dark, you are for 
the time as blind as the eyeless fish. Were white light put in the 
place of darkness, and each object to reflect it with absolute sameness, 
you would be just as unable to distinguish between objects, or between 
an object and its -background. Were the black cat there eating a 
white rabbit, the cat having become white you could not tell where 
cat left off and rabbit began ; neither could you tell where cat and 
rabbit ended and cellar-floor began. Everything would be of a piece. 


You could make out nothing, though you had as many eyes as the 
" devil s-darning-needle " of our boyhood, and each eye were " in fine 
frenzy rolling." Call, now, that cellar the universe, and then see if 
you can show cause why we may not consider the sense of sight as 
practically gone, and all knowledge that comes through sight a sealed 
book; ay, more, that nothing would be left to give us a hint that such 
knowledge could possibly exist. 

How is it that we receive knowledge through the ear ? By noting 
the difference between sounds, and between sound and silence. But, 
if there were no difference, there could be no hearing. If we had 
always listened only to a single tone, varying neither in pitch nor 
force, we should not be aware of the sense of hearing. We should be 
as one born deaf. It is the difference of sounds that gives us through 
the ear knowledge and harmony. 

As with the senses named, so with smell, taste, and touch. Did 
all substances affect these senses in exactly the same way, however 
acute those senses, we should not be aware of their existence. Ask 
any one what is the smell of pure air, and he will tell you, " No 
smell." But how do we know that to be the case ? As it has always 
been in contact with our smelling-nerves, we cannot judge of its odor. 
A dweller in Jupiter coming to visit his mundane cousins might, when 
he struck our atmosphere, expand his nostrils, as one sniffs the air 
when he all at once smells something very nice, or he might turn up 
his Jovian nose, as though he smelt something very bad. It is an 
open question whether or not the atmosphere is odorless, or, as a lay 
man would put it, whether it smells the same as empty space. Could 
an intelligent man be put under an exhausted receiver, get the smell 
of a perfect vacuum, and survive to tell about it, he might throw some 
light on the question. 

To sum up my reasoning, it comes to this : Were the universe one 
of sameness, instead of the universe of differences that it is, we should 
be unconscious of any external world, or of our own existence, no mat 
ter though we were the best-born specimens of the scientific stirpi- 
culturist. In fact, we should be an army of negations. I am aware 
there is something a little queer in the logic of this paragraph, but 
yet there is a great deal of sound logic in it after putting aside the 
"queer," which will, however, pass current with all except professional 

2. Relation to Knowledge. What is knowledge ? Only a percep 
tion of differences. How is a knowledge of natural history, for in 
stance, obtained ? Simply by finding out differences. In this way 
child and philosopher classify the horse and the ox. Progress in 
knowledge is possible in proportion 1. To objective differences ; and, 
2. To perceptive ability. Take botany. It is easy to classify those 
plants which have obvious differences into genera ; but, when we come 
to the classification of sub-species, the work is more difficult. A stu- 


pid child can tell a piece of Boston brown-bread from a ginger-snap ; 
but he cannot always tell whether his bread is spread with Orange 
County butter or oleomargarine. 

Again, one man is color-blind, and in a knowledge of colors can 
make little progress. As an engineer, he would mistake a green for 
a red light ; as a paint-mixer, he would be a failure ; and, as a matcher 
of dress-goods, he would be little troubled by the sweet creatures to 
whom he belonged. Another man can distinguish not only the seven 
colors of the rainbow, but many shades of each. The progress of 
these two men in all knowledge resting upon color must differ widely. 
As in this, so in all departments of education : the man who is skillful 
in detecting differences holds the key to knowledge. 

3. Relation to Happiness. The wise and the good of all religions 
and the philosophers of every school are puzzled over what they term 
the evils of life. Assuming the Creator to be wise, good, and omnip 
otent, they wonder that he should allow these evils. They cannot 
understand the problem of pain and misery which meets them at 
every turn, and importunes for a solution. Why should there be any 
condition but happiness ? 

The philosophers best satisfied with the present order of things are 
those whom I shall name the protoplasmics. Denying the existence 
of a personal God, and falling back upon protoplasm, as a substitute, 
they think that, taking into account the humble character of their 
protoplasmic god, he has done remarkably well. They are therefore 
very hopeful in their evolution theory, and in this respect have the 
advantage of their more orthodox brethren. They look upon creation 
with much the same feeling as that with which we look upon the first 
house built from cellar-drain to chimney -top by a self-made artisan. 
As a house pure and simple, it may be a failure, but as a self-made 
artisan s first attempt it is a wonderful success. 

The great army of reformers, each in his way anxious to show 
himself the savior of the world, is but another proof of this widely- 
spread belief that the world is in a very bad fix. 

That this problem of evil is as old as the race is shown in the 
golden-age idea, whether it comes up in the Hebrew religion with its 
Garden of Eden, or in the mythology of the Greeks and the Romans. 
The explanation is, perhaps, this : Man clothes his god with the high 
est attributes he finds in himself. These, qualities he magnifies, and 
joins to them infinite power. Seeing that the world is evil, and, con 
scious of evil tendencies in himself, he finds his way out of the dilem 
ma by asserting that there was once a golden age, the condition of 
the universe as it came from the hand of its Maker, and that all the 
evil that has crept into it has come from man alone. Thus he solves 
the problem of evil, and saves the character of his god. We must 
admit that the theory shows a good degree of charity, humility, and 
logic. It would be a still better scheme if in it there could be found 


a place for charity toward the poor devil whom as yet neither charity 
nor logic can dispose of. 

But there are other philosophers, among whom I count myself I 
say it in all modesty, it runs in our family who are not satisfied with 
any of these explanations, and very naturally ask: "Is the world a 
failure? Is it not a very good world? Is it not, in fact, as good as 
it can be? Were the united wisdom and goodness of the race supple 
mented with omnipotence and allowed to reconstruct the universe* 
could they improve upon the world as it is? Are these, that we name 
so, evils, or is it that we have failed to find out their character and 
use?" I purpose to answer these questions by applying to them the 
Law of Difference, which I conceive to be the panacea for the ills of 
life. Keep in rnind that, as all knowledge comes to us as the result of 
the different, so do all emotions of pain or of pleasure. Every quality 
that is thinkable implies its opposite, or at least its different in de 
gree. Happiness and misery are only relative terms. Absolute happi 
ness cannot exist any more than a magnetic needle with only one pole. 
The sick man who rises for the first time for weeks from a bed of pain 
and is led out into the sunshine is very happy; while the strong man 
who has not known sickness for years is unhappy from some slight in 
disposition which scarcely interferes with his daily work. \\ hy this 
difference ? Simply from the contrast with the previous condition. 
He who would enjoy must suffer. The lives of some people pass so 
smoothly that we count them happy. They are simply in the posses 
sion of something whose value they have never known, hence it is to 
them worthless. If you want to know the full value of a clear con 
science you must go through the hands of remorse. If you want to 
know the comfort of owning two shirts at a time, you must know the 
discomfort of owning no shirt at a time. Whence comes the pleasure 
we feel from our progress in knowledge ? From the difference.between 
the knowing and the not knowing of anything. Take the happiness 
that comes from social position in life. It arises from the fact that 
we are higher up than some one else. Bring all to the same level 
and it would be enough to make an angel weep to see how much hap 
piness some people would lose. Many would be bankrupt. Take the 
tramps and vagabonds out of society, and the whole fabric would be 
cut down one story ; for, to change the figure, they put one more round 
into the ladder it matters not that it is at the bottom and give the 
climber a chance to go one round higher. It is the length of the lad 
der that counts, no matter where the bottom is placed. What are 
wealth and poverty? Only relative terms. There is none so rich as 
the poor boy who has just received his first dollar after a week of hard 
work. We waste a great deal of pity on those who are born in the 
humbler ranks of life. It is my impression that, on the whole, it is 
better to be born poor, and work your way up to wealth and honor, 
than to have wealth and honor thrust upon you at birth, even though 
retained through life. 


Nature has done much to create differences, and human egotism 


has come in to second the efforts of Nature, and supplement her 
work by getting up differences in our favor where no such thing in 
point of fact exists. B may be a fool, but thinks himself wiser than 
C, who is in truth far wiser than B. C thinks himself much wiser 
than he really is, and in comparing himself with B gets the full benefit 
of the real difference, with a large surplus from the inflation. Thus 
are both men made happy. Indeed, should you take each man s esti 
mate of himself, you might, to find a fool, be obliged to do as Dioge 
nes did to find an honest man. But, if you should take each man s 


opinion of other men s abilities, the fools would outnumber the wise 
men ten to one, that one being himself. Alas ! what should we philos 
ophers do were there no simple souls whereby to measure our colossal 
intellects ? Thank God for wise men, but thank God for fools ! Every 
fool as well as every knave has done a great deal for human happi 
ness. Woe is the day when fools and knaves shall be no more ! O 
stirpiculturist, stay thy hand, and leave us still a background to the 
great picture of life ! And thank God for egotism, which enables us 
to make so much out of so little. It was not the philosopher that 
" Oh d ! " when the poet wrote : 

" Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us ! " 

He was wiser who wrote 

"Where ignorance is bliss tis folly to be wise." 

It will be a black-letter day when we find ourselves out. Why not 
let us go on, each one thinking himself the biggest toad in the pud 
dle, and being happy ? Why not let us still have the difference in our 
favor, since it is so cheap a happiness, and withal so innocent? 

Those who agree with me thus far may yet ask : " But is not the 
number as well as the degree of differences too great ? Has not Na 
ture rather overdone the thing when she gets up a hell-bender " (vide 
Webster and the Aquarium), "or gives us not only an Apollo whom we 
admire, but a leper whom we loathe? Why, my dear sir, after all 
the orthodox animals were made though I don t know where you 
would draw the line between the regulars and the irregulars you and 
I both could find much pleasure in looking at a hell-bender, and he no 
doubt finds far more pleasure in being a hell-bender than in being no 
body. However many forms we may have seen, we still want to see 
something different. Yes, but how about the miserable, suffering 
leper ? How about these extremes of wretchedness ? Something in 
the way of music may be got up from the eight simple tones of a 
simple octave. If you are to have music worth hearing, you must 
extend the scale through the octave above and the octave below ; but, 
if you would have music with all its pathos, power, and sublimity, 
vou must make use of all the octaves that are at the command of the 


orchestra, from the low thunder of the big Boston organ to the shrillest 
wail of the Cremona fiddle. Nor do you want the major chords alone, 
you must have the minor tones, and discords, even. Can you spare 
the lowest octave from the big organ ? If so, you bring the extremes 
an octave nearer, and so far restrict the range of the instrument, and 
by repeating the removal of the lowest notes you would at last find it 
impossible to play even the thinnest of tunes. So with human society. 
As you bring the extremes together, you take from life that which 
makes life worth having. The extremes in deep-water oyster society 
are very near each other, but each member of that society is only an 

But how about the reformers ? If things are all right as they are, 
why try to change them? My dear, short-sighted brother, the re 
former can do no harm. He is a benefactor. He is only helping 
Nature out. He may cut off now and then a low note, but by adding 
two high ones he widens the range of the instrument. Society as a 
whole advances, but its extremes are probably farther apart than ever 
before. Moreover, if we take the world as a whole, we can still better 
understand the value of the reformer. Compare unreformed Africa, 
with its cannibalism and slow travel, with America, the land of the 
Grahamite and the home of the telegraph, and see if the various re 
formers have not made it a glorious thing to be a Caucasian ! Every 
step in the moral world secured by the reformers makes greater the 
distance from the top to the bottom of the moral ladder. The day 
of the Inquisition and witch-burning has gone by; but the history of 
them still remains. We have only to read the old records, to find out 
what nice folks we are at the present day. I admit the conceit of 
some of these troublesome people, who believe they have a mission; 
but they are a necessary and important variety of the race. It is 
very plain that this world is the proper stamping-ground of the re 

Hence, variety is a necessity of life. The man that lives upon one 
kind of food only must deteriorate in body ; the student who gives all 
his thought to one idea, will become crotchety; while the devotee to a 
single phase of religion will in time be a bigot, which is but another 
name for monomaniac. Sameness is the. border-land of insanity. 
Have you ever been " possessed v by a whimsical idea, or a bit of 
poetry that would give you no let-up? If so, you can form some 
notion of the lunatic who was haunted with the idea that he carried 
in his stomach the twelve Apostles ! There is many a man living a 
life of excessive toil or of idleness, of so fixed a routine that he is par 
tially insane. It should be the aim of every man to so arrange his life 
as to hring into it a good degree of variety if he would secure physi 
cal, mental, and moral health. In this particular, division of labor 
often works mischief to the individual, however advantageous it may 
be to the community. Imagine the stupidity that must creep over 


the mind of a man who spends year after year pointing pins ! It may 
be well to inquire as to whether or not the social and business frame 
work of society is not doing much to reduce some of its members to a 
state little better than monomania. 

To enforce the lesson taught by the Law of Differences we will 
pass by a million years, while I give the reader a picture of the recon 
structed universe. It had been reformed to that degree that the wild 
est dream of the idealist had been realized. Desiring to have one 
more look at the old homestead, I came back from spirit-land, was 
" materialized," and once more walked the solid earth as was my wont 
a million years before. I need not say I was not quite up to the 
times. The first thing I noticed was that my physical geography was 
all at fault. There were no burning san^s, no icy wastes, no earth 
quake, no tornado, no flood, no drought. The whole earth from pole 
to pole was on the golden-age pattern. In this respect, desire 
was satisfied. For centuries no one had been heard to complain of 
any imperfection. All was lovely. To me, with a recollection of 
what I had suffered in my youth in cold and barren Xew England 
ten in the family, and all big eaters the change was delightful. But 
what was my surprise not to find a single soul to share my pleasure ! 
When I talked to those I met of their beautiful world, I spoke in 
an unknown tongue. I might as well have tried to convince Jones, 
the druggist, that pure air was as fragrant as the odors which blew 
from Arabv the blest, or any other Araby. Jones would have told 
me, " I have had air in my nose for fifty years, and, if there is any 
smell in it, don t you suppose I should have found it out in that 
time ? They were as stolid as marble, and as unenthusiastic as a 
proper woman who never felt the slightest twinge of hope, fear, love, 
hate, or anything else, except propriety. "It is strange," said I, 
" that no one understands what I feel. . . . Well," I thought, "they 
have never known anything different, *and as a result they do not 
know this." 

I was no less agreeably surprised at the men and women whom I 
found peopling the globe. The stirpiculturist had finished his work 
and gone home. There was not a physical deformity of any kind 
among the millions that walked the earth. All were brought up to 
the highest type of physical beauty. There was not a woman I met 
with whom I did not instantly fall in love, though it was like Cali 
ban falling in love with the houris. Every man was an Apollo, and 
every woman a Venus. But I was surprised to see them so blind to 
each other s charms. The men were the slowest of slow lovers ; the 
women as responsive as lay-figures. "Ah ! well," I sighed, " they never 
saw in man or in woman anything but beauty, and now they see not 
that." It seemed that a sight of me, which some of them could not en 
dure without a shudder, had begun to awaken in them a new sense of 
which the stirpiculturist had robbed them a sense of the beautiful. 



Being by nature benevolent, and inheriting a missionary spirit, it did 
me good to think that I was serving so useful a purpose, and starting 
a mission for the conversion of these heathen in aesthetics. With a 
force that almost took away my breath, it came to me that we owe a 
great debt to the deformed, the hideous, and the wicked ; that those, 
the morally hideous, whom society hunts down as its worst enemies, 
spend their lives in serving the very class that seeks to destroy them. 
Then, too, the goodness and holiness of the reconstructed world ! 
There were met with only those with whom, having been so well gen 
erated for a thousand years, regeneration was impossible. A long 
line of physical, mental, and moral saints were the ancestors of the 
race, " What a perfect heaven ! I said to them. But I found upon 
their faces only a gingerbread-rabbit expression. Such words as 
heaven and hell conveyed to them no more idea than green or red 
conveys to a blind man. I was in despair at such a lack of appre 
ciation. Here was practically the heaven upon earth which the race 
had worked for, prayed for, agonized for ; and, now that it had come, 
no one seemed to enjoy it, or even to know of its existence. It is 
truly a misfortune to be born in and always to live in heaven. The 
eternal Law of Differences holds us fast. Hell is a necessity, which 
must be as deep as heaven is high. The world was better as it was 
before the reconstructed got hold of it. Give us back the iron age ! 
All is not gold that glitters. My prayer was answered, and I found 
myself once more in this world of sin and holiness, joy and sorrow 
in a word, back in this world of differences. 



the Glacial period, geologists hold the most varied 
opinions, both with regard to its origin and lo the mode of ac 
tion of the ice. Thus at the very threshold of the geological record we 
tread on uncertain ground, and every guide points to a different path. 
The relation that palaeolithic man bore to the great ice age might 
seem to be of easier solution ; but even this question is unsettled, and 
a subject of controversy and doubt. Prof. Prestwich is believed by 
many to have proved that palaeolithic man was post-glacial. Messrs. 
Croll and Geikie urge that there were two or more glacial periods in 
post-tertiary times, and that he flourished in a mild interglacial pe 
riod. I, on the contrary, have been gradually forced to conclude 
that, in the British Isles, all the remains in caves and valley-gravels 
referred to palaeolithic man are preglacial, in the sense that they are 



of earlier date than the glaciation of the districts in which they are 

I propose to state briefly some of the general arguments that have 
influenced my opinion, and then to deal with the special question of 
the age of the deposits at Hoxne, which the advocates of the post 
glacial theory put forward as being undoubtedly in their favor. 

Let us first take into consideration the age of the beds containing 
the remains of the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, and their com 
panions, with which the palaeolithic implements arc so often found. 
Wherever, in Europe, the relation of these beds to the bowlder-clay 
can be clearly seen, they are of distinctly older age. Thus, in Russia, 
Sir Roderick I. Murchison has recorded the discovery of the bones of 
the mammoth and woolly rhinoceros, neaV Moscow, in reddish clay 
covered with erratic blocks, on the plains thirteen miles distant from 
the river. 1 And if we follow the northern drift southward from Mos 
cow, as I have done, we find it gradually changes from clay with bowl 
ders to the clay without bowlders that covers the southern plains. 
Around the sea of Azov, cliffs of this glacial clay, one hundred feet 
high, can be followed continuously for miles, and its junction below 
with the older beds is sharply defined. It rests on a fresh-water de 
posit containing shells of species of Unio, Cyclas, and Paludina, and 
at this horizon fragments of the tusks and bones of the mammoth are 
abundant, and are always undoubtedly older than the glacial clay. 
In a similar position the same remains have been found at Odessa and 
other places in the south of Russia. 

Nor has the theory of the post-glacial age of the remains of the 
mammoth remained unchallenged by eminent geologists in England. 
Prof. Phillips 3 and Mr. Godwin Austen 3 long ago recorded their con 
viction that they belonged to an earlier period than the deposition of 
the bowlder-clay, and that when they occur in newer beds they have 
been derived from an older formation. The remains are so plentiful 
in the caves of the north of England that it is certain that the mam 
moth and rhinoceros were abundant. Yet nowhere in the glaciated 
parts of the country have the bones been found excepting where pre 
served from the action of the ice in caverns and fissures. 

Thus, in tracing the limits of the northern ice on the eastern side 
of England, I have found that Durham and Northumberland were 
probably completely overflowed by it, excepting the upper parts of 
the Cheviots, as pointed out to me by Mr. Richard Howse. The ice 
streamed through from the west, around the southern and northern 
flanks of the Cheviots, down the valleys of the Tyne and the Tweed, 
and when approaching the eastern coast was deflected to the south by 
the great mass of ice that occupied and was flowing down the bed of 

1 " Geology of Russia in Europe," p. 650. 

2 " Geology of .Yorkshire," 1829, vol. i., pp. 18, 52. 

3 it 

British Association Reports," 1863, p. 68. 


the German Ocean. In Yorkshire the ice from the west was held 
back by the Pennine Chain, and did not coalesce with the German 
Ocean glacier, but stopped short, somewhere about an irregular line 
drawn from Keighley, northeastward to near the mouth of the Tees. 
The German Ocean glacier only, as it were, grazed the high land bor 
dering the coast until it reached the northern shores of Norfolk that 
stood out across its track. A large portion of Yorkshire was thus 
never glaciated by land-ice, and in this area remains of the great ex 
tinct mammals have been found in and below the lowland gravels, as 
at Leeds and Market Weighton ; but when we pass northwestward 
into the country where the striae on the rock-surfaces bear witness to 
the passage of land-ice, no such remains are found, excepting in cav 
erns and fissures of the old rocks. 

The northwestern side of England is much more glaciated than 
the northeastern, and the mammalian remains have only been found 
where preserved in caves. The ice filling the Irish Sea reached to a 
height of 2,000 feet on the western flank of the Pennine Chain. 


Probably reenforced from the westward it continued, in scarcely de 
creasing thickness, across the whole of Lancashire and Cheshire, and 
passed over into the drainage area of the Severn, down which valley 
it appears to have flowed for some distance. As soon as we get 
beyond its influence we again meet with mammalian remains in the 
lowland gravels, and in most of the southern valleys they are abun 

If the mammoth and its associates roamed as far as the north of 
England, and even into Scotland, after the Glacial period, their re 
mains ought to be found in the valley-gravels of the glaciated dis 
tricts. They are, however, absent ; and if we should be led to infer 
from this that they lived before the glaciation of the country, and 
accept the conclusion of Prof. Phillips an4 Mr. Godwin Austen that 
the mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros lived before and not after 
the Glacial period in Great Britain, we can scarcely refrain from going 
further than these geologists and concluding that the makers of the 
palaeolithic implements were also preglacial. For no geological in 
ference seems based upon sounder evidence than that palaeolithic man 
was contemporaneous with the mammoth and its associates. The im 
plements of the one and the bones of the others are found together in 
the same stratum of the cave-earth, and in all the numerous caverns 
that have been searched in England and Wales there is no record of 
palaeolithic implements being found at a higher horizon ; when flint 
weapons do so occur they are invariably of the neolithic type. If 
geological evidence of contemporaneity is of any value, the occupation 
of the caves by palaeolithic man ceased at the same time as the great 
mammals disappeared. 

Let us look at the question from another point of view. In the 
south of England the remains of the mammoth are abundant in the 


valley-gravels. They are found mixed through them, or more com 
monly at their base. Palaeolithic implements are found in the same 
position, though usually in gravel higher up on the slopes of the val 
leys. When found in the gravel, the bones are broken and worn, and 
the flint implements have their angles rounded more or less as if by 
rolling. When, as has happened in a few cases, the bones and imple 
ments have been found below the gravels, they have been uninjured 
and unworn. Mr. Godwin Austen noticed the occurrence of bones of 
the mammoth in an old forest-bed beneath the valley-gravels, at 
Peasemarsh, in Surrey, uninjured and lying together, while in the 
overlying gravel the teeth of the mammoth were found singly ad 
rolled. 1 And Colonel Lane Fox has recorded the discovery of flint 
implements at Acton in seams of white sund, nine feet from the sur 
face, beneath deposits of giavel and brick-earth. 2 Their edges were 
as sharp as if just flaked off a core of flint ; while those found in the 
gravel, on the contrary, have their edges w r orn and rounded just like 
those of the subangular pebbles of which the gravel is principally 

The position and the state of preservation of the bones and imple 
ments are such as might be expected if they had been deposited on 
an old land-surface before the outspread of the gravels, when the con 
figuration of the country was much the same as now; and I have sug 
gested that the occurrence of the implements, generally higher up the 
slopes of the valleys than the mammalian remains, is due to palaeo 
lithic man having frequented more elevated and drier localities than 
the great mammals. I have urged that the outspread of the gravels 
was due, as formerly supposed by Sedgewick, De la Beche, and Mur- 
chison, to the action of a great flood or debacle. I have advanced the 
theory that that debacle was caused by the breaking away of a bar 
rier of ice that blocked up the English Channel, and with it all the 
drainage of Northern Europe, causing an immense lake of fresh or 
brackish water that was thus suddenly and tumultuously discharged. 3 

This great flood occurred, according to my theory, before the cul 
mination of the Glacial period, and was primarily due to ice filling the 
bed of the North Atlantic as far south on the European side as lati 
tude 49. If the gravels in and below which the rude flint imple 
ments and the remains of the extinct mammals are found, were thus 
spread out, it follows that they were preglacial in the sense that they 
lived before the principal glaciation of the country. 

We have seen that, in the north, such an excellent geologist as 
the late Prof. Phillips had arrived at this conclusion with regard to 
the age of the mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros, and the hippopota- 

1 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. vii., p. 288. 

2 Ibid., vol. xxviii., p. 456. 

3 Quarterly Journal of Science, April, 1875. Quarterly Journal of the Geological 
Society, vol. xxxii., p. 84. 


mus; and, in the south, Mr. Godwin Austen, from a study of the same 
remains in the valley-gravels. Direct evidence of great value has been 
added by Mr. Tiddiman in his reports on the exploration of the Vic 
toria Cave, at Settle. He has shown that the cave-deposits lie be 
neath glacial clay, and, among the other remains, a human fibula has 
been found. 1 In the Cefn Cave, in Denbighshire, Mr. Mackintosh has 
also determined that the mammalian remains lie in and below a gla 
cial clay. 2 

All the lines of inquiry thus far pursued in this paper point to the 
preglacial age of the remains in question, and some of the facts are 
directly opposed to the post-glacial theory. How, then, is it that the 
great majority of geologists write as if it had been clearly proved that 
paleolithic man was of post-glacial age ? Principally because it is be 
lieved that Prof. Prestwich has proved that at Hoxne, in Suffolk, the 
implements and bones are found in deposits distinctly overlying 
bowlder-clay. This is spoken of as if it were a truism in most general 
treatises on geology ; 3 and both in Europe and America the presump 
tion is appealed to as being conclusive with regard to the age of the 
remains. The general opinion held is concisely given in the statement 
by Mr. John Evans in his presidential address to the Geological So 
ciety last year, that, at Hoxne, " the implement-bearing beds repose 
in a trough cut out in the upper glacial bowlder-clay, which itself rests 
on middle glacial sands and gravels." 

This opinion of the age of the Hoxne deposits is founded on the 
elaborate memoir by Prof. Prestwich, published in the " Philosophical 
Transactions of the Royal Society," for 1860. In this treatise the 
author gives a diagram showing the deposits in question lying in a 
trough cut out in the bowlder-clay. Though this section is confessed 
ly only theoretical, it was accepted by Sir Charles Lyell and others as 
an actual one, and afterward the author himself wrote as if he had 
proved his theory to be true, 5 which he may well be excused for hav. 
ing done, when it had been accepted by so many eminent geologists. 

The writings of Prof. Prestwich are admirable in this, as in other 
respects, that, although he indulges in wide-reaching theories, he in 
variably gives the evidence on which they are founded. Thus, in the 
memoir in question, in addition to the theoretical diagram he gives 
another, showing the actual facts observed, and also careful details of 
the various sections observed by him. It is, therefore, possible to 
check his theory by his facts, and in the present paper I shall do so, 

1 Nature, vol. ix., p. 14. " British Association Reports," for 1873, 1874, 1875. 

2 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. xxxii., p. 91. 

3 Sir Charles Lyell, " Antiquity of Man, 1 p. 166. J. Geikie, " Great Ice Age," p. 474. 
J. Croll, " Climate and Time," p. 241. W. Boyd Dawkins, "Cave-Hunting," p. 410. 
Jukes s " Students Manual of Geology," p. 736. 

4 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. xxxi., p. 74. 

5 " Philosophical Transactions," 1864, p. 253. 

VOL. XII. 5 


and also give the results of my own examination of the Hoxne dis 

Mr. John Frere, so long ago as the first year of the present cen 
tury, communicated to the Society of Antiquaries an " Account of 
Flint Weapons discovered at Hoxne, in Suffolk." l He stated that 
they were found in great numbers in a bed of gravel, which was over 
laid by one foot of sand with shells, and containing the jawbone and 
teeth of an enormous animal ; the sand being again covered by seven 
and a half feet of brick-clay. Mr. Frere noticed that the strata lay 
horizontally, and had been denuded to form the present valley, and 
therefore concluded that they belonged to a period when the configu 
ration of the surface was different from what it is now, and he consid 
ered that their antiquity was possibly " even beyond that of the pres 
ent world." The manner in which the flint implements lay, and their 
great abundance, led Mr. Frere to conclude that a manufactory of 
them had been carried on at the place where he found them. 

The discovery does not appear to have excited any attention at 
the time, and for more than half a century remained unnoticed. In 
1859, when the discovery of flint implements in the valley of the 
Somme, in France, in association with the remains of the mammoth 
and other extinct mammals, had at last aroused the attention of geolo 
gists, Mr. Frere s memoir was brought by Mr. John Evans before the 
notice of Mr. Prestwich, who had just returned from Amiens. He 
soon after visited Hoxne, and carefully examined into the facts of the 
case. He found that the bed of brick-clay was still being worked, 
and that flint implements were occasionally, though rarely, turned up ; 
and on a subsequent visit with Mr. Evans they succeeded in disinter 
ring one themselves. 

The valleys of the Waveney and its tributaries are bounded by 
low hills of gravel and bowlder-clay. The bed-rock is not seen in any 
of the sections exposed, but it is supposed to be chalk. The gravels 
and sands (the middle glacial sands and gravels of Mr. Searles Wood, 
Jr.) are exposed in many gravel-pits on both sides of the Waveney. 
They are sometimes capped by the upper bowlder-clay ; at others, by 
a more sandy bed with stones (the " trail " of Mr. Fisher), which in 
some of the sections graduates into the upper bowlder-clay, of which 
I believe it to be the modified representative. One of the deepest 
sections on the north bank of the Waveney is near the road from Diss 
to Harleston, at Billingford, where the series of beds shown in Fig. 1 
are exposed. 

Mr. Fisher some time ago called attention to the great importance 
of the upper bed, or "trail," in the study of the glacial beds, 2 but it 
has not yet received the notice it deserves. It is the most persistent 

all the beds in the southeastern counties, and can be traced, in al- 

1 " Archaeologia," 1800, vol. xiii., p. 206. 

2 Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, vol. xxii., p. 553. 


most every section, from Norfolk into Surrey. It is everywhere seen 
in the Thames Valley lying on the top of the lowland gravels, and is 
shown in great perfection in the long section now (March, 1876) ex 
posed between Acton and Han well, on the Great Western Railway. 

FIG. 1. Scale twelve feet to one inch. 1. Sandy clay, or " trail," with patches of sand (S) and scat 
tered flints, mostly in nests, at the irregular base of the deposit. 3. Sands and gravel, false- 
bedded with lenticular beds of sand (S), and in the lowest seams rounded pebbles of chalk. 

It generally, if not always, rests upon an irregular surface of the beds 
below it, and contains stones derived from some other source. 

On the south side of the Waveney, at Syleham, there are good 
sections on both sides of the turnpike, and these exhibit similar false- 
bedded sands and gravels, which are, however, covered by the upper 
bowlder-clay instead of by " trail." Fig. 2 shows a section exposed 

FIG. 2. Brown bowlder -clay, with many whole flints, ami with auertilar patches of red sand (B\ 
marly clay with small stones (A), and red bowlder-clay (C). 3. Sands and subangular flint, 
gravel with rounded pebble of quartz, and (in the lowest seams) of chalk. 

on the south side of the turnpike. A little farther west, on the north 
side of the turnpike, is another gravel-pit, showing a similar succes 
sion, but with the beds of sand and gravel strongly false-bedded. In 
all these sections small pebbles of chalk are very abundant in the 
lowest beds. The most remarkable feature in the upper bowlder-clay 
is the numerous angular patches of material quite different from the 
matrix of brown clay. The angular patches of rod sand are very pe 
culiar and difficult to explain. 

In a large gravel-pit a little north of Oakley Church there is a long 


section exposed, and in it the upper bowlder-clay, similar to that shown 
in Fig. 2, at one end of the pit, gradually changes into a sandy loam 
with stones and angular patches of sand, not to be distinguished from 
the deposit named "trail" in Fig. 1. 

At Hoxne itself, on the east side of Gold Brook, there is a gravel- 
pit showing seams of gravel and sand exactly similar to that at Syle- 
ham, but surmounted by sandy " trail " instead of by bowlder-clay. The 
gravel is not to be distinguished from the other, being composed like 
it of subangular flint-pebbles with rounded ones of quartz and quart- 
zite, and with many small pebbles of chalk in the lowest seams. Not 
withstanding this great similarity, Mr. Prestwich considers the beds 
at Hoxne to have been formed by river-action in post-glacial times ; 
while those at Syleham, being capped by bowlder-clay, he of necessity 
classifies as middle glacial. Yet I could find no difference whatever 
in their appearance or composition. In both the pebbles are mostly 
small and subangular, with some rounded ones of quartz and quartzite. 
Both contain many small pebbles of chalk in their lowest seams, and 
both are false-bedded. That one is covered with bowlder-clay and the 
other by sandy "trail" does not suffice to prove them of different age, 
for at the Oakley gravel-pit we can trace the same gravels from one 
end, where the bowlder-clay overlies them, to the other, where the 
"trail "does so. The middle sands and gravels are generally sup 
posed by geologists to be marine, and it is incredible that deposits due 
to such different agencies as that of the waves of the ocean beating on 
a beach and that of a flooded river should be absolutely identical in 
appearance and composition. But nowhere is either the ocean or any 
river known to be forming deposits of subangular pebbles, excepting 
where they are cutting into preexisting beds of the middle glacial series. 
Both in sea and in river beaches the pebbles are smoothly rounded, and 
not, as in the gravels under consideration, broken and subangular. 
Even when we find in the latter rounded pebbles of tertiary age there is 
often a piece chipped out of them as if they had been dashed violent 
ly together. I have had a large number of the pebbles from the gravel 
at Ealing counted, and find that over eighty per cent, are broken or 
subangular. I ask where, in the whole world, is such a deposit being 
formed by existing agencies ? Surely, if ordinary floods would pro 
duce them, they have had plenty of opportunities of doing so during 
the past pluvial year ; yet where, on the banks of any of our rivers, 
have the great floods left deposits even approaching in character to 
those that geologists confidently ascribe to river-action ? That they 
were caused by a great flood I fully believe, though not by that of any 
river, but by one that swept over the whole country, driving a huge 
mass of gravel and sand, and leaving them mantling both hills and 
valleys, holding or covering up the remains of palaeolithic man and the 
great mammals that had lived before the waters were pent up by the 
Atlantic glacier. 



A little above Hoxne, on the left side of the stream called the 
Gold Brook, is the Hoxne clay-pit. The clay is excavated along the 
slope of the shallow valley through which the brook runs. The road 
to Eye skirts the hill-side, having to the west the park of Sir Edward 
Kerrison ; and to the east, between it and the stream, a narrow strip 









a ~^.-3 



, 2 

c a 


c! 01 ^ 
s- *-i s 

fcCO =3 

.5 o 






-a w 

of land from which the clay has been dug. The old workers had 
commenced near the village of Hoxne, and as they gradually exhaust 
ed the clay up to the road they moved farther southward, and the 
point at which it is now excavated is probably at least a quarter of a 



mile distant from that where Mr. Frere made his discoveries in 1800. 
The pit has now been worked up to some farm-buildings that inter 
fere with its progress southward, and to get clay they have now 
crossed the road into the park, and thus made a most important ad 
dition to the section laid open. 

I have in the accompanying plate given three sections of the 
ground. The first shows the theoretical relation of the beds accord 
ing to Prof. Prestwich ; the second exhibits the facts actually ob 
served by Prof. Prestwich and myself; and the third is a theoretical 
section showing the relation that the beds hold to each other accord 
ing to my own views. We shall in the first place confine our atten- 
tion to the second section (Fig. 4), showing the facts actually observed. 

FIG. 6. 1. "Trail," three feet. & and 6. Bowlder-clay, chalky in upper part: a slight line of divis 
ion between it and the lower part, which is principally composed of crushed Kimiueridge clay with 
pieces of chalk. 

On the east side of Gold Brook a cutting has been made into the 
bank, and a thick bed of bowlder-clay is exposed. At the point A in 
general section the beds are shown, as in Fig. 6. Near the line of 
division the upper and more chalky clay contains many large flints 
and transported bowlders. Some of these are smoothed, and strongly 
scratched and grooved. Two scratched blocks of septaria that I saw 
measured one and a half foot across. This bowlder-clay, both in 
its upper and lower division, is very distinct in appearance and com 
position from that lying above the gravels, as seen in other sections. 
Lower down toward the brook a seam of false-bedded sandy gravel 
comes in between the bowlder-clay and the " trail," and represents, I 
think, the gravels of Figs. 1 and 2. 

Crossing the brook and ascending the opposite slope, we have, at 
the points C and D of general section, typical sections of the clay- 
pit, as shown in Fig. 7. The clay (4 in section) is called " red-brick 
earth by the workmen, because it burns to a red color ; while the 
lower, dark-colored clay (7 in section) is called " white-brick earth," 
because it burns to a white color. The bottom of the latter bed has 
not been reached, although Prof. Prestwich had a boring put down 
into it to a depth of seventeen feet. It is full of vegetable matter, 
and I found numerous pieces of wood in it. The men pointed out to 
me the gravel-seams (5 in section), as the horizon at which flint imple 
ments had been found ; but, shortly before Prof. Prestwich visited the 


pit, two specimens had been taken from the lower part of the clay (4 
in section). There can be little doubt, however, that they were found 
by Mr. Frere in the gravel below the " red-brick earth," as he says 
that " they lay in great numbers at the depth of about twelve feet in 

Fir>. 1. 1. Sandy "trail" with flint-pebbles. 4. Yellowish-brown clay, unstratified at top and graduating 
downward into obscurely stratified chalky clay ten feet. 5. Two thin bands of small chalky gravel, 
separated by eight inches of loain. 7. Dark calcareous clay, with fragments of wood and other vege 

a stratified soil, which was dug into for the purpose of raising clay 
for bricks. Under a foot and a half of vegetable earth was clay seven 
and a half feet thick, and beneath this one foot of sand with shells, 
and under this two feet of gravel, in which the shaped flints were 
found generally at the rate of five or six in a square vard. The man 
ner in which the flint implements lay would lead to the persuasion 
that it was a place of their manufacture, and not of their accidental 
deposit. Their numbers were so great that the man who carried on 
the brickwork told me that, before he was aware of their bein^ ob- 

/ ^j 

jects of curiosity, he had emptied baskets full of them into the ruts 
of the adjoining road." 

As I have already mentioned, the place at which the clay is now 
excavated is some distance from that where Mr. Frere found the 
implements, and they are now very seldom met with so seldom, 
that none of the men working at the clay-pit when I was there had 
ever seen one. 

To the west of the road, in the pit that has been opened in Sir Ed 
ward Kerrison s park, a section of the beds has been exposed at the 
point marked jB 7 in general section, as shown in Fig. 8. The most re 
markable feature in the section is the occurrence of the upper clay (2 
in section), containing angular patches of red sand, like that seen in 
the "upper bowlder-clay" of other parts of the district. I cannot 
help thinking that, if this section had been open when Prof. Prestwich 
examined the deposits, he would have been led to modify his opinion 
respecting the relation of the deposits to the Glacial period. I myself 
believe this clay to be the upper bowlder-clay, and the sand with peb 
bles below it to be the " middle glacial sands and gravels." 

To trace the " red-brick earth " (4 in section) down toward the 
lower bowlder-clay, I set some men to work, and had a shaft sunk at 


the point marked J5 in general section to a depth of seventeen feet 
from the top of the surface-soil, and obtained the section shown in 
Fig. 9. The most noticeable feature in this section is the thickening 
out of the false-bedded sands and gravels, their resemblance to the 
middle glacial series, and the absence of the "white-brick earth " (7 in 
section). In a pit a little east of this, Prof. Prestwich and Mr. John 
Evans found a flint implement in the gravel-bed (3 in section). 

FIG. 8. 1. Sandy "trail" with flints graduating downward into sand, filling pipes in clay below. 
2. Unstratified yellow clay, containing isolated angular patches of reduifh sand. 8. Whitish 
sand with a few scattered pebbles, sometimes changing into reddish sand, like that of the 
patches in the clay above. 4. Yellowish-brown clay ( lk red-brick earth "), unstratified at top 
and graduating downward into laminated calcareous clay. 

I have now given all the facts at present known respecting the re 
lation of these beds to the Glacial period, and I proceed to the consid 
eration of Prof. Prestwich s theoretical views, as shown in the general 
section (Fig. 3). In the first place, Prof. Prestwich identifies the bowl 
der-clay seen in the pit on the east side of the brook as the upper 
bowlder-clay. As I have already mentioned, it in no respect resem 
bles the clay seen in other sections above the false-bedded sands and 
gravel, and the existence of the middle glacial beds below this par 
ticular deposit is entirely theoretical. Prof. Prestwich makes these 
sands and gravel to pass under the brick-clays ; and I feel confident 
it will astonish many of those who appeal to this section, as proof of 
the post-glacial age of palaeolithic man, to learn that they have never 
been seen in this position, and that their presence is an assumption - 
only. The " red-brick earth " ought, according to Prof. Prestwich s 
views, to thin out eastward, and the dark clays or " red-brick earth r 
to crop up to the surface from underneath it. Instead of this, as 
shown in Fig. 8, at the point JB in general section, the " red-brick 
earth " follows down the slope of the hill, and is not underlaid at all 
at that point by the dark clays. I do not, however, attach much im 
portance to this, as the " red-brick earth might mantle the hill, 
overlapping the edge of the dark clays, and yet Prof. Prestwich s 
general idea of the relation of the latter to the glacial beds be correct. 
What I do wish to point out is, that that relation is not proved by 
any of the facts known, and that an entirely different interpretation 



is not only possible, but more probable. That other interpretation I 
have indicated in the general section (Fig. 5), in which all the facts 
observed are incorporated. I consider that the dark clay with vege 
table remains and bones of the large extinct mammals is preglacial, 
in the sense that it is older than any of the glacial beds of the dis 
trict. The gravel below the " red brick earth," in which Mr. Frere 
found the flint implements, is probably of the same age, or that of 
the overlying gravel (5 in Figs. 4 and 5). That the implements, and 
also fragments of bones and wood, should be occasionally found in 
the overlying deposits, is what might be expected, as they were in 
great measure formed by the denudation of the older ones. The " red 
brick earth " (4 in section) is, I believe, a true glacial clay, belonging 
to the latter part of the first European lake. It is a noticeable fact 
that, all over Northern Europe, the glacial clays burn to a red color 
a point not without significance with regard to the red beds of Per- 

F:o. 9. 1. Sandy " trail " with flints three feet. 3. False-bedded sand and subangtilqr eravel->four 
feet six inches. 4. "Red-brick earth," yellow and unstratified at top, graduating downward 
into gray, laminated, calcareous clay ; shells of Bithinia tentaculata and Limnea palustris abun 
dant at it? base, where there is about six inches of sandy clay four feet six inches. 6. Clay 
similar at top to the lower part of the " red-brick earth," but with more chalk-srrains, gradual 
ly more chalky downward, and with stones like the upper portion of the lower bowlder-clay at 
point A in general section. 

mian or Triassic age. The false-bedded sands and gravels (3 in Figs. 
4 and 5) belong, I think, to the middle glacial series, and the clay (2 
in Figs. 4 and 5) is, I think, the upper bowlder-clay. These views are 
only theoretical, but I claim that they are based upon as sound a 
foundation, and are as much in accordance with the facts of the case, 
as those generally received. 

Another interpretation is tenable, namely, that the lower bowlder- 
clay underlies the brick-clays, and that the upper bowlder-clay over 
lies them, while they themselves belong to a warm interglacial period, 
as held by Messrs. Croll and Geikie. I do not agree with this opinion, 
as I can nowhere find any evidence of a warm interglacial period, and 
am unwilling to believe that there were more post tertiary glacial 
periods than one, when one will explain all the phenomena ; but if it 
were to turn out that the lower bowlder-clay does exist beneath the 
brick-clays at Hoxne, it would be one of the strongest facts in its 
favor yet brought forward. 


I now come to the real point and object of this paper. We have 
in England, at Hoxne, one of the finest opportunities known to exist 
anywhere in Europe of determining the true relation that the beds 
containing remains of paleolithic man and the great extinct Mam 
malia bear to the Glacial period ; yet we have been content for more 
than a dozen years to allow the age of the beds that underlie these 
deposits to remain a conjecture, and to accept a theory instead of as 
certaining what are the true facts of the case. The geological world 
has been taught to believe that a question was settled that is not 
settled. We do know the age of the Hoxne deposits: they may, as 
held by Prof. Prestwich, be post-glacial; or they may, as held by 
Messrs. Croll and Geikie, be interglacial ; or, lastly, they may, as I 
hold, be preglacial. \ 

It is not creditable that this uncertainty should remain when it 
can easily be cleared up. A few shafts or bore-holes put down would 
soon determine whether or not glacial beds underlie the dark clays of 
the brick-pit, or sands and gravel underlie the bowlder-clay on the 
other side of the brook. Excavations should also be made around the 
spot where Mr. Frere made his discoveries, to ascertain the exact posi 
tion in which the flint implements were found so abundantly. I feel 
satisfied that, if Sir Edward Kerrison, to whom the property belongs, 
were applied to by any of our learned societies, he would willingly 
allow the necessary excavations to be made. Probably the expendi 
ture of two hundred pounds would be amply sufficient, and I submit 
that it is a work that should be undertaken by the Royal Society or 
the British Association, who make grants for scientific inquiry. 
Quarterly Journal of Science. 



A POPULAR error has long existed as to the real character of 
short-sightedness ; and even medical men have to some extent 
participated in it. It is not an indication of strength of vision. It is 
a disease, always inconvenient, and sometimes dangerous. Its char- 

1 The circumstance that one of the children of the writer is temporarily withdrawn 
from school because of injury to his sight contracted in study, has led him to look into 
this subject, and this paper is the result. The startling extent, the rapid increase, and 
the serious character, of these visual defects in our schools, and the fact that the greater 
part of them originated there, and might have been prevented, should awaken universal 
interest, that the proper remedies may be applied to arrest the evil as speedily and effect 
ually as possible. 

The writer having submitted this paper to Dr. David Webster, of this city, takes this 
occasion to. acknowledge, with great pleasure, his obligation to him for important sugges 


acter, cause, find progress, have enlisted the earnest attention of the 
most eminent oculists, especially during the last decade. The move 
ment received its first impulse from a suggestion of Prof. Donders, 
made in 1864. It originated, therefore, at the very fountain-head of 
influence and authority in ophthalmology ; for Donders was one of 
the three men who led in what is now stvled " The Great Reforma- 


tion," wrought some twenty-five years ago, in the treatment of defects 
and diseases of the eye. To illustrate the character of this change, 
Dr. Agnew, of New York, in his analysis of 1,065 cases of asthenopia 
(weak sight), thus describes the standard treatment for this disease 
only thirty years ago : 

" Blisters, mercury, low diet, tartar-emetic, bloodletting, applications of irri 
tating alkaloids, such as veratria, to the circum-ocular parts, and setons, were 
freely employed. Sometimes the sufferers were so subdued or silenced by the 
treatment that they ceased to complain of their eyes, preferring to endure the 
ills they had, rather than to endure those which the attempts to relieve their as- 
tlienopia led them to. So common was this treatment," he continues, " that 
more than one clever irregular practitioner made his fame and fortune in put 
ting the exhausted subjects of it under hygienic rules, and giving them new life 
and hope by a generous dietary and free out-of-door life ; thus showing how so- 
called quackery is often the natural offspring of our ignorance." 

The suggestion of Prof. Donders is found in his work, " Accommo 
dation and Refraction of the Eye," and is as follows : 

" It would be of great importance to possess accurate statistics of the near- 
sight and far- sight occurring at a given time in a particular category of men, es 
pecially, for example, among the students of a university, in order to be able to 
compare them with the results of repeated investigations at subsequent periods. 
If it were thus found and I can scarcely doubt that it would be so that near- 
sight is progressive in cultivated society, this would be a very serious phenom 
enon, and we should earnestly think of means of arresting this progression. Not 
only is the near-sighted person not in a condition to discharge all civil duties, 
not only is he limited in the choice of his position in society, but in the higher 
degrees near-sight leads to disturbance of the power of vision, and threatens its 
subject with incurable blindness." 

About two years after this, Dr. Cohn, of Breslau, published the 
startling result of his investigations, which had taken the form of an 

f^J CJ 7 

inquiry into the effects of study on the eyesight. Similar investiga 
tions followed in various parts of Europe. 

A like movement is progressing in this country, which was initi 
ated by Dr. Cornelius R. Agnew, of New York. Under his auspices, 
examinations have been made in New York, Brooklyn, and Cincin 
nati. Dr. Edward G. Loring, Jr., and Dr. Peter A. Callan, of New 
York ; Dr. Lucien Howe, of Buffalo ; and Dr. Hasket Derby, of Bos 
ton, have reported investigations in the same direction. 

In some of these investigations the suggestion of Donders has 
been literally followed ; while in most of them the effect of several 


successive examinations of " a particular category of men " has been 
sought to be realized by one examination of several classes of stu 
dents in the various stages of advancement in study. 

In the thirty-three schools of Breslau, including its university, 
Dr. Cohn examined 10,060 pupils of all grades, and found that 1,004 
of the number, distributed among all the schools, were near-sighted ; 
and that only twenty-eight of these had near-sighted parents. Of 
the children who were yet in their first half-year of school-life, only 
0.4 per cent, were near-sighted. Thence, upward, through seven bien 
nial grades, the percentage increased till it reached 63.6 per cent, of 
those who had been fourteen years at school. The disease was found 
also to be progressive in degree. 

Results bearing a striking correspondence with these have since 
been reported by various eminent European oculists, chiefly the fol 
lowing : Of 4,358 examinations by Dr. Erismann, of St. Petersburg, 
in 1871 ; of 1,058 by Dr. Reusse, of Vienna, in 1872, 73, 75 ; of 3,036 
by Dr. Conrad, of Konigsberg, in 1874- 75 ; and of 1,846 by Dr. 
Pfluger, of Lucerne, in 1876. 

The interest excited by these reports was not confined to European 
circles. But the conditions of school-life in this country were believed 
to be so much more favorable than in Europe, that these deplorable 
statistics, it was thought, could have no parallel here. Nevertheless, 
the examinations which have been made, as we shall show, furnish 
occasion for the deepest solicitude. 

In New York the examinations were made by Dr. W. Cheatham ; 
in Brooklyn, by Drs. Prout and Matthewson ; and in Cincinnati, by 
Drs. Ayers and E. Williams. They had been furnished by Dr. Agnew 
with elaborate tables or forms, arranged like Cohn s, which they re 
turned to him filled for summing up and comparison. In this he was 
assisted by Dr. Webster. The results are as follows : 

New York College, 549 students : introductory class near-sighted, twenty-* 
nine per cent. ; freshman class, forty per cent. ; sophomore class, thirty-five 
per cent. ; junior, "fifty-three per cent. ; senior, thirty-seven per cent. 

Brooklyn Polytechnic, 300 students : Academic Department, ten per cent. ; 
collegiate, twenty-eight per cent. 

Cincinn.iti, 630 students : district schools, ten per cent. ; intermediate, four 
teen per cent. ; normal high, sixteen per cent. 

This report was read by Dr. Webster before the Social Science 
Congress at Detroit in 1875, and again by Dr. Agnew at the Medical 
Congress in Philadelphia, September, 1876. In the report of the pro 
ceedings of the latter body, for the Medical Record, October 14th, it 
is stated that "the section unanimously recommended to the Con 
gress that the paper be published, with the statistical tables in full." 
Nevertheless, the paper has not yet been -printed ; but some of its 
conclusions may be found in the Medical Record, January 20th. 

In February last, Dr. Lucien Howe was appointed, by the Buffalo 


Medical Association, to examine and report upon the effects of study 
upon the eyes of pupils of the public schools of Buffalo. In March 
he reported that he had examined 1,003 scholars, of whom he found 
twenty per cent, to be near-sighted, and twelve per cent, over sighted; 
that not a single case of near-sight was found among the children six 
years old and under; but that at seven years of age five per cent, 
had acquired near-sight ; at eleven there were eleven per cent. ; at 
thirteen there were nineteen per cent. ; and at eighteen twenty-six 
per cent. Among those who had continued in the schools beyond 
the age of twenty-one years, he found no less than forty-three per 
cent, with near-sight. He says that Dr. Agnew had sent him blanks 
for the name, age, sex, and height; for the exact size of desks and 
seats; also, for each room, the color of the walls, number of windows, 
and whether to the right, left, front, or rear; the number of square 
feet in each window, and the distance of adjoining buildings which 
mi^ht obstruct the light. Also, for methods of teaching by large ob 
jects, the hours of study, number of recesses, methods of heating and 
ventilation, and for the cubic feet of air to each individual. The 
greatest care was exercised to record : 1. The precise condition of 
the pupils vision, whether healthy or not ; and, if abnormal, to what 
degree. 2. The usual position of the body when studying. 3. Illu 
mination of the school-room. 4. The relaxation given to the eye 
alone, or to the whole body. 6. The general hygienic surroundings 
of the pupil. 

He then describes the process of individual examination : Haifa 
dozen scholars at a time were sent into a class-room, on one of the 
walls of which had been hung a card of letters known to oculists as 
" Snellen s test-types." The scholars were placed at a distance of 
twenty feet from these letters, and asked to read the lowest line, 
the letters being f -inch Gothic. Those who can pass this test are not 
near-sighted. Then there is held before the eye of each a weak con 
vex glass, such as old people are accustomed to wear. If he cannot 
see so well as without it, he is not far-sighted* In some cases of un 
usually imperfect vision, the ophthalmoscope was employed. 

During the summer of 1876, Dr. E. G. Loring, Jr., of New York, 
assisted by Dr. R. H. Derby, examined the sight of 2,000 pupils of 
the Twelfth Street public school and the normal school in Sixty-sixth 
Street, New York. Their ages ranged from six to twenty-one years. 
As in the other examinations cited, myopia was found to affect r, 
very small percentage of the pupils in their first year, and to increase 
yearly and largely thereafter, to the close of school-life ; and that 
the average degree of near-sight increases with the age up to twenty- 
seven years. His report was read before the Medical Congress in 
Philadelphia, in September, 1876. 

In the fall of 1875, Dr. Hasket Derby, of Boston, commenced a 

1 These are approximate tests. 


series of examinations at Amherst College, with the purpose of notino- 
the progress of near-sight in the same class and in the same individu 
als. The freshman and sophomore classes 1,880 and 1,879 were 
required to report to him ; and twenty-seven per cent, of the former 
and twenty-eight per cent, of the latter were found to be near-sighted. 
In the fall of 1876 they were again examined, when the disease w r as 
found to have progressed in one-half the number of those previously 
found to be myopic. In January, 1877, he examined the eyes of 122 
volunteers from the freshman class of Harvard College a little 
more than half the class of whom 29.5 per cent, were found to be 
near-sighted. Of these, twenty-two per cent, had supposed their sight 
to be normal. He describes his blank-printed forms as 

" filled in with the name and age of each individual, the state of each of his 
eyes as separately tested by glasses and the ophthalmoscope, the amount of his 
vision, and remarks on his previous history and family peculiarities in this re 
gard. Blanks are left for a similar examination at the close of the senior year." 

In his report to President Eliot, 1 he urges the advantages to the 
student of 

" reliable information at the outset of his collegiate career as to the state of 
his eyes, their availability for study, and the course he must pursue to maintain 
their integrity, or keep existing evils from increasing. At the termination of 
his undergraduate course he learns the effect of his four years of study, and is 
thereby enabled to form or modify his future plans." 

His report closes with an illustration of the development of near- 
sight in a person born free from it, but inheriting a strong tendency 
to it. During nine years from the age of ten to nineteen sugges 
tions several times offered with regard to rest and treatment having 
been unheeded, a progressive change had occurred, ranging from per 
fect soundness in one eye, and a very slight degree represented by 
" 0.75 " of near-sight in the other, to a high degree of near-sight, rep 
resented by " 5.50" in each. If advice and warning are still unheed 
ed, he thinks " an amount of structural change may be brought about 
incompatible with the integrity of the eye through life." 

But while it appears to be conceded that near-sight is of infre 
quent occurrence among the illiterate classes, the question is a very 
natural one, "Have examinations been made, for comparison, of the 
eyes of any classes of young persons other than those engaged in 
study? Dr. Cohn examined the eyes of many peasant-children, liv 
ing in a state of comparative simplicity, and having little or no occa 
sion to tax or strain the sight, and found that hardly two in a hundred 
of them were near-sighted. Examinations have been made also of 
the sight of young factory-operatives in large manufacturing towns 
in Europe, and the results exhibit a low percentage of myopia, corre 
sponding to that of the peasant-children here cited. Dr. Howe says : 

1 Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, March 22, 1877. 


"Of 213 cases of eye-disease seen during the last year among the paupers of 
Buffalo, the record shows only three and one-half per cent, to have been near 

Donders remarked this difference between his private patients 
representing the wealthy and cultivated class and his hospital pa 
tients : that while over-sight was distributed between the two classes 
in nearly equal proportion, near-sight occurred much more frequently 
among his private patients. 

The investigations of Dr. Peter A. Callan belong in this category, 
with a qualification. He examined the sight of 457 colored-school 
pupils, aged from five to nineteen years, of the New York public 
schools, Nos. 3 and 4, and he found but 2.6 per cent, of them near 
sighted. This field was selected because it was thought to furnish 
the nearest approach to the normal eye found in this locality. 
The Southern freedmen, he thinks, would afford the best possible 
field for this special line of investigation. As a class, the colored 
people of New York, prior to this generation, had very limited educa 
tional advantages, and the occupations which tax the sight, like en 
graving, etc., have never been known among them. But as these 
457 subjects are now receiving the best school-training that the city 
affords, the superior condition of their sight must be referred to their 
freedom from hereditary tendency to myopia. The conscientious 
painstaking and thoroughness of Dr. Callan s work, as exhibited in 
his report, are manifest and noteworthy. 

The uniform drift of results in all the examinations here referred 
to, and relating to over 26,000 individuals, may be regarded as suf 
ficiently establishing the following propositions : 

1. That, as a rule, near-sight originates in school-life. 

2. That a large percentage of the scholars are thus afflicted the 
percentage progressing with the stage of advancement in study. 

3. That near-sight is progressive in degree, according to the length 
of school-experience. 

But, though the demonstration of these points is now complete, 
further and successive examinations will still be useful to determine 
the improvement consequent upon the adoption of means to that end, 
and to furnish a standard of comparison between different schools in 
respect to material or methods, or both that is, first, in respect to 
arrangement of building, amount and direction of light, character and 
position of desks, seats, etc. ; and, second, in respect to methods of 
teaching, especially in the earlier years, and generally to the intelli 
gent observance and enforcement by the teachers of hygienic condi 
tions. Dr. Howe s report is interesting in this feature, showing 
that " in schools where the hygienic conditions relating to the posi 
tion of the pupils and the amount of light are disregarded, the pro 
portion of near-sighted pupils grows larger; and conversely, where 
these relations are observed, the number diminishes ; " and he gives 


numerical rank " from an ophthalmic point of view" to the different 
schools examined by him. 

Here arise two questions : 1. Can near-sight be cured ? 2. Can it 
be prevented ? 

All authorities agree that it is incurable, and all agree that it may 
be prevented. 


The answer to this may be made more satisfactory if first we 
rapidly sketch a few well-known physiological facts, and get an un 
derstanding, approximately correct at least, of what near-sight is, and 
what causes it. Incidentally we shall have occasion to notice some 
of the methods and appliances for detecting both near-sight and over 

When we see any object clearly, it is because the rays of light re 
flected or radiated from it enter the eye and produce a perfect picture 
of the object upon the retina. But the perfection of 1 he picture de 
pends upon the distance, size, and illumination of the object relatively 
to the powers and condition of the eye. The distance determines the 
angle at which the rays enter the eye. Whatever this angle, the 
rays must converge upon the retina, or the picture will be defective. 
This convergence it is the office of the lens to effect. From remote 
objects the rays are parallel, or nearly so. These, passing through 
the lens, are converged by it upon the retina. As the distance di 
minishes, rays entering the. eye from any given point of the object be 
come more and more divergent. Now, unless there be a correspond 
ing increase in the convexity of the lens, these divergent rays will 
not be focalized at the same point as were the parallel rays ; because, 
with the same power of lens, the focal distance must increase as the 
rays diverge; they will not, therefore, have converged when they 
reach the retina. A perfect picture will not be formed, and distinct 
vision will not be realized. But a change does take place in the lens 
corresponding to the change in the angle of the rays which enter the 
eye. As they diverge, its convexity increases. This is effected by 
the contraction of a muscle called, sometimes, the muscle of accommo 
dation, which encircles the lens. Thus, the point of convergence is 
maintained upon the retina, in spite of the varying angle of the en 
tering rays. 

The normal location of the retina is that point at which parallel 
rays are converged, the lens being at rest. But if the eyeball loses 
its normal shapf, and becomes elongated in the direction of its visual 
axis, the retina is thereby set back beyond the focal point. Conver 
gence may be effected within the normal distance, but never btyond 
it ; for, while the lens may become changed from its passive state to 
one of greater convexity, it cannot assume a convexity less than that 
of its passive state. Consequently, when the eyeball becomes elon 
gated from front to back, the convergence will be at a point in front 


of, instead of upon, the retina. This is near-sight, as it may be rec 
ognized by object-tests or trial-glasses. But near-sight is sometimes 
simulated. This is caused by a spasmodic action of the muscle of ac 
commodation. To determine absolutely, therefore, whether or not the 
eyeball has taken this abnormal shape, or whether the apparent near- 
sight is due to this spasmodic action of the focalizing muscle, the 
oculist must paralyze that muscle. He does this by a simple and, 
in his hands, a harmless application of a weak solution of sulphate of 
atropia. 1 Then the object-tests and trial-glasses will determine the 
question with certainty. But, if it be impracticable to apply the 
atropia, then the ophthalmoscope 2 must be resorted to, as offering 
the nearest approach to certainty of results when the accommodating 
muscle cannot be paralyzed, because its contraction is not very likely 
to occur under the operation of that instrument. Thus provided, the 
oculist proceeds to examine the interior of the eye, and, his own eye 
being normal, and his own accommodation relaxed, if he sees the 


retina of the examined eye perfectly, he pronounces the refraction to 
be correct ; or, technically, the eye is emmetropic. But, if he finds the 
retina is not clearly visible, there being no opacity of the refracting 
media, he knows it can only be because the rays reflected from the 
ophthalmoscope have not converged upon it. Assuming it to be a 
case of anterior convergence, he interposes a concave glass, which 
lengthens the focus and removes the point of convergence back upon 
the retina. Thereupon he pronounces the ej Q near-sighted ; or, techni 
cally, myopic, of a degree indicated by the strength of the glass. 

Near-sight, then, is that condition of the eye in which the rays from 
distant objects reach the retina AFTER convergence. 

On the other hand, if, instead of the eyeball becoming elongated, 
it is flattened, then the visual axis is too short ; that is, the retina is 
brought too near the lens, which consequently requires the contrac 
tion of the accommodating muscle to focalize the parallel rays upon 
the retina ; whereas, had the eye been normal, the lens would have 
performed this function while in a state of rest, and would have re 
quired the contraction only for divergent rays. 

1 Though this is frequently done with individual patients, yet schools have generally 
objected to it. Dr. Cohn enjoyed an exceptional opportunity to examine the eyes of 240 
scholars after the application of sulphate of atropia. Dr. Callan s colored subjects, he 
relates, refused to permit this application. Therefore, wishing " to place the results of 
his examination beyond dispute " in point of accuracy, he adopted the alternative course, 
and " kept both of his own eyes under the influence of a four-grain solution of sulphate 
of atropia, applied three times daily during a period- of five weeks, so that the accommo 
dation was completely paralyzed for that length of time." Sometimes the examining 
oculist has acquired the power to perfectly relax his accommodation at will. But the 
relaxation of the accommodation of the subject, as well as that of the examiner, is essen 
tial to entire accuracy. 

2 A small mirror with a hole in the centre. The mirror is held close to the patient s 
eye, so as to reflect into it the light of a gas-jet back of him. The oculist then places 
his eye close to the hole, and looks into *he illuminated interior of the eyeball. 

VOL. XII. 6 


This condition is known as over-sight* technically, hypermetropla. 
When it exists in a degree beyond the adjustability of the lens, it 
may be recognized by object-tests and trial-glasses ; but in less de 
grees it may escape detection by these means, because of the accom 
modating action of the lens. As in the case of near-sight, therefore, 
atropia must be employed for its exact observation. 

Over-sight may, then, be defined as that condition of the eye in which 
parallel rays, passively transmitted by the lens, reach the retina BEFORE 
convergence, because of the shortened axis. 

While the subjects of this malformation are numerous, some in 
vestigators finding them even to exceed largely those of the opposite 
condition, 2 and while the eyes so malformed are usually not dis 
eased, as in myopia, yet numerous local *and general disturbances 
are found to exist in very many of the cases. These are the result 
of over-use, or straining of the muscle of accommodation. A special 
interest has recently been excited in reference to them by an ad 
dress of Dr. George T. Stevens, of Albany, read last December be 
fore the Albany Institute, 3 in which the relation of cause and effect 
is claimed to have been established by the author, between certain 
visual defects, particularly over-sight, and such functional nervous 
affections as neuralgia, the more common forms of headache, epilepsy, 
St. Vitus s dance, hysteria, and insanity. About six months previ 
ously he had presented this theory to the New York Academy of 
Medicine, but he then limited its application to St. Vitus s dance. 
These views were " new and unexpected to the profession," and were 
controverted by Dr. Charles S. Bull, of New York, in a paper read 
before the New York Medical Journal Association, in April last. 4 
He reports thirty-one cases of St. Vitus s dance in his own recent 
practice, in which special attention was given to the discovery of any 
such relation as Dr. Stevens affirms to exist. Fifteen of the thirty-one 
had correct and sixteen had defective vision (over-sight). Of the 
latter only five could be induced to purchase and wear the necessary 
correcting glasses. But in these five cases there should have been 
some improvement, at least, in the nervous symptoms consequent 
upon their wearing the glasses ; this being, by the admission of Dr. 

1 This is not a cKsease, like near-sight, but a condition ; and it is not acquired, but is 
congenital, always. It is also called far-sight and long-sight ; but it is thus liable to be 
confused with an acquired condition producing a similar result, as in the sight of old 
people which is not a flattening of the eyeball itself, nor of the cornea and the lens, but 
it is an impairment of the power of accommodation due to the hardening of the lens, 
which usually occurs at about the age of forty-five years, and is often called old sight, 
but is technically known as presbyopia. 

2 See " A Preliminary Analysis of 1,060 Cases of Asthenopia occurring in the Practice 
of C. R. Agnew, M. D.," which shows hypennetropia 359 to myopia 121, or nearly three 
to one. 


4 Medical Record, June 2d. 


Stevens himself, "the crucial test of the correctness of his theory. 
Yet no such result was observed. Nevertheless, in his later essay, 
he insists that " correction of the eyes of the patients does relieve 
their nervous symptoms. . . . This is no place," he says, before the 
Albany Institute, " to relate cures in medical practice ; but, after a 
sufficiently extended and careful series of observations, continued dur 
ing more than four years, I can safely prophesy that this principle 
will be found of more universal application, and more successful in 
its workings, than any which has been advanced for the mitigation of 
this class of affections." 

The distressing confusion and disappointment resulting from the 
unbalanced action, in the over-sighted eye, between the arrangement 
for adjusting the lens and that for converging the eyeballs, is very 
clearly explained by Dr. Stevens in the same paper. Referring to its 
effect upon school-children he says : 

"How often do we see children of our schools, frequently the brightest and 
most ambitious of their class, struggling with irritable nerves, at a disadvantage 
in their studies, laying the seeds of future trouble, and often, as the time comes 
for selecting a pursuit in life, forced to abandon a chosen course of studies, be 
cause the confinement at such work is too great a strain upon them ! I look 
forward to the time when these children, who from this single peculiarity are 
placed at so serious a disadvantage in the struggle for life, shall find the relief 
that science is ready to afford them, and which would remove the weight that 
would otherwise prove a serious hinderance in their course." 

Resuming now the consideration of near-sight, we proceed to sug 
gest some of its principal causes, as follows : 

1. Too early use by school-children of books, slates, and writing- 
paper, or copy-books, when blackboards and models would be better. 
Type and script letters and figures, and their primary combinations, 
at least, should never be taught from books, but from large and per 
fectly-formed models, printed on cards and hung on the wall. When 
the eye and the memory are sufficiently trained to easily recognize 
and name each letter and figure at sight, and when some knowledge 
has been gained of the power of letters and figures in combination, 
then the same forms in books will be at once familiar as old acquaint 
ances, and may be studied without straining the sight. To train the 
hand without straining the sight presents a greater practical difficulty. 
In the large schools, of course, all the children cannot go to the black 
board. But a considerable practice in drawing large lines and simple 
objects on good-sized slates, in a sort of free-hand style, should pre 
cede the formation of letters and figures ; and, when these are begun, 
they should be made of generous size. A correct position, meanwhile, 
should be an imperative requirement ; and, until it becomes habitual 
and easy, good work should be held to be of secondary importance. 
Hard slate-pencils and greasy slate-surfaces should not be permitted ; 
both should be subject to systematic inspection. 


2. Ignorance or laxity on the part of parents and primary teachers, 
in permitting faulty positions of the head, body, and book, during 
reading, study, and writing ; and in not seeking early to secure the 
intelligent cooperation of the pupil by simple and appropriate physi 
ological instruction. 


3. A prolonged and steady looking at an object or at objects near 
the eye, though at proper distance, without rest or frequent change 
of the visual focus, as in long and absorbed novel-reading, intense 
study, or persistent diligence in needlework. 

4. The practice of reading or otherwise using the sight at too short 
range. This results in part from insufficient light ; or from its faulty- 
direction, so that the hand or body throws a shadow on the page; or so 
that the direct rays fall upon the eye, causing undue contraction of the 
pupil, while the page is in shadow. It results also from improperly 
graded desks, from small and poor type and inferior printing-ink, and 
from faulty color and quality of printing-paper; also from pale writ 
ing-ink pale when used and from the substitution of the lead-pencil 
for the pen, especially in the evening. 

5. A prone or forward position of the head too long maintained, or 
frequently repeated, and becoming a habit. This results from reading 
or studying with the book in the lap, and from the use of desks not 
graded to the height of the pupil. Dr. Howe reports pupils varying 
eighteen inches in height seated at the same grade of desks. The 
distance of the eye from the page should not be less than twelve nor 
more than eighteen inches. Having the desks set too far from the 
seats also induces this faulty position. The front of the desk should 
overlap the seat one or two inches. 

Donders says, 1 " In the hygiene of myopia the very first point is 
to guard against working in a stooping position." He favors high, 
sloping desks, and indicates "rectilinear drawing on a flat surface 51 
as a class of work which is especially objectionable. 

6. Since a vitiated atmosphere is a frequent feature of the school 
room, it may not be amiss to add here that the effect of bad air is 
indirectly to injure, if not to destroy, the sight. 

7. Allowing a sun-glare on the page while reading; also transi 
tions from cloud-shadow to sunshine. 

8. Reading and studying in railroad-cars is known to be a fruitful 
source of injury. 

9. But insufficient light, perhaps more than any other cause, pro 
duces disease of the eye and derangement of the vision. This is not 
confined to the schools. Sadly frequent as it is found to be there, it 
is believed to be yet oftener illustrated at home, both by daylight and 
in the evening, in preparation for the school and otherwise. Artificial 
illumination is faulty at best, but, even in the most favored homes, the 
elder group is apt to monopolize the shaded drop-light or student- 

1 "Accommodation and Refraction," p. 419. 


lamp, while the schoolboy with his text-books is found somewhere in 
the outer circle. 

Twilight-reading is much practised, and is especially pernicious- 
that is, prolonging the study or reading after daylight has begun to 
decline. The change is so stealthy that, when the interest is excited, 
and the mind absorbed, the growing darkness is unheeded or unob 
served, till serious mischief is done. 

A curious and interesting case of injury to the sight by study is 
that of Prof. John Nott, late of Union College, Schenectady. Over 
thirty years ago his sight was permanently destroyed for all literary 
purposes, " by attempting," as he says in a recent letter to the writer 
of this, " too much study without thought of the necessity of care for 
the eyes." How many are following after him ! In the same letter 
he thus describes his case as diagnosed by Dr. Alexander, of London, 
who alone of all whom he consulted was able to afford him even tem 
porary and partial relief: "Thirty-six very small glands in the eyelids 
make oil for the eye, the same as oil for your lamp. When these 
glands become dry, reading is impossible, although in other respects 
the eye may be perfect. This was my disease no oil was supplied to 
the eye." He makes or implies this noteworthy suggestion, which is 
hereby commended to authors, publishers, and school-boards: that a 
brief and appropriate caution be conspicuously printed or pasted in 
the front of every school and college text-book, by authority of commis 
sioners, superintendent, trustees, or faculty. Something like the fol 
lowing would perhaps realize his idea : 

CAUTION. Reader, your eyesight is worth more to you than any 
information you are likely to gain from this book, however valuable 
that may be. You are therefore earnestly cautioned 

1. To be sure that you have sufficient light, and that your position 
be such that you not only avoid the direct rays upon your eyes, but 
that you also avoid the angle of reflection. In writing, the light 
should be received over the left shoulder. 

2. That you avoid a stooping position and a forward inclination 
of the head. Hold the book up. Sit erect also when you write. 

3. That at brief intervals you rest the eyes by looking off and 
away from the book for a few moments. 

And you SLYQ further cautioned to avoid as much as possible books 
and papers printed in small type, and especially such as are poorly 
printed ; also to avoid straining or overtaxing the sight in any way. 

Boys may need to be reminded of the great importance of thor 
oughly cleansing the eyes with soft, pure water both morning and 

To many readers it would no doubt be interesting to consider how 
each of the practices and conditions we have pointed out as producing 


near-sight tends to effect the elongation of the visual axis. But while 
there might be no disagreement among oculists as to the fact that 
the practices and conditions named do thus tend, there may not be a 
consonance so general as to the precise process in every case A few 
general suggestions, however, are submitted : 

1. The rationale of the effect of the premature use of books, etc., 
during the more plastic condition of the eye is sufficiently obvious. 

2. A prolonged tension of the sight lessens the muscular elasticity. 

3. The contraction and consequent thickening of the muscles which 
pull the two eyes inward, so as to focalize the sight upon a near ob 
ject, causes a side-pressure, and a corresponding transverse or length 
wise protrusion. The nearer the object, the stronger must be this 
action of the muscles, and the more marked Itfie effect. 

4. The prone position of the head causes the blood to settle in the 
eyeballs, increasing the tension of the fluids, exciting inflammation 
and consequent softening of the coatings, and resulting in permanent 

The attentive reader cannot have failed to observe that we have 
enumerated causes of injury to the eyes from study, other than those 
which produce near-sight. Of these, only one seems to require refer 
ence the effect of bad air in the school-room. 

Dr. Loring read a paper in February last before the Medico-Legal 
Society of New York, answering four questions relating to the care 
of the eyesight, which had been submitted to him by that Society. 
The first of the series inquires the effect of bad air on the sight. 1 
His reply, given at some length, supports the statement herein made. 

In a recent conversation with the writer, Dr. Loring advocated 
examinations of the sight of all children when they first enter school, 
and at such subsequent stages of their education as might seem de 
sirable. The position of a child s seat relatively to the blackboard, 
etc., would often be governed by such an examination. He thought, 
too, that glasses would be recommended in some cases by the examin 
ing oculist a permanent official he would have him to be and that, 
if necessary, they should be furnished at the public expense, or out of 
some special fund ; the glasses to be worn during school-hours at least, 
if not continuously. He related the circumstance of a lad having 
been recently brought to him by his father from the West. An ex 
amination verified the boy s statement that he could see to read usu 
ally very well ; but that sometimes, in a moment, his sight would be so 
affected that reading became impossible. This had led to his repeated 
punishment at school, his averment of inability not being credited by 
his teacher. 

1 Medical Record, April 14th. 



extinction of many animals that are known to have formerly 
existed on the earth is a subject which cannot very easily be ex 
plained, while the number of them is greater than at first sight would 
be supposed. Various species no doubt undergo gradual extinction 
by changes which deprive them of their accustomed food ; but others 
seem to die out from unknown causes. During the historic period a 
considerable number of animals have been swept off the British Islands, 
among which are the bear, the wolf, the Irish elk, etc. In America, 
during the comparatively short period of its history, various species 
have vanished, and others are following them. The beaver, formerly 
so generally spread over the whole of that country, is now only to be 
found in remote regions. The deer and the moose are disappearing 
in the same manner. The bison is very much diminished in numbers, 
and must ere long be extirpated. The mastodon, a creature of enor 
mous bulk, has totally disappeared, although, along with the skeletons 
of them which have been discovered, there are evidences of their hav 
ing lived on food derived from plants which are still existing. In 
other parts of the world, the dodo and the moa have perished within 
the last few centuries ; and the apteryx is undergoing the same fate. 

The moa or diuornis was a huge bird, of which the remains are 
plentifully found in New Zealand. 
Within recent historic times, this 
colony was tenanted, to the al 
most entire exclusion of mam 
malia, by countless numbers of 
gigantic wingless birds of various 
genera and species, the Dinornis 
gigantea, the largest, attaining a 
size nearly thrice that of a full- 
grown ostrich. From traditions 
which are current among the Ma 
oris, they were fat, stupid, indo 
lent birds, living in forests and 
feeding on vegetables; while the 
name moa seems to have been 
given to them from their peculiar 
cry. Since remains have been 

found in great plenty, the investigation of this singular bird is of the 
greatest interest to students of natural history. 

It is to the Rev. Richard Taylor that the first discovery of moa 
remains is due, which he thus describes : 

" In the beginning of 1839 I took my first journey in New Zealand to Poverty 
Bay with the Kev. W. Williams, Bishop of Waiapu. When we reached Waiapu, 



near the East Cape, we took up our abode in a native house, and there I noticed 
the fragment of a large bone stuck in the ceiling. I took it down, supposing at 
first that it was human ; but, when I saw its cancellated structure, I handed it 
over to my companion, who had been brought up to the medical profession, ask 
ing him if he did not think it was a bird s bone. He laughed at the idea, and 
said, What kind of a bird could there be to have so large a bone ? I pointed 
out its structure, and, when the natives came, requested him to ask them what 
it belonged to. They said it was a bone of the tarepo, a very large bird, that lived 
on the top of Hikurangi, the highest mountain on the east coast, and that they 
made their largest fish-hooks from its bones. I then inquired whether the bird 
was still to be met with ; and was told that there was one of an immense size 
which lived in a cave, and was guarded by a large lizard, and that the bird was 
always standing on one leg. The chief readily gave me the bone for a little 
tobacco ; and I afterward sent it to Prof. Owen by Sir Everard Home in 1839 ; 
and I think I may justly claim to have been the first discoverer of the moa." 

Mr. Taylor continued his inquiries among the natives, who informed 
him that the moa was quite as large as a horse ; that these birds had 
nests made of the refuse of fern-root, on which they fed; and that 
they used to conceal themselves in the veronica-thickets, from which, 
by setting them on fire, the natives drove them out, and killed them ; 
hence originated the Maori saying, " The veronica was the tree which 
roasted the moa." The natives further mentioned that when a moa- 
hunt was to take place notice was given inviting all to the battue. 
The party then spread out to inclose as large a space as possible, and 
drive the birds from their haunts ; then, gradually contracting the 
line as they approached some lake, they at last rushed forward with 
loud yells, and drove the frightened birds into the water, where they 
could be easily approached in canoes and dispatched without their 
being able to make any resistance. These moa-hunts must thus have 
been very destructive ; as, from the number of men employed, and the 
traces of long lines of ovens in which the natives cooked the birds, and 
the large quantity of egg-shells found on the western shores of New 
Zealand, a clear proof is given that these birds were eagerly sought 
for and feasted upon. Thus the poor rnoas had very little chance of 
continuing their race. 

From a very interesting communication of the Rev. W. Williams, 
dated May 17, 1872, it would appear that the moa may not yet be 
entirely extirpated. He remarks : 

" "Within the past few days I have obtained a piece of information worthy of 
notice. Happening to epeak to an American about these bones, he told me that 
the bird is still in existence in the neighborhood of Cloudy Bay, in Cook s Strait. 
He said that the natives there had mentioned to an Englishman, belonging to a 
whaling-party, that there was a bird of extraordinary size to be seen only at 
night on the side of a hill near the place ; and that he with a native and a second 
Englishman went to the spot ; that after waiting some time they saw the creat 
ure at a little distance, which they describe as being about fourteen or sixteen 
feet high. One of the men proposed to go nearer and shoot; but his companion 


was so exceedingly terrified, or perhaps both of them, that they were satisfied 
with looking at the bird ; when after a little time it took the alarm and strode 
off up the side of the mountain." 

In the Greymouth Weekly Argus, published in New Zealand in 
1876, there appeared a letter signed R. K. M. Smythe, Browning s 
Pass, Otago, describing in a very detailed manner the capture of two 
living moas, a female eight feet high, and a younger one three feet 
shorter. The writer finishes his account of their capture by remark 
ing that he has little doubt that he will be able to bring them both 
alive to Christchurch. It is therefore to be hoped that living repre 
sentatives of the genus Dinornis still survive. Feathers of the bird 
have been also found in a state of preservation sufficiently good to 
show that they possessed an after-shaft of a large size ; and at the 
same time tradition and the condition in which the bones are found, 
retaining much of their animal matter, tend to show how lately the 
bird formed part of the existing fauna of the country. If the letter 
be genuine, it cannot be long before ornithologists, of whom there are 
several of no mean repute in New Zealand, will be able to satisfy 
themselves on the subject. 

An additional reason for supposing that these magnificent birds 
existed not long ago is found in the fact that specimens of their eggs 
have been preserved. In the volcanic sand of New Zealand, Mr. 
Walter Mantell found a gigantic egg, of the magnitude of which he 
gives us a familiar idea by saying that his hat would have been just 
large enough to have served as an egg-cup for it. This egg must have 
been one of a dinornis or a palapteryx, and, although its dimensions 
are considerably greater than the egg of the ostrich, still it is smaller 
than might have been expected from a bird from twelve to fourteen 
feet high. It is well known that the egg of the New Zealand apteryx, 
to which the moa bears a very close affinity, is one of dimensions that 
are quite surprising in proportion to the bulk of the bird. The apteryx 
is about as big as a turkey, standing two feet in height ; but its egg 
measures four inches ten lines by three inches two lines in the re 
spective diameters. To bear the same ratio to the bird as this, the 
egg of the Dinornis gigantea would be of the incredible length of 
two feet and a half, by a breadth of one and three-quarters ! 

In the museum at York there is a complete skeleton of a moa, 
which, besides feathers, has the integuments of the feet partly pre 
served ; from which it is evident that the toes were covered with 
small hexagonal scales. A specimen has also been sent by Dr. Haast, 
of New Zealand, to Prof. Milne-Edwards, which is to be seen in the 
Museum of Natural History at Paris. Chambers s Journal. 




/~\ PALLID spectre of the midnight skies ! 

Whose phantom features in the dome of Night 
Elude the keenest gaze of wistful eyes 

Till amplest lenses aid the failing sight, 
On heaven s blue sea the farthest isle of fire, 
From thee, whose glories it would fain admire, 
Must vision, "baffled, in despair retire ! 

What art thou, ghostly visitant of flame ? 

Wouldst thou neath closer scrutiny dissolve 
In myriad suns that constellations frame, 

Eound which life-freighted satellites revolve, 
Like those unnumbered orbs which nightly creep 
In dim procession o er the azure steep, 
As white-winged caravans the desert sweep ? 

Or art thou still an incandescent mass, 
Acquiring form as hostile forces urge, 

Through whose vast length a million lightnings pass 
As to and fro its fiery billows surge 

Whose glowing atoms, whirled in ceaseless strife 

Where now chaotic anarchy is rife, 

Shall yet become the fair abodes of life ? 

We know not ; for the faint, exhausted rays 

Which hither on Light s winged coursers come, 

From fires which ages since first lit their blaze, 

One instant gleam, then perish, spent and dumb ! 

How strange the thought that, whatsoe er we learn, 

Our tiny globe no answer can return, 

Since with but dull, reflected beams we burn ! 

Yet this we know : yon ring of spectral light, 

Whose distance thrills the soul with solemn awe, 

Can ne er escape in its majestic might 
The firm control of omnipresent law. 

This mote descending to its bounden place, 

Those suns whose radiance we can scarcely trace, 

Alike obey the Power pervading space 




publication of an elaborate life of Servetus in English at the 
J_ present time will be welcome to many readers, who at present 
know little more of the man than that he was burned at the stake at 
Geneva, at the instigation of John Calvin, three hundred and twenty- 
five years ago. The progress of the world from polytheism to mono 
theism has had many tragic passages, but perhaps the most unique 
was this roasting alive of the Unitarian Servetus with green wood by 
a leader of the Protestant Reformation. 

Dr. Willis, the author of the work, had edited an edition of the 
writings of William Harvey, accompanied by a biography of the 
great demonstrator of the circulation of the blood. His researches 
into this interesting subject led him to investigate the claims of Ser 
vetus to a share in this grand discovery, when it was established that 
he was " the first who proclaimed the true way in which the blood 
from the right reaches the left chambers of the heart by passing 
through the lungs, and even hinted at its further course by the ar 
teries to the body at large." His study of the subject deepened 
the interest of Dr. Willis in the character of Servetus, not only as a 
physiologist, but as a philosopher and scholar ; as a practical physi 
cian, freed from the fetters of medieval routine ; an eminent geogra 
pher and astronomer, and a liberal Biblical critic in days when criti 
cism, as we understand the term, was unimagined. 

Servetus was a Spaniard, born at Villanueva, in Aragon, in 150f, 
of an old family in independent circumstances. He entered the Uni 
versity of Saragossa when about fourteen years old, and there per 
fected himself in the study of the classics, in the Greek and Hebrew 
tongues, as well as in the ethics of Aristotle, scholastic philosophy, 
mathematics, astronomy, and geography. From Saragossa he ap 
pears to have passed to the law-school of Toulouse, but theology had 
more attractions for him than law. A rational exposition of God s 
revelation of himself in Nature seems to have been a craving in the 
ardent and religious temperament of the thoughtful young Spaniard. 
While at Toulouse he read the Bible, the writings of Luther, the ra 
tional theology of Rymund de Sabunde, and the works of Erasmus. 
The effect of these studies was that, at eighteen years of age, he had 
already framed a theological system of his own, far in advance of the 
ideas of his time. Leaving Toulouse, Servetus entered the service of 
Juan Quintana, a Franciscan friar, and confessor of the Emperor 
Charles V., whose coronation he attended in Aix-la-Chapelle, and also 

1 " Servetus and Calvin : A Study of an Important Epoch in the Early History of the 
Reformation." By R. Willis, M. D. 541 pages. London : Henry S. King & Co. 


the Diet of Augsburg, which closely followed it. Servetus was in 
sympathy with the Reformers of the Lutheran Reformation, and, in 
fact, came into conflict with them, because he did not think they 
were sufficiently rational and thorough-going, and what he saw of the 
pomp and tyranny of princes and bishops was not calculated to quiet 
the spirit of protest that early took a powerful hold upon his mind. 
At the age of twenty he writes: "For my own part, I neither agree 
nor disagree in every particular with either Catholics or Reformers. 
It w r ould be easy enough, indeed, to judge dispassionately of every 
thing, were we but suffered without molestation by the churches 
freely to speak our minds ; the older exponents of doctrine, in obedi 
ence to the recommendation of St. Paul, giving place to younger 
men, and these, in their turn, making way for teachers of the day, 
who had aught to impart that has been revealed to them. But our 
doctors now contend for nothing but power. The Lord confound all 
tyrants of the Church ! Amen." 

With such views, and a constitutional temperament that knew no 
fear, and led him to the free expression of his opinions, he was, of 
course, soon dismissed from the service of Quintana. He then threw 
himself, body and soul, into the study of theology, and in 1530 we 
find him at Basle, Switzerland, disputing with CEcolampadius and 
other theologians on the consubstantiality and coeternity of the Son 
with the Father, and other points in connection with the idea of the 
Trinity then prevailing among Catholics as well as Reformers. Being 
unable to make his views acceptable to the Reformer of Basle, he 
proceeded to Strasburg to propound his docrines to Martin Bucer and 
"W. F. Capito, but with no better results. Meanwhile, he had not 
been otherwise idle; he had written a book in which his new opinions 
concerning Christianity were fully explained, and he resolved upon 
having it printed, .to make the world judge between him and the 
other Reformers. He was in Germany, the land of free th ought, as 
he imagined, and among men who had thought freely : w T hy should 
he not avail himself of the same right ? The names of Luther, Calvin, 
etc., appeared on the title-pages of their works : why should his name 
be withheld from the world ? Accordingly, the " Seven Books on 
Mistaken Conceptions of the Trinity" appeared with the author s 
full family name, and the name of the country that called him son. 

As he appears in this book, Servetus may be considered as the 
founder of the doctrine of real monotheism, as it was possible to con 
ceive it in the sixteenth century. We are sorry to be unable to give 
more than a passing notice of the chief points discussed in this w r ork. 
He believed in a kind of Trinity, but modal and formal, not real and 
personal in the usual sense of the word. " God cannot be conceived 
as divisible," he says ; he acknowledges a Son of God and a Holy 
Ghost, finding them in the Scriptures, no word of which he would 
overlook, though putting his own interpretation on all they say. 


" The word Trinity," he writes, " is not to be found in Scriptures. 
The Son and the Holy Ghost are no more than so many forms or 
aspects of Deity. ... To believe," he continues, " suffices, it is said 
(to salvation) ; but what folly to believe aught that cannot be under 
stood, that is impossible in the nature of things, and that may even 
be looked on as blasphemous ! Can it be that mere confusion of 
mind is to be deemed an adequate object of faith ? Speaking of the 
Holy Ghost, Servetus forgot what is due to a subject that has en 
gaged the serious thoughts of so many pious and learned men. He 
saw some portions of the Catholic Christian dogma so unreasonable 
as to be unable to refrain from ridiculing them. Yet the idea of God 
to which Servetus had attained is unquestionably pure and grand- 
the only one, in fact, as we see the subject, that can be reasonably 
held by a true idealist. He also deals heavy blows at the doctrine of 
justification by faith, the leading feature of Luther s theology, in 
terms neither complimentary nor respectful to its author ; nor less 
roughly dealt with is the leading Calvinistic theory of predestination 
and election. 

The book seems to have caused a considerable stir both in Ger 
many and Switzerland, to have found proselytes in Italy, and to have 
been read by every one of liberal education. Some of the antagonistic 
Reformers themselves could not forbear being strongly impressed with 
it. CEcolampadius, writing to Martin Bucer, July 18, 1531, says: 
" Read the book, and tell me what you think of it ; as the writer does 
not acknowledge the coeternity of the Son, I can in no wise approve 
of it as a whole, although it contains much that is good." Melanch- 
thon writes to a friend, " I read Servetus a great deal." He does 
not agree with the author, but " I have little doubt," he continues, 
" that great controversies will one day arise on this subject as well as 
on the distinction of the two natures in Christ." 

"The Reformers of the sixteenth century," Dr. Willis says, "went 
little way in freeing the religion of Jesus of Nazareth from the accre 
tions which metaphysical subtilty, superstition, and ignorance of the 
laws of Nature, had gathered around it in the course of ages. Their 
business, as they apprehended it, was to reform the Church the task 
Servetus had set himself, in the end, was to reform religion, with little 
thought of a church, in any sense as it was conceived in his day either 
by papists or Protestants." How could a book in this direction be 
welcome to the Reformers ? It was too far in advance of their ideas ; 
Servetus s dialectics were too stringent, and his arguments too conclu 
sive against them. 

After writing a splendid letter to CEcolampadius, for which we 
regret to have no room, he quitted Switzerland, whither he had re 
turned after the publication of his book at Hagenau ; and here he 
seems to have again taken up his quarters for some weeks or months, 
to write and superintend the printing of the " Two Dialogues on the 


Trinity." Under color of modifying some of the views enunciated in 
his first work, he now cast the concluding anathema against all tyrants 
of the Church, as a parting shot, and off he went to France, reaching 
Paris toward the end of 1532. 

If Switzerland and Germany " were too hot for him," Roman Cath 
olic France would have proved still hotter; but during the time he 
lived in that country he never made himself known save as " Monsieur 
Michel Villeneuve," from the town of his nativity. He entered as a 
student of mathematics and physics at one of the colleges of Paris, 
and lived very quietly. At a later period he took his degree of M. A. 
in the University of Paris. . 

But the study of mathematics had soon to be abandoned for present 
means of subsistence. After a short sta^ at Avignon and Orleans, 
Villeneuve betook himself to Lyons, then a great centre of learning. 
There he seems to have found ready employment as reader and cor 
rector of the press, first, and afterward as editor in the celebrated 
printing-establishment of Trechsel Brothers. Among the works he 
edited for them, the " Geography of Ptolemy," enriched by extensive 
comments from him, can by no means be overlooked, connected as it is 
with the charges imputed to its editor, later on, in his trial at Geneva. 

The reading-room of the printers of Lyons, and the acquaintance 
Servetus formed there with the great physician and naturalist, Dr. 
Champier, brought the former back from the empyrean of metaphysics 
to the earth, and put him in the way of becoming the geographer, 
astrologian, Biblical critic, physiologist, and physician, with whom 
we are made familiar in his subsequent life 3nd writings. With the 
money he had saved in the two years spent with Trechsel, he went 
back to Paris (1536), and gave himself to the study of medicine. He 
became at once associated with scientists as distinguished as Andreas 
Vesalius, the creator of modern anatomy, and Joannes Guinterus ; 
and in a singularly short time he obtained the degree of M. D. With 
the stimulus of necessity upon him, for he was poor, and the excite 
ment of ambition, with which he was largely endowed, as he found it 
hard to earn a living by his profession, Servetus appeared before the 
world as lecturer on geography and astrology which then embraced 
the true doctrine of the heavenly bodies, as well as the false one of 
their influence on the life of man ; and in this capacity he achieved an 
enormous success. Next he came forward in connection with his pro 
fession by writing a book on " Medicinal Sirups and their Use," thus 
winning fame also as a physician. A fiery struggle was going on 
during the early part of the sixteenth century between the Averrho- 
ists and the Galenists. Like his initiator into medical matters, Dr. 
Chainpier, Servetus was himself a Galenist ; but in this character, too, 
he showed the independence of his nature, by having open eyes for any 
truth which the Arabian writers and their followers might present. 

Servetus s fate on starting in life was opposition. Through supe- 


rior endowment and culture, he found himself antagonistic to almost 
all around him ; his convictions were deep, and the haughtiness and 
violence of his disposition made it impossible to suppress them. The 
physician, therefore, met the fate of the theologian. It seems that he 
had gone out of the way, in his lectures, to accuse his fellows of 
ignorance, at least, of astronomy. The doctors of the faculty retali 
ated by denouncing him from their chairs as an impostor and a wind 
bag. Servetus then wrote a pamphlet, in which he laid bare the sore 
places in the characters of his adversaries, even holding them up, in 
their ignorance, as the pests of society. His intentions being made 
known, the Senate of the University and the Parliament of Paris were 
petitioned to forbid the publication of the pamphlet ; but Servetus 
outwitted them before the day of citation came, the dreaded pam 
phlet was distributed to the public. The faculty of medicine had him 
summoned before the inquisitor of the king as an enemy of the Church, 
on the score of heresy, implied in the practice of judicial astrology. 
So thoroughly, however, did he satisfy the inquisitor that he was a 
good Christian, that he left the court with flying colors, absolved 
even of all suspicion of heresy. The doctors, however, in the end, 
won the day. The award of the Parliament ordered Michael Villano- 
vanus to call in his pamphlet and deposit the copies in the court ; to 
pay all honor to the faculty and its members ; and he was expressly 
forbidden to appear in public or in any other way as a professor of 

Villeneuve now moved to Charlieu, near Lyons, where he resumed 
the practice of medicine. While at Charlieu (1539), having attained 
his thirtieth year, according to the religious tenets he professed, he 
had himself baptized. 

Pierre Paumier, one of his Paris admirers and friends, and now 
Archbishop of Vienne, hearing of his whereabouts, invited him to quit 
the narrow field of his practice for a wider one. Villeneuve accepted, 
and for the next twelve years he lived in Vienne, under the immediate 
patronage of the eminent prelate. 

Besides practising medicine, he resumed his connection with the 
publishers of Lyons, and among other works edited the Latin Bible 
for Trechsel, with comments of his own. From his long studies in 
the Scriptures he had come to the conclusion that, while the usual 
prophetical bearing ascribed to the Old Testament was ever to be kept 
in view, the text had a primary, literal, and immediate reference to 
the age in which it was composed and to personages, events, and cir 
cumstances, among which the writers lived ; and, according to this 
plan, he carried out the work. Yet Spinoza, Astruc, and others, who 
lived a century later, are called the founders of the modern school of 
Biblical exegesis, and Servetus is not even named as a Biblical critic 
and expositor ! 

We have now arrived at a momentous event in the life of Servetus 


-his theological correspondence with John Calvin. It seems to have 
been entered upon at the suggestion of John Frelon, one of the Lyons 

Servetus has been accused of having provoked the Genevese Re 
former by addressing him in a style calculated to wound, if not to 
insult, him ; and the character of the man gives likelihood to the 
charge. But, had Calvin s letters been preserved, we doubt whether 
the accusation would hold good ; we know for a certainty that the 
great Reformer applied very freely the lowest epithets to his oppo 
nents " rascal, dog, ass, and swine, being found of constant occur 
rence among them had there been any stronger than scoundrel arid 
blasphemer, they would have been hurled at Servetus." Calvin s own 
letter to Frelon, their go-between, throws a ^reat light on the subject. 
Among other things, he writes : " I have been led to write to him 
more sharply than is my wont, being minded to take him down a lit 
tle in his presumption ; and, I assure you, there is no lesson he needs 
so much to learn as humility." At any rate, Villeneuve approached 
the Reformer, at first, as one seeking aid and information from another 
presumed most capable of giving both. Calvin replied in a concise, 
dogmatic way which, indeed, could not satisfy a mind as thoroughly 
made up as that of Servetus. Moreover, the Reformer soon grew 
weary of the correspondence, so that Frelon had to interpose in be 
half of the Spaniard in order to make the former answer his letters. 
Nor is this all : thinking he might escape further molestation, Calvin 
referred Servetus to his book, " Institutions of the Christian Religion," 
as though he had been a schoolboy who had entered upon a discussion 
with the Reformer, with no knowledge of his doctrines. Villeneuve 
now became his critic. The copy of the "Institutions" was sent back, 
copiously annotated in the margin. There was hardly a proposition 
in the text that was not taken to pieces by him and found untenable 
on the ground of Scriptures and patristic authority, and this he did 
with the freedom of expression in which Villeneuve indulged. Calvin, 
in writing to a friend, indignantly says, " There is hardly a page that 
is not defiled by his vomit." " The liberties taken with the Institu 
tions, Dr. Willis says, " were looked on as a crowning personal 
insult by Calvin ; and reading, as we do, the nature of the man, it is 
not difficult to conclude that it was this offense, superadded to the 
letters, which put such rancor into his soul as made him think of the 
life of his critic as no more than a fair forfeit for the offense done." 
As a matter of course, the correspondence was soon dropped by Calvin, 
but not so by Servetus, who seemingly could not bear his opponent s 
neglect ; over thirty letters of his, embracing a period of more than 
two years, are still extant. 

Servetus meanwhile had prepared another book, " Christianismi 
Restitutio" (The Restoration of Christianity) l with which he intended 

1 The " Christianismi Restitutio " of Servetus is one of the rarest books in the world. 


to bring religion back to more winning simplicity and purity. Hav 
ing made a MS. copy of it, he sent it to Calvin, requesting an opinion 
on its merits. It was on its reception that, writing to his friend Farel, 
Calvin made use of the following language : " Servetus wrote to me 
lately, and besides his letter sent me a great volume full of his ravings, 
telling me with audacious arrogance that I should there find things 
stupendous and unheard of until now. He offers to come hither if I 
approve ; but I will not pledge my faith to him : for, did he come, if I 
have any authority here, I should never suffer him to go away alive" 
We see already by what feeling Calvin was animated: he hates the 
man who did not acknowledge his superiority, as he was accustomed to 
see others do, and who dared to criticise his opinions. Not only did 
lie not even condescend to offer any strictures upon Servetus s work, 
but he never sent back the MS., although repeatedly asked for it. 

Servetus, who had kept another copy for himself, determined to 
have the book printed anonymously. Arrangements were made with 
Balthasar Arnoullet, printer at Vienne, and, as secrecy was of capi 
tal importance, a small house away from the known printing-establish 
ment was taken; type, cases, and a press, were there set up, and in a 
period of between three and four months an edition of 1,000 copies 
was successfully worked off. The whole impression was then made 
up into bales of 100 copies each, and confided to friends at Lyons, 
Frankfort, etc., for safe-keeping, until the moment of putting them in 
the market abroad had come. 

The book on " The Restoration of Christianity " comprises a series 
of disquisitions on the speculative and practical principles of Chris 
tianity as apprehended by the author ; thirty of the letters he had 
written to Calvin ; and other writings of minor importance. It is in 
this book that Servetus shows himself the most far-sighted physiologist 
of his age, by anticipating the discovery of the circulation of the blood. 

Through Frelon a copy of the book, " hot from the press," was 
especially addressed to " Monsieur Johann Calvin, minister of Geneva." 
We leave for the reader to imagine what additional anger must now 
have entered the Reformer s heart, when, besides the offensive and, as 
he regarded it, heretical matter of the book, he found the letters 

* 7 

written to him made public, himself publicly schooled, his most 
cherished doctrines proclaimed derogatory to God, and some of them 
as barring the gates of heaven ! What the reader, perhaps, could not 
imagine is, that the "high-minded v man who had emphatically de 
nounced the " right of the sword " in dealing with heresy, was now 
ready to become instrumental in having it applied to Servetus. He 
became the denunciator of Servetus to the Catholic authorities of 
Vienne ; he betrayed friendship and trust by furnishing them with 

Of the thousand copies printed, two only are now known to survive : one among the treas 
ures of the National Library of Paris, the other among those of the Imperial Library 
of Vienna. 

VOL. XII. 7 


the documents (letters and leaves from the printed book as well as 
the MS. copy which he had kept) that would bring about his convic 
tion, and consequently his death. And this was not done openly. 
Calvin sent the wanted information through a convert to the Reform, 
a young man by the name of William Trie. Did not the style of 
Trie s letters and the documents show plainly the part played by the 
Reformer in the treason, he might be easily absolved from the charge 
-so cautiously had he worked to keep his treachery a mystery. Ser- 
vetus was arrested and tried ; he only avoided being burned alive by 
making good his escape from prison (April 17, 1553), in which he 
seems to have been aided by some devoted friend. All the books, 
however, that could be found, were seized and burned, together with 
his efficry. 

^^ V 

Escaped from the prison of Vienne, aftar rambling some weeks 
through Southern France, he fled to Geneva. His choice of this place 
can hardly be accounted for. Perhaps, though he knew that Calvin 
had been his denunciator, it never entered his mind that the Reformer 
would now take the knife in hand himself. In the early morning of 
some day after the middle of July, he entered Geneva and put up at a 
small hostelry on the banks of the lake, where he seems to have lived 
very privately for nearly a month. On Sunday, August 13th, he vent 
ured imprudently to show himself at the evening service of a neigh 
boring church. Being recognized, Calvin was informed of his pres 
ence, and without a moment s delay he again denounced him, and 
demanded his arrest. Servetus was at once thrown into the common 
jail of the town. 

According to the laws of Geneva, grounds for an arrest on a crim 
inal charge were to be delivered within twenty-four hours thereafter. 
Calvin worked all night, and thirty-eight articles drawn from the 
" Christianismi Restitutio " were in due time presented in support of 
the charge. Another law prescribed that criminal charges should be 
made by some one who avowed himself aggrieved, and was contented 
to go to prison with the party he accused, the law of retaliation dis 
posing of him in case his charges were not made good; and Calvin 
complied with this law, too, by means of a substitute. His cook, 
Nicolas La Fontaine, was the man who now came forth as " person 
ally aggrieved by," and prosecutor of, Michael Servetus ! 

The main charges against the Spaniard were : his having troubled 
the churches of Germany, about twenty-four years previously, with his 
heresies and with an execrably heretical book, by which he had in 
fected many ; having continued to spread poison abroad with his 
" Comments to the Bible," the " Geography of Ptolemy," and lately 
with his " Restoration of Christianity ; " having blasphemed against 
the Trinity, the Sonship of Christ, his consubstantiality with the 
Father, and proclaimed infant baptism a diabolic invention ; having 
escaped from the prison of Vienne ; and, finally, " of having in his 


printed books made use of scurrilous and blasphemous terms of re 
proach in speaking of Monsieur John Calvin and his doctrines." 

Servetus s reply in his preliminary interrogatory was : that he was 
not conscious of having caused any trouble to the churches of Ger 
many, and defied any one to prove it ; that he was unaware that the 
book he owned to have had printed at Hagenau had produced any 
evil ; that it was true he had commented on the above-mentioned 
books, but he had said nothing in them that was not the truth ; 
and in the book lately printed he did not believe that he blasphemed, 
but if it were shown that he had said anything amiss, he was ready 
to amend it ; that in the book he wrote on the Trinity he had fol 
lowed the teaching of the doctors who lived immediately after Christ 
and the apostles ; that previous to the Council of Kicaea no doctor of 
the Church had used the word Trinity ; that his strong language 
against the Trinity, as apprehended by the modern doctors, was sug 
gested by the belief that the unity of God was by them denied or an 
nulled; that as regards infant baptism it was his belief that none 
should be baptized who had not attained the years of discretion ; but 
he added, as ever, that if he were shown to be mistaken, he was ready 
to submit to correction ; that Calvin had no right to complain of the 
respondent s abusive language, as he had been himself publicly abused 
by Calvin : he had but retaliated, and shown him from his writings 
that he was mistaken in many things. 

On August 15th the council was formally installed as a court of 
criminal judicature, and the trial commenced; the answers of the 
prisoner to the articles being generally in the terms of his previous 
examination. The court closed the meeting with making good a 
petition of Nicolas La Fontaine to be discharged from prison, Servetus 
himself having given sufficient prima-facie evidence of his guilt. Bail 
was, however, required ; and this was immediately forthcoming in the 
person of Monsieur Antoine Calvin, brother of the Reformer. The 
chef de cuisine was discharged, while Servetus was remanded to jail. 
About this time, in a letter to his bosom friend Farel, after relating 
the events of Servetus s arrest and of the proceedings against him, 
Calvin wrote, " I hope the sentence will be capital at least" 

It would be most interesting to follow this unprecedented sham- 
trial in all its details, as Dr. Willis has done ; but want of space limits 
us to mere outlines of it. The party of free thought, or Libertines, 
showing sympathy for the prisoner, the trial assumed the character of 
a struggle between the two factions in Geneva. It was necessary for 
Calvin to nip in the bud the new growth of rebellion against his 
authority; and, throwing aside disguise, he now came forward as 
prosecutor of Servetus. The Spaniard s opinions differed so obviously 
from all they had ever been led to believe, that it was easy for Calvin 
to satisfy the majority of the judges of Servetus s culpability on theo 
logical grounds. It seems, however, that a feeling in favor of the 


prisoner prevailed in the court ; the Swiss churches, which on a simi 
lar occasion had decided against Calvin, were appealed to for advice, 
and the proceedings were postponed. It is pitiful to see how Calvin 
had set his heart on the condemnation of Servetus. He interfered with 
the course of justice by threatening the weakest among the judges, 
by stirring the feelings of his party in the council ; he denounced and 
vilified his opponent from the pulpit in no measured terms, exposing 
his opinions in their most glaring and repulsive aspects ; lie tampered 
with the ministers of the Swiss churches ; he formulated new and more 
elaborate articles of accusation, and to these, besides his own, had the 
signatures of thirteen of his fellow-ministers appended in one word, 
he left no stone unturned to wreak his revenge. He wanted Servetus s* 
death ! The arguments and authorities piled against him by Calvin 
were so many, and the proceedings became so intricate, that Servetus 
was forced to request that he might be furnished with books, and have 
pen, ink, and paper, supplied, in which to epitomize his defense. The 
jailer was directed to give him the books he wanted, and a single sheet 
of paper ! 

On this "famous" sheet, Servetus, after demonstrating that civil 
tribunals are incompetent to decide on questions bearing on religion 
only, and that heretics were either to be brought to reason by argu 
ment, or punished by banishment, and not by prison, concludes : 

"Secondly, my lords, I entreat you to consider that I have committed no 
offense within your territory ; neither, indeed, have I been guilty of any else 
where : I have never been seditious, and am no disturber of the peace. During 
all the time I passed in Germany, I never spoke on such subjects " (his theological 
views), "save with (Ecolampadius, Bucer, and Capito; neither in France did I 
ever enter on them with any one. I have always disavowed the opinions of 
the Anabaptists, seditious against the magistrate, and preaching community of 
goods, therefore, as I have been guilty of no sort of sedition, but have only 
brought up for discussion certain ancient doctrines of the Church, I think I ought 
not to be detained a prisoner, and made the subject of a criminal prosecution. 

"In conclusion, my lords, inasmuch as I am a stranger, ignorant of the cus 
toms of this country, not knowing either how to speak or to comport myself in 
the circumstances under which I am placed, I humbly beseech you to assign me 
an advocate to speak for me in my defense." 

If a shadow of justice had ruled the trial, this petition would have 
met with success ; but the court took no notice of it. " Skilled in lying 
as he is," said the attorney-general, Calvin s tool, " there is no reason 
why he should now demand an advocate." 

After the sitting of September 1st, in compliance with a wish pre 
viously expressed by the court, Calvin, surrounded by a staff of min 
isters, proceeded to the jail to visit the prisoner. Calvin having then 
opened upon him with a bigoted lecture, the consequences are easily 
Imagined : the interview ended as it could only end with increased 
irritation on both sides. From this time (and we cannot but excuse 
the man), Servetus became more intemperate and aggressive on Cal- 


vin ; not only indisposed to yield one jot or tittle, but negligent also 
of opportunities to defend his conclusions. Perhaps he knew it was 
useless to argue, for, as a Spanish proverb says, "No man is so deaf 
as he who will not hear." Perhaps Perrin and Berthelier, the leaders 
of the Libertines, too, had fed his brain with false hopes and promises. 
The trial was now interrupted through differences between Calvin 
and the city fathers about municipal affairs. On September 15th 
Servetus wrote to the council a letter, from which we quote the first 
paragraph : 

" MY MOST HONOEED LORDS i I humbly entreat of you to put an end to these 
great delays, or to exonerate me of the criminal charge. You must see that 
Calvin is at his wit s end, and knows not what more to say, but for his pleasure 
would have me rot here in prison. The lice eat me up alive ; my breeches are 
in rags, and I have no change no doublet, and but a single shirt in tatters. I 
have also demanded to have a counsel assigned me. This would have been granted 
me in my native country ; and here I am a stranger, and ignorant of the laws 
and customs of the land. Yet you have given counsel to my accuser, 1 refusing 
it to me." 

On the 22d of September, perhaps instigated by Berthelier, Serve 
tus took a bold step: he accused Calvin as his calumniator, and asked 
him to be declared subject to the law of retaliation; but the council 
took no more notice of this than they had of the previous petition. The 
appeal to the churches of Switzerland caused another pause in the 
proceedings, and Michael Servetus, October 10th, forwarded the fol 
lowing letter to the council : 


" MOST XOBLE LORDS : It is now about three weeks since I petitioned for an 
audience, and still I have no reply. I entreat you for the love of Jesus Christ 
not to refuse me that you would grant to a Turk, when I ask for justice at your 
hands. As to what you may have commanded to be done for me in the way of 
cleanliness, I have to inform you that nothing has been done, and that I am in 
a more filthy plight than ever. In addition, I suffer terribly from the cold, and 
from colic, and my rupture, which causes me miseries of other kinds, I should 
feel shame in writing about more particularly. It is very cruel that I am 
neither allowed to speak nor to have my most pressing wants supplied; for the 
love of God, sirs, in pity or in duty, give orders in my behalf ! " 

This appeal of the prisoner, as far as his needs were concerned, 
met with an immediate response ; but the audience was never granted. 
The answers of the Swiss churches arrived at last, and as Calvin had 
been their inspirer, and they had been taken in concert, they unani 
mously condemned Servetus s theological views. On the 26th of Oc 
tober the council solemnly assembled and condemned Servetus to be 
burned alive with his books ; the sentence to be carried into effect on 
the morrow ! In a letter to Farel, alluding to the vain attempts made 
by Perrin, the first syndic, by delay and entreaty, to save the pris 
oner s life, Calvin speaks of the merciful man by the nickname under 

1 Germain Colladon was introduced as counsel for Nicolas La Fontaine, and continued 
all through the trial as Calvin s champion. 


which he was wont to characterize his great Libertine opponent, and 

says : 

" Our comical Cassar (Perrin), having feigned illness for three days, mounted 
the tribune at length, with a view to aid the wicked scoundrel to escape pun 
ishment. Nor did he blush to demand that the cause might be remitted to the 
Council of the Two Hundred. But in vain ; all was refused, the prisoner was 
condemned, and to-morrow he will suffer death." 

The sentence was imparted to Servetus in the early morning of 
the following day his last. Encouraged by the Libertines, and 
knowing himself guilty of no intentional blasphemy, he had never 
thought it possible that he would be condemned to death. He was 
at first as if struck dumb by the intelligence^ He did but groan and 
sigh, as though his heart would burst, and cry, in his native language, 
" Misericordia ! Having by degrees recovered self-possession, he 
requested to see Calvin. Accompanied by two councilors, Calvin 
entered the prison and asked what he wanted of him. Servetus had 
the heroic virtue to ask pardon of him the man who had brought 
him to his death ! Hard to say : the intolerant despot of Geneva, 
devoid of all humanity, had not a word of mercy for his victim, when 
a word of his would have saved him ! 

An hour before noon of October 27, 1553, Servetus was taken from 
his jail to receive his sentence from my lords the councilors and 
justices of Geneva. The tribunal, in conformity with custom, assem 
bled before the porch of the H6tel-de-Ville, and received the prisoner, 
all standing. The proper officer then proceeded to recapitulate the 
heads of the process against him, "Michael Servetus, of Villanova, in 
the kingdom of Aragon, in Spain," in which he is charged 

" First, with having, between twenty -three and twenty-four years ago, caused 
to be printed at Hagenau, in Germany, a book against the Holy Trinity, full of 
blasphemies, to the great scandal of the churches of Germany, the book having 
been condemned by all their doctors, and he, the writer, forced to fly that coun 
try. Item. With having, in spite of this, not only persisted in his errors and 
infected many with them, but with having lately had another book clandestinely 
printed at Yienne, in Dauphiny, filled with the like heresies and execrable blas 
phemies against the Holy Trinity, the Son of God, the baptism of infants, and 
other sacred doctrines, the foundation of the Christian religion. Item. "With 
having in the said book called all who believe in a Trinity, tritheists, and even 
atheists, and the Trinity itself a demon or monster having three heads. Item. 
With having blasphemed horribly, and said that Jesus Christ was not the Son 
of God from all eternity, but only became so from his incarnation; that he is 
not the son of David according to the flesh, but was created of the substance 
of God, having received three of his constituent elements from God, and one 
only from the Virgin Mary, whereby he wickedly proposed to abolish the true 
and entire humanity of Jesus Christ. Item. With declaring the baptism of 
infants to be sorcery and a diabolical invention. Item. With having uttered 
other blasphemies, with which the book in question is full, all alike against the 
majesty of God, the Son of God, and the Holy Ghost, to the ruin of many poor 
souls, betrayed and desolated by such detestable doctrines. Item. With having, 


full of malice, entitled the said book, though crammed with heresies, against 
the holy evangelical doctrine, Christianismi Restitutio - -> The Restoration of 
Christianity the better to deceive and seduce poor, ignorant folks, poisoning 
them all the while they fancied they were sitting in the shadow of sound doc 
trine. Item. With attacking our faith by letters as well as by his book, and 
saying to one of the ministers of this city that our holy evangelical doctrine 
is a religion without faith, and, indeed, without God, we having a Cerberus 
with three heads for our God. Item. For having perfidiously broken and escaped 
from the prison of Vienne, where he had been confined because of the wicked 
and abominable opinions confessed in his book. Item. For continuing obstinate 
in his opinions, not only against the true Christian religion, but as an arrogant 
innovator and inventor of heresies against popery, which led to his being burned 
in effigy at Vienne, along with five bales of his books. Item. And in addition 
to all of which, being confined in the jail of this city, he has not ceased mali 
ciously to persist in the aforesaid wicked and detestable errors, attempting to 
maintain them, with calumnious abuse of all true Christians, faithful followers 
of the immaculate Christian religion, calling them tritheists, atheists, and sor 
cerers, in spite of the remonstrances made to him in Germany, as said, and in 
contempt of the reprehensions and corrections he has received, and the im 
prisonment he has undergone as well here as elsewhere. 

" Now we, the syndics and judges in criminal cases within this city, having 
reviewed the process carried on before us, at the instance of our lieutenant 
having charge of such cases, against thee, Michael Servetus, of Yillanova, in 
the kingdom of Aragon, in Spain, whereby guided, and by the voluntary con 
fessions made before us, many times repeated, as well as by thy books pro 
duced before us, we decree and determine that thou, Michael Servetus, hast, 
for a long time, promulgated false and heretical doctrine, and, rejecting all 
remonstrance and correction, hast maliciously, perversely, and obstinately, con 
tinued disseminating and divulging, even by the printing of books, blasphemies 
against God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, in a word, against the 
whole foundations of the Christian religion, thereby seeking to create schism 
and trouble in the Church of God, many souls, members of which, may have 
been ruined and lost horrible and dreadful thing, scandalous and contaminating 
in thee, thou, having no shame nor horror in setting thyself up in all against 
the Divine Majesty and the Holy Trinity, and having further taken pains to 
infect, and given thyself up obstinately to continue infecting, the world with 
thy heresies and stinking heretical poison case and crime of heresy grievous 
and detestable, deserving of severe corporal punishment. 

" These and other just causes moving us, desiring to purge the Church of 
God of such infection, and to cut off from it so rotten a member, we, sitting 
as a judicial tribunal in the seat of our ancestors, with the entire assent of 
the General Council of the state, and our fellow-citizens, calling on the name 
of God to deliver true judgment, having the Holy Scriptures before us, and 
saying, In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we now pronounce 
our final sentence, and condemn thee, Michael Servetus, to be bound and taken 
to Champel, and there bound to a stake, to be burned alive, along with thy 
books, printed as well as written by thy hand, until thy body be reduced to 
ashes. So shall thy days end, and thou be made an example to others who 
would do as thou hast done. And we command you, our lieutenant, to see 
this our sentence carried forthwith into execution." 

The staff, according to custom, was tlion broken over the prisoner. 


and there was silence for a moment. The terrible sentence pro 
nounced, the silence that followed was first broken by Servetus; not 
to sue for mercy, for he knew there was no appeal, but to entreat that 
the manner of carrying it out might be commuted for one less dread 
ful. "He feared," he said, "that, through excess of pain, he might 
prove faithless to himself, and belie the convictions of his life. If he 
had erred, it was in ignorance ; he was so constituted, mentally and 
morally, as to desire the glory of God, and had always striven to 
abide by the teachings of the Scriptures." His appeal to the hu 
manity of the judges, however, met with no response. He prayed 
God to forgive his enemies and persecutors, and then exclaimed : "O 
God, save my soul ! O Jesus, Son of the Eternal God, have compas 
sion upon me ! From the H6tel-de-Ville>he was taken to Champel. 
While on the way thither, Farel, the minister who accompanied him, 
tried to wring from him an avowal of his error, and the prayer, "Jesus, 
thou Eternal Son of God ! The unhappy Servetus, with a martyr s 
faith, only replied in broken invocation, " Jesus, thou Son of the 
Eternal God, have compassion upon me ! 

" When he came in sight of the fatal pile, the wretched Servetus prostrated 
himself on the ground, and for a while was absorbed in prayer. Rising and 
advancing a few steps, he found himself in the hands of the executioner, by 
whom he was made to sit on a block, his feet just reaching the ground. His 
body was then bound to the stake behind him by several turns of an iron chain, 
while his neck was secured in like manner by the coils of a hempen rope. His 
two books the one in manuscript sent to Calvin in confidence six or eight 
years before for his strictures, and a copy of the one lately printed at Yienne 
were then fastened to his waist, and his head was encircled in mockery with a 
chaplet of straw and green twigs bestrewed with brimstone. The deadly torch 
was then applied to the fagots and flashed in his face ; and the brimstone 
catching, and the flames rising, wrung from the victim such a cry of anguish as 
struck terror into the surrounding crowd. After this he was bravely silent ; 
but the wood being purposely green, a long half-hour elapsed before he ceased 
to show signs of life and suffering. Immediately before giving up the ghost, 
with a last expiring effort, he cried aloud, Jesus, thou Son of the Eternal God, 
have compassion upon me! All was then hushed save the crackling of the 
green wood ; and by-and-by there remained no more of what had been Michael 
Servetus but a charred and blackened trunk, and a handful of ashes." 

Thus perished a noble man of whom his age was not worthy the 
victim of murderous religious bigotry. But the crime that had been 
committed shocked the humanity of Geneva, even in that dark period, 
and, before the year was out, Calvin was driven to self-defense, and 
displayed the remorseless traits of his character by libeling the man 
whom he had slain. It is said that, in this persecution unto death, he 
only manifested the spirit of his age, and must be judged by that 
standard. While this may be true, it is also happily true that in the 
lapse of centuries better standards have arisen, by which the character 
of Calvin will be given over to execration, while that of Servetus will 
be increasingly honored as that of an heroic Christian martyr. 





To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly. 

SIR : Returning a day or two ago to Co 
lumbus at the end of our vacation, I 
last night took up the September number of 
is a letter from Evanston, Illinois, in which 
some of Prof. Schneider s mistakes, in his 
article on " The Tides," are pointed out. 
Two or three years ago Mr. Schneider caused 
his explanation of the tides to be printed in 
a little periodical used extensively by Ohio 
teachers I refer to Notes and Queries, Sa 
lem, Ohio. The errors of fact and philoso- 

in which there is proof (?) that an inscribed 
polygon of twelve sides is exactly equal to 
the circle which contains the polygon i. e., 
circumscribes the polygon. Had this new 
philosophy been put forth in the ordinary 
newspapers of the day, no notice would 
have been taken of it. On page 276, July 
we find the following : " The earth will then 
feel a centrifugal force on her side farthest 
from the moon, and equal to the centripetal 
force felt on her side facing the moon. 
These two equal forces, acting in opposite 
directions," etc. On page 279: "This 


FIG. 1. 

phy were then pointed out in that journal. 
And, inasmuch as Prof, Carhart has abun 
dantly exposed Mr. Schneider s mistakes, I 
content myself with showing a single point. 
The whole article on " The tides " is a bundle 
of absurdities, mistakes of fact and philos 
ophy, and errors of figures in regard to 
quantity. Mr. Schneider, knowing abso 
lutely nothing of the theory of the tides, as 


force [centrifugal] acts in a line tangent to 
the earth s orbit." Then the centripetal 
force must also act parallel to the "tangent 
to the earth s orbit ; " and so, whether you 
are a mathematician or not, you can easily 
see that things are going on at loose ends, 
if they act in this way. (See Fig. 1.) Did you 
ever elsewhere see, or hear either, of such a 
centripetal or such a centrifugal force ? 

FIG. 2. 

understood and explained for the last two 
hundred years, has concocted a mass of 
nonsense which is set out as the only ra 
tional theory. I incline to the opinion that 
the New York gentleman who advised you 
to print the article was playing a practical 
joke on Mr. Schneider, or else he belongs to 
that order of city mathematicians who rec 
ommended Benson s " Geometry," a work 

Again, on page 276 : " This large amount 
of centrifugal force is produced by axial 
rotation, by revolution round the sun, and 
by revolution round the centre of gravity 
[between the earth and the moon] already 

Let us see : the coritrifugal force, in con 
nection with the revolution of the earth on 
its axis, is uniform all around the equator 



consequently it cannot have any part in 
producing a tide at one side of the earth 
merely. This must be ruled out. 

Let us take up the last item of the three. 
C*(Fig. 2) is the centre of gravity between the 
moon and the earth, about 3,000 miles from 
the earth s centre, and 1,000 from the sur 
face. Now, the centrifugal force is always 
proportional to the distance from the centre 
of motion, other things being equal (see 
any work on mechanics). Then the force 
at D is seven times as great as the force at 
^4, for it is seven times as far from C, 
Therefore the tide at It will be seven times 
as high as that at A. Do your New York 
tides play such tricks ? 

It is also easy to show that the first 
item of the three has nothing to do with the 
tides. So in that sentence there are three 
bald-faced absurdities ; and in fact there 
are about as many such as there are sen 
tences in the whole article. A hundred 
pages of manuscript are not sufficient to 
show them all up. 

Take the next two sentences following 
the preceding, viz. : " The direction of these 
three forces is in the same line. The mo 
tion of this part of her surface, which is in 
this line of direction, is therefore the most 
rapid ; consequently the centrifugal force 
felt here is also the greatest." 

Scan this closely, and you will find what 
the logicians call a vicious circle in the rea 
soning. R. W. McFARLAND, 
Professor of Mathematics, etc., Ohio 
Agricultural and Mechanical College. 

, OHIO, September 12, 1877. 


To t?ie Editor of the Popular Science Monthly, 

THE discussion of the present econom 
ical problem, the depression of profits and 
wages, which the article of Prof. Bonamy 
Price ("One per Cent.") initiated, ought to 
be continued, and facts and opinions ought 
freely to be contributed toward a full un 
derstanding of the subject. 

Prof. Price writes from the money-cen 
tre, and reflects the state of enlightened 
opinion as influenced by his surroundings. 
The money accumulated there represents 
savings, and he very naturally and very 
truly finds fault with our extravagance. 

Next comes Mr. Bunce, in the July num 
ber (" Over-Consumption or Over-Produc 
tion ? "), giving the views as held in a man 
ufacturing centre ; he admits over-produc 
tion and advises restriction. 

This, the distributive (or trade) centre, 
New York, will not submit to ; and Mr. 
Leland, in the August number, exposes the 
fallacy of some of Mr. Bunce s reasoning. 
Without wishing to imply that these writ 
ers did not intend to present the question 

in its total aspect, yet they are viewing it 
through the glass of their surroundings ; 
and, if I now add the opinion which is held 
in an agricultural region, the next writer 
will include this and make his exposition 
more comprehensive. 

We in the agricultural districts deny 
that there is over-production in our line, or 
stagnation of trade in our articles. The facts 
are, that with three very good harvests and 
several average ones previously, we have not 
produced more than has been consumed. 
At the end of June, when the present 
abundant wheat-harvest was begun, there 
was not old wheat sufficient for a month s 
home supply in the Western granary. The 
new wheat was hurried from the threshing- 
machine to the mill and ground immedi 
ately, to fljl the regular orders for the Bos 
ton, New York, and Philadelphia markets. 
Evidently, there has been no over-produc 
tion in wheat or in corn. We have readily 
sold all our beef-cattle, our sheep and swine, 
our wool, fruit, and dairy products. The 
production of all these has met the demand, 
and we have realized fair prices. 

And, as a natural consequence, there 
has been no stagnation nor depression in 
our trade. Our farmers and small town 
and village mechanics, and our small retail 
stores, have had all the necessaries of life 
in abundance, and not a few of the comforts. 
Mortgages have been lifted, improvements 
have been made, surplus cash is in all our 
savings-banks at four per cent, or less in 
terest to the depositors. Our trade centres, 
doing the honest business of first-hand 
traffic, are prospering. 

All through our country, farms and 
fisheries have not produced more grain, 
meat, or wool, than has been consumed 
from one harvest to another. But we have 
produced more cotton than can be worn 
out from one year to another. Our mines 
have yielded more iron, in many places 
more coal, than is wanted ; much less iron 
is now required for trades-tools, machinery, 
and railroading, than at that not far-distant 
period when a great deal was consumed in 
building new roads and erecting new ma 
chinery where there had been none before. 
Mines are bringing up more silver than can 
be usefully employed; hence it is being 
hoarded, and its price must sink. 

The cotton and the iron are forced up 
on the converting trades, in which so many 
mill-hands and factory-operatives are em 
ployed. The raw material in excess be 
comes cheaper. The converted products, 
the articles manufactured for consumption, 
are in excess, and, forcing themselves upon 
the market, reduce prices, as well their own 
as the price of the labor that produced 
and distributed them. And, as a last con 
sequence, these products are glutting the 
shelves of the merchants warerooms, di 
minishing the profits of the carrier and 



merchant to a trifle, and ending in bank 
ruptcy and strikes. 

If all our cotton-mills and their depend 
encies, all our iron industries, and some 
others, were to suspend, we should not ex 
haust the supply on hand of their fabrics 
for quite a number of years. 

To sum up 

1. There is DO over-production of grain 
and meat. 

2. There is a great surplus of textile, 
iron, and similar fabrics. 

Hence, there is a one-sided over-produc- 
tion, a one-sided depression of prices for 
labor and for fabrics ; and, on the other 
side, a normal prosperity and attending ac 
cumulation of savings. 

The problem for relief at once presents 
itself in the question whether a change of 
occupation of a considerable number of fac 
tory-operatives, mechanics, and forward 
ers, from the trades to agriculture, would 
afford the remedy and reestablish the equi 

The farmer, even at the most Western 
frontier, has always a sufficiency of food 
raised by himself, and generally a surplus, 
adequate for furnishing his family some 
comforts, and always independence. 

If a large majority of the weavers and 
machine-workers of to-day were to become 
agriculturists, they would become consum 
ers instead of producers of the very arti 
cles which are now made in excess ; and, 
while the price of the articles might not be 
advanced, those that made them would have 
full and steady, instead of interrupted and 
uncertain, employment a double gain on 
the present disturbed state. 

No legislative or government interfer 
ence is needed or desirable. The adjust 
ment of the disturbed equilibrium in the 
productions will work itself out as soon as 
the true causes of the " stagnation in trade " 
are clearly understood. 

A case in point will illustrate. In a small 
county town, the trade-centre of a good 
farming district, the retail stores had done 
a very profitable business up to about 1874. 
As a natural consequence, many persons 
with a small capital had engaged in this 
line ; finally their sales diminished, profits 
declined, because their number had in 
creased beyond the former ratio between 
stores and customers. A few of them 
looked about for other occupations. One 
engaged in tanning, which was a good field ; 
another started a custom grist-mill, for 
which there was a demand ; another opened 
a pork-packing establishment ; another went 
into farming on a large scale. Here, the 
overcrowding with its attendant evils was 
understood as the cause of the decline in 
trade; the enterprising members of the 
profession left it for occupations that pay 
better, and the equilibrium has been rees 

All efforts at relief from the dull times 
must lie in the same direction. A large 
number of our mill-hands and factory-oper 
atives must take to farming, must raise 
themselves the food for their families, and 
some to exchange for comforts which their 
fields and herds cannot directly give. 

The old mill-hands ought not to attempt 
the change ; but the young and middle-aged 
ought, and escape from their " bondage " in 
the East to the free fields of our wide West 
ern country. F. A. NITCHY. 



To the Editor of the Popular Science Monthly. 

THE loss from peculation in the manage 
ment of railways has probably been exag 
gerated ; these important institutions have, 
in the main, been conducted on business 
principles, with an eye to dividends. Those 
in control have aimed with success, until 
recently to secure competent and willing 
aid, and the esprit de corps so essential in 
great enterprises. But managers and men 
are alike the victims of a train of circum 
stances foreseen only by a few political 
economists. The plain fact is, that the 
railroad system finds itself in the brunt of 
a movement that has been long approach 
ing culmination. Multitudes of our native 
youth, seduced by the supposed attractions 
and opportunities of the city, and swarms 
of the poorer immigrants, have precipitated 
the catastrophe, by swelling the already 
overcrowded centres of population have 
added to the number to be fed, by decimat 
ing the army of producers have lowered 
the price of labor, by increasing the num 
ber of applicants. Reduction of extrava 
gant salaries and other "leaks" is to be 
commended, but will not, it is to be feared, 
effect any material increase of wages for a 
long time to come, and that from no indis 
position on the part of managers, but from 
causes beyond their control. 

Populations have been passing through 
the throes of greater social transitions than 
were ever before crowded into a century, 
and a vast amount of inconvenience was and 
is inevitable. The immense industries cre 
ated by labor-saving machinery have, in 
not a few instances, outrun the present de 
mand, and hence too often an advancing 
throng of aspirants has found itself con 
fronted with another throng in disorderly re 
treat : the result is a fierce struggle for ex 
istence, in which reason exercises but a 
feeble sway. 

Nature and Providence are inexorable, 
and take no thought for the individual in 
truder in their track. These forces are now 
apparently engaged in starving the surplus 
humanity back into the cornfields. 



But he is a sorry physician who is con- 
tent with a diagnosis of the disease, and 
prescribes no preventive, or even remedy ; 
and as in the corporeal body, so in the body 
corporate the best remedy is that which 
operates through natural forces : let us see if 
such cannot be made available. Cannot this 
drift cityward be checked, or even turned 
backward, by rendering farm-life more at 
tractive to young men ? For example : 

Instead of isolated homesteads, often 
miles asunder, why not dedicate a central 
space for a good, old-fashioned Saxon 
"common," which might hold the school, 
the church, the park, and other amenities 
of civilization, and be surrounded by the 
dwellings of the settlement ? And why 

cannot parents, instead of placing their 
sons in dusty city offices, or behind ignoble 
counters, enable these young men with 
the aid of competent experts, where neces 
sary to establish such settlements ? Might 
not education in such a community, by em 
bracing the study of natural objects, applkd 
science, and the practice of handicrafts, 
convert material that now evolves into 
boors, " hoodlums," or " counter-hoppers," 
into interested (because intelligent) and oc 
cupied producers, for whom rural life and 
scenes would possess attractions superior to 
the vulgar dissipations of the faubourg and 
the feverish competitions of trade? 

CINCINNATI, August 10, 1ST7. 



TT is a great mistake to suppose that 
-*- all the influences exerted on the 
mind by scientific study are necessa 
rily of a widening or liberalizing char 
acter. There is an immense amount 
of legitimate scientific work that does 
not tend to produce any such effect, 
but, on the contrary, has a narrowing 
and cramping influence upon the intel 
lect. The intense and prolonged con 
centration of thought upon special in 
quiries, when it becomes a habit, ex 
cludes that breadth of view which can 
only be attained by contemplating sub 
jects in their wide relations. Absorp 
tion in detail is inevitably unfavorable 
to the grasp of principles, so that the 
mere specialist is never a philosopher. 
Of course, all strong scientific men 
must be more or less specialists, must 
limit themselves to restricted portions 
of the scientific field ; but in such minds 
the narrowing influences of particular 
studies are counteracted by keeping up 
an interest in various subjects, and the 
comprehensive results of research. 
There are many scientific workers, 
however, who fail to do this, who lose 
themselves in their own narrow de 
partments, and become, not only in- 
appreciative of the grand connections 
of scientific truth, but contemptuous of 

the higher work of scientific generali 
zation. They applaud observation and 
experiment, and the accumulation of 
isolated facts, and stigmatize as mere 
theorizers those who labor to organize 
these facts and observations into ra 
tional systems. It is not to be ex 
pected, nor is it desirable, that all sci 
entific workers should be philosophical 
thinkers, but there is great need that 
many of them should cultivate a more 
liberal spirit in this respect, and recog 
nize that the systematic study of the 
relations of the sciences is as much a 
legitimate specialty as the working 
out of their separate and disconnected 

There is another respect in which a 
large class of scientific men exhibit a 
narrowness of feeling that is far from 
commendable. Tbey cherish but little 
sympathy with the work of diffusing 
science, and take frequent occasion to 
disparage the motives and character of 
those of their brethren who devote 
themselves to this kind of labor. We 
are glad to notice that the Saturday 
Review administers a just rebuke to 
these illiberal and censorious gentle 
men. Commenting upon President 
Thomson s address before the British 
Association, that journal remarks : 

" It is a thankless office to have to re- 



cord, as we are now compelled to do, that 
this time the impression was not a very 
favorable one. In one word, the president s 
discourse was much too technical for the 
occasion and the audience. It would be un 
generous to cast any personal responsibility 
for this result on the eminent specialist who 
was chosen for the office. The gift of inter 
preting the results of highly-special re 
searches for the benefit of those who are not 
prepared beforehand by special knowledge 
is by no means a common one in fact, it is 
itself a specialty which very few have mas 
tered ; for which reason people who are 
anxious to parade themselves as amateurs 
in science are much in the habit of cheapen 
ing it. The notion that Prof. Huxley and 
Prof. Tyndall are mere popularizers be 
cause, forsooth, they can expound as well as 
discover has almost attained the rank of a 
vulgar error. Some remarks to that effect 
were heard at this very meeting in the 
Guildhall of Plymouth. Those who imag 
ine that such remarks give them a scientif 
ic air may be assured that there is no more 
certain stamp of a narrow and superficial 
habit of mind. However, we cannot all go 
to Corinth ; a specialist, however eminent, 
has not necessarily the gift of large and lu 
cid exposition, and if he has not, the temp 
tation to take refuge in the technical details 
of his own province is almost irresistible." 

The pettiness and jealousy here rep 
robated is by no means confined to 
England ; it has become a sort of cant 
among many reputable scientific men 
in the United States. The contemptu 
ous remarks often made of the efforts 
of such men as Huxley and Tyndall to 
make science acceptable to the public 
are not always inspired by envy ; they 
betray a very low estimate, often tinged 
with scorn, of all efforts to reduce sci 
ence to a form acceptable to common 
people. We have had occasion repeat 
edly to call attention to the paradox 
that, in this country, eminent for its 
popular institutions and its popular 
education, scientific men are in less 
hearty sympathy with the work of 
popularizing scientific education than 
they are in England. The American 
Scientific Association has persistently 
declined to take any interest in the 
question, while the British Association, 

upon which it was modeled, has done 
much to encourage and promote this 
kind of effort. Although our teachers 
and boards of education have often and 
urgently called for assistance in organ 
izing courses of study in which science 
should receive increasing attention, and 
he more methodically and efficiently 
cultivated, we are not aware that any 
authoritative body of American scien 
tists has ever troubled itself to offer ad 
vice or respond to such appeals. 

There is, of course, a certain validity 
in the reply that scientific bodies are 
organized for other purposes, and that, 
as Agassiz used to put it, "it is their 
office to create science, and not to dis 
tribute it the latter function being the 
office of our educational system." But 
if our system fail of its duty in this par 
ticular, it is certainly incumbent on 
those influential bodies, who have the 
interests of science in charge, to exert 
such an influence upon the schools as 
shall tend to secure the object, and, fail 
ing to do this, they are chargeable with 
a culpable indifference toward the work 
of making science common and popular. 
The plea that scientific men are absorbed 
in investigations, and have little time 
to give to these outside considerations, 
is quite sufficient to excuse a simple 
non-participation in such work ; but 
there is abundant reason to think that 
the plea is often an uncandid pretext, 
and that the disinclination to act is due 
to narrow and petty prejudices upon 
the subject. 

The indifference of many scientific 
men to the work of popularizing science, 
and their ill-concealed disdain of those 
who succeed in it, are no doubt largely 
due to their incapacity to share in it. 
We have, unfortunately, but few scien 
tific men with sufficient literary train 
ing to write with elegance or lecture 
with eloquence upon topics which they 
may nevertheless thoroughly under 
stand, and the number of scientific pro 
fessors who fail in exposition before 
the public, and even before their col- 

1 10 


lege classes, is unfortunately large. The 
art of vivid, effective presentation by 
language is so difficult that, unless a 
man has a genius in this way, it requires 
great labor to attain even a moderate 
excellence in it, and when attained there 
is no doubt a presumption that it is at 
the expense of more solid things. Yet 
there is no reason why men of real sci 
ence should not be able to arrive at 
much greater proficiency as literary ar 
tists than is customary with them, if 
they would cultivate more liberal views 
of the importance of popular work. At 
all events, if our scientific men will not 
be at the pains to train themselves in 
the art of attractive popular exposition, 
and will be content to write and speak 
in the bald, technical, involved, and re 
pulsive style which is so common with 
many, let them not reproach others 
for setting a higher value upon the ac 
complishments of the successful public 

have spoken in the foregoing 
article of the propensity of certain sci 
entific men to magnify facts and depre 
ciate theories. This is not only an 
evidence of narrowness, but of igno 
rance, for facts are of no value without 
theories. They are good for nothing 
until explained, or brought by reason 
into relation with other facts, so that 
some step is taken toward the estab 
lishment of a law. It is this connection 
of science with methods of thought, 
and its value as a means of arriving at 
the best methods, that give it its claim 
upon the attention of all intelligent 
men. The demand for its popular rec 
ognition, and its prominent place in 
education, rests far less upon its service 
in the grosser utilities of life than on its 
influence upon the higher intellectual 
operations. Science being tested and 
verified, clearly reasoned and demon 
strated truth just to the degree in which 
it is matured, it must stand in the most 
intimate relations with those logical 

processes which have for their object 
the establishment of truth. Logic, of 
course, grew up into a system before 
the sciences were developed ; but it 
was a partial and imperfect logic. Fol 
lowing the modern developments of sci 
ence, growing out of them, and seri 
ously influenced by all their great steps 
of advance, we have a body of logical 
and philosophical disquisitions that are 
presented by such men as Herschel, 
Whewell, Mill, and Jevons, who <3eal 
with the mental operations involved in 
the investigation of truth, in the full 
light or modern scientific experience. 
Yet this interesting field of thought 
must be regarded as only fairly opened, 
and the works of the eminent gentle 
men referred to, though permanently 
valuable, are no doubt much in the na 
ture of preliminary inquiries, to be yet 
carried out more thoroughly, and re 
duced to greater unity and harmony. 
Impressed with the importance of this 
great phase of the intellectual work of 
the age, which it is one of the lead 
ing objects of THE POPULAE SCIEXCE 
MONTHLY to promote, it has been our 
good-fortune to secure the services of 
an independent thinker and able writer, 
who will contribute to our pages a 
series of articles under the general title 
of "Illustrations of the Logic of Sci 
ence." The author has already attained 
an honorable eminence in the world of 
science by the promulgation of advanced 
views of logical method, and he will 
reduce these views to a more systematic 
and popular form in the papers now to 
be published. We call attention to the 
first essay of this series in the present 
number, which, though but introduc 
tory, may be taken as foreshadowing 
the interest of the discussions that are 
to follow. 

IT will hardly be necessary to invite 
the reader s attention to an article, to 
be also followed by others, on "The 
Growth of the Steam-Endne." That 


1 1 1 

revolutionary machine, which is so in 
timately interwoven with the develop 
ment of civilization, is itself a part of 
that development, and as much a prod 
uct of evolution as an oak a thousand 
years old. The interesting story of its 
unfolding from early germs, through 
long and laborious experiments, to the 
complete integration of the mechanism, 
will be told by Prof. Thurston in suc 
cessive papers, which will be freely and 
elegantly illustrated. The accompany 
ing "portrait-gallery" of the great in 
ventors who have contributed to this 
grand mechanical achievement will be 
the finest and fullest afforded by the 
historic literature of the subject. 


BRYCE, D. C. L., Regius Professor of 
Civil Law in the University of Oxford. 
12mo. Pp. 479. New York : Macmil- 
lan & Co. 1877. Price, $2. 

THE Holy Roman Empire dates from the 
year 800 A. D, when a king of the Franks 
was crowned Emperor of the Romans by 
Leo III. ; and it is on the inner nature of 
this empire, as the most signal instance of 
the fusion of Roman and Teutonic elements 
in modern civilization, that the author 
dwells, treating of the influence which it 
exercised over the minds of men, and the 
causes that gave it power ; speaking less of 
events than of principles, and describing 
the empire, not as a state, but as an insti 
tution created by and embodying a won 
derful system of ideas. The forms which 
the empire took, in the several stages of its 
growth, are briefly sketched. A glance is 
taken at the condition of the Roman world 
in the third and fourth centuries, in order 
to make clear out of what elements the im 
perial system was formed. 

Expiring antiquity had bequeathed to 
the ages that followed two great ideas a 
world-monarchy and a world-religion. The 
Roman dominion, giving to many nations a 
common speech and law, broke down the 
differences of race and nationality when 
foreigner and enemy were synonymous 
terms and made citizens of them irrespec 

tive of their religious beliefs, which were 
purely local and national. For these, Chris 
tianity substituted the belief in one God, 
and the doctrine of the unity of God en 
forced the unity of man ; and there was 
thus formed a community of the faithful 
a holy empire designed to gather all men 
into its bosom. Thus the Holy Roman 
Church and the Holy Roman Empire were 
one and the same thing in two aspects. 
As divine and eternal, its head was the 
pope, to whom souls were intrusted ; as hu 
man and temporal, the emperor, commis 
sioned to rule over men s bodies and acts. 

Chapters are devoted to the subjects " Im 
perial Titles and Pretensions ; " " Changes 
in the Germanic Constitution ; " " The Em 
pire as an International Power;" "The 
City of Rome in the Middle Ages ; " " Effects 
of the Renaissance and Reformation on the 
Empire;" its last phases and end in 1806 
by the abdication of Francis II., 1,006 years 
after Leo the pope had crowned the Prank 
ish king. A supplementary chapter is 
added on " The New Germanic Empire," and 
an appendix of notes on " Imperial Titles 
and Ceremonies." To the whole is prefixed 
a " Chronological Table of Emperors and 
Popes," and " Dates of Important Events 
in the History of the Empire." 

The treatment and style of the work are 
judicial and scholarly, and the book will 
doubtless be a standard one on the subjects 
of which it speaks. It has been remarkably 
.well received on all sides, having already 
passed through seven editions. 

THE PHYSIOLOGY OP Mixn. Being the First 
Part of a Third Edition, revised, en 
larged, and in great part rewritten, of 
" The Physiology and Pathology of 
Pp. 547. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 
1877. Price, $2. 

TEN years ago, Dr. Maudsley issiied a 
large, well-elaborated volume under the 
title of " The Physiology and Pathology of 
Mind." It was well received, and a second 
edition was called for, which has been now 
for some time out of print. After several 
years further study of the subject, and 
availing himself of the great activity of 
investigation in this branch during the last 
decade, Dr. Maudsley has revised his work, 
and so extended it that it became desirable 



to make it into two volumes instead of one. 
That which was the first part now appears 
as a separate volume, confined to the physi 
ology of mind ; and will be followed by its 
sequel, or companion-work, as a separate 
treatise on mental pathology. It is an ex 
cellent thing on every account to divide the 
original work in this way, for, although the 
subjects are most intimately connected, they 
can be just as well studied together now as 
before, while there will unquestionably be 
many who will care chiefly for but one of 
the volumes. That now issued has an inter 
est for all students of the philosophy of 
mind, while the one following will more 
directly concern the medical profession. 
"The Physiology of Mind" by Dr. Mauds- 
ley is a very engaging volume to read, as it 
is a fresh and vigorous statement of the 
doctrines of a growing scientific school on 
a subject of transcendent moment, and, be 
sides many new facts and important views 
brought out in the text, is enriched by in 
structive notes and quotations from author 
itative writers upon physiology and psy 
chology, and by illustrative cases which 
add materially to the interest of the book. 
We have room for but one of these, show 
ing the manner in which the loss of one 
sense is followed by an extension or in 
crease of function of those which remain : 

"Many years ago application was made to 
Dr. Howe, of the Massachusetts Asylum for the 
Blind, by a locksmith for the loan of a blind 
boy, as he said, who had quick ears and a silent 
mouth. On giving satisfactory answers he got 
his loan. He wanted a boy to help him open a 
new and complicated lock. An inventor exhib 
ited a locked safe and the key, saying that there 
vras money within, which should be given to 
whoever could open the lock without deranging 
it. The peculiarity of the lock was, that it had 
ten bolt?, which, from all that could be ascer 
tained, seemed exactly alike, but in reality one of 
them was an inch longer than the others, so that, 
when all were thrown forward, that one alone 
held the door closed. The key would lift any 
of the ten bolts; but in order to open the safe 
it must be applied to the long bolt, and to that 
only, and that one must be lifted and turned 
back in order to open the lock ; but if any other 
of the ten were lifted and turned back ever so 
little, it deranged the combination, and the lock 
could only be opened by a peculiar instrument. 
The object, then, was to ascertain which of the 
ten was thrown forward without turning back 
any other one. 

" The mechanic lifted each bolt carefully with 
the key, and let it fall, but without trying to 
throw it back ; and he then tried to ascertain 

if in falling it made any peculiar noise ; for he 
inferred that, ae the only one which held the 
door was an inch longer than the others, it must 
fall with a slightly greater force ; but the differ 
ence was too slight for his ear. He took the 
blind lad, and asked him to listen carefully to 
the sound which each bolt made as he lifted and 
let it fall. After listening to each intently, the 
lad said the sixth one struck a little the loudest. 
The mechanic lifted and let each one fall care 
fully several times, and each time the boy in 
sisted that the sixth bolt sounded the loudest. 
Upon this the mechanic lifted and turned back 
the sixth, and the lock was opened without the 
combination being deranged." 

No library of mental philosophy will be 
complete without this book, and no liberal 
student of the subject can refrain from giv 
ing it his Serious and critical attention. 

Pp. 180. With Illustrations. Philadel 
phia: Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger. 
1877. Price, $1.50. 

THE above book contains the result of 
the author s observation and study on the 
subject of lightning-protection during an 
eighteen years experience in the telegraph- 
business. After an introductory course of 
experiment with artificial lightning, and an 
explanation of the principal known facts 
relating to the electricity of the earth and 
atmosphere, the author proceeds to show 
that few of the lightning-rods or conduct 
ors now erected can be relied upon for 
an easy passage of heavy lightning-dis 
charges, and goes on to prove that the metal 
roof and rain-pipes of a building can be 
made a better protection at a reduced ex 
pense. Explicit directions then follow for 
the protection of buildings of every descrip 
tion, ships, oil-tanks, steam-boilers, bridges, 
telegraph-poles, etc. 

From the American Chemist. 

PROF. LEEDS does not assume to present 
a complete lithology of the Adirondack re 
gion, but limits himself to giving an outline 
of the work already done in that field : a 
description of the rocks so far collected by 
himself; analyses of some of the more im 
portant typical rocks and minerals ; results 
of microscopic study of rock-sections ; and, 
finally, inferences drawn from these prem 



Milwaukee : C. Dorflinger, printer, 

THIS Annual Report of the Natural His 
tory Association of Wisconsin shows a grati 
fying increase in the number of members, 
and in the specimens contained in the va 
rious cabinets of natural history. The as 
sociation embraces a section for zoology, 
one each for botany, mineralogy, geology, 
and ethnology, and the cabinets of each of 
these sections received during the year a 
large number of additional specimens. The 
list of active members embraces over 200 

WOOD. Pp. 4. 

FROM the facts considered in this essay 
by Prof. Kirkwood, it appears to follow that 
1. The solar system has not existed over 
twenty or thirty million years ; 2. That our 
solar system is more advanced in its physi 
cal history than the larger component of the 
double star Alpha Centauri; 3. That 61 
ygni has reached a greater degree of con 
densation than the sun ; and, 4. The com 
panion of Sirius has reached a greater state 
of maturity than the sun, while the contrary 
seems to be true in regard to the principal 

By C. V. RILEY, M. A., Ph. D. Pp. 236. 
With numerous Illustrations and Col 
ored Maps. Chicago: Rand, McNally 
& Co. Price, $1.25. 

WE have here the fruit of the author s 
long-continued studies of the haunts and 
habits of the Rocky Mountain locust, as 
published from time to time in the " Ento 
mological Reports of Missouri " and in sun 
dry periodicals. The subject of the book is 
one that possesses a lively interest for farm 
ers over a wide area of our Western States 
and Territories. Prof. Riley s object in pub 
lishing in a separate volume all the infor 
mation he has been able to acquire with 
regard to the Rocky Mountain locust is a 
practical one namely, to acquaint the 
farmer with the means of counteracting 
this plague hence he, as far as possible, 
avoids technicalities, and writes in a style 
easily intelligible to the popular mind. 
VOL. xn. 8 

piled by E. EMERY. Pp. 496. Peoria, 
111. : Transcript print. Price, $3. 

THIS very convenient volume represents 
an enormous expenditure of labor in collect 
ing statistical information in regard to " al 
most everything of interest to man." The 
matter is gathered in every instance from 
the most authentic sources, and is presented 
to the reader in the smallest possible com 
pass. The work is one of permanent value. 
It is full of useful information for men in 
every walk of life, as the farmer, the me 
chanic, the merchant, the publicist, the 
schoolmaster, the man of letters, etc. 

Pp. 285. New York : D. Appleton & Co. 
Price, $1.50. 

IT was in this volume that publication 
was first made to the outside world of the 
so-called " Blue-Laws " of Connecticut. Of 
these laws the author says that they were 
"never suffered to be printed." He does 
not profess to do more than to give " a 
sketch " of some of them, so as to exhibit 
the spirit which pervades the whole. What 
that spirit was can be seen from a few of 
the prohibitions of the code, for instance : 
" No one shall run on the Sabbath-day, or 
walk in his garden or elsewhere, except rev 
erently to and from meeting. No woman 
shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fast 
ing-day. No one shall read common-prayer, 
keep Christmas or Saints-days, make minced- 
pies, dance, play cards, or play on any in- 
strument of music, except the drum, trum 
pet, and Jew s-harp. No food or lodging 
shall be afforded to a Quaker, Adamite, or 
other heretic." The authenticity of these 
laws has been called in question, and re 
cently Mr. J. H. Trumbull published a work 
designed to show that the "False Blue- 
Laws " were invented by Dr. Peters. The 
object of the editor in republishing the work 
is to make the public acquainted with the 
side of the question opposed to that of Mr. 
Trumbull, and to confirm, as far as possible, 
by contemporary testimony, the truthfulness 
of Dr. Peters s summary of the Puritanic 
legislation of Connecticut and New Haven. 
But, quite apart from this question, the 
work is one of real value, and well worthy 
the honor of republication. 


CHISHOLM. Pp. 192. London : Mac- 
millan. Price, $1.50. 

THE author of this little treatise, after 
defining weight and measure, devotes a 
chapter to "Ancient Standards of Weight 
and Measure," in which it is shown that ac 
curate standards were totally unknown to 
the ancients, and in particular that the 
standards of ancient Egypt were not based 
on the earth s dimensions. The history of 
English standard units of weights and meas 
ures is then given with considerable minute 
ness ; next follows a chapter on the metric 
system ; finally, there is a cbaper on 
" Weighing and Measuring Instruments, 
and their Scientific Use." 

New York: J. W. Bouton. Pp. 347. 
Price, $3. 

THIS book is pot, as might be inferred 
from its title, a scripture which would be 
acceptable to the followers of Comte, nor 
would it answer as a foundation on which 
to build any creed. It is one of a class 
compilations of moral, religious, and ethical 
teachings from various sources, with com 
ments and extensions by the compiler, and 
bearing the impress of his ideas, which in 
the case of M. Michelet are quite peculiar. 
It is rather more reverent and refined than 
John Stewart s " Bible of Nature," but it is 
an equally great misuse of words to call it 
a Bible. 

The literature and art of India, Persia, 
and Greece, "the three hearths of light," 
and of Egypt, " the monument of death," 
have inspired the greater part of the work. 
Of course, it is erotic ; the commentary on 
the " Song of Songs," though rather free, 
presents that draira in a wonderfully bold 
and vivid way ; and Chapters YL, VII., and 
VIII., which treat of woman, are marked by 
the unhealthy exaltation which appears in 
all of Michelet s later works, seeming, as 
the writer of the biographical sketch says, 
" to have been written under the influence 
of an uninterrupted honey-moon." 

It aims to be epigrammatic, abounds in 
italics and exclamation-points, and offers a 
rich field for phrase-hunters. It is among 
these and rather sentimental transcenden- 
talists that the book will find its readers. 

BLANCHARD, M. D. New York : Blanch- 
ard Food-Cure Company. Pp. 67. Price, 
10 cents. 

THESE so-called essays are papers osten 
sibly on physiological subjects, but are 
really written to puff a lot of preparations 
sold by the author, who styles himself the 
" originator of the food-cure system." They 
are written in the style which characterizes 
that class of literature various diseases are 
described, embellished with sensational hor 
rors, which may be avoided and cured by 
the use of the food-remedies. While Pawy, 
Frankland, and other able investigators, are 
becoming, more and more wary in their 
statements as to the way in which food is 
assimilated, and are beginning to question 
positions that have heretofore been gen 
erally accepted, Dr. Blanchard dogmati 
cally asserts his ability to furnish specific 
material which shall go directly to the de 
fective spot in the system, and set about 
the work of repairing the wasted tissues 
and disorganized nerve and brain cells with 
out delay. 

It is probably useless to expose the 
fallacies of this sort of trash ; so long as 
people are content to remain in ignorance 
of hygienic rules, and ignore the laws of 
waste and supply, the platitudes of these 
venders will have readers, and their nos 
trums find sale. 

Salem, Mass. Pp. 70. 

IN a recent notice of Commissioner 
Baird s Report on Food Fishes, we ex 
pressed a hope that a systematic list of the 
fishes of American waters, with descrip 
tions, and an account of habitat, seasons, 
etc., would some time be made. 

The papers included in the pamphlet 
before us are valuable contributions to such 
a work. Over the area indicated in the 
title the fishes have been catalogued and 
described with scientific accuracy, the locali 
ties, relative abundance, and common names, 
are given, while the synonyms of their no 
menclature receive due attention. No at 
tempt is made to give any account of the 
seasons, habits, or manner of breeding, 


which would be of most interest to the lay 
reader ; but this would, perhaps, be too 
much to expect of the scientific worker 
attempting to cover so much ground. 

1, September. Published monthly by 
DAVID WILLIAMS, 83 Reade Street, New 
York. Price, $5 per year. Single copy, 
50 cents. 

THE projectors of this periodical are of 
the opinion that the metallurgical industries 
have become sufficiently important to have 
a current literature of their own, and intend 
that this Review shall be a vehicle for dis 
cussions on purely scientific topics, which 
are too abstruse for newspapers, and are 
given to the public but slowly through the 
medium of books. 

This first number gives promise that 
the publication will have an immediate and 
permanent value. It contains, among others, 
essays on the u Mechanical Treatment of 
Metals," by Prof. R. H. Thurston ; " Studies 
of Elemental Iron, and its Modifications," 
by Prof. Henry Wurtz ; " New Iron Dis 
trict of Ohio," by E. C. Pechin ; and a mis 
cellany of short articles of metallurgical in 
terest. It is finely printed in large, clear 
type, on excellent paper, with ample mar 
gins, presenting a most creditable appear 


Publishers Trade List Annual (1877). New 
York: Publishers Weekly print. Price, $1.50. 

Free-Thin king and Plain Speaking. By Les 
lie Stephen. New York: Putnam s Sons. Pp. 
382. Price, $2.50. 

Volumetric Analysis. By Dr. Emil Fleischer. 
London and New York : Macmillan & Co. Pp. 
294. Price, $2.50. 

Method of Least, Squares. By M. Merriman. 
Same publishers. Pp. 207. Price, $2.50. 

Egypt as it is. By J. C. McCoan. New York : 
Holt^&Co. Pp.226. With Map. Price, $3.75. 

Engineering Construction. By J. E. Shields, 
C. E. New York : Van Nostraud. Pp. 138. 
Price, $1.50. 

Guide to Ridge Hill Farms. Boston : Getch- 
ell Brothers print. Pp. 156. 

The Complete Preacher. Also, The Metropol 
itan Pulpit. Monthly. New Yerk : Religious 
Newspaper Agency. $2 per year. 

Spiritual Sciences; Revelation of God; Christ 
inas and New- Year s-Day ; Good Friday; Bibli 
cal Theology ; Ascension-Day and WhitsunHde. 
All by Kuklos." London: Published by John 
Harris, Kilburn Square. 

Fur -bearing Animals. By Elliott Cones, 
Washington : Government Printing-Office. Pp. 
318. With Plates. 

Weather Reports for May. 1874. Washing 
ton : Government Printing-Office. Pp. 190. 

, The Hidatsa Indians. By W. Matthews. 
Washington : Government Printing-Office. Pp. 

Geological and Geographical Survey of Colo 
rado and Adjacent Territory (1875). By F. V. 
Hayden. Washington : Government Printing- 
office. Pp. 834. With Maps and Plates. 

Contributions to North American Ethnology. 
By W. H. Dall and (Jeorge Gibbs (Powell s Sur 
vey of the Territories). Washington: Govern 
ment Printing-office. Pp. 361. With Plates. 

The Geyser Basins of the Yellowstone Park. 
By I. B. Cornstock. From the Proceedings of 
the American Association." Pp. 8. 

Results of Hypertrophied Tonsils. By A. W. 
Calhoun, M. D. Atlanta: Dickson print. Pp.12. 

Canadian Reciprocity. Pp. 16. Also, The 
Hard Times. Pp.12. Philadelphia: American 
Iron and Steel Association. 

Proceedings of the American Public Health 
Association. New York : Hurd & Houghton. 
Pp. 249. Price, $4. 

Positivist Prayer. By J. Lonchampt. Go- 
shen, N. Y. : Independent Bepublican print. 
Pp. 32. 

Civilization and the* Duration of Life. By 
C. T. Lewis. Cambridge : The Riverside Press. 
Pp. 11. 

Anthropoidea. Pp. 8. Sketch of Cuvier. 
Pp. 8. Hunterian Oration. Pp. 7. By Dr. A. J. 
Howe, of Cincinnati. 

Bulletin of the Survey of the Territories 
(Hayden s). Vol. III., No. 4. Washington : 
Government Printing-Office. Pp. 120. 

Bulletin of the United States National Mu 
seum, Nos. 7, 8, and 9. Washington: Govern 
ment Priuting-Office. 

Report of New York Meteorological Obser 
vatory (1876). New York: Brown print. Pp. 
105. With Charts. 

Organic Acids in Examination of Minerals. 
By H. C. Bolton. New York: Gregory Bros, 
print. Pp. 36. With Plate. 

Fifteen-Cent Dinners. By Juliet Corson. 
New York: Published tor gratuitous distribu 
tion. Pp. 39. 

The Kindergarten Messenger. Vol. I., Nos. 
9 and 10. Price. $1 per year. 

Both s Method for treating Tubercular Con 
sumption. New York: Cherouny & Kienle 
print. Pp. 20. 


" A New Type of Steam-Eiigine." Prof. 
K. H. Thurston read a paper at the Nash 
ville meeting of the American Association 
on " A New Type of Steam-Engine," a 
report of which we find in the American 
Manufacturer. The author first gave a 
history of the steam-engine from Hero s 
time ; then he discussed the modern type of 
steam-engine, pointing out its shortcomings ; 
finally he proposed a new type, designed to 
prevent loss of heat-energy. 1 There are, he 
observed, only two possible methods of util 
izing the full heat-energy: the first is by 
enormous expansion, cooling the steam till 
it is all condensed into water and till all 
the heat is even taken out of that water, 


but this he shows to be impracticable ; 
the other method is to use part of the 
power of the engine to pump back the dis 
charged steam, containing as it does some 
water condensed from the steam, into the 
boiler. This latter method is theoretically 
practical, and the purely mechanical diffi 
culties in the way of its realization are by 
no means insuperable. 

As the steam in the cylinder of an en 
gine expands, doing work, part of it con 
denses. The diiference between the heat- 
energy of the steam at the beginning of the 
stroke, and that of the steam and water at 
the end of the stroke, is equal to the heat- 
equivalent of the mechanical work done by 
the steam. The change of mechanical con- 
.dition which the steam undergoes during 
the stroke namely, its conversion into 
water renders it possible that the mingled 
steam and water remaining in the cylinder 
at the end of the stroke may be forced 
back into the boiler with a less expenditure 
of mechanical energy than the steam gave 
out during the stroke. 

The Telephone anticipated. As is the 

case with all great inventions, the tele 
phone is now said to be nothing new ; its 
principle was known long ago, and even ex 
emplified in practice. Many are the claim 
ants of priority in solving the problem of 
the transmission of articulate sound to great 
distances, but we know of none whose case is 

stronger than that of " Monsieur Ch. B ," 

who appears to have solved the problem as 
early as 1857. In the Count du Moncel s 
"Expose des Applications de 1 Electricite," 
published twenty years ago, occurs the fol 
lowing passage (translated in Nature) : 

"After the marvelous telegraphs which are 
able to reproduce at a distance Avriting of this 
or that individual, and designs more or less com 
plicated, it seemed impossible, said M. B , 

to advance further in the regions of the mar 
velous. Nevertheless, essaying to do something 
more, I asked, for example, if speech itself 
would not be capable of transmission by elec 
tricity ; in a word, if one would not be able to 
speak at Vienna and be heard at Paris. The 
thing is practicable. This is how : Sounds, it 
is known, are formed by vibrations and carried 
to the ear by these same vibrations, which are 
reproduced by the intermediate media. But the 
intensity of these vibrations diminishes very 
rapidly with the distance, from which it follows, 
even in the employment of speaking-trumpet*, 
tubes, and of acoustical horns, the limits which 

cannot be surpassed are very restricted. Im- 
agine that one speaJcs near a mobile plate, flexible 
enough not to lose any of the vibrations produced 
by the voice ; that this plate establishes and Inter 
rupts successively the communication with a bat 
tery. You would be able to have at a distance 
another plate which would execute at the same 
time the same vibrations. It is true that the in 
tensity of the sounds produced would be variable 
at the point of departure, where the plate is vi 
brated by the voice, and constant at the point of 
arrival, where it is vibrated by electricity. But 
it is demonstrable that this would not alter 
the sounds. ... In any case, it is impossible to 
demonstrate that the electric transmission of 
sounds is impossible. ... An electric battery, 
two vibrating plates, and a metallic wire, will 

The Slaves of Ants, The subjugation of 
other insects by various species of ants is 
a familiar fact of natural history ; it is less 
usual to see two or more species thus sub 
jugated. Prof. Leidy, in some remarks 
made at a meeting of the Academy of 
Natural Science of Philadelphia, recounts 
his observations on a colony of yellow ants 
(Formica Jiava), which had three different 
insects in their service, namely, a species 
of Aphis, a Coccus, and the larva of an in 
sect, probably coleopterous. The aphides, 
he tells us, were kept in two separate herds, 
and these were separated from a herd of 
cocci. The larva was in the midst of one 
of the former herds. In another and larger 
colony of yellow ants there was a herd of 
aphides which occupied the under-part of 
one margin of the stone under which the 
ants had their nest ; the surface occupied 
by these aphides was about ten inches long 
and three-fourths of an inch broad. The 
same colony also possessed a separate herd 
of cocci, closely crowded, and occupying al 
most a square inch of space. Both aphides 
and cocci, Avith few exceptions, adhered to 
the under-suiiace of the stone, and were 
not attached to the roots. They appeared 
to be carefully attended by the ants, which 
surrounded them. The larva, too, was care 
fully attended by the ants, which were fre 
quently observed to stroke it with their 
antennae. The aphides and cocci were all 
in good condition, but without visible means 
of subsistence, excepting the neighboring 
grass-roots partially extending into the 
earth beneath the stones, to which they 
probably were at times transferred by their 



Obituary. We have to record the death 
of the astronomer Leverrier, which took 
place at Paris on September 23d. Leverrier 
was bora in 1811. Early in life he evinced 
great aptitude for chemical research, but 
his natural bent lay rather in the direction 
of the mathematical sciences. On being 
appointed to a position in the Polytechnic 
School, he devoted himself with great ardor 
to the study of the great problems of specu 
lative astronomy, and soon earned high dis 
tinction by sundry memoirs. He was elected 
member of the Paris Academy of Sciences 
in 1846, and during the same year he made 
the great astronomical discovery of his life 
that of the planet Neptune. In 1849 he 
entered political life as a deputy in the 
Legislative Assembly ; under the Empire he 
was a senator, and for some time Inspector- 
General of Public Instruction. In 1853 he 
was appointed Director of the Paris Obser 
vatory, and so continued till 1870, when he 
resigned. He was reappointed in 1872, and 
held the position till his death. That sad 
event was no doubt hastened by the effects 
of mental overwork in his search for an 
intra-Mercurial planet. 

THE death is announced of J. P. Gassiot, 
F. R. S., in the eightieth year of his age. 
Mr. Gassiot was a merchant of London, but 
devoted his leisure to scientific research. 
In 1838 he was an active member of an 
electrical society, and for the remainder of 
his life devoted himself specially to the 
study of electrical phenomena. He was the 
author of several papers contributed to the 
" Philosophical Transactions " of the Royal 
Society of London. He was a munificent 
patron of science, and a helper of scientific 

British Association Papers. In his pres 
idential address in Section D of the British 
Association, Dr. J. Gwyn Jeffreys vehe 
mently attacked the doctrine of evolution, 
which he declared to be simply a " product 
of imagination. ... I cannot," he said, 
" identify a single species of the Cretaceous 
Mollusca as now living or recent. All of 
them are evidently tropical forms. This 
question of identity depends, however, on 
the capability of hereditary persistence 
which some species possess ; and although 

a certain degree of modification may be 
caused by an alteration of conditions in the 
course of incalculable ages, our knowledge 
is not sufficient to enable us to do more 
than vaguely speculate, and surely not to 
take for granted the transmutation of species. 
We have no proof of anything of the kind. 
Devolution or succession appears to be the 
law of Nature ; evolution (in its modern in 
terpretation) may be regarded as the prod 
uct of human imagination. I am not a be 
liever in the fixity of species, nor in their 
periodical extinction and replacement by 
other species. The notorious imperfection 
of the geological record ought to warn us 
against such hasty theorization. We can 
not conceive the extent of this imperfection. 
Not merely are our means of geological in 
formation restricted to those outer layers 
of the earth which are within our sight, 
but nearly three-fourths of its surface is in 
accessible to us, so long as it is covered by 
the sea. Were this not the case we might 
have some chance of discovering a few of 
the missing links which would connect the 
former with the existing fauna and flora. 
It is impossible even to guess what strata 
underlie the bottom of the ocean, or where 
the latter attained its present position rela 
tively to that of the land. The materials of 
the sea-bed have been used over and over 
again in the formation of the earth s crust, 
and the future history of our globe will to 
the end of time repeat the past." 

Miss A. W. BUCKLAND, in a paper on 
"The Stimulants of Ancient and Modern 
Savages," said that the use of stimulants is 
almost universal. Among the lowest races 
the form of stimulant employed is now, 
as in ages past, some sort of root or leaf 
chewed for its strengthening and invigorat 
ing properties, such as the pitberry, recent 
ly discovered in use among nations in Cen 
tral Australia, and the coca-leaf among the 
Indians of South America ; but no sooner 
did the nations advance to the agricultural 
stage than they began to make fermented 
drinks from the roots of grains cultivated 
for food. Hence the beer of Egypt, which 
probably found its way with the wheat and 
barley of that land to the Swiss lake-dwell 
ings, and over a great part of Europe, hav 
ing been evidently known in Greece and 



Rome at a very early period, while a similar 
liquor still forms the chief beverage of all 
African nations, being now, as formerly in 
Egypt, fermented by means of plants. In 
China and Japan rice was and is used to 
make wine or beer instead of wheat or bar 
ley or American maize. The sour milk or 
koumiss of the pastoral tribes of Central 
Asia, and the mead of the ancient Scandi 
navians, both reappear among the Kaffirs 
of South Africa. Palm-wine is used wher 
ever palms flourish, but wine of the juice 
of the grape, although known in very ancient 
times, seems to have been confined to the 
civilized races of Western Asia and Egypt, 
extending later to Greece and Rome. The 
multitude of wines described by Pliny were, 
however, in almost all cases flavored with 
herbs or garden-plants for medicinal pur 
poses. The conclusions to be drawn from 
the history of fermented beverages, as re 
corded by travelers, are, that the earliest 
stimulants were simply leaves and roots 
chosen by animal instinct, chewed, and 
found by experience to produce exhilara 
tion and strength. The art of distillation, 
though probably known early in the Chris 
tian era, is comparatively modern, and was 
certainly unknown to savage races until 
" fire-water " was introduced, to their serious 
detriment, by Europeans. 

IN a paper on the " Shifting of the Earth s 
Axis," Mr. A. W. Waters pointed out how 
the unequal distribution of land and sea 
might be an agent for preventing the move 
ments of elevation and depression of the 
land in one part of the globe balancing 
those in another, and also showed how simi 
lar movements in various localities would 
differently affect the pole. Any movement, 
such as submarine elevation, which dis 
places water, would spread it over the 
oceanic area; and the effect of this would, 
with the present configuration, be the same 
as if about one-twelfth of the weight had 
been added in the northern hemisphere along 
east longitude 45 44 , namely, in a line pass 
ing by the entrance of the White Sea, over 
the Caucasus, and through the middle of 
Madagascar. As every submarine move 
ment would create a force acting in this 
direction, there seems reasonable ground 
for thinking that the tendency would be for 

the shifting of the axis to take place near 
this line. 

Simultaneous Contrast of Colors. An 

incident in the life of Henry IV. of France 
finds its explanation in an experiment made 
by Chevreul. While yet Prince of Navarre, 
Henry IV. was playing dice with two cour 
tiers a few days before the massacre of St.- 
Bartholomew s-day. They saw, or thought 
they saw, on the dice spots of blood ; and 
the party broke up in alarm. The phenom 
enon is explained by Chevreul by the la,w 
of simultaneous contrast of colors, and he 
illustrates this by experiment as follows : 
Seat yourself in a room so as to receive on 
the right side the sun s rays at an angle of 
20 to 25, the left eye being closed. On a 
table covered with gray paper and under 
diffuse light place two hen s-feathers, one 
black and the other white, distant 0.6 
to 0.8 metre from the eye. After about 
two minutes, with the right eye in the sun s 
beams, the dark feather appears red and 
the white one emerald-green. After a few 
seconds the black feather of red color 
seems edged with green and the white 
feather seems of a rosy color. Now close 
the right eye and open the left. The black 
feather will be black and the white one 
white. The effect is evidently due to inso 
lation : the black feather appears red be 
cause it reflects much less light than the 
white feather. From the law of simultane 
ous contrast of colors, the insolated eye 
seeing the green by white light, the black 
feather must appear of the complementary 
color of green, which is red. 

Constitution of the Nebulae. Mr. E. J. 

Stone, in a paper read before the Royal So 
ciety, London, attempts to reconcile Hug- 
gins s discovery of bright lines in the spectra 
of nebulse with the old view that nebula are 
irresolvable stellar clusters. The sun, he 
remarks, is known to be surrounded by a 
gaseous envelope of very considerable ex 
tent. Similar envelopes must surround the 
stars generally. Each star, if isolated, 
would be surrounded with its own gaseous 
envelope. These gaseous envelopes might, 
in the case of a cluster, form over the 
whole, or a part, of the cluster a continuous 
mass of gas. So long as such a cluster was 



within a certain distance from us, the light 
from the stellar masses would predominate 
over that of the gaseous envelope. The 
spectrum would, therefore, be an ordinary 
stellar spectrum. Suppose such a cluster 
to be removed farther and farther from us, 
the light from each star would be diminished 
in proportion of the inverse square of the 
distance ; but such would not be the case 
with the light from the enveloping surface 
formed by the gaseous envelopes. The light 
from this envelope received on a slit in the fo 
cus of an object-glass would be sensibly con 
stant because the contributing area would 
be increased in the same proportion that the 
light from each part is diminished. The 
result would be that, at some definite dis 
tance, and all greater distances, the prepon 
derating light received from such a cluster 
would be derived from the gaseous enve 
lopes and not from the isolated stellar 
masses. The spectrum of the cluster 
would, therefore, become a linear one, like 
that from the gaseous surroundings of our 
own sun. 

Duration of the Flight of Bees. To de 
termine the length of time that bees can con 
tinue to fly about, Donhoff took some of those 
insects from a hive, just as they came out of 
the entrance-hole, and placed them under a 
glass bell at a temperature of 66 Fahr. 
First they ran hastily up and down the 
sides of the glass, and flew about in the 
jar. Their movements grew gradually slow 
er, and after forty-five minutes they all sat 
quietly together, or moved very slowly and 
clumsily, and were unable to fly. On being 
allowed to crawl upon a pencil, and then 
thrown off, they fell down perpendicularly 
without moving their wings. On killing one 
or two, the honey-bags were found to be 
empty. The author then fed the others 
with a sugar solution, and after three or 
four minutes threw some of them into the 
air. They were now able to use their wings 
a little. A minute or two later they ap 
peared to be as lively as ever. The author 
remarks that if the temperature is under 
66 Fahr. the bees lose the power of flying 
even sponer, and recover it more slowly. 
With higher temperatures the power re 
turns sooner. Donhoff s conclusion from 
these observations is that the bee "loses 

the power of flying because it does not pos 
sess the necessary strength to be converted 
into muscular action, and that this strength 
returns to its system because in sugar it 
finds the necessary vital support." 

Singing -Flames and Inaudible Vibra 
tions. " Singing-flames "-are known to be 
sensitive to the faintest sounds, provided 
the rate of vibration of the latter is suffi 
ciently high. But are they equally sensi 
ble to vibrations that are so rapid as to 
be inaudible ? This question has been 
studied by Prof. W. F. Barrett, and the 
results of his experiments, as stated by 
him in a communication to Nature, will 
be read with interest. Prof. Barrett em 
ployed a flame produced by coal-gas con 
tained in a holder under a pressure of 
ten inches of water, and issuing from a 
steatite jet having a circular orifice of 0.04 
inch diameter ; the height of the flame when 
undisturbed was just two feet, but it fell to 
seven inches under the feeblest hiss or the 
clink of two coins. On sounding the low 
est note of a " Galton whistle," little effect 
was produced on the flame ; a shrill dog- 
whistle produced a slight forking, but that 
was all. Raising the pitch of the Galton 
whistle, the flame became more and more 
agitated, until when Prof. Barrett had near 
ly reached the upper limit of audibility of 
the left ear, and had gone quite beyond the 
limit of the right, the flame was still more 
violently agitated. Raising the pitch still 
higher, till he had quite ceased to hear any 
sound, he was astonished to observe the 
profound effect produced on the flame. At 
every inaudible puff of the whistle it would 
fall fully sixteen inches, and give its char 
acteristic roar, at the same time losing its 
luminosity, and, when viewed in a revolving 
mirror, presenting a multitude of ragged im 
ages, with torn sides and flickering tongues. 
Nor was this effect sensibly diminished by 
a distance of some twenty feet from the 
flame ; even at fifty feet the effect was very 

Functions of the Cerebellum. The re 
searches and experiments of Flourens have 
been considered conclusive as to the co- 
ordinative function of the cerebellum in 
animal movements. That eminent physiol- 



ogist removed the cerebellum from pigeons 
in successive slices, and found that, on cut 
ting away the superficial layers of the organ, 
there appeared only a slight feebleness and 
want of harmony in the movements ; but 
that when the deepest layers were removed 
the animal lost completely the power of 
standing, walking, leaping, or flying. Voli 
tion and sensation remained ; the power of 
executing movements remained ; but the 
power of coordinating those movements 
into regular and combined actions was lost. 
Flourens s experiments have been again and 
again repeated, always with the same re 
sults. But now the subject has been in 
vestigated anew by Ovsiannikoff, whose 
conclusion is that, even though the entire 
cerebellum be cut out, the faculty of coor 
dination still remains. In one of his ex 
periments a rabbit remained alive during 
two whole weeks after all the upper half of 
the cerebellum was cut out, nor did it lose 
its faculty of coordinating its movements af 
ter all the cerebellum was cut out until an 
effusion of blood produced this result. 

Appearance and Habits of the Andaman 
Islanders* The natives of the Andaman Isl 
ands are described by Surgeon-Major Hod- 
der, of the British Army, as not exactly pre 
possessing in appearance, though not de 
formed and hideous, as has been stated. 
In height they vary from four feet nine 
inches to five feet one inch; they are ex 
tremely black, more so than the African 
negro, and some of them have " a dull, 
leaden hue, like that of a black-leaded 
stove." They are -fond of dancing, have 
a strong sense of the ridiculous, are exceed 
ingly passionate, are easily aroused by tri 
fles, and then " their appearance becomes 
diabolical." The men go entirely naked, 
and the women nearly so. They cover their 
bodies with red earth, and, as ornaments, 
wear strings of their ancestors bones round 
their necks, or a skull slung in a basket 
over their shoulders. They are tattooed 
all over their bodies; their heads are shav 
en, with the exception of a narrow streak 
from the crown to the nape of the neck. 
They rarely have eyebrows, beard, mus 
tache, whiskers, or eyelashes. They are 
very fond of liquor and smoking ; are 
short-lived and not healthy, not many pass 

ing forty years of age. Their language 
consists of few words, harsh and explosive, 
and chiefly monosyllabic. Almost their 
only amusement is dancing to a monoto 
nous chant and the music of a rough skin 
drum, played by stamping with the feet. 
Their courtship and marriage usages are 
very simple. The male candidate for matri 
mony eats a sort of ray-fish, which gives 
him the appellation of " goo-mo " bachelor 
desirous of marrying. The marriageable 
girls wear a certain kind of flower. The 
ceremony consists in the pair about to be 
married sitting down, apart from the others, 
and staring at one another in silence ; tow 
ard evening the girl s father or guardian 
joins the hands of the pair; they then re 
tire, and live alone in the jungle for some 
days. The only manufactures of the island 
ers are canoes, bows, arrows, spears, and 
nets. Of late years " homes " have been 
established for the Andareane?e, consisting 
of large bamboo sheds, in which those who 
come in from the jungle put up, coming and 
going at will. They seem, however, to pre 
fer the jungle, and the attempts made to 
cultivate their acquaintance do not appear 
to have been very successful. 

The Ancient Ruins of Colorado. A cor 
respondent of the Worcester Spy writes as 
follows of certain highly interesting dis 
coveries recently made by the Geographical 
and Geological Survey of the Territories 
conducted by Dr. Hayden : 

" Prof. Hayden has given Southwestern 
Colorado a new interest, by discovering and 
describing the ancient ruins in that section 
and in Southeastern Utah. The fertile val 
ley of the Animas was densely inhabited and 
highly cultivated by an enlightened race of 
people centuries ago. The ruins of the 
houses, corrals, towns, fortifications, ditches, 
pottery- ware, drawings, non - interpretable 
writings, etc., show that many arts were 
cultivated by these prehistoric people which 
are now entirely lost. Their houses were 
built of almost every kind of stone, from 
small bowlders to the finest sandstone. 

" The finest of these ruins, and the near 
est perfect, are situated about thirty-five 
miles below Animas City, in a large valley 
fifteen miles long by seven wide, on the 
west side of the river. This vallev has 



been covered with buildings of every size, 
the t\vo largest being 300 by 6,000 feet, 
and about 300 feet apart. They are built 
of small blocks of sandstone, laid in adobe 
mud, the outside walls being four feet and 
the inside walls from a foot and a half to 
three feet thick. In the lower story are 
found port-holes a foot square. There are 
rooms now left, and walls for about four 
stories high are still standing. About the 
second story, on the west side, there was 
once a balcony along the length of the 
building. No signs of a door are visible in 
the outer walls, and the ingress must have 
been from the top, in the inside there being 
passages from room to room. Most of them 
are small, from eight by ten to twelve by 
fourteen feet, the doors being two by four 
feet. The arches over the doors and port 
holes are made of small cedar poles two 
inches wide, placed across, on which the 
masonry is placed. The sleepers support 
ing the floors are of cedar, about eight 
inches thick, and from twenty to fifty feet 
long, and about three feet apart. A layer 
of small round poles was placed across 
the sleepers, then a layer of thinly-split 
cedar sticks, then about three inches of 
earth, then a layer of cedar-bark, then 
another layer of dirt, then a carpet of some 
kind of coarse grass. The rooms that have 
been protected from exposure are white 
washed, and the walls are ornamented with 
drawings and writings. In one of these 
rooms the impression of a hand dipped in 
whitewash, on a joist, is as plain as if it 
had been done only yesterday. In another 
room there are drawings of tarantulas, cen 
tipedes, horses, and men. 

" In some of the rooms have been found 
human bones, bones of sheep, corn-cobs, 
goods, raw-hides, and all colors and varie 
ties of pottery - ware. These two large 
buildings are exactly the same in every re 
spect. Portions of the buildings plainly 
show that they were destroyed by fire, the 
timbers being burned off and the roofs 
caved in, leaving the lower rooms entirely 
protected. The rock that these buildings 
were built of must have been brought a 
long way, as nothing to compare with it 
can be found within a radius of twenty 
miles. All the timber used is cedar, and 
has been brought at least twenty-five miles. 
Old ditches and roads are to be seen in 

every direction. The Navajo Indians say, 
in regard to these ruins, that their fore 
fathers came there five old men s ages ago 
(500 years), and that these ruins were here 
and the same then as now, and there is no 
record whatever of their origin." 


Political Economy in Law-Schools. M. 

Waddington, the French Minister of Public 
Instruction, has issued a decree making the 
study of political economy one of the sub 
jects of examination for the degree of licen 
tiate in all the schools of law. The innova 
tion does not seem to give unmixed satis 
faction to the French lawyers, who have at 
all times treated this science with contempt. 
The basis of the teaching of law, says their 
organ, is the text of the law; political 
economy is no branch of the law it has 
no texts it is not positive science and is 
at most a conjectural art, or kind of litera 
ture, less amusing than others ; and to re 
quire that men desiring to become magis 
trates and advocates should pass an exam 
ination in the theories of Malthus, Adam 
Smith, and Say, is absurd. The claims of 
economic science will, of course, find plenty 
of defenders ; and indeed it would appear, 
in view of the complications and contentions 
which have arisen from the pending nego 
tiation of a commercial treaty between 
France and England, that it might be well 
to have a knowledge of economic principles 
made imperative somewhere. 

1 Bfcw Kemedy for Wakefnlncss. To 

those whose brains will not subside when 
the time for rest has arrived, Dr. John L. 
Cook, of Henderson, Kentucky, proposes a 
very simple method of securing prompt and 
refreshing sleep without the aid of drugs. 
When the mind is active, the circulation in 
the brain is correspondingly active; we 
breathe more frequently, and the movements 
of the heart are more rapid and vigorous. 
On the other hand, when the mind is at rest, 
as in healthy sleep, the circulation in the 
brain is notably diminished, the heart-beats 
are less rapid and forcible, and the breath 
ing is perceptibly slower. In the wakeful 
state the mind, as a rule, is intensely occu 
pied, whence we may infer an increased 
amount of blood in the brain. Dr. Cook s 
suggestion is to withdraw a portion of this 
from the head, or loAver the brain-circula- 



tion, by taking deep and slow inspirations 
say twelve or fifteen a minute. By this 
means the action of the heart will become 
slower and feebler, less blood is thrown into 
the brain, and very soon a quiet feeling, 
ending in sleep, is induced. As by a slight 
effort of the will any one may try this, we 
leave the question of its value to the test 
of actual experiment. 

A Jfew Optical Experiment. Mr. Wil 
liam Terrill offers in Nature a new lecture- 
experiment for proving the compound na 
ture of white light. This method is to ar 
range seven lanterns so as to project their 
several circles of light side by side on a 
white screen, then to color each circle by 
introducing slides of glass stained to imi 
tate the seven colors of the spectrum (the 
proper intensity of color being found by 
trial) ; in this way are produced seven cir 
cles on the screen, colored from red to vio 
let, and arranged side by side. Then by 
turning the several lanterns, so that the pro 
jected circles exactly overlap each other, 
one circle of white light is obtained, prov 
ing that the seven colors together make 
white light. The same effect can be pro 
duced with five colors only, if properly se 
lected ; and even two, the ordinary cobalt- 
blue and deep orange, will nearly do. If 
these two be made to partially overlap, the 
effect is very striking. 

Dallinger s Studies of Minute Animal 
Forms. The Rev. W. H. Dallinger, whose 
resea-rches into the origin and development 
of minute life-forms have earned for him a 
distinguished place, in the world of science, 
in a communication to the Royal Institution 
of Great Britain, gives a brief historical 
sketch of his labors in this field. Ten 
years ago Mr. Dallinger determined to work 
out, by actual microscopic observation, the 
life-history of some of the lowly and minute 
organisms which occur in putrid infusions. 
After four years of preparation, he com 
menced his work in conjunction with Dr. 
Drysdale, the plan needing two observers. 
Each set of observations was made con 
tinuous, so that nothing should have to 
be inferred. Yery high powers were em 
ployed, and the largest adult objects ex 
amined were y^rir of an inch, the smallest 

Six forms altogether were selected, 
and their whole history was worked out. 
At first it was supposed that reproduction 
by fission was the usual method, but pro 
longed research showed that spores were 
produced. These were so small that a 
magnifying power of 5,000 diameters was 
needed to see them as they began to grow. 
The glairy fluid from which they developed 
seemed at first homogeneous, and it was 
only when growth set in that the spores 
became visible. All that could be learned 
about the origin of the glairy fluid was, that 
a monad larger than usual, and with a gran 
ulated aspect toward the flagellate end, 
would seize on one in the ordinary condi 
tion ; the two would swim about together till 
the larger absorbed the smaller, and the two 
were fused together. A motionless spheroid 
al glossy speck was then all that could be 
seen. This speck was found to be a sac, 
and, after remaining still from ten to thirty- 
six hours, it burst, and the glairy fluid 
flowed out. The young spores that came 
into view in this were watched through to 
the adult condition. Bearing on the sub 
ject of spontaneous generation, this fact 
was learned, that, while a temperature of 
140 Fahr. was sufficient to cause the death 
of adults, the spores were able to grow even 
after having been heated to 300 Fahr. for 
ten minutes. That there is no such thing 
as spontaneous generation of monads seems 
to Mr. Dallinger quite clear; and he is sat 
isfied that, when bacteria are studied after 
the same manner, the same law will be 
found to hold good with them. 

Influence of the Environment. As a 

striking instance of the transformation ef 
fected in a race by changed conditions of 
life, Das Ausland quotes, from Khanikoff s 
"Memoir on the Ethnography of Persia," 
some observations on a colony of Wiirtem- 
bergers Avhich in 1816 settled in the trans- 
Caucasus country, near Tiflis. The original 
colonists, we are informed, were " singularly 
ugly," with broad, square countenances, 
blond or red hair, and blue eyes. The sec 
ond generation showed some improvement ; 
black hair and black eyes were no longer 
rare. The third generation was so entirely 
altered that their Wurtemberg descent was 
no longer visible, for now black hair and 



black eyes were the rule, the face had 
gained in length, and the bodily habit, 
while nothing was lost in point of stature, 
was more slender and graceful. As the 
chastity of the women is not to be disputed, 
and as the colonists intermarry only among 
themselves Khanikoff found only one case 
of a Wiirtemberger marrying a Georgian 
woman the change in the race-characters 
can be attributed only to the influence of 

Extirpation of Injurious Insects. A 

special meeting of the London Society of 
Arts was held a few weeks ago, to discuss 
measures for the extirpation of injurious 
insects. The paper for the occasion was 
by Andrew Murray, F. L. S., who advocated 
government interference as being indispen 
sably necessary in the war against insect 
pests. He spoke of three principal modes 
of counteracting the ravages of insects, the 
first being county or district rotation of 
cropping. Most vegetable-feeding insects 
subsist on one kind of plant, as wheat, rye, 
potatoes, etc., and, if we take away their 
special pabulum, the race dies out. This 
we do by rotation of crops. The next 
means of extirpation recommended by Mr. 
Murray was burning the nidus in which 
the insect, in whatever stage, passes the 
winter ; or using some substance, as Paris- 
green, hellebore, etc. There remains the 
last refuge of all invaded countries, namely, 
destroying the resources of the country be 
fore the invaders, so that they may perish 
for the want of food. This, Mr. Murray 
said, can rarely be necessary, but it would 
be, he thought, the proper course to follow, 
should the Colorado beetle gain a footing 
in England. The larvae of the beetle would 
probably first appear in some potato-field 
near Cork, or Londonderry, Liverpool, or 
Glasgow ; the instant this is perceived, the 
vines of the potatoes should be cut to the 
ground, and Paris-green scattered over the 

Recent Observations of Stomach-Diges 
tion. A man in Paris, having an imperme 
able stricture of the gullet, was saved, by 
the operation of gastrotomy, from death by 
starvation. The patient s gullet is so com 
pletely blocked that when a small quantity 

of potassium ferrocyanide in solution is 
swallowed, no trace of the salt can be de 
tected in the stomach ; hence the gastric 
juice is absolutely free from any admixture 
of saliva. The food is reduced to a pulp 
and injected by a syringe into the artificial 
opening in the abdominal wall ; it remains 
in the stomach for three or four hours ; when 
milk is introduced, it disappears in from one 
and a half to two hours. The chyme does not 
pass gradually, as is commonly supposed, into 
the small intestine : during the first three 
hours after its introduction into the stomach 
its volume does not appear to diminish ; then 
within about fifteen minutes, the entire mass 
is driven through the pyloric orifice. At 
the end of four hours the stomach is near 
ly always empty, but hunger does not begin 
to be felt till two hours later. The mean 
acidity of the gastric juice, whether pure 
or mixed with food, is equivalent to about 
1.7 grain of hydrochloric acid per 1,000, 
never falling below 0.5, or rising above 3.2 
grammes. The quantity of liquid present 
does not seem to exert any influence on the 
degree of its acidity, which is augmented 
by wine and alcohol, and lessened by cane- 
sugar. The gastric juice is more acid while 
digestion is going on than during the inter 
vals of the process ; its acidity seems always 
to be increased as digestion is drawing to a 

Contents of a Utah Mound. In the vi 
cinity of Payson, Utah Territory, are six 
mounds, covering a total area of about 
twenty acres of ground. One of these 
mounds was opened last year, and the dis 
coveries then made are recorded in a letter 
published in the Eureka (Nevada) Sentinel. 
First a skeleton of a man was found, which 
measured six feet six inches in length. 
In the right hand was a huge iron weapon, 
but this crumbled to pieces in handling. 
There was also found a stone pipe, the stem 
of which was inserted between the teeth of 
the skeleton. Near by was found another 
skeleton, not quite so large, supposed to be 
that of a woman. " Close by," writes the 
correspondent of the Sentinel, " the floor 
was covered with a hard cement, to all ap 
pearances a part of the solid rock, which, 
after patient labor and exhaustive work, we 
succeeded in penetrating, and found it was 

12 4 


but the corner of a box similarly construct 
ed, in which we found about three pints 
of wheat-kernels, most of which dissolved 
when brought in contact with the light and 
air. A few of the kernels found in the cen 
tre of the heap looked bright, and retained 
their freshness on being exposed. These 
were carefully preserved, and last spring 
planted and grew nicely, though the field-in 
sects seemed determined to devour it. We 
raised four and a half pounds of heads from 
these few grains. The wheat is unlike any 
other raised in this country, and produces 
a large yield. It is of the club variety 
the heads are very long, and hold very 
large grains. . . . We find houses in all the 
mounds," he continues, " the rooms of which 
are as perfect as the day they were built. 
All the apartments are nicely plastered, 
some in white, others in a red color ; crock 
ery-ware, cooking-utensils, vases many of 
a pattern similar to the present age are 
also found. Upon one large stone jug or 
vase can be traced a perfect delineation of 
the mountains near here for a distance of 
twenty miles. We have found several mill 
stones, used in grinding corn, and plenty of 
charred corn-cobs, with kernels not unlike 
what we know as yellow dent-corn. We 
judge from our observations that these an 
cient dwellers of our country followed agri- I 
culture for a livelihood, and had many of 
the arts and sciences known to us, as we 
found moulds made of clay for the casting ! 
of different implements, needles made of 
deer-horns, and lasts made of stone, and 
which were in good shape. We also find 
many trinkets, such as white stone beads 
and marbles ; also small squares of polished 
stones, resembling dominos." 

The Origin of Mineral Oils. Mend elejeff, 
in a communication to the Russian Chem 
ical Society, questions the current view as 
to the origin of mineral oils, namely, that 
they are the products of the decomposition 
of the fossil remains of organisms, and pro 
poses a theory of his own. He calls atten 
tion to the possibility of the interior of our 
globe containing metallic masses of vast ex 
tent. If iron be the prevailing metal, and 
if it occur in combination with carbon, we 
have the material from which we can con 
ceive the mineral oils to have been derived. 

Contact with water at a high temperature, 
and under great pressure, brought about by 
the upheaval or disruption of any of the 
overlying sedimentary strata, would result 
in the formation of metallic oxides and sat 
urated hydro-carbons. The latter, permeat 
ing the porous sandstones of higher levels, 
condense there, or, by undergoing further 
change, become the marsh-gas of the " gas- 
wells," or are converted into unsaturated 
hydro-carbons. The invariable association 
of salt-water with mineral oil is not without 
its bearing on this interesting question. If 
the view recently advanced by Steenstrup 
that the curious metallic masses discovered 
by Nordenskjold in Greenland, and generally 
held to be meteoric iron, be correct, and they 
are erupted matter and not of cosmical ori 
gin, their composition, which analysis has 
shown to be in a considerable degree carbide 
of iron, approaches nearly that of the ma 
terial assumed by Mendelejeff as the source 
of the oil. 

A Low Mammalian Brain. At a meeting 
of the American Philosophical Society, as we 
learn from The American Naturalist^ Prof. 
Cope exhibited a cast of the brain-cavity of 
a species of Coryphodon from New Mexico. 
This, according to Prof. Cope, is the lowest 
and most reptilian type of mammalian brain 
so far discovered, inasmuch as the diameter 
of the hemispheres does not exceed that of 
the medulla, which itself is as wide as the 
cerebellum. The latter is small and flat. 
The middle brain is the largest division, 
much exceeding the hemispheres in size, 
being especially protuberant laterally. The 
hemispheres contract anteriorly into the very 
stout peduncles of the olfactory lobes. 
These continue undivided to an unusual 
length, and terminate in a large bulbus, 
which is at first grooved above and then 
bifurcates at the extremity. The length of 
the hemispheres is -jV that of the cranium, 
and their united bulk ^V tnat of the hemi 
spheres of a tapir of the same size. Their 
surface is not convoluted, and there is no 
trace of a Sylvian fissure. The region of 
the pons Varolii is very wide and exhibits a 
continuation of the anterior pyramids. The 
large size of the middle brain and olfactory 
lobes gives the brain as much the appear 
ance of that of a lizard as of a mammal. 



The Late Eruption of Manna Loa. The 

Rev. Titus Coan gives, in the American Jour 
nal of Science, a vivid description of the 
latest eruption of Mokua-weo-weo, the ter 
minal crater of Mauna Loa, Hawaii. The 
eruption commenced between nine and ten 
in the evening of February 14, 18TT, with 
great splendor. The summit of the moun 
tain appeared as though melted, and the 
heavens seemed on fire. Vast masses of 
illumined steam, like columns of flaming 
gas, were shot upward to a height of 14,000 
to 17,000 feet, and then spread out into a 
great fiery cloud. This continued through 
the night. In the morning the mountain 
was hidden by thick clouds, and the only 
symptoms of volcanic action were an occa 
sional thud and a smoky atmosphere. Mo 
kua-weo-weo had entered into a state of in 
activity, but soon " a remarkable bubbling 
was seen in the sea about three miles south 
of Kealakekua, and a mile from the shore. 
Approaching the boiling pot, it was found 
emitting steam, and throwing up pumice 
and light scoria. This boiling," continues 
Mr. Coan, whose communication is dated 
Hilo, March 17th, " was active when we 
last heard. It is in deep water. On the 
island new fissures have been opened in the 
pakoihoi, which extend up to the higher 
lands, indicating the course of a subterra 
nean lava-stream, that terminated in a sub 
marine eruption a new feature in our mod 
ern volcanic phenomena. About the time 
of this eruption beneath the sea, a tidal or 
earthquake wave of considerable force was 
observed along the coast of Kona." 

Extraordinary Development of the Sense 
of Smell. Dr. Maudsley, in his " Physiology 
of Mind," noticed elsewhere, speaking of 
the loss of .one sense being followed by a 
notable increase in the functions of those 
which remain, in consequence of the great 
er attention given to them, cites the follow 
ing instances as related by Dr. Howe in the 
" Forty-third Report of the Massachusetts 
Asylum for the Blind : " Julia Brace, a deaf 
and blind mute, a pupil of the American 
Asylum, had a fine physical organization 
and highly-nervous temperament. In her 
blindness and stillness her main occupation 
was the exercise of her remaining senses 
of smell, touch, and taste, so that through 

them she might get knowledge of all that 
was going on around her. Smell, however, 
seemed to be the sense on which she most 
relied. She smelled at everything which 
she could bring within range of the sense ; 
and she came to perceive odors utterly in 
sensible to other persons. When she met 
a person whom she had met before she in 
stantly recognized him by the smell of his 
hand or glove. If it were a stranger she 
smelled his hand, and the impression was 
so strong that she could recognize him long 
after by again smelling his hand, or even 
his glove, if just taken off. She knew all 
her acquaintances by the odor of their 
hands. She was employed in sorting the 
clothes of the pupils after they came from 
the wash, and could distinguish those of 
each friend. If half a dozen strangers 
should throw each one his glove into a 
hat, and they were shaken up, she would 
take one glove, smell it, then smell the 
hand of each person, and unerringly assign 
each glove to its owner. If among the vis 
itors there were a brother and sister, she 
could pick out the gloves by a similarity of 
smell, but could not distinguish the one 
from the other. This case furnishes a 
strong argument in support of the conject 
ure that a dog removed to a distant place 
finds its way home by following backward 
a train of smells which he has experienced. 

Mr. Boyd Dawkins on Mnsenra Reform. 

Writing, in Nature, of the need of muse 
um reform, Mr. Boyd Dawkins recognizes 
the existence of a " collecting instinct " a 
desire to accumulate whatever strikes the 
fancy and this instinct he declares to be 
almost universal among mankind, whatever 
their stage of intellectual development. The 
collections which result from this instinct 
bear the stamp of the individual who makes 
them. They are "museum units" which, 
like molecules, have a tendency to coalesce 
into bodies of greater or less size, and thus 
constitute museums. The organization of 
the latter is of high or low type, according 
as the units keep or lose the stamp of the 
individual, and have been moulded into one 
living whole, or are dissociated. They are 
highly organized and valuable if the parts 
are duly subordinated to each other and 
brought into a living relationship ; they are 



lowly organized and comparatively worth 
less if they remain as mere assemblages of 
units placed side by side without organic 
connection and without a common life. Mr. 
Boyd Dawkins regards most of the provin 
cial museums in England as belonging to 
this lower type. His description of one or 
two of these collections is amusing enough, 
and worthy of being quoted entire ; perhaps 
it will apply to some lauded collections to 
be found on this side of the Atlantic. " In 
one instance which occurs to me," writes 
Mr. Dawkins, " you see a huge plaster-cast 
of a heathen divinity surrounded by fossils, 
stuffed crocodiles, minerals, and models of 
various articles, such as Chinese junks. In 
another, a museum unit takes the form of a 
glass case containing a fragment of a human 
skull and a piece of oat-cake, labeled frag 
ment of human skull very much like a piece 
of oat-cake. In a third wax models are ex 
hibited of a pound weight of veal, pork, 
and mutton-chops, codfish, turnips, potatoes, 
carrots, and parsnips, which must have cost 
the value of the originals many times over, 
with labels explaining their chemical consti 
tution, and how much flesh and fat they 
will make." Museums of this low type 
" constitute a serious blot on our education 
al system, since they are worse than useless 
for purposes of teaching." 

Size of Medicinal Doses. One of the 
papers read at the last meeting of the 
American Medical Association was on " The 
Effects of Remedies in Small Doses." The 
author of this paper, Dr. John Morris, held 
that 1. The true physiological effect of 
remedies might best be obtained by the ad 
ministration of small doses frequently re 
peated ; 2. That medicines thus given are 
cumulative in their operation ; 3. That the 
effect of remedies is greatly increased by 
combination, the manner of preparation, 
time and mode of administration, etc. ; 4. 
That large doses of medicine frequently act 
as irritants ; that they produce an abnormal 
state of the blood, as was evidenced by such 
conditions as narcotism, alcoholism, iodism, 
ergotism, bromidism, etc. ; 5. That more 
special attention should be given at the 
bedside to the influence of remedial agents, 
to the end that greater certainty may be 
attained in the prescriptions. 

Denationalizing Science. Sir C. Wyville 
Thomson having called to his assistance, in 
working up the Challenger collections, a few 
foreign naturalists of eminence, Dr. P. Mar 
tin Duncan, President of the Geological So 
ciety, gives vent to his " feelings of disap 
pointment " in a letter to Sir Wyville, and 
asserts that " a very large section" of British 
naturalists are in like manner pained by the 
way in which English workers have been 
passed over. Sir Wyville Thomson makes 
a dignified reply, in which he states that his 
endeavor had been to select first those who 
were generally regarded as authorities in 
special branches ; and, second, those who 
could do tile work assigned them within the 
allotted time. Where Englishmen fulfilled 
these conditions, Englishmen were chosen, 
because in that way a good deal of risk was 
avoided, in sending portions of the collec 
tions abroad. " Except for this considera 
tion " (i. e., that of avoiding risk of losing 
collections), writes Sir Wyville, " I confess 
I saw and see no objection, but rather the 
reverse, to making a great work of this 
kind somewhat more catholic." Having 
thus mildly rebuked the rather despicable 
nationalism of Dr. Duncan, Sir Wyville gives 
a list of the naturalists employed in the 
work. It contains twenty-two names, all 
of them names of Englishmen, with six ex 
ceptions. He then begs the pardon of the 
Englishmen (if such there be) more eminent 
than Haeckel, A. Agassiz, Oscar Schmidt, 
Lyman, Gunther, and Claus, in their respec 
tive specialties of Radiolarians, Echinoidea, 
Sponges, Ophiuridea, Fishes, and Crustacea, 
but whom he has overlooked in favor of 
these foreigners. Notice has been taken 
of Dr. Duncan s letter by some of the most 
eminent scientific men in England, and a 
manifesto has been published deprecating 
national jealousies in science. This paper 
has received the signatures of Sir J. D. 
Hooker, Prof. Huxley, Dr. W. B. Carpenter, 
Mr. Darwin, Mr. St. George Mivart, and many 
ether representative scientific men. Na 
ture, in giving an account of this very un 
pleasant affair, calls attention to the catholic 
spirit manifested by the directors of the 
United States Gulf Stream Expedition, who 
distributed their materials for description 
among sixteen naturalists, of whom only 
four were Americans, 




IT has been found by Lechartier and 
Bellamy that zinc is constantly present in 
appreciable quantities in the liver of the 
human subject and of many lower animals. 
It also occurs in hen s-eggs, in wheat, bar 
ley, and other grains. These facts are of 
interest for forensic medicine. 

IT is to be hoped that the following lu 
cid "directions for the formation of the 
letter ". are not a fair sample of the kind 
of instruction given in public schools 
throughout the United States : "The letter n 
is one space in height, three spaces in 
width ; commence on the ruled line with a 
left curve, ascending one space, joined by 
an upper turn to a slanting straight line, 
descending to the ruled line joined angu 
larly to a left curve, ascending one space, 
joined by an upper turn to a slanting line, 
descending to the rule joined by a base, 
turn to a right curve ascending one space." 

LAND that has been flooded by the sea 
is generally barren for years afterward. 
According to a German chemist the cause 
of this barrenness is the presence of an 
excess of chlorine salts; such land has a 
tendency to remain damp, and there is a 
formation of ferrous sulphate, which is 
highly injurious to plants. The land should 
be drained as quickly as possible, sown with 
grass or clover, and allowed to rest. 

La Nature cites the great age of an 
orange-tree in the gardens of the Versailles 
Palace as an illustration of the longevity of 
that species of plants. This ancient tree, 
known as the " Grand-Connetable de Fran- 
9018 I.," and also as the " Grand-Bourbon," 
has now stood more than four hundred and 
fifty years. It is sprung from some seed 
of the bitter-orange sown in a plant-pot, 
at the beginning of the fifteenth century 
by Eleanor of Castile, wife of Charles III., 
King of Navarre. Several plants were 
produced from the same lot of seeds, and 
they were all kept in one box at Pampe- 
luna till 1499. In 1684, more than two 
hundred years after being first grown from 
the seed, these orange-trees were taken to 
Versailles. The "Grand-Connetable" is 
in all probability the oldest orange-tree in 
existence; it is still in a very healthy state, 
and does not appear to suffer from the ef 
fects of age. 

THE coal of the Placer Mountains coal 
mines in Arizona Territory possesses, ac 
cording to Prof. Raymond, the hardness, 
specific gravity, fixed carbon, and volatile 
matter, of anthracite ; it ignites with diffi 
culty, but burns with intense heat. The 
supply is declared to be " inexhaustible." 

A CORRESPONDENT of the Bulletin of the 
Nuttall Ornithological Club narrates in that 
journal an instance of the persistency of a 
house-wren in nest-building. The nozzle of 
a pump in daily use was repeatedly found to 
be obstructed with sticks, which on investi 
gation proved to be nest-building material 
taken in by a wren. One morning the bird 
was allowed to carry on its work for two 
hours, and then he had filled the pump so 
full that water could not be obtained until 
a part of the sticks had been removed. The 
nest was three times destroyed before the 
bird abandoned his work. 

THE belief that fish is specially adapted 
to feed the brain, and that fish-eaters are 
therefore more intellectual than the average, 
does not find much favor with Dr. Beard. 
He says that this " delusion is so utterly op 
posed to chemistry, to physiology, to history, 
and to common observation, that it is very 
naturally almost universally accepted by the 
American people. It was started," he adds, 
" by the late Prof. Agassiz, who impulsively, 
and without previous consideration, appar 
ently, as was his wont at times, made a 
statement to that effect before a committee 
on fisheries of the Massachusetts Legisla 
ture. The statement was so novel, so one 
sided, and so untrue, that it spread like the 
blue-glass delusion, and has become the ac 
cepted creed of the nation." 

ON the question whether birds hiber 
nate, we have received from Mr. L. S. Ab 
bott, of Reading, Michigan, a communication 
in which he states an observation made by 
himself, which goes to show that at least 
some birds do hibernate. While living in the 
backwoods of Ohio, our correspondent often 
noticed the swallows toward evening cir 
cling around the top of a sycamore-tree, in 
the hollow of which they would soon dis 
appear. To determine whether the birds 
remained within the tree during the winter, 
Mr. Abbott had the tree cut down some time 
after the beginning of the cold season. The 
swallows were found within, clinging to the 
shell of the tree, stiff, motionless, and to all 
appearance in a state of suspended anima 
tion. The tree was hollow from the ground 
up, and the swallows were attached to the 
shell along its whole length. 

A SINGULAR instance of heredity is re 
corded in a note from M. Martinet to the 
Paris Academy of Sciences. In 1S71 several 
chickens on a farm held by the author were 
affected with polydactyHem, having a super 
numerary claw. This had been transmitted 
to them by a five-flawed cock raised on 
the same farm a year or two before. The 
type was propagated rapidly until in 1873 
an epidemic ravaged the poultry-yard. At 
present, without any selection, this variety 
is very numerous ; it has been propagated 



among neighboring farms through the ex 
change of eggs by the farmers ; if nothing 
interrupts its progressive increase, it prom 
ises ere long to be predominant. The pecu 
liarity was not so perfect at first as it is 
now ; the modification has been going on 

A SQUARE metre of the wall of a surgi 
cal ward in the Paris Hospital la Pitie was 
washed an operation that had not been 
performed during two years previously 
and the liquid wrung out of the sponge was 
immediately examined. It contained micro- 
cocci in abundance, some micro-bacteria, 
epithelial cells, pus-globules, and ovoid bod 
ies of unknown nature. The sponge used 
was new, and had been washed in distilled 

ERNST HAEBERLEIN, to whom the world 
of science is indebted for the discovery of 
the first Arehaeopteryx, has now discovered 
another and more perfect specimen of the 
same curious reptile-like bird. As we learn 
from Die Natur^ the new Archseopteryx 
has a head, which was wanting in the first 
individual discovered. Hence the hitherto 
undecided point whether the animal had 
the head of a bird or of a reptile can now 
be determined. 

A NORWEGIAN engineer, Meinerk, has 
invented an ice-breaker for keeping far 
northern hurbors open through the winter. 
The machine, as briefly described in the 
Moniteur Industrid Beige, is in form like a 
ploughshare, and is driven by two engines. 
Two centrifugal pumps throw a stream of 
water on the fragments of ice as they re 
treat behind the vessel, and drive them back 
into the channel made by the plough. In 
summer the plough may be converted into 
a powerful dredge. 

IN a case of poisoning by colored stock 
ings which is recorded in the Lancet, the 
patient suffered a severe itching of the feet 
with great pain, "like penknives darting 
into the feet and legs." The cuticle was 
raised in several places on the soles and 
sides of the feet, and there was a discharge 
of fetid pus. Chemical analysis proved that 
the stockings worn by the patient had been 
colored with coralline, which is known to 
produce poisonous effects on the skin. 

THE following " death-notice " is trans 
lated literally from a Zurich newspaper : 

"I communicate to all my friends and 
acquaintances the sad news that at 3 p. M. 
to-morrow I shall incinerate, according to 
all the rules of art, my late mother-in-law, 
who has fallen asleep with faith in her Lord. 
The funeral-urn will be placed near the fur 

" The profoundly afflicted son-in-law, 


" ZURICH, August 3d." 

A NEW malady of the grape-vine has 
made its appearance in Switzerland, where 
it has already done considerable damage in 
the vineyards. It is known as blanc de la 
viyne, or white-sickness of the vine, and is 
caused by the development of a mycelium 
which overspreads every part of the dis 
eased vine. Recent researches, says La 
Nature, show that the cause of this infec 
tion resides in the props used for support 
ing the vines; the germs of the parasite 
find a shelter in the cracks of the wood. 
They may be destroyed by saturating the 
props with a solution of copper sulphate. 

IN presenting to Mr. Walter Weldon the 
Lavoisier medal of the French Society for 
encouraging National Industry, Prof. Lamy 
stated that, at the date of the introduction 
of Mr. Weldon s invention seven or eight 
years ago, the total bleach ing-powder made 
in the world was only 55,000 tons per an 
num, whereas now it is over 150,000 tons; 
and of this fully 90 per cent, is made by 
the Weldon process. By this process every 
sheet of white paper and every yard of calico 
made in the world have been cheapened. 

THE city of Dunkirk, New York, pos 
sesses a Microscopical Society which, with 
a small membership and very slender re 
sources, has already earned a name in the 
world of science. At a meeting of this so 
ciety held in the early part of summer, Dr. 
George E. Blackham and Dr. C. P. Ailing 
were reelected respectively president and 
secretary of the society. 

THE gorilla of the Berlin Aquarium is 
now at the Westminster Aquarium, Lon 
don, " on a visit." His face is by Mr. 
Buckland pronounced to be very human, 
but as black as ebony ; the nose is snub, 
the lips thick and heavy. During sleep, 
as we are informed by Mr. Buckland, " a 
pleasant smile every now and then lights 
up the countenance " of the animal. 

PROF. PARLATORE, the eminent botanist, 
and for some time Director of the Museum 
of Natural History at Florence, died sud 
denly on Sunday, September 9th. 

A NEW use has been found for dynamite, 
in the slaughter-house. Experiments made 
at Dudley, England, show that a small quan 
tity of dynamite a thimbleful placed on 
the forehead of an animal and exploded, in 
stantly causes death. In one experiment, 
two large horses and a donkey, unfit for 
work, were placed in a line about half a 
yard apart, the donkey being in the middle. 
A small primer of dynamite, with electric 
fuse attached, was placed on the forehead 
of each, and fastened by a string under the 
jaw. The wires were then coupled in cir 
cuit and attached to the electric machine. 
The three charges were exploded simulta 
neously, the animals falling dead instantly 
without a struggle. 




DECEMBER, 1877. 






SECTION III. The Period of Development. NEWCOMEN AND 
WATT, A. D. 1700 to A. D. 1800. 22. The evident defects of Sa- 
very s engine, its extravagant consumption of fuel, the inconvenient 
necessity of placing it near the bottom of the mine to be drained, and 
of putting in several for successive lifts where the depth was consid 
erable, and, especially, the risk which its use with high pressures in 
volved even in its best form, considerably retarded its introduction, 
and it came into use very slowly, notwithstanding its superiority in 
economic efficiency over horse-power. 

23. The first important step taken toward remedying these de 
fects was by Thomas Newcomen and John Cawley, or Calley, two 
mechanics of the town of Dartmouth, Devonshire, England, who pro 
duced what has been known as the Atmospheric or Newcomen En 

Newcomen was a blacksmith, and Cawley a glazier and plumber. 

It has been stated that a visit to Cornwall, where they witnessed 
the working of a Savery engine, first turned their attention to the 
subject; but a friend of Savery has stated that Newcomen was as 
early with his general plans as Savery. 

After some discussion with Cawley, Newcomen entered into corre 
spondence with Dr. Hooke, proposing a steam-engine, to consist of a 

1 An abstract of " A History of the Growth of the Steam-Engine," to be published 
by D. Appleton & Co. 

VOL. XII. 9 



steam-cylinder containing a piston similar to those of Huyghens*s and 
Papiri s engines, and driving a separate pump, similar to those gen 
erally in use where water was raised by horse or wind power. 

Dr. Hooke advised and argued strongly against their plan ; but, 
fortunately, the obstinate belief of the unlearned mechanics was not 


overpowered by the disquisitions of their distinguished correspondent, 
and Newcomen and Cawley attempted an engine on their peculiar 

This succeeded so well as to induce them to continue their labors, 
and in 1705 to patent 1 in combination with Savery, who held the 
right of surface condensation, and who induced them to allow him an 
interest with them an engine combining a steam-cylinder and piston, 
surface condensation, and a separate boiler and separate pumps. 

i It has been denied that a patent was issued ; but there is no doubt that Savery 

claimed and received an interest in the new engine. 


24. In the atmospheric engine as first designed, the slow process 
of condensation by the application of the condensing water to the 
exterior of the cylinder to produce the vacuum caused the strokes of 
the engine to take place at very long intervals. An improvement 
was, however, soon effected, which immensely increased this rapidity 
of condensation. A jet of water was thrown directly into the cylin 
der, thus effecting for the Newcomen engine just what Desaguliers 
had previously done for the Sa- 

very engine. As thus improved, 
the Newcomen engine is shown 
in Fig. 11. 

Here d is the boiler. Steam 
passes from it through the cock c7, 
and up into the cylinder #, equi 
librating the pressure of the at 
mosphere, and allowing the heavy 
pump-rod k to fall, and, by its 
greater weight, acting through the 
beam i i, to raise the piston s to 
the position shown. 

The cock d being shut, f is 
then opened, and a jet of water 
from the reservoir g enters the 
cylinder, producing a vacuum by 
the condensation of the steam. 
The pressure of the air above the piston now forces it down, again 
raising the pump-rods, and thus the engine works on indefinitely. 

The pipe h is used for the purpose of keeping the upper side of 
the piston covered with water, to prevent air-leaks a device of New 

Two gauge-cocks, c, c, and a safety-valve, A 7 , are represented in 
the figure, but it will be noticed that the latter is quite different from 
the now usual form. Here, the pressure used was hardly greater than 
that of the atmosphere, and the weight of the valve itself was ordina 
rily sufficient to keep it down. The rod m was intended to carry a 
counter-weight when needed. 

The condensing water, together with the water of condensation, 
flows off through the open pipe p. Newcomen s first engine made six 
or eight strokes a minute ; the later and improved engines made ten 
or twelve. 

25. The steam-engine has now assumed a form that somewhat re 
sembles the modern machine. 

An important defect still existed in the necessity of keeping an 
attendant by the engine to open and shut the cocks. A bright boy, 
however, Humphrey Potter, to whom was assigned this duty on a 
Newcomen engine in 1713, contrived what he called a scoggan a 

FIG. 11. NEWCOMEN S ENGINE, A. D. 1705. 



catch rigged with a cord from the beam overhead which performed 

the work for him. 

The boy, thus making the operation of the valve-gear automatic, 

increased the speed of the engine to fifteen or sixteen strokes a min 
ute, and gave it a regularity and 
certainty of action that could only 
be obtained by such an adjust 
ment of its valves. 

This ingenious young mechanic 
afterward became a skillful work 
man, and an excellent engineer, 
and went abroad on the Conti 
nent, whe^e he erected several fine 

26. Potter s rude valve - gear 
was soon improved by Henry 
Beighton, and the new device was 
applied to an engine which that 
talented engineer erected at 3STew- 
castle-on-Tyne in 1718, in which 

engine he substituted substantial 
materials for Potter s unmechani- 
cal arrangement of cords, as seen 
in Fig. 12. 


In this sketch, r is a plug-tree, plug-rod, or plug-frame, as it is 
variously called, suspended from the great beam with which it rises 
and falls, bringing the pins p and &, at the proper moment, in contact 
with the handles k & and n n of the valves, moving them in the 
proper direction and to the proper extent. A lever safety-valve is 
here used, at the suggestion (it is said) of Desaguliers. 

The piston was packed with leather or with rope, and lubricated 
with tallow. 

27. Further improvements were effected in the Newcomen engine 
by several engineers, and particularly by Smeaton, and it soon carne 
into quite extensive use in all of the mining districts of Great Britain, 
and it also became generally known upon the Continent of Europe. 

Its greater .economy of fuel as compared with the Savery engine 
in its best form, its greater safety a consequence of the low steam- 
pressure adopted and its greater working capacity, gave it such 
manifest superiority that its adoption took place quite rapidly, and 
it continued in general use in some districts where fuel was cheap 
up to a very recent date. Some of these engines are even now in 

From about 1758 to the time of the introduction of the Watt en 
gine, this was the machine in almost universal use for raising large 
quantities of water. 



28. The success of the Newcornen engine natural-ly attracted the 
attention of mechanics, and of scientific men as well, to the possibility 
of making other applications of steam-power. 

The greatest men of the time gave much attention to the subject; 
but, until JAMES WATT began the work that has made him famous, 
nothing more was done than to improve the proportions and to 
slightly alter the details of the Newcomen and Cawley engine, even 
by such skillful engineers as Brindley and Smeaton. 

Of the personal history of the earlier inventors and improvers of 
the steam-engine very little is known ; but that of Watt has been 
fully traced. 

29. This great man was born at Greenock, then a little Scotch 
fishing-village, but now a considerable and a busy town, which annu- 


ally launches upon the waters of the Clyde a fleet of steamships 
whose engines are probably, in the aggregate, far more powerful than 
were all the engines in the world at the date of Watt s birth January 
19, 1736. 

He was a bright boy, but exceedingly delicate in health, and quite 
unable to attend school regularly, or to apply himself closely to either 
study or play. 

His early education was given by his parents, who were respecta 
ble and intelligent people, and the tools borrowed from his father s 
carpenter s-bench served at once to amuse him and to give him a dex 
terity and familiarity with their use that must undoubtedly have been 
of inestimable value to him in after-life. 

M, Arago, the eminent French philosopher, who wrote one of 


the earliest and most interesting biographies of Watt, relates an 
ecdotes of him which, if correct, illustrate well the thoughtfulness 
and the intelligence, as well as the mechanical bent, of the boy s 

He is said, at the age of six years, to have occupied himself during 
leisure hours with the solution of geometrical problems, and Arago 
discovers in a story, in which he is described as experimenting with 
the tea-kettle, his earliest investigations of the nature and properties 
of steam. 

When finally sent to the village-school, his ill-health prevented 
his making rapid progress, and it was only when more than fourteen 
years of age that he began to show that he was capable of taking the 
lead in his class, and to exhibit his ability in the study particularly of 
mathematics. His spare time was principally spent in sketching with 
his pencil, in carving, and in working at the bench, both in wood and 
metal. His favorite work seemed to be the repairing of nautical in 

In boyhood, as in after-life, he was a diligent reader, and he 
seemed to find something to interest him in every book that came 
into his hands. 

At the age of eighteen Watt was sent to Glasgow, there to reside 
with his mother s relatives, and to learn the trade of a mathematical- 
instrument maker. The mechanic with whom he was placed was soon 
found too indolent, or was otherwise incapable of giving much aid in 
the project ; and Dr. Dick, of the University of Glasgow, with whom 
Watt became acquainted, advised him to go to London. 

Accordingly, he set out in June, 1755, for the metropolis, where, 
on his arrival, he arranged with Mr. John Morgan, in Cornhill, to 
work for a year at his chosen business, receiving as compensation 
twenty guineas. At the end of the year he was compelled by serious 
ill-health to return home. 

30. Having become restored to health, he went a^ain to Glasgow, 

j ^J <^j / 

in 1756, with the intention of pursuing his calling there. But not 
being the son of a burgess, and not having served his apprenticeship 
in the town, he was forbidden by the guilds, or trades-unions, to open 
a shop in Glasgow. Dr. Dick came to his aid, and employed him to 
repair some apparatus which had been bequeathed to the college ; and 
he was finally allowed the use of three rooms in the university-build 
ing, its authorities not being under the municipal rule. 

He remained here until 1760, when, the trades no longer object 
ing, he took a shop in the city, and in 1761 moved again into a 
shop on the north side of the Trongate, where he earned a scanty 
living without molestation, still keeping up his connection with the 

He spent much of his leisure time, of which he had more than 
was desirable, in making philosophical experiments, and in the manu- 


facture of musical instruments, making himself familiar with the sci 
ences, and devising improvements in the construction of organs. 

His reading was still very desultory; but the introduction of the 
Newcomen engine in the neighborhood of Glasgow, and the presence 
of a model in the college collections, which model was placed in his 
hands in 1*763 for repairs, led him to study the history of the steam- 
engine, and to conduct for himself an experimental research into the 
properties of steam, using a set of improvised apparatus. 

31. The Newcomen model, as it happened, had a boiler, which, 
although made to a scale from engines in actual use, was quite in 
capable of furnishing steam enough to work the engine. 

It was about nine inches in diameter, and the steam-cylinder was 
two inches in diameter, and of six inches stroke of piston, arranged as 
in Fig. 13. 

This is a picture of the most 
carefully-preserved treasure in the 
collections of the University of 
Glasgow. Watt at once noticed 
the defect referred to, and imme 
diately sought first the cause and 
then the remedy. 

32. He soon concluded that the 
sources of loss of heat in the New 
comen engine which loss would 
be greatly exaggerated in a small 
model were : first, the dissipation 
of heat by the cylinder itself, which 
was of brass, and was both a good 
conductor and a good radiator ; 
secondly, the loss of heat conse 
quent upon the necessity of cool 
ing down the cylinder at every 
stroke in producing the vacuum ; 

and, finally, a loss of power was FIG. 13.-THE NEWCOMEN MODEL. 

due to the existence of vapor be 
neath the piston, the presence of which vapor was a consequence of 
the imperfect method of condensation which characterizes the New 

comen erip;me. 


He first made a cylinder of non-conducting material wood soaked 
in oil and then baked and found a decided advantage in the econ 
omy of steam thus secured. 

He then conducted a series of experiments upon the temperature 
and pressure of steam at such points in the scale as he could readily 
reach, and, constructing a curve with his results, the abscissas repre 
senting temperatures, and the pressures being represented by the 
ordinates, he ran the curve backward until he had obtained approxi- 


mate measures of temperatures less than 212, and of pressures less 
than atmospheric. 

He thus discovered that, with the amount of injection-water used 
in the ISTewcomen engine, bringing the temperature of the interior, as 
he found, down to from 140 to 175 Fahr., a very considerable back 
pressure would be met with. 

Continuing his research still further, he measured the amount of 
steam used at each stroke ; and, comparing it with the quantity that 
would just fill the cylinder, he found that at least three-fourths was 

The quantity of cold water necessary to produce condensation of 
a given weight of steam was next determined, and he found that one 
pound of steam contained enough heat to raise about six pounds of 
cold water, as used for condensation, from the temperature of 52 
Fahr. to the boiling-point ; and, going still further, he found that he 
was compelled to use, at each stroke of the JVewcomen engine, four 
times as much injection-water as should suffice to condense a cylinder 
full of steam. Thus was confirmed his previous conclusion that three- 
fourths of the heat supplied to the engine was wasted. 

His experiments having revealed to him the now well-known fact 
of the existence of latent heat, he went to his friend Dr. Black, of 
the university, with this intelligence; and the latter then informed 
him of the Theory of Latent Heat which had but a short time earlier 
been discovered by Dr. Black himself. 

33. Watt had now, therefore, determined by his own researches, 
as he himself enumerates them, 1 the following facts : 

(1.) The capacities for heat of iron, copper, and of some sorts of 
wood, as compared with water. 

(2.) The bulk of steam compared with that of water. 

(3.) The quantity of water evaporated in a certain boiler by a 
pound of coal. 

(4.) The elasticities of steam, at various temperatures greater than 
that of boiling water, and an approximation to the law which it fol 
lows at other temperatures. 

(5.) How much water, in the form of steam, was required, at 
every stroke, by a small Newcomen engine, with a wooden cylinder 
six inches in diameter and twelve inches stroke. 

(6.) The quantity of cold water required, at every stroke, to con 
dense the steam in that cylinder, so as to give it a working power of 
about seven pounds on the square inch. 

34. After these well-devised and truly scientific investigations, 
Watt was enabled to enter upon his work of improving the steam- 
engine with an intelligent understanding of its existing defects, and 
with a knowledge of their cause. 

It was on a Sunday afternoon, in the spring of 1765, that he de- 

1 Robinson s " Mechanical Philosophy," edited by Brewster. 


1 37 

vised his first and his greatest invention the separate condenser. 
His object in using it was, as he says himself, to keep the cylinder as 
hot as the steam that entered it.^ He was therefore the first to appre 
hend and to state a problem which the modern engineer is still vainly 
endeavoring completely to solve. 

Watt was, at this time, twenty-nine years of age. Having taken 
this first step and made such a radical improvement, the success of 
the invention was no sooner determined than others followed in 
rapid succession as consequences of the exigencies arising from the 
first radical change in the old Newcomen engine. 

But in the working out of the forms and proportions of details in 
the new engine, even Watt s powerful mind, with its stores of hap 
pily-combined scientific and practical information, was occupied for 

35. In attaching the separate con 
denser, he first tried surface condensa 
tion, as in Fig. 14, which is a sketch of 
his first model ; but this not succeeding 
well, he substituted the jet. Some pro 
vision became at once necessary for 
preventing the filling of the condenser 
with water. 

Watt at first intended adopting the 
same expedient which worked satisfac 
torily with the less effective condensa 
tion of Newcomen s engine, i. e., lead 
ing a pipe from the condenser to a depth 
greater than the height of the column of FIG. 14. WATT S FIRST MODEL, 1765. 
water which could be counterbalanced 

by the pressure of the atmosphere ; but he subsequently employed the 
air-pump, which relieves the condenser, not only of the water, but of 
the air which also usually collects in considerable volume, and vitiates 
the vacuum. 

He next substituted oil and tallow for the water previously used 
in lubrication of the piston and keeping it steam-tight, in order to 
avoid the cooling of the cylinder incident to the use of water. 

Still another cause of refrigeration of the cylinder, and consequent 
waste of power in its operation, was seen to be the entrance of the 
atmosphere, which came in at the top and followed the piston down 
the cylinder at each stroke. 

This the inventor concluded to prevent by covering the top of the 
cylinder, and allowing the piston-rod to play through a " stuffing-box," 
which device had long been known to mechanics. He accordingly not 
only covered the top, but surrounded the whole cylinder with an 
external casing or " steam-jacket," and allowed the steam from the 
boiler to pass around the steam-cylinder and to press upon the upper 

1 3 8 


surface of the piston where its pressure was readily variable, and 

therefore more manageable than that of the atmosphere. It also, 

besides keeping the cylinder hot, 

could do comparatively little harm 

should it leak by the piston, as it 

might be condensed and readily 

disposed of. 

36. This completed the change 
of the " atmospheric engine " of 
Newcomen into the steam-engine 
of James Watt. The engine as im 
proved is shown in Fig. 15, which 
represents the engine as pat 
ented in April, 1769. Watt s first 
engine was erected with the pecu 
niary aid of Dr. Roebuck, the les 
sor of a coal-mine on the estate of 
the Duke of Hamilton, at Kinneil, 
near Borrowstounness. This en 
gine, which was put up at the 
mine, had a steam-cylinder eigh 
teen inches in diameter. 

In the figure, the steam passes 
from the boiler through the pipe d 
and the valve c to the cylinder casing, or steam-jacket, Y Y, and 
above the piston &, which it follows in its descent in the cylinder #, 
the valve /being at this time open to allow the exhaust to pass into 
the condenser h. 

The piston now being at the lower end of the cylinder, and the 
pump-rods at the opposite end of the beam y thus raised, and the 
pumps filled with water, the valves c and f close, while e opens, 
allowing the steam which remains above the piston to flow be 
neath it, until, the pressure becoming equal above and below by 
the weight of the pump, it is rapidly drawn to the top of the cylin 
der, while the steam is displaced above, passing to the underside of 
the piston. 

Now the valve e is closed, and c and/" are again opened, and the 
down-stroke is repeated as before. The water and air entering the 
condenser are removed, at each stroke, by the air-pump , which 
communicates with the condenser by the passage s. The pump q 
supplies condensing-water, and the pump A takes aw r ay a part of the 
water of condensation, which is thrown by the air-pump into the 
" hot well " fc, and with it supplies the boiler. The valves are moved 
by valve-gear very similar to Beighton s, by the pins m m in the 
" plug-frame " or " tappet-rod " n n. 

The engine is mounted upon a substantial foundation, B B. 




an opening, out of which, before starting the engine, the air is driven 
from the cylinder and condenser. 

37. In the building and erection of his engines, Watt had the 

Cj _) 7 

greatest difficulty in finding skillful workmen to make the parts with 
accuracy, to fit them with skill, and to erect them properly when 
once finished. 

The fact that both Newcomen and Watt found such serious trou 
ble indicates that, even had the engine been designed earlier, it is 
quite unlikely that the world would have seen the steam-engine a 
success until this period, when mechanics were just acquiring the 
skill requisite for its construction. But, on the other hand, it is not 
at all certain that, had the mechanics of an earlier period been as 
skillful and as well educated in the manual niceties of their busi 
ness, the steam-engine might not have been much earlier brought 
into use. 

In the time of the Marquis of Worcester, it would have probably 
been found impossible to obtain workmen to construct the steam- 
engine of Watt, had it been then invented. Indeed, Watt, upon one 
occasion, congratulated himself that one of his steam-cylinders only 
lacked three-eighths of an inch of being truly cylindrical. 

38. Pecuniary misfortunes soon deprived Watt of the assistance 


of his friend and partner Dr. Roebuck, but in ] 773 he became con 
nected with an intelligent, energetic, and wealthy manufacturer of 
Birmingham, Matthew Boulton. Thenceforward, the establishment 



of Boulton & Watt, at Soho, near Birmingham, for a long time fur 
nished the greater proportion of all the steam-engines made in the 

In the new firm, Boulton took charge of the general business, and 
Watt superintended the design, construction, and erection, of their en 
gines. Boulton s business capacity, with Watt s wonderful mechanical 
ability; Boulton s physical health, and his vigor and courage, offset 
ting Watt s feeble health and depression of spirits ; and, more than 
all, Boulton s pecuniary resources, both in his own purse and in the 
wealth of his friends, enabled the firm to conquer all difficulties, 
whether in finance, in litigation, or in engineering. 

39. Watt had, before meeting Boulton, conceived the idea of 
economizing some of that power the loss &f which was so plainly 
indicated by the violent rush of the exhaust steam into the con 
denser, and had described the advantages that would follow the use 
of steam expansively, by means of a " cut-off," in a letter to Dr. Small, 
of Birmingham, dated Glasgow, May, 1769. He had also planned a 
" compound engine." 

This invention of the expansion of steam, which, in importance, 
was hardly exceeded by any other improvement of the steam-engine, 
was adopted at Soho in 1776, but the patent was not obtained until 

FIG. 16. WATT S STEAM-ENGINE, A. D. 1780. 

During this interval, Watt invented the crank and fly-wheel, but, 
as the former had been first patented by Wasborough, who is sup 
posed to have obtained a knowledge of it from workmen employed 
by Watt, the latter patented several other methods of producing 



rotary motions, and temporarily adopted that known as the " sun-and- 
planet wheels," subsequently using the crank. 

The adaptation of the steam-engine to the production of rotary 
motion was soon succeeded by the introduction of the Double-Act- 
ing Engine, the Fly-ball Governor, the Counter, the Steam-Engine 
Indicator, and other miner but valuable improvements, which were 
the final steps by which the Watt steam-engine became applicable to 
driving mills, to use on railroads, to steam-navigation, and to the 
countless purposes by which it has become, as it has already been de 
nominated, the great material agent of civilization. 

40. Fig. 16 represents the Watt Double-Acting engine. It will be 
noticed that it differs from the Single- Acting engine in having steam- 
valves, B J5, and exhaust-valves, E E^ at each end of the cylinder, 
thus enabling the steam to act on each side of the piston alternately, 
and practically doubling the power of the engine. 

The end of the beam opposite to the cylinder is usually connected 
with a crank-shaft. 


41. At this point, the history of the steam-engine becomes the 
story of its applications in several different directions, the most im 
portant of which are the raising of water, which has hitherto been its 
only application ; the propulsion of carriages, as in the locomotive- 
engine ; the driving of mills and machinery ; and steam-navigation. 



Here we take- leave of James Watt, of whom a French author 1 
says, " The part which he played, in the mechanical application of the 
power of steam, can only be compared to that of Newton in astron 
omy, and of Shakespeare in poetry." 

Retiring from the firm in the first year of the present century, 
Watt remained quietly on his estate at Heathfield. He fitted up a 
little workshop in his house, and there spent nearly all his time, in 
venting, designing, and constructing ingenious machines for special 
purposes. He died peacefully, full of years and great in fame, August 
25, 1819, 

Since the time of Watt, improvements have been principally in 
matters of mere detail, and in the extension of the range of application 
of the steam-engine. > 

42. To complete the history of its application to raising water, 
the succeeding figures are given as exhibiting the principal forms of 
pumping-engine as now constructed. 


Fig. 17 represents the Cornish pumping-engine, which, in spite of 
its great weight and high cost, is still much used. 

It will be seen that it is the engine of James Watt in all its gen 
eral features. 

1 "TraitS des Machines a Vapeur," E. M. Bataille, Paris, 1847. 


It is single-acting, and has a steam-jacket and a plug-rod valve- 
gear, J K. The improvements are principally in the form and pro 
portions of its parts, and in its adaptation to high steam and " short 
cut-off. " 

A is the steam-cylinder, B C the piston and rod, D the beam, and 
J7the pump-rod. The condenser is seen at (2, and the air-pump at H. 
The steam-cylinder is " steam-jacketed," and is surrounded by a cas 
ing, 0, composed of brickwork or other non-conducting material. 
Steam is first admitted above the piston, driving it rapidly downward 
and raising the pump-rod. At an early point in the stroke the admis 
sion of steam is checked by the sudden closing of the induction-valve, 
and the stroke is completed under the action of expanding steam 
assisted by the inertia of the heavy parts already in motion. The 
necessary weight and inertia are afforded in many cases, where the 
engine is applied to the pumping of deep mines, by the immensely 
long and heavy pump-rods. Where this weight is too great, it is 
counterbalanced; and where, as when used for the water-supply of 
cities, too small, weights are added. When the stroke is completed, 
the "equilibrium-valve" is opened, and the steam passes from above 
to the space below the piston, and, an equilibrium of pressure being 
thus produced, the pump-rods descend, forcing the water from the 
pumps and raising the steam-piston. The absence of the crank or 
other device which might determine absolutely the length of stroke 
compels a very careful adjustment of steam admission to the amount 
of load. Should the stroke be allowed to exceed the proper length, 
and should danger thus arise of the piston striking the cylinder- 
heads, the movement is checked by buffer-beams. The regulation 
is effected by a " cataract," a kind of hydraulic governor, consisting 
of a plunger-pump with a reservoir attached. The plunger is raised 
by the engine, and then automatically detached. It falls with greater 
or less rapidity, its velocity being determined by the size of the educ 
tion orifice, which is adjustable by hand. When the plunger reaches 
the bottom of the pump-barrel, it disengages a catch, a weight is 
allowed to act upon the steam-valve, opening it, and the engine is 
caused to make a stroke. When the outlet of the cataract is nearly 
closed, the engine stands still a considerable time while the plunger 
is descending, and the strokes succeed each other at long intervals. 
When the opening is greater, the cataract acts more rapidly, and the 
engine works faster. This has been regarded until recently as the 
most economical of pumping-engines, and it is still generally used in 
Europe in freeing mines of water. 

43. Fig. 18 represents a lighter, cheaper, and almost equally effec 
tive machine, known as the Bull Cornish or Direct- Acting Cornish 
engine. It was first designed by the competitor of Watt, by whose 
name it is known. As is seen by reference to the engraving, its 
cylinder a is directly above the pump-rods c, d, g, and is carried on 


cross-beams, b b. The air-pump m I o p, the tank n, and valve-gear 
q r s, are quite similar to those of the beam Cornish engine. The bal 
ance-beam is seen at h i. 


Fig. 19 represents another form of 
pumping-engine which belongs to the 
class known as the " compound or 
" two-cylinder " engine. 
This class of engines, in which the steam exhausted from one 
cylinder is further expanded in the second, was first introduced by 
Hornblower, in 1781, and was patented, in combination with the Watt 
condenser, by Woolf, at a later date (1804), with a view to adopting 
high steam and considerable expansion. 

The Woolf engine was to some extent adopted, but was not suc 
cessful in competing with Watt engines where the latter were well 
built, and, like Hornblower s engine, was soon given up. 

The compound engine has come up again within a few years, and, 
with what is now considered high steam and considerable expansion, 
and designed with more intelligent reference to the requirements of 


economy in working steam in this manner, it seems gradually dis 
placing all other forms of engine. 


44. An example of this form of pumping-engine, and one which is 
a favorite with many engineers, is the beam and crank engine (Fig. 


20), CD, E F, with double cylinder, A, B, working the "combined 
bucket and plunger," or double-acting pump, J~. In its cylinders steam 

VOL. XII. 10 



is usually expanded from four to eight times. The Leavitt compound 
engine is shown in Fig. 21. 


In this engine the lower ends, A, B, of the two cylinders are 
brought close together under the centre of the beam, thus shortening 

() CD <~-J 



the steam-passages between -them, permitting a symmetrical distribu 
tion of strain, and the use of the usual general type of beam-engine. 
A readily-adjustable valve-gear is attached, and its cut-off gives an 
expansion of about ten times, the boiler steam-pressure being about 
eighty pounds per square inch. The cylinders are steam-jacketed, 
and very thoroughly clothed with a non-conducting felting and lag 
ging. This engine has given the best economical results yet reported 
in this country, attaining a " duty " on a test-trial of more than 100,- 
000,000 pounds of water raised one foot high by each 100 pounds of 
fuel burned. 

Still another recent form of steam pumping-engine, noted for its 
cheapness combined with efficiency, is that of Worthington (Fig. 22), 
in which two pairs of steam cylinders, A, B, are placed side by side, 
each pair driving a pump-plunger, JF\ attached to its piston-rod, and 
each having its valve-gear, H L, M N, actuated by the movement of 
the piston of the other. The cylinders together form a compound 
engine; the steam exhausted from the smaller, ^4, passing into the 


larger, B, where it is further expanded. The valve-gear of this en 
gine is peculiarly well adapted to this type of engine. There is no 
fly-wheel, and the motion of each of the two independent engines, 
which together form the pair, is controlled by its neighbor, the valve- 
gear of the one being moved by the piston of the other. This ingen 
ious combination permits each piston to move from end to end of its 
cylinder, holds it stationary an instant while the pump-cylinders be- 


come completely filled and their valves closed, and then sets it in mo 
tion on the return-stroke. Thus the pistons move alternately. These 
engines have given a very high duty. The condenser is seen at C, and 
the air-pump is at ./>, the latter being worked from the bell-crank lever 
H by means of links, 7", K. The steam- valves, , ^ are balanced. 
V F"are the water-induction valves, and T T those on the eduction- 

Here we leave the steam-engine as applied to raising water. We 
have invariably noticed, in the forms of engines so used, that a con 
denser forms a part of the apparatus. 

We will next briefly trace the history of that now familiar forni 
of engine in which the steam, having done its work, is discharged 
directly into the atmosphere. \ 



A REMARKABLE discovery has been made by the astronomers 
-LA- of Lord Lindsay s observatory at Dunecht a discovery the true 
meaning of which is not as yet fully perceived. It may be remem 
bered that some nine months ago a new star, as it was called, made 
its appearance in the constellation Cygnus. 1 This object shone out 
where before no star had been known to astronomers not merely, be 
it noticed, where there was no visible star, but where none was re 
corded even in lists like Argelander s " Durchmusterung," containing 
hundreds of thousands of telescopic stars. It was not, however, alto 
gether impossible that some small star within moderate telescopic 
range had existed in the spot where the new star shone out, and that 
in some way this small star had escaped observation. This seemed 
the more likely because the new star had appeared in a part of the 
heavens very rich indeed in telescopic stars ; at any rate, astronomers 
had reason to believe that they would be readily able to determine 
the question with a high degree of probability by watching the star 
as it gradually faded out of view. For a "new star" which had 
shone out in the constellation of the Northern Crown in May, 1866, 
and had been identified with a tenth-magnitude star in Argelander s 
list, had gradually faded out of view, and, growing yet fainter, had 
sunk through one telescopic magnitude after another until it shone 
again as a tenth-magnitude star only. Since that star had resumed 
its former lustre, or rather its former faintness, it seemed not unrea 
sonable to conclude that so also would the star in Cygnus. We shall 
presently see how far this expectation was from being fulfilled. 

1 See POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, vol. xi., p. 59. 


During its time of greatest observed brilliancy the new star in the 
Swan was very carefully watched by spectroscopists. The results 
were in many respects interesting. The star in the Crown had shown 
the bright lines of hydrogen, superposed upon a faint rainbow-tinted 
spectrum, which was understood to signify that around a real, though 
probably a small, sun, some outburst of glowing hydrogen had taken 
place, the chief part of the star s new light being due to this outburst 
The same bright hydrogen lines were seen also in the case of the star 
in Cygnus. But in addition to them other bright lines were seen, 
which seemed to be identical with those belonging to the solar sierra 
(or, as many astronomers unclassically call it, the chromosphere) and 
corona. This, at least, was the opinion of M. Cornu, of the Paris Ob 
servatory. Herr Vogel, who began his observations on December 5th, 
when the star was between the fourth and fifth magnitude, and con 
tinued them to March 10th, when the star had sunk below the eighth 
magnitude, does not agree on this point with M. Cornu, since aline not 
agreeing with any known line in the spectrum of the sun s sierra was 
clearly visible from the beginning in the spectrum of the new star. 
But the most interesting point in connection with Vogel s observa 
tions, confirmed also by Mr. Copeland, at the Dunecht Observatory, 
and by Mr. Backhouse, of Sunderland, was this : that, as the new star 
died out, not only did the rainbow-tinted background of the spectrum 
fade gradually out of view, but the relative lightness of the bright 
lines steadily changed. At last, on March 10th, very little was left of 
the spectrum which Cornu and Yogel had seen in December. The 
blue and violet portion of the spectrum had faded entirely from view, 
a dark gap had appeared in the green, and a very broad, dark band 
in the blue. Of the bright lines two only remained. One, the F line 
of hydrogen, in the green-blue, which had been singularly conspicuous 
last December, was now faint. The other, in the green, which had 
been faint in December, was now very bright in fact, nearly the 
whole light of the star seemed at this time to come from this bright 

Now, the changes which had thus far taken place were altogether 
unlike those which had been noticed in the case cf the new star in the 
Northern Crown. As that star faded from view the bright lines in 
dicative of glowing hydrogen died out, and only the ordinary stellar 
spectrum remained. In the case of the star in Cygnus the part of the 
spectrum corresponding to stellar light that is to say, the rainbow- 
tinted streak crossed by dark lines faded gradually from view, and 
bright lines only were left, at least as conspicuous parts of the star s 
spectrum. This body, then, did not seem to be returning to the stel 
lar condition at all, but actually fading out into a nebula. Not -only 
so, but the lines which still remained conspicuous last March were 
lines known to belong to the so-called gaseous nebula. One of them, 
that which had been the faintest, but was now the brightest, corre- 


sponded to the nitrogen line of the nebular spectrum ; the other, which 
was still conspicuous, though faint, corresponded to the hydrogen line 

of nebulae. 

That, however, was by no means the closing chapter of this sin 
gular history. Vogel seems to have ceased from observing the star s 
spectrum, strangely enough, at the very time when the most remark 
able part of the process of change seemed to be approaching. At the 
Dunecht Observatory also, through pressure of work relating to Mars, 
no observations were made for nearly half a year. But, on September 
3d, Lord Lindsay s 15-inch refractor was turned on the star. In the 
telescope a star was still shining, but with a faint blue color, utterly 
unlike that of the orb which had shone out so conspicuously last No 
vember. Under spectroscopic examination,* however, the blue star 
was found to be no star at all, if we are to regard those orbs only as 
stars which present a spectrum in some degree analogous to that of 
our own sun. We regard Sirius as a sun, though in his spectrum the 
lines of hydrogen are abnormally strong ; and, passing over the class 
of stars more closely resembling our sun, we regard as a true star the 
orange orb, BeteJgeux, though the lines of hydrogen are wanting in 
its spectrum ; nor do we reject from among the suns those stars which, 
like Gamma of Cassiopeia, show the lines of hydrogen bright upon a 
fainter rainbow-tinted spectrum. There is yet another order of stars 
those whose spectrum presents bright bands with faintly lustrous 
intervals, which, again, we regard as true suns, though they differ 
doubtless notably from our own. But we have been in the habit of 
regarding all the star cloudlets, whether consisting of multitudinous 
stars, like the clusters, or of luminous star-mist, as differing toto coelo 
from the sun and* from all his fellow-stars. The clusters, indeed, give 
a spectrum resembling the sun s, and we regard them as different only 
because of their clustering condition. But the nebulas which Sir W. 
Herschel regarded as consisting entirely of luminous vapor, and which 
spectroscopic analysis has proved to be so constituted, we have re 
garded not merely as different because of the structure and arrange 
ment of their component parts, but as differing altogether in constitu 
tion. Now, the object seen as a faint blue star showed the same spec 
trum as these gaseous nebulae, or rather as the very faintest of these 
nebulas. For most of them show three bright lines, and one or two 
even show four bright lines ; only the faintest shine with absolutely 
monochromatic or one-tint light. The star in Cygnus now shines like 
these faintest of the gaseous nebulae that is, with a light which, un 
der spectroscopic analysis, presents only one bright line. 

The words in which Lord Lindsay announced this remarkable dis 
covery are these : " There is little doubt but that this star has changed 
into a planetary nebula of small angular diameter" though, he goes 
on to say, " such a result is in direct opposition to the nebular hy 
pothesis." On this last point I venture to express dissent from Lord 


Lindsay s opinion, which is in any case a somewhat bold inference 
from a single observation. Assuredly the discovery just made is in 
direct opposition to a certain argument, derived from the gaseity of 
nebulae, in favor of the gaseous hypothesis of Laplace an argument 
which had always appeared to the present writer insufficiently estab 
lished. But the nebular hypothesis, regarded not merely in the form 
suggested by Laplace (in which form it was utterly inconsistent with 
physical facts now known), but in the wider sense which would simply 
present our solar system in the remote past as in a nebular state, with 
out defining its nebulosity as due either to gaseity on the one hand, 
or to a mixed meteoric and cometic constitution on the other, has 
most certainly not received a shock, but rather receives strong sup 
port, from Mr. Copeland s observation. A theory of the evolution of 
the solar system, advocated by me during the last seven years, accord 
ing to which the solar system had its origin in meteoric and cometic 
aggregation, requires that during the long ages through which the 
process of development continued there should be occasional outbursts 
of light and heat in moderate degree from the rest of the system, even 
to its outskirts. That intense heat imagined by Laplace as pervad 
ing the entire gaseous mass, extending originally far beyond the path 
of the remotest planet of our system, would require, indeed (if it were 
a physical possibility in other ways), that the spectrum of a develop 
ing solar system should be uniformly that of gaseity for millions on 
millions of years. If it had been found or could be proved that the 
gaseous nebulas are in a state of intense heat, Laplace s gaseous hy 
pothesis would have had one powerful argument in its favor. This 
argument has been strongly urged by those who have taken that 
special view of the gaseous nebula? which the recent discovery shows 
to be erroneous. But those who have maintained, as I have, that in 
the gaseous nebulas we probably " see vast systems of comets travel 
ing hi extensive orbits around nuclear stars," will find confirmation, 
not disproof, in the discovery lately made, especially when considered 
in combination with the circumstance that Prof. Wright, of Yale, has 
found the cometic spectrum to be emitted by meteoric masses exposed 
to moderate heat ; while, under slight changes of condition, the co 
metic spectrum of bright carbon bands appears to give place to the 
nebular bright-line spectrum. 

However, speculation apart, we have in the discovery just made a 
most important fact for our guidance the fact, namely, that a body 
which to ordinary observation has been in all respects like the star in 
the Crown, and even under spectroscopic observation shone for a 
while with true stellar light, has dwindled into a nebula giving the 
spectrum which has heretofore been regarded as indicative of ordinary 
gaseity. English Mechanic. 





THE system of competitive examinations for the public service, of 
which I have laid before the section a brief history compiled 
from the reports, is one of those radical innovations that may ulti 
mately lead to great consequences. For the present, however, it 
leads to many debates. Not merely does the working out of the 
scheme involve conflicting views, but there is still great hesitation in 
many quarters as to whether the innovation* is to be productive of 
good or of evil. The report of the Playfair Commission, and the 
more recent report relative to the changes in the India Civil Service 
regulations, indicate pretty broadly the doubts that still cleave to 
many minds on the whole question. It is enough to refer to the views 
of Sir Arthur Helps, Mr. W. R. Greg, and Dr. Farr. expressed to the 
Playfair Commission, as decidedly adverse to the competitive system. 
The authorities cited in the report on the India examinations scarcely 
go the length of total condemnation ; but many acquiesce only be 
cause there is no hope of a reversal. 

The question of the expediency of the system as a whole is not 
well suited to a sectional discussion. We shall be much better em 
ployed in adverting to some of those details in the conduct of the 
examinations that have a bearing on the whole education of the 
country, as well as on the Civil Service itself. It was very well, at 
first starting, for the commissioners to be guided, in their choice of 
subjects and in assigning values to those subjects, by the received 
branches of education in the schools and colleges. But, sooner or 
later, these subjects must be discussed on their intrinsic merit s for 
the ends in view. 

I shall occupy the present paper with the consideration of two 
departments in the examination programme the one relating to the 
physical or natural sciences, 3 the other relating to languages. 

This second topic is one of very serious import. It concerns the 
Civil Service competitions only as a part of our whole scheme of edu 
cation. I mean the position of languages in our examinations. While 
the vast field of natural science is rolled up in one heading, with a 
total of 1,000 marks, our Civil Service scheme presents a row of five 
languages besides our own two ancient and three modern with an 
aggregate value of 2,625 marks. The- India scheme has, in addition, 

1 From advance-sheets of a paper entitled " The Civil Service Examination Scheme 
considered with Reference 1. To Sciences; and, 2. To Languages," read at the recent 
meeting of the Social Science Congress in Aberdeen, Scotland. 

2 This part of the address is omitted for want of space. 


Sanskrit and Arabic, at 500 marks each; the reasons of this prescrip 
tion being, however, not the same as for the foregoing. 

The place of language in education is not confined to the question 
as between the ancient and the modern languages. There is a wider 
inquiry as to the place of languages as a whole. In pursuing this 
inquiry, we may begin with certain things that are obvious and in 

In the iirst place, it is apparent that if a man is sent to hold in 
tercourse with the people of a foreign nation, he must be able to un 
derstand and to speak the language of that nation. Our India civil 
servants are, on that ground, required to master the Hindoo spoken 

In the next place, if a certain range of information that you find 
indispensable is locked up in a foreign language, you are obliged to 
learn the language. If, in course of time, all this information is trans 
ferred to our native tongue, the necessity apparently ceases. These 
two extreme suppositions will be allowed at once. There may, how 
ever, be an indefinite number of intermediate stages: the information 
may be partially translated ; and it will then be a question whether 
the trouble of learning the language should be incurred for the sake 
of the untranslated part. Or, it may be wholly translated ; but view 
ing the necessary defects, even of good translations, if the subject- 
matter be supremely important, some people will think it worth while 
to learn the language in order to obtain the knowledge in its greatest 
purity and precisions. This is a situation that admits of no certain 
rule. Our clergy are expected to know the original languages of the 
Bible, notwithstanding the abundance of translations, many of which 
must be far superior in worth and authority to the judgment of a 
merely ordinary proficient in Hebrew and Greek. 

It is now generally conceded that the classical languages are no 
longer the exclusive depository of any kind of valuable information, 
as they were two or three centuries ago; yet they are still continued 
in the schools as if they possessed their original function unabated. 
We do not speak in them, nor listen to them spoken, nor write in 
them, nor read in them, for obtaining information. Why. then, are 
they kept up ? Many reasons are given, as you know. There is an 
endeavor to show that, even in their original function, they are not 
quite effete. Certain professions are said to rely upon them for some 
points of information not fully communicated by the medium of Eng 
lish. Such is the rather indirect example of the clergy with Greek, 
So it is said that law is not thoroughly understood without Latin, be 
cause the great source of law, the Roman code, is written in Latin, 
and is in many points untranslatable. Further, it is contended that 
Greek philosophy cannot be fully mastered without a knowledge of 
the language of Plato and Aristotle. But an argument that is re 
duced to these examples must be near its vanishing-point. Not one 


of the cases stands a rigorous scrutiny, and they are not relied upon 
as the main justification of the continuance of classics. A new line 
of defense is opened up that was not at all present to the minds of 
sixteenth-century scholars. We are told of numerous indirect and 
secondary advantages of cultivating language in general and the 
classic languages in particular, which make the acquisition a reward 
ing labor, even without one particle of the primary use. But for 
these secondary advantages, languages could have no claim to ap 
pear, with such enormous values, in the Civil Service scheme. 

My purpose requires me to advert to these alleged secondary uses 
of language not, however, for the purpose of counter-arguing them, 
but rather to indicate what seems to me the true mode of bringing 
them to the proof. * 

The most usual phraseology for describing the indirect benefit of 
languages is that they supply a training to the powers of the mind; 
that, if not information, they are culture ; that they react upon our 
mastery of our own language, and so on. It is quite necessary, how 
ever, to find terms more definite and tangible than the slippery words 
"culture" and " training ; r we must know in precise language what 
particular powers or aptitudes are increased by the study of a foreign 
language. Nevertheless, the conclusions set forth in this paper do 
not require me to work out an exhaustive review of these advantages. 
It is enough to give as many as will serve for examples. 

Now, it must be freely admitted, as a possible case, that a prac 
tice introduced, in the first instance, for a particular purpose, may be 
found applicable to many other purposes ; so much so that, ceasing 
to be employed for the original use, this practice may be kept up for 
the sake of the after-uses. For example, clothing was no doubt pri 
marily contrived for warmth ; but it is not now confined to that dec 
oration or ornament, distinction of sexes, ranks, and offices, modesty 
are also attained by means of clothes. This example is a suggestive 
one. We have only to suppose ourselves migrating to some African 
climate, where clothing for warmth is absolutely dispensed with. 
We should not on that account adopt literal nudity we should still 
desire to maintain those other advantages. The artistic decoration 
of the person would continue to be thought of; and, as no amount of 
painting and tattooing, with strings of beads superadded, would an 
swer to our ideal of personal elegance, we should have recourse to 
some light, filmy textures, that would allow the displays of drapery, 
colors, and design, and show off the poetry of motion ; we should also 
indicate the personal differences that we were accustomed to show by 
vesture. But now comes the point of the moral: we should not main 
tain our close, heavy fabrics, our great-coats, shawls, and cloaks. 
These would cease with the need for them. Perhaps the first emi 
grants could keep up the prejudice for their warm things, but not so 
their successors. 


Well, then, suppose the extreme case of a foreign language that 
is entirely and avowedly superseded as regards communication and 
interpretation of thoughts, but still furnishing so many valuable aids 
to mental improvement that we keep it up for the sake of these. As 
we are not to see, speak, or read the language, we do not need abso 
lutely to know the meaning of every word ; we may, perhaps, dis 
pense with much of the technicality of its grammar. The vocables 
and the grammar would be kept up exactly so far as to serve the 
other purposes, and no further. The teacher would have in view the 
secondary uses alone. Supposing the language related to our own by 
derivation of words, and that this was what we put stress upon, then 
the derivation would always be uppermost in the teacher s thoughts. 
If it were to illustrate universal grammar and philology, this would 
be brought out to the neglect of translation. 

I have made an imaginary supposition to prepare the way for the 
real case. The classical, or language, teacher is assumed to be fully 
conscious of the fact that the primary use of the languages is as good 
as defunct; and that he is continued in office because of certain 
clearly-assigned secondary uses, but for which he would be suspended 
entirely. Some of the secondary uses present to his mind, at all 
events one of those that are put forward in argument, is that a for 
eign language, and especially Latin, conduces to good composition in 
our own language. And as we do compose in our own language, and 
never compose in Latin, the teacher is bound to think mainly of the 
English part of the task: to see that the pupils succeed in the English 
translation, whether they succeed in the other or not. They may be 
left in a state of considerable ignorance of good Latin forms igno 
rance will never expose them but any defects in their English ex 
pression will be sure to be disclosed. Again, it is said that universal 
grammar or philology is taught upon the basis of a foreign language. 
Is this object, in point of fact, present to the mind of every teacher, 
and brought forward, even to the sacrifice of the power of reading 
and writing, which, by the supposition, is never to be wanted ? Fur 
ther, the Latin grammar is said to be a logical discipline. Is this, 
too, kept in view as a predominating end ? Once more, it is declared 
that through the classics we attain the highest cultivation of taste, 
by seeing models of unparalleled literary form. Be it so ; is this 
habitually attended to in the teaching of these languages ? 

I believe I am safe in saying that, while these various secondary 
advantages are put forward in the polemic as to the value of lan 
guages, the teaching practice is not in full consistency therewith. 
Even when in word the supporters of classics put forward the sec 
ondary uses, in deed they belie themselves. Excellence in teaching 
is held by them to consist, in the first instance, in the power of accu 
rate interpretation, as if that obsolete use were still the use. If a 
teacher does this well, he is reckoned a good teacher, although he 


does little or nothing for the other ends, which, in argument, are 
treated as the reason of his existence. Indeed, this is the kind of 
teaching that is alone to be expected from the ordinary teacher ; all 
the other ends are more difficult than simple word-teaching. Even 
when English composition, logic, and taste, are taught in the most di 
rect way, they are more difficult than the simple teaching of a foreign 
language for purposes of interpretation ; but when tacked on as ac 
cessories to instruction in a language, they are still more troublesome 
to impart. A teacher of rare excellence may help his pupils in Eng 
lish style, in philology, in logic, and in taste ; but the mass of teachers 
can do very little in any of those directions. They are never found 
fault with merely because their teaching does not rise to the height 
of the great arguments that justify their vacation ; they would be 
found fault with if their pupils were supposed to have made little way 
in that first function of language which is never to be called into 

I do not rest satisfied with quoting the palpable inconsistency be 
tween the practice of the teacher and the polemic of the defender of 
languages. I believe, further, that it is not expedient to carry on so 
many different acquisitions together. If you want to teach thorough 
English you need to arrange a course of English, allot a definite time 
to it, and follow it with undivided attention during that time. If you 
wish to teach philology, provide a systematic scheme, or text-book 
of philology, and bring together all the most select illustrations from 
languages generally. So for logic and for taste : these subjects are 
far too serious to be imparted in passing allusions while the pupil is 
engaged in struggling with enigmatic difficulties. They need a place 
in the programme to themselves; and, when so provided for, the 
small dropping contributions of the language-teacher may easily be 
dispensed with. 

The argument for languages may, no doubt, take a bolder flight, 
and maintain that the teacher does not need to turn aside from his 
plain path to secure these secondary ends now the only valuable 
ends. The contention may be that in the close and rigorous atten 
tion to mere interpretation, just as if interpretation were still the liv 
ing use, these other purposes are inevitably secured good English, 
universal grammar, logic, ta^te, etc, I think, however, that is too far 
from the fact to be very confidently maintained. Of course, were it 
correct, the teacher should never have departed from it, as the best 
teachers continually do, and glory in doing. 

On the face of the thing, it must seem an unworkable position to 
surrender the value of a language, as a language, and keep it up for 
something else. The teaching must always be guided by the original, 
although defunct, use. This is the natural, the easy course to follow; 
for the mass of teachers at all times it is the broad way. Whatever 
the necessities of argument may drive a man to say, yet in his teach- 


ing he cannot help postulating to himself, as an indispensable fiction, 
that his pupils are some day or other to hear, to read, to speak, or to 
write, the language. 

The intense conservatism in the matter of languages, the alacrity 
to prescribe languages on all sides, without inquiring whether they 
are likely to be turned to account, may be referred to various causes. 
For one thing, the remark may seem ungracious and invidious that 
many minds, not always of the highest force, are absorbed and in 
toxicated by languages. But apart from this they are, by compari 
son, easy to teach and easy to examine upon. Now, if there is any 
motive in education more powerful than another, it is ease in the 
work itself. We are all, without exception, copyists of that Irish 
celebrity who, when he came to a good bit of road, paced it to and 
fro a number of times before going forward on the rougher footing. 

So far I may seem to be arguing against the teaching of language 
at all, or, at any rate, the languages expressively called dead. I am 
not, however, pressing this point further than as an illustration. I do 
not ask any one to give an opinion against classics as a subject of in 
struction ; although, undoubtedly, if this opinion were prevalent, my 
principal task would be very much lightened. I have merely ana 
lyzed the utilities ascribed to the ancient and modern languages, w r ith 
a view to settling their place in competitive examinations. 

My thesis, then, is that languages are not a proper subject for 
competition with a view to professional appointments. The explana 
tion falls under two heads : 

In the first place, there are certain avocations where a foreign 
language must be known, because it has to be used in actual business. 
Such are the Indian spoken languages. Now, it is clear that in such 
cases the knowledge of the language, as being a sine qua non, must 
be made imperative. This, however, as I think, is not a case for com 
petition, but for a sufficient pass. There is a certain pitch of attain 
ment that is desirable even at first entering the service ; no one 
should fall below this, and to rise much above it cannot matter a 
great deal. At all events, I think the measure should be absolute and 
not relative. I would not give a man merit in a competition because 
another man happens to be worse than himself in a matter that all 
must know ; both the men may be absolutely bad. 

It may be the case that certain languages are so admirably con 
structed and so full of beauties that to study them is a liberal educa 
tion in itself. But this does not necessarily hold of every language 
that an official of the British Empire may happen to need. It does 
not apply to the Indian tongues, nor to Chinese, nor, I should sup 
pose, to the Feejee dialects. The only human faculty that is tested and 
brought into play in these acquisitions is the commonest kind of mem 
ory exercised for a certain time. The value to the service of the man 
that can excel in spoken languages does not lie in his superior admin- 


istrative ability, but in his being sooner fitted for actual duty. Un 
doubtedly, if two men go out to Calcutta so unequal in their knowl 
edge of native languages, or in the preparation for that knowledge, 
that one can begin work in six months, while the other takes nine, 
there is an important difference between them. But what is the ob 
vious mode of rewarding the differences ? Not, I should think, by 
pronouncing one a higher man in the scale of the competition, but by 
giving him some money-prize in proportion to the redemption of his 
time for official work. 

Now, as regards the second kind of languages, those that are sup 
posed to carry with them all the valuable indirect consequences that 
we have just reviewed. There are in the Civil Service scheme five 
such languages the two ancient, and three \modern. They are kept 
there, not because they are ever to be read or spoken in the service, 
bat because they exercise some magical efficacy in elevating the 
whole tone of the human intellect. 

If I were discussing the Indian Civil Service in its own special 
ties, I would deprecate the introduction of extraneous languages into 
the competition for this reason, that the service itself taxes the verbal 
powers more than any other service. I do not think that Lord Ma- 
caulay and his colleagues had this circumstance fully in view. Ma- 
caulay was himself a glutton for language ; and, while in India, read a 
great quantity of Latin and Greek. But he was exempted from the 
ordinary lot of the Indian civil servant ; he had no native languages 
to acquire and to use. If a man both speaks and writes in good Eng 
lish, and converses familiarly in several Oriental dialects, his lan 
guage-memory is sufficiently well taxed, and if he carries with him 
one European language besides, it is as much as belongs to the fitness 
of things in that department. 

My proposal, then, goes the length of excluding all these five cul 
tivated languages from the competition, notwithstanding the influence 
that they may be supposed to have as general culture. In supporting 
it, I shall assume that everything that can be said in their favor is 
true to the letter; that they assist us in our language, that they cul 
tivate logic and taste, that they exemplify universal grammar, and so 
on. All that my purpose requires is to affirm that the same good 
ends may be attained in other ways; that Latin, Greek, etc., are but 
one of several instruments for instructing us in English composition, 
reasoning, taste, and so on. My contention, then, is that the ends 
themselves are to be looked to, and not the means or instruments, 
since these are very various. English composition is, of course, a 
valuable end, whether got through the study of Latin, or through the 
study of English authors themselves, or through the inspiration of 
natural genius. Whatever amount of skill and attainment a candi 
date can show in this department should be valued in the examina 
tion for English ; and all the good that Latin has done for him would 


thus be entered to his credit. If, then, the study of Latin is found 
the best means of securing good marks in English, it will be pursued 
on that account; if the candidate is able to discover other less labori 
ous ways of attaining the end, he will prefer these ways. 

The same applies to all the other secondary ends of language. 
Let them be valued in their own departments. Let the improvement 
of the reasoning faculty be counted wherever that is shown in the ex 
amination. Good reasoning powers will evince themselves in many 
places, and will have their reward. 

The principle is a plain and obvious one. It is the payment for 
results, without inquiring into the means. There are certain extreme 
cases where the means are not improperly coupled with the results in 
the final examination; and these are illustrations of the principle. 
Thus, in passing a candidate for the medical profession, the final end 
is his or her knowledge of diseases and their remedies. As it is 
admitted, however, that there are certain indispensable preparatory 
studies anatomy, physiology, and materia medica such studies are 
made part of the examination, because they contribute to the testing 
for the final end. 

The argument is not complete until we survey another branch of 
the subject of examination in languages. It will be observed in the 
wording of the programme that each separate language is coupled 
with " literature and history." It is the language, literature, and his 
tory, of Rome, Greece, etc. And the examination-questions show the 
exact scope of these adjuncts, and also the values attached to them, 
as compared with the language by itself. 

Let us consider this matter a little. Take history first, as being 
the least involved. Greece and Rome have both a certain lasting im 
portance attaching to their history and institutions; and these, ac 
cordingly, are a useful study. Of course, the extant writings are the 
chief groundwork of our knowledge of these, and must be read. But 
at the present day all that can be extracted from the originals is pre 
sented to the student in English books ; and to these he is exclusively 
referred for this part of his knowledge. In the small portion of 
original texts that a pupil at school or college toils through, he 
necessarily gets a few of the historical facts at first hand, but he 
could much more easily get these few where he gets the rest, in the 
English compilations. Admitting, then, that the history and institu 
tions of Greece and Rome constitute a valuable education, it is in our 
power to secure it independently of the original tongues. 

The other branch literature is not so easily disposed of. In 
fact, the separating of the literature from the language, you will say, 
is a self-evident absurdity. That, however, only shows that you have 
not looked carefully into examination-papers. I am not concerned 
with what the a priori imagination may suppose to be literature, but 
with the actual questions put by examiners under that name. I find 


that such questions are, generally speaking, very few, perhaps one or 
two in a long paper, and nearly all pertain to the outworks of litera 
ture, so to speak. Here is the Latin literature of one paper: In 
what special branch of literature were the Romans independent of 
the Greeks ? Mention the principal writers in it, with the peculiar 
characteristics of each. Who was the first to employ the hexameter 
in Latin poetry, and in what poem? To what language is Latin most 
nearly related, and what is the cause of their great resemblance? 
The Greek literature of the same examination involves these points : 
The Aristophanic estimate of Euripides, with criticisms on its taste 
and justice (for which, however, an historical subject is given as an 
alternative) ; the Greek chorus, and choric metres. Now, such an ex 
amination is, in the first place, a most meagre view of literature : it 
does not necessarily exercise the faculty of critical discernment. In 
the next place, it is chiefly a matter of compilation from English 
sources ; the actual readings of the candidate in Greek and Latin 
would be of little account in the matter. Of course, the choric me 
tres could not be described without some knowledge of Greek, but 
the matter is of very trifling importance in an educational point of 
view. Generally speaking, the questions in literature, which in num 
ber bear no proportion to historical questions, are such as might be 
included under history, as the department of the history of literature. 

The distribution of the 750 marks allotted respectively to Latin 
and to Greek, in the present scheme, is this : There are three papers 
two are occupied exclusively with translation. The third is language, 
literature, and history : the language means purely grammatical ques 
tions; so that 583 marks are given for the language proper. The re 
maining number, 167, should be allotted equally between literature 
and history ; but history has always the lion s share, and is, in fact, 
the only part of the whole examination that has, to my mind, any 
real worth. It is generally a very searching view of important insti 
tutions and events, together with what may be called their philosophy. 
Now, the reform that seems to me to be wanted is to strike out every 
thing else from the examination. At the same time, I should like to 
see the experiment of a real literary examination, such as did not 
necessarily imply a knowledge of the originals. 

It is interesting to turn to the examination in modern languages, 
where the ancient scheme is copied, by appending literature and his 
tory. Here the literature is decidedly more prominent and thorough. 
There is also a fair paper of history questions. What strikes us, how 
ever, in this, is a slavish adherence to the form, without the reality, of 
the ancient situation. We have independent histories of Greece and 
Rome, but scarcely of Germany, France, and Italy. Instead of par 
titioning modern European history among the language-examiners 
for English, French, German, Italian, it would be better to relieve 
them of history altogether, and place the subject as a whole in the 


hands of a distinct examiner. I would still allow merit for a literary 
examination in French, German, and Italian, but would strike off the 
languages, and let the candidate get up the literature as he chose. 
The basis of a candidate s literary knowledge, and his first introduc 
tion to literature, ought to be his own language ; but he may extend 
his discrimination and his power by other literatures, either in trans 
lations or in originals, as he pleases ; but the examination, as before, 
should test the discrimination and the power, and not the vocabulary, 
of the languages themselves. 

In order to do full justice to classical antiquity, I would allow the 
present markings to continue, at the rate of 500 for political institu 
tions and history, and 250 for literature. Some day this will be 
thought too much; but political philosophy or sociology may become 
more systematic than at present, and. history questions will then take 
a different form. 

In like manner, I would abolish the language-examination in 
modern languages, and give 250 marks for the literature of each of 
the three modern languages French, German, Italian. The history 
would be taken as modern history, with an adequate total value. 

The objections to this proposal will mainly revolve themselves 
into its revolutionary character. The remark will at once be made 
that the classical languages would cease to be taught, and even the 
modern languages discouraged. The meaning of this I take to be, 
that, if such teaching is judged solely by its fruits, it must necessarily 
be condemned. 

The only way to fence this unpalatable conclusion is to maintain 
that the results could not be fully tested in an examination as sug 
gested. Some of these are so fine, impalpable, and spiritual in their 
texture, that they cannot be seized by any questions that can be put, 
and would be dropped out if the present system were changed. But 
results so untraceable cannot be proved to exist at all. 

So far from the results being missed by disusing the exercises of 
translation, one might contend that they would only begin to be ap 
preciated fairly when the whole stress of the examination is put upon 
them. If an examiner sets a paper in Roman law, containing long 
Latin extracts to be translated, he is starving the examination in law 
by substituting for it an examination in Latin. Whatever knowledge 
of Latin terminology is necessary to the knowledge of law should be 
required, and no more. So, it is not an examination in Aristotle to 
require long translations from the Greek; only by dispensing with all 
this does the main subject receive proper attention. 

If the properly literary part of the present examinations were 
much of a reality, there would be a nice discussion as to the amount 
of literary tact that could be imparted in connection with a foreign 
language, as translated or translatable. But I have made an ample 
concession, when I propose that the trial should be made of examin- 

VOL. XII. 11 


ing in literature in this fashion; and I do not see any difficulty be 
yond the initial repugnance of the professors of languages to be em 
ployed in this task, and the fear, on the part of candidates, that undue 
stress might be placed on points that need a knowledge of originals. 

I will conclude with a remark on the apparent tendency of the 
wide options in the commissioners scheme. No one subject is obli 
gatory ; and the choice is so wide that by a very narrow range of 
acquirements a man may sometimes succeed. No doubt, as a rule, it 
requires a considerable mixture of subjects : both sciences and litera 
ture have to be included. But I find the case of a man entering the 
India service by force of languages alone, which I cannot but think a 
miscarriage. Then the very high marks Assigned to mathematics 
allow a man to win with no other science, and no other culture, but a 
middling examination in English. To those that think so highly of 
foreign languages, this must seem a much greater anomaly than it 
does to me. I would prefer, however, that such a candidate had trav 
ersed a wider field of science, instead of excelling in high mathemat 
ics alone. 

There are. I should say, three great regions of study that should 
be fairly represented by every successful candidate. The first is the 
sciences as a whole, in the form and order that I have suggested. The 
second is English composition, in which successful men in the India 
competition sometimes show a cipher. The third is what I may call 
loosely the humanities, meaning the department of institutions and 
history, with perhaps literature : to be computed in any of the regions 
of ancient and modern history. In every one of these three depart 
ments I would fix a minimum below which the candidate must not 


WE owe an apology to a very respectable class of persons for 
the apparent, but we trust only apparent, and certainly invol 
untary, discourtesy of the thesis to which we invite attention. The 
late Mr. Mill, in a well-known passage, called the Conservatives the 
stupid party. We do not call them so, nor their opponents. All we 
venture to assert of both is, that in a universe of graduated intelli 
gence they are not highest in the scale. The great majority of even 
prominent politicians have just the gifts which make a man conspicu 
ous in a town-council or a board of guardians : physical energy, moral 
persistency, and ideas on a level with those of their fellows. Miss 
Martineau, in her very candid " Autobiography," has recorded her 
sense of the mental and moral inferiority of the political men with 

1 Condensed from Fraser s Magazine. 


whom, during her period of lionizing in London, she was brought 
into contact, as compared with .the men of letters, and still more with 
the men of science, whose acquaintance she made. She observed in 
the politicians a much lower type of mind and character, expressing 
itself even in a certain vulgarity of manners, the lowest point being 
reached in all these particulars by the Whig aristocracy of the day. 

In the long prevalence of an aristocratic monopoly, diminished 
now, but not altogether done away with, and subsisting still in its 
effects even more powerfully than in itself, one of the special causes 
of the comparative stupidity of politicians in England may be dis 
cerned. But the evil is inherent in the very conditions of what 
are called practical politics. The real development of mind is to 
be sought in what Mr. Arnold calls its disinterested play in science 
and art. Discipline in the methods of research after truth, famil 
iarity with the highest conceptions of the universe, delight in the 
most perfect forms of expression, whether they take the shape of lit 
erature or of the plastic and imitative arts, these are the feeders and 
purifiers of the mind. The artist, including the author as well as 
the sculptor, the painter, and the actor, and the man of science, live, 
so far as they are true to their work, in the society of Nature and of 
its great interpreters. They are constantly in the presence of their 
betters. The statesman lives habitually in the society of county and 
borough members ; or, if we restrict our view to the intimate associa 
tions of the cabinet, of men little, if at all, above these intellectually. 
In other words, the finest mind is habitually in the presence of its in 
feriors, whose ideas and impulses are to it what his daily beer was to 
Mr. Justice Maule, the instrumentality with which he brought him 
self down to the level of his work. He must think their thoughts 
and speak their language. To be over their heads, to be, as a dex 
terous politician said of a great philosopher, too clever for the House 
of Commons, to have nobler and farther-reaching conceptions than 
they, is to commit the sin for which there is no parliamentary for 
giveness. It is sometimes said that the House of Commons is wiser 
than any single member; a saying which, according as it is inter 
preted, is either an absurdity or a truism. It may mean, what is in 
disputable, that the whole is greater than the part, or, what is im 
possible, that the average is higher than the elements which raise it. 
The House of Commons can only be wiser than some particular mem 
ber by following the guidance of some other member who, on that 
particular occasion, is wiser than he; that is to say, it is wiser than 
one of its less wise members. The saying, however, is intended to 
affirm the position that intellectual superiority is not the truest guide 
in politics, or, in other words, that politicians, in so far as they are 
successful, are comparatively stupid, a position which we are far from 
disputing. On the contrary, we affirm it as a truth of observation 
and experience, and are at the present moment doing our best to ac- 


count for it. As regards the proposition itself, it means simply that 
the House of Commons knows its own mind, such as it is, and, what 
ever the worth of that knowledge, better than any single member of 
it ; and as a rule the average member who is in sympathy with it will 
interpret it better than the member of much higher powers who is 
above its level. But it is only wiser than its wisest members in the 
sense in which the field may be said to be wiser than the farmer, or 
the ocean than the navigator ; that is to say, in no intelligible sense 
at all. Like Nature, if it is to be commanded it must be obeyed, and 
the necessity of understanding it is, by confusion of thought, taken 
for its understanding of itself. 

The inferior society in which politicians live, inferior in intelli 
gence and cultivation, and the necessity of adapting their own 
thoughts and aims to those of the ordinary minds and characters 
they have to influence, brings about the decline and deterioration of 
men of originally fine endowments. It either prevents these qualities 
from developing, or stunts them where they have a certain degree of 
growth. Their "nature is subdued to what it works in, like the 
dyer s hand." This evil is in part qualified by another. It is chiefly 
the second-rate order of minds and characters that betake themselves 
now to politics in England minds already on the level to which 
superiority needs to be reduced before it can be effective. For this 
reason, probably, whenever an occasion demands a hero in politics, he 
has been seldom found in the walks of professional statesmanship. 
The national crisis which asks for a deliverer finds him not among 
those who have been deteriorated and dwarfed by the ordinary work 
and associations of politics, but in a man who has lived among nobler 
ideas and associations, and cultivated a larger and more liberal na 
ture. The practice of affairs is, no doubt, a discipline of some value; 
but nearly everything depends on what the affairs are. To manage 
the House of Commons, to get bills through committee, to administer 
a public office, does not seem usually to be good training for very 
difficult business. When a considerable emergency occurs there is 
almost invariably a breakdown of the departments. The true dis 
cipline of public business is to teach men readiness in action and fer 
tility in resources. Its ordinary effect is to harden them in routine, 
which suits poorly enough even the common round and the daily task 
of business, and which is a hinderance, and which may be ruin when 
necessities, transcending precedents and rules of office, have to be 
encountered. The fact is, that the training of affairs, invaluable as it 
is, seldom bears its proper fruit, unless the affairs are a man s own, or 
when the consequences of failure are sure to come upon him in a 
rapid and crushing manner. The merchant or capitalist, whose vent 
ures depend upon his personal vigilance; the engineer, who has to 
deal with overwhelming physical forces; the military commander, 
who has to contend at once with the not always benevolent neutral- 


ity of Nature and the watchfulness of human enemies, cannot afford, 
to take things easily. Action is forced upon them ; they must either 
succeed or conspicuously fail. In politics, usually, the state of things 
is entirely different. The demand is rarely made for heroic measures ; 
the prudence which is taught is that rather which shuns difficulty and 
dreads failure, than that blending of caution and audacity which finds 
in the way of seeming danger the true path of safety. The educa 
tion of practice in parliamentary politics is, therefore, for the most 
part, an education in the arts of inaction, evasion, and delay. The 
blame of doing nothing is usually less than the blame of doing amiss. 
A great writer, whose instinctive sagacity was often wiser than the 
elaborated reflections of more painful thinkers, embodied the char 
acteristic weakness of political training in England when he made 
" How not to do it " the aim of our statesmen. Lord Melbourne s 
" Can t you leave it alone ?" gave expression to the same paralysis of 
action in excessive caution and prudence. Politics of this sort will 
attract feeble minds and characters, or will enfeeble those naturally 
stronger. The oratory which they foster will be that of mystification, 
amusement, and excitement. Acquaintance with political philosophy 
or economic science will be felt to be wholly superfluous. Even that 
empirical knowledge of his age and country, and of the assembly in 
and through which he rules, which are e-ssential to every practical 
statesman, will be little more than the charlatan s or demagogue s ac 
quaintance with the foibles and passions of popular sentiment and 
opinion. The admiral who boasted that he brought his ships home 
uninjured from seas in which he had not encountered the enemy, and 
the Frenchman whose achievement it was to have kept himself alive 
during the French Revolution, represent the prevalent aims of modern 
statesmanship. A ministry exists to keep itself in existence ; if the 
ship, without going anywhere or doing anything, can be kept afloat, 
that is held to be all that can be required. This fain eant policy does 
not require any high range of intellect. Men of the first order will 
seek careers which afford ampler scope to capacity. If they betake 
themselves to public life, which affords them no opportunity of great 
public work, there is danger of their devoting their energies to their 
own private and personal ends ; or, merely to establish a character 
for " honesty " will often prove enough to repose on. A picture, a 
statue, or a poem, does not receive additional value from the fact that 
its author is a very pleasant and straightforward sort of fellow ; but 
" honest Jack Althorp s " statesmanship rested entirely on this basis 
of character; and a late parliamentary leader has been commended 
on the ground that "there is not the making of a lie in him." A 
career in which character may be a substitute for capacity must, from 
the nature of the case, be pursued on a lower intellectual level than 
those in which intelligence and cultivation and general or special 
knowledge are absolutely essential. 


The natural and almost necessary inferiority of politicians as a 
class is compatible with the unsurpassed intellectual and moral great 
ness of statesmanship of the highest class. Men are not wanting in 
the history of any country, least of all in that of ours, and they have 
representatives among us now, who have found or made work for 
themselves to do which taxes the very highest gifts, and in the doing 
of which the very humblest and most commonplace allies and instru 
ments acquire a sort of transfiguration. Their appearance and exer 
tions mark the high-water point in the national life, an epoch of brief 
but fruitful work, an epoch of civil heroism. But the languor comes 
after the exertion ; and in such a period of languor we seem now. to 
be plunged. Even the men who counted for much when they fol 
lowed a great leader become mere ciphers when the figure which 
stood at their head is removed. 

Apart from these singular cases of moral and intellectual ascen 
dency, the gifts which make a parliamentary leader are just those 
which make a man popular in society. The cheerful animal spirits 
and vigorous gayety of temperament which characterized Lord Pal- 
merston, or the amusing qualities of a public entertainer which 
marked Charles Townshend (not to seek for living illustrations), are 
what it most relishes the qualities which make a first-rate host in a 
country-house, or an amusing diner-out in town. 




inROM the above names, most persons of average culture would at 
once infer that they are instruments for exploring the larynx 
and nose, and yet but few would suspect what simple little instru 
ments they are merely bits of looking-glass set in a frame and at 
tached to a handle. But, when they give the matter a little further 
investigation, they are surprised at the greatness of the benefits 
which have already been reaped by mankind from the discovery of 
these self-same little instruments. They will learn that only a few 
years ago physicians were absolutely in the dark when applied to by 
those afflicted with disease of the throat ; and that where then all was 
darkness, there now is clear light, thanks to the zeal and scientific de 
votion of Prof. Ttirck, of the University of Vienna, who in 1857 was 
the first to successfully use the laryngoscope as a means of deter 
mining the nature of a disease in the throat of a patient then in the 


wards of the General Hospital of Vienna, of which latter Ttirck was the 
physician-in-chief. Justice and the truth of history, however, require 
that we should not omit mentioning the experiments and efforts of 
Senn, of Geneva (1827) ; Babington, of London (1829) ; Belloc, of 
Paris (1837); Baumes, of Lyons (1838); Liston, of London (1840); of 
Warden (1844) ; and, finally, of Manuel Garcia, a singing-teacher, of 
London. With the exception of the last, all of the experimenters had 
been disappointed in their efforts to devise an instrument sufficiently 
suitable and generally practical. Their experiments all lacked that 
essential practical element which made the subsequent labors of Ttirck 
and Czermak the solid basis for the grand superstructure which has 
grown up since their time. While Prof. Ttirck at Vienna, and Prof. 
Czerrnak, of the University of Krakau, the latter having become 
interested by Prof. Ttirck in the experiments, were thus developing 
the practical application of the laryngeal mirror (Kehlkopffragen- 
spiegel, as Tiirck named it), Garcia, the now justly famous Spanish 
tenor and singing maestro, and father of the gifted songstress, Mali- 
bran, was at the very same time experimenting in London, but with 
totally different purposes. The object which Tiirck and Czermak 
had in view was to make the laryngoscope available as an adjunct and 
aid to the art and practice of medicine, or, in other words, as a means 
of diagnosis in disease of the throat. Garcia, on the other hand, was 
prompted by a desire to observe the actions of the vocal cords and 
larynx when producing tones and sounds. His observations were 
published in the Royal Philosophical Magazine and Journal of 
Science (vol. x., 1855), and they constitute the first physiological rec 
ords of the human voice as based upon observations in the living 
subject. It is interesting at this date to turn to his remarks and to 
note the thoroughness therein displayed. The curious may refer to 
Madame Seller s " The Voice in Singing," or to the writer s transla 
tion of Sieber s "Art of Singing." It is but proper to add that 
although Tiirck and Garcia were thus experimenting at one and the 
same time, neither, however, knew of the other nor of his efforts. 
Garcia accomplished his aim by standing with his back to the sun 
and catching its rays upon a looking-glass held in his left hand, which 
he then reflected into his opened mouth. Next he carried a dentist s 
mirror to the back of his mouth ; and the sun s light which, in the first 
instance, was reflected from the mirror in the hand, being in turn 
reflected upon the dentist s mirror, served to illuminate the larynx 
below, and thus caused its picture to become visible in the dentist s 
mirror. Tlirck also used the sun s rays, but in a more direct manner, 
viz., without previous reflection. Prof. Czermak, as already remarked, 
soon became interested in Tiirck s experiments, and, borrowing some 
of Turck s mirrors, repeated the experiments. His labors resulted in 
a yet further and most brilliant development of the subject, by his 
introduction of a powerful artificial light, thus making us independent 


of sunlight, and enabling an examination to be made at any time of 
the day or night. 

For the clearer comprehension of the reader, I here introduce cut 
No. 1, which depicts the laryngoscope, or laryngeal mirror. At the 
left end we see the mirror, which is set in a silver frame and back ; 
this in turn is attached to a metal stem, and the stem itself is set in a 
wooden handle, which latter is merely a matter of convenience by 
which the physician is enabled to handle it with more ease and facil- 

Stem. Handle. 

A ,r.-7 

FIG. 1. 

ity. The mirror is made of various sizes, from that of a cent to 
that of a silver half-dollar, and is so attached to the stem as to 
describe an angle of 120 to 125. 

Prior to the discovery of the laryngoscope, the great obstacle to 
the diagnosis and comprehension of disease of the larynx lay in the 
fact that this organ was so placed as to be at an almost direct angle 
to the line of vision. If w r e look into the mouth of another person, 
we see the back of the mouth ; but if we wish to see the larynx, or 
organ of tone and voice, we are unable to do it, even though its posi 
tion is just back of and below the root of the tongue. And, even 
though we press down the tongue, we derive no aid. Nor are we 
enlightened by symptoms of pain or discomfort in the throat, for 
these are not only insufficient, but may be absolutely deceptive. A 
patient may complain of aches and pains, and may imagine them in 
the larynx, and all the while the organ be in a perfectly sound state ; 
and, on the other hand again, grave forms of throat-disease may exist, 
and with so little of actual pain as to cause the victim hardly any 
uneasiness. The revolution in this department of the medical art may 
perhaps be best illustrated when I refer to the fact that ere the intro 
duction of the laryngeal mirror, barely twenty years ago, there were 
but two or three forms of laryngeal disease recognized or treated of 
in the text-books on the practice of medicine. At the present time, 
the study of the numerous and varied diseases of this wonderful little 
organ, the larynx, has made such strides that laryngology has, like 
ophthalmology, otology, and gyna3cology, demanded and received 
recognition as a separate and distinct department of medical prac 
tice, and has its special practitioners in almost every city of size 
and population. Whereas, formerly, the two or three recognized 
forms of throat-disease were dismissed in a scant dozen of pages in 
the medical text-works, we now have exhaustive and elaborate trea 
tises in all of the great languages of the civilized world. Twenty 


years ago inflammation, laryngeal phthisis, or, popularly speaking, 
throat - consumption, and oedema, constituted the three recognized 
forms of throat-affection ; but, in eight years from the first practical 
application of this instrument, the revolution was such that separate 
treatises described and treated of forty and more varieties of disease, 
such as acute laryngitis and the various acute affections ; simple 
chronic laryngitis, chronic ulcerative laryngitis; of six or seven forms 
of inflammation of special parts of the larynx ; of tubercular and 
syphilitic laryngitis, oedema, abscess, etc. Next we find descriptions 
of the diseases which attack the laryngeal cartilages or framework 
of the larynx, as perichondritis and chondritis. Then follow nervous 
forms of derangement, and then paralytic forms of difficulty. In the 
first we have conditions of nervous exaltation, such as spasmodic 
coughs, spasms, etc. Under the second head we have paralytic affec 
tions of the vocal cords and laryngeal muscles. These paralytic 
difficulties of the larynx may exist in the larynx without much or 
even any impairment of the general health. Then we have anemia 
or impoverished blood-supply, and finally the varied forms of tumors 
and morbid growths, cancerous, syphilitic, etc. I might prolong this 
list yet further, and even dwell at length upon the many and ingen 
ious instruments for operating within the larynx, but to do so would 
be to exceed the limits of my article. 

The rhinoscopic mirror, or rhinoscope, is practically but a laryn 
geal mirror of a smaller size. The stem and handle are the same, and 
attached in the same manner, at about the same angle, but there is 
the difference of a much smaller size as compared to the laryngo 
scope, the mirror being usually about the size of a silver three-cent 
piece. Its use is to enable us to see the back or inner parts of the 
nose (posterior nares), and the upper part of the pharynx or vault of 
the back of the mouth. Its discovery, which occurred soon after that 
of the laryngoscope, is due to the patience and genius of Czermak, 
and was a direct result of the discovery of the laryngeal mirror. 
The parts which it enables us to see are hidden behind and above 
the palate, and the office of the rhinoscopic mirror is simply to so 
reflect the light as to illuminate these parts, and in turn enable 
their image to become visible in the mirror. In the first instance the 
little mirror is placed at the back of the opened mouth of the patient. 
At the same time a powerful and clear light from an illuminating 
apparatus is directed into the patient s mouth, and the rays striking 
upon the mirror are so reflected upward and forward as to illuminate 
the parts we seek to examine, and these are then, as just remarked, 
made visible in the mirror. And in this principle lies the entire secret 
of the art of making a laryngoscopic or rhinoscopic examination. It 
is simply a dexterous management of mirrors to secure proper reflec 
tion of light, and the consequent illumination and examination of hid 
den recesses. 



The rhinoscope also enables us to examine the nasal or pharyn- 
geal orifices of the Eustachian tubes. These latter are passages lead 
ing from the inner side of the drum of the ear, and opening, as 
already indicated, at a point situated in the posterior nasal parts. 
It is not the province of this article to enter into minute or pre 
cise detail, and therefore we shall merely add that these tubes 
bear a very important relation to the faculty of hearing. If the 
nasal orifices of these tubes become swollen by disease, or choked 
with diseased mucus, greater or less impairment of the hearing-power 
results. Consequently, the rhinoscope has rendered no small service 
to us for determining causes of deafness, and of curing them, which 
formerly were but guessed at or remained unknown. 

But to make the laryngeal and rhinal mirrors available, the artifi 
cial illumination of these parts is necessary. To depend upon the sun s 
rays, as was the case with the original experiments, was too uncer 
tain. Czermak,as we have seen, substituted artificial light, and thus 
enabled an examination to be made at any hour of the day or night. 
Tobold, of Berlin, after a time, brought forward an apparatus which 
is depicted in the following cut, and which embodied the most perfect 
apparatus of the time. The cut also shows us the position of the 
patient and of the examiner. 

As introduced by him, it consisted of a common study-lamp : a 

FIG. 2. 

is a brass tube, or light-condenser, in which are convex lenses, c, d, g. 
The lenses c and d, it will be observed, are close together, while the 
third, <7, is at the distal extremity of this brass tube. At/* this brass 
tube can be unscrewed, thus enabling the cleansing of the lenses. 


The lens g can also be removed at h. m is a brass arm having three 
joints, and fastened to the lamp. At the extremity of this arm is a 
perforated knob, s, through which the handle of the reflector, i, is 
passed, and which is fastened by a screw. At o is a single charniere 
joint, which permits of the forward or backward motion of the 
reflector the illuminating agent being oil. By substituting gas 
burned through an Argand burner, and fed from any ordinary burner, 
the apparatus has been made more available, and better light obtained. 
The following cut represents the improved apparatus as now made. 

FIG. 3. 

It is not necessary to dwell upon the changes. Suffice it that by 
these the apparatus has been made much more ready and simple in 
management, and less liable to derangement of focus at important 
moments when a steady light is needed for intra-laryngeal operations. 
It is here that we should call a brief attention to the va^t strides 
which, under the influence of the laryngoscope, have been effected in 
the operative procedures upon this organ. All of these are now made 
by means of instruments curved at a direct angle to the line of vision, 
and in none of these operations does the operator directly see the 


objective point. His operations are all made under the guidance of 
the image which he sees reflected in the laryngeal mirror, and are 
comparatively bloodless and accompanied by little or no pain. 

A laryngoscopic examination is made as follows : In the second 
cut we see the positions of the examiner and patient. The patient 
opens his mouth as widely as possible, and at the same time protrudes 
his tongue. The examiner, then, with a small napkin takes the pro 
truded tongue between his thumb and forefinger, thus gently steady 
ing it and preventing its slipping back into the mouth. The object 
in thus protruding the tongue is to enlarge the cavity of the mouth as 
much as possible. The laryngeal mirror is next warmed either over the* 
chimney of the illuminator or in some warm water, so as to prevent 
its becoming obscured or dimmed by the breath. It is then quickly 
and dexterously carried to the back of the mouth. A bungling man 
ner of doing this, by causing great irritation of sensitive parts of the 
mouth, causes gagging and even vomiting, and, this once excited, 
all further examination is either very difficult or impossible at this 
sitting. It is not to be taken for granted, however, that examinations 
can readily be made in all cases, nor even in the larger majority 
of the patients. With many there is no trouble, but there are also 
quite a number of patients whose throats are so irritable from disease 
as to prevent the introduction of the laryngoscope. In other cases 
the patient s tongue has an almost irresistible tendency to keep rising 
up toward the roof of the mouth and thus obstruct the view. En 
largement of the tonsils according to the degree of their enlarge 
ment makes an examination either very difficult, or else, if so much 
enlarged that they meet and almost close up the throat, makes it 
impossible until the enlargement has been reduced. For the over 
coming of mere irritability of the throat or fauces when this per 
tains to a degree sufficient to be troublesome, various means have 
been resorted to, to produce local anaesthesia of the fauces. A piece 
of ice held in the mouth, the water being swallowed, is one plan. 
Another is to drop twenty drops of chloroform on a handkerchief 
and let the patient inhale it for a minute. With most cases of 
irritable throat this is quite sufficient, and without at all rendering the 
patient drowsy or uncomfortable. Bromide of potash has been used, 
but has not given satisfaction practically. 

The examiner, having avoided touching the back of the tongue 
and of the pharynx with the mirror, carries it, as already said, to the 
back of the mouth to an oblique position below the soft palate and 
with the uvula or " drop " of the palate at its back. The rays of light 
from the illuminating apparatus, striking the laryngeal mirror, are 
then reflected in a downward direction and light up the parts (the 
larynx) below. These, being illuminated, are in return depicted 
upon the laryngeal mirror above. The process may be compared to 
that of the management of toilet-mirrors to enable us to see the back 


of the head. In the latter proceeding it is not the back of the head 
which we see, but, as is hardly necessary to add, merely its reflec 
tion in the mirror. 

And at this point we should remark that, while the laryngeal 
examination to one versed in the art is comparatively easy, the 
rhinoscopic examination, on the other hand, is a very difficult matter, 
and calls into play no small amount of skill and ingenuity. The rea 
sons for this are mainly because of the unruliness of most palates, 
which have a tendency to bob up and down in a very provoking 
manner. We shall not dwell further upon this point, but briefly add 
a few remarks as to what this instrument has done for us. "Where 
we can apply it we are no longer in the dark as to whether a case of 
disease is that of a chronic catarrh, nasal tumor, simple inflammation, 
swelling, or ulceration. In our climate, in which diseases of the nasal 
cavities, and particularly catarrh, are so prevalent that it has been 
estimated that 10,000,000 of our people have the disease called 
catarrh to a greater or less degree, every advance by which we are 
enabled the more successfully to combat these complaints is of gen 
eral interest and importance. How potent our climate is in causing 
catarrh is illustrated in the case of Charles Dickens, who contracted 
it so rapidly and severely as to necessitate his abandoning many en 
gagements and compel his flight from this country. Interesting is 
the fact, which Darwin records in his " Descent of Man," that the 
Cebus azarce, a species of Paraguayan monkey, is liable to catarrh 
with all of the symptoms found in his more human relatives, and 
which when often recurrent leads in them to consumption. 

The higher animals, like man, are endowed with an organ of voice 
and sound, but man alone has the supreme gift and faculty of express 
ing the ideas and thoughts which his intellectual endowments and 
powers give rise to, or, plainly speaking, he alone has an articulate 
language equal to the expression of most of his feelings and senti 
ments. How wonderful, then, it becomes to us when we study the 
little organ which has the great task of placing man in direct com 
munication with his fellow-beings ! And how wonderfully this little 
organ modulates its tones in accordance with the varying degrees of 
emotion and earnestness ! And when we consider that each voice has 
its own peculiarities and characteristics which distinguish it from all 
others, our interest deepens. And yet there is little or in fact no dif 
ference in the mechanism of the various kinds of voice, the variations 
in pitch being due chiefly to the greater length of the vocal cords 
in the low-pitched voices and to their shortness in the high voices. 
Tone, whether in speech or song, is simply a result of the action of a 
volume of air in a quantity which is regulated by the will of the speaker 
or singer, which, coming up from the lungs through the windpipe, 
passes up through the larynx, where it causes the elastic vocal cords 
to be put upon the stretch to a greater or less degree according as 


the intended note is high or low, to vibrate, and thus is produced the 
tone which upon its entrance into the pharyngeal cavity and mouth 
becomes articulated, and the sound of which is variously and essen 
tially modified according to the varying peculiarities of structure and 
formation of the larynx, pharynx, and mouth. It is also changed or 
modulated according as the various parts of the mouth, tongue, pal 
ate, teeth, and lips, assume different positions. Cultivation of the 
voice also impresses its stamp. The tone-waves, as they rush out of 
the open mouth, communicate their vibrations to the air, which con 
ducts the sound onward until it reaches our ears, provided we are 
within the reach of these atmospheric vibrations. The difference * 
between a cultivated voice or note is soon detected in the purity and 
regularity with which its sounds reach us as compared to the harsh, 
irregular, discordant waves impelled by one not so cultivated. Jo 
hannes Miiller places the extreme range of the human voice at four 
octaves, but it is quite seldom that the range exceeds two and a 
half octaves. In some phenomenal voices, like those of the gifted 
Parepa-Rosa, Peschka-Leutner, Mara, Farinelli, and other great sing 
ers, we meet with astounding range and power. Parepa-Rosa had 
a voice ranging full three octaves, from so! 2 to so! 3 ; and Flint, the 
learned and indefatigable physiologist, tells that at the World s Mu 
sical Festival at Boston, in 1869, she gave the most astounding exhi 
bitions of the wonders which this little organ, the larynx, is capable 
of. In some of the solos by Madame Rosa, accompanied by a chorus 
of 12,000 with an orchestra of more than a thousand, and largely 
composed of brass instruments, Prof. Flint distinctly heard the 
pure and just notes of this remarkable soprano, standing alone, as 
it were, against the entire choral and instrumental force ; and this 
in an immense building containing an audience of 40,000 persons ! 
Mara s voice had compass, with equal fullness of tone, of three oc 
taves, and she possessed such power of musical utterance that she 
imitated the most difficult passages of the violin and flute with per 
fect facility. Farinelli on one occasion competed with a trumpeter, 
who accompanied him in an aria. After both had several times dwelt 
on notes in which each sought to excel the other, they prolonged a 
note with a double trill in thirds, which they continued until both 
seemed exhausted. At last the trumpeter gave up, entirely out of 
breath, while Farinelli, without taking breath, prolonged the note 
with renewed volume of sound, trilling and ending finally with the 
most difficult roulades. 

But these wonderful displays of the power of the larynx must not 
be ascribed entirely to the intensity of the tone, but are in no small 
measure due to the absolute mathematical equality of the sonorous 
vibrations and the comparative absence of discordant waves. By the 
degree of tension of the vocal cords which is required for the pitch 
of a prescribed tone, and which, as we have seen, is greater in the 


higher and less in the lower notes, the muscles of the larynx really 
become the determining forces of the ability to sing, and a great deal 
depends upon securing for them the necessary practice, as for instance 
for the execution of rapid successions of tones. And herein lies the 
difference in the voices of singers, the purity of the tone depending 
upon the accuracy with which they put the vocal cords upon the 
stretch, while in those whose tones are impure and faulty, the difficulty 
lies in their inability to give the requisite tension, and of course the 
muscles take part in the shortcoming. A correct idea of the sound, 
height, and depth, of the tone which the singer intends to communi 
cate, enables him to strike the correct tension as by intuition, and 
carries him along its continuance, and through its purity of modula 
tion, until it has ceased. 



WHEN, in the beginning of the present year,.I received a request 
to deliver before this Institute a lecture on the subject of Evo 
lution, I was at first disposed to excuse myself. Holding religious 
views which, perhaps, in many respects are not in accordance with 
those that have commended themselves to you, I was reluctant to 
present for your consideration a topic which, though it is in truth 
purely scientific, is yet connected with some of the most important 
and imposing theological dogmas. Whatever conclusion is eventu 
ally reached respecting it will have an influence on them. But there 
was that liberality of sentiment in your letter that earnest desire for 
the ascertainment of truth that I cast aside these hesitations, and 
am now here in obedience to your wishes. 

Not that I can do justice in an hour to so great a subject, the 
literature of which ranges through many centuries. It is no new 
fangled romance, as some would have us believe. It comes to us 
from a venerable antiquity. The theorems it expresses, and indeed 
on which it is based, have long ago been clearly known. 

Considering the shortness of the time allotted me, the vast ex 
tent of the subject, the special character of this audience, and the 
nature of your request, I perceive that it is not an elaborate exposi 
tion of the evidence in favor of the theory of evolution that I must 

1 The ministers of the Unitarian Church have recently held a meeting of their Insti 
tute at Springfield, Massachusetts. They had requested Dr. John W. Draper to deliver 
before them a lecture on the subject of Evolution. This accordingly was done on Thurs- 
d.ay, October llth. Some passages omitted in the lecture for want of time are here in 


give, but a reference to those facts connected with it that are of chief 
interest to you. I must bear in mind that this is an institute of cler 
gymen seeking information on a topic Avhich they consider to have a 
bearing on their pursuits, and that it is from a corresponding point 
of view that I must present it. 

Two explanations have been introduced to account for the origin 
of the assemblage of organic beings, plant and animal, that surround 
us. These are conveniently designated as the hypothesis of Creation 
and that of Evolution. 

The hypothesis of CREATION asserts that Almighty God called 
into sudden existence, according to his goodf pleasure, the different 
types of life that we see. This hypothesis has an ecclesiastical form, 
that the world, with all its various animals and plants, was created 
about six thousand years ago. The work was completed in six days, 
arid was perfect, needing no improvement. At the close of each day 
the Almighty surveyed what he had done, and pronounced it very 
good. He brought all the animals thus made before Adam in the 
garden of Eden to receive their names. There was nothing more 
necessary, and on the seventh day he rested. 

The hypothesis of EVOLUTION asserts that from one or a few origi 
nal organisms all those that we see have been derived, by a process 
of evolving or development. It will not admit that there has been any 
intervention of the divine power. 

The former of these hypotheses considers each species as indepen 
dent of all the others ; the second considers them as inter-related. 
Creation reposes on the arbitrary act of God : Evolution on the uni 
versal reign of law. 

The hypothesis of Evolution in its scientific form presents three 
factors: 1. Heredity; 2. Environment; 3. Adaptation. By heredity 
is meant the tendency manifested by an organism to develop in the 
likeness of its progenitor. By environment, the sum total of the phys 
ical conditions by which the developing organism is surrounded the 
ambient world. By adaptation, the disposition so to modify as to bring 
an organism and its environment into harmony. This may be accom 
plished either by progression or retrogression. 

As to the origin of organisms, it withholds, for the present, any 
definite expression. There are, however, many naturalists who in 
cline to believe in spontaneous generation. In its most improved form 
it occupies itself with two classes of problems, the direct and the in 
verse, considering in the former the effect of the environment on the 
organism, and in the latter deducing from the organism the nature of 
the environment. Thus Schleiden gathers from the structure of the 
stems of certain pine-trees the distribution of climates at the time of 
their growth; and the ancient geographical connections of Madagas 
car and of Australia may be thus ascertained from their fauna. 


After a very long and exhaustive survey of the plants and animals 
of his own locality, and of all that the power and favor of Alexander 
the Great enabled him to inspect, this is the result to which Aristotle, 
the prince of ancient Greek naturalists, came. In the eighth "book of 
his " History of Animals," when speaking of the chain of living things, 
he says : " Nature passes so gradually from inanimate to animate 
things, that from their continuity the boundary between them is in 
distinct. The race of plants succeeds immediately that of inanimate 
objects, and these differ from each other in the proportion of life in 
which they participate ; for, compared with minerals, plants appear 
to possess life, though when compared witli animals they appear in 
animate. The change from plants to animals is gradual; a person 
might question to which of these classes some marine objects belong." 
Aristotle referred the primitive organisms to spontaneous generation. 

In the Museum of Alexandria the views of Aristotle were greatly 
expanded. There it .was discovered that animated Nature presents 
something more than a mere connection ; that each link of Aristotle s 
chain, if such a phraseology must be continued, was the descendant of 
its predecessor, the progenitor of its successor. The idea now lost its 
mechanical aspect and assumed a physiological one. 

We remark an important extension of this view after the conquest 
of Alexandria by the Arabians. If we compare the order of affiliation 
in successive points, it obviously presents a new fact progress; and 
not progress only, but progress from the imperfect to the more per 
fect. This view included lifeless as well as living Nature. A practi 
cal application of it arose, to which the designation Alchemy was 
given. There is an unceasing progression, in which all things take 
part, to a better and nobler state. In this slow development Nature 
has no need to hasten; she has eternity to work in. Thus, in the min 
eral world, base and unworthy metals, such as lead and tin, are slowly 
on their way to perfection. They reach their goal on turning into 
gold. It is, then, for us to ascertain the favoring conditions, and, by 
imitating or increasing them, to hasten on the work. 

The literature of those ages is pervaded with the idea of the 
mutability of everything a proneness of all living beings to suffer 
transmutation, with changes in the environment, or in the physical 
conditions to which they are exposed ; and thus arises a slow but con 
tinuous procession, in the unceasing lapse of time, to the beautiful and 
good. We meet with this in both the serious philosophical works 
of the Mohammedans, and in their lighter compositions of romance. 
They wrote books on the production of animals both by generation 
and putrefaction. They thought that in the germ there exists a latent 
force tending to evolve it. Ibn Roschd says : " There are, as respects 
the origin of living beings, two opposite theories. Some explain 
their existence by development, others by creation. The latter is the 
opinion of the Christians, as well as of our Motacallemin." Abubacer 
VOL. xii. 12 


accepts the reality of spontaneous generation by means of putrefac 
tion and the action of the sun. These philosophers did not hesitate 
to say that the dogma of creation is an impossibility, an absurd 
opinion, only fit for the vulgar who will believe anything. According 
to these elevated views, living beings are merely a movement of mat 
ter under the influence of heat. Man himself is like the flame of a 
lamp, a form or shape through which material substance is passing, 
receiving supplies, dismissing wastes, and evolving force. As regards 
transmutation, Al Khazini says that an animal passes through succes 
sive stages of development, but we must not suppose that naturalists 
mean to say that " man was once a bull, and was changed into an ass, 
and afterward into a horse, and after that into an ape, and finally be 
came a man." 

Arabian philosophers had therefore speculated on spontaneous 
generation, and the conditions necessary for its occurrence ; on the 
development of a germ by the latent force it contains ; on the trans 
mutation of species; and the production of the animal series. They 
had rejected the theory of creation, and adopted that of evolution. 
They had gained ideas respecting the unceasing dominion of law, but 
at these they had arrived through their doctrine of emanation and 
absorption, rather than from an investigation of visible ISTature. In 
the religious revolt against philosophy that took place toward the 
twelfth century, these ideas were exterminated and never again ap 
peared in Islam. 

If the doctrine of the government of the world by law was thus 
held in detestation by Islam, it was still more bitterly refused by 
Christendom, in which the possibility of changing the divine pur 
poses was carried to its extreme by the invocation of angels and saints, 
and great gains accrued to the Church through its supposed influence 
in procuring these miraculous interventions. The Papal Government 
was no more disposed to tolerate universal and irreversible law than 
its Paynim antagonist had been. The Inquisition had been invented 
and set at work. It speedily put an end, not only in the south of 
France, but all over Europe, to everything supposed to be not in har 
mony with the orthodox faith, by instituting a reign of terror. 

The Reign of Terror in revolutionary France lasted but a few 
months ; the atrocities of the Commune at the close of the Franco- 
German War only a few days ; but the Reign of Terror in Christen 
dom has continued from the thirteenth century with declining en 
ergy to our times. Its object has been the forcible subjugation of 

The Mohammedans had thus brought the theory of evolution up to 
that point at which, for any further advance, clear views of the opera 
tion of law in the government of the world were necessary. In their 
speculations in this particular they had been guided by theological 


considerations. These were now to be replaced by others of a more 
definite and solid kind, derived from physical science. 

The starting-point of Christendom in the theory of evolution, for 
the Mohammedans had now ceased to philosophize, was the publica 
tion by Copernicus of the book " De Revolutionibus Orbium Celes- 
tium." In this the Pythagorean view of the emplacement of the solar 
system was revived. The way for this restoration had been prepared 
by such books as that of Cusa " On Learned Ignorance." He conceived 
of the universe as a vast organism, the life of which is the breath of 
God, and which has neither centre nor circumference, but is infinite 
as its maker. Such views were largely prevalent in Italy, at that 
time the focus of infidelity, and there Copernicus had been. His work 
was followed by Kepler s great discovery of the three laws that bear 
his name. 

After the invention of printing, the "Index Expurgatorius " of pro 
hibited books had become essentially necessary to the religious Reign 
of Terror, and for the stifling of the intellectual development of man. 
The Papal Government, accordingly, established the Congregation of 
that Index. 

It was very plain that the tendency of Kepler s discoveries was 
to confirm the dominating influence of law in the solar system, as well 
as to destroy geocentric and anthropocentric theories. It was, there 
fore, adverse to the Italian theological views, and to the current reli 
gious practices. Kepler had published an epitome of the Copernican 
theory. This, as also the book itself of Copernicus, was placed in 
the Index, and forbidden to be read. 

The Reformation came. It did not much change the matter. It 
insisted on the Mosaic views, and would tolerate no natural science 
that did not accord with them. Nevertheless, under the shadow of 
the political power it shortly gathered, Newton s " Principia " was 
safely published. The two great powers into which Christendom 
was divided held each other in check. The sectarian divisions fast 
springing up in Protestantism found occupation in their contentions 
with each other. The bearing which Newton s book had upon those 
already condemned consisted chiefly in this --it gave indisputable 
reasons that Kepler s laws are a mathematical necessity. For the 
finger of Providence it substituted mechanical force. And thus the 
Reign of Law, that great essential to the theory of evolution, was 
solidly established. 

But not alone did the discoveries of physical astronomy lead to 
these views. If the heavens were observed, the earth, also, was exam 
ined. There could no longer be any doubt that fossil remains were 
the relics of beings that were once alive, as Xenophanes in the old 
times, and Da Vinci and Palissy more recently, had affirmed not 
mere lusus naturae ; that the earth s strata were not all of the same 
age ; that in the oldest no fossils could be found ; that there had been 


a time when there was no life on the earth ; that of the strata some 
are of marine, some of fresh-water formation ; that they are often in 
tercalated like leaves in a book, and therefore cannot be referred to 
any single cataclysm such as the deluge. 

From considerations connected with the primary rocks, Leibnitz 
(1680) had inferred that the earth was once at a far higher tempera 
ture than now, and in fact must have been in an ignited state ; that 
it had undergone a gradual cooling. Werner subsequently introduced 
the Neptunic theory, and Hutton the Plutonic. These cosmographi- 
cal theories were, however, of less importance than what was done in 
paleontology. It was discovered that while similar fossil remains el- 
tend over vast horizontal surfaces, different fossils are found to suc 
ceed each other very rapidly when a vertical examination is made. 
There is a geological as well as a geographical distribution of plants 
and animals geological as to time, geographical as to surface. 


In the works of Maillet (1748), and again in those of Buffon, the 
old doctrine of evolution reappears. A more formal presentment was, 
however, made by Lamarck in his " Philosophic zoologique," pub 
lished in 1809. He advocated the doctrine of descent, and announced 
the propositions now known as Darwinism. According to him, organic 
forms originated by spontaneous generation, the simplest coming first, 
and the complex being evolved from them. Variations and transmu 
tations occur through external influences, the environment modifying 
the organism, and as these in the lapse of time become essential dif 
ferences, new species arise. Moreover, wants experienced cause the 
will to develop new organs by the modification of previously-existing 
ones, and these are transmitted by heredity or generation. Organ 
isms are developed out of one another; so far from being permanent, 
they have only a temporary existence. 

Though an organism tends to be like its progenitor, it will undergo 
changes by the use or disuse of its parts ; by the former it is devel 
oped, by the latter deteriorated. The changes produced thus, or by 
the environment, always have been, and always will be, continuous, 
not catastrophic. 

Lamarck recognized the struggle of each against all. He saw 
plainly the influence of heredity, and understood the relation of envi 
ronment and adaptation. He defined in the clearest manner the doc 
trine of transmutation and theory of descent. According to him, if 
time enough be allowed, any modification may take place. 

So far from meeting with acceptance, the ideas of Lamarck brought 
upon him ridicule and obloquy. He was as much misrepresented as 
in former times the Arabian Nature-philosophers had been. The great 
influence of Cuvier, who had made himself a champion of the doctrine 
of permanence of species, caused Lamarck s views to be silently ig 
nored, or, if by chance they w r ere referred to, denounced. They were 


condemned as morally reprehensible and theologically dangerous. In 
this, the authority of Cuvier in regard to evolution acted as the au 
thority of Newton had done in regard to the undulatory theory of 

In like manner the views of Oken met with resistance, especially 
his deduction that the highest animals are the result of development, 
not of creation. Man, he significantly says, has been developed, not 
created. He conceived all Nature to be in a process of evolution. His 
demonstration, that the bones of the skull are only vertebral modifi 
cations, however, reconciled many persons to a more favorable opinion 
of his hypothesis of development. 

Geoffroy St.-Hilaire (1828) did not doubt that animals now living 
are descended by an unbroken succession from extinct ones, by trans 
formation from form to form; that different species are degenerations 
of the same type, being due to the influence of the environment 
(monde ambiant). He thus became the opponent of Cuvier, and did 
very much to break down the influence of that zoologist. In these 
variations he considered that the organism is passive, differing in 
this from Lamarck, who thought it active. His views of the influence 
of the environment were very precise : thus he thought that birds 
arose from reptiles, through the diminution of carbonic acid and in 
crease of oxygen in the air, at the time of the formation of coal ; the 
activity of the animal circulation becoming greater, and the reptile 
scales being transformed into the feathers of the bird. As is now 
known, this was substantially a correct interpretation. 

Though the principles of the doctrine of evolution were thus thor 
oughly understood, the control of heredity, the influence of environ 
ment, the modeling by adaptation, public attention failed to be drawn 
to it until 1844, when there was published in England an anonymous 
book under the title of the " Vestiges of the Natural History of Cre 
ation." In this the author set forth Lamarck s views, and the work, 
being clearly and attractively composed, passed through a great many 
editions. Very fortunately, it may be said, it accepted some unsub 
stantiated facts and contained some physical mistakes. These tempted 
many skillful and bitter criticisms of hostile theologians. The reviews 
and journals were filled with their attacks and answers to them. 
Thus, happily, the whole subject was brought into such prominence 
that it could be withdrawn into obscurity no more. 

In the discussions of this book the author made use of a most im 
portant anatomical discovery, that even in the case of the highest 
species, man himself, the embryo does not simply grow or increase in 
size, but passes in succession through a series of forms, which, ex 
amined from epoch to epoch, are totally dissimilar. It had been the 
vulgar opinion that after the first moment of conception all the parts 
of the animal that is to be are present, and that they simply grow. 
The human embryo, according to this, reaches birth very much in the 


same way that the infant passes from birth to manhood. That was, 
I say, the vulgar opinion, but, in laying before our eyes the develop 
ment of the individual, God has given us a revelation of the course 
of life by the world. 

The evolutionary history of animals establishes that there is not 
this homogeneousness of development, but that the higher pass 
through the forms of the lower; that the mammal, for instance, 
passes through stages at which the lower vertebrates remain fixed. 
All are therefore pursuing a journey along the same road, though 
some may travel to a longer, some to a shorter, distance. There is 
thus a parallelism between individual and race development ; a close 
connection between the phases of development in the individual and 
in the species. 

The type of each animal is from the first as it were imbedded in 
the embryo and controls its evolvement. The embryo never makes 
any attempt to change from one type to another, but sometimes the 
tendency to a form and not the form itself is transmitted. 

The parallelism that exists between the career of the individual 
and the career of the race reappears in the life of the world. There is 
a resemblance indeed more than a resemblance between the succes 
sive forms through which man himself in his prenatal life has passed, 
and those that have appeared in myriads of ages in the biography of 
the earth. Common-sense revolts against the idea that these trans 
formations are in the individual due to divine intervention. In that, 
and in the case of the earth, they must be due to natural law. 

In the year 1859 there was published by Mr. Darwin a work on 
" The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preser 
vation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life." 

In this, and in other subsequent works, it is shown that the indi 
viduals of each species tend to increase in a very rapid ratio an in 
crease more rapid than that of their means of subsistence. Each has, 
therefore, to contend with his competitors; and hence all must exhibit 
" a struggle for existence." 

O O 

But modifications are incessantly taking place in the form and 
characteristics of individuals, giving to some an advantage, to some 
a disadvantage, as compared with their competitors. Hence, the for 
mer will prevail, the latter will succumb in the struggle. This in 
the language of the hypothesis is formulated " the survival of the 

And as the pigeon-fancier or other person who devotes himself to 
the breeding of animals can produce any form he wishes by selecting 
its progenitors and pairing them together, exercising thus artificial 
selection, so if any of the chance-forms that have arisen should be 
better adapted than others for perpetuation, they will be perpetuated, 
or Nature may be said to have made a selection. Hence the term 
" natural selection," which has been made to designate this hypothesis. 


It is to be regretted that this phrase " natural selection " has been 
introduced. It is very unscientific, very inferior to the old expression 
adaptation. It implies a personification of Nature. It is anthropo 
morphic. But Nature never selects, never accepts or rejects, knows 
nothing about duties, nothing about fitness or unfitness. Nature 
simply obeys laws. 

Natural selection is thus supposed to perpetuate an organism 
after adaptation to its environment has taken place. The change 
implied by adaptation must precede it. It should be regarded rather 
as a metaphorical expression than a scientific statement of an actual 
physical event. 

Darwinism, therefore, does not touch the great question as to the 
manner in which variation of organisms arises. It only teaches how 
such variations are perpetuated. 

The publication of Humboldt s "Essay on the Geography of 
Plants" (1805) first formally drew the attention of botanists to the 
connection between the distribution of plants and the distribution of 
heat on the surface of the earth. As an advance is made from the 
equator toward the pole in either hemisphere, the mean annual tem 
perature declines, and in succession a series of vegetable zones is 
encountered, merging gradually into each other, though each, where 
best marked, is perfectly distinguished from its successor. In the 
tropics there are the palms which give so striking a characteristic to 
the landscape, the broad-leaved bananas, and great climbing plants 
throwing themselves from stem to stem like the rigging of a ship. 
Next follows a zone of evergreen woods, in which the orange and 
citron come to perfection. Beyond this, another of deciduous trees, 
the oak, the chestnut, and the fruit-trees of our orchards. Here the 
great climbers of the tropics are replaced by the hop and the ivy. 
Still farther is a belt of conifers, firs, larches, pines, and other needle- 
leaved trees ; and these lead through a range of birches, becoming 
more and more stunted, to a region of mosses and saxifrages, but 
which at length has no tree nor shrub; and finally, as the perpet 
ual polar ices are reached, the red-snow alga is the last trace of vege 
table organization. 


A similar series of facts had long previously been observed by 
Tournefort in an ascent of Mount Ararat. The distribution of vege 
tation from the base to the top of the mountain bears a general resem 
blance to the distribution from the base to the polar regions. These 
facts were generalized by subsequent observers. It was established 
that there exists an analogy between horizontal distribution on the 
surface of the globe, and vertical distribution at different altitudes 
above the level of the sea. Even in the tropics, if a mountain be 
sufficiently high, a short ascent suffices to carry us from the charac 
teristic endogenous growths at its foot through a zone of evergreens 


into one of deciduous trees, and this again into one of conifers, the 
vegetation declining through mosses and lichens as we reach the 
region of perpetual snow. 

In these cases of horizontal and vertical distribution which thus 
present such a striking botanical resemblance, there is likewise so 
clear a meteorological analogy that it is impossible to avoid the con 
clusion that the distribution of plants depends very largely on the 
distribution of heat. And, indeed, what better illustration of the in 
fluence of heat could we have than this, that by artificially adjusting 
the temperature of hot-houses we can cause any plant to grow in any 
latitude ? 

But temperature alone does not determine the distribution of 
plants. If it did, we should find the same species in the same isother 
mal zones. Throughout the old continent, with the exception of the 
torrid zone, heaths abound ; but in America not a single heath occurs. 
In the New World, through forty degrees on each side of the equator, 
the cactus tribe flourishes ; in the Old not a single cactus is to be seen 
the sparges there replace them. So, again, in Australia, the forests 
present a melancholy, a shadeless character, from their casuarinas, 
acacias, eucalypti, whereas, if temperature alone were concerned, they 
should offer the same aspect as the forests of North America and 

As regards animals the same remark may be made. In the tem 
perate zone, eastward beyond the Caspian, there are men whose com 
plexion is yellow ; in Europe the complexion is white ; the American 
Indian is red. Asia has its Tibet bear, Europe its brown bear, North 
America its black bear. The European stag finds in America its 
analogue in the wapiti, its Asiatic in the musk-deer. The wild-ox of 
Lithuania differs from the North American buffalo, and this, again, 
from the Mongolian yak. The llama in America replaces the camel 
of Asia, the puma replaces the lion. Brazil has had in times long 
past representatives of its existing sloths and armadillos. Aus 
tralia, which has isothermal zones like those of other continents, has 
no apes or monkeys, no cats or tigers, no wolves or bears, hyenas, 
horses, squirrels, rabbits ; no woodpeckers or pheasants. Instead of 
them it has the kangaroo, wombat, ornithorhynchus, cockatoos, and 
lories, nowhere else found. 

Then, though heat is a dominating influence in the distribution of 
plants and animals, it is by no means the only one. There are also 
other conditions, such as the supply of water, the composition of the 
soil, the access of light, etc. It has been found convenient to group 
all these together, and to speak of them, as I have already stated, 
under a single designation, " The Environment." 

Change in the environment, and change in its organisms, go hand- 
in-hand. Should the warmth of the tropics be diffused into the polar 
circle, a tropical vegetation would replace the vanishing snows. 


Should the ices of the poles spread over the temperate region, the 
reindeer would accompany their invading edge. 

While the environment thus influences the organism, the organism 
reacting influences the environment. The most striking instance of 
this, perhaps, will be found on comparing the constitution of the at 
mosphere before and since the Carboniferous epoch. Prior to that 
epoch, all the myriads of tons of coaly substance now inclosed in the 
strata of the earth existed as carbonic acid in the air. By the agen 
cy of the sunlight acting on the leaves of the luxuriant vegetation of 
those times, this noxious gas was gradually removed, and replaced 
by an equivalent volume of oxygen. A hot-blooded, quickly-respiring 
animal could not possibly exist in an atmosphere laden with carbonic 
acid. Anterior to the coal deposit, the fauna was cold-blooded and 
slow-respiring. The flora thus changed the aerial environment, and 
this, in its turn, reacting, changed the fauna. 

It is on all sides admitted that plants tend by their removal of 
carbonic acid from the air, replacing it by oxygen, to compensate for 
the disturbance occasioned by animals. In this way, through very 
many centuries, the same percentage constitution of the atmosphere 
is maintained, the sum total of vegetable being automatically ad 
justed to the sum total of animal life automatically, and not by any 
interference of Providence a fact of great value in its connection 
with the theory of evolution. For, if we admit what has been con 
clusively established by direct experiment, that plants would grow 
more luxuriantly in an atmosphere somewhat richer in carbonic acid 
than the existing one, we may see how upon this condition depends a 
principle of conservation, which must forever retain the air at its 
present constitution, no matter how animal life may vary. 

Cuvier speaks of the inferior organisms as furnishing us with a 
series of experiments made by the hand of Nature, an idea often 
quoted and often admired, but which, perhaps, is scarcely consistent 
with enlarged conceptions of the system of the world. An organism, 
no matter how high or low, is not in an attitude of isolation. It is 
connected by intimate bonds with those above and those beneath. It 
is no product of an experimental attempt, which, either on the part of 
Nature or otherwise, has ended in failure or only partial success. 

The organic series an expression full of significance and full of 
truth implies the interconnection of all organic forms the organic se 
ries is not the result of numberless creative blunders, abortive attempts 
or freaks of Nature. It presents a far nobler aspect. Every member 
of it, even the humblest plant, is perfect in itself. From a common 
origin, or simple cell, all have arisen ; there is no perceptible micro 
scopic difference between the primordial vesicle which is to produce 
the lowest plant, and that which is to produce the highest, but the 
one, under the favoring circumstances to which it has been exposed, 


has continued in the march of development, while the career of the 
other has been stopped at an earlier point. The organic aspect, at 
last assumed, is the representation of the physical agencies that have 
been at work the environment. Had these for any reason varied, 
that variation would at once have been expressed in the resulting 
form, which is, therefore, actually a geometrical embodiment of the 
antecedent physical conditions. For what reason is an offspring like 
its parent, except that it has been exposed during development to the 
same conditions as was its parent. Comparative physiology is not a 
fortuitous collection of experiments. Our noblest conception of it is 
the conception we have of analytical geometry. Each member of the 
organic series is an embodied result of a discussion of the equation of 
life for one special case. 

It was a felicitous thought of Descartes that we may represent a 
geometrical form in an algebraic equation, and, by the proper consid 
eration and discussion of such an expression, determine and delineate 
all the peculiarities of such a form; that here it should become con 
cave, there convex ; here it should run out to infinity, there have a 
cusp. The equation determines all the peculiarities of the form, and 
enables us to construct it. In like manner, all living and lifeless 
forms are related; an increase in the value of one condition carries de 
velopment forward in one direction ; an increase in the value of an 
other condition determines development in another way, and these 
variations give rise in their succession to the whole organic series. 

Nature ever geometrizes and ever materializes. Every organism 
is the result of the development of a vesicle, under given conclusions, 
carried out into material execution. It is the incarnation, the embodi 
ment, the lasting register of physical influences, the daughter of the 

Let us now rapidly survey the changes that have taken place in 
the earth s organisms : 

In the earliest, or Primordial period, there existed of plants only 
water-organismstangled sea-weeds. Then in the following, the Pri 
mary, came the more perfect cryptogams, such as ferns. Then fol 
lowed, in the Secondary, pine-forests. In the Coal period the phane- 
rogamia developed out of the more perfect cryptogamia. Not until 
the Chalk did the higher corolliflora3 appear. In the beginning of the 
Tertiary the earth had sufficiently cooled at the poles, climate-zones 
were produced, and the land was covered with leaved forests. Flow- 
erless plants had been succeeded by flowering ones, the latter first 
without a distinct corolla, and then by those with one ; and of these, 
first the lower and then the higher. 

Turning to the order of succession of animal life of the Pri 
mordial, the forms are skull-less ; then in the following, the Primary, 
came fishes, first those with the heterocercal tail, as in the embryos of 


existing ones. In the Secondary, reptiles, and out of them birds, were 
developed ; the decreasing amount of carbonic acid and the increas 
ing amount of oxygen permitting that change. Of birds, the earli 
est had a long, lizard -like tail, composed of thin vertebra, to every 
one of which were attached strong, rudder-like feathers in pairs. The 
same formation of the tail part of the vertebral column still occurs 
transiently in the embryos of later birds. The transition from the 
reptile to the bird is manifested by some of the latter having teeth 
set in one order in grooves, in another in distinct sockets. Among 
mammals as among fishes the imperfect appeared first. About the 
middle of the Mesolithic period, out of a branch of the cloacal animals 
the marsupials were evolved; and in the beginning .of the Tertiary 
the placentals were developed out of the marsupials. The latter were 
at one time distributed over the whole earth ; now they are fast 
approaching extinction. In Europe, Asia, Africa, not a single mem 
ber of the group remains. The cloacal animals, the marsupials, the 
placentals, stand therefore in an order of succession. 

Such has been the order of evolution in Europe. For its order in 
America I may refer you to the recent admirable address of Prof. 
Marsh before the American Association for the Advancement of Sci 
ence. The general conclusions at which we arrive in one case are 
substantiated in the other. 

In accordance with his descent, the cloacal structure exists in 
man in the earlier period of his embryonic life. The separation into 
two openings takes place about the twelfth week of his uterine de 
velopment. Shall we not, therefore, infer from the evidence of his 
embryonic forms that he has been developed step by step out of the 
lower vertebrates ? 

In the early stages of their evolution, amphibia, reptiles, birds, 
cannot be distinguished. The first steps of development in all verte 
brates are identical. Man passes now through the same series of 
transmutations which his animal predecessors passed through in im 
mense spaces of time, long ago. The progress he makes in the lapse 
of a few days in the darkness of the womb is the same that has been 
followed by the procession of animated Nature in the lapse of myri 
ads of centuries in the daylight of the world. 

From a comparison of their studies embryologists and paleontol 
ogists unite in the conclusion that individual development is a rapid 
repetition of race-development, and that the paleontological move 
ment is to be interpreted by the embryonic. The connecting links 
supposed to be missing in the former may be sought for in the latter. 
Individual development, paleontological development, and compara 
tive anatomy, through their combined evidence guide us to a deduc 
tion of the genealogy of any organism. The dominion of law is 
everywhere manifest. The capricious intrusion of a supernatural 
agency has never yet occurred. 


Each of the geological periods has its dominating representative 
type of life. Perhaps it may be asked : " How can we be satisfied that 
the members of this long series are strictly the successive descendants 
by evolution from older forms, and in their turn the progenitors of the 
later ? How do we know that they have not been introduced by sud 
den creations, and removed by sudden extinctions ? : Simply for this 
reason : The new groups make their appearance while yet their pred 
ecessors are in full vigor. They come under an imperfect model 
which very gradually improves. Evolution implies such lapses of 
time. Creation is a sudden affair. , 

A striking illustration of this is offered by two of the most im 
posing types of life, the reptile and the mammal. The former is the 
characteristic of the Secondary, the latter of the Tertiary period. In 
the Secondary, when reptile life was at its culmination, there were 
reptiles flying in the air, swimming on or in the sea, crawling on the 
land, or climbing the trees. After this type of life had reached its 
culmination, and extinction began to set in, that process went for 
ward in a gradual and orderly way. The flying lizards were the first 
to disappear, then those of the sea ; they now have scarcely any rep 
resentative left. The fluviatile and terrestrial ones, though greatly 
diminished both in numbers and size, still maintain a struggle for 
life ; but the complete dying out of animated forms, though irre 
sistible, requires for its completion countless centuries. 

While reptile life was in full vigor, mammal life was introduced. 
It came under the lowest forms, the imperfect orders appearing first. 

What does this coexistence of two different forms of life, through 
immense lapses of time the one declining and on its way to disap 
pearance, the other marching forward to increase what does this 
overlapping mean ? Not sudden creation, but slow development. 
The environment is slowly becoming unsuitable to the one, and slow 
ly becoming suitable to the other. 

If time permitted, I would ask your close attention to rudimentary 
organs, for they illustrate strikingly the theory of evolution. They 
are organs existing in an apparently undeveloped and useless condi 
tion, such, for instance, as the incisor teeth in the midbone of the 
upper jaw in embryos of common cattle, the rudimentary wings of the 
penguin and dodo, the mamma? of the male mammalian, the subcuta 
neous feet of certain snakes. In the embryos of whales teeth are found 
in the jaw, precisely as we find them at birth in the human infant. In 
the latter instance, we think we see a wise provision and foresight of 
Nature, which does not give to man these masticatory organs before 
the time they are wanted. But what are we to make of the parallel 
case of the whale ? Shut up as these rudimentary teeth are in the in 
terior of the jaw, never to be developed and never to be used, does 
not that look something like a useless work? And why has Nature, 


in the case of certain snakes, placed under the skin bony representa 
tives of the extremities, the movements of those animals being by the 
use of the ribs, and feet never being wanted ? 

We may also turn to the vegetable world, and there we find rudi 
mentary organs, excesses and deficiences of development. As Trevi- 
ranus says, adaptation to the surrounding world may be shaped either 
by gradual development or by degeneration, which is equally effec 
tive. The same organ may be expanded into a compound leaf, or de 
generated into a scale. Development can turn a reptile into a bird ; 
degeneration can turn it into a serpent. Any flower may be regarded 
as a transformed branch that which might have evolved into a leaf 
turns indifferently, as circumstances may direct, into a sepal, a petal, 
or a stamen. 

Rudimentary organs come into existence as part of a general plan. 
They are the manifestation of heredity in the type of life of the ani 
mals or plants in which they occur. They prove that the form has 
been developing, not teleologically, or for a purpose, but in obedience 
to law. 

Now I have answered, and I know how imperfectly, your ques 
tion, " How does the hypothesis of evolution force itself upon the stu 
dent of modern science? 1 by relating how it has forced itself upon 
me, for my life has been spent in such studies, and it is by meditating 
on facts like those I have here exposed that this hypothesis now stands 
before. me as one of the verities of Nature. 

In doing this I have opened before you a page of the book of 
Nature that book which dates from eternity and embraces infini 
tude. It reveals millions of suns and worlds of surpassing glory. 
Among its most insignificant pages are the vast rock-strata of the 
earth. We have been looking at some of them. No Council of La- 
odicea, no Tridentine Council, is wanted to indorse its authenticity, 
nothing to assure us that it has never been tampered with by any 
guild of men, to perpetuate their influence, secure their profits, or 
otherwise promote their ends. 

Then it is for us to study it as best we may, and to obey its 
guidance, no matter whither it may lead us. 

And this brings me face to face with the third division of my sub 
ject. I have spoken of the origin and the progress of the hypothe 
sis of evolution, and should now consider the consequences of ac 
cepting it. Here it is only a word or two that time permits, and 
very few words must suffice. I must bear in mind that it is the con 
sequences from your point of view to which I must allude. Should I 
speak of the manner in which scientific thought is affected, should I 
dwell on the influence this theory is exerting on general knowledge, 
I should be carried altogether beyond the limits of the present hour. 

The consequences ! What are they, then, to you ? Nobler views 


of this grand universe of which we form a part, nobler views of the 
manner in which it has been developed in past times to its present 
state, nobler views of the laws by which it is now maintained, nobler 
expectations as to its future. We stand in presence of the un 
shackled, as to Force ; of the immeasurable, as to Space ; of the un 
limited, as to Time. Above all, our conceptions of the unchange 
able purposes, the awful majesty of the Supreme Being, become 
more vivid. We realize what is meant when it is said, "With HIM 
there is no variableness, no shadow of turning." Need I say any 
thing more in commending the doctrine of evolution to you ? 

Let us bear in mind the warning of history. The heaviest blow 
the Holy Scriptures have ever received was inflicted by no infidel, but 
by ecclesiastical authority itself. When the works of Copernicus and 
of Kepler were put in the Index of prohibited books, the system of 
the former was declared, by what called itself the Christian Church, 
to be " that false Pythagorean system, utterly contrary to the Holy 
Scriptures." But the truth of the Copernican system is now estab 

There are persons who declare of the hypothesis of evolution, as 
was formerly declared of the hypothesis of Copernicus, " It is utterly 
contrary to the Holy Scriptures." It is for you to examine whether 
this be so, and, if so, to find a means of reconciliation. Let us not be 
led astray by the clamors of those who, not seeking the truth and not 
caring about it, are only championing their sect, or attempting the 
perpetuation of their own profits. 

My friends, let me plead with you. Don t reject the theory of 
evolution. There is no thought of modern times that more magnifies 
the unutterable glory of Almighty God ! Remember, I beseech you, 
what was said by one of old times : "Ye men of Israel, take heed to 
yourselves what ye intend to do. And now I say unto you, if this 
counsel be of men it will come to naught ; but if it be of God, ye 
cannot overthrow it, lest haply ye be found to be fighting against 
God" shall I continue the quotation? " and to him they all 
agreed ! " 


We often hear it affirmed that our age is becoming more and more 
irreligious, and that men wantonly reject sacred things of which their 
ancestors approved. But I think we may profitably inquire whether 
very much of this is not due to the profound changes that are taking 
place in our conceptions of the Supreme Being ? Things and acts 
which at one time men attributed to him without hesitation, they can 
attribute to him no more. They have learned to demand of every 
dogma, " Is it derogatory to the awful majesty of God ? " 

These modifications of opinion have had no little to do with the 
progress of the subject we have been considering. Let us ever bear 
in mind that the doctrine of evolution has for its foundation not the 
admisssion of incessant divine interventions, but a recognition of the 


original, the immutable fiat of God. In whatever direction we com 
mune with Nature, the dominion of universal, of everlasting law con 
fronts us. 

The establishment of the theory of evolution has not been due to 
any one science, but is attributable to the conjoint movement of all. 
It is due to the irresistible advance of human knowledge. To refer it 
to geology alone, as is often done, is altogether a mistake. It was net 
possible that Astronomy should fail to maintain her grand position. 
She took the lead in the intellectual revolution which marks the close 
of the middle ages. Single-handed and alone, she fought and won the 
great battles of the globular form of the earth, the central sun, the 
plurality of worlds. It cost her the blood of some of her leaders. 
For some there was the fagot, the rack, the prison-cell, the scourge. 
But they departed from their tormentors, rejoicing that they were 
accounted worthy to suffer even death in this cause. And now she 
found stepping-stones for herself in the trackless infinitude of space, 
and beckoned her comrade sciences to come and share with her the 
glorious view she had gained of the majesty of the universe. Anato 
my, both human and comparative, paleontology, chemistry, physi 
ology, microscopy, even philosophical history, have given their aid. 
Wherever any one science has made a marked advance, its movement 
has been covered by some of the others, and the ground thus occu 
pied secured. As matters now stand, all are well to the front the 
entire line is dressed. 

It often takes many victories to establish one conquest. Knowl 
edge, fresh from so many triumphs, unfalteringly continues her move 
ment on the works of Superstition and Ignorance. 

Now, in parting, let us bear this in mind: So great is the intellect 
ual advance men have made, that questions which at one time divided 
Christendom into sects are now far in the rear. Those which once 
separated good men socially, are passing out of sight. They are re 
placed by others of a very different order. Among such, one of sur 
passing importance confronts us the eternal reign of law. Let us 
bear in mind what the theory of evolution so loudly proclaims : " We 
are what we are, because the universe is what it is." If it acts upon 
us, we react upon it. Our conception of the sphere of being we 
occupy is enlarging, and we are thus brought into close relationship 
with all that is beautiful on earth, all that is magnificent in the 

Then let us reverently commune with Nature. Let us try to raise 
our eyes from the varying phenomena of the world, to the solemn 
grandeur of that silent, that imperishable reign of law that governs 
all those changes; let each of us earnestly address to himself the re 
monstrance of " The Minstrel : " 

" Oh! how canst them renounce the boundless store 
Of charms that Nature to her votary yields, 


The warbling woodland, the resounding shore, 
The gloom of groves, the garniture of fields, 
All that the genial ray of morning gilds, 
And all that echoes to the song of even, 
All that the mountain s sheltering bosom shields, 
And all the dread magnificence of heaven 
Oh! how canst thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven? " 



""VTO more convincing proof could, perhaps, be given of the head- 
-1-N long pace of our modern life, or of the thoughtlessness of our 
age, than the fact that, though we still hear of the earthquake at Lis 
bon, hardly a word is said of the fearfully destructive cyclone which, 
on the 31st of October, 1ST6, swept over the Delta of the Ganges, 
Even in the queen s last speech from the throne, there is not so much 
as a simple mention of that disastrous event, whereby a quarter of a 
million of British subjects in India were destroyed. The after-effects 
of the cyclone in themselves constituted a fearful calamity, for thou 
sands are still 2 dying of disease and hunger evils the seeds of which 
had been sown in October. 

Cyclones usually occur toward the end of spring and in the fall 
from April to June, and from September till November the periods 
of the change of direction in the monsoons. By far the greater num 
ber of the cyclones occur at the cessation of the southwest and the 
setting in of the northeast monsoons in the fall : out of eighty-eight 
observed in the Indian Ocean, forty-nine occurred in the fall and only 
twenty-nine in the spring. The former, almost without an exception, 
came from a point lying somewhat to the north of latitude 15 north, 
in the bay of Bengal ; while the latter had their rise in the neighbor 
hood of the Andaman Islands. The whole east coast of India is 
exposed to the fury of these storms, and from Ceylon to Chittagong 
there is hardly a point on the coast that has not more or less fre 
quently felt the power of the cyclones, though the localities which 
suffer most are the low-lying portions of the coast, more particularly 
when they are situated in a bight or in an angle, for wind and water 
are there brought into violent conflict. One of the earliest cylones of 
which authentic accounts are extant occurred in 1789, at an unusual 
season of the year December. Furthermore, it was attended by 
three enormous storm-waves, which flooded the coast at Coringa, 

1 Translated from the German, by J. Fitzgerald, A. M. 
" May, 1877, when this article was written. 


near the mouth of the Godavary, destroying nearly the entire town 
with its 30,000 inhabitants, and driving far inland the ships which lay 
at anchor in the bay. In 1839 the same locality was visited by 
another cyclone, which was nearly as destructive as the preceding. 
The coast of Madras and of Coromandel has again and again been 
the theatre of cyclones, though here the wave is not so destructive 
in its effects as elsewhere, owing to the situation and the formation 
of the coast. In Madras the cyclone usually appears to expend its 
fury on the many ships at anchor in the roads, and on the buildings 
on the land, as was the case in the years 1773, 1783, and 1872. As 
on October 15, 1783, so on the 1st and 2d of May, 1872, an enormous 
amount of shipping was lost. In the latter case the greater part of 
the vessels might have put out to sea, if the officer of the port had 
been at his station and given warning in time. The destruction of 
life and property caused by the wind and rain, as also by the swell of 
the sea, was very considerable. Another cyclone which on October 
15 and 16, 1874, swept the inland districts of Midnapore and Bur- 
deran, claimed but few victims comparatively : in Midnapore only 
about 3,000 persons lost their lives, while in Burderan there were but 
a few fatal casualties. Of all the coasts of India the mouths of the 
Ganges and the Hooghly appear to have suffered oftenest and most 
severely from this catastrophe, for there wind and water are, as it 
were, " forced into one sack." 

Thus the country situated about the mouth of the former river 
was, on October 31, 1831, overflowed by a storm-wave to a distance 
of 150 miles from the coast, and 300 native villages with their 10,000 
inhabitants were destroyed ; and it was visited a second and a third 
time by cyclones on October 7, 1832, and September 21, 1839. At 
the mouth of the Hooghly on the 21st of October, 1833, some 10,000 
lives were lost in a storm-wave, and on May 21st of the same year, 
near Coringa, 600 villages, with 50,000 souls, were swept away. In 
the last-named case the wave rose nine feet higher than the high 
est point ever before observed, and the barometer suddenly fell all of 
two inches. During the cyclone of October 5, 1864, at Calcutta, 
1,500 square miles of country was overflowed, though the banks of the 
Hooghly and its tributaries, and the shores of the islands in the 
mouth of the stream, were protected by dikes eight to ten feet high. 
But even though these dikes had been sufficiently strong to resist 
the pressure of the water, still they were far from being sufficiently 
high. On this occasion the storm-wave rose sixteen and a half feet 
over the water-mark of the spring-tide, and twenty-seven feet above 
the mean level of the sea ; still, it attained this height only because it 
entered the river at about hio;h w r ater. The wave was noticed as far as 


Mchurpore, on the Matabangha. It caused the loss of 50,000 human 
lives, but the destruction of life would have been far greater had the 
cyclone occurred at night, and had the people, as at Bacarganch been 

VOL. XII. 13 


surprised in their sleep. While this wave was ascending the Hooghly, 
and spreading over the neighboring districts, a portion of the same 
wave seems to have struck the coast near Chittasjono; and, having 

O O / J O 

swept along the same, to have overflowed the islands of Shahabazpore 
and Hattia from the rear. And this is the cause of the fearful devas 
tation it wrought, for we shall not err if we suppose waves coming 
from two opposite directions to have met at these islands The num 
ber of human victims in the catastrophe of 1864 was nearly doubled 
in consequence of the diseases produced by the multitude of unburied 
dead bodies, and which carried off 30,000 souls. Hardly four weeks 
after the Hooghly catastrophe of 1864, namely, on November 5th, the 
coast at Masulipatam, on the Kistnah a locality specially adapted for 
concentrating the force of the storm-wave and intensifying its pow 
ers of destruction was overflowed and 35,000 lives were lost. Three 
years later, on November 1, 1867, the Calcutta district was again vis 
ited ; but, fortunately, on this occasion only 1,000 lives were lost, 
though 30,000 huts of the natives were swept away. But of all the 
disasters of this kind which have occurred prior to 1876, that of June 
6, 1822, was the most appalling and destructive, and the only one to 
be compared with that of last October. As is shown by Beveridge 
in his recently -published work on Bacarganch, the cyclone had a 
very wide track, extending far inland on the east, and beyond Cal 
cutta to the west. The wave which overflowed the mouths of the 
Ganges and the adjoining coasts fortunately appeared early in the 
evening, and the people were somewhat prepared for it ; neverthe 
less, 100,000 human beings lost their lives, and an equal number 
of cattle, and the damage otherwise exceeded 1,000,000 rupees. 

Concerning the latest deplorable catastrophe, we possess the fol 
lowing data: Down to 11 p. M. there was no sign of impending 
danger; before midnight the storm burst suddenly, and without 
warning, surprising the people in their beds and dwellings. Three 
storm-waves swept over an area of 3,000 square miles, containing a 
population of 1,000,000 souls. In a few minutes, 215,000 human 
beings were swept off by the waters, and there perished. This esti 
mate, however, is probably far too low; for nearly all the officials 
from whom authentic information might have been obtained them 
selves perished in the flood, and many villages are known to have 
lost seventy per cent, of their inhabitants. This is undoubtedly the 
gravest calamity ever caused by water. Three great islands, and in 
numerable small ones, were entirely swept by the flood, as also the 
mainland, over an area of five or six miles in length by about four 
miles in width. These islands all lie near the mouth of the Meghna, 
a river formed by the union of the Ganges with the Brahmapootra. 
The largest of the islands Dakhin Shahabazpore is 800 miles in 
circumference, and had 240,000 inhabitants, while the other two 
great islands Hattia and Sundney had in all about 100,000 inhabi- 


tants. The people had only a few minutes to think of their safety, 
when the wave rose ten to twenty feet above the land. Two hours 
later the flood began to subside, but not till noon of the following 
day could the survivors quit their places of refuge in the trees, etc. 
As luck would have it, the villages are surrounded by groves of cocoa- 
nut and palm trees : those who saved themselves did so by taking to 
the trees. Some took refuge on the house-tops, but the water entered 
the houses and rose to the roofs, and carried them off to the sea, to 
gether with the people upon them. There was hardly a household on 
the islands, or on the neighboring coast, but had lost several of its 
members. All the cattle were lost. Boats were swept away, and as 
wagons on wheels are unknown in that region, all means of commu 
nication failed. Nearly all of the civil and police officials perished. 
The town of Dowluctor was utterly destroyed. The loss in cattle 
cannot be estimated. The crops suffered greatly, but it is hoped that 
enough remains to prevent a famine. The entire flooded region looks 
like a waste. Still the condition of the survivors just after the catastro 
phe was better than was to have been expected. The farmers of that 
region are the most thrifty in Bengal ; the provisions are mostly 
kept buried in the ground ; hence, though they were damaged by 
water, they can still be used for food. Wherever Sir R. Temple went 
he found the people drying grain in the sun. Until harvest-time, the 
cocoanuts will be of some assistance. Prior to the calamity, the 
harvest promised to be very bountiful ; as it is, it will be a fair one. 
About sixty relief-stations were established. The official journal 
says : " Wherever the storm-wave struck, not a third part of the pop 
ulation, it is believed, survives. The islands have only a fourth of 
their former inhabitants. The odor of the decaying carcasses is intol 
erable, and a general outbreak of cholera is hourly expected." From 
an official communication, it appears that there perished in Chittagong 
during the storm over 3,000 souls, and between October 31st and De 
cember 31st, 4,399 persons died of cholera. Since New-Year s cholera 
has raged fearfully. In the district of Noakholly there died in Octo 
ber 43,544 persons, and in the following three months 30,263. Indeed, 
with the exception of the islands of Hattia and Sundney, the deaths 
from cholera everywhere have exceeded those caused by the inunda 
tion. On these two islands the number of deaths in October was 
34,708 ; later it was only 7,139. 

Thus, in the course of eighty-seven years, half a million of human 
beings have lost their lives by cyclones, without counting the mortal 
ity from pestilence and famine, Das Ausland. 




ET us suppose that, having no previous acquaintance with the 
J-^ subject, we were suddenly informed, on good authority, that 
there existed in some part of the globe a race of beings who lived in 
domed habitations, aggregated together so as to form vast and pop 
ulous cities ; that they exercised jurisdiction over the adjoining ter 
ritory, laid out regular roads, executed tunnels underneath the becjs 
of rivers, stationed guards at the entrance of their towns, carefully 
removed any offensive matter, maintained a Crural police, organized 
extensive hunting-expeditions, at times even waged war upon neigh 
boring communities, took prisoners and reduced them to a state of 
slavery; that they not merely stored up provisions with due care, to 
avoid their decomposition by damp and fermentation, but that they 
kept cattle, and in some cases even cultivated the soil and gathered 
in the harvest. We should unquestionably regard these creatures as 
human beings who had made no small progress in civilization, and 
should ascribe their actions to reason. If we were then told that 
they were not men, and they were in some places formidable enemies 
to man, and had even by their continued molestations caused certain 
villages to be forsaken by all human occupants, our interest would 
perhaps be mixed with some little shade of anxiety lest we were here 
confronted by a race who, under certain eventualities, might contest 
our claim to the sovereignty of the globe. But when we learn that 
these wonderful creatures are insects some few lines in length, our 
curiosity is cooled; we are apt, if duly guided by dominant prepos 
sessions, to declare that the social organization of these beings is not 
civilization, but at most ^wtm-civilization ; that their guiding prin 
ciple is not reason, but "instinct," or ^asz-intelligence, or some other 
of those unmeaning words which are so useful when we wish to shut 
our eyes to the truth. Yet that ants are really, for good or evil, a 
power in the earth, and that they seriously interfere with the cultiva 
tion and development of some of the most productive regions known, 
is an established fact. A creature that can lay waste the crops of a 
province or sack the warehouses of a town has claims upon the notice 
of the merchant, the political economist, and the statesman, as well 
as of the naturalist. 

Many observers have been struck with the curious mixture of 
analogies and contrasts presented by the Annulosa and the Vertebrata. 
These two classes form, beyond any doubt, the two leading subdi 
visions of the animal kingdom. To them nineteen-twentieths of the 
population of the dry land, both as regards individuals and species, 
will be found to belong-, an*! even in the world of waters they are 


largely represented. At the head of the Yertebrata stands the order 
of the Primates, culminating in man. At the head of the Annulosa 
the corresponding place is taken by the Hymenopterous insects. It 
is very remarkable as first pointed out, we believe, by Mr. Darwin 
that these two groups of animals made their appearance on the earth 
simultaneously. But along with this analogy we find a contrast. 
Man stands ^alone among the Primates as a socially organized being, 
possessing a civilization. Among the Hymenoptera the lead is un 
doubtedly taken by the ants, which, like man, have a brain much more 
highly developed than that of the neighboring inferior groups. But 
there is no one species of ant which enjoys a preeminence over its con 
geners anything at all approaching in its nature and extent to man s 
superiority over the gorilla or the mias. What may be the cause of 
this contrast we know not. Perhaps it is merely due to the tendency 
of the Annulosa to branch out into a scarcely numerable host of forms, 
while the vertebrate structure, less plastic, lends itself more sparingly 
to variation. Perhaps, on the other hand, lower human or higher ape 
forms than any now existing have been extirpated, as the traditions 
of many ancient nations would seem to admit. 

At any rate, while the superiority of the ants as a group to the re 
maining Hymenoptera, to all other insects, and to the rest of the annu- 
lose "sub-kingdom," is undisputed, we are unable to decide which 
species of ant is elevated above the rest of the Formicide family. Pos 
sibly more extended and more systematic observations may settle this 
interesting question. According to our present knowledge the claims 
of the agricultural ant, of Western Texas (Myrmica barbata), seem, 
perhaps, the strongest. This species, which has been carefully studied 
by Dr. Lincecum, for the space of twelve years, is, save man, the 
only creature which does not depend for its sustenance on the prod 
ucts of the chase or the spontaneous fruits of the earth. As soon as a 
colony of these ants has become sufficiently numerous they clear a 
tract of ground, some four or five feet in width, around their city. In 
this plot all existing plants are eradicated, all stones and rubbish re 
moved, and a peculiar species of grass is sown, the seeds of which re 
semble very minute grains of rice. The field for so we must call it 
is carefully tended by the ants, kept free from weeds, and guarded 
against marauding insects. When mature, the crop is reaped and 
the seeds are carried into the nest. If they are found to be too damp 
they are carefully carried out, laid in the sunshine till sufficiently dry, 
and then housed again. This formation of a plot of cleared land or, 
as Dr. Lincecum not very happily terms it, a pavement is a critical 
point in the career of a young community. Any older and larger city 
which may lie within some fifty or sixty paces looks upon the step as 
a casus belli, and at once marches its armies to the attack. After a 
combat, which may be prolonged for days, Providence declares in 
favor of the largest battalions, and the less numerous community is 


exterminated, fighting literally to the last ant. Where a colony is 
unmolested it increases rapidly in population, and undertakes to lay 
out roads : one of these, from two to three inches in width, has been 
traced to a distance of 100 yards from the city. These ants are not 
very carnivorous, nor do they damage the crops of neighboring farm 
ers. Persons who intrude upon the " pavement 1 are bitten with 
great zeal, but otherwise the species may be regarded ^as harmless. 
One creature alone they seem to tolerate on their " pavement " the 
so-called small black " erratic " ant which, as Dr. Lincecum conject 
ures, may be of some use to them, and which is therefore allowed to 
build its small cities in their immediate neighborhood. If it becomes 
too numerous, however, it is got rid of, not tby open war, but by a 
course of systematic and yet apparently unintentional annoyance. 
The agricultural ants suddenly find that it is necessary to raise their 
pavement and enlarge the base of their city. In carrying out these 
alterations they literally bury the nests of their neighbors under heaps 
of the small pellets of soil thrown up by the prairie earth-worms, and 
continue this process till the erratic ants in sheer despair remove to a 
quieter spot. 

Concerning the government either of the agricultural ants or ot 
other species, our knowledge is of a very negative character. The 
queens, or rather mothers, of the city are indeed treated with great 
attention, but their number is quite indefinite, and, unlike female 
hive-bees, no jealousy exists between them. How their migrations, 
their wars, their slave-hunts, are decided on, or even how the guards 
on duty are appointed, and the visiting parties selected who go round 
to inspect the works, and who sometimes insist on the destruction and 
rebuilding of any -badly-executed portion, we are utterly ignorant. 
The outer manifestations of ant-life w r e have to some extent traced ; 
but its inner springs, its directing and controlling powers, have eluded 
our observation. 

It has been remarked, in the Quarterly Journal of Science, that 
ants, unlike man, have solved the problem of the practical organiza 
tion of communism : this is literally true. In a formicary we can de 
tect no trace of private property ; the territory, the buildings, the 
stores, the booty, exist equally for the benefit of all. Every ant has 
its wants supplied, and each in turn is prepared to work or to fight 
for the community as zealously as if the benefit of such toil and peril 
were to accrue to itself alone. If the principle so common among 
men that there is no harm in robbing or defrauding a municipal 
body, or the nation at large, crops up in an ant-hill at all, it must evi 
dently be stamped out with an old-fashioned promptitude. But, to 
understand why the ant has succeeded where man has failed, we must 
turn to certain fundamental distinctions between human and ant so 
ciety ; or, perhaps, speaking more generally, between the associations 
of vertebrate and those of annulose animals. A human tribe or na- 


tion and, in like manner, e. g., a community of beavers or of rooks 
is formed by the aggregation, not of single individuals, but of groups, 
each consisting of a male, a female, and their offspring. The social 
unit among vertebrates, therefore, is the family, whether permanent 
or temporary, and whether monogamous or polygamous. In number 
less cases the family exists without combining with other families to 
form a nation, but we greatly doubt if there exists a single case of a 
vertebrate nation not formed of and resolvable into families. 

Among the Annulosa this is reversed. The family among them 
scarcely exists at all. Rarely is the union of the male and the female 
extended beyond the actual intercourse, all provision for the future 
young devolving upon the latter alone. Among the rare exceptions 
to this rule, we may mention the burying-beetle, and seme of the 
dung-beetles, both sexes of whom labor conjointly to find and inter 
the food in which the eggs are to be deposited. Generally speaking, 
moreover, the young insect never knows never even sees its parents, 
who in most cases have died before it has emerged from the egg. 
Among non-social insects the earwig and a few other Orthoptera form 
the chief exceptions. Where a regularly organized society, a nation, 
or tribe, exists among annulose animals, it is not formed by the coa 
lescence of families to a higher unity. The family, if it can be said to 
exist at all, is conterminous and identical with the nation. This ab 
sence of a something whose claims are felt by all ordinary men to be 
stronger than those of the state has rendered the successful organiza 
tion of the "commune" feasible among ants, and among other social 
Hymenoptera, such as bees, wasps, etc. With them the state has no 
rival, and absorbs all the energies w r hich in human society the indi 
vidual devotes to the interests of his family. We thus see that the 
orists on social reform have been, from their own point of view, logi 
cally consistent in attacking the institution of marriage and the whole 
system of domestic life : they have sought to abolish the great im 
pediment to the commune, and to approximate man to the condition 
of our six-footed rivals, and to constitute society not as heretofore of 
molecules, but of atoms. 

But it is not enough to show that the failure of communism among 
mankind and its success among certain Hymenopterous insects are 
due to the existence and the power of the family in the former case, 
and to its absence in the latter. We have yet to inquire into the 
wherefore of so important a distinction. Vertebrate society, where it 
exists at all, is founded on family life, because every vertebrate animal 
is sexual, and as such is attracted to some individual of the opposite 
sex by the strongest instinct of it s nature, that of self-preservation 
alone excepted. Invertebrate society, where it exists in perfection, as 
among the Hymenoptera, is not formed by a union of families, because 
the great majority of Hymenopterous individuals (in the social species) 
are non-sexual, neuter, incapable of any private or domestic attach- 


ments, and devoted to the community alone. To attempt, without the 
existence of such an order, to introduce the social arrangements of the 
ant i. e., communism among mankind is as futile and as irrational 
as the endeavor to fly without wings : the very primary conditions for 
success are wanting. 

It may not be amiss to examine a little further in the same direc 
tion. Among men there is a great diversity both in intellect and in 
energy. The more highly-endowed individual, if he does not leave his 
children in a better position, materially speaking, is likely to transmit 
to them his own personal superiority. In this manner the theoretical 
equality assumed as one of the bases of communism is in practice an 
nihilated. Among ants nothing of this kind can prevail. The workers 
and the fighters are sexless. If any individual is superior to its fel 
lows in strength or in intelligence and we have every reason to be 
lieve that such must be the case it has no posterity to whom its 
acquisitions could be bequeathed or its personal superiority handed 
down. Hence the formation of an aristocracy is impossible, and what 
ever benefit may result from the labors of such an exceptional individ 
ual flows to the entire community. In the converse manner the forma 
tion of a pariah, a criminal, or a pauper class, is frustrated, and the 
public is not burdened with useless or dangerous existences. 

It is indisputable that this arrangement, joined to the brief term 
of insect-life, must greatly retard the progress of the ant in civiliza 
tion. It has been remarked that were human life longer our develop 
ment in knowledge and in the arts would be much more rapid. Take 
our present condition : by the time a man has completed his education, 
general and special has fully developed his own mental faculties and 
mastered the position of the subject he has selected he will be rarely 
less than five-and-twenty years of age. By the time he is fifty, as a 
rule, his power of origination begins to decline, and the remainder of 
his life is spent more in completing and rounding off the work of his 
younger days than in making fresh inroads into the unknown. Did 
our full vigor of intellect extend over a century, instead of over a 
fourth of that duration, we should undoubtedly effect much more. 
On the other hand, a shortening of our time of activity would have a 
powerfully retarding effect on the career of discovery and invention. 
Can we, then, wonder if the short-lived ant and bee sometimes appear 
to us stationary in their civilization ? But this very brevity of the 
career of each individual acts decidedly in favor of the preservation 
of social equality. If either ant or man is disposed to rise or to fall, 
then the shorter the time during which such rise or fall is possible the 
better will the uniform level of society be preserved. To prevent mis 
understanding we must remark that castes with a corresponding dif 
ference of duties, and, according to some authorities, with a diversity 
of honor also, do occur in the ant-hill ; but within each caste all are 
on an exactly equal footing. 


If we compare the zoological rank of our " six-footed rivals " with 
our own, we must, from one point of view, concede them a higher po 
sition. The more perfectly developed is any animal the more do we 
find it possessed of an especial organ for the discharge of every func 
tion. In like manner it may be contended that, as a species rises in 
the scale of being, duties once indiscriminately performed by all the 
species are assigned to distinct individuals. Among the humbler 
groups of the animal kingdom the whole reproductive task is per 
formed by all members of the species. In other words, hermaph- 
roditism prevails. As we ascend to higher groups the sexes are 
separated, and the species becomes dimorphous. This arrangement 
prevails among all vertebrate animals, and among a large majority 
of annulose species. We find here already, however, one of those 
contrasts which so often prevail between these two great series of 
beings. Among vertebrates, and especially in mankind, the function 
of the female sex seems limited to the nurture intra- and extra- 
uterine of the young. Were man immortal and non-reproductive, 
woman s raison tfttre would disappear. Among Annulosa the very 
reverse holds good ; the females are as a rule larger, stronger, and 
more long-lived, while the task of the male seems limited to the 
fecundation of the ova. This being once performed, his part is 
played. Among butterflies, moths, and ants, his death speedily 
follows, while among spiders he is generally killed and devoured by 
his better-half. This predominance of the female sex seems to pre 
pare the way for the phenomenon which we recognize among the 
social Hymenoptera. Here the species become no longer dimorphous, 
but polymorphous. In other words, in addition to the males and 
females, whose task is now exclusively confined to the mere function 
of reproduction, there are, as we have seen, one or more forms of 
females, sexually abortive, but so developed in other respects as to 
form the castes of workers and fighters, upon whom the real govern 
ment of the ant-hill devolves, who provide for its enlargement, well- 
being, and defense. 

It may, we think, be legitimately contended that the develop 
ment of a distinct working order is a step in advance similar to that 
taken by the distribution of the sexual functions among two different 
individuals that the polymorphic species is higher than the dimor 
phic, just as the dimorphic is higher than the monomorphic. 

Of the development of a neuter order among vertebrate animals, 
and especially among mankind, we know nothing which can be fairly 
called a trace. But, in comparing the two civilizations, that of man 
and that of the ant, we must be struck with the fact that the former 
has from time to time imitated this peculiar feature. The attempts, 
however, whether made by the devotion of certain classes to celibacy 
or by actual emasculation, have been as unsuccessful as the sham 
elephants of Scmiramis. Celibates retaining the sexual appetite, but 


deprived of its legitimate exercise, have always been a disturbing 
force in society. On the other hand, emasculation, instead of as 
might have been perhaps, a priori, anticipated increasing the powers 
of body and mind, enfeebles both. What would be the moral and 
social effects of the appearance of a neutral form of the human species 
analogous to the working bee or ant it is impossible to foresee ; but 
we may venture to surmise that they would not be entirely desirable. 1 

It may be suggested that the institution of caste among so many 
human races is an adumbration of the natural castes existing among 
social insects, each devoted to some especial function. 

The remarkable intelligence of ants has from very early age s 
made a profound impression on man. Cicero considered them pos 
sessed of "mind, reason, and memory." 2 To the present day those 
who watch, the formicary, not in order to defend prepossessions, but 
to arrive at truth, come to the same conclusion, unpopular though it 
may be. We sometimes wonder whether ants, like men, consider 
themselves the sole reasonable beings on the globe, prove their posi 
tion by sound a priori arguments, and accuse those who take a differ 
ent view of " skepticism " or "agnosticism." 

When it is no longer possible to meet with a flat denial all in 
stances of correct inferences drawn and of happy contrivances adopted 
by brutes in general and by ants in particular, the writers who still 
claim reason as the exclusive prerogative of man bring forward a 
curious objection : they urge that we should likewise collect proofs of 
animal folly and stupidity, and seem to think that these latter in 
stances would nullify any conclusion that might be drawn from the 
former. That instances are numerous where some animal fails to 
draw an inference very obvious, in our view or to adopt some very 
simple expedient, we do not deny, and that their conduct hence seems 
strangely checkered, we admit. What, e. g., can seem more incon 
sistent than the following cases ? Sir John Lubbock, to test the in 
telligence of ants, placed a strip of paper so as to serve as a bridge 
or ladder for some ants which were carrying their pupa3 by a very 
roundabout way. The slip was, however, purposely left short of its 
destination by some small fraction of an inch. It would have been 
very easy for the ants either to have dropped themselves and their 
burden down this short distance, or to have handed the pupa3 to the 
other ants below, or to have piled up a small amount of earth from 
below, so as to meet the slip of paper, and thus make the descending 
road continuous. They adopted, however, none of these expedients, 
but continued to travel the roundabout way. 

1 It is very remarkable that among the Termites, which, though improperly called 
" white ants," belong to a different order of insects, neuters exist. These, however, do 
not appear to be imperfectly developed females. It would thus seem that among insects 
social organization necessitates a class of sexless individuals. 

2 " Mens, ratio, et memoria." 


On the other hand, Mr. Tennant tells us that Formica smaragdina, 
in forming its dwellings by cementing together the leaves of growing 
trees, adopts the following method : A line of ants, standing along 
the edge of one leaf, seize hold of another, and bring its margin in 
contact with the one on which they are posted. They then hold both 
together with their mandibles, while their companions glue them fast 
with a kind of adhesive paper which they prepare. If the two leaves 
are so far apart that a single ant cannot reach from one to another, 
they form chains with their bodies to span over the gap. The same 
author also informs us that certain Ceylonese ants, when carrying 
sand or dry earth for the construction of their nests, glue several 
grains together so as to form a lump as large as they can carry, and 
thus economize time and labor. 

Mr. Belt, in his "Naturalist in Nicaragua (page 27), gives the 
.following account of the manner in which the ~Ecitons, or foraging 
ants of Central and South America, deal with what may be called 
engineering difficulties : " I once saw a wide column trying to pass 
along a crumbling, nearly perpendicular slope. They would have 
got very slowly over it, and many of them would have fallen, but 
a number having secured their hold and reaching to each other re 
mained stationary, and over them the main column passed. Another 
time they were crossing a water-course along a small branch, not 
thicker than a goose-quill. They widened this natural bridge to three 
times its width, by a number of ants clinging to it and to each other 
on each side, over which the column passed three or four deep ; where 
as, except for this expedient, they would have had to pass over in 
single file, and treble the time would have been consumed." 


Again, in Eciton legionis, according to Mr. Bates, when digging 
mines to get at another species of ant whose nests they were attack 
ing, the workers were divided into parties, "one set excavating and 
another set carrying away the grains of earth. When the shafts 
became rather deep the mining parties had to climb up the sides eacli 
time they wished to cast out a pellet of earth, but their work was 
lightened for them by comrades who stationed themselves at the 
mouth of the shaft and relieved them of their burdens, carrying the 
particles, with an appearance of foresight which quite staggered me, 
a sufficient distance from the edge of the hole to prevent them from 
rolling in again." 

What, then, are we to learn from these somewhat inconsistent 
cases ? Are we to conclude that Sir John Lubbock, Mr. Belt, Mr. 
Bates, and Mr. Tennant, must be careless and incompetent observers ? 
Assuredly not. Are we to believe that ants are stupid, irrational 
creatures, and that when they do anything right it must be regarded 
as an accident or ascribed to that convenient phantom, instinct? 
Still less : the well-established cases which are on record agree badly 
with either of these suppositions. The true explanation of the diffi- 


culty is that, like all finite intelligences, ants are not equally wise on 
all occasions. Sometimes they hit upon the best expedient for evad 
ing or overcoming an obstacle, but sometimes, under circumstances 
not more complicated, they fail. This is doubtless the case with man 
himself. If contemplated by some being endowed with higher rea 
soning powers, would he not be pronounced a most curiously incon 
sistent mixture of sagacity and stupidity, now solving problems of 
no small difficulty, and now standing helpless in presence of others 
even more simple ? That such is in reality the case with man is 
proved by the history of discoveries, and of their reception. Do we 
not always say when we hear of any great step, whether in scientific 
theory or in the practical arts, " How simple, how natural ! Yet, 
simple and natural as it is, all sorts and conditions of men lived for 
centuries without opening their eyes to it. To those who, on the 
score of incidental blunders and stupidities, deny the rationality of 
animals, we would hold up the ever-memorable " egg " of Columbus, 
and exclaim," What, gentlemen, do you expect the ant to be be more 
uniformly and consistently intelligent than your erudite selves? 

Concerning the language of ants no small diversity of opinion has 
prevailed ; but among actual observers the general conclusion is that 
these tiny creatures can impart to each other information of a very 
definite character, and not merely general signals, such as those of 
alarm. It has been found that ants fetched by a messenger for some 
especial purpose seem, when they arrive at the spot, to have some 
knowledge of the task which is awaiting them, and set about it at 
once without any preliminary investigation. The cases which we 
quote elsewhere from Mr. Belt are very conclusive on this point. In 
order to decide whether ants are really fetched to assist in tasks be 
yond the strength of any one of their number, Sir John Lubbock in 
stituted a very interesting and decisive experiment. It is well known 
that if the larvae of ants are taken out of the nest, the workers never 
rest till they have fetched them back. Sir John Lubbock took a num 
ber of larvae out of his experimental formicary, and placed them aside 
in two parcels very unequal in number. Each of these lots was soon 
discovered by an ant, who at once fell to work to carry the larvae 
back to the nest, and was soon joined by others, eager to assist. The 
observer reasoned thus : If these ants have come to the spot by acci 
dent, it is probable that the number who arrive at each lot will be 
approximately equal. On the other hand, if they are intentionally 
fetched to assist in removing the larvaa, the number in each case will 
most likely bear some proportion to the amount of work to be done. 
The result was, that the large heap of larvre was visited by about three 
times as many ants as the small one. Hence the inference is plain 
that ants can call assistance to any task in w r hich they are engaged, 
that they can form some estimate of the amount of labor that will 
be required, and can make their views in some manner known to their 


companions. The manner in which, when on the march, they are 
directed by their officers, and the promptitude and precision with 
which a column is sent out to seize any booty indicated by scouting- 
parties, show likewise a completeness and precision of language very 
different from anything we observe in quadrupeds and birds. 

But as to the nature of this language, which Mr. Belt rightly calls 
" wonderful," we are as yet very much in the dark. Sounds audible 
to our ears they scarcely can be said to emit. Their principal organs 
of speech are doubtless the antennae : with these, when seeking to 
communicate intelligence, they touch each other in a variety of ways. 
There can be no doubt that, with organs so flexible and so sensitive, 
an interchange not merely of emotions but of ideas must be easy. 

But there is another channel of communication which deserves to 
be carefully investigated. We know that the language of vertebrates, 
or at least of their higher sections, turns on the production or recog 
nition of sounds. What if the language of social insects should be 
found to depend, in part at least, on the production and recognition 
of odors ? We have already full proof that their sense of smell is de 
veloped to a degree of acuteness and delicacy which utterly passes 
our conceptions of possibility, and to which the scent of the keenest 
hound presents but a very faint approximation. Collectors of Lepi- 
doptera are well aware that if a virgin female moth of certain species 
is inclosed in a box, males of the same species will make their ap 
pearance from distances which may be relatively pronounced pro 
digious. As soon, however, as the decoy has been fecundated, this 
attraction ceases. This is only one among the many phenomena 
which testify to the wonderful olfactory powers of insects. So much, 
then, for the recognition of odors. Nor is their production among in 
sects a matter open to doubt. Scents, distinctly perceptible even to 
our duller organs, are given off by many. The pleasant odor of the 
musk-beetle, and the offensive smells of the ladybirds, the common 
ground-beetles, the oil-beetles, the Spanish fly, and the " devil s coach- 
horse hence technically named Gcerius olens are known to every 
tyro in entomology. The next question is, Are these odors at all 
under the control of the insect, and capable of being produced, sup 
pressed, or modified at will ? We have noticed many instances where 
the odors of insects became more intense under the influence of anger 
or alarm. A peculiarly pungent odor is said to issue from a beehive 
if the inmates are becoming excited. 

The possibility of a scent-language among insects must therefore 
be conceded. Mr. Belt thinks that the Eeitons mark out a track which 
is to be followed by their comrades by imparting to it some peculiar 
odor. He says: "At one point I noticed a sort of assembly of about 
a dozen individuals that appeared in consultation. Suddenly one ant 
left the conclave, and ran with great speed up the perpendicular face 
of the cutting without stopping. It was followed by others, which, 


however, did not keep straight on like the first, but ran a short way, 
then returned, and then again followed a little farther than the first 
time. They were evidently scenting the trail of the pioneer, and 
making it permanently recognizable. These ants followed the exact 
line taken by the first one, though it was far out of sight. Wher 
ever it had made a slight detour, they did so likewise. I scraped with 
my knife a small portion of the clay on the trail, and the ants were 
completely at fault for a time which way to go. Those ascending 
and those descending stopped at the scraped portion, and made short 
circuits until they hit the scented trail again, when all their hesi 
tation vanished, and they ran up and down it with the greatest con 

That among groups like the Ecitons, in Which the sense of sight 
is imperfect, or even totally wanting, enhanced delicacy of scent and 
touch must be required in compensation, may be taken as self-evident. 
With the language of ants, and especially with a possible scent-lan 
guage, is connected the faculty by means of which denizens of the 
same city recognize each other under circumstances of great diffi 
culty. In the battles which take place between two nations of the 
same species, how, save by scent, do the tiny warriors distinguish 
friend from foe? We are told by some older observers that if an 
ant is taken from the nest, and restored after the lapse of several 
months, it is at once received by its companions and caressed, while 
a stranger ant introduced at the same time is rejected, and generally 
killed. To a great extent this has been confirmed by recent investi 
gators. The returned exile was not indeed caressed, but was quietly 
allowed to enter the nest, while a stranger was at once greeted with 
hostile demonstrations. It has been maintained that this power of 
recognition is destroyed by water, and that ants will treat a comrade 
as an enemy if he has received a drenching. This, however, is evi 
dently a mistake. To prevent rain from penetrating into the nests 
of the agricultural ant, the guards block up the doorways with their 
bodies, and are often drowned at their posts. But their companions 
are not thereby prevented from recognizing them, as they try to bring 
the dead bodies to life. Quarterly Journal of Science. 




A RECAPITULATION" of the various conjectures which have been 
advanced in explanation of so ever-familiar a sensation as that of 
warmth or heat, would neither prove particularly feasible nor inter 
esting ; for doubtless during the vast period of time which has elapsed 

1 Introduction to an unpublished work on Thermo-Dynamics. 


since the enunciation of atomic doctrines by the old Greek philoso 
phers and from their great suggestiveness the speculations of re 
flective minds have wandered over wellnigh every imaginable hy 
pothesis, and approximated with greater or less minuteness to the 
views which are admitted now, and which we think to be supported 
by experiment. Thus, as a case in point, we may refer to Galileo, 1 
whose resource of observation could have scarcely been superior to 
Archimedes s, and who would seem to have conceived of an increase 
of heat as only a more elementary condition of material substance, in 
which the more or less considerable destruction of molecular bonds 
allowed the individual particles of a body to move among themselves 
with a more unconstrained vibration. 

But very few among the countless suppositions which we might 
thus succeed in raking up, however curious or predictive in them 
selves, would have the slightest bearing on our present subject. De 
veloped only to the extent demanded by the superiority of the scho 
lastic mind, they would be found in general mere arbitrary, whimsical 
assertions ; untried and unsupported by critically-devised experiments. 
With the reformation of philosophy does our historical sketch then 
properly begin, and, moreover, with Lord Bacon as its founder; for, 
in illustrating the proper method of establishing a philosophical doc 
trine, he forever identified himself with the dynamic theory, by show 
ing that the most comprehensive explanations were afforded by con 
sidering heat to be an intestine motion of the constituent particles of a 
body. Systematically reviewing the known properties and effects of 
heat the only practicable course open to him he concluded in the 
following memorable and oft-quoted passages : 2 

" Atque hoec sit Prima Vindemiatio, sive Interpretatio inchoata de Forma 
Calidi, facta per Permissionem Intellectus. 

"Ex Vindemiatione autem ista Prima, Forma sive definitio vera Caloris(ejus 
qui est in ordine ad universum), non relativus tantummodo ad sensum talis est, 
brevi verborum y complexu : Calor est motus expansions, coliibitus, et nitens per 
partes minor esS" 1 

We find, therefore, in older writings, the first considerable support 
of this doctrine attributed to Bacon ; and it must be conceded that to 
the power and vividness with which he portrayed his conception of 
this agent was due in a great measure the tenacity with which it was 
afterward, from time to time, brought forward and upheld. 

The subsequent supporters of this view, though not perhaps most 
numerous, comprised by far the most distinguished and profound 
philosophers of their time, their writings furnishing many remarkable 
anticipations of heat-theory as now received. 

1 " Opere di Galileo Galilei," torn, ii., p. 505, et seq. 

2 " Novum Organum," lib. sec., aphorism 20. Spedding and Ellis s translation, vol. iv., 
p. 154. 


Newton, 1 quite singularly, while rejecting the wave-theory of light, 
gave his assent to the analogous ideas respecting heat ; and, in so far 
as we may judge, conceived the warmth excited in a body when ex 
posed to light or radiant heat to be due to the little shocks which 
luminous or radiant material might produce in it. 

Huyghens, Hooke, Locke, and Cavendish, among others, were also 
favorably inclined to the Baconian view; 2 the works of Hooke par 
ticularly containing many and strong expositions of the vibratory 
notion, and his comments on the mechanical and chemical produc 
tion of heat being urged often with, as great clearness, and as sub 
tile a perception of occult natural causes, as any which we now 
possess. 3 

But the adaptation of the known " laws 01 motion " to these opera 
tions, whereby heat might in many instances have been directly cor 
related to the energy expended in producing it, was not until long 
after definitely proposed; and though, in 1744, Boyle, 4 perhaps as in 
telligently as any one before him, had attributed the heating of a 
hammered bod v to the transfer of the "motion " of the hammer to the 


ultimate particles of the body struck, yet the idea of the indestructi 
bility of energy in all cases, and of course, therefore, in the mechani 
cal excitation of heat, would not seem to have been expressly urged 
before the time of Rumford and Sir Humphry Davy. 

In the mean while, however, a new doctrine was brought forth, as 
signing to heat a material existence and chemical properties. First 

1 Newton s " Optice," queries at the end of treatise, especially Nos. 6, 8, 12, 18, 23, 
and 31. 

2 The ideas of Huyghens on this point would seem to have resembled somewhat those 
of Galileo, already quoted. See " Expose de la Situation de la Mecanique Appliquee," 
par Combes, etc., p. 200. Paris, 1867. And Locke quite uniformly made use of Bacon s 
hypothesis. See particularly his essay on the " Conduct of the Human Understanding, 
Elements of Natural Philosophy," chap, xi., where he says : 

" Heat is a very brisk agitation of the insensible parts of the object which produces 
in us that sensation whence we denominate the object hot ; so what in our sensation is 
heat, in the object is nothing but motion. . . . 

" On the other side, the utmost degree of cold is the cessation of that motion of the 
insensible particles which to our touch is heat." 

3 Hooke s " Micrographia," obs. xvi., 12th particular. " Posthumous Works," p. 49. 
"Lectures on Light," p. 116. 

4 " And now I speak of striking an iron with a hammer, I am put in mind of an opera 
tion that seems to contradict, but does indeed confirm our theory : namely, that if a some 
what longer nail be driven by a hammer into a plank or piece of wood, it will receive 
divers strokes on the head before it grow hot ; but when it is driven to the head, so that 
it can go no further, a few strokes will suffice to give it a considerable heat ; for while at 
every blow of the hammer the nail enters further and further into the wood, the motion 
that is produced is chiefly progressive, and is of the whole nail tending one way ; where 
as, when that motion is stopped, then the impulse given by the stroke being unable either 
to drive the nail further on or destroy its entireness, must be spent in making a various, 
vehement, and intestine commotion of the parts among themselves, and in such an one 
we formerly observed the nature of heat to consist. 1 * (Boyle, " On the Mechanical Origin 
of Heat and Cold," " Complete Works," vol. iv., p. 236, et seq., exp. vi.) 


advocated, it is thought, by Boerhaave l and Lemery, 2 it received in 
1787 the unrestricted name "caloric" from the French Academy. 

According to these hypothetic notions, singularly cramped and 
superficial, as compared with the more fruitful ideas of Bacon, caloric, 
or the matter of heat, was thought to be a highly-elastic, imponder 
able fluid ; which, distributed among the constituent molecules of 
bodies, in quantities varying with the temperature in the same, or the 
" capacity " in different kinds of substance, occasioned all the known 
phenomena of heat: the sensation, through an occult property of its 
own ; expansion and repulsion, by the entrance of its own substance 
among the molecules of the bodies heated ; a change of state whenever 
the effective action of any particular set of molecular forces should 
thus happen to be overcome ; and in radiation passing from one body 
to another with vast swiftness. Being, moreover, an unchangeable 
material, a definite created quantity of it w r as considered to exist at 
all times in the universe. 

The idea of a substance unaffected by the force of gravity did not 
appear so very improbable in those days, while the then frequent 
separation of some new or more elementary gas, and the astonishing 
effects directly traceable to their action, quite naturally suggested an 
analogous causation in thermal phenomena. 

The discovery by Black, of latent heat, 3 seemed also to supply the 
necessary induction for its quantitative treatment; so that toward the 
beginning of the present century, and upon chemical considerations 
merely, the hypothesis of caloric had succeeded in supplanting quite 
effectually the ideas of Bacon. 

The explanations which it gave of the mechanical excitation of 
heat were not so plausible, however ; certain phenomena appearing 
utterly incongruous with the idea of an unalterable material supply 
of heat-substance, and its continued production of friction a phe 
nomenon which has been since said to have furnished the key to the 
whole science of thermo-dynamics serving eventually to completely 
overturn it. In explaining such phenomena, therefore, those who still 
chose the material hypothesis were compelled to overlook some very 
significant objections; while, still supposing it to be a vibratory mo- 

1 "De Igne, Elementa Chemias," }., 116. 

2 " Sur la Matierc du Feu," " Histoire et Memoires de 1 Ac. Par.," 1709, pp. 6, 400. 

3 We know, however, that these discoveries did not fail to be correctly interpreted at 
the time, for Cavendish, in a foot-note to some " Observations on Mr. Hutchinson s Ex 
periments," etc., "Philosophical Transactions," 1783, p. 312, remarked: 

" I am informed that Dr. Black explains the above-mentioned phenomena in the same 
manner; only instead of using the expression, heat is generated or produced, he says, 
latent heat is evolved or set free ; but as this expression relates to an hypothesis de 
pending on the supposition that the heat of bodies is owing to their containing more or 
less of a substance called the matter of heat, and as I think Sir Isaac Newton s opinion, 
that heat consists in the internal motion of the particles of bodies, much the most prob 
able, I choose to use the expression heat is generated. ; 
VOT,. xii. 14 


tion, the additional phenomena of latent or specific heats were not at 
all irreconcilable or difficult of explanation. 

Thus Lavoisier and Laplace, in their famous "Memoire sur la Cha- 
leur " of 1780, though still retaining and defending the ideas of caloric, 
admitted the frictional excitation of heat to be "favorable" to the 
dynamical hypothesis. But it is, on the other hand, to be remem 
bered that the earlier experiments devoted to the study of this point 
had been by no means unmistakable in their indications, directed as 
they had been rather to the detection of some suspected influence of 
the rubbing surfaces than to the investigation of any possible relation 
between the heat produced and the energy expended in producing it. 

The material hypothesis was, therefore, the prevailing one, when 
about the year 1797 Count Rumford, 1 while engaged in superintend 
ing the construction of cannon at the military arsenal at Munich, be 
came impressed by the considerable generation of heat accompanying 
their boring. And as he thought upon the explanation of the phe 
nomenon consistent with the then prevailing ideas as to the intimate 
nature of heat, it seemed to him impossible that an apparently un 
limited supply of any substance could be separated from so inconsid 
erable a quantity of borings. The doubt increased when, upon mak 
ing the determination, he found the specific heat of this debris to be 
the same, apparently, as that of the mass of metal from which it had 
been separated: for in some obscure manner the " capacity" for heat 
of any body, or the total quantity of it which it might hold in any 
particular state, was considered to be intimately connected with, if 
not entirely defined by, its specific heat. 

But, though he quoted this experiment as sufficiently conclusive 
that the heat set free by friction could not have been produced at the 
expense of any caloric latent in the metal, he undertook the following 
more elaborate investigation to determine all the circumstances which 
might possibly exert an influence on its production: and it appears, 
both from his method of procedure and the arguments with which he 
supplemented his results, that he had fully comprehended the philo 
sophical consequences of each rival theory. 

In view of the preeminent importance of these first conclusive and 
well-understood experiments, both with respect to the establishment 
of the dynamic theory upon an experimental basis, and the undoubted 
claim of their author to be considered as its founder, we here give as 
detailed an account of his investigations as may be thought admissible 
in a work intended merely for didactic purposes ; and we conceive a 
full statement upon this most important point to be the more de 
sirable, from the fact that the completeness with which he then 
demolished the material hypothesis, and the maturity of his views 
respecting the dynamical nature of heat, do not of late seem to 

1 " Inquiry concerning the Source of the Heat which is excited by Friction," "Phil 
osophical Transactions," 1798, p. 80. "Complete Works," Am. Ac. ed., p. 400. 


have gained the unqualified recognition which they most certainly 

Taking the casting of a brass cannon, solid and rough as it came 
from the foundery, and with the cylindrical mass of metal a (Fig. 1), 
called the verlorner Kopf, still adhering to the muzzle, Rumford caused 
to be turned upon the superfluous end a smaller cylinder, b (Fig. 2), 

FIG. 1. 


FIG. 2. 

7f inches in diameter and 9.8 inches long, and which remained con 
nected to the cannon proper by the neck, e, 2.5 in diameter and 3.8 
inches long. 

The whole mass being then secured in the apparatus used for bor 
ing (Fig. 2), a cavity 7.2 inches long and 3.7 in diameter was bored 
in b, in the direction of its axis, so that a metal bottom, 2.6 inches 
thick, remained between the borer and the neck. In this also a small 
round hole, c d (Fig. 3), was radially bored for the insertion of a 
thermometer. The cylinder, neck, etc., are represented upon a some 
what larger scale in Fig. 3. 

FlG. 3. 

The borer used to create friction upon this metallic bottom was a 
flat piece of hardened steel, 0.63 inch in thickness, four inches long, 
and nearly as w r ide as the cylindrical bore in which it turned, 34 
inches; so that the area of contact with the bottom was about 2.33 
square inches. This borer was securely held in place against the bot- 


torn, of the cylinder, and kept from turning by an iron bar, in and 
thus disposed for the experiment the apparatus is represented in 
Fig. 2. 

In Rumford s first determination the borer was forced against the 


bottom with a pressure of about 10,000 pounds, and the cylinder was 
rotated at the rate of thirty-two turns in a minute, by the labor of 
two horses. To prevent also as far as possible any loss of heat 
by radiation, the exposed parts were protected by thick coverings of 

At the beginning of the experiment the temperature throughout, 
as well as that of the surrounding air, was 60 Fahr. ; at the end of 
thirty minutes, when 960 revolutions of the cylinder had been made, 
the temperature, as indicated by a thermometer introduced into the 
small hole, had risen to 130. 

Collecting the metallic dust or, as he described it, scaly matter 
which had been detached, he found upon a careful weighing that it 
amounted to but 837 grains, or 54.2 grammes. Its inadequacy to 
account for the large excitation of heat fully impressed him, and he 
exclaims : 

" Is it possible that the very considerable quantity of heat that was produced 
in this experiment (a quantity which actually raised the temperature of above 
113 pounds of gun-metal at least 70 of Fahrenheit s thermometer, and which, of 
course, would have been capable of melting six pounds and a half of ice, or of 
causing nearly five pounds of ice-cold water to boil) could have been furnished by 
so inconsiderable a quantity of metallic dust, and this merely in consequence of 
a change of its capacity for heat ? 

" As the weight of this dust (837 grains, Troy) amounted to no more than 
-g^-g- part of that of the cylinder, it must have lost no less than 948 of heat, to 
have been able to raise the temperature of the cylinder 1 ; and consequently it 
must have given off 66,360 of heat to have produced the effects which were 
actually found to have been produced in the experiment ! 

" But without insisting on the improbability of this supposition, we have 
only to recollect that from the results of actual and decisive experiments, made 
for the express purpose of ascertaining that fact, the capacity for heat of the 
metal of which great guns are cast is not sensibly changed by being reduced to 
the form of metallic chips in the operation of boring cannon ; and there does not 
seem to be any reason to think that it can be much changed, if it be changed at 
all, in being reduced to much smaller pieces by means of a borer that is less 

" If the heat, or any considerable part of it, were produced in consequence 
of a change in the capacity for heat of a part of the metal of the cylinder, as 
such change would only be superficial, the cylinder would by degrees be ex 
hausted ; or the quantities of heat produced in any given short space of time 
would be found to diminish gradually in successive experiments. To find out if 
this really happened or not, I repeated the last-mentioned experiment several 
times with the utmost care ; but I did not discover the smallest sign of ex 
haustion in the metal, notwithstanding the large quantities of heat actually 
given off. 

" Finding so much reason to conclude that the heat generated in these ex- 


periments, or excited, as I would rather choose to express it, was not furnished 
at the expense of the latent heat, or combined caloric of the metal, I pushed my 
inquiries a step farther, and endeavored to find out whether the air did, or did 
not, contribute anything in the generation of it." 

In this, his Experiment No. 2, the only modification consisted in 
fitting the steel borer with an air-tight piston, packed with oiled 
leather, by which any circulation of air from without to the interior 
was prevented. But in the use of this device the oiled leather itself, 
by its friction with the sides of the borer, produced considerable heat, 
so that, to obviate any possible objection as to this point, Rumford 
had recourse to his third and most celebrated experiment. 

In this, the friction cylinder was made to rotate in a water-tight 
box, which, being filled with water, completely submerged all the heat- 
producing parts. Here, therefore, the only supply of caloric, if any, 
lay in the water, which itself was to be heated by the friction; for 
had any caloric been abstracted by the heated water from the ambient 
air, there would have necessarily been a flow of heat from a cool body 
to a warmer, which every one admitted to be contrary to experience. 
The apparatus, therefore, having been arranged, the box was filled 
with water at the temperature of 60 Fahr., and the machinery put in 

With reference to what followed, Kumford remarked : 

" The result of this beautiful experiment was very striking, and the pleasure 
it afforded me amply repaid me for all the trouble I had had in contriving and 
arranging the complicated machinery used in making it. 

" The cylinder, revolving at the rate of about thirty-two times in a minute, 
had been in motion but a short time, when I perceived, by putting my hand into 
the water and touching the outside of the cylinder, that heat was generated ; 
and it was not long before the water which surrounded the cylinder began to be 
sensibly warm. 

" At the end of one hour I found, by plunging a thermometer into the water 
in the box (the quantity of which fluid amounted to 18.77 pounds, avoirdupois, 
or two and a quarter wine-gallons), that its temperature had been raised no less 
than 47 ; being now 107 of Fahrenheit s scale. 

" When thirty minutes more had elapsed, or one hour and thirty minutes 
after the machinery had been put in motion, the heat of the water in the box 
was 142. 

"At the end of two hours, reckoning from the beginning of the experiment, 
the temperature of the water was found to be raised to 178. 

" At two hours twenty minutes it was at 200 ; and at two hours thirty 
minutes it ACTUALLY BOILED ! 

"The quantity of heat excited and accumulated in this experiment was very 
considerable ; for, not only the water in the box, but also the box itself (which 
weighed 15 pounds), and the hollow metallic cylinder, and that part of the 
iron bar which, being situated within the cavity of the box, was immersed in 
the water, were heated 150 Fahr., namely, from 60 (which was the tempera 
ture of the water and of the machinery at the beginning of the experiment) to 
210, the heat of boiling water at Munich." 


The total quantity of heat generated may be estimated with some 
considerable degree of precision as follows : QuantUy of ice co]d 

water which, with 
the given quantity 

" Of the heat excited there appears to have been actually of heat, migtn, have 

heen heated 180, or 

accumulated : made to boil. 

"In the water contained in the wooden box, 18f pounds, m avoirdupois weight, 
avoirdupois, heated 150, namely, from 60 to 100 Fahr. . . . 15.2 

"In 113.13 pounds of gun-metal (the hollow cylinder), heated 150 ; 
and, as the capacity for heat of this metal is to that of water as 0.1100 to 
1.0000, this quantity of heat would have heated 12 pounds of water the 
same number of degrees .......... 10.37 

" In 36.75 cubic inches of iron (being that part of the iron bar to which 
the borer was fixed which entered the box), heated 1^0; which may be 
reckoned equal in capacity for heat to 1.21 pound of water . .1.01 

" 1ST. B. No estimate is here made of the heat accumulated in the 
wooden box, nor of that dispersed during the experiment. 

" Total quantity of ice-cold water which, with the heat actually gen 
erated by friction, and accumulated in two hours and thirty minutes, 

might have been heated 180, or made to boil 26.58 

" As the machinery used in this experiment could easily be carried round 
by the force of one horse (though, to render the work lighter, two horses were 
actually employed in doing it), these computations show further how large a 
quantity of heat might be produced, by proper mechanical contrivance, merely 
by the strength of a horse, without either fire, light, combustion, or chemical 
decomposition ; and, in a case of necessity, the heat thus produced might be used 
in cooking victuals. 

"But no circumstances can be imagined in which this method of procuring 
heat would not be disadvantageous ; for more heat might be obtained by using 
the fodder necessary for the support of a horse as fuel. . . . 

" By meditating on the results of all these experiments, we are naturally 
brought to that great question which has so often been the subject of specula 
tion among philosophers, namely : 

" What is heat ? Is there any such thing as an igneous fluid f Is there- any 
thing that can with propriety be called caloric ? 

"We have seen that a very considerable quantity of heat may be excited in 
the friction of two metallic surfaces, and given off in a constant stream or flux 
in all directions without interruption or intermission, and without any signs of 
diminution or exhaustion. 

" Whence came the heat which was continually given off in this manner 
in the foregoing experiments? Was it furnished by the small particles of 
metal, detached from the larger solid masses, on their being rubbed together ? 
This, as we have already seen, could not possibly have been the case. 

" Was it furnished by the air ? This could not have been the case ; for, in 
three of the experiments, the machinery being kept immersed in water, the ac 
cess of the air of the atmosphere was completely prevented. 

"Was it furnished by the water which surrounded the machinery ? That 
this could not have been the case is evident: 1. Because this water was con 
tinually receiving heat from the machinery, and could not at the same time be 
giving to and receiving heat from the same body; and, 2. Because there was no 
chemical decomposition of any part of this water. Had any such decomposition 
taken place (which, indeed, could net reasonably have been expected), one of its 


component elastic fluids (most probably inflammable air) must at the same time 
have been set at liberty, and, in making its escape into the atmosphere, would 
have been detected ; but, though I frequently examined the water to see if any 
air-bubbles rose up through it, and had even made preparations for catching 
them, in order to examine them, if any should appear, I could perceive none ; 
nor was there any sign of decomposition of any kind whatever, or other chemi 
cal process, going on in the water. 

* Is it possible that the heat could have been supplied by means of the iron 
bar, to the end of which the blunt steel borer was fixed, or by the small neck 
of gun-metal by which the hollow cylinder was united to the cannon ? These 
suppositions appear more improbable even than either of those before mentioned ; 
for heat was continually going off, or out of the machinery, by both these pas 
sages, during the whole time the experiment lasted. 

" And, in reasoning on this subject, we must not forget to consider that most 
remarkable circumstance, that the source of the heat generated by friction, in 
these experiments, appeared evidently to be inexhaustible. 

"It is hardly necessary to add that anything which any insulated body, or 
system of bodies, can continue to furnish without limitation, cannot possibly be 
a material substance; and it appears to me to be extremely difficult, if not quite 
impossible, to form any distinct idea of anything capable of being excited and 
communicated in the manner the heat was excited and communicated in these 
experiments, except it be motion." 

From this quotation we see, then, that Rumford, with a sagacity 
indeed consummate, had seized upon the most notable circumstance 
presented by these experiments, against the materiality of heat. Ital 
icizing the word inexhaustible a far more significant proceeding than 
the use of any acids would have been he showed most incontestably 
that, to still further reconcile the doctrine of caloric with experience, 
it would be necessary to admit the creation of it a substance in 


the production of heat by friction. But, even against so absurd a 
proposition, he proceeded to prepare, when he subjected to a com 
parative investigation the quantities of energy expended and heat 
produced in such an operation. 

In his " Experiment No. 3 he made, as may have been already 
noticed, nearly all the observations and corrections necessary for 
an entirely trustworthy estimate of the " mechanical equivalent of 
heat ; " 1 and, although never literally employing such a term, he sub 
sequently stated, in reviewing still other experiments undertaken at 

1 Its value from the data given may be calculated as follows : 

Considering the shape of the borer, and its contact with the bottom of the cylinder, 
we see that the moment of friction may be represented by the expression 

4 fp I r 2 sin - 1 _ d r, 
i/ r 

where f denotes the coefficient of friction, p the total pressure between the rubbing sur 
faces, r the variable distance from the axis, of any rubbing particle, and a the half-width 
of the borer : when, moreover, the superior value of r alone is substituted. 
The integral indicated is 

s ( r s . > a ar . , Q\ , 3 i r + i/ (a 2 2 ) ) . 
4 / p ) sin - 1 _ + A/ (r 2 a 2 ) 4- log 1_5 J. f > 

\ 3 r 6 6 a f 


about this period, 1 that the heat so generated " is exactly proportional 
to the force with which the two surfaces are pressed together^ and to 
the rapidity of the friction : in other words, that the production of 
heat is "exactly proportional" to the work expended in producing it. 
First drawing attention to the absurdity of an apparatus contain 
ing or creating an indefinite supply of a material substance; then 
proving by experiment that the quantities of heat excited in a given 
time were proportional to the expenditures of an entirely different 
magnitude work: he must be credited not only with the first 
conclusive, but with the most weighty argument initially available, 
against the existence of caloric, or in favor of the dynamic origin of 

+ / 



I SPARE the reader the diffuseness of an introduction, by telling 
him of a scene in an omnibus, which hinged on the question wheth 
er the conductor should open or shut the windows. On the left was 

in which the substitution of Count Rumford s data, 

p = 10,000 Ibs., a 0.3 inch, r = 1.75 inches, 

gives for the approximate moment of friction of the borer, in foot-pounds, 

800 /. 

So that, making thirty-two revolutions per minute, a quantity of work, 160,800 /, would 
be expended during the same interval. 

On the other hand, the heat excited in two hours and thirty minutes, and which, dy 
namically, was to be regarded the equivalent of the work expended, according to Count 
Rumford s estimate, was sufficient to raise the temperature of 26.58 pounds of water 180 
Fahr., or 4,784 heat-units. The production of one heat-unit, therefore, corresponded to 
the expenditure approximately of an amount of work 

5041 /, 

For /= 0.15, this would give 756 

" / = 0.20, " " " 1008 

as the equivalents in mechanical units or foot-pounds of one British thermal unit. 

Prof. Tait, availing himself of the remark let fall by Rumford, that " the machinery 
used in this experiment could easily be carried round by the force of one horse," and as 
suming 30,000 foot-pounds as the value of a horse-power per minute, thus derives 
940 foot-pounds as the mechanical value of a rise of temperature of 1 Fahr. in one 
pound of water. (See " Historical Sketch," p. 9.) But Prof. Thurston regards this cal 
culation as unfair to Rumford, quoting Rankine s estimate of the admissible value of a 
horse-power, 25,920, from which the value of the equivalent, 812, results. This critique 
also seems the more allowable, since Rumford neither made corrections for the work ex 
pended in friction in " the complicated machinery used " in the determination, nor for 
" the heat accumulated in the wooden box, nor for that dispersed during the experiment." 
(See Journal of the Franklin Institute, 3, Ixvii., p. 203.) 

1 " Kleine Schriften," 1805, vol. iv., p. 41. "Complete Works," Am. Ac. ed., vol. 
ii., p. 209. 

2 Translated from the German, by J. Fitzgerald, A. M. 


seated a corpulent lady with full face, shrill voice, and labored res 
piration. The lady on the right was of lean, slender, dried-up figure; 
on entering the omnibus she had coughed; after taking her seat she- 
held her handkerchief to her mouth and fairly changed color when the 
one opposite, wheezing, took her place and called out for "Air, air !" 
exclaiming that she would surely be smothered if the window were 
to remain closed. " But I," objected the other, " should get my death 
of cold if the window were opened." The conductor, who for some 
time stood undecided what to do, received this piece of Solomonic 
advice from one of the passengers: "Open the window," said he, in 
a deep voice, " and then one of them will die ; then close it, and the 
other will die, and so at last we shall have peace." 

This ending of the scene I state for completeness sake only, and I 
add to it, by way of transition to the subject of the present essay, a 
conversation with a farmer which grew out of the occurrence. 

On expressing to this sun-bronzed young man my regret that, in 
this self-styled " age of intelligence," the fear of colds and of draughts 
should be steadily increasing, and that it should really be producing 
the very effects it is meant to guard us against, namely, coughs and 
colds, he fully agreed with me, but took credit to himself for having 
risen above such notions. "We farmers," said he, "no longer believe 
that rust in grain comes from cold ; for we know that it results from the 
development of noxious germs which, emitted by barberry-bushes and 
decaying stalks, are carried about by the wind." 

This idea was of interest to me ; for the farmer s account of the 
origin of " rust " put me in mind of certain throat and lung complaints 
that, developing unnoticed, gradually lead to positive disease, and the 
causes of which we physicians are daily more and more clearly tracing 
to inhalation of impure, vitiated air ; hence, instead of speaking of con 
sumptive lungs or tuberculous lungs, we should, rather, speak of " de 
cayed "lungs or "dust" lungs. Stone-cutters are not assured by life- 
insurance companies, because it is known that the stone-dust settles in 
their lungs, undermining them, producing ulcerations and reducing the 
average life of the men to thirty-six years. Other " dusty occupations," 
so to speak, are less dangerous, but of certain callings and of certain 
classes of working-men we often hear it said that they are seldom free 
from " dry " cough. The reader, though he or she may have little to 
do with dust, will perhaps have taken home from the ball a very fail- 
case of " dust-lung " caused by the dust of the dancing-floor. If they 
will not believe this, let them examine their expectoration the day 
after the ball. He who has good lungs may without fear inhale dust; 
he will dance most of it out again ; but not so a delicate girl, whose 
lungs are compressed in a tight corset : when with dust-laden mucus 
she spits blood, do not say she has "taken cold." No, it is heating 
that has caused it. 

Heating, too, and not cold, far less "trouble with teeth," is to 


blame when the first-born child of inexperienced young married peo 
ple becomes feverish, or has a cough, and these symptoms are only 
aggravated when the innocent victim is treated with "teas" and 
mixtures, kept in an overheated room, and loaded down with bed 

That our children were intended by Nature to live in fresh, open 
air, and that the old wives regimen of keeping warm, living in-doors, 
and of warm drinks, is the cause of the fearful mortality of young 
children, is a truth that was not unknown one hundred years ago, but 
which must still be repeated over and over again. 

The reader will allow me to recite the case of a patient of mine. 
A year ago, during his honey-moon, I congratulated him, and told 
him that a dry cough with which he was troubled was curable, pro 
vided he took care to live in the open air as much as possible, in 
uring himself to cold, sleeping in well-ventilated chambers, free from 
dust, etc. But this advice was hardly relished by the young pair. 
In October they hired rooms in a house that had just been built; its 
" dampness : they remedied by keeping up fires steadily ; the win 
dows were hardly ever opened, as the house stood on a windy corner, 
and the husband was growing more and more sensitive to cold; for 
this reason, too, he seldom went out-of-doors. In November he took 
to the bed, was again about, but he gradually declined, to the last 
hoping to recover. 

Different was the course followed by Mr. H , who, emaciated 

and troubled with a cough, had a haemorrhage after contracting a "se 
vere cold." He went into the country, took as much exercise as he 
could in the open air, and returned home with only a slight cough. 
At home he every morning took a warm bath with affusions of cold 
water, avoided rooms with bad air, etc. In six months he was free 
from his cough, appeared to be well nourished, and no longer had 
any fear of taking cold. 

If the reader will dispassionately compare these two cases, he will 
agree with me that the first patient, w r ho had never had hemorrhage, 

fell a victim to the action of foul air, while H used to say, "I 

must give to my diseased lungs, above all things, fresh air, as the prime 
necessary of life." Animals never take cold, even in winter; there 
fore among men it must be a result of wrong habits if air does any 
harm. We know that gold-fishes quickly perish when fresh water is 
not provided for them ; and when we were boys we used to consider 
it cruelty to animals if we made no openings for ventilation in the 
boxes in which we kept cockchafers. 

Now, these openings answer to the windows in our houses ; doors 
are meant to be closed, windows to be opened. It has long been held 
that closed windows are the principal cause of consumption. I would 
make the proposition more general, by substituting " defective venti 
lation" for closed windows." It is very pleasant to be sheltered by 


four walls against wind, rain, and cold ; but, now that we employ win 
dow-glass, coal for heating, and iron stoves, and rent is becoming 
higher, while rooms, especially sleeping-rooms, are growing smaller, 
we have all the greater reason to keep open ventilating apertures, 
since our lungs cannot live with less than six hundred cubic feet of 
fresh, pure air per hour. The man who has but once made trial for 
one week of sleeping with the window open will never give up the 

I once spoke to a lady about this matter, but she replied by telling 
me the story of a "thoughtless person " who, having left the window 
open through the night, awoke in the morning blind. She had also 
read in some newspaper that a man had a stroke of apoplexy produced 
by the same cause. I was amazed. But, calling to mind that this 
lady s husband had served in the army, I remarked : " Your husband 
lay for so long in the open air in the rain-drenched trenches at Stras- 
burg ; did he ever write to you that he had taken cold, or that any 
of the men had ever overnight been struck blind, or had met with any 
other misfortune ? Did he ever contract a catarrh ? Did he ever 
write for licorice, and not rather for tobacco ? Your brother-in-law 
tramped in the deep snow to Besoul, your cousin learned at Le Mans 
what is the meaning of a fall of freezing rain, and thousands of our 
countrymen have had like experiences ; still, coughs and rheumatism 
were not frequent, and most of the men came back strong and healthy ! 

More rational opinions are gradually making their way, and, 
in one particular at least, a beginning is being made of a revolu 
tion, namely, the system of treatment followed in " climatic " sanita 
riums, and establishments for the cure of disease by air, difference of 
elevation, etc. The proprietors of such places, it is true, speak of the 
" specific " virtues of their climate ; but, inasmuch as chemistry shows 
that atmospheric air all over the earth has the same constitution, 
the specific virtue must reside in the special purity of the air a thing 
wanting in cities, but found in all villages, provided they do not pos 
sess large factories. Further, it is an error to suppose that in the 
south Florida, Colorado, or in the Tyrol, or by the lake of Geneva 
it is as warm as in a hot-house. In those regions, too, it is now and 
then cold ; yet it is easier to be out-of-doors there, for usually the sun 
shines and the landscape is beautiful. But, since we cannot send all 
the sick to the south, we must devise some substitute at home, the 
benefits of which may be enjoyed even by the poorest. Then, too, 
when we consider that the majority of those who have spent the win 
ter in a southern clime return as embalmed corpses, because it is only 
when it is too late that people make up their minds to make the costly 
voyage, there is reason to expect better results from timely recourse 

at home to "air-cure." With the means of treatment at hand, dis- 

ease might be nipped in the bud, and lung-complaints in general 
would be rarer. 


And this result we may hope to attain. That pulmonary con 
sumption is only an acquired disease we know from the fact that it 
first appears in the apices of the lungs a portion of the organ which 
is not affected by hereditary pathological processes. The diathesis 
only is hereditary, and this diathesis consists simply of a general de 
bility, which, however, can be overcome. But the thing that is trans 
mitted hereditarily is habits of life the avocation descending from 
father to son. 

MacCormac tells of a family in which father, mother, and six 
children, died of consumption ; the seventh son alone survived, he 
having quit the paternal house and calling, and gone to sea. Many 
instances of a like kind might be cited. This case is easily under 
stood when we consider that here the parents and the six children 
who died had followed a sedentary trade ; that they lived in narrow 
quarters, the air of which was quickly vitiated by the large number 
of persons breathing it; that they slept in a dusty room, with win 
dows closed, lest they should take cold. They fell sick one after 
another; but the seventh son, who quit the unhealthy locality, had 
exercise, inhaled fresh, pure air, became vigorous and healthy, and 
escaped from consumption. 

This simple explanation appears strange to those who believe in 
" tuberculosis." If this disease has grown to be the curse of modern 
society, the scholastic interpretation of it has to bear no small part 
of the blame. The doctrine of the heredity of consumption leads to 
the belief that the consumptive patient is fated to die of his com 
plaint, and that his death is merely a question of time. He himself 
often draws the conclusion that the best thing for him to do is to en 
joy life as best he may while it lasts. On the other hand, we must 
condemn the heedlessness of those who, so long as danger is not prox 
imate, fear the expenditure of time and money. These same people, 
when haemorrhage suddenly appears, quite lose their heads, adopt the 
most preposterous methods, whose only result is to cause new haemor 
rhages, and to produce a regular case of consumption : whereas many 
of the old physicians recommend horseback exercise as the best cure 
for those suffering from haemorrhage of the lungs, we now often see 
patients shut up in a hot, dusty room, not allowed to talk, and almost 
forbidden to breathe. 

It is a peculiarity of consumption that it may appear in association 
with all diseases in which recovery is slow. In the first place, it ac 
companies inflammation of the lungs, unless the patient, while recov 
ering, is permitted to breathe plenty of pure air. But it also makes 
its appearance in typhus, diabetes, and meningitis, when the pa 
tient is kept for a long time in a close room. So, too, delicate persons 
those supposed to tend toward consumption will all the sooner 
become indeed " tuberculosed," the more they are coddled, protected 
against cold, and treated with warm drinks and so-called "invigp- 


rants." Pulmonary haemorrhage is in itself riot a symptom of " tuber 
culosis," but it is made so by wrong treatment. 

The foregoing practical considerations will enable the reader bet 
ter to appreciate the theoretical observations which follow. 

The lungs, like all mucous surfaces, secrete mucus even in their 
healthy state; this collects while we remain quiet, but is thrown out 
when we move. Every adult person clears his throat in the morning. 
One who has been sitting for a long time must cough when he goes 
out-of-doors. Bodily movement is the best "solvent" for a cough. 
When one s life is sedentary, mucus collects first of all in the apices 
of the lungs, and it is more difficultly broken up there by bodily 
movement, because the apices are the uppermost parts of the lung, 
and the impetus of the cough must drive the expectorated mucus 
around the corners of the lung. The apices are a veritable receptacle 
for mucus, which, if not removed, dries up, grows hard, and causes 
alceration. In one hundred autopsies we find as many as ninety cases 
where the apices are more or less shrunken, scarred, and obstructed, 
and this without reference to the cause of death. 

The apices, furthermore, are regular dust and gas traps, especially 
the right apex, which usually is the first to be affected by consump 
tion, because the air-passage leading to it is wider and less crooked 
than that leading to the left apex. All impurities inhaled into the 
lungs, and especially all dust, first make their way to the apices, and 
there settle, unless they are kept in motion by bodily exercise. Elim 
ination, too, is more difficult in the apices than in the inferior lobes. 
In coughing, the latter are aided by the abdominal pressure; while the 
apices, on the contrary, have to depend on their own contractility, 
which is weaker in proportion as they have been out of exercise, or as 
their cell-walls have grown together. Heavy clothing, which, like the 
yoke for carrying water, bears on the collar-bone, diminishes the 
power of respiration in the apices ; a modern winter-overcoat weighs 
as much as eight or nine pounds. If, in addition to this, we have the 
usual two turns of a comforter around the neck, then the neck is 
bound fast, and we have all the conditions necessary for producing a 
diseased condition of the apices. Under such circumstances it would 
require considerable exertion in coughing to clear the apices. Hence 
the troublesome dry cough, which often ends in vomiting, yet does 
not loosen the mucus in the lungs. No benefit is to be got in such 
cases from lozenges, drops, extracts ; the most that can be expected 
from such remedies is that they may moisten the throat rendered dry 
by the effort of coughing. But then they fill the stomach with 
phlegm. For small children such substances are an actual poison, 
producing sour stomach, diarrhoea, and fever. 

Continued hard coughing in time injures the texture of the lungs, 
and leads, often with bloody expectoration, to decay of the apices, 
and, finally, to true pulmonary consumption, concerning the rational 
treatment of which we add a few words : 


As a general rule, where a cough is habitual, whatever the age of 
the patient, recourse should at once be had to those means of cure 
which usually are resorted to only at the last moment, and then with 
out any hope of good results. But, unfortunately, most people think 
only of the present moment. They want a son to complete his school 
ing as early as possible, and to go to earning money. But what is 
the gain if the young life, after a few years, ends its earthly career? 
Better, therefore, that a year or two should pass without remunera 
tive employment, while in the mean time care is taken of the bodily 
health and strength, the affected lungs are invigorated, and the spir 
its are renewed. In the first case we have dead capital, in the seeond 
capital which bears interest. 

The person whose lungs are affected must once for all give up 
dancing, for dancing as now practised is not " motion," but only de 
struction of the pulmonary apices by dust and vapor, fatigue of the 
body through want of sleep and privation of fresh air. 

With this one exception, " caution " as usually understood is bad. 
Let the one who is threatened with consumption look on himself not 
as one doomed to die, but only as a pulmonary invalid. He should 
consider that, while it is a misfortune that the pulmonary apices are 
from their position exposed to disease, we nevertheless have plenty 
of lung-cells which can be made to do duty in place of them. Still, 
if these are not daily strengthened by careful treatment, they are in 
danger of being infected by the others, and of becoming diseased like 
them. By timely and continuous exercise, it is possible to restore 
even the diseased cells, and to cure the consumption, or at least to 
stay its further progress. If one can find the means of visiting Flor 
ida, Colorado, or Southern Europe, it is well to do so. But if this is 
not possible, one must find the means of an air and movement cure at 
home. That this is possible, the reader will see from the following 
analysis of the means of cure : 

1. LUNG- VENTILATION.- -The patient must with scrupulous conscien 
tiousness insist on breathing fresh, pure air, and must remember that 
the air of closed rooms is always more or less bad, impure. No man, 
however uncleanly, would drink muddy, dirty water. Unfortunately, 
for detecting impurities of air, the only organ we have is the nose, 
and in most persons the nose is of so obtuse a sensibility that it is of 
no service. Besides dust, injury to the lungs is caused principally by 
the products of respiration (carbonic acid and watery vapor), which 
act as poison on the lungs and the blood. A party which occupies a 
room for hours, breathing the same air, might be compared to a party 
of bathers drinking the water in which they bathe. The man who on. 
the street cuts off from his lungs the " cold" air, is like a ruminant. 
If this literally true comparison were universally accepted and acted 
on, the number of cough-complaints would be reduced one-half. 

The patient must keep the window of his bedroom open. Night- 


air is fresh air without daylight; he who fears night-air is like a child 
who dreads darkness ; the light in the room after the lamp is extin 
guished is also night-air. In close, crowded, heated rooms, the patient 
suffering from lung-complaint respires consumptively. In winter arti 
ficial heat may be employed, but the window must be opened above, 
and thus we have at once both warmth and ventilation. In the city 
night-air is always wholesomer than day-air, being both purer and 

If it be objected that " what suits the blacksmith does not suit the 
tailor," I reply that may be true of a plate of sauerkraut. But here 
the case is just the reverse. The blacksmith who has no trouble with 
his lungs can stand vapor-dust, heat, fatigue ; but the one who has pul 
monary disease risks his life if he has not always abundance of fresh, 
pure air. 

So far of the What ? lung ventilation. Next, of the Why ? 

On rising, let the -patient drink fresh milk (not coffee), which will 
be relished all the more if one wakes with an inclination to cough. 
Then let him approach the open window, brandish the arms over the 
head which enables the lung apices to inhale air more easily and 
for a few minutes fetch as deep inspirations of air as possible. He 
must frequently take such deep inspirations in the open air. 

If the lungs do not. become free, let him introduce into them not 
into the stomach something to act on the dry mucous membrane 
as the vapor of water or of camomile-tea. 

If the cough is caused rather by a "scratchy feeling in the 
throat, if it is spasmodic, let him swallow or gargle some substance 
that will quiet the nerves. Cold water is best in summer ice- water ; 
in some cases cooled fennel-tea is of service, but not sirup or any hot 

2. SKIN- VENTILATION. This is of no less importance for warding 
off simple coughs, as well as for preventing the transition to consump 
tion. With its millions of pores, the skin is on the one side the main 
sewer for carrying away superfluous fluids, and on the other it is the 
principal factor in cooling the body, in colds, in overheating, and in 
fevers. We will now consider skin-ventilation from this point of 
view under the two heads of a. Elimination of fluids ; b. Reduction 
of temperature : 

a. ELIMINATION OF FLUIDS. Like the external skin, the inner skin, 
the mucous membrane, exudes moisture, sweats. The mucous mem 
branes, having no covering, are always moist. The mucous membrane 
of the lungs exhales watery vapor. This vapor comes from the serum 
of the blood, i. e., from that portion of the blood in which the corpus 
cles are suspended, and which, after the corpuscles have been filtered 
out, resembles water. The external skin under ordinary circumstances 
gives off about twice as much watery vapor. But, in proportion as 
this elimination is checked by defective skin-ventilation, the water 


of the blood (serum) has to be eliminated internally through the mu 
cous membranes. Cooling, i. e., the sudden action of comparatively 
low temperature on the warm surface of the skin for instance, when 
one sits in a draught of air may check transpiration, and so cause 
the fluids to tend inward in such volume as to overtax. the capacity 
of the mucous membrane of the lungs or the intestines, more rarely 
of the kidneys, the result being catarrh. But catarrh and coughing 
are two different things : as for " dry cough," it can never arise from 
cold. That it results from the inhalation of impure, vitiated air, the 
reader knows already. It is true that obstruction of the breathing- 
apparatus, as "rattling" in infants, and hawking and hoarseness in 
grown persons, results from retention of serum ; but that this obstruc 
tion is not connected with taking cold must be admitted, at least in 
all cases where the patient has not quit his chamber, or even his bed. 
As a matter of fact, no one takes a cough from a cold wall or from 
an open door. The conclusion to be drawn from all this is, that the 
coughs, hoarseness, and sore-throats, from which those persons suffer 
in winter who are ever on their guard against colds, are produced, 
not at all from cold, but from its contrary, overheating of the skin, 
whose evaporation is feebler the nearer the external temperature ap 
proaches that of the body. In this case there is a suppression of the 
action of the skin, but it is produced not by, cold but by improper 
warming or, as it is more properly called, by pampering. A hot 
bath, a cold pack, or a good, lively walk, will work wonders in " loos 
ening " a hard cough. At first, it is true, the patient will cough harder 
than ever ; but this effect is not due to the " cold wind," but to the 
fact that the accumulated mucus, once started, is expelled en masse. 
The oftener the patient resorts to the bath, to the pack, and to walk 
ing, the less frequent are the fits of coughing, and the freer and easier 
does he breathe. 

b. REDUCTION OF TEMPERATURE. The body s temperature is nor- 
mal when in the armpit it is about 95 Fahr. Food and drink are 
stimulants, and the skin is the radiating surface which gives off the 
surplus heat. If this elimination is not sufficiently active, the body 
becomes overheated, and this manifests itself by shivering. Over 
heating is the result when one eats and drinks much, at the same time 
parting with but little heat. The chill so produced is usually called 
" inward cold," but this is an error : it is overheating. That this is so 
is shown from the fact that when on the morning after a " social even 
ing," during which we were overheated, we feel chilly, we have only to 
take a walk until perspiration is set up ; we then feel warm again in 
spite of a considerable cooling off. And this, by-the-way, is the very 
best cure for the " Katzenjammer." We live in a climate where it is 
far easier to heat the body than to cool it. Hence one of my counsels 
against catching cold is, that the weakly, coughing reader of seden 
tary habits should not overheat himself with strengthening food, so 


called (meat, eggs, beer), else he might take an " inward cold," or even 
a fever. 

But a person may contract a genuine (external) cold by unwise 
precaution against draughts - - by neglecting the skin-ventilation. 
Under this head of unwise precaution we must class the habit of 
wrapping up the body when it is in a state of perspiration. On the 
contrary, coat and waistcoat must then be opened so that the shirt 
may dry quickly, and the underclothing, including the stockings, must 
be changed. But what does he do who on reaching the top of a 
mountain, with a wet shirt, button s up his coat about him, puts on 
his overcoat, and over all his plaid? He applies a wet poultice at the 

wrong time. 

Prof. Tyndall, in his " Glaciers of the Alps," tells us that, on being 
overheated during his rambles in the Alps, he at once took a bath.; 
or poured water over his body. " Prolatum est" say I, from personal 

" Yes," some one will say, " you are inured to that sort of thing." 
To be sure I am ! But what hinders you from being inured also ? 
Just go out on the ice during this glorious winter weather, put on a 
pair of skates : you will return bright and fresh ; you will throw open 
the windows, and be indignant at yourself for ever having shut your 
self up in such a steaming atmosphere. The next day take a simple 
bath not a Russian or a Turkish bath at all and you will rid your 
self of still another part of your phlegm. 

3. MUSCLE-VENTILATION. Muscular fibre respires too, i. e., gives 
off carbonic acid and takes up oxygen. To this end it must dili 
gently contract and then relax ; in short, it must work, or, if the reader 
prefers the expression, it must practise gymnastics. Whether one 
takes his exercise at home or abroad, makes no difference. They 
whose lunojs are affected would do well to climb hill-sides, for in such 

O J 

exercise the apices of the lungs are most called into play ; in climb 
ing the hands may rest on the hips. Muscle-exercise is not to be sepa 
rated from lung-exercise. If bodily movement be neglected, deleteri 
ous fluids accumulate, which I call " suffocation-blood" and "fatigue- 
blood." The former contains carbonic acid, which makes one always 
drowsy, and causes one to go about his day s work with a feeling of 
lassitude no matter how long he has slept. This feeling of weariness 
grows steadily worse. "Fatigue-blood" accumulates in the muscles 
as a result of drinking wine and beer ; even simply bending the body 
causes inconvenience ; one feels quite unstrung and wants to recline 
on a lounge or a bed, whereas what he ought to do is to take a brisk 
run in the open air, or a little exercise in a gymnasium. In this way 
the skin is ventilated and the serum worked off. 

My essay cannot exhaust all the topics named in its title : the most 
it can do is to awaken attention, free the reader from certain errone 
ous ideas, and lead him to believe that the simplest remedy is always 

VOL. XII. 15 


the most natural and the best. If any one will put bis faith in recipes, 
I would remind him of the history of the sale of indulgences. We 
look back with indignation to Tetzel s scandalous work, but how many 
people still think they can purchase health by gorging themselves 
with medicines ! Consumptives form no small portion of this class. 
The treatment here recommended costs no money, but demands only 
will, self-conquest, and perseverance. The treatment is not so com 
plicated as it may appear; it is simply a movement and an air cure, 
or, more briefly, an "attempering" cure, for effeminacy is the source 
of all colds, coughs, and consumption, and hardening is the only pro 
tection and remedy against them. Der gemeinnutzige Gesundheits- 




A PART of the theory of the tides presented in our text-books 
-JL has been pronounced absurd in my first article. It is also a 
matter of amazement that the effect of centrifugal force is entirely 
ignored in these text-books. That the propelling force arising from 
this cause should be utterly disregarded in an explanation of the tides 
is very remarkable. And yet the existence of such a force is so easily 
demonstrated that nothing else seems necessary to prove it to be one 
of the causes of the tides, than what was presented in my first article. 
I will, however, give additional force to my reasoning by citing the 
results of actual experiment. 

It may be shown that there is an actual difference in the amount 
of centrifugal force felt at any part of the earth s surface during 
different times of the twenty-four hours of one axial rotation ; and 
also at different times of the earth s revolution around her centre of 
motion. Theory implies that when any portion of the earth s sur 
face is moving toward that point in her orbit where such surface 
makes the most rapid sweep around the centre of motion, the greatest 
amount of centrifugal force must be felt at such surface ; and that, 
when this part moves toward that point of the earth s orbit where it 
makes the slowest sweep around the centre of motion, the least amount 
of centrifugal force must be felt. Now, it is very evident that any 
portion of the earth s surface which is most remote from the centre of 
her motion, whether that centre be the sun or the centre of gravity 
between herself and the moon, makes the most rapid sweep, and that 
consequently her waters must feel the greatest amount of centrifugal 
force at that time, 


Now, let us see what experiment tells us on this subject : A 
box has been made of proper dimensions, free within from all outside 
disturbance or motion of air. In this box is placed a steel frame, 
which moves like a gate on a very delicate hinge, so as to avoid all 
possible friction. A weight of nearly twenty pounds rests on this 
gate at about four feet from the hinge. The hinge, whose lower part 
is a mere point, or delicate pivot, and the weight, are in the same line, 
parallel with the meridian. The weight is free, as nearly as can be, 
to obey the power of its own inertia. In consequence of this it moves 
laterally once every twenty-four hours west and east, whenever the 
centrifugal force is increasing and decreasing. 

From noon to midnight the earth s surface is moving toward that 
point where its motion is more rapid, and consequently it begins to 
feel an increasing amount of centrifugal force. This is indicated by 
the apparatus, for the weight, which rests on the gate, by virtue of its 
inertia, lags behind and makes an apparent motion westward. This 
motion is, of course, not real. The earth s surface moves eastward 
faster than the weight, and hence the weight appears to move west 
ward. From midnight to noon the centrifugal force felt by the earth s 
surface diminishes, for it is then moving toward that point where its 
motion eastward is less rapid. This is also indicated by the appara 
tus, for the weight, having gradually acquired the same velocity east 
ward, remains stationary at midnight a very short time. But, soon 
after midnight, when the earth s surface begins to feel less centrifugal 
force, this weight, by virtue of its inertia, resists the change of mo 
tion, and therefore moves eastward as far as it moved westward be 
fore midnight. 

This movement of the weight is greatest when new-moon occurs 
at midnight, for the earth then feels not only the centrifugal force 
produced by her revolution around the sun, but, in addition, that pro 
duced also by her revolution around the centre of gravity between 
herself and the moon. 

The motion of the weight westward begins soon after mid-day, 
and reaches its highest acceleration at about 8 P.M. ; the motion east 
ward begins soon after midnight, and reaches its highest acceleration 

at about 7 A. M. 

I hope soon to make a new apparatus, which shall have a longer 
distance between the hinge and weight, and from it more marked re 
sults can be derived. 

When a body moves in a curve around a centre, it feels the effect 
of two forces: the one, which I call centrifugal, is the impulse which 
puts the body in motion ; the other, which I call centripetal, is the 
power which draws toward the centre and keeps the body from mov 
ing in a direct line. These are the only forces acting upon a body 
moving in a curve. The former is sometimes called tangential, but 
prefer to call it centrifugal, for it is the only force which drives from 






FIG. 1. 

the centre. There is no force acting directly from the centre. That 
which is often called centrifugal is really centripetal force, for the 
tension of the string in the following experiment is not caused by any 
force acting on the body/Vom the centre, but it is caused by a force 
drawing the body out of its rectilineal course, and toward the centre, 
compelling it to move in a curve. 

Suppose the body E (Fig. 1) moves with a certain velocity in the 

curve E CD. and that the string 


E 8 feels a known tension, just 
equal to its strength. Now, 
double the velocity, and ,the 
strength of the string must be 
increased fourfold to keep it 
from breaking, for the force 
drawing the body toward the 
centre must then be four times 
as great to keep it moving in 
the curve. Or, suppose the body 
moves from A toward It with 
a known velocity, and that on 
reaching _E 7 it is acted upon by 
the string. The body is then 
made to take a curvilinear mo 
tion, and the string feels a tension drawing the body not directly 
from but toward the centre, and equal to a force necessary to keep 
the body from moving in a straight line. It may be remarked that, as 
action and reaction are equal, the tension is felt both ways. But the 
reader can easily see what I mean. 

This law of motion can be still better illustrated by a reference to 
one of the satellites of the planet Neptune. The mean distance of 
this satellite is nearly equal to the distance of our moon from the 
earth. We may assume these distances to be exactly equal. Then, 
as at the same distance the centripetal force must increase as the 
square of the velocity, to keep the body moving in the curve, and as 
the velocity of this moon of Neptune is about four and a half times 
greater than that of our moon, the centripetal force, or the force of 
gravity produced by Neptune on this moon, must be (4.5) 2 about 
twenty times as great as is the centripetal force or the gravitating 
power our earth produces on its moon. In other words, the planet 
Neptune is about twenty times as heavy as our earth, for weight is 
nothing else than the measure of gravity. 

The preceding statements are sufficient to show what is meant by 
centrifugal and centripetal forces. Let us now see how these act on 
bodies moving in large and small curves, and how the waters on the 
earth s surface are driven by centrifugal force toward a line tangent 
to her orbit. Since the length of the orbital curve of the earth is 



very great, and therefore not much deflected from a straight line, the 
waters are driven very little above the usual surface, no matter how 
rapidly the earth herself may move in this curve. The centrifugal 
force or original impulse felt by the whole earth is very great, but 
that felt by her waters is hardly visible or sensible in mid-ocean. For 
the tide-waves cannot get above the line tangent to the curve of the 
earth s orbit. The following illustration will show this: 

Let ABC (Fig. 2) represent a part of the curve of the earth s 
orbit, in its motion around the central sun, and J5 D a line tangent 

FIG. 2. 

to the curve at the point JB. Now it is very evident that no tide- 
wave produced by centrifugal force can get higher above the curve of 
the orbit than this tangent line, and the distance between the curve 
and the tangent, as at E, is very small. The part of the earth s sur 
face most remote from the sun has indeed a greater tendency to con 
tinue moving on in the straight line of the original impulse than any 
other part. The particles of water have a small degree of cohesion, 
and they will therefore continue to move a short distance along this 
tangent, but only a little above the usual surface of the earth. 

The curve in which the surface of the earth moves around the cen 
tre of gravity between herself and the moon is much more deflected 
from a straight line. Here also the tide-wave can rise no higher than 
to the line tangent to this curve. The distance of the point G (Fig. 3) 
from the curve is, however, much greater than the point E in Fig. 2 
from its curve. The motion of the surface of the earth at II around 

2 3 



the point (7, the centre of gravity between herself and the moon, is 
only about sixty-five miles an hour; while the surface at J3 (Fig. 2) 

moves with a velocity of 68,000 

. miles an hour around the sun. 

Nevertheless, as the waters are 
driven toward these respective 
tangents by the effect of centrif- 
\ ugal force, the tide -wave must 
be greatest where the distance 
between tangent and curve is the 

Let us^ now proceed to prove 
by mathematical demonstration 
7~ the falsity of the theory of the 

tides found in our text-books. 

Herschel, in his " Outlines of 
Astronomy," uses the following 
language : " That the sun, or moon, 
should by its attractions heap up 
the waters of the ocean under it 
seems to them (objectors) very nat 
ural. That it should at the same 
time heap them up on the oppo 
site side seems, on the contrary, 
palpably absurd. The error of 
this class of objectors .... con 
sists in disregarding the attraction 
of the disturbing body on the mass 
of the earth, and looking on it as 
wholly effective on the superficial 
water. Were the earth, indeed, 
absolutely fixed, held in its place 
by an external force, and the water 
left free to move, no doubt the ef 
fect of the disturbing power would 
be to produce a single accumula 
tion vertically under the disturb 
ing body. But it is not by its 
whole attration, but by the differ 
ence of its attractions on the su 
perficial water at both sides, and 
on the central mass, that the wa 
ters are raised; just as in the the 
ory of the moon the difference of 
the sun s attractions on the moon 
FlG 4 and on the earth (regarded as 



movable, and as obeying that amount of attraction which is due to its 
situation) gives rise to a relative tendency in the moon to recede from 
the earth in conjunction and opposition, and to approach it in quad 


This language gives about the clearest presentation we have of 
the pulling-away doctrine. But there is no " tendency in the moon 
to recede from the earth in conjunction and opposition, and to ap 
proach it in quadratures." On the contrary, the tendency of the 
moon s motion is just the reverse namely, to approach in conjunc 
tion and opposition, and to recede in quadratures. And if so in re 
gard to the moon and earth, it must be still more so in regard to the 
earth and her waters under this influence alone, as can be demon 

I am sustained in my position by the best of authority. " Thus our 
moon moves faster, and, by a radius drawn to the earth, describes an 
area greater for the time, and has its orbit less curved, and therefore 
approaches nearer to the earth in the syzygies than in the quadra 
tures. . . . The moon s distance from the earth in the syzygies is to 
its distance in the quadratures, in round numbers, as 69 to 70." The 
authority I quote is Newton s " Principia." 

Let us make a calculation, and apply it to the earth and her wa 
ters. The moon performs its revolution in 27 d V h 43f m , which is equal 
to 2,360,606| seconds. The seconds of time in which the moon makes 
one revolution around the earth is to one second of time as 1,296,000 
seconds in a whole circle is to a fractional part of one second of a 
circle, which we will call x. Hence x = HJiHr-fa = - 549 1 141 + which 
is the fractional part of one second of the circle of the heavens the 
moon describes in one second of time. The semicircumference of a cir 
cle whose radius is one equals 3.141592653589 +. Hence one second of 
this semicircumference equals adJj^^yy^Jftja. = .0000048481368110 + , 
and the fractional part .54901141 + of one second of this semicircum 
ference is equal to .00000266168242648 +. 

Let E M and EM represent the moon s distance from the earth, 
MM the arc which the moon describes in one second of time, and 
A M the sine of this arc. Let EM equal 240,000 miles, the moon s 
distance, in round numbers, from the earth, and E C equal one 
mile. The arc H (7, being very small, may be regarded as equal to 
its sine. The length of this arc we have already found. From simi 
larity of triangles we have the following proportion: A M : B C :: 
E M : E C, or, by substituting the figures, A M : .00000266168242- 
648 :: 240000 : 1. Therefore A M .6388037823552 +, which is the 
sine of the arc passed over by the moon in one second of time. The 
cosine E A is equal to 

\IWW *-^TM^= \/(240000) 2 - (.6388037823552) + = 
239999.9999991498535 + , which, subtracted E M, gives A M = .00000- 
08501464 + , and this fractional part of a mile, reduced to inches, gives 


.053865275+, the fractional part of an inch as the distance the moon 
falls from a tangent to its orbit in one second of time. Multiply this 
by the square of 60, and we get, when reduced, 16.159+ feet, the dis 
tance the moon descends in one minute, which is equal to 15.1 + Paris 
feet, the result obtained by Newton in his " Principia." 

The distance the earth falls, in one second of time, toward tbe sun 
is about .12144+ of an inch, and the distance the moon falls toward 
the sun in one second, when in opposition, is about .12084 of an inch. 
This, added to the distance the moon falls toward the earth in one 
second, makes .17470 + . Now, .17470 -- .12144 .05326. Hence the 
moon, when in opposition, moving faster toward the earth than ihe 
earth does toward the sun, by .05326 fractional part of an inch in a 
second, these two bodies have a tendency to get nearer to each other 
in this position. The same can be proved when the moon is in con 

Now let us see how this same law affects the waters of the ocean. 
The earth moves toward the sun .12144 part of an inch in a second. 
The waters of the earth, on the side turned away from the sun, are only 
4,000 miles farther from the sun than the centre of the earth. Gravity 
toward any body diminishes as the square of the distance increases. 
Hence these waters, influenced by the gravitating power of the sun 
alone, and not hindered by any intervening object, would fall toward 
the sun .12143 part of an inch in one second. Hence the earth has a 
tendency to move away from the waters with a velocity of .00001 
part of an inch in one second that is, if these waters were not influ 
enced by the gravitating power of the earth, and only by that of the 
sun, the earth would be " pulled away " from its waters at the rate of 
only the 100,000th part of an inch in one second. But it must be re 
membered that the waters gravitate, in addition to this, toward the 
earth at the rate of 16.15+ feet in one second, and therefore these 
waters are depressed by gravity, and not elevated. The same may be 
proved in regard to lunar tides. 

I close by saying that I am an earnest seeker of truth, and nothing 
but a sincere desire for truth has impelled me to write these two 
articles. Any person attempting to prove me in error, with the same 
good motive, will be kindly welcomed. 


MOST people accept it as a fact that superstition went out with 
the advent of steam, the telegraph, and the penny-post. A 
little honest observation, however, will assure us that there still exist 
a number of pitiable though petty superstitions. Among certain 
classes there are lucky and unlucky days in their calendar. They 


will not attempt an important task on Friday. The horseshoe still 
hangs behind or over the door in the Highlands, and in some places 
much less removed from the centres of civilization. East-coast fisher 
men will yet occasionally burn, or otherwise destroy, a boat from 
which the lives of any of the crew have been lost, no matter how sea 
worthy or valuable the boat may be. A hare crossing the path of 
one of these hardy sons of the sea will cause him to forego an in 
tended journey or voyage. To rustic and fisherman alike a concourse 
of magpies is an evil omen. As for dreams, the belief that they are 
the forecasts of events is perhaps the strongest of all the forms of 
their superstition. We might multiply examples, but have said enough 
to suggest that the follies of their great-grandfathers have still no 
slight fascination for the ignorant, in spite of the strides which intelli 
gence has made. 

But have superstitious beliefs quite left the more intelligent ranks 
of society ? On the very subject of dreams itself is there not a sneak 
ing credulity which goes far to prove the contrary ? True, any one 
of us is quite able to account in a natural way for his or her dreams. 
Nevertheless, the lady who chides her children for repeating the in 
terpretation which the housemaid has put upon their sleeping vagaries, 
and sagely instructs them on the subject of imperfect digestion and 
its effects upon the brain during sleep, is not ashamed to impart to 
her husband any morning the particulars of her own shocking dreams, 
or to piously express the hope that something untoward is not about 
to happen. Her better-half pooh-poohs the matter, doubtless, as be 
comes his superior dignity, but is visited none the less with a vague 
sense of uneasiness when he remembers that he himself had a vision 
of losing a tooth or seeing a house on fire. Having courageously 
quizzed his wife at the breakfast-table on the folly of her augury, and 
bidden her and the children good-by for the day, he inwardly deplores 
the unlucky omen of having to turn back for his forgotten umbrella 
or pocket-book ! 

How many curious but innocent little customs too are still current, 
and with the sanction of the wisest ! An old slipper is still cast after 
a bride : it is considered necessary to christen a new ship with a 
bottle of wine : a fine day is still royal weather : and so on. These 
and many others most of us would indeed be sorry to see extinct. 
They are not only harmless, but, in their very departure from strait- 
laced common-sense, give an agreeable and perhaps even healthful 
relief to the prosiness of ordinary life. To sacrifice them to the strict 
letter of reason, would be to sacrifice much of the sentiment of life, to 
banish imagery from poetry, to take the perfume from the rose, to 
guide into a Dutch canal the current of human affections, which left 
free will gush and eddy, prattle and murmur by rock and meadow, 
carrying music and health throughout its living course. 

Would that modern superstitions never took less innocent shapes! 


Having discarded the ghostology of olden times, many people, and 
among these some men and women of considerable culture, have set 
up for themselves a novel system of intercourse with the unknown 
world. Brownies and fairies, with all the fine romance that surrounds 
the history of their doings among human folks, are dismissed with 
contempt. Spiritualism has swept all these ethereal puppets off the 
boards of ordinary life. To substitute what ? We might at least 
look for an improved exhibition and more interesting " characters ;" 
but the truth is, that nothing could be less satisfactory than the mod 
ern attempt at demon-craft. There is something so clumsy and in 
artistic in the whole get-up of the " spiritual 1 drama, that it is less 
surprising to find it very generally scouted than to see it obtain even 
a partial notoriety. 

Ignorance is the parent of superstition, without a doubt ; and the 
one never exists apart from the other. There is, however, a second 
wise saw that tells a great deal of the truth about the origin of that 
world-old bugbear of the human mind, namely, " The wish is father 
to the thought." What we strongly desire to be, we are next door to 
believing to be. The appetite of man s vanity is unappeasable, and 
in catering for it his fancy plays tricks with his reason. He longs for 
intercommunion with the unknown, and indulges the wish by creating 
fictitious agents for that purpose. Tokens, signs, omens, and auguries, 
are also outgrowths of the various forms of desire and vanity. We 
believe we shall have luck if we turn the money in our pocket when 
looking at new moon. Men have waited in all ages for the appear 
ance of some favorable sign before beginning any enterprise of im 
portance. If the sun shines on our wedding-day, how auspicious ! 
Palpably in each case because we desire these things to be ! But hav 
ing set up omens with such an object, we, in the cleft-stick of our own 
superstition, are bound to believe their absence, or converse, the fore- 
shadowers of evil. 

In many ways modern credulity frees itself from such mechanical 
trammels as those we have mentioned, to take a form and complexion 
from the age, losing meanwhile not one jot of its vigor. To dream 
three times of a hidden treasure and set about, Whang-the-Miller-like, 
to lay bare the foundations of one s house, is an exploit not to be 
thought of by the veriest wiseacre of our day; but the desire to ob 
tain wealth easily and rapidly being, if anything, more active and 
rampant, the belief in some magical means for attaining it is the most 
natural thing in the world. An El Dorado is required, and lo ! an El 
Dorado is implicitly thought to exist. The projectors of a bogus com 
pany for " utilizing the clippings of old moons," or " extracting starch 
from granite chips," are the good fairies whom by propitiating with 
a portion of our substance we hope to enlist in our behalf, and obtain 
a thousand-fold return. Where such a superstition exists, and it is 
broadcast, any scheme, however absurd, any SAvindle, no matter how 



transparent, will serve for a bait to catch the unwary and over-eager 
fish. Nothing is so purblind as undue acquisitiveness. The ancient 
Highlander with his keen eye to the main chance and happy facility 
for "attaching" whatever came in his way, found a beautiful horse 
in rich trappings, browsing ownerless in his path, and, following the 
instinct of his desire rather than the prudence which tradition should 
have taught him, rashly mounted. In an instant he was borne aloft, 
then plunged forever beneath the dark waters of a tarn on the back 
of the wily and terrible water-kelpie. We, too, have our illusory 
steeds in this so vaunted age, and neither the teachings of history nor 
the bitterest experience seems able to prevent the speculator from 
vaulting into the saddle, and forthwith launching into perdition. 

Charms are things of the past, or believed in merely by the vul 
gar ; that is to say, those pretty and fanciful conceits which led our 
ancestors to attach a healing or sanitary virtue to certain objects and 
ceremonies are now almost extinct. A spray from the rowan-tree is 
no longer a safeguard against an epidemic, nor the hand of majesty a 
cure for scrofula. Ladies do not now believe that the presence of a 
piece of cold iron on their couch, " while uneasy in their circum 
stances" will secure a happy consummation ; nor is a child s caul in 
much request in these days as a protection against tire and drowning. 
True, we have got over these beliefs pretty thoroughly. But is the 
desire for infallible remedies and potent protectives done away with 
also ? Not in the least ; and though science is doing its best to pro 
vide honest substitutes in a natural measure, the public is not satis 
fied with its efforts. Quacks are the modern magicians, and quack 
medicines the charms of latter days. Those who are bald, for in 
stance, will not accept their fate while a single well-puffed elixir with 
a Greek name remains untried. There is something saddening, if not 
sickening, in the evident success which attends the pretenses to cure 
chronic and irremediable diseases, to effect miracles in short with the 
most trumpery of means and execrably silly devices. Our forefathers 
were imposed upon, no doubt, but there was method in their madness. 
The " simples " with which spae-wives and charlatans professed to 
cure ailments were in many cases effective and now recognized drugs, 
and were at the worst perfectly harmless ; while the rites with which 
they were administered, if quite apart from the purpose, yet appealed 
gracefully to the imagination. Nowadays, however, the " simples 
are the patients and not the medicines ! The old story. Childlike, 
the age cries for something that it cannot get, rejecting the good that 
is within reach. 

In a recent number of this Journal, we had occasion to refer to 
the amazing credulity of Americans on the subject of professional 
" mediums." The worst of it is, that the extent to which this has been 
laid bare is insignificant compared with that which really remains un- 
exposed. The desire to work with supernatural tools in effecting the 


paltriest and meanest of human ends, would seem to have divided a 
people of accredited shrewdness into the two classes of rogues and 
dupes. But, as we have seen, we, too, have been singed at the same 
tire. There are, moreover, other if minor superstitions in our midst 
that suggest the propriety of beginning the task of reformation at 
home. An occasional glance, for instance, at the stock advertise 
ments of leading journals, will convince any one how wide-spread is 
the infatuation that believes in spurious offers of advantageous em 
ployment. Some of these have, under our own observation, been re 
peated with little variation for more than twenty years ; and we have 
no doubt that the wily advertisers are able to calculate to a fraction 
the number and gullibility of their dupes. We have from time to time 
drawn attention to swindles of this class, as well as to those tempting 
offers of " Money to lend," which appear with equal regularity in 
newspaper columns. We are afraid, however, that friendly warning 
and experience are alike unavailing to stem the mischief. The spread 
of education itself would appear unable to outstrip the spread of im 
posture or the eager credulity that supports it; for superstition merely 
shifts its ground from time to time, without losing appreciably its 
original dominion over the human mind. Chambers^ Journal. 


PROF. W. J. MACQUORN RANKINE was born in Edinburgh, 
July 5, 1820, and on Christmas-eve, in 1872, he died, before he 
had completed his fifty-third year; but in that comparatively short 
life he had won higher distinction and done more good work than it 
falls to the lot of most men to compass. 

He pursued his ordinary school studies in the Burgh Academy of 
the town of Ayr, the high-school of Glasgow. When very young he 
entered the University of Edinburgh, where he devoted himself to 
natural philosophy and natural history, including zoology, geology, 
4 mineralogy, and botany. He was a born mathematician, and received 
little aid from professional instruction in the branch of science in 
which he subsequently displayed such great genius. Throughout his 
educational course he received valuable aid from his father, who was 
a retired lieutenant of the British Army. 

His powers were developed at an early age. Before he was 
twenty he had written two essays on subjects in pure physics. At 
eighteen he adopted the profession of civil engineering, and was the 
pupil of Sir John Macneil for three or four years, a great part of 
which was spent on engineering works in Ireland. Subsequently, he 
was employed for several years on railways and similar works in 


Scotland; and in 1850, forming a partnership with Mr. John Thom 
son, C. E., he settled in Glasgow. 

Meanwhile he had been busy in purely scientific pursuits not con 
nected with his calling, and the value of his work was generally 
recognized. He was elected to various learned societies, and in 1853 
was made a fellow of the Royal Society of London. The same year 
he became a member of the British Association, in which he subse 
quently held several important positions. During the Dublin meet 
ing of the Association in 1857, the honorary degree of LL. D. was 
conferred upon him by the university of that city as a mark of the 
eminence he had gained as a physical investigator. He was then but 
thirty-seven years old. 

In 1855 he was made Regius Professor of Civil Engineering and 
Mechanics in the University of Glasgow, a position which he held 
with distinction for seventeen years. He was an able instructor, his 
aim being to develop the understanding of the student by the culti 
vation of natural knowledge, and to beget those habits of close ob 
servation and persistent and exact verification which are so essential 
to the scientific worker in any field. 

Prof. Rankine was the first President of the Institution of Ensi- 


neers of Scotland, and in 1861 was made President of the Philo 
sophical Society of Glasgow, contributing many papers to the Pro 
ceedings of that Society, and on a wide range of topics. The honors 
he won in his profession, and in thermo-dynamics, were rivaled by his 
achievements in naval architecture, to which his attention was for 
some time given. 

His writings were exceedingly voluminous. His published trea 
tises and manuals included, among others, "Manual of Applied Me 
chanics," "Manual of the Steam-Engine and Other Prime Movers," 
" Civil Engineering," " Useful Rules and Tables," " Cyclopaedia of 
Machine and Hand Tools," "Manual of Machinery and Mill-Work," 
besides a very long catalogue of papers on physics, especially thermo 
dynamics, applied mechanics, etc. His style was a model of scien 
tific writing elegant, exact, lucid in explanation and apt in illustra 
tion. In short, his was a mind of the first order, his original investi 
gations were of the highest value, and his excellent influence as an 
instructor in moulding the minds of his students will be far-reaching. 

His early death was the penalty of overwork, and was preceded 
by an impairment of vision and a derangement of the heart s action 
that were very distressing. He yielded to the demand for bodily rest 
when it became imperative ; but it was too late. His is another name 
added to the long list of those who, understanding perfectly the limits 
of human endurance, seem to think that their case is exceptional, 
that their organisms can be continuously overworked with impunity, 
and so go on, heedless of the dumb protests of the abused body, until 
the ruin is utter and irrevocable. 

2 3 8 




rjlHE agitation for a reform in the Civ- 
-L il Service, as it is called, should it 
result in the establishment of that meas 
ure, may be expected to produce effects 
not now much anticipated or cared for. 
The essence of the reform is to consist 
in getting better men for office-holders 
than American politics has hitherto af 
forded certainly a most laudable thing. 
But the mode of arriving at the better 
qualified men is to be by "examina 
tions," that is, by the educational test. 
Before candidates can be examined, 
however, and decided upon, it will be 
necessary to arrange the standards by 
which they shall be judged, and one of 
the important effects of the system 
will be to bring to inexorable judgment 
those preliminary standards on which 
the whole policy must rest. One of the 
reasons why the superstitions and ab-- 
surdities of education are so tenaciously 
persistent, is the difficulty of "bringing 
the results of so-called culture to direct 
practical test or verification ; but the 
examiners who frame the catechism by 
which candidates for office are to be 
sifted and accepted or rejected, cannot 
fail to do something toward the remov 
al of this difficulty. In deciding what 
qualifications are desired, they will give 
judgment upon the method that has 
produced them. 

The English have tried Civil Service 
reform sufficiently long to begin to con 
nect cause and effect, and take account 
of the validity and worth of its stand 
ards. They began the system of Civil 
Service examination in 1853 by drawing 
up scales of the valuation of different 
kinds of knowledge as expressed nu 
merically by marks, so that proficiency in 
the various branches could be added up 
and indicate the "standing," as is done 

in many schools. This scheme, of course, 
represented current ideas, and the In 
dian Civil Service Board decided that 
"in the two great ancient languages 
there ought to be an examination not 
less severe than those examinations by 
which the highest classical distinctions 
are awarded^t Oxford and Cambridge." 
This was for those who aspired to civil 
positions in India ; and how the knowl 
edges were rated comparatively may be 
inferred from the following examples : 

Greek 750 

Latin 750 

French 375 

German 375 

Natural sciences 500 

This marked predominance of dead 
over living languages, and the still more 
striking predominance of language over 
science, could not fail ultimately to 
bring the whole question under critical 
scrutiny, and has led to a reestimate of 
the educational value of lingual studies. 
We publish part of a paper read by 
Prof. Bain before the British Social 
Science Association, which deals with 
this important subject, and our readers 
will find it valuable as a contribution to 
education, regardless of the Civil Ser 
vice interest, while it illustrates what 
must be the effect of that reform in 
bringing educational questions into a 
new aspect. The overshadowing pre 
dominance of language forces an in 
quiry which proves that it is of the 
very lowest possible use as a means 
of mental culture. 


THE recent scandalous revelations 
concerning the management of savings- 
banks and similar institutions of trust 
have, of course, provoked much dis- 


2 39 

cussion, and, equally of course, much 
loose talk. 

The obvious fact that many of the 
men who have been chosen, or have 
assumed, to take care of the savings of 
the frugal have proved to be wholly 
unworthy shows, it is often argued, an 
alarming decadence in the moral tone 
of the community, which is variously 
ascribed according to political or re 
ligious bias. There are not wanting 
those who assert that the whole social 
organism is unprecedentedly corrupt, 
and that the facts which have trans 
pired are but a faint precursor of what 
is to come. But it is by no means 
clear that any such doleful view of the 
situation is warranted. The morals of 
trade may be loose enough, but it is 
not readily to be admitted that they 
are deteriorating. 

It is true that the early history of 
savings-banks in this country shows no 
such dark picture. Previous to 1862, 
failures were rare ; the banks were, as 
a rule, safely managed by fit men. A 
high order of financial or executive 
ability is not required for the manage 
ment of a savings-bank, but integrity 
and common-sense are ; the right paths 
are straight and well beaten what is 
needed is a steadiness of purpose to 
resist the temptations that lead away 
from them. During the last fifteen 
years the number of these institutions 
has largely increased, and the process 
of natural selection does not seem to 
have developed safe officials as fast as 
they were wanted. 

Nor is it alone that it has been ne 
cessary to put many new and untried 
men in places of trust. A higher de 
gree of rectitude has been needed to 
bear the strain imposed by the specula 
tion and recklessness of a period of in 
flation than was sufficient in the less 
trying days which preceded this era 
this has not always been found. The 
prudence of any given man or class is 
not a fixed quantity, it is subject to 
fluctuations; it is weakened by the 

spirit of confidence and rashness that 
always marks a period of rising prices, 
and strengthened by the heroic treat 
ment of adversity which is sure to 
come in with the reaction. 

Of the details of the mismanage 
ment which has led to disaster, and of 
the rules for properly conducting such 
institutions, it is not our present purpose 
to speak ; but there is one idea which 
seems to be fundamental in all the 
remedies proposed that deserves atten 

State control in some form is the 
sole corrective which, in the opinion 
of those whose views find expression, 
is available ; and there is something 
sublime in the faith apparently felt in 
government management, even by those 
who are loudest in their denunciations 
of office-holders the only agents 
through whom a state can do its work. 

The recommendations all assume 
one of two forms : 

1. That a system of post-office sav 
ings-banks, similar to those now oper 
ating in England, be established; or 

2. That more thorough state inspec 
tion be instituted with a view to main 
taining and purifying the present sys 

Opinion is still divided in England 
as to the ultimate success of the scheme 

j for post-office banks, but it has, so far, 
worked too well to permit unqualified 
condemnation. This success, however, 
has been wrought under conditions that 
do not obtain in the United States. 

In the first place is the wide differ 
ence in the Civil Service of the two 

j countries. Without going into com 
parisons it is safe to say that, until our 
much-talked-of reform shall have made 
some progress, it may be as well to go 
slow in committing savings-deposits to 
the custody of an irresponsible, ever- 
shifting set of officials, chosen without 
any reference to their natural fitness or 
training for the discharge of such a trust. 
We already hear much of their delin 
quencies, and it is certain that the pro- 



posed system would add to their temp 
tations and the risk of defalcation. 

Secondly, the difficulties in working 
the system are greatly enhanced in this 
country by the wide territory over 
which it must extend, to at all meet 
the requirements of the people. 

Thirdly, the banking branch of the 
Post-Office Department could not be 
made self-sustaining, and at the same 
time pay a rate of interest that would 
draw deposits. It is not likely that 3^- 
per cent, would be satisfactory when 
there are perfectly sound banks that can 
pay five per cent. ; and yet 3 J is prob 
ably more than the Department could 
afford to pay. Following the rule of 
the English system, and the only safe 
one, it must invest its deposits in Gov 
ernment securities, on which it cannot 
now realize more than four per cent. 
Out of the half per cent, margin must 
come all expenses and the loss of inter- j 
est on unused balances. The Depart 
ment could not even take the very ne 
cessary precaution of keeping a cash 
reserve against deposits, and though it : 
may be said that the degree of confi 
dence would be so great as to preclude a 
run, and so no reserve would be needed, [ 
it will be found that if the Government, 
through any of its departments, goes 
into banking, it will be amenable to 
the rules that govern banking opera 
tions. It could be readily shown, if 
space permitted, that the Department 
would be a constant dealer in bonds, 
buying on a high market, and selling 
on a low one a process not conducive 
to profit and it is highly probable that 
from these various causes the chronic 
deficit of the mail-service would be in 
creased by the losses incurred in the 
banking department, a result which 
could not be defended on any tenable 

Next, as concerning State inspec 
tion. It is certainly remarkable that a 
system which has been tried so fully 
and failed so utterly, should still be so 
implicitly relied on ; that men, who 

pride themselves on being practical, 
and who never fail to have their little 
fling at theorists, should cling to a the 
ory that has broken down whenever 

Official examination has had a very 
thorough trial in this country; it has 
been a feature of the national banking 
system since its organization in 1864; 
the history of these banks has, as a 
whole, been creditable, but scores of 
them have failed, many disgracefully, 
and the worst of them in localities 
where it might be expected that the 
examinations would be most thorough; 
while the life-insurance companies and 
savings-banks of New York have long 
been objects of legislative solicitude 
and official care, with results that do 
not need to be told here. 

The theory of State intervention in 
such matters is fallacious ; private en 
terprise, if left to itself, would compass 
the desired end much better than any 
governmental machinery. The indorse 
ment which the State gives to a new 
institution, by granting a charter and 
nominally assuming a supervisory con 
trol, endows it with an air of respecta 
bility and solidity which it could not 
otherwise command, and which is for 
the most part illusive. If depositors 
understood that their sole reliance was 
the character of the men they were 
dealing with, and that the only super 
vision would be such as they chose to 
exercise, they would soon come to se 
lect the guardians of their savings with 
greater care, and scan their acts more 

The State has a legitimate function 
which it has very imperfectly fulfilled 
in this connection ; it is competent to 
enforce the performance of contracts ; 
to visit punishment upon negligent or 
dishonest officials; to secure prompt 
and inexpensive justice to the sufferers 
in event of failures. This has not been 
done, but instead, contracts have been 
shamelessly broken with impunity; fel 
ony has been openly compounded; and 



the proceedings of winding-up defunct 
banks have been dilatory and extrava 
gant conducted with a disregard of 
the interests of the depositors that 
differs from common swindling only 
in having the sanction of the courts. 
If the State had performed the duties 
which manifestly belong to it, there 
would be less clamor now for it to step 
out of its proper sphere to manage 
financial corporations. 

It is true that the public has been 
marvelously credulous. Any advent 
urer who could raise money enough to 
put up a sign and make large promises 
would find some trusting fools to leave 
their money with him, and it almost 
seems that they should be protected 
against themselves ; but efforts which 
aim to protect people from the conse 
quences of their own folly, however 
amiable they may be, are rarely suc 
cessful; it is best in the end to let 
people reap the reward of their stu 

Unfortunately, the average deposi 
tor in savings-banks labors under disad 
vantages in being without facilities for 
getting information or training which 
would help him to form an intelligent 
judgment on it when obtained ; but 
this is one of the unpleasant concomi 
tants of ignorance from which there is 
no way of escape except through the 
acquirement of knowledge. The pub 
lic does not seem very apt in gaining 
this sort of knowledge ; but only as 
it is mastered will a better condition 
of things be reached. The teachings 
of the last few years have been very 
thorough, and it is to be hoped that 
confidence will be more intelligently 
placed in the future than it has been in 
the recent past; that new candidates 
for it will find that more strenuous and 
legitimate measures are needed. 

A good deal is said about the philan 
thropy of this class of institutions ; but 
analysis would doubtless show that the 
altruistic element in them is the merest 
trace. They are formed by men who 


VOL. XII. 16 

are selfish enough to desire to make 
them as large and prosperous as may 
be ; it will not need a great prolonga 
tion of the present state of feeling to 
teach them that the way to success is 
to offer the highest guarantees of good 
management and security, and see to it 
that these guarantees be real. 

As to the best methods of convinc 
ing the public of their trustworthiness, 
that may safely be left to the managers 
themselves; the utmost publicity and 
fullness in the statements of condition, 
and the greatest freedom for the in 
spection of accounts and securities by 
depositors, or those in their interest, 
w T ould contribute much to that end. 


JACOBI, M. D. The Boylston Prize Es 
say of Harvard University for 1876. 
Pp. 232. New York : G. P. Putnam s 
Sons, 1877. Price, $3.50. 

IT is fortunate for that group of physi 
ological and social conditions involved in 
what is termed the " Woman Question " 
that it has been investigated in one of its 
most important aspects by an author not 
only specially prepared by education and 
training to do it justice, but one, so to 
speak, " to the manner born." The motive 
of Dr. Putnam- Jacobi s book seems to be to 
close the discussion opened by Dr. Clarke in 
his " Sex in Education," rather than to make 
a direct answer to his argument That it 
does not close this discussion, and furnish 
an authoritative canon to measure the value 
of the " question of rest for women," is the 
fault partly of the material gathered, and 
partly of the method of handling the facts. 
There is no difficulty in the way of doctors, 
male or female, collecting facts relating to 
women sick ; but, when facts are needed 
concerning women well, the innate delicacy 
of the sex is in arms against the statistician. 
This is evident when we state that, of 1,000 
circulars calling for information regarding 
the sexual history of women in different oc 
cupations, but 268 were answered. 



The second section of the book deals 
with the facts obtained in reply to this 
circular. These facts relate to the condi 
tion of health of childhood, and of parents 
or sisters ; the age of going to and leaving 
school ; the number of hours of study, of 
exercise ; the nature of the study or occu 
pation ; pain during menstruation ; the 
need and length of rest during the continu 
ance of that function, and the time when 
rest first became necessary. The strength 
is measured by exercise, and several other 
conditions naturally suggested by the ques 
tions are given. These facts are tabulated 
under groups distinguished by either the 
total absence of pain or its presence at va 
rious periods. The author makes ingenious 
but legitimate use of her figures, hampered 
by the small number of individuals subject 
ed to analysis. The number is sufficient, 
however, to foreshadow what is probably 
the amount of disability entailed upon 
women by the need of rest. Too much 
stress appears to be laid upon the mere 
presence of pain and the incapacity to work 
resulting from it, as if this were the only 
source of disability. Women are sometimes 
obliged to take rest from the nervous de 
pression and mental disturbance which at 
tend the exercise of the ovarian function ; 
but it is possible that it is the better way, 
when the interpretation of the causes of in 
capacity is left to the average individual, 
that some well-understood term like " pain " 
be adopted. The section on statistics being 
long and complicated, we must overlook the 
steps of the process, and confine ourselves 
to the results. 

Out of the number of women inter 
rogated (286 cases), 94, or 35 per cent., de 
clare themselves always free from discom 
fort (pain ?) during menstruation; by adding 
to this number 46, who only suffered slight 
ly, or occasionally during that period, this 
proportion is raised to 59 per cent. ; on the 
other hand, 128 women, or 47 per cent., 
suffered seriously from pain ; in them men 
struation was, therefore, a morbid pro 
cess. " In all such cases," remarks the au 
thor, " rest during the existence of such 
pain is as desirable as during the occur 
rence of any other." Of the 162 painful 
cases, including all degrees of pain, 53 per 
cent, had been so from the beginning ; and 

in 47 per cent, the habit had been acquired. 
The relation of the age at which schooling 
began and the time spent in school to this 
catamenial pain is not very evident, as this 
condition is very nearly alike in all the 
groups. Of the painful group 18 per cent, re 
ceived very little education, while in the nor 
mal group none are so specified. Of the first 
only eight per cent, pursued advanced studies 
beyond the age of twenty-two against 16 per 
cent, in the latter. Dr. Putnam-Jacobi is led 
to the conclusion from her figures, which 
are unfortunately too limited to afford.even a 
guess at the real truth, that the highest edu 
cation giveo to women is the most favorable 
to menstrual health ; the least favorable be 
ing the ornamental education. In the mat 
ter of physical education, it was found that 
those who never suffered pain exercised 
more than the other class ; but all classes 
were found to exercise too little during 
childhood and girlhood. The tables show 
that the family history exerts a greater in 
fluence over the menstrual life than occu 
pation. The figures prove that two-thirds 
of those who suffered periodical pain inher 
ited some special or general constitutional 
defect. Physical vigor, as measured by the 
capacity for exercise, was shown among 
those free from pain in the ability to walk 
an average of five miles ; the average for 
those who habitually suffered pain was three 
and a quarter miles ; and for the cases of 
slight or acquired pain four miles. " Capa 
city for exercise was nearly always in in 
verse proportion to the habit of pain." The 
tables show that persons without occupa 
tion suffered from painful menstruation in 
much larger proportion than those who 
were occupied. One would infer from this 
that the author, in a measure, traced this 
result to the want of occupation ; while we 
should reverse the conditions of cause and 
effect, and explain the lack of occupation 
by the incapacity resulting from the peri 
odical pain. The conclusion is also reached 
from the fact that marriage is opposed to 
the existence of habitual periodical pain. 
And, lastly, " as regards rest the most im 
portant question for our purpose we have 
seen that the above data do not suffice to 
inform us of its influence ; " and thus, so far 
as the main theme of the book is con 
cerned, the author leaves the " question of 



rest for women " in just the condition in 
which she i ound it. 

The third section, occupying fifty pages, 
is a review of the various theories of men 
struation, and shows considerable research. 

The next section is devoted to what the 
author calls experimental research upon six 
persons in the form of daily tabulated state 
ments of pulse, temperature, dynamics, and 
the excretion of urea, before, after, and dur 
ing ovulation. The general results to be 
gathered from the tables are, that excretion 
of urea is increased previous to the hemor 
rhage over the usual amount, although there 
were many exceptions to this rule, individ 
ual peculiarities generally governing the 
results. The number of cases observed, 
however, was too small to afford conclu 
sions. The same objection may be made 
against the dynamometer and temperature 
tests. Physiological experiments of this 
nature always require a sufficient number 
of subjects to reduce individual peculiari 
ties and accidental conditions to a minimum 
in the mean results. The state of the cir 
culation is given a very careful study by 
means of the sphygmograph before, during, 
and after menstruation, from which obser 
vations the author concludes that there is 
an increase in the tension of the arteries 
seven to nine days preceding menstruation, 
to be lowered, as a rule, a few hours after 
the beginning of the haemorrhage, reaching 
its minimum after its cessation. This in 
crease in intermenstrual arterial tension, 
being similar to that observed in pregnan 
cy, leads the author to this remarkable con 
clusion " that in all these respects the in 
termenstrual, and especially the premen 
strual, period represents a pregnancy in 
miniature." From the facts gathered in 
this experimental chapter, " it should fol 
low," the author says, " that reproduction 
in the human female is not intermittent, 
but incessant ; not periodical, but rhyth 
mic ; not dependent on the volitions of ani 
mal life, but as involuntary and inevitable 
as are all the phenomena of nutritive life." 
From what we know of the author, we be 
lieve the phraseology of the above will be 
materially altered in the next edition. Aside 
from the unscientific use of words, and the 
strained meaning put upon the word rhyth 
mic, the author confounds reproduction 

with the conditions essential to reproduc 
tion. It conflicts also with reasoning to 
which this is designed to be the natural 
conclusion. For instance, on page 98, 
speaking of the Graafian vesicles, she says 
that, " as the process of their development 
is gradual, the periods of rupture are ne 
cessarily intermittent ; " and, as if to pre 
clude all idea of rhythmic action, she says, 
further, it " is one of the most irregular of 
physiological phenomena." 

We shall end our notice by a few re 
marks on the conclusions with which the 
author closes the book. 

Menstrual pain, instead of being the re 
sult of want of rest, depends upon 1. " Im 
perfect power of resistance in the nerve- 
centres." This presupposes an inherent 
tendency to pain in all women during this 
act, its expression depending on the power 
of repression, although this alternative is 
evaded by the author. 2. Organic defects; 
and, lastly, acquired pain, which may depend 
upon conditions common to both sexes in 
the genesis of disease ; upon causes mainly 
due to parturition, and thus peculiar to 
women; or "from two causes, very much 
more frequently operative in women than 
men, namely, ill-arranged work and celi 
bacy." Whether this work is " ill-ar 
ranged " with reference to time or not, the 
author does not inform us. The conclusion 
is natural that this ill-arrangement is due 
to the need of intervals of rest, since 
work and rest are natural antitheses. The 
evil effects of celibacy are insisted upon in 
several places. The author even rises to 
the heights of impassioned prose, when she 
says that "many others never obtain the 
opportunity to bear a single child, for 
which, nevertheless, every fibre of their 
physical and moral being is yearning." 
While we cannot express ourselves so poet 
ically, we concur in the idea ; but it is not 
a little singular that, since the motive of the 
book is to demonstrate woman s capacity 
for continuous work during certain periods, 
the derangements due to matrimony re 
ceive no attention. The fifth and last 
conclusion is that " there is nothing in the 
nature of menstruation to imply the neces 
sity, or even the desirability, of rest for 
women whose nutrition is really normal." 
Yet, upon the previous page, in speaking 



of the presence of pain in 46 per cent, of 
women, it is traced among other things to 
" work that is either absolutely excessive, 
or excessive relative to woman s constitu 
tion, by being prolonged too much during a 
single session, or else which is insufficiently 
relieved by recreation." It is impossible to 
read this last section of the book without 
coming to the conclusion that the author 
in many instances is reasoning against her 

The author does not seek to evade the 
fact that 46 per cent, of women suffer a 
greater or less degree of pain during this 
time, and yet it has not the slightest bear 
ing upon woman s efficiency to work while 
thus suffering to say, as the author does, 
that this pain is not directly dependent upon 
the need of rest. If we recognize in pain 
the ideal curse of humanity, we may form 
a notion of what a woman must undergo 
who, under the lash of necessity or duty, 
carries her burden of pain to her daily 
tasks. It matters not whether the pain is 
evaded, or mitigated or not by rest, it is a 
panacea instinctively sought. It accords 
also with the universal experience of medi 
cal men that pelvic pain, or hyperaemia, is 
quieted by rest, and this is as true of men 
strual pain as of any other condition. Such 
a fact as this cannot be reasoned away by ar 
guments drawn from speculative physiology. 

But we must recognize in this book a 
new departure in the literature of the ques 
tion. It is something new, as well as. a 
grand stride in the right direction, for the 
advocates of woman s immunity from any 
thing like physical restraints to labor to 
investigate facts and to couch this investi 
gation in scientific language. The faults of 
the book are mainly those of hasty prepa 
ration, both in the collection of data and 
the arguments based upon them. We are 
satisfied that, with a wider range of facts 
and greater deliberation in handling them, 
many of the hasty generalizations which we 
have pointed out would not have occurred. 
The book shows hard and honest work, and 
demonstrates the great capacity of Dr. 
Putnam-Jacobi for scientific investigation. 


THIS little tract is designed to show the 
working-man s wife how she may provide 

for her household a sufficiency of good, 
wholesome food at a cost easily within the 
means of the poorly-paid day-laborer. An 
edition of 50,000 copies has been published 
by the author for gratuitous distribution, 
and it would be an act of humanity to aid 
in circulating the book among the class who 
have need of the information it contains. 
The poorer class of people are, in propor 
tion to their means, far more wasteful than 
the rich, and the information here conveyed 

cannot fail to be highly profitable to them. 

Lieutenant - Commander F. M. GREEN, 
U. S. Navy. Washington : Government 
Printing-Office, 1877. 

NAVIGATORS, geographers, and others, 
are constantly demanding improved values 
of the geographical coordinates of places on 
the earth s surface, as the demands of their 
pursuits become more and more exacting. 
When the longitude of a slow-sailing vessel 
was obtained by observations of lunar dis 
tances a large uncertainty in the resulting 
datum was inevitable, and was expected and 
allowed for. Modern practice in steamers, 
where every additional hour s run means the 
expenditure of valuable fuel, etc., and where 
an uncertainty as to the ship s position is 
subsequently paid for by the owner in the 
expenses of the voyage, demands something 
more than the approximate longitudes of 
prominent seaports, which before were suf 

This want has been long felt, and the es 
tablishment of secondary meridians has been 
attempted in many places and by various 
nations. In 1866 a committee of the French 
Bureau des Longitudes was directed to pre 
pare a plan for fixing a certain number of 
fundamental secondary meridians, separated 
by convenient distances, all round the world ; 
and, in March, 1867, their report having 
been submitted to the Minister of Marine, 
its immediate execution was directed. A 
commission of eminent French naval offi 
cers was organized to superintend the prep 
aration for this work and its performance, 
and five or six parties of skillful observers 
were, after several months of preliminary 
study and practice, dispatched with their 
instruments to various parts of the world to 
make observations of moon-culmintaions to 



determine the difference of longitude be 
tween their respective stations and the me 
ridian of Paris. At that time, the present 
wide extension of submarine cables could 
not be foreseen. This commission fixed 
several points in the West Indies, and from 
these longitudes were counted by French 
and other navigators. Other points in this 
region were established by other nations ; 
and frequent discrepancies arose, for which 
there was no remedy, except an entirely 
new and independent determination by the 
accurate method of telegraphic longitudes. 

In view of the importance of the com 
merce of the United States with the West 
Indies, the Hydrographer of the U. S. Navy 
determined to undertake this task, and ac 
cordingly a plan for its completion was pre 
pared and the execution of this plan was 
confided to Lieutenant-Commander Green. 
This plan was very comprehensive, and in 
cluded the determination of the latitude of 
each of the following stations, together with 
its longitude from the U. S. Naval observa 
tory of Washington, which was already tele 
graphically connected with Greenwich. 

The stations selected were : 1. Key West; 
2. Havana ; 3. Santiago de Cuba ; 4. Kings 
ton (Jamaica) ; 5. Aspinwall ; 6. Panama ; 
7. San Juan (Porto Rico) ; 8. St. Thomas ; 
9. St. Croix; 10. St. Johns (Antigua); 11. 
St. Pierre (Martinique) ; 12. Bridgetown (Bar 
bados); 13. Port Spain (Trinidad). 

Station 1 was already connected with 
Washington through the labors of the Coast 
Survey. It is to be noted that stations 2 
and 3 furnish a basis for an accurate sur 
vey of Cuba, that 5 and 6 furnish starting- 
points for the whole sea-coast of Mexico and 
Central America, and that 6, in connection 
with the longitude of Santiago de Chile (al 
ready determined in position by two Amer 
ican astronomers, Gilliss and Gould), will 
furnish a basis for the survey of the west 
coast of South America. The north coast 
of South America is fixed by the stations 
5 and 13 (already the Hydrographic Office 
has published the results of chronometer 
expeditions, between these points, made un 
der its direction by Commander Ryan, U. 
S. N., in 1877). On station 8 many longi 
tudes, previously determined, depend ; and 
the other stations amply suffice to fix the 
Windward and Virgin Islands. Thus the 
comprehensive plan of the expedition, to 

gether with that of the expedition sent out 
by the Hydrographic Office in 1877, under 
the same distinguished officer, will practi 
cally suffice to fix nearly the whole eastern 
and northern sea-coa^t of South America, 
and will furnish bases for the establishment 
of the coast-line of Mexico and much of the 
West coast of the Southern Continent. The 
expedition of 1877 contemplates the junc 
tion of station 13 with Lisbon, Madeira, 
Cape Yerd, Para, Rio, Montevideo, and 
Buenos Ayres. 

The work necessary to the final fixing of 
the positions of these thirteen stations was 
done in 1874- 76, and is described in detail 
in the report before us. 

Full descriptions of the instruments (with 
plates), the methods of observation and re 
duction, etc., are given in this volume, to 
which we refer for particulars which would 
be out of place here. Suffice it to say that 
the results are of the same grade of excel 
lence as those attained in similar work of 
the highest class all over the world. A 
special point of excellence is the absolute 
uniformity of programme at each of the sta 
tions in each of the expeditions, and this con 
tributed in no small degree to the excellence 
of the results. This expedition reflects great 
credit upon the navy and upon all concerned 
in its planning and execution, and is espe 
cially noteworthy as being the first expedi 
tion of the kind undertaken by naval offi 
cers of any country in foreign ports. It is 
to be hoped that this important service to 
navigation and geography will be followed 
by other similar work hardly less needed. 

course at the Annual Meeting of the 
American Public Health Association, 
October, 1876. Cambridge: Riverside 

THE doctrine of the survival of the fit 
test is now widely recognized as the key to 
all progress toward the perpetuation and 
perfection of the species, at least so far as 
the lower orders are concerned, and up to 
a certain point in the development of hu 

But with the foundation of societies an 
opposite doctrine has been introduced. In 
stead of the pitiless destruction of the weak 
and the infirm, which marks the operations 



of the law of natural selection, they are fos 
tered, cared for, and allowed to propagate 
their kind. " Society preserves for the pro 
genitors of the future alike the weak, the 
strong, the diseased, and the healthy. If, 
then, this blind law of natural selection is 
the one key to progress, man must degen 
erate." One school of statistical writers 
maintains that this result does actually ap 

But Mr. Lewis shows conclusively that, 
while " civilization does largely sacrifice 
one principle of progress the law of 
evolution by survivorship it introduces 
another still more potent principle" 
longevity. The outcome of careful breed 
ing for a few generations, with a view to 
improvement in this direction, would pro 
duce a people who would live to a patri 
archal age. The idea of such stirpiculture 
as this is repulsive to our present habits of 
thought. It is probable that the idea will 
never be realized, but there is a tendency 
toward something of that kind. 

Mr. Lewis truly says that the subject 
leads us to the door of a world of restless 
thought and speculation. 

The paper is extremely interesting and 

F. R. S. London and New York : Mac- 
millan & Co., 1877. Pp. 375. Price, 


ONE of the best of the " Science Primer 
Series " was that of Dr. Geikie on " Physical 
Geography," which in the present volume is 
expanded into the form of a text-book for 
rather more advanced scholars. 

The author is undoubted authority on 
this subject, and may be fully trusted, and 
his material is well arranged for the pur 
poses of teaching. The illustrations are 
taken close at hand, and not only show the 
way in which effects, with which we are 
familiar, have been produced, but teach the 
collateral lesson that Nature s processes are 
uniform ; that the most stupendous results 
of far-away lands or past time have been 
wrought by the same methods that are in 
operation here and now. This is a lesson 
that scientific men were slow to^ learn, and 
it has not hitherto been sufficiently taught 
in our text-books. It is something gained 

when a boy, watching the little streams of a 
summer shower making their way through 
a sand-bank, knows that he is looking on 
the same forces at work that make and waste 
a continent. 

The book is freely illustrated with good 
woodcuts, and with maps showing the dis 
tribution of atmospheric pressure, tempera 
ture, volcanoes and earthquakes, ocean-cur 
rents, etc. 

(1875). Pj>. 834. Washington : Gov 
ernment Printing-Office. 

IT would be impossible, within the nar 
row compass of a book-notice, to summa 
rize the contents of this valuable report ; 
indeed, the space at our disposal would be 
insufficient even to give a simple list of the 
many wonderful natural curiosities and in 
teresting ancient ruins here for the first 
time described and pictured. Then, in ad 
dition to the reports of the geologists and 
togpographers, we have an elaborate mon 
ograph on the American bison, by J. A. 
Allen ; and a voluminous report by Dr. A. 
S. Packard, Jr., on the Kocky Mountain 
locust and other insects injurious to the 
field and garden crops of the Western Ter 

Pp. 362. With numerous Figures and 
Plates. Washington : Government Print- 

DR. COUES has for some time been en 
gaged in preparing a systematic history of 
the North American mammals, both living 
and extinct, and the present volume is of 
fered as a specimen of the method of treat 
ment to be adopted in that work. The 
group of animal forms described in this 
monograph, the family Mustelidw, he divides 
into five sub-families, namely, Mustelines 
(wolverene, marten, weasel), Mepliitince 
(skunk), Melince (badger), Lutrince (otter), 
Enhydrince (sea-otter). The material on 
which the author bases his systematic clas 
sification is sufficiently voluminous, namely, 
the collections made by Hayden s Survey, 
of which he is the naturalist, and those of 
the National Museum at Washington. The 
purely scientific and technical aspects of 
the subject-matter are, of course, discussed 



with all requisite detail, and there is no 
doubt that the work will be prized by nat 
uralists as a substantial contribution to 
zoological science. But, at the same time, 
the interests of a larger circle, viz., the 
educated though unscientific public, have 
not been overlooked. Indeed, what may 
be called the " popular " aspects of the sub 
ject in hand, namely, the life-histories of 
the species, and their economic and other 
practical relations, are considered at length. 

LARIS. Edited by Rear-Admiral C. H. 
DAVIS. Pp. 696. Washington : Gov 
ernment Printing-Office. 

THE story of the gallant Captain Charles 
Francis Hall is here told in simple, unaf 
fected style ; indeed, as it would appear, 
for the most part in the very words of Hall 
himself, and of his companions in danger 
and misfortune. The volume is of quarto 
size, on heavy calendered paper, elegantly 
printed, and adorned with a steel-plate por 
trait of Captain Hall, a vignette of the Po 
laris, some forty full-page wood engravings, 
numerous smaller engravings, and six maps. 
It is, indeed, a fitting monument to the gen 
ius and intrepidity of Captain Hall and the 
modest heroism of his officers and crew. 


Natural Law. By Edith Siracox. Boston : 
Osgood. Pp. 373 

History of the Ottoman Turks. By Sir E. S. 
Creasy. New York : Holt & Co. Pp. 574. $2.50. 

The World s Progress. G. P. Putnam, editor. 
New York : Pnlnam s Sons. Pp. 1028. $4.50. 

Freethinking and Plain Speaking. By Leslie 
Stephen. New York: Putnam s Sons. Pp.362. 

Outlines of Modern Chemistry. By C. Gil- 
herr Wheeler. New York: A. S. Barnes & Co. 
Pp. 231. $1.75. 

History of Materialism. By F. A. Lange. 
Boston : Osgood & Co. Vol. I., pp. 350. 

Through Rome On. By Nathaniel R. Waters. 
New York : C. P. Somerby. Pp. 352. $1.75. 

The Religious Feeling. By Newman Smyth. 
New York : Scrihner, Armstrong & Co. Pp. 171 . 

Our Common Insects. Bv A. S. Packard, Jr. 
Boston : Estes & Lauriat. Pp. 225. $1.50. 

Tables for the Determination of Minerals. By 
Pemfor Frazer, Jr. Philadelphia: Lippincott 
& Co. Pp. 119. $2. 

Smithsonian Report for 1876. Washington: 
Government Printing-Office. Pp. 488. 

Village Improvements and Farm Villages. 
By George E. Waring, Jr. Boston: Osgood & 
Co. Pp. 200. 75 cents. 

Steam-Engineering. By J. W. Nystrom. New 
York: Putnam s Sons. Pp. 185. $2.50. 

Browne s Phonographic Monthly. New York : 
D.L.Scott-Browne. Vol. I., pp. 144. $2 a year. 

Chemistry: Theoretical, Practical, and An 
alytical. Parts 21-25. Philadelphia : Lippincott 
& Co. 50 cents each. 

Metallurgical Review. New York : D. Wil 
liams. Vol. I., No. 2, pp. 96. $5 a year. 

Report of Steamboat Inspection in Canada. 
Ottawa: Maclean, Rogers & Co. print. Pp. 346. 

Anales del Museo Nacional de Mexico, torn. 
I., entrega K Mexico : Carlos Ramiro print. 
Pp. 46. With Plate. 

Catalogue of the Missouri State University. 
Jefferson City: Regan & Carter print. Pp. 160. 

Preservation of Wood as adapted to Ship 
building. By C. E. Munroe. Claremont, N. H. : 
Manufacturing Co. print. Pp. 16. 

Immediate Fulfillment of Prophecy. By Cap 
tain J. E. Cole. New York: O Keete print. Pp. 

Proceedings of the American Philological As 
sociation. Hartford: Case, Lockwood & Brain- 
ard Co. print. Pp.52. 

Latimcr Collection of Antiquities. By O. T. 
Mason. From "Smithsonian Report for 1876." 

Immortality of the Soul. By C. Skelton, 
M. D. Trenton, N. J. : Naar, Day & Naar print. 
Pp. 27. 

Overturning the World. By Dr. G. M. Ram 
sey. New York: P. F. McBreen print, Pp.27. 

lodates of Cobalt and Nickel. By F. W. 
Clarke. From American Journal of Science. 

Calendar of the University of Minnesota. 
Minneapolis : The University. Pp. 104. 

International Conference on Education. 
Washington: Government Printing-Office. Pp. 

The Membrana Tympani as a Phonautograph. 
New York: W. Wood & Co. With Heliotype. 

Meteorological Researches for the Use of 
Coast Pilots. Part I. With Charts. Washing 
ton : Government Printing-Office. Pp. 49. 

Should Comparative Anatomy be included in 
a Medical Course ? By Dr. B. G. Wilder. New 
York: Appletons. Pp.35. 

Four Great Eras in Modern Astronomy. By 
Jacob Ennis. Cambridge : Wilson & Son print. 
Pp. 21. 

The Force that put all the Heavens in Mo 
tion. By Jacob Ennis. Pp. 23. 

Standard Public Time. By Jacob Ennis. 
Cambridge: Printed for the Observatory. Pp. 

Official Circular No. 8 of Johns Hopkins 
University. Pp. 12. 

Cable-making and Suspension Bridges. By 
W. Hildenbrand. New York: Van Nostrand. 
Pp. 121. 50 cents. 


The United States Pharmacopoeia, as is 

well known, has been issued in revised 
editions every ten years, since its first ap 
pearance in 1830. These revisions have 
been made under the authority and direc 
tion of "the National Convention for re 
vising the Pharmacopeia," consisting of 
delegates from medical and pharmaceutical 
colleges ; the real work, however, has 



mainly rested hi the hands of a few per 
sons, who have at the same time published 
the very remunerative k% Dispensatory of 
the United States/ The fifth edition of 
the United States Pharmacopoeia, issued 
throe years after the eonvention met in 
1^7^, did not, however, meet with the for 
mer approval, and was left without its cus 
tomary commentary, inasmuch as the au 
thors of the Dispensatory tailed to prepare 
in time a new edition supplementing the 
new Pharmacopoeia. Suggestions for an ear 
lier revision of the Pharmacopoeia than in 
IS 80 have since been advanced; and a 
new departure advocated in the method 
and scope of the revision. Dr. Edward 
K. Squibb, of Brooklyn, submitted to the 
American Medical Association an elaborate 
plan for a new and completer work, to be 
prepared by experts, under the control of 
that Association. This plan, however, 
was abruptly rejected by the American 
Medical Association at its recent meeting 
in Chicago, mainly on the ground that the 
work of pharmacopoeia! revision is not ap 
propriate to that body. The American 
Pharmaceutical Association, too, of which 
Dr. Squibb is also a member, and to which 
his plan had been presented, objected to it 
on account of the unequal share accorded 
to pharmacy in the management of the 

The plan to obtain a better Pharmaeo- 
pa^ia at an earlier date, and under new 
management, would practically have failed 
for the present, if it were not for the judi 
cious and prompt action and energy of Dr. 
Frederick Hoffmann, of New York, who car 
ried the subject, when dropped by Dr. Squibb, 
into the American Pharmaceutical Associa 
tion at its recent annual meeting at Toronto. 
He offered the resolution, that the Amer 
ican Pharmaceutical Association elect a 
Committee to prepare a complete Phar 
macopoeia which may be submitted to the 
criticism of the medical and pharmaceu 
tical professions, and may be proposed to 
the above-mentioned Xational Convention 
for revising the Pharmacopoeia. This resolu 
tion passed unanimously ; and the result 
was, that a committee was appointed for 
this purpose, which has agreed upon a plan 
of its work and has selected the experts to 
accomplish it. Dr. Hoffmann, of Xew York, 

has taken charge of the chemical part of 
the new Pharmacopoeia, Prof. Maisch, of 
Philadelphia, of the department of phar- 
macoguosy ; and Mr. Rice, of Xew York, 
represents pharmacy. This committee has 
promptly entered upon its labors, and 
expects to submit the results to the Amer 
ican Pharmaceutical Association in the fall 
of 1879. It remains to be seen whether the 
Association will then present the work of 
its expert-committee to the Xational Con 
vention, supposed to meet in 1880; ^ind 
whether the latter will accept this gratuitous 
offer: or else^hether the American Phar 
maceutical Association, encouraged by the 
character and value of the work, and by the 
sentiments of its members and the profes 
sion at large, will choose independently to 
publish its Pharmacopoeia. By such action 
it would realize a desideratum which Dr. 
Squibb vainly aimed to accomplish, and 
would relieve the profession from the old 
Xational Convention for revision of the 
Pharmacopoeia, and this itself from any 
further labors, by presenting in time a new 
and adequate standard which by its in 
trinsic merits might at once command the 
approval and acceptance of the professions, 

Salicylic Acid as a Remedy for Rheuma 
tism. The value of salicylic acid as a 
medicine in the treatment of rheumatism 
has been under discussion for some time, 
the weight of authority plainly inclining 
toward an affirmative solution of the prob 
lem. As a specimen of the favorable re 
sults obtained by the use of the drug, we 
quote the observations of Dr. L. P. Yandell, 
Jr., as stated in his "Report on Materia 
Medica to the Kentucky State Medical 
Society. Dr. Yaudell s report treats of a 
number of recently-introduced drugs ; it is 
published in the Louisville Jfedica 3 
His experience with salicylic acid may be 
briefly stated as follows : First, in the City 
Hospital of Louisville, nine cases of acute 
articular rheumatism were treated with this 
drug, and a " perfect cure " effected ; in 
every instance the disease was arrested 
within three days, and in several cases 
relief was obtained in from eight to twelve 
hours. The drug did not appear to have 
any antipyretic effect. The patients took 
the acid in ten and twenty grain doses, in 



capsules, at varying intervals. In the same 
hospital three cases of chronic rheumatism 
were treated with salicylic acid without any 
good results. In his private practice Dr. 
Yandell has used this drug in five pro 
nounced cases of acute rheumatism with en 
tire success; and in another case this drug, 
combined with quinine, broke up the dis 
ease. The author writes that salicylic acid 
is best given in milk ; it gives the milk a 
sweetish-sourish taste ; a little tickling and 
sense of slight constriction may be felt 
about the throat, and an insignificant cough 
is not uncommon. He adds : " Salicylic acid 
is the first and only remedy that has proved 
itself at all reliable in the control of acute 
rheumatism in my hands. Salicylate of 
soda has shown no superiority over salicylic 

Notes on Fish-culture. The one great j 
difficulty met with in hatching the striped 
bass is, according to an intelligent cor- ! 
respondent of Forest and Stream, the fact i 
that spawners of this species are very rarely 
found. About four years ago, we are in 
formed, a few ripe " rock-fish " (striped bass) 
were found in the Roanoke River, North 
Carolina, and about 100,000 young fish were , 
hatched from their spawn. One reason 
assigned for the diminution of this fish is 
the fact that they are marketed before they 
reach maturity. Prof. Baird favors the 
enactment of a law prohibitng the marketing 
of these fish when less than twelve inches ! 
long. Striped bass frequently attain a weight j 
of sixty and eighty pounds ; and it has been 
held that they do not spawn until they 
attain a weight of about twenty pounds. 
The same correspondent cites, as an evi 
dence of the success of salmon-propagation, 
the recent capture of a nine-pound salmon 
in the Delaware. The fish was a California 
salmon a variety with which the Delaware, 
Potomac, Susquehanna, and other rivers, 
were supplied a few years ago. It is sup 
posed they return in five or six years, 
though difference in the temperature of 
the water, currents, and other conditions, 
may accelerate or retard the return. Over 
400,000 eggs of California salmon were 
shipped last fall to New Zealand, where 
they nearly all arrived in excellent condi 

Florida Lizards. During a sojourn in 
Waldo, Florida, Mr. Henry Gillman has 
studied the characters and habits of a great 
variety of lizards, and, in a brief commu 
nication to the American Naturalist, states 
some of the results of his observations. 
One point which he has been enabled to 
determine is the possession by the lizards 
of Florida of the power of " chameleoniza- 
tion," or of changing color. The author 
states positively that the lizards of Florida 
possess this power in a remarkable degree. 
Thus, he has seen a smaJl, yellowish-brown 
lizard, on quitting the ground, instantly as 
sume the dull gray -hue of a weather-beaten 
fence-rail, along which it glided. Passing 
under some olive-tinted foliage, it next 
adopted that color, which was succeeded 
by a bright green, as the animal reached 
and rested under the grass and leaves of 
like shade. The original yellowish-brown 
color was again assumed on the lizard re 
turning to the ground. Each of these 
changes was almost instantaneous, and the 
entire series could not have occupied much 
more than one-quarter of a minute of time. 

International Scientific Service. Of Prof. 
Grote s paper, mentioned in our October 
number, on an International Scientific Con 
gress, and read at the meeting of the Ameri 
can Association, we find a very good abstract 
in the Polytechnic Review, from which jour 
nal we quote the essential points of the 
paper. The author referred to the excel 
lent work done by national scientific asso 
ciations, such as the British Association and 
the American Association, but said that 
there is urgent need of a still broader or 
ganization of an international congress of 
scientific men. Foremost among the prob 
lems which Science is striving to solve is 
that of the origin of our species. The elu 
cidation of this question concerns the whole 
race, and no merely national organization 
possesses the means of exploring the whole 
field. Then, the various scientific explora 
tions in Africa, Australia, and the polar 
regions, need cooperative assistance to 
realize the best results from the outlays, 
while the new knowledge they bring is the 
common inheritance of all enlightened na 
tions. Now, where all participate all should 
contribute. Prof. Grote s plan of an inter- 



national scientific service contemplates the 
appointment of commissioners by the civil 
governments of the world. The delibera 
tions of this body " would be the wisdom of 
the age ; its recommendations would be re 
spected by the legislative powers of the 
consenting and represented nations. Under 
its auspices all extra-limital astronomical, 
geological, and biological expenditures would 
be fitted out, and directed to those places 
which would be most fruitful for any par 
ticular purpose. The difference in the men 
tal faculties between different nations would 
prevent the loss in such a body of any pos 
sible suggestion which the human mind 
could offer." 

At the same meeting a paper was read 
by Profs. Grote and Pitt on new fossils in 
the collection of the Buffalo Society of Nat 
ural Sciences, from the water-line group. 
The free ramus of the chelate appendage of 
Pterygotus Cummingsi (G. and P.) was de 
scribed by the aid of drawings. The crab- 
like animal was over five feet in length, and 
lived in the shallow waters of the Silurian 
sea where Buffalo now stands. Its remains 
were deposited in the sedimentary lime-beds 
which are now being worked for manufact 
uring purposes. 

Prof. Looniis on Rain -Areas. The 

American Journal of Science for July con 
tains the seventh paper of a series by Prof. 
Loomis, in which he investigates the phe 
nomena of storms, their origin, develop 
ment, and movements. It was shown in a 
previous paper that the form of a rain-area, 
that is, of a storm moving over the country, 
is usually elliptical : this elongated form is 
more obvious in storms which move along 
the coast than in those which move farther 
inland. The area of low barometer in a 
storm is not at the centre of greatest rainfall. 
Sometimes the rain centre is northward, or 
southward, or eastward, or westward, of the 
area of low barometer. North of latitude 
36 the distance of the area of greatest 
rainfall from the centre of low pressure is 
in a majority of cases less than 250 miles, 
but in some instances three times that dis 
tance, the average being 300 miles. When 
extensive rainfalls occur there is a marked 
tendency to the formation of several cen 
tres of precipitation, and heavy rains may 

occur at various localities in a storm-area. 
This fact suggests that during the progress 
of a storm there occur local causes of great 

The tables show that heavy rainfalls 
are not of long duration over extended 
areas, and the conclusion from this fact is, 
that the causes which produce rain do not 
increase in force from the rainfall, but di 
minish and become exhausted. This re 
sult cannot be attributed to a want of sup 
ply of vapor, as the inflowing winds contin 
ually carry vapor into the storm-area,* and 
this is especially true in the case of storms 
moving along the Atlantic border. What 
seems to be implied is, that an exhaustion 
occurs of the forces which impart that move 
ment to the air requisite to precipitation. 

The centre of great rain -areas occurs 
along the Atlantic border four times more 
frequently than inland, nor is this general 
fact changed in the region of the Great 
Lakes. Very extensive rainfalls are most 
frequent in autumn and winter, and occur 
most frequently in mornings and afternoons, 
and are least frequent during evenings, the 
difference in this respect being very marked. 
It is observed, too, that the " heaviest rain 
falls are seldom accompanied by very high 

" There seems," says Prof. Loomis, " no 
room to doubt that areas of low barometer 
occur during periods of twenty-four hours 
with little or no rain, and travel nearly 
eastward with an average velocity of about 
twenty miles an hour." From this fact it 
is concluded that rainfall is not essential 
to the formation of areas of low barometer, 
and is not the principal cause of their for 
mation nor of their progressive motion. 
The barometer is frequently low during the 
hazy weather of October, when the Indian 
summer prevails, a period usually of little 

Taste-Perceptions. An interesting in 
quiry has been made by Vintschgau and 
Hoingschmied to determine how much time 
is requisite to perceive different taste-sen 
sations. We have already, in No. 39 of 
the MONTHLY, given the results obtained 
by these investigators in their earlier re 
searches ; but since then they have studied 
the subject more thoroughly, attacking 


more complex problems, as will be seen 
from the following account of their labors, 
which we take from the English Mechanic. 
In these experiments by pressure of a brush 
saturated with a concentrated solution of 
a savory substance on the tongue, an elec 
tric circuit was closed, which was only 
opened by the person when he made a sig 
nal on first perceiving the taste. The time 
during which the current flowed was marked 
by a rotating cylinder, and represented the 
"reaction-time" of a given taste. First, 
the " reaction-time " of four different sub 
stances was ascertained. This experiment 
was then so modified that not merely the 
sensation of taste had to be answered to, 
but the tongue of the person was touched 
now with water, now with a savory solution, 
without his knowing beforehand which was 
to be applied ; he had to decide which had 
touched his tongue, and gave the signal 
only when it was the savory matter. In a 
final series of experiments there were always 
two savory substances used : when the per 
son perceived the one, he gave the signal 
with one hand ; when he perceived the 
other, with the other hand. Here the per 
son had not only to perceive the sensation, 
but to distinguish the one taste from the j 
other, and then to make the right choice of 
the hand to give the signal. The results 
are stated in the table below, where the 
first vertical series gives the names of the 
savory substances ; the second, the time in 
seconds between the application of the sub 
stance and giving of the signal ; the third, 
the reaction-time when the savory substance 
was applied interchangeably with water, and 
must be distinguished from this ; the fourth, 
fifth, sixth, and seventh, the reaction-time in 
comparison with common salt, acid, sugar, 
and quinine, respectively : 









Comm n 
salt , . 

0.1 598 





Acid. . . . ;0.1676 0.3315 0.3T49 0.4081 

Buiznr. . . 0.1630 0.8840 0.8688 0.4878! 

Quinine. 0.2196 0.4129,0.4388 0.5095 0.4210 


" If we take as a basis," say the authors, 
" the reaction-times when the tongue was 
touched with a savory substance alone, and 
compare therewith the reaction-times which 
were obtained in the experiments whether 

with water, or with another savorv sub- 


stance, we find that the following law gen 
erally holds : If we experiment with distilled 
water and a savory substance, or inter 
changeably with two savory substances on 
the tongue-tip, then the time of recognition 
of the one (in experiments with water), or 
of the two (in experiments with savory sub 
stances), is longer, the longer the reaction- 
time of one of the savory substances on sim 
ple application." The converse of this law, 
however (which is only in general valid), 
does not hold good. 

An Underground Pneumatic Clock-Reg 
ulator. The inhabitants of modern cities 
who are accustomed to receive their sup 
ply of water and illuminating gas through 
pipes laid under the streets, and who are 
prepared to welcome the introduction of 
a system of steam -heating on a large 
scale, will next " get the time of day v 
from underground pipes. A plan of reg 
ulating clocks by means of compressed 
air has been devised by an Austrian en 
gineer named Mayrhofer. Its principle 
will be understood from the following de 
scription, which we take from the Boston 
Journal of Chemistry : In the first place, 
tubes are laid to convey compressed air from 
a central station, in which is the " master- 
clock." A simple contrivance, connected 
with the tubes and the clock, lets off a puff 
of air every minute or half-minute, and the 
fingers of all the clocks in the system are in 
that manner pushed forward with unerring 
accuracy, in accordance with the time indi 
cated by the standard timepieces in the 
observatory, so that exact uniformity can 
be maintained without difficulty in the time 
shown on any number of dials. The weather 
has no effect on the air, so far as the work 
ing of the pneumatic clocks is concerned, 
and, be it hot or be it cold, the little valve 
lets off its puff of air, and the clocks go 
accurately, in defiance of atmospherical in 
fluences. A small yearly charge is made 
for the clocks, and there is no further ex 
pense or trouble. The system has been in 
operation in Vienna for nearly four month?, 
and has worked without a solitary hitch, so 
that the people are beginning to realize the 
idea that time can be " laid on " in their 
houses as readily as either water or gas. 



Local Temperatures of the Blood. 

From researches made by Claude Bernard, 
it appears that while the temperature of 
the blood in the aorta and its more impor 
tant branches is uniform, that of the venous 
blood varies considerably in different re 
gions of the inferior vena cava and its prin 
cipal tributaries. At the junction of the ex 
tremities and the neck with the trunk of 
the body, the venous blood is colder than 
that in the great arteries ; in the right heart 
it is considerably hotter. If we determine 
its temperature at successive points in the 
inferior cava, we find that at the junction 
of the iliac veins this is lower than the ar 
terial temperature : on a level with the en 
trance of the renal veins, the two are about 
equal; on a level with the hepatic veins, 
the temperature of the venous exceeds that 
of the arterial blood by nine-tenths of a 
degree. It retains this superiority even 
after it has become mixed in the right heart 
with the colder blood returned through the 
superior cava. Accordingly, though the 
venous blood of the peripheral parts is 
colder than in the arteries, it acquires suffi 
cient beat during its passage through the 
abdominal cavity, not merely to equalize 
the difference, but actually to give it a per 
manent advantage. This is so, not because 
the viscera are the source of animal heat, 
but simply because they are by their situ 
ation protected from the effects of radiation 
and evaporation. Heat is generated in all 
the tissues, muscles, nerves, nerve-centres, 
and glands. The rise of temperature, which 
may always be detected in a muscle when 
thrown into a state of contraction, is in 
variably preceded by a slight depression ; 
and precisely the same phenomenon is ex 
hibited by a gland when its secretory nerve 
is stimulated. 

Electro-Plating. We take from Tan 
Nostrand s Engineering Magazine the fol 
lowing statement of the results obtained by 
Bertrand in experiments in electro-plating 
with aluminium, magnesium, cadmium, bis 
muth, antimony, and palladium. Alumin 
ium was deposited on decomposing, with a 
strong battery a solution of the double 
chloride of aluminium and ammonium ; a 
plate of copper forming the negative pole 
whitens gradually, and becomes covered 

with a layer of aluminium, which takes a 
good polish. The double chloride of mag 
nesium and ammonium in an aqueous solu 
tion is readily decomposed by the battefy, 
giving in a few minutes strongly-adherent 
and homogeneous deposits of magnesium 
on a sheet of copper. It polishes readily. 
The battery must be powerful. Cadmium is 
best deposited from the bromide to which 
a little sulphuric acid has been added ; it 
is then very coherent and very white, and 
takes a fine polish. The sulphate, if acid 
ulated, also gives an immediate deposit of 
metallic cadmium, very adhesive and capa 
ble of a good polish. Bismuth is deposited 
from a solution of the double chloride of 
bismuth and ammonium on copper or brass 
by the current from a Bunsen element ; it 
is very adhesive, and might be used in dec 
orating works of art. Antimony can be 
deposited from a solution of the double 
chloride of antimony and ammonium at 
common temperatures. Deposits of palla 
dium are obtained with ease by means of 
the double chloride of palladium and am 
monium, either with or without the battery. 
The solution must be perfectly neutral. 

JVew Method of Artificial Respiration. 

Dr. Benjamin Howard, late of the Long Isl 
and Medical College, recently gave at King s 
College Hospital, London, a demonstration 
of his "direct method" of producing arti 
ficial respiration. For the purpose of mak 
ing his description of the method perfectly 
plain, Dr. Howard had a man to act the part 
of a person rescued from the water, and 
apparently dead from drowning. The first 
thing done was to rip away the wet clothing 
to the waist, making of it a large, firm bol 
ster. " Quickly turning -the face down 
ward," said he, as he proceeded to explain 
the process, " the bolster beneath the epi 
gastrium, making that the highest point, 
the mouth the lowest ; placing both hands 
on his back immediately above the bolster, 
my whole weight is thrown forcibly forward, 
compressing the stomach and lower part of 
the chest between my hands and the bolster 
for a few seconds, two or three times, with 
very short intervals." Thus the lungs are 
relieved of water and the stomach emptied. 
Then " quickly turn the patient on his back, 
the bolster again making the epigastrium 



and anterior margins of the costal cartilages 
the highest point of the body, the shoul 
ders and occiput barely resting on the 
ground. Seize the patient s wrists, and, 
having secured the utmost possible exten 
sion of them behind his head, hold them fast 
to the ground with your left hand. With a 
dry pocket-handkerchief between the right 
thumb and forefinger withdraw the tongue, 
holding it at the extreme right corner of the 
mouth. If a boy be at hand, both wrists 
and tongue may be confided to his care. 
In this position two-thirds of the entrance 
to the mouth is free and the tongue is im 
movably fixed forward ; the epiglottis is pre 
cluded from pressure and partial closure; 
the head is dependent ; the free margins of 
the costal cartilages are prominent, and 
there is a high degree of fixed thoracic ex 
pansion. The epigastrium being highest, 
the movements of the diaphragm are not 
embarrassed by the abdominal viscera. 

"To produce respiration, you kneel 
astride the patient s hips, rest the ball of 
each thumb on the corresponding costoxy- 
phoid ligaments, the fingers falling into the 
lower intercostal spaces ; now, resting your 
elbows against your sides, and using your 
knees as a pivot, throw the whole weight of 
your body slowly and steadily forward until 
your mouth nearly touches that of the pa 
tient, and while you slowly count three; 
then suddenly spring back to your first po 
sition on your knees, remain there while you 
might slowly count two ; then repeat, and 
so on about eight or ten times a minute." 
The acting patient at the very first steps of 
the process gasped involuntarily, and as it 
was continued he came more and more un 
der the control of the operator. After the 
operation had ceased, there were visible 
successive waves of involuntary respiration 
which the " patient " could not control. 

Frank Bnckland on the Berlin Gorilla. 

Mr. Frank Buckland has made a visit to 
" Pongo," the young gorilla at the West 
minster Aquarium, and observed with much 
pleasure the many great differences between 
monkey and man. First he notes the hands 
of the gorilla : the thumb, he observes, is 
exceedingly short, and "cannot bo used 
with anything like the facility as in the hu 
man subject." Then, in the gorilla, the 

spaces from the knuckles to the first joint 
of the finger are united by a membrane, 
and become practically a continuation of 
the palm. The gorilla, too, uses its hand 
much more as a foot than as a hand. " The 
thumb of the foot," he adds, " has great 
powers of prehension ; indeed, it may be 
said that the thumb proper is carried on the 
foot. The gorilla has no calf to the leg, 
and no biceps in the forearm : he cannot 
stand upright without supporting himself by 
means of some object. The back of the 
gorilla is almost square, something after the 
form of the flat saddle used in equestrian 
feats in circuses. The cause of this is, that 
the ribs come close down on the top of the 
hip-bone." So far as Mr. Buckland has 
been able to learn, the gorilla does not use 
a stick for the purpose of striking, neither 
does he ever strike with his hands. Two 
children, a boy and a girl, were permitted 
to play with Pongo, and as Mr. Buckland 
looked on he " could not help seeing what 
a vast line the Creator had drawn between 
them." Our author concludes by saying that 
Pongo s structure and manners confirm the 
idea that Darwin is wrong, and that human 
beings are not monkeys. This doctrine of 
the identity of man and monkey gives Mr. 
Buckland a great deal of trouble, and from 
the vehemence with which he combats it 
one is led to suppose that it must be preva 
lent in England. It is a little strange, how 
ever, that the adepts of this vile heresy 
have contrived to mask their teachings, for 
we have not seen this doctrine upheld in 
any of the publications of the day. Mr. 
Buckland asks : " Why not rest satisfied 
with the origin of our race thus revealed to 
us by the great Creator himself? So God 
created man in his own image, and in the 
image of God created he him ; male and 
female created he them. " 

Topographical Surveys and Health. 

Mr. James T. Gardner delivered, at the Bos 
ton meeting of the Public Health Associa 
tion, an address on the " Relation between 
Topographical Surveys and the Study of 
Public Health," which abounds in sugges 
tions of the highest practical importance. 
As an illustration of the author s mode of 
enforcing his arguments, we may take his 
remarks on " natural drainage." " This," we 



are informed, "results from combined ac 
tion of configuration, character of soil, con 
stitution of underlying rock, and the form 
of its surface. These four elements regu 
late natural drainage. Each must present 
favorable conditions, or deadly waters will 
accumulate on the surface or in hidden 
strata. No plan of artificial drainage can 
be completely successful unless based on a 
thorough comprehension of the natural drain 
age system of the area under treatment. The 
region above the Palisades on the Hudson 
furnishes excellent illustration of these 
statements. The plateau fronts the river 
eastward with a bluff 300 feet high, and 
westward slopes gently to the Hackensack 
Valley. . . . All topographical conditions of 
unusual health seem here present, and yet 
malarial diseases abound. The reason of 
this will probably be found in the configu 
ration of the rock. The dense basalt under 
lying the thin soil absorbs almost no water. 
Its surface, originally nearly level, was worn 
by glacial action into low, swelling ridges 
and shallow rock-basins, many of which, 
having no outlet, hold stagnant water as 
great saucers would. If the rock were 
either fissured or porous the height of the 
plateau would insure perfect under-drain- 


With the Palisades plateau the author 
now contrasts the Helderberg plateau, also 
situated near the Hudson River. Here, " an 
escarpment 1,000 feet high bounds, on the 
eastern side, the table-land, composed of hor 
izontal limestone resting on shales. From 
the more level parts water does not pass off 
by surface-streams. Low undulations di 
vide these areas into many separate basins, 
each draining toward its own centre, where 
a funnel-shaped opening in the limestone 
receives the disappearing flow, whose future 
course is subterranean. These basins are 
from a few acres to 300 or 400 in extent. 
When one covers about five square miles a 
pond is formed at the point of central drain 
age, finding outlet through fissures of the 
limestone below. The plateau s elevation 
insures that these waters sink at once many 
hundred feet, or escape in springs along the 
cliffs." Mr. Gardner then proceeds to show 
how as at Sandusky, Ohio this same Hel 
derberg limestone may, under different to 
pographical conditions, become one of the 
most powerful producers of disease. 

A Formidable Araclmidan. Dr. B. F. 

Pope, U. S. A., contributes to Forest and 
Stream some valuable " Notes on the Natu 
ral History of Southwestern Texas," from 
which we take the following account of the 
" vinagrone " (big vinegar, so called on ac 
count of the pungent secretion it ejects), an 
arachnidan found in the vicinity of Fort 
Stockton. In general appearance it resem 
bles a large scorpion, though belonging to 
a different family. From the head to the 
commencement of the tail the adult vina 
grone is full two inches long ; in breadth it 
measures about three-quarters of an inch. 
The thorax and head are amalgamated, 
while the thorax and abdomen are separated 
by flexible tissue. The legs are six in num 
ber, all attached to the thorax. The trunk 
and head are protected by a single dorsal 
plate ; the abdomen has sixteen distinct 
dorsal and ventral laminae, which overlap ; 
they would form continuous rings, were it 
not that they are curiously separated later 
ally by elastic tissue. This division of the 
abdominal rings affords considerable flexi 
bility, and gives the insect the appearance 
of bearing about him an old-fashioned bel 
lows. From the terminal, dorsal, and ven 
tral plates is given off a series of rings, 
which, after the third one, are fused into a 
stiff spike or tail, that is usually three-fifths 
of the length of the entire body, and cov 
ered with short bristles like the legs. This 
is not a sting, nor does it seem to be the 
duct through which the secretion is ejected. 
It appears to be used principally as a pos 
terior feeler, and sometimes as an aid to 

From the head are given off two power 
ful brachials, each having four articulations. 
They resemble the arms of a scorpion, and 
terminate in sharply-curved pincers. The 
threatening manner in which they are opened 
and stretched out, when the insect is enraged 
or is seeking for its prey, almost makes one 
shudder. But the brachia are not its only 
means of offense. Beneath the frontal plate . 
are two long, incurvated fangs. Connected 
with these are two sacs, that, by pressure, ex 
ude drops of greenish liquid over the fangs, 
and in them undoubtedly resides the true 
venom of the insect. 

Of the bite of this animal the author 
writes : " We have no good proof that the 
bite of the vinagrone would be fatal to man, 


: 55 

except perhaps as it might be supplemented 
by the shock of an excessive terror ; but 
that it would be dangerous I think highly 
probable. As an experiment, I confined 
two of them in a small box with a large 
bat. The next morning the bat was dead, 
having been killed by them during the night, 
when it is supposed to be most agile and 
wary. I placed another unsavory specimen 
in a large bottle, in company with a large 
wasp and a tarantula. The vinagrone killed 
and devoured them both in short order." 

In a later number of the same journal 
Dr. H. C. Yarrow writes that the vinagrone 
is quite well known to entomologists under 
the name of Thelyphonus giganteus, and 
that it is common in New Mexico and Ari 

The Scandal of the Seal-Fishery. Unless 
the governments of the countries which 
send out ships to the seal-fishery grounds 
speedily put some restrictions on the meth 
od now pursued, there will before long 
be no seals. In 1868 Dr. Robert Brown 
expressed his belief that, " supposing the 
sealing prosecuted with the same vigor as 
at present, before thirty years shall have 
passed away the seal-fishery, as a source of 
commerical revenue, will have come to a 
close." The Greenland seal-fishery is al 
ready "practically used up " and the sealers 
are now turning their attention to the coast 
of Newfoundland. A writer in Nature cites 
the London Daily News, to show what 
slaughter is made of the Newfoundland 
seals, and we learn that in one season four 
vessels secured 89,000 seals. To this add 
a like number of young ones left to die of 
starvation, and twenty per cent, as many 
mortally wounded and lost, and the ag 
gregate amounts to over 200,000 seals ! The 
writer in Nature suggests this subject of 
the destruction of the seal as a fitting one 
to occupy the minds of the advocates of 
the anti-vivisection laws, and the Society 
for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

The Building-Stones of St. Lawrence 
County, New York. From a statement by 
Mr. D. Minthorn, published in the Engineer 
ing and Mining Journal, it appears that in 
the northern portion of the State of New 
York may be found in abundance all the 
choicest varieties of marbles, granites, and 

other building-stones. Besides the com 
mon gray gneiss, he enumerates among the 
building-stones of St. Lawrence County 
several varieties, such as syenitic granite, 
many New England granites, a deep-green 
granite "mottled like the pedestals of 
Cheops." Then there are various pink, 
green, and dark-red porphyritic granites ; 
and finally there are large masses of very 
compact gray and green granite, studded 
with garnets about half an inch apart. The 
varieties of marbles are very numerous, 
ranging from white limestone and dolomite 
and statuary marble to straw-colored, blue, 
drab, brown, black, yellow, and red vari 
egated marbles ; verd-antique also is rep 
resented ; indeed, Mr. Minthorn is prepared 
to match any of the antique marbles with 
the products of the St. Lawrence County 
quarries. Adjoining the statuary-marble 
quarry is a deposit consisting partly of pa- 
godite or Chinese figure-stone, and possess 
ing sufficient hardness to take a polish, 
while at the same time it does not " chip 
out " when chiseled in sharp lines. 


WE have received from Conrad Meyer 
& Sons, of Philadelphia, a correction of the 
statement made by Mr. S. Austen Pierce, 
in our October number, that Jonas Chicker- 
ing in 1837 " conceived the bold idea of 
constructing a [pianoforte] frame entirely 
of iron." The Messrs. Meyer now cite the 
official "report" of the jury of the Franklin 
Institute Exhibition of 1833, which mentions 
" an iron-framed square piano " exhibited 
by Conrad Meyer. Other testimony to the 
same effect is quoted by the Messrs. Meyer, 
who appear to make out a clear case of 
priority of invention. Having admitted this 
correction, we can afford no more space in 
the columns of the MONTHLY for the piano- 
frame controversy. 

WE have received from Mr. E. Berliner, 
Washington, a circular, with drawings, giv 
ing an account of certain of the author s 
discoveries and inventions in electricity. 
These are a contact telephone, an electric- 
spark telephone, and a method of telephonic 

AT New Cumberland, West Virginia, a 
fountain of natural gas is utilized for manu 
facturing fire-brick. This, says the Ameri 
can Manufacturer, is the first fire-brick ever 
burned without wood or coal. Fifty-five 
thousand bricks are made daily in nine 



kilns. The gas furthermore supplies fuel 
for three engines, ten furnaces in the dry 
ing-house, and several dwellings the latter 
obtaining in this way both light and heat. 
There remains withal a large surplus of 
gas, which is unused, except from the top 
of an escape-pipe, for illuminating the coun 
try around. 

THE Nation is authority for the state 
ment that the office of Director of the In 
ternational Bureau of Weights and Measures 
in Paris has been offered to Prof. J. E. Hil- 
gard, of the United States Coast Survey. 

DIED, at Bonn, on September 13th, at the 
age of eighty-nine years, Jakob Noggerath, 
for about fifty years Professor of Mineralo 
gy in the university of that town. The de 
ceased was a most assiduous student of 
mineralogy and geology, and his contribu 
tions to scientific literature were very vo 

MR. HEXRY NEWTON", geologist, attached 
to Jenney s Black Hills Exploring Expedi 
tion, died at Deadwood City, August 5th, at 
the early age of thirty-two years. Mr. New 
ton was a graduate of the Columbia College 
School of Mines ; later, Assistant Professor 
of Geology in the same institution ; then he 
joined the Ohio Survey under Prof. New- 
berry ; finally, two years ago, he became 
geologist of Prof. Jenney s Expedition to 
the Black Hills. 

MR. R. A. PROCTOR, in excusing himself 
for not answering all the letters of inquiry 
he receives, gives the following account 
of his multifarious occupations : Seeing 
through the press three new works and four 
new editions, preparing two pamphlets, writ 
ing one translation of an 800-page book, 
and preparing four new works ; writing ar 
ticles for English and American magazines ; 
lecturing occasionally ; business correspond- 
ence with ten publishers ; personal con 
cerns ; original research. 

AT a meeting of the Paris Academy of 
Sciences, a note by L. Laliman was read, in 
which the author stated that he had dis 
covered an insect which preys on the Phyl 
loxera. This insect, or rather its larva 
for M. Laliman had not seen the perfect 
insect devours phylloxeras with great avid 
ity, and the author saw as many as ninety- 
five disappearing in the space of ten min 
utes. The larva was found in the interstices 
of the leaf-galls, and sometimes in the sub 
stance of the galls. M. Laliman thinks he 
has seen the egg of this insect ; it occurs 
on the underside of the leaf; but he has 
not seen it hatched. A member of the 
Academy, M. Balbiani, remarked that the 
fact observed by Laliman is not altogether 
new. The larva seen by him belongs to 
the genus St/rpkus, or to some allied genus. 
The larvae of tiyrphw all prey on Aphides. 

AN expedition, with aims similar to those 
of the "Woodruff Expedition," will sail 
from Havre, France, on the 15th of June, 
1878. This expedition will be absent from 
France for eleven months. Of this time it 
is proposed to spend about six months and 
a half in excursions inland in America, 
North and South, the Pacific Archipelagos, 
Australia, Japan, China, British India, etc. 
The cost of passage is 17,000 francs per 

MR. RICHARD S. FLOYD, one of the trus 
tees of the " Lick Trust," on his return to 
California, after an extended tour of foreign 
travel, during which he collected all*tl,e 
information he could with regard to the 
construction of great telescopes, expressed 
his belief that the best telescope for the 
Lick Observatory would be a refractor of 
the largest size. The cost of a suitable in 
strument, with object-glass of forty inches, 
would not, he thinks, exceed $150,000. 
But, in addition to the great refractor, Mr. 
Floyd would have in the observatory a re 
flector about four feet in diameter, with 
both silvered glass and specuhim-metal mir 
rors. This would cost about $20,000. 

A SERVICE of plate was recently pre 
sented in London to Senor Manuel Garcia 
" in recognition of the great services he has 
rendered alike to science and humanity by 
his important discovery of the laryngo 

ADVICES from Australia announce the 
j total and sudden disappearance of a group 
: of guano-islands the Barker Islands situ 
ate in latitude 14 south, and longitude 125 
i east, just off the northwest coast of Austra- 
; lia. In April last Mr. Fisher, a capitalist of 
j Tasmania, who had obtained from the gov 
ernment the right of working the guano-de 
posits, visited their site with three steam 
ships, but found there only a " waste of 
waters," and had to return empty. The Bar 
ker Islands are not mentioned in the " Im 
perial Gazetteer," nor are they indicated in 
the atlases. 

THERE was exported from China to 
Europe, in the year 1875, the enormous 
amount of about sixty tons of human hair. 
This hair is ostensibly the product of the 
sweeping of barber-shops, but there is little 
doubt that much of it represents " pig-tails " 
feloniously snipped from their wearers 

THE addition of cheese to the army and 
navy ration, in part substitution for salt 
meat, is advocated by a writer in the Poly 
technic Review. The suggestion is a good 
one, the advantages of cheese being mani 
fold : it is wholesome, highly nutritious, 
aids digestion, needs no cooking, and is 
easily handled and transported. 




JANUARY, 1878. 







45. THE engines of 
Hero and Branca were, 
it will be remembered, 
non-condensing; but the 
first plan of a non-con 
densing engine that 
could have been made of any really practical use is given in the 
"T/ieatrum Machinarum" of Lenpold, published in 1720. His sketch 
is copied in Fig. 23. It is stated by Leupold that this plan was sug- 

1 An abstract of " A History of the Growth of the Steam-En gine," to be published 
by D. Appleton & Co. 

VOL. xii. 17 




gested by Papin. It consists of two single-acting cylinders, r s, receiv 
ing steam alternately from the same steam-pipe through a " four-way- 
cock," and exhausting into the atmos 
phere. We find no evidence that this 
engine was ever built. 

When, during the last century, 
the steam-engine had so far been 
perfected that the possibility of its 
application to other purposes than 
the elevation of water had become 
generally recognized, the problem of 
its adaptation to the propulsion of 
carriages was attacked by many en 
gineers and inventors. 

As early as 1759, Dr. Robison, 
who was at the time a graduate of the 
University of Glasgow, and an ap 
plicant for an assistant professorship 
there, and who had made the ac 
quaintance of the instrument-maker, 
James Watt, when visiting the work 
shop, called the attention of the 
latter, who was probably then more 
ignorant of the principles of the steam-engine than was the young 
student, to the possibility of constructing a carriage to be driven 
by a steam-engine, thus, perhaps, setting in operation that train 
of thoughtful experiment which finally earned for Watt his splendid 

46. Watt, at a very early period, proposed to apply his engine to 
locomotion, and contemplated using either a non-condensing engine, 
or an air-surface condenser. He actually included the locomotive-en 
gine in his patent of 1784, and his assistant, Murdoch, in the same 
year, made a working-model locomotive 
which was capable of running at a rapid 

This model, now deposited in the 
Patent Museum, at South Kensington, 
London, had a flue-boiler, and a "grass 
hopper" engine. Its steam-cylinder 
was three-quarters of an inch in diam 
eter, and had two inches stroke of pis 
ton (Fig. 24). The driving-wheels were 
nine and a half inches in diameter. It 
is reported to have run six to eight miles 
an hour, its little driving-wheels making from two hundred to two 
hundred and seventy-five revolutions per minute. 


FIG. 24. MURDOCH S MODEL, 1784. 



47. In 1765 that singular genius, Dr. Erasmus Darwin, whose 
celebrity was acquired by speculations in poetry and philosophy as 
well as in medicine, urged Matthew Boulton (subsequently Watt s 
partner, and just then corresponding with our own Franklin in relation 
to the use of steam-power), to- "construct a steam-carriage, or "fiery 
chariot," as he poetically styled it, and of which he sketched a set of 

A young man, named Edgeworth, became interested in the scheme, 
and in 1768 published a paper which had secured for him a gold 
medal from the Society of Arts. In this paper lie proposed railroads 
on which the carriages were to be drawn by horses, or by ropes from 
steam-w inding engines. 


48. These were merely promising schemes, however. The first 
actual experiment was made, as is supposed, by a French army officer, 
Nicolas Joseph Cugnot, who in 1769 built a steam-carriage (Fig. 25), 
which was set at work in presence of the French Minister of War, 
the Duke de Choiseul. The funds required by him were furnished by 
the Comte de Saxe. Encouraged by the partial success of the first 
locomotive, Cugnot, in 1770, constructed a 
second which is still preserved in the Con 
servatoire des Arts et Metiers, Paris. This 
more powerful carriage (Fig. 25) was fitted 
with two non-condensing single-acting cylin 
ders, thirteen inches in diameter. Although 
the experiment seems to have been successful, 
there appears to have been nothing more done 
with it. 

An American of considerable distinction, 
Nathanliead, patented a steam-carriage, 1790, 1 
of the form -seen in Fig. 26, which is copied 
from his patent. The cylinders FF lie 

under the body of the carriage ; the pistons FIG. M.-KEAD S STEAM. 
T-T TT, , . / CARRIAGE, 1790. 

Ji> b drive racks B G, which turn the wheels 

A. K. The steering-wheel I moves the large wheels A If, which Jat- 

New York : Kurd & Houghton, 1870. 

1 U 

Nathan Read and his Steam-Engine." 



ter, turning, carries the engines about with it. It is an ingenious and 
curious device. 

49. " To Oliver Evans," says Dr. Ernest Alban, 1 the learned Ger 
man engineer, "was it reserved to show the true value of a long-known 
principle, and to establish thereon a new and more simple method of 
applying the power of steam a method that will remain an eternal 
memorial to its introducers." Dr. Alban here refers to the earliest 
successful introduction of the non-condensing high-pressure steam- 

Oliver Evans, one of the most ingenious mechanics that America 
has ever produced, was born at Newport, Delaware, in 1755 or 1756, 
the son of people in very humble circumstances. 

He was, in his youth, apprenticed to a wheelwright, and soon 
exhibited great mechanical talent and a strong desire to acquire 

His attention was at an early period drawn to this possible appli 
cation of the power of steam to useful purposes by a boyish prank. 
Placing a small quantity of water in a gun-barrel, and ramming down 
a tight wad, he put the barrel in the fire of a blacksmith s forge. 
The loud report which accompanied the expulsion of the wad was an 
evidence to young Evans of the great, and, as he supposed, previously 
undiscovered power of steam. 

Subsequently, meeting with a description of a Newcomen engine, 
he at once noticed that the elastic force of confined steam was not 
there utilized. 


He then designed the non-condensing engine, in which the power 
was derived exclusively from the tension of high-pressure steam, and 
proposed its application to the propulsion of carriages. 

50. About the year 1780 Evans joined his brothers, who were 
millers by occupation, and at once employed his inventive talent in 

1 " The Hi;h-Pressure Engine investigated," Dr. Ernest Alban, London, 1847. 


improving the details of mill-work, and with such success as to 
reduce the cost of attendance one-half, and also to increase the fine 
ness of the flour made. 

In 1785 he applied for, but was refused, a patent for a steam- 

In 1800 or 1801, Evans, after consulting with Prof. Robert Patter 
son, of the University of Pennsylvania, and getting his approval 
of the plans, commenced the construction of a steam-carriage, to be 
driven by a non-condensing engine. 

He soon concluded, however, that it would be a better scheme, 
pecuniarily, to adapt his engine, which was novel in form and of 
small first cost, to driving mills ; and he accordingly changed his 
plans, and built an engine of six inches diameter of cylinder and 
eighteen inches stroke of piston, which he applied with perfect suc 
cess to driving a plaster mill. 

51. This engine (Fig. 27), which he called the " Columbian engine," 
was of a peculiar form. 

The beam is supported at one end by a rocking column ; at the 
other it is attached directly to the piston-rod, while the crank lie s 
beneath the beam, the connecting-rod being attached to the latter at 
about the middle point. 

The head of the piston-rod is compelled to rise and fall in a ver 
tical line by the " Evans parallelogram," a kind of parallel motion 
very similar to one of those designed by Watt. 

52. Subsequently, Evans continued to extend the application of 
his engine and to perfect its details, and, others following in his track, 
the non-condensing engine is to-day fulfilling the predictions which 
he made seventy years ago, when he said : 

" I have no doubt that my engine will propel boats against the currents of 
the Mississippi, and wagons on turnpike-roads, with great profit. . . . 

" The time will come when people will travel in stages moved by steam- 
engines, from one city to another, almost as fast as birds can fly: fifteen or 
twenty miles an hour. A carriage will start from Washington in the morning, 
the passengers will breakfast at Baltimore, dine at Philadelphia, and sup at 
New York the same day. . . . 

"Engines will drive boats ten or twelve miles an hour, and there will be 
hundreds of steamers running on the Mississippi, as predicted years ago." 


53. In 1804 Oliver Evans completed a flat-bottomed boat (Fig. 28), 
to be used at the Philadelphia docks, and, mounting it upon wheels, 
drew it by its own steam-engine to the river-bank. Launching the 
craft, he propelled it down the river, using its steam-engine to drive 
its paddle-wheels. Evans s " oructor amphibolis" as he named the 
machine, was the first road-locomotive that we find described after 
Cugnot s time. Evans asserted that carriages propelled by steam 
would soon be in common use ; and offered a wager of three hundred 



dollars that he could build a " steam-wagon " that should excel in 
speed the swiftest horse that could be matched against it. 

Evans s connection with steam-navigation will be referred to 
when considering that subject. 


To this brief sketch of Evans s inventions it can only be added 
that he devised the flue-boiler, now generally called the Cornish, and 
used it to furnish steam to his engines. 


54. The earliest non-condensing engine brought into use in Great 
Britain seems to have been constructed by Richard Trevithick and 



Andrew Vivian in 1802. It is stated, by friends of Oliver Evans, 
that he had, at an earlier date, sent Mr. John Sampson to England, 
and, by him, had forwarded drawings and specifications, which 
Trevithick and Vivian inspected, and to which, it is not improbable, 
they may have been indebted for their plans. 

They used a non-condensing, return connecting-rod engine, and 
carried as high as sixty to eighty pounds of steam. 

They built a locomotive-engine in 1804 (Fig. 29), for the railway 


at Merthyr-Tydvil, in South Wales, which was quite successful, 
although sometimes giving trouble by slipping its wheels. 

This engine had one steam-cylinder 4f inches diameter, and car 
ried forty pounds steam. 

In consequence of a fear of the wheel slipping, Blenkinsop em 
ployed, in 1811, a pinion on the locomotive shaft, gearing into a rack 
on the road-bed. 

In 1813 Brunton, of Butterly, tried to introduce a locomotive-en 
gine propelled by levers, like an animal s legs, pushing behind ; and 
just at this time mechanics, all over the world, seem to have become 
very much interested in this problem. 

55. It is at about this period that we find evidence of the intelli 
gent labors of another of our countrymen one who, in consequence 
of the unobtrusive manner in which his work was done, has never 
received the full credit to which he is entitled. 



Colonel John Stevens, of Hoboken, as he is generally called, was 
born in the city of New York, in 1749, but, throughout his business 
life, he was a resident of New Jersey. 


He was undoubtedly the greatest engineer and naval architect 
living at the beginning of the present century. 


Without having made any one superlatively great improvement in 
the mechanism of the steam-engine, like that which gave Watt his 
fame ; without having the honor of being the first to propose navi 
gation by steam, or steam transportation on land, he exhibited a far 
better knowledge of the science and of the art of engineering than 
any man of his time, and he entertained and urged more advanced 
opinions and more statesmanlike views, in relation to the economical 
importance of the improvement of the steam-engine, both on land and 
water, than seem to have been attributable to any other leading 
engineer of that time. 

His attention is said to have been first called to the application of 
steam-power by seeing the experiments of John Fitch with his steam 
er. He entered upon the work of the introduction of steam in naA T i- 
gation with characteristic energy, and with a success that will be 
indicated when we come to the consideration of that branch of the 

But this far-sighted engineer and statesman saw plainly the im 
portance of applying the steam-engine to land transportation as well 
as navigation ; and not only that, but he saw with equal distinctness 


the importance of a well-devised and carefully-proseciited scheme of 
internal communication by a complete system of railroads. 

56. In 1812 he published a pamphlet embodying "Documents 
tending to prove the Superior Advantages of Railways and Steam- 
Carriao-es over Canal Navigation." l 

^j * 

At this time, the only working locomotive in the world was that 
of Trevithick and Vivian, at Merthyr - Tydvil, and the railroad 
itself had not grown beyond the old wooden tram-roads of the col 

Yet, Colonel Stevens says in this paper, " I can see nothing to 
hinder a steam-carriage moving on its ways with a velocity of one 
hundred miles an hour," adding in a foot-note : "This astonishing ve 
locity is considered here merely possible. It is probable that it may 
not, in practice, be convenient to exceed twenty or thirty miles per 
hour. Actual experiments can only determine this matter, and I 
should not be surprised at seeing steam-carriages propelled at the rate 
of forty or fifty miles an hour." 

At a yet earlier date he had addressed a memoir to the proper au 
thorities, urging his plans for railroads. 

He proposed rails of timber, protected when necessary by iron 
plates, or to be made wholly of iron. The car-wheels were to be of 
cast-iron, with inside flanges to keep them on the track. The steam- 
engine was to be driven by steam of fifty pounds pressure, and to be 

Answering the objections of Robert R. Livingston and of the com 
missioners of New York, he goes further into details. 

57. He gives 500 to 1,000 pounds as the maximum weight to be 
placed on each wheel, shows that the trains or " suites of carriages," 
as he calls them, will make their journeys " with as much certainty 
and celerity in the darkest night as in the light of day," shows that 
the grades of proposed roads would offer but little resistance, and 
places the whole subject before the public with such accuracy of 
statement, and such evident appreciation of its true value, that every 
one who reads this remarkable document will agree fully with the late 
President Charles King, of Columbia College, who said that "whoso 
ever shall attentively read this pamphlet will perceive that the politi 
cal, financial, commercial, and military aspects of this great question 
were all present to Colonel Stevens s mind, and that he felt that he 
was fulfilling a patriotic duty when he placed at the disposal of his 
native country these fruits of his genius. 

The offer was not then accepted. The Thinker was ahead of his 
age, but it is grateful to know that he lived to see his projects carried 
out though not by the Government and that before he finally, in 
1838, closed his eyes in death, at the great age of eighty-nine, he 
could justly feel assured that the name of Stevens, in his own person 

1 Printed by T. & J. Swords, 1160 Pearl Street, Xew York, 1812. 



and that of his sons, was imperishably enrolled among those which a 
grateful country will cherish." 

A patent issued to Colonel Stevens by the British Government in 
1805, and a section of a "safety-tubular" boiler subsequently built on 
the same plan, and used on a locomotive, are preserved in the Stevens 
Institute of Technology, at Hoboken, New Jersey. 


68. In 1814 George Stephenson, to whom is generally accorded the 
honor of having first made the locomotive-engine a success, built his 
first engine at Killingworth, England. 

It had been found during the previous year, by Blackett & Head- 
ly, whose engine is still preserved at the South Kensington Patent 
Museum, that the slipping of the wheels could be avoided without 
recourse to extraordinary contrivances, and Stephenson made his en 
gine a success, using smooth wheels. 

At this time, Stephenson was by no means alone in the field, for 
the idea of applying the steam-engine to driving carriages on com 
mon roads and on railroads was beginning to attract considerable 

Stephenson, however, combined in a very fortunate degree the ad 
vantages of great natural inventive talent and an excellent mechani 
cal training, his characteristics as an engineer reminding one strongly 
of those of James Watt. Indeed, Stephenson s portrait bears some 
resemblance to that of the great inventor. 

59. George Stephenson was born in Wylam, in the north of Eng 
land, near Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and was the son of a " north-country 



miner." When still a child, he exhibited great mechanical talent and 
unusual love of study. 

When set at work about the mines, his attention to duty and his 
intelligence obtained for him rapid promotion, until, when about 
seventeen years of age, he was made engineer, and took charge of the 
pumping-engine at which his father was fireman. 

A little later he was made engine-wright at Killingworth, where 
he soon inspired those who employed him with such confidence in his 
skill and reliability as to obtain an opportunity to design his first loco 
motive-engine, Lord Ravensworth, one of the principal proprietors, 
furnishing the necessary funds. 

60. In 1815 he applied the blast-pipe in the chimney, by which the 
puff of the exhaust steam is made useful in intensifying the draught, 
and applied it successfully to his second locomotive, here seen in sec- 



tion (Fig. 30). This is the essential characteristic of the locomotive- 


In 1815, therefore, we may say that the modern locomotive steam- 
engine came into existence, for it is this invention of the blast-pipe 
that gives it its life, and it is the mechanical ndaptation of this and 
of the other organs of the steam-engine to locomotion that gives 
George Stephenson his greatest claim to distinction. 

61. In 1825 the Stockton & Darlington "Railroad was opened, 

and one of Stephenson s locomotives, in which he employed his 

steam-blast," was successfully used, drawing passenger as well as 

coal trains. Stephenson had at this time become engineer of the 


The time required to travel the distance of twelve miles was two 

2 68 


hours. This "No. 1 Engine" is still preserved at Darlington Station, 
mounted on a granite pedestal, as shown in the picture (Fig. 32). 

62. One of the most important and interesting occasions in the 
history of the application of the non-condensing steam-engine to rail 
roads, as well as in the life of Stephenson, was the opening of the 
Liverpool & Manchester Railroad in the year 1829. 

Hi - ^ 













When this road was built, it was determined, after long and ear 
nest discussion, to try whether locomotive-engines might not be used 
to the exclusion of horses, and a prize of 500 was offered for the best 
that should be presented at a date which was finally settled at the 
6th of October, 1829. 



Four engines competed, and the " Rocket," built by Stephen son, 
received the prize. 

63. This engine (Fig. 33) weighed four and one-fourth tons, with 
its supply of water. Its "boiler was of the fire-tubular form, a form 

^=~^"03s~^ _. V ;.- 

that had grown into shape in the hands of several inventors, 1 and was 
three feet in diameter, six fteet long, with twenty-five three-inch tubes, 
extending from end to end of the boiler. The steam-blast was care 
fully adjusted by experiment, to give the best effect. Steam-pressure 
was carried at fifty pounds per square inch. 

The average speed of the 
Rocket on its trial was fifteen 
miles per hour, and its maxi 
mum was nearly double that, 
twenty-nine miles an hour; 
and afterward, running alone, 
it reached a speed of thirty- 
five miles. 

The shares of the com 
pany immediately rose ten 
per cent, in value. Thus the 
combination of the non-con 
densing engine with a steam- 
blast and the multitubular 
boiler, designed by the clear 
head and constructed under 
the watchful eye of an ac 
complished engineer and mechanic, made steam-locomotion so evident 
and decided a success that thenceforward its progress has been un 
interrupted and wonderfully rapid. 

1 Barlow and Fulton, 1795 ; Nathan Read, Salem, United States, 1796; Booth, of Eng 
land, and Seguin, of France, about 1827 or 1828. 

FIG. 33. THE ROCKET, 1829. 



64. In America the locomotive was set at regular work on rail 
roads, for the first time, on the 8th of August, 1829. 1 

This first locomotive was built by Foster, Rastrick & Co., at Stour- 
bridge, England, and was purchased by Mr. Horatio Allen for the 
Delaware & Hudson Canal Company s road from Carbondale to 
Honesdale, Pennsylvania. 

Mr. Peter Cooper, of New York, placed an experimental locomo 
tive on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1829. It ran about fifteen 
miles an hour at maximum speed. 

The first American locomotive to do real service continuously was 
the "Best Friend" (Fig. 34), built at the West Point Iron Foundery, 

FIG. 34. THE "BEST FRIEND," 1830. 

in the year 1830, for the South Carolina Railroad, on which road it 
ran from January, 1831, to June 17th of the same year, when it was 
destroyed by the explosion of its boiler. 

A second locomotive (Fig. 35) was built at West Point for the same 
road in 1831, which resembled somewhat those built at about the 
same time, and a little later, by Stephenson. 

It was at this time (1831), also, that Mr. Horatio Allen introduced 
the first eight-wheeled locomotives ever built, and gave them a form 
(Fig. 36) which will be at once recognized by the engineer as the 
prototype of a recently-built locomotive which has been brought 
out in Great Britain. In this year, also, an engine, the De Witt 
Clinton, was built for John B. Jervis of the Mohawk & Hudson 

65. At about the time of the opening of the early railroads, the 

J " History of the First Locomotive in America," W. H. Brown. D. Appleton & Co., 
New York, 1872. 



introduction of steam-carriages on the common highway had become 
a favorite idea with engineers. 1 

,,.,..,,,-. .., ( ,, rnnnnnffii ,,,. -.,,,.,,., , , . , ,,.. ,-,,. 

~^ f ~- -~ :~.- T=S~SS _= -; : - :.-.-=_; .. Y^.v - .vr.A-XVSj^.;-: ::.: 
- " ^..- 

FIG. 35. THE WEST POINT, 1831. 

In December, 1833, about twenty steam-carriages and traction 
road-engines were running or were in course of construction in and 
near London. 


In our own country, the roughness of roads discouraged inventors, 
and, in Great Britain even, the successful introduction of road-loco 
motives, which seemed at one time almost an accomplished fact, finally 

1 "Road-Locomotives and Traction-Engines," Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1871. 



met with so many obstacles that even Hancock and Gurney, the most 
ingenious, persistent, and successful constructors, gave up in despair. 
Hostile legislation procured by opposing interests, and possibly also 
the rapid progress of steam-locomotion on railroads, caused this result. 
In consequence of this interruption of experiment, almost nothing 

was done during the suc 
ceeding quarter of a cen 
tury, and it is only within 
a few years that anything 
like a business success has 
been founded upon the con 
struction of road-locomo 
tives, although the scheme 
seems to have been at no 

FIG. 37. -FISHER S STEAH-CAKBIAGB, 1870. time entirely given up. 

Messrs. Aveling & Por 
ter, J. Scott Russell, Boydell, and a few others in England, and Messrs. 
Roper, Dudgeon, Fawkes, Latta, and J. K. Fisher, in the United 
States, have all, at various times, labored in this direction. 

The last-named engineer designed his first steam-carriage in 1840, 
and was still at work at the time of his death, in 1873. 

Abroad, a few firms have succeeded, within a few years past, in 
making a business of considerable extent in constructing road-loco 
motives for hauling heavy loads, and in building steam road-rollers. 

While steam-carriages of high speed, and adapted to the trans 
portation of passengers, have not yet been successfully introduced, a 
most promising start has been made in the application of steam to 
the heavier kinds of work on the common road. 

The great impediments seem to be the roughness and bad construc 
tion of the ordinary highway, the damages arising from the taking- 
fright of horses, the engineering difficulties of construction, and the 
limited power of the machine as it has usually been built. Hostile 
legislation might perhaps be placed in the category, but we are prob 
ably sufficiently far advanced in civilization to-day to be able to secure 
liberal legislation when the people shall be satisfied that the introduc 
tion of the road-locomotive will be of great public advantage. 

66. The capabilities of the road-locomotive are readily determined 
by experiment, and the following is an abstract of the results of several 
series of trials. 1 A trial of a road-engine was made by the well-known 
French engineer, H. Tresca, in presence of Prof. Fleeming Jenkin, 
and the report was submitted on January 15, 1868. The results were 
as follows: 1. The coefficient of traction was about 0.25 on a good 
road with easy grades. 2. The consumption of coal was 4.4 pounds 
per horse-power per hour. 3. The consumption of water was 132.2 
gallons an hour with the ten-horse engine. 4. The coefficient of ad- 

1 Appletons American Cyclopaedia, article " Steam-Carriage." 


herence, or of friction between the wheels and the soil, was 0.3. 5. A 
speed of seven miles an hour caused no special difficulty in managing 
either the locomotive or its load. At about this time M. Servel con- 


ducted a series of experiments with a similar machine upon paved 
and upon macadamized roads, during what he described as the most 
trying of winter weather. He reports the following distribution of 
weight per cent. : 

Weight of locomotive , 41.4 

" " wagons..... 18.2 

" paying load 40.4 

Total 100 

The average total weight of three loaded wagons, which was the 
usual load, was 22,575 kilogrammes, or about twenty-two tons. The 
experiment was made in 1867- 68 of applying these engines to the 
towage of boats on the French canals, with very encouraging results. 

In 1871 several traction-engines were exhibited before the Royal 
Agricultural Society of England at Wolverhampton, and the judges 
made a series of careful tests, reported in its " Journal " for that year. 
The coal used on special trial amounted to 3.2 pounds per indicated 
horse-power per hour, and the evaporation of water was 7.62 pounds 
per pound of coal consumed, the average temperature of feed being 
175 Fahr. The load drawn up the maximum grade of 264 feet to the 
mile on Tottenham Hill, which is 1,900 feet from top to bottom, was 
twenty-six tons, and including weight of engine thirty-eight tons, 
giving a coefficient of traction of 0.35. On a country-road sixteen 
miles long it drew fifteen tons at an average rate of 3J miles an hour, 
using 2.85 pounds of coal and 1.94 gallon of water per ton of useful 
load per mile. 

67. In October, 1871, the writer conducted a public trial of road- 
engines and steam road-rollers, on a well-macadamized road at South 
Orange, New Jersey. Two road-steamers (Fig. 39) or traction-en- 
VOL. xii. 18 



gines and a steam road-roller were tried. The following were the 
principal dimensions : Weight of engine complete, five tons four hun 
dred-weight (11,648 pounds); diameter of steam-cylinder, 7f inches- 
stroke of piston, ten inches ; revolutions of crank to one of driving- 
wheel, seventeen; diameter of driving-wheels, sixty inches; length of 
boiler over all, eight feet; diameter of boiler-shell, thirty inches; load 
on driving-wheels, four tons ten hundred-weight (10,080 pounds). The 
boiler was of the ordinary locomotive type, and the engine was mounted 
upon it, as is usual with portable engines. The engine valve-gear con 
sisted of a three-ported valve and Stephenson-link, with reversing 
lever, as generally used on locomotives. The connection between th*e 



gearing and the driving-wheels was effected by the device called by 
builders of cotton-machinery a Jack-in-the-box gear, or differential 
gear. By this combination, the effort exerted by the engine is made 
equal at both wheels at all times, even when the engine is turning a 
corner. The following is a summary of the conclusions deduced from 
the trial, and published in the Journal of the Franklin Institute: A 
traction-engine may be so constructed as to be easily and rapidly 
manoeuvred on the common road ; and an engine weighing over five 
tons may be turned continuously without difficulty on a circle of 
eighteen feet radius, or even on a road but little wider than the length 
of the engine. A locomotive of five tons four hundred-weight has 
been constructed, capable of drawing on a good road 23,000 pounds 
up a grade of 533 feet to the mile, at the rate of four miles an hour; 
and one might be constructed to draw more than 63,000 pounds up a 
grade of 225 feet to the mile, at the rate of two miles an hour. It 
was further shown that the coefficient of traction with heavily-laden 
wagons on a good macadamized road is not far from T ^- ; the traction- 
power of this engine is equal to that of twenty horses ; the weight, ex 
clusive of the weight of the engine, that could be drawn on a level 
road, was 163,452 pounds; and the amount of fuel required is esti 
mated at 500 pounds a day. The advantages claimed for the traction- 
engine over horse-power are : No necessity for a limitation of working- 
hours; a difference in first cost in favor of steam; and in heavy work 
on a common road the expense by steam is less than twenty-five per 


cent, of the average cost of horse-power, a traction-engine capable of 
doing the work of twenty-five horses being worked at as little expense 
as six or eight horses. 

68. Now, thirty years after the defeat of the intelligent, coura 
geous and persistent Hancock and his co-workers in the scheme of ap 
plying the steam-engine usefully on the common road, we find strong 
indications that, in a new form, the problem has been again attacked 
and at least partially solved. It was formerly supposed that success 
in the transportation of passengers by steam on post-routes would 
lead to the application of that motor to the movement of heavy loads 
and to agricultural purposes generally. When, after so long a trial, 
the experiment finally seemed to have failed of success, it was be 
lieved that steam could not be applied to heavier work on common 
roads. As we have now seen, however, it appears probable that the 
inventors of that day attacked the problem at the wrong point, and 
that, on the common road, the transportation of heavy loads by 
steam being accomplished with economical success, under ordinarily 
favorable circumstances, it may prove introductory to the use of 
steam in carrying passengers and light freight at higher velocities. 

One of the most important of the prerequisites to ultimate suc 
cess in the substitution of steam for animal power on the highway is 
that our roads shall be well made. 

As the greatest care and judgment are exercised, and an immense 
outlay of capital is considered justifiable, in securing easy grades and 
a smooth track on our railroad routes, we may readily believe that 
similar precaution and outlay will be found advisable in adopting the 
common road to the road-locomotive. 

It is undeniably the fact that, even when relying upon horse-power, 
far less attention has been paid to the improvement of our roads than 
true economy would dictate. With steam-power, the gain by careful 
grading and excellence of construction of the road-bed becomes still 
more important. The animal mechanism is less affected in its power 
of drawing heavy loads than is the machine. With the horse, a bad 
road impedes transportation principally by resisting the movement 
of the load rather than of the animal, while with the traction-engine 
the motor is as seriously retarded as the train which follows it, and 
frequently much more, on soft ground. 

Steam, therefore, cannot be expected to attain its full measure of 
success on rough and ill-made roads; but where highways are intelli 
gently engineered and thoroughly well built, or where Nature has 
relieved the engineer and the road-builder of the expensive work of 
grading, as throughout a very large extent of the Western and South 
ern portion of our country, we may expect to see the road-locomotive 
rapidly introduced. 

The earliest and most perfect success of the traction-engine, and 
its probable successor, the steam-carriage, may be expected to occur 



in such districts. Its great economical advantage over animal power 
its freedom from liability to become disabled by epizootic diseases 
its reliability under all circumstances, and the many other advantages 
which are possessed by the machine, are already securing its introduc 
tion, despite the difficulties arising from popular prejudice and unfa- 
miliarity, from hostile municipal laws and other existing obstacles. 

We are learning that this motor, when it can be used at all, is com 
paratively inexpensive ; that our roads are improved by it ; and that 
the ancient idea of its conflicting with the interests of owners and 
workers of horses is only a superstition. 


Such a commencement having been made, it is difficult to conceive 
how great may not be the future of this branch of industry when the 
valley of the Mississippi and our Western plains, the natural habitat 
of this motor, shall have become finally a principal seat of its manu 
facture as well as of its employment. 1 

69. The steam-blast of Hackworth, the tubular boiler of Seguin, 
and the link-motion of Stephenson, constitute the essential features 
of the modern locomotive. Locomotives have gradually and steadily 
increased in size and power from the date of their introduction. 
The Rocket, which first proved conclusively, in 1829, the value of 
steam-locomotion, weighed 4J tons. In 1835 Robert Stephenson, 
who had constructed it with his father, writing to Robert L. Ste- 
venSj said that he was making his engines heavier and heavier, and 
that the engine of w T hich he inclosed a sketch weighed nine tons, 
and could draw " 100 tons at the rate of sixteen miles an hour, on a 
level." Locomotives are now built weighing seventy tons, and power 
ful enough to draw more than 2,000 tons at a speed of twenty miles 
an hour. The modern locomotive consists of a boiler, mounted upon 
a strong light frame of forged iron, by which it is connected with 
the wheels. The largest engine yet constructed in the United States 
is said to be one in use on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, hav 
ing a weight of about 100,000 pounds, which is carried on twelve 
driving-wheels. A locomotive has two steam cylinders, either side 

1 Vide paper by the author, Journal of the Franklin Institute, 1871. 




by side within the frame, and immediately beneath the forward end 
of the boiler, or on each side and exterior to the frame. The engines 
are non-condensing and of the simplest possible construction. The 
whole machine is carried upon strong but flexible steel springs. The 
steam -pressure is usually 
more than 100 pounds. The 
pulling -power is generally 
about one-fifth the weight 
under most favorable con 
ditions, and becomes as low 
as one -tenth on wet rails. 
The fuel employed is wood 
in new countries, coke in bi 
tuminous coal districts, and 
anthracite coal in the eastern 
part of the United States. 
The general arrangement and the proportions of locomotives differ 
somewhat in different localities. In Fig. 41, a British express-engine, 
O is the boiler, 2V the fire-box, JTthe grate, Gr the smoke-box, and P 
the chimney. S is a spring, and ft a lever safety-valve, T is the 
whistle, L the throttle or regulator valve, E the steam-cylinder, and 
TT^the driving-wheel. The force-pump, B (7, is driven from the cross- 
head, I). The frame is the base of the whole system, and all other 
parts are firmly secured to it. The boiler is made fast at one end, 
and provision is made for its expansion when heated. Adhesion is 
secured by throwing a proper proportion of the weight upon the 
driving-wheel W. This is from about 6,000 pounds on standard 
freight-engines, having several pairs of drivers, to 10,000 pounds on 
passenger-engines, per axle. The peculiarities of the American type 
(Figs. 42, 43) are the truck or bogie supporting the forward part of 
the engine, the system of equalizers, or beams which distribute the 
weight of the machine equally over the several axles, and minor 
differences of detail. The cab or house protecting the engine-driver 
and fireman is an American device, which is gradually coming into 
use abroad also. The American locomotive (Fig. 43) is distinguished 
by its flexibility and ease of action even upon roughly-laid roads. 
The cost of passenger-locomotives of ordinary size is about $12,000; 
heavier engines sometimes cost $20,000. The locomotive is usually 
furnished with a tender, which carries its fuel and water. The stand 
ard passenger-engine on the Pennsylvania Railroad is quite similar in 
form to the Baldwin engine (Fig. 42), and has four driving-wheels 
(6r, .ZT), 5 feet diameter; steam-cylinders ((7, D), seventeen inches 
diameter and two feet stroke; grate-surface (2V) 15|- square feet, and 
heating-surface 1,058 square feet. It weighs 63,100 pounds, of which 
39,000 pounds are on the drivers and 24,100 on the truck, L K. The 
shell of the boiler is 49 J inches diameter and 20 feet 24 inches long. 



The fire-box, jVjVJ is of steel, six feet two inches long outside, 3-J. 
feet wide, and five feet four inches high. The tubes, 0, are of iron, 
142 in number, 2J inches diameter, and eleven feet seven inches long. 
The steam-dome, ./?, is thirty inches outside diameter, the smoke- 










stack, />, 14 \ inches. The feed- water is supplied by one pump, A, of 
2J inches diameter and two feet stroke, and by a No. 8 Giffard in 
jector. The valves, T, are 16J inches wide by 8| inches long, and 
have five inches travel. The steam-ports are 15ff inches wide and 
inch long, and the exhaust-port 15i| by 2J inches. The lap of the 



valve is, outside f inch, inside -^ inch. The eccentrics have a throw of 
4| inches. The standard freight-engine has six driving-wheels, 54| 
inches in diameter. The steam-cylinders are eighteen inches in diame 
ter, stroke twenty-two inches, grate-surface 14.8 square feet, heating- 
surface 1,096 feet. It weighs 68,500 pounds, of which 48,000 are on 
the drivers and 20,500 on the truck. The boiler is nearly of the same 
dimensions as that of the passenger-engine, but the tubes are 2J inches 
in diameter, twelve feet 9 T 9 ^ inches long, and 119 in number. The 
stack is eighteen inches in diameter. The pump is 2J inches in diam 
eter, and has a stroke of twenty-two inches. The valve has inch 
inside lap, ^ inch outside. The former takes a train of five cars up 
an average grade of ninety feet to the mile. The latter is attached 
to a train of eleven cars. On a grade of fifty feet to the mile, the 
former takes seven and the latter seventeen cars. Tank-engines for 
very heavy work, such as on grades of 320 feet to the mile, which are 
found on some of the railroads where gradients are very steep, have 
five pairs of coupled driving-wheels, and are not fitted with trucks. 
Such engines have, usually, steam-cylinders about twenty inches in 
diameter and two feet stroke of piston. Their grates have an area 
of fifteen or sixteen square feet, and the heating-surface has an area of 
1,400 to 1,500 square feet. Engines of this class, weighing fifty tons, 
have hauled 110 tons up the heaviest grades of the Pennsylvania Rail 
road at the rate of five miles an hour. Steam-pressure is carried at 
from 125 to 150 pounds on the square inch. 

70. A train weighing 150 tons is drawn by an express-engine (Fig. 


43) at the speed of sixty miles an hour, the engine developing about 
800 horse-power. 1 An engine drawing a light train has been known 
to make about one hundred miles in one hundred minutes, which speed 
may be taken as representing the maximum for the best modern 
engines on the best existing roads. 

1 Nearly equivalent to the actual power of 1.200 horses. 



The life of the locomotive, when well cared for, cannot be exactly 
stated, but may be taken as not far from thirty years. Repairs 
cost, annually, ten or fifteen per cent, of the first cost. While run 
ning, each engine requires about four pints of oil and two tons of coal 
for each one hundred miles. 

71. After their introduction, the growth of railroads and the use 
of locomotives extended in the United States and in Europe with 
great rapidity. 

The first railroad in the United States was built near Quincy, Mas 
sachusetts, in 1826. 

In 1850 there were about 700 miles in operation; in 1860 there 
were over 30,000; and there are to-day about 76,000 miles of com 
pleted road in the United States, and the rate of increase had risen in 
1873 to above 7,000 miles per year, as a maximum, and the consump 
tion of rails for renewal alone amounts to nearly a half-million tons 
per year. 



problem which excites more interest than any other in the 
-L larger cities of our country is that in regard to the best dis 
position of sewage. People have slowly come to realize that in 
some way a series of disorders arises from the presence of waste 
matter in cities. So well ascertained is this fact that diseases which 
are attributed to the presence of filth are aptly called filth-diseases , 
and it is well that they are at last branded by their right name. 
One has only to consult the valuable reports of the State boards of 
health for infomation on these matters. In these reports he will find 
an overwhelming mass of evidence tracing typhoid fever, cholera 
infantum, and other diseases, to the presence of filth, and to its 


infectious character when communicating with water-supplies, or 
through its malarial gases affecting the air of houses. At present the 
causes of high death-rates are as certainly known as the course of 
storms. Indeed, the intelligent physician will predict the necessary 
consequences which must ensue from the presence in a crowded city 
of matter which should be removed. Interested as I have been in 
these subjects, I looked forward with considerable eagerness to an 
opportunity for studying the conditions which obtain among the 
Japanese concerning these matters. Their manner of living, their 
food, their domestic habits, are all so different from ours, that it nat 
urally occurred to me, if these filth-diseases are as common here, Avith 
their cleanly habits, and the universal custom of removing offal from 
their dwellings, as with us where the same matter lies in a frightful 
state for months to pollute the neighborhood, then the points urged 
in regard to the relations between filth-diseases and offal must be 
modified or abandoned. 

What do the facts show ? 

At home, the following conditions are rightly looked upon as 
grave sources of danger : the presence of privies in the vicinity of 
wells, cellars filled with decaying vegetable matter, a water-closet or 
privy connected immediately with a house, or the ingress of sewage- 
gas to a house. It is at present difficult to get any vital statistics 
regarding the Japanese. While the Government and people have 
made the most surprising strides toward the civilization of Western 
nations (for they have a civilization of their own which in many re 
spects is far ahead of ours ), and have established normal schools and 
universities, medical and naval colleges, hydrographic and other sur 
veys, they have not yet seen the importance of organizing a board of 
health. 3 

One would be justified in assuming that if these sources of danger 
existed, the foreigner, unacclimated as he is, would be more suscep 
tible to their influence than the native. Dr. Stuart Eldridge, of Yo 
kohama, a distinguished physician, who has had a long and varied 
experience in this country in hospital-work and as an active practi 
tioner, has kindly furnished me with the following data at my re 
quest : " Scarlet fever almost unknown, never epidemic. Diphthe 
ria almost unknown, never epidemic. Severer forms of bowel-dis 
ease, such as dysentery and chronic diarrhoea, very rare. Mala- 

1 If some of the indications of civilization are to treat each other kindly, to treat their 
children with unvarying kindness, to treat the animals below them with tenderness, to 
honor their father and mother, to be scrupulously clean in their persons, to be frugal and 
temperate in their habits if these features be recognized as civilized, then this pagan 
nation in these respects is as far ahead of us as we are ahead of the Tierra del Fuegans. 

8 We ought not to expect this of Japan, perhaps, since the representatives sent by 
Maine to her Legislature were, with few exceptions, too ignorant to appreciate the neces 
sity of a State board of health, and were incredulous that the physicians who urged the 
measure so strongly were unselfishly working for its establishment ! 


rial diseases of severe nature uncommon ; even the milder forms in 
most localities not common. Typhoid and typhus rarely epidemic, 
the latter uncommon." With these facts before us, let us examine 
the conditions of living among these people. It is well known that 
their houses are so arranged that the winds blow through them from 
one end to the other. In summer they are entirely open. The privies 
are never connected immediately with the houses except among the 
lower classes in the larger cities, where, as in Tokio for example, among 
the poorer houses the privy is in the back part of the house, but even 
in these cases a close sliding-door always separates this apartment 
from the living-room, and a grated window without glass permits 
thorough ventilation. In the public inns, too, the privy is some 
times connected with the building, to the great discomfort of for 
eigners. In the country villages it stands alongside the road, separate 
from the house. Their sewage system, so far as I am aware, is su 
perficial, and there is no sewage-gas to contaminate the air. The 
houses have no cellars, and consequently the air in them is not pol 
luted from this source. On the other hand, their wells are not always 
properly situated, and the water is liable to pollution from gutters. 
The important point to be noted, however, is in regard to the dispo 
sition of their offal, and it is well known that every day or two this 
is removed and scattered on their rice-fields and other cultivated 
areas. The vaults consist of water-tight vessels of limited capacity. 
In Tokio they use for this purpose oil-barrels, which they coat with 
a kind of varnish inside and out. From the small size of this vessel 
accumulation never occurs, and from its nature the soil never becomes 
saturated by its contents. Men, instead of being paid to remove it, 
actually pay for it ! 

The Japanese having no cattle or sheep, but few horses, no pigs, 
and but few fowls at the most, depend entirely upon the sewage 
of towns for the fertilizing material of their farms. No one at home 
can form any idea of the perfect manner of this work. Even in as 
large a city as Tokio, with its million inhabitants, this service is 
performed with a neatness and thoroughness which surpasses belief. 
The foreigner finds one of his senses rudely assailed at times, though, 
as to that matter, he may go into one of the most refined cities of 
America, and, with the exception of a few summer months, encounter 
the same discomforts. Dr. David Murray has called my attention to 
the very important service performed by the crows and a kind of 
hawk which act as scavengers. We are so accustomed at home to 
find these birds especially wild and wary, that it is a somewhat 
startling sight to see them perching on the buildings in a crow T ded 
city like Tokio, and swooping down in front of you in quest of 
food, which might otherwise decay and vitiate the atmosphere. The 
destructiveness and brutality, generally speaking, of the children of 
Christian nations lead to the stoning of dogs, cats, and birds of all 


kinds. In Japan such a thing is unknown, and a stone thrown at a 
dog (I speak from experience) is generally answered by an inquiring 
look, hens hop out of the way, and even cats do not take the hint ! 
In other words, the crows and hawks are never molested, and the 
result is that all carrion and other stuff left in the streets are pounced 
upon and carried off immediately. 

As far as climatic conditions are concerned everything is most 
favorable for the development of filth-diseases, provided the sources 
of danger were present. In the summer months the heat is often 
times oppressive, the moisture excessive, meat decays rapidly, and 
the decomposition of fruit and vegetables quickly ensues. With 
fruit especially ripeness is almost coincident with decay. 

In regard to the personal habits of the people, it is interesting to 
remark that they drink very little cold water. The water is drunk as 
hot tea in other words, it is boiled. Of extreme importance, too, in 
regard to children s disorders, is the fact that, until they are two or 
three years old, they draw their nourishment from the maternal fount. 
No child is fed artificially. 

On the other hand, it is interesting to note that the Japanese eat 
unripe fruit to an inordinate extent. The moment fruit shows the 
slightest signs of being soft as an evidence of ripeness, it is consid 
ered by them as unfit to eat. It is astonishing to see them eat hard, 
green peaches clinching them in the fist, as a country boy does a 
hard apple, and biting off each mouthful with a loud snap. They eat 
their pears in the same way ; cucumbers are eaten in a more unripe 
condition than Avith us even ; and water-melons, which are so much 
inveighed against at home, are here eaten by all classes and at all 

In fact, they seem to revel in those things which at home are con 
sidered so productive of summer-complaints ; who does not recall the 
astonishment he has felt at the sight of country children of tender 
age eating green apples, green corn uncooked, and similar things, and 
yet suffering no ill-effects therefrom ? These facts may not prove, 
perhaps, that unripe fruit is harmless ; but, in connection with the 
other statements, they do show that the removal of sewage-matter 
from houses is the important point to consider, and that its removal 
insures an absence, or a less number, of cases of those diseases which 
enhance our death-rate at home, and lends an additional reason for 
the necessity of vigilance on the part of communities regarding these 

Concerning sunstroke, it is believed at home that one of its incit 
ing causes is the exposure of the body or head to the overpowering 
heat of the sun ; and the subjection of the uncovered head to the 
direct rays of the sun is looked upon as dangerous. On the other 
hand, it is admitted that intemperance in food or drink, and particu 
larly the latter, may be inducing causes. Be that as it may, it is sug- 


gestive to note the rare occurrence of sunstroke among the Japanese, 
and to remark that two out of three go bareheaded. The women 
never have their heads covered, and the men do not always protect 
theirs with the sun-shade. Among the lower classes, few have their 
heads covered except in the hottest weather the Jinrikisha men 
and the Bettoes * running for miles bareheaded. In most cases the 
head is shaved on top. If exposure of the head to the direct rays 
of the sun is the inducing cause of sunstroke, then here, in latitude 
35, we should expect numerous cases, while, if over-eating and over 
drinking in other words, intemperate habits are the inducing 
causes, then we can understand the immunity of the Japanese from 
this malady : for a more temperate and frugal people do not exist on 
the face of the globe. 

One observes in traveling through the country the almost entire 
absence of deformities arising from accidents no broken backs or 
broken noses, no unequal legs, or other mutilations or deformities of 
any sort. A fruitful source of these misfortunes at home may be 
traced to accidents which befall children, such as falling out of win 
dows, tumbling down-stairs, being knocked down in the street by run 
away horses, and, in later years, the deformities of the face, often 
times the result of drunken rows and fights ; the common occur 
rence of building-accidents, from insecure and dishonest staging, and 
the hundreds of other ways in which mutilations are met with in large 
factories. In Japan the houses are one story high ; generally speak 
ing, there are no windows to tumble out of, or flights of stairs to 
tumble down. Horses, except as pack-horses, are rare. 2 The people 
do not have drunken brawls. Their stagings are ahvays built to hold 
together, and thus pagan temples are reared, and pagan temples are 
repainted, without those appalling accidents which occur in a service 
of like nature at home. There are no big factories ; and so, with these 
sources of danger eliminated, we find a reason, perhaps, for the ab 
sence of deformities. 

In regard to the prevalence of certain other diseases which may 
be of interest in a paper of this nature, it is gratifying to know that 
small-pox, which was formerly endemic, is now coming under control 
by the Government taking active measures to insure vaccination. A 
vaccine farm is maintained, and it is compulsory on every one to be 
vaccinated. The frightful scourges of this disease in past times are 
seen in the sadly-scarred faces of so many of the people, and in the 
number of blind persons one encounters. 

Eye-diseases of various kinds are prevalent, and near-sightedness 
seems very common, judging from the number of people who wear 
glasses. Weakness of vision must in some measure be attributed to 

1 Bettoes are servants who run beside the horses or before them when one is driving. 

2 Only within a few years have horses been used in the streets of Tokio, and a police 
regulation requires a man to run in front of each one in every crowded thoroughfare. 


the poor light the people provide themselves with. A dim candle, 
or, at most, a tiny wick resting on the edge of a vessel of vegetable 
oil of feeble illuminating power, and this inclosed in a paper lantern, 
is the almost universal lamp of the Japanese ; and with this dim light 
the student studies his Chinese classics, the characters of which are 
so confusedly wrought together, and the woman performs her sewing 
on the customary dark-blue cloth. The gradual introduction of kero 
sene-oil, which is now going on, must in some way modify these 

Measles is occasionally epidemic, and, owing to the exposed life 
of the people, often very severe. Phthisis is not more common in 
Japan than in our Middle States. Articular rheumatism is not com 
mon, but muscular rheumatism is very common. Skin-diseases are 
common, especially the contagious forms. The universal use of the 
razor in shaving, and the custom of itinerant barbers, who travel from 
one village to another shaving indiscriminately, indicate too plainly 
the reason for the prevalence of contagious diseases of the skin. 
In Japan everybody shaves. The men shave the tops of their heads, 
the beard and mustache, and, curiously enough, every portion of the 
face, even to the eyelids (not the eyelashes), the lobes of the ears, 
and the nose to its very tip. Married women shave their eyebrows ; 
widows and priests shave the entire scalp ; babies even have their 
heads shaved in such a manner as to leave the most grotesque bunches 
of hair symmetrically disposed, like a fancy garden-plot, the remain 
ing portions of the scalp being entirely denuded. It is rather the 
exception than the rule to find a child s head free from an eruption 
of some kind, and for this reason, as a general thing, the Japanese 
babies are unattractive. 

My observations on the facts kindly furnished me by Dr. Eldridge 
apply only to the region about Tokio. The experience upon which 
these are made is based on a tour of a hundred miles to the northwest 
of Tokio, a good part of the inland journey being made on foot, many 
rambles through the streets of Tokio, and a six weeks sojourn in a 
little village seventeen miles south of Yokohama, During all these 
trips and sojourns I have had my note and sketch book constantly 
with me, and have given the strictest attention to the sanitary con 
dition of the houses and their surroundings. 

In conclusion, it is gratifying to know that more solid progress 
has been made in medicine and surgery than in any other branch of 
Western science, and that the old Chinese system, with its grotesque 
absurdities, is doomed. 

P. S. Just as I am mailing this, the alarming news comes that 
the Asiatic cholera has made its appearance in Yokohama in the most 
emphatic manner. It will, of course, extend to Tokio ; and, curiously 
enough, the very customs of the people which tend to thwart the rav 


ages of certain other diseases will in this case be the very conditions 
to promote the ravages of cholera. A parallel case would "be that of 
carefully removing the coals of fire from a building every night, as a 
safeguard to the structure ; but let a sudden gale spring up, and the 
embers thus removed would be scattered far and wide. 





WHOEVER has looked into a modern treatise on logic of the 
common sort, will doubtless remember the two distinctions 
between dear and obscure conceptions, and between distinct and con 
fused conceptions. They have lain in the books now for nigh two 
centuries, unimproved and unmodified, and are generally reckoned by 
logicians as among the gems of their doctrine. 

A clear idea is defined as one which is so apprehended that it will 
be recognized wherever it is met with, and so that no other will be 
mistaken for it. If it fails of this clearness, it is said to be obscure. 

This is rather a neat bit of philosophical terminology ; yet, since it is 
clearness that they were defining, I wish the logicians had made their 
definition a little more plain. Never to fail to recognize an idea, and 
under no circumstances to mistake another for it, let it come in how rec 
ondite a form it may, would indeed imply such prodigious force and 
clearness of intellect as is seldom met with in this world. On the other 
hand, merely to have such an acquaintance with the idea as to have 
become familiar with it, and to have lost all hesitancy in recognizing it 
in ordinary cases, hardly seems to deserve the name of clearness of 
apprehension, since after all it only amounts to a subjective feeling of 
mastery which may be entirely mistaken. I take it, however, that 
when the logicians speak of " clearness," they mean nothing more 
than such a familiarity with an idea, since they regard the quality as 
but a small merit, which needs to be supplemented by another, which 
they call distinctness. 

A distinct idea is defined as one which contains nothing which 
is not clear. This is technical language ; by the contents of an idea 
logicians understand whatever is contained in its definition. So that 
an idea is distinctly apprehended, according to them, when we can 
give a precise definition of it, in abstract terms. Here the profes 
sional logicians leave the subject ; and I would not have troubled the 


reader with what they have to say, if it were not such a striking ex 
ample of how they have been slumbering through ages of intellect 
ual activity, listlessly disregarding the enginery of modern thought, 
and never dreaming of applying its lessons to the improvement of 
logic. It is easy to show that the doctrine that familiar use and 
abstract distinctness make the perfection of apprehension has its only 
true place in philosophies which have long been extinct; and it is now 
time to formulate the method of attaining to a more perfect clearness 
of thought, such as we see and admire in the thinkers of our own 

When Descartes set about the reconstruction of philosophy, his 
first step was to (theoretically) permit skepticism and to discard the 
practice of the schoolmen of looking to authority as the ultimate 
source of truth. That done, he sought a more natural fountain of 
true principles, and professed to find it in the human mind ; thus 
passing, in the directest way, from the method of authority to that of 
apriority, as described in my first paper. Self-consciousness was to 
furnish us with our fundamental truths, and to decide what was 
agreeable to reason. But since, evidently, not all ideas are true, he 
was led to note, as the first condition of infallibility, that they must be 
clear. The distinction between an idea seeming clear and really being 
so, never occurred to him. Trusting to introspection, as he did, even for 
a knowledge of external things, why should he question its testimony 
in respect to the contents of our own minds ? But then, I suppose, 
seeing men, who seemed to be quite clear and positive, holding oppo 
site opinions upon fundamental principles, he was further led to say 
that clearness of ideas is not sufficient, but that they need also to be 
distinct, i. e., to have nothing unclear about them. What he probably 
meant by this (for he did not explain himself with precision) was, that 
they must sustain the test of dialectical examination ; that they must 
not only seem clear at the outset, but that discussion must never be 
able to bring to light points of obscurity connected with them. 

Such was the distinction of Descartes, and one sees that it was 
precisely on the level of his philosophy. It was somewhat developed 
by Leibnitz. This great and singular genius was as remarkable for 
what he failed to see as for what he saw. That a piece of mechanism 
could not do work perpetually without being fed with power in some 
form, was a thing perfectly apparent to him ; yet he did not under 
stand that the machinery of the mind can only transform knowledge, 
but never originate it, unless it be fed with facts of observation. He 
thus missed the most essential point of the Cartesian philosophy, 
which is, that to accept propositions which seem perfectly evident to 
us is a thing which, whether it be logical or illogical, we cannot help 
doing. Instead of regarding the matter in this way, he sought to re 
duce the first principles of science to formulas which cannot be denied 
without self-contradiction, and was apparently unaware of the great 


difference between his position and that of Descartes. So he reverted 
to the old formalities of logic, and, above all, abstract definitions played 
a great part in his philosophy. It was quite natural, therefore, that 
on observing that the method of Descartes labored under the difficulty 
that we may seem to ourselves to have clear apprehensions of ideas 
which in truth are very hazy, no better remedy occurred to him than to 
require an abstract definition of every important term. Accordingly, 
in adopting the distinction of dear and distinct notions, he described 
the latter quality as the clear apprehension of everything contained 
in the definition ; and the books have ever since copied his words. 
There is no danger that his chimerical scheme will ever again be over 
valued. Nothing new can ever be learned by analyzing definitions. 
Nevertheless, our existing beliefs can be set in order by this process, 
and order is an essential element of intellectual economy, as of every 
other. It may be acknowledged, therefore, that the books are right in 
making familiarity with a notion the first step toward clearness of 
apprehension, and the defining of it the second. But in omitting all 
mention of any higher perspicuity of thought, they simply mirror a phi 
losophy which was exploded a hundred years ago. That much-admired 
" ornament of losnc " the doctrine of clearness and distinctness 


may be pretty enough, but it is high time to relegate to our cabinet of 
curiosities the antique bijoit, and to wear about us something better 
adapted to modern uses. 

The very first lesson that we have a right to demand that logic shall 
teach us is, how to make our ideas clear; and a most important one it 
is, depreciated only by minds who stand in need of it. To know what 
we think, to be masters of our own meaning, will make a solid foun 
dation for great and weighty thought. It is most easily learned by 
those whose ideas are meagre and restricted ; and far happier they 
than such as wallow helplessly in a rich mud of conceptions. A 
nation, it is true, may, in the course of generations, overcome the dis 
advantage of an excessive wealth of language and its natural con 
comitant, a vast, unfathomable deep of ideas. We may see it in his 
tory, slowly perfecting its literary forms, sloughing at length its 
metaphysics, and, by virtue of the untirable patience which is often a 
compensation, attaining great excellence in every branch ef mental 
acquirement. The page of history is not yet unrolled which is to tell 
us whether such a people will or will not in the long-run prevail over 
one whose ideas (like the words of their language) are few, but which 
possesses a wonderful mastery over those which it has. For an 
individual, however, there can be no question that a few clear ideas 
are worth more than many confused ones. A young man would 
hardly be persuaded to sacrifice the greater part of his thoughts to 
save the rest ; and the muddled head is the least apt to see the neces 
sity of such a sacrifice. Him we can usually only commiserate, as a 
person with a congenital defect. Time will help him, but intellectual 


maturity with regard to clearness comes rather late, an unfortunate 
arrangement of Nature, inasmuch as clearness is of less use to a man 
settled in life, whose errors have in great measure had their effect, 
than it would be to one whose path lies before him. It is terrible to 
see how a single unclear idea, a single formula without meaning, lurk 
ing in a young man s head, will sometimes act like an obstruction of 
inert matter in an artery, hindering the nutrition of the brain, and 
condemning its victim to pine away in the fullness of his intellectual 
vigor and in the midst of intellectual plenty. Many a man has cher 
ished for years as his hobby some vague shadow of an idea, too mean 
ingless to be positively false ; he has, nevertheless, passionately loved 
it, has made it his companion by day and by night, and has given to 
it his strength and his life, leaving all other occupations for its sake, 
and in short has lived with it and for it, until it has become, as it were, 
flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone ; and then he has waked up 
some bright morning to find it gone, clean vanished away like the 
beautiful Melusina of the fable, and the essence of his life gone with 
it. I have myself known such a man ; and who can tell how many 
histories of circle-squarers, metaphysicians, astrologers, and what not, 
may not be told in the old German story ? 


The principles set forth in the first of these papers lead, at once, 
to a method of reaching a clearness of thought of a far higher grade 
than the tc distinctness " of the logicians. We have there found that 
the action of thought is excited by the irritation of doubt, and ceases 
when belief is attained ; so that the production of belief is the sole 
function of thought. All these words, however, are too strong for 
my purpose. It is as if I had described the phenomena as they ap 
pear under a mental microscope. Doubt and Belief, as the words are 
commonly employed, relate to religious or other grave discussions. 
But here I use them to designate the starting of any question, no mat 
ter how small or how great, and the resolution of it. If, for instance, 
in a horse-car, I pull out my purse and find a five-cent nickel and five 
coppers, I decide, while my hand is going to the purse, in which way I 
will pay my fare. To call such a question Doubt, and my decision 
Belief, is certainly to use words very disproportionate to the occasion. 
To speak of such a doubt as causing an irritation which needs to be 
appeased, suggests a temper which is uncomfortable to the verge 
of insanity. Yet, looking at the matter minutely, it must be admit 
ted that, if there is the least hesitation as to whether I shall pay the 
five coppers or the nickel (as there will be sure to be, unless I act 
from some previously contracted habit in the matter), though irrita 
tion is too strong a word, yet I am excited to such small mental activ 
ity as may be necessary to deciding how I shall act. Most frequently 
VOL. xn. 19 


doubts arise from some indecision, however momentary, in our action. 
Sometimes it is not so. I have, for example, to wait in a railway- 
station, and to pass the time I read the advertisements on the walls, 
I compare the advantages of different trains and different routes which 
I never expect to take, merely fancying myself to be in a state of 
hesitancy, because I am bored with having nothing to trouble me. 
Feigned hesitancy, whether feigned for mere amusement or with a 
lofty purpose, plays a great part in the production of scientific in 
quiry. However the doubt may originate, it stimulates the mind to 
an activity which may be slight or energetic, calm or turbulent. 
Images pass rapidly through consciousness, one incessantly melting* 
into another, until at last, when all is over it may be in a fraction of 
a second, in an hour, or after long years we find ourselves decided as 
to how we should act under such circumstances as those which occa 
sioned our hesitation. In other words, we have attained belief. 

In this process we observe two sorts of elements of consciousness, 
the distinction between which may best be made clear by means 
of an illustration. In a piece of music there are the separate notes, 
and there is the air. A single tone may be prolonged for an hour 
or a day, and it exists as perfectly in each second of that time 
as in the whole taken together; so that, as long as it is sounding, 
it might be present to a sense from which everything in the past 
was as completely absent as the future itself. But it is different with 
the air, the performance of which occupies a certain time, during the 
portions of which only portions of it are played. It consists in an 
orderliness in the succession of sounds which strike the ear at differ 
ent times ; and to perceive it there must be some continuity of con 
sciousness which makes the events of a lapse of time present to us. 
We certainly only perceive the air by hearing the separate notes; 
yet we cannot be said to directly hear it, for we hear only what is 
present at the instant, and an orderliness of succession cannot exist in 
an instant. These two sorts of objects, what we are immediately 
conscious of and what we are mediately conscious of, are found in all 
consciousness. Some elements (the sensations) are completely pres 
ent at every instant so long as they last, while others (like thought) 
are actions having beginning, middle, and end, and consist in a con 
gruence in the succession of sensations which flow through the mind. 
They cannot be immediately present to us, but must cover some por 
tion of the past or future. Thought is a thread of melody running 
through the succession of our sensations. 


We may add that just as a piece of music may be written in 
parts, each part having its own air, so various systems of relation 
ship of succession subsist together between the same sensations. 
These different systems are distinguished by having different motives, 
ideas, or functions. Thought is only one such system, for its sole 
motive, idea, and function, is to produce belief, and whatever does 


not concern that purpose belongs to some other system of relations. 
The action of thinking may incidentally have other results ; it may 
serve to amuse us, for example, and among dilettanti it is not rare 
to find those who have so perverted thought to the purposes of pleas 
ure that it seems to vex them to think that the questions upon which 
they delight to exercise it may ever get finally settled; and a positive 
discovery which takes a favorite subject out of the arena of literary 
debate is met with ill-concealed dislike. This disposition is the very 
debauchery of thought. But the soul and meaning of thought, ab 
stracted from the other elements which accompany it, though it may 
be voluntarily thwarted, can never be made to direct itself toward 
anything but the production of belief. Thought in action has for its 
only possible motive the attainment of thought at rest ; and what 
ever does not refer to belief is no part of the thought itself. 

And what, then, is belief? It is the demi-cadence which closes a 
musical phrase in the symphony of our intellectual life. We have 
seen that it has just three properties : First, it is something that we 
are aware of; second, it appeases the irritation of doubt; and, third, 
it involves the establishment in our nature of a rule of action, or, say 
for short, a habit. As it appeases the irritation of doubt, which is the 
motive for thinking, thought relaxes, and comes to rest for a moment 
when belief is reached. But, since belief is a rule for action, the 
application of which involves further doubt and further thought, at 
the same time that it is a stopping-place, it is also a new starting- 
place for thought. That is why I have permitted myself to call it 
thought at rest, although thought is essentially an action. The final 
upshot of thinking is the exercise of volition, and of this thought no 
longer forms a part ; but belief is only a stadium of mental action, 
an effect upon our nature due to thought, which will influence future 

The essence of belief is the establishment of a habit, and different 
beliefs are distinguished by the different modes of action to which 
they give rise. If beliefs do not differ in this respect, if they appease 
the same doubt by producing the same rule of action, then no mere 
differences in the manner of consciousness of them can make them 
different beliefs, any more than playing a tune in different keys is 
playing different tunes. Imaginary distinctions are often drawn 
between beliefs which differ only in their mode of expression; the 
wrangling which ensues is real enough, however. To believe that any 
objects are arranged as in Fig. 1, and to believe that they are arranged 
in Fig. 2, are one and the same belief; yet it is conceivable that a man 
should assert one proposition and deny the other. Such false dis 
tinctions do as much harm as the confusion of beliefs really different, 
and are among the pitfalls of which we ought constantly to beware, 
especially when we are upon metaphysical ground. One singular 
deception of this sort, which often occurs, is to mistake the sensation 



produced by our own unclearness of thought for a character of the 
object we are thinking. Instead of perceiving that the obscurity is 
purely subjective, we fancy that we contemplate a quality of the 
object which is essentially mysterious ; and if our conception be after 
ward presented to us in a clear form we do not recognize it as the 
same, owing to the absence of the feeling of unintelligibility. So 


FIG. 1. 

FIG. 2. 

long as this deception lasts, it obviously puts an impassable barrier 
in the way of perspicuous thinking; so that it equally interests the 
opponents of rational thought to perpetuate it, and its adherents to 
guard against it. 

Another such deception is to mistake a mere diiference in the 
grammatical construction of two words for a distinction between the 
ideas they express. In this pedantic age, when the general mob of 
writers attend so much more to words than to things, this error is 
common enough. When I just said that thought is an action, and 
that it consists in a relation, although a person performs an action 
but not a relation, which can only be the result of an action, yet 
there was no inconsistency in what I said, but only a grammatical 

From all these sophisms we shall be perfectly safe so long as we 
reflect that the whole function of thought is to produce habits of ac 
tion ; and that whatever there is connected with a thought, but irrele 
vant to its purpose, is an accretion to it, but no part of it. If there 
be a unity among our sensations which has no reference to how we 
shall act on a given occasion, as when we listen to a piece of music, 
why we do not call that thinking. To develop its meaning, we have, 
therefore, simply to determine what habits it produces, for what a 
thing means is simply what habits it involves. Now, the identity of 
a habit depends on how it might lead us to act, not merely under such 
circumstances as are likely to arise, but under such as might possibly 


occur, no matter how improbable they may be. What the habit is 
depends on when and how it causes us to act. As for the when, every 
stimulus to action is derived from perception ; as for the how, every 
purpose of action is to produce some sensible result. Thus, we come 
down to what is tangible and practical, as the root of every real dis 
tinction of thought, no matter how subtile it may be; and there is no 
distinction of meaning so fine as to consist in anything but a possible 
difference of practice. 

To see what this principle leads to, consider in the light of it such 
a doctrine as that of transubstantiation. The Protestant churches 
generally hold that the elements of the sacrament are flesh and blood 
only in a tropical sense ; they nourish our souls as meat and the juice 
of it would our bodies. But the Catholics maintain that they are 
literally just that ; although they possess all the sensible qualities of 
wafer-cakes and diluted wine. But we can have no conception of 
wine except what may enter into a belief, either 

1. That this, that, or the other, is wine ; or, 

2. That wine possesses certain properties. 

Such beliefs are nothing but self-notifications that we should, upon 
occasion, act in regard to such things as we believe to be wine accord 
ing to the qualities which we believe wine to possess. The occasion 
of such action would be some sensible perception, the motive of it to 
produce some sensible result. Thus our action has exclusive reference 
to what affects the senses, our habit has the same bearing as our ac 
tion, our belief the same as our habit, our conception the same as our 
belief; and we can consequently mean nothing by wine but what has 
certain effects, direct or indirect, upon our senses ; and to talk of 
something as having all the sensible characters of wine, yet being in 
reality blood, is senseless jargon. Now, it is not my object to pursue 
the theological question ; and having used it as a logical example I 
drop it, without caring to anticipate the theologian s reply. I only 
desire to point out how impossible it is that we should have an 
idea in our minds which relates to anything but conceived sensible 
effects of things. Our idea of anything is our idea of its sensible 
effects; and if we fancy that we have any other we deceive ourselves, 
and mistake a mere sensation accompanying the thought for a part of 
the thought itself. It is absurd to say that thought has any meaning 
unrelated to its only function. It is foolish for Catholics and Protes 
tants to fancy themselves in disagreement about the elements of the 
sacrament, if they agree in regard to all their sensible effects, here or 

It appears, then, that the rule for attaining the third grade of 
clearness of apprehension is as follows : Consider what effects, which 
might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of 
our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the 
whole of our conception of the object. 



Let us illustrate this rule by some examples ; and, to begin with 

the simplest one possible, let us ask what we mean by calling a thing 
hard. Evidently that it will not be scratched by many other sub 
stances. The whole conception of this quality, as of every other, lies 
in its conceived effects. There is absolutely no difference between a 
hard thing and a soft thing so long as they are not brought to the 
test. Suppose, then, that a diamond could be crystallized in the midst 
of a cushion of soft cotton, and should remain there until it was finally 
burned up. Would it be false to say that that diamond was soft ? 
This seems a foolish question, and would be so, in fact, except in the 
realm of logic. There such questions are often of the greatest utility 
as serving to bring logical principles into sharper relief than real dis 
cussions ever could. In studying logic we must not put them aside 
with hasty answers, but must consider them with attentive care, in 
order to make out the principles involved. We may, in the present 
case, modify our question, and ask what prevents us from saying that 
all hard bodies remain perfectly soft until they are touched, when 
their hardness increases with the pressure until they are scratched. 
Reflection will show that the reply is this : there would be no falsity 
in such modes of speech. They would involve a modification of our 
present usage of speech with regard to the words hard and soft, but 
not of their meanings. For they represent no fact to be different 
from what it is ; only they involve arrangements of facts which would 
be exceedingly maladroit. This leads us to remark that the question 
of what would occur under circumstances which do not actually arise 
is not a question of fact, but only of the most perspicuous arrange 
ment of them. For example, the question of free-will and fate in its 
simplest form, stripped of verbiage, is something like this : I have 
done something of which I am ashamed ; could I, by an effort of the 
will, have resisted the temptation, and done otherwise ? The philo 
sophical reply is, that this is not a question of fact, but only of the 
arrangement of facts. Arranging them so as to exhibit what is par 
ticularly pertinent to my question namely, that I ought to blame 
myself for having done wrong it is perfectly true to say that, if I had 
willed to do otherwise than I did, I should have done otherwise. On 
the other hand, arranging the facts so as to exhibit another important 
consideration, it is equally true that, when a temptation has once been 
allowed to work, it will, if it has a certain force, produce its effect, let 
me struggle how I may. There is no objection to a contradiction in 
what would result from a false supposition. The reductio ad absur- 
clum consists in showing that contradictory results would follow from 
a hypothesis which is consequently judged to be false. Many questions 
are involved in the free-will discussion, and,, I am far from desiring to 
say that both sides are equally right. On the contrary, I am of opinion 


that one side denies important facts, and that the other does not. But 
what I do say is, that the above single question was the origin of the 
whole doubt ; that, had it not been for this question, the controversy 
would never have arisen ; and that this question is perfectly solved in 
the manner which I have indicated. 

Let us next seek a clear idea of Weight. This is another very easy 
case. To say that a body is heavy means simply that, in the absence 
of opposing force, it will fall. This (neglecting certain specifications 
of how it will fall, etc., which exist in the mind of the physicist who 
uses the word) is evidently the whole conception of weight. It is a 
fair question whether some particular facts may not account for grav 
ity ; but what we mean by the force itself is completely involved in 
its effects. 

This leads us to undertake an account of the idea of Force in gen 
eral. This is the great conception which, developed in the early part 
of the seventeenth century from the rude idea of a cause, and con 
stantly improved upon since, has shown us how to explain all the 
changes of motion which bodies experience, and how to think about 
all physical phenomena; which has given birth to modern science, 
and changed the face of the globe ; and which, aside from its more 
special uses, has played a principal part in directing the course of mod 
ern thought, and in furthering modern social development. It is, 
therefore, worth some pains to comprehend it. According to our rule, 
we must begin by asking what is the immediate use of thinking about 
force; and the answer is, that we thus account for changes of motion. 
If bodies were left to themselves, without the intervention of forces, 
every motion would continue unchanged both in velocity and in 
direction. Furthermore, change of motion never takes place abrupt 
ly ; if its direction is changed, it is always through a curve without 
angles ; if its velocity alters, it is by degrees. The gradual changes 
which are constantly taking place are conceived by geometers to be 
compounded together according to the rules of the parallelogram of 
forces. If the reader does not already know what this is, he will find 
it, I hope, to his advantage to endeavor to follow the following ex 
planation; but if mathematics are insupportable to him, pray let him 
skip three paragraphs rather than that we should part company here. 

A. path is a line whose beginning and end are distinguished. Two 
paths are considered to be equivalent, which, beginning at the same 
point, lead to the same point. Thus the two paths, A B C D E and 
A F Gr HE, are equivalent. Paths which do not begin at the same 
point are considered to be equivalent, provided that, on moving either 
of them without turning it, but keeping it always parallel to its origi 
nal position, when its beginning coincides with that of the other path, 
the ends also coincide. Paths are considered as geometrically added 
together, when one begins where the other ends ; thus the path A E 
is conceived to be a sum of A B, B (7, C D, and > E. In the paral- 



lelogram of Fig. 4 the diagonal A C is the sum of A B and B C ; 
or, since A D is geometrically equivalent to IB C, A C is the geomet 
rical sum of A B and A D. 

FIG. 3. 

FIG. 4. 

All this is purely conventional. It simply amounts to this : that 
we choose to call paths having the relations I have described equal or 
added. But, though it is a convention, it is a convention with a good 
reason. The rule for geometrical addition may be applied not only to 
paths, but to any other things which can be represented by paths. 
Now, as a path is determined by the varying direction and distance 
of the point which moves over it from the starting-point, it follows 
that anything which from its beginning to its end is determined by a 
varying direction and a varying magnitude is capable of being repre 
sented by a line. Accordingly, velocities may be represented by lines, 
for they have only directions and rates. The same thing is true of 
accelerations, or changes of velocities. This is evident enough in the 
case of velocities ; and it becomes evident for accelerations if we con 
sider that precisely what velocities are to positions namely, states 
of change of them that accelerations are to velocities. 

The so-called " parallelogram of forces " is simply a rule for com 
pounding accelerations. The rule is, to represent the accelerations by 
paths, and then to geometrically add the paths. The geometers, how 
ever, not only use the " parallelogram of forces " to compound differ 
ent accelerations, but also to resolve one acceleration into a sum of 
several. Let A B (Fig. 5) be the path which represents a certain 

acceleration say, such a change in 
the motion of a body that at the 
end of one second the body will, 
under the influence of that change, 
be in a position different from what 
it would have had if its motion 
had continued unchanged such that 
a path equivalent to A 13 would 
lead from the latter position to the 
former. This acceleration may be 
considered as the sum of the accelerations represented by A C and 
C B. It may also be considered as the sum of the very different ac 
celerations represented by A D and D B, where A D is almost the 
opposite of A C. And it is clear that there is an immense variety of 

FIG. 5. 


ways in which A B might be resolved into the sum of two accelera 

After this tedious explanation, which I hope, in view of the ex 
traordinary interest of the conception of force, may not have exhaust 
ed the reader s patience, we are prepared at last to state the grand 
fact which this conception embodies. This fact is that if the actual 
changes of motion which the different particles of bodies experience 
are each resolved in its appropriate way, each component accelera 
tion is precisely such as is prescribed by a certain law of Nature, 
according to which bodies in the relative positions which the bod 
ies in question actually have at the moment, 1 always receive certain 
accelerations, which, being compounded by geometrical addition, give 
the acceleration which the body actually experiences. 

This is the only fact which the idea of force represents, and who 
ever will take the trouble clearly to apprehend what this fact is, per 
fectly comprehends what force is. Whether we ought to say that a 
force is an acceleration, or that it causes an acceleration, is a mere 
question of propriety of language, which has no more to do with our 
real meaning than the difference between the French idiom " 11 fait 
froid" and its English equivalent " It is cold." Yet it is surprising 
to see how this simple affair has muddled men s minds. In how many 
profound treatises is not force spoken of as a " mysterious entity," 
which seems to be only a way of confessing that the author despairs 
of ever getting a clear notion of what the word means ! In a recent 
admired work on " Analytic Mechanics " it is stated that we under 
stand precisely the effect of force, but what force itself is we do not 
understand ! This is simply a self-contradiction. The idea which the 
word force excites in our minds has no other function than to affect 
our actions, and these actions can have no reference to force other 
wise than through its effects. Consequently, if we know what the 
effects of force are, we are acquainted with every fact which is implied 
in saying that a force exists, and there is nothing more to know. The 
truth is, there is some vague notion afloat that a question may mean 
something which the mind cannot conceive; and when some hair 
splitting philosophers have been confronted with the absurdity of 
such a view, they have invented an empty distinction between posi 
tive and negative conceptions, in the attempt to give their non-idea 
a form not obviously nonsensical. The nullity of it is sufficiently plain 
from the considerations given a few pages back ; and, apart from 
those considerations, the quibbling character of the distinction must 
have struck every mind accustomed to real thinking. 


Let us now approach the subject of logic, and consider a concep 
tion which particularly concerns it, that of reality. Taking clearness 

1 Possibly the velocities also have to be taken into account. 


in the sense of familiarity, no idea could be clearer than this. Every 
child uses it with perfect confidence, never dreaming that he does not 
understand it. As for clearness in its second grade, however, it would 
probably puzzle most men, even among those of a reflective turn of 
mind, to give an abstract definition of the real. Yet such a definition 
may perhaps be reached by considering the points of difference be 
tween reality and its opposite, fiction. A figment is a product of 
somebody s imagination ; it has such characters as his thought im 
presses upon it. That whose characters are independent of how you or 
I think is an external reality. There are, however, phenomena within 
our own minds, dependent upon our thought, which are at the same time 
real in the sense that we really think them. But though their char, 
acters depend on how we think, they do not depend on what we think 
those characters to be. Thus, a dream has a real existence as a men 
tal phenomenon, if somebody has really dreamt it; that he dreamt so 
and so, does not depend on what anybody thinks was dreamt, but is 
completely independent of all opinion on the subject. On the other 
hand, considering, not the fact of dreaming, but the thing dreamt, it 
retains its peculiarities by virtue of no other fact than that it was 
dreamt to possess them. Thus we may define the real as that whose 
characters are independent of what anybody may think them to be. 

But, however satisfactory such a definition may be found, it would 
be a great mistake to suppose that it makes the idea of reality per 
fectly clear. Here, then, let us apply our rules. According to them, 
reality, like every other quality, consists in the peculiar sensible effects 
which things partaking of it produce. The only effect which real 
things have is to cause belief, for all the sensations which they excite 
emerge into consciousness in the form of beliefs. The question there 
fore is, how is true belief (or belief in the real) distinguished from 
false belief (or belief in fiction). Now, as we have seen in the former 
paper, the ideas of truth and falsehood, in their full development, ap 
pertain exclusively to the scientific method of settling opinion. A 
person who arbitrarily chooses the propositions which he will adopt 
can use the word truth only to emphasize the expression of his deter 
mination to hold on to his choice. Of course, the method of tenacity 
never prevailed exclusively; reason is too natural to men for that. 
But in the literature of the dark ages we find some fine examples of it. 
When Scotus Erigena is commenting upon a poetical passage in which 
hellebore is spoken of as having caused the death of Socrates, he does 
not hesitate to inform the inquiring reader that Helleborus and Soc 
rates were two eminent Greek philosophers, and that the latter having 
been overcome in argument by the former took the matter to heart 
and died of it ! What sort of an idea of truth could a man have who 
could adopt and teach, without the qualification of a perhaps, an opin 
ion taken so entirely at random ? The real spirit of Socrates, who I 
hope would have been delighted to have been " overcome in argu- 


ment," because he would have learned something by it, is in curious 
contrast with the naive idea of the glossist, for whom discussion would 
seem, to have been simply a struggle. When philosophy began to 
awake from its long slumber, and before theology completely domi 
nated it, the practice seems to have been for each professor to seize 
upon any philosophical position he found unoccupied and which seemed 
a strong one, to intrench himself in it, and to sally forth from time to 
time to give battle to the others. Thus, even the scanty records we 
possess of those disputes enable us to make out a dozen or more opin 
ions held by different teachers at one time concerning the question of 
nominalism and realism. Read the opening part of the " Historia 
Calamitatum " of Abelard, who was certainly as philosophical as any 
of his contemporaries, and see the spirit of combat which it breathes. 
For him, the truth is simply his particular stronghold. When the 
method of authority prevailed, the truth meant little more than the 
Catholic faith. All the efforts of the scholastic doctors are directed 
toward harmonizing their faith in Aristotle and their faith in the 
Church, and one may search their ponderous folios through without 
finding an argument which goes any further. It is noticeable that 
where different faiths flourish side by side, renegades are looked upon 
with contempt even by the party whose belief they adopt ; so com 
pletely has the idea of loyalty replaced that of truth-seeking. Since 
the time of Descartes, the defect in the conception of truth has been 
less apparent. Still, it will sometimes strike a scientific man that the 
philosophers have been less intent on finding out what the facts are, 
than on inquiring what belief is most in harmony with their system. 
It is hard to convince a follower of the a priori method by adducing 
facts; but show him that an opinion he is defending is inconsistent 
with what he has laid down elsewhere, and he will be very apt to re 
tract it. These minds do not seem to believe that disputation is ever 
to cease ; they seem to think that the opinion which is natural for one 
man is not so for another, and that belief will, consequently, never be 
settled. In contenting themselves with fixing their own opinions by 
a method which would lead another man to a different result, they be 
tray their feeble hold of the conception of what truth is. 

On the other hand, all the followers of science are fully persuaded 
that the processes of investigation, if only pushed far enough, will 
give one certain solution to every question to which they can be ap 
plied. One man may investigate the velocity of light by studying 
the transits of Venus and the aberration of the stars ; another by the 
oppositions of Mars and the eclipses of Jupiter s satellites; a third by 
the method of Fizeau ; a fourth by that of Foucault ; a fifth by the 
motions of the curves of Lissajoux; a sixth, a seventh, an eighth, and 
a ninth, may follow the different methods of comparing the measures 
of statical and dynamical electricity. They may at first obtain dif 
ferent results, but, as each perfects his method and his processes, the 


results will move steadily together toward a destined centre. So with 
all scientific research. Different minds may set out with the most 
antagonistic views, but the progress of investigation carries them by 
a force outside of themselves to one and the same conclusion. This 
activity of thought by which we are carried, not where we wish, but 
to a foreordained goal, is like the operation of destiny. No modifica 
tion of the point of view taken, no selection of other facts for study, 
no natural bent of mind even, can enable a man to escape the predes 
tinate opinion. This great law is embodied in the conception of truth 
and reality. The opinion which is fated 1 to be ultimately agreed to 
by all who investigate, is what we mean by the truth, and the object 
represented in this opinion is the real. That is the way I would ex 
plain reality. 

But it may be said that this view is directly opposed to the abstract 
definition which we have given of reality, inasmuch as it makes the 
characters of the real to depend on what is ultimately thought about 
them. But the answer to this is that, on the one hand, reality is inde 
pendent, not necessarily of thought in general, but only of what you 
or I or any finite number of men may think about it; and that, on the 
other hand, though the object of the final opinion depends on what 
that opinion is, yet what that opinion is does not depend on what you 
or I or any man thinks. Our perversity and that of others may in 
definitely postpone the settlement of opinion ; it might even conceiv 
ably cause an arbitrary proposition to be universally accepted as long 
as the human race should last. Yet even that would not chano-e the 


nature of the belief, which alone could be the result of investigation 
carried sufficiently far ; and if, after the extinction of our race, 
another should arise with faculties and disposition for investigation, 
that true opinion must be the one which they would ultimately come 
to. " Truth crushed to earth shall rise again," and the opinion which 
would finally result from investigation does not depend on how any-, 
body may actually think. But the reality of that which is real does 
depend on the real fact that investigation is destined to lead, at last, 
if continued long enough, to a belief in it. 

But I may be asked what I have to say to all the minute facts of 
history, forgotten never to be recovered, to the lost books of the an 
cients, to the buried secrets. 

Full many a gem of purest ray serene 

The dark, unfathomed caves of ocean bear ; 
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 
And waste its sweetness on the desert air." 

Do these things not really exist because they are hopelessly beyond 

1 Fate means merely that which is sure to come true, and can nohow be avoided. It 
is a superstition to suppose that a certain sort of events are ever fated, and it is another 
to suppose that the word fate can never be freed from its superstitious taint. We are 
all fated to die. 


the reach of our knowledge ? And then, after the universe is dead 
(according to the prediction of some scientists), and all life has ceased 
forever, will not the shock of atoms continue though there will be no 
mind to know it ? To this I reply that, though in no possible state of 
knowledge can any number be great enough to express the relation 
between the amount of what rests unknown to the amount of the 
known, yet it is uriphilosophical to suppose that, with regard to any 
given question (which has any clear meaning), investigation would 
not bring forth a solution of it, if it were carried far enough. Who 
would have said, a few years ago, that we could ever know of what 
substances stars are made whose light may have been longer in reach 
ing us than the human race has existed ? Who can be sure of what 
we shall not know in a few hundred years ? Who can guess what 
would be the result of continuing the pursuit of science for ten thou 
sand years, with the activity of the last hundred ? And if it were to 
go on for a million, or a billion, or any number of years you please, 
how is it possible to say that there is any question which might not 
ultimately be solved ? 

But it may be objected, " Why make so much of these remote con 
siderations, especially when it is your principle that only practical 
distinctions have a meaning ? Well, I must confess that it makes 
very little difference whether we say that a stone on the bottom of the 
ocean, in complete darkness, is brilliant or not that is to say, that it 
probably makes no difference, remembering always that that stone 
may be fished up to-morrow. But that there are gems at the bottom 
of the sea, flowers in the untraveled desert, etc., are propositions 
which, like that about a diamond being hard when it is not pressed, 
concern much more the arrangement of our language than they do the 
meaning of our ideas. 

It seems to me, however, that we have, by the application of our 
rule, reached so clear an apprehension of what we mean by reality, 
and of the fact which the idea rests on, that we should not, perhaps, 
be making a pretension so presumptuous as it would be singular, if 
we were to offer a metaphysical theory of existence for universal 
acceptance among those who employ the scientific method of fixing 
belief. However, as metaphysics is a subject much more curious than 
useful, the knowledge of which, like that of a sunken reef, serves 
chiefly to enable us to keep clear of it, I will not trouble the reader with 
any more Ontology at this moment. I have already been led much fur 
ther into that path than I should have desired; and I have given the 
reader such a dose of mathematics, psychology, and all that is most 
abstruse, that I fear he may already have left me, and that what I am 
now writing is for the compositor and proof-reader exclusively, 
trusted to the importance of the subject. There is no royal road to 
logic, and really valuable ideas can only be had at the price of close 
attention. But I know that in the matter of ideas the public prefer 


the cheap and nasty ; and in my next paper I am going to return to 
the easily intelligible, and not wander from it again. The reader who 
has been at the pains of wading through this month s paper, shall be 
rewarded in the next one by seeing how beautifully what has been 
developed in this tedious way can be applied to the ascertainment of 
the rules of scientific reasoning. 

We have, hitherto, not crossed the threshold of scientific logic. 
It is certainly important to know how to make our ideas clear, but 
they may be ever so clear without being true. How to make them 
so, we have next to study. How to give birth to those vital and pro- 
creative ideas which multiply into a thousand forms and diffuse them 
selves everywhere, advancing civilization and making the dignity of 
man, is an art not yet reduced to rules, but of the secret of which the 
history of science affords some hints. 



IN" the elegance and variety of their colors, in the splendor and 
brilliancy of the tints with which they have been adorned by 
Nature, marine animals have no reason to envy the inhabitants of 
air ; and if in the tropical regions of Africa and America the forests 
are embellished . by the presence of innumerable birds of gorgeous 
plumage, the Indian Ocean and the Antilles Sea possess countless 
legions of fishes that are more beautiful still, whose scales flash with 
all the colors of the metals and precious stones, while a thousand 
varied ornamentations are traced in vivid colors on the general tone. 

The animals known to our colonists on the Antilles Islands under 
the names of Demoiselles, Portugais, Bandoulieres^ are, in this re 
spect, not inferior to the most richly-adorned of fishes. Accustomed 
to keep near the shore, amid the rocks and in shallow waters, swim 
ming swiftly and ever moving, they are constantly reflecting the 
splendid colors with which they are decorated. Rose-color, purple, 
azure, velvety-black, milk-white, are gorgeously displayed on their 
surface, in the form of bands, streaks, curved lines running in various 
directions, rings, ocellated spots. These colors stand out boldly on 
the surface of the body, which furnishes a background of the richest 
nacreous tints of gold and silver, or of polished steel. 

In all of these fishes the body is compressed, and the vertical fins 
are covered with scales, whence the name Squamipinnes, by which 
they are known to naturalists. The shape of the body is sometimes 
peculiar, and the buffalo or cow fish of the Malays is one of the most 

1 Translated from the French, by J. Fitzgerald, A. M. 



curious of the class, as well by reason of the protuberance and the 
sharp, recurved horns of the head, and the compressed and unequal 
spines of the back, as on account of the broad, yellow, green, and 
brown zebraizations which adorn the body. The jaws sometimes 
are armed with minute teeth like the nap of velvet, as in the archer- 
fish ; sometimes these teeth are superseded by fine, compact, silky 
filaments, performing the same functions as the barbs of the whale- 
they serve to strain the water and to retain the little animals on which 
the fish preys. The fishes of this class are the Chcetodon, with its rich 
colors ; the Holacanthus, which is perhaps the most beautiful member 
of the family; the Pomacanthus, known to our French colonists as Le 
Portugais (the Portuguese) ; and sundry others. 

Of the Chcetodons, some have the muzzle long and slender, formed 
by the bones of the jaw, which are united along nearly their entire 
length by a membrane, so that the mouth is simply an horizontal slit 
at the extremity of this cylinder, or elongated cone. The vertical 
diameter of the body is very great, and the upright fin of the back is 
high and scaly ; the tail is cut square ; the profile, which is concave 
in front of the eyes, rises almost vertically, so that the snout is about 
one-fourth the depth of the head. These fishes, known under the 
name of Chelmons, inhabit the Indian Ocean ; naturalists distinguish 
two species, the beaked Chelmon and the long-beaked Chelmon (see 
the latter in Fig. 1). These species differ from each other not only in 
length of beak, but also in the arrangement of the colors which adorn 

llG. 1. 

In the beaked Chelmon the body is greenish and iridescent ; the 
fins are green, with reflection of azure j a black spot, surrounded by 
a pearl-white circle, is seen on the dorsal fin, in length about one- 
third that of the soft rays ; five vertical stripes of azure-color, and 


bordered with a nacreous white line, adorn the body ; one of these 
stripes crosses the eye obliquely ; a second one, bisecting the nape of 
the neck, extends to the ventral fins ; the next two mark the flanks, 
and the posterior stripe bisects the root of the caudal fin. 

The long-beaked Chelmori s body is yellow. Instead of the 
stripe crossing the eye, seen in the other species, we find on the ante 
rior portion of the body a broad, blackish spot, triangular in shape, 
and terminating in a point on the snout. This spot is bordered by a 
nacreous white stripe ; the forehead is of azure tint, with a shade of 
sea-green ; the eye is of a pure rose-color ; a narrow stripe of black 
adorns the margin of the fins, which themselves are of mauve-color ; 
on the posterior part of the anal fin, near its edge, is seen a deep-black 
spot, encircled by a line of pearly white. 

The Chelmon, particularly the beaked Chelmon, has been de 
scribed by Schlosser, under the title of Archer-fish, in the "Philo 
sophical Transactions." The animal is said to obtain its food in a 
peculiar way, and hence the names given to it by Schlosser (Jaculator) 
and by the Dutch colonists of the East Indies (Spuytvisch, pump-fish 
or spitting-fish). 

Lacepede, following the narratives of travelers, tells us that the 
long-beaked Chcetodon " usually keeps near to the mouths of rivers, 
and especially frequents places where the water is not deep. It feeds 
on insects, especially such as live on the marine plants which rise 
above the surface of the sea. In taking them it resorts to a notewor 
thy manoeuvre, which it is enabled to perform by the very elongated 
form of the snout ; and a similar sort of manoeuvre is performed by 
the Sparus insidator, the bellows-chaBtodon, and other fishes, with 
very long, very narrow, and nearly cylindrical beak, like that of the 
animal we are now describing. When the archer espies an insect 
which it wishes to seize, but which is flying too high above the sur 
face to be captured by leaping out of the water, it approaches as near 
as possible to its prey, then it fills its mouth-cavity with water, shuts 
its gill-openings, suddenly compresses its little slit of a mouth, and, 
ejecting rapidly the water through the very narrow tube which forms 
its snout, squirts it often to the distance of two metres, and that with 
such force that the insect is stunned and falls into the sea. The per 
formance is so amusing that rich people throughout the greater part 
of the East Indies keep long-beaked Chcetodons in large vessels." 

Bloch, in his " History of Fishes," which was published at the 
close of the last century, tells us, on the authority of Mynheer Hom- 
mel, inspector of the Batavia Hospital, that the bandouliere or beaked 
Cho&todon has a very singular way of procuring food. " Observe," 
says Bloch, " how this fish ensnares the flies it discovers on the marine 
plants which project above the water. It approaches within four to 
six feet of the insect, and then squirts water upon it with such force 
that it never fails to bring it down and make it its prey." Mynheer 



Hommel himself made the following experiment : He had a few of 
these fishes placed in a large vessel containing sea-water. When 
they had become accustomed to this prison, he ran a pin through a 
fly, and made it fast to one side of the vessel. He then was so for 
tunate as to see " these fishes vying with one another in their efforts 
to seize the fly, and continually squirting little drops of water, with 
out ever missing their aim." 

We owe it to truth to add that Bleeker, who resided so long in 
the Dutch Indies, and who is perfectly familiar with the ichthyo- 
logical fauna of that region, not only finds in the habits of the ban- 
douliere no confirmation of this singular method of catching insects, 
but he never even heard it mentioned during his sojourn at Ba- 
tavia. " Certain it is," adds he, " that at Batavia this species in 
habits only the waters of the reefs of the little islands in the bay, and 
never visits the swampy and sandy beach in the vicinity of the capi 
tal, or the mouths of the rivers." 

A fish belonging to the same family Squamipinnes but classed 
in another group, has likewise received from Schlosser and Pallas 
the name o Archer. 

Four species, inhabiting the waters of Polynesia and the Indian 
Archipelago, constitute this group of the Archers, or Toxotce. Instead 
of being more or less oval in shape, as is the case with the Chcetodons, 
the body is here elongated, the line of. the back being nearly straight, 
while that of the belly is curved, so that the fish assumes a t-riangu- 

FIG. 2. 

lar shape. The distinguishing feature of these fishes is the backward 
position of the dorsal fin, which, relegated to the posterior part of the 
body, is armed with only three or four spines (Fig. 2). The head, 
lying in the same plane with the line of the back, is pointed ; the eye 

VOL. XII. 20 


is large, and the mouth opens wide. The brilliant colors of the Choe- 
todons, properly so called, are here wanting ; the body is olive-brown 
or yellow, and bears broad, round, or oblong spots, or vertical stripes 
of black color ; the eye is rose-color and brilliant ; the belly, silvery- 

According to Cuvier and Valencienne, " though the mouth of this 
fish differs immensely in its organization from that of Chelmon, it, 
too, can shoot drops of water to a great height, and can hit, with 
almost unerring aim, insects and other little animals on aquatic plants, 
or even on the herbage at the water s edore. The inhabitants of 

o > 

sundry regions in India," add these authors, " and particularly the 
Chinese in Java, keep these fish in their houses for the sake of the 
amusement afforded by witnessing their performances, offering it ants 
and flies on a string, or on the end of a stick, brought within 
range. . . . The species is known in the Indian. Archipelago under 
the Malay name of ikansumpit" 

Bleeker, in a recent work on the Toxotce, tells us that at Batavia 
this fish is no longer kept, as it appears to have been a century ago, 
either by Europeans or by the Chinese. He further says that neither 
from Chinese nor from natives, whether at Batavia or elsewhere, has he 
been able to obtain any confirmation of the accounts which have been 
given concerning its skill in seizing its prey. According to him, the 
celebrity enjoyed by the archer-fish is undeserved, and rests upon a 
misapprehension ; in short, he shows from the very texts of Pallas 
and Schlosser that Hommel s observation applies to the long-beaked 
Chelmon, of which we have spoken above, and that like habits have 
been gratuitously attributed to the two species, they having been re 
garded as generically identical. La Nature. 



It 1 VERY adult human being carries about with him an atmosphere 
-Lj of individuality. By this means is the gregarious animal called 
man enabled to preserve in himself such an isolation from the mass 
of his fellows that he can gain and hold whatever may be Ms share 
of prosperity and remembrance. In this individuality lie his powers 
of offense and defense the buckler and spear of his ego ; and in it 
also is expressed the sum of his mental and physical traits in such a 
manner that, once having known, we may remember him. There are 
two elements that enter into the formation of this distinctive and 
memorable quality, mental and physical. These factors enter un 
equally into the formation of this individual total. The element that 


has really the least to do with that subtile force called character is 
the one by which we chiefly recognize the man. This is the ensembled 
physique, the mental picture we have formed of the bodily man ; it is 
only by long association that we come to speak of one by his mental 
traits, and can recall him to our minds, not by accidents of size, shape, 
complexion, but by the tone, manner, and quality, of the mental man. 
It is curious, however, to reflect that our chief means of mutual identity 
are the same as those by which we distinguish horse from horse, and 
dog from dog ; and that such is the infinite variety in the merely phys 
ical development of men, that this is sufficient for the practical affairs 
of life. In fact, it is not within experience that two human beings 
ever existed who were so nearly alike that side by side they could 
not be distinguished. 1 But human individuality is separated from 
that of the brute by the refinement of a physical quality. This is 
called temperament. Although temperaments are purely of physical 
origin, yet their outlet is mainly found in the actions or the mental 
habits of the individual, and thus it is that temperaments, like charity, 
cover a multitude of sins. Even those who believe in the imma 
teriality and separate entity of mind, do not hesitate to ascribe the 
fretfulness, fickleness, temper, and other mental shortcomings of their 
friends, to faults of temperament. This may in a measure be the result 
of habit, but I believe that there is about it the force of a truth that 
even the most spiritual of psychologists cannot escape. It exists as a 
physical medium, through which the mental life shines forth, tinged 
and refracted by its passage. The old word expresses it, humors of 
the body, a mythical, potent, and subtile fluid, mingling with the 
bodily substance, and rising, exhalation-like, into the brain, obscuring, 
revealing, exalting, and depressing the operations of the mind accord 
ing as it is acting well or ill; as hypothetical as the interplanetary 
ether, yet as real as a fit of the blue devils. This was somewhat the 
old notion, and a well-fought battle-ground it was, over which the sol- 
idists and humoralists contended right gallantly. A standpoint upon 
a solid basis of fact is to this day wanting from which we may say 
they were wrong. 

Many of these old fathers in medicine fairly reveled in the idea of 
temperaments. It contained just enough of the mysterious to spur 
on their wonder-loving minds. All there was of fact about it, how 
ever, they brought out, and all that we know about it they knew. 
We are to this day using their terms and classification, and have 
added nothing to them. It stands as a fact in physiology which we 
have inherited from the remotest boundary of historical medicine. 

The four qualities of Hippocrates were believed to be the origin 
of the temperaments. In moisture and dryness, in heat and cold, not 
as conditions of existence but as entities in life, were found the mate- 

1 There are several remarkable cases of wonderfully close resemblance and mistaken 
identity on record, but none that stood the test indicated in the text. 


rials that either singly or together formed the temperaments. They 
were combined thus : hot and moist produced blood, hence the san 
guine temperaments ; cold and moist caused phlegm or pituita, and 
from this the phlegmatic or lymphatic ; hot and dry produced yellow 
bile, and gave us the sanguine or choleric; and cold and dry caused 
black bile, which predominating in the body resulted in the melan 
cholic or bilious temperament. 1 In order to understand the profound 
reason involved in this it must be remembered that these four prima 
ry principles of living bodies were believed to be compounded of the 
simple elements of Nature. Here is shadowed, dimly it is true, but 
from the very depths of Nature, the theory of the correlation of forces, 
and even evolution itself. Boerhaave was among the first who at 
tempted to improve the classification of Hippocrates, and then fol 
lowed Hoffmann, Cullen, and Haller, who, however much reason they 
may have had, failed to refine the rugged simplicity of the old Greek. 
Absurd as we may deem the incarnation of the four elements in the 
form of temperaments by Hippocrates to be, yet from the length of 
time this idea has prevailed, and the profound influence it has exerted 
upon science for centuries, we may believe that it possessed the soul 
of truth that exists in things erroneous, as Herbert Spencer says. Not 
until 1757 was anything like a scientific explanation given. The 
learned Haller was the first to give the four elements their final over 
throw, and place the phenomena upon a physiological basis ; 2 and 
even he failed to suggest any improvement in the old nomenclature. 
It is strong evidence of the force that exists latently in old ideas that 
all modern attempts to extend the scope of the Hippocratic terms 
have never gained credit. Dr. Gregory renamed the temperaments, 
and added a fifth, which he called the nervous, and which has been 
accepted and rejected a score of times ; while it is a convenient term 
to use, it is true that it describes no temperament that may not be 
included under the old terms. Then came Dr. Pritchord, who re 
jected the reforms of Dr. Gregory, restored the original terms, and 
barely escaped calling his predecessor hard names. But the tempera 
ments, simple as they may seem, have afforded groundwork for a 
separate science not formulated deductions from dry facts, but 
drawn warm from the mass of living, suffering humanity. Dr. W. 
B. Powell spent forty years of his life in the study, and at last evolved 
a " human science " with ten compounds of temperaments with binary, 
ternary, and quaternary subdivisions. 3 If human science, as taught 
by Dr. Powell, be true, it ought to be the ceaseless study of every 
man and woman, taught along with the creed and catechism which 
are the spiritual to this its earthly and carnate part to the youngest 
child. Lurking in this science are more than Dantesque horrors, 

1 " De Natura Hominis," torn, ii., ed. Kiihn. 

2 "Elementa Physiologiae Corporis Humani," 1757. 

3 Journal of Human Science, Cincinnati, 1860. 


which are liable to spring upon the most circumspect of us in the 
shape of physiological incest ; as if in the decalogue and through the 
ingenuity of man there were not already more crimes than human 
nature can withstand, that we should be exposed to others we know 
not of. This physiological crime consists in the marital union of like 
temperaments. Human science has revealed another latent offense, 
called sexual incompatibility, which, so far as I know, has not yet, 
in its sexual guise, obtruded itself in the divorce courts. It is a 
standing rebuke to those who build imaginary sciences, without a foot 
hold in the solid world of facts, that, in giving their shadowy creations 
to the people, they are inviting the cold scrutiny of an aggregate 
common-sense that never fails in time to separate the true from the 

But temperaments have been made to play a more agreeable role 
in human affairs than in defining physiological crimes. In the history 
of this physical attribute it is interesting to cite its literary aspects. 
Ben Jonson devoted whole plays to the idealizations of individual 
temperaments, in which a peculiarity was made to play its part as a 
dramatis persona. The keen and careful analysis of the poet in 
character is immortalized in his play of " Every Man in his Humor." 
Shakespeare proved himself a good physiologist as well as a good 
judge of a conspirator in contrasting Cassius, "lean and hungry," 
with men " that are fat ; sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o 
nights." In the earlier English novels, temperament was given a more 
careful study than in the modern school of light literature. Gold 
smith proved himself an enemy of the humoral pathologists in saying 
of Olivia, in " The Vicar of Wakefield," that the temper of woman 
is generally formed from the cast of her features. Fielding, in his 
creative novel of " Tom Jones," speaks of temperaments in such a 
happy vein of his inimitable philosophy, that it is worth quoting and 
remembering : " I make no manner of doubt," he says, "but that, in 
this light, we may see the imaginary future chancellor just called to 
the bar, the archbishop in crape, and the prime-minister at the tail 
of an opposition, more truly happy than those who are invested with 
all the power and profit of these respective offices." A more perfect 
description of a sanguine man was never written. Novelists, as a 
rule, analyze temperaments the opposite of their own in their ideal 
characters. Scott generally describes the bilious in his heroes and 
heroines, and is never purely realistic in describing the sanguine type 
to which he belonged. Dickens is always happier in his female char 
acters, and they are good specimens of the sanguine. Dolly, the 
locksmith s daughter, is a very truthful portrait of this type ; white 
Mark Tapley, famous as the character may be, is an atrabilious, who 
is continually violating his physiology by being happy under the 
very circumstances that bring out the unmixed misery of his class. 
Dickens himself was decidedly of the lymphatic a type he rarely 



attempted in his creations. Richter, in "Hesperus," gives some very 
perfect studies of temperament ; but the court physician in that novel 
is represented of his own type. George Eliot never violates Nature 
in her female characters, who are generally described as bilious or 
sano-uine; but the least said about her heroes the better. Deronda 


is surely a mistake. He is first described as a good specimen of the 
sturdy, bilious man, and is transformed toward the close of the book 
into the extreme of the sanguine. 

To the scientific mind there is always something assuring when we 
can leave the field of speculation and enter that of fact. Here chemi 
cal analysis brings to our aid positive reasons for a classification qf 
men and women according to temperaments. Mr. Rees, 1 quoting from 
the researches of M. Lecanu, gives us the material for constructing 
the following table. The figures are ratios to 1,000 parts of blood : 




















68 660 

2 604 





Red Globules. 


Red Globules. 


8 874 




19 830 

This proves conclusively that temperaments have their origin deep 
and unchangeably fixed in the organic life. Can we, in view of this, 
look doubtingly upon their potent influence on the current of thought 
and emotions ? Water, plasmic material, and the red blood-globules 
the oxygen-carriers of- living bodies rush to the brain in proportions 
fixed by the law of temperaments ; to one brain more, to another less, 
but with differences sufficient to give vigor, vivacity, tenacity, and 
mental breadth to the action of one ; while the other moves more 

7 t 

slowly, its mental life obscured by the smaller proportion of mind-food. 
There is one point about which the reader needs to have a clear 
understanding. This is the difference between temperament and 
idiosyncrasy. " Temperament is built in a man, as bricks compose a 
well," says Dr. Southey ; " his idiosyncrasy is developed according to the 
soil in which he is planted, the conditions under which he grows, and 
the tendency in him to vary." 2 A man has his temperament as a birth- 

1 " On the Analysis of the Blood and Urine in Health and Disease," London, 1836. 
a London Lancet, American edition, May, 1876. 


right, his idiosyncrasy he acquires, changes, makes it subject to his 
will, or is ruled by it. The distinction is broader than this, however. 
Temperament is a race-attribute. It is distributed like plants accord 
ing to latitude and altitude. The bilious is tropic ; it thrives best 
near the equator. The lymphatic belongs to the races of the North. 
Between these polar types are distributed races that monopolize tem 
peraments as they do their language. The Celt is sanguine, the Saxon 
lymphatic, the Gaul nervous, the Latin bilious. Thus, temperament 
is pandemic, while idiosyncrasy belongs to the individual. M. Begin 
calls the first " la variete organique la plus gengrale," and the latter 
" celle qui est plus restreinte." 

The tendency among recent writers upon physiology is to exclude 
the bilious, classing it with the nervous, and making three in place of 
four. This is the classification of M. Michel Le vy. 1 I shall retain the 
bilious, as being a term too commonly used by learned and unlearned 
to be omitted from a popular description. 

The sanguine temperament presents marked physical traits. The 
mean height of the male is five feet eight and a half inches, and of the 
female two and a half inches less. The head is small comparatively, 
the face is made square by a firm and angular lower jaw, the forehead 
is slightly sloping, the nose prominent ; it has a determined, resolute, 
exacting look. Under thirty-five the figures of both sexes are sparely 
covered with fat, but withal muscular. The chest is large, measuring 
thirty-five inches in average girth, and the abdomen flat. The com 
plexion is light, and is florid only by exception to the rule ; the hair 
light, light brown, or auburn, and often curly. The mouth is usually 
large, the lower lip full, and the teeth are regular, with a slightly- 
yellow tinge, which indicates firm and lasting dentine. The sanguine 
are generally good eaters and drinkers. All of the vital functions are 
active ; the large chest-room, the vigorous heart, the firm muscles, in 
sure a bodily activity that keeps the operations of organic life in un 
conscious and easy motion. Digestion, assimilation, excretion, and 
elimination, work in harmony and with vigor. 

Mentally, this type is the reflection of its physical traits. The 
rich blood, by its active circulation through the brain, causes vivid 
and active mental action. The general cast of the mind is never 
gloomy. The mental vision is outward rather than inward, and sees 
things near or remote tinted by glowing, joyous colors, as through a 
prism. This mental outlook never implies profound insight, or deep 
thought, or conscious indwelling. It is the surface of things that is 
studied with quick and transient glances of all that is pleasant, revolt 
ing from the difficult or painful. The sanguine man, therefore, learns 
quickly and knows a little of everything, and by his ready tongue and 
quick wit is good company a thorough good fellow. He is brave from 
a sense of perfect muscular strength, loving sport and athletic games. 

i " Traite d Hygiene." 


He is quick to anger, but soon forgets wrong ; a word and a blow, 
and oftentimes the blow first, are the features of his wrath. 

It is in medicine only that the temperaments have practical im 
portance, if we reject Dr. Powell s new science. Sanguine people 
are prone to acute diseases of the inflammatory type. Apoplexy, dis 
eases of the heart and blood-vessels, haemorrhages, acute fevers, pneu 
monia, pleurisy, and closely-allied disorders, are the forms of dis 
ease generally met with. Dr. Southey assigns to this class the old 
idea of crises; that is, in febrile diseases, at certain times, there will 
be sudden losses of the fluids of the body spontaneously, by which 
the diseased action secures a new outlet, and this is followed by a rapid 
convalescence. These evacuations, if the temperament of the patient 
be understood, are never interfered with by the physician, as they are 
Nature s own efforts to throw off the disease. Rapid recovery, or a 
speedy fatal result, may generally be looked for among sanguine peo 
ple. In this temperament the physical part of man reaches its most 
perfect expression ; the body is here in even balance with the brain. 
Such a combination as that of persistent intellectual effort with a 
typical sanguine temperament is rare. Prof. John Wilson (Christo 
pher North) is an example of this, and of which there is scarce another 
illustration in literature. This temperament, finding its purer expres 
sion in a near approach to human animalism, with soul and body 
adjusted and evenly poised, a happy mingling of mind and matter, 
must surely have been the type of the Miltonic man. The fancy can 
not paint him other than this, and believe him capable of contend 
ing with the dangers, obstacles, and unrelenting hardships, of his 
life. Of this type have the sailors, colonists, soldiers, and explorers, 
generally been all men who lead in the battle with Nature s ob 

In the lymphatic temperament we have a direct antithesis of the 
sanguine. Typically, the lymphatics are heavily framed, the limbs 
are clumsy and large-jointed, awkward and slow in movement. This 
is due to the thickness of the articular surfaces of the long bones, and 
this also explains the large wrists and ankles ; the head is large, the 
face unanimated, thick-lipped, pale, and with large features, the ex 
pression listless and apathetic; the eyes are blue or gray, the hair 
white, blond, or light auburn, and abundant. The male figure is be 
tween five feet eight inches and six feet two inches in height, the 
female five feet six or nine inches high (Southey), and such are the 
proportions that a person of this temperament rarely meets the artis 
tic ideal of human beauty. The texture of the flesh is soft and flab 
by, and generally abundant, the muscles small and slow in their 
development. Puberty is late in its advent; this is but a charac 
teristic, however, of the slow and deliberate manner of the general 
development. Functions are slowly performed and not evenly bal 
anced; the fluid secretions too abundant, the absorbents inactive 


in comparison: thus, the figure has the deceptive appearance of a 
superabundant nutrition. This is a one-sided nutrition, the appropri 
ation of fatty material to the neglect of the solid, motor machinery of 
brawn and muscles. 

The mental traits seem to take direction and tone from the bodilv 


characteristics. The passions move slowly and are easily kept under 
control, in marked contrast to those of the sanguine man who has 
no more control than is sufficient to keep him within the not too 
narrow limits of the social barriers. From the moderate emotional 
development there is little need of energetic will-power. Where the 
moral qualities have any chance of growth and exercise they are 
always "good people," orthodox, and conservative. The mind acts 
slowly, but is very retentive, logical and sound in its conclusions. 
They are persistent in their undertakings, honorable in their affairs 
with other men ; commonplace and common-sense govern them in 
their daily life. They are apt to be dull companions, but constant 
and steadfast friends. 

This temperament is found in its most perfect form among men ; 
women rarely show it uncrossed, especially as it easily blends w T ith 
other temperaments. There is no doubt but in this type there are in 
herent defects of histological structure. Dr. Southey says it is due to 
a too exuberant vegetative cell-life. Whatever may be the radical 
cause, persons of this type are weak in vital energy, and short-lived. 
They are the usual subjects of structural changes, such as scrofula, 
phthisis, and articular rheumatism, and in whom these morbid pro 
cesses show the largest ratio of mortality. It will be noticed that 
these are diseases with a marked hereditary force. It would be inter 
esting to study how much of this heredity exists in the morbid processes, 
or in the temperament itself, which offers a fair field for their onset. 

Nature exerts herself in a more eccentric manner in the nervous 
temperament. Here we find greater variety in the physical signs, and 
diversity in the mental traits. Typical instances of the nervous tem 
perament are not good specimens anatomically. In stature they are 
below the average, the bones small and lightly covered with flesh in 
both sexes up to middle life. The head is large and covered with not 
over-abundant dark-brown or black hair; the eyes are dark, the skin 
dark, sallow, and pale ; pigmentation of the skin is more abundant 
than in any other temperament, while the cuticle is hot, dry, and firm. 
The muscles are small and compact. Persons of this temperament 
are capable of sudden outlays of great strength, but the muscles do 
not work in harmony, the movements being oftentimes irregular. 
The want of nervous coordination is a marked trait, and tells upon 
their efficiency in any occupation requiring trained and accurate 
touch. Dr. Southey explains this by what he calls cerebro-central 
preoccupation, which means that the brain and spinal cord are slow 
in receiving and responding to the wants of different and remote 


parts of the body. This is further shown in the unequal distribution 
of the circulation, the head being often hot while the feet are cold, or 
the extremities are cold while the body maintains a nearly febrile tem 
perature. The heart beats more rapidly than in other temperaments, 
or is attended with nervous irregularity in its action. Functionally the 
nervous temperament is liable to serious complications ; the liver is 
one of the organs more liable to acute derangement not, however, 
in the direction of over but rather that of under action. Digestion 
is a delicate function, the merest trifles interfering with its proper per 
formance. A leading trait of the nervous temperament is the mutual 
reaction between it and the vital glandular functions ; thus sudden 
mental or nervous impressions will upset the whole glandular ma 
chinery, or serious mental or nervous disturbances result from causes 
acting in the opposite direction. 

If we were to select any one quality as the leading trait of the 
mental constitution of this type, it would be the great emotional 
tension. The emotions often usurp the place of higher faculties, and 
reason, judgment, and the sense of right or wrong, are biased or re 
placed by emotional qualities. They have an acute sense of right 
or wrong, but they are disposed to give it a personal rather than a 
vicarious application. They have an extraordinary capacity for both 
pleasure and misery, and the nervous man may be said to be under 
going one or the other through life, never knowing what it is to be in 
the happy mean of negation. They are never contented with their 
surroundings for any great length of time, but chafe and fret against 
their fate, no matter how happy it may seem. They have great fixity 
of opinion, and but little respect for that of others ; and are prone to 
find a particular antagonism in persons of their own temperament, 
The sexual emotions are unduly developed, oftentimes giving tone to 
the character, or acting with explosive violence. Persons of this type 
are not among those who form the grand aggregate of the conservative 
opinion of society, the inflexible and implacable character of which 
we all know, and which upon the emotional tension of the nervous man 
often reacts harmfully rather than well. Typical instances of this 
temperament are confined to the male sex, the other sex usually show 
ing a cross with the sanguine or bilious. 

This temperament does not show a liability to any class of disease, 
but gives its own characteristic reaction upon the disease itself. From 
the ascendency of the nervous system in the physical and mental 
composition, diseases of the nerves are very liable to appear, but not 
as a primary derangement any more than as a complication grafted 
upon some previously-existing disease. Nervous headache, neuralgia, 
epilepsy, insomnia, and hysteria, are among the nervous affections 
most liable to appear, either as primary or secondary derangements. 
With this class it is difficult to give an opinion as to the result in any 
serious disease (prognosis), as they often die of diseases that in other 


temperaments are deemed trifling; and then again, on the contrary, 
make most surprising recoveries. With them the will-power is often 
times an element in the recovery, throwing off disease by the deter 
mination not to yield to its influence. There is no doubt but that this 
temperament is more liable to mental derangement than any other; 
the great emotional intensity and the difficulty of moral control lay 
ing the mind open to causes that tend to produce insanity. Many of 
the nervous constituents of this type belong to the bilious tempera 
ment. We have but to tone down the nervous excitability of the first 
by an addition of the phlegm of the lymphatic, and add flesh to the 
spare, nervous figure, and we have the bilious temperament. In its 
typical phase, the subject is apt to be grave, taciturn, even morose ; 
mind and body move slowly but surely, not eccentrically, but by de 
termination and conviction. Persons of this temperament are re 
markable for inflexibility of will, sound judgment, strong convictions, 
abiding affections, and great love for those dependent upon them. 

The study of the relations of temperaments to development and 
vitality is one of great interest. While we know tolerably well their 
reaction with disease, and the groups of diseases that are liable to 
cluster round them, we have but few facts bearing upon the normal 
relations of the temperaments to vital capacity. There are many diffi 
culties in the way of this study. In the first place, we have no unit 
of measure or comparison, and, in the next, it is difficult to collect the 
facts. In a very remarkable work consisting mainly of tabulations 
of a vast number of data relating to anthropometry, or the measure 
ment of men, I discovered facts that throw considerable light upon 
this subject. During the late war of the rebellion the provost-mar 
shal-general had to pass upon the fitness for military service of a vast 
number of conscripts. The results of over a million examinations are 
embodied in two massive quartos, by Dr. J. H. Baxter, late chief 
medical officer of that bureau of the War Department. 1 From the 
elaborate statistical table of Dr. Baxter, I am able to construct a few 
tables that throw light upon some of the more obscure relations of 
temperaments. The facts embodied in the tables are picked out here 
and there from this mass of tabulation ; while the figures have suffered 
no manipulation, except such as may be necessary to arrive at mean 

A word as to the value of complexion as indicating temperament. 
A light color of the hair and skin, and blue or gray eyes, instead of 
indicating any one temperament, define broadly a group of two the 
sanguine and lymphatic. A sallow or dark complexion, with black 
eyes and hair, indicates the bilious and nervous, and in this country, 
among natives, probably an excess of the latter. If, for the sake of 
narrowing the dark-haired group, we adopt the more modern classifi- 

1 " Statistics, Medical and Anthropological, of the Provost-Marshal-General s Bu 
reau." By J. n. Baxter, A. M., M. D. Washington, D. C., 1875. Two vols., 4to. 



cation, and ignore the bilious temperament, we have in this class only 
the nervous, while in the first group we have both the sanguine and 
lymphatic, with no means of separating them, except that the na 
tional characteristic shows an excess of the sanguine over the lym 
phatic, probably about the ratio of three to one. 

INCHES FOR ALL HEIGHTS TO COMPLEXION. Based upon the examination of 190,621 
American-born white men accepted ; expressed in ratios of 1,000. 



DARK. 2 

Under 29 inches 

3 588 

1 141 

29 and under 31 inches 

37 654 

15 285* 

31 " " 33 l< 

98 387 

46 906 

33 " " 35 " 


56 605 

35 " " 37 " 


26 793 

37 inches and over 


7 151 

Total number of men accepted 



Table II. shows the relation of chest-expansion to complexion. 
The range of chest-movement, while it cannot be deemed an abso 
lute measure of vitality, which must be regarded rather as the sum of 
organic and functional action than the degree of perfection in any 
one set of organs, yet may be fairly assumed to bear a close rela 
tion to the general vigor of the system that defines the quality of 
vital activity. A free chest-expansion implies a large consumption of 
oxygen, a corresponding degree of force and activity in the circula 
tion of the blood, and this, in its turn, calls for a large demand for 
food, with a proportional muscular vigor. In the table, a chest-expan 
sion of over three inches is taken as the basis of comparison, for the 
reason that, at an expansion less than this, men of impaired strength 
may be included. It is but necessary to glance at the table in order 
to understand all that is implied by it that size and muscular vigor 
of the sanguine and lymphatic greatly exceed these conditions in the 



Number examined, 


Number examined, 





Ratio per 1,000. 

Ratio per 1,000. 

General diseases 



Diseases of the nervous system 



Diseases of the circulatory system 



Diseases of the respiratory system 



Diseases of the digestive system 



Diseases of the urinary system 



Diseases of the generative system 



Diseases of the organs of locomotion 



Diseases of the cellular tissues 3 



Diseases of the cutaneous system 



Blue or gray eyes ; light hair. 

3 This division includes abscess and obesity only. 

2 Black or hazel eyes ; dark hair. 



In Table III. we have the ratio of disease to complexion. In this, 
the light complexions show their marked predisposition to skin-dis 
eases; and, notwithstanding their free lung-expansion, show a nearly 
equal liability to diseases of the respiratory organs with those of dark 
skins. The light men prove their greater glandular and muscular ac 
tivity by their excess over dark in diseases of the digestive, circula 
tory, and locomotor systems ; while the dark group, although com 
posed largely of men of nervous temperament, nearly equal the light 
in frequency of nervous disease. It is interesting to note that, in the 
same table from which Table III. is compiled, Dr. Baxter gives the 
total of dark men rejected for all diseases at 38,916, and of the light, 
83,700, a difference rather less than that indicated by the mean differ 
ence as exhibited in our table. In general diseases, which include 
fevers, infectious diseases, and all others not confined locally, we find 
the light men leading the dark by a difference only equaled by their 
excess over the latter in diseases of the digestive system. This is 
due, I think, in a great measure to the predisposition of the sanguine 
to diseases of the febrile or inflammatory type, as has been already 


Number examined, 

Number examined, 




Ratio per 1,000. 

Ratio per 1,000. 

Curvature of spine 


4 874 

Atrophy of limb 


4 303 



1 579 




Deficient size of chest 



Deformity of chest 


2 996 

Loss of limb 



Defects or deformities of hand 


7 699 

Defects or deformities of foot 



Table IV. gives an idea of the ratios of deformities in the two 
groups, and, while not proving much either way, presents a few facts 
of great interest. It will be observed that the physical defect which 
shows the greatest difference, and that in favor of the dark class, is 
deficient size of the chest. In view of the fact that light men exhibit 
a larger range of chest-expansion, this excess in the defective size of 
the chest is unlocked for. The other chest-defect is deformity, in 
which the difference in ratio in the two groups is only about .18. The 
fact that two classes are made in the chest-deformities leads me to 
suppose that the deformities are congenital, or the result of defective 
development in childhood ; while the deficiency in size is the result 
of disease or injury later in life. This supposition opens the way to 
an explanation of the phenomenon. Owing to the greater liability of 


the light, or partly sanguine group, to active inflammations, a potent 
factor in causing this deficient size of the chest is inflammation, 
mainly pleurisy and pneumonia, and, as a not uncommon result, a 
collapse of one, or both, of the chest-walls. This theory is the only 
one that offers a reasonable explanation of a very remarkable sta 
tistical result. The increased ratio in both groups, but notably 
in the light, of defects or deformities of the feet rather than of 
the hands, while having no relation to the difference of temper 
ament, shows the careful way in which Nature protects the natural 
weapons of human beings the hands. It confirms, in a broad way, 
what has probably been noticed by the observant reader, that (De 
formities of the lower are more frequent than those of the upper 

These few figures, taken from Dr. Baxter s vast collection of sta 
tistics, if not demonstrating anything positively, have at least the 
merit of not proving too much a common fault of figures, if we are 
to believe the anti-statisticians. They are important, however, in 
showing the direction in which the study of temperaments may be 
pushed in order to give practical results. Social reformers, so called, 
human-science men, and less respectable students under various names, 
have used temperaments as their physiological basis for widely differ 
ent theories. To one who is content with marriage as established by 
law, society, and religion, it is a suspicious circumstance that this is 
the social relation that has sustained the most determined assaults. 
The physiological attacks have been made in the interests of mar 
riage-reform, " natural marriage," and of no marriage at all. While 
there is very strong evidence showing that intermarriage between re 
lations tends to the deterioration of the offspring, there are hardly 
any facts showing that the matrimonial union of healthy persons of 
like temperaments has the same effect. It is true that social theorists 
assert the contrary, but they do so without considering that the inter 
marriage of kin, from which they draw their chief arguments, is 
surrounded by conditions that cannot exist in the intermarriage of 
like temperaments. That there are deep-lying physiological reasons 
against the union of relations, we need go no further than the oft- 
quoted fact of the sure impairment of the stock of domestic animals 
from inbreeding, to establish. Whatever the source of this gradual 
impairment may be, it is wanting in the marriage of those who are 
allied only by similarity of temperament. In the absence of condi 
tions that are necessary to render the arguments drawn from analogy 
valid, the advocates of the theory of physiological incompatibility are 
obliged to fall back upon facts having a direct bearing, and they have 
in this field, as yet, reaped no harvest. There is, however, in the hu 
man family a sort of natural selection existing, that renders a marriage 
between parties of like temperament not an ordinary occurrence. 
Both Dr. Ryan and Mr. Walker, in their works on marriage, refer to 

THE ICE AGE. 3 i 9 

the common tendency of one sex to seek the opposite temperament in 
the other. But, upon the subject of matrimony, even in its physio 
logical relations, society unwittingly does very well. 



AT the end of that long course of geological ages, from the Ar 
chaean to the Tertiary, which built up the solid portions of the 
earth in their present configuration, geologists now universally recog 
nize, in the evidence before them, the presence of a remarkable and 
stupendous period a period so startling that it might justly be ac 
cepted with hesitation, were not the conception unavoidable before a 
series of facts as extraordinary as itself, and which, partaking of its 
astonishing character, are explained upon no simpler hypothesis. This 
era is known as the Glacial. It was an era which has left its traces in 
unmistakable monuments over the surface of either hemisphere, and 
written its history in no less explicit characters upon their rocks. It 
was an epoch of arctic rigidity, when the temperature of the earth 
had become so lowered that the cold regions of either pole alternately 
were permitted to extend their previously contracted circles over the 
temperate latitudes, and to envelop with a universal and prodigious 
mantle of ice the lands which once, beneath milder suns, had been the 
home of an abundant and tropical vegetation. The skirts of that 
glacial sea which perennially spreads its icy and resplendent surface 
over polar lands had then, by a favorable conjunction of solar and 
terrestrial influences, been expanded so widely, that to within the lati 
tude of 39 north its frigid folds hid the surface of the earth, while 
below the equator a similar period seems to have left scarcely less 
visible traces amid the forests and pampas of South America. The 
evidence which has established the actual presence of these arctic con 
ditions over a great portion of our earth is complete and irrefragable, 
and, aided by the contemporaneous study of Alpine glaciers and the 
Greenland icebergs, we can draw conclusions as to the nature and the 
succession of events which these conditions occasioned. 

It was Agassiz who first insisted, perhaps almost with trepidation, 
that Central Europe, England, Scotland, and Ireland, had been buried 
beneath thousands of feet of solid ice ; that from the mountain-tops 
of Scandinavia, the Grampians of Scotland, the Lake Hills of England, 
and the summits of the Alps, had proceeded vast rivers of ice whose 
confluent seas had swept over Europe, and beneath their resistless, 
ceaseless, and perpetual advance, grooved it with valleys, channeled 
the courses of its rivers, engraved its rocks, scooped out its lakes, and 


scattered their burden of debris far and wide over its plains. The 
conception was a bold, almost a terrifying one ; and, because the actual 
history and nature of glaciers was so little known, it was regarded 
with aversion and spoken of with contempt. Agassiz had laboriously 
studied the glaciers of the Alps, he had conned the lesson they taught 
with eager apprehension of its great significance, and he knew so well 
every characteristic of their work that he instantly recognized abroad 
the same indelible evidence of their past presence. 

Venetz, Rendu, and Charpentier, had preceded him in glacial 
study, and had insisted upon an extension of the Alpine glaciers far 
beyond their present beds in past ages, but had not realized the im 
mense utility of these views in explaining the glaciated surfaces of 
Europe. Forbes, Hopkins, and Tyndall, succeeded him in the investi 
gation of glacial physics, and by their close scrutiny into the constitu 
tion of ice, and the laws of ice-making and glacial motion, fairly 
established a new department of physical science, and added confir 
mation to the views of Agassiz. 

Now, let us examine some of these singular and hitherto inexpli 
cable records, which elicited Agassiz s theory, and which, long before 
they were harmonized by that assumption, had been attentively ex 
amined by geologists and explained upon other grounds. Further 
more, we will review them without reference to the theory of glacial 
action, and only subsequently compare them with the effects now being 
produced wherever glaciers and icebergs are at work. 

The rocks as they lie in place, the flanks and summits of moun 
tains to heights of 5,000 and 10,000 feet, and the surfaces of out 
cropping masses over immense areas of the world, are all gauged in 
long, straight channels, sometimes a foot deep, sometimes eight feet 
deep, with widths from two to three feet. These grooves, of all di 
mensions, pass over the rock in groups like mouldings, and the rocks 
they occur upon are polished and oftentimes lustrous. The channels 
diminish in size to the faintest striae, which, like sharp scratches, cover 
the surface, running along at times in parallel series, or diverging in 
different directions, as though the great primitive plane had varied 
its course over them, scouring with exquisite fineness. 

These lines and runnels score the rocks over the Northern United 
States and Canada, throughout Europe, in Asia, and over the shores 
of South America. We discover almost instantly that in the same 
region they have the same direction ; that they seem, as it were, to 
stream with us from the north ; and that, wherever other scores con 
travene this, these secondary markings are themselves harmonious, 
indicating some subsequent action upon the rock, in character similar 
to the first, though varying in its motion, and probably restricted in 
its extent and importance. Thus the scores upon the rocks of New 
England point northwest and southeast, and only local derangements 
disturb this prevalent direction. The easting increases as we progress 


to the ocean, reaching its maximum in Maine and the borders of Can 
ada ; while, as we retire from the margin of the States, we observe 
that the scratches and grooves acquire a north-and-south direction, 
becoming nearly meridional over New York, and then slowly swing 
round to the west, until in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and the 
western limits of the continent, they lie pointing northeast and south 
west. Thus they assume a rudely-outlined radiation from the high 
lands of Canada, and stretch out from an hypothetical centre there 
like the multiplied spokes of a great wheel. In Switzerland they 
sweep down and out from the central ranges of the Alps in all direc 
tions, and, while locally uniform, they converge from the south, and 
east, and north, and west, toward the lofty slopes and pinnacles of 
this congeries of mountains. Over West Russia and Northern Europe, 
where the markings are discovered, they indicate the Scandinavian 
mountains to have been the seat of whatever disturbance or agency 
has, at a distant period, fluted and engraved the continent ; similarly, 
as the rocks lie related to the Highlands of Scotland, the Lake Hills 
of England, or the mountains of Wales, the stria3 impressed upon them 
extend toward every point of the compass. They stream north and 
south from the summits of the Pyrenees, from the peaks of the Cau 
casus, and down the valleys of the Himalayas. It must be under 
stood, however, that these conclusions are based upon an average of 
the bearings of the grooves in each instance, arid that these are infi 
nitely varied by the construction and irregularity of the land. 

Thus over greater portions of the world we find the rocks fur 
rowed, polished, and striated, in long, frequently deep and rectilinear 
grooves, which lie in groups and series identical in direction, and 
pointing to associated highlands, or distant continental mountain- 
ranges, as the source of whatever strange and inexorable instru 
mentalities have produced them. Over New York Island the 
gneissoid and granitic rocks, where they raise their tilted strata 
and broken shoulders above the ground, are scored frequently with 
deep and sinuous channels. In Central Park, along Fifty -ninth 
Street, up the west side, the contorted and twisted humps of gneiss 
are moulded in this way. Sometimes, where a rupture exists, and one 
part of an outcrop has fallen below the other, the grooves are con 
tinued on the lower half; frequently the lines are crowded together 
like rulings on a page, and again the groove is of irregular depth, its 
floor rising and falling as though hitches had occurred when it was 
first planed, the great chisel meeting resistance, or being thrown up 
at points along its path. In the White Mountains the sides of the 
mountains, the valleys, the top of Mount Washington, at 5,000 feet 
above the sea, are all cut with these strange furrows, the rocks pol 
ished, and the whole country bearing these evidences of past erosion 
wherever the naked rock meets the eye. Over Maine the same phe 
nomena present themselves in endless succession, the grooves striping 

TOL. XII. 21 


the country, and losing themselves in the sea along the coast, while 
they corrugate the borders of the innumerable bays, and the walls of 
the deep fiords that indent the shores. These furrows can be traced 
for miles across the country, cutting the three ranges that lie between 
Bangor and the sea almost at right angles, traversing these highlands 
as though they were level surfaces, dipping beneath the sea, and re 
appearing upon the sides of Mount Desert, to be again lost in the 
waters of the Atlantic. Unquestionably, over that sea-floor, could we 
follow their tracks, the same furrows continue to the verge of the con 
tinent which lies miles out to seaward, when the steep edge of the 
land falls precipitately to the true bottom of the ocean. Over .the 
West, throughout Canada, and upon the ancient rocks of the Great 
Lakes, these evidences of past erosion exist upon an enormous scale. 
As a rule, these striae indicate a planing surface advancing from the 
north, and, though a second series may occur, as upon the islands of 
Lake Erie, from east to west, whose furrows obliterate the first in 
scription, such phenomena are local merely, and infrequent. Again, 
upon the Sierras, the tops and declivities of the ranges are scored and 
engraved with the indelible signatures of past erosions, and the rocks 
of the barren wastes of British America are signalized in the same 
manner. So much for strige : we perceive their universal presence, 
and their marked reference to the north, or elevated regions which 
dominate over level plains. 

The second feature of this epoch, designated by common consent 
the Drift, is a series of surprising facts, evincing, throughout all this 
deeply-scored and paneled country, the past presence of extraordinary 
transporting agencies. We find rocks of enormous size, in some 
instances weighing 3,000 tons, planted in fields and lowlands, or 
strewed over hills and moors, where no rocks lie in place, sunken in 
the soil where the lithology of the district is entirely distinct, 
while that of the monoliths themselves is identical with rock many , 
miles northward. These gigantic bowlders, Titanic mementos of the 
past, are scattered over Central Europe, over Germany, Holland, and 
Russia, are identical in character, and can have no nearer origin than 
in the mountains of Scandinavia. Some of these blocks of stone are 
of incredible dimensions, and are accompanied by innumerable smaller 
ones that lie over these districts as if flung in sport by some pre- 
Adamite Anta3us. They have served the most useful purposes in the 
flat countries through which they are found, being used for buildings 
of every description, and their smallest associates have helped to 
pave the highways between Hamburg, Magdeburg, and Breslau. Ac 
credited in ruder times to the malevolent agency of man s spiritual 
foes, they were called devil-stones but Science, recognizing their dis 
tant origin, has named them erratics, and the Germans, more pictu 
resquely, wanderers. Not only are they found upon level and loamy 
lands, utterly unaccountable except by the assumptions of transpor- 


tation, but they are also discovered capping the cliffs of mountain- 
chains, hanging by the side of depths, over which they must have 
been carried, and into which, by the Nemesis of destiny, they are now 
doomed to fall. The Jura Mountains, north, of the great valley of 
Switzerland, and opposite the western or Bernese Alps, along the fron 
tier of France, are thus studded with these bowlders, some of them 
containing 50,000 to 60,000 cubic feet of stone. These have come from 
the Alps ; they are crystalline rocks, gneiss, and granite, and they lie 
upon ridges of limestone. They are virtually nothing less than dis 
located fragments of those abraded and decreasing hills perched 
upon the Jura cliffs. Prof. Guyot has placed, beyond all doubt, their 
home upon the summits and sides of the Swiss Alps, and shown that 
they have attained their present eminence by a positive carriage from 
these original localities. This position has indeed been made impreg 
nable by a protracted and laborious survey of innumerable " wander 
ers found upon the Juras, whose lithological character identified 
them with the Alpine formation, while it served to trace the probable 
path of their transmission. These blocks have been found at eleva 
tions ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 feet above the sea, and in Carinthia 
similar erratics have been described at great elevations, proceeding 
from an opposite quarter of the Alps. 

In North America, and especially throughout the Northern States, 
the bowlders are numerous, often of great size, and indicating transits 
of many miles. Over the Eastern, Middle, and Northwestern States, 
bowlders, that have emigrated from distant points to the north 
ward, occur in such abundance that they may almost anywhere be 
found if the inquirer will only examine the country he passes over. 
Upon Mount Katahdin, in the Moosehead region of Maine, stones can 
be seen, lying over 4,000 feet above the sea, fossiliferous in their na 
ture and coming: from northern sites: while toward Mount Desert, 

^j * * 

masses, some forty to fifty feet in height, are sprinkled everywhere, 
and, as in the case of the Dedham granite distributed to the south, in 
variably show northern origin. In Berkshire County, Massachusetts, 
these traveled rocks lie in long alignments, passing over the Lenox 
Hills, and extending in a generally southeasterly direction for fifteen 
or twenty miles, and have been filched from the Canaan and Richmond 
Hills across the line in New York, being of chloritic slate, with angu 
lar specimens of limestone intermixed. Some granites from Vermont, 
on the west of the Green Mountains, have been lifted over these bar 
riers and transferred to the southern margins of Massachusetts ; while 
in Vermont a bowlder weighing over 3,400 tons, and known as the 
Green Mountain Giant, has been drifted from the Green Mountains 
easterly across the valley of the Deerfield River, and planted 500 
feet above that stream. In Michigan, near the Menomonee River, a 
field upon the northern slope of a mountain is densely covered with 
bowlders, so that a mile can be traversed without once touching the 


ground. Again, huge nuggets of copper, torn from the immense de 
posits of native copper at Keweenaw Point, Portage Lake, and the 
Ontonagon district, on the southern shore of Lake Superior, are found 
widely disseminated to the south of these localities in Michigan,Wis- 
consin, Ohio, and Minnesota, a few of which have weighed 300, 800, 
and one 3,000 pounds. From the sides of the White Mountains frag 
ments of rock have been carried away, and not only conveyed south 
ward, but, as Agassiz first pointed out, distributed northward, though 
only at comparatively slight distances. Long Island, that narrow 
fork of land running eastward and separated from the southern shore 
of Connecticut by the Long Island Sound, a shallow and turbulent 
trough, is lined, alike on its southern and northern edges, with bow r l- 

^J 7 t tJ * 

ders, while its backbone of low hills is also strewed with their debris. 
They occur gathered together in groups forming topographical feat 
ures in the landscape, and single ones have a weight of 2,000 tons. 
As regards their origin, they seem to have drifted from three localities, 
from the Helderberg Mountains in Central New York, from Manhat 
tan Island, and from various points in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and 
Massachusetts. Those about the west end of the island may be 
traced to the Eastern States lying to the north, while many of the 
western visitors appear to have approached along the valley of the 
Hudson from the Highlands of New York. On Staten Island we may 
trace still farther the current of traveled rocks, and find both centres 
of emigration represented: the bowlders, now gray with lichens, half 
emerging from the soil, or deeply buried beneath gravel, clay, and 
sand, or else dispersed in colonies over the surface like pebbles on a 
board. Manhattan Island, along its southern shore, has been dotted 
with bowlders of serpentine, dragged from Hoboken, while gneiss and 
anthophyllite from the bed-rock of the island, limestone from Kings- 
bridge, and jasper from the Palisades, have likewise been sown across 
it, though before the restless advance of population they are fast dis- t 
appearing. In Westchester, Putnam, and Orange Counties, along the 
banks of the Hudson, these bowlders, all indicating northern extrac 
tion, are repeatedly found, frequently at heights of 1,000 feet. These 
erratics have come from the Shawangunk Mountains, from Whitehall, 
Essex County, and from Potsdam; in short, they are witnesses of an 
invasion of northern material prevalent over the State. That these 
rocks belong northward is not difficult to prove. The reasoning is 
simply this : When anthophyllite, for instance, a rock unknown in 
situ to Lonsj Island, appears there in broken and detached masses, 
we must conclude it belongs to the nearest deposits of the same rock, 
where it occurs in place, as upon Manhattan Island, and the horn- 
blendic rock, the gneiss, trap, and iron-ore, similarly found on Long 
Island, we refer to those conspicuous and well-known localities in Con 
necticut and Rhode Island where exactly these rocks, identical in 
chemical composition, are quarried. 


In the West the same tale is repeated. Throughout Ohio, bowl 
ders are found which are composed of rock utterly foreign to their 
present surroundings ; indeed, of material not known within the limits 
of the State. These are found perched over declivities, buried in the 
soil with their exposed edges showing above the surface, or else lying 
unencumbered in slight depressions of the ground. In Indiana, 
Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, etc., they are omnipresent, and the 
streets of Cincinnati are paved with the smaller specimens that 
crowd in exhaustless trains upon the footsteps of their larger com 
panions. In short, we gather the irrefragable testimony, wherever we 
look for it, through our Northern States, through Europe and Asia, 
and even along the western coast of South America, that some im 
mense force has been exerted in times past, not only to dislocate and 
shatter the rocky barriers which opposed it, but also to carry away 
the evidences of its . ravages, and scatter them in its southward 
movement far removed from their place of origin. Further, let it be 
remarked that, though one class of these erratics is composed of angu 
lar and unworn stones, another yields bowlders that have undergone 
severe attrition, and along their larger axes are striated and polished ; 
bearing in mind, moreover, that the direction of their transit coin 
cides with that of the furrows and flutings in the same region, we 
may strictly conclude that they are a feature also of the same exces 
sive and gigantic system of erosion. 

But there is another appearance which we believe vitally con 
nected with these, and one of a yet broader and more significant char 
acter in its general relations than they are. Over Scotland, England, 
Ireland, Scandinavia, Denmark, Central Europe, Switzerland, Russia, 
France, Spain, and in North and South America, in short, wherever 
we discover bowlders and grooved surfaces, we find a deep and char 
acteristic deposit, not the work of alluvial formations or recent detri 
tus, for it underlies these, but the record of a vast disintegration 
which, having planed and corroded the continents, has covered the 
land with sheets of gravel, clay, silt, and sand, all intermixed with 
stones and bowlders, variously combined in their order of succession, 
and ranging in depth to over 300 feet. These immense beds furnish 
gravel for roads and ballast, sand for glass-making and mortars, and 
clay for pottery; their included stones and fragments are scored 
and embroidered with fine and interlacing stria?, and they cover the 
furrowed surfaces of either hemisphere for miles. 

They represent the accumulated wear and tear of continents, 
under some extraordinary agent of erosion and denudation, whose 
teeth have resistlessly ground upon the solid rocks of the hills and 
highlands, hiding disfigured surfaces beneath a covering of ruin. 
Long Island is itself but one long dirt-heap : an accumulated pile of 
continental debris, sand, clay, gravel, intermixed and overlaid by 
bowlders, is here gathered together into a more or less stratified state, 


as if, in an enormous denudation of New England, the aggregated 
material, scoured from its hills and valleys, had been dropped just 
upon their outskirts in this long detrital barrow or mound. Yet 
over New England this same deposit is wide-spread ; it lies up and 
down the valleys, it forms the terraces of its rivers, the shores of its 
lakes, and, spread over the face of the land, is frequently the immedi 
ate soil beneath the feet. This member of the geological series, 
exhibiting various phases in its deposition, from the bowlder-clay 
to the lake-ridges, is widely distributed, indeed is universal over the 
Northern States, and as far south as 40 north latitude extends its 
sheets and centres of pebbly and sandy deposit in mounds and 
ridges, themselves capped with accidental bowlders, and resting upon 
the furrowed and seamed surfaces of the rock beneath. Sometimes 
they may be found collected in heaps and walls at the foot of the 
polished rocks, as if silent and incontrovertible witnesses of then- 
severe and prolonged erosion. 

In Scotland it is the till, a stiff clay interspersed with polished 
stones, crowding down the valleys and prevalent over the lower 
slopes, varying in its lithological character with the character of the 
surrounding rocks. Gravel and sand beds are intercalated with it 
and superimposed upon it. In England, Ireland, Scandinavia, Swit 
zerland, we discover identical strata strata which, while yielding dif 
ferent subdivisions, in their entire extent are the same thing, and only 
varied according to the local force and extent of the wearing agent, 
the local peculiarities of the country over which it operated, and the 
effect which submergence beneath the sea had in redistributing and 
rearranging the beds of detritus already laid down. In the sequel 
we shall more particularly revert to this drift-material, and indicate 
the part it has played in the economy of our landscape-changes ; how 
it constitutes the terraces of our rivers and the successive beaches 
of our Great Lakes, and how it has choked up the former courses of 
rivers, forcing them to find new ones by larger and circuitous deflec 
tions. Associated with this phenomenon are the appearances known 
as crushed ledges and roches moutonnees, both of which testify to 
the exertion of enormous pressure the one of pressure continuous 
and progressive, the other, perhaps, of percussive and intermittent 

Crushed ledges designate those plicated, overthrown, or curved 
exposures where parallel laminae of rocks, as talcose schist, usually 
vertical, are bent and fractured as if by a maul-like force battering on 
them from above. The strata are oftentimes tumbled over upon a 
cliff-side like a row of books, and rest upon heaps of fragments broken 
away by the strain upon the bottom layers, or crushed off from their 
exposed surfaces. Roches moutonnees are those rounded and swelling 
prominences, often seen in a landscape, which, when examined more 
closely, show themselves to be truncated masses of rock whose asperi- 


ties have been smoothed away by the same agency which has planed 
the rocks everywhere. Only the roches moutonnbes have been left 
furrowed and scratched upon one side, whence the abrading and 
engraving tool advanced, but upon the other unscored, and hidden 
beneath a tail of fragments ground from their opposite slopes. The 
significance of this we shall see later. 

Thus, imperfectly described, we have reviewed the most prominent 
features of a comparatively modern period, viz., the widely-grooved 
and polished condition of northern rocks, especially hard-grained rocks, 
which retain these impressions ; the occurrence of wandering bowl 
ders, transported longer or shorter distances from their primitive 
sites, and the detrital matter from continental abrasion deeply bury 
ing the rocky face of the country, and in ridges, mounds, and sheets, 
extending east and west, and along the greater water-courses, 
stretching itself down into the Southern States in irregular tails and 
projections. We will now venture to examine the theories advanced 
to explain these singular phenomena, and describe that one which 
best accounts for these facts, with many correlated ones, offering an 
hypothesis which rationally secures their complete and harmonious 





"TTTHAT S the text to-day for reading 
V V Nature and its being by ? 

There is effort all the morning 
Through the windy sea and sky. 

All, intent in earnest grapple, 

That the All may let it be : 
Force, in unity, at variance 

With its own diversity. 

Force, prevailing unto action : 
Force, persistent to restrain : 

In a twofold, one-souled wrestle, 
Forging Being s freedom-chain. 

Frolic ! say you when the billow 
Tosses back a mane of spray? 

No ; but haste of earnest effort ; 
Nature works in guise of play. 


Till the balance shall be even 
Swings the to and fro of strife ; 

Till an awful equilibrium 
Stills it, beats the Heart of Life. 

"What s the text to-day for reading 
Nature and its being by ? 

Effort, effort all the morning, 
Through the sea and windy sky. 


PURPLE headland over yonder, 
Fleecy, sun-extinguished moon, 

I am here alone, and ponder 
On the theme of Afternoon. 

Past has made a groove for Present, 
And what fits it is : no more. 

Waves before the wind are weighty ; 
Strongest sea-beats shape the shore. 

Just what is is just what can be, 

And the Possible is free ; 
Tis by being, not by effort, 

That the firm cliff juts to sea. 

With an uncontentious calmness 
Drifts the Fact before the "Law; " 

So we name the ordered sequence 
We, remembering, foresaw. 

And a law is mere procession 

Of the forcible and fit ; 
Calm of uncontested Being, 

And our thought that comes of it. 

In the mellow shining daylight 
Lies the Afternoon at ease, 

Little willing ripples answer 
To a drift of casual breeze. 

Purple headland to the westward ! 

Ebbing tide and fleecy moon ! 
In the "line of least resistance " 

Flows the life of Afternoon. 



GEAY the sky, and growing dimmer, 

And the twilight lulls the sea ; 
Half in vagueness, half in glimmer, 

Nature shrouds her mystery. 

What have all the hours been spent for? 

Why the on and on of things ? 
Why eternity s procession 

Of the days and evenings ? 

Hours of sunshine, hours of gloaming, 

Wing their unexplaining flight, 
With a measured punctuation 

Of unconsciousness, at night. 

Just at sunset was translucence, 

When the west was all aflame ; 
So I asked the sea a question, 

And an answer nearly came. 

Is there nothing but Occurrence ? 

Though each detail seem an Act, 
Is that whole we deem so pregnant, 

But unemphasized Fact? 

Or, when dusk is in the hollows 

Of the hill-side and the wave, 
Are things just so much in earnest 

That they cannot but be grave ? 

Nay, the lesson of the Twilight 

Is as simple as tis deep ; 
Acquiescence, acquiescence, 

And the coming on of sleep. 


THERE are sea and sky about me, 
And yet nothing sense can mark ; 

For a mist fills all the midnight, 
Adding blindness to its dark. 

There is not the faintest echo 
From the life of yesterday : 

Not the vaguest stir foretelling 
Of a morrow on the way. 


Tis negation s hour of triumph, 
In the absence of the sun ; 

Tis the hour of endings, finished, 
Of beginnings unbegun. 

Yet the voice of awful silence 
Bids my waiting spirit hark ; 

There is action in the stillness, 
There is progress in the dark. 

In the drift of things and forces, 
Comes the better from the worse, 

Swings the whole of Nature upward, 
Wakes, and thinks a universe. 

There will be more life to-morrow, 
And of life, more life that knows; 

Though the sum of Force be constant, 
Yet the Living ever grows. 

So we sing of Evolution, 

And step strongly on our ways, 

And we live through nights in patience, 
And we learn the worth of days. 

In the silence of murk midnight 
Is revealed to me this thing : 

Nothing hinders, all enables 
Nature s vast awakening. 




A BOUT one year after the reading of the famous paper of Rum- 
-LJL ford, in the early part of 1799, Sir Humphry Davy, then but 
twenty years of age, published his first scientific memoir, entitled 
" An Essay on Heat, Light, and the Combinations of Light." Clear 
ly enunciating the two systems of hypothesis previously held, he 
chose to follow Newton in rejecting the materiality of heat, while 
still clinging to the corpuscular or emission theory of light. 

His position with respect to the existence of caloric he asserted in 

this thesis : 



Introduction to an unpublished work on Thermo-Dynamics. 


proceeding to maintain it by a series of experimental reductio ad ab- 

Premising that the temperature of a body could not be increased 
unless either its " capacity were diminished from some cause, or 
heat were added to it from still other bodies in contact, and observing 
a production of heat to be consequent on friction or percussion, he 
enumerated the following as including all possible explanations of the 
phenomenon consistent with the assumption of caloric : 

First, the production by the friction of a specific diminution in the 
" capacity " of the body, whereby caloric would be disengaged, and thus 
made sensible. This was the supposition which Count Rumford showed 
to be quite incompatible with the inexhaustibility of the supply. 

Second, the liberation of caloric during some slow process of com 
bustion accompanying the friction, the source in this case being the 
oxygen of the surrounding medium. This contingency was likewise 
anticipated by Rumford, who failed to detect any indications of such 
an action. 

And, third, the production of some occult change in the bodies 
rubbed, whereby they might acquire the property of abstracting an 
unusual quantity of heat-substance from surrounding matter. 

His argument against the existence of caloric depended, therefore, 
upon showing that these different suppositions were all contrary to 
the indications of experiment, whence the inference as to the unten- 
ability of the hypothesis itself. But, although this method of reason 
ing has been characterized as " somewhat confused," the following 
experiments upon which it was based are now considered classical. 

Two parallelopipedons of ice, initially at a temperature of 29 Fahr., 
were fastened in an apparatus by which they might be rubbed to 
gether, and kept in a continued and violent friction with each other. 
They thus were almost wholly melted, the temperature of the result 
ing water being " ascertained to be 35, after remaining in an atmos 
phere of a lower temperature for some minutes." The fusion also was 
observed to take place only at the rubbing surface. 

From this experiment it was therefore to be inferred that the 
" capacity " of a body was not necessarily diminished by friction ; 
for, according to the discoveries of Black, the melting of a quantity 
of ice could only take place with the absorption of a definite quantity 
of heat its latent heat of fusion. 

Upon the second supposition, Davy remarked : 

* From this experiment it is likewise evident that the increase of tempera 
ture consequent on friction cannot arise from the decomposition of the oxygen 
gas in contact, for ice has no attraction for oxygen. Since the increase of tem 
perature consequent on friction cannot arise from the diminution of capacity or 
oxidation of the acting bodies, the only remaining supposition is, that it arises 
from an absolute quantity of heat added to them, which heat must be attracted 
from the bodies in contact. Then friction must induce some change in bodies 
enabling them to attract heat from the bodies in contact." 


To determine, therefore, upon this last alternative, he performed 
the following experiment : 

A block of ice, having a small channel cut around its upper edge, 
was placed under the receiver of an air-pump. The channel was 
filled with water, and upon the block, though not in contact with the 
water, was also placed a clock-work so contrived that one of the ex 
ternal wheels of its machinery came in contact with a thin metal 
plate. By the friction between these surfaces a considerable amount 
of heat could be produced, which might be made to melt wax, tallow, 
or any similar substance fusible at the temperature which could be 
thus produced. 

The receiver, previously filled with carbonic-acid gas, was next 
exhausted as completely as possible by the air-pump and absorption 
by caustic potash ; upon then setting the machine to work the wax 
was melted rapidly, and the temperature of the whole apparatus in 
creased by more than 1 Fahr., thus proving the excitation of heat 
under the conditions imposed. 

Consistently with the remaining supposition the third it was 
then only to be inferred that caloric had been collected from the 
bodies in contact. Neglecting, however, the vapor of water which 
formed the rarefied atmosphere within the receiver, the only other 
body in contact with the apparatus was the ice. But against the as 
sumption of this latter having furnished any heat, Davy here drew at 
tention to the water still remaining liquid in the canal, and which pre 
sumably would have been frozen had the ice parted with any heat. 

It is easy to perceive that such a course of reasoning was neither 
exhaustive with respect to the non-existence of caloric, nor conclusive 
as to the dynamic character of heat. For, had he even been success 
ful in demolishing the doctrine of caloric, the simple refutation of one 
physical hypothesis could never have been construed into more than 
an increase in probability of all those opposed to it ; and in this in 
stance, perhaps no considerations would have been accepted as con 
clusive by the materialists, which, failing to experimentally establish 
the true nature of heat, should still have left their favorite notion 
open to any modification, however artificial, which might reconcile it 
in the least degree with facts which would be doubted and distorted 
in the interest of these preconceived opinions. 

Heat being only a particular phase of energy, it was necessary and 
sufficient to show, as done by Rumford, with respect to its frictional 
excitation, that its production depended only on the expenditure of 
energy implied in its inexhaustibility and always in the same de 
gree, as he proved by special determinations. 1 It was the subsequent 

1 Professors Tait and Balfour Stewart are authority for the statement that " Kumford 
pointed out other methods to be employed in determining the amount of heat produced 
by the expenditure of mechanical power, instancing particularly the agitation of water 
or other liquids, as in churning." (Tait s " Historical Sketch," p. 7 ; Stewart s "Element 
ary Treatise on Heat," p. 307.) 


extension of this experimental process to all modes of heat-production 
that constituted the great work of Joule, to be described hereafter. 

But if Davy thus failed to render his experiments truly conclusive 
against the materiality of heat ; his subsequent observations showed 
that individually his perceptions were most clear and definite. 

Heat, ultimately, he conceived to depend upon molecular motion 
calling this the repulsive motion and to produce an effect exactly 
opposite to that of cohesion. The action of this motion in altering 
the state of aggregation, he interpreted essentially as is the custom 
now, and spoke of temperatures as indicating the relative quantities 
of repulsive motion in the same substance. He also mentioned three 
modes in which this motion might be increased : 

u 1. By the transmutation of mechanical into repulsive motion, that is, by 
friction or percussion. In this case the mechanical motion lost by the masses 
of matter in friction is the repulsive motion gained by their corpuscles. 

" 2. By the motion of chemical combinations of decomposition. 

" 3. From the communicated repulsive motion of bodies in apparent contact, 
that is, by conduction simply. And subsequently he generalized this statement 
in the dictum : * 

"The immediate cause of the phenomena of heat, then, as Lavoisier long ago 
stated, is motion, and the laws of its communication are precisely the same as 
the laws of the communication of motion." 

These essays of Rumford and Davy failed to produce, with a few 
rare exceptions, any perceptible effect upon the scientific opinions of 
their contemporaries. There would seem to have prevailed at this 
time a remarkable incapacity to appreciate the importance of experi 
ments whose indications were opposed to preconceived ideas, and 
an antipathy to engage in unfamiliar issues; and the same distrust 
and indifference which so deadened the brilliance of Fresnel s immor 
tal work in France proved quite effectual in deferring for the time 
the discoveries which might otherwise have followed the immediate 
development and experimental prosecution of this theory. Whatever 
interest was awakened seems to have been, for the most part, dis 
played in the petty, irrelevant objections, and misstatements even, 
brought against their methods of experiment and observed results ; 
and the injustice of which, when not apparent, might have been easily 
exposed by a careful repetition or extension of these same determina 

Dr. Thomas Young, however, in his " Lectures on Natural Philos 
ophy," delivered at the Royal Institution, and published in 1S07, 2 

lu Elements of Chemical Philosophy," 1812. Complete Works, vol. iv., p. 66. The 
laws of motion here referred to were those of Newton, especially the third, application to 
molecular magnitudes being included, and the modifications introduced by the new facts 
as to the effect cf friction understood; for, "in Newton s day, and long afterward, it was 
supposed that work was absolutely lost by friction." (Thomson and Tait, "Natural 
Philosophy," p. 108.) 

2 " Lectures on Natural Philosophy," vol. i., p. 653, etseq. 


assigned to them their true significance, and, reviewing much after 
Bacon the existing state of experience upon the question, drew forci 
bly attention to the superficiality of the views of those who still 
adopted the hypothesis of caloric. 

In 1810 Haldat performed an extended series of experiments upon 
the heat produced by friction between various metallic surfaces. 1 The 
results which he obtained were not, however, decidedly confirmatory 
of either supposition, but especially serve to increase our admiration 
for the acumen of Rumford in perceiving and stating the true law of 
its excitation. 

The rubbing surfaces employed by him were similar in size "and 
shape; the pressure between them was maintained nearly constant 
in several different experiments ; but the power or energy was re 
ceived in measured quantities, and from an indefinite source, namely, 
the pulley of a turning-lathe. 

The quantities of heat developed for the same number of revolu 
tions, or in proportionate times, were naturally, therefore, different 
for different metals; but as to the cause of this diversity he hazarded 
no positive opinion, and indeed his recorded observations do not 
seem susceptible of reduction to any particular theory. Had he 
measured the energy absorbed, or the coefficient of friction between 
the rubbing surfaces, he might possibly have been able to trace some 
relation between them and the heat produced in the operation. As 
it was, his observations as to difference of capacity, the influence of 
density, etc., were equally confused with the results, which he ob 
tained on varying the pressure and substituting different metals ; and 
although upon the whole his conclusions were adverse to the calorists, 
they were not definite enough to attract any notable attention. 

In tracing thus far the inception of mechanical-heat theory, we 
have seen two important generalizations made : The one, fully 
attested by experiment, referring to the transformation of work into . 
heat in a peculiar class of operations, and entirely independent of 
hypothesis, namely, that " the heat generated by friction is exactly 
proportional to the force with which the two surfaces are pressed 
together, and to the rapidity of the friction." The other, more, com 
prehensive, including in the spirit of its enunciation thermal phenom 
ena of every variety, and to a greater or less extent dependent on 
molecular and other hypothesis. These early statements are quite 
characteristic of, and may be used to illustrate, a subsequent division 
of our subject necessitated by experimental difficulties of investigation 
and verification. 

The proposition that the entire energy existing in the universe is 
a magnitude as definite and unchangeable as the quantity of matter 
which it contains, is now considered one of the most fundamental and 
far-reaching in natural philosophy. The experimental evidence pos- 

1 Journal de Physique, vol. Ixv., p. 213 ; Nicholson s Journal, vol. xxvi., p. 30. 


sessed as to the fact appears for the most part in the invariability 
of the ratio of any dynamic magnitude of a definite kind which dis 
appears to that of another kind which is thereby produced, and the 
numerical value of which, for a particular transformation, depends 
only on the relative magnitude of the characteristic units as compared 
by the same standard system of dynamic units. That is, that the 
conversion of one manifestation of energy into another takes place 
with as great certainty and absence of waste, and with the same 
integrity of the elementary magnitude, as the more formal conversion 
of foot-pounds into kilogrammetres, or British thermal units into 
calorics. To the experimental establishment of this principle as 
involved in transformations between heat and work, and which is 
called the First Fundamental Law of Thermo-Dynamics, we shall 
return hereafter. 

But in the transformation of heat into mechanical effect or work, 
an additional principle has been found to hold, respecting the trans 
formable quantities of these two magnitudes as influenced by tem 
perature, and which is known in like manner as the Second Funda 
mental Law of Thermo-Dynamics. 

Experience has not as yet encountered any phenomena at variance 
with these fundamental laws ; which furthermore agree with the 
strictest requirements of intuitive science, and illustrate, respectively, 
the axioms that nothing is by natural means creatable from nothing, 
and that things are equal to the same thing only which are equal to 
each other. In the development of these two principles, and the ap 
plication to them of empirical laws with reference to the behavior of 
bodies under the action of heat or mechanical effect, consists the first 
principal division of the subject in which the results obtained are 
generally reliable. 

But in assuming a complete analogy between molecular and mass 
energy, and in tracing the consequence of this assumption through 
the different forms of material aggregation, the conclusions reached 
are generally much beyond the present power of experimental science 
to explicitly confirm, and, although many of the results obtained in 
these investigations are of great probability, they yet are of inferior 
certainty to those properly included in the first division. 

In short, although the laws which govern the relations of molar 
energy to heat are in the abstract positively known, yet in endeavor 
ing to trace the distribution and precise condition of energy when it 
becomes absorbed within a body, or vice versa, the mode and minutest 
detail of its transformation into gross mechanical effect, the most 
consistent theories have heretofore depended on the hypothesis that 
actual or real heat is a condition of molecular kinetic energy, and that 
the various latent heats are due to potentialities of molecular arrange 

The full extent to which this principle of the indestructibility of 


energy had previously been recognized, or involved in the dispute as 
to the intimate constitution of heat, may be inferred from what has 
been already given of the history of heat theory. But in 1822, M. A. 
Seguin, in a letter to Sir J. F. W. Herschel, 1 explicitly asserted it in 
support of the dynamical existence of heat, and in explanation of the 
work obtained from caloric in the steam-engine. The view of the 
subject he claimed to have derived, some years before, from his uncle, 
the celebrated Montgolfier. 

Soon after he restated these considerations in a letter to Sir David 
Brewster, 2 wherein, by a perfectly legitimate course of reasoning, and 
in a very lucid manner, he showed that the accepted teachings of the 
calorists led to a violation of this principle of the conservation of 
energy. For, quoting his own language : 

"If we suppose, indeed, that at each stroke of the piston of a high-pressure 
steam-engine the quantity of caloric employed is represented exactly by the 
elevation of temperature of the water of condensation, abstracting all loss, it 
follows that we have lost nothing in obtaining a very great effect, and that, if it 
were possible (which is supposable) 3 to condense the caloric contained in a mass 


M into another represented by , in such a manner that it may be reduced into 


vapor at the primitive pressure, we may, by means of a small quantity of caloric, 
produce an indefinite number of oscillations." 

He expressly stated, therefore, that after a mechanical effect had 
been produced through any given thermal agency, as in a steam- 
engine, only that quantity of molecular motion or heat which had not 
been thus appropriated would remain as heat. 

To him, therefore, most undeniably belongs the credit of having 
first publicly urged the principle of the conservation of energy against 
the materiality of heat, and of having considered in this connec 
tion the reverse phenomenon of the performance of work by thermal 


The only indefinite or erroneous particular in his statement was 
that arising from the rather incautious introduction of molecular hy 
pothesis. His leading argument was thoroughly scientific, but the 
oversight or neglect to refer explicitly to the disturbing effect which 
latent as distinguished from sensible heat might exert upon the ex 
perimental verification of his principles, served afterward as a point 
of attack upon the accuracy of his reasoning in general, and an op 
portunity, abundantly improved, to detract from his true merit as an 
early supporter of the mechanical theory of heat. 

This criticism depends upon and applies with still greater justice 

1 Published in the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, x., p. 280. 

2 Published in the Edinburgh Journal of Science, in., p. 276, 1825. 

3 A particular instance of this supposition will be seen in our account of Carnot s 


to a principle which he subsequently enunciated in a work on rail 
ways, 1 in treating of the motive-power of heat, namely : 

La force mecanique qu apparait pendent 1 abaissement de temperature d un 
gas, comme de tout autre corps qui se dilate, est la mesure et la representation 
de cette diminution de chaleur." 

If in the single term "chaleur" Seguin intended to include both 
sensible and latent heat, his principle was undoubtedly correct; but 
it is to be inferred from an indicated method of determining the 
relative dynamical value of heat and mechanical units, 2 that he had 
quite neglected to take into account any change of molecular energy 
other than that of sensible heat. 

Nearly identical with these, though much more celebrated, were 
the subsequent speculations of Dr. J. R. Mayer upon this subject. 
In a memoir published in Liebig s Annalen, for May, 1842, entitled 
* Bemerkungen liber die Kraft e der neubelebten Natur," he undertook 
to answer the questions : " What are we to understand by force ? and 
how are different forces related to each other ? Toward the latter 
part of the disquisition he entered upon the subject of the mutual 
convertibility of heat and mechanical energy, considering the genera 
tion of heat by the shock or gradual stopping of a falling body, by 
friction, and by compression ; and illustrating by the heat excited in 
the bearings and rubbing surfaces of water-mills and railway-trains; 
and by the diminution of the earth s bulk in the falling of a body to 
the ground. 

In this he first expressly used the term equivalent, in speaking of 
the relation of heat, to mechanical effect ; and by the same method as 
that employed in the deduction of Seguin s value, though with more 
accurate data, found the distance through which any mass of water 
would have to fall, in order that its temperature, by the shock of sud 
den stoppage, might be raised from to 1 Cent., to be 365 metres. 

The physical reasoning upon which he founded this determination 
was manifestly incomplete, if not erroneous ; and, on this account, his 
claims as an original promoter of correct theory have been made of 
late the subject of considerable dispute. In view of the historical im 
portance attaching to this point, and because an allowable explana 
tion of the phenomenon referred to will illustrate very fully the re 
ceived distinction between sensible and latent heat, we here make a 
slight digression to consider more particularly the thermal effect 
attending the compression of elastic fluids. 

The term specific heat is ordinarily employed to designate that 
quantity which it is necessary to impart to unity of weight of any 

1 Entitled "fitudes sur Tlnfluence des Chemins de Fer," p. 378, d se<j. Paris, 1838. 

2 The method indicated, with the data then at his command, for steam, gave 650 kilo- 
grammetres as the mechanical value of an increase of temperature of 1 Cent, in one 
kilogramme of water. 

VOL. xir. 22 


specified substance, in order that its temperature may be raised by 
one degree ; no discontinuous change of physical state occurring. A 
part of this heat, it is thought, is used in raising the temperature of 
the substance, and thus increasing the real heat or thermal contrast 
of the body ; while the remainder is expended in producing, as it 
were, some change in the potentiality of intermolecular distance, or 
molecular motions, not indicated by the thermometer, but in general 
attended by the expansion or contraction of the body heated. The 
energy existing in this latter form, and measured in heat-units, has 
been called by Clausius the ergonal content of the body. 

If we were, therefore, to suppose the following effects produped, 
in a specified manner, during the reception of a quantity of heat by 
any portion of an elastic fluid, namely, an increase of temperature, a 
change in the mean distance or motions of the molecules not causing 
any variation of temperature and a performance of external work by 
the consequent increase of volume against exterior resistance, it is 
evident that we could not consider any one of these effects to be the 
dynamical equivalent of the whole acquisition of heat. Much criticism 
upon the original reasoning of Mayer has therefore been called forth 
by this fact, that, without proving the absence of the second effect 
above mentioned, or in any way referring to the possibility of its dis 
turbing influence upon the calculation, he arbitrarily assumed that the 
mechanical energy expended in compressing atmospheric air should 
be regarded as the mechanical equivalent of the heat thus rendered 
sensible. 1 

But though erroneous in principle, this method of determining the 
mechanical equivalent of heat was afterward shown by Joule to in 
volve no sensible inaccuracy of result in the case of air and other per 
manent gases. 2 

The experiment by which this conclusion was attained consisted in 
the repetition, with a slight but very important modification, of one 
originally designed by Gay-Lussac to investigate the effect upon the 
temperature of a gas of its free expansion into a vacuum. 

The apparatus consisted of two reservoirs, H and E, which 
might be joined by connecting-tubes and a coupling-nut, and each 
closed independently by a very perfect stopcock. Into one of these 

1 Besides, the analogy which he drew between the heat produced upon the sudden 
stoppage of a falling body, constituting a diminution of the earth s bulk, and the forcible 
compression of an elastic body, is by no means an admissible one, and in seeking to jus 
tify this view by the following statement : " Yet just as little as it may be inferred from 
the relations of falling force to motion, that falling force is motion, so little is the conclu 
sion admissible in the case of heat " (that heat is motion). " We much prefer to adopt 
the opposite conclusion, that in order to become heat, the motion either simple or vibra 
tory, as light, radiant heat, etc. must cease to exist as motion " he succeeded only in 
rendering the subject more indefinite and confused. 

2 " On the Changes of Temperature produced by the Rarefaction and Condensation 
of Air." (Philosophical Magazine, 1845, (3) xxxi., p. 376.) 


dry atmospheric air was forced until a tension of about twenty-two 
atmospheres at the ordinary temperature of the room was attained. 

The other was exhausted by an air-pump. 
Being then coupled together, they were im 
mersed in a tank containing about sixteen 
and a half pounds of water, which was stirred, 
and its temperature taken on a very sensible 
thermometer, indicating approximately thou 
sandths of a degree. The stopcocks were 
next opened and the air allowed to rush from 
one reservoir to the other until the tensions 

were more nearly or quite equal in both. Lastly, the water was again 
stirred and its temperature carefully noted. A correction was ob 
tained after each experiment, by noting the increase of temperature 
caused by an equal amount of stirring, uninfluenced by any possible 
effects of the expansion. 

Five experiments upon the thermal effect thus attending the ex 
pansion of atmospheric air showed a mean increase in the temperature 
of the water of 0.0074, while the correction to be applied amounted 
to 0.0068, leaving a difference quite within the limits of observation 
by this method. Joule, therefore, concluded that " no change of 
temperature occurs when air is allowed to expand in such a manner as 
not to develop mechanical poioer" 

If this result or property of atmospheric air had been known to 
Mayer, and construed by him to imply the total absence of a trans 
formable, internal store of potential energy in gaseous substance, so 
that the energy embodying the condition variously styled its pure, 
real, actual, or sensible heat could only be affected by some external 
agency, mechanical or thermal, and if the effect upon a thermometer, 
produced by this condition, had been also known to vary directly with 
the whole quantity of energy comprising it, the method which he in